Imatges de pÓgina

Thy sire and I will crush the snake
He kiss'd her forehead as he spake,
And Geraldine in maiden wise,
Casting down her large bright eyes,
With blushing cheek and courtesy fine
She turn'd her from Sir Leoline;
Softly gathering up her train,
That o'er her right arm fell again;
And folded her arms across her cliest,
And couch'd her head upon her breast,
And look'd askance at Christabel——
Jesu, Maria, shield her well!

A snake's small eye blinks dull and shy,
And the lady's eyes they shrunk in her head,
Each shrunk up to a serpent's eye,
And with somewhat of malice, and more of dread,
At Christabel she look'd askance:-
One moment—and the sight was fled!
But Christabel, in dizzy trance
Stumbling on the unsteady ground,
Shudder'd aloud, with a hissing sound;
And Geraldine again turn'd round,
And like a thing, that sought relief,
Full of wonder and full of grief,
She roll'd her large bright eyes divine
Wildly on Sir Leoline.

The maid, alas! her thoughts are gone,
She nothing sees—no sight but one!
The maid, devoid of guile and sin,
I know not how, in fearful wise
So deeply had she drunken in
That look, those shrunken serpent eyes,
That all her features were resigned
To this sole image in her mind:
And passively did imitate
That look of dull and treacherous hate
And thus she stood, in dizzy trance,
Still picturing that look askance
With forced unconscious sympathy
Full before her father's view——
As far as such a look could be,
In eyes so innocent and blue.
And when the trance was o'er, the maid
Paused awhile, and inly pray'd:
Then falling at the Baron's feet,
. By my mother's soul do I entreat
That thou this woman send away!"
She said : and more she could not say;
For what she knew she could not tell,
O'er-master'd by the mighty spell.
Why is thy cheek so wan and wild,
Sir Leoline? Thy only child
Lies at thy feet, thy joy, thy pride,
So fair, so innocent, so mild;

The same, for whom thy lady died. O by the pangs of her dear mother, * Think thou no evil of thy child ! For her, and thee, and for no other, She pray'd the moment cre she died; Pray'd that the babe for whom she died Might prove her dear lord's joy and pride! That prayer her deadly pangs beguiled, Sir Leoline! And wouldst thou wrong thy only child, Her child and thine?

Within the Baron's heart and brain
If thoughts like these had any share,
They only swell'd his rage and pain,
And did but work confusion there.
His heart was cleft with pain and rage,
His cheeks they quiver'd, his eyes were wild,
Dishonour'd thus in his old age;
Dishonour’d by his only child,
And all his hospitality
To the insulted daughter of his friend
By more than woman's jealousy
Brought thus to a disgraceful end–
He roll'd his eye with stern regard
Upon the gentle minstrel bard,
And said in tones abrupt, austere,
Why, Bracy' dost thou loiter here?
Ibade thee hence! The bard obey'd,
And, turning from his own sweet maid,
The aged knight, Sir Leoline,
Led forth the lady Geraldine !


A little child, a limber elf,
Singing, dancing to itself,
A fairy thing with red round cheeks
That always finds, and never seeks,
Makes such a vision to the sight
As fills a father's eyes with light;
And pleasures flow in so thick and fast
Upon his heart, that he at last
Must needs express his love's excess
With words of unincant bitterness.
Perhaps "t is pretty to force together
Thoughts so all unlike each other;
To mutter and mock a broken charm,
To dally with wrong that does no harm.
Perhaps "t is tender too and pretty
At each wild word to feel within
A sweet recoil of love and pity.
And what, if in a world of sin
(0 sorrow and shame should this be true).
Such giddiness of heart and brain
Comes seldom save from rage and pain,
So talks as it 's most used to do.



Marquis Waldez, Father to the two brothers, and Donna
Teresa's Guardian.
Dox Alvah, the eldest son.
Dox Ondo Nio, the youngest son.
Mosvikdao, a Dominican and Inquisitor.
Zuluwez, the faithful attendant on Alvar.
Isiboas, a Moresco Chieftain, ostensibly a Christian.
FAMIL1A as of THE INQUIsition.
Mooes, Seav ANTs, etc.
Donna Tshes A, an Orphan Heiress.
Alhadaa, Wife to Isidore.

Time. The reign of Philip II, just at the close of the civil wars against the Moors, and during the heat of the persecution which raged against them, shortly after the edict which forbade the wearing of Moresco apparel under pain of death.


ACT I. - SCENE I. The Sea Shore on the Coast of Granada.

Don Alvah, wrapt in a Boat-cloak, and Zulimez (a Moresco), both as just landed.

zu Li Mez. No sound, no face of joy to welcome us! ALWAR. My faithful Zulimez, for one brief moment Let me forget my anguish and their crimes. If aught on earth demand an unmix'd feeling, T is surely this—after long years of exile, To step forth on firm land, and gazing round us, To hail at once our country, and our birth-place. Hail, Spain! Granada, hail! once more I press Thy sands with filial awe, land of my fathers! zu limiez. Then claim your rights in it! 0, revered Don Alvar, Yet, yet give up your all too gentle purpose. It is too hazardous! reveal yourself, And let the guilty meet the doom of guilt! ALWAR. Remember, Zulimez! I am his brother: Injured indeed! O deeply injured! yet Ordonio's brother. zu LIMEz. Nobly-minded Alvar! This sure but gives his guilt a blacker dye. ALWAR. The more behoves it, I should rouse within him Remorse! that I should save him from himself.

zu Lim Ez. Remorse is as the heart in which it grows : If that be gentle, it drops balmy dews Of true repentance; but if proud and gloomy, It is a poison-tree that, pierced to the inmost, Weeps only tears of poison. A Lwart. And of a brother, Dare I hold this, unproved 1 nor make one effort To save him?—Hear me, friend! I have yet to tell thee, That this same life, which he conspired to take, Himself once rescued from the angry flood, And at the imminent hazard of his own. Add too my oath— ZU LiMr.Z. You have thrice told already The years of absence and of secrecy, To which a forced oath bound you: if in truth A suborn'd murderer have the power to dictate A binding oath— ALwart. My long captivity Left me no choice: the very Wish too languish'd With the fond Hope that nursed it; the sick babe Droop'd at the bosom of its famished mother. But (more than all) Teresa's perfidy; The assassin's strong assurance, when no interest, No motive could have tempted him to falsehood: In the first pangs of his awaken'd conscience, When with abhorrence of his own black purpose The murderous weapon, pointed at my breast, Fell from his palsicq hand— zuli Mez. Heavy presumption' ALWAR. It weigh’d not with me—Hark! I will tell thee all; As we passed by, I bade thee mark the base Of yonder cliff– zu LiMez. That rocky seat you mean, Shaped by the billows — ALWAR. There Teresa met me The morning of the day of my departure. We were alone: the purple hue of dawn, Fell from the kindling east aslant upon us, And, blending with the blushes on her cheek, Suffused the tear-drops there with rosy light. There seemed a glory round us, and Teresa The angel of the vision! [Then with agitation. Hadst thou seen How in each motion her most innocent soul Beam'd forth and brighten'd, thou thyself wouldst tell me, Guilt is a thing impossible in her: She must be innocent! zuli Mez (with a sigh). Proceed, my lord!

ALWAR. A portrait which she had procured by stealth (For even then it seems her heart foreboded Or knew Ordonio's moody rivalry), A portrait of herself with thrilling hand She tied around my neck, conjuring me With earnest prayers, that I would keep it sacred To my own knowledge: nor did she desist, Till she had won a solemn promise from me, that (save my own) no eye should e'er behold it Till my return. Yet this the assassin knew, knew that which none but she could have disclosed. ZU Li Mez. A damning proof' ALWAR. My own life wearied me! And but for the imperative Voice within, With mine own hand I had thrown off the burthen. That Voice, which quell'd me, calm'd me: and I sought The Belgic states: there join'd the better cause; And there too fought as one that courted death! Wounded, I fell among the dead and dying, In death-like trance: a long imprisonment follow'd. The fulness of my anguish by degrees Waned to a meditative melancholy; And still, the more I mused, my soul became More doubtful, more perplex'd ; and still Teresa, Night after night, she visited my sleep, Now as a saintly sufferer, wan and tearful, Now as a saint in glory beckoning to me! Yes, still, as in contempt of proof and reason, I cherish the fond faith that she is guiltless! Hear then my fix'd resolve: I'll linger here In the disguise of a Moresco chieftain.— The Moorish robes?— zu Li Mirz. All, all are in the sea-cave, Some furlong hence. I bade our mariners Secrete the boat there. ALWAR. Above all, the picture Of the assassination— Zu L1A1 ex. Be assured That it remains uninjured. ALWA ta. Thus disguised, I will first seek to meet Ordonio's—wife ' If possible, alone too. This was her wonted walk, And this the hour; her words, her very looks Will acquit her or convict. ZU LiMez. Will they not know you? Alvar. With your aid, friend, I shall unfearingly Trust the disguise; and as to my complexion, My long imprisonment, the scanty food, This scar, and toil beneath a burning sun, Have done already half the business for us. Add too my youth, when last we saw each other. Manhood has swoln my chest, and taught my voice A hoarser note—Besides, they think me dead: And what the mind believes impossible, The bodily sense is slow to recognize. zu Livrez. "t is yours, sir, to command ; mine to obey.

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

ter es A. I hold Ordonio dear; he is your son And Alvar's brother. Wald Ez. Love him for himself, Nor make the living wretched for the dead. Tenes A. I mourn that you should plead in vain, Lord Waldez; But heaven hath heard my vow, and I remain Faithful to Alvar, be he dead or living. WALDEZ. Heaven knows with what delight I saw your loves, And could my heart's blood give him back to thee I would die similing. But these are idle thoughts' Thy dying father comes upon my soul With that same look, with which he gave thee to me; I held thee in my arms a powerless babe, While thy poor mother with a mute entreaty Fix'd her faint eyes on mine. Ah not for this, That I should let thee feed thy soul with gloom, And with slow anguish wear away thy life, The victim of a useless constancy. I must not see thee wretched. Ter Es A. There are woes Ill barter'd for the garishness of joy! If it be wretched with an untired eye To watch those skiey tints, and this green ocean; Or in the sultry hour beneath some rock, My hair dishevell d by the pleasant sea-breeze, To shape sweet visions, and live o'er again All past hours of delight! If it be wretched To watch some bark, and fancy Alvar there, To go through each minutest circumstance Of the blest meeting, and to frame adventures Most terrible and strange, and hear him tell them; ' (As once I knew a crazy Moorish maid Who drest her in her buried lover's clothes, And o'er the smooth spring in the mountain cleft Hung with her lute, and play'd the self-same tune He used to play, and listen’d to the shadow Herself had made)—if this be wretchedness, And if indeed it be a wretched thing To trick out mine own death-bed, and imagine That I had died, died just ere his return! Then see him listening to my constancy, Or hover round, as he at midnight oft

* Here Waldez bends back, and -mile- at her wildness, which Teresa noticing, checks her enthusiasm, and in a soothing halfplayful tone and manner, apologizes for her fancy, by the little tale in the parenthesis,

Sits on my grave and gazes at the moon;
Or haply, in some more fantastic mood,
To be in Paradise, and with choice flowers
Build up a bower where he and I might dwell,
And there to wait his coming! O my sire!
My Alvar's sire! if this be wretchedness
That eats away the life, what were it, think you,
If in a most assured reality
He should return, and see a brother's infant
Srnile at him from my arms!
Oh, what a thought!


The very week he promised his return—— renesa (abruptly). Was it not then a busy joy! to see him, After those three years travels' we had no fearsThe frequent tidings, the ne'er-failing letter, Almost endeard his absence! Yet the gladness, The tumuli of our joy! What then if now—l. WALnez. 0 power of youth to feed on pleasant thoughts, Spite of conviction I am old and heartles. Yes, I am old—I have no pleasant fancies— Ilectic and unrefresh'd with rest— reaksa (with great tenderness). My father! WAL Dez. * The “ober truth is all too much for me! see no sail which brings not to my mind The home-bound bark in which my son was captured By the Algerine—to perish with his captors! TEResa. Oh no! he did not Waldez. Captured in sight of land! From yon hill Point, nay, from our castle watch-tower We might have seen—— teh Esa. His capture, not his death. was, dez. Alas! how aptly thou forget'st a tale Thou ne'er didst wish to learn! my brave Ordonio Saw both the pirate and his prize go down, In the same storm that baffled his own valour, *" thus twice snatch'd a brother from his hopes: Gallant Ordonio ! (pauses; then tenderly). O beloved Teresa Wouldst thou best prove thy faith to generous Alvar, And Inost delight his spirit, go, make thou His brother happy, make his aged father Sink to the grave in joy. TERESA. For mercy's sake, Press me no more! I have no power to love him. His proud forbidding eye, and his dark brow, *"me like dew damps of the unwholesome night: My love, a timorous and tender flower, Closes beneath his touch. waldez. - You wrong him, maiden! | Wou wrong him, by my soul | Nor was it well To character by such unkindly phrases The stir and workings of that love for you Which he has toil'd to smother. T was not well, | Nor is it grateful in you to forget

[Clasping her forehead.

A thought? even so mere thought an empty thought.

His wounds and perilous voyages, and how
With an heroic fearlessness of danger
He roam'd the coast of Afric for your Alvar.
It was not well-You have moved me even to tears.

tettes A.
Oh pardon me, Lord Valdez! pardon me !
It was a foolish and ungrateful speech,
A most ungrateful specch! But I am hurried
Beyond myself, if I but hear of one
Who aims to rival Alvar. were we not
Born in one day, like twins of the same parent?
Nursed in one cradle? Pardon me, my father!
A six years' absence is a heavy thing,
Yet still the hope survives——

waldez (looking forward.)

Hush ' 'tis Monviedro.

Teres A.
The Inquisitor! on what new scent of blood?

[blocks in formation]

My Lord Ordonio, this Moresco woman
(Alhadra is her name) asks audience of you,
0 Ridonio.
Hail, reverend father! what may be the business?
- Monvied Ro.
My lord, on strong suspicion of relapse
To his false creed, so recently abjured,
The secret servants of the inquisition
Have seized her husband, and at my command
To the supreme tribunal would have led him,
But that he made appeal to you, my lord,
As surety for his soundness in the faith.
Though lessen'd by experience what small trust
The asseverations of these Moors deserve,
Yet still the deference to Ordonio's name,
Nor less the wish to prove, with what high honour
The Holy Church regards her faithful soldiers,
Thus far prevail'd with me that——

oft donio. Reverend father,

I am much beholden to your high opinion,
Which so o'erprizes my light services.
[Then to Alhadaa.
I would that I could serve you; but in truth
Your face is new to me.
My mind foretold me,
That such would be the event. In truth, Lord Waldez,
T was little probable, that Don Ordonio,
That your illustrious son, who fought so bravely
Some four years since to quell these rebel Moors,
Should prove the patron of this infidel!
The guarantee of a Moresco's faith !
Now I return.
Albi. A tort A.
My Lord, my husband's name -
Is Isidore. (Ondonio starts.)—You may remember it:

[blocks in formation]

[Tsars, looks at Moxviedho with disgust and

horror. On boxio's appearance to be collected
from what follows.
Monvienko (to Waldez, and pointing at Oaponio).
What! is he ill, my lord? how strange he looks!
valdez (angrily).
You press'd upon him too abruptly, father,
The fate of one, on whom, you know, he doted.
Oaponio (starting as in sudden agitation).
O Heavens! I –1 doted (then recovering himself).
Yes! I doted on him.
[okponio walks to the end of the stage,
Waldez follows, soothing him.
- teness (her eye following Oaponio).
I do not, can not, love him. Is my heart hard?
Is my heart hard that even now the thought
Should force itself upon me?—Yet I feel it!
Moxvie to Ro.
The drops did start and stand upon his forehead!
I will return. In very truth, I grieve
To have been the occasion. Ho! attend me, woman!
Alhadaa (to Tears A).
O gentle lady! make the father stay,
Until my lord recover. I am sure,
That he will say he is my husband's friend.
Tears A.
Stay, father! stay! my lord will soon recover.
orbonio (as they return, to Waldez).
Strange, that this Monvicdro
Should have the power so to distemper me!

[ocr errors]

Tut! name it not.
A sudden seizure, father! think not of it.
As to this woman's husband, I do know him.
I know him well, and that he is a Christian.
Moxvi Edao.
I hope, my lord, your merely human pity
Doth not prevail——
or noxio.
'T is certain that he was a catholic;
What changes may have happen'd in three years,
I cannot say; but grant me this, good father:
Myself I'll sift him: if I find him sound,
You'll grant me your authority and name
To liberate his house.
Mio Nviet Ro.
Your zeal, my lord,
And your late merits in this holy warfare,
Would authorize an ampler trust—you have it.
or now Io.
I will attend you home within an hour.
Meantime, return with us and take refreshment.

Not till my husband's free! I may not do it.
I will stay here.
TEREs A (aside).
Who is this Isidore?
With your permission, my dear lord,
I'll loiter yet awhile to enjoy the sea breeze.
[Exeunt Waldez, Monviedno, and ORDoNio.
ALHA on A.
Hah! there he goes! a bitter curse go with him,
A scathing curse'
(Then as if recollecting herself, and with a timid look.)
You hate him, don't you, lady?
Teresa (perceiving that Alh Adha is conscious she has
spoken imprudently).
Oh fear not me! my heart is sad for you.
These fell inquisitors' these sons of blood!
As I came on, his face so madden'd me,
That ever and anon I clutch'd my dagger
And half unsheathed it——
Be more calm, I pray you.
And as he walk'd along the narrow path
Close by the mountain's edge, my soul grew eager;
T was with hard toil I made myself remember
That his Familiars held my babes and husband.
To have leapt upon him with a tiger's plunge,
And hurl’d him down the rugged precipice,
O, it had been most sweet!
renes A.
Hush hush for shame!
Where is your woman's heart?
ALBA dra A.
0 gentle lady!
You have no skill to guess my many wrongs,
Many and strange! Besides (ironically), I am a Chris-
And Christians never pardon—'t is their faith !
Shame fall on those who so have shown it to thee!
I know that man; "t is well he knows not me.
Five years ago (and he was the prime agent),
Five years age the holy brethren seized me.
What might your crime be?
I was a Moresco'
They cast me, then a young and nursing mother,
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
Cower'd as it enter'd, and at once sunk down.
Oh miserable! by that lamp to see
My infant quarrelling with the coarse hard bread
Brought daily: for the little wretch was sickly—
My rage had dried away its natural food.
In darkness I remain’d—the dull bell counting,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinua »