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Bnter the ABBOT.
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly, Abbot. Where is your master ?
Of distant sentinels the fitful song Her.
Yonder in the tower. Begun and died upon the gentle wind. Abbot. I must speak with him.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach Manuel.
'T is impossible; Appeard to skirt the horison, yet they stood
Within a bowshot-Where the Cæsars dwelt, He is most private, and must not be thus
And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst Intruded on.
A grove which springs through levell’d battlements, Abbot. Upon myself I take
And twines its roots with the imperial hearths, The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be
Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth ;-
But the gladiator's bloody circus stands,
A noble wreck in ruinous perfection!
While Cæsar's chambers, and the Augustan halls, Abbot,
Herman! I command thee, Grovel on earth in indistinct decay.Knock, and apprise the Count of my approach. And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon Her. We dare not.
All this, and cast a wide and tender light, Abbot.
Then it seems I must be berald Which soften'd down the hoar austerity
Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up,
As 't were anew, the gaps of centuries;
Leaving that beautiful which still was so,
And making that which was not, till the place Abbot. Why so ?
Became religion, and the heart ran o'er Manuel.
But step this way, With silent worship of the great of old !And I will tell you further.
(Bxeunt. The dead but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule Our spirits from their urns.
'T was such a night! SCENE IV. (1)
'T is strange that I recall it at this time; Interior of the Tower.
But, I have found, our thoughts take wildest flight
Even at the moment when they should array
Themselves in pensive order.
Enter the ABBOT. of the snow shining mountains.—Beautiful!
My good lord! I linger yet with Nature, for the night
I crave a second grace for this approach ;
But yet let not my humble zeal offend
By its abruptness—all it hath of ill
Recoils on me; its good in the effect I do remember me, that in my youth,
May light upon your head—could I say heart
Could I touch that, with words or prayers, I should When I was wandering,-upon such a night
Recall a noble spirit which hath wander'd, I stood within the Coliseum's wall, (2)
But is not yet all lost. Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome;
Thou know'st me not; The trees which grew along the broken arches Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
My days are number'd, and my deeds recorded : Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
Retire, or 't will be dangerous-Away! The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber; and
Abbot. Thou dost not mean to menace me? More near, from out the Cæsars' palace came
Alone-we know not how-unshrived-untended
(2) “Drove at midnight to see the Coliseum by moonlight: but With strange accompaniments and fearful signs
what can I say of the Coliseum? it must be seen; to describe it I I shudder at the sighl-bu" must not leave him. Maafred (specking faintly and slowly.) Old man ! 't is not so
should have thought impossible, if I had not read Manfred. To difficult to die. (MANFRED having said this, espires. see it aright, as the Poet of the North tells us of the fair Melrose, Herman. His eyes are fir'd and lifeless.--He is gone.
one 'must see it by the pale moonlight.' The stillness of night, Maanel. Close them- My old hand quivers. -He departsWbitber? I dread to think -- but he is gone.-E.
the whispering echoes, the moonlight shadows, and the awful
grandeur of the impending ruins, form a scene of romantic sub(0)" The opening of this scene is, perhaps, the finest passage limity, such as Byron alone could describe as it deserves. His in the drama ; and its solemn, calm, and majestic character throws description is the very thing itself.” Matthews's Diary of an an air of grandeur over the calastrophe, which was in danger of Invalid. appearing extravagant, and somewhat 100 much in the style of Rae Decil and Dr. Faustus." Wilson.
I simply tell thee peril is at hand,
Nor will I hence, while I have earthly breath And would preserve thee.
To breathe my scorn upon ye-earthly strength Abbot.
What dost mean? To wrestle, though with spirits; what ye take Man.
Look there! Shall be ta’en limb by limb. What dost thou see?
Reluctant mortal! Abbot. Nothing.
Is this the Magian who would so pervade Мап.
Look there, I say, The world invisible, and make himself
Abbot. That which should shake me,—but I fear Art thus in love with life ? the very life
Thou false fiend, thou liest! His face wrapt in a mantle, and his form
My life is in its last hour,-that I know, Robed as with angry clouds : he stands between Nor would redeem a moment of that hour; Thyself and me—but I do fear him not.
I do not combat against death, but thee
Was purchased by no compact with thy crew,
And length of watching-strength of mind and
skill Never-till I have battled with this fiend :
In knowledge of our fathers—when the earth What doth he here?
Saw men and spirits walking side by side, Man.
Wby-ay-what doth he here?— And gave ye no supremacy : I stand
Upon my strength-1 do defy-deny-
But thy many crimes Why doth he gaze on thee, and thou on him! Have made thee Ah! he unveils his aspect : on his brow
What are they to such as thee ? The thunder-scars are graven; from his eye Must crimes be punish'd but by other crimes, Glares forth the immortality of hell
And greater criminals ?—Back to thy hell! Avaunt !
Thou hast no power upon me, that I feel; Man. Pronounce-what is thy mission ? Thou never shall possess me, that I know: Spirit
Come! What I have done is done; I bear within Abbot. What art thou, unknown peing? answer! | A torture which could nothing gain from thine: --speak!
The mind, which is immortal, makes itself Spirit. The genius of this mortal.-Come! 't is Requital for its good or evil thoughtstime.
Is its own origin of ill and end-
Spirit. Thou 'lt know anon-Come! come! No colour from the fleeting things without;
I have commanded But is absorb'd in sufferance or in joy,
Spirit. Mortal! thine hour is come-Away! I say. tempt me;
Man. I knew, and know my hour is come, but not I have not been thy dupe, nor am thy prey, — To render up my soul to such as thee:
But was my own destroyer, and will be
My own hereafter.-Back, ye baffled fiends!
[The Demons disappear. Abbot. Avaunt! ye evil ones!-Avaunt! I say,– Abbot. Alas! how pale thou art-thy lips are Ye have no power where piely hath power,
whiteAnd I do charge ye in the name-
And thy breast heaves—and in thy gasping throat Spirit.
Old man! The accents rattle–Give thy prayers to HeavenWe know ourselves, our mission, and thine order; Pray—albeit but in thought,--but die not ihus. Waste not thy holy words on idle uses,
Man. 'T is over-my dull eyes can fix thee not; It were in vain: this man is forfeited.
But all things swim around me, and the earth Once more I summon him-Away! away!
Heaves as it were beneath me. Fare thee wellMan. I do defy ye,-though I feel my soul Give me thy hand. Is ebbing from me, yet I do defy ye;
Cold-cold-even to the beart
But yet one prayer-Alas! bow fares it with thee ? Abbot. He's gone-his soul hath ta'en its earthless Man. Old man! 't is not so difficult to die.(1)
flight[MANFRED expires. Whither ? I dread to think-but he is gone. (2)
(1) In the first edition, this line was accidentally left out. On turning his sad contemplations inwards, he applies to himself discovering the omission, Lord Byron wrote to Mr. Murray, the fatal history of the king of Sparla. It is as follows:-Pau"You have destroyed the whole effect and moral of the poem, by sanias, a Lacedæmonias general, acquires glory by the important omitting the last line of Mansred's speaking."-E.
victory at Platæa, but afterwards for feits the confidence of his (2) In June, 1820, Lord Byron thus writes to his publisher : countrymen through his arrogance, obstinacy, and secret in“ Enclosed is something which will interest you; lo wil, the opi- trigues with the enemies of his country. This man draws upon nion of the greatest man in Germany-perhaps in Europe—upon himself the heavy guilt of innocent blood, which allends him to one of the great men of your advertisements (all 'famous hands,' his end; for, white commanding the fleet of the allied Greeks, in as Jacob Tonson used to say of his ragamuffins)-in short, a the Blaek Sea, he is inflamed with a violent passion for a Rycritique of Goethe's upon Manfred. There is the original, an zantine maiden. After long resistance, be at length oblains her English translation, and an Italian one: keep them all in your from her parents, and she is to be delivered up to him at night. arebives; for the opinions of such a man as Goethe, whether sa- She modestly desires the servant to put out the lamp, and, while vourable or not, are always interesting-and this is more so, as fa- groping her way in the dark, she overlurns it. Pausanias is awakFourable. His Faust I never read, for I don't know German; ened from his sleep-apprehensive of an allack from murderers, but Matthew Monk Lewis, in 1816, at Coligny, translated most of he seizes his sword, and destroys his mistress. The horrid sight it to me vird voce, and I was naturally much struck with it: but never leaves him. Her shade pursues him unceasingly, and he it was the Steinbach and the Jungfrau, and something else, much implores for aid in vain from the gods and the exorcising priests. more than Faustus, thal made me write Manfred. The first
" That poet must have a laceraled Irearl who selects such a scene, however, and that of Faustus are very similar."
scene from antiquity, appropriales it to himself. and burdens his The following is the extract from Goethe's Kunst und Al- tragic image with it. The following soliloquy, which is overladen therthum (i. e. Art and Antiquity) wbich the above letter en with gloom and a weariness of life, is, by this remark, rendered elosed :
intelligible. We recommend it as an exercise to all friends of "Byron's tragedy, Manfred, was to me a wonderful pheno- declamation. Hamlet's soliloquy appears improved upon here." menon, and one that closely louched me. This singularly intel-Goethe here subjoins Manfred's soliloquy, beginning "We are lectual poet has taken my Faust us to himself, and extracted from the fools of lime and terror," in which the allusion to Pausanias it the strongest nourishment for his hypochondriac humour. He bas made use of the impelling principles in his own way, for his From this German criticism we pass to thal of the Edinburgh own purposes, so that no one of them remains the same; and it Review on Manfred:-" It is suggested, in aningenjous paper is particularly on this account that I cannot enough admire his a late number of the Edinburgh Magazine, that the general congenius. The whole is in this way so completely formed anew, ception of this piece, and much of what is excellent in the manner ibat it would be an interesting task for the critic lo point out, of its execution, have been borrowed from The Tragical Hisnot only the alterations he has made, but their degree of re-lory of Dr Fauslus, of Marlow;t and a variety of passages are semblance with, or dissimilarity to, the original : in the course quoted, which the author considers as similar, and, in many reof which, I cannot deny, that the gloomy heat of an unbounded spects, superior to others in the poem before us. We caonot and exuberant despair becomes at last oppressive to us. Yet is agree in the general terms of the conclusion; but there is no the dissatisfaction we feel always connected with esteem and doubt a cerlain resemblance, Loth in some of the topics that are admiration.
suggested, and in the cast of the diction in wbich they are ex** We find thus, in this tragedy, the quintessence of the most pressed. Thus, lo ioduce Fauslus lo persist in his unlawful sluaslonishing talent, born to be its own tormentor. The character dies, he is lold that the Spirits of the Elements will serve him,of Lord Byron's life and poetry hardly permits a just and equitable
• Sometimes like women, or unwedded maids, appreciation. He has often enough confessed what it is that Shadowing more beauty in their ayrie browes, lorments him. He has repeatedly portrayed it; and scarcely any Thun have the while breasts of the Queene of Love.' one seels compassion for this intolerable sull’ering, over which and again, when the amorous sorcerer commands Helen of Troy be is ever laboriously ruminating. There are, properly speak to revive again to be his paramour, he addresses her, on her first ing, two females whose phantoms for ever haunt bim, and which, appearance, in these rapiurous linesin this piece also, perform principal parts-one under the name of Astarte, the other without form or actual presence, and merely
• Was this the face that launcht a thousand ships,
And burn'd the topless towers of llium ? a voice. or the horrid occurrence which took place with the
Sweet Helen ! mahe me immortal with a kiss! former, the following is related :- When a bold and enterprising Her lips suck forth my soule !-see where it flies. young man, he won the affections of a Florentine lady.' Her Come, Helen, come give me my soule againe, busband discovered the amour, and murdered his wise; but the
Here will I dwell, for heaven is on that liv,
And all is dross that is not Heleda. murderer was the same night found dead in the street, and there
0! thou art fairer than the evening ayre, was no one on whom any suspicion could be allached. Lord Clad in the beauty of a thousand sturres ; Byron removed from Florence, and these spirits haunted him all More lovely than ihe nionarch of the skyes, bis life after.
In Wunton Arethusa's uzure arips !' “ This romantic incident is rendered highly probable by in- The catastrophe, loo, is bewailed in verses of great elegance and numerable allusions to it in his poems. As, for instance, when, classical beauty,
." The grave confidence will wbich the venerable critic traces that it may be questioned whether the realBesh and blood' bero the fancies of his brother poel to real persons and events, making of these pages, the social, practical-minded, und, with all his no difficul.y even of a double murder at Florence to furnish grounds faults and eccentricilies, English Lord Byron,-may not, to lbe for his theory, affords an amusing instance of the disposition so over--salted imaginations of must of his foreiga admirers, appear prevalent throughout Europe, lo picture Byron as a man uf mar butan ordinary, unromantic, and prosaic personage." - Moove. rels and mysteries, as well in bis life us bis poetry. To these † On reading this, Lord Byron wroie from Venice: -" Jeffrey is exaggerated ur wholly false notions of him, the numerous fictions very hind about Manfred, and defends its originality, wbich I did palmed upon the world of his romantic tours and wonderful ad not know that any body had attacked. As to the germs of il, ibey ventures, in places he never saw, and with persons that never may be found in the Journal which I sent to Mrs. I.eigh, shortly cisted, have, no doubt, considerably contributed ; and the conse before I left Switzerland. I have the whole scene of Manfred before quence is, so utterly out of truth and nature are the representa- me, as if it was but yesterday, and could point it out, spui by spot, lous of his life and character long current upon the Continent, torrent and all."-E.
The Lament of Tasso
Parisina and Hugo were beheaded, according to the
annal of Gibbon. (1) At Ferrara, in the Library, are preserved the original MSS. of Tasso's Gerusalemme and of Guarini's Pastor Fido, with letters of Tasso, one from Ti
THE LAMENT OF TASSO. tian to Ariosto, and the inkstand and chair, the tomb and the house of the latter. But, as misfortune has a greater interest for posterity, and little or none for
I. the cotemporary, the cell where Tasso was confined in the hospital of St. Anna attracts a more fixed at- Long years !-It tries the thrilling frame to bear, tention than the residence or the monument of And eagle-spirit of a Child of SongAriosto—at least it had this effect on me. There I Long years of outrage, calumny, and wrong; are two inscriptions, one on the outer gale, the Imputed madness, prison’d solitude, (2) second over the cell itself, inviting, unnecessarily, And the mind's canker in ils savage mood, the wonder and the indignation of the spectator. When the impatient thirst of light and air Ferrara is much decayed, and depopulated : the Parches the heart; and the abhorred grate, castle still exists entire; and I saw the court where Marring the sunbeams with its hideous shade,
Cut is the branch that might have growne full straight, “These be good rhymes !' as Pope's papa said to him wben he was
a boy." That sometime grew within this learned man.
“The Lament possesses much of the tenderness and pathos of Faustus is gone!-regard his hellish fall, Whose fiendful torture may exhort the wise,
the Prisoner of Chillon. Lord Byron bas not delivered himself Only to wonder at unlawful things!'
unto any one wild and fearful vision of the imprisoned Tasso,
he has not dared to allow himself to rush forward with headlong But these and many other smooth and sancisul verses in this curious old drama prove nothing, we think, against the originality passion into the horrors of his dungeon, and 10 describe, as he of Manfred; for ihere is nothing to be found there of the pridle, could fearfully have done, the conflict and agony of his ullermost ihe abstraction, and the heart-rooled misery in which that origi- : despair,--but he shows us the poet sitting in his cell, and singing nality consists. Faustus is a vulgar sorcerer, templed 10 sell
there-a low, melancholy, wailing lament, sometimes, indeed, his soul to the devii for the ordinary price of sensual pleasure, and bordering on ulter wretchedness, but o'tener partaking of a earthly power and glory; and who shrinks and shudders in agony
sellied gries, occasionally subdued inlo mournful resignation, when the forfeit come to be exacted. The style, loo, or Marlow, ! tident hope of an immorlal fame. His is the gathered grief or
cheered by delightful remembrances, and elevated by the conthough elegant and scholar-like, is weak and childish, compared with the depth and force of much of Lord Byron; and the disgust- many years, over wbich his soul has brooded, till she has in some ing buffoonery and low farce of which his piece is principally measure lost the power of misery; and this soliloquy is one which
we can believe he might have ullered to himself any morning, or made up place it more in contrast, than in any terms of compa
noon, or night of his solitude, as he seemed to be half comrison, with that of his noble successor. In the lone and pitch of the composilion, as well as in the character of the diction in the more
muning with his own beart, and half addressing the ear of that
human nature from which he was shut out, but of which he felt solemn parts, Manfred remind; us much more of the Prome the continual and abiding presence within bis imagination."theus of Æschylus, 'than of any more modern performance. The
Wilson. tremendous solitude of the principal person-the supernalural beings with whom alone he holds communion-lhe guill-the doubt, that the first cause of the poet's punishment was his desire
(2) Tasso's biographer, the Abate Serassi, has left it without tirmness-the misery--are all points of resemblance, lo which effect. The chief differences are, that the subject of the Greek poet enjoy the indulgence of the jubilee; * and this error,” says the the grandeur of the poetic imagery only gives a more striking to be occasionally, or altogether, free from his servitude at uie
court of Alfonso. In 1875, Tasso resolved to visit Rome, and ! was sanctified and exalted by the established belief of his counlry, and that his terrors are nowhere tempered with the sweel- Abate, “increasing the suspicion already entertained, that he ness whick breathes from so many passages of his English rival.” Tunes. On his return to Ferrara, the Duke resused to admit him
was in search or another service, was the origin of his missorJeffrey. (1) The original MS. of this poem is daled, " The Apennines,
lo an audience, and he was repulsed from the houses of all the April 20, 1817.” It was written in consequence of Lord Byron dependants of the court; and not one of the promises which the having visited Ferrara, for a single day, on his way to Florence.
Cardinal Albano had oblained for him were carried into effect. In a letter from Rome, he says, "The Lament of Tasso, which
Then it was that Tasso-after having suffered these hardships I sent from Florence, bas, I trust, arrived. I look upon il as a
for some time, seeing himself constantly discountenanced by the
Duke and the Princesses, abandoned by his friends, and derided * “ of the Prometheus of Æschylus I was passionately fond as a
by his enemies-could no longer contain himself within the boy (it was one of the Greek plays we read thrice a-year at Harrow); bounds of moderalion, bul, giving vent to his choler, publicly indeed, that and the Medea were the only ones, except the Seven bra broke forth into the most injurious expressions imaginable, bolti fore Thebes, which ever much pleased me. The Prometheus, is not eractly in my plan, has always been so much in my head, that it against the Duke and all the house of Este, cursing his past sercan easily conceive its influence over sell or any thing that'l have vice, and retracting all the praises he had ever given in his verses written: but I deny Marlow and his progeny, ind beg ikat you will 10 those princes, or to any individual connected with them, dedo the saine."-B. Letters, 1817.
claring that they were all a gang of poltroons, ingrales, and
Works through the throbbing eyeball to the brain Thou too art ended—what is left me now?
For I have anguish yet to bear-and how ?
I know not that-but in the innate force Stands scoffing through the never-open'd gate, Of my own spirit shall be found resource. Which nothing through its bars admits, save day, I have not sunk, for I had no remorse, And lasteless food, which I have eat alone
Nor cause for such : they call'd me mad—and why? Till ils unsocial bitterness is gone;
O Leonora ! wilt not thou reply ? (3) And I can banquet like a beast of prey,
I was indeed delirious in my heart
To lift my love so lofty as thou art;
That thou wert beautiful, and I not blind,
Hath been the sin which shuts me from mankind : The narrow circus of my dungeon wall,
But let them go, or torture as they will, And freed the Holy Sepulchre from thrall; My heart can multiply thine image still; And revell’d among men and things divine,
Successful love may sate itself away, And pour d my spirit over Palestine,
The wretched are the faithful ; 't is their fale
To have all feeling save the one decay,
Above me, ha:k! the long and maniac cry
Of minds and bodies in captivity.
And the half-inarticulate blasphemy!
There be some here with worse than frenzy foul, Know, that my sorrows have wrung from me none. Some who do still goad on the o’er-labour'd mind, But thou, my young creation! my soul's child!
And dim the little light that is left behind Wbich ever playing round me came and smiled, With needless torture, as their tyrant will And woo'd me from myself with thy sweet sight, Is wound up to the iust of doing ill:(4) Thou loo art gone-and so is my delight:
With these and with their victims am I class'd, And therefore do I weep and inly bleed
'Mid sounds and sights like these long years have With this last bruise upon a broken reed.
soapdrels (pollroni, ingrati, e ribaldi). For this offence he creation, his soul's child,' the Gerusalemme Liberala. The ** arrested, conducted to the hospital of St. Anna, and confined exuilation of conscious genius then dies away, and we behold in a solitary cell as a madman.” Serassi, Vita del Tasso.-E. him, 'bound between distraction and disease,' no longer in an
(1) "In the hospital of St. Anna, at Ferrara, they show a cell, inspired mood, but sunk into the lowest prostration of human over the door of which is the following inscription :- Rispettale, misery. There is something terrible in this transition from di U posleri, la celebrità di questa stanza, dove Torquato Tasso, vine rapture to degraded agony.” Wilson. infermo più di tristezza che delirio, ditenulo dimoro anni vii. (3) Io a letter to his friend Scipio Gonzaga, shortly after his fresi ii., scrise verse e prose, e sù rimesso in liberid ad instanza conlinenient, Tasso exclaims,-"Ah, wretched me! I bad designed della cilà di Bergamo, nel giorno vi. Luglio, 1586.'— The dungeon to write, besides two epic poems of most noble argument, four is below the ground-floor of the hospital, and the light penetrates tragedies, of which I had formed the plan. I had schemed, too, through its grated window from a small yard, which seems to have many works in prose, on subjects the most losty, and most useful been common to other cells. It is nine paces long, between five 10 human life; I had designed to write philosophy with eloquence, and six wide, and about seven feet high. The bedstead, so they in such a manner that there might remain of me an eternal metell, has been carried off piecemeal, and the door half cut away mory in the world. Alas! I had expected to close my life wilb by the devotion of those whom the verse and prose' of the pri- glory and renown; but now, oppressed by the burden of so many
soner bave brought lo Ferrara. The poet was confined in this calamities, I have lost every prospect of reputation and of honour toon from the middle of March 1579 10 December 1880, when he The fear of perpetual imprisonment increases my melancholy; was removed to a contiguous apartment much larger, in which, the indignities which I suffer augment il; and the squalor of my to use his owo expressions, he could philosophise and walk beard, my hair. and habit, the sordidness and filth, exceedingly about.' The inscription is incorrect as to the immediate cause annoy me. Sure am I that, il sue, who so little has corresponded of bis enlargement, which was promised to the city of Bergamo, to my allachment-if she saw me in such a state, and in such asicbut was carried into effect at the intercession of Don Vincenzo lion-she would bave some compassion on me.” Opere, l. I. Gonzago, Prince of Mantua." Hobhouse.
p. 387.-E. (2) “ The opening lines bring the poet before us at once, as (4)"For nearly the first year of his confinement, Tasso endured if the door of the dungeon was thrown open. From this bitter all the horrors of a solitary cell, and was under the care of a complaint, how nobly the unconquered bard rises into calm, and gaoler whose chief virtue, although he was a poet and a man of | sereae, and dignified exultation over the beauty of that young letters, was a cruel obedience to the commands of his prince.