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Ferdinand What is, my lord ?
He walk'd alone, Osorio.
Unpleasant And phantasies, unsought for, troubled him. To kill a man !
Something within would still be shadowing Ferdinand Except in self-defence.
out Osorio. Why that's my case : and yet All possibilities, and with these shadows 'tis still unpleasant.
His mind held dalliance. Once, as so it At least I find it so ! But you, perhaps,
happen'd, Have stronger nerves ?
A fancy cross'd him wilder than the rest : Ferdinand. Something doth trouble you. To this in moody murmur, and low voice, How can I serve you ? By the life you He yielded utterance, as some talk in sleep. gave me,
The man who heard himBy all that makes that life of value to me,
Why didst thou look round? My wife, my babes, my honor, I swear to Ferdinand. I have a prattler three years you,
old, my lord ! Name it, and I will toil to do the thing, In truth he is my darling. As I went If it be innocent ! But this, my lord ! From forth my door, he made a moan in Is not a place where you could perpetrate,
sleepNo, nor propose a wicked thing. The dark- But I am talking idly-pray go on ! ness
And what did this man? (When ten yards off, we know, 'tis chear- Osorio.
With his human hand ful moonlight)
He gave a being and reality Collects the guilt and crowds it round the To that wild fancy of a possible thing. heart.
Well it was done. [Then very wildly. It must be innocent.
Why babblest thou of guilt ? Osorio.
Thyself be judge. The deed was done, and it pass'd fairly off. [OSORIO walks round the cavern, And he, whose tale I tell thee-dost thou then looking round it.
IIO One of our family knew this place well. 80 Ferdinand. I would, my lord, you were Ferdinand. Who? when? my lord.
by my fireside! Osorio. What boots it who or when ? I'd listen to you with an eager eye, Hang up the torch. I'll tell his tale to Tho' you began this cloudy tale at midthee.
night. [ They hang their torches in some But I do listen--pray proceed, my lord ! shelf of the cavern.
Osorio. Where was I ? Osorio. He was a man different from Ferdinand. He of whom you tell the other men,
taleAnd he despised them, yet revered himself. 1 Osorio. Surveying all things with a quiet
Ferdinand. What ? he was mad?
Osorio All men seem'd mad to him, Tamed himself down to living purposes, Their actions noisome folly, and their talk- The occupations and the semblances A goose's gabble was more musical.
Of ordinary men--and such he seem'd.
He proved a villain ; He found no fit companion !
Betray'd the mystery to a brother villain ; Ferdinand.
Ah, poor wretch ! And they between them hatch'd a damned Madmen are mostly proud.
To hunt him down to infamy and death 1 Against this passage, Coleridge writes in
To share the wealth of a most noble family, MS. II. :— Under the mask of the third person
And stain the honour of an orphan lady Osorio relates his own story, as in the delusion of
With barbarous mixture and unnatural self-justification and pride, it appeared to himself
union. -at least as he wished it to appear to himself.'
What did the Velez ! I am proud of the ED.
Since he dared do it.
Osorio. Now—this was luck! No blood[Osorio grasps his sword and turns stains, no dead body!
150 off from FERDINAND, then, His dream, too, is made out. Now for his after a pause, returns.
Our links burn dimly. Ferdinand. A dark tale darkly finish'd ! Nay, my lord !
SCENE changes to the court before the Castle
130 Tell what he did.
of VELEZ Osorio (fiercely). That which his wisdom
MARIA and her FOSTER-MOTHER.2 prompted. He made the traitor meet him in this cavern,
Maria. And when I heard that you And here he kill'd the traitor.
desired to see me, Ferdinand
No !-the fool.
I thought your business was to tell me of He had not wit enough to be a traitor.
him. Poor thick-eyed beetle! not to have fore- F'oster-Mother. I never saw the Moor, seen
whom you describe. That he, who gull’d thee with a whimper'd
Maria. 'Tis strange ! he spake of you lie
familiarly To murder his own brother, would not
As mine and Albert's common fosterscruple
mother. To murder thee, if e'er his guilt grew jealous, Foster-Mother. Now blessings on the And he could steal upon thee in the dark !
man, whoe'er he be, Osorio. Thou would'st not then have That join'd your names with mine! 0 come, if
my sweet lady, Ferdinand.
O yes, my lord ! As often as I think of those dear times I would have met him arm’d, and scared
When you two little ones would stand at the coward !
160 [FERDINAND throws off his robe, On each side of my chair, and make me shews himself armed, and draws
learn his sword.
All you had learnt in the day; and how to Osorio. Now this is excellent, and warms
talk the blood ! My heart was drawing back, drawing me
1 Against this line Coleridge writes in MS. back
II. :—'Osorio has thrust Ferdinand down the
chasm. With womanish pulls of pity. Dusky slave,
I think it an important instance how I will kill thee pleasantly, and count
Dreams and Prophecies coöperate to their own it
completion.'-ED. Among my comfortable thoughts hereafter.
2 The whole of this scene between Maria and
her foster-mother was omitted as unfit for the Ferdinand. And all my little ones fatherless!
stage in the acted Remorse, but was afterwards, Die thou first.
with the exception of the first two speeches, [ They fight. Osorio disarms FER
printed in an appendix to the second and later DINAND, and in disarming editions. All of it but the first speech originally him, throws his sword up that
appeared, under the title of 'The Foster-Mother's recess, opposite to which they Tale; a Dramatic Fragment,' as one of Colewere standing
ridge's contributions to the Lyrical Ballads, Ferdinand (springing wildly towards
1798 (vide p. 83 of the present volume), and Osorio). Still I can strangle thee!
continued to appear there, with some further Osorio. Nay, fool! stand off,
omission as regards the opening part, in the later I'll kill thee-but not so ! Go fetch thy editions of 1800, 1802, and 1805. Cottle in his sword.
| Early Recollections of Coleridge (Lond. 1837, [FERDINAND hurries into the recess
vol. i. pp. 234, 235), prints a version of it, with with his torch. Osorio follows some slight variations, from a copy in Coleridge's him, and in a moment returns own writing, given to him by the poet in the alone.
summer of 1797.-ED.
In gentle phrase, then bid me sing to you, Till his brain turn'd--and ere his twen'Tis more like heaven to come, than what has been !
He had unlawful thoughts of many things. Maria. O my dear mother ! this strange And though he pray'd, he never loved to man has left me
pray Wilder'd with wilder fancies than yon moon With holy men, nor in a holy place. Breeds in the love-sick maid — who gazes But yet his speech, it was so soft and at it
sweet, Till lost in inward vision, with wet eye The late Lord Velez ne'er was wearied with She gazes idly ! But that entrance, mother!
And once as by the north side of the Foster-Mother. Can no one hear? It
chapel is a perilous tale !
They stood together, chain'd in deep disMaria. No one.
course, Foster-Mother. My husband's father told The earth heav'd under them with such a
groan, Poor old Leoni. Angels rest his soul ! That the wall totter'd, and had well-nigh He was a woodman, and could fell and
Right on their heads. My lord was sorely With lusty arm. You know that huge
frighten'd; round beam
A fever seiz'd him ; and he made confesWhich props the hanging wall of the old
sion chapel ?
Of all the heretical and lawless talk Beneath that tree, while yet it was a tree, Which brought this judgment: so the He found a baby wrapt in mosses, lined
youth was seiz'd With thistle-beards, and such small locks
And cast into that hole. My husband's of wool
210 As hang on brambles. Well, he brought Sobb'd like a child-it almost broke his him home,
heart. And rear'd him at the then Lord Velez' And once as he was working in the cellar, cost.
180 He heard a voice distinctly ; 'twas the And so the babe grew up a pretty boy.
youth's, A pretty boy, but most unteachable
Who sung a doleful song about green And never learnt a prayer, nor told a
How sweet it were on lake or wild savannah But knew the names of birds, and mock'd To hunt for food, and be a naked man, their notes,
And wander up and down at liberty. And whistled, as he were a bird himself. He always doted on the youth, and now And all the autumn 'twas his only play His love grew desperate ; and defying To get the seeds of wild flowers, and to
death, plant them
He made that cunning entrance I deWith earth and water on the stumps of
And the young man escaped. A friar who gather's simples in the wood, illaria.
'Tis a sweet tale : A grey-hair'd man --- he loved this little Such as would lull a list' ning child to sleep, boy,
His rosy face besoil'd with unwiped tears. The boy loved him-and, when the friar And what became of him ? taught him,
Foster-Mother. He went on shipboard He soon could write with the pen ; and With those bold voyagers, who made disfrom that time
covery Lived chiefly at the convent or the castle. Of golden lands; Leoni's younger brother So he became a very learned youth.
Went likewise, and when he return'd to But O! poor wretch-he read, and read,
Spain, and read,
He told Leoni that the poor mad youth,
Soon after they arrived in that new world,
Is this well? In spite of his dissuasion seized a boat,
Maria. Yes! it is truth. Saw you his And all alone set sail by silent moonlight,
260 Up a great river, great as any sea, 232 How rage, remorse, and scorn, and stupid And ne'er was heard of more ; but 'tis
Displac'd each other with swift interHe liv'd and died among the savage men.
If this were all assumed, as you believe, Enter VELEZ.
He must needs be a most consummate Veles. Still sad, Maria? This same
actor ; wizard haunts you.
And hath so vast a power to deceive me, Maria. O Christ ! the tortures that hang I never could be safe. And why assume o'er his head,
The semblance of such execrable feelings? If ye betray him to these holy brethren! V'eles. Ungrateful woman! I have try'd Veles (with a kind of sneer). A portly
to stifle man, and eloquent, and tender ! An old man's passion! Was it not enough In truth, I shall not wonder if you mourn That thou hast made my son a restless That their rude grasp should seize on such
270 a victim.
Banish'd his health and half-unhinged his Maria. The horror of their ghastly
But that thou wilt insult him with suspicion, Doth so o'ertop the height of sympathy, And toil to biast his honor? I am oldThat I should feel too little for mine A comfortless old man ! Thou shalt not enemy
stay Ah ! far too little—if 'twere possible, Beneath my roof! I could feel more, even tho' my child or [FRANCESCO enters and stands listhusband
ening. Were doom'd to suffer them ! That such
Repent and marry him— things are
Or to the convent. Velez. Hush ! thoughtless woman ! Francesco (muttering). Good ! good! Maria. Nay-it wakes within me
very good! More than a woman's spirit.
Maria. Nay, grant me some small pitVelez (angrily). No more of this
tance of my fortune, I can endure no more.
And I will live a solitary woman, Foster-Mother. My honor'd master ! Or my poor foster-mother and her grandLord Albert used to talk so.
Yes ! my mother ! May be my household. These are my Albert's lessons, and I con i'rancesco (advancing). I abhor a listthem
280 With more delight than, in my fondest But you spoke so, I could not chuse but hour,
hear you. I bend me o'er his portrait.
pray, my lord ! will you embolden me Velez (to the Foster-Mother). My good To ask you why this lady doth prefer woman,
To live in lonely sort, without a friend You may retire.
Or fit companion ? [Exit the FOSTER-MOTHER. Velez.
Bid her answer you. Veles. We have mourn'd for Albert. Maria. Nature will be my friend and fit Have I no living son ?
companion. [Turns off from them. Maria,
Speak not of HIM! O Albert! Albert ! that they could return, That low imposture ---my heart sickens at Those blessed days, that imitated heaven !
When we two wont to walk at eveningIf it be madness, must I wed a madman?
tide ; And if not madness, there is mystery, When we saw nought but beauty; when And guilt doth lurk behind it !
The voice of that Almighty One, who lov'd Francesco. My lord ! I shall presume to us,
wait on you In every gale that breath'd, and wave that | To-morrow early. murmur'd!
Be it so, good father! O we have listen'd, even till high-wrought
[Exit FRANCESCO. pleasure
Veles (alone). I do want solace, but not Hath half - assumed the countenance of
such as thine! grief,
The moon is high in heaven, and my eyes And the deep sigh seem'd to heave up a
But not with sleep. Well—it is ever so. Of bliss, that press'd too heavy on the A child, a child is born ! and the fond heart heart.
Dances ! and yet the childless are most Francesco. But in the convent, lady, you
happy. would have Such aids as might preserve you from [SCENE changes to the mountains by moonperdition.
light. ALHADRA alone in a Noorish There you might dwell.
dress, her eyes fixed on the earth. Then Maria. With tame and credulous faith, drop in one after another, from different Mad melancholy, antic merriment, 300 parts of the stage, a considerable number Leanness, disquietude, and secret pangs ! of Morescoes, all in their Nloorish garO God! it is a horrid thing to know
ments. They form a circle at a distance That each pale wretch, who sits and drops rour.d ALHADRA. After a pause one of her beads
the Morescoes to the man who stands next Had once a mind, which might have given to him.
her wings Such as the angels wear!
First Moresco. The law which forced Francesco (stifling his rage). Where is these Christian dresses on us, 330 your son, my lord ?
'Twere pleasant to cleave down the wretch Velez. I have not seen him, father, since
who framed it.
Second. Yet 'tis not well to trample on Francesco. His lordship’s generous nature it idly. hath deceiv'd him !
First. Our country robes are dear. That Ferdinand (or if not he his wife)
And like dear friends, I have fresh evidence---are infidels.
May chance to prove most perilous inWe are not safe until they are rooted out.
formers. Maria. Thou man, who call'st thyself
[A third Moresco, NAOMI, advances the minister
from out the circle. Of Him whose law was love unutterable ! Naomi. Woman! may Alla and the Why is thy soul so parch'd with cruelty,
prophet bless thee ! That still thou thirstest for thy brother's We have obey'd thy call. Where is our blood ?
chief? Velez (rapidly). Father! I have long And why didst thou enjoin the Moorish suspected it—her brain
garments ? Heed it not, father!
Alhadra (lifting up her eyes, and looking Francesco. Nay—but I must heed it.
round on the circle). Warriors of Maria. Thou miserable man! I fear
Mahomet, faithful in the battle, thee not,
My countrymen! Come ye prepared to Nor prize a life which soon may weary
An honourable deed ? And would ye Bear witness, Heav'n! I neither scorn
340 nor hate him
320 In the slave's garb? Curse on those But O! 'tis wearisome to mourn for evils,
Christian robes ! Still mourn, and have no power to remedy! They are spell-blasted ; and whoever wears
he left you.