Imágenes de páginas
PDF

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! is 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

Smile at him from my arms?
Oh, what a thought ! [Clasping her forehead.
WALDEz.

A thought? even so! mere thought! an empty thought.
The very week he promised his return—
.TERESA (abruptly).
Was it not then a busy joy 7 to see him,
After those three years' travels' we had no fears—
The frequent tidings, the ne'er-failing letter,
Almost endear'd his absence' Yet the gladness,
The tumult of our joy! What then if now—
waldez.
O power of youth to feed on pleasant thoughts,
Spite of conviction: I am old and heartless!
Yes, I am old—I have no pleasant fancies—
Hectic and unrefresh'd with rest—
• TERESA (with great tenderness)
My father!
waldez.
The sober truth is all too much for me !
I 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?
v Aldez.
Captured in sight of land'
From yon hill point, nay, from our castle watch-tower
We might have seen

TeRESA.
His capture, not his death.

val. DEz.
Alas! how aptly thou forgett'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 valor,
And 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 most delight his spirit, go, make thou
His brother happy, make his aged father
Sink to the grave in joy.

Terrsa.

For mercy's sake,

Press me no more! I have no power to love him.
His proud forbidding eye, and his dark brow,
Chill me like dew damps of the unwholesome night:
My love, a timorous and tender flower,
Closes beneath his touch.

Waldez.

You wrong him, maiden!

You 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, "Twas not well,
Nor is it grateful in you to forget

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.

Trn Esa. Oh pardon me, Lord Valdez! pardon me! It was a foolish and ungrateful speech, A most ungratesul speech 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—

valdez (looking forward). Hush! 'tis Monviedro. TEREs A The Inquisitor! on what new scent of blood?

Enter Monviedro with ALHADRA.

Monviedro (having first made his obeisance to WALDEz and TERESA).

Peace and the truth be with you! Good my Lord,

My present need is with your son.
[Looking forward.

We have hit the time. Here comes he ' Yes, 'tis he.

Enter from the opposite side DoN ORDON10.

My Lord Ordonio, this Moresco woman (Alhadra is her name) asks audience of you.

or Donio. Hail, reverend father! what may be the business?

Monvirono.

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 honor
The Holy Church regards her faithful soldiers,
Thus far prevail'd with me that

ordonio.

Reverend sather,

I am much beholden to your high opinion,
Which so o'erprizes my light services.

[Then to ALHADRA.
I would that I could serve you; but in truth
Your face is new to me.

Monviedro. My mind soretold me, That such would be the event. In truth, Lord Valdez, "Twas 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. Alii ADRA. My Lord, my husband's name Is Isidore. (ORDoNio starts)—You may remember it: Three years ago, three years this very week, You left him at Almeria.

Monwiedro. Palpably false! This very week, three years ago, my Lord (You needs must recollect it by your wound), You were at sea, and there engaged the pirates, The murderers doubtless of your brother Alvar !

ITERESA looks at Monviedro with disgust and horror. ORDoNio's appearance to be collected from what follows. Monviedro (to WALDEz, and pointing at ORDoNio). What! is he ill, my Lord? how strange he looks! v.ALDEz (angrily). You press'd upon him too abruptly, father, The fate of one, on whom, you know, he doted.

ordonio (starting as in sudden agitation). O Heavens! I ? I—doted? (then recovering himself). Yes! I doted on him. [ORDoNio walks to the end of the stage, VALDEz follows, soothing him. TERESA (her eye following ORDoNio). I do not, can not, love him. Is my heart hard? Is my heart hard 2 that even now the thought Should force itself upon me?—Yet I feel it! Monvied 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!

ALHADRA (to TERESA). O gentle lady! make the father stay, Until my Lord recover. I am sure, That he will say he is my husband's friend. TEREsA. Stay, father! stay! my Lord will soon recover.

or DoNio (as they return, to VALDEz). Strange, that this Monviedro Should have the power so to distemper me!

val. Droz. Nay, 'twas an amiable weakness, son'

Monwieldho.
My Lord, I truly grieve—

on do Nio.
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.

Monviedro.
I hope, my Lord, your merely human pity
Doth not prevail

ordonio. "Tis 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. Monviedro. Your zeal, my Lord, And your late merits in this holy warfare, Would authorize an ampler trust—you have it Ordonio. I will attend you home within an hour.

VALIdEz. Meantime, return with us and take refreshment.

alha DRA.
Not till my husband's free! I may not do it.
I will stay here.
TERESA (aside).
Who is this Isidore ?
WALDEZ.
Daughter!

TerrSA.
With your permission, my dear Lord,
I'll loiter yet awhile t' enjoy the sea breeze.

[Exeunt WALDEz, Monviedro, and ORDoNIo.

ALHADRA. 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 ALHADRA is conscious she has spoken imprudently).

Oh fear not me! my heart is sad for you.

ALHADRA.
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—

TeREs A. . Be more calm, I pray you. ALHADRA. And as he walked along the narrow path Close by the mountain's edge, my soul grew eager; "Twas 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! TEREs A. Hush! hush for shame! Where is your woman's heart? ALHADRA. O gentle lady! You have no skill to guess my many wrongs, Many and strange! Besides (ironically), I am a Christlan, And Christians never pardon—'tis their faith ! Teresa. Shame fall on those who so have shown it to thee!

[blocks in formation]

Which haply told me, that all the all-cheering Sun
Was rising on our garden. When I dozed,
My infant's moanings mingled with my slumbers
And waked me.—If you were a mother, Lady,
I should scarce dare to tell you, that its noises
And peevish cries so fretted on my brain
That I have struck the innocent babe in anger.
Theresa.
O Heaven! it is too horrible to hear.

ALHADRA.
What was it then to suffer? "Tis most right
That such as you should hear it—Know you not,
What Nature makes you mourn, she bids you heal?
Great Evils ask great Passions to redress them,
And Whirlwinds fitliest scatter Pestilence.

TEResa.
You were at length released ?

ALHADRA.
Yes, at length

I saw the blessed arch of the whole heaven!
‘Twas the first time my infant smiled. No more—
For if I dwell upon that moment, Lady,
A trance comes on which makes me o'er again
All I then was—my knees hang loose and drag,
And my lip falls with such an idiot laugh,
That you would start and shudder!

Teresa.
But your husband—
ALHADRA.
A month's imprisonment would kill him, Lady.
TERESA.
Alas, poor man!
ALHADRA.

He hath a lion's courage,
Fearless in act, but feeble in endurance;
Unfit for boisterous times, with gentle heart
He worships Nature in the hill and valley,
Not knowing what he loves, but loves it all—

Enter Alvar disguised as a MoREsco, and in Moorish garments.

Teresa.
Know you that stately Moor?
ALHADRA.
I know him not:
But doubt not he is some Moresco chieftain,
Who hides himself among the Alpuxarras.
TEREs A.
The Alpuzarras? Does he know his danger,
So near this seat!
ALHADRA.
He wears the Moorish robes too,
As in defiance of the royal edict.
[ALHADRA advances to Alvar, who has walked to
the back of the stage near the rocks. TERESA
drops her veil.
al. HADRA.
Gallant Moresco! An inquisitor,
Monviedro, of known hatred to our race—
Alvar (interrupting her).
You have mistaken me. I am a Christian,
ALHADRA.
He deems, that we are plotting to ensnare him:
Speak to him, Lady—none can hear you speak,
And not believe you innocent of guile.

Torresa.
If aught enforce you to concealment, Sir–
ALHADRA.
He trembles strangely.
[Alvar sinks down and hides his face in his robe.
TERESA- - - -
See, we have disturb’d him.
[Approaches nearer to him.
I pray you think us friends—uncowl your face,
For you seem faint, and the nightbreezeblowshealing.
I pray you think us friends! -
Alvah (raising his head).
Calm, very calm!
"Tis all too tranquil for reality!
And she spoke to me with her innocent voice,
That voice, that innocent voice! She is no traitress!
Teresa.
Let us retire. (Haughtily to ALHADRA).
[They advance to the front of the Stage.
ALHADRA (with scorn).
He is indeed a Christian.
Alvar (aside).
She deems me dead, yet wears no mourning garment!
Why should my brother's—wife—wear mourning
garments?
[To TEREsA.
Your pardon, noble dame! that I disturb’d you:
I had just started from a frightful dream.
TERESA.
Dreams tell but of the Past, and yet, 'tis said,
They prophesy—
ALWAR.
The Past lives o'er again
In its effects, and to the guilty spirit
The ever-frowning Present is its image.
Teresa.
Traitress! (Then aside).
What sudden spell o'ermasters me?
Why seeks he me, shunning the Moorish woman?
[TEREsa looks round uneasily, but gradually be.
comes attentive as Alvar proceeds in the
mert speech.
ALWAR. -
I dreamt I had a friend, on whom Ileant
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.
This maid so idolized that trusted friend
Dishonor'd in my absence, soul and body!
Fear, following guilt, tempted to blacker guilt,
And murderers were suborn'd against my life.
But by my looks, and most impassion'd words,
I roused the virtues that are dead in no man,
Even in the assassins' hearts! they made their terms,
And thank'd me for redeeming them from murder.

[blocks in formation]

I stay'd as though the hour of death were pass'd,
And I were sitting in the world of spirits—
For all things seem'd unreal! There I sate—
The dews fell clammy, and the night descended,
Black, sultry, close ! and ere the midnight hour,
A storm came on, mingling all sounds of fear,
That woods, and sky, and mountains, seem'd one
havoc.
The second flash of lightning show'd a tree
Hard by me, newly scathed. I rose tumultuous:
My soul work'd high, I bared my head to the storm,
And, with loud voice and clamorous agony,
Kneeling I pray'd to the great Spirit that made me,
Pray'd that REMoRSE might fasten on their hearts,
And cling with poisonous tooth, inextricable
As the gored lion's bite '
TERESA (shuddering).
A fearful curse!

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

ALHADRA.

There is no room in this heart for puling love-tales.
TERESA (lifts up her veil, and advances to Alvar).

Stranger, farewell! I guess not who you are,
Nor why you so address'd your tale to me.
Your mien is noble, and, I own, perplex'd me
With obscure memory of something past,
Which still escaped my efforts, or presented
Tricks of a fancy pamper'd with-long wishing.
Is, as it sometimek happens, our rude startling
Whilst your full heart was shaping out its dream,
Drove you to this, your not ungentle wildness—
You have my sympathy, and so farewell'
But if some undiscover'd wrongs oppress you,
And you need strength to drag them into light,
The generous Valdez, and my Lord Ordonio,
Have arm and will to aid a noble sufferer;
Nor shall you want my favorable pleading.

[Ereunt TERESA and ALHADRA.

Alvan (alone). "Tis strange! It cannot be! my Lord Ordonio ! Her Lord Ordonio: Nay, I will not do it! I cursed him once—and one curse is enough! How bad she look'd, and pale; but not like guilt— And her calm tones—sweet as a song of mercy! If the bad spirit retain'd his angel's voice, Hell scarce were Hell. And why not innocent? Who meant to murder me, might well cheat her? But ere she married him, he had stain'd her honor; Ah! there I am hamper'd. What if this were a lie Framed by the assassin' Who should tell it him, If it were truth? Ordonio would not tell him. Yet why one lie? all else, I know, was truth.

No start, no jealousy of stirring conscience!
And she referr'd to me—sondly, methought !
Could she walk here if she had been a traitress?
Here, where we play'd together in our childhood?
Here, where we plighted vows? where her cold
cheek
Received my last kiss, when with suppress'd feelings
She had fainted in my arms? It cannot be!
"Tis not in Nature! I will die, believing
That I shall meet her where no evil is,
No treachery, no cup dash'd from the lips.
I'll haunt this scene no more! live she in peace?
Her husband—ay, her husband! May this angel
New mould his canker'd heart! Assist me, Heaven,
That I may pray for my poor guilty brother! [Erit.

ACT II. SCENE I. A wild and mountainous Country. ORDonio and IstDoRE are discovered, supposed at a little distance from IsidokE's house. ordonio. Here we may stop: your house distinct in view, Yet we secured from listeners. ISIDOR.E. Now indeed My house! and it looks cheerful as the clusters Basking in sunshine on yon vine-clad rock, That over-brows it! Patron! Friend o Preserver: Thrice have you saved my life. Once in the battle You gave it me: next rescued me from suicide, When for my follies I was made to wander, With mouths to feed, and not a morsel for them Now, but for you, a dungeon's slimy stones Had been my bed and pillow.

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

isidore. You sport with me, my Lord ordonio. Come, come! this foolery Lives only in thy looks: thy heart disowns it! Isidore. I can bear this, and any thing more grievous From you, my Lord—but how can I serve you here?

ordonio. Why, you can utter with a solemn gesture Oracular sentences of deep no-meaning, Wear a quaint garment, make mysterious antics—

isidone. I am dull, my Lord! I do not comprehend you.

ordonio. In blunt terms, you can play the sorcerer. She hath no faith in Holy Church, 'tis true: Her lover school'd her in some newer nonsense! Yet still a tale of spirits works upon her. She is a lone enthusiast, sensitive, Shivers, and cannot keep the tears in her eye: And such do love the marvellous too well Not to believe it. We will wind up her fancy With a strange music, that she knows not of With fumes of frankincense, and mummery, Then leave, as one sure token of his death, That portrait, which from off the dead man's neck I bade thee take, the trophy of thy conquest.

Isidore.

Will that be a sure sign

ordonio.

Beyond suspicion.

Fondly caressing him, her favor'd lover
(By some base spell he had bewitch'd her senses),
She whisper'd such dark fears of me, forsooth,
As made this heart pour gall into my veins.
And as she coyly bound it round his neck,
She made him promise silence; and now holds
The secret of the existence of this portrait,
Known only to her lover and herself.
But I had traced her, stolen unnoticed on them,
And unsuspected saw and heard the whole.

Isidoraro. But now I should have cursed the man who told me You could ask aught, my Lord, and I refuse— But this I cannot do. ordonio. Where lies your scruple : Isidor E (with stammering). Why—why, my Lord! You know you told me that the lady loved you, Had loved you with incautious tenderness; That if the young man, her betrothed husband, Returned, yourself, and she, and the honor of both Must perish. Now, though with no tenderer scruples Than those which being native to the heart, Than those, my Lord, which merely being a man— oadonio (aloud, though to express his contempt he speaks in the third person). This fellow is a Man—he kill'd for hire One whom he knew not, yet has tender scruples! [Then turning to Isidore. These doubts, these fears, thy whine, thy stammer. ingPish, fool! thou blunder'st through the book of guilt, Spelling thy villany.

. ISIDOR.E. My Lord—my Lord, I can bear much—yes, very much from you! But there's a point where sufferance is meanness: I am no villain—never kill'd for hire– My gratitude— - ordonio. 0 ay—your gratitude! "Twas a well-sounding word—what..have you done with it? IsIDoRE. Who proffers his past favors for my virtue– or DoNio (with bitler scorn). Virtue!— Isidor E. Tries to o'erreach me—is a very sharper, And should not speak of gratitude, my Lord. I knew not 'twas your brother! or DoNio (alarmed). And who told you? Isidore. He himself told me. or Donio. Ha! you talk'd with him : And those, the two Morescoes who were with you? Isidore. Both fell in a night-brawl at Malaga. on DoNio (in a low voice). My brother— . ISIDOR.E. 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

Ordonio. Villain! no more! I'll hear no more of it.

Isidorr. My Lord, it much imports your future safety That you should hear it.

ordonio (turning off from Isidore.)

Am not I a Man : "Tis as it should be! tut—the deed itself Was idle, and these after-pangs still idler!

isidore.
We met him in the very place you mention'd.
Hard by a grove of firs—
On DONIO.
Enough—enough—
Isidore.

He fought us valiantly, and wounded all;
In fine, compell'd a parley.

or Donio (sighing, as if lost in thought).

Alvar! brother' Isidore. He offer'd me his purse— ordonio (with eager suspicion). Yes? Isidore (indignantly). Yes—I spurn'd it.— He promised us I know not what—in vain! Then with a look and voice that overawed me, He said, What mean you, friends? My life is dear: I have a brother and a promised wise, Who make life dear to me—and if I fall, That brother will roam earth and hell for vengeance. There was a likeness in his face to yours; I ask'd his brother's name: he said–Ordonio,

« AnteriorContinuar »