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And give her cargo to the thankless deep!
Come, thou shalt have these diamonds on thy neck I'm tired of dodging them - we might as well
[He takes up a necklace Be changed to greedy sharks as follow thus
Angela. Keep back thy horrid arm!- Those These wretches day by day!
I am perplexed Oh, sir, they were my mother's! If thou have
Have pity on me! If thou have a sister,
Let's spread the sail, Think of her innocence, and wrong me not! And leave them to the sea - them and their gold! Oh, thou art young!- thou must - thou must have Albert. No, no, we 'll have the gold !
You are a man! Albert. I have a mother - but she would not Gold is too good to pave the ocean with.
know meThrow out the grappling-irons! Board the ship, The savage creatures are my kindred now! And end their miserable lives at once !
But I will love thee, Angela — will make [A horrible scene ensues — - the strange Thee queen o' th' sea—I 'll wed thee with this ring! crew is murdered - the ship plunder
[He attempts to put a ring on her finger. ed and set fire lo.
Angela. Away with thy unholy touch! away!
[She springs to the prow of the vessel. If thou but lay thy finger on my garment,
The sea shall have a creature so polluted!
Stand off! thou shalt not drag me from this place -Several hours afterwards — Albert's cabin ; he rushes Here will I die, if so the will of heaven!
in distractedly, throws his bloody cutlass on the floor, Albert. (turning aside, and pressing his hand on his and flings himself upon a couch.
forehead.] tI'm mad! I knew I was !- this
throbbing pain A SAILOR enters hastily.
Is madness! - I have done a deed of hell, Sailor. There is a woman on the burning ship! And God has cursed me for it! - Angela ! Albert. Oh save her, save her! by one act of I will not do thee wrong - poor friendless child, mercy
I will not do thee wrong! (He staggers off the deck. Let us atonement make to outraged heaven!
[The sailor goes out. Oh what a bloody wretch I am become,
Night-Albert's cabin, a dim lamp is burning—Albert Not even the blood of Christ could wash me clean!
appears asleep -a shriek is heard on deck, and a [He starts up, and sees himself in a mirror.
heavy plunge into the sea —
Albert starts up.
Oh, gracious heaven, that is the woman's voice!
Where is she? - where am I? - Ah. I have slept The flames of hell are in my burning soul. The gold is cursed for which I did this thing,
A blood-polluted murderer, I have slept!
Enter the CAPTAIN.
Albert. What shriek was that? - and where is [He fills a goblet several times and drinks,
Cap. Where plummet will not reach her!
Heartless wretch, And wine will ever taste thus, so will water!
she's dead with such a voice as that? The bread I eat will choke me!
If thou know'st aught of this, by all that's sacred I am mad!
Thy life shall answer for 't! I am gone raging mad!
My hands are clean [He reels out of the cabin. Of this girl's life!— But listen, and I 'll tell you
Your drunken wooing frightened her last night'
She stood, her wild hair streaming in the wind,
And her pale countenance upturned to heaven?
Albert. But she is dead! The deck-Albert holding a young female by the arm
Well, as she stood at eve - Jewels and gold are scattered about.
Stood she at midnight, motionless, yet muttering Albert. Thou say'st thy name is Angela — well — A thousand quick-said prayers, with clasped hands, well
Like some carved image of immortal sorrow! Thou shalt be now the angel of the ship!
Albert. Cease, thou wilt drive me mad! Shalt be my queen - my little ocean-queen;
The loaded sails And I will deck thee in most regal fashion
Dropped momently their heavy heads of dew
Upon the silent deck, meting out time
Thou hast brought misery on me! I am dyed As the clock's ticking;- still she stood, like death, Black in eternal shame - The fierce purgation The midnight dew in her black trailing hair, Of everlasting fire would cleanse me not! And the white moon upon her whiter face!
Cap. Come, come, my friend, we've had too much Albert. And I the while was taking senseless sleep!
of raving! Cap. The drunken watch believed themselves Are we never to meet without these squabblings? alone;
I'm tired of them, and I have tidings for you They seized her in the darkness ; — from their grasp The rain has ceased, the tempest is abating; She sprang into the waves, and sank for ever! The moon is struggling through the broken clouds.
Albert. And thou saw'st this, and did not strike We shall have calm anon, and gain a harbour. them dead !
[He rushes oul. Albert. Tempest or calm is all alike to me: Cap. I'll let them settle it as they like best. Harbour I seek not — give annihilation – 'T was but to know if she were dead or living
An everlasting hush, and I will bless thee! That the poor men approached her!
[He goes out — the Captain follows him. (He goes to an inner chamber.
The vessel floating without mast or rudder-famine on
board—the crew mutinous-Albert and the Captain Night — tempest — thunder and lightning — the ship
apart from the rest—Albert sits with his head resting drives before the storm - Albert's cabin - Albert
on his hand, and his eyes fired as if in unconscious. alone :
ness—a violent struggle is heard on the distant part
of the deck, and a body falls. Three days the storm has raged — nor is there yet Token of its abatement! All is done
Albert. What miserable sound of mortal strife That skill of man can do to save our lives ;
Was that I heard e'en now? 'The ship is lightened of her heavy lading
Two famished wretches That cursed freight for which we sold our souls Strove for a mouse, and one hath killed the other Has been cast overboard - yet rages still
And now they fight like tigers for the body! The fury of the tempest. "T is a sign
Albert. Oh, horrible! Vengeance is with us now. Of heaven's eternal punishment. - O sin,
What further consummation can there be ? How are thy wages death! – But God is just,
[He advances along the deck with difficulty ; And hath no mercy on us, who had none !
the seamen are eagerly stripping the body. T'he very sea hath from her jaws cast forth
Albert. My brethren in affliction, sin not thus, The murdered dead—she has made cause against us; Touch not that flesh, lest God abandon you! Pale ghastly faces, cresting the fierce waters,
Mate. There is no bread!- there is no drop of Keep in the vessel's wake as if in mockery!
water! And groans and cries, and curses dark as hell, These cannot speak for thirst — nor shall I long Howl in the tempest — and that woman's shriek, If you have water, give it us! And the wild protestations of the men,
Alas! Are ever in our ears! The ship is full
I have it not - I shared the last with you! Of terrible phantoms that pass to and fro,
Mate. Then let us have the boat, and save our. Keeping their eyes on me — they haunt him not —
selves; He has no mercy, no compunction either,
Some land is near, for many flights of birds
Still that prayer! With horrible corpulsion to the pit!
If they reach any shore, I am undone ! There, there they stand! I see them now around me! But 'tis impossible !- their feeble arms Oh, fearful spectres, fasten not your eyes
Could not sustain the oars - and without compass On me with such a woful meaning! Hence! They cannot guin the land — I'm safe from them! Hence! ye do blast my vision like the lightning! [aloud] Well, take the boat - ye can but die at last! Stand off! stand off! ye do approach too near —
[The boat is launched in silence, and with The air is hot! I have not space to breathe!
difficulty — they throw in their blankets, (He rushes to the door, the Captain meets him.
and all take their seats except the mate. Cap. I heard your voice, you have got company? Mate. Now, sir, we want a compass—there are two Albert. Out of my way!- My blackest curse be Down in the cabin. on thee:
There is only one, I am a damned sinner through thy means !
And that ye shall not have! Cap Peace, peace ! your passion overmasters you! Mate.
Then be our blood Albert. Have I not need to curse thee to thy Upon your head—and may the fiend keep with you face?
[They row off in silenca
1st Mer. I know they had misgivings — for his SCENE XIV.
mother Albert's city-- two merchants on 'Change.
Took to her bed in grief for his departure,
And Constance hath shunned company since then. 1st Ver. I've seen the men myself, and heard 2nd Mer. Alas, 'i will break their hearts, they
loved him so! In number they are seven-a ghasily crew,
4th Mer. [coming up.) I would consult you on Like walking corpses from a charnel-house;
this dreadful business Their lips were black and shrivelled, and their jaws of Albert Luberg – Were it not most right Hung like the stiffened jaws of a dead face.
To send a vessel out to meet with him? For thirteen days they had not tasted food;
He cannot be far distant, for these men They now are lodged within the hospital;
Came hither in five days in their poor boat! And I have heard their dreadful history,
3rd Mer. If he were in another hemisphere, More horriblo than their condition!
It were but right to follow him, for justice! 2nd Mer.
1st Ver. And is not the great will of God revealed Be quick, and tell us how?
In the miraculous saving of these men ? 1st Ver. It doth involve
4th Ver. We are agreed then! Let us find a ship The credit of a well esteemed house:
Fit for this service, lightly built and swist, They are the remnant of a crew that sailed
Which may pursue him round the world itself. With Albert Luberg, on that fatal night
1st and 3rd Mer. "T is a right judgment! When, by a sudden tempest wrecked, his ship
Ah, poor Madame Luberg! Went down without the harbour. On that night,
[They all go off logether. As you perhaps have heard, for it was talked of, He joined himself unto a foreign captain, And sailed, no one knew whither. 2nd Mer. And what then?
SCENE XV. 1st Mer. This captain was a pirate, and these men Tell such a horrible story of their deeds
Street - a crowd assembled. As makes the blood run cold ! 2nd Mer.
But Albert Luberg 1st Man. He was brought in this morning. Could not turn pirate! 'Tis a base assertion!
2nd Man. Did you see him? These fellows have been mutinous, and now
1st Man. No, but I saw the wreck he was taken Would blast the honour of a worthy man;
from -- nothing but a black, weather-beaten hull; it They are a lying crew - I'll not believe it! lay like an old boat on the water, you would have 1st Mer. Nay, hear the men yourself! You'll said it would go to pieces with every wave, and yet not detect
the timbers were all sound -- they said it had not The semblance of a lie – 'tis a calm story; sprung a leak, nor would have perished for months. Made, by their separate testimony, sure.
3rd Jan. And have they got them both ? But here comes one whom I did leave with them, 1st Man. Only Luberg; the other got off, nobody Ask him, and he will tell you this, and more.
knows how, – they say he is the devil! 3rd Mer. (coming up.] Well sir, I've heard this 2nd Man. Lord have mercy on us! doleful story through,
[The crourd increases And fresh particulars which you heard not.
41h Man. Well, I've seen him-and I wish I had It is a fearful tale; and yet is full
never set eyes on him! Oh, he's a bad man! he of a most wholesome lesson, which will preach has a horrid look ---and I remember him a proper L'nto the sinner that the arm of God
young man, and the handsomest that went out of Is still stretched out to punish, let him strive
harbour ! Against it as he will — for this poor wretch,
5th Man. But he was dying of hunger when they Though he refused a compass to these men, picked him from the wreck--they say a child would That they might reach no shore to implicate him, outweigh him! poor fellow! Shall find his cruel wisdom ineflectual,
6th Man. Do you pity him, a bloody pirate! For they were guided by the arm of God
5th Man. Oh but you havn't seen his face as I Over the pathless waters, to this port,
have! He is like a withered old man, and has such That so his infamy might be perfected !
a look of misery! God help him! For them the sea grew calm - and a strong gale 1st Man. And what's to be done with him? Impelled them ever forward without oars,
6!h Man. They say he will be hung in irons on Which they were all unfit to ply - their sail the wreck, and then all will be sunk together! A tattered blanket!
7th Man. 'T is no more than he deserves ! 2nd Ver. Ah, my heart doth ache
5th Jan. If all had their deserts, who would es To think of his poor mother, that good lady
the gallows? Who ever lived in blameless reputation !
3rd Man. Let's go look at the wreck. And then her niece, the gentle, orphaned Constance! Several. Let's go!
[They disperse. long
Glad, innocent spirits ; when from the same prayerSCENE XVI.
We made the same responses, and our eyes
is sealed upon straw; he is haggard and wild in Glanced from the book upon thy gentle cheek,
Death an immeasurable distance off!
Now death stares in iny face - a horrid death! Albert. I dare not speak the name, but is it thou? And heaven - oh, I am damned! I have no hope ! Cons. Oh Albert, Albert!
Cons. Say not, dear Albert, that thou hast no Albert. Canst thou speak my name?
hope! Do ye not curse me, thou and my poor mother?
Albert. I have no hope—I tell thee, I have none ! (He bows his head to his knees, and weeps it were abusing mercy to extend it billerly.
To such a wretch as I! Cons. (kneeling beside him.) Oh God! who art a
But cry to God father to the afflicted,
For pardon, for repentance: he will hear thee! Who art a fount of mercy - look on him!
Albert. I cannot pray - my tongue has cursed so Pity and pardon him, and give him peace. Oh Christ! who in thine hour of mighty woe, I have forgot the words men use in prayer! Didst comfort the poor thief upon the cross,
Cons. Dear Albert, now I fear thee -- thou art Bless the bowed sinner in his prison-house!
[She rises. Albert. Thou angel of sweet mercy! woe is me!
Albert. Nay, leave me not! Oh do not, do not Sorrow hath left its trace upon thy cheek
leave me! I am a cursed spoiler, who was born
When we part here, we ne'er shall meet again To wring the hearts that loved me!-oh my mother! That great impassable gulf will lie between us ! My gracious mother! is she changed as thou ?
Cons. Oh Albert, promise me to pray to God Cons. Thy mother! ask not, Albert, of thy mother. Christ died, thou know'st, for sinners! Albert. Ah, she does not forgive me! nor will Albert.
My good angel, God!
Would that my judge were pitiful as thou! Cons. Albert, thy mother's dead -- and her last
[A rattling of keys is heard outside the words
door, it opens, and the gaoler enters. Were prayers for thee!
Gao. The chaplain is without, and he would pray Albert.
Then I have killed my mother! Yet once more with the prisoner.
The CHAPLAIN enters.
Cons. to Albert. * Now, now farewell! "T was by the will of God, that that dear saint
And may Almighty God look down and bless thee! Went to her blessed rest -- I mourn her not
Albert. (wildly) Farewell, farewell! we shall meet I do rejoice in her eternal peace!
never more! Albert. [looking on the hand of Constance.] 'I dare It is a farewell for eternity! not press it to my longing lips —
[Constance, overcome by her feelings, is There is pollution on them — they have sworn
supported out by the chaplain.
Achzib made his escape from the pirate-ship in Upon the peak of a fair, palmy isle,
some way which eluded all detection. He did not, To guide me o'er the waters! long ere this
however, think it expedient to enter again the seaShe must have pined, and pined -- and she will die port; and as all places were alike to him, with this Heart-broken! Constance, do not look on me
exception, he resigned himself to chance, and took For thou wilt curse me, hate me, spurn me from thee. up his abode in the first considerable city he came to. I am a monster, dost thou fear me not?
He was so extravagantly elated with his success, Have they not told thee of my cruel sins?
that he carried himself with so self-satisfied an air as Cons. Albert, I fear thee not — - I mourn for thee. to attract the notice of every one.
Some said ho I knew that thou badst sinned, but I forgave thee! was newly come into possession of a great fortune, May God forgive thee, and support that maiden! and that money, and the importance it gained for Albert. Thou art not woman, Constance, thou art him, were so novel as to have turned his head ; some angel!
said he was the little-great man of a small town, Ah, there were days when we two sate together, where his consequential airs were mistaken for marks of real greatness ;-others said he was a travelling effectually as the higher motives of more vigorous doctor, who had just taken out a new patent :-while life.” others took him for a marvellously wise philosopher, “ True," replied the first speaker, “if the trial who, thinking of anything rather than himself, had came only through the medium of the passions; but acquired this ridiculous carriage in sheer absence of though a man may have arrived at old age unpolmind;-and others again, supposed him to be a poet, luted by outward sins, yet the temper of his mind inflated with the success of a new poem.
may be the very opposite of virtue. He may doubt Achzib, in the meantime, thinking he had done the goodness of God, though his life has been one enough for the present, determined to have an inter- series of mercies; he may be obstinately uncheered val of rest. He accordingly took a large house, fur- by his love, and unawakened by his daily Provinished it sumptuously, and began in reality to be dence. A murmuring, morbid doubting of God's looked upon as somebody. Ile did not, it is true, goodness is the peculiar weakness of such a mindhold much intercourse with the citizens, though he and the human being who can have passed through was a most munificent patron of boxers, wrestlers, life, and at last retains such a spirit, is neither guiltand all kind of prize-fighters and gamblers. He oc- less of sin, nor ynassailable by temptation.” casionally went on 'Change too, and circulated now “ But such a case," replied the other, “is extremely and then some spurious lie or other; which, derang. rare. Old age finds a natural aliment in religion ; ing all money business, while it made the fortunes and as its ties to the earth are sundered, the very of a few, was the ruin of many. He had considera necessities of its nature unite it more closely with ble dealings also with the usurers; and keeping a heaven.” pack of hounds and a noble stud of horses, found oc- “ Such a case,” persisted his friend,“
rare, cupation enough both for day and night. To diver- but alas, it is not beyond the range of human experi. sify his employments he dabbled in judicial astrology, ence; and the peculiar prayer of such a spirit should and the favourite pursuits of the old alchemists. He be, í lead me not into temptation !"" repeatedly asserted that he had mixed the Elixir "Oh, but," exclaimed the other, with holy enthuVitæ, and also that he could compound the Philoso- siasm, “God, who is boundless and long-suffering in pher's-stone. They who heard this, had an easy way mercy, and who tempers the wind to the shorn lamb, of accounting for the money that he appeared always will keep such feeble spirit from trial beyond his to have at command; but he himself well knew that strength; or in his loving-kindness will extend the every stiver was drawn from the bags of the usurer, hand of his mercy to save him, even as the sinking though never destined to find their way back again. apostle was sustained when his faith failed him upon
The life Achzib led, was much to his mind; he the waters!" told lies with the most truthful face in the world, and Achzib rose up before the conclusion of this last cheated in so gentlemanly a style, that he might per- observation; taking great praise to himself that wise haps have maintained this life much longer, had he men, such as he, gathered up their advantage from not been accidentally tempted to his fourth trial.
even the casual conversation of two strangers. He was on the Prada, or place of public resort, and seeing two grave persons in deep discourse together, and who seemed unconscious of all that surrounded them, he took a seat near, hoping to hear some secret
THE OLD MAN. worth knowing or telling. Their conversation, however, was entirely of a moral or religious nature; and
PERSONS. Achzib would soon have been weary of had they not branched off to the subject of temptation, and the habits of mind which render a man peculiarly assail- MARGARET, HIS DAUGHTER. able by it.
UGOLIN, THE SUITOR OF MARGARET. “For instance," said the one, “old age, if beset by ACHZIB, A STRANGER. temptation, could but inadequately resist it, for the mind becomes enfeebled with the body. Youth may
SCENE I. be inexperienced and volatile; middle age engrossed by the world and its pursuits ; but is it not the noble A small house just without the gate of the city enthusiasm of the one, and the severe uprightness of
old and much enfeebled paralytic, silling by his door the other which makes them often superior to their trials; and which of these does the weakness and Ou Man. Supported by Eternal Truth, despondency of old age possess ?"
Nature is in perpetual youth; “ But," rejoined the other, " the passions have As at the first, her flowers unfold, ceased to stimulate in old age. Ambition, love, and And her fruits ripen in the sun, avarice, are the temptations of earlier life. Men do And the rich year its course doth run; not become suddenly vicious in old age, for the habits For nature never groweth old! of mind and body in men become part and parcel of A thousand generations back themselves; and, if through life these have been Yon glorious sun louked not more bright, regulated by principle, I say not religion, they will Nor kept the moon her silent track preserve age, if it were assailed by temptation, as More truly titrough the realms of night!
in the sun.