Imatges de pÓgina
PDF

of safety. fought I like a merchant then?
Oh, patience patience:
totapow l'oise.
How this younger tyrant
Mouths out defiance to us! even so
He had led on the armies of the south,
Till once again the plains of France were drench'd
With her best blood.
collot to seebois.
Till, once again display'd,
Lyons' sad tragedy had card me forth
The minister of wrath, whilst slaughter by
Had bathed in human blood.
Dubois caaxco.
No wonder, friend,
That we are traitors—that our heads must fall
Beneath the are of death . When Caesar-like
Heigns hobespierre, 'tis wisely done to doom
The fall of Brutus. Tell me, bloody man,
Hast thou not parcell'd out deluded France,
As it had been some province won in fight,
Between your curst triumvirate? You, Couthon,
Go with my brother to the southern plains;
St-Just, be yours the army of the north;
Meantime I rule at Paris.
Robespie-re.
Matchless knave'
what—not one blush of conscience on thy cheek-
Not one poor blush of truth! dost likely tale!
That i who ruin'd Brissot's towering hopes,
I who discover'd Hebert's impious wiles,
And sharp'd for Danton's recreant neck the axe,
Should now be traitor' had Î been so minded,
Think ye I had destroy'd the very men
whose plots resembled mine? Bring forth your proofs
Of this deep treason. Tell me in whose breast
Found ye the fatal scroll” or tell me rather
Who forged the shameless falsehood
collor d’Her bois.
Ask you proofs?
Robespierre, what proofs were ask'd when Brissot died?
LEGE N dae.
what proofs adduced you when the Danton died?
When at the imminent peril of my life
I rose, and fearless of thy frowning brow,
Proclaim'd him guiltless?
Rodris Pie RRE.
I remember wel
The fatal day. I do repent me much -
That I kill d Caesar and spared Antony.
But I have been too lenient. I have spared
The stream of blood, and now my own must flow
To fill the current.

[Loud applauses. Triumph not too soon, Justice may yet be victor.

Enter ST-Just, and mounts the Tribune.

st-gust. I come from the committee—charged to speak Of matters of high import. I omit Their orders. Representatives of France, Boldly in his own person speaks St-Just What his own heart shall dictate. TALLI E.N.

Hear ye this,

[blocks in formation]

st-Just. I may be heard, then! much the times are changed, when St-Just thanks this hall for hearing him. Robespierre is call d a tyrant. Men of France, Judge not too soon. By popular discontent Was Aristides driven into exile, was Phocion murder'd Ere ye dare pronounce Robespierre is guilty, it befits ye well, Consider who accuse him. Tallien, Bourdon of Oise—the very men denounced, For their dark intrigues disturb’d the plan Of government. Legendre, the sworn friend Of Danton, fall'n apostate. Dubois Crancé, He who at Lyons spared the royalists— Collot d'Herbois— bound on l'oise. What—shall the traitor rear His head amid our tribune—and blaspheme Each patriot? shall the hireling slave of faction—

st-Just. I am of no faction. I contend Against all factions. TAL Lien.

I espouse the cause Of truth. Robespierre on yester morn pronounced Upon his own authority a report. To-day St-Just comes down. St-Just neglects What the committee orders, and harangues From his own will. O citizens of France, I weep for you—I weep for my poor countryI tremble for the cause of Liberty, When individuals shall assume the sway, And with more insolence than kingly pride Rule the republic.

Bill. Auto variennes. Shudder, ye representatives of France, Shudder with horror. Henriot commands The marshall'd force of Paris—Henriot, Foul parricide—the sworn ally of Hebert, Denounced by all— upheld by Robespierre. Who spared La Valette? who promoted him, Stain'd with the deep dye of nobility: Who to an ex-peer gave the high command 1 Who screen'd from justice the rapacious thief? Who cast in chains the friends of Liberty? Robespierre, the self-styled patriot Robespierre— Robespierre, allied with villain Daubigné— Robespierre, the foul arch-tyrant Robespierre. Bouaoon l'oise. He talks of virtue—of morality— Consistent patriot! he, Daubigné's friend! Henriot's supporter virtuous! Preach of virtue, Yet league with villains, for with Robespierre Villains alone ally. Thou art a tyrant! I style thee tyrant, Robespierre! [Loud applauses. Robespienne. Take back the name. Ye citizens of France— [Violent clamour. Cries of Doun with the Tyrant! tAllien. Oppression falls. The traitor stands appall’d— Guilt's iron fangs engrasp his shrinking soul— Ile hears assembled France denounce his crimes! He sees the mask torn from his secret sins— He trembles on the precipice of fate. Fall'n guilty tyrant! murder'd by thy rage, How many an innocent victim's blood has stain'd Fair Freedom's altar ! Sylla-like, thy hand Mark'd down the virtues, that, thy foes removed, Perpetual Dictator thou Inightst reign, And tyrannize o'er France, and call it freedom! Long time in timid guilt the traitor plann'd His fearful wiles—success embolden'd sin– And his stretch'd arm had grasp'd the diadem Ere now, but that the coward's heart recoil'd, Lest France awaked, should rouse her from her dream, And call aloud for vengeance. He, like Caesar, With rapid step urged on his bold career, Even to the summit of ambitious power, And deem'd the name of King alone was wanting. Was it for this we hurl’d proud Capet down? Is it for this we wage eternal war Against the tyrant horde of murderers, The crown'd cockatrices whose foul venom Infects all Europe? was it then for this We swore to guard our liberty with life, That Robespierre should reign the spirit of freedom ls not yet sunk so low. The glowing flame That animates each honest Frenchman's heart Not yet extinguish'd. I invoke thy shade, Immortal Brutus! I too wear a dagger; And if the representatives of France, Through fear or favour, should delay the sword Of justice, Tallien emulates thy virtues; Tallien, like Brutus, lifts the avenging arm; Tallien shall save his country.

[Violent applauses.

bill. A UD WARENNES. I demand

The arrest of all the traitors. Memorable
Will be this day for France.
Robespierrar.
Yes! memorable
This day will be for France—-for villains triumph.
Lebows.

I will not share in this day's damning guilt.
Condemn me too.

[Great cry–Down with the Tyrants! (The two Robespien REs, Courhon, Sr-Just and LEBAs

are led off.)

ACT III. Scene continues.

collor d'heabois. Caesar is fallen' The baneful tree of Java, Whose death-distilling boughs dropt poisonous dew, Is rooted from its base. This worse than Cromwell, The austere, the self-denying Robespierre, Even in this hall, where once with terror mute We listen'd to the hypocrite's harangues, Has heard his doom. Bill Aud wanen Nes. Yet must we not suppose The tyrant will fall tamely. His sworn hireling Henriot, the daring desperate llenriot Commands the force of Paris. I denounce him. Fakmon. I denounce Fleuriot too, the mayor of Paris.

Enter Dubois CaANck.

DuBois chanck.

Robespierre is rescued. Henriot at the head
Of the armed force has rescued the fierce tyrant.

collot D'henbois.
Ring the tocsin—call all the citizens
To save their country—never yet has Paris
Forsook the representatives of France.

TALLIEN.
It is the hour of danger. I propose
This sitting be made permanent.
[Loud applauses.

collor d'herbois. The national Convention shall remain Firm at its post.

Enter a Messengen.

messenger. Robespierre has reach'd the Commune. They espouse The tyrant's cause. St-Just is up in arms! St-Just—the young ambitious bold St-Just Harangues the mob. The sanguinary Couthon Thirsts for your blood.

[Tocsin rings.
TALL ten.

These tyrants are in arms against the law:
Outlaw the rebels.

- Enter Memlin of Douay.

ME all N. Health to the representatives of France! I past this moment through the armed force— They ask'd my name—and when they heard a delegate, Swore I was not the friend of France.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

To principles, not persons, spurn the idol
They worshipp'd once. Yes, Robespierre shall fall
As Capet fell! Oh! never let us deem
That France shall crouch beneath a tyrant's throne,
That the almighty people who have broke
on their oppressors heads the oppressive chain,
Will court again their fetters! casier were it
To hurl the cloud-capt mountain from its base,
Than force the bonds of slavery upon men

| Determined to be free!

[Applauses.

Enter Lee Expos, a pistol in one hand, keys in the other.

LEGExpae (flinging down the keys). So–let the mutinous Jacobius mect now in the open air. {Loud applauses. A factious turbulent party Lording it o'er the state since Danton died, And with him the Cordeliers.-A hireling band Of loud-tongued orators controll'd the club, And bade them bow the knee to Robespierre. Vivier has 'scaped me. Curse his coward heart— This fate-fraught tube of Justice in my hand, I rush'd into the hall. He mark'd mine eye That beam'd its patriot anger, and flash'd full With death-denouncing meaning. "Mid the throng He mingled. I pursued—but staid my hand, Lest haply I might shed the innocent blood. |-spplauses. - Farn ox. They took from me my ticket of admission— Expell'd me from their sittings—Now, forsooth, ilumbled and trembling re-insert my name; But Fréron enters not the club again Till it be purged of guilt—till, purified Of tyrants and of traitors, honest men Alay breathe the air in safety. [shouts from without. hara rae. what means this uproar! if the tyrant band Should gain the people once again to rise— We are as dead! tallie N. And wherefore fear we death? Did Brutus fear it? or the Grecian friends Who buried in Hipparchus' breast the sword, And died triumphant? Cesar should fear death, Brutus must scorn the bugbear. [Shouts from without. Live the Convention–Down with the Tyrants! TALt. it. N. Hark! again The sounds of honest Freedom

Enter Deputies from the Sections.

citizen.
Citizens! representatives of France!
Hold on your steady course. The men of Paris
Espouse your cause. The men of Paris swear
They will defend the delegates of Freedom.

tA. i. i. 1 r.N.
Ilear ye this, Colleagues’ hear ye this, my brethren:
And does no thrill of joy pervade your breasts:
My bosom bounds to rapture. I have seen

The sons of France shake off the tyrant yoke;
I have, as much as lies in mine own arm,
IIurl’d down the usurper.—Come death when it will,
I have lived long enough.
[Shouts without.
BARRE RE.

Hark! how the noise increases! through the gloom
Of the still evening—harbinger of death,
Rings the tocsin! the dreadful generale
Thunders through Paris– -

[Cry without–Down with the Tyrant!

Enter Lecountae.

lscot Nth e.

So may eternal justice blast the foes
Of France! so perish all the tyrant brood,
As Robespierre has perished! Citizens,
Caesar is taken.

[loud and repeated applauses.
I marvel not, that with such fearless front,
He braved our vengeance, and with angry eye
Scowl'd round the hall defiance. He relied
On Henriot's aid—the Commune's villain friendship,
And Henriot's boughten succours. Ye have heard
How Henriot rescued him—how with open arms
The Commune welcomed in the rebel tyrant–
How Fleuriot aided, and seditious Vivier
Stirr'd up the Jacobins. All had been lost—
The representatives of France had perish’d—
Freedom had sunk beneath the tyrant arm
of this foul parricide, but that her spirit
Inspired the men of Paris. Henriot call’d
• To arms» in vain, whilst Bourdon's patriot voice
Breathed eloquence, and o'er the Jacobins
Legendre frown'd dismay. The tyrants fled—
They reach'd the Hotel. We gather'd round—we call'd
For vengeance! Long time, obstinate in despair,
With knives they hack'd around them. Till foreboding
The sentence of the law, the clamorous cry
of joyful thousands hailing their destruction,
Each sought by suicide to escape the dread
Of death. Lebas succeeded. From the window
Leapt the younger Robespierre, but his fractured limb
Forbade to escape. The self-will'd dictator
Plunged often the keen knife in his dark breast,
Yet impotent to die. He lives all mangled
By his own tremulous hand! All gash'd and gored,
Ile lives to taste the bitterness of death.
Even now they meet their doom. The bloody Couthon,
The fierce St-Just, even now attend their tyrant
To fall beneath the axe. I saw the torches
Flash on their visages a dreadful light—
1 saw them whilst the black blood roll'd adown
Each stern face, even then with dauntless eye
Scowl round contemptuous, dying as they lived,
Fearless of fate!

[Loud and repeated applauses.

BARRERs (mounts the Tribune). For ever hallow'd be this glorious day, When Freedom, bursting her oppressive chain, Tramples on the oppressor. When the tyrant, Hurl’d from his blood-cemented throne by the arm Of the almighty people, meets the death He plann'd for thousands. Oh! my sickening heart Has sunk within me, when the various woes Of my brave country crowded o'er my brain . In ghastly numbers—when assembled hordes, Dragg'd from their hovels by despotic power, Rush'd o'er her frontiers, plunder'd her fair hamlets, And sack'd her populous towns, and drench'd with blood The reeking fields of Flanders.--When within, Upon her vitals prey'd the rankling tooth Of treason; and oppression, giant form, Trampling on freedom, left the alternative Of slavery, or of death. Even from that day, When, on the guilty Capet, I pronounced The doom of injured France, has faction rear'd Her hated head amongst us. Roland preach'd Of mercy—the uxorious dotard Roland, The woman-govern'd Roland durst aspire To govern France; and Petion talk'd of virtue, And Vergniaud's eloquence, like the honey'd tongue Of some soft Syren, wooed us to destruction. We triumph'd over these. On the same scaffold Where the last Louis pour'd his guilty blood, Fell Brissot's head, the womb of darksome treasons, And Orleans, villain kinsman of the Capet, And Hebert's atheist crew, whose maddening hand Hurl’d down the altars of the living God, With all the infidel's intolerance. The last worst traitor triumphed—triumpli'd long, Secured by matchless villany. By turns Defending and deserting each accomplice As interest prompted. In the goodly soil Of Freedom, the foul tree of treason struck Its deep-fix’d roots, and dropt the dews of death On all who slumber'd in its specious shade. He wove the web of treachery. He caught The listening crowd by his wild eloquence, His cool ferocity, that persuaded murder, Even whilst it spake of mercy!—Never, never Shall this regenerated country wear The despot yoke. Though myriads round assail, And with worse fury urge this new crusade Than savages have known; though the leagued despots Depopulate all Europe, so to pour The accumulated mass upon our coasts, Sublime amid the storm shall France arise, And like the rock amid surrounding waves Repel the rushing ocean.—She shall wield The thunder-bolt of vengeance—she shall blast The despot's pride, and liberate the world !

fHistollaneous 3:30pm.g. PROSE IN REYME: OR EPIGRAMS, MORALITIES, AND THINGS WITHOUT A NAME.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« AnteriorContinua »