The Enfolded Prelude: Book Ninth

1805 text is in green 1850 text is in purple

Book Ninth

Residence in France

    As oftentimes Even as a river, it might seem,river,—partly (it might seem)
    Yielding to old remembrances, and swayed
    In part by fear to shape a way direct,
    That would engulph him soon in the ravenous sea—
    Turns, and will measure back his course, far back,
    Seeking the very regions which he crossed
    In his first outset; so have we, my Friend!
    Turned and returned with intricate delay.

    Yielding in part to old remembrances,Or as a traveller, who has gained the brow
    Part swayed by fear to tread an onward roadOf some aerial Down, while there he halts
    That leads direct For breathing-time, is tempted to the devouring sea,review
    Turns The region left behind him; and, if aught
    Deserving notice have escaped regard,
    Or been regarded with too careless eye,
    Strives, from that height, with one
and will measure back his course far back,yet one more
    Towards Last look, to make the very regions which best amends he crossedmay:
    In his first outset so So have we long time
    Made motions retrograde, in like pursuit
    Detained. But now
lingered. Now we start afresh: I feelafresh
    An impulse to precipitate my verse.With courage, and new hope risen on our toil.
    Fair greetings to this shapeless eagerness,
    Whene'er it comes, comes! needful in work so long,
    Trice Thrice needful to the argument which now
    Awaits us oh, us! Oh, how much unlike the past—
    One which though bright the promise, will be found
    Ere far we shall advance, ungenial, hard
    To treat of, and forbidding in itself.
    Free as a colt at pasture on the hillshill,
    I ranged at large large, through the metropolisLondon's wide domain,
    Month after month. Obscurely did I live,
    Not courting the society of seeking frequent intercourse with men,
    By literature, or elegance, or rank,
    Distinguished in Distinguished. Scarcely was a year thus spent
    Ere I forsook
the midst crowded solitude,
    With less regret for its luxurious pomp,
    And all the nicely-guarded shows
of things, it seemed,art,
    Looking as from a distance on Than for the worldhumble book-stalls in the streets,
    That moved about me. Yet insensiblyExposed to eye and hand where'er I turned.
    False preconceptions were corrected thus,France lured me forth; the realm that I had crossed
    And errors of So lately, journeying toward the fancy rectifiedsnow-clad Alps.
    (Alike with reference to men But now, relinquishing the scrip and things),staff,
    And sometimes from each quarter were poured inall enjoyment which the summer sun
    Novel imaginations and profound.Sheds round the steps of those who meet the day
    A year thus spent, this field, with small regret—
    Save only for the bookstails in the streets
    (Wild produce, hedgerow fruit, on all sides hung
    To lure the sauntering traveller from his track)—
    I quitted, and betook myself to France,
    Let thither chiefly by a personal wish
    To speak the language more familiarly,
    With which intent I chose for my abode
    A city on the borders of the Loire.
With motion constant as his own, I went
    Prepared to sojourn in a pleasant town,
    Washed by the current of the stately Loire.
Through Paris lay my readiest path, course, and there
    I sojourned Sojourning a few days, and I visited
    In haste haste, each spot of old and or recent fame—
    The latter chiefly from the field of Mars
    Down to the suburbs of St. Anthony,
    The latter chiefly, from the field of Mars
    Down to the suburbs of St. Antony,
And from Mont Martyr Martre southward to the Dome
    Of Genevieve. In both her clamorous halls,Halls,
    The National Synod and the Jacobins,
    I saw the revolutionary powerRevolutionary Power
    Toss like a ship at anchor, rocked by storms,storms;
    The Arcades I traversed traversed, in the Palace huge
    Of Orleans, Orleans; coasted round and round the line
    Of tavern, brothel, gaming-house, Tavern, Brothel, Gaming-house, and shop,Shop,
    Great rendezvous of worst and best, the walk
    Of all who had a purpose, or had not;
    I stared and listened listened, with a stranger's ears,
    To hawkers Hawkers and haranguers, Haranguers, hubbub wild,wild!
    And hissing factionists Factionists with ardent eyes,
    In knots, or pairs, or single, ant-like swarmssingle. Not a look
    Of builders Hope takes, or Doubt or Fear is forced to wear,
    But seemed there present;
and subverters, I scanned them all,
every facegesture uncontrollable,
    That hope or apprehension could put on—
    Joy, anger, and vexation, in the midst
    Of gaiety and dissolute idleness.
Of anger, and vexation, and despite,
    All side by side, and struggling face to face,
    With gaiety and dissolute idleness.
Where silent zephyrs sported with the dust
    Of the Bastile Bastille, I sate in the open sunsun,
    And from the rubbish gathered up a stone,
    And pocketed the relick relic, in the guise
    Of an enthusiast; yet, in honest truth,
    Though I looked for something that I could not without some strong incumbencies,find,
    And glad could living man be otherwise?—
    I looked for something which I could not find,
    Affecting more emotion than I felt.
Affecting more emotion than I felt;
    For 'tis most certain certain, that the utmost force
    Of all
these various objects which may shewsights,
    The temper of my mind as then it wasHowever potent their first shock, with me
    Seemed less Appeared to recompense the traveller's pains,pains
    Less moved me, gave me less delight, than did
    A single picture merely, hunted out
    Among other sights,
the painted Magdalene of le Le Brun,
    A beauty exquisitely wrought fair facewrought, with hair
    And rueful, Dishevelled, gleaming eyes, and rueful cheek
    Pale and bedropped
with its ever-flowing overflowing tears.
    But hence to my more permanent residenceabode
    I hasten: hasten; there, by novelties in speech,
    Domestic manners, customs, gestures, looks,
    And all the attire of ordinary life,
    Attention was at first engrossed; and thusand, thus amused,
    Amused and satisfied, I scarcely felt
    The shock of these
stood 'mid those concussions, unconcerned,
    Tranquil almost, and careless as a flower
    Glassed in a greenhouse, green-house, or a parlour-shrub,parlour shrub
    When That spreads its leaves in unmolested peace,
every bush and tree tree, the country through,
    Is shaking to the roots roots: indifference this
    Which may seem strange, strange: but I was unprepared
    With needful knowledge, had abruptly passed
    Into a theatre of which the stagetheatre, whose stage was filled
    Was And busy with an action far advanced.
    Like others others, I had read, skimmed, and eagerlysometimes read
    Sometimes, With care, the master pamphlets of the day,day;
    Nor wanted such half-insight as grew wild
    Upon that meagre soil, helped out by talk
    And public news; but having never chancedseen
    To see a regular A chronicle which that might shew—
    If any such indeed existed then—
    Whence the main organs of the public power
    Had sprung, their transmigrations, when and how
    Accomplished (giving thus unto events
    A form and body), all things were to me
    Loose and disjointed, and the affections left
    Without a vital interest.
suffice to show
    Whence the main organs of the public power
    Had sprung, their transmigrations, when and how
    Accomplished, giving thus unto events
    A form and body; all things were to me
    Loose and disjointed, and the affections left
    Without a vital interest.
At that time,
    Moreover, the first storm was overblown,
    And the strong hand of outward violence
    Locked up in quiet. For myself myself, I fear
    Now Now, in connection with so great a themetheme,
    To speak, as speak (as I must be compelled to do,do)
    Of one so unimportant a short time
    I loitered, and frequented
unimportant; night by night
    Routs, card-tables, Did I frequent the formal haunts of menmen,
    Whom Whom, in the city city, privilege of birth
    Sequestered from the rest, societies
    Where, through punctilios of elegancePolished in arts, and in punctilio versed;
    And Whence, and from deeper causes, all discourse, alikediscourse
    Of good and evil, in evil of the time, time was shunned
    With studious care. But 'twas not long ere thisscrupulous care; but these restrictions soon
    Proved tedious, and I gradually withdrew
    Into a noisier world, and thus did soonere long
    Become Became a patriot patriot; and my heart was all
    Given to the people, and my love was theirs.
    A knot band of military officers
    That to a regiment appertained which then
    Was Then stationed in the city city, were the chief
    Of my associates; associates: some of these wore swords
    Which That had been seasoned in the wars, and all
    Were men well-born, at least laid claim to such
    Distinction, as
well-born; the chivalry of France.
    In age and temper differing, they had yet
    One spirit ruling in them all each heart; alike
    (Save only one, hereafter to be named)
    Were bent upon undoing what was done.done:
    This was their rest, rest and only hope; therewith
    No fear had they of bad becoming worse,
    For worst to them was come come; nor would have stirred,
    Or deemed it worth a moment's while thought to stir,
    In any thing, anything, save only as the act
    Looked thitherward. One, reckoning by years,
    Was in the prime of manhood, and erewhile
    He had sate lord in many tender hearts,hearts;
    Though heedless of such honours now, and changed:
    His temper was quite mastered by the times,
    And they had blighted him, had eat eaten away
    The beauty of his person, doing wrong
    Alike to body and to mind. His mind: his port,
    Which once had been erect and open, now
    Was stooping and contracted, and a faceface,
    By nature lovely in itself, Endowed by Nature with her fairest gifts
    Of symmetry and light and bloom,
    As much as any that was ever seen,
    A ravage out of season. season, made by thoughts
    Unhealthy and vexatious. At With the hour,
    The most important That from the press of each day, in whichParis duly brought
    The Its freight of public news was read, news, the fever came,
    A punctual visitant, to shake this man,
    Disarmed his voice and fanned his yellow cheek
    Into a thousand colours. While colours; while he read,
    Or mused, his sword was haunted by his touch
    Continually, like an uneasy place
    In his own body. 'Twas in truth an hour
    Of universal ferment ferment; mildest men
    Were agitated, and commotions, strife
    Of passion and opinion, filled the walls
    Of peaceful houses with unquiet sounds.
    The soil of common life was was, at that timetime,
    Too hot to tread upon. Oft said I then,
    And not then only, 'What "What a mockery this
    Of history, the past and that to come!
    Now do I feel how I have been all men are deceived,
    Reading of nations and their works works, in faith—
    Faith given to vanity and emptiness—
    Oh, laughter for the page that would reflect
    To future times the face of what now is!'
    The land all swarmed with passion, like a plain
    Devoured by locusts Carra, Gorsas add
    A hundred other names, forgotten now,
    Nor to be heard of more; yet were they powers,
    Like earthquakes, shocks repeated day by day,
    And felt through every nook of town and field.
    Faith given to vanity and emptiness;
    Oh! laughter for the page that would reflect
    To future times the face of what now is!"
The men already spoken land all swarmed with passion, like a plain
    Devoured by locusts, Carra, Gorsas, add
    A hundred other names, forgotten now,
    Nor to be heard
of as more; yet, they were powers,
    Like earthquakes, shocks repeated day by day,
    And felt through every nook of town and field.
    Such was the state of things. Meanwhile the
    Of my associates were stood prepared for flight
    To augment the band of emigrants in arms
    Upon the borders of the Rhine, and leagued
    With foreign foes mustered for instant war.
    This was their undisguised intent, and they
    Were waiting with the whole of their desires
    The moment to depart. depart.
An Englishman,
    Born in a land the whose very name of which appeared
    To licence license some unruliness of mind,mind;
    A stranger, with youth's further privilege,
    And that the indulgence which that a half-learned half-learnt speech
    Wins from the courteous, I courteous; I, who had been else
    Shunned and not tolerated tolerated, freely lived
    With these defenders of the crown, Crown, and talked,
    And heard their notions; nor did they disdain
    The wish to bring me over to their cause.
    But though untaught by thinking or by books
    To reason well of polity or law,
    And nice distinctions distinctions, then on every tonguetongue,
    Of natural rights and civil, civil; and to acts
    Of nations, nations and their passing interestsinterests,
    (I speak comparing these (If with other things)unworldly ends and aims compared)
    Almost indifferent, even the historian's tale
    Prizing but little otherwise than I prized
    Tales of poets the poets, as it made my the heart
    Beat high high, and filled my the fancy with fair forms,
    Old heroes and their sufferings and their deeds—
    Yet in the regal sceptre, and the pomp
    Of orders and degrees, I nothing found
    Then, or had ever even in crudest youth,
    That dazzled me, but rather what my soul
    Mourned for, or loathed, beholding that the best
    Ruled not, and feeling that they ought to rule.
    Yet in the regal sceptre, and the pomp
    Of orders and degrees, I nothing found
    Then, or had ever, even in crudest youth,
    That dazzled me, but rather what I mourned
    And ill could brook, beholding that the best
    Ruled not, and feeling that they ought to rule.
For, born in a poor district, and which yet
    Retaineth more of ancient homeliness,
    Manners erect, and frank simplicity,
Than any other nook of English land,ground,
    It was my fortune scarcely to have seenseen,
    Through the whole tenor of my schoolday timeschool-day time,
    The face of one, who, whether boy or man,
    Was vested with attention or respect
    Through claims of wealth or blood. Nor blood; nor was it least
    Of many debts which afterwards I owedbenefits, in later years
    To Cambridge and an Derived from academic life,institutes
    That And rules, that they held something there was holden up to view
    Of a republic, Republic, where all stood thus far
    Upon equal ground, ground; that they we were brothers all
    In honour, as of in one community—
    Scholars and gentlemen where, furthermore,
    Distinction lay open to all that came,
    And wealth and titles were in less esteem
    Than talents and successful industry.
    Scholars and gentlemen; where, furthermore,
    Distinction open lay to all that came,
    And wealth and titles were in less esteem
    Than talents, worth, and prosperous industry,
Add unto this, subservience from the first
    To God and Nature's single sovereignty
presences of awful power),God's mysterious power
    Made manifest in Nature's sovereignty,
And fellowship with venerable booksbooks,
    To sanction the proud workings of the soul,
    And mountain liberty. It could not be
    But that one tutored thus, who had been formed
    To thought and moral feeling in the way
    This story hath described,
thus should look with awe
    Upon the faculties of man, receive
    Gladly the highest promises, and hailhail,
    As best best, the government of equal rights
    And individual worth. And hence, O friend,Friend!
    If at the first great outbreak I rejoiced
    Less than might well befit my youth, the cause
    In part lay here, that unto me the events
    seemed Seemed nothing out of nature's certain course—
    A gift that rather was come late than soon.
    A gift that was come rather late than soon.
No wonder then wonder, then, if advocates like thesethese,
    Whom I have mentioned, Inflamed by passion, blind with prejudice,
    And stung with injury,
at this riper dayday,
    Were impotent to make my hopes put on
    The shape of theirs, my understanding bend
    In honour to their honour. Zeal honour: zeal, which yet
    Had slumbered, now in opposition burst
    Forth like a Polar summer. Every summer: every word
    They uttered was a dart dart, by counter-winds
    Blown back upon themselves; their reason seemed
    Confusion-stricken by a higher power
    Than human understanding, their discourse
    Maimed, spiritless spiritless; and, in their weakness strong,
    I triumphed.
    Meantime Meantime, day by day day, the roads,
    While I consorted with these royalists,
    Were crowded with the bravest youth of FranceFrance,
    And all the promptest of her spirits, linked
    In gallant soldiership, and posting on
    To meet the war upon her bounds.
    Yet at this very moment do tears start
    Into mine eyes eyes: I do not say I weep,
    I wept not then, but tears have dimmed my sight—
    In memory of the farewells of that time,
    Domestic severings, female fortitude
    At dearest separation, patriot love
    And self-devotion, and terrestrial hope
    Encouraged with a martyr's confidence.
    Even files of strangers merely, seen but once
    And for a moment, men from far, with sound
    Of music, martial tunes, and banners spread,
    Entering the city, here and there a face
    Or person singled out among the rest
    Yet still a stranger, and beloved as such—
    Even by these passing spectacles my heart
    Was oftentimes uplifted, and they seemed
    Like arguments from Heaven that 'twas a cause
    Good, and which no one could stand up against
    Who was not lost, abandoned, selfish, proud,
    Mean, miserable, wilfully depraved,
    Hater perverse of equity and truth.
    I wept not then, but tears have dimmed my sight,
    In memory of the farewells of that time,
    Domestic severings, female fortitude
    At dearest separation, patriot love
    And self-devotion, and terrestrial hope,
    Encouraged with a martyr's confidence;
    Even files of strangers merely seen but once,
    And for a moment, men from far with sound
    Of music, martial tunes, and banners spread,
    Entering the city, here and there a face,
    Or person, singled out among the rest,
    Yet still a stranger and beloved as such;
    Even by these passing spectacles my heart
    Was oftentimes uplifted, and they seemed
    Arguments sent from Heaven to prove the cause
    Good, pure, which no one could stand up against,
    Who was not lost, abandoned, selfish, proud,
    Mean, miserable, wilfully depraved,
    Hater perverse of equity and truth.

    Among that band of officers Officers was one,
    Already hinted at, of other mold—
    A patriot, thence rejected by the rest,
    And with an oriental loathing spurned
    As of a different cast.
A patriot, thence rejected by the rest,
    And with an oriental loathing spurned,
    As of a different caste. A
meeker man
    Than this lived never, or nor a more benign—
    Meek, though enthusiastic to the height
    Of highest expectation.
    Meek though enthusiastic.
    Made him 'him' more gracious, and his nature then
    Did breathe its sweetness out most sensibly,
    As aromatic flowers on Alpine turfturf,
    When foot hath crushed them. He through the events
    Of that great change wandered in perfect faith,
    As through a book, an old romance, or tale
    Of Fairy, or some dream of actions wrought
    Behind the summer clouds. By birth he ranked
    With the most noble, but unto the poor
    Among mankind he was in service boundbound,
    As by some tie invisible, oaths professed
    To a religious order. Man he loved
    As man, and man; and, to the mean and the obscure,
    And all the homely in their homely works,
    Transferred a courtesy which had no air
    Of condescension, condescension; but did rather seem
    A passion and a gallantry, like that
    Which he, a soldier, in his idler day
    Had payed paid to woman. Somewhat woman: somewhat vain he was,
    Or seemed so so, yet it was not vanity,
    But fondness, and a kind of radiant joy
    That covered him about when Diffused around him, while he was bentintent
    On works of love or freedom, or revolved
    Complacently the progress of a causecause,
    Whereof he was a part—yet this was meek
    And placid, and took nothing from the man
    That was delightful.
part: yet this was meek
    And placid, and took nothing from the man
    That was delightful.
Oft in solitude
    With him did I discourse about the end
    Of civil government, and its wisest forms,forms;
    Of ancient prejudice loyalty, and chartered rights,
    Allegiance, faith, and laws by time matured,
Custom and habit, novelty and change,change;
    Of self-respect, and virtue in the few
    For patrimonial honour set apart,
    And ignorance in the labouring multitude.
    For he, an upright man and tolerant,to all intolerance indisposed,
    Balanced these contemplations in his mind,mind;
    And I, who at that time was scarcely dipped
    Into the turmoil, had bore a sounder judgementjudgment
    Than afterwards, later days allowed; carried about me yetme,
    With less alloy to its integrityintegrity,
    The experience of past ages, as as, through help
    Of books and common life life, it finds its makes sure way
    To youthful minds, by objects over near
    Not pressed upon, nor dazzled or misled
    By struggling with the crowd for present ends.
    But though not deaf and deaf, nor obstinate to find
    Error without apology on excuse upon the side
    Of those them who were strove against us, more delight
    We took, and let this freely be confessed,
    In painting to ourselves the miseries
    Of royal courts, and that voluptuous life
    Unfeeling Unfeeling, where the man who is of soul
    The meanest thrives the most, most; where dignity,
    True personal dignity, abideth not—
    A light and cruel world, cut off from all
    The natural inlets of just sentiment,
    From lowly sympathy, and chastening truth,
    When good and evil never have the name,
    That which they ought to have, but wrong prevails,
    And vice at home. We added dearest themes,
    Man A light, a cruel, and his noble nature, as it isvain world cut off
    The gift From the natural inlets of God and lies in his own power,just sentiment,
    His blind desires From lowly sympathy and steady faculties
    Capable of clear truth, the one to break
    Bondage, the other to build liberty
    On firm foundations, making social life,
chastening truth;
    Through knowledge spreading Where good and imperishable,evil interchange their names,
    As just in regulation, and as pure,And thirst for bloody spoils abroad is paired
    As individual in the wise and good.With vice at home. We added dearest themes—
    Man and his noble nature, as it is
    The gift which God has placed within his power,
    His blind desires and steady faculties
    Capable of clear truth, the one to break
    Bondage, the other to build liberty
    On firm foundations, making social life,
    Through knowledge spreading and imperishable,
    As just in regulation, and as pure
    As individual in the wise and good.

    We summoned up the honorable honourable deeds
    Of ancient story, Story, thought of each bright spotspot,
    That could would be found in all recorded time,
    Of truth preserved and error passed away,away;
    Of single spirits that catch the flame from heaven,Heaven,
    And how the multitude multitudes of men will feed
    And fan each other other; thought of sects, how keen
    They are to put the appropriate nature on,
    Triumphant over every obstacle
    Of custom, language, country, love and love, or hate,
    And what they do and suffer for their creed,creed;
    How far they travel, and how long endure—
    How quickly mighty nations have been formed
    From least beginnings, how, together locked
    By new opinions, scattered tribes have made
    One body, spreading wide as clouds in heaven.
    How quickly mighty Nations have been formed,
    From least beginnings; how, together locked
    By new opinions, scattered tribes have made
    One body, spreading wide as clouds in heaven.
To aspirations then of our own minds
    Did we appeal; and, finally, beheld
    A living confirmation of the whole
    Before us us, in a people risen upfrom the depth
    Of shameful imbecility uprisen,
Fresh as the morning star. Elate we looked
    Upon their virtues, saw virtues; saw, in rudest menmen,
    Self-sacrifice the firmest, firmest; generous lovelove,
    And continence of mind, and sense of rightright,
    Uppermost in the midst of fiercest strife.
    Oh, sweet it is is, in academic groves—
    Or such retirement, friend, as we have known
    Among the mountains by our Rotha's stream,
    Greta, or Derwent, or some nameless rill—
    To ruminate, with interchange of talk,
    On rational liberty and hope in man,
    Justice and peace. But far more sweet such toil
    (Toil, say I, for it leads to thoughts abstruse)Or such retirement, Friend! as we have known
    If Nature then be standing on In the brinkgreen dales beside our Rotha's stream,
    Of Greta, or Derwent, or some great trial, and we hear the voice
    Of one devoted, one whom circumstance
nameless rill,
    Hath called upon to embody his deep senseTo ruminate, with interchange of talk,
    In action, give it outwardly a shape,On rational liberty, and hope in man,
    And that of benediction to the world.Justice and peace. But far more sweet such toil—
    Toil, say I, for it leads to thoughts abstruse
    If nature then be standing on the brink
    Of some great trial, and we hear the voice
    Of one devoted, one whom circumstance
    Hath called upon to embody his deep sense
    In action, give it outwardly a shape,
    And that of benediction, to the world.

    Then doubt is not, and truth is more than truth—
    A hope it is and a desire, a creed
    Of zeal by an authority divine
    Sanctioned, of danger, difficulty, or death.
    A hope it is, and a desire; a creed
    Of zeal, by an authority Divine
    Sanctioned, of danger, difficulty, or death.

    Such conversation conversation, under Attic shadesshades,
    Did Dion hold with Plato, Plato; ripened thus
    For a deliverer's Deliverer's glorious task, and such
    He, on that ministry already bound,
    Held with Eudemus and Timonides,
    Surrounded by adventurers in arms,
    When those two vessels with their daring freightfreight,
    For the Sicilian tyrant's overthrowTyrant's overthrow,
    Sailed from Zacynthus philosophic war
    Led by philosophers.
Zacynthus,—philosophic war,
    Led by Philosophers.
With harder fate,
    Though like ambition, such was he, O friend,Friend!
    Of whom I speak. So Beaupuis let (let the name
    Stand near the worthiest of antiquity—
    Fashioned his life, and many a long discourse
    With like persuasion honored we maintained,
    He on his part accoutred for the worst.
    Fashioned his life; and many a long discourse,
    With like persuasion honoured, we maintained:
    He, on his part, accoutred for the worst,
He perished fighting, in supreme command,
    Upon the borders of the unhappy Loire,
    For liberty, against deluded men,
    His fellow countrymen; fellow-countrymen; and yet most blessed
    In this, that he the fate of later times
    Lived not to see, nor what we now beholdbehold,
    Who have as ardent hearts as he had then.
    Along that very Loire, with festivalsfestal mirth
    Resounding at all hours, and innocent yet
    Of civil slaughter, was our frequent walk,walk;
    Or in wide forests of the neighbourhood,continuous shade,
    High woods Lofty and over-arched, with open space
    On every side, and Beneath the trees, clear footing many a mile,mile
    Inwoven roots, and moss smooth as the sea—
    A solemn region. Often in such place
A solemn region. Oft amid those haunts,
    From earnest dialogues I slipped in thought,
    And let remembrance steal to other timestimes,
    When hermits, When, o'er those interwoven roots, moss-clad,
    And smooth as marble or a waveless sea,
    Some Hermit,
from their sheds and caves forth strayed,his cell forth-strayed, might pace
    Walked by themselves, so met in shades like these,In sylvan meditation undisturbed;
    And As on the pavement of a Gothic church
    Walks a lone Monk, when service hath expired,
    In peace and silence. But
if e'er was heard,
    Heard, though unseen,
a devious traveller was heardtraveller,
    Approaching Retiring or approaching from a distance, as might chance,afar
    With speed and echoes loud of trampling hoofs
    From the hard floor reverberated, then
    It was Angelica thundering through the woods
    Upon her palfrey, or that gentler gentle maid
    Erminia, fugitive as fair as she.
    Sometimes methought I saw methought a pair of knights
    Joust underneath the trees, that as in storm
    Did rock Rocked high above their heads, anon heads; anon, the din
    Of boisterous merriment merriment, and music's roar,
    With In sudden proclamation, burst from haunt
    Of satyrs Satyrs in some viewless glade, with dance
    Rejoicing o'er a female in the midst,
    A mortal beauty, their unhappy thrall.
    The width of those huge forests, unto me
    A novel scene, did often in this way
    Master my fancy while I wandered on
    With that revered companion. And sometimes
    When to a convent in a meadow green
    By a brook-side we came a roofless pile,
    And not by reverential touch of time
    Dismantled, but by violence abrupt—
    In spite of those heart-bracing colloquies,
    In spite of real fervour, and of that
    Less genuine and wrought up within myself,
    I could not but bewail a wrong so harsh,
    And for the matin-bell to sound no more
    Grieved, and the evening taper, and the cross
    High on the topmost pinnacle, a sign
    Admonitory to the traveller,
    First seen above the woods.

    When to a convent in a meadow green,
    By a brook-side, we came, a roofless pile,
    And not by reverential touch of Time
    Dismantled, but by violence abrupt—
    In spite of those heart-bracing colloquies,
    In spite of real fervour, and of that
    Less genuine and wrought up within myself
    I could not but bewail a wrong so harsh,
    And for the Matin-bell to sound no more
    Grieved, and the twilight taper, and the cross
    High on the topmost pinnacle, a sign
    (How welcome to the weary traveller's eyes !)
    Of hospitality and peaceful rest.

    And when my friendthe partner of those varied walks
    Pointed upon occasion to the site
    Of Romarentin, Romorentin, home of ancient kings,
    To the imperial edifice of Blois,
    Or to that rural castle, name now slipped
    From my remembrance, where a lady lodgedlodged,
    By the first Francis wooed, and bound to him
    In chains of mutual passion passion, from the tower,
    As a tradition of the country tells,
    Practised to commune with her royal knight
    By cressets and love-beacons, intercourse
    'Twixt her high-seated residence and his
    Far off at Chambord on the plain beneath—
    Even here, though less than with the peaceful house
    Religious, 'mid these frequent monuments
    Of kings, their vices and their better deeds,
    Imagination, potent to enflame
    At times with virtuous wrath and noble scorn,
    Did also often mitigate the force
    Of civic prejudice, the bigotry,
    So call it, of a youthful patriot's mind,
    And on these spots with many gleams I looked
    Of chivalrous delight.
    Even here, though less than with the peaceful house
    Religious, 'mid those frequent monuments
    Of Kings, their vices and their better deeds,
    Imagination, potent to inflame
    At times with virtuous wrath and noble scorn,
    Did also often mitigate the force
    Of civic prejudice, the bigotry,
    So call it, of a youthful patriot's mind;
    And on these spots with many gleams I looked
    Of chivalrous delight.
Yet not the less,
    Hatred of absolute rule, where will of one
    Is law for all, and of that barren pride
    In those who them who, by immunities unjustunjust,
    Betwixt Between the sovereign and the people stand,
    His helpers helper and not theirs, laid stronger hold
    Daily upon me me, mixed with pity too,too
    And love, love; for where hope is, there love will be
    For the abject multitude. multitude, And when we chanced
    One day to meet a hunger-bitten girlgirl,
    Who crept along fitting her languid selfgait
    Unto a heifer's motion motion, by a cord
    Tied to her arm, and picking thus from the lane
    Its sustenance, while the girl with her two pallid hands
    Was busy knitting in a heartless mood
    Of solitude solitude, and at the sight my friend
    In agitation said, "Tis "'T is against that'that'
    Which That we are fighting', fighting," I with him believed
    Devoutly that That a benignant spirit was abroad
    Which could might not be withstood, that poverty,poverty
    At least like this, Abject as this would in a little time
    Be found no more, that we should see the earth
    Unthwarted in her wish to recompense
    The industrious, and meek, the lowly lowly, patient child of toil,
    All institutes for ever blotted out
    That legalized legalised exclusion, empty pomp
    Abolished, sensual state and cruel power,power
    Whether by edict of the one or few—
    And finally, as sum and crown of all,
    Should see the people having a strong hand
    In making their own laws, whence better days
    To all mankind.
    And finally, as sum and crown of all,
    Should see the people having a strong hand
    In framing their own laws; whence better days
    To all mankind.
But, these things set apart,
    Was not the this single confidence enough
    To animate the mind that ever turned
    A thought to human welfare? that That henceforth
    Captivity by mandate without law
    Should cease, cease; and open accusation lead
    To sentence in the hearing of the world,
    And open punishment, if not the air
    Be free to breathe in, and the heart of man
    Dread nothing. Having touched From this argument
height I shall not, as my purpose was, take notenot stoop
    Of other matters which To humbler matter that detained us oft
    In thought or conversation conversation, public acts,
    And public persons, and the emotions wrought
    Within our minds by the breast, as ever-varying windwinds
    Of record and or report which day by day
swept over us but I will here instead
    Draw from obscurity a tragic tale,
    Not in its spirit singular, indeed,
    But haply worth memorial, as I heard
    The events related by my patriot friend
    And others who had borne a part therein.
    Oh, happy time of youthful lovers thus
    My story may begin oh, balmy time
    In which a love-knot on a lady's brow
    Is fairer than the fairest star in heaven!
    To such inheritance of blessedness
    Young Vaudracour was brought by years that had
    A little overstepped his stripling prime.
    A town of small repute in the heart of France
    Was the youth's birthplace; there he vowed his love
    To Julia, a bright maid from parents sprung
    Not mean in their condition, but with rights
    Unhonoured of nobility and hence
    The father of the young man, who had place
    Among that order, spurned the very thought
    Of such alliance. From their cradles up,
    With but
might here, instead, repeat a step between their several homes,tale,
    Th pair had thriven together year Told by year,
    Friends, playmates, twins in pleasure, after strife
    And petty quarrels had grown fond again,
    Each other's advocate, each other's help,
    Nor ever happy if they were apart.
    A basis this for deep and solid love,
    And endless constancy, and placid truth.—
    But whatsoever of such treasures might,
    Beneath the outside of their youth, have lain
    Reserved for mellower years, his present mind
    Was under fascination he beheld
    A vision, and he loved the thing he saw.
    Arabian fiction never filled the world
    With half the wonders that were wrought for him:
    Earth lived in one great presence of the spring,
    Life turned the meanest
my Patriot friend, of her implementssad events,
    Before his eyes That prove to price above all gold,
    The house she dwelt in was a sainted shrine,
    Her chamber-window did surpass in glory
    The portals of
what low depth had struck the east, all paradiseroots,
    Could by How widely spread the simple opening boughs, of a door
    Let itself in upon him pathways, walks,
    Swarmed with enchantment, till his spirits sunk
    Beneath the burthen, overblessed for life.
    This state was theirs, till whether through effect
    Of some delirious hour, or
that the youth,
    Seeing so many bars betwixt himself
    And the dear haven where he wished to be
    In honorable wedlock with his love,
old tree
    Without Which, as a certain knowledge of his own
    Was inwardly prepared to turn aside
    From law and custom
deadly mischief, and entrust himself
    To Nature for
a happy end of all,
    And thus abated of that pure reserve
    Congenial to his loyal heart, with which
    It would have pleased him to attend the steps
    Of maiden so divinely beautiful,
    I know not but reluctantly must add
    That Julia, yet without the name of wife,
    Carried about her for a secret grief
    The promise of a mother.
    To conceal
    The threatened shame the parents of the maid
    Found means to hurry her away, by night
    And unforewarned, that in a distant town
    She might remain shrouded in privacy
    Until the babe
black dishonour, France was born. When morning came
    The lover, thus bereft, stung with his loss
    And all uncertain whither he should turn,
    Chafed like a wild beast in the toils. At length,
    Following as his suspicions led, he found—
    O joy! sure traces of the fugitives,
    Pursued them to the town where they had stopped,
    And lastly to the very house itself
    Which had been chosen for the maid's retreat.
    The sequel may be easily divined:
    Walks backwards, forwards, morning, noon, and night
    (When decency and caution would allow),
    And Julia, who, whenever to herself
    She happened to be left a moment's space,
    Was busy at her casement as a swallow
    About its nest, erelong did thus espy
    Her lover; thence a stolen interview
    By night accomplished, with a ladder's help.
    I pass the raptures of the pair, such theme
    Hath by a hundred poets been set forth
    In more delightful verse than skill of mine
    Could fashion chiefly by that darling bard
    Who told of Juliet and her Romeo,
    And of the lark's note heard before its time,
    And of the streaks that laced the evening clouds
    In the unrelenting east. 'Tis mine to tread
    The humbler province of plain history,
    And, without choice of circumstance, submissively
    Relate what I have heard. The lovers came
    To this resolve with which they parted, pleased
    And confident that Vaudracour should hie
    Back to his father's house, and there employ
    Means aptest to obtain a sum of gold,
    A final portion even, if that might be;
    Which done, together they could then take flight
    To some remote and solitary place
    Where they might live with no one to behold
    Their happiness, or to disturb their love.
    Immediately, and with this mission charged,
    Home to his father's house did he return,
weary of.
    And there remained a Oh, happy time without hint given
    Of his design. But if a word were dropped
    Touching the matter
of his passion, still,
    In hearing of his father, Vaudracour
    Persisted openly that nothing less
    Than death should make him yield up hope to be
    A blessed husband of the maid he loved.
    Incensed at such obduracy, and slight
    Of exhortations and remonstrances,
    The father threw out threats that by a mandate
    Bearing the private signet of the state
    He should be baffled of his mad intent—
    And that should cure him. From this time the youth
    Conceived a terror, and by night or day
    Stirred nowhere without arms. Soon afterwards
    His parents to their country seat withdrew
    Upon some feigned occasion, and the son
    Was left with one attendant in the house.
    Retiring to his chamber for the night,
    While he was entering at the door, attempts
    Were made to seize him by three armed men,
youthful lovers, (thus
    The instruments of ruffian power. The youthstory might begin,) oh, balmy time,
    In the first impulse of his rage laid one
    Dead at his feet, and to the second gave
    A perilous wound
which done, at sight
    Of the dead man, he peacefully resigned
    His person to the law, was lodged in prison,
    And wore the fetters of
a criminal.
    Through three weeks' space, by means which love devised,
    The maid in her seclusion had received
    Tidings of Vaudracour, and how he sped
    Upon his enterprize. Thereafter came
    A silence; half
love-knot, on a circle did the moonlady's brow,
    Complete, and then a whole, and still Is fairer than the same
    Silence; a thousand thousand fears and hopes
    Stirred in her mind thoughts waking, thoughts of sleep,
fairest star in each other and at last
    Self-slaughter seemed her only resting-place:
    So did she fare in her uncertainty.
    At length, by interference of a friend,
    One who had sway at court, the youth regained
    His liberty, on promise to sit down
    Quietly in his father's house, nor take
    One step to reunite himself with her
    Of whom his parents disapproved hard law,
    To which he gave consent only because
    His freedom else could nowise by procured.
    Back to his father's house he went, remained
    Eight days, and then his resolution failed—
    He fled to Julia, and the words with which
    He greeted her were these: 'All right is gone,
    Gone from me. Thou no longer now art mine,
    I thine. A murderer, Julia, cannot love
    An innocent woman. I behold thy face,
    I see thee,
might and my misery is complete.'
    She could not give him answer; afterwards
    She coupled
with his father's name some words
    Of vehement indignation, but the youth
    Checked her, nor would he hear of this, for thought
    Unfilial, or unkind, had never once
    Found harbour in his breast. The lovers, thus
    United once again, together lived
    For a few days, which were to Vaudracour
    Days of dejection, sorrow and remorse
that ill deed of violence which his hand
    Had hastily committed for the youth
    Was of a loyal spirit, a conscience nice,
    And over tender for the trial which
prelude 'did' begin
    His fate had called him to. The father's mind
    Meanwhile remained unchanged, and Vaudracour
    Learned that a mandate had been newly issued
    To arrest him on the spot. Oh pain it was
    To part! he could not, and he lingered still
    To the last moment of his time, and then,
    At dead of night, with snow upon the ground,
    He left the city, and
record; and, in villages,
    The most sequestered of the neighbourhood,
    Lay hidden for the space of several days,
    Until, the horseman bringing back report
    That he
faithful verse, was nowhere to be found, the search
    Was ended. Back returned the ill-fated youth,
    And from the house where Julia lodged to which
    He now found open ingress, having gained
    The affection of the family, who loved him
    Both for his own, and for the maiden's sake—
    One night retiring, he was seized.
doleful sequel.
    But here
    A portion of the tale may well be left
    In silence, though my memory could add
    Much how the youth, and in short space of time,
    Was traversed from without much, too, of thoughts
    By which he was employed in solitude
    Under privation and restraint, and what
    Through dark and shapeless fear of things to come,
our little bark
    And what through On a strong compunction for the past,
    He suffered, breaking down in heart and mind.
    Such grace, if grace it were, had
river boldly hath been vouchsafed
    Or such effect had through the father's want
    Of power, or through his negligence, ensued—
    That Vaudracour was suffered to remain,
    Though under guard and without liberty,
    In the same city with the unhappy maid
    From whom he was divided. So they fared,
    Objects of general concern, till, moved
    With pity for their wrongs, the magistrate
    (The same who had placed the youth in custody)
    By application to the minister
    Obtained his liberty upon condition
    That to his father's house he should return.
    He left his prison almost on the eve
    Of Julia's travail. She had likewise been,
    As And from the time, indeed, when she had first
    Been brought for secresy to this abode,
    Though treated with consoling tenderness,
driving current should we turn
    Herself a prisoner To loiter wilfully within a dejected one,creek,
    Filled with a lover's and a woman's fears—
    And whensoe'er the mistress of the house
    Entered the room for the last time at night,
    And Julia with a low and plaintive voice
    Said, 'You are coming then to lock me up',
    The housewife when these words always the same—
    Were by her captive languidly pronounced,
    Could never hear them uttered without tears.
Howe'er attractive, Fellow voyager!
    A day or two before her childbed timeWould'st thou not chide? Yet deem not my pains lost:
    Was For Vaudracour restored to her, and, soon
    As he might be permitted to return
    Into her chamber after the child's birth,
    The master of the family begged that all
    The household might be summoned, doubting not
    But that they might receive impressions then
    Friendly to human kindness. Vaudracour
    (This heard I from one present at the time)
    Held up the new-born infant in his arms
    And kissed,
and blessed, and covered it with tears,
    Uttering a prayer that he might never be
    As wretched as his father. Then he gave
    The child to her who bare it, and she too
    Repeated the same prayer took it again,
    And, muttering something faintly afterwards,
    He gave the infant to the standers-by,
    And wept in silence upon Julia's neck.
    Two months did he continue in the house,
    And often yielded up himself to plans
    Of future happiness. 'You shall return,
    Julia', said he, 'and to your father's house
    Go with your child; you have been wretched, yet
    It is a town where both of us
Julia (so were born—
    None will reproach you, for our loves are known.
    With ornaments the prettiest you shall dress
    Your boy, as soon as he can run about,
    And when he thus is at his play my father
    Will see him from the window, and the child
    Will by his beauty move his grandsire's heart,
    So that it shall be softened, and our loves
    End happily, as they began.' These gleams
    Appeared but seldom; oftener he was seen
    Propping a pale and melancholy face
    Upon the mother's bosom, resting thus
    His head upon one breast, while from the other
    The babe was drawing in its quiet food.
    At other times, when he in silence long
    And fixedly had looked upon her face,
    He would exclaim, 'Julia, how much thine eyes
    Have cost me! During daytime, when the child
ill-fated pair) in its cradle, by its side he sate,
    Not quitting it an instant. The whole town
    In his unmerited misfortunes now
    Took part, and if he either at the door
    Or window for a moment with his child
    Appeared, immediately the street was thronged;
    While others, frequently, without reserve,
    Passed and repassed before the house to steal
    A look at him. Oft at this time he wrote
    Requesting, since he knew
that the consent
    Of Julia's parents never could be gained
    To a clandestine marriage, that his father
plain tale will draw
    Would Tears from the birthright hearts of an eldest son
    Exclude him, giving but,
others, when this was done,
    A sanction to his nuptials. Vain request,
their own
    To which Shall beat no answer was returned.
    And now
    From her own home the mother of his love
    Arrived to apprise the daughter of her fixed
    and last resolve, that, since all hope to move
    The old man's heart proved vain, she must retire
    Into a convent and be
more. Thou, also, there immured.
    Julia was thunderstricken by these words,
    And she insisted on a mother's rights
    To take her child along with her a grant
    Impossible, as she at last perceived.
may'st read,
    The persons of At leisure, how the house no sooner heard
    Of this decision upon Julia's fate
    Than everyone
enamoured youth was overwhelmed with grief,
    Nor could they frame a manner soft enough
    To impart the tidings to the youth. But great
    Was their astonishment when they beheld him
    Receive the news in calm despondency,
    Composed and silent, without outward sign
    Of even the least emotion. Seeing this,
    When Julia scattered some upbraiding words
    Upon his slackness, he thereto returned
    No answer, only took the mother's hand
    (Who loved him scarcely less than her own child)
    And kissed it, without seeming to be pressed
    By any pain that 'twas the hand of one
    Whose errand was to part him from his love
    For ever. In the city he remained
    A season after Julia had retired
    And in the convent taken up her home,
    To the end that he might place his infant babe
    With a fit nurse; which done, beneath the roof
    Where now his little one was lodged he passed
    The day entire, and scarcely could at length
    Tear himself from the cradle
public power abased, to returnfatal crime,
    Home to his father's house in which he dweltNature's rebellion against monstrous law;
    Awhile, How, between heart and then came back that he might see
    Whether the babe had gained sufficient strength
    To bear removal. He quitted this same town
    For the last time, attendant by the side
    Of a close chair, a litter or sedan,
    In which the child was carried. To a hill
    Which rose at a league's distance from the town
heart, oppression thrust
    The family of the house where he Her mandates, severing whom true love had lodged
    Attended him, and parted from him there,
    Watching below Harassing both; until he disappeared
    On the hill-top. His eyes he scarcely took
    Through all that journey from the chair in which
    The babe was carried,
sank and at every inn
    Or place at which they halted or reposed
    Laid him upon his knees, nor would permit
    The hands of any but himself to dress
    The infant, or undress. By one of those
    Who bore the chair these facts, at his return,
    Were told, and in relating them he wept.
    This was the manner in which Vaudracour
    Departed with
couch his infant, and thus reachedfate had made for him; supine,
    His father's house, where to Save when the innocent child
    Admittance was denied. The young man spake
    No words of indignation or reproof,
stings of his father begged, a last request,
    That a retreat might be assigned to him
    A house where in the country he might dwell
    With such allowance as his wants required—
    And the more lonely that the mansion was
    'Twould be more welcome. To a lodge that stood
    Deep in a forest, with leave given, at the age
    Of four and twenty summers he retired,
    And thither took with him his infant babe
viperous remorse,
    And one domestic for Trying their common needs,
    An aged woman. It consoled
strength, enforced him here
    To attend upon the orphan and perform
    The office of a nurse
to his young child,start up,
    Which, after Aghast and prayerless. Into a short time, by some mistake
    Or indiscretion of the father, died.
deep wood
    The tale I follow He fled, to its recess
    Of suffering or of peace, I know not which—
    Theirs be the blame who caused the woe, not mine.
    From that time forth he never uttered word 920
    To any living. An inhabitant
    Of that same town in which
shun the pair had left
    So lively a remembrance of their griefs,
    By chance
haunts of business coming within reach
    Of his retirement, to the spot repaired
    With the intent to visit him; he reached
human kind;
    The house There dwelt, weakened in spirit more and only found the matron there,
    Who told him that his pains were thrown away,
    For that her master never uttered word
    To living soul not even to her. Behold,
    While they were speaking Vaudracour approached,
    But, seeing some one there, just as his hand
    Was stretched towards the garden-gate, he shrunk
    And like a shadow glided out of view.
    Shocked at his savage outside, from the place
    The visitor retired.
    Thus lived the youth,
    Cut off from all intelligence with man,
    And shunning even the light of common day.
    Nor could the voice of freedom, Freedom, which through France
    Soon afterwards Full speedily resounded, public hope,
    Or personal memory of his own deep worst wrongs,
    Rouze him, but Rouse him; but, hidden in those solitary shadesgloomy shades,
    His days he wasted, an imbecile mind.