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OFF. Assure yourself 'twas a concerted strata- Just as the Abbey steeple tolld the knell, gem.
There was a heavy plunge upon the waters, Montgomery's been at Holyrood for months, And some one cried aloud for mercy !-mercy ! And can have sent no letter—'twas a plan It was the water-spirit, sure, which promised On you and on your dollars, and a base one, Mercy to boat and fisherman, if we To which this Ranger was most likely privy; Perform'd to-day's rites duly. Let me goSuch men as he hang on our fiercer barons, I am to lead the ring. The ready agents of their lawless will;
OFF. (to SER.) Detain her not. She cannot tell Boys of the belt, who aid their master's pleasures,
us more; And in his moods ne'er scruple his injunctions. To give her liberty is the sure way But haste, for now we must unkennel Quentin ; To lure her parents homeward.-Strahan, take two I've strictest charge concerning him.
men, SER. Go up, then, to the tower.
And should the father or the mother come, You've younger limbs than mine—there shall you Arrest them both, or either. Auchindrane find him
May come upon the beach ; arrest him also, Lounging and snoring, like a lazy cur
But do not state a cause. I'll back again, Before a stable door ; it is his practice.
And take directions from my Lord Dunbar.
after knocking without receiving an To all that passes there.
SCENE II. OFF. There's no one in the house, this little maid
Scene changes to a remote and rocky part of the Excepted
Enter AUCHINDRANE, meeting PHILIP.
beach, Where are the guests who slept up there last night. That wont to be so lonely; morions, lances, Isa. Why, there is the old man, he stands beside Show in the morning beam as thick as glow
you, The merry old man, with the glistening hair ; At summer midnight. He left the tower at midnight, for my father
I'm right glad to see them, Brought him a letter.
Be they whoe'er they may, so they are mortal;
For I've contended with a lifeless foe,
Auch. How now !-Art mad, or hast thou done Isa. After you went last night, my father
the turnGrew moody, and refused to doff his clothes, The turn we came for, and must live or die by? Or go to bed, as sometimes he will do
Phi. 'Tis done, if man can do it; but I doubt When there is aught to chafe him. Until past If this unhappy wretch have Heaven's permission midnight,
To die by mortal hands. He wander'd to and fro, then calld the stranger, Auch. Where is he?—where's MacLellan ? The gay young man, that sung such merry songs,
In the deepYet ever look'd most sadly whilst he sung them, Both in the deep, and what's immortal of them And forth they went together.
Gone to the judgment-seat, where we must meet OFF. And you've seen
them. Or heard naught of them since ?
Auch. MacLellan dead, and Quentin too -So Isa. Seen surely nothing, and I cannot think
be it That they have lot or share in what I heard. To all that menace ill to Auchindrane, I heard my mother praying, for the corpse-lights Or have the power to injure him !—Thy words Were dancing on the waves; and at one o'clock, Are full of comfort, but thine eye and look
Have in this pallid gloom a ghastliness,
I used my dagger, and I flung him overboard, Which contradicts the tidings of thy tongue. And half expected his dead carcass also Pui. Hear me, old man.—There is a heaven Would join the chase—but he sunk down at once. above us,
Auch. He had enough of mortal sin about him, As you have heard old Knox and Wishart preach, To sink an argosy. Though little to your boot. The dreaded witness Phi. But now resolve you what defence to make, Is slain, and silent. But his misused body If Quentin's body shall be recognized; Comes right ashore, as if to cry for vengeance;
For 'tis ashore already; and he bears It rides the waters like a living thing,"
Marks of my handiwork; so does MacLellan Erect, as if he trode the waves which bear him. Auch. The concourse thickens still — Aray, Auch. Thou speakest phrensy, when sense is away! most required.
We must avoid the multitude. Pui. Hear me yet more !—I say I did the deed
[They rush out. With all the coolness of a practised hunter When dealing with a stag. I struck him over
board, And with MacLellan's aid I held his head
Vil. Wow. How well she queens it, the brave And tided after as in chase of us."
little maiden! Auch. It was enchantment l-Did you strike at Vil. Ay, they all queen it from their very it ?
cradle, Phi. Once and again. But blows avail'd no more These willing slaves of haughty Auchindrane. Than on a wreath of smoke, where they may break But now I hear the old man's reign is ended The column for a moment, which unites
"Tis well--he has been tyrant long enough. And is entire again. Thus the dead body
Second Vil. Finlay, speak low, you interrupt Sunk down before my oar, but rose unharmid,
the sports. And dogg'd us closer still, as in defiance.
Third V11. Look out to sea—There's something Auch. 'Twas Hell's own work !
coming yonder, Phi.
MacLellan then grew restive Bound for the beach, will scare us from our mirth And desperate in his fear, blasphemed aloud, FOURTH VIL. Pshaw, it is but a sea-gull on the Cursing us both as authors of his ruin.
wing, Myself was wellnigh frantic while pursued Between the wave and sky. By this dead shape, upon whose ghastly features THIRD VIL.
Thou art a fool, The changeful moonbeam spread a grisly light; Standing on solid land—'tis a dead body. And, baited thus, I took the nearest way
SECOND VIL. And if it be, he bears him like a To ensure his silence, and to quell his noise ;
“This man's brow, like to a title leaf,
its legs. Between two or three weeks afterwards, wben the Foretells the nature of a tragic volume;
King (of Naples) was on board the Foudroyant, a Neapolitan Thou tremblest; and the whiteness in thy cheek fisherman came to the ship, and solemnly declared, that Is apter than thy tongue to tell thy errand.”
Caraccioli had risen from the bottom of the sea, and was com
u King Henry IV. ing as fast as he could to Naples, swimming balf out of the “Walks the waters like a thing of life.”
water. Such an account was listened to like a tale of idle BYRON—The Corsair.
credulity. The day being fair, Nelson, to please the King,
stood out to sea ; but the ship had not proceeded far before a 8 This passage was probably suggested by a striking one in body was distinctly seen, upright in the water, and approach Southey's Life of Nelson, touching the corpse of the Neapoli- ing them. It was recognized, indeed, to be the corpse of tan Prince Caraccioli, executed on board the Foudroyant, then Caraccioli, which had risen and floated, while the great the great British Admiral's flag-ship, in the bay of Naples, in weights attached to the legs kept the body in a position like 1799. The circumstances of Caraccioli's trial and death form, that of a living man. A fact so extraordinary astonished the it is almost needless to observe, the most unpleasant chapter in King, and perhaps excited some feelings of superstitious fear, Lord Nelson's history :
akin to regret. He gave permission for the body to be taken a “The body," says Southey, " was carried out to a con- shore, and receive Christian burial."- Life of Nelson, chap siderable distance and sunk in the bay, with three double- vi. headed shot, weighing two hundred and fifty pounds, tied to 4 MS.--"And, baited by my slave, I used my dagger."
Not prone and weltering like a drowned corpse, Had placed her hands upon the murder'd body, But bolt erect, as if he trode the waters,
His gaping wounds, that erst were soak'd with And used them as his path.
brine, FOURTH VIL.
It is a merman, Burst forth with blood as ruddy as the cloud And nothing of this earth, alive or dead.
Which now the sun doth rise on? [By degrees all the Dancers break off PEA. What of that? from their sport, and stand gazing to Ser. Nothing that can affect the innocent child, seaward, while an object, imperfectly But murder's guilt attaching to her father, seen, drifts towards the Beach, and at Since the blood musters in the victim's veins length arrives among the rocks which At the approach of what holds lease from him border the tide.
Of all that parents can transmit to children. THIRD VIL. Perhaps it is some wretch who needs And here comes one to whom I'll vouch the cirassistance;
The EARL OF DUNBAR enters with Soldiers and othE'en take the risk yourself, you'd put on others.
ers, having AUCHINDRANE and Philip prisoners. [HILDEBRAND has entered, and heard the Dun. Fetter the young ruffian and his trait'rous two last words.
father! SER. What, are you men?
[They are made secure. Fear ye to look on what you must be one day? AUCH. 'Twas a lord spoke it—I have known a I, who have seen a thousand dead and dying
knight, Within a flight-shot square, will teach you how in Sir George of Home, who had not dared to say so.
Dun. 'Tis Heaven, not I, decides upon your guilt. We look upon the corpse when life has left it. A harmless youth is traced within your power,
[He goes to the back scene, and seems at- Sleeps in your Ranger's house—his friend at mid
tempting to turn the body, which has night
come ashore with its face downwards. Is spirited away. Then lights are seen, Will none of you come aid to turn the body? And groans are heard, and corpses come ashore Isa. You're cowards all.— I'll help thee, good old Mangled with daggers, while (to Philip) your dag
body, and presently gives a cry, and Here, too, the body of a murder'd victim
Of one the abettor of the wicked deed. SER. 'Tis Quentin Blane! Poor youth, his gloomy All this, and other proofs corroborative, bodings
Call on us briefly to pronounce the doom
Auch. If my house perish, Heaven's will be done! And he is foully murder'd. The proud Knight
I wish not to survive it; but, O Philip, And his dark Ranger must have done this deed, Would one could pay the ransom for us both! For which no common ruffian could have motive. Pui. Father, 'tis fitter that we both should die, A PEA. Caution were best, old man-Thou art Leaving no heir behind.— The piety a stranger,
Of a bless'd saint, the morals of an anchorite, The Knight is great and powerful.
Could not atone thy dark hypocrisy, SER.
Let it be so. Or the wild profligacy I have practised. Callid on by Heaven to stand forth an avenger, Ruin'd our house, and shatter'd be our towers, I will not blench for fear of mortal man.
And with them end the curse our sins have merHave I not seen that when that innocent
1 MS." His unblooded wounds," &c.
2 " The poet, in his play of Auchindrane, displayed real tragic power, and soothed all those who cried out before for a more direct story, and less of the retrospective. Several of the scenes are conceived and executed with all the powers of the
best parts of Waverley.' The verse, too, is more rough, natural, and nervous, than that of .Halidon Hill ;' but, noble as the effort was, it was eclipsed so much by his splendid romances, that the public still complained that he had not done his best, and that his genius was not dramatic."-ALLAN CUNNINGHAM.--Atheneum, 14th Dec. 1833.
The House of A sp en.
made any attempt to gain the honor of the buskin.
The German taste also, caricatured by a number This attempt at dramatic composition was exe- of imitators who, incapable of copying the sublimacuted nearly thirty years since, when the magnifi- ity of the great masters of the school, supplied its cent works of Goethe and Schiller were for the place by extravagance and bombast, fell into dis first time made known to the British public, and repute, and received a coup de grace from the joint
received, as many now alive must remember, with efforts of the late lamented Mr. Canning and Mr. 1
universal enthusiasm. What we admire we usually Frere. The effect of their singularly happy piece attempt to imitate; and the author, not trusting of ridicule called “ The Rovers," a mock play which to his own efforts, borrowed the substance of the appeared in the Anti-Jacobin, was, that the Gerstory and a part of the diction from a dramatic man school, with its beauties and its defects, passed romance called “ Der Heilige Vehme” (the Secret completely out of fashion, and the following scenes Tribunal), which fills the sixth volume of the “Sa- were consigned to neglect and obscurity. Very gen der Vorzeit” (Tales of Antiquity), by Beit lately, however, the writer chanced to look them
Weber. The drama must be termed rather a rifa- over with feelings very different from those of the | cimento of the original than a translation, since the adventurous period of his literary life during which
whole is compressed, and the incidents and dia- they had been written, and yet with such as perlogue occasionally much varied. The imitator is haps a reformed libertine might regard the illeignorant of the real name of his ingenious contem- gitimate production of an early amour. There is porary, and has been informed that of Beit Weber something to be ashamed of, certainly; but, after is fictitious.
all, paternal vanity whispers that the child has a 1
The late Mr. John Kemble at one time had some resemblance to the father. | desire to bring out the play at Drury-Lane, then To this it need only be added, that there are in
adorned by himself and his matchless sister, who existence so many manuscript copies of the followwere to have supported the characters of the un- ing play, that if it should not find its way to the
happy son and mother: but great objections ap- public sooner, it is certain to do so when the author į peared to this proposal. There was danger, that can no more have any opportunity of correcting
the main-spring of the story,—the binding engage the press, and consequently at greater disadvantage ments formed by members of the secret tribunal, — than at present. Being of too small a size or conmight not be sufficiently felt by an English audi- sequence for a separate publication, the piece is ence, to whom the nature of that singularly mys- sent as a contribution to the Keepsake, where its terious institution was unknown from early associ- demerits may be hidden amid the beauties of more ation. There was also, according to Mr. Kemble's valuable articles.” experienced opinion, too much blood, too much of
ABBOTSFORD, 1st April, 1829. the dire catastrophe of Tom Thumb, when all die on the stage. It was, besides, esteemed perilous to place the fifth act and the parade and show of the secret conclave, at the mercy of underlings and
DRAMATIS PERSONÆ scene-shifters, who, by a ridiculous motion, gesture, or accent, might turn what should be grave into farce.
RUDIGER, Baron of Aspen, an old German warrior. The author, or rather the translator, willingly GEORGE OF ASPEN, acquiesced in this reasoning, and never afterwards HENRY OF ASPEN,
sons to Rudiger.
| George Wächter, who published various works under the pseudonym of Veit Weber, was born in 1763, and died in 1837. --ED.
2 See Life of Scott, vol. ii. pages 18, 20, 72; ii. 2; ix. 208.
RODERIC, Count of Maltingen, chief of a department and more, since that cursed fall! Neither hunting,
of the Invisible Tribunal, and the hereditary ene- nor feasting, nor lance-breaking for me! And my my of the family of Aspen.
sons-George enters cold and reserved, as if he WILLIAM, Baron of Wolfstein, ally of Count Rod had the weight of the empire on his shoulders, uteric.
ters by syllables a cold “How is it with you ?" and BERTRAM OF EBERSDORF, brother to the former hus- shuts himself up for days in his solitary chamber
band of the Baroness of Aspen, disguised as a Henry, my cheerful Henryminstrel.
Isa. Surely, he at leastDUKE OF BAVARIA.
Rud. Even he forsakes me, and skips up the WICKERD,
tower staircase like ligKtning to join your fair REYNOLD, followers of the House of Aspen.
ward, Gertrude, on the battlements. I cannot CONRAD, Page of Honor to Henry of Aspen. blame him; for, by my knightly faith, were I in MARTIN, Squire to George of Aspen.
his place, I think even these bruised bones would Hugo, Squire to Count Roderic.
hardly keep me from her side. Still, however, PETER, an ancient domestic of Rudiger.
here I must sit alone. FATHER LUDOVIC, Chaplain to Rudiger.
Isa. Not alone, dear husband. Heaven knows what I would do to soften your confinement.
Rud. Tell me not of that, lady. When I first ISABELLA, formerly married to Arnolf of Ebersdorf, knew thee, Isabella, the fair maid of Arnheim was now wife of Rudiger.
the joy of her companions, and breathed life whereGERTRUDE, Isabella's niece, betrothed to Henry. ever she came. Thy father married thee to Arnolf
of Ebersdorf-not much with thy will, 'tis trueSoldiers, Judges of the Invisible Tribunal, (she hides her face.) Nay-forgive me, Isabella&c. &c.
but that is over-he died, and the ties between us,
which thy marriage had broken, were renewedScene.—The Castle of Ebersdorf in Bavaria, the but the sunshine of my Isabella's light heart reruins of Griefenhaus, and the adjacent country. turned no more.
Isa. (weeping.) Beloved Rudiger, you search my very soul! Why will you recall past times—days
of spring that can never return? Do I not love The House of Aspen. thee more than ever wife loved husband ?
Rud. (stretches out his arms—she embraces him.)
And therefore art thou ever my beloved Isabella. ACT I.-SCENE I.
But still, is it not true? Has not thy cheerfulness
vanished since thou hast become Lady of Aspen? An ancient Gothic chamber in the Castle of Ebers- Dost thou repent of thy love to Rudiger ?
dorf. Spears, crossbows, and arms, with the horns Is. Alas! no! never! never! of buffaloes and of deer, are hung round the wall. Rud. Then why dost thou herd with monks and An antique buffet with beakers and stone bottles. priests, and leave thy old knight alone, when, for
the first time in his stormy life, he has rested for RUDIGER, Baron of Aspen, and his lady, ISABELLA, weeks within the walls of his castle? Hast thou are discovered sitting at a large oaken table. committed a crime from which Rudiger's love
cannot absolve thee? Rud. A plague upon that roan horse! Had he Isa. O many! many! not stumbled with me at the ford after our last Rud. Then be this kiss thy penance. And tell skirmish, I had been now with my sons. And me, Isabella, hast thou not founded a convent, and yonder the boys are, hardly three miles off, bat- endowed it with the best of thy late husband's tling with Count Roderic, and their father must lands? Ay, and with a vineyard which I could lie here like a worm-eaten manuscript in a convent have prized as well as the sleek monks. Dost library! Out.upon it! Out upon it! Is it not hard thou not daily distribute alms to twenty pilgrims ? that a warrior, who has travelled so many leagues Dost thou not cause ten masses to be sung each to display the cross on the walls of Zion, should be night for the repose of thy late husband's soul ? now unable to lift a spear before his own castle Isa. It will not know repose. gate!
Rud. Well, well-God's peace be with Arnolf Isa. Dear husband, your anxiety retards your of Ebersdorf; the mention of him makes thee ever recovery
sad, though so many years have passed since his Rud. May be so; but not less than your silence death. and melancholy! Here have I sate this month, Isa. But at present, dear husband, have I not