Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

The law of love sole mandate--but your gall, Where thine's in question.
Ye Swedish prelacy! Your gall hath turned Aug. See, my son relents;
The words of sweet, but indigested peace, Behold, O king! yet spare us but a moment;
To wrath and bitterness -Ye unhallowed men! His little sister shall embrace his knees,
In whom vice sanctifies, whose precepts teach And these fond arms, around his duteous neck,
Zeal without truth, religion without virtue, Shall join to bend him to us.
Who ne'er preach Heaven but with a downward Crist. Could I trust ye-
eye,

Aro. I'll be your hostage.
That turns your souls to dross; who, shouting, Crist. Granted.
loose

Gust. Hold, my friend. The dogs of hell upon us thefts, and rapes, [Here Arvida breaks from Gustavus, and Sacked towns, and midnight howlings through the passes to Cristiern's Party, while Augusta realm

and Gustava go over to Gustatus. Receive your sanction 'tis glorious mis- Aug. Is it then 'given, yet given me 'ere I chief,

die When vice turns holy, puts religion on,

To see thy face, Gustavus ? thus to gaze, Assumes the robe pontifical, the eye

To touch, to fold thee thus !--My son, my son ! Of saintly elevation, blesseth sin,

And have I lived to this? It is enough. And makes the seal of sweet oifended heaven All armed, and in thy country's precious cause A sign of blood, a label for decrees,

Terribly beauteous, to behold thee thus ! That hell would shrink to own!

Why, 'twas my only, hourly suit to heaven, Crist. No more of this.

And now 'tis granted. O my glorious child! Gustavus, wouldst thou yet return to grace, Blessed were the throes I felt for thee, Gustarus! And hold thy motions in the sphere of duty, For from the breast, from out your swathing Acceptance might be found.

bands, Gust. Imperial spoiler!

You stepped the child of honour. Give me my father, give me back my kindred, Gust. O my mother ! Give me the fathers of ten thousand orphans, Aug. Why stands that water trembling in Give me the sons in whom thy ruthless sword

thy eye? Has left our widows childless! Mine they were, Why heaves thy bosom? Turn not thus away! Both mine, and every Swede's, whose patriot | 'Tis the last time that we must meet, my child, breast

And I will have thee whole. Why, why, Gus Bleeds in his country's wounds! O thou can't tavus, not!

Why is this form of heaviness? For me Thou hast out-sinned all reckoning! Give me I trust it is not meant; you cannot think then

So poorly of me: I grow old, my son, My all that's left, my gentle mother there, And to the utmost period of mortality, And spare yon little trembler!

I ne'er should find a death's hour like to this, Crist. Yes, on terms

Whereby to do thee bonour. Of compact, and submission.

Gust. Roman patriots ! Gust. Ha! with thee?

Ye Decii, self-devoted to your country! Compact with thee ! and mean'st thou for my You gave no mothers up! Will annals yield country?

No precedent for this, no elder boast, For Sweden ! No-so hold my heart but firm, Whereby to match my trial? Altho' it wring for't; though blood drop for tears, Aug. No, Gustavus; And at the sight my straining eyes start forth- For Heaven still squares our trial to our strength, They both shall perish first.

And thine is of the foremost-Noble youth! Crist. Slaves, do your office.

Ev’n I, thy parent, with a conscious pride, Gust. Hold yet !- Thou can’st not be so damn- Have often bowed to thy superior virtues. ed! my mother!

O, there is but onc bitterness in death,
I dare not ask thy blessing—Where's Arvida? One only sting-
Where art thou? Come, my friend, thou'st known Gust. Speak, speak!
temptation-

Aug. 'Tis felt for thee.
And therefore best can'st pity, or support me, Too well I know thy gentleness of soul,
Aro. Alas! I shall but serve to weigh thee Melting as babes; even now the pressure's on
downward,

thee, To pull thee from the dazzling, sightless height, And bends thy loveliness to earth-0, child ! At which thy virtue soars. For, O Gustavus, The dear but sad foretaste of thy affliction My soul is dark, disconsolate and dark;

Already kills thy mother-But, behold, Sick to the world, and hateful to myself, Behold thy valiant followers, who to thee, I have no country now; I've nought but thee, And to the faith of thy protecting arm, And should yield up the interest of mankind, Have given ten thousand mothers, daughters toa; Who in thy virtue yet may learn to bear My heart drops blood. Thou fountain of my Millions of free-born sons to bless thy name,

life! And pray for their deliverer–0 farewell ! Dearer than mercy is to kneeling penitence, This, and but this, the very last adieu !

My earliest blessing, first and latest joy; Heaven sit victorious on thy arm, my son! Return, return, and save thy lost Gustavus ! And give thee to thy merits !

Crist. No more, thou trifler ! Crist. Ah, thou traitress !

Aug. O farewell for ever! Gustada. O brother, a’n't you stronger than [Ereunt Cristiern aud his party. Gustavus that man?

and his party remain. Don't let him take my mother.

Gust. Then she is gone-Arvida! Anderson ! Aug. See, Gustavus,

For ever gone—Arnoldus, friends, where are ye? My little captive waits for one embrace.

Help here, heave, heave this mountain from me Gust: Come to my arms, thou lamb-like sacri

-0fice !

Heaven keep my senses SoWe will to O that they were of force to hold thee ever,

battle; To let thee to my heart ! there lock thee close, But let no banners wave-Be still

, thou trump! And circle thee with life! But 'twill not be!. And every martial sound that gives the war

Gustava. I'll stay with you, my brother. To pomp or levity; for vengeance now
Gust. Killing innocence !

Is clad with heavy arms, sedately stern,
That I was born to see this hour!

Resolved, but silent as the slaughtered heaps The pains of hell are on me!-Take her, mo- O'er which my soul is brooding. ther!

Arn. O Gustavus ! Gustava. I will not part with you, indeed, I Is there a Swede of us, whose sword and soul will not !

Grapples not to thee, as to all they hold Gust. Take her-Distraction! Haste, my Of earthly estimation? Said I more, dearest mother :

It were but half my thought.
Oh-else ( shall run mad-quite mad and save And. On thee we gaze,
ye.

As one unknown till this important hour,
Aro. Hold, madam; hear me, thou most dear Pre-eminent of men !
Gustavus !

Siv. Accursed be he,
Thus low I bend my prayer, reject me not: Who, in thy leading, will not fight, and strive,
If once, if ever, thou didst love Arvida,

And bleed, and gasp, with pleasure ! O leave me here to answer to the wrath

And. We are thine; Of this fell tyrant. Save thy honoured mother, All, all, both we and ours; whom thou this day And that sweet lamb, from slaughter !

Hast dearly purchased. Gust. Cruel friendship !

Arn. Though, to yield us up, Crist. And, by my life I'd take thee at thy Had scarce been less than virtue. word,

Gust. O my friends! Thou doubly damned ! but that I know 'twould I see, 'tis not for man to boast his strength please thee.

Before the trial comes—This very hour, Aug. No, generous prince, thy blood shall ne- Had I a thousand parents, all seemed light ver be

When weighed against my country; and but now, The price of our dishonour. Come, my child; One mother seemed of weight to poise the world, Weep not, sweet babe! there shall no harm come Though conscious truth and reason were against nigh thee.

her Crist. 'Tis well, proud dame; you are returned For, O, howe'er the partial passions sway, I see

Fligh Heaven assigns but one unbiassed way; Each to his charge-Here break we off, 'Gusta- Direct through every opposition leads, vus;

Where shelves decline, and many a steep imFor to the very teeth of thy rebellion

pedes. We dash defiance back.

Here hold we on-though thwarting fiends alarm, Gust. Alas, my mother!

Here hold we on-though devious Syrens charm; Grief choaks up utterance, else I have to say In Heaven's disposing power events unite, What never tongue unfolded-Yet return! Nor aught can happen wrong to him who acts Come back, and I will.give up all to save thee! aright. For, on the covering of thy sacred head,

[Ereunt.

ACT. V.

SCENE I.-The royal tent.

This morn beheld thee mistress of the north,

Bright heir of Scandinavia; and this hour
Enter CRISTINA and MARIANA.

Has left thee not, throughout thy wide dominions, Cristina. Hark! Mariana, list !-No-All is Whereon to rest thy foot. silent

Cristina. Now, praise to Heaven !
It was not fancy sure-didst thou hear aught? Say but my father lives!
Mar. Too plain, the voice of terror seized my Laer. At your command
ear,

I went; and, from a neighbouring summit, viewAnd my heart sinks within me.

ed Cristina. O, I fear

Where either host stood adverse, sternly wedged; The war is now at work-As winds, methought, Reflecting on each other's gloomy front, Long borne through hollow vaults, the sound ap- Fell hate and fixed defiance When, at once, proached;

The foe moved on, attendant on the steps One sound, yet laden with a thousand notes Of their Gustavus-He, with mournful pace Of fearful variation; then it swelled

Came slow and silent; till two hapless Danes To distant shouts, now coming on the gale; Pricked forth, and on his helm discharged their Again, borne backward with a parting groan,

fury: All sunk to horrid stillness.

Then rouzed the lion! To my wondering sight Mar. Look, my princess!

His stature grew twofold; before his eye Ah, no! withhold thy eyes! the place grows All force seemned withered, and his horrid plume dark,

Shook wild dismay around; as Heaven's dread A sudden cloud of sorrow stains the day,

bolt, And throws its gloom around.

TIe shot, he pierced our legions; in his strength

His shouting squadron gloried, rushing on Enter four Slaves, as bearing the bodies of Where'er he led the battle-full five times, AUGUSTA and GUSTAVA on a bier covered.

Hemmed by our mightier host, the foe seemed Four women, in chains, follow weeping.

lost, Cristina. Whence are ye, say, you daughters of And swallowed from my sight; five times again, affliction?

Like flame, they issued to the light-and thrice, Their speech is in their tears-Avert, ye saints ! These eyes beheld him, they beheld Gustavus Avert that thought! soft! hold ye! I've a tear Unhorsed, and by a host girt singly in; For every mourner-Ab!

And thrice he broke through all. (Looks under the covering. Cristina. My blood runs chill. Mar. What mean you, madam?

Laer. With such a strenuous, such a laboured Cristina. Reflection, come not there! See it conflict, not, eyes !

Sure never field was fought! until Gustavus How art thou spilt, thou blood of royalty !

Aloud cried, Victory! and on his spear Close at the paleness of its parent breast High reared the imperial diadem of Denmark. The babe lies slaughtered. Tell me, who did this? Then slacked the battle; then recoiled our host; No, hold ye ! Say not that my father did it; His echoed, Victory! and now would know For duty then turns rebel-Cruel father! No bounds; rout followed, and the face of fight O, that some villager, whose early toil

- She heeds me not. Lifts the penurious morsel to his mouth,

Cristina. O, ill-starred royalty ! Had claimed my birth! Ambition had not then My father ! Cruel

, dear, unhappy father! Thus stepped 'twixt me and Heaven.

Summoned so sudden ! fearful thought ! Mar. Go, bear it bence

Step in, sweet mercy! For thy time was—Ha! Turn, turn, my royal mistress ! Cristina. Ah, Augusta!

Enter Cristiern, flying, without his helmet, in Among thy foes thou’rt fallen, thou'rt fallen in

disorder, his sword broke, and his garments virtue!

bloody; he throu's away his sword, and speaks. Exalt thyself, O Guilt! for here the good

Crist. Give us new arms of proof-fresh horses Have none who may lament them. Sit we down;

-quick! For I grow weary of the world; let death A watch without there-set a standard up Within his vaulted durance, dark and still, To guide our scattered powers! Haste, my Receive me too; and where the atllicted rest,

friends, haste! There fold me in for ever.

We must be gone-0 for some cooling stream

To slake a monarch's thirst!
Enter LAERTES.

Laer. A post, my liege,
Laer. Arise, Cristina ; Aly! thou royal virgin ! A second post from Denınark says

Crist. All's lost.
Is it not so ? Begone! Perdition choak thee-

Enter Trollio and Guards, swords drawn.
Give me a moment's solitude-Thought, thought, Troll. Haste, O king !
Where wouldst thou lead?

The foe has hemmed us round; O haste to save Cristina. He sees me not-Alas, alas, my Thyself and us ! father!

Crist. Thy sword. O, what a war there lives within his eye!

[Takes a sword from one of the Guards. Where greatness struggles to survive itself.

Troll. What means myI tremble to approach him; yet I fain

Crist. Villain! Would bring peace to him-Don't you know me, Well thought, by Hell! Ha! Yes, thou art our sir?

minister, My father, look upon me! look, my father! The reverend inonitor of vice-the soil, Why strains your lip, and why that doubtful eye Baneful and rank with every principle, Through fury melting o'er me? Turn, ah, turn? Whence grow the crimes of kings. First perish I cannot bear its softness-How? nay, then,

thou !

[Stabs him. There is a falling dagger in that tear,

Who taught the throne of power to fix on tear, To kill thy child, to murder thy Cristina. And raise its safety from the public ruin; Crist. I'hen thou'rt Cristina'?

Fall thou into the gulph thyself hast fixed Cristina. Yes.

Between the prince and people; cutting off Crist. My child!

Communion from the ear of royalty, Cristina. I am.

And mercy from complaint--away, away! Crist. Curse me! then curse me! Join with Thy death, old man, be on thy monarch's head; heaven and earth

On thine, the blood of all thy countrymen, And hell, to curse !

Who fell bencath thy counsels. [Ereunt. Cristina. Alas! on me, my father, Thy curses be on me; but on thy head

Trollio attempts to rise, and then speaks. Fall blessings from that heaven, which has this day Troll. Thou bloody tyrant ! late, too late I Preserved thy life in battle.

find, Crist. What have I

Nor faith, nor gratitude, nor friendly trust, To do with heaven? Damnation! What am I? No force of obligations can subsist All frail and transient as my lapsed dominions ! Between the guilty-0, let none aspire E'en now the solid earth prepares to slide To be a king's convenience! Has he virtues, From underneath me. Nature's power cries out, Those are his own; his vices are his minister's. Leave him, thou universe! No-hold me, heaven! Who dares to step 'twixt envy and the throne, Hold me, thou heaven! whom I've forsaken-Alike to feel the caprice of his prince, hold

As public detestation. Ha! I ain going— Thy creature, though accursed !

But whither? No one near! to feel! to catch! Cristina. Patience and peace

The world but for an instant! for one ray Possess thy mind! Not all thy pride of einpire To guide my soul! Her way grows wonderous E'er gave such blessed sensation, as one hour

dark, Of penitence, though painful-Let us hence- And down ! down! down!

[Dies. Far from the blood and bustle of ambition. Be it my task to watch thy rising wish,

SCENE II.
To smooth thy brow, find confort for thy cares,
And for thy will, obedience; still to cheer

Enter GustavUS, ANDERSON, ARNOLDUS, SiThe day with smiles, and lay the nightly down

VARD, &c. in triumph. Gustavus advances, Beneath thy slumbers.

and the rest range themselves on each side of Crist. O'thou all that's left me ! Even in the riot, in the rage of fight,

Gust. That we have conquered, first we bend Thy guardian virtues watched around my head,

to heaven! When else no arm could aid-for through my And. And next to thee ! ranks,

All. To thee, to thee, Gustavus ! My circling troops, the fell Gustavus rushed; Gust. No, matchless men! my brothers of the

Vengeance !' he cried, and with one eager hand Gripped fast my diadem-his other arm

Be it my greatest glory to have mixed High reared the deathful steel-suspended yet; My arms with yours, and to have fought for once For in his eye, and through his varying face, Like to a Dalecarlian; like to you, Conflicting passions fough he looked-he The sires of honour, of a new-born fame, stood

To be transmitted, from your great memorial, In wrath reluctant-Then, with gentler voice; To climes unknown, to age succeeding age, • Cristina, thou hast conquered ! Go,' he cried, Till time shall verge upon eternity, *I yield thee to her virtues.'

And patriots be no moreVol. I.

3 T

the stage.

war!

Arn. Behold, my lord,

Gust. IIa! that posture !
The Danish prisoners, and the traitor Peterson, O rise-surprised, my eye perceived it not.
Attend their fate.

Cristina! thou all formed for excellence !
Gust. Send home the Danes with honour, I've much to say, but that my tongue, my thoughts,
And let them better learn, from our example, Are troubled; warred on by unusual passions.
To treat whom next they conquer with huma- | 'Twas hence thou hadst it in thy power to ask,
nity.

Ere I could offer. Come, my friend, assist, And. But then for Peterson !

Instruct me to be grateful. Cristina ! Gust. His crimes are great :

I fought for freedom, not for crowns, thou fair A single death were a reward for treasoni :

one! Let him still languish-Let him be exiled ! They shall sit brighter on that beauteous head, No more to see the land of liberty,

Whose eye might awe the monarchs of the earth, The hills of Sweden, nor the native fields And light the world to virtue ! My Arvida! Of known, endeared idea.

Arv. O great and good, and glorious to the And. Royal sir,

last! This is to pardon, to encourage villains; I read thy soul, I see the generous conflict, And hourly to expose that sacred life,

And come to fix, not trouble, thy repose. Where all our safety centres.

Could ġou but know with what an eager haste Gust. Fear them not.

I sprung to execute thy late commands; The fence of virtue is a chief's best caution; To'shield this lovely object of thy cares, And the firm surety of my people's hearts And give her thus, all bešuteous, to thy eyes! Is all the guard that e'er shall wait Gustavus. For l’ve no bliss but thine, have lost the form I am a soldier from my youth; yet Anderson, Of every wish that's foreign to thy happiness. These wars, where man must wound himself in But, O, my king ! my conqueror! iny Gustavus! man,

It grieves ine much, that thou must shortly mourn, Have somewhat shocking in them: trust me, Even on the day in which thy country's freed, friend,

That crowns thy arms with conquest and Cristina. Except in such à cause as this day's quarrel, Gust. Alas! your cheek is pale—you bleed, I would not shed a single wretch's blood

my brother! For the world's empire !

Arv. I do, indeed-to death! n. O exalted Sweden !

Gust. You have undone ine : Blessed people! Heaven! wherein have we de- Rash, headstrong man! O, was this well, Arserved

vida?

[Turns from him. A man like this to rule us !

Aro. Pardon, Gustavus ! mine's the common

lot, Enter Arvida leading in Cristina. He runs The fate of thousands fallen this day in battle. to GUSTAVUS.

I had resolved on life, to see you blessed, Gust. My Arvida!

To see my king and his Cristina happy. Arv. My king! O bail! Thus let me pay my Turn, thou beloved, thou hououred next to Heahomage.

[Kneels. ven! Gust. Rise, rise, nor shame our friendship. And to tlry arms receive a penitent, Aro. See, Gustavus! Behold, nor longer won- Who never more shall wrong thee. der at my frailty.

Gust. 0, Arvida! Gust. Be faithful, eyes! Ha! Yes! it must Friend! friend! [Turns and embraces him.

Aro. Thy heart beats comfort to me! in this 'Tis she; for Heaven would choose no other form breast, Wherein to treasure every mental virtue! Let thy Arvida, let thy friend survive. Cristina. Renowned Gustavus! mightiest a-O! strip his once loved image of its frailties, inong men!

And strip it, too, of every fonder thought, If such a wretch, the captive of thy arms, That may give thee affliction-Do, Gustavus ; Trembling and awed in thy superior presence, It is my last request; for Ilearen and thou May find the grace that every other finds, Are all the care, and business of Arvida. For thou art said to be of wondrous goodness!

(Dies. Then hear, and O excuse a foe's presumption,

Gust. Friend! brother! speak—He's gone, While low, thus low, you see a suppliant child,

and here is all Now pleading for a father, for a dear,

That's left of him, who was my life's best treaMuch loved—if cruel, yet unhappy--father!

sure! 0, let, let him escape, who ne'er can wrong thee How art thou fallen, thou greatly valiant man! more!

In ruin graceful, like the warrior spear, If he, with circling nations, could not stand Though shivered in the dust!-So fall Gustavus ! Against thee single; singly, what can he, But thou art sped, hast rcached the goal before When thou art fenced with nations

me;

be so.

« ZurückWeiter »