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Enter the Abbot.

Abbot. Where is your master?

Her. Yonder, in the tower.

Abbot. I must speak with him.

Manuel 'T is impossible;

He is most private, and must not be thus
Intruded on.

Abbot. Dpon myself I take

The forfeit of my fault, if fault there be —
But I must see him.

Her. Thou hast seen him once

This eve already.

Abbot Herman! I command thee,

Knock, and apprize the Count of my approach.

Her. We dare not.

Abbot. Then it seems I must be herald

Of my own purpose.

ManueL Reverend father, stop —

I pray you pause.

Abbot. Why so?

ManueL But step this way,

And I will tell you further. [Exeunt.

Interior of the Tower.
Manfred alone.
The stars are forth, the moon above the tops
Of the snow-shining mountains. —Beautiful!
I linger yet with Nature, for the Night
Hath been to me a more familiar face
Than that of man; and in her starry shade
Of dim and solitary loveliness,
I learn'd the language of another world.
I do remember me, that in my youth,
When I was wandering,—upon such a night
I stood within the Coliseum's wall, *
Midst the chief relics of almighty Rome;
The trees which grew along the broken arches
Waved dark in the blue midnight, and the stars
Shone through the rents of ruin; from afar
The watch-dog bay'd beyond the Tiber; and
More near from out the Csssars' palace came
The owl's long cry, and, interruptedly,
Of distant sentinels the fitful song
Began and died upon the gentle wind.
Some cypresses beyond the time-worn breach
Appear'd to skirt the horizon, yet they stood

Re-enter Manuel and Herman, bearing Manfred m their arm*.

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 I some water there!

Her. His cheek, is block — but there is a Taint beat
Still lingering about the heart. Some water.

[They sprinkle Manfred with water: ajler a pause,
lie gives some signs of life.
Manuel. He seems to strive to speak—come — cheerlv.

He moves his tips — canst hear him? 1 am old.
And cannot catch Taint sounds.

[herman inclining his head and listening.

Her. 11 near a word

Or two — but indistinctly — what is next 'f
What '* to be done? let's hear him to the castle.

[manfred motions with his hand not to remove him.

Manuel. He disapproves — and 1 were oT no avail — He changes rapidly.

Her. *T wilt soon be over.

Manuel. Oil 1 what a death is this 1 that I should live To shake my gray hairs over the last chieT Of the house of Sigismund. — And such a death! Alone — we know not how — unshrived — untended —

Within a bowshot. Where the Caesars dwelt.

And dwell the tuneless birds of night, amidst

A grove which springs through levell'd battlements,

And twines its roots with the imperial hearths,

Ivy usurps the laurel's place of growth;

But the gladiators' bloody Circus stands,

A noble wreck in ruinous perfection,

While Casar's chambers, and the Augustan halls,

Grovel on earth in indistinct decay. —

And thou didst shine, thou rolling moon, upon

All this, and cast a wide and tender light,

Which soften'd down the hoar austerity

Of rugged desolation, and fill'd up,

As 'twere anew, the gaps of centuries;

Leaving that beautiful which still was so.

And making that which was not, till the place

Became religion, and the heart ran o'er

With silent worship of the great of old, —

The dead but sceptred sovereigns, who still rule

Our spirits from their urns.

'T was such a night! 'Tis strange that I recall it at this time; But I have found our thoughts take wildest flight Even at the moment when they should array Themselves in pensive order.

Enter the Abbot.

Abbot. My good lord:

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
May light upon your head—could I say heart
Could I touch that, with words or prayers, I should
Recall a noble spirit which hath wander'd;
But is not yet all lost.

Man. Thou know'st me not;

My days are number'd, and my deeds recorded:
Retire, or 'twill be dangerous—Away!

Abbot. Thou dost not mean to menace me?

Man. Not I;

I simply tell thee peril is at hand,
And would preserve thee.

Abbot. What dost mean?

Man. Look there!

What dost thou see?

Abbot. Nothing.

Man. Look there, I say,

And stedfastly;—now tell me what thou seest.

With strange accompaniments and fearful signs —
I shudder at the sight — but must not leave him.
Manfred {speaking faintly and slowly). Old man 1 "til
not so difficult to die.

[manfrbo having said this expires.
Her. His eyes are fixed and liTeless. — He is gone. -—

- _Is eyes t

Manuel. Close them. — My old band quivers— He departs—

Whither? I dread to think — but he Is gone 1]

1 [The opening of this scene Is, perhaps, the finest in the drama; and its solemn, calm, and majestic cj throws an air of grandeur over the catastrophe, which was in danger oT appearing extravagant, and somewhat too much iu the style of the " Devil and Dr. Faustus."— Wilsox.3

3 [M Drove at midnight to sec the Coliseum by moonlight: but what can I say of the Coliseum? It must be seen; to describe it 1 should have thought impossible, if 1 bad not read 'Manfred.* To see it aright, as the Poet of the North te';s us of the fair Melrose, one 4 must see it by the pale moonlight.' The stillness of night, the whispering echoes., the moonlight shadows, and the awful grandeur of the impending ruins, form a scene of romantic sublimity, such as Byrou alone could describe as it deserves. His description is toe very thing itself." — Mattukwh'* Diary of an Japali-1.2

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