« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Cas. (Preventing him.) No—to my bosom ever.
And am I still a father? Haste thou, Mador,
bliss--thou knowest to whom it will be
Most grateful. (Exit Mador.)
My bold Armyn, dost thou weep?
Fitz-Ed. A most degenerate softness that I blush at-
But 'tis confessed—my heart is all too weak,
Unmoved to stem this sudden surge of joy.
Cas. Alas! my son,-now as I look upon thee,
Past times live o'er again. The veiling mist
years have shed o’er my young manhood's morn
Doth break away, and all its hopes and joys
In shining prospect stand revealed before me.
I see thee still an infant, as when last
We parted; when from off my brow I put
Its dragon-crested terrors, and impressed
A father's hasty farewell on thy cheek.
Oh! then, amid her tears, thy mother smiled.
Let from my thought what followed. I have much,
My son, to pour into thy listening ear;
But moments now are precious. Go we hence,
And on the way I will discourse with thee.
Thy fate is glorious, thou shalt uplift
To its proud state and ancient sovereignty
The trampled standard of thy country's fame!
From the mid-eyry of her hundred hills,
Shouting triumphant o'er her tyrant foes,
Thy mother-land shall vaunt of thee for ever!
Thy hand. Caswallon welcomes his brave son
To the last sole retreat of Cambrian freedom.
Bourbon. How now?
A priest! what means this most unwelcome visit?
Gonzales. Who questions thus a son of the holy church?
Look on these walls, whose stern, time-stained brows
Frown like relentless justice on their inmates !
Listen that voice is echo's dull reply
Unto the rattling of your chains, my lord :-
What should a priest do here?
Bour. Ay, what, indeed !-
Unless you come to soften down these stones
your discourse, and teach the tedious echo
A newer lesson : trust me, that is all
Your presence, father, will accomplish here.
Gon. Oh! sinful man! and is thy heart so hard,
That I might easier move thy prison stones!
Know, then, my mission-death is near at hand!
Bour. Go to! go to! I have fought battles, father,
Where death and I have met in full close contact,
And parted, knowing we should meet again;
Go prate to others about skulls and graves;
Thou never didst in heat of combat stand,
Or know what good acquaintance, soldiers have
With the pale scarecrow—death!
Gon. (Aside.) Ah! thinkest thou so ?
Hear me, thou hard of heart!
They who go forth to battles, are led on
With sprightly trumpets and shrill clamorous clarions;
The drum doth roll its double notes along,
Echoing the horses' tramp; and the sweet fife
Runs through the yielding air in dulcet measure,
That makes the heart leap in its case of steel !
Thou shalt be knelled unto thy death by bells,
Ponderous and iron-tongued, whose sullen toll
Shall cleave thy aching brain, and on thy soul
Fall with a leaden weight: the muffled drum
Shall niutter round thy path like distant thunder;
Instead of the war-cry, the wild battle-roar,-
That swells upon the tide of victory,
And seems unto the conqueror's eager ear,
Triumphant harmony of glorious discords,
There shall be voices cry foul shame on thee!
And the infuriate populace shall clamor
To heaven for lightnings on thy rebel head!
Bour. Monks love not bells, which call them up to prayers
In the dead noon of night, when they would snore,
Rather than watch : but, father, I care not,
E’en if the ugliest sound I e'er did hear-
Thy raven voice-croak curses o'er my grave.
Gon. What! death and shame! alike you heed them not ! Then, mercy! use thy soft, persuasive arts, And melt this stubborn spirit! Be it known To you, my lord, the queen hath sent me hither.
Bour. Then get thee hence again, foul, pandering priest !
By heaven! I knew that cowl did cover o'er
Some filthy secret, that the day dared not
To pry into-out, thou unholy thing!
Gon. Hold, madman !
If for thy fame, if for thy warm heart's blood
Thou wilt not hear me, listen in the name of France, thy country!
Bour. I have no country, -
I am a traitor, cast from out the arms
Of my ungrateful country! I disown it!
Withered be all its glories, and its pride!
May it become the slave of foreign power!
May foreign princes grind its thankless children,
And make all those who are such fools, as yet
To spill their blood for it, or for its cause,
Dig it like dogs! and when they die, like dogs,
Rot on its surface, and make fat the soil,
Whose produce shall be seized by foreign hands!
Gon. You beat the air with idle words; no man
Doth know how deep his country's love lies grained
In his heart's core, until the hour of trial !
Fierce though you hurl your curse upon the land,
Whose monarchs cast ye from its bosom, yet
Let but one blast of war come echoing
From where the Ebro and the Duero roll,
Let but the Pyrenees, reflect the gleam
Of twenty of Spain's lances,-and your sword
Shall leap from out its scabbard to your
Bour. Ay, priest, it shall! eternal heaven, it shall,
And its far flash, shall lighten o'er the land,
The leading star of Spain's victorious host,
But flaming like some dire portentous comet,
In the eyes of France, and her proud governors !
Be merciful, my fate, nor cut me off
Ere I have wreaked my fell desire, and made
Infamy glorious, and dishonor fame!
But, if my wayward destiny hath willed
That I should here be butchered shamefully,
By the immortal soul that is man's portion,
His hope and his inheritance, I swear,
That on the day that Spain o’erflows its bounds,
And rolls the tide of war upon these plains,
My spirit on the battle's edge shall ride;
And louder than death's music and the roar
Of combat, shall my voice be heard to shout,
On-on-to victory and carnage !
That day is come, ay, and that very hour;
Now shout your war-cry; now unsheath your sword!
*I'll join the din, and make these tottering walls
Tremble and nod to hear our fierce defiance!
Nay, never start, and look upon my cowl.-
Off! vile denial of my manhood's pride!
Nay, stand not gazing thus : it is Garcia,
Whom thou hast met in deadly fight full oft,
When France and Spain joined in the battle-field !
Beyond the Pyrenean boundary
That guards thy land are forty thousand men-
Impatient halt they there; their foaming steeds
Pawing the huge and rock-built barrier,
That bars their further course : they wait for thee:
For thee whom France hath injured and cast off:
For thee, whose blood it pays with shameful chains,
More shameful death ; for thee, whom Charles of Spain
Summons to head his host, and lead them on
To conquest and to glory!
Bour. To revenge!
Why, how we dream! why look, Garcia; canst thou
With mumbled priestcraft file away these chains,
Or must I bear them into Spain with me,
That Charles may learn what guerdon valor wins
This side the Pyrenees ?
Gon. It shall not need
What ho! but hold—together with this garb,
Methinks I have thrown off my prudence!
(Resumes the monk's cowl.) Bour. What! Wilt thou to Spain with me in frock and cowl, · That men shall say De Bourbon is turned driveler, And rides to war in company with monks ?
Gon. Listen, the queen for her own purposes Confided to my hand her signet-ring, Bidding me strike your fetters off, and lead you By secret passes to her private chamber; But being free, so use thy freedom, that Before the morning's dawn all search be fruitless.What ho! within. (Enter Jailer.) Behold this signet-ring! Strike off those chains, and get thee gone. (Exit Jailer.) And now follow. How's this-dost doubt me, Bourbon ?
First for thy habit's sake; and next, because
Thou rather, in a craven priest's disguise,
Tarriest in danger in a foreign court,
Than seekest that danger in thy country's wars.
Gon. Thou art unarmed: there is my dagger; 'tis
The only weapon that I bear, lest fate
Should play me false ; take it, and use it, too,
If in the dark and lonely path I lead thee,
Thou markest me halt, or turn, or make a sign
Of treachery !—but first tell me, dost know
John Count Laval ?
Bour. What! Lautrec's loving friend,
Now bound for Italy, along with him ?
Gon. Then the foul fiend hath mingled in my plot,
And marred it too! my life's sole aim and purpose!
Didst thou but know what damned injuries,
What foul unknightly shame and obloquy,
His sire-whose name is wormwood to my mouth-
Did heap upon our house—didst thou but know-
No matter-get thee gone—I tarry here.
And should we never meet again, when thou
Shalt hear of the most fearful deed of daring,
Of the most horrible and bloody tale,
That ever graced a beldam's midnight legend,
Or froze her gaping listeners, think of me
And my revenge! now, Bourbon, heaven speed thee!
COL. WALSINGHAM-BARON HOHENDAHL-ALASCO.Shee.
Walsingham. Nay! my good lord ! you carry this too far:
Alasco leader of a band of rebels !
Hohendahl. I have it here in proof;
Rebellion wears his livery, and looks big
In promise of his aid : his followers
Are seen in midnight muster on our hills,
Rehearsing insurrection, and arrayed
In mimicry of war.
Wal. It cannot be!
By heaven it cannot be —your spies deceive you.
I know the madness of the time has reached him,