Abbildungen der Seite

Christ. Friends, perhaps,

Fortune! we will not trust the changeling more For fires it were too daring-Haste thee, Peterson, But wear her girt upon our armed loins, Detach a thousand of our Danish horse

Or pointed in our grasp. To rule their motions--we will out ourself,

Enter an OFFICER. And hold our powers in readiness.—Lead on.

Off. The foe 's at hand.

[Exeunt. With gallant show your thousand Danes rode SCENE II.-Another Apartment in the Palace.

forth, Enter CHRISTINA and MARIANA.

But shall return no more!-I mark'd the action.

A band of desperate resolutes rushed on them, Mar. Ha! did you mark, my princess, did you Scarce numbering to a tenth, and in midway mark?

They closed; the shock was dreadful, nor your Should some reverse, some wondrous whirl of fate,


(stood; Once more return Gustavus to the battle;

Could bear the madding charge; a while they New nerve his arm, and wreathe his brow with They shrunk, and broke and turn'd-When, lo conquest;

behind, Say, would you not repent that e'er you sav'd

Fast wheeling from the rght and left, there pour'd. This dreadful man, the foe of your great race; Who intercepted their return, and caught Who pours impetuous in his country's cause Within the toil they perish'd. To spoil you of a kingdom?

Christ. 'Tis Gustavus ! Christina. No, my friend.

No mortal else, not Ammon's boasted son, Had I to death, or bondage, sold my sire, Not Cæsar, would have dar'd it. Tell me, say, Or had Gustavus on our native realms

What numbers in the whole may they amount to? Made hostile inroad; then, my Mariana,

Off Ahout five thousand. Had I then sav'd him from the stroke of justice, Christ. And no more? I should not cease my suit to Heaven for pardon. Off. No more, But if, though in a foe, to reverence virtue, That yet appear. Withstand oppression, rescue injur'd innocence, Christ. We count six times their sum. Step boldly in betwixt my sire and guilt, Haste, soldier, take a trumpet, tell Gustavus And save my king, my father, from dishonour ; We have of terms to offer, and would treat If this be sin, I have shook hands with penitence. Touching his mother's ransom; say, her death First perish crowns, dominion, all the shine

Suspended by our grace, but waits his answer. And transcience of this world, ere guilt shall serve

(Eril OFFICER To buy the vain incumbrance.

Madam, it should well suit with your authority, Blasted be that royalty, (glorious !

(TO ACCESTA Which murder must make sure, and crimes in- To check this frenzy in your sonLook to it. The bulk of kingdoms, nay, the world is light, Or, by the saints, this hour 's your last of life! When guilt weighs opposite—Oh, would to Hca

Aug. Come, my Gustava, come, my little cap ven,

The loss of empire would restore his innocence, We shall be free:
Restore the fortunes and the precious lives And I will give thee to thy father's fondness,
Of thousands, fallen the victims of ambition !

And to the arms of all thy royal race

In heaven; who sit on thrones, with loves and joys Does he live?

Christ. Is this my answer ? Laer. He does,

Come forth, ye ministers of death, come forth But death, ere night, must fill a long account; Enter Ruffians, who seize AUGUSTA and camp, the country's in confusion : war

GUSTAVA. And changes ride upon the hour that hastes Pluck them asunder! We shall prove you, To intercept my tongue-I else could tell

Christina. Ah! I can hold no longer. Royal Sir, Of virtues hitherto beyond my ken; Courage, to which the lion stoops his crest,

Thus on my knees, and lower, lower still

Christ. My child! what mean you ?
Yet grafted upon qualities as soft
As a rock'd infant's meekness; such as tempts

Christina. O my gracious father!

Kill, kill me rather-Jet me perish first; Against my faith, my country, and allegiance, But do not stain the sanctity of kings To wish thee speed, Gustavus.

With the sweet blood of helpless innocence.
Christina. Then you found him! death
Laer. I did; and warn'd him, but in vain; for That Wook'st so like the 'habitants of heaven,

Augusta. Ha! who art thou,
To him appear’d more grateful than to find
His friend's dishonour.

Like mercy sent upon the morning's blush, Christina. Give me the manner-quick-soft, With light 'till now unknown ?

To glad the heart, and cheer a gloomy world good Laertes !

Christ. Away, they come.

I'll hear no more of your ill-timed petitions

Christina. Oh yet for pity!
Christ. Damn'd, double traitor! O curs'd, false

Christ. I will none on't leave me.
Guard well the Swedish prisoners.

Pity! it is the infant fool of nature;

Tear off her hold, and bear her to her tent. Stand to your arms.-Bring forth the captives there!


and Attendants.
Enter Augusta and Gostava, guarded.

Enter an OFFICER.
Peter. My liege

Off. My liege, Gustavus, though with much
Christ. Away!





Consents to one hour's truce. His soldiers rest | Where thine 's in question.
Upon their arms, and, follow'd by a few

Aug. See, my son relents;
He comes to know your terms

Behold, O king! yet spare us but a moment, Christ. I see.

His little sister shall embrace his knees, Be ready, slaves, and on the word,

And these fond arms, around his duteous neck, Plunge deep your daggers in their bosoms. Shall join to bend him to us. (Points to AUGUST A. Christ. Could I trust ye

Aro. I'll be your hostage!
Enter GustavUS, Arvida, ANDERSON, ARNOL Christ. Granted.
DUS, SIvard, foc.

Gust. Hold, my friend.

(Here Anvida breaks from Gustavus, and Gust. Ha! 'tis, it is my mother!

passes to CHRISTIERN's party, while AuChrist. Tell me, Gustavus, tell me why is this? GUSTA and Gustava go over to Gustavus. That, as a stream diverted from the banks Aug. Is it then given, yet given me, ere I die, Of smooth obedience, thou hast drawn those To see thy face, Gustavus ? thus to gaze,

To touch, to fold thee thus !-My son, my son ! Upon a dry unchannell’d enterprize,

[eye ?


And have I liv'd to this? It is enough. To turn their inundation ?-Are the lives All arm'd and, in my country's precious cause, Of my misguided people held so light,

Terribly beauteous, to behold thee thus ! That thus thou'dst push them on the keen rebuke Why, 'twas my only, hourly suit to Heaven, Of guarded majesty ?

And now 'tis granted. O my glorious child, Look round, unruly boy, thy battle comes Bless'd were the throes I felt for thee, Gustavus ! Like raw, disjointed mustering; feeble wrath! For from the breast, from out your swathing bands A war of waters borne against the rock

You stepp'd the child of honour. Of our firm continent, to fume, and chafe,

Gust. O my mother! And shiver in the toil.

Aug. Why stands that water trembling in thy Gust. Mistaken man!

Why heaves thy bosom? Turn not thus away, I come empower'd, and strengthen'd in thy weak- 'Tis the last time that we must meet, my child,

And I will have the whole. Why, why Gustavus, For though the structure of a tyrant's throne Why is this form of heaviness?" For me Rise on the necks of half the suffering world, I trust it is not meant; you cannot think Fear trembles in the cement!

So poorly of me: I grow old, my son, Christ. Gustavus, wouldst thou yet return to And to the utmost period of mortality, grace,

I ne'er should find a death's hour like to this, And hold thy motions in the sphere of duty, Whereby to do thee honour. Acceptance might be found.

Gust. Roman patriots ! Gust. Imperial spoiler !

Ye Decii, self-devoted to your country! Give me my father, give me back my kindred, You gave no mothers up! Will annals yield Give me the fathers of ten thousand orphans, No precedent for this, no elder boast Give me the sons, in whom thy ruthless sword Whereby to match my trial ? Has left our widows childless: mine they were, Aug. No, Gustavus; Both mine, and every Swede's, whose patriot For Heaven still squares our trial to our strength, breast

And thine is of the foremost.—Noble youth! Bleeds in his country's woundings! O thou canst Even I, thy parent, with a conscious pride, not !

Have often bow'd to thy superior virtues.
Give me then,

Oh, there is but one bitterness in death,
My all that's left, my gentle mother there, One only sting-
And spare yon little trembler !

Gust. Speak, speak!
Christ. Yes, on terms

Aug. 'Tis felt for thee. Of compact and submission.

Too well I know thy gentleness of soul, Gust. Ha! with thee?

[country? Melting as babes ; even now the pressure 's on thee, Compact with thee! and mean'st thou for my And bends thy loveliness to earth-Oh, child ! For Śweden! No—so hold my heart but firm, The dear but sad foretaste of thy affliction Although it wring for’t; though blood drop for Already kills thy mother—But behold, tears,

Behold thy valiant followers, who to thee, And at the sight my straining eyes start forth— And to the faith of thy protecting arm, They both shall perish first.

Have given ten thousand mothers, daughters too; Christ. Slaves, do your office.

Who in thy virtue yet may learn to bear Gust. Hold yet. -Thou canst not be so damn'd? Millions of freeborn sons to bless thy name,

And pray for their deliverer-Oh farewell! I dare not ask thy blessing - Where's Arvida ? This and but this, the very last adieu ! Where art thou ? Come, my friend, thou'st known Heaven sit victorious on thy arm, my son ! temptation

And give thee to thy merits ! And therefore best canst pity, or support me. Christ. Ah, thou trait’ress! Aro. Alas! I shall but serve to weigh thee Aug. See, Gustavus, downward,

My little captive waits for one embrace. To pull thee from the dazzling, sightless height, Gust. Come to my arms, thou lamblike sacrifice; At which thy virtue soars. For, oh, Gustavus, Oh, that they were of force to fold thee ever, My soul is dark, disconsolate and dark;

To let thee to my heart! there lock thee close, Sick to the world, and hateful to myself, But 'twill not be ! I have no country now; I've nought but thee, Art. Hear me, thou most dear Gustavus ! And should yield up the interest of mankind, Thus low I bend my prayer, reject me not:

my mother!

I see



If once, if ever, thou didst love Arvida,

Oh leave me here to answer to the wrath
Of this fell tyrant. Save thy honour'd mother

SCENE 1.- The Royal Tent, near the Field And that sweet lamb from slaughter!

of Battle. Gust. Cruel friendship!

Enter CHRISTINA and MARJAN A. Christ. And by my life I'd take thee at thy word,

Christina. Hark! Mariana, list!

-No-all But that I know 'twould please thee.

is silentAug. No, generous prince, thy blood shall ne-It was not fancy, sure—didst thou not hear? ver be

Mar. Too plain, the voice of terror seiz'd my The price of our dishonour. Come, my child;

ear, Weep not, sweet babe, there shall no harm come and my heart sinks within me.

nigh thee. Christ. 'i'is well, proud dame; you are return'd, The war is now at work.-As winds, methought,

Christina. Oh, I fear

Long borne through hollow vaults, the sound apEach to his charge-Here break we off, Gustavus;

proachd; For to the very teeth of thy rebellion

One sound, yet laden with a thousand notes We dash defiance back.

Of fearful variation; then it swellid Gust. Alas, my mother!

To distant shouts, now coming on the gale; Grief chokes up utterance, else I have to say Again borne backward with a parting groan, What never tongue unfolded-Yet return,

All sunk to horrid stillness.
Come back, and I will give up all to save thee;
Thou fountain of my life!

Dearer than mercy is to kneeling penitence, Laer. Christina, fly! thou royal virgin,
My early blessing, first and latest joy ;

This morn beheld thee mistress of the north, Return, return and save thy lost Gustavus ! Bright heir of Scandinavia ; and this hour Christ. No more, thou trifer!

Has left thee not, throughout thy wide dominions, Aug. Oh, farewell for ever!

Whereon to rest thy foot. (Ercunt CHRISTIERN and his party. Gus- Christina. Now, praise to Heaven ! Tavus and his party remain.

Say, but my father lives! Gust. Then she is gone- -Arvida! Anderson ! Lacr. At your command For ever goneArnoldus, friends, where are ye? I went; and, from a neighb'ring summit, viewd Help here, heave, heave this mountain from me- Where either host stood adverse, sternly wedg'd; Oh

Reflecting, on each other's gloomy front, Heaven keep my senses ! So We will to Fell hate and fix'd defiance.—When at once

The foe mov'd on, attendant to the steps But let no banners wave- -Be still, thou trump! Of their Gustavus-He, with mournful pace, And every martial sound, that gives the war Came slow and silent; till two hapless Danes To pomp or levity; for vengeance now

Prick'd forth, and on his helm discharg'd their Is clad with heavy arms, sedately stern,

fury; Resolv'd, but silent as the slaughter'd heaps Then rous'd the lion! To my wondering sight O'er which my soul is brooding.

His stature grew twofold, before his eye Arn. O Gustavus !

All force seem'd wither’d, and his horrid plume Is there a Swede of us, whose sword and soul Shook wild dismay around; as Heaven's dread Grapple not to thee, as to all they hold

bolt Of earthly estimation ? Said I more,

He shot, he piercd our legions; in his strength It were but half my thought.

His shouting squadron gloried, rushing on And. On thee we gaze,

Where'er he led their battle-Full five times, As one unknown till this important hour; Hemm'd by our mightier host, the foe seem d lost, Pre-eminent of men !

And swallow'd from my sight; five times again, Siv. Accurs'd be he,

Like flames they issued to the light-And thrice Who, in thy leading, will not fight and strive, These eyes beheld him, they beheld Gustavus And bleed, and gasp with pleasure !

Unhorsed, and by a host girt singly in; And. We are thine.

And thrice he broke through all. Arn. Though, to yield us up,

Christina. My blood runs chill. Had scarce been less than virtue.

Laer. With such a strenuous, such a labour'd Gust. O my friends!

I see, 'tis not for man to boast his strength Sure never field was fought ! until Gustavus
Before the trial comes—This very hour, Aloud cried, Victory! and on his spear
Had I a thousand parents, all seem'd light, High rear'a th' imperial diadem of Denmark;
When weigh'd against my country; and but now, Then slack'd the battle; then recoil'd our host;
One mother seem'd of weight to poise the world, His, echoed, Victory! and now would know
Though conscious truth and reason were against No bounds; rout follow'd, and the face of fight-

She heeds me not.
For, oh, howe'er the partial passions sway, Christina. Oh, ill-starr'd royalty !
High Heaven assigns but one unbiass'd way; My father ! cruel, dear, unhappy father!
Direct through every opposition leads,

Summond so sudden! fearful, fearful thought!
Where shelves decline, and many a steep impedes.
flere hold we on—though thwarting fiends alarm, Enter Christiern, flying, without his helmet,
Here hold we on-though devious syrens charm;

in disorder, his Sword broke, and his garments Ir. Heaven's disposing power events unite,

bloody; he throus away his Sword. Nur aught can happen wrong to him, who acts Christ. Give us new arms of proof-fresh aright.



among men!

A watch without there-Set a standard up. And. But then, for Peterson ? To guide our scatter'd powers! Haste, my friends, Gust. His crimes are great; haste!

A single death were a reward for treasor., We must be gone--Oh for some cooling stream, Let him still languish–let him be exiled, To slake a monarch's thirst!

No more to see the land of liberty, Laer. A post, my liege,

The hills of Sweden, nor the native fields A second post from Denmark, says

Of known, endear'd Idea. Christ. All's lost.

And. Royal Sir, Is it not so ? Be gone,

This is to pardon, to encourage villains: Give me a moment's solitude—Thought, thought, And hourly to expose that sacred life, Where wouldst thou lead ?

Where all our safety centres. Christina. He sees me not-Alas, alas my Gust. Fear them not. father!

The fence of virtue is a chief's best caution; Oh, what a war there lives within his eye! And the firm surety of my people's hearts Where greatness struggles to survive itself. Is all the guard that e'er shall wait Gustavus. I tremble to approach him; yet I fain

I am a soldier from my youth ;
Would bring peace to him-Dont you know me, Trust me, my friend,

Except in such a cause as this day's quarrel, Christ. My child!

I would not shed a single wretch's blood, Christina. I am.

For the world's empire! Christ. Curse me, then! curse me! join with Arn. O exalted Sweden! Heaven, and earth,

Bless'd people! Heaven! wherein have we deservd And hell, to curse!

A man like this to rule us?
Christina. Patience and peace
Possess thy mind! Not all thy pride of empire

Enter Arvida, leading in CHRISTINA-he run.

E'er gave such bless'd sensations, as one hour
Of penitence, though painful-Let us hence Gust. My Arvida!
Far from the blood and bustle of ambition.

Aro. My king! O hail ! Thus let me pay my Be it my task to watch thy rising wish,


(Kneels To smooth thy brow, find comfort for thy cares,

Christina. Renown'd Gustavus ! Mightiest And for thy wiil, obedience; still to cheer The day with smiles, and lay the nightly down

If such a wretch, the captive of thy arms, Beneath thy slumbers.

Trembling and awed in thy superior presence, Christ. Oh! thou all that's left me !

May find the grace, that every other finds, Even in the riot, in the rage of fight,

(For thou art said to be of wondrous goodness!) Thy guardian virtues watch'd around my head, Then hear, and oh, excuse a foe's presumption, When else no arm could aid; for through my While low, thus low, you see a suppliant child ranks,

Now pleading for a father; for a dear,
My circling troops, the fell Gustavus rush'd; Much lov’d, if cruel, yet unhappy father.
Vengeance ! he cried, and with one eager hand If he with circling nations could not stand
Grip'd fast my diadem-his other arm,

Against thee single; singly, what can he
High rear'd the deathful steel -suspended yet; When thou art fenc'd with nations ?
For in his eye, and through his varying face,

Gust. Ha! that posture !
Conflicting passions fought-he look'd-he stood Oh, rise surpris’d, my eye perceiv'd it not
In wrath reluctant--then, with gentler voice;

I've much to say, but that my tongue, my thoughts Christina, thou hast conquer'd ! Go, he cried, Are troubled; warr'd on by unusual passions. 1 yield thee to her virtues.

[Ereunt. 'Twas hence thou had’st it in thy power to ask

Ere I could offer—Come, my friend, assist, Enter Gustavus, ANDERSON, ARNOLDUS, SI- Instruct me to be grateful. "O Christina,

VARD, Pc. in triumph. Gustavus advances, I fought for freedom, not for crowns, thou fair one, and the rest range themselves on each side of They shall sit brighter on that beauteous head, the Stage.

Whose eye might awe the monarchs of the earth, Gust. That we have conquer'd, first we bend And light the world to virtueMy Arvida! to Heaven!

Ard. I read thy soul, I see the generous conflict, And. And next to thee!

And come to fix, not trouble, thy repose. AU. To thee, to thee, Gustavus !

Could you but know with what an eager haste Gust. No, matchless men! my brothers of the I sprung to execute thy late commands; war!

To shield this lovely object of thy cares, Be it my greatest glory to have mix'd

And give her thus, all beauteous, to thy eyes ! My arms with yours, and to have fought for once For I've no bliss but thine, have lost the form Like to a Dalecarlian; like to you,

Of every wish that 's foreign to thy happiness. The sires of honour, of a new born fame.

Gust. Alas! your cheek is pale_you bleed, my To be transmitted, from your great memorial,

brother! To climes unknown, to age succeeding age, Aro. I do indeed to death. Till time shall verge upon eternity,

Gust. You have undone me: And patriots be no more

Rash, headstrong man!

-Oh, was this well, Ar Arn. Behold, my lord,

vida? The Danish prisoners, and the traitor Peterson, Arv. Pardon, Gustavus! mine's the common lot, Attend their fate.

The fate of thousands fallen this day in battle. Gust. Send home the Danes with honour, I had resolv'd on life, to see you bless'd; And let them better learn, from our example, To see my king and his Christina happy. To treat whom next they conquer with humanity. Turn, thou belov'd, thou honour'd next to Heaven, And to thy arms receive a penitent,

A bandon'd now by every supple wretcn, Who never more shall wrong thee.

That fed his years with flattery: I am all Gust. O Arvida!

That 's left to calm, to sooth, his troubled soul Friend! Friend! [Embraces him. To penitence, to virtue.

(Eri. Aro. Thy heart beats comfort to me! in this [Gustavus looks after CHRISTINA, then turns breast,

and looks on ARVIDA :-ANDERSON, AB Let thy Arvida, let thy friend, survive,

NOLDUS, foc. adrance. Oh, strip his once lov'd image of its frailties, Gust. Come, come, my brothers all! Yes, 1 And strip it too of every fonder thought,

will strive That may give thee affiction-Do, Gustavus ; To be the sum of every title to ye, It is my last request; for Heaven and thou And

you shall be my sire, my friend reviv'd Art all the care, and business of Arvida. My sister, mother, all that 's kind and dear;

(Dies. For so Gustavus holds ye.—Oh, I will Gust. Wouldst thou too leave me?

Of private passions all my soul divest, Not if the heart, the arms, of thy Gustavus,

And take my dearer country to my breast. Have force to hold thee.

To public good transfer each fond desire, Christina. O delightful notes !

And clasp my Sweden, with a lover's fire. That I do love thee, yes, 'tis true, my lord.

Well pleas'd, the weight of all her burdens best, The bond of virtue, friendship’s sacred tie,

Dispense all pleasure,

but engross all care. The lover's pains, and all the sister's fondness;

Still quick to find, to feel, my people's woes, But I have a father,

And wake, that millions may enjoy repose. If cruel, yet a father :


« ZurückWeiter »