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Peo. We attend you, my Lord Rodna.
Ro.

Down my heart !
(He ascends the rostrum.)
Recal to mind ('tis not so long ago)
How the great charter of our franchises
Was wrested from King Ladislaus, the sire
Of the Prince Andreas, who fell in Syria.

(Enter Hassan.) Peo. That was a gallant youth, and well reputed. NA. Andreas' days were brief. He appears to memory

Like some frail exhalation which the dawn
Robes in his orient hues, to fade too soon

Away into the common air.
Bal. A meteor course to set in blood! he sought

At the last gasp, as though she were his bride,

The arms of victory. Peo.

He was borne down by numbers.
Ha. (Significantly.) Some say they saw him rise !
Ro. (Confused, and shaking his head.) Sirrah! Be

dumb!
The Prince was slain : his father sleeps in peace;
Who long before had influenced the Diet
To pass the law of settlement, whereby
Andreas was strangely disinherited,
Since he could only reign conditionally,
By wedding his fair cousin. Should he die,
Or else reject the alliance to ensure
The acquisition of Moravia
(Her widow's dowry)... upon Princess Gertrude
The crown was entailed. So, with proviso to
Confirm the bond of Ladislaus, she came
To be preferred to the throne. Mere breath!
First she refused to appoint a Palatine;
At heel of that dissolved the Diet-we
Convened without the city, till at length
She chose Count Bank ban to be Palatine;
But stripped the office of the Marshal's baton.
When darkness in those days loured o'er the state,
Who held the beacon light and heaved the lead ?

Ro.

When every pilot had forgot his course
In the mid-sea, who, venturous, seized the helm,
Nor, though her keel ploughed hell, let go his

hold,
Till our poor wreck was righted on the waves, ,
And rode triumphant into harbour?. Who?
Who but your loyal servant, .. soon to prove

A martyr for your safety?
Peo.

May you be Immortal! Hear him! NA. Tongue valiant! Sword-fish! Good my Lord,

speak forward. Ro. Speak, Lord Nadastis ; you. Peo.

Only Lord Rodna! None else!

You see! kind friends! So ! I obey. Peo. Hurrah for Rodna! Great emancipator!

Long live Lord Rodna! Down with despotism ! Ro. Sirs, at the instance of the Court, the troops

Have lately struck their tents, and concentrate
Their strength at Waradin, ere, as I'm advised,
They march on Buda. Thus her Grace, would

crack

The brittle seal of kings, and spoil its impress. BAL. We are fairly in the toils, and not e'en flight .. Ro. Why how should stone walls fly? Flight!

Foolish thought.
Fly at the tyrant's throat, and stick like bull dogs,
So she lie throttled when the rescue comes.

(Enter a Messenger.) Mess. The Count Ragotski on his march from Waradin

Was set upon by a devilish horde of Tartars :

Our leader,
Ha. The brave Ragotski!
Mess.

Sir, I saw him roll
Cloven to earth-when, all being lost, I fled.
Ha. You should not have fled to save a worthless life.

By this lord's leave I will recount the issue. Ro. (Aside to HASSAN.)

I shan't forget to call you to account:

(Aloud)—We hang upon thy tidings. НА. .

At the instant
Of brave Ragotski's fall, we might behold
Far off, come whirling down the flame-lit hills,
Through hostile trenches, doubly armed with

brand
Of dripping fire, and falchion, purple stained
To deepest die, with warlike yell that shook
.The air like thunder, a plumed warrior:
A lightning flew about him when he broke
Through to our quarry, withering all resistance;
Whereat, with courage struck, th’Hungarian

troops
Thrust once more into action. He, the while ...
The knight, a fragment of a banner in's grasp,
Foremost ran reeking o'er the lives of foemen,
Like to a comet of revenge ; nor reined
His ire, nor fetched a breath, till leagues were

placed

Betwixt us and the rout. Then he reformed-
Ro. Dared he retain the conduct ?

All vailed to him
As if in superstition, whilst he bore
Himself as one upon whose head sat honour,

By ancient wearing grown familiar there.
Ro. Yon blazon highly, .. but his rank?
НА.

In honour of his triumph style him Waradin.
Ro. And this knight threatens Buda ?
HA.

He's hard by.
Ro. There's some that hear me know, these cheeks

are pale With labouring for your good ; nay, most have

witnessed,
How I have dared the Court, and the Court's

minions.
The summer days were all too short to wrestle
With iron-handed power: on winter nights
Have I outwatched the stars, in counselling
How best to bridle and suppress the pride
And rage of tyranny! Have I, like Atlas, ...

НА. .

The troops

Seize me,

Yes, 'twas myself took the State's reeling pillars,
And pitched them firm and even, I!... But say,
Is it not so? I make appeal to each,

Is it not so ?
Peo.

We know you for a patriot ;
A staunch one too, who would achieve our

liberties. Ro. If I've affected wealth, 'twas for your service;

If honours—but to wear them for your use.
I sought the Princess Beatrice in marriage
For your advantage, when her royal sister
Forced her to yield her hand to the Lord Palatine.
Anon will be my arrest: ... Straight bind me,

Sirs,
As expiation of your falling off ;
in token

ye

are slaves. Peo.

We'll die, first!
Ro. Why, tyranny and I must clash. The Queen

Will break into the temple of a life,
Too
open

to the uncheck'd will of law.
I taught, that freedom from the aspiring branch,
Mūst be pluck'd boldly. If the o'er ripe fruitage
Be shower'd to earth by breath of wanton power,
"Tis ashes to the taste. To be worth having,
It should be seized—taken, like Heaven ... by

storm! Now kneel your way into the mercy of Her Grace, and trench your safeties with my

blood.
Peo. Rather we'll glue our privilege with our own

To our swords' edge.
Ha. (Sarcastically.) And leave the unwiped stains

To emblaze your Honours' tombs. The arms

will make

A rusty city hatchment when you're earth. Ro. But, sirs, this victory? These armed myrmidons ? BAL. We swerve not, though these men do take their

morsel

To rip their country's bosom.
Peo.

Shut the ports !
Make Rodna Palatine!

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(Flourish without. The People gather

round RODNA.) Ro.

Brave hearts, behold
The executioner! who bears his doom,
Who were too proud to breathe 'twixt heaven

and earth

In such a land for ever! Peo.

What a patriot! We'll die for Rodna. Rodna and liberty! Voice. Now for rebellion ! Oh! I ne'er rebelled

Before in all my life. 'Tis rare! Hurrah !
Ro. (Aside. Now to take shelter from the storm.

What Hassan!
Hark! hither! a word.

[Exeunt RODNA and Hassan.

(Enter Guard.) BAL. Down with those tools of power! their diet's

poison ; Like toads they feed upon corruptions only. Strike, friends, for Rodna! Down with tyranny! (The Mob assail the Soldiery, who are

driven off.) Ist Cit. Lead on ! lead on! we'll fire the palace, and

Depose the tyrant, and make Rodna king. 2d C. Ay, ay, a king of our own making, friends. BAL. You are too hot. That is not Rodna's end. 2d C. Why, no ! 'tis the beginning of his reign;

And that is betterças I take it. On!

[Exeunt Balassi and Mob, shouting "RODNA

and Liberty! A Coronation and Emancipation! Hurrah !

(Re-enter RODNA and HASSAN.) Ro. You have quitted Syria. Ha.

'Twas too shrewd an air, You're milder here! Ro.

You may find this too hot!
Milder! S’death, do you play with me? dis-

patch
Sirrah, your present need.

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