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OCTAVIO.

OCTAVIO.

COUNTESS.

The evil destiny surprised my brother

More worthily of me, than to believe
Too suddenly: he could not think on them. 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 Speak not of vengeance ! Speak not of maltreatment! The Emperor is appeased; the heavy fault

Deny, but not the feeling and the spirit Hath heavily been expiated—nothing

That to the crown belong! We deem a Descended from the father to the daughter,

Courageous death more worthy of our free station

Than a dishonor'd life.--I have taken poison.
Except his glory and his services.
The Empress honors your adversity,
Takes part in your afflictions, opens to you

Help! Help! Support her!
Her motherly arms! Therefore no farther fears;
Yield yourself up in hope and confidence
To the Imperial Grace!

Nay, it is too late.
COUNTESS (with her eye raised to heaven) In a few moments is my fate accomplish'd.
To the grace and mercy of a greater Master

(Erit COUNTESS. Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body

GORDON
Of the Duke have its place of final rest?

O house of death and horrors !
In the Chartreuse, which he himself did found
At Gitschin, rest the Countess Wallenstein;

[An OFFICER enters, and brings a letter with the And by her side, to whom he was indebted For his first fortunes, gratefully he wish'd

GORDON (sleps forward and meets him).
He might sometime repose in death! O let him

What is this?
Be buried there. And likewise, for my husband's It is the Imperial Seal.
Remains, I ask the like grace. The Emperor

[He reads the address, and delivers the letter to Is now proprietor of all our Castles.

Octavio with a look of reproach, and with This sure may well be granted us-one sepulchre

an emphasis on the word. Beside the sepulchres of our forefathers!

To the Prince Piccolomini.

[OCTAVIO, with his whole frame expressive of sudCountess, you tremble, you turn pale!

den anguish, raises his eyes to heaven. COUNTESS (reassembles all her powers, and speaks with energy and dignity).

(The Curtain drops.) You think

great seal.

OCTAVIO.

The Fall of Robespierre;

AN HISTORIC DRAMA.

DEDICATION.

THE PALL OF ROBESPIERRE.

BARRERE.

TO H. MARTIN, ESQ.

ACT I.
OF JESUS COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.
DEAR SIR,

SCENE, The Tuilleries.
ACCEPT, as a small testimony of my grateful attach-
ment, the following Dramatic Poem, in which I have
endeavored to detail, in an interesting form, the fall
of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a dis. The tempest gathers be it mine to seek
astrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him.
work, as intricacy of plot could not have been at. Sudden in action, fertile in resource,

But where ? and how? I fear the Tyrant's soullempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it has been my solo aim to imitate the impassioned and

And rising awful ’mid impending ruins; highly figurative language of the French Orators,

In splendor gloomy, as the midnight meteor, and to develop the characters of the chief actors on When last in secret conference we met,

That fearless thwarts the elemental war. a vast stage of horrors.

He scowl'd upon me with suspicious rage,
Yours fraternally,

Making his eye the inmate of my bosom.
S. T. COLERIDGE.

I know he scorns me--and I feel, I hate him

Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble ! JESUS COLLEGE, September 22, 1794.

213

(Erit.

TALLIEN.

ST-JUST.

TALLIEN.

Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE.

And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien!

Th' Adonis Tallien? banquet-hunting Tallien ?
TALLIEN

Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box? Him, It was Barrere, Legendre! didst thou mark him?

Who ever on the harlots' downy pillow Abrupt he turn’d, yet linger'd as he went,

Resigns his head impure to feverish slumbers!
And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning.

ST-JUST.
LEGENDRE.

I cannot fear him-yet we must not scom him. I mark'd him well. I met his eye's last glance;

Was it not Antony that conquer'd Brutus, It menaced not so proudly as of yore.

Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony? Methought he would have spoke—but that he dared The state is not yet purified: and though not

The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies Such agitation darken'd on his brow.

The thick black sediment of all the factions

It needs no magic hand to stir it up! "Twas all-distrusting guilt that kept from bursting

COUTHON. Th’ imprison'd secret struggling in the face :

O we did wrong to spare them-fatal error! E'en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards

Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died! Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile

And Collot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes ?
Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen.

I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured
LEGENDRE.

To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, Perfidious Traitor still afraid to bask

Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness
In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent Of Zara were a smiling paradise.
Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness,
Ever prepared to sting who shelters him.

Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one,
Each thought, each action in himself converges; Who flies from silent solitary anguish,
And love and friendship on his coward heart

Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar
Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice : of elements. The howl of maniac uproar
To all attach'd, by turns deserting all,

Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself. Cunning and dark—a necessary villain!

A calm is fatal to him—then he feels

The dire upboilings of the storm within him. Yet much depends upon him-well you know A tiger mad with inward wounds. I dread With plausible harangue 't is his to paint

The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt. Defeat like victory-and blind the mob

ROBESPIERRE. With truth-mix'd falsehood. They, led on by him, Is not the commune ours? The stern tribunal! And wild of head to work their own destruction, Dumas ? and Vivier? Fleuriot ? and Louvet? Support with uproar what he plans in darkness. And Henriot? We'll denounce a hundred, nor LEGENDRE.

Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward. O what a precious name is Liberty

ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR. To scare or cheat the simple into slaves !

Nay-I am sick of blood ; my aching heart Yes we must gain him over: by dark hints Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, That still have gloom'd the rise of the republic. Till the cold coward blaze a patriot.

I should have died before Toulon, when war O Danton! murder'd friend ! assist my counsels Became the patriot! Hover around me on sad memory's wings,

ROBESPIERRE. And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart.

Most unworthy wish! Tallien! if but to-morrow's fateful sun

He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors, Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead!

Would be himself a traitor, were he not

A coward! "Tis congenial souls alone
Yet his keen eye that flashes mighty meanings-

Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate.
O thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye

Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle Fear not-or rather fear th' alternative,

Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity And seek for courage e'en in cowardice.

Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest! But see-hither he comes—let us away!

There is unsoundness in the state-To-morrow His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon, Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre! And high of haughty spirit, young St-Just.

(Exeunt.

ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR.

Beware! already do the sections murmurEnter ROBESPIERRE, COUTHON, ST-Just, and “O the great glorious patriot, RobespierreROBESPIERRE JUNIOR.

The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom.""

COUTHON. What! did La Fayette fall before my power?

'T were folly sure to work great deeds by halves ! And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues ?

Much I suspect the darksome fickle heart

Of cold Barrere !
The fervent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue?
And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold ?

ROBESPIERRE.
Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them?

I see the villain in him! What! did th' assassin's dagger aim its point

ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR. Vain, as a dream of murder, at my bosom?

If he-if all forsake thee-what remains ?

TALLIEN.

LEGENDRE.

ROBESPIERRE.

ROBESPIERRE.

ROBESPIERRE.

ROBESPIERRE.
Myself! the steel-strong Rectitude of soul There are who wish my ruin—but I'll make them
And Porerty sublime 'mid circling virtues !

Blush for the crime in blood!
The giant Victories, my counsels formid,
Shall stalk around me with sun-glittering plumes,

BARRERE.
Bidding the darts of calumny fall pointless.

Nay, but I tell thee, [Exeunt cæteri. Manet Couthon. Thou art too fond of slaughter-and the right

(If right it be) workest by most foul means ! COUTHON (solus). So we deceive ourselves! What goodly virtues

Self-centering Fear ! how well thou canst ape Mercy! Bloom on the poisonous branches of ambition !

Too fond of slaughter !-matchless hypocrite! Sill, Robespierre! thou'lt guard thy country's freedom Thought Barrere so, when Brissot, Danton died ? To despotize in all the patriot's pomp.

Thought Barrere so, when through the streaming While Conscience, 'mid the mob's applauding clamors,

streets Sleeps in thine ear, nor whispers—blood-stain'd tyrant of Paris red-eyed Massacre o'er-wearied Yet what is Conscience ? Superstition's dream,

Reel'd heavily, intoxicate with blood ? Making such deep impression on our sleep

And when (O heavens !) in Lyons' death-red square That long th' awaken'd breast retains its horrors !

Sick Fancy groan'd o'er putrid hills of slain, But he returns—and with him comes Barrere.

Didst thou not fiercely laugh, and bless the day? [Erit CouTHON.

Why, thou hast been the mouth-piece of all horrors,
Enter ROBESPIERRE and BARRERE.

And, like a blood-hound, crouch'd for murder! Now
Aloof thou standest from the tottering pillar,

Or, like a frighted child behind its mother,
There is no danger but in cowardice.-

Hidest thy pale face in the skirts of Mercy!
Barrere! we make the danger, when we fear it.

BARRERE.
We have such force without, as will suspend
The cold and trembling treachery of these members. O prodigality of eloquent anger!

Why now I see thou ’rt weak—thy case is desperate !

The cool ferocious Robespierre turn'd scolder!
Twill be a pause of terror-

Who from a bad man's bosom wards the blow
But to whom?

Reserves the whetted dagger for his own.
Rather the short-lived slumber of the tempest,

Denounced twice—and twice I saved his life! [Erit. Gathering its strength anew. The dastard traitors! Moles, that would undermine the rooted oak !

The sections will support them—there's the point! A pause a moment's pause !-"T is all their life. No! he can never weather out the stormBARRERE.

Yet he is sudden in revenge-No more! Yet much they talk-and plausible their speech. I must away to Tallien.

(Exit. Couthon's decree has given such powers, that

ROBESPIERRE.

BARRERE.

ROBESPIERRE.

ROBESPIERRE.

BARRERE.

[blocks in formation]

ADELAIDE.
Didst thou present the letter that I gave thee?
Did Tallien answer, he would soon return?

Transparent mask!
They wish to clog the wheels of government,
Forcing the hand that guides the vast machine
To bribe them to their duty-English patriots !
Are not the congregated clouds of war
Black all around us? In our very vitals
Works not the king-bred poison of rebellion ?
Say, what shall counteract the selfish plottings
Of wretches, cold of heart, nor awed by fears
Of him, whose power directs th' eternal justice?
Terror ! or secret-sapping gold ? The first
Heavy, but transient as the ills that cause it;
And to the virtuous patriot render'd light
By the necessities that gave it birth :
The other fouls the fount of the republic,
Making it flow polluted to all ages ;
Inoculates the state with a slow venom,
Thai, once imbibed, must be continued ever.
Myself incorruptible, I ne'er could bribe them-
Therefore they hate me.

BARRERE.

Are the sections friendly?

SERVANT.
He is in the Tuilleries—with him Legendre-
In deep discourse they seem'd ; as I approach'd,

He waved his hand as bidding me retire :
I did not interrupt him.

[Returns the letter.
ADELAIDE.
Thou didst rightly.

[Exit SERVANT.
O this new freedom! at how dear a price
We've bought the seeming good! The peaceful virtues,
And every blandishment of private life,
The father's cares, the mother's fond endearment,
All sacrificed to Liberty's wild riot.
The winged hours, that scatter'd roses round me,
Languid and sad drag their slow course along,
And shake big gall-drops from their heavy wings.
But I will steal away these anxious thoughts
By the soft languishment of warbled airs,
If haply melodies may·lull the sense
Of sorrow for a while.

TALLIEN.

Enter BILLAUD VARENNES and BOURDON L'OISE (Soft Music).

[ADELAIDE relires. Enter TALLIEN.

BOURDON L'OISE.

Tallien! was this a time for amorous conference ? Music, my love? O breathe again that air !

Henriot, the tyrant's most devoted creature, Soft nurse of pain, it soothes the weary soul

Marshals the force of Paris : the fierce club,
Of care, sweet as the whisper'd breeze of evening With Vivier at their head, in loud acclaim
That plays around the sick man's throbbing temples. Have sworn to make the guillotine in blood

Float on the scaffold.—But who cornes here?
SONG.

Enter BARRERE abruptly.
Tell me, on what holy ground

BARRERE.
May domestic peace be found ?

Say, are ye friends to Freedom ? I am her's!
Halcyon daughter of the skies,

Let us, forgetful of all common feuds,
Far on fearful wing she flies,

Rally around her shrine! E'en now the tyrant
From the pomp of sceptred state,

Concerts a plan of instant massacre !
From the rebel's noisy hate.

BILLAUD VARENNES.
In a cottaged vale she dwells,

Away to the Convention! with that voice
List’ning to the Sabbath bells !

So oft the herald of glad victory,
Still around her steps are seen

Rouse their fallen spirits, thunder in their ears
Spotless Honor's meeker mien,

The names of tyrant, plunderer, assassin!
Love, the fire of pleasing fears,

The violent workings of my soul within
Sorrow smiling through her tears ;

Anticipate the monster's blood ?
And, conscious of the past employ,

[Cry from the street of—No Tyrant! Down with Memory, bosom-spring of joy.

the Tyrant !"

TALLIEN.

TALLIEN.
I thank thee, Adelaide! 't was sweet, though mournful

. Even for a moment hold his fate suspended,

Hear ye that outcry ?-If the trembling members But why thy brow o'ercast, thy cheek so wan?

I swear, by the holy poniard that stabb'd Cæsar, Thou look'st as a lorn maid beside some stream

This dagger probes his heart! That sighs away the soul in fond despairing,

(Exeunt omnes. While Sorrow sad, like the dank willow near her, Hangs o'er the troubled fountain of her eye.

ADELAIDE.

TALLIEN.

ADELAIDE.

ACT II.
Ah! rather let me ask what mystery lowers
On Tallien's darken'd brow. Thou dost me wrong-

SCENE.-The Convention.
Thy soul distemper’d, can my heart be tranquil ?

ROBESPIERRE (mounts the Tribune).

Once more befits it that the voice of Truth,
Tell me, by whom thy brother's blood was spilt? Fearless in innocence, though leaguer'd round
Asks he not vengeance on these patriot murderers? By Envy and her hateful brood of hell,
It has been borne too tamely. Fears and curses Be heard amid this hall; once more befits
Groan on our midnight beds, and e'en our dreams The patriot, whose prophetic eye so oft
Threaten the assassin hand of Robespierre.

Has pierced through faction's veil, to flash on crimes He dies !--nor has the plot escaped his fears. Of deadliest import. Mouldering in the grave

Sleeps Capet's caitiff corse ; my daring hand

Levell'd to earth his blood-cemented throne, Yet—yet—be cautious! much I fear the Commune- My voice declared his guilt, and stirr'd up France The tyrant's creatures, and their fate with his

To call for vengeance. I too dug the grave Fast link'd in close indissoluble union.

Where sleep the Girondists, detested band ! The Pale Convention

Long with the show of freedom they abused

Her ardent sons. Long time the well-turn'd phrase, Hate him as they fear him, The high-fraught sentence, and the lofty tone Impatient of the chain, resolved and ready.

Of declamation, thunder'd in this hall,
Till reason 'midst a labyrinth of words

Perplex'd, in silence seem'd to yield assent.
Th' enthusiast mob, Confusion's lawless sons I durst oppose. Soul of my honor'd friend !

Spirit of Marat, upon thee I call-
TALLIEN

Thou know'st me faithful, know'st with what warm They are aweary of his stern morality,

zeal The fair-mask'd offspring of ferocious pride. I urged the cause of justice, stripp'd the mask The sections too support the delegates :

From Faction's deadly visage, and destroy'd All--all is ours! e'en now the vital air

Her traitor brood. Whose patriot arm hurl'd down Of Liberty, condensed awhile, is bursting

Hebert and Rousin, and the villain friends (Force irresistible !) from its compressure

Of Danton, foul apostate! those, who long To shatter the archi-chemist in the explosion! Mask'd Treason's form in Liberty's fair garb,

TALLIEN.

ADELAIDE.

TALLIEN.

ROBESPIERRE.

BARRERE.

Long delayed Fence with blood, and durst defy Scowl'd once again defiance! so my soul
Omnipotence! but I, it seems, am false!

Might cope with worthy foes.
I am a traitor too! I-Robespierre!

People of France, Kat whose name the dastard despot brood

Hear me! Beneath the vengeance of the law,
Look pale with fear, and call on saints to help them! Traitors have perish'd countless; more survive:
Who dares accuse me? who shall dare belie The hydra-headed faction lists anew
My spotless name? Speak, ye accomplice band, Her daring front, and fruitful from her wounds,
Of what am I accused ! of what strange crime Cautious from past defeats, contrives new wiles
Is Marimilian Robespierre accused,

Against the sons of Freedom.
That through this hall the buzz of discontent
Should marmur? who shall speak?

Freedom lives!
BILLAUD VARENNES.

Oppression falls—for France has felt her chains,

O patriot tongue, Has burst them too. Who traitor-like stept forth
Belying the foul heart! Who was it urged, Amid the hall of Jacobins to save
Friendly to tyrants, that accurst decree

Camille Desmoulins, and the venal wretch
Whose influence, brooding o'er this hallow'd hall, D'Eglantine ?
Has chilled each tongue to silence. Who destroy'd
The freedom of debate, and carried through

I did—for I thought them honest. The fatal law, that doom'd the delegates,

And Heaven forefend that vengeance ere should strike, Caheard before their equals, to the bar

Ere justice doom'd the blow.
Where cruelty sat throned, and murder reign'd
With her Durnas coequal ? Say—thou man

Traitor, thon didst. Of mighty eloquence, whose law was that?

Yes, the accomplice of their dark designs,
COUTHON

Awhile didst thou defend them, when the storm
That law was mine. I urged it-I proposed Lower'd at safe distance. When the clouds frown'd
The voice of France assembled in her sons

darker, Assented, though the tame and timid voice Feard for yourself and left them to their fate. Of traitors murmur'd. I advised that law

Oh, I have mark’d thee long, and through the veil I justify it. It was wise and good.

Seen thy foul projects. Yes, ambitious man,
BARRERE

Self-willid dictator o'er the realm of France,
Oh, wondrous wise, and most convenient too! The vengeance thou hast plann'd for patriots
I have long mark'd thee, Robespierre-and now Falls on thy head. Look how thy brother's deeds
Proclaim thee traitor-tyrant !

Dishonor thine! He the firm patriot,
(Loud applauses. Thou the foul parricide of Liberty!
ROBESPIERRE.

ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR.
It is well.

Barrere-attempt not meanly to divide
I am a traitor! oh, that I had fallen

Me from my brother. I partake his guilt,
When Regnault lifted high the murderous knife ; For I partake his virtue.
Regnault, the instrument belike of those

ROBESPIERRE.
Who now themselves would fain assassinate,

Brother, by my soul And legalize their murders. I stand here

More dear I hold thee to my heart, that thus An isolated patriol-hemm'd around 1; faction's noisy pack; beset and bay'd

With me thou darest to tread the dangerous path By the foul hell-hounds who know no escape

Of virtue, than that Nature twined her cords

Of kindred round us. Irm Justice' outstretch'd arm, but by the force

BARRERE. Test pierces through her breast.

Yes, allied in guilt, (Murmurs, and shouts ofDown with the tyrant !

Even as in blood ye are. Oh, thou worst wretch, ROBESPIERRE.

Thou worse than Sylla! hast thou not proscribed, Nay, but I will be heard. There was a time, Yea, in most foul anticipation slaughter'd, When Robespierre began, the loud applauses Each patriot representative of France ? Of beneat patriots drown'd the honest sound. Bat times are changed, and villany prevails.

BOURDON L'OISE.

Was not the younger Cæsar too to reign
COLLOT D'HERBOIS.

O'er all our valiant armies in the south, sevillany shall fall. France could not brook

And still continue there his merchant wiles ? march's sway-sounds the dictator's name Mise soothing to her ear?

ROBESPIERRE JUNIOR.

His merchant wiles! Oh, grant me patience, Heaven!
BOURDON L'OISE.

Was it by merchant wiles I gain'd you back
Ratile her chains
Maxe musically now than when the hand

Toulon, when proudly on her captive towers
Of Brissct forged her fetters, or the crew

Waved high the English flag ? or fought I then Of Herbert thundered out their blasphemies,

With merchant wiles, when sword in hand I led And Danion talk'd of virtue ?

Your troops to conquest ? Fought I merchant-like,

Or barter'd I for victory, when death
ROBESPIERRE

Strode o'er the reeking streets with giant stride,

Oh, that Brissot And shook his ebon plumes, and sternly smiled Were here again to thunder in this hall,

Amid the bloody banquet? when appallid, Thai Herbert lived, and Danton's giant form The hireling sons of England spread the sail

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