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Hear: "Corruption is the name of Life."
Ha! Here the Book of Ordination!--Seems
As if th' inscription on it might be read.
(He reads it.)
"Knock four times on the ground, Thou shalt behold thy loved one.' O Heavens! And may I see thee, sainted Agnes? (Hastening close to the Book.) My bosom yearns for thee!
(With the following words, he stamps four times on the At last his back itself sunk into ashes:
(The Curtain hanging from the Book rolls rapidly up, and covers it. A colossal Devil's-head appears between the two Skeletons: its form is horrible; it is gilt; has a huge golden Crown, a Heart of the same in its Brow; rolling flaming Eyes: Serpents instead of Hair: golden Chains round its neck, which is visible to the breast: and a golden Cross, yet not a Crucifix, which rises over its right shoulder, as if crushing it down. The whole Bust rests on four gilt Dragon's feet. At sight of it, ADALBERT starts back in horror, and exclaims :)
Dreaded, may be hear it? CONCEALED VOICES.
ARMED MAN (touches the Curtain with his sword: it rolls down over the Devil's-head, concealing it again; and above, as before, appears the Book, but now opened, with white colossal leaves and red characters. The ARMED MAN, pointing constantly to the Book with his Sword, and therewith turning the leaves, addresses ADALBERT, who stands on the other side of the Book, and nearer the foreground.)
List to the Story of the Fallen Master.
(He reads the following from the Book: yet not standing before it but on one side, at some paces distance, and whilst he reads, turning the leaves with his sword.) "So now when the foundation-stone was laid, The Lord called forth the Master, Baffometus, And said to him: Go and complete my Temple! But in his heart the Master thought: What boots it Building thee a temple and took the stones, And built himself a dwelling, and what stones Were left he gave for filthy gold and silver. Now after forty moons the Lord returned, And spake: Where is my temple, Baffometus? The Master said: I had to build myself A dwelling: grant me other forty weeks. And after forty weeks, the Lord returns,
And asks where is my temple, Baffometus?
He said: There were no stones (but he had sold them
And shook the gold into a melting-pot,
His nose became a crooked vulture's bill,
The tongue hung bloody from his throat; the flesh
For filthy gold;) so wait yet forty days.
In forty days thereafter came the Lord,
The head alone continued gilt and living;
Is not thy Master's, not that bloody one:
But on these secret principles of theirs, as on Werner's manner of conceiving them, we
ADALBERT (taking it from the Bust, and laying it softly are only enabled to guess; for Werner, too,
on the ground.) The Cross of the Good Lord that died for me?
has an esoteric doctrine, which he does not promulgate, except in dark Sybilline enigmas, to the unitiated. As we are here seeking chiefly for his religious creed, which forms, in truth, with its changes, the main thread whereby his wayward, desultory existence attains any unity or even coherence in our thoughts, we may quote another passage from the same First Part of this rhapsody; which, at the same time, will afford us a glimpse of his favourite hero, Robert d'Heredon, lately the darling of the Templars, but now, for some momentary infraction of their rules, cast into prison, and expecting death, or, at best, exclusion from the Order. Gottfried is another
Thou shalt no more believe in one that died;
Till now, deny!
Take pity on me!
ARMED MAN (threatening him with his sword.)
And looks in gladness!
I do 't with shuddering—
(Steps over, and then looks up to the HEAD which raises Templar, in all points the reverse of Robert.
itself, as if freed from a load.)
How the figure rises
vellous "Story of the Fallen Master," to sha dow forth. At first view, one might take it for an allegory, couched in masonic language,and truly no flattering allegory,-of the Catholic Church; and this trampling on the Cross, which is said to have been actually enjoined on every Templar at his initiation, to be a type of his secret behest to undermine that Institution, and redeem the spirit of Religion from the state of thraldom and distortion under which it was there held. It is known at least, and was well known to Werner, that the heads of the Templars entertained views, both on religion and politics, which they did not think meet for communicating to their age, and only imparted by degrees, and under mysterious adumbrations, to the wiser of their own Order. They had even publicly resisted, and succeeded in thwarting, some iniquitous measures of Philippe Auguste, the French King, in regard to his coinage; and this, while it secured them the love of the people, was one great cause, perhaps second only to their wealth, of the hatred which that sovereign bore them, and of the savage doom which he at last executed on the whole body.
-And so on through many other sulphurous pages! How much of this mummery is copied from the actual practice of the Templars we know not with certainty; nor what precisely either they or Werner intended, by this mar
ACT FOURTH. SCENE FIRST.
(Prison; at the wall a Table. ROBERT, without sword, cap, or mantle, sits downcast on one side of it: GOTTFRIED, who keeps watch by him, sitting at the other.)
But how could'st thou so far forget thyself?
I did it, thou perceivest!
How could a word
Of the old surly Hugo so provoke thee 1
Ask not!-Man's being is a spider-web:
A servant of eternal Destiny,
It purifies them from the vulgar dust,
Which earthward strives to prees the net:
But Fate gives sign; the breath becomes a whirlwind
moned forth; and the whole surprising secret
The corporal Atoms and Annihilation,
Come down to thee? Dream'st thou, poor Nothingness, in its ramifications the best heads and hearts
That thou, and like of thee, and ten times better
of every country, extends over the whole civi-
Yet each man shapes his destiny himself.
Small soul! Dost thou too know it? Has the story
But then the Christian has the joy of Heaven
In his flesh-Now fair befal the journey!
(As his eye, by chance, lights on Gottfried, who meanwhile has fallen asleep)
This Robert d'Heredon, whose preaching has here such a narcotic virtue, is destined ultimately for a higher office than to rattle his chains by way of lullaby. He is ejected from the Order; not, however, with disgrace and in anger, but in sad feeling of necessity, and with tears and blessings from his brethren; and the messenger of the Valley, a strange, ambiguous, little sylph-like maiden, gives him obscure encouragement, before his departure, to possess his soul in patience; seeing, if he can learn the grand secret of Renunciation, his course is not ended, but only opening on a fairer scene. Robert knows not well what to make of this; but sails for his native Hebrides, in darkness and contrition, as one who can do no other.
In the end of the Second Part, which is represented as divided from the First by an interval of seven years, Robert is again sum
Such a magnificent "Society for the Sup pression of Vice" may well be supposed to walk by the most philosophical principles. These Friedenthalers, in fact, profess to be a sort of Invisible Church; preserving in vestal purity the sacred fire of religion, which burns with more or less fuliginous admixture in the worship of every people, but only with its clear sidereal lustre in the recesses of the Valley. They are Bramins on the Ganges, Bonzes on the Hoangho, Monks on the Seine. They addict themselves to contemplation, and the subtilest study; have penetrated far into the mysteries of spiritual and physical nature; they command the deep-hidden virtues of plant and mineral; and their sages can discriminate the eye of the mind from its sensual instruments, and behold, without type or material embodyment, the essence of Being. Their activity is all-comprehending and unerringly calculated: they rule over the world by the authority of wisdom over ignorance.
In the Fifth Act of the Second Part, we are at length, after many a hint and significant note of preparation, introduced to the privacies of this philosophical Sainte Hermandad. A strange Delphic cave this of theirs, under the very pavements of Paris! There are brazen folding doors, and concealed voices, and sphinxes, and naptha-lamps, and all manner of wondrous furniture. It seems, moreover, t be a sort of gala evening with them; for the "Old Man of Carmel, in eremite garb, with a long beard reaching to his girdle," is for a moment discovered " 'reading in a deep monoto
aous voice." The "Strong Ones," meanwhile, are out in quest of Robert d'Heredon; who, by cunning practices, has been enticed from his Hebridean solitude, in the hope of saving Molay, and is even now to be initiated, and equipped for his task. After a due allowance of pompous ceremonial, Robert is at last ushered in, or rather dragged in; for it appears that he has made a stout debate, not submitting to the customary form of being ducked,-an essential preliminary, it would seem,-till compelled by the direst necessity. He is in a truly Highland anger, as is natural: but by various manipulations and solacements, he is reduced to reason again, finding, indeed, the fruitlessness of any thing else; for when lance and sword and free space are given him, and he makes a thrust at Adam of Valincourt, the master of the ceremonies, it is to no purpose: the old man has a torpedo quality in him, which benumbs the stoutest arm; and no death issues from the baffled sword-point, but only a small spark of electric fire. With his Scottish prudence, Robert, under these circumstances, cannot but perceive that quietness is best. The people hand him, in succession, the "Cup of Strength," the "Cup of Beauty," and the "Cup of Wisdom;" liquors brewed, if we may judge from their effect, with the highest stretch of Rosicrucian art; and which must have gone far to disgust Robert d'Heredon with his natural usquebaugh, however excellent, had that fierce drink been in use then. He rages in a fine frenzy; dies away in raptures; and then, at last," considers what he wanted and what he wants." Now is the time for Adam of Valincourt to strike in with an interminable exposition of the "objects of the society." To not unwilling, but still cautious ears, he unbosoms himself, in mystic wise, with extreme copiousness; turning aside objections like a veteran disputant, and leading his apt and courageous pupil, by signs and wonders, as well as by logic, deeper and deeper into the secrets of theosophic and thaumaturgic science. A little glimpse of this our readers may share with us; though we fear the allegory will seem to most of them but a hollow nut. Nevertheless, it is an allegory-of its sort; and we can profess to have translated with entire fidelity.
Thy riddle by a second will be solved, (He leads him to the Sphinx.)
Behold this Sphinx! Half-beast, half-angel, both
The door on the right hand opens, and, in the space behind it appears, as before, the OLD MAN OF CARMEL, sitting at a Table, and reading in a large Volume. The deep strokes of a Bell are heard.)
OLD MAN OF CARMEL (reading with a loud but still monotonous voice.) "And when the Lord saw Phosphoros ❞— ROBERT (interrupting him.)
A story as Baffometus?
That tale of theirs was but some poor distortion
OLD MAN (reading.)
"And when the Lord saw Phosphoros his pride,
The Lord moreover spake: Because thou hast forgottes
And thou shalt be his slave, and have no longer
"And when the Lord had spoken, he drew back
"But when his first-born Sister saw his pain, Her heart was full of sorrow, and she turn'd her To the Lord; and with veil'd face, thus spake Mylitta :* Pity my Brother, and let me console him!
"Then did the Lord in pity rend asunder
"But yet the Azure Chains she could not break,
Behold his Birthplace -Wherefore Mythras answer'd
Shall he my last-born grandchild lie for ever
In pain, the down-press'd thrall of his rude Brother }
The drops of Sadness and the drops of Longing.
The Azure chains still gall'd, and the Remembrance
"Then the Mother's heart was moved with pity, She beckoned the Son to her, and said: Thou who art more than I, and yet my nursling,
*Mylitta, in the old Persian mysteries, was the narr of the Moon: Muthras that of the Sun.
Put on this Robe of Earth, and show thyself
But Phosphoros look'd up to him, and said:
Thou art sent hither to redeem from Sin,
Yet art thou not the Saviour from the Waters.-
But yet the Azure Chains she could not break.-
Both hands the Captive stretch'd to grasp that Saviour;
But he fled.
"So Phosphoros was grieved in heart:
Then said the Word: Wait yet in peace seven moons,
It may be nine, until thy hour shall come.
"Which when the mother Isis saw, it grieved her;
The long-forgotten NAME, and the REMEMBRANCE
"This is the last Evangile.
"The door closes, and again conceals the OLD MAN OF CARMEL.)
on such extravagances, we have fancied wo could discern in this apologue some glimmerings of meaning, scattered here and there like weak lamps in the darkness; not enough to interpret the riddle, but to show that by possibility it might have an interpretation,-was a typical vision, with a certain degree of significance in the wild mind of the poet, not an inane fever-dream. Might not Phosphoros, for example, indicate generally the spiritual essence of a man, and this story be an emblem of his history? He longs to be "One and Somewhat; " that is, he labours under the very common complaint of egotism; cannot, in the grandeur of Beauty and Virtue, forget his own so beautiful and virtuous Self; but, amid the glories of the majestic All, is still haunted and blinded by some shadow of his own little Me. For this reason he is punished; imprisoned in the "Element" (of a material body,) and has the "four Azure Chains" (the four principles of matter) bound round him; so that he can neither think nor act, except in a confuse him. The "Cup of Fire" is given foreign medium, and under conditions that him; perhaps, the rude, barbarous passion and cruelty natural to all uncultivated tribes! But, at length, he beholds the "Moon;" begins to have some sight and love of material Nature; self, under gross emblems, a theogony and sort and, looking into her "Mirror," forms to himof mythologic poetry; in which, if he cannot behold the "Name," and has forgotten his own "Birthplace," both of which are blotted out and hidden by the "Element," he finds some spiritual solace, and breathes more freely. Still, however, the "Cup of Fire" tortures him; till the "Salt" (intellectual culture?) is vouchsafed; which, indeed, calms the raging of that furious bloodthirstiness and warlike strife, but leaves him, as mere culture of the understanding may be supposed to do, frozen into irrelithe "Name" and his "Own Original" than gion and moral inactivity, and farther from ever. Then is the "Cup of Fluidness" a more merciful disposition? and intended, with "the Drops of Sadness and the Drops of Longing," to shadow forth that wo-struck, desolate, yet softer and devouter state in which mankind displayed itself at the coming of the "Word," at the first promulgation of the Christian religion? Is the "Rainbow" the modern poetry of Europe, the Chivalry, the new form of Stoicism, the whole romantic feeling of these later days? But who or what the "Heiland aus den Wassern" (Saviour from the Waters) may be, we need not hide our entire ignorance; this being apparently a secret of the Valley, which Robert d'Heredon, and Werner, and men of like gifts, are in due time to show the world, but unhappily have not yet succeeded in bringing to light. Perhaps, indeed, our whole interpretation may be thought little better than lost labour; a reading of what was only scrawled and flourished, not written; a shaping of gay castles and metallic palaces from the sunset clouds, which, though mountainlike, and purple and golden of hue, and towered together as if by Cyclopean arms, are but
The purport of this enigma Robert confesses that he does not “wholly" understand; an admission in which, we suspect, most of our readers, and the Old Man of Carmel himself, were he candid, might be inclined to agree with him. Sometimes, in the deeper consider-dyed vapour.
ation which translators are bound to bestow Adam of Valincourt continues his expos