« AnteriorContinuar »
Within us lives beyond :—thou readest mine, Pania That's a black augury! It has And dost me justice now. Let me once clasp
been said That yet warm hand, and fold that throb- For ages, “That the city ne'er should yield
less heart [Embraces the body. To man, until the river grew its foe.” To this which beats so bitterly. Now, bear Sard. I can forgive the omen, not the The body hence.
ravage. Soldier. Where?
How much is swept down of the wall? Sard. To my proper chamber.
(Ereunt Soldiers with the body of Officer. For the present
The river's fury must impede the assault;
But when he shrinks into his wonted channel, Enter Pania.
And may be cross'd by the accustom d Sard. Well, Pania! have you placed the barks, guards, and issued
The palace is their own. The orders fix'd on?
Sard. That shall be never, Pania. Sire, I have obey'd,
Though men, and gods, and elements, and Sard. And do the soldiers keep their
omens, hearts up?
Have risen up 'gainst onc who ne'er proPania. Sire ?
voked them, Sard. I'm answer'd! When a king asks My fathers' house shall never be a cave twice, and has
For wolves to horde and howl in. A question as an answer to his question, Pania. With your sanction It is a portent. What, they are disheartend? I will proceed to the spot, and take such Pania. The death of Salemenes, and the shouts
For the assurance of the vacant space Of the exulting rebels on his fall, As time and means permit. Have made them
Sard. About it straight, Sard. Rage-nat droop-it should have And bring me back, as speedily as full been.
And fair investigation may permit, We'll find the means to rouse them. Report of the true state of this irruption Pania. Such a loss
Of waters. Might sadden even a victory.
[Freunt Pania and the Officer. Sard. Alas!
Myrrha. Thus the very waves rise up Who can so feel it as I feel ? but yet, Against you. Though coop'd within these walls, they are Sard. They are not my subjects, girl, strong, and we
And may be pardon'd, since they can't be Have those without will break their way punish'd. through hosts,
Myrrha. I joy to see this portent shakes To make their sovereign's dwelling what it was
Sard. I am past the fear of portents : A palace; not a prison nor a fortress.
they can tell me Enter an Officer, hastily.
Nothing I have not told myself since mid
night: Sard. Thy face seems ominous. Speak! Despair anticipates such things. Officer. I dare not.
Myrrha. Despair ! Sard. Dare not?
Sard. No; not despair precisely. When While millions dare revolt with sword in
we know hand!
All that can come, and how to meet it, our That's strange. I pray thee break that Resolves, if firm, may merit a more noble loyal silence
Word than this is to give it utterance. Which loathes to shock its sovereign ; we But what are words to us ? we have well can hear
nigh done Worse than thou hast to tell.
With them and all things. Pania. Proceed, thou hearest.
Myrrha. Save one deed - the last Officer. The wall which skirted near And greatest to all mortals; crowning-act the river's brink
Of all that was-or is--or is to be Is thrown down by the sudden inundation The only thing common to all mankind, Of the Euphrates, which now rolling, swoln So different in their births, tongues, sexes, From the enormous mountains where it rises, natures, By the late raios of that tempestuous region, Hues, features, climes, times, feelings, O'erfloods its banks, and hath destroy'd the intellects, bulwark.
Without one point of union save in this,
To which we tend , for which we're born, Faggots, pine-nuts, and wither'd leares, and thread
and such The labyrinth of mystery, call'd life. Things as catch fire and blaze with one Sard. Our clew being well nigh wonnd
sole spark; out, let 's be cheerful.
Pring cedar, too, and precious drugs, and They who have nothing more to fear may spices, well
And mighty planks, to nourish a tall pile; Indulge a smile at that which once appallid; Bring frankincense and myrrh, too, for it is As children at discover'd bugbears. For a great sacrifice I build the pyre;
And heap them round yon throne.
Pania. My lord !
Sard. I have said it,
[Exit Pania. To watch the breach occasion'd by the Myrrha. What mean you? waters.
Sard. You shall know Sard. You have done your duty faith-Anon – what the whole earth shall ne'er fully and as
forget. My worthy Pania! further ties between us Draw near a close. I pray you take this key:
PANIA, returning with a Herald.
[Gives a key. Pania. My king, in going forth upon It opens to a secret chamber, placed
my duty, Behind the couch in my own chamber (now This herald has been brought before me, Press'd by a nobler weight than e'er it bore
craving Though a long line of sovereigns have lain An audience. down
Sard. Let him speak.
Sard. Of what god, or demon? Thvugh ye be many. Let the slaves be With new kings rise new altars. But,proceed; freed, too;
You are sent to prate your master's will, And all the inmates of the palace, of
and not Whatever sex, now quit it in an hour. Reply to mine. Thence launch the regal barks, once form’d Herald. And Satrap Ofratanesfor pleasure,
Sard. Why, he is ours. And now to serve for safety, and embark. Herald (showing a ring). Be sure that The river 's broad and swoln, and uncom
he is now manded
In the camp of the conquerors; behold (More potent than a king) by these besiegers. His signet-ring. Fly! and be happy!
Sard. 'Tis his. A worthy triad! Pania. Under your protection!
Poor Salemenes! thou hast died in time So you accompany your faithful guard. To see oue treachery the less: this man Sard. No, Pania! that must not be; get Was thy true friend and my most trusted thee hence,
subject. And leave me to my fate.
Proceed! Pania. 'Tis the first time
Herald. They offer thee thy life, and I ever disobey'd: but now
freedom Sard. So all men
Of choice to single out a residence Dare beard me now, and Insolence within In any of the further provinces, Apes Treason from without ? Question no Guarded and watch'd , but not confined in further;
person, 'Tis my command, my last command. Wilt Where thou shalt pass thy days in peace ;
thou Oppose it? thou!
Condition that the three young princes are Pania. But yet - not yet.
Given up as hostages. Sard. Well, then.
Sard. (ironically). The generous victors! Swear that you will obey when I shall give llerald. I wait the answer. The signal.
Sard. Answer ? slave! How long Pania. With a heavy but true heart, Have slaves decided on the doom of kings? I promise.
Herald. Since they were free. Sard. 'Tis enough. Now order here Sard. Mouthpiece of mutiny!
Thou at the least shalt learn the penalty And tell him, ere a year exptre, I summon
At least from thence he will depart to [Pania and the Guards seizing him.
meet me. Pania. I never yet obey'd
Herald. I shall obey you to the letter. Your orders with more pleasure than the
(Exit Herald present.
Sard. Pania ! Hence with him,soldiers ! do not soil this hall Now, my good Pania! - quick! with what Of royalty with treasonable
I order'd. Put him to rest without.
Pania. My lord,- the soldiers are already Herald. A single word:
charged. My office, king, is sacred.
And, see! they enter. Sard. And what 's mine?
[Soldiers enter, and form a Pile about l'hat thou shouldst come and dare to ask
the Throne. of me
Sard. Higher, my good soldiers, To lay it down?
And thicker yet; and see that the foundation Herald. I but obey'd my orders, Be such as will not speedily exhaust At the same peril if refused, as now Its own too subtle flame; nor yet be quench'd Incurrid by my obedience.
With aught officious aid would bring to Sard. So, there are
quell it. New monarchs of an hour's growth as Let the throne form the core of it; I would despotic
not As sovereigns swathed in purple, and cn- Leave that, save fraught with fire anthroned
quenchable, From birth to manhood!
To the new comers. Frame the whole as if Herald. My life waits your breath. Twere to enkindle the strong tower of our Yours (I speak humbly) – but it may be- Inveterate enemies. Now it bears an aspect! yours
How say you, Pania, will this pile suffice
I understand you now.
Myrrha. 'Tis the soldier's
[Gives him a golden cup from a The woman's with her lover?
Pania. 'Tis most strange!
thon think'st it. And think of nothing but their weight and in the mean time, live thou.-Farewell! value.
the pile Herald. I thank you doably for my life, Is ready. and this
Pania. I should shame to leave my Most gorgeous gift, which renders it more sovereign precious.
With but a single female to partake But must I bear no answer ?
His death. Sard. Yes, -I ask
Sard. Too many far have heralded An hour's truce to consider.
Me to the dust already. Get thee hence; Herald. But an hour's ?
Thy vow ;-'tis sacred and irrevocable.
Sard. Search well my chamber, Herald. I shall not fail
Feel no remorse at bearing off the gold; To be a faithful legate of your pleasure. Remember, what you leave you leave the Sard. And, hark! a word more.
slaves Herald. I shall not forget it,
Who slew me: and when you have borne Whate'er it be.
away Sard. Comincnd mc to Beleses ; All safe off to your boats, blow one long blast
Upon the trumpet as you quit the palace. In which they would have revellid, I bear The river's brink is too remote, its stream
with me Too loud at present to permit the echo To you in that absorbing element, To reach distinctly from its bank. Then Which most personifies the soul as leaving fly,
The least of matter unconsumed before And as you sail, turn back; but still keep on Its fiery workings:--and the light of this Your way along the Euphrates: if you reach Most royal of funereal pyres shall be The land of Paphlagonia, where the queen Not a mere pillar form'd of clond and fame, Is safe with my three sons in Cotta's court. A beacon in the horizon for a day, Say what you saw at parting, and request And then a monnt of ashes, but a light That she remember what I said at one To lesson ages, rebel nations, and Parting more mournful still.
Voluptuous princes. Time shall quench Pania. That royal hand! Let me then once more press it to my lips; A people's records, and a hero's Acts; And these poor soldiers who throng round Sweep empire after empire, like this first
Of empires, into nothing; but even then Would fain die with you!
Shall spare this deed of mine, and hold [The Soldiers and Pania throng round
him, kissing his hand and the hem A problem few dare imitate, and none of his robe.
Despise-but, it may be, avoid the life Sard. My best! my last friends! Which led to such a consummation. Let's not unman each other, part at once: All farewells should be sudden, when for MYRRHA returns with a lighted Torch in one
Hand, and a Cup in the other. ever, Else they make an eternity of moments, Myrrha. Lo! And clog the last sad sands of life with I've lit the lamp which lights us to the stars. tears.
Sard. And the cup? Hence, and be happy : trust me, I am not Myrrha. Tis my cuuntry's custom to Now to be pitied; or far more for what Make a libation to the gods. Is past than present;-for the future, 'tis Sard. And mine In the hands of the deities, if such To make libations amongst men.
I've not There be : I shall know soon. Farewell – Forgot the custom; and although alone, farewell.
Will drain one draught in memory of many (E.reunt Pania and the Soldiers. A joyous banquet past. Myrrha. 'These men were honest: it is (Sardanapalus takes the cup, and after comfort still
drinking and tinkling the reversed That our last looks shall be on loving faces.
cup, as a drop falls, erclaimsSard. And lovely ones, my beautiful!- And this libation but hear me!
Is for the excellent Beleses. If at this moment, for we now are on Myrrha. Why The brink, thou feelst an inward shrinking Dwells thy mind rather upon that man's name from
Than on his mate's in villany? This leap through flame into the future, Sard. The other
Is a mere soldier, a mere tool, a kind I shall not love thee less; nay, perhaps more, of human sword in a friend's hand; the For yielding to thy nature; and there's time
other Yet for thee to escape hence.
Is master-mover of his warlike puppet : Myrrha. Shall light
But I dismiss them from my mind. Yet One of the torches which lie heap'd beneath
pause, The ever-burning lamp that burns without, My Myrrha! dost thou truly follow me, Before Baal's shrine, in the adjoining hall? Freely and fearlessly?
Sard. Do so. Is that thy answer? Myrrha. And dost thou think
Myrrha. Embrace, but not the last; As ye bequeath'd it, this bright part of it,
there is one more. Your treasure, your abode, your sacred Sard. True, the commingling fire will relics
mix our ashes. Of arms, and records, monuments, and Myrrha. And pure as is my love to thee. spoils,
urged from the dross of earth, and earthly | And loveliest spot of earth! farewell lonia! passion,
Be thou still free and beantiful, and far lix pale with thine. A single thought Aloof from desolation! My last prayer yet irks me.
Was for thee, my last thoughts, save onc, Sard. Say it.
were of thee! Myrrha. It is that no kind hand will Sard. And that? gather
Myrrha. Is yours. The dust of both into one urn.
[The trumpet of Pania sounds without. Sard. The better:
Sard. Hark! father let them be borne abroad npon Myrrha. Now! 'he winds of heaven, and scatter'd into air, Sard. Adieu, Assyria! 'han be polluted more by human hands I loved thee well, my own, my fathers' land, If slaves and traitors; in this blazing And better as my country than my kingdom. palace,
I satiated thee with peace and joys; and this ind its enormous walls of reeking ruin, Is my reward! and now I owe thee nothing, Pe leave a nobler monument than Egypt | Not even a grave. [He mounts the pile. lath piled in her brick-mountains, o'er
Now, Myrrha ! dead kings,
Myrrha. Art thou ready? Ir kine, for none know whether those Sard. As the torch in thy grasp. proud piles
(Myrrha fires the pile. le for their monarch, or their ox-god Apis: Myrrha. 'T'is fired! I come. so much for monuments that have forgotten (A8 Myrrha springs forward to throw Their very record!
herself into the flames, the Curtain Myrrha Then farewell, thou earth!
W E R N E R,
A TRA G E DY.
BY ONE OF HIS HUMBLBST
But I have generally found that those who THE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTILE had read it, agreed with me in their esti
mate of the singular power of mind and conception which it developes. I should also add conception, rather than execution; for the story might, perhaps, have been
more developed with greater advantage. PREFACE.
Amongst those whose opinions agreed with
mine upon this story, I could mention some The following drama is taken entirely very high names; but it is not necessary, from the “Gernian's Tale, Kruitzner," nor indeed of any use; for every one must published many years ago in “Lee's Can- judge according to their own feelings. I terbury Tales ; written (I believe) by two merely refer the reader to the original story, sisters, of whom one furnished only this that he may see to what extent I have borstory and another, both of which are con- rowed from it; and am not unwilling that sidered superior to the remainder of the he should find much greater pleasure in collection. I have adopted the characters, perusing it than the drama which is founded plan, and even the language, of many upon its contents. parts of this story. Some of the characters I had begun a drama upon, this tale so are modified or altered, a few of the names far back as 1815 (the first I ever attempted, changed, and one character (Ida of Stra- except one at thirteen years old, called lenheim) added by myself: but in the rest “Ulric and Nvina,” which I had sense enough the original is chiefly followed. When I to burn), and had nearly completed an act, was young (about foarteen, I think) I first when I was interrupted by circumstances. read this tale, which made a deep impres- This is somewhere amongst my papers in sion upon me; and may, indeed, be said England; but as it has not been found, I to contain the germ of much that I have have re-written the first, and added the since written. I am not sure that it ever subsequent acts. was very popular; or at any rate its popu- The whole is ncither intended, nor in larity has since been eclipsed by that of any shape adapted, for the stage. other great writers in the same department. February, 1822.