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How's this ? - The Grand Vizier ?
Sokolowitch ? --Your Emperor has indeed
Some object of importance, when he sends
A messenger so noble.
Our Emperor, offers you his special favour;
And in return demands of the Hungarians,
(Who wage with us a vain unequal war)
That they to him yield up the citadel.
Our Emperor honours your heroic courage,
And fain indeed would have you for a friend :
Therefore, to all conditions that
fall Within the bounds of reason and his power, He will
Without delay the fortress,-but if this
Shall not be granted, murder is the watchword !--
All prisoners shall be hurried to the block-
Zriny. If this indeed is all thine embassy,
Thy labour, Mehmed, might have well been spared.-
I am a Zriny !-bear this for mine answer.
And, if thine Emperor, as thou say’st, in me
Honours true courage, let him not expect
From the same heart desertion base, and treachery.
How he may riot when he storms the town,
That let him answer at an high tribunal ;
1 but fulfill my duty !
Mehm. Wert thou, Zriny,
A soldier only, this were well—but thou
Art more,—thou art an husband and a father!
Oh, then reflect, ere yet it is too late:
Our Emperor's rage will spare nor wife nor daughter
Nay, he has sworn, if thou wilt not surrender,
To give them up a prize unto his slaves.-
Thou in the strife wilt perish like an hero;-
But think of those, who are most dear to thee;
Their fate I shudder, even in dreams to view !
Think of these tender beings to the rage
Of the rude people, shamefully resign'd.
Zriny. Vizier! Thou art a painter, amply skill'd
To freeze the currents of a coward's heart.
Mehm. Oh, yet be counsel'd, Zriny!
Zriny. Mean soul'd Turk,-
Thou know'st not what thou say’st,-know'st not the women
Whom thou essay'st to plead for; nor conceiv'st
The sense of honour that heaves high within
Their tender bosoms.--Let thy slaves rejoice
Their mean hearts in the sacrifice ;- but know,
These women, Mehmed, are my wife and daughter,
And both, when duty calls, can bravely die !
Mehm. Much unto Solyman doth it import,
Sigeth to win.- This, by his proffers now,
Thou canst well guess. - Croatia shall be thine ;-
There shalt thou reign as monarch; and the land
Transmit unto thine heirs ;--and whatsoe'er
Of treasure thou demand'st, awaits thee too.-
As friend and brother, Solyman, henceforth,
Will to the height of dignities conduct you
Zriny. Fye on you, Mehmed ! 'Gainst the untarnish'd fame
Of Nicholas Zriny, offer’st thou such insult?
Say to your master,--All the crowns on earth
Are valueless, in a Hungarian's eyes,
When against honour weigh’d.--He may indeed!
Our fortress storm, and triumph o'er our lives,
But for our honour,--that defies his power-
So far the scourge of no Grand Signior reaches.
Mehm. Hard-hearted man !-If nothing less will move you,
Hear my last words, and tremble.-Know,-thy son
Was on an outward sally brought to us,
He is our prisoner.-If thou wilt not yield,
Our Emperor has sworn to invent new torments,
Such as the fiends in hell are doom'd to suffer ;
And limb from limb, tearing the hapless youth,
His father's proud resistance to revenge !
Zriny. My son ! dear George ! Oh, Fate, thy blows are heavy!
Mehm. Resolve in haste-His executioners
Are now prepar'd.
Zriny. Resolve ?-I have resolv'd ! -
Torment him! martyr him !--and limb from limb,
With red-hot pincers tear him, --George was mine !
He was my son ;-and like an hero too
He will know how to die !
(Calling at the door.)
What! ho, Lorenzo !
Now light the firebrands! (Returning:)
All that I implor'd
Of Heaven was, that my son might, in his fall,
Prove himself not unworthy of his father.-
My pray’rs are heard-Beneath your torturing hands,
For the true faith, and for his native land,
He dies a martyr!—I am satisfied ! -
(Calling as before.)
Now fire the houses ! Let the fierce flames rage !-(Returning:)
Ask him, in his worst torments, if he then
Would, to gain life, barter his father's honour ?-
Ay, put the question—and by Heaven, my son
Mehm. My soul indeed !
Before such greatness bends.“
Zriny. Believe not, Mehmed,
That even the humblest of my soldiers here,
Feels not as I do.—Think not that my wife,
Or daughter, would a different language hold,
From that which I have used.-I, as a man,
And they as tender women-From themselves
Thou shalt now hear the truth.—(Calling:)
Helena !- Eva!
Lorenzo! Alapi !-Come all at once,
And solemnize our victory! The two ladies, and afterwards Lorenzo, Paprutowitch, and other officers, enter hastily on both sides of the stage ; and this third act is wound up with the following scene.
Eva. What wouldst thou, Zriny?-_Wherefore art thou thus
Alassi. What news, my friend ?-How thine eyes gleam!
Zriny. Now, hear themselves !—My friends, convince I pray you
The doubting heart of this ambassador,
That you have all, with free unbiass'd will,
This, it may be proper to notice, was but a ruse de guerre-a falsehood invented by Solyman.
Determined for your country's sake to meet
The horrors of the battle and of death !
The Soldiers. Of our own choice and will-we all have sworn!
Zriny. Say to him, women, (for this too he doubts,)
That you are firm enough unto the sword
Your unprotected bosoms to resign,
When honour and our holy faith command you !
Eva. Even to destruction will I follow thee !
Helena. The hero's bride shall with the hero die !
Zriny. (Opening his arms.) Come to my heart! Oh, Heaven, how
rich I am!
The three form a groupe.) Through the window of the back scene are now visible the splendours of the conflagration.
Paprutowitch. There flew the fire-brands-Now the flames aspire !
Already from all corners they break forth.
Zriny. Sokolowitch ! now go, and tell thy master,
How thou hast here found Zriny and his people !
Tell him that all our hearts are thus united. -
Yet, ere thou measurest back thy way, the town
In flames will have announced to him already
That Zriny is no trifler,--that he holds
His honour dearer than a regal crown,-
And duty to his country cherishes,
More than paternal love ;--that he will stand
Firm at his
post, till death's dark night descends.
Now for the new attack !-Storm on! For battle
We are prepared, but living shall no man
Be captured-no-nor woman !-and, at last,
These falling towers shall be our sepulchre ! The genius of Körner was so fertile, gree; but they are too long for tranand his tragedies are so long, that the scription. It is proper to observe, that task of selection here becomes especial- in these dialogues Zriny tries every ly difficult. The fourth act, at which method of persuasion to induce his we have now arrived, is, perhaps, the wife and daughter to save themselves best in the play; and yet we must by flight, through a subterraneous hurry through it, in order to leave passage, which would conduct them room for the fifth. This fourth act from the vaults to the sea shore ; but exhibits the storming of the castle,– they persist, with inflexible constancy, the repulse of the Turks--the death of in refusal, and all agree to perish, Solyman,--the final arrangements of though yet ignorant of the precise Zriny, whose forces are reduced to six modes in which their several deaths hundred men, and who, with his forte may at last be accomplished. Before ress already in flames, and all his stores proceeding to our promised version of exhausted, finds, that, on a fresh attack, the fifth act, however, we must make utter destruction will be inevitable. room for three short scenes, containThe consultations between the Chief- ing the death of the Emperor Solyman; tain, Eva, Helena, and Lorenzo, in in whom Körner (like Müllner with the vaults beneath the castle, which his hero Jugurd) probably has emconclude this act, are indeed poeti- bodied some of his own visions regardcal and affecting in the highest de- ing the character of Bonaparte.
Solyman, Levi, Mustapha.- (Continued noise of battle.)
Solyman. Support me, Levi, or I faint! Oh, Heaven,
Let me not die before the crescent banner
Is gleaming on these ramparts! Oh for this
Let me yet live!
Mehm. My Lord and Emperor,
your life and strength. Nature herself
Is wont to obey you.
Solym. Nay, Death scorns me now-
Even like the brave Hungarian Chief.-Ha!-there!
Heard you the long’d-for shouts of victory?
Mehmed, that was my darling song,-sweet music,
That from a thousand battles thundering rose
To greet me!-Yet once more, ere in the grave
I rest, that song of triumph must be heard !
This once, -oh Fortune, yet obey thy master!
Mehm. Are there yet secret sorrows on your heart ?
Trust them, I pray you, to a faithful servant ;
Make me the heir of all your worldly cares.
Solym. If I had cares or sorrows, could I then
Deserve the name of hero ?-I have fought,-
Revell’d, -and conquer’d. Moments have s purchased
With streams of blood; and in those moments drank
The full cup of enjoyment! Through the world
My warlike deeds have fear and trembling spread,
Defied the censures of posterity,-
And storm'd the fortress of eternal fame!
That I have march'd o'er mangled carcases,
And ruin’d towers,--and millions have to death
Reckless devoted ;—this the grovelling worm
That crawld beneath me to the world may tell!
Such voices will decay~Greatness alone
Fades never,—but from age to age will triumph!
Build but the temple of your name on high ;
Found it on sacrifices,-mangled limbs,-
On hate or love,-build but on high, the waves
Of time will overflow your life-the mountain
Is cover'd then,-only the temple stands
In proud magnificence gleaming afar !
There, blazon'd in bright letters, is your name!
Posterity will praise you, and forget
The ground whereon its golden pillars rose !
Levi. Yet spare your strength, my liege! Oh spare it! Words
Exhaust you. But repose, perchance, if Heaven
Vouchsafe a miracle, might yet restore you.
Solym. These words I do forgive thy long-tried service.
Oh, fool, to think that whosoe'er has lived
As I have done, would in a dream of peace
Sigh his last breath away! Nay, life itself
Is nought to me, without high deeds, to rouse
The slumbering energies, which dull repose
Chains up and kills. He only lives who acts !
Thus will I live, nor till death comes-will die! From mere want of room, we must frame has the strength of a whole troop, omit one scene, where Solyman is told and that his janissaries refuse to conthat the Hungarians fight like demons tinue the attack, to which he replies rather than men,-that each in his own
Then hunt them on with dogs
Goad them with pitchforks up the walls-and fill
Trenches with fire behind them—Shoot them dead,
If they refuse to storm! Sigeth must fall,
If standing on a pile of carcases
That once were half mine army--all the rest
I should to hell devote !—Sigeth must fall!
Storm on !-Few moments now are left me here
And mid the thunders of our victory,
I shall from life depart !
His rage and illness continue to increase together, and the next scene termi. nates his career.
Begler Beg. Thy troops are put to flight-We are defeated
The Egyptian Pasha by a cannon shot
Hath falln. Death revels o'er his prey-No longer
Can we attack. The shouts of victory
Are thunder'd after us by the Hungarians.
Solim. Death in thy throat, damn'd slave! Sigeth must fall !
Storm on !—I have resolved-
Begler Beg. Impossible!
Solim. Coward, go thou to hell !
(Raises himself and throws his dagger at the officer,
then falls back.) Storm !-Storm !
We now gladly discontinue our prose annotations, and present the fifth Act to our readers without farther comment.
Zriny magnificently attired,-SCHERENK assisting him to dress.
Zriny. Now, haste thee, Francis !- I believe thou weep'st!
Fy, old man, griev’st thou at thy master's triumph ?
What mean those tears ?
Scher. May I not be forgiven ?
These arms supported you while yet a child-
I was with you at your first tournament,
And at Vienna buckled on your spurs.-
On your first marriage day with Frangipani,
(Blest be her memory!) i thus attired you-
T'hen all the people, as we pass’d along,
claim'd aloud, “ See the heroic youth,
And see the bride! no nobler pair e'er trod
The path that leads unto the sacred altar.”-
Then all rejoicing shouted forth your names :
Proud on that day was each Hungarian heart !
Zriny. The good Katharina !
Scher. Thus have I been wont
On all occasions of festivity,
All pageantry in honour of your conquests,
Still to attend you. Proud, indeed, was I,
The noblest hero of our troubled times,
The greatest of our nation, to invest
With all insignia of his knightly rank,
And tokens of our Emperor's gratitude.
Then through the people as you gaily rode,
And uncontrollably, your noble horse,
Vain of his rider, in high caprioles,
Struck from the stones fierce fire; and all, amazed,
Named you the Christians' shield,—the Pagans' terror,-
And raised the threefold shouts of praise around you,
Then your old servant dream'd, that of this glory
He too possess'd a share, because, forsooth,
He buckled on your armour-This, indeed,
Made his old heart so proud and buoyant then
Zriny. Well, now?
Scher. Even in this self-same garb,
I did attire
for your second marriage