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The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
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COREY. You are to blame for this; For you took down the bars, and let them loose.

GLOYD. That I deny. They broke the fences down. You know they were bewitched.

COREY. Ah, my poor cattle! The Evil Eye was on them; that is true. Day of disaster! Most unlucky day! Why did I leave my ploughing and my reaping To plough and reap this Sodom and Gomorrah? Oh, I could drown myself for sheer vexation! [Exit.

GLOYD. He's going for his cattle. He won't find them. By this time they have drifted out to sea. They will not break his fences any more, Though they may break his heart. And what care I? [Exit.

SCENE III. — COREY's kitchen. A table with supper. MARTHA knitting.

MARTHA.

He's come at last. I hear him in the passage. Something has gone amiss with him today; I know it by his step, and by the sound The door made as he shut it. He is angry.

Enter COREY with his riding-whip. As he speaks he takes off his hat and gloves and throws them down violently.

COREY. I say if Satan ever entered man He's in John Proctor!

MARTHA. Giles, what is the matter? You frighten me.

COREY. I say if any man Can have a Devil in him, then that man Is Proctor,—is John Proctor, and no other!

MARTHA. Why, what has he been doing?

COREY. Everything! What do you think I heard there in the village?

MARTHA. I'm sure I cannot guess. What did you hear?

COREY. He says I burned his house!

MARTHA. Does he say that?

COREY. He says I burned his house. I was in bed And fast asleep that night; and I can prove it.

MARTHA. If he says that, I think the Father of Lies Is surely in the man.

COREY. He does say that And that I did it to wreak vengeance on him For taking sides against me in the quarrel I had with that John Gloyd about his wages. And God knows that I never bore him malice For that, as I have told him twenty times

MARTHA. It is John Gloyd has stirred him up to this. I do not like that Gloyd. I think him crafty, Not to be trusted, sullen and untruthful. Come, have your supper. You are tired and hungry.

COREY. I'm angry, and not hungry.

MARTHA. Do eat something. You'll be the better for it.

COREY (sitting down). I'm not hungry.

MARTHA. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

COREY. It has gone down upon it, and will rise To-morrow, and go down again upon it. They have trumped up against me the old story Of causing Goodell's death by trampling on him.

MARTHA. Oh, that is false. I know it to be false.

COREY. He has been dead these fourteen years or more. Why can't they let him rest? Why must they drag him Out of his grave to give me a bad name? I did not kill him. In his bed he died, As most men die, because his hour had come. I have wronged no man. Why should Proctor say Such things bout me? I will not forgive him Till he confesses he has slandered me. Then, I've more trouble. All my cattle gone.

MARTHA. They will come back again.

COREY. Not in this world. Did I not tell you they were overlooked? They ran down through the woods, into the meadows, And tried to swim the river, and were drowned. It is a heavy loss.

MARTHA. I'm sorry for it.

COREY. All my dear oxen dead. I loved them, Martha, Next to yourself. I liked to look at them, And watch the breath come out of their wide nostrils, And see their patient eyes. Somehow I thought It gave me strength only to look at them. And how they strained their necks against the yoke If I but spoke, or touched them with the goad! They were my friends; and when Gloyd came and told me They were all drowned, I could have drowned myself From sheer vexation; and I said as much To Gloyd and others.

MARTHA. Do not trust John Gloyd With anything you would not have repeated.

COREY. As I came through the woods this afternoon, Impatient at my loss, and much perplexed With all that I had heard there in the village, The yellow leaves lit up the trees about me Like an enchanted palace, and I wished I knew enough of magic or of Witchcraft To change them into gold. Then suddenly A tree shook down some crimson leaves upon me, Like drops of blood, and in the path before me Stood Tituba the Indian, the old crone.

MARTHA. Were you not frightened?

COREY. No, I do not think I know the meaning of that word. Why frightened? I am not one of those who think the Lord Is waiting till He catches them some day In the back yard alone! What should I fear? She started from the bushes by the path, And had a basket full of herbs and roots For some witch-broth or other,—the old hag.

MARTHA. She has been here to-day.

COREY. With hand outstretched She said: "Giles Corey, will you sign the Book?" "Avaunt!" I cried: "Get thee behind me, Satan!" At which she laughed and left me. But a voice Was whispering in my ear continually: "Self-murder is no crime. The life of man Is his, to keep it or to throw away!"

MARTHA. 'T was a temptation of the Evil One! Giles, Giles! why will you harbor these dark thoughts?

COREY (rising). I am too tired to talk. I'll go to bed.

MARTHA. First tell me something about Bridget Bishop. How did she look? You saw her? You were there?

COREY. I'll tell you that to-morrow, not to-night. I'll go to bed.

MARTHA. First let us pray together.

COREY. I cannot pray to-night.

MARTHA. Say the Lord's Prayer, And that will comfort you.

COREY. I cannot say, "As we forgive those that have sinned against us," When I do not forgive them.

MARTHA (kneeling on the hearth). God forgive you!

COREY. I will not make believe! I say to-night There's something thwarts me when I wish to pray, And thrusts into my mind, instead of prayers, Hate and revenge, and things that are not prayers. Something of my old self,—my old, bad life,— And the old Adam in me rises up, And will not let me pray. I am afraid The Devil hinders me. You know I say Just what I think, and nothing more nor less, And, when I pray, my heart is in my prayer. I cannot say one thing and mean another. If I can't pray, I will not make believe!

[Exit COREY. MARTHA continues kneeling.

ACT III.

SCENE I. — GILES COREY'S kitchen. Morning. COREY and MARTHA sitting at the breakfast-table.

COREY (rising). Well, now I've told you all I saw and heard Of Bridget Bishop; and I must be gone.

MARTHA. Don't go into the village, Giles, to-day. Last night you came back tired and out of humor.

COREY. Say, angry; say, right angry. I was never In a more devilish temper in my life. All things went wrong with me.

MARTHA. You were much vexed; So don't go to the village.

COREY (going). No, I won't. I won't go near it. We are going to mow The Ipswich meadows for the aftermath, The crop of sedge and rowens.

MARTHA. Stay a moment, I want to tell you what I dreamed last night. Do you believe in dreams?

COREY. Why, yes and no. When they come true, then I believe in them When they come false, I don't believe in them. But let me hear. What did you dream about?

MARTHA. I dreamed that you and I were both in prison; That we had fetters on our hands and feet; That we were taken before the Magistrates, And tried for Witchcraft, and condemned to death! I wished to pray; they would not let me pray; You tried to comfort me, and they forbade it. But the most dreadful thing in all my dream Was that they made you testify against me! And then there came a kind of mist between us; I could not see you; and I woke in terror. I never was more thankful in my life Than when I found you sleeping at my side!

COREY (with tenderness). It was our talk last night that made you dream. I'm sorry for it. I'll control myself Another time, and keep my temper down! I do not like such dreams.—Remember, Martha, I'm going to mow the Ipswich River meadows; If Gardner comes, you'll tell him where to find me. [Exit.

MARTHA. So this delusion grows from bad to worse First, a forsaken and forlorn old woman, Ragged and wretched, and without a friend; Then something higher. Now it's Bridget Bishop; God only knows whose turn it will be next! The Magistrates are blind, the people mad! If they would only seize the Afflicted Children, And put them in the Workhouse, where they should be, There'd be an end of all this wickedness. [Exit.

SCENE II. — A street in Salem Village. Enter MATHER and HATHORNE.

MATHER. Yet one thing troubles me.

HATHORNE. And what is that?

MATHER. May not the Devil take the outward shape Of innocent persons? Are we not in danger, Perhaps, of punishing some who are not guilty?

HATHORNE. As I have said, we do not trust alone To spectral evidence.

MATHER. And then again, If any shall be put to death for Witchcraft, We do but kill the body, not the soul. The Unclean Spirits that possessed them once Live still, to enter into other bodies. What have we gained? Surely, there's nothing gained.

HATHORNE. Doth not the Scripture say, "Thou shalt not suffer A Witch to live"?

MATHER. The Scripture sayeth it, But speaketh to the Jews; and we are Christians. What say the laws of England?

HATHORNE. They make Witchcraft Felony without the benefit of Clergy. Witches are burned in England. You have read— For you read all things, not a book escapes you— The famous Demonology of King James?

MATHER. A curious volume. I remember also The plot of the Two Hundred, with one Fian, The Registrar of the Devil, at their head, To drown his Majesty on his return From Denmark; how they sailed in sieves or riddles Unto North Berwick Kirk in Lothian, And, landing there, danced hand in hand, and sang, "Goodwife, go ye before! good wife, go ye! If ye'll not go before, goodwife, let me!" While Geilis Duncan played the Witches' Reel Upon a jews-harp.

HATHORNE. Then you know full well The English law, and that in England Witches, When lawfully convicted and attainted, Are put to death.

MATHER. When lawfully convicted; That is the point.

HATHORNE. You heard the evidence Produced before us yesterday at the trial Of Bridget Bishop.

MATHER. One of the Afflicted, I know, bore witness to the apparition Of ghosts unto the spectre of this Bishop, Saying, "You murdered us!" of the truth whereof There was in matter of fact too much Suspicion.

HATHORNE. And when she cast her eyes on the Afflicted, They were struck down; and this in such a manner There could be no collusion in the business. And when the accused but laid her hand upon them, As they lay in their swoons, they straight revived, Although they stirred not when the others touched them.

MATHER. What most convinced me of the woman's guilt Was finding hidden in her cellar wall Those poppets made of rags, with headless pins Stuck into them point outwards, and whereof She could not give a reasonable account.

HATHORNE. When you shall read the testimony given Before the Court in all the other cases, I am persuaded you will find the proof No less conclusive than it was in this. Come, then, with me, and I will tax your patience With reading of the documents so far As may convince you that these sorcerers Are lawfully convicted and attainted. Like doubting Thomas, you shall lay your hand Upon these wounds, and you will doubt no more. {Exeunt.

SCENE III. — A room in COREY's house. MARTHA and two Deacons of the church.

MARTHA. Be seated. I am glad to see you here. I know what you are come for. You are come To question me, and learn from my own lips If I have any dealings with the Devil; In short, if I'm a Witch.

DEACON (sitting down). Such is our purpose. How could you know beforehand why we came?

MARTHA. 'T was only a surmise.

DEACON. We came to ask you, You being with us in church covenant, What part you have, if any, in these matters.

MARTHA. And I make answer, No part whatsoever. I am a farmer's wife, a working woman; You see my spinning-wheel, you see my loom, You know the duties of a farmer's wife, And are not ignorant that my life among you Has been without reproach until this day. Is it not true?

DEACON. So much we're bound to own, And say it frankly, and without reserve.

MARTHA. I've heard the idle tales that are abroad; I've heard it whispered that I am a Witch; I cannot help it. I do not believe In any Witchcraft. It is a delusion.

DEACON. How can you say that it is a delusion, When all our learned and good men believe it,— Our Ministers and worshipful Magistrates?

MARTHA. Their eyes are blinded and see not the truth. Perhaps one day they will be open to it.

DEACON. You answer boldly. The Afflicted Children Say you appeared to them.

MARTHA. And did they say What clothes I came in?

DEACON. No, they could not tell. They said that you foresaw our visit here, And blinded them, so that they could not see The clothes you wore.

MARTHA. The cunning, crafty girls! I say to you, in all sincerity, I never have appeared to anyone In my own person. If the Devil takes My shape to hurt these children, or afflict them, I am not guilty of it. And I say It's all a mere delusion of the senses.

DEACON. I greatly fear that you will find too late It is not so.

MARTHA (rising). They do accuse me falsely. It is delusion, or it is deceit. There is a story in the ancient Scriptures Which I much wonder comes not to your minds. Let me repeat it to you.

DEACON. We will hear it.

MARTHA. It came to pass that Naboth had a vineyard Hard by the palace of the King called Ahab. And Ahab, King of Israel, spake to Naboth, And said to him, Give unto me thy vineyard, That I may have it for a garden of herbs, And I will give a better vineyard for it, Or, if it seemeth good to thee, its worth In money. And then Naboth said to Ahab, The Lord forbid it me that I should give The inheritance of my fathers unto thee. And Ahab came into his house displeased And heavy at the words which Naboth spake, And laid him down upon his bed, and turned His face away; and he would eat no bread. And Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, came And said to him, Why is thy spirit sad? And he said unto her, Because I spake To Naboth, to the Jezreelite, and said, Give me thy vineyard; and he answered, saying, I will not give my vineyard unto thee. And Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, said, Dost thou not rule the realm of Israel? Arise, eat bread, and let thy heart be merry; I will give Naboth's vineyard unto thee. So she wrote letters in King Ahab's name, And sealed them with his seal, and sent the letters Unto the elders that were in his city Dwelling with Naboth, and unto the nobles; And in the letters wrote, Proclaim a fast; And set this Naboth high among the people, And set two men, the sons of Belial, Before him, to bear witness and to say, Thou didst blaspheme against God and the King; And carry him out and stone him, that he die! And the elders and the nobles in the city Did even as Jezebel, the wife of Ahab, Had sent to them and written in the letters.

And then it came to pass, when Ahab heard Naboth was dead, that Ahab rose to go Down unto Naboth's vineyard, and to take Possession of it. And the word of God Came to Elijah, saying to him, Arise, Go down to meet the King of Israel In Naboth's vineyard, whither he hath gone To take possession. Thou shalt speak to him, Saying, Thus saith the Lord! What! hast thou killed And also taken possession? In the place Wherein the dogs have licked the blood of Naboth Shall the dogs lick thy blood,—ay, even thine!

Both of the Deacons start from their seats.

And Ahab then, the King of Israel, Said, Hast thou found me, O mine enemy? Elijah the Prophet answered, I have found thee! So will it be with those who have stirred up The Sons of Belial here to bear false witness And swear away the lives of innocent people; Their enemy will find them out at last, The Prophet's voice will thunder, I have found thee! [Exeunt.

SCENE IV. — Meadows on Ipswich River, COREY and his men mowing; COREY in advance.

COREY. Well done, my men. You see, I lead the field! I'm an old man, but I can swing a scythe Better than most of you, though you be younger.

Hangs his scythe upon a tree.

GLOYD (aside to the others). How strong he is! It's supernatural. No man so old as he is has such strength. The Devil helps him!

COREY (wiping his forehead). Now we'll rest awhile, And take our nooning. What's the matter with you? You are not angry with me,—are you, Gloyd? Come, come, we will not quarrel. Let's be friends. It's an old story, that the Raven said, "Read the Third of Colossians and fifteenth."

GLOYD. You're handier at the scythe, but I can beat you At wrestling.

COREY. Well, perhaps so. I don't know. I never wrestled with you. Why, you're vexed! Come, come, don't bear a grudge.

GLOYD. You are afraid.

COREY. What should I be afraid of? All bear witness The challenge comes from him. Now, then, my man.

They wrestle, and GLOYD is thrown.

ONE OF THE MEN. That's a fair fall.

ANOTHER. 'T was nothing but a foil!

OTHERS. You've hurt him!

COREY (helping GLOYD rise). No; this meadow-land is soft. You're not hurt,—are you, Gloyd?

GLOYD (rising). No, not much hurt.

COREY. Well, then, shake hands; and there's an end of it. How do you like that Cornish hug, my lad? And now we'll see what's in our basket here.

GLOYD (aside). The Devil and all his imps are in that man! The clutch of his ten fingers burns like fire!

COREY (reverentially taking off his hat). God bless the food He hath provided for us, And make us thankful for it, for Christ's sake!

He lifts up a keg of cider, and drinks from it.

GLOYD. Do you see that? Don't tell me it's not Witchcraft Two of us could not lift that cask as he does!

COREY puts down the keg, and opens a basket. A voice is heard calling.

VOICE. Ho! Corey, Corey!

COREY. What is that? I surely Heard some one calling me by name!

VOICE. Giles Corey!

Enter a boy, running, and out of breath.

BOY. Is Master Corey here?

COREY. Yes, here I am. BOY. O Master Corey!

COREY. Well?

BOY. Your wife—your wife—

COREY. What's happened to my wife?

BOY. She's sent to prison!

COREY. The dream! the dream! O God, be merciful!

BOY. She sent me here to tell you.

COREY (putting on his jacket). Where's my horse? Don't stand there staring, fellows. Where's my horse? [Exit COREY.

GLOYD. Under the trees there. Run, old man, run, run! You've got some one to wrestle with you now Who'll trip your heels up, with your Cornish hug. If there's a Devil, he has got you now. Ah, there he goes! His horse is snorting fire!

ONE OF THE MEN. John Gloyd, don't talk so! It's a shame to talk so! He's a good master, though you quarrel with him.

GLOYD. If hard work and low wages make good masters, Then he is one. But I think otherwise. Come, let us have our dinner and be merry, And talk about the old man and the Witches. I know some stories that will make you laugh.

They sit down on the grass, and eat.

Now there are Goody Cloyse and Goody Good, Who have not got a decent tooth between them, And yet these children—the Afflicted Children— Say that they bite them, and show marks of teeth Upon their arms!

ONE OF THE MEN. That makes the wonder greater. That's Witchcraft. Why, if they had teeth like yours, 'T would be no wonder if the girls were bitten!

GLOYD. And then those ghosts that come out of their graves And cry, "You murdered us! you murdered us!"

ONE OF THE MEN. And all those Apparitions that stick pins Into the flesh of the Afflicted Children!

GLOYD. Oh those Afflicted Children! They know well Where the pins come from. I can tell you that. And there's old Corey, he has got a horseshoe Nailed on his doorstep to keep off the Witches, And all the same his wife has gone to prison.

ONE OF THE MEN. Oh, she's no Witch. I'll swear that Goodwife Corey Never did harm to any living creature. She's a good woman, if there ever was one.

GLOYD. Well, we shall see. As for that Bridget Bishop, She has been tried before; some years ago A negro testified he saw her shape Sitting upon the rafters in a barn, And holding in its hand an egg; and while He went to fetch his pitchfork, she had vanished. And now be quiet, will you? I am tired, And want to sleep here on the grass a little.

They stretch themselves on the grass.

ONE OF THE MEN. There may be Witches riding through the air Over our heads on broomsticks at this moment, Bound for some Satan's Sabbath in the woods To be baptized.

GLOYD. I wish they'd take you with them, And hold you under water, head and ears, Till you were drowned; and that would stop your talking, If nothing else will. Let me sleep, I say.

ACT IV

SCENE I. — The Green in front of the village Meeting-house. An excited crowd gathering. Enter JOHN GLOYD.

A FARMER. Who will be tried to-day?

A SECOND. I do not know. Here is John Gloyd. Ask him; he knows.

FARMER. John Gloyd, Whose turn is it to-day?

GLOYD. It's Goodwife Corey's.

FARMER. Giles Corey's wife?

GLOYD. The same. She is not mine. It will go hard with her with all her praying. The hypocrite! She's always on her knees; But she prays to the Devil when she prays. Let us go in.

A trumpet blows.

FARMER. Here come the Magistrates.

SECOND FARMER. Who's the tall man in front?

GLOYD. Oh, that is Hathorne, A Justice of the Court, and a Quarter-master In the Three County Troop. He'll sift the matter. That's Corwin with him; and the man in black Is Cotton Mather, Minister of Boston.

Enter HATHORNE and other Magistrates on horseback, followed by the Sheriff, constables, and attendants on foot. The Magistrates dismount, and enter the Meeting-house, with the rest.

FARMER.

The Meeting-house is full. I never saw So great a crowd before.

GLOYD. No matter. Come. We shall find room enough by elbowing Our way among them. Put your shoulder to it.

FARMER. There were not half so many at the trial Of Goodwife Bishop.

GLOYD. Keep close after me. I'll find a place for you. They'll want me there. I am a friend of Corey's, as you know, And he can't do without me just at present. [Exeunt.

SCENE II. — Interior of the Meeting-house. MATHER and the Magistrates seated in front of the pulpit. Before them a raised platform. MARTHA in chains. COREY near her. MARY WALCOT in a chair. A crowd of spectators, among them GLOYD. Confusion and murmurs during the scene.

HATHORNE. Call Martha Corey.

MARTHA. I am here.

HATHORNE. Come forward.

She ascends the platform.

The Jurors of our Sovereign Lord and Lady The King and Queen, here present, do accuse you Of having on the tenth of June last past, And divers other times before and after, Wickedly used and practised certain arts Called Witchcrafts, Sorceries, and Incantations, Against one Mary Walcot, single woman, Of Salem Village; by which wicked arts The aforesaid Mary Walcot was tormented, Tortured, afflicted, pined, consumed, and wasted, Against the peace of our Sovereign Lord and Lady The King and Queen, as well as of the Statute Made and provided in that case. What say you?

MARTHA. Before I answer, give me leave to pray.

HATHORNE. We have not sent for you, nor are we here, To hear you pray, but to examine you In whatsoever is alleged against you. Why do you hurt this person?

MARTHA. I do not. I am not guilty of the charge against me.

MARY. Avoid, she-devil! You may torment me now! Avoid, avoid, Witch!

MARTHA. I am innocent. I never had to do with any Witchcraft Since I was born. I am a gospel woman.

MARY. You are a gospel Witch!

MARTHA (clasping her hands). Ah me! ah me! Oh, give me leave to pray!

MARY (stretching out her hands). She hurts me now. See, she has pinched my hands!

HATHORNE. Who made these marks Upon her hands?

MARTHA. I do not know. I stand Apart from her. I did not touch her hands.

HATHORNE. Who hurt her then?

MARTHA. I know not.

HATHORNE. Do you think She is bewitched?

MARTHA. Indeed I do not think so. I am no Witch, and have no faith in Witches.

HATHORNE. Then answer me: When certain persons came To see you yesterday, how did you know Beforehand why they came?

MARTHA. I had had speech; The children said I hurt them, and I thought These people came to question me about it.

HATHORNE. How did you know the children had been told To note the clothes you wore?

MARTHA. My husband told me What others said about it.

HATHORNE. Goodman Corey, Say, did you tell her?

COREY. I must speak the truth; I did not tell her. It was some one else.

HATHORNE. Did you not say your husband told you so? How dare you tell a lie in this assembly? Who told you of the clothes? Confess the truth.

MARTHA bites her lips, and is silent.

You bite your lips, but do not answer me!

MARY. Ah, she is biting me! Avoid, avoid!

HATHORNE. You said your husband told you.

MARTHA. Yes, he told me The children said I troubled them.

HATHORNE. Then tell me, Why do you trouble them?

MARTHA. I have denied it.

MARY. She threatened me; stabbed at me with her spindle; And, when my brother thrust her with his sword, He tore her gown, and cut a piece away. Here are they both, the spindle and the cloth.

Shows them.

HATHORNE. And there are persons here who know the truth Of what has now been said. What answer make you?

MARTHA. I make no answer. Give me leave to pray.

HATHORNE. Whom would you pray to?

MARTHA. To my God and Father.

HATHORNE. Who is your God and Father?

MARTHA. The Almighty!

HATHORNE. Doth he you pray to say that he is God? It is the Prince of Darkness, and not God.

MARY. There is a dark shape whispering in her ear.

HATHORNE. What does it say to you?

MARTHA. I see no shape.

HATHORNE. Did you not hear it whisper?

MARTHA. I heard nothing.

MARY. What torture! Ah, what agony I suffer!

Falls into a swoon.

HATHORNE. You see this woman cannot stand before you. If you would look for mercy, you must look In God's way, by confession of your guilt. Why does your spectre haunt and hurt this person?

MARTHA. I do not know. He who appeared of old In Samuel's shape, a saint and glorified, May come in whatsoever shape he chooses. I cannot help it. I am sick at heart!

COREY. O Martha, Martha! let me hold your hand.

HATHORNE. No; stand aside, old man.

MARY (starting up). Look there! Look there! I see a little bird, a yellow bird Perched on her finger; and it pecks at me. Ah, it will tear mine eyes out!

MARTHA. I see nothing.

HATHORNE. 'T is the Familiar Spirit that attends her.

MARY. Now it has flown away. It sits up there Upon the rafters. It is gone; is vanished.

MARTHA. Giles, wipe these tears of anger from mine eyes. Wipe the sweat from my forehead. I am faint.

She leans against the railing.

MARY. Oh, she is crushing me with all her weight!

HATHORNE. Did you not carry once the Devil's Book To this young woman?

MARTHA. Never.

HATHORNE. Have you signed it, Or touched it?

MARTHA. No; I never saw it.

HATHORNE. Did you not scourge her with an iron rod?

MARTHA. No, I did not. If any Evil Spirit Has taken my shape to do these evil deeds, I cannot help it. I am innocent.

HATHORNE. Did you not say the Magistrates were blind? That you would open their eyes?

MARTHA (with a scornful laugh). Yes, I said that; If you call me a sorceress, you are blind! If you accuse the innocent, you are blind! Can the innocent be guilty?

HATHORNE. Did you not On one occasion hide your husband's saddle To hinder him from coming to the sessions?

MARTHA. I thought it was a folly in a farmer To waste his time pursuing such illusions.

HATHORNE. What was the bird that this young woman saw Just now upon your hand?

MARTHA. I know no bird.

HATHORNE. Have you not dealt with a Familiar Spirit?

MARTHA. No, never, never!

HATHORNE. What then was the Book You showed to this young woman, and besought her To write in it?

MARTHA. Where should I have a book? I showed her none, nor have none.

MARY. The next Sabbath Is the Communion Day, but Martha Corey Will not be there!

MARTHA. Ah, you are all against me. What can I do or say?

HATHORNE. You can confess.

MARTHA. No, I cannot, for I am innocent.

HATHORNE. We have the proof of many witnesses That you are guilty.

MARTHA. Give me leave to speak. Will you condemn me on such evidence,— You who have known me for so many years? Will you condemn me in this house of God, Where I so long have worshipped with you all? Where I have eaten the bread and drunk the wine So many times at our Lord's Table with you? Bear witness, you that hear me; you all know That I have led a blameless life among you, That never any whisper of suspicion Was breathed against me till this accusation. And shall this count for nothing? Will you take My life away from me, because this girl, Who is distraught, and not in her right mind, Accuses me of things I blush to name?

HATHORNE. What! is it not enough? Would you hear more? Giles Corey!

COREY. I am here.

HATHORNE. Come forward, then.

COREY ascends the platform.

Is it not true, that on a certain night You were impeded strangely in your prayers? That something hindered you? and that you left This woman here, your wife, kneeling alone Upon the hearth?

COREY. Yes; I cannot deny it.

HATHORNE. Did you not say the Devil hindered you?

COREY. I think I said some words to that effect.

HATHORNE. Is it not true, that fourteen head of cattle, To you belonging, broke from their enclosure And leaped into the river, and were drowned?

COREY. It is most true.

HATHORNE. And did you not then say That they were overlooked?

COREY. So much I said. I see; they're drawing round me closer, closer, A net I cannot break, cannot escape from! (Aside).

HATHORNE. Who did these things?

COREY. I do not know who did them.

HATHORNE. Then I will tell you. It is some one near you; You see her now; this woman, your own wife.

COREY. I call the heavens to witness, it is false! She never harmed me, never hindered me In anything but what I should not do. And I bear witness in the sight of heaven, And in God's house here, that I never knew her As otherwise than patient, brave, and true, Faithful, forgiving, full of charity, A virtuous and industrious and good wife!

HATHORNE. Tut, tut, man; do not rant so in your speech; You are a witness, not an advocate! Here, Sheriff, take this woman back to prison.

MARTHA. O Giles, this day you've sworn away my life!

MARY. Go, go and join the Witches at the door. Do you not hear the drum? Do you not see them? Go quick. They're waiting for you. You are late. [Exit MARTHA; COREY following.

COREY. The dream! the dream! the dream!

HATHORNE. What does he say? Giles Corey, go not hence. You are yourself Accused of Witchcraft and of Sorcery By many witnesses. Say, are you guilty?

COREY. I know my death is foreordained by you, Mine and my wife's. Therefore I will not answer.

During the rest of the scene he remains silent.

HATHORNE. Do you refuse to plead?—'T were better for you To make confession, or to plead Not Guilty.— Do you not hear me?—Answer, are you guilty? Do you not know a heavier doom awaits you, If you refuse to plead, than if found guilty? Where is John Gloyd?

GLOYD (coming forward). Here am I.

HATHORNE. Tell the Court Have you not seen the supernatural power Of this old man? Have you not seen him do Strange feats of strength?

GLOYD. I've seen him lead the field, On a hot day, in mowing, and against Us younger men; and I have wrestled with him. He threw me like a feather. I have seen him Lift up a barrel with his single hands, Which two strong men could hardly lift together, And, holding it above his head, drink from it.

HATHORNE. That is enough; we need not question further. What answer do you make to this, Giles Corey?

MARY. See there! See there!

HATHORNE. What is it? I see nothing.

MARY. Look! Look! It is the ghost of Robert Goodell, Whom fifteen years ago this man did murder By stamping on his body! In his shroud He comes here to bear witness to the crime!

The crowd shrinks back from COREY in horror.

HATHORNE. Ghosts of the dead and voices of the living Bear witness to your guilt, and you must die! It might have been an easier death. Your doom Will be on your own head, and not on ours. Twice more will you be questioned of these things; Twice more have room to plead or to confess. If you are contumacious to the Court, And if, when questioned, you refuse to answer, Then by the Statute you will be condemned To the peine forte et dure! To have your body Pressed by great weights until you shall be dead! And may the Lord have mercy on your soul!

ACT V.

SCENE I. — COREy's farm as in Act II., Scene I. Enter RICHARD GARDNER, looking round him.

GARDNER. Here stands the house as I remember it. The four tall poplar-trees before the door; The house, the barn, the orchard, and the well, With its moss-covered bucket and its trough; The garden, with its hedge of currant-bushes; The woods, the harvest-fields; and, far beyond, The pleasant landscape stretching to the sea. But everything is silent and deserted! No bleat of flocks, no bellowing of herds, No sound of flails, that should be beating now; Nor man nor beast astir. What can this mean?

Knocks at the door.

What ho! Giles Corey! Hillo-ho! Giles Corey!— No answer but the echo from the barn, And the ill-omened cawing of the crow, That yonder wings his flight across the fields, As if he scented carrion in the air.

Enter TITUBA with a basket.

What woman's this, that, like an apparition, Haunts this deserted homestead in broad day? Woman, who are you?

TITUBA. I'm Tituba. I am John Indian's wife. I am a Witch.

GARDNER. What are you doing here?

TITUBA. I am gathering herbs,— Cinquefoil, and saxifrage, and pennyroyal.

GARDNER (looking at the herbs). This is not cinquefoil, it is deadly nightshade! This is not saxifrage, but hellebore! This is not pennyroyal, it is henbane! Do you come here to poison these good people?

TITUBA. I get these for the Doctor in the Village. Beware of Tituba. I pinch the children; Make little poppets and stick pins in them, And then the children cry out they are pricked. The Black Dog came to me and said, "Serve me!" I was afraid. He made me hurt the children.

GARDNER. Poor soul! She's crazed, with all these Devil's doings.

TITUBA. Will you, sir, sign the book?

GARDNER. No, I'll not sign it. Where is Giles Corey? Do you know Giles Corey!

TITUBA. He's safe enough. He's down there in the prison.

GARDNER. Corey in prison? What is he accused of?

TITURA. Giles Corey and Martha Corey are in prison Down there in Salem Village. Both are witches. She came to me and whispered, "Kill the children!" Both signed the Book!

GARDNER.

Begone, you imp of darkness! You Devil's dam!

TITUBA. Beware of Tituba! [Exit.

GARDNER. How often out at sea on stormy nights, When the waves thundered round me, and the wind Bellowed, and beat the canvas, and my ship Clove through the solid darkness, like a wedge, I've thought of him upon his pleasant farm, Living in quiet with his thrifty housewife, And envied him, and wished his fate were mine! And now I find him shipwrecked utterly, Drifting upon this sea of sorceries, And lost, perhaps, beyond all aid of man! [Exit.

SCENE II.. — The prison. GILES COREY at a table on which are some papers.

COREY. Now I have done with earth and all its cares; I give my worldly goods to my dear children; My body I bequeath to my tormentors, And my immortal soul to Him who made it. O God! who in thy wisdom dost afflict me With an affliction greater than most men Have ever yet endured or shall endure, Suffer me not in this last bitter hour For any pains of death to fall from Thee!

MARTHA is heard singing. Arise, O righteous Lord! And disappoint my foes; They are but thine avenging sword, Whose wounds are swift to close.

COREY. Hark, hark! it is her voice! She is not dead! She lives! I am not utterly forsaken!

MARTHA, singing. By thine abounding grace, And mercies multiplied, I shall awake, and see thy face; I shall be satisfied.

COREY hides his face in his hands. Enter the JAILER, followed by RICHARD GARDNER.

JAILER. Here's a seafaring man, one Richard Gardner, A friend of yours, who asks to speak with you.

COREY rises. They embrace.

COREY. I'm glad to see you, ay, right glad to see you.

GARDNER. And I am most sorely grieved to see you thus.

COREY. Of all the friends I had in happier days, You are the first, ay, and the only one, That comes to seek me out in my disgrace! And you but come in time to say farewell, They've dug my grave already in the field. I thank you. There is something in your presence, I know not what it is, that gives me strength. Perhaps it is the bearing of a man Familiar with all dangers of the deep, Familiar with the cries of drowning men, With fire, and wreck, and foundering ships at sea!

GARDNER. Ah, I have never known a wreck like yours! Would I could save you!

COREY. Do not speak of that. It is too late. I am resolved to die.

GARDNER. Why would you die who have so much to live for?— Your daughters, and—

COREY. You cannot say the word. My daughters have gone from me. They are married; They have their homes, their thoughts, apart from me; I will not say their hearts,—that were too cruel. What would you have me do?

GARDNER. Confess and live. COREY. That's what they said who came here yesterday To lay a heavy weight upon my conscience By telling me that I was driven forth As an unworthy member of their church.

GARDNER. It is an awful death.

COREY. 'T is but to drown, And have the weight of all the seas upon you.

GARDNER. Say something; say enough to fend off death Till this tornado of fanaticism Blows itself out. Let me come in between you And your severer self, with my plain sense; Do not be obstinate.

COREY. I will not plead. If I deny, I am condemned already, In courts where ghosts appear as witnesses, And swear men's lives away. If I confess, Then I confess a lie, to buy a life Which is not life, but only death in life. I will not bear false witness against any, Not even against myself, whom I count least.

GARDNER (aside). Ah, what a noble character is this!

COREY. I pray you, do not urge me to do that You would not do yourself. I have already The bitter taste of death upon my lips; I feel the pressure of the heavy weight That will crush out my life within this hour; But if a word could save me, and that word Were not the Truth; nay, if it did but swerve A hair's-breadth from the Truth, I would not say it!

GARDNER (aside). How mean I seem beside a man like this!

COREY. As for my wife, my Martha and my Martyr,— Whose virtues, like the stars, unseen by day, Though numberless, do but await the dark To manifest themselves unto all eyes,— She who first won me from my evil ways, And taught me how to live by her example, By her example teaches me to die, And leads me onward to the better life!

SHERIFF (without). Giles Corey! Come! The hour has struck!

COREY. I come! Here is my body; ye may torture it, But the immortal soul ye cannot crush! [Exeunt.

SCENE III— A street in the Village. Enter GLOYD and others.

GLOYD. Quick, or we shall be late!

A MAN. That's not the way. Come here; come up this lane.

GLOYD. I wonder now If the old man will die, and will not speak? He's obstinate enough and tough enough For anything on earth.

A bell tolls.

Hark! What is that?

A MAN. The passing bell. He's dead!

GLOYD. We are too late. [Exeunt in haste.

SCENE IV. — A field near the graveyard, GILES COREY lying dead, with a great stone on his breast. The Sheriff at his head, RICHARD GARDNER at his feet. A crowd behind. The bell tolling. Enter HATHORNE and MATHER.

HATHORNE. This is the Potter's Field. Behold the fate Of those who deal in Witchcrafts, and, when questioned, Refuse to plead their guilt or innocence, And stubbornly drag death upon themselves.

MATHER. O sight most horrible! In a land like this, Spangled with Churches Evangelical, Inwrapped in our salvations, must we seek In mouldering statute-books of English Courts Some old forgotten Law, to do such deeds? Those who lie buried in the Potter's Field Will rise again, as surely as ourselves That sleep in honored graves with epitaphs; And this poor man, whom we have made a victim, Hereafter will be counted as a martyr!



FINALE

SAINT JOHN

SAINT JOHN wandering over the face of the Earth.

SAINT JOHN. The Ages come and go, The Centuries pass as Years; My hair is white as the snow, My feet are weary and slow, The earth is wet with my tears The kingdoms crumble, and fall Apart, like a ruined wall, Or a bank that is undermined By a river's ceaseless flow, And leave no trace behind! The world itself is old; The portals of Time unfold On hinges of iron, that grate And groan with the rust and the weight, Like the hinges of a gate That hath fallen to decay; But the evil doth not cease; There is war instead of peace, Instead of Love there is hate; And still I must wander and wait, Still I must watch and pray, Not forgetting in whose sight, A thousand years in their flight Are as a single day.

The life of man is a gleam Of light, that comes and goes Like the course of the Holy Stream. The cityless river, that flows From fountains no one knows, Through the Lake of Galilee, Through forests and level lands, Over rocks, and shallows, and sands Of a wilderness wild and vast, Till it findeth its rest at last In the desolate Dead Sea! But alas! alas for me Not yet this rest shall be!

What, then! doth Charity fail? Is Faith of no avail? Is Hope blown out like a light By a gust of wind in the night? The clashing of creeds, and the strife Of the many beliefs, that in vain Perplex man's heart and brain, Are naught but the rustle of leaves, When the breath of God upheaves The boughs of the Tree of Life, And they subside again! And I remember still The words, and from whom they came, Not he that repeateth the name, But he that doeth the will!

And Him evermore I behold Walking in Galilee, Through the cornfield's waving gold, In hamlet, in wood, and in wold, By the shores of the Beautiful Sea. He toucheth the sightless eyes; Before Him the demons flee; To the dead He sayeth: Arise! To the living: Follow me! And that voice still soundeth on From the centuries that are gone, To the centuries that shall be! From all vain pomps and shows, From the pride that overflows, And the false conceits of men; From all the narrow rules And subtleties of Schools, And the craft of tongue and pen; Bewildered in its search, Bewildered with the cry, Lo, here! lo, there, the Church! Poor, sad Humanity Through all the dust and heat Turns back with bleeding feet, By the weary road it came, Unto the simple thought By the great Master taught, And that remaineth still: Not he that repeateth the name, But he that doeth the will!



********

JUDAS MACCABAEUS.

ACT I.

The Citadel of Antiochus at Jerusalem.

SCENE I. — ANTIOCHUS; JASON.

ANTIOCHUS. O Antioch, my Antioch, my city! Queen of the East! my solace, my delight! The dowry of my sister Cleopatra When she was wed to Ptolemy, and now Won back and made more wonderful by me! I love thee, and I long to be once more Among the players and the dancing women Within thy gates, and bathe in the Orontes, Thy river and mine. O Jason, my High-Priest, For I have made thee so, and thou art mine, Hast thou seen Antioch the Beautiful?

JASON. Never, my Lord.

ANTIOCHUS. Then hast thou never seen The wonder of the world. This city of David Compared with Antioch is but a village, And its inhabitants compared with Greeks Are mannerless boors.

JASON. They are barbarians, And mannerless.

ANTIOCHUS. They must be civilized. They must be made to have more gods than one; And goddesses besides.

JASON. They shall have more.

ANTIOCHUS. They must have hippodromes, and games, and baths, Stage-plays and festivals, and most of all The Dionysia.

JASON. They shall have them all.

ANTIOCHUS. By Heracles! but I should like to see These Hebrews crowned with ivy, and arrayed In skins of fawns, with drums and flutes and thyrsi, Revel and riot through the solemn streets Of their old town. Ha, ha! It makes me merry Only to think of it!—Thou dost not laugh.

JASON. Yea, I laugh inwardly.

ANTIOCHUS. The new Greek leaven Works slowly in this Israelitish dough! Have I not sacked the Temple, and on the altar Set up the statue of Olympian Zeus To Hellenize it?

JASON. Thou hast done all this.

ANTIOCHUS. As thou wast Joshua once and now art Jason, And from a Hebrew hast become a Greek, So shall this Hebrew nation be translated, Their very natures and their names be changed, And all be Hellenized.

JASON. It shall be done.

ANTIOCHUS. Their manners and their laws and way of living Shall all be Greek. They shall unlearn their language, And learn the lovely speech of Antioch. Where hast thou been to-day? Thou comest late.

JASON. Playing at discus with the other priests In the Gymnasium.

ANTIOCHUS. Thou hast done well. There's nothing better for you lazy priests Than discus-playing with the common people. Now tell me, Jason, what these Hebrews call me When they converse together at their games.

JASON. Antiochus Epiphanes, my Lord; Antiochus the Illustrious.

ANTIOCHUS. O, not that; That is the public cry; I mean the name They give me when they talk among themselves, And think that no one listens; what is that?

JASON. Antiochus Epimanes, my Lord!

ANTIOCHUS. Antiochus the Mad! Ay, that is it. And who hath said it? Who hath set in motion That sorry jest?

JASON. The Seven Sons insane Of a weird woman, like themselves insane.

ANTIOCHUS. I like their courage, but it shall not save them. They shall be made to eat the flesh of swine, Or they shall die. Where are they?

JASON. In the dungeons Beneath this tower.

ANTIOCHUS. There let them stay and starve, Till I am ready to make Greeks of them, After my fashion.

JASON. They shall stay and starve.— My Lord, the Ambassadors of Samaria Await thy pleasure.

ANTIOCHUS. Why not my displeasure? Ambassadors are tedious. They are men Who work for their own ends, and not for mine There is no furtherance in them. Let them go To Apollonius, my governor There in Samaria, and not trouble me. What do they want?

JASON. Only the royal sanction To give a name unto a nameless temple Upon Mount Gerizim.

ANTIOCHUS. Then bid them enter. This pleases me, and furthers my designs. The occasion is auspicious. Bid them enter.



SCENE II. — ANTIOCHUS; JASON; THE SAMARITAN AMBASSADORS.

ANTIOCHUS. Approach. Come forward; stand not at the door Wagging your long beards, but demean yourselves As doth become Ambassadors. What seek ye?

AN AMBASSADOR. An audience from the King.

ANTIOCHUS. Speak, and be brief. Waste not the time in useless rhetoric. Words are not things.

AMBASSADOR (reading). "To King Antiochus, The God, Epiphanes; a Memorial From the Sidonians, who live at Sichem."

ANTIOCHUS. Sidonians?

AMBASSADOR. Ay, my Lord.

ANTIOCHUS. Go on, go on! And do not tire thyself and me with bowing!

AMBASSADOR (reading). "We are a colony of Medes and Persians."

ANTIOCHUS. No, ye are Jews from one of the Ten Tribes; Whether Sidonians or Samaritans Or Jews of Jewry, matters not to me; Ye are all Israelites, ye are all Jews. When the Jews prosper, ye claim kindred with them; When the Jews suffer, ye are Medes and Persians: I know that in the days of Alexander Ye claimed exemption from the annual tribute In the Sabbatic Year, because, ye said, Your fields had not been planted in that year.

AMBASSADOR (reading). "Our fathers, upon certain frequent plagues, And following an ancient superstition, Were long accustomed to observe that day Which by the Israelites is called the Sabbath, And in a temple on Mount Gerizim Without a name, they offered sacrifice. Now we, who are Sidonians, beseech thee, Who art our benefactor and our savior, Not to confound us with these wicked Jews, But to give royal order and injunction To Apollonius in Samaria. Thy governor, and likewise to Nicanor, Thy procurator, no more to molest us; And let our nameless temple now be named The Temple of Jupiter Hellenius."

ANTIOCHUS. This shall be done. Full well it pleaseth me Ye are not Jews, or are no longer Jews, But Greeks; if not by birth, yet Greeks by custom. Your nameless temple shall receive the name Of Jupiter Hellenius. Ye may go!

SCENE III. — ANTIOCHUS; JASON.

ANTIOCHUS. My task is easier than I dreamed. These people Meet me half-way. Jason, didst thou take note How these Samaritans of Sichem said They were not Jews? that they were Medes and Persians, They were Sidonians, anything but Jews? 'T is of good augury. The rest will follow Till the whole land is Hellenized.

JASON. My Lord, These are Samaritans. The tribe of Judah Is of a different temper, and the task Will be more difficult.

ANTIOCHUS. Dost thou gainsay me?

JASON. I know the stubborn nature of the Jew. Yesterday, Eleazer, an old man, Being fourscore years and ten, chose rather death By torture than to eat the flesh of swine.

ANTIOCHUS. The life is in the blood, and the whole nation Shall bleed to death, or it shall change its faith!

JASON. Hundreds have fled already to the mountains Of Ephraim, where Judas Maccabaeus Hath raised the standard of revolt against thee.

ANTIOCHUS. I will burn down their city, and will make it Waste as a wilderness. Its thoroughfares Shall be but furrows in a field of ashes. It shall be sown with salt as Sodom is! This hundred and fifty-third Olympiad Shall have a broad and blood-red sea upon it, Stamped with the awful letters of my name, Antiochus the God, Epiphanes!— Where are those Seven Sons?

JASON. My Lord, they wait Thy royal pleasure.

ANTIOCHUS. They shall wait no longer!

ACT II.

The Dungeons in the Citadel.

SCENE I. — THE MOTHER of the SEVEN SONS alone, listening.

THE MOTHER. Be strong, my heart! Break not till they are dead, All, all my Seven Sons; then burst asunder, And let this tortured and tormented soul Leap and rush out like water through the shards Of earthen vessels broken at a well. O my dear children, mine in life and death, I know not how ye came into my womb; I neither gave you breath, nor gave you life, And neither was it I that formed the members Of every one of you. But the Creator, Who made the world, and made the heavens above us, Who formed the generation of mankind, And found out the beginning of all things, He gave you breath and life, and will again Of his own mercy, as ye now regard Not your own selves, but his eternal law. I do not murmur, nay, I thank thee, God, That I and mine have not been deemed unworthy To suffer for thy sake, and for thy law, And for the many sins of Israel. Hark! I can hear within the sound of scourges! I feel them more than ye do, O my sons! But cannot come to you. I, who was wont To wake at night at the least cry ye made, To whom ye ran at every slightest hurt, I cannot take you now into my lap And soothe your pain, but God will take you all Into his pitying arms, and comfort you, And give you rest.

A VOICE (within). What wouldst thou ask of us? Ready are we to die, but we will never Transgress the law and customs of our fathers.

THE MOTHER. It is the Voice of my first-born! O brave And noble boy! Thou hast the privilege Of dying first, as thou wast born the first.

THE SAME VOICE (within). God looketh on us, and hath comfort in us; As Moses in his song of old declared, He in his servants shall be comforted.

THE MOTHER. I knew thou wouldst not fail!—He speaks no more, He is beyond all pain!

ANTIOCHUS. (within). If thou eat not Thou shalt be tortured throughout all the members Of thy whole body. Wilt thou eat then?

SECOND VOICE. (within). No.

THE MOTHER. It is Adaiah's voice. I tremble for him. I know his nature, devious as the wind, And swift to change, gentle and yielding always. Be steadfast, O my son!

THE SAME VOICE (within). Thou, like a fury, Takest us from this present life, but God, Who rules the world, shall raise us up again Into life everlasting.

THE MOTHER. God, I thank thee That thou hast breathed into that timid heart Courage to die for thee. O my Adaiah, Witness of God! if thou for whom I feared Canst thus encounter death, I need not fear; The others will not shrink.

THIRD VOICE (within). Behold these hands Held out to thee, O King Antiochus, Not to implore thy mercy, but to show That I despise them. He who gave them to me Will give them back again.

THE MOTHER. O Avilan, It is thy voice. For the last time I hear it; For the last time on earth, but not the last. To death it bids defiance and to torture. It sounds to me as from another world, And makes the petty miseries of this Seem unto me as naught, and less than naught. Farewell, my Avilan; nay, I should say Welcome, my Avilan; for I am dead Before thee. I am waiting for the others. Why do they linger?

FOURTH VOICE (within). It is good, O King, Being put to death by men, to look for hope From God, to be raised up again by him. But thou—no resurrection shalt thou have To life hereafter.

THE MOTHER. Four! already four! Three are still living; nay, they all are living, Half here, half there. Make haste, Antiochus, To reunite us; for the sword that cleaves These miserable bodies makes a door Through which our souls, impatient of release, Rush to each other's arms.

FIFTH VOICE (within). Thou hast the power; Thou doest what thou wilt. Abide awhile, And thou shalt see the power of God, and how He will torment thee and thy seed.

THE MOTHER. O hasten; Why dost thou pause? Thou who hast slain already So many Hebrew women, and hast hung Their murdered infants round their necks, slay me, For I too am a woman, and these boys Are mine. Make haste to slay us all, And hang my lifeless babes about my neck.

SIXTH VOICE (within). Think not, Antiochus, that takest in hand To strive against the God of Israel, Thou shalt escape unpunished, for his wrath Shall overtake thee and thy bloody house.

THE MOTHER. One more, my Sirion, and then all is ended. Having put all to bed, then in my turn I will lie down and sleep as sound as they. My Sirion, my youngest, best beloved! And those bright golden locks, that I so oft Have curled about these fingers, even now Are foul with blood and dust, like a lamb's fleece, Slain in the shambles.—Not a sound I hear. This silence is more terrible to me Than any sound, than any cry of pain, That might escape the lips of one who dies. Doth his heart fail him? Doth he fall away In the last hour from God? O Sirion, Sirion, Art thou afraid? I do not hear thy voice. Die as thy brothers died. Thou must not live!

SCENE II. — THE MOTHER; ANTIOCHUS; SIRION,

THE MOTHER. Are they all dead?

ANTIOCHUS. Of all thy Seven Sons One only lives. Behold them where they lie How dost thou like this picture?

THE MOTHER. God in heaven! Can a man do such deeds, and yet not die By the recoil of his own wickedness? Ye murdered, bleeding, mutilated bodies That were my children once, and still are mine, I cannot watch o'er you as Rispah watched In sackcloth o'er the seven sons of Saul, Till water drop upon you out of heaven And wash this blood away! I cannot mourn As she, the daughter of Aiah, mourned the dead, From the beginning of the barley-harvest Until the autumn rains, and suffered not The birds of air to rest on them by day, Nor the wild beasts by night. For ye have died A better death, a death so full of life That I ought rather to rejoice than mourn.— Wherefore art thou not dead, O Sirion? Wherefore art thou the only living thing Among thy brothers dead? Art thou afraid?

ANTIOCHUS. O woman, I have spared him for thy sake, For he is fair to look upon and comely; And I have sworn to him by all the gods That I would crown his life with joy and honor, Heap treasures on him, luxuries, delights, Make him my friend and keeper of my secrets, If he would turn from your Mosaic Law And be as we are; but he will not listen.

THE MOTHER. My noble Sirion!

ANTIOCHUS. Therefore I beseech thee, Who art his mother, thou wouldst speak with him, And wouldst persuade him. I am sick of blood.

THE MOTHER. Yea, I will speak with him and will persuade him. O Sirion, my son! have pity on me, On me that bare thee, and that gave thee suck, And fed and nourished thee, and brought thee up With the dear trouble of a mother's care Unto this age. Look on the heavens above thee, And on the earth and all that is therein; Consider that God made them out of things That were not; and that likewise in this manner Mankind was made. Then fear not this tormentor But, being worthy of thy brethren, take Thy death as they did, that I may receive thee Again in mercy with them.

ANTIOCHUS. I am mocked, Yea, I am laughed to scorn.

SIRION. Whom wait ye for? Never will I obey the King's commandment, But the commandment of the ancient Law, That was by Moses given unto our fathers. And thou, O godless man, that of all others Art the most wicked, be not lifted up, Nor puffed up with uncertain hopes, uplifting Thy hand against the servants of the Lord, For thou hast not escaped the righteous judgment Of the Almighty God, who seeth all things!

ANTIOCHUS. He is no God of mine; I fear him not.

SIRION. My brothers, who have suffered a brief pain, Are dead; but thou, Antiochus, shalt suffer The punishment of pride. I offer up My body and my life, beseeching God That he would speedily be merciful Unto our nation, and that thou by plagues Mysterious and by torments mayest confess That he alone is God.

ANTIOCHUS. Ye both shall perish By torments worse than any that your God, Here or hereafter, hath in store for me.

THE MOTHER. My Sirion, I am proud of thee!

ANTIOCHUS. Be silent! Go to thy bed of torture in yon chamber, Where lie so many sleepers, heartless mother! Thy footsteps will not wake them, nor thy voice, Nor wilt thou hear, amid thy troubled dreams, Thy children crying for thee in the night!

THE MOTHER. O Death, that stretchest thy white hands to me, I fear them not, but press them to my lips, That are as white as thine; for I am Death, Nay, am the Mother of Death, seeing these sons All lying lifeless.—Kiss me, Sirion.



ACT III.

The Battle-field of Beth-horon.

SCENE I. — JUDAS MACCABAEUS in armor before his tent.

JUDAS. The trumpets sound; the echoes of the mountains Answer them, as the Sabbath morning breaks Over Beth-horon and its battle-field, Where the great captain of the hosts of God, A slave brought up in the brick-fields of Egypt, O'ercame the Amorites. There was no day Like that, before or after it, nor shall be. The sun stood still; the hammers of the hail Beat on their harness; and the captains set Their weary feet upon the necks of kings, As I will upon thine, Antiochus, Thou man of blood!—Behold the rising sun Strikes on the golden letters of my banner, Be Elohim Yehovah! Who is like To thee, O Lord, among the gods!—Alas! I am not Joshua, I cannot say, "Sun, stand thou still on Gibeon, and thou Moon, In Ajalon!" Nor am I one who wastes The fateful time in useless lamentation; But one who bears his life upon his hand To lose it or to save it, as may best Serve the designs of Him who giveth life.



SCENE II — JUDAS MACCABAEUS; JEWISH FUGITIVES.

JUDAS. Who and what are ye, that with furtive steps Steal in among our tents?

FUGITIVES. O Maccabaeus, Outcasts are we, and fugitives as thou art, Jews of Jerusalem, that have escaped From the polluted city, and from death.

JUDAS. None can escape from death. Say that ye come To die for Israel, and ye are welcome. What tidings bring ye?

FUGITIVES. Tidings of despair. The Temple is laid waste; the precious vessels, Censers of gold, vials and veils and crowns, And golden ornaments, and hidden treasures, Have all been taken from it, and the Gentiles With revelling and with riot fill its courts, And dally with harlots in the holy places.

JUDAS. All this I knew before.

FUGITIVES. Upon the altar Are things profane, things by the law forbidden; Nor can we keep our Sabbaths or our Feasts, But on the festivals of Dionysus Must walk in their processions, bearing ivy To crown a drunken god.

JUDAS. This too I know. But tell me of the Jews. How fare the Jews?

FUGITIVES. The coming of this mischief hath been sore And grievous to the people. All the land Is full of lamentation and of mourning. The Princes and the Elders weep and wail; The young men and the maidens are made feeble; The beauty of the women hath been changed.

JUDAS. And are there none to die for Israel? 'T is not enough to mourn. Breastplate and harness Are better things than sackcloth. Let the women Lament for Israel; the men should die.

FUGITIVES. Both men and women die; old men and young: Old Eleazer died: and Mahala With all her Seven Sons.

JUDAS. Antiochus, At every step thou takest there is left A bloody footprint in the street, by which The avenging wrath of God will track thee out! It is enough. Go to the sutler's tents; Those of you who are men, put on such armor As ye may find; those of you who are women, Buckle that armor on; and for a watchword Whisper, or cry aloud, "The Help of God."

SCENE III. — JUDAS MACCABAEUS; NICANOR.

NICANOR. Hail, Judas Maccabaeus!

JUDAS. Hail!—Who art thou That comest here in this mysterious guise Into our camp unheralded?

NICANOR. A herald Sent from Nicanor.

JUDAS. Heralds come not thus. Armed with thy shirt of mail from head to heel, Thou glidest like a serpent silently Into my presence. Wherefore dost thou turn Thy face from me? A herald speaks his errand With forehead unabashed. Thou art a spy sent by Nicanor.

NICANOR. No disguise avails! Behold my face; I am Nicanor's self.

JUDAS. Thou art indeed Nicanor. I salute thee. What brings thee hither to this hostile camp Thus unattended?

NICANOR. Confidence in thee. Thou hast the nobler virtues of thy race, Without the failings that attend those virtues. Thou canst be strong, and yet not tyrannous, Canst righteous be and not intolerant. Let there be peace between us.

JUDAS. What is peace? Is it to bow in silence to our victors? Is it to see our cities sacked and pillaged, Our people slain, or sold as slaves, or fleeing At night-time by the blaze of burning towns; Jerusalem laid waste; the Holy Temple Polluted with strange gods? Are these things peace?

NICANOR. These are the dire necessities that wait On war, whose loud and bloody enginery I seek to stay. Let there be peace between Antiochus and thee.

JUDAS. Antiochus? What is Antiochus, that he should prate Of peace to me, who am a fugitive? To-day he shall be lifted up; to-morrow Shall not be found, because he is returned Unto his dust; his thought has come to nothing. There is no peace between us, nor can be, Until this banner floats upon the walls Of our Jerusalem.

NICANOR. Between that city And thee there lies a waving wall of tents, Held by a host of forty thousand foot, And horsemen seven thousand. What hast thou To bring against all these?

JUDAS. The power of God, Whose breath shall scatter your white tents abroad, As flakes of snow.

NICANOR. Your Mighty One in heaven Will not do battle on the Seventh Day; It is his day of rest.

JUDAS. Silence, blasphemer. Go to thy tents.

NICANOR. Shall it be war or peace?

JUDAS. War, war, and only war. Go to thy tents That shall be scattered, as by you were scattered The torn and trampled pages of the Law, Blown through the windy streets.

NICANOR. Farewell, brave foe!

JUDAS. Ho, there, my captains! Have safe-conduct given Unto Nicanor's herald through the camp, And come yourselves to me.—Farewell, Nicanor!



SCENE IV. — JUDAS MACCABAEUS; CAPTAINS AND SOLDIERS.

JUDAS. The hour is come. Gather the host together For battle. Lo, with trumpets and with songs The army of Nicanor comes against us. Go forth to meet them, praying in your hearts, And fighting with your hands.

CAPTAINS. Look forth and see! The morning sun is shining on their shields Of gold and brass; the mountains glisten with them, And shine like lamps. And we who are so few And poorly armed, and ready to faint with fasting, How shall we fight against this multitude?

JUDAS. The victory of a battle standeth not In multitudes, but in the strength that cometh From heaven above. The Lord forbid that I Should do this thing, and flee away from them. Nay, if our hour be come, then let us die; Let us not stain our honor.

CAPTAINS. 'T is the Sabbath. Wilt thou fight on the Sabbath, Maccabaeus?

JUDAS. Ay; when I fight the battles of the Lord, I fight them on his day, as on all others. Have ye forgotten certain fugitives That fled once to these hills, and hid themselves In caves? How their pursuers camped against them Upon the Seventh Day, and challenged them? And how they answered not, nor cast a stone, Nor stopped the places where they lay concealed, But meekly perished with their wives and children, Even to the number of a thousand souls? We who are fighting for our laws and lives Will not so perish.

CAPTAINS. Lead us to the battle!

JUDAS. And let our watchword be, "The Help of God!" Last night I dreamed a dream; and in my vision Beheld Onias, our High-Priest of old, Who holding up his hands prayed for the Jews. This done, in the like manner there appeared An old man, and exceeding glorious, With hoary hair, and of a wonderful And excellent majesty. And Onias said: "This is a lover of the Jews, who prayeth Much for the people and the Holy City,— God's prophet Jeremias." And the prophet Held forth his right hand and gave unto me A sword of gold; and giving it he said: "Take thou this holy sword, a gift from God, And with it thou shalt wound thine adversaries."

CAPTAINS. The Lord is with us!

JUDAS. Hark! I hear the trumpets Sound from Beth-horon; from the battle-field Of Joshua, where he smote the Amorites, Smote the Five Kings of Eglon and of Jarmuth, Of Hebron, Lachish, and Jerusalem, As we to-day will smite Nicanor's hosts And leave a memory of great deeds behind us.

CAPTAINS and SOLDIERS. The Help of God!

JUDAS. Be Elohim Yehovah! Lord, thou didst send thine Angel in the time Of Esekias, King of Israel, And in the armies of Sennacherib Didst slay a hundred fourscore and five thousand. Wherefore, O Lord of heaven, now also send Before us a good angel for a fear, And through the might of thy right arm let those Be stricken with terror that have come this day Against thy holy people to blaspheme!



ACT IV.

The outer Courts of the Temple at Jerusalem.

SCENE I. — JUDAS MACCABAEUS; CAPTAINS; JEWS.

JUDAS. Behold, our enemies are discomfited. Jerusalem is fallen; and our banners Float from her battlements, and o'er her gates Nicanor's severed head, a sign of terror, Blackens in wind and sun.

CAPTAINS. O Maccabaeus, The citadel of Antiochus, wherein The Mother with her Seven Sons was murdered, Is still defiant.

JUDAS. Wait.

CAPTAINS. Its hateful aspect Insults us with the bitter memories Of other days.

JUDAS. Wait; it shall disappear And vanish as a cloud. First let us cleanse The Sanctuary. See, it is become Waste like a wilderness. Its golden gates Wrenched from their hinges and consumed by fire; Shrubs growing in its courts as in a forest; Upon its altars hideous and strange idols; And strewn about its pavement at my feet Its Sacred Books, half burned and painted o'er With images of heathen gods.

JEWS. Woe! woe! Our beauty and our glory are laid waste! The Gentiles have profaned our holy places!

(Lamentation and alarm of trumpets.)

JUDAS. This sound of trumpets, and this lamentation, The heart-cry of a people toward the heavens, Stir me to wrath and vengeance. Go, my captains; I hold you back no longer. Batter down The citadel of Antiochus, while here We sweep away his altars and his gods.

SCENE II. — JUDAS MACCABAEUS; JASON; JEWS,

JEWS. Lurking among the ruins of the Temple, Deep in its inner courts, we found this man, Clad as High-Priest.

JUDAS. I ask not who thou art. I know thy face, writ over with deceit As are these tattered volumes of the Law With heathen images. A priest of God Wast thou in other days, but thou art now A priest of Satan. Traitor, thou art Jason.

JASON. I am thy prisoner, Judas Maccabaeus, And it would ill become me to conceal My name or office.

JUDAS. Over yonder gate There hangs the head of one who was a Greek. What should prevent me now, thou man of sin, From hanging at its side the head of one Who born a Jew hath made himself a Greek?

JASON. Justice prevents thee.

JUDAS. Justice? Thou art stained With every crime against which the Decalogue Thunders with all its thunder.

JASON. If not Justice, Then Mercy, her handmaiden.

JUDAS. When hast thou At any time, to any man or woman, Or even to any little child, shown mercy?

JASON. I have but done what King Antiochus Commanded me.

JUDAS. True, thou hast been the weapon With which he struck; but hast been such a weapon, So flexible, so fitted to his hand, It tempted him to strike. So thou hast urged him To double wickedness, thine own and his. Where is this King? Is he in Antioch Among his women still, and from his windows Throwing down gold by handfuls, for the rabble To scramble for?

JASON. Nay, he is gone from there, Gone with an army into the far East.

JUDAS. And wherefore gone?

JASON. I know not. For the space Of forty days almost were horsemen seen Running in air, in cloth of gold, and armed With lances, like a band of soldiery; It was a sign of triumph.

JUDAS. Or of death. Wherefore art thou not with him?

JASON. I was left For service in the Temple.

JUDAS. To pollute it, And to corrupt the Jews; for there are men Whose presence is corruption; to be with them Degrades us and deforms the things we do.

JASON. I never made a boast, as some men do, Of my superior virtue, nor denied The weakness of my nature, that hath made me Subservient to the will of other men.

JUDAS. Upon this day, the five and twentieth day Of the month Caslan, was the Temple here Profaned by strangers,—by Antiochus And thee, his instrument. Upon this day Shall it be cleansed. Thou, who didst lend thyself Unto this profanation, canst not be A witness of these solemn services. There can be nothing clean where thou art present. The people put to death Callisthenes, Who burned the Temple gates; and if they find thee Will surely slay thee. I will spare thy life To punish thee the longer. Thou shalt wander Among strange nations. Thou, that hast cast out So many from their native land, shalt perish In a strange land. Thou, that hast left so many Unburied, shalt have none to mourn for thee, Nor any solemn funerals at all, Nor sepulchre with thy fathers.—Get thee hence!

(Music. Procession of Priests and people, with citherns, harps, and cymbals. JUDAS MACCABAEUS puts himself at their head, and they go into the inner courts.)

SCENE III. — JASON, alone.

JASON. Through the Gate Beautiful I see them come With branches and green boughs and leaves of palm, And pass into the inner courts. Alas! I should be with them, should be one of them, But in an evil hour, an hour of weakness, That cometh unto all, I fell away From the old faith, and did not clutch the new, Only an outward semblance of belief; For the new faith I cannot make mine own, Not being born to it. It hath no root Within me. I am neither Jew nor Greek, But stand between them both, a renegade To each in turn; having no longer faith In gods or men. Then what mysterious charm, What fascination is it chains my feet, And keeps me gazing like a curious child Into the holy places, where the priests Have raised their altar?—Striking stones together, They take fire out of them, and light the lamps In the great candlestick. They spread the veils, And set the loaves of showbread on the table. The incense burns; the well-remembered odor Comes wafted unto me, and takes me back To other days. I see myself among them As I was then; and the old superstition Creeps over me again!—A childish fancy!— And hark! they sing with citherns and with cymbals, And all the people fall upon their faces, Praying and worshipping!—I will away Into the East, to meet Antiochus Upon his homeward journey, crowned with triumph. Alas! to-day I would give everything To see a friend's face, or to hear a voice That had the slightest tone of comfort in it!



ACT V.

The Mountains of Ecbatana.

SCENE I. — ANTIOCHUS; PHILIP; ATTENDANTS.

ANTIOCHUS. Here let us rest awhile. Where are we, Philip? What place is this?

PHILIP. Ecbatana, my Lord; And yonder mountain range is the Orontes.

ANTIOCHUS. The Orontes is my river at Antioch. Why did I leave it? Why have I been tempted By coverings of gold and shields and breastplates To plunder Elymais, and be driven From out its gates, as by a fiery blast Out of a furnace?

PHILIP. These are fortune's changes.

ANTIOCHUS. What a defeat it was! The Persian horsemen Came like a mighty wind, the wind Khamaseen, And melted us away, and scattered us As if we were dead leaves, or desert sand.

PHILIP. Be comforted, my Lord; for thou hast lost But what thou hadst not.

ANTIOCHUS. I, who made the Jews Skip like the grasshoppers, am made myself To skip among these stones.

PHILIP. Be not discouraged. Thy realm of Syria remains to thee; That is not lost nor marred.

ANTIOCHUS. O, where are now The splendors of my court, my baths and banquets? Where are my players and my dancing women? Where are my sweet musicians with their pipes, That made me merry in the olden time? I am a laughing-stock to man and brute. The very camels, with their ugly faces, Mock me and laugh at me.

PHILIP. Alas! my Lord, It is not so. If thou wouldst sleep awhile, All would be well.

ANTIOCHUS. Sleep from mine eyes is gone, And my heart faileth me for very care. Dost thou remember, Philip, the old fable Told us when we were boys, in which the bear Going for honey overturns the hive, And is stung blind by bees? I am that beast, Stung by the Persian swarms of Elymais.

PHILIP. When thou art come again to Antioch These thoughts will be as covered and forgotten As are the tracks of Pharaoh's chariot-wheels In the Egyptian sands.

ANTIOCHUS. Ah! when I come Again to Antioch! When will that be? Alas! alas!

SCENE II — ANTIOCHUS; PHILIP; A MESSENGER

MESSENGER. May the King live forever!

ANTIOCHUS. Who art thou, and whence comest thou?

MESSENGER. My Lord, I am a messenger from Antioch, Sent here by Lysias.

ANTIOCHUS. A strange foreboding Of something evil overshadows me. I am no reader of the Jewish Scriptures; I know not Hebrew; but my High-Priest Jason, As I remember, told me of a Prophet Who saw a little cloud rise from the sea Like a man's hand and soon the heaven was black With clouds and rain. Here, Philip, read; I cannot; I see that cloud. It makes the letters dim Before mine eyes.

PHILIP (reading). "To King Antiochus, The God, Epiphanes."

ANTIOCHUS. O mockery! Even Lysias laughs at me!—Go on, go on.

PHILIP (reading). "We pray thee hasten thy return. The realm Is falling from thee. Since thou hast gone from us The victories of Judas Maccabaeus Form all our annals. First he overthrew Thy forces at Beth-horon, and passed on, And took Jerusalem, the Holy City. And then Emmaus fell; and then Bethsura; Ephron and all the towns of Galaad, And Maccabaeus marched to Carnion."

ANTIOCHUS. Enough, enough! Go call my chariot-men; We will drive forward, forward, without ceasing, Until we come to Antioch. My captains, My Lysias, Gorgias, Seron, and Nicanor, Are babes in battle, and this dreadful Jew Will rob me of my kingdom and my crown. My elephants shall trample him to dust; I will wipe out his nation, and will make Jerusalem a common burying-place, And every home within its walls a tomb!

(Throws up his hands, and sinks into the arms of attendants, who lay him upon a bank.)

PHILIP. Antiochus! Antiochus! Alas, The King is ill! What is it, O my Lord?

ANTIOCHUS. Nothing. A sudden and sharp spasm of pain, As if the lightning struck me, or the knife Of an assassin smote me to the heart. 'T is passed, even as it came. Let us set forward.

PHILIP. See that the chariots be in readiness We will depart forthwith.

ANTIOCHUS. A moment more. I cannot stand. I am become at once Weak as an infant. Ye will have to lead me. Jove, or Jehovah, or whatever name Thou wouldst be named,—it is alike to me,— If I knew how to pray, I would entreat To live a little longer.

PHILIP. O my Lord, Thou shalt not die; we will not let thee die!

ANTIOCHUS. How canst thou help it, Philip? O the pain! Stab after stab. Thou hast no shield against This unseen weapon. God of Israel, Since all the other gods abandon me, Help me. I will release the Holy City. Garnish with goodly gifts the Holy Temple. Thy people, whom I judged to be unworthy To be so much as buried, shall be equal Unto the citizens of Antioch. I will become a Jew, and will declare Through all the world that is inhabited The power of God!

PHILIP. He faints. It is like death. Bring here the royal litter. We will bear him In to the camp, while yet he lives.

ANTIOCHUS. O Philip, Into what tribulation am I come! Alas! I now remember all the evil That I have done the Jews; and for this cause These troubles are upon me, and behold I perish through great grief in a strange land.

PHILIP. Antiochus! my King!

ANTIOCHUS. Nay, King no longer. Take thou my royal robes, my signet-ring, My crown and sceptre, and deliver them Unto my son, Antiochus Eupator; And unto the good Jews, my citizens, In all my towns, say that their dying monarch Wisheth them joy, prosperity, and health. I who, puffed up with pride and arrogance, Thought all the kingdoms of the earth mine own, If I would but outstretch my hand and take them, Meet face to face a greater potentate, King Death—Epiphanes—the Illustrious! [Dies.

*****



MICHAEL ANGELO

Michel, piu che mortal, Angel divino. — ARIOSTO.

Similamente operando all' artista ch' a l'abito dell' arte e man che trema. — DANTE, Par. xiii., st. 77.



DEDICATION.

Nothing that is shall perish utterly, But perish only to revive again In other forms, as clouds restore in rain The exhalations of the land and sea. Men build their houses from the masonry Of ruined tombs; the passion and the pain Of hearts, that long have ceased to beat, remain To throb in hearts that are, or are to be. So from old chronicles, where sleep in dust Names that once filled the world with trumpet tones, I build this verse; and flowers of song have thrust Their roots among the loose disjointed stones, Which to this end I fashion as I must. Quickened are they that touch the Prophet's bones.

PART FIRST.

I.

PROLOGUE AT ISCHIA

The Castle Terrace. VITTORIA COLONNA, and JULIA GONZAGA.

VITTORIA. Will you then leave me, Julia, and so soon, To pace alone this terrace like a ghost?

JULIA. To-morrow, dearest.

VITTORIA. Do not say to-morrow. A whole month of to-morrows were too soon. You must not go. You are a part of me.

JULIA. I must return to Fondi.

VITTORIA. The old castle Needs not your presence. No one waits for you. Stay one day longer with me. They who go Feel not the pain of parting; it is they Who stay behind that suffer. I was thinking But yesterday how like and how unlike Have been, and are, our destinies. Your husband, The good Vespasian, an old man, who seemed A father to you rather than a husband, Died in your arms; but mine, in all the flower And promise of his youth, was taken from me As by a rushing wind. The breath of battle Breathed on him, and I saw his face no more, Save as in dreams it haunts me. As our love Was for these men, so is our sorrow for them. Yours a child's sorrow, smiling through its tears; But mine the grief of an impassioned woman, Who drank her life up in one draught of love.

JULIA. Behold this locket. This is the white hair Of my Vespasian. This is the flower-of-love, This amaranth, and beneath it the device Non moritura. Thus my heart remains True to his memory; and the ancient castle, Where we have lived together, where he died, Is dear to me as Ischia is to you.

VITTORIA. I did not mean to chide you.

JULIA. Let your heart Find, if it can, some poor apology For one who is too young, and feels too keenly The joy of life, to give up all her days To sorrow for the dead. While I am true To the remembrance of the man I loved And mourn for still, I do not make a show Of all the grief I feel, nor live secluded And, like Veronica da Gambara, Drape my whole house in mourning, and drive forth In coach of sable drawn by sable horses, As if I were a corpse. Ah, one to-day Is worth for me a thousand yesterdays.

VITTORIA. Dear Julia! Friendship has its jealousies As well as love. Who waits for you at Fondi?

JULIA. A friend of mine and yours; a friend and friar. You have at Naples your Fra Bernadino; And I at Fondi have my Fra Bastiano, The famous artist, who has come from Rome To paint my portrait. That is not a sin.

VITTORIA. Only a vanity.

JULIA. He painted yours.

VITTORIA. Do not call up to me those days departed When I was young, and all was bright about me, And the vicissitudes of life were things But to be read of in old histories, Though as pertaining unto me or mine Impossible. Ah, then I dreamed your dreams, And now, grown older, I look back and see They were illusions.

JULIA. Yet without illusions What would our lives become, what we ourselves? Dreams or illusions, call them what you will, They lift us from the commonplace of life To better things.

VITTORIA. Are there no brighter dreams, No higher aspirations, than the wish To please and to be pleased?

JULIA. For you there are; I am no saint; I feel the world we live in Comes before that which is to be here after, And must be dealt with first.

VITTORIA. But in what way?

JULIA. Let the soft wind that wafts to us the odor Of orange blossoms, let the laughing sea And the bright sunshine bathing all the world, Answer the question.

VITTORIA. And for whom is meant This portrait that you speak of?

JULIA. For my friend The Cardinal Ippolito.

VITTORIA. For him?

JULIA Yes, for Ippolito the Magnificent. 'T is always flattering to a woman's pride To be admired by one whom all admire.

VITTORIA. Ah, Julia, she that makes herself a dove Is eaten by the hawk. Be on your guard, He is a Cardinal; and his adoration Should be elsewhere directed.

JULIA. You forget The horror of that night, when Barbarossa, The Moorish corsair, landed on our coast To seize me for the Sultan Soliman; How in the dead of night, when all were sleeping, He scaled the castle wall; how I escaped, And in my night-dress, mounting a swift steed, Fled to the mountains, and took refuge there Among the brigands. Then of all my friends The Cardinal Ippolito was first To come with his retainers to my rescue. Could I refuse the only boon he asked At such a time, my portrait?

VITTORIA. I have heard Strange stories of the splendors of his palace, And how, apparelled like a Spanish Prince, He rides through Rome with a long retinue Of Ethiopians and Numidians And Turks and Tartars, in fantastic dresses, Making a gallant show. Is this the way A Cardinal should live?

JULIA. He is so young; Hardly of age, or little more than that; Beautiful, generous, fond of arts and letters, A poet, a musician, and a scholar; Master of many languages, and a player On many instruments. In Rome, his palace Is the asylum of all men distinguished In art or science, and all Florentines Escaping from the tyranny of his cousin, Duke Alessandro.

VITTORIA. I have seen his portrait, Painted by Titian. You have painted it In brighter colors.

JULIA. And my Cardinal, At Itri, in the courtyard of his palace, Keeps a tame lion!

VITTORIA. And so counterfeits St. Mark, the Evangelist!

JULIA. Ah, your tame lion Is Michael Angelo.

VITTORIA. You speak a name That always thrills me with a noble sound, As of a trumpet! Michael Angelo! A lion all men fear and none can tame; A man that all men honor, and the model That all should follow; one who works and prays, For work is prayer, and consecrates his life To the sublime ideal of his art, Till art and life are one; a man who holds Such place in all men's thoughts, that when they speak Of great things done, or to be done, his name Is ever on their lips.

JULIA. You too can paint The portrait of your hero, and in colors Brighter than Titian's; I might warn you also Against the dangers that beset your path; But I forbear.

VITTORIA. If I were made of marble, Of Fior di Persico or Pavonazzo, He might admire me: being but flesh and blood, I am no more to him than other women; That is, am nothing.

JULIA. Does he ride through Rome Upon his little mule, as he was wont, With his slouched hat, and boots of Cordovan, As when I saw him last?

VITTORIA. Pray do not jest. I cannot couple with his noble name A trivial word! Look, how the setting sun Lights up Castel-a-mare and Sorrento, And changes Capri to a purple cloud! And there Vesuvius with its plume of smoke, And the great city stretched upon the shore As in a dream!

JULIA. Parthenope the Siren!

VITTORIA. And yon long line of lights, those sunlit windows Blaze like the torches carried in procession To do her honor! It is beautiful!

JULIA. I have no heart to feel the beauty of it! My feet are weary, pacing up and down These level flags, and wearier still my thoughts Treading the broken pavement of the Past, It is too sad. I will go in and rest, And make me ready for to-morrow's journey.

VITTORIA. I will go with you; for I would not lose One hour of your dear presence. 'T is enough Only to be in the same room with you. I need not speak to you, nor hear you speak; If I but see you, I am satisfied. [They go in.



MONOLOGUE: THE LAST JUDGMENT

MICHAEL ANGELO's Studio. He is at work on the cartoon of the Last Judgment.

MICHAEL ANGELO. Why did the Pope and his ten Cardinals Come here to lay this heavy task upon me? Were not the paintings on the Sistine ceiling Enough for them? They saw the Hebrew leader Waiting, and clutching his tempestuous beard, But heeded not. The bones of Julius Shook in their sepulchre. I heard the sound; They only heard the sound of their own voices.

Are there no other artists here in Rome To do this work, that they must needs seek me? Fra Bastian, my Era Bastian, might have done it; But he is lost to art. The Papal Seals, Like leaden weights upon a dead man's eyes, Press down his lids; and so the burden falls On Michael Angelo, Chief Architect And Painter of the Apostolic Palace. That is the title they cajole me with, To make me do their work and leave my own; But having once begun, I turn not back. Blow, ye bright angels, on your golden trumpets To the four corners of the earth, and wake The dead to judgment! Ye recording angels, Open your books and read? Ye dead awake! Rise from your graves, drowsy and drugged with death, As men who suddenly aroused from sleep Look round amazed, and know not where they are!

In happy hours, when the imagination Wakes like a wind at midnight, and the soul Trembles in all its leaves, it is a joy To be uplifted on its wings, and listen To the prophetic voices in the air That call us onward. Then the work we do Is a delight, and the obedient hand Never grows weary. But how different is it En the disconsolate, discouraged hours, When all the wisdom of the world appears As trivial as the gossip of a nurse In a sick-room, and all our work seems useless,

What is it guides my hand, what thoughts possess me, That I have drawn her face among the angels, Where she will be hereafter? O sweet dreams, That through the vacant chambers of my heart Walk in the silence, as familiar phantoms Frequent an ancient house, what will ye with me? 'T is said that Emperors write their names in green When under age, but when of age in purple. So Love, the greatest Emperor of them all, Writes his in green at first, but afterwards In the imperial purple of our blood. First love or last love,—which of these two passions Is more omnipotent? Which is more fair, The star of morning or the evening star? The sunrise or the sunset of the heart? The hour when we look forth to the unknown, And the advancing day consumes the shadows, Or that when all the landscape of our lives Lies stretched behind us, and familiar places Gleam in the distance, and sweet memories Rise like a tender haze, and magnify The objects we behold, that soon must vanish?

What matters it to me, whose countenance Is like the Laocoon's, full of pain; whose forehead Is a ploughed harvest-field, where three-score years Have sown in sorrow and have reaped in anguish; To me, the artisan, to whom all women Have been as if they were not, or at most A sudden rush of pigeons in the air, A flutter of wings, a sound, and then a silence? I am too old for love; I am too old To flatter and delude myself with visions Of never-ending friendship with fair women, Imaginations, fantasies, illusions, In which the things that cannot be take shape, And seem to be, and for the moment are. [Convent bells ring.

Distant and near and low and loud the bells, Dominican, Benedictine, and Franciscan, Jangle and wrangle in their airy towers, Discordant as the brotherhoods themselves In their dim cloisters. The descending sun Seems to caress the city that he loves, And crowns it with the aureole of a saint. I will go forth and breathe the air a while.

II.

SAN SILVESTRO

A Chapel in the Church of San Silvestra on Monte Cavallo.

VITTORIA COLONNA, CLAUDIO TOLOMMEI, and others.

VITTORIA. Here let us rest a while, until the crowd Has left the church. I have already sent For Michael Angelo to join us here.

MESSER CLAUDIO. After Fra Bernardino's wise discourse On the Pauline Epistles, certainly Some words of Michael Angelo on Art Were not amiss, to bring us back to earth.

MICHAEL ANGELO, at the door. How like a Saint or Goddess she appears; Diana or Madonna, which I know not! In attitude and aspect formed to be At once the artist's worship and despair!

VITTORIA. Welcome, Maestro. We were waiting for you.

MICHAEL ANGELO. I met your messenger upon the way, And hastened hither.

VITTORIA. It is kind of you To come to us, who linger here like gossips Wasting the afternoon in idle talk. These are all friends of mine and friends of yours.

MICHAEL ANGELO. If friends of yours, then are they friends of mine. Pardon me, gentlemen. But when I entered I saw but the Marchesa.

VITTORIA. Take this seat Between me and Ser Claudio Tolommei, Who still maintains that our Italian tongue Should be called Tuscan. But for that offence We will not quarrel with him.

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