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Lingered, or seemed at least to linger on it.
Gly. And what if even now, on that same ridge, A speck should rise, and still enlarging, lengthening, As it clomb downwards, shape itself at last To a numerous cavalcade, and spurring foremost, Who but Sarolta's own dear lord returned From his high embassy ? Sar.
Thou hast hit my thought ! All the long day, from yester-morn to evening, The restless hope fluttered about my heart. Oh we are querulous creatures ! Little less Than all things can suffice to make us happy; And little more than nothing is enough To discontent us.--- -Were he come, then should I Repine he had not arrived just one day earlier To keep his birth-day here, in his own birth-place. Gly. But our best sports belike, and gay pro
cessions Would to my lord have seemed but work-day sights Compared with those the royal court affords. Sar. I have small wish to see them. A spring
morning With its wild gladsome minstrelsy of birds, And its bright jewelry of flowers and dew-drops (Each orbed drop an orb of glory in it) [ment Would put them all in eclipse. This sweet retireLord Casimir's wish alone would have made sacred: But in good truth, his loving jealousy Did but command, what I had else entreated.
Gly. And yet had I been born Lady Sarolta,
Been wedded to the noblest of the realm,
Sar. Hush ! innocent flatterer!
Nay! to my poor fancy The royal court would seem an earthly heaven, Made for such stars to shine in, and be gracious.
Sar. So doth the ignorant distance still delude us ! Thy fancied heaven, dear girl, like that above thee, In its mere self a cold, drear, colourless void, Seen from below and in the large, becomes The bright blue ether, and the seat of gods ! Well ! but this broil that scared you from the dance ? And was not Laska there: he, your betrothed ? Gly. Yes, madam ! he was there. So was the
Ah, Glycine! why,
Because My own dear lady wished it ! 'twas you asked me ! Sar. Yes,
my lord's request, but never wished, My poor affectionate girl, to see thee wretched. Thou knowest not yet the duties of a wife.
Gly. Oh, yes ! It is a wife's chief duty, madam! To stand in awe of her husband, and obey him,
I shall see Laska
Not with fear, I think, For you still mock him. Bring a seat from the
cottage. [Exit Glycine into the cot
I am sure,
tage, Sarolta continues her speech looking
after her. Something above thy rank there hangs about thee, And in thy countenance, thy voice, and motion, Yea, e'en in thy simplicity, Glycine, A fine and feminine grace, that makes me feel More as a mother than a mistress to thee! Thou art a soldier's orphan! that---the courage, Which rising in thine eye, seems oft to give A new soul to its gentleness, doth prove thee ! Thou art sprung too of no ignoble blood, Or there's no faith in instinct !
[angry voices and claniour within.
Re-enter Glycine. Gly. Oh, madam! there's a party of your serAnd my lord's steward, Laska, at their head, [vants, Have come to search for old Bathory's son, Bethlen, that brave young man ! 'twas he, my lady, That took our parts, and beat off the intruders, And in mere spite and malice, now they charge him With bad words of Lord Casimir and the king. Pray don't believe them, madam! This way! This
Lady Sarolta's here
[calling without. Sar.
Be calm, Glycine. Enter Laska and Servants with Old Bathory. Las. (to Bathory.) We have no concern with
you! What needs your presence ? 0. Bat. What! Do you think I'll suffer my
To be slandered by a set of coward-ruffians,
[Laska and servants bow to Lady Sarolta. Sar.
Laska! What may this mean?
Sar. Be brief! We know his titles !
have had your spokesman! Where is the young man thus accused ? 0. Bat.
I know not: But if no ill betide him on the mountains, He will not long be absent ! Sar.
Thou art his father ? [son ; 0. Bat. None ever with more reason prized a Yet I hate falsehood more than I love him. But more than one, now in my lady's presence, Witnessed the affray, besides these men of malice,
And if I swerve from truth-
Yes ! good old man !
Hush, Glycine! Be silent I command you. [then to Bathory.
Speak! we hear you ! 0. Bat. My tale is brief. During our festive Your servants, the accusers of
my son, [dance, Offered gross insults, in unmanly sort, To our village maidens. He, (could he do less ?) Rose in defence of outraged modesty, And so persuasive did his cudgel prove, (Your hectoring sparks so over brave to women Are always cowards) that they soon took flight, And now in mere revenge, like baffled boasters, Have framed this tale, out of some hasty words Which their own threats provoked. Sar.
Old man! you talk Too bluntly ! Did your son owe no respect To the livery of our house? 0. Bat.
Even such respect As the sheep's skin should gain for the hot wolf That hath begun to worry
Pardon ! pardon, madam! I saw the whole affray. The good old man Means no offence, sweet lady!- You, yourself, Laska! know well, that these men were the rufShame on you !
[fians ! Sar.
What! Glycine? Go, retire !