I am on my guard, however: no surprise.

[Then to Ordonio. What, he was mad? Ord.

All men seemed mad to him ! Nature had made him for some other planet, And pressed his soul into a human shape By accident or malice. In this world He found no fit companion. Isid. Of himself he speaks.


Alas! poor wretch! Mad men are mostly proud. Ord.

He walked alone, And phantom thoughts unsought-for troubled him. Something within would still be shadowing out All possibilities; and with these shadows His mind held dalliance. Once, as so it happened, A fancy crossed him wilder than the rest : To this in moody murmur and low voice He yielded utterance, as some talk in sleep: The man who heard him.

Why did'st thou look round ? Isid. I have a prattler three years old, my lord ! In truth he is my darling. As I went From forth my door, he made a moan in sleepBut I am talking idly-pray proceed ! And what did this man? Ord.

With this human hand He gave a substance and reality To that wild fancy of a possible thing.Well it was done!

Why babblest thou of guilt ?
The deed was done, and it passed fairly off.
And he whose tale I tell thee-dost thou listen ?

Isid. I would my lord you were by my fire-side,
I'd listen to you with an eager eye,
Though you began this cloudy tale at midnight,
But I do listen-pray proceed my lord.

Where was I? Isid. He of whom you tell the tale

Ord. Surveying all things with a quiet scorn,
Tamed himself down to living purposes,
The occupations and the semblances
Of ordinary men—and such he seemed :
But that same over ready agent-he-

Isid. Ah! what of him, my lord ?

He proved a traitor,
Betrayed the mystery to a brother traitor,
And they between them hatch'd a damned plot
To hunt him down to infamy and death.
What did the Valdez? I am proud of the name
Since he dared do it.-

[Ordonio grasps his sword, and turns off from Isidore, then after a pause returns.

Our links burn dimly. Isid. A dark tale darkly finished! Nay, my lord! Tell what he did.

Ord. That which his wisdom prompted-
He made the traitor meet him in this cavern,
And here he kill'd the traitor.

No! the fool!

He had not wit enough to be a traitor.
Poor thick-eyed beetle! not to have foreseen
That he who gulled thee with a whimpered lie
To murder his own brother, would not scruple
To murder thee, if e'er his guilt grew jealous,
And he could steal upon thee in the dark !
Ord. Thou wouldst not then have come,

ifIsid. Oh yes, my lord! I would have met him arm'd, and scar'd the coward.

[Isidore throws off his robe; shows himself

armed, and draws his sword.
Ord. Now this is excellent and warms the blood !
My heart was drawing back, drawing me back
With weak and womanish scruples. Now my ven-

Beckons me onwards with a warrior's mien,
And claims that life, my pity robb’d her of
Now will I kill thee, thankless slave, and count it
Among my comfortable thoughts hereafter.
Isid. And all my little ones fatherless—

Die thou first.
[They fight, Ordonio disarms Isidore, and in dis.

arming him throws his sword up that recess opposite to which they were standing. Isidore hurries into the recess with his torch, Ordonio follows him; a loud cry of « Traitor! Monster!is heard from the cavern, and in a

moment Ordonio returns alone. Ord. I have hurled him down the chasm! treason

for treason,

He dreamt of it: henceforward let him sleep,
A dreamless sleep, from which no wife can wake him.
His dream too is made out—now for bis friend.

[Exit Ordonio.

SCENE II. –The interior Court of a Saracenic or

Gothic Castle, with the iron gate of a dungeon visible.

Ter. Heart-chilling superstition! thou canst glaze Even pity's eye with her own frozen tear. In vain I urge the tortures that await bim : Even Selma, reverend guardian of my childhood, My second mother, shuts her heart against me! Well, I have won from her what most imports The present need, this secret of the dungeon Known only to herself.—A Moor! a sorcerer! No, I have faith, that nature ne'er permitted Baseness to wear a form so noble. True, I doubt not, that Ordonio had suborned him To act some part in some unholy fraud ; As little doubt, that for some unknown purpose He hath baffled his suborner, terror-struck him, And that Ordonio meditates revenge ! But my resolve is fixed ! myself will rescue him, And learn if haply he knew aught of Alvar.

Enter Valdez. Val. Still sad ?--and gazing at the massive door Of that fell dungeon which thou ne'er had’st sight of,

1 See Appendix.

Save what, perchance, thy infant fancy shap'd it
When the nurse still'd thy cries with unmeant threats.
Now by my faith, girl ! this same wizard haunts thee!
A stately man, and eloquent and tender-
Who then need wonder if a lady sighs
Even at the thought of what these stern Dominicans

Ter. The horror of their ghastly punishments
Doth so o'ertop the height of all compassion,
That I should feel too little for mine enemy,
If it were possible I could feel more,
Even though the dearest inmates of our household
Were doom'd to suffer them. That such things are

Val. Hush, thoughtless woman!

Nay, it wakes within me
More than a woman's spirit.

No more of this
What if Monviedro or his creatures hear us!
I dare not listen to you.

My honoured lord,
These were my Alvar's lessons, and whene'er
I bend me o'er his portrait, I repeat them,
As if to give a voice to the mute image.

-We have mourn'd for Alvar.
Of his sad fate there now remains no doubt.
Have 1 no other son ?

Speak not of him!
That low imposture! That mysterious picture !
If this be madness, must I wed a madman?
And if not madness, there mystery,
And guilt doth lurk behind it.

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