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In joy

Mar. Oh Monster ! Monster ! there are three Idon. Thou seest me what I am. of us,

Eld.

It was most heinous, And we shall howl together.

And doth call out for vengeance. [After a pause and in a feeble voice. Idon.

Do not add, I am deserted I prithee, to the harm thou 'st done already. At my worst need, my crimes have in a net

Eld. Hereafter you will thank me for this service. (Pointing to ELDRED) Entangled this poor man. Hard by, a Man I met, who, from plain proofs Where was it? where !

of interfering Heaven, I have no doubt,

(Dragging him along. | Laid hands upon your Father. Fit it were Eld. 'Tis needless ; spare your violence. His | You should prepare to meet him. Daughter

Idon.

I have nothing Mar. Ay, in the word a thousand scorpions lodge: To do with others; help me to my FatherThis old man had a Daughter.

(She turns and sees MARMADUKE leaning on ELBANOR Eld.

To the spot

-throws herself upon his neck, and after some

time, I hurried back with her.- save me, Sir,

In joy I met thee, but a few hours past; From such a journey there was a black tree,

| And thus we meet again ; one human stay A single tree ; she thought it was her Father.

Is left me still in thee. Nay, shake not so. Oh Sir, I would not see that hour again

Mar. In such a wilderness-to see no thing, For twenty lives. The daylight dawned, and now

No, not the pitying moon ! Nay; hear my tale, 'tis fit that you should hear it

Idon.

And perish so. As we approached, a solitary crow

Mar. Without a dog to moan for him. Rose from the spot ;-the Daughter clapped her

Idon.

Think not of it, hands,

But enter there and see him how he sleeps, And then I heard a shriek so terrible

Tranquil as he had died in his own bed. [MAKMADUKE shrinks back.

Mar. Tranquil-why not? The startled bird quivered upon the wing.

Idon.

Oh, peace ! Mar. Dead, dead!

Mar.

He is at peace ; Eld. (after a pause). A dismal matter, Sir, for me,

His body is at rest : there was a plot, And seems the like for you ; if 'tis your wish,

| A hideous plot, against the soul of man : I'll lead you to his Daughter ; but 'twere best

It took effect-and yet I baffled it,
That she should be prepared; I 'll go before.
Mar. There will be need of preparation.

In some degree.
Idon.

Between us stood, I thought, (ELDRED goes off Elea. (enters).

Master !

A cup of consolation, filled from Heaven Your limbs sink under you, shall I support you ?

For both our needs ; must I, and in thy presence,

Alone partake of it !-Beloved Marmaduke ! Mar. (taking her arm). Woman, I've lent my

Mar. Give me a reason why the wisest thing body to the service Which now thou tak’st upon thee. God forbid

That the earth owns shall never choose to die,

But some one must be near to count his groans. That thou shouldst ever meet a like occasion With such a purpose in thine heart as mine was.

The wounded deer retires to solitude, Elea. Oh, why have I to do with things like these?

And dies in solitude : all things but man,

All die in solitude. (Exeunt.

(Moving towards the cottage door.

Mysterious God,

If she had never lived I had not done it ! SCENE changes to the door of ELDRED'S cottage

Idon. Alas, the thought of such a cruel death IDONEA scated-enter ELDRED.

Has overwhelmed him.-I must follow. Eld. Your Father, Lady, from a wilful hand Eld.

Lady! Has met unkindness; so indeed he told me, You will do well ; (she goes) unjust suspicion may And you remember such was my report :

Cleave to this Stranger : if, upon his entering, From what has just befallen me I have canse The dead Man heave a groan, or from his side To fear the very worst.

Uplift his hand—that would be evidence. Idon.

My Father is dead; Elea. Shame! Eldred, shame! Why dost thou come to me with words like these ? | Mar. (both returning) The dead bare but Eld. A wicked Man should answer for his crimes.

one face. (to himself).

Idon.

And such a Man—so meek and unoffending A mortal malady.-I am accurst :
Helpless and harmless as a babe : a Man, | All nature curses me, and in my heart
By obvious signal to the world's protection, Thy curse is fixed; the truth must be laid bare.
Solemnly dedicated—to decoy him !-

It must be told, and borne. I am the man,
Idon. Oh, had you seen him living !

(Abused, betrayed, but how it matters not) Mar.

I (so filled Presumptuous above all that ever breathed, With horror is this world) am unto thee

Who, casting as I thought a guilty Person The thing most precious, that it now contains : Upon Heaven's righteous judgment, did become Therefore through me alone must be revealed An instrument of Fiends. Through me, through me. By whom thy Parent was destroyed, Idonea ! Thy Father perished. I have the proofs !

Idon.

Perished-by what mischance ! O miserable Father! Mar. Beloved !-if I dared, so would I call theeThou didst command me to bless all mankind; Conflict must cease, and, in thy frozen heart, Nor to this moment, have I ever wished

The extremes of suffering meet in absolute peace. Evil to any living thing; but hear me,

(He gives her a letter. Hear me, ye Heavens !—(kneeling)—may venge- Idon. (reads) "Be not surprised if you hear ance haunt the fiend

that some signal judgment has befallen the man For this most cruel murder : let him live

who calls himself your father ; he is now with And move in terror of the elements;

me, as his signature will shew : abstain from conThe thunder send him on his knees to prayer jecture till you see me. In the open streets, and let him think he sees,

HERBERT. If e'er he entereth the house of God,

MARMADUKE.' The roof, self-moved, unsettling o'er his head; The writing Oswald's ; the signature my Father's : And let him, when he would lie down at night, (Looks steadily at the paper) And here is yours,— Point to his wife the blood-drops on his pillow !

or do my eyes deceive me? Mar. My voice was silent, but my heart hath You have then seen my Father? joined thee.

Mar.

He has leaned Idon. (leaning on MARMADUKE). Left to the Upon this arm. mercy of that savage Man!

Idon. You led him towards the Convent? How could he call upon his Child !-O Friend! Mar. That Convent was Stone-Arthur Castle. (Turns to MARMADUKE.

Thither My faithful true and only Comforter.

We were his guides. I on that night resolved Mar. Ay, come to me and weep. (He kisses her.) | That he should wait thy coming till the day (To ELDRED). Yes, Varlet, look,

Of resurrection.
The devils at such sights do clap their hands. Idon. Miserable Woman,

(ELDRED retires alarmed. Too quickly moved, too easily giving way,
Idon. Thy vest is torn, thy cheek is deadly pale; I put denial on thy suit, and hence,
Hast thou pursued the monster ?

With the disastrous issue of last night,
Mar.

I have found him. Thy perturbation, and these frantic words.
Oh ! would that thou hadst perished in the flames ! | Be calm, I pray thee !
Idon. Here art thou, then can I be desolate ? Mar.

Oswald
Mar. There was a time, when this protecting hand Idon.

Name him not. Availed against the mighty ; never more Shall blessings wait upon a deed of mine.

Enter female Beggar. Idon. Wild words for me to hear, for me, an Beg. And he is dead !—that Moor-how shall orphan,

I cross it? Committed to thy guardianship by Heaven ; By night, by day, never shall I be able And, if thou hast forgiven me, let me hope, To travel half a mile alone.-Good Lady ! In this deep sorrow, trust, that I am thine Forgive me !—Saints forgive me. Had I thought For closer care ;-here, is no malady.

It would have come to this !

(Taking his arm. Idon. What brings you hither ? speak ! Mar. There, is a malady,

Beg. (pointing to MARMADUKE). This innocent (Striking his heart and forehead) And here, and Gentleman. Sweet heavens ! I told him here,

| Such tales of your dead Father !-God is my judge,

[graphic]

I thought there was no harm : but that bad Man, Start not !-Here is another face hard by :
He bribed me with his gold, and looked so fierce. Come, let us take a peep at both together,
Mercy ! I said I know not what--oh pity me- And, with a voice at which the dead will quake,
I said, sweet Lady, you were not his Daughter | Resound the praise of your morality-
Pity me, I am haunted ;-thrice this day

Of this too much.
My conscience made me wish to be struck blind; (Drawing OSWALD towards the Cottage-stops skort
And then I would have prayed, and had no voice.

at the door. Idon. (to MARMADUKE). Was it my Father

Men are there, millions, Oswald, no, no, no, for he

Who with bare hands would have plucked out thy Was meek and patient, feeble, old and blind,

heart Helpless, and loved me dearer than his life. | And flung it to the dogs : but I am raised -But hear me. For one question, I have a heart Above, or sunk below, all further sense That will sustain me. Did you murder him! Of provocation. Leave me, with the weight Mar. No, not by stroke of arm. But learn the Of that old Man's forgiveness on thy heart, process :

Pressing as heavily as it doth on mine. Proof after proof was pressed upon me; guilt Coward I have been ; know, there lies not now Made evident, as seemed, by blacker guilt, Within the compass of a mortal thought, Whose impious folds enwrapped even thee; and truth A deed that I would shrink from ;-but to endure, And innocence, embodied in his looks,

That is my destiny. May it be thine : His words and tones and gestures, did but serve Thy office, thy ambition, be henceforth With me to aggravate his crimes, and heaped To feed remorse, to welcome every sting Ruin upon the cause for which they pleaded. Of penitential anguish, yea with tears. Then pity crossed the path of my resolve: When seas and continents shall lie between usConfounded, I looked up to Heaven, and cast, The wider space the better-we may find Idonea ! thy blind Father, on the Ordeal

In such a course fit links of sympathy, Of the bleak Waste-left him-and so he died ! An incommunicable rivalship

[IDONEA sinks senseless ; Beggar, ELEANOR, &c., Maintained, for peaceful ends beyond our view. crowd round, and bear her off.

(Confused voices-several of the band enter-rush Why may we speak these things, and do no more ; • upon OSWALD and seize him. Why should a thrust of the arm have such a power, One of them. I would have dogged him to the And words that tell these things be heard in vain?

jaws of hell She is not dead. Why !-if I loved this Woman, Osw. Ha ! is it so !—That vagrant Hag !-this I would take care she never woke again ;

comes But she will wake, and she will weep for me, Of having left a thing like her alive! [Aside. And say, no blame was mine--and so, poor fool, Several voices. Despatch him! Will waste her curses on another name.

If I pass beneath a rock (He walks about distractedly. And shout, and, with the echo of my voice, Enter OSWALD.

Bring down a heap of rubbish, and it crush me, Oswald (to himself). Strong to o'erturn, strong I die without dishonour. Famished, starved,

also to build up. (To MARMADUKE. A Fool and Coward blended to my wish ! The starts and sallies of our last encounter

[Smiles scornfully and exultingly at MARMADUKE Were natural enough ; but that, I trust,

Wal. 'Tis done! (stabs him.) Is all gone by. You have cast off the chains

Another of the band. The ruthless Traitor ! That fettered your nobility of mind

Mar.

A rash deed ! Delivered heart and head !

With that reproof I do resign a station

Let us to Palestine ; Of which I have been proud. This is a paltry field for enterprise.

Wil. (approaching MARMADUKE). O my poor Mar. Ay, what shall we encounter next? This Master ! issue

Mar. Discerning Monitor, my faithful Wilfred, 'Twas nothing more than darkness deepening Why art thou here? [Turning to WALLACE darkness,

Wallace, upon these Borders, And weakness crowned with the impotence of Many there be whose eyes will not want cause death !

To weep that I am gone. Brothers in arms ! Your pupil is, you see, an apt proficient. (ironically). Raise on that dreary Waste a monument

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That may record my story : nor let words
Few must they be, and delicate in their touch
As light itself—be there withheld from Her
Who, through most wicked arts, was made an

orphan
By One who would have died a thousand times,
To shield her from a moment's harm. To you,
Wallace and Wilfred, I commend the Lady,
By lowly nature reared, as if to make her
In all things worthier of that noble birth,
Whose long-suspended rights are now on the eve
Of restoration : with your tenderest care
Watch over her, I pray, sustain her

Several of the band (eagerly). Captain! Mar. No more of that; in silence hear my doom :

A hermitage has furnished fit relief
To some offenders ; other penitents,
Less patient in their wretchedness, have fallen,
Like the old Roman, on their own sword's point.
They had their choice : a wanderer must I go,
The Spectre of that innocent Man, my guide.
No human ear shall ever hear me speak;
No human dwelling ever give me food,
Or sleep, or rest : but, over waste and wild,
In search of nothing, that this earth can give,
But expiation, will I wander on--
A Man by pain and thought compelled to live,
Yet loathing life-till anger is appeased
In Heaven, and Mercy gives me leave to die.

1795-6.

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