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Agnes. You misconstrue my hesila Aynes. The country hereabout is very tion.
wild. That mill, yonder in the valley, Peter. You need only say, Yes or No. sounds fearfully in this solitude. Ah! All the rest is but the preface to these. see, yonder are my brothers riding up the Now, lady.
mountain side. Agnes. I must have time. The lone Peter. My eyes do not reach so far. liness of your castle, too, terrifies me. Agnes. As I rode down I did not think
Peter. That can be easily remedied. the spot was so near where we were to If my society be not enough, we can in part. vite company, people of all kinds Peter. Drive these things out of your though you will soon tire of them.
But thoughts. time will not hang heavy on your hands. Agnes. Before I had ever travelled, If you love novelties or strange curiosi- there was nothing I longed for so anxiousties, you will find plenty at my castle, ly as a long journey; I thought of nowhich will employ you long enough. In thing but beautiful, incredibly beautiful, my travels and in my campaigns, I have countries, castles and towers with wonpicked up many things which amuse even drous battlements, their gilded roofs me in an idle hour.
sparkling in the morning sun; steep rocks, Agnes. May I take my sister Anne and wide prospects from their tops; alwith me?
ways new faces; leafy forests, and lonely Peter. With much pleasure, if she will winding footpaths, through green labyaccompany you."
rinths echoing to the nightingale's song: The consent is at last given--the and now, every thing is so different, i
grow more and more fearful the farther marriage is over-with many evil
I wander from my home. forebodings on the part of Simon.
Peter. We shall meet with some reThe brothers accompany the new
markable scenes still. married pair part of the way towards Berner's Castle, and leave fields yonder, those bleak sandy hills,
Agnes. Look at those waste dreary them at an inn at no great distance
over which the dark rain-clouds are gafrom their journey's end. Peter ad- thering. dresses his wife
Peter. My castle has a more pleasant
site. “You have not spoken a word, Agnes ? Agnes. I must confess, the tears came
Agnes. Ah! it begins to rain; the sky rushing into my eyes, so that I could not
grows darker and darker.
Peter. We must to horse; we shall be utter a word.
too late. Peter. Wherefore do you weep?
Where is your sister ? Call Agnes. My brothers, they are gone;
her, and cease whining. Come, our who knows if I shall ever see them again?
horses are already fed. [Exeunt.” Peter. She who loves her husband truly,
The fourth act passes at the castle must forget both brothers and sisters. We are now left to ourselves. Kiss me, accustomed to his revolting aspect
of Berner. Agnes has begun to get Agnes. Agnes. If we are to travel farther, do
and gloomy temper; nay, to feel for not, I pray you, urge on your horse so
him something akin to love. She fearfully; the poor creature is lmost
has heard a thousand stories from the sinking beneath you.
old housekeeper, Mechthilde, of the Peter. He will enjoy his stall the more.
treasures and curiosities which the It is, only after severe toil that rest ap
castle contains; her curiosity is pears to us as rest. Mind him no farther, roused to the highest pitch, but, conchild.
trolled by the awe in which she holds Agnes. But you may fall.
her husband, she has not ventured Peter. I have often fallen ; it matters to ask the fulfilment of his promise.
The opportunity, however, of gratiAgnes. You terrify me.
fying her curiosity unexpectedly ocPeler, 'Tis well; that is a proof of curs. Peter announces his intention
of leaving the castle for a few days, Agnes. In truth, now that I am alone
to meet another of those feudal inwith you, I could find it in my heart to roads, to which his riches and his be afraid. Peter. Indeed! I am not sorry for it. posed him.
remorseless temper continually exBut you will become accustomed to me by degrees, child.
“ Peter. During my absence, Agnes, I
ne my besila. Agnes. The country hereabout is very
wild. That mill, yonder in the valley, ay, Yes or No. sounds fearfully in this solitude. Ah! Face to these. see, yonder are my brothers riding up the
mountain side. ne. The lone Peter. My eyes do not reach so far. errifies me. Agnes. As I rode down I did not think sily remedied. the spot was so near where we were to Eh, we can in- part. f all kinds Peter. Drive these things out of your of them. But thoughts.
Agnes. Before I had ever travelled, Crange curiosi- there was nothing I longed for so anxious.
at my castle, ly as a long journey; I thought of nog enough. In thing but beautiful, incredibly beautiful
, paigns, I have countries, castles and towers with wonch amuse even drous battlements, their gilded roofs
sparkling in the morning sun; steep rocks, sister Anne and wide prospects from their tops; al
n your hands.
ways new faces; leafy forests, and lonely are, if she will winding footpaths, through green labs.
rinths echoing to the nightingale's song; given_the and now, every thing is so different
, I many evil grow more and more fearful the farther
I wander from my home. t of Simon.
Peter. We shall meet with some rey the new markable scenes still. he way to
Agnes. Look at those waste dreary and leave fields yonder, those bleak sandy bills, at distance
which the dark rain-clouds are gran
shall place all my keys in your keeping. dawn; joyfully does the youth commence)
Anne. A peasant's wedding.
Agnes. How happy the people seem !
SONG from without. Peter. I might take the key with me; O happy, when weary days are past, and then it were impossible; but I will Who rests in his true love's arms at last; trust you. You will not be so foolish.
For him the tale Now, farewell!
of the nightingale, Agnes. Farewell!
It sounds more gaily from bush and vale. Peter. If I return, and find you bave
CHORUS. been in the forbidden room
From bush and vale Agnes. Be not so warm for no pur
Love's joyous tale, pose. I will not enter it, and there's an In the sweet-voiced note of the nightinend.
gale. Peter. That will be seen when I return. (The music grows more and more dis
(Exit. tant, and at last is hushed.) Agnes. Now, then, I have it in my power to see those long-wished for curi. Agnes. Sister, you weep. osities! Absurd! to think that when six Anne. The music chambers, with their treasures, are open, Agnes. It sounds so cheerfully. we should think of longing after the Anne. Not to me. seventh; that would indeed be a childish
Agnes. But you are never cheerful. curiosity! But how passionate be gets Anne. Ah! in those days when he about every thing; I should not like to used to play his lute under my window, meet him the first time I have done any and a light and distant echo repeated its thing against his will.
tones! How the moon used to shine ANNE enters.
down on all, and I saw nothing but him, Agnes. How are you, sister-better?
heard nothing but his song, which floated Anne. Somewhat.
through the lonely night like a white swan Agnes. I have got the keys of the rooms
upon some gloomy water.–O sister, neat last. My husband is gone!
ver, never, can I forget him, Anne. So?
Agnes. Was he so dear to you? Agnes. Into one of them we must not
Anne. More than words—more than enter. No admission for you into the
the sweetest music can express. His seventh, Anne.
presence used to fall upon my heart as Anne. I care not.
when the ruddy morning rises on the Agnes. He has strictly forbidden it.
earth after a stormy night, and sheds its Anne. I have no anxiety for it.
peaceful dew on the tempest-shaken trees
and flowers—and the clouds take to fight Agnes. Are you not rejoiced then? Anne. Wherefore ?
before the golden beams of the sun. Ah! Agnes. That I have got the keys.
sister, forgive me these tears. Anne. If you are rejoiced, 'I am so too.
Agnes. Come-endeavour to amuse Agnes. (At the window.) There he is yourself; here are the keys. Be cheerful. riding off with his followers. (Opens the
Anne. Kind sister! window.) Good fortune go with you. Re
Agnes. We will call the old woman to go with us.
She knows every thing.
Anne. As you will, but I confess I like ( Trumpets from without.)
her not. Anne. How gaily they ride forth? Heaven grant they may return as gaily!
Agnes. True. She is ugly enough, and
ber croaking voice very disagreeable; but Agnes. Why should they not? Anne
. The end is not always so happy these are the defects of age-she cannot as the beginning ; new clothes wear out; help them. Come, come I am dying the green tree becomes sere; the even
with curiosity to see every thing. ing often does not fulfil the promise of the
Peter ad- thering.
weep? are gone ; horses are already fed.
Peter. My castle has a more pleasant ord, Agnes ?
Agnes. Ah! it begins to rain; the sky
her, and cease whining. Come, our
. of Berner. Agnes has begun to get
The fourth act passes at the castle Kiss me, accustomed to bis revolting aspect farther, do
and gloomy temper; nay, to feel for - horse so
him something akin to love. She
has heard a thousand stories from the is almost
old housekeeper, Mechthilde, of the the more.
treasures and curiosities which the t rest ap
castle contains; her curiosity is so farther, roused to the highest pitch, but, con.
trolled by the awe in which she holds her husband, she has not ventured to ask the fulfilment of his promise. The opportunity, however, of grati
fying her curiosity unexpectedly ocroof of curs. Peter announces his intention
of leaving the castle for a few days,
remorseless temper continually ex-
" Peter. During my absence, Agnes, I
something strange ir it. I'll think on't Scene III.
no more. ( She goes to the window.)
If I could only imagine why it was for-
bidden to me? The key is of gold the AGNES, ANNE, MECHTHILDE (the house- others are not. It must be the costliest
keeper), Servants carrying away sup- chamber of all, and he wishes to surprise per.
me with it some time or other. NonAgnes. My head is perfectly giddy with sense! Why should I not see it now? all the wonders I have seen, I feel as if There is nothing I detest more than the whole had been a dream.
these attempts at surprising one into Anne. The senses grow weary at last, pleasure. You can enjoy nothing, just and variety itself becomes monotony. because you see beforehand all the pre
Anne. Mechthilde is getting sleepy. parations that have been made for it!
Mech. Yes, children ; I commonly go Agnes! Agnes ! be on your guard-what to bed at this hour, and then sleep comes torments you at present is neither more to me without an effort.
nor less than female curiosity! And why Agnes. Then go to bed. I will sit up should I not be a woman as well as a little. The moon shines so clear. I others? I should like to see the man in will walk a while and take the air on the my situation who would not be curious. balcony.
My sister would be as much so as I, Mech. Take care of the bats, they are if her head were not incessantly filled flying about at this season.
with love; but if she were to take it into Agnes. We never once thought of the her head that her Reinhold was conSeventh Room, and yet the knight was cealed in that chamber, she would ask so anxious about it; I daresay, after all, me for the key upon her knees. Ah, there is nothing in the least remarkable people are only accommodating to their about it.
own weaknesses. And, after all, it may Mech. Likely not.
be no weakness in me; something may Agnes. How! were you never in it ? be concealed in that cbamber on which Mech. Never.
my happiness depends. I almost begin Agnes. That is strange: Take the to think so. I will look in ;-how should keys with you, mother; we shall not be ever know that I have been there? need them longer.
There must be some reason for this Mech, Willingly.
strong prohibition, and he should have Agnes. Men have their secrets too, as told me what it was, then my compliwell as women.
ance would have been an intelligent obes Mech. Scill more so; only they won't dience instead of blind subjection—a proconfess it.
cedure against which my whole heart reAgnes. Give me back the keys. volts. Am I not a fool to hesitate so Mech. Here they are.
long? The thing is a triple not worth so Agnes. The Knight might be displea- much trouble. (She takes the key.) Why sed as he gave them into my own hands. do I not go on? If he should return
Anne. Now, good-night, sister, I go to while I am in the chamber? It is night, bed.
and ere he could ascend the stairs, I Mech. I wish you a happy repose. should easily be in my own room--be
[Exeunt, sides, he will not be back for some days Agnes. What a lovely night! How yet. He should have kept his keys if people talk of the curiosity of women, he did not intend that I should enter. and yet here it is in my power to enter | Goes out with a light. ) the forbidden chamber when I please. I made the keys be returned to me, part
Enter CLAUS the Fool, and the COUNly, that my husband might not think I could not trust my own strength of mind. Well, how do you like your residence And yet, if I should yield to the tempta at the Castle ? tion, no human being would ever know Coun. I scarcely know. I have slept till that I had been in the room; no farther this moment, I was so weary. How clear evil would come of it. My sister, the the stars shine! preacher of morality, is asleep. I wish Claus. Can you read in the stars ? to heaven I had left the keys with that Coun. I wish I had learned ; it must hideous old woman!
The whole, I see,
be a pleasant employment at night.
Coun. At times.
Coun, O yes!
in the room.
something strange in it. I'll think on't
If I could only imagine why it was forastle.
bidden to me? The key is of gold-the E (the house- others are not. It must be the costliest -ig away sup- chamber of all, and he wishes to surprise
me with it some time or other. Nontly giddy with sense! Why should I not see it now? – I feel as if There is nothing I detest more than
these attempts at surprising one into veary at last, pleasure. You can enjoy nothing, just monotony. because you see beforehand all the precing sleepy. parations that have been made for it! commonly go Agnes! Agnes! be on your guard—what sleep comes torments you at present is neither more
nor less than female curiosity! And why I will sit up should I not be a woman as well 29 s so clear, I others? I should like to see the man in the air on the my situation who would not be curious.
My sister would be as moch so as I, bats, they are if her head were not incessantly filled
with love; but if she were to take it into thought of the her head that her Reinhold was conhe knight was cealed in that chamber, she would ask esay, after all
, me for the key upon her knees. Ab, st remarkable people are only accommodating to their
own weaknesses. And, after all, it may
be no weakness in me; something may never in it? be concealed in that chamber on which
my happiness depends. I almost begia Take the to think so. I will look in ;-how should e shall not be ever know that I have been there?
There must be some reason for this
strong prohibition, and he should hare crets too, as told me what it was, then my compli
ance would have been an intelligent obes they won't dience instead of blind subjection--a pro
cedure against which my whole heart rekeys.
volts. Am I not a fool to hesitate so
long? The thing is a trifle not worth so be displea. much trouble. She takes the key.) Why own hands.
do I not go on? If he should retura iter, I go to while I am in the chamber? It is night,
and ere he could ascend the stairs, I repose.
should easily be in my own room-beEreunt, sides, he will not be back for some days it! How yet. He should have kept his keys if f women, he did not intend that I should enter. r to enter (Goes out with a light.) I please.
Enter CLAUS the Fool, and the Coun. me, part:
SELLOR think I of mind. Well, how do you like your residence tempta. at the Castle? 's know
Coun. I scarcely know. I have slept till farther this moment, I was so weary. How clear er, the the stars shine! I wish Claus. Can you read in the stars ? h that
Claus. This is the very witching time streaked with blood, and garnished of night.
with sepulchres “in the midst of which Coun. The very time for any spirit ghastly and supernatural forms are who is inclined to walk. I shall go to seen, some in motion, some fixed;" bed again.
with a large skeleton in the centre, Claus. I thought you had slept your seated on a tomb, with a dart in his sleep out.
hand, and over his head written in Coun. I mean on account of the ghosts. characters of blood The PunishIt has a bad appearance to be found by ment of Curiosity.' Of all this them awake at this hour,
raw-head and bloody-bones pageClaus. Go tben. (A door is shut to with force.)
ant, we see nothing. But was ever the
natural progress of curiosity—the Coun. Do you hear ? (Runs off:)
sophisms to which it has recourse, Agnes enters, pale and trembling. the vacillations between fear and deClaus. What is the matter, gracious ings of the sex after things denied,
sire, the sense of duty and the longAgnes. Nothing, nothing-get me &
more graphically depicted? Does glass of cold water. (Claus goes out.
not our own curiosity seem to rise She sinks into a chair.) Am I alone
we read ?
Do we not follow where am I?-God in Heaven ! How the retreating steps of Agnes with my heart beats even to my throat.
the deepest interest, with something (Claus comes with water. }
of our ancient childish terror ? And Agnes. Put it there; I cannot drink from her broken sentences, her dark yet." Now go, go, there is nothing the hints-her terror, her confusion of matter with me. Go - Claus goes out.) mind, do we not picture to ourselves I know not how I came hither. (She something a little more ghastly than drinks.) I am better now. It is deep night, the above phantasmagoria of Colthe rest are asleep. (She looks at the key.) man? Here is a dark-red, a bloody spot; was it The commencement of the Fifth there before? Ah, no! I let it fall. All Act carries us back to the Castle of about me still smells of blood. (She rubs Friedheim. the key with her handkerchief.) It will not out. "Tis strange! O curiosity,--accursed,
A Hall at Friedheim.
Simon. (With a torch). He must rise frightful, a horrible monster; savage and
whether he will or not, for now I know hideous as a scaly dragon, from which the it for a certainty. He can escape me no eye turns with loathing. Ah! I must to longer.-—(He knocks at a door)-Anthony! bed-my poor head is wbirling. But the Anthony L-awake! key-I must not leave it here God Anth. (Within.) Who is there? be praised that the spot is gone! Oh!
Simon, 'Tis I-Simon--your brother; no, no, wretched child, here it is again on get up quickly, I must speak to you of the other side. I know not what to do something urgent. -wbere to turn-I will try if I can
Anth. Must your madness destroy to sleep. Oh, yes-sleep--sleep, dream of
me the repose of midnight? other things, forget all; that will be sweet,
Simon. Speak not so, brother. You will that will be delightful! (Goes out.)
repent of it.
I believe he has fallen asleep again.
What, ho !-get upThere is a difference, as our play
awake. going readers will bave remarked,
Anth. Will you never give over raving. between the treatment of this scene
Simon. Abuse me as you will only
rise. Rise- I will give you no rest, bro. by Tieck, and our distinguished and
Anth. (Comes out in his night-dress.) Tell cheated of all the horrors of the
Coun. I wish I had learned; it must I see, be a pleasant employment at night.
Claus. One can read their fate in
me then what you want?
Simon. Brother, I have been unable to
sleep the whole night.
Anth. I slept so much the sounder.
Simon. You see my prophecies, my
Coun. At times.
Simon. I foretold to you that our bro. would raise his suspicions to a height. ther bad carried off the daughter of Hans Perhaps he may not ask me for the key. von Marloff, and so it was. The old man Perhaps he may not observe it. When I was here to complain of it last night. give it to bim I will hand it to bim with
Anth. Any one might have prophesied the clear side uppermost. Why should that.
he think of looking at it so minutely ? Simon. And this night I have seen our Perhaps the spot may disappear before he sister weeping incessantly, and I have return. Ah! if Heaven could only be been fighting the whole night through so gracious to me! with Bluebeard.
Anne. (Enters.) How are you, dear Anth. Well-what then?
sister? Simon. Her life is in danger, I tell you, Agnes. But what if it do not disappear? brother. That Bluebeard is a villain-in I shall begin to think the key knows all, what I know not_but enough that he is and that it is for my punishment that it so.
will not be cleaned. Anth. Good-night, brother. Your mode Anne. Sister! of reasoning is too much for me.
Agnes. God in heaven !- Who is there? Simon. Is it not enough, brother, that Anne. How you start-It is I. you have thrown away our sister on a · Agnes. (Concealing the key with precipitaruffian like this? Will you now leave her in tion.) I did not expect danger of her life ? Anthony, let your fra Anne. How changed you are, Agnes, ternal heart for once be melted. Perhaps within these few days !-Speak to me to at this moment she casts a longing look your sister-who loves you so tenderly. for us from the window of her prison. She You are feverish-Your pulse burnswishes that her deep sobs could reach to Tell me, are you ill. us to lure us to her assistance. --She A gnes. Nay, sister-Come, we will to wails for her brothers. And we may arrive bed again. only to find her dead, and stretched upon Anne. Something has happened to you, her bier.
though you will not confess it to me. Anth. But what has awakened these
Why will you not trust me?-Have I thoughts?
ever deceived you ?-Have you ever found Simon. My whole fancy is filled with me treacherous-destitute of sisterly af. these gloomy imaginations. I can think fection? and dream of nothing cheerful. All my Agnes. (Weeping). Never, never. You visions are of death. I cannot rest till were always good-0, betler-far better my sword has stretched this villain at my than I!
. feet. Come, come, methinks somehow, at Anne. Ah! not so_Often have you this distance, I hear my sister's cry. How suffered from my moody humours.--Forsoon may our horses be saddled-how give me-Can you ? soon may we be there?
Agnes. Do not speak so. Anth. The maddest thing about insa. Anne. I have watched you for two nity is that it infects the sane.
days-You do not speak-You steal Simon. You will see I am not mistaken. about-You conceal yourself in a corner
Anth. I scarcely know how it is, I -At night you do not sleep-You sigh yield to you.
so heavily-Share your grief with me. If Simon. Dress yourself. I will saddle I cannot console you, I can bear your the horses ;-this torch will light our way sorrows with you. till the sun rises.
Agnes. Hear me then-but you will
blame me. Scene II.
Anne. Nay--if you have no confidence
in me BERNER's Castle.
Agnes. And yet perhaps you would
yourself have done the same. You know AGNES enters with a lamp. She places that from my childhood I was ever fond it upon a table, and sits down beside it, then of seeing and hearing novelties. This takes the key from her pocket.
luckless passion has deprived me of my
happiness-perhaps of my life. Agnes. That spot will not out. I have dinne. You terrify me. rubbed it and washed it all day, but there Agnes. I could not restrain my curioit remains. When I gaze at it thus fix sity. The other night I entered the for. edly, I sometimes think it is disappear- bidden chamber. ing; but when I turn my eyes to other Anne. Well ? objects and then look at it again, it is still Agnes. O, would to heaven I had rethere, and, as it were, darker than ever. mained behind! Why is the human I might tell him I had lost it, but that mind so framed, that such a prohibition