網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

Nor even eight minutes.- There's the ducal Doge. Earth and heaven!

ring, (Taking off his ring and cap. Yo will reverberate this peal ; and I And there the ducal diadem. And so Live to hear this!--the first doge who c'er The Adriatic's free to wed another.

heard Chief of the Ten. Yet go not forth 80 Such sound for his successor! Happier he, quickly.

My attainted predecessor, stern FalieroDogo. I am old, sir,

This insult at the least was spared him. And even to move but slowly must begin Lored. What! To move betimes. Methinks I see amongst Do you regret a traitor 3 you

Doge. No-I merely A face I know not-Senator! your name, Envy the dead. You, by your garb, Chief of the Forty! Chief of the Ten. My lord, if you Indeed Memmo. Signor,

Are bent upon this rash abandonment I am the son of Marco Memmo.

Of the state's palace, at the least retire Doge. Ah!

By the private staircase, which conducts Your father was my friend.- But sons and

you towards fathers!

The landing-place of the canal. What, ho! my servants there!

Doge. No. 1 Attendant. My prince !

Will now descend the stairs by which I Doge. No prince

mounted There are the princes of the prince! "To sovereignty-- the Giant's Stairs, on whose

(Pointing to the Ten's Deputation. Broad eminence I was invested duke. Prepare

My services have call’d me up those steps, To part from hence upon the instant. The malice of my foes will drive me down Chief of the Ten. Why

them. So rashly? 'twill give scandal.

There five and thirty years ago was I Doge. Answer that; [To the Ten. Install'd, and traversed these same halls It is your province.—Sirs, bestir yourselves : from which

[To the Servants. I never thought to be divorced except There is one burthen which I beg you bear A corse—a corre, it might be, fighting for With care, although 'tis past all farther

themharm

But not push'd hence by fellow-citizens. But I will look to that myself.

But, come; my son and I will go togetherBarb. He means

He to his grave, and I to pray for mine. The body of his son.

Chief of the Ten. What, thus in public? Doge. And call Marina,

Doge. I was publicly My daughter!

Elected, and so will I be deposed.

Marina! art thou willing?
Enter MARINA.

Marina. Here's my arm?
Doge. Get thee ready, we must mourn Doge. And here my staff: thus propp'd
Elsewhere.

will I go forth. Marina. And every where.

Chief of the Ten. It must not be-the Doge. True; but in freedom,

people will perceive it. Without these jealous spies upon the great. Doge. The people!- There's no people, Signors, you may depart: what would you you well know it, more?

Else you dare not deal thus by them or me. We are going: do you fear that we shall bear There is a populace, perhaps, whose looks The palace with us? Its old walls, ten times May shame you; but they dare not groan As old as I am, and I'm very old,

nor curse you, Have served you, so have I, and I and they Save with their hearts and eyes. Could tell a tale; but I invoke them not Chief of the Ten. You speak in passion, To fall upon you! else they would, as erst Else – The pillars of stone Dagon's temple on Doge. You have reason. I have spoken The Israelite and his Philistine foes.

much Such power I do believe there might exist More than my wont: it is a foible which In such a curse as mine, provoked by such Was not of mine, but more excuses you, As you; but I curse not. Adieu, good signors! Inasmuch as it shows that I approach May the next duke be better than the present! A dotage which may justify this deed Lorcd. The present duke is Paschal Of yours, although the law does not,nor will. Malipiero.

Farewell, sirs! Doge. Not till I pass the threshold of Barb. You shall not depart without these doors.

An escort fitting past and present rank. Lored. Saint Mark's great bell is soon We will accompany, with due respect, about to toll

The Doge unto his private palace. Say! For his inauguration.

My brethren, will we not?

Different Voices. Ay!-Ay!

Marina. My God! My God ! Doge. You shall not

Barb. (to Lored.) Behold! your work's Stir- in my train, at least. I enter here completed! As sovereign-I go out as citizen,

Chief of the Ten. Is there then By the same portals, but as citizen. No aid? Call in assistance! All these vain ceremonies are base insults, Attendant. 'Tis all over. Which only ulcerate the heart the morc, Chief of the Ten. If it be so, at least his Applying poisons there as antidotes.

obsequies Pomp is for princes I am none!—That's Shall be such as besits his name and nation, false,

His rank and his devotion to the duties I am, but only to these gates.-Ah! Of the realm, while his age permitted him Lored. Hark!

To do himself and them full justice. [The great bell of St. Mark's tolls.

Brethren, Barb. The bell!

Say, shall it not be so? Chief of the Ten. St. Mark's, which tolls Barb. He has not had for the election

The misery to die a subject where Of Malipiero.

He reign'd: then let his funeral rites be Doge. Well I recognize

princely. The sound! I heard it once, but once before, Chief of the Ten. We are agreed, then ? And that is five and thirty years ago;

All, ercept Loredano, answer Even then I was not young.

Yes. Barb. Sit down, my lord !

Chief of the Ten. Heaven's peace be with Yon tremble.

him ! Doge. 'Tis the knell of my poor boy! Marina. Signors, your pardon: this is My heart aches bitterly.

mockery Barb. I pray you sit.

Juggle no more with that poor remnant, Doge. No; my seat here has been a which, throne till now.

A moment since, while yet it had a soul Marina ! let us go.

(A soul by whom you have increased your Marina. Most readily.

empire, Doge. (walks a few steps, then stops) And made your power as proud as was his I feel athirst-will no one bring me here glory), A cup of water?

You banish'd from his palace, and tore down Barb. I

From his high place with such relentless Marina. And I

coldness; Lored. And I

And now, when he can neither know these [The Doge takcs a goblet from the honours, hand of Lorcdano.

Nor would accept them if he could, you, Doge. I take yours, Loredano, from the signors, hand

Purpose, with idlo and superfluous pomp, Most fit for such an hour as this.

To make a pageant over what you trampled. Lored. Why so?

A princely funeral will be your reproach, Doge. 'Tis said that our Venetian And not his honour. crystal has

Chief of the Ten. Lady, wo revoke not Such pure antipathy to poisons, as Our purposes so readily. To burst if aught of venom touches it. Marina. I know it, You bore this goblet, and it is not broken. As far as touches torturing the living. Lored. Well, sir!

I thought the dead had been beyond even Doge. Then it is false, or yon are true.

you, For my own part, I credit neither; 'tis Though (some, no doubt,) consign'd to An idle legend.

powers which inay Marina. You talk wildly, and

Resemble that you exercise on earth. Had better now be seated, nor as yet Leave him to me; you would have done Depart. Ah! now you look as look’d my husband!

His dregs of life, which you have kindly Barb. He sinks!-support him!-quick

shorten'd: a chair, support him!

It is my last of duties, and may prove Doge. The bell tolls on !- let's hence- A dreary comfort in my desolation. my brain's on fire!

Grief is fantastical, and loves the dead, Barb. í do beseech you, lean upon ng! And the apparel of the grave. Doge. No!

Chief of the Ten. Do you A sovereign should die standing. My poor Pretend still to this office ? boy!

Marina. I do, signor. Of with your arms !-- That bell!

Though his possessions have been all (The Doge drops down and dies.

consumed

so for

[ocr errors]

In the state's scrvice, I have still my dowry, Of such. Well, sirs, your will be done! Which shall be consecrated to his rites,

as one day, And those of— [She stops with agitation. I trust, Heaven's will be done too! Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your Chief of the Ten. Know you, lady, children.

To whom ye speak, and perils of such speech? Marina. Ay, they are fatherless, I thank Marina. I know the former better than you.

yourselves; Chief of the Ten. We

The latter-like yourselves; and can face Cannot comply with your request. His relics

both. Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and wish you more funerals ? follow'd

Barb. Heed not her rash words; Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad Her circumstances must excuse her bearing. As Doge, but simply as a senator.

Chief of the Ten. We will not note them Marina. I have heard of murderers, who

down. have interr'd

Barb. (turning to Loredano, who is Their victims; but ne'er heard, until this writing upon his tablets) hour,

What art thou writing, Of so much splendour in hypocrisy With such an earnest brow, upon thy O'er those they slew. I've heard of widows'

tablets ? tears

Lored. (pointing to the Doge's body) Alas! I have shed some—always thanks to That he has paid me! you!

Chief of the Ten. What debt did he I've heard of heirs in sables—you have owe you? left none

Lorcd. A long and just one; Nature's To the deceased, so you would act the part debt and mine. [Curtain falls.

S A R D A N A P A L US,

A TRA G B D Y.

TO

For the historical foundation of the comTHE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTHE. positions in question, the reader is referred

to the Notes. A stranger presumes to offer the homage of The Author has in one instance attempted a literary vassal to his liege-lord, the first to preserve, and in the other to approach of cristing writers, who has created the the unities ; conceiving that with any literature of his own country and illustrated very distant departure from them, there that of Europe. The unworthy production may be poetry, but can be no drama. He which the author ventures to inscribe to him is aware of the unpopularity of this notion is entitled SARDANAPALUS.

in present English literature; but it is not a system of his own, being merely an opinion, which, not very long ago, was the

law of literature throughout the world, PRE FACE.

and is still so in the more civilized parts

of it. But “Nous avons changé tout cela,” Is publishing the Tragedies of Sardana- and are reaping the advantages of the change. palus, and of The Two Foscari, I have only The writer is far from conceiving that any to repeat that they were not composed with thing he can adduce by personal precept the most remote view to the stage. or example can at all approach his regular,

On the attempt made by the Managers or even irregular, predecessors: he is merely in a former instance, the public opinion giving a reason why he preferred the moro has been already expressed.

regular formation of a strncture, however With regard to my own private feelings, feeble, to an entire abandonment of all rules as it seems that they are to stand for no- whatsoever. Where he has failed, the faithing, I shall say nothing.

lure is in the architect,—and not in the art.

[ocr errors]

DR A MATIS PERSONE
MEN.

WOMEN.
SARDANAPALUB, King of Niniveh and Assyria. ZARINA, the Queen.
ARBACES, the Mede who aspired to the Throne. MYRRHA, an Ionian female Slave, and the
BELE8E8, a Chaldean and Soothsayer.

Favourite of SARDANAPALUS. SALEMENES, the King's Brother-in-law. Women composing the Harem of SARDANAALTADA, an Assyrian Officer of the Palace. PALUS, Guards, Attendants, Chaldean ΡΑΝΙΑ. .

Priests, Medes.
ZAMKS.
SPERO.

Scene--a Hall in the Royal Palace of BALEA.

Nineveh.

ACT I.

The blood of Nimrod and Semiramis

Sink in the earth, and thirteen hundred SCENE I. -A Hall in the Palace.

years

Of empire ending like a shepherd's tale; Salemencs (solus). He hath wrong'd his He must be roused. In his effeminate heart

queen, but still he is her lord; There is a careless courage which cor lle hath wrong`d my sister, still he is my ruption brother;

Has not all quench’d, and latent energies, He hath wrong‘d his people, still he is their Represt by circumstance, but not destroy'dsovereign,

Steep'd, but not drown'd, in deep volupAnd I must be his friend as well as subject:

tuousness. He must not perish thus. I will not see If born a peasant, he had been a man

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

war

To have reach'd an empire; to an empire We'll meet again in that the sweetest hour, born,

When we shall gather like the stars above us, He will bequeath none; nothing but a name, And you will forin a heaven as bright as Which his sons will not prize in heritage :-

theirs; Yet, not all lost, even yet he may redeem Till then, let each be mistress of her time, His sloth and shame, by only being that And thou, my own Ionian Myrrha, choose, Which he should be, as easily as the thing Wilt thou along with them or me? He should not be and is. Were it less toil Myrrha. My lordTo sway his nations than consume his life? Sard. My lord! my life, why answerest To head an army than to rule a harem?

thou so coldly? He sweats in palling pleasures,dulls his soul, It is the curse of kings to be so answered. And saps his goodly strength, in toils which Rule thy own hours, thou rulest mineyield not

say, wouldst thou Health like the chase, nor glory like the Accompany our guests, or charm away

The moments from me ? He must be roused. Alas! there is no sound Myrrha. The king's choice is mine. [Sound of soft music heard from within. Sard. I

pray thee say not so: my To rouse him short of thunder, Hark!

chiefest joy the lute,

Is to contribute to thine every wish. The lyre, the timbrel; the lascivious I do not dare to breathe my own desire, tinklings

Lest it should clash with thine ; for thou Of lulling instruments, the softening voices

art still Of women, and of beings less than women, Too prompt to sacrifice thy thoughts for Must chime in to the echo of his revel,

others. While the great king of all we know of Myrrha. I would remain : I have no earth

happiness Lolls crown'd with roses, and his diadem Save in beholding thine; yetLies negligently by to be caught up

Sard. Yet, what yet? By the first manly hand which dares to Thy own sweet will shall be the only barrier snatch it.

Which ever rises betwixt thee and me. Lo, where they come! already I perceive Myrrha. I think the present is the The reeking odours of the perfumed trains,

wonted hour And see the bright gems of the glittering Of council; it were better I retire. girls,

Sal. (comes forward and says) The Ionian Who are his comrades and his council, flash slave says well, let her retire. Along the gallery, and amidst the damsels, Sard. Who answers! How now, brother? As femininely garb’d, and scarce less female, Sal. The queen's brother, The grandson of Semiramis, the man-queen. And your most faithful vassal, royal lord. He comes! Shall I await him? yes, and Sard. (dddressing his train) As I have front him,

said, let all dispose their hours And tell him what all good men tell each Till midnight, when again we pray your other,

presence. [The court retiring: Speaking of him and his. They come, (To Myrrha, uho is going.) Myrrha! I the slaves,

thought thou wouldst remain. Led by the monarch subject to his slaves. Myrrha. Great king,

Thou didst not say so. SCENE II.- Enter SARDANAPALUS effeminate

Sard. But thou lookedst it; ly dressed, his Head crowned with Flow- I know each glance of those Ionic eyes, ers, and his Robe negligently flowing, which said thou wouldst not leave me. attended by a Train of Women and young

Myrrha. Sire! your brotherSlaves.

Sal. His consort's brother, minion of lonia!

How darest thou name me and not blush ? Sardanapalus (speaking to some of his Sard. Not blush ! Attendants).

Thou hast no more eyes than heart to Let the pavilion over the Euphrates

make her crimson Be garlanded, and lit, and furnish'd forth Like to the dying day on Caucasus, For an especial banquet; at the hour Where sunset tints the snow with rosy Of midnight we will sup there: see nought

shadows, wanting

And then reproach her with thine own And bid the galley be prepared. There is cold blindness, A cooling breeze which crisps the broad which will not see it. What, in tears, my clear river:

Myrrha ? We will embark anon. Fair nymphs, who Sal. Let them flow on; she weeps for deign

more than one, To share the soft hours of Sardanapalus, I And is herself the cause of bitterer tears.

[ocr errors]
« 上一頁繼續 »