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SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine, Thou hast hit my thought! A fine and feminine grace, that makes me feel All the long day, from yester-morn to evening, More as a mother than a mistress to thee! The restless hope flutter'd about my heart. Thou art a soldier's orphan! that—the courage, Oh, we are querulous creatures ! Little less Which rising in thine eye, seems oft to give Than all things can suffice to make us happy; A new soul to its gentleness, doth prove thee! And little more than nothing is enough

Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood,
To discontent us. Were he come, then should I Or there's no faith in instinct !
Repine he had not arrived just one day earlier [Angry voices and clamor within, re-enter GLYCINE.
To keep his birth-day here, in his own birth-place.

GLYCINE.
GLYCINE.

Oh, madam! there's a party of your servants,
But our best sports belike, and gay processions

And my Lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Would to my Lord have seem'd but work-day sights Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Compared with those the royal court affords. Bethlen, that brave young man! ' was he, my lady,

That took our parts, and beat off the intruders; I have small wish to see them. A spring morning, And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With its wild gladsome minstrelsy of birds, With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. And its bright jewelry of flowers and dew-drops Pray don't believe them, madam! This way! This Each orbed drop an orb of glory in it),

way! Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retirement Lady Sarolta's here.

(Calling without Lord Casimir's wish alone would have made sacred : But in good truth, his loving jealousy

Be calm, Glycine. Did but command, what I had else entreated.

Enter LASKA and Servants with OLD BATHORY. GLYCINE. And yet had I been born Lady Sarolta,

LASKA (L0 BATHORY). Been wedded to the noblest of the realm,

We have no concern with you! What needs your So beautiful besides, and yet so stately

presence? SAROLTA.

What! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy
Hush! innocent flatterer!

To be slander'd by a set of coward-ruffians,
GLYCINE.

And leave it to their malice,-yes, mere malice
Nay! to my poor fancy To tell its own tale?
The royal court would seem an earthly heaven,

[LASKA and Servants bow to Lady SAROLTA Made for such stars to shine in, and be gracious. SAROLTA.

Laska! What may this mean?
So doth the ignorant distance still delude us ! LASKA (pompously, as commencing a set speech).
Thy fancied heaven, dear girl, like that above thee, Madam! and may it please your ladyship!
In its mere self, a cold, drear, colorless void, This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory,
Seen from below and in the large, becomes Stands charged, on weighty evidence, that he,
The bright blue ether, and the seat of gods! On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day,
Well! but this broil that scared you from the dance? Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir:
And was not Laska there : he, your betroth'd ? The lord high-steward of the realm, moreover-

GLYCINE.
Yes, madam! he was there. So was the maypole, Be brief! We know his titles!
For we danced round it.
SAROLTA.

And moreover Ah, Glycine! why, Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick. Why did you then betroth yourself?

And furthermore, said witnesses make oath,
GLYCINE.

Led on the assault upon his lordship’s servants ;
Because

Yea, insolently tore, from this, your huntsman, My own dear lady wish'd it! 't was you ask'd me!

His badge of livery of your noble house,

And trampled it in scorn. Yes, at my Lord's request, but never wish'd,

SAROLTA (lo the Servants who offer to speak). My poor affectionate girl, to see thee wretched.

You have had your spokesman. Thou know'st not yet the duties of a wife. Where is the young man thus accused ?

OLD BATHORY.

SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

LASKA.

SAROLTA.

GLYCINE.

OLD BATHORY.

Oh, yes! It is a wife's chief duty, madam,

I know not : To stand in awe of her husband, and obey him ;

But if no ill betide him on the mountains, And, I am sure, I never shall see Laska

He will not long be absent!
But I shall tremble.

SAROLTA.
SAROLTA.

Thou art his father? Not with fear, I think, For you still mock him. Bring a seat from the cottage. None ever with more reason prized a son : (Éxit GLYCINE into the cottage, SAROLTA continues Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. her speech, looking after her.

But more than one, now in my lady's presence, Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, Witness'd the affray, besides these men of malice; And in thy countenance, thy voice, and motion, And if I swerve from truth

OLD BATHORY.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

SAROLTA.

OLD BATHORY.

GLYCINE.

LASKA (aside.
Yes! good old man!

Yes, now 't is coming.
My lady! pray believe him!

Brutal aggressors first, then baMed dastards,

Hush, Glycine! That they have sought to piece out their revenge Be silent, I command you. [Then to BATHORY. With a tale of words lured from the lips of ange.

Speak! we hear you! Stamps them most dangerous; and till I want
OLD BATHORY.

Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need
My tale is brief. During our festive dance, Their services. Discharge them! You, Bathory!
Your servants, the accusers of my son,

Are henceforth of my household! I shall place you Offer'd gross insults, in unmanly sort,

Near my own person. When your son returns, To our village maidens. He (could he do less ?) Present him to us. Rose in defence of outraged modesty,

OLD BATHORY. And so persuasive did his cudgel prove

Ha! what, strangers* here! (Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women What business have they in an old man's eye ? Are always cowards), that they soon took flight, Your goodness, lady-and it came so suddenAnd now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, I cannot-must not—let you be deceived. Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words I have yet another tale, but-- [Then to Sarolta aside. Which their own threats provoked.

Not for all ears!

SAROLTA. Old man! you talk I oft have pass'd your cottage, and still praised Too bluntly! Did your son owe no respect Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms To the livery of our house?

The gusts of April shower'd aslant its thatch.

Come, you shall show it me! And while you bid it Even such respect

Farewell, be not ashamed that I should witness As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf

The oil of gladness glittering on the water That hath begun to worry the poor lambs!

of an ebbing grief.

[Bathory bowing, shows her into his cottage LASKA. Old insolent ruffian!

LASKA (alone).

Vexation! baffled! schoold! Pardon! pardon, madam!

Ho! Laska! wake! why? what can all this mean? I saw the whole affray. The good old man

She sent away that cockatrice in anger! Means no offence, sweet lady !-You, yourself,

Oh the false witch! It is too plain, she loves him Laska! know well, that these men were the ruffians! And now, the old man near my lady's person, Shame on you!

She 'll see this Bethlen hourly!
SAROLTA (speaks with affected anger).

(Laska flings himself into the seal. GLYCINE What! Glycine! Go, retire !

peeps in timidly. [Exit GLYCINE, mournfully. Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself,

Laska! Laska! Or better still belike the maidens' parents, Is my lady gone ? Might have complain'd to us. Was ever access

LASKA (surlily).
Denied you ? Or free audience ? Or are we

Gone.
Weak and unfit to punish our own servants ?
OLD BATHORY.

Have you yet seen him?
So then! So then! Heaven grant an old man patience! Is he return'd ?
And must the gardener leave his seedling plants,

(LASKA starts up from his seal Leave his young roses to the rooting swine,

Has the seat stung you, Laska ?
While he goes ask their master, if perchance
His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage ? No! serpent! no; 'tis you that sting me; you!

What! you would cling to him again!
LASKA.
Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence !

GLYCINE.
I will report her further will!

Whom?

LASKA.
Wait, then,

Bethlen! Bethlen! Till thou hast learnt it! Feryent, good old man !

Yes ; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him! Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on

Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday! A face of sternness, alien to my meaning !

Mute ere he came, but then-Out on your screams, [Then speaks to the Servants. And your pretended fears! Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark me!

Your fears, at least, Those rioters are no longer of my household !

Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose,

And white cheeks played the hypocrites most vilely! In vain would we replace it, and as vainly Restore the tear of wounded modesty

• Refers to the tear, which he fees starting in his eye. The To a maiden's eye familiarized to license.

following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr. Wor But these men, Laska

worth's Excursion.

GLYCINE.

GLYCINE.

LASKA.

SAROLTA.

GLYCINE.

LASKA.

LASKA.
I fear! whom? What?

You dare own all this?
GLYCINE.

Your lady will not warrant promise-breach.
I know, what I should fear, Mine, pamper'd Miss! you shall be ; and I'll make
Were I in Laska's place.

you

Grieve for him with a vengeance. Odds, my fingers
LASKA.
What ?

Tingle already! [ Makes threatening signs.
GLYCINE.

GLYCINE (aside).
My own conscience,

Ha! Bethlen coming this way! For having fed my jealousy and envy

[GLYCINE then cries out as if afraid of being beaten With a ploi, made out of other men's revenges, Oh, save me! save me! Pray don't kill me, Laska! Against a brave and innocent young man's life!

Enter BETHLEN in a Hunting Dress.
Yet, yet, pray tell me!

BETHLEN.
LASKA (malignantly).

What, beat a woman!
You will know too soon.

LASKA (10 GLYCINE).

O you cockatrice !
Would I could find my lady! though she chid me-
Yet this suspense

[Going. Unmanly dastard, hold !
LASKA.

LASKA (pompously).
Stop! stop! one question only-

Do you chance to know I am quite calm

Who-1-am, Sir ?-(S'death how black he looks')

GLYCINE.

BETHLEN.

GLYCINE.

BETHLEN.

LASKA.

LASKA.

LASKA.

Ay, as the old song says, I have started many strange beasts in my time, Calm as a tiger, valiant as a dove.

But none less like a man, than this before me Nay now, I have marr'd the verse: well! this one That lifts his hand against a timid female. question

Bold youth! she's mine. Are you not bound to me by your own promise ?

GLYCINE And is it not as plain

No, not my master yet,
GLYCINE.

But only is to be ; and all because
Halt! that's two questions. Two years ago my lady ask'd me, and

I promised her, not him ; and if she'll let me,
Pshaw! Is it not as plain as impudence,

I'll hate you, my Lord's steward. That you're in love with this young swaggering beggar,

Hush, Glycine' Bethlen Bathory? When he was accused, Why press'd you forward ? Why did you defend him ? Yes, I do, Bethlen ; for he just now brought

False witnesses to swear away your life:

Your life, and old Bathory's too.
Question meet question : that 's a woman's privilege.
Why, Laska, did you urge Lord Casimir

Bathory's!
To make my lady force that promise from me ?

Where is my father? Answer, or-Ha! gone ! LASKA.

(LASKA during this time slinks off the Stage, using So then, you say, Lady Sarolta forced you ?

threalening gestures to GLYCINE.

BETHLEN.

GLYCINE.

GLYCINE.

BETHLEN.

[blocks in formation]

BETHLEN.

BETHLEN.

GLYCINE.

Could I look up to her dear countenance,

Oh, heed not him! I saw you pressing onward, And say her nay? As far back as I wot of, And did but feign alarm. Dear gallant youth, All her commands were gracious, sweet requests. It is your life they seek! How could it be then, but that her requests Must needs have sounded to me as commands?

My life? And as for love, had I a score of loves,

GLYCINE.
I'd keep them all for my dear, kind, good mistress.

Alas!
LASKA.

Lady Sarolta even-
Not one for Bethlen!
GLYCINE.

She does not know me!
Oh! that's a different thing.
To be sure he's brave, and handsome, and so pious Oh that she did! she could not then have spoken
To his good old father. But for loving him-

With such stern countenance. But though she spurn Nay, there, indeed you are mistaken, Laska!

me, Poor youth! I rather think I grieve for him;

I will kneel, BethlenFor I sigh so deeply when I think of him!

BETHLEN. And if I see him, the tears come in my eyes,

Not for me, Glycine ! And my heart beats; and all because I dreamt

What have I done? or whom have I offended ? That the war-wolf* had gored him as he hunted In the haunted forest !

Rash words, 't is said, and treasonous, of the king.

[BETHLEN mutters to himself indignantly . For the best account of the War-wolf or Lycanthropus, see

GLYCINE (aside). Draylor's Moon-calf, Chalmers' English Poets, vol. iv. p.

So looks the statue, in our holl, o' the god,

The shaft just flown that killed the serpent!

GLYCINE.

13 e.

GLYCINE.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

GLYCINE.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

GLYCINE.

GLYCINE.

BETHLEN (muttering aside).

SAROLTA.
King!

Come,
GLYCINE.

Be yourself, girl!
Ah, often have I wish'd you were a king.
You would protect the helpless everywhere,

O, 't is so full here. [At her heart As you did us. And I, too, should not then

And now it cannot harm him if I tell you,

That the old man's son-
Grieve for you, Bethlen, as I do; nor have
The tears come in my eyes; nor dream bad dreams

SAROLTA.
That you were kill'd in the forest; and then Laska

Is not that old man's son! Would have no right to rail at me, nor say A destiny, not unlike thine own, is his. (Yes, the base man, he says) that I-I love you. For all I know of thee is, that thou art

A soldier's orphan : left when rage intestine
BETHLEN.

Shook and ingulf'd the pillars of Illyria.
Pretty Glycine! wert thou not betrothed -

This other fragment, thrown back by that same earth. But in good truth I know not what I speak.

quake, This luckless morning I have been so haunted

This, so mysteriously inscribed by Nature, With my own fancies, starting up like omens,

Perchance may piece out and interpret thine. That I feel like one, who waking from a dream

Command thyself! Be secret! His true fatherBoth asks and answers wildly —But Bathory?

Hear'st thou ?

GLYCINE (eagerly). Hist! 't is my lady's step! She must not see you!

O tell[BETHLEN retires. BETHLEN (who had overheard the last few words, nou

rushes out). Enter from the Collage Sarolta and BATHORY.

Yes, tell me, Shape from Heaven' Go, seek your son! I need not add, be speedy

Who is my father? You here, Glycine ?

[Exit Bathory.

SAROLTA (gazing with surprise).

Thine ? Thy father ? Rise! Pardon, pardon, Madam! If you but saw the old man's son, you would not,

Alas! He hath alarm’d you, my dear lady!
You could not have him harm'd.

SAROLTA.
His countenance, not his act !
Be calın, Glycine !

Rise, Bethlen! Rise! No, I shall break my heart.

[Sobbing

BETHLEN.

No; kneel thou too! and with thy orphan's tongue
SAROLTA (taking her hand).
Ha! is it so?

Plead for me! I am rooted to the earth,
O strange and hidden power of sympathy,

And have no power to rise! Give me a father!

There is a prayer in those uplifted eyes
That of like fates, though all unknown to each,
Dost make blind instincts, orphan's heart to orphan's And bring it back, and make it plead for me

That seeks high Heaven! But I will overtake it, Drawing by dim disquiet !

In thine own heart! Speak! speak! Restore to me

A name in the world!
Old Bathory-

SAROLTA,

By that blest Heaven I gazed at Seeks his brave son. Come, wipe away thy tears. I know not who thou art. And if I knew, Yes, in good truth, Glycine, this same Bethlen Dared 1-But rise! Seems a most noble and deserving youth.

BETHLEN.

Blest spirits of my parents,

Ye hover o'er me now! Ye shine upon me! My lady does not mock me?

And like a flower that coils forth from a ruin,

I feel and seek the light, I cannot see !

Where is Laska ?
Has he not told thee?
GLYCINE.

Thou see'st yon dim spot on the mountain's ridge,
Nothing. In his fear-

But what it is thou know'st not Even such Anger, I mean—stole off-I am so flutter'da

Is all I know of thee-haply, brave youth,
Left me abruptly-

Is all Fate makes it safe for thee to know !
SAROLTA,

His shame excuses him! Safe ? safe? O let me then inherit danger,
He is somewhat hardly task'd ; and in discharging And it shall be iny birth-right!
His own tools, cons a lesson for himself.

SAROLTA (aside).
Bathory and the youth henceforward live

That look again Safe in my Lord's protection.

The wood which first incloses, and then skirts

The highest track that leads across the mountains

The saints bless you! Thou know'st it, Bethlen ? Shame on my graceless heart! How dared I fear

BETHLEN. Lady Sarolta could be cruel

Lady, 't was my wont

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA

SAROLTA.

BETHLEN.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

BETHLEN.

SAROLTA.

BETHLEN.

BETHLEN.

To roam there in my childhood oft alone,

And I would seek her! for she is not dead!
And mutter to myself the name of father. She can not die ! O pardon, gracious lady,
For still Bathory (why, till now I guess'd not) You were about to say, that he return'd-
Would never hear it from my lips, but sighing
Gazed upward. Yet of late an idle terror- Deep Love, the godlike in us, still believes
GLYCINE.

Its objects as immortal as itself!
Madam, that wood is haunted by the war-wolves,
Vampires, and monstrous

And found her still
SAROLTA (with a smile).
Moon-calves, credulous girl

Alas! he did return:
Haply some o'ergrown savage of the forest He left no spot unsearch'd in all the forest,
Hath his lair there, and fear hath framed the rest. But she (I trust me by some friendly hand)

[Then speuking again to Bethlen. Had been borne off. After that last great battle (O young man! Thou wakest anew my life's sole anguish), that

O whither? Which fix'd Lord Emerick on his throne, Bathory

GLYCINE. Led by a cry, far inward from the track,

Dearest Bethlen! In the hollow of an old oak, as in a nest,

I would that you could weep like me! O do not Did find thee, Bethlen, then a helpless babe : Gaze so upon the air ! The robe, that wrapt thee, was a widow's mantle.

SAROLTA (continuing the story).

While he was absent, An infant's weakness doth relax my frame. A friendly troop, 't is certain, scour'd the wood, O say—I fear to ask

Hotly pursued indeed by Emerick.
SAROLTA.

BETHLEN.
And I to tell thee.

Emerick!
BETHLEN.

Oh Hell!
Strike! O strike quickly! See, I do not shrink.

GLYCINE (to silence him). [Striking his breast.

Bethlen!
I am stone, cold stone.

BETHLEN.
SAROLTA.

Hist! I'll curse him in a whisper!
Hid in a brake hard by, This gracious lady must hear blessings only.
Scarce by both palms supported from the earth, She hath not yet the glory round her head,
A wounded lady lay, whose life fast waning Nor those strong eagle wings, which made swift
Seem'd to survive itself in her fixt eyes,

way
That strain'd towards the babe. At length one arm To that appointed place, which I must seek :
Painfully from her own weight disengaging, Or else she were my mother!
She pointed first to Heaven, then from her bosom

SAROLTA.
Drew forth a golden casket. Thus entreated

Noble youth! Thy foster-father took thee in his arms,

From me fear nothing! Long time have I owed And, kneeling, spake: If aught of this world's com- Offerings of expiation for misdeeds fort

Long pass'd that weigh me down, though innocent! Can reach thy heart, receive a poor man's troth, Thy foster-father hid the secret from thee, That at my life's risk I will save thy child ! For he perceived thy thoughts as they expanded, Her countenance work'd, as one that seem'd pre- Proud, restless, and ill-sorting with thy state! paring

Vain was his care! Thou 'st made thyself suspected A loud voice, but it died upon her lips

E'en where Suspicion reigns, and asks no proof In a faint whisper, “Fly! Save him! Hide-hide But its own fears! Great Nature hath endow'd thee all !”

With her best gifts ! From me thou shalt receive
BETHLEN.

All honorable aidance! Put haste hence!
And did he leave her? What! Had I a mother? Travel will ripen thee, and enterprise
And left her bleeding, dying ? Bought I vile life Beseems thy years! Be thou henceforth my

soldier! With the desertion of a dying mother?

And whatsoe'er betide thee, still believe Oh agony !

That in each noble deed, achieved or suffer'd,

Thou solvest best the riddle of thy birth!
Alas! thou art bewilder'd,

And may the light that streams from thine own And dost forget thou wert a helpless infant !

honor

Guide thee to that thou seekest!
What else can I remember, but a mother
Mangled and left to perish?

Must he leave us!

BETHLEN. Hush, Glycine! And for such goodness can I return nothing, It is the ground-swell of a teeming instinct : But some hot tears that sting mine eyes? Some sighs Let it but lift itself to air and sunshine,

That if not breathed would swell my heart to stis And it will find a mirror in the waters,

fling? It now makes boil above it. Check him not! May Heaven and thine own virtues, high-born lady BETHLEN.

Be as a shield of fire, far, far aloof O that I were diffused among the waters

To scare all evil from thee! Yet, if faie That pierce into the secret depths of earth, Hath destined thee one doubtful hour of danger, And find their way in darkness ! Would that I From the uttermost region of the earth, methinks, Could spread myself upon the homeless winds ! Swift as a spirit invoked, I should be with thee!

GLYCINE.

BETHLEN.

GLYCINE.

SAROLTA.

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