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Man.
She is silent,
And in that silence I am more than answer'd.

Nem. My power extends no further. Prince of air!
It rests with thee alone-command her voice.
Ari. Spirit-obey this sceptre !

Nem.

Silent still!

She is not of our order, but belongs
To the other powers. Mortal! thy quest is vain
And we are baffled also.

Man.

Hear me, hear me―
Astarte! my beloved! speak to me:

I have so much endured-so much endure-
Look on me! the grave hath not changed thee more
Than I am changed for thee. Thou lovedst me
Too much, as I loved thee: we were not made
To torture thus each other, though it were
The deadliest sin to love as we have loved.
Say that thou loathest me not-that I do bear
This punishment for both-that thou wilt be
One of the blessed-and that I shall die;
For hitherto all hateful things conspire
To bind me in existence-in a life、
Which makes me shrink from immortality—
A future like the past. I cannot rest.

I know not what I ask, nor what I seek:
I feel but what thou art-and what I am;
And I would hear, yet once before I perish,
The voice which was my music-Speak to me!
For I have call'd on thee in the still night,
Startled the slumbering birds from the hush'd

boughs,

And woke the mountain wolves, and made the caves
Acquainted with thy vainly-echoed name,
Which answer'd me—many things answer'd me-
Spirits and men-but thou wert silent all,
Yet speak to me! I have outwatch'd the stars,
And gazed o'er heaven in vain in search of thee.
Speak to me! I have wander'd o'er the earth,
And never found thy likeness-Speak to me!
Look on the fiends around-they feel for me:
I fear them not, and feel for thee alone-
Speak to me! though it be in wrath ;-but say-
I reck not what-but let me hear thee once-
This once-once more!

Phantom of Astarte. Manfred!

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(1) "Over this fine drama, a moral feeling hangs like a sombrous thunder-cloud. No other guilt but that so darkly shadowed out could have furnished so dreadful an illustration of the hideous aberrations of human nature, however noble and majestic, when left a prey to its desires, its passions, and its imagination. The beauty, at one time so innocently adored, is at last soiled, profaned, (2) The third Act, as originally written, being shown to the and violated. Affection, love, guilt, horror, remorse, and death, late Mr. Gifford, he expressed his unfavourable opinion of it very come in terrible succession, yet all darkly linked together. We distinctly; and Mr. Murray transmitted this to Lord Byron. The think of starte as young, beautiful, innocent-guilty-lost-result is told in the following extracts from his letters:murdered-buried-judged-pardoned; but still in her permitted "Venice, April 14, 1817.-The third Act is certainly d-d visit to earth, speaking in a voice of sorrow, and with a countenance yet pale with mortal trouble. We had but a glimpse of her in her beauty and innocence; but, at last, she rises up before us in all the mortal silence of a ghost, with fixed, glazed, and pas sionless eyes, revealing death, judgment, and eternity. The

bad, and, like the Archbishop of Grenada's homily (which savoured of the palsy) has the dregs of my fever during which it was written. It must on no account be published in its present state. I will try and reform it, or re-write it altogether; but the impulse is gone, and I have no chance of making any thing out of it. The

moral breathes and burns in every word,-in sadness, misery, insanity, desolation, and death. The work is 'instinct with spirit,'-and in the agony and distraction, and all its dimly-imagined causes, we behold, though broken up, confused, and shattered, the elements of a purer existence." Wilson.

Man.

It is well :

Thou mayst retire.
[Exit HERMAN.
Man. (alone.) There is a calm upon me—
Inexplicable stillness! which till now
Did not belong to what I knew of life.
If that I did not know philosophy

To be of all our vanities the motliest,

The merest word that ever fool'd the ear
From out the schoolman's jargon-I should deem
The golden secret, the sought "Kalon," found,
And seated in my soul. It will not last,
But it is well to have known it, though but once :
It hath enlarged my thoughts with a new sense,
And I within my tablets would note down
That there is such a feeling. Who is there ?
Re- ter HERMAN.

Her. My lord, the Abbot of St. Maurice craves To greet your presence.

Abbot.

Enter the ABBOT OF ST. MAURICE. Peace be with Count Manfred! Man. Thanks, holy father! welcome to these walls; Thy presence honours them, and blesseth those Who dwell within them

Abbot. Would it were so, Count! But I would fain confer with thee alone. Man. Herman, retire.-What would my reverend guest

Abbot. Thus, without prelude:-Age and zeal, my office,

And good intent, must plead my privilege;
Our near though not acquainted neighbourhood
May also be my herald. Rumours strange,

speech of Manfred to the Sun is the only part of this Act I thought good myself; the rest is certainly as bad as bad can be, and I wonder what the devil possessed me. I am very glad, indeed, that you sent me Mr. Gifford's opinion without deduction. Do you suppose me such a booby as not to be very much obliged to him? or that I was not, and am not, convinced and convicted in my conscience of this same overt act of nonsense? I shall try at it again; in the mean time, lay it upon the shelf-the whole Drama I mean.— Recollect not to publish, upon pain of I know not what, until I have tried again at the third act. I am not sure that I shall try, and still less that I shall succeed if I do."

"Rome, May 5.—I have re-written the greater part, and returned what is not altered in the proof you sent me. The Abbot is become a good man, and the Spirits are brought in at the death. You will find, I think, some good poetry in this new Act, here and there; and if so, print it, without sending me farther proofs, under Mr. Gifford's correction, if he will have the goodness to overlook it."-E.

(1) Thus far the text stands as originally penned : we subjoin the sequel of the scene, as given in the first MS.:

"Abbot, Then, hear and tremble! For the headstrong wretch Who in the mail of innate hardihood

Would shield himself, and battle for his sins,

There is the stake on earth, and beyond earth eternal

Man, Charity, most reverend father,
Becomes thy lips so much more than this menace,
That I would call thee back to it: but say,
What wouldst thou with me?

Abbot.
It may be there are
Things that would shake thee-but I keep them back,
And give thee till to-morrow to repent.
Then if thou dost not all devote thyself

To penance, and with gift of all thy lands
To the monastery——

And of unholy nature, are abroad,
And busy with thy name; a noble name
For centuries: may he who bears it now
Transmit it unimpair'd!

Man.

Proceed, I listen.

Abbot. 'Tis said thou holdest converse with the

things

Which are forbidden to the search of man;
That with the dwellers of the dark abodes,
The many evil and unheavenly spirits
Which walk the valley of the shade of death,
Thou communest. I know that with mankind,
Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely
Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy solitude
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.

Man. And what are they who do avouch these things?

Abbot. My pious brethren-the scared peasantryEven thy own vassals-who do look on thee With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril.

Man. Take it. Abbot. I come to save, and not destroyI would not pry into thy secret soul; But if these things be sooth, there still is time For penitence and pity: reconcile thee With the true church, and through the church to Heaven.

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Abbot. I fear thee not-hence-hence-
Avaunt thee, evil one !-help, ho! without there!

Man. Convey this man to the Shreckhorn-to its peak-
To its extremest peak-watch with him there
From now till sunrise; let him gaze, and know
He ne'er again will be so near to heaven.
But harm him not; and, when the morrow breaks,
Set him down safe in his cell-away with him!
Ash. Had I not better bring his brethren too,
Convent and all, to bear him company?

"Raven-stone (Rabenstein), a translation of the German word for the gibbet, which in Germany and Switzerland is permanent, and made of stone."

Abbot. My son! I did not speak of punishment,
But penitence and pardon ;-with thyself
The choice of such remains-and for the last,
Our institutions and our strong belief
Have given me power to smooth the path from sin
To higher hope and better thoughts; the first
I leave to Heaven,-"Vengeance is mine alone!"
So saith the Lord, and with all humbleness

His servant echoes back the awful word.

Man. Old man! there is no power in holy men, The enlightener of nations, and to rise

Nor charm in prayer-nor purifying form
Of penitence-nor outward look-nor fast-
Nor agony-nor, greater than all these,
The innate tortures of that deep despair,
Which is remorse without the fear of hell,
But, all in all sufficient to itself,

Would make a hell of heaven-can exorcise
From out the unbounded spirit the quick sense
Of its own sins, wrongs, sufferance, and revenge
Upon itself; there is no future pang
Can deal that justice on the self-condemn'd

He deals on his own soul.

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Abbot.
All this is well;
For this will pass away, and be succeeded
By an auspicious hope, which shall look up
With calm assurance to that blessed place,
Which all who seek may win, whatever be
Their earthly errors, so they be atoned:
And the commencement of atonement is
The sense of its necessity.-Say on-
And all our church can teach thee shall be taught;
And all we can absolve thee shall be pardon'd.
Man. When Rome's sixth emperor (1) was near
his last,

The victim of a self-inflicted wound,
To shun the torments of a public death (2)
From senates once his slaves, a certain soldier,
With show of loyal pity, would have stanch'd
The gushing throat with his officious robe;
The dying Roman thrust him back, and said-
Some empire still in his expiring glance,

64

It is too late-is this fidelity ?"
Abbot. And what of this?

Abbot.

It never can be so,
To reconcile thyself with thy own soul,
And thy own soul with Heaven. Hast thou no hope?
'Tis strange-even those who do despair above,
Yet shape themselves some fantasy on earth,

To which frail twig they cling, like drowning men.
Man. Ay-father! I have had those earthly visions
And noble aspirations in my youth,
To make my own the mind of other men,

I knew not whither-it might be to fall;
But fall, even as the mountain-cataract,
Which having leapt from its more dazzling height,
Even in the foaming strength of its abyss
(Which casts up misty columns that become
Clouds raining from the re-ascended skies),
Lies low but mighty still.-But this is past;
My thoughts mistook themselves.

Abbot.

And wherefore so? Man. I could not tame my nature down; for he Must serve who fain would sway-and soothe-and

sue

And watch all time-and pry into all place-
And be a living lie-who would become
A mighty thing amongst the mean, and such
The mass are; I disdain'd to mingle with
A herd, though to be leader-and of wolves.
The lion is alone, and so am I.

1

Abbot. And why not live and act with other men?
Man. Because my nature was averse from life;
And yet not cruel; for I would not make,
But find, a desolation:-like the wind,
The red-hot breath of the most lone simoom,
Which dwells but in the desert, and sweeps o'er
The barren sands which bear no shrubs to blast,
And revels o'er their wild and arid waves,
And seeketh not, so that it is not sought,
But being met is deadly; such hath been
The course of my existence; but there came
Things in my path which are no more.
Abbot.

Alas!

I 'gin to fear that thou art past all aid
From me and from my calling; yet so young,

Man.

"It is too late!"

Man. No, this will serve for the present. Take him up.
Ash. Come, friar! now an exorcism or two,
And we shall fly the lighter.

ASHTAROTH disappears with the ABBOT, singing as follows:

A prodigal son, and a maid undone,

And a widow re-wedded within the year:
And a worldly monk, and a pregnant nun,
Are things which every day appear.

After the hurricane; the winds are still,
But the cold waves swell high and heavily,
And there is danger in them. Such a rest

MANFRED alone.

Man. Why would this fool break in on me, and force

My art to pranks fantastical?-no matter,

It was not of my seeking. My heart sickens,
And weighs a fix'd foreboding on my soul:
But it is calm-calm as a sullen sea

I answer, with the Roman, I still would

Man.

Look on me! there is an order

Is no repose. My life hath been a combat,
And every thought a wound, till I am scarr'd,
In the immortal part of me.-What now?"-E.

(1) Otho, being defeated in a general engagement near Brixellum, stabbed himself. Plutarch says that, though he lived full as badly as Nero, his last moments were those of a philosopher. He comforted his soldiers, who lamented his fortune, and expressed his concern for their safety, when they solicited to pay him the last friendly offices. Martial says:

"Sit Cato, dum vivit, sane vel Cæsare major, Dum moritur, numquid major Othone fuit?"-E. (2) In the MS.

"To shun

not loss of life, but the torments of a Choose between them."-E.

public death.

Of mortals on the earth, who do become
Old in their youth, and die ere middle sge,
Without the violence of warlike death;
Some perishing of pleasure-some of study-
Some worn with toil-some of mere weariness-
Some of disease-and some insanity—(1)
And some of wither'd or of broken hearts;
For this last is a malady which slays

More than are number'd in the lists of Fate,
Taking all shapes, and bearing many names.
Look upon me! for even of all these things
Have I partaken; and of all these things
One were enough; then wonder not that 1
Am what I am, but that I ever was,
Or, having been, that I am still on earth.
Abbot. Yet, hear me still-

Man.

Old man! 1 ao respect
Thine order, and revere thine years; I deem
Thy purpose pious, but it is in vain :

Think me not churlish; I would spare thyself,
Far more than me, in shunning at this time
All further colloquy-And so-farewell. (2)
[Exil MANFRED.

Abbot. This should have been a noble creature:
Hath all the energy which would have made [(3) he
A goodly frame of glorious elements,
Had they been wisely mingled; as it is,
It is an awful chaos-light and darkness—
And mind and dust-and passions and pure thoughts
Mix'd, and contending without end or order,
All dormant or destructive : he will perish,
And yet he must not; I will try once more,
For such are worth redemption; and my duty

(1) This speech has been quoted in more than one of the sketches of the poet's own life. Much earlier, when only twenty-three years of age, he had thus prophesied :-" It seems as if I were to experience in my youth the greatest misery of old age. My friends fall around me, and I shall be left a lonely tree before I am withered. Other men can always take refuge in their families-I have Do resource but my own reflections, and they present no prospect, here or bereafter, except the selfish satisfaction of surviving my betters. I am, indeed, very wretched. My days are listless, and my nights restless. I have very seldom any society; and when I bave, I run out of it. I don't know that I sha'n't end with insanity." B. Letters, 1811.

(2) "Of the immortality of the soul, it appears to me that there can be little doubt-if we attend for a moment to the action of mind. It is in perpetual activity. I used to doubt of it—but reflection has taught me better. How far our future state will be individual; or, rather, how far it will at all resemble our present existence, is another question; but that the mind is eternal seems as probable as that the body is not so." B. Diary, 1821.-"I have no wish to reject Christianity without investigation; on the contrary, I am very desirous of believing; for I have no happiness in my present unsettled notions on religion." B. Conversutions with Kennedy, 1823.

(3) "There are three only, even among the great poets of modern times, who have chosen to depict, in their full shape and vigour, those agonies to which great and meditative intellects are, in the present progress of human history, exposed by the eternal recurrence of a deep and discontented scepticism. But there is only one who has dared to represent himself as the victim of those nameless and undefinable sufferings. Goethe chose for bis doubts and his darkness the terrible disguise of the mysterious

Is to dare all things for a righteous end.
I'll follow him-but cautiously, though surely.

[Exit ABBOT.

SCENE 11.

Another Chamber.

MANFRED and HERMAN.

Her. My lord, you bade me wait on you at sunset: He sinks behind the mountain.

Man.

Doth he so ?

I will look on him.

[MANFRED advances to the Window of the Hall.

Glorious orb! the idol
Of early nature, and the vigorous race
Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons (4)
Of the embrace of angels, with a sex
More beautiful than they, which did draw down
The erring spirits, who can ne'er return,—
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, ere
The mystery of thy making was reveal'd!
Thou earliest minister of the Almighty,
Which gladden'd, on their mountain-tops, the hearts
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they pour'd
Themselves in orisons! Thou material God!
And representative of the Unknown-

Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star!
Centre of many stars! which makest our earth
Endurable, and temperest the hues
And hearts of all who walk within thy rays!
Sire of the seasons! Monarch of the climes,

Faustus. Schiller, with still greater boldness, planted the same anguish in the restless, haughty, and heroic bosom of Wallenstein. But Byron has sought no external symbol in which to embody the inquietudes of his soul. He takes the world, and all that it inherit, for his arena and his spectators; and he displays himse before their gaze, wrestling unceasingly and ineffectually with the demon that torments him. At times, there is something mournful and depressing in his scepticism; but oftener it is of a high and solemn character, approaching to the very verge of a confiding faith. Whatever the poet may believe, we, his readers, always feel ourselves too much ennobled and elevated, even by his melancholy, not to be confirmed in our belief by the very doubts so majestically conceived and uttered. His scepticism, if it ever approaches to a creed, carries with it its refutation in its grandeur. There is neither philosophy nor religion in those bitter and savage taunts which have been cruelly thrown out from many quarters, against those moods of mind which are involuntary, and will not pass away; the shadows and spectres which still haunt his imagination may once have disturbed our own;-through his gloom there are frequent flashes of illumi nation;-and the sublime sadness, which to him is breathed from the mysteries of mortal existence, is always joined with a longing after immortality, and expressed in language that is itself divine.." Wilson.

(4) "And it came to pass, that the Sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were fair," etc.-"There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the Sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."—Genesis, ch. vi. vorses 2 and 4.

334

And those who dwell in them! for, near or far, ·
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects;-thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well!
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance
Of love and wonder was for thee, then take
My latest look: thou wilt not beam on one
To whom the gifts of life and warmth have been
Of a more fatal nature. (1) He is gone:
I follow.

[Exit MANFRED.

SCENE III

The Mountains-The Castle of Manfred at some distance-A Terrace before a Tower.-Time, Twilight.

HERMAN, MANUEL, and other Dependants of
MANFRED.

He hath pursued long vigils in this tower,
Without a witness. I have been within it,-
So have we all been oft-times; but from it,
Or its contents, it were impossible

To draw conclusions absolute of aught
His studies tend to. To be sure, there is
One chamber where none enter: I would give
The fee of what I have to come these three years,
To pore upon its mysteries.

Manuel.
'T were dangerous;
Content thyself with what thou know'st already.
Her. Ah! Manuel! thou art elderly and wise,
And couldst say much; thou hast dwelt within the
How many years is 't?
[castle-
Manuel.
Ere Count: Manfred's birth,
I served his father, whom he nought resembles.

Her. 'Tis strange enough; night after night, for Relate me some, to while away our watch:
I've heard thee darkly speak of an event
years,
Which happen'd hereabouts, by this same tower.

Manuel. That was a night indeed! I do remember
'T was twilight, as it may be now, and such
Another evening;—yon red cloud, which rests
On Eigher's pinnacle, so rested then,-
So like that it might be the same; the wind
Was faint and gusty, and the mountain snows
Began to glitter with the climbing moon;
Count Manfred was, as now, within his tower,-
How occupied, we knew not, but with him
The sole companion of his wanderings
And watchings-her, whom of all earthly things
That lived, the only thing he seem'd to love,—
As he, indeed, by blood was bound to do,
The lady Astarte, his—(3)

Hush! who comes here?

Her. There be more sons in like predicament. But wherein do they differ?

Manuel.

I speak not

Of features or of form, but mind and habits:
Count Sigismund was proud,—but gay and free,—
A warrior and a reveller; he dwelt not

With books and solitude, nor made the night
A gloomy vigil, but a festal time,
Merrier than day; he did not walk the rocks
And forests like a wolf, nor turn aside
From men and their delights.

Her.

Beshrew the hour,
But those were jocund times! I would that such
Would visit the old walls again; they look
As if they had forgotten them.

Manuel.

(1) "Pray, was Manfred's speech to the Sun still retained in Act third? I hope so: it was one of the best in the thing, and better than the Coliseum." B. Letters, 1817.

(2) In the MS.

"Some strange things in these few years."-E.

(3) In its original shape the remainder of the third Act ran thus:

Her.

Look-look-the tower

The tower's on fire. Oh, heavens and earth! what sound,
What dreadful sound is that?
A crash like thunder.
Manuel, Help, help, there !-to the rescue of the Count,-
The Count's in danger,-what ho! there! approach!

These walls
Must change their chieftain first. Oh! I have seen
Some strange things in them, Herman. (2)
Come, be friendly;

Her.

I then will stay behind; but, for my part,

I do not see precisely to what end.
Vassal, Cease your vain prating-come.
Manuel (speaking within).

'T is all in vain

He's dead.

Her. (within). Not so-even now methought he moved;
But it is dark-so bear him gently out-
Softly-how cold he is! take care of his temples
In winding down the staircase.

Re-enter MANUEL and HERMAN, bearing MANFRED in their arms.

Manuel. Hie to the castle, some of ye, and bring
What aid you can. Saddle the barb, and speed
For the leech to the city-quick! some water there!
Her. His cheek is black-but there is a faint beat
Still lingering about the heart. Some water.

4.

[They sprinkle MANFRED with water; after a pause, gives some signs of life. Manuel. He seems to strive to speak-come-cheerly Count! He moves his lips-canst hear him? I am old, And cannot catch faint sounds.

[The servants, Vassals, and Peasantry approach, stupefied
with terror.

If there be any of you who have heart,
And love of human kind, and will to aid
Those in distress-pause not-but follow me-
The portal 's open, follow.

[MANUEL goes in.

Her.
Come-who follows?
What none of ye?-ye recreants! shiver then
Without. I will not see old Manuel risk
His few remaining years unaided.
Hark!-

Vassal.
No-all is silent-not a breath-the flame
Which shot forth such a blaze is also gone :
What may this mean? Let's enter.
Peasant.
Faith, not1,-
Not that, if one, or two, or more, will join,

THERMANgoes in.

[HERMAN inalining his head and listening.
I hear a word
Her.
Or two-but indistinctly-what is next?
What's to be done? let is bear him to the castle.

[MANFRED motions with his hand not to remove him. ↑
Manuel. He disapproves—and 't were of no avail-
He changes rapidly.

fler.

'T will soon be over.
Manuel. Oh what a death is this! that I should live
To shake my grey hairs over the last chicf
Uf the house of Sigismund !-And such a death!

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