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Golden stars! The wind is fair, the seamen are aboard ;
Would we had never
Broken the sleep of this fair paradise ! I love the stars - the happy stars -
- dost thou? Sorrow and sin have entered, as of old Albert. All that is beautiful resembles thee, They entered into Eden. And what resembles thee I love, my Edah!
Enough, fond fool, But know'st thou we must part?
Of your pathetic whine! who was this time Edah.
Why must we part? The wily snake that robbed the gentle Eve Oh, no! thou said'st we would not part till death! With flattering lies, of her sweet innocence ?
Albert. A spirit from my native land doch call Albert. Nay, taunt me not! lead on, and I will I may not disobey it!
follow! Edal. When called it thee?
[They go off together. Alberl. I hear it calling ever - I must hence !
Edah. Is 't death? For on the eve my sister died I saw a shadowy phantom, and I heard
SCENE V. Low voices calling – is it death thou hearest ?
The deck of the ship, all hands on board, anchor weighAlbert. No, no, my beautiful! it is not deaih,
ed, and sails sel-a crowd of natives on shore; wo But it is strong as death!- In my far land I have a mother who doth mourn for me,
men tearing their hair and uttering luud lamenta
tion-a little boat puls off, rowed by Edah. And ever, ever do I hear her voice! Edah, Oh! I would leave my mother for thy sake!
Cap. Crowd sail! let not yon little boat approach! Let me go with thee!
Albert. This moment slacken sail! take in the ! Albert. Sweet love, that cannot be !
canvas! Far, far we go beyond the setting sun!
Cap. [aside] Blind fool of headlong passion, have I cannot take thee with me. Yon dark man
your way; That ever in the ship keeps by himself,
(He folds his arms, and looks sullenly on. Is a stern chief, we dare not disobey him;
The boat comes alongside – Albert Ho would not let thee come on board with me!
throws out a ladder and descends into it. Edah. Oh woe is me! oh woe, oh woe is me!
Albert. What now, my love, would'st thou ? [She wrings her hands in an agony of
Oh do not leave me! despair - Albert embraces her tenderly. Come back and see the grotto I have decked — Albert. My dearest love! my dark-eyed island Thou said'st thou loved'st the red-rose and the lotus, beauty!
Come back and see how I have twined them for thee! Look on me, Edah, listen to my words
Thou said'st thou loved'st the gushing, fragrant meThou art the chosen bride of a white man,
lon, Be worthy of his love — this passionate grief
I've sought the island o'er to find the best;
Come back and eat it with me!
Oh, kind heart,
Edah. Each shell thou praised-pearl ones, that I cannot live if I behold thee not ;
blush inside, Thou wilt live on - thou wilt love other maids, And rosy corallines, I have collected Wilt break their hearts as thou hast broken mine! Oh come thou back! I would be slave to thee, Albert. Heaven is my witness, that I love thee, And fetch thee treasure from the great sea-caves! Edah!
I would do aught to win thee back again. Edah. My lord! my lord! swear not! didst thou
Albert. Peace, peace! poor innocent heart, thou
dost distress me! Day after day, that we should never part ?
Edah. Oh thou art angry, I have angered thee Thy words are like thy love, all perfidy!
I have said that which is unpleasing to thee! Swear not, swear not, lest the great God be angry,
Let me go with thee! I will be thy sister; And 'whelm thee in the deep. — Alas! alas!
Will watch by thee, when thou art sick or weary; What a great grief is mine!
Will gather fruits for thee; will work bright flowers (She rushes from the grolto. Into a mantle for thee: I will be Albert.
Poor wounded heart More than a loving daughter to thy mother! Thy morning is o'erclouded — a great sorrow
Albert. Thou can'st not go; but, my sweet island Will bow thy youthful beauty to the ground,
queen, And thou wilt curse the day whereon we met!
I will return to thee! now fare thee well! Kind, trusting spirit, I have done thee wrong!
Edah. Wilt thou, wilt thou indeed! oh then fare
well Enter THE CAPTAIN.
For a short season. I will watch for thee Cap. What are you tarrying still! the girl is gone, For ever from the hills, and all night long
Keep a bright beacon burning! Oh come soon, Sailors of the plague ship. (With frantic gestures.
[The ship moves off, and the sailors of
the plague-ship are heard ullering Edah. But tell me, tell me! when thou wilt come
Nighl-third night from parting will the ship-deck Edah. Ob take me! take me with you! for I know
of Albert's veçsel -- walch on deck, He never, never will come back again'
1st Man. And all to have share and share alike
in the plunder — why you can't say but that is fair SCENE VI.
enough; and yet drown me, if I like the job!
2nd Man. Neither do I! and yet if they 're dead, Mid-seas—the deck of the ship—Albert and the Cap 't will be neither robbery nor murder, and they must
tain stand together, with glasses in their hands--a be dead by this time. But somehow, it went against ship is seen in the distance, slowly making way as if my conscience to leave 'em as we did: I warrant a heavily laden.
cask o' water wouldn't have kept 'em alive a day
longer. Albert. She is a goodly ship, well-built and large, But in her aspect she has something strange;
1st Man. But th' old one said if they had water She walks the glittering waters wearily;
they would go raging mad, and eat one another. There is an air of desolation on her;
2nd Man. I say, did you see the big fellow with If she were human, I should call her haggard !
the red eyes? never saw I such a sight before!
1st Man. Well, the fearsomest thing I saw, and Cap. [to the seamen.] Quick, slacken sail! we will join company!
the saddest, was a boy about as big as my Jack, with [He looks again through his glass. hands like claws, they were so wasted away, and a "T is a strange vessel, and a stranger crew!
poor, yellow, deathly face, that set its patient leadThey look like dead men risen from their graves!
coloured eyes upon me, and for all the clamour, neAlbert. (speaking through a trumpet.) What cheer, ver said a word, but kept looking and looking, as if whence come, and whither are ye bound?
it had a meaning of its own, that I should know. And why are ye so few, and ghastly all ?
Well, I'll tell you a secret : what, said I to myself, (No answer is relurned, the ship slowly should it want but water, so I heaved up a can of takes in sail, and comes alongside.
water over to him, and I shall never forget his look, Albert. Oh heavens! they are like dead men !
to my dying day! My heart fairly sprung a leakMany weak voices from the ship.] Water! water! for what did he do with it? he tasted not a drop himCap. Speak, one of you, whence come? and self
, but poured it into a poor fellow's mouth, that what's your freight?
was lying gasping beside him-I guessed it was his Man. Our cargo is of gold, and pearl, and diamond, father! A kingly freight, from India ; but we're cursed ;
2nd Man. Well, I'll tell you what, I wish we had The plague is in the ship! All, all are dead
got it all over! It looks dismal to see that death Save we, and we are twelve! Give, give us water!
always before us. But this is the third day, and as We have not had a drop for twenty hours !
soon as morning breaks we shall come up with her Cap. (To Albert.) You see these men —
- 't were
and see what state she's in. merciful to kill them, They will go raging mad before to-morrow, And prey on one another, like wild beasts.
SCENE VIII. And then the cargo! Think you what a freight - Morning—they lay alongside the strange tessel—the Gold, pearl, and diarnond!
creu still on board, with wild looks and making me. Albert.
Nay, tempt me not — nacing geslutes.
ALBERT and the CAPTAIN stand together.
Albert. Not one of them is dead-how gaunt they To rid them of their miserable lives?
Board them at once, Сар. .
As you will!
And cut them down at once, nor thus be mouthed at! (Albert speaks with his seamen — Alberl. Still, still you are a bloody counsellor!
crowd on sail with alacrily, and the Cap. Well, if you still object unto the means, ship begins to move.
Let's leave this wretched ship to rot at once,
And give her cargo to the thankless deep!
Come, thou shalt have these diamonds on thy neck! I'm tired of dodging them - we might as well
[He takes up a necklace. Be changed to greedy sharks as follow thus
Angela. Keep back thy horrid arm!- Those These wretches day by day!
I am perplexed Oh, sir, they were my mother's! If thou have Between the wish to have, and the repugnance A mother, I conjure thee by her love, To shedding human blood !
Have pity on me! If thou have a sister, Cap.
Let's spread the sail, Think of her innocence, and wrong me not! And leave them to the sea - them and their gold! Oh, thou art young! - thou must — thou must have Albert. No, no, we'll have the gold !
pity! Сар. .
You are a man! Alberl. I have a mother — but she would not Gold is too good to pave the ocean with.
know meThrow out the grappling-irons! Board the ship, The savage creatures are my kindred now! And end their miserable lives at once!
But I will love thee, Angela — will make (A horrible scene ensues — the strange Thee queen o'th' sea-I 'll wed thee with this ring! crew is murdered - the ship plunder
[He allempls to put a ring on her finger. ed and set fire lo.
Angela. Away with thy unholy wuch! away!
(She springs to the prow of the vessel. If thou but lay thy finger on my garment,
The sea shall have a creature so polluted!
Stand off! thou shalt not drag me from this place Several hours afterwards - Albert's cabin ; he rushes Here will I die, if so the will of heaven!
in distractedly, throws his bloody cutlass on the floor, Albert. (turning aside, and pressing his hand on his and flings himself upon a couch.
forehead.] I'm mad! I knew I was !- this
throbbing pain A SAILOR enters hastily.
Is madness! - I have done a deed of hell, Sailor. There is a woman on the burning ship! And God has cursed me for it! - Angela ! Albert. Oh save her, save her! by one act of I will not do thee wrong - poor friendless child, mercy
I will not do thee wrong! (He staggers off the deck. Let us atonement make to outraged heaven!
[The sailor goes out. Oh what a bloody wretch I am become, The ocean would not cleanse my soul again,
SCENE XI. Atonement never can be made to heaven!
Night-Albert's cabin, a dim lamp is burning-Albert Not even the blood of Christ could wash me clean!
appears asleep-a skriek is heard on deck, and a [He starts up, and sees himself in a mirror.
heavy plunge into the sea - Albert starts up. My mother would not know me! no, no, no! And Constance would not know me! I am lost
Oh, gracious heaven, that is the woman's voice! The flames of hell are in my burning soul.
Where is she?- where am I ? — Ah. I have slept The gold is cursed for which I did this thing,
A blood-polluted murderer, I have slept!
Enter the CAPTAIN.
Albert. What shriek was that? - and where is (He fills a goblet several times and drinks,
Cap. Where plummet will not reach her!
Heartless wretch, And wine will ever taste thus, so will water!
Dost say she's dead with such a voice as that? The bread I eat will choke me!
If thou know'st aught of this, by all that's sacred
I am mad! Thy lise shall answer for 'ı! I am gone raging mad!
My hands are clean
Your drunken wooing frightened her last night!
She stood, her wild hair streaming in the wind,
And her pale countenance upturned to heaven?
Albert. But she is dead! The deck - Albert holding a young female by the arm - Jewels and gold are scattered aboul.
Well, as she stood at eve
Stood she at midnight, motionless, yet muttering Alberl. Thou say'st thy name is Angela - well- A thousand quick-said prayers, with clasped hands, well
Like some carved image of immortal sorrow! Thou shalt be now the angel of the ship!
Albert. Cease, thou wilt drive me mad! Shalt be my queen — my little ocean-queen ;
The loaded sails And I will deck thee in most regal fashion
Dropped momently their heavy beads of dew
Upon the silent deck, meting out time
Thou hast brought misery on me! I am dyed As the clock's ticking ;- still she stood, like death, Black in eternal shame – The fierce purgation The midnight dew in her black trailing hair, Of everlasting fire would cleanse me not! And the while moon upon her whiter face!
Cap. Come, come, my friend, we've had too much Albert. And I the while was taking senseless sleep!
of raving! Cap. The drunken watch believed themselves Are we never to meet without these squabblings? alone ;
I'm tired of them, and I have tidings for you They seized her in the darkness ;– from their grasp The rain has ceased, the tempest is abating ; She sprang into the waves, and sank for ever! The moon is struggling through the broken clouds.
Albert. And thou saw'st this, and did not strike We shall have calm anon, and gain a harbour. them dead !
(He rushes out. Albert. Tempest or calm is all alike to me: Cap. I'll let them settle it as they like best. Harbour I seek not give annihilation T was but to know if she were dead or living
An everlasting hush, and I will bless thee! That the poor men approached her!
[He goes out — the Captain follows him. (He goes to an inner chamber.
The vessel foaling without mast or rudder-famine on
board—the crew mulinous-- Albert and the Captain Night - tempest - thunder and lightning – the ship
apart from the rest-Albert sits with his head resting drives before the storm - Albert's cabin - Albert
on his hand, and his eyes fixed as if in unconscious. alone :
ness—a violent struggle is heard on the distant part
of the deck, and a body falls. Three days the storm has raged — nor is there yet Token of its abatement! All is done
Albert. What miserable sound of mortal strife That skill of man can do to save our lives;
Was that I heard e'en now ? 'The ship is lightened of her heavy lading
Two famished wretches That cursed freight for which we sold our souls Strove for a mouse, and one hath killed the other Has been cast overboard — yet rages still
And now they fight like tigers for the body! The fury of the tempest. "T is a sign
Albert. Oh, horrible! Vengeance is with us now! Of heaven's eternal punishment. -0 sin,
What further consummation can there be ? How are thy wages death! — But God is just,
[He advances along the deck with difficulty; And hath no mercy on us, who had none !
the seamen are eagerly stripping the body. The very sea hath from her jaws cast forth
Albert. My brethren in affliction, sin not thus; The murdered dead-she has made cause against us; Touch not that flesh, lest God abandon you! Pale ghastly faces, cresting the fierce waters, Male. There is no bread!- there is no drop of Keep in the vessel's wake as if in mockery!
water! And groans and cries, and curses dark as hell, These cannot speak for thirst - nor shall I long How! in the tempest — and that woman's shriek, If you have water, give it us! And the wild protestations of the men,
Alas! Are ever in our ears! The ship is full
I have it not — I shared the last with you! of terrible phantoms that pass to and fro,
Mate. Then let us have the boat, and save ourKeeping their eyes on me — they haunt him not
selves; He has no mercy, no compunction either,
Some land is near, for many flights of birds
Still that prayer! With horrible compulsion to the pit!
If they reach any shore, I am undone ! There, there they stand! I see them now around me! But 'tis ini possible !- their feeble arms Oh, learful spectres, fasten not your eyes
Could not sustain the oars -- and without compass On me with such a woful meaning! Hence! They cannot gain the land — I'm safe from them! Hence! ye do blast my vision like the lightning ! [aloud] Well, take the boat — ye can but die at last! Stand off! stand off! ye do approach too near
[The wal is launched in silence, and with The air is hot! I have not space to breathe !
difficulty — they throw in their blankets, (He rushes to the door, the Captain meets him.
and all take their senls except the inale. Cap. I heard your voice, you have got company? Mate. Now, sir, we want a compass—there are two Allert. Out of my way!- My blackest curse be Down in the cabin. on thee:
There is only one, I am a damned sinner through thy means !
And that ye shall not have! Cap. Peace, peace! your passion overmasters you! Male.
Then be our blood Albert. Have I not need to curse thee to thy Upon your head--and may the fiend keep with you! face?
[They row off in silence.
1st Mer. I know they had misgivings — for his SCENE XIV.
mother Albert's city-two merchants on 'Change.
Took to her bed in grief for his departure,
And Constance hath shunned company since then. 1st Mer. I've seen the men myself, and heard 2nd Mer. Alas, 't will break their hearts, they their story,
loved him so! In number they are seven-a ghastly crew,
4th Mer. (coming up.] I would consult you on Like walking corpses from a charnel-house ;
this dreadful business Their lips were black and shrivelled, and their jaws or Albert Luberg – Were it not most right Hung like the stiffened jaws of a dead face.
To send a vessel out to meet with him? For thirteen days they had not tasted food;
He cannot be far distant, for these men They now are lodged within the hospital;
Came hither in five days in their poor boat! And I have heard their dreadful history,
3rd Mer. If he were in another hemisphere, More horrible than their condition!
It were but right to follow him, for jastice! 2nd Mer.
1st Mer. And is not the great will of God revealed Be quick, and tell us how?
In the miraculous saving of these men ? 1st Mer. It doth involve
4th Mer. We are agreed then! Let us find a ship The credit of a well esteemed house :
Fit for this service, lightly built and swift, They are the remnant of a crew that sailed
Which may pursue him round the world itself. With Albert Luberg, on that fatal night
1st and 3rd Mer. "T is a right judgment! When, by a sudden tempest wrecked, his ship
Ah, poor Madame Luberg! Went down without the harbour. On that night,
[They all go off logether. As you perhaps have heard, for it was talked of, He joined himself unto a foreign captain, And sailed, no one knew whither. 2nd Mer. And what then?
SCENE XV. 1st Mer. This captain was a pirate, and these men Tell such a horrible story of their deeds
Street - a crowd assembled.
But Albert Luberg 1st Man. He was brought in this morning.
1st Man. No, but I saw the wreck he was taken Would blast the honour of a worthy man ;
from — nothing but a black, weather-beaten hull; it They are a lying crew - I'll not believe it! lay like an old boat on the water, you would have 1st Mer. Nay, hear the men yourself! You'll said it would go to pieces with every wave, and yet not detect
the timbers were all sound — they said it had not The semblance of a lie — 'tis a calm story; sprung a leak, nor would have perished for months. Made, by their separate testimony, sure.
3rd Man. And have they got them both ? But here comes one whom I did leave with them, 1st Man. Only Luberg; the other got off, nobody Ask him, and he will tell you this, and more.
knows how, - they say he is the devil! 3rd Mer. (coming up.] Well sir, I've heard this 2nd Man. Lord have mercy on us! doleful story through,
[The crowd increases And fresh particulars which you heard not.
4th Man. Well, I've seen him-and I wish I had It is a fearful tale; and yet is full
never set eyes on him! Oh, he's a bad man! he Of a most wholesome lesson, which will preach has a horrid look --and I remember him a proper Unto the sinner that the arm of God
young man, and the handsomest that went out of Is still stretched out to punish, let him strive
harbour ! Against it as he will — for this poor wretch,
5th Man. But he was dying of hunger when they Though he refused a compass to these men, picked him from the wreck—they say a child would That they might reach no shore to implicate him, outweigh him! poor fellow! Shall find his cruel wisdom ineffectual,
6th Man. Do you pity him, a bloody pirate! For they were guided by the arm of God
5th Man. Oh but you havn't seen his face as I Over the pathless waters, 10 this port,
have! He is like a withered old man, and has such That so his infamy might be perfected !
a look of misery! God help him! For them the sea grew calm — and a strong gale 1st Man. And what's to be done with him ? Impelled them ever forward without oars,
6th Man. They say he will be hung in irons on Which they were all unfit to ply — their sail the wreck, and then all will be sunk together! A tattered blanket!
7th Man. "T is no more than he deserves ! 2nd Mer. Ah, my heart doth ache
51h Man. If all had their deserts, who would esTo think of his poor mother, that good lady
cape the gallows ? Who ever lived in blameless reputation !
3rd Man. Let's go look at the wreck. And then her niece, the gentle, orphaned Constance! Several. Let's go!