The pilgrim still should wend his way alone:

He shuns society-he seeks it not.

Tas. But ere he parts upon his weary journey, He bends once more before the holy shrine,

And mans himself for his uncertain route,

As one no more expecting to return.

Leon. O God! what voice was that? O Heaven! You are

Tas. A buried being from the grave uprisen,

And soon returning to a deeper grave.

Should remove the mask that hides my face,
You'd start before that sight of terror.

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Leon. Unfortunate! Oh, what a recognition!

Must Leonora meet you thus again?

Tas. That which I could not hope for has been granted

Once more my glance can lose itself in yours

Within those deep unfathomable stars,

Within whose ray my soul dissolved like gold,
That grows more pure and sparkling in the fire.
Leon. And know you what you risk?


I know it well.

Nothing I risk, for nothing can I lose.
I go from hence, and something here within me
Whispers, I go to find a better freedom
Than what the Duke's indulgence can accord.
Then, since the moments are already number'd,
Let me arrest them in their flight, and revel
In the remembrance of my vanish'd bliss.

Leon. Oh, that you knew all that I feel and suffer
Tas. I bore within my heart a heavenly image

Of all that brightest was in love and life,
And held it fast in sorrow and in joy.

clung to it in deepest misery;

It was the light that cheer'd my darken'd soul-
Upheld me when the tide of evil fortune

Rose swelling to my very head :—for this

I thank you, Leonora, even in death.

Leon. Nothing have you to thank me for, but grief.
Tas. And if the work I destined for the world
Won for me the applause of worthier spirits,
For that too must I thank you, Leonora.
Then chide me not, if on those days I linger,
Which you perchance would labour to forget.
You have no cause to blush for them, nor I:
That I have lived within your heaven of love,
And tasted of ambrosia; that thus

Divinely charm'd, I deem'd myself a god

I thank thee for it, and till death will thank thee,
Even were I plunged, as was Ixion, when

He raised his eyes unto the bride of Jove,

From bright Olympus down to Tartarus.

Leon. Oh, could I in one word condense my feeling,

Lay bare my being and my life before you!

Tas. To see you once-to loose the bands that held

The lips and heart in sad imprisonment ;

That was the spell that press'd upon my soul-
That was the madness that o'ertook me that

The longing unto death that wasted me!
A milder power has granted me the favour:
I part not now without a last adieu.
And now no more of me. Farewell! and if
You can, forget me. Let me be as buried,
And turn your glance where better days appear.

God make them many-make them happy. Princess,
To-night, I hear, is fix'd for your betrothing,

Leon. Betrothing? Tasso, what a word from you!
Tas. What say you? Not betrothed!

And never will be so-accept my oath.

I am not betrothed,

Tas. O now-support me now, ye heavenly powers!
Leon. So hear me, then, and let my words be taken
As if I spoke them in my dying hour.

Yes! my Torquato, I have loved thee much,

I love thee now, and I will ever love thee!


The same.—LUCRETIA (entering abruptly, seizes LEONORA's hand, and draws her


Luc. Your mask before your face. Fly, fly from hence.
(To Tasso.) And fly you quickly, if you value life.

Tas. Oh, one word more! By all the saints-remain !
Luc. Dare not to follow. If you love her-Hence.

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TASSO. (A MASK meeting him.)

[Hurries out with Leonora.

Tus. What would you? Leave me I must go.

I see you are a pilgrim, who unthinking

Have lost your way; let me then lead you to it.
This house is not the goal to which you travel-
Your course lies far apart indeed. Begone,
And venture never more to cross this threshold.
A giant here keeps watch beside the gate,
Whose club can crush the pilgrim at a blow;
Thank his good-nature that he spares you now.
But let him find you-as he does to-day-
And by my head, your head shall answer it.
Thou miserable fool, will nothing cure thee?
Wilt thou for ever cherish this delusion,
That princes' daughters are fit brides for one
Whose heritage on earth is nothing more
But a crazed brain, a harp, and pilgrim's staff?
Tas. It was my evil spirit's voice that spoke :
Unless my senses wander, 'twas the Duke,

The Third Act introduces us to a
wild and woody country in the neigh-
bourhoood of Sorrento. Tasso and
Angioletta enter.
The poet is on

A word!


his way to his sister's residence, to seek repose beside the only relative that remains to him, and in the expectation

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"That the same earth Should give him burial which first gave him birth." A very beautiful scene takes place between the poet and his devoted companion, in which he pours out his gratitude for the kindness with which she had tended him so far, and urges her to leave him and to return to her

home. Angioletta tells him that his entreaties are in vain-that her destiny and his are indissolubly linked together; and that where he goes she must follow. Tasso resumes

* Sylvester.

Tas. I stand upon the threshold of Sorrento.

A youth I left it-how do I return?

A beggar, sick-scarce master of my mind;
Rejected by the master I had served

And glorified; for with that strain of mine
His fame arose, and with that strain it dies!
By envy stung-disparaged by the Crusca-
My work by plunderers mutilated. So

Returns Torquato Tasso to his home.

Ang. There you will see again your faithful sister; She loved you ever-she will love you still.

Tas. My heart indeed longs for her; 'tis a comfort'Tis a refreshment to my weary soul,

That, when my sun of life shall set at last,

And my day's work is done, one kindred being
Survives, that will consign me to my rest;
Else were it not unlikely that my country-
Which to the living could afford no room-
Might grudge an unpaid grave unto the dead.
Ang. O Tasso-you are bitter!


Bitter! True:

You were companion of my course; you saw
'Twas like to Bacchus's triumphant march:
As he in triumph moved through India,
So I through Italy. The difference
Was only this-that me no panthers drew,

No gay attendants danced before my car.

Ang. If on your way you felt distress-what then? Was not the fault your own? Have you not still Disdain'd to ask assistance from another?

Tas. That have I done; and, by my father's head,
I die the happier that it has been so-

That I have pined in want, and all but perish'd,
Ere I would claim their pity or their gold.
They have no feeling for the pride that dwells
Within a noble breast; and think that all
For gold and glitter may be sold and barter'd.
What prince's court, from Ætna to the Po,
Where I was not of yore an honour'd guest-
Where I was not invited and caress'd

In days gone by! And who now cares for me?
Who asks for Tasso ? Yet they knew full well,
What time I trode the threshold of their states.
The Poet of Jerusalem no more-

For them I was the madman of St Anne's.

Even as men shun the contact of the infected,

So did they shrink from mine, and all because

I was no more the favourite of Ferrara.

Ang. If not the great, at least the people loves you; Have you not found your strains on every lip

Far as Italia's speech extends?

Did not

The boatman chant them to the labouring oar?
Through rock and woodland did they not resound,
Beguiling on his path the muleteer,

As through the mountain clefts he wound his way?
And, would the man that thus their hearts enchanted
Have fail'd to meet a hospitable roof

In every cottage when he knock'd for shelter?

Who bade you knock alone at princes' doors?
The poet's art seeks hearts that feel its power;
And hearts, O Tasso! you have found already,
In princely halls, as in the lowly hut.

Where hearts did beat-by Heaven! they beat for you;
Where hearts beat not- 'tis vain to seek for feeling.

Tos. Yes! Angioletta!~ Yes! I found a heart-

Found it in prison, where I sought it not-
Found it in madness, when my senses wander'd—
I found it on the brink of th' opening grave!

In this part of the play Zedlitz has, dexterously enough, introduced an incident which is said to have actually occurred to Ariosto, while acting as the Duke of Ferrara's commissary in clearing the territory of Garfagnana of banditti. Tasso is attacked by robbers: he draws his sword, and, weak as he is, defends himself with his usual courage. But, at the mention of the name of Tasso, which Angioletta utters in despair, the sword of the captain drops; he asks the forgiveness of Tasso, for having raised his sword against such a man, whose strains had penetrated

even into the fastnesses of the Abruzzi, and found an echo in the rude hearts of banditti. The robbers retire on seeing a group of peasants approaching: they, too, have heard from his servant that the poet of the Jerusalem is approaching, and they come with simple kindness and reverential humi. lity to greet his return to his home. Angioletta asks whether he does not now feel that he is revered by Italy, and that his name is not to pass away into forgetfulness, as he had despondingly anticipated. Tasso replies,—

Tas. I own my error. Man is good and noble
When with himself conversing, and with nature;
As pure as when from her pure hand he came,
His essence unconstrain'd and unperverted,
Untouch'd by the corroding rust of life.
Yes, I will hie me where the heart is fresh,
As in its first young moment of creation;
There where the blood, a pure and living spring,
In joyous free pulsation beats and circles!
Far will I dwell from all the pomp of courts-
Far from the busy nothingness of fools—
Far from the influence of low desires-
From envy, hatred-even from love afar!
There, in the midst of Nature's mighty garden,
Vesuvius with its smoking peak before me,
The sea's broad mirror glittering at my feet,
Where far-off isles like sparkling jewels gleam,
Heaven's azure canopy above me spread-
There from the stream of poesy I'll drink
Once more, ere from my lips the cup be dash'd
For ever there, once more, I'll conjure up
The spirits with the wizard's wand, and try
If they obey me, as they once obey'd.
There, like a prince within my realms, which all
The might of all the mighty takes not from me,
I'll be the being God and nature meant:

My heritage-my crown-shall be my song!"

The Third Act terminates with a touching scene between Tasso and his sister Cornelia, in which he compares the relief from his sufferings, which he experiences in her society, to the respite which Orestes obtains from the attacks of the Furies, when encircled by the arms of Electra.

In the Fourth Act his situation, after a residence of some time at Sorrento, is thus described in a conversation between Cornelia and Angioletta.

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Cor. He moves with strange composure tow'rds the grave,
And like a man who sets his house in order,
Before he sails upon a distant voyage,
With care and zeal incessant, he essays

To leave unto the world, in worthiest shape,

His work-his lasting legacy of fame.

Ang. The sun's last rays, that soon will set for him,
Already gild the evening of his life.

His fame is heard, far as our tongue extends,

Wide o'er Italia's borders, far and near.
The cloud which envy, malice, calumny,
And party spirit cast around his fame
Is dissipated; and his shining form
Stands wrapt in glory for eternity.

A parting gleam, however, is destined to be shed upon the close of his troubled life. The arrival of Cardinal Aldobrandini at Sorrento is announced. He comes to communicate to Tasso the invitation of Clement the VIII., that the poet would repair to Rome, and receive the laurel crown in the Capitol, in token of the respect and gratitude of his country. His persecutions from Alfonso and from the Della Crusca are at an end; and all unite in proffering to the poet their tardy reparation for the sufferings he had undergone.

Tas. Am I awake? or does the ancient night,
That once enveloped me, return again?

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The sacred laurel shall surround my head-
"The laurel, meed of mighty conquerors,"
And kings and heroes? How can I believe it?
Shall that which floated in bright dreams before me
Unfold itself in fair reality?

That the world deems me worthy of such honour,

And that the after-world should recognise

Their sentence-this, I own, appears an object

Worthy a man's whole life, a cast whereon

To stake the whole revenues of the soul.

And I-where thousands fail'd-I have attain'd it

My solitary head stands out in light!

Call me not vain, if images like these

Float by, like light and many-coloured clouds

Before the glowing spirit's inner eye!

Ald. Fear it not, friend! How should I not conceive

That you are conscious of your own deserving?

That is not vanity, and pride becomes you.

Tas. He is no poet whom reward inspires;
But he, who casts not looks of eager longing
Towards the star of fame that shines above him,
He, too, my honour'd lord-he, too, is none.

Ald. Alas! it shines not always on the worthy.
Oft merit meets not fortune-fortune merit:
But here, at least, the fitting man is found.

Tas. I've been so long estranged from princely favour,

So long unused to aught of outward honour,

Its beams fall on me, as upon the blind

Falls the unwonted light-it dazzles me.

Ald. A prince-I speak of one, my worthy Tasso,

In disposition princely-one who wears

His crown within his heart-he knows full well
That all the pomp that may surround his name
Dies with his dust. The fairest of renown,
Perhaps the only one that can survive,

Is when he spreads the light of mind throughout

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