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Nay, do not thus regard me, good my lord!
Speak to me: am I not your faithful Manuel?

De Mon. (in a hasty, broken voice.) Art thou

Man. No, sir, the Lady Jane is on her way; She is not far behind.

De Mon. (tossing his arm over his head in an
agony.) This is too much! All I can bear
but this!

It must not be.-Run and prevent her coming.
Say, he who is detain'd a prisoner here
Is one to her unknown. I now am nothing.
I am a man of holy claims bereft ;

Out of the pale of social kindred cast;
Nameless and horrible.—

Tell her De Monfort far from hence is gone
Into a desolate and distant land,

Ne'er to return again. Fly, tell her this;
For we must meet no more.

Enter JANE DE MONFORT, bursting into the chamber,
and followed by FREBERG, ABDESS, and several NUNS.
Jane. We must! we must! My brother, O my

(De Monfort turns away his head and hides his
face with his arm. Jane stops short, and,
making a great effort, turns to Freberg, and
the others who followed her, and with an air of
dignity stretches out her hand, beckoning them
to retire. All retire but Freberg, who seems to

And thou too, Freberg: call it not unkind.
[EXIT Freberg, Jane and De Monfort only remain.
Jane. My hapless Monfort!

'De Monfort turns round and looks sorrowfully
upon her; she opens her arms to him, and he,
rushing into them, hides his face upon her
breast and weeps.)

And in the rougher path of ripen'd years
We've been each other's stay. Dark lowers our

And terrible the storm that gathers o'er us;
But nothing, till that latest agony

Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose
This fix'd and sacred hold. In thy dark prison-

In the terrific face of armed law;

Yea, on the scaffold, if it needs must be,
I never will forsake thee.

De Mon. (looking at her with admiration.)
Heaven bless thy generous soul, my noble

I thought to sink beneath this load of ill,
Depress'd with infamy and open shame;

I thought to sink in abject wretchedness:
But for thy sake I'll rouse my manhood up,
And meet it bravely; no unseemly weakness,
I feel my rising strength, shall blot my end,
To clothe thy cheek with shame.

Jane. Yes, thou art noble still.

De Mon. With thee I am; who were not so with

But ah! my sister, short will be the term.`
Death's stroke will come, and in that state beyond,
Where things unutterable wait the soul,
New from its earthly tenement discharged,
We shall be sever'd far.

Far as the spotless purity of virtue

Is from the murderer's guilt, far shall we be.
This is the gulf of dead uncertainty
From which the soul recoils.

Jane. The God who made thee is a God of mercy;
Think upon this.

De Mon. (shaking his head.) No, no! this blood! this blood!

Jane. Yes, e'en the sin of blood may be forgiven,

Jane. Ay, give thy sorrow vent; here mayst When humble penitence hath once atoned.

thou weep.

De Mon. (in broken accents.) O! this, my sister, makes me feel again

The kindness of affection.

My mind has in a dreadful storm been tost;
Horrid and dark.-I thought to weep no more.
I've done a deed-But I am human still.

Jane. I know thy sufferings: leave thy sorrow

Thou art with one who never did upbraid;
Who mourns, who loves thee still.

De Mon. Ah! sayst thou so? no, no; it should
not be.

(Shrinking from her.) I am a foul and bloody mur


De Mon. (eagerly.) What, after terms of length-
en'd misery,

Imprison'd anguish of tormented spirits,
Shall I again, a renovated soul,

Into the blessed family of the good

Admittance have? Think'st thou that this may be?
Speak if thou canst: O speak me comfort here!
For dreadful fancies, like an armed host,
Have push'd me to despair. It is most horrible-
O speak of hope! If any hope there be.

(Jane is silent, and looks sorrowfully upon him;
then clasping her hands, and turning her eyes
to heaven, seems to mutter a prayer.)

De Mon. Ha! dost thou pray for me? Heaven hear thy prayer!

For such embrace unmeet: O leave me! leave me! I fain would kneel.-Alas! I dare not do it.

Disgrace and public shame abide me now;
And all, alas! who do my kindred own,
The direful portion share.-Away, away!
Shall a disgraced and public criminal
Degrade thy name, and claim affinity

To noble worth like thine ?-I have no name-
I'm nothing now, not e'en to thee; depart.

(She takes his hand, and grasping it firmly,
speaks with a determined voice.)

Jane. De Monfort, hand in hand we have enjoy'd The playful term of infancy together;

Jane. Not so all by th' Almighty Father form'd,
May in their deepest misery call on him.
Come, kneel with me, my brother.

(She kneels and prays to herself; he kneels by
her, and clasps his hands fervently, but speaks
not. A noise of chains clanking is heard
without, and they both rise.)

De Mon. Hear'st thou that noise? They come to interrupt us.

Jane. (moving towards a side door.) Then let us

enter here.

De Mon. Well, I am ready, sir.

De Mon. (catching hold of her with a look of

horror.) Not there-not there-the corpse
-the bloody corpse!

(Approaching Jane, whom the Abbess is endeavouring to comfort, but to no purpose.)

Jane. What, lies he there?-Unhappy Rezen-Ah! wherefore thus! most honour'd and most dear? velt? Shrink not at the accoutrements of ill,

De Mon. A sudden thought has come across my Daring the thing itself.


How came it not before? Unhappy Rezenvelt!

Sayst thou but this?

(Endeavouring to look cheerful.) Wilt thou permit me with a gyved hand? (She gives her hand, which he raises to his lips.)

Jane. What should I say? he was an honest This was my proudest office.


I still have thought him such, as such lament him.
(De Monfort utters a deep groan.)
What means this heavy groan?
De Mon.

It hath a meaning.
Enter ABBESS and MONKS, with two OFFICERS of justice
carrying fetters in their hands to put upon DE MONFORT.
Jane. (starting.) What men are these?
1st Off. Lady, we are the servants of the law,
And bear with us a power, which doth constrain
To bind with fetters this our prisoner.

[EXEUNT, De Monfort leading out Jane.


Enter another Monk, who, on perceiving him, stops till
he rises from his knees, and then goes eagerly up to

(Pointing to De Monfort.) Is Jane. A stranger uncondemn'd? this cannot be. 1st Off. As yet, indeed, he is by law unjudged, But is so far condemn'd by circumstance, That law, or custom sacred held as law, Doth fully warrant us, and it must be.

Jane. Nay, say not so; he has no power t' escape: Distress hath bound him with a heavy chain ; There is no need of yours.

1st Off. We must perform our office.

Jane. O! do not offer this indignity!

1st Off. Is it indignity in sacred law

1st Monk. How is the prisoner?

2d Monk. (pointing to the door.) He is within,
and the strong hand of death
dealing with him.

1st Monk.
How is this, good brother?
Methought he braved it with a manly spirit;
And led, with shackled hands, his sister forth,
Like one resolved to bear misfortune bravely.

2d Monk. Yes, with heroic courage, for a while
He scem'd inspired; but, soon depress'd again,
Remorse and dark despair o'erwhelm'd his soul:
And, from the violent working of his mind,
Some stream of life within his breast has burst;
For many a time, within a little space,
The ruddy tide has rush'd into his mouth.

To bind a murderer? (To 2d Officer.) Come, do thy God grant his pains be short!

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De Mon. (to Jane.) Stand thou erect in native Is wrapp'd in sable clouds; the chill blast sounds


And bend to none on earth the suppliant knee,
Though clothed in power imperial. To my heart
It gives a feller gripe than many irons.
(Holding out his hands.) Here, officers of law, bind
on those shackles ;

And, if they are too light, bring heavier chains.
Add iron to iron; load, crush me to the ground:
Nay, heap ten thousand weight upon my breast,
For that were best of all.

Like dismal lamentations. Ay, who knows
That voices mix with the dark midnight winds?
Nay, as I pass'd that yawning cavern's mouth,
A whispering sound, unearthly, reach'd my ear,
And o'er my head a chilly coldness crept.
Are there not wicked fiends and damned sprites,
Whom yawning charnels, and th' unfathom❜d depths
Of secret darkness, at this fearful hour,
Do upwards send, to watch, unseen, around
The murderer's death-bed, at his fatal term,
Ready to hail with dire and horrid welcome,
Their future mate ?-I do believe there are.
2d Monk. Peace, peace! a God of wisdom and of

(A long pause, whilst they put irons upon him.
After they are on, Jane looks at him sorrow-
fully, and lets her head sink on her breast.
De Monfort stretches out his hand, looks at
them, and then at Jane; crosses them over his Veils from our sight-Ha! hear that heavy groan.
breast, and endeavours to suppress his feel-

1st Off. I have it, too, in charge to move you hence, (To De Monfort.) Into another chamber more secure.


(A groan heard within.) 1st Monk. It is the dying man.

(Another groan.) (Listening at the door.)

2d Monk. God grant him rest!

I hear him struggling in the gripe of death.

O pitecus heaven!

(Goes from the door.)

Enter Brother THOMAS from the chamber.

How now, good brother?


Man. (pointing.) Here, my good Jerome, here's a piteous sight.

Jer. A piteous sight! yet I will look upon him: I'll see his face in death. Alas, alas!

Thom. Retire, my friends. O many a bed of I've seen him move a noble gentleman;


With all its pangs and horrors I have seen,
But never aught like this! Retire, my friends;
The death-bell will its awful signal give,
When he has breathed his last.

I would move hence, but I am weak and faint:
Let me a moment on thy shoulder lean.
O, weak and mortal man!

(Leans on second Monk: a pause.)

Enter BERNARD from the chamber.

2d Monk. (to Bern.) How is your penitent? Bern. He is with HIM who made him; HIM, who knows

The soul of man: before whose awful presence
Th' unsceptred tyrant, simple, helpless, stands
Like an unclothed babe.

(Bell tolls.) The dismal sound!

Retire and pray for the blood-stain'd soul:

And when with vexing passion undisturb'd,
He look'd most graciously.

(Lifts up in mistake the cloth from the body of
Rezenvelt, and starts back with horror.)
Oh! this was the bloody work! Oh, oh! oh, oh!
That human hands could do it!

(Drops the cloth again.) Man. That is the murder'd corpse; here lies De Monfort.

(Going to uncover the other body.) Jer. (turning away his head.) No, no! I cannot look upon him now.

Man. Didst thou not come to see him?
Jer. Fy cover him-inter him in the dark-
Let no one look upon him.

Bern. (To Jer.) Well dost thou show the abhorrence nature feels

For deeds of blood, and I commend thee well.
In the most ruthless heart compassion wakes

May heaven have mercy on him! (Bell tolls again.) For one, who, from the hand of fellow man,




Hath felt such cruelty.

(Uncovering the body of Rezenvelt.) This is the murder'd corse:

(Uncovering the body of De Monfort)
But see, I pray !

Here lies the murderer. What think'st thou here?
Look on those features, thou hast seen them oft,

Abb. (to Freb.) Here must they lie, my lord, With the last dreadful conflict of despair,

until we know

Respecting this the order of the law.

Freb. And you have wisely done, my reverend


(Goes to the table, and looks at the bodies, but without uncovering them.)

Unhappy men! ye, both in nature rich,
With talents and with virtues were endued.
Ye should have loved, yet deadly rancour came,
And in the prime and manhood of your days
Ye sleep in horrid death. O direful hate!
What shame and wretchedness his portion is,
Who, for a secret inmate, harbours thee!
And who shall call him blameless, who excites,
Ungenerously excites, with careless scorn,
Such baleful passion in a brother's breast,

So fix'd in horrid strength.

See those knit brows; those hollow sunken eyes; The sharpen'd nose, with nostrils all distent; That writhed mouth, where yet the teeth appear, In agony, to gnash the nether lip.

Think'st thou, less painful than the murderer's knife

Was such a death as this

Ay, and how changed too those matted locks!

Jer. Merciful heaven! his hair is grisly grown, Changed to white age, that was, but too days since, Black as the raven's plume. How may this be? Bern. Such change, from violent conflict of the mind, Will sometimes come.


Alas, alas! most wretched!

Whom heaven commands to love? Low are ye Thou wert too good to do a cruel deed,


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And so it kill'd thee. Thou hast suffer'd for it. God rest thy soul! I needs must touch thy hand, And bid thee long farewell.

(Laying his hand on De Monfort.) Bern. Draw back, draw back; see where the lady comes.


(Freberg, who has been for some time retired by himself to the bottom of the stage, now steps forward to lead her in, but checks himself on seeing the fixed sorrow of her countenance, and draws back respectfully. Jane advances to the table, and looks attentively at the covered bodies. Manuel points out the body of Dr

Monfort, and she gives a gentle inclination of the head, to signify that she understands him. She then bends tenderly over it, without speaking.

Man. (to Jane, as she raises her head.) O, madam!

my good lord.

Jane. Well says thy love, my good and faithful

But we must mourn in silence.

Man. Alas! the times that I have follow'd him!
Jane. Forbear, my faithful Manuel. For this love
Thou hast my grateful thanks; and here's my

Thou hast loved him, and I'll remember thee.
Where'er I am; in whate'er spot of earth
I linger out the remnant of my days,
I will remember thee.

Man. Nay, by the living God! where'er you are,
There will I be. I'll prove a trusty servant:
I'll follow you, even to the world's end.
My master's gone; and I indeed am mean,
Yet will I show the strength of nobler men,
Should any dare upon your honour'd worth
To put the slightest wrong. Leave you, dear lady!
Kill me,
say not this!


(Throwing himself at her feet.) Jane. (raising him.) Well, then! be thou my servant, and my friend.

Art thou, good Jerome, too, in kindness come?
I see thou art. How goes it with thine age?
Jer. Ah, madam! wo and weakness dwell with


Man. (to Off.) Hold thy unrighteous tongue, or
hie thee hence,

Nor, in the presence of this honour'd dame,
Utter the slightest meaning of reproach.

1st Off. I am an officer on duty call'd,
And have authority to say, "How died he ?”
(Here Jane shakes off the weakness of grief, and
repressing Manuel, who is about to reply to the
Officer, steps forward with dignity.)
Jane. Tell them, by whose authority you come,
He died that death which best becomes a man
Who is with keenest sense of conscious ill
And deep remorse assail'd, a wounded spirit:
A death that kills the noble and the brave,
And only them. He had no other wound.
1st Off. And shall I trust to this?

Do as thou wilt:
To one who can suspect my simple word
I have no more reply. Fulfil thine office.
1st Off. No, lady, I believe your honoured word,
And will no further search.

Jane. I thank your courtesy: thanks, thanks to

My reverend mother, and ye honour'd maids;
Ye holy men, and you, my faithful friends;
The blessing of the afflicted rest with you!
And He, who to the wretched is most piteous,
Will recompense you.-Freberg, thou art good;
Remove the body of the friend you loved:
'Tis Rezenvelt I mean. Take thou this charge:
'Tis meet, that with his noble ancestors
He lie entomb'd in honourable state.

Would I could serve you with a young man's And now I have a sad request to make,


I'd spend my life for you.

Thanks, worthy Jerome.
O! who hath said the wretched have no friends?

Freb. In every sensible and generous breast
Affliction finds a friend; but unto thee,
Thou most exalted and most honourable,
The heart in warmest adoration bows,
And even a worship pays.

Jane. Nay, Freberg, Freberg! grieve me not,
my friend.

He to whose ear my praise most welcome was,
Hears it no more; and, O our piteous lot!
What tongue will talk of him? Alas, alas!
This more than all will bow me to the earth;
I feel my misery here.

The voice of praise was wont to name us both;
I had no greater pride.

(Covers her face with her hands, and bursts into
tears. Here they all hang about her: Freberg
supporting her tenderly. Manual embracing
her knees, and old Jerome catching hold of
her robe affectionately. Bernard, Abbess,
Monks, and Nuns, likewise, gather round her,
with looks of sympathy.)

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Into our hands he straight must be consign'd.
Bern. He is not subject now to human laws;

The prison that awaits him is the grave.

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Enter SULPICIUS and ORCERES by opposite sides. Sul. So soon return'd !--I read not in thy face

1st Off. Ha! say'st thou so? there is foul play in Aught to encourage or depress my wishes.


How is it, noble friend?

Orc. E'en as it was e'er I received my mission. Cordenius Maro is on public duty;

I have not seen him.-When he knows your offer
His heart will bound with joy, like eaglet plumed
Whose out-stretch'd pinions wheeling round and

Shape their first circles in the sunny air.
Sul. And with good cause.

Orc, Methinks I see him now!

A face with blushes mantling to the brow,
Eyes with bright tears surcharged, and parted lips
Quivering to utter joy which hath no words.

Sul. His face, indeed, as I have heard thee say,
Is like a wave which sun and shadow cross;
Each thought makes there its momentary mark.
Orc. And then his towering form, and vaulting

As tenderness gives way to exultation!
O it had been a feast to look upon him;
And still shall be.


Art thou so well convinced-
He loves my little damsel? she is fair,
But seems to me too simple, gay, and thoughtless,
For noble Maro. Heiress as she is

To all my wealth, had I suspected sooner,
That he had smother'd wishes in his breast
As too presumptuous, or that she in secret
Preferr'd his silent homage to the praise
Of any other man, I had most frankly
Removed all hinderance to so fair a suit.
For, in these changeling and degenerate days,
I scarcely know a man of nobler worth.

Orc. Thou scarcely know'st! Say certainly thou dost not.

He is, to honest right, as simply true
As shepherd child on desert pasture bred,
Where falsehood and deceit have never been;
And to maintain them, ardent, skilful, potent,
As the shrewd leader of unruly tribes.
A simple heart and subtle spirit join'd,
Make such an union as in Nero's court
May pass for curious and unnatural.

Sul. But is the public duty very urgent,
That so untowardly delays our happiness?

Orc. The punishment of those poor Nazarenes, Who, in defiance of imperial power,

To their forbidden faith and rites adhere
With obstinacy most astonishing.

Sul. A stubborn contumacy unaccountable!
Orc. There's sorcery in it, or some stronger

But be it what it may, or good or ill,
They look on death in its most dreadful form,
As martial heroes on a wreath of triumph.
The fires are kindled in the place of death,
And bells toll dismally. The life of Rome
In one vast clustering mass hangs round the spot,
And no one to his neighbour utters word,
But in an alter'd voice; with breath restrain'd,
Like those who speak at midnight near the dead.
Cordenius heads the band that guards the pile;
So station'd, who could speak to him of pleasure?
For it would seem as an ill-omen'd thing.

Sul. Cease; here comes Portia, with a careless


She knows not yet the happiness that waits her.

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I knew not you were here; but yet I guess
The song which this sly creature sings so well,
Will please you also.

Orc. How can it fail, fair Portia, so commended?
Sul. What is this boasted lay?

Por. That tune, my father,

Which you so oft have tried to recollect;
But link'd with other words, of new device,
That please my fancy well.-Come, sing it, boy!
Sub. Nay, sing it, Syphax, be not so abash'd,
If thou art really so.-Begin, begin!
But speak thy words distinctly as thou sing'st,
That I may have their meaning perfectly.


The storm is gathering far and wide,

Yon mortal hero must abide.

Power on earth, and power in air,
Falchion's gleam and lightning's glare;
Arrows hurtling through the blast;
Stenes from flaming meteor cast:
Floods from burden'd skies are pouring,
O'er mingled strife of battle roaring;
Nature's rage and Demon's ire,
Belt him round with turmoil dire:
Noble hero! earthly wight!
Brace thee bravely for the fight.

And so, indeed, thou takest thy stand,
Shield on arm and glaive in hand;
Breast encased in burnish'd steel,
Helm on head, and pike on heel;
And, more than meets the outward eye
The soul's high-temper'd panoply,
Which every limb for action lightens,
The form dilates, the visage brightens:
Thus art thou, lofty, mortal wight
Full nobly harness'd for the fight.

Orc. The picture of some very noble hero
These lines portray.

Sul. So it should seem; one of the days of old. Por. And why of olden days? There liveth now The very man-a man-I mean to say, There may be found amongst our Roman youth, One, who in form and feelings may compare With him whose lofty virtues these few lines So well describe.

Orc. Thou mean'st the lofty Gorbus.

Por. Out on the noisy braggart! Arms without He hath, indeed, well burnish'd and well plumed, But the poor soul, within, is pluck'd and bare, Like any homely thing.

Org. Sertorius Galba then?
Por. O, stranger still!

For if he hath no lack of courage, certes,
He hath much lack of grace. Sertorius Galba!

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