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The evil destiny surprised my brother
More worthily of me, than to believe
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.
Help! Help! Support her!
Nay, it is too late.
(Erit COUNTESS. Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body
O house of death and horrors !
[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).
What is this?
[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
The Fall of Robespierre;
AN HISTORIC DRAMA.
THE PALL OF ROBESPIERRE.
TO H. MARTIN, ESQ.
SCENE, The Tuilleries.
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,
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 ! JESUS COLLEGE, September 22, 1794.
Enter TALLIEN and LEGENDRE.
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien!
Th' Adonis Tallien? banquet-hunting 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!
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 ?
I've fear'd him, since his iron heart endured
To make of Lyons one vast human shambles, Perfidious Traitor still afraid to bask
Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness
Rightly thou judgest, Couthon! He is one,
Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar
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
Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate.
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.
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 !
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 ?
Blush for the crime in blood!
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,
And, like a blood-hound, crouch'd for murder! Now
Or, like a frighted child behind its mother,
Hidest thy pale face in the skirts of Mercy!
Why now I see thou ’rt weak—thy case is desperate !
The cool ferocious Robespierre turn'd scolder!
Who from a bad man's bosom wards the blow
Reserves the whetted dagger for his own.
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
Are the sections friendly?
He waved his hand as bidding me retire :
[Returns the letter.
Enter BILLAUD VARENNES and BOURDON L'OISE (Soft Music).
[ADELAIDE relires. Enter TALLIEN.
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,
Float on the scaffold.—But who cornes here?
Enter BARRERE abruptly.
Say, are ye friends to Freedom ? I am her's!
Let us, forgetful of all common feuds,
Rally around her shrine! E'en now the tyrant
Concerts a plan of instant massacre !
Away to the Convention! with that voice
So oft the herald of glad victory,
Rouse their fallen spirits, thunder in their ears
The names of tyrant, plunderer, assassin!
The violent workings of my soul within
Anticipate the monster's blood ?
[Cry from the street of—“No Tyrant! Down with Memory, bosom-spring of joy.
the Tyrant !"
. 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.
ROBESPIERRE (mounts the Tribune).
Once more befits it that the voice of Truth,
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,
Perplex'd, in silence seem'd to yield assent.
Spirit of Marat, upon thee I call-
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,
Long delayed Fence with blood, and durst defy Scowl'd once again defiance! so my soul
Might cope with worthy foes.
People of France, Kat whose name the dastard despot brood
Hear me! Beneath the vengeance of the law,
Against the sons of Freedom.
Oppression falls—for France has felt her chains,
O patriot tongue, Has burst them too. Who traitor-like stept forth
Camille Desmoulins, and the venal wretch
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.
Traitor, thon didst. Of mighty eloquence, whose law was that?
Yes, the accomplice of their dark designs,
Awhile didst thou defend them, when the storm
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,
Self-willid dictator o'er the realm of France,
Dishonor thine! He the firm patriot,
Barrere-attempt not meanly to divide
Me from my brother. I partake his guilt,
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 of—Down 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.
Was not the younger Cæsar too to reign
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?
His merchant wiles! Oh, grant me patience, Heaven!
Was it by merchant wiles I gain'd you back
Toulon, when proudly on her captive towers
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
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