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You alone, it seems, speak truth.
For before the word were utter'd,
Or imagined, or conceived,
Would your lifeblood stain my sword!
Don Luis raises the table in order to barricade the secret passage, in doing which he discovers Cosme. "This, then, is the servant for whom you were waiting!" he exclaims, with a sneer, to Don Manuel. "Believe what you please," answers Don Manuel, "the time is past for explanations." The question now is-how Cosme is
to be disposed of during the combat, so as to prevent his interfering on the side of his master; a precaution which the valet assures both parties is a very needless one. Don Manuel, however, locks him up in a kind of press within the alcove, and returns to meet his opponent.
D. Man. Now we are alone together.
[They fight.-DON LUIS loses the guard of his sword.
'D. Man. Never saw I cooler fencing!
D. Luis. Never saw I stronger force!
I am left unarm'd. My weapon
Useless is without a guard.
D. Man. 'Tis not from defect of valour;
'Tis the accident of fortune.
Go, and seek another sword.
D. Luis. You are courteous, you are valiant. (Aside.) O my fate! What course is left me, In a moment so perplexing;
Since he takes my honour from me,
Gives me life, and conquers me?
To retire till I decide
What amidst these doubts to do.
D. Man. Go you for a weapon?
D. Luis. Yes, if you will wait my coming,
I shall soon return with one.
D. Man. Soon or late, I wait you here.
D. Luis, Fare you well, then; God protect you.
[Exit by the principal door.
D. Man. Fare you well, too; God be with you, (locks the door.)
Thus I lock the door, withdrawing
Thence the key, that none discover
Any one remains within.
What confused imaginations
Combat in my thoughts, perplexing
With their changing shapes my reason!
That there was some secret entrance,
Cosme. (from the recess.) Gentle master, I entreat you
Let me out again; I tremble
Lest the Goblin come to seek me,
Where the walls are scarce divided.
[He goes into the Alcove to let him out. The centre door opens. DON JUAN brings in ANGELA veiled.-Both remain in the back. ground.
Don Juan. Here you shall remain till I
Which, at such an hour, had drawn you
At the door, I'll place a servant
To instruct him not to enter.
D. Ang. (alone.) Ah! unhappy! woe is me!
upon another follow
My misfortunes. I am dying.
DON MANUEL and COSME enter from the recess without seeing Angela.
Cos. That this woman is the devil,
And that even here she'll plague me.
D. Man. Since we know now who she is,
And one door is by the table
Barr'd, the other by the key,
How, pray, would you have her enter ?
Cos. Any way that suits her pleasure.
D. Man. You are crazy.
Cos. (turning round and seeing D. ANGELA.) Lord have mercy!
D. Man. Art thou shadow or illusion,
Woman, that dost haunt me so?
Say, how have you enter'd here?
D. Ang. Don Manuel!
Attend and listen.
Don Luis knock'd ;-in haste
My chamber enter'd; then his steps retraced;
Discreetly thought, and oft the thought rejected;
And then with light, he saw thee, and pursuing,
The sound of blows, not words,
Was heard, for in the place of tongues were swords.
I, who too well divined
That when two cavaliers were thus confined,
When wrath and valour prompted the dispute,
And swords were eloquent, though lips were mute;
Less than the death of one, the other's life,-
Amidst night's dusky stillness, fled from hence;
Fit image of my own dark fortunes made,)
Here stumbling, falling there, and here astray,
A prison in the silk that wrapt me round.
I reach'd (by my distraction ill-directed)
Of my confinement, when it should have been
But ah! what refuge need misfortune court!-
(How fast the heavens rain ills upon our head)
For oh! no longer need I strive to smother
This very silence 'twas that leaves me here
Strange that a woman e'er should have to say
Yet such I am, and silence proves my ruin.
Beside this door he stood
Waiting, O heaven! while I, by fear pursued,
(A snow volcano or an Alp of flame ;)
He by the scanty light,
With which a gentle moonbeam cheer'd the night,
And like a moth he flutter'd to his flame,
Found the poor shadow of his star in me.
Who of a jealous lover could believe
That, seeking cause for such, he should perceive
Some ill so infinitely worse,
As to deem jealousy the lighter curse!
He tried to speak, the words refused to come,
For deep anxiety is ever dumb.
At last, in words of woe,
That faint and faltering from his lips did flow,
Borne swiftly from the tongue,
He did demand the reason of his wrong.
I strove to answer still,
(I've said that feeling finds not words at will,)
Was terror such as mine to sharpen wit.
It comes not, or it never comes in time,
"First blot upon our honour'd ancestry,
"In this safe spot secluded and secured;
"The author and occasion of my wrong."
The sight of thee to cheer my grief has given.
That made me as a phantom flit before thee:
That made my breast my passion's prison be;
Whose bosom-worth, like yours, could fail to move,
Who, face to face, could speak her passion forth.
My aim to win thy love, my fear to lose thee,
My effort to preserve thee,
My life to pleasure thee, my soul to serve thee;
My heart's desire to love thee,
And these the tears which now I shed, to move thee
To shelter me, to shield me, and befriend.
D. Man. My ills are hydras, since they still contrive
What in this darkness shall I do?
My thoughts a labyrinth without a clue!
What will it be when honour is at stake?
She is his sister. If I then endeavour
To set her free, and with my blood to save her,
Committing to my sword her exculpation,
That were an aggravation
For that were to proclaim
That I had stain'd his honour'd house with shame,
Since he must find me here:-and yet t' accuse
A loving lady in mine own excuse,
And lay the blame upon her
Of such a step, revolts against my honour.
What course then can I see?
Defending her I should a traitor be:
Heartless if I forsake her,
A faithless guest if from her home I take her;
A thankless friend if I protect and shield her;
To friendship faithless if I interfere,
To love ungrateful if I leave her here!
Hard fate besets me, dying let me say,
I am a nobleman-rely on me.
He places Dona Angela behind him, and awaits the return of Don Luis, who enters with another weapon. He comes, however, only with the
intention of depositing his sword at Don Manuel's feet, and owning himself vanquished by his courtesy. But the sight of Angela in the apartment
revives his rage: he rejoices at having found a justification for renewing the combat, and lifting his sword from the ground again challenges Don Manuel.
An explanation now ensues; Don Manuel relates in what way Angela had entered his apartment, and arms his resolution at all hazards to protect her. "That right belongs to none," replies Don Luis, "but her brother
or her husband." Don Manuel presenting his hand to Angela, expresses his readiness to acquire a husband's right to protect her: Don Luis acquiesces: while Don Juan and Beatrice enter just in time to witness this happy solution of events which were assuming so tragical a complexion, and to congratulate Don Manuel on union with THE GOBLIN LADY.
SIR WALTER SCOTT AT THE TOMB OF THE STUARTS IN ST PETER'S.*
EVE's tinted shadows slowly fill the fane
A sculptured tomb of regal heads discrown'd,
But purpled mantle, and blood-crimson'd shroud,
Are gone, like dreams by daylight disallow'd;
A few more moments, and that labouring brow
When Sir Walter Scott was at Rome, the year of his death, the history and localities of the Stuarts seemed to absorb all other objects of his interest. The circumstance of this poem fell within the observation of the writer.