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This day's event has laid on me the duty
Of opening out my story ; you must hear it,
And without further preface.-In my youth,
Except for that abatement which is paid
I was the pleasure of all hearts, the darling rocks—night stormy-irregular sound of a bell
Of every tongue—as you are now. You've heard HERBERT enters exhausted.
That I embarked for Syria. On our voyage Her. That Chapel-bell in mercy seemed to guide me, Was hatched among the crew a foul Conspiracy But now it mocks my steps ; its fitful stroke
Against my honour, in the which our Captain Can scarcely be the work of human hands.
Was, I believed, prime Agent. The wind fell; Hear me, ye Men, upon the cliffs, if such
We lay becalmed week after week, until There be who pray nightly before the Altar. The water of the vessel was exhausted ; Oh that I had but strength to reach the place ! I felt a double fever in my veins, My Child-my child-dark-dark-I faint—this Yet rage suppressed itself ;-to a deep stillness wind
Did my pride tame my pride ;—for many days, These stilling blasts—God help me!
On a dead sea under a burning sky,
I brooded o'er my injuries, deserted
Better this bare rock, By man and nature ;—if a breeze had blown, Though it were tottering over a man's head,
It might have found its way into my heart,
And I had been—no matter-do you mark me? Than a tight case of dungeon walls for shelter From such rough dealing.
Mar. Quick-to the point-if any untold crime
Doth haunt your memory.
Patience, hear me further ! Trees creaking in the wind (but none are here)
One day in silence did we drift at noon Send forth such noises—and that weary bell !
By a bare rock, narrow, and white, and bare ; Surely some evil Spirit abroad to-night
No food was there, no drink, no grass, no shade, Is ringing it'twould stop a Saint in prayer,
No tree, nor jutting eminence, nor form And that-what is it? never was sound so like
Inanimate large as the body of man, A human groan. Ha ! what is here! Poor Man
Nor any living thing whose lot of life Murdered ! alas! speak-speak, I am your friend : Might stretch beyond the measure of one moon. No answer-hush--lost wretch, he lifts his hand
To dig for water on the spot, the Captain And lays it to his heart—(Kneels to him). I pray
Landed with a small troop, myself being one: you speak !
There I reproached him with his treachery. What has befallen you !
Imperious at all times, his temper rose ; Her. (feebly).
A stranger has done this, He struck me ; and that instant had I killed him, And in the arms of a stranger I must die.
And put an end to his insolence, but my Comrades Eld. Nay, think not so: come, let me raise
Rushed in between us : then did I insist you up :
[Raises him. (All hated him, and I was stung to madness) This is a dismal place-well—that is well
That we should leave him there, alive !—we did so. I was too fearful-take me for your guide
Mar. And he was famished ?
Naked was the spot ; And your support—my hut is not far off.
Methinks I see it now-how in the sun
Its stony surface glittered like a shield ;
Alone but for a swarm of minute creatures
Not one of which could help him while alive, OSWALD.
Or mourn him dead. Mar. But for Idonea !--I have cause to think Mar.
A man by men cast off, That she is innocent.
Left without burial ! nay, not dead nor dying, Osv.
Leave that thought awhile, But standing, walking, stretching forth his arms, As one of those beliefs which in their hearts In all things like ourselves, but in the agony Lovers lock up as pearls, though oft no better
With which he called for mercy; and—even so— Than feathers clinging to their points of passion.
He was forsaken?
There is a power in sounds : Three sleepless nights I passed in sounding on, The cries he uttered might have stopped the boat Through words and things, a dim and perilous way; That bore us through the water
And, wheresoe'er I turned me, I beheld Mar.
You returned A slavery compared to which the dungeon Upon that dismal hearing--did you not ?
And clanking chains are perfect liberty. Osw. Some scoffed at him with hellish mockery, You understand me—I was comforted ; And laughed so loud it seemed that the smooth sea I saw that every possible shape of action Did from some distant region echo us.
Might lead to good—I saw it and burst forth Mar. We all are of one blood, our veins are filled Thirsting for some of those exploits that fill At the same poisonous fountain !
The earth for sure redemption of lost peace. Osw. 'Twas an island
[Marking MARMADUKE's countenance. Only by sufferance of the winds and waves, Nay, you have had the worst. Ferocity Which with their foam could cover it at will. Subsided in a moment, like a wind I know not how he perished; but the calm, That drops down dead out of a sky it vexed. The same dead calm, continued many days. And yet I had within me evermore Mar. But his own crime had brought on him A salient spring of energy ; I mounted this doom,
From action up to action with a mind
Have I lived many days—my sleep was bound
But had a continuity and substance Osw.
The man had never wronged me. That waking life had never power to give. Mar. Banish the thought, crush it, and be at Mar. 0 wretched Human-kind !-- Until the peace.
mystery His guilt was marked these things could never be of all this world is solved, well may we envy Were there not eyes that see, and for good ends, The worm, that, underneath a stone whose weight Where ours are baffled.
Would crush the lion's paw with mortal anguish, Osw.
I had been deceived. Doth lodge, and feed, and coil, and sleep, in safety. Mar. And from that hour the miserable man Fell not the wrath of Heaven upon those traitors! No more was heard of ?
Osw. Give not to them a thought. From Palestine Osw.
I had been betrayed. We marched to Syria : oft I left the Camp, Mar. And he found no deliverance !
When all that multitude of hearts was still, Osv.
The Crew And followed on, through woods of gloomy cedar, Gave me a hearty welcome ; they had laid Into deep chasms troubled by roaring streams ; The plot to rid themselves, at any cost,
Or from the top of Lebanon surveyed
The moonlight desert, and the moonlight sea :
And felt, if aught on earth deserves a curse,
A thing so great to perish self-consumed. Osw.
Nay, command yourself. --So much for my remorse! Mar. It is a dismal night-how the wind howls ! Mar.
Unhappy Man ! Osw. I hid my head within a Convent, there Osw. When from these forms I turned to conLay passive as a dormouse in mid winter.
I seemed a Being who had passed alone
A fresh tide of Crusaders I may not, cannot, follow thee. Drove by the place of my retreat : three nights Osw.
You must. Did constant meditation dry my blood;
I had been nourished by the sickly food
Of popular applause. I now perceived
But what is done will save you from the blank That we are praised, only as men in us
Of living without knowledge that you live : Do recognise some image of themselves,
Now you are suffering—for the future day, An abject counterpart of what they are,
'Tis his who will command it.—Think of my storyOr the empty thing that they would wish to be. Herbert is innocent. I felt that merit has no surer test
Mar. (in a faint voice, and doubtingly) You do Than obloquy; that, if we wish to serve
but echo The world in substance, not deceive by show, My own wild words? We must become obnoxious to its hate,
Young Man, the seed must lie Or fear disguised in simulated scorn.
Hid in the earth, or there can be no harvest; Mar. I pity, can forgive, you ; but those 'Tis Nature's law. What I have done in darkness wretches
I will avow before the face of day.
Herbert is innocent.
What fiend could prompt False Shame discarded, spurious Fame despised, This action ? Innocent !-oh, breaking heart ! Twin sisters both of Ignorance, I found
Alive or dead, I 'll find him.
[Erit. Life stretched before me smooth as some broad way Osw.
Alive-perdition ! [Erit. Cleared for a monarch’s progress. Priests might spin Their veil, but not for me—'twas in fit place Among its kindred cobwebs. I had been, And in that dream had left my native land,
SCENE, the inside of a poor Cottage. One of Love's simple bondsmen—the soft chain
ELEANOR and IDONKA scated. Was off for ever ; and the men, from whom Idon. The storm beats hard-Mercy for poor This liberation came, you would destroy :
or rich, Join me in thanks for their blind services.
Whose heads are shelterless in such a night! Mar. 'Tis a strange aching that, when we would A Voice without. Holla! to bed, good Folks,
within ! And cannot.-You have betrayed me—I have Elea.
O save us ! done
Idon. What can this mean? I am content-I know that he is guiltless
Alas, for my poor husband !-That both are guiltless, without spot or stain, We'll have a counting of our flocks to-morrow; Mutually consecrated. Poor old Man !
The wolf keeps festival these stormy nights : And I had heart for this, because thou lovedst Be calm, sweet Lady, they are wassailers Her who from very infancy had been
(The voices die away in the distance. Light to thy path, warmth to thy blood !—Together Returning from their Feast-my heart beats so-
[Turning to OSWALD. A noise at midnight does so frighten me. We propped his steps, he leaned upon us both. Idon. Hush !
[Listening. Osw. Ay, we are coupled by a chain of adamant; Elca. They are gone. On such a night, my Let us be fellow-labourers, then, to enlarge
husband, Man's intellectual empire. We subsist
Dragged from his bed, was cast into a dungeon, In slavery ; all is slavery ; we receive
Where, hid from me, he counted many years,
Not even in theirs—whose brutal violence
I have a noble Friend Which for a season I have stooped to wear, First among youths of knightly breeding, One Must be cast off.— Know then that I was urged, Who lives but to protect the weak or injured. (For other impulse let it pass) was driven, There again !
[Listening. To seek for sympathy, because I saw
Elea. 'Tis my husband's foot. Good Eldred you a mirror of my youthful self ;
Has a kind heart ; but his imprisonment
Has made him fearful, and he 'll never be
I will retire ;-good night ! Therein for ever you must yield to me.
[She goes within.
Elea. Eldred, you are a father.
Eld. God knows what was in my heart, and will Eld. Not yet in bed, Eleanor !-there are stains not curse my son for my sake. in that frock which must be washed out.
Elea. But you prayed by him! you waited the Elea. What has befallen you !
hour of his release! Eld. I am belated, and you must know the cause Eld. The night was wasting fast ; I have no -(speaking low) that is the blood of an unhappy friend ; I am spited by the world—his wound Man.
terrified me-if I had brought him along with me, Elea. Oh! we are undone for ever.
and he had died in my arms!—I am sure I heard ; Eld. Heaven forbid that I should lift my hand something breathing—and this chair ! against any man. Eleanor, I have shed tears to- Elea. Oh, Eldred, you will die alone. You will night, and it comforts me to think of it.
have nobody to close your eyes-no hand to grasp Elea. Where, where is he?
your dying hand—I shall be in my grave. A curse Eld. I have done him no harm, but it will will attend us all. be forgiven me ; it would not have been so once.
Eld. Have you forgot your own troubles when I Elea. You have not buried anything? You are was in the dungeon ? no richer than when you left me ?
Elea. And you left him alive? Eld. Be at peace ; I am innocent.
Eld. Alive !—the damps of death were upon him Elea. Then God be thanked
- he could not have survived an hour. [A short pause ; she falls upon his neck. Elea. In the cold, cold night. Eld. To-night I met with an old Man lying Eld. (in a savage tone). Ay, and his head was stretched upon the ground—a sad spectacle : 1 bare ; I suppose you would have had me lend my raised him up with a hope that we might shelter bonnet to cover it.—You will never rest till I am and restore him.
brought to a felon's end. Elea. (as if ready to run). Where is he? You Elea. Is there nothing to be done ? cannot we go were not able to bring him all the way with you ; to the Convent ? let us return, I can help you.
Eld. Ay, and say at once that I murdered (ELDRED shakes his head. him! Eld. He did not seem to wish for life : as I was Elea. Eldred, I know that ours is the only house struggling on, by the light of the moon I saw the upon the Waste ; let us take heart ; this Man may stains of blood upon my clothes—he waved his be rich ; and could he be saved by our means, his hand, as if it were all useless ; and I let him sink gratitude may reward us. again to the ground.
Eld. 'Tis all in vain. Elea. Oh that I had been by your side !
Elea. But let us make the attempt. This old Eld. I tell you his hands and his body were cold Man may have a wife, and he may have children -how could I disturb his last moments? be strove --- let us return to the spot; we may restore to turn from me as if he wished to settle into him, and his eyes may yet open upon those that sleep.
love him. Elea. But, for the stains of blood
Eld. He will never open them more ; even when Eld. He must have fallen, I fancy, for his head he spoke to me, he kept them firmly sealed as was cut; but I think his malady was cold and if he had been blind. hunger.
Idon. (rushing out). It is, it is, my FatherElea. Oh, Eldred, I shall never be able to look Eld. We are betrayed (looking at IDONEA). up at this roof in storm or fair but I shall Elea. His Daughter !—God have mercy ! (turntremble,
ing to IDONEA). Eld. Is it not enough that my ill stars have kept I don. (sinking down). Oh! lift me up and carry me abroad to-night till this hour! I come home, me to the place. and this is my comfort !
You are safe ; the whole world shall not harın you. Elea. But did he say nothing which might have Elea. This Lady is his Daughter. set you at ease ?
Eld. (moved). I 'll lead you to the spot. Eld. I thought he grasped my hand while he Idon. (springing up). Alive !-you heard him was muttering something about his Child – his breathe ? quick, quick
[Erezent Daughter-(starting as if he heard a noise). What is that?
A human voice distinct, struck on my ear.
So guided, distant a few steps, I found
An aged Man, and such as you describe.
Enter Oswald and a Forester.
That I may see him.
Eld. That fastened there, as it would check the current.
On a ridge of rocks Osw. He listened too; did you not say he listened ? A lonesome Chapel stands, deserted now : Por. As if there came such moaning from the The bell is left, which no one dares remove ; flood
And, when the stormy wind blows o'er the peak, As is heard often after stormy nights.
It rings, as if a human hand were there Osw. But did he utter nothing ?
To pull the cord. I guess he must have heard it ; For.
See him there!
And it had led him towards the precipice,
To climb up to the spot whence the sound came ; MARMADUKE appearing.
But he had failed through weakness. From his Mar. Buzz, buzz, ye black and winged freebooters;
hand That is no substance which ye settle on ! For. His senses play him false ; and see, his arms Of a small pool of water he was laid,
His staff had dropped, and close upon the brink Outspread, as if to save himself from falling !
As if he had stooped to drink, and so remained Some terrible phantom I believe is now
Without the strength to rise. Passing before him, such as God will not
Well, well, he lives, Permit to visit any but a man
And all is safe : what said he ? Who has been guilty of some horrid crime.
But few words : (MARMADUKE disappears. O8w. The game is up !
He only spake to me of a dear Daughter, Por.
If it be needful, Sir, Who, so he feared, would never see him more ;
And of a Stranger to him, One by whom
He had been sore misused; but he forgave
The wrong and the wrong-doer. You are trou
Perhaps you are his son ?
The All-seeing knows, We must be gentle. Leave him to my care.
I did not think he had a living Child.
(Exit Forester. If his own eyes play false with him, these freaks
But whither did you carry him ?
He was torn,
His head was bruised, and there was blood about A shadow of myself-made by myself.
Nor was it mine.
Mar. But had he strength to walk? I could have SCENE, the edge of the Moor.
borne him MARMADURE and ELDRED enter from opposite sides. A thousand miles. Mar. (raising his eyes and perceiving ELDRED). Eld.
I am in poverty, In any corner of this savage Waste, And know how busy are the tongues of men ; Have you, good Peasant, seen a blind old Man ? My heart was willing, Sir, but I am one Eld. I heard
Whose good deeds will not stand by their own light; Mar.
You heard him, where? when And, though it smote me more than words can tell, heard him?
I left him.
Mar. I believe that there are phantoms,
Eld. My wife and children came into my mind.