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All the long day, from yester-morn to evening,
Nay! to my poor fancy
The royal court would seem an earthly heaven,
Ah, Glycine! why,
why did you then betroth yourself:
Yes, at my lord's request, but never wish'd,
Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine,
[Angry voices and clamour within, re-enter Glycine.
Glycine. Oh, madam there's a party of your servants, And my lord's steward, Laska, at their head, Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Bethlen, that brave young man!'t was he, my lady, That took our parts, and beat off the intruders; And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. Pray don't believe them, madam . This way! This way! Lady Sarolta's here. [Calling without. SAtto LTA. Be calm, Glycine.
Enter LAskA and Servants with Old BATHoay.
LAsKA (to BATHoRY). We have no concern with you! What needs your presence 2 old B.Athony. what! Do you think I'll suffer my brave boy To be slander'd by a set of coward-ruffians, And leave it to their malice,—yes, mere malice!— To tell its own tale 2 [LAskA and Servants bow to LADY SAnolta. sAR OLt.A. Laska What may this mean? LAsk A (pompously, as commencing a set speech). Madam ' and may it please your ladyship ! This old man's son, by name Bethlen Bathory, Stands charged, on weighty evidence, that he, On yester-eve, being his lordship's birth-day, Did traitorously defame Lord Casimir : The lord high-steward of the realm, moreover—— SA no Lt.A. Be brief ? We know his titles' LASKA.
And moreover Raved like a traitor at our liege King Emerick. And furthermore, said witnesses make oath, Led on the assault upon his lordship's servants; Yea, insolently tore, from this, your huntsman,
His badge of livery of your noble house,
And trampled it in scorn.
GLY cine. Yes! good old man My lady! pray believe him 8A Ro Lt.A. Ilush, Glycine ! Be silent, I command you. Speak' we hear you! oi, to bathony. My tale is brief. During our festive dance, Your servants, the accusers of my son, Offer'd gross insults, in unmanly sort, To our village maidens. Ile (could he do less?) Rose in defence of outraged modesty, And so persuasive did his cudgel prove (Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women Are always cowards), that they soon took flight, And now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words Which their own threats provoked. SAR olta. Old man! you talk Too bluntly" Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house? old B.Attu on Y. Even such respect As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath began to worry the poor lambs' L'Ask A. Old insolent ruffian' Give in e. Pardon pardon, madam I saw the whole affray. The good old man Means no offence, sweet lady!—You, yourself, Laska know well, that these men were the ruffians! Shame on you ! sarolta (speaks with affected anger). What! Glycine? Go, retire [Exit Glycine, mournfully. Be it then that these men faulted. Yet yourself, Or better still belike the maidens' parents, Might have complain'd to us. Was ever access Denied you? Or free audience? Or are we Weak and unfit to punish our own servants? old batti on Y. So then . So then Heaven grant an old man patience! And must the gardener leave his seedling plants, Leave his young roses to the rooting swine, While he goes ask their master, if perchance His leisure serve to scourge them from their ravage LASkA. Ho! Take the rude clown from your lady's presence! I will report her further will ! SA Rol.T.A. Wait then, Till thou hast learnt it! Fervent good old man : Forgive me that, to try thee, I put on A face of sternness, alien to my meaning ! [Then speaks to the Servants. Hence! leave my presence! and you, Laska! mark me! Those rioters are no longer of my household ! If we but shake a dew-drop from a rose In vain would we replace it, and as vainly Restore the tear of wounded modesty To a maiden's eye familiarized to licence.— But these men, Laska–
[Then to Bathony.
laska (aside). Yes, now "t is coming. s.A holt A. Brutal aggressors first, then baffled dastards, That they have sought to piece out their revenge With a tale of words lured from the lips of anger Stamps them most dangerous; and till I want Fit means for wicked ends, we shall not need Their services. Discharge them You, Bathory ! Are henceforth of my household I shall place you Near my own person. When your son returns, Present him to us! old e A Thott Y. Ha! what, strangers' here ! What business have they in an old man's eye? Your goodness, lady—and it came so sudden— I can not—must not—let you be deceived. I have yet another tale, but— [Then to Sanolta aside. Not for all ears' sA Rolt A. I oft have pass'd your cottage, and still praised Its beauty, and that trim orchard-plot, whose blossoms The gusts of April shower'd aslant its thatch. Come, you shall show it me! And while you bid it Farewell, be not ashamed that I should witness The oil of gladness glittering on the water Of an ebbing grief. [BAT hoax bowing, shows her into his cottage. LAsk A (alone). Wexation baffled' school'd Ho! Laska! wake! why? what can all this mean? She sent away that cockatrice in anger! Oh the false witch! It is too plain, she loves him. And now, the old man near my lady's person, She'll see this Bethlen hourly! [Laska flings himself into the seat. Glycine peeps in timidly. GLY cine. Laska Laska' Is my lady gone? laska (surlily). Gone. Glycine. Have you yet seen him? Is he return'd? [LAskA starts up from his seat. Has the seat stung you, Laska: l, AskA. No, serpent! no; "t is you that sting me; you! What! you would cling to him again! glycine. Whom 2 LASKA. Bethlen ' Bethlen." Yes; gaze as if your very eyes embraced him Ha! you forget the scene of yesterday ! Mute ere he came, but then—Out on your screams, And your pretended fears! GLY cine. Your fears, at least, Were real, Laska! or your trembling limbs And white checks played the hypocrites most vilely
'Refers to the lear, which he feels starting in his eye. The following line was borrowed unconsciously from Mr Wordsworth's Eacursion.
BETulen (muttering aside).
Enter from the Cottage SAnolta and Bathony.
SAno Lt.A. Go, seek your son I need not add, be speedy— You here, Glycine? gi, Yoine. Pardon, pardon, Madam : If you but saw the old man's son, you would not, You could not have him harm'd. SAROL ta. Be calm, Glycine! GLY cine. No, I shall break my heart. SAnolta (taking her hand). Ha! is it so? O strange and hidden power of sympathy, That of like fates, though all unknown to each, Dost make blind instincts, orphan's heart to orphan's Drawing by dim disquiet! GLY cine. Old Bathory— SAn olt A. Seeks his brave son. Come, wipe away thy tears. Yes, in good truth, Glycine, this same Bethlen Seems a most noble and deserving youth. GLY cine. My lady does not mock met SAR olt A. Where is Laska? Has he not told thee? GLY cine. Nothing. In his fear— Anger, I mean—stole off—I am so flutter’d— Left me abruptly— SA Rolt.A. His shame excuses him He is somewhat hardly task'd; and in discharging His own tools, cons a lesson for himself. Bathory and the youth henceforward live Safe in my lord's protection. GLY cine. The saints bless you! Shame on my graceless heart! How dared I fear Lady Sarolta could be cruel!
SAR out A. Come, Be yourself, girl! Glycine. O, "t is so full here! [At her hea, ". And now it can not harm him if I tell you, That the old man's sonSARG1.T.A. Is not that old man's son: A destiny, not unlike thine own, is his. For all I know of thee is, that thou art A soldier's orphan: left when rage intestine Shook and engulf'd the pillars of Illyria. This other fragment, thrown back by that same earthquake, This, so mysteriously inscribed by nature, Perchance may piece out and interpret thine. Command thyself! Be secret! His true father—— Hear'st thou? Glycine (eagerly). O tell– Bethlen (who had overheard the last few words, now rushes out). Yes, tell me, Shape from heaven! Who is my father sabolta (gazing with surprise). Thine? Thy father? Rise - GLY cine. Alas! He hath alarm'd you, my dear lady! SAROLTA. His countenance, not his act! GLY cine. Rise, Bethlen: Rise! Bethlen. No ; kneel thou too ! and with thy orphan's tongue Plead for me! I am rooted to the earth, And have no power to rise! Give me a father! There is a prayer in those uplifted eyes That seeks high Heaven! But I will overtake it, And bring it back, and make it plead for me In thine own heart : Speak! speak! Restore to me A name in the world! sArto Lt.A. By that blest Heaven I gazed at, I know not who thou art. And if I knew, Dared I–But rise! Bethlen. Blest spirits of my parents, Ye hover o'er me now! Yeshine upon me ! And like a flower that coils forth from a ruin, I feel and seek the light, I cannot see! SAtto Lt.A. Thou see'st yon dim spot on the mountain's ridge, But what it is thou know's not. Even such Is all I know of thee—haply, brave youth, Is all Fate makes it safe for thee to know! B Erh iE N. Safe: safe! 0 let me then inherit danger, And it shall be my birth-right! SA Rolt A (aside). That look again!— The wood which first incloses, and then skirts The highest track that leads across the mountains— Thou know'st it, Bethlen? Beth Len. Lady, 't was my wont
To roam there in my childhood oft alone,
I am stone, cold stone.
SAn olt A.
Ilid in a brake hard by,
Scarce by both palms supported from the earth,
And dost forget thou wert a helpless infant!
bettit, en. What else can I remember, but a mother Mangled and left to perish
It is the ground-swell of a teeming instinct:
And I would seek her! for she is not dead She can not die! O pardon, gracious lady; You were about to say, that he return’d— SAROLTA. Deep Love, the godlike in us, still believes, Its objects as immortal as itself! Bethlen. And found her still— SAnot.T.A. Alas! he did return : He left no spot unsearch'd in all the forest, But she (I trust me by some friendly hand) Had been borne off. Bethlen. O whither? GLY cine. Dearest Bethlen? I would that you could weep like me! O do not Gaze so upon the air! sanolra (continuing the story). While he was absent, A friendly troop, "t is certain, scour'd the wood, Hotly pursued indeed by Emerick. setti Len. Emerick. Oh Hell! glycine (to silence him). Bethlen! Bethlen.
This gracious lady must hear blessings only.