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Suns, moons, and earths, upon their loud-voiced spheres A shepherd's humble offering.
Singing in thunder round me, as have made me
Unfit for mortal converse: leave me, Abel.

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Both well, I hope.


But thee the better: I care not for that;
Thou art fitter for his worship than I am :
Revere him, then-but let it be alone-
At least without me.


Brother, I should ill

Deserve the name of our great father's son,
If as my elder I revered thee not,
And in the worship of our God call'd not
On thee to join me, and precede me in
Our priesthood-'tis thy place.

Asserted it.



But I have ne'er

The more my grief; I pray thee
To do so now; thy soul seems labouring in
Some strong delusion;
it will calm thee.



Nothing can calm me more. Calm! say I? Never
Knew I what calm was in the soul, although
I have seen the elements still'd. My Abel, leave me!
Or let me leave thee to thy pious purpose.


Neither; we must perform our task together.
Spurn me not.

If it must be so-

What shall I do?


—well, then,

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Oh God!
Who made us, and who breathed the breath of life
Within our nostrils, who hath blessed us,
And spared, despite our father's sin, to make
His children all lost, as they might have been,
Had not thy justice been so temper'd with
The mercy which is thy delight, as to
Accord a pardon like a paradise,

Compared with our great crimes :-Sole Lord of light!
Of good, and glory, and eternity!

Without whom all were evil, and with whom
Nothing can err, except to some good end
Of thine omnipotent benevolence-
Inscrutable, but still to be fulfill'd-

Accept from out thy humble first of shepherd's
First of the first-born flocks-an offering,
In itself nothing-as what offering can be
Aught unto thee?—but yet accept it for
The thanksgiving of him who spreads it in
The face of thy high heaven, bowing his own
Even to the dust, of which he is, in honour
Of thee, and of thy name, for evermore!

CAIN (standing erect during this speech
Spirit! whate'er or whosoe'er thou art,
Omnipotent, it may be—and, if good,
Shown in the exemption of thy deeds from evi;
Jehovah upon earth! and God in heaven!
And it may be with other names, because
Thine attributes seem many, as thy works:
If thou must be propitiated with prayers,
Take them! If thou must be induced with altars,
And soften'd with a sacrifice, receive them!
Two beings here erect them unto thee.

If thou lovest blood, the shepherd's shrine, which smokes
On my right hand, hath shed it for thy service,
In the first of his flock, whose limbs now reek

In sanguinary incense to thy skies;

Or if the sweet and blooming fruits of earth,
And milder seasons, which the unstain'd turf
I spread them on, now offers in the face
Of the broad sun which ripen'd them, may seem
Good to thee, inasmuch as they have not
Suffer'd in limb or life, and rather form
A sample of thy works, than supplication
To look on ours! If a shrine without victim,
And altar without gore, may win thy favour,
Look on it! and for him who dresseth it,

He is-such as thou mad'st him; and seeks nothing
Behold them here- Which must be won by kneeling: if he's evil,
Strike him! thou art omnipotent, and may'st,—

The firstfings of the flock, and fat thercof

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CAIN (after a moment's stupefaction).

My hand! 't is all red, and with—

[A long pause.-Looking slowly round. Where am I? alone! Where's Abcl? where Cain? Can it be that am he? My brother, Awake!-why liest thou so on the green earth? 'Tis not the hour of slumber:-why so pale? What hast thou?-thou wert full of life this morn: Abel! I pray thee, mock me not! I smote Too fiercely, but not fatally. Ah, why Wouldst thou oppose me? This is mockery; And only done to daunt me :-'t was a blowAnd but a blow. Stir-stir-nay, only stir! Why, so that's well!-thou breath'st! breathe upon me!

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And I none! Who makes me brotherless? His eyes are open! then he is not dead! Death is like sleep; and sleep shuts down our lids. His lips, too, are apart; why then he breathes! And yet I feel it not.-His heart!-his hear' '-Let me see, doth it beat?-methinks-No!-no! This is a vision, else I am become

The native of another and worse world.

The earth swims round me:-what is this?-'t is wet,
[Puts his hand to his brow, and then looks at u.
And yet there are no dews! "T is blood-my blood-
My brother's and my own; and shed by me!
Then what have I further to do with life,
Since I have taken life from my own flesh?
But he cannot be dead!-Is silence death?
No; he will wake: then let me watch by him

Life cannot be so slight, as to be quench'd
Thus quickly!-he hath spoken to me since-
What shall I say to him?-My brother!-No;
He will not answer to that name; for brethren
Smite not each other. Yet-yet-speak to me.
Oh! for a word more of that gentle voice,
That I may bear to hear my own again!



I heard a heavy sound: what can it be?
"Tis Cain; and watching by my husband. What
Dost thou there, brother? Doth he sleep? Oh! heaven!
What means this paleness, and yon stream?-No! no!
It is not blood; for who would shed his blood?
Abel! what's this!-who hath done this? He moves

He breathes not: and his hands drop down from mine
With stony lifelessness! Ah! cruel Cain!
Why cam'st thou not in time to save him from
This violence? Whatever hath assail'd him,
Thou wert the stronger, and should'st have stepp'd in
Between him and aggression! Father!-Eve!-
Adah!-come hither! Death is in the world!

I see it now-he hangs his guilty head,
And covers his ferocious eye with hands


Mother, thou dost him wrong-
Cain! clear thee from this horrible accusal,
Which grief wrings from our parent.


Hear, Jehovah

May the eternal serpent's curse be on him!
For he was fitter for his seed than ours.
May all his days be desolate! May-



Curse him not, mother, for he is thy son-
Curse him not, mother, for he is my brother,
And my betroth'd.


He hath left thee no brother-
Zillah no husband-me no son !-for this
I curse him from my sight for evermore!
All bonds I break between us, as he broke
That of his nature, in yon-Oh death! death!
Why didst thou not take me, who first incurr'd thee?

[Exit ZILLAH calling on her parents, etc. Why dost thou not so now?
CAIN (solus).

And who hath brought him there ?-I-who abhor
The name of death so deeply, that the thought
Empoison'd all my life, before I knew

His aspect-I have led him here, and given
My brother to his cold and still embrace,
As if he would not have asserted his
Inexorable claim without my aid.
I am awake at last-a dreary dream

Had madden'd me :-but he shall ne'er awake!

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Eve! let not this,
Thy natural grief, lead to impiety!
A heavy doom was long forespoken to us;
And now that it begins, let it be borne
In such sort as may show our God, that we
Are faithful servants to his holy will.
EVE (pointing to CAIN).

His will! the will of yon incarnate spirit
Of death, whom I have brought upon the earth
To strew it with the dead. May all the curses
Of life be on him! and his agonies

Drive him forth o'er the wilderness, like us,
From Eden, till his children do by him
As he did by his brother! May the swords
And wings of fiery cherubim pursue him

By day and night-snakes spring up in his path-
Earth's fruits be ashes in his mouth-the leaves
On which he lays his head to sleep be strew'd
With scorpions! May his dreams be of his victim!
His waking a continual dread of death!
May the clear rivers turn to blood, as he
Stoops down to stain them with his raging lip!
May every clement shun or change to him!
May he live in the pangs which others die with!
And death itself wax something worse than death
To him who first acquainted him with man!
Hence, fratricide! henceforth that word is Cain,
Through all the coming myriads of mankind,
Who shall abhor thee, though thou wert their sire'
May the grass wither from thy feet! the woods
Deny thee shelter! earth a home! the dust
A grave! the sun his light! and heaven her God'
[Exit Eva.
Cain! get thee forth; we dwell no more together.
Depart! and leave the dead to me-I am
Henceforth alone-we never must meet more.



Oh, part not with him thus, my father: do not
Add thy deep curse to Eve's upon his head'

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Why, all have left thee. Exeinption from such deeds as thou hast done.

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Cain! what hast thou done? The voice of thy slain brother's blood cries out, Even from the ground, unto the Lord!-Now art thou Cursed from the earth, which opened late her mouth To drink thy brother's blood from thy rash hand.

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After the fall too soon was I begotten;
Ere yet my mother's mind subsided from
The serpent, and my sire still mourn'd for Eden.
That which I am, I am; I did not seek
For life, nor did I make myself; but could I
With my own death redeem him from the dust-
And why not so? let him return to day,

And I lie ghastly! so shall be restored
By God the life to him he loved; and taken
From me a being I ne'er loved to bear.


Who shall heal murder? what is done is done.
Go forth! fulfil thy days! and be thy deeds
Unlike the last!
[The ANGEL disappears.


He's gone, let us go forth;

Henceforth, when thou shalt till the ground, it shall not I hear our little Enoch cry within

Yield thee her strength; a fugitive shalt thou
Be from this day, and vagabond on earth!


This punishment is more than he can bear.
Behold, thou drivest him from the face of earth,
And from the face of God shall he be hid.
A fugitive and vagabond on earth,
"T will come to pass, that whoso findeth him
Shall slay him.


Our bower.


Ah! little knows he what he weeps for ' And I who have shed blood cannot shed tears! But the four rivers' would not cleanse my soul. Think'st thou my boy will bear to look on me?


If I thought that he would not, I would

11 he "four rivers" which flowed round Eden, and conse quently the only waters with which Cain was acquainted upon

Would they could! but who are they the earth.

CAIN (interrupting her).


No more of threats: we have had too many of them:
Go to our children; I will follow thee.


I will not leave thee lonely with the dead;
Let us depart together.


Oh! thou dead

And everlasting witness! whose unsinking
Blood darkens earth and heaven! what thou now art,
I know not! but if thou see'st what I am,
I think thou wilt forgive him, whom his God
Can ne'er forgive, nor his own soul.-Farewell!
I must not, dare not, touch what I have made thee.
I, who sprung from the same womb with thee, drain'd
The same breast, clasp'd thee often to my own,
In fondness brotherly and boyish, I

Can never meet thee more, nor even dare

To do that for thee, which thou shouldst have done
For me-compose thy limbs into their
The first grave yet dug for mortality.
But who hath dug that grave? Oh, earth! Oh, earth!
For all the fruits thou hast render'd to me, I
Give thee back this.-Now for the wilderness.

[ADAH stoops down and kisses the body of ABEL.

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Werner; or, The Inheritance;






conception, rather than execution; for the story might, perhaps, have been more developed with greater advan tage. Amongst those whose opinions agreed with mine THE following drama is taken entirely from the "Ger- upon this story, I could mention some very high names; man's Tale, Kruitzner," published many years ago in but it is not necessary, nor indeed of any use; for every "Lee's Canterbury Tales;" written (I believe) by two one must judge according to their own feelings. I sisters, of whom one furnished only this story and merely refer the reader to the original story, that he may another, both of which are considered superior to the see to what extent I have borrowed from it; and am not remainder of the collection. I have adopted the char- unwilling that he should find much greater pleasure in acters. plan, and even the language, of many parts of perusing it than the drama which is founded upon its this story. Some of the characters are modified or contents. altered, a few of the names changed, and one character (Ida of Stralenheim) added by myself: but in the rest the original is chiefly followed. When I was young (about fourteen, I think) I first read this tale, which made a deep impression upon me; and may, indeed, be said to contain the germ of much that I have since written.. I am not sure that it ever was very popular; or at any rate its popularity has since been eclipsed by that of other great writers in the same department. have generally found that those who had read it, agreed with me in their estimate of the singular power of mind and conception which it developes. I should also add

But I

I had begun a drama upon this tale so far back as 1815 (the first I ever attempted, except one at thirteen years old, called "Ulric and Ilvina,” which I had sense enough to burn), and had nearly completed an act, when I was interrupted by circumstances. This is somewhere amongst my papers in England; b been found, I have re-written the first, subsequent acts.

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The whole is neither intended, nor in any shape adapted, for the stage.

February, 1822.

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