Page images
PDF
[ocr errors]

Arnold. Away! they must not rally. Arnold. And my thirst increases ;-but Cæsar. I tell thee, be not rash; a golden I'll find a way to quench it. bridge

Cæsar. Or be queneh'd thyself? Is for a flying enemy. I gave thee

Arnold. The chance is even; we will A form of beauty, and an

throw Exemption from some maladies of body, The dice thereon. But I lose time in prating; But not of mind, which is not mine to give. Prithee be quick. But though I gave the form of Thetis' son,

[Cæsar binds on the scarf. I dipt thee not in Styx; and 'gainst a foe

And what dost thou so idly? I would not warrant thy chivalric heart Why dost not strike? More than Pelides' heel; why then, be

Cæsar. Your old philosophers cautious,

Beheld mankind, as mere spectators of And know thyself a mortal still.

| The Olympic games. When i behold a prize Arnold. And who

Worth wrestling for, I may be found a Mile With aught of soul would combat if he were Arnold. Aye, 'gainst an oak. Invulnerable? That were pretty sport. | Cæsar. A forest, when it suits me. Thinkst thou I beat for hares when lions I combat with a mass, or not at all.

Meantime, pursue thy sport as I do mine: [Arnold rushes into the combat. Which is just now to gaze, since all these Cæsar. A precious sample of humanity!

labourers
Well, his blood's up, and if a little's shed, Will reap my harvest gratis.
Twill serve to curb his fever.

Arnold. Thou art still
Arnold engages with a Roman, who | A Fiend!
retires towards a portico.

Cæsar. And thou--a man.
Arnold. Yield thee, slave!

Arnold. Why, such I fain would show me I promise quarter.

Cæsar. Trne--as men are. Roman. That's soon said.

Arnold. And what is that? Arnold. And done

Cæsar. Thou feelest and thou seest. My word is known.

(Erit Arnold, joining in the combat Roman. So shall be my deeds.

which still continues between detace[They re-engage. Cæsar comes forward.

ed parties. The Scene closes. Cæsar. Why, Arnold! Hold thine own; thou hast in hand

SCENE III.--St. Peter's. The Interior of A famous artizan, a cunning sculptor ; the Church. The Pope at the Altar. Priests, Also a dealer in the sword and dagger. crowding in confusion, and Citizens fiying Not so, my musqueteer; 'twas he who slew for refuge, pursued by Soldiery. The Bourbon from the wall. Arnold. Aye, did he so?

Enter CESAR. Then he hath carved his monument.

A Spanish Soldier. Down with then. Roman. I yet

comrades! seize upon these lamps! May live to carve your betters.

Cleave yon bald-pated shaveling to the Cæsar. Well said, my man of marble ! chine! Benvenuto,

His rosary's of gold! Thou hast some practice in both ways; Lutheran Soldier, Revenge! Revenge! and he

Plunder hereafter, but for vengeance novWho slays Cellini, will have work'd as hard Yonder stands Anti-Christ! As e'er thou didst upon Carrara's blocke. Cæsar (interposing). How now, SchisArnold disarms and wounds Cellini,

matic! but slightly; the latter draws a What wouldst thou ? pistol and fires; then retires and Lutheran Soldier. In the holy name of disappears through the portico.

Christ, Cæsar. How farest thou? Thou hast a Destroy proudAnti-Christ. I am a Christian taste, methinks,

Cæsar. Yea, a disciple that would make Of red Bellona's banquet.

the Founder Arnold (staggers). Tis a scratch. of your belief renounce it, could he see Lend me thy scarf. He shall not 'scape Such proselytes. Best stint thyself to me thus.

plunder. Cæsar. Where is it?

Lutheran Soldier. I say he is the Devil Arnold: In the shoulder,not the sword-arm, Cæsar. Hush! keep that secret, And that's enough. I am thirsty: would I Lest he should recognize you for his owa. had

Lutheran Soldier. Why would you save A helm of water!

him? I repeat he is Cæsar. That's a liquid now

The Devil, or the Devil's Vicar apon Earth. In requisition, but by no means easiest Casar. And that's the reason; vould To come at.

you make a quarrel

ith your best friends ? You had far best| Cæsar, And that were shame! Go to ! be quiet;

Assist in their conversion. is hour is not yet come.

[The Soldiers disperse; many quit the Lutheran Soldier. That shall be seen!

Church, others enter.
[The Lutheran Soldier rushes forward; Cæsar. They are gone,

a shot strikes him from one of the And others come: so flows the wave on wave
Pope's Guards, and he falls at the Of what these creatures call eternity,
foot of the Altar.

Deeming themselves the breakers of the Cæsar (to the Lutheran). I told you so.

ocean, Luthcran Soldier. And will you not While they are but its bubbles, ignorant avenge me?

That foam is their foundation. So, another! Cæsar. Not I! You know that “Vengeance is the Lord's :"

Enter Olimpia, Nying from the pursuit-She on see he loves no interlopers.'

springs upon the altar. Lutheran (dying). Oh!

Soldier. She's mine. lad I but slain him, I had gone on high, Another Soldier (opposing the former). rowned with eternal glory! Heaven, You lie, I track'd her first; and, were she forgive

The Pope's niece, I'll not yield her. ly feebleness of arm that reach'd him not,

[They fight. nd take thy servant to thy mercy. 'Tis Third Soldier (advancing towardsOlimpia) glorious triumph still; proud Babylon's

You may settle o more; the Harlot of the Seven Hills | Your claims ; I'll make mine good. Lath changed her scarlet raiment for sack- Olimpia. Infernal slave! cloth

Yon touch me not alive. ind ashes!

[The Lutheran dies. Third Soldier. Alive or dead! Cæsar. Yes, thine own amidst the rest. Olimpia (embracing a massive crucifix). Vell done, old Babel!

Respect your God!
(The Guards defend themselves des Third Soldier. Yes, when he shines in gold.

perately, while the Pontiff escapes, Girl, you but grasp your dowry.
by a private passage, to the Vati-

As he advances, Olimpia, with a strong can and the Castle of St. Angelo.

and sudden effort, casts down the Cæsar. Ha! right nobly battled !

crucifis; it strikes the Soldier, who low, Priest! now, Soldier! the two great

falls. professions,

Third Soldier. Oh, great God ! Cogether by the ears and hearts! I have not Olimpia. Ah! now you recognize him. leen a more comic pantomime since Titus Third Soldier. My brain's crushed! Cook Jewry. But the Romans had the best Comrades, help ho! All's darkness ! then;

fHe dies. Fow they must take their turn.

Other Soldiers (coming up). Šlay her, Soldiers. He hath escaped! Follow !

although she had a thousand lives: Another Soldier. They have barred the She hath killed our comrade. narrow passage up,

Olimpia. Welcome such a death! Ind it is clogged with dead even to the door. You have no life to give, which the worst Cæsar. I am glad he hath escaped: he

slave may thank me for't

Would take. Great God! through thy In part. I would not have his Bulls abo-1 redecming Son, lished- .

| And thy Son's Mother, now receive me as Twere worth one half our einpire : his I would approach thee, worthy her, and Indulgences

him, and thee! Demand some in return;-No, no, he must not Pall;-and besides, his now escape may

Enter ARNOLD. furnish

Arnold. What do I see? Accursed Jackalls! | future miracle, in future proof

Forbear! Of his infallibility. [To the Spanish Soldiers. Cæsar (aside, and laughing). Ha! ha! Well, Cut-throats!

here's equity! The dogs What do you pause for? If you make not Have as much right as he. But to the issue! haste,

Soldiers. Count, she hath slain our There will not be a link of pious gold left.

comrade. And you too, Catholics! Would ye return Arnold. With what weapon ? From such a pilgrimage without a relic? Soldier. The cross, beneath which he is l'he very Lutherans have more true devotion:

crushed; behold him See how they strip the shrines !

Lie there, more like a worm than man; Soldiers. By holy Peter!

she cast it He speaks the truth; the heretics will bear Upon his head. The best away.

| Arnold. Even so; there is a woman

Worthy a brave man's liking. Were ye No injury! – And now thon vouldst such,

preserve me, Ye would have honoured her. Bat get ye To be-but that shall never be! hence,

(She raises her cyes to Heaven, folda And thank your meanness, other God you

her robe round her, and prepares to hаvе поле,

dash herself down on the side of the For your existence. Had you touched a hair!

Altar opposite to that where Arnold or those dishevelled locks, I would have

stands. thinned

Arnold. Hold! hold! I swear. Your ranks more than the enemy Away! Olimpia. Spare thine already forfeit soul Ye Jackalls! gnaw the bones the lion leaves, A perjury for which even Hell would loathe But not even these till he permits.

thee. A Soldier (murmuring). The Lion I know thee. Might conquer for himself then.

| Arnold. No, thou know'st me not; I am not Arnold (cuts him down). Mutineer! of these men, though, Rebel in Hell-you shall obey on earth! Olimpia. I judge thee by thy mates;

The Soldiers assault Arnold. It is for God to judge thee as thou art. Come on! I'm glad on't! I will show you, I see thee purple with the blood of Rome; slaves,

Take mine, 'tis all thou e'er shalt have of me! How you should be commanded, and who And here, upon the marble of this temple, led you

Where the baptismal font baptised me God's, First o'er the wall you were as shy to scale, I offer him a blood less holy Until I waved my banners from its height, But not less pure (pure as it left me then, As you are bold within it.

A redeemed infant) than the holy water Arnold mows down the foremost; the The Saints have sanctified ! rest throw down their arms.

(Olimpia waves her hand to Arnold with Soldiers. Mercy! mercy!

disdain, and dashes herself or the Arnold. Then learn to grant it. Have

pavement from the Altar. I taught you who

Arnold. Eternal God! Led you o'er Rome's eternal battlements? I feel thee now! Help! Help! She's gone. Soldiers. We saw it, and we know it; Cæsar (approaches). I am here. yet forgive

Arnold. Thou! but oh, save her! A moment's error in the heat of conquest Cæsar (assisting him to raise Olimpia). The conquest which you led to.

She hath done it well; Arnold. Get you hence!

The leap was serious. Hence to your quarters! you will find them Arnold. Oh! she is lifeless! fixed

Cæsar. If In the Colonna-palace.

She be so, I have noaght to do with that: Olimpia (aside). In my father's house! The resurrection is beyond me. Arnold (to the Soldiers). Leave your Arnold. Slave!

arms; ye bave no further need Cæsar. Aye, slave or inaster, 'tis all Of such : the City's rendered. And mark well

one: methinks You keep your hands clean, or I'll find Good words, however, are as well at times. out a stream,

Arnold. Words!-Canst thou aid her? As red as Tiber now runs, for your baptism. Cæsar. I will try. A sprinkling Soldiers (deposing their arms and de- of that same holy water may be useful. parting). We obey!

[He brings some in his helmet from the font. Arnold (to Olimpia). Lady! you are safe. | Arnold. Tis mixed with blood. Olimpia. I should be so,

Cæsar. There is no cleaner now in Rome. Had I a knife even; but it matters not- Arnold. How pale! how beautiful! how Death hath a thousand gates; and on the

lifeless! marble,

Alive or dead, thou essence of all beauty, Even at the altar-foot, whence I look I love but thee! down

Cæsar. Even so Achilles loved Upon destruction, shall my head be dash'd, Penthesilea; with his form it seems Ere thou ascend it. God forgive thee, man! You have his heart, and yet it was nosoftone. Arnold. I wish to merit his forgiveness, Arnold.

Arnold.

She breathes!

She breathes! But no, 'twas and

nothing, or the last Thine own, although I have not injured Faint flutter life disputes with death. thee.

| Cæsar. She breathes. Olimpia. No! Thou hast only sacked my Arnold. Thou sayst it? Then 'tis trum. native land,

| Cæsar. You do me rightNo injury!-and made iny father's house The Devil speaks truth much oftener chwa A den of thieves- No injury!- this templo

he's deemed: Slippery with Roman and holy gore. I He hath an ignorant audience.

Arnold (without attending to him). Yes!! Arnold. Now onward, onward! Gently! her heart beats.

(Freunt, bearing Olimpio.The Scene as! that the first beat of the only heart

closes. ever wish'd to beat with mine, should

vibrate an assassin's pulse.

ACT IIL Cæsar. A sage reflexion, it somewhat late i’ the day. Where shall SCENE I.- A Castle in the Apennincs, surwe bear her!

rounded by a wild but smiling country. say she lives.

Chorus of Peasants singing before the Arnold. And will she livo?

Gates. Cæsar. As much

Chorus. dust can. Arnold. Then she is dead!

The wars are over, Caesar. Bah! bah! You are so,

The spring is come; ad do not know it. She will come to life The bride and her lover nch as you think so, such as you now are; Have sought their homo: nt we must work by human means. They are happy, we rejoice; Arnold. We will

Let their hearts have an echo in every voice! onvey her unto the Colonna-palaco, There I have pitched my banner.

The spring is come; the violet's gone, Cæsar. Come then! raise her up. The first-born child of the early sun; Arnold. Softly!

With us she is but a winter's flower, Cæsar. As softly as they bear the dead, The snow on the hills cannot blast her erhaps because they cannot feel the jolting.

bower, Arnold. But doth she live indeed? And she lifts up her dewy eye of blue Cæsar. Nay, never fear!

To the youngest sky of the self-same hue. ut if you rue it after, blame not me. Arnold. Let her but live!

And when the spring comes with her host Cæsar. The spirit of her life

Of flowers, that flower beloved the most yet witbin her breast, and may revive. Shrinks from the crowd that may confuge Count! Count! I am your servant in all Her heavenly odour and virgin hues. Í

things, ind this is a new office:- 'tis not oft Pluck the others, but still remember

am employed in such; but you perceive Their Herald out of dim December-
low stanch a friend is what you call a fiend. The morning-star of all the flowers,
On earth you have often only fiends for The pledge of day-light's lengthen'd hours;
friends;

Nor, 'midst the roses, e'er forget
Now I desert not mine. Soft! bear her hence, The virgin, virgin Violet.
The beautiful half-clay, and nearly spirit!
I am almost enamoured of her, as

Enter CÆSAR. of old the Angels of her earliest sex.

Cæsar (singing). The wars are all over, Arnold. Thou ! Cæsar. 1. But fear not. I'll not be

Our swords are all idle, your rival.

The steed bites the bridle, Arnold. Rival!

The casque's on the wall.
Cæsar. I could be one right formidable; I m

There's rest for the rover;
But since I slew the seven husbands of
Tobia's future bride (and after all

But his armour is rusty,
Twas sucked out by some incense) I have

And the veteran grows crusty, laid

As he yawns in the hall. Aside intrigue: 'tig rarely worth the trouble. He drinks—but what's drinking? of gaining, or-what is more difficult- A mere pause from thinking! Getting rid of your prize again for there's No bugle awakes him with lite-and-deathThe rub! at least to mortals.

call. Arnold. Prithee, peace! Softly! methinks her lips move, her eyes

But the hound bayeth loudly, Cæsar. Like stars, no doubt; for that's The boar 's in the wood, a metaphor

And the falcon longs proudly For Lucifer and Venus.

To spring from her hood: Arnold. To the palace

On the wrist of the noble Colonna, as I told you !

She sits like a crest, Cæsar. Oh! I know

And the air is in trouble My way through Rome.

With birds from their nest.

Chorus.

[ocr errors]

Cæsar. Oh! Shadow of glory!

Dim image of war!
But the chase hath no story,

Her hero no star,
Since Nimrod, the founder

Of empire and chase,
Who made the woods wonder,

And quake for their race.
When the Lion was young,

In the pride of his might, Then 'twas sport for the strong

To embrace him in fight; To go forth, with a pine

For a spear, 'gainst the Mammoth, Or strike through the ravine

At the foaming Bchemoth,
While Man was in stature

As towers in our time,
The first-born of Nature,
And, like her, sublime!

Chorus.
But the wars are uver,

The spring is come;
The bride and her lover

Have sought their home;
They are happy, and we rejoice;
Let their hearts have an echo from every

voice!

(Freunt the Peasantry, singing.

THE LAMENT OF TASSO.

Long years!—It tries the thrilling frame! But this is o'er my pleas int task is done.

to bear

My long-sustaining friend of many years! And eagle-spirit of a Child of song If I do blot thy final page with tears, Long years of outrage, calumny and wrong; Know that my sorrows have wrung from Impnted madness, prison'd solitude,

me none. And the mind's canker in its savage mood, But thou,my young creation! my soul's child! When the impatient thirst of light and air Which ever playing round me came and Parches the heart, and the abhorred grate,

smiled, Marring the sunbeamg with its hideous And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet shade,

sight, Works through the throbbing eyeball to Thou too art gone-and so is my delight:

the brain

And therefore do I weep and inly bleed With a hot sense of heaviness and pain, With this last bruise upon a broken reed. And bare, at once, Captivity display'd Thou too art ended-what is left me now! Stands scoffing through the never-open'

dFor I have anguish yet to bear-and how! gate,

I know not that, but in the innate force Which nothing through its bars admits, I of my own spirit shall be found resohret.

save day

I have not sunk, for I had no remorse, And tasteless food, which I have eat alone Nor cause for such: they call'd me madTill its unsocial bitterness is gone,

and why? And I can banquet like a beast of prey, I Oh Leonora! wilt not thou reply? Sullen and lonely, couching in the cave I was indeed delirious in my heart Which is my lair, and it may be - my grave: To lift my love so lofty as thou art; All this hath somewhat worn me, and may | But still my frenzy was not of the mind;

wear,

I knew my fault, and feel my punishment Bat must be borne. I stoop not to despair; Not less because I suffer it unbent. For I have battled with mine agony, That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind, And made me wings wherewith to overfly | Hath been the sin which shuts me from The narrow circus of my dungeon-wall,

mankind; And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall; But let them go, or torture as they will, And revell’d among men and things divine, My heart can multiply thine image still; And pour'd my spirit over Palestine, Saccessful love may sate itself away, In honour of the sacred war for him, The wretched are the faithful; 'tis their fate The God who was on earth and is in heaven, To have all feeling save the one decay, For he hath strengthend me in heart and And every passion into one dilate,

| As rapid rivers into ocean pour; That through this sufferance I might be Bit ours is fathomless, and hath no shore.

forgiven, I have employ'd my penance to record How Salem's shrine was won, and how Above me, hark! the long and maniac

adored.

Jof minds and bodies in captivity.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »