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Is still a smiling cherub in my breast,
Mar. Did he observe you? And whispers peace within.
Cristina. He did: for as I trembled; looked, Mar. 'Tis strange a man, of his high note and and sighed, consequence,
His eyes met mine; he fixed their glories on me. Should so evade the busy search of thousands, Confusion thrilled me then, and secret joy, That six long months have shut him from enquiry, Fast throbbing, stole its treasures from my heart, And not an eye can trace him to his covert. And, mantling upward, turned my face to crimCristina. Once 'twas not so; each infant lisped, Gustavus !
I wished—but did not dare to look-he gazed; It was the favourite name of every language. When sudden, as by force, he turned away, His slightest motions filled the world with tidings; And would no more behold me. Waked he, or slept, fame watched the important hour,
Enter LAERTES. And nations told it round.
Laer. Ah, bright imperial maid ! my royal Mar. I've heard, my princess,
mistress! What time Gustavus lay detained in Denmark, Cristina. What wouldst thou say? Thy looks Your royal father sought the hero's friendship,
speak terror to me. And offered ample terms of peace and amity. Laer. O you are ruined, sacrificed, undone! Cristina. He did; he offered that, my Ma- I heard it all; your cruel, cruel father riana,
Has sold you, given you up a spoil to treason, For which contending monarchs sued in vain : The purchase of the noblest blood on earthHe offered me, his darling, his Cristina ;
Gustavus ! But I was slighted, slighted by a captive,
Cristina. Ah! What of him? Where, where Though kingdoms swelled my dower.
is he? Mar. Ainazement fix me!
Laer. In Dalecarlia, on some great design, Rejected by Gustavus !
Dooined in an hour to fall by faithless hands : Cristina. Yes, Mariana; but rejected nobly. His friend, the brave, the false, deceived Arvida, Not worlds could win him to betray his country! Even row prepares to lead a band of ruffians Hlad he consented, I had then despised him. Beneath the winding covert of the hill, What's all the gaudy glitter of a crown?
And seize. Gustavus, obvious to the snares What, but the glaring meteor of ambition, Of friendship’s fair dissemblance. And your faThat leads a wretch benighted in his errors,
ther Points to the gulf, and shines upon destruction. Has vowed your beauties to Arvida's arms, Mar. You wrong your charms, whose power the purchase of his falsehood. might reconcile
Cristina, Shield me, Heaven ! Things opposite in nature-Had he seen you ! First daty, break thy filial bands in sunder, Cristina. He has, my Mariana, he has seen And blot the name of parent from the world!
Is there no lett, no means of quick prevention? I'll tell thee-yet while inexpert of years,
Laer. Behold my life still chained to thy die I heard of bloody spoils, the waste of war,
rection; And dire conflicting man; Gustavus' name My will shall have a wing for every word, Superior rose, still dreadful in the tale :
That breathes thy mandate. Then first he seized my infancy of soul,
Cristina. Will you, good Laertes ? As somewhat fabled of gigantic fierceness, Alas, I fear to overtask thy friendship; Too huge for any form; he scared my sleep, Say, will you save me then—0 go, haste, fly! And filled my young idea. Not the boast Acquaint Gustavus if, if he must fall, Of all his virtues, graces only known
Let hosts that hem this single lion in, To him, and heavenly natures ! could erase Let nations hunt him down let him fall nobly. The strong impression; 'till that wondrous day Laer. I go, my princess-Heaven direct me to In which he met my eyes. But 0), O Heaven!
[Erit. O love, and all ye cordial powers of passion! Cristina. I would pray too, to save me from What then was my amazement! he was chained, pollution; Was chained, my Mariana ! Like the robes Detested stain, the touch of the betrayer ! Of coronation, worn by youthful kings,
But mighty love the partial prayer arrests, He drew his shackles. The Herculean nerve And leaves me only anxious for Gustavus. Braced his young arm; and, softened in his cheek, For him cold fears my fainting bosom chill, Lived more than woman's sweetness! Then his His cares distract me, and his dangers kill; eye!
Ye powers! if deaf to all the vows I make, His mein! his native dignity! He looked, Yet shield Gustavus, for Gustavus' sake; As though he led captivity in chains,
Protect his virtues from a faithless foe, And all were slaves around.
And save your only image, left below!
SCENE I.-- Mountains of Dalecarlia. The fair inscription- -Never shall the cords
Of Danish insolence bind down these arms, Enter Gustavus, as a peasant, Dalecarlians fol- That bore my royal master from the field. lowing
Gust. Ha ! Say you, brother? Were yo Gust. Ye men of Sweden, wherefore are ye there- -O grief! come?
Where liberty and Stenon fell together? See ye not yonder, how the locusts swarm,
Siv. Yes, I was there
A bloody field it To drink the fountains of your honour up,
was, And leave your hills a desert-Wretched men! Where Conquest gasped, and wanted breath to Why came ye forth! Is this a time for sport?
tell, Or are ye met with song and jovial feast, Its o'er-toiled triumph. There, our bleeding king, To welcome your new guests, your Danish visi- There Stenon on this bosom made his bed, tants?
And rolling back his dying eyes upon me To stretch your supple necks beneath their feet, Soldier,' he cried, ' if e'er it be thy lot And fawning lick the dust?-Go, go, my coun- . To see my valiant cousin, great Gustavus, trymen,
« Tell him- -for once, that I have fought like Each to your several mansions; trim them out;
him, Cull all the tedious earnings of your toil
And would like him have To purchase bondage-Bid your blooming daugh-Conquered-he should have said—but there, O ters,
there, And your chaste wives, to spread their beds with Death stopt him short! softness;
Gust. Come to my arms, and let me hide thy Then go ye forth, and with your proper
tears, Conduct your masters in; conduct the sons For I have caught their softness- -0 Danes, Of lust and violation-0 Swedes, Swedes !
Danes ! Heavens! are ye men, and will ye suffer this? You shall weep blood for this. Shall' they not,
brother? Enter ARNOLDUS, who talks apart with Gusta- Yes, we will deal our might with thrifty venge
ance, 1st Dale. How my blood boils !
A life for every blow! and, when we fall, 2d Dale. Who is this honest spokesman?' There shall be weight' in it; like the tottering 3d Dale. What, know ye not Rodolphus of the towers, mines?
That draw contiguous ruin. A better labourer ne'er struck steel to stone. Siv, Brave, brave man! Gust. There was a time, my friends! a glori- My soul admires thee- -By my father's spirit, ous time!
I would not barter such a death as this When, had a single man of your forefathers For immortality! Nor we alone Upon the frontier met a host in arms,
Here be the trusty gleanings of that field His courage scarce had turned; himself had stood, Where last we fought for freedom; here's rich Alone had stood the bulwark of his country.
poverty, Your sires were known but by their manly fronts; Though wrapped in rags; my fifty brave comOn their black brows, enthroned, sat Liberty,
panions— The awe of honour, and contempt of death. Who, through the force of fifteen thousand foes, 1st Dale. We are not bastards.
Bore off their king, and saved his great remains. 2d Dale. No.
Gust. Give me your hands, those valiant 3d Dale. We're Dalecarlians.
handsWhy, captain, Gust. Come, come ye on then: Here I take We could but die alone; with these we'll conquer.
My fellow-labourers, too
-What say ye, Here on the brink, the very verge of liberty;
friends ? Although contention rise upon the clouds, Shall we not strike for it? Mix heaven with earth, and roll the ruin onward; All. Death! Victory or death! Here will I fix, and breast ine to the shock, No bonds, no bonds! 'Till I, or Denmark, fall.
Arn. Spoke like yourselves--Ye men of DaleSiv. And who art thou,
carlia, That thus wouldst swallow all the glory up Brave men and bold! whom every fature age, That should redeem the times? Behold this Tongues, nations, languages, and rolls of fame, breast!
Shall mark for 'wondrous deeds, achievements The sword has tilled it; and the stripes of slaves Shall ne'er trace honour here; shall never blot From honour's dangerous summit, warriors all! ·
Say, might ye choose a chief, for high exploits, heart's lord! My conqueror ! my.
Gust. Approach, my fellow soldiers ! your GusThat breathes a hero's name-Speak, name the tavus
Claims no precedence here: Friendship like mine Who then should meet
Throws all respect behind it'tis enough
I read your joys, your transports in your eyes; Why wouldst thou seek to sink us with the And would, 0, would I had a life to spend, weight
For every soldier here! whose every life's Of grievous recollection? O Gustavus ! Far dearer than my own; dearer than aught, Could the dead wake, thou wert that man of Except your liberty, except your honour. men,
Perish Gustavus, ere this sacred sun, First of the foremost !
That lights the rest of Sweden to their shame, Gust. Didst thou know Gustavus?
Should blush upon your chains! why said I chains! Siv. Know him! O Heaven! what else, who To souls like yours, I should have talked of trielse, was worth
umphs, The knowledge of a soldier? That great day, Empire, and fame, and hazards imminent, When Cristiern, in his third attempt on Sweden, Occasions wished for, glory-haste, brave men ! Had summed his powers, and weighed the scale Collect your friends to join us on the instant; of fight;
Summon our brethren to their share of conquest, On the bold brink, the very push of conquest, And let loud Echo, from her circling hills, Gustavus rushed, and bore the battle down, Sound Freedom, 'till the undulation shake In his full sway of prowess, like leviathan The bound of utmost Sweden ! That scoops his foaming progress on the main,
[E.reunt Dalecarlians, crying Gusta ts! And drives the shoals along. Forward I sprung,
Gustavus ! Liberty?
Enter ANDERSON. And distant Wonder gazed- -At length he And. There was a glorious sound ! turned,
Gust. Yes, Anderson, And having eyed me with a wondrous look The long-wished hour is come—the storm is up, Of sweetness mixed with glory-grace inesti- And wrecks will follow—Where they are to light mable !
Let Heaven determine-Well, my noble friend, He plucked this bracelet from his conquering Has Peterson set out? arm,
And. He has, this instant; And bound it here—My wrist seemed treble And bears your packet to the tyrant's camp. nerved;
Gust. What think you of his zeal?
Gust. 'Tis specious all,
That carries darkness in the rear-For Peterson, Each morn I drop a tear on every bead, To spread my letters through the camp of Cris Count all the glories of Gustavus o'er,
tiern, And think I still behold him.
And seek for succours in the jaws of death, Gust. Rightly thought;
It showed too bold, too much the flaming patriot. For so thou dost, my soldier.
Beside, I know him for the friend of Trollio. Give me my arms-Off, off ye dark disguises ! And. Why would you then employ him? For I will be myself. Behold your general,
Gust. There's the mystery.
of those inglorious mercenary Swedes, 2d Dale. Yes.
Whom Cristiern had seduced to join his host, 3d Dale. No.
And turn the sword of conquest on their country; 4th Dale. 'Tis he!
To each of those I have addressed in terms 5th Dale. 'Tis he!
Of special correspondence, meant to rouse 6th Dale. 'Tis he!
(A shout. The jealousy of Cristiern; as I think Siv. Strike me, ye powers ! It is illusion My packet can't escape him. What ensues ? all! It cannot.
The tyrant hence concludes himself betrayed, Gust. What! no nearer?
Sifts all his legions, thins the ranks of fight, Siv. It is! It is! (Falls and embraces his knees. And leaves them open to our bold invasion. Gust. O speechless eloquence !
But grant that Peterson deceive my aim, Rise to my arms, my friend.
And hold the rank of virtue; then the Swedes Sir. Friend ! said you, friend?
May waken to the glorious call of honour.
So every way it saves us from the guilt I led you forth, and gave you to your liberty. Of Swedes encountering Swedes, and spares the Gust. 0 I am sunk, o'erwhelmed with wonblood
drous goodness! Of brethren, though revolted.
But were I rich and free as opening mines, And. On my soul,
That team their golden wealth upon the world, This is a stratagem that saps the miner,
Still I were poor, unequal to her bounty. Makes treason turn a traitor to itself,
Nor can I longer doubt whose generous arm, And mock its own designs.
In my Arvida, in my friend's deliverance, Gust. O noble friend, fast winds the great ma- Gave double life, and freedom to Gustavus. chine,
Laer. A fatal present! Ah, you know him not; That strikes the fate of Sweden-Go, my Ander- Arvida is misled, undone by passion; son,
False to your friendship, to your trust unfaithful. Assemble all thy brave adherents round thee; Gust. Ha ! hold ! With warlike inspiration warm their souls,
Laer. I must unfold it. And haste to join me here.
Gust. Yet forbear: * And. I will, my lord.
[Erit. This way, I hear some footing-pray you soft
If thou hast aught to urge against Arvida,
The man of virtue, tell it not the wind ; Laer. Thy presence nobly speaks the man I Lest slander catch the sound, and guilt should wish. Gustavus !
[Exeunt. Gust. Yes; thou hast a hostile garb
Arvida entering speaks to a soldier.
Aro. He's here bear back your orders to And tells me I'm thy debtor
your fellows, Laer. No, valiant prince, you 'over-rate my That not a man, on peril of his life, service:
Advance in sight 'till called. There is a worthier object of your gratitude Sold. My lord, I will. Whon, yet you know not-Oh, I have to tell Aro. Have I not vowed it, faithless as he is, But then, to gain your credit, must unfold, Have I not vowed his fall! Yet, good Heaven ! What haply should be secret
Why start these sudden tears? On, on I must, You are all honour.
For I am half way down the dizzy steep, Gust. Let me to thy mind!
Where my brain turns-A draught of Lethe For thou hast waked my soul into a thought That holds me all attention.
O that the world would sleep—to wake no more ! Laer. Mightiest man !
Or that the name of friendship bore no charm To me alone you held yourself obliged
To make my nerve unsteady, and this steel
Fly backward from its task! It shall be done.
How steadily he looks, as Heaven's own book, And, in the
The leaf of truth, were opencd on his aspect. Your eye was taught compassion—from that Up, up, dark minister- -his fate calls out hour
[Puts up the dagger. I vowed my life the slave of your remembrance; To nobler execution; for he comes And often, as Cristina, heavenly maid !
In opposition, singly, man to man,
da lays his hand on his sword, and withdraws Cristina saw you then, and on your fate
it by turns—then advances irresolutely. Dropped a kind tear; and when your noble scorn Gust. Is it then so ? Of proffered terms provoked her father's rage Arv. Defend thyself! To take the deadly forfeit; she, she only,
Gust. No! Strike! Whose virtues watched the precious hour of I would unfold my bosom to thy sword, mercy,
But that I know the wound you give this breast -
Arv. I know thee not-
-Be it so;
In nature, now is nameless.
Gust. Ha ! hold, Arvida !-No, I will not lose „Gust. Ah, my brother!
theeArv. What wouldst thou ?
Forbid it heaven! thou shalt not rob me so. Gust. Is it thus we two should meet? No, I will struggle with thee to the last, Aro. Art thou not false? Deep else, O deep And save thee from thyself, Oh, answer me! indeed
Wilt thou forsake me? Answer me, my brother, Were my damnation !
My best Arvida! Gust. Dear, unhappy man!
Aro. I would speak to theeMy heart bleeds for thee. False I had surely But let it be by silence -Oh, Gustavus ! been,
Gust. Say but you'll live. Had I, like thee, been tempted.
Aro. Oh! Arú. Ha! speak, speak!
sake. Didst thou not send to treat with Cristiern? Aro. Yes, take me; Gust. Never.
Expose me, cage me, brand me for the tool I know thy error, but I know the arts,
Of crafty villains, for the veriest slave,
Shall be the vile comparative for knaves
Gust. Not so, not so.
fection. On whom thy country calls for thy deliverance. The rectitude, that Heaven appoints to man, Already are her bravest sons in arms;
Leads on through error; and the kindly sense Hark how they shout, impatient for our presence, Of having strayed, endears the road to bliss; To lead them on to a new life of liberty, It makes Heaven's way more pleasing. O, my To fame, to conquest-Ha! Heaven guard my brother! brother!
'Tis hence a thousand cordial charities Thy cheek turns pale, thy eye is wild upon me! Derive their growth, their vigour, and their sweete Wilt thou not answer me? Aro. Gustavus !
This short lapse Gust. Speak.
Shall to thy future foot give cautious treading, Aro. Have I not dreamed ?
Erect, and firm, in virtue. Gust. No other I esteem it.
Aro. Give me leave,
[Offers to pass Where lives the man, whose reason slumbers
Gust. You shall not pass. not?
Aro. I must. Still
pure, still blameless, if at wonted dawn Gust. Whither? Again he wakes to virtue.
Arv. I know not- -O Gustavus !
Gust. Not forgive thee!
Aro. No. Come to my arms, thou dearest of mankind ! Look there!
[Points to the dagger. Aro. Stand off! Pollution dwells within my And yet, when I resolved to kill thee, touch,
I could have died-indeed I could- for thee, And horrors hang around me--Cruel man! I could have died, Gustavus ! O, thou hast doubly damned me with this good- Gust. O! I know it.
A generous mind, though swayed awhile by pas For resolution held the deed as done,
sion, That now must sink me -Hark! I am summon- Is.like the steely vigour of the bow, ed hence,
Still holds its native rectitude, and bends My audit opens ! Poise me! for I stand But to recoil more forceful! Come, forget it. Upon a spire, against whose sightless base
Enter a Dalecarlian. Hell breaks his wave beneath. Down, down, I dare not,
Dale. My lord, as now I passed the mounAnd up I cannot look, for justice fronts me.
tain's brow, Thou shalt have vengeance! though my purpling I spied some men, whose arms, and strange atblood
(Gustavus catches his arın, and in the Haste, intercept their passage to the camp.