« VorigeDoorgaan »
ly features in the long wrappings of her Capt. I say, away with him!
(Boleslæv is led out.) sepulchral veil. Bertha is afraid that
Count. He goes and leaves his words yet unretracted: Jaromir has taken the dagger for the So bury me ye walls! Destruction come! purpose of self-destruction; but to shew Fall down, ye pillars, that this earth uphold ! her that not such were his intentions, be The son has slain his father ! draws from his bosom a pbial of poison, It is thus that Borotin dies : Bertha which he tosses at her feet. She lifts is left lying on the floor in a stupor of the fatal present—Jaromir retires into
from which she, after a pause of bis own apartment—and here closes the several minutes, awakes wildly, and third act.
speaks. At the commencement of Act IV. the old Count Borotin is brought in woun- But no ; I am alone ; (Rising from the ground.) AU
And am I called for ? Yes, my name is Bertha.... ded; and when they propose to bear silent, silent; him to his chamber, he refuses. The Here lies my father! lies so still, and moves not ! last of the Borotins, he says, must die in All silent, silent, silent. Oh how heavy the ball of the Borotins, and a couch is I know that many things have come to pass,
My head feels now! Mine eyes, how dim they are ! spread for him in the midst of the floor And, meditating, I would dwell upon them; -the armour and the portraits of his But a strange light, that burns upon my forehead, ancestors hanging on every side around Consumes the wildering images.
Hold, hold! him. While he is taking leave of bis Said they not that my father was a robber? daughter, the Captain comes in apd in. No, not my father-No, no ; Jaromir! forms him, that one of the robbers, whom
So was the robber named ; and from the bosom they have seized, has a piece of intelli- Even while she deem'd it most secure, and left,
Of a poor girl, he stole the heart away, gence, which he is anxious, above all In place of the warm heart, a cold, cold scorpion, things, to communicate to him before he That now with venomous teeth still gnaws and gnaws. dies. The robber, an old man, Boles. And by slow torments wears her life away!
And then there was a son who kill'd his father! lav, is introduced. His story is, that (Joyfully.) My brother, too, came back! my drown'd, the son of the Count was not drowned, as Jost brother! had been believed, but stolen from the And he, my brother-hold, hold !-down, I sasa castle gate by bimself in his infancy.
(Her hand convulsively press'd on her breast.)
Back to thy cell again, thou poisonous reptile ! And where and what is he? (cries the dying man)
There gnaw and tear my vitals--But be silent !
(She takes a light. What! is my son A robber ? --Heaven ! he answers not my question.
Aye, now I'll go to sleep-to sleep! The dreams
Of slumber are so soothing-horrid visions
But haunt our waking eyes.
Her wandering looks now happen to Or had his name remain'd for ever hid, "Twere better than to be thus join'd with robbers.
notice on the table the phial, which in But why am I so rash ? Oh, Heaven, I thank thee the third act) she bad insisted For this one gleam of light !-Was it his choice?
taking from Jaromir.
So glittering on the table ? Oh, I know thee,
Thou precious phial! Was it not a gift Bol. My lord,
From my bridegroom-a marriage-gift? and then Unknown to you that stranger, who, to-night, Said he not, as he gave it me, that here, Wearied and pale, came here to seek protection In that small cradle, sleeping, lay the god Ber. (Interrupting him.) How? Jaromir ?
Of everlasting sleep? Now, let me tryBol. The same.
Let me but sip a few drops from thy brim,
To cool my burning lips. But, softly; softly;
(With the intention here expressed she endeavours to Bol. Nay, my lord, 'tis true.
walk on tiptoe towards the table : but at every step, Count. Recall thy words.
being now quite exhausted by the conflict she has Bol. My lord, in truth, I cannot.
undergone, she totters more and more, till without Count. (Raising himself with his whole strength obtaining the phial, she falls to the ground; and here from the couch.) Thou shalt, by Heaven!
the Fourth Act is terminated.] Capt. (In a soothing tone to the Count.) My lord !
(Then pointing to Boleslav.) Away with him! The beginning of the fifth act repreBol. (To the captain.) Pray, noble sir !
sents Boleslav, who has been set at lib
But what is this
erty, as seeking Jaromir in his lurking By the sharp dagger of a runaway.
Jar. Thou fiend ! Malicious fiend! And with one place. The unbappy boy, before this
word man joins bim, is tormented by a thou- Wouldst thou destroy me? Art thou so presuming. sand mysterious revulsions of thought at Because I bear no arms? Nature, 'tis true,
Does little: Yet she gave me teeth and talons ; the deed by which his own safety bad
Hyena weapons with Hyena rage, been purchased.
Thou serpent! I will tear thee limb from limb;
And if thy words can kill, yet thou shalt know Jar. And if what I bave done be right, then where
These hands are yet more deadly. fore
Bol. He is mad! Has this dark horror seiz'd me? Wherefore thus
Help! Rescue ! Help!
(He runs out, Should my brain burn-and my blood turn to ice ?
Jar. And must I then believe Wherefore should this persuasion haunt me still,
This demon's words? Ha! were they true: This tale That in the moment of that obscure deed,
Whereof the thoughts alone, the possibility The Devil urg'd and Heaven drew back mine arm?
But dimly shadow'd, freezes up my blood, As in my flight a follower gain'd upon me,
Was it then true? Aye, aye ; it is ! it is ! I felt bis breath already on my neck,
No dream, but all reality! I hear, Almost his hands had reacb'd me; and just then
In my heart's deep recesses, and all around me. Some inward voice exclaim'd “ Resign thyself!
A supernaturai voice that murmurs, " Aye!” Thy weapons cast away ! Fall at his feet ;
And the black spectre forms that float before me 'Tissweet from Sin to fly, even to the arms
Nod with their bloody heads a horrid“ Aye !" of Death !" But with a sudden fire awakening,
Ha! now that voice, that in a murderous hour Within me all the robber rag d anew,
Rose from my fa.Ien pursuer comes again, And irresistibly demanded blood !
And moaning, faultering, dying, murmurs, “ Aye! Then a strange rushing noise was all around,
He was my father! be my father! I And all before me held a fluttering motion ;
His son ! his only son! and-Ha! who spoke there? A multitude of goblins, pale as moonlight,
Who spoke that word aloud-that from himself Whirl'd in a circling dance: And in my hand
The murderer pale and trembling keeps concealed The dagger, like a brand from hell, was glowing;
In his heart's deepest folds? Who dared to tell it? * Reseve!-defend thyself!" was call'd aloud,
His son, and murderer! Ha! his son, bois son, And in blind rage I struck at my pursuer ;
And murderer! It was enough-a faultering moan succeeded.
(Suddenly covering his face with both his hands. In a well-known and honour'd voice it rose, And the faint tone betoken'd death. All trembling,
All that on earth is beld I heard the voice. A supernatural borror,
Most precious, holy, venerable, dear,
And consecrated : All combin'd, reach not
In sanctity a father's hoary head.
A father's blessing merrily may sail
Thro' life's rough waves, and at the tempest smile ! To quell that moaning voice. In hollow murmurs
But, who, by impious rage of passion driven, It rises ever on my tortur'd ears.
Against him lifts his sacrilegious arm, If to myself I say, 'twas but my foe
Is heid of Heaven abandoned and accurs'd. That I have slain,-then Hell with scorn reminds me, Aye! I can hear, with trembling horror now, That was no enemy's voice.
How speaks the Eternal Judge." All other crimes
Find their atonement : But the Parricide The following is part of the conver Shall gain forgiveness-never !" sation that
between Boleslav and Jaromir. The old robber is communi But our limits prevent us from being cating to the boy the true secret of bis able to give any more of the terrible labirth.
mentations and ravings of the unhappy
boy. Sensible as he now is of all the Bol. This castle's halls first heard thy voice in accumulated horrors in which he has Here first thine eyes beheld the light; and here,
become involved - he is still anxious to Unconsciously in its possessor's arms,
see Bertha once more, and lingers near Hast thou first gain'd the embraces of a father! that window of the castle vault at wbich (Upon which Jaromir shrieks out, “ No ! No!" and she has promised to meet him. While
the robber continues. Itis as I have said : Come now,
be lingers, a light from another range of And go with me to him. The law that deals
windows in the same part of the buildToo hardly with a robber will be milder
ing attracts bis attention he clinbs
up) Against the son of one so rich and noble. Come with me, while 'tis time. He lies there wounded with priests and mourners surrounding
and, looking in, sees the chapel filled And who can tell how short his life may be ? Only just now, when in pursuit of us,
the hearse of bis father. Nothing can Round this old gloomy castle, he was struck
be conceived more awful than this situ
l'hou hast bebeld me but in milder words; ation--the choral lamentations and pray
But when the dark power rules within my heart, ers peal upoo his ear from this holy And speaks aloud, the lion in lois ruge place like the accents of another world to me is but a lap-log. Blood I cry! —and he flies from the scene of misery
And be that is the nearest to my heart to bury himself in a vault beneath.
Is to my dagger Dearest. Therefore, silence !
An. (With increasing energy) Where is thy father? This vault is tbe burial place of the
Jar. Hı! whu gave the power Borotins. Conspicuous in its back- To call me to account : Where is my father ? ground appears the lofty monument of Know I myself ? Mean'st thou the pale old man, tbe ANCESTRESS. lo the fore-ground with venerable silver locks ? Then mark you,
Hiin have I sung to sleep, and he sleeps nowappears an elevated platform or bier, Sleeps. sleeps! Yee many times he nioves himself, covered with a black shroud. Jaromir Then turns again to rest. Closes once more enters now in a state of delirium. We His heavy eyelids, and, with some faint murmurs,
Sinks jnio slunuber. But no more of this, give the whole of this last scene.
Bertha, art thou deluding the ? Come now, Jar. So here I am at last. Now, courage ! courage!
Let us from bence away! Why shake thy head A shivering sound is breach'd along these walls,
As if in cold denial? Perjar'd girl, And even the slightest words reverberate,
Ungrateful! Is it thus llist thou rewardest As from another's voice. Where'er I go,
My fathful love, and all that I have done! There lies before me, on the dusky ground,
Whate'er on earth was to my soul most dear, A long black line of blood; and though my heart
This world or heaven, I do renounce that I Revolts, and Nature shudders at the sight,
May call thee mine. If thou could'st know the Still I inust follow the dire traces. Ha !
sufferings, Who touches me so coldly?
The pains of hell that gnaw my heart in sunder, [His own hands meet by accident. Could'se thou but know the torment of a consicence My own hand?
Deep stained, like mine, in blood, thou wouldht le Yes ! it was mine. And art thou now so numb'd
milder, And icy-cold, erewhile by the warm glow
Nor thus deny me now ! of youthful blood pervaded ? Icy-cold,
An. Begone! Away ! And stiffened like the murderer's-murderer's hand!
Jur. What I ? begone! No nerer without thee!
We [Thoughtful and with fixed eyes. go together; and if even thy father Dreams-idle dreams! Away! Now for repose !
Himself withheld theť, with that ghastly wound, Now for the wedding festival ! My love!
Whose bloudy lips wide.yawning call me murderer, Bride! Bertha! Why art thou so late? Come,
Thou should'st not from my arms escape,
An. Begone! (The Ancestress then steps from the monument.]
Jar No, No! I tell thee no ! An. Who calls ?
(There is a noise heard of a door thrown vickntly Jar. What, art thou there? Then all is well. open.) A11. Listen ! they come ! My courage is restored to me again.
Jar. So be it then : Life, Bertha, at thy side, Come to these arms, my Bertha ! Let me kiss Or death. But still, together we remain ? Thy pale cheeks into red! But wherefore thus (Another door opens.) An, Fly, fly, ere yet it is too So timidly retiring? And thy looks,
late! Wherefore so mournful ? Courage, dearest,courage ! far. My Bertha ! And is thy wedding then so melancholy ?
Come hither, love! I am so glad and joyous-look at me!
An. Thy Bertha I am not ! And as I feel, so too should'st thou. Pray, mark me.
I am the Ancestress of this fallen house ! I know such marvellous histories, and adventu.es,
Thou child of sin, I am thy sinful mother! So strange, I needs must laugh at them--lies all, Jar. Those are my Bertha's cheeks, her form,
her bosom! Nay, lies for certain--yet most laughable ! Look you, they say now (courage, courage, child !)
Thou shalt with me! Here passion rages still, They say thou art my sister ! thou my sister !
And pleasure waves me onward ?
An. See then here Laugh, dearest; why wilt thou not laugh, I say? (The Ancestress replies to his raving in a hollow
The bridal ornaments I have prepared ! poico) Thy sister I am not.
She now tears the black cover from Jer. Thou say'st it still So mournfully. My sister, laugh, I say !
the raised platform, and the real Bertha And then my father, (He pauses.] Come, but we appears lying dead in ber coffin. Upon waste time
which Jaromir starts back with hor. No more of this ! All is prepared for flight.
ror, and exclaims, “ Woe! woe !” but Come, come. An. Where is thy father?
almost instantly recovering himself, he Far. Silence !
believes the whole to be a delusion. Silence, I say ! Ån. Where is thy father?
Jar. Deceitful birth of hell! In vain !-Jar. Wife,
I leave thee not! Those are my Bertha's features, Be silent, and no more torment me thus !
With her my place must be !
Io pronouncing the two last lines, he the sister is love conceived in ignorance puns after the Ancestress, who says,
love, which not to have been concei
ved between such personages so situated, Then come thou lost one!
would have appeared an absurdity, or And opens her arms, into which he im- rather an impossibility to such a poet as mediately throws himself, but starts back Grillparzer.' It is a love, pure and with a cry of horror-he staggers a few
ethereal, unconsciously, as it were, meltpaces, and then sinks down on Bertha's ed away into heavenly purity-by that coffin. At this moinent, the doors are
very law of heaven that forbids the union barst open, and Gunther, the Captain of the unhappy, but, in so far as their with his band, and Boleslav the robber love is conceived, the not guilty lovers. rush in. 'The Captain says,
It seems as if we felt the mysterious Murderer, yield thyself, thy hour is come. breath of nature, playing coolly and
The Ancestress then stretches out ber calmly over their burning brows-not arm, and they remain staring at her with extinguishing the passion, but purging astonishment and terror, She then leans all dross from the flame. We know, inover Jaromir, and with the words,
deed, and feel that the disappointment
ofsuch a passion is a thing not to be surThoa hopeless victim, part in peace!
vived by creatures so young---so ardent Sbe kisses him on the forebead, then -s0 entirely living in their love. But lifts up the sbroud, and spreads it mourn- the death which we foresee, comes befully over both the dead bodies, (for her fore us not in the shape of a punishment, kiss proves instantly mortal to Jaromir) but of a predetermined expiation of then with lifted hands, she exclaims, guilt long since punished on ber that Now then,
committed it,---demanding no pardon is all fulfilled! Thro' fate's dark night of horror, for those that die that it may be forgotBe praised Eternal Power! Receive me now,
We see Jaromir laid upon the Thou silent cell! The Ancestress comes home!
virgin hearse of Bertha without a shudShe moves with solemn pace back to der—with a calm and acquiescing revthe monument; and when she has yan
erence for the horror that has laid bim ished into its gloomy recess, the Cap- there. Such indeed is the entire mastain's party come forward intending to tery of his love in bis breast, and in the seize Jaromir.
fable of the poet, that the other, the yet Capt. Ha ! Row we hold him certain.
darker, because completed, horror-the Gunther, the old steward, hastens to templation. The tears of Jaromir have
parricide-is almost forgotten in its conthe bier, lifts up the covering, and says, wiped out all his other guilt ; when he weeping,
dies, we regard him as dying only for He is dead.
his love. There is one remark only which we The creation of the character of Bercannot forbear making ere we conclude tha is another thing, in praise of which our sketch of this most beautiful and too much could not be said ; but we soul-subduing tragedy. It is a tale of believe we might safely leave that to the incestuous love but it is the only tale imagination and the hearts of our readof that kind wbich was ever presented, ers. What beautiful use is made of the either in a dramatic or in any other form, resemblance between her and the guilty without wounding the ear of the hearer, spectre mother-how that resemblance or the eye of the spectator. There is subdues all feelings of horror for the one tragedy, indeed, (the Mirra of Al- sins of the departed, into sympathy with fieri,) founded on the same species of the sufferings of those that tread jo life interest, which is in one respect no less before us—how it raises also, into a pure—but those who remember the mysterious sublimity, those living lineastructure of that magnificent tragedy, ments which might otherwise have exwill be at no loss to see the reason for pressed only the mild tenderness and the preference we have given to the An- mild ardour of young and hoping love. vestress. Tbe love of the brother and The horror which we feel for the shroud
of the one, (when the unhappy youth she is no less admirably conceived and mistakes her for his mistress,) is soon preserved than any of the others. This communicated to the bridal garland of is not a subject for speaking about; but the other—and we revolt, with an io- every thing in the words and gestures stinctive tremour, from the idea of that of this wandering spectre bespeaks the very love which excites, at the same utmost perfection and entireness of moment, our admiration, and our reve- imagination. Whenever she appears, rence, and our sympathy.
the atmosphere around the living creaThe miserable ghostlike face of the tures among whom she walks is changed universe, described in the very first
-her breath stops theirs, and chills speech of this unfortunate maiden, pre- their blood with the damp and icy rapares us to look on all around her and pours of the tomb. The words she us as wrapped in snow and ice. Life speaks are sew—“ Whither go you, seems all like the forest on which she Bertha ?"_“ Home," and truly that gazes—dreary-frozen-benumbed - Home was desolate enough ; but she black-trod only by footsteps of guilt points to it with her waving finger, in and misery-echoing only the shouts assurance, that in its desolation she shall of bloodshed, revenge, and death. Even soon have rich companionship. There is amidst all the beautiful feelings called not a more holy, nor
a more awful out by Bertha's confession of her love to thought than that of the unity created her father, the predominating darkness and nourished among those of the same of her destiny hangs out distinct and blood, and never was this thought visible. The vision she sees in the mir- brought before us in more appropriate ror is an omen that cannot be mistaken. and mysterious power, thap in the trag. True from the beginning do we feel to edy of the Boroting. The pictures that be the words of Borotin,
moulder upon their walls, the green and My poor, poor child, you have been born for sorrow.
time-worn forms sculptured over the
resting-places of departed knights and The composure of expectation with ladies-all seem to be imbued with a which the old man throughout contem- sort of dim “ life in death ;"_it seems plates the coming extioction of his hopes as if even their decay were not to move and his house—the calmness with which beyond its commencement until the last he meets even the poniard blow of bis fragments of the line had been swept son—bis dying words so full, not of for- into the same vault-and all the long giveness, but of something that super- series of ancestry and progeny been shut sedes and excels all forgiveness ;-all up together withio “those ponderous things, id son, in daughter, and in father, and marble jaws," there to mingle forpartake of the same universal tinge of ever in repose the blood and dust that foreseen misery not to be contended had so often been bequeathed and inherwith, not to be averted, claiming and re- ited. It is thus that the axe is at last ceiving only a desperate meekness and laid to the root of the blighted oaka terrible resignation.
and that all the Borotins are gathered to But the Ancestress herself is one of their fathers. the characters of the piece, and surely
ORIGINAL ANECDOTES OF EMINENT PERSONS.
SPENCE'S ANECDOTES. *
as much for the latter. Dr. Johnson OF Spence and his Polymetis
, which described bim as a man whose learaGray slighted, we at present know ing was not very great, and whose mind little.
Lempriere has consigned the was not very powerful ;" but he acformer to oblivion, and time done nearly knowledges that his criticism was com
Anecdotes, Observations, and Characters of Books and Men. Collected from the Conversations of Mr. Pope, and other eminent Persons of his time. By the Rev. Joseph Spence. Noro first published from the original Papers. With Notes and a Life of the Author. By Samuel Welier Singer. London 1820.