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With weak and womanish scruples. Now my Wengeance
Beckons me onwards with a warrior's mien,
And claims that life, my pity robb'd her of
Now will I kill thee, thankless slave! and count it
Among my comfortable thoughts hereafter.
And all my little ones fatherless—
Die thou first.
[They fight; Onoonio disarms Isidobe, and in dis-
arming him throws his suord up that recess oppo
site to which they were standing. Isidone hurries
into the recess with his torch, Ondonio follows him;
a loud cry of . Traitor! Monster 1, is heard from
the cavern, and in a moment Oabonio returns
I have hurl’d him down the chasin' Treason for treason.
He dreamt of it: henceforward let him sleep
A dreamless sleep, from which no wife can wake him.
His dream too is made out—Now for his friend.
Heart-chilling Superstition! thou canst glaze
Even Pity's eye with her own frozen tear.
In vain I urge the tortures that await him;
Even Selma, reverend guardian of my childhood,
My second mother, shuts her heart a :ainst me !
Well, I have won from her what most imports
The present need, this secret of the dungeon,
Known only to herself.-A Moor! a Sorcerer!
No, I have faith, that nature ne'er permitted
Baseness to wear a form so noble. True,
1 doubt not, that Ordonio had suborn'd him
To act some part in some unholy fraud;
As little doubt, that for some unknown purpose
He hath baffled his suborner, terror-struck him,
And that Ordonio meditates revenge!
But my resolve is fix'd myself will rescue him,
And learn if haply he know aught of Alvar.
Still sad?—and gazing at the massive door
Of that fell Dungeon which thou ne'er hadst sight of,
Save what, perchance, thy infant fancy shaped it,
When the nurse still'd thy cries with unmeant threats.
Now by my faith, Girl! this same wizard haunts thee!
A stately man, and eloquent and tender—
[With a sneer.
Who then need wonder if a lady sighs
oven at the thought of what these stern Dominicans—
reness (with solemn indignation).
The horror of their ghastly punishments
Doth so o'ertop the height of all compassion,
That I should feel too little for mine enemy,
If it were possible I could feel more,
Even though the dearest inmates of our household
Were doom'd to suffer them. That such things are—
Hush, thoughtless woman!
' Wide Appendix, Note 2.
Nay, it wakes within me
More than a woman's spirit. -
No more of this—
What if Monviedro or his creatures hear us;
I dare not listen to you.
My honour'd lord,
These were my Alvar's lessons; and whene'er
I bend me o'er his portrait, I repeat them,
As if to give a voice to the mute image.
--—We have mourn'd for Alvar.
Of his sad fate there now remains no doubt.
Have I no other son 2 -
Speak not of him
That low imposture That mysterious picture :
If this be madness, must I wed a madman 2
And if not madness, there is mystery,
And guilt doth lurk behind it.
Is this well?
Yes, it is truth: saw you his countenance?
How rage, remorse, and scorn, and stupid fear,
Displaced each other with swift interchanges?
O that I had indeed the sorcerer's power! ——
I would call up before thine eyes the image
Of my betrothed Alvar, of thy first-born:
His own fair countenance, his kingly forehead,
His tender smiles, love's day-dawn on his lips'
That spiritual and almost heavenly light
In his commanding eye—his mien heroic,
Virtue's own native heraldry! to man
Genial, and pleasant to his guardian angel.
Whene'er he gladden'd, how the gladness spread
Wide round him! and when oft with swelling tears,
Flash'd through by indignation, he bewail'd
The wrongs of Belgium's martyrd patriots,
Oh, what a grief was there—for joy to envy,
Or gaze upon enamour'd :
O my father!
Recall that morning when we knelt together,
And thou didst bless our loves! O even now,
Even now, my sire to thy mind's eye present him,
As at that moment he rose up before thee,
Stately, with beaming look Place, place beside him
Ordonio's dark perturbed countenance
Then bid me (Oh thou couldst not) bid me turn
From him, the joy, the triumph of our kind
To take in exchange that brooding man, who never
Lifts up his eye from the earth, unless to scowl.
Ungrateful woman' I have tried to stifle
An old man's passion was it not enough,
That thou hast made my son a restless man,
Banish'd his health, and half unhinged his reason;
But that thou wilt insult him with suspicion 1
And toil to blast his honour ! I am old,
A comfortless old man
0 Grief to hear
Hateful entreaties from a voice we love!
Enter a Peasant and presents a letter to Valdez.
: To float for ever with a careless course, And think myself the only being alive!
• Ile dares not venture hither's Why what can this My children —Isidore's children!—Son of Valdez,
• Lest the Familiars of the Inquisition,
That watch around my gates, should intercept him;
But he conjures me, that without delay
I hasten to him—for my own sake entreats me
To guard from danger him I hold imprison'd—
tie will reveal a secret, the joy of which
Will even outweigh the sorrow.--Why what can this
Perchance it is some Moorish stratagem,
To have in me a hostage for his safety.
Nay, that they dare not Ho! collect my servants! -
I will go thither—let them arm themselves.
Teness (alone). -
The moon is high in heaven, and all is hush'd.
Yet, anxious listener! I have seem'd to hear
A low dead thunder mutter through the night,
As "t were a giant angry in his sleep.
O Alvaro Alvar: that they could return, -
Those blessed days that imitated heaven,
When we two wont to walk at even-tide;
When we saw nought but beauty; when we heard
The voice of that Almighty One who loved us
In every gale that breathed, and wave that murmur'd :
O we have listen'd, even till high-wrought pleasure
Hath half assumed the countenance of grief,
And the deep sigh seem'd to heave up a weight
of bliss, that press'd too heavy on the heart.
ALha dra. Yon hanging woods, that touch'd by autumn seem As they were blossoming hues of fire and gold; The flower-like woods, most lovely in decay, The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the sands, Lie in the silent moonshine: and the owl, (Strange! very strange the screech-owl only wakes Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of beauty: Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching song To a herd of wolves, that skulk athirst for blood. Why such a thing an I?—Where are these men I need the sympathy of human faces, To beat away this deep contempt for all things, Which quenches my revenge. Oh! would to Alla, The raven, or the sea-mew, were appointed To bring me food! or rather that my soul Could drink in life from the universal air! It were a lot divine in some small skiff
Along some Ocean's boundless solitude,
This hath new-strung mine arm. Thou coward tyrant :
To stupify a woman's heart with anguish, iTill she forgot—even that she was a mother! [she fixes her eye on the earth. Then drop in one after
another, from different parts of the stage, a considerable number of 310 rescoes, all in Moorish garments and Moorish armour. They form a circle at a distance round Alh von A, and remain silent till the Second in command, Naomi, enters, distinguished by his dress and armour, and by the silent obeisance paid to him on his entrance by the other Moors. NAu Mt.
woman" may Alla and the prophet bless thee! lexit value, we have obey'd thy call. Where is our chief:
And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish garments:
Ala Apna (raising her eyes, and looking round on the circle).
Warriors of Mahomet faithful in the battle!
My countrymen Come ye prepared to work
An honourable deed! And would ye work it in the slave's garb: Curse on those Christian robes! They are spell-blasted : and whoever wears them, tlis arm shrinks wither d, his heart melts away,
That he is fatherless—a desolate orphan!
Why should we wake them : Can an infant's arm
Revenge his murder?
one Monescoe to another).
Did she say his murder?
Murder'd by a Christian : [They all at once draw their sabres. A in Anna (to NAomi, who advances from the circle. Brother of Zagri" fling away thy sword; This is thy chieftains: [He steps forward to take it. Dost thou dare receive it? For I have sworn by Alla and the Prophet, No tear shall dim these eyes, this woman's heart Shall heave no groan, till I have seen that sword Wei with the life-blood of the son of Valdez! [4 pause. Ordonio was your chieftain's murderer! Naomi. He dies, by Alla! All (kneeling). By Alla! ALHA on A.
This night your chieftain arm'd himself,
| And hurried from me. But I follow'd him
| At distance, till I saw him enter—there!
The cave, no
A Ltt A DRA.
Yes, the mouth of yonder cavern.
After a while I saw the son of Waldez
Rush by with Ilaring torch; he likewise enter'd.
There was another and a longer pause;
And once, methought I heard the clash of swords!
And soon the son of Waldez re-appear'd :
Ile slung his torch towards the moon in sport,
And seein’d as he were mirthful' I stood listening,
Impatient for the footsteps of my husband!
n Ad Mi.
Thou called'st him :
A lot A draw.
I crept into the cavern—
T was dark and very silent. [Then wildly.
What saidst thou?
No! no! I did not dare call, Isidore,
Lest I should hear no answer! A brief while,
| Belike, I lost all thought and memory
Of that for which I came! After that pause,
0 ileaven! I heard a groan, and follow'd it :
And yet another groan, which guided me
into a strange recess—and there was light,
A hideous light! his torch lay on the ground;
Its flame burnt dimly o'er a chasm's brink:
I spoke; and whilst I spake, a feeble groan
Came from that chasm' it was his last! his death-groan.'
Comfort her, Alla.
Ai. It Ada A.
I stood in unimaginable trance
And agony that cannot be remember'd,
Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan'
But I had heard his last : my husband's death-groan.'
Haste! let us onward,
Ai, to Ann A.
I look'd far down the pit– My sight was bounded by a jutting fragment: And it was stain d with blood. Then first I shriek'd, My eye-balls burnt, my brain grew hot as fire, And all the hanging drops of the wet roof Turn'd into blood—I saw them turn to blood! And I was leaping wildly down the chasm, When on the farther brink I saw his sword, And it said, Vengeance!—Curses on my tongue! The moon liath inoved in Heaven, and I am here, And he hath not had vengeance! Isidore! Spirit of Isidore! thy murderer lives! Away" away!
This is the process of our love and wisdom
To each poor brother who offends against us–
Most innocent, perhaps—and what if guilty?
Is this the only cure? Merciful God!
Each pore and natural outlet shrivell'd up
By ignorance and parching poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart
And stagnate and corrupt, till, changed to poison,
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot!
Then we call in our pamper'd mountebanks:
And this is their best cure uncomforted
And friendless solitule, groaning and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapours of his dungeon
By the lamp's dismal twilight! So he lies
Circled with evil, till his very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deform'd
By sights of evermore deformity!
With other ministrations thou, O Nature!
Healest thy wandering and distemper'd child:
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets;
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters!
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
(lis angry spirit heal’d and harmonized
By the benignant touch of love and beauty.
I am chill and weary! Yon rude bench of stone,
In that dark angle, the sole resting-place'
Sut the self-approving mind is its own light,
And life's best warmth still radiates from the heart
Where love sits brooding, and an honest purpose.
[Retires out of sight.
Enter Teresa with a Taper.
has chill'd my very life—my own voice scares me; Yet when I hear it not I seem to lose The substance of my being—my strongest grasp Sends inwards but weak witness that I am. I seek to cheat the echo.—Ilow the half sounds Blend with this strangled light! is he not here—
- [Looking round.
O for one human face here—but to see
One human face here to sustain me.-Courage!
It is but my own fear! The life within me,
It sinks and wavers like this cone of flame,
Beyond which I scarce dare look onward' Oh!
If I faint? If this inhuman den should be
At once my death-bed and my burial vault?
[Faintly screams as Alv An emerges from the recess.
Alv An (rushes towards her, and catches her as she
O gracious heaven' it is, it is Teresa!
Shall I reveal myself? The sudden shock
Of rapture will blow out this spark of life,
And Joy complete what Terror has begun.
O ye impetuous beatings here, be still!
Teresa, best beloved pale, pale, and cold'
Her pulse doth flutter! Teresa! my Teresa!
terres a (recovering, looks round wildly).
I heard a voice; but often in my dreams
I hear that voice! and wake and try—and try-
To hear it waking! but I never could—
And t is so now—even so! Well : he is dead–
Murder'd, perhaps! And I am faint, and feel
As if it were no painful thing to die!
Believe it not, sweet maid! Believe it not,
Beloved woman! T was a low imposture,
Framed by a guilty wretch.
renesa (retires from him, and feebly supports herself
against a pillar of the dungeon).
Ha! Who art thou?
Alvah (exceedingly affected).
Suborn'd by his brother—
Didst thou murder him?
And dost thou now repent? Poor troubled man,
I do forgive thee, and may Heaven forgive thee!
If thou didst murder him—
His spirit ever at the throne of God
Asks mercy for thee: prays for mercy for thee,
With tears in Heaven!
Alvar was not murder'd.
Be calm'. Be calm, sweet maid!
Nay, nay, but tell me!
[4 pause; then presses her forehead.
O't is lost again!
This dull confused pain—
- [A pause, she gazes at Alvan.
Methinks I can not fear thee: for thine eye
Doth swim with love and pity—well! Ordonio—
Oh my foreboding heart? and he suborn'd thee,
And thou didst spare his life? Blessings shower on thee,
As many as the drops twice counted o'er -
In the fond faithful heart of his Teresa!
I can endure no more. The Moorish Sorcerer
Exists but in the stain upon his face.
Tsarsa (advances towards him).
Ha! speak on!
It told but half the truth. O let this portrait
Tell all—that Alvar lives—that he is here!
Thy much deceived but ever faithful Alvar.
[Takes her portrait from his neck, and gives it her.
Teresa (receiving the portrait).
The same—it is the same. Ah! Who art thou?
Nay I will call thee, Alvan: [She fails on his neck.
But hark! a sound as of removing bars
At the dungeon's outer door. A brief, brief while
Conceal thyself, my love! It is Ordonio.
For the honour of our race, for our dear father;
0 for himself too (he is still my brother)
Let me recall him to his nobler nature, -
That he may wake as from a dream of murder!
0 let me reconcile him to himself,
Open the sacred source of penitent tears,
And be once more his own beloved Alvar.
O my all virtuous love! I fear to leave thee
With that obdurate man.
Thou dost not leave me!
But a brief while retire into the darkness:
O that my joy could spread its sunshine round thee!
The sound of thy voice shall be my music!
[Retiring, she returns hastily and embraces Alwan.
Alvar! my Alvar! am I sure I hold thee?
Is it no dream? thee in my arms, my Alvar! [Exit.
[4 noise at the Dungeon door. It opens, and Oa-
DoNio enters, with a goblet in his hand.
or do Nio.
Hail, potent wirard! in my gaver mood
I pour'd forth a libation to old Pluto,
And as I brimm'd the bowl, I thought on thee.
Thou hast conspired against my life and honour,
Hast trick'd me foully; yet I hate thee not.
Why should I hate thee? this same world of ours,
'T is but a pool amid a storm of rain,
And we the air-bladders that course up and down,
And joust and tilt in merry tournament;
And when one bubble runs foul of another,
[Waving his hand to Alvaa.
The weaker needs must break.
I see thy heart!
There is a frightful glitter in thine eye
Which doth betray thee. Inly-tortured man!
This is the revelry of a drunken anguish,
Which fain would scoff away the pang of guilt,
And quell each human feeling.
The death of a man—the breaking of a bubble—
'T is true I cannot sob for such misfortunes;
But faintness, cold and hunger—cuses on me
If willingly I eer inflicted them!
Come, take the beverage; this chill place demands it.
[Ondo Nio proffers the goblet.
Yon insect on the wall,
Which moves this way and that its hundred limbs,
Were it a toy of mere mechanic craft,
It were an infinitely curious thing!
But it has life, Ordonio life, enjoyment:
And by the power of its miraculous will
Wields all the complex movements of its frame
Unerringly to pleasurable ends!
Saw I that insect on this goblet's brim
I would remove it with an anxious pity! -
What meanest thou?
There's poison in the wine.
or dox io.
Thou hast guess'd right; there's poison in the wine.
There's poison in 't—which of us two shall drink it?
For one of us must die!
Whom dost thou think me?
ontoonio. The accomplice and sworn friend of Isidore. ALWAR. I know him not. And yet methinks, I have heard the name but lately. Means he the husband of the Moorish woman? Isidore? Isidore? oad onio. Good! good! that lie! by heaven it has restored me. Now I am thy master!—Villain thou shalt drink it, Or die a bitterer death. A LW. Art. What strange solution Hast thou found out to satisfy thy fears, And drug thern to unnatural sleep? [Alvah takes the goblet, and throwing it to the ground with stern contempt. My master! of nonio. Thou mountebank' ALWAR. Mountebank and villain! What then art thou? For shame, put up thy sword! What boots a weapon in a wither'd arm I fix mine eye upon thee, and thou tremblest! I speak, and fear and wonder crush thy rage, And turn it to a motionless distraction! Thou blind self-worshipper! thy pride, thy cunning, Thy faith in universal villany, Thy shallow sophisms, thy pretended scorn For all thy human brethren—out upon them' What have they done for thee? have they given thee peace? Cured thee of starting in thy sleep? or made The darkness pleasant when thou wakest at midnight! Art happy when alone? Canst walk by thyself With even step and quiet cheerfulness? Yet, yet thou mayest be saved—— oaponio (vacantly repeating the words). Saved 2 saved 2 ALWAR. One pang ! Could I call up one pang of true Remorse! of dox io. Ile told me of the babes that prattled to him, His fatherless little ones! Remorse! Remorse! Where got'st thou that fool's word? Curse on Remorse! Can it give up the dead, or recompact A mangled body: mangled—dash'd to atoms' Not all the blessings of a host of angels Can blow away a desolate widow's curse! And though thou spill thy heart's blood for atonement, It will not weigh against an orphan's tear! Alvan (almost overcome by his feelings). But Alvar—— on do Nino. Ha! it chokes thee in the throat, Even thee; and yet I pray thee speak it out. Still Alvar' Alvar!—howl it in mine ear, Heap it like coals of fire upon my heart, And shoot it hissing through my brain' ALWAR. Alas! That day when thou didst leap from off the rock Into the waves, and grasp'd thy sinking brother, And bore him to the strand; then, son of Waldez,
How sweet and musical the name of Alvar!
Then, then, Ordonio, he was dear to thee,
And thou wert dear to him; Heaven only knows
How very dear thouwert! Why didst thou hate him?
0 heaven how he would fall upon thy neck,
And weep forgiveness!
Spirit of the dead!
Methinks I know thee! has my brain turns wild
At its own dreams!—off–off fantastic shadow !
I fain would tell thee what I am! but dare not!
oft in onio.
Cheat' villain! traitor! whatsoever thou be—
I fear thee, man!
Teresa (rushing out and falling on Alvah's neck).
Ordonio !’t is thy brother.
[ondonio with frantic wildness runs upon Alvaa
with his sword. Teresa flings herself on On-
DoNio and arrests his arm.
Stop, madman, stop
Does then this thin disguise impenetrably
Ilide Alvar from thee? Toil and painful wounds
And long imprisonment in unwholesome dungeons,
Have marr'd perhaps all trait and lineament
Of what I was! But chiefly, chiefly, brother,
My anguish for thy guilt!
Nay, nay, thou shalt embrace me.
oado Nio (drawing back, and gazing at Alvah with
a countenance of at once awe and terror).
Touch me not!
Touch not pollution, Alvar! I will die.
[He attempts to fall on his suord, Alvan and
Tshes A prevent him.
We will find means to save your honour. Live, Oh live, Ordonio ! for our father's sake! Spare his grey hairs! o ten esa. And you may yet be happy. of Donio.
0 horror! not a thousand years in heaven
Could recompose this miserable heart,
Or make it capable of one brief joy!
Live! Live! Why yes!'t were well to live with you :
For is it fit a villain should be proud 1
My brother! I will kneel to you, my brother:
Forgive me, Alvar!—Curse me with forgiveness!
Alv A. R.
Call back thy soul, Ordonio, and look round thee:
Now is the time for greatness! Think that heaven—
0 mark his eye! he hears not what you say.
ondonio (pointing at the vacancy).
Yes mark his eye there's fascination in it!
Thou saidst thou didst not know him—That is he
He comes upon me! -
Heal, O heal him, heaven'
on do Nio.
Nearer and nearer! and I can not stir
Will no one hear these stifled groans, and wake me?