Imagens das páginas
PDF

The Inquisition, too—You comprehend me?
You are poor, in peril. I have wealth and power,
Can quench the flames, and cure your poverty:
And for the boon I ask of you, but this,
That you should serve me—once—for a few hours.
Alvah (solemnly).
Thou art the son of Waldez! would to Heaven
That I could truly and for ever serve thee.
on donto.

The slave begins to soften. [4side.

You are my friend,
« He that can bring the dead to life again,”
Nay, no defence to me! The holy brethren
Believe these calumnies—I know thee better.
(Then with great bitterness.)
Thou art a man, and as a man I'll trust thee!
Alvah (aside).
Alas! this hollow mirth—Declare your business.
on donio.
I love a lady, and she would love me,
But for an idle and fantastic scruple.
Have you no servants here, no listeners?
[Ondo Nio steps to the door.
ALWAR.
What, faithless too? False to his angel wife?
To such a wife? Well mightst thou look so wan,
Ill-starr'd Teresa!—Wretch! my softer soul
Is pass'd away, and I will probe his conscience'
ot, toonio.
In truth this lady loved another man,
But he has perish'd.
ALWAR. -
what you kill'd him! hey!
on Donio.
I'll dash thce to the earth, if thou but think'st it!
Insolent slave : how daredst thou—
[Turns abruptly from Alvan, and then to himself.
Why! what's this?
'Twas idiotcy! I'll tie myself to an aspen,
And wear a fool's cap—
Alvah (watching his agitation).
Fare thee well—
I pity thee, Ordonio, even to anguish.
[Alvan is retiring.
oaponio (having recovered himself).
ho! (Calling to Alvah.
ALWAR.
Be brief: what wish you?
on Donio.
You are deep at bartering—You charge yourself
At a round sum. Come, come, I spake unwisely.
ALWAR.
I listen to you.
on to onio.
In a sudden tempest,
Did Alvar perish—he, I mean—the lover—
The fellow, -
ALW An.
Nay, speak out!'t will ease your heart
To call him villain!—Why standst thou aghast!
Men think it natural to hate their rivals.
ondonio (hesitating).
Now, till she knows him dead, she will not wed me.
Alvah (with eager vehemence).
Are you not wedded then? Merciful Heaven!
Not wedded to Teresa

on too Nio.
Why whatails thee!
What, art thou mad? why look'st thou upward so?
Dost pray to Lucifer, Prince of the Air?
Alvah (recollecting himself).
Proceed, I shall be silent.
[Alvah sits, and leaning on the table, hides his face.
of donto. -
To Teresa 7
Politic wizard! ere you sent that message,
You had conn'd your lesson, made yourself proficient
In all my fortunes. Hah! you prophesied
A golden crop! Well, you have not mistaken—
Be faithful to me and I'll pay thee nobly.
Alvah (lifting up his head).
Well! and this lady?
on Donio. .
If we could make her certain of his death,
She needs must wed me. Ere her lover left her,
She tied a little portrait round his neck,
Entreating him to wear it.
Alvah (sighing).
Yes! he did so
on nonio.
Why no: he was afraid of accidents,
Of robberies, and shipwrecks, and the like.
In secrecy he gave it me to keep,
Till his return.
A LWAR.
What! he was your friend then
onnonio (wounded and embarrassed).
I was his friend.—
Now that he gave it me
This lady knows not. You are a mighty wizard–
Can call the dead man up—he will not come–
He is in heaven then—there you have no influence:
Still there are tokens—and your imps may bring you
Something he wore about him when he died.
And when the smoke of the incense on the altar
Is pass'd, your spirits will have left this picture.
What say you now?
Alvah (after a pause).
Ordonio, I will do it.
ondonio.
We'll hazard no delay. Be it to-night,
In the early evening. Ask for the Lord Waldez.
I will prepare him. Music too, and incense
(For I have arranged it—Music, Altar, Incense),
All shall be ready. Here is this same picture,
And here, what you will value more, a purse.
Come early for your magic ceremonies.
ALWAR.
I will not fail to meet you.
oft donto.
Till next we meet, farewell !
[Exit Onnoxio.
Alvah (alone, indignantly flings the purse away, and
gazes passionately at the portrait).
And I did curse thee?
At midnight? on my knees? and I believed
Thee perjured, thee a traitress! Thee dishonour'd?
O blind and credulous fool! O guilt of folly!
Should not thy in articulate Fondnesses,
Thy Infant Loves—should not thy Maiden Vows
Have come upon my heart? And this sweet Image,
Tied round iny neck with many a chaste endearment,

And thrilling hands, that made me weep and tremble—
Ah, coward dupe! to yield it to the miscreant,
who spake pollution of thee! barter for Life
This farewell Pledge, which with impassion'd Wow
I had sworn that I would grasp-ev’n in my death-pang!

[blocks in formation]

on ind Nio. This was too melancholy, Father. WALDEz. Nay, My Alvar loved sad music from a child. Once he was lost; and after weary search We found him in an open place in the wood, To which spot he had follow'd a blind boy, Who breathed into a pipe of sycamore Some strangely moving notes: and these, he said, Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw Stretch'd on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank: And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep, His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleased me To mark how he had fasten’d round the pipe A silver toy his grandam had late given him. Methinks I see him now as he then look’d— Even so!—He had outgrown his infant dress, Yet still he wore it. A Lva R. My tears must not flow! I must not clasp his knees, and cry, My father!

Enter TEResa, and Attendants.

rer is A. Lord Waldez, you have asked my presence here, And I submit; but (Heaven bear witness for me) My heart approves it not! t is mockery, on do NIO. Believe you then no preternatural influence Believe you not that spirits throng around us? to tars A. Say rather that I have imagined it A possible thing: and it has soothed my soul As other fancies have; but ne'er seduced me To traffic with the black and frenzied hope That the dead bear the voice of witch or wizard. (To Alvan). Stranger, I mourn and blush to see you here,

On such employment! With far other thoughts I left you. oaponio (aside). Ha! he has been tampering with her? ALWAR. O high-soul’d Maiden! and more dear to me Than suits the Stranger's name!— I swear to thee I will uncover all concealed guilt. Doubt, but decide not! Stand ye from the altar. [Here a strain of music is heard from behind the scene. Alva R. With no irreverent voice or uncouth charm I call up the Departed Soul of Alvar ! Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell: So may the Gates of Paradise, unbarr'd, Cease thy swift toils! Since haply thou art one Of that innumerable company Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow, Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion, With noise too vast and constant to be heard: Fitliest unheard For oh, ye numberless And rapid travellers! what ear unstunn'd, What sense unmadden'd, might bear up against The rushing of your congregated wings? [Music. Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head' [Music expressive of the movements and images that follow. Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desert Sands, That roar and whiten, like a burst of waters, A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion To the parch'd caravan that roams by night! And ye build upon the becalmed waves That whirling pillar, which from Earth to Heaven Stands vast, and moves in blackness! Ye too split The ice mount and with fragments many and huge Tempest the new-thaw'd sea, whose sudden gulfs Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff! Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance, Till from the blue swoln Corse the Soul toils out, And joins your mighty Army. [Here behind the scenes a voice sings the three words, a Hear, Su'eet Spirit." Soul of Alvar' Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker Charm! By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang of a half dead, yet still undying Hope, Pass visible before our mortal sense So shall the Church's cleansing rites be thine, Her knells and masses that redeem the Dead!

[blocks in formation]

Doleful Masses chaunt for thee, Miserere Domine!

Hark! the cadence dies away
On the yellow moonlight sea:

The boatmen rest their oars and say,
Miserere Domine!

ost oxgo. The innocent obey nor charm nor spell! My brother is in heaven. Thou sainted spirit, Burst on our sight, a passing visitant: Once more to hearthy voice, once more to see thee, O't were a joy to me! AlwarA joy to thee! what if thou heard'st him now what if his spirit Re-enter'd its cold corse, and came upon thee With many a stab from many a murderer's poniard? What if his stedfast Eye still beaming Pity And Brother's love) he turn'd his head aside, Lest he should look at thee, and with one look Hurl thee beyond all power of Penitence? wat Dez. These are unholy fancies: oadoxio (struggling with his feelings). Yes, my father, He is in Heaven : Alvar (still to Ordoxto). But what if he had a brother, Who had lived even so, that at his dying hour, The name of Heaven would have convulsed his face, More than the death-pang ! waldez. Idly prating man Thou hast guess'd ill : Don Alvar's only brother Stands here before thee—a father's blessing on him ' He is most virtuous. Alvah (still to Ordonio). What, if his very virtues Had pamper'd his swoln heart and made him proud 1 And what if Pride had duped him into guilt? Yet still he stalk"d a self-created God, Not very bold, but exquisitely cunning; And one that at his Mother's looking-glass would force his features to a frowning sternness? Young Lord! I tell thee, that there are such Beings— Yea, and it gives fierce merriment to the damn'd, to see these most proud men, that loath mankind, At every stir and buzz of coward conscience, 1, ich, cant, and lie, most whining hypocrites : Away, away ! Now let me hear more music.

[ocr errors]

[A long pause.

[Music again.

Still prompts thee wisely. Let the pangs of guilt
Surprise the guilty: thou art innocent
[Exeunt Teresa and Attendant.
(Music as before).
The spell is mutter’d—Come, thou wandering Shape,
Who own’s no Master in a human eye,
Whate'er be this man's doom, fair be it, or foul;
If he be dead, O come and bring with thee
That which he grasp'd in death But if he live,
Some token of his obscure perilous life.
[The whole Music clashes into a Chorus,
chop us.
Wandering Demons, hear the spell!
Lest a blacker charm compel–
[The incense on the altar takes fire suddenly, and
an illuminated picture of Alvan's assassina-
tion is discovered, and having remained a
few seconds is then hidden by ascending
flames.
on boxio (starting in great agitation).
Duped : duped duped —the traitor Isidore :
[At this instant the doors are forced open, Mon-
viedho and the Familiars of the Inquisition,
Servants, etc. enter and fill the stage.
Monvikton o.
First seize the sorcerer! suffer him not to speak!
The holy judges of the Inquisition
Shall hear his first words.—Look you pale, Lord Walder
Plain evidence have we here of most foul sorcery.
There is a dungeon underneath this castle,
And as you hope for mild interpretation,
Surrender instantly the keys and charge of it.
onbonio (recovering himself as from stupor, to
Servants.)
Why haste you not? Off with him to the dungeon
[All rush out in tumult.

SC E N E II. Interior of a Chapel, with painted Windows. Enter Teh Esa.

trft Esa. When first I entered this pure spot, forebodings Press'd heavy on my heart: but as I knelt, Such calm unwonted bliss possess'd my spirit, A trance so cloudless, that those sounds, hard by, Of trampling uproar fell upon mine ear As alien and unnoticed as the rain-storm Beats on the roof of some fair banquet-room, While sweetest melodies are warbling——

Enter WAldez.

waldez. Ye pitying saints, forgive a father's blindness, And extricate us from this net of peril :

te. Resa. Who wakes anew my fears, and speaks of peril? wal, d'Ez. O best Teresa, wisely wert thou prompted This was no feat of mortal agency! That picture—Oh, that picture tells me all ! With a flash of light it came, in flames it vanish'd, Self-kindled, self-consumed: bright as thy Life, Sudden and unexpected as thy Fate, Alvar ! My son My son —The Inquisitor–

[ocr errors]

A worse sorrow

Are Fancy's wild hopes to a heart despairing !

TeRE5A.
These rays that slant in through those gorgeous windows,
From yon bright orb–though colour'd as they pass,
Are they not Light?—Even so that voice, Lord Valdez!
Which whispers to my soul, though haply varied
By many a Fancy, many a wishful hope,
Speaks yet the truth: and Alvar lives for me !

waldez.
Yes, for three wasting years, thus and no other,
He has lived for thee—a spirit for thy spirit
My child, we must not give religious faith
To every voice which makes the heart a listener
To its own wish.

tfit Esa. I breathed to the Unerring Permitted prayers. Must those remain unanswer'd, Yet impious sorcery, that holds no commune Save with the lying Spirit, claim belief ? v At.prz. 0 not to day, not now for the first time Was Alvar lost to thee— [Turning off, aloud, but yet as to himself. Accurst assassins ! Disarm’d, o'erpower'd, despairing of defence, At his bared breast he seem'd to grasp some relict More dear than was his life—— Tenesa (with a faint shriek). O Heavens! my portrait ! And he did grasp it in his death-pang ! Off, false Demon, That bearst shy black wings close above my head (Ontonio enters with the keys of the dungeon in his hand. Hush" who comes here? The wizard Moor's employer! | Moors were his murderers, you say? Saints shield us From wicked thoughts—— [Valdez moves towards the back of the stage to meet Ordonio, and during the concluding lines of Teresa's speech appears as eagerly conversing with him. Is Alvar dead what then 2 The nuptial rites and funeral shall be one! Here's no abiding-place for thee, Teresa.Away! they see me not—Thou seest me, Alvar ! To the I bend my course.—But first one question, one question to Ordonio.—My limbs tremble— | There I may sit unmark’d—a moment will restore me. [Retires out of sight. onbonio (as he advances with WAldez). These are the dungeon keys. Monviedro knew not That I too had received the wizard message,

• He that can bring the dead to life again."
But now he is satisfied, I plann'd this scheme
To work a full conviction on the culprit,
And he entrusts him wholly to my keeping.
waldez.
'T is well, my son! But have you yet discover'd
Where is Teresa! what those speeches meant—
Pride, and Hypocrisy, and Guilt, and Cunning?
Then when the wizard fix’d his eye on you,
And you, I know not why, look'd pale and trembled—
Why—why, what ails you now?—
ondonio (confused).
Me? what ails me?
A pricking of the blood–It might have happen'd
At any other time.—Why scan you me?
v Aldez.
His speech about the corse, and stabs and murderers,
Bore reference to the assassins——
oft do Nio.
Duped duped! duped!
[A pause; then wildly.
I tell thee, my dear father!
I am most glad of this.
valdez (confused).
True—Sorcery
Merits its doom; and this perchance may guide us
To the discovery of the murderers,
I have their statures and their several faces
So present to me, that but once to meet them
Would be to recognize.
on to N10.

The traitor, Isidore!

Yes! yes! we recognize them. I was benumb'd, and stagger'd up and down Through darkness without light–dark—dark—dark! My flesh crept chill, my limbs felt manacled, As had a snake coil'd round them — Now 'tis sun-shine, And the blood dances freely through its channels' [Turns off abruptly; then to himself. This is my virtuous, grateful Isidore! [Then mimicking Isidore's manner and voice. « A common trick of gratitude, my lord!" Old Gratitude! a dagger would dissect His a own full heart”—t were good to see its colour. W.A Linez. These magic sights! O that I ne'er had yielded, To your entreaties! Neither had 1 yielded, But that in spite of your own seeming faith I held it for some innocent stratagem, Which Love had prompted, to remove the doubts Of wild Teresa—by fancies quelling fancies! onnonio (in a slow voice, as reasoning to himself). Love! Love! and then we hate! and what? and wherefore? Hatred and Love! Fancies opposed by fancies' What, if one reptile sting another reptile ! Where is the crime? The goodly face of nature Hath one disfeaturing stain the less upon it. Are we not all predestined Transiency, And cold Dishonour? Grant it, that this hand Had given a morsel to the hungry worms Somewhat too early—Where's the crime of this? That this must needs bring on the idiotcy Of moist-eyed Penitence—'tis like a dream! WALD eZ. Wild talk, my son But thy excess of feeling-[Averting himself.

[ocr errors][graphic]
« AnteriorContinuar »