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Three years ago, three years this very week,
Not till my husband's free! I may not do it
I will stay here.
Who is this Isidore ? (You needs must recollect it by your wound), You were at sea, and there engaged the pirates,
Daughter! The murderers doubtless of your brother Alvar!
(TERESA looks al MONVIEDRO wilh disgust and with your permission, my dear Lord,
[Exeunt VALDEZ, MONVIEDRO, and ORDONIO MONVIEDRO (10 VALDEZ, and pointing at ORDONIO). Hah! there he goes! a bitter curse go with him, What! is he ill, my Lord ? how strange he looks !
A scathing curse!
(Then as if recollecting herself, and with a timid look) You press’d upon him too abruptly, father,
You hate him, don't The fate of one, on whom, you know, he doted.
TERESA (perceiving that ALHADRA is conscious she has ORDONIO (starting as in sudden agitation).
spoken imprudently). O Heavens! I? I-doted ? (then recovering himself). Oh fear not me! my heart is sad for you.
Yes! I doted on him. [ORDONIO walks to
end of the stage. These fell inquisitors ! these sons of blood ! VALDEZ follows, soolhing him.
As I came on, his face so madden'd me,
And half unsheathed it-
Be more calm, I pray you
And as he walked along the narrow path I will return. In very truth, I grieve To have been the occasion. Ho! attend me, woman! Close by the mountain's edge, my soul grew eager;
'T was with hard toil I made myself remember ALHADRA (to TERESA).
That his Familiars held my babes and husband. O gentle lady! make the father stay,
To have leapt upon him with a tiger's plunge, Until my Lord recover. I am sure,
And hurl'd him down the rugged precipice, That he will say he is my husband's friend.
O, it had been most sweet! Stay, father! stay! my Lord will soon recover.
Hush! hush for shame! ORDONIO (as they return, to VALDEZ) Where is your woman's heart? Strange, that this Monviedro Should have the power so to distemper me !
O gentle lady!
You have no skill to guess my many wrongs, Nay, 'twas an amiable weakness, son !
Many and strange! Besides (ironically), I am a Chris MONVIEDRO.
tian, My Lord, I truly grieve
And Christians never pardon—'tis their faith!
Shame fall on those who so have shown it to thee! A sudden seizure, father! think not of it.
ALHADRA. As to this woman's husband, I do know him.
I know that man ; 'tis well he knows not me. I know him well, and that he is a Christian.
Five years ago (and he was the prime agent),
Five years ago the holy brethren seized me.
What might your crime be?
I was a Moresco! I cannot say ; but grant me this, good father :
They cast me, then a young and nursing mother, Myself I'll sist him: if I find him sound,
Into a dungeon of their prison-house,
Where was no bed, no fire, no ray of light,
No touch, no sound of comfort! The black air,
It was a toil to breathe it! when the door,
Slow opening at the appointed hour, disclosed
One human countenance, the lamp's red flame And your late merits in this holy warfare,
Cower'd as it enter'd, and at once sunk down. Would authorize an ampler trust—you have it
Oh miserable! by that lamp to see
My infant quarrelling with the coarse hard bread I will attend you home within an hour.
Brought daily : for the little wretch was sicklyVALDEZ.
My rage had dried away its natural foou Meantime, return with us and take refreshment. In darkness I remain'd—the dull bell counting,
Which haply told me, that all the all-cheering Sun
[Alvar sinks down and hides his face in his robe. And peevish cries so fretted on my brain
TERESA. That I have struck the innocent babe in anger.
See, we have disturb'd him.
[Approaches nearer to him. 0 Heaven! it is too horrible to hear.
I pray you think us friends—uncowl your face.
For you seem faint, and the night breeze blows healing What was it then to suffer ? "Tis most right I pray you think us friends! That such as you should hear it.—Know you not,
ALVAR (raising his head).
Calm, very calm!
And she spoke to me with her innocent voice,
That voice, that innocent voice! She is no traitress ,
Let us retire. (Haughtily 10 ALHADRA).
[They advance to the front of the Stage. I saw the blessed arch of the whole heaven!
ALHADRA (with scorn). "T was the first time my infant smiled. No more
He is indeed a Christian. For if I dwell upon that moment, Lady,
ALVAR (aside). A trance comes on which makes me o'er again
She deems me dead, yet wears no mourning gannent! All I then was—my knees hang loose and drag,
Why should my brother's wife--wear mourning And my lip falls with such an idiot laugh,
garments ? That you would start and shudder!
I had just started from a frightful dream.
Dreams tell but of the Past, and yet, 't is said,
The Past lives o'er again
In its effects, and to the guilty spirit
The ever-frowning Present is its image. Unfit for boisterous times, with gentle heart
TERESA. He worships Nature in the hill ana valley,
Traitress! (Then aside). Not knowing what he loves, but loves it all
What sudden spell o'ermasters me?
Why seeks he me, shunning the Moorish woman? Enler Alvak disguised as a MORESCO, and in Moorish [TERESA looks round uneasily, but gradually be garments.
comes attentive as Alvar proceeds in the
next speech. TERESA
I dreamt I had a friend, on whom I leant
With blindest trust, and a betrothed maid,
Whom I was wont to call not mine, but me:
For mine own self seem'd nothing, lacking her. Who hides himself among the Alpuxarras.
This maid so idolized that trusted friend
Dishonor’d in my absence, soul and body!
And murderers were suborn'd against my life.
But by my looks, and most impassion'd words, He wears the Moorish robes too, I roused the virtues that are dead in no man, As in defiance of the royal edict.
Even in the assassins' hearts! they made their terms (ALHADRA advances to Alvar, who has walked 10 And thank'd me for redeeming them from murder. the back of the stage near the rocks. TERESA
ALHADRA. drops her veil.
You are lost in thought: hear him no more, sweet Lady! ALHADRA Gallant Moresco! An inquisitor, Monviedro, of known hatred 10 our race
From morn to night I am myself a dreamer,
And slight things bring on me the idle mood !
Well, Sir, what happen'd then?
On a rude rock, He deeme, that we are plotting to ensnare him: A rock, methought, fast by a grove of firs, Speak to him, Lady—none can hear you speak, Whose thready leaves to the low breathing gale And not believe you innocent of guile.
Made a soft sound most like the distant ocean,
I stay'd as though the hour of death were pass'd, No start, no jealousy of stirring conscience!
And she referr'd to me-fondly, methought!
Could she walk here if she had been a traitress ? The dews fell clammy, and the night descended, Here, where we play'd together in our childhood! Black, sultry, close! and ere the midnight hour, Here, where we plighted vows?' where her cold A storm came on, mingling all sounds of fear,
cheek That woods, and sky, and mountains, seem'd one Received my last kiss, when with suppress'd feeling havoc.
She had fainted in iny arms? It cannot be!
A wild and mountainous Country. ORDONIO and IsiALVAR (his voice trembling, and in tonesof deep distress). DORE are discovered, supposed at a little distance
She would have died, from ISIDORE's house. Died in her guilt-perchance by her own hands!
OR DONIO. And bending o'er her self-inflicted wounds,
Here we may stop: your house distinct in view, I might have met the evil glance of frenzy,
Yet we secured from listeners.
Basking in sunshine on yon vine-clad rock,
That over-brows it! Patron! Friend! Preserver!
Thrice have you saved my life. Once in the battle My soul is full of visions all as wild !
You gave it me: next rescued me from suicide, ALHADRA.
When for my follies I was made to wander, There is no room in this heart for puling love-tales.
With mouths to feed, and not a morsel for them TERESA (lists up her veil, and advances to ALVAR).
Now, but for you, a dungeon's slimy stones
Had been my bed and pillow.
Good Isidore !
Why this to me? It is enough, you know it
A common trick of Gratitude, my Lord,
Seeking to ease her own full heart-
Enough But if some undiscover'd wrongs oppress you,
A debt repaid ceases to be a debt. And you need strength to drag them into light,
You have it in your power to serve me greatly. The generous Valdez, and my Lord Ordonio, Have arm and will to aid a noble sufferer;
And how, my Lord ? I pray you to name the thing. Nor shall you want my favorable pleading. I would climb up an ice-glaz'd precipice [Exeunt TERESA and Alhadra. To pluck a weed you fancied !
ORDONIO (with embarrassment and hesitation). ALVAR (alone). 'Tis strange! It cannot be! my Lord Ordonio!
Why—thalLady Her Lord Ordonio! Nay, I will not do it! I cursed him once-and one curse is enough!
"Tis now three years, my Lord, since last I saw you How bad she look’d, and pale! but not like guilt- Have you a son, my Lord ? And her calm tones—sweet as a song of mercy!
ORDONIO. If the bad spirit retain'd his angel's voice,
(Aside Hell scarce were Ilell. And why not innocent ? Isidore! you are a man, and know mankind. Who meant to murder me, might well cheat her? I told you what I wish'd—now for the truth But ere she married him, he had stain'd her honor; She lov'd the man you kill'd. Ah! there I am hamper’d. What if this were a lie ISIDORE (looking as suddenly alarmer). Framed by the assassin ? Who should tell it him,
You jest, my Lord? If it were truth? Ordonio would not tell him.
ORDONIO. Yet why one lie? all else, I know, was truth. And till his death is proved, she will not wed me.
You sport with me, my Lord ?
My Lord—my Lord,
I can bear much-yes, very much from you! Come, come! this foolery But there's a point where sufferance is meanness : lives only in thy looks: thy heart disowns it! I am no villain-never kill'd for hire
O ay—your gratitude !
Who proffers his past favors for my virtueWcar a quaint garment, make mysterious antics—
ORDONIO (with biller scorn).
Virtue! I am dull, my Lord! I do not comprehend you.
Tries to o'erreach me--is a very sharper,
And should not speak of gratitude, my Lord.
I knew not 't was your brother!
And who told you ? She is a lone enthusiast, sensitive, Shivers, and cannot keep the tears in her eye:
He himself told me.
Ha! you talk'd with him!
And those, the two Morescoes who were with you ? With a strange music, that she knows not of With fumes of frankincense, and mummery, Then leave, as one sure token of his death, Both fell in a night-brawl at Malaga. That portrait, which from off the dead man's neck
ORDONIO (in a low voice). I bade thee take, the trophy of thy conquest.
Will that be a sure sign?
Yes, my Lord, I could not tell you !
I thrust away the thought-it drove me wild.
But listen to me now, I pray you listen-
OR DONIO. (By some base spell he had bewitch'd her senses), Villain! no more! I'll hear no more of it. She whisper'd such dark fears of me, forsooth,
ISIDORE. As made this heart pour gall into my veins.
My Lord, it much imports your future safety
That you should hear it.
ORDON10 (turning off from ISIDORE.)
Am not I a Man! Known only to her lover and herself.
"Tis as it should be! tut-the deed itself
Was idle, and these after-pangs still idler!
We met him in the very place you mention'd.
Hard by a grove of firs—
He fought us valiantly, and wounded all;
Why-why, my Lord ! In fine, compellid a parley. You know you told me that the lady loved you,
ORDONIO (sighing, as if lost in thought).
ORDONIO (with eager suspicion).
Yes--I spurn'd it.he speaks in the third person).
He promised us I know not what-in vain! This fellow is a Man-he kill'd for hire
Then with a look and voice that overawed me, One whom he knew not, yet has tender scruples ! He said, What mean you, friends ? My life is dear :
[Then turning to Isidore. I have a brother and a promised wife, These doubts, these fears, thy whine, thy stammer- Who make life dear to me—and if I fall, ing
That brother will roam earth and hell for vengeance. Pish, fool! thou blunder'st through the book of guilt, There was a likeness in his face to yours • Spelling thy villany.
I ask'd his brother's name: he said-Ordonio,
Son of Lord Valdez! I had well-nigh fainted.
Doubtiess you question’d him?
"T was my intentica
Lurk everywhere, already (as it seemd) As he had been made of the rock that propt his Had given commission to his apt familiar back
To seek and sound the Moor ; who now returning Ay, just as you look now
w-only less ghastly! Was by this trusty agent stopp'd midway.
Yet within hearing. So the Moor was question'd,
And in your name, as lord of this domain.
And you kill'd him ? Proudly he answer'd, “Say to the Lord Ordonio, Oh blood-hounds! may eternal wrath flame round He that can bring the dead to life again!" you!
Ay, all of him is strange.
(A parise. He call'd himself a Christian, yet he wears Oh cold-cold-cold! shot through with icy cold!
The Moorish robes, as if he courted death.
Where does this wizard live? The consequence the same-dead through his plotting!
ISIDORE (pointing to the distance).
You see that brouklet ORDONIO. O this unutterable dying away-here
Trace its course backward: through a narrow opening This sickness of the heart!
It leads you to the place.
What if I went
How shall I know it?
(A pause. You cannot err. It is a small green dell What have I done but that which nature destined,
Built all around with high off-sloping hills, Or the blind elements stirr'd up within me? And from its shape our peasants aptly call it Jf good were meant, why were we made these Be- The Giant's Cradle. There's a lake in the midst, ings?
And round its banks tall wood that branches over, And if not meant
And makes a kind of faery forest grow
Down in the water. At the further end
pause, during which his features are forced into For ever curling like a wreath of smoke,
Up through the foliage of those faery trees. A gust of the soul! i' faith, it overset me.
His cot stands opposite. You cannot miss it O't was all folly—all ! idle as laughter!
ORDONIO (in retiring stops suddenly at the edge of the Now, Isidore! I swear that thou shalt aid me.
scene, and then turning round to ISIDORE). ISIDORE (in a low voice).
Ha Who lurks there? Have we been overheard ! I'll perish first!
There, where the smooth high wall of slate-rock glit-
'Neath those tall stones, which, propping each the Some of your servants know me, I am certain
Form a mock portal with their pointed arch! There's some sense in that scruple ; but we'll mask Pardon my smiles! "T is a poor Idiot Boy,
Who sits in the sun, and twirls a bough about, you.
His weak eyes seethed in most unmeaning tears They'll know my gait: but stay! last night I watch'd And so he sits, swaying his cone-like head: A stranger near the ruin in the wood,
And, staring at his bough from morn to sun-se, Who as it seem'd was gathering herbs and wild flow-See-saws his voice in inarticulate noises ! I had follow'd him at distance, seen him scale 'Tis well ! and now for this same Wizard's Lair. Its western wall, and by an easier entrance Stole after him unnoticed. There I mark'd, Some three strides up the hill, a mountain ash That, 'mid the chequer-work of light and shade, Stretches its lower boughs and scarlet clusters With curious choice he pluck'd no other flowers O'er the old thatch. But those on which the moonlight fell: and once I heard him mutiering o'er the plant. A wizard
I shall not fail to find it. Some gaunt slave prowling here for dark employment
(Eseunt ORDONIO and ISIDORL