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As old as I am, and I'm very old,
Have served you, so have I, and I and they
Could tell a tale; but I invoke them not
To fall upon you! else they would, as erst
The pillars of stone Dagon's temple on
The Israelite and his Philistine foes.
Such power I do believe there might exist
In such a curse as mine, provoked by such
As you; but I curse not. Adieu, good
signors!

May the next duke be better than the present.

Lor. The present duke is Paschal Mali

piero.

Doge. Not till I pass the threshold of these doors.

Lor.

Do you regret a traitor? Doge.

220

Lor. Saint Mark's great bell is soon about to toll

For his inauguration.

Doge.

Earth and heaven! Ye will reverberate this peal; and I Live to hear this! - the first doge who e'er heard Such sound for his successor! Happier he, My attainted predecessor, stern Faliero This insult at the least was spared him.

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What!

No - I merely

Envy the dead.

Chief of the Ten. My lord, if you indeed Are bent upon this rash abandonment Of the state's palace, at the least retire By the private staircase, which conducts you towards

The landing-place of the canal.

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Else you dare not deal thus by them or me.
There is a populace, perhaps, whose looks
May shame you; but they dare not groan
nor curse you,
Save with their hearts and eyes.

260

Chief of the Ten. You speak in passion Else

I have spoken

Doge. You have reason. much More than my wont: it is a foible which Was not of mine, but more excuses you, Inasmuch as it shows that I approach A dotage which may justify this deed Of yours, although the law does not, nor will. Farewell, sirs! Bar. You shall not depart without An escort fitting past and present rank. We will accompany, with due respect, The Doge unto his private palace. Say! My brethren, will we not? Different voices.

270

Ay ! - Ay!

Doge.

You shall not Stir in my train at least. I enter'd here As sovereign-I go out as citizen

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627

Doge. The bell tolls on!- let's hend
my brain's on fire!

ever

Bar. I do beseech you, lean upon us !ious
Doge.

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A sovereign should die standing. My po boy!

Off with your arms! That bell! [The DOGE drops down and dies. Mar. My God! My God! Bar. (to Lor.). Behold, your work's completed!

Chief of the Ten. Is there then

No aid? Call in assistance!
Att.

'Tis all over.

Chief of the Ten. If it be so, at least his obsequies

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Shall be such as befits his name and nation,
His rank and his devotion to the duties
Of the realm, while his age permitted him
To do himself and them full justice. Bre-
thren,

Say, shall it not be so?
Bar.
He has not had
The misery to die a subject where
He reign'd: then let his funeral rites be

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princely.

Chief of the Ten. We are agreed, then? All, except Lor., answer, Yes. Chief of the Ten. Heaven's peace be

with him! Mar. Signors, your pardon: this is mock

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of life, which you have kindly orten'd:

last of duties, and may prove
ry comfort in my desolation.
is fantastical, and loves the dead,
the apparel of the grave.
Chief of the Ten.

Do you

retend still to this office? Mar.

I do, signor. Though his possessions have been all consumed

In the state's service, I have still my dowry, Which shall be consecrated to his rites, And those of [She stops with agitation. Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your children.

Mar. Ay, they are fatherless! I thank you.

Chief of the Ten. We Cannot comply with your request. His

relics

Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and follow'd

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Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad As Doge, but simply as a senator.

Mar. I have heard of murderers, who have interr'd

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Their victims; but ne'er heard, until this hour,

Of so much splendour in hypocrisy

O'er those they slew. I've heard of widows'

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tears

Alas! I have shed some - always thanks to you! -you have

I've heard of heirs in sables
left none
To the deceased, so you would act the part
Of such. Well, sirs, your will be done! as
one day,
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I trust, Heaven's will be done too!
Chief of the Ten.
Know you, lady,
To whom ye speak, and perils of such
speech?

Mar. I know the former better than yourselves; The latter like yourselves; and can face both.

Wish you more funerals?

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'Now the Serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made.' Gen. ch. iii. v. 1.

ΤΟ

SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
THIS MYSTERY OF CAIN
IS INSCRIBED,

BY HIS OBLIGED FRIEND,

AND FAITHFUL SERVANT, THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE

The following scenes are entitled 'A Mystery,' in conformity with the ancient title annexed to dramas upon similar subjects, which were styled Mysteries, or Moralities.' The author has by no means taken the same liberties with his subject which were common, formerly, as may be seen by any reader curious enough to refer to those very profane productions, whether in English, French, Italian, or Spanish. The author has endeavoured to preserve the language adapted to his characters; and where it is (and this is but rarely) taken from actual Scripture, he has made as little alteration, even of words, as the rhythm would permit. The reader will recollect that the book of Genesis does not state that Eve was tempted by a demon, but by the Serpent;' and that only because he was the most subtil of all the beasts of the field.' Whatever interpretation the Rabbins and the Fathers may have put upon this, I take the words as I find them, and reply, with Bishop Watson upon similar occasions, when the Fathers were quoted

C

to him, as Moderator in the schools of Cambridge, 'Behold the Book!'-holding up the Scripture. It is to be recollected that my present subject has nothing to do with the New Testament, to which no reference can be here made without anachronism. With the poems upon similar topics, I have not been recently familiar. Since I was twenty I have never read Milton; but I had read him so frequently before, that this may make little difference. Gesner's Death of Abel I have never read since I was eight years of age, at Aberdeen. The general impression of my recollection is delight; but of the contents I remember only that Cain's wife was called Mahala, and Abel's Thirza: in the following pages I have called them 'Adah' and 'Zillah,' the earliest female names which occur in Genesis ; they were those of Lamech's wives: those of Cain and Abel are not called by their names. Whether, then, a coincidence of subject may have caused the same in expression, I know nothing, and care as little.

The reader will please to bear in mind (what few choose to recollect), that there is no allusion to a future state in any of the books of Moses, nor indeed in the Old Testament. For a reason for this extraordinary omission he may consult Warburton's Divine Legation; whether satisfactory or not, no better has yet been assigned. I have therefore supposed it new to Cain, without, I hope, any perversion of Holy Writ.

With regard to the language of Lucifer, it was difficult for me to make him talk like a clergyman upon the same subjects; but I have done what I could to restrain him within the bounds of spiritual politeness. If he disclaims having tempted Eve in the shape of the Serpent, it is only because the book of Genesis has not the most distant allusion to any thing of the kind, but merely to the Serpent in his serpentine capacity.

man.

Note. -The reader will perceive that the author has partly adopted in this poem the notion of Cuvier, that the world had been destroyed several times before the creation of This speculation, derived from the different strata and the bones of enormous and unknown animals found in them, is not contrary to the Mosaic account, but rather confirms it; as no human bones have yet been discovered in those strata, although those of many known animals are found near the remains of the unknown. The assertion of Lucifer, that the preAdamite world was also peopled by rational beings much more intelligent than man, and proportionably powerful to the mammoth, etc., etc., is, of course, a poetical fiction to help him to make out his case.

I ought to add, that there is a 'tramelo

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Cain. Why should I speak?
To pray.

Adam.

Cain.
Have ye not pray'd?
Adam. We have, most fervently.
Cain.
And loudly: I

Have heard you.
Adam.

Abel.

Amen!

Adam. But thou, my eldest born, art
silent still.

Cain. 'Tis better I should be so.
Adam.
Wherefore so?

Cain. I have nought to ask.
Adam. Nor aught to thank for ?

Cain.

No.

Adam. Dost thou not live?
Cain.
Must I not die?
Alas!
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Eve.
The fruit of our forbidden tree begins
To fall.

Adam. And we must gather it again. Oh, God! why didst thou plant the tree of knowledge?

So will God, I trust.

Cain. And wherefore pluck'd ye not the tree of life?

Ye might have then defied him.

Adam.
Oh! my son,
Blaspheme not: these are serpent's words.
Cain.
Why not?
The snake spoke truth: it was the tree of
knowledge;

It was the tree of life: knowledge is good,
And life is good; and how can both be evil?
Eve. My boy! thou speakest as I spoke,
in sin,
Before thy birth: let me not see renew'd 40
My misery in thine. I have repented.
Let me not see my offspring fall into
The snares beyond the walls of Paradise,
Which e'en in Paradise destroy'd his par-

ents. Content thee with what is. Had we been So, Thou now hadst been contented. - Oh, my son ! Adam. Our orisons completed, let us hence,

Each to his task of toil

though Needful: the earth is young, and yields us

kindly

Her fruits with little labour.

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not heavy,

Eve. Cain, my son, Behold thy father cheerful and resign'd, 51 And do as he doth. [Exeunt ADAM and Eve.

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