Imágenes de página




Παρ πυρί χρή τοιαύτα λέγειν χειμώνος εν ώρα.



But Raab Kiuprili moves with such a gait?
Lo! e'en this eager and unwonted haste

But agitates, not quells, its majesty. The form of the following dramatic poem is in hum. My patron! my commander! yes, 't is he! ble imitation of the Winter's Tale of Shakspeare, Call out the guards. The Lord Kiuprili comes. except that I have called the first part a Prelude in

Enter RAAB stead of a first Act, as a somewhat nearer resem-Drums beat, etc. the Guard turns out.

KIUPRILI. blance to the plan of the ancients, of which one specimen is left us in the Æschylian Trilogy of the RAAB KIUPRILI (making a signal to stop the drums, etc.) Agamemnon, the Orestes, and the Eumenides. Though Silence! enough! This is no time, young friend! a matter of form merely, yet two plays, on different For ceremonious dues. This summoning drum, periods of the same tale, might seem less bold, than Th'air-shattering trumpet, and the horseman's clatter, an interval of twenty years between the first and Are insults to a dying sovereign's ear. second act. This is, however, in mere obedience to Soldiers, 'tis well! Retire! your general greets you, custom. The effect does not, in reality, at all de- His loyal fellow-warriors.

[Guards retire. pend on the Time of the interval; but on a very dif

CHEF RAGOZZI. ferent principle. There are cases in which an inter

Pardon my surprise. val of twenty hours between the acts would have a Thus sudden from the camp, and unattended! worse effect (i. e. render the imagination less disposed What may these wonders prophesy? to take the position required) than twenty years in

RAAB KIUPRILI. other cases. For the rest, I shall be well content is

Tell me first, my readers will take it up, read and judge it, as a How fares the king ? His majesty still lives? Christmas tale.

We know no otherwise ; but Emerick's friends

(And none but they approach him) scoff at hope. CHARACTERS.

Ragozzi! I have rear'd thee from a child,

And as a child I have rear'd thee. Whence this air

Of mystery? That face was wont to open
EMERICK, usurping King of Illyria.
RAAB KIUPRILI, an Illyrian Chieftain.

Clear as the morning to me, showing all things.

Hide nothing from me.
CASIMIR, Son of Kiuprili.
Chef Ragozzi, a Mililary Commander

O most loved, most honor'd,
ZAPOLYA, Queen of Illyria.

The mystery that struggles in my looks,
Betray'd my whole tale to thee, if it told thee
That I am ignorant; but fear the worst.

And mystery is contagious. All things here

Are full of motion : and yet all is silent:
And bad men's hopes infect the good with fears.

RAAB KIUPRILI (his hand to his heart).

I have trembling proof within, how true thou speakest. THE PRELUDE, ENTITLED, “ THE USURP


That the prince Emerick feasts the soldiery,

Gives splendid arms, pays the commanders' debts,

And (it is whisper'd) by sworn promises Front of the Palace with a magnificent Colonnade. On Makes himself debtor-hearing this, thou hast heard

one side a military Guard-House. Sentries pacing All- (Then in a subdued and saddened voice.) backward und forward before the Palace. CHEF But what my Lord will learn too soon himself. Ragozzi, at the door of the Guard-House, as looking forwards at some object in the dislance.

Ha Well then, let it come! Worse scarce can CHEF RAGOZZI My eyes deceive me not, it must be he!

This letter, written by the trembling hand Who but our chief, my more than father, who of royal Andreas, calls me from the camp

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]







To his immediate presence. It appoints me, Did my King love me? Did I earn his love?
The Queen, and Emerick, guardians of the realm, Have we embraced as brothers would embrace ?
And of the royal infant Day by day,

Was I his arm, his thunder-bolt? And now
Robb’d of Zapolya’s soothing cares, the king Must I, hag-ridden, pant as in a dream?
Yearns only to behold one precious boon,

Or, like an eagle, whose strong wings press up
And with his life breathe forth a father's blessing. Against a coiling serpent's folds, can I

Strike but for mockery, and with restless beak Remember you, my Lord, that Hebrew leech, Gore my own breast ?—Ragozzi, thou art faithful ? Whose face so much distemper'd you ?


Here before Heaven I dedicate my faith

Barzoni ? To the royal line of Andreas. I held him for á spy: but the proof failing

RAAB KIUPRILI. (More courteously, I own, than pleased myself),

Hark, Ragozzi!
I sent him from the camp.

Guilt is a timorous thing. ere perpetration :

Despair alone makes wicked men be bold.

To him in chief Come thou with me! They have heard my voice in Prince Emerick trusts his royal brother's health.


Have faced round, terror-struck, and fear'd no longer Hide nothing, I conjure you! What of him?

The whistling javelins of their fell pursuers.

Ha! what is this? With pomp of words beyond a soldier's cunning,

[Black Flag displayed from the Tower of the Pal

ace: a death-bell tolls, elc.
And shrugs and wrinkled brow, he smiles and whis-

Vengeance of Heaven! He is dead.
Talks in dark words of women's fancies ; hints
That 't were a useless and cruel zeal

At length then 'tis announced. Alas! I fear,
To rob a dying man of any hope,

That these black death-flags are but treason's signals. However vain, that soothes him: and, in fine,

RAAB KIUPRILI (looking forwards anxiously). Denies all chance of offspring from the Queen.

A prophecy too soon fulfillid! See yonder!

O rank and ravenous wolves! the death-bell echoes
The venomous snake! My heel was on its head, Still in the doleful air-and see! they come.
And (fool!) I did not crush it!


Precise and faithful in their villany,
Nay, he fears

Even to the moment, that the master traitor
Zapolya will not long survive her husband.

Had preordain'd them.

Manifest treason! Even this brief delay

Was it over-haste, Half makes me an accomplice (If he live),

Or is it scorn, that in this race of treason [Is moving toward the palace. Their guilt thus drops its mask, and blazons forth If he but live and know me, all may

Their infamous plot even to an idiot's sense.

Halt! [Stops him. On pain of death, my Lord! am I commanded Doubtless they deem Heaven too usurp'd! Heaven's To stop all ingress to the palace.


Bought like themselves !
Thou !

[During this conversalion music is heard, at first

solemn and funereal, and then changing 10 No place, no name, no rank excepted

spirited and triumphal.

Being equal all in crime,


Do you press on, ye spotted parricides !

For the one sole pre-eminence yet doubtful,
This life of mine, 0 take it, Lord Kiuprili!

The prize of foremost impudence in guilt ?
I give it as a weapon to thy hands,
Mine own no longer. Guardian of Illyria,

The bad man's cunning still prepares the way Useless to thee, 'tis worthless to myself.

For its own outwitting. I applaud, Ragozzi! Thou art the framer of my nobler being :

[Musing to himselfthen Nor does there live one virtue in my soul,

Raguzzi ! I applaud, One honorable hope, but calls thee father. In thee, the virtuous hope that dares look onward Yet ere thou dost resolve, know that yon palace And keeps the life-spark warm of future action Is guarded from within, that each access

Beneath the cloak of patient sufferance. Is throng'd by arm'd conspirators, watch'd by ruffians Act and appear as time and prudence prompt thee; Pamper'd with gifts, and hot upon the spoil

I shall not misconceive the part thou playest. Which that false promiser still trails before them. Mine is an easier part-to brave the Usurper. I ask but this one boon-reserve my life

[Enter a procession of EMERICK's Adherents Till I can lose it for the realm and thee!

Nobles, Chieftains, and Soldiers, with Music. RAAB KIUPRILI.

They advance toward the front of the Stage, My heart is rent asunder. O my country,

KIUPRILI makes the signal for them to stop o fallen Illyria! stand I here spell-bound !

The Music ceases.










RAAB KIUPRILI (turning away). The Lord Kiuprili-Welcome from the camp.

Casimir! He, he a traitor!

Too soon indeed, Ragozzi ! have I learnt it. Aside RAAB KIUPRILI. Grave magistrates and chieftains of Illyria!

CASIMIR (with reverence). In good time come ye hither, if ye come

My father and my Lord! As loyal men with honorable purpose

RAAB KIUPRILI. To mourn what can alone be mourn'd; but chiefly

I know thee not! To enforce the last commands of royal Andreas, And shield the queen, Zapolya : haply making Yet the remembrancing did sound right filial. The mother's joy light up the widow's tears.

A holy name and words of natural duty Our purpose demands speed. Grace our procession; Are blasted by a thankless traitor's utterance. A warrior best will greet a warlike king. RAAB KIUPRILI.

O hear me, Sire! not lightly have I sworn This patent, written by your lawful king

Homage to Emerick. Illyria's sceptre (Lo! his own seal and signature attesting)

Demands a manly hand, a warrior's grasp. Appoints aš guardians of his realm and offspring, The queen Zapolya's self-expected offspring The Queen, and the Prince Emerick, and myself. At least is doubtful: and of all our nobles, [Vrices of Live King Emerick ! an Emerick ! an The king inheriting his brother's heart, Emerick!

Hath honor'd us the mosi. Your rank, my Lord! What means this clamor? Are these madmen's voices ? Confirmed : and me the king's grace hath appointed

Already eminent, is—all it can be
Or is some knot of riotous slanderers leagued
To infamize the name of the king's brother

Chief of his council and the lord high-steward. With a lie black as Hell? unmanly cruelty,

RAAB KIUPRILI. Ingratitude, and most unnatural treason! (Murmurs. (Bought by a bribe !) I know thee now still less. What mean these murmurs ? Dare then any here

CASIMIR (struggling with his passion). Proclaim Prince Emerick a spotted traitor?

So much of Raab Kiuprili's blood flows here, One that has taken from you your sworn faith,

That no power, save that holy name of father, And given you in return a Judas' bribe,

Could shield the man who so dishonor'd me.
Infamy now, oppression in reversion,
And Heaven's inevitable curse hereafter ?

RAAB KIUPRILI. (Loud murmurs, followed by cricsEmerick! No The son of Raab Kiuprili! a bought bond-slave, Baby Prince! No Changelings !

Guilt's pander, treason's mouth-piece, a gay parrot,

School'd to shrill forth his feeder's usurp'd titles, Yet bear with me awhile! Have I for this

And scream, Long live king Emerick!
Bled for your safety, conquer'd for your honor!
Was it for this, Illyrians! that I forded
Your thaw-swoln torrents, when the shouldering ice

Ay, King Emerick! Fought with the foe, and stain'd ils jagged points

Stand back, my Lord! Lead us, or let us pass. With gore from wounds, I felt not ? Did the blast

Beat on this body, frost-and-famine-numb’d, Nay, let the general speak!
Till my hard flesh distinguish'd not itself
From the insensate mail, its fellow-warrior ?

Hear him! Hear him And have I brought home with me Victory,

RAAB KIUPRILI. And with her, hand in hand, firm-footed Peace,

Hear me, Her countenance twice lighted up with glory,

Assembled lords and warriors of Illyria, As if I had charm’d a goddess down from Heaven? Hear, and avenge me! Twice ten years have I But these will flee abhorrent from the throne

Stood in your presence, honor'd by the king, Of usurpation !

Beloved and trusted. Is there one among you, (Murmurs increaseand cries of Onward ! onward! Accuses Raab Kiuprili of a bribe?

Have you then thrown off shame, Or one false whisper in his sovereign's ear? And shall not a dear friend, a loyal subject,

Who bere dare charge me with an orphan's rights Throw off all fear? I tell ye, the fair trophies

Outfaced, or widow's plea left undefended ? Valiantly wrested from a valiant foe,

And shall I now be branded by a traitor, Love's natural offerings to a rightful king,

A bought bribed wretch, who, being called my son Will hang as ill on this usurping traitor,

Doth libel a chaste matron's name, and plant This brother-blight, this Emerick, as robes

Hensbane and aconite on a mother's grave ? Of gold pluck'd from the images of gods

The underling accomplice of a robber, Upon a sacrilegious robber's back.

That from a widow and a widow's offspring

Would steal their heritage? To God a rebel, [During the last four lines, enter Lord Casimir, And to the common father of his country with expressions of anger and alarm.

A recreant ingrate!
Who is this factious insolent, that dares brand

Sire! your words grow dangerous The elected King, our chosen Emerick ?

High-flown romantic fancies ill-beseem [Startsthen approaching with timid respect. Your age and wisdom. "Tis a statesman's virtue, My father!

To guard his country's safety by what means



[ocr errors]








It best may be protected—come what will
Of these monks' morals !

A sovereign's ear ill brooks a subject's questioning!

Yet for thy past well-doing—and because

"Tis hard to erase at once the fond belief Ha! the elder Brutus

Long cherish'd, that Illyria had in thee Made his soul iron, though his sons repented.

No dreaming priest's slave, but a Roman lover They boasted not their baseness.

Of her true weal and freedom--and for this, too,
[Starts, and draws his sword. That, hoping to call forth to the broad day-light

Infamous changeling! And fostering breeze of glory, all deservings,
Recant this instant, and swear loyalty,
And strict obedience to thy sovereign's will;

I still had placed thee foremost.
Or, by the spirit of departed Andreas,


Prince! I listen. (Chiefs, etc. rush to interpose ; during the tumult

EMERICK. enter EMERICK, alarmed.

Unwillingly I tell thee, that Zapolya,

Madden'd with grief, her erring hopes proved idle-
Call out the guard! Ragozzi ! seize the assassin.
Kiuprili? Ha With lowered voice, at the same Sire! speak the whole truth! Say, her frauds detected!

time with one hand making signs to the guard
to retire.
Pass on, friends! to the palace. Of her physician-

According to the sworn attests in council (Music recommences.— The Procession passes into

the Palace.During which time EMERICK and

Yes! the Jew, Barzoni
KIUPRILI regard each other sted fastly.


Under the imminent risk of death she lies, What! Raab Kiuprili? What! a father's sword

Or irrecoverable loss of reason, Against his own son's breast ?

If known friend's face or voice renew the frenzy. RAAB KIUPRILI.

CASIMIR (10 KJUPRILI). "T would be best excuse him, Trust me, my Lord! a woman's trick has duped youWere he thy son, Prince Emerick. I abjure him.

U's 100—but most of all, the sainted Andreas.

Even for his own fair fame, his grace prays hourly
This is my thanks, then, that I have commenced For her recovery that (the States convened)
A reign to which the free voice of the nobles


take counsel of her friends.
Hath call'd me, and the people, by regards
Of love and grace to Raab Kiuprili's house?

Right, Casimir! RAAB KIUPRILI.

Receive my pledge, Lord General. It shall stand What right hadst thou, Prince Emerick, to bestow In her own will to appear and voice her claims; them?

Or (which in truth I hold the wiser course)

With all the past pass d by, as family quarrels,
By what right dares Kiuprili question me?

Let the Queen-Dowager, with unblench'd honors,

Resume her state, our first llyrian matron.
By a right common to all loyal subjects-
To me a duty! As the realm's co-regent,

Prince Emerick! you speak fairly, and your pledge too

Is such, as well would suit an honest meaning.
Appointed by our sovereign's last free act,
Writ by himself.—

(Grasping the Palent.

My Lord! you scarce know half his grace's goodness.
EMERICK (with a contemptuous sneer).

The wealthy heiress, high-born fair Sarolia,
AyWrit in a delirium!

Bred in the convent of our noble ladies,

Her relative, the venerable abbess, I likewise ask, by whose authority

Hath, at his grace's urgence, woo'd and won for me. The access to the sovereign was refused me?

Long may the race, and long may that name flourish, By whose authority dared the general leave Which your hervic deeds, brave chief, have render'd like a fugitive?

Dear and illustrious to all true Illyrians !

RAAB KIUPRILI (sternly).
A fugitive, who, with victory for his comrade,

The longest line, that ever tracing herald Ran, open-eyed, upon the face of death!

Or found or feign'd, placed by a beggar's soul, A fugitive, with no other fear, than bodements

Hath but a mushroom's date in the comparison: To be belated in a loyal purpose

And with the soul, the conscience is coeval, At the command, Prince of my king and thine,

Yea, the soul's essence. Hither I came; and now again require

EMERICK Audience of Queen Zapolya; and (the States

Conscience, good my Lord, Forth with convened) that thou dost show at large, Is but the pulse of reason.

Is it conscience, On what ground of defect thou 'st dared annul That a free nation should be handed down, This thy King's last and solemn act_hast dared Like the dull clods beneath our feel, by chance Ascend the throne, of which the law had named, And the blind law of lineage? Thal whether infant And conscience should have made thee, a protector. Or man matured, a wise man or an idiot,








His camp

and army,



[ocr errors]


Hero or natural coward, shall have guidance Wouldst thou have pilfer'd from our school-boys Of a free people's destiny ; should fall out

themes In the mere lottery of a reckless nature,

These shallow sophisms of a popular choice ? Where sew the prizes and the blanks are countless ? What people? How convened ? or, if convened, Or haply that a nation's fate should hang

Must not the magic power that charms together On the bald accident of a midwife's handling Millions of men in council, needs have power The unclosed sutures of an infant's skull ? To win or wield them? Better, O far better CASIMIR.

Shout forth thy titles 10 yon circling mountains, What better claim con sovereign wish or need,

And with a thousand-fold reverberation Than the free voice of men who love their country? Make the rocks flatter thee, and the volleying air, Those chiefly who have fought for 't? Who, by right, Unbribed, shout back to thee, King Emerick! Claim for their monarch one, who having obey'd

By wholesome laws to embank the sovereign power So hath best learnt to govern; who, having suffer'd, To deepen by restraint, and by prevention Can feel for each brave sufferer and reward him?

Of lawless will to amass and guide the flood Whence sprang the name of Emperor ? Was it not

In its majestic channel, is man's task By Nature's fiat? In the storm of triumph,

And the true patriot's glory! In all else 'Mid warriors' shouts, did her oracular voice

Men safelier trust to Heaven, than to themselves Make itself heard : Let the commanding spirit

When least themselves in the mad whirl of crowds Possess the station of command !

Where folly is contagious, and 100 oft
Even wise men leave their better sense at home,

To chide and wonder at them when return'd.

Prince Emerick,
Your cause will prosper best in your own pleading.

EMERICK (aloud).

Is 't thus, thou scoff`st the people! most of all,
Ragozzi was thy school-mate-a bold spirit!

The soldiers, the defenders of the people ? Bind him to us!—Thy father thaws apace !


[Then aloud. O most of all, most miserable nation, Leave us awhile, my Lord!—Your friend, Ragozzi, For whom th' Imperial power, enormous bubble ! Whom you have not yet seen since his return,

Is blown and kept aloft, or burst and shatter'd Commands the guard to-day.

By the bribed breath of a lewd soldiery! 'Casimir retires to the Guard-House; and after a Chiefly of such, as from the frontiers far time appears before it with Chef Ragozzi. (Which is the noblest station of true warriors), We are alone.

In rank licentious idleness beleaguer What further pledge or proof desires Kiuprili?

City and court, a venom'd thorn i' the side Then, with your assen

of virtuous kings, the tyrant's slave and tyrant,

Still ravening for fresh largess! but with such
Mistake not for assent

What title claim'st thou, save thy birth? What merita The unquiet silence of a stern Resolve,

Which many a liegeman may not plead as well, Throttling the impatient voice. I have heard thee, Brave though I grant thee? If a life outlabor'd

Head, heart, and fortunate arm, in watch and war, Prince! And I have watch'd thee, too; but have small faith in For the land's fame and weal; if large acquests, A plausible tale told with a flitting eye.

Made honest by th' aggression of the foe

And whose best praise is, that they bring us safety ; [Emerick turns as about to call for the Guard. If victory, doubly-wreathed, whose under-garland In the next moment I am in thy power,

of laurel-leaves looks greener and more sparkling In this thou art in mine. Stir but a step,

Through the gray olive-branch ; if these, Prince Eme Or make one sign-I swear by this good sword,

rick! Thou diest that instant.

Give the true title to the throne, not thou

No! (let Illyria, let the infidel enemy Ha, ha !-Well, Sir!-Conclude your homily.

Be judge and arbiter between us !) I,

I were the rightful sovereign!
RAAB KIUPRILI (in a somewhal suppressed voice.)
A tale which, whether true or false, comes guarded

I have faith
Against all means of proof, detects itself.

That thou both think'st and hopest it. Fair Zapolye The Queen mew'd up this too from anxious care And love brought forth of a sudden, a twin birth

A provident ladyWith the discovery of her plot to rob thee of a rightful throne - Mark how the scorpion, False

Wretch, beneath all answer' hood, Coils round in its own perplexity, and fixes

Offers at once the royal bed anu throne!
Its sting in its own head!

To be a kingdom's bulwark, a king's glory,
Ay! to the mark!

Yet loved by both, and trusted, and trust-worthy, Raab KIUPRILI (aloud): (he and EMERICK stand- Is more than to be king; but see! thy rage

ing al equi-distanoe from the Palace and Fights with thy fear. I will relieve thee! Ho! the Guard-Hlouse.

[To the Guard Hadst thou believed thine own tale, hadst thou fancied Thyself the rightful successor of Andreas, Not for thy sword, but to entrap thee, ruffian!









« AnteriorContinuar »