Demetrius - Friedrich Schiller - ebook
Opis

An incomplete drama based on the life of Demetrius, briefly Russian czar between 1604 and 1605. It is a reflection on the individual's responsibility in history and on the rule of Napoleon.

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Friedrich Schiller

Demetrius

New Edition

LONDON ∙ NEW YORK ∙ TORONTO ∙ SAO PAULO ∙ MOSCOW

PARIS ∙ MADRID ∙ BERLIN ∙ ROME ∙ MEXICO CITY ∙ MUMBAI ∙ SEOUL ∙ DOHA

TOKYO ∙ SYDNEY ∙ CAPE TOWN ∙ AUCKLAND ∙ BEIJING

New Edition

Published by Sovereign Classic

www.sovereignclassic.net

This Edition

First published in 2017

Copyright © 2017 Sovereign

All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781787243323

Contents

ACT I

ACT II

ACT I

SCENE I.

THE DIET AT CRACOW.

On the rising of the curtain the Polish Diet is discovered, seated

in the great senate hall. On a raised platform, elevated by three

steps, and surmounted by a canopy, is the imperial throne, the

escutcheons of Poland and Lithuania suspended on each side. The KING

seated upon the throne; on his right and left hand his ten royal

officers standing on the platform. Below the platform the BISHOPS,

PALATINES, and CASTELLANS seated on each side of the stage.

Opposite to these stand the Provincial DEPUTIES, in a double line,

uncovered. All armed. The ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN, as the primate o

of the kingdom, is seated next the proscenium; his chaplain behind him,

bearing a golden cross.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

Thus then hath this tempestuous Diet been

Conducted safely to a prosperous close;

And king and commons part as cordial friends.

The nobles have consented to disarm,

And straight disband the dangerous Rocoss 1;

Whilst our good king his sacred word has pledged,

That every just complaint shall have redress.

And now that all is peace at home, we may

Look to the things that claim our care abroad.

Is it the will of the most high Estates

That Prince Demetrius, who hath advanced

A claim to Russia’s crown, as Ivan’s son,

Should at their bar appear, and in the face

Of this august assembly prove his right?

1 An insurrectionary muster of the nobles.

CASTELLAN OF CRACOW.

Honor and justice both demand he should;

It were unseemly to refuse his prayer.

BISHOP OF WERMELAND.

The documents on which he rests have been

Examined, and are found authentic. We

May give him audience.

SEVERAL DEPUTIES.

Nay! We must, we must!

LEO SAPIEHA.

To hear is to admit his right.

ODOWALSKY.

And not

To hear is to reject his claims unheard.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

Is it your will that he have audience?

I ask it for the second time—and third.

IMPERIAL CHANCELLOR.

Let him stand forth before our throne!

SENATORS.

And speak!

DEPUTIES.

Yes, yes! Let him be heard!

[The Imperial GRAND MARSHAL beckons with his baton

to the doorkeeper, who goes out.

LEO SAPIEHA (to the CHANCELLOR).

Write down, my lord,

That here I do protest against this step,

And all that may ensue therefrom, to mar

The peace of Poland’s state and Moscow’s crown.

[Enters DEMETRIUS. Advances some steps towards the throne,

and makes three bows with his head uncovered, first to the KING,

next to the SENATORS, and then to the DEPUTIES, who all severally

answer with an inclination of the head. He then takes up his

position so as to keep within his eye a great portion of the

assemblage, and yet not to turn his back upon the throne.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

Prince Dmitri, son of Ivan! if the pomp

Of this great Diet scare thee, or a sight

So noble and majestic chain thy tongue,

Thou may’st—for this the senate have allowed—

Choose thee a proxy, wheresoe’er thou list,

And do thy mission by another’s lips.

DEMETRIUS.

My lord archbishop, I stand here to claim

A kingdom, and the state of royalty.

‘Twould ill beseem me should I quake before

A noble people, and its king and senate.

I ne’er have viewed a circle so august,

But the sight swells my heart within my breast

And not appals me. The more worthy ye,

To me ye are more welcome; I can ne’er

Address my claim to nobler auditory.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

. . . . The august republic

Is favorably bent. . . . .

DEMETRIUS.

Most puissant king! Most worthy and most potent

Bishops and palatines, and my good lords,

The deputies of the august republic!

It gives me pause and wonder to behold

Myself, Czar Ivan’s son, now stand before

The Polish people in their Diet here.

Both realms were sundered by a bloody hate,

And, whilst my father lived, no peace might be.

Yet now hath Heaven so ordered these events,

That I, his blood, who with my nurse’s milk

Imbibed the ancestral hate, appear before you

A fugitive, compelled to seek my rights

Even here in Poland’s heart. Then, ere I speak,

Forget magnanimously all rancors past,

And that the Czar, whose son I own myself,

Rolled war’s red billows to your very homes.

I stand before you, sirs, a prince despoiled.

I ask protection. The oppressed may urge

A sacred claim on every noble breast.

And who in all earth’s circuit shall be just,

If not a people great and valiant,—one

In plenitude of power so free, it needs

To render ‘count but to itself alone,

And may, unchallenged, lend an open ear

And aiding hand to fair humanity.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

You do allege you are Czar Ivan’s son;

And truly, nor your bearing nor your speech

Gainsays the lofty title that you urge,

But shows us that you are indeed his son.

And you shall find that the republic bears

A generous spirit. She has never quailed

To Russia in the field! She loves, alike,

To be a noble foe—a cordial friend.

DEMETRIUS.

Ivan Wasilowitch, the mighty Czar

Of Moscow, took five spouses to his bed,

In the long years that spared him to the throne.

The first, a lady of the heroic line

Of Romanoff, bare him Feodor, who reigned

After his father’s death. One only son,

Dmitri, the last blossom of his strength,

And a mere infant when his father died,

Was born of Marfa, of Nagori’s line.

Czar Feodor, a youth, alike effeminate

In mind and body, left the reins of power

To his chief equerry, Boris Godunow,

Who ruled his master with most crafty skill.

Feodor was childless, and his barren bride

Denied all prospect of an heir. Thus, when

The wily Boiar, by his fawning arts,

Had coiled himself into the people’s favor,

His wishes soared as high as to the throne.

Between him and his haughty hopes there stood

A youthful prince, the young Demetrius

Iwanowitsch, who with his mother lived

At Uglitsch, where her widowhood was passed.

Now, when his fatal purpose was matured,

He sent to Uglitsch ruffians, charged to put

The Czarowitsch to death.

One night, when all was hushed, the castle’s wing,

Where the young prince, apart from all the rest,

With his attendants lay, was found on fire.

The raging flames ingulfed the pile; the prince

Unseen, unheard, was spirited away,

And all the world lamented him as dead.

All Moscow knows these things to be the truth.

ARCHBISHOP OF GNESEN.

Yes, these are facts familiar to us all.

The rumor ran abroad, both far and near,

That Prince Demetrius perished in the flames

When Uglitsch was destroyed. And, as his death

Raised to the throne the Czar who fills it now,

Fame did not hesitate to charge on him

This murder foul and pitiless. But yet,

His death is not the business now in hand!

This prince is living still! He lives in you!

So runs your plea. Now bring us to the proofs!

Whereby do you attest that you are he?

What are the signs by which you shall be known?

How ‘scaped you those were sent to hunt you down

And now, when sixteen years are passed, and you

Well nigh forgot, emerge to light once more?

DEMETRIUS.

‘Tis scarce a year since I have known myself;

I lived a secret to myself till then,

Surmising naught of my imperial birth.

I was a monk with monks, close pent within

The cloister’s precincts, when I first began

To waken to a consciousness of self.

My impetuous spirit chafed against the bars,

And the high blood of princes began to course