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Pen No, no, found out foul murder ever is, (Enter men, bearing the body of Rezenvelt, And the foul murderer too.
covered with a white cloth, and set it down in 2d Nun. The good Saint Francis will direct their the middle of the room: they then uncover it. search;
De Monfort stands fired and motionless with The blood so near this holy convent shed
horror, only that a sudden shivering seems to For threefold vengeance calls.
pass over him when they uncover the corpse. Abb. I hear a noise within the inner court
The Abbess and Nuns shrink back and retire They are return'd; (listening ;) and Bernard's to sme distance, all the rest fixing their eyes voice I hear:
steadfastly upon De Monfort. A long pause.) They are return'd.
Bern. (to De Mon.) Seest thou that lifeless Pen. Why do I tremble so ?
corpse, those bloody wounds ? It is not I who ought to tremble thus.
See how he lies, who but so shortly since 2d Nun. I hear them at the door.
A living creature was, with all the powers Bern. (without.) Open the door, I pray thee, Of sense, and motion, and humanity! brother Thomas;
O! what a heart had he who did this deed! I cannot now unhand the prisoner.
1st Monk. (looking at the body.) How hard those (All speak together, shrinking back from the
teeth against the lips are press'd, door, and staring upon one another.)
As though he struggled still! He is with them!
2d Monk. The bands, too, clench'd: the last (A folding door at the bottom of the stage is the bottom of the stage is
efforts of nature. opened, and enter Bernard, Thomas, and the (De Monfort still stands motionless. Brother other two Monks, carrying lanterns in their Thomas then goes to the body, and raising up hands and bringing in De Monfort. They the head a little, turns it toward De Monfort.) are likewise followed by other Monks. As they Thom. Know'st thou this ghastly face? lead forward De Monfort, the light is turned De Mon. (putting his hands before his face in away, so that he is seen obscurely; but when
violent perturbation.) O do not ! do not ! they come to the front of the stage, they turn
Veil it from my sight! the light side of their lanterns on him at once, Put me to any agony but this! and his face is seen in all the strengthened Thom. Ha! dost thou then confess the dreadful horror of despair, with his hands and clothes
deed bloody. Abbess and Nuns speak at once, and Hast thou against the laws of awful Heaven start back.)
Such horrid murder done? What fiend could tempt Holy saints be with us!
thee? Bern. (to Abb.) Behold the man nf blood !
(Pauses and looks steadfastly at De Monfort.) Abb. Of misery too; I cannot look upon him. De Mon. I hear thy words, but do not hear their Bern. (to Nuns.) Nay, holy sisters, turn not thus
Hast thou not cover'd it? Speak to him, if, perchance, he will regard you: Bern. (to Thom.) Forbear, my brother, for thou For from his mouth we have no utterance heard,
seest right well Save one deep groan and smother'd exclamation, | He is not in a state to answer thee. When first we seized him.
Let us retire and leave him for a while. Abb. (to De Mon.) Most miserable man, how art These windows are with iron grated o'er; thou thus?
(Pauses.) | He is secured, and other duty calls. Thy tongue is silent, but those bloody hands
Thom. Then let it be. Do witness horrid things. What is thy name? Bern. (to Monks, &c.) Come, let us all depart. De Mon. (roused, looks steadfastly at the Abbess 'EXEUNT Abbess and Nups, followed by the
for some time, then speaking in a short Monks. One Monk lingering a little behind.) hurried voice.) I have no name.
De Mon. All gone! (Perceiving the Monk.) O Abb. (to Bern.) Do it thyself; I'll speak to him
stay thou here! no more.
It must not be. Pen. O holy saints ! that this should be the man De Mon. I'll give thee gold ; I'll make thee rich Who did against his fellow lift the stroke,
in gold, Whilst he so loudly call’d. —
If thou wilt stay e'en but a little while.
I do conjure thee! Pen. No, he did call, but now his voice is still'd. Monk. I dare not stay with thee. (Going.) 'Tis past.
And wilt thou go? De Mon. 'Tis past.
(Catching hold of him eagerly.) Pen. Yes, it is past! art thou not he who did it? O! throw thy cloak upon this grisly form! (De Monfort utters a deep groan, and is supported The unclosed eyes do stare upon me still.
from falling by the Monks. A noise is heard O do not leave me thus! without.)
Monk covers the body, and Exit. Abb. What noise is this of heavy lumbering steps, | De Mon. (alone, looking at the covered body, but Like men who with a weighty burden come?
at a distance.) Alone with thee! but Bern. It is the body: I have orders given
thou art nothing now. That here it should be laid.
1 'Tis done, 'tis number'd with the things o'erpast;
Would, would it were to come
And seest thou not that motion of his hands? What fated end, what darkly gathering cloud He stands like one who hears a horrid tale. Will close on all this horror?
Almighty God! (Manuel goes into the convent.) O that dire madness would unloose my thoughts,
He comes not back; he enters. And fill my mind with wildest fantasies,
Freb. Bear up, my noble friend. Dark, restless, terrible ! aught, aught but this! Jane. I will, I will! But this suspense is dread(Pauses and shudders.) |
ful. How with convulsive life he heaved beneath me, I (A long pause. Manuel re-enters from the Een with the death's wound gored! O horrid, convent, and comes foruard slowly with a sad horrid !
countenance.) Methinks I feel him still.-What sound is that? Is this the face of one who bears good tidings! I heard a smother'd groan.-It is impossible! To God! his face doth tell the horrid fact;
(Looking steadfastly at the body.) There is naught doubtful here. It moves! it moves! the cloth doth heave and Freb,
How is it, Manuel ? swell.
Man. I've seen him through a crevice in his door: It moves again! I cannot suffer this
It is indeed my master. (Bursting into tears.) Whate'er it be, I will uncover it.
(Jane faints, and is supported by Freberg.) (Runs to the corpse, and tears of the cloth in Enter Abbess and several Nuns from the convent, who despair.)
gather about her, and apply remedies. She recovera. All still beneath.
18i Nun. The life returns again. Naught is there here but fix'd and grisly death. 2d Nun.
Yes, she revives. - How sternly fix'd! 0! those glazed eyes !
Abb. (to Freb.) Let me entreat this noble lady's They look upon me still.
leave (Shrinks back with horror.) To lead her in. She seems in great distress . Come, madness! come unto me, senseless death! We would with holy kindness soothe her wo, I cannot suffer this! Here, rocky wall,
And do by her the deeds of Christian love. Scatter these brains, or dull them!
Freb. Madam, your goodness has my grateful (Runs furiously, and, dashing his head against
thanks. the rall, falls upon the floor.)
EXEUNT, supporting Jane into the convent, Enter two Monks hastily.
SCERE IV. DE DION FORT IS DISCOVERED SITTING IN 1st Monk. See ; wretched man, he hath destroy'd
A THOUGHTFUL POSTURE. HE REMAINS SO TOR bimself.
SOME TIME. HIS FACE AFTERWARD BEGINS TO 2d Monk. He does but faint. Let us remove him APPEAR AGITATED, LIKE ONE WHOSE MIND IS hence.
HARROWED WITH THE SEVEREST THOUGHTS;
THEN, STARTING FROM HIS SEAT, HE CLASPS HIS 1st Monk. We did not well to leave him here
HANDS TOGETHER, AND HOLDS THEM UP TO alone.
HEAVEN. 2d Monk. Come, let us bear him to the open air.
De Mon. ( that I ne'er had known the light of (EXEUNT, bearing out De Monfort.
day! SCENE III.-BEFORE THE GATES OF THE CONVENT. That filmy darkness on mine eyes had hung, Enter JANE DE MONFORT, FREBERG, and MANUEL. As
And closed me out from the fair face of nature ! they are proceeding towards the gate, Jane stops short
To that my mind in mental darkness pent, and shrinks back.
Had no perception, no distinction known, Freb. Ha! wherefore? has a sudden illness
Of fair, or foul, perfection, or defect, seized thee?
Nor thought conceived of proud pre-eminence! Jane. No, no, my friend. And yet I'm very
O that it had ! ( that I had been form'd faint
An idiot from the birth! a senseless changeling, I dread to enter here.
Who eats his glutton's meal with greedy haste, Man. Ay, so I thought:
Nor knows the hand who feeds him.For, when between the trees, that abbey tower
(Pauses ; then, in a calmer, sorrowful voice.) First show'd its top, I saw your countenance
What am I now ? how ends the day of life? change.
For end it must; and terrible this gloom, But breathe a little here; I'll go before,
This storm of horrors that surrounds its close.
This little term of nature's agony
Will soon be o'er, and what is past is past :
But shall I then, on the dark lap of earth Courage, dear madam: all may yet be well.
Lay me to rest, in still unconsciousness, Rezenvelt's servant, frighten'd with the storm, Like senseless clod that doth no pressure fee! And seeing that his master join'd him not,
From wearing foot of daily passenger ; As by appointment, at the forest edge,
Like steeped rock o'er which the breaking waves Might be alarm'd, and give too ready ear
Bellow and foam unheard ? O would I could ! To an unfounded rumour.
Enter MANUEL, who springs forward to his master, but He saw it not; he came not here himself.
is checked upon perceiving DE MONFORT draw back Jane. (looking eagerly to the gate, where Manuel and look sternly ai him.
talks with the Porter.) Ha! see, he talks! Man. My lord, my master! O my dearest master! with some one earnestly,
| (De Monfort still looks at him without speaking."
Nay, lo not thus regard me, good my lord ! And in the rougher path of ripen'd years
And terrible the storm that gathers o'er us ;
Which severs thee from nature, shall unloose De Mon. (tossing his arm over his head in an This fix'd and sacred hold. In thy dark prisonagony.) This is too much! All I can bear
In the terriffic face of armed law;
I never will forsake thee.
De Mon. (looking at her with admiration.) I am a man of holy claims bereft;
Heaven bless thy generous soul, my noble Out of the pale of social kindred cast;
Jane! Nameless and horrible.
I thought to sink beneath this load of ill, Tell her De Monfort far from hence is gone Depress'd with infamy and open shame ; Into a desolate and distant land,
I thought to sink in abject wretchedness : Ne'er to return again. Fly, tell her this;
But for thy sake I'll rouse my manhood up, For we must meet no more.
And meet it bravely ; no unseemly weakness,
I feel my rising strength, shall blot my end, Enter JANE DE MONFORT, bursting into the chamber, To clothe thy cheek with shame. and followed by FREBERG, ABBess, and several Nuns.
Jane. Yes, thou art noble still. Jane. We must! we must! My brother, O my! De Mon. With thee I am ; who were not so with brother!
thee? (De Monfort turns away his head and hides his But ah ! my sister, short will be the term.
face with his arm. Jane stops short, and, Death's stroke will come, and in that state beyond,
Is from the murderer's guilt, far shall we be.
Jane. The God who made thee is a God of mercy; 'De Monfort turns round and looks sortourfully | Think upon this.
upon her; she opens her arms to him, and he, De Mon. (shaking his head.) No, no! this blood! rushing into them, hides his face upon her
this blood! breast and weeps.)
Jane. Yes, e'en the sin of blood may be forgiven, Jane. Ay, give thy sorros vent; here mayst | When humble penitence hath once atoned. thou weep.
De Mon. (eagerly.) What, after terms of lengthDe Mon. (in broken accents.) O! this, my sister,
en'd misery, makes me feel again
Imprison'd anguish of tormented spirits, The kindness of affection.
Shall I again, a renovated soul, My mind has in a dreadful storm been tost; Into the blessed family of the good Horrid and dark.-I thought to weep no more. Admittance have? Think'st thou that this may be ? l're done a deed-But I am human still.
Speak if thou canst: () speak me comfort here! Jane. I know thy sufferings : leave thy sorrow For dreadful fancies, like an armed host, free:
Have push'd me to despair. It is most horribleThou art with one who never did upbraid; O speak of hope ! If any hope there be. Who mourns, who loves thee still.
(Jane is silent, and looks sorrowfully upon him; De Mon. Ah ! sayst thou so? no, no; it should then clasping her hands, and turning her eyes not be.
to heaven, seems to mutter a prayer.) (Shrinking from her.) I am a foul and bloody mural De Mon. Ha! dost thou pray for me? Heaven
hear thy prayer! For such embrace unmeet : O leave me! leave me! I fain would kneel.–Alas! I dare not do it. Disgrace and public shame abide me now;
Jane. Not so ! all by th’ Almighty Father form’d, A.id all, alas! who do my kindred own,
May in their deepest misery call on him. The direful portion share.-Away, away!
Come, kneel with me, my brother. Shall a disgraced and public criminal
(She kneels and prays to herself ; he kneels by Degrade thy name, and claim affinity
her, and clasps his hands fervently, but speaks Tu noble worth like thine ? -I have no name
not. A noise of chains clanking is heard i'm nothing now, not e'en to thee ; depart.
without, and they both rise.) (She takes his hand, and grasping it firmly, | De Mon. Hearst thou that noise? They come speaks with a determined voire.)
to interrupt us. Jane. De Monfort, hand in hand we have enjoy's Jane. (moving towards a side door.) Then let us The playful term of infancy together ;
enter here. 45
De Mon, (catching hold of her with a look of De Mon. Well, I am ready, sir.
horror.) Not there-not there--the corpse (Approaching Jane, whom the Abbess is endeathe bloody corpse !
vouring to comfort, but to no purpose.) Jane. What, lies he there ?-Unhappy Rezen- Ah! wherefore thus ! most honour'd and most dear? velt?
Shrink not at the accoutrements of ill, De Mon. A sudden thought has come across my Daring the thing itself. mind;
(Endeavour ing io look cheerful.) How came it not before? Unhappy Rezenvelt! Wilt thou permit me with a gyved hand? Sayst thou but this ?
(She gives her hand, which he raises to his lips.) Jane. What should I say? he was an honest This was my proudest office. man;
[EXEUNT, De Monfort leading out Jane. I still have thought him such, as such lament him.
(De Monfort utters a deep groan.) SCENE V.-AN APARTMENT IN THE CONVENT, OPENWhat means this heavy groan?
ING INTO ANOTHER ROOM, WHOSE LOW, ARCHED De Mon.
DOOR IS SEEN IN THE BOTTOM OF THE STAGE. IX It hath a meaning.
ONE CORNER A MONK IS SEEN KNEELING. Enter ABBESS and Monks, with two OFFICERS of justice
Enter another Monk, who, on perceiving him, stops till carrying setters in their hands to put upon DE MONFORT.
he rises from his knees, and then goes eagerly up to Jane. (starting.) What men are these ?
him. 1st Off. Lady, we are the servants of the law,
1st Monk. How is the prisoner ? And bear with us a power, which doth constrain
22 Monk. (pointing to the door.) He is within, To bind with fetters this our prisoner.
and the strong hand of death (Pointing to De Monfort.) | Is dealing with him. Jane. A stranger uncondemn'd? this cannot be. 1st Monk.
How is this, good brother? 1st Off. As yet, indeed, he is by law unjudged, Methought he braved it with a manly spirit; But is so far condemo'd by circumstance,
And led, with shackled hands, bis sister forth, That law, or custom sacred held as law,
Like one resolved to bear misfortune bravely. Doth fully warrant us, and it must be.
2d Monk. Yes, with heroic courage, for a while Jane. Nay, say not so; he has no power t’escape: He scem'd inspired; but, soon depress'd again, Distress hath bound him with a heavy chain ;
Remorse and dark despair o'erwhelm'd his soul : There is no need of yours.
And, from the violent working of his mind, 1st Off. We must perform our office.
Some stream of life within his breast has burst; Jane. O! do not offer this indignity!
For many a time, within a little space, 1st Off. Is it indignity in sacred law
The ruddy tide has rush'd into his mouth. To bind a murderer ? (To 2d Officer.) Come, do thy God grant his pains be short ! work.
How does the lady? Jane. Harsh are thy words, and stern thy bar- 2d Monk. She sits and bears his head upon her den'd brow;
lap, Dark is thine eye ; but all some pity have Wiping the cold drops from his ghastly face Unto the last extreme of misery.
With such a look of tender wretchedness, I do beseech thee! if thou art a man
It wrings the heart to see her.
(Kneeling to him.) How goes the night? (De Monfort, roused at this, runs up to Jane, 1st Monk. It wears, methinks, upon the midnight and raises her hastily from the ground: then
hour. stretches himself up proudly.)
It is a dark and fearful night: the moon De Mon. (to Jane.) Stand thou erect in native Is wrapp'd in sable clouds ; the chill blast sounds dignity;
Like dismal lamentations. Ay, who knows And bend to none on earth the suppliant knee, That voices mix with the dark midnight winds? Though clothed in power imperial. To my heart Nay, as I pass'd that yawning cavern's mouth, It gives a feller gripe than many irons.
A whispering sound, unearthly, reach'd my ear, (Holding out his hands.) Here, officers of law, bind And o'er my head a chilly coldness crept. on those shackles ;
Are there not wicked fiends and damned sprites, And, if they are too light, bring beavier chains. Whom yawning cbarnels, and th’unfathom'd depths
Whom vawning charnels, and th’unfathe
The murderer's death-bed, at his fatal term, (A long pause, whilst they put irons upon him. Ready to hail with dire and horrid welcome,
After they are on, Jane looks at him sorrow- Their future mate ?-I do believe there are. fully, and lets her head sink on her breast.! 22 Monk. Peace, peace ! a God of wisdom and of De Monfort stretches out his hand, looks at
mercy, them, and then at Jane; crosses them over his Veils from our sight-Ha! hear that heavy groan. breast, and endeavours to suppress his feel
(A groan heard within.) ings.)
1st Monk. It is the dying man. 1st Off. I have it, too, in charge to move you
(Another groan.) hence,
(To De Monfort.) 2d Monk. God grant him rest! Into another chamber more secure.
(Listening at the door.)
I hear him struggling in the gripe of death.
Enter MANUEL and JEROME. O pitecus heaven!
rom the door.)
Man. (pointing.) Here, my good Jerome, here's Enter Brother Thomas from the chamber.
a piteous sight. How now, good brother?
1. Jer. A piteous sight! yet I will look upon him : Thom. Retire, my friends. O many a bed of
I'll see his face in death. Alas, alas ! death
I've seen him move a noble gentleman; With all its pangs and horrors I have seen,
And when with vexing passion undisturbid, But never aught like this! Retire, my friends;
He look'd most graciously. The death-bell will its awful signal give,
(Lifts up in mistake the cloth from the body of When he has breathed his last.
Rezenvelt, and starts back with horror.)
Oh! this was the bloody work! Oh, oh! oh, oh! I would move hence, but I am weak and faint:
That human hands could do it! Let me a moment on thy shoulder lean. 0, weak and mortal man !
(Drops the cloth again.)
Man. That is the murder'd corpse ; here lies De (Leans on second Monk: a pause.) 1
(Going to uncover the other body.) 2d Monk. (to Bern.) How is your penitent?
Jer. (turning away his head.) No, no ! I cannot Bern. He is with Him who made him ; him, who
look upon him now.
Man. Didst thou not come to see him? knows The soul of man: before whose awful presence
Jer. Fy! cover him-inter him in the dark Th’unsceptred tyrant, simple, helpless, stands
Let no one look upon him. Like an unclothed babe.
Bern. (To Jer.) Well dost thou show the abThe dismal sound!
horrence nature feels
For deeds of blood, and I commend thee well. Retire and pray for the blood-stain'd soul: May heaven have mercy on him! (Bell tolls again.)
In the most ruthless heart compassion wakes
For one, who, from the hand of fellow man, [EXEUNT.
Hath felt such cruelty. SCENE VI.-A HALL OR LARGE ROOM IN THE CON
(Uncovering the body of Rezenvelt.) VENT. THE BODIES OF DE MONFORT AND REZEN This is the murder'd corse : VELT ARE DISCOVERED LAID OUT UPON A LOW
(Uncovering the body of De Monfort) TABLE OR PLATFORM, COVERED WITH BLACK.
But see, I pray! FREBERG, BERNARD, ABBESS, MONKS, AND NUNS ATTENDING.
Here lies the murderer. What think'st thou here?
Look on those features, thou hast seen them oft, Abb. (to Freb.) Here must they lie, my lord, | With the last dreadful conflict of despair, until we know
So fix'd in horrid strength. Respecting this the order of the law.
See those knit brows; those hollow sunken eyes; Fred. And you have wisely done, my reverend
The sharpen'd nose, with nostrils all distent; mother.
That writhed mouth, where yet the teeth appear, (Goes to the table, and looks at the bodies, but
In agony, to gnash the nether lip. without uncovering them.)
Think'st thou, less painful than the murderer's. Unhappy men ! ye, both in nature rich,
knife With talents and with virtues were endued.
Was such a death as this Ye should have loved, yet deadly rancour came, Ay, and how changed too those matted locks ! And in the prime and manhood of your days
Jer. Merciful heaven ! his hair is grisly grown, Ye sleep in horrid death. O direful hate!
Changed to white age, that was, but too days since, What shame and wretchedness his portion is,
Black as the raven's plume. How may this be? Who, for a secret inmate, harbours thee!
Bern. Such change, from violent conflict of the And who shall call him blameless, who excites,
mind, Ungenerously excites, with careless scorn,
Will sometimes come, Such baleful passion in a brother's breast,
Alas, alas ! most wretched ! Whom heaven commands to love? Low are yel Thou wert too good to do a cruel deed, laid:
And so it kill'd thee. Thou hast suffer'd for it. Still all contention now.-Low are ye laid :
God rest thy soul! I needs must touch thy hand, I loved you both, and mourn your hapless fall.
| And bid thee long farewell. Abb. They were your friends, my lord ?
(Laying his hand on De Monfort.) Freb. I loved them both. How does the Lady Bern. Draw back, draw back ; see where the Jane?
lady comes. Abb. She bears misfortune with intrepid soul. I never saw in woman bow'd with grief,
Enter Jane De MONFORT. Such moving dignity.
(Freberg, who has been for some time retired by Freb. Ay, still the same.
himself to the bottom of the stage, now steps I've known her long : of worth most excellent; forward to lead her in, but checks himself on But in the day of wo, she ever rose
seeing the fired sorrow of her countenance, Upon the mind with added majesty,
and draws back respectfully. Jane advances As the dark mountain more sublimely towers
to the table, and looks attentively at the covered Mantled in clouds and storm.
bodies. Manuel points out the body of De