University of Virginia Library





  • De Monfort.
  • Rezenvelt.
  • Count Freberg, friend to De Monfort and Rezenvelt.
  • Manuel, servant to De Monfort.
  • Jerome, De Monfort's old landlord.
  • Conrad, an artful knave.
  • Bernard, a monk.
  • Monks, gentlemen, officers, page, &c. &c.


  • Jane De Monfort, sister to De Monfort.
  • Countess Freberg, wife to Freberg.
  • Theresa, servant to the Countess.
  • Abbess, nuns, and a lay sister, ladies, &c.
Scene, a town in Germany.



Jerome's house. A large old-fashioned chamber.
(speaking without).
This way, good masters.
Enter Jerome, bearing a light, and followed by Manuel, and servants carrying luggage.
Rest your burthens here.
This spacious room will please the marquis best.
He takes me unawares; but ill prepar'd:
If he had sent, e'en though a hasty notice,
I had been glad.

Be not disturb'd, good Jerome;
Thy house is in most admirable order;
And they who travel o' cold winter nights
Think homeliest quarters good.

He is not far behind?

A little way.
(To the servants.)
Go you and wait below till he arrive.

(shaking Manuel by the hand).
Indeed, my friend, I'm glad to see you here;
Yet marvel wherefore.

I marvel wherefore too, my honest Jerome:
But here we are; pri'thee be kind to us.

Most heartily I will. I love your master:
He is a quiet and a lib'ral man:
A better inmate never cross'd my door.

Ah! but he is not now the man he was.
Lib'ral he'll be. God grant he may be quiet.

What has befallen him?

I cannot tell thee;
But, faith, there is no living with him now.

And yet, methinks, if I remember well
You were about to quit his service, Manuel,
When last he left this house. You grumbled then.

I've been upon the eve of leaving him
These ten long years; for many times he is
So difficult, capricious, and distrustful,
He galls my nature—yet, I know not how,
A secret kindness binds me to him still.

Some who offend from a suspicious nature,
Will afterwards such fair confession make
As turns e'en the offence into a favour.

Yes, some indeed do so; so will not he:
He'd rather die than such confession make.


Ay, thou art right; for now I call to mind
That once he wrong'd me with unjust suspicion,
When first he came to lodge beneath my roof;
And when it so fell out that I was prov'd
Most guiltless of the fault, I truly thought
He would have made profession of regret.
But silent, haughty, and ungraciously
He bore himself as one offended still.
Yet shortly after, when unwittingly
I did him some slight service, o' the sudden
He overpower'd me with his grateful thanks;
And would not be restrain'd from pressing on me
A noble recompense. I understood
His o'erstrain'd gratitude and bounty well,
And took it as he meant.

'Tis often thus.
I would have left him many years ago,
But that with all his faults there sometimes come
Such bursts of natural goodness from his heart,
As might engage a harder churl than I
To serve him still.—And then his sister too;
A noble dame, who should have been a queen:
The meanest of her hinds, at her command,
Had fought like lions for her, and the poor,
E'en o'er their bread of poverty, had bless'd her—
She would have griev'd if I had left my lord.

Comes she along with him?

No, he departed all unknown to her,
Meaning to keep conceal'd his secret route;
But well I knew it would afflict her much,
And therefore left a little nameless billet,
Which after our departure, as I guess,
Would fall into her hands, and tell her all.
What could I do! O 'tis a noble lady!

All this is strange—something disturbs his mind—
Belike he is in love.

No, Jerome, no.
Once on a time I serv'd a noble master,
Whose youth was blasted with untoward love,
And he, with hope and fear and jealousy
For ever toss'd, led an unquiet life:
Yet, when unruffled by the passing fit,
His pale wan face such gentle sadness wore
As mov'd a kindly heart to pity him.
But Monfort, even in his clamest hour,
Still bears that gloomy sternness in his eye
Which powerfully repels all sympathy.
O no! good Jerome, no, it is not love.

Hear I not horses trampling at the gate?
He is arrived — stay thou — I had forgot —
A plague upon't! my head is so confus'd—
I will return i' the instant to receive him.

[Exit hastily.
[A great bustle without. Exit Manuel with lights, and returns again, lighting in De Monfort, as if just alighted from his journey.
Your ancient host, my lord, receives you gladly,
And your apartment will be soon prepar'd.

De Mon.
'Tis well.

Where shall I place the chest you gave in charge?
So please you, say, my lord.

De Mon.
(throwing himself into a chair).
Wheree'er thou wilt.

I would not move that luggage till you came.

[Pointing to certain things.
De Mon.
Move what thou wilt, and trouble me no more.

[Manuel, with the assistance of other servants, sets about putting the things in order, and De Monfort remains sitting in a thoughtful posture).
Enter Jerome, bearing wine, &c. on a salver. As he approaches De Monfort, Manuel pulls him by the sleeve.
(aside to Jerome).
No, do not now; he will not be disturb'd.

What! not to bid him welcome to my house,
And offer some refreshment?

No, good Jerome.
Softly a little while: I pri'thee do.

[Jerome walks softly on tiptoe, till he gets behind De Monfort, then peeping on one side to see his face.
(aside to Manuel).
Ah, Manuel, what an alter'd man is here!
His eyes are hollow, and his cheeks are pale—
He left this house a comely gentleman.

De Mon.
Who whispers there?

'Tis your old landlord, sir.

I joy to see you here—I crave your pardon—
I fear I do intrude—

De Mon.
No, my kind host, I am obliged to thee.

How fares it with your honour?

De Mon.
Well enough.

Here is a little of the fav'rite wine
That you were wont to praise. Pray honour me.

[Fills a glass.
De Mon.
(after drinking).
I thank you, Jerome, 'tis delicious.

Ay, my dear wife did ever make it so.

De Mon.
And how does she?

Alas, my lord! she's dead.

De Mon.
Well, then she is at rest.

How well, my lord?

De Mon.
Is she not with the dead, the quiet dead,
Where all is peace? Not e'en the impious wretch,
Who tears the coffin from its earthy vault,
And strews the mould'ring ashes to the wind,
Can break their rest.

Woe's me! I thought you would have griev'd for her.
She was a kindly soul! Before she died,
When pining sickness bent her cheerless head,


She set my house in order—
And but the morning ere she breath'd her last,
Bade me preserve some flaskets of this wine,
That should the Lord de Monfort come again
His cup might sparkle still.
[De Monfort walks across the stage, and wipes his eyes.
Indeed I fear I have distress'd you, sir;
I surely thought you would be griev'd for her.

De Mon.
(taking Jerome's hand).
I am, my friend. How long has she been dead?

Two sad long years.

De Mon.
Would she were living still!
I was too troublesome, too heedless of her.

O no! she lov'd to serve you.

[Loud knocking without.
De Mon.
What fool comes here, at such untimely hours,
To make this cursed noise? (To Manuel.)
Go to the gate.

[Exit Manuel.
All sober citizens are gone to bed;
It is some drunkards on their nightly rounds,
Who mean it but in sport.

I hear unusual voices—here they come.

Re-enter Manuel, showing in Count Freberg and his lady, with a mask in her hand.
(running to embrace De Mon.)
My dearest Monfort! most unlook'd for pleasure!
Do I indeed embrace thee here again?
I saw thy servant standing by the gate,
His face recall'd, and learnt the joyful tidings!
Welcome, thrice welcome here!

De Mon.
I thank thee, Freberg, for this friendly visit,
And this fair lady too.

[Bowing to the lady.
I fear, my lord,
We do intrude at an untimely hour:
But now, returning from a midnight mask,
My husband did insist that we should enter.

No, say not so; no hour untimely call,
Which doth together bring long absent friends.
Dear Monfort, why hast thou so slily play'd,
Coming upon us thus so suddenly?

De Mon.
O! many varied thoughts do cross our brain,
Which touch the will, but leave the memory trackless;
And yet a strange compounded motive make,
Wherefore a man should bend his evening walk
To th' east or west, the forest or the field.
Is it not often so?

I ask no more, happy to see you here
From any motive. There is one behind,
Whose presence would have been a double bliss:
Ah! how is she? The noble Jane De Monfort.

De Mon.
She is—I have—I left my sister well.

(to Freberg).
My Freberg, you are heedless of respect.
You surely mean to say the Lady Jane.

Respect! No, madam; Princess, Empress, Queen,
Could not denote a creature so exalted
As this plain appellation doth,
The noble Jane De Monfort.

(turning from him displeased to Mon.)
You are fatigued, my lord; you want repose;
Say, should we not retire?

Ha! is it so?
My friend, your face is pale; have you been ill?

De Mon.
No, Freberg, no; I think I have been well.

(shaking his head).
I fear thou hast not, Monfort—Let it pass.
We'll re-establish thee: we'll banish pain.
I will collect some rare, some cheerful friends,
And we shall spend together glorious hours,
That gods might envy. Little time so spent
Doth far outvalue all our life beside.
This is indeed our life, our waking life,
The rest dull breathing sleep.

De Mon.
Thus, it is true, from the sad years of life
We sometimes do short hours, yea minutes strike,
Keen, blissful, bright, never to be forgotten;
Which, through the dreary gloom of time o'erpast,
Shine like fair sunny spots on a wild waste.
But few they are, as few the heaven-fir'd souls
Whose magic power creates them. Bless'd art thou,
If, in the ample circle of thy friends,
Thou canst but boast a few.

Judge for thyself: in truth I do not boast.
There is amongst my friends, my later friends,
A most accomplish'd stranger: new to Amberg;
But just arriv'd, and will ere long depart:
I met him in Franconia two years since.
He is so full of pleasant anecdote,
So rich, so gay, so poignant is his wit,
Time vanishes before him as he speaks,
And ruddy morning through the lattice peeps
Ere night seems well begun.

De Mon.
How is he call'd?

I will surprise thee with a welcome face:
I will not tell thee now.

(to Mon.)
I have, my lord, a small request to make,
And must not be denied. I too may boast
Of some good friends, and beauteous country-women:
To-morrow night I open wide my doors
To all the fair and gay: beneath my roof
Music, and dance, and revelry shall reign:
I pray you come and grace it with your presence.

De Mon.
You honour me too much to be denied.

I thank you, sir; and in return for this,
We shall withdraw, and leave you to repose.


Must it be so? Good night—sweet sleep to thee!

(to DeMonfort.)
De Mon.
(to Freb.)
Good night.
(To lady.)
Good night, fair lady.


[Exeunt Freberg and lady.
De Mon.
(to Jer.)
I thought Count Freberg had been now in France.

He meant to go, as I have been inform'd.

De Mon.
Well, well, prepare my bed; I will to rest.

[Exit Jerome.
De Mon.
I know not how it is, my heart stands back,
And meets not this man's love.—Friends! rarest friends!
Rather than share his undiscerning praise
With every table-wit, and book-form'd sage,
And paltry poet puling to the moon,
I'd court from him proscription, yea abuse,
And think it proud distinction.



A small apartment in Jerome's house: a table and breakfast set out. Enter De Monfort, followed by Manuel, and sits down by the table, with a cheerful face.
De Mon.
Manuel, this morning's sun shines pleasantly:
These old apartments too are light and cheerful.
Our landlord's kindness has reviv'd me much:
He serves as though he lov'd me. This pure air
Braces the listless nerves, and warms the blood:
I feel in freedom here.

[Filling a cup of coffee, and drinking.
Ah! sure, my lord,
No air is purer than the air at home.

De Mon.
Here can I wander with assured steps,
Nor dread, at every winding of the path,
Lest an abhorred serpent cross my way,
To move—

(stopping short.)
What says your honour?
There are no serpents in our pleasant fields.

De Mon.
Thinkst thou there are no serpents in the world,
But those who slide along the grassy sod,
And sting the luckless foot that presses them?
There are who in the path of social life
Do bask their spotted skins in Fortune's sun,
And sting the soul—Ay, till its healthful frame
Is chang'd to secret, fest'ring, sore disease,
So deadly is the wound.

Heav'n guard your honour from such horrid scath!
They are but rare, I hope!

De Mon.
(shaking his head).
We mark the hollow eye, the wasted frame,
The gait disturb'd of wealthy honour'd men,
But do not know the cause.

'Tis very true. God keep you well, my lord!

De Mon.
I thank thee, Manuel, I am very well.
I shall be gay too, by the setting sun.
I go to revel it with sprightly dames,
And drive the night away.

[Filling another cup, and drinking.
I should be glad to see your honour gay.

De Mon.
And thou too shalt be gay. There, honest Manuel,
Put these broad pieces in thy leathern purse,
And take at night a cheerful jovial glass.
Here is one too, for Bremer; he loves wine:
And one for Jaques: be joyful altogether.

Enter Servant.
My lord, I met e'en now, a short way off,
Your countryman the Marquis Rezenvelt.

De Mon.
(starting from his seat, and letting the cup fall from his hand).
Whom sayst thou?

Marquis Rezenvelt, an' please you.

De Mon.
Thou liest—it is not so—it is impossible!

I saw him with these eyes, plain as yourself.

De Mon.
Fool! 'tis some passing stranger thou hast seen,
And with a hideous likeness been deceiv'd.

No other stranger could deceive my sight.

De Mon.
(dashing his clenched hand violently upon the table, and overturning every thing).
Heaven blast thy sight! it lights on nothing good.

I surely thought no harm to look upon him.

De Mon.
What, dost thou still insist? He must it be?
Does it so please thee well? (Servant endeavours to speak.)
Hold thy damn'd tongue!

By heaven I'll kill thee!

(Going furiously up to him.)
(in a soothing voice).
Nay, harm him not, my lord; he speaks the truth;
I've met his groom, who told me certainly
His lord is here. I should have told you so,
But thought, perhaps, it might displease your honour.

De Mon.
(becoming all at once calm, and turning sternly to Manuel.
And how dar'st thou
To think it would displease me?
What is't to me who leaves or enters Amberg?
But it displeases me, yea e'en to frenzy,
That every idle fool must hither come,
To break my leisure with the paltry tidings
Of all the cursed things he stares upon.
[Servant attempts to speakDe Monfort stamps with his foot.
Take thine ill-favour'd visage from my sight,
And speak of it no more.
[Exit Servant.
And go thou too; I choose to be alone. [Exit Manuel.
[De Monfort goes to the door by which they went out; opens it, and looks.


But is he gone indeed? Yes, he is gone.
[Goes to the opposite door, opens it, and looks: then gives loose to all the fury of gesture, and walks up and down in great agitation.
It is too much: by heaven it is too much!
He haunts me—stings me—like a devil haunts—
He'll make a raving maniac of me—Villain!
The air wherein thou drawst thy fulsome breath
Is poison to me—Oceans shall divide us!
But no; thou thinkst I fear thee, cursed reptile;
And hast a pleasure in the damned thought.
Though my heart's blood should curdle at thy sight,
I'll stay and face thee still.
[Knocking at the chamber door.
Ha! who knocks there?

It is thy friend, De Monfort.

De Mon.
(opening the door).
Enter, then.

Enter Freberg.
(taking his hand kindly).
How art thou now? How hast thou pass'd the night?
Has kindly sleep refresh'd thee?

De Mon.
Yes, I have lost an hour or two in sleep,
And so should be refresh'd.

And art thou not?
Thy looks speak not of rest. Thou art disturb'd.

De Mon.
No, somewhat ruffled from a foolish cause,
Which soon will pass away.

(shaking his head).
Ah no, De Monfort! something in thy face
Tells me another tale. Then wrong me not:
If any secret grief distract thy soul,
Here am I all devoted to thy love:
Open thy heart to me. What troubles thee?

De Mon.
I have no grief: distress me not, my friend.

Nay, do not call me so. Wert thou my friend,
Wouldst thou not open all thine inmost soul,
And bid me share its every consciousness?

De Mon.
Freberg, thou knowst not man; not nature's man,
But only him who, in smooth studied works
Of polish'd sages, shines deceitfully
In all the splendid foppery of virtue.
That man was never born whose secret soul,
With all its motley treasure of dark thoughts,
Foul fantasies, vain musings, and wild dreams,
Was ever open'd to another's scan.
Away, away! it is delusion all.

Well, be reserved then; perhaps I'm wrong.

De Mon.
How goes the hour?

'Tis early still; a long day lies before us;
Let us enjoy it. Come along with me;
I'll introduce you to my pleasant friend.

De Mon.
Your pleasant friend?

Yes, him of whom I spake.
[Taking his hand.
There is no good I would not share with thee;
And this man's company, to minds like thine,
Is the best banquet feast I could bestow.
But I will speak in mystery no more;
It is thy townsman, noble Rezenvelt.
[De Mon. pulls his hand hastily from Freberg, and shrinks back.
Ha! what is this?
Art thou pain-stricken, Monfort?
Nay, on my life, thou rather seemst offended:
Does it displease thee that I call him friend?

De Mon.
No, all men are thy friends.

No, say not all men. But thou art offended.
I see it well. I thought to do thee pleasure.
But if his presence be not welcome here,
He shall not join our company to-day.

De Mon.
What dost thou mean to say? What is't to me
Whether I meet with such a thing as Rezenvelt
To-day, to-morrow, every day, or never?

In truth, I thought you had been well with him;
He prais'd you much.

De Mon.
I thank him for his praise—Come, let us move:
This chamber is confin'd and airless grown.
I hear a stranger's voice!

'Tis Rezenvelt.
Let him be told that we are gone abroad.

De Mon.
No! let him enter. Who waits there? Ho! Manuel!

Enter Manuel.
What stranger speaks below?
The Marquis Rezenvelt.
I have not told him that you are within.

De Mon.
And wherefore didst thou not? Let him ascend.

[A long pause. De Montfort walking up and down with a quickpace.
Enter Rezenvelt, who runs freely up to De Monfort.
(to De Mon.)
My noble marquis, welcome!

De Mon.
Sir, I thank you.

(to Freb.)
My gentle friend, well met. Abroad so early?

It is indeed an early hour for me.
How sits thy last night's revel on thy spirits?

O, light as ever. On my way to you,
E'en now, I learnt De Montfort was arriv'd,
And turn'd my steps aside; so here I am.

[Bowing gaily to De Monfort.
De Mon.
I thank you, sir; you do me too much honour.

Nay, say not so; not too much honour surely,
Unless, indeed, 'tis more than pleases you.


De Mon.
Having no previous notice of your coming,
I look'd not for it.

Ay, true indeed; when I approach you next,
I'll send a herald to proclaim my coming,
And bow to you by sound of trumpet, marquis.

De Mon.
(to Freb., turning haughtily from Rezenvelt with affected indifference).
How does your cheerful friend, that good old man?

My cheerful friend? I know not whom you mean.

De Mon.
Count Waterlan.

I know not one so nam'd.

De Mon.
(very confused).
O pardon me—it was at Basle I knew him.

You have not yet inquir'd for honest Reisdale.
I met him as I came, and mention'd you.
He seem'd amaz'd; and fain he would have learnt
What cause procur'd us so much happiness.
He question'd hard, and hardly would believe;
I could not satisfy his strong desire.

And know you not what brings De Montfort here?

Truly I do not.

O! 'tis love of me.
I have but two short days in Amberg been,
And here with postman's speed he follows me,
Finding his home so dull and tiresome grown.

(to De Mon.)
Is Rezenvelt so sadly miss'd with you?
Your town so chang'd?

De Mon.
Not altogether so;
Some witlings and jest-mongers still remain
For fools to laugh at.

But he laughs not, and therefore he is wise.
He ever frowns on them with sullen brow
Contemptuous; therefore he is very wise;
Nay, daily frets his most refined soul
With their poor folly to its inmost core;
Therefore he is most eminently wise.

Fy, Rezenvelt! you are too early gay.
Such spirits rise but with the ev'ning glass:
They suit not placid morn.
[To De Monfort, who, after walking impatiently up and down, comes close to his ear and lays hold of his arm.
What would, you Monfort?

De Mon.
Nothing—what is't o'clock?
No, no—I had forgot—'tis early still.

[Turns away again.
(to Rez.)
Waltser informs me that you have agreed
To read his verses o'er, and tell the truth.
It is a dangerous task.

Yet I'll be honest:
I can but lose his favour and a feast.

[Whilst they speak, De Monfort walks up and down impatiently and irresolute: at last pulls the bell violently.
Enter Servant.
De Mon.
(to ser.)
What dost thou want?

I thought your honour rung.

De Mon.
I have forgot—stay. Are my horses saddled?

I thought, my lord, you would not ride to-day,
After so long a journey.

De Mon.
Well—'tis good.
Begone!—I want thee not.

[Exit servant.
(smiling significantly).
I humbly crave your pardon, gentle marquics.
It grieves me that I cannot stay with you,
And make my visit of a friendly length.
I trust your goodness will excuse me now;
Another time I shall be less unkind.
(To Freberg.)
Will you not go with me?

Excuse me, Monfort, I'll return again.

[Exeunt Rezenvelt and Freberg.
De Mon.
(alone, tossing his arms distractedly).
Hell hath no greater torment for th' accurs'd
Than this man's presence gives—
Abhorred fiend! he hath a pleasure too,
A damned pleasure in the pain he gives!
Oh! the side glance of that detested eye!
That conscious smile! that full insulting lip!
It touches every nerve: it makes me mad.
What, does it please thee? Dost thou woo my hate?
Hate shalt thou have! determin'd, deadly hate,
Which shall awake no smile. Malignant villain!
The venom of thy mind is rank and devilish,
And thin the film that hides it.
Thy hateful visage ever spoke thy worth:
I loath'd thee when a boy.
That men should be besotted with him thus!
And Freberg likewise so bewitched is,
That like a hireling flatt'rer at his heels
He meanly paces, off'ring brutish praise.
O! I could curse him too!




A very splendid apartment in Count Freberg's house, fancifully decorated. A wide folding-door opened, shows another magnificent room lighted up to receive company. Enter through the folding doors the Count and Countess, richly dressed.
(looking round).
In truth, I like those decorations well:
They suit those lofty walls. And here, my love,
The gay profusion of a woman's fancy
Is well display'd. Noble simplicity


Becomes us less, on such a night as this,
Than gaudy show.

Is it not noble then? (He shakes his head.)
I thought it so;

And as I know you love simplicity,
I did intend it should be simple too.

Be satisfied, I pray; we want to-night
A cheerful banquet-house, and not a temple.
How runs the hour?

It is not late, but soon we shall be rous'd
With the loud entry of our frolic guests.

Enter a Page, richly dressed.
Madam, there is a lady in your hall,
Who begs to be admitted to your presence.

Is it not one of our invited friends?

No, far unlike to them; it is a stranger.

How looks her countenance?

So queenly, so commanding, and so noble,
I shrunk at first in awe; but when she smil'd,
For so she did to see me thus abash'd,
Methought I could have compass'd sea and land
To do her bidding.

Is she young or old?

Neither, if right I guess; but she is fair:
For Time hath laid his hand so gently on her,
As he too had been aw'd.

The foolish stripling!
She has bewitch'd thee. Is she large in stature?

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.

What is her garb?

I cannot well describe the fashion of it.
She is not deck'd in any gallant trim,
But seems to me clad in the 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 a soft breeze.

Thine eyes deceive thee, boy;
It is an apparition thou hast seen.

(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 Monfort.

[Exit, hastily.
No; such description surely suits not her.
Did she inquire for me?

She ask'd to see the lady of Count Freberg.

Perhaps it is not she—I fear it is—
Ha! here they come. He has but guess'd too well.

Enter Freberg, leading in Jane De Monfort.
(presenting her to lady).
Here, madam, welcome a most worthy guest.

Madam, a thousand welcomes! Pardon me;
I could not guess who honour'd me so far;
I should not else have waited coldly here.

I thank you for this welcome, gentle countess.
But take those kind excuses back again;
I am a bold intruder on this hour,
And am entitled to no ceremony.
I came in quest of a dear truant friend,
But Freberg has inform'd me—
(To Freberg.)
And he is well, you say?

Yes, well, but joyless.

It is the usual temper of his mind;
It opens not, but with the thrilling touch
Of some strong heart-string o' the sudden press'd.

It may be so, I've known him otherwise:
He is suspicious grown.

Not so, Count Freberg; Monfort is too noble.
Say rather, that he is a man in grief,
Wearing at times a strange and scowling eye;
And thou, less generous than beseems a friend,
Hast thought too hardly of him.

(bowing with great respect).
So will I say;
I'll own nor word nor will, that can offend you.

De Monfort is engag'd to grace our feast:
Ere long you'll see him here.

I thank you truly, but this homely dress
Suits not the splendour of such scenes as these.

(pointing to her dress).
Such artless and majestic elegance,
So exquisitely just, so nobly simple,
Will make the gorgeous blush.

Nay, nay, be more consistent, courteous knight,
And do not praise a plain and simple guise
With such profusion of unsimple words.
I cannot join your company to-night.

Not stay to see your brother?

Therefore it is I would not, gentle hostess.
Here will he find all that can woo the heart
To joy and sweet forgetfulness of pain;
The sight of me would wake his feeling mind
To other thoughts. I am no doating mistress;
No fond distracted wife, who must forthwith
Rush to his arms and weep. I am his sister:
The eldest daughter of his father's house:
Calm and unwearied is my love for him;
And having found him, patiently I'll wait,
Nor greet him in the hour of social joy,
To dash his mirth with tears.—
The night wears on; permit me to withdraw.

Nay, do not, do not injure us so far!
Disguise thyself, and join our friendly train.

You wear not masks to-night.

We wear not masks, but you may be con-ceal'd
Behind the double foldings of a veil.


(after pausing to consider).
In truth, I feel a little so inclin'd.
Methinks unknown, I e'en might speak to him,
And gently prove the temper of his mind;
But for the means I must become your debtor.

[To lady.
Who waits? (Enter her woman).
Attend this lady to my wardrobe,

And do what she commands you.

[Exeunt Jane and waiting-woman.
(looking after Jane, as she goes out, with admiration).
Oh! what a soul she bears!
See how she steps!
Nought but the native dignity of worth
E'er taught the moving form such noble grace.

Such lofty mien, and high assumed gait,
I've seen ere now, and men have call'd it pride.

No, 'faith! thou never didst, but oft indeed
The paltry imitation thou hast seen.
(Looking at her.)
How hang those trappings on thy motley gown?
They seem like garlands on a May-day queen,
Which hinds have dress'd in sport.

[Lady turns away displeased.
Nay, do not frown; I spoke it but in haste;
For thou art lovely still in every garb.
But see, the guests assemble.

Enter groups of well-dressed people, who pay their compliments to Freberg and his lady; and, followed by her, pass into the inner apartment, where more company appear assembling, as if by another entry.
(who remains on the front of the stage with a friend or two).
How loud the hum of this gay-meeting crowd!
'Tis like a bee-swarm in the noonday sun.
Music will quell the sound. Who waits without?
Music strike up.

[Music, and when it ceases, enter from the inner apartment Rezenvelt, with several gentlemen, all richly dressed.
(to those just entered).
What, lively gallants, quit the field so soon?
Are there no beauties in that moving crowd
To fix your fancy?

Ay, marry are there! men of ev'ry fancy
May in that moving crowd some fair one find
To suit their taste, though whimsical and strange,
As ever fancy own'd.
Beauty of every cast and shade is there,
From the perfection of a faultless form,
Down to the common, brown, unnoted maid,
Who looks but pretty in her Sunday gown.

1st gent.
There is, indeed, a gay variety.

And if the liberality of nature
Suffices not, there's store of grafted charms,
Blending in one the sweets of many plants,
So obstinately, strangely opposite,
As would have well defied all other art
But female cultivation. Aged youth,
With borrowed locks, in rosy chaplets bound,
Clothes her dim eye, parch'd lips, and skinny cheek
In most unlovely softness:
And youthful age, with fat round trackless face,
The downcast look of contemplation deep
Most pensively assumes.
Is it not even so? The native prude,
With forced laugh, and merriment uncouth,
Plays off the wild coquette's successful charms
With most unskilful pains; and the coquette,
In temporary crust of cold reserve,
Fixes her studied looks upon the ground,
Forbiddingly demure.

Fy! thou art too severe.

Say, rather, gentle.
I 'faith! the very dwarfs attempt to charm
With lofty airs of puny majesty;
While potent damsels, of a portly make,
Totter like nurslings, and demand the aid
Of gentle sympathy.
From all those diverse modes of dire assault,
He owns a heart of hardest adamant,
Who shall escape to-night.

(to De Mon., who has entered during Rezenvelt' s speech, and heard the greatest part of it).
Ha, ha, ha, ha!
How pleasantly he gives his wit the rein,
Yet guides its wild career!

[De Mon. is silent.
(smiling archly).
What, think you, Freberg, the same powerful spell
Of transformation reigns o'er all to-night?
Or that De Monfort is a woman turn'd,—
So widely from his native self to swerve,
As grace my folly with a smile of his?

De Mon.
Nay, think not, Rezenvelt, there is no smile
I can bestow on thee. There is a smile,
A smile of nature too, which I can spare,
And yet, perhaps, thou wilt not thank me for it.

[Smiles contemptuously.
Not thank thee! It were surely most ungrateful
No thanks to pay for nobly giving me
What, well we see, has cost thee so much pain.
For nature hath her smiles of birth more painful
Than bitt'rest execrations.

These idle words will lead us to disquiet:
Forbear, forbear, my friends! Go, Rezenvelt,
Accept the challenge of those lovely dames,
Who through the portal come with bolder steps
To claim your notice.

Enter a group of ladies from the other apartment, who walk slowly across the bottom of the stage, and return to it again. Rez. shrugs up his shoulders, as if unwilling to go.


1st gent.
(to Rez.)
Behold in sable veil a lady comes,
Whose noble air doth challenge fancy's skill
To suit it with a countenance as goodly.

[Pointing to Jane De Mon., who now enters in a thick black veil.
Yes, this way lies attraction.
(To Freb.)
With permission—
[Going up to Jane.
Fair lady, though within that envious shroud
Your beauty deigns not to enlighten us,
We bid you welcome, and our beauties here
Will welcome you the more for such concealment.
With the permission of our noble host—

[Taking her hand, and leading her to the front of the stage.
(to Freb.)
Pardon me this presumption, courteous sir:
I thus appear (pointing to her veil),
not careless of respect

Unto the generous lady of the feast.
Beneath this veil no beauty shrouded is,
That, now, or pain, or pleasure can bestow.
Within the friendly cover of its shade
I only wish, unknown, again to see
One who, alas! is heedless of my pain.

De Mon.
Yes, it is ever thus. Undo that veil,
And give thy count'nance to the cheerful light.
Men now all soft and female beauty scorn,
And mock the gentle cares which aim to please.
It is most damnable! undo thy veil,
And think of him no more.

I know it well: e'en to a proverb grown,
Is lovers' faith, and I had borne such slight:
But he, who has, alas! forsaken me,
Was the companion of my early days,
My cradle's mate, mine infant play-fellow.
Within our op'ning minds, with riper years,
The love of praise and gen'rous virtue sprung:
Through varied life our pride, our joys were one;
At the same tale we wept: he is my brother.

De Mon.
And he forsook thee?—No, I dare not curse him:
My heart upbraids me with a crime like his.

Ah! do not thus distress a feeling heart.
All sisters are not to the soul entwin'd
With equal bands; thine has not watch'd for thee,
Wept for thee, cheer'd thee, shar'd thy weal and woe,
As I have done for him.

De Mon.
Ah! has she not?
By heav'n the sum of all thy kindly deeds
Were but as chaff pois'd against massy gold,
Compar'd to that which I do owe her love.
Oh, pardon me! I mean not to offend—
I am too warm—but she of whom I speak
Is the dear sister of my earliest love;
In noble, virtuous worth to none a second:
And though behind those sable folds were hid
As fair a face as ever woman own'd,
Still would I say she is as fair as thou.
How oft amidst the beauty-blazing throng,
I've proudly to th' inquiring stranger told
Her name and lineage! yet within her house,
The virgin mother of an orphan race
Her dying parents left, this noble woman
Did, like a Roman matron, proudly sit,
Despising all the blandishments of love;
While many a youth his hopeless love conceal'd,
Or, humbly distant, woo'd her like a queen.
Forgive, I pray you! O forgive this boasting!
In faith! I mean you no discourtesy.

(off her guard, in a soft natural tone of voice).
Oh, no! nor do me any.

De Mon.
What voice speaks now? Withdraw, withdraw this shade!
For if thy face bear semblance to thy voice,
I'll fall and worship thee. Pray! pray undo!

[Puts forth his hand eagerly to snatch away the veil, whilst she shrinks back, and Rezenvelt steps between to prevent him.
Stand off: no hand shall lift this sacred veil.

De Mon.
What, dost thou think De Monfort fall'n so low,
That there may live a man beneath heav'n's roof,
Who dares to say, he shall not?

He lives who dares to say—

(throwing back her veil, much alarmed, and rushing between them).
Forbear, forbear!

[Rezenvelt, very much struck, steps back respectfully, and makes her a low bow. De Monfort stands for a while motionless, gazing upon her, till she, looking expressively to him, extends her arms, and he, rushing into them, bursts into tears. Freberg seems very much pleased. The company then advancing from the inner apartment, gather about them, and the scene closes.


De Monfort 's apartments. Enter De Monfort, with a disordered air, and his hand pressed upon his forehead, followed by Jane.
De Mon.
No more, my sister, urge me not again:
My secret troubles cannot be reveal'd.
From all participation of its thoughts
My heart recoils: I pray thee be contented.

What, must I, like a distant humble friend,
Observe thy restless eye, and gait disturb'd,
In timid silence, whilst with yearning heart
I turn aside to weep? O no! De Monfort!
A nobler task thy nobler mind will give;
Thy true entrusted friend I still shall be.


De Mon.
Ah, Jane, forbear! I cannot e'en to thee.

Then, fy upon it! fy upon it, Monfort!
There was a time when e'en with murder stain'd,
Had it been possible that such dire deed
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 trouble but the one I feel
I had disclos'd to thee. I pray thee spare me.
It is the secret weakness of my nature.

Then secret let it be; I urge no farther.
The eldest of our valiant father's hopes,
So sadly orphan'd, 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 remain'd,
Nor ever known a change. Forgive me, Monfort,
A humbler station will I take by thee:
The close attendant of thy wand'ring 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!

Thou shalt not tell me. Nay I'll stop mine ears,
Nor from the yearnings of affection wring
What shrinks from utt'rance. 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, smil'st again;
Like one who, from dark visions of the night,
When th' active soul within its lifeless cell
Holds it own world, with dreadful fancy press'd
Of some dire, terrible, or murd'rous deed,
Wakes to the dawning morn, and blesses heaven.

De Mon.
It will not pass away; 'twill haunt me still.

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 gen'rous woman!
Why do I treat thee thus? It should not be—
And yet I cannot—O that cursed villain!
He will not let me be the man I would.

What sayst thou, brother? Oh! what words are these?
They have awak'd my soul to dreadful thoughts.
I do beseech thee, speak!
[He shakes his head, and turns from her; she following him.
By the affection thou didst ever bear me;
By the dear mem'ry of our infant days;
By kindred living ties, ay, and by those
Who sleep i' the tomb, and cannot call to thee,
I do conjure thee, speak!
[He waves her off with his hand and covers his face with the other, still turning from her.
Ah! wilt thou not?
(Assuming dignity.)
Then, if affection, most unwearied love,
Tried early, long, and never wanting found,
O'er gen'rous man hath more authority,
More rightful power than crown or sceptre give,
I do command thee.
[He throws himself into a chair, greatly agitated.
De Monfort, do not thus resist my love.
Here I entreat thee on my bended knees.
Alas! my brother!

[De Monfort starts up, and catching her in his arms, raises her up, then placing her in the chair, kneels at her feet.
De Mon.
Thus let him kneel who should the abased be,
And at thine honour'd 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 torment; and the light of day,
With the gay intercourse of social man,
Feel like th' oppressive airless pestilence.
O Jane! thou wilt despise me.

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, sayst thou?
No, it is hate! black, lasting, deadly hate!
Which thus hath driven me forth from kindred peace,
From social pleasure, from my native home,
To be a sullen wand'rer on the earth,
Avoiding all men, cursing and accurs'd.

De Monfort, this is fiend-like, frightful, terrible!
What being, by th' Almighty Father form'd,
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-clench'd hands.
Some sprite accurs'd within thy bosom mates
To work thy ruin. Strive with it, my brother!
Strive bravely with it; drive it from thy breast;


'Tis the degrader of a noble heart:
Curse it, and bid it part.

De Mon.
It will not part. (His hand on his breast.)
I've lodg'd it here too long:

With my first cares I felt its rankling touch;
I loath'd him when a boy.

Whom didst thou say?

De Mon.
Oh! that detested Rezenvelt!
E'en in our early sports, like two young whelps
Of hostile breed, instinctively reverse,
Each 'gainst the other pitch'd his ready pledge,
And frown'd defiance. As we onward pass'd
From youth to man's estate, his narrow art
And envious gibing malice, poorly veil'd
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 plac'd
Above his paltry self. When, low in fortune,
He look'd upon the state of prosp'rous men,
As nightly birds, rous'd from their murky holes,
Do scowl and chatter at the light of day,
I could endure it; even as we bear
Th' 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 flatt'ring knaves did trumpet forth his praise,
And grov'ling idiots grinn'd 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!

And would thy hatred crush the very man
Who gave to thee that life he might have ta'en;
That life which thou so rashly didst expose
To aim at his? Oh! this is horrible!

De Mon.
Ha! thou hast heard it, then? From all the world,
But most of all from thee, I thought it hid.

I heard a secret whisper, and resolv'd
Upon the instant to return to thee.
Didst thou receive my letter?

De Mon.
I did! I did! 'twas that which drove me hither.
I could not bear to meet thine eye again.

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 woe.
Had I remain'd with thee it had not been.
And yet, methinks, it should not move you thus.
You dar'd him to the field; both bravely fought;
He more adroit disarm'd you; courteously
Return'd the forfeit sword, which, so return'd,
You did refuse to use against him more;
And then, as says report, you parted friends.

De Mon.
When he disarm'd this curs'd, this worthless hand
Of its most worthless weapon, he but spar'd
From dev'lish pride, which now derives a bliss
In seeing me thus fetter'd, sham'd, subjected
With the vile favour of his poor forbearance;
While he securely sits with gibing brow,
And basely bates 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!

O 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 felt already
It cannot send. To be annihilated,
What all men shrink from; to be dust, be nothing,
Were bliss to me, compar'd to what I am!

Oh! wouldst thou kill me with these dreadful words?

De Mon.
(raising his hands to heaven).
Let me but once upon his ruin look,
Then close mine eyes for ever!
[Jane, in great distress, staggers back, and supports herself upon the side scene. De Mon., alarmed, runs up to her with a softened voice.
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.—O my sister!

(shaking her head).
I cannot speak to thee.

De Mon.
I have kill'd thee.
Turn, turn thee not away! look on me still!
Oh! droop not thus, my life, my pride, my sister;
Look on me yet again.

Thou too, De Monfort,
In better days, wert wont to be my pride.

De Mon.
I am a wretch, most wretched in myself,
And still more wretched in the pain I give.
O curse that villain! that detested villain!
He has spread mis'ry o'er my fated life:
He will undo us all.

I've held my warfare through a troubled world,
And borne with steady mind my share of ill;
For thou wert then the helpmate of my toil.
But now the wane of life comes darkly on,
And hideous passion tears me from thy heart,
Blasting thy worth.—I cannot strive with this.

De Mon.
What shall I do?

Call up thy noble spirit;
Rouse all the gen'rous energy of virtue;
And with the strength of heaven-endued man,
Repel the hideous foe. Be great; be valiant.
O, if thou couldst! e'en shrouded as thou art
In all the sad infirmities of nature,
What a most noble creature wouldst thou be!

De Mon.
Ay, if I could: alas! alas! I cannot.


Thou canst, thou mayst, thou wilt.
We shall not part till I have turn'd thy soul.

Enter Manuel.
De Mon.
Ha! some one enters. Wherefore com'st thou here?

Count Freberg waits your leisure.

De Mon.
Begone, begone!—I cannot see him now.

[Exit Manuel.
Come to my closet; free from all intrusion,
I'll school thee there; and thou again shalt be
My willing pupil, and my gen'rous friend,
The noble Monfort I have lov'd so long,
And must not, will not lose.

De Mon.
Do as thou wilt; I will not grieve thee more.




Countess Freberg' s dressing-room. Enter the Countess dispirited and out of humour, and throws herself into a chair: enter, by the opposite side, Theresa.
Madam, I am afraid you are unwell:
What is the matter? does your head ache?

'Tis not my head: concern thyself no more
With what concerns not thee.

Go you abroad to-night?

Yes, thinkest thou I'll stay and fret at home?

Then please to say what you would choose to wear:—
One of your newest robes?

I hate them all.

Surely that purple scarf became you well,
With all those wreaths of richly-hanging flowers.
Did I not overhear them say, last night,
As from the crowded ball-room ladies pass'd,
How gay and handsome, in her costly dress,
The Countess Freberg look'd?

Didst thou o'erhear it?

I did, and more than this.

Well, all are not so greatly prejudic'd;
All do not think me like a May-day queen,
Which peasants deck in sport.

And who said this?

(putting her handkerchief to her eyes).
E'en my good lord, Theresa.

He said it but in jest. He loves you well.

I know as well as thou he loves me well.
But what of that! he takes in me no pride:
Elsewhere his praise and admiration go,
And Jane De Monfort is not mortal woman.

The wondrous character this lady bears
For worth and excellence: from early youth
The friend and mother of her younger sisters,
Now greatly married, as I have been told,
From her most prudent care, may well excuse
The admiration of so good a man
As my good master is. And then, dear madam,
I must confess, when I myself did hear
How she was come through the rough winter's storm,
To seek and comfort an unhappy brother,
My heart beat kindly to her.

Ay, ay, there is a charm in this I find:
But wherefore may she not have come as well
Through wintry storms to seek a lover too?

No, madam, no, I could not think of this.

That would reduce her in your eyes, mayhap,
To woman's level.—Now I see my vengeance!
I'll tell it round that she is hither come,
Under pretence of finding out De Monfort,
To meet with Rezenvelt. When Freberg hears it,
'Twill help, I ween, to break this magic charm.

And say what is not, madam?

How canst thou know that I shall say what is not?
'Tis like enough I shall but speak the truth.

Ah, no! there is—

Well, hold thy foolish tongue.
[Freberg's voice is heard without. After hesitating.
I will not see him now.

[Enter Freberg by the opposite side, passing on hastily.
Pardon, my lord; I fear you are in haste.
Yet must I crave that you will give to me
The books my lady mention'd to you: she
Has charg'd me to remind you.

I'm in haste.

[Passing on.
Pray you, my lord: your countess wants them much:
The Lady Jane De Monfort ask'd them of her.

(returning instantly).
Are they for her? I knew not this before.
I will, then, search them out immediately.
There is nought good or precious in my keeping,
That is not dearly honour'd by her use.

My lord, what would your gentle countess say,
If she o'erheard her own request neglected,
Until supported by a name more potent?

Thinkst thou she is a fool, my good Theresa,
Vainly to please herself with childish thoughts
Of matching what is matchless—Jane De Monfort?
Thinkst thou she is a fool, and cannot see,


That love and admiration often thrive
Though far apart?

[Re-enter lady with great violence.
I am a fool, not to have seen full well,
That thy best pleasure in o'er-rating so
This lofty stranger, is to humble me,
And cast a dark'ning shadow o'er my head.
Ay, wherefore dost thou stare upon me thus?
Art thou asham'd that I have thus surpris'd thee?
Well mayst thou be so!

True; thou rightly sayst.
Well may I be asham'd: not for the praise
Which I have ever openly bestow'd
On Monfort's noble sister; but that thus,
Like a poor mean and jealous listener,
She should be found, who is Count Freberg's wife.

Oh, I am lost and ruin'd! hated, scorn'd!

[Pretending to faint.
Alas, I have been too rough!
[Taking her hand and kissing it tenderly.
My gentle love! my own, my only love!
See, she revives again. How art thou, love?
Support her to her chamber, good Theresa.
I'll sit and watch by her. I've been too rough.

[Exeunt; lady supported by Freb. and Ther.

This scene has been very much altered from what it was in the former editions of this play, and scene fifth of the last act will be found to be almost entirely changed. These alterations, though of no great importance, are, I hope, upon the whole, improvements.


De Monfort discovered sitting by a table reading. After a little time he lays down his book, and continues in a thoughtful posture Enter to him Jane De Monfort.
Thanks, gentle brother.—
[Pointing to the book.
Thy willing mind has rightly been employ'd:
Did not thy heart warm at the fair display
Of peace and concord and forgiving love?

De Mon.
I know resentment may to love be turn'd,
Though keen and lasting, into love as strong:
And fiercest rivals in th' ensanguin'd field
Have cast their brandish'd weapons to the ground,
Joining their mailed breasts in close embrace,
With gen'rous impulse fir'd. I know right well
The darkest, fellest wrongs have been forgiven
Seventy times o'er from blessed heav'nly love:
I've heard of things like these; I've heard and wept.
But what is this to me?

All, all, my brother!
It bids thee too that noble precept learn,
To love thine enemy.

De Mon.
Th' uplifted stroke that would a wretch destroy,
Gorg'd with my richest spoil, stain'd with my blood,
I would arrest, and cry, “Hold! hold! have mercy.”
But when the man most adverse to my nature,
Who e'en from childhood hath, with rude malevolence,
Withheld the fair respect all paid beside,
Turning my very praise into derision,
Who galls and presses me where'er I go,
Would claim the gen'rous feelings of my heart,
Nature herself doth lift her voice aloud,
And cry, “It is impossible!”

(shaking her head).
Ah, Monfort, Monfort!

De Mon.
I can forgive th' envenom'd reptile's sting,
But hate his loathsome self.

And canst thou do no more for love of heaven?

De Mon.
Alas! I cannot now so school my mind
As holy men have taught, nor search it truly:
But this, my Jane, I'll do for love of thee;
And more it is than crowns could win me to,
Or any power but thine. I'll see the man.
Th' indignant risings of abhorrent nature;
The stern contraction of my scowling brows,
That like the plant whose closing leaves do shrink
At hostile touch, still knit at his approach;
The crooked curving lip, by instinct taught,
In imitation of disgustful things,
To pout and swell, I strictly will repress;
And meet him with a tamed countenance,
E'en as a townsman, who would live at peace,
And pay him the respect his station claims.
I'll crave his pardon too for all offence
My dark and wayward temper may have done.
Nay more, I will confess myself his debtor
For the forbearance I have curs'd so oft:
Life spar'd by him, more horrid than the grave
With all its dark corruption! This I'll do.
Will it suffice thee? More than this I cannot.

No more than this do I require of thee
In outward act, though in thy heart, my friend,
I hop'd a better change, and yet will hope.
I told thee Freberg had propos'd a meeting.

De Mon.
I know it well.

And Rezenvelt consents.
He meets you here; so far he shows respect.

De Mon.
Well, let it be; the sooner past the better.

I'm glad to hear you say so, for, in truth,
He has propos'd for it an early hour.
'Tis almost near his time; I came to tell you.

De Mon.
What, comes he here so soon? shame on his speed!
It is not decent thus to rush upon me.
He loves the secret pleasure he will feel
To see me thus subdued.

O say not so! he comes with heart sincere.

De Mon.
Could we not meet elsewhere? from home—i' the fields,
Where other men—must I alone receive him?
Where is your agent, Freberg, and his friends,
That I must meet him here?
[Walks up and down, very much disturbed.
Now! didst thou say?—how goes the hour?—e'en now!
I would some other friend were first arriv'd.


See, to thy wish come Freberg and his dame.

De Mon.
His lady too! why comes he not alone?
Must all the world upon our meeting stare?

Enter Count Freberg and his Countess.
A happy morrow to my noble marquis,
And his most noble sister!

Gen'rous Freberg,
Your face, methinks, forebodes a happy morn,
Open and cheerful. What of Rezenvelt?

I left him at his home, prepar'd to follow:
He'll soon appear. (To De Monfort.)
And now, my worthy friend,

Give me your hand; this happy change delights me.

[De Monfort gives him his hand coldly, and they walk to the bottom of the stage together, in earnest discourse, whilst Jane and the Countess remain in the front.
My dearest madam, will you pardon me?
I know Count Freberg's bus'ness with De Monfort,
And had a strong desire to visit you,
So much I wish the honour of your friendship;
For he retains no secret from mine ear.

Knowing your prudence—you are welcome, madam;
So shall Count Freberg's lady ever be.

[De Monfort and Freberg returning towards the front of the stage, still engaged in discourse.
He is indeed a man, within whose breast
Firm rectitude and honour hold their seat,
Though unadorned with that dignity
Which were their fittest garb. Now, on my life!
I know no truer heart than Rezenvelt.

De Mon.
Well, Freberg, well, there needs not all this pains
To garnish out his worth: let it suffice;
I am resolv'd I will respect the man,
As his fair station and repute demand.
Methinks I see not at your jolly feasts
The youthful knight, who sang so pleasantly.

A pleasant circumstance detains him hence;
Pleasant to those who love high gen'rous deeds
Above the middle pitch of common minds;
And, though I have been sworn to secrecy,
Yet must I tell it thee.
This knight is near akin to Rezenvelt,
To whom an old relation, short while dead,
A good estate bequeathed, some leagues distant.
But Rezenvelt, now rich in fortune's store,
Disdain'd the sordid love of further gain,
And gen'rously the rich bequest resign'd
To this young man, blood of the same degree
To the deceas'd, and low in fortune's gifts,
Who is from hence to take possession of it:
Was it not nobly done?

De Mon.
'Twas right and honourable.
This morning is oppressive, warm, and heavy:
There hangs a foggy closeness in the air;
Dost thou not feel it?

O no! to think upon a gen'rous deed
Expands my soul, and makes me lightly breathe.

De Mon.
Who gives the feast to-night? His name escapes me.
You say I am invited.

Old Count Waterlan.
In honour of your townsman's gen'rous gift,
He spreads the board.

De Mon.
He is too old to revel with the gay.

But not too old is he to honour virtue.
I shall partake of it with open soul;
For, on my honest faith, of living men
I know not one, for talents, honour, worth,
That I should rank superior to Rezenvelt.

De Mon.
How virtuous he hath been in three short days!

Nay, longer, marquis; but my friendship rests
Upon the good report of other men,
And that has told me much.
[De Monfort aside, going some steps hastily from Freberg, and rending his cloak with agitation as he goes.
Would he were come! by heav'n I would he were!
This fool besets me so.
[Suddenly correcting himself, and joining the ladies, who have retired to the bottom of the stage, he speaks to Countess Freberg with affected cheerfulness.
The sprightly dames of Amberg rise by times,
Untarnish'd with the vigils of the night.

Praise us not rashly, 'tis not always so.

De Mon.
He does not rashly praise who praises you;
For he were dull indeed—

[Stopping short, as if he heard something.
How dull indeed?

De Mon.
I should have said—It has escap'd me now—

[Listening again, as if he heard something.
(to De Mon.)
What, hear you aught?

De Mon.
'Tis nothing.

(to De Mon.)
Nay, do not let me lose it so, my lord.
Some fair one has bewitch'd your memory,
And robs me of the half-form'd compliment.

Half-utter'd praise is to the curious mind
As to the eye half-veiled beauty is,
More precious than the whole. Pray pardon him.
Some one approaches.

No, no, it is a servant who ascends;
He will not come so soon.

De Mon.
(off his guard).
'Tis Rezenvelt: I heard his well-known foot,
From the first staircase, mounting step by step.


How quick an ear thou hast for distant sound!
I heard him not.

[De Monfort looks embarrassed, and is silent.
Enter Rezenvelt.
[De Monfort, recovering himself, goes up to receive Rezenvelt, who meets him with a cheerful countenance.
De Mon.
(to Rez)
I am, my lord, beholden to you greatly.
This ready visit makes me much your debtor.

Then may such debts between us, noble marquis,
Be oft incurr'd, and often paid again!
(To Jane.)
Madam, I am devoted to your service,
And ev'ry wish of yours commands my will.
(To Countess.)
Lady, good morning. (To Freb.)
Well, my gentle friend,

You see I have not linger'd long behind.

No, thou art sooner than I look'd for thee.

A willing heart adds feather to the heel,
And makes the clown a winged Mercury.

De Mon.
Then let me say, that, with a grateful mind,
I do receive these tokens of good will;
And must regret, that, in my wayward moods,
I have too oft forgot the due regard
Your rank and talents claim.

No, no, De Monfort,
You have but rightly curb'd a wanton spirit,
Which makes me too neglectful of respect.
Let us be friends, and think of this no more.

Ay, let it rest with the departed shades
Of things which are no more; whilst lovely concord,
Follow'd by friendship sweet, and firm esteem,
Your future days enrich. O heavenly friendship!
Thou dost exalt the sluggish souls of men,
By thee conjoin'd, to great and glorious deeds;
As two dark clouds, when mix'd in middle air,
With vivid lightnings flash, and roar sublime.
Talk not of what is past, but future love.

De Mon.
(with dignity).
No, Freberg, no, it must not. (To Rezenvelt.)
No, my lord,

I will not offer you an hand of concord,
And poorly hide the motives which constrain me.
I would that, not alone, these present friends,
But ev'ry soul in Amberg were assembled,
That I, before them all, might here declare
I owe my spared life to your forbearance.
(Holding out his hand.)
Take this from one who boasts no feeling warmth,
But never will deceive.

[Jane smiles upon De Monfort with great approbation, and Rezenvelt runs up to him with open arms.
Away with hands! I'll have thee to my breast.
Thou art, upon my faith, a noble spirit!

De Mon.
(shrinking back from him).
Nay, if you please, I am not so prepar'd—
My nature is of temperature too cold—
I pray you pardon me
(Jane's countenance changes).
But take this hand, the token of respect;
The token of a will inclin'd to concord;
The token of a mind, that bears within
A sense impressive of the debt it owes you:
And cursed be its power, unnerv'd its strength,
If e'er again it shall be lifted up
To do you any harm!

Well, be it so, De Monfort, I'm contented;
I'll take thy hand, since I can have no more.
I take of worthy men whate'er they give.
Their heart I gladly take, if not their hand;
If that too is withheld, a courteous word,
Or the civility of placid looks:
And, if e'en these are too great favours deem'd,
'Faith, I can set me down contentedly
With plain and homely greeting, or “God save ye!”

De Mon.
(aside, starting away from him some paces).
By the good light, he makes a jest of it!

[Jane seems greatly distressed, and Freberg endeavours to cheer her.
(to Jane).
Cheer up, my noble friend; all will go well;
For friendship is no plant of hasty growth.
Though rooted in esteem's deep soil, the slow
And gradual culture of kind intercourse
Must bring it to perfection.
(To the Countess.)
My love, the morning, now, is far advane'd;
Our friends elsewhere expect us; take your leave.

(to Jane).
Farewell, dear madam, till the evening hour.

(to De Mon.)
Good day, De Monfort.
(To Jane.)
Most devoutly yours.

(to Freb.)
Go not too fast, for I will follow you. [Exeunt Freberg and his lady.
(To Jane.)

The Lady Jane is yet a stranger here:
She might, perhaps, in this your ancient city
Find somewhat worth her notice.

I thank you, marquis, I am much engag'd;
I go not out to-day.

Then fare ye well! I see I cannot now
Be the proud man who shall escort you forth,
And show to all the world my proudest boast,
The notice and respect of Jane de Monfort.

De Mon.
(aside impatiently).
He says farewell, and goes not!

(to Rez.).
You do me honour.

Madam, adieu! (To Jane.)
Good morning, noble marquis.

[Jane and De Monfort look expressively to one another, without speaking, and then exeunt severally.




A hall or antechamber, with the folding doors of an inner apartment open, which discovers the guests rising from a banquet. They enter and pass over the stage, and exeunt; and after them enter Rezenvelt and Freberg.
Alas, my Rezenvelt!
I vainly hop'd the hand of gentle peace,
From this day's reconciliation sprung,
These rude unseemly jarrings had subdu'd;
But I have mark'd, e'en at the social board,
Such looks, such words, such tones, such untold things,
Too plainly told, 'twixt you and Monfort pass,
That I must now despair.
Yet who could think, two minds so much refin'd,
So near in excellence, should be remov'd,
So far remov'd, in gen'rous sympathy?

Ay, far remov'd indeed!

And yet, methought, he made a noble effort,
And with a manly plainness bravely told
The galling debt he owes to your forbearance.

'Faith! so he did, and so did I receive it;
When, with spread arms, and heart e'en mov'd to tears,
I frankly proffer'd him a friend's embrace:
And, I declare, had he as such receiv'd it,
I from that very moment had forborne
All opposition, pride-provoking jest,
Contemning carelessness, and all offence;
And had caress'd him as a worthy heart,
From native weakness such indulgence claiming.
But since he proudly thinks that cold respect,
The formal tokens of his lordly favour,
So precious are, that I would sue for them
As fair distinction in the public eye,
Forgetting former wrongs, I spurn it all.
And but that I do bear that noble woman,
His worthy, his incomparable sister,
Such fix'd, profound regard, I would expose him;
And, as a mighty bull, in senseless rage,
Rous'd at the baiter's will, with wretched rags
Of ire-provoking scarlet, chafes and bellows,
I'd make him at small cost of paltry wit,
With all his deep and manly faculties,
The scorn and laugh of fools.

For heaven's sake, my friend, restrain your wrath!
For what has Monfort done of wrong to you,
Or you to him, bating one foolish quarrel,
Which you confess from slight occasion rose,
That in your breasts such dark resentment dwells,
So fix'd, so hopeless?

O! from our youth he has distinguish'd me
With ev'ry mark of hatred and disgust.
For e'en in boyish sports I still oppos'd
His proud pretensions to pre-eminence;
Nor would I to his ripen'd greatness give
That fulsome adulation of applause
A senseless crowd bestow'd. Though poor in fortune,
I still would smile at vain assuming wealth:
But when unlook'd-for fate on me bestow'd
Riches and splendour equal to his own,
Though I, in truth, despise such poor distinction,
Feeling inclin'd to be at peace with him,
And with all men beside, I curb'd my spirit,
And sought to soothe him. Then, with spiteful rage,
From small offence he rear'd a quarrel with me,
And dar'd me to the field. The rest you know.
In short, I still have been th' opposing rock,
O'er which the stream of his o'erflowing pride
Hath foam'd and fretted. Seest thou how it is?

Too well I see, and warn thee to beware.
Such streams have oft, by swelling floods surcharg'd,
Borne down, with sudden and impetuous force,
The yet unshaken stone of opposition,
Which had for ages stopp'd their flowing course.
I pray thee, friend, beware.

Thou canst not mean—he will not murder me?

What a proud heart, with such dark passion toss'd,
May, in the anguish of its thoughts, conceive,
I will not dare to say.

Ha, ha! thou knowst him not.
Full often have I mark'd it in his youth,
And could have almost lov'd him for the weakness:
He's form'd with such antipathy, by nature,
To all infliction of corporeal pain,
To wounding life, e'en to the sight of blood,
He cannot if he would.

Then fie upon thee!
It is not gen'rous to provoke him thus.
But let us part: we'll talk of this again.
Something approaches.—We are here too long.

Well, then, to-morrow I'll attend your call.
Here lies my way. Good night.

Enter Conrad.
Forgive, I pray, my lord, a stranger's boldness.
I have presum'd to wait your leisure here,
Though at so late an hour.

But who art thou?

My name is Conrad, sir,
A humble suitor to your honour's goodness,
Who is the more embolden'd to presume,
In that De Monfort's brave and noble marquis
Is so much fam'd for good and gen'rous deeds.

You are mistaken, I am not the man.

Then, pardon me: I thought I could not err;
That mien so dignified, that piercing eye
Assur'd me it was he.


My name is not De Monfort, courteous stranger;
But, if you have a favour to request,
I may, with him, perhaps, befriend your suit.

I thank your honour, but I have a friend
Who will commend me to De Monfort's favour:
The Marquis Rezenvelt has known me long,
Who, says report, will soon become his brother.

If thou wouldst seek thy ruin from De Monfort,
The name of Rezenvelt employ, and prosper;
But, if aught good, use any name but his.

How may this be?

I cannot now explain.
Early to-morrow call upon Count Freberg;
So am I call'd, each burgher knows my house,
And there instruct me how to do you service.
Good night.

Well, this mistake may be of service to me:
And yet my bus'ness I will not unfold
To this mild, ready, promise-making courtier;
I've been by such too oft deceiv'd already.
But if such violent enmity exist
Between De Monfort and this Rezenvelt,
He'll prove my advocate by opposition.
For if De Monfort would reject my suit,
Being the man whom Rezenvelt esteems,
Being the man he hates, a cord as strong,
Will he not favour me? I'll think of this.



A lower apartment in Jerome's house, with a wide folding glass door, looking into a garden, where the trees and shrubs are brown and leafless. Enter De Monfort with a thoughtful frowning aspect, and paces slowly across the stage, Jerome following behind him, with a timid step. De Monfort hearing him, turns suddenly about.
De Mon.
Who follows me to this sequester'd room?

I have presum'd, my lord. 'Tis somewhat late:
I am inform'd you eat at home to-night;
Here is a list of all the dainty fare
My busy search has found; please to peruse it.

De Mon.
Leave me: begone! Put hemlock in thy soup,
Or deadly night-shade, or rank hellebore,
And I will mess upon it.

Heaven forbid!
Your honour's life is all too precious, sure.

De Mon.
Did I not say begone?

Pardon, my lord, I'm old, and oft forget.

De Mon.
(looking after him, as if his heart smote him).
Why will they thus mistime their foolish zeal,
That I must be so stern?
O, that I were upon some desert coast!
Where howling tempests and the lashing tide
Would stun me into deep and senseless quiet;
As the storm-beaten trav'ller droops his head,
In heavy, dull, lethargic weariness,
And, 'mid the roar of jarring elements,
Sleeps to awake no more.
What am I grown? all things are hateful to me. Enter Manuel.
(Stamping with his foot.)

Who bids thee break upon my privacy?

Nay, good my lord! I heard you speak aloud,
And dreamt not surely that you were alone.

De Mon.
What, dost thou watch, and pin thine ears to holes,
To catch those exclamations of the soul,
Which heaven alone should hear? Who hir'd thee, pray?
Who basely hir'd thee for a task like this?

My lord, I cannot hold. For fifteen years,
Long-troubled years, I have your servant been,
Nor hath the proudest lord in all the realm,
With firmer, with more honourable faith
His sov'reign serv'd, than I have served you;
But if my honesty be doubted now,
Let him who is more faithful take my place,
And serve you better.

De Mon.
Well, be it as thou wilt. Away with thee!
Thy loud-mouth'd boasting is no rule for me
To judge thy merit by.

Enter Jerome hastily, and pulls Manuel away.
Come, Manuel, come away; thou art not wise.
The stranger must depart and come again,
For now his honour will not be disturb'd.

[Exit Manuel sulkily.
De Mon.
A stranger, saidst thou?

[Drops his handkerchief.
I did, good sir, but he shall go away;
You shall not be disturb'd.
[Stooping to lift the handkerchief.
You have dropp'd somewhat.

De Mon.
(preventing him).
Nay, do not stoop, my friend, I pray thee not!
Thou art too old to stoop.
I'm much indebted to thee.—Take this ring—
I love thee better than I seem to do.
I pray thee do it—thank me not.—What stranger?

A man who does most earnestly intreat
To see your honour; but I know him not.

De Mon.
Then let him enter.

[Exit Jerome.
A pause. Enter Conrad.
De Mon.
You are the stranger who would speak with me?


I am so far unfortunate, my lord.
That, though my fortune on your favour hangs,
I am to you a stranger.

De Mon.
How may this be? what can I do for you?,

Since thus your lordship does so frankly ask
The tiresome preface of apology
I will forbear, and tell my tale at once,
In plodding drudgery I've spent my youth,
A careful penman in another's office;
And now, my master and employer dead,
They seek to set a stripling o'er my head,
And leave me on to drudge, e'en to old age,
Because I have no friend to take my part.
It is an office in your native town,
For I am come from thence, and I am told
You can procure it for me. Thus, my lord,
From the repute of goodness which you bear,
I have presum'd to beg.

De Mon.
They have befool'd thee with a false report.

Alas! I see it is in vain to plead,
Your mind is prepossess'd against a wretch,
Who has, unfortunately for his weal,
Offended the revengeful Rezenvelt.

De Mon.
What dost thou say?

What I, perhaps, had better leave unsaid.
Who will believe my wrongs if I complain?
I am a stranger, Rezenvelt my foe,
Who will believe my wrongs?

De Mon.
(eagerly catching him by the coat).
I will believe them!
Though they were base as basest, vilest deeds,
In ancient record told, I would believe them!
Let not the smallest atom of unworthiness
That he has put upon thee be conceal'd.
Speak boldly, tell it all; for, by the light!
I'll be thy friend, I'll be thy warmest friend,
If he has done thee wrong.

Nay, pardon me, it were not well advis'd,
If I should speak so freely of the man
Who will so soon your nearest kinsman be.

De Mon.
What canst thou mean by this?

That Marquis Rezenvelt
Has pledg'd his faith unto your noble sister,
And soon will be the husband of her choice.
So I am told, and so the world believes.

De Mon.
'Tis false! 'tis basely false!
What wretch could drop from his envenom'd tongue
A tale so damn'd?—It chokes my breath—
(Stamping with his foot.)
What wretch did tell it thee?

Nay, every one with whom I have convers'd
Has held the same discourse. I judge it not.
But you, my lord, who with the lady dwell.
You best can tell what her deportment speaks;
Whether her conduct and unguarded words
Belie such rumour.

[De Monfort pauses, staggers backwards, and sinks into a chair; then starting up hastily.
De Mon.
Where am I now? 'midst all the cursed thoughts,
That on my soul like stinging scorpions prey'd,
This never came before—Oh, if it be!
The thought will drive me mad.—Was it for this
She urg'd her warm request on bended knee?
Alas! I wept, and thought of sister's love,
No damned love like this.
Fell devil! 'tis hell itself has lent thee aid
To work such sorcery! (Pauses.)
I'll not believe it.

I must have proof clear as the noon-day sun
For such foul charge as this! Who waits without?

[Paces up and down, furiously agitated.
What have I done? I've carried this too far.
I've rous'd a fierce ungovernable madman.

Enter Jerome.
De Mon.
(in a loud angry voice).
Where did she go, at such an early hour,
And with such slight attendance?

Of whom inquires your honour?

De Mon.
Why, of your lady. Said I not my sister?

The Lady Jane, your sister?

De Mon.
(in a faltering voice).
Yes, I did call her so.

In truth, I cannot tell you where she went.
E'en now, from the short beechen walk hard-by,
I saw her through the garden-gate return.
The Marquis Rezenvelt, and Freberg's countess,
Are in her company. This way they come,
As being nearer to the back apartments;
But I shall stop them, if it be your will,
And bid them enter here.

De Mon.
No, stop them not. I will remain unseen,
And mark them as they pass. Draw back a little.

[Conrad seems alarmed, and steals off unnoticed. De Monfort grasps Jerome tightly by the hand, and drawing back with him two or three steps, not to be seen from the garden, waits in silence, with his eyes fixed on the glass door.
De Mon.
I hear their footsteps on the grating sand:
How like the croaking of a carrion bird,
That hateful voice sounds to the distant ear!
And now she speaks—her voice sounds cheerly too—
Curs'd be their mirth!—
Now, now, they come; keep closer still! keep steady!

[Taking hold of Jerome with both hands.
My lord, you tremble much.

De Mon.
What, do I shake?

You do, in truth, and your teeth chatter too.

De Mon.
See! see they come! he strutting by her side.
[Jane, Rezenvelt, and Countess Freberg appear through the glass door, pursuing their way up a short walk leading to the other wing of the house.


See, his audacious face he turns to hers;
Utt'ring with confidence some nauseous jest.
And she endures it too—Oh! this looks vilely!
Ha! mark that courteous motion of his arm!—
What does he mean?—he dares not take her hand!
(Pauses and looks eagerly.)
By heaven and hell he does!

[Letting go his hold of Jerome, he throws out his hands vehemently, and thereby pushes him against the scene.
Oh! I am stunn'd! my head is crack'd in twain:
Your honour does forget how old I am.

De Mon.
Well, well, the wall is harder than I wist.
Begone, and whine within. [Exit Jerome, with a sad rueful countenance.
[De Monfort comes forward to the front of the stage, and makes a long pause expressive of great agony of mind.

It must be so: each passing circumstance;
Her hasty journey here; her keen distress
Whene'er my soul's abhorrence I express'd;
Ay, and that damned reconciliation,
With tears extorted from me: Oh, too well!
All, all too well bespeak the shameful tale.
I should have thought of heaven and hell conjoin'd,
The morning star mix'd with infernal fire,
Ere I had thought of this—
Hell's blackest magic, in the midnight hour,
With horrid spells and incantation dire,
Such combination opposite unseemly,
Of fair and loathsome, excellent and base,
Did ne'er produce—But every thing is possible,
So as it may my misery enhance!
Oh! I did love her with such pride of soul!
When other men, in gay pursuit of love,
Each beauty follow'd, by her side I stay'd;
Far prouder of a brother's station there,
Than all the favours favour'd lovers boast.
We quarrell'd once, and when I could no more
The alter'd coldness of her eye endure,
I slipp'd o'tip-toe to her chamber-door;
And when she ask'd who gently knock'd—Oh! oh!
Who could have thought of this?
[Throws himself into a chair, covers his face with his hand, and bursts into tears. After some time, he starts up from his seat furiously.
Hell's direst torment seize the infernal villain!
Detested of my soul! I will have vengeance!
I'll crush thy swelling pride—I'll still thy vaunting—
I'll do a deed of blood!—Why shrink I thus?
If by some spell or magic sympathy,
Piercing the lifeless figure on that wall
Could pierce his bosom too, would I not cast it?
[Throwing a dagger against the wall.
Shall groans and blood affright me? No, I'll do it.
Though gasping life beneath my pressure heav'd,
And my soul shudder'd at the horrid brink,
I would not flinch.—Fie, this recoiling nature!
O that his sever'd limbs were strew'd in air,
So as I saw it not! Enter Rezenvelt behind from the glass door. De Monfort turns round, and on seeing him, starts back, then drawing his sword, rushes furiously upon him.

Detested robber! now all forms are over;
Now open villainy, now open hate!
Defend thy life!

De Monfort, thou art mad.

De Mon.
Speak not, but draw. Now for thy hated life!
[They fight: Rezenvelt parries his thrusts with great skill, and at last disarms him.
Then take my life, black fiend, for hell assists thee.

No, Monfort, but I'll take away your sword,
Not as a mark of disrespect to you,
But for your safety. By to-morrow's eve
I'll call on you myself and give it back;
And then, if I am charg'd with any wrong,
I'll justify myself. Farewell, strange man!

[De Monfort stands for some time quite motionless, like one stupified. Enters to him a servant: he starts.
De Mon.
Ha! who art thou?

'Tis I, an' please your honour.

De Mon.
(staring wildly at him).
who art thou?

Your servant Jacques.

De Mon.
Indeed I knew thee not.
Now leave me, and when Rezenvelt is gone,
Return and let me know.

He's gone already.

De Mon.
How! is he gone so soon?

His servant told me,
He was in haste to go; as night comes on,
And at the evening hour he purposes
To visit some old friend, whose lonely mansion
Stands a short mile beyond the farther wood,
In which a convent is of holy nuns,
Who chaunt this night a requiem to the soul
Of a departed sister. For so well
He loves such solemn music, he has order'd
His horses onward by the usual road,
Meaning on foot to cross the wood alone.
So says his knave. Good may it do him, sooth!
I would not walk through those wild dells alone
For all his wealth. For there, as I have heard,
Foul murders have been done, and ravens scream;
And things unearthly, stalking through the night,
Have scar'd the lonely trav'ller from his wits.
[De Monfort stands fixed in thought.
I've ta'en your steed, an' please you, from the field,
And wait your farther orders.
[De Monfort heeds him not.


His hoofs are sound, and where the saddle gall'd,
Begins to mend. What further must be done?
[De Monfort still heeds him not.
His honour heeds me not. Why should I stay?

De Mon.
(eagerly, as he is going).
He goes alone, saidst thou?

His servant told me so.

De Mon.
And at what hour?

He 'parts from Amberg by the fall of eve.
Save you, my lord! how chang'd your count'nance is!
Are you not well?

De Mon.
Yes, I am well: begone,
And wait my orders by the city wall:
I'll wend that way, and speak to thee again.

[Exit servant.
[De Monfort walks rapidly two or three times across the stage; then seizes his dagger from the wall, looks steadfastly at its point, and exit hastily.


Moonlight. A wild path in a wood, shaded with trees. Enter De Monfort, with a strong expression of disquiet, mixed with fear, upon his face, looking behind him, and bending his ear to the ground, as if he listened to something.
De Mon.
How hollow groans the earth beneath my tread!
Is there an echo here? Methinks it sounds
As though some heavy footstep follow'd me.
I will advance no farther.
Deep settled shadows rest across the path,
And thickly-tangled boughs o'erhang this spot.
O that a tenfold gloom did cover it,
That'mid the murky darkness I might strike!
As in the wild confusion of a dream,
Things horrid, bloody, terrible do pass,
As though they pass'd not; nor impress the mind
With the fix'd clearness of reality. [An owl is heard screaming near him.

What sound is that?
[Listens, and the owl cries again.
It is the screech-owl's cry.
Foul bird of night! what spirit guides thee here?
Art thou instinctive drawn to scenes of horror?
I've heard of this.
[Pauses and listens.
How those fall'n leaves so rustle on the path,
With whisp'ring noise, as though the earth around me
Did utter secret things.
The distant river, too, bears to mine ear
A dismal wailing. O mysterious night!
Thou art not silent; many tongues hast thou.
A distant gath'ring blast sounds through the wood,
And dark clouds fleetly hasten o'er the sky:
O! that a storm would rise, a raging storm;
Amidst the roar of warring elements
I'd lift my hand and strike! but this pale light,
The calm distinctness of each stilly thing,
Is terrible (starting).
Footsteps, and near me too!

He comes! he comes! I'll watch him farther on—
I cannot do it here.

Enter Rezenvelt, and continues his way slowly from the bottom of the stage: as he advances to the front, the owl screams, he stops and listens, and the owl screams again.
Ha! does the night-bird greet me on my way?
How much his hooting is in harmony
With such a scene as this! I like it well.
Oft when a boy, at the still twilight hour,
I've leant my back against some knotted oak,
And loudly mimick'd him, till to my call
He answer would return, and, through the gloom,
We friendly converse held.
Between me and the star-bespangled sky,
Those aged oaks their crossing branches wave,
And through them looks the pale and placid moon.
How like a crocodile, or winged snake,
Yon sailing cloud bears on its dusky length!
And now transformed by the passing wind,
Methinks it seems a flying Pegasus.
Ay, but a shapeless band of blacker hue
Comes swiftly after.—
A hollow murm'ring wind sounds through the trees;
I hear it from afar; this bodes a storm.
I must not linger here—
[A bell heard at some distance.
The convent bell.
'Tis distant still: it tells their hour of prayer.
It sends a solemn sound upon the breeze,
That, to a fearful superstitious mind,
In such a scene, would like a death-knell come.




The inside of a convent chapel, of old Gothic architecture, almost dark: two torches only are seen at a distance, burning over a newly covered grave. Lightning is seen flashing through the windows, and thunder heard, with the sound of wind beating upon the building. Enter two monks.
1st monk.
The storm increases: hark how dismally
It howls along the cloisters. How goes time?

2nd monk.
It is the hour: I hear them near at hand:
And when the solemn requiem has been sung


For the departed sister, we'll retire.
Yet, should this tempest still more violent grow,
We'll beg a friendly shelter till the morn.

1st monk.
See, the procession enters: let us join.

[The organ strikes up a solemn prelude. Enter a procession of nuns, with the abbess, bearing torches. After compassing the grave twice, and remaining there some time, the organ plays a grand dirge, while they stand round the grave.


Departed soul, whose poor remains
This hallow'd lowly grave contains;
Whose passing storm of life is o'er,
Whose pains and sorrows are no more;
Bless'd be thou with the bless'd above,
Where all is joy, and purity, and love!
Let Him, in might and mercy dread,
Lord of the living and the dead;
In whom the stars of heav'n rejoice,
And the ocean lifts its voice;
Thy spirit, purified, to glory raise,
To sing witn holy saints his everlasting praise!
Departed soul, who in this earthly scene
Hast our lowly sister been,
Swift be thy way to where the blessed dwell!
Until we meet thee there, farewell! farewell!
Enter a young pensioner, with a wild terrified look, her hair and dress all scattered, and rushes forward amongst them.
Why com'st thou here, with such disorder'd looks,
To break upon our sad solemnity?

Oh! I did hear through the receding blast,
Such horrid cries! they made my blood run chill.

'Tis but the varied voices of the storm,
Which many times will sound like distant screams:
It has deceiv'd thee.

O no, for twice it call'd, so loudly call'd,
With horrid strength, beyond the pitch of nature;
And murder! murder! was the dreadful cry.
A third time it return'd with feeble strength,
But o' the sudden ceas'd, as though the words
Were smother'd rudely in the grappled throat,
And all was still again, save the wild blast
Which at a distance growl'd.—
Oh! it will never from my mind depart!
That dreadful cry, all i' the instant still'd:
For then, so near, some horrid deed was done,
And none to rescue.

Where didst thou hear it?

In the higher cells,
As now a window, open'd by the storm,
I did attempt to close.

1st monk.
I wish our brother Bernard were arriv'd;
He is upon his way.

Be not alarm'd; it still may be deception.
'Tis meet we finish our solemnity,
Nor show neglect unto the honour'd dead.

[Gives a sign, and the organ plays again: just as it ceases, a loud knocking is heard without.
Ha! who may this be? hush!

[Knocking heard again.
2d monk.
It is the knock of one in furious haste.
Hush! hush! What footsteps come? Ha! brother Bernard.

Enter Bernard bearing a lantern.
1st monk.
See, what a look he wears of stiffen'd fear!
Where hast thou been, good brother?

I've seen a horrid sight!
[All gathering round him and speaking at once.
What hast thou seen?

As on I hasten'd, bearing thus my light,
Across the path, not fifty paces off,
I saw a murder'd corse, stretch'd on his back,
Smear'd with new blood, as though but freshly slain.

A man or woman was't?

A man, a man!

Didst thou examine if within its breast
There yet were lodg'd some small remains of life?
Was it quite dead?

Nought in the grave is deader.
I look'd but once, yet life did never lodge
In any form so laid.
A chilly horror seiz'd me, and I fled.

1st monk.
And does the face seem all unknown to thee?

The face! I would not on the face have look'd
For e'en a kingdom's wealth, for all the world!
O no! the bloody neck, the bloody neck!

[Shaking his head and shuddering with horror. Loud knocking heard without.
Good mercy! who comes next?

Not far behind
I left our brother Thomas on the road;
But then he did repent him as he went,
And threatened to return.

2d monk.
See, here he comes.

Enter Brother Thomas, with a wild terrified look.
1st monk.
How wild he looks!

(going up to him eagerly).
What, hast thou seen it too?

Yes, yes! it glared upon me as it pass'd.

What glared upon thee?
[All gathering round Thomas, and speaking at once.
O! what hast thou seen?

As striving with the blast I onward came,
Turning my feeble lantern from the wind,
Its light upon a dreadful visage gleam'd,


Which paus'd and look'd upon me as it pass'd;
But such a look, such wildness of despair,
Such horror-strained features, never yet
Did earthly visage show. I shrank and shudder'd.
If a damn'd spirit may to earth return,
I've seen it.

Was there any blood upon it?

Nay, as it pass'd, I did not see its form;
Nought but the horrid face.

It is the murderer.

1st monk.
What way went it?

I durst not look till I had pass'd it far.
Then turning round, upon the rising bank,
I saw, between me and the paly sky,
A dusky form, tossing and agitated.
I stopp'd to mark it; but, in truth, I found
'Twas but a sapling bending to the wind,
And so I onward hied, and look'd no more.

1st monk.
But we must look to't; we must follow it:
Our duty so commands. (To 2d monk.)
Will you go, brother?

(To Bernard.)
And you, good Bernard?

If I needs must go.

1st monk.
Come, we must all go.

Heaven be with you, then!

[Exeunt monks.
Amen! amen! Good heav'n, be with us all!
O what a dreadful night!

Daughters, retire; peace to the peaceful dead!
Our solemn ceremony now is finish'd.


I have put above newly-covered instead of new-made grave, as it stands in the former editions, because I wish not to give the idea of a funeral procession, but merely that of a hymn or requiem sung over the grave of a person who has been recently buried.


A large room in the convent, very dark. Enter the abbess, young pensioner bearing a light, and several nuns; she sets down the light on a table at the bottom of the stage, so that the room is still very gloomy.
They have been longer absent than I thought:
I fear he has escap'd them.

1st nun.
Heaven forbid!

No, no, found out foul murder ever is,
And the foul murderer too.

2d nun.
The good Saint Francis will direct their search;
The blood so near this holy convent shed
For threefold vengeance calls.

I hear a noise within the inner court—
They are return'd (listening);
and Bernard's voice I hear:

They are return'd.

Why do I tremble so?
It is not I who ought to tremble thus.

2d nun.
I hear them at the door.

Open the door, I pray thee, brother Thomas;
I cannot now unhand the prisoner.
(All speak together, shrinking back from the door, and staring upon one another.)
He is with them! [A folding door at the bottom of the stage is opened, and enter Bernard, Thomas, and the other two monks, carrying lanterns in their hands, and bringing in De Monfort. They are likewise followed by other monks. As they lead forward De Monfort, the light is turned away, so that he is seen obscurely; but when they come to the front of the stage, they turn the light side of their lanterns on him at once, and his face is seen in all the strengthened horror of despair, with his hands and clothes bloody.
(Abbess and nuns speak at once, and start back).

Holy saints be with us!

(to abb.)
Behold the man of blood!

Of misery too; I cannot look upon him.

(to nuns).
Nay, holy sisters, turn not thus away.
Speak to him, if, perchance, he will regard you:
For from his mouth we have no utt'rance heard,
Save one deep groan and smother'd exclamation,
When first we seiz'd him.

(to De Mon.)
Most miserable man, how art thou thus?
Thy tongue is silent, but those bloody hands
Do witness horrid things. What is thy name?

De Mon.
(roused, looks steadfastly at the abbess for some time; then speaking in a short hurried voice).
I have no name.

(to Bern.)
Do it thyself; I'll speak to him no more.

O holy saints! that this should be the man
Who did against his fellow lift the stroke,
Whilst he so loudly call'd.—
Still in my ears it rings: O murder! murder!

De Mon.
He calls again!

No, he did call, but now his voice is still'd.
'Tis past.

De Mon.
'Tis past.

Yes, it is past! art thou not he who did it?

[De Monfort utters a deep groan, and is supported from falling by the monks. A noise is heard without.
What noise is this of heavy lumb'ring steps,
Like men who with a weighty burthen come?

It is the body: I have orders given
That here it should be laid.

[Enter men bearing the body of Rezenvelt, covered with a white cloth, and set it down in the middle of the room: they then uncover it. De Monfort stands fixed and motionless with horror, only that a sudden shivering seems to pass over him when they uncover the corpse.


The abbess and nuns shrink back and retire to some distance, all the rest fixing their eyes steadfastly upon De Monfort. A long pause.
(to De Mon.)
Seest thou the lifeless corpse, those bloody wounds?
See how he lies, who but so shortly since
A living creature was, with all the powers
Of sense, and motion, and humanity!
Oh! what a heart had he who did this deed!

1st monk
(looking at the body).
How hard those teeth against the lips are press'd,
As though he struggled still!

2nd monk.
The hands too, clench'd: nature's last fearful effort.

[De Monfort still stands motionless. Brother Thomas then goes to the body, and raising up the head a little, turns it towards De Monfort.
Knowst thou this ghastly face?

De Mon.
(putting his hands before his face in violent perturbation).
Oh, do not! do not! Veil it from my sight!
Put me to any agony but this!

Ha! dost thou then confess the dreadful deed?
Hast thou against the laws of awful heaven
Such horrid murder done? What fiend could tempt thee?

[Pauses, and looks steadfastly at De Monfort.
De Mon.
I hear thy words, but do not hear their sense—
Hast thou not cover'd it?

(to Thom.)
Forbear, my brother, for thou seest right well
He is not in a state to answer thee.
Let us retire and leave him for awhile.
These windows are with iron grated o'er;
He is secur'd, and other duty calls.

Then let it be.

(to monks, &c.)
Come, let us all depart.

[Exeunt abbess and nuns, followed by the monks, one monk lingering a little behind.
De Mon.
All gone!
(Perceiving the monk.)
O stay thou here!

It must not be.

De Mon.
I'll give thee gold; I'll make thee rich in gold,
If thou wilt stay e'en but a little while.

I must not, must not, stay.

De Mon.
I do conjure thee!

I dare not stay with thee.

De Mon.
And wilt thou go?
[Catching hold of him eagerly.
O! throw thy cloak upon this grizly form!
The unclos'd eyes do stare upon me still.
O do not leave me thus!

[Monk covers the body, and exit.
De Mon.
(alone, looking at the covered body, but at a distance).
Alone with thee! but thou art nothing now.
'Tis done, 'tis number'd with the things o'erpast;
Would! would it were to come!—
What fated end, what darkly gathering cloud
Will close on all this horror?
O that dire madness would unloose my thoughts,
And fill my mind with wildest fantasies,
Dark, restless, terrible! aught, aught but this!
[Pauses and shudders.
How with convulsive life he heav'd beneath me,
E'en with the death's wound gor'd! O horrid, horrid!
Methinks I feel him still.—What sound is that?
I heard a smother'd groan.—It is impossible!
[Looking steadfastly at the body.
It moves! it moves! the cloth doth heave and swell.
It moves again! I cannot suffer this—
Whate'er it be, I will uncover it.
[Runs to the corpse, and tears off the cloth in despair.
All still beneath.
Nought is there here but fix'd and grizly death,
How sternly fixed! Oh! those glazed eyes!
They look upon me still.
[Shrinks back with horror.
Come, madness! come unto me, senseless death!
I cannot suffer this! Here, rocky wall,
Seatter these brains, or dull them!

[Runs furiously, and dashing his head against the wall, falls upon the floor.
Enter two monks hastily.
1st monk.
See: wretched man, he hath destroy'd himself.

2d monk.
He does but faint. Let us remove him hence.

1st monk.
We did not well to leave him here alone.

2d monk.
Come, let us bear him to the open air.

[Exeunt, bearing out De Monfort.


Before the gates of the convent. Enter Jane De Monfort, Freberg, and Manuel. As they are proceeding towards the gate, Jane stops short and shrinks back.
Ha! wherefore? has a sudden illness seiz'd thee?

No, no, my friend.—And yet I am very faint—
I dread to enter here.

Ay, so I thought:
For, when between the trees, that abbey tower
First show'd its top, I saw your count'nance change.
But breathe a little here: I'll go before,
And make inquiry at the nearest gate.


Do so, good Manuel.
[Manuel goes and knocks at the gate.
Courage, dear madam: all may yet be well.
Rezenvelt's servant, frighten'd with the storm,
And seeing that his master join'd him not,
As by appointment, at the forest's edge,
Might be alarm'd, and give too ready ear
To an unfounded rumour.
He saw it not; he came not here himself.

(looking eagerly to the gate, where Manuel talks with the porter).
Ha! see, he talks with some one earnestly.
And seest thou not that motion of his hands?
He stands like one who hears a horrid tale.
Almighty God!
[Manuel goes into the convent.
He comes not back; he enters.

Bear up, my noble friend.

I will, I will! But this suspense is dreadful.
[A long pause. Manuel re-enters from the convent, and comes forward slowly with a sad countenance.
Is this the face of one who bears good tidings?
O God! his face doth tell the horrid fact:
There is nought doubtful here.

How is it, Manuel?

I've seen him through a crevice in his door:
It is indeed my master.

[Bursting into tears.
[Jane faints, and is supported by Freberg.— Enter abbess and several nuns from the convent, who gather about her, and apply remedies. She recovers.
1st nun.
The life returns again.

2d nun.
Yes, she revives.

(to Freb.)
Let me entreat this noble lady's leave
To lead her in. She seems in great distress:
We would with holy kindness soothe her woe,
And do by her the deeds of christian love.

Madam, your goodness has my grateful thanks.

[Exeunt, supporting Jane into the convent.


De Monfort is discovered sitting in a thoughtful posture. He remains so for some time. His face afterwards begins to appear agitated, like one whose mind is harrowed with the severest thoughts; then, starting from his seat, he clasps his hands together, and holds them up to heaven.
De Mon.
O that I ne'er had known the light of day!
That filmy darkness on mine eyes had hung,
And clos'd me out from the fair face of nature!
O that my mind in mental darkness pent,
Had no perception, no distinction known,
Of fair or foul, perfection or defect,
Nor thought conceiv'd of proud pre-eminence!
O that it had! O that I had been form'd
An idiot from the birth! a senseless changeling,
Who eats his glutton's meal with greedy haste,
Nor knows the hand which feeds him.—
[Pauses; then in a calmer sorrowful voice.
What am I now? how ends the day of life?
For end it must; and terrible this gloom,
This storm of horrors that surrounds its close.
This little term of nature's agony
Will soon be o'er, and what is past is past;
But shall I then, on the dark lap of earth
Lay me to rest, in still unconsciousness,
Like senseless clod that doth no pressure feel
From wearing foot of daily passenger;
Like a steep'd rock o'er which the breaking waves
Bellow and foam unheard? O would I could!

Enter Manuel, who springs forward to his master, but is checked upon perceiving De Monfort draw back and look sternly at him.
My lord, my master! O my dearest master!
[De Monfort still looks at him without speaking.
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 alone?

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, abbess, and several nuns.
We must! we must! My brother, O my brother!
[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 hesitate.
And thou too, Freberg: call it not unkind.

[Exit Freberg: Jane and De Monfort only remain.


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.
Ay, give thy sorrow vent; here mayst thou weep.

De Mon.

(in broken accents).
Oh! 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.

I know thy suff'rings: leave thy sorrow free!
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 murderer,
For such embrace unmeet: O leave me! leave me!
Disgrace and public shame abide me now;
And all, alas! who do my kindred own,
The direful portion share.—Away, away!
Shall a disgrac'd 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.
De Monfort, hand in hand we have enjoy'd
The playful term of infancy together;
And in the rougher path of ripen'd years
We've been each other's stay. Dark low'rs our fate,
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-house;
In the terrific face of armed law;
Yea, on the seaffold, if it needs must be,
I never will forsake thee.

De Mon.
(looking at her with admiration.)
Heav'n bless thy gen'ro us soul, my noble Jane!
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.

Yes, thou art noble still.

De Mon.
With thee I am; who were not so with thee?
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 discharg'd,
We shall be sever'd far.
Far as the spotless purity of virtue
Is from the murd'rer's guilt, far shall we be.
This is the gulf of dread uncertainty
From which the soul recoils.

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

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

Yes, e'en the sin of blood may be forgiv'n,
When humble penitence hath once aton'd.

De Mon.
What, after terms of lengthen'd misery,
Imprison'd anguish of tormented spirits,
Shall I again, a renovated soul,
Into the blessed family of the good
Admittance have? Thinkst 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? heav'n hear thy prayer!
I fain would kneel.—Alas! I dare not do it.

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.
Hearest thou that noise? They come to interrupt us.

(moving towards a side door).
Then let us enter here.

De Mon.
(catching hold of her with a look of horror).
Not there—not there—the corpse —the bloody corpse!

What, lies he there?—Unhappy Rezenvelt!

De Mon.
A sudden thought has come across my mind;
How came it not before? Unhappy Rezenvelt!
Sayst thou but this?

What should I say? he was an honest man;
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.
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.

[Pointing to De Monfort.
A stranger uncondemn'd? this cannot be.

1st off.
As yet, indeed, he is by law unjudg'd,
But is so far condemn'd by circumstance,
That law, or custom sacred held as law,
Doth fully warrant us, and it must be.

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.

O! do not offer this indignity!

1st off.
Is it indignity in sacred law
To bind a murderer? (To 2d off.)
Come, do thy work.

Harsh are thy words, and stern thy harden'd brow;
Dark is thine eye; but all some pity have
Unto the last extreme of misery.
I do beseech thee! if thou art a man—

[Kneeling to him.
[De Monfort, roused at this, runs up to Jane, and raises her hastily from the ground: then stretches himself up proudly.
De Mon.
(to Jane).
Stand thou erect in native dignity;
And bend to none on earth the suppliant knee,
Though cloth'd 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.

[A long pause, whilst they put irons upon him. After they are on, Jane looks at him sorrowfully, 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 breast, and endeavours to suppress his feelings.
1st off.
(to De Monfort).
I have it, too, in charge to move you hence,
Into another chamber more sccure.

De Mon.
Well, I am ready, sir.
[Approaching Jane, whom the abbess is endeavouring to comfort, but to no purpose.
Ah! wherefore thus, most honour'd and most dear?
Shrink not at the accoutrements of ill,
Daring the thing itself.
[Endeavouring to look cheerful.
Wilt thou permit me with a gyved hand?
[She gives him her hand, which he raises to his lips.
This was my proudest office.

[Exeunt, De Monfort leading out Jane.

Should this play ever again be acted, perhaps it would be better that the curtain should drop here; since here the play may be considered as completed, and what comes after, prolongs the piece too much when our interest for the fate of De Monfort is at an end.


An apartment in the convent, opening into another room, whose low arched door is seen at the bottom of the stage. In one corner a monk is seen kneeling. Enter another monk, who, on perceiving him, stops till he rises from his knees, and then goes eagerly up to him.
1st monk.
How is the prisoner?

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

1st monk.
How is this, good brother?
Methought he brav'd it with a manly spirit;
And led, with shackled hands, his sister forth,
Like one resolv'd to bear misfortune bravely.

2d monk.
Yes, with heroic courage, for a while
He seem'd inspir'd; 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.
God grant his pains be short!

1st monk.
How does the lady?

2d monk.
She sits and bears his head upon her lap.
Wiping the cold drops from his ghastly face
With such a look of tender wretchedness,
It wrings the heart to see her.
How goes the night?

1st monk.
It wears, methinks, upon the midnight hour.
It is a dark and fearful night; the moon
Is wrapp'd in sable clouds; the chill blast sounds
Like dismal lamentations. Ay, who knows
What voices mix with the dark midnight winds?
Nay, as I pass'd that yawning cavern's mouth,
A whisp'ring 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 murd'rer'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 mercy,
Veils from our sight—Ha! hear that heavy groan.

[A groan heard within.
1st monk.
It is the dying man.

[Another groan.
2d monk.
God grant him rest!
[Listening at the door.
I hear him struggling in the gripe of death.
O piteous heaven! [Goes from the door.
Enter Brother Thomas from the chamber.

How now, good brother?

Retire, my friends. O many a bed of death
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 breath'd his last.
I would move hence, but I am weak and faint:
Let me a moment on thy shoulder lean.
Oh, weak and mortal man!

[Leans on 2d monk: a pause.
Enter Bernard from the chamber.
2d monk.
(to Bern.)
How is your penitent?

He is with Him who made him; Him, who knows
The soul of man: before whose awful presence
Th' unsceptred tyrant stands despoil'd and helpless,
Like an unclothed babe.
[Bell tolls.
The dismal sound!
Retire, and pray for the blood-stained soul:
May heav'n have mercy on him! [Bell tolls again.


A hall or large room in the convent. The bodies of De Monfort and Rezenvelt are discovered laid out upon a low table or platform, covered with black. Freberg, Bernard, abbess, monks, and nuns attending.
(to Freb.)
Here must they lie, my lord, until we know
Respecting this the order of the law.

And you have wisely done, my rev'rend mother.
[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 lov'd, 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,
Ungen'rously excites, with careless scorn,
Such baleful passion in a brother's breast,
Whom heav'n commands to love? Low are ye laid:
Still all contention now.—Low are ye laid:
I lov'd you both, and mourn your hapless fall.

They were your friends, my lord?

I lov'd them both. How does the Lady Jane?

She bears misfortune with intrepid soul.
I never saw in woman, bow'd with grief,
Such moving dignity.

Ay, still the same.
I've known her long: of worth most excellent;
But in the day of woe she ever rose
Upon the mind with added majesty,
As the dark mountain more sublimely tow'rs
Mantled in clouds and storm.

Enter Manuel and Jerome.
Here, my good Jerome, here's a piteous sight.

A piteous sight! yet I will look upon him:
I'll see his face in death. Alas, alas!
I've seen him move a noble gentleman!
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.
That is the murder'd corpse; here lies De Monfort.

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

Didst thou not come to see him?

Fy! cover him—inter him in the dark—
Let no one look upon him.

(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
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 thinkst thou here?
Look on those features, thou hast seen them oft,
With the last dreadful conflict of despair,
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.
Thinkst thou, less painful than the murd'rer's knife
Was such a death as this?
Ay, and how changed too those matted locks!

Merciful heaven! his hair is grizly grown,
Chang'd to white age, that was, but two days since,
Black as the raven's plume. How may this be?


Such change, from violent conflict of the mind,
Will sometimes come.

Alas, alas! most wretched!
Thou wert too good to do a cruel deed,
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.
Draw back, draw back: see where the lady comes.

Enter Jane De Monfort. Freberg, who has been for some time retired by himself at 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 De Monfort, and she gives a gentle inclination of the head, to signify that she understands him. She then bends tenderly over it, without speaking.
(to Jane, as she raises her head).
Oh, madam, my good lord!

Well says thy love, my good and faithful Manuel:
But we must mourn in silence.

Alas! the times that I have followed him!

Forbear, my faithful Manuel. For this love
Thou hast my grateful thanks; and here's my hand:
Thou hast lov'd 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.

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, but say not this!

[Throwing himself at her feet.
(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?

Ah, madam! woe and weakness dwell with age:
Would I could serve you with a young man's strength!
I'd spend my life for you.

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

In every sensible and gen'rous 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.

Nay, Freberg! Freberg! grieve me not, my friend.
He, to whose ear my praise most welcome was,
Hears it no more! and, oh, 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, Manuel 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.
Enter two Officers of Law.
1st off.
Where is the prisoner?
Into our hands he straight must be consign'd.

He is not subject now to human laws;
The prison that awaits him is the grave.

1st off.
Ha! sayst thou so? there is foul play in this.

(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.
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 honour'd word,
And will no further search.

I thank your courtesy: thanks, thanks to all;
My rev'rend 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 lov'd:
'Tis Rezenvelt I mean. Take thou this charge:
'Tis meet, that with his noble ancestors
He lie entomb'd in honourable state.


And now I have a sad request to make,
Nor will these holy sisters scorn my boon;
That I, within these sacred cloister walls,
May raise a humble, nameless tomb to him,
Who, but for one dark passion, one dire deed,
Had claim'd a record of as noble worth,
As e'er enrich'd the sculptur'd pedestal.


Note. —The last three lines of the last speech are not intended to give the reader a true character of De Monfort, whom I have endeavoured to represent throughout the play as, notwithstanding his other good qualities, proud, suspicious, and susceptible of envy, but only to express the partial sentiments of an affectionate sister, naturally more inclined to praise him from the misfortune into which he had fallen.