« PreviousContinue »
To which we tend , for which wc're born, Faggots, pine-nuts, and wither'd leaves, 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.
Bring 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 appall’d; 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 occasiou'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 apon 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 ? Thungh 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 qnit it in an hour. Reply to mine. Thence launch the regal barks, once formid Herald. And Satrap Ofratanesfor pleasure,
Sard. Why, he is ours. And now to serve for safety, and embark. Ilerald (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 one 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
but on 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 Ilerald. 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 frce. Sard. "Tis enough. Now order here Sard. Mouthpiece of mutiny!
Thou at the least shalt learn the penalty And tell him, ere a year expire, 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. sordieonli di soil this hall Now, my sold Pania! – quick! with what Of with treasonable gore;
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 That thou shouldst come and dare to ask
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 Incurr'd by my obedience.
With anght 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 en- Leave that, save fraught with fire unthroned
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 pilo snffice
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!
thou 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 doubly 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 trace 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. Commend me to Belcscs; All safe off to your boats, blow one long blast
Upon the trumpet as you quit the palace. In which they would have revell’d, 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 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 rernember what I said at one To lesson ages, rebel nations, and Parting more mournful still.
Voluptuous princes. lime 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 tho last sad sands of life with l'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 country'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, such
To make lil ions 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 (Eseunt Pania and the Soldiers. A joyous banquet past. Myrrha. Thoso men were honest: it is (Sardanapalus takes the cup, and after comfort still
drinking and tinkling the reverscd That our last looks shall be on loving faces.
cup, as a drop falls, exclaimsSard. And lovely ones, my beautiful!- And this libation but hear me!
ls for the excellent Beleses. If at this moment, for we now are on
Myrrha. Why The brink, thou feelst an inward shrinking Dweils thy mind rather upon that man's naine 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 I 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 cominingling fire will relics
niix our ashes. Of arms, and records, monuments, and Myrrha. And pure as is my love to thee, spoils,
Purged from the dross of earth, and earthly | And loveliest spot of earth! farewell lonla! passion,
Be thou still free and beautiful, and far Mix pale with thine. A single thought Aloof from desolation! My last prayer yet irks inc.
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 ono urn.
[The trumpet of Pania sounds without. Sard. The better:
Sard. Hark! Rather let them be borne abroad upon Myrrha. Now! The winds of heaven, and scatter'd into air, Sard. Adieu, Assyria! Than be polluted more by human hands I loved thee well, my own, my fathers' land, or slaves and traitors; in this blazing And better as my country than my kingdom. palace,
I satiated thee with peace and joys; and this And its enormous walls of reeking ruin, Is my reward! and now I owe thee nothing, We leave a nobler monument than Egypt Not even a grave. (He mounts the pile. Hath piled in her brick-mountains, o'er
Now, Myrrha ! dead kings,
Myrrha. Art thou ready Or kine, for none know whether those
Sard. As the torch in thy grasp. proud piles
(Myrrha fires the pile. Be for their monarch, or their ox-god Apis: Myrrha. 'Tis fired! I comc. So much for monuments that have forgotten [As Myrrha springs forward to throw Their very record!
herself into the samcs, the Curtain Myrrha. Then farewell, thou earth!
W E R N E R,
A TRA G E D Y.
BY ONK OP
HUMBLEST TRAGEDY 18 DEDICATBD.
But I have generally found that those who THE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTHE had read it, agreed with me in their csti
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 somo 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 ; ï 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 mueh 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 fourteen, 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 thọ 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, 1812
Thou knowst by sufferings more than mine, SCENE 1.– The Hall of a decayed Palace In watching me. near a small Town on the northern frontier
Josephine. To see thee well is muchof Silesia—the Night tempestuous. To see thee happy
Werner. Where hast thou seen such ? WERNER and JOSEPHINE his wife.
Let me be wretched with the rest! Josephine. My love, be calmer!
Josephine. But think Werner. I am calm.
How many in this hour of tempest shiver Joscphine. To me-
Beneath the biting wind and heavy rain, Yes, but not to thyself: thy pace is hurried, Whose every drop bows them down nearer And no one walks a chamber like to ourg
earth, With steps like thine when his heart is at which hath no chamber for them save rest.
beneath Were it a garden, I should deem thee happy, Her surface. And stepping with the bee from flower to W'crner. And that's not the worst: who
flower; But here!
For chambers ? rest is all. The wretches Werner. 'Tis chill; the tapestry lets
Thou namest-ay, the wind howls round The wind to which it waves: my blood is them, and frozen.
The dull and dropping rain saps in their Josephine. Ah, no!
bones Werner (smiling). Why! wouldst thou Thecreeping marrow. I have been a soldier, have it so?
A hunter, and a traveller, and am Josephine. I would
A beggar, and should know the thing thou Have it a healthful current.
talk'st of. Werner. Let it flow
Josephine. And art thon not now shelter'd Until 'tis spilt or check’d-how soon, I
from them all? care not.
W'erner. Yes. And from these alone. Josephinc. And am I nothing in thy heart? Josephine. And that is something. Werner. All-all.
Werner. True-to a peasant. Josephine. Then canst thou wish for Josephine. Should the nobly born
that which must break mine? Be thankless for that refuge which their Werner (approaching her slowly). But for habits
thee I had been, no matter what, Of early delicacy render more But much of good and evil; what I am, Needful than to the peasant, when the ebb Thou knowcst; what I might or should of fortune leaves them on the shoals of life? have been,
Werner. It is not that, thou knowst it Thou knowest not: but still I love thee, nor
is not; we Shall aught divide us.
Have borne all this, I'll not say patiently, [W'erner walks on abruptly, and then Except in thee---but we have borne it. approaches Josephinc.
Josephine. Well? The storm of the night, W'cincr. Something beyond our outward Perhaps, affects me; I'm a thing of feelings, sufferings (though And have of lato becu sickly, as, alas! These were cnough to gnaw into our souls)