The Purgatory of St. Patrick
by Pedro Calderon de la Barca
1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse








Two of the dramas contained in this volume are the most celebrated of all Calderon's writings. The first, "La Vida es Sueno", has been translated into many languages and performed with success on almost every stage in Europe but that of England. So late as the winter of 1866-7, in a Russian version, it drew crowded houses to the great theatre of Moscow; while a few years earlier, as if to give a signal proof of the reality of its title, and that Life was indeed a Dream, the Queen of Sweden expired in the theatre of Stockholm during the performance of "La Vida es Sueno". In England the play has been much studied for its literary value and the exceeding beauty and lyrical sweetness of some passages; but with the exception of a version by John Oxenford published in "The Monthly Magazine" for 1842, which being in blank verse does not represent the form of the original, no complete translation into English has been attempted. Some scenes translated with considerable elegance in the metre of the original were published by Archbishop Trench in 1856; but these comprised only a portion of the graver division of the drama. The present version of the entire play has been made with the advantages which the author's long experience in the study and interpretation of Calderon has enabled him to apply to this master-piece of the great Spanish poet. All the forms of verse have been preserved; while the closeness of the translation may be inferred from the fact, that not only the whole play but every speech and fragment of a speech are represented in English in the exact number of lines of the original, without the sacrifice, it is to be hoped, of one important idea.

A note by Hartzenbusch in the last edition of the drama published at Madrid (1872), tells that "La Vida es Sueno", is founded on a story which turns out to be substantially the same as that with which English students are familiar as the foundation of the famous Induction to the "Taming of the Shrew". Calderon found it however in a different work from that in which Shakespeare met with it, or rather his predecessor, the anonymous author of "The Taming of a Shrew", whose work supplied to Shakespeare the materials of his own comedy.

On this subject Malone thus writes. "The circumstance on which the Induction to the anonymous play, as well as to the present Comedy [Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew"], is founded, is related (as Langbaine has observed) by Heuterus, "Rerum Burgund." lib. iv. The earliest English original of this story in prose that I have met with is the following, which is found in Goulart's "Admirable and Memorable Histories", translated by E. Grimstone, quarto, 1607; but this tale (which Goulart translated from Heuterus) had undoubtedly appeared in English, in some other shape, before 1594:

"Philip called the good Duke of Burgundy, in the memory of our ancestors, being at Bruxelles with his Court, and walking one night after supper through the streets, accompanied by some of his favourites, he found lying upon the stones a certaine artisan that was very dronke, and that slept soundly. It pleased the prince in this artisan to make trial of the vanity of our life, whereof he had before discoursed with his familiar friends. He therefore caused this sleeper to be taken up, and carried into his palace; he commands him to be layed in one of the richest beds; a riche night cap to be given him; his foule shirt to be taken off, and to have another put on him of fine holland. When as this dronkard had digested his wine, and began to awake, behold there comes about his bed Pages and Groomes of the Duke's Chamber, who drawe the curteines, make many courtesies, and being bare-headed, aske him if it please him to rise, and what apparell it would please him to put on that day. They bring him rich apparell. This new Monsieur amazed at such courtesie, and doubting whether he dreamt or waked, suffered himselfe to be drest, and led out of the chamber. There came noblemen which saluted him with all honour, and conduct him to the Masse, where with great ceremonie they give him the booke of the Gospell, and the Pixe to kisse, as they did usually to the Duke. From the Masse they bring him back unto the pallace; he washes his hands, and sittes down at the table well furnished. After dinner, the Great Chamberlain commands cards to be brought with a great summe of money. This Duke in imagination playes with the chief of the Court. Then they carry him to walke in the gardein, and to hunt the hare, and to hawke. They bring him back into the pallace, where he sups in state. Candles being light the musitions begin to play; and the tables taken away, the gentlemen and gentlewomen fell to dancing. Then they played a pleasant comedie, after which followed a Banket, whereat they had presently store of Ipocras and pretious wine, with all sorts of confitures, to this prince of the new impression; so as he was dronke, and fell soundlie asleepe. Hereupon the Duke commanded that he should be disrobed of all his riche attire. He was put into his old ragges, and carried into the same place, where he had been found the night before; where he spent that night. Being awake in the morning, he began to remember what had happened before; he knewe not whether it were true indeede, or a dream that had troubled his braine. But in the end, after many discourses, he concludes that ALL WAS BUT A DREAME that had happened unto him; and so entertained his wife, his children, and his neighbours, without any other apprehension."

It is curious to find that the same anecdote which formed the Induction to the original "Taming of a Shrew", and which, from a comic point of view, Shakespeare so wonderfully developed in his own comedy, Calderon invested with such solemn and sublime dignity in "La Vida es Sueno". He found it, as Senor Hartzenbusch points out in the edition of 1872 already quoted, in the very amusing "Viage Entretenido" of Augustin de Rojas, which was first published in 1603. Hartzenbusch refers to the modern edition of Rojas, Madrid, 1793, tomo I, pp. 261, 262, 263, but in a copy of the Lerida edition of 1615, in my own possession, I find the anecdote at folios 118, 119, 120. There are some slight differences between the version of Rojas and that of Goulart, but the incidents and the persons are the same. The conclusion to which the artizan arrived at, in the version of Goulart, that all had been a dream, is expressed more strongly by the Duke himself in the story as told by Rojas.

"Y dijo entonces el Duque: 'veis aqui, amigos, "Lo que es el Mundo: Todo es un Sueno", pues esto verdaderamente ha pasado por este, como habeis visto, y le parece que lo ha sonado.'" —

The story in all probability came originally from the East. Mr. Lane in his translation of the Thousand and One Nights gives a very interesting narrative which he believes to be founded on an historical fact in which Haroun Al Raschid plays the part of the good Duke of Burgundy, and Abu-l-Hasan the original of Christopher Sly. The gravity of the treatment and certain incidents in this Oriental story recall more strongly Calderon's drama than the Induction to the "Taming of the Shrew". "La Vida es Sueno" was first published either at the end of 1635 or beginning of 1636.

The "Aprobacion" for its publication along with eleven other dramas (not nine as Archbishop Trench has stated), was signed on the 6th of November in the former year by the official licenser, Juan Bautista de Sossa. The volume was edited by the poet's brother, Don Joseph Calderon. So scarce has this first authorised collection of any of Calderon's dramas become, that a Spanish writer Don Vicente Garcia de la Huerta, in his "Teatro Espanol" (Parte Segunda, tomo 3o), denies the existence of this volume of 1635, and states that it did not appear until 1640. As if to corroborate this view, Barrera in his "Catalogo del Teatro antiguo Espanol" gives the date 1640 to the "Primera parte de comedias de Calderon" edited by his brother Joseph.

There can be no doubt, however, that the volume appeared in 1635 or 1636 as stated. In 1637 Don Joseph Calderon published the "Second Part" of his brother's dramas containing like the former volume twelve plays.* In his dedication of this volume to D. Rodrigo de Mendoza, Joseph Calderon expressly alludes to the First Part of his brother's comedies which he had "printed." "En la primera Parte, Excellentissimo Senor, de las comedias que imprimi de Don Pedro Calderon de La Barca, mi hermano," etc. This of course settles the fact of the prior publication of the first Part. It is singular, however, to find that the most famous of all Calderon's dramas should have been frequently ascribed to Lope de Vega. So late as 1857 it is given in an Italian version by Giovanni La Cecilia, under the title of "La Vita e un Sogno", as a drama of Lope de Vega, with the date 1628. This of course is a mistake, but Senor Hartzenbusch, who makes no allusion to this circumstance, admits that two dramas of Lope de Vega, which it is presumed preceded the composition of Calderon's play turn on very nearly the same incidents as those of "La Vida es Sueno". These are "Lo que ha de ser", and "Barlan y Josafa". He gives a passage from each of these dramas which seem to be the germ of the fine lament of Sigismund, which the reader will find translated in the present volume.

[footnote] *In the library of the British Museum there is a fine copy of this "Segunda Parte de Comedias de Don Pedro Calderon de la Barca" Madrid, 1637. Mr. Ticknor mentions (1863) that he too had a copy of this interesting volume.

Senor Hartzenbusch, in the edition of Calderon's "La Vida es Sueno", already referred to (Madrid, 1872), prints the passages from Lope de Vega's two dramas, but in neither of them, he justly remarks, can we find anything that at all corresponds to this "grandioso caracter de Segismundo."

The second drama in this volume, "The Wonderful Magician", is perhaps better known to poetical students in England than even the first, from the spirited fragment Shelley has left us in his "Scenes from Calderon." The preoccupation of a subject by a great master throws immense difficulties in the way of any one who ventures to follow in the same path: but as Shelley allowed himself great licence in his versification, and either from carelessness or an imperfect knowledge of Spanish is occasionally unfaithful to the meaning of his author, it may be hoped in my own version that strict fidelity both as to the form as well as substance of the original may be some compensation for the absence of those higher poetical harmonies to which many of my readers will have been accustomed.

"El Magico Prodigioso" appeared for the first time in the same volume as "La Vida es Sueno", prepared for publication in 1635 by Don Joseph Calderon. The translation is comprised in the same number of lines as the original, and all the preceding remarks on "Life is a Dream", whether in reference to the period of the first publication of the drama in Spain, or the principles I kept in view while attempting this version may be applied to it. As in the Case of "Life is a Dream", "The Wonderful Magician" has previously been translated entire by an English writer, ("Justina", by J.H. 1848); but as Archbishop Trench truly observes, "the writer did not possess that command of the resources of the English language, which none more than Calderon requires."

The Legend on which Calderon founded "El Magico Prodigioso" will be found in Surius, "De probatis Sanctorum historiis", t. V. (Col. Agr. 1574), p. 351: "Vita et Martyrium SS. Cypriani et Justinae, autore Simeone Metaphraste", and in Chapter cxlii, of the "Legenda Aurea" of Jacobus de Voragine "De Sancta Justina virgine".

The martyrdom of the Saints took place in the year 290, and their festival is celebrated by the Church on the 26th of September.

Mr. Ticknor in his History of Spanish Literature, 1863, volume ii. p. 369, says that the Wonder-working Magician is founded on "the same legend on which Milman has founded his 'Martyr of Antioch.'" This is a mistake of the learned writer. "The Martyr of Antioch" is founded not on the history of St. Justina but of Saint Margaret, as Milman himself expressly states. Chapter xciii., "De Sancta Margareta", in the "Legenda Aurea" of Jacobus de Voragine contains her story.

The third translation in this volume is that of "The Purgatory of St. Patrick". This, though perhaps not so famous as the two preceding dramas, is intended to be given by Don P. De la Escosura, in a selection of Calderon's finest "comedias", now being edited by him for the Spanish Academy, as the representative piece of its class — namely, the mystical drama founded on the lives of Saints. Mr. Ticknor prefers it to the more celebrated "Devotion of the Cross," and says that it "is commonly ranked among the best religious plays of the Spanish theatre in the seventeenth century."

In all that relates to the famous cave known through the middle ages as the "Purgatory of Saint Patrick", as well as the Story of Luis Enius — the Owain Miles of Ancient English poetry — Calderon was entirely indebted to the little volume published at Madrid, in 1627, by Juan Perez de Montalvan, entitled "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio". This singular work met with immense success. It went through innumerable editions, and continues to be reprinted in Spain as a chap-book, down to the present day. I have the fifth impression "improved and enlarged by the author himself," Madrid, 1628, the year after its first appearance: also a later edition, Madrid, 1664. As early as 1637 a French translation appeared at Brussels by "F. A. S. Chartreux, a Bruxelles." In 1642 a second French translation was published at Troyes, by "R. P. Francois Bouillon, de l'Ordre de S. Francois, et Bachelier de Theologie." Mr. Thomas Wright in his "Essay on St. Patrick's Purgatory," London, 1844, makes the singular mistake of supposing that Bouillon's "Histoire de la Vie et Purgatoire de S. Patrice" was founded on the drama of Calderon, it being simply a translation of Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio," from which, like itself, Calderon's play was derived. Among other translations of Montalvan's work may be mentioned one in Dutch (Brussels, 1668) and one in Portuguese (Lisbon, 1738). It was also translated into German and Italian, but I find no mention of an English version. For this reason I have thought that a few extracts might be interesting, as showing how closely Calderon adhered even to the language of his predecessor.

In all that relates to the Purgatory, Montalvan's work is itself chiefly compiled from the "Florilegium Insulae Sanctorum, seu vitae et Actae sanctorum Hiberniae," Paris, 1624, fol. This work, which has now become scarce, was written by Thomas Messingham an Irish priest, the Superior of the Irish Seminary in Paris. No complete English version appears to have been made of it, but a small tract in English containing everything in the original work that referred to St. Patrick's Purgatory was published at Paris in 1718. As this tract is perhaps more scarce than even the Florilegium itself, the account of the Purgatory as given by Messingham from the MS. of Henry of Saltrey is reprinted in the notes to this drama in the quaint language of the anonymous translator. Of this tract, "printed at Paris in 1718" without the name of author, publisher or printer, I have not been able to trace another copy. In other points of interest connected with Calderon's drama, particularly to the clearing up of the difficulty hitherto felt as to the confused list of authorities at the end, the reader is also referred to the notes.

The present version of "The Purgatory of Saint Patrick" is, with the exception of a few unimportant lines, an entirely new translation. It is made with the utmost care, imitating all the measures and contained, like the two preceding dramas, in the exact number of lines of the original. One passage of the translation which I published in 1853 is retained in the notes, as a tribute of respect to the memory of the late John Rutter Chorley, it having been mentioned with praise by that eminent Spanish scholar in an elaborate review of my earlier translations from Calderon, which appeared in the "Athenaeum", Nov. 19 and Nov. 26, 1853.

It only remains to add that the text I have followed is that of Hartzenbusch in his edition of Calderon's Comedias, Madrid, 1856 ("Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles"). His arrangement of the scenes has been followed throughout, thus enabling the reader in a moment to verify for himself the exactness of the translation by a reference to the original, a crucial test which I rather invite than decline.

CLAPHAM PARK, Easter, 1873.

* * * * *














* * * * *

EGERIUS, King of Ireland. PATRICK. LUIS ENIUS. A GOOD ANGEL. A BAD ANGEL. PHILIP. LEOGAIRE. A CAPTAIN. POLONIA, Daughter of the King. LESBIA, her Sister. PAUL, a Peasant. LUCY, his Wife. Two Canons Regular. Two Peasants. An Old Countryman. A Muffled Figure. Attendants, Friars, and others.

* * * * *

The Scene passes in Ireland, in the Court of King Egerius, and other parts.


* * * * *




The King EGERIUS, clad in skins, LEOGAIRE, POLONIA, LESBIA, and a Captain.

KING [furious]. Here let me die. Away!

LEOGAIRE. Oh, stop, my lord!

CAPTAIN. Consider . . .

LESBIA. Listen . . .

POLONIA. Stay . . .

KING. Yes, from this rocky height, Nigh to the sun, that with one starry light Its rugged brow doth crown, Headlong among the salt waves leaping down Let him descend who so much pain perceives; There let him raging die who raging lives.

LESBIA. Why wildly seekest thou the sea?

POLONIA. Thou wert asleep, my lord; what could it be?

KING. Every torment that doth dwell For ever with the thirsty fiends of hell — Dark brood of that dread mother, The seven-necked snake, whose poisoned breath doth smother The fourth celestial sphere; In fine, its horror and its misery drear Within me reach so far, That I myself upon myself make war, When in the arms of sleep A living corse am I, for it doth keep Such mastery o'er my life, that, as I dream, A pale foreshadowing threat of coming death I seem.

POLONIA. How could a dream, my lord, provoke you so?

KING. Alas! my daughters, listen, you shall know. From out the lips of a most lovely youth (And though a miserable slave, in sooth I dare not hurt him, and I speak his praise), Well, from the mouth of a poor slave, a blaze Of lambent lustre came, Which mildly burned in rays of gentlest flame; Till reaching you, The living fire at once consumed ye two. I stood betwixt ye both, and though I sought To stay its fury, the strange fire would not Molest or wound me, passing like the wind, So that despairing, blind, I woke from out a deep abysm Of dream, a lethargy, a paroxysm; But find my pains the same, For still it seems to me I see that flame, And flying, at every turn See you consumed; but now I also burn.*

[footnote] *The Dream of Egerius, as given by Calderon, agrees substantially with Jocelin's description, and differs only in one slight particular (the number of the flames) from that in Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio". In the latter, the name of the Irish prince to whom Patrick was sold is not given; in Jocelin he is called "Milcho." Calderon was either ignorant of this, and gave the king a name that was purely imaginary, or, considering it less musical than he would wish, gave him the more harmonious one of Egerio. The following is Jocelin's version: "And Milcho beheld a vision in the night: and behold Patrick entered his palace as all on fire, and the flames, issuing from his mouth, and from his nose, and from his eyes, and from his ears, seemed to burn him; but Milcho repelled from himself the flaming hair of the boy, nor did it prevail to touch him any nearer; but the flame, being spread, turned aside to the right and catching on his two little daughters, who were lying in one bed, burned them even to ashes: then the south wind blowing strongly dispersed their ashes over many parts of Ireland." — "Jocelin's Life of St. Patrick, translated by Swift" (Dublin, 1804), pp. 17, 18.

LESBIA. Light phantoms these, Chimeras which an entrance find with ease Into the dreamer's brain. [A trumpet sounds. But wherefore sounds this trumpet?

CAPTAIN. It is plain Ships are approaching to our port below.

POLONIA. Grant me thy leave, great lord, since thou dost know A trumpet in my ear Sounds like a siren's voice, serene and clear; Ever to war inclined, In martial music my chief joy I find; Its clangour and its din Lead my rapt senses on: for I may win Through it my highest fame, When soaring to the sun on waves of flame, Or wings as swift, my proud name shall ascend, There it may be with Pallas to contend. [Aside. A stronger motive urges me to go: If it is Philip's ship I wish to know. [Exit.

LEOGAIRE. Descend, my lord, with me Down where the foam-curled head of the blue sea Bows at the base of this majestic hill, Whose sands, like chains of gold, restrain its wilder will.

CAPTAIN. Let it divert thy care, This snow-white monster fair, Whose waves of dazzling hue Shape silver frames round mirrors sapphire blue.

KING. Nothing can give relief; Nothing can now divert me from my grief; That mystic fire will give my life no rest,— My heart an Etna seems within my breast.

LESBIA. Is any sight more fair? can aught surpass That of a vessel breaking through the glass Of crystal seas, and seeming there to be, As with light share it cuts the azure mass, A fish of the wind, a swift bird of the sea, And being for two elements designed, Flies in the wave and swims upon the wind? But now no witchery Were it to any eyes that sight to see; For lo! the roused-up ocean, Heaving with all its mountain waves in motion, Wrinkles its haughty brow, And suddenly awaking, Neptune, his trident shaking, Ruffles the beauteous face so sweet and calm but now. Well may the sailor in his floating home Expect a storm, for, lo! in heaven's high vault Rise pyramids of ice, mountains of salt, Turrets of snow, and palaces of foam.

POLONIA returns.

POLONIA. O dire misfortune!

KING. What so suddenly Has chanced, Polonia?

POLONIA. This inconstant sea, This Babel of wild waves that seeks heaven's gate, So great its fury, and its rage so great, Driven by a drought accursed, (Who would have thought that waves themselves could thirst?) Has swallowed in the depths of its dread womb, But now, a numerous company, to whom It consecrates below Red sepulchres of coral, tombs of snow, In silver-shining caves; For from their prison out o'er all the waves Has Aeolus the winds let loose, and they, Without a law to guide them on their way, Fell on that bark from which the trumpet rang, A swan whose own sad obsequies it sang. I from that cliff's stupendous height, Which dares to intercept the great sun's light, Looked full of hope along that vessel's track, To see if it was Philip who came back; Philip whose flag had borne upon the breeze Thy royal arms triumphant through the seas; When his sad wreck swept by, And every sound was buried in a sigh, His ruin seemed not wrought by seas or skies, But by my lips and eyes, Because my cries, the tears that made me blind, Increased still more the water and the wind.

KING. How! ye immortal deities, Would you still try by threatenings such as these What I can bear? Is it your wish that I should mount and tear This azure palace down, as if the shape Of a new Nimrod* I assumed, to show How on my shoulders might the world escape, Nor as I gazed below Feel any fear, though all the abysses under Were rent with fire and flame, with lightning and with thunder.

[footnote] *Nimrod is here used for Atlas. "Nimrod aber ist hier, was den Profandichtern und auch dem Calderon oft Atlas ist." — Schmidt, 'Die Schauspiele Calderon's' etc.,' p. 426.

* * * * *



PATRICK [within]. Ah me!

LEOGAIRE. Some mournful voice.

KING. What's this?

CAPTAIN. The form, As of a man who has escaped the storm, Swims yonder to the land.

LESBIA. And strives to give a life-sustaining hand Unto another wretch, when he Appeared about to sink in death's last agony.

POLONIA. Poor traveller from afar, Whom evil fate and thy malignant star On this far shore have cast, Let my voice guide thee, if amid the blast My accents thou canst hear; since it is only To rouse thy courage that I speak to thee. Come!

[Enter PATRICK and LUIS ENIUS, clasping each other.

PATRICK. Oh, God save me!

LUIS. Oh, the devil save ME!

LESBIA. They move my pity, these unhappy two.

KING. Not mine, for what it is I never knew.

PATRICK. Oh, sirs, if wretchedness Can move most hearts to pity man's distress, I will not think that here A heart can be so cruel and severe As to repel a wretch from out the wave. Pity, for God's sake, at your feet I crave.

LUIS. I don't, for I disdain it. From God or man I never hope to gain it.

KING. Say who you are; we then shall know What hospitable care your needs we owe. But first I will inform you of my name, Lest ignorance of that perchance might claim Exemption from respect, and words be said Unworthy of the deference and the dread That here my subjects show me, Or wanting the due homage that you owe me. I am the King Egerius, The worthy lord of this small realm, for thus I call it being mine; Till 'tis the world, my sword shall not resign Its valorous hope. The dress, Not of a king, but of wild savageness I wear: to testify, Thus seeming a wild beast, how wild am I. No god my worship claims; I do not even know the deities' names: Here they no service nor respect receive; To die and to be born is all that we believe. Now that you know how much you should revere My royal state, say who you are.

PATRICK. Then hear: Patrick is my name, my country Ireland, and an humble hamlet,* Scarcely known to men, called Empthor,** Is my place of birth: It standeth Midway 'twixt the north and west, On a mountain which is guarded As a prison by the sea,— In the island which hereafter Will be called the Isle of Saints, To its glory everlasting; Such a crowd, great lord, therein Will give up their lives as martyrs In religious attestation Of the faith, faith's highest marvel. Of an Irish cavalier, And of his chaste spouse and partner, A French lady, I was born, Unto whom I owe (oh, happy That 'twas so!), beyond my birthright Of nobility, the vantage Of the Christian faith, the light Of Christ's true religion granted In the sacred rite of baptism, Which a mark indelibly stampeth On the soul, heaven's gate, as it Is the sacrament first granted By the Church. My pious parents, Having thus the debt exacted From all married people paid By my birth, retired thereafter To two separate convents, where In the purity and calmness Of their chaste abodes they lived, Till the fatal line of darkness, Ending life, was reached, and they, Fortified by every practice Of the Catholic faith, in peace Yielded up their souls in gladness, Unto heaven their spirits giving, Giving unto earth their ashes. I, an orphan, then remained Carefully and kindly guarded By a very holy matron, Underneath whose rule I hardly Had completed one brief lustrum — Five short years had scarce departed — Five bright circles of the sun Wheeling round on golden axles, Twelve high zodiac signs illuming And one earthly sphere, when happened Through me an event that showed God's omnipotence and marvels; Since of weakest instruments God makes use of, to enhance his Majesty the more, to show That for what men think the grandest And most strange effects, to Him Should alone the praise be granted.— It so happened, and Heaven knoweth That it is not pride, but rather Pure religious zeal, that men Should know how the Lord hath acted, Makes me tell it, that one day To my doors a blind man rambled, Gormas was his name, who said, "God who sends me here commands thee In His name to give me sight;" I, obedient to the mandate, Made at once the sign of the cross On his sightless eyes, that started Into life and light once more From their state of utter darkness. At another time when heaven, Muffled in the thickest, blackest Clouds, made war upon the world, Hurling at it lightning lances Of white snow, which fell so thickly On a mountain, that soon after They being melted by the sun, So filled up our streets and alleys, So inundated our houses, That amid the wild waves stranded They were ships of bricks and stones, Barks of cement and of plaster. Who before saw waves on mountains? Who 'mid woods saw ships at anchor? I the sign of the cross then made On the waters, and in accents, In a tone of grave emotion, In God's name the waves commanded To retire: they turned that moment And left dry the lands they ravaged. Oh, great God! who will not praise Thee? Who will not confess Thee Master?— Other wonders I could tell you, But my modesty throws shackles On my tongue, makes mute my voice, And my lips seals up and fastens. I grew up, in fine, inclined Less to arms than to the marvels Knowledge can reveal: I gave me Almost wholly up to master Sacred Science, to the reading Of the Lives of Saints, a practice Which doth teach us faith, hope, zeal, Charity and Christian manners. In these studies thus immersed, I one day approached the margin Of the sea with some young friends, Fellow-students and companions, When a bark drew nigh, from which Suddenly out-leaping landed Armed men, fierce pirates they, Who these seas, these islands, ravaged; We at once were captives made, And in order not to hazard Losing us their prey, they sailed Out to sea with swelling canvas. Of this daring pirate boat Philip de Roqui was the captain, In whose breast, for his destruction, Pride, the poisonous weed, was planted. He the Irish seas and coast Having thus for some days ravaged, Taking property and life, Pillaging our homes and hamlets; But myself alone reserved To be offered as a vassal, As a slave to thee, O king! In thy presence as he fancied. Oh! how ignorant is man, When of God's wise laws regardless, When, without consulting Him, He his future projects planneth! Philip well, at sea might say so; Since to-day, in sight of land here, Heaven the while being all serene, Mild the air, the water tranquil, In an instant, in a moment, He beheld his proud hopes blasted. In the hollow-breasted waves Roared the wind, the sea grew maddened, Billows upon billows rolled Mountain high, and wildly dashed them Wet against the sun, as if They its light would quench and darken. The poop-lantern of our ship Seemed a comet most erratic — Seemed a moving exhalation, Or a star from space outstarted; At another time it touched The profoundest deep sea-caverns, Or the treacherous sands whereon Ran the stately ship and parted. Then the fatal waves became Monuments of alabaster, Tombs of coral and of pearl. I (and why this boon was granted Unto me by Heaven I know not, Being so useless), with expanded Arms, struck out, but not alone My own life to save, nay rather In the attempt to save this brave Young man here, that life to barter; For I know not by what secret Instinct towards him I'm attracted; And I think he yet will pay me Back this debt with interest added. Finally, through Heaven's great pity We at length have happily landed, Where my misery may expect it, Or my better fate may grant it; Since we are your slaves and servants, That being moved by our disasters, That being softened by our weeping, Our sore plight may melt your hardness, Our affliction force your kindness, And our very pains command you.***

[footnote] * The asonante in a — e, or their vocal equivalents, commences here, and is continued to the commencement of the speech of Enius, when it changes to the asonante in e — e, which is kept up through the remainder of the Scene, and to the end of Scene III.

[footnote] ** "Empthor" — see note on this name.

[footnote] *** See note for some extracts from Montalvan's "Vida y Purgaterio de San Patricio".

KING. Silence, miserable Christian, For my very soul seems fastened On thy words, compelling me, How I know not, to regard thee With strange reverence and fear, Thinking thou must be that vassal — That poor slave whom in my dream I beheld outbreathing flashes, Saw outflashing living fire, In whose flame, so lithe and lambent, My Polonia and my Lesbia Like poor moths were burned to ashes.

PATRICK. Know, the flame that from my mouth Issued, is the true Evangel, Is the doctrine of the Gospel:— 'Tis the word which I'm commanded Unto thee to preach, O King! To thy subjects and thy vassals, To thy daughters, who shall be Christians through its means.

KING. Cease, fasten Thy presumptuous lips, vile Christian, For thy words insult and stab me.


POLONIA. And wilt thou in thy pity Try to save him from his anger?


POLONIA. Forbear, and let him die.

LESBIA. Thus to die by a king's hands here Were unjust. [Aside.] (It is my pity For these Christians prompts my answer.)

POLONIA. If this second Joseph then, Like the first one, would unravel, Would interpret the king's dreams, Do not dread the result, my father; For if my being seen to burn Indicates in any manner I should ever be a Christian, As impossible a marvel Such would be, as if, being dead, I could rise and live thereafter. But in order that your mind May be turned from such just anger, Let us hear now who this other Stranger is.

LUIS. Then be attentive, Beautiful divinity, For my history thus commences:— Great Egerius, King of Ireland, I by name am Luis Enius, And a Christian also, this Being the sole point of resemblance Betwixt Patrick and myself, Yet a difference presenting: For although we two are Christians, So distinct and so dissevered Are we, that not good from evil Is more opposite in its essence. Yet for all that, in defence Of the faith I believe and reverence, I would lose a thousand lives (Such the esteem for it I cherish). Yes, by God! The oath alone Shows how firmly I confess Him. I no pious tales or wonders, Worked in my behalf by Heaven, Have to speak of: no; dark crimes, Robberies, murders, sacrileges, Treasons, treacheries, betrayals, Must I tell instead, however Vain it be in me to glory In my having such effected. I in one of Ireland's many Isles was born; the planets seven, I suspect, in wild abnormal Interchange of influences, Must have at my hapless birth-time All their various gifts presented. Fickleness the Moon implanted In my nature; subtle Hermes With and genius ill-employed; (Better ne'er to have possessed them); Wanton Venus gave me passions — All the flatteries of the senses, And stern Mars a cruel mind (Mars and Venus both together What will they not give?); the Sun Gave to me an easy temper, Prone to spend, and when means failed me Theft and robbery were my helpers; Jupiter presumptuous pride, Thoughts fantastic and unfettered, Gave me; Saturn, rage and anger, Valour and a will determined On its ends; and from such causes Followed the due consequences. Here from Ireland being banished, By a cause I do not mention Through respect to him, my father Came to Perpignan, and settled In that Spanish town, when I Scarce my first ten years had ended, And when sixteen came, he died. May God rest his soul in heaven!— Orphaned, I remained the prey Of my passions and my pleasures, O'er whose tempting plain I ran Without rein or curb to check me. The two poles of my existence, On which all the rest depended For support, were play and women. What a base on which to rest me! Here my tongue would not be able To acquaint you 'in extenso' With my actions: a brief abstract May, however, be attempted. I, to outrage a young maiden, Stabbed to death a noble elder, Her own father: for the sake Of his wife, a most respected Cavalier I slew, as he Lay beside her in the helpless State of sleep, his honour bathing In his blood, the bed presenting A sad theatre of crimes, Murder and adultery blended. Thus the father and the husband Life for honour's sake surrendered; For even honour has its martyrs. May God rest their souls in heaven!— Dreading punishment for this, I fled hastily, and entered France, where my exploits, methinks, Time will cease not to remember; For, assisting in the wars Which at that time were contended Bravely betwixt France and England, I took military service Under Stephen, the French king, And a fight which chance presented Showed my courage to be such, That the king himself, as guerdon Of my valour, gave to me The commission of an ensign. How that debt I soon repaid, I prefer not now to tell thee. Back to Perpignan, thus honoured, I returned, and having entered Once a guard-house there to play, For some trifle I lost temper, Struck a serjeant, killed a captain, And maimed others there assembled. At the cries from every quarter Speedily the watch collected, And in flying to a church, As they hurried to prevent me, I a catch-pole killed. ('Twas something One good work to have effected 'Mid so many that were bad.) May God rest his soul in heaven!— Far I fled into the country, And asylum found and shelter In a convent of religious, Which was founded in that desert, Where I lived retired and hidden, Well taken care of and attended. For a lady there, a nun, Was my cousin, which connection Gave to her the special burden Of this care. My heart already Being a basilisk which turned All the honey into venom, Passing swiftly from mere liking To desire — that monster ever Feeding on the impossible — Living fire that with intensest Fury burns when most opposed — Flame the wind revives and strengthens, False, deceitful, treacherous foe Which doth murder its possessor — In a word, desire in him, Who nor God nor law respecteth, Of the horrible, of the shocking, Thinks but only to attempt it.— Yes, I dared . . . . But here disturbed, When, my lord, I this remember, Mute the voice in horror fails, Sad the accent faints and trembles, And as 'mid the night's dark shadows, The hair stands on end through terror; Thus confused, so full of doubt, Sad remembrance so o'erwhelms me, That the thing I dared to do I scarce dare in words to tell thee. For, in fine, my crime is such, So to be abhorred, detested, So profane, so sacrilegious (Strange upon thee so to press it), That for having such committed I at times feel some repentance. Well, in fine, I dared one night, When deep silence had erected Sepulchres of fleeting sleep For men's overwearied senses, When a dark and cloudy veil Heaven had o'er its face extended — Mourning which the wind assumed For the sun whose life had ended — In whose obsequies the night-birds Swan-notes sang instead of verses, And when back from waves of sapphire, Where their beauty was reflected, The clear stars a second time Trembling lights to heaven presented:— Well, on such a night, by climbing O'er the garden wall, I entered With the assistance of two friends (For when such things are attempted An associate never fails), And in horror and in terror, Seeking in the dark my death, Reached at length the cell (I tremble To remember it) in which Was my cousin, whom respectful Silence bids me not to name, Though all self-respect has left me. Frightened at such nameless horror, On the hard floor she fell senseless, When she passed into my arms, And ere she regained her senses, She already was outside Her asylum, in a desert, When if heaven possessed the power, It had not the will to help her. Women, when they are persuaded That the wildest of excesses Are the effects of love, forgive them Easily; and, therefore, pleasure Following tears, some consolation In her miseries was effected; Though, in fact, they were so great, That united in one person She saw violence, violation, Incest, nay, adultery even, Against God who was her spouse, And a sacrilege most dreadful. Finally we left that place, Being carried to Valencia By two steeds that well might claim From the winds to be descended: Feigning that she was my wife, But with little peace we dwelt there; For I quickly having squandered Whatsoever little treasure I brought with me, without friends, p 260 Without any hope of help there, In my dire distress appealed To the beauty still so perfect Of my poor pretended wife: If for aught I did I ever Could feel shame, this act alone Would most surely overwhelm me; Since it is the lowest baseness That the vilest breast descends to, To put up to sale one's honour, And to trade in love's caresses. Scarce with shameless front had I This base plan to her suggested, When concealing her design She gave seeming acquiescence; But I scarce had turned my back, Hardly had I left her presence, When she, flying from me, found Grace a convent's walls to enter. There, a holy monk advising, She a saving port and shelter Found against the world's wild storms, And there died, her sin, her penance, Giving all a great example; May God rest her soul in heaven!— Seeing that the narrow world Now took note of my offences, And that soon the very land Might reject me, I determined To re-seek my native country; For at least I there expected To be safer from my foes, In a place so long my centre And my home. The way I took And to Ireland came, which welcomed Me at first as would a mother, But a step-mother resembled Before long, for seeking a passage Where a harbour lay protected By a mole, I found that corsairs Lay concealed within the shelter Of a little creek which his Out of view their well-armed vessel. And of these, their captain, Philip, Took me prisoner, after efforts Made in my defence so brave, That in deference to the mettle I displayed, my life he spared. What ensured you know already, How the wind in sudden anger Rising into raging tempest, Now chastised us in its pride, Now our lives more cruelly threatened, Making in the seas and mountains Such wild ruin and resemblance, That to mock the mountain's pride Waves still mightier forms presented, Which with catapults of crystal Made the cliffs' foundations tremble, So that neighbouring cities fell, And the sea, in scornful temper, Gathering up from its abysses The munition it collecteth, Fired upon the land its pearls In their shells, wherein engendered By the swift breath of the morning In its dew, they shine resplendent Tears of ice and fire; in fine, Not in pictures so imperfect All our time to waste, the crew Went to sup in the infernal Halls themselves; I, too, a guest Would have equally attended With them, if this Patrick, here, Whom I know not why I reverence, Looking with respect and fear On his beauteous countenance ever, Had not drawn me from the sea, Where, exhausted, sinking, helpless, I drank death in every draught, Agony in each salt wave's venom. This my history is, and now I wish neither life nor mercy, Neither that my pains should move thee, Nor my asking should compel thee, Save in this, to give me death, That thus may the life be ended Of a man who is so bad, That he scarcely can be better.*

[footnote] *See note as to Montalvan's invention of this story.

KING. Luis, though thou art a Christian, Which by me is most detested, Yet I so admire thy courage That I wish, before all present, Between thee and him to show How my power can be exerted, How it punishes as rewards, How it elevates and depresses. And so thus my arms I give thee, That within them thus extended Thou may'st reach my heart; to thee Thus beneath my feet to tread thee; [He throws PATRICK on the ground and places his foot upon him. The two actions signifying How the heavier scale descendeth. And that, Patrick, thou may'st see How I value or give credit To thy threats, thy life I spare. Vomit forth the flame incessant Of the so-called word of God, That by this thou may'st be certain I do not adore his Godship, Nor his miracles have dread of. Live then; but in such a state Of poor, mean, and abject service, As befits a useless hind In the fields; and so as shepherd I would have thee guard my flocks, Which are in these vales collected. Let us see, if for the purpose Of this mystic fire outspreading, Being my slave, thy God will free thee From captivity and thy fetters. [Exit.

LESBIA. Patrick moves my heart to pity. [Exit.

POLONIA. Not so mine, for none I cherish. Had I any, none would move me Sooner than this Luis Enius.* [Exit.

[footnote] *It is difficult to account for Calderon giving the name of "Egerio" to the King of Ireland, when he bestows the proper one — "Leogaire" — on an inferior character. The name of the King of Montalvan. "Era Rey de aquella, y de otras islas comarcanas Leogardo, hijo de Neil." — Cap. I., p. 19, ed. 1628. Calderon had to invent names for the king's daughters, as he did not find them in Montalvan. In the Book of Armagh they are called "Ethne the fair" and "Fedelm the ruddy." — Todd, p. 451. Miss Cusack gives the names "Ethna" and "Fethlema." — "Life of St. Patrick", p. 291. Of their baptism, the distinguished poet to whom this drama is dedicated, has thus sung:—

"They knelt: on their heads the wave he poured Thrice, in the name of the Triune Lord: And their foreheads he signed with the Sign adored. On Fedelm the 'Red Rose,' on Ethna 'The Fair,' God's dew shone bright in that morning air." - AUBREY DE VERE'S "Legends of St. Patrick".

* * * * *



PATRICK. Luis, though a low position Mine is here, and I observe thee Raised to fortune's highest summit, Yet I feel more grief than envy At thy rise. Thou art a Christian; Show thyself one now in earnest.

LUIS. Patrick, let me now enjoy The first favours fate has sent me After so much sad misfortune.

PATRICK. One word, then (if thou wilt let me So presume), I ask of thee.

LUIS. What is that?

PATRICK. Upon this earth here, Once again, alive or dead, That we two shall meet together.

LUIS. Such a word dost ask me?


LUIS. Then I give it.

PATRICK. I accept it. [Exeunt.

* * * * *




LUCY. Pardon, if I have not known How to serve you as I ought.

PHILIP. For much more than you have thought Must you my forgiveness own. For when I your kind face view, Pain and pleasure being at war, I have much to thank you for, And have much to pardon too. Thanks, with which my heart is rife, Are for life restored and breath; Pardon, for you give me death, As before you gave me life.

LUCY. For such flattering declarations Rude and ignorant am I, So my arms will give reply; Which gets rid of explanations. Let their silent interfacing Figure what my words should be.

* * * * *



PAUL [aside]. Eh, sirs! what is this I see? Some one here my wife's embracing. What's to do? I burn, I burst. Kill her? Yes. 'Twas fortune sent me. One thing only doth prevent me, Which is, she might kill me first.

PHILIP. For your hospitable care, Beauteous mountaineer, I would That this ring's bright diamond could Far outshine a star of air.

LUCY. Think me not a woman who Lives intent her gain to make; But I take it for your sake.

PAUL. [aside'. What I wonder should I do? But if I'm her husband, then, As I saw him give the ring, Silence is the proper thing.

LUCY. In these arms I once again Give to you my soul, for I Have no other ring or chain.

PHILIP. Where I ever could remain:— For such sweet captivity Lures me from the miseries Of remembering my sad fate, Caused, as you have seen, so late, By these crystalline blue seas.

PAUL [aside[. What! a new embrace! Halloo! Don't you see, sir, Od's my life, That this woman is my wife?

PHILIP. Here's your husband full in view; He has seen us. I must straight Leave you and return — [Aside.} Ah, me! Couldst thou this, Polonia, see, Thou mightst mourn, perhaps, the state Unto which I see me doomed. And. O heaven-aspiring sea, Say in what vast depths can be All the lives thou hast entombed? [Exit.

* * * * *


PAUL and LUCY; afterwards PHILIP.

PAUL [aside]. As he's gone, I'll louder speak.— This time, Lucy mine, I've caught you, So a present I have brought you: See this window-bar, 'twill wreak My revenge.

LUCY. Oh, how malicious! Bless me, grumbler, what grimaces!

PAUL. Then to witness two embraces Does not look at all suspicious?— Was it malice, then, in me, Not plain seeing?

LUCY. Malice merely: For a husband, how so nearly He may pry, should never see More than half his wife doth do.

PAUL. Well, with that I'm quite content, To that condition I assent, And since twice embraced by you Has that rascal soldier been, Whom the sea spewed out in spite, I will juggle with my sight, And pretend but once to have seen; And as I for two embraces Meant to give a hundred blows, I but fifty now propose For one half of my disgraces. I have totted up the score; You yourself the sentence gave; Yes, by God I swear, you'll have Fifty strokes and not one more.

LUCY. I've admitted far too much. For a husband it would be Quite preposterous; he should see But the quarter.

PAUL. Even as such I acknowledge the appeal. Patience, and your back prepare, For the now admitted share, Five-and-twenty blows you'll feel.

LUCY. No, not so; you're still astray.

PAUL. Then say what?

LUCY. Between us two, You're to trust not what you view, But what I am pleased to say.

PAUL. Better far, I think, 'twould be, Daughter of the devil, that you Held the stick and used it too, With it well belabouring me; Is't agreed what I propose? Yes; then let us both change places. Give to him the two embraces, And to me the hundred blows.

[PHILIP returns.

PHILIP [aside]. Has the peasant gone, I wonder?

PAUL. At the nick of time you're here, So, Sir Soldier, lend an ear. Obligation I am under For the favours you have meant To bestow so liberally On my cot, my wife, and me; And although I'm well content With you, yet as you're progressing Day by day and getting stronger, It is best you stay no longer. Take the road, then, with God's blessing, Leave my house, for it would be Sad in it to raise my hand, Leaving you dead flesh on land Who wert living fish at sea.

PHILIP. The suspicion that you show Is quite groundless, do not doubt it.

PAUL. Zounds! with reason or without it, Am I married, sir, or no?

* * * * *


LEOGAIRE, an Old Peasant, and PATRICK.

LEOGAIRE. So 'tis ordered, and that he Serving here from day to day, In the open field should stay.

OLD MAN. Yes; I say it so shall be.

LEOGAIRE. But who's this? O happiness! Since 'tis Philip's form I greet. Mighty lord, I kiss thy feet.

PAUL. Mighty lord does he call him?

LUCY. Yes. Now lay on the blows you owe. Now, friend Paul, the moment charms.

PHILIP. Give me, good Leogaire, your arms.

LEOGAIRE. Honour in them you bestow. Is it possible, once more That alive I see thee?

PHILIP. Here, Trophy of a fate severe, The sea flung me on this shore, Where, their willing aid secured, I have lived these peasants' guest, Till I could repair with rest All the sufferings I endured. And, besides, I thought with dread On the angry disposition Of the king: for his ambition When has it or bowed the head, Or with patience heard related The sad tragedies of fate? Hopeless and disconsolate In this solitude I've waited, Till some happy chance might rise When no longer I should grieve, And the king would give me leave To appear before his eyes.

LEOGAIRE. That already has been given thee; For so sad was he, believing Thou wert dead, so deep his grieving, All the past will be forgiven thee Since thou livest. Come with me, Fortune will once more embrace thee,— In his favour to replace thee Let my happy privilege be.

PAUL. For that late unseemly brawl See me humbly bending low; You, my lord Prince Philip, know That I am one Juan Paul. My suspicion and abuse Pray forgive, your majesty, Think that what I said to thee Was but cackled by a goose. At your service, night and day, Are whatever goods I've got — Lucy here, myself and cot; And God bless us all, I pray.

PHILIP. For your hospitality I am grateful, and I trust To repay it.

PAUL. If you must, Let the first instalment be Just to take my wife away. Thurs you will reward us two; She'll be glad to go with you, I, without her, glad to stay.


LUCY [aside]. Was there ever love so vain As is mine, a brief caress Cradled in forgetfulness?

OLD MAN. Juan Paul, as we remain Here alone, 'twere well to greet As a friend this labourer, Newly sent us.

PATRICK. Nay, good sir, I'm a slave, and I entreat That as such you understand me; I, the lowest of the low, Hither come to serve, and so I implore that you command me As a slave, since I am one.

OLD MAN. Oh, what modesty!

PAUL. What humility!

LUCY. What good looks, too, and gentility! I, in truth, can't help being drawn By his face.

PAUL. Came ever here (This is quite between us two) Any wandering stranger who Did not draw you so, my dear? Eh, my Lucy?

LUCY. Boorish, base, Is your vile insinuation 'Gains my innocent inclination For the whole of the human race! [Exit.

OLD MAN. To your sharpness and good will, Paul, I trust a thing that may Cost my life.

PAUL. Then don't delay. Tell it, since you know my skill.

OLD MAN. This new slave that here you see, I suspect is not secure, And I hasten to procure Means by which he more may be. For the present I confide him To your care, by day or night Let him not escape your sight, Ever watchful keep beside him. [Exit.

* * * * *



PAUL [aside]. I'm to keep what you discarded! Good in faith!— [To PATRICK] Behold in me Your strict guard; in you I see The sole thing I ever guarded In my life; with such a care I can neither sleep nor eat. If you wish to use your feet You can go, your road lies there. Nay, in flying quickly hence You to me a good will do, Since my care will fly with you. Go in peace.

PATRICK. With confidence You may trust me, for I'm not, Though a slave, a fugitive. Lord! how gladly do I live In this solitary spot, Where my soul in raptured prayer May adore Thee, or in trance See the living countenance Of Thy prodigies so rare! Human wisdom, earlthly lore, Solitude reveals and reaches; What diviner wisdom teaches In it, too, I would explore.

PAUL. Tell me, talking thus apart, Who it is on whom you call?

PATRICK. Great primeval cause of all, Thou, O Lord, in all things art! These blue heavens, these crystal skies Formed of dazzling depths of light, In which sun, moon, stars unite, Are they not but draperies Hung before Thy heavenly land?— The discordant elements, Water, fire, earth, air immense, Prove they not Thy master hand? Or in dark or brightsome hours, Praise they not Thy power and might? O'er the earth dost Thou not write In the characters of flowers Thy great goodness? And the air, In reverberating thunder, Does it not in fear and wonder Say, O Lord, that Thou art there? Are not, too, Thy praises sung By the fire and water — each Dowered for this divinest speech, With tongue the wave, the flame with tongue? Here, then, in this lonely place I, O Lord, may better be, Since in all things I find Thee. Thou hast given to me the grace Of Obedience, Faith, and Fear; As a slave, then, let me stay, Or remove me where I may Serve Thee truly, if not here.*

[An Angel descends, holding in one hand a shield in which is a mirror, and in the other hand a letter.

[footnote] *For the earlier version of this prayer, see Note.

* * * * *


An Angel. — THE SAME.

ANGEL. Patrick!

PATRICK. Ah! who calls me?

PAUL. Why, No one calls. [Aside.] The man is daft, Poetry should be his craft.

ANGEL. Patrick!

PATRICK. Ah! who calls me?


PAUL [aside]. Who he speaks to, I can't see. Well, to stop his speech were hard, I'm not here his mouth to guard. [Exit.

* * * * *


The Angel and PATRICK.

PATRICK. Ah! it cannot be to me Comes such glory! For, behold! Pearl and rosy dawn in one, Shines a cloud, from which its sun Breaks in crimson and in gold! Living stars its robe adorning, Rose and jasmine sweetly blended, Dazzling comes that vision splendid, Scattering purple pomps of morning.


PATRICK. Sunlight strikes me blind! Heavenly Lord, who canst thou be?

ANGEL. I am Victor, whom to thee God thy angel-guard assigned: With this scroll, to give it thee [Gives him the letter. I am sent.

PATRICK. Sweet messenger, Paranymph of all things fair, Who amidst the hierarchy Of the highest hosts of heaven Singest in melodious tone — "Glory unto Thee alone, Holy, Holy Lord, be given!"

ANGEL. Read the letter.

PATRICK. With amaze, I see here "To Patrick" Oh, Can a slave be honoured so?

ANGEL. Open it.

PATRICK. It also says — "Patrick! Patrick! hither come, Free us from our slavery!"— More it means than I can see, Since I do not know by whom I am called. Oh, faithful guide, Speedily dispel my error!

ANGEL. Look into this shining mirror.

PATRICK. Heavens!

ANGEL. What seest thou inside?

PATRICK. Numerous people there seem thronging, Old men, children, women, who Seem to call me.

ANGEL. Nor do you Stay, but satisfy their longing. You behold the Irish nation, Who expect to hear God's truth From your lips. Oh, chosen youth, Leave your slavery. The vocation God has given thee is to sow Faith o'er all the Irish soil. There as Legate thou shalt toil, Ireland's great Apostle. Go First to France, to German's home, The good bishop: there thou'lt make Thy profession: there thou'lt take The monk's habit, and to Rome Pass, where letters thou'lt procure For that mighty work of thine, In the bulls of Celestine: Thou wilt visit, then, in Tours Martin, the great bishop there. Now upborne upon the wind Come with me, for thou wilt find God has given with prescient care His commands to all, that so Fitly thy great work be done; But 'tis time we should be gone: Let us on our journey go. [They disappear.

* * * * *





LUIS. Yes, Polonia, yes, for he Who betrays inconstancy Has no reason for complaining That another love is gaining On his own; that fault will be Ever punished so. For who Proudly soars that doth not fall? Therefore 'tis that I forestall Philip's love howe'er so true. He is nobler to the view, As one nobly born may be; But in that nobility, Which one's self can win and wear, I with justice may declare I am nobler far than he; I more honour have obtained Than on Philip's cradle rained: Let the fact excuse the boast, For this land from coast to coast Rings with victories I have gained. Three years is it since I came To these isles (it seems a day); Three swift years have rolled away Since I made it my chief aim Thee to serve — my highest fame. Trophies numerous as the sand, Mars might envy, has my hand Won for thy great sire and thee — Being the wonder of the sea, And th' amazement of the land.

POLONIA. Luis, yes, thy gallant bearing, Or inherited or acquired, Has within my breast inspired A strange fear, a certain daring,— Ah, I know not if, declaring This, 'tis love, for blushes rise At perceiving with surprise That at last hath come the hour, When my heart must own the power Of a deity I despise. This alone I'll say, that here Long thy hope had been fruition, But that I the disposition Of the king, my father, fear, But still hope and persevere.

* * * * *



PHILIP [aside]. If to find my death I come, Why precipitate my doom? But so patient who could be As to not desire to see What impends, how dark its gloom?

LUIS. Then, what pledge may I demand Of your faith?

POLONIA. This hand.

PHILIP. Not so, How to hinder it I shall know; More of this I must withstand.

POLONIA. Woe is me!

PHILIP. Wilt give thy hand to this outcast of the wave? And, oh thou, to whom pride gave The presumption to aspire To a sun's celestial fire, Knowing that thou wert my slave, Why thus dare to come between Me and mine?

LUIS. Because I dare Be what now I am, nor care More to be what I have been. It is true that I was seen Once your slave: for who, indeed, Can the fickle wheel control? But in nobleness of soul The best blood of all your breed I can equal, nay, exceed.

PHILIP. Exceed ME? Vile homicide! Wretch . . . .

LUIS. In having thus replied You have made a slight mistake.


LUIS. If such you did not make, You've done worse.

PHILIP. Say, what?

LUIS. You've lied!

PHILIP. Villain! traitor [Strikes him in the face.

POLONIA. Oh, ye skies!

LUIS. For so many injuries Why not instant vengeance take, When volcanic fires awake In my breast, and hell-flames rise? [They draw their swords.

* * * * *


EGERIUS and soldiers. — THE SAME.

KING. What is this?

LUIS. A lasting woe, A misfortune, an abuse, A sharp pain, a fiend let loose From the infernal pit below. Let no one presume to go 'Twixt me and revenge. Reflect, Fury breathes immortal breath, Vengeance has no fear of death, Nor for any man respect. I my honour must protect.

KING. Seize him.

LUIS. Let the man who sighs For his death obey! You'll see How the boldest fares, for he, Even before your very eyes, Shall be slain.

KING. That this should rise!— Follow him.

LUIS. In desperate mood, Plunging headlong in red blood, Like a sea both wide and deep, Thus courageously I leap, Seeking Philip through the flood.

[All enter fighting.

* * * * *


KING. I but wanted this alone After what I've heard, that he Who escaped from slavery, And to distant Rome had flown, Now with purpose too well known, Has to Ireland come again, Where proclaiming the new reign Of the faith, he has enticed Many to believe in Christ, Rending all the world in twain. A magician he must be, Since condemned, so rumour saith, By some other kings to death, He though tied upon the tree In an instant set him free, With such prodigies of wonder That the earth (within whose womb The dead lie as in a tomb) Trembled, the air groaned in thunder, Dark eclipse the sun lay under, Deigning not a single glance Of his radiant countenance To the moon: from which I see That this Patrick, for 'tis he, Lords it over fate and chance; Awe-struck by the prodigy, Fearing they may punished be, Crowds attend him on his way. And 'tis said that he to-day Comes to try his spells on me. Let him come, and once for all Wave in vain his conjuring rod! We shall see who is this God, Whom their God the Christians call. By my hand must Patrick fall, Were it but to see if he Can escape his destiny, Or my will subvert and master, He this Bishop, he this Pastor, He Pope's Legate, though he be.

* * * * *


The Captain, Soldiers, LUIS a prisoner, The King.

CAPTAIN. Luis, sire, without delay We secured; but not before He killed three, and wounded more, Of our company.

KING. Christian, say, Why do you no fear display, Seeing now in angry mood My hand raised to shed your blood? But in vain do I deplore, Since he this deserves and more Who has done a Christian good. Gifts, not chastisement, should be Thine to-day, for it is plain It is I should feel the pain For conferring good on thee. Take him hence, and presently Let him die; and be it known Why from him has mercy flown. 'Tis not for his crimes or guilt That this Christian's blood is spilt, 'Tis for Christ's belief alone. [Exeunt.

* * * * *



LUIS. If for this I die, to me Thou the happiest death allottest, Since he for his God will die, He who dies to do Him honour. And a man whose life is here But a round of cares and crosses, Should be grateful unto death As the end of all his sorrows; Since it comes the tangled thread Of a wretched life to shorten, Which to-day the evil Phoenix Of its works that now prove mortal Would revive amid the ashes Of my wrong and my dishonour. Then my life, my breath were poison, Venom would my breast but foster, Until I had shed in Ireland Blood in such a copious torrent, That though base it might wash out The remembrance of my wronger. Ah, my honour, low thou liest, By a ruthless foot down trodden!— I will die with thee, united We two will together conquer These barbarians. Then since little, But a span at best, belongeth To my life, a noble vengeance Let this dagger take upon me!— But, good God! what evil impulse With demoniac instinct prompteth Thus my hand? I am a Christian, I've a soul, and share the godly Light of faith: then were it right, 'Mid a crowd of Gentile mockers, Thus the Christian faith to tarnish By an action so improper? What example would I give them By a death so sad and shocking, Save that I thus gave the lie To the works that Patrick worketh. Since they'd say, who worship only Their own vices most immodest, Who deny unto the soul Its eternal joy or torment, "Of what use is Patrick's preaching That man's soul must be immortal, If the Christian, Luis Enius, Kills himself? He can't acknowledge Its eternal life who'd lose it."— Thus with actions so discordant, He the light and I the shadow, We would neutralize each other. 'Tis enough to be so wicked As even now to feel no sorrow, No repentance for past sins, Rather a desire for others. Yes, by God! for if escape Fortune now my life would offer, Europe, Africa, and Asia I would fill with fear and horror; First exacting here the debt Of a vengeance so enormous, That these islands of Egerius Would not hold a single mortal Who should not appease the thirst, The insatiable longing That I have for blood. The lightning, When it bursts its prison portals, Warns us in a voice of thunder, And then 'twixt dark smoke and forked Fires that take the shape of serpents, Fills the trembling air with horror. I, too, gave that thunder voice, So that all men heard the promise, But the lightning bolt was wanting. Yes, ah me! it proved abortive, And before it touched the earth Was by dallying winds made sport of. No, it is not death that grieves me, Even a death of such dishonour, 'Tis because at last are ended, In my youth's fresh opening blossom, My offences. Life I wish for To begin from this day forward Greater and more dread excesses. Heavens! 'tis for no other object.

* * * *



POLONIA [aside] (Now with mind made up I come.) Luis, an occasion offers Ever as the test and touchstone Of true love. By certain knowledge Have I learned the imminent danger Of thy life. The wrath grows hotter Of my father, and his fury To evade is most important. All the guards that here are with thee Has my liberal hand suborned, So that at the clink of gold Have their ears grown deaf and torpid. Fly! and that thou mayest see How a woman's heart can prompt her, How her honour she can trample, How her self-respect leave prostrate, With thee I will go, since now It is needful that henceforward I in life and death am thine, For without thee life were worthless, Thou who in my heart dost live. I bring with me gems and money Quite enough to the most distant Parts of India to transport us, Where the sun with beams and shadows Scatters frost, or burning scorches. At the door two steeds are standing, I should rather call these horses Two swift lynxes, air-born creatures, Thoughts by liveliest minds begotten; They so rapid are, that though We as fugitives fly on them, An assurance of our safety We shall feel. At once resolve then. Why thus ponder? what delays thee? Time is pressing, therefore shorten All discourse; and that mischance, Which disturbs love's plans so often, May not offer an obstruction To so well-prepared a project, First before thee I will go. Issue, while in specious converse I divert thy guards, and give To thy coming forth a cover. Even the sun our project favours, Which amid the west waves yonder, Sinking, dips his golden curls To refresh his glowing forehead. [Exit.

* * * * *



LUIS. A most opportune occasion To my hands has fortune offered; Since Heaven knows that all the show Of apparent love and fondness Which I proffered to Polonia Was assumed, it being my object She should go with me, where I, Seizing on the gold and costly Gems she carries, so might issue From this Babylonian bondage. For although in my person Was esteemed and duly honoured, Still 'twas slavery after all, And my free wild life was longing For that liberty, heaven's best gift, Which I had enjoyed so often. But a great embarrassment And a hindrance were a woman For the end I have in view, Since in me is love a folly That ne'er passes appetite, Which being satisfied, no longer Care I for a woman's presence, How so fair or so accomplished. And since thus my disposition Is so free, of what importance Is a murder more or less? At my hands must die Polonia For her loving at a time When there's no one loved or honoured. Had she loved as others love, Then she would have lived as others. [Exit.

* * * * *


The Captain; then The King, PHILIP, and LEOGAIRE.

CAPTAIN. The sad sentence of his death Have I come, by the king's orders, Here to read to Luis Enius.— But what's this? The door lies open, And the tower deserted. Ha! Soldiers! No one answers. Ho, there! Guards, come hither, treason! treason!

[Enter The King, PHILIP, and LEOGAIRE.

KING. Why these outcries? this commotion? What is this?

CAPTAIN. That Luis Enius Has escaped, and from the fortress All the guards have fled.

LEOGAIRE. My lord, I saw entering here Polonia.

PHILIP. Heavens! beyond all doubt 'twas she Who released him. That her lover He dared call him, you well know. Jealousy and rage provoke me To pursue them. A new Troy Will to-day be Ireland's story. [Exit.

KING. Give me, too, a horse; in person I these fugitives will follow. Ah, what Christians are these two Who with actions so discordant, One deprives me of my rest, And the other robs my honour? But the twain shall feel the weight Of my vengeful hands fall on them; For not safe from me would be Even their sovereign Roman Pontiff. [Exeunt.

* * * * *



POLONIA flying wounded, and LUIS with a naked dagger in his hand.

POLONIA. Oh, hold thy bloody hand! Though love be dead, let Christian faith command. My honour take; but, oh, my poor life spare, That suppliant at thy feet pours out its humble prayer.

LUIS. Hapless Polonia, since creation's hour Beauty has ever one unvarying dower, It brings misfortune with it, it is this Makes beauty rarely live long time with bliss. I, who less pity feel Than any headsman who e'er held death's steel, May by thy death procure My life, since with it I will go secure. If thee I bring where fortune's hand may guide me I bring the witness of my woes beside me, By whom they may pursue me, Track me, discover me, in fact, undo me If here I leave thee living, I leave thee angry, vengeful, unforgiving; Leave thee, in fact, to be One enemy more (and what an enemy!); Thus equally I grieve thee, Thus evil do whether I take or leave thee; And so 'tis better thus, That I a wretch, cruel and infamous, False, impious, fierce, abandoned, wicked, banned By God and man, should slay thee by my hand, Since buried here, Within the rustic entrails dark and drear Of this rude realm of stone, My worst misfortune shall remain unknown. My fury, too, shall gain A novel kind of vengeance when thou'rt slain, Remaining satisfied That Philip, too, by the same stroke has died, If in thy heart he lived; and then mine ire Will need no victim more except thy sire. Through thee first came My first disgrace, the cause of all my shame, And so the first of all On thee my vengeful strokes shall furious fall.

POLONIA. Ah me! my fate pursuing, I have but only worked my own undoing, Like to the worm that by its subtle art Spins its own grave. Hast thou a human heart?

LUIS. I am a demon. So to prove it, die. Thus —

POLONIA. God of Patrick, listen to my cry!

[He stabs her several times, and she falls within.

LUIS. She fell on flowers, there sowing Both lives and horrors in her blood outflowing. Thus now with greater ease I can escape, and carry o'er the seas, In many a gem and chain, Treasure enough to make me rich in Spain, Until so changed by time, Disguised by wandering in a foreign clime, I may return to reap My vengeance; for a wrong doth never sleep. But whither do I stray, Treading the shades of death in this dark way? My path is lost: I go Whither I do not know; Perchance escaping from my prison bands To fall again into my tyrant's hands. If the dark night doth not my sight deceive, Yonder a rustic cabin I perceive. Yes, I am right. I'll knock; I can't much err, They'll know the way. [He knocks.

* * * * *



LUCY [within]. Who's there?

LUIS. A traveller, Benighted, his way lost, confused, distressed, Good worthy husbandman, disturbs thy rest.

LUCY [within]. Ho, Juan! how you snore! Awake! there's some one knocking at the door.

PAUL [within]. Why, I am well enough here in my bed. He knocks for you, so answer him instead.

LUCY [within]. Who's there?

LUIS. A traveller, I say.

PAUL [within]. A traveller?

LUIS. Yes.

PAUL [within]. Then travel on, I pray. This cabin is no inn, sir, not a bit.

LUIS. I'm getting weary of this fellow's wit. I'll try what kicking in the door will do. [Drives in the door. Ay, there it goes.

LUCY [within]. Why, Juan Paul, halloo! Awake, I say, for if I don't mistake, The door's knocked in.

PAUL [within]. Well, one eye is awake, But underneath its lid the other's laid.— Come with me, Lucy, for I'm sore afraid.

[Enter PAUL and LUCY. Who's there?

LUIS. Be silent, peasants, and attend If you would not that now your lives should end. Lost in this woodland waste I sought your door; and so, my friend, make haste To tell me the best way From this to the port, where I by break of day May from the coast get clear.

PAUL. Go right ahead: first take the pathway here, They left, then right again, Rise where there's hill, descend where there's a plain, And going thus, in short, The port you'll reach when you have reached the port.

LUIS. 'Tis better that you come Along with me, or by the heavens o'erhead, Your blood shall stain the ground on which you tread.

LUCY. Were it not better, cavalier, To pass the night here till the dawn appear?

PAUL. How very kind you are when least expected! Are you already to this knight infected?

LUIS. Choose now, at once, I say, To die or guide me.

PAUL. Don't be vexed, I pray; If I without more haggling or vain clack Select to go, and carry you on my back, If so you chose, 'tis not that death I fear, But just to disappoint my Lucy here.

LUIS [aside]. That he may not betray Whither I go, to those who track my way, Him from some cliff I'll throw Headlong amid the icy waves below.— [To LUCY. You with this consolation here remain Your husband will be with you soon again. [Exeunt the two at one side, and she at the other.

* * * * *


The King EGERIUS, LESBIA, LEOGAIRE, The Captain; afterwards PHILIP.

LESBIA. Not a trace of them is found; All the mountain, hill and valley, Leaf by leaf has been explored, Bough by bough has been examined, Rock by rock has been searched through, Still no clue wherewith to track them Can we light on.

KING. Without doubt, To preserve them from my anger, Has the earth engulphed the two; For not heaven itself could guard them From my wrath if still they lived.

LESBIA. See the sun his disentangled Golden tresses far extends Over mountains, groves and gardens, Showing that the day hath come.

[Enter PHILIP. PHILIP. Deign, your majesty, to hearken To a tragedy more dreadful, To a crime more unexampled Than has time or fortune ever Yet recorded in earth's annals. Seeking traces of Polonia Through these savage woods distracted Roamed I restless all the night-time, Till at length and amid the darkness Half awakened rose the dawn; Not in veils of gold and amber Was she dressed, a robe of mourning Formed of clouds composed her mantle, And with discontented light Hidden were the stars and planets, Though for this one time alone They were happy in their absence. Searching there in every part, We approached where blood was spattered On the tender dewy flower, And upon the ground some fragments of a woman's dress were strewn. By these signs at once attracted, We went on, 'till at the foot Of a great rock overhanging, In a fragrant tomb of roses Lay Polonia, dead and stabbed there.

* * * * *


POLONIA dead; and afterwards PATRICK. — THE SAME.

PHILIP. Turn your eyes, and here you see The young tree of beauty blasted, Pale and sad the opening flower, The bright flame abruptly darkened; See here loveliness laid prostrate, See warm life here turned to marble, See, alas! Polonia dead.

KING. Philip, cease! proceed no farther! For I have not resignation To bear up with any calmness 'Gainst so many forms of wrong, 'Gainst so many shapes of sadness, 'Gainst such manifold misfortunes. Ah, my daughter! Ah, thou hapless Treasure fatally found for me!

LESBIA. Grief my feeling so o'ermasters That I have not breath to mourn. Ah! of all thy woes the partner Let thy wretched sister be!

KING. What rude hand in ruffian anger Raised its bloody steel against Beauty so divinely fashioned? Sorrow, sorrow ends my life.

PATRICK [within]. Woe to thee, sin-stained Irlanda! Woe to thee, unhappy people! If with tears thou dost not water The hard earth, and night and day Weeping in thy bitter anguish, Ope the golden gates of heaven Which thy disobedience fastened. Woe to thee, unhappy people! Woe to thee, sin-stained Irlanda!

KING. Heavens! what mournful tones are these? What are these sad solemn accents That transpierce my very heart, That cut through me like a dagger? Learn who thus disturbs the flowing Of my grief's most tender channels. Who but I should so lament? Who but I should wail thus sadly?

LEOGAIRE. This, my lord, is Patrick, who Having as you know, departed From this country went to Rome, Where the Pontiff, the great father, Made him bishop, and a post Of pre-eminence imparted To him here; through all the islands He proceedeth in this manner.

[PATRICK enters.

PATRICK. Woe to thee, unhappy people! Woe to thee, sin-stained Irlanda!

KING. Patrick, thou who thus my grief Interrupted, and my sadness Doubled with thy golden words, Hiding false and poisonous matter, Why thus persecute me? Wherefore Thus disturb the hills and valleys Of my kingdom with deceptions And new-fangled laws and maxims? Here we know but this alone, We are born and die. Our fathers Left us this, the simple doctrine Taught by nature, and no farther Have we sought to learn. What God Can be this, of whom such marvels You relate, who life eternal Gives when temporal life departeth? Can the soul, when it is severed From the body, be so active As to have another life, Or of bale or bliss, hereafter?

PATRICK. Being loosened from the body, And the human portion having Given to nature, it being only But a little dust and ashes, Then the spirit upward rises, To the higher sphere attracted, Where its labours find their centre, If it dies in grace, which baptism First confers upon the soul, And then penance ever after.

KING. Then this beauteous one, that here Lies in her own blood bedabbled, There, is living at this moment?


KING. A sign, a proof, then, grant me Of this truth.

PATRICK [aside]. Almighty Lord! For Thy glory deign to hearken! It behoveth Thee to show Here Thy power by an example.

KING. What! you do not answer?

PATRICK. Heaven Wishes for itself to answer.— In the name of God, O corse, [He extends his hands over the dead body of POLONIA. Lying stiff here, I command thee To arise and live, resuming Thine own soul, and thus make patent This great truth, before us preaching The true doctrine and evangel.

POLONIA [arising]. Woe is me! Oh, save me, heaven! Ah, what secrets are imparted To the soul! O Lord! O Lord! Stay the red hand of Thy anger, Of Thy justice. Do not threaten, 'Gainst a woman weak and abject, The dread thunders of Thy rigour, Of Thy power the lightning's flashes. Where, oh, where shall I conceal me From Thy countenance, if haply Thou art wroth? Ye rocks, he mountains, Fall upon and overcast me. Hating mine own self, to-day Would that to my prayer 'twas granted In the centre of the earth From Thy sight to hide and mask me! Ah, but why? if wheresoever My unhappy fate might cast me There I brought with me my sin? See ye, see ye not this Atlas Back recede, and this huge mountain Tremble to its base? The axes Of the firmament are loosened, And its perfect fabric hangeth Threatening ruin o'er my head, With terrific pride and grandeur. Darker grows the air around me, Chained, my feet proceed no farther, Even the seas retire before me. What, here fly me not nor startle, Are the wild beasts, which to rend me Bit by bit come on to attack me. Mercy, mighty Lord, oh, mercy! Pardon, gracious Lord, oh, pardon! Holy baptism I implore, That in grace I may depart hence. Mortals, hear, oh, mortals hear, Christ is living, Christ is master, Christ is god, the one true God! Penance, penance, penance practice! [Exit.

* * * * *


THE SAME, with the exception of POLONIA.

PHILIP. How prodigious!

CAPTAIN. How stupendous!

LESBIA. What a miracle!

LEOGAIRE. What a marvel!

KING. What enchantment! what bewitchment! Who can bear this? who can grant this?

ALL. Christ is God, the one true God.

KING. What a bold deceit is practised Here, blind people, to deceive you, In the making of these marvels, Which you have not sense to see Are in outward show but acted And within are fraud! However, That the truth be now established, I will own myself convinced, If in argument shall Patrick Prove his case: and so attend As the grave dispute advances. If the soul was made immortal It could never be inactive Even for a single moment.

PATRICK. Yes; and every dream that passes Proves this truth; because the dreams That engender numerous phantoms Are discourses of the soul That ne'er sleeps, and as these shadows Simulate the imperfect actions Of the senses, a strange language And imperfect is produced; And 'tis thus that in their trances Men dream things that are at once Inconsistent and fantastic.

KING. Well, then, this being so, I ask Was Polonia when this happened Dead or not? For if but only In a swoon, what mighty marvel, Then, was done? But this I pass. If she really had departed, Then to one of the two places, Heaven or hell, so named, O Patrick, By yourself, it must have gone. If it was in heaven, 'twas hardly Merciful in God to send it Back into this world, to hazard A new chance of condemnation, When 'twas once in grace and happy. This is surely true. If, likewise, It had been in hell, 'tis adverse To strict justice, since it were not Just that that which by its badness Once had earned such punishment, Should again be given the chances Of regaining grace. It must, I presume, be taken as granted That God's justice and His mercy Cannot possibly be parted. Where, I ask then, was her soul?

PATRICK. Hear, Egerius, the answer. I concede that for the soul, Sanctified by holy baptism, Heaven or hell must be its goal, Out of which, by God's commandment, Speaking of His usual power, It can never more be absent. But if of His absolute power There is question, God could drag it Even from hell itself; but this Is not what we have to argue. That the soul doth go to either Of those places, must be granted When 'tis severed from the body Once for all by mortal absence To return to it no more; But when otherwise commanded To it to return, it waiteth In a certain state of passage, And remains as 'twere suspended In the universe, not having Any special place allotted. For the Almighty mind forecasting All things, when from out His essence, As th' exemplar, the fair pattern Of His thought, this glorious fabric He brought forth to light and gladness, Saw this very incident, And well knowing what would happen, That this soul would here return, Kept it for awhile inactive, Seemingly unfixed, yet fixed. This is the authentic answer That theology, that sacred Science, gives to what you have asked me. But another point remaineth: There are other places, mark me, Both of glory and of pain, Than you think; and of these latter One is called the Purgatory, Where the soul of him who haply Dies in grace, is purged from stains, Sinful stains which it contracted In the world: for into heaven None can pass till these are cancelled. And thus, there 'tis purified, Cleansed by fire from all that tarnished, Till to God's divinest presence Pure and clean at length it passes.

KING. So you say, and I have nothing To confirm what you advance here But your word. Some proof now give me, Give me something I can handle, Something tangible to convince me Of this truth, that I may grasp it, And know what it is. And since So much power and influence have you With your God, implore His grace, That I may believe the faster, Some material fact to give me, Something that we all can grapple, Not mere creatures of the mind. And remember that at farthest But an hour remains in which You must give me sure and ample Signs of punishment and glory, Or you die. These mighty marvels Of your God here let them come, Where the truth we can examine For ourselves. And if we neither Heaven or hell deserve to have here, Show us, then, this Purgatory, Which is different from the latter, So that here we all may know His omnipotence and grandeur. Mind, God's honour rests upon you, Tell Him to defend and guard it. [Exeunt all but PATRICK.

* * * * *



PATRICK. Here, mighty Lord, dart down thy searching glance, Arm'd with the dreadful lightnings of Thine ire, Wing'd with Thy vengeance, as the bolt with fire, And rout the squadrons of fell ignorance: Come not in pity to the hostile band, Treat not as friends Thy enemies abhorr'd, But since they ask for portents, mighty Lord, Come with the blood-red lightnings in Thy hand. Of old Elias asked with burning sighs For chastisement, and Moses did display Wonders and portents; in the self-same way Listen, O Lord, to my beseeching cries, And though I be not great or good as they, Still let my accents pierce the listening skies! Portents and chastisement, both day and night I ask, O Lord, may from Thy hand be given, That Purgatory, Hell and Heaven, May be revealed unto these mortals' sight.

* * * * *


A Good Angel at one side, and on the other a Bad Angel. — PATRICK.

BAD ANGEL [to himself]. Fearful that the favouring skies May accede to Patrick's prayer, And discover to him where Earth's most wondrous treasure lies, Like a minister of light, Full of scorn, I hither fly It to chill and nullify. Covering with my poison blight His petition.

GOOD ANGEL. Then give o'er, Cruel monster; for in me His protecting angel see. But be silent, speak no more.— [to him. Patrick, God has heard Thy prayer, He has listen'd to thy vows, And, as thou hast asked, allows Earth's great secrets to lie bare. Seek along this island ground For a vast and darksome cave, Which restrains the lake's dark wave. And supports the mountains round; He who dares to go therein, Having first contritely told All his faults, shall there behold Where the soul is purged from sin. He shall see, with mortal eyes, Hell itself, where those who die In their sins for ever lie In the fire that never dies. He shall see, in blest fruition, Where the happy spirits dwell. But of this be sure as well — He who without due contrition Enters there to idly try What the cave may be, doth go To his death; he'll suffer woe, While the Lord doth reign on high, Who thy soul this day shall free From this poor world's weariness. It is thus that God doth bless Those who love His name like thee. He shall grant to thee in pity, Bliss undreamed by mortal men, Making thee a denizen Of His own celestial city. He shall to the world proclaim His omnipotence and glory, By the wondrous Purgatory Which shall bear thy sainted name. Lest thou think the promise vain Of this miracle divine, I will take this shape malign, Which came hither to profane Thy devotion, and within This dark cavern's dark abyss Fling it,— there to howl and hiss In the everlasting din. [They disappear.

PATRICK. Glory, glory unto Thee, Mighty Lord; the heavens proclaim, Miracles attest Thy name, Wonders show that Thou must be.— [Calling. King!

* * * * *


The King, PHILIP, LESBIA, LEOGAIRE, The Captain, People. — PATRICK.

KING. What would'st thou?

PATRICK. Come with me Through this mountain woodland drear, Thou and all thy followers here, Thou and they shall see therein The dark place reserved for sin, And rewards delightful sphere. They shall have a passing view Of a sight no tongue can tell, An unending miracle, To whose greatness shall be due Their amazement ever new Who its secrets shall unveil. Yes, a perfect image pale In the wonders guarded here, Shall they see with awe and fear, Of the realms of bliss and bale. [Exit, followed by all.

* * * * *




KING. Look, O Patrick, for you go Turning towards a part forbidden, Where the light of the sun is hidden Even in the noon-tide's glow. Through this wilderness of woe Even the hunter in pursuit Of his prey ne'er placed a foot On its trackless wild walks green, Since for ages it has been Shunned alike by man and brute.

PHILIP. We for many and many a year, Who have lived here from our youth, Never dared to learn the truth Of the secrets hidden here; For the entrance did appear In itself enough to make Even the bravest heart to quake. No one yet has dared to brave The wild rocks that guard this cave, Or the waters of this lake.

KING. And for auguries we heard, Borne the troubled wind along, Oft the sad funereal song Of some lone nocturnal bird.

PHILIP. Be the rash attempt deferred.

PATRICK. Let not causeless fear arise; For a treasure of the skies Here is hidden.

KING. What is fear? Could it ever me come near In an earthquake's agonies? No; for though the flames should break As from some sulphureous lake, And the mountains' sides run red From the molten fires outshed, They could ne'er my courage shake, Never make me fear.

* * * * *



POLONIA. Oh, stay, Wandering from the path astray, Hapless crowd, rash, indiscreet, Turn away your erring feet, For misfortune lies that way.

Here from myself with hurried footsteps flying, I dared to treat this wilderness profound, Beneath the mountain whose proud top defying The pure bright sunbeam is with huge rocks crowned, Hoping that here, as in its dark grave lying, Never my sin could on the earth be found, And I myself might find a port of peace Where all the tempests of the world might cease.

No polar star had hostile fate decreed me, As on my perilous path I dared to stray, So great its pride, no hand presumed to lead me, And guide my silent footstep on its way. Not yet the aspect of the place has freed me From the dread terror, anguish and dismay, Which were awakened by this mountain's gloom, And all the hidden wonders of its womb.

See ye not here this rock some power secureth, That grasps with awful toil the hill-side brown, And with the very anguish it endureth Age after age seems slowly coming down? Suspended there with effort, it obscureth A mighty cave beneath, which it doth crown;— An open mouth the horrid cavern shapes, Wherewith the melancholy mountain gapes.*

[footnote] * "But I remember, Two miles on this side of the fort, the road Crosses a deep ravine; 'tis rough and narrow, And winds with short turns down the precipice; And in its depth there is a mighty rock Which has from unimaginable years, Sustained itself with terror and with toil Over the gulf, and with the agony With which it clings seems slowly coming down; Even as a wretched soul hour after hour Clings to the mass of life: yet, clinging, leans; And leaning, makes more dark the dread abyss In which it fears to fall. Beneath this crag, Huge as despair, as if in weariness The melancholy mountain yawns."—THE CENCI.

Shelly says, "An idea in this speech was suggested by a most sublime passage in 'El Purgatorio de San Patricio' of Calderon." The same idea is to be found in "Amor despues de la Muerte," "Los dos amantes del Cielo," and other dramas of Calderon. [end of footnote]

This, then, by mournful cypress trees surrounded, Between the lips of rocks at either side, Reveals a monstrous neck of length unbounded, Whose tangled hair is scantily supplied By the wild herbs that there the wind hath grounded, A gloom whose depths no sun has ever tried, A space, a void, the gladsome day's affright, The fatal refuge of the frozen night.

I wished to enter there, to make my dwelling Within the cave; but here my accents fail, My troubled voice, against my will rebelling. Doth interrupt so terrible a tale.— What novel horror, all the past excelling, Must I relate to you, with cheeks all pale, Without cold terror on my bosom seizing, And even my voice, my breath, my pulses freezing?

I scarcely had o'ercome my hesitation, And gone within the cavern's vault profound, When I heard wails of hopeless lamentation, Despairing shrieks that shook the walls around, Curses, and blasphemy, and desperation, Dark crimes avowed that would even hell astound, Which heaven, I think, in order not to hear, Had hid within this prison dark and drear.

Let him come here who doubts what I am telling, Let him here bravely enter who denies, Soon shall he hear the sounds of dreadful yelling, Soon shall the horrors gleam before his eyes. For me, my voice is hushed, my bosom swelling, Pants now with terror, now with strange surprise. Nor is it right that human tongue should dare High heaven's mysterious secrets to lay bare.

PATRICK. This cave, O king, which here you see, concealeth The mysteries of life as well as death: Not, I should say, for him whose bosom feeleth No true repentance, or no real faith; But he who boldly enters, who revealeth His sins, confessing them with penitent breath, Shall see them all forgiven, his conscience clear, And have alive his Purgatory here.

KING. And dost thou think, O Patrick, that I owe My blood so little, as to yield to dread, And trembling fear like a weak woman show? Say, who shall be the first this cave to tread? What silent! Philip?

PHILIP. Sire, I dare not go.

KING. Then, Captain, thou?

CAPTAIN. Enough to strike me dead Is even the thought.

KING. Leogaire, thou'lt surely dare?

LEOGAIRE. The heavens, my lord, themselves exclaim forbear!

KING. O cowards, lost to every sense of shame, Unfit to gird the warrior's sword around Your shrinking loins! Men are ye but in name. Well, I myself shall be the first to sound The depths of this enchantment, and proclaim Unto this Christian that my heart unawed Nor dreads his incantations nor his God! [Egerius advances to the cave, and on entering sinks into it with much noise, flames rise from below, and many voices are heard.

POLONIA. How terrible!

LEOGAIRE. How awful!

PHILIP. What a wonder!

CAPTAIN. The earth is breathing out its central fire. [Exit.

LEOGAIRE. The axes of the sky are burst asunder. [Exit.

POLONIA. The heavens are loosening their collected ire. {Exit.

LESBIA. The earth doth quake, and peals the sullen thunder. [Exit.

PATRICK. O, mighty Lord, who will not now admire Thy wondrous works? [Exit.

PHILIP. Oh! who that's not insane Will enter Patrick's Purgatory again? [Exit.

* * * * *




JUAN PAUL, dressed ridiculously as a soldier, and LUIS ENIUS, very pensive.

PAUL. Yes, the day would come I knew, After long procrastination, When a word of explanation I should ask to have with you. "Come with me," you said. Though dark, Off I trudged with heavy heart To point out to you the part Where at morn you could embark; Then again, with thundering voice, Thus you spoke, "Where I must fly Choose to come with me, or die." And, since you allowed a choice, Of two ills I chose the worst, Which, sir, was to go with you. As your shadow then I flew 'Cross the sea to England first, Then to Scotland, then to France then to Italy and Spain, Round the world and back again, As in some fantastic dance. Not a country great or small Could escape you, 'till, good lack! Here we are in Ireland back:— Now, sir, I, plain Juan Paul, Being perplexed to know what draws You here now, with beard and hair Grown so long, your speech, your air, Changed so much, would ask the cause Why you these disguises wear? You by day ne'er leave the inn, But when cold night doth begin You a thousand follies dare, Without bearing this in mind, That we now are in a land Wholly changed from strand to strand, Where, in fact, we nothing find As we left it. The old king Died despairing, and his heir, Lesbia, now the crown doth wear, For her sister, hapless thing! Poor Polonia . . . .

LUIS. Oh, that name Do not mention! do not kill me By repeating what doth thrill me To the centre of my frame As with lightning. Yes, I know That at length Polonia died.

PAUL. Yes; our host was at her side (He himself has told me so) When they found her dead, and . . . .

LUIS. Cease! Of her death, oh! speak no more, 'Tis sufficient to deplore, And to pray that she's at peace.

PAUL. Leaving heathen sin and crime, All the people far and near Are become good Christians here. For one Patrick, who some time Now is dead . . . .

LUIS. Is Patrick dead?

PAUL. So I from our host have heard.

LUIS [aside]. Badly have I kept my word!— But proceed.

PAUL. The teaching spread Of the faith of Christ, and gave, As a proof complete and whole Of the eternity of the soul, The discovery of a cave.— Oh! it's the very name doth send Terror through me.

LUIS. Yes, I have heard Of that cave, and every word Made my hair to stand on end. Those who in the neighbourhood Dwell, see wonders every day.

PAUL. Since, 'mid terror and dismay, In your melancholy mood You will no one hear or see, Ever locked within your room, It is plain you have not come Aught to learn, how strange they be, Of these things. It doth appear Other work you are about. Satisfy my foolish doubt, And say why we have come here.

1  2  3     Next Part
Home - Random Browse