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As a literary curiosity, and, still more, as a lesson to genius, never to rest satisfied with imperfection or mediocrity, but to labour on till even failures are converted into triumphs, I shall here transcribe the Third Act, in its original shape, as first sent to the publisher:


A Hall in the Castle of Manfred.


Man. What is the hour?

It wants but one till sunset,

And promises a lovely twilight.



Are all things so disposed of in the tower
As I directed?

All, my lord are ready:
Here is the key and casket.


It is well:

Thou may'st retire.

Man. (alone.) There is a calm upon me-
Inexplicable stillness! which till now
Did not belong to what I knew of life.

If that I did not know philosophy

To be of all our vanities the motliest,
The merest word that ever fool'd the ear

From out the schoolman's jargon, I should deem
The golden secret, the sought Kalon,' found,
And seated in my soul. It will not last,

But it is well to have known it, though but once:
It hath enlarged my thoughts with a new sense,
And I within my tablets would note down
That there is such a feeling. Who is there?


Re-enter HERMAN.

Her. My lord, the Abbot of St. Maurice craves To greet your presence.



Peace be with Count Manfred!
Man. Thanks, holy father! welcome to these walls;
Thy presence honours them, and blesseth those
Who dwell within them.


Would it were so, Count!


But I would fain confer with thee alone.

Man. Herman, retire. What would my reverend guest?
Abbot. Thus, without prelude:-Age and zeal, my office,
And good intent, must plead my privilege;
Our near, though not acquainted neighbourhood,
May also be my herald. Rumours strange,
And of unholy nature, are abroad,
And busy with thy name-a noble name
For centuries; may he who bears it now
Transmit it unimpair'd.


Proceed,-I listen.

Abbot. "Tis said thou holdest converse with the things
Which are forbidden to the search of man;
That with the dwellers of the dark abodes,
The many evil and unheavenly spirits
Which walk the valley of the shade of death,
Thou communest. I know that with mankind,
Thy fellows in creation, thou dost rarely
Exchange thy thoughts, and that thy solitude
Is as an anchorite's, were it but holy.

Man. And what are they who do avouch these things?
Abbot. My pious brethren-the scared peasantry—

Even thy own vassals-who do look on thee
With most unquiet eyes. Thy life's in peril.

Man. Take it.

I would not pry into thy secret soul;

But if these things be sooth, there still is time

For penitence and pity: reconcile thee

With the true church, and through the church to heaven.

I come to save, and not destroy

Man. I hear thee. This is my reply; whate'er

I may have been, or am, doth rest between

Heaven and myself.-I shall not choose a mortal
To be my mediator. Have I sinn'd
Against your ordinances? prove and punish *!

Abbot. Then, hear and tremble! For the headstrong wretch

Who in the mail of innate hardihood

Would shield himself, and battle for his sins,

There is the stake on earth, and beyond earth eternal

Man. Charity, most reverend father,

Becomes thy lips so much more than this menace,

It will be perceived that, as far as this, the original matter of the Third Act has been retained.

That I would call thee back to it; but say,
What wouldst thou with me?


It may be there are

Things that would shake thee-but I keep them back,

And give thee till to-morrow to repent.
Then if thou dost not all devote thyself
To penance, and with gift of all thy lands
To the monastery-


I understand thee,-well!

Abbot. Expect no mercy; I have warned thee.
Man. (opening the casket.) Stop-
There is a gift for thee within this casket.

[MANFRED opens the casket, strikes a light, and burns some incense.

Ho! Ashtaroth!

The DEMON ASHTAROTH appears, singing as follows:
The raven sits

On the raven-stone,

And his black wing flits

O'er the milk-white bone;

To and fro, as the night-winds blow,
The carcass of the assassin swings;
And there alone, on the raven-stone*,
The raven flaps his dusky wings.

The fetters creak-and his ebon beak

Croaks to the close of the hollow sound;
And this is the tune by the light of the moon
To which the witches dance their round
Merrily, merrily, cheerily, cheerily,

Merrily, speeds the ball:

The dead in their shrouds, and the demons in clouds,
Flock to the witches carnival.

Abbot. I fear thee not-hence-hence

Avaunt thee, evil one!-help, ho! without there!

Man. Convey this man to the Shreckhorn-to its peak—

To its extremest peak-watch with him there

From now till sunrise; let him gaze, and know

He ne'er again will be so near to heaven.
But harm him not; and, when the morrow breaks,

Set him down safe in his cell-away with him!

Raven-stone (Rabenstein), a translation of the German word for the gibbet, which in Germany and Switzerland is permanent, and 'made of stone.'

Ash. Had I not better bring his brethren too,
Convent and all, to bear him company?

Man. No, this will serve for the present. Take him up.

Ash. Come, friar! now an exorcism or two,

And we shall fly the lighter.

ASHTAROTH disappears with the ABBOT, singing as follows:

A prodigal son and a maid undone,

And a widow re-wedded within the year;
And a worldly monk and a pregnant nun,
Are things which every day appear.

MANFRED alone.

Man. Why would this fool break in on me, and force
My art to pranks fantastical?-no matter,
It was not of my seeking. My heart sickens
And weighs a fix'd foreboding on my soul;
But it is calm-calm as a sullen sea

After the huricane; the winds are still,
But the cold waves swell high and heavily,
And there is danger in them. Such a rest
Is no repose. My life hath been a combat,
And every thought a wound, till I am scarr'd
In the immortal part of me.-What now?

Re-enter HERMAN.

Her. My lord, you bade me wait on you at sunset:
He sinks behind the mountain.


Doth he so?

I will look on him.

[MANFRED advances to the window of the hall.
Glorious orb*! the idol

Of early nature, and the vigorous race
Of undiseased mankind, the giant sons
Of the embrace of angels, with a sex

More beautiful than they, which did draw down
The erring spirits who can ne'er return.—
Most glorious orb! that wert a worship, ere
The mystery of thy making was reveal'd!

Thou earliest minister of the Almighty,

Which gladden'd, on their mountain tops, the hearts
Of the Chaldean shepherds, till they pour'd
Themselves in orisons! Thou material God!
And representative of the Unknown—

* This fine soliloquy, and a great part of the subsequent scene, have, it is hardly necessary to remark, been retained in the present form of the Drama.

Who chose thee for his shadow! Thou chief star!
Centre of many stars! which mak'st our earth
Endurable, and temperest the hues

And hearts of all who walk within thy rays!
Sire of the seasons! Monarch of the climes,
And those who dwell in them! for, near or far,
Our inborn spirits have a tint of thee,
Even as our outward aspects;-thou dost rise,
And shine, and set in glory. Fare thee well!
I ne'er shall see thee more. As my first glance
Of love and wonder was for thee, then take
My latest look: thou wilt not beam on one
To whom the gifts of life and warmth have been
Of a more fatal nature. He is gone:

I follow.



The Mountains-the Castle of Manfred at some distance-A Terrace before a Tower-Time, Twilight.

HERMAN, MANUEL, and other Dependants of MANFRED.
Her. 'Tis strange enough; night after night, for years,
He hath pursued long vigils in this tower,
Without a witness. I have been within it,-
So have we all been oft-times; but from it,
Or its contents, it were impossible

To draw conclusions absolute of aught

His studies tend to. To be sure, there is

One chamber where none enter; I would give
The fee of what I have to come these three years,
To pore upon its mysteries.

'Twere dangerous;
Content thyself with what thou know'st already.
Her. Ah! Manuel! thou art elderly and wise,

And couldst say much; thou hast dwelt within the castle

How many years is't?


I served his father, whom he nought resembles.
Her. There be more sons in like predicament.
But wherein do they differ?

Ere Count Manfred's birth,

I speak not
Of features or of form, but mind and habits:
Count Sigismund was proud,—but gay and free,-

A warrior and a reveller; he dwelt not

With books and solitude, nor made the night

A gloomy vigil, but a festal time,
Merrier than day; he did not walk the rocks

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