Ay, my good neighbors! we at least today Are Frenchmen still, free citizens and lords Of the old soil which our forefathers tilled. Who knows whom we tomorrow must obey? For England her triumphal banner waves From every wall: the blooming fields of France Are trampled down beneath her chargers' hoofs; Paris hath yielded to her conquering arms, And with the ancient crown of Dagobert Adorns the scion of a foreign race. Our king's descendant, disinherited, Must steal in secret through his own domain; While his first peer and nearest relative Contends against him in the hostile ranks; Ay, his unnatural mother leads them on. Around us towns and peaceful hamlets burn. Near and more near the devastating fire Rolls toward these vales, which yet repose in peace. Therefore, good neighbors, I have now resolved, While God still grants us safety, to provide For my three daughters; for 'midst war's alarms Women require protection, and true love Hath power to render lighter every load. [To the first Shepherd. Come, Etienne! You seek my Margot's hand. Fields lying side by side and loving hearts Promise a happy union! [To the second. Claude! You're silent, And my Louison looks upon the ground? How, shall I separate two loving hearts Because you have no wealth to offer me? Who now has wealth? Our barns and homes afford Spoil to the foe, and fuel to the fires. In times like these a husband's faithful breast Affords the only shelter from the storm.
The picture of a great, misguided soul, endowed with every gift of excellence; yet lost in spite of all its gifts! Unbridled passions and bad companionship corrupt his heart, urge him on from crime to crime, until at last he stands at the head of a band of murderers, heaps horror upon horror, and plunges from precipice to precipice into the lowest depths of despair. Great and majestic in misfortune, by misfortune reclaimed, and led back to the paths of virtue. Such a man shall you pity and hate, abhor yet love, in the Robber Moor. You will likewise see a juggling, fiendish knave unmasked and blown to atoms in his own mines; a fond, weak, and over-indulgent father; the sorrows of too enthusiastic love, and the tortures of ungoverned passion.
HANNAH KENNEDY, contending violently with PAULET, who is about to break open a closet; DRURY with an iron crown.
KENNEDY. How now, sir? what fresh outrage have we here? Back from that cabinet!
PAULET. Whence came the jewel? I know 'twas from an upper chamber thrown; And you would bribe the gardener with your trinkets. A curse on woman's wiles! In spite of all My strict precaution and my active search, Still treasures here, still costly gems concealed! And doubtless there are more where this lay hid.
[Advancing towards the cabinet.
KENNEDY. Intruder, back! here lie my lady's secrets.
PAULET. Exactly what I seek. [Drawing forth papers.
KENNEDY. Mere trifling papers; The amusements only of an idle pen, To cheat the dreary tedium of a dungeon.
The clear, smiling lake wooed to bathe in its deep, A boy on its green shore had laid him to sleep; Then heard he a melody Flowing and soft, And sweet, as when angels Are singing aloft. And as thrilling with pleasure he wakes from his rest, The waters are murmuring over his breast; And a voice from the deep cries, "With me thou must go, I charm the young shepherd, I lure him below."
Miller. Hab' ihn nicht in mein Haus geschwatzt—hab' ihm 's Mädel nicht nachgeworfen; wer nimmt Notiz davon?—Ich war Herr im Haus. Ich hätt' meine Tochter mehr coram nehmen sollen. Ich hätt' dem Major besser auftrumpfen sollen—oder hätt' gleich Alles Seiner Excellenz, dem Herrn Papa, stecken sollen. Der junge Baron bringt's mit einem Wischer hinaus, das muß ich wissen, und alles Wetter kommt über den Geiger. Frau (schlürft eine Tasse aus). Possen! Geschwätz! Was kann über dich kommen? Wer kann dir was anhaben? Du gehst deiner Profession nach und raffst Scholaren zusammen, wo sie zu kriegen sind.
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