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From tne Philadelphia Visiter.
AN' ORIGINAL TRAGEDY IN FIVE ACTS.
ur 11. N. MOORE.
Author of "Alary Morris" “The Groomsman ,”
u)l r . Johnson *•Abelard to Heloise <y.—
Xi'r. Tliis tragedy is founded upon incidents in
the early pages of French history. Act. 2, Scene
.. siniilur —very similar, —to the same act of
Sliakspeare’s Macbeth. I would have avoided
the coincidence if possible, but found it imprac
ticable wititout materially injuring historical truth.
It was written, not with the slightest design for
theatrical representation, but merely, as pastime
11 rescue the hours from ennui during the sum
mer days of 182 b. After its completion it was
perused by a circle of intimate friends and sub.-
scqueutly laid upon the shelf where it would have
remained in manuscript obscurity till the day of
ndgmeut perhaps had not the earnest solicitations
i t' one or two of the above mentioned friends in
duced u» to revive it in its present form. It is as
lt IS _.\ do not expect to reap any laurels from the
Lublication of it, but intent, hi familiar language,
in eivto let it go for what it will fetch.
V ii’e yet verv young I imbibed a strong predic
• i .toi draiuatic lo Tature. I was a constant visiter
; the it rival representations and read with avidity
, very plav. comcdv. melo-dram, tarce or tragedy
•. 1 . .11 lav iiiy hands upon. The strength
I-A ibis has latterly abated very nmcii.
i foriu-rly preferred the style of blank-verse to
either that of prose or poetry—my taste hits ch.m-
I ged—l now prefer either of the latter; conse
quently 1 composed the follow ina pages in
prose.’ I am not however without a precedent;
I I’izarro by Sheridan, and the Gamester by Edward
Moure are wa ll known productions which are de
servedly popular upon the stage.
DR AMAT IS 1* E RSON IE.
[ The King ok France.
[De Lara, a nobleman of France.
I Hon a venture, another,
[Montalt, the intimate friend of the King.
I Loth aire, the King’s favourite.
St. Piere dcval, abbot of a convent.
[Tbaldo, captain of the guard.
Three Monks, belonging to the convent.
Luards, officers, noblemen, ladies, monks, nuns,
I citizens, soldiers, sentinels, &c.
Scene 1. An apartment in the royal palace. —
| The King enters, followed by Lothaire —he ap
-1 pears angry, and the actions of the other are
I expressive of a desire to appease him.
| King. Not injured me !
| Lot. No. Thine ear lias been abused, and
I've been wronged by some base slanderer. 1 his
tale that thou hast heard is false—’tis false ! —and
he s as vile a wretch as ever crawled on earth that
fathered it. Where is he? who is he? 1 long
to tare the villain, and tell him to his teeth he lies!
King, He comes—
Lot. Where? what—old Montalt—is he the
I King. Yes, —now tell him that he lies—now
I piove that he’s a slanderer.
I fine King walks back to the other end of the apart-
I ; rif, ut, returning to and fro, as not to be out of
I faring,.—as Montalt enters he is met by Lothaire
I vio addresses him in a tone of mingled blandness
: ‘nd deceit.)
Lu\ Montalt, good morrow. I have ever con-
Sl( ’' re, l thee a friend of mine, andstdl believe thou
midst not willingly do me a wrong. But here’s
'm* King accuses me with an adulterous crime—
J'uch I denied without a moment’s hesitation and
' fi'.iaanded the name of my accuser. He replied
I lie had heard it from thee. Surprised I
"°u il have been but the thought at once occurred
t 0 me that thou hadst been imposed upon by some
pcurilous parasito or interested courtier. Was it
not so ?
I Mou. No. J B poke the truth, nor was imposed
jopon by any one. What 1 informed the King l
| s “v ?nd heard. I shrink not from the truth at any
time, aor j 0 j fear t 0 tul j a go jo what I rehearsed
be| ore die King.
Lot, Well—come—what didst thou hear and
| Mon. I saw the Queen and thee together—l
I saw ye kiss—l heard ye talk of love—
Lot. Me! saw me!—and heard me talk of
Lot. No, never! It is not so, believe me,
more than the Queen’s fair haud I never kissed ;
nor even presumed to breath, a sentiment ot love
•Mon. 1 saw and heard both!
Lot. Liar! thou never didst! / kiss the
Queen ! 1 would as soon have dared usurp her
husband’s throne!-—’Tis false my lieue; and
though he binds himself with oaths to it, believe
Mon. ’Tis, every word of it the truth.
Lot. ’Tis not.—Thou hoary head ! I tell thee
to thy lace this grovelling tale is all a falsehood.
A ink since tliou’rt base enough to forge a lie
luxe this,—come, be brave enough to draw thy
(they draw, but are prevented from using their
weaj o s by the interference of the king.)
King. I’eace, both,—and sheathe your swords
Lot. Mv liege, believe me—for here 1 solemn
ly assert that as to guilt with me the Queen is inno
cent. But this old man, presuming on his age has
forged the adulterous tale to ruin the little inter
est 1 possess at court, and creep a story higher in
influence with thee himself—in short to bring
about another’s disgrace and rear his fortunes on
the wreck of mine!
King. Peace, 1 say,—peace;—and hark, Lo
thaire, what this old man has here disclosed tome,
word after word I steadfastly believe in spite of all
that thou hast deeply, sworn. T hou hast wronged
me—deeply wronged me, to take the advantage
of her youth as thou hast done; and that the
like may not again occur, that what is folly may
not turn to guilt, I herewith banish thee from
court and from the realms of France—forever!
(Lothaire appears much agitated, instantly chan
ging his tone of confidence for one fawning and
Lot. Nay—take my life, but do not banish
me ! I’d rather be condemned at once to death
than exiled from my home and native land. My
nature shudders at the thoughts of it! Thou
found'st me but a wandering < i Tuan boy, and kind
ly didst thou take me by tne hand to favour and to
King. I did, and reared thee up to honor and
wealth. It is that that aggravates thy guilt! I
slept its in a dream,-—the sting though has awak
ened me, for now 1 find that 1 have warmed a viper
in my breast! I cherished thee,—trusted thee—
and used thee as nay son in everything. But see
at last the sad mistake l made, for where I hoped
to reap a recompense I find but tares and weeds,
ingratitude and treachery !
Lot. But make me not an exiledo not ban
ish me !
King. Yes,—’tis irrevocably fixed.—Three
days are thine within our capital, but afterwards
if found in it thou shalt assuredly be put to death.
Go-—be a wanderer through all thy days to come
—houseless—homeless—desolate! Beg tor a
shelter from the midnight storm,---be miserable,
be cursed, and think of thy ingratitude,—think
then of what thou hast forfeited!
(exit hastily, followed by Montalt.
Lot. What, doomed to banishment! 'As one
perched on a height, and dizzy grown, I teel as if
1 tottered now ! Must then my plots, deceptions,
counterplots, and deep-laid schemes, but end in
banishment! Must the proud tiara I have sought
and labored for, with such anxiety, be never mine ?
but banished and adrift, an outcast, must I here
after roam through foreign climes, away trom her,
from happiness, fame, and all that’s valuable in
life. Must 1 ? shall I ? no—
(exit to seek the Queen.)
Scene 2. Another apartment in the palace of
rather a private gallery contrived with a sliding
door in the wainscot. Lothaire enters, and af
ter gently tapping against the partition, the pan
nel is slidden back and the Queen comes
Queen, llow now, Lothaire?
Lot. I’ve unexpected tidings to communicate.
Montalt— that ugly, old and withered wretch, who
hangs around the King like a servile dog forever
crouching at his master’s heel,---has discovered
our intercourse and made it known to the king.
Lot. We’ve been suspected, seen and watch
ed. The King this morning accused me with it,
and sentenced tne to banishment.
Queen- To banishment!
Lot. Y es.
Queen. Didst thou deny it ?—but why do I
ask ?of course thou didst. AN ha , discovered !
and thou banished too !
Lot. Ay—banished! condemned to part with
thee; forever exiled from my native land; my native
land where l have lived and only wish to live, where
have passed the happiest hours ot life with thee
and steened existence in a dream ot love ! The
axo’s glittering stroke that at a single blow divides
the body from the head, or even the wheel that
mangles our joints, or death in any form, I could
have better borne than banishment. My life 1
value not —but no,—l can’t endure the thoughts
of lingering lite away in distant lands divorced
from thee ! Can I forget—or thou—canst thou
forget, how in each other’s arms we’ve passed the
time ? The words, caresses, transports, joys—
and then to part without the hope of meeting
again—’tis sad, 'tis terrible, to think of it.
Queen. ’Twere terrible indeed to part from
thee—but no we will not part. I’ll hasten before
the Kim, try what I can, and perhaps persuade
him to revoke his doom. But if refused l’llshare
thy banishment. If thou art compelled to wan
tlerover the earth, to steal thy shelter from the
howling storm, I'll share thy wretched fate—and
feel myself far happier with thee amidst thy woes,
than here alone residing in this splendid court,
where only pomp and pageantry prevail. Yes,—
through desolation, storms and fate I’ll suffer with
FLORENCE, GA. SATURDAY, AUGUST 11, IS3B.
thee; and though the barren earth be our only
bed to lay upon, uor botlse nor home to shelter us
f*‘om cold and rain, still thus I'll hang around thy
neck, still in thy arms my joy shah be, and i’ll bi
happy ’midst despair!
Lot. Thy kind, thy generous, love I cannot
but applaud ; uor yet can help my doubts of thy
success if thou dost intercede for me. What, ask
thy husband to revoke his sentence ? 1 fear it
would not soften his hard heart but only the more
exasperafeiii way .ar I will aid on thee th e fpr*
voke his anger. ’Tis kiud in thee to otter it, and
though I now decline thy otter I feel as much
obliged to thee as if I had received the benefit.—
llis is a heart by nature hard ami cold—it will not
melt like thine at pity’s tale, and words and tears
would be of no avail if thou didst plead for tne.
Queen. Nay—l feel assured that I’ll prevail
with him. I’ll kneel, caress, cajole, and flatter
him, till he no longer can resist rny prayers. I’ll
laugh and weep alternately use all the arts and all
the wiles my pleading sex employ, till he relents
and sets thee free again.—Yes—and not a mo
ment will I lose, but haste and prostrate at his feet,
implore till he complies with my request or posi
tively refuses it.
Lot. lie will refuse thee, lam confident.—
But go—l would not uselessly depress thy hopes.
I am as anxious as thyself that thou should pros
per in it, and wish thee every possible success.
Queen. If he refuses me let him beware—’tis
at his peril if he does! I’ll be revenged, as sure
as blood flows through these veins!
Lot. Vut ho*v revenged 1 thou wilt not murder
Queen. Murderhim! no!— let cutthroats ami
those that lurk in alleys after night do that;—l’ll
find a keener vengeance than the blow of death to
Lot. A keener vengeance ?
Lot. Name it.
Queen. I’ll leave these palace-walls and fol
low thee as l have promised. Yes—abandon him,
forsake his bed; and leave him at the mercy of the
world's contempt!—’Twill mortify his pride and
gall his feelings to the quick! like the poisoned
arrow to the wound,.so will it rankle in his heart
Lot. Hark I hear a footstep.
Queen. Perhaps it is the King. I’ll go and
meet him. With sunshine in my face I’ll meet
liis frown, aud kneeling humbly at his feet, smile
coax and play the hypocrite—like serpents when
they coil within a bed of flowers to entice the harm
less songster of thesshady wood! If what 1 ask
is granted me I’ll rest contented, but if denied let
(exit through the sliding pannel.)
Lot. That she is mine I’mnow assured beyond
a doubt. But there are times for all when from
each other’s arms we both recoil, and shudder at
the crime we’re guilty of. She loves me! and has
gone to plead for me before the King—before the
man that T have robbed of honor;—she’s gone to
ask him to revoke his doom, and set her own se
ducer free. Strange infatuation! But how if lie
refuses her? how then? Must I submit ? must
I abandon my ambitious hopes, and give up every
hope that ere 1 die I’ll sit upon the throne—the
throne of France—and with the royal dust of kings
my plebian ashes mix ? These hopes shall I forego?
and in obscurity, away from fortunes smiles, must
I hereafter plod through life, unheard-of and un
known? No,—for by my influential stars, that
have as yet been fortunate, I swear to seek the
means however desperate and bloody, by which to
shun the doom pronounced on me! Ay—for
should all else t.fill’d > shall succeed!
[drawing a dagger from his bosom as he hastily
Scene 3. ’The same as the first. T ; >~ King is
discovered walking up and down the apartment,
stopping short at intervals, and evidently agita
ted. The Queen enters, approaches him and
King. Why dost thou kneel ?
Queen. Oh, he tnercilul my liege—be kind
for l have knelt to crave of thee a pardon
for the man that thou hast doomed to ban
ishment. Nay—start not. Thus humbly on my
knees I entreat that tliou’lt recall the sentence
passed on him, thatthou’lt restore him to the favour
he lias lost, aud take him back to court and thy
King. What receive a traitor back ?
Queen. Ay thou wro ig’st him. He is not a
traitor. He wears a loyal In art—nor has be for
gotten the time when but an orphan-boy he was
received by thee, and reared beneath the favour of
the court to affluence and tame. lie has not yet
forgot how much he owes his king tor favours
King. If so why wert thou seen within his
Queen. Me, within his arms!
Kincr. Ay, thee within his arms! why was he
seen to kiss thee too, and heard to talk of love to
Queen. Who says he did ?
King. Ido—l say he did, and know he did ?
And durst thou talk to me again of him; dar’st
plead for him and ask me to annul his banishment!
no more—no more or thou wilt anger me! not
all that thou hast said, and yet canst say, can alter
mv belief; for I believe he waits the chance to
ruin thee, behind his smiles and flatteries secured
like a thief who watches his unsuspecting prey,
or murderers that dog their victim’s steps. I’ve
banished him and he shall go—or die if he re
Queen. Nay—nay —(inUwecduigly.)
King. No more- I’ll hear thee not.
Queen. Yes, thou wilt—thou’lt pardon him I
know. Thy heart is naturally not hard but kind ;
and mercy is the attribute of kings. For mercy’s
sake then pardon him !
[She still continues her entreaties by clinging to
his robe, kneeling, weeping, &c. notwithstan
ding his evident determination to reject her
suit. At last he violently pushes her from him,
and exits. A pause ensues, during which the
feelings of the Queen appear to be acted upon
by the alternate emotions of shame aud anger.]
Queen. Then be it so!—yes—exited let him
be! and I’ll go with him through the world, as
-ureas Tam here and breathe, as sure as Heaven’s
above or that the sun doth shine. Yes—but ere
l go, tbs king of Franee shall feel the retribution
of a woman scorned! What pushed away—-de
uted my suit—ceutemned —degraded and despised
by him! and whilst 1 knelt, whilst to his robes I
clung ? ’Sdeath ? it galls and mortifies my pride
Lot. How now ? hast thou succeeded ?
Queen. No—my suit has been rejected.
Lot. I thought as much. I said so and enter
tained indeed but little hopes of thy success.
Queen. I pleaded hard but he would uot con
sent. I knelt and supplicated earnestly,—clung
to his- robes and grasped him by the hand,—but he
was obstinate amidst it all, and hurried from my
Lot. It but confirms what I have said—his
heart is adamant. Thy tears aud prayers no one
except himself could witness arid withstand. Thy
beauty would have conquered any breast but his.
Queen. I’m sorry that 1 humbled to the churl,
since it has ended as it has. ’Twill afford him
room in which to exult. Ilis treatment of me
too—l burn with shame to think of it.
Lot. He did not offer violence, or insult, —did
Lot. What, to a woman !—the coward.
Queen. Not only with disdian did he reject
my suit, but whilst I knelt to him, with even
brutal force he thurst me fix. m his side!
Lot, He did ?
Queen. Ay, did he—but by the Holy Church
again 1 vow to keep the promise sworn! I’ll leave
him and share thy banishment. Yes—l’ll be with
thee though thou art an exile;—my only home
shall be where thou art;—in all thy wanderings
will I participate,—through poverty,—through
disease, —and till the hour of death.
Lot. Generous woman ! Thy heart is over
flowing with its love fur ine, and well I know the
value of a « Oman’s love iike thine ;—’tis priceless!
but the thou ghts of banishment I dread, and can't
but curse inv bitter, bitter , fate !
Queen. But Pll be with thee! In sorrow,
sickness, happiness or health, I’ll share and love
and cherish thee as fondly as a wife, by night and
day, forever at thy side. My presence will be
balm to heal thy wounded spirit;—’twill ease thy
weary soul of half its care,—thy sorrowings ’twill
mitigate,—and shed the beam of joy amidst the
storms of destiny, as breads the sunbeam through
a cloudy day ! Nay—’tis useless to regret. To
banishment we must submit; our guilt is known
and there’s no other chance by which we can es
cape, unless indeed we part to meet no more.
Lot. Part! to meet no more.
Queen, Yes—if we love, and together live
as we have hitherto done wc must together fly—
this very night too—or thou’lt assuredly be put to
Lot. Be put to death!
Queen. If tliou'rt resolved to remain and
brook thy fate, yes- for as I said the King’s iuex
orable. There’s not a single hope that he’ll recall
the sentence he. has passed. When pleading for
thee whilst at ins feet 1 knelt, his words were pos
itive. He said that he had banished thee and thou
shouklst go, or die if thou didst stay! There’s
then as I have said no other way by which we can
Lot. No other way!
Queen. No—none. But why dost thou hesi
tate ? why tremble so? why look around these
walls with such affright ? thou seem’st to fear the
presence of another. Is it so ? or what ? And
now thy gaze is fixed on me ! thine eyes are w ild
and flaring too ! thy cheek grows pale—thy lips
quiver,—and something seems to choak thy
spc ch? What wouldst thou ? Speak!
L Thv love, —so generous, so kind, 1 would
not live without it for the world; — and with affec
tion that has no i- rallel in history, thou hast re
so'ved to fly witti me, and share my exile. But
ah! thou littlYkuow’st the hardships that an exile
must endure; and what would be my feelings,—
how would it torture tne,—to see thee ' want or in
distress! I’ve thought of this; and rather than
abide the risk of banishment l have resolved.
Lot. Ay—to murder the King.
Queen. The King!
Lot. Ay,-but why dost thou start? Blood
is but blood, and life depends upon a breath.
We must all die—’tis a common lot—the king as
well as the slave. We wept when we were born and
every day shows why. One woe succeeds another, Ac
misery is our portion. The soouer then we cease to
exist, the better for us—the less we have to endure.
His death will benefit us both, the one from ban
ishment—the other from the marriage-tie. And
this very night the deed must be done—done by
Queen. Me? done by me!—What, make me
a murderess? Adultery is a crime that’s bad
enough! Why douc by me ? caust thou not do
Lot. I’ve not the chance thou hast.
Queen. Chance? what chance have I ?
Lot. The very best that possibly could be—
thou sleep ut w ith him. Pretend thou’rt sick
to-niglit; seem so before the maids, and do
not go to rest with him, but retire to a seperate
room ;—sickness will be a plausible excuse.™
When all are hushed in slumber—rise—dress—
go to the chamber of the king—take this dauger
with thee, and quietly—deeply —plunge it to liis
[he hands her the dagger, which she mechanically
receives without noticing it—her looks disor
dered—and her eyes fixed upon vacancy, as is
usual when the thoughts are absorbed m a re
Queen. Alas! ’tis dreadful but to think of it!
V#l. I.—Ne. 20.
When it is done will not the sight of it appal my
senses ! will it not startle me, when 1 have steep
ed and dyed these lily hands in human blood ?
And then death, when back to memory I bring ihe
thoughts of it. will it not horrow me and lacerate
my guilty soul! My heart! my heart! ’twill
make a hell of that,—-’twill blast my hopes of hap
piness beyond the grave,—and poison every hour
of life I have after wards to live.
Lot. Hush!—methinks I heard a step. What
say’st thou ? wilt thou undertake the deed.
Queen. I must 1 have time to think upon it.
Meet me here at dark—l’ll be prepared to give an
answer then; —
Lot. Till then adieu,—do not fail to come.
Queen. I’ll uot [rreunl, separately ]
Scene 1. In a convent—a gallery, in the cen
tre of which a feint light is hanging, suspended
from the ceiling. Thunder and lightuing at in
tervals during the scene.
[enter a Monk hastily.]
Monk. Heavens what a night of violence!
Gust after gust—around me the doors clap—the
thunder’s peal, and the lightning's flash! and
hark—the affrighted raven shrieks aloft, w hilst
these old walls to their foundations shake! I ant
old—but I remember not in all my life a night like
this ! Who’s there ?
[enter another 3lonk.]
U iVIOtIK. "ITb me! aimkfnoti Ly tKo atow, 1
rose from my bed and looked for thee in thy cell,
where thou wert not—and glad 1 am to find theo
here, for in a night of horror and storm like this
w*e need society amidst alarm. The earth aud
elements are each at war, and night and uature
seems to be convulsed. But where is the abbot. ?
1 Monk. I know not.—Hark!—hush—didst
thou hear unearthly groans ? No; ’twas only the
murmuring of the wind or any imaginary fears
(here they are startled by a loud clap of thunder,
which bursts over the convent, rolling away till
scarcely audible in the distance.)
2 Monk. ’Tis terrible! my knees against each
other shake!—and see through yonder casement
how the lightning flashes—streak after streak!
As hither 1 came i passed through the statue gal
lery, and the sculptured dead seemed to glare at
me and gibber menaces. 1 know Twas but imagi
nary, but yet 1 fled with terror, from the sight, nor,
dared to look behind me! But come,—let's seek
the abbot and assemble at our prayers. Methinks
this storm forbodes no good, and mark my words
if by and by we hear of some foul deed.
the storm increases.
Scene 2. A corridor in the palace between sev
eral sleeping apartments. The doors arc seen
on either side, one of w hich to the right is the
entrance to the royal chamber. A table in the
centre and a Irage arched window back through
which lightning occasionally gleams and the
violence of the storm is visible—Enter the
Queen. In one hand she carries a dagger, and
in the other a lighted lamp.
Queen. This lamp and dagger both are requi
site—both are, for I must light my way with this
to do a dark and bloody deed with that. Ere
this myhusbaud has retired, has closed his weary
eyes in yonder chamber. Sleep on! sleep on!
thou shalt not wake again—no, not on earth, but
in eternity ! This glitterning blade shall ere an
hour be red within thy blood, —and thou shalt be
a cold and stiffened corpse, fit only for the worm
to feed upon—to coil and crawl around.
(the tempest without continues unabated)
How the storm rages—'tis a fearful night! the
pattering rain against the window drives, and cold
and cheerless is the air!—l surely must have
more than woman’s fortitude, or else the very
thought of my intents, on such a night as this
would shrink my soul with fear and send a ihrili
of horror through my heart! But no—the King's
death we have resolved upon—l’ve sworn irre
vocable oaths to it.—and die lie must! But where
is my accessary ? why comes he uot ? llarlt! u
footsep ! ’tis he!
(she places the lamp ami dagger on the table, and
at that instant a vivid flash of lightning illumin
ates the corridor, causing her to start with fear.
Lothario enters and approaching her observes
Lot. Trembling ?
Queen. Yes—l am glad thou art come. Wo
creep and cringe along these galleries, like mid
night thieves for petty plunder, with lived looks
and noiseless feet, afraid of our own shadows.—
’Twas a shadow that startled me—Hark! what
noise is that. Methouglit I heard a human voice,
and on the stairs the tread of heavy feet. Again—
Lot. No—all’s hushed except ourselves.—
Nothing is echoed here but our whisperings, and
still as death it seems between the pauses ot the
Queen, (in a reverie.) A murderess, what,
be a murderess? Alas! my nature shudders at
the thought! And then to think of it,—to know
that I have yet the deed to do—’tis worse, l'ar
worse, than all our fears ot hell—worse, worse,
than if the deed were done ! ’Tis as horrible as
if the dead could feel the creepings of Ihe worm
that feeds upon them!—as horrible as it bare
footed. admidst the darkness of a tomb l walked,
trampling at every step o’er some disjoined skel
eton '—as if my husband w ere already slain.—^, v d
his ghost, in bloody shroud, with one b . u
ted to his wound and with the othe>-' ,"V„u me \
Methinks I see him now—the b' - * . rott d
the sightless eyeball and *’ ,ood--'h
w hich he points at r- ate lean long un e *
deed as that! ri ’.-must l Such a
Lot. H’ f at? that!
(she a* ,ush! .
ppears wild and convulsed with emo