Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Rush forth thro' all its doors. I am the last
Therein ; I shut it up, and here deliver
The keys.
Oct. (with deep anguish).

O Countess !
my house too is desolate.
Coun. Who next is to be murder'd? Who is next
To be maltreated ? LO! the Duke is dead.
The Emperor's vengeance may be pacified !
Spare the old servants ; let not their fidelity
Be imputed to the faithful as a crime-
The evil destiny surpris’d my brother
Too suddenly; he could not think on them.
Oct. Speak not of vengeance ! Speak not of

maltreatment!
The Empror is appeas’d; the heavy fault
Hath heavily been expiated-nothing
Descended from the father to the daughter,
Except his glory and his services.
The Empress honours your adversity,
Takes part in your afflictions, opens to you
Her motherly arms ! Therefore no farther fears !
Yield yourself up in hope and confidence
To the Imperial grace!
Coun. (with her eye rais'd to heaven). To the

grace and mercy of a greater Master
Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body
Of the Duke have its place of final rest?
In the Chartreuse, which he himself did found
At Gitschen, rests the Countess Wallenstein;
And by her side, to whom he was indebted
For his first fortunes, gratefully he wish'd
He might sometime repose in death; O let him
Be buried there. And likewise, for my husband's
Remains, I ask the like grace. The Emperor
Is now proprietor of all our castles.

This sure may well be granted usone sepulchre
Beside the sepulchres of our forefathers !

Oct. Countess, you tremble, you turn pale !
Coun. (reassembles all her powers, and speaks with
energy and dignity).

You think
More worthily of me, than to believe
I would survive the downfall of my house.
We did not hold ourselves too mean, to grasp
After a monarch's crown—the crown did Fate
Deny, but not the feeling and the spirit
That to the crown belong! We deem a
Courageous death more worthy of our free station
Tha a dishonour'd life.--I have taken poison.

Oct. Help! Help! Support her!
Coun.

Nay, it is too late,
In a few moments is my fate accomplislı'd.

[Exit Countess. Gor. O house of death and horrors !

[An officer enters, and brings a letter with the

great seal.

Gor. (steps forward and meets him). What is this? It is the Imperial seal.

[He reads the address and delivers the letter to

Octavio with a look of reproach, and with

an emphasis on the word. To the Prince Piccolomini. Oct, (with his whole frame expressive of sudden an

guish, raises his eyes to heaven.

The Curtain drops.

THE HALL OF ROBESPIERRE ;

An Historte Hrana.

ww

DEDICATION.

TO H. MARTIN, ESQ.

OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

DEAR SIR, Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the follow. ing Dramatic Poem, in which I have endeavoured to detail, in an interesting form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous Justre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it has been my sole aim to imitate the im. passioned and highly figurative language of the French Orators, and to develop the characters of the chief actors on a vast stage of horrors.

Yours fraternally,

S.T. COLBRIDGE.
JESUS COLLEGE, September 22, 1794.

THE FALL OF ROBESPIERRE.

ACT I.

SCENE, The Tuilleries.

Barrere. The tempest gathers—be it mine to seek A friendly shelter, ere it bursts

upon

him.
But where ? and how? I fear the Tyrant's soul-
Sudden in action, fertile in resource,
And rising awful ’mid impending ruins;
In splendour gloomy, as the midnight meteor,
That fearless thwarts the elemental war.
When last in secret conference we met,
He scowl'd upon me with suspicious rage,
Making his

eye the inmate of my bosom.
I know he scorns me -and I feel, I hate him,
Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble !

[Exit. Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE. Tal. It was Barrere, Legendre ! didst thou mark

him? Abrupt he turn'd, yet linger'd as he went, And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning.

Leg. I mark'd him well. I met his eye's last glance, It menaced not so proudly as of yore. Methought he would have spoke-but that he dared

not, Such agitation darken'd on his brow.

Tal. 'Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from

bursting
Th’ imprison'd secret struggling in the face:
E’en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards
Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile
Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.

Leg. Perfidious Traitor !-still afraid to bask
In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent
Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness,
Ever prepared to sting who shelters him.
Each thought, each action in himself converges;
And love and friendship on his coward heart
Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice :
To all attach'd, by turns deserting all,
Cunning and dark--a necessary villain !

Tal. Yet much depends upon him-well you know
With plausible harangue 't is his to paint
Defeat like victory—and blind the mob
With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him
And wild of head to work their own destruction,
Support with uproar what he plans in darkness.

Leg. O what a precious name is Liberty To scare or cheat the simple into slaves ! Yes—we must gain him over: by dark hints We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, Till the cold coward blaze a patriot. O Danton! murder'd friend ! assist my counsels Hover around me on sad memory's wings, And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart. Tallien ! if but to-morrow's fateful sun Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead ! Tal. Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty mean

ingsLeg. Fear not—or rather fear th' alternative, And seek for courage e'en in cowardice,

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »