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Different Voices. Ay!- Ay !
Marina. My God! My God! Doge. You shall not
Barb. (to Lored.) Behold! your work's Stir- in my train, at least. I enter'd here completed! As sovereign- I go ont as citizen,
Chief of the Ten. Is there then By the same portals, but as citizen. No aid? Call in assistance! All these vain ceremonies are base insults, Attendant. 'Tis all over. Which only ulcerate the heart the more, Chief of the Ten. If it be so, at least his Applying poisons there as antidotes.
obsequies Pomp is for princes—I am none!—That's Shall be such as befits his name and nation, false,
His rank and his devotion to the duties I am, but only to these gates.-Ah! Of the realm, while his age permitted him Lored. Hark!
To do himself and them full justice. [The great bell of St. Mark's tolls.
Brethren, Barb. The bell!
Say, shall it not be so? Chief of the Ten. St. Mark's, which tolls Barb. He has not had for the election
The misery to die a subject where Of Malipiero.
He reign'd: then let his funeral rites be Doge. Well I recognize
princely. The sound! I heard it once, but once before, Chief of the Ten. We are agreed, then ? And that is five and thirty years ago ;
All, ercept Loredano, answer Even then I was not young.
Yes. Barb. Sit down, my lord !
Chief of the Ten. Heaven's peace be with You tremble.
him ! Doge. Tis the knell of my poor boy! Marina. Signors, your pardon: this is My heart aches bitterly.
mockery. Barb. I pray you sit.
Juggle no more with that poor remnant, Doge. No; my seat here has been a
which, throne till now.
A moment since, while yet it had a soul Marina ! let us go.
(A soul by whom you have increased your Marina. Most readily.
empire, Doge. (walks a few steps, then stops) And made your power as proud as was his I feel athirst—will no one bring me here glory), A cup of water?
You banish'd from his palace, and tore down Barb. I
From his high place with such relentless Marina. And I
coldness; Lored. And I
And now, when he can neither know these [The Doge takes a goblet from the honours, hand of Loredano.
Nor would accept them if he could, you, Doge. I take yours, Loredano, from the signors, hand
Purpose, with idle and superfluous pomp, Most fit for such an hour as this.
To make a pageant over what you trampled. Lored. Why so?
A princely funeral will be your reproach, Doge.
'Tis said that our Venetian And not his honour. crystal has
Chief of the Ten. Lady, we revoke not Such pure antipathy to poisons, as Our purposes so readily. To burst if aught of venom touches it. Marina. I know it, You bore this goblet, and it is not broken. As far as touches torturing the living. Lored. Well, sir !
I thought the dead had been beyond even Doge. Then it is false, or you are true.
you, For my own part, I credit neither; 'tis Thougho(some, no doubt) consign'd to An idle legend.
powers which may Marina. You talk wildly, and
Resemble that you exercise on earth. Had better now be seated, nor as yet Leave him to me; you would have done Depart. Ah! now you look as look'd my husband!
His dregs of life, which you have kindly Barb. He sinks !-support him!-quick
shorten'd: a chair-support him!
It is my last of duties, and may prove Doge. The bell tolls on !-let's hence- A dreary comfort in my desolation. my brain's on fire!
Grief is fantastical, and loves the dead, Barb. I do beseech you, lean upon us! And the apparel of the grave. Doge. No!
Chief of the Ten. Do you A sovereign should die standing. My poor Pretend still to this office ? boy!
Marina. I do, signor. Off with your arms!-- That bell!
Though his possessions have been all (The Doge drops down and dies.
In the state's service, I have still my dowry, Of such. Well, sirs, your vill be done! Which shall be consecrated to his rites,
as one day, And those of — (She stops with agitation. I trust, Heaven's will be done too! Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your Chief of the Ten. Know you, lady, children.
To whom ye speak, and perils of such speech? Marina. Ay, they are fatherless, I thank Marina. I know the former better than you.
yourselves; Chief of the Ten. We
The latter- like yourselves; and can face Cannot comply with your request. His relics
both. Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and Wish you more funerals? follow'd
Barb. Heed not her rash words; Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad Her circumstances must excuse her bearing. As Doge, but simply as a senator.
Chief of the Ten. We will not note them Marina. I have heard of murderers, who
down. have interr'd
Barb. (turning to Loredano, who is Their victims; but ne'er heard, until this writing upon his tablets) hour,
What art thou writing, Of so much splendour in hypocrisy
With such an earnest brow, upon thy O’er those they slew. I've heard of widows'
tablets ? tears
Lored. (pointing to the Doge's body) Alas! I have shed some--always thanks to That he has paid me!. you !
Chief of the Ten. What debt did he I've heard of heirs in sables—you have owe you? left none
Lored. A long and just one; Nature's To the deceased, so you would act the part debt and mine. (Curtain falls.
SARD A NA PALUS,
A TRA G E D Y.
For the historical foundation of the comTHE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTHE.
positions in question, the reader is referred
to the Notes. A stranger presumes to offer the homage of The Author has in one instance attempted a literary vassal to his liege-lord, the first to preserve, and in the other to approach of existing writers, who has created the the unities ; conceiving that with any literature of his own country and illustrated very distant departure from them, there that of Europe. The unworthy production may be poetry, but can be no drama. He which the author ventures to inscribe to him is aware of the unpopularity of this notion is entitled SARDANAPALUS.
in present English literature; but it is not a system of his own, being merely an opinion, which, not very long ago, was the
law of literature throughout the world, PRE FACE.
and is still so in the more civilized parts
of it. But “Nous avons changé tout cela,” In publishing the Tragedies of Sardana- and are reaping the advantages of the change. palus, and of The Two Foscari, I have only The writer is far from conceiving that any to repeat that they were not composed with thing he can adduce by personal precept the most remote view to the stage. or example can at all approach his regular,
On the attempt made by the Managers or even irregular, predecessors: he is merely in a former instance, the public opinion giving a reason why he preferred the more has been already expressed.
regular formation of a structure, however With regard to my own private feelings, feeble, to an entire abandonment of all roles as it seems that they are to stand for no- whatsoever. Where he has failed, the faithing, I shall say nothing.
lure is in the architect, -and not in the art.
WOMEN. SARDANAPALUS, King of Niniveh and Assyria. ZARINA, the Queen. ARRACES, the Mede who aspired to the Throne. MYRRHA, an Ionian female Slave, and the BELESES, a Chaldean and Soothsayer.
Favourite of SARDANAPALUS. SALENENES, the King's Brother-in-law. l'omen composing the Harem of SARDANAALTADA, an Assyrian Officer of the Palace. PALUS, Guards, Attendants, Chaldean PANIA.
Scene-a Hall in the Royal Palace of BALEл.
The blood of Nimrod and Semiramis
Sink in the earth, and thirteen hundred SCENE I. -A Hall in the Palace.
Of empire ending like a shepherd's tale; Salemenes (solus). He hath wrong'd his He must be roused. In his effeminate heart
queen, but still he is her lord ; There is a careless courage which corHe hath wrong’d my sister, still he is my ruption brother ;
Has not all quench’d, and latent energies, He hath wrongd his people, still he is their Represt by circumstance.but not destroydsovereign,
Steep’d, but not drown'd, in deep volupAnd I must be his friend as well as subject:
tuousness. He must not perish thus. I will not see If born a peasant, he had been a man
To havo reach'd an empire; to an empire We'll meet again in that the sweetest hour, born,
When we shall gather like the stars above us, He will bequeath none; nothing but a name, And you will form a heaven as bright as Which his sons will not prize in heritage :
theirs; Yet, not all lost, even yet he may redeem Till then, let each be mistress of her time, His sloth and shame, by only being that And thou, my own Ionian Myrrha, choose, Which he should be, as easily as the thing Wilt thou along with them or me? He should not be and is. Were it less toil Myrrha. My lordTo sway his nations than consume his life? Sard. My lord! my life, why answerest To head an army than to rule a harem?
thou so coldly? Hesweats in palling pleasures,dulls his soul, It is the curse of kings to be so answered. And saps his goodly strength, in toils which Rule thy own hours, thou rulest mineyield not
say, wouldst thou Health like the chase, nor glory like the Accompany our guests, or charm away
The moments from me ? He must be roused. Alas! there is no sound Myrrha. The king's choice is mine.
[Sound of soft music heard from within. Sard. I pray thee say not so: my To ronse him short of thunder, Hark!
chiefest joy the lute,
Is to contribute to thine every wish. The lyre, the timbrel; the lascivious I do not dare to breathe my own desire, tinklings
Lest it should clash with thine ; for thou Of lulling instruments, the softening voices
art still Of women, and of beings less than women, Too prompt to sacrifice thy thoughts for Must chime in to the echo of his revel,
others. While the great king of all we know of Myrrha, I would remain : I have no earth
happiness Lolls crown'd with roses, and his diadem Save in beholding thine; yetLies negligently by to be caught up
Sard. Yet, what yet? By the first manly hand which dares to Thy own sweet will shall be the only barrier snatch it.
Which ever rises betwixt thee and me. Lo, where they come ! already I perceive Myrrha. I think the present is the The reeking odours of the perfumed trains,
wonted hour And see the bright gems of the glittering Of council; it were better I retire. girls,
Sal. (comes forward and says) The Ionian Who are his comrades and his council, flash
slave says well, let her retire. Along the gallery, and amidst the damsels, Sard. Who answers! How now, brother? As femininely garb’d, and scarce less female, Sal. The qucen's brother, The grandson of Semiramis, the man-queen. And your most faithful vassal, royal lord. He comes! Shall I await him? yes, and Sard. (addressing his train) As I have front him,
said, let all dispose their hours And tell him what all good men tell each Till midnight, when again we pray your other,
presence. (The court retiring: Speaking of him and his. They come, (To Myrrha, who is going.) Myrrha ! I the slaves,
thought thou wouldst remain. Led by the monarch subject to his slaves. Myrrha. Great king,
Thou didst not say so. SCENE II.- Enter SARDANAPALUS effeminate
Sard. But thou lookedst it; ly dressed, his Head crowned with Flow-I know each glance of those Ionic eyes, ers, and his Robe negligently flowing,
Which said thou wouldst not leave me. attended by a Train of Women and young
Myrrha. Sire! your brotherSlaves.
Sal. His consort's brother, minion of lonia!
How darest thou name me and not blush ? Sardanapalus (speaking to some of his Sard. Not blush! Attendants).
Thou hast no more eyes than heart to Let the pavilion over the Euphrates
ake her crimson Be garlanded, and lit, and furnish'd forth Like to the dying day on Caucasus, For an especial banquet; at the hour Where sunset tints the snow with rosy Of midnight we will sup there: see nought shadows, wanting
And then reproach her with thine own And bid the galley be prepared. There is cold blindness, A cooling breeze which crisps the broad which will not see it. What, in tears, my clear river:
Myrrha ? We will embark anon. Fair nymphs, who Sal. Let them flow on; she weeps for deign
more than one, To share the soft hours of Sardanapalus, I And is herself the cause of bitterer tears.
Sard. Cursed be he who caused those Sard. Not know the word ! tears to flow!
Never was word yet rung so in my ears Sal. Curse not thyselp-millions do that Worse than the rabble's shout, or splitting already.
trumpet ; Sard. Thou dost forget thee: makc me I've heard thy sister talk of nothing else. not remember
Sal. To change the irksome theme, then, I am a inonarch.
hear of vice, Sal. Would thou couldst!
Sard. Frojn whom? Myrrha. My sovereign,
Sal. Even from the winds, if thou couldst I pray, and thou too, princo, permit my
Unto the echoes of the nation's voice. Sard. Since it must be so, and this churl Sard. Come, I'm indulgent as thou has check'd
knowest, patient Thy gentle spirit, go; but recollect As thou hast often proved - speak out, what That we must forthwith meet: I had rather
moves thee? lose
Sal. Thy peril. An empire than thy presence.
Sard. Say on.
(Esit Myrrha. Sal. Thus, then: all the nations, Sal. It may be,
For they are many, whom thy father left Thou wilt lose both, and both for ever! In heritage, are loud in wrath against thee. Sard. Brother,
Sard. Gainst me! What would the slaves? I can at least command myself, who listen Sal. A king. To language such as this; yet urge me not Sard. And what Beyond my easy nature.
Am I then? Sal. 'Tis beyond
Sal. In their eyes a nothing; but That easy, far too easy, idle nature, In mine a man who might be something still. Which I would urge thee. Oh that I Sard. The railing drunkards! why, what could rouse thee!
would they have ? Though 'twere against myself.
Have they not peace and plenty ? Sard. By the god Baal !
Sal. Of the first, The man would make me tyrant.
More than is glorious; of the last far less Sal. So thou art.
Than the king recks of. Thinkst thou there is no tyranny but that
Sard. Whose then is the crime, Of blood and chains? The despotism of vice But the false satraps, who provide no better? The weakness and the wickedness of luxury- Sal. And somewbat in the monarch who The negligence--the apathy- the evils
ne'er looks Of sensual sloth--produce ten thousand Beyond his palace-walls, or if he stirs tyrants,
Beyond them, 'tis but to some mountainWhose delegated cruelty surpasses
palace, The worst acts of one energetic master, Till summer-heats wear down. O glorious However harsh and hard in his own bearing.
Baal! The false and fond examples of thy lasts Who built ap this vast empire, and wert Corrupt no less than they oppress, and sap
made In the same moment all thy pageant power A god, or at the least shinest like a god And those who should sustain it; 80 that Through the long centuries of thy renown, whether
This, thy presumed descendant, ne'er beheld A foreign foe invade, or civil broil As king the kingdoms thou didst leave as Distract within, both will alike prove fatal:
hero, The first thy subjects have no heart to Won with thy blood, and toil, and time, conquer;
and peril! The last they rather would assist than For what? to furnish imposts for a revel, vanquish.
Or multiplied extortions for a minion. Sard. Why what makes theo the mouth- Sard. I understand thee-thou wouldst
piece of the people? Sal. Forgiveness of the queen my sister's Forth as a conqueror. By all the stars wrongs;
Which the Chaldeans read! the restless A natural love unto my infant nephews;
Sal. Wherefore not?
These our Assyrians to the solar shores I love to learn.
Of Ganges. Sal. Virtue.
Sard. 'Tis most true. And how return'd?
have me go