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Gabor. You may do so, and in safety; I know the assasin.
Siegend. Where is he?
Gabor (pointing to Ulric). Beside you! [Ulric rushes forward to attack Gabor; Siegendorf interposes. Siegend. Liar and fiend! but you shall not be slain; These walls are mine, and you are safe within them.
[He turns to Ulric. Ulric, repel this calumny, as I Will do. Iavow it is a growth so monstrous, I could not deem it earth-born : but,be calm; It will refute itself. But touch him not. [Ulric endeavours to compose himself. Gabor. Look at him, Count, and then hear me.
Siegend. (first to Gabor, and then looking at Ulric) I hear thee.
My God! you look—
And poorer by suspicion on my name.
A life which stood between the claims of others
To honours and estates, scarce less than princely.
Siegend. These hints, as vague as vain, attach no less
To me than to my son.
Gabor. I can't help that. But let the consequence alight on him Who feels himself the guilty one amongst us. I speak to you, Count Siegendorf, because I know you innocent, and deem you just. But ere I can proceed Dare you protect
Dare you command me?
[Siegendorf first looks at the Hungarian, and then at Ulric, who has unbuckled his sabre and is drawing lines with it on the floor still in its sheath. Ulric. (looks at his father and says) Let the man go on!
Let him continue.
Gabor. I will not detain you
By speaking of myself much; I began Life early-and am what the world has made me.
At Frankfort, on the Oder, where I pass'd A winter in obscurity, it was
My chance at several places of resort
To hear related a strange circumstance,
However, not to be so-but banditti,
His judges, was attributed to witchcraft. Such was his influence: --I have no great faith
In any Magic save that of the MineI therefore deem'd him wealthy.-But my soul
Was roused with various feelings to seek out This Prodigy, if only to behold him.
Siegend. And did you so?
Gabor. You'll hear. Chance favour'd me: A popular affray in the public square Drew crowds together-it was one of those Occasions, where men's souls look out of them,
And show them as they are—even in their faces:
The moment my eye met his-I exclaim'd “This is the man!” though he was then,
With the nobles of the city. I felt sure I had not err'd, and watch'd him long and nearly:
Gabor. Still you owe me something, Though not for that-and I owed you my safety,
At least my seeming safety—when the slaves Of Stralenheim pursued me on the grounds That I had robb'd him.
Siegend. I conceal'd you—1, Whom, and whose house, you arraign, reviving viper!
Gabor. I accuse no man-save in my defence.
You, Count! have made yourself accuserjudge
Your hall's my court, your heart is my tribunal.
Be just, and I'll be merciful.
Gabor. I. Twill rest
With me at last to be so. You conceal'd me—
I noted down his form—his gesture-fea-Weary with watching in the dark, and
Stature and bearing-and amidst them all, 'Midst every natural and acquired distinction,
I could discern, methought, the assassin's eye And gladiator's heart.
Ulric (smiling). The tale sounds well. Gabor. And may sound better. He appear'd to me
One of those beings to whom Fortune bends
To leave the city privately-we left it
In the poor town where Werner was conceal'd,
And Stralenheim was succour'd - Now we
Of tracing back my way- I saw a glimmer Through distant crannies of a twinkling light.
I follow'd it, and reach'd a door--a secret Portal which open'd to the chamber, where, With cautious hand and slow, having first undone
As much as made a crevice of the fastening, I look'd through, and beheld a purple bed, And on it Stralenheim !—
Siegend. Asleep! And yet You slew him-Wretch !
Gabor. He was already slain, And bleeding like a sacrifice. Blood became ice.
For him at any time, as had been proved That morning-either in address or force. I turn'd, and fled-i' the dark: Chance, rather than
Skill, made me gain the secret door of the hall,
With you; you are wealthy, noble, trusted by The Imperial powers-You understand me? Siegend. Yes.—
Gabor. Not quite. You think me venal, and scarce true:
'Tis no less true, however, that my fortunes Have made me both at present; you shall aid me,
I would have aided you-and also have Been somewhat damaged in my name to save Yours and your son's. Weigh well what I have said.
Siegend. Dare you await the event of a few minutes' Deliberation?
Gabor (casts his eyes on Ulric, who is
[Opens a turret-door. Gabor (hesitatingly). This is the second safe asylum
You have offer'd me.
Siegend. And was not the first so? Gabor. I know not that even now-but will approve
The second. I have still a further shield.— I did not enter Prague alone-and should I
And thence the chamber where you slept-Be put to rest with Stralenheim-there are
Had found you waking, Heaven alone can tell
What Vengeance and Suspicion might have prompted;
But ne'er slept Guilt as Werner slept that night.
Siegend. And yet I had horrid dreams! and such brief sleep
Some tongues without will wag in my behalf. Be brief in your decision!
Siegend. I will be so.
My word is sacred and irrevocable
Take also thatsaw you eye it eagerly, and him
The stars had not gone down when I awoke-I
And now my dream is out!
Gabor. "Tis not my fault,
If I have read it. -- Well! I fled and hid me-
My secret, and may weigh its worth.
Gabor. Is it Revenge or Justice which
Siegend. Neither-I was weighing The value of your secret.
Gabor. You shall know it
At once - when you were poor, and I, though
Rich enough to relieve such poverty
Gabor (takes up the sabre). I will; and so provide
To sell my life-not cheaply.
[Gabor goes into the turret, which Siegendorf closes.
Siegend. (advances to Ulric) Now, Count
When we met in the garden, what except Discovery in the act could make me know His death? Or had the Prince's household
Then summon'd, would the cry for the police Been left to such a stranger? Or should I Have loiter'd on the way? Or could you, Werner,
The object of the Baron's hate and fears, Have fled-unless by many an hour before Suspicion woke? I sought and fathom'd youDoubting if you were false or feeble; I Perceived you were the latter; and yet so Confiding have I found you, that I doubted At times your weakness.
Siegend. Parricide! no less
Than common stabber! What deed of my life,
Or thought of mine, could make you deem me fit
For your accomplice?
Ulric. Father, do not raise
The devil you cannot lay, between us. This
Could I be calm? Think you that I have
This fellow's tale without some feeling? you Have taught me feeling for you and myself; For whom or what else did you ever teach it? Siegend. Oh! my dead father's curse!
'tis working now.
Ulric. Let it work on the grave will keep it down!
Ashes are feeble foes: it is more easy
Yet hear me still! - If you condemn me, yet Remember who hath taught me once too often
To listen to him! Who proclaim'd to me That there were crimes made venial by the occasion?
That passion was our nature? that the goods
Of heaven waited on the goods of fortune? Who show'd me his humanity secured
By his nerves only? Who deprived me of AİL power to vindicate myself and race In open day? By his disgrace which stamp'd (It might be) bastardy on me, and on Himself- -a felon's brand! The man who is At once both warm and weak, invites to deeds
He longs to do, but dare not. Is it strange That I should act what you could think? We have done
With right and wrong; and now must only ponder
Upon effects, not causes. Stralenheim, Whose life I saved, from impulse,as,unknown, I would have saved a peasant's or a dog's,
Was a rock in our way, which I cut through,
The torch -- you show'd the path: now trace me that
Of safety-or let me!
Siegend. I have done with life!
Ulric. Let us have done with that which cankers life
Familiar feuds and vain recriminations
(Although you know them not) dare venture all things.
You stand high with the state; what passes here
Will not excite her too great curiosity: Keep your own secret, keep a steady eye, Stir not, and speak not;-leave the rest
It seems: I might have guess'd as much. Oh fool!
Wolves prowl in company. He hath the key (As I too) of the opposite door which leads Into the turret. Now then! or once more To be the father of fresh crimes—no less Than of the criminal! Ho! Gabor! Gabor! [Exit into the turret, closing the door after him.
SCENE II.-The Interior of the Turret. GABOR and SIEGENDORF.
Gabor. Who calls? Siegend. I-Siegendorf! Take these, and fly!
Lose not a moment!
[Tears off a diamond-star and other jewels, and thrusts them into Gabor's hand.
Gabor. What am I to do With these?
Siegend. Whate'er you will: sell them, or hoard,
And prosper; but delay not-or you are lost!
Gabor. You pledged your honour for my safety!
Must thus redeem it. Fly! I am not master,
Gabor. Is it even so?
Ulrio. What! remain to be
By your inherent weakness, half-humanity,
Farewell, then! Recollect, however, Count, And would you ne'er had borne the useless You sought this fatal interview!
Siegend. I did:
Let it not be more fatal still:-Begone!
But loiter not in Prague;-you do not
With whom you have to deal.
Gabor. I know too well-
Where will you go? I would not send you forth
Swords, hearts, and hands, are mine.
With whom the Hungarian found you first
Ulric. Yes-men-who are worthy of the name! Go tell
Your senators that they look well to Prague; Safe! Oh, my father's spirit ! — I am faint-Their feast of peace was carly for the times; [He leans down upon a stone-seat, near | There are more spirits abroad than have the wall of the Tower, in a drooping posture.
Enter JOSEPHINE and IDA.
Josephine. What is't we hear? My Sic-
Thank Heaven, I see you safe!
Ida. Yes, dear father!
Siegend. No, no; I have no children:
Call me by that worst name of parent.
Means my good Lord?
Siegend. That you have given birth To a demon!
Ida (taking Ulric's hand). Who shall dare say this of Ulric?
Siegend. Ida, beware! there's blood upon that hand.
Ida (stooping to kiss it). I'd kiss it off,
though it were mine!
Siegend. It is so!
Ulric. Away! it is your father's!
Ida. Oh, great God!
And I have loved this man!