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Pan Tadeusz

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What can be my thoughts, here in Paris?
My ears hear the noise,
the lies and curses rising from the city,
and with untimely plans, regrets and quarrels!
Pity us exiles!
We fled to foreign lands,
to live among strangers!
Every neighbor sees in us a foe!
One happiness remains:
to sit by the fire with a few friends,
to close your door to Europe's uproar,
and escape in thought to happier days...
and dream of your own land...
Assistant director
Edited by
Uniforms and military
Set designer
Production manager
Music by
Art. director
Director of photography
Executive producer
Produced by
Directed by
You're just in time, my Tadeusz!
Today there'll be many fine young ladies...
Your uncle is thinking of marrying you soon.
You'lI have a wide choice.
A numerous company has gathered to hear the judgment...
settling our age-old dispute with the Count.
The Count will be here tomorrow.
Come let us go and meet...
your uncle there, the Chamberlain...
And all the ladies fair!
For a long time my nephew was away, studying in the city.
At last, he's back.
Little master,
dear young sir...
Forgive me for addressing you that way,
your excellency the Count,
but it's an old habit, and not irreverence.
We called all the Horeszkos...
,,little master', so I'll address you that way too, my lord.
Is it true you're dropping the lawsuit? And letting...
the Soplicas have the castle?
Is that so odd?
The cost is great, and the boredom even greater.
Soplica is dragging out the lawsuit.
He's sure I'll yield out of boredom.
I'll lay down my arms, and accept the verdict.
I trust you're jesting?
You'd let the Horeszko family seat go to the Soplicas?
I pray, sir, dismount.
You don't know what you're doing, sir. Let's go and see the castle.
Do not refuse.
Dismount, Count.
Listen to the story...
of your own family,
which took place in this very hall,
and in no other.
My late master, first lord of the district,
a wealthy man of a noted family,
had but one child, a daughter as beautiful as an angel.
All the gentry and young notables courted her.
Among them, was a roistering blade,
afighting bully, Jacek Soplica,
who was nicknamed ,,The Governor'.
In fact, in the district, he had great influence,
and was the head of the Soplicafamily.
So, my master often invited this ruffian...
to his place, especially durning local assemblies...
as it made him popular among the fellow's kinsmen.
Soplica was so elated by this reception...
that he got the notion to become Horeszko's son-in-law.
He was about to declare himself, when they found out his plan...
and he was ousted as a rejected suitor.
Possibly, the young lady had taken afancy to him.
If so she kept it from herfamily.
This took place at the time of the insurrections.
Our masterfavored the Constitution of May 3rd,
and had rallied the nobility to the cause of the rebels.
Then one night the Russians surrounded the castle.
We were ready for such emergencies. There were twenty guns,
here in this hall. We fired one, the other was handed.
The parish priest helped out, so did the ladies.
Only three of us were shooting, but ourfire was continuous.
The Russians showered us with bullets.
We shot more sparsely,
but aimed better. They fled behind the storehouse.
Yourforebear, elated, went on the balcony.
whenever a Russian peeked out, he fired...
and never missed. Suddenly, a shot came from the gate.
My lord coughed, turned pale, tried to speak,
spat blood...
I saw a bullet in his chest.
He staggered and pointed at the gate.
I recognized that bandit Soplica!
I knew him
from his stature, his mustache.
I saw it: it was his hand that slew my master.
The rogue held his weapon raised,
the barrel still smoking!
I aimed at him The ruffian was petrified.
Twice I fired, but both shots missed,
fury or pain kept me from shooting straight.
I heard the women sobbing, and turned round.
My master was dead.
With the blood of his wound,
I wet my sabre, the one called the ,,penknife".
You must have heard about my penknife.
It's famous at every diet, council, market and fair.
I have sworn to blunt it on the Soplicas' necks.
Since then , I've fought them at every opportunity.
I had a premonition that I'd love these walls!
Once I've reconuered it,
you'll command this castle.
Only one Soplica hasn't had a taste of the penknife:
the murderers younger brother.
He's still alive, and brags of his wealth.
His land borders on this castle.
He's a respected man here. He's a judge!
And it's to him that you would yield?
You'd let his base feet tread on your ancestors blood?
Pity it wasn't dark...
when you led me here!
Draped in my coat, I would have sat here...
while you told me of these bloody deeds.
It's my duty to break off all negotiations,
even if it comes to pistols or swords!
Honor bids me!
A pity this Soplica has no wife or pretty daughter...
whose charms I could count!
From such thwarted love the plot would gain in complexity!
Here, the heart, there, duty! Here, vengeance, there, love!
Such were the amusements and disputes...
in Lithuania, while the world swam in blood and tears,
and Napoleon, surrounded by his regiments,
armed with thousands of cannons adorned with golden eagles,
flew from Libya's deserts to the Alps...
hurling thunderbolts without end.
Tales of his glory came roaring from the Nile northward,
to the banks of the Niemen, where a wall...
of Russian troops beat back these tidings, that for Russia...
were worse than a plague.
When Napoleon takes snuff then you can tell,
that for his troops the battle's going well.
For instance, at Austerlitz,
regiment after regiment galloped on and fell.
For each regiment that fell, the Emperor took a pinch.
If one of you gentleman ever sees...
a day in his army, remember that!
My dear Father, when will that day be?
So many times they've said the French would come.
We wait, we look until our eyes are weary,
and still the Russians have us by the throat, and throttle us.
We'll all be dead by then!
My good sirs, it's for women to complain,
and for the Jews to wait patiently...
until someone knocks at their inn.
With Napoleon, it's easy to beat the Russians.
The Lithuanian gentry won't commit to battle
until there's nobody left to fight.
Then Napoleon, all-victorious will say,
,,I managed well without you, go away!"
It's not enough to await a guest,
to invite him.
You have to gather your seants, set up the tables,
and before the feast,
tidy up your house.
Tidy up your house, I say it again, my boys!
What do you mean? Tidy up the house?
- What does that mean? - We'll take care of it all,
we're ready for anything, but be more explicit, Father!
Today there's no time. We'll talk about it again later.
Tomorrow, I'm going to town,
and on my way I'll call you, to gather alms.
They dined at the castle.
Stubborn Protazy defying the Judge, his master,
had taken it upon himself...
to have the tables and the meal carried there.
Forgive us.
We sat down.
We could not delay the supper;
the guests were hungry after their walk.
I feared you'd not be joining us.
I was in St. Petersburg several times.
Tender memories, charming images of the past!
Were you never there?
Would you like to see a map? I stilI have one in my desk.
One day, to my misfortune, a certain petty official...
rented the house next door. He kept several hounds.
They terrified me!
My heart foresaw a misfortune. And that's precisely what happened.
One morning, a greyhound killed my tiny spaniel!
It was lovely little dog! Prince Sukin gave it to me,
as a memento...
Seeing it dead...
was so distressing that I had palpitations.
Worse still might have happened,
but luckily, at that very moment, Kirilo,
the Master of the Hunt,
came to pay me a visit.
He asked what it was about,
and had the culprit pulled in by the ears.
The man appeared, white as a sheet, shaking.
,,How dare you", thundered Kirilo,
,,hunt a pregnant doe, in the spring, under the Tsars nose?"
The man swore in vain that he hadn't done any hunting,
and that he begged to differ:
the animal was a dog, not a doe!
,,You scoundrel!", shouted Kirilo, ,,you dare to claim,
you know more about hunting than I,
the Master of the Tsars Hunt?"
,,The Chief of Police must decide about this at once!"
The Chief, who knew his business...
was amazed at the petty official's audacity,
and uietly advised him...
to plead guilty to improve his case.
The dogs were put to death, and the official
spent four weeks in prison.
This amusing trifle uickly spread:
how the Master of the Hunt took up the case of my little dog.
And I know from a reliable source...
it even made the Emperor laugh.
After him!
The Assessor and I let them go together,
as if two triggers of a gun had been pulled by one finger!
Hurrah! They're off!
The hare bounds away, gaining ground.
The dogs manage to head it off from the forest.
One dog gets ahead:
a swift dog, but too fiery, leading the other...
by afingers breadth. It misses the hare...
that slyly pretends...
to make for the fields, with the dogs in pursuit.
Sensing the dogs are closing in...
it veers right and they follow foolishly.
Then it veers left,
in just two bounds.
The dogs veer too and my Bobtail seizes it!
That is true, Notary.
Your dog's tail has been cut. So it's not good at seizing.
My favorite greyhound isn't good at seizing?
A hound without a tail is like a nobleman without office.
The tail is essential to a running hound.
Do you, sir, view the lack of one as a good thing?
Let's refer the matter...
to your aunt.
Though she lived in the capital and is new here,
she knows more about hunting than most young men,
because with experience knowledge always grows.
Was it wrong to occupy the castle?
No one lost from it, and you may gain something.
The suit is about who owns the castle.
Today, we acuired those rights.
and despite the fury of our adversaries,
I've proved it's now our possession.
By inviting guests to sup at the castle,
we've showed we're the rightful owners...
Here was a grove...
carpeted with grass.
Between the birches, under the canopy of their branches,
foamed figures, whose dancing motions...
were like ghosts in the moonlight.
They did not speak or exchange greetings,
so deep in meditation were they, so absorbed in themselves.
The Count saw in them the spirits from Elysium,
not subject to pain or cares, wandering at peace, but gloomy.
It looks international!
He on the rock, she on the grass...
What a well-posed group!
What admirable heads...
What contrasting faces...
forgive my boldness.
I interrupted your meditation, but to you I owe my inspiration!
Condemn the man, but the artist awaits yourforgiveness.
You judge!
You have talent.
Don't neglect it. Seek out the beauty...
in nature.
O happy skies of Italy!
That's the land of painters!
Here in Soplicowo, even the Muses couldn't find inspiration!
Dear Count,
I shall frame it.
Count, if you're in love with painting,
why don't you paint the trees of our country?
People here would like that.
Not all that is beautiful can be painted.
You'll learn that from books,
in good time.
In the botanical gardens, I saw those vaunted trees...
from the East, the South, from fair Italy.
Ours are much finer!
beautiful nature is just the form, the basic material.
The soul is the inspiration! On wings of fantasy...
it rises, polished by taste, buttressed by rules!
Isn't our honest birch tree more beautiful?
Like a peasant woman weeping for her son,
or a widow, wringing her hands,
her hair streaming to the ground.
As for painting, what a picture needs...
is a point of view, good staging, and skies!
The skies of Italy!
For landscape painting,
Italy was and will be the home of painters.
The Soplicas' sickness is to scorn everything but their country.
Fate wants all in this world to end with the sound of a bell:
lofty thoughts, the plans of the imagination,
innocent amusements, the joys of friendship,
demonstrations of the heart...
When the bronze tolls from afar,
everything is shattered, confused and vanishes!
- What is left? - Remembrance.
We saw a bear, good sir!
Have the headman mount his horse!
Assemble the beaters by daybreak!
Volunteers will be exempted...
of two days work on the roads, and five in the fields.
- Get the guns ready! - We need lead! Lead!
Tomorrow, at haIf past four at the forest chapel,
the hunters and beaters will meet.
Tell the parish priest...
to say mass in the forest chapel for our sport.
St. Hubert's let the offertory be short.
My friend, she'll make trouble for us...
that aunt Telimena!
She's a couette.
When Zosia was all alone as a child,
and poor,
Jacek asked Telimena to raise her.
Because she was an able woman, who knew the world.
But I've noticed she is stirring things up for us,
and scheming,
and seems to be flirting with Tadeusz.
I'm watching her.
Or perhaps it's the Count she's after,
or maybe both.
Let's find a way to be rid of her.
She may cause tongues to wag!
I have serious motives for saying this.
You remember...
the Jacek wanted...
to send his son away to the army,
but later let him stay in Lithuania. For what reason?
This is where he'll be most useful to our country.
You must have heard what everyone is saying now.
Serious things, my friend.
The war is close.
A warfor Poland, friend! We shall be Poles again!
Is this true, my Robak? Is it really true?
Napoleon has already assembled a huge army,
such as man or history has never seen.
Beside the French, Polish horsemen are advancing,
our Joseph, our Dąbrowski, our White Eagles.
They're on their way,
and at the first sign from Napoleon,
they'll cross the Niemen, my friend!
Our country will be resurrected.
We've been deceived so many times.
People said:
Napoleon is coming! We waited for him in vain.
Is it finally true?
Haven't you been deceived again?
It's as true as God is in Heaven.
Blessed are the lips that bring these tidings!
You won't regret your message, nor will your monastery.
I'll give it 200 choice sheep.
Get up, sir!
It's time to go hunting.
You forgot that!
Did you know that from this snuffbox,
General Dąbrowski took four pinches?
Yes, the general. I was in his camp when he recaptured Gdańsk.
He was writing: so as not to fall asleep,
he took a pinch, sneezed, then patted me on the back.
,,Father Robak", he said,
we may meet in Lithuania, before the year is over.
Tell the Lithuanians to greet me with Częstochowa tobacco.
I take no other.
Polish tobacco? From Częstochowa?
Dąbrowski's coming?
Look at this threatening figure. Guess who it is?
A great emperor, but not of Russia.
Tsars don't use tobacco!
A great man? In an ordinary coat?
I thought all great men wore gold braid.
Among the Russians,
any sort of general...
shines with gold,
like a pike sprinkled with saffron.
Dąbrowski's hymn!
Brandy! Mead! Wine!
It's there!
It's there!
How about my little gun?
How about my birdie? It's not large,
but what a showing it made! It never wastes a charge
It never wastes a charge in the air. A present from Prince Sanguszko.
I aimed and thought: ,,Hold on, Bruin!"
And sure enough, there it lay dead.
It's afine gun! A real Sagalas.
There's the inscription: ,,Sagalas, London, at Balabanowka."
How's that?
In the name of a thousand bears!
You say you killed it? What nonsense!
Listen, we're not in a court of law.
We're out hunting, everyone can testify.
This bullet...
did not come from either of your guns.
It's from this single-barreled Horeszko gun.
But I didn't shoot it.
It's not that I lacked courage.
It was horrible. My eyes became clouded.
Gentlemen, in my whole life,
I've seen only one man who could boast of such marksmanship!
Glory to the monk! He saved life of 2 men, maybe 3.
I don't want to boast,
but if the last child of Horeszko blood...
ended in its jaws, I'd no longer be of this world:
the bear would have crunched my old bones too.
Come, Father.
Let's go drink...
to your health!
My dear, ever since Tadeusz has been staying here,
I have worried a lot.
I'm old, and have no children.
That good lad is my only consolation.
My brother Jacek, Tadeusz's father,
a strange man, hard to understand.
He won't even let his son know he is alive,
yet he gives me instructions for him.
First he wanted him to join the army,
then agreed he could stay at home and marry.
He'll easily find a wife.
In heaven's name! Is there any sense in this?
My dear good brother?
Closing the world to him! He'll never pardon.
Burying such a talent in the garden?
To be sure, in his early years, it is good for a young man
to look around and acuire some social graces.
I myself, in my youth, covered a lot of ground.
I have been To Piotrkow, to Dubno
at times on court matters, at times for business.
I even went as far as Warsaw.
You should send Tadeusz to a capital.
For instance to Warsaw.
Or perhaps to St. Petersburg?
I know many people there and have connections.
That's the best way to make a man. He'll get a job, decorations.
ter, he can leave the Tsars seice...
- and return home. - Decorations?
I beg your pardon.
but of what interest are Russian decorations.
If that's your option, send him traveling abroad.
You see, it's just that...
That's what I like to do.
Jacek hasn't given up his tutelage of Tadeusz.
He sent me this monk Robak, who came from the Duchy.
He's my brothers friend, and knows all his plans.
Together they decide Tadeusz's future.
They want him to marry, to marry Zosia...
That's something new!
What have you to with Zosia?
I control her hand , I alone.
Even if Jacek gave me a small allowance to educate her,
it doesn't mean he's bought her!
As you both know, and so does everyone else,
your generosity toward us had a motive.
The Soplicas owe something to the Horeszkos.
I carried Zosia in my arms. I alone protect her.
No one else thinks of her happiness.
But what if she finds happiness this way?
- What if she likes Tadeusz? - If she likes him? Nonsense!
Like him or not, that's not my worry.
Zosia is not a wealthy match,
nor is she a simple village girl.
She's from an eminent family, the daughter of a gentleman.
She'll find a husband.
So what do we do?
It will be no fault of mine if this betrothal isn't made.
Not so fast! You said yourself they were too young...
Let's think it over...
Let's wait.
That won't do any harm...
But I warn you, don't push Tadeusz into Zosia's arms!
,,The heart all force disdains,
And never can be put in chains."
Is it nice to shout like that? Is it polite?
This gentleman will be afraid.
O you! By whatever name you go,
are you a goddess, a nymph or a vision? Speak!
Are you on earth by your own will?
Or does some power bind you here?
Where are you from, sir? Why are you in the vegetable garden?
I beg you to forgive me.
I was hurrying to breakfast,
I want to be on time: the road is the long way round.
There's a shortcut through here.
But stick to the path. Don't trample the vegetables!
- The manor is that way! - To left or to right?
Miss, do you live here, or in the village?
Why have I never seen you? Are you a visitor?
Excuse me, but isn't that your bedroom?
Couldn't you help me round up my chickens?
I, round up chickens?
No country makes such good coffee as Poland.
In Poland, by ancient custom, a special woman...
is given this task. She's called the kawiarka.
She chooses the finest grains,
knows how to make the beverage black as coal,
transparent as amber,
and thick as honey. Everyone knows that coffee needs good cream.
In the morning, the ,,kawiarka" pays a visit to the dairy,
and skims fresh cream from the milk...
into little jugs,
so it can be added...
to each cup according to individual taste.
The Count is young, heir to afortune, pleasant looking,
a bit in love with me. But he might be fickle.
Would he marry an older woman? To one who is not rich?
Would his parents let him?
The Count is a grandee. The rich are capricious.
The Count is blond. Blond men aren't very passionate.
And Tadeusz?
A, simple fellow, honest, almost a child!
Who's having his first love affair!
Young men, who have a conscience, are more faithful...
than old fogeys.
But let's not forget about the Count...
Maybe we could interest him in Zosia?
You are uite forgetful of your rank and age!
Yet you're fourteen today.
Time to give up minding turkeys!
Is that a pastime for a dignitary's daughter?
I'll change all that as of today. I'll introduce you
to society, you'll meet all our guests.
So don't shame me!
My aunt! I've seen no guests...
since I've lived here, except a turtle dove!
I was getting bored.
The Judge says it's bad for the health.
He wants me to take you into society,
mutters that you're already grown up.
The poor old man has no knowledge of society!
Or the it takes for a young lady...
to prepare her entry so she makes an impression.
Someone who grew up in everyone's sight, though she may be...
beautiful and clever,
makes no impression.
You must learn not to walk like a boy,
or stare at everyone. Curtsy again.
You're so stiff!
My aunt!
You kept me locked up. I had no one to dance with.
Out of boredom, I took to feeding the poultry.
But wait...
until I've lived a little in society.
You'lI see how I'll improve.
Listen carefully, Zosia.
You'll meet a well-educated and well-connected young Count.
See that you are...
very nice him.
Being the hostess, Telimena welcomed the guests.
She introduced Zosia to them:
first to Tadeusz, a close relative...
Zosia curtsied, he bowed.
He wanted to speak to her, opened his mouth,
but just looked at her, speechless.
He blushed, then grew pale...
unable to control his heart.
He felt miserable, recognizing Zosia.
Dashing out, he ran into the fields,
like a pike fighting the harpoon,
then chanced upon the hill...
where he was so happy yesterday, where he received the love note...
a place known as ,,The Temple of Meditation".
In vain, his heart defended itself.
He took pity, felt compassion move him.
Silently, from behind a tree, he sighed...
and angrily reprimanded himself:
Fool! Is it herfault if I made a mistake?
May I bid you, young people,
according to the ancient custom, to enjoy yourselves,
and not eat in silence. Are we Cistercian monks?
I know what ails you all.
That cloud of black came certainly from Robak's cowl.
You're ashamed that you missed bear! Do not blush.
I've seen better guns miss their target.
To hit, to miss, to adjust, that's the art. of shooting.
Remember the old Seneschal's advice:
never get in another hunters way,
and don't let two hunters chase the same game.
The same dame.
The same skirt.
The same flirt!
To Robak's health! Raise your glasses!
Since we can't enrich him,
let's at least pay for his powder.
The flesh of the bear we killed
will keep the monastery in meat for 2 years.
But I won't give up the skin!
I'll take it by force,
if the monk won't humbly yield it to me.
Robak has taken the first crown of glory.
The skin, His Excellency the Chamberlain...
shall award it to him who desees the second reward.
All of you were eual in skill and courage.
But fate selected two for special honor.
Those who were closest to the bears claws:
Tadeusz and the Count! The skin belongs to them.
Tadeusz will yield this privilege,
being younger and related to the Judge.
Hence take this ,,rich booty", dear Count!
May this skin adorn your trophy room.
My house is too small.
There's no place worthy of so magnificent a gift.
Let the bearskin stay here...
until the Judge gives me back the castle!
You desee praise, my neighbor...
you're all business, even at table.
I wish and hope...
to end this trial by a reconciliation.
The only difficulty is the land around the castle...
My friend,
postpone your urgent task.
My dear Warden, or rather screech owl,
if you value your beak, close it!
Me, an owl?
Whoever sneaks by night into anothers loft...
is an owl, and I'll scare him off!
Get out!
Can't you see what's happening?
Haven't you soiled your honor enough,
by eating with these Soplicas?
Must I Geazy, the keeper of this castle,
Warden of the Horeszkos, be insulted in our house?
Will you put up with that?
Silence, gentlemen!
Hear this!
I, Protazy Brzechalski, former General of the Court,
and Apparitor, hereby make...
my formal report and declaration,
claiming all here present as witnesses,
and summon the Assessor to investigate the case.
On behaIf of Judge Soplica, the plaintiff,
as to an incursion,
aforced entry of this castle, his legal property,
proof of which is that he's eating here!
Put that bully in irons!
Beware, Judge!
No one shall offend my seant in my house!
Count, you're appropriating this castle before the verdict!
You're not the host; we're not your guests!
What do I care? Enough of this drivel!
Bore others with yourformalities.
It was folly for me to join you in drinking bouts...
that end in coarse brawls!
I want satisfaction for this insult to my honor!
We'll meet when you're sober! Come, Geazy!
Petty noble!
I'll... Thomas! My saber!
Get out!
To arms! Thomas! My saber!
Wait, this matter concerns me!
They insulted me!
Protazy! My weapon!
I'll make you dance like a bear!
My dear uncle! Chamberlain!
Is it fitting for you to meddle with this fop?
We'lI see how good a knight you are tomorrow.
Choose the place and weapons! Now leave!
Pistols, or if they prefer, sabers.
The castle and the village, both are ours!
Uncle, nephew, challenge them all!
Castle, village, let's take it all!
I always said: no lawsuits.
Let's raid them, grab it!
We'll make a stir in all of Lithuania with ourforay!
He who seizes the land is its master.
Win in the field and you'll win in court!
If old Maciek helps me with his saber,
the two of us will slice them to pieces!
Bravo! Your Gothic plan is better than legal wrangling.
It wilI amuse me.
I've vegetated here two years. All I've seen are petty suabbles!
- Are there any dungeons? - Huge cellars, but empty.
The Soplicas drank all the wine.
We must arm my staff, and get vassals from the village.
ckeys? God forbid! You know nothing about forays.
But vassals can do the job, and we'll find them.
Not among the peasantry:
in the hamlets of the lesser gentry.
I'll recruit 300 mustachioed gentlemen.
All mortal enemies of the Soplicas.
Leave it to me. Get a good night's rest, sir,
for tomorrow there'll be hard work.
Why did you insist in going to that ruin?
How I detest it! I'll never set foot in it again!
Another uarrel! What a calamity!
It's not my fault.
The lawsuit will prove it. That pompous Count caused the uarrel.
Geazy is a bandit. That's the count's affair.
Pity you weren't at the supper.
I have more urgent matters, but I'll reconcile you.
Reconcile us? What do you mean?
To hell with your reconciliation! Look at this monk!
I receive him politely, and he leads me by the nose.
Listen, we Soplicas don't compromise.
When, we go to court, we have to win.
Some of our lawsuits have lasted...
six generations!
From this day on, no more compromise! Never!
And for his behavior yesterday, the Count must beg...
to be forgiven, orfight.
What's this? Have you lost your reason?
What are you telling me? What's this new row?
Judge, what will happen...
when Jacek finds out all this?
He'll die of despair.
Haven't you Soplicas done enough harm?
Friend, I don't want to remind you of that terrible event.
You know the castle's lands were confiscated...
by the Russians, and given to the Soplicas.
Jacek, to be absolved of his sin,
swore to restore those lands.
So he took in Zosia, the poor heiress of the Horeszkos,
spent a great deal on her education,
to marry her to his son Tadeusz,
thus reconciling the two hostile families,
and returning to the heiress what was here.
What's it to me?
What have I to do with it?
I've never met or seen Jacek.
I've barely heard of his riotous life.
They gave me the estate, and I took it.
He told me to take in Zosia, and I raised her...
and plan herfuture.
I'm sick of this old wives' tale!
And now there's this Count, too!
So, when Napoleon is bringing freedom to Lithuania,
when the world trembles,
you think of your lawsuit? When it's time to act!
To act? How?
Listen: the French attack by day.
What if we raised the country by night?
500 of our men press the Russians from behind,
the uprising spreads like fire.
Napoleon sees our lances, and asks:
,,What army is that?" We shout: ,,Rebels!"
,,Sire Lithuanian volunteers!"
He asks: ,,Who is their commander? ,,Judge Soplica!"
I've plowed my land and avoided politics.
But I'm a gentleman; I'd gladly erase this shame.
I'm a Pole, and for my country,
I'd give up my life. I'm not much good with a saber,
yet I've slashed afew men.
During the last assemblies,
I wounded two...
Enough of this! What is your idea?
Should we take to the field at once?
There's enough sabers. The gentry will ride out,
my nephew and I at their head. Come what may!
O Polish blood!
In the meantime, friend, you must make up with the Count.
He's a crank, an oddball,
but young, honest, and a good Pole.
We need people like them.
I revolutions, hotheads are very useful.
Knowing how wealthy he is, people will say:
,,They're sure to win, since nobles like him are involved."
Let's invite him.
Let him make the first move!
He must come here, and ask to be forgiven.
Am I not older? Do I not hold office?
As for the lawsuit, it can go to arbitration.
In Dobrzyn there were many wise old men...
who knew tin, practiced law, and were rich.
But of them all old Maciek, though poor, was the most respected.
As a swordsman,
famous for his ,,switch", and as a wise counselor.
He rarely gave advice and then in few words.
He was the perfect choice to lead the insurrection:
he'd always loved swordplay, and gated the Russians.
Praise the lord!
Forever and ever, amen!
What do you think, Maciej?
If Russia's taunting Bonaparte, he'll take it seriously.
The great hero has endless armies.
Well, Maciek, what do you think?
Where did all this news come from?
How far are the French?
Who's in charge of them? How many cavalry and infantry?
Whoever knows should tell!
Let's wait for Robak,
the news came from him.
Delay? Wait? Debate?
Hum, haw and run away!
Meanwhile send spies to the border...
and uietly arm the whole country.
But do it all discreetly...
so the Russians don't find out our plans!
I want to live!
And fight!
What use is Robak? Are we Schoolboys?
What good is the monk?
We don't need him...
to bring the Russians to their knees!
Spying and reconnaissance!
What does it mean?
That you've cowards!
A monk gathers alms. But I sprinkle!
I'll sprinkle them!
Sprinkle! Sprinkle!
Sprinkle and sprinkle, that's all!
Long live the Sprinkler and his club!
- Down with cowards! - Let them hide...
in the monk's hood!
The monk will not come here. No point in waiting.
If the news came from him,
why is he spreading it?
That devil of a priest!
If you have no other news than this,
why did you come here? What do you want?
- War! - What war?
- Against the Russians! - Let's attack them!
In the name of Jesus, we must know why and who we're fighting.
- You must tell people. - Will they follow us?
Where should they go, if we don't know ourselves?
My noble brothers! Gentlemen!
We need discretion!
Honorable company, we need other and method!
That's it!
But you, Maciek the Switcher, and you, Maciek the Club,
must make up, and then so help me God!
We'll beat the Russians into pulp!
Razor advances with the Switch!
- Slash, slash! - Here are my principles!
Why blacken paper and spill ink?
A confederation? Is that the only uestion?
Maciek is our marshal,
his Switch is his baton!
The Penknife bows to the Switch.
Gentlemen of Dobrzyn,
I will give you no advice,
I will only tell you...
why I have assembled you.
What to do, and how to do it, is for you to decide.
You know, there's been talk for a long time
among the hamlets...
that great things are preparing in the world.
Father Robak has talked of it, you know it all.
- We know! - Good!
Since the Emperor of the French...
is coming from one side...
and the Russian Tsarfrom the other, there will be war!
Tsar against Emperor, King against King, they'll fight,
as usually happens between monarchs.
Shall we sit uiet?
While the great choke each other,
we'll choke the smaller, each his own man.
Thus from above and below, great against great,
small against small, as soon as we start to smite them,
all the scoundrels will be overthrown,
and happiness will bloom again...
in Poland.
Is this not true?
It's true! He speaks like a book!
It's true! Hit them hard, that's all!
I'm ready to caress my blade.
But you must agree who our leader is!
Idiot! Discussions don't harm our common cause.
Be silent!
I summon all present here to bear witness.
Didn't Robak tell you
that before we receive Napoleon here,
we have to tidy our house?
You heard it, but did you understand?
Who should we tidy from this district?
Who is the traitor, who killed the finest of Poles?
Who robbed and plundered him?
Who wants to steal what's left from his legitimate heir?
Who is it?
Must I tell you?
It's Soplica!
He is a tyrant!
Sprinkle him!
If he's a traitor,
string him up!
Brother gentlemen!
By God's wounds!
What's the meaning of this, Warden?
Have you gone mad?
He's the brother of an exile, of a madman. But is it his fault?
Is it Christian to punish him...
for his brothers crimes?
It was not like that in Great Poland, brothers.
What harmony reigned! How sweet a memory.
No one interrupted our counsels for a trifle!
To hang a scoundrel that's not a trifle.
Gentlemen of Dobrzyn,
I am only a Jew,
but I say this...
If you want to do violence to the Judge,
that is very bad.
Some of you will get killed...
And the Assessor? The Police Chief? The prison?
In the village of Soplica, there are soldiers, all marksmen.
The Assessor need only whistle, and they'll march.
They'll march here.
You expect the French, but they're a long way off,
and the road is long.
If there is to be a war, it won't be until spring.
Now, pray disperse! Speak not aloud
of what happened! Talking of it does no good.
Be gone, Jew!
Don't meddle in this! It's not your business!
you want to wage war against the Tsar...
and let you fear the Soplicas? You're afraid of prison?
Am I asking you to become brigands?
God forbid! Gentlemen and brothers,
I stand on my rights.
Hasn't the Count won his lawsuit?
Didn't he get the decree? Now it must be executed.
As in the old days.
The Count wrote the decree, and we applied it,
especially the nobles of Dobrzyn.
That's how yourfame and glory spread in Lithuania.
Will no one today help the poor orphan?
Heir to the lord who nourished so many of you,
who has no otherfriend but me, his Warden,
- and my faithful Penknife. - And the Sprinkler!
Where you go, Geazy, I will go too.
As long as I have an arm to go slash slash.
Anything you soap, I will shave it!
I'm leaving with you,
since we can't agree on a marshal.
Damn the votes! I prefer bullets and I have many!
Here they are. All these are for the Judge!
Long live the Horeszkos! Long live their coat of arms!
Long live the Warden! Down with the Soplica!
Down with them!
You idiots!
That's all you are!
Don't get yourfingers caught in the millstones!
When the debate was about the resurrection of Poland,
the public weal, you idiots,
you uarreled endlessly.
You could never...
understand one another,
nor bring order,
nor choose a leader.
But as soon as anyone brings up his personal grudges...
You idiots...
Suddenly you all agree.
Go away!
For as my name is Maciek,
I wish upon you multitudes of wagons,
filled with devils!
Long live the Count!
We'll live and die with him!
My brother...
I have lived here as a monk, and wanted to die as such,
without revealing my name,
even to you and my own son.
Who knows if I'll come back alive? Or what will happen?
In Dobrzyn, my brother, everything...
is in the mess.
That insane Count has gone to the village.
I wasn't able to stop him,
because Maciek recognized me.
If he betrays me, my neck will wind up...
under Geazy's penknife.
Nothing will stop him.
My head matters little, but if I'm recognized,
our plot will be endangered.
Farewell, dearest brother...
I must hurry.
If I perish in this war, you alone will pray for my soul,
my secret belongs to you alone.
Finish what I've begun,
and remember...
you are a Soplica.
My dear uncle...
The few days I've spent here have raced by.
I couldn't fully enjoy your house or your company,
and now I must leave.
Today or tomorrow at the latest.
My uncle, we have challenged the Count.
We have and we must fight him. But why must you leave?
Why today, why this obstinacy?
Before a duel, it is customary to send friends,
and settle terms.
Who knows? Be patient, there's still time.
It is up to me to fight him.
In Lithuania, duels are forbidden. I'm going to the border.
The Count has courage, and will join me there to fight.
Once the uarrel settled,
if with God's I've punished him, I'll cross to the Duchy of Warsaw.
Unless some other whimsy is chasing you away?
Speak frankly, don't make excuses.
I've been like afather to you,
and my little finger...
has already whispered into my ear...
that some intrigue is going on with the ladies.
It's the truth...
there are other causes,
my dear uncle. Maybe of my own doing.
There is a heartbreak behind this.
Yesterday, you bid your lips...
looking at a certain young girl, and she too made a strange face.
An error of youth, my uncle. Do not ask me more.
I must leave at once.
I know all about that nonsense.
When a couple of children fall in love,
they have no end of misfortunes!
My uncle...
I'll tell you the truth.
Your young ward, Zosia,
pleases me,
though I've only seen her once or twice.
I hear you want to marry me to the rich Chamberlain's daughter.
But I cannot do that,
since I'm in love with Zosia. One can't change one's heart.
And it's dishonest to love someone and marry another.
Time will heal this. I'm leaving for a long time.
My little Tadeusz!
A strange way to be in love, running away from one's beloved!
I'm glad you've been frank. Leaving would have been folly.
What would you say if told you I was planning...
to give you Zosia?
Well? Aren't you Jumping for Joy?
Your goodness thrills me.
But Uncle, it won't be of help.
It's all in vain! Telimena won't consent.
We'll ask her!
Nothing will sway her! No!
My uncle... just give me your blessing.
Everything is ready.
I'm leaving for the duel.
First the duel, then love, and this departure.
There's something behind all this.
Perhaps, young man,
if you have seduced...
and are now trying to run away, I won't let you.
Like it or not, you'll marry Zosia, I warn you!
Or you'll be horsewhipped! Tomorrow you'll be at the altar!
And you talk to me about feelings! The constancy of your heart!
Now go to bed!
Ungrateful one! You sought my glances, which you shun today!
As if my looks and words might poison you.
It sees me right, you are a man! I knew!
Think it over! We're being watched!
Can we flaunt our love? It's improper, it's a sin!
A sin? You innocent young lamb!
I'm not afraid of love, even if it shames me.
So why should you, a man, fear it? Men don't mind admitting
they're courting ten mistresses at once!
Do not deceive me.
You wish to leave me.
What would people say about a man who, at my age,
spent his life in afields making love,
when so many married men leaving their wives and children,
to join the army? And am I free to make a choice?
My father in his will ordered me to see in the army.
My uncle repeated that command. I'm leaving tomorrow.
I've made up my mind, and Telimena,
I won't change it.
we part, tell me that what you felt for me was true affection,
and not just afling or carnal lust.
Let me know that my Tadeusz loves me.
Let me hear you say ,,I love you" once more.
May lightning strike me if I say I have no fondness for you,
even, love.
The moments that we shared were short but sweet...
and tender sort they will linger in my thoughts for ever.
I never shall forget you, never!
Since you love me, my darling, how can you abandon me?
I gave you my heart, I'll give you my fortune...
and go anywhere in the world to be with you.
What? Are you raving?
You want to follow me? To the army?
Like a camp-follower!
Then let's... get married.
No! Never!
I've no intent to marry you nor to be your lover.
Be sensible...
and let this nonsense cease!
I'm grateful, but our marriage cannot be.
Let's love each other... but from afar.
Just what I wanted!
Dragon's tongue! Vipers heart!
For you, I turned down the Assessor, the Count and the Notary.
You seduced me...
and now you abandon me! No matter!
You're man, so I know you're false.
I listened at your uncle's door.
So Zosia has attracted you! That's who you covet, you traitor!
You've deceived me and now seek a new victim.
You won't corrupt others, as you did me.
Get out! I despise you!
You're a liar, you're base!
This insult, deadly to a noble, especially a Soplica,
made Tadeusz shake, grow pale, bite his lips, and said...
You fool!
Ancestral enemy,
I'll punish you for your misdeed!
You'll account for the wealth you stole from me.
In the name of the Father
and the Son! Count!
Are you a bandit?
Does this befit your birth,
your education, your position in the world?
I won't be wronged!
I arrest you, Count! In the name of the Tsar,
surrender your sword, or I'll summon the army!
As you know,
for an armed attack at night...
the penalty, by virtue of Decree 1200, is...
This looks like armed robbery!
You've seen nothing.
More are coming. Surrender, Judge, these are my allies.
By your honor, by all that is holy, we implore!
Count, dare you refuse? The ladies are begging you.
You brute,
you'lI have to kill us first.
dy Zosia, Madame Telimena!
This sword won't be stained with the blood of an unarmed enemy!
Soplicas, you're my prisoners.
Thus did I in Sicily.
near the crag the Italians call Birbante Rocca,
capture some brigands. I slew those who were armed,
and took the others prisoner.
They walked behind my horse, brightening my triumph,
then were hung on Mount Etna.
The Count had time to cool his wrath,
and wanted to avoid bloodshed.
So he locked the Soplicafamily in their mansion and posted sentries.
,,Down with the Soplicas!" The gentry rushed in,
stormed the estate and with great ease,
captured it. But the assailants
wanted to fight. As the house was locked,
they raided the farm.
Obeying the Count, Geazy gave up the fight.
As he couldn't exact vengeance, he concentrated on his other aim:
reinstalling the Count in his castle, legally and formally.
So he hunted down Protazy, grabbed him,
and dragged him into the yard. Then, drawing his saber, said...
Mr. Apparitor, the Count...
ventures to ask you to be so kind...
here, before our brother gentlemen,
to proclaim this instant that he owns the castle,
the manor and the village, all the land, sown orfallow,
the woods, forests, meadows, as marked by milestones,
the peasants and vassals,
et omnibus rebus, et uibusdam aliis.
Bark it out as you know how, and don't forget anything!
One minute, Warden!
I'll carry out the orders of the contending parties,
but I warn you the act wilI have no value:
if it was extorted by violence at night.
What violence?
There is none here. Did I not ask you politely?
If you can't see clearly enough, with my penknife,
I'll kindle afire so bright...
in front of your eyes you'lI think you're seeing stars!
My little Geazy, as Apparitor, I represent the w.
You can't punish its representative.
I'll write an act at once...
if someone will bring me a lantern.
In the meantime: silence, Gentlemen!
I protest!
Casks of old vodka mead, and beer,
from the Soplica cellars, were rolled up to the castle,
which now became the Count's headuarters.
A hundred fires were lighted: they roasted...
a profusion meat, and drink flowed.
The nobility spent the night drinking, eating, singing.
Slowly they began to doze, yawn,
eye after eye closed, heads nodded.
They slumped where they sat,
holding a dish, a tankard or a uarter of beef.
Thus these conuerors were conuered by Sleep,
the brother of Death.
Major, sir.
What will we do with all these prisoners?
It's best to settle this uietly.
The Judge will reward us for our pains.
We'll say they came here on a vise That'll please both parties.
We won't make a report, and no one will find out.
,,God gave us hands to take with". Russian proverb.
Have you gone mad? You want me to free rebels?
In times like this! You Polish ,,lords", I'll teach you to rebel.
Gentlemen scoundrels! I know what you're like!
Let them get soaked!
Judge, if you want to hush the whole thing up,
it's 1 000 rubles a head.
1 000 rubles a head! That's my last word!
Major, what will you gain by trying them?
There was no brawl.
Nobody was wounded. For the supplies they consumed,
they can pay fines according to the statutes.
I won't press charges against the Count.
It was a suabble between neighbors.
You've read the Yellow Book, Judge?
What book?
It's better than your statutes! Every other word is:
the rope!
The whip!
It's the manual of martial law for Lithuania.
Your tribunals have no say anymore.
- I'll appeal to the Governor! - Appeal to the Tsar, himself.
Did you know that when the Tsar confirms sentences,
His Majesty often doubles the punishment?
So go ahead and appeal to him!
And if I want to, Judge, I can put the screws on you, too:
Jankiel is a spy,
and is your innkeeper.
I can now arrest you all, this instant, in one full swoop!
Me? Arrest me?
You wouldn't dare, without a warrant...
You're all idiots! The damage you did...
will cost you a pretty penny!
This Major, Polish by birth,
was once called Plutowicz, but changed his name to Plut.
He's a rogue, a Pole in the Tsars army.
A nice catch!
I saw the spoils. Fleece Those noblemen!
Fleece them well!
And keep them tied down, they're a restless lot.
Congratulations, Major, for capturing the Count.
He's fat morsel, a rich young man from old stock.
Don't let him off for less than 300 ducats.
Major, some stewed beef?
Lieutenant, wouldn't you prefer bowl of punch?
today we live,
tomorrow we rot.
All we ever own is what we've drunk and eaten!
You're right, Father. It's high time
we ate and drank...
to the Judge's health!
Pretty ladies...
you're the finest of desserts.
As sure as I'm a Major, after breakfast,
I know of no fonder treat than a little chitchat...
with lovely ladies.
You know what?
Let's play cards,
vingt-et-un, or whist!
Or better, dance a mazurka!
By a thousand devils! In my regiment,
I'm the best dancer.
But you know, Major,
we're in here drinking, and your men are outside, freezing.
Fair is fair! Give them a drop of vodka!
Surely, the Major will let his men have a drink?
I can ask you, Judge, but you don't have to agree.
Give them the strongest you have!
You, Rykov,
stop puffing on your pipe.
I know you're good at plucking the balalaika.
There's a guitar here. Take it...
and play us a mazurka. I, your Major...
will lead the dance.
Faith of a Major, Miss!
I wouldn't be a Russian if I lied. I'd be a son of a bitch!
Anyone can tell you...
that in the Second Army, the Ninth Corps,
Second Infantry Division, 50th Yager regiment,
Major Plut is the best mazurka dancer!
Come on, young lady,
don't be shy.
Or I'll punish you as only officers can.
- A rebel! - Shoot, Tadeusz!
You know how!
Guards! Rebellion!
Fall in!
Fall in!
Fall in! Ready!
My saber!
Surrender! Or I'll burn your house down!
You'll roast in that fire!
This will end badly.
There will be no one left to give orders.
you Polish, aren't you ashamed, to hide behind a tree?
Don't be a coward!
Come out in the open...
and fight like a man of honor!
I'm not afraid of you!
Come out!
I slapped you and am ready to fight!
Choose your weapon!
If you refuse, I'll cut you down like wolves.
Major, fight him. Avenge what he did to you this morning.
I cannot desert my soldiers. I'm in command here.
Rykov, my friend,
you're good swordsman.
You fight him.
Or even better: let's send a lieutenant.
Tadeusz Soplica, let me fight.
I have an insult to avenge, Rykov invaded my castle...
Say our castle! the head of this ruffians.
He tied up my men.
I'll punish him, as I punished the bandits
in Sicily at Birbante Rocca!
Put a bullet in his heart, and you get 4 rubles.
Captain! You surrender without dishonor.
Unhappy but valiant knight, you've proven your worth.
Abandon this hopeless combat.
Put down your arms before you're forced to.
Save lives and honor.
You're my prisoner.
What a misfortune not to have had a single cannon.
Suvorov used to say: ,,Remember this:
never attack Poles
unless you have cannons".
At ease!
God today favored our weapons!
But... I must tell you...
in plain terms...
that this battle wilI have evil conseuences.
We did wrong!
We're all at fault here.
Father Robak, for spreading rumors.
You, for misinterpreting them.
The war with Russia won't begin soon.
Many of you who fought here
won't be safe in Lithuania now.
Flee to the Duchy of Warsaw!
He who uarrels with the Tsar of Russia...
will never have peace again in his life!
He has to keep fighting! Or rot in Siberia!
We'll blame this incident on those of you...
who have fled,
and on Major Plut, so we'll save our own skins.
I won't say good-bye. I hope that by spring,
Lithuania will be free again.
And the country that you left as fugitives...
wilI see you come back as liberators.
You Poles think that all Russians are rogues.
But say, if anyone asks you, that you once knew, a captain, named...
Nikita Nikitich Rykov, decorated with 8 medals and 3 crosses.
This one for Otchakov, Ismailov,
Novi, llov,
and Korsakov's famous retreat from Zurich.
He received a sword for valor, 3 approvals from the Field-Marshal,
2 from the Tsar, and 4 honorable mentions, all in writing.
But, Captain, what will become of us...
if you let us down?
Is your word good?
You Poles! Your homeland!
I, Rykov, understand. I obey the Tsar, but feel sorry for you.
What have we against you?
Russiafor the Russians, Poland for the Poles!
But the Tsar doesn't see it that way.
Captain, you're a brave man, everyone knows it here,
you've lived among us for years.
Good friend, be not angry at this gift, we meant no offense.
We collected these ducats, because you're not a rich man.
All my yagers! My whole company!
Destroyed! It was all Plut's fault.
He's the Major. He'll answerfor to the Tsar.
But keep your money. My captain's pay isn't generous,
but it's enough for my punch and my pipe.
I like you. With you, I eat, drink, and am merry.
You can count on me to defend you.
At the inuiry, I promise...
I'll say we came on a visit,
that we had a drink, danced, and got a bit tipsy,
and that Plut accidentally gave the word to fire.
He started it and lost his regiment.
Plut is alive,
he may play you a trick.
He's a cunning fellow.
We need to stuff his mouth with bank notes.
You, the gentleman with the long sword,
have you called on Plut? Have you spoken to him?
Will Plut keep uiet? Did he give his word?
I swear it on my penknife: Plut won't betray us.
He'll talk no more... to anyone.
,,One day the woIf becomes prey".
May he rest in peace!
Though God pointed the way.
I'm not guilty of this blood. I knew nothing.
Warden, you'll answer heavily for this to God.
There's only one excuse for it. If it was done
not out of stupid revenge, but...
in the public interest.
Pro publico bono!
I must tell you what I know since yesterday with certainty:
Tadeusz is sincerely taken with Zosia.
He must propose before he leaves.
I have spoken to Telimena,
Zosia agrees to the wishes of her tutors.
My good uncle, I'd be happy to be married,
to have Zosia...
as my wife.
I'll be frank: today, it's impossible.
For several reasons: I'm leaving for a long time.
A new man may win her.
I don't wish to bind her will,
to beg for affection I haven't deseed.
That would be unworthy.
If we can't marry this young couple, let's betroth them...
before they're separated. You know how often...
a young traveler is exposed to temptation.
But when he glances at his ring,
the young man remembers...
that he's already betrothed,
and the fever of seduction soon cools in him.
Believe me, a ring has great power.
I, myself, 30 years ago...
Perhaps I shall soon return To my country. Then, uncle...
I'll remember your promise...
and get on my knees to beg Zosia for her hand, if she's still free.
Father, what do you think? He loves her,
and Zosia and Telimena have agreed.
My son!
May God protect you!
You still won't tell him, my brother?
Still the poor lad remain in ignorance now that he's leaving us?
Why should he know...
that his father is hiding...
like a scoundrel, or a murderer?
God knows how much I longed to tell him my name.
I sacrificed that desire to God to atone for my sins.
You're leaving so soon?
I have a present for you and a warning, too.
Always carry these relics wherever you may be
and this picture also, and remember me.
God guide you safely on you way and bless with
uick return in health and happiness.
I must now bid you good-bye.
Keep well,
think of me...
and sometimes, say a prayerfor me,
Count, why do you insist on departing?
You'll be safe...
on your estate.
You know the government we're dealing with.
They'll fine you less than haIf of your income!
That doesn't suit me at all!
Since I can't be a lover, I'll be a hero.
But what prevents you from loving and being happy?
The power of my destiny.
Alas! I see that nothing can keep you here.
When you lead your regiment into battle, glance tenderly...
at these ribbons from your beloved.
May they protect you under the fore of cannons,
against shining spears and sulfurous rains.
And when through your warlike deeds,
you're covered with laurels,
remember the hand that pinned these colors on you.
Dear Count,
it's late.
It's time to think of yourself.
At your age, and in your weak condition,
you can't leave with the others.
Time is running out for me. Send for the parish priest...
to give me the last rites. Send away everyone but Geazy.
I am Jacek Soplica!
In the name of Holy God! So it's the truth!
It's you ...
You're Jacek, you're a Soplica... In a monk's cowl...
you lived by begging! The mustachioed Jacek, a begging monk!
Great is Divine Justice! Now...
you won't escape me!
no more do I fear the anger of men. I am already
under the hand of God.
I swore it! Whoever spilled a drop of Horeszko blood...
I entreat you in the name of Christ,
who forgave his murderers,
to relent...
and hear in patience what I have to say.
You know, Geazy,
how often Horeszko invited me to his table. He toasted me,
proclaiming, as he raised his glass,
that he had no betterfriend than Jacek Soplica.
If he'd agreed to the marriage how happy we'd have been!
Who knows, perhaps we'd all still be living?
But now?
He destroyed us both. His daughter and I. That murder...
and all its conseuences, all my sufferings,
all my transgressions...
But I have no right to accuse him, I am his murderer.
I forgive him, with all my heart.
But he, too... If he hadn't invited me, who knows?
Maybe I'd have left.
I went up to the gate. Satan enticed me the there.
During the Russian assault.
I watched them. You know how they stormed your castle...
but I was not in league with the Russians...
Your defense was courageous, you know it.
Russians fell all around me. Those brutes aim badly.
But with their defeat, my rage came back:
Horeszko would be the winner!
I seized a gun, raised it to my shoulder,
I scarcely aimed, the shot wend off.
A single spark brought death. Did I flee
when you aimed at me from above? I stared at the barrels of your gun.
A strange grief pined me to the ground.
Why? Geazy...
Why did you miss me?
God knows...
I sincerely wished to hit you. How much blood you shed...
with your one shot! How many disasters...
have fallen upon us and yourfamily.
All through yourfault, Jacek.
Yet when today the Russians shot at the Count,
who is Horeszko by the female line, you protected him.
And when the Russians shot at me, you threw me to the ground.
You saved the Count's life and mine.
I'll set foot no more upon your threshold. We are even.
Now it's up to God!
I implore you to remain, this won't take long.
Hardly have the strength to conclude.
Warden, tonight I shall die.
What, brother?
Your wounds is trifling.
Why call the priest? You're just poorly bandaged.
You need the doctor. In my medicine chest, I have...
It's too late, brother.
My old wound from the battle of Jena healed poorly.
It opened again, and gangrene has set in.
I know about wounds:
when blood is black as soot, what can a doctor do?
But that counts little. We die but once, it doesn't matter when.
Geazy, forgive me, I must finish...
I slew him less...
out of hatred than foolish arrogance. So I had to humble myself.
I became a monk, an alms-gathering monk.
Did I exceed my instructions by preaching rebellion?
Who knows, maybe I have sinned anew?
You wanted revenge? You have it.
To free Poland was the supreme of my life,
my last worldly hope on earth,
an idea I cherished like my dearest child,
and you have shattered it. And I forgive you!
To sadden a dying man is a crime, I know.
I'll tell you something that maybe...
will console you.
When my late master was wounded,
and that I, on my knees, leaned over his chest,
wetting my saber with his blood, swearing to avenge him,
he shook his head...
and pointing at the gate where you stood,
he drew a cross in the air, letting me know...
that he forgave his murderer. I understood it, too.
But so great was my rage...
that of that sign of the cross, I never said a word.
Napoleon has declared war...
on Russia.
Bonaparte has proclaimed it to the world.
Peace to this house!
Now let your seant, Lord, go in peace!
Spring! Happy is he who beheld it in our country!
Memorable spring of was and abundance.
Spring! You bloomed with flowers, corn, and grass,
men in glittering uniforms,
heavy with events, rich with hope.
I see you still, like a beautiful dream.
Born in slavery, chained from the cradle,
I saw but one such spring in my life.
Soplicowo was beside the Niemen. Two generals had crossed it:
our Prince Joseph and King Jerome.
Having entered Lithuania,
the troops got three days' rest...
But the Polish soldiers...
protested this,
so eager were they to fight the Russians.
The Prince halted in a neighboring town,
but Soplicowo had a camp of 40.000 men. And Generals Dąbrowski,
Kniaziewicz, Małachowski, Giedrojc and Grabowski.
Yes, yes, my dear Protazy.
Yes, my dear Geazy.
Strange have been the destinies of Poland...
...and Lithuania.
So like a married couple!
God joins them, the devil divides. God says white, the devil says black.
Zosia, whose hand Tadeusz asked in marriage
a year ago already, is now betrothed.
,,Miss Zosia", now she should be called.
She's grown up,
she's no longer a child,
she's of noble descent, the grand-daughter of Horeszko.
The destiny of this young lady is to reconcile the two warring families.
Zosia, you must tell me this at all. cost, before we exchange rings.
You were ready to give me your promise last winter.
At that time I did not accept such aforced consent.
Maybe you were only accepting me...
to obey your uncle and aunt.
Marriage is a serious matter. Listen to your heart,
not to the entreaties of an uncle or an aunt.
If you feel nothing but friendship for me,
we can postpone our betrothal. I cannot bind you.
We'll wait, Zosia.
Before you left, if you remember,
Father Robak died that stormy night,
and you were very sad to be leaving,
you had tears in your eyes.
Those tears deeply touched my heart.
Since then, I've trusted you.
Yes, yes, my dear Geazy.
Yes, my dear Protazy.
Had Zosia been counseled...
to dress that way, or was it her instinct?
A young girl knows what suits her best.
In any case, that morning,
Telimena had scolded her for refusing...
to dress fashionably.
But her tears prevailed, and she wore her village costume.
All admired her and applauded. One officer took out some paper,
sharpened a pencil, gazed at Zosia...
and began to draw.
The Judge immediately recognized this artist:
The Count, though he had greatly changed,
with his warriors air, his mustache and goatee.
How are you, noble Count?
You keep a traveling painters kit in your cartridge box?
It was indeed the Count,
not long a soldier,
but a wealthy one,
who'd formed his own regiment, fought well in his first battle,
so Napoleon made him a colonel. The Judge greeted him
and congratulated. But the Count concentrated on his sketch.
Betrothed to the Notary,
Telimenaflashed all her beauty,
bedecked in the latest fashion.
Do my eyes deceive me?
In my presence, you hold another man's hand?
Have you forgotten your vows?
I was duped! Why did I wear these ribbons?
Only across my body, will my rival reach the altar!
I'm not a Notary's wife yet! You can stop me from becoming one,
if you answer right away.
Do you love me? Is your heart unchanged?
Will you marry me at once? If so, I'll give up the Notary.
O woman beyond comprehension!
Once yourfeelings were poetic. Today you seem to me...
altogether prosaic. Who knows?
Maybe the Earth so yearns for the Sun yet remains dear to the Moon,
solely because these stars, as they get closer,
can never meet!
Enough of that! I'm not a planet!
I'm a woman, Count!
I know what's coming next, stop this chatter.
I warn you: if you say one word that could jeopardize my marriage,
these nails will scratch out your eyes!
Fear not for your happiness!
Tadeusz and Zosia didn't sit at the table.
They waited upon their peasants.
For such was the ancient custom:
at the first feast, the masters act as seants.
I need your counsel on a serious matter.
My uncle is not opposed to this.
The villages that I possess belong to you right.
Now that we've recovered our dear country,
why should the peasants get nothing more than new masters?
Let's grant them theirfreedom.
Let's give them the land they were born on,
where they toil, grow our bread, and make us rich.
It's not for me, a woman, to decide. I'm too young to advise you.
I'll accept whatever you decide.
You'll be dearer still to my heart...
if, by freeing the villagers, you make us poorer.
Let me tend to our home.
You'lI see how fast I'll learn to manage it!
No one dared to play...
on the dulcimer in Jankiel's presence.
So they begged him to play but he refused and said...
My hands are stiff.
I don't dare play before such distinguished company.
He bowed. Zosia came up to him.
...she said...
I beg of you, play, this is my betrothal.
Play, dear Jankiel.
You promised me you would.
Now it's time... to dance a polonaise!
The Chamberlain advanced rolled up his sleeves,
twirled his mustache, offered his arm to Zosia,
and, with a polite bow, invited her to dance.
Lithuania! My country! You are like health.
Your worth is only known to those who have lost you.
Today, your beauty I see and can describe,
because I yearn for you.
Holy Virgin who guards Częstochowa...
and shines above the Ostra Gate,
who protects our country and its faithful people,
who restored me as a child to life,
when placed in your care by my meeping mother...
you opened my dying eyes, thus enabling me...
to walk to your shrine...
to thank God for the life you gave back to me.
Now, by such a miracle, return me to my country.
Carry my grieving soul...
to those hills and green meadows, that stretch along the blue Niemen,
to those many-hued fields of grain,
and silvery rye.
Translators: M. Leśniewski & A. Whitelaw
P S 2004
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