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Title: The Purgatory of St. Patrick

Author: Pedro Calderón de la Barca

Translator: Denis Florence MacCarthy

Release date: August 1, 2004 [eBook #6371]
Most recently updated: December 29, 2020

Language: English


Produced by Sue Asscher







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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CLAPHAM PARK, Easter, 1873.

* * * * *






* * * * *

EGERIUS, King of Ireland.
POLONIA, Daughter of the King.
LESBIA, her Sister.
PAUL, a Peasant.
LUCY, his Wife.
Two Canons Regular.
Two Peasants.
An Old Countryman.
A Muffled Figure.
Attendants, Friars, and others.

* * * * *

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


* * * * *



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

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

LEOGAIRE. Oh, stop, my lord!

CAPTAIN. Consider . . .

LESBIA. Listen . . .

POLONIA. Stay . . .

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

LESBIA. Why wildly seekest thou the sea?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

POLONIA returns.

POLONIA. O dire misfortune!

KING. What so suddenly
Has chanced, Polonia?

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

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

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

* * * * *



PATRICK [within]. Ah me!

LEOGAIRE. Some mournful voice.

KING. What's this?

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

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

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

[Enter PATRICK and LUIS ENIUS, clasping each other.

PATRICK. Oh, God save me!

LUIS. Oh, the devil save ME!

LESBIA. They move my pity, these unhappy two.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


POLONIA. Forbear, and let him die.

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

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

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

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

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

LESBIA. Patrick moves my heart to pity.

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

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

LUIS. What is that?

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

LUIS. Such a word dost ask me?


LUIS. Then I give it.

PATRICK. I accept it.

* * * * *




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

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


PAUL and LUCY; afterwards PHILIP.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PAUL. Then say what?

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

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

[PHILIP returns.

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


LEOGAIRE, an Old Peasant, and PATRICK.

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

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

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

PAUL. Mighty lord does he call him?

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

PHILIP. Give me, good Leogaire, your arms.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

OLD MAN. Oh, what modesty!

PAUL. What humility!

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


An Angel. — THE SAME.

ANGEL. Patrick!

PATRICK. Ah! who calls me?

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

ANGEL. Patrick!

PATRICK. Ah! who calls me?


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

* * * * *


The Angel and PATRICK.

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


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

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

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

ANGEL. Read the letter.

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

ANGEL. Open it.

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

ANGEL. Look into this shining mirror.

PATRICK. Heavens!

ANGEL. What seest thou inside?

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

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

* * * * *




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

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

* * * * *



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

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

POLONIA. This hand.

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

POLONIA. Woe is me!

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

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

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

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


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

PHILIP. Say, what?

LUIS. You've lied!

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

POLONIA. Oh, ye skies!

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

* * * * *


EGERIUS and soldiers. — THE SAME.

KING. What is this?

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

KING. Seize him.

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

KING. That this should rise!—
Follow him.

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

[All enter fighting.

* * * * *


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

* * * * *


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

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

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

* * * * *



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

* * * *



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

* * * * *



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

* * * * *


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

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

[Enter The King, PHILIP, and LEOGAIRE.

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

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

LEOGAIRE. My lord,
I saw entering here Polonia.

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

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

POLONIA. God of Patrick, listen to my cry!

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

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

* * * * *



LUCY [within]. Who's there?

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

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

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

LUCY [within]. Who's there?

LUIS. A traveller, I say.

PAUL [within]. A traveller?

LUIS. Yes.

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

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

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

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

[Enter PAUL and LUCY.
Who's there?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *


POLONIA dead; and afterwards PATRICK. — THE SAME.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[PATRICK enters.

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

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

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

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


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

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

KING. What! you do not answer?

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

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

* * * * *


THE SAME, with the exception of POLONIA.

PHILIP. How prodigious!

CAPTAIN. How stupendous!

LESBIA. What a miracle!

LEOGAIRE. What a marvel!

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

ALL. Christ is God, the one true God.

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

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

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

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

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

* * * * *



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

* * * * *


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

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

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

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

* * * * *


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

KING. What would'st thou?

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

PHILIP. Be the rash attempt deferred.

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHILIP. Sire, I dare not go.

KING. Then, Captain, thou?

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

KING. Leogaire, thou'lt surely dare?

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

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

POLONIA. How terrible!

LEOGAIRE. How awful!

PHILIP. What a wonder!

CAPTAIN. The earth is breathing out its central fire.

LEOGAIRE. The axes of the sky are burst asunder.

POLONIA. The heavens are loosening their collected ire.

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

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

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

* * * * *



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

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

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

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

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

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

LUIS. Is Patrick dead?

PAUL. So I from our host have heard.

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

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

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

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

LUIS. to your questions thus I yield:
Yes, I forced you, as you mention,
From your house, and my intention
Was to kill you in the field;
But I thought it best instead
You to make my steps attend
As my comrade and my friend,
Shaking off the mortal dread
Which forbad me to endure
Any stranger, and in fine,
That your arms being joined with mine,
I might feel the more secure.
Many a land, both far and near,
Passing through you fared right well;
And now answering I will tell
Why it is that we come here.
And 'tis this: I come to slay
Here a man who did me wrong,
'Tis for this I pass along,
Muffled in this curious way,
Hiding country, dress, and name;
And the night suits best for me,
For my powerful enemy
Can the first position claim
In the land. Since I avow
Why I hither have been led,
Listen now how I have sped
In my project until now.
I three days ago was brought
To this city in disguise,
For two nights, beneath the skies,
I my enemy have sought
In his street and at his door;
Twice a muffled figure came
And disturbed me in my aim,
Twice he called and stalked before
Him I followed in the street;
But when I the figure neared,
Suddenly he disappeared
As if wings were on his feet.
I this third night have brought you,
That should this mysterious shape
Come again, he sha'nt escape,
Being caught between us two;
Who he is we then can see.

PAUL. Two? who are they?

LUIS. You and I.

PAUL. I'm not one.

LUIS. Not one? How? Why?

PAUL. No, sir, no. I cannot be
One, nor half a one. These stories
Faith! would frighten fifty Hectors;
What know I of Lady Spectres,
Or of Lord Don Purgatories?
All through life I've kept aloof
From the other world's affairs,
Shunning much superfluous cares;
But, my courage put to proof,
Bid me face a thousand men,
And if I don't cut and run
From the thousand, nay, from one,
Never trust to me again.
For I think it quite a case
Fit for Bedlam, if so high,
That a man would rather die,
Than just take a little race.
Such a trifle! Sir, to me
Life is precious; leave me here,
Where you'd find me, never fear.

LUIS. Here's the house; to-night I'll be,
Philip, your predestined fate.
Now we'll see if heaven pretends
To defend him, and defends.—
Watch here, you, beside the gate.

* * * * *


A Muffled Figure. — LUIS and PAUL.

PAUL. There's no need to watch, for hither
Some one comes.

LUIS. A lucky mortal
Am I, if the hour draws nigh
That will two revenges offer.*
Since this night there then will be
Naught to interrupt my project,
Slaying first this muffled figure
And then Philip. Slow and solemn
Comes this man again. I know him
By his gait. But whence this horror
That comes o'er me as I see him,
This strange awe that chills, that shocks me?

[footnote] *Asonante in o — e to the end of Scene VIII.

THE FIGURE. Luis Enius!

LUIS. Sir, I've seen you
Here the last two nights; your object?
If you call me, wherefore fly thus?
If 'tis me you seek, why mock me
By retiring?

THE FIGURE. Follow me,
Then you'll know my name.

LUIS. I'm stopped here
In this street by a little business.—
To be quite alone imports me.—
Wherefore first by killing you
I'll be free to kill another
[He draws his sword, but merely cuts the air.
Draw, then, draw your sword or not,
Thus the needful path I shorten
To two acts of vengeance. Heavens!
I but strike the air, cut nothing,
Sever nothing else. Quick! Paul,
Stop him as he stalks off yonder,
Near to you.

PAUL. I'm bad at stopping.

LUIS. Then your footsteps I will follow
Everywhere, until I learn
Who you are. [Aside.] (In vain his body
Do I strive to pierce. Oh, heavens!
Lightnings flash from off my sword here;
But in no way can I touch him,
As if sword and arm were shortened.)
[Exit following the figure, striking at it without touching it.

* * * * *



PAUL [aside]. God be with you both! But scarce
Has one vanished, when another
Comes to haunt me. Why, I'm tempted
By strange phantoms and hobgoblins
Like another San Antonio:—
In this doorway I'll ensconce me,
Till my friend here kindly passes.

PHILIP. Love, ambitious, bold, deep-plotted,
With the favours of a kingdom
Me thou mak'st a prosperous lover.
To the desert fled Polonia,
Where, mid savage rocks and forests,
Citizen of mighty mountains,
Islander of lonely grottoes,
She doth dwell, to Lesbia leaving
Crown and kingdom; through a stronger
Greed than love I Lesbia court,—
For a queen is worth my homage.
From her trellis I have come,
From a sweet and pleasant converse.
But, what's this? Each night I stumble
On a man here at my doorstep.
Who is there?

PAUL [aside]. To me he's coming.
Why on earth should every goblin
Pounce on me?

PHILIP. Sir, Caballero.

PAUL. These are names I don't acknowledge;
He can't speak to ME.

PHILIP. This house
Is my home.

PAUL. Which I don't covet;
May you for an age enjoy it,
Without billets.

PHILIP. If important
Business in this street detains you
(Not a word whereon I offer),
Give me room that I may pass.

PAUL [aside]. Somewhat timid, though quite proper,
Goblins can be cowards too.—
Yes, sir, for a certain office
I am here; go in, and welcome;
I no gentleman would stop here
Bound for bed, nor is it right.

PHILIP. The condition I acknowledge.—
Well, fine spectres, to be sure,
Haunt this street: each night I notice
That a man here comes before me,
But when I approach him softly,
Hereabouts on my own threshold,
I, as now, have always lost him.
But what matters this to me?

[PAUL draws his sword and makes several flourishes.
PAUL. As he's gone, the right and proper
Thing is this:— Stay, stay, cold shadow,
Whether you're a ghost or ghostess,
I can't reach it. Why, by heaven!
Air alone I cut and chop here.
But if this is he we wait for
In the night-time like two blockheads
Faith! he is a lucky fellow
To have got to bed so promptly.
But another noise I hear
Sounding from that dark street yonder.
'Tis of swords and angry voices:—
There I run to reconnoitre.

* * * * *



The Muffled Figure and LUIS.

LUIS. Sir, already we have issued
From that street; if aught there stopped us,
We are here alone, and may
Hand to hand resume the combat.
And since powerless is my sword
Thee to wound, I throw me on thee
To know who thou art. Declare,
Art thou demon, man, or monster?
What! no answer? Then I thus
Dare myself to solve the problem,
[He tears the cloak from the Figure, and finds beneath it a skeleton.
And find out . . . . Oh, save me, heaven!
God! what's this I see? what horrid
Spectacle! What frightful vision!
What death-threatening fearful portent!
Stiff and stony corse, who art thou?
That of dust and ashes formed
Now dost live?

THE FIGURE. Not know thyself?
This is thy most faithful portrait;
I, alas! am Luis Enius.

[footnote] *The interview between Luis Enius and the Skeleton, says a recent writer, "is a scene truly Calderonic — the hour, the place, the intended assassin, and the sudden reflection of himself, with his guilty conscience impersonate before him; it reminds us of that wild fable of Jeremy Taylor or Fuller, about the bird with a human face, that feeds on human flesh until it chances to see its reflection in a stream, and then it pines away for grief that it has killed its fellow." — WESTMINSTER REVIEW, vol. liv. p. 306.

LUIS. Save me, heaven! what words of horror!
Save me, heaven! what sight of woe!
Prey of shadows and misfortunes.
Ah, I die.
[He falls on the ground.

* * * * *



PAUL. It is the voice
Of my master. Succour cometh
Opportunely now in me.

LUIS. Ah! why return, dread monster?
I am overwhelmed, I faint here
At your voice.

PAUL [aside]. God help his noddle!
He's gone mad! — Dread monster? No,
I am Juan Paul, that donkey
Who, not knowing why or wherefore,
Is your servant.

LUIS. Ah! good, honest
Paul, I knew you not, so frightened
Am I. But at that why wonder,
If myself I do not know?
Did you see a fearful corse here,
A dead body with a soul,
An apparent man supported
By his skeleton alone,
Bones from which the flesh had rotted,
Fingers rigid, gaunt, and cold,
Naked trunk, uncouth, abhorrent,
Vacant spaces whence the eyes,
Having fallen, left bare the sockets?—
Whither has he gone?

Saw that ghost, upon my honour,
I could never say I saw it;
For more dead than that dead body
I had fallen on the other side
At the moment.

LUIS. And no wonder;
For my voice was mute, my breath
Choked, my heart's warm beat forgotten,
Clothed with ice were all my senses,
Shod with lead my feet, my forehead
Cold with sweat, I saw suspended
Heaven's two mighty poles upon me,
The brief Atlases sustaining
Such a burden being my shoulders.
It appeared as if there started
Rocks from every tender blossom,
Giants from each opening rose;
For the earth's disrupted hollows
Wished from out their graves to cast
Forth the dead who lay there rotten;
Ah, among them I beheld
Luis Enius! Heaven be softened!
Hide me, hide me, from myself!
Bury me in some deep corner
Of earth's centre! Let me never
See myself, since no self-knowledge
Have I had! But now I have it;
Now I know I am that monster
Of rebellion, who defied,
In my madness, pride, and folly,
God Himself; the same, whose crimes
Are so numerous and so horrid,
That it were slight punishment,
If the whole wrath of the Godhead
Was outpoured on me, and whilst
God was God, eternal torments
I should have to bear in hell.
But I have this further knowledge,
They were done against a God
So divine, that He has promised
To grant pardon, if my sins
I with penitent tears acknowledge.
Such I shed; and, Lord, to prove
That to-day to be another
I begin, being born anew,
To Thy hands my soul I offer.
Not as a strict judge then judge me,
For the attributes of the Godhead
Are His justice and His mercy;
With the latter, not the former,
Judge me, then, and fix what penance
I shall do to gain that object.
What will be the satisfaction
Of my life?

[Music (within). The Purgatory.

LUIS. Bless me, heaven! what's this I hear?
A sweet strain divine and solemn;
It appears a revelation
From on high, since heaven doth often
Help mysteriously the sinner.
And since I herein acknowledge
A divine interposition,
I will go into the Purgatory,
Called, of Patrick, and fulfil,
Humbly, faithfully, the promise
Which I gave him long ago,
If it is my happy fortune
To see Patrick. If the attempt
Is, as rumour hath informed me,
Most terrific, since no human
Strength avails against the horrors
Of the place, or resolution
To endure the demons' torments,
Still my sins I must remember
Were as dreadful. Skilful doctors
Give for dangerous diseases
Dangerous remedies to stop them.—
Come, then, with me, Paul, and see
How here penitent and prostrate
At the bishop's feet I'll kneel,
And confess, for greater wonder,
All my awful sins aloud.

PAUL. Go alone, then, for that project,
Since so brave a man as you are
Has no need of an accomplice;
And there's no one I have heard of
Who e'er went to hell escorted
By his servant. I'll go home,
And live pleasantly in my cottage
Without care. If ghosts there be,
I'm content with matrimony.

LUIS. Public were my sins, and so
Public penance I will offer
In atonement. Like one crazed,
Crying in the crowded cross-ways,
I'll confess aloud my crimes.
Men, wild beasts, rude mountains, forests,
Globes celestial, flinty rocks,
Tender plants, dry elms, thick coppice,
Know that I am Luis Enius,
Tremble at my name, that monster
Once of pride, as now I am
Of humility the wonder.
I have faith and certain hope
Of great happiness before me,
If in God's great name shall Patrick
Aid me in the Purgatory.

* * * * *



POLONIA. To Thee, O Lord, my spirit climbs,
To Thee from every lonely hill
I burn to sacrifice my will
A thousand and a thousand times.
And such my boundless love to Thee
I wish each will of mine a living soul could be.

Would that my love I could have shown,
By leaving for Thy sake, instead
Of that poor crown that press'd my head,
Some proud, imperial crown and throne —
Some empire which the sun surveys
Through all its daily course and gilds with constant rays.

This lowly grot, 'neath rocks uphurled,
In which I dwell, though poor and small,
A spur of that stupendous wall,
The eighth great wonder of the world,
Doth in its little space excel
The grandest palace where a king doth dwell.

Far better on some natural lawn
To see the morn its gems bestrew,
Or watch it weeping pearls of dew
Within the white arms of the dawn;
Or view, before the sun, the stars
Drive o'er the brightening plain their swiftly-fading cars.

Far better in the mighty main,
As night comes on, and clouds grow grey,
To see the golden coach of day
Drive down amid the waves of Spain.
But be it dark, or be it bright,
O Lord! I praise Thy name by day and night.

Than to endure the inner strife,
The specious glare, but real weight
Of pomp, and power, and pride, and state,
And all the vanities of life;
How would we shudder could we deem
That life itself, in truth, is but a fleeting dream.

* * * * *



LUIS [aside]. True to my purpose on I go,
With footsteps firm and bosom brave,
Seeking for that mysterious cave
Wherein the pitying heavens will show
How I salvation there may gain,
By bearing in this life the Purgatorial pain.
Tell me, O holy woman! thou
Who in these wilds a home hast found,
A dweller in this mountain ground
Obedient to some sacred vow,
Which is the road to Patrick's cave,
Where penitential man his soul in life may save?

POLONIA. O, happy traveller! who here
Hast come so far in storm and shine,
Within this treasury divine
To feel and find salvation near,
Well can I guide thee on thy way,
Since 'tis for this alone amid these wilds I stray.

Seest thou this mountain?

LUIS. Ah! I see
My death in it.

POLONIA [aside]. My heart grows cold.
Ah! who is this that I behold?

LUIS [aside]. I cannot think it. Is it she?

POLONIA [aside]. 'Tis Luis, now I know.

LUIS [aside]. Perhaps illusion it may be
To baffle my intent, and lead
My erring feet astray. — [to POLONIA}. Proceed.

POLONIA [aside]. Say, can it be to conquer me
The common enemy doth send
This spectre here?

LUIS. You do not speak.

POLONIA. Attend.
This mighty mountain, rock bestrown,
Full well the dreaded secret knows;
But no one to its centre goes
By any path o'er land alone:
He who would see this wondrous cave
Must in a bark put forth and tempt the lake's dark wave.

[Aside.] I struggle with a wish to wreak
Revenge, which pity doth subdue.

LUIS [aside]. It doth my happiness renew
Once more to see and hear her speak.

POLONIA [aside]. Within me opposite thoughts contend.

LUIS [aside]. Ah, me! I die. — You do not speak.

POLONIA. Attend.
This darksome lake doth all surround
The lofty mountain's rugged base,
And so to reach the awful place
An easy passage may be found:
A sacred convent in the island stands,
Midway between the mountain and the sands.

Some pious priests inhabit there,
And for this task alone they live,
With loving zeal to freely give
The helping hand, the strengthening prayer —
Confession, and the Holy Mass,
And every needful help to all who thither pass.

Telling them what they first must do,
Before they dare presume to go,
Alive, within the realm of woe.—
[Aside.] Let not this enemy subdue
My soul, O Lord!

LUIS [aside]. My hopes are fair.
Let me not feel, O Lord! the anguish of despair,

Seeing before my startled sight
My greatest, deepest crime arise;
Let not the fiend my soul that tries,
Subdue me in this dreadful fight.

POLONIA [aside]. 'Gainst what a powerful foe must I defend
Myself to-day!

LUIS. You do not speak.

POLONIA. Attend.

LUIS. With quicker speed your story tell,
For well I know my soul hath need
That I should go with swifter speed!

POLONIA. And me it doth import as well
That you should go away.

LUIS. Agreed.
Now, woman, point the way to where my path doth lead.

POLONIA. No one accompanied can brave
The terrors of this gloomy lake;
And so a skiff you needs must take,
And try alone the icy wave;
Being in that most trying strait
The absolute master of your acts and fate.

Come where within a secret cave
Beside the shore the boat doth lie,
And trusting in the Lord on high,
Embark upon the crystal wave
Of this remote lone inland sea.

LUIS. My life and all I have I place, O Lord! in Thee.
And so I trust me to the bark;
But, O my soul! what sight is here,
A coffin doth the bark appear;
And I upon the waters dark
Alone must cross the icy tide.
[He enters.

POLONIA. Oh! turn not back, but follow and confide

LUIS [within]. I've conquered! sweet Polonia's shade,
Since sight of thee has not undone
My shuddering soul.

POLONIA. And I have won,
Here in this Babylon delayed,
O'er wrath and rage the victory.

LUIS [within]. Thy feigned resemblance does not frighten me,
Though thou dost take a form
Might tempt my steps astray
And make me turn despairing from my way.

POLONIA. Thy fear doth badly thee inform,
Poor to be brave and rich to be afraid,
For I Polonia am, and not her shade,
The same that thou didst slay,
But who by God's decree
Restored to life, even in this misery,
Is happier far to-day.

LUIS [within]. Since I my sinful state
Confess, and feel too well its fearful weight,
Thy wrong, oh, pardon too!

POLONIA. I give it, and approve of thy design.

LUIS [within]. My faith, at least, I never will resign.

POLONIA. That grace will be thy safeguard.

LUIS [within]. Then, adieu!


LUIS [within]. May God in pity save.

POLONIA. And bring thee back victorious from the cave.

* * * * *



Two Canons Regular; afterwards Luis.

FIRST CANON. See, the waters of the lake
Move although no breeze doth blow:*
Without doubt to-day some pilgrim
Roweth to this island shore.

[footnote] *Single asonante in the long accented o, which is kept up to the end of the Scene.

SECOND CANON. Come unto the strand to see
Who can be so brave and bold
As to seek our gloomy dwelling,
Crossing the dark waters o'er.

[Enter LUIS.
LUIS. Here my boat, my coffin, rather,
On the billows I bestow.
Who his sepulchre has ever
Steered, as I, through fire and snow?
What a pleasant spot is this!
Here has Spring, methinks, invoked
Flowers of high and low degree
To assemble at her court.
But this dismal mountain here,
How unlike the plain below!
Yet they are the better friends
By the contrasts that they show.
there the mournful birds of prey
Hoarsely croak, presaging woe,
Here the warblers in their joy
Charm us with their tuneful notes.
There the torrents leaping headlong
Fright us with their frenzied roar,
Here the crystal streamlets gliding
Mirror back the sun's bright gold.
Half way 'twixt that ugliness
And this beauty, I behold
A plain building whose grave front
Fear and love at once provokes.

FIRST CANON. Happy wanderer, who here
Hast arrived with heart so bold,
Come unto my arms.

LUIS. The ground
That you tread on suits me more.
Oh, for charity conduct me
To the Prior of your fold,
To the Abbot of this convent.

FIRST CANON. Though unworthy, you behold
Him in me. Speak. What's your wish?

LUIS. Father, if my name I told,
I'm afraid that swiftly flying,
With a terror uncontrolled,
You would leave me: for my works
Are so shocking to unfold,
That to see them not, the sun
Wraps him round in mourning robes.
I am an abyss of crimes,
A wild sea that has no shore;
I am a broad map of guilt,
And the greatest sinner known.
Yes, in me, to tell it briefly
In one comprehensive word
(Here my breath doth almost fail me),
Luis Enius behold!
I come here this cave to enter,
If for sins so manifold
Aught can ever satisfy,
Let my penance thus atone
To the Bishop of Hibernia
I've confessed, and am absolved,
Who informed of my intention
With a gracious love consoled
All my fears, and unto thee
Sent these letters I unfold.

FIRST CANON. Do not in a single day
Take, my son, a step so bold,
For these things require precaution
More than can at once be told.
Stay here as our guest some days,
Then at leisure we can both
See about it and decide.

LUIS. No, my father, no, oh, no!
Never from the ground I'll rise,
Where here prostrate I am thrown,
Till you grant to me this good.
It was God that touched my soul,
And inspired me to come here;
Not a vain desire to know,
Not ambition to find out
Secrets God, perchance, withholds.
Do not baffle this intention,
For the call is heaven's alone.
Oh, my father! yield in pity,
With me in my griefs condole,
Give my sorrows consolation,
Heal the anguish of my soul.

FIRST CANON. Luis, you have not considered
what you ask of me; you know
Nothing of the infernal torments
You must bear: to undergo
These your strength is insufficient.
Many are there, more the woe!
Who go in, but few, alas!
Who return.

LUIS. Your threats forebode
Much; but still they fright not me;
For I do protest, I go
But to purge away my sins,
Which if numbered are much more
Than the atoms of the sun
And the sands upon the shore.
I will ever have my hope
Firmly fixed upon the Lord,
At whose holy name even hell
Is subdued.

FIRST CANON. The fervid glow
Of your words compels me now
To unlock the awful doors.
Luis, you behold the cave:
[He opens the mouth of the cave.

LUIS. Oh, save me, gracious God!

FIRST CANON. What! dismayed?

LUIS. No, not dismayed;
Still it scared me to behold.

FIRST CANON. I admonish you again,
For no lesser cause to go,
Than a firm belief that there
For your sins you may atone.

LUIS. Father, I am in the cave:
Listen to my voice once more,
Men and wild beasts, skies and mountains,
Day and night, and sun and moon,
To you all I here protest,
Ay, a thousand times make known,
That I enter here to suffer
Torments for my sins untold;
For so great, so dread a penance
Is but little to atone
For such sins as mine, believing
That the cave salvation holds.

FIRST CANON. Enter then, and in your mouth,
As within your heart's deep core,
Be the name of Jesus.

With me, Lord, O gracious Lord,
For here, armed but with Thy faith,
I am pitted 'gainst my foe
In the open field. That name
Will my enemy o'erthrow.
Crossing myself many times
I advance. Oh, save me, God!
[He enters the cave which they close.

FIRST CANON. Of the many who have entered
None has equal courage shown.
Oh, enable him, just Jesus,
To resist the demon host
And their wiles, relying ever
Upon Thee, divinest Lord.

* * * * *



LESBIA. Before we reach the place,
Whither you wish to lead us, for a space
Let us say why we came
To see you here to-day: a definite aim
All of us here has brought.

POLONIA. Speak as we go whatever be your thought,
Still following where I lead,
For I a sight that doth all sights exceed
Will bring you here to see.

LESBIA. What, then, our wishes were you hear from me.
Polonia, you desired
In this wild mountain waste to live retired,
Making of me the heir,
While living, of your kingdom. I would share
With you in turn my plans, however small,
And so I hither come to tell you all.
My will is in your hands;
I ask not counsel, sister, but commands.
A single woman scarce can ever be
Strong through advice, and of necessity
She must be married.

POLONIA. Yes; and if your choice
Has fallen on Philip I may well rejoice,
For then to me you'll owe
Both crown and husband.

PHILIP. May you live whilst glow
The sun's bright beams, that orb which dies at night,
And Phoenix of its rays is born with morning's light.

POLONIA. Then since you thus have gained
Your wish, ye two, now free and unconstrained,
Listen to what I tell,
And all who hear me listen too, as well.
With all the outward show
Of fervour came a man, whom we all know,
Seeking for Patrick's cave,
To enter there, and so his soul to save.
He entered it, and cometh forth today,
And 'tis because my terror and dismay
Are balanced by my wonder, that with me
I bring you to behold this holy prodigy.
I do not tell you who he is lest fear
Should so my heart make craven, that I ne'er
Could reach the end I sought:—
'Tis for this object that you here are brought.

LESBIA. It is but only right
That I should mingle terror with delight.

POLONIA. If strength from him hath fled,
And he extended in the cave lies dead,
At least 'twill show
His punishment; and if he comes, we'll know
The mystery that is here;
If safe he comes, who cometh forth, through fear
Perchance he may not speak,
But, flying men, some solitude may seek
To live and die alone.

LEOGAIRE. What mighty mysteries lie here unknown.

CAPTAIN. The time is opportune that we come here,
For the religious whom we see draw near,
All bathed in tears, now go
To the cave's mouth in solemn, silent row
To throw the gates aside.

* * * * *


The procession advances to the cave; the gates are opened by the
Prior and his assistants. LUIS ENIUS comes forth, astonished.— THE

PRIOR. And those of heaven, O Lord, keep open wide
To penitent tears and sighs.
May this poor sinner from these dungeons rise,
This dark and dismal place,
Where never shines the radiance of Thy face.

POLONIA. The gate is opened.

PRIOR. Oh, what happiness!

PHILIP. 'Tis Luis!

LUIS. Bless me, heaven! in pity bless!
Ah! is it possible that I am here
Again on earth after so many a year,
And that once more I see
The light of the sun?

CAPTAIN. How rapt!

LEOGAIRE. How dazed is he!

PRIOR. Embrace us all, my son.

LUIS. My arms were prison chains to every one.
Polonia, since thou'rt here,
Thy pity I may claim without a fear.
And thou, O Philip, know
That thrice an angel saved thee from the blow
Of my sharp sword: two nights I watched for thee
To slay thee; may my error pardoned be.
Now flying from myself, oh, let me hide,
And in some wilderness abide —
Far from the world in solitude and pain,
For he who saw what I have seen would feign,
So suffering live, so die.

PRIOR. Then on the part of God, O Enius! I
Command thee what thou hast seen at once to say.

LUIS. So sacred a command I must obey:—
And that the startled world may now begin
A better course, and man from mortal sin
My words may waken like some midnight wail,
Listen, O grave assembly to my tale.
After all the preparations,
Fit and solemn were effected,*
Which in such a perilous case
Might be needed and expected,
And when I from all around me,
Firm in faith, with courage strengthened,
Tenderly farewell had taken
This dark cavern here to enter,
I my trust reposed in God,
And my lips repeating ever
Those mysterious, mystic words,
At which even the demons tremble,
I then placed me on the threshold,
Where, until, as I expected,
They would close the gate, I stood.
It was closed, and I remember
Then I found me in black night,
Whence the light was so ejected,
That I closed on it mine eyes.
(A strange way it seems, but certain
To see better in the dark.)
With my lids thus closed together
On I went, and felt a wall
Which in front of me extended;
And by following it, and groping
For about the length of twenty
Paces, came upon some rocks,
And perceived through a small crevice
Of this rugged mountain wall
That a doubtful glimmer entered
Of a light that was not light,
As when the day the dark disperses,
If 'tis morning, or not morning,
Oft the twilight is uncertain.
With light steps a path pursuing,
By the left-hand side I entered,
When I felt a strange commotion;
The firm earth began to tremble,
And upheaving 'neath my feet,
Ruin and convulsion threatened.
Stupified I stopped there, when
With a voice which woke my senses
From forgetfulness and fainting,
Loud a thunder-clap re-echoed,
And the ground on which I stood
Bursting open in the centre,
It appeared as if I fell
To a depth where I lay buried
In the loosened stones and earth
Which had after me descended.
Then I found me in a hall
Built of jasper, where the presence
Of the chisel was made known
By its ornate architecture.
Through a door of bronze twelve men
Then advanced and came directly
Where I stood, who, clothed alike
In unspotted snow-white dresses,
With a courteous air received me,
And too humbly did me reverence.
One, who seemed to be among them
The superior, said: "Remember
That in God you place your faith,
And that you be not dejected
In your battle with the demons;
For if moved by what they threaten,
Or may promise, you turn back,
You will have to dwell for ever
In the lowest depths of hell
Amid torments most excessive."
Angels were these men for me,
And so greatly was I strengthened
By their counsel and advice
That revived I once more felt me.
On a sudden then the whole
Hall unto mine eyes presented
Nothing but infernal visions,
Fallen angels, the first rebels,
And in forms so horrible,
So disgusting, that resemblance
It would be in vain to look for;
And one said to me: "Demented
Reckless fool, who here hast wished
Prematurely to present thee
To thy destined punishment,
And the pains that thou deservest;
If thy sins are so immense,
That thyself must needs condemn them,
Since thou in the eye of God
Never can have hope of mercy,
Why has thou come here thyself
To endure them? Back to earth, then,
Go, oh! go, and end thy life;
And as thou hast lived, so perish.
Then again thou'lt come to see us;
For hath hell prepared already
That dread seat in which thou must
Sit for ever and for ever."—
I did answer not a word;
And then giving me some heavy
Blows, my hands and feet they bound,
Tieing them with thongs together,
And then caught and wounded me
With sharp hooks of burning metal,
Dragging me through all the cloisters,
Where they lit a fire and left me
Headlong plunged amid the flames.
I but cried, "O Jesus! help me."
At the words the demons fled,
And the fire went out and ended
Then they brought me to a plain
Where the blackened earth presented
Fruits of thistles and of thorns,
'Stead of pink and rose sweet scented.
Here a biting wind passed by,
Which with subtle sharpness entered
Even my bones, whose faintest breath
Like the keenest sword-edge cleft me.
Here in the profoundest depths
Sadly, mournfully lamented
Myriad souls, their parents cursing
From whose loins they had descended.
Such despairing shrieks and cries,
Such blaspheming screams were blended,
Such atrocious oaths and curses
So repeated and incessant,
That the very demons shuddered.
I passed on, and in a meadow
Found me next, whose plants and grasses
Were all flames, which waved and bent them,
As when in the burning August
Wave the gold ears all together.
So immense it was, the sight
Never could make out where ended
This red field, and in it lay
An uncountable assemblage
All recumbent in the fire;
Through their bodies and their members
Burning spikes and nails were driven;
These with feet and hands extended
Were held nailed upon the ground,
Vipers of red fire the entrails
Gnawed of some; while others lying,
With their teeth in maniac frenzy
Bit the earth; and some there were
Piecemeal who themselves dismembered,
And who seemed to die, but only
To revive and die for ever.
There the ministers of death
Flung me from them bound and helpless,
But at the sweet name of Jesus
All their fury fled and left me.
I passed on, and found me where
Some were cured, by a strange method,
Of their cruel wounds and torments;
Lead and burning pitch were melted,
And being poured upon their sores
Made a cautery most dreadful.
Who that hears me will not mourn?
Who that hears this awful lesson
Will not sigh and will not weep,
Will not fear and will not tremble?
Then I saw a certain building,
Out of which bright rays extended
From the windows and the doors,
As when conflagration settles
On a house, the flame bursts forth
Where an opening is presented.
"This," they told me, "is the villa
Of delights, the bath of pleasures,
The abode of the luxurious,
Where are punished all those women
Who were in the other life,
From frivolity excessive,
Too much given to scented waters,
Unguents, rouges, baths, and perfumes."—
I went in, and there beheld,
In a tank of cold snow melted,
Many lovely women bathing,
With an upturned look of terror;
Underneath the water they
Were the prey of snakes and serpents,
For the fishes and the sirens
Of this sea they represented;
In the clear transparent crystal
Stiff and frozen were their members,
Icy hard their hair was lifted,
Chattering struck their teeth together.
Passing out, the demons brought me
To a mountain so tremendous
In its height, that as it rose
Through the sky its peak dissevered,
If it did not tear and rend,
The vast azure veil celestial;
In the middle of this peak
A volcano stood, which, belching
Flames, appeared as if to spit them
In the very face of heaven.
From this burning cone, this crater,
Fire at intervals ascended
In which issued many souls,
Who again its womb re-entered,
Oft repeating and renewing
This ascending and descending.
At this time a scorching wind
Caught me when I least expected,
Blowing me from where I stood,
So that instantly it set me
In the depths of that abyss.
I too was shot up: a second
Wind-gust came, that with it brought
Myriad legions, who impelled me
Rudely to another part,
Where it seemed I saw assembled
All the other souls I had seen,
But who here were all collected;
And though this was the abode
Where the pains were most excessive,
I remarked that all therein
Faces bore of glad expression,
Countenances calm and sweet,
No impatience in their gestures
Or their words; but with their eyes
Fixed on heaven, as if thus set there
To ask mercy, ever weeping
Tears of tenderness and penance.
That it was the Purgatory
I at once by this detected,
Where the happy souls are purged from
Their more venial offences.
I was not subdued even here,
Though the demons stormed and threatened
Me the more: I rather felt
By the sight renewed and strengthened.
Then they, seeing that they could not
Shake my constancy, presented
To my eyes their greatest torments,
That which is in an especial
Sense called hell; and so they brought me
To a river, all the herbage
Of whose banks was flowers of fire,
And whose stream was sulphur melted;
The dread monsters of its tide
Were the hydras and the serpents;
It was very wide, and o'er it
Was a narrow bridge suspended,
Which but seemed a line, no more,
And so delicate and slender
That in my opinion no one
Without breaking it could ever
Pass across. "Look here," they said,
"By this narrow way 'tis destined
Thou must cross; see thou the means.
And for thy o'erwhelming terror
See how those have fared who tried
Before thee." and then directly
I saw those who tried to pass
Fall into the stream, where serpents
Tore them in a thousand pieces
With their claws and teeth's sharp edges.
I invoked the name of God,
And could dare with it to venture
To the other side to pass,
Without yielding to the terror
Of the winds and of the waves,
Though they fearfully beset me.
Yes I passed, and in a wood,
So delightful and so fertile,
Found me, that in it I could,
After what had passed, refresh me.
On my way as I advanced,
Cedars, palms, their boughs extended,
Trees of paradise indeed,
As I may with strictness term them;
All the ground being covered over
With the rose and pink together
Formed a carpet, in whose hues
White and green and red were blended.
There the amorous song-birds sang
Tenderly their sweet distresses,
Keeping, with the thousand fountains
Of the streams, due time and measure.
Then upon my vision broke
A great city, proud and splendid,
Which had even the sun itself
For its towers' and turrets' endings;
All the gates were of pure gold,
Into which had been inserted
Exquisitely, diamonds, rubies,
Topaz, chrysolite, and emerald.
Ere I reached the gates they opened,
And the saints in long procession
Solemnly advanced to meet me,
Men and women, youths and elders,
Boys and girls and children came,
All so joyful and contented.
Then the seraphim and angels,
In a thousand choirs advancing,
To their golden instruments
Sang the symphonies of heaven;
After them at last approached
The most glorious and resplendent
Patrick, the great patriarch,
Who his gratulations telling
That I had fulfilled my word
Ere I died, as he expected,
He embraced me; all displaying
Joy and gladness in my welfare.
Thus encouraged he dismissed me,
Telling me no mortal ever,
While in life, that glorious city
Of the saints could hope to enter;
That once more unto the world
I should go my days to end there.
Finally my way retracing,
I came back, quite unmolested
By the dark infernal spirits,
And at last the gate of entrance
Having reached, you all came forward
To receive me and attend me.
And since I from so much danger
Have escaped, oh! deign to let me,
Pious fathers, here remain
Till my life is happily ended.**

[footnote] *Asonante in e—e, which is kept up to the end.

[footnote] **For the account of St. Patrick's Purgatory, as given by Messingham, see Notes.

* * * * *

For with this the history closes,
As it is to us presented
By Dionysius the Carthusian,
With Henricus Salteriensis,
Matthew Paris, Ranulph Higden,
And Caesarius Heisterbacensis,
Marcus Marulus, Mombritius,
David Rothe, the prudent prelate,
And Vice-Primate of all Ireland,
Belarminus, Dimas Serpi,
Bede, Jacobus, and Solinus,
Messingham, and to express it
In a word, the Christian faith
And true piety that defend it.
For the play is ended where
Its applause, I hope, commences.*

[footnote] *For an explanation of this list of names, now for the first time correctly printed, see Note on "The authorities for the Legend, as given by Calderon."


* * * * *



SCENE II., p. 247.

"Patrick is my name, my country
Ireland, and an humble hamlet
Scarcely known to men, called 'Empthor',
Is my place of birth."

The passage in the original is as follows:—
"Mi propio nombre es Patricio,
Mi patria Irland o Hibernia,
Mi pueblo 'es Tax.'"
           'Hartzenbusch', t. I, p. 150.

This is the reading of all the editions, and has been adopted in the German translation of the drama by Al. Jeitteles (Brunn, 1824). "Tax" looks very unlike the name of a village, and it appears to me to be simply a misprint. The whole of this speech of St. Patrick is taken from the 'Vida y Purgatorio' of Juan Perez de Montalvan. The description of St. Patrick's birth-place, as given by Montalvan, is as follows:— "En cuya jurisdicion ay un Pueblo, de pocos moradores, Ilamado "Emptor". Aqui nacio un moco," etc. (edition of 1664, f. I.) It is quite plain that "es Tax" in Calderon's play is an easily understood misprint for the "Emptor" of Montalvan.

"Mi patria Irlanda o Hibernia,
Mi pueblo Emptor,"

even metrically, is a better reading than — "Mi patria Irlanda o Hibernia, Mi pueblo es Tax."

In the hymn of St. Fiacc, a contemporary of the Apostle, the birthplace of St. Patrick is said to have been at "Empthor," or "Nemthur," as it is sometimes printed. The same locality is assigned to it in the "Tripartite Life of Saint Patrick", but considerable controversy has arisen as to the exact position of the place. See "The Life of Saint Patrick", by P. Lynch, Dublin, 1828: "St. Patrick, Apostle of Ireland", by J. H. Todd, D.D. (1864); and "The Life of St. Patrick", by M. F. Cusack, Kenmare, Co. Kerry (1869), a most elaborate and very beautiful work.

SCENE II., p. 252.

This long address of Patrick is founded on the following passages of the story as originally told in Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio", Madrid, 1627. The translation is made as literal as possible, to show how closely Calderon followed even the language of Montalvan.

Chapter I. — "Between the north and west is situated the Island of Hibernia, or Ireland, as it is at present more usually called. It was once known as the Island of Saints, because its inhabitants were ever ready to shed their blood in the lists of martyrdom, which is the highest proof of courage which the Faithful can give; since life being so dear to us, it is a most heroic act for the sake of religion to offer it to the sacrilegious hands of a tyrant that only lives in seeing others die.

"In this island there was a village with a few inhabitants, called Emptor, which the sea, like a cincture of snow, not only encircled but appeared to bind. Here was born a youth of such virtuous dispositions that he seemed to belie the promise of his years, since virtue and adolescence are not easily reconciled. He gave himself much to the reading of the Lives of the Saints, of whose exercises he was a great imitator, very fearful of those snares which lie in the way of youth, and which, though he escaped, he was not without a disposition to fall into." . . . .

[This youth was St. Patrick's father, who married Conchessa, a French lady, as mentioned by Calderon, who, in the older Lives of St. Patrick, is said to have been the sister of St. Martin of Tours. After the birth of Patrick, St. Conchessa, his mother, retired to a convent, and his father became a priest. The story then continues.]

"Patrick remained in his early years under the tutelage of his aunt, and God was so desirous of showing to the world the favours with which He had pre-determined to honour that pure soul, that He did not wait for the time when Patrick would be of an age to ask for them; since before he could speak the words God declared Himself his friend. For a blind man, Gormas (a neighbour of his in that village), heard one day a voice in the air which said to him, that ifhe went to Patrick (a child recently baptised), who would with his right hand make the sign of the cross upon his eyes, he would be restored to sight. He did so, and saw: God no doubt to foreshadow by this the great things that he would eventually work through this His servant. And this predestination, as it were, He made more remarkable by another miracle, which, if it was not greater, was more acknowledged and more widely known from the number of persons who were astonished at beholding it. In a certain year, it happened that such a quantity of snow had fallen from heaven, so great was the extent of the thaw when the sun melted it, that the water covered all the ground, and grew to the dimensions of a lake, which, spreading into the village, inundated all the houses, putting even that of Patrick in the greatest danger. But he, being then only ten years old, with a lively and courageous faith made the sign of the cross upon the waters, and in the sight of all compelled them to retire into the bed of the sea, the land remaining as dry and as free from snow as in the height of summer. . . . .

"One morning, being about the age of sixteen years, as he stood by the shore of the sea, reciting the Psalter with some of his companions, certain pirates made a sudden descent upon the coast, and having seized them, re-embarked immediately through fear of being baulked of their prize. Patrick was brought to a remote extremity of Ireland, and, like another Joseph, was sold to a prince of that island, who, thinking him fit for nothing else, gave to him the care of his sheep. This was an occupation very agreeable to Patrick, for as love can avow itself more openly in solitude, he spent all the night and all the day in loving and conversing with God, making altars of the rocks and of the flowers, on which to make to Him the entire sacrifice of his heart.

"The astonishing increase of the flock, which multiplied every day beneath his charge, soon became known to his master, who, being one night asleep, saw among the obscure visions of his dreams his slave Patrick rejoicing and surrounded by a great light, from whose mouth issued a beautiful and resplendent flame, which touching his two daughters, who he thought were by his side, burned them and reduced them to ashes, leaving himself alone untouched by that sweet and amorous flame. Frightened at such an astonishing vision, scarcely had the day come, when he sent for his slave and related to him what had occurred, asking him to explain the mystery of that terrible dream. To which Patrick replied, with great tranquillity, that the flame which he had seen come from his mouth could only be the Faith of the most Holy Trinity, which for a long time he had desired to preach to him and his daughters. And further, that it was because this doctrine would make no impression on his soul the flame refused to touch him, he dying blind in his infidelity. But because his daughters would eventually be convinced of the truth, God permitted them to be burned by the flame of His Faith and His Love, so as to fulfil the end for which they were created. With this Patrick took leave of his master and returned to his flock, leaving him so confused that he did not know whether he should punish him for what he had announced; all which happened in the manner the saint had predicted.

"In this way he lived some years, and our Lord, seeing that the solitude in which His servant passed his life in the fields was very great, sent to him as a companion his guardian angel, Victor, to whom he could communicate his thoughts, and from whom he would receive consolation in his slavery. But one night, being engaged in prayer, and yielding his spirit to a divine ecstasy and rapture, he saw as in a mirror a man of dignified appearance, whose dress gave him to understand that he was of the same country as himself. This personage seemed to be the bearer of a letter, the superscription of which Patrick approaching to read, he saw these words: — 'The voice of the Irish people'. And as he hastened to open the letter to see its contents, it seemed that within it were all the inhabitants of Ireland, men, women, and children, even the little infants, all crying out to him and saying, "Patrick, Patrick, we implore that you will come to us and free us from this slavery." The Saint upon this awoke, and consulting his angel, asked him to be released from his captivity, since he had a great desire to return to his country and assist those who had such need of him." — 'Vida y Purgatorio de S. Patricio', per el Doctor Juan Perez de Montalvan. Madrid, 1628, and Madrid, 1664.

[The visit to St. Germain in France is then described: his residence with St. Martin of Tours, the journey to Rome, and all the other events follow in detail, which Montalvan collected from Messingham, Messingham's chief authority being the Life of St. Patrick, by Jocelin. These are all briefly epitomised in the address of the Angel Victor, as given by Calderon at the end of the first act.]

SCENE II., p. 262.

The story of Luis Enius, as given by Calderon in this long address, seems to be entirely the invention of Montalvan. It is told in the sixth chapter of his "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio", and in the edition of 1628 fills over forty pages. Calderon follows the narrative very closely, but in one noticeable incident he greatly improves upon his predecessor. This is in the celebrated skeleton scene of the third act. The corresponding scene in Montalvan's story is puerile enough. In Montalvan Luis Enius has no interview with the skeleton, so powerfully described by Calderon. His conversion is effected by a floating piece of paper which had eluded his grasp for two nights, but which he seized on the third, and examined by a mysterious light at the foot of a cross. On the paper he perceived the representation of a skull, under which is written, "I am Luis Enius". How utterly ineffective and commonplace this is compared with the fine scene in Calderon need not be pointed out.

The story of the vision of himself at Lerici, as recorded in some of the lives of the poet Shelley, which is almost identical with that in Calderon, was evidently suggested by this scene. Shelley's reference to the "Purgatorio de San Patricio" in a note to "The Cenci" shows the attention with which he read this drama. The "Embozado" which Captain Medwin and others supposed to be the name of one of Calderon's dramas, and which, as might be expected, Washington Irving vainly looked for in Spain, was the "Hombre embozado," the "Muffled Figure" of Calderon's "Purgatorio de San Patricio", act 3, scene i.

A vivid description of this scene by Shelley to one of his friends may have been mistaken for a circumstance that had actually happened to the poet himself.


The "Athenaeum", in its elaborate review of the earlier translation of this drama, thus writes:—

"With the prayer of St. Patrick considerable licence has been taken; but its spirit is well preserved, and the translator's poetry must be admired.

"PATRICK. Thou art of all created things,
O Lord, the essence and the cause —
The source and centre of all bliss;
What are those veils of woven light,
Where sun and moon and stars unite —
The purple morn, the spangled night —
But curtains which thy mercy draws
Between the heavenly world and this?
The terrors of the sea and land —
When all the elements conspire,
The earth and water, storm and fire —
Are but the shadows of thy hand;
Do they not all in countless ways —
The lightning's flash — the howling storm —
The dread volcano's awful blaze —
Proclaim thy glory and thy praise?
Beneath the sunny summer showers
Thy love assumes a milder form,
And writes its angel name in flowers;
The wind that flies with winged feet
Around the grassy gladdened earth,
Seems but commissioned to repeat
In echo's accents — silvery sweet —
That thou, O Lord, didst give it birth.
There is a tongue in every flame —
There is a tongue in every wave —
To these the bounteous Godhead gave
These organs but to praise his name!
O mighty Lord of boundless space,
Here canst thou be both sought and found —
For here in everything around,
Thy presence and thy power I trace.
With Faith my guide and my defence,
I burn to serve in love and fear;
If as a slave, Oh, leave me here!
If not, O Lord, remove me hence!"
             The "Athenaeum", Oct. 26, 1853.



The account of St. Patrick's Purgatory given by Luis Enius in this long narrative is taken immediately from the seventh, eighth, and ninth chapters of Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio", which, as already stated, are themselves a translation from the "Florilegium Insulae Sanctorum" of Messingham. The following extracts are taken from the tract referred to in the Introduction, the full title of which is as follows:—

Collected out of Ancient Historians. Written in Latin by the
Reverend MR. THOMAS MESSINGHAM, formerly Superior of the Irish
Seminary in Paris. [Paris, 1624.]

"And now made English in favour of those who are curious to know the
Particulars of that Famous Place and Pilgrimage so much celebrated by
             "Printed at Paris, 1718."


"Of the Penitent Soldier, his going into this Purgatory, and of the
Messengers sent from God unto him.

"There was a certain Soldier called Owen, who had for many years served in King Stephen's Army. This Man, having obtained Licence from the King, came to the North of Ireland, his Native Country, to visit his Parents; and when he had continued there for some time, he began to reflect upon the wickedness of the Life he had led from his Infancy; upon his Plundering and Burning in the Army; and (which grieved him more) upon the many sacrileges he had been guilty of in Robbing and Spoiling Churches; together with many other Enormous hidden Sins. Being then interiorly moved to repentance, he went to a certain Bishop in that country, and Confess'd all his Sins unto him. The Bishop severely reproved him, and let him know how grievously he had provoked God's indignation. The Soldier hereupon being exceedingly sorrowful, resolved to do penance suitable to the greatness of [his] Sins. For the People of that country have this Naturally, that as they are more prone to evil thro' Ignorance than Men of other Countries,* so are they more ready and willing to do penance, when they are made sensible of the Enormity of their Sins. When the Bishop wou'd then enjoin him such penance as he thought reasonable, the Soldier answered: "Since you say that I have offended God so grievously, I will undergo a penance more grievous than any other whatsoever. I will go into St. Patrick's Purgatory". The Bishop, to diswade him from so bold an attempt, related unto him, how many had perished in that Place; but the Soldier, who never feared any danger, wou'd not be diswaded. The Bishop advised him to take the Habit of the Canon Regulars, or that of the Monks; and the Soldier declared he wou'd do neither till he had first gone into the said Purgatory. Whereupon the Bishop, perceiving he was inflexible and Truely penitent, wrote by him to the Prior of the place and charged him to deal with the Soldier, as was usually done with those, who desire to enter this Purgatory. The Prior, upon perusal of the Bishop's Letter, after that he had observed all the other Formalities required, conducted the Soldier into the Church, where he passed the accustomed time of fifteen days in Fast and Prayer. Then the Prior having celebrated Mass gave him the Sacrament, called together his own Brethern, and the Neighbouring Clergy, conducted him to the door of the Cave, sprinkled him with Holy-water, and made him this speech.— "Behold thou shalt now enter in here, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, and shalt walk thro' the Hollow of this Cave, till thou comest to a Field, where thou shalt find a Hall artificially wrought; into which when thou hast enter'd thou shalt find Messengers sent from God, who shall tell thee in Order what thou art to do, and to suffer. When these are gone and thou alone in the Hall, Evil Spirits will immediately come to tempt thee; For so it happen'd to other that went in here before thee, but be thou of Manly courage, and Stedfast in the Faith of Jesus Christ."

[footnote] *It should be mentioned that this unfavourable opinion of the Irish people is quoted by Messingham from the MS. of Henry of Saltrey, an English monk, who appears never to have been in Ireland.

"The Soldier, who fear'd no Colours, was no way frighten'd at what happen'd to others, having often before, Arm'd with Steel, fought against Men, now arm'd with Faith, Hope and Charity, and confiding in God's Mercy, went on boldly to fight against Devils; so recommending himself to all their Prayers, and making the Sign of the Cross on his Forehead, courageously enter'd the Door, which the Prior Locked on the outside and Return'd in Procession with his Clergy to the Church.

"The Soldier, being desirous to War a new and an unusual Warfare, marched on boldly through the Cave, tho' alone, where the Darkness thickening upon him, he lost all manner of Light. Soon after a little glimmering light appear'd thro' the Cave, which led him to the Field and Hall aforesaid. Now there was no more light in this Hall than we usually have in winter after Sun-set. The hall had no Walls, but was supported by Pillars and Arches on every Side, after the Manner of the Cloyster of a Monastry. Walking awhile in this Hall, and admiring the Beauty of its Structure, he saw the Inclosure, whose Structure he also admired as being more Beautiful. Wherefore having gone into it he sat down, and Casting his Eyes about him to take a full View, he observed fifteen Men clad in white Garments, shorn and dress'd like Monks, coming in, who saluted him in the name of the Lord, and sat down. Then after a short pause, he that seem'd to be their Prior and Chief, spoke to him after this Manner: 'Blessed be the Omnipotent God, who put the good purpose into thy Heart of coming into this Purgatory for the cleansing of thy sins: But if thou doest not behave thyself Manly, thou shalt perish both Body and Soul. For immediately after we leave this House there will come a multitude of unclean Spirits, who shall inflict great Torments upon thee, and threaten thee with greater: They will promise to lead thee to the Door, by which thou hast enter'd in here, to see if by this means they might deceive thee, and get thee to go out. And if thou be overcome by the violence of their Torments, or frightened by their Threats, or deceiv'd by their Promise, and consent to their Demands, thou shalt be destroy'd both Body and Soul. But if thou be strong in Faith, and trust in the Lord, so as not to yield to their Torments, or Threats, or Promise; but despise them with a generous Heart, thou shalt not only be purged of all thy Sins, but shall also see the Torments which Sinners endure, and the Place of Rest and Bliss which the Just enjoy. Have God then always before thine Eyes, and as often as they Torment thee, call upon our Lord Jesus Christ, and by the Invocation of His Name, thou shalt be deliver'd from whatever Torment thou art in. Lay all these Things up in thy Mind quickly; for we can stay here no longer, but recommend thee to Almighty God.'

"So having given the Soldier their Blessing, they departed."


"Of the Coming of the Devils, and of the first Torment which the
Soldier endured.

"The Soldier being thus left alone by the Holy Men, began to exercise himself for a new kind of Warfare, and having put on the Armour of Christ, stoutly waited for him, among the Devils, who shou'd first provoke him to Battle. He put on the Coat of Mail of Justice, girt his Mind, as he wou'd his Head, with the Helmet of the Hope of Victory and of eternal Salvation, cover'd his Breast with the Shield of Faith, and armed his Hand with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, devoutly calling upon Jesus Christ, that being defended by this Royal Fortress, his insulting Enemies might not conquer him. Nor did Divine Providence, which always protects those who trust in it, fail him. Being then, as aforesaid, sitting alone in the Inclosure, and with an undaunted Courage waiting for a Battle with the Devils, he heard all of a sudden so great a Noise as if all the Earth had been turn'd upside down: And indeed, if all the Men, and all the living creatures on Earth, in the Sea, and Air, had bellowed out together, it seemed to him, they cou'd not make a greater Noise: so that, had he not been protected by Divine Virtue, and happily instructed by the aforesaid Holy man, he wou'd infallibly have lost his Senses. But Lo, after this horrid Sound, there followed a sight of Devils more horrid; for there appear'd an innumerable multitude of Devils, in ugly frightful shapes; who saluted him in a fleering manner and said: 'Other Men who serve us, do not come to our Habitation till after Death; but thou art pleased to Honour our Company so much, as that thou wouldst not, like others wait for Death; but hast alive delivered both Body and Soul unto us: Thou has done this, that thou mayst receive the greater Reward from us: Thou shalt then be abundantly rewarded as thou hast deserv'd. Thou art come hither to be tortur'd for thy Sins; thou shalt then have what thou seekest, that is, Pressures and Grief. Yet for as much as thou hast hitherto served us, if thou wilt follow our Counsel, and return from whence thou camest, we will for thy reward lead thee safe to the Door by which thou hast enter'd in here; that thou mayest live joyfully in the World, and not lose the sweet things which thy Body is capable to enjoy.'

"All these things they said with an intent to deceive him, either with Terror or Flattery. But the stout Soldier of Jesus Christ was not shaken by Terror, nor seduced by Flattery; and therefore contemned with an equal Mind, as well those that wou'd terrifie, as those that wou'd flatter him, in making them no Answer.

"The Devils, perceiving they had been despised by the Soldier, cast up a prodigious flame; and having tyed him Head and Foot, cast him into the Fire, and with Iron Crooks dragg'd him to and fro, making a most hideous Noise. Then the Soldier having on the Armour of God, and remembering the Documents given him by the Holy Men, neither forgetting the Arms of his Spiritual Warfare, called upon the Name of his pious Redeemer, saying: Jesus Christ have pity upon me. Whereupon he was so fully deliver'd from the said Flames, that the least spark of all that great Fire did not appear. The Soldier perceiving this mighty delivery, became more bold, and resolv'd to fear no more those whom he saw so easily overcome by calling for the Assistance of Jesus Christ."


"Of the Four Penal Fields to which the Soldier was Dragged.

"Then the Devils leaving this Hall with an hideous Cry, and an horrid Tumult separated themselves. Some of them dragged the Soldier thro' a vast Region, that was so dark and obscure, that he cou'd see nothing but the Devils. There blew a burning Wind in it, which cou'd scarce be heard, but yet so dry that it seemed to Pierce his Body. From thence they dragged him towards those bounds of the Earth where the Sun rises at Midsummer, and being come thither, as unto the end of the World, they turn'd to the right Hand and extended themselves over a large Valley towards that part of the Earth where the Sun rises in the Middle of Winter. Here the Soldier began to hear, at a distance, the most lamentable Groans and Sighs of a vast Number of People; and the nearer he drew, the more he heard their doleful Lamentations. Being brought at last by the Devils to an exceeding long and large Field, whose bounds were out of sight, he there discover'd an infinite Number of Men and Women lying naked, flat on their Bellies, with great Iron Spikes red hot fastening their Hands and Feet to the Ground, and Miserably torturing them. Nay and observed them now and then, biteing the Earth for Rage and Pain, crying and bawling out; "Spare, spare; Pity, pity: when there was none by, who wou'd Spare or Pity. On the contrary, the Devils ran over them with great Scourges in their Hands lashing the Wretches, and saying to the Soldier: "Thus shalt thou be tortur'd if thou dost not agree to go back to the Door from when thou camest, and to which we will conduct thee in Peace." But the Soldier calling to mind how God had before delivered him, despised their Menaces: Then the Devils cast him down on the Ground, and began to torture him. But upon his invocating the Lord Jesus, they failed in their attempt.

"Leaving then this Field, they drag him to another that was full of great Misery; for between this and the former, there was this difference, that whereas in the former the wretched People lay flat on their Bellies, here they sat only on their Buttocks, some whereof were surrounded with fiery Dragons, gnawing and biteing them after a lamentable manner. Others had fiery Serpents twisted about their Heads and Necks, fixing their Stings in their Hearts. Others in fine had monstrous big Vultures perching upon their shoulders, and sticking their horrid Bills in their Breasts as if they wou'd pull out their Hearts. Besides all this, the Devils went running over them with dreadful Scourges lashing and tormenting them, so as that the poor wretches never ceas'd Crying and Lamenting. All these Torments (say the Devils to the Soldier) shalt thou suffer, except thou consent to return from whence thou camest. The Soldier despised their Threats, and disabled them to do him any harm, by calling upon the Name of Jesus.

"Quitting then this place, they led the Soldier to the third Penal Field. This was also full of People of both Sexes, who lay fastened to the ground with so many Iron Spikes on Fire, fix'd thro' them, and so thick set in their Bodies, that from Head to Foot there was scarce any where, the Breadth of a Finger, which had not been pierc'd. These Wretches cou'd indeed form a voice to cry; but it was such as Men in the Point of death usually do: They were naked also, like the rest, and were tortur'd over and above with a cold and burning Wind, besides what they suffer'd by the Scourges of the Devils. Now when the Devils wou'd torture the Soldier after this manner, by calling upon the Name of Jesus he escaped untouched.

"They drag him along to the fourth penal Field, which was full of great Fires, in which all manner of Torments were to be seen. Some were here hung up in the Air by the Hands with red hot Iron Chains; others by the Hair; some by the Arms; others by the Legs with their Heads downwards, and dipped into boiling Sulphur. Some hung by their Nails, with Iron Crooks fixt in their Eyes, in their Ears, in their Jaws in their Nostrils, in their Breasts, and in other parts of their Bodies; others were fry'd in Pans; and others roasted by the Fire on red hot Spits, which some of the Devils turned, while others basted them with various melted Metals: Nor was the cruel scourging of the Devils wanting, even among the dreadful Cries and Lamentations of these wretched Souls. Here the Soldier saw many of his own companions and knew them; yea, and saw all manner of Torments that can be imagin'd, neither cou'd any Tongue express the various Cries and Lamentations which he heard. The Devils having then expos'd all these to the Soldier's view, said unto him: These, and a great many more torments shalt thou endure, except thou go back out of the Cave. But the Soldier despised their Threats, called upon the Name of Jesus, when the Torments began, and so escaped."


"Of the Fiery-Wheel, Smokey-House, High Mountain, and Cold River to which the Devils dragged the Soldier.

"Then the Devils carry'd away the Soldier to an Iron Wheel, that was red hot, and of a prodigious bigness. The Spokes and Stakes of this Wheel were tarnished all round with Iron Crooks set on Fire, and on them hung Men fixed. One half of the Wheel stood above, and the other under ground: the horrid sulphurous Flame which issued from the Earth and surrounded this Wheel, did exceedingly torment the Men that hung on it. The same (say the Devils to the Soldier) that these suffer if thou will not return, shalt thou endure, nay and even see first what it is. Then they fasten'd Iron Bars to the Spokes of the Wheel, and turn'd it about with such Celerity, that not one Man of those that hung upon it cou'd be discern'd from another; for the whole Wheel appear'd like a Circle of Fire: And when they had fasten'd the Soldier to it and, by turning it about, lift him up in the Air, he called upon the Name of Jesus, and came down unhurt.

"From hence they dragged him towards a Certain House of an extraordinary breadth, and so long that the End of it was out of sight. When they drew near this House the Soldier stood still, being afraid to go forward in the excessive Heat that came out of it. Then the Devils said unto him: What thou seest are Baths, and whether thou wilt or no, thou shalt Bath in them, as others do that are there now. Immediately after, there were heard the most dismal Cries and Lamentations imaginable proceeding from thence; and being brought in, he saw a cruel and horrid sight. The Floor of this House was full of round Pits join'd so close together, that no Man cou'd walk between them: and each of these Pits was full of boiling Liquors made of various Mettals, in which were plunged an infinite Number of both Sexes, and of Divers Ages. Some were dipped down over Head; some to the Eyes only; Others to the Lips; Some to the Neck; Others to the Breast; Some to the Navel; Others to the Thighs; Some to the Knees; Others to half the Leg; Some had one Leg only in; Others both the Hands: And thus were all these boiling Pits or Cauldrons filled with wretched Sinners, who set forth such dismal Groans and Lamentations as were sufficient to chill the Blood of the most hard-hearted Man. Here (say the Devils to the Soldier) shalt thou Bath, and with that they lifted him up and endeavour'd to cast him into one of the Cauldrons, but upon hearing the Name of Jesus they cou'd not prevail. Whereupon they quit this House, and Carry the Soldier to an exceeding high Mountain, where they show him a Number of Men and Women far beyond any of the former. These Wretches sat Stark Naked with their Toes bent, and look'd towards the North, as if they expected every minute to expire that way. And while the Soldier stood wondering what they waited for, one of the Devils said unto him: Possibly thou wondrest what these People expect with so much trembling and fear, but if thou agree not to go back, thou shalt soon know to thy cost the cause of their Fear. The Devil had scarce made an end of these Words, when a Whirlwind from the North rushed upon them, and blew away the Devils, the Soldier, and all the People, and cast them over the other side of the Mount into a River, that stunk, and was intolerably cold: and as often as any of these wretched people attempted to raise themselves over the Water, the Devils immediately plunged them down. But the Soldier, who had always in mind his Divine Assistant, called upon his Redeemer Jesus Christ, and so found himself ashore on the Other Side of the River."


"Of the Pit that cast up Flames, and of the High Bridge to which the
Devils led the Soldier.

"The Devils were not as yet satisfied with all the injuries they had offer'd to the Soldier of Jesus Christ, and therefore dragged him towards the South, where he saw before him a dreadful Flame of Sulphurous Matter rising out of a Deep Pit, and vomiting up Men red hot like Sparks of Fire, and as the force of the Flames abated, falling down again into the Pit. When they came near this Pit, the Devils said to the Soldier: 'This is the entrance to Hell; this is our Habitation: and for as much as thou hast hitherto carefully served us, here thou shalt for ever continue with us; for all those who serve us dwell here everlastingly. And when thou shalt once go in, thou shalt eternally perish both Body and Soul. Notwithstanding, if thou wilt obey now, and return to the Door of the Cave into which thou didst enter, thou may'st go safe home to thine own Dwelling.' The Soldier, who had so often experienced God's Assistance before, despised both their Threats and Promises. whereupon the Devils, enraged to see themselves so often contemned, cast themselves headlong into the Pit, and thrust the Soldier down before them. Who the further he descended the larger he observed the Pit to grow, and the more sensibly he felt the pain of the Fire: Here the poor Man was put to the extent of his patience; for the pain was so intolerably acute, that for a while he had quite lost his Senses, and was not able to pronounce the Name of Jesus! but Almighty God taking pity of him enabled him at last to utter in some manner that Divine Name: Whereupon the Flame shot him up so as that he fell upon the Brink of the Pit: but so disordered, that for awhile he knew not where he was, neither cou'd he tell whither to turn himself. Then a new and unknown Legion of devils rushing out of the Pit surrounded him, and asked what he did there? 'Our Companions (say they) told thee this was the Gate of Hell; but they told thee a lye, and thou shalt know it is so; for we are always accustomed to tell lyes, that we may deceive those we cannot by telling the Truth. This is not the Hell, but now we will bring thee to it.' And having so said, they dragged the Soldier along to a great and spacious River, that was cover'd all over with a stinking sulphurous Flame, and filled up with Devils and damned Souls. Know thou (say they unto him) that under this River lyeth Hell. Now there was a great and lofty Bridge over this River, in which three things appear'd very formidable, and almost impossible to be overcome by those who were to pass over it. The First, that the Surface of the Bridge was so slippery that it was impossible for any Man to fix his feet upon it; the Second, that the passage was so straight and narrow, that no Man cou'd stand or walk on it. The Third, that the Bridge was so high up over the River, as to create a Horror in any that shou'd look down. Thou must (added the Devils) go over this Bridge, and we will raise a mighty Wind which shall cast thee down into the River, where our Fellows that are there shall take thee and drown thee in Hell: For we are resolv'd to try how safe thou shalt think it for thee to attempt so dangerous a Thing: However, if thou wilt consent to go back to the Door of the Dave, thou shalt escape this Danger, and return safe home to thine own Country.

"The faithful Soldier reflecting within himself, upon the great and many Dangers from which his Pious advocate Jesus Christ had deliver'd him, and calling often upon his Name boldly stepped in upon the Bridge, and began to walk forward, feeling nothing slippery under his Foot, but all firm and steady; because he firmly confided in God and steadily adhered to his Promise: Nay the Higher he went up the Bridge the broader he found the Passage; so as that in a short space the way was equal to a Road where several carts may meet and pass. Now the Devils who led the soldier by the Hands to the Bridge, not being able to walk with him thereon, stood at the Bridge Foot, expecting to see him fall down, but perceiving that he walked on without any Danger, they raised a Cry and Noise so dreadful that it put him into a greater fright than any of the Torments before had done. Yet when he found that the Devils stood still, and did not follow him, he went on securely, relying on the Assistance of his Divine Protector. The Devils also that were in the River under the Bridge, seeing him go on over their heads, ran about the Bridge, and cast their fiery crooks and Darts at him; but being protected by the Shield of Faith, he felt no harm, and so got clear of all their Ambushes."


"Of the Celestial Glory and Terrestrial Paradise shewn to the
Soldier, and of his Conference with the Bishops thereon.

"The invincible Soldier being now deliver'd from the Snares of the unclean Spirits, saw before his Eyes an High Wall raised to the Skies, the Beauty and Structure whereof was beyond Estimation. Its Gate was adorn'd with costly Jewels, and divers precious Mettals, that afforded a most agreeable Prospect. Having approached, as it were within Half a Mile to it, the Gate seem'd to open, and sent forth so sweet a smell, that, as it seem'd to him, if all the Earth had been turn'd into Spice, it could hardly afford so agreeable a perfume, which so refresh'd his tired Limbs and Spirits, that he believed he could with ease undergo again all the Torments he had endured. And looking in at the Gates, he discover'd a Door which excelled the brightness of the Sun. As he stood then at a little distance from the Gate, there came out to meet him so beautiful, so great, and so orderly a Procession, as was never to be parallel'd to his thinking in this World, with Crosses, Wax Tapers, Banners, and Golden Palm Branches in the Hands of the Men that led this Procession. After these follow'd Men of all Degrees and Orders, some Archbishops, some Bishops, Abbots, Monks, Chanons, Priests, and Clerks of every Degree, all cloathed in the sacred Apparel proper to their Respective Degrees and Orders; and like in Shape and Colour to those they wore, when they serv'd God here on Earth. Being come up to the Soldier, they all embraced him with unspeakable joy, and conducted him into the Gate with a concert of so Melodious an Harmony, as could not be equalled by any in this World.

"When the Musick ceased, and the Procession ended, two Archbishops took the Soldier apart, in order, as was thought to shew him this new World and the Glory of it, but first they blessed God, who had strengthen'd his soul with so much constancy, in all the Torments thro' which he passed, and which he so resolutely bore.

"They then conducted him over all the pleasant places of this new World, where his Eyes were so charmed, and all his Senses so ravished that, in his opinion, neither the Tongues of the ablest Orators cou'd explain, nor the Pens of the Nimblest Scriveners indite the Glory and Splendor of the Things which he had seen and heard. So great was the light of this happy Region, that as the light of a candle is Eclipsed by that of the Sun, so was the light of the Sun by the brightness of this. The Night doth never overshade this Land, for the light of a Pure and Serene Sky keeps it constantly bright. All the Land was like a pleasant Green Meadow diversified by various sorts of Flowers, Fruits, Trees and Herbs; whose very perfumes, saith the Soldier, wou'd keep him alive, were he allowed to dwell always there. The Bounds of the Country he did not see for the greatness of its Extent, only of that part by which he enter'd it; but discover'd in it so great a multitude of both Sexes as he believes no Man ever saw in his Life, or ever was together in any Age; of whom some dwelt apart in one Community, and some in another; yet so as they passed from one society to another, as they pleased. And by this means, it came to pass, that they all enjoy'd one another's company; and choirs joyn'd with choirs to sing God's Praise: And as one Star differs from another in brightness; so was there an agreeable and harmonious variety and difference in the Habits and Countenances of those thrice happy People. For some of them seem'd to be clothed in Golden Vests; others, in Purple, some in Scarlet; others in Blew; some in Green, and others in White. And the Shape and Fashion of each habit was the same as that which they wore in the World; so that the Soldier cou'd easily discern of what Dignity, Order, and Degree, each of them had been. Some wore Crowns like Kings, others carry'd Golden Palms in their Hands. Glorious then and agreeable to the Eye, was the sight of the inexpressible Harmony of their Melody, in Singing the Praises of their Lord and Maker. Each of them rejoiced at his own Happiness, and at that of every other. And all of them, who saw the Soldier, Praised God upon his coming among them, and rejoiced at his Deliverance from the Devils. Here was neither Heat nor Cold, nor anything else that cou'd incommode or molest; but all things peaceable, quiet, still, agreeable. Many more things did the Soldier, see and hear in this happy Region than any Tongue or Pen cou'd express.

"When he had then satiated his Eyes and Ears, the Bishops spoke to him after this manner."

* * * * *

"After this discourse the venerable Prelates took the Soldier up to the Top of a Mountain, commanded him to look up and tell them what colour the Sky over his head appear'd to him to be of. The Soldier answer'd that it appear'd to him to be of the colour of Gold in a fiery Furnace. 'That (say they) which thou see'st is the Gate of Paradise. By this Gate those that are taken up from us go into Heaven. And you are to know further, that while we continue here, we are constantly fed once a day with Food from Heaven, but that you may know what sort of Food, and how pleasant it is, you shall, God willing, Feel and Taste it with us.'

"These words were no sooner pronounced, when Certain Rays like flames of Fire cover'd the whole Region, and after a while dividing into smaller Rays sat upon the Heads of every one in the Land, and at last enter'd into them. And among the rest, sat upon the Soldier's Head also, and enter'd into him. The Soldier was wrapt up in such extasie at the Sweetness of this Food, that he cou'd not tell whether he was dead or alive, but this soon passed over. This is the Food (added they) with which God feeds us once a day; but they that are carryed hence from us enjoy it without End. The Soldier wou'd willingly stay there if he were allowed to enjoy the deliciousness of that Food. But instead of so sweet and desirable, mournful things are related unto him.

"For as much then (beloved Brother continue the Prelates), as thou hast partly seen what thou didst desire to see, namely, the Rest of the Blessed, and the Torments of Sinners; thou must now return by the same Way thou camest hither; and if thou wilt for the future lead a sober and godly Life; thou shalt be secure not only of this Rest; but also of the Heavenly Mansions; but if thou wilt, which God forbid, lead an ill Life and pollute thy Body with Sin; behold thou hast seen the Torments that attend thee. Thou may'st now safely return; for thou need'st not fear any of those Things; wherewith the Devils attempted to frighten thee in thy way hither; because they dare not approach thee any more, being afraid to appear before thee; neither can all the Torments which thou hast seen hurt thee. The Soldier was astonished at these Words, and began with Tears and Crys humbly to beseech the Bishops, not to oblige him to return again to the Cares of the World from so great a happiness. 'I cannot leave this place', said he, 'for I fear I shou'd be intangled in the snares of the World, so as to hinder me to come back here'; It shall not be as thou wouldest, replied the Bishops; but as He who hath made thee and us disposes, so shall it be; for He alone knows what is most expedient for us all."


"How the Soldier went out of this Purgatory, made a Pilgrimage to
Jerusalem, and how he spent the rest of his days.

"Then Owen, the Soldier, having received their Blessing, set out, and return'd the same way he came. The Prelates conducted him to the Gate of Paradise, and shut it after him; and being sad and grieved to be obliged to return again to the Miseries of this World, he went back the same way till he came to the Hall, where he was first infested by the Devils. He saw indeed the Devils on the way, but so soon as they saw him, they vanished as if they had been afraid of him. He also passed thro' the Places where he was before tormented; but now they had no Power to hurt him. Being then come to the said Hall, he went in boldly and Lo the fifteen Men, who had instructed him in the beginning, met him, glorifying God, who had given him so much constancy in his Torments, and having congratulated him upon his victory, said unto him: 'Courage, Brother. We know thou hast overcome the Torments which thou hast so manfully born; and that thou art purged of all thy Sins. The Sun begins now to rise in thy Country: Make haste then up to the Cave: For if the Prior, who when he hath said Mass, shall come to the Door, finds thee not there, he will lock the Door, as Despairing of thy salvation; and return to the Church.' The Soldier hereupon, having first got their Blessing, hasten'd up to the Cave, and at the very Minute that the Prior open'd the Door, the Soldier appear'd. The Prior embraced him, glorified God, and conducted him to the Church, and caused him to continue there fasting and praying for fifteen Days. Then the Soldier put on his Shoulder the mark of the Cross of Christ and went with great Devotion to the Holy Land, to visit the Sepulchre of our Lord Jesus Christ at Jerusalem, and all the holy Places round about it. Which when he had Devoutly performed he came back, and went to Stephen, King of England, to whom he had been before familiarly known, to advise with him, after what Manner he might best for the future, Warfare for the King of Kings, as he had heretofore carry'd Arms for him.

"It happen'd at the same time, that Gervasius Abbot of Lude, had got by King Stephen's Recommendation a Place in Ireland for the building of a Monastry. This Abbot sent one of his Monks, called Gilbert, to the King, to be recommended by him to the King of Ulster, and then to proceed from thence to Ireland in order to erect the said Monastry: who being Kindly received by the King, complained very much that he was a stranger to the Irish Language; I shall find you, by God's help, says the King, an excellent Interpreter. Then he called Owen, the Irish Soldier, commanded him to go with Gilbert, and to continue with him in Ireland. Owen readily obey'd the King's Orders, adding with all, that he was obliged in gratitude to serve the Monks, whose Charity he had so often and so remarkably experienced. They then went over to Ireland, and began to build the Monastry, which they finished in two years and a half. The Monk Gilbert took care of the things within the Monastry; and Owen the Soldier was a trusty Procurator, and devout Minister of the Things abroad; as also a faithful Interpreter: And having taken the Habit of a Monk; he lived an Holy and Religious Life all the rest of his days, as the said Gilbert testifieth. Whenever this Gilbert and the Soldier happen'd to be alone; Gilbert was very inquisitive to know from him the particulars of all the Things he had seen and felt in this Purgatory; and the Soldier who upon pronouncing the word Purgatory, used to burst out into Tears, told him all that he had seen and felt, which Yet he wou'd willingly have concealed, had he not been persuaded, that it might tend to the Edification, and Amendment of the Lives of many. Nay and affirmed upon his Conscience, that he had seen with his corporal Eyes all the Things which he related. Now it was by the Care and Industry of this Monk, and upon the Testimony and Credit of the Bishops of this part of the Kingdom, who had the account from the Soldier's own Mouth, and that of the other Religious and godly men of those Times that these things were committed to Posterity."

The last chapter, which is "Of the Examination and Manifold Proofs of this History," concludes with the following observations by Messingham himself.

"This History of Owen the Soldier, as to that part of it that is related by Henry Salteriensis, I borrow'd from an ancient Manuscript of the said Author now extant in the Library of St. Victor, and that related by Mathew Paris, I took from his printed History of England: But if after all, any Man chuse rather to oppose, than piously to believe the same, let him consult the Holy Fathers, St. Gregory, Venerable Bede, Dionysius Carthusianus, and carefully read the various Revelations, Visions, and Relations not unlike these recorded by them; to which as to things very probable they themselves were not afraid to give Credit, and which they would not presume to deny."

Calderon was not the only celebrated poet who made the Purgatory of St. Patrick the subject of his song. Four centuries before the great Spanish dramatist was born, a most elaborate and very lengthy poem was written on the same attractive theme by Marie de France, the first woman, as M. de Roquefort says,who ever wrote French verse, the Sappho of her age.* Nor was Marie herself the only minstrel of that early time who yielded to the fascination of this legend. Two anonymous Trouveres of a little later period were unconsciously her rivals in the attempt. M. l'Abbe de la Rue, in his valuable work on Norman and Anglo-Norman Poetry, thus writes:—

[footnote] *"Poesies de Marie de France", par B. De Roquefort. Paris, 1820. t.i., p.1.

"Quoique la celebre Marie eut, au XIIIe siecle, donne une assez ample histoire du Purgatoire de St.-Patrice, puisqu'elle est de plus de trois mille vers, deux autres Trouveres anglo-normands qui probablement ne connaissaient pas son poeme, volurent dans le siecle suivant traiter le meme sujet."**

[footnote} **"Essais Historiques sur les Trouveres", etc., par M. L'Abbe de la Rue. Caen, 1834. t. iii., p. 245.

These poems, still unedited, are to be found in the Cottonian and Harleian MSS. The reader is also referred to the very interesting and exceedingly rare volume, 'Owain Miles' (Edinburgh, 1837), and 'The Visions of Tundale' (Edinburgh, 1843), in the Prefaces to both of which, by the late lamented W.B.D.D. Turnbull, much curious information on the subject will be found.

* * * * *


ACT III., SCENE X. (the concluding lines.)

The list of authorities at the end of the third act has been, and not without reason, a source of great perplexity. Calderon is blamed even by so thoughtful a critic as Mr. Ticknor for putting into the mouth of Enius himself the names of a number of writers who have in some way alluded to the Purgatory of St. Patrick, all of whom were of periods long subsequent to the time at which he represents himself to have lived, several of them being the very writers who nearly a thousand years later described his own adventures. But this is quite usual on the Spanish stage. There is scarcely a drama of Calderon that does not end in the same way. The last speaker, whoever he may be, and he is frequently the 'gracioso', abandons, for the last few lines of his speech, his assumed character, and addresses the audience as an actor in a brief epilogue. The list of authorities at the end of "El Purgatorio de San Patricio" is nothing more. It is simply an epilogue, perhaps a little longer than usual, which the curious nature of the subject to some extent justifies. The manner in which the names are printed is a different matter. But the reader should recollect that this drama was not printed by Calderon himself, but by his brother Joseph, who certainly in this instance at least considered it no part of his duty as editor to verify the correctness of the poet's references. Some of the confusion certainly is attributable to Calderon himself, as he has separated and transposed names for the purpose of adapting them to his versification. But other mistakes remain behind which we may fairly divide between Don Joseph and the printer.

The original lines, as given in all the editions, that of
Hartzenbusch included, are the following:—

"Para que con esta acabe
La historia, que nos refiere
Dionisio el gran Cartusiano,
Con Enrique Saltarense,
Cesario, Mateo Rodulfo,
Domiciano Esturbaquense,
Membrosio, Marco Marulo,
David Roto, y el prudente
Primado de toda Hibernia,
Belarmino, Beda, Serpi,
Fray Dimas, Jacob Solino,
Mensignano, y finalmente
La piedad y la opinion
Cristiana, que lo defiende."

Some of these names are obvious enough; it is with regard to those that are rendered more obscure by the manner in which they are presented that the difficulty arises. The list is taken for the most part from the fourth chapter of Montalvan's "Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio", but with the names singularly disconnected and misplaced. They are turned, too, so completely into Spanish as to be scarcely recognised. Even in Messingham's "Florilegium", where they are all to be found, though not in one place, they are not always correctly printed. The following attempt at identification, now made for the first time, will be found, it is believed, to be perfectly accurate.

The first name, "Dionisio el gran Cartusiano," scarcely requires any explanation. The work referred to, in an edition of which I have a copy, is as follows:—

"D. Dionysii Carthusiani liber utilissimus de quatuor hominis novissimis, etc.," Parisiis, 1551.

The account "De Purgatorio Sancti Patritii" extends from fol. 235 to fol. 237.

"Enrique Saltarense" is Henry of Saltrey, a Benedictine monk of the
Abbey of Saltrey in Huntingdonshire, who about the middle of the
twelfth century first reduced to writing the Adventures of Owain, or
Enius, in the Purgatory of St. Patrick.

Of him Messingham writes thus. Referring to his authorities, he says:—

"What you shall find under the letter B, is taken from Henry Salteriensis, an English monk of the Cistercian order, who had been taught most excellent Precepts of a good Life as well as good Letters by Florentianus, an Irish bishop, and Gilbert de Luda [Louth, in Lincolnshire], Abbot of the Cistercian Monks, who also, being himself well instructed, used to teach others the fear of the Lord as the beginning of wisdom. . . . . And hence it is that he wrote unto Henry Abbot of Sartis one Book of the Purgatory of St. Patrick and one Book of the Pains of Purgatory. He flourished in the year of Grace 1140." — "A Brief History of St. Patrick's Purgatory". Paris, 1718. Preface.

"Cesario," which carelessness or the exigency of metre has separated from the "Esturbaquense," of the next line is Caesarius of Heisterbach, a well-known hagiological writer of whom Adrien Baillet thus speaks:— "Un religieux Allemand de l'ordre de Citeaux nomme 'Cesaire de Heisterbach', qui mourut du tems de l'empereur Frederic II. travailla aussi a la vie des Saints." He adds in a note:— "Cesaire se fit moine l'an 1198, au Val de Saint de Pierre, dit autrement Heisterbach, pres de la ville de Bonne, dans le diocese de Cologne, et ne mourut que pres de quarante ans apres. Il avoit ete maitre des novices dans son couvent, et ensuite prieur de la maison de Villiers." — 'Discours sur l'histoire de la Vie des Saints. Les Vies Des Saints'. Paris, 1739. T. i., p. xlvii.

"Mateo Rodulfo," printed as the names of one author in Calderon, separate into two persons in Messingham and Montalvan. The first is the well-known Mathew Paris, whose 'Relation of the vision of Owen the Irish Soldier' is expressly referred to in these words by Messingham, who also alludes to him more fully in his preface. 'What you shall find under the letter C,' says Messingham, 'is borrowed from Mathew Paris, an English Benedictine Monk, who had from his youth consecrated himself to a Monastic life, and polish'd most excellent talents of nature with exquisite Arts and Sciences, and adorn'd the same with all Christian virtues; being an Handicraft, a Writer, a good Painter, a fine Poet, an acute Logician, a solid Divine; and (which is much more valuable) pure in his Manners, bright in the innocence of his life, simple and candid. Pitseus, upon the year 1259, in which the said Mathew died, gives him a great many more encomiums, which for brevity sake I hear omit.'

The remaining half of 'Mateo Rodulfo' turns out to be Ranulphus or Ralph, Higden, the Monk of Chester, whose Polychronicon is quoted both by Messingham and Montalvan. The 'Domiciano' of the next line, which is 'Dominicano' in Montalvan, has so completely got rid of the name to which it belongs, that without the aid of Calderon's authorities, Messingham and Montalvan, it would be impossible to know who was meant. In Messingham the reference is to 'Jacobus Januensis, the Dominican, in the Life of St. Patrick,' and in Montalvan to 'Jacobo Januense, o Genuense, Dominicano.' The person thus disguised is the famous Jacobus de Voragine, the Dominican, author of 'The Golden Legend,' who was Bishop of Genoa in 1292, and died at a very advanced age in 1298. Of the 'Legenda Aurea', the fiftieth chapter is devoted to St. Patrick.

'Membrosio' is called 'Mombrisio' in Montalvan, and 'Mombrusius' in
Messingham. Correctly it was neither. The writer referred to is
'Boninus Mombritius', a fine copy of whose 'Sanctuarium' is in the
British Museum. At fol. 188, t. ii, there is a full account of the
Purgatory, the name of the adventurous visitor being 'Nicolaus'. Of
Mombritius, whom he calls Bonin Mombrice, the same writer (Baillet),
from whom I have already quoted, says:—

"Cet homme peu connu d'ailleurs etoit Milanois de naissance, conseiller on fils de conseiller au senat de Milan; il vivoit du tems de Galeas Marie, duc de Milan, qui fut tue l'an 1476, et du Pape Sixte IV., qui mourut en 1484. Il s'etoit deja fait regarder comme grammairien, poete, orateur et philosopohe par divers ouvrages, mais aucun ne lui fit tant d'honneur que son 'Sanctuaire', qui est le titre qu'il donna a son recueil d'actes des Saints dedie a Simonete, secretaire des ducs de Milan." — 'Discours', p. lvii.

'Marco Marulo' is Marcus Marulus, Cap. xiv., Lib. 6, of whose work,
"De religiose vivendi institutione per exempla," is entitled "De
revelationibus infernalium poenarum." — 'Apul Sanctam Coloniam.
Anno M.D.XXXI.

In this there is an account of a certain Irish monk, "cui Petro nomen fuit," who appears to have entered the Purgatory in vision. This is probably the passage which Messingham and Montalvan quote, though a different reference is given.

'Maurolicus Siculus', who follows next in Messingham and Montalvan, is omitted by Calderon.

"David Roto, y el prudente Primado de toda Hibernia," are one and the same person. This was the famous David Rothe, Bishop of Ossory, so intimately connected in 1642 with the Confederation of Kilkenny, of which an excellent history has been written by the Rev. Charles Meehan, M.R.I.A. The epithet "prudente" seems to have been a happy condensation of the many terms of encomium lavished upon this celebrated man by Messingham. Alluding again to his classification of his authorities under the first four letters of the alphabet, Messingham says:—

"Whatever then you shall find written under the letter A, until you come to the next letter, is taken from the Right Reverend Father David Roth, Lord Bishop of Ossory, and Vice Primate of all Ireland, a Man excellently well read in all parts of literature, an eloquent Rhetorician, a subtle Philosopher, a profound Divine, a celebrated Historian, a zealous chastizer of Vice, a steady Defender of Ecclesiastical Liberty, a constant Assertor of the Privileges of his Country, most devoutly compassionate upon the calamities of his Nation, a diligent Promoter of Peace and Unity among the Clergy, and, for that end, instituted the Congregation commonly called Pacifick, in the year 1620, which has, with no little fruit and advantage to the Clergy, spread itself over all the Kingdom, — a Man, in fine, who has left to Posterity many rare Monuments of his excellent talents, the Catalogue of which I shall not here, for good reasons, insert, but hope for more soon from him."

"Belarmino," "Beda." Cardinal Bellarmin and Venerable Bede are too well known to require any observations.

"Serpi, Fray Dimas," cut into two lines, with the names transposed, mean 'Fr. Dimas Serpi', one of whose works ('Aprodixis Sanctitatis, etc', Romae, M.DC. IX.), though not the one referred to by Messingham, is in the British Museum. In Montalvan the marginal note gives, "Lib. de Purgatorio, cap. 26," as the reference. The German translator of this drama (Brunn, 1824), misled by the punctuation of the original, treats Dimas Serpi as two persons.

"Jacob Solino," the next authority for the legend, is perhaps the most perplexing in the list. Like twin stars that seem one to the naked eye, but resolve themselves into two beneath the telescope, so the single author of the printed text of Calderon appears distinct persons in the pages of Montalvan. He gives them thus: — "Jacobo," "Solino," with a separate reference to each. Thus to "Jacobo," the marginal reference is, "In sua historia Orientale;" and to "Solino," "cap. 35," without the name of the work.

 From Messingham we at once learn who the former writer was. He calls
him in one place "Jacobus de Vitriaco," and in another more briefly,
"Vitriacus." The passage referred to in the marginal note of
Montalvan is given thus:—

"Further, Jacobus de Vitriaco, in his History of the East, chap. 92, writes thus concerning this cave:— 'There is a certain Place in Ireland, call'd St. Patrick's Purgatory, into which whosoever enters, except he be truly penitent and contrite in Heart, is snatched away by Devils, and never returns. But he that with true contrition confesseth his sins, and goes in there, tho' the Devils vex and torture him, by Fire and Water, and many other Torments, yet is he purged of all his sins: Now they that are thus purged, and return, are never more seen to laugh or play; or to take pleasure in any thing in this World, but constantly weeping and sighing, forget the things that are behind, and stretch forward to the things that are before them.' — A Brief History of St. Patrick's Purgatory, Paris, 1718, pp. 9, 10.

"Solino," who is so strangely united by Calderon's printer to "Jacob," presents some difficulty. In Messingham's list of authorities this name does not appear. The first French translator of Montalvan (Bruxelles, 1637) merely gives the Latin form of the name, "Solinus." The second French translator, Bouillon, in his 'Histoire de la vie et du Purgatoire de S. Patrice' (Troyes, 1642), turns both names into French, thus, "Jacques Solin, en son Histoire Orientale, chap. 26." This is doubly a mistake. The 'Histoire Orientale' is the work of Vitriacus, as already pointed out; and "chap. 26" refers not to that work, but to some unnamed writing of "Solino."

Of course the first name that suggests itself, as the author alluded to, is that of Caius Julius Solinus. The latest date assigned as the period when this celebrated writer flourished is A.D. 238 — that is, about 135 years before the birth of St. Patrick. To quote him as an authority on the subject of St. Patrick's Purgatory would therefore be a more absurd anachronism than any that has been pointed out in this curious list. This difficulty appeared to me so strong, that for a while I was led to believe that "Solino" was but a corrupted Spanish form of "Joceline," or "Joscelino," as it is sometimes given, whose 'Life of St. Patrick', written in the twelfth century, supplies all the incidents of St. Patrick's early life recorded by Montalvan and Calderon. He is also frequently referred to by Messingham. But further reflection convinces me that the writer alluded to was in reality the celebrated Latin author of the third century already mentioned, Caius Julius Solinus.

Solinus has of course no allusion to St. Patrick's Purgatory; but in his celebrated work, 'Polyhistor', compiled, it is thought, chiefly from Pliny's Natural History, he has a remarkable chapter on Ireland. Some of his statements are doubtful, and all are very curious; one of them at least depriving St. Patrick, by anticipation, of one of his most famous miracles. This is the banishment of the serpents, which it appears was first mentioned by Jocelin in the twelfth century. It is expressly stated by Solinus, who wrote in the third century, that in Ireland "There are no snakes and few byrdes," to use the language of the old English translator, Arthur Golding. This statement of the previous exemption of Ireland from venomous reptiles was warmly disputed by Dr. David Rothe, the Bishop of Ossory, early in the seventeenth century. It will be remembered that "David Roto" has already been quoted as an authority on the subject of St. Patrick's Purgatory, and it is his collateral controversy with Solinus that probably led Montalvan, and subsequently Calderon, to suppose that Solinus had in some way alluded to that legend. A valuable 'Life of St. Patrick', by P. Lynch (Dublin, 1828), contains many allusions to this subject, of which the following may be given as an example.

"The objections which Doctor Roth raised to the testimony of Solinus have as slender a foundation in reason. For Solinus (saith he) not only mentions thisexemption of Ireland from venomous creatures, but says further, that in Ireland there are few birds, and no bees; and therefore concludes, that as he is mistaken in these latter particulars, so he is not to be believed in the former,"— p. 42.

The author of this Life of St. Patrick goes on to say that Solinus may have been perfectly accurate in these statements. That other writers have alluded to the time when bees were first introduced into Ireland, and that the migration of some birds thither, among others the magpie, took place at a comparatively modern period. He does not add, however, that Solinus states that the very dust of Ireland was so distasteful to the bees, where they are now as much at home as in Hymettus, that if it is scattered about their hives even in another country they abandon their combs. Thus writes quaint Arthur Golding:—

"There is not any Bee among them, and if a man bring of the dust of the stones from thence, and strew them among Bee-hyves, the swarme forsake ye combes."

Another misstatement of Solinus may be pointed out. He says:—

"The sea that is betweene Ireland and Britayne, being full of shallows and rough all the yeere long, cannot be sayled but a few dayes in the summer time."

With the following picturesque passage referring to the warlike training of their children by the Irish, as recorded by a Roman writer in the third century of the Christian era, we take leave of Solinus, who we have no doubt was the author referred to by Montalvan and Calderon under the name of "Solino:"—

"If a woman be delivered of a man childe, she layes his first meate upon her husband's sworde, and putting it softly to his prettie mouth gives him the first hansel of his sworde upon the very point of the weapon, praying (according to the manner of their country) that he may not otherwise come to his death, than in Battel and among weapons."— 'The Excellent and Pleasant Worke of Julius Solinus Polyhistor. Translated out of Latin into English by Arthur Golding, Gent.' At London, 1587. p. 105.

The last name in the list of authorities on the subject of St. Patrick's Purgatory is "Mensignano," with the reference in the margin of Montalvan's 'Vida y Purgatorio' to his 'Florilegium'. This of course is Messingham, out of whose book, aided by his own wild imagination, Perez de Montalvan created the character of Luis Enius, who is presented to us with such dramatic power by Calderon.

Notwithstanding the length of these notes, the following summary, taken with some corrections from the Introduction to the former translation of this drama (1853), may still be useful:—

The curious history of Luis Enius, on which the principal interest of the play depends, has been alluded to, and given more or less fully by many ancient authors. The name, though slightly altered by the different persons who have mentioned him, can easily be recognised as the same in all, whether as Owen, Oien, Owain, Egan, Euenius, or Enius. Perhaps the earliest allusion to him in any printed English work is that contained in Ranulph Higden's "Polychronicon," published at Westminster, by Wynkin de Worde, in 1495: "In this Steven's tyme, a knyght that hyght Owen wente in to the Purgatory of the second Patrick, abbot, and not byshoppe. He came agayne and dwelled in the abbaye of Ludene of Whyte Monks in Irlonde, and tolde of joye and of paynes that he had seen." The history of Enius had, however, existed in MS. for nearly three centuries and a half before the Polychronicon was printed; it had been written by Henry, the monk of Saltrey in Huntingdonshire, from the account which he had received from Gilbert, a Cistercian monk of the Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Luden, or Louth, in Lincolnshire (Colgan, 'Trias Thaumaturgae', p. 281. Ware's 'Annals of Ireland', A.D. 1497). Colgan, after collating this MS. with two others on the same subject which he had seen, printed it nearly in full in his 'Trias', which was published at Louvain, A.D. 1647, where with the notes it fills from the 273rd to the 281st page. Messingham, as we have seen, had printed it earlier from other sources, in 1624. Matthew Paris, however, had before this, in his History of England, under the date 1153, given a full account of the adventures of Oenus in the Purgatory, and in the few places that I have compared his account with that given in Colgan, I find both generally agreeing in substance, though not in words. In the folio edition of Mathew Paris, London, 1604, the history of Oenus begins at the 72nd and ends at the 77th page. In Montalvan's life of St. Patrick, the adventures of Enius are given much more fully than either in Matthew Paris or Colgan. In their versions of the story the early life of Enius, previous to his undertaking to enter the Purgatory, is passed over with a few general remarks as to its extreme wickedness — while they give in great detail all that he saw and heard therein. Matthew Paris, for instance, opens the story of Enius in these words: "Miles quidam Oenus nomine, qui multis annis sub Rege Stephano militaverat — licentia a Rege impetrata, profectus est in Hyberniam ad natale solum, ut parentes visitaret. Qui cum aliquandiu in regione illa demoratus fuisset coepit ad mentem reducere vitam suam adeo flagitiosam: Quod ab ipsis cunabulis, incendiis semper vacaverat et rapinis, et quod magis dolebat, se ecclesiarum fuisse violatorem et rerum ecclesiasticarum invasorem praeter multa enormia quae intrinsecus latebant peccata," etc. — 'Mat. Par'., p. 72. In Henry of Saltrey's account, as given by Messingham in 1624 and Colgan in 1647, this portion of the life of Enius is despatched even with more succinctness, but in Montalvan's 'Vida y Purgatorio de San Patricio', all his early crimes are detailed nearly in the order and almost in the very words that Calderon has used. Sir Walter Scott mentions, in his Border Minstrelsy, that there is a curious MS. Metrical Romance, in the Advocates' Library of Edinburgh, called, "The Legend of Sir Owain," relating his adventures in St. Patrick's Purgatory; he gives some stanzas from it, descriptive of the knight's passage of "The Brig O'Dread;" which in the legend, is placed between Purgatory and Paradise. This poem is supposed to have been written late in the thirteenth century. It was printed for private distribution in Edinburgh, in 1837, but from the very limited impression, there having been but thirty-two copies struck off, it must always remain extremely scarce. A cognate work, however, "The Visions of Tundale" (Edinburgh, 1843), published by the same lamented scholar (Mr. Turnbull) who edited the former work, though rare, is more accessible.