The Vampire, or The Bride of the Isles by J. R. Planché



Text: The Vampire, or The Bride of the Isles, London: John Lowndes, 1820. Minor changes in spacing and capitalization have been made to improve readability and legibility.

Thanks to Dr. Dick Collins, of Inchigeela, Co. Cork, Ireland, who supplied this etext to The Literary Gothic. Corrections and emendations to etext by LitGothic.






INTRODUCTORY VISION

The Curtain rises to slow Music, and discovers the Interior of the Basaltic Caverns of Staffa, at the extremity of which is a chasm opening to the air. The moonlight streams through it, and partially reveals a number of rude sepulchres. On one of these LADY MARGARET is seen, stretched in a heavy slumber. The Spirit of the Flood rises to the symphony of the following

INCANTATION

SOLO - UNDA

Spirit! Spirit of the Air!

Hear and heed my spell of power;

On the night breeze swift repair

Hither from thy starry bower.


CHORUS

     Appear! Appear!


UNDA:

By the sun that hath set,

In the waves I love;

By the spheres that have met

In the heavens above.

By the latest dews

That fall to earth;

On the eve that renews

The fair moon's birth.


CHORUS

     Appear! Appear!


QUARTETTO

By the charm of might and the word of fear,

Which must never be breath'd to mortal ear.

Spirit! Spirit of the Air,

Hither at my call repair!


[Music - THE SPIRIT OF THE AIR descends through the chasm on a silvery cloud, which she leaves and advances.]


ARIEL: Why, how now, sister! wherefore am I summoned?

What in the deep and fearful caves of Staffa

Demands our presence or protection? - Speak!


UNDA:   Spirit of Air! thy sister Unda claims

Thy powerful aid; not idly from thy blue

And star-illumin'd mansion art thou call'd

To Fingal's rocky sepulchre - look here. [Pointing to Lady Margaret]


ARIEL: A maiden, and asleep!


UNDA:        Attend thee, Ariel.

Her name is Margaret, the only daughter

Of Ronald, the brave Baron of the Isles.

A richer, lovelier, more virtuous lady

This land of flood and mountains never boasted.

To-morrow Marsden's Earl will claim her hand,

Renown'd through Europe for his large possessions,

His clerkly knowledge, and his deeds of arms.


ARIEL: How came she in this den of death and horror?


UNDA:   Chasing the red-deer with her father, Ronald,

A storm arose; and, parted from her train,

She sought a shelter here - calmly she sleeps,

Nor dreams to-morrow's hymeneal rites

Will give her beauties to a vampire's arms.


ARIEL: A vampire, say'st thou? - Is then Marsden's Earl -


UNDA:   Thou knowest, Ariel, that wicked souls

Are, for wise purposes, permitted oft

To enter the dead forms of other men;

Assume their speech, their habits, and their knowledge,

And thus roam o'er the earth. But subject still

At stated periods, to a dreadful tribute.


ARIEL: Aye, they must wed some fair and virtuous maiden,

Whom they do after kill, and from her veins

Drain eagerly the purple stream of life;

Which horrid draught alone hath pow'r to save them

From swift extermination.


UNDA:        Yes; that state

Of nothingness - total annihilation!

The most tremendous punishment of heaven.

Their torture then being without resource,

They do enjoy all power in the present.

Death binds them not - from form to form they fleet,

And though the cheek be pale, and glaz'd the eye,

Such is their wond'rous art, the hapless victim

Blindly adores, and drops into their grasp,

Like birds when gaz'd on by the basilisk.


ARIEL: Say on.


UNDA:   Beneath this stone the relics lie

Of Cromal, called the Bloody. Staffa still

His reign of fear remembers. For his crimes,

His spirit roams, a vampire, in the form

Of Marsden's Earl; - to count his victims o'er,

Would be an endless task - suffice to say,

His race of terror will to-morrow end,

Unless he wins some virgin for his prey,

Ere sets the full-orb'd moon.


ARIEL:       And with this view

He weds the Lady Margaret.


UNDA:        Ay, Ariel;

Unless our blended art can save the maid.


ARIEL: What can be done? - our power is limited.

What can be done, my sister?


UNDA:        We must warn

The maiden of her fate. Lend me thine aid,

To raise a vision to her sleeping sight.


ARIEL: Let us about it.

[They perform magical ceremonies to the symphony of the following charm.]


CHARM - ARIEL and UNDA

Phantom, from thy tomb so drear,

    At our bidding swift arise;

Let thy vampire-corpse appear,

    To this sleeping maiden's eyes.

Come away! come away!

    That the form she may know

    That would work her woe;

And shun thee, till the setting ray

Of the moon shall bid thy pow'r decay;

    Phantom, from thy tomb so drear

    At our bidding rise! - appear!

[Thunder]


CHORUS - ARIEL and UNDA

Appear! Appear! Appear!

[The Vampire rises from the tomb of Cromal and springs towards Margaret.]


VAMPIRE: Margaret!


ARIEL: Foul spirit, retire!


VAMPIRE: She is mine!


ARIEL: The hour is not yet come.


UNDA:   Down, thou foul spirit; - extermination waits thee:

Down, I say.

[Music. - The Vampire shuddering, sinks again into the tomb, and the scene closes.]

End of the Introductory Vision







ACT I.

SCENE I. A Hall in the castle of Lord Ronald. McSwill and a group of Retainers are seen seated round a table in hunting-dresses, drinking. The Sun is seen just rising behind the hills through the large Gothic window at the back.


CHORUS - "Johnny Cope"

Come fill, let the parting glass go round;

With a stirrup-cup, be our revelry crown'd;

See, the sun that set to our bugles' sound

   Is changing the night into morning.


As darkness shrinks from his rising ray,

So sorrow and care will we keep at bay,

By the howl at night and the "Hark away,"

That awakes us, brave boys, in the morning.

[Enter Bridget and Robert. M'Swill gets under the table.]


BRIDGET: Very pretty doings, upon my word! Here's our poor mistress, the Lady Margaret, been lost for nearly the whole night in the forest; and no sooner is she by good fortune found again, and trying to get a little rest in her own apartments, but you make all this noise, as if on purpose to disturb her.

ROBERT: Nay, Mrs. Bridget, don't be angry with them. They've been celebrating my lady's return.

Bri. Return! Don't tell me. - They never want an excuse to get drunk - out of the castle directly - don't stand ducking and scraping there; go along directly, when I tell you!

[Exeunt Retainers]

Where is that rascal, M'Swill? He's at the bottom of all this; - but if I -

[M'Swill attempts to steal off]

Oh! oh! there you are, sir - come here, sir!

[Seizes him by the ear, and brings him forward.]

Down on your knees directly, and ask my pardon.

M'SWILL: I do, Mrs. Bridget.

BRIDGET: How came you under the table?

M'SWILL: What a question, when a man has been drinking all night.

BRIDGET: Will you never leave off taking your drops?

M'SWILL: I don't take drops, Mrs. Bridget

BRIDGET: Here has poor Robert been running through the forest all night, seeking my lady, and peeping into all the holes of the grotto, whilst you -

M'SWILL: The grotto, Mrs. Bridget! Good guide us! Why, you didn't go into the grotto, did you?

ROBERT: And why not, booby?

M'SWILL: O, dear! O, dear! the ignorance of some people - but you are an Englishman, and that accounts for it. Why, didn't you know that the grotto was haunted?

ROBERT: Ha! ha! ha!

M'SWILL: Ay, ay, laugh away, do; but, I can tell you, it's full of kelpies and evil spirits of all sorts; only ask Mrs. Bridget.

BRIDGET: It's very true, Robert; and you shouldn't laugh, for they always owe a grudge to anybody that jest about them.

M'SWILL: Did you never hear the story of Lady Blanch?

BRIDGET: Hush! don't talk so loud.

M'SWILL: You know it, Mrs. Bridget.

BRIDGET: No! but Lord Ronald is very angry with everybody who circulates stories of that description - so, speak lower, if you are going to tell it.

M'SWILL: Well, then, - once upon a time -

ROBERT: Ha! ha! ha! Mother Bunch's fairy tales.

M'SWILL: Well, isn't that the proper way to begin a story?

BRIDGET: Go on.

M'SWILL: Once upon a time -

ROBERT: You've said that once twice.

M'SWILL: Will you be quiet with your fun. I won't tell it at all.

ROBERT: Well, well, then, once upon a time what happened?

M'SWILL: Once on a time, there lived a lady named Blanch, in this very castle, and she was betrothed to a rich Scotch nobleman; all the preparations for the wedding were finished, when, on the evening before it was to take place, the lovers strolled into the forest -

BRIDGET: Alone?

M'SWILL: No; together to be sure.

BRIDGET: Well, sot, I mean that; and I think it was highly improper.

M'SWILL: Well, they were seen to enter the grotto, and -

ROBERT: And what?

M'SWILL: They never came out again.

ROBERT: Bravo! - an excellent story!

M'SWILL: But that isn't all. The next morning the body of the lady was found covered with blood, and the marks of human teeth on her throat, but no trace of the nobleman could be discovered, and from that time to this he has never been heard of; and they do say, (I hope nobody hears us) they do say that the nobleman was a Vampire, for a friar afterwards confessed, on his death-bed, that he had privately married them in the morning by the nobleman's request, and that he fully believed it some fiend incarnate, for he could not say the responses without stuttering.

ROBERT: Better and better! and how came you by this precious legend?

M'SWILL: The great uncle of my grandfather had it from the great grandfather of the steward's cousin, by the mother's side, who lived with a branch of the family when the accident happened; and, moreover, I've heard my great uncle say, that these horrible spirits, call'd Vampires, kill and suck the blood of beautiful young maidens, whom they are obliged to marry before they can destroy. - And they do say that such is the condition of their existence, that if, at stated periods, they should fail to obtain a virgin bride, whose life-blood may sustain them, they would instantly perish. Oh, the beautiful young maidens! -

BRIDGET: Of beautiful young maidens? - Merciful powers! what an escape I've had. I was in the cavern myself, one day.

M'SWILL: Lord, Mrs. Bridget, I'm sure there's no occasion for you to be frightened.

BRIDGET: Why, you saucy sot, I've a great mind to -

[A bell rings]

I declare there's my lady's bell! - no occasion, indeed - an impudent fellow! But men, now-a-days, have no more manners than hogs.

[Bell rings. Exit Bridget]

M'SWILL: There's a she-devil for you! I don't think there's such another vixen in all Scotland. She's little and hot, like a pepper-corn. What a lug she gave me by the ear.

ROBERT: Nay, nay, you mustn't mind that; all old ladies have their odd ways.

M'SWILL: Curse such odd ways as that, tho'; I shall feel the pinch for a month. Pray, Mr. Robert, as you've been in London with Lord Ronald, do you know who this earl is that the Lady Margaret is to be married to?

ROBERT: I only know that he is the Earl of Marsden, and master of the castle on the coast facing this island.

M'SWILL: What, where the pretty Effie, your intended, lives?

ROBERT: Exactly.

M'SWILL: He'll arrive just in time, then, to be present at the wedding.

ROBERT: I hope so.

ROBERT: That will be glorious! Two weddings in one day - such dancing, such eating, such drinking -

BRIDGET: M'Swill!

M'SWILL: Ugh, choke you, you old warlock! what's in the wind now, I wonder?

BRIDGET: M'Swill, I say!

M'SWILL: Coming, Mrs. Bridget.

[Exit.]

ROBERT: Yes, as soon as the earl arrives, I shall certainly take an opportunity to request him to honour the wedding with his presence; how pleas'd my dear Effie would be. Charming girl, I shall never forget the hour when first we met-

Song. - Robert - "The Lass of Patie's Mill"

The hour when first we met, my dear,

The hour when first we met;

I never can forget, my dear,

I never can forget.

So sweet on me those eyes were turn'd,

That beam thy cheek above,

They look'd like lamps that only burn'd

To light the heart to love.

To light the heart to love, my dear,

To light the heart to love, -

They look'd like lamps that only burn'd

To light the heart to love.

And while they shine on me, my dear,

And while they shine on me,

I'll ne'er be false to thee, my dear,

I'll ne'er be false to thee.

Oh, never, never slight me, then,

Nor leave me, love, to say,

Like fires that glimmer o'er the fen,

They beam but to betray.

They beam, &c.

[Exit.]



SCENE II. - An Apartment in the Castle. Enter LADY MARGARET and BRIDGET.

BRIDGET: Oh, my lady, you must not tell me! I'm sure the fright and the fatigue you have undergone have made you ill.

LADY MARGARET: Indeed, no - I feel quite recovered, I assure you, good Bridget.

BRIDGET: But I know better, my lady; that smile is not like your usual ones - something ails you -

LADY MARGARET: Something certainly troubles me, but my health is not affected. I would confide the cause of my uneasiness to you, but fear you will laugh at me when I tell you. It is a dream I have had.

BRIDGET: A dream! For heaven's sake, tell me, my lady!

LADY MARGARET: A horrible one, Bridget. Last night, as I was endeavouring to join the hunters, from whom, in the hurry of the chase, I had been separated, I wandered near the famous Basaltic Caverns, to which the vulgar attach so many strange traditions. The storm grew violent. By the strong flashes of lightning I discovered the opening of the grotto, I entered it for shelter, and, overcome with fatigue, fell asleep upon one of the rocky tombs. On a sudden a sepulchre opened, and a phantom approached me. I trembled, but an invisible hand seemed to prevent my flight. I could not even turn mine eyes from the apparition. To my surprise the countenance was that of a young and handsome man, but it was pale and wo-worn. His eyes, fix'd upon mine with the most touching expression, seemed to implore my pity. He uttered my name, and had nearly reach'd me, when a beautiful being stood between us and check'd his progress. Then, oh horror! the features of the spectre grew frightfully distorted; its whole form assumed the most terrific appearance; and it sunk into the tomb from which it had issued, with a shriek that froze me.

BRIDGET: Mercy preserve us! I tremble all over.

LADY MARGARET: I awoke. The moon stream'd into the grotto, and I sprung into the open air. I heard the voices of those who sought me. I answered them as loudly as I was able. With shouts of joy they surrounded me, and bore me safely hither.

BRIDGET: I shall never sleep in peace again. Oh, my dear young lady!

RONALD: [without] My daughter risen, say you?

BRIDGET: But here comes your father - shall you tell him, my lady?

LADY MARGARET: Oh, no; he is such an enemy to what he calls superstition, that I dare not expose myself to his ridicule.

[Enter LORD RONALD]

LORD RONALD: Well, my dear daughter. - What, up and dressed again, already. Come, this is a happy omen. Bridget, order my henchman to ascend the turrets of the keep, and give notice of the Earl of Marsden's approach.

[Exit Bridget]

This day, my dear Margaret, will be one of the happiest of my life. But what's the matter? You appear sorrowful.

LADY MARGARET: Ah! my dear father, the description we have had of Marsden has been such certainly as should prejudice us in his favour; yet, the nearer the moment approaches of his arrival, the more I feel uneasy. Oh, sir my fate is (next to heaven) in your hands. - Do not - do not make your daughter miserable.

LORD RONALD: Why this agitation, Margaret? - I have never wished to force your inclination. I certainly desire his alliance most ardently; nevertheless, if you dislike him -

LADY MARGARET: I do not know that I shall. But you, sir, who wish me to accept him, do not know him personally.

LORD RONALD: 'Tis true; but if he resembles his brother, you cannot fail to love him. Alas! poor Ruthven.

LADY MARGARET: You never mention his name but with a sigh.

LORD RONALD: Is it possible I can ever cease to lament so dear a friend?

LADY MARGARET: I have heard you say he sav'd your life, and for that reason I revere his memory myself. But are you sure he no longer exists?

LORD RONALD: Would that I could harbour a doubt on the subject; but, alas! the fatal scene of his death is ever present to my imagination. When called, as you know, by the sudden illness of my now lost son to Athens, I found Lord Ruthven, with whom he had contracted an intimacy, hanging over his sick couch, and bestowing on him the attentions of a brother. Such behaviour naturally endear'd him to me; and after my poor boy's death, his lordship being, like myself, an enthusiastic admirer of the beauties of nature and the works of art, became the constant companion of my excursions. The more I saw of him, the more I admired his extraordinary talents. In my eyes he appear'd something more than human, and seem'd destined to fill that place in my affections which had become void by my son's decease. I showed him your miniature - Never shall I forget his emotion on beholding it. 'By heavens!' he exclaimed ''tis the precise image my fancy has created as the only being who could ever constitute my happiness.' We were on the point of returning to Scotland to learn your sentiments on the subject, when one evening - but why should I afflict you with a repetition of so dreadful a story?

LADY MARGARET: Pray proceed, Sir. I sympathize in your afflictions, and feel a melancholy gratification in contemplating the devotedness and heroism which preserved to me so dear a father.

LORD RONALD: Returning to Athens, then - one evening, after a short excursion, we were attack'd by some banditti. I was disarmed. Ruthven threw himself before me, and received the ruffian's sabre in his own breast. Our attendants, however, succeeded in overcoming the villains. I threw myself into the arms of my expiring friend - he press'd my hand - 'Lord Ronald,' said he 'I have sav'd your life - I die content - my only regret is, that fate has prevented me from becoming your son.' Gallant, unfortunate Ruthven! what a destiny was thine, to fall in a foreign land, in the flower of thy youth, deprived of sepulchre.

LADY MARGARET: How! deprived of sepulchre!

LORD RONALD: An extraordinary circumstance prevented my fulfilling that last melancholy duty. In his dying agonies he conjured me to quit the spot, lest the assassins should return in number. The moon was rising in unclouded majesty. 'Place me,' said he, 'on yonder mound, so that my fleeting spirit may be soothed by the soft and tranquil light of yon chaste luminary.' I did so - he expired - I left the body to collect our servants, who were in pursuit of the defeated villains and, ere we could return to the spot, it had disappeared.

LADY MARGARET: Removed for plunder, doubtless?

LORD RONALD: I ne'er could ascertain. The stains of the grass sufficiently mark'd the spot where I had lain him, but all search was in vain. On quitting Greece, I heard Lord Marsden was in Venice. To him I sent his brother's property, and amidst it he found your picture, which, in my desire for his alliance, I had given Ruthven. The Earl proposed immediately to replace the loss we had sustained in his brother, and nothing, I am confident, remains to complete our happiness but his arrival.

LADY MARGARET: Why is not Ruthven living? - Methinks I could have lov'd him for his preservation of you.

[Bugle and response. Re-enter Bridget.]

BRIDGET: The earl has arrived, my lord.

LORD RONALD: Come, Margaret, let us haste and receive him.

LADY MARGARET: My dear sir, I cannot see him yet; indeed I cannot.

LORD RONALD: Retire, then, for a while to your apartment. Bridget, attend your lady.

[Exeunt Lady Margaret and Bridget. Enter servants.]

LORD RONALD: I'll fly to meet the earl. - Ha! he is here!

[Enter LORD RUTHVEN.]

My lord, the honour you have done me! - Heavens! what do I see?

LORD RUTHVEN: Do I recall the memory of a friend, Lord Ronald?

LORD RONALD: His voice, too! - Ruthven!

LORD RUTHVEN: Such was my name till the death of an elder brother put me in possession of my present title.

LORD RONALD: Can I believe my senses? or does some vision mock my waking sight?

LORD RUTHVEN: My dear friend, let this embrace banish your doubts.

LORD RONALD: Ruthven, my friend! But by what miracle have you been preserved to me?

LORD RUTHVEN: Unexpected, but powerful assistance, recalled my fleeting spirit. When sufficiently recovered to join you, you had quitted Greece. The news of my brother's death reach'd me. I wrote to you under my new title, and, arriving in Scotland to take possession of my paternal estate, determined to give you this pleasurable surprise.

LORD RONALD: Oh, happy hour! I once more embrace my friend. Be sure, Ruthven, that my daughter would only have become your brother's bride to acquit me of the debt I owe to you.

LORD RUTHVEN: My generous friend! But think you I shall be fortunate enough to gain the lovely Margaret's affections?

LORD RONALD: I cannot doubt it - she has pitied your misfortunes - she has wept over your fate. She comes.

[Exeunt Attendants.]

What will be her astonishment -

[Re-enter Lady Margaret.]

My dear, behold that generous friend, whose loss we have so long deplor'd. 'Tis Ruthven claims your hand.

LADY MARGARET: My lord, duty to a beloved parent will -

[Raises her eyes slowly to his countenance - starts and falls, with a shriek, into the arms of Lord Ronald.]

LORD RONALD: Margaret! O heavens! she is ill. Help there!

LADY MARGARET: [shuddering, and aside] That countenance. The phantom of last night! [Relapses into insensibility.]

LORD RUTHVEN: What can have occasioned this emotion?

LORD RONALD: Alas! I know not. Margaret! my sweet child!

LADY MARGARET: [reviving] Pardon, my lord, this weakness - The effect of last night's adventure.

LORD RUTHVEN: Last night!

LORD RONALD: We hunted late yesterday. My daughter lost her way, and suffered much fatigue.

LORD RUTHVEN: Beautiful Lady Margaret, how am I to interpret this emotion?

LADY MARGARET: The surprise of seeing one whose death we were even now deploring.

LORD RUTHVEN: Is it possible that, without knowing me, the recital of my misfortunes alone could thus have interested you?

LADY MARGARET: I am the daughter of Lord Ronald, and my heart, touched with gratitude - [aside] I dare not look at him.

LORD RUTHVEN: With gratitude? - and what will be my gratitude, if you but deign to approve your father's generous designs? Tell me, oh, tell me you confirm them, or never, never, will I rise from your feet. [kneeling, and seizing her hand]

LADY MARGARET: [aside] Heavens! how strange a thrill runs through my frame.

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Then she's mine!

LADY MARGARET: These transports, my lord -

LORD RUTHVEN: Must not alarm you. It is in the presence of your father. It is at his desire I here vow my eternal fidelity. O, my friend, join your supplications to mine.

LORD RONALD: My daughter is well aware of my wishes.

LORD RUTHVEN: Speak, dearest lady, I conjure you.

LADY MARGARET: [aside] What spell is it that moves me thus? [aloud] My lord, my father has never yet found me disobedient to his will.

LORD RUTHVEN: You consent, then?

LADY MARGARET: Spare my confusion, my lord. My dear sir, allow me to retire.

LORD RUTHVEN: Lady, dear lady -

LADY MARGARET: Pardon me, my lord; a strange confusion, a wild emotion overpowers me, let me retire.

[Exit Lady Margaret.]

LORD RONALD: Ruthven, the wish of my heart is gratified; you are my son.

LORD RUTHVEN: Dearest sir, I have still a boon to ask. Let our marriage be celebrated without delay.

LORD RONALD: It is my intention, and to-morrow -

LORD RUTHVEN: To-night, my friend; business of the utmost importance recalls me to London. To-morrow's dawn must witness our departure.

LORD RONALD: Impossible! Have you not to take possession of your estate?

LORD RUTHVEN: It is but showing myself at the castle, from which I can return ere the sun sets this evening.

LORD RONALD: Well, if my daughter makes no objection, I will go plead your suit, and hear the reasons for your haste afterwards. - I know not how you have infatuated me, Ruthven, but rest assured I feel for you all that a father's heart can feel.

[Exit.]

LORD RUTHVEN: [Walks the stage agitated.] Dæmon, as I am, that walks the earth to slaughter and devour, the little that remains of heart within this wizard frame - sustained alone by human blood, shrinks from the appalling act of planting misery in the bosom of this veteran chieftain. Still must the fearful sacrifice be made! and suddenly; for the approaching night will find my wretched frame exhausted - and darkness - worse than death - annihilation is my lot! Margaret! unhappy maid! thou art my destined prey! thy blood must feed a Vampire's life, and prove the food of his disgusting banquet!

[Enter Robert timidly.]

ROBERT: My lord!

LORD RUTHVEN: What would you?

ROBERT: I beg your lordship's pardon for my boldness - but I am a servant of Lord Ronald's, and would fain request your lordship's patronage.

LORD RUTHVEN: In what respect?

ROBERT: I am betrothed, an please your lordship, to Effie, your steward's daughter; and as I hear it is your lordship's intention to visit your estate, I -

LORD RUTHVEN: [eagerly] Betrothed, say you?

ROBERT: Yes, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: And when is the marriage to take place?

ROBERT: This evening, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: [half aside] I will be there.

ROBERT: Oh, my lord, I was afraid to ask you - but your lordship has made me so happy!

LORD RUTHVEN: What distance are we from the castle?

ROBERT: The sea is calm, my lord - we may row there in a few minutes.

LORD RUTHVEN: Order the barge instantly, then.

ROBERT: Yes, my lord. [Exit.]

[Enter LORD RONALD.]

LORD RONALD: All is arranged to your wishes.

LORD RUTHVEN: [with joy] Your daughter consents?

LORD RONALD: She does; and I have ordered the chapel to be prepared by our return.

LORD RUTHVEN: You go to Marsden with me, then?

LORD RONALD: Certainly; your stay is so short, I will not leave you for a moment.

LORD RUTHVEN: My dear friend, this kindness -

[Re-enter ROBERT.]

ROBERT: The barge is ready, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: Away! away!

[Hurried music - exeunt.]



SCENE III. - Garden of Lord Ruthven's Castle - the sea in the distance.

ANDREW and EFFIE discovered, surrounded by village lads and lasses, dressed as for a fete.

EFFIE: (C.) What can be the reason Robert does not arrive?

ANDREW Something has happened to detain him; he will be here soon.

EFFIE: I see nothing like a boat at present.

ANDREW Why, what is that to the right, there?

EFFIE: Not a boat I'm sure, father.

ANDREW But I say it is a boat; and making for the castle, too.

EFFIE: Hark! father, hark!

[A boat is seen at sea, which gradually approaches, to the symphony of the following Boat Song, sung as if at some distance, and growing louder and louder as the boat nears the land.]


BOAT-SONG - "Ye Banks and Braes."

Row on - Row on ... across the main

So smoothly glides our bark to shore,

While to our boat song's measur'd strain

So truly dips the well tim'd oar.

Row on - row on - in yonder isle

Impatient beauty chides our stay,

The head-land past ... her sweetest smile

Our labour richly will repay.



SOLO - EFFIE - "There's nae luck about the house"

'Tis he ... 'tis he ... his form I see,

Full soon he will be here,

Then neighbours, haste - prepare the feast

The bonny lad to cheer.

For there's nae luck about the house,

There's nae luck at a',

There's little pleasure in the house

When my dear lad's awa'.

Chorus.

There's nae luck about the house,

There's nae luck at a',

There's little pleasure in the house

When Robert's far awa'.


[Shouts without. Enter ROBERT.]


EFFIE: My dear Robert -

ROBERT: My sweet Effie!

EFFIE: What has kept you so long?

ROBERT: Oh, I've news for you. Lord Ronald has come with me, and who do you think beside, father-in-law?

ANDREW Nay, I'm sure I can't guess.

ROBERT: Lord Ruthven.

ANDREW Lord Ruthven! why, he has been dead these twelve months.

ROBERT: Has he? - I believe you're mistaken, father-in-law. [shouts] Do you hear that?

ANDREW Pho, poo, I tell you it must be some impostor.

[Enter RUTHVEN, RONALD, and attendants.]

ANDREW (R.) Merciful Providence! it is my young master!

LORD RUTHVEN: (C.) Yes, my good Andrew; behold me restored to you.

ANDREW Thank heaven! thank heaven! But I could not believe that I should ever have the pleasure of seeing my dear master again.

LORD RUTHVEN: I shall never forget your attachment to our family, and your attentions to their interest. Let me not interrupt your felicity - you are about to celebrate a marriage, I think?

ANDREW Yes, my lord. Here's my daughter, Effie, whom your lordship remembers a little girl.

LORD RUTHVEN: She's very pretty.

EFFIE: Yes, my lord - that is, thank you, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: You must allow me to give the bride her dowry, and patronize the whole ceremony.

ANDREW Oh, my lord, this is such an honour. Well, then, before the dance commences, neighbours, let us go and arrange the supper-table, where we will drink our good lord's happy return.

ROBERT: Away with you, then.

[Exeunt Andrew, and peasants.]

LORD RONALD: I must leave you a moment, Ruthven, to give some directions to my bargemen.

[Exit, with attendants.]

ROBERT: [to Effie] Come, Effie, let's follow our neighbours. [going.]

LORD RUTHVEN: [detaining Effie] Fair Effie, I would speak with you.

EFFIE: [with hesitation] If Robert has no objection, my lord -

ROBERT: How, you silly girl, when his lordship does you so much honour. - You'll find me with Andrew.

[Exit.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Come nearer, charming maid.

EFFIE: My lord, I - I dare not, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: Fear nothing. [aside.] Yet, she has cause to fear. - Should I surprise her heart, as by my gifted spell I may, the tribute that prolongs existence may be paid and Margaret may (at least awhile) be spared. How delightful 'tis to gaze upon thee thus! - An atmosphere of joy is round about thee, which whosoever breathes, becomes thy slave.

EFFIE: My Lord, what mean you?

LORD RUTHVEN: My heart ne'er throbb'd but for one woman, and you have just her features. This morning the flame of love was extinguished in my soul; but now, now it burns with redoubled ardour.

EFFIE: But the lady whom you admir'd, my lord -

LORD RUTHVEN: She is dead!

EFFIE: Dead!

LORD RUTHVEN: Yes, dead, Effie - but in you she lives again.

EFFIE: What do I hear!

LORD RUTHVEN: Oh, Effie, can you not conceive the happiness of once more beholding the object we adore.

EFFIE: I shall never love any one but Robert.

LORD RUTHVEN: Happy Robert, and unfortunate Ruthven! Why did I ever behold thee, Effie?

EFFIE: See me no more my lord, if that has occasioned your uneasiness. [going]

LORD RUTHVEN: Stay! Effie, it is in your power to console me for all I have lost. Love me. - Nay, start not; mine you must and shall be!

EFFIE: My lord, I'll hear no more. If Robert -

LORD RUTHVEN: Think not of him; the bridal preparations are complete; - my bride thou art - no power on earth shall tear thee from me: say, Effie, that you love me. [taking her hand]

EFFIE: [starting] Mercy on me! My lord, I - I know not what to say. My heart beats so that - Oh, pray, leave me, my lord.

LORD RUTHVEN: You weep: those tears are for me.

EFFIE: No, no: - indeed, my lord -

LORD RUTHVEN: This instant let me bear thee to the priest.

EFFIE: My lord, for pity's sake-

LORD RUTHVEN: You plead in vain: - Effie, thou art mine for ever! [Bears her off.]

[Re-enter ROBERT]

ROBERT: How long she stays - not here! Why - [Effie shrieks] Heav'ns! what do I see - borne off, and struggling - Villain! lose your hold! [Draws a pistol and runs after them. Stage gradually darkens.]

[Enter ANDREW and LORD RONALD]

LORD RONALD: Why, Andrew, said you not the Earl was here?

ANDREW 'Twas here I left him but just now, my lord. [A pistol is fired without and Effie shrieks: O save me! Save me!)] My daughter's voice!

[Rushes out, as LORD RUTHVEN enters, wounded.]

LORD RONALD: Ruthven!

LORD RUTHVEN: [falling] I die!

LORD RONALD: What murderous hand - [The moon is seen descending.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Exclaim not, I have but a moment to live. - Ronald, swear by the host of heaven to obey my last commands.

LORD RONALD: Young man, the word of Ronald needs no oath to bind it.

LORD RUTHVEN: I die - delay not a moment, but swear to -

LORD RONALD: I do, I do! - I swear by all that is most dear and sacred to honour and to man, to fulfil your last desire.

LORD RUTHVEN: Conceal my death from every human being till yonder moon, which now sails in her meridian splendour, shall be set this night; and ere an hour shall elapse after I have expired, throw this ring into the waves that wash the tomb of Fingal.

LORD RONALD: I will, I will, Ruthven! - Dear Ruthven!

LORD RUTHVEN: Remember your oath. The lamp of night is descending the blue heavens; when I am dead, let its sweet light shine on me. Farewell. Remember - Remember your oath. [Dies.]

[Solemn music. Ronald lays the body of Ruthven on a bank in the garden and kneels mournfully beside it. The moon continues descending, till the light falls full upon the corpse; and the curtain drops upon the picture.]


ACT II.

SCENE 1. - The Tomb of Fingal in the caverns of Staffa. The Sea. Moonlight. A boat enters the cavern with ANDREW, ROBERT, and EFFIE. They land. Music.


ANDREW Here, Robert, you may rest concealed till Lord Ronald's anger shall have subsided; or, should he be deaf to explanation, and refuse to believe Lord Ruthven's treachery, arrangements shall be made to convey you over to the mainland. Here is sufficient provision for the short time I hope you will be forced to remain. And so now bid Effie good-bye for awhile; I'll look out, in the meantime, and see if the coast be clear for our return.

[Exit.]

ROBERT: Come, cheer up, Effie, - all will be well yet. It was in defence of innocence I fired, and, therefore, that act will never be a load on my conscience!

EFFIE: But, if Lord Ronald should get you into his power!

ROBERT: I will put it to Lord Ronald's self to say, whether a man should stand tamely by, and see the wife of his bosom dragged to misery and dishonour. Come, kiss me, Effie, and farewell till better times.


DUETTO - Effie and Robert "Down the Burn, Davie"

ROBERT:

Tho' vanish'd be the visions fair,

    By Fancy's pencil trac'd;

And blighted all the blossoms rare,

    That Hope's gay chaplet grac'd;

      Fear not my faith,

      The pang of death

Alone can bid it flee.

Then fare thee well, my only love;

Fare thee well, my only love;

Fare thee well, my only love;

    Thou'rt more than life to me.

BOTH:

Fare thee well, &c.

EFFIE:

Though clouded now the prospect seem;

    Though grief usurp the hour;

A light may break, a ray may beam,

    And joy resume its pow'r.

      Fear not my faith!

      The pang of death

Alone can bid it flee.

Then fare thee well, my only love;

Fare thee well, my only love;

Fare thee well, my only love;

    Thou'rt more than life to me.

BOTH:

Fare thee well, &c.

[During the last verse Andrew has returned; he places Effie in the boat and they exit.]

ROBERT: And now to find some hole for a bed-chamber. Rather sorry accommodations, I fancy; but the superstitions of the peasantry will keep them from disturbing my repose; and, as to other considerations, a man with a clear conscience may rest anywhere. [looking.] Here's tolerable choice of apartments, as far as number goes: let me try what shelter this will afford.

[Exit into cavern.]

[Music. A boat is seen at the entrance, with Lord Ronald and two Attendants in it. Lord Ronald lands.]

LORD RONALD: Give me the torch, and wait without the cave till you see me wave it thus. [Exeunt attendants, with boat.] How solemn is this scene. By heaven, my soul, that lately mock'd at superstition, is so subdued by circumstances, that I could almost bring myself to give faith to every legend I have scorn'd as idle. Here is the ring - what am I about to do - what horrible suspicion flashes across my brain! Ruthven, mysterious being! what mean these ceremonies? Before, when I supposed him dying, he bade me place his body in the light of the moon; and now again. And wherefore make me swear to conceal his death till the moon be set? But let me not reflect or pause. Unhappy Ruthven! thy friend performs his promise. [Throws the ring into the water; a peal of thunder is heard; after which the voice of Ruthven: Remember your oath!]

LORD RONALD: It is his spirit speaks! Ruthven, my friend, my preserver!

[Re-enter ROBERT.]

ROBERT: What voice was that? Lord Ronald?

LORD RONALD: Ha! by heaven, justice hath given the murderer to my vengeance [Draws.] Ruthven, this sacrifice I make to thee.

ROBERT: Hear me, my lord: Lord Ruthven would have wronged me.

LORD RONALD: Wouldst thou asperse the dead? - Down, villain, down! [Attacks him.]

ROBERT: Nay, in my own defence, then -

[They fight; Robert is disarmed. Ronald plunges him into the waves. Lord Ronald rushes to the entrance of the cavern and waves the torch. The boat approaches.]

LORD RONALD: Ruthven, thou art revenged! Away! Away!

[Ronald leaps into the boat. Robert reaches and clings to the rocks; and the Scene closes.]



SCENE II. - An Apartment in Lord Ronald's Castle. Enter LADY MARGARET, meeting BRIDGET.

LADY MARGARET: Bridget, I was looking for you; I am so happy.

BRIDGET: Happy, my lady! and Lord Ruthven and your father not returned? I'm frightened out of my wits about them: 'tis ten o'clock, and they were to have been back again ere sunset.

LADY MARGARET: You may dispel your fears, then; Lord Ruthven has this moment announced to me my father's return.

BRIDGET: Lord Ruthven!

LADY MARGARET: On opening the casement, just now, that looks into the garden, I saw him by the moonlight, crossing one of the walks. I call'd to him, and he will be here directly, that the ceremony may commence. We must depart for London ere day-break.

BRIDGET: So soon?

LADY MARGARET: Yes; he has explained the reason to me. The King of England wishes him to marry a lady of the court, and he has no other way of avoiding the match, but by presenting me immediately as his wife.

BRIDGET: And here comes your father, I declare. Well, my lady, I'll away and see that everything is ready. [Exit Bridget.]

LADY MARGARET: I can hardly account for my sudden attachment to Lord Ruthven, especially after the shock his introduction gave me.

[Enter LORD RONALD.]

LADY MARGARET: Well, sir, is Ruthven coming?

LORD RONALD: Ruthven! Alas!

LADY MARGARET: You sigh; what troubles you, my dear father?

LORD RONALD: Nothing. [aside] What shall I say to her?

LADY MARGARET: Every thing is prepared for the ceremony. Lord Ruthven has doubtless informed you of the pressing reason he has for our immediate departure: its suddenness at first alarm'd me; but if you will accompany us, what a charming voyage - You do not listen to me - Why, father, what's the matter?

LORD RONALD: My dear Margaret, we must think no more of this union.

LADY MARGARET: Think no more of it! Have you not been yourself the cause, and do you now -

LORD RONALD: Question me not; I cannot answer you.

LADY MARGARET: Good heavens! and Ruthven who, not a moment ago, so warmly urged -

LORD RONALD: [starting.] Ruthven, not a moment ago - what mean you?

LADY MARGARET: You frighten me; but Ruthven will soon be here, and -

[Enter LORD RUTHVEN behind.]

LORD RONALD: Ruthven is -

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Remember your oath.

LORD RONALD: [starting] Can the grave give up its dead! Spirit, what would'st thou?

LORD RUTHVEN: Ronald, my friend, what means this wildness?

LORD RONALD: My brain turns round! - I saw him fall - I heard his dying groan. - Fiend! - Phantom! hence, I charge thee!

LORD RUTHVEN: Alas, he raves!

LADY MARGARET: [clinging to Ruthven] My father! my poor father!

LORD RONALD: Touch him not, Margaret! Fly the demon's grasp!

LORD RUTHVEN: How dreadful is this wildness. - Ho! within there!

LORD RONALD: I am not mad. Ruthven's dead! I saw -

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Your oath!

[Enter Two Servants.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Your master is not well, his brain is wandering; secure him and let aid be sent for instantly.

[Servants take hold of Ronald.]

LORD RONALD: Stand off, slaves! - 'tis a fiend in human shape. - I saw him perish; - twice have I seen him perish; as I have life. Heaven saw and heard -

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Your oath!

LADY MARGARET: [to servants.] Oh, harm him not; but lead him gently in.

LORD RONALD: That dreadful oath! [Servants seize him.] Stay but a moment, Margaret, promise me you will not marry till the moon shall set; then, fearful fiend, I am no longer pledged, and may preserve my child.

LADY MARGARET: Oh, my poor father! [Falls into the arms of Ruthven, fainting.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Remove him gently - suddenly, I say.

LORD RONALD: No, I will not quit my child an instant; horror overwhelms me! I know not what thou art; but terrible conviction flashes on my mind, that thou art nothing human. A mist seems clearing from my sight; and I behold thee now - Oh, horror! horror! - a monster of the grave - a - a Vam -

[Falls into his servant's arms, who bear off Lord Ronald.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Remember! - She's mine! my prey is in my clutch - the choicest, crowning victim! - Ha! revive, my bride.

LADY MARGARET: Where am I? Where, where is my father?

LORD RUTHVEN: In safety, love, be sure; retired to his chamber.

LADY MARGARET: I know not what to think!

LORD RUTHVEN: Alas! I have seen him often thus, during our travels together; his reason received a severe shock on the death of my young friend, your brother.

LADY MARGARET: Is't possible? I never knew him thus.

LORD RUTHVEN: Rely upon the melancholy truth; but 'twill not last; so cheer thee, lovely Margaret.

LADY MARGARET: Alas, I need your consolation! How wild a fancy seized him that you were dead; and his request, too, not to marry till the moon had set. - Well, I will not.

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Ha! [aloud] Sweet Margaret, you will not sure repent?

LADY MARGARET: Why, my good lord, so short a delay cannot be of consequence, and 'twill appease him probably - and such a slight request.

LORD RUTHVEN: I reverence your motive, but if you love me, Margaret -

LADY MARGARET: You cannot doubt it.

LORD RUTHVEN: Upon that love, then, my repose, my happiness, my life depends; swear to me, dearest Margaret, to forget these idle terrors, and to be mine - mine only - for ever.

LADY MARGARET: I do, by Him who reads all hearts, to be thine, and thine only, for ever.

LORD RUTHVEN: Oh, happiness! Receive this ring, and let it be a sacred pledge between us. [Places it on her finger.]

LADY MARGARET: Ha!

LORD RUTHVEN: [smiling] Her fate is seal'd, she cannot now retract. - You shudder; what ails my love?

LADY MARGARET: A strange sensation runs throughout my frame, tears fill my eyes, and my heart beats as though 'twould burst my bosom. - Methinks my father's voice still rings in mine ears, 'Wed not before the moon shall set.'

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] The hour approaches - no time is to be lost. [aloud] Think no more, I beseech thee, of these wanderings of the imagination, but let us hasten to consecrate the ties which unite us. Every arrangement must, by this time, have been made. Retire, my love, to your chamber; compose your spirits; and Ruthven then will lead thee to the altar.

[Music. Exeunt Ruthven and Lady Margaret.]


SCENE III. - Distant View of Lord Ronald's Castle, by Moonlight.

Enter ANDREW and EFFIE, supporting ROBERT.

ROBERT: Nay, nay, do not trouble yourselves; I have sustained no injury. - But what made you come back to me so soon?

EFFIE: We saw the boat pass with Lord Ronald in it, and we feared some mischief.

ANDREW So we lay-to till he left the cavern, and returned just in time to render you assistance. Yonder is the castle; are you still determined to seek him?

ROBERT: Yes; he has been imposed upon; and ere now, I am sure, he regrets having drawn upon me. I will lay open Lord Ruthven's villany to him; and I know his noble nature too well, to fear a continuance of his anger. Here, therefore, we will part for awhile; and when we meet again, I trust all obstacles to our happiness will be removed. - Be faithful.

SONG. - EFFIE - "Of a' the Airts."

Though many a wood and heath-clad hill

    Should rise betwixt us twain;

And many an envious stream and rill

     Run babbling to the main;

This fond and faithful heart believe,

     Howe'er apart we be,

Though in my breast it seem to heave,

     Will linger still with thee.

Thus when the silver lamp of night

     Sails through the quiet sky,

And sheds its lustre pure and bright

    Upon the traveller's eye;

Though o'er him still the fond orb seems

    To glide where'er he'll roam;

Its faithful light as sweetly beams

    Upon his distant home.


[After Effie's song, M'Swill sings without.]


ANDREW Soft; who comes here?

ROBERT: By his gait it should be M'Swill, the baron's toping henchman.

[Enter M'Swill.]

M'SWILL: My master's gone mad - there's a pretty job. If he had been going to be married, instead of the Earl, I shouldn't have wonder'd so much; but for an old man to go mad, who can sit and drink all day, without any one to snub him for it, is the most ridiculous thing that ever came under my observation. Old mother Bridget never lets me drink in quiet at home, so I carry a pocket pistol about with me. [Pulls out a flask.] Now, this is what I call my 'Young Man's Best Companion'; it's a great consolation on a night excursion to one who has so respectful a belief in bogles and warlocks as I have. - Whisky's the only spirit I feel a wish to be intimately acquainted with.

ROBERT: [slapping him on the shoulder.] M'Swill!

M'SWILL: [dropping on his knees.] Oh, lord, what's that?

ROBERT: Why, how now, booby? Where have you been at this time of night?

M'SWILL: Eh! what, Robert, is it only you? I was just kneeling to - This stupid latchet, you see, is - [pretending to fasten it]

ROBERT: Oh yes, I see; but where have you been, I ask you?

M'SWILL: Been! oh, I've been for Father Francis; - my lord's gone crazy, and the Earl of Marsden sent me.

Rob & Effie. The Earl of Marsden!

M'SWILL: Whew! what's in the wind now?

ANDREW (R.) The Earl of Marsden sent you?

M'SWILL: Yes, to be sure; he's in the castle there, and just going to be married to my Lady Margaret.

ROBERT: Fool! the Earl of Marsden is dead

M'SWILL: Nay, now you're mad. My master's been telling the same story this half-hour, but the Earl says it's no such thing; that he is not dead, and never was dead; that my master's out of his wits; - and off he sends me for Father Francis, to come and talk to my master, and marry my mistress.

ROBERT: What mystery is this? There is some foul play towards - At any rate, the Lady Margaret must know her danger. Is the friar gone?

M'SWILL: Oh yes, he's there before now. The very name of a wedding made him chuckle, and waddle off at a rate, which obliged me to stop so many times for refreshment that he has been out of sight these some minutes.

ROBERT: Let us haste, father; we may foil the villain yet.

[Exeunt Robert, Andrew, and Effie.]

M'SWILL: It appears there is something wrong, but I can't positively pretend to say what it is; and as my flask seems as much exhausted as my speculations, I'll make the best of my way home, and ruminate how much whiskey I shall drink at the wedding.


SONG. - M'Swill - "Fy, let us awa to the Bridal"

Faith, I'll awa' to the bridal,

    For there will be tippling there;

For my lady's about to be married,

    To whom I don't know, and don't care.

But I know we shall all be as frisky

    And tipsy as pipers, good lack;

And so that there's plenty of whiskey,

    She may marry the devil for Mac.

      So, faith! I'll awa' to the bridal, &c.

I once left the bottle for Cupid,

    And bade an adieu to my glass;

I simper'd, and sigh'd, and look'd stupid

    And courted a cherry-cheek'd lass.

She turn'd out a jilt: - 'twere a lie should I

     Say that it gave me no pain;

For sorrowing made me so dry, that I

     Took to my bottle again.

      So, faith! I'll awa' to the bridal, &c.

They say there's five reasons for drinking,

    But more, I am sure, may be got;

For I never can find out by thinking

     A reason why people should not.

A sixth I'll not scruple at giving;

    I'll name it while 'tis in my head;

'Tis if you don't drink while you're living,

    You never will after you're dead.

      So, faith! I'll awa' to the bridal &c.

[Exit.]





SCENE IV. A Gothic Chamber. Enter LADY MARGARET and BRIDGET.


LADY MARGARET: The approach of this ceremony strikes me with an unaccountable awe; I can scarcely breathe. A few moments will decide my fate! - but I shall be happy. Oh, yes, I feel I shall. But my father!

BRIDGET: [aside] What a fluster my lady's in! but it's quite natural, poor thing.

LADY MARGARET: Yes, yes; I cannot be otherwise than happy.

BRIDGET: [aside] I can't account for it, but the Earl Ruthven's face seems quite changed within this last hour; it looks as if - Well, it's very extraordinary, but I say nothing. [LADY MARGARET appears lost in thought; BRIDGET coughs to arouse her.]

LADY MARGARET: Bridget! I had forgotten you were near me.

BRIDGET: I didn't like to speak to you, my lady, as I saw you were thinking; but pray tell me what is the matter with my lord, your father?

LADY MARGARET: Alas, I know not. They have forced him to his couch, where he remains, almost insensible; or only rousing to utter incoherent sentences.

BRIDGET: I'm frightened out of my wits. [in a low tone of voice] Do you know, my lady, I almost think he's possessed by a spirit!

LADY MARGARET: Ridiculous! Bridget, how can you be so weak as to indulge these fancies? His feelings have been too much excited by the recovery of a dear friend, so long thought dead: he will be calmer soon.

BRIDGET: I hope so, I am sure, my lady; but somehow I fear -

LORD RUTHVEN: [within] Margaret!

BRIDGET: Oh, my lady, 'tis the Earl's voice.

LADY MARGARET: He calls me to the altar! How shall I support the ceremony, without my dear father's presence?

LORD RUTHVEN: [within] Margaret!

LADY MARGARET: Again! It is too late for reflection - I yield to my fate!

[Exeunt.]





SCENE V. The Chapel. A large Gothic window, through which the moon is seen setting. Lord Ruthven discovered, with priests, vassals, &c.

LORD RUTHVEN: All is prepared; o'er the great fiend once more I triumph!

Ere yon orb shall kiss the wave,

The tributary victim shall be paid.

Bow, ye less subtle spirits - bow abashed

Before your master.

       - Margaret!

'Tis Ruthven calls thee. Hasten, sweet, and crown

Thy lover's happiness.

[Music. Enter LADY MARGARET and BRIDGET.]

LORD RUTHVEN: Lady, to the altar.

LADY MARGARET: I follow you my lord - and yet -

LORD RUTHVEN: [impatiently seizing her hand] Come, Margaret, come!

[Distant thunder. A loud gust of wind shakes the casement.]

LADY MARGARET: What noise was that?

BRIDGET: 'Tis but the wind, my lady; we shall have another storm, I think, when the moon sets.

LADY MARGARET: When the moon sets! - Ah, my poor father! See, 'twill set soon, my Ruthven; let me again beseech you to delay, till then, the ceremony!

LORD RUTHVEN: [more impatiently] Nay, this is folly, Margaret. Father, commence the rites.

[Enter LORD RONALD, preceded by ROBERT, and followed by ANDREW, EFFIE, and Attendants.]

ROBERT: Make way! make way, I say! Lord Ronald shall be heard!

LORD RONALD: My daughter! my daughter!

LORD RUTHVEN: [aside] Confusion! - Ronald!

LORD RONALD: Where is she? - Give me my daughter.

LADY MARGARET: My dearest father, be calm. What wouldst thou with me?

LORD RONALD: Ha! do I again embrace thee. Follow him not - he drags you to the tomb.

LORD RUTHVEN: [furiously] Margaret, we are waited for.

LORD RONALD: Barbarian! I forbid the ceremony. You have no right over her - I am her father.

LADY MARGARET: You are - you are my loving, tender father - I will not wed against his will. [Throwing herself into his arms.]

LORD RUTHVEN: I'll hear no more! - she is my bride betrothed: this madman would deprive me of her.

LADY MARGARET: [indignantly] No! - Why this violence? Wait till the hour is past.

LORD RUTHVEN: Will you listen to his ravings?

LORD RONALD: I do not rave. [Loud thunder. Another gust of wind blows open the casement.] See, see! the moon already rests upon the wave! - One moment! - but one moment! - [detaining Margaret]

LORD RUTHVEN: Nay, then thus I seal thy lips, and seize my bride. [Draws his poniard, and rushes on Ronald. Lady Margaret shrieks when Robert throws himself between Ruthven and Ronald and wrenches the dagger from his grasp.]

LADY MARGARET: Hold! hold! - I am thine; - the moon has set.

LORD RUTHVEN: And I am lost!

[A teriffic peal of thunder is heard; Unda and Ariel appear; a thunder-bolt strikes Ruthven to the ground, who immediately vanishes. General picture, as the curtain falls.]