The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Robbers, by Friedrich Schiller

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Title: The Robbers
       A Tragedy

Author: Friedrich Schiller

Release Date: October 25, 2006 [EBook #6782]
Last Updated: November 6, 2012

Language: English

Character set encoding: ASCII


Produced by David Widger


By Friedrich Schiller







SCENE II.—A Tavern on the Frontier of Saxony.



SCENE II.—Old Moor's Bedchamber.





SCENE II.—Country near the Danube.


SCENE II.*—Gallery in the Castle.

SCENE III.—Another Room in the Castle.









Now first translated into English.

This play is to be regarded merely as a dramatic narrative in which, for the purpose of tracing out the innermost workings of the soul, advantage has been taken of the dramatic method, without otherwise conforming to the stringent rules of theatrical composition, or seeking the dubious advantage of stage adaptation. It must be admitted as somewhat inconsistent that three very remarkable people, whose acts are dependent on perhaps a thousand contingencies, should be completely developed within three hours, considering that it would scarcely be possible, in the ordinary course of events, that three such remarkable people should, even in twenty-four hours, fully reveal their characters to the most penetrating inquirer. A greater amount of incident is here crowded together than it was possible for me to confine within the narrow limits prescribed by Aristotle and Batteux.

It is, however, not so much the bulk of my play as its contents which banish it from the stage. Its scheme and economy require that several characters should appear who would offend the finer feelings of virtue and shock the delicacy of our manners. Every delineator of human character is placed in the same dilemma if he proposes to give a faithful picture of the world as it really is, and not an ideal phantasy, a mere creation of his own. It is the course of mortal things that the good should be shadowed by the bad, and virtue shine the brightest when contrasted with vice. Whoever proposes to discourage vice and to vindicate religion, morality, and social order against their enemies, must unveil crime in all its deformity, and place it before the eyes of men in its colossal magnitude; he must diligently explore its dark mazes, and make himself familiar with sentiments at the wickedness of which his soul revolts.

Vice is here exposed in its innermost workings. In Francis it resolves all the confused terrors of conscience into wild abstractions, destroys virtuous sentiments by dissecting them, and holds up the earnest voice of religion to mockery and scorn. He who has gone so far (a distinction by no means enviable) as to quicken his understanding at the expense of his soul—to him the holiest things are no longer holy; to him God and man are alike indifferent, and both worlds are as nothing. Of such a monster I have endeavored to sketch a striking and lifelike portrait, to hold up to abhorrence all the machinery of his scheme of vice, and to test its strength by contrasting it with truth. How far my narrative is successful in accomplishing these objects the reader is left to judge. My conviction is that I have painted nature to the life.

Next to this man (Francis) stands another who would perhaps puzzle not a few of my readers. A mind for which the greatest crimes have only charms through the glory which attaches to them, the energy which their perpetration requires, and the dangers which attend them. A remarkable and important personage, abundantly endowed with the power of becoming either a Brutus or a Catiline, according as that power is directed. An unhappy conjunction of circumstances determines him to choose the latter for, his example, and it is only after a fearful straying that he is recalled to emulate the former. Erroneous notions of activity and power, an exuberance of strength which bursts through all the barriers of law, must of necessity conflict with the rules of social life. To these enthusiast dreams of greatness and efficiency it needed but a sarcastic bitterness against the unpoetic spirit of the age to complete the strange Don Quixote whom, in the Robber Moor, we at once detest and love, admire and pity. It is, I hope, unnecessary to remark that I no more hold up this picture as a warning exclusively to robbers than the greatest Spanish satire was levelled exclusively at knight-errants.

It is nowadays so much the fashion to be witty at the expense of religion that a man will hardly pass for a genius if he does not allow his impious satire to run a tilt at its most sacred truths. The noble simplicity of holy writ must needs be abused and turned into ridicule at the daily assemblies of the so-called wits; for what is there so holy and serious that will not raise a laugh if a false sense be attached to it? Let me hope that I shall have rendered no inconsiderable service to the cause of true religion and morality in holding up these wanton misbelievers to the detestation of society, under the form of the most despicable robbers.

But still more. I have made these said immoral characters to stand out favorably in particular points, and even in some measure to compensate by qualities of the head for what they are deficient in those of the heart. Herein I have done no more than literally copy nature. Every man, even the most depraved, bears in some degree the impress of the Almighty's image, and perhaps the greatest villain is not farther removed from the most upright man than the petty offender; for the moral forces keep even pace with the powers of the mind, and the greater the capacity bestowed on man, the greater and more enormous becomes his misapplication of it; the more responsible is he for his errors.

The "Adramelech" of Klopstock (in his Messiah) awakens in us a feeling in which admiration is blended with detestation. We follow Milton's Satan with shuddering wonder through the pathless realms of chaos. The Medea of the old dramatists is, in spite of all her crimes, a great and wondrous woman, and Shakespeare's Richard III. is sure to excite the admiration of the reader, much as he would hate the reality. If it is to be my task to portray men as they are, I must at the same time include their good qualities, of which even the most vicious are never totally destitute. If I would warn mankind against the tiger, I must not omit to describe his glossy, beautifully-marked skin, lest, owing to this omission, the ferocious animal should not be recognized till too late. Besides this, a man who is so utterly depraved as to be without a single redeeming point is no meet subject for art, and would disgust rather than excite the interest of the reader; who would turn over with impatience the pages which concern him. A noble soul can no more endure a succession of moral discords than the musical ear the grating of knives upon glass.

And for this reason I should have been ill-advised in attempting to bring my drama on the stage. A certain strength of mind is required both on the part of the poet and the reader; in the former that he may not disguise vice, in the latter that he may not suffer brilliant qualities to beguile him into admiration of what is essentially detestable. Whether the author has fulfilled his duty he leaves others to judge, that his readers will perform theirs he by no means feels assured. The vulgar—among whom I would not be understood to mean merely the rabble—the vulgar I say (between ourselves) extend their influence far around, and unfortunately—set the fashion. Too shortsighted to reach my full meaning, too narrow-minded to comprehend the largeness of my views, too disingenuous to admit my moral aim—they will, I fear, almost frustrate my good intentions, and pretend to discover in my work an apology for the very vice which it has been my object to condemn, and will perhaps make the poor poet, to whom anything rather than justice is usually accorded, responsible for his simplicity.

Thus we have a Da capo of the old story of Democritus and the Abderitans, and our worthy Hippocrates would needs exhaust whole plantations of hellebore, were it proposed to remedy this mischief by a healing decoction.

   [This alludes to the fable amusingly recorded by Wieland in his
   Geschichte der Abderiten. The Abderitans, who were a byword among
   the ancients for their extreme simplicity, are said to have sent
   express for Hipocrates to cure their great townsman Democritus,
   whom they believed to be out of his senses, because his sayings
   were beyond their comprehension. Hippocrates, on conversing with
   Democritus, having at once discovered that the cause lay with
   themselves, assembled the senate and principal inhabitants in the
   market-place with the promise of instructing them in the cure of
   Democritus. He then banteringly advised them to import six
   shiploads of hellebore of the very best quality, and on its arrival
   to distribute it among the citizens, at least seven pounds per
   head, but to the senators double that quantity, as they were bound
   to have an extra supply of sense. By the time these worthies
   discovered that they had been laughed at, Hippocrates was out of
   their reach. The story in Wieland is infinitely more amusing than
   this short quotation from memory enables me to show.  H. G. B.]

Let as many friends of truth as you will, instruct their fellow-citizens in the pulpit and on the stage, the vulgar will never cease to be vulgar, though the sun and moon may change their course, and "heaven and earth wax old as a garment." Perhaps, in order to please tender-hearted people, I might have been less true to nature; but if a certain beetle, of whom we have all heard, could extract filth even from pearls, if we have examples that fire has destroyed and water deluged, shall therefore pearls, fire, and water be condemned. In consequence of the remarkable catastrophe which ends my play, I may justly claim for it a place among books of morality, for crime meets at last with the punishment it deserves; the lost one enters again within the pale of the law, and virtue is triumphant. Whoever will but be courteous enough towards me to read my work through with a desire to understand it, from him I may expect—not that he will admire the poet, but that he will esteem the honest man.



—This has never before been printed with any of the editions.—

The picture of a great, misguided soul, endowed with every gift of excellence; yet lost in spite of all its gifts! Unbridled passions and bad companionship corrupt his heart, urge him on from crime to crime, until at last he stands at the head of a band of murderers, heaps horror upon horror, and plunges from precipice to precipice into the lowest depths of despair. Great and majestic in misfortune, by misfortune reclaimed, and led back to the paths of virtue. Such a man shall you pity and hate, abhor yet love, in the Robber Moor. You will likewise see a juggling, fiendish knave unmasked and blown to atoms in his own mines; a fond, weak, and over-indulgent father; the sorrows of too enthusiastic love, and the tortures of ungoverned passion. Here, too, you will witness, not without a shudder, the interior economy of vice; and from the stage be taught how all the tinsel of fortune fails to smother the inward worm; and how terror, anguish, remorse, and despair tread close on the footsteps of guilt. Let the spectator weep to-day at our exhibition, and tremble, and learn to bend his passions to the laws of religion and reason; let the youth behold with alarm the consequences of unbridled excess; nor let the man depart without imbibing the lesson that the invisible band of Providence makes even villains the instruments of its designs and judgments, and can marvellously unravel the most intricate perplexities of fate.


The eight hundred copies of the first edition of my ROBBERS were exhausted before all the admirers of the piece were supplied. A second was therefore undertaken, which has been improved by greater care in printing, and by the omission of those equivocal sentences which were offensive to the more fastidious part of the public. Such an alteration, however, in the construction of the play as should satisfy all the wishes of my friends and critics has not been my object.

In this second edition the several songs have been arranged for the pianoforte, which will enhance its value to the musical part of the public. I am indebted for this to an able composer,* who has performed his task in so masterly a manner that the hearer is not unlikely to forget the poet in the melody of the musician.

                        DR. SCHILLER.

STUTTGART, Jan. 5, 1782.

* Alluding to his friend Zumsteeg.—ED.



     "Quae medicamenta non sanant, ferrum sanat; quae ferrum non
     sanat, ignis sanat."—HIPPOCRATES.



     FRANCIS,| his Sons.
     GRIMM,   |
     RAZMANN,  | Libertines, afterwards Banditti
     ROLLER,   |
     KOSINSKY,  |
     SCHWARTZ,  |
     HERMANN, the natural son of a Nobleman.
     DANIEL, an old Servant of Count von Moor.
     FATHER DOMINIC, a Monk.
     The scene is laid in Germany. Period of action about two years.



SCENE I.—Franconia.

Apartment in the Castle of COUNT MOOR.


FRANCIS. But are you really well, father? You look so pale.

OLD MOOR. Quite well, my son—what have you to tell me?

FRANCIS. The post is arrived—a letter from our correspondent at Leipsic.

OLD M. (eagerly). Any tidings of my son Charles?

FRANCIS. Hem! Hem!—Why, yes. But I fear—I know not—whether I dare —your health.—Are you really quite well, father?

OLD M. As a fish in water.* Does he write of my son? What means this anxiety about my health? You have asked me that question twice.

   [*This is equivalent to our English saying "As sound as a roach."]

FRANCIS. If you are unwell—or are the least apprehensive of being so— permit me to defer—I will speak to you at a fitter season.—(Half aside.) These are no tidings for a feeble frame.

OLD M. Gracious Heavens? what am I doomed to hear?

FRANCIS. First let me retire and shed a tear of compassion for my lost brother. Would that my lips might be forever sealed—for he is your son! Would that I could throw an eternal veil over his shame—for he is my brother! But to obey you is my first, though painful, duty—forgive me, therefore.

OLD M. Oh, Charles! Charles! Didst thou but know what thorns thou plantest in thy father's bosom! That one gladdening report of thee would add ten years to my life! yes, bring back my youth! whilst now, alas, each fresh intelligence but hurries me a step nearer to the grave!

FRANCIS. Is it so, old man, then farewell! for even this very day we might all have to tear our hair over your coffin.*

   [* This idiom is very common in Germany, and is used to express

OLD M. Stay! There remains but one short step more—let him have his will! (He sits down.) The sins of the father shall be visited unto the third and fourth generation—let him fulfil the decree.

FRANCIS (takes the letter out of his pocket). You know our correspondent! See! I would give a finger of my right hand might I pronounce him a liar—a base and slanderous liar! Compose yourself! Forgive me if I do not let you read the letter yourself. You cannot, must not, yet know all.

OLD M. All, all, my son. You will but spare me crutches.*

   [* Du ersparst mir die Krucke; meaning that the contents of the
   letter can but shorten his declining years, and so spare him the
   necessity of crutches.]

FRANCIS (reads). "Leipsic, May 1. Were I not bound by an inviolable promise to conceal nothing from you, not even the smallest particular, that I am able to collect, respecting your brother's career, never, my dearest friend, should my guiltless pen become an instrument of torture to you. I can gather from a hundred of your letters how tidings such as these must pierce your fraternal heart. It seems to me as though I saw thee, for the sake of this worthless, this detestable"—(OLD M. covers his face). Oh! my father, I am only reading you the mildest passages— "this detestable man, shedding a thousand tears." Alas! mine flowed—ay, gushed in torrents over these pitying cheeks. "I already picture to myself your aged pious father, pale as death." Good Heavens! and so you are, before you have heard anything.

OLD M. Go on! Go on!

FRANCIS. "Pale as death, sinking down on his chair, and cursing the day when his ear was first greeted with the lisping cry of 'Father!' I have not yet been able to discover all, and of the little I do know I dare tell you only a part. Your brother now seems to have filled up the measure of his infamy. I, at least, can imagine nothing beyond what he has already accomplished; but possibly his genius may soar above my conceptions. After having contracted debts to the amount of forty thousand ducats,"—a good round sum for pocket-money, father--"and having dishonored the daughter of a rich banker, whose affianced lover, a gallant youth of rank, he mortally wounded in a duel, he yesterday, in the dead of night, took the desperate resolution of absconding from the arm of justice, with seven companions whom he had corrupted to his own vicious courses." Father? for heaven's sake, father! How do you feel?

OLD M. Enough. No more, my son, no more!

FRANCIS. I will spare your feelings. "The injured cry aloud for satisfaction. Warrants have been issued for his apprehension—a price is set on his head—the name of Moor"—No, these unhappy lips shall not be guilty of a father's murder (he tears the letter). Believe it not, my father, believe not a syllable.

OLD M. (weeps bitterly). My name—my unsullied name!

FRANCIS (throws himself on his neck). Infamous! most infamous Charles! Oh, had I not my forebodings, when, even as a boy, he would scamper after the girls, and ramble about over hill and common with ragamuffin boys and all the vilest rabble; when he shunned the very sight of a church as a malefactor shuns a gaol, and would throw the pence he had wrung from your bounty into the hat of the first beggar he met, whilst we at home were edifying ourselves with devout prayers and pious homilies? Had I not my misgivings when he gave himself up to reading the adventures of Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, and other benighted heathens, in preference to the history of the penitent Tobias? A hundred times over have I warned you—for my brotherly affection was ever kept in subjection to filial duty—that this forward youth would one day bring sorrow and disgrace on us all. Oh that he bore not the name of Moor! that my heart beat less warmly for him! This sinful affection, which I can not overcome, will one day rise up against me before the judgment-seat of heaven.

OLD M. Oh! my prospects! my golden dreams!

FRANCIS. Ay, well I knew it. Exactly what I always feared. That fiery spirit, you used to say, which is kindling in the boy, and renders him so susceptible to impressions of the beautiful and grand—the ingenuousness which reveals his whole soul in his eyes—the tenderness of feeling which melts him into weeping sympathy at every tale of sorrow—the manly courage which impels him to the summit of giant oaks, and urges him over fosse and palisade and foaming torrents—that youthful thirst of honor—that unconquerable resolution—all those resplendent virtues which in the father's darling gave such promise— would ripen into the warm and sincere friend—the excellent citizen—the hero—the great, the very great man! Now, mark the result, father; the fiery spirit has developed itself—expanded—and behold its precious fruits. Observe this ingenuousness—how nicely it has changed into effrontery;—this tenderness of soul—how it displays itself in dalliance with coquettes, in susceptibility to the blandishments of a courtesan! See this fiery genius, how in six short years it hath burnt out the oil of life, and reduced his body to a living skeleton; so that passing scoffers point at him with a sneer and exclaim—"C'est l'amour qui a fait cela." Behold this bold, enterprising spirit—how it conceives and executes plans, compared to which the deeds of a Cartouche or a Howard sink into insignificance. And presently, when these precious germs of excellence shall ripen into full maturity, what may not be expected from the full development of such a boyhood? Perhaps, father, you may yet live to see him at the head of some gallant band, which assembles in the silent sanctuary of the forest, and kindly relieves the weary traveller of his superfluous burden. Perhaps you may yet have the opportunity, before you go to your own tomb, of making a pilgrimage to the monument which he may erect for himself, somewhere between earth and heaven! Perhaps,—oh, father—father, look out for some other name, or the very peddlers and street boys who have seen the effigy of your worthy son exhibited in the market-place at Leipsic will point at you with the finger of scorn!

OLD M. And thou, too, my Francis, thou too? Oh, my children, how unerringly your shafts are levelled at my heart.

FRANCIS. You see that I too have a spirit; but my spirit bears the sting of a scorpion. And then it was "the dry commonplace, the cold, the wooden Francis," and all the pretty little epithets which the contrast between us suggested to your fatherly affection, when he was sitting on your knee, or playfully patting your cheeks? "He would die, forsooth, within the boundaries of his own domain, moulder away, and soon be forgotten;" while the fame of this universal genius would spread from pole to pole! Ah! the cold, dull, wooden Francis thanks thee, heaven, with uplifted hands, that he bears no resemblance to his brother.

OLD M. Forgive me, my child! Reproach not thy unhappy father, whose fondest hopes have proved visionary. The merciful God who, through Charles, has sent these tears, will, through thee, my Francis, wipe them from my eyes!

FRANCIS. Yes, father, we will wipe them from your eyes. Your Francis will devote—his life to prolong yours. (Taking his hand with affected tenderness.) Your life is the oracle which I will especially consult on every undertaking—the mirror in which I will contemplate everything. No duty so sacred but I am ready to violate it for the preservation of your precious days. You believe me?

OLD M. Great are the duties which devolve on thee, my son—Heaven bless thee for what thou has been, and wilt be to me.

FRANCIS. Now tell me frankly, father. Should you not be a happy man, were you not obliged to call this son your own?

OLD M. In mercy, spare me! When the nurse first placed him in my arms, I held him up to Heaven and exclaimed, "Am I not truly blest?"

FRANCIS. So you said then. Now, have you found it so? You may envy the meanest peasant on your estate in this, that he is not the father of such a son. So long as you call him yours you are wretched. Your misery will grow with his years—it will lay you in your grave.

OLD M. Oh! he has already reduced me to the decrepitude of fourscore.

FRANCIS. Well, then—suppose you were to disown this son.

OLD M. (startled). Francis! Francis! what hast thou said!

FRANCIS. Is not your love for him the source of all your grief? Root out this love, and he concerns you no longer. But for this weak and reprehensible affection he would be dead to you;—as though he had never been born. It is not flesh and blood, it is the heart that makes us sons and fathers! Love him no more, and this monster ceases to be your son, though he were cut out of your flesh. He has till now been the apple of your eye; but if thine eye offend you, says Scripture, pluck it out. It is better to enter heaven with one eye than hell with two! "It is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." These are the words of the Bible!

OLD M. Wouldst thou have me curse my son?

FRANCIS. By no means, father. God forbid! But whom do you call your son? Him to whom you have given life, and who in return does his utmost to shorten yours.

OLD M. Oh, it is all too true! it is a judgment upon me. The Lord has chosen him as his instrument.

FRANCIS. See how filially your bosom child behaves. He destroys you by your own excess of paternal sympathy; murders you by means of the very love you bear him—has coiled round a father's heart to crush it. When you are laid beneath the turf he becomes lord of your possessions, and master of his own will. That barrier removed, and the torrent of his profligacy will rush on without control. Imagine yourself in his place. How often he must wish his father under ground—and how often, too, his brother—who so unmercifully impede the free course of his excesses. But call you this a requital of love? Is this filial gratitude for a father's tenderness? to sacrifice ten years of your life to the lewd pleasures of an hour? in one voluptuous moment to stake the honor of an ancestry which has stood unspotted through seven centuries? Do you call this a son? Answer? Do you call this your son?

OLD M. An undutiful son! Alas! but still my child! my child!

FRANCIS. A most amiable and precious child—whose constant study is to get rid of his father. Oh, that you could learn to see clearly! that the film might be removed from your eyes! But your indulgence must confirm him in his vices! your assistance tend to justify them. Doubtless you will avert the curse of Heaven from his head, but on your own, father—on yours—will it fall with twofold vengeance.

OLD M. Just! most just! Mine, mine be all the guilt!

FRANCIS. How many thousands who have drained the voluptuous bowl of pleasure to the dregs have been reclaimed by suffering! And is not the bodily pain which follows every excess a manifest declaration of the divine will! And shall man dare to thwart this by an impious exercise of affection? Shall a father ruin forever the pledge committed to his charge? Consider, father, if you abandon him for a time to the pressure of want will not he be obliged to turn from his wickedness and repent? Otherwise, untaught even in the great school of adversity, he must remain a confirmed reprobate? And then—woe to the father who by a culpable tenderness bath frustrated the ordinances of a higher wisdom! Well, father?

OLD M. I will write to him that I withdraw my protection.

FRANCIS. That would be wise and prudent.

OLD M. That he must never come into my sight again

FRANCIS. 'Twill have a most salutary effect.

OLD M. (tenderly). Until he reforms.

FRANCIS. Right, quite right. But suppose that he comes disguised in the hypocrite's mask, implores your compassion with tears, and wheedles from you a pardon, then quits you again on the morrow, and jests at your weakness in the arms of his harlot. No, my father! He will return of his own accord, when his conscience awakens him to repentance.

OLD M. I will write to him, on the spot, to that effect.

FRANCIS. Stop, father, one word more. Your just indignation might prompt reproaches too severe, words which might break his heart—and then—do you not think that your deigning to write with your own hand might be construed into an act of forgiveness? It would be better, I think, that you should commit the task to me?

OLD M. Do it, my son. Ah! it would, indeed, have broken my heart! Write to him that—

FRANCIS (quickly). That's agreed, then?

OLD M. Say that he has caused me a thousand bitter tears—a thousand sleepless nights—but, oh! do not drive my son to despair!

FRANCIS. Had you not better retire to rest, father? This affects you too strongly.

OLD M. Write to him that a father's heart—But I charge you, drive him not to despair. [Exit in sadness.]

FRANCIS (looking after him with a chuckle). Make thyself easy, old dotard! thou wilt never more press thy darling to thy bosom—there is a gulf between thee and him impassable as heaven is from hell. He was torn from thy arms before even thou couldst have dreamed it possible to decree the separation. Why, what a sorry bungler should I be had I not skill enough to pluck a son from a father's heart; ay, though he were riveted there with hooks of steel! I have drawn around thee a magic circle of curses which he cannot overleap. Good speed to thee, Master Francis. Papa's darling is disposed of—the course is clear. I must carefully pick up all the scraps of paper, for how easily might my handwriting be recognized. (He gathers the fragments of the letter.) And grief will soon make an end of the old gentleman. And as for her— I must tear this Charles from her heart, though half her life come with him.

No small cause have I for being dissatisfied with Dame Nature, and, by my honor, I will have amends! Why did I not crawl the first from my mother's womb? why not the only one? why has she heaped on me this burden of deformity? on me especially? Just as if she had spawned me from her refuse.* Why to me in particular this snub of the Laplander? these negro lips? these Hottentot eyes? On my word, the lady seems to have collected from all the race of mankind whatever was loathsome into a heap, and kneaded the mass into my particular person. Death and destruction! who empowered her to deny to me what she accorded to him? Could a man pay his court to her before he was born? or offend her before he existed? Why went she to work in such a partial spirit?

No! no! I do her injustice—she bestowed inventive faculty, and set us naked and helpless on the shore of this great ocean, the world—let those swim who can—the heavy** may sink. To me she gave naught else, and how to make the best use of my endowment is my present business. Men's natural rights are equal; claim is met by claim, effort by effort, and force by force—right is with the strongest—the limits of our power constitute our laws.

It is true there are certain organized conventions, which men have devised to keep up what is called the social compact. Honor! truly a very convenient coin, which those who know how to pass it may lay out with great advantage.*** Conscience! oh yes, a useful scarecrow to frighten sparrows away from cherry-trees; it is something like a fairly written bill of exchange with which your bankrupt merchant staves off the evil day.

   * See Richard III., Act I, Sc. 1, line 17.

   **Heavy is used in a double meaning; the German word is plump,
   which Means lumpish clumsy awkward.

   ***So Falstaff, Hen. IV., Pt. I., Act V., Sc. 1, "Honor is a mere

Well! these are all most admirable institutions for keeping fools in awe, and holding the mob underfoot, that the cunning may live the more at their ease. Rare institutions, doubtless. They are something like the fences my boors plant so closely to keep out the hares—yes I' faith, not a hare can trespass on the enclosure, but my lord claps spurs to his hunter, and away he gallops over the teeming harvest!

Poor hare! thou playest but a sorry part in this world's drama, but your worshipful lords must needs have hares!

   *[This may help to illustrate a passage in Shakespeare which
   puzzles the commentators—"Cupid is a good hare-finder."—Much ADO,
   Act I., Sc. 1.
   The hare, in Germany, is considered an emblem of abject submission
   and cowardice. The word may also be rendered "Simpleton,"
   "Sawney," or any other of the numerous epithets which imply a soft

Then courage, and onward, Francis. The man who fears nothing is as powerful as he who is feared by everybody. It is now the mode to wear buckles on your smallclothes, that you may loosen or tighten them at pleasure. I will be measured for a conscience after the newest fashion, one that will stretch handsomely as occasion may require. Am I to blame? It is the tailor's affair? I have heard a great deal of twaddle about the so-called ties of blood—enough to make a sober man beside himself. He is your brother, they say; which interpreted, means that he was manufactured in the same mould, and for that reason he must needs be sacred in your eyes! To what absurd conclusions must this notion of a sympathy of souls, derived from the propinquity of bodies, inevitably tend? A common source of being is to produce community of sentiment; identity of matter, identity of impulse! Then again,—he is thy father! He gave thee life, thou art his flesh and blood—and therefore he must be sacred to thee! Again a most inconsequential deduction! I should like to know why he begot me;** certainly not out of love for me—for I must first have existed!

   **[The reader of Sterne will remember a very similar passage in the
   first chapter of Tristram Shandy.]

Could he know me before I had being, or did he think of me during my begetting? or did he wish for me at the moment? Did he know what I should be? If so I would not advise him to acknowledge it or I should pay him off for his feat. Am I to be thankful to him that I am a man? As little as I should have had a right to blame him if he had made me a woman. Can I acknowledge an affection which is not based on any personal regard? Could personal regard be present before the existence of its object? In what, then, consists the sacredness of paternity? Is it in the act itself out of which existence arose? as though this were aught else than an animal process to appease animal desires. Or does it lie, perhaps, in the result of this act, which is nothing more after all than one of iron necessity, and which men would gladly dispense with, were it not at the cost of flesh and blood? Do I then owe him thanks for his affection? Why, what is it but a piece of vanity, the besetting sin of the artist who admires his own works, however hideous they may be? Look you, this is the whole juggle, wrapped up in a mystic veil to work on our fears. And shall I, too, be fooled like an infant? Up then! and to thy work manfully. I will root up from my path whatever obstructs my progress towards becoming the master. Master I must be, that I may extort by force what I cannot win by affection.*

   *[This soliloquy in some parts resembles that of Richard, Duke of
   Gloster, in Shakespeare's Henry VI., Act V. Sc. 6.]


SCENE II.—A Tavern on the Frontier of Saxony.

 CHARLES VON MOOR intent on a book; SPIEGELBERG drinking at the table.

CHARLES VON M. (lays the book aside). I am disgusted with this age of puny scribblers when I read of great men in my Plutarch.

SPIEGEL. (places a glass before him, and drinks). Josephus is the book you should read.

CHARLES VON M. The glowing spark of Prometheus is burnt out, and now they substitute for it the flash of lycopodium,* a stage-fire which will not so much as light a pipe. The present generation may be compared to rats crawling about the club of Hercules.**

   *[Lycopodium (in German Barlappen-mehl), vulgarly known as the
   Devil's Puff-ball or Witchmeal, is used on the stage, as well in
   England as on the continent, to produce flashes of fire. It is
   made of the pollen of common club moss, or wolf's claw (Lycopodium
   clavatum), the capsules of which contain a highly inflammable
   powder. Translators have uniformly failed in rendering this

   **[This simile brings to mind Shakespeare's:
                     "We petty men
         Walk under his huge legs, and peep about."
                JULIUS CAESAR, Act I., Sc. 2.]

A French abbe lays it down that Alexander was a poltroon; a phthisicky professor, holding at every word a bottle of sal volatile to his nose, lectures on strength. Fellows who faint at the veriest trifle criticise the tactics of Hannibal; whimpering boys store themselves with phrases out of the slaughter at Canna; and blubber over the victories of Scipio, because they are obliged to construe them.

SPIEGEL. Spouted in true Alexandrian style.

CHARLES VON M. A brilliant reward for your sweat in the battle-field truly to have your existence perpetuated in gymnasiums, and your immortality laboriously dragged about in a schoolboy's satchel. A precious recompense for your lavished blood to be wrapped round gingerbread by some Nuremberg chandler, or, if you have great luck, to be screwed upon stilts by a French playwright, and be made to move on wires! Ha, ha, ha!

SPIEGEL. (drinks). Read Josephus, I tell you.

CHARLES VON M. Fie! fie upon this weak, effeminate age, fit for nothing but to ponder over the deeds of former times, and torture the heroes of antiquity with commentaries, or mangle them in tragedies. The vigor of its loins is dried up, and the propagation of the human species has become dependent on potations of malt liquor.

SPIEGEL. Tea, brother! tea!

CHARLES VON M. They curb honest nature with absurd conventionalities; have scarcely the heart to charge a glass, because they are tasked to drink a health in it; fawn upon the lackey that he may put in a word for them with His Grace, and bully the unfortunate wight from whom they have nothing to fear. They worship any one for a dinner, and are just as ready to poison him should he chance to outbid them for a feather-bed at an auction. They damn the Sadducee who fails to come regularly to church, although their own devotion consists in reckoning up their usurious gains at the very altar. They cast themselves on their knees that they may have an opportunity of displaying their mantles, and hardly take their eyes off the parson from their anxiety to see how his wig is frizzled. They swoon at the sight of a bleeding goose, yet clap their hands with joy when they see their rival driven bankrupt from the Exchange. Warmly as I pressed their hands,—"Only one more day." In vain! To prison with the dog! Entreaties! Vows! Tears! (stamping the ground). Hell and the devil!

SPIEGEL. And all for a few thousand paltry ducats!

CHARLES VON M. No, I hate to think of it. Am I to squeeze my body into stays, and straight-lace my will in the trammels of law. What might have risen to an eagle's flight has been reduced to a snail's pace by law. Never yet has law formed a great man; 'tis liberty that breeds giants and heroes. Oh! that the spirit of Herman* still glowed in his ashes!

   *[Herman is the German for Armin or Arminius, the celebrated
   deliverer of Germany from the Roman yoke. See Menzel's History,
   vol. i., p. 85, etc.]

Set me at the head of an army of fellows like myself, and out of Germany shall spring a republic compared to which Rome and Sparta will be but as nunneries. (Rises and flings his sword upon the table.)

SPIEGEL. (jumping up). Bravo! Bravissimo! you are coming to the right key now. I have something for your ear, Moor, which has long been on my mind, and you are the very man for it—drink, brother, drink! What if we turned Jews and brought the kingdom of Jerusalem again on the tapis? But tell me is it not a clever scheme? We send forth a manifesto to the four quarters of the world, and summon to Palestine all that do not eat Swineflesh. Then I prove by incontestable documents that Herod the Tetrarch was my direct ancestor, and so forth. There will be a victory, my fine fellow, when they return and are restored to their lands, and are able to rebuild Jerusalem. Then make a clean sweep of the Turks out of Asia while the iron is hot, hew cedars in Lebanon, build ships, and then the whole nation shall chaffer with old clothes and old lace throughout the world. Meanwhile—

CHARLES VON M. (smiles and takes him by the hand). Comrade! There must be an end now of our fooleries.

SPIEGEL. (with surprise). Fie! you are not going to play the prodigal son!—a fellow like you who with his sword has scratched more hieroglyhics on other men's faces than three quill-drivers could inscribe in their daybooks in a leap-year! Shall I tell you the story of the great dog funeral? Ha! I must just bring back your own picture to your mind; that will kindle fire in your veins, if nothing else has power to inspire you. Do you remember how the heads of the college caused your dog's leg to be shot off, and you, by way of revenge, proclaimed a fast through the whole town? They fumed and fretted at your edict. But you, without losing time, ordered all the meat to be bought up in Leipsic, so that in the course of eight hours there was not a bone left to pick all over the place, and even fish began to rise in price. The magistrates and the town council vowed vengeance. But we students turned out lustily, seventeen hundred of us, with you at our head, and butchers and tailors and haberdashers at our backs, besides publicans, barbers, and rabble of all sorts, swearing that the town should be sacked if a single hair of a student's head was injured. And so the affair went off like the shooting at Hornberg,* and they were obliged to be off with their tails between their legs.

   *[The "shooting at Hornberg" is a proverbial expression in Germany
   for any expedition from which, through lack of courage, the parties
   retire without firing a shot.]

You sent for doctors—a whole posse of them—and offered three ducats to any one who would write a prescription for your dog. We were afraid the gentlemen would stand too much upon honor and refuse, and had already made up our minds to use force. But this was quite unnecessary; the doctors got to fisticuffs for the three ducats, and their competition brought down the price to three groats; in the course of an hour a dozen prescriptions were written, of which, of course, the poor beast very soon died.

CHARLES VON M. The vile rascals.

SPIEGEL. The funeral procession was arranged with all due pomp; odes for the dog were indited by the gross; and at night we all turned out, near a thousand of us, a lantern in one hand and our rapier in the other, and so proceeded through the town, the bells chiming and ringing, till the dog was entombed. Then came a feed which lasted till broad daylight, when you sent your acknowledgments to the college dons for their kind sympathy, and ordered the meat to be sold at half-price. Mort de ma vie, if we had not as great a respect for you as a garrison for the conqueror of a fortress.

CHARLES VON M. And are you not ashamed to boast of these things? Have you not shame enough in you to blush even at the recollection of such pranks?

SPIEGEL. Come, come! You are no longer the same Moor. Do you remember how, a thousand times, bottle in hand, you made game of the miserly old governor, bidding him by all means rake and scrape together as much as he could, for that you would swill it all down your throat? Don't you remember, eh?—don't you remember?' O you good-for-nothing, miserable braggart! that was speaking like a man, and a gentleman, but—

CHARLES VON M. A curse on you for reminding me of it! A curse on myself for what I said! But it was done in the fumes of wine, and my heart knew not what my tongue uttered.

SPIEGEL. (shakes his head). No, no! that cannot be! Impossible, brother! You are not in earnest! Tell me! most sweet brother, is it not poverty which has brought you to this mood? Come! let me tell you a little story of my youthful days. There was a ditch close to my house, eight feet wide at the least, which we boys were trying to leap over for a wager. But it was no go. Splash! there you lay sprawling, amidst hisses and roars of laughter, and a relentless shower of snowballs. By the side of my house a hunter's dog was lying chained, a savage beast, which would catch the girls by their petticoats with the quickness of lightning if they incautiously passed too near him. Now it was my greatest delight to tease this brute in every possible way; and it was enough to make one burst with laughing to see the beast fix his eyes on me with such fierceness that he seemed ready to tear me to pieces if he could but get at me. Well, what happened? Once, when I was amusing myself in this manner, I hit him such a bang in the ribs with a stone that in his fury he broke loose and ran right upon me. I tore away like lightning, but—devil take it!—that confounded ditch lay right in my way. What was to be done? The dog was close at my heels and quite furious; there was no time to deliberate. I took a spring and cleared the ditch. To that leap I was indebted for life and limb; the beast would have torn me to atoms.

CHARLES VON M. And to what does all this tend?

SPIEGEL. To this—that you may be taught that strength grows with the occasion. For which reason I never despair even when things are the worst. Courage grows with danger. Powers of resistance increase by pressure. It is evident by the obstacles she strews in my path that fate must have designed me for a great man.

CHARLES VON M. (angrily). I am not aware of anything for which we still require courage, and have not already shown it.

SPIEGEL. Indeed! And so you mean to let your gifts go to waste? To bury your talent? Do you think your paltry achievements at Leipsic amount to the ne plus ultra of genius? Let us but once get to the great world—Paris and London! where you get your ears boxed if you salute a man as honest. It is a real jubilee to practise one's handicraft there on a grand scale. How you will stare! How you will open your eyes! to see signatures forged; dice loaded; locks picked, and strong boxes gutted; all that you shall learn of Spiegelberg! The rascal deserves to be hanged on the first gallows that would rather starve than manipulate with his fingers.

CHARLES VON M. (in a fit of absence). How now? I should not wonder if your proficiency went further still.

SPIEGEL. I begin to think you mistrust me. Only wait till I have grown warm at it; you shall see wonders; your little brain shall whirl clean round in your pericranium when my teeming wit is delivered. (He rises excited.) How it clears up within me! Great thoughts are dawning in on my soul! Gigantic plans are fermenting in my creative brain. Cursed lethargy (striking his forehead), which has hitherto enchained my faculties, cramped and fettered my prospects! I awake; I feel what I am—and what I am to be!

CHARLES VON M. You are a fool! The wine is swaggering in your brain.

SPIEGEL. (more excited). Spiegelberg, they will say, art thou a magician, Spiegelberg? 'Tis a pity, the king will say, that thou wert not made a general, Spiegelberg, thou wouldst have thrust the Austrians through a buttonhole. Yes, I hear the doctors lamenting, 'tis a crying shame that he was not bred to medicine, he would have discovered the elixir vitae. Ay, and that he did not take to financiering, the Sullys will deplore in their cabinets,—he would have turned flints into louis-d'ors by his magic. And Spiegelberg will be the word from east to west; then down into the dirt with you, ye cowards, ye reptiles, while Spiegelberg soars with outspread wings to the temple of everlasting fame.

CHARLES VON M. A pleasant journey to you! I leave you to climb to the summit of glory on the pillars of infamy. In the shade of my ancestral groves, in the arms of my Amelia, a nobler joy awaits me. I have already, last week, written to my father to implore his forgiveness, and have not concealed the least circumstance from him; and where there is sincerity there is compassion and help. Let us take leave of each other, Moritz. After this day we shall meet no more. The post has arrived. My father's forgiveness must already be within the walls of this town.


ROLLER. Are you aware that they are on our track!

GRIMM. That we are not for a moment safe from being taken?

CHARLES VON M. I don't wonder at it. It must be as it will! Have none of you seen Schwarz? Did he say anything about having a letter for me?

ROLLER. He has been long in search of you on some such errand, I suspect.

CHARLES VON M. Where is he? where, where? (is about to rush of in haste).

ROLLER. Stay! we have appointed him to come here. You tremble?

CHARLES VON M. I do not tremble. Why should I tremble? Comrades, this letter—rejoice with me! I am the happiest man under the sun; why should I tremble?

2pa158 (133K)

               Enter SCHWARZ.

CHARLES VON M. (rushes towards him). Brother, brother! the letter, the letter!

SCHW. (gives him a letter, which he opens hastily). What's the matter? You have grown as pale as a whitewashed wall!

CHARLES VON M. My brother's hand!

SCHW. What the deuce is Spiegelberg about there?

GRIMM. The fellow's mad. He jumps about as if he had St. Vitus' dance.

SCHUF. His wits are gone a wool gathering! He's making verses, I'll be sworn!

RAZ. Spiegelberg! Ho! Spiegelberg! The brute does not hear.

GRIMM. (shakes him). Hallo! fellow! are you dreaming? or—

SPIEGEL. (who has all this time been making gestures in a corner of the room, as if working out some great project, jumps up wildly). Your money or your life! (He catches SCHWEITZER by the throat, who very coolly flings him against the wall; Moor drops the letter and rushes out. A general sensation.)

ROLLER. (calling after him). Moor! where are you going? What's the matter?

GRIMM. What ails him? What has he been doing? He is as pale as death.

SCHW. He must have got strange news. Just let us see!

ROLLER. (picks up the letter from the ground, and reads). "Unfortunate brother!"—a pleasant beginning—"I have only briefly to inform you that you have nothing more to hope for. You may go, your father directs me to tell you, wherever your own vicious propensities lead. Nor are you to entertain, he says, any hope of ever gaining pardon by weeping at his feet, unless you are prepared to fare upon bread and water in the lowest dungeon of his castle until your hair shall outgrow eagles' feathers, and your nails the talons of a vulture. These are his very words. He commands me to close the letter. Farewell forever! I pity you.

                         "FRANCIS VON MOOR"

SCHW. A most amiable and loving brother, in good truth! And the scoundrel's name is Francis.

SPIEGEL. (slinking forward). Bread and water! Is that it? A temperate diet! But I have made a better provision for you. Did I not say that I should have to think for you all at last?

SCHWEIT. What does the blockhead say! The jackass is going to think for us all!

SPIEGEL. Cowards, cripples, lame dogs are ye all if you have not courage enough to venture upon something great.

ROLLER. Well, of course, so we should be, you are right; but will your proposed scheme get us out of this devil of a scrape? eh?

SPIEGEL. (with a proud laugh). Poor thing! Get us out of this scrape? Ha, ha, ha! Get us out of the scrape!—and is that all your thimbleful of brain can reach? And with that you trot your mare back to the stable? Spiegelberg would have been a miserable bungler indeed if that were the extent of his aim. Heroes, I tell you, barons, princes, gods, it will make of you.

RAZ. That's pretty well for one bout, truly! But no doubt it is some neck-breaking piece of business; it will cost a head or so at the least.

SPIEGEL. It wants nothing but courage; as to the headwork, I take that entirely upon myself. Courage, I say, Schweitzer! Courage, Roller! Grimm! Razman! Schufterle! Courage!

SCHW. Courage! If that is all, I have courage enough to walk through hell barefoot.

SCHUFT. And I courage enough to fight the very devil himself under the open gallows for the rescue of any poor sinner.

SPIEGEL. That's just what it should be! If ye have courage, let any one of you step forward and say he has still something to lose, and not everything to gain?

SCHW. Verily, I should have a good deal to lose, if I were to lose all that I have yet to win!

PAZ. Yes, by Jove! and I much to win, if I could win all that I have not got to lose.

SCHUFT. Were I to lose what I carry on my back on trust I should at any rate have nothing to lose on the morrow.

SPIEGEL. Very well then! (He takes his place in the middle of them, and says in solemn adjuration)—if but a drop of the heroic blood of the ancient Germans still flow in your veins—come! We will fix our abode in the Bohemian forests, draw together a band of robbers, and—What are you gaping at? Has your slender stock of courage oozed out already?

ROLLER. You are not the first rogue by many that has defied the gallows;—and yet what other choice have we?

SPIEGEL. Choice? You have no choice. Do you want to lie rotting in the debtor's jail and beat hemp till you are bailed by the last trumpet? Would you toil with pick-axe and spade for a morsel of dry bread? or earn a pitiful alms by singing doleful ditties under people's windows? Or will you be sworn at the drumhead—and then comes the question, whether anybody would trust your hang-dog visages—and so under the splenetic humor of some despotic sergeant serve your time of purgatory in advance? Would you like to run the gauntlet to the beat of the drum? or be doomed to drag after you, like a galley-slave, the whole iron store of Vulcan? Behold your choice. You have before you the complete catalogue of all that you may choose from!

ROLLER. Spiegelberg is not altogether wrong! I, too, have been concocting plans, but they come much to the same thing. How would it be, thought I, were we to club our wits together, and dish up a pocketbook, or an almanac, or something of that sort, and write reviews at a penny a line, as is now the fashion?

SCHUFT. The devil's in you! you are pretty nearly hitting on my own schemes. I have been thinking to myself how would it answer were I to turn Methodist, and hold weekly prayer-meetings?

GRIMM. Capital! and, if that fails, turn atheist! We might fall foul of the four Gospels, get our book burned by the hangman, and then it would sell at a prodigious rate.

RAZ. Or we might take the field to cure a fashionable ailment. I know a quack doctor who has built himself a house with nothing but mercury, as the motto over his door implies.

SCHWEIT. (rises and holds out his hand to Spiegelberg). Spiegelberg, thou art a great man! or else a blind hog has by chance found an acorn.

SCHW. Excellent schemes! Honorable professions! How great minds sympathize! All that seems wanting to complete the list is that we should turn pimps and bawds.

SPIEGEL. Pooh! Pooh! Nonsense. And what is to prevent our combining most of these occupations in one person? My plan will exalt you the most, and it holds out glory and immortality into the bargain. Remember, too, ye sorry varlets, and it is a matter worthy of consideration: one's fame hereafter—the sweet thought of immortality—

ROLLER. And that at the very head of the muster-roll of honorable names! You are a master of eloquence, Spiegelberg, when the question is how to convert an honest man into a scoundrel. But does any one know what has become of Moor?

SPIEGEL. Honest, say you? Do you think you'll be less honest then than you are now? What do you call honest? To relieve rich misers of half of those cares which only scare golden sleep from their eyelids; to force hoarded coin into circulation; to restore the equalization of property; in one word, to bring back the golden age; to relieve Providence of many a burdensome pensioner, and so save it the trouble of sending war, pestilence, famine, and above all, doctors—that is what I call honesty, d'ye see; that's what I call being a worthy instrument in the hand of Providence,—and then, at every meal you eat, to have the sweet reflection: this is what thy own ingenuity, thy lion boldness, thy night watchings, have procured for thee—to command the respect both of great and small!

ROLLER. And at last to mount towards heaven in the living body, and in spite of wind and storm, in spite of the greedy maw of old father Time, to be hovering beneath the sun and moon and all the stars of the firmament, where even the unreasoning birds of heaven, attracted by noble instinct, chant their seraphic music, and angels with tails hold their most holy councils? Don't you see? And, while monarchs and potentates become a prey to moths and worms, to have the honor of receiving visits from the royal bird of Jove. Moritz, Moritz, Moritz! beware of the three-legged beast.*

   *[The gallows, which in Germany is formed of three posts.]

SPIEGEL. And does that fright thee, craven-heart? Has not many a universal genius, who might have reformed the world, rotted upon the gallows? And does not the renown of such a man live for hundreds and thousands of years, whereas many a king and elector would be passed over in history, were not historians obliged to give him a niche to complete the line of succession, or that the mention of him did not swell the volume a few octavo pages, for which he counts upon hard cash from the publisher. And when the wayfarer sees you swinging to and fro in the breeze he will mutter to himself, "That fellow's brains had no water in them, I'll warrant me," and then groan over the hardship of the times.

SCHWEIT. (slaps him on the shoulder). Well said, Spiegelberg! Well said! Why the devil do we stand here hesitating?

SCHW. And suppose it is called disgrace—what then? Cannot one, in case of need, always carry a small powder about one, which quietly smooths the weary traveller's passage across the Styx, where no cock-crowing will disturb his rest? No, brother Moritz! Your scheme is good; so at least says my creed.

SCHUFT. Zounds! and mine too! Spiegelberg, I am your recruit.

RAZ. Like a second Orpheus, Spiegelberg, you have charmed to sleep that howling beast, conscience! Take me as I stand, I am yours entirely!

GRIMMM. Si omnes consentiunt ego non dissentio;* mind, without a comma. There is an auction going on in my head—methodists—quack doctors—reviewers—rogues;—the highest bidder has me. Here is my hand, Moritz!

   *[The joke is explained by placing a comma after non.]

ROLLER. And you too, Schweitzer? (he gives his right hand to SPIEGELBERG). Thus I consign my soul to the devil.

SPIEGEL. And your name to the stars! What does it signify where the soul goes to? If crowds of avantcouriers give notice of our descent that the devils may put on their holiday gear, wipe the accumulated soot of a thousand years from their eyelashes, and myriads of horned heads pop up from the smoking mouth of their sulphurous chimneys to welcome our arrival! 'Up, comrades! (leaping up). Up! What in the world is equal to this ecstacy of delight? Come along, comrades!

ROLLER. Gently, gently! Where are you going? Every beast must have a head, boys!

SPIEGEL. (With bitterness). What is that incubus preaching about? Was not the head already there before a single limb began to move? Follow me, comrades!

ROLLER. Gently, I say! even liberty must have its master. Rome and Sparta perished for want of a chief.

SPIEGEL. (in a wheedling manner). Yes,—stay—Roller is right. And he must have an enlightened head. Do you understand? A keen, politic head. Yes! when I think what you were only an hour ago, and what you are now, and that it is all owing to one happy thought. Yes, of course, you must have a chief, and you'll own that he who struck out this idea may claim to have an enlightened and politic head?

ROLLER. If one could hope, if one could dream, but I fear he will not consent.

SPIEGEL. Why not? Speak out boldly, friend! Difficult as it may be to steer a laboring vessel against wind and tide, oppressive as may be the weight of a crown, speak your thought without hesitation, Roller! Perhaps he may be prevailed upon after all!

ROLLER. And if he does not the whole vessel will be crazy enough. Without Moor we are a "body without a soul."

SPIEGEL. (turning angrily from him). Dolt! blockhead!

   (Enter CHARLES VON MOOR in violent agitation, stalking backwards
   and forwards, and speaking to himself.)

CHARLES VON M. Man—man! false, perfidious crocodile-brood! Your eyes are all tears, but your hearts steel! Kisses on your lips, but daggers couched in your bosoms! Even lions and tigers nourish their young. Ravens feast their brood on carrion, and he—he Malice I have learned to bear; and I can smile when my fellest enemy drinks to me in my own heart's blood; but when kindred turn traitors, when a father's love becomes a fury's hate; oh, then, let manly resignation give place to raging fire! the gentle lamb become a tiger! and every nerve strain itself to vengeance and destruction!

ROLLER. Hark ye, Moor! What think ye of it? A robber's life is pleasanter, after all, than to lie rotting on bread and water in the lowest dungeon of the castle?

CHARLES VON M. Why was not this spirit implanted in a tiger which gluts its raging jaws with human flesh? Is this a father's tenderness? Is this love for love? Would I were a bear to rouse all the bears of the north against this murderous race! Repentance, and no pardon! Oh, that I could poison the ocean that men might drink death from every spring! Contrition, implicit reliance, and no pardon!

ROLLER. But listen, Moor,—listen to what I am telling you!

CHARLES VON M. 'Tis incredible! 'tis a dream—a delusion! Such earnest entreaty, such a vivid picture of misery and tearful penitence—a savage beast would have been melted to compassion! stones would have wept, and yet he—it would be thought a malicious libel upon human nature were I to proclaim it—and yet, yet—oh, that I could sound the trumpet of rebellion through all creation, and lead air, and earth, and sea into battle array against this generation of hyenas!

GRIMM. Hear me, only hear me! You are deaf with raving.

CHARLES VON M. Avaunt, avaunt! Is not thy name man? Art thou not born of woman? Out of my sight, thou thing with human visage! I loved him so unutterably!—never son so loved a father; I would have sacrificed a thousand lives for him (foaming and stamping the ground). Ha! where is he that will put a sword into my hand that I may strike this generation of vipers to the quick! Who will teach me how to reach their heart's core, to crush, to annihilate the whole race? Such a man shall be my friend, my angel, my god—him will I worship!

ROLLER. Such friends behold in us; be but advised!

SCHW. Come with us into the Bohemian forests! We will form a band of robbers there, and you (MOOR stares at him).

SCHWEIT. You shall be our captain! you must be our captain!

SPIEGEL. (throws himself into a chair in a rage). Slaves and cowards!

CHARLES VON M. Who inspired thee with that thought? Hark, fellow! (grasping ROLLER tightly) that human soul of thine did not produce it; who suggested it to thee? Yes, by the thousand arms of death! that's what we will, and what we must do! the thought's divine. He who conceived it deserves to be canonized. Robbers and murderers! As my soul lives, I am your captain!

ALL (with tumultuous shouts). Hurrah! long live our captain!

SPIEGEL. (starting up, aside). Till I give him his coup de grace!

CHARLES VON M. See, it falls like a film from my eyes! What a fool was I to think of returning to be caged? My soul's athirst for deeds, my spirit pants for freedom. Murderers, robbers! with these words I trample the law underfoot—mankind threw off humanity when I appealed to it. Away, then, with human sympathies and mercy! I no longer have a father, no longer affections; blood and death shall teach me to forget that anything was ever dear to me! Come! come! Oh, I will recreate myself with some most fearful vengeance;—'tis resolved, I am your captain! and success to him who Shall spread fire and slaughter the widest and most savagely—I pledge myself He shall be right royally rewarded. Stand around me, all of you, and swear to me fealty and obedience unto death! Swear by this trusty right hand.

ALL (place their hands in his). We swear to thee fealty and obedience unto death!

CHARLES VON M. And, by this same trusty right Hand, I here swear to you to remain your captain, true and faithful unto death! This arm shall make an instant corpse of him who doubts, or fears, or retreats. And may the same befall me from your hands if I betray my oath! Are you content?

   [SPIEGELBERG runs up and down in a furious rage.]

ALL (throwing up their hats). We are content!

CHARLES VON M. Well, then, let us be gone! Fear neither death nor danger, for an unalterable destiny rules over us. Every man has his doom, be it to die on the soft pillow of down, or in the field of blood, or on the scaffold, or the wheel! One or the other of these must be our lot! [Exeunt.]

SPIEGEL. (looking after them after a pause). Your catalogue has a hole in it. You have omitted poison.



               FRANCIS, AMELIA.

FRANCIS. Your face is averted from me, Amelia? Am I less worthy than he who is accursed of his father?

AMELIA. Away! Oh! what a loving, compassionate father, who abandons his son a prey to wolves and monsters! In his own comfortable home he pampers himself with delicious wines and stretches his palsied limbs on down, while his noble son is starving. Shame upon you, inhuman wretches! Shame upon you, ye souls of dragons, ye blots on humanity!— his only son!

FRANCIS. I thought he had two.

AMELIA. Yes, he deserves to have such sons as you are. On his deathbed he will in vain stretch out his withered hands for his Charles, and recoil with a shudder when he feels the ice-cold hand of his Francis. Oh, it is sweet, deliciously sweet, to be cursed by such a father! Tell me, Francis, dear brotherly soul—tell me what must one do to be cursed by him?

FRANCIS. You are raving, dearest; you are to be pitied.

AMELIA. Oh! indeed. Do you pity your brother? No, monster, you hate him! I hope you hate me too.

FRANCIS. I love you as dearly as I love myself, Amelia!

AMELIA. If you love me you will not refuse me one little request.

FRANCIS. None, none! if you ask no more than my life.

AMELIA. Oh, if that is the case! then one request, which you will so easily, so readily grant. (Loftily.) Hate me! I should perforce blush crimson if, whilst thinking of Charles, it should for a moment enter my mind that you do not hate me. You promise me this? Now go, and leave me; I so love to be alone!

FRANCIS. Lovely enthusiast! how greatly I admire your gentle, affectionate heart. Here, here, Charles reigned sole monarch, like a god within his temple; he stood before thee waking, he filled your imaination dreaming; the whole creation seemed to thee to centre in Charles, and to reflect him alone; it gave thee no other echo but of him.

AMELIA (with emotion). Yes, verily, I own it. Despite of you all, barbarians as you are, I will own it before all the world. I love him!

FRANCIS. Inhuman, cruel! So to requite a love like this! To forget her—

AMELIA (starting). What! forget me?

FRANCIS. Did you not place a ring on his finger?—a diamond ring, the pledge of your love? To be sure how is it possible for youth to resist the fascinations of a wanton? Who can blame him for it, since he had nothing else left to give away? and of course she repaid him with interest by her caresses and embraces.

AMELIA (with indignation). My ring to a wanton?

FRANCIS. Fie, fie! it is disgraceful. 'Twould not be much, however, if that were all. A ring, be it ever so costly, is, after all, a thing which one may always buy of a Jew. Perhaps the fashion of it did not please him, perhaps he exchanged it for one more beautiful.

AMELIA (with violence). But my ring, I say, my ring?

FRANCIS. Even yours, Amelia. Ha! such a brilliant, and on my finger; and from Amelia! Death itself should not have plucked it hence. It is not the costliness of the diamond, not the cunning of the pattern—it is love which constitutes its value. Is it not so, Amelia? Dearest child, you are weeping. Woe be to him who causes such precious drops to flow from those heavenly eyes; ah, and if you knew all, if you could but see him yourself, see him under that form?

AMELIA. Monster! what do you mean? What form do you speak of?

FRANCIS. Hush, hush, gentle soul, press me no further (as if soliloquizing, yet aloud). If it had only some veil, that horrid vice, under which it might shroud itself from the eye of the world! But there it is, glaring horribly through the sallow, leaden eye; proclaiming itself in the sunken, deathlike look; ghastly protruding bones; the faltering, hollow voice; preaching audibly from the shattered, shaking skeleton; piercing to the most vital marrow of the bones, and sapping the manly strength of youth—faugh! the idea sickens me. Nose, eyes, ears shrink from it. You saw that miserable wretch, Amelia, in our hospital, who was heavily breathing out his spirit; modesty seemed to cast down her abashed eye as she passed him; you cried woe upon him. Recall that hideous image to your mind, and your Charles stands before you. His kisses are pestilence, his lips poison.

AMELIA (strikes him). Shameless liar!

FRANCIS. Does such a Charles inspire you with horror? Does the mere picture fill you with disgust? Go, then! gaze upon him yourself, your handsome, your angelic, your divine Charles! Go, drink his balmy breath, and revel in the ambrosial fumes which ascend from his throat! The very exhalations of his body will plunge you into that dark and deathlike dizziness which follows the smell of a bursting carcase, or the sight of a corpse-strewn battle-field. (AMELIA turns away her face.) What sensations of love! What rapture in those embraces! But is it not unjust to condemn a man because of his diseased exterior? Even in the most wretched lump of deformity a soul great and worthy of love may beam forth brightly like a pearl on a dunghill. ( With a malignant smile.) Even from lips of corruption love may——. To be sure if vice should undermine the very foundations of character, if with chastity virtue too should take her flight as the fragrance departs from the faded rose—if with the body the soul too should be tainted and corrupted.

AMELIA (rising joyfully). Ha! Charles! now I recognize thee again! Thou art whole, whole! It was all a lie! Dost thou not know, miscreant, that it would be impossible for Charles to be the being you describe? (FRANCIS remains standing for some time, lost in thought, then suddenly turns round to go away.) Whither are you going in such haste? Are you flying from your own infamy?

FRANCIS (hiding his face). Let me go, let me go! to give free vent to my tears! tyrannical father, thus to abandon the best of your sons to misery and disgrace on every side! Let me go, Amelia! I will throw myself at his feet, on my knees I will conjure him to transfer to me the curse that he has pronounced, to disinherit me, to hate me, my blood, my life, my all——.

AMELIA (falls on his neck). Brother of my Charles! Dearest, most excellent Francis!

FRANCIS. Oh, Amelia! how I love you for this unshaken constancy to my brother. Forgive me for venturing to subject your love to so severe a trial! How nobly you have realized my wishes! By those tears, those sighs, that divine indignation—and for me too, for me—our souls did so truly harmonize.

AMELIA. Oh, no! that they never did!

FRANCIS. Alas! they harmonized so truly that I always thought we must be twins. And were it not for that unfortunate difference in person, to be twin-like, which, it must be admitted, would be to the disadvantage of Charles, we should again and again be mistaken for each other. Thou art, I often said to myself, thou art the very Charles, his echo, his counterpart.

AMELIA (shakes her head). No, no! by that chaste light of heaven! not an atom of him, not the least spark of his soul.

FRANCIS. So entirely the same in our dispositions; the rose was his favorite flower, and what flower do I esteem above the rose? He loved music beyond expression; and ye are witnesses, ye stars! how often you have listened to me playing on the harpsichord in the dead silence of night, when all around lay buried in darkness and slumber; and how is it possible for you, Amelia, still to doubt? if our love meets in one perfection, and if it is the self-same love, how can its fruits degenerate? (AMELIA looks at him with astonishment.) It was a calm, serene evening, the last before his departure for Leipzic, when he took me with him to the bower where you so often sat together in dreams of love,—we were long speechless; at last he seized my hand, and said, in a low voice, and with tears in his eyes, "I am leaving Amelia; I know not, but I have a sad presentiment that it is forever; forsake her not, brother; be her friend, her Charles—if Charles—should never—never return." (He throws himself down before her, and kisses her hand with fervor.) Never, never, never will he return; and I stand pledged by a sacred oath to fulfil his behest!

AMELIA (starting back). Traitor! Now thou art unmasked! In that very bower he conjured me, if he died, to admit no other love. Dost thou see how impious, how execrable——. Quit my sight!

FRANCIS. You know me not, Amelia; you do not know me in the least!

AMELIA. Oh, yes, I know you; from henceforth I know you; and you pretend to be like him? You mean to say that he wept for me in your presence? Yours? He would sooner have inscribed my name on the pillory? Begone—this instant!

FRANCIS. You insult me.

AMELIA. Go—I say. You have robbed me of a precious hour; may it be deducted from your life.

FRANCIS. You hate me then!

AMELIA. I despise you—away!

FRANCIS (stamping with fury). Only wait! you shall learn to tremble
before me!—To sacrifice me for a beggar!
                      [Exit in anger.]
AMELIA. Go, thou base villain! Now, Charles, am I again thine own.
Beggar, did he say! then is the world turned upside down, beggars are
kings, and kings are beggars! I would not change the rags he wears for
the imperial purple. The look with which he begs must, indeed, be a
noble, a royal look, a look that withers into naught the glory, the
pomp, the triumphs of the rich and great! Into the dust with thee,
glittering baubles! (She tears her pearls from her neck.) Let the rich
and the proud be condemned to bear the burden of gold, and silver, and
jewels! Be they condemned to carouse at the tables of the voluptuous!
To pamper their limbs on the downy couch of luxury! Charles! Charles!
Thus am I worthy of thee!


SCENE I.—FRANCIS VON MOOR in his chamber—in meditation.

FRANCIS. It lasts too long-and the doctor even says is recovering—an old man's life is a very eternity! The course would be free and plain before me, but for this troublesome, tough lump of flesh, which, like the infernal demon-hound in ghost stories, bars the way to my treasures.

Must, then, my projects bend to the iron yoke of a mechanical system? Is my soaring spirit to be chained down to the snail's pace of matter? To blow out a wick which is already flickering upon its last drop of oil—'tis nothing more. And yet I would rather not do it myself, on account of what the world would say. I should not wish him to be killed, but merely disposed of. I should like to do what your clever physician does, only the reverse way—not stop Nature's course by running a bar across her path, but only help her to speed a little faster. Are we not able to prolong the conditions of life? Why, then, should we not also be able to shorten them? Philosophers and physiologists teach us how close is the sympathy between the emotions of the mind and the movements of the bodily machine. Convulsive sensations are always accompanied by a disturbance of the mechanical vibrations— passions injure the vital powers—an overburdened spirit bursts its shell. Well, then—what if one knew how to smooth this unbeaten path, for the easier entrance of death into the citadel of life?—to work the body's destruction through the mind—ha! an original device!—who can accomplish this?—a device without a parallel! Think upon it, Moor! That were an art worthy of thee for its inventor. Has not poisoning been raised almost to the rank of a regular science, and Nature compelled, by the force of experiments, to define her limits, so that one may now calculate the heart's throbbings for years in advance, and say to the beating pulse, "So far, and no farther"? Why should not one try one's skill in this line?*

   *[A woman in Paris, by means of a regularly performed series of
   experiments, carried the art of poisoning to such perfection that
   she could predict almost to a certainty the day of death, however
   remote. Fie upon our physicians, who should blush to be outdone by
   a woman in their own province. Beckmann, in his article on secret
   poisoning, has given a particular account of this woman, the
   Marchioness de Brinvilliers.—See "History of Inventions," Standard
   Library Edition, vol. i, pp. 47-63.]

And how, then, must I, too, go to work to dissever that sweet and peaceful union of soul and body? What species of sensations should I seek to produce? Which would most fiercely assail the condition of life? Anger?—that ravenous wolf is too quickly satiated. Care? that worm gnaws far too slowly. Grief?—that viper creeps too lazily for me. Fear?—hope destroys its power. What! and are these the only executioners of man? is the armory of death so soon exhausted? (In deep thought.) How now! what! ho! I have it! (Starting up.) Terror! What is proof against terror? What powers have religion and reason under that giant's icy grasp! And yet—if he should withstand even this assault? If he should! Oh, then, come Anguish to my aid! and thou, gnawing Repentance!—furies of hell, burrowing snakes who regorge your food, and feed upon your own excrements; ye that are forever destroying, and forever reproducing your poison! And thou, howling Remorse, that desolatest thine own habitation, and feedest upon thy mother. And come ye, too, gentle Graces, to my aid; even you, sweet smiling Memory, goddess of the past—and thou, with thy overflowing horn of plenty, blooming Futurity; show him in your mirror the joys of Paradise, while with fleeting foot you elude his eager grasp. Thus will I work my battery of death, stroke after stroke, upon his fragile body, until the troop of furies close upon him with Despair! Triumph! triumph!—the plan is complete—difficult and masterly beyond compare—sure—safe; for then (with a sneer) the dissecting knife can find no trace of wound or of corrosive poison.

(Resolutely.) Be it so! (Enter HERMANN.) Ha! Deus ex machina! Hermann!

HERMANN. At your service, gracious sir!

FRANCIS (shakes him by the hand). You will not find it that of an ungrateful master.

HERMANN. I have proofs of this.

FRANCIS. And you shall have more soon—very soon, Hermann!—I have something to say to thee, Hermann.

HERMANN. I am all attention.

FRANCIS. I know thee—thou art a resolute fellow—a man of mettle.—To call thee smooth-tongued! My father has greatly belied thee, Hermann.

HERMANN. The devil take me if I forget it!

FRANCIS. Spoken like a man! Vengeance becomes a manly heart! Thou art to my mind, Hermann. Take this purse, Hermann. It should be heavier were I master here.

HERMANN. That is my unceasing wish, most gracious sir. I thank you.

FRANCIS. Really, Hermann! dost thou wish that I were master? But my father has the marrow of a lion in his bones, and I am but a younger son.

HERMANN. I wish you were the eldest son, and that your father were as marrowless as a girl sinking in a consumption.

FRANCIS. Ha! how that elder son would recompense thee! How he would raise thee from this grovelling condition, so ill suited to thy spirit and noble birth, to be a light of the age!—Then shouldst thou be covered with gold from head to foot, and dash through the streets four in hand—verily thou shouldst!—But I am losing sight of what I meant to say.—Have you already forgotten the Lady Amelia, Hermann?

HERMANN. A curse upon it! Why do you remind me of her?

FRANCIS. My brother has filched her away from you.

HERMANN. He shall rue it.

FRANCIS. She gave you the sack. And, if I remember right, he kicked you down stairs.

HERMANN. For which I will kick him into hell.

FRANCIS. He used to say, it was whispered abroad, that your father could never look upon you without smiting his breast and sighing, "God be merciful to me, a sinner!"

HERMANN (wildly). Thunder and lightning! No more of this!

FRANCIS. He advised you to sell your patent of nobility by auction, and to get your stockings mended with the proceeds.

HERMANN. By all the devils in hell, I'll scratch out his eyes with my own nails!

FRANCIS. What? you are growing angry? What signifies your anger? What harm can you do him? What can a mouse like you do to such a lion? Your rage only makes his triumph the sweeter. You can do nothing more than gnash your teeth, and vent your rage upon a dry crust.

HERMANN (stamping). I will grind him to powder!

FRANCIS (slapping his shoulder). Fie, Hermann! You are a gentleman. You must not put up with the affront. You must not give up the lady, no, not for all the world, Hermann! By my soul, I would move heaven and earth were I in your place.

HERMANN. I will not rest till I have him, and him, too, under ground.

FRANCIS. Not so violent, Hermann! Come nearer—you shall have Amelia.

HERMANN. That I must; despite the devil himself, I will have her.

FRANCIS. You shall have her, I tell you; and that from my hand. Come closer, I say.—You don't know, perhaps, that Charles is as good as disinherited.

HERMANN (going closer to him). Incredible! The first I have heard of it.

FRANCIS. Be patient, and listen! Another time you shall hear more.— Yes, I tell you, as good as banished these eleven months. But the old man already begins to lament the hasty step, which, however, I flatter myself (with a smile) is not entirely his own. Amelia, too, is incessantly pursuing him with her tears and reproaches. Presently he will be having him searched for in every quarter of the world; and if he finds him—then it's all over with you, Hermann. You may perhaps have the honor of most obsequiously holding the coach-door while he alights with the lady to get married.

HERMANN. I'll strangle him at the altar first.

FRANCIS. His father will soon give up his estates to him, and live in retirement in his castle. Then the proud roysterer will have the reins in his own hands, and laugh his enemies to scorn;—and I, who wished to make a great man of you—a man of consequence—I myself, Hermann, shall have to make my humble obeisance at his threshold.

HERMANN (with fire). No, as sure as my name is Hermann, that shall never be! If but the smallest spark of wit glimmer in this brain of mine, that shall never be!

FRANCIS. Will you be able to prevent it? You, too, my good Hermann, will be made to feel his lash. He will spit in your face when he meets you in the streets; and woe be to you should you venture to shrug your shoulders or to make a wry mouth. Look, my friend! this is all that your lovesuit, your prospects, and your mighty plans amount to.

HERMANN. Tell me, what am I to do?

FRANCIS. Well, then, listen, Hermann! You see how I enter into your feelings, like a true friend. Go—disguise yourself, so that no one may recognize you; obtain audience of the old man; pretend to come straight from Bohemia, to have been at the battle of Prague along with my brother—to have seen him breathe his last on the field of battle!

HERMANN. Will he believe me?

FRANCIS. Ho! ho! let that be my care! Take this packet. There you will find your commission set forth at large; and documents, to boot, which shall convince the most incredulous. Only make haste to get away unobserved. Slip through the back gate into the yard, and then scale the garden wall.—The denouement of this tragicomedy you may leave to me!

HERMANN. That, I suppose, will be, "Long live our new baron, Francis von Moor!"

FRANCIS (patting his cheeks). How cunning you are! By this means, you see, we attain all our aims at once and quickly. Amelia relinquishes all hope of him,—the old man reproaches himself for the death of his son, and—he sickens—a tottering edifice needs no earthquake to bring it down—he will not survive the intelligence—then am I his only son, —Amelia loses every support, and becomes the plaything of my will, and you may easily guess—in short, all will go as we wish—but you must not flinch from your word.

HERMANN. What do you say? (Exultingly.) Sooner shall the ball turn back in its course, and bury itself in the entrails of the marksman. Depend upon me! Only let me to the work. Adieu!

FRANCIS (calling after him). The harvest is thine, dear Hermann! (Alone.) When the ox has drawn the corn into the barn, he must put up with hay. A dairy maid for thee, and no Amelia!

SCENE II.—Old Moor's Bedchamber.

         OLD MOOR asleep in an arm-chair; AMELIA.

AMELIA (approaching him on tip-toe). Softly! Softly! He slumbers. (She places herself before him.) How beautiful! how venerable!— venerable as the picture of a saint. No, I cannot be angry with thee, thou head with the silver locks; I cannot be angry with thee! Slumber on gently, wake up cheerfully—I alone will be the sufferer.

OLD M. (dreaming). My son! my son! my son!

AMELIA (seizes his hand). Hark!—hark! his son is in his dreams.

OLD M. Are you there? Are you really there! Alas! how miserable you seem! Fix not on me that mournful look! I am wretched enough.

AMELIA (awakens him abruptly). Look up, dear old man! 'Twas but a dream. Collect yourself!

OLD M. (half awake). Was he not there? Did I not press his hands? Cruel Francis! wilt thou tear him even from my dreams?

AMELIA (aside). Ha! mark that, Amelia!

OLD M. (rousing himself). Where is he? Where? Where am I? You here, Amelia?

AMELIA. How do you find yourself? You have had a refreshing slumber.

OLD M. I was dreaming about my son. Why did I not dream on? Perhaps I might have obtained forgiveness from his lips.

AMELIA. Angels bear no resentment—he forgives you. (Seizes his hand sorrowfully.) Father of my Charles! I, too, forgive you.

OLD M. No, no, my child! That death-like paleness of thy cheek is the father's condemnation. Poor girl! I have robbed thee of the happiness of thy youth. Oh, do not curse me!

AMELIA (affectionately kissing his hand). I curse you?

OLD M. Dost thou know this portrait, my daughter?

AMELIA. Charles!

OLD M. Such was he in his sixteenth year. But now, alas! how changed. Oh, it is raging within me. That gentleness is now indignation; that smile despair. It was his birthday, was it not, Amelia—in the jessamine bower—when you drew this picture of him? Oh, my daughter! How happy was I in your loves.

AMELIA (with her eye still riveted upon the picture). No, no, it is not he! By Heaven, that is not Charles! Here (pointing to her head and her heart), here he is perfect; and how different. The feeble pencil avails not to express that heavenly spirit which reigned in his fiery eye. Away with it! This is a poor image, an ordinary man! I was a mere dauber.

OLD M. That kind, that cheering look! Had that been at my bedside, I should have lived in the midst of death. Never, never should I have died!

AMELIA. No, you would never, never have died. It would have been but a leap, as we leap from one thought to another and a better. That look would have lighted you across the tomb—that look would have lifted you beyond the stars!

OLD M. It is hard! it is sad! I am dying, and my son Charles is not here—I am borne to my tomb, and he weeps not over my grave. How sweet it is to be lulled into the sleep of death by a son's prayer—that is the true requiem.

AMELIA (with enthusiasm). Yes, sweet it is, heavenly sweet, to be lulled into the sleep of death by the song of the beloved. Perhaps our dreams continue in the grave—a long, eternal, never-ending dream of Charles—till the trumpet of resurrection sounds—(rising in ecstasy) —and thenceforth and forever in his arms! (A pause; she goes to the piano and plays.)


        Oh, Hector, wilt thou go for evermore,
        When fierce Achilles, on the blood-stained shore,
         Heaps countless victims o'er Patroclus' grave?
        When then thy hapless orphan boy will rear,
        Teach him to praise the gods and hurl the spear,
         When thou art swallow'd up in Xanthus' wave?

OLD M. A beautiful song, my daughter. You must play that to me before I die.

AMELIA. It is the parting of Hector and Andromache. Charles and I used often to sing it together to the guitar. (She continues.)


        Beloved wife! stern duty calls to arms—
        Go, fetch my lance! and cease those vain alarms!
         On me is cast the destiny of Troy!
        Astyanax, my child, the Gods will shield,
        Should Hector fall upon the battle-field;
         And in Elysium we shall meet with joy!


DANIEL. There is a man without, who craves to be admitted to your presence, and says he brings tidings of importance.

OLD M. To me there is but one thing in this world of importance; thou knowest it, Amelia. Perhaps it is some unfortunate creature who seeks assistance? He shall not go hence in sorrow.

AMELIA.—If it is a beggar, let him come up quickly.

OLD M. Amelia, Amelia! spare me!

AMELIA (continues to play and sing.)


        Thy martial tread no more will grace my hall—
        Thine arms shall hang sad relics on the wall—
        And Priam's race of godlike heroes fade!
        Oh, thou wilt go where Phoebus sheds no light—
        Where black Cocytus wails in endless night
         Thy love will die in Lethe's gloomy shade.

        Though I in Lethe's darksome wave should sink,
        And cease on other mortal ties to think,
         Yet thy true love shall never be forgot!
        Hark! on the walls I hear the battle roar—
        Gird on my armor—and, oh, weep no more.
        Thy Hector's love in Lethe dieth not!
       (Enter FRANCIS, HERMANN in disguise, DANIEL.)

FRANCIS. Here is the man. He says that he brings terrible news. Can you bear the recital!

OLD M. I know but one thing terrible to hear. Come hither, friend, and spare me not! Hand him a cup of wine!

HERMANN (in a feigned voice). Most gracious Sir? Let not a poor man be visited with your displeasure, if against his will he lacerates your heart. I am a stranger in these parts, but I know you well; you are the father of Charles von Moor.

OLD M. How know you that?

HERMANN. I knew your son

AMELIA (starting up). He lives then? He lives! You know him? Where is he? Where? (About to rush out.)

OLD M. What know you about my son?

HERMANN. He was a student at the university of Leipzic. From thence he travelled about, I know not how far. He wandered all over Germany, and, as he told me himself, barefoot and bareheaded, begging his bread from door to door. After five months, the fatal war between Prussia and Austria broke out afresh, and as he had no hopes left in this world, the fame of Friedrich's victorious banner drew him to Bohemia. Permit me, said he to the great Schwerin, to die on the bed of heroes, for I have no longer a father!—

OLD M. O! Amelia! Look not on me!

HERMANN. They gave him a pair of colors. With the Prussians he flew on the wings of victory. We chanced to lie together, in the same tent. He talked much of his old father, and of happy days that were past—and of disappointed hopes—it brought the tears into our eyes.

OLD M. (buries his face in his pillow).—No more! Oh, no more!

HERMANN. A week after, the fierce battle of Prague was fought—I can assure you your son behaved like a brave soldier. He performed prodigies that day in sight of the whole army. Five regiments were successively cut down by his side, and still he kept his ground. Fiery shells fell right and left, and still your son kept his ground. A ball shattered his right hand: he seized the colors with his left, and still he kept his ground!

AMELIA (in transport). Hector, Hector! do you hear? He kept his ground!

HERMANN. On the evening of the battle I found him on the same spot. He had sunk down, amidst a shower of hissing balls: with his left hand he was staunching the blood that flowed from a fearful wound; his right he had buried in the earth. "Comrade!" cried he when he saw me, "there has been a report through the ranks that the general fell an hour ago—" "He is fallen," I replied, "and thou?" "Well, then," he cried, withdrawing his left hand from the wound, "let every brave soldier follow his general!" Soon after he breathed out his noble soul, to join his heroic leader.

FRANCIS (feigning to rush wildly on HERMANN). May death seal thy accursed lips! Art thou come here to give the death-blow to our father? Father! Amelia! father!

HERMANN. It was the last wish of my expiring comrade. "Take this sword," faltered he, with his dying breath, "deliver it to my aged father; his son's blood is upon it—he is avenged—let him rejoice. Tell him that his curse drove me into battle and into death; that I fell in despair." His last sigh was "Amelia."

AMELIA (like one aroused from lethargy). His last sigh—Amelia!

OLD M. (screaming horribly, and tearing his hair). My curse drove him into death! He fell in despair!

FRANCIS (pacing up and down the room). Oh! what have you done, father? My Charles! my brother!

HERMANN. Here is the sword; and here, too, is a picture which he drew from his breast at the same time. It is the very image of this young lady. "This for my brother Francis," he said; I know not what he meant by it.

FRANCIS (feigning astonishment). For me? Amelia's picture? For me— Charles—Amelia? For me?

AMELIA (rushing violently upon HERMANN). Thou venal, bribed impostor! (Lays hold of him.)

HERMANN. I am no impostor, noble lady. See yourself if it is not your picture. It may be that you yourself gave it to him.

FRANCIS. By heaven, Amelia! your picture! It is, indeed.

AMELIA (returns him the picture) My picture, mine! Oh! heavens and earth!

OLD M. (screaming and tearing his face.) Woe, woe! my curse drove him into death! He fell in despair!

FRANCIS. And he thought of me in the last and parting hour—of me. Angelic soul! When the black banner of death already waved over him he thought of me!

OLD M. (stammering like an idiot.) My curse drove him into death. In despair my son perished.

HERMANN. This is more than I can bear! Farewell, old gentleman!
(Aside to FRANCIS.) How could you have the heart to do this?
                         [Exit in haste.]

AMELIA (rises and rushes after him). Stay! stay! What were nis last words?

HERMANN (calling back). His last sigh was "Amelia."

AMELIA. His last sigh was Amelia! No, thou art no impostor. It is too true—true—he is dead—dead! (staggering to and fro till she sinks down)—dead—Charles is dead!

FRANCIS. What do I see? What is this line on the sword?—written with blood—Amelia!

AMELIA. By him?

FRANCIS. Do I see clearly, or am I dreaming? Behold, in characters of blood, "Francis, forsake not my Amelia." And on the other side, "Amelia, all-powerful death has released thee from thy oath." Now do you see—do you see? With hand stiffening in death he wrote it, with his warm life's blood he wrote it—wrote it on the solemn brink of eternity. His spirit lingered in his flight to unite Francis and Amelia.

AMELIA. Gracious heaven! it is his own hand. He never loved me.
                         [Rushes off]

FRANCIS (stamping the ground). Confusion! her stubborn heart foils all my cunning!

OLD MOOR. Woe, woe! forsake me not, my daughter! Francis, Francis! give me back my son!

FRANCIS. Who was it that cursed him? Who was it that drove his son into battle, and death, and despair? Oh, he was an angel, a jewel of heaven! A curse on his destroyers! A curse, a curse upon yourself!

OLD MOOR (strikes his breast and forehead with his clenched fist). He was an angel, a jewel of heaven! A curse, a curse, perdition, a curse on myself! I am the father who slew his noble son! He loved me even to death! To expiate my vengeance he rushed into battle and into death! Monster, monster that I am! (He rages against himself.)

FRANCIS. He is gone. What avail these tardy lamentations? (with a satanic sneer.) It is easier to murder than to restore to life. You will never bring him back from his grave.

OLD Moon. Never, never, never bring him back from the grave! Gone! lost for ever! And you it was that beguiled my heart to curse him.— you—you—Give me back my son!

FRANCIS. Rouse not my fury, lest I forsake you even in the hour of death!

OLD MOOR. Monster! inhuman monster! Restore my son to me. (Starts from the chair and attempts to catch FRANCIS by the throat, who flings him back.)

FRANCIS. Feeble old dotard I would you dare? Die! despair!

OLD MOOR. May the thunder of a thousand curses light upon thee! thou hast robbed me of my son. (Throwing himself about in his chair full of despair). Alas! alas! to despair and yet not die. They fly, they forsake me in death; my guardian angels fly from me; all the saints withdraw from the hoary murderer. Oh, misery! will no one support this head, no one release this struggling soul? No son, no daughter, no friend, not one human being—will no one? Alone—forsaken. Woe, woe! To despair, yet not to die!

         Enter AMELIA, her eyes red with weeping.

OLD MOOR. Amelia I messenger of heaven! Art thou come to release my soul?

AMELIA (in a gentle tone). You have lost a noble son.

OLD MOOR. Murdered him, you mean. With the weight of this impeachment I shall present myself before the judgment-seat of God.

AMELIA. Not so, old man! Our heavenly Father has taken him to himself. We should have been too happy in this world. Above, above, beyond the stars, we shall meet again.

OLD MOOR. Meet again! Meet again! Oh! it will pierce my soul like a Sword—should I, a saint, meet him among the saints. In the midst of heaven the horrors of hell will strike through me! The remembrance of that deed will crush me in the presence of the Eternal: I have murdered my son!

AMELIA. Oh, his smiles will chase away the bitter remembrance from your soul! Cheer up, dear father! I am quite cheerful. Has he not already sung the name of Amelia to listening angels on seraphic harps, and has not heaven's choir sweetly echoed it? Was not his last sigh, Amelia? And will not Amelia be his first accent of joy?

OLD MOOR. Heavenly consolation flows from your lips! He will smile upon me, you say? He will forgive me? You must stay with my beloved of my Charles, when I die.

AMELIA. To die is to fly to his arms. Oh, how happy and enviable is your lot! Would that my bones were decayed!—that my hairs were gray! Woe upon the vigor of youth! Welcome, decrepid age, nearer to heaven and my Charles!

               Enter FRANCIS.

OLD MOOR. Come near, my son! Forgive me if I spoke too harshly to you just now! I forgive you all. I wish to yield up my spirit in peace.

FRANCIS. Have you done weeping for your son? For aught that I see you had but one.

OLD MOOR. Jacob had twelve sons, but for his Joseph he wept tears of blood.


OLD MOOR. Bring the Bible, my daughter, and read to me the story of Jacob and Joseph! It always appeared to me so touching, even before I myself became a Jacob.

AMELIA. What part shall I read to you? (Takes the Bible and turns over the leaves.)

OLD MOOR. Read to me the grief of the bereaved father, when he found his Joseph no more among his children;—when he sought him in vain amidst his eleven sons;—and his lamentation when he heard that he was taken from him forever.

AMELIA (reads). "And they took Joseph's coat, and killed a kid of the goats, and dipped the coat in the blood; and they sent the coat of many colors, and they brought it to their father, and said, 'This have we found: know now whether it be thy son's coat or no.' (Exit FRANCIS suddenly.) And he knew it and said, 'It is my son's coat; an evil beast hath devoured him; Joseph is without doubt rent in pieces.'"

OLD MOOR (falls back upon the pillow). An evil beast hath devoured Joseph!

AMELIA (continues reading). "And Jacob rent his clothes, and put sackcloth upon his loins, and mourned for his son many days. And all his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted, and he said, 'For I will go down into the grave--'"

OLD MOOR. Leave off! leave off. I feel very ill.

AMELIA (running towards him, lets fall the book). Heaven help us! What is this?

OLD MOOR. It is death—darkness—is waving—before my eyes—I pray thee—send for the minister—that he may—give me—the Holy Communion. Where is—my son Francis?

AMELIA. He is fled. God have mercy upon us!

OLD MOOR. Fled—fled from his father's deathbed? And is that all—all —of two children full of promise—thou hast given—thou hast—taken away—thy name be—

AMELIA (with a sudden cry). Dead! both dead!
                         [Exit in despair.]
           Enter FRANCIS, dancing with joy.
FRANCIS. Dead, they cry, dead! Now am I master. Through the whole
castle it rings, dead! but stay, perchance he only sleeps? To be sure,
yes, to be sure! that certainly is a sleep after which no "good-morrow"
is ever said. Sleep and death are but twin-brothers. We will for once
change their names! Excellent, welcome sleep! We will call thee death!
(He closes the eyes of OLD MOOR.) Who now will come forward and dare to
accuse me at the bar of justice, or tell me to my face, thou art a
villain? Away, then, with this troublesome mask of humility and virtue!
Now you shall see Francis as he is, and tremble! My father was
overgentle in his demands, turned his domain into a family-circle, sat
blandly smiling at the gate, and saluted his peasants as brethren and
children. My brows shall lower upon you like thunderclouds; my lordly
name shall hover over you like a threatening comet over the mountains;
my forehead shall be your weather-glass! He would caress and fondle
the child that lifted its stubborn head against him. But fondling and
caressing is not my mode. I will drive the rowels of the spur into
their flesh, and give the scourge a trial. Under my rule it shall be
brought to pass that potatoes and small-beer shall be considered a
holiday treat; and woe to him who meets my eye with the audacious front
of health. Haggard want and crouching fear are my insignia; and in this
livery I will clothe ye.



RAZ. Are you come? Is it really you? Oh, let me squeeze thee into a jelly, my dear heart's brother! Welcome to the Bohemian forests! Why, you are grown quite stout and jolly! You have brought us recruits in right earnest, a little army of them; you are the very prince of crimps.

SPIEGEL. Eh, brother? Eli? And proper fellows they are! You must confess the blessing of heaven is visibly upon me; I was a poor, hungry wretch, and had nothing but this staff when I went over the Jordan, and now there are eight-and-seventy of us, mostly ruined shopkeepers, rejected masters of arts, and law-clerks from the Swabian provinces. They are a rare set of fellows, brother, capital fellows, I promise you; they will steal you the very buttons off each other's trousers in perfect security, although in the teeth of a loaded musket,* and they live in clover and enjoy a reputation for forty miles round, which is quite astonishing.

   *[The acting edition reads, "Hang your hat up in the sun, and I'll
   take you a wager it's gone the next minute, as clean out of sight
   as if the devil himself had walked off with it."]

There is not a newspaper in which you will not find some little feat or other of that cunning fellow, Spiegelberg; I take in the papers for nothing else; they have described me from head to foot; you would think you saw me; they have not forgotten even my coat-buttons. But we lead them gloriously by the nose. The other day I went to the printing-office and pretended that I had seen the famous Spiegelberg, dictated to a penny-a-liner who was sitting there the exact image of a quack doctor in the town; the matter gets wind, the fellow is arrested, put to the rack, and in his anguish and stupidity he confesses the devil take me if he does not—confesses that he is Spiegelberg. Fire and fury! I was on the point of giving myself up to a magistrate rather than have my fair fame marred by such a poltroon; however, within three months he was hanged. I was obliged to stuff a right good pinch of snuff into my nose as some time afterwards I was passing the gibbet and saw the pseudo-Spiegelberg parading there in all his glory; and, while Spiegelberg's representative is dangling by the neck, the real Spiegelberg very quietly slips himself out of the noose, and makes jolly long noses behind the backs of these sagacious wiseacres of the law.

RAZ. (laughing). You are still the same fellow you always were.

SPIEGEL. Ay, sure! body and soul. But I must tell you a bit of fun, my boy, which I had the other day in the nunnery of St. Austin. We fell in with the convent just about sunset; and as I had not fired a single cartridge all day,—you know I hate the diem perdidi as I hate death itself,—I was determined to immortalize the night by some glorious exploit, even though it should cost the devil one of his ears! We kept quite quiet till late in the night. At last all is as still as a mouse —the lights are extinguished. We fancy the nuns must be comfortably tucked up. So I take brother Grimm along with me, and order the others to wait at the gate till they hear my whistle—I secure the watchman, take the keys from him, creep into the maid-servants' dormitory, take. away all their clothes, and whisk the bundle out at the window. We go on from cell to cell, take away the clothes of one sister after another, and lastly those of the lady-abbess herself. Then I sound my whistle, and my fellows outside begin to storm and halloo as if doomsday was at hand, and away they rush with the devil's own uproar into the cells of the sisters! Ha, ha, ha! You should have seen the game—how the poor creatures were groping about in the dark for their petticoats, and how they took on when they found they were gone; and we, in the meantime, at 'em like very devils; and now, terrified and amazed, they wriggled under their bedclothes, or cowered together like cats behind the stoves. There was such shrieking and lamentation; and then the old beldame of an abbess—you know, brother, there is nothing in the world I hate so much as a spider and an old woman—so you may just fancy that wrinkled old hag standing naked before me, conjuring me by her maiden modesty forsooth! Well, I was determined to make short work of it; either, said I, out with your plate and your convent jewels and all your shining dollars, or—my fellows knew what I meant. The end of it was I brought away more than a thousand dollars' worth out of the convent, to say nothing of the fun, which will tell its own story in due time.

RAZ. (stamping on the ground). Hang it, that I should be absent on such an occasion.

SPIEGEL. Do you see? Now tell me, is not that life? 'Tis that which keeps one fresh and hale, and braces the body so that it swells hourly like an abbot's paunch; I don't know, but I think I must be endowed with some magnetic property, which attracts all the vagabonds on the face of the earth towards me like steel and iron.

RAZ. A precious magnet, indeed. But I should like to know, I'll be hanged if I shouldn't, what witchcraft you use?

SPIEGEL. Witchcraft? No need of witchcraft. All it wants is a head—a certain practical capacity which, of course, is not taken in with every spoonful of barley meal; for you know I have always said that an honest man may be carved out of any willow stump, but to make a rogue you must have brains; besides which it requires a national genius—a certain rascal-climate—so to speak.*

   *[In the first (and suppressed) edition was added, "Go to the
   Grisons, for instance; that is what I call the thief's Athens."
   This obnoxious passage has been carefully expunged from all the
   subsequent editions. It gave mortal offence to the Grison
   magistrates, who made a formal complaint of the insult and caused
   Schiller to be severely rebuked by the Grand Duke. This incident
   forms one of the epochs in our author's history.]

RAZ. Brother, I have heard Italy celebrated for its artists.

SPIEGEL. Yes, yes! Give the devil his due. Italy makes a very noble figure; and if Germany goes on as it has begun, and if the Bible gets fairly kicked out, of which there is every prospect, Germany, too, may in time arrive at something respectable; but I should tell you that climate does not, after all, do such a wonderful deal; genius thrives everywhere; and as for the rest, brother, a crab, you know, will never become a pineapple, not even in Paradise. But to pursue our subject, where did I leave off?

RAZ. You were going to tell me about your stratagems.

SPIEGEL. Ah, yes! my stratagems. Well, when you get into a town, the first thing is to fish out from the beadles, watchmen, and turnkeys, who are their best customers, and for these, accordingly, you must look out; then ensconce yourself snugly in coffee-houses, brothels, and beer-shops, and observe who cry out most against the cheapness of the times, the reduced five per cents., and the increasing nuisance of police regulations; who rail the loudest against government, or decry physiognomical science, and such like? These are the right sort of fellows, brother. Their honesty is as loose as a hollow tooth; you have only to apply your pincers. Or a shorter and even better plan is to drop a full purse in the public highway, conceal yourself somewhere near, and mark who finds it. Presently after you come running up, search, proclaim your loss aloud, and ask him, as it were casually, "Have you perchance picked up a purse, sir?" If he says "Yes," why then the devil fails you. But if he denies it, with a "pardon me, sir, I remember, I am sorry, sir," (he jumps up), then, brother, you've done the trick. Extinguish your lantern, cunning Diogenes, you have found your match.

RAZ. You are an accomplished practitioner.

SPIEGEL. My God! As if that had ever been doubted. Well, then, when you have got your man into the net, you must take great care to land him cleverly. You see, my son, the way I have managed is thus: as soon as I was on the scent I stuck to my candidate like a leech; I drank brotherhood with him, and, nota bene, you must always pay the score. That costs a pretty penny, it is true, but never mind that. You must go further; introduce him to gaming-houses and brothels; entangle him in broils and rogueries till he becomes bankrupt in health and strength, in purse, conscience, and reputation; for I must tell you, by the way, that you will make nothing of it unless you ruin both body and soul. Believe me, brother, and I have experienced it more than fifty times in my extensive practice, that when the honest man is once ousted from his stronghold, the devil has it all his own way—the transition is then as easy as from a whore to a devotee. But hark! What bang was that?

RAZ. It was thunder; go on.

SPIEGEL. Or, there is a yet shorter and still better way. You strip your man of all he has, even to his very shirt, and then he will come to you of his own accord; you won't teach me to suck eggs, brother; ask that copper-faced fellow there. My eyes, how neatly I got him into my meshes. I showed him forty ducats, which I promised to give him if he would bring me an impression in wax of his master's keys. Only think, the stupid brute not only does this, but actually brings me—I'll be hanged if he did not—the keys themselves; and then thinks to get the money. "Sirrah," said I, "are you aware that I am going to carry these keys straight to the lieutenant of police, and to bespeak a place for you on the gibbet?" By the powers! you should have seen how the simpleton opened his eyes, and began to shake from head to foot like a dripping poodle. "For heaven's sake, sir, do but consider. I will— will—" "What will you? Will you at once cut your stick and go to the devil with me?" "Oh, with all my heart, with great pleasure." Ha! ha! ha! my fine fellow; toasted cheese is the thing to catch mice with; do have a good laugh at him, Razman; ha! ha! ha!

RAZ. Yes, yes, I must confess. I shall inscribe that lesson in letters of gold upon the tablet of my brain. Satan must know his people right well to have chosen you for his factor.

SPIEGEL. Eh, brother? Eli? And if I help him to half a score of fellows he will, of course, let me off scot-free—publishers, you know, always give one copy in ten gratis to those who collect subscribers for them; why should the devil be more of a Jew? Razman, I smell powder.

RAZ. Zounds! I smelt it long ago. You may depend upon it there has being something going forward hereabouts. Yes, yes! I can tell you, Spiegelberg, you will be welcome to our captain with your recruits; he, too, has got hold of some brave fellows.

SPIEGEL. But look at mine! at mine here, bah!

RAZ. Well, well! they may be tolerably expert in the finger department, but, I tell you, the fame of our captain has tempted even some honorable men to join his staff.

SPIEGEL. So much the worse.

RAZ. Without joking. And they are not ashamed to serve under such a leader. He does not commit murder as we do for the sake of plunder; and as to money, as soon as he had plenty of it at command, he did not seem to care a straw for it; and his third of the booty, which belongs to him of right, he gives away to orphans, or supports promising young men with it at college. But should he happen to get a country squire into his clutches who grinds down his peasants like cattle, or some gold-laced villain, who warps the law to his own purposes, and hoodwinks the eyes of justice with his gold, or any chap of that kidney; then, my boy, he is in his element, and rages like a very devil, as if every fibre in his body were a fury.


RAZ. The other day we were told at a tavern that a rich count from Ratisbon was about to pass through, who had gained the day in a suit worth a million of money by the craftiness of his lawyer. The captain was just sitting down to a game of backgammon. "How many of us are there?" said he to me, rising in haste. I saw him bite his nether lip, which he never does except when he is very determined. "Not more than five," I replied. "That's enough," he said; threw his score on the table, left the wine he had ordered untouched, and off we went. The whole time he did not utter a syllable, but walked aloof and alone, only asking us from time to time whether we heard anything, and now and then desiring us to lay our ears to the ground. At last the count came in sight, his carriage heavily laden, the lawyer, seated by his side, an outrider in advance, and two horsemen riding behind. Then you should have seen the man. With a pistol in each hand he ran before us to the carriage,—and the voice with which he thundered, "Halt!" The coachman, who would not halt, was soon toppled from his box; the count fired out of the carriage and missed—the horseman fled. "Your money, rascal!" cried Moor, with his stentorian voice. The count lay like a bullock under the axe: "And are you the rogue who turns justice into a venal prostitute?" The lawyer shook till his teeth chattered again; and a dagger soon stuck in his body, like a stake in a vineyard. "I have done my part," cried the captain, turning proudly away; "the plunder is your affair." And with this he vanished into the forest.

SPIEGEL. Hum! hum! Brother, what I told you just now remains between ourselves; there is no occasion for his knowing it. You understand me?

RAZ. Yes, yes, I understand!

SPIEGEL. You know the man! He has his own notions! You understand me?

RAZ. Oh, I quite understand.

           (Enter SCHWARZ at full speed).

Who's there? What is the matter? Any travellers in the forest?

SCHWARZ. Quick, quick! Where are the others? Zounds! there you stand gossiping! Don't you know—do you know nothing of it?—that poor Roller—

PAZ. What of him? What of him?

SCHWARZ. He's hanged, that's all, and four others with him—

RAz. Roller hanged? S'death! when? How do you know?

SCHWARZ. He has been in limbo more than three weeks, and we knew nothing of it. He was brought up for examination three several days, and still we heard nothing. They put him to the rack to make him tell where the captain was to be found—but the brave fellow would not slip. Yesterday he got his sentence, and this morning was dispatched express to the devil!

RAZ. Confound it! Does the captain know?

SCHWARZ. He heard of it only yesterday. He foamed like a wild boar. You know that Roller was always an especial favorite; and then the rack! Ropes and scaling-ladders were conveyed to the prison, but in vain. Moor himself got access to him disguised as a Capuchin monk, and proposed to change clothes with him; but Roller absolutely refused; whereupon the captain swore an oath that made our very flesh creep. He vowed that he would light a funeral pile for him, such as had never yet graced the bier of royalty, one that should burn them all to cinders. I fear for the city. He has long owed it a grudge for its intolerable bigotry; and you know, when he says, "I'll do it," the thing is as good as done.

RAZ. That is true! I know the captain. If he had pledged his word to the devil to go to hell he never would pray again, though half a pater-noster would take him to heaven. Alas! poor Roller!—poor Roller!

SPIEGEL. Memento mori! But it does not concern me. (Hums a tune).

        Should I happen to pass the gallows stone,
         I shall just take a sight with one eye,
        And think to myself, you may dangle alone,
         Who now, sir, 's the fool, you or I?

RAZ. (Jumping up). Hark! a shot! (Firing and noise is heard behind the scenes).

SPIEGEL. Another!

RAZ. And another! The captain!

       (Voices behind the scenes are heard singing).

        The Nurnbergers deem it the wisest plan,
        Never to hang till they've caught their man.
                         Da capo.

SCHWEITZER and ROLLER (behind the scenes). Holla, ho! Holla, ho!

RAZ. Roller! by all the devils! Roller!

SCHWEITZER and ROLLER (still behind the scenes). Razman! Schwarz! Spiegelberg! Razman!

RAZ. Roller! Schweitzer! Thunder and lightning! Fire and fury! (They run towards him.)

Enter CHARLES VON MOOR (on horseback), SCHWEITZER, ROLLER, GRIMM, SCHUFTERLE, and a troop of ROBBERS covered with dust and mud.

CHARLES (leaping from his horse) Liberty! Liberty!—Thou art on terra firma, Roller! Take my horse, Schweitzer, and wash him with wine. (Throws himself on the ground.) That was hot work!

RAZ. (to ROLLER). Well, by the fires of Pluto! Art thou risen from the wheel?

SCHWARZ. Art thou his ghost? or am I a fool? or art thou really the man?

ROLLER (still breathless). The identical—alive—whole.—Where do you think I come from?

SCHWARZ. It would puzzle a witch to tell! The staff was already broken over you.

ROLLER. Ay, that it was, and more than that! I come straightway from the gallows. Only let me get my breath. Schweitzer will tell you all. Give me a glass of brandy! You there too, Spiegelberg! I thought we should have met again in another place. But give me a glass of brandy! my bones are tumbling to pieces. Oh, my captain! Where is my captain?

SCHWARZ. Have patience, man, have patience. Just tell me—say—come, let's hear—how did you escape? In the name of wonder how came we to get you back again? My brain is bewildered. From the gallows, you say?

ROLLER (swallows a flask of brandy). Ah, that is capital! that warms the inside! Straight from the gallows, I tell you. You stand there amid stare as if that was impossible. I can assure you, I was not more than three paces from that blessed ladder, on which I was to mount to Abraham's bosom—so near, so very near, that I was sold, skin and all, to the dissecting-room! The fee-simple of my life was not worth a pinch of snuff. To the captain I am indebted for breath, and liberty, and life.

SCHWEITZER. It was a trick worth the telling. We had heard the day before, through our spies, that Roller was in the devil's own pickle; and unless the vault of heaven fell in suddenly he would, on the morrow —that is, to-day—go the way of all flesh. Up! says the captain, and follow me—what is not a friend worth? Whether we save him or not, we will at least light him up a funeral pile such as never yet honored royalty; one which shall burn them black and blue. The whole troop was summoned. We sent Roller a trusty messenger, who conveyed the notice to him in a little billet, which he slipped into his porridge.

ROLLER. I had but small hope of success.

SCHWEITZER. We waited till the thoroughfares were clear. The whole town was out after the sight; equestrians, pedestrians, carriages, all pell-mell; the noise and the gibbet-psalm sounded far and wide. Now, says the captain, light up, light up! We all flew like darts; they set fire to the city in three-and-thirty places at once; threw burning firebrands on the powder-magazine, and into the churches and granaries. Morbleu! in less than a quarter of an hour a northeaster, which, like us, must have owed a grudge to the city, came seasonably to our aid, and helped to lift the flames up to the highest gables. Meanwhile we ran up and down the streets like furies, crying, fire! ho! fire! ho! in every direction. There was such howling—screaming-tumult—fire-bells tolling. And presently the powder-magazine blew up into the air with a crash as if the earth were rent in twain, heaven burst to shivers, and hell sunk ten thousand fathoms deeper.

ROLLER. Now my guards looked behind them—there lay the city, like Sodom and Gomorrah—the whole horizon was one mass of fire, brimstone, and smoke; and forty hills echoed and reflected the infernal prank far and wide. A panic seized them all—I take advantage of the moment, and, quick as lightning—my fetters had been taken off, so nearly was my time come—while my guards were looking away petrified, like Lot's wife, I shot off—tore through the crowd—and away! After running some sixty paces I throw off my clothes, plunge into the river, and swim along under water till I think they have lost sight of me. My captain stood ready, with horses and clothes—and here I am. Moor! Moor! I only wish that you may soon get into just such another scrape that I may requite you in like manner.

RAZ. A brutal wish, for which you deserve to be hanged. It was a glorious prank, though.

ROLLER. It was help in need; you cannot judge of it. You should have marched, like me, with a rope round your neck, travelling to your grave in the living body, and seen their horrid sacramental forms and hangman's ceremonies—and then, at every reluctant step, as the struggling feet were thrust forward, to see the infernal machine, on which I was to be elevated, glaring more and more hideously in the blaze of a noonday sun—and the hangman's rapscallions watching for their prey —and the horrible psalm-singing—the cursed twang still rings in my ears—and the screeching hungry ravens, a whole flight of them, who were hovering over the half-rotten carcass of my predecessor. To see all this—ay, more, to have a foretaste of the blessedness which was in store for me! Brother, brother! And then, all of a sudden, the signal of deliverance. It was an explosion as if the vault of heaven were rent in twain. Hark ye, fellows! I tell you, if a man were to leap out of a fiery furnace into a freezing lake he could not feel the contrast half so strongly as I did when I gained the opposite shore.

SPIEGEL. (Laughs.) Poor wretch! Well, you have got over it. (Pledges him). Here's to a happy regeneration!

ROLLER (flings away his glass). No, by all the treasures of Mammon, I should not like to go through it a second time. Death is something more than a harlequin's leap, and its terrors are even worse than death itself.

SPIEGEL. And the powder-magazine leaping into the air! Don't you see it now, Razman? That was the reason the air stunk so, for miles round, of brimstone, as if the whole wardrobe of Moloch was being aired under the open firmament. It was a master-stroke, captain! I envy you for it.

SCHWEITZER. If the town makes it a holiday-treat to see our comrade killed by a baited hog, why the devil should we scruple to sacrifice the city for the rescue of our comrade? And, by the way, our fellows had the extra treat of being able to plunder worse than the old emperor. Tell me, what have you sacked?

ONE OF THE TROOP. I crept into St. Stephen's church during the hubbub, and tore the gold lace from the altarcloth. The patron saint, thought I to myself, can make gold lace out of packthread.

SCHWEITZER. 'Twas well done. What is the use of such rubbish in a church? They offer it to the Creator, who despises such trumpery, while they leave his creatures to die of hunger. And you, Sprazeler—where did you throw your net?

A SECOND. I and Brizal broke into a merchant's store, and have brought stuffs enough with us to serve fifty men.

A THIRD. I have filched two gold watches and a dozen silver spoons.

SCHWEITZER. Well done, well done! And we have lighted them a bonfire that will take a fortnight to put out again. And, to get rid of the fire, they must ruin the city with water. Do you know, Schufterle, how many lives have been lost?

SCHUF. Eighty-three, they say. The powder-magazine alone blew threescore to atoms.

CHARLES (very seriously). Roller, thou art dearly bought.

SCHUF. Bah! bah! What of that? If they had but been men it would have been another matter—but they were babes in swaddling clothes, and shrivelled old nurses that kept the flies from them, and dried-up stove-squatters who could not crawl to the door—patients whining for the doctor, who, with his stately gravity, was marching to the sport. All that had the use of their legs had gone forth in the sight, and nothing remained at home but the dregs of the city.

CHARLES. Alas for the poor creatures! Sick people, sayest thou, old men and infants?

SCHUF. Ay, the devil go with them! And lying-in-women into the bargain; and women far gone with child, who were afraid of miscarrying under the gibbet; and young mothers, who thought the sight might do them a mischief, and mark the gallows upon the foreheads of their unborn babes—poor poets, without a shoe, because their only pair had been sent to the cobbler to mend—and other such vermin, not worth the trouble of mentioning. As I chanced to pass by a cottage I heard a great squalling inside. I looked in; and, when I came to examine, what do you think it was? Why, an infant—a plump and ruddy urchin—lying on the floor under a table which was just beginning to burn. Poor little wretch! said I, you will be cold there, and with that I threw it into the flames!

CHARLES. Indeed, Schufterle? Then may those flames burn in thy bosom
to all eternity! Avaunt, monster! Never let me see thee again in my
troop! What! Do you murmur? Do you hesitate? Who dares hesitate when
I command? Away with him, I say! And there are others among you ripe
for my vengeance. I know thee, Spiegelberg. But I will step in among
you ere long, and hold a fearful muster-roll.
                       [Exeunt, trembling.]

CHARLES (alone, walking up and down in great agitation). Hear them not, thou avenger in heaven! How can I avert it? Art thou to blame, great God, if thy engines, pestilence, and famine, and floods, overwhelm the just with the unjust? Who can stay the flame, which is kindled to destroy the hornet's nest, from extending to the blessed harvest? Oh! fie on the slaughter of women, and children, and the sick! How this deed weighs me down! It has poisoned my fairest achievements! There he stands, poor fool, abashed and disgraced in the sight of heaven; the boy that presumed to wield Jove's thunder, and overthrew pigmies when he should have crushed Titans. Go, go! 'tis not for thee, puny son of clay, to wield the avenging sword of sovereign justice! Thou didst fail at thy first essay. Here, then, I renounce the audacious scheme. I go to hide myself in some deep cleft of the earth, where no daylight will be witness of my shame. (He is about to fly.)

            Enter a ROBBER hurriedly.

ROBBER. Look out, captain! There is mischief in the wind! Whole detachments of Bohemian cavalry are scouring the forests. That infernal bailiff must have betrayed us.

              Enter more ROBBERS.

2D ROBBER. Captain! captain! they have tracked us! Some thousands of them are forming a cordon round the middle forest.

            Enter more ROBBERS again.
3D ROBBER. Woe, woe, woe! we are all taken, hanged drawn, and
quartered. Thousands of hussars, dragoons, and chasseurs are mustering
on the heights, and guard all the passes.
                     [Exit CHARLES VON MOOR.]

        SPIEGELBERG, RAZMAN, and the whole troop.

SCHWEITZER. Ha! Have we routed them out of their feather-beds at last? Come, be jolly, Roller! I have long wished to have a bout with those knights of the bread-basket. Where is the captain? Is the whole troop assembled? I hope we have powder enough?

RAZ. Powder, I believe you; but we are only eighty in all and therefore scarcely one to twenty.

SCHWEITZER. So much the better! And though there were fifty against my great toe-nail—fellows who have waited till we lit the straw under their very seats. Brother, brother, there is nothing to fear. They sell their lives for tenpence; and are we not fighting for our necks? We will pour into them like a deluge, and fire volleys upon their heads like crashes of thunder. But where the devil is the captain.

SPIEGEL. He forsakes us in this extremity. Is there no hope of escape?


SPIEGEL. Oh, that I had tarried in Jerusalem!

SCHWEITZER. I wish you were choked in a cesspool, you paltry coward! With defenceless nuns you are a mighty man; but at sight of a pair of fists a confirmed sneak! Now show your courage or you shall be sewn up alive in an ass's hide and baited to death with dogs.

RAZ. The captain! the captain!

        Enter CHARLES (speaking slowly to himself).

CHARLES. I have allowed them to be hemmed in on every side. Now they must fight with the energy of despair. (Aloud.) Now my boys! now for it! We must fight like wounded boars, or we are utterly lost!

SCHWEITZER. Ha! I'll rip them open with my tusks, till their entrails protrude by the yard! Lead on, captain! we will follow you into the very jaws of death.

CHARLES. Charge all your arms! You've plenty of powder, I hope?

SCHWEITZER (with energy). Powder? ay, enough to blow the earth up to the moon.

RAZ. Every one of us has five brace of pistols, ready loaded, and three carbines to boot.

CHARLES. Good! good! Now some of you must climb up the trees, or conceal yourselves in the thickets, and some fire upon them in ambush—

SCHWEITZER. That part will suit you, Spiegelberg.

CHARLES. The rest will follow me, and fall upon their flanks like furies.

SCHWEITZER. There will I be!

CHARLES. At the same time let every man make his whistle ring through the forest, and gallop about in every direction, so that our numbers may appear the more formidable. And let all the dogs be unchained, and set on upon their ranks, that they may be broken and dispersed and run in the way of our fire. We three, Roller, Schweitzer, and myself, will fight wherever the fray is hottest.

SCHWEITZER. Masterly! excellent! We will so bewilder them with balls that they shall not know whence the salutes are coming. I have more than once shot away a cherry from the mouth. Only let them come on (SCHUFTERLE is pulling SCHWEITZER; the latter takes the captain aside, and entreats him in a low voice.)

CHARLES. Silence!

SCHWEITZER. I entreat you—

CHARLES. Away! Let him have the benefit of his disgrace; it has saved him. He shall not die on the same field with myself, my Schweitzer, and my Roller. Let him change his apparel, and I will say he is a traveller whom I have plundered. Make yourself easy, Schweitzer. Take my word for it he will be hanged yet.

             Enter FATHER DOMINIC.

FATHER DOM. (to himself, starts). Is this the dragon's nest? With your leave, sirs! I am a servant of the church; and yonder are seventeen hundred men who guard every hair of my head.

SCHWEITZER. Bravo! bravo! Well spoken to keep his courage warm.

CHARLES. Silence, comrade! Will you tell us briefly, good father, what is your errand here?

FATHER Dom. I am delegated by the high justices, on whose sentence hangs life or death—ye thieves—ye incendiaries—ye villains—ye venomous generation of vipers, crawling about in the dark, and stinging in secret—ye refuse of humanity—brood of hell—food for ravens and worms—colonists for the gallows and the wheel—

2pa202 (151K)

SCHWEITZER. Dog! a truce with your foul tongue! or ——— (He holds the butt-end of his gun before FATHER DOMINIC'S face.)

CHARLES. Fie, fie, Schweitzer! You cut the thread of his discourse. He has got his sermon so nicely by heart. Pray go on, Sir! "for the gallows and the wheel?"

FATHER Dom. And thou, their precious captain!—commander-in-chief of cut-purses!—king of sharpers! Grand Mogul of all the rogues under the sun!—great prototype of that first hellish ringleader who imbued a thousand legions of innocent angels with the flame of rebellion, and drew them down with him into the bottomless pit of damnation! The agonizing cries of bereaved mothers pursue thy footsteps! Thou drinkest blood like water! and thy murderous knife holds men cheaper than air-bubbles!

CHARLES. Very true—exceedingly true! Pray proceed, Sir!

FATHER DOM. What do you mean? Very true—exceedingly true! Is that an answer?

CHARLES. How, Sir? You were not prepared for that, it seems? Go on— by all means go on. What more were you going to say?

FATHER DOM. (heated). Abominable wretch! Avaunt! Does not the blood of a murdered count of the empire cling to thy accursed fingers? Hast thou not, with sacrilegious hands, dared to break into the Lord's sanctuary, and carry off the consecrated vessels of the sanctissimum? Hast thou not flung firebrands into our godly city, and brought down the powder-magazine upon the heads of devout Christians? (Clasps his hands). Horrible, horrible wickedness! that stinketh in the nostrils of Heaven, and provoketh the day of judgment to burst upon you suddenly! ripe for retribution—rushing headlong to the last trump!

CHARLES. Masterly guesses thus far! But now, sir, to the point! What is it that the right worshipful justices wish to convey to me through you?

FATHER Dom. What you are not worthy to receive. Look around you, incendiary! As far as your eye can reach you are environed by our horsemen—there is no chance of escape. As surely as cherries grow on these oaks, and peaches on these firs, so surely shall you turn your backs upon these oaks and these firs in safety.

CHARLES. Do you hear that, Schweitzer? But go on!

FATHER DOM. Hear, then, what mercy and forbearance justice shows towards such miscreants. If you instantly prostrate yourselves in submission and sue for mercy and forgiveness, then severity itself will relent to compassion, and justice be to thee an indulgent mother. She will shut one eye upon your horrible crimes, and be satisfied—only think!—to let you be broken on the wheel.

SCHWEITZER. Did you hear that, captain? Shall I throttle this well-trained shepherd's cur till the red blood spurts from every pore?

ROLLER. Captain! Fire and fury! Captain! How he bites his lip! Shall I topple this fellow upside down like a ninepin?

SCHWEITZER. Mine, mine be the job! Let me kneel to you, captain; let me implore you! I beseech you to grant me the delight of pounding him to a jelly! (FATHER DOMINIC screams.)

CHARLES. Touch him not! Let no one lay a finger on him!—(To FATHER DOMINIC, drawing his sword.) Hark ye, sir father! Here stand nine-and-seventy men, of whom I am the captain, and not one of them has been taught to trot at a signal, or learned to dance to the music of artillery; while yonder stand seventeen hundred men grown gray under the musket. But now listen! Thus says Moor, the captain of incendiaries. It is true I have slain a count of the empire, burnt and plundered the church of St. Dominic, flung firebrands into your bigoted city, and brought down the powder-magazine upon the heads of devout Christians. But that is not all,—I have done more. (He holds out his right hand.) Do you observe these four costly rings, one on each finger? Go and report punctually to their worships, on whose sentence hangs life or death what you shall hear and see. This ruby I drew from the finger of a minister, whom I stretched at the feet of his prince, during the chase. He had fawned himself up from the lowest dregs, to be the first favorite;—the ruin of his neighbor was his ladder to greatness—orphans' tears helped him to mount it. This diamond I took from a lord treasurer, who sold offices of honor and trust to the highest bidder, and drove the sorrowing patriot from his door. This opal I wear in honor of a priest of your cloth, whom I dispatched with my own hand, after he had publicly deplored in his pulpit the waning power of the Inquisition. I could tell you more stories about my rings, but that I repent the words I have already wasted upon you—

FATHER DOM. O Pharaoh! Pharaoh!

CHARLES. Do you hear it? Did you mark that sigh? Does he not stand there as if he were imploring fire from heaven to descend and destroy this troop of Korah? He pronounces judgment with a shrug of the shoulders, and eternal damnation with a Christian "Alas!" Is it possible for humanity to be so utterly blind? He who has the hundred eyes of Argus to spy out the faults of his brother—can he be so totally blind to his own? They thunder forth from their clouds about gentleness and forbearance, while they sacrifice human victims to the God of love as if he were the fiery Moloch. They preach the love of one's neighbor, while they drive the aged and blind with curses from their door. They rave against covetousness; yet for the sake of gold they have depopulated Peru, and yoked the natives, like cattle, to their chariots. They rack their brains in wonder to account for the creation of a Judas Iscariot, yet the best of them would betray the whole Trinity for ten shekels. Out upon you, Pharisees! ye falsifiers of truth! ye apes of Deity! You are not ashamed to kneel before crucifixes and altars; you lacerate your backs with thongs, and mortify your flesh with fasting; and with these pitiful mummeries you think, fools as you are, to veil the eyes of Him whom, with the same breath, you address as the Omniscient, just as the great are the most bitterly mocked by those who flatter them while they pretend to hate flatterers. You boast of your honesty and your exemplary conduct; but the God who sees through your hearts would be wroth with Him that made you, were He not the same that had also created the monsters of the Nile. Away with him out of my sight!

FATHER DOM. That such a miscreant should be so proud!

CHARLES. That's not all. Now I will speak proudly. Go and tell the right worshipful justices—who set men's lives upon the cast of a die— I am not one of those thieves who conspire with sleep and midnight, and play the hero and the lordling on a scaling-ladder. What I have done I shall no doubt hereafter be doomed to read in the register of heaven; but with his miserable ministers of earth I will waste no more words. Tell your masters that my trade is retribution—vengeance my occupation! (He turns his back upon him.)

FATHER DOM. Then you despise mercy and forbearance?—-Be it so, I have done with you. (Turning to the troop.) Now then, sirs, you shall hear what the high powers direct me to make known to you!—If you will instantly deliver up to me this condemned malefactor, bound hand and foot, you shall receive a full pardon—your enormities shall be entirely blotted out, even from memory. The holy church will receive you, like lost sheep, with renewed love, into her maternal bosom, and the road to honorable employment shall be open to you all. (With a triumphant smile.) Now sir! how does your majesty relish this? Come on! bind him! and you are free!

CHARLES. Do you hear that? Do you hear it? What startles you? Why do you hesitate? They offer you freedom—you that are already their prisoners. They grant you your lives, and that is no idle pretence, for it is clear you are already condemned felons. They promise you honor and emolument; and, on the other hand, what can you hope for, even should you be victorious to-day, but disgrace, and curses, and persecution? They ensure you the pardon of Heaven; you that are actually damned. There is not a single hair on any of you that is not already bespoke in hell. Do you still hesitate? are you staggered? Is it so difficult, then, to choose between heaven and hell?—Do put in a word, father!

FATHER DOM. (aside.) Is the fellow crazy? (Aloud.) Perhaps you are afraid that this is a trap to catch you alive?—Read it yourselves! Here—is the general pardon fully signed. (He hands a paper to SCHWEITZER.) Can you still doubt?

CHARLES. Only see! only see! What more can you require? Signed with their own hands! It is mercy beyond all bounds! Or are you afraid of their breaking their word, because you have heard it said that no faith need be kept with traitors? Dismiss that fear! Policy alone would constrain them to keep their word, even though it should merely have been pledged to old Nick. Who hereafter would believe them? How could they trade with it a second time? I would take my oath upon it that they mean it sincerely. They know that I am the man who has goaded you on and incited you; they believe you innocent. They look upon your crimes as so many juvenile errors—exuberances of rashness. It is I alone they want. I must pay the penalty. Is it not so, father?

FATHER DOM. What devil incarnate is it that speaks out of him? Of course it is so—of course. The fellow turns my brain.

CHARLES. What! no answer yet? Do you think it possible to cut your way through yon phalanx? Only look round you! just look round! You surely do not reckon upon that; that were indeed a childish conceit—Or do you flatter yourselves that you will fall like heroes, because you saw that I rejoiced in the prospect of the fight? Oh, do not console yourself with the thought! You are not MOOR. You are miserable thieves! wretched tools of my great designs! despicable as the rope in the hand of the hangman! No! no! Thieves do not fall like heroes. Life must be the hope of thieves, for something fearful has to follow. Thieves may well be allowed to quake at the fear of death. Hark! Do you hear their horns echoing through the forest? See there! how their glittering sabres threaten! What! are you still irresolute? are you mad? are you insane? It is unpardonable. Do you imagine I shall thank you for my life? I disdain your sacrifice!

FATHER DOM. (in utter amazement). I shall go mad! I must be gone! Was the like ever heard of?

CHARLES. Or are you afraid that I shall stab myself, and so by suicide put an end to the bargain, which only holds good if I am given up alive? No, comrades! that is a vain fear. Here, I fling away my dagger, and my pistols, and this phial of poison, which might have been a treasure to me. I am so wretched that I have lost the power even over my own life. What! still in suspense? Or do you think, perhaps, that I shall stand on my defence when you try to seize me? See here! I bind my right hand to this oak-branch; now I am quite defenceless, a child may overpower me. Who is the first to desert his captain in the hour of need?

ROLLER (with wild energy). And what though hell encircle us with ninefold coils! (Brandishing his sword.) Who is the coward that will betray his captain?

SCHWEITZER (tears the pardon and flings the pieces into FATHER DOMINIC'S face). Pardon be in our bullets! Away with thee, rascal! Tell your senate that you could not find a single traitor in all Moor's camp. Huzza! Huzza! Save the captain!

ALL (shouting). Huzza! Save the captain! Save him! Save our noble captain!

CHARLES (releasing his hand from the tree, joyfully). Now we are free, comrades! I feel a host in this single arm! Death or liberty! At the least they shall not take a man of us alive!

      [They sound the signal for attack; noise and tumult.
            Exeunt with drawn swords.]


SCENE I.—AMELIA in the garden, playing the guitar.

     Bright as an angel from Walhalla's hall,
      More beautiful than aught of earth was he!
     Heaven-mild his look, as sunbeams when they fall,
      Reflected from a calm cerulean sea.

     His warm embrace—oh, ravishing delight!
      With heart to heart the fiery pulses danced—
     Our every sense wrap'd in ecstatic night—
      Our souls in blissful harmony entranced.

     His kisses—oh, what paradise of feeling!
      E'en as two flames which round each other twine—
     Or flood of seraph harp-tones gently stealing
      In one soft swell, away to realms divine!

     They rushed, commingled, melted, soul in soul!
      Lips glued to lips, with burning tremor bound!
     Cold earth dissolved, and love without control
      Absorbed all sense of worldly things around!

     He's gone!—forever gone! Alas! in vain
      My bleeding heart in bitter anguish sighs;
     To me is left alone this world of pain,
      And mortal life in hopeless sorrow dies.
               Enter FRANCIS.

FRANCIS. Here again already, perverse enthusiast? You stole away from the festive banquet, and marred the mirthful pleasures of my guests.

AMELIA. 'Tis pity, truly, to mar such innocent pleasures! Shame on them! The funeral knell that tolled over your father's grave must still be ringing in your ears—

FRANCIS. Wilt thou sorrow, then, forever? Let the dead sleep in peace, and do thou make the living happy! I come—

AMELIA. And when do you go again?

FRANCIS. Alas! Look not on me thus sorrowfully! You wound me, Amelia. I come to tell you—

AMELIA. To tell me, I suppose, that Francis von Moor has become lord and master here.

FRANCIS. Precisely so; that is the very subject on which I wish to communicate with you. Maximilian von Moor is gone to the tomb of his ancestors. I am master. But I wish—to be so in the fullest sense, Amelia. You know what you have been to our house always regarded as Moor's daughter, his love for you will survive even death itself; that, assuredly, you will never forget?

AMELIA. Never, never! Who could be so unfeeling as to drown the memory of it in festive banqueting?

FRANCIS. It is your duty to repay the love of the father to his sons; and Charles is dead. Ha! you are struck with amazement; dizzy with the thought! To be sure 'tis a flattering and an elating prospect which may well overpower the pride of a woman. Francis tramples under foot the hopes of the noblest and the richest, and offers his heart, his hand, and with them all his gold, his castles, and his forests to a poor, and, but for him, destitute orphan. Francis—the feared—voluntarily declares himself Amelia's slave!

AMELIA. Why does not a thunderbolt cleave the impious tongue which utters the criminal proposal! Thou hast murdered my beloved Charles; and shall Amelia, his betrothed, call thee husband? Thou?

FRANCIS. Be not so violent, most gracious princess! It is true that Francis does not come before you like a whining Celadon—'tis true he has not learned, like a lovesick swain of Arcadia, to sigh forth his amorous plaints to the echo of caves and rocks. Francis speaks—and, when not answered, commands!

AMELIA. Commands? thou reptile! Command me? And what if I laughed your command to scorn?

FRANCIS. That you will hardly do. There are means, too, which I know of, admirably adapted to humble the pride of a capricious, stubborn girl—cloisters and walls!

AMELIA. Excellent! delightful! to be forever secure within cloisters and walls from thy basilisk look, and to have abundant leisure to think and dream of Charles. Welcome with your cloister! welcome your walls!

FRANCIS. Ha! Is that it? Beware! Now you have taught me the art of tormenting you. The sight of me shall, like a fiery-haired fury, drive out of your head these eternal phantasies of Charles. Francis shall be the dread phantom ever lurking behind the image of your beloved, like the fiend-dog that guards the subterranean treasure. I will drag you to church by the hair, and sword in hand wring the nuptial vow from your soul. By main force will I ascend your virginal couch, and storm your haughty modesty with still greater haughtiness.

AMELIA (gives him a slap in the face). Then take that first by way of dowry!

FRANCIS. Ha! I will be tenfold, and twice tenfold revenged for this! My wife! No, that honor you shall never enjoy. You shall be my mistress, my strumpet! The honest peasant's wife shall point her finger at you as she passes you in the street. Ay, gnash your teeth as fiercely as you please—scatter fire and destruction from your eyes— the fury of a woman piques my fancy—it makes you more beautiful, more tempting. Come, this resistance will garnish my triumph, and your struggles give zest to my embraces. Come, come to my chamber—I burn with desire. Come this instant. (Attempts to drag her away).

AMELIA (falls on his neck). Forgive me, Francis! (As he is about to clasp her in his arms, she suddenly draws the sword at his side, and hastily disengages herself). Do you see now, miscreant, how I am able to deal with you? I am only a woman, but a woman enraged. Dare to approach, and this steel shall strike your lascivious heart to the core —the spirit of my uncle will guide my hand. Avaunt, this instant! (She drives him away).

Ah! how different I feel! Now I breathe again—I feel strong as the snorting steed, ferocious as the tigress when she springs upon the ruthless destroyer of her cubs. To a cloister, did he say? I thank thee for the happy thought! Now has disappointed love found a place of refuge—the cloister—the Redeemer's bosom is the sanctuary of disappointed love. (She is on the point going).

        . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

In the acting edition the following scene occurs between Herman and Francis, immediately before that with Amelia. As Schiller himself thought this among the happiest of his additions, and regretted that it was "entirely and very unfortunately overlooked in the first edition," it seems desirable to introduce it here as well as the soliloquy immediately following, which has acquired some celebrity.


               Enter HERMANN.

FRANCIS. Ha! Welcome, my Euryalus! My prompt and trusty instrument!

HERMANN (abruptly and peevishly). You sent for me, count—why?

FRANCIS. That you might put the seal to your master-piece.

HERMANN (gruffly). Indeed?

FRANCIS. Give the picture its finishing touch.

HERMANN. Poh! Poh!

FRANCIS (startled). Shall I call the carriage? We'll arrange the business during the drive?

HERMANN (scornfully). No ceremony, sir, if you please. For any business we may have to arrange there is room enough between these four walls. At all events I'll just say a few words to you by way of preface, which may save your lungs some unnecessary exertion.

FRANCIS (reservedly). Hum! And what may those words be?

HERMANN (with bitter irony). "You shall have Amelia—and that from my hand—"

FRANCIS (with astonishment). Hermann!

HERMANN (as before, with his back turned on FRANCIS). "Amelia will become the plaything of my will—and you may easily guess the rest-in short all will go as we wish" (Breaks into an indignant laugh, and then turns haughtily to FRANCIS.) Now, Count von Moor, what have you to say to me?

FRANCIS (evasively). To thee? Nothing. I had something to say to Hermann.—

HERMANN, No evasion. Why was I sent for hither? Was it to be your dupe a second time! and to hold the ladder for a thief to mount? to sell my soul for a hangman s fee? What else did you want with me?

FRANCIS (as if recollecting). Ha! It just occurs to me! We must not forget the main point. Did not my steward mention it to you? I wanted to talk to you about the dowry.

HERMANN. This is mere mockery sir; or, if not mockery, something worse. Moor, take care of yourself-beware how you kindle my fury, Moor. We are alone! And I have still an unsullied name to stake against yours! Trust not the devil, although he be of your own raising.

FRANCIS (with dignity). Does this deportment become thee towards thy sovereign and gracious master? Tremble, slave!

HERMANN (ironically). For fear of your displeasure, I suppose? What signifies your displeasure to a man who is at war with himself? Fie, Moor. I already abhor you as a villain; let me not despise you for a fool. I can open graves, and restore the dead to life! Which of us now is the slave?

FRANCIS (in a conciliating tone). Come, my good friend, be discreet, and do not prove faithless.

HERMANN. Pshaw! To expose a wretch like you is here the best discretion—to keep faith with you would be an utter want of sense. Faith? with whom? Faith with the prince of liars? Oh, I shudder at the thought of such faith. A very little timely faithlessness would have almost made a saint of me. But patience! patience! Revenge is cunning in resources.

FRANCIS. Ah, by-the-by, I just remember. You lately lost a purse with a hundred louis in it, in this apartment. I had almost forgotten it. Here, my good friend! take back what belongs to you. (Offers him a purse).

HERMANN (throws it scornfully at his feet). A curse on your Judas bribe! It is the earnest-money of hell. You once before thought to make my poverty a pander to my conscience—but you were mistaken, count! egregiously mistaken. That purse of gold came most opportunely—to maintain certain persons.

FRANCIS (terrified). Hermann! Hermann! Let me not suspect certain things of you. Should you have done anything contrary to my instructions—you would be the vilest of traitors!

HERMANN (exultingly). Should I? Should I really? Well then count, let me give you a little piece of information! (Significantly.) I will fatten up your infamy, and add fuel to your doom. The book of your misdeeds shall one day be served up as a banquet, and all the world be invited to partake of it. (Contemptuously.) Do you understand me now, my most sovereign, gracious, and excellent master?

FRANCIS (starts up, losing all command of himself). Ha! Devil! Deceitful impostor! (Striking his forehead.) To think that I should stake my fortune on the caprice of an idiot! That was madness! (Throws himself, in great excitement, on a couch.)

HERMANN (whistles through his fingers). Wheugh! the biter bit!—

FRANCIS (biting his lip). But it is true, and ever will be true—that there is no thread so feebly spun, or which snaps asunder so readily, as that which weaves the bands of guilt!—

HERMANN. Gently! Gently! Are angels, then, superseded, that devils turn moralists?

FRANCIS (starts up abruptly; to HERMANN with a malignant laugh). And certain persons will no doubt acquire much honor by making the discovery?

HERMANN (clapping his hands). Masterly! Inimitable! You play your part to admiration! First you lure the credulous fool into the slough, and then chuckle at the success of your malice, and cry "Woe be to you sinner!" (Laughing and clenching his teeth.) Oh, how cleverly these imps off the devil manoeuvre. But, count (clapping him on the shoulder) you have not yet got your lesson quite perfect—by Heavens! You first learn what the losing gamester will hazard. Set fire to the powder-magazine, says the pirate, and blow all to hell—both friend and foe!

FRANCIS (runs to the wall, and takes down a pistol). Here is treason! I must be resolute—

HERMANN (draws a pistol as quickly from his pocket, and presents it at him). Don't trouble yourself—one must be prepared for everything with you.

FRANCIS (lets the pistol fall, and throws himself on the sofa in great confusion). Only keep my council till—till I have collected my thoughts.

HERMANN. I suppose till you have hired a dozen assassins to silence my
tongue forever! Is it not so! But (in his ear) the secret is committed
to paper, which my heirs will publish.


               FRANCIS, solus.
Francis! Francis! Francis! What is all this? Where was thy courage?
where thy once so fertile wit? Woe! Woe! And to be betrayed by thy
own instruments! The pillars of my good fortune are tottering to their
fall, the fences are broken down, and the raging enemy is already
bursting in upon me. Well! this calls for some bold and sudden resolve!
What if I went in person—and secretly plunged this sword in his body?
A wounded man is but a child. Quick! I'll do it. (He walks with a
resolute step to the end of the stage, but stops suddenly as if overcome
by sensations of horror). Who are these gliding behind me? (Rolling
his eyes fearfully) Faces such as I have never yet beheld. What
hideous yells do I hear! I feel that I have courage—courage! oh yes to
overflowing! But if a mirror should betray me? or my shadow! or the
whistling of the murderous stroke! Ugh! Ugh! How my hair bristles! A
shudder creeps through my frame. (He lets a poigniard fall from under
his clothes.) I am no coward—perhaps somewhat too tenderhearted. Yes!
that is it! These are the last struggles of expiring virtue. I revere
them. I should indeed be a monster were I to become the murderer of my
own brother. No! no! no! That thought be far from me! Let me cherish
this vestige of humanity. I will not murder. Nature, thou hast
conquered. I still feel something here that seems like—affection. He
shall live.

             Enter HERMANN, timidly.

HERMANN. Lady Amelia! Lady Amelia!

AMELIA. Unhappy man! why dost thou disturb me?

HERMANN. I must throw this weight from my soul before it drags it down to hell. (Falls down before her.) Pardon! pardon! I have grievously injured you, Lady Amelia!

AMELIA. Arise! depart! I will hear nothing. (Going.)

HERMANN (detaining her). No; stay! In the name of Heaven! In the name of the Eternal! You must know all!

AMELIA. Not another word. I forgive you. Depart in peace. (In the act of going.)

HERMANN. Only one word—listen; it will restore all your peace of mind.

AMELIA (turning back and looking at him with astonishment). How, friend? Who in heaven or on earth can restore my peace of mind?

HERMANN. One word from my lips can do it. Hear me!

AMELIA (seizing his hand with compassion). Good sir! Can one word from thy lips burst asunder the portals of eternity?

HERMANN. (rising). Charles lives!

AMELIA (screaming). Wretch!

HERMANN. Even so. And one word more. Your uncle—

AMELIA. (rushing upon him). Thou liest!

HERMANN. Your uncle—

AMELIA. Charles lives?

HERMANN. And your uncle—

AMELIA. Charles lives?

HERMANN. And your uncle too—betray me not!

              (HERMANN runs off)

AMELIA (stands a long while like one petrified; after which she starts up wildly, and rushes after HERMANN.) Charles lives!

SCENE II.—Country near the Danube.

     THE ROBBERS (encamped on a rising ground, under trees,
           their horses are grazing below.)

CHARLES. Here must I lie (throwing himself upon the ground). I feel as if my limbs were all shattered. My tongue is as dry as a potsherd (SCHWEITZER disappears unperceived.) I would ask one of you to bring me a handful of water from that stream, but you are all tired to death.

SCHWARZ. Our wine-flasks too are all empty.

CHARLES. See how beautiful the harvest looks! The trees are breaking with the weight of their fruit. The vines are full of promise.

GRIMM. It is a fruitful year.

CHARLES. Do you think so? Then at least one toil in the world will be repaid. One? Yet in the night a hailstorm may come and destroy it all.

SCHWARZ. That is very possible. It all may be destroyed an hour before the reaping.

CHARLES. Just what I say. All will be destroyed. Why should man prosper in that which he has in common with the ant, while he fails in that which places him on a level with the gods. Or is this the aim and limit of his destiny?

SCHWARZ. I know not.

CHARLES. Thou hast said well; and wilt have done better, if thou never seekest to know. Brother, I have looked on men, their insect cares and their giant projects,—their god-like plans and mouse-like occupations, their intensely eager race after happiness—one trusting to the fleetness of his horse,—another to the nose of his ass,—a third to his own legs; this checkered lottery of life, in which so many stake their innocence and their leaven to snatch a prize, and,—blanks are all they draw—for they find, too late, that there was no prize in the wheel. It is a drama, brother, enough to bring tears into your eyes, while it shakes your sides with laughter.

SCHWARZ. How gloriously the sun is setting yonder!

CHARLES (absorbed in the scene). So dies a hero! Worthy of adoration!

SCHWARZ. You seem deeply moved.

CHARLES. When I, was but a boy—it was my darling thought to live like him, like him to die—(with suppressed grief.) It was a boyish thought!

GRIMM. It was, indeed.

CHARLES. There was a time—(pressing his hat down upon his face). I would be alone, comrades.

SCHWARZ. Moor! Moor! Why, what the deuce! How his color changes.

GRIMM. By all the devils! What ails him? Is he ill?

CHARLES. There was a time when I could not have slept had I forgotten my evening prayers.

GRIMM. Are you beside yourself? Would you let the remembrances of your boyish years school you now?

CHARLES (lays his head upon the breast of GRIMM). Brother! Brother!

GRIMM. Come! Don't play the child—I pray you

CHARLES. Oh that I were-that I were again a child!

GRIMM. Fie! fie!

SCHWARZ. Cheer up! Behold this smiling landscape—this delicious evening!

CHARLES. Yes, friends, this world is very lovely—

SCHWARZ. Come, now, that was well said.

CHARLES. This earth so glorious!—

GRIMM. Right—right—I love to hear you talk thus.

CHARLES. (sinking back). And I so hideous in' this lovely world— a monster on this glorious earth!

GRIMM. Oh dear! oh dear!

CHARLES. My innocence! give me back my innocence! Behold, every living thing is gone forth to bask in the cheering rays of the vernal sun—why must I alone inhale the torments of hell out of the joys of heaven? All are so happy, all so united in brotherly love, by the spirit of peace! The whole world one family, and one Father above—but He not my father! I alone the outcast, I alone rejected from the ranks of the blessed—the sweet name of child is not for me—never for me the soul-thrilling glance of her I love—never, never the bosom friend's embrace—(starting back wildly)—surrounded by murderers—hemmed in by hissing vipers— riveted to vice with iron fetters—whirling headlong on the frail reed of sin to the gulf of perdition—amid the blooming flowers of a glad world, a howling Abaddon!

SCHWARZ (to the others). How strange! I never saw him thus before.

CHARLES (with melancholy). Oh, that I might return again to my mother's womb. That I might be born a beggar! I should desire no more,—no more, oh heaven!—but that I might be like one of those poor laborers! Oh, I would toil till the blood streamed down my temples—to buy myself the luxury of one guiltless slumber—the blessedness of a single tear.

GRIMM (to the others). A little patience—the paroxysm is nearly over.

CHARLES. There was a time when my tears flowed so freely. Oh, those days of peace! Dear home of my fathers—ye verdant halcyon vales! O all ye Elysian scenes of my childhood!—will you never return?—will your delicious breezes never cool my burning bosom? Mourn with me, Nature, mourn! They will never return! never will their delicious breezes cool my burning bosom! They are gone! gone! irrevocably gone!

         Enter SCHWEITZER with water in his hat.

SCHWEITZER (offering him water in his hat). Drink, captain; here is plenty of water, and cold as ice.

SCHWARZ. You are bleeding! What have you been doing?

SCHWEITZER. A bit of a freak, you fool, which had well-nigh cost me two legs and a neck. As I was frolicking along the steep sandbanks of the river, plump, in a moment, the whole concern slid from under me, and I after it, some ten fathoms deep;—there I lay, and, as I was recovering my five senses, lo and behold, the most sparkling water in the gravel! Not so much amiss this time, said I to myself, for the caper I have cut. The captain will be sure to relish a drink.

CHARLES (returns him the hat and wipes his face). But you are covered with mud, Schweitzer, and we can't see the scar which the Bohemian horseman marked on your forehead—your water was good, Schweitzer—and those scars become you well.

SCHWEITZER. Bah! There's room for a score or two more yet.

CHARLES. Yes, boys—it was a hot day's work—and only one man lost. Poor Roller! he died a noble death. A marble monument would be erected to his memory had he died in any other cause than mine. Let this suffice. (He wipes the tears from his eyes.) How many, did you say, of the enemy were left on the field?

SCHWEITZER. A hundred and sixty huzzars, ninety-three dragoons, some forty chasseurs—in all about three hundred.

CHARLES. Three hundred for one! Every one of you has a claim upon this head. (He bares his head.) By this uplifted dagger! As my Soul liveth, I will never forsake you!

SCHWEITZER. Swear not! You do not know but you may yet be happy, and repent your oath.

CHARLES. By the ashes of my Roller! I will never forsake you.

               Enter KOSINSKY.

KOSINSKY (aside). Hereabouts, they say, I shall find him. Ha! What faces are these? Should they be—if these—they must be the men! Yes, 'tis they,'tis they! I will accost them.

SCHWARZ. Take heed! Who goes there?

KOSINSKY. Pardon, sirs. I know not whether I am going right or wrong.

CHARLES. Suppose right, whom do you take us to be?


SCHWEITZER. I wonder, captain, whether we have given any proof of that?

KOSINSKY. I am in search of men who can look death in the face, and let danger play around then like a tamed snake; who prize liberty above life or honor; whose very names, hailed by the poor and the oppressed, appal the boldest, and make tyrants tremble.

SCHWEITZER (to the Captain). I like that fellow. Hark ye, friend! You have found your men.

KOSINSKY. So I should think, and I hope soon to find them brothers. You can direct me to the man I am looking for. 'Tis your captain, the great Count von Moor.

SCHWEITZER (taking him warmly by the hand). There's a good lad. You and I must be chums.

CHARLES (coming nearer). Do you know the captain?

KOSINSKY. Thou art he!—in those features—that air—who can look at thee, and doubt it? (Looks earnestly at him for some time). I have always wished to see the man with the annihilating look, as he sat on the ruins of Carthage.* That wish is realized.

   *[Alluding to Caius Marius. See Plutarch's Lives.]

SCHWEITZER. A mettlesome fellow!—

CHARLES. And what brings you to me?

KOSINSKY. Oh, captain! my more than cruel fate. I have suffered shipwrecked on the stormy ocean of the world; I have seen all my fondest hopes perish; and nought remains to me but a remembrance of the bitter past, which would drive me to madness, were I not to drown it by directing my energies to new objects.

CHARLES. Another arraignment of the ways of Providence! Proceed.

KOSINSKY. I became a soldier. Misfortune still followed me in the army. I made a venture to the Indies, and my ship was shivered on the rocks—nothing but frustrated hopes! At last, I heard tell far and wide of your valiant deeds, incendiarisms, as they called them, and I came straightway hither, a distance of thirty leagues, firmly resolved to serve under you, if you will deign to accept my services. I entreat thee, noble captain, refuse me not!

SCHWEITZER (with a leap into the air). Hurrah! Hurrah! Our Roller replaced ten hundred-fold! An out-and-out brother cut-throat for our troop.

CHARLES. What is your name?

KOSINSKY. Kosinsky.

CHARLES. What? Kosinsky! And do you know that you are but a thoughtless boy, and are embarking on the most weighty passage of your life as heedlessly as a giddy girl? You will find no playing at bowls or ninepins here, as you probably imagine.

KOSINSKY. I understand you, sir. I am,'tis true, but four-and-twenty years old, but I have seen swords glittering, and have heard balls whistling around me.

CHARLES. Indeed, young gentleman? And was it for this that you took fencing lessons, to run poor travellers through the body for the sake of a dollar, or stab women in the back? Go! go! You have played truant to your nurse because she shook the rod at you.

SCHWEITZER. Why, what the devil, captain! what are you about? Do you mean to turn away such a Hercules? Does he not look as if he could baste Marechal Saxe across the Ganges with a ladle?

CHARLES. Because your silly schemes miscarry, you come here to turn rogue and assassin! Murder, boy, do you know the meaning of that word? You may have slumbered in peace after cropping a few poppy-heads, but to have a murder on your soul—

KOSINSKY. All the murders you bid me commit be upon my head!

CHARLES. What! Are you so nimble-witted? Do you take measure of a man to catch him by flattery? How do you know that I am not haunted by terrific dreams, or that I shall not tremble on my death-bed?—How much have you already done of which you have considered the responsibility?

KOSINSKY. Very little, I must confess; excepting this long journey to you, noble count—

CHARLES. Has your tutor let the story of Robin Hood—get into your hands? Such careless rascals ought to be sent to the galleys. And has it heated your childish fancy, and infected you with the mania of becoming a hero? Are you thirsting for honor and fame? Would you buy immortality by deeds of incendiarism? Mark me, ambitious youth! No laurel blooms for the incendiary. No triumph awaits the victories of the bandit—nothing but curses, danger, death, disgrace. Do you see the gibbet yonder on the hill?

SPIEGEL (going up and down indignantly). Oh, how stupid! How abominably, unpardonably stupid! That's not the way. I went to work in a very different manner.

KOSINSKY. What should he fear, who fears not death?

CHARLES. Bravo! Capital! You have made good use of your time at school; you have got your Seneca cleverly by heart. But, my good friend, you will not be able with these fine phrases to cajole nature in the hour of suffering; they will never blunt the biting tooth of remorse. Ponder on it well, my son! (Takes him by the hand.) I advise you as a father. First learn the depth of the abyss before you plunge headlong into it. If in this world you can catch a single glimpse of happiness—moments may come when you-awake,—and then—it may be too late. Here you step out as it were beyond the pale of humanity—you must either be more than human or a demon. Once more, my son! if but a single spark of hope glimmer for you elsewhere, fly this fearful compact, where nought but despair enters, unless a higher wisdom has so ordained it. You may deceive yourself—believe me, it is possible to mistake that for strength of mind which in reality is nothing more than despair. Take my counsel! mine! and depart quickly.

KOSINSKY. No! I will not stir. If my entreaties fail to move you, hear but the story of my misfortunes. And then you will force the dagger into my hand as eagerly as you now seek to withhold it. Seat yourselves awhile on the grass and listen.

CHARLES. I will hear your story.

KOSINSKY. Know, then, that I am a Bohemian nobleman. By the early death of my father I became master of large possessions. The scene of my domain was a paradise; for it contained an angel—a maid adorned with all the charms of blooming youth, and chaste as the light of heaven. But to whom do I talk of this? It falls unheeded on your cars—ye never loved, ye were never beloved—

SCHWEITZER. Gently, gently! The captain grows red as fire.

CHARLES. No more! I'll hear you some other time—to-morrow,—or by-and-by, or—after I have seen blood.

KOSINSKY. Blood, blood! Only hear on! Blood will fill your whole soul. She was of citizen birth, a German—but her look dissolved all the prejudices of aristocracy. With blushing modesty she received the bridal ring from my hand, and on the morrow I was to have led my AMELIA to the altar. (CHARLES rises suddenly.) In the midst of my intoxicating dream of happiness, and while our nuptials were preparing, an express summoned me to court. I obeyed the summons. Letters were shown me which I was said to have written, full of treasonable matter. I grew scarlet with indignation at such malice; they deprived me of my sword, thrust me into prison, and all my senses forsook me.

SCHWEITZER. And in the meantime—go on! I already scent the game.

KOSINSKY. There I lay a whole month, and knew not what was taking place. I was full of anxiety for my Amelia, who I was sure would suffer the pangs of death every moment in apprehension of my fate. At last the prime minister makes his appearance,—congratulates me in honey-sweet words on the establishment of my innocence,—reads to me a warrant of discharge,—and returns me my sword. I flew in triumph to my castle, to the arms of my Amelia, but she had disappeared! She had been carried off, it was said, at midnight, no one knew whither, and no eye had beheld her since. A suspicion instantly flashed across my mind. I rushed to the capital—I made inquiries at court—all eyes were upon me,—no one would give me information. At last I discovered her through a grated window of the palace—she threw me a small billet.

SCHWEITZER. Did I not say so?

KOSINSKY. Death and destruction! The contents were these! They had given her the choice between seeing me put to death, and becoming the mistress of the prince. In the struggle between honor and love she chose the latter, and (with a bitter smile) I was saved.

SCHWEITZER. And what did you do then?

KOSINSKY. Then I stood like one transfixed with a thunderbolt! Blood was my first thought, blood my last! Foaming at the mouth, I ran to my quarters, armed myself with a two-edged sword, and, with all haste, rushed to the minister's house, for he—he alone—had been the fiendish pander. They must have observed me in the street, for, as I went up, I found all the doors fastened. I searched, I enquired. He was gone, they said, to the prince. I went straight thither, but nobody there would know anything about him. I return, force the doors, find the base wretch, and was on the point when five or six servants suddenly rushed on me from behind, and wrenched the weapon from my hands.

SCHWEITZER (stamping the ground). And so the fellow got off clear, and you lost your labor?

KOSINSKY. I was arrested, accused, criminally prosecuted, degraded, and—mark this—transported beyond the frontier, as a special favor. My estates were confiscated to the minister, and Amelia remained in the clutches of the tiger, where she weeps and mourns away her life, while my vengeance must keep a fast, and crouch submissively to the yoke of despotism.

SCHWEITZER (rising and whetting his sword). That is grist to our mill, captain! There is something here for the incendiaries!

CHARLES (who has been walking up and down in violent agitation, with a sudden start to the ROBBERS). I must see her. Up! collect your baggage—you'll stay with us, Kosinsky! Quick, pack up!

THE ROBBERS. Where to? What?

CHARLES. Where to? Who asks that question? (Fiercely to SCHWEITZER) Traitor, wouldst thou keep me back? But by the hope for heaven!

SCHWEITZER. I, a traitor? Lead on to hell and I will follow you!

CHARLES (falling on his neck). Dear brother! thou shalt follow me. She
weeps, she mourns away her life. Up! quickly! all of you! to
Franconia! In a week we must be there.


SCENE I.—Rural scenery in the neighborhood of CHARLES VON MOOR'S castle.

        CHARLES VON MOOR, KOSINSKY, at a distance.

CHARLES. Go forward, and announce me. You remember what you have to say?

KOSINSKY. You are Count Brand, you come from Mecklenburg. I am your
groom. Do not fear, I shall take care to play my part. Farewell!

CHARLES. Hail to thee, Earth of my Fatherland (kisses the earth.) Heaven of my Fatherland! Sun of my Fatherland! Ye meadows and hills, ye streams and woods! Hail, hail to ye all! How deliciously the breezes are wafted from my native hills? What streams of balmy perfume greet the poor fugitive! Elysium! Realms of poetry! Stay, Moor, thy foot has strayed into a holy temple. (Comes nearer.)

See there! the old swallow-nests in the castle yard!—-and the little
garden-gate!—and this corner of the fence where I so often watched in
ambuscade to teaze old Towzer!—and down there in the green valley,
where, as the great Alexander, I led my Macedonians to the battle of
Arbela; and the grassy hillock yonder, from which I hurled the Persian
satrap—and then waved on high my victorious banner! (He smiles.) The
golden age of boyhood lives again in the soul of the outcast. I was
then so happy, so wholly, so cloudlessly happy—and now—behold all my
prospects a wreck! Here should I have presided, a great, a noble, an
honored man—here have—lived over again the years of boyhood in the
blooming—children of my Amelia—here!—here have been the idol of my
people—but the foul fiend opposed it (Starting.) Why am I here? To
feel like the captive when the clanking of his chains awakes him from
his dream of liberty. No, let me return to my wretchedness! The
captive had forgotten the light of day, but the dream of liberty flashes
past his eyes like a blaze of lightning in the night, which leaves it
darker than before. Farewell, ye native vales! once ye saw Charles as a
boy, and then Charles was happy. Now ye have seen the man his happiness
turned to despair! (He moves rapidly towards the most distant point of
the landscape, where he suddenly stops and casts a melancholy look
across to the castle.) Not to behold her! not even one look?—and only
a wall between me and Amelia! No! see her I must!—and him too!—though
it crush me! (He turns back.) Father! father! thy son approaches. Away
with thee, black, reeking gore! Away with that grim, ghastly look of
death! Oh, give me but this one hour free! Amelia! Father! thy
Charles approaches! (He goes quickly towards the castle.) Torment me
when the morning dawns—give me no rest with the coming night—beset me
in frightful dreams! But, oh! poison not this my only hour of bliss!
(He is standing at the gate.) What is it I feel? What means this, Moor?
Be a man! These death-like shudders—foreboding terrors.

SCENE II.*—Gallery in the Castle.

       *[In some editions this is the third scene,
       and there is no second.]

           Enter CHARLES VON MOOR, AMELIA.

AMELIA. And are you sure that you should know his portrait among these pictures?

CHARLES. Oh, most certainly! his image has always been fresh in my memory. (Passing along thee pictures.) This is not it.

AMELIA. You are right! He was the first count, and received his patent of nobility from Frederic Barbarossa, to whom he rendered some service against the corsairs.

CHARLES (still reviewing the pictures). Neither is it this—nor this— nor that—it is not among these at all.

AMELIA. Nay! look more attentively! I thought you knew him.

CHARLES. As well as my own father! This picture wants the sweet expression around the mouth, which distinguished him from among a thousand. It is not he.

AMELIA. You surprise me. What! not seen him for eighteen years, and still—

CHARLES (quickly, with a hectic blush). Yes, this is he! (He stands as if struck by lightning.)

AMELIA. An excellent man!

CHARLES (absorbed in the contemplation of the picture). Father! father! forgive me! Yes, an excellent man! (He wipes his eyes.) A godlike man!

AMELIA. You seem to take a deep interest in him.

CHARLES. Oh, an excellent man! And he is gone, you say!

AMELIA. Gone! as our best joys perish. (Gently taking him by the hand.) Dear Sir, no happiness ripens in this world.

CHARLES. Most true, most true! And have you already proved this truth by sad experience? You, who can scarcely yet have seen your twenty-third year?

AMELIA. Yes, alas, I have proved it. Whatever lives, lives to die in sorrow. We engage our hearts, and grasp after the things of this world, only to undergo the pang of losing them.

CHARLES. What can you have lost, and yet so young?

AMELIA. Nothing—everything—nothing. Shall we go on, count?*

   *[In the acting edition is added—
   "MOOR. And would you learn forgetfulness in that holy garb there?
   (Pointing to a nun's habit.)
   "AMELIA. To-morrow I hope to do so. Shall we continue our walk,

CHARLES. In such haste? Whose portrait is that on the right? There is an unhappy look about that countenance, methinks.

AMELIA. That portrait on the left is the son of the count, the present count. Come, let us pass on!

CHARLES. But this portrait on the right?

AMELIA. Will you not continue your walk, Sir?

CHARLES. But this portrait on the right hand? You are in tears, Amelia? [Exit AMELIA, in precipitation.]

CHARLES. She loves me, she loves me! Her whole being began to rebel,
and the traitor tears rolled down her cheeks. She loves me! Wretch,
hast thou deserved this at her hands? Stand I not here like a condemned
criminal before the fatal block? Is this the couch on which we so often
sat—where I have hung in rapture on her neck? Are these my ancestral
halls? (Overcome by the sight of his father's portrait.) Thou—thou—
Flames of fire darting from thine eyes—His curse—His curse—He disowns
me—Where am I? My sight grows dim—Horrors of the living God—'Twas I,
'twas I that killed my father!
                        [He rushes off]

         Enter FRANCIS VON MOOR, in deep thought.

FRANCIS. Away with that image! Away with it! Craven heart! Why dost thou tremble, and before whom? Have I not felt, during the few hours that the count has been within these walls as if a spy from hell were gliding at my heels. Methinks I should know him! There is something so lofty, so familiar, in his wild, sunburnt features, which makes me tremble. Amelia, too, is not indifferent towards him! Does she not dart eager, languishing looks at the fellow looks of which she is so chary to all the world beside? Did I not see her drop those stealthy tears into the wine, which, behind my back, he quaffed so eagerly that he seemed to swallow the very glass? Yes, I saw it—I saw it in the mirror with my own eyes. Take care, Francis! Look about you! Some destruction-brooding monster is lurking beneath all this! (He stops, with a searching look, before the portrait of CHARLES.)

His long, crane-like neck—his black, fire-sparkling eyes—hem! hem!— his dark, overhanging, bushy eyebrows. (Suddenly starting back.) Malicious hell! dost thou send me this suspicion? It is Charles! Yes, all his features are reviving before me. It is he! despite his mask! it is he! Death and damnation! (Goes up and down with agitated steps.) Is it for this that I have sacrificed my nights—that I have mowed down mountains and filled up chasms? For this that I have turned rebel against all the instincts of humanity? To have this vagabond outcast blunder in at last, and destroy all my cunningly devised fabric. But gently! gently! What remains to be done is but child's play. Have I not already waded up to my very ears in mortal sin? Seeing how far the shore lies behind me, it would be madness to attempt to swim back. To return is now out of the question. Grace itself would be beggared, and infinite mercy become bankrupt, were they to be responsible for all my liabilities. Then onward like a man. (He rings the bell.) Let him be gathered to the spirit of his father, and now come on! For the dead I care not! Daniel! Ho! Daniel! I'd wager a trifle they have already inveigled him too into the plot against me! He looks so full of mystery!

               Enter DANIEL.

DANIEL. What is your pleasure, my master?

FRANCIS. Nothing. Go, fill this goblet with wine, and quickly! (Exit DANIEL.) Wait a little, old man! I shall find you out! I will fix my eye upon you so keenly that your stricken conscience shall betray itself through your mask! He shall die! He is but a sorry bungler who leaves his work half finished, and then looks on idly, trusting to chance for what may come of it.

            Enter DANIEL, with the wine.

Bring it here! Look me steadfastly in the face! How your knees knock together! How you tremble! Confess, old man! what have you been doing?

DANIEL. Nothing, my honored master, by heaven and my poor soul!

FRANCIS. Drink this wine! What? you hesitate? Out with it quickly! What have you put into the wine?

DANIEL. Heaven help me! What! I in the wine?

FRANCIS. You have poisoned it! Are you not as white as snow? Confess, confess! Who gave it you? The count? Is it not so? The count gave it you?

DANIEL. The count? Jesu Maria! The count has not given me anything.

FRANCIS (grasping him tight). I will throttle you till you are black in the face, you hoary-headed liar! Nothing? Why, then, are you so often closeted together? He, and you, and Amelia? And what are you always whispering about? Out with it! What secrets, eh? What secrets has he confided to you?

DANIEL. I call the Almighty to witness that he has not confided any secrets to me.

FRANCIS. Do you mean to deny it? What schemes have you been hatching to get rid of me? Am I to be smothered in my sleep? or is my throat to be cut in shaving? or am I to be poisoned in wine or chocolate? Eh? Out with it, out with it! Or am I to have my quietus administered in my soup? Out with it! I know it all!

DANIEL. May heaven so help me in the hour of need as I now tell you the truth, and nothing but the pure, unvarnished truth!

FRANCIS. Well, this time I will forgive you. But the money! he most certainly put money into your purse? And he pressed your hand more warmly than is customary? something in the manner of an old acquaintance?

DANIEL. Never, indeed, Sir.

FRANCIS. He told you, for instance, that he had known you before? that you ought to know him? that the scales would some day fall from your eyes? that—what? Do you mean to say that he never spoke thus to you?

DANIEL. Not a word of the kind.

FRANCIS. That certain circumstances restrained him—that one must sometimes wear a mask in order to get at one's enemies—that he would be revenged, most terribly revenged?

DANIEL. Not a syllable of all this.

FRANCIS. What? Nothing at all? Recollect yourself. That he knew the old count well—most intimately—that he loved him—loved him exceedingly—loved him like a son!

DANIEL. Something of that sort I remember to have heard him say.

FRANCIS (turning pale). Did he say so? did he really? How? let me hear! He said he was my brother?

DANIEL (astonished). What, my master? He did not say that. But as Lady Amelia was conducting him through the gallery—I was just dusting the picture frames—he suddenly stood still before the portrait of my late master, and seemed thunderstruck. Lady Amelia pointed it out, and said, "An excellent man!" "Yes, a most excellent man!" he replied, wiping a tear from his eye.

FRANCIS. Hark, Daniel! You know I have ever been a kind master to you; I have given you food and raiment, and have spared you labor in consideration of your advanced age.

DANIEL. For which may heaven reward you! and I, on my part, have always served you faithfully.

FRANCIS. That is just what I was going to say. You have never in all your life contradicted me; for you know much too well that you owe me obedience in all things, whatever I may require of you.

DANIEL. In all things with all my heart, so it be not against God and my conscience.

FRANCIS. Stuff! nonsense! Are you not ashamed of yourself? An old man, and believe that Christmas tale! Go, Daniel! that was a stupid remark. You know that I am your master. It is on me that God and conscience will be avenged, if, indeed, there be a God and a conscience.

DANIEL (clasping his hands together). Merciful Heaven!

FRANCIS. By your obedience! Do you understand that word? By your obedience, I command you. With to-morrow's dawn the count must no longer be found among the living.

DANIEL. Merciful Heaven! and wherefore?

FRANCIS. By your blind obedience! I shall rely upon you implicitly.

DANIEL. On me? May the Blessed Virgin have mercy on me! On me? What evil, then, have I, an old man, done!

FRANCIS. There is no time now for reflection; your fate is in my hands. Would you rather pine away the remainder of your days in the deepest of my dungeons, where hunger shall compel you to gnaw your own bones, and burning thirst make you suck your own blood? Or would you rather eat your bread in peace, and have rest in your old age?

DANIEL. What, my lord! Peace and rest in my old age? And I a murderer?

FRANCIS. Answer my question!

DANIEL. My gray hairs! my gray hairs!

FRANCIS. Yes or no!

DANIEL. No! God have mercy upon me!

FRANCIS (in the act of going). Very well! you shall have need of it. (DANIEL detains him and falls on his knees before him.)

DANIEL. Mercy, master! mercy!

FRANCIS. Yes or no!

DANIEL. Most gracious master! I am this day seventy-one years of age! and have honored my father and my mother, and, to the best of my knowledge, have never in the whole course of my life defrauded any one to the value of a farthing,—and I have adhered to my creed truly and honestly, and have served in your house four-and-forty years, and am now calmly awaiting a quiet, happy end. Oh, master! master! (violently clasping his knees) and would you deprive me of my only solace in death, that the gnawing worm of an evil conscience may cheat me of my last prayer? that I may go to my long home an abomination in the sight of God and man? No, no! my dearest, best, most excellent, most gracious master! you do not ask that of an old man turned threescore and ten!

FRANCIS. Yes or no! What is the use of all this palaver?

DANIEL. I will serve you from this day forward more diligently than ever; I will wear out my old bones in your service like a common day-laborer; I will rise earlier and lie down later. Oh, and I will remember you in my prayers night and morning; and God will not reject the prayer of an old man.

FRANCIS. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Did you ever hear of the hangman standing upon ceremony when he was told to execute a sentence?

DANIEL. That is very true? but to murder an innocent man—one—

FRANCIS. Am I responsible to you? Is the axe to question the hangman why he strikes this way and not that? But see how forbearing I am. I offer you a reward for performing what you owe me in virtue of your allegiance.

DANIEL. But, when I swore allegiance to you, I at least hoped that I should be allowed to remain a Christian.

FRANCIS. No contradiction! Look you! I give you the whole day to think about it! Ponder well on it. Happiness or misery. Do you hear— do you understand? The extreme of happiness or the extreme of misery! I can do wonders in the way of torture.

DANIEL (after some reflection). I'll do it; I will do it to-morrow.

FRANCIS. The temptation is strong, and I should think he was not born to die a martyr to his faith. Have with you, sir count! According to all ordinary calculations, you will sup to-morrow with old Beelzebub. In these matters all depends upon one's view of a thing; and he is a fool who takes any view that is contrary to his own interest. A father quaffs perhaps a bottle of wine more than ordinary—he is in a certain mood—the result is a human being, the last thing that was thought of in the affair. Well, I, too, am in a certain mood,—and the result is that a human being perishes; and surely there is more of reason and purpose in this than there was in his production. If the birth of a man is the result of an animal paroxysm, who should take it into his head to attach any importance to the negation of his birth? A curse upon the folly of our nurses and teachers, who fill our imaginations with frightful tales, and impress fearful images of punishment upon the plastic brain of childhood, so that involuntary shudders shake the limbs of the man with icy fear, arrest his boldest resolutions, and chain his awakening reason in the fetters of superstitious darkness. Murder! What a hell full of furies hovers around that word. Yet 'tis no more than if nature forgets to bring forth one man more or the doctor makes a mistake—and thus the whole phantasmagoria vanishes. It was something, and it is nothing. Does not this amount to exactly the same thing as though it had been nothing, and came to nothing; and about nothing it is hardly worth while to waste a word. Man is made of filth, and for a time wades in filth, and produces filth, and sinks back into filth, till at last he fouls the boots of his own posterity.*

   *["To what base uses we may return, Horatio! why, may not
   imagination trace the noble dust of Alexander, till we find it
   stopping a bunghole?"—HAMLET, Act v, Sc. 1.]
That is the burden of the song—the filthy cycle of human fate; and with
that—a pleasant journey to you, sir brother! Conscience, that
splenetic, gouty moralist, may drive shrivelled old drones out of
brothels, and torture usurers on their deathbeds—with me it shall never
more have audience.

SCENE III.—Another Room in the Castle.

   CHARLES VON MOOR enters from one side, DANIEL from the other.

CHARLES (hastily). Where is Lady Amelia?

DANIEL. Honored sir! permit an old man to ask you a favor.

CHARLES. It is granted. What is it you ask?

DANIEL. Not much, and yet all—but little, and yet a great deal. Suffer me to kiss your hand!

CHARLES. That I cannot permit, good old man (embraces him), from one whom I should like to call my father.

DANIEL. Your hand, your hand! I beseech you.

CHARLES. That must not be.

DANIEL. It must! (He takes hold of it, surveys it quickly, and falls down before him.) Dear, dearest Charles!

CHARLES (startled; he composes himself, and says in a distant tone). What mean you, my friend? I don't understand you.

DANIEL. Yes, you may deny it, you may dissemble as much as you please? 'Tis very well! very well. For all that you are my dearest, my excellent young master. Good Heaven! that I, poor old man, should live to have the joy—what a stupid blockhead was I that I did not at a glance—oh, gracious powers! And you are really come back, and the dear old master is underground, and here you are again! What a purblind dolt I was, to be sure! (striking his forehead) that I did not on the instant—Oh, dear me!—-who could have dreamt it—What I have so often prayed for with tears—Oh, mercy me! There he stands again, as large as life, in the old room!

CHARLES. What's all this oration about? Are you in a fit of delirium, and have escaped from your keepers; or are you rehearsing a stage-player's part with me?

DANIEL. Oh, fie! fie! It is not pretty of you to make game of an old servant. That scar! Eh! do you remember it? Good Heaven! what a fright you put me into—I always loved you so dearly; and what misery you might have brought upon me. You were sitting in my lap—do you remember? there in the round chamber. Has all that quite vanished from your memory—and the cuckoo, too, that you were so fond of listening to? Only think! the cuckoo is broken, broken all to shivers—old Susan smashed it in sweeping the room—yes, indeed, and there you sat in my lap, and cried, "Cockhorse!" and I ran off to fetch your wooden horse— mercy on me! what business had I, thoughtless old fool, to leave you alone—and how I felt as if I were in a boiling caldron when I heard you screaming in the passage; and, when I rushed in, there was your red blood gushing forth, and you lying on the ground. Oh, by the Blessed Virgin! did I not feel as if a bucket of icy cold water was emptied all over me?—but so it happens, unless one keeps all one's eyes upon children. Good Heaven! if it had gone into your eye! Unfortunately it happened to be the right hand. "As long as I live," said I, "never again shall any child in my charge get hold of a knife or scissors, or any other edge tool." 'Twas lucky for me that both my master and mistress were gone on a journey. "Yes, yes! this shall be a warning to me for the rest of my life," said I—Gemini, Gemini! I might have lost my place, I might—God forgive you, you naughty boy—but, thank Heaven! it healed fairly, all but that ugly scar.

CHARLES. I do not comprehend one word of all that you are talking about.

DANIEL. Eh? eh? that was the time! was it not? How many a ginger-cake, and biscuit, and macaroon, have I slipped into your bands—I was always so fond of you. And do you recollect what you said to me down in the stable, when I put you upon old master's hunter, and let you scamper round the great meadow? "Daniel!" said you, "only wait till I am grown a big man, and you shall be my steward, and ride in the coach with me." "Yes," said I, laughing, "if heaven grants me life and health, and you are not ashamed of the old man," I said, "I shall ask you to let me have the little house down in the village, that has stood empty so long; and then I will lay in a few butts of good wine, and turn publican in my old age." Yes, you may laugh, you may laugh! Eh, young gentleman, have you quite forgotten all that? You do not want to remember the old man, so you carry yourself strange and loftily;—but, you are my jewel of a young master, for all that. You have, it is true, been a little bit wild—don't be angry!—as young blood is apt to be! All may be well yet in the end.

CHARLES (falls on his neck). Yes! Daniel! I will no longer hide it from you! I am your Charles, your lost Charles! And now tell me, how does my Amelia?

DANIEL (begins to cry). That I, old sinner, should live to have this happiness—and my late blessed master wept so long in vain! Begone, begone, hoary old head! Ye weary bones, descend into the grave with joy! My lord and master lives! my own eyes have beheld him!

CHARLES. And he will keep his promise to you. Take that, honest graybeard, for the old hunter (forces a heavy purse upon him). I have not forgotten the old man.

DANIEL. How? What are you doing? Too much! You have made a mistake.

CHARLES. No mistake, Daniel! (DANIEL is about to throw himself on his knees before him.) Rise! Tell me, how does my Amelia?

DANIEL. Heaven reward you! Heaven reward you! O gracious me! Your Amelia will never survive it, she will die for joy?

CHARLES (eagerly). She has not forgotten me then?

DANIEL. Forgotten you? How can you talk thus? Forgotten you, indeed! You should have been there, you should have seen how she took on, when the news came of your death, which his honor caused to be spread abroad—

CHARLES. What do you say? my brother—

DANIEL. Yes, your brother; his honor, your brother—another day I will tell you more about it, when we have time—and how cleverly she sent him about his business when he came a wooing every blessed day, and offered to make her his countess. Oh, I must go; I must go and tell her; carry her the news (is about to run of).

CHARLES. Stay! stay! she must not know—nobody must know, not even my brother!

DANIEL. Your brother? No, on no account; he must not know it! Certainly not! If he know not already more than he ought to know. Oh, I can tell you, there are wicked men, wicked brothers, wicked masters; but I would not for all my master's gold be a wicked servant. His honor thought you were dead.

CHARLES. Humph! What are you muttering about?

DANIEL (in a half-suppressed voice). And to be sure when a man rises from the dead thus uninvited—your brother was the sole heir of our late master!

CHARLES. Old man! what is it you are muttering between your teeth, as if some dreadful secret were hovering on your tongue which you fear to utter, and yet ought? Out with it!

DANIEL. But I would rather gnaw my old bones with hunger, and suck my
own blood for thirst, than gain a life of luxury by murder.
                          [Exit hastily.]

CHARLES (starting up, after a terrible pause). Betrayed! Betrayed! It flashes upon my soul like lightning! A fiendish trick! A murderer and a robber through fiend-like machinations! Calumniated by him! My letters falsified, suppressed! his heart full of love! Oh, what a monstrous fool was I! His fatherly heart full of love! oh, villainy, villainy! It would have cost me but once kneeling at his feet—a tear would have done it—oh blind, blind fool that I was! (running up against the wall). I might have been happy—oh villainy, villainy!

Knavishly, yes, knavishly cheated out of all happiness in this life! (He runs up and down in a rage.) A murderer, a robber, all through a knavish trick! He was not even angry! Not a thought of cursing ever entered his heart. Oh, miscreant! inconceivable, hypocritical, abominable miscreant!

               Enter KOSINSKY.

KOSINSKY. Well, captain, where are you loitering? What is the matter? You are for staying here some time longer, I perceive?

CHARLES. Up! Saddle the horses! Before sunset we must be over the frontier!

KOSINSKY. You are joking.

CHARLES (in a commanding tone). Quick! quick! delay not! leave every
thing behind! and let no eye see you!
                         (Exit KOSINSKY.)

I fly from these walls. The least delay might drive me raving road; and he my father's son! Brother! brother! thou hast made me the most miserable wretch on earth; I never injured thee; this was not brotherly. Reap the fruits of thy crime in quiet, my presence shall no longer embitter thy enjoyment—but, surely, this was not acting like a brother. May oblivion shroud thy misdeed forever, and death not bring it back to light.

               Enter KOSINSKY.

KOSINSKY. The horses are ready saddled, you can mount as soon as you please.

CHARLES. Why in such haste? Why so urgent? Shall I see her no more?

KOSINSKY. I will take off the bridles again, if you wish it; you bade me hasten head over heels.

CHARLES. One more farewell! one more! I must drain this poisoned cup of happiness to the dregs, and then—Stay, Kosinsky! Ten minutes more— behind, in the castle yard—and we gallop off.

            Scene IV.—In the Garden.

AMELIA. "You are in tears, Amelia!" These were his very words—and spoken with such expressionsuch a voice!—oh, it summoned up a thousand dear remembrances!—scenes of past delight, as in my youthful days of happiness, my golden spring-tide of love. The nightingale sung with the same sweetness, the flowers breathed the same delicious fragrance, as when I used to hang enraptured on his neck.*

   *[Here, in the acting edition, is added, 'Assuredly, if the spirits
   of the departed wander among the living, then must this stranger be
   Charles's angel!']
Ha! false, perfidious heart! And dost thou seek thus artfully to veil
thy perjury? No, no! begone forever from my soul, thou sinful image!
I have not broken my oath, thou only one! Avaunt, from my soul, ye
treacherous impious wishes! In the heart where Charles reigns no son
of earth may dwell. But why, my soul, dost thou thus constantly, thus
obstinately turn towards this stranger? Does he not cling to my heart
in the very image of my only one! Is he not his inseparable companion
in my thoughts? "You are in tears, Amelia?" Ha! let me fly from him!—
—fly!—never more shall my eyes behold this stranger!
                   [CHARLES opens the garden gate.]

AMELIA (starting). Hark! hark! did I not hear the gate creak? (She perceives CHARLES and starts up.) He?—whither?—what? I am rooted to the spot,—I can not fly! Forsake me not, good Heaven! No! thou shalt not tear me from my Charles! My soul has no room for two deities, I am but a mortal maid! (She draws the picture of CHARLES from her bosom.) Thou, my Charles! be thou my guardian angel against this stranger, this invader of our loves! At thee will I look, at thee, nor turn away my eyes—nor cast one sinful look towards him! (She sits silent, her eyes fixed upon the picture.)

CHARLES. You here, Lady Amelia?—and so sad? and a tear upon that picture? (AMELIA gives him no answer.) And who is the happy man for whom these silver drops fall from an angel's eyes? May I be permitted to look at—(He endeavors to look at the picture.)

AMELIA. No—yes—no!

CHARLES (starting back). Ha—and does he deserve to be so idolized? Does he deserve it?

AMELIA. Had you but known him!

CHARLES. I should have envied him.

AMELIA. Adored, you mean.


AMELIA. Oh, you would so have loved him?—-there was so much, so much in his face—in his eyes—in the tone of his voice,—which was so like yours—that I love so dearly! (CHARLES casts his eyes down to the ground.) Here, where you are standing, he has stood a thousand times— and by his side, one who, by his side, forgot heaven and earth. Here his eyes feasted on nature's most glorious panorama,—which, as if conscious of his approving glance, seemed to increase in beauty under the approbation of her masterpiece. Here he held the audience of the air captive with his heavenly music. Here, from this bush, he plucked roses, and plucked those roses for me. Here, here, he lay on my neck; here he imprinted burning kisses on my lips, and the flowers hung their heads with pleasure beneath the foot-tread of the lovers.*

   *[In the acting edition the scene changes materially at this point,
   and the most sentimental part of the whole drama is transformed
   into the most voluptuous. The stage direction here is,—(They give
   way to their transports without control, and mingle their kisses.
   MOOR hangs in ecstacy on her lips, while she sinks half delirious
   on the couch.) O Charles! now avenge thyself; my vow is broken.

   MOOR (tearing himself away from her, as if in frenzy). Can this be
   hell that still pursues me! (Gazing on her.) I felt so happy!

   AMELIA (perceiving the ring upon her finger, starts up from the
   couch). What! Art thou still there—on that guilty hand? Witness
   of my perjury. Away with thee! (She pulls the ring from her
   finger and gives it to CHARLES.) Take it—take it, beloved
   seducer! and with it what I hold most sacred—take my all—my
   Charles! (She falls back upon the couch.)

   MOOR (changes color). O thou Most High! was this thy almighty
   will? It is the very ring I gave her in pledge of our mutual
   faith. Hell be the grave of love! She has returned my ring.

   AMELIA (terrified). Heavens! What is the matter? Your eyes roll
   wildly, and your lips are pale as death! Ah! woe is me. And are
   the pleasures of thy crime so soon forgotten?

   MOOR (suppressing his emotion). 'Tis nothing! Nothing! (Raising
   his eyes to heaven.) I am still a man! (He takes of his own ring
   and puts it on AMELIA'S finger.) In return take this! sweet fury of
   my heart! And with it what I hold most sacred—take my all—my

   AMELIA (starting up). Your Amelia!

   MOOR (mournfully). Oh, she was such a lovely maiden, and faithful
   as an angel. When we parted we exchanged rings, and vowed eternal
   constancy. She heard that I was dead—believed it—yet remained
   constant to the dead. She heard again that I was living—yet
   became faithless to the living. I flew into her arms—was happy
   as—the blest in Paradise. Think what my heart was doomed to feel,
   Amelia! She gave me back my ring—she took her own.

   AMELIA (her eyes fixed on the earth in amazement). 'Tis strange,
   most strange! 'Tis horrible!

   MOOR. Ay, strange and horrible! My child, there is much—ay, much
   for man to learn ere his poor intellect can fathom the decrees of
   Him who smiles at human vows and weeps at human projects. My
   Amelia is an unfortunate maiden!

   AMELIA. Unfortunate! Because she rejected you?

   MOOR. Unfortunate. Because she embraced the man she betrayed.

   AMELIA (with melancholy tenderness). Oh, then, she is indeed
   unfortunate! From my soul I pity her! She shall be my sister.
   But there is another and a better world."]

CHARLES. He is no more?

AMELIA. He sails on troubled seas—Amelia's love sails with him. He wanders through pathless, sandy deserts—Amelia's love clothes the burning sand with verdure, and the barren shrubs with flowers. Southern suits scorch his bare head, northern snows pinch his feet, tempestuous hail beats down on his temples, but Amelia's love lulls him to sleep in the midst of the storm. Seas, and mountains, and skies, divide the lovers—but their souls rise above this prison-house of clay, and meet in the paradise of love. You appear sad, count!

CHARLES. These words of love rekindle my love.

AMELIA (pale). What? You love another? Alas! what have I said?

CHARLES. She believed me dead, and in my supposed death she remained faithful to me—she heard again that I was alive, and she sacrificed for me the crown of a saint. She knows that I am wandering in deserts, and roaming about in misery, yet her love follows me on wings through deserts and through misery. Her name, too, like yours, is Amelia.

AMELIA. How I envy your Amelia!

CHARLES. Oh, she is an unhappy maid. Her love is fixed upon one who is lost—and it can never—never be rewarded.

AMELIA. Say not so! It will be rewarded in heaven. Is it not agreed that there is a better world, where mourners rejoice, and where lovers meet again?

CHARLES. Yes, a world where the veil is lifted—where the phantom love will make terrible discoveries—Eternity is its name. My Amelia is an unhappy maid.

AMELIA. Unhappy, and loves you?*

   *[In the acting edition the scene closes with a different
   denouement. Amelia here says, "Are all unhappy who live with you,
   and bear the name of Amelia.
   "CHARLES. Yes, all—when they think they embrace an angel, and
   find in their arms—a murderer. Alas, for my Amelia! She is
   indeed unfortunate.
   "AMELIA (with an expression of deep affliction). Oh, I must weep
   for her.
   "CHARLES (grasping her hand, and pointing to the ring). Weep for
   "AMELIA (recognizing the ring). Charles! Charles! O heaven and
   (She sinks fainting; the scene closes.)"]

CHARLES. Unhappy, because she loves me! What if I were a murderer? How, Lady Amelia, if your lover could reckon you up a murder for every one of your kisses? Woe to my Amelia! She is an unhappy maid.

AMELIA (gayly rising). Ha! What a happy maid am I! My only one is a reflection of Deity, and Deity is mercy and compassion! He could not bear to see a fly suffer. His soul is as far from every thought of blood as the sun is from the moon. (CHARLES suddenly turns away into a thicket, and looks wildly out into the landscape. AMELIA sings, playing the guitar.)

     Oh! Hector, wilt thou go forevermore,
     Where fierce Achilles, on the blood-stained shore,
      Heaps countless victims o'er Patroclus' grave?
     Who then thy hapless orphan boy will rear,
     Teach him to praise the gods and hurl the spear,
      When thou art swallowed up in Xanthus' wave?

CHARLES (silently tunes the guitar, and plays).

     Beloved wife!—stern duty calls to arms
     Go, fetch my lance! and cease those vain alarms!

             [He flings the guitar away, and rushes off.]


—A neighboring forest. Night. An old ruined castle in the centre of the scene.

       The band of ROBBERS encamped on the ground.

              The ROBBERS singing.

        To rob, to kill, to wench, to fight,
         Our pastime is, and daily sport;
        The gibbet claims us morn and night,
         So let's be jolly, time is short.

        A merry life we lead, and free,
         A life of endless fun;
        Our couch is 'neath the greenwood tree,
        Through wind and storm we gain our fee,
         The moon we make our sun.
        Old Mercury is our patron true,
        And a capital chap for helping us through.

        To-day we make the abbot our host,
         The farmer rich to-morrow;
        And where we shall get our next day's roast,
         Gives us nor care nor sorrow.

        And, when with Rhenish and rare Moselle
         Our throats we have been oiling,
        Our courage burns with a fiercer swell,
        And we're hand and glove with the Lord of Hell,
         Who down in his flames is broiling.

        For fathers slain the orphans' cries,
         The widowed mothers' moan and wail,
        Of brides bereaved the whimpering sighs,
         Like music sweet, our ears regale.

        Beneath the axe to see them writhe,
         Bellow like calves, fall dead like flies;
        Such bonny sights, and sounds so blithe,
         With rapture fill our eats and eyes.

        And when at last our death-knell rings—
         The devil take that hour!
        Payment in full the hangman brings,
         And off the stage we scour.
        On the road a glass of good liquor or so,
        Then hip! hip! hip! and away we go!

SCHWEITZER. The night is far advanced, and the captain has not yet returned.

RAZ. And yet he promised to be back before the clock struck eight.

SCHWEITZER. Should any harm have befallen him, comrades, wouldn't we kindle fires! ay, and murder sucking babes?

SPIEGEL. (takes RAZMANN aside). A word in your ear, Razmann!

SCHWARZ (to GRIMM). Should we not send out scouts?

GRIMM. Let him alone. He no doubt has some feat in hand that will put us to shame.

SCHWEITZER. Then you are out, by old Harry! He did not part from us like one that had any masterpiece of roguery in view. Have you forgotten what he said as he marched us across the heath? "The fellow that takes so much as a turnip out of a field, if I know it, leaves his head behind him, as true as my name is Moor." We dare not plunder.

RAZ. (aside to SPIEGELBERG). What are you driving at? Speak plainer.

SPIEGEL. Hush! hush! I know not what sort of a notion you and I have of liberty, that we should toil under the yoke like bullocks, while we are making such wonderful fine speeches about independence. I like it not.

SCHWEITZER (to GRIMM). What crotchet has that swaggering booby got in his numskull, I wonder?

RAZ. (aside to SPIEGELBERG). Is it the captain you mean?—

SPIEGEL. Hush! I tell you; hush! He has got his eavesdroppers all around us. Captain, did you say? Who made him captain over us? Has he not, in fact, usurped that title, which by right belongs to me? What? Is it for this that we stake our lives—that we endure all the splenetic caprices of fortunes—that we may in the end congratulate ourselves upon being the serfs of a slave? Serfs! When we might be princes? By heaven! Razmann, I could never brook it.

SCHWEITZER (overhearing him—to the others). Yes—there's a hero for you! He is just the man to do mighty execution upon frogs with stones. The very breath of his nostrils, when he sneezes, would blow you through the eye of a needle.

SPIEGEL. (to RAZMANN). Yes—and for years I have been intent upon it. There must be an alteration, Razmann. If you are the man I always took you for—Razmann! He is missing—he is almost given up—Razmann— methinks his hour is come. What? does not the color so much as mount to your cheek when you hear the chimes of liberty ringing in your ears? Have you not courage enough to take the hint?

RAZ. Ha! Satan! What bait art thou spreading for my soul?

SPIEGEL. Does it take? Good! then follow me! I have marked in what direction he slunk off. Come along! a brace of pistols seldom fail; and then—we shall be the first to strangle sucking babes. (He endeavors to draw him of.)

SCHWEITZER (enraged, draws his sword). Ha! caitiff! I have overheard you! You remind me, at the right moment, of the Bohemian forest! Were not you the coward that began to quail when the cry arose, "the enemy is coming!" I then swore by my soul—(They fight, SPIEGELBERG is killed.) To the devil with thee, assassin!

ROBBERS (in agitation). Murder! murder!—Schweitzer!—Spiegelberg!— Part them!

SCHWEITZER (throwing the sword on the body). There let him rot! Be still, my comrades! Don't let such a trifle disturb you. The brute has always been inveterate against the captain and has not a single scar on his whole body. Once more, be still. Ha, the scoundrel! He would stab a man behind his back—skulk and murder! Is it for this that the hot sweat has poured down us in streams? that we may sneak out of the world at last like contemptible wretches? The brute! Is it for this that we have lived in fire and brimstone? To perish at last like rats?

GRIMM. But what the devil, comrade, were you after? What were you quarreling about? The captain will be furious.

SCHWEITZER. Be that on my head. And you, wretch (to RAZMANN) you were his accomplice, you! Get out of my sight! Schufterle was another of your kidney, but he has met his deserts in Switzerland—has been hanged, as the captain prophesied. (A shot is heard.)

SCHWARZ (jumping up). Hark! a pistol shot! (Another shot is heard.) Another! Hallo! the captain!

GRIMM. Patience! If it be he, there will be a third. (The third shot is heard.)

SCHWARZ. 'Tis he! 'Tis the captain! Absent yourself awhile, Schweitzer—till we explain to him! (They fire.)

          Enter CHARLES VON MOOR and KOSINSKY.

SCHWEITZER (running to meet them). Welcome, captain. I have been somewhat choleric in your absence. (He conducts him to the corpse.) Be you judge between him and me. He meant to waylay and assassinate you.

ROBBERS (in consternation). What; the captain?

CHARLES (after fixing his eyes for some time upon the corpse, with a sudden burst of feeling). Oh, incomprehensible finger of the avenging Nemesis! Was it not he whose siren song seduced me to be what I am? Let this sword be consecrated to the dark goddess of retribution! That was not thy deed, Schweitzer.

SCHWEITZER. By heaven, it was mine, though! and, as the devil lives, it is not the worst deed I have done in my time. (Turns away moodily.)

CHARLES (absorbed in thought). I comprehend—Great Ruler in heaven— I comprehend. The leaves fall from the trees, and my autumn is come. Remove this object from my sight! (The corpse of SPIEGELBERG is carried out.)

GRIMM. Give us your orders, captain! What shall we do next?

CHARLES. Soon—very soon—all will be accomplished. Hand me my lute; I have lost myself since I have been there. My lute, I say—I must nurse up my strength again. Leave me!

ROBBERS. 'Tis midnight, captain.

CHARLES. They were only stage tears after all. Let me bring to memory the song of the old Roman, that my slumbering genius may wake up again. Hand me my lute. Midnight, say you?

SCHWARZ. Yes, and past, too! Our eyes are as heavy as lead. For three days we have not slept a wink.

CHARLES. What? does balmy sleep visit the eyes of murderers? Why doth it flee mine? I never was a coward, nor a villain. Lay yourselves to rest. At day-break we march.

ROBBERS. Good night, captain. (They stretch them selves on the ground and fall asleep.)

       Profound silence. CHARLES VON MOOR takes up his
              guitar, and plays.

BRUTUS. Oh, be ye welcome, realms of peace and rest! Receive the last of all the sons of Rome! From dread Philippi's field, where all the best Fell bleeding in her cause, I wearied come. Cassius, no more! And Rome now prostrate laid! My brethren all lie weltering in their gore! No refuge left but Hades' gloomy shade; No hope remains!—No world for Brutus more!

CAESAR. Who's he that, with a hero's lofty bearing, Comes striding o'er yon mountain's rocky bed? Unless my eyes deceive, that noble daring Bespeaks the Roman warrior's fearless tread. Whence, son of Tiber, do thy footsteps bend! Say, stands the seven-billed city firmly yet? No Caesar there, to be the soldiers friend! Full oft has he that orphaned city wept.

BRUTUS. Ha! thou of three-and-twenty wounds! Avaunt! Thou unblest shade, what calls thee back to light? Down with thee, down, to Pluto's deepest haunt, And shroud thy form in black, eternal night, Proud mourner! triumph not to learn our fall! Phillippi's altars reek with freedom's blood? The bier of Brutus is Rome's funeral pall; He Minos seeks. Hence to thy Stygian flood!

CAESAR. That death-stroke, Brutus, which thy weapon hurled! Thou, too, Brutus?—that thou shouldst be my foe! Oh, son! It was thy father! Son! The world Was thine by heritage! Now proudly go, Well mayst thou claim to be the chief in glory, 'Twas thy fell sword that pierced thy father's heart! Now go—and at yon gates relate thy story— Say Brutus claims to be the chief in glory, 'Twas his fell sword that pierced his father's heart! Go—Now thou'rt told what staid me on this shore, Grim ferryman, push off, and swiftly ply thine oar.

BRUTUS. Stay, father, stay! Within the whole bright round Of Sol's diurnal course I knew but one Who to compare with Caesar could be found; And that one, Caesar, thou didst call thy son! 'Twas only Caesar could destroy a Rome; Brutus alone that Caesar could withstand— Where Brutus lives, must Caesar die! Thy home Be far from mine. I'll seek another land.

        [He lays down his guitar, and walks to and
        fro in deep meditation.]

Who will give me certainty! All is so dark—a confused labyrinth—no outlet—no guiding star. Were but all to end with this last gasp of breath. To end, like an empty puppet-show. But why then this burning thirst after happiness? Wherefore this ideal of unattained perfection? This looking to an hereafter for the fulfilment of our hopes? If the paltry pressure of this paltry thing (putting a pistol to his head) makes the wise man and the fool—the coward and the brave—the noble and the villain equal?—the harmony which pervades the inanimate world is so divinely perfect—why, then, should there be such discord in the intellectual? No! no! there must be something beyond, for I have not yet attained to happiness.

Think ye that I will tremble, spirits of my slaughtered victims? No, I will not tremble. (Trembling violently.) The shrieks of your dying agonies—your black, convulsive features—your ghastly bleeding wounds— what are they all but links of one indissoluble chain of destiny, which hung upon the temperament of my father, the life's blood of my mother, the humors of my nurses and tutors, and even upon the holiday pastimes of my childhood! (Shaking with horror.) Why has my Perillus made of me a brazen bull, whose burning entrails yearn after human flesh? (He lifts the pistol again to his head.)

Time and Eternity!—linked together by a single instant! Fearful key, which locks behind me the prisonhouse of life, and opens before me the habitations of eternal night—tell me—oh, tell me—whither—whither wilt thou lead me? Strange, unexplored land! Humanity is unnerved at the fearful thought, the elasticity of our finite nature is paralyzed, and fancy, that wanton ape of the senses, juggles our credulity with appalling phantoms. No! no! a man must be firm. Be what thou wilt, thou undefined futurity, so I remain but true to myself. Be what thou wilt, so I but take this inward self hence with me. External forms are but the trappings of the man. My heaven and my hell is within.

What if Thou shouldst doom me to be sole inhabitant of some burnt-out world which thou hast banished from thy sight, where darkness and never-ending desolation were all my prospect; then would my creative brain people the silent waste with its own images, and I should have eternity for leisure to unravel the complicated picture of universal wretchedness. Or wilt thou make me pass through ever-repeated births and ever-changing scenes of misery, stage by stage*—to annihilation?

   [This and other passages will remind the reader of Cato's soliloquy
   "It must be so, Plato; thou reasonest well." But the whole bears a
   strong resemblance to Hamlet's "To be or not to be;" and some
   passages in Measure for Measure, Act iii, Sc. 1.]

Can I not burst asunder the life-threads woven for me in another world as easily as I do these? Thou mayest reduce me into nothing; but Thou canst not take from me this power. (He loads the pistol, and then suddenly pauses.) And shall I then rush into death from a coward fear of the ills of life? Shall I yield to misery the palm of victory over myself? No! I will endure it! (He flings the pistol away.) Misery shall blunt its edge against my pride! Be my destiny fulfilled! (It grows darker and darker.)

HERMANN (coming through the forest). Hark! hark! the owl screeches horribly—the village clock strikes twelve. Well, well—villainy is asleep—no listeners in these wilds. (He goes to the castle and knocks.) Come forth, thou man of sorrow! tenant of the miserable dungeon! thy meal awaits thee.

CHARLES (stepping gently back, unperceived). What means this?

VOICE (from within the castle). Who knocks? Is it you, Hermann, my raven?

HERMANN. Yes, 'tis Hermann, your raven. Come to the grating and eat. (Owls are screeching.) Your night companions make a horrid noise, old man! Do you relish your repast?

VOICE. Yes—I was very hungry. Thanks to thee, thou merciful sender of ravens, for this thy bread in the wilderness! And how is my dear child, Hermann?

HERMANN. Hush!—hark!—A noise like snoring! Don't you hear something?

VOICE. What? Do you hear anything?

HERMANN. 'Tis the whistling of the wind through the crannies of the tower—a serenading which makes one's teeth chatter, and one's nails turn blue. Hark! tis there again. I still fancy I hear snoring. You have company, old man. Ugh! ugh! ugh!

VOICE. Do you see anything?

HERMANN. Farewell! farewell! this is a fearful place. Go down into your bole,—thy deliverer, thy avenger is above. Oh! accursed son! (Is about to fly.)

CHARLES (stepping forth with horror). Stand!

HERMANN (screaming). Oh, me!*

   *[In the acting edition Hermann, instead of this, says,—
   'Tis one of his spies for certain, I have lost all fear (draws his
   sword). Villain, defend yourself! You have a man before you.]

   MOOR. I'll have an answer (strikes the sword out of his hand).
   What boots this childish sword-play? Didst thou not speak of
   vengeance? Vengeance belongs especially to me—of all men on
   earth. Who dares interfere with my vocation?

   HERMANN (starts back in affright). By heaven! That man was not
   born of woman. His touch withers like the stroke of death.

   VOICE. Alas, Hermann! to whom are you speaking?

   MOOR. What! still those sounds? What is going on there? (Runs
   towards the tower.) Some horrible mystery, no doubt, lies concealed
   in that tower. This sword shall bring it to light.

   HERMANN (comes forward trembling). Terrible stranger! art thou
   the demon of this fearful desert—or perhaps 'one of the ministers
   of that unfathonable retribution who make their circuit in this
   lower world, and take account of all the deeds of darkness? Oh!
   if thou art, be welcome to this tower of horrors!

   MOOR. Well guessed, wanderer of the night! You have divined my
   function. Exterminating Angel is my name; but I am flesh and blood
   like thee. Is this some miserable wretch, cast out of men, and
   buried in this dungeon? I will loosen his chains. Once more,
   speak! thou voice of terror Where is the door?

   HERMANN. As soon could Satan force the gates of heaven as thou
   that door. Retire, thou man of might! The genius of the wicked is
   beyond the ordinary powers of man.

   MOOR. But not the craft of robbers. (He takes some pass-keys from
   his pocket.) For once I thank heaven I've learned that craft!
   These keys would mock hell's foresight. (He takes a key, and opens
   the gate of the tower. An old man comes from below emaciated like
   a skeleton. MOOR springs back with of right.) Horrible spectre!
   my father!

CHARLES. Stand! I say.

HERMANN. Woe! woe! woe! now all is discovered!

CHARLES. Speak! Who art thou? What brought thee here? Speak!

HERMANN. Mercy, mercy! gracious sir! Hear but one word before you kill me.

CHARLES (drawing his sword). What am I to hear?

HERMANN. 'Tis true, he forbade me at the peril of my life—but I could not help it—I dare not do otherwise—a God in heaven—your own venerable father there—pity for him overcame me. Kill me, if you will!

CHARLES. There's some mystery here—Out with it! Speak! I must know all.

VOICE (from the castle). Woe! woe! Is it you, Hermann, that are speaking? To whom are you speaking, Hermann?

CHARLES. Some one else down there? What is the meaning of all this? (Runs towards the castle.) It is some prisoner whom mankind have cast off! I will loosen his chains. Voice! Speak! Where is the door?

HERMANN. Oh, have mercy, sir—seek no further, I entreat—for mercy's sake desist! (He stops his way.)

CHARLES. Locks, bolts, and bars, away! It must come out. Now, for the first time, come to my aid, thief-craft! (He opens the grated iron door with, housebreaking tools. An OLD MAN, reduced to a skeleton, comes up from below.)

THE OLD MAN. Mercy on a poor wretch! Mercy!

CHARLES (starts back in terror). That is my father's voice!

OLD MOOR. I thank thee, merciful Heaven! The hour of deliverance has arrived.

CHARLES. Shade of the aged Moor! what has disturbed thee in thy grave? Has thy soul left this earth charged with some foul crime that bars the gates of Paradise against thee? Say?—I will have masses read, to send thy wandering spirit to its home. Hast thou buried in the earth the gold of widows and orphans, that thou art driven to wander howling through the midnight hour? I will snatch the hidden treasure from the clutches of the infernal dragon, though he should vomit a thousand redhot flames upon me, and gnash his sharp teeth against my sword. Or comest thou, at my request, to reveal to me the mysteries of eternity? Speak, thou! speak! I am not the man to blanch with fear!

OLD MOOR. I am not a spirit. Touch me—I live but oh! a life indeed of misery!

CHARLES. What! hast thou not been buried?

OLD MOOR. I was buried—that is to say, a dead dog lies in the vault of my ancestors, and I have been pining for three long moons in this dark and loathsome dungeon, where no sunbeam shines, no warm breeze penetrates, where no friend is seen, where the hoarse raven croaks and owls screech their midnight concert.

CHARLES. Heaven and earth! Who has done this?

OLD MOOR. Curse him not! 'Tis my son, Francis, who did this.

CHARLES. Francis? Francis? Oh, eternal chaos!

OLD MOOR. If thou art a man, and hast a human heart—oh! my unknown deliverer—then listen to a father's miseries which his own sons have heaped upon him. For three long moons I have moaned my pitiful tale to these flinty walls—but all my answer was an empty echo, that seemed to mock my wailings. Therefore, if thou art a man, and hast a human heart—

CHARLES. That appeal might move even wild beasts to pity.

OLD MOOR. I lay upon a sick bed, and had scarcely begun to recover a little strength, after a dangerous illness, when a man was brought to me, who pretended that my first-born had fallen in battle. He brought a sword stained with his blood, and his last farewell—and said that my curse had driven him into battle, and death, and despair.

CHARLES (turning away in violent agitation). The light breaks in upon me!

OLD MOOR. Hear me on! I fainted at the dreadful news. They must have thought me dead; for, when I recovered my senses, I was already in my coffin, shrouded like a corpse. I scratched against the lid. It was opened—'twas in the dead of night—my son Francis stood before me— "What!" said he, with a tremendous voice, "wilt thou then live forever?" —and with this he slammed-to the lid of the coffin. The thunder of these words bereft me of my senses; when I awoke again, I felt that the coffin was in motion, and being borne on wheels. At last it was opened —I found myself at the entrance of this dungeon—my son stood before me, and the man, too, who had brought me the bloody sword from Charles. I fell at my son's feet, and ten times I embraced his knees, and wept, and conjured, and supplicated, but the supplications of a father reached not his flinty heart. "Down with the old carcass!" said he, with a voice of thunder, "he has lived too long;"—and I was thrust down without mercy, and my son Francis closed the door upon Me.

CHARLES. Impossible!—impossible! Your memory or senses deceive you.

OLD MOOR. Oh, that it were so! But hear me on, and restrain your rage! There I lay for twenty hours, and not a soul cared for my misery. No human footstep treads this solitary wild, for 'tis commonly believed that the ghosts of my ancestors drag clanking chains through these ruins, and chant their funeral dirge at the hour of midnight. At last I heard the door creak again on its hinges; this man opened it, and brought me bread and water. He told me that I had been condemned to die of hunger, and that his life was in danger should it be discovered that he fed me. Thus has my miserable existence been till now sustained—but the unceasing cold—the foul air of my filthy dungeon—my incurable grief—have exhausted my strength, and reduced my body to a skeleton. A thousand times have I implored heaven, with tears, to put an end to my sufferings—but doubtless the measure of my punishment is not fulfilled,—or some happiness must be yet in store for me, for which he deigns thus miraculously to preserve me. But I suffer justly—my Charles! my Charles!—and before there was even a gray hair on his Head!

CHARLES. Enough! Rise! ye stocks, ye lumps of ice! ye lazy unfeeling sleepers! Up! will none of you awake? (He fires a pistol over their heads.)

THE ROBBERS (starting up). Ho! hallo! hallo! what is the matter?

CHARLES. Has not that tale shaken you out of your sleep? 'Tis enough to break the sleep eternal! See here, see here! The laws of the world have become mere dice-play; the bonds of nature are burst asunder; the Demon of Discord has broken loose, and stalks abroad triumphant! the Son has slain his Father!

THE ROBBERS. What does the captain say?

CHARLES. Slain! did I say? No, that is too mild a term! A son has a thousand-fold broken his own father on the wheel,—impaled, racked, flayed him alive!—but all these words are too feeble to express what would make sin itself blush and cannibals shudder. For ages, no devil ever conceived a deed so horrible. His own father!—but see, see him! he has fainted away! His own father—the son—into this dungeon—cold— naked—hungry—athirst—Oh! see, I pray you, see!—'tis my own father, in very truth it is.

THE ROBBERS (come running and surround the old man). Your father? Yours?

SCHWEITZER (approaches him reverently, and falls on his knees before him). Father of my captain! let me kiss thy feet! My dagger is at thy command.

CHARLES. Revenge, revenge, revenge! thou horribly injured, profaned old man! Thus, from this moment, and forever, I rend in twain all ties of fraternity. (He rends his garment from top to bottom.) Here, in the face of heaven, I curse him—curse every drop of blood which flows in his veins! Hear me, O moon and stars! and thou black canopy of night, that lookest down upon this horror! Hear me, thrice terrible avenger. Thou who reignest above yon pallid orb, who sittest an avenger and a judge above the stars, and dartest thy fiery bolts through darkness on the head of guilt! Behold me on my knees behold me raise this hand aloft in the gloom of night—and hear my oath—and may nature vomit me forth as some horrible abortion from out the circle of her works if I break that oath! Here I swear that I will never more greet the light of day, till the blood of that foul parricide, spilt upon this stone, reeks in misty vapor towards heaven. (He rises.)

ROBBERS. 'Tis a deed of hell! After this, who shall call us villains? No! by all the dragons of darkness we never have done anything half so horrible.

CHARLES. True! and by all the fearful groans of those whom your daggers have despatched—of those who on that terrible day were consumed by fire, or crushed by the falling tower—no thought of murder or rapine shall be harbored in your breast, till every man among you has dyed his garments scarlet in this monster's blood. It never, I should think, entered your dreams, that it would fall to your lot to execute the great decrees of heaven? The tangled web of our destiny is unravelled! To-day, to-day, an invisible power has ennobled our craft! Worship Him who has called you to this high destiny, who has conducted you hither, and deemed ye worthy to be the terrible angels of his inscrutable judgments! Uncover your heads! Bow down and kiss the dust, and rise up sanctified. (They kneel.)

SCHWEITZER. Now, captain, issue your commands! What shall we do?

CHARLES. Rise, Schweitzer! and touch these sacred locks! (Leading him to his father, and putting a lock of hair in his hand.) Do you remember still, how you, cleft the skull of that Bohemian trooper, at the moment his sabre was descending on my head, and I had sunk down on my knees, breathless and exhausted? 'Twas then I promised thee a reward that should be right royal. But to this hour I have never been able to discharge that debt.

SCHWEITZER. You swore that much to me, 'tis true; but let me call you my debtor forever!

CHARLES. No; now will I repay thee, Schweitzer! No mortal has yet been honored as thou shalt be. I appoint thee avenger of my father's wrongs! (SCHWEITZER rises.)

SCHWEITZER. Mighty captain! this day you have, for the first time, made me truly proud! Say, when, where, how shall I smite him?

CHARLES. The minutes are sacred. You must hasten to the work. Choose the best of the band, and lead them straight to the count's castle! Drag him from his bed, though he sleep, or he folded in the arms of pleasure! Drag him from the table, though he be drunk! Tear him from the crucifix, though he lie on his knees before it! But mark my words— I charge thee, deliver him into my hands alive! I will hew that man to pieces, and feed the hungry vultures with his flesh, who dares but graze his skin, or injure a single hair of his head! I must have him whole. Bring him to me whole and alive, and a million shall be thy reward. I'll plunder kings at the risk of my life, but thou shalt have it, and go free as air. Thou hast my purpose—see it done!

SCHWEITZER. Enough, captain! here is my hand upon it. You shall see both of us, or neither. Come, Schweitzer's destroying angels, follow me! (Exit with a troop.)

CHARLES. The rest of you disperse in the forest—I remain here.


SCENE I. A vista of rooms. Dark night.

        Enter DANIEL, with a lantern and a bundle.

DANIEL. Farewell, dear home! How many happy days have I enjoyed within these walls, while my old master lived. Tears to thy memory, thou whom the grave has long since devoured! He deserves this tribute from an old servant. His roof was the asylum of orphans, the refuge of the destitute, but this son has made it a den of murderers. Farewell, thou dear floor! How often has old Daniel scrubbed thee! Farewell, dear stove, old Daniel takes a heavy leave of thee. All things had grown so familiar to thee,—thou wilt feel it sorely, old Eleazar. But heaven preserve me through grace from the wiles and assault of the tempter. Empty I came hither—empty I will depart,—but my soul is saved! (He is in the act of going out, when he is met by FRANCIS, rushing in, in his dressing-gown.) Heaven help me! Master! (He puts out his lantern.)

FRANCIS. Betrayed! betrayed! The spirit of the dead are vomited from their graves. The realm of death, shaken out of its eternal slumber, roars at me, "Murderer, murderer!" Who moves there?

DANIEL (frightened). Help, holy Virgin! help! Is it you, my gracious master, whose shrieks echo so terribly through the castle that every one is aroused out of his sleep?

FRANCIS. Sleep? And who gave thee leave to sleep? Go, get lights! (Exit DANIEL. Enter another servant.) No one shall sleep at this hour. Do you hear? All shall be awake—in arms—let the guns be loaded! Did you not see them rushing through yon vaulted passages?

SERVANT. See whom, my lord?

FRANCIS. Whom? you dolt, slave! And do you, with a cold and vacant stare, ask me whom? Have they not beset me almost to madness? Whom? blockhead! whom? Ghosts and demons! How far is the night advanced?

SERVANT. The watch has just called two.

FRANCIS. What? will this eternal night last till doomsday? Did you hear no tumult near? no shout of victory? no trampling of horses? Where is Char—the Count, I would say?

SERVANT. I know not, my lord.

FRANCIS. You know not? And are you too one of his gang? I'll tread your villain's heart out through your ribs for that infernal "I know not!" Begone, fetch the minister!

SERVANT. My lord!

FRANCIS. What! Do you grumble? Do you demur? (Exit servant hastily.) Do my very slaves conspire against me? Heaven, earth, and hell—all conspire against me!

DANIEL (returns with a lighted candle). My lord!

FRANCIS. Who said I trembled? No!—'twas but a dream. The dead still rest in their graves! Tremble! or pale? No, no! I am calm—quite tranquil.

DANIEL. You are as pale as death, my lord; your voice is weak and faltering.

FRANCIS. I am somewhat feverish. When the minister comes be sure you say I am in a fever. Say that I intend to be bled in the morning.

DANIEL. Shall I give you some drops of the balsam of life on sugar?

FRANCIS. Yes, balsam of life on sugar! The minister will not be here just yet. My voice is weak and faltering. Give me of the balsam of life on sugar!

DANIEL. Let me have the keys, I will go down to the closet and get it.

FRANCIS. No! no! no! Stay!—or I will go with you. You see I must not be left alone! How easily I might, you see—faint—if I should be left alone. Never mind, never mind! It will pass off—you must not leave me.

DANIEL. Indeed, Sir, you are ill, very ill.

FRANCIS. Yes, just so, just so, nothing more. And illness, you know, bewilders the brain, and breeds strange and maddening dreams. What signify dreams? Dreams come from the stomach and cannot signify anything. Is it not so, Daniel? I had a very comical dream just now. (He sinks down fainting.)

DANIEL. Oh, merciful heaven! what is this? George!—Conrad! Sebastian! Martin! Give but some sign of life! (Shaking him.) Oh, the Blessed Virgin! Oh, Joseph! Keep but your reason! They will say I have murdered him! Lord have mercy upon me!

FRANCIS (confused). Avaunt!—avaunt!—why dost thou glare upon me thus, thou horrible spectre? The time for the resurrection of the dead is not yet come.

DANIEL. Merciful heavens! he has lost his senses.

FRANCIS (recovering himself gradually). Where am I? You here, Daniel? What have I said? Heed it not. I have told a lie, whatever I said. Come, help me up! 'T was only a fit of delirium—because—because—I have not finished my night's rest.

DANIEL. If John were but here! I'll call for help—I'll send for the physician.

FRANCIS. Stay! Seat yourself by my side on this sofa! There. You are a sensible man, a good man. Listen to my dream!

DANIEL. Not now; another time! Let me lead you to bed; you have great need of rest.

FRANCIS. No, no; I prythee, listen, Daniel, and have a good laugh at me. You must know I fancied that I held a princely banquet, my heart was merry, and I lay stretched on the turf in the castle garden; and all on a sudden—it was at midday—and all on a sudden—but mind you have a good laugh at me!

DANIEL. All on a sudden.

FRANCIS. All on a sudden a tremendous peal of thunder struck upon my slumbering ear; I started up staggering and trembling; and lo, it seemed as if the whole hemisphere had burst forth in one flaming sheet of fire, and mountains, and cities, and forests melted away like wax in the furnace; and then rose a howling whirlwind, which swept before it the earth, and the sea, and heaven; then came a sound, as from brazen trumpets, "Earth, give up thy dead: sea, give up thy dead!" and the open plains began to heave, and to cast up skulls, and ribs, and jawbones, and legs, which drew together into human bodies, and then came sweeping along in dense, interminable masses—a living deluge. Then I looked up, and to! I stood at the foot of the thundering Sinai, and above me was a multitude, and below me a multitude; and on the summit of the mountain, on three smoking thrones, sat three men, before whose gaze all creation trembled.

DANIEL. Why, this is a living picture of the day of judgment.

FRANCIS. Did I not tell you? Is it not ridiculous stuff? And one stepped forth who, to look upon, was like a starlight night; he had in his hand a signet ring of iron, which he held up between the east and the west, and said, "Eternal, holy, just, immutable! There is but one truth; there is but one virtue! Woe, woe, woe! to the doubting sinner!" Then stepped forth a second, who had in his hand a flashing mirror, which he held up between the east and west, and said, "This is the mirror of truth; hypocrisy and deceit cannot look on it." Then was I terrified, and so were all, for we saw the forms of snakes, and tigers, and leopards reflected from that fearful mirror. Then stepped forth a third, who had in his hand a brazen balance, which he held up between the east and the west, and said, "Approach, ye sons of Adam! I weigh your thoughts in the balance of my wrath! and your deeds with the weight of my fury!"

DANIEL. The Lord have mercy upon me!

FRANCIS. They all stood pale and trembling, and every heart was panting with fearful expectation. Then it seemed to me as if I heard my name called the first from out the thunders of the mountain, and the innermost marrow froze within my bones, and my teeth chattered loudly. Presently the clang of the balance was heard, the rocks sent forth thunders, and the hours glided by, one after the other, towards the left scale, and each threw into it a mortal sin!

DANIEL. Oh, may God forgive you!

FRANCIS. He forgave me not! The left scale grew mountains high, but the other, filled with the blood of atonement, still outweighed it. At last came an old man, heavily bowed down with grief, his arm gnawed through with raging hunger. Every eye turned away in horror from the sight. I knew the man—he cut off a lock of his silver hair, and cast it into the scale of my sins, when to! in an instant, it sank down to the abyss, and the scale of atonement flew up on high. Then heard I a voice, issuing like thunder from the bowels *[Some editions of the original read Rauch (smoke), some Bauch, as translated.] of the mountain, "Pardon, pardon to every sinner of the earth and of the deep! Thou alone art rejected!" (A profound pause.) Well, why don't you laugh?

DANIEL. Can I laugh while my flesh creeps? Dreams come from above.

FRANCIS. Pshaw! pshaw! Say not so! Call me a fool, an idiot, an absurd fool! Do, there's a good Daniel, I entreat of you; have a hearty laugh at me!

DANIEL. Dreams come from God. I will pray for you.

FRANCIS. Thou liest, I tell thee. Go, this instant, run! be quick! see where the minister tarries all this time; tell him to come quickly, instantly! But, I tell thee, thou liest!

DANIEL. Heaven have mercy upon you!

FRANCIS. Vulgar prejudice! mere superstition! It has not yet been proved that the past is not past and forgotten, or that there is an eye above this earth to take account of what passes on it. Humph! Humph! But whence, then, this fearful whisper to my soul? Is there really an avenging judge above the stars? No, no! Yes, yes! A fearful monitor within bears witness that there is One above the stars who judgeth! What! meet the avenger above the stars this very night? No, no! I say. All is empty, lonely, desolate, beyond the stars. Miserable subterfuge, beneath which thy cowardice seeks to hide itself. And if there should be something in it after all? No! no! it cannot be. I insist that it cannot be! But yet, if there should be! Woe to thee if thy sins should all have been registered above!—if they should be counted over to thee this very night! Why creeps this shudder through my frame? To die! Why does that word frighten me thus? To give an account to the Avenger, there, above the stars! and if he should be just—the wails of orphans and widows, of the oppressed, the tormented, ascending to his ears, and he be just? Why have they been afflicted? And why have I been permitted to trample upon them?

              Enter PASTOR MOSER.

MOSER. Your lordship sent for me! I am surprised! The first time in my life! Is it to scoff at religion, or does it begin to make you tremble?

FRANCIS. I may scoff or I may tremble, according as you shall answer me. Listen to me, Moser, I will prove that you are a fool, or wish to make fools of others, and you shall answer me. Do you hear? At the peril of your life you shall answer me.

MOSER. 'Tis a higher Being whom you summon before your tribunal. He will answer you hereafter.

FRANCIS. I will be answered now, this instant, that I may not commit the contemptible folly of calling upon the idol of the vulgar under the pressure of suffering. I have often, in bumpers of Burgundy, tauntingly pledged you in the toast, "There is no God!" Now I address myself to you in earnest, and I tell you there is none? You shall oppose me with all the weapons in your power; but with the breath of my lips I will blow them away.

MOSER. 'Twere well that you could also blow away the thunder which will alight upon your proud soul with ten thousand times ten thousand tons' weight! That omniscient God, whom you—fool and miscreant—are denying in the midst of his creation, needeth not to justify himself by the mouth of dust. He is as great in your tyrannies as in the sweetest smile of triumphant virtue.

FRANCIS. Uncommonly well said, parson. Thus I like you.

MOSER. I stand here as steward of a greater Master, and am addressing one who, like myself, is a sinner—one whom I care not to please. I must indeed be able to work miracles, to extort the acknowledgment from your obdurate wickedness—but if your conviction is so firm, why have you sent for me in the middle of the night?

FRANCIS. Because time hangs heavy on my hands, and the chess-board has ceased to have any attraction. I wish to amuse myself in a tilt with the parson. Your empty terrors will not unman my courage. I am well aware that those who have come off short in this world look forward to eternity; but they will be sadly disappointed. I have always read that our whole body is nothing more than a blood-spring, and that, with its last drop, mind and thought dissolve into nothing. They share all the infirmities of the body; why, then, should they not cease with its dissolution? Why not evaporate in its decomposition? Let a drop of water stray into your brain, and life makes a sudden pause, which borders on non-existence, and this pause continued is death. Sensation is the vibration of a few chords, which, when the instrument is broken, cease to sound. If I raze my seven castles—if I dash this Venus to pieces—there is an end of their symmetry and beauty. Behold! thus is it with your immortal soul!

MOSER. So says the philosophy of your despair. But your own heart, which knocks against your ribs with terror even while you thus argue, gives your tongue the lie. These cobwebs of systems are swept away by the single word—"Thou must die!" I challenge you, and be this the test: If you maintain your firmness in the hour of death; if your principles do not then miserably desert you, you shall be admitted to have the best of the argument. But if, in that dread hour, the least shudder creeps over you, then woe be to you! you have deceived yourself.

FRANCIS (disturbed). If in the hour of death a shudder creeps over me?

MOSER. I have seen many such wretches before now, who set truth at defiance up to that point; but at the approach of death the illusion vanished. I will stand at your bedside when you are dying—I should much like to see a tyrant die. I will stand by, and look you steadfastly in the face when the physician takes your cold, clammy hand, and is scarcely able to detect your expiring pulse; and when he looks up, and, with a fearful shake of the head, says to you, "All human aid is in vain!" Beware, at that moment, beware, lest you look like Richard and Nero!

FRANCIS. No! no!

MOSER. Even that very "No" will then be turned to a howling "Yea!" An inward tribunal, which you can no longer cheat with sceptical delusions, will then wake up and pass judgment upon you. But the waking up will be like that of one buried alive in the bowels of the churchyard; there will come remorse like that of the suicide who has committed the fatal act and repents it;—'twill be a flash of lightning suddenly breaking in upon the midnight darkness of your life! There will be one look, and, if you can sustain that, I will admit that you have won!

FRANCIS (walking up and down restlessly). Cant! Priestly cant!

MOSER. Then, for the first time, will the sword of eternity pass through your soul;—and then, for the first time, too late, the thought of God will wake up a terrible monitor, whose name is Judge. Mark this, Moor; a thousand lives hang upon your beck; and of those thousand every nine hundred and ninety-nine have been rendered miserable by you. You wanted but the Roman empire to be a Nero, the kingdom of Peru to be a Pizarro. Now do you really think that the Almighty will suffer a worm like you to play the tyrant in His world and to reverse all his ordinances? Do you think the nine hundred and ninety-nine were created only to be destroyed, only to serve as puppets in your diabolical game? Think it not! He will call you to account for every minute of which you have robbed them, every joy that you have poisoned, every perfection that you have intercepted. Then, if you can answer Him—then, Moor, I will admit that you have won.

FRANCIS. No more, not another word! Am I to be at the mercy of thy drivelling fancies?

MOSER. Beware! The different destinies of mankind are balanced with terrible nicety. The scale of life which sinks here will rise there, and that which rises here will sink there. What was here temporary affliction will there be eternal triumph; and what here was temporary triumph will there be eternal despair.

FRANCIS (rushing savagely upon him.) May the thunder of heaven strike thee dumb, thou lying spirit! I will tear thy venomed tongue out of thy mouth!

MOSER. Do you so soon feel the weight of truth? Before I have brought forward one single word of evidence? Let me first proceed to the proofs—

FRANCIS. Silence! To hell with thee and thy proofs! The soul is annihilated, I tell thee, and I will not be gainsaid!

MOSER. That is what the spirits of the bottomless pit are hourly moaning for; but heaven denies the boon. Do you hope to escape from the Avenger's arm even in the solitary waste of nothingness? If you climb up into heaven, he is there! if you make your bed in hell, behold he is there also! If you say to the night, "Hide me!" and to the darkness, "Cover me!" even the night shall be light about you, and darkness blaze upon your damned soul like a noonday sun.

FRANCIS. But I do not wish to be immortal—let them be so that like; I have no desire to hinder them. I will force him to annihilate me; I will so provoke his fury that he may utterly destroy me. Tell me which are the greatest sins—which excite him to the most terrible wrath?

MOSER. I know but two. But men do not commit these, nor do men even dream of them.

FRANCIS. What are they?

MOSER (very significantly). Parricide is the name of the one; fratricide of the other. Why do you turn so suddenly pale?

FRANCIS. What, old man? Art thou in league with heaven or with hell? Who told thee that?

MOSER. Woe to him that hath them both upon his soul! It were better for that man that he had never been born! But be at peace; you have no longer either a father or a brother!

FRANCIS. Ha! what! Do you know no greater sin? Think again! Death, heaven, eternity, damnation, hang upon thy lips. Not one greater?

MOSER. No, not one

FRANCIS (falling back in a chair). Annihilation! annihilation!

MOSER. Rejoice, then, rejoice! Congratulate yourself! With all your abominations you are yet a saint in comparison with a parricide. The curse that falls upon you is a love ditty in comparison with the curse that lies upon him. Retribution—

FRANCIS (starting up). Away with thee! May the graves open and swallow thee ten thousand fathoms deep, thou bird of ill omen! Who bade thee come here? Away, I tell thee, or I will run thee through and through!

MOSER. Can mere "priestly cant" excite a philosopher to such a pitch of
frenzy? Why not blow it away with a breath of your lips?

       [FRANCIS throws himself about in his chair in
        terrible agitation. Profound stillness.]

             Enter a SERVANT, hastily

SERVANT. The Lady Amelia has fled. The count has suddenly disappeared.

           Enter DANIEL, in great alarm.

DANIEL. My lord, a troop of furious horsemen are galloping down the hill, shouting "murder! murder!" The whole village is in alarm.

FRANCIS. Quick! let all the bells be tolled—summon everyone to the chapel—let all fall on their knees—pray for me. All prisoners shall be released and forgiven—I will make two and threefold restitution to the poor—I will—why don't you run? Do call in the father confessor, that he may give me absolution for my sins. What! are you not gone yet? (The uproar becomes more audible.)

DANIEL. Heaven have mercy upon me, poor sinner! Can I believe you in earnest, sir? You, who always made a jest of religion? How many a Bible and prayer-book have you flung at my bead when by chance you caught me at my devotions?

FRANCIS. No more of this. To die! think of it! to die! It will be too late! (The voice of SCHWEITZER is heard, loud and furious.) Pray for me, Daniel! Pray, I entreat you!

DANIEL. I always told you,—"you hold prayer in such contempt; but take heed! take heed! when the fatal hour comes, when the waters are flowing in upon your soul, you will be ready to give all the treasures of the world for one little Christian prayer." Do you see it now? What abuse you used to heap on me! Now you feel it! Is it not so!

FRANCIS (embracing him violently). Forgive me! my dear precious jewel of a Daniel, forgive me! I will clothe you from head to foot—do but pray. I will make quite a bridegroom of you—I will—only do pray— I entreat you—on my knees, I conjure you. In the devil's name, pray! why don't you pray? (Tumult in the streets, shouts and noises.)

SCHWEIT. (in the street). Storm the place! Kill all before you! Force the gates! I see lights! He must be there!

FRANCIS (on his knees). Listen to my prayer, O God in heaven! It is the first time—it shall never happen again. Hear me, God in heaven!

DANIEL. Mercy on me! What are you saying? What a wicked prayer!

          Uproar of the PEOPLE, rushing in.

PEOPLE. Robbers! murderers! Who makes such a dreadful noise at this midnight hour!

SCHWEIT (still in the street). Beat them back, comrades! 'Tis the devil, come to fetch your master. Where is Schwarz with his troop? Surround the castle, Grimm! Scale the walls!

GRIMM. Bring the firebrands. Either we must up or he must down. I will throw fire into his halls.

FRANCIS (praying). Oh Lord! I have been no common murderer—I have been guilty of no petty crimes, gracious Lord—

DANIEL. Heaven be merciful to us! His very prayers are turned to sins. (Stones and firebrands are hurled up from below; the windows fall in with a crash; the castle takes fire.)

FRANCIS. I cannot pray. Here! and here! (striking his breast and his forehead) All is so void—so barren! (Rises from his knees.) No, I will not pray. Heaven shall not have that triumph, nor hell that pastime.

DANIEL. O holy Virgin! Help! save! The whole castle is in flames!

FRANCIS. There, take this sword! Quick! Run it right through my body, that these fiends may not be in time to make holiday sport of me. (The fire increases.)

DANIEL. Heaven forbid? Heaven forbid! I would send no one before his time to heaven, much less to—(He runs away).

FRANCIS (following him with a ghastly stare, after a pause). To hell, thou wouldst say. Indeed! I scent something of the kind. (In delirium.) Are these their triumphant yells? Do I hear you hissing, ye serpents of the abyss? They force their way up—they besiege the door! Why do I shrink from this biting steel? The door cracks—it yields—there is no escape! Ha! then do thou have mercy upon me! (He tears away the golden cord from his hat, and strangles himself.)*

   *[In the acting edition, Francis attempts to throw himself into the
   flames, but is prevented by the robbers, and taken alive. He is
   then brought before his brother, in chains, for sentence.
   SCHWEITZER says, "I have fulfilled my word, and brought him alive."
   GRIMM. "We tore him out of the flames and the castle is in ashes."
   After confronting Francis with his father, and a reproachful
   interview between the brothers, Charles delegates the judgment on
   Francis to Schweitzer and Kosinsky, but for himself forgives him in
   these words: "Thou hast robbed me of heaven's bliss! Be that sin
   blotted out! Thy doom is sealed—perdition is thy lot! But I
   forgive thee, brother." Upon this CHARLES embraces and leaves him;
   the ROBBERS however, thrust FRANCIS into the dungeon where he had
   immured his father, laughing in a savage manner. Beyond this the
   fate of Francis is left undetermined. Schweitzer, instead of
   killing himself, is made partaker, with Kosinsky, of Moor's

           Enter SCHWEITZER and his band.

SCHWEITZER. Murderous wretch, where art thou? Did you see how they fled? Has he so few friends? Where has the beast crawled to?

GRIMM (stumbles over the corpse). Stay! what is this lying in the way? Lights here.

SCHWARZ. He has been beforehand with us. Put up your swords. There he lies sprawling like a dead dog.

SCHWEITZER. Dead! What! dead? Dead without me? 'Tis a lie, I say. Mark how quickly he will spring upon his feet! (Shakes him). Hollo! up with you? There is a father to be murdered.

GRIMM. Spare your pains. He is as dead as a log.

SCHWEITZER (steps aside from him). Yes, his game is up! He is dead! dead! Go back and tell my captain he is as dead as a log. He will not see me again. (Blows his brains out.)

SCENE II.—The scene the same as the last scene of the preceding Act.

     OLD MOOR seated on a stone; CHARLES VON MOOR opposite;
          ROBBERS scattered through the wood.

CHARLES. He does not come! (Strikes his dagger against a stone till the sparks fly.)

OLD MOOR. Let pardon be his punishment—redoubled love my vengeance.

CHARLES. No! by my enraged soul that shall not be! I will not permit it. He shall bear that enormous load of crime with him into eternity!— what else should I kill him for?

OLD MOOR (bursting into tears). Oh my child!

CHARLES. What! you weep for him? In sight of this dungeon?

OLD MOOR. Mercy! oh mercy! (Wringing his hands violently.) Now—now my son is brought to judgment!

CHARLES (starting). Which son?

OLD MOOR. Ha! what means that question?

CHARLES. Nothing! nothing!

OLD MOOR. Art thou come to make a mockery of my grief?

CHARLES. Treacherous conscience! Take no heed of my words!

OLD MOOR. Yes, I persecuted a son, and a son persecutes me in return. It is the finger of God. Oh my Charles! my Charles! If thou dost hover around me in the realms of peace, forgive me! oh forgive me!

CHARLES (hastily). He forgives you! (Checking himself.) If he is worthy to be called your son, he must forgive you!

OLD MOOR. Ha! he was too noble a son for me. But I will go to him with my tears, my sleepless nights, my racking dreams. I will embrace his knees, and cry—cry aloud—"I have sinned against heaven and before thee; I am no longer worthy to be called thy father!"

CHARLES (in deep emotion). Was he very dear to you—that other son?

OLD MOOR. Heaven is my witness, how much I loved him. Oh, why did I suffer myself to be beguiled by the arts of a wicked son? I was an envied father among the fathers of the world—my children full of promise, blooming by my side! But—oh that fatal hour!—the demon of envy entered into the heart of my younger son—I listened to the serpent—and—lost both my children! (Hides his countenance.)

CHARLES (removes to a distance from him). Lost forever!

OLD MOOR. Oh, deeply do I feel the words of Amelia. The spirit of vengeance spoke from her lips. "In vain wilt thou stretch forth thy dying hands after a son, in vain fancy thou art grasping the warm hands of thy Charles,—he will never more stand by thy bedside."

    (CHARLES stretches out his hand to him with averted face.)

Oh, that this were the hand of my Charles! But he is laid far away in the narrow house—he is sleeping the iron sleep—he hears not the voice of my lamentation. Woe is me! to die in the arms of a stranger? No son left—no son left to close my eyes!

CHARLES (in violent emotion). It must be so—the moment has arrived. Leave me—(to the ROBBERS.) And yet—can I restore his son to him? Alas! No! I cannot restore him that son! No! I will not think of it.

OLD MOOR. Friend! what is that you were muttering?

CHARLES. Your son—yes, old man—(faltering) your son—is—lost forever!

OLD MOOR. Forever?

CHARLES (looking up to heaven in bitter anguish). Oh this once—keep my soul from sinking—sustain me but this once!

OLD MOOR. Forever, did you say.

CHARLES. Ask no more! I said forever!

OLD MOOR. Stranger, stranger! why didst thou drag me forth from the dungeon to remind me of my sorrows?

CHARLES. And what if I were now to snatch his blessing?—snatch it like a thief, and steal away with the precious prize? A father's blessing, they say, is never lost.

OLD MOOR. And is my Francis too lost?

CHARLES (falling on his knees before him). 'Twas I who burst the bars of your dungeon. I crave thy blessing!

OLD MOOR (sorrowfully). Oh that thou shouldst destroy the son!—thou, the father's deliverer! Behold! Heaven's mercy is untiring, and we pitiful worms let the sun go down upon our wrath. (Lays his hand upon the head of CHARLES.) Be thou happy, even as thou shalt be merciful!

CHARLES (rising much affected). Oh!—where is my manhood? My sinews are unstrung—the sword drops from my hand.

OLD MOOR. How lovely a thing it is when brethren dwell together in unity; as the dewdrops of heaven that fall upon the mountains of Zion. Learn to deserve that happiness, young man, and the angels of heaven will sun themselves in thy glory. Let thy wisdom be the wisdom of gray hairs, but let thy heart be the heart of innocent childhood.

CHARLES. Oh, for a foretaste of that happiness! Kiss me, divine old man!

OLD MOOR (kissing him). Think it thy father's kiss; and I will think I am kissing my son. Canst thou too weep?

CHARLES. I felt as if it were my father's kiss! Woe unto me, were they to bring him now!

   (The companions of SCHWEITZER enter in a silent and mournful
   procession, hanging down their heads and hiding their faces.)

CHARLES. Good heaven! (Retreats horror-struck, and seeks to hide himself. They pass by him his face is averted. Profound silence. They halt.)

GRIMM (in a subdued tone). My captain!

      [CHARLES does not answer and steps farther back.]

SCHWARZ. Dear captain!

          [CHARLES retreats still farther.]

GRIMM. 'Tis not our fault, captain!

CHARLES (without looking at them). Who are ye?

GRIMM. You do not look at us! Your faithful followers.

CHARLES. Woe to ye, if ye are faithful to me!

GRIMM. The last farewell from your servant Schweitzer!—

CHARLES (starting). Then ye have not found him?

SCHWARZ. Found him dead.

CHARLES (leaping up with joy). Thanks, O Sovereign Ruler of all things! —Embrace me, my children!—Mercy be henceforward our watchword!—Now, were that too surmounted,—all would be surmounted.

            Enter ROBBERS with AMELIA.

ROBBERS. Hurrah! hurrah! A prize, a splendid prize!

AMELIA (with hair dishevelled). The dead, they cry, have arisen at his voice—My uncle alive—in this wood—Where is he? Charles? Uncle!—Ha? (She rushes into the arms, of OLD MOOR.)

OLD MOOR. Amelia! my daughter! Amelia! (Holds her tightly grasped in his arms.)

CHARLES (starting back). Who brings this image before my eyes.

AMELIA (tearing herself away from the old man, rushes upon CHARLES, and embraces him in an ecstasy of delight). I have him, O ye stars! I have him!

CHARLES (tearing himself away, to the ROBBERS). Let us be gone, comrades! The arch fiend has betrayed me!

AMELIA. My bridegroom, my bridegroom! thou art raving! Ha! 'Tis with delight! Why, then, am I so cold, so unfeeling, in the midst of this tumult of happiness?

OLD MOOR (rousing himself). Bridegroom? Daughter! my daughter! Thy bridegroom?*

   *[Instead of this the stage edition has, "Come my children! Thy
   hand, Charles—and thine, Amelia. Oh! I never looked for such
   happiness on this side the grave. Here let me unite you forever."]

AMELIA. His forever! He forever, ever, mine! Oh! ye heavenly powers! support me in this ecstasy of bliss, lest I sink beneath its weight!

CHARLES. Tear her from my neck! Kill her! Kill him! Kill me— yourselves—everybody! Let the whole world perish! (About to rush of.)

AMELIA. Whither? what? Love! eternity! happiness! never-ending joys! and thou wouldst fly?

CHARLES. Away, away! most unfortunate of brides! See with thine own eves; ask, and hear it with thine own ears! Most miserable of fathers! Let me escape hence forever!

AMELIA. Support me! for heaven's sake support me! It is growing dark before my eyes! He flies!

CHARLES. Too late! In vain! Your curse, father! Ask me no more! I am—I have—your curse—your supposed curse! Who enticed me hither? (Rushing upon the ROBBERS with drawn sword.) Which of you enticed me hither, ye demons of the abyss? Perish, then, Amelia! Die, father! Die, for the third time, through me! These, thy deliverers, are Robbers and Murderers! Thy Charles is their Captain! (OLD MOOR expires.)

     [AMELIA stands silent and transfixed like a statue.
        The whole band are mute. A fearful pause.]

CHARLES (rushing against an oak). The souls of those I have strangled in the intoxication of love—of those whom I crushed to atoms in the sacredness of sleep—of those whom—Ha! ha! ha! do you hear the powder-magazine bursting over the heads of women in travail? Do you see the flames creeping round the cradles of sucklings? That is our nuptial torch; those shrieks our wedding music! Oh! he forgetteth none of these things!—he knoweth how to connect the—links in the chain of life. Therefore do love's delights elude my grasp; therefore is love given me for a torment! This is retribution!

AMELIA. 'Tis all true! Thou Ruler in heaven! 'Tis all true! What have I done, poor innocent lamb? I have loved this man!

CHARLES. This is more than a man can endure. Have I not heard death hissing at me from more thousands of barrels, and never yet moved a hair's breadth out of its way. And shall I now be taught to tremble like a woman? tremble before a woman! No! a woman shall not conquer my manly courage! Blood! blood! 'tis but a fit of womanish feeling. I must glut myself with blood; and this will pass away. (He is about to fly.)

AMELIA (sinking into his arms). Murderer! devil! I cannot—angel— leave thee!

CHARLES (thrusting her from him). Away! insidious serpent! Thou wouldst make a mockery of my frenzy; but I will bid defiance to my tyrant destiny. What! art thou weeping? O ye relentless, malicious stars! She pretends to weep, as if any soul could weep for me! (AMELIA falls on his neck.) Ha! what means this? She shuns me not—she spurns me not. Amelia! hast thou then forgotten? Dost thou remember whom thou art embracing, Amelia?

AMELIA. My only one, mine, mine forever!

CHARLES (recovering himself in an ecstasy of joy). She forgives me, she loves me! Then am I pure as the ether of heaven, for she loves me! With tears I thank thee, all-merciful Father! (He falls on his knees, and bursts into a violent fit of weeping.) The peace of my soul is restored; my sufferings are at an end. Hell is no more! Behold! oh behold! the child of light weeps on the neck of a repentant demon! (Rising and turning to the ROBBERS). Why are ye not weeping also? Weep, weep, ye are all so happy. O Amelia! Amelia! Amelia! (He hangs on her neck, they remain locked in a silent embrace.)

A ROBBER (stepping forward enraged). Hold, traitor! This instant come from her arms! or I will speak a word that shall make thy ears tingle, and thy teeth chatter with horror! (He holds his sword between them.)

AN AGED ROBBER. Remember the Bohemian forests! Dost thou hear? dost thou tremble? Remember the Bohemian forests, I tell thee! Faithless man! where are thy oaths? Are wounds so soon forgotten? Who staked fortune, honor, life itself for thee? Who stood by thee like walls, and like shields caught the blows which were aimed at thy life? Didst not thou then lift up thy hand and swear an iron oath never to forsake us, even as we forsook not thee? Base, perfidious wretch! and wouldst thou now desert us at the whining of a harlot?

A THIRD ROBBER. Shame on thy perjury! The spirit of the immolated Roller, whom thou didst summon from the realms of death to attest thy oath, will blush at thy cowardice, and rise from his grave full armed to chastise thee.

THE ROBBERS (all in disorder, tearing open their garments). See here! and here! Dost thou know these scars? Thou art ours! With our heart's blood we have bought thee, and thou art ours bodily, even though the Archangel Michael should seek to wrest thee out of the grasp of the fiery Moloch! Now! March with us! Sacrifice for sacrifice, Amelia for the band!

CHARLES (releasing her hand). It is past! I would arise and return to my father; but heaven has said, "It shall not be!" (Coldly.) Blind fool that I was! why should I wish it? Is it possible for a great sinner to return? A great sinner never can return. That ought I long since to have known. Be still! I pray thee be still! 'Tis all as it should be. When He sought me I would not; now that I seek him, He will not. What can be more just? Do not roll about thine eyes so wildly. He—has no need of me. Has He not creatures in abundance? One he can easily spare, and that one am I. Come along, comrades!

AMELIA (pulling him back). Stay, I beseech you! One blow! one deadly blow! Again forsaken! Draw thy sword, and have mercy upon me!

CHARLES. Mercy has taken refuge among bears. I will not kill thee!

AMELIA (embracing his knees). Oh, for heaven's sake! by all that is merciful! I ask no longer for love. I know that our stars fly from each other in opposition. Death is all I ask. Forsaken, forsaken! Take that word in all its dreadful import! Forsaken! I cannot survive it! Thou knowest well that no woman can survive that. All I ask is death. See, my hand trembles! I have not courage to strike the blow. I shrink from the gleaming blade! To thee it is so easy, so very easy; thou art a master in murder—draw thy sword, and make me happy!

CHARLES. Wouldst thou alone be happy? Away with thee! I will kill no woman!

AMELIA. Ha! destroyer! thou canst only kill the happy; they who are weary of existence thou sparest! (She glides towards the robbers.) Then do ye have mercy on me, disciples of murder! There lurks a bloodthirsty pity in your looks that is consoling to the wretched. Your master is a boaster and a coward.

CHARLES. Woman, what dost thou say? (The ROBBERS turn away.)

AMELIA. No friend? No; not even among these a friend? (She rises.) Well, then, let Dido teach me how to die! (She is going; a ROBBER takes aim at her.)

CHARLES. Hold! dare it! Moor's Amelia shall die by no other hand than Moor's. (He strikes her dead.)

THE ROBBERS. Captain! captain! what hast thou done? Art thou raving?

CHARLES (with his eyes fixed on the body). One more pang and all will be over. She is immolated! Now, look on! have you any farther demand? Ye staked a life for me, a life which has ceased to be your own—a life full of infamy and shame! I have sacrificed an angel for you. Now! look upon her! Are you content?

GRIMM. You have repaid your debt with usury. You have done all that man could do for his honor, and more. Now let's away.

CHARLES. What say you? Is not the life of a saint for the life of a felon more than an equal exchange? Oh! I say unto you if every one of you were to—mount the scaffold, and to have his flesh torn from his bones piecemeal with red-hot pincers, through eleven long summer days of torture, yet would it not counterbalance these tears! (With a bitter laugh.) The scars! the Bohemian forests! Yes, yes! they must be repaid, of course!

SCHWARZ. Compose yourself, captain! Come along with us! this is no sight for you. Lead us elsewhere!

CHARLES. Stay! one word more before we proceed elsewhere. Mark me, ye malicious executioners of my barbarous nod! from this moment I cease to be your captain.*

   *[The acting edition reads,—"Banditti! we are quits. This
   bleeding corpse cancels my bond to you forever. From your own I
   set you free." ROBBERS. "We are again your slaves till death!"
   CHARLES. "No, no, no! We have done with each other. My genius
   whispers me, 'Go no further, Moor. Here is the goal of humanity—
   and thine!' Take back this bloody plume (throws it at their feet).
   Let him who seeks to be your captain take it up."]

With shame and horror I here lay down the bloody staff, under which you thought yourselves licensed to perpetrate your crimes and to defile the fair light of heaven with deeds of darkness. Depart to the right and to the left. We shall never more have aught in common.

THE ROBBERS. Ha! coward! where are thy lofty schemes? were they but soap-bubbles, which disperse at the breath of a woman?*

   *[In lieu of this soliloquy and what follows, to the end, the
   acting edition has:—

   R. MOOR. Dare not to scrutinize the acts of Moor. That is my last
   command. Now, draw near—form a circle around me, and receive the
   last words of your dying captain. (He surveys them attentively for
   some time.) You have been devotedly faithful to me, faithful
   beyond example. Had virtue bound you together as firmly as vice,
   you would have been heroes, and your names recorded by mankind with
   admiration. Go and offer your services to the state. Dedicate
   your talents to the cause of a monarch who is waging war in
   vindication of the rights of man. With this blessing I disband
   you. Schweitzer and Kosinsky, do you stay. (The others disperse
   slowly, with signs of emotion.)]



   R. MOOR. Give me thy right hand, Kosinsky—Schweitzer thy left.
   (He takes their hands, and stands between, them; to KOSINSKY,)
   Young man, thou art still pure-amongst the guilty thou alone art
   guiltless! (To SCHWEITZER.) Deeply have I imbrued thy hand in
   blood. 'Tis I who have done this. With this cordial grasp I take
   back mine own. Schweitzer! thou art purified! (He raises their
   hands fervently to heaven.) Father in heaven! here I restore them
   to thee. They will be more devoted to thy service than those who
   never fell. Of that I feel assured. (SCHWEITZER and KOSINSKY fall
   on his neck with fervor.) Not now—not now, dear comrades. Spare
   my feelings in this trying hour. An earldom has this day fallen to
   my lot—a rich domain on which no malediction rests. Share it
   between you, my children; become good citizens; and if for ten
   human beings that I have destroyed you make but one happy, my soul
   may yet be saved. Go—no farewell! In another world we may meet
   again—or perhaps no more. Away! away! ere my fortitude desert me.
               [Exeunt both, with downcast countenances.]


   And I, too, am a good citizen. Do I not fulfil the extremity of
   the law? Do I not honor the law? Do I not uphold and defend it?
   I remember speaking to a poor officer on my way hither, who was
   toiling as a day-laborer, and has eleven living children. A
   thousand ducats have been offered to whoever shall deliver up the
   great robber alive. That man shall be served. [Exit.]

CHARLES. Oh! fool that I was, to fancy that I could amend the world by misdeeds and maintain law by lawlessness! I called it vengeance and equity. I presumed, O Providence! upon whetting out the notches of thy sword and repairing thy partialities. But, oh, vain trifling! here I stand on the brink of a fearful life, and learn, with wailing and gnashing of teeth, that two men like myself could ruin the whole edifice of the moral world. Pardon—pardon the boy who thought to forestall Thee; to Thee alone belongeth vengeance; Thou needest not the hand of man! But it is not in my power to recall the past; that which is ruined remains ruined; what I have thrown down will never more rise up again. Yet one thing is left me whereby I may atone to the offended majesty of the law and restore the order which I have violated. A victim is required—a victim to declare before all mankind how inviolable that majesty is—that victim shall be myself. I will be the death-offering!

ROBBERS. Take his sword from him—he will kill himself.

CHARLES. Fools that ye are! doomed to eternal blindness! Think ye that one mortal sin will expiate other mortal sins? Do you suppose that the harmony of the world would be promoted by such an impious discord? (Throwing his arms at their feet.) He shall have me alive. I go to deliver myself into the hands of justice.

ROBBERS. Put him in chains! he has lost his senses!

CHARLES. Not that I have any doubt but that justice would find me speedily enough if the powers above so ordained it. But she might surprise me in sleep, or overtake me in flight, or seize me with violence and the sword, and then I should have lost the only merit left me, that of making my death a free-will atonement. Why should I, like a thief, any longer conceal a life, which in the counsels of the heavenly ministry has long been forfeited?

ROBBERS. Let him go. He is infected with the great-man-mania; he means to offer up his life for empty admiration.

CHARLES. I might, 'tis true, be admired for it. (After a moment's reflection.) I remember, on my way hither, talking to a poor creature, a day-laborer, with eleven living children. A reward has been offered of a thousand louis-d'ors to any one who shall deliver up the great robber alive. That man shall be served.

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