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These hints, as vague as vain, attach no less To me than to my son.


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 me?-
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

ULRIC (looks at his father and says).
Let the man go on!


I am unarm'd, count-bid your son lay down His sabre.

ULRIC (offers it to him contemptuously).

Take it.


No, sir; 'tis enough That we are both unarm'd-I would not choose To wear a steel which may be stain'd with more Blood than came there in battle.

ULRIC (casts the sabre from him in contempt). It or some Such other weapon, in my hands-spared yours Once, when disarm'd and at my mercy.



I have not forgotten it: you spared me for
Your own especial purpose-to sustain
An ignominy not my own.


The tale is doubtless worthy the relater.
But is it of my father to hear further?

[TO SIEGENDORF. SIEGENDORF (takes his son by the hand).

My son! I know mine own innocence-and doubt not Of yours-but I have promised this man patience;

As on that dread night | Let him continue.

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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

(Which I frequented sometimes, but not often)
To hear related a strange circumstance,
In February last. A martial force,

Sent by the state, had, after strong resistance,
Secured a band of desperate men, supposed
Marauders from the hostile camp. They proved,
However, not to be so-but banditti,
Whom either accident or enterprise

Had carried from their usual haunt the forests
Which skirt Bohemia-even into Lusatia.
Many amongst them were reported of
High rank-and martial law slept for a time.
At last they were escorted o'er the frontiers,
And placed beneath the civil jurisdiction

Of the free town of Frankfort. Of their fate, I know no more.


And what is this to Ulric?

Amongst them there was said to be one man
Of wonderful endowments:-birth and fortune,
Youth, strength, and beauty, almost superhuman,
And courage as unrivall'd, were proclaim'd
His by the public rumour; and his sway,
Not only over his associates but

His judges, was attributed to witchcraft.

Such was his influence:-I have no great faith
In any magic save that of the mine-

I therefore deem'd him wealthy.-But my soul
Was roused with various feelings to seek out
This prodigy, if only to behold him.

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I. T will rest
You conceal'd me-

At dead of night,

With me at last to be so.
In secret passages known to
You said, and to none else.
Weary with watching in the dark, and dubious
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!-

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Then, my boy! thou art guiltless stillThou bad'st me say I was so once-Oh! now Do thou as much!


Be patient! I can not Recede now, though it shake the very walls Which frown above us. You remember, or If not, your son does,-that the locks were changed Beneath his chief inspection-on the morn Which led to this same night: how he had enter'd He best knows-but within an antechamber,

The door of which was half ajar-I saw

A man who wash'd his bloody hands, and oft
With stern and anxious glance gazed back upon

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GABOR (interrupting him).
Nay-but hear me to the end!
Now you must do so.—I conceived myself
Betray'd by you and him (for now I saw
There was some tie between you) into this

Pretended den of refuge, to become

The victim of your guilt; and my first thought

Was vengeance: but though arm'd with a short poignard
(Having left my sword without), I was no match
For him at any time, as had been proved
That morning-either in address or force.

I turn'd, and fled—i̇' the dark : chauce, rather than
Skill, made me gain the secret door of the hall,
And thence the chamber where you slept-if I
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.

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SIEGENDORF (points to ULRIC's sabre, still upon the ground).

Také also that

I saw you eye it eagerly, and him

GABOR (takes up the sabre).
I will; and so provide

To sell my life-not cheaply.

[GABOR goes into the turret, which SIEGENDORF closes. SIEGENDORF (advances to ULRIC).

Now, Count Ulric! For son I dare not call thee-What say'st thou?


His tale is true.


True, monster!


Most true, father;

The value of your secret.


You shall know it

At once-when you were
poor, and I, though poor,
Rich enough to relieve such poverty
As might have,envied mine, I offer'd you
My purse-you would not share it:-I'll be franker
With you; you are wealthy, noble, trusted by
The imperial powers-you understand me?


And you did well to listen to it: what
We know, we can provide against. He must
Be silenced.


Ay, with half of my domains; And with the other half, could he and thou Unsay this villany.


It is no time

For trifling or dissembling. I have said
His story 's true; and he too must be silenced.

How so?





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

As Stralenheim is. Are you so dull As never to have hit on this before? When we met in the garden, what except Discovery in the act could make me know His death? or had the prince's household been

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Let it work on! the grave will keep it down!
Ashes are feeble foes: it is more easy

To baffle such, than countermine a mole,

Which winds its blind but living path beneath you.

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
All 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

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Am I awake? are these my father's halls?
And yon-my son? My son! mine! who have ever
Abhorr'd both mystery and blood, and yet

Am plunged into the deepest hell of both!

I must be speedy, or more will be shed--
The Hungarian's!-Ulric-he hath partisans,
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.

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That I should act what you could think? We have done You pledged your honour for my safety!

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, I slew,
Known as our foe-but not from vengeance.
Was a rock in our way, which I cut through,
As doth the bolt, because it stood between us
And our true destination-but not idly.
As stranger I preserved him, and he owed me
His life; when due, I but resumed the debt.
He, you, and I stood o'er a gulf, wherein

I have plunged our enemy. You kindled first
The torch-you show'd the path: now trace me that
Of safety-or let me!


I have done with life! ULRIC.

Let us have done with that which cankers life-
Familiar feuds and vain recriminations
Of things which cannot be undone. We have




Must thus redeem it. Fly! I am not master, seems, of my own castle-of my own Retainers-nay, even of these very walls,

Or I would bid them fall and crush me! Fly! Or you will be slain by――


Is it even so?

Farewell, then! Recollect, however, count, You sought this fatal interview!


I did:

Let it not be more fatal still:-Begone!


By the same path I enter'd?


Yes; that's safe still:

But loiter not in Prague;-you do not know With whom you have to deal.

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