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With Fortune win or weary her at last,
In my o'er-fervent youth; but for the abuse
Wer. 'Tis hopeless. Since his strange disappearance from my father's, Entailing, as it were, my sins upon Himself, no tidings have reveal'd his course. I parted with him to his grandsire, on The promise that his anger would stop short Of the third generation; but Heaven seems To claim her stern prerogative, and visit Upon my boy his father's faults and follies.
Jos. I must hope better still,—at least we have yet Baffled the long pursuit of Stralenheim. [ness; Wer. We should have done, but for this fatal sickMore fatal than a mortal malady, Because it takes not life, but life's sole solace: Even now I feel my spirit girt about By the snares of this avaricious fiend; How do I know he hath not track'd us here ?
wasted, not alone my strength, but means, and leaves us no! this is beyond me! but for this I had been happy." This is, indeed, beyond us. If this be poetry, then we were wrong in taking his Lordship's preface for prose. It will run on ten feet as well as the rest.
"Some of the characters are modified
Or altered, a few of the names changed, and One character, Ida of Stralenheim,
Jos. He does not know thy person; and his spies,
Even to our very hopes. Ha! ha!
That bitter laugh!
Wer. Who would read in this form The high soul of the son of a long line? Who, in this garb, the heir of princely lands? Who, in this sunken, sickly eye, the pride Of rank and ancestry? in this worn cheek And famine-hollow'd brow, the lord of halls Which daily feast a thousand vassals?
Jos. You Ponder'd not thus upon these worldly things, My Werner! when you deign'd to choose for bride The foreign daughter of a wandering exile.
Wer. An exile's daughter with an outcast son Were a fit marriage; but I still had hopes To lift thee to the state we both were born for. Your father's house was noble, though decay'd; And worthy by its birth to match with ours. [noble ; Jos. Your father did not think so, though 't was But had my birth been all my claim to match With thee, I should have deem'd it what it is. Wer. And what is that in thine eyes? Jos.
All which it
Has done in our behalf, nothing.
Or, if that seem too humble, tried by commerce,
Wer. (ironically). And been an Hanseatic burgher?
Jos. Whate'er thou mightst have been, to me thou What no state high or low can ever change,
My heart's first choice ; — which chose thee, knowing neither [sorrows: Thy birth, thy hopes, thy pride; nought, save thy While they last, let me comfort or divide them; When they end, let mine end with them, or thee!
Wer. My better angel! such I have ever found thee;
This rashness, or this weakness of my temper,
Added by myself; but in the rest the
I was young (about fourteen, I think) I
First read this tale, which made a deep impression Upon me "
Nor is there a line in these so lame and halting, but we could
point out many in the drama as bad. - CAMPBELL.]
And if you had not, I've no wine to offer,
Iden. The river has o'erflow'd. Jos. Alas! we have known That to our sorrow for these five days; since It keeps us here. Iden. But what you don't know is, That a great personage, who fain would cross Against the stream and three postilions' wishes, Is drown'd below the ford, with five post-horses, A monkey, and a mastiff, and a valet.
Jos. Poor creatures! are you sure? Iden. Yes, of the monkey, And the valet, and the cattle; but as yet We know not if his excellency's dead Or no; your noblemen are hard to drown, As it is fit that men in office should be ; But what is certain is, that he has swallow'd Enough of the Oder to have burst two peasants; And now a Saxon and Hungarian traveller, Who, at their proper peril, snatch'd him from The whirling river, have sent on to crave A lodging, or a grave, according as
It may turn out with the live or dead body.
Jos. And where will you receive him? here, I hope,
If we can be of service- say the word.
Iden. Here? no; but in the prince's own apartment, As fits a noble guest: 't is damp, no doubt, Not having been inhabited these twelve years; But then he comes from a much damper place, So scarcely will catch cold in 't, if he be Still liable to cold- and if not, why He'll be worse lodged to-morrow: ne'ertheless, I have order'd fire and all appliances To be got ready for the worst- that is, In case he should survive.
I hope he will, with all my heart.
[Aside to his wife.
Retire I'll sift this fool.
His excellency -
And yet you saved his life.
Which is call'd?
It matters little.
Iden. (aside). I think that all the world are grown anonymous,
Since no one cares to tell me what he 's call'd!
By my family,
Iden. How many? Gab. I did not count them. We came up by mere accident, and just In time to drag him through his carriage window. Iden. Well, what would I give to save a great man! No doubt you'll have a swingeing sum as recompense. Gab. Perhaps. Iden. Now, how much do you reckon on ? Gab. I have not yet put up myself to sale: In the mean time, my best reward would be A glass of your Hockcheimer—a green glass, Wreath'd with rich grapes and Bacchanal devices, O'erflowing with the oldest of your vintage; For which I promise you, in case you e'er Run hazard of being drown'd, (although I own It seems, of all deaths, the least likely for you,) I'll pull you out for nothing. Quick, my friend, And think, for every bumper I shall quaff, A wave the less may roll above your head.
They lay their hands on. All Silesia and
You say you were a
Wer. And I-nothing. Gab. That's harder still. soldier. Wer. I was. Gab. You look one still. All soldiers are Or should be comrades, even though enemies. Our swords when drawn must cross, our engines aim (While levell'd) at each other's hearts; but when A truce, a peace, or what you will, remits The steel into its scabbard, and lets sleep The spark which lights the matchlock, we are brethren. You are poor and sickly I am not rich, but
Gab. But how came he here? Iden. In a most miserable old caleche, About a month since, and immediately Fell sick, almost to death. He should have died. Gab. Tender and true!-but why? Iden.
If I mistake not.
Without a living? He has not a stiver.
Gab. In that case, I much wonder that a person Of your apparent prudence should admit Guests so forlorn into this noble mansion.
Iden. That's true; but pity, as you know, does One's heart commit these follies; and besides, They had some valuables left at that time, Which paid their way up to the present hour; And so I thought they might as well be lodged Here as at the small tavern, and I gave them The run of some of the oldest palace rooms. They served to air them, at the least as long As they could pay for fire-wood.
Why, what is life
And yet unused to poverty, Whither were they going?
Iden. Oh! Heaven knows where, unless to heaven
Some days ago that look'd the likeliest journey
Gab. Werner! I have heard the name: But it may be a feign'd one.
I must be at my post: will you not join me,
All sounds now jar me! Still here! Is he not
The rushing river from his gurgling throat.
Re-enter WERNER. Wer. (to himself). I heard a noise of wheels and
A spy of my pursuer's ? His frank offer So suddenly, and to a stranger, wore
The aspect of a secret enemy;
For friends are slow at such.
The staircase is a little gloomy, and
Enter STRALENHEIM, IDENSTEIN, and Attendants partly his own, and partly Retainers of the Domain of which IDENSTEIN is Intendant.
Stral. I'll rest me here a moment.
Ho! a chair!
[STRALENHEIM sits down.
I'm better now.
This is one of the strangers to whose aid
Who are these strangers?
[Pointing to GABOR.
I seek not to disturb
My state when I was succour'd must excuse My uncertainty to whom I owe so much.
(Aside.) Somewhat tatter'd,
So let their bearer sleep 'neath something like one
Stral. (rising and turning to GABOR). Good night,
[Pointing to WERNER.
Iden. He!-no, my lord, he rather wants for rescue Than can afford it. 'T is a poor sick man, Travel-tired, and lately risen from a bed From whence he never dream'd to rise.
That there were two.
Gab. There were, in company; But, in the service render'd to your lordship, I needs must say but one, and he is absent. The chief part of whatever aid was render'd Was his it was his fortune to be first. My will was not inferior, but his strength And youth outstripp'd me; therefore do not waste Your thanks on me. I was but a glad second Unto a nobler principal.
Where is he?
An Atten. My lord, he tarried in the cottage where Your excellency rested for an hour,
And said he would be here to-morrow.
That hour arrives, I can but offer thanks, And then
His father, rising from his grave again, Would pass him by unknown.
An error would spoil all
My own from his, not to alarm him into
At Hamburgh those who would have made assurance
[He pauses, and looks at WERNER; then resumes.
This man must If it is he, he is so changed,
I must be wary:
An outward show of thought. I will to rest.
When I know it such,
I will requite—that is, reply in unison.
If I could aid you-journeying the same way?
Because there is
But one way that the rich and poor must tread
Your language is above
Or, at least, beyond
Wer. (bitterly). Is it?