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The most important addition to the written drama at this time was the first volume of JoANNA BAILLIE's plays on the passions, published in 1798 under the title of A Series of Plays: in which it is attempted to Delineate the Stronger Passions of the Mind, each Passion being the subject of a Tragedy and a Comedy. To the volume was prefixed a long and interesting introductory discourse, in which the authoress discusses the subject of the drama in all its bearings, and asserts the supremacy of simple nature over all decoration and refinement. ‘Let one simple trait of the human heart, one expression of passion, genuine and true to nature, be introduced, and it will stand forth alone in the boldness of reality, whilst the false and unnatural around it fades away upon every side, like the rising exhalations of the morning.' This theory (which anticipated the dissertations and most of the poetry of Wordsworth) the accomplished dramatist illustrated in her plays, the merits of which were instantly recognised, and a second edition called for in a few months. Miss Baillie was then in the thirty-fourth year of her age. In 1802 she published a second volume, and in 1812 a third. In the interval she had produced a volume of miscellaneous dramas (1804), and The Family Legend (1810), a tragedy founded on a Highland tradition, and brought out with success at the Edinburgh theatre. In 1836 this authoress published three more volumes of plays, her career as a dramatic

writer thus extending over the long period of thirty

eight years. Only one of her dramas has ever been performed on the stage: De Montfort was brought out by Kemble shortly after its appearance, and was acted eleven nights. It was again introduced in 1821, to exhibit the talents of Kean in the character of De Montfort; but this actor remarked that, though a fine poem, it would never be an acting play. . The

author who mentions this circumstance, remarks:—

“If Joanna Baillie had known the stage practically, she would never have attached the importance which she does to the development of single passions in

single tragedies; and she would have invented more stirring incidents to justify the passion of her characters, and to give them that air of fatality which, though peculiarly predominant in the Greek drama, will also be found, to a certain extent, in all successful tragedies. Instead of this, she contrives to make all the passions of her main characters proceed from the wilful natures of the beings themselves. Their feelings are not precipitated by circumstances, like a stream down a declivity, that leaps from rock to rock; but, for want of incident, they seem often like water on a level, without a propelling impulse.” The design of Miss Baillie in restricting her dramas each to the elucidation of one passion, appears certainly to have been an unnecessary and unwise restraint, as tending to circumscribe the business of the piece, and exclude the interest arising from varied emotions and conflicting passions. It cannot be said to have been successful in her own case, and it has never been copied by any other author. Sir Walter Scott has eulogised “Basil's love and Montfort's hate' as something like a revival of the inspired strain of Shakspeare. The tragedies of Count Basil and De Montfort are among the best of Miss Baillie's plays; but they are more like the works of Shirley, or the serious parts of Massinger, than the glorious dramas of Shakspeare, so full of life, of incident, and imagery. Miss Baillie's style is sindoth

and regular, and her plots are both original and

carefully constructed; but she has no poetical luxuriance, and few commanding situations. Her tragic scenes are too much connected with the crime of murder, one of the easiest resources of a tragedian; and partly from the delicacy of her sex, as well as from the restrictions imposed by her theory of composition, she is deficient in that variety and fulness of passion, the “form and pressure’ of real life, which are so essential on the stage. The design and plot of her dramas are obvious almost from the first act —a circumstance that would be fatal to their success in representation. The unity and intellectual completeness of Miss Baillie's plays are their most striking characteristics. Her simple masculine style, so unlike the florid or insipid sentimentalism then prevalent, was a bold innovation at the time of her two first volumes; but the public had fortunately taste enough to appreciate its excellence. Miss Baillie was undoubtedly a great improver of our poetical diction.

[Scene from De Montfort.]

[De Montfort explains to his sister Jane his hatred of Rezenvelt, which at last hurries him into the crime of murder. The gradual deepening of this malignant passion, and its frightful catastrophe, are powerfully depicted. We may remark, that the character of De Montfort, his altered habits and appearance after his travels, his settled gloom, and the violence of his passions, seem to have been the prototype of Byron's Manfred and Lara.]

De Mon. No more, my sister, urge me not again; My secret troubles cannot be revealed. From all participation of its thoughts My heart recoils: I pray thee be contented. Jane. What! must I, like a distant humble friend, Observe thy restless eye and gait disturbed In timid silence, whilst with yearning heart I turn aside to weep? 0 no, De Montfort! A nobler task thy nobler mind will give; Thy true intrusted friend I still shall be. De Mon. Ah, Jane, forbear! I cannot e'en to thee. Jane. Then fie upon it! fie upon it, Montfort There was a time when e'en with murder stained, Had it been possible that such dire deed

* Campbell's Life of Mrs Siddons. 511

Could e'er have been the crime of one so piteous,
Thou wouldst have told it me.
| De Mon. So would I now—but ask of this no more.
All other troubles but the one I feel
I have disclosed to thee. I pray thee, spare me.
It is the secret weakness of my nature.
Jane. Then secret let it be: I urge no further.
The eldest of our valiant father's hopes,
So sadly orphaned: side by side we stood,
Like two young trees, whose boughs in early strength
Screen the weak saplings of the rising grove,
And brave the storm together.
I have so long, as if by nature's right,
Thy bosom's inmate and adviser been,
I thought through life I should have so remained,
Nor ever known a change. Forgive me, Montfort;
A humbler station will I take by thee;
The close attendant of thy wandering steps,
The cheerer of this home, with strangers sought,
The soother of those griefs I must not know.
This is mine office now: I ask no more.
De Mon. Oh, Jane, thou dost constrain me with thy
| love—
| Would I could tell it thee!
Jane. Thou shalt not tell me.
mine ears,
Nor from the yearnings of affection wring
What shrinks from utterance. Let it pass, my brother.
I’ll stay by thee; I’ll cheer thee, comfort thee;
Pursue with thee the study of some art,
Or nobler science, that compels the mind
To steady thought progressive, driving forth
All floating, wild, unhappy fantasies,
Till thou, with brow unclouded, smilest again;
Like one who, from dark visions of the night,
When the active soul within its lifeless cell
Holds its own world, with dreadful fancy pressed
Of some dire, terrible, or murderous deed,
Wakes to the dawning morn, and blesses heaven.
De Mon. It will not pass away; 'twill haunt me
| Jane. Ah! say not so, for I will haunt thee too,
And be to it so close an adversary,
That, though I wrestle darkling with the fiend,
I shall o'ercome it.
, De Mon. Thou most generous woman
Why do I treat thee thus? It should not be—
And yet I cannot—0 that cursed villain!
He will not let me be the man I would.
Jane. What sayst thou, Montfort! Oh! what words
are these !
They have awaked my soul to dreadful thoughts.
I do beseech thee, speak!
By the affection thou didst ever bear me;
By the dear memory of our infant days;
By kindred living ties—ay, and by those
Who sleep in the tomb, and cannot call to thee,
I do conjure thee, speak!

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Ha! wilt thou not?

Then, if affection, most unwearied love,
Tried early, long, and never wanting found,
O'er generous man hath more authority,
More rightful power than crown or sceptre give,
I do command thee
De Montfort, do not thus resist my love.
Here I intreat thee on my bended knees.
Alas! my brother!

De Mon. [Raising her, and kneeling.]
Thus let him kneel who should the abased be,
And at thine honoured feet confession make.
I'll tell thee all—but, oh! thou wilt despise me.
For in my breast a raging passion burns,
To which thy soul no sympathy will own—
A passion which hath made my nightly couch
A place of torinent, and the light of day,
With the gay intercourse of social man,

Feel like the oppressive airless pestilence.
0 Jane ! thou wilt despise me.
Jane. Say not so :
I never can despise thee, gentle brother.
A lover's jealousy and hopeless pangs
No kindly heart contemns.
De Mon. A lover's, say'st thou?
No, it is hates black, lasting, deadly hate 1
Which thus hath driven me forth from kindred peace,
From social pleasure, from my native home, -
To be a sullen wanderer on the earth,
Avoiding all men, cursing and accursed.
Jane. De Montfort, this is fiend-like, terrible!
What being, by the Almighty Father formed
Of flesh and blood, created even as thou,
Could in thy breast such horrid tempest wake,
Who art thyself his fellow?
Unknit thy brows, and spread those wrath-clenched
Some sprite accursed within thy bosom mates
To work thy ruin. Strive with it, my brother!
Strive bravely with it; drive it from thy heart;
'Tis the degrader of a noble heart.
Curse it, and bid it part.
De Mon. It will not part. I’ve lodged it here too
With my first cares I felt its rankling touch.
I loathed him when a boy.
Jane. Whom didst thou say?
De Mon. Detested Rezenvelt!
E’en in our early sports, like two young whelps
Of hostile breed, instinctively averse,
Each 'gainst the other pitched his ready pledge,
And frowned defiance. As we onward passed
From youth to man's estate, his narrow art
And envious gibing malice, poorly veiled |
In the affected carelessness of mirth,
Still more detestable and odious grew.
There is no living being on this earth
Who can conceive the malice of his soul,
With all his gay and damned merriment,
To those by fortune or by merit placed
Above his paltry self. When, low in fortune,
He looked upon the state of prosperous men,
As nightly birds, roused from their murky holes,
Do scowl and chatter at the light of day,
I could endure it; even as we bear
The impotent bite of some half-trodden worm,
I could endure it. But when honours came,
And wealth and new-got titles fed his pride;
Whilst flattering knaves did trumpet forth his praise,
And groveling idiots grinned applauses on him;
Oh! then I could no longer suffer it!
It drove me frantic. What, what would I give—
What would I give to crush the bloated toad,
So rankly do I loathe him!
Jane. And would thy hatred crush the very man
Who gave to thee that life he might have taken
That life which thou so rashly didst expose
To aim at his Oh, this is horrible !
De Mon. Ha! thou hast heard it, then
the world,
But most of all from thee, I thought it hid.
Jane. I heard a secret whisper, and resolved
Upon the instant to return to thee.
Didst thou receive my letter?
De Mon. I did! I did 'Twas that which drove me
I could not bear to meet thine eye again.
Jane. Alas! that, tempted by a sister's tears,
I ever left thy house! These few past months,
These absent months, have brought us all this wo.
Had I remained with thee, it had not been.
And yet, methinks, it should not move you thus-
You dared him to the field; both bravely fought;
He, more adroit, disarmed you; courteously

From all

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| Returned the forfeit sword, which, so returned,
You did refuse to use against him more;
And then, as says report, you parted friends.
De Mon. When he disarmed this cursed, this worth-
less hand
Of its most worthless weapon, he but spared
From devilish pride, which now derives a bliss
| In seeing me thus fettered, shamed, subjected
With the vile favour of his poor forbearance;
Whilst he securely sits with gibing brow,
And basely baits me like a muzzled cur,
Who cannot turn again.
Until that day, till that accursed day,
I knew not half the torment of this hell
Which burns within my breast. Heaven's lightnings
blast him!
Jane. Oh, this is horrible ! Forbear, forbear!
Lest Heaven's vengeance light upon thy head
For this most impious wish.
De Mon. Then let it light.
Torments more fell than I have known already
It cannot send. To be annihilated,
What all men shrink from ; to be dust, be nothing,
Were bliss to me, compared to what I am!
Jane. Oh! wouldst thou kill me with these dread-
ful words :
De Mon. Let me but once upon his ruin look,
Then close mine eyes for ever!—
Ha! how is this? Thou'rt ill; thou'rt very pale;
What have I done to thee? Alas! alas!
I meant not to distress thee—0, my sister!
Jane. I cannot now speak to thee.
De Mon. I have killed thee.
Turn, turn thee not away I Look on me still!
Oh! droop not thus, my life, my pride, my sister!
Look on me yet again.
Jane. Thou, too, De Montfort,
In better days was wont to be my pride.
De Mon. I am a wretch, most wretched in myself,
And still more wretched in the pain I give.
0 curse that villain, that detested villain!
He has spread misery o'er my fated life;
He will undo us all.
Jane. I’ve held my warfare through a troubled world,
And borne with steady mind my share of ill;
For then the helpmate of my toil wast thou.
But now the wane of life comes darkly on,
And hideous passion tears thee from my heart,
Blasting thy worth. I cannot strive with this.
De Mon. What shall I do?

[Female Picture of a Country Life.]

Even now methinks Each little cottage of my native vale Swells out its earthen sides, upheaves its roof, Like to a hillock moved by labouring mole, | And with green trail-weeds clambering up its walls, Roses and every gay and fragrant plant Before my fancy stands, a fairy bower. Ay, and within it too do fairies dwell. Peep through its wreathed window, if indeed The flowers grow not too close; and there within | Thou'lt see some half a dozen rosy brats, | Eating from wooden bowls their dainty milk— Those are my mountain elves. Seest thou not Their very forms distinctly? I'll gather round my board | All that Heaven sends to me of way-worn folks, And noble travellers, and neighbouring friends, Both young and old. Within my ample hall, The worn out man of arms shall o' tiptoe tread, Tossing his gray locks from his wrinkled brow With cheerful freedom, as he boasts his feats | Of days gone by. Music we'll have; and oft The bickering dance upon our oaken floors

Shall, thundering loud, strike on the distant ear
Of 'nighted travellers, who shall gladly bend
Their doubtful footsteps towards the cheering din.
Solemn, and grave, and cloistered, and demure
We shall not be. Will this content ye, damsels?
Every season
Shall have its suited pastime: even winter
In its deep noon, when mountains piled with snow,
And choked up valleys from our mansion bar
All entrance, and nor guest nor traveller
Sounds at our gate; the empty hall forsaken,
In some warm chamber, by the crackling fire,
We'll hold our little, snug, domestic court,
Plying our work with song and tale between.

[Fears of Imagination.]

Didst thou ne'er see the swallow's veering breast,
Winging the air beneath some murky cloud
In the sunned glimpses of a stormy day,
Shiver in silvery brightness t
Or boatmen's oar, as vivid lightning flash
In the faint gleam, that like a spirit's path
Tracks the still waters of some sullen lake :
Or lonely tower, from its brown mass of woods,
Give to the parting of a wintry sun
One hasty glance in mockery of the night
Closing in darkness round it? Gentle friend ?
Chide not her mirth who was sad yesterday,
And may be so to-morrow.

[Speech of Prince Edward in his Dungeon.]

Doth the bright sun from the high arch of heaven,
In all his beauteous robes of fleckered clouds,
And ruddy vapours, and deep-glowing flames,
And softly varied shades, look gloriously
Do the green woods dance to the wind; the lakes
Cast up their sparkling waters to the light?
Do the sweet hamlets in their bushy dells
Send winding up to heaven their curling smoke
On the soft morning air?
Do the flocks bleat, and the wild creatures bound
In antic happiness? and mazy birds
Wing the mid air in lightly skimming bands?
Ay, all this is—men do behold all this—
The poorest man. Even in this lonely vault,
My dark and narrow world, oft do I hear
The crowing of the cock so near my walls,
And sadly think how small a space divides me
From all this fair creation.

[Description of Jane de Montfort.]

[The following has been pronounced to be a perfect picture of Mrs Siddons, the tragic actress.]

Page. Madam, there is a lady in your hall Who begs to be admitted to your presence. Lady. Is it not one of our invited friends? Page. No ; far unlike to them. It is a stranger. Lady. How looks her countenance? Page. So queenly, so commanding, and so noble, I shrunk at first in awe; but when she smiled, Methought I could have compassed sea and land To do her bidding. Ladyo Is she young or old : Page. Neither, if right I guess; but she is fair, For Time hath laid his hand so gently on her, As he, too, had been awed. Iady. The foolish stripling! She has bewitched thee. Is she large in stature? Page. So stately and so graceful is her form, I thought at first her stature was gigantic; But on a near approach, I found, in truth, She scarcely does surpass the middle size.

Dady. What is her garb:

From 1780


Page. I cannot well describe the fashion of it: She is not decked in any gallant trim, But seems to me clad in her usual weeds Of high habitual state; for as she moves, Wide flows her robe in many a waving fold, As I have seen unfurled banners play With the soft breeze. Lady. Thine eyes deceive thee, boy; It is an apparition thou hast seen. Freberg. [Starting from his seat, where he has been sitting during the conversation between the Lady and the Page.] It is an apparition he has seen, Or it is Jane de Montfort.


MR Godwin, the novelist, attempted the tragic drama in the year 1800, but his powerful genius, which had produced a romance of deep and thrilling interest, became cold and frigid when confined to the rules of the stage. His play was named Antonio, or the Soldier's Return. It turned out “a miracle of dulness,’ as Sergeant Talfourd relates, and at last the actors were hooted from the stage. The author's equanimity under this severe trial is amusingly related by Talfourd. Mr Godwin, he says, “sat on one of the front benches of the pit, unmoved amidst the storm. When the first act passed off without a hand, he expressed his satisfaction at the good sense of the house; “the proper season of applause had not arrived;” all was exactly as it should be. The second act proceeded to its close in the same uninterrupted calm; his friends became uneasy, but still his optimism prevailed; he could afford to wait. And although he did at last admit the great movement was somewhat tardy, and that the audience seemed rather patient than interested, he did not lose his confidence till the tumult arose, and then he submitted with quiet dignity to the fate of genius, too lofty to be understood by a world as yet in its childhood.” The next new play was also by a man of distinguished genius, and it also was unsuccessful. Julian and Agnes, by WILLIAM SoTHEBY, the translator of Oberon, was acted April 25, 1800. “In the course of its performance, Mrs Siddons, as the heroine, had to make her exit from the scene with an infant in her arms. Having to retire precipitately, she inadvertently struck the baby's head violently against a door-post. Happily, the little thing was made of wood, so that her doll's accident only produced a general laugh, in which the actress herself joined heartily.’ This ‘untoward event' would have marred the success of any new tragedy; but Mr Sotheby's is deficient in arrangement and dramatic art. We may remark, that at this time the genius of Kemble and Mrs Siddons shed a lustre on the stage, and reclaimed it from the barbarous solecisms in dress and decoration which even Garrick had tolerated. Neither Kemble nor Garrick, however, paid sufficient attention to the text of Shakspeare's dramas, which, even down to about the year 1838, continued to be presented as mutilated by Nahum Tate, Colley Cibber, and others. The first manager who ventured to restore the pure text of the great dramatist, and present it without any of the baser alloys on the stage, was Mr Macready, who made great though unavailing efforts to encourage the taste of the public for Shakspeare and the legitimate drama.

s. T. Collert IDGE.

The tragedies of Coleridge, Scott, Byron, Procter, and Milman (noticed in our account of these poets), must be considered as poems rather than plays. Coleridge's Remorse was acted with some success

in 1813, aided by fine original music, but it has not since been revived. It contains, however, some of Coleridge's most exquisite poetry and wild superstition, with a striking romantic plot. We extract the scene in which Alhadra describes the supposed murder of her husband, Alvar, by his brother, and animates his followers to vengeance.

The Mountains by Moonlight. ALHADRA alone, in a
Moorish dress.
Alhadra. Yon hanging woods, that, touched by
autumn, seem

As they were blossoming hues of fire and gold;
The flower-like woods, most lovely in decay,
The many clouds, the sea, the rocks, the sands,
Lie in the silent moonshine; and the owl
(Strange, very strange ()—the screech-owl only wakes,
Sole voice, sole eye of all this world of beauty :
Unless, perhaps, she sing her screeching song
To a herd of wolves, that skulk athirst for blood.
Why such a thing am I? Where are these men?
I need the sympathy of human faces,
To beat away this deep contempt for all things,
Which quenches my revenge. Oh! would to Alla
The raven or the sea-mew were appointed
To bring me food! or rather that my soul
Could drink in life from the universal air!
It were a lot divine in some small skiff,
Along some ocean's boundless solitude,
To float for ever with a careless course,
And think myself the only being alive!
My children!—Isidore's children!—Son of Waldez,
This hath new strung mine arm. Thou coward tyrant!
To stupify a woman's heart with anguish,
Till she forgot even that she was a mother!

[She fixes her eyes on the earth. Then drop in, one after another, from different parts of the stage, a considerable number of Morescoes, all in Moorish garments and Moorish armour. They form a circle at a distance round ALHADRA, and remain silent till the second in command, NAoxii, enters, distinguished by his dress and armour, and by the silent obeisance paid to him on his entrance by the other Moors.]

Naomi. Woman, may Alla and the prophet bless thee! We have obeyed thy call. Where is our chief? | And why didst thou enjoin these Moorish garments Alhad. [Raising her eyes, and looking round on the circle.] Warriors of Mahomet! faithful in the battle! My countryment Come yeo to work An honourable deed And would ye work it |

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In the slave's garb: Curse on those Christian robes!
They are spell-blasted; and whoever wears them,
His arm shrinks withered, his heart melts away,
And his bones soften.
Naomi. Where is Isidore?
Alhad. [In a deep low voice.] This night I went from
forth my house, and left
His children all asleep; and he was living !
And I returned, and found them still asleep,
But he had perished
All Morescoes. Perished ;
Alhad. He had perished!—
Sleep on, poor babes' not one of you doth know
That he is fatherless—a desolate orphan'
Why should we wake them? Can an infant's arm
Revenge his murder?
One Moresco to another. Did she say his murder?
Naomi. Murder | Not murdered
Alhad. Murdered by a Christians [They all at once
draw their sabres.
Alhad. [To Naomi, who advances from the circle.]

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Dost thou dare receive it? For I have sworn by Alla and the prophet, No tear shall dim these eyes—this woman's heart Shall heave no groan—till I have seen that sword Wet with the life-blood of the son of Waldez | [A pause.]

Ordonio was your chieftain's murderer!
Naomi. He dies, by Alla!
All. [Kneeling.] By Alla!
Alhad. This night your chieftain armed himself,
And hurried from me. But I followed him
At distance, till I saw him enter—there!
Naomi. The cavern?
Alhad. Yes, the mouth of yonder cavern.
After a while I saw the son of Waldez
Rush by with flaring torch; he likewise entered.
There was another and a longer pause;
And once methought I heard the clash of swords!
And soon the son of Waldez reappeared:
He flung his torch towards the moon in sport,
And seemed as he were mirthful; I stood listening,
Impatient for the footsteps of my husband 1,
Naomi. Thou calledst him :
Alhad. I crept into the cavern—
'Twas dark and very silent. [Then wildly..] What
saidst thou?
No, no! I did not dare call Isidore,
Lest I should hear no answer. A brief while,
Belike, I lost all thought and memory
Of that for which I came. After that pause—
0 Heaven I heard a groan, and followed it;
And yet another groan, which guided me
Into a strange recess, and there was light,
A hideous light! his torch lay on the ground;
It's flame burned dimly o'er a chasm's brink.
I spake; and whilst I spake, a feeble groan
Came from that chasm it was his last—his death-

Naomi. Comfort her, Alla. Alhad. I stood in unimaginable trance, And agony that cannot be remembered, Listening with horrid hope to hear a groan' But I had heard his last, my husband's death-groan Naomi. Hastel let us onward. Alhad. I looked far down the pit— My sight was bounded by a jutting fragment; | And it was stained with blood. Then first I shrieked, | My eyeballs burned, my brain grew hot as fire! And all the hanging drops of the wet roof Turned into blood—I saw them turn to blood! And I was leaping wildly down the chasm, When on the farther brink I saw his sword, | And it said vengeance Curses on my tongue! The moon hath moved in heaven, and I am here, And he hath not had vengeance! Isidore, Spirit of Isidore, thy murderer lives! Away, away ! | All. Away, away! [She rushes off, all following. The incantation scene, in the same play, is sketched with high poetical power, and the author's unrivalled musical expression —

Scene—A Hall of Armory, with an altar at the back of the stage. Soft music from an instrument of glass or steel. | WALDEz, ORDonio, and Alvah in a Sorcerer's robe are discovered.

Ord. This was too melancholy, father.

Wald. Nay, My Alvar loved sad music from a child. Once he was lost, and after weary search We found him in an open place in the wood, To which spot he had .. a blind boy, Who ...i. into a pipe of sycamore Some strangely moving notes; and these, he said, Were taught him in a dream. Him we first saw Stretched on the broad top of a sunny heath-bank:

And lower down poor Alvar, fast asleep,
His head upon the blind boy's dog. It pleased me
To mark how he had fastened round the pipe
A silver toy his grandam had late given him.
Methinks I see him now as he then looked—
Even so! He had outgrown his infant dress,
Yet still he wore it.
Alv. My tears must not flow!
I must not clasp his knees, and cry, My father!
Enter TERE's A and Attendants.
Ter. Lord Waldez, you have asked my presence here,
And I submit; but (Heaven bear witness for me)
My heart approves it not 'tis mockery.
Ord. Believe you, then, no preternatural influence?
Believe you not that spirits throng around us?
Ter. Say rather that I have imagined it
A possible thing: and it has soothed my soul
As other fancies have ; but ne'er seduced me
To traffic with the black and frenzied hope
That the dead hear the voice of witch or wizard.
[To Alvar.] Stranger, I mourn and blush to see you

ere On such employment! With far other thoughts I left you. Ord. [Aside.] Ha! he has been tampering with her? Alv. 0 high-souled maiden! and more dear to me Than suits the stranger's name! I swear to thee I will uncover all concealed guilt. Doubt, but decide not! Stand ye from the altar. [Here a strain of music is heard from behind the scene. Alv. With no irreverent voice or uncouth charm I call up the departed Soul of Alvar! Hear our soft suit, and heed my milder spell: So may the gates of Paradise, unbarred, Cease thy swift toils . Since haply thou art one Of that innumerable company Who in broad circle, lovelier than the rainbow, Girdle this round earth in a dizzy motion, With noise too vast and constant to be heard: Fitliest unheard! For oh, ye numberless And rapid travellers! what ear unstunned, What sense unmaddened, might bear up against The rushing of your congregated wings? [Music.] Even now your living wheel turns o'er my head 1 [Music expressive of the movements and images that s". Ye, as ye pass, toss high the desert sands, That roar and whiten like a burst of waters, A sweet appearance, but a dread illusion To the parched caravan that roams by night! And ye build up on the becalmed waves That whirling pillar, which from earth to heaven Stands vast, and moves in blackness! Ye, too, split The ice mount 1 and with fragments many and huge Tempest the new-thawed sea, whose sudden gulfs Suck in, perchance, some Lapland wizard's skiff! Then round and round the whirlpool's marge ye dance, Till from the blue swollen corse the soul toils out, And joins your mighty army. [Here, behind the scenes, a voice sings the three words, “IIcar, succt spirit."] Soul of Alvar! Hear the mild spell, and tempt no blacker charin By sighs unquiet, and the sickly pang Of a half dead, yet still undying hope, Pass visible before our mortal sense I So shall the church's cleansing rites be thine, Her knells and masses, that redeem the dead! [Song behind the scenes, accompanied by the same instrument as before.] Hear, sweet spirit, hear the spell, Lest a blacker charm compel So shall the midnight breezes swell With thy deep long lingering knell.


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