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Art. So please you, your noble father has twice BER, I warn thee again, Count, that I am neither demanded your presence at the banquet.
liar nor slave. Shortly I hope to tell thee I am Geo. It matters not-say that I have ridden once more thy equal forth to the Wolfshill. Where is thy lady?
Rod. Thou! Thou !Art. In the chapel, sir knight.
Ber. Yes! the name of Bertram of Ebersdorf Geo. 'Tis well-saddle my bay-horse-(apart) was once not unknown to thee. for the last time.
[Exit. Rod. (astonished.) Thou Bertram! the brother
of Arnolf of Ebersdorf, first husband of the Bar-
BER. The same.
Rod. Who, in a quarrel at a tournament, many
years since, slew a blood-relation of the emperor, The wood of Griefenhaus, with the ruins of the and was laid under the ban?
Castle. A nearer view of the Castle than in BER. The same.
Rod. And who has now, in the disguise of a
priest, aided the escape of Martin, squire to George Enter RODERIC, WOLFSTEIN, and Soldiers, as from of Aspen ! a reconnoitering party.
BER. The same—the same. Wolf. They mean to improve their success, and Rod. Then, by the holy cross of Cologne, thoa will push their advantage far. We must retreat hast set at liberty the murderer of thy brother betimes, Count Roderic.
Arnolf! Rod. We are safe here for the present. They BER. How! What! I understand thee not! make no immediate motion of advance. I fancy Ron. Miserable plotter !--Martin, by his own neither George nor Henry are with their party in confession, as Wolfstein heard, avowed having the wood.
aided Isabella in the murder of her husband. I Enter Hugo.
had laid such a plan of vengeance as should have Hug. Noble sir, how shall I tell what has hap- made all Germany shudder. And thou hast counpened?
teracted it—thou, the brother of the murdered Rod. What?
BER. Can this be so, Wolfstein ?
BER. Then am I indeed unfortunate! WOLF. Hold, hold, Count Roderic! Hugo may Rod. What, in the name of evil, brought thee be blameless.
here? Rod. Reckless slave ! how came he to escape ? Ber. I am the last of my race. When I was
Hug. Under the disguise of a monk's habit, outlawed, as thou knowest, the lands of Eberswhom by your orders we brought to confess him. dorf, my rightful inheritance, were declared farRod. Has he been long gone?
feited, and the Emperor bestowed them upon Hug. An hour and more since he passed our Rudiger when he married Isabella. I attempted sentinels, disguised as the chaplain of Aspen: but to defend my domain, but Rudiger-Hell thank he walked so slowly and feebly, I think he cannot him for it-enforced the ban against me at the yet have reached the posts of the enemy.
head of his vassals, and I was constrained to fly. Rod. Where is the treacherous priest?
Since then I have warred against the Saracens in Hug. He waits his doom not far from hence. Spain and Palestine.
[Exit Hugo Rod. But why didst thou return to a land where Rod. Drag him hither. The miscreant that death attends thy being discovered? snatched the morsel of vengeance from the lion of BER. Impatience urged me to see once more the Maltingen, shall expire under torture.
land of my nativity, and the towers of Ebersdorf.
I came there yesterday, under the name of the Re-enter Hugo, with BERTRAM and Attendants. minstrel Minhold.
Rod. Villain! what tempted thee, under the Rod. And what prevailed on thee to undertake garb of a minister of religion, to steal a criminal to deliver Martin from the hand of justice ?
BER. George, though I told not my name, enBER. I am no villain, Count Roderic; and I only gaged to procure the recall of the ban; besides, aided the escape of one wounded wretch whom he told me Martin's life was in danger, and I acthou didst mean to kill basely.
counted the old villain to be the last remaining Rod. Liar and slavel thou hast assisted a mur- follower of our house. But, as God shall judge derer, upon whom justice had sacred claims. me, the tale of horror thou hast mentioned I could
not have even suspected. Report ran, that my
HEN. Shall I guess ? brother died of the plague.
Geo. I charge thee, no! Wolf. Raised for the purpose, doubtless, of pre- Hen. I must. Thou art one of the secret judges. venting attendance upon his sick-bed, and an in- Geo. Unhappy boy! what hast thou said ? spection of his body.
HEN. Is it not so? Ber. My vengeance shall be dreadful as its Geo. Dost thou know what the discovery has cause! The usurpers of my inheritance, the rob- cost thee ? bers of my honor, the murderers of my brother, HEN. I care not. shall be cut off, root and branch !
Geo. He who discovers any part of our mystery Rod. Thou art, then, welcome here ; especially must himself become one of our number. if thou art still a true brother to our invisible HEN. How so? order.
Geo. If he does not consent, his secrecy will be BER, I am.
speedily ensured by his death. To that we are Rod. There is a meeting this night on the busi- sworn-take thy choice ! ness of thy brother's death. Some are now come. Hen. Well, are you not banded in secret to I must dispatch them in pursuit of Martin. punish those offenders whom the sword of justice
cannot reach, or who are shielded from its stroke Enter Hugo.
by the buckler of power? Hug. The foes advance, sir knight.
Geo. Such is indeed the purpose of our fraterRod. Back! back to the ruins ! Come with, us, nity; but the end is pursued through paths dark, Bertram; on the road thou shalt hear the dread intricate, and slippery with blood. Who is he that ful history
[Exeunt. shall tread them with safety Accursed be the
hour in which I entered the labyrinth, and doubly From the opposite side enter GEORGE, HENRY, accursed that, in which thou too must lose the WICKERD, CONRAD, and Soldiers.
cheerful sunshine of a soul without a mystery! Geo. No news of Martin yet?
Hex. Yet for thy sake will I be a member. Wic. None, sir knight.
Geo. Henry, thou didst rise this morning a free GEO. Nor of the minstrel ?
man. No one could say to thee,“ Why dost thou Wic. None.
so ?" Thou layest thee down to-night the veriest Geo. Then he has betrayed me, or is prisoner- slave that ever tugged at an oar—the slave of misery either way. Begone, and search the wood, men whose actions will appear to thee savage and Wickerd. [Exeunt WICKERD and followers. incomprehensible, and whom thou must aid against
Hen. Still this dreadful gloom on thy brow, the world, upon peril of thy throat. brother
Hen. Be it so. I will share your lot. Geo. Ay! what else ?
Geo. Alas, Henry! Heaven forbid ! But since Hen. Once thou thoughtest me worthy of thy thou hast by a hasty word fettered thyself, I will friendship.
avail myself of thy bondage. thy fleetest Geo. Henry, thou art young
steed, and hie thee this very night to the Duke of Hex. Shall I therefore betray thy confidence ? Bavaria. He is chief and paramount of our chap
Geo. No! but thou art gentle and well-na- ter. Show him this signet and this letter ; tell tured. Thy mind cannot even support the burden him that matters will be this night discussed conwhich mine must Bear, far less wilt thou approve cerning the house of Aspen. Bid him speed him the means I shall use to throw it off.
to the assembly, for he well knows the president Hen. Try me.
is our deadly foe. He will admit thee a member Geo. I may not.
of our holy body. Hex. Then thou dost no longer love me.
HEN. Who is the foe whom
dread? Geo. I love thee, and because I love thee, I will Geo. Young man, the first duty thou must learn not involve thee in my distress.
is implicit and blind obedience. Hen. I will bear it with thee.
HEN. Well! I shall soon return and see thee Geo. Shouldst thou share it, it would be doubled again.
Geo. Return, indeed, thou wilt; but for the rest Hen. Fear not, I will find a remedy.
-well! that matters not. Geo. It would cost thee peace of mind, here, Hen. I go: thou wilt set a watch here? and hereafter.
Geo. I will. (HENRY going.) Return, my dear HEN. I take the risk.
Henry; let me embrace thee, shouldst thou not Geo. It may not be, Henry. Thou wouldst be- see me again. come the confidant of crimes past—the accomplice Hen. Heaven! what mean you! of others to come.
Geo. Nothing. The life of mortals is precari
ous; and, should we not meet again, take my band. Leave me, leave me, Gertrude. I follow blessing and this embrace--and this—(embraces in a moment. (Exit GERTRUDE.) Ay, there he him warmly.) And now haste to the duke. (Exit lies ! forgetful alike of his crimes and injuries! HENRY.) Poor youth, thou little knowest what Insensible, as if this chapel had never rung with thou hast undertaken. But if Martin has escaped, my shrieks, or the castle resounded to his parting and if the duke arrives, they will not dare to pro- groans! When shall I sleep so soundly! (48 ceed without proof.
she gazes on the monument, a figure muffled in black
appears from behind it.) Merciful God! is it a Re-enter WICKERD and followers. vision, such as has haunted my couch! Wic. We have made a follower of Maltingen proaches : she goes on with mingled terror and resprisoner, Baron George, who reports that Martin olution.) Ghastly phantom, art thou the restless has escaped.
spirit of one who died in agony, or art thou the Geo. Joy! joy! such joy as I can now feel! mysterious being that must guide me to the presSet him free for the good news--and, Wickerd, ence of the avengers of blood? (Figure bends its keep a good watch in this spot all night. Send head and beckons.)—To-morrow! To
morros! I out scouts to find Martin, lest he should not be cannot follow thee now! (Figure shows a dagger able to reach Ebersdorf.
from beneath its cloak.) Compulsion! I underWic. I shall, noble sir.
stand thee: I will follow. (She follows the figure [The kettle-drums and trumpets flourish a little way; he turns and wraps a black veil round as for setting the watch : the scene closes her head, and takes her hand: then both creuat
behind the monument.)
SCENE INI. The chapel at Ebersdorf, an ancient Gothic building.
The Wood of Griefenhaus.-A watch-fire, round ISABELLA is discovered rising from before the altar,
which sit WICKERD, CONRAD, and others, in their on which burn two tapers.
watch-cloaks. Isa. I cannot pray. Terror and guilt have sti- Wic. The night is bitter cold. fled devotion. The heart must be at ease-the Con. Ay, but thou hast lined thy doublet well hands must be pure when they are lifted to Heav- with old Rhenish. en. Midnight is the hour of summons: it is now Wic. True ; and I'll give you warrant for it. near. How can I pray, when I go resolved to (Sings.) deny a crime which every drop of my blood could not wash away! And my son! Oh! he will fall
(RHEIN-WEIN LIED.) the victim of my crime! Arnolf! Arnolf! thou What makes the troopers' frozen courage muster ! art dreadfully avenged! (Tap at the door.) The The grapes of juice divine. footstep of my dreadful guide. (Tap again.) My Upon the Rhine, upon the Rhine they cluster: courage is no more. (Enter GERTRUDE by the door.) Oh, blessed be the Rhine ! Gertrude ! is it only thou? (embraces her.)
Ger. Dear aunt, leave this awful place ; it chills Let fringe and furs, and many a rabbit skin, sirs, my very blood. My uncle sent me to call you to Bedeck your Saracen; the hall,
He'll freeze without what warms our hearts withIsa. Who is in the hall ?
in, sirs, GER. Only Reynold and the family, with whom When the night-frost crusts the fen. my uncle is making merry. Isa. Sawest thou no strange faces ?
But on the Rhine, but on the Rhine they cluster, GER. No; none but friends.
The grapes of juice divine, Isa. Art thou sure of that? Is George there? That make our troopers' frozen courage muster:
GER. No, nor Henry; both have ridden out. I Oh, blessed be the Rhine ! think they might have staid one day at least. But come, aunt, I hate this place; it reminds me of my Con. Well sung, Wickerd; thou wert ever & dream. See, yonder was the spot where methought jovial soul. they were burying you alive, below yon monument (pointing.)
Enter a trooper or two more.
FRANK. Yes, up to the hemlock marsh. It is a Though thou art Lord Henry's page, I shall teach stormy night; the moon shone on the Wolfshill, thee who commands this party. and on the dead bodies with which to-day's work ALL SOLDIERS. Peace, peace, good Wickerd : let has covered it. We heard the spirit of the house Conrad proceed. of Maltingen wailing over the slaughter of its ad- Con. Where was I? herents : I durst go no farther.
FRANK, About the mirror. Wic. Hen-hearted rascal! The spirit of some old Con. True. My uncle beheld in the mirror the raven, who was picking their bones.
reflection of a human face distorted and covered Con. Nay, Wickerd; the churchmen say there with blood. A voice pronounced articulately, “ It are such things.
is yet time.” As the words were spoken, my unFRANK. Ay; and Father Ludovic told us last cle discerned in the ghastly visage the features of sermon, how the devil twisted the neck of ten his own father. farmers at Kletterbach, who refused to pay Pe- Soldier. Hush! By St. Francis, I heard a groan.
(They start up all but WICKERD.) Wic. Yes, some church devil, no doubt.
Wic. The croaking of a frog, who has caught FRANK. Nay, old Reynold says, that in passing, cold in this bitter night, and sings rather more by midnight, near the old chapel at our castle, he hoarsely than usual. saw it all lighted up, and heard a chorus of voices FRANK. Wickerd, thou art surely no Christian. sing the funeral service.
(They sit down, and close round the fire.) ANOTHER SOLDIER. Father Ludovic heard the Con. Well-my uncle called up his attendants,
and they searched every nook of the chamber, but Wic. Hear me, ye hare-livered boys! Can you found nothing. So they covered the mirror with look death in the face in battle, and dread such a cloth, and Albert was left alone ; but hardly had nursery bugbears ? Old Reynold saw his vision he closed his eyes when the same voice proclaimed, in the strength of the grape. As for the chaplain, “ It is now too late ;” the covering was drawn aside, far be it from me to name the spirit which visits and he saw the figurehim; but I know what I know, when I found him FRANK. Merciful Virgin! It comes. (All rise.) confessing Bertrand's pretty Agnes in the chestnut Wic. Where? what? grove.
Con. See yon figure coming from the thicket! Con. But, Wickerd, though I have often heard of strange tales which I could not credit, yet there Enter Martin, in the monk's dress, much disorderis one in our family so well attested, that I almost ed: his face is very pale and his steps slow. believe it. Shall I tell it you ?
Wic. (levelling his pike.) Man or devil, which ALL SOLDIERS. Do! do tell it, gentle Conrad. thou wilt, thou shalt feel cold iron, if thou budgest
Wic. And I will take t'other sup of Rhenish to a foot nearer. (Martin stops.) Who art thou ? fence against the horrors of the tale.
What dost thou seek? Con. It is about my own uncle and godfather, MAR. To warm myself at your fire. It is deadly Albert of Horsheim.
cold. Wic. I have seen him—he was a gallant war- Wic. See there, ye cravens, your apparition is rior.
a poor benighted monk: sit down, father. They Con. Well! he was long absent in the Bohe- place Martin by the fire.) By heaven, it is Martin mian wars.
In an expedition he was benighted, -our Martin! Martin, how fares it with thee? and came to a lone house on the edge of a forest: We have sought thee this whole night. he and his followers knocked repeatedly for en- Mar. So have many others (vacantly.) trance in vain. They forced the door, but found Con. Yes, thy master. no inhabitants.
Mar. Did you see him too! Frank. And they made good their quarters ? Con. Whom? Baron George?
Cox. They did: and Albert retired to rest in an MAR. No! my first master, Arnolf of Ebersdorf. upper chamber. Opposite to the bed on which he Wic. He raves. threw himself was a large mirror. At midnight Mar. He passed me but now in the wood, mounthe was awaked by deep groans : he cast his eyes ed upon his old black steed; its nostrils breathed upon the mirror, and saw
smoke and flame ; neither tree nor rock stopped FRANK. Sacred Heaven! Heard you nothing ? him. He said, “ Martin, thou wilt return this night Wic. Ay, the wind among the wither'd leaves.
to my service !" Go on, Conrad. Your uncle was a wise man. Wio. Wrap thy cloak around him, Francis; he
Con. That's more than gray hairs can make is distracted with cold and pain. Dost thou not other folks.
recollect me, old friend? Wic. Ha! stripling, art thou so malapert ! Mar. Yes, you are the butler at Ebersdorf: you have the charge of the large gilded cup, embossed warmed his blood-stained hands-every element with the figures of the twelve apostles. It was the bore witness to his guilt. favorite goblet of my old master.
Mar. Conrad, good youth-lead me from hence, Con. By our lady, Martin, thou must be dis- and I will show thee where, thirty years since I tracted indeed, to think our master would intrust deposited a mighty bribe,
[Risca. Wickerd with the care of the cellar.
Con. Be patient, good Martin. Mar. I know a face so like the apostate Judas Wic. And where was the miscreant seized ? on that cup. I have seen the likeness when I gazed [The two MEMBERş suddenly lay hands on on a mirror.
MARTIN, and draw their daggers; the Wic. Try to go to sleep, dear Martin; it will
Soldiers spring to their arms. relieve thy brain. (Footsteps are heard in the wood.) 1 MEM. On this very spot. To your arms. (They take their arms.)
Wic. Traitors, unloose your hold!
1 Mem. In the name of the Invisible Judges, I Enter two MEMBERS of the Invisible Tribunal, muf- charge ye, impede us not in our duty. fled in their cloaks.
[All sink their weapons, and stand mo Con. Stand! Who are you?
tionless. 1 Mem. Travellers benighted in the wood. Mar. Help! help! Wic. Are ye friends to Aspen or Maltingen! 1 Mem. Help him with your prayers! 1 Mem. We enter not into their quarrel: we are
[He is dragged off. The scene skuda. friends to the right.
Wic. Then are ye friends to us, and welcome to pass the night by our fire. 2 Mem. Thanks. (They approach the fire, and
ACT V.-SCENE I. regard Martin very earnestly.) Con. Hear ye any news abroad?
The subterranean chapel of the Castle of Griefen2 Mem. None; but that oppression and villany haus. It seems deserted, and in decay. There are are rife and rank as ever.
four entrances, each defended by an iron portal. Wic. The old complaint.
At each door stands a warder clothed in black, 1 Mem. No! never did former age equal this in and masked, armed with a naked sword. During wickedness; and yet, as if the daily commission of the whole scene they remain motionless on their enormities were not enough to blot the sun, every posts. In the centre of the chapel is a ruinous hour discovers crimes which have lain concealed altar, half sunk in the ground, on which lie e
large book, a dagger, and a coil of ropes, beside Con. Pity the Holy Tribunal should slumber in two lighted tapers. Antique stone benches of difits office.
ferent heights around the chapel. In the back 2 Mem. Young man, it slumbers not. When scene is seen a dilapidated entrance into the sacriminals are ripe for its vengeance, it falls like cristy, which is quite dark. the bolt of Heaven.
Various Members of the Invisible Tribunal enter Mar. (attempting to rise.) Let me be gone. by the four different doors of the chapel. Each Con. (detaining him.) Whither now, Martin ? whispers something as he passes the Warder, Mar. To mass.
which is answered by an inclination of the head. 1 Mem. Even now, we heard a tale of a villain, The costume of the Members is a long black robe who, ungrateful as the frozen adder, stung the bo- capable of muffling the face : some wear it in this som that had warmed him into life.
manner z others have their faces uncovered, unMar. Conrad, bear me off; I would be away from less on the entrance of a stranger : they place these men.
themselves in profound silence upon the stone Con. Be at ease, and strive to sleep.
benches. Mar. Too well I know-I shall never sleep again.
? Mem. The wretch of whom we speak became, Enter Count Roderic, dressed in a scarlet cloak of frum revenge and lust of gain, the murderer of the the same form with those of the other Members master whose bread he did eat.
He takes his place on the most elevated bench. Wic. Out upon the monster!
1 Mem. For nearly thirty years was he permit- Rop. Warders, secure the doors! (The doors ted to cumber the ground. The miscreant thought are barred with great care.) Herald, do thy duty! his crime was concealed; but the earth which
[Members all rise_Herald stands by the groaned under his footsteps—the winds which
altar. passed over his unhallowed head-the stream Her. Members of the Invisible Tribunal, who which he polluted by his lips—the fire at which he judge in secret, and avenge in secret, like the Deity,