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SCENE I.

the owlet scream; and he bids me ask if thou also

* ACT IV. wilt listen to the music.

Geo. I understand him. I will be there.

Hugo. And the count saya to you, that he will not The wood of Griefenhaus, with the ruins of the ransom your wounded squire, though you would castle. A nearer view of the castle than in Act down weigh his best horse with gold. But you may Second, but still at some distance. send hin a confessor, for the count says he will Enter Roderic, WOLFSTEIN, and Soldiers, as from need one.

a reconnoitring party. Geo. Is he so near death ? Hugo. Not as it seems to me. He is weak will push their advantage far.

Wolf. They mean to improve their success, and

We must retreat through loss of blood; but since his wound was dressed he can both stand and walk. Our count

betimes, Count Roderic. las a notable balsam, which has recruited him make no immediate motion of advance. I fancy

Rod. We are safe here for the present. They much. Geo. Enough–I will send a priest.-(Exit Hugo.) neither George nor Henry are with their party in

the wood. I fathom his plot. He would add another witness to the tale of Martin's guilt. But no priest shall

Enter Hugo. approach him. Reynold, thinkest thou not we Hugo. Noble sir, how shall I tell what has hapcouk! send one of the troopers, disguised as a monk, pened? to aid Martin in making his escape ?

Rod. What? Rey. Noble sir, the followers of your house are so Hugo. Martin bas escaped. well known to those of Maltingen, that I fear it is Rod. Villain! thy life shall pay it! (Strikes at impossible.

Hugo-is held by WOLFSTEIN.) Geo. Knowest thou of no stranger who might be Wolf. Hold, hold, Count Roderic! Hugo may be employed ? His reward shall exceed even his blameless. hopes.

Rod. Reckless slave! how came he to escape ? Rcy. So please you-I think the minstrel could

Hugo. Under the disguise of a monk's habit, whom well execute such a commission: he is shrewd and by your orders we brought to confess him. cunning, and can write and read like a priest. Rod. Has he been long gone?

Geo. Call him.--(Erit ReynoLD.) If this fails, I Hugo. An hour and more, since he passed our must employ open force. Were Martin removed, sentinels, disguised as the chaplain of Aspen : but no tongue can assert the bloody truth.

he walked so slowly and feebly, I think he cannot

yet have reached the posts of the enemy. Enter MINSTREL.

Rod. Where is the treacherous prieet? Gco. Come hither, Minhold. Hast thou courage Hugo. He waits his doom not far from hence. to undertake a dangerous enterprise ?

(Erit Hugo. Ber. My life, sir knight, has been one scene of Rod. Drag him hither. The miscreant that danger and of dread. I have forgotten how to snatched the morsel of vengeance from the lion of fear.

Maltingen, shall expire under torture. Geo. Thy speech is above thy seeming.–Who art thou ?

Re-enter Hugo, with BERTRAM and Attendants. Ber. An unfortunate knight, obliged to shroud Rod. Villain! what tempted thee, under the garb myself under this disguise.

of a minister of religion, to steal a criminal from the Geo. What is the cause of thy misfortunes ? hand of justice?

Ber. I slew, at a tournameni, a prince, and was Ber. I am no villain, Count Roderic; and I only laid under the ban of the empire.

aided the escape of one wounded wretch whom thou Geo. I have interest with ihe emperor. Swear to didst mean to kill basely. perform what task I shall impose on thee, and I will Rod, Liar and slave! thou hast assisted a murprocure the recall of the ban.

derer, upon whom justice had sacred claims. Ber. I swear.

Ber. I warn thee again, count, that I am neither Geo. Then take the disguise of a monk, and go liar nor slave. Shortly I hope to tell thee I am once with the follower of Count Roderic, as if to confess more thy equal. my wounded squire Martin. Give him thy dress, and Rod. Thou! Thou ! remain in prison in his stead, Thy captivity shall be Ber. Yes! the name of Bertram of Ebersdorf was short, and I pledge my knightly word I will labour once not unknown to thee. to execute my promise, when thou shalt have leisure Rod. (astonished.) Thou Bertram! the brother of to unfold thy history.

Arnolf of Ebersdorf, first husband of the Baroness Ber. I will do as you direct. Is the life of your Isabella of Aspen ? squire in danger ?

Ber. The same. Geo. It is, unless thou canst accomplish his re Rod. Who, in a quarrel at a tournament, many lease.

years since, slew a blood-relation of the emperor, Ber. I will essay it.

[Erit.and was laid under the ban? Geo. Such are the mean expedients to which Ber. The same. George of Aspen must now resort. No longer can Rod. And who has now, in the disguise of a priest, I debate with Roderic in the field. The depraved-aided the escape of Martin, squire to George of the perjured knight must contend with him only in Aspen? the arts of dissimulation and treachery. Oh, mother! Ber. The same-the same. mother! the most bitter consequence of thy crime Rod. Then, by the holy cross of Cologne, thou hast has been the birth of thy first-born! But I must warn set at liberty ihe murderer of thy brother Arnolf! my brother of the impending storm. Poor Henry, Ber. How! What! I understand thee not! how little can thy gay temper anticipate evil! What, Rod. Miserable plotter! - Martin, by his own conho there! (Enter an Attendant.) Where is Baron | fession, as Wolfstein heard, avowed having aided Henry?

Isabella in the murder of husband. I had laid Att. Noble sir, he rode forth, after a slight refresh- such a plan of vengeance as should have made all ment, to visit the party in the field.

Germany shudder. And thou hast counteracted itGeo. Saddle my steed! I will follow him. thou, the brother of the murdered Arnolf!

Att. So please you, your noble father has twice Ber. Can this be so, Wolfstein ? demanded your presence at the banquet.

Wolf. I heard Martin confess the murder. Geo. It matters not-say that I have ridden forth Ber. Then am I indeed unfortunate! to the Wolfshill. Where is thy lady?

Rod. What, in the name of evil, brought thee Atl. In the chapel, sir knight.

here? Geo. 'Tis well-saddle my bay horse--lapart) for Ber. I am the last of my race. When I was outthe last time.

lawed, as thou knowest, the lands of Ebersdorf, my (Erit. rightful inheritance, were declared forfeited, and the

Emperor bestowed them upon Rudiger when he Gco. He who discovers any part of our mystery, married Isabella. I attempted to defend my domain, must himself become one of our number. put Rudiger-Hell thank him for it-enforced the Hen. How so? ban against me at the head of his vassals, and I Geo. If he does not consent, hiş secrecy will be was constrained to fly. Since then I have warred speedily ensured by his death. To that we are sworn against the Saracens in Spain and Palestine. -take thy choice!

Rod. But why didst thou return to a land where Hen. Well, are you not banded in secret to punish death attends thy being discovered ?

those offenders whom the sword of justice cannot Ber. Impatience urged me to see once more the reach, or who are shielded from its stroke by the land of my nativity, and the towers of Ebersdorf. I buckler of power ? came there yesterday, under the name of the minstrel Geo. Such is indeed the purpose of our fraternity; Minhold.

but the end is pursued through paths dark, intricate, Rod. And what prevailed on thee to undertake to and slippery with blood. Who is he that shall tread deliver Martin ?

them with safety ? Accursed be the hour in which Ber. George, though I told not my name, engaged I entered the labyrinth, and doubly accursed that, in to procure the recall of the ban; besides, he told me which thou too must lose the cheerful sunshine of a Martin's life was in danger, and I accounted the old soul without a mystery! villain to be the last remaining follower of our house. Hen. Yet for thy sake will I be a member. But, as God shall judge me, the tale of horror thou Geo. Henry, thou didst rise this morning a free hast mentioned I could not have even suspected. man. No one could say to thee, “Why dost thou Report ran, that my brother died of the plague. so ?" Thou layesi thee down to-night the veriest

Wolf. Raised for the purpose, doubtless, of pre- slave that ever iugged at an oar-the slave of men venting attendance upon his sick-bed, and an in- whose actions will appear to thee savage and inspection of his body.

comprehensible, and whom thou must ad against Ber. My vengeance shall be dreadful as its cause! the world, upon peril of thy throat. The usurpers of my inheritance, the robbers of my Hen. Be it so. I will share your lot. honour, the murderers of my brother, shall be cut Geo. Alas, Henry! Heaven forbid ! But since off, root and branch !

thou hast by a hasty word fettered thyself, I will Rod. Thou art, then, welcome here; especially if avail myself of thy bondage. Mount thy feetest thou art still a true brother to our invisible order. steed, and hie thee this very night to the Duke of Ber. I am.

Bavaria. He is chief and paramount of our chapter. Rod. There is a meeting this night on the business Show him this signet and this letter; tell him what of thy brother's death. Some are now come. I must matters will be this night discussed concerning the despatch them in pursuit of Martin.

house of Aspen. Bid him speed him to the assembly, Enter Hugo.

for he well knows the president is our deadly foe.

He will admit thee a member of our holy body. Hugo. The foes advance, sir knight.

Hen. Who is the foe whom you dread ? Rod. Back! back to the ruins! Come with us, Geo. Young man, the first duty thou must learn Bertram ; on the road thou shalt hear the dreadful is implicit and blind obedience. history.

(Exeurt. Hen. Well! I shall soon return and see thee again.

Geo. Roturn, indeed, thou wilt; but for the restFrom the opposite side enter GEORGE, HENRY well! that matters not. WICKERD, CONRAD, and Soldiers.

Hen. I go : thou wilt set a watch here? Geo. No news of Martin yet?

Geo. I will. (Henry going.) Return, my dear Wic. None, sir knight.

Henry; let me embrace thee, shouldst thou not see Geo. Nor of the minstrel ?

me again. Wic. None.

Hen. Heaven! what mean you ? Geo. Then he has betrayed me, or is prisoner Geo. Nothing. The life of mortals is precarious; misery either way, Begone, and search the wood, and, should we not meet again, take my blessing Wickerd.

(E.reunt WICKERD and followers and this embrace-and this-embraceshim warmly.) Hen. Still this dreadful gloom on thy brow, bro- | And now haste to the duke. (Exit Henry.) Poor ther?

youth, thou little knowest what thou hast underGeo. Ay! what else?

taken. But if Martin has escaped, and if the duke Hen. Once thou thoughtest me worthy of thy arrives, they will not dare to proceed without proof. friendship.

Re-enter WICKERD and followers.
Geo. Henry, thou art young-
Hen. Shall I therefore betray thy confidence ?

Wic. We have made a follower of Maltingen
Geo. No! but thou art gentle and well-natured. prisoner, Baron George, who reports that Martin
Thy mind cannot even support the burden which has escaped.
mine must bear, far less wilt thou approve the him free for the good news-and, Wickerd, keep a

Geo. Joy! joy! such joy as I can now feel! Set means I shall use to throw it off. Hen. Try me.

good watch in this spot all night. Send out scouts Geo. I may not.

to find Martin, lest he should not be able to reach Hen. Then thou dost no longer love me.

Ebersdorf. Geo. I love thee, and because I love thee, I will

Wic. I shall, noble sir. not involve thee in my distress.

[The kettle-drums and trumpets flourish as Hen. I will bear it with thee.

for setting the watch the scene closes. Gco. Shouldst thou share it, it would be doubled

SCENE IL
Hen. Fear not, I will find a remedy,
Geo. It would cost thee peace of mind, here, and

The chapel at Ebersdorf, an ancient Gothic

building. Hen. I take the risk.

ISABELLA is discorered rising from before the altar, Geo. It may not be, Henry. Thou wouldst be

on which burn tuo tapers. come the confidant of crimes past-the accomplice Isa. I cannot pray. Terror and guilt have stified

devotion. The heart must be at ease-the hands Hen. Shall I guess ?

must be pure when they are lifted to Heaven. Geo. I charge thee, no!

Midnight is the hour of summons: it is now near. Hen. I must. Thou art one of the secret judges. How can I pray, when I go resolved to deny a Geo. Unhappy boy! what hast thou said ? crime which every drop of my blood could not wash

away! And my son! Oh! he will fall the victim Geo. Dost thou know what the discovery has of my crime ! Arnolf! Arnolf! thou art dreadfully cost thee.

avenged! (Tap at the door.) The footstep of my

dreadful guide." (Tap again.) My courage is no VOL. I.--4 V

to me!

hereafter.

of others to come.

Hen. Is it not so?

Hen. I care not.

more. (Enter GERTRUDE by the door.) Gertrude ! Another Soldier. Father Ludovic heard the same. is it only thou? (embraces her.)

Wic. Hear me, ye hare-livered boys! Can you Ger. Dear aunt, leave this awful place; it chills look death in the face in batile, and dread such my very blood. My uncle sent me to call you to nursery bugbears? Old Reynold saw his vision in the hall.

the strength of the grape. As for the chaplain, far Isa. Who is in the hall ?

be it from me to name the spirit which visits him; Ger. Only Reynold and the family, with whom but I know what I know, when I found him conmy uncle is making merry.

sessing Bertram's pretty Agnes in the chestnut Isa. Sawest thou no strange faces?

grove. Ger. No; none but friends.

Con. But, Wickerd, though I have often heard of Isa. Art ihou sure of that? Is George there? strange tales which I could not credit, yet there is

Ger. No, nor Henry; both have ridden out. I one in our family so well attested, that I almost think they might have staid one day at least. But believe it. Shall I tell it you? come, aunt, I hate this place; it reminds me of my All Soldiers. Do! do tell it, gentle Conrad. dream. Sce, yonder was the spot where methought

Wic. And I will take tot hifle Supe.

of Rhenish to they were burying you alive, below yon monument fence against the horrors of the (pointing.)

Con. It is about my own uncle and godfather, Isa. (starting.) The monument of my first hus- Albert of Horsheim. band. Leave me, leave me, Gertrude. I follow in Wic. I have seen him he was a gallant warrior. a moment. (Exit GERTRUDE.) Ay, there he lies! Con. Well! He was long absent in the Bohemian forgetful alike of his crimes and injuries! Insensible, wars. In an expedition he was benighted, and as if this chapel had never rung with my shrieks, or came to a lone house on the edge of a forest: he the castle resounded to his parling groans! When and his followers knocked repeatedly for entrance in shall I sleep so soundly? (As she gazes on the vain. They forced the door, but found no inhabitants. monument, a figure muffled in black appears from Frank. And they made good their quarters? behind it.) Merciful God! is it a vision, such as has Con. They did : and Albert retired to rest in an haunted my couch? (it approaches : she goes on upper chamber. Opposite to the bed on which he with mingled terror and resolution.) ihastly phan- | threw himself was a large mirror. At midnight be tom, art thou the restless spirit of one who died in was awaked by deep groans : he cast his eyes upon agony, or art thou the mysterious being that must the mirror, and saw guide me to the presence of the avengers of blood ? Frank. Sacred Heaven! Heard you nothing (Figure bends its head and beckons. 1-To-morrow! Wic. Ay, the wind among the withered leaves. To-morrow! I cannot follow thee now! (Figure Go on, Conrad. Your uncle was a wise man. shows a dagger froin beneath its cloak.) Compul Con. That's more than gray hairs can make other sion! I understand thee: I will follow. (She follows folks. the figure a little way; he turns, and wraps a black Wic. Ha! stripling, art thou so malapert? Though veil round her head, and takes her hand : then both thou art Lord Henry's page, I shall teach thee who exeunt behind the monument.)

commands this party.

All Soldiers. Peace, peace, good Wickerd: let SCENE III.

Conrad proceed.

Con. Where was I ? The Wood of Griefenhaus.-A watch-fire, round

Frank. About the mirror. which sit WICKERD, CONRAD, and others, in their

Con. True. My uncle beheld in the mirror the watch-cloaks.

reflection of a human face, distorted and covered Wic. The night is bitter cold.

with blood. A voice pronounced articulately, “It is Con. Ay, but thou hast lined thy doublet well yet time." As the words were spoken, my uncle with old Rhenish.

discerned in the ghastly visage the features of his Wic. True; and I'll give ye warrant for it.

own father. (Sings.) Soldier. Hush ! By St. Francis I heard a groan.

(They start up, all but WICKERD.) What makes the troopers' frozen courage muster?

Wic. The croaking of a frog, who has caught cold The grapes of juico divine.

in this bitter night, and sings rather more hoarsely Upon the Rhine, upon the Rhine they cluster: Oh, blessed be the Rhine !

than usual.

Frank. Wickerd, thou art surely no Christian. Let fringe and furs, and many a rabbit skin, sirs, Bedeck your Saracen;

(They sit down, and close round the fire.) He'll freeze without what warms our hearts within, sirs, Con. Well--my uncle called up his attendants When the night-frost crusts the ten.

and they searched every nook of the chamber, but But on the Rhine, but on the Rhine they cluster,

found nothing. So they covered the mirror with a The grapes of juice divine,

cloth, and Albert was left alone: but hardly had he That make our troopers' frozen courage muster :

closed his eyes when the same voice proclaimed, Oh, blessed be the Rhine!

" It is now too late;" the covering was drawn aside, Con. Well sung, Wickerd; thou wert ever a jovial, and he saw the figure soul.

Frank. Merciful Virgin! It comes. (All rist.) Enter a trooper or two more.

Wic. Where? what? Wic. Hast thou made the rounds, Frank?

Con. See yon figure coming from the thicket! Frank. Yes, up to the hemlock marsh. It is a Enter Martin in the monk's dress, much disorderstormy night; the moon shone on the Wolfshill, ed: his face is very pale, and his steps slou. and on the dead bodies with which to-day's work Wic. (levelling his spike.), Man or devil, which has covered it. We heard the spirit of the house of thou wilt, thou shalt feel cold iron, if thou budgest a Maltingen wailing over the slaughter of its adhe-foot nearer. (MARTIN stops.) Who art thou? What rents: I durst go no farther.

dost thou seek ? Wic. Hen-hearted rascal! The spirit of some old Mar. To warm myself at your fire. It is deadly raven, who was picking their bones.

cold. Con. Nay, Wickerd; the churchmen say there Wic. See there, ye cravens, your apparition is a are such things.

poor benighted monk : sit down, father. ( They place Frank. Ay; and Father Ludovic told us last MARTIN by the fire.) By heaven, it is Martin-our sermon, how the devil twisted the neck of ten far- Martin ! Martin, how fares it with thee. We have mers at Kletterbach, who refused to pay Peter's sought thee this whole night. pence.

Mar. So have many others (vacantly.) Wic. Yes, some church devil, no doubt.

Con. Yes, thy master. Frank. Nay, old Reynold says, that in passing, Mar. Did you see him too ? by midnight, near the old chapel at our castle, he Con. Whom? Baron George ? saw it all lighted up, and heard a chorus of voices Mar. No! my first master, Arnolf of Ebersdort. sing the funeral service.

Wic. He raves.

(RHEIN-WEIN LEID.)

SCENE I.

Mar. He pagged me but now in the wood, mount

ACT V. ed upon his old black steed; its nostrils breathed smoke and flame; neither tree nor rock stopped him. He said, “ Martin, thou wilt return this night The subterranean chapel of the castle of Griefen. to my service!

haus. It seems deserted, and in decay. There Wic. Wrap thy cloak around him, Francis; he is are four entrances, cach defended by an iron pordistracted with cold and pain. Dost thou not recol

tal. At each door stands a warder clothed in black, lect me, old friend ?

and masked, armed with a naked sword. During Mar. Yes, you are the butler at Ebersdorf; you the whole scene they remain motionless on their have the charge of the large gilded cup, embossed

posts. In the centre of the chapel is the ruinous with the figures of the twelve apostles. It was the allar, half sunk in the ground, on which lica large favourite goblet of my old master.

book, a dagger, and a coil of ropes, besides tuo Con. By our Lady, Martin, thou must be distract lighted tapers. Antique stone benches of differed indved, to think our master would intrust Wickerd

ent heights around the chapel. In the back scene with the care of the cellar.

is seen a dilapidated entrance into the sacristy, Mor. I know a face so like the apostate Judas on

which is quite dark. that cup. I have seen the likeness when I gazed on Various Members of the Invisible Tribunal enter a mirror.

by the four different doors of the chapel. Each Wir. Try to go to sleep, dear Martin ; it will re whispers something as he passes the Warder, lieve thy brain. (Footsteps are heard in the wood.) which is answered by an inclination of the head. To your arms. (They take their arms.)

The costume of the Members is a long black robe, Enter two Members of the Inrisible Tribunal, muf

capable of muffling the face: some wear it in this fed in their cloaks.

manner; others hare iheir fices uncorered, unCon. Stand! Who are ye?

less on the entrance of a stranger: they place

themselres in profound silence upon the stone | Mem. Travellers benighted in the wood.

benches. Wic. Are ye friends to Aspen or Maltingen? 1. Mem. We enter not into their quarrel : we are

Enter Count Roderic, dressed in a scarlet cloak of friends to the right.

the same form with those of the other Members. Wic. Then are ye friends to us, and welcome to

He takes his place on the most elerated bench. pass the night by our fire.

Rod. Warders, secure the doors ! ( The doors are 2 Mem. Thanks. (They approach the fire, and barred with great care.) Herald, do thy duty ! regard MARTIN rery earnestly.)

[Members all rise.- Herald stands by the altar. Con. Hear ye any news abroad?

Her. Members of the Invisible Tribunal, who 2 Mem. None; but that oppression and villany judge in secret, and avenge in secret, like the Deity, are rite and rank as ever.

are your hearts free from malice, and your hands Wic. The old complaint.

from blood-guiltiness? 1 Mem. No! never did former age equal this in

[All the Members incline their heads, wickedness; and yet, as if the daily commission of

Rod. God pardon our sins of ignorance, and preenormities were not enough to blot the sun, every serve us from those of presumption. hour discovers crimes which have lain concealed [Again the Members solemnly incline their heads. for years.

Her. To the east, and to ihe west, and to the Con. Pity the Holy Tribunal should slumber in north, and to the south, I raise my voice; wherever its office.

there is treason, wherever there is blood-guiltiness, 2 Mem. Young man, it slumbers not. When wherever there is sacrilege, sorcery, robbery, or criminals are ripe for its vengeance, it falls like the perjury, there let this curse alight, and pierce the bolt of Heaven.

marrow and the bone. Raise, then, your voices, Mar. (attempting to rise.) Let me be gone. and say with me, wo! wo, unto offenders! Con. (detaining him.) Whither now, Martin ? All. Wo! wo!

[ Members sit down. Mar. To mass.

Her. He who knoweth of an unpunished crime, | Mem. Even now, we heard a tale of a villain, I let him stand forth as bound by his oath when his who, ungrateful as the frozen adder, stung the bo- | hand was laid upon the dagger and upon the cord, som that had warmed him into life.

and call to the assembly for vengeance! Mar. Conrad, bear me off; I would be away from Member (rises, his face covered.) Vengeance! these men.

vengeance! vengeance! Con. Be at ease, and strive to sleep.

Rod. Upon whom dost thou invoke vengeance? Mar. Too well I know I shall never sleep again. Accuser. Upon a brother of this order, who is for

2 Mem. The wretch of whom we speak became, sworn and perjured to its laws. from revenge and lust of gain, the murderer of the Rod. Relate his crime. master whose bread he did eat.

Accuser. This perjured brother was sworn, upon Wic. Out upon the monster!

the steel and upon the cord, to denounce malefactors 1 Mem. For nearly thirty years was he permitted to the judgment seat, from the four quarters of heato cumber the ground. The miscreant thought his ven, though it were the spouse of his heart, or the crime was concealed ; þut the earth which

groaned son whom he loved as the apple of his eye : yet did under his footsteps--the winds which passed over he conceal the guilt of one who was dear unto him; his unhallowed head, the stream which he polluted he folded up the crime from the knowledge of the by his lips--the fire at which he warmed his blood-tribunal; he removed the evidence of guilt, and stained hands-every element bore witness to his withdrew the criminal from justice. What does his guilt.

perjury deserve ? Mar. Conrad, good youth--lead me from hence, Rod. Accuser, come before the altar; lay thy hand and I will show thee where, thirty years since, I de- / upon the dagger and the cord, and swear to the posited a mighty bribe.

[Riscs. truth of thy accusation. Con. Be patient, good Martin.

Accuser. (his hand on the altar.) i swear! Wic. And where was the miscreant seized ? Rod. Wilt thou take upon thyself the penalty of [ The tuo Members suddenly lay hands on perjury, should it be found false ?

MARTIN, and draw their daggers; the Sol Accuser. I will.
diers spring to their arms.

Rod. Brethren, what is your sentence: 1 Mem. On this very spot.

[The Members confer a moment in whispers-a Wic. Traitors, unloose your hold!

silence. 1 Mem. In the name of the Invisible Judges, I Eldest Mem. Our voice is, that the perjurd brocharge ye, impede us not in our duty.

ther merits death. (All sink their wcapons, and stand motionless. Rod. Accuser, thou hast heard the voice of the Mar. Help! help!

assembly; name the criminal. I Mem. Help him with your prayers.

Accuser. George, Baron of Aspen. (He is dragged off. The scene shuts.

(A murmur in the Assembly

A Member. (suddenly rising.) I am ready accord-doest-George has fallen-it were murder to slay ing to our holy laws, to swear, by the steel and the both mother and son. cord, that George of Aspen merits not this accusa Ber. George of Aspen was thy victim-a sacrifice tion, and that it is a foul calumny.

to thy hatred and envy. I claim mine, sacred 10 Accuser. Rash man! gagest thou an oath so light-justice and to my murdered brother. Resume thy ly?

place!--thou canst not stop the rock thou hast put Member. I gage it not lightly. I proffer it in the in motion. cause of innocence and virtue.

Rod. (resumes his seat.) Upon whom callest thou Accuser. What if George of Aspen should not for vengeance ? himself deny the charge ?

Ber. Upon Isabella of Aspen. Member. Then I would never trust man again. Rod. She has been summoned. Accuser. Hear him, then, bear witness against Herald. Isabella of Aspen, accused of murder by himself (throus back his mantle.)

poison, I charge thee to appear, and stand upon thy Rod. Baron George of Aspen !

defence. Geo. The same-prepared to do penance for the [Three knocks are heard at one of the doors-it criine of which he stands self-accused.

is opened by the warder. Rod. Sull, canst thou disclose the name of the criminal whom thou hast rescued from justice; on

Enter ISABELLA, the reil still wrapped around her that condition alone, thy brethren may save thy

head, led by her conductor. All the members muf. life.

fle their faces. Geo. Thinkest thou I would betray for the safety Rod. Uncover her eyes. of my life, a secret I have preserved at the breach of

[The reil is removed. ISABELLA looks my word ?-No! I have weighed the value of my obligation-I will not discharge it-but most wil

wildly round. lingly will I pay the penalty !

Rod. Knowest thou, lady, where thou art ?

Isa. I guess.
Rod. Retire, George of Aspen, till the assembly Rod. Say thy guess.
pronounce judgment.
Geo. Welcome be your sentence-I am weary of i

Isa. Before the Avengers of blood.

Rod. Knowest thou why thou art called to their your yoke of iron. A light beams on my soul. Wo to those who seek justice in the dark haunts of mys

presence ?

Isa. No. tery and of cruelty! She dwells in the broad blaze

Rod. Speak, accuser. of the sun, and Mercy is ever by her side. Wo to those who would advance the general weal by

Ber. I impeach thee, Isabella of Aspen, before

this awful assembly, of having murdered, privily and trampling upon the social affectious! they aspire to by poison, Arnols of Ebersdorf, thy first husband. be more than men-they shall become worse than

Rod, Canst thou swear to the accusation ? tigers. I go : better for me your altars should be

Ber. (his hand on his allar.) I lay my hand on stained with my blood, than my soul blackened with the steel and the cord, and swear. your crimes. (Erit George, by the ruinous door in the back cusation. What canst thou answer?

Rod. Isabella of Aspen, thou hast heard thy acscene, into the sacristy.

Isa. That the oath of an accuser is no proof of Rod. Brethren, sworn upon the steel and upon guilt! the cord, to judge and to avenge in secret, without Rod. Hast thou more to say ? favour and without pity, what is your judgment Isa. I have. upon George of Aspen, self-accused of perjury, and

Rod. Speak on. resistance to the laws of our fraternity. (Long and earnest murmurs in the assembly. the stars of midnight! I stand before you, accused

Isa. Judges invisible to the sun, and seen only by Rod. Speak your doom. Eldest Mem. George of Aspen has declared him

of an enormous, daring, and premeditated crime. I

was married to Arnolf when I was only eighteen self perjured ;-the penalty of perjury is death! Rod. Father of the secret judges-Eldest among pecting me without a cause, unless it was because

years old. Arnolf was wary and jealous; ever susthose who avenge in secret--take to thee the steel he had injured me. How then should I plan and per and the cord ;- let the guilty no longer cumber the petrate such a deed? The lamb turns not against land. Eldest Mem. I am fourscore and eight years old. the wolf, though a prisoner in his den.

Rod. Have you finished ? My eyes are dim, and my hand is feeble : soon shall

Isa. A moment. Years after years have elapsed I be called before the throne of my Creator :- How without a whisper of this foul suspicion, Arno!! shall I stand there, stained with the blood of such left a brother! though common fame had been sia man ?

lent, natural affection would have been heard against Rod. How wilt thou stand before that throne, me-why spoke he not my accusation? Or has my loaded with the guilt of a broken oath? The blood conduct justified this horrible charge? No! awful of the criminal be upon us and ours !

judges, I may answer, I have founded cloisters, I Eldest Mem. So be it, in the name of God! have endowed hospitals. The goods that Heaven (He takes the dagger from the altar, goes slowly bestowed on me I have not held back from the

towards the back scene, and reluctantly enters needy. I appeal to you, judges of evil, can these the sacristy.

proois of innocence be down-weighed by the asserEldest Judge ( from behind the scene.) Dost thou tion of an unknown and disguised, perchance a maforgive me?

lignant accuser ? Geo. (behind.) I do! (Heis heard to fall hearily.) i Re-enter the old judge from the sacristy. He back his mantle.) Dost thou know me now?

Ber. No longer will I wear that disguise (throws lays on the altar the bloody dagger.

Isa. Yes; I know thee for a wandering minstrel, Rod. Hast thou done thy duty ? Eldest Mem. I have. (He faints.)

relieved by the charity of my husband.

Ber. No, traitress? know me for Bertram of Rod. He swoons. Remove him.

Ebersdorf, brother to him thou didst murder. Call [He is assisted off the stage

. During this four her accomplice, Martin. Ha! turn' st thou pale? members enter the sacristy, and bring out o Isa. May I have some water ?-(Apart.) Sacred bier corered with a pall, which they place on Heaven ! his vindictive look is so like

the steps of the altar. A deep silence. Rod. Judges of evil, dooming in secret, and aven A Member. Martin died in the hands of our brethging in secret, like the Deity: God keep your thoughts from evil, and your hands from guilt. Rod. Dost thou know the accuser, lady? Ber. I raise my voice in this assembly, and cry, Isa. (rcassuming

fortitude.) Let not the sinking Vengeance! vengeance! vengeance !

of nature under this dreadful trial be imputed to the Rod. Enough has this night been done-lhe rises consciousness of guilt. I do know the accuser and brings BERTRAM forward.Je Think what thou know him to be outlawed for homicide, and under

[ Water is brought.

ren.

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