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Man. And what are they who do

avouch these things ? Abbot. My pious brethren--the scared

peasantryEven thy own vassals who do look on

thee With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in

peril. Man. Take it. Abbot. I come to save, and not des

troy : I would not pry into thy secret soul : But if these things be sooth, there still is

time For penitence and pity : reconcile thee With the true church, and through the

church to heaven. Man. I hear thee. This is my reply:

whate'er I may have been, or am, doth rest be

tween Heaven and myself. I shall not choose

a mortal To be my mediator. Have I sinn'd Against your ordinances ? prove and

punish! Abbot. My son ! I did not speak of

punishment, But penitence and pardon ;-with myself The choice of such remains and for the

last, Our institutions and our strong belief Have given me power to smooth the

path from sin To higher hope and better thoughts; the

first
I leave to heaven, --“Vengeance is mine

alone!"
So saith the Lord, and with all bumble-
His servant echoes back the awful word.
Man. Old man ! there is no power in

holy men,
Nor charm in prayer, nor purifying form
Of penitence, nor outward look, nor fast,
Nor agony-nor, greater than all these,
The innate tortures of that deep despair,
Which is remorse without the fear of

hell,
But all in all sufficient to itself
Would make a hell of heaven--can ex-

orcise From out the unbound spirit the quick Of its own sins, wrongs, sufferance, and

revenge Upon itself ; there is no future pang Can deal that justice on the self-con.

demn'd

Abbot. Peace be with Count Man

fred! Man. Thanks, holy father! welcome

to these walls; Thy presence honors them, and blesseth

those Who dwell within them.

Abbot. Would it were so, Count?--
But I would fain confer with thee alone.
Man. Herman, retire.- What would

my reverend guest ?
Abbot. Thus, without prelude :--Age

and zeal, my office,
And good intent, must plead my privi-

lege ; Our near, though not acquainted neigh

borhood,
May also be my herald. Rumors

strange,
And of unholy nature, are abroad,
And busy with thy name ; a noble name
For centuries: may he who bears it now
Transmit it unimpair'd !
Man.

Proceed, --I listen.
Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse

with the things
Which are forbidden to the search of

man; That with the dwellers of the dark

abodes, The many evil and unheavenly spirits Which walk the valley of the shade of

death, Thou communest. I know that with

mankind,
Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely
Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy

solitude
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.

ness

sense

Lies low but mighty still.-.But this is

past, My thoughts mistook themselves. Abbot.

And wherefore so ? Man. I could not tame iny nature

down ; for he Must serve who fain would sway; and

soothe, and sue, And watch all time, and pry into al}

place, And be a living lie, who would become A mighty thing amongst the mean, and

such The mass are ; I disdain'd to mingle with A herd, though to be leader--and of

wolves. The lion is alone, and so am I. Abbot. And why not live and act with

other men ? Man. Because my nature was a verse

from life ; And yet not cruel; for I would not make, But find a desolation. Like the wind, The red-hot breath of the most lone

simoom, Which dwells but in the desert, and

sweeps o'er

He deals on his own soul.
Abbot.

All this is well ; For this will pass away, and be succeeded By an auspicious hope, which shall look

up With calm assurance to that blessed

place, Which all who seek may win, whatever

be Their earthly errors, so they be atoned : And the commencement of atonement is The sense of its necessity. Say on-And all our church can teach thee shall

be taught; And all we can absolve thee shall be

pardon'd. Man. When Rome's sixth emperor

was near his last, The victim of a self-inflicted wound, To shun the torments of a public death From senates once his slaves, a certain

soldier, With show of loyal pity, would have

stanch'd The gushing throat with his officious

robe ; The dying Roman thrust him back, and

said Some empire still in his expiring glance-“It is too late--is this fidelity ?"

Abbot. And what of this?

Man. I answer with the Roman-“It is too late !" Abbot.

It never can be so, To reconcile thyself with thy own soul, And thy own soul with heaven. Hast

thou no hope? 'Tis strange--even those who do de

spair above, Yet shape themselves some fantasy on

earth, To which frail twig they cling, like

drowning men. Man. Ay--father! I have had those

earthly visions, And noble aspirations in my youth, To make my own the mind of other

men, The enlightener of nations; and to rise I knew not whither-it might be to fall; But fall, even as the mountain-cataract, Which having leapt from its more daz

zling height, Even in the foaming strength of its

abyss, (Which casts up misty columns that be

come Clouds raining from the re-ascended

skies,)

The barren sands which bear no shrubs

to blast, And revels o'er their wild and arid

waves, And seeketh not, so that it is not sought, But being met is deadly,--such hath

been The course of my existence ; but there

came Things in my path which are no more. Abbot.

Alas! I’gin to fear that thou art past all aid From me and from my calling; yet so

young, I still would-

Man. Look on me! there is an order Of mortals on the earth, who do become Old in their youth, and die ere middle

age, Without the violence of warlike death; Some perishing of pleasure, some of

study, Some worn with toil, some of mere

weariness, Some of disease, and some insanity, And some of witber'd or of broken

hearts ; For this last is a malady which slays More than are number'd in the lists of

Fate, Taking all shapes, and bearing many Look upon me! for even of all these

nanes.

things
Have I partaken; and of all these things,
One were enough; then wonder not that I
Am what I am, but that I ever was,
Or having been, that I am still on earth.

Abbot. Yet, hear me still-
Mun.

Old man! I do respect Thine order, and revere thine years; I

deem Thy purpose pious, but it is in vain : Think me not churlish; I would spare

thyself, Far more than me, in shunning at this

time All further colloquy-and so-farewell.

(Exit MANFRED. Abbot. This should have been a noble

creature; be Hath all the energy which would have

made A goodly frame of glorious elements, Had they been wisely mingled ; as it is, It is an awful chaos-light and darkness, And mind and dust, and passions and

pure thoughts Mix'd, and contending without end or

order, All dormant or destructive : he will

perish, And yet he must not; I will try once For such are worth redemption; and my

duty Is to dare all things for a righteous end. I'll follow him—but cautiously, though surely.

[Exit ABBOT. SCENE II Another Chamber.

MANFRED and HERMAN, Iler. My lord, you bade me wait on

you at sunset: He sinks bebind the mountain. Uan.

Doth he so? I will look on him. [MANFRED (dvances

to the Window of the Hall.

Glorious Orb! the idol Of early nature, and the vigorous race Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons Of the embrace of angels, with a sex More beautiful than they, which die

draw down The erring spirits who can ne'er return.Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, The mystery of thy making was

veal'd!

Thou earliest minister of the Almighty, Which gladden'd, on their mountain

tops, the hearts Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they

pour'd Themselves in orisons! Thou material

God ! And representative of the unknownWho chose thee for his shadow! Thou

chief star! Centre of many stars! which mak'st our

earth Endurable, and temperest the hues And hearts of all who walk within thy

rays : Sire of the seasons ! Monarch of the

climes, And those who dwell in them ! for near

or far, Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee Even as our outward aspects ;-thou dost

rise, And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee

well ! I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first

glance Of love and wonder was for thee, then take

(one My latest look: thou wilt not beam on To whom the gifts of life and warmth

have been Of a more fatal nature. He is gone : I follow,

[Exit MANFRED.

SCENE III The Mountains-The Castle of Manfred

at some distance-A Terrace before u

Tower-Time, Twilight. HERMAN, MANUEL and other Dependents

of MANFRED, Her. 'Tis strange enough ; night after

night, for years, Ile hath pursued long vigils in this tower, Without a witness. I have been within

it,So have we all been oft-times; but from it, Or its contents, it were impossible To draw conclusions absolute, of aught His studies tend to. To be sure, there is One chamber where none enter: I would

give The fee of what I have to come these

three years, To pore upon its mysteries, Manuel.

Twere dangerous; Content thyself with what thou know'st

already.

more

ere

re

That lived, the only thing he seem'd te

love, As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do The lady Astarte, his

Hush! who comes here?

Her. Ah! Manuel! thou art elderly

and wise, And couldst say much; thou hast dwelt

within the castleHow many years is't?

Manuel. Ere Count Manfred's birth, I served his father, whom he nought re

sembles. Her. There be more sons in like pre

dicament. But wherein do they differ? Manuel.

I speak not Of features or of form, but mind and

habits ; Count Sigismund was proud, but gay and

free,A warrior and a reveller ; he dwelt not With books and solitude, nor made the

night A gloomy vigil, but a festal time, Merrier than day; lie did not walk the

rocks
And forests like a wolf. nor turn aside
From men and their delights.
Her.

Beshrew the hour, But those were jocund times! I would

that such Would visit the old wall; again; they

look As if they had forgotten them. Manulei.

These walls Must change their chieftain first. Oh! I

have seen Some strange things in them, Herman. Her.

Come, be friendly : Relate me some to while away our

watch: I've heard thee darkly speak of an event Which happen'd liereabouts, by this

same tower. Manuel. That was a night indeed! I

do remember 'Twas twilight, as it may be now,

and such Another evening ;-yon red cloud, which

rests On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then,So like that it might be the same; the

wind Was faint and gusty, and the mountain Began to glitter with the climbing moon; Connt Manfred was, as now, within his

tower, How occupied, we knew not, but with

him The sole companion of his wanderings And watchings-her, whom of all earthly

things

Enter the ABBOT. Abbot. Where is your

master? Her.

Yonder in the tower. Abbot. I must speak with him. Manuel.

"Tis impossible; He is most private, and must not be thus Intruded on.

Abbot. Upon myself I take The forfeit of my fault, if fault there beBut I must see him. Her.

Thou hast seen him once This eve already.

Abbot. Herman! I command thee, Knock, and apprize the Count of my ap

proach. Her. We dare not.

Abbot. Then it seems I must be herald Of my own purpose.

Manuel. Reverend father, stopI

pray you pause. Abbot.

Why so ? Manuel.

But step this way, And I will tell you further. [E.ceunt.

SCENE IV

Interior of the Tower.

MANFRED alone. The stars are forth, the moon above the

tops Of the snow-shining mountains.-Beau

tiful! I linger yet with Nature, for the Night Hath been to me a more familiar face Than that of man; and in her starry

shade Of dim and solitary loveliness, I learn'd the language of another world. I do remember me, that in my youth, When I was wandering, -upon such a

night I stood within the Coliseum's wall, 'Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome; The trees which grew along the broken

arches Waved dark in the blue midnight, and

the stars Shone through the rents of ruin; from

afar The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber:

and

snows

More near from out the Cæsars' palace

came The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly, Of distant sentinels the fitful song Begun and died upon the gentle wind. Some cypresses beyond the time-worn

breach Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they

stood Within a bowshot. Where the Cæsars

dwelt, And dwell the tuneless birds of night,

amidst A grove which springs through levellid

battlements, And twines its roots with the imperial

hearths, Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth; But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands, A noble wreck in ruinous perfection, While Casar's chambers, and the Au

gustan halls, Grcvel on earth in indistinct decay. And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon,

upon All this, and cast a wide and tender light, Which soften'd down the hoar austerity Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up, As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries; Leaving that beautiful which still was so, And making that which was not, till the

place Became religion, and the heart ran o'er With silent worship of the great of old, The dead but sceptred sovereigns, who

still rule Our spirits from their urns.

'Twas such a night! 'T is strange that I recall it at this time; But I have found our thoughts take

wildest flight Even at the moment when they should

array Themselves in pensive order.

Enter the ABBOT. Abbot.

My good lord! I crave a second grace for this approach; But yet let not my humble zeal offend By its abruptness ---- all it hath of ill Recoils on me; its good in the effect May light upon your head ---- could I say

heart Could I touch that, with words or prayers,

I should Recall a noble spirit which hath wan

der'd; But is not yet all lost. Man.

Thou know'st me not;

My days are number'd, and my deeds re

corded : Retire, or 'twill be dangerous-Away ! Abbot. Thou dost not mean to menace

me? Man.

Not I; I simply tell thee peril is at hand, And would preserve thee.

Abbot. What dust thou mean? Man,

Look there! What dost thou see? Abbot.

Nothing: Man.

Look there I say. And steadfastly ;-now tell me what

thou seest? Abbot. That which should shake me,

but I fear it not : I see a dusk and awful figure rise, Like an infernal god, from out the earth ; His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form Robed as with angry.clouds : he stands be

tween Thyself and me --but I do fear him not. ilan. Thou hast no cause--he shall not

harm thee-but His sight may shock thine old limbs into

palsy. I say to thee-Retire ! Abbot.

And I replyNever-till I have battled with this

fiend : What doth be here :

Man. Why--ay--what doth he here? I did not send for him,-he is unbidden. Abbot. Alas! lost mortal! what with

guests like these Hast thou to do? I tremble for thy sake: Why doth he gaze on thee, and thou on

him? Ah! he unveils his aspect : on his brow The thunder-scars are graven : from his

eye Glares forth the immortality of hellAvaunt!-

Mun. Pronounce--what is thy missioni Spirit.

Come !Abbot. What art thou, unknown being ?

answer !-speak! Spirit. The genius of this mortal.

Come! 'tis time. Man. I am prepared for all things, but

deny The power which sunimons me. Whosent

thee here? Spirit. Thou'lt know anon--Come!

Come! Man.

I have commanded Things of an essence greater far than

thine,

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