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ther particulars furnished by the he- seen forward on one side the stage-
rald, Medea now adds," that when, as the palace towards the back on the
he had said, she went back to take other. Medea discovered lying, as she
. her right, the Fleece,' suddenly she was left, upon the steps before the
heard an outcry behind her. She door, still overcome with the despair
turned, and saw the king leap from of her children's rejection.
his couch, howling with furious and In abrupt and fitful converse with
frightful gestures and contortions. Gora, she begins, not intelligibly to
* Ha! brother ! he cried, comest her, and at first hardly to herself, as
thou for yengeance?-vengeance upon if she had no purpose in what she
me?--Once more shalt thou die! thought, to figure the actions of her
-yet once more !--And onward revenge. Presently, as her will, soli-
springing, at me he catches- cited, as it might seem, by her fancy,
whose hand bare the Fleece- mixes more in the act of her intellect,
But I trembled, and lifted my cry she turns to lament, that self-depri-
-To the gods which I know ved of the means of her art, which,
- Holding the Fleece as a shield guarded by that token, pledge, and before me -Then the grinning of cause of her house's calamity which she madness deformed his face- has buried with them, she dreads to With shrieks the bindings he seized recover,--she is helpless. Opportune of his veins- -They break! In ly to the working of her mind, the gushes the life-stream pours- King, having imagined a project for And, as I look round me, horror- Jason, to which it seems important stiffening, ---Lo! at my feet the that he should be master of the Fleece, king, In his own blood welter and found, upon inquiry, that he ing, -Cold and dead !".
knows nothing of it, comes lo demand Medea had obtained permission from this of her. From heranswers he learns Jason, in their private conversation, that it is in his own hands. For his to take one of her children with her servants, in digging for the place of in her exile. They who from the an Altar to Jove, the Hospitable, to be beginning give signs of having been raised where he and Jason had that brought up under the nurture of Go- day met, in most solemn acknowra, in a sort of wild and shy estrange- ledgment and sanction of their anment from both parents, occupied, it cient and renewed alliance, have a is to be supposed, with their own pase little while before found, and brought sions, cares, and griefs, neither attract- him, Medea's chest. By his order it ing, nor perhaps much desiring childish is now produced. She recognises it endearments, have from the first mo- with a transport of joy,-promises, ment attached themselves to the Co. when she has opened it, which for rinthian princess, in marked prefere the present she declines to do, to send ence to their mother. That it may be the Fleece ; and desires to add a gift put to their own option which shall go for Creusa. The King hesitates, fearwith her, she now conducts them to ing to distress her, but on her assuMedea, from whom, on the choice be- rance that her means are ample, aging proposed to them, they shrink to- sents; and, having said that by his gether, seeking refuge with her rival, daughter's suggestion, to which he whom they can by no persuasion be had at first objected, but from the induced to leave. It is from this spon- calm and reasonable temper in which taneous and unexpected rejection of he finds her, does so no longer, her her by her offspring, finishing her an- children will be brought to take their guish, and wholly changing her last farewell of her-leaves her. milk for gall," that Grillparzer has Alone with her treasure, with the drawn, as we understand him, the consciousness of recovered strength suggestion wholly, and in some part awakes the full storm of deadly desires the resolution in her mind, to destroy in her soul. Even Gora, who has thus them.
far incessantly exerted herself in rouThe fourth Act, against our usage, sing her to revenge, becomes alarmeil but not possibly against either effect when she sees the terrible Magician for law of the highest art, is that of resume her power. the Catastrophe.
The nuptial gift, intended by Me The scene of the third still remains, dea for Creusa, whose former kindthe court before Jason's house. It is ness, it must be said, has, since the
plighting of her hand to Jason, be- carry in, who, shuddering with her
come envenomed to her thoughts, ap- anticipations, obeys.
pearing to her now only wily and de- The children are now brought, and
ceitful blandishment, 'is the vessel left with her, and her spirit darkens
spoken of in the first scene, among the towards its last horrible act. Their
contents of the chest, as filled with replies discover the same sort of
flames, ready to break forth and prey alienation from her, and love for her
upon the unwary opener of it. Even rival, which has before distracted her;
as Gora holds it, supporting it awk. but which, as the future impressed
wardly in part by the lid, from the with her own will draws on, she bears,
slight' aperture à tongue of flame it seems, more tranquilly. It is grows
darts out, which Medea sings back ing late, and the younger boy is sleepy.
into its place. She places this vessel She directs them to lie down on the
on a golden salver, and, covering it steps of her house. The following
with the wished-for Fleece, and this lines, thrown in here, are very affect-
with a rich mantle, gives it to Gora to ing:-
How carefully he leads along his brother,
And takes his own cloak off, wrapping it warm
Around the shoulders of the little one;
And now, their little arms enfolded close,
Lies down with him to sleep.-Ill was he never ! The lines immediately subsequent, in which, in a sudden dream-like rest from her perturbations of anguish and passion, the vision of her former self, as of another, with other departed forms, shews itself to her, are full of genius. She is sitting opposite to her children, who sleep. Night is gradually coming on.
Med. The night hath fall’n : the glittering stars come forth,
Looking down on us with their still soft light,
The same to-day that yesterday they were,
As if all, to-day, were such as yesterday;
Whereas, between them lies a gulf as wide,
As betwixt happiness assured, -and ruin.
So changeless, self-resembling, Nature is,
So full of changes, Man and his wild lot.
When I think over to myself the tale
Of my past life, I could believe another
Spake, while I listen'd, interrupting him
With Friend! that cannot be ! She to whose soul
Thou givest thoughts of death o! thou, erewhile,
Didst let her wander in her own loved land,
Lit with the gleam of even these gentle stars,
As mild, as pure, as naked of all sin,
As a child upon its mother's breast at play.
Whither goes she?-'Tis to the poor man's hut,
Whose green-ear'd tilth her father's chase trode down,
To bear him gold, and in his trouble joy.
- What will she on the forest-paths --She hies,
Seeking her brother, who i' the wood awaits her;
Till met, they, like twin-stars on the dusk heaven
Glide on, in radiance, their accustom'd way.
Now joins them One, gold-diadem'd his brow,
It is their Sire, the Monarch of the land !
His hand on her he lays, her and her brother!
Welcome! 0, welcome! friendliest, gracious forms ;
Visit ye me in my dark solitude.
Come nearer, let me look you in the face,
Thou kind, good brother. Dost thou smile on me?
How art thou fair, thou my sick soul's glad light?
My father's look is grave; but he too loves me,
Loves his good daughter. Ha! good ! good !
[Starting from her seat.
Lies that hath said it. Old man, she will betray
She hath-thee-and herself. But thou didst spread
The hovering of thy curses o'er her paths,
-Thou shalt be outcast, said'st thou, driven to roam
Like the wild beast of the desert. No friend left thee,
Of earth no place to lay thy faint head down.
And he, for whom thou fliest me, he shall be
The avenger-shall forsake thee-cast thee forth-
Then kill--thee and himself. It hath befallen!
On fire with her thoughts, she seeks returns; and by Medea herself immeto allay them in her children's em- diately after crossing the stage with a braces, whom she therefore, for that dagger in one hand, with the other purpose, wakens. To remove what is uplifted, enjoining silence. to follow from the eyes of " the peo- The concluding Act, which shows ple,"—she bids them return to sleep the Palace of Creon burnt to the ground, within a colonnade, which opens ob- dismisses Gora to death, as guilty, in liquely upon the stage. A cry is part, of that of Creusa,- and Jason, heard from the palace :-a light is as a presence waited on by misfortune,
and Medea knows that the into banishment from the Corinthian
first part of her vengeance is taken; territory. Creon, from pronouncing
which Gora, rushing out in horror, these judgments, turns to the care of
confirms. Apprehensive of interrup- his daughter's obsequies, and “then,
tion from longer delay, she now en- to everlasting mourning."
ters to where her children sleep. What We refrain from disturbing, with
has passed there appears, in the next any remarks, the judgment of the sin-
instant, by the agony in which Gora, gular scene, which shuts up together
who, on 'missing, has followed her, this Third Drama, and the Poem.
A wild, solitary place, surrounded by wood and rocks, with a hut.
The Countryman entering.
How beautiful day rises ! -Bounteous Gods !
After the tumult of this fearful night,
In freshen'd beauty lifts your Sun his head. [Goes into the hut. Jason (who, in the conflagration of the Palace, has been wounded on the head with a falling brand) enters, with unsteadfast steps, leaning upon his sword.
Jas. I can no farther.- Woe! my head !-it burns!
My blood's on fire. The tongue cleaves to my mouth.
None near?--Must I draw my last gasp alone?
Lo! here, the hut, which lent its sheltering roof,
When I, a rich man, lately a rich father,
Came hither, full of new-awaken'd hopes.
Only a drink !-only a place to die !
The Countryman comes out.
Countryman. Who knocks ?- Poor man !-what art thou, -death-
like faint ?
Jas. But water !-Give me but to drink!-I am Jason.
The Conqueror of the Fleece !-A prince: a king.
The Argonauts' famed leader :- Jason 1!
Countryman. Jason thou art?-Betake thee quickly hence !
Nor with thy foot pollute mine innocent house.
The daughter of my king thou hast brought to death:
Ask thou not succour at his people's door.
[He goes in, and shuts the door.
Jas. He goes, and leaves me lying by the way-side,
For the wayfaring foot to trample on.
Come, Death! I call thee. Take me to my children.
[Ho sinks upon the ground.
Media, entering past a rock, stands suddenly before him. She wears the
Golden Fleece as a mantle over her shoulders.
Jas. (supporting himself.) Who calls ?--Ha! do I see ? -Is it thou?
Horrible One !-Again appear’st thou to me?
-My sword !—My sword !
[He attempts to spring to his feel, but fulls back.
O grief !- My strengthless limbs
Refuse their office !-Shatter'd !-crush'd !-o'erthrown !
Med. Cease for thou touchest me not. I am reserved
A victim to another hand than thine.
Jas. What hast thou done with my children?
They are mine.
Jas. Where hast thou them?-Speak!
They have found the place
Where better 'tis with them than thee and me.
Jas. Dead !--they are dead! -
Worst ill to thee seems death.
I know a sharper :-to live miserable.
Had'st thou not prized life higher than life's worth,
Our lot were other. Therefore, now we bear.
-To them 'tis spared.
Thou say'st it, and art calm?
Med. Calm?-Calm !-Were not to thee this bosom shut
Still, as it ever was, thou shouldst see pain,
Endlessly tossing, like a surging sea;
That all the several parcels of my grief
Swallowing, in desolate night and horror wrapt,
Sweeps forth with them into the infinite deep.
- I weep not that our children are no more:
That they were ever, that we are, I mourn.
Jas. Woe is me!--Woe!
Thou, what falls on thee bear!
For, sooth! not undeserved it falls on thee.
As thou, before me, on the bare earth liest,
So lay I once in Colchis, thee before,
Beseeching thee forbearance ;-and in vain.
Guiltily, blindly, was thy hand put forth
To seize,-albeit I forewarn’d thee, death.
So take, what proudly, lightly, thou hast will'd, -
DEATA.-But from thee asunder now I go,
For evermore. Lo ! 'tis the last time, in all
The ever-flowing ages, the last hour,
That we two may change word with word, my husband !
O, farewell !-After all our earliest joy,
'Mid the thick woes now night-like round us stretch'd,
To the strange anguish, which the future bears,
I say, farewell! Thou once espoused, and mine!
A life of gloom and care is risen upon thee;
But whatsoever may betide, endure:
And be to suffer mightier than in deed.
Should pain go near to kill thee, think on me!
And in my more affliction, comfort thee,
Me, who have done, where thou but left'st to do.
Now go I forth, my huge and peerless grief
Carrying with me into the world's wide room.
A dagger's stroke were solace !-But not so !
Medea dies not by Medea's hand.
Mine earlier life hath of a better judge
Made me deserving, than she, fallen, is.
And I toward Delphi turn my steps-on the altar,
Whence erst the unhappy Phryxus ravish'd it,
To hang, to the dark God his own restoring,
The Fleece, on which not the dread flames had power,
Which issued whole, unscorch'd, and nothing dimm’d,
When fiery death o'er Corinth's princess rose.
Myself presenting to the Priests, there ask
If they receive this head in sacrifice,
Or bid me to the wilderness remote,
And longer punishment of longer life.
See! knowest thou the sign for which thou hast striven,
That was thy glory, and that seem'd thy bliss ?
-What is the bliss of this poor earth? -A shade.
-What is all glory of the earth ?-A dream.
Unfortunate! that hast of shadows dream'd.
The dream is at an end, and not the night.
-I leave thee, and am gone. Farewell, my husband !
We two, for mutual bale and dolour met,
In dolour and in bale depart. Farewell!
Jas. Bereaved and desolate! O my children!
Jas. Lost ! lost!
Be patient !
Could I die! Med.
Atone! I go. Thine eye henceforth sees me no more!
[As she is turning to go, the Curtain falls.
The Star of Evening glitters in the West
Look'st thou upon it from thy home afar?
Yes, look upon it-'tis the Lover's Star,
And speaks to all of beauty, bliss, and rest ;
Oh, loveliest of earth's creatures, to my heart
Bound by a thousand cords more dear than life,
When Day hath hush'd its labours and its strife,
Thus doth it soothe me, thus to roam apart,
From all, and muse on thee, for oh, more sweet
It is to ponder on thee, though unseen;-
It is to wander where thy steps have been
Than any other breathing form to meet.
Seest thou the clear Star, 'mid the blue serene,
Lone sitting thoughtful. in thy green retreat ?
'Tis midnight, and I stand beneath the stars,
Light of my life, musing on love and thee,
Ali-beautiful in thought
thou comest to me,
Heralding happiness 'mid Earth's loud jars :-
Yes, as the soldier, on the field of war,
In visions of the night, delights to see
The hallow'd fields of his nativity,
From which broad waves and lands his step debar-
So turn I to thee, my beloved-more dear
To my lorn heart, since thou art far away
More dear to me in absence, grief, and fear,
Than e'er thou wert in Fortune's sunniest day;
Yearning I pine, (would Heaven that thou wert near!)
Thy voice to list, thy blue eyes to survey !