|DON CARLOS [alone]Forgive me, Charlemagne! Oh, this lonely vault|
|Should echo only unto solemn words.|
|Thou must be angry at the babble vain|
|Of our ambition at your monument.|
|Here Charlemagne rests! How can the sombre tomb|| 5|
|Without a rifting spasm hold such dust!|
|And art thou truly here, colossal power,|
|Creator of the world? And canst thou now|
|Crouch down from all thy majesty and might?|
|Ah, tis a spectacle to stir the soul|| 10|
|What Europe was, and what by thee twas made.|
|To govern thisto mount so high if called,|
|Yet know myself to be but mortal man!|
|To see the abyssif not that moment struck|
|With dizziness bewildering every sense.|| 15|
|Oh, moving pyramid of states and kings|
|With apex narrow,woe to timid step!|
|What shall restrain me? If I fail when there|
|Feeling my feet upon the trembling world,|
|Feeling alive the palpitating earth,|| 20|
|Then when I have between my hands the globe|
|Have I alone the strength to hold it fast,|
|To be an Emperor? O God! twas hard|
|And difficult to play the kingly part.|
|Certes, no man is rarer than the one|| 25|
|Who can enlarge his soul to duly meet|
|Great Fortunes smiles and still increasing gifts.|
|But I!Who is it that shall be my guide,|
|My counselor, and make me great? [Falls on his knees before the tomb.]|
|O Charlemagne! And since tis God for whom|| 30|
|All obstacles dissolve, who takes us now|
|And puts us face to face,from this tombs depths|
|Endow me with sublimity and strength.|
|Let me be great enough to see the truth|
|On every side. Show me how small the world|| 35|
|I dare not measureme this Babel show|
|Where, from the hind to Cæsar mounting up,|
|Each one, complaisant with himself, regards|
|The next with scorn that is but half restrained.|
|Teach me the secret of thy conquests all,|| 40|
|And how to rule. And show me certainly|
|Whether to punish or to pardon be|
|The worthier thing to do.|
Is it not fact
|That in his solitary bed sometimes|
|A mighty shade is wakened from his sleep,|| 45|
|Aroused by noise and turbulence on earth;|
|That suddenly his tomb expands itself,|
|And bursts its doorsand in the night flings forth|
|A flood of light? If this be true indeed,|
|Say, Emperor! what can after Charlemagne|| 50|
|Another do! Speak, though thy sovereign breath|
|Should cleave this brazen door. Or rather now|
|Let me thy sanctuary enter lone!|
|Let me behold thy veritable face,|
|And not repulse me with a freezing breath,|| 55|
|Upon thy stony pillow elbows lean,|
|And let us talk. Yes, with prophetic voice|
|Tell me of things which make the forehead pale,|
|And clear eyes mournful. Speak, and do not blind|
|Thine awe-struck son, for doubtlessly thy tomb|| 60|
|Is full of light. Or if thou wilt not speak,|
|Let me make study in the solemn peace|
|Of thee, as of a world, thy measure take,|
|O giant! for theres nothing here below|
|So great as thy poor ashes. Let them teach,|| 65|
|Failing thy spirit. [He puts the key in the lock.]|
Let us enter now. [He recoils.]
|O God, if he should really whisper me!|
|If he be there and walks with noiseless tread,|
|And I come back with hair in moments bleached!|
|Ill do it still.|
[Sound of footsteps.] Who comes? who dares disturb
|Besides myself the dwelling of such dead!|
[The sound comes nearer.]My murderers! I forgot! Now enter we.
[He opens the door of the tomb, which shuts upon him.] First Conspirator [who alone carries a lighted torch]Ad augusta.
Enter several men (Conspirators) walking softly, disguised by large cloaks and hats. They take each others hands, going from one to another and speaking in a low tone.
Second Conspirator Per angusta.
First Conspirator The Saints
Third Conspirator The dead assist us.
First Conspirator Guard us, God!
[Noise in the shade.] First ConspiratorWhos there?
A Voice Ad augusta.
Second Conspirator Per angusta.
Enter fresh Conspiratorsnoise of footsteps First Conspirator to ThirdSee! there is some one still to come.
Third Conspirator Whos there?
| Voice [in the darkness]Ad augusta.|
Third Conspirator Per angusta.
Enter more Conspirators, who exchange signs with their hands with the others First Conspirator Tis well.
|All now are here. Gotha, to you it falls|
|To state the case. Friends, darkness waits for light [The Conspirators sit in a half-circle on the tombs. The First Conspirator passes before them, and from his torch each one lights a wax taper which he holds in his hand. Then the First Conspirator seats himself in silence on a tomb a little higher than the others, in the centre of the circle.]|
| Duke of Gotha [rising]My friends! This Charles of Spain, by mothers side|| 80|
|A foreigner, aspires to mount the throne|
|Of Holy Empire.|
First Conspirator But for him the grave.
| Duke of Gotha [throwing down his light and crushing it with his foot]Let it be with his head as with this flame.|
| AllSo be it.|
First Conspirator Death unto him.
Duke of Gotha Let him die.
| AllLet him be slain.|
Don Juan de Haro German his father was.
| Duke de LutzelbourgHis mother Spanish.|
Duke of Gotha Thus you see that he
|Is no more one than other. Let him die.|
| A ConspiratorSuppose th Electors at this very hour|
|Declare him Emperor!|
First Conspirator Him! oh, never him!
| Don Gil Tellez GironWhat signifies? Let us strike off the head,|| 90|
|The Crown will fall.|
First Conspirator But if to him belongs
|The Holy Empire, he becomes so great|
|And so august, that only Gods own hand|
|Can reach him.|
Duke of Gotha All the better reason why
|He dies before such power august he gains.|| 95|
| First ConspiratorHe shall not be elected.|
All Not for him
First Conspirator Now, how many hands willt take
|To put him in his shroud?|
All One is enough.
| First ConspiratorHow many strokes to reach his heart?|
All But one.
| First ConspiratorWho, then, will strike?|
All All! All!
First Conspirator The victim is
|A traitor proved. They would an Emperor choose,|
|Weve a high priest to make. Let us draw lots. [All the Conspirators write their names on their tablets, tear out the leaf, roll it up, and one after another throw them into the urn on one of the tombs. Afterwards the First Conspirator says:]|
|Now let us pray.|
[All kneel; the First Conspirator rises and says:] Oh, may the chosen one
|Believe in God, and like a Roman strike,|
|Die as a Hebrew would, and brave alike|| 105|
|The wheel and burning pincers, laugh at rack,|
|And fire, and wooden horse, and be resigned|
|To kill and die. He might have all to do.|
[He draws a parchment from the urn.] AllWhat name?
| First Conspirator [in low voice] Hernani!|
Hernani [coming out from the crowd of Conspirators] I have won,yes, won!
|I hold thee fast! Thee Ive so long pursued|
Don Ruy Gomez [piercing through the crowd and taking Hernani aside] Yieldoh yield this right to me.
| HernaniNot for my life! O Signor, grudge me not|
|This stroke of fortunetis the first Ive known.|
| Don Ruy GomezYou nothing have! Ill give you houses, lands,|| 115|
|A hundred thousand vassals shall be yours|
|In my three hundred villages, if you|
|But yield the right to strike to me.|
| Duke of GothaOld man, thy arm would strike less sure a blow.|
| Don Ruy GomezBack! I have strength of soul, if not of arm.|| 120|
|Judge not the sword by the mere scabbards rust.|
|[To Hernani]You do belong to me.|
Hernani My life is yours,
|As his belongs to me.|
Don Ruy Gomez [drawing the horn from his girdle] I yield Her up,
|And will return the horn.|
Hernani [trembling] What life! my life
|And Doña Sol! No, I my vengeance choose.|| 125|
|I have my father to revengeyet more,|
|Perchance I am inspired by God in this.|
| Don Ruy GomezI yield thee Herand give thee back the horn!|
Don Ruy Gomez Boy, reflect.
Hernani O Duke, leave me my prey!
| Don Ruy GomezMy curses on you for depriving me|| 130|
|Of this my joy.|
First Conspirator [to Hernani] O brother! ere they can
|Elect himtwould be well this very night|
|To watch for Charles.|
Hernani Fear naught: I know the way
|To kill a man.|
First Conspirator May every treason fall
|On traitor, and may God be with you now.|| 135|
|We Counts and Barons, let us take the oath|
|That if he fall, yet slay not, we go on|
|And strike by turn unflinching till Charles dies.|
| All [drawing their swords]Let us all swear.|
Duke of Gotha [to First Conspirator] My brother, lets decide
|On what we swear.|
Don Ruy Gomez [taking his sword by the point and raising it above his head] By this same cross
All [raising their swords] And this
|That he must quickly die impenitent.|
| [They hear a cannon fired afar off. All pause and are silent. The door of the tomb half opens, and Don Carlos appears at the threshold. A second gun is fired, then a third. He opens wide the door, and stands erect and motionless without advancing.]|
Don CarlosFall back, ye gentlementhe Emperor hears.
| [All the lights are simultaneously extinguished. A profound silence. Don Carlos advances a step in the darkness, so dense that the silent, motionless Conspirators can scarcely be distinguished.]|
Silence and night! From darkness sprung, the swarm
|Into the darkness plunges back again!|
|Think ye this scene is like a passing dream,|| 145|
|And that I take you, now your lights are quenched,|
|For mens stone figures seated on their tombs?|
|Just now, my statues, you had voices loud,|
|Raise, then, your drooping heads, for Charles the Fifth|
|Is here. Strike. Move a pace or two and show|| 150|
|You dare. But no, tis not in you to dare.|
|Your flaming torches, blood-red neath these vaults,|
|My breath extinguished; but now turn your eyes|
|Irresolute, and see that if I thus|
|Put out the many, I can light still more.|| 155|
| [He strikes the iron key on the bronze door of the tomb. At the sound all the depths of the cavern are filled with soldiers bearing torches and halberts. At their head the Duke dAlcala, the Marquis dAlmuñan, etc.]|
Come on, my falcons! Ive the nestthe prey.
|[To Conspirators]I can make blaze of light; tis my turn now,|
|Behold! [To the Soldiers]Advancefor flagrant is the crime.|
| Hernani [looking at the Soldiers]Ah, well! At first I thought twas Charlemagne,|
|Alone he seemed so great,but after all|| 160|
|Tis only Charles the Fifth.|
Don Carlos [to the Duke dAlcala] Come, Constable
|Of Spain, [To Marquis dAlmuñan] And you, Castilian Admiral,|
|Disarm them all.|
[The Conspirators are surrounded and disarmed.] Don Ricardo [hurrying in and bowing almost to the ground] Your Majesty!
Don Carlos Alcadé
|I make you of the Palace.|
Don Ricardo [again bowing] Two Electors,
|To represent the Golden Chamber, come|| 165|
|To offer to your Sacred Majesty|
Don Carlos Let them come forth.
|[Aside to Don Ricardo]The Doña Sol.|
[Ricardo bows, and exit.] Enter with flambeaux and flourish of trumpets the King of Bohemia and the Duke of Bavaria, both wearing cloth of gold and with crowns on their heads, and with numerous followers. German nobles carrying the banner of the Empire, the double-headed Eagle, with the escutcheon of Spain in the middle of it. The Soldiers divide, forming lines between which the Electors pass to the Emperor, to whom they bow low. He returns the salutation by raising his hat.
Duke of Bavaria Most Sacred Majesty
|Charles, of the Romans King, and Emperor,|
|The Empire of the world is in your hands|| 170|
|Yours is the throne to which each king aspires!|
|The Saxon Frederick was elected first,|
|But he judged you more worthy, and declined.|
|Now then receive the crown and globe, O King:|
|The Holy Empire doth invest you now;|| 175|
|Arms with the sword, and you indeed are great.|
| Don CarlosThe College I will thank on my return.|
|But go, my brother of Bohemia,|
|And you, Bavarian cousin.Thanks; but now|
|I do dismiss youI shall go myself.|| 180|
| King of BohemiaO Charles, our ancestors were friends. My sire|
|Loved yours, and their two fathers were two friends|
|So young! exposed to varied fortunes! Say,|
|O Charles, may I be ranked a very chief|
|Among thy brothers? I cannot forget|| 185|
|I knew you as a little child.|
Don Carlos Ah, well
|King of Bohemia, you presume too much.|
[He gives him his hand to kiss, also the Duke of Bavaria; both bow low.]Depart. [Exeunt the two Electors with their followers.]
The Crowd LONG LIVE THE EMPEROR!
Don Carlos [aside] So tis mine!
|All things have helped, and I am Emperor|
|By the refusal, though, of Frederick|| 190|
|Surnamed the Wise!|
Enter Doña Sol, led by Ricardo Doña Sol What, soldiers!Emperor!
|Hernani! Heaven, what an unlooked-for chance!|
| HernaniAh! Doña Sol!|
Don Ruy Gomez [aside to Hernani] She has not seen me.
[Doña Sol runs to Hernani, who makes her recoil by a look of disdain.] Hernani Madam!
| Doña Sol [drawing the dagger from her bosom]I still his poniard have!|
Hernani [taking her in his arms] My dearest one!
| Don CarlosBe silent all. [To the Conspirators] Ist you remorseless are?|| 195|
|I need to give the world a lesson now,|
|The Lara of Castile, and Gotha, you|
|Of Saxonyallallwhat were your plans|
|Just now? I bid you speak.|
Hernani Quite simple, sire,
|The thing, and we can briefly tell it you.|| 200|
|We graved the sentence on Belshazzars wall. [He takes out a poniard and brandishes it.]|
|We render unto Cæsar Cæsars due.|
| Don CarlosSilence! [To Don Ruy Gomez] And you! you too are traitor, Silva!|
| Don Ruy GomezWhich of us two is traitor, sire?|
Hernani [turning towards the Conspirators] Our heads
|And Empireall that he desires he has.|| 205|
|[To the Emperor]The mantle blue of kings incumbered you;|
|The purple better suitsit shows not blood.|
| Don Carlos. [to Don Ruy Gomez]Cousin of Silva, this is felony,|
|Attainting your baronial rank. Think well,|
|Don Ruy high treason!|
Don Ruy Gomez Kings like Roderick
|Count Julians make.|
Don Carlos [to the Duke dAlcala] Seize only those who seem
|The nobles; for the rest!|
[Don Ruy Gomez, the Duke de Lutzelbourg, the Duke of Gotha, Don Juan de Haro, Don Guzman de Lara, Don Tellez Giron, the Baron of Hohenbourg separate themselves from the group of Conspirators, among whom is Hernani. The Duke dAlcala surrounds them with guards.]
Doña Sol [aside] Ah, he is saved!
| Hernani [coming from among the Conspirators]I claim to be included! [To Don Carlos] Since to this|
|It comes, the question of the axe: that now|
|Hernani, humble churl, beneath thy feet|| 215|
|Unpunished goes, because his brow is not|
|At level with thy sword,because one must|
|Be great to die,I rise. God, who gives power,|
|And gives to thee the sceptre, made me Duke|
|Of Segorbe and Cardona, Marquis too|| 220|
|Of Monroy, Albaterras Count, of Gor|
|Viscount, and lord of many places, more|
|Than I can name. Juan of Aragon|
|Am I, Grand Master of Avisthe son|
|In exile born, of murdered father slain|| 225|
|By kings decree, King Charles, which me proscribed,|
|Thus death twixt us is family affair;|
|You have the scaffoldwe the poniard hold.|
|Since heaven a duke has made me, and exile|
|A mountaineer,since all in vain Ive sharpened|| 230|
|Upon the hills my sword, and in the torrents|
|Have tempered it, [He puts on his hat.|
[To the Conspirators] Let us be covered now,
|Us, the Grandees of Spain. [They cover.|
[To Don Carlos] Our heads, O King,
|Have right to fall before thee covered thus.|
|[To the Prisoners] Silva and Haro, Lara,men of rank|| 235|
|And race,make room for Juan of Aragon.|
|Give me my place, ye dukes and countsmy place.|
|[To the Courtiers and Guards]King, headsmen, varletsJuan of Aragon|
|Am I. If all your scaffolds are too small,|
|Make new ones. [He joins the group of Nobles.]|
Doña Sol Heavens!
Don Carlos I had forgotten quite
Hernani But they who bleed remember
|Far better. Th evil that wrong-doer thus|
|So senselessly forgets, forever stirs|
|Within the outraged heart.|
Don Carlos Therefore, enough
|For me to bear this title, that Im son|| 245|
|Of sires, whose power dealt death to ancestors|
Doña Sol [falling on her knees before the Emperor] Oh, pardonpardon! Mercy, sire;
|Be pitiful, or strike us both, I pray:|
|For he my lover is, my promised spouse;|
|In him it is alone I liveI breathe;|| 250|
|O sire, in mercy us together slay.|
|Trembling, O Majesty! I trail myself|
|Before your sacred knees. I love him, sire,|
|And he is mineas Empire is your own.|
|Have pity! [Don Carlos looks at her without moving.] Oh, what thought absorbs you?|
Don Carlos Cease.
|Rise, Duchess of Segorbé, Marchioness|
|Of Monroy, Countess Albaterra, and|
|[To Hernani]Thine other names, Don Juan?|
Hernani Who speaks thus:
Don Carlos No, tis the Emperor.
Doña Sol Just Heaven!
| Don Carlos [pointing to her]Duke Juan, take your wife.|
Hernani [his eyes raised to heaven, Doña Sol in his arms] Just God!
Don Carlos [to Don Ruy Gomez] My cousin,
|I know the pride of your nobility,|
|But Aragon with Silva well may mate.|
| Don Ruy Gomez [bitterly]Tis not a question of nobility.|
| Hernani [looking with love on Doña Sol and still holding her in his arms]My deadly hate is vanishing away. [Throws away his dagger.]|
| Don Ruy Gomez [aside, and looking at them]Shall I betray myself? Oh, nomy grief,|| 265|
|My foolish love would make them pity cast|
|Upon my venerable head. Old man|
|And Spaniard! Let the hidden fire consume,|
|And suffer still in secret. Let heart break|
|But cry not;they would laugh at thee.|
Doña Sol [still in Hernanis arms] My Duke!
| HernaniNothing my soul holds now but love!|
Doña Sol Oh, joy!
| Don Carlos [aside, his hand in his bosom]Stifle thyself, young heart so full of flame;|
|Let reign again the better thoughts which thou|
|So long hast troubled. Henceforth let thy loves,|
|Thy mistresses, alas! be Germany|| 275|
|And FlandersSpain. [Looking at the banner.] The Emperor is like|
|The Eagle his companion,in the place|
|Of heart, theres but a scutcheon.|
Hernani Cæsar you!
| Don CarlosDon Juan, of your ancient name and race|
|Your soul is worthy, [Pointing to Doña Sol.] Worthy een of her.|| 280|
[Hernani kneels. Don Carlos unfastens his own Golden Fleece and puts it on Hernanis neck.] Receive this collar.
[Don Carlos draws his sword and strikes him three times on the shoulder.] Faithful be;
|For by St. Stephen now I make thee Knight. [He raises and embraces him.]|
|Thou hast a collar softer and more choice,|
|That which is wanting to my rank supreme,|
|The arms of loving woman, loved by thee.|| 285|
|Thou wilt be happyI am Emperor.|
|[To Conspirators]Sirs, I forget your names. Anger and hate|
|I will forget. GogoI pardon you.|
|This is the lesson that the world much needs.|
| The ConspiratorsGlory to Charles!|
Don Ruy Gomez [to Don Carlos] I only suffer, then!
| Don CarlosAnd I!|
Don Ruy Gomez But I have not like Majesty
Hernani Who ist has worked this wondrous change?
| AllNobles, Soldiers, ConspiratorsHonor to Charles the Fifth, and Germany!|
| Don Carlos [turning to the tomb]Honor to Charlemagne! Leave us now together. [Exeunt all.]|
| Don Carlos [alone] [He bends towards the tomb.]|
Art thou content with me, O Charlemagne?
|Have I the kingships littleness stripped off?|
|Become as Emperor another man?|
|Can I Romes mitre add unto my helm?|
|Have I the right the fortunes of the world|
|To sway? Have I a steady foot that safe|| 300|
|Can tread the path, by Vandal ruins strewed,|
|Which thou hast beaten by thine armies vast?|
|Have I my candle lighted at thy flame?|
|Did I interpret right the voice that spake|
|Within this tomb? Ah, I was lostalone|| 305|
|Before an Empirea wide howling world|
|That threatened and conspired! There were the Danes|
|To punish, and the Holy Fathers self|
|To compensatewith VeniceSoliman,|
|Francis, and Lutherand a thousand dirks|| 310|
|Gleaming already in the shadesnaresrocks;|
|And countless foes; a score of nations, each|
|Of which might serve to awe a score of kings.|
|Things ripe, all pressing to be done at once.|
|I cried to theewith what shall I begin?|| 315|
|And thou didst answerSon, by clemency!|