« ZurückWeiter »
Full often have I mark'd it in his youth,
behind him, with a timid step. DE MONFORT, hearing And could have almost loved him for the weak- him, lurns suddenly about.
De Mon. (angrily.) Who follows me to this He's form'd with such antipathy, by nature,
sequester'd room? To all infliction of corporeal pain,
Jer. I have presumed, my lord. 'Tis somewhat To wounding life, e'en to the sight of blood,
late: He cannot if he would.
I am inform’d you eat at home to-night ;
Here is a list of all the dainty fare
My busy search has found ; please to peruse it. But let us part: we'll talk of this again.
De Mon. Leave me : begone! Put hemlock in Something approaches. We are here too long.
thy soup, Rez. Well, then, to-morrow I'll attend your call.
Or deadly night-shade, or rank hellebore, Here lies my way. Good night.
And I will mess upon it.
Heaven forbid ! Con. Forgive, I pray, my lord, a stranger's bold- Your honour's life is all too precious, sure
De Mon. (sternly.) Did I not say begone? I have presumed to wait your leisure here,
Jer. Pardon, my lord, I'm old, and oft forget. Though at so late an hour.
But who art thou? De Mon. (looking after him, as if his heart smoke Con. My name is Conrad, sir,
him.) Why will they thus mistime their A humble suitor to your honour's goodness,
foolish zeal, Who is the more imbolden'd to presume,
That I must be so stern? In that De Monfort's brave and noble marquis
0, that I were upon some desert coast! Is so much famed for good and generous deeds.
Where howling tempests and the lashing tide Freb. You are mistaken, I am not the man.
Would stun me into deep and senseless quiet; Con. Then, pardon me: I thought I could not
As the storm-beaten traveller droops his head, err;
In heavy, dull, lethargick weariness, That mien so dignified, that piercing eye
And, midst the roar of jarring elements, Assured me it was he.
Sleeps to awake no more. Freb. My name is not De Monfort, courteous What am I grown? all things are hateful to me. stranger;
Enter MANUEL But if you have a favour to request, I may, with him, perhaps, befriend your suit. (Stamping with his foot.) Who bids thee break Con. I thank your honour, but I have a friend
upon my privacy? Who will commend me to De Monfort's favour; Man. Nay, good my lord! I heard you speak The Marquis Rezenvelt has known me long,
aloud, Who, says report, will soon become his brother.
And dreamt pot, surely, that you were alone. Freb. If thou wouldst seek thy ruin from De
De Mon. What, dost thou watch, and pin thine Monfort,
ears to holes, The name of Rezenvelt employ, and prosper ; To catch those exclamations of the soul, But, if aught good, use any name but his.
Which heaven alone should hear? Who hired thee, Con. How may this be? Freb.
I cannot now explain. Who basely hired thee for a task like this? Early to-morrow call upon Count Freberg;
Man. My lord, I cannot hold. For fifteen years, So am I call’d, each burgher knows my house,
Long troubled years, I have your servant been, And there instruct me how to do you service. Nor hath the proudest lord in all the realm, Good-night.
[Exit. With firmer, with more honourable faith Con. (alone.) Well, this mistake may be of ser- His sovereign served, than I have served you ; vice to me:
But if my honesty is doubted now, And yet my business I will not unfold
Let him who is more faithful take my place, To this mild, ready, promise-making courtier ; And serve you better. I've been by such too oft deceived already.
De Mon. Well, be it as thou wilt. Away with But if such violent enmity exists
thee! Between De Monfort and this Rezenvelt.
Thy loud-mouth'd boasting is no rule for me He'll prove my advocate by opposition.
To judge thy merit by.
Enter JEROME hastily, and pulls MANUEL away. Being the man he hates, a cord as strong,
Jer. Come, Manuel, come away; thou art nol Will be not favour me? I'll think of this. [Exit.
wise. SCENE II.-A LOWER APARTMENT IN
The stranger must depart and come again,
JEROME's HOUSE, WITH A WIDE, FOLDING GLASS DOOR,
For now his honour will not be disturb'd. LOOKING INTO A GARDEN, WHERE THE TREES AND
(Exit Manuel, sulkily. SHRUBS ARE BROWN AND LEAFLESS.
De Mon. A stranger said'st thou? Enter DE MONPORT with a thoughtful, frowning aspect,
(Drops his handkerchief:) and paces slowly across the stage, Jerome following Jer. I did, good sir, but he shall go away;
You shall not be disturb'd.
A tale so damnd ?--It chokes my breath(Slooping to lift the handkerchief.) (Stamping with his foot.) What wretch did tell it You have dropp'd somewhat.
thee? De Mon. (preventing him.) Nay, do not stoop, Con. Nay, every one with whom I have conmy friend! I pray thee not!
versed Thou art too old to stoop.
Has held the same discourse. I judge it not.
You best can tell what her deportment speaks ; I pray thee do it—thank me not-What stranger ? Whether her conduct and unguarded words
Jer. A man who does most earnestly entreat Belie such rumour. To see your honour ; but I know him not.
(De Monfort pauses, staggers backward, and De Mon. Then let him enter. [Exit Jerome. sinks into a chair ; then starting up hastily.)
De Mon. Where am I now? midst all the A pause. Enter CONRAD.
cursed thoughts, De Yon. You are the stranger who would speak That on my soul like stinging scorpions prey'd, with me?
This never came before--0, if it be! Con. I am so far unfortunate, my lord,
The thought will drive me mad.-Was it for this That, though my fortune on your favour hangs,
She urged her warm request on bended knee? I am to you a stranger.
Alas! I wept, and thought of sister's love, De Mon. How may this be? What can I do for No damned love like this.
Fell devil! 'tis hell itself has lent thee aid Con. Since thus your lordship does so frankly To work such sorcery! (Pauses.) I'll not believe it, ask,
I must have proof clear as the noonday sun The tiresome preface of apology
For such foul charge as this! Who waits without ? I will forbear, and tell my tale at once.
(Paces up and down, furiously agitnted.) lo plodling drudgery I've spent my youth,
Con. (aside.) What have I done ? I've carried
this too far, A careful penman in another's office; And oux, my master and employer dead,
I've roused a fierce, ungovernable madman. They seek to set a stripling o'er my head,
Enter JEROME. And ieave me on to drudge, e'en to old age,
De Mon. (in a loud, angry voice.) Where did she Because I have no friend to take my part.
go, at such an early hour, It is an office in your native town,
And with such slight attendance? For I am come from thence, and I am told
Jer. Of whom inquires your honour . You can procure it for me. Thus, my lord,
De Mon. Why, of your lady. Said I not my From the repute of goodness which you bear,
sister? I have presumed to beg.
Jer. The Lady Jane, your sister? De Mon. They have befool'd thee with a false De Mon. (in a faltering voice.) Yes, I did call
report. Con. Alas! I see it is in vain to plead.
Jer. In truth, I cannot tell you where she Your mind is prepossess'd against a wretch,
went. Who has, unfortunately for his weal,
E’en now, from the short beechen walk hard by, Offended the revengeful Rezenvelt.
I saw her through the garden gate return. De Mon. What dost thou say?
The Marquis Rezenvelt, and Freberg's Countess, Con. What I, perhaps, had better leave unsaid. Are in her company. This way they come, Who will believe my wrongs if I complain? As being nearer to the back apartments ; I am a stranger, Rezenvedt my foe.
But I shall stop them if it be your will, Who will believe my wrongs !
Anù bid them enter here. De Mon. (eagerly catching him by the coat.) De Mon. No, stop them not. I will remain I will believe them!
unseen, Thougħ they were base as basest, vilest deeds, And mark them as they pass. Draw back a little. In ancient record told, I would believe them! (Conrad seems alarmed, and steals off unnoticed. Let not the smallest atom of unworthiness
De Monfort grasps Jerome tightly by the That he has put upon thee be conceald.
hand, and drawing back with him two or three Speak boldly, tell it all; for, by the light !
steps, not to be seen from the garden, waits in I'll be thy friend, I'll be thy warmest friend,
silence, with his eyes fixed on the glass door.) If he has done thee wrong.
I hear their footsteps on the grating sand: Con. Nay, pardon me, it were not well ádvised, How like the
croaking of a carrion bird, If I should speak so freely of the man
That hateful voice sounds to the distant ear!
De Mon. What canst thou mean by this?
That Marquis Rezenvelt Cursed be their mirth -
steady! 80 I am toid, and so the world believes.
(Taking hold of Jerome with both hands.) De Mon. 'Tis false ! 'tis basely false !
Jer. My lord, you tremble much. What wretch could drop from his envenom’d tongue
What, do I shake ?
Jer. You do, in truth, and your teeth chatter too. And my soul shudder'd at the horrid brink, De Mon. See ! see they come ! he strutting by I would not finch.-Fy, this recalling nature! her side.
O that his sever'd limbs were strew'd in air, (Jane, Rezenvelt, and Countess Freberg appear | So as I saw it not !
through the glass door, pursuing their way up a short walk leading to the other wing of the Enter REZENVELT behind from the glass door. DE MONhouse.)
FORt turns round. and on seeing him starts back, then See, his audacious face he turns to bers;
drawing his sword, rushes furiously upon him. Uttering with confidence some nauseous jest. Detested robber! now all forms are over ; And she endures it toom this looks vilely! Now open villany, now open hate ! Ha! mark that courteous motion of his arm-- Defend thy life! What does he mean?-he dares not take her hand! Rez. De Monfort, thou art mad. (Pauses and looks eagerly.) By heaven and hell De Mon. Speak not, but draw. Now for thy he does!
hated life! - (Letting go his hold of Jerome, he throws out his (They fight : Rezenvelt parries his thrusts with
hands vehemently, and thereby pushes him great skill, and at last disarms him.) against the scene.)
Then take my life, black fiend, for hell assists Jer. 0! I am stunn'd! my head is crack'd in
thee. twain :
Rez. No, Monfort, but I'll take away your Your honour does forget how old I am.
sword, De Mon. Well, well, the wall is harder than I Not as a mark of disrespect to you, wist.
But for your safety. By to-morrow's eve Begone, and whine within.
I'll call on you myself and give it back ; [Exit Jerome, with a sad, rueful countenance. And then, if I am charged with any wrong, De Monfort comes forward to the front of the I'll justify myself. Farewell, strange man ! stage, and makes a long pause, erpressive of
(Ext. great agony of mind.)
(De Monfort stands for some time quite motionIt must be so: each passing circumstance;
less, like one stupified. Enters to him a Servant: Her hasty journey here; her keen distress
he starts.) Whene'er my soul's abhorrence I express'd;
De Mon. Ha! who art thou ? Ay, and that damned reconciliation,
'Tis I, an' please your honour. With tears extorted from me ; 0, too well!
De Mon. (staring wildly at him.) Who art All, all too well bespeak the shameful tale.
thou? I should have thought of heaven and hell conjoin'd, Ser. Your servant Jacques. The morning star mix'd with infernal fire,
Indeed I knew thee not. Ere I had thought of this
Leave me, and when Rezen velt is gone,
He's gone already. Such combination opposite, unseemly,
De Mon. How! is he gone so soon? Of fair and loathsome, excellent and base,
His servant told me, Did ne'er produce-But every thing is possible, He was in haste to go; as night comes on, So as it may my misery enhance !
And at the evening hour he purposes 0! I did love her with such pride of soul ! To visit some old friend, whose lonely mansion When other men, in gay pursuit of love,
Stands a short mile beyond the farther wood,
Who chant this night a requiem to the soul
His horses onward by the usual road,
Meaning on foot to cross the wood alone. And when she ask'd who gently knock'd-0!0! So says his knave. Good may it do him, sooth! Who could have thought of this ?
I would not walk through those wild dells alone (Throws himself into a chair, covers his face with For all his wealth. For there, as I have heard,
his hand, and bursts into tears. After some Foul murders have been done, and ravens scream,
time he starts up from his seat furiously.) And things unearthly, stalking through the night, Hell's direst torment seize the infernal villain ! Have scared the lonely traveller from his wits. Detested of my soul! I will have vengeance !
(De Monfort stands fixed in thought.) I'll crush thy swelling pride—I'll still thy vaunt- I've ta’en your mare, an' please you, from her field, ing
And wait your farther orders. I'll do a deed of blood !-Why shrink I thus ?
(De Monfort heeds him not.) If, by some spell or magic sympathy,
Her hoofs are sound, and where the saddle gall’d, Piercing the lifeless figure on that wall
Begins to mend. What further must be done? Could pierce his bosom too, would I not cast it?
(De Monfort still reeds him nat.) (Throwing a dagger against the wall.) His honour heeds me not. Why siwuld I stay? Shall groans and blood affright me? No, I'll do it. De Mon. (eagerly, as he is going.) He goes ough gasping life beneath my pressure heaved,
alone, saidst thou ?
WILD PATH IN A
SEEN FLASHING THROUGH
BEATING UPON THE BUILDING.
Ser. His servant told me so.
I've leant my back against some knotted oak, De Mon.
And at what hour? And loudly mimick'd him, till to my call Ser. He 'parts from Amberg by the fall of eve. He answer would return, and through the gloom, Save you, my lord ! how changed your countenance We friendly converse held. is!
Between me and the star-bespangled sky, Are you not well?
Those aged oaks their crossing branches wave, De Mon.
Yes, I am well: begone, And through them looks the pale and placid moon. And wait my orders by the city wall:
How like a crocodile, or winged snake,
[Exit Servant. And now transformed by the passing wind, (De Monfort walks rapidly two or three times Methinks it seems a flying Pegasus.
across the stage; then seizes his dagger from Ay, but a shapeless band of blacker hue
A hollow murmuring wind sounds through the
trees; SCENE III.--MOONLIGHT.
I hear it from afar; this bodes a storm.
I must not linger here-
(A bell heard at some distance.) mixed with fear, upon his face, looking behind him,
The convent bell. and bending his ear to the ground, as if he listened to l 'Tis distant still: it tells their hour of prayer. something
It sends a solemn sound upon the breeze, De Mon. How hollow groans the earth beneath That, to a fearful superstitious mind,
In such a scene, would like a death-knell come. Is there an echo here? Methinks it sounds
(Exit. As though some heavy footstep follow'd me I will advance no farther.
SCENE I. --THE INSIDE OF A CONVENT CHAPEL, OF O that a tenfold gloom did cover it!
OLD GOTHIC ARCHITECTURE, ALMOST DARK: TWO
TORCHES ONLY ARE SEEN AT A DISTANCE, BURNING That midst the murky darkness I might strike;
OVER NEWLY-COVERED GRAVE. LIGHTNING 18 A: in the wild confusion of a dream,
THE WINDOWS, AND Things horrid, bloody, terrible do pass,
THUNDER HEARD, WITH THE SOUND OF WIND As though they pass'd not; nor impress the mind With the fix'd clearness of reality.
Egter two MONKS. (An owl is heard screaming near him.)
Ist Monk. The storm increases: hark how sirling.) What sound is that? (Listens, and the owl cries again.)
dismally It is the screech owl's cry.
It howls along the cloisters. How goes time? Fuul bird of night! what spirit guides thee here?
2d Monk. It is the hour: I hear them near at Art thou instinctive drawn to scenes of horror?
hand: I've heard of this.
(Pauses and listens.)
And when the solemn requiem has been sung How those fall’n leaves so rustle on the path,
For the departed sister, we'll retire. With whispering noise, as though the earth around Yet, should this tempest still more violent grow, me
We'll beg a friendly shelter till the moun. Did utter secret things!
Ist Monk. See, the procession enters : let us join. The distant river too, bears to mine ea!
(The organ strikes up a solemn prelude.) A dismal wailing. O mysterious night!
Entr a procession of Nons, with the ABBEss, bearing Thou art not silent; many tongues hast thou.
torches. After compassing the grave twice, and re. A distant gathering blast sounds through the wood, maining there some time, the organ plays a grand And dark clouds fleetly hasten o'er the sky:
Jirya, whilst they stand round the grave (' that a storm would rise, a raging storm;
THE BURIAL An..st the roar of warring elements
De arte sul, whose pour renains I'd lift my hand and strike! but this pale light,
This hallow ü lonelyerise contains, The calm distinctness of each stilly thing,
Whose passic storm of life is o'er, 1: errible. (Starting.) Footsteps are near
Whisp pains anisor ws are no mre; Finconies' he comes! I'll watch him farther on
Blog tua tholl with the toeslabove! Irrot do it here.
Wher- all is jy, a:ad purity, and lurr
L- HIM. in mich und mercy dreadl, Fr! - Rezesvelt, and contours his way slowly from
Linifil living and the dead: + lipdum of the stage: as he advances to the front,
In volem the stars of heaven rejoice. *l screarns, he stops and lisiens, and the ow!
And the can lifts its vice; screams again.
Thy spirit, purifi1, 2.2 ly raisi Rez. Ha! does the night-bird greet me on my To sul with bly sain's his puerlasting praise !
Derartigoul, who in this parthly scene How much his booting is in harmony
Hast ur in siy sister Dren, With such a scene as this! I like it well.
Swift il y way whepothe leggod dwell! Oft when a boy, at the still twilight hour,
() no! the bloody neck, the bloody neck! Enter a young PENSIONER, with a wild, terrified look, her hair and dress al. scattered, an! rushes forward
(Shaking his head and shuddering with horror amongst them.
Loud i nocking heard withoul.)
Sist. Good mercy! who comes next?
Not far behind looks, To break upon our sad solemnity ?
I left our brother Thomas on the road; Pen. O! I did hear through the receding blast,
But then he did repent him as he went Such horrid cries ! they made my blood run chill.
And threaten'd to return. Abb. 'Tis but the varied voices of the storm,
See, here he comes. Which many times will sound like distant screams; Enter Brother THOMAS, with a wild, terrified look. It has deceived thee.
1st Monk. How wild he looks! Pen. O no, for twice it call’d, so loudly callid,
Bern. (going up to him eagerly.) What, hast With horrid strength, beyond the pitch of nature ;
thou seen it too? And murder! murder! was the dreadful cry.
Thom. Yes, yes! it glared upon me as it pass'd. A third time it return'd with feeble strength,
Bern. What glared upon thee ? But o'the sudden ceased, as though the words
(All gathering round Thomas, and speaking at Were smother'd rudely in the grappled throat,
once.) And all was still again, save the wild blast
0! what hast thou seen Which at a distance growl'd
Thom. As, striving with the blast, I onward 0! it will never from my mind depart!
came, That dreadful cry, all i' the instant stillid :
Turning my feeble lantern from the wind, For then, so near, some horrid deed was done,
Its light upon a dreadful visage gleam'd, And none to rescue.
Which paused and look'd upon me as it pass'd. Abb. Where didst thou hear it!
But such a look, such wildness of despair, Pen.
In the higher cells, Such horror-strain'd features, never yet As now a window, open'd by the storm,
Did earthly visage show. I shrunk and shudder'd. I did attempt to close.
If a damn d spirit may to earth return, 1st Monk. I wish our brother Bernard were ar- I've seen it. rived ;
Bern. Was there any blood upon it? He is upon his way.
Thom. Nay, as it pass'd, I did not see its form ; Abb. Be not alarm’d; it still may be deception. Naught but the horrid face. 'Tis meet we finish our solemnity,
Bern. It is the murderer. Nor show neglect unto the honour'd dead.
What way went it? (Gives a sign, and the organ plays again: just Thom. I durst not look till I had pass'd it far.
as it ceuses a loud knocking is heard without.), Then turning round, upon the rising bank, Abb. Ha! who may this be? hush!
I saw, between me and the paly sky, (Knocking heard again.) A dusky form, tossing and agitated. 2d Monk. It is the knock of one in furious haste, I stopp'd to mark it; but, in truth, I found Hush ! hush! What footsteps come? Ha ! brother | 'Twas but a sapling bending to the wind, Bernard.
And so I onward hied, and look'd no more.
1st Monk. But we must look to't; we must folEnter BERNARD, bearing a lantern,
low it : 1st Monk. See, what a look he wears of stiffen’d our duty so commands. (To 2d Monk.) Will you fear!
go, brother? Where hast thou been, good brother !
(To Bernard.) And you, good Bernard ? Bern. I've seen a horrid sight!
If I needs must go. (All gathering round him and speaking at once.)
1st Monk. Come, we must all go. What hast thou seen?
Heaven be with you, then! Bern. As on I hasten'd, bearing thus my light,
[Exeunt Monks. Across the path, not fifty paces off,
Pen. Amen! amen! Good heaven be with us I saw a murder'd corse, stretch'd on his back,
all! Smear'd with new blood, as though but newly slain. O what a dreadful night! Abb. A man or woman was't ?
Abb. Daughters, retire ; peace to the peaceful Bern.
A man, a man!
dead! Abb. Didst thou examine if within its breast
Our solemn ceremony now is finish'd. [EXEUNT. There yet were lodged some small remains of life? Was it quite dead?
SCENE II.- A LARGE ROOM IN THE CONVENT, VERY Bern.
Naught in the grave is deader. I look'd but once, yet life did never lodge
Enter the ABBESS, young PENSIONER bearing a light, In any form so laid.
and several Nuns; she sets down the light on a table A chilly horror seized me, and I ned.
at the bottom of the stage, so that the room is still very 1st Monk. And does the face seem all unknown gloomy. to thee?
Abb. They have been longer absent than I Bern. The face ! I would not on the face have
I fear he has escaped them. For e'en a kingdom's wealth, for all the world! 1st Nun.
Heaven forbid !