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Mad. V. Ay, girl! this Jew would have thy very
SCENE VII. heart's blood ! He doth demand with brutal insolence
The house of Raymond - he and Bartolin sitting at a The payment of the sum already due
table, with papers before them. Or pleuge of jewels equal to the value
Raym. And say you there is no residue ? Or some rich friend as a security!
No- none ! (She throws herself into a chair, and
Raym. And that this money cannot be obtained ? wrings her hands.
Bar. I say again, it cannot! We are undone! poor Clara, we are beggars - Raym.
Are there none In the hard hands of a usurious Jew!
Who will advance this money on my bond? Raym. Madam, what sum requires this usurer ?
Bar. Your bond is nothing without means to
back itMad. V. Far more than we can raise! three thousand crowns – 1
It cannot be obtained ! But Clara's diamonds will be pledge susficient
It must! it shall! Why do you not obey me, Clara? fetch them!
Money has hitherto been plentiful Sir, you must pardon such a use of them,
Apply, sir, where you have applied before! But we are poor, and poverty is forced
Bar. I have applied; and this was all my answer. To make such sacrifice as wealth conceives not.
[He produces a small sealed packel.
Raym. Well, sir, and what is this? Raym. Nay, nay, my Clara, you shall keep your
Bar. baubles !
Nay, break the seal! The debt shall be discharged — where is the man ?
Raym. [opening the packet.] What things are these ?
With tears, she bade me say Mad. V. No, dearest sir, you shall not thus o'er. That she had nought else left – her wedding-ring, burthen
And her dead husband's Bible. Yourself with our distresses!
Oh, my mother! Raym.
'T is my pleasure! Thou cruel, godless wretch; hast thou been draining Three thousand crowns, you say, is his demand ? From that heart-broken mother, her poor all! Mad. V. Three thousand crowns, sir, with a large Was it from her thou got'st the easy gold
With which thou sinn'dst,-and leddest me to sin! Of shameful interest.
Bar. Did you not bid me get you gold; and swore Raym.
May be four thousand crowns? You cared not whence, nor how? Mad. V. "T will be that sum, at least.
Thou heartless sinper;
Thou pander to iniquity! May heaven Raym.
He is below
Visit this mother's sorrow on thy head! Ill see him and discharge the debt anon.
When came this message to thee? Clara. Alas, sir, you will surely curse the day Bar.
Full seven days since. You knew us, with our great necessities
Raym. Full seven days since! and yet you told We are so much your debtors!
me not. Raym.
I am yours!
Bar. You gave me not the chance! Have you But now, adieu! madam, to you good day!
not shunned me? [He bows, and goes out. Have you not flung at me opprobrious looks Clara. Most generous man! most noble, godlike Whene'er we met, and passed, as if I were man!
A loathsome leper ? Mother, are you not 'whelmed with gratitude ? Raym.
Cause I hated theeAnd yet I would we were not thus indebted. Because I know thee! and I fain would not Mad. V. 'Tis nothing, child, for him- four thou- Breathe of the air thy presence hath polluted. sand crowng —
Bar. 'T were better that we parted! ’T would go in some wild folly, if not thus:
It were best. And if he love you, he is proud to serve you —
Bar. I thought not to have found you, sir, unIf not, why let the counterfeit pay dearly
grateful! To hide his baseness !
Raym. I do not owe thee gratitude, but curses!
Bar. We have had many happy days together, — Clara. You may reason thus,
We have had jovial nights. I would not part I cannot! Oh, he is a godlike man!
From an old boon companion, with a grudge. Mad. V. Well, child, I go unto the promenade When this hot fit is by, you 'll need my service, You must walk too, this clear fresh air will heighten And I 'll allend your summons. The colour on your cheek, too delicate else ;
Hateful reptile; And you must wear your brightest looks to-night!
Too long I have endured thee. Get thee hence. Come, come, I wait for you.
Bar. [aside.] I will return these insults tenfold Clara. I shall not walk
on thee My heart is weary - I shall to my chamber. And thou shalt find the reptile has his fangs! [She goes out; Madam V. follows her.
(He goes out
Raym. (after a pause, taking up the ring.)
Raym. [giving a few gold pieces.] Small golden circlet — pledge of holy wedlock; Take these ; and may the Almighty Lord of mercy How have my mother's eyes been fixed on thee! Bless thee, for thy compassion to this woman! In joy, at first - the happy, wealthy bride
Wom. Heaven bless you, sir, for I have seven Of a good man!- and then in that great sorrow
small children Which fell upon her heart, when death came down Seven fatherless little ones! And left her in her early widowhood !
Alas for you ;
[He hurries out For a lost, guilty son !- how turned she then
Wom. Ah, 't is some man of sorrow Her dimmed eyes upon thee!
Some conscience-stricken prodigal, may be
Oh, thou mute thing Perchance the son of Madame Berthier! That yet reproachest with a tongue of fire; Perchance, say I? – I know it was her son. I hear thy admonition! I will fly
Christ give him penitence; for a mighty sin To her and save her!
[He hastens out. Lies on his soul — the blood of that good mother !
ACT III. - SCENE I. A meanly furnished garret — a poor woman at her The house of Madame Vaumar-she and Clara sitling work; a knock is heard — she opens the door, and
together. Raymond enters.
Mad. V. Thou foolish girl, — with all a woman's Raym. Lives here not Madam Berthier, iny good
But not a woman's pride! Why, this great Count Wo. Alas, sir, no! - she died a week ago. Will make an empress of thee! Raym. Died — woe's me! Said you truly she Clara.
Dearest mother, was dead ?
It is in vain to urge - I will not see him! Wom. Yes, sir, she died, and of a broken heart, Mad. V. Not see him! He, the courtliest gentle I knew her heart was breaking at the first.
man; They who have had much sorrow know its signs High in the Prince's favour; one that keeps Howe'er disguised ; and I have had my share. The best establishment in all the city Raym. Good woman, let me take this seat. I'm Coaches and horses, hounds and liveried servants; faint.
Splendour at home, magnificence abroad. Wom. Alas, sir, then you knew poor Madam Ber- I'll lay my life this count will marry thee! thier
Clara. It moves me not-Indeed I could not wed Methought she had no friends, and none that loved
Although I know the honour is so great! Raym. Died she within this room?
Mad. V. Not wed him? Why there's not another
Upon that bed A poor, mean bed: yet was she thankful for 't.
But thinks it heaven, if he but look at her. Raym. Oh, she was used to many stately comforts ; Clara. Their reasoning is not mine! No, mother, no! And she died there!
If 't were the Prince, I would not break my faith! Wom.
Ay; now, methinks, I see her, Hast thou forgot the never-ending kindness; Wib her thin clasped hands and sunken eyes, The long-tried zeal; the goodness of poor Raymond! Praying to Heaven to bless a graceless son,
There was a time when thou didst smile on him; That had reduced her unto poverty !
Call him thy friend ; and say that it was heaven Raym. Alas, alas; he was a cruel son!
If he but looked on us! Wom. He must have been a cruel, wicked man; Mad. V.
Thou simple child ; For to the very last he did distress her
Wilt never learn the wisdom of the world! With onjust, never-ending claims for money.
Why, he's been acting the wild prodigal,
Knows he is penniless !
Kind, generous heart!
Forsake him in his need. No, mother, no;
If e'er I wed!
Mad. V. Thou wed a ruined man-
Thou marry Raymond! when Count Siemar woos. And hope and self-esteem; and that calm joy,
The fruit of virtuous days, and tranquil nights!
My friends, the early and the kind, are lost; Like cureless leprosy!
My cold neglect has broken a mother's heart, Clara.
Hush, dearest mother! 'Mid shameful, miserable poverly. -—
My sinful course has shattered a strong frame!
Are now my sole companions - thus I 'm fallen!
Mad. V. Wild, raving foolery! Tell me not of love, Conning my book beneath the orchard-trees, It is a word of mere conventional use,
Without a care from morn to eventide ! That passes among men like forged coin,
Where are those lovely visions of my youth Current at first; till time, that all things proves,
Fair fame, and Adeline; and sons, and daughters,
Growing around us in my native home —
Where? with the things that were—my peace of mind,
[A bell tolls the first hour of the morning. Mad. V.
Tell me not
Midnight is past — the morning hath begun; Of favours everlastingly, and gifts!
My doom will be, one night, without a morning! I'm weary of their memory, as of him.
Millions on millions from the earth have passed To-morrow eve Count Siemar will be here ;
Unto the eternal day; but I am one
Made for the blackness of enduring night;
Of Christ was never shed for my redemption ;
(He paces the room in despair ; then throws Mad. V. Let go my hand! hast thou not heard my
open the window and looks out. words !
So shone the moon, so looked the paly stars Let go my hand, for I have much to do.
In the gone years of my pure innocence! Thou know’st my will; nor shall 1 pardon thee ”T is even so ! - and this is my birth-night! If thou dare disobey !
[She goes out. Alas, alas, and where is that kind mother,
That made of old, this eve a festival ?
Of old it passed not a forgotten time,
And read my Bible, and believed that Christ,
Of angels entertained unawares.
That sered my soul and withered up my being;
Love, peace, and joy, and duty, all fulfilled,
Why died I not in that good time of grace ;
In those most blessed days of innocence,
That knew not sin, and therefore knew not sorrow! Night — Raymond's chamber, lighted by a lamp ;
[lle turns slowly away; and seeing his Raymond, in a loose dressing.gown, starting from
father's Bible, opens it and reads. the bed on which he had throu'n nimself :
" I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in hea. The furies were no fiction! Sad Orestes
ven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over
[He closes the book, covers his face with Spectres of days, and months, and years misspent;
his hands, and weeps billerly. A loud Of talents wasted — hopes which I have murdered !
knocking is heard at his door, and Too late I know my folly - peace is gone;
Bartolin enters, hurriedly.
Raym. Villain, how now!
Raym. [reads.) “My daughter has consented to Bar.
No time is this for wrath! be yours; we will expect you at the appointed hour. I am but come to warn you against danger. Raymond is a penniless prodigal. Adieu." Hence with you to your hiding-place! One hour
[Turning to the address From now, and you are in a dungeon!
“ To the most honourable Count Siemar" The myrmidons of law have gained access
And thus writes Madame Vaumar to Count Siemar, Within your doors, and now approach your chamber, And this is Clara's faith! Oh most accursed – Armed with authority : fly, fly hence!
Oh most unkind, perfidious of deceivers ! Or, better still, with me — -give me your hand; Some strange mistake has given to me the billet In wrath we parled, let us meet as friends!
Intended for my rival. But 't is well — Raym. Begone with you! off with your fawnings The veil at length is torn from my delusion! vile;
I am a penniless prodigal! ha, ha! I loathe them as your counsel — get you hence! A penniless prodigal! and they who robbed me, Bar. Even as you list, fair sir ; so fare ye well! Make this the plea for my abandonment!
[He goes out ; a tumult is heard below, I am their jest no doubt, their merriment!
Raymond, wrapping himself in a cloak, A prodigal! Count Siemar is a saint,
And shall this night make elsewhere reckoning -
[Hle wraps his cloak around him, and walks SCENE III.
sullenly away. The interior of a gaming house--parties of gentlemen
sit drinking wine in various parts of the room, others are playing at dice ; Raymond, pale and with a con
SCENE V. tracled brow, playing with Count Siemar; Barlolin stands apart, as one of the servants of the establish- Midnight — a dark and lonely street in the suburbs ; ment, observing Raymond, who has played all the
enter Count SIEMAR, singing in a low voice. evening with ill-luck.
Come, pledge me in this cup of wine,
And let us have a joyful night, Count S. (taking up money.] Despair not, Sir Thou hast my heart, thy heart is mine Fortune's a fickle goddess;
Why should we part ere morning light! The next turn will be yours, “faint heart ne'er won;" Come, pledge me in this brimming cupYou know what says the proverb, “ gold nor ladies.” Bar. (aside.] Most sapient Raymond; bible-read
Raymond (rushing upon him with his dagger.]
And she consented to be yours to-night! ing fool! Is this the end of your religious fervour?
Yours, traitor! take you this and this and this, (He looks at a small billet.
For a bride's portion! (He slabs him many times.) Within the dainty folds of this smooth paper
Count S. (drawing his weapon.] Help! 'gainst a
murderer! Lie words which, like some cabalistic
Ah, villain! is it you?
Help! help! or 'tis too late! Else hadst thou never dropped this perfumed paper !
[He falls. Raymond again loses the game ; he flings
Raym. (striking him again.] Ye said I was a prodown his last gold, hurls the dice upon I'll be as prodigal of thrusts as gold!
digal! ay, ay — see then the floor, and starts up with furious
Count S. (faintly.) Oh heavens, I am a murdered gestures. Ten thousand curses fall upon all play!
man; and none Ten thousand curses on the dupes of it!
Are near to help!
For Christ's sake, give me help! I am a ruined man, beyond retrieve I am a cursed, ruined, wretched man! (pours out wine. God pardon me! for I have been a sinner! (Aside.] Let this assist my purpose-fool, fool, fool!
Watchmen. (in the distance.] We hear the cryMost senseless fool! But let me drink, and die!
and help is now at hand ! (He drinks—Bartolin goes out; Raymond
[Raymond sheaths his dagger, and passes throws on his cloak and rushes out also.
off in an opposite direction Wutchmen. The voice was in this quarter; and
Lies the poor murdered-yonder flies the murderer! SCENE IV.
[Parl pursue Raymond ; others surround
Count Siemar. The porch, leading into the street ; enter Raymond, like one beside himself, with his hand on his dagger.
1st W. Ah, what a horrid pool of blood is here!
2nd W. Run, call a doctor! time may not be lost! Bartolin. (presenling the billel.] This sir, to yours,
[3rd Watchman runs off. but to none other hand;
1st W. (kneeling down by the Count.] A doctor will Thus were my orders, absolute-Good night! .
be here in half a minute
In the meantime give us your name, good sir,
glen, and sounds of the gathering temAnd we will call your friends, or take you to them.
pest are heard in all the hollows of the Count S. (very faintly.) I am Count Siemar! all
mountains. the city knows me —
Even like this outward tempest are the pangs My murderer is one Berthier, a base man!
Of merciless remorse ; but to the one 2nd W. What does he say?
Succeeds a calm -- no calm succeeds the other! 1st W.
It is the great Count Siemar! At nightfall I descried a lonely hut, 2nd IV. Oh, woful chance!
Scarcely discernible from rocks and stones, 1st W.
The prince will pay us richly But for its roof of black and shaggy furze,
[They allempt to raise him. "T was human habitation. Here about, Count S. It is too late—too late! let me die here!! Among these crags, it lay. Another flash
[He dies. Will show it through the darkness 1st W. If you have any message for the living,
Ah, 't is here! Speak it within my ear, most noble sir.
Gloomy and lone, a place of guilt it seems, [He listens for some time. Yet will I enter, for I wildly long He's dead! alas, all's over with him now!
To see again a human countenance ! 2nd W. Ah, what a cruel murder
[Ile knocks at the door, which is opened by God have mercy
an Old Man. Upon his soul!
Raym. Father, I crave the shelter of your roof
From this night's storm!
Ay, enter, thou art welcome,
(He goes in. 2nd W. And 't is no other than the great Count
The interior of a miserable shed, lighted only by a
small wood-fire,—the Old Man and Raymond sit by And this deformed body, carry ye
the fire. Unto the palace.
Old Man. Comist from the city ?
Seven days since, I left it.
how he murdered
The great Count Siemar?
Yes, I heard of it -
He made escape, in habit of a monk ;
Raym. Good father, no ; what is 't ?-I know it not!
life for his, Thus wandered Cain, through melancholy years, As she had done her good name heretofore, A fugitive and vagabond ! I too,
Was found next morning dead! Thrust out from man, and the kind charities
Dead ! say'st thou, father? That humanize, bear with me a black curse
Old Man. Ay, on the altar stone, which of her That makes my being an enduring death!
blood [The lightning strikes a tree before him. Will ever keep the stain — the altur Death is a-nigh me! would that the fierce bolt, Where he found sanctuary --- and in the city That now has smitten yon branched, vigorous oak "T is thought he murdered her! From its rock-fortress, like a slender reed,
That did he not! Crashing and shivering to the vale below,
Old Man Art of his council then? Perchance Had smitten me in its stead, and in a moment
thou know'st himEnded my woe! The undefined future,
Perchance did furnish that poor faithful girl,
With means of his deliverance?
struggling with his emotions.