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That keep the likeness of mine ancestry-
I must enforce you to it!
King. Wayward woman!
What arts does she intend, to captivate
My soul more deeply in her toils ?
[Going to a Statue.
The glorious founder of my family!
It is the great Rodolpho !-Charlemagne
Did fix that sun upon his shield, to be
His glory's blazoned emblem; for at noon,
When the astronomer cannot discern
A spot upon the full-orbed disk of light,
'Tis not more bright than his immaculate name !
With what austere and dignified regard
He lifts the type of purity, and seems
Indignantly to ask, if aught that springs
From blood of his, shall dare to sully it
With a vapour of the morning!
King. It is well;
His frown has been attempered, in the lapse
Of generations, to thy lovely smile.-
I swear, he seems not of thy family,
My fair Evadne, I confess, I hoped
Another sort of entertainment here.
Eva. Another of mine ancestors, my liege-
Guelfo, the murderer!
[Pointing to a Statue.
King. The murderer!
I knew not that your family was stained
With the reproach of blood.
Eva. We are not wont
To blush, though we may sorrow for his sin,
If sin indeed it be. His castle walls
Were circled in the siege of Saracens,—
He had an only daughter, whom he prized
your diadem; but when
He saw the fury of the infidels
Burst through his shattered gates, and on his child
Dishonour's hand was lifted, with one blow
He struck her to the heart, and with the other,
He stretched himself beside her.
King. Fair Evadne,
I must no more indulge you, else, I fear,
You would scorn me for my patience; prithee, love,
No more of this wild fantasy !
Eva. My liege,
But one remains, and when
have looked upon it, And thus complied with my request, you will find me Submissive to your own. Look here, my lordKnow you this statue ?
[Pointing to a Statue. King. No, in sooth, I do not.
Eva. Nay-look again for I shall think but ill
Of princely memories, if you can find
Within the inmost chambers of your heart
No image like to this. Look at that smile-
That smile, my liege-look at it!
King. It is your father!
Eva. [Breaking into exultation.] Ay!—'tis indeed my
father !—'tis my good,
Exalted, generous, and god-like father!
Whose memory, though he had left his child
A naked, houseless roamer through the world,
Were an inheritance a princess might
Be proud of for her dower! It is
father! Whose like in honour, virtue, and the fine
Integrity that constitutes a man,
He hath not left behind him! There's that smile,
That like perpetual daylight shone about him,
The clear and bright magnificence of soul !
Who was my father?
[With a proud and conscious interrogatory. King. One, whom I confess Of high and many virtues.
Eva. Is that all ?
I will help your memory,
and tell you, first,
That the King of Naples looked among
The noblest in his realm for that good man,
To whom he might intrust your opening youth,
And found him worthiest. In the eagle's nest,
Early he placed you, and beside his wing
You learned to mount to glory! Underneath
His precious care you grew, and you were once
Thought grateful for his service. His whole life
Was given to your uses, and his death- [King starts.
Ha! do you start, my lord ? On Milan's plain
He fought beside you, and when he beheld
A sword thrust at your bosom, rushed-it pierced him.
He fell down at your feet,—he did, my
lord ! He perished to preserve you !—[Rushes to the Statue.]
Although no heart doth beat within that breast,
No blood is in his veins, let me enclasp thee,
And feel thee at my bosom. —Now, Sir, I am ready-
Come and unloose these feeble arms, and take me !
Ay, take me from this neck of senseless stone,
And to reward the father with the meet
And wonted recompense that princes give-
Make me as foul as bloated pestilence,
As black as the darkest midnight, and as vile
As guilt and shame can make me.
King. She has smitten
Compunction through my soul !
Eva. Approach, my lord !
Come, in the midst of all mine ancestry,
Come, and unloose me from my father's arms—
Come, if you dare, and in his daughter's shame,
Reward him for the last drops of the blood
Shed for his prince's life !
King. Thou hast wrought
A miracle upon thy prince's heart,
And lifted up a vestal lamp, to show
My soul its own deformity-my guilt !
Eva. [Disengaging herself from the Statue.] Ha!
have you got a soul ?—have you yet left, Prince as you are, one relic of a man? Have you a soul ?-He trembles—he relentsI read it in the glimmering of his face; And there's a tear, the bursting evidence Of Nature's holy working in the heart ! O Heaven, he weeps ! my sovereign, my liege ! Heart do not burst in ecstasy too soon ! My brother ! my Colonna !-hear me-hear! In all the wildering triumph of my soul, I call upon thee! [Turning, she perceives Colonna ad
vancing from among the Statues. There he is—my brother!
Col. Let me behold thee,
Let me compress thee here !-O my dear sister !
A thousand times mine own!—I glory in thee,
More than in all the heroes of my name !
I overheard your converse, and methought
It was a blessed spirit that had ta’en
Thy heavenly form, to show the wondering world
How beautiful was virtue !-[To the King.] Sir,--
There is your king!
Col. Thou hast made him so again !
Thy virtue hath recrowned him—and I kneel
His faithful subject here !
King. Arise, Colonna !
You take the attitude that more befits
The man who would have wronged you, but whose heart
Was by a seraph called again to Heaven!
Forgive me !
Col. Yes, with all my soul I do!
LORENZO, a ruined Venetian, marries ELMIRA, Daughter of his deadliest
Enemy, and the Niece of one to whose Death he, in secret, had been a Party. LORENZO describes to his Friend Julio the stings of Conscience, and the fears accompanying the Bridal Night.
Lorenzo.. I had thoughts
Of dying; but pity bids me live!
Fulio. Yes, live, and still be happy,
Lor. Never, Julio;
Never again : even at my bridal hour