Friedrich Schiller.

The works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) online

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MoRT. . Yes, glowing as their hatred is my love ;

They would behead thee, they would wound this neck.

So dazzling white, with the disgraceful axe !

O ! offer to the living god of joy

What thou must sacrifice to bloody hate !

Inspire thy happy lover with those charms

Which are no more thine own. Those golden locks

Are forfeit to the dismal pow'rs of death,

! use them to entwine thy slave for ever !

Maby. . Alas ! alas ! what language must I hear !

My wo, my suff'rings should be sacred to you,
Although my royal brows are so no more.

MoRT. . The crown is fallen from thy brows, thou haat
No more of earthly majesty. Make trial.
Raise thy imperial voice, see if a friend.
If a deliverer will rise to save you.
Thy moving form alone remains, the high,
The godlike influence of thy heav'nly beauty ;
This bids me venture all, this arms my hand
With might, and drives me tow'rds the headsman's axe

Mary. , ! Who will save me from his raging madness ^

MoRT. , Service that's bold, demands a bold reward.

Why shed their blood the daring? Is not life
Life's highest good? And he a madman, who
Casts life away ? First will I take my rest.
Upon the breast that glows with love's own fire !

[He presses Iter violently to his bosom

Maby. . Oh, must I call for help against the man
Who would deliver me !

Mo&TiMER. Thou'rt not uufeoliug.

The world ne'er censur'd thee for frigid rigour ;
The fervent pray'r of love can touch thy UearC.


Thou mad'st the minstrel Rizzio hlest, and gavest
Thyself a willing prey to Bothwells arms.
Mary. . Presumptuous man !
Mortimer. He was indeed thy tyrant,

Thou trembled'st at his rudeness, whilst thou lov'd'st

Well then — if only terror can obtain thee —
By the infernal gods !
Mary. Away — you're mad !

MoRT. . I'll teach thee then before me too to tremble —
Kennedy {entering suddenly).

They're coming — they approach — the Park is fill'd
With men in arms.
Mortimer [starting, and catching at his sword).

I will defend you — I —
Mary. . Hannah ! save me, save me from his hands.
Where shall I find, poor suffrer, an asylum?
! to what saint shall I address my pray'rs ?
Here force assails me, and within is murder!

[She flies towards the house, K^t^iiETiY follows her
Scene VII.
Mortimer, Paulet, and Drury rush in in the greatest

consternation. — Attendants hasten over the Stage.
Paul. . Shut all the portals — draw the bridges up —
MoRT. . What is the matter, uncle ?
Paulet. Where is the murd'ress ?

Down with her, down into the darkest dungeon I
MoRT. . What is the matter? What has pass'd?
Paulet. The Queen!

Accursed hand I Infernal machination !
MoRT. . The Queen! What Queen?
Paul. What Queen !

The Queen of England ; —
She has been murder'd on the road to London.

[Hastens into the house.

Scene VIII.
Mortimer, soon after, O'Kelly.

Mortimer (after a pause).

Am 1 then mad? Came not one running by

But now, and cried aloud, The Queen is murder'd !

28h mart stuabt. [act ui

No, no ! I did but dreara. A fev'rish fancy
Paints that upon my mind as tnxe and real,
Which but existed in my frantic thoughts.
Who's there? It is O'Kelly. So dismay 'd !

O'Kelly {rushinrf iii).

Flee, Mortimer, ! flee — for all is lost !

MoHT. . What then is lost ?

O'Kelly. Stand not on question Think

On speedy flight.

Mortimer. What has occurred ?

O'Kelly. Sauvage,

That madman, struck the blow.

Mortimer. It is then true !

O'Kel. True, true — ! save yourself.

Mortimer (exultingly).

The Queen is murder'd — •
And Mary shall ascend the English throne !

O'Kel. Is murder'd! Who said that?

Mortimer. Yourself.

O'Kelly. She lives,

And I, and you, and all of us are lost.

MoRT. . She lives I

O'lvELLY. The blow was badly aim'd, her cloak

Eeceiv'd it. Shrewsbury disarm'd the murd'rer.

MoRT. . She lives !

O'Kelly. She lives to whelm us all in ruin;

Gome, they surround the pai'k already ; come —

MoRT. . Who did this fi-antic deed ?

O'lvELLY. It was the monk

From Toulon, whom you saw immers'd in thought,
As in the chapel the Pope's bull was read,
"^Tiich pour'd anathemas upon the Queen.
He wish'd to take the nearest, shortest way,
To free, with one bold stroke, the church of God,
And gain the crown of martrydom : — he trusted
His purpose only to the priest, and strack
The fatal blow upon the I'oad to Loudon.
Mortimer {after a long silence).

Alas ! a fierce destructive fate pursues thee,
Unhappy one ! Yes — now thy death is fix'd ;
Thy very angel has prepar'd thy fall 1


O'Kel. Say, whither will you take your flight ? T go
To hide me in the forests of the north.

MoRT Fly thither, and may God attend your flight ;
I will remain, and still attempt to save
My love ; if not, my oed shall be upon her grave.

[Exeunt at different sidei,


Scene I. — Antechamber.

Count Aubespine, the Earls of Kent and Leicestee

AuB. How fares her Majesty ? My Lords, you see me
Still stunn'd. and quite beside myself for terror?
How happen 'd it ? How was it possible
That, in the midst of this most loyal people —

Leic. The deed was not attempted by the people.
The assassin was a subject of your king,
A Frenchman.

Aubespine. Sure a lunatic.

Leic A Papist,

Count Aubespine !

Scene II.

Enter Burleigh in conversation ivith Davison.

Burleigh. Sir ; let the death-warrant

Be instantly made out, and pass the seal ;

Then let it be presented to the Queen ;

Her Majesty must sign it. Hasten, Sir,

We have no time to lose.
Davison. It shall be done. [Exit.

AuB. . My Lord High Treasurer, my faithful heart

Shares in the just rejoicings of the realm.

Prais'd be almighty Heaven, who hath averted

Assassination from our much-lov'd Queen !
Bur. . Prais'd be his name, who thus hath tum'd to scorn

The malice of our foes !
Aubespine. May Heav'n confouud

The perpetrator of this cursed deed !
Bur. Its perpetrator and its base contriver !
AuB Please you, my Lord, to bring me to the Queen,

That I may lay the warm congratulations

Of my imperial master at her feet.


Bur. Tlier^ is no need of this.

AuBESPiNE {officiously). My Lord of Burleigh,

I kiv?w my duty.
Burleigh. Sir, your duty is

To quit, and that witliout delay, this kingdom.
AuBESPiXE (stepping back uith siuprise).

^Yhat ! How is this ?
Burleigh. The sacred character

Of an Ambassador to-day protects you,

But not to-mon-ow.
AuBESPiKE. What's my crime ?

Burleigh. Should I

Once name it, there were then no pardon for it.
AuB. . I hope, my Lord, my charge's privilege —
Bur. . Screens not a traitor.
Leicester aHfZ Kent. Traitor! How?


Consider well —
Burleigh. Your passport was discover'd

In the assassin's pocket.
Kent. Eighteous Heaven !

AuB. . Sir, many passports are subscrib'd by me,

I cannot know the secret thoughts of men.
Bur. . He in your house confess'd, and was absolv'd —
AuB. . My house is open —
Burleigh. To our enemies.

AuB. . I claim a strict inquiiy —
Burleigh. Tremble at it —

AcB. . My monarch in my person is insulted.

He will annul the maiTiage contract.
Burleigh. That

My royal mistress has annull'd already;

England will not unite herself with France.

My Lord of Kent, I give to you the charge

To see Count Aubespine embark 'd in safety

The furious populace has storm'd his palace,

Where a wtole arsenal of arms was found ;

Should he be found, they "11 tear him limb ftOTU

Conceal him till their fury is abated, —

Yon answer for his life


AuBESPiNE. I go — I leavo

This kingdom, where they sport with public treaties,
And trample on the laws of nations. Yet
My monarch, be assur'd, will vent his rage
In direst vengeance I

BtJRLEiGH. Let him seek it here.

[Exeunt Kent and Aubespine.

Scene III

Leicester, Burleigh.

Leic . And thus you loose, yourself, the knot of union
Which you officiously, uncall'd for, bound '
You have deserv'd but little of your country,
My Lord ; this trouble was superfluous.

3uB. . My aim was good, though fate declared against it;
Happy is he who has so fair a conscience !

Leic. . Well know we the mysterious mien of Burleigh,
When he is on the hunt for deeds of treason.
Now you are in your element, my Lord ;
A monstrous outrage has been just committed,
And darkness veils, as yet, its perpetrators : —
Now will a court of inquisition rise ;
Each word, each look be weigh'd ; men's very thoughts
Be summon'd to the bar. You are, my Lord,
The mighty man, the Atlas of the state.
All England's weight lies upon your shoulders.

Bub. . In you, my Lord, I recognise my master;
For such a victory as your eloquence
Has gain'd I cannot boast.

Leicester. What means your lordship ?

Bur. . You were the man who knew, behind my back.
To lure the Queen to Fotheringay castle.

Leic. . Behind your back ! When did I fear to act
Before your face ?

Burleigh. Yoic led her Majesty ?

0, no — you led her not — it was the Queen
"^lio was so gracious as to lead you thither

Leic . What mean you,my Lord, by that?

Burleigh. The noble part

You forc'd the Queen to play! The glorious triumph
Which you prepar'd for her ! Too gracious princess I
Bo shamelessly, so wantonly to mock


Thy nnsuspecting goodness, to betray thee

So pitiless to thy exulting foe !

This, then, is the magnanimity, the grace

"Which suddenly possess 'd you in the council I

The Stuart is for this so despicable.

So weak an enemy, that it would scarce

Be worth the pains to stain us with her blood.

A specious plan I and sharply pointed too ;

'Tis only pity this sharp point is broken.
Leic. . Unworthy wretch ! — this instant follow me.

And answer at the throne this insolence.
Bur. . You'll find me there, my Lord ; and look you well,

That there your eloquence desert you not.. [Exit.

Scene TV

Leicester, alone; then Mortimer.

Leic I am detected ! All my plot 's disclos'd !
How has my evil genius track'd my steps !
Alas ! if he has proofs, if she should learn
That I have held a secret correspondence
With her worst enemy ; how criminal
Shall I appear to her ! How false will then
My counsel seem, and all the fatal pains
I took to lure the Queen to Fotheriugay !
I've shamefully betray'd, I have exposed her
To her detested enemy's revilings !

! never, never can she pai'don that.
All will appear as if premeditated.
The bitter turn of this sad interview,

The triumph and the tauntings of her rival ;
Yes, e'en the murd'rous hand, which had prepar'd
A bloody, monstrous, unexpected fate ;
All, all will be ascrib'd to my suggestions !

1 see no rescue ! — nowhere — Ha ! Who comes?

[Mortimer enters, in the most violent uneasiness^
and looks with apprehennion round him.
MoRT Lord Leicester ! Is it you ? Are we alone ?
Leic. Ill-fated wretch, away! What seek you here?
MoRT They are upon our track — upon yours too,

Be vigilant !
Leicester. Away, away!

8C. r*'.] MAtlV iTlAKT. 289

Mortimer. They knoM,

That private conferences liave been held

At Aubespiue's —
Leicester. What's that to me "?

Mortimer They know, too,

That the assassin —
Leicester. That is your affair —

Audacious ■wretch ! to dare to mix my name

In your detested outrage : go ; defend

Your bloody deeds yourself !
Mortimer. But only hear me.

Leicester (violently enraged).

Down, down to hell ! Why cling you at my heels

Like an infernal spirit ! I disclaim you —

I know you not — I make no common cause

With murderers !
Mortimer. You will not hear me, then !

I came to warn you — you too are detected.
Leic. How! What?
Mortimer. Lord Burleigh went to Fotheringay,

Just as the luckless deed had been attempted ;

Search'd with strict scrutiny the Queen's apartments,

And found there —
Leicester. What ?

Mortimer. A letter, which the Queen

Had just addressed to you —
Leicester. Unhappy woman ! —

MoRT. . In which she calls on you to keep your word,

Renews the promise of her hand, and mentions

The picture which she sent you.
Leicester. Death and hell I

MoRT. . Lord Burleigh has the letter —
Leicester. I am lost !

[Durinrf the folloicbig speech of Mortime}^
Leicester goes up and down, as in despair.
Mort. . Improve the moment ; be beforehand with him.

And save yourself — save her ! An oath can clear

Your fame ; contrive excuses to avert

The worst. I am disarm'd, can do no more ;

My comrades are dispers'd — to pieces fall'n

Our whole confed'racy. For Scotland I,



To rally sucb new friends as there I may.
'Tis now your turn, my Lord — try what your weight,
What bold assurance can effect.
Leicester [stops suddenly, as if resolved). I will —

[Goes to the door, opens it, and calls
Who waits without ? Guards ! seize this wretched
traitor !

[To the Officer, who comes in with soldiers.
And guard him closely ! A most dreadful plot
Is brought to light — I'll to her Majesty.
Mortimer (stands for a time petrified with wonder ; collects
himself soon, and follows Leicester with his
looks expressive of the most sovereign contempt^
Infamous wretch ! — But I deserve it all.
Who told me then to trust this practis'd villain ?
Now o'er my head he strides, and on my fall
He builds the bridge of safety ! — be it so,
Go, save thyself — my lips are seal'd for ever ;—
I will not join e'en thee in my destruction —
I would not own thee, no, not e'en in death ;
Life is the faithless villain's only good !

[To the Officer of the Guard, ivho steps forward to
seize him.
What wilt thou, slave of tyranny, with me ?
I laugh to scorn thy threat 'nings — I am free.

[Drawing a dagger.
Offic. He's arm'd ; — rush in, and wrest his weapon from him.

[They rush upon him, he defends himself.
Mdrtimer {raising his voice).

And in this latest moment, shall my heart
Expand itself in freedom, and my tongue
Shall break this long constraint. Curse and destruc-
■ tion

Light on you all, who have betray "d your faith,
Your God, and your true Sov'reign ! Who, alike
To earthly Mary false as to the heav'nly,
Have sold your duties to this bastard Queen !
Offic. Hear you these blasphemies ? Rush forward— seize

him !
MoRT Beloved Queen ! I could not set thee free ;
Yet take a lesson from me how to die.

«C. v.") MART STUART. 291

Mary, thou holy one, O ! pray for me !
And take me to thy heav'nly home on high !

[Stabs himself, and falls into the arms of the Guard.

Scene V.

The Apartment of the Queen.

Elizabeth, xcith a letter in her hand, Burleigh.

Eliz. . To lure me thither ! trifle with me thus !

The traitor ! Thus to lead me, as in triumph,

Into the presence of his paramour !

0, Burleigh ! ne'er was woman so deceiv'd.

Bur. I cannot yet conceive what potent means,
What magic he exerted, to surprise
My Queen's accustom'd prudence.

Elizabeth. 0, I die

For shame ! How must he laugh to scorn my weak

ness !
I thought to humble her, and was myself
The object of her bitter scorn.

Burleigh. By this

You see how faithfully I counsell'd you.

Eliz. 0, I am sorely punish'd, that T turn'd

My ear from your wise counsels ; yet I thought
I might confide in him. Who could suspect,
Beneath the tows of faithfullest devotion,
A deadly snare ? In whom can I confide.
When he deceives me ? He, whom I have made
The greatest of the great, and ever set
The nearest to my heart, and in this court
Allow'd to play the master and the king.

Bur. . Yet in that very moment he betray 'd you.
Betray 'd you to this wily Queen of Scots.

Eliz. . 0, she shall pay me for it with her Hfe !
Is the death-warrant ready?

Burleigh. 'Tis prepar'd

As you commanded.

Elizabeth. She shall surely die —

He shall behold her fall, and fall himself!
I've driven him from my heart. No longer love,
Revenge alone is there : and high as once
He stood, so low and shameful be his fall !

n 2


A monument of my severity,
As once tlie proud example of my weakness
Conduct liim to the Tower ; let a commission
Of peers be nam'd to tiy him. He shall feel
In its full weight the rigom* of the law.

BcR. . But he will seek thy presence ; he will clear —

Eliz. . How can he clear himself? Does not the letter
Convict him ? 0, his crimes are manifest !

Bub. . But thou art mild and gracious ! His appearance,
His pow'rful presence —

Elizabeth. I will never see him ;

No never, never more. Are orders giv'n,
Not to admit him, should he come ?

Burleigh. 'Tis done.

Page [entering).

The Earl of Leicester !

Elizabeth. The presumptuous man !

I will not see him. Tell him that I will not.

Page. . I am afraid to bring my Lord this message,
Nor would he credit it.

Elizabeth. And T have raised him

So high, that my own servants tremble moi^
At him than me !

E)URleigh [to the Page). The Queen forbids his presence.

[Tfie Page retires slowly

Elizabeth {after a pause).

Yet, if it still were possible ? If he

Could clear himself? Might it not be a snai-e

Laid by the cunning one, to sever me

From my best friend — the ever treach'rous harlot !

She might have writ the letter, but to raise

Poisnous suspicion in my heart, to iiiin

The man she hates.

BuBLEiGH. Yet, gracious Queen, consider—'

Scene VI.

Leicester [bursts open the door ivith violence, and enters mth

an imperious air).

Leic. . Fain would I see the shameless man, who dares
Forbid me the apartments of my Queen ! —


EiJZABETH (avoiding his sight).
Audacious slave !

Leicester. To turn me from the door !

If for a Bui'leigh she be visible,
She must be so to me !

Burleigh. My Lord, you are

Too bold, without permission to intrude —

I.KTO My Lord, you are too arrogant, to take

The lead in these apartments. What ! Permission I
I know of none, who stands so high at couit
As to permit my doings, or refuse them.

[Humbly approaching Elizabeth,
'Tis from my Sov'reign's lips alone that I —

Elizabeth [without looking at him).

Out of my sight, deceitful, worthless traitor !

Leic. . Tis not my gracious Queen I hear, but Burleigh,
My enemy, in these ungentle words.
To my imperial mistress I appeal ;
Thou hast lent him thine ear ; I ask the like.

Eliz. Speak, shameless wretch ! Increase your- crime -
deny it —

Leic. . Dismiss this troublesome intrader first.

Withdraw, my Lord ; it is not of your office
To play the third man here: between the Queen
And me there ib no need of witnesses.
Retire —

Elizabeth {to Burleigh)

Remain, my Lord ; 'tis my command.

Leic. . What has a third to do 'twixt thee and me?
I have to clear myself before my Queen,
My worshipp'd Queen ; I will maintain the light.*^
Which thou hast given me : these rights are sacred,
And I insist upon it, that my Lord

Elizabeth. This haughty tone befits you well.

Leic. It well befits me ; am not I the man.

The happy man, to whom thy gracious favour
Has givn the highest station ? this exalts mo
Above this Burleigh, and above them all.
Thy heart imparted me this rank, aiui what
Thy favour gave, by Heav'ns I will maintain


At my life's hazard ! Let him go, it needs

Two moments only to exculpate me.
Eliz. . Think not, with cunning words, to hide the truth.
Leic . That fear from him, so voluble of speech .

But what I say, is to tlie heart address'd ;

And I will justify what I have dar"d

To do, confiding in thy gen'rous favour,

Before thy heart alone. I recognise

No other jurisdiction.
Elizabeth. Base decejver !

'Tis this, e'en this, which above all condemns you.

My Lord, produce the letter. [To Burleigh.

BuELEiGH. Here it is.

Leicesteb {running over the letter without losing his pr&ience
of mind).

'Tis Mary Stuart's hand —
Elizabeth. Bead, and be dumb !

Leicester [having read it quietly).

Appearance is against me ; yet I hope

I shall not by appearances be judg'd.
Eliz. Can you deny your secret correspondence

With Mary ? — that she sent, and you receiv'd

Her picture, that you gave her hopes of rescue ?
Leic. It were an easy matter, if I felt

That I were guilty of a crime, to challenge

The testimony of my enemy :

Yet bold is my good conscience. I confess

That she hath said the trath.
Elizabeth. Well then, thou wretch ^

Bur. . His own words sentence him —
Elizabeth. Out of my sight !

Away ! Conduct the traitor to the tow'r !
Leic. . I am no traitor ; it was wrong, I own,

To make a secret of this step to thee ; —

Yet pure was my intention, it was done

To search into her plots and to confound them
Eliz. . Vain subterfuge !

Bur. And do you think, my Lord —

Leic. . I've play'd a dang'rous game, I know it well,

And none but Leicester dare be bold enough
To risk it at this court. The world must know

iC. VI. \ MARY STUART. 291


How I detest this Stuart, and the rank
Which here I hold, my monarch's confidence,
With which she honours me, must sure suffice
To overturn all doubt of my intentions.
Well may the man thy favour above all
Distinguishes, pursue a daring course
To do his duty !
liuRLEiGH. If the course was good,

Wherefore conceal it ?
Leicester. You are us'd, my Lora

To prate before you act — the very chime
Of your own deeds. This is your manner, Lora.
But mine, is first to act, and then to speak
Bur. . Yes; now you speak, because you must.
Leicester {measuring him proudly and disdainfully with
his eyes).

And you
Boast of a wonderful, a mighty action,
That you have sav'd the Queen, have snatch'd away
The mask from treach'i-y : — all is known to yoti ;
You think, forsooth, that nothing can escape
Your penetrating eyes. Poor, idle boaster!
In spite of all your cunning, Mary Stuart
Was free to day, had I not hinder'd it.
Bur. . How? you?

Leicester. Yes I, my Lord : the Queen confided

In Mortimer ; she open'd to the youth
Her inmost soul ! Yes, she went farther still ;
She gave him too a secret bloody charge,
W^hich Paulet had before refus'd with horror.
Say, is it so, or not ?

[The Queen and Burleigh look at one another
with astonishment.
BuBLEiGH. Whence know you this ?

Leic. . Nay, is it not a fact ? Now answer me !

And where, my Lord, where were your thousand eyes,

Not to discover Mortimer was false ?

That he, the Guise's tool, and Mary's creature,

A raging Papist, daring fanatic.

Was come to free the Stuart and to murder

The Queen of England !


EtrzABETH [ivith the utmost astonishment).

How! This Mortimer?

Leic. 'Twas he through whom our correspoKdence passd ;
This plot it was which introduc'd me to him.
This very day she was to have been torn
From her confinement ; he, this very moment,
Disclos'd his plan to me : I took him pris'ner,
And gave him to the guard, wlien in despair
To see his work o erturn'd, himself unmask'd,
He slew himself !

Elizabeth. O, I indeed have been

Deceiv'd beyond example, Mortimer !

Bur. . . This happen'd then but now ? Since last we parted ?

Leic. . For my own sake, I must lainent the deed —
That he was thus cut off. His testimony.
Were he alive, had fully clear'd my fame.
And freed me from suspicion : — 'twas for this
That I surrender'd him to open justice.
I thought to choose the most impartial course
To verify and fix my innocence
Before the world.

Burleigh. He kill'd himself, you say !

Is't so ? Or did you kill him?

Leicester. A^ile suspicion !

Hear but the guard who seiz'd him.

[He goes to the door, and calls
Ho ! Who waits'?
[Enter the Officer of the guard.
Sir, tell the Queen how Mortimer expir'd.

Offic. . I was on duty in the palace porch,

When suddenly my Lord threw wide the door,
And order'd me to take the knight in charge.
Denouncing him a traitor : upon this
He grew enragVl, and with most bitter curses
Against our sov'reign, and our holy faith,
He drew a dagger, and before the guards
Could hinder his intention, plung'd the steel
Into his heart, and fell a lifeless corpse.

Leic. . 'Tis well ; you may withdraw. Her Majesty
Has hoard enough,

[llie Officer mthdraxm

sc. VI.] mabjT stdart. 297

Elizabeth ! what a deep abyss

Of monstrous deeds I

Leicester. Who was it then, my Queen,

Who sav'd you ? Was it Burleigh ? Did he know
The dangers which surrounded you ? Did he
Avert them from your head ? Your faithful Leiceste?
Was your good angel.

Burleigh. This same Mortimer

Died most conveniently for you, my Lord.

Eliz. . What I should say I know not. I believe you,
And I believe you not : — ■! think you guilty.

Online LibraryFriedrich SchillerThe works of Frederick Schiller, translated from the German (Volume 3) → online text (page 18 of 37)