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Jar. (Stepping back.) Here and there, how's Ber. Nay, nay-this is too cruel; when thou
Judgest Nowhere and everywhere?
Thy fellow men, still shew humanity. Ber. Good Heavens ! explain !
Capt. Nay, lady, had thou seen what I have wit. What are you thus ?
nessed, Jar. By Heaven, I am a man;
Thou would'st close up thy heart, and bar its gates And “ What man dares I dare !" Even let the devil (As to an insolent beggar) on compassion. Appear against me! Count, if in my pulse
Those smoking ruins, rendered visible Can be perceived the irregular throbs of fear ; By their own flames; old men in terror trembling, Yet must he come alone, and openly,
Women lamenting, children left to weep And in his proper shape_nor thus enlist
On a dead mother's bosom; all around In my wild fancy and distemper'd brain,
A devastated waste. Hadst thou seen this !
And then to think this havoc all was caused
of a few miscreants, whoOf darkness, or surrounded by an halo
Jar. (Stepping forward and seizing him,) This Of light from hell, I will deride his rage,
lovely being, And boldly hurl defiance in his teeth:
Whose inward soul, like a fine mirror, shews Or comes he as a lion of the woods,
All nature smiling, all the world at rest, I shall resist him without apprehension,
Because herself is pure and innocent, Will meet his fiery eyes with looks as fierce, Why would'st thou trouble thus? Why strive to blot Grapple for grapple--equal unto equal;
That mirror with the poison of revenge, But let him not employ the finest art
The breath of hatred ? Let her still enjoy Of hell, that, cunning and deceitful, rouses
The sweetness of compassion ! In the fallen,
Still recognise a brother in distress-
To scorn the shatter'd oak!
Capt. Nay, let the wood I know thee, beauteous form !-Should I approach, So shatter'd straight be cast into the fire ! Thou would'st dissolve into thin air, my breath Jar. A sharp judge with the tongue thou art. Would thee annihilate.
Perchance Ber. (Embracing him.) Nay, could a phantom Thine arm in action may not be so rapid ! Embrace thee thus ; or could a wandering shadow Capt. Ha! how am I to understand these words? Thus look upon thee? Feel, it is thy Bertha
Jar. Even take them, sir, as I have given them
Capt. Were it not in this place
Elsewhere, perchance, thy conduct were more
guarded. The Count comes in while they are Capt. Warmly, I see, thou would'st defend these yet talking in this manner, and having
Jar. Whoe'er is in distress shall gain my heart. heard the cause of the noise that has Capt. The best among them, let him come, and disturbed him-he utters these words
Jar. Call him aloud ! Perchance he will appear! too full of meaning :
An end is put to this untimely alHa! so they begin Already to acknowledge him for mine!
tercation by the old Count—who inIn realins of darkness is it known so soon? sists on attending the captain in perThe alarm that has occurred, ren
son, during his pursuit of the remaining ders the whole' party unwilling to re
banditti-the agitations--the relucturn to their own apartments, and tance and the bitterness of Jaromir, they remain conversing in the hall,
are all accounted for by the fatigues when suddenly there is heard a loud and terrors he himself had so lately knocking at the gate of the castle, and undergone; and the youth returns to Jaromir betrays a perturbation that his chamber at the same moment when astonishes Bertha. He reassures her, the soldiers issue again from the castle however, and the Steward introduces to continue their pursuit. Before he a captain, who, as it appears, has been goes, Bertha binds her blue scarf around engaged with a band of robbers in the his arm, as a token of their acknowforest-the band
has been vanquished, ledged and approved love. and he has traced the last relics to the
Bertha meantime, and the old Stewneighbourhood of the castle. Borotin ard, gaze on the operations of the sol. makes the officer welcome to his castle, diers from the window of the halland all the aid he can give him, and for the robbers are suspected to be introduces to him Bertha as his daugh- lurking somewhere in the ruinous part ter. The officer seems to regard Ja. of the edifice, and the torches they bear romir with a strange kind of expression, give light enough to make their movebut is told he is the son-in-law of the ments visible. A cry is heard, and a Count, and his suspicions are at an end. rushing towards a particular corner He proceeds to describe the ravages wounded on the ground, but it
one of the pursuing party is seen lying committed by these banditti, and ex
appresses his regret that so many of them pears the robber has still succeeded in should have fallen by a death too no- making his escape. In an instant afble for their deserts—The dialogue is ter, Jaromir rushes again into the very animated here;
hall-his scarf is torn and bloody
and Bertha cannot account for the new Capt. No, no! the wheel-the block should be their doom.
terrors that are painted on his face. Vol. VI.
But it is needless to give the details Destroy the heart that with keen anguish throßs,
And deep repentance. of a discovery which is already foreа
Born and bred up with robbers of their deeds seen by the reader. One of the sol- Involuntary witness-unacquainted
With every better school-debarr’d the rights diers comes in to inform Bertha, that Of property, the sweets of social life, her father has been wounded, and it
The wealth of learning, and religion's aid
The robber's son-wilt thou, Eternal Judge, is no longer to be concealed that Jaro- Condemn, because he turn'd a robber too,mir has had his part in the scene that
Thus imitating those whom he held dear
Led on to crime even by a father's hand? has just been going on without the Thou know'st how, at his wakening from the dream castle. Jaromir, as Bertha begins al
Of childhood, he beheld his lot with terror.
He wished to fly, and tried to find a path ready to suspect, is a robber ; and the For his escape-oh, Heaven !-but found it not.
Thou know'st how, since the hour when first I met moment her suspicion is hinted, the
Her who has now accused me, I renounc'd youth speaks thus :
My wild pursuits !- Thou know'st-but wherefore
thus Jar. Ha! well then !-all is past-the thunderbolt Prolong my words?—Even tho' my heart is broken, Has struck at last, wherewith the skies so long
She hears me not, but bars the gates on pity. Were loaded, and I freely breathe again!
Thou, Everlasting Light, know'st all my suifering: Although I feel the stroke, and feel that all
She unrelenting hears not, but remains My hopes are gone-'tis well!-Now all is past ! Turn'd coldly from me. Well, then, be it so! That bond must now be broken--that delusion Now all is ended. I no more regard Must all dissolve. And shall I tremble thus,
How soon my blood shall dye the scaffold now; To bear the name of that which, without shrinking,
For she already has my death accomplished. I have been in reality? No more
Now Justice raise thine arm-I smile at thee! Need I deceive. Farewell, ye fine-spun falsehoods,
(He is rushing out, when Bertha starts up, and Ye never were my choice. That which I bore
recalls him.) Deep in my heart, and yet from her concealed
Ber. Oh, Jaromir, stay-stayThat proved my bitterest sorrow!-Well! the
Jar. What do I hear? lightning
My Bertha's looks are turn'd on me again! Has struck at last-the storm is over now.
Her voice recalls me, and on golden wings Freely I may speak out whate'er my heart
Brings back my life. (He hastens to her.) My BerFeels inwardly. My soul is free again!
tha--my own Bertha ! Unhappy Bertha! yes, I am the man
Ber. Leave me! Whom thou hast named-whom officers pursue
Jar. No! I will leave thee not again! He whom all tongues have cursed--whose name is
Ah! shall the miserable man, almost placed
From shipwreck saved, driven on the watery waste, Next to the devil, when the peasant says
Forsake the land that sweetly shone to meet him. His litany at evening-whom the father
Receive me-Oh, receive me!-All that yet Holds as a dread example to his children,
Remains of life's past influences--save this, in whispers warning them, “ Beware of sin,
My love for thee alone - I cast away, Lest it should lead you on to be like him!”
Back to the stormy waves. As a new being, Aye, I am he, unhappy girl, well known
Pure as in infancy, I kneel before thee, To wood and wold, whom murderers hail as bro
To learn and to repent !-Oh! rescue me ther
Save me!--Oh! rule me as a parent rules I am the robber Jaromir!
An unresisting child; so that
feet Ber. Wo! wo!
May stumble not in the new world unknown! Jar. And art thou trembling, Bertha ? Can a name Teach me to tread thy paths--at last to obtain Thus fill thee with affright? Oh! be not thus Tranquillity and joy; Teach me to hope, So soon beguild. That part which even to hear To pray, even to be holy, like thyself. Has thus alarm'd thee, I too oft have play'd
My Bertha !-and shall never more one look In very deed. These eyes, which thou hast loved, Be türn'd upon your weeping supplicant ? Have been the horror of the traveller.
Be not severer than the Heavenly Judge, This voice, to thee so soothing, has assisted
Who, mid the sinner's last repentant hours, The robber's arm, and with terrific tone
Refuses not the splendour of his sunbeams, Unmann'd the victim, till that arm had struck.
Even on the scaffold-Ha! I feel this trembling
Bertha ! wife! angel-Let this earth decay;
I have already here secured my heaven !
The plot now thickens fearfully. I am the man! Because mine eyes are fill'd With tears, mine arms hang powerless, and my voice Jaromir parts from Bertha on the Is faultering now-think'st thou that I am not ? Alas! the robber has his hours of pain,
conclusion of this most affecting diaWhen the full sense of his dire fate awakes, logue (of which we have only given a And forces this emotion. Bertha ! Bertha ! 'Tis true indeed that he whose tearful eyes
specimen.) She knows him to be a Now search in vain to meet the gleams of thine,
robber, but her love forgives every Is Jaromir the robber! Ber. Oh, heavens! Away!
thing to the offender of fate and cirJar. Aye, thou art in the right! almost had I cumstance; she still adheres to the Forgotten what I am--No more of this! Cowardly tears, no more !-And shall a robber
troth she had plighted ; and promises Presume to indulge in feelings like to those to meet her lover, at midnight, at a of other mortals ? Shall the precious dew Of tears be granted to his burning eyes ?-
particular window in the ruinous part Away -Cast out from brotherhood of men, of the castle-thence to fly with him for To thee be every solace too denied ! Despair and hatred only be thy portion !
ever, and link all the residue of her fate How with myself I may have fought, and striven, with his. At the moment when the And suffered, -this, my worldly judges, ask not a Before their bloody bar, all inward proofs youthful pair join hands in token of Of guilt or innocence are disregarded
their confirmed engagement, the AnDeeds only will they judge. Now, if your wrath, Wise lords, have sealed my sentence, I shall mount cestress appears in the back ground, With a light step the scaffold; and to thee My voice will call aloud, Almighty Power!
wringing her hands
behind them, In mercy thou wilt hear my prayer. To thee,
and pointing to the ground with a Whate'er my wounded bosom bears in secret woful sternness. Jaromir has no Freely I shall unfold. Oh! righteous Heaven ! Thou wilt in mercy judge, nor utterly
arms; and seeing a dagger hanging
by the wall, he takes it down. “ Take So bury me, ye walls ! Destruction come! it not,”
Fall down, ye pillars, that this earth uphold ! “ it is the dag- The son has slain his father! says Bertha, ger by which the guilty Ancestress of It is thus that Borotin dies: Berthe Borotins perished—it is of evil tha is left lying on the floor in a stu
At the moment when he por of agony, from which she, after grasps the weapon, the Ancestress dis
a pause of several minutes, awakes appears, folding her ghastly features wildly, and speaks. in the long wrappings of her sepul- And am I called for?: Yes, my name is Bertha !
But no! I am alone! (Rising from the ground.) chral veil. Bertha is afraid that Jar
All silent, silent! omir has taken the dagger for the pur
Here lies my father ! lies so still, and moves not!
All silent, silent, silent. oh, how heavy pose of self-destruction ; but to shew · My head feels now! Mine eyes, how dim they are! her that not such were his intentions, And, meditating, I would dwell upon them;
I know that many things have come to pass, he draws from his bosom a phial of But a strange light, that burns upon my forehead, poison, which he tosses at her feet.
Consumes the wildering images.
Hold, hold ! She lifts the fatal present-Jaromir Said they not that my father was a robber? retires into his own apartment-and No, not my father-No, no; Jaromir!
So was the robber named; and from the bosom here closes the third act.
Of a poor girl, he stole the heart away,
Even while she deem'd it most secure, and left, At the commencement of Act IV.
In place of the warm heart, a cold, cold scorpion, the old Count Borotin is brought in That now with venomous teeth still gnaws and
gnaws. wounded ; and when they propose to And by slow torments wears her life away! bear him to his chamber, he refuses. And then there was a son who kill'd his father! The last of the Borotins, he says,
(Joyfully.) My brother, too, came back ! my
drown'd, lost brother ! must die in the hall of the Borotins, And he, my brother--hold, hold !-,down, I say
(Her hand convulsively pressid on her breast.) and a couch is spread for him in the Back to thy cell again, thou poisonous reptile! midst of the floor-the armour and There gnaw and tear my vitals-But be silent!
(She takes a light.) the portraits of his ancestors hanging Aye, now I'll go to sleep - to sleep! The dreams on every side around him. While he of slumber are so soothing-horrid visions
But haunt our waking hours. is taking leave of his daughter, the
Her wandering looks now happen Captain comes in and informs him,
to notice on the table the phial, that one of the robbers, whom they
which (in the third act) she had inhave seized, has a piece of intelli
sisted on taking from Jaromir. gence, which he is anxious, above all
But what is this things, to communicate to him be- So glittering on the table? Oh, I know thee,
Thou precious phial! Was it not a gift fore he dies. The robber, an old From my bridegroom-a marriage gift? and then man, Boleslav, is introduced. His Said he not, as he gave it me, that here,
In that small cradle, sleeping, lay the god story is, that the son of the Count
Of everlasting sleep? Now, let me trywas not drowned, as had been believ- Let me but sip a few drops from thy brim,
To cool my burning lips. But, softly; softly; ed, but stolen from the castle gate by Softly! himself in his infancy.
[With the intention here expressed she endeavours
to walk on tiptoe towards the table ; but at every And where and what is he? (cries the dying man.) What! is my son
step, being now quite exhausted by the conflict
she has undergone, she totters more and more, A robber? --Heaven! he answers not my question!
till without obtaining the phial, she falls to the Oh, that he would say No! But he is silent. My son a robber! Had the watery gulf
ground; and here the Fourth Act is terminated.] Devour'd him (though my grief had been severe), The beginning of the fifth act reOr had his name remain'd for ever hid, 'Twere better, than to be thus join'd with robbers.
presents Boleslav, who has been set at But why am I so rash? Oh, Heaven, I thank thee liberty, as seeking Jaromir in his lurkFor this one gleam of light! - Was it his choice? Bring him, good friend, bring him to me with speed
ing place. The unhappy boy, before And I will thank thee still, even for the robber! this man joins him, is tormented by a Bol. Nay, he is in your castle. Count. Here?
thousand mysterious revulsions of Bol. My lord,
thought at the deed by which his own Unknown to you that stranger, who, to-night, Wearied and pale, came here to seek protection
safety had been purchased. Ber. (Interrupting him.) How? Jaromir?
Jar. And if what I have done be right, then Bol. The same.
wherefore Count. Thou demon! Hold !
Has this dark horror seiz'd me? Wherefore thus Take back those horrid words! Thou fiend froin Should my brain burn-and my blood turn to ice? hell,
Wherefore should this persuasion haunt me still, I say, recall them!
That in the moment of that obscure deed, Bol. Nay, my lord, 'tis true.
The Devil urg'd and Heaven drew back inine arm! Count. Recall thy words.
As in my flight a follower gained upon me, Bol. My lord, in truth, I cannot.
I felt his breath already on my neck, Count. (Raising himself with his whole strength Almost his hands had reach'd ine; and just then
from the couch.) Thou shalt, by Heaven! Some inward voice exclaimed “ Resign thyself! Capt. (In a soothing tone to the Count.) My lord! Thy weapons cast away! Fall at his feet;
(Then pointing to Boleslav.) Away with him! 'Tis sweet from Sin to fly, even to the arms Bol. (To the Captain.) Pray, noble sir!
Of Death !" But with a sudden fire awakening, Capt. 1 say, away with him!
Within me all the robber rag'd anew,
(Boleslav is led out.) And irresistibly demanded blood ! Count. He goes, and leaves his words yet unre- Then a strange rushing noise was all around, tracted:
And all before me held a fluttering motion ;
A multitude of goblins, pale as moonlight, ble lamentations and ravings of the
still anxious to see Bertha once more,
castle vaults at which she has promised Tho', go where'er I might, the murderous brand, to meet him.
While he lingers, a Like that of Cain, will gleam upon my forehead; And evermore my struggles are in vain
light from another range of windows To quell that moaning voice. In hollow murmurs in the same part of the building ata It rises ever on my tortur'd ears. If to myself I say, 'twas but my foe
tracts his attention, he climbs up, That I have slain,-then Hell with scorn reminds and, looking in, sees the chapel filled
me, That was no enemy's voice!
with priests and mourners surroundThe following is part of the conver- ing the hearse of his father. Nothing sation that passes between Boleslav can be conceived more awful than this and Jaromir. The old robber is com- situation the choral lamentations and municating to the boy the true secret prayers peal upon his ear from this of his birth.
holy place like the accents of another Bol. This castle's halls first heard thy voice in world-and he flies from the scene of
childhood; Here first thine eyes beheld the light; and here,
misery to bury himself in a vault beUnconsciously in its possessor's arms,
neath. Hast thou first gain’d the embraces of a father! (Upon which Jaromir shrieks out, “ No! No!"
This vault is the burial place of the and the robber continues.
Borotins. It is as I have said : Come now,
Conspicuous in its backAnd go with me to him. The law that deals ground appears the lofty monument Too hardly with a robber will be milder
of the ANCESTRESS. In the foreAgainst the son of one so rich and noble. Come with me, while 'tis time. He lies theré ground appears an elevated platform wounded,
or bier, covered with a black shroud. And who can tell how short his life may be ? Only just now, when in pursuit of us,
Jaromir enters now in a state of deRound this old gloomy castle, he was struck lirium. We give the whole of this By the sharp dagger of a runaway: Jar. Thou fiend! Malicious fiend! And with last scene.
one word Wouldst thou destroy me? Art thou so presuming,
Jar. So here I am at last. Now, courage! courage! Because I bear no arms? Nature, 'tis true,
A shivering sound is breath'd along these walls, Does little: Yet she gave me teeth and talous;
And even the slightest words reverberate, Hyena weapons with Hyena rage.
As from another's voice. Where'er I go, Thou serpent! I will tear thee limb from limb;
There lies before me, on the dusky ground, And, if thy words can kill, yet thou shalt know
A long black line of blood; and though my heart These hands are yet more deadly.
Revolts, and Nature shudders at the sight, Bol. He is mad!
Still I must follow the dire traces. Ha ! Help! Rescue! Help!
[He runs out.
Who touches me so coldly? Jar. And must I then believe
[His own hands meet by accident. This demon's worus? Ha! were they true: This
My own hand ? tale,
Yes! it was mine. And art thou now so numb'd Whereof the thoughts alone, the possibility
And icy-cold, erewhile by the warm glow But dimly shadow'd, freezes up my blood,
Of youthful blood pervaded? Icy-cold, Was it then true? Aye, aye; it is! it is!
And stiffened, like the murderer's-murderer's No dream, but all reality? I hear,
hand! [Thoughtful and with fixed eyes. In my heart's deep recesses, and all round me,
Dreams-idle dreams! Away! Now for repose ! A supernatural voice that murmurs, “ Aye!"
Now for the wedding festival! My love! And the black spectre forms that float before me
Bride! Bertha! Why art thou so late? Come, Nod with their bloody heads a horrid " Aye!"
Bertha ! Ha! now that voice, that in a murderous hour [The Ancestress then steps from the monument.) Rose from my fallen pursuer comes again,
An. Who calls ? And moaning, faultering, dying, murmurs, "Aye !" Jar. What, art thou there? Then all is well He was my father ! he my father ! I
My courage is restored to me again. His son ! his only son! and-Ha! who spoke there? Come to these arms, my Bertha ! Let me kiss Who spoke that word aloud-that from himself Thy pale checks into red! But wherefore thus The murderer pale and trembling keeps concealed So timidly retiring? And thy looks, In his heart's deepest folds ? Who dared to tell it ? Wherefore so mournful? Courage, dearest, couHis son, and murderer! Ha! his son, his son, And murderer!
And is thy wedding then so melancholy? (Suddenly covering his face with both his hands, I am so glad and joyous---look at me! All that on earth is held
And as I feel, so too should'st thou, Pray, mark Most precious, holy, venerable, dear,
me! And consecrated: All combin'd, reach not
I know such marvellous histories, and adventures, In sanctity a father's hoary head.
So strange, I needs must laugh at them--lies all, Balm from his tongue distils; for he who gains Nay, lies for certain--yet most laughable! A father's blessing merrily may sail
Look you, they say now (courage, courage, child!) Thro' life's rough waves, and at the tempest smile! They say thou art my sister! Thou my sister! But who, by impious rage of passion driven, Laugh, dearest; why wilt thou not laugh, I say? Against hiin lifts his sacrilegious arm,
(The Ancestress replies to his raving in a holIs held of Heaven abandoned and accurs'd.
low voice.) Thy sister I am not. Aye! I can hear, with trembling horror now,
Jar. Thou say'st it still
And then my father, (He pauses.) Come, but we Shall gain forgiveness-never!"
waste time But our limits prevent us from be- No more of this ! All is prepared for flight,
Come, come! ing able to give any more of the terri
An. Where is thy father?
Jar, Silence !
Murderer, yield thyself, thy hour is come!
The Ancestress then stretches out
her arm, and they remain staring at Be silent, and no more torment me thus !
her with astonishment and terror. She
Thou hopeless victim, part in
peace Is to my dagger nearest. Therefore, silence! She kisses him on the forehead, An. With increasing energy.) Where is thy fa
then lifts ther?
the shroud, and spreads
up Jar. Ha! who gave thee power
it mournfully over both the dead bo-
dies, (for her kiss proves instantly
Is all fulfilled! Thro' fate's dark night of horror,
Be praised Eternal Power! Receive me now,
Thou silent cell! The Ancestress comes home!
She moves with solemn pace back
vanished into its gloomy recess, the
ing to seize Jaromir,
Gunther, the old steward, hastens
to the bier, lifts up the covering, and Nor thus deny me now!
He is dead!
There is one remark only which
we cannot forbear making, ere we Thou should'st not from my arms escape.
conclude our sketch of this most An. Begone!
beautiful and soul-subduing tragedy. Jar. No, No! I tell thee no !
(There is a noise heard of a door thrown violent- It is a tale of incestuous love-but it ly open.) An. Listen! they come!
Jar. So be it then! Life, Bertha, at thy side, is the only tale of that kind which Or death. But still, together we remain ?
was ever presented, either in a drama(Another door opens.) An. Fly, fly, ere yet it is too late!
tic or in any other form, without Jar. My Bertha !
wounding the ear of the hearer, or Come hither, love! An. Thy Bertha I am not!
the eye of the spectator. There is one I am the Ancestress of this fallen house!
tragedy, indeed, the Mirra of Alfieri,)
est, which is in one respect no less And pleasure waves me onward!
pure—but those who remember the An. See then here The bridal ornaments I have prepared !
structure of that roagnificent tragedy,
will be at no loss to see the reason for She now tears the black cover from the raised platform, and the real Ber
the preference we have given to the
Ancestress. The love of the brother tha appears lying dead in her coffin. Upon which Jaromir starts back with
and the sister is love conceived in ighorror, and exclaims, “ Woe! woe!”
norance-love, which not to have but almost instantly recovering him
been conceived between such perself, he believes the whole to be a de- sonages so situated, would have aplusion.
peared an absurdity, or rather an imJar. Deceitful birth of hell! In vain!
possibility to such a poet as GrillparI leave thee not! Those are my Bertha's features,
zer. It is a love, pure and ethereal, With her my place must be ! In pronouncing the two last lines,
unconsciously, as it were, melted away he runs after the Ancestress, who
into heavenly purity-by that very
law of heaven that forbids the union says, Then come, thou lost one!
of the unhappy, but, in so far as their And opens her arms, into which he love is conceived, the not guilty lovers. immediately throws himself, but starts It seems as if we felt the mysterious back with a cry of horror-he stag- breath of nature, playing coolly and gers a few paces, and then sinks down calmly over their burning brows-not on Bertha's coffin. At this moment, extinguishing the passion, but purging the doors are burst open, and Gun- all dross from the flame. We know, ther, the Captain with his band, and indeed, and feel that the disappointBoleslav the robber rush in. The ment of such a passion is a thing not Captain says,
to be survived by creatures so young