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Saidst thou not
Then follow me!
No, she must not.
He speaks like
Adah. So did the serpent, and it lied. [that Lucifer. Thou errest, Adah!—was not the tree Of knowledge? Adah.
Ay-to our eternal sorrow. Lucifer. And yet that grief is knowledge—so he lied not:
And if he did betray you, 't was with truth;
Adah. But all we know of it has gather'd
Lucifer. More than thy mother, and thy sire?
[The first interview of Lucifer with Cain is full of sublimity.- JEFFREY.]
2 [It is impossible not to be struck with the resemblance between many of these passages and others in Manfred.]
3 [Mr. Jeffrey's eulogium on this, perhaps the most Shak
Adah. I do. Is that a sin, too?
It one day will be in your children.
No, not yet:
Things which will love each other as we love
Lucifer. The sin I speak of is not of my making,
And cannot be a sin in you-whate'er
It seem in those who will replace ye in
Adah. What is the sin which is not
Lucifer. Higher things than ye are slaves: and Than them or ye would be so, did they not Prefer an independency of torture
To the smooth agonies of adulation,
In hymns and harpings, and self-seeking prayers,
It is omnipotent, and not from love,
Must be all goodness.
Was it so in Eden ?
Adah. Fiend! tempt me not with beauty; thou art fairer
Than was the serpent, and as false.
Ask Eve, your mother: bears she not the knowledge Of good and evil?
Oh, my mother! thou Hast pluck'd a fruit more fatal to thine offspring Than to thyself; thou at the least hast pass'd Thy youth in Paradise, in innocent And happy intercourse with happy spirits: But we, thy children, ignorant of Eden, Are girt about by demons, who assume The words of God, and tempt us with our own Dissatisfied and curious thoughts-as thou Wert work'd on by the snake, in thy most flush'd And heedless, harmless wantonness of bliss. I cannot answer this immortal thing Which stands before me; I can not abhor him; I look upon him with a pleasing fear, And yet I fly not from him in his eye There is a fastening attraction which Fixes my fluttering eyes on his; my heart
Beats quick; he awes me, and yet draws me near, Nearer, and nearer :- Cain Cain-save me from him !3
Cain. What dreads my Adah? This is no ill spirit. Adah. He is not God-nor God's: I have beheld
spearian speech in Lord Byron's tragedies, seems cold enough. He says, Adah, the wife of Cain, enters, and shrinks from the daring and blasphemous speech which is passing between him and the Spirit. Her account of the fascination which he exercises over her is magnificent."]
Oh, Cain choose love. Cain. For thee, my Adah, I choose not—it was Born with me- but I love nought else.
Our parents? Cain. Did they love us when they snatch'd from the tree
That which hath driven us all from Paradise?
Adah. We were not born then and if we had been, Should we not love them and our children, Cain? Cain. My little Enoch! and his lisping sister! Could I but deem them happy, I would half Forget- but it can never be forgotten Through thrice a thousand generations! never Shall men love the remembrance of the man Who sow'd the seed of evil and mankind
In the same hour! They pluck'd the tree of science
Alas! no! and you
Are you of heaven?
If I am not, inquire
Lucifer. And why not adore?
Adores the Invisible only.
But the symbols
Our father Saith that he has beheld the God himself Who made him and our mother.
Adah. Yes-in his works.
Hast thou seen him?
But in his being?
Save in my father, who is God's own image;
All light they look upon us; but thou seem'st
which it will do Lord B. no credit to name,Faublas."]
3 [In the drawing of Cain himself, there is much vigorous
the romance of
What all ?
The myriad myriads
O Cain !
This spirit curseth us.
Him will I follow..
To a place
Adah. How can that be?
Let him say on;
To make that silent and expectant world
Ay, woman! he alone
Where dwellest thou?
Lucifer. Throughout all space. Where should I Is yon our earth?
expression. It seems, however, as if, in the effort to give to Lucifer that "spiritual politeness" which the poet professes to have in view, he has reduced him rather below the standard of diabolic dignity, which was necessary to his dramatic interest. He has scarcely "given the devil his due." We thought Lord Byron knew better. Milton's Satan, with his faded majesty, and blasted but not obliterated glory, holds us suspended between terror and amazement, with something like awe of his spiritual essence and lost estate; but Lord Byron has introduced him to us as elegant, pensive, and beautiful, with an air of sadness and suffering that ranks him with the oppressed, and bespeaks our pity. - Brit. Crit.]
Which shall deprive thee of a single good
[Exeunt LUCIFER and CAIN. Adah follows, exclaiming). Cain! my brother!
The Abyss of Space. 2
Cuin. I tread on air, and sink not; yet I fear To sink.
Lucifer. Have faith in me, and thou shalt be
Which, knowing nought beyond their shallow senses,
Cain. Oh, god, or demon, or whate'er thou art,
Can it be?
Point me out the site
Methinks they both, as we recede from them,
I should be proud of thought
Of thine enjoyments a sweet degradation,
To lure thee on to the renewal of
Spirit! I Know nought of death, save as a dreadful thing Of which I have heard my parents speak, as of A hideous heritage I owe to them No less than life; a heritage not happy, If I may judge, till now. But, spirit! if It be as thou hast said (and I within Feel the prophetic torture of its truth), Here let me die: for to give birth to those Who can but suffer many years, and die, Methinks is merely propagating death, And multiplying murder.
Spake not of this unto my father, when
Lucifer. I am angelic: wouldst thou be as I am?
And my conceptions.
What are they which dwell So humbly in their pride, as to sojourn With worms in clay?
And what art thou who dwellest
[It is nothing less than absurd to suppose, that Lucifer cannot well be expected to talk like an orthodox divine, and that the conversation of the first Rebel and the first Murderer was not likely to be very unexceptionable; or to plead the authority of Milton, or the authors of the old mysteries, for such offensive colloquies. The fact is, here the whole argument and a very elaborate and specious argument it is is directed against the goodness or the power of the Deity; and there is no answer so much as attempted to the offensive doctrines that are so strenuously inculcated. The Devil and his pupil have the field entirely to themselves, and are encountered with nothing but feeble obtestations and unreasoning horrors. Nor is this argumentative blasphemy a mere incidental deformity that arises in the course of an action directed to the common sympathies of our nature. It forms, on the contrary, the great staple of the piece, and occupies, we should think, not less than two thirds of it; so that it is really difficult to believe that it was written for any other
Oh God! Oh Gods! or whatsoe'er ye are !
Lucifer. Art thou not nearer ? look back to thine
Cain. Where is it? I see nothing save a mass
Cain. I cannot see it.
Cain. That!-yonder! Lucifer. Cain. And wilt thou tell me so? Why, I have seen the fire-flies and fire-worms Sprinkle the dusky groves and the green banks In the dim twilight, brighter than yon world Which bears them.
Yet it sparkles still.
Lucifer. Thou hast seen both worms and worlds, Each bright and sparkling-what dost think of them?
purpose than to inculcate these doctrines; or, at least, to discuss the question upon which they bear. Now, we can certainly have no objection to Lord Byron writing an essay on the origin of evil, and sifting the whole of that vast and perplexing subject, with the force and the freedom that would be expected and allowed in a fair philosophical discussion; but we do not think it fair thus to argue it partially and con amore, in the name of Lucifer and Cain, without the respons ibility or the liability to answer, that would attach to a philosophical disputant; and in a form which both doubles the danger, if the sentiments are pernicious, and almost precludes his opponents from the possibility of a reply.
JEFFREY." What does Jeffrey mean by elaborate? Why they were written as fast as I could put pen to paper, in the midst of evolutions, and revolutions, and persecutions, and proscriptions of all who interested me in Italy."— Byron Letters.]
I dare behold? As yet, thou hast shown nought I dare not gaze on further.
Cain. Why, what are things?
Sit next thy heart?
How know I what
Both partly but what doth
The things I see.
Sate nearest it!
Cain. Do so.
Lucifer. Away, then! on our mighty wings. Cain. Oh! how we cleave the blue! The stars fade from us! The earth! where is my earth? Let me look on it, For I was made of it.
Lucifer. 'Tis now beyond thee, Less, in the universe, than thou in it; Yet deem not that thou canst escape it; thou Shalt soon return to earth, and all its dust: "T is part of thy eternity, and mine.
Cain. Where dost thou lead me ?
Cain. And Edens in them? Lucifer.
To what was before thee! The phantasm of the world; of which thy world Is but the wreck.
What is it not then new ? Lucifer. No more than life is; and that was ere thou
Or I were, or the things which seem to us
And such they are.
It may be.
[It is not very easy to perceive what natural or rational object the Devil proposes to himself in carrying his disciple through the abyss of space, to show him that repository of which we remember hearing something in our infant days, "where the old moons are hung up to dry." To prove that there is a life beyond the grave, was surely no part of his business when he was engaged in fostering the indignation of one who repined at the necessity of dying. And, though it would seem, that entire Hades is, in Lord Byron's picture, a place of suffering, yet, when Lucifer himself had premised
Breathe save the erect ones?
How the lights recede!
Where fly we ?
Cain. But it grows dark and dark — the stars are
Lucifer. And yet thou seest. Cain. 'Tis a fearful light! No sun, no moon, no lights innumerable. The very blue of the empurpled night Fades to a dreary twilight, yet I sce Huge dusky masses: but unlike the worlds We were approaching, which, begirt with light, Seem'd full of life even when their atmosphere Of light gave way, and show'd them taking shapes Unequal, of deep valleys and vast mountains ; And some emitting sparks, and some displaying Enormous liquid plains, and some begirt With luminous belts, and floating moons, which took, Like them, the features of fair earth : — - instead, All here seems dark and dreadful.
But distinct. Thou seckest to behold death, and dead things? Cain. I seek it not; but as I know there are Such, and that my sire's sin makes him and me, And all that we inherit, liable
To such, I would behold at once, what I
"T is darkness. Lucifer. And so it shall be ever; but we will Unfold its gates!
Enormous vapours roll
Its present realm is thin to what it will be.
Lucifer. Fear not-without me thou Couldst not have gone beyond thy world. On! on! [They disappear through the clouds.
Enter LUCIFER and CAIN.
Cain. How silent and how vast are these dim worlds!
that these sufferings were the lot of those spirits who had sided with him against Jehovah, is it likely that a more accurate knowledge of them would increase Cain's eagerness for the alliance, or that he would not rather have inquired whether a better fortune did not await the adherents of the triumphant side? At all events, the spectacle of many ruined worlds was more likely to awe a mortal into submission, than to rouse him to hopeless resistance; and, even if it made him a hater of God, had no natural tendency to render him furious against a brother who was to be his fellow-sufferer.-HEBER.]