Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Draws near when I must make a winding up
Of bridal mysteries —a fine-spun vengeance !
Carve it on my tomb, that, when I rest beneath,
Men shall confess, this Prince was gull’d and cheated,
But from the ashes of disgrace he rose
More than a fiery dragon, and did burn
His ignominy up in purging fires !
Did I not send, sir, but a moment past,
For my father ?

Gersa. You did.
Ludolph.

Perhaps 'twould be
Much better he came not.
Gersa.

He enters now!

Enter Otho, ERMINIA, ETHELBERT, SIGIFRED,

and Physician, Ludolph. Oh! thou good man, against whose

sacred head
I was a mad conspirator, chiefly too
For the sake of my fair newly wedded wife,
Now to be punish'd !- do not look so sad!
Those charitable eyes will thaw my heart,
Those tears will wash away a just resolve,
A verdict ten times sworn! Awake — awake -
Put on a judge's brow, and use a tongue
Made iron-stern by habit! Thou shalt see
A deed to be applauded, 'scribed in gold !
Join a loud voice to mine, and so denounce
What I alone will execute!
Otho.

Dear son,
What is it? By your father's love, I sue
That it be nothing merciless !
Ludolph.

To that demon ? VOL. III.

24

Not so! No! She is in temple-stall,
Being garnish'd for the sacrifice, and I,
The Priest of Justice, will immolate her
Upon the altar of wrath! She stings me through!-
Even as the worm doth feed upon the nut,
So she, a scorpion, preys upon my brain !
I feel her gnawing here! Let her but vanish,
Then, father, I will lead your legions forth,
Compact in steeled squares and speared files,
And bid our trumpets speak a fell rebuke
To nations drowsed in peace!
Otho.

To-morrow, son,
Be your word law; forget to-day-
Ludolph.

I will, When I have finish'd it! Now,- now, I'm pight, Tight-footed for the deed! Erminia.

Alas! Alas!
Ludolph. What angel's voice is that? Erminia,
Ah! gentlest creature, whose sweet innocence
Was almost murder'd; I am penitent.
Wilt thou forgive me? And thou holy man,
Good Ethelbert, shall I die in peace with you?

Erminia. Die, my lord ?
Ludolph.

I feel it possible. Otho.

Physician ? Physician. I fear, he is past my skill. Otho.

Not so! Ludolph. I see it - I see it-I have been wan

dering! Half mad- not right here—I forget my purpose. Bestir - bestir — Auranthe! Ha! ha! ha! Youngster! page! go bid them drag her to me! Obey! This shall finish it! (Draws a dagger.

Otho.

Oh, my son! my son ! Sigifred. This must not be — stop there! Ludolph.

Am I obey'd ? A little talk with her - no harm — haste! haste !

[Exit Page. Set her before me — never fear I can strike.

Several voices. My lord ! my lord !
Gersa.

Good Prince ! Ludolph. Why do ye trouble me? out-out

away! There she is ! take that! and that! no, no, That's not well done - where is she ?

[The Doors open. Enter Page. Several Women are

seen grouped about AURANTHE in the inner room. Page. Alas! My lord, my lord! they cannot

move her! Her arms are stiff- her fingers clench'd and cold. Ludolph. She's dead!

(Staggers and falls into their arms. Ethelbert. Take away the dagger. Gersa.

Softly; so! Otho. Thank God for that! Sigifred.

It could not harm him now. Gersa. No!- brief be his anguish! Ludolph. She's gone! I am content. Nobles,

good night! We are all weary— faint - set ope the doors I will to bed! To-morrow

[Dies.

THE CURTAIN FALLS.

[graphic]
[graphic][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Alarum. Enter King STEPHEN, Knights, and Soldiers.

Stephen.
F shame can on a soldier's vein-swoll'n front

Spread deeper crimson than the battle's toil, Blush in your casing helmets ! for see, see! Yonder my chivalry, my pride of war,

3“ As soon as Keats had to give, as before, their drafinished Otho the Great,' I matic conduct. The play pointed out to him a subject must open,' I began, with for an English historical trag. the field of battle, when Steedy in the reign of Stephen, phen's forces are retreating' beginning with his defeat by — Stop,' he cried,'. I have the Empress Maud and end been too long in leading. ing with the death of his son strings ; I will do all this Eustace. He was struck with myself.' He immediately set the variety of events and char- about it, and wrote two or acters which must necessarily three scenes-about 1 70 lines.” be introduced, and I offered - CHARLES Brown.

« НазадПродовжити »