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THE DYNASTS

By Thomas Hardy


AN EPIC-DRAMA OF THE WAR WITH NAPOLEON,

IN THREE PARTS, NINETEEN ACTS, AND

ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY SCENES


The Time covered by the Action being about ten Years



"And I heard sounds of insult, shame, and wrong,
And trumpets blown for wars."




PREFACE


The Spectacle here presented in the likeness of a Drama is concerned
with the Great Historical Calamity, or Clash of Peoples, artificially
brought about some hundred years ago.

The choice of such a subject was mainly due to three accidents of
locality. It chanced that the writer was familiar with a part of
England that lay within hail of the watering-place in which King
George the Third had his favourite summer residence during the war
with the first Napoleon, and where he was visited by ministers and
others who bore the weight of English affairs on their more or less
competent shoulders at that stressful time. Secondly, this district,
being also near the coast which had echoed with rumours of invasion
in their intensest form while the descent threatened, was formerly
animated by memories and traditions of the desperate military
preparations for that contingency. Thirdly, the same countryside
happened to include the village which was the birthplace of Nelson's
flag-captain at Trafalgar.

When, as the first published result of these accidents, _The Trumpet
Major_ was printed, more than twenty years ago, I found myself in
the tantalizing position of having touched the fringe of a vast
international tragedy without being able, through limits of plan,
knowledge, and opportunity, to enter further into its events; a
restriction that prevailed for many years. But the slight regard
paid to English influence and action throughout the struggle by
those Continental writers who had dealt imaginatively with Napoleon's
career, seemed always to leave room for a new handling of the theme
which should re-embody the features of this influence in their true
proportion; and accordingly, on a belated day about six years back,
the following drama was outlined, to be taken up now and then at wide
intervals ever since.

It may, I think, claim at least a tolerable fidelity to the facts of
its date as they are give in ordinary records. Whenever any evidence
of the words really spoken or written by the characters in their
various situations was attainable, as close a paraphrase has been
aimed at as was compatible with the form chosen. And in all cases
outside the oral tradition, accessible scenery, and existing relics,
my indebtedness for detail to the abundant pages of the historian,
the biographer, and the journalist, English and Foreign, has been,
of course, continuous.

It was thought proper to introduce, as supernatural spectators
of the terrestrial action, certain impersonated abstractions, or
Intelligences, called Spirits. They are intended to be taken by the
reader for what they may be worth as contrivances of the fancy merely.
Their doctrines are but tentative, and are advanced with little eye
to a systematized philosophy warranted to lift "the burthen of the
mystery" of this unintelligible world. The chief thing hoped for
them is that they and their utterances may have dramatic plausibility
enough to procure for them, in the words of Coleridge, "that willing
suspension of disbelief for the moment which constitutes poetic
faith." The wide prevalence of the Monistic theory of the Universe
forbade, in this twentieth century, the importation of Divine
personages from any antique Mythology as ready-made sources or
channels of Causation, even in verse, and excluded the celestial
machinery of, say, _Paradise Lost_, as peremptorily as that of the
_Iliad_ or the _Eddas_. And the abandonment of the masculine pronoun
in allusions to the First or Fundamental Energy seemed a necessary
and logical consequence of the long abandonment by thinkers of the
anthropomorphic conception of the same.

These phantasmal Intelligences are divided into groups, of which one
only, that of the Pities, approximates to "the Universal Sympathy of
human nature - the spectator idealized"[1] of the Greek Chorus; it is
impressionable and inconsistent in its views, which sway hither and
thither as wrought on by events. Another group approximates to the
passionless Insight of the Ages. The remainder are eclectically
chosen auxiliaries whose signification may be readily discerned.
In point of literary form, the scheme of contrasted Choruses and
other conventions of this external feature was shaped with a single
view to the modern expression of a modern outlook, and in frank
divergence from classical and other dramatic precedent which ruled
the ancient voicings of ancient themes.

It may hardly be necessary to inform readers that in devising this
chronicle-piece no attempt has been made to create that completely
organic structure of action, and closely-webbed development of
character and motive, which are demanded in a drama strictly self-
contained. A panoramic show like the present is a series of historical
"ordinates" [to use a term in geometry]: the subject is familiar to
all; and foreknowledge is assumed to fill in the junctions required
to combine the scenes into an artistic unity. Should the mental
spectator be unwilling or unable to do this, a historical presentment
on an intermittent plan, in which the _dramatis personae_ number some
hundreds, exclusive of crowds and armies, becomes in his individual
case unsuitable.

In this assumption of a completion of the action by those to whom
the drama is addressed, it is interesting, if unnecessary, to name
an exemplar as old as Aeschylus, whose plays are, as Dr. Verrall
reminds us,[2] scenes from stories taken as known, and would be
unintelligible without supplementary scenes of the imagination.

Readers will readily discern, too, that _The Dynasts_ is intended
simply for mental performance, and not for the stage. Some critics
have averred that to declare a drama[3] as being not for the stage is
to make an announcement whose subject and predicate cancel each
other. The question seems to be an unimportant matter of terminology.
Compositions cast in this shape were, without doubt, originally
written for the stage only, and as a consequence their nomenclature
of "Act," "Scene," and the like, was drawn directly from the vehicle
of representation. But in the course of time such a shape would
reveal itself to be an eminently readable one; moreover, by dispensing
with the theatre altogether, a freedom of treatment was attainable
in this form that was denied where the material possibilities of
stagery had to be rigorously remembered. With the careless
mechanicism of human speech, the technicalities of practical mumming
were retained in these productions when they had ceased to be
concerned with the stage at all.

To say, then, in the present case, that a writing in play-shape is
not to be played, is merely another way of stating that such writing
has been done in a form for which there chances to be no brief
definition save one already in use for works that it superficially
but not entirely resembles.

Whether mental performance alone may not eventually be the fate of
all drama other than that of contemporary or frivolous life, is a
kindred question not without interest. The mind naturally flies to
the triumphs of the Hellenic and Elizabethan theatre in exhibiting
scenes laid "far in the Unapparent," and asks why they should not
be repeated. But the meditative world is older, more invidious,
more nervous, more quizzical, than it once was, and being unhappily
perplexed by -


Riddles of Death Thebes never knew,


may be less ready and less able than Hellas and old England were to
look through the insistent, and often grotesque, substance at the
thing signified.

In respect of such plays of poesy and dream a practicable compromise
may conceivably result, taking the shape of a monotonic delivery of
speeches, with dreamy conventional gestures, something in the manner
traditionally maintained by the old Christmas mummers, the curiously
hypnotizing impressiveness of whose automatic style - that of persons
who spoke by no will of their own - may be remembered by all who ever
experienced it. Gauzes or screens to blur outlines might still
further shut off the actual, as has, indeed, already been done in
exceptional cases. But with this branch of the subject we are not
concerned here.

T.H.

September 1903.



CONTENTS.



THE DYNASTS: AN EPIC-DRAMA OF THE WAR WITH NAPOLEON



Preface


PART FIRST


Characters


Fore Scene. The Overworld


Act First: -

Scene I. England. A Ridge in Wessex
" II. Paris. Office of the Minister of Marine
" III. London. The Old House of Commons
" IV. The Harbour of Boulogne
" V. London. The House of a Lady of Quality
" IV. Milan. The Cathedral


Act Second: -

Scene I. The Dockyard, Gibraltar
" II. Off Ferrol
" III. The Camp and Harbour of Boulogne
" IV. South Wessex. A Ridge-like Down near the Coast
" V. The Same. Rainbarrows' Beacon, Egdon Heath


Act Third: -

Scene I. The Chateau at Pont-de-Briques
" II. The Frontiers of Upper Austria and Bavaria
" III. Boulogne. The St. Omer Road


Act Fourth: -

Scene I. King George's Watering-place, South Wessex
" II. Before the City of Ulm
" III. Ulm. Within the City
" IV. Before Ulm. The Same Day
" V. The Same. The Michaelsberg
" VI. London. Spring Gardens


Act Fifth: -

Scene I. Off Cape Trafalgar
" II. The Same. The Quarter-deck of the "Victory"
" III. The Same. On Board the "Bucentaure"
" IV. The Same. The Cockpit of the "Victory"
" V. London. The Guildhall
" VI. An Inn at Rennes
" VII. King George's Watering-place, South Wessex


Act Sixth: -

Scene I. The Field of Austerlitz. The French Position
" II. The Same. The Russian Position
" III. The Same. The French Position
" IV. The Same. The Russian Position
" V. The Same. Near the Windmill of Paleny
" VI. Shockerwick House, near Bath
" VII. Paris. A Street leading to the Tuileries
" VIII. Putney. Bowling Green House





PART SECOND


Characters


Act First: -

Scene I. London. Fox's Lodgings, Arlington Street
" II. The Route between London and Paris
" III. The Streets of Berlin
" IV. The Field of Jena
" V. Berlin. A Room overlooking a Public Place
" VI. The Same
" VII. Tilsit and the River Niemen
" VIII. The Same


Act Second: -

Scene I. The Pyrenees and Valleys adjoining
" II. Aranjuez, near Madrid. A Room in the Palace of
Godoy, the "Prince of Peace"
" III. London. The Marchioness of Salisbury's
" IV. Madrid and its Environs
" V. The Open Sea between the English Coasts and the
Spanish Peninsula
" VI. St. Cloud. The Boudoir of Josephine
" VII. Vimiero


Act Third: -

Scene I. Spain. A Road near Astorga
" II. The Same
" III. Before Coruna
" IV. Coruna. Near the Ramparts
" V. Vienna. A Cafe in the Stephans-Platz


Act Fourth: -

Scene I. A Road out of Vienna
" II. The Island of Lobau, with Wagram beyond
" III. The Field of Wagram
" IV. The Field of Talavera
" V. The Same
" VI. Brighton. The Royal Pavilion
" VII. The Same
" VIII. Walcheren


Act Fifth: -

Scene I. Paris. A Ballroom in the House of Cambaceres
" II. Paris. The Tuileries
" III. Vienna. A Private Apartment in the Imperial Palace
" IV. London. A Club in St. James's Street
" V. The old West Highway out of Vienna
" VI. Courcelles
" VII. Petersburg. The Palace of the Empress-Mother
" VIII. Paris. The Grand Gallery of the Louvre and the
Salon-Carre adjoining


Act Fifth: -

Scene I. The Lines of Torres Vedras
" II. The Same. Outside the Lines
" III. Paris. The Tuileries
" IV. Spain. Albuera
" V. Windsor Castle. A Room in the King's Apartments
" VI. London. Carlton House and the Streets adjoining
" VII. The Same. The Interior of Carlton House





PART THIRD


Characters


Act First: -

Scene I. The Banks of the Niemen, near Kowno
" II. The Ford of Santa Marta, Salamanca
" III. The Field of Salamanca
" IV. The Field of Borodino
" V. The Same
" VI. Moscow
" VII. The Same. Outside the City
" VIII. The Same. The Interior of the Kremlin
" IX. The Road from Smolensko into Lithuania
" X. The Bridge of the Beresina
" XI. The Open Country between Smorgoni and Wilna
" XII. Paris. The Tuileries


Act Second: -

Scene I. The Plain of Vitoria
" II. The Same, from the Puebla Heights
" III. The Same. The Road from the Town
" IV. A Fete at Vauxhall Gardens


Act Third: -

Scene I. Leipzig. Napoleon's Quarters in the Reudnitz Suburb
" II. The Same. The City and the Battlefield
" III. The Same, from the Tower of the Pleissenburg
" IV. The Same. At the Thonberg Windmill
" V. The Same. A Street near the Ranstadt Gate
" VI. The Pyrenees. Near the River Nivelle


Act Fourth: -

Scene I. The Upper Rhine
" II. Paris. The Tuileries
" III. The Same. The Apartments of the Empress
" IV. Fontainebleau. A Room in the Palace
" V. Bayonne. The British Camp
" VI. A Highway in the Outskirts of Avignon
" VII. Malmaison. The Empress Josephine's Bedchamber
" VIII. London. The Opera-House


Act Fifth: -

Scene I. Elba. The Quay, Porto Ferrajo
" II. Vienna. The Imperial Palace
" III. La Mure, near Grenoble
" IV. Schonbrunn
" V. London. The Old House of Commons
" VI. Wessex. Durnover Green, Casterbridge


Act Sixth: -

Scene I. The Belgian Frontier
" II. A Ballroom in Brussels
" III. Charleroi. Napoleon's Quarters
" IV. A Chamber overlooking a Main Street in Brussels
" V. The Field of Ligny
" VI. The Field of Quatre-Bras
" VII. Brussels. The Place Royale
" VIII. The Road to Waterloo


Act Seventh: -

Scene I. The Field of Waterloo
" II. The Same. The French Position
" III. Saint Lambert's Chapel Hill
" IV. The Field of Waterloo. The English Position
" V. The Same. The Women's Camp near Mont Saint-Jean
" VI. The Same. The French Position
" VII. The Same. The English Position
" VIII. The Same. Later
" IX. The Wood of Bossu


After Scene. The Overworld




PART FIRST



CHARACTERS


I. PHANTOM INTELLIGENCES


THE ANCIENT SPIRIT OF THE YEARS/CHORUS OF THE YEARS.

THE SPIRIT OF THE PITIES/CHORUS OF THE PITIES.

SPIRITS SINISTER AND IRONIC/CHORUSES OF SINISTER AND IRONIC SPIRITS.

THE SPIRIT OF RUMOUR/CHORUS OF RUMOURS.

THE SHADE OF THE EARTH.

SPIRIT-MESSENGERS.

RECORDING ANGELS.


II. PERSONS [The names in lower case are mute figures.]


MEN

GEORGE THE THIRD.
The Duke of Cumberland
PITT.
FOX.
SHERIDAN.
WINDHAM.
WHITBREAD.
TIERNEY.
BATHURST AND FULLER.
Lord Chancellor Eldon.
EARL OF MALMESBURY.
LORD MULGRAVE.
ANOTHER CABINET MINISTER.
Lord Grenville.
Viscount Castlereagh.
Viscount Sidmouth.
ANOTHER NOBLE LORD.
ROSE.
Canning.
Perceval.
Grey.
Speaker Abbot.
TOMLINE, BISHOP OF LINCOLN.
SIR WALTER FARQUHAR.
Count Munster.
Other Peers, Ministers, ex-Ministers, Members of Parliament,
and Persons of Quality.

..........

NELSON.
COLLINGWOOD.
HARDY.
SECRETARY SCOTT.
DR. BEATTY.
DR. MAGRATH.
DR. ALEXANDER SCOTT.
BURKE, PURSER.
Lieutenant Pasco.
ANOTHER LIEUTENANT.
POLLARD, A MIDSHIPMAN.
Captain Adair.
Lieutenants Ram and Whipple.
Other English Naval Officers.
Sergeant-Major Secker and Marines.
Staff and other Officers of the English Army.
A COMPANY OF SOLDIERS.
Regiments of the English Army and Hanoverian.
SAILORS AND BOATMEN.
A MILITIAMAN.
Naval Crews.

..........

The Lord Mayor and Corporation of London.
A GENTLEMAN OF FASHION.
WILTSHIRE, A COUNTRY GENTLEMAN
A HORSEMAN.
TWO BEACON-WATCHERS.
ENGLISH CITIZENS AND BURGESSES.
COACH AND OTHER HIGHWAY PASSENGERS.
MESSENGERS, SERVANTS, AND RUSTICS.

..........

NAPOLEON BONAPARTE.
DARU, NAPOLEON'S WAR SECRETARY.
LAURISTON, AIDE-DE-CAMP.
MONGE, A PHILOSOPHER.
BERTHIER.
MURAT, BROTHER-IN-LAW OF NAPOLEON.
SOULT.
NEY.
LANNES.
Bernadotte.
Marmont.
Dupont.
Oudinot.
Davout.
Vandamme.
Other French Marshals.
A SUB-OFFICER.

..........

VILLENEUVE, NAPOLEON'S ADMIRAL.
DECRES, MINISTER OF MARINE.
FLAG-CAPTAIN MAGENDIE.
LIEUTENANT DAUDIGNON.
LIEUTENANT FOURNIER.
Captain Lucas.
OTHER FRENCH NAVAL OFFICERS AND PETTY OFFICERS.
Seamen of the French and Spanish Navies.
Regiments of the French Army.
COURIERS.
HERALDS.
Aides, Officials, Pages, etc.
ATTENDANTS.
French Citizens.

..........

CARDINAL CAPRARA.
Priests, Acolytes, and Choristers.
Italian Doctors and Presidents of Institutions.
Milanese Citizens.

..........

THE EMPEROR FRANCIS.
THE ARCHDUKE FERDINAND.
Prince John of Lichtenstien.
PRINCE SCHWARZENBERG.
MACK, AUSTRIAN GENERAL.
JELLACHICH.
RIESC.
WEIROTHER.
ANOTHER AUSTRIAN GENERAL.
TWO AUSTRIAN OFFICERS.

..........

The Emperor Alexander.
PRINCE KUTUZOF, RUSSIAN FIELD-MARSHAL.
COUNT LANGERON.
COUNT BUXHOVDEN.
COUNT MILORADOVICH.
DOKHTOROF.

..........

Giulay, Gottesheim, Klenau, and Prschebiszewsky.
Regiments of the Austrian Army.
Regiments of the Russian Army.


WOMEN

Queen Charlotte.
English Princesses.
Ladies of the English Court.
LADY HESTER STANHOPE.
A LADY.
Lady Caroline Lamb, Mrs. Damer, and other English Ladies.

..........

THE EMPRESS JOSEPHINE.
Princesses and Ladies of Josephine's Court.
Seven Milanese Young Ladies.

..........

City- and Towns-women.
Country-women.
A MILITIAMAN'S WIFE.
A STREET-WOMAN.
Ship-women.
Servants.




FORE SCENE


THE OVERWORLD


[Enter the Ancient Spirit and Chorus of the Years, the Spirit
and Chorus of the Pities, the Shade of the Earth, the Spirits
Sinister and Ironic with their Choruses, Rumours, Spirit-
Messengers, and Recording Angels.]


SHADE OF THE EARTH

What of the Immanent Will and Its designs?


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

It works unconsciously, as heretofore,
Eternal artistries in Circumstance,
Whose patterns, wrought by rapt aesthetic rote,
Seem in themselves Its single listless aim,
And not their consequence.


CHORUS OF THE PITIES [aerial music]

Still thus? Still thus?
Ever unconscious!
An automatic sense
Unweeting why or whence?
Be, then, the inevitable, as of old,
Although that SO it be we dare not hold!


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Hold what ye list, fond believing Sprites,
You cannot swerve the pulsion of the Byss,
Which thinking on, yet weighing not Its thought,
Unchecks Its clock-like laws.


SPIRIT SINISTER [aside]

Good, as before.
My little engines, then, will still have play.


SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Why doth It so and so, and ever so,
This viewless, voiceless Turner of the Wheel?


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

As one sad story runs, It lends Its heed
To other worlds, being wearied out with this;
Wherefore Its mindlessness of earthly woes.
Some, too, have told at whiles that rightfully
Its warefulness, Its care, this planet lost
When in her early growth and crudity
By bad mad acts of severance men contrived,
Working such nescience by their own device. -
Yea, so it stands in certain chronicles,
Though not in mine.


SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

Meet is it, none the less,
To bear in thought that though Its consciousness
May be estranged, engrossed afar, or sealed,
Sublunar shocks may wake Its watch anon?


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Nay. In the Foretime, even to the germ of Being,
Nothing appears of shape to indicate
That cognizance has marshalled things terrene,
Or will [such is my thinking] in my span.
Rather they show that, like a knitter drowsed,
Whose fingers play in skilled unmindfulness,
The Will has woven with an absent heed
Since life first was; and ever will so weave.


SPIRIT SINISTER

Hence we've rare dramas going - more so since
It wove Its web in the Ajaccian womb!


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Well, no more this on what no mind can mete.
Our scope is but to register and watch
By means of this great gift accorded us -
The free trajection of our entities.


SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

On things terrene, then, I would say that though
The human news wherewith the Rumours stirred us
May please thy temper, Years, 'twere better far
Such deeds were nulled, and this strange man's career
Wound up, as making inharmonious jars
In her creation whose meek wraith we know.
The more that he, turned man of mere traditions,
Now profits naught. For the large potencies
Instilled into his idiosyncrasy -
To throne fair Liberty in Privilege' room -
Are taking taint, and sink to common plots
For his own gain.


SHADE OF THE EARTH

And who, then, Cordial One,
Wouldst substitute for this Intractable?


CHORUS OF THE EARTH

We would establish those of kindlier build,
In fair Compassions skilled,
Men of deep art in life-development;
Watchers and warders of thy varied lands,
Men surfeited of laying heavy hands,
Upon the innocent,
The mild, the fragile, the obscure content
Among the myriads of thy family.
Those, too, who love the true, the excellent,
And make their daily moves a melody.


SHADE OF THE EARTH

They may come, will they. I am not averse.
Yet know I am but the ineffectual Shade
Of her the Travailler, herself a thrall
To It; in all her labourings curbed and kinged!


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Shall such be mooted now? Already change
Hath played strange pranks since first I brooded here.
But old Laws operate yet; and phase and phase
Of men's dynastic and imperial moils
Shape on accustomed lines. Though, as for me,
I care not thy shape, or what they be.


SPIRIT OF THE PITIES

You seem to have small sense of mercy, Sire?


SPIRIT OF THE YEARS

Mercy I view, not urge; - nor more than mark
What designate your titles Good and Ill.
'Tis not in me to feel with, or against,
These flesh-hinged mannikins Its hand upwinds



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