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Enter ELDRED, (hides a bundle).

Elea. Eldred, you are a father.

Eld. God knows what was in my heart, and will

Eld. Not yet in bed, Eleanor !—there are stains not curse my son for my sake. in that frock which must be washed out.

Elea. What has befallen you?

Eld. I am belated, and you must know the cause -(speaking low) that is the blood of an unhappy Man.

Elea. Oh! we are undone for ever.

Eld. Heaven forbid that I should lift my hand against any man. Eleanor, I have shed tears tonight, and it comforts me to think of it.

Elea. Where, where is he?

it will

Eld. I have done him no harm, but be forgiven me ; it would not have been so once. Elea. You have not buried anything? You are

no richer than when you left me? Eld. Be at peace; I am innocent. Elea. Then God be thanked

[A short pause; she falls upon his neck. Eld. To-night I met with an old Man lying stretched upon the ground-a sad spectacle: 1 raised him up with a hope that we might shelter and restore him.

Elea. (as if ready to run). Where is he? You were not able to bring him all the way with you; let us return, I can help you.

[ELDRED shakes his head. Eld. He did not seem to wish for life as I was struggling on, by the light of the moon I saw the stains of blood upon my clothes-he waved his hand, as if it were all useless; and I let him sink again to the ground.

Elea. Oh that I had been by your side!

Eld. I tell you his hands and his body were cold -how could I disturb his last moments? he strove to turn from me as if he wished to settle into sleep.

Elea. But, for the stains of blood—

Eld. He must have fallen, I fancy, for his head was cut; but I think his malady was cold and hunger..

Elea. Oh, Eldred, I shall never be able to look up at this roof in storm or fair but I shall tremble.

Eld. Is it not enough that my ill stars have kept me abroad to-night till this hour? I come home, and this is my comfort!

Elea. But did he say nothing which might have set you at ease?

Eld. I thought he grasped my hand while he was muttering something about his Child-his Daughter (starting as if he heard a noise). What is that?

Elea. But you prayed by him? you waited the hour of his release?

Eld. The night was wasting fast; I have no friend; I am spited by the world-his wound terrified me--if I had brought him along with me, and he had died in my arms!I am sure I heard something breathing-and this chair!

Elea. Oh, Eldred, you will die alone. You will have nobody to close your eyes-no hand to grasp your dying hand-I shall be in my grave. A curse will attend us all.

Eld. Have you forgot your own troubles when I was in the dungeon?

Elea. And you left him alive?

Eld. Alive!-the damps of death were upon him -he could not have survived an hour.

Elea. In the cold, cold night.

Eld. (in a savage tone). Ay, and his head was bare; I suppose you would have had me lend my bonnet to cover it.-You will never rest till I am brought to a felon's end.

Elea. Is there nothing to be done? cannot we go to the Convent?

Eld. Ay, and say at once that I murdered him!

Elea. Eldred, I know that ours is the only house upon the Waste; let us take heart; this Man may be rich; and could he be saved by our means, his gratitude may reward us.

Eld. "Tis all in vain.

Elea. But let us make the attempt. This old Man may have a wife, and he may have children

let us return to the spot; we may restore him, and his eyes may yet open upon those that love him.

Eld. He will never open them more; even when he spoke to me, he kept them firmly sealed as if he had been blind.

Idon. (rushing out). It is, it is, my FatherEld. We are betrayed (looking at IDONEA). Elea. His Daughter!-God have mercy! (turning to IDONEA).

Idon. (sinking down). Oh! lift me up and carry

me to the place.

You are safe; the whole world shall not harm you. Elea. This Lady is his Daughter.

Eld. (moved). I'll lead you to the spot. Idon. (springing up). Alive!—you heard him breathe? quick, quick[Exeunt.

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Osw. The game is up!— For.

[MARMADUKE disappears.

A human voice distinct, struck on my ear.

So guided, distant a few steps, I found

An aged Man, and such as you describe.

Mar. You heard !—he called you to him? Of all

men

The best and kindest !-but where is he? guide me,
That I may see him.
Eld.

On a ridge of rocks
A lonesome Chapel stands, deserted now:
The bell is left, which no one dares remove;
And, when the stormy wind blows o'er the peak,
It rings, as if a human hand were there

To pull the cord. I guess he must have heard it;
And it had led him towards the precipice,
To climb up to the spot whence the sound came;
But he had failed through weakness. From his
hand

His staff had dropped, and close upon the brink
Of a small pool of water he was laid,

As if he had stooped to drink, and so remained
Without the strength to rise.

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He only spake to me of a dear Daughter,

If it be needful, Sir, Who, so he feared, would never see him more; And of a Stranger to him, One by whom

I will assist you to lay hands upon him.

Osw. No, no, my Friend, you may pursue your business

"Tis a poor wretch of an unsettled mind,
Who has a trick of straying from his keepers;
We must be gentle. Leave him to my care.

[Exit Forester.
If his own eyes play false with him, these freaks
Of fancy shall be quickly tamed by mine;
The goal is reached. My Master shall become
A shadow of myself-made by myself.

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He had been sore misused; but he forgave
The wrong and the wrong-doer. You are trou-

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A thousand miles.

Eld.
I am in poverty,
And know how busy are the tongues of men ;
My heart was willing, Sir, but I am one
Whose good deeds will not stand by their own light;
And, though it smote me more than words can tell,
I left him.
Mar. I believe that there are phantoms,
That in the shape of man do cross our path
On evil instigation, to make sport

Of our distress and thou art one of them!
But things substantial have so pressed on me-
Eld. My wife and children came into my mind.

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I have nothing

Mar. Ay, in the word a thousand scorpions lodge: To do with others; help me to my Father— This old man had a Daughter.

Eld.

To the spot

I hurried back with her.-O save me, Sir,
From such a journey!there was a black tree,
A single tree; she thought it was her Father.—
Oh Sir, I would not see that hour again

For twenty lives. The daylight dawned, and now—
Nay; hear my tale, 'tis fit that you should hear it—
As we approached, a solitary crow

Rose from the spot ;-the Daughter clapped her
hands,

And then I heard a shriek so terrible

[MARMADUKE shrinks back. The startled bird quivered upon the wing.

Mar. Dead, dead!—

[She turns and sees MARMADUKE leaning on ELEANOR
-throws herself upon his neck, and after some
time,

And thus we meet again; one human stay
In joy I met thee, but a few hours past ;
Is left me still in thee. Nay, shake not so.
Mar. In such a wilderness-to see no thing,
No, not the pitying moon !

Idon.

And perish so.
Mar. Without a dog to moan for him.
Idon.
Think not of it,
But enter there and see him how he sleeps,
Tranquil as he had died in his own bed.
Mar. Tranquil-why not?

Idon.
Mar.

Oh, peace!

He is at peace;

Eld. (after a pause). A dismal matter, Sir, for me, His body is at rest: there was a plot,

And seems the like for you; if 'tis your wish,
I'll lead you to his Daughter; but 'twere best
That she should be prepared; I'll go before.
Mar. There will be need of preparation.

[ELDRED goes off.
Master!

Elea. (enters).
Your limbs sink under you, shall I support you?
Mar. (taking her arm). Woman, I've lent my
body to the service

Which now thou tak'st upon thee. God forbid
That thou shouldst ever meet a like occasion
With such a purpose in thine heart as mine was.
Elea. Oh, why have I to do with things like these?

[Exeunt.

SCENE changes to the door of ELDRED's cottage--
IDONEA seated-enter ELDRED.

Eld. Your Father, Lady, from a wilful hand
Has met unkindness; so indeed he told me,
And you remember such was my report:
From what has just befallen me I have cause
To fear the very worst.
Idon.
My Father is dead;
Why dost thou come to me with words like these?
Eld. A wicked Man should answer for his crimes.

A hideous plot, against the soul of man:

It took effect and yet I baffled it,
In some degree.

Idon.

Between us stood, I thought,

A cup of consolation, filled from Heaven
For both our needs; must I, and in thy presence,
Alone partake of it ?-Beloved Marmaduke!

Mar. Give me a reason why the wisest thing
That the earth owns shall never choose to die,
But some one must be near to count his groans.
The wounded deer retires to solitude,
And dies in solitude: all things but man,

All die in solitude.

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And such a Man-so meek and unoffending-
Helpless and harmless as a babe: a Man,
By obvious signal to the world's protection,
Solemnly dedicated-to decoy him!—
Idon. Oh, had you seen him living!—
Mar.
I (so filled
With horror is this world) am unto thee
The thing most precious, that it now contains:
Therefore through me alone must be revealed
By whom thy Parent was destroyed, Idonea!
I have the proofs !—

Idon.
O miserable Father!
Thou didst command me to bless all mankind;
Nor to this moment, have I ever wished
Evil to any living thing; but hear me,
Hear me, ye Heavens !—(kneeling)—may venge-
ance haunt the fiend

For this most cruel murder: let him live
And move in terror of the elements;
The thunder send him on his knees to prayer
In the open streets, and let him think he sees,
If e'er he entereth the house of God,

The roof, self-moved, unsettling o'er his head;
And let him, when he would lie down at night,
Point to his wife the blood-drops on his pillow!
Mar. My voice was silent, but my heart hath
joined thee.

A mortal malady.---I am accurst:
All nature curses me, and in my heart
Thy curse is fixed; the truth must be laid bare.
It must be told, and borne. I am the man,
(Abused, betrayed, but how it matters not)
Presumptuous above all that ever breathed,
Who, casting as I thought a guilty Person
Upon Heaven's righteous judgment, did become
An instrument of Fiends. Through me, through me.
Thy Father perished.
Idon.

Perished-by what mischance?
Mar. Beloved!—if I dared, so would I call thee-
Conflict must cease, and, in thy frozen heart,
The extremes of suffering meet in absolute peace.
[He gives her a letter.

Idon. (reads) 'Be not surprised if you hear that some signal judgment has befallen the man who calls himself your father; he is now with me, as his signature will shew: abstain from conjecture till you see me.

'HERBERT. 'MARMADUKE.'

The writing Oswald's; the signature my Father's: (Looks steadily at the paper) And here is yours,— or do my eyes deceive me?

You have then seen my Father?
Mar.

Idon. (leaning on MARMADUKE). Left to the Upon this arm. mercy of that savage Man!

How could he call upon his Child !--O Friend!

[Turns to MARMADUKE.

My faithful true and only Comforter. Mar. Ay, come to me and weep. (He kisses her.) (To ELDRED). Yes, Varlet, look,

The devils at such sights do clap their hands.

[ELDRED retires alarmed.

He has leaned

Idon.
You led him towards the Convent?
Mar. That Convent was Stone-Arthur Castle.
Thither

We were his guides. I on that night resolved
That he should wait thy coming till the day
Of resurrection.

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Idon. Thy vest is torn, thy cheek is deadly pale; I put denial on thy suit, and hence,

Hast thou pursued the monster?

Mar.

I have found him.—
Oh! would that thou hadst perished in the flames!
Idon. Here art thou, then can I be desolate ?—
Mar. There was a time, when this protecting hand

Availed against the mighty; never more
Shall blessings wait upon a deed of mine.

Idon. Wild words for me to hear, for me, an orphan,

Committed to thy guardianship by Heaven;
And, if thou hast forgiven me, let me hope,
In this deep sorrow, trust, that I am thine
For closer care ;-here, is no malady.

[Taking his arm.

Mar. There, is a malady(Striking his heart and forehead) And here, and here,

With the disastrous issue of last night, Thy perturbation, and these frantic words. Be calm, I pray thee!

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Idon. What brings you hither? speak! Beg. (pointing to MARMADUKE). This innocent Gentleman. Sweet heavens! I told him Such tales of your dead Father!-God is my judge,

I thought there was no harm: but that bad Man,
He bribed me with his gold, and looked so fierce.
Mercy! I said I know not what-oh pity me—
I said, sweet Lady, you were not his Daughter-
Pity me, I am haunted;-thrice this day
My conscience made me wish to be struck blind;
And then I would have prayed, and had no voice.
Idon. (to MARMADUKE). Was it my Father ?—

no, no, no, for he

Was meek and patient, feeble, old and blind,
Helpless, and loved me dearer than his life.
-But hear me. For one question, I have a heart
That will sustain me. Did you murder him?
Mar. No, not by stroke of arm. But learn the
process:

Proof after proof was pressed upon me; guilt
Made evident, as seemed, by blacker guilt,
Whose impious folds enwrapped even thee; and truth
And innocence, embodied in his looks,

His words and tones and gestures, did but serve
With me to aggravate his crimes, and heaped
Ruin upon the cause for which they pleaded.
Then pity crossed the path of my resolve:
Confounded, I looked up to Heaven, and cast,
Idonea! thy blind Father, on the Ordeal
Of the bleak Waste-left him-and so he died!-
[IDONEA sinks senseless; Beggar, ELEANOR, &c.,
crowd round, and bear her off.

Why may we speak these things, and do no more;
Why should a thrust of the arm have such a power,
And words that tell these things be heard in vain?
She is not dead. Why !-if I loved this Woman,
I would take care she never woke again;
But she WILL wake, and she will weep for me,
And say, no blame was mine-and so, poor fool,
Will waste her curses on another name.
[He walks about distractedly.
Enter OSWALD.

OSWALD (to himself). Strong to o'erturn, strong [TO MARMADUKE.

also to build up.

The starts and sallies of our last encounter

Were natural enough; but that, I trust,

Is all gone by. You have cast off the chains

That fettered your nobility of mind-
Delivered heart and head!

Let us to Palestine ;
This is a paltry field for enterprise.
Mar. Ay, what shall we encounter next? This
issue-

Start not!-Here is another face hard by ;
Come, let us take a peep at both together,
And, with a voice at which the dead will quake,
Resound the praise of your morality—
Of this too much.

[Drawing OSWALD towards the Cottage-stops short
at the door.

Men are there, millions, Oswald, Who with bare hands would have plucked out thy | heart

And flung it to the dogs: but I am raised
Above, or sunk below, all further sense
Of provocation. Leave me, with the weight
Of that old Man's forgiveness on thy heart,
Pressing as heavily as it doth on mine.
Coward I have been; know, there lies not now
Within the compass of a mortal thought,

A deed that I would shrink from ;-but to endure,
That is my destiny. May it be thine :
Thy office, thy ambition, be henceforth
To feed remorse, to welcome every sting
Of penitential anguish, yea with tears.

When seas and continents shall lie between us-
The wider space the better-we may find
In such a course fit links of sympathy,
An incommunicable rivalship

Maintained, for peaceful ends beyond our view.

[Confused voices-several of the band enter-rush upon OSWALD and seize him.

One of them. I would have dogged him to the jaws of hell

Osw. Ha! is it so !-That vagrant Hag!—this

comes

[Aside.

Of having left a thing like her alive!
Several voices. Despatch him!
Osw.
If I pass beneath a rock
And shout, and, with the echo of my voice,
Bring down a heap of rubbish, and it crush me,
I die without dishonour. Famished, starved,
A Fool and Coward blended to my wish!

[Smiles scornfully and exultingly at MARMADUKE. Wal. 'Tis done! (stabs him.)

Another of the band. The ruthless Traitor !
Mar.
A rash deed!-

With that reproof I do resign a station
Of which I have been proud.

Wil. (approaching MARMADUKE). O my poor
Master!

Mar. Discerning Monitor, my faithful Wilfred, "Twas nothing more than darkness deepening Why art thou here? [Turning to WALLACE. darkness,

Wallace, upon these Borders,

And weakness crowned with the impotence of Many there be whose eyes will not want cause
death!-
To weep that I am gone. Brothers in arms !
Your pupil is, you see, an apt proficient. (ironically). Raise on that dreary Waste a monument

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