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Isidore. What is, my lord ?
And pressed his soul into a human shape Ordonio. Abhorrent from our nature By accident or malice. In this world 109 To kill a man.
He found no fit companion. Isidore. Except in self-defence. Isidore. Of himself he speaks. [Aside. Ordonio. Why that's my case ; and
Alas! poor wretch ! yet the soul recoils from it
Mad men are mostly proud. 'Tis so with me at least.
But you, per-
He walked alone, haps,
And phantom thoughts unsought - for Have sterner feelings?
troubled him. Isidore. Something troubles you. Something within would still be shadowHow shall I serve you? By the life you
ing out gave me,
All possibilities; and with these shadows By all that makes that life of value to me, His mind held dalliance. Once, as so My wife, my babes, my honour, I swear
it happened, 90
A fancy crossed him wilder than the Name it, and I will toil to do the thing,
rest : If it be innocent ! But this, my lord ! To this in moody murmur and low voice Is not a place where you could perpetrate, He yielded utterance, as some talk in No, nor propose a wicked thing. The
sleep : darkness,
The man who heard him.When ten strides off we know 'tis cheer
Why didst thou look round? ful moonlight,
Isidore. I have a prattler three years Collects the guilt, and crowds it round
old, my lord ! the heart.
In truth he is my darling. As I went It must be innocent.
From forth my door, he made a moan in [ORDONIO darkly, and in the feel- sleep
ing of self-justification, tells But I am talking idly-pray proceed !
With his human hand
To that wild fancy of a possible thing.– Ordonio.
Thyself be judge. Well it was done ! One of our family knew this place well.
[Then very wildly. Isidore. Who? when? my lord ?
Why babblest thou of guilt ? Ordonio. What boots it, who or when? The deed was done, and it passed fairly Hang up thy torch—I'll tell his tale to
And he whose tale I tell thee-dost thou [They hang up their torches on
listen? some ridge in the cavern. Isidore. I would, my lord, you were He was a man different from other men,
by my fire-side,
130 And he despised them, yet revered him- I'd listen to you with an eager eye, self.
Though you began this cloudy tale at Isidore (aside). He? He despised?
midnight, Thou’rt speaking of thyself! But I do listen--pray proceed, my lord. I am on my guard, however: no surprize. Ordonio.
Where was I ? Then to ORDONIO. Isidore. He of whom you tell the tale-What, he was mad ?
Ordonio. Surveying all things with a Ordonio. All men seemed mad to him !
quiet scorn, Nature had made him for some other
Tamed himself down to living purposes, planet,
The occupations and the semblances
Of ordinary men--and such he seemed ! And claims that life, my pity robb’d her But that same over ready agent-he
ofIsidore. Ah ! what of him, my lord ? Now will I kill thee, thankless slave, and Ordonio. He proved a traitor,
count it Betrayed the mystery to a brother-traitor, Among my comfortable thoughts here. And they between them hatch'd a damned
Isidore. And all my little ones fatherTo hunt him down to infamy and death.
lessWhat did the Valdez? I am proud of
Die thou first. the name
[They fight, ORDONIO disarms Since he dared do it.
ISIDORE, and in disarming [ORDONIO grasps his sword, and
him throws his sword up that turns off from ISIDORE, then
recess opposite to which they after a pause returns.
were standing: ISIDORE Our links burn dimly.
hurries into the recess with Isidore. A dark tale darkly finished !
his torch, ORDONIO follows Nay, my lord !
him; a loud cry of‘Traitor ! Tell what he did.
Monster!' is heard from the Ordonio. That which his wisdom
and in a moment prompted
ORDONIO returns alone. He made the Traitor meet him in this Ordonio. I have hurl'd him down the cavern,
Chasm ! Treason for Treason. And here he kill'd the Traitor.
He dreamt of it: henceforward let him Isidore. No! the fool !
sleep, He had not wit enough to be a traitor. A dreamless sleep, from which no wife Poor thick-eyed beetle! not to have fore
can wake him.
His dream too is made out—Now for his That he who gulled thee with a whim
[Exit ORDONIO. pered lie To murder his own brother, would not
SCENE II scruple To murder thee, if e'er his guilt grew The interior Court of a Saracenic or jealous,
Gothic Castle, with the Iron Gate of And he could steal upon thee in the dark !
Dungeon visible. Ordonio. Thou would'st not then have
Teresa. Heart-chilling Superstition ! Isidore. Oh yes, my lord !
thou canst glaze I would have met him arm’d, and scar'd Ev'n Pity's eye with her own frozen tear. the coward.
In vain I urge the tortures that await [ISIDORE throws off his robe ;
shews himself armed, and Even Selma, reverend guardian of my draws his sword.
childhood, Ordonio. Now this is excellent and My second mother, shuts her heart against warms the blood !
me ! My heart was drawing back, drawing me Well, I have won from her what most back
imports With weak and womanish scruples. Now The present need, this secret of the my Vengeance
dungeon Beckons me onwards with a Warrior's Known only to herself.— A Moor ! a mien,
No, I have faith, that Nature ne'er per- Teresa.
My honoured lord, mitted
These were my Alvar's lessons, and Baseness to wear a form so noble. True,
whene'er I doubt not that Ordonio had suborned I bend me o'er his portrait, I repeat them, him
As if to give a voice to the mute image. To act some part in some unholy fraud ; Valdez. -We have mourned for As little doubt, that for some unknown
Of his sad fate there now remains no doubt. He hath baffled his suborner, terror-struck Have I no other son ? him,
Speak not of him! And that Ordonio meditates revenge ! That low imposture! That mysterious But my resolve is fixed ! myself will
41 rescue him,
If this be madness, must I wed a madAnd learn if haply he knowaught of Alvar.
And if not madness, there is mystery, Enter VALDEZ.
And guilt doth lurk behind it. Valdez. Still sad ?--and gazing at the Valdez.
Is this well? massive door
Teresa. Yes, it is truth : saw you his Of that fell Dungeon which thou ne’er
countenance ? had'st sight of,
How rage, remorse, and scorn, and stupid Save what, perchance, thy infant fancy
fear shap'd it
20 Displaced each other with swift interWhen the nurse still'd thy cries with
changes ? unmeant threats.
O that I had indeed the sorcerer's Now by my faith, Girl! this same wizard
power. haunts thee!
I would call up before thine eyes the A stately man, and eloquent and tender- image
[With a sneer. Of my betrothed Alvar, of thy First-born! Who then need wonder if a lady sighs His own fair countenance, his kingly Even at the thought of what these stern
His tender smiles, love's day-dawn on Teresa (with solemn indignation). The
his lips ! horror of their ghastly punish- That spiritual and almost heavenly light ments
In his commanding eye-his mien heroic, Doth so o'ertop the height of all com- Virtue's own native heraldry ! to man passion,
Genial, and pleasant to his guardian angel. That I should feel too little for mine Whene'er he gladden'd, how the gladness enemy,
spread If it were possible I could feel more, Wide round him ! and when oft with Even though the dearest inmates of our
swelling tears, household
30 Flash'd through by indignation, he beWere doom'd to suffer them. That such
wail'd things are—
The wrongs of Belgium's martyr'd Valdez. Hush, thoughtless woman !
60 Teresa. Nay it wakes within me Oh, what a grief was there—for joy to More than a woman's spirit.
No more of this Or gaze upon enamour'd ! What if Monviedro or his creatures hear
O my father! us !
Recall that morning when we knelt I dare not listen to you.
And thou didst bless our loves ! O even I will go thither-let them arm themnow,
[Exit VALDEZ. Even now, my sire ! to thy mind's eye Teresa (alone). The moon is high in present him,
heaven, and all is hush'd. As at that moment he rose up before thee, Yet anxious listener ! I have seem'd to Stately, with beaming look ! Place,
hear place beside him
A low dead thunder mutter thro' the Ordonio's dark perturbed countenance !
night, Then bid me (Oh thou could'st not) bid As 'twere a giant angry in his sleep.
me turn From him, the joy, the triumph of our
O Alvar! Alvar! that they could return, kind !
Those blessed days that imitated heaven, To take in exchange that brooding man,
When we two wont to walk at even tide ; who never
When we saw nought but beauty ; when Lifts up his eye from the earth, unless to
we heard scowl.
The voice of that Almighty One who Valdez. Ungrateful woman ! I have
loved us tried to stifle
In every gale that breathed, and wave An old man's passion! was it not enough,
that murmur'd ! That thou hast made my son a restless
O we have listen’d, even till high-wrought man,
pleasure Banish'd his health, and half unhing'd Hath half assumed the countenance of his reason;
grief, But that thou wilt insult him with sus
And the deep sigh seemed to heave up a picion ?
weight And toil to blast his honour? I am old,
Of bliss, that pressed too heavy on the A comfortless old man !
[A pause. Teresa. O Grief! to hear
And this majestic Moor, seems he not one Hateful intreaties from a voice we love! Who oft and long communing with my
Alvar Enter a Peasant and presents a Hath drunk in kindred lustre from his letter to VALDEZ.
presence, Valdez (reading it). 'He dares not ven
And guides me to him with reflected light? ture hither !' Why, what can
What if in yon dark dungeon coward this mean?
81 · Lest the Familiars of the Inquisition,
Be groping for him with envenomed That watch around my gates, should in
poignardtercept him ;
Hence, womanish fears, traitors to love But he conjures me, that without delay
I'll free him. I hasten to him—for my own sake en
[Exit TERESA. treats me To guard from danger him I hold im
SCENE III prison'dHe will reveal a secret, the joy of which
The mountains by moonlight. ALHADRA Will even outweigh the sorrow.'—Why
alone in a Moorish dress. what can this be ? Perchance it is some Moorish stratagem, Alhadra. Yon hanging woods, that To have in me an hostage for his safety.
touch'd by autumn seem Nay, that they dare not ! Ho ! collect As they were blossoming hues of fire and my servants !
The flower-like woods, most lovely in
tinguished by his dress and decay,
armour, and by the silent The many clouds, the sea, the rock, the
obeisance paid to him on his sands,
entrance by the other Moors. Lie in the silent moonshine : and the Naomi. Woman ! May Alla and the owl,
Prophet bless thee ! (Strange! very strange !) the screech- We have obeyed thy call. Where is our owl only wakes !
chief? Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish beauty !
garments ? Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching Alhadra (raising her eyes, and looking song
round on the circle). Warriors of To a herd of wolves, that skulk athirst
Mahomet ! faithful in the battle ! for blood.
My countrymen! Come ye prepared to Why such a thing am I ?- Where are
work these men ?
An honourable deed? And would ye I need the sympathy of human faces,
30 To beat away this deep contempt for all In the slave's garb? Curse on those things,
Christian robes ! Which quenches my revenge. O! would They are spell - blasted : and whoever to Alla,
wears them, The raven, or the sea-mew, were ap- His arm shrinks wither'd, his heart
pointed To bring me food! or rather that my And his bones soften. soul
Where is Isidore ? Could drink in life from the universal Alhadra (in a deep low voice). This air !
night I went from forth my house, It were a lot divine in some small skiff
and left Along some Ocean's boundless solitude, His children all asleep : and he was To float for ever with a careless course,
living ! And think myself the only Being alive! And I return'd and found them still
asleep, My children !-Isidore's children !-Son But he had perished -of Vaidez,
All Morescoes. Perished? This hath new strung mine arm. Thou Alhadra.
He had perished ! coward Tyrant !
Sleep on, poor babes! not one of you To stupify a Woman's Heart with anguish
doth know Till she forgot-even that she was a That he is fatherless--a desolate orphan ! Mother!
Why should we wake them ? Can an [She fixes her eye on the earth.
41 Then drop in one after Revenge his murder ? another, from different parts
One Moresco (to another). Did she of the stage, a considerable
say his murder ? number of Morescoes, all in Naomi. Murder? Not murdered ? Moorish garments and Moor- Alhadra. Murdered by a Christian ! ish armour.
They form a [They all at once draw their sabres. circle at a distance round Alhadra (to Naomi, who advances from ALHADRA, and remain
the circle). Brother of Zagri ! silent till the Second in com
fling away thy sword ; mand, Naomi, enters, dis- This is thy chieftain's !