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low the attempt ; a hundred thousand arms would be / proach him. Reynold, thinkest thou not we could raised against thy life; every morsel thou didst taste, send one of the troopers, disguised as a monk, to aid every drop which thou didst drink, the very breeze of Martin in making his escape ? heaven that fanned thee, would come loaded with de Rey. Noble sir, the followers of your house are so struction. One chance of safety is open :-obey the well known to those of Maltingen, that I fear it is
impossible. Isa. And perish.—Yet why should I still fear death? Geo. Knowest thou of no stranger who might be Be it so.
employed ? His reward shall exceed even his hopes. Geo. No-I have sworn to save you. I will not do Rey. So please you-I think the minstrel could the work by halves. Does any one save Martin know well execute such a commission : he is shrewd and of the dreadful deed ?
cunning, and can write and read like a priest. Isa. None.
Geo. Call him (Exit Rey.) If this fails, I must emGeo. Then go-assert your innocence, and leave ploy open force. Were Martin removed, no tongue the rest to me.
can assert the bloody truth. Isa. Wretch that I am! How can I support the task
Enter MIXSTREL. you would impose?
Geo. Think on my father. Live for him : he will Geo. Come hither, Minhold. Hast thou courage need all the comfort thou canst bestow. Let the to undertake a dangerous enterprise? thought that his destruction is involved in thine, Ber. My life, sir knight, has been one scene of carry thee through the dreadful trial.
danger and of dread. I have forgotten how to sear. Isa. Be it so.-For Rudiger I have lived : for him Geo. Thy speech is above thy seeming.–Who art I will continue to bear the burden of existence : but thou ? the instant that my guilt comes to his knowledge shall Ber. An unfortunate knight, obliged to shroud be the last of my life. Ere I would bear from him myself under this disguise. one glance of hatred or of scorn, this dagger should Geo. What is the cause of thy misfortunes? drink my blood. (Puts the poniard into her bosom.) Ber. I slew, at a tournament, a prince, and was
Geo. Fear not. He can never know. No evidence laid under the ban of the empire. shall appear against you.
Geo. I have interest with the emperor. Swear to Isa. How shall I obey the summons, and where find perform what task I shall impose on thee, and I will the terrible judgment-seat?
procure the recall of the ban. Geo. Leave that to the judges. Resolve but to Ber. I swear. obey, and a conductor will be found. Go to the cha Geo. Then take the disguise of a monk, and go pel; there
your sins and mine. (Ile leads her with the follower of Count Roderic, as if to confess out, and returns )—Sins, indeed ! I break a dreadful my wounded squire Martin. Give him thy dress, and vow, but I save the life of a parent; and the penance remain in prison in his stead. Thy captivity shall I will do for my perjury shall appal even the judges be short, and I pledge my knightly word I will laof blood.
bour to execute my promise, when thou shalt have Enter REYNOLD.
leisure to unfold thy history.
Ber. I will do as you direct. Is the life of your Rey. Sir knight, the messenger of Count Roderic
squire in danger ? desires to speak with you.
Geo. It is, unless thou canst accomplish his release. Geo. Admit him.
Ber. I will essay it.
Geo. Such are the mean expedients to which George Hugo, Count Roderic of Maltingen greets you. He of Aspen must row resort. No longer can I debate says he will this night hear the bat slutter and the with Roderic in the field. The depraved—the perowlet scream; and he bids me ask if thou also wilt jured knight must contend with him only in the arts listen to the music.
of dissimulation and treachery. Oh, mother! moGeo. I understand him. I will be there.
ther! the most bitter consequence of thy crime has Hugo. And the count says to you, that he will not been the birth of thy first-born! But I must warn ransom your wounded squire, though you would down. my brother of the impending storm. Poor Henry, weigh his best horse with gold. But you may send low little can thy gay temper anticipate evil! What, bim a confessor, for the count says he will need one. ho there! (Enter an Attendant.) Where is Baron Geo. Is he so near death ?
Henry? Hugo. Not as it seems to me. He is weak through All. Noble sir, he rode forth, after a slight reloss of blood; but since his wound was dressed he freshment, to visit the party in the field. can both stand and walk. Our count has a notable
Geo. Saddle my steed! I will follow him. balsam, which has recruited him much.
All. So please you, your noble father has twice deGeo. Enough–I will send a priest.-(Exit Hugo). manded your presence at the banquet. I fathom his plot. He would add another witness to Geo. It matters not-say that I have ridden forth the tale of Martin's guilt. But no priest shall ap to the Wolfsbill. Where is thy lady?
All. In the chapel, sir knight.
Arnolf of Ebersdorf, first husband of the Baroness Geo. 'Tis well-saddle my bay horse-(apart) for Isabella of Aspen! the last time.
Ber. The saine. (Erit.
Rod. Who, in a quarrel at a tournament, many
years since, slew a blood-relation of the emperor, ACT IV.
and was laid under the ban ?
Ber. The same.
Rod. And who has now, in the disguise of a priest, The wood of Griefenhaus, with the ruins of the castle. A nearer aided the escape of Martin, squire to George of Asview of the castle than in Act Second, but still at some
Ber. The same—the same. Enter RODERIC, WOLFSTEIN, and Soldiers, as from a Rod. Then, by the holy cross of Cologne, thou hast reconnoitring party.
set at liberty the murderer of thy brother Arnolf!
Ber. How! What! I understand thee not! Wolf. They mean to improve their success, and
Rod. Miserable plotter!—Martin, by his own conwill push their advantage far. We must retreat be
fession, as Wolfstein heard, avowed having aided Isatimes, Count Roderic.
bella in the murder of her husband. I had laid such Rod. We are safe here for the present. They make no immediate motion of advance. I fancy shudder. And thou hast counteracted it—thou, the
a plan of vengeance as should have made all Germany neither George nor Henry are with their party in the brother of the murdered Arnolf! wood. Enter Hugo.
Ber. Can this be so, Wolfstein ?
Wolf. I heard Martin confess the murder. Hugo. Noble sir, how shall I tell what has hap Ber. Then am I indeed unfortunate! pened?
Rod. What, in the name of evil, brought thee here? Rod. What?
Ber. I am the last of my race.
When I was outHugo. Martin has escaped.
lawed, as thou knowest, the lands of Ebersdorf, my Rod. Villain! thy life shall pay it! (Strikes at rightful inheritance, were declared forfeited, and the Hugo-is held by WOLFSTEIN.)
Emperor bestowed them upon Rudiger when he marWolf. Hold, hold, Count Roderic! Hugo may be ried Isabella. I attempted to defend my domain, but blameless.
Rudiger-Hell thank him for it-enforced the ban Rod. Reckless slave ! how came he to escape ? against me at the head of his vassals, and I was con
Hugo. Under the disguise of a monk's babit, whom strained to fly. Since then I have warred against the by your orders we brought to confess him.
Saracens in Spain and Palestine. Rod. Has he been long gone !
Rod. But why didst thou return to a land where Hugo. An hour and more since he passed our sen death attends thy being discovered ? tinels, disguised as the chaplain of Aspen : but he
Ber. Impatience urged me to see once more the walked so slowly and feebly, I think he cannot yet land of my nativity, and the towers of Ebersdorf. I have reached the posts of the enemy.
came there yesterday, under the name of the minstrel Rod. Where is the treacherous priest ?
Minhold. Hugo. He waits his doom not far from hence. Rod. And what prevailed on thee to undertake to
deliver Martin? Rod. Drag him hither. The miscreant that snatched
Ber. George, though I told not my name, engaged the morsel of vengeance from the lion of Maltingen, to procure the recall of the ban; besides, he told me shall expire under torture.
Martin's life was in danger, and I accounted the old
villain to be the last remaining follower of our house, Re-enter Hugo, with BERTRAM and Attendants.
But, as God shall judge me, the tale of horror thou Rod. Villain! what tempted thee, under the garb bast mentioned I could not have even suspected. Reof a minister of religion, to steal a criminal from the port ran, that my brother died of the plague. hand of justice?
Wolf. Raised for the purpose, doubtless, of preBer. I am no villain, Count Roderic; and I only venting attendance upon his sick-bed, and an inspecaided the escape of one wounded wretch whom thoution of his body. didst mean to kill basely.
Ber. My vengeance shall be dreadful as its cause! Rod. Liar and slave! thou hast assisted a mur The usurpers of my inheritance, the robbers of my derer, upon whom justice had sacred claims.
honour, the murderers of my brother, shall be cut Ber. I warn thee again, count, that I am neither off, root and branch! liar not slave. Shortly I hope to tell thee I am once Rod. Thou art, then, welcome here; especially if more thy equal.
thou art still a true brother to our invisible order. Rod. Thou! Thou!-
Ber. I am. Ber. Yes! the name of Bertram of Ebersdorf was Rod. There is a meeting this night on the business once not unknown to thee.
of thy brother's death. Some are now come.
I Rod. (astonished.) Thou Bertram! the brother of I must despatch them in pursuit of Martin.
them with safety ? Accursed be the hour in which I
entered the labyrinth, and doubly accursed that, in Hugo. The foes advance, sir knight.
which thou too must lose the cheerful sunshine of a Rod. Back ! back to the ruins! Come with us, Ber
soul without a mystery! tram; on the road thou shalt hear the dreadful history.
Hen. Yet for thy sake will I be a member.
Geo. Henry, thou didst rise this morning a fræ From the opposite side enter George, Henry, WICKERD,
No one could say to thee, “Why dost thor CONRAD, and Soldiers.
so?”. Thou layest thee down to-night the veriest Geo. No news of Martin yet?
slave that ever tugged at an oar-the slave of men Wic. None, sir knight.
whose actions will appear to thee savage and incomGeo. Nor of the minstrel ?
prehensible, and whom thou must aid against the Wic. None.
world, upon peril of thy throat. Geo. Then he has betrayed me, or is prisoner Hen. Be it so, I will share your lot. misery either way. Begone and search the wood, Geo. Alas, Henry! Heaven forbid! But since thou Wickerd.
[Exeunt WICKERD and followers. hast by a hasty word fettered thyself, I will avail myHen. Still this dreadful gloom on thy brow, brother ? self of thy bondage. Mount thy fleetest steed, and Geo. Ay! what else ?
hie thee this very night to the Duke of Bavaria. He Hen. Once thou thoughtest me worthy of thy friend is chief and paramount of our chapter. Show him ship.
this signet and this letter; tell him that matters will Geo. Henry, thou art young
be this night discussed concerning the house of AsHen. Shall I therefore betray thy confidence ? pen. Bid him speed him to the assembly, for he well
Geo. No! but thou art gentle and well-natured. knows the president is our deadly foe. He will adThy mind cannot even support the burden which mit thee a member of our holy body. mine must bear, far less wilt thou approve the means Hen. Who is the foe whom
dread ? I shall use to throw it off.
Geo. Young man, the first duty thou must learn is Hen. Try me.
implicit and blind obedience. Geo. I may not.
Hen. Well! I shall soon return and see thee again. Hen. Then thou dost no longer love me.
Geo. Return, indeed, thou wilt; but for the rest Geo. I love thee, and because I love thee, I will not - well! that matters not. involve thee in
Hen. I go : thou wilt set a watch here?
Geo. I will. (HENRY is going.) Return, my dear Geo. Shouldst thou share it, it would be doubled to Henry; let me embrace thee, shouldst thou not see me !
me again. Hen. Fear not, I will find a remedy.
Hen. Heaven! what mean you ? Geo. It would cost thee peace of mind, here, and Geo. Nothing. The life of mortals is precarious; hereafter.
and, should we not meet again, take my blessing and Hen. I take the risk.
this embrace—and this—embraces him warmly). And Geo. It may not be, Henry. Thou wouldst become now haste to the duke. (Eril HENRY.) Poor youth, the confidant of crimes past--the accomplice of others thou little knowest what thou hast undertaken. But to come.
if Martin has escaped, and if the duke arrives, they Hen. Shall I guess ?
will not dare to proceed without proof. Geo. I charge thee, no!
Re-enter WICKERD and followers.
Wic. We have made a follower of Maltingen priHen. Is it not so?
soner, Baron George, who reports that Martin bas Geo. Dost thou know what the discovery has cost escaped. thee?
Geo. Joy! joy! such joy as I can now feel! Set Hen. I care not.
him free for the good news-and, Wickerd, keep a Geo. He who discovers any part of our mystery
good watch in this spot all night. Send out scouts must himself become one of our number.
to find Martin, lest he should not be able to reach Hen. How so?
Ebersdorf. Geo. If he does not consent, bis secrecy will be
Wic. I shali, noble sir. speedily ensured by his death. To that we are sworn
[The kettle-drums and trumpets flourish as -take thy choice!
for setting the watch : the scene closes. Ilen. Well, are you not banded in secret to punish those offenders whom the sword of justice cannot reach, or who are shielded from its stroke by the
The chapel al Ebersdorf, un ancient Gothic building. buckler of power? Geo. Such is indeed the purpose of our fraternity;
ISABELLA is discovered rising from before the allar, on
which burn two tapers. but the end is pursued through paths dark, intricate, and slippery with blood. Who is he that shall tread Isa. I cannot pray. Terror and guilt have stilled
devotion. The heart must be at ease-the hands Upon the Rhine they cluster :
Oh, blessed be the Rhine! must be pure when they are lifted to Heaven. Midnight is the hour of summons: it is now near. How
Let fringe and furs, and many a rabbit skin, sirs,
Bedeck your Saracen; can I pray, when I go resolved to deny a crime which
He'll freeze without whal warms our hearts within, sirs, every drop of my blood could not wash away! And
When the night-frost crusts the fen. my son! Oh! he will fall the victim of my crime!
But on the Rhine, but on the Rhine they cluster, Arnolf! Arnolf! thou art dreadfully avenged! (Tap
The grapes of juice divine, at the door.) The footstep of my dreadful guide. That make our troopers' frozen courage muster : (Tap again.) My courage is no more. (Enter GER
Oh, blessed be the Rhine! TRUDE by the door.) Gertrude! is it only thou? (em
Con. Well sung, Wickerd; thou wert ever a jobraces her.)
vial soul. Ger. Dear aunt, leave this awful place; it chills
Enter a trooper or two more. my very blood. My uncle sent me to call you to the hall.
Wic. Hast thou made the rounds, Frank ? Isa. Who is in the ball ?
Frank. Yes, up to the hemlock marsh. It is a Ger. Only Reynold and the family, with whom my stormy night; the moon shone on the Wolfshill, and uncle is making merry.
on the dead bodies with which to-day's work has Isa. Sawest thou no strange faces ?
covered it. We heard the spirit of the house of MalGer. No; none but friends.
tingen wailing over the slaughter of its adherents : Isa. Art thou sure of that ? Is George there? I durst go no farther.
Ger. No, nor Henry; both have ridden out. I Wic. Hen-hearted rascal! The spirit of some old think they might have staid one day at least. But raven, who was picking their bones. come, aunt, I hate this place; it reminds me of my Con. Nay, Wickerd ; the churchmen say there are dream. See, yonder was the spot where methought such things. they were burying you alive, below yon monument Frank. Ay; and Father Ludovic told us last ser(pointing).
mon, how the devil twisted the neck of ten farmers Isa. (starting.) The monument of my first hus- at Kletterbach, who refused to pay Peter's pence. band. Leave me, leave me, Gertrude. I follow in Wic. Yes, some church devil, no doubt. a moment. (Exit GERTRUDE.) Ay, there he lies ! for Frank. Nay, old Reynold says, that in passing, getful alike of his crimes and injuries! Insensible, by midnight, near the old chapel at our castle, he saw as if this chapel had never rung with my shrieks, or it all lighted up, and heard a chorus of voices sing the castle resounded to his parting groans! When
the funeral service. shall I sleep so soundly? (As she gazes on the mo
Another Soldier. Father Ludovic heard the same. nument, a figure musled in black appears from behind Wic. Hear me, ye hare-livered boys ! Can you
look it.) Merciful God! is it a vision, such as has haunted death in the face in battle, and dread such nursery my couch? (It approaches: she goes on with mingled bugbears ? Old Reynold saw his vision in the strength terror and resolution.) Ghastly phantom, art thou of the grape. As for the chaplain, far be it from me the restless spirit of one who died in agony, or art to name the spirit which visits him; but I know what thou the mysterious being that must guide me to the I know, when I found himn confessing Bertrand's presence of the avengers of blood ? (Figure bends pretty Agnes in the chestnut grove. its head and beckons.) — To-morrow! to-morrow! 1 Con. But, Wickerd, though I have often heard of cannot follow thee now! (Figure shows a dagger strange tales which I could not credit, yet there is from beneath its cloak.) Compulsion ! I understand one in our family so well attested, that I almost bethee: I will follow. (She follows the figure a little lieve it. Shall I tell it you ? way; he turns, and wraps a black veil round her All Soldiers. Do! do tell it, gentle Conrad. head, and takes her hand : then both exeunt behind Wic. And I will take t'other sup of Rhenish to The monument.)
fence against the horrors of the tale.
Con. It is about my own uncle and godfather, Albert of Horsheim.
Wic. I have seen him—he was a gallant warrior. The Wood of Griefenhaus.
Con. Well ! He was long absent in the Bohemian A watch-fire, round which sit WICKERD, CONRAD, and wars. In an expedition he was benighted and came others, in their watch-cloaks.
to a lone house on the edge of a forest : he and his
followers knocked repeatedly for entrance in vain. Wic. The night is bitter cold. Con. Ay, but thou hast lined thy doublet well with They forced the door, but found no inhabitants.
Frank. And they made good their quarters ? old Rhenish.
Con. They did : and Albert retired to rest in an Wic. True; and I'll give ye warrant for it. (Sings.)
upper chamber. Opposite to the bed on which he (RHEIN-WEIN LEID.)
threw himself was a large mirror. At midnight he What makes the troopers' frozen courage muster?
was awaked by deep groans : he cast his eyes upon The grapes of juice divine.
the mirror, and saw-
Frank. Sacred Heaven! Heard you nothing ? 1 Mar. Yes, you are the butler at Ebersdorf: you
Wic. Ay, the wind among the withered leaves. Go have the charge of the large gilded cup, embossed on, Conrad. Your uncle was a wise man.
with the figures of the twelve apostles. It was the Con. That's more than grey hairs can make other favourite goblet of my old master. folks.
Con. By our Lady, Martin, thou must be distracted Wic. Ha ! stripling, art thou so malapert? Though indeed, to think our master would intrust Wickerd thou art Lord Henry's page, I shall teach thee who with the care of the cellar. commands this party.
Mar. I know a face so like the apostate Judas on All Soldiers. Peace, peace, good Wickerd; let that cup. I have seen the likeness when I gazed on Conrad proceed.
a mirror. Con. Where was I ?
Wic. Try to go to sleep, dear Martin ; it will reFrank. About the mirror.
lieve thy brain. (Footsteps are heard in the wood.) Con. True. My uncle beheld in the mirror the To your arms. (They take their arms.) reflection of a human face, distorted and covered with
Enter two Members of the Invisible Tribunal, muffled in blood. A voice pronounced articulately, “ It is yet
their cloaks. time.” As the words were spoken, my uncle discerned in the ghastly visage the features of his own Con. Stand! Who are ye? father.
1 Mem. Travellers benighted in the wood. Soldier. Hush! By St. Francis I heard groan. Wic. Are ye friends to Aspen or Maltingen ? (They start up all but WICKERD.)
1 Mem. We enter not into their quarrel : we are Wic. The croaking of a frog, who has caught cold friends to the right. in this bitter night, and sings rather more hoarsely Wic. Then are ye friends to us, and welcome to than usual.
pass the night by our fire. Frank. Wickerd, thou art surely no Christian. 2 Mem. Thanks. (They approach the fire, and re(They sit down, and close round the fire.)
gard Marlin very earnestly.) Con. Well-my uncle called up his attendants, and Con. Hear ye any news abroad? they searched every nook of the chamber, but found 2 Mem. None; but that oppression and villany are nothing. So they covered the mirror with a cloth, rife and rank as ever. and Albert was left alone : but hardly had be closed Wic. The old complaint. his eyes when the same voice proclaimed, “ It is now 1 Mem. No! never did former age equal this in too late;” the covering was drawn aside, and he saw wickedness; and yet, as if the daily commission of the figure-
enormities were not enough to blot the sun, every Frank. Merciful Virgin! It comes. (All rise.) hour discovers crimes which have lain concealed for Wic. Where? what?
years. Con. See yon figure coming from the thicket.
Con. Pity the holy Tribunal should slumber in its
office. Enter MARTIN, in the monk's dress, much disordered :
2 Mem. Young man, it slumbers not. When crihis face is very pale, and his steps slow.
minals are ripe for its vengeance, it falls like the bolt Wic. (levelling his pike.) Man or devil, which thou of Heaven. wilt, thou shalt feel cold iron, if thou budgest a foot Mar. (attempting to rise.) Let me be gone. (Martin stops.) Who art thou ? What dost
Con. (detaining him.) Whither now, Martin ? thou seek ?
Mar. To mass. Mar. To warm myself at your fire. It is deadly cold. 1 Mem. Even now, we heard a tale of a villain, who,
Wic. See there, ye cravens, your apparition is a ungrateful as the frozen adder, stung the bosom that poor benighted monk : sit down, father. (They place bad warmed him into life. Marlin by the fire.) By heaven, it is Martin-our Mar
Mar. Conrad, bear me off; I would be away from tin! Martin, how fares it with thee? We have sought these men. thee this whole night.
Con. Be at ease, and strive to sleep. Mar. So have many others (vacantly).
Mar. Too well I know-I shall never sleep again. Con. Yes, thy master.
2 Mem. The wretch of whom we speak became, Mar. Did you see him too?
from revenge and lust of gain, the murderer of the Con. Whom? Baron George?
master whose bread he did eat. Mar. No! my first master, Arnolf of Ebersdorf Wic. Out upon the monster! Wic. He raves.
1 Mem. For nearly thirty years was he permitted Mar. He passed me but now in the wood, mounted to cumber the ground. The miscreant thought his upon his old black steed; its nostrils breathed smoke crime was concealed; but the earth which groaned and flame ; neither tree nor rock stopped him. He said, under bis footsteps—the winds which passed over “ Martin, thou wilt return this night to my service!” | his unhallowed head—the stream which he polluted
Wic. Wrap thy cloak around bim, Francis; he is by his lips—the fire at which he warmed his blooddistracted with cold and pain. Post thou not recol- stained bands-every element bore witness to bis old friend?