Page images
PDF
EPUB

A famous artisan, a cunning sculptor;

Arn. And what is that? Also a dealer in the sword and dagger.

Cæs.

Thou feelest and thou see'st. Not so, my musqueteer; 't was he who slew

[Bxit ARNOLD joining in the combat, which The Bourbon from the wall.

still continues between detached parties. Arn. Ay, did he so ?

The scene closes.
Then he hath carved his monument.
Rom.

I yet
May live to carve your betters'.

SCENE III.
Cæs. Well said, my man of marble! Benvenuto,
Thou hast some practice in both ways; and he

St. Peter'sThe interior of the Church-The Who slays Cellini will have work'd as hard

Pope at the Allar-Priests, etc. crowding in As e'er thou didst upon Carrara's blocks. (1)

confusion, and citizens flying for refuge, ARNOLD disarms and wounds CELLINI, but

pursued by Soldiery. slightly: the latter draws a pistol, and fires; then retires, and disappears through

Bnter CÆSAR. the portico. Cæs. How farest thou ? Thou haste a taste, me- A Spanish Soldier. Down with them, comrades! Of red Bellona's banquet.

[thinks,

seize upon those lamps ! Arn. (staggers.) 'Tis a scratch.

Cleave yon bald-pated shaveling to the chine! Lend me thy scarf. He shall not 'scape me thus. His rosary's of gold ! Cees. Where is it?

Lutheran Soldier. Revenge! revenge! Arn.

In the shoulder, not the sword-arm- Plunder hereafter, but for vengeance nowAnd that's enough. I am thirsty: would I had

Yonder stands Antichrist! A helm of water!

Cæs. (interposing.) How now, schismatic ? Caes. That's a liquid now

What wouldst thou ? In requisition, but by no means easiest

Luth. Sold. In the holy name of Christ, To come at. Arn. And my thirst increases ;-but

Destroy proud Antichrist. I am a Christian. I'll find a way to quench it.

Cæs. Yea, a disciple that would make the founder Cres.

Or be quench'd

Of your belief renounce it, could he see Thyself?

Such proselytes. Best stint thyself to plunder. Arn. The chance is even ; we will throw

Luth. Sold. I say he is the devil. The dice thereon. But I lose time in prating; Cæs.

Hush! keep that secret, Prithee be quick. [CÆSAR binds on the scarf. Lest he should recognise you for his own.

And what dost thou so idly? Luth. Sold. Why would you save him ? I repeat Why dost not strike?

he is Cæs.

Your old philosophers The devil, or the devil's vicar upon earth. Beheld mankind, as mere spectators of

Cæs. And that's the reason : would you make a The Olympic games. When I behold a prize

quarrel Worth wrestling for, I may be found a Milo. With your best friends ? You had far best be quiet; Arn. Ay, 'gainst an oak.

His hour is not yet come.
Cæs.
A forest, when it suits me. Luth. Sold.

That shall be seen!
I combat with a mass, or not at all.

[The Lutheran Soldier rushes forward ; a Meantime, pursue thy sport as I do mine;

shot strikes him from one of the Pope's Which is just now to gaze, since all these labourers Guards, and he falls at the foot of the Will reap my harvest gratis.

Allar.
Arn.
Thou art still

Cæs. (to the Lutheran.) I told you so.
A fiend!

Luth. Sold. And will you not avenge me? Cæs. And thou-a man.

Cæs. Not I! You know that “Vengeance is the Arn. Why, such I fain would show me.

Lord's :" Cas.

True—as men are. You see he loves no interlopers.

(1) “Levelling my arquebuse,” says Benvenuto Cellini, “I once, I cautiously approached the walls, and perceived that discharged it with a deliberate aim at a person who seemed to be there was an extraordinary confusion among the assailants, oclisted above the rest: but the mist prevented me from distin-casioned by our having shot the Duke of Bourbon: he was, as I guishing whether he was on horseback or on foot. Then turn- understood afterwards, that chief personage whom I saw raised ing suddenly about to Alessandro and Cecchino, I bid them fire above the rest."-Vol. i. p. 120. This, however, is one of the off their pieces, and showed them how to escape every shot of many stories in Cellini's amusing autobiography which nobody the besiegers. Having accordingly fired twice for the enemy's seems ever lo have believed.-E.

may settle

[sage up,

Luth. Sold. (dying.)

Oh!

Enter OLIMPIA, flying from the pursuit-she Had I but slain him, I had gone on high,

springs upon the Allar. Crown'd with eternal glory! Heaven, forgive My feebleness of arm that reach'd him not,

Sold. She's mine! And take thy servant to thy mercy. 'Tis

Another Sold. (opposing the former.) You lie, A glorious triumph still; proud Babylon's

I track'd her first; and were she No more; the Harlot of the Seven Hills

The Pope's niece, I'll not yield her. [They fight. Hath changed her scarlet raiment for sackcloth 3d Sold. (advancing towards OLIMPIA.) You And ashes !

(The Lutheran dies. Cres. Yes, thine own amidst the rest. Your claims; I 'll make mine good. Well done, old Babel!

Olimp.

Infernal slave! [The Guards defend themselves desperately, You touch me not alive. while the Pontiff escapes, by a private pas- 3d Sold.

Alive or dead! sage, to the Vatican and the Castle of St. Olimp. (embracing a massive crucifix.) ResAngelo.(1)

pect your God! Cæs. Ha! right nobly battled!

3d Sold. Yes, when he shines in gold. Now, priest! now, soldier! the two great professions, Girl, you but grasp your dowry. Together by the ears and hearts ! I have not

(As he advances, OLIMPIA, with a strong Seen a more comic pantomime since Titus

and sudden effort, casts down the cru Took Jewry. But the Romans had the best then; cifix: it strikes the Soldier, who falls. Now they must take their turn.

3d Sold.

Oh, great God! Soldiers.

He hath escaped! Olimp. Ah! now you recognize him. Follow!

3d Sold.

My brain's crush'd! Another Sold. They have barr’d the narrow pas- Comrades, help, ho! All's darkness! [He dies. And it is clogg'd with dead even to the door.

Other Soldiers (coming up). Slay her, although Cæs. I am glad he hath escaped: he may thank

she had a thousand lives :

She hath killd our comrade. In part. I would not have his bulls abolish'd— Olimp.

Welcomc such a death! ’T were worth one half our empire: his indulgences You have no life to give, which the worst slave Demand some in return;—no, no, he must not

Would take. Great God! through thy redeeming Fall;—and besides, his now escape may furnish

Son, A future miracle, in future proof

And thy Son's Mother, now receive me as [thee! Of his infallibility. [To the Spanish Soldiery. I would approach thee, worthy her, and him, ani Well, cut-throats!

Enter ARNOLD.
What do you pause for ? If you make not haste,
There will not be a link of pious gold left.

Arn. What do I see ? Accursed jackals !
And you, too, catholics! Would ye return

Forbear! From such a pilgrimage without a relic?

Cæs. (aside, and laughing.) Ha! ha! here's The very Lutherans have more true devotion :

equity! The dogs See how they strip the shrines !

Have as much right as he. Bul to the issue! Soldiers.

By holy Peter!

Soldiers. Count, she hath slain our comrade. He speaks the truth; the heretics will bear

Arn.

With what weapon? The best away.

Sold. The cross, beneath which he is crush’d; Cæs. And that were shame! Go to!

behold him Assist in their conversion.

Lie there, more like a worm than man; she cast it [The Soldiers disperse ; many quit the Church, Upon his head. others enter.

Arn.

Even so; there is a woman Cæs.

They are gone,

Worthy a brave man's liking. Were ye such, And others come: so flows the wave on wave Ye would have honour'd her. But get ye hence, Of what these creatures call eternity,

And thank your meanness, other God you have none, Deeming themselves the breakers of the ocean,

For your existence. Had

you touch'd a hair While they are but its bubbles, ignorant

Of those dishevell’d locks, I would have thinn'd That foam is their foundation. So, another! Your ranks more than the enemy. Away,

me for't

(1) The castle of St. Angelo was besieged from the 6th of May this picture of horrors, see especially the Sackage of Rome, by to the 5th of June, during which time, slaughter and desolation, Jacopo Buonaparte, “ gentiluomo Samminialese, che vi se trovo accompanied with every excess of impiety, rapine, and lust, on presente," and Life of Cellini, vol. i. p. 124.-E. the side of the Imperialists, devastated the city of Rome. For

[ocr errors]

Ye jackals! gnaw the bones the lion leaves,

Arn. No, thou know'st me not; I am not But not even these till he permits.

Of these men, though-
A Sold. (murmuring.)

The lion
Olimp.

I judge thee by thy mates; || Migbi conquer for himself then.

It is for God to judge thee as thou art. Arn.(cuts him doron.)

Mutineer! I see thee purple with the blood of Rome; Rebel in hell-you shall obey on earth.

Take mine, 't is all thou e'er shalt have of me,
[The Soldiers assault ARNOLD. And here, upon the marble of this temple,
Arn. Come on! I'm glad on 't: I will show you, Where the baptismal font baptised me God's,
slaves,

I offer him a blood less holy
How you should be commanded, and who led you But not less pure (pure as it left me then,
First o'er the wall you were so shy to scale,

A redeem'd infant) than the holy water
Intil I waved my banners from its height,

The saints have sanctified ! As you are bold within it.

[OLIMPIA waves her hand to ARNOLD with [ARNOLD mows down the foremost, therest disdain, and dashes herself on the pavethrow dowon their arms.

ment from the Allar. Soldiers.

Mercy, mercy!
Arn.

Eternal God!
Arn. Then learn to grant it. Have I taught you I feel thee now. Help, help! She's gone.
Led you o`er Rome's elernal battlements ? [who Cæs. (approaches.)

I am here.
Soldiers. We saw it, and we know it; yet forgive Arn. Thou! but oh, save her!
A moment's error in the heat of conquest-

Cæs. (assisting him to raise OLIMPIA.) She hath The conquest which you led to.

done it well! Arn.

Get you hence! The leap was serious. Hence to your quarters; you will find them fix'd Arn.

Oh! she is lifeless. In the Colonna palace.

Cres.

If Olimp. (aside.) In my father's.

She be so, I have nought to do with that: Hence!

The resurrection is beyond me. Arn. (to the Soldiers.) Leave your arms; ye bave

Arn.

Slave!
No further Reed

Cæs. Ay, slaye or master, 't is all one: methinks Of such : the city srender'd. And mark well

Good words, however, are as well at times.
You keep your hands clean, or I'll find out a stream
As red as Tiber now runs, for your baptism.

Arn. Words !-Canst thou aid her?

Cres. Soldiers (deposing their arms and departing).

I will try. A sprinkling We obey.

Of that same holy water may be useful. Arn.(10 OLIMPIA.) Lady, you are safe.

[He brings some in his helmet from the font. Olimp.

I should be so,

Arn, 'Tis mix'd with blood. Had I a knife even ; but it matters not

Cies.

There is no cleaner now Death hath a thousand gates; and on the marble, In Rome. Even at the altar foot, whence I look down

Arn. How pale ! how beautiful! how lifeless ! Upon destruction, shall my head be dash'd,

Alive or dead, thou essence of all beauty, Ere thou ascend it. God forgive thee, man!

I love but thee! Arn. I wish to merit his forgiveness, ard

Cres.

Even so Achilles loved
Thine own, although I have not injured thee.

Penthesilea : with his form it seems
Olimp. No! Thou hast only sack'd my palive

You have his heart, and yet it was no soft one.
land-

Arn. She breathes! but no, 't was nothing, or the No injury!-and made my father's house

last
A den of thieves. No injury!--this temple-
Slippery with lioman and holy gore.

Faint flulier life disputes with death.
Cres.

She breathes.
No injury! And now thou wouldst preserve me,
To be--but that shall never be!

Arn. Thou say'st it? Then 'tis truth. (She raises her eyes to Heaven, folds her

Caes.

You do me rightrobe round her, and prepares to dash The devil speaks truth much oftener than he 's herself down on the side of the Altar op

deem'd:
posile to that where ARNOLD stande. He hath an ignorant audience.
Arn.

Hold, hold! Arn. (without attending to him). Yes! her

heart beats.
Olimp. Spare thine already forfeit soul

Alas! that the first beat of the only heart
A perjury for which even hell would loathe thee. I ever wish'd to beat with mine should vibrate
I know thee.

To an assassin's pulse.

I swear.

PART III.

SCENE 1.

A Castle in the Apennines, surrounded by a

wild but smiling country. Chorus of Peasants, singing before the Gates.

CHORUS.

Cres.

A sage reflection, But somewhat latei' the day. Where shall we bear

her?
I say she lives.

Arn. And will she live?
Caes.

As much
As dust can.

Arn. Then she is dead !
Cæs.

Bah! bah! You are so,
And do not know it. She will come to life-
Such as you think so, such as you now are;
But we must work by human means.
Arn.

We will
Convey her unto the Colonna palace,
Where I have pitch'd my banner.

Cæs. Come then! raise her up!
Arn. Softly!

Cæs. As softly as they bear the dead,
Perhaps because they cannot feel the jolting.

Arn. But doth she live indeed ?
Cres.

Nay, never fear! But, if you rue it after, blame not me.

Arn, Let her but live!
Cæs.

The spirit of her life
Is yet within her breast, and may revive.
Count! count! I am your servant in all things,
And this is a new office:-'tis not oft
I am employ'd in such; but you perceive
How stanch a friend is what you call a fiend.
On earth you have often only fiends for friends;
Now I desert not mine. Soft! bear her hence,
The beautiful half-clay, and nearly spirit!
I am almost enamour'd of her, as
Of old the angels of her earliest sex.

Arn. Thou!
Cæs. I ! But fear not. I'll not be

your

rival.
Arn. Rival!

Caes. I could be one right formidable;
But since I slew the seven husbands of
Tobias' future bride (and after all
’T was suck'd out by some incense), I have laid
Aside intrigue: 't is rarely worth the trouble
Of gaining, or—what is more difficult
Getting rid of your prize again; for there's
The rub! at least to mortals.
Arn.

Prithee, peace!
Softly! melhinks her lips move, her eyes open!

Cæs. Like stars, no doubt; for that's a metaphor
For Lucifer and Venus.
Arn.

To the palace
Colonna, as I told you!
Cas.

Oh! I know
My way through Rome.
Arn.

Now onward, onward! Gently! (Bxeunt, bearing OLIMPIA. The scene closes.

1.
The wars are over,

The spring is come;
The bride and her lover

Have sought their home:
They are happy, we rejoice;
Let their hearts have an echo in every voice!

2.
The spring is come; the violet 's gone,
The first-born child of the early sun:
With us she is but a winter's flower,
The snow on the hills cannot blast her bower;
And she lifts up her dewy eye of blue
To the youngest sky of the self-same hue.

3.
And when the spring comes with her bost
Of flowers, that flower beloved the most
Shrinks from the crowd that may confuse
Her heavenly odour and virgin hues.

4,
Pluck the others, but still remember
Their herald out of dim December-
The morning star of all the flowers,
The pledge of daylight's lengthen'd hours ;
Nor, ʼmidst the roses, e'er forget
The virgin, virgin violet.

Enter CÆSAR.
Cæs. (singing.) The wars are all over,

Our swords are all idle,

The steed bites the bridle,
The casque's on the wall.
There's rest for the rover;

But his armour is rusty,

And the veteran grows crusty
As he yawns in the hall.

He drinks—but what's drinking !

A mere pause from thinking!
No bugle awakes him with life-and-death call.

CHORUS.

But the hound bayeth loudly,

The boar 's in the wood, And the falcon longs proudly

To spring from her hood: On the wrist of the noble

She sits like a crest, And the air is in trouble

With birds from their nest.

[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

"Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made."

Genesis, chap. iii. verse 1,

TO SIR WALTER SCOTT, BART.
This " Mystery of Cain" is Inscribed,

BY HIS OBLIGED FRIEND AND FAITHFUL SERVANT,

THE AUTHOR.

PREFACE.

mas upon similar subjects, which were styled "Mysteries, or Moralities.” The author has by no

means taken the same liberties wilh his subject The following scenes are entitled A Mystery, in which were common formerly, as may be seen conformity with the ancient tille annexed to dra- by any reader curious enough to refer to those

(1) Cain was begun at Ravenna, on the 16th of July, 18?!- lebrity of ois name to palm upon you obsolete trash, the very offcompleted on the 9th of September—and published, in the same scourings of Bayle and Voltaire, which he has made you pay for volume with Sardanapalus and The Two Foscari, in December. as though it were firsl-rate poetry and sound metaphysics.

Perhaps no production of Lord Byron has been more generally But I tell you (and, if you doubi il, you may consult any of the admired, on the score of ability, than this Mystery; certainly none, literary gentlerren who frequent your reading-room) that this on first appearing, exposed the author io a fiercer tempest of poem, this Mystery, with which you have insulted us, is nothing personal abuse.

more than a cento from Voltaire's novels, and the most objecBesides being unmercifully handled in most of the critical tionable articles in Bayle's Dictionary, served up in clumsy journals of the day, Cain was made the subject of a solemn sepa-cuttings of len syllables, for the purpose of giving it the guise of rate essay, entitled "A remonstrance addressed to Mr. Murray poelry. respecting a recent Publication-by Oxoniensis;" of which we “Still, though Cain has no claims to originality, there are other may here preserve a specimen :

objects to which it may be made subservient; and so well are the "There is a method of producing conviction, not to be found noble author's schemes arranged, that in some of them he wil in any of the treatises on logic, bui which I am persuaded you be sure to succeed. could be quickly made to understand; it is the argumentum ad “ In the first place, this publication may be useful as a financrumenam; and this, I trust, will be brought home to you in cial measure. It may seem hard to suspect, that the bigh-souled a variety of ways; not least, I expect, in the profit you hope 10 philosophy, of which his Lordship makes profession, could be make by the offending publication. As a bookseller, I conclude servile to the influence' of money; but you could tell us, Sir, ir you bave but one standard of poetic excellence—the extent of you would, what sort of hand your noble friend is at a bargain ; your sale. Without assuming any thing beyond the bounds of whether Plutus does not sometimes go shares with A pollo in his ordinary foresight, I venture to foretell, that in this case you inspirations. will be mistaken : the book will disappoint your cupidity, as much “In the second place (second I mean ia point of order, for I as it discredits your feeling and discretion. Your poble em- do not presume to decide which motive predominates in his ployer bas deceived you, Mr. Murray: he has profited by the ce-Lordship's mind), the blasphemous impieties of Cain, though

« PreviousContinue »