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The evil destiny surprised my brother
Too suddenly ; he could not think on them.
Speak not of vengeance! Speak not of maltreatment!
The Emperor is appeased; the heavy fault
Hath heavily been expiated—nothing
Descended from the father to the daughter,
Except his glory and his services.
The Empress honours your adversity,
Takes part in your afflictions, opens to you
Her motherly arms! Therefore no farther fears;
Yield yourself up in hope and confidence
To the Imperial Grace!
countess (with her eye raised to heaven).
To the grace and mercy of a greater Master
Do I yield up myself. Where shall the body
Of the Duke have its place of final rest?
In the Chartreuse, which he himself did found
At Gitschin, rest the Countess Wallenstein;
And by her side, to whom he was indebted
For his first fortunes, gratefully lie wish'd
He might sometime repose in death O let him
Be buried there. And likewise, for my husband's
Remains, I ask the like trace. The Emperor
Is now proprietor of all our Castles.
This sure may well be granted us—one sepulchre
Beside the sepulchres of our forefathers'
Countess, you tremble, you turn pale!
countess (reassembles all her powers, and speaks with
energy and dignity).
More worthily of me, than to believe
I would survive the downfal of my house.
We did not hold ourselves too mean to grasp
After a monarch's crown—the crown did fate
Deny, but not the feeling and the spirit
That to the crown belong! We deem a
Courageous death more worthy of our free station
Than a dishonour'd life.—I have taken poison.
Help! Help! Support her
Nay, it is too late.
In a few moments is my fate accomplish'd.
O house of death and horrors!
[An Officea enters, and brings a letter with the
Gordon (steps forward and meets him).
What is this?
It is the Imperial Seal.
[He reads the Address, and delivers the letter to
Ocravio with a look of reproach, and with an
emphasis on the word.
To the Prince Piccolomini.
[Octavio with his whole frame expressive of sudden
anquish, raises his eyes to heaven.
&The fall of $obespierre;
To H. MARTIN, ESQ.
of Jesus college, cAMBRIDGE.
Accept, as a small testimony of my grateful attachment, the following Dramatic Poem, in which I have endeavoured to detail, in an interesting form, the fall of a man, whose great bad actions have cast a disastrous lustre on his name. In the execution of the work, as intricacy of plot could not have been attempted without a gross violation of recent facts, it has been my sole aim to imitate the impassioned and highly figurative language of the French Orators, and to develop the characters of the chief actors on a vast stage of horrors.
S. T. Colen ido E.
Jesus College, September 22, 1794.
SCENE, The Tuilleries.
The tempest gathers—be it mine to seek
A friendly shelter, ere it bursts upon him.
But where? and how? I fear the Tyrant's soul—
Sudden in action, fertile in resource,
And rising awful 'mid impending ruins;
In splendour gloomy, as the midnight meteor,
That fearless thwarts the elemental war.
When last in secret conference we met,
He scow!d upon me with suspicious rage,
Making his eye the inmate of my bosom.
I know he scorns me—and I feel, I hate him-
Yet there is in him that which makes me tremble'
Tai LowIt was Barrere, Legendre: didst thou mark him ' Atropo be turn’d, yet linger'd as he went, And towards us cast a look of doubtful meaning. LEGExtorteI mark'd him well. I met his eve's last glance; It menaced not so proudly as of yore. Methought he would have spoke—but that he dared notSuch agitation darken'd on his brow. TAL Lien. 'T was all distrusting guilt that kept from bursting Th’ imprison'd secret struggling in the face : E'en as the sudden breeze upstarting onwards Hurries the thunder-cloud, that poised awhile Hung in mid air, red with its mutinous burthen. Legen on E. Perfidious Traitor!—still afraid to bask In the full blaze of power, the rustling serpent Lurks in the thicket of the Tyrant's greatness, Ever prepared to sting who shelters him. Each thought, each action in himself converges; And love and friendship on his coward heart Shine like the powerless sun on polar ice: To all attach'd, by turns deserting all, Cunning and dark—a necessary villain : TAL Lie N. Yet much depends upon him—well you know." With plausible harangue’t is his to paint Defeat like victory—and blind the mob With truth-mix’d falsehood. They, led on by him, And wild of head to work their own destruction, Support with uproar what he plans in darkness. Lee expreO what a precious name is Liberty To scare or cheat the simple into slaves! Yes—we must gain him over: by dark hints We'll show enough to rouse his watchful fears, Till the cold coward blaze a patriot. O Danton' murder'd friend! assist my counsels— Hover around me on sad memory's wings, And pour thy daring vengeance in my heart. Tallien' if but to-morrow's fateful sun Beholds the Tyrant living—we are dead! tA Litex. Yet his keen eye that tiashes mighty meanings— Lee Ex of e. Fear not—or rather fear th' aiternative, And seek for courage e'en in cowardice.—— But see—hither he comes—let us away! His brother with him, and the bloody Couthon, And high of haughty spirit, young St-Just. [Exeunt.
Enter Rossspienas, Courhox, Sr-Just, and RosesPikane Juxtoa.
nosespierne. What! did La Fayette fall before my power: And did I conquer Roland's spotless virtues? The fervent eloquence of Vergniaud's tongue: And Brissot's thoughtful soul unbribed and bold: Did zealot armies haste in vain to save them?
What! did th'assassin's dagger aim its point
Wain, as a dream of murder, at my bosome -
And shall I dread the soft luxurious Tallien?
Th' Adonis Tallien” banquet-hunting Tallien”
Him, whose heart flutters at the dice-box” Ilinn,
who ever on the harlots downy pillow
Resigns his head impure to feverish slumbers!
I cannot fear him—yet we must not scorn him.
Was it not Antony that conquer’d Brutus,
Th' Adonis, banquet-hunting Antony?
The state is not yet purified: and though
The stream runs clear, yet at the bottom lies
The thick black sediment of all the factions—
It needs no magic hand to stir it up!
O we did wrong to spare them—fatal error!
Why lived Legendre, when that Danton died?
And Coliot d'Herbois dangerous in crimes?
1 we fear'd him, since his iron heart endured
To make of Lyons one vast human shambles,
Compared with which the sun-scorch'd wilderness
Of Zara were a smiling paradise.
Rightly thou judgest, Couthan . He is one,
Who thes from silent solitary anguish,
Seeking forgetful peace amid the jar
Of elements. The howl of maniac uproar
Lulls to sad sleep the memory of himself.
A calm is fatal to him—then he feels
The dire upboilings of the storm within him.
A tiger mad with inward wounds!——I dread
The fierce and restless turbulence of guilt.
see Espie ste.
Is not the commune ours? The stern tribunal?
Dumas? and Vivier? Fleuriot? and Louvet?
And Henriot 2 We il denounce a hundred, nor
Shall they behold to-morrow's sun roll westward.
sostspie as E. Jux toe.
Nay—I am sick of blood; my aching heart
Reviews the long, long train of hideous horrors
That still have gloom'd the rise of the republic.
I should have died before Toulon, when war
Became the patriot:
rosospis at E.
Most unworthy wish!
He, whose heart sickens at the blood of traitors,
Would be himself a traitor, were he not
A coward! T is congenial souls alone
Shed tears of sorrow for each other's fate.
o thou art brave, my brother! and thine eye
Full firmly shines amid the groaning battle—
Yet in thine heart the woman-form of pity
Asserts too large a share, an ill-timed guest!
There is unsoundness in the state—To-morrow
Shall see it cleansed by wholesome massacre!
*oss-spirie at 1 to Nio a.
Beware! already do the sections murmur—
• O the great glorious patriot, Robespierre–
The tyrant guardian of the country's freedom!"
T were folly sure to work great deeds by halves!
Much I suspect the darksone fickie heart
Of cold Barrere'
I see the villain in him!
rost spleast juxton.
If he—if all forsake thee—what remains '
Rob Espiran E.
Myself: the steel-strong Rectitude of soul
And Poverty sublime 'mid circling virtues'
The giant Victories, my counsels form d,
Shall stalk around me with sun-glittering plumes,
Bidding the darts of calumny fall pointless.
[Exeunt caeteri. Manet Courhon.
courhon (solus). So we deceive ourselves! What goodly virtues Bloom on the poisonous branches of ambition! Still, Robespierre! thou'lt guard thy country's freedom To despotize in all the patriot's pomp. While Conscience, 'mid the mob's applauding clamours, Sleeps in thine ear, nor whispers—blood-stain'd tyrant! Yet what is Conscience? Superstition's dream, Making such deep inpression on our sleep— That long th' awaken'd breast retains its horrors! But he returns—and with him comes Barrere. [Exit Courhon.
Enter Robespiegne and BARREBE.
Rob Espi enre. There is no danger but in cowardice.— Barrere! we make the danger, when we fear it. We have such force without, as will suspend The cold and trembling treachery of these members. B.A far ene. 'T will be a pause of terror.— hot, espi eith E. But to whom? Rather the short-lived slumber of the tempest, Gathering its strength anew. The dastard traitors! Moles, that would undermine the rooted oak! A pause!—a moment's pause!—'T is all their life. BA after e. Yet much they talk—and plausible their speech. Couthon's decree has given such powers, that— Robespi enne. That what? HAn h-ERE. The freedom of debate— Robespie one. Transparent mask! They wish to clot; the wheels of government, Forcing the hand that guides the vast machine To bribe then to their duty—English patriots! Are not the congregated clouds of war Black all around us? In our very vitals Works not the king-bred poison of rebellion ? Say, what shall counteract the selfish plottings Of wretches, cold of heart, nor awed by fears Of him, whose power directs th' eternal justice Terror? or secret-sapping gold The first Heavy, but transient as the ills that cause it; And to the virtuous patriot rendered light By the necessities that gave it birth: The other fouls the fount of the republic, Making it flow polluted to all ages: Inoculates the state with a slow venom, That, once imbibed, must be continued ever. Myself incorruptible, I ne'er could bribe them– Therefore they hate me. to A R RERE.
Are the sections friendly?"
Rob Espleane. There are who wish my ruin–but I'll make them Blush for the crime in blood! BARRE ae. Nay—but I tell thee, Thou art too fond of slaughter—and the right (If right it be) workest by most foul means! Rod Espleene. Self-centering Fear! how well thou canst ape Mercy! Too fond of slaughter!—matchless hypocrite! Thought Barrere so, when Brissot, Danton died? Thought Barrere so, when through the streaming streets Of Paris red-eyed Massacre o'er-wearied Reel'd heavily, intoxicate with blood? And when (0 heavens') in Lyons death-red square Sick fancy groan'd o'er putrid hills of slain, Didst thou not fiercely laugh, and bless the day? Why, thou hast been the mouth-piece of all horrors, And, like a blood-hound, crouch'd for murder! Now Aloof thou standest from the tottering pillar, Or, like a frighted child behind its mother, Hidest thy pale face in the skirts of Mercy! BARRE RE. O prodigality of eloquent anger! Why now I see thou 'rt weak—thy case is desperate! The cool ferocious Robespierre turn'd scolder! Rob Espien re. Who from a bad man's bosom wards the blow Reserves the whetted dagger for his own. Denounced twice—and twice I saved his life! [Exit. bar Reef. The sections will support then—there's the point? No! he can never weather out the storm— Yet he is sudden in revenge—No more!
I must away to Tallien. [Exit.
SCENE changes to the house of Adelaide. Adelaide enters, speaking to a Servant.
A DELA ide.
Didst thou present the letter that I gave thee!
Did Tallien answer, he would soon return?
He is in the Tuilleries—with him Legendre—
In deep discourse they seem'd : as I approach'd
He waved his hand as bidding me retire :
I did not interrupt him. [Returns the letter.
Ad ELA IDE.
- Thou didst rightly.
O this new freedom! at how dear a price
We've bought the seeming good! The peaceful virtues,
And every blandishment of private life,
The father's cares, the mother's fond endearment,
All sacrificed to liberty's wild riot.
The winged hours, that scatter'd roses round me,
Languid and sad drag their slow course along,
And shake big gall-drops from their heavy wings.
But I will steal away these anxious thoughts
By the soft languishment of warbled airs,
If haply melodies may lull the sense
Of sorrow for a while.
T-L----. I thank thee, Adelaide: "t was sweet, though mournful. But why thy brow o'ercast, toy check so wan: Thou look at as a lorn maid beside some stream That sighs away the soul in fond despairing, while sorrow sad, like the dank willow near her, Hangs o'er the troubled fountain of her eye.
-o-L--deAh! rather let me ask what mystery lowers on Talien's darken'd brow. Thou dost me wrong— Thy soul disemperd, can my heart be tranquill
Tell me, by whom thy brother's blood was spilt?
Asks he not vengeance on these patriot murderers:
It has been borne too tamely. Fears and curses
Groan on our midnight beds, and een our dreams
Threaten the assassin hand of Robespierre.
He dies!—nor has the plot escaped his fears.
Yet-yet-be cautious! much I fear the Commune—
The tyrant's creatures, and their fate with his
Past link'd in close indissoluble union.
The Pale Convention—
, Even for a moment hold his fate suspended,
I swear. by the holy Poniard that stabled Caesar, This dagger Protes his heart!
ACT II. SCENE-—The Contention.
mos Espirane (mounts the Tribune). Once more befits it that the voice of truth, Fearless in innocence, though leaguer'd round By envy and her hateful brood of hell, Be heard amid this hall. once more befits The patriot, whose prophetic eye so oft Has pierced through faction's veil, to flash on crimes of deadliest import. Mouldering in the grave Sleeps Capet's castiff corse; my daring hand Levell'd to earth his blood-cemented throne. My voice declared his guilt, and stirr'd up France To call for vengeance. I too dug the grave Where sleep the Girondists, detested band' Long with the show of freedom they abused
Her ardent sons. Long time the well-turn'd phrase,
The high fraught sentence, and the lofty tone
Of declamation, thunder'd in this hall,
Till reason inidst a labyrinth of words
Perplex'd, in silence seem'd to yield assent.
I durst oppose. Soul of my honoured friend!
Spirit of Marat, upon thee I call—
Thou know'st me faithful, know'st with what warm zcal
I urged the cause of justice, stripp'd the mask
From faction's deadly visage, and destroy'd
Her traitor brood. Whose patriot arm hurl’d down
Hebert and Rousin, and the villain friends
of Danton, foul apostate! those, who long
Mask'd treason's form in liberty's fair garb,
Long deluged France with blood, and durst defy
Omnipotence! but I, it seems, am false!
I am a traitor too! I–Itobespierre!
I—at whose name the dastard despot brood
Look pale with fear, and call on saints to help them!
Wllo dares accuse me? who shall dare belie
My spotless name? Speak, ye accomplice band,
Of what am I accused of what strange crime
is Maximilian Robespierre accused,
That through this hall the buzz of discontent
Should murmur? who shall speak?
Bi L.L.A. ud wa RENNEs.
O patriot tongue,
Belying the foul heart! Who was it urged,
Friendly to tyrants, that accurst decree
Whose influence brooding o'er this hallow'd hall,
Has chill'd each tongue to silence. Who destroy'd,
The freedom of debate, and carried through
The fatal law, that doom'd the delegates,
Unheard before their equals, to the bar
Where cruelty sat throned, and murder reign'd
With her Dumas co-equal? Say—thou man
Of mighty eloquence, whose law was that?
That law was mine. I urged it—I proposed-
The voice of France assembled in her sons
Assented, though the tame and timid voice
Of traitors murmur'd. I advised that law–
I justify it. It was wise and good.
is A fan E is E.
Oh, wonderous wise, and most convenient too!
I have long mark'd thee, Robespierre—and now
Proclaim thee traitor—tyrant!
no despief Re.
It is well.
I am a traitor' ol, that I had fallen
When Regnault lifted high the murderous knife;
Regnault, the instrument belike of those
Who now themselves would fain assassinate,
And legalize their murders. I stand here
An isolated patriot—llemmed around
By faction's noisy pack; beset and bay'd
By the foul hell-hounds who know no escape
From justice' outstretch'd arm, but by the force
That pierces through her breast.
(Murmurs, and shouts of Down with the tyrant!
no despi to a fae.
Nay, but I will be heard. There was a time,
When Robespierre began, the loud applauses
Of honest patriots drown'd the honest sound.
But times are changed, and villany prevails. -
collot d'HER bols.
No—villany shall fall. France could not brook
A monarch's sway—sounds the dictator's name
More soothing to her ear?
Rattle her chains
More musically now than when the hand
Of Irissot fort;ed her fetters, or the crew
Of Hebert thundered out their blasphemies,
And Danton talk'd of virtue?
Oh, that Brissot
Were here again to thunder in this hall.
That Hebert lived, and Danton's giant form
Scowl'd once again defiance! so my soul
Might cope with worthy foes.
People of France,
Hear me! Beneath the vengeance of the law,
Traitors have perish'd countless; more survive:
The hydra-headed faction lifts anew
Her daring front, and fruitful from her wounds,
Cautious from past defects, contrives new wiles
Against the sons of Freedom.
Oppression falls—for France has felt her chains,
Has burst them too. Who traitor-like stept forth
Amid the hall of Jacobins to save
Camille Desmoulins, and the venal wretch
I did—for I thought them honest.
And Heaven forefend that vengeance ere should strike,
Ere justice doom'd the blow.
Traitor, thou didst.
Yes, the accomplice of their dark designs,
Awhile didst thou defend them, when the storm
Lower'd at safe distance.When the clouds frown'd darker,
Fear'd for yourself and left them to their fate.
Oh, I have mark'd thee long, and through the veil
Seen thy foul projects. Yes, ambitious man,
Self-will'd dictator o'er the realm of France,
The vengeance thou hast plann'd for patriots,
Falls on thy head. Look how thy brother's deeds
Dishonour thine ! He the firm patriot,
Thou the foul parricide of Liberty!
Rob Espied he junio R.
Barrere—attempt not meanly to divide
Me from my brother. I partake his guilt,
For I partake his virtue.
Irother, by my soul,
More dear I hold thee to my heart, that thus
With me thou darest to tread the dangerous path
Of virtue, than that nature twined lier cords
Of kindred round us.
to A hit en E.
Yes, allied in guilt,
Even as in blood ye are. Oh, thou worst wretch,
Thou worse than Sylla! hast thou not proscribed,
Yea, in most foul anticipation slaughter'd,
Each patriot representative of France?
Was not the younger Caesar too to reign
O'er all our valiant armies in the south,
And still continue there his merchant wiles?
no e FS Pierine Junior.
His merchant wiles! Oh, grant me patience, Heaven
Was it by merchant wiles I gain'd you back
Toulon, when proudly on her captive towers
Waved high the English flag or fought I then
With merchant wiles, when sword in hand I led
Your troops to conquest? fought I merchant-like,
Or barter'd I for victory, when death
Strode o'er the reeking streets with giant stride,
And shook his ebon plumes, and sternly smiled
Amid the bloody banquet” when appall'd
The hireling sons of England spread the sail