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Almost, I fear, it hath unhinged his brain.
Is it so?
Starts up bewilder'd and talks idly. Say, I had laid a body in the sun!
Father! Well! in a month there swarm forth from the corse What if the Moors that made my brother's grave A thousand, nay, ten thousand sentient beings Even now were digging ours? What if the bolt, In place of that one man-Say, I had killd him!
Though aim'd, I doubt noi, at the son of Valdez, [TERESA starls, and stops, listening. Yet miss'd its true aim when it fell on Alvar? Yet who shall tell me, that each one and all of these ten thousand lives is not as happy As that one life, which being push'd aside,
Alvar ne'er fought against the Moors,say rather, Made room for these unnumber'd
He was their advocate; but you had march'd
Yet he hy chance was captured.
Unknown, perhaps ORDONIO (checking the feeling of surprise, and Captured, yet, as the son of Valdez, murdera.
Leave all io me. Nay, whither, gentle Lady? forcing his tones into an expression of
What seek you now?
A better, surer light
Both VALDEZ and ORDONIO.
Whither? (Even coward Murder grants the dead a grave)
TERESA. O tell me, Valdez !-answer me, Ordonio!
To the only place Where lies the corse of my betrothed husband ?
Where lise yet dwells for me, and ease of heart OR DONIO.
These walls seem threatening to fall in upon me! There, where Ordonio likewise would fain lie!
Detain me not! a dim Power drives me hence, In the sleep-compelling earth, in unpierced dark
And that will be my guide.
To find a lover! Glares round the soul, and mocks the closing eye-Suits that a high-born maiden's modesty ? lids!
O folly and shame! Tempt not my rage, Teresa ! Over his rocky grave the Fir-grove sighs
TERESA. A lulling ceaseless dirge! 'Tis well with him.
Hopeless, I fear no human being's rage. (Strides off in agilation towards the allar, but
And am I hastening to the arms-o Heaven! returns as Valdez is speaking.
I haste but to the grave of my beloved ! TERESA (recoiling with the erpression appropriate to
[Exit, VALDEZ following after her the passion).
ORDONIO. The rock! the fir-grove!
Didst thou hear him say it? This, then, is my reward ! and I must love her? Hush! I will ask him!
Scorn'd ! shudder'd at! yet love her still? yes! VALDEZ.
yes! Urge him not-not now!
By the deep feelings of Revenge and Hate This we beheld. Nor He nor I know more,
I will still love her-woo her-win her too! Than what the magic imagery reveal'd.
(A pause) Isidore safe and silent, and the portrait
Found on the wizard-he, belike, self-poison'd The assassin, who press'd foremost of the three
To escape the crueller flames -My soul shouts ORDONIO.
triumph! A tender-hearted, scrupulous, grateful villain,
The mine is undermined! Blood ! Blood ! Blood ! Whom I will strangle! VALDEZ (looking with anxious disquiet at his Son, yet
They thirst for thy blood! thy blood, Ordonio!
[A pause attempting to proceed with his description).
The hunt is up! and in the midnight wood,
With lights to dazzle and with nets they seek
A timid prey: and lo! the tiger's eye Dead ! dead already! what care we for the dead ? Glares in the red flame of his hunter's torch! VALDEZ (to TERESA).
To Isidore I will dispatch a message, Pity him! soothe him! disenchant his spirit! And lure him to the cavern! ay, that cavern! These supernatural shows, this strange disclosure, He cannot fail to find it. Thither I'll lure him, And this too fond affection, which still broods Whence he shall never, never more return! O'er Alvar's fate, and still burns to avenge it
(Looks through the side window These, struggling with his hopeless love for you, A rim of the sun lies yet upon the sea, Distemper him, and give reality
And now 't is gone! All shall be done to-night. To the creatures of his fancy
That my foot hung aslant adown the edge.
Was it my own sear?
Fear too hath its instincts! SCENE I.
(And yet such dens as these are wildly told of, A cavern, dark, ercept where a gleam of moonlight is And yet are Beings that live, yet not for the eye)
seen on one side al the further end of it; supposed An arm of frost above and from behind me to be cast on il from a crevice in a part of the Pluck'd up and snatch'd me backward. Merciful cuvern out of sight. ISIDORE alone, an extinguished
Heaven! torch in his hand.
You smile! alas, even smiles look ghastly here!
My Lord, I pray you, go yourself and view it. Faith 't was a moving letter-very moving !
It must have shot some pleasant feelings through you
Should creep, each one with a particular life,
Yet all as cold as ever-'t was just so!
Or had it drizzled needle points of frost To peep at a tree, or see a he-goat's beard,
Upon a feverish head made suddenly baldOr hear a cow or two breathe loud in their sleep
ORDONIO (interrupting him). Any thing but this crash of water-drops !
But such a panic-
When a boy, my Lord !
I could have sate whole hours beside that chasm, in an ecstasy of fear.
Push'd in huge stones, and heard them strike and A hellish pit! The very same I dreamt of!
rattle I was just in—and those damn'd fingers of ice Which cluteh'd my hair up! Ha!—what's that—it Low down, and listen'd till the heavy fragments
Against its horrid sides: then hung my head moved.
Sank with faint crash in that still groaning well, (Isidore stands staring at another recess in which never thirsty pilgrim blest, which never
the cavern. In the mean time Ordonio en- A living thing came near-unless, perchance,
Close at its edge.
Art thou more coward now? ning
ISIDORE. I swear, I saw it move.
Call him, that fears his fellow-man, a coward !
I fear not man—but this inhuman cavern, ORDONIO' (goes into the recess, then returns, and wilh (It were too bad a prison-house for goblins. greal scorn).
Beside (you 'll smile, my Lord), but true it is, A jutting clay stone My last night's sleep was very sorely haunted Props on the long lank weed, that grows beneath : By what had pass'd between us in the morning. And the weed nods and drips.
O sleep of horrors! Now run down and stared at ISIDORE (forcing a laugh faintly).
By Forms so hideous that they mock remembrance A jest to laugh at !
Now seeing nothing and imagining nothing,
But only being afraid—stifled with Fear!
Had a strange power of breathing terror round me! What scared you, then ?
I saw you in a thousand fearful shapes ;
And, I entreat your lordship to believe me,
Well ? (Lights his lorch al Ordonio's, and while lighting it. (A lighted torch in the hand,
I was in the act Is no unpleasant object here—one's breath
or falling down that chasm, when Alhadra Floats round the flame, and makes as many colors
Waked me: she heard my heart beat.
Never, my Lord. My body bending forward, yea, overbalanced
But mine eyes do not see it now more clearly, Almost beyond recoil, on the dim brink
Than in my dream I saw—that very chasm. Of a huge chasm I stept. The shadowy moonshine ORDONIO (stands lost in thought, then after a pause Filling the Void, so counterfeited Substance, I know not why it should be! yet it is
I have a prattler three years old, my Lord!
In truth he is my darling. As I went
From forth my door, he made a moan in sleep To kill a man.
But I am talking idly-pray proceed!
And what did this man?
With his human hand
To that wild fancy of a possible thing.–
[Then very wildly Have sterner feelings?
Why babblest thou of guilt ? ISIDORE.
The deed was done, and it pass'd fairly off. Something troubles you. And he whose tale I tell theedost thou listen ? How shall I serve you? By the life you gave me, By all that makes that life of value to me,
I would, my Lord, you were by my fire-side,
I'd listen to you with an eager eye,
Though you began this cloudy tale at midnight; Is not a place where you could perpetrate,
But I do listen—pray proceed, my Lord. No, nor propose, a wicked thing. The darkness,
Where was I ? When ten strides off, we know 't is cheerful moonlight,
He of whom you tell the tale(Ordonio darkly, and in the feeling of self-justifica
OR DONIO. tion, tells whui he conceives of his our character and Surveying all things with a quiet scom. actions, speaking of himself in the third person.
Tamed himself down to living purposes,
The occupations and the semblances
of ordinary men—and such he seem'd!
But that same over-ready agent-he-
Ah! what of him, my Lord ?
He proved a traitor, What boots it, who or when ?
Betray'd the mystery to a brother traitor,
(They hang up their torches on some ridge in To hunt him down to infamy and death.
What did the Valdez? I am proud of the name, He was a man different from other men,
Since he dared do it.And he despised them, yet revered himself.
(ORDONIO grasps his sword, and turns off from ISIDORE (aside).
IsidorE; then after a pause returns
Our links burn dimly.
[Then to ORDONIO. A dark tale darkly finish'd! Nay, my Lord! What! he was mad?
Tell what he did.
That which his wisdom prompted-
No! the fool!
He had not wit enough to be a traitor.
Poor thick-eyed beetle! not to have foreseen
That he who gull’d thee with a whimper'd lie
(Aside. To murder his own brother, would not scruple Alas! poor wretch!
To murder thee, if e'er his guilt grew jealous,
And he could steal upon thee in the dark!
Oh yes, my Lord !
(ISIDORE throws off his robe; shows himself armed To this in moody murmur and low voice
and draws his sword.
Now this is excellent, and warms the blood !
With weak and womanish scruples. Now my Ven-
Hush, thoughtless woman!
Nay, it wakes within mo
No more of this
What if Monviedro or his creatures hear us!
Die thou first. I dare not listen to you. [They fight; ORDONIO disarms ISIDORE, and in dis.
TERESA arming him throws his sword up that recess oppo.
My honor'd Lord, site to which they were standing. Isidore hurries into the recess with historch, OR DONIO follows him; These were my Alvar's lessons ; and whene'er a loud cry of « Traitor! Monster ?” is heard As if to give a voice to the mute image.
I bend me o'er his portrait, I repeat them,
-We have mourn'd for Alvar. I have hurld him down the chasm! Treason for trea- Of his sad fate there now remains no doubt. son.
Have I no other son ?
Speak not of him!
[Erit ORDONIO. If this be madness, must I wed a madman ?
And if not madness, there is mystery,
And guilt doth lurk behind it.
Is this well?
Yes, it is truth : saw you his countenance ?
How rage, remorse, and scorn, and stupid fear, Heart-chilling Superstition! thou canst glaze Displaced each other with swift interchanges ? Even Pity's eye with her own frozen tear.
O that I had indeed the sorcerer's powerIn vain I urge the tortures that await him; I would call up before thine eyes the image Even Selma, reverend guardian of my childhood, Of my betrothed Alvar, of thy first-born! My second mother, shuts her heart against me! His own fair countenance, his kingly forehead, Well, I have won from her what most imports His tender smiles, love's day-dawn on his lips ! The present need, this secret of the dungeon, That spiritual and almost heavenly light Known only to herself.--A Moor! a Sorcerer!
In his commanding eye-his mien heroic, No, I have faith, that Nature ne'er permitted Virtue's own native heraldry! to man Baseness to wear a form so noble. True,
Genial, and pleasant to his guardian angel. I doubt not, that Ordonio had suborn'd him Whene'er he gladden'd, how the gladness spread To act some part in some unholy fraud;
Wide round him! and when oft with swelling tears.
Oh, what a grief was there—for joy to envy,
O my father!
Recall that morning when we knelt together,
Even now, my sire! to thy mind's eye present him, Still sad ?-and gazing at the massive door
As at that moment he rose up before thee, Of that fell Dungeon which thou ne'er hadst sight of, Stately, with beaming look! Place, place beside him Save what, perchance, thy infant fancy shaped it, Ordonio's dark perturbed countenance! When the nurse still’d thy cries with unmeant threats. Then bid me (Oh thou couldst not) bid me turn Now by my faith, Girl! this same wizard haunts thee! From him, the joy, the triumph of our kind ! A stately man, and eloquent and tender
To take in exchange that brooding man, who never
[With a sneer. Lifts up his eye from the earth, unless to scowl. Who then need wonder if a lady sighs Even at the thought of what these stern Dominicans
Ungrateful woman! I have tried to stifle
An old man's passion! was it not enough
That thou hadst made my son a restless man, Doth so o'ertop the height of all compassion,
Banish'd his health, and half unhinged his reasons , That I should feel too little for mine enemy,
But that thou wilt insult him with suspicion ? If it were possible I could feel more,
And toil to blast his honor? I am old, Even though the dearest inmates of our household
A comfortless old man! Were doom'd to suffer them. That such things are
O Grief! to hear • Vide Apoendix, Note 2.
Hateful entreaties from a voice we love'
Enter a PEASANT and presenls a letter to VALDEZ.
To float for ever with a careless course,
And think myself the only being alive! “ He dares not venture hither!" Why what can this My children !—Isidore's children!—Son of Valdez, mean?
This hath new-strung mine arm. Thou coward tyrant Lest the Familiars of the Inquisition,
To stupify a woman's heart with anguish,
[She fires her eye on the earth. Then drop in one after To guard from danger him I hold imprisond
another, from different parts of the stage, a conHe will reveal a secret, the joy of which
siderable number of Morescoes, all in Moorish gar. Will even outweigh the sorrow."—Why what can
ments and Moorish armor. They form a circle at this be?
a distance round Alhadra, and remain silent till Perchance it is some Moorish stratagem,
the second in command, Naomi, enters, distinguished To have in me a hostage for his safety.
by his dress and armor, and by the silenl obeisance Nay, that they dare not ? Ho! collect my servants !
paid to him on his entrance by the other Moors. I will go thither-let them arm themselves.
[Exit VALDEZ. Woman! may Alla and the Prophet bless thee!
We have obey'd thy call. Where is our chief? TERESA (alone). The moon is high in heaven, and all is hush'd.
And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish garments ! Yet, anxious listener! I have seem'd to hear ALHADRA (raising her eyes, and looking round on the A low dead thunder mutter through the night,
circle). As 't were a giant angry in his sleep.
Warriors of Mahomet! faithful in the battle! O Alvar! Alvar! that they could return,
My countrymen! Come ye prepared to work Those blessed days that imitated heaven,
An honorable deed? And would ye work it When we two wont to walk at even-tide;
In the slave's garb? Curse on those Christian robes! When we saw naught but beauty; when we heard They are spell-blasted : and whoever wears them The voice of that Almighty One who loved us His arm shrinks wither'd, his heart melts away, In every gale that breathed, and wave that mur- And his bones soften.
mur'd! O we have listen'd, even till high-wrought pleasure
Where is Isidore ? Hath half assumed the countenance of grief,
ALHADRA (in a deep low voice). And the deep sigh seem'd to heave up a weight
This night I went from forth my house, and left Of bliss, that press'd too heavy on the heart.
His children all asleep: and he was living !
[A pause. And I return'd and found them still asleep, And this majestic Moor, seems he not one
But he had perish'd-
ALL THE MORESCO ES.
He had perisha! Hence, womanish fears, traitors to love and duty- Sleep on, poor babes! not one of you doth know I'll free him.
[Exit TERESA. That he is fatherless-a desolate orphan!
Why should we wake them ? can an infant's arm
ONE MORESCor (to another).
Did she say his murder?
Murder? Not murder'd ?
ALHADRA. Yon hanging woods, that touch'd by autumn seem
Murder'd by a Christian ! As they were blossomning hues of fire and gold;
[They all at once draw their sabres. The flower-like woods, most lovely in decay, ALHADRA (10 NAOMI, who advances from the circle) The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the sands, Brother of Zagri! fling away ihy sword: Lie in the silent moonshine: and the owl,
This is thy chieftain's! (He steps forward to take il Strange! very strange!) the screech-owl only wakes !
Dost thou dare receive it! Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of beauty!
For I have sworn by Alla and the Prophet, Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching song No tear shall dim these eyes, this woman's heart To a herd of wolves, that skulk arhirst for blood. Shall heave no groan, till I have seen that sword Why such a thing am I ?-Where are these men ? Wet with the life-blood of the son of Valdez! I need the sympathy of human faces, To beat away this deep contempt for all things, Ordonio was your chieftain's murderer! Which quenches my revenge. Oh! would to Alla,
NAOMI. The raven, or the sea-mew, were appointed
He dies, by Alla. To bring me food! or rather that my soul
ALL (kneeling.) Could drink in life from the universal air!
By Alla It were a lot divine in some small skiff Along some Ocean's boundless solitude,
This night your chieftain arm’d himself,