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To which we tend, for which we're born, | Faggots, pine-nuts, and wither'd leaves,

and thread

The labyrinth of mystery, call'd life.

Sard. Our clew being well nigh wound out, let's be cheerful.

They who have nothing more to fear may

Indulge a smile at that which once appall'd;
As children at discover'd bugbears.

Re-enter PANIA.

Pania. "Tis

As was reported: I have order'd there
A double guard, withdrawing from the wall
Where it was strongest the required addition |
To watch the breach occasion'd by the

Sard. You have done your duty faith-
fully and as

My worthy Pania! further ties between us
Draw near a close. I pray you take this key:
[Gives a key.
It opens to a secret chamber, placed
Behind the couch in my own chamber (now
Press'd by a nobler weight than e'er it bore-
Though a long line of sovereigns have lain


Along its golden frame-as bearing for A time what late was Salemenes); search The secret covert to which this will lead you; "Tis full of treasure; take it for yourself And your companions: there's enough to load ye,

Though ye be many. Let the slaves be freed, too;

And all the inmates of the palace, of Whatever sex, now quit it in an hour. Thence launch the regal barks, once form'd

for pleasure,

And now to serve for safety, and embark. The river's broad and swoln, and uncommanded

(More potent than a king) by these besiegers. Fly! and be happy! ·

Pania. Under your protection! So you accompany your faithful guard. Sard. No, Pania! that must not be; get thee hence, And leave me to my fate.

Pania. 'Tis the first time I ever disobey'd: but nowSard. So all men

Dare beard me now, and Insolence within Apes Treason from without? Question no further;

'Tis my command, my last command. Wilt


Oppose it? thou!

Pania. But yet - not yet.

Sard. Well, then.

Swear that you will obey when I shall give The signal.

Pania. With a heavy but true heart,

I promise.

Sard. Tis enough. Now order here

and such

Things as catch fire and blaze with one sole spark;

Bring cedar, too, and precious drugs, and spices,

And mighty planks, to nourish a tall pile;
Bring frankincense and myrrh, too, for it is
For a great sacrifice I build the pyre;
And heap them round yon throne.
Pania. My lord!

Sard. I have said it,
And you have sworn.

Pania. And could keep my faith Without a vow. [Exit Pania.

Myrrha. What mean you?
Sard. You shall know

Anon - what the whole earth shall ne'er forget.

PANIA, returning with a Herald. Pania. My king, in going forth upon This herald has been brought before me, my duty, craving

An audience.

Sard. Let him speak.

Herald. The King Arbaces— Sard. What, crown'd already ?—But, proceed.

Herald. Beleses,

The anointed high-priest—

Sard. Of what god, or demon? With new kings rise new altars. But,proceed; You are sent to prate your master's will, and not

Reply to mine.

Herald. And Satrap Ofratanes—
Sard. Why, he is ours.

Herald (showing a ring). Be sure that
he is now

In the camp of the conquerors; behold
His signet-ring.

Sard. Tis his. A worthy triad!
Poor Salemenes! thou hast died in time
To see one treachery the less: this man
Was thy true friend and my most trusted


Herald. They offer thee thy life, and

| In any of the further provinces,
Of choice to single out a residence
Guarded and watch'd, but not confined in

Where thou shalt pass thy days in peace ;

but on

Condition that the three young princes are
Given up as hostages.

Sard. (ironically). The generous victors!
Herald. I wait the answer.

Sard. Answer? slave! How long
Have slaves decided on the doom of kings?
Herald. Since they were free.

Sard. Mouthpiece of mutiny!

Thou at the least shalt learn the penalty Of treason, though its proxy only. Pania! Let his head be thrown from our walls within The rebels' lines, his carcass down the river. Away with him!

[Pania and the Guards seizing him. Pania. I never yet obey'd

Your orders with more pleasure than the


Hence with him,soldiers! do not soil this hall
Of royalty with treasonable gore;
Put him to rest without.

Herald. A single word

My office, king, is sacred.

Sard. And what 's mine?

That thou shouldst come and dare to ask

of me

To lay it down?

Herald. I but obey'd my orders, At the same peril if refused, as now Incurr'd by my obedience.

Sard. So, there are

New monarchs of an hour's growth as despotic

As sovereigns swathed in purple, and enthroned

From birth to manhood!

Herald. My life waits your breath. Yours (I speak humbly) — but it may beyours

May also be in danger scarce less imminent:
Would it then suit the last hours of a line
Such as is that of Nimrod, to destroy
A peaceful herald, unarm'd, in his office;
And violate not only all that man
Holds sacred between man and man-but that
More holy tie which links us with the gods?
Sard. He's right.-Let him go free.

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Leave that, save fraught with fire unquenchable,

To the new comers. Frame the whole as if "Twere to enkindle the strong tower of our Inveterate enemies. Now it bears an aspect! How say you, Pania, will this pilo suffice For a king's obsequies?

Pania. Ay, for a kingdom's.
I understand you now.

Sard. And blame me?
Pania. No-

Let me but fire the pile and share it with you.
Myrrha. That duty 's mine.
Pania. A woman's!

Myrrha. Tis the soldier's
Part to die for his sovereign, and why not
The woman's with her lover?

Pania. "Tis most strange!

Myrrha. But not so rare, my Pania, as thou think'st it.

In the mean time, live thou.-Farewell! the pile

Is ready.


I should shame to leave my sovereign

With but a single female to partake
His death.

Sard. Too many far have heralded Me to the dust already. Get thee hence; Enrich thee.

Pania. And live wretched!
Sard. Think upon

Thy vow ;-'tis sacred and irrevocable.
Pania. Since it is so, farewell.

Sard. Search well my chamber,
Feel no remorse at bearing off the gold;
Remember, what you leave you leave the

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Upon the trumpet as you quit the palace.
The river's brink is too remote, its stream
Too loud at present to permit the echo
To reach distinctly from its bank. Then

In which they would have revell'd, I bear with me

To you in that absorbing element, Which most personifies the soul as leaving 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 cloud and flame, 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 mount of ashes, but a light That she remember what I said at one Parting more mournful still.

Pania. That royal hand!

Let me then once more press it to my lips; And these poor soldiers who throng round you, and

Would fain die with you!

[The Soldiers and Pania throng round
him, kissing his hand and the hem
of his robe.

Sard. My best! my last friends!
Let's not unman each other-part at once:
All farewells should be sudden, when for


Else they make an eternity of moments,
And clog the last sad sands of life with


Hence, and be happy: trust me, I am not
Now to be pitied; or far more for what
Is past than present;-for the future, 'tis
In the hands of the deities, if such
There be I shall know soon. Farewell

[Exeunt Pania and the Soldiers. Myrrha. These men were honest: it is comfort still

That our last looks shall be on loving faces. Sard. And lovely ones, my beautiful! but hear me!

If at this moment, for we now are on

To lesson ages, rebel nations, and
Voluptuous princes. Time shall quench
full many

A people's records, and a hero's acts;
Sweep empire after empire, like this first
Of empires, into nothing; but even then
Shall spare this deed of mine, and hold
it up

A problem few dare imitate, and none
Despise-but, it may be, avoid the life
Which led to such a consummation.

MYRRHA returns with a lighted Torch in one
·Hand, and a Cup in the other.
Myrrha. Lo!

I've lit the lamp which lights us to the stars.
Sard. And the cup?

Myrrha. Tis my country's custom to
Make a libation to the gods.

Sard. And mine

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The brink, thou feelst an inward shrinking | Dwells thy mind rather upon that man's name


This leap through flame into the future,
say it:

I shall not love thee less; nay, perhaps more,
For yielding to thy nature; and there's time
Yet for thee to escape hence.

Myrrha. Shall I light

One of the torches which lie heap'd beneath
The ever-burning lamp that burns without,
Before Baal's shrine, in the adjoining hall? |
Sard. Do so. Is that thy answer?
Myrrha. Thou shalt see. [Exit Myrrha.
Sard. (solus) She's firm. My fathers!
whom I will rejoin,
It may be, purified by death from some
Of the gross stains of too material being,
I would not leave your ancient first abode
To the defilement of usurping bondmen ;
If I have not kept your inheritance

As ye bequeath'd it, this bright part of it,
Your treasure, your abode, your sacred

Of arms, and records, monuments, and spoils,

Than on his mate's in villany?

Sard. The other

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Purged from the dross of earth, and earthly | And loveliest spot of earth! farewell Ionia!
Be thou still free and beautiful, and far
Mix pale with thine. A single thought | Aloof from desolation! My last prayer

yet irks me.

Sard. Say it.

Myrrha. It is that no kind hand will gather

The dust of both into one urn.

Sard. The better:

Rather let them be borne abroad upon
The winds of heaven, and scatter'd into air,
Than be polluted more by human hands
Of slaves and traitors; in this blazing

And its enormous walls of reeking ruin,
We leave a nobler monument than Egypt
Hath piled in her brick-mountains, o'er
dead kings,

Or kine, for none know whether those
proud piles

Be for their monarch, or their ox-god Apis:
So much for monuments that have forgotten
Their very record!

Myrrha. Then farewell, thou earth!

Was for thee, my last thoughts, save onc, were of thee!

Sard. And that?
Myrrha. Is yours.

[The trumpet of Pania sounds without. Sard. Hark! Myrrha. Now!

Sard. Adieu, Assyria!

I loved thee well, my own, my fathers' land,
And better as my country than my kingdom.
I satiated thee with peace and joys; and this
Is my reward! and now I owe thee nothing,
Not even a grave. [He mounts the pile.
Now, Myrrha !

Myrrha. Art thou ready?
Sard. As the torch in thy grasp.
[Myrrha fires the pile.
Myrrha. 'Tis fired! I come.
[As Myrrha springs forward to throw
herself into the flames, the Curtain







merely refer the reader to the original story, that he may see to what extent I have borrowed from it; and am not unwilling that he should find much greater pleasure in perusing it than the drama which is founded upon its contents.

But I have generally found that those who had read it, agreed with me in their estimate 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. 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 "German'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 sisters, of whom one furnished only this story and another, both of which are considered superior to the remainder of the collection. I have adopted the characters, plan, and even the language, of many parts of this story. Some of the characters are modified or altered, a few of the names changed, and one character (Ida of Stralenheim) added by myself: but in the rest the original is chiefly followed. When I was young (about fourteen, I think) I first read this tale, which made a deep impression upon me; and may, indeed, be said to contain the germ of much that I have since written. I am not sure that it ever was very popular; or at any rate its popularity has since been eclipsed by that of other great writers in the same department

I had begun a drama upon this tale so far back as 1815 (the first I ever attempted, except one at thirteen years old, called "Ulric and Пvina,” which I had sense enough to burn), and had nearly completed an act, when I was interrupted by circumstances. This is somewhere amongst my papers in England; but as it has not been found, I have re-written the first, and added the subsequent acts.

The whole is neither intended, nor in any shape adapted, for the stage, February, 1822.

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Yes, but not to thyself: thy pace is hurried,
And no one walks a chamber like to ours
With steps like thine when his heart is at

Were it a garden, I should deem thee happy,
And stepping with the bee from flower to

But here!

Werner. 'Tis chill; the tapestry lets through

The wind to which it waves: my blood is frozen.

Josephine. Ah, no!

Thou knowst by sufferings more than mine,
In watching me.
my love!

Josephine. To see thee well is much-
To see thee happy-


Where hast thou seen such?
Let me be wretched with the rest!
Josephine. But think

How many in this hour of tempest shiver
Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain,
Whose every drop bows them down nearer

Which hath no chamber for them save

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For chambers? rest is all. The wretches whom

Thou namest-ay, the wind howls round them, and

The dull and dropping rain saps in their bones

Werner (smiling). Why! wouldst thou The creeping marrow. I have been a soldier,

have it so?

Josephine. I would

Have it a healthful current.

Werner. Let it flow

Until 'tis spilt or check'd-how soon, I

care not.

Josephine. And am I nothing in thy heart?
Werner. All-all.

Josephine. Then canst thou wish for
that which must break mine?

A hunter, and a traveller, and am

A beggar, and should know the thing thou

talk'st of.

Josephine. And art thou not now shelter'd
from them all?

Werner. Yes. And from these alone.
Josephine. And that is something.
Werner. True-to a peasant.
Josephine. Should the nobly born
Be thankless for that refuge which their

Werner (approaching her slowly). But for
thee I had been-no matter what,Of early delicacy render more
But much of good and evil; what I am,
Thou knowest; what I might or should
have been,

Thou knowest not: but still I love thee, nor
Shall aught divide us.

Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb
Of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life?
Werner. It is not that, thou knowst it

is not; we

Have borne all this, I'll not say patiently,

[Werner walks on abruptly, and then Except in thee-but we have borne it.

approaches Josephine.

The storm of the night,

Perhaps, affects me; I'm a thing of feelings,
And have of late been sickly, as, alas!

Josephine. Well?

W ́erner. Something beyond our outward

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