Rossetti Archive Textual Transcription

Document Title: Notebook Pages (Note Book IV, Duke Library)
Author: Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Date of Composition: 1871, 1880
Scribe: DGR

The full Rossetti Archive record for this transcribed document is available.

page: [0]
Rossetti, Dante Gabriel

Writings: XXVIII. Note Book IV
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Transcription Gap: page with engraving (to be added later)
page: [000r]
Note: This is the marbeled recto of the stiff page that comes at the beginning and end of the regular notebook pages in DGR's typical notebooks. The verso of this leaf has some interesting notes by DGR on his prescription and dosage for chloral plus some gloss notes by WMR.
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Manuscript Addition: WMRossetti from Gabriel's books 1882.
Editorial Description: WMR's note at bottom of the page
5 (List of Contents on p. 4)

Rx Chloral Hydrastis 3ii

Syrupi Aurantic 3i

Aquae vit 3vi

a sixth part at bedtime

every night
A mixture of

Ferris's Solution of Chloral

in 20 grain doses

De Castro — corner of Wilton St

2 antib. p 5 at night. [?] next m g.
page: [1]
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Note: DGR's list of poetical words is in three columns, with the first and last words in the first column added later and separated away from the main column. This is on the verso of the stiff page that comes at the head of DGR's typical notebooks.
Manuscript Addition: No. 1
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
Manuscript Addition: [These are obviously notes for the recurring rhyme words in the 5th line of each stanza]
Editorial Description: WMR's note for DGR's list of rhymes for his projected poem “God's Graal”.












With Unwithstood



































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Manuscript Addition: No. 2
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
Manuscript Addition: 1
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration of the page in upper right corner.
Notes for “God's Graal.”
Note: These poem notes are written on successive rectos through page [49]. The versos have occasional other material.
1 Guenevere daughter of King Leodegrance

of Cameliard.
2 Merlin warned King Arthur before his

marriage that Guenevere Lancelot should love her

& she him again.
3 Leodegrance gave as her dowry the table

round the which Uther Pendragon gave

him; and when it is full complete,

there is an hundred knights & fifty. He

gave an hundred knights with it, but

fifty had been slain in his days.
4 They rode freshly with great royalty,

what by water & what by land, till

they came that night to London.
5 Gawaine & Tor were knighted at

King Arthur's wedding.
6 Lancelot son of King Ban of Benwicke

& Queen Elein. His first name was

Galahad & he was confirmed Lancelot
7 Merlin lies beneath a stone

For all the craft that he hath done.
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Manuscript Addition: 2
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration of the page in upper left corner.
  • The ark of the Lord of Hosts
  • Whose name is called by the name of Him
  • That dwelleth between the Cherubim.
  • O Thou that in no house dost dwell,
  • But walk'st in tent & tabernacle.
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Manuscript Addition: 3
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration of the page in upper right corner.
8. Bagdemagus found “a branch of an

holy herb that was the sign of the

Sancgreall; and no knight found

such tokens but he were a good liver.”
9 Morgan le Fay wife of King Urience
10 Queen Guenevere held him in great

favour above all other knights, and

certainly he loved the queene again above

all other knights & damozels all the days

of his life, and for her he did many

great deeds of arms, & saved her from

the fire through his noble chivalry.
11 A hermit came & saw the siege perilous,

and asked why that siege was void,

and was answered, “There shall never

none sit in that siege but one, but if

he be destroyed.” And the hermit said,

“This same year he shall be gotten

that shall sit in that siege perilous,

and he shall win the Sancgreall.”
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Manuscript Addition: 4
Editorial Description: DGR's numeration of the page in upper left corner.
Manuscript Addition: Date mainly towards 1871 perhaps
Editorial Description: WMR's note on these notebook contents laid out by DGR.
1 Notes for God's Graal & stanzas
2 My Lady
3 White Ship—fragments
4 Ochard Pit—narrative & fragment
5 Tale of Palimpsest
6 Chimes—fragment
7 Last Love
8 Possession
9 w Rose Mary—fragments & narrative
10 Doom of Sirens—narrative
11 The Cup of Water— d o
& some scraps
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12. Sir Pelles, King of the foreign country

& nigh cousin to Joseph of Arimathy.

His castle the castle of Carbonek.
13 Anon there came in a dove at a window,

and in her bill a little censer of gold,

& therewithal there was such a savour

as all the spicery of the world had been

there. So there came a damozel, passing

fair & young, & she bare a vessel of gold

between her hands. & the “This is,

“said King Pelles, “the richest thing that

my man hath living; & when this

thing goeth about, the round table shall be broken.
14 (note.)The saint graal, or holy dish,

was the vessel in which the paschal

lamb was placed at our saviour's

last supper, & which Joseph of

Arimathea preserved & brought with him

to Britain.
15 Dame Brison said to King Pelles: “I

shall make him to lie with your daughter

Elaine & he shall not wit but that he
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lieth with Queen Guenevere.” Then a

man brought him a ring from Queen

Guenevere, like as he had come from her,

& such as one for the most part as she

was wont to wear. And when Sir Lancelot

saw that token, wit ye well he was never

so fain.
16 Lancelot was on the point of slaying

Elaine when he discovered the deception—
17 Galahad was so named because

Sir Lancelot was so named at the

font stone, & after that the Lady of the

Lake confirmed him Sir Lancelot du Lac.
18 Sir Bors visited King Pelles when

Galahad was an infant, & was

fed with the Sancgreall. And there

was a maiden that bore the Sancgreall.

& she said openly— This child is Galahad

that shall sit in the siege perilous

& shall achieve the Sancgreall.
19 Great light as it were a summer

light. An altar of silver with four
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  • In forests in wildernesses & in ways
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pillows, and a table of silver.
20 Sir Lancelot would clatter in his

sleep & speak oft of his lady Queen Guenevere.
21 As he was lying the second time with

Elaine (by deceit for Guenevere) Guenevere

heard him talk in his sleep from the

next room, & woke him by coughing,

after which he leaped up knowing her

voice, & she met him at the door &

told him him never again to come in

her sight. So he ran for swooned & after leaped out

at a window, & ran forth he wist

not whither & was wild wood as ever

was man. And so he ran two years

& never man might have grace to know him.
22 And Sir Bors said to Q. Guenevere;

“Fie upon your weeping, for ye weep

never but when there is no book.”
23 Sir Bors, Sir Ector & Sir Lyonell, his kinsmen,

sought him well nigh a quarter of a year,

endlong and overthwart in many places,

in forests in wilderness & in ways, &

oftentimes where evil lodged for his sake.
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24 Sir Percivale & Sir Ector, not knowing

each other, fight & are both nearly slain.

Right so there came by the holy vessel of

the sancgreall with all manner of

sweetness & savour, & Sir Percival had

a glimmering of that vessel and of the

maiden that bore it, for he was a

perfect clean maid. “So God me help.”

Said Sir P. “I saw a damosell as methought

all in white with a vessal in both her

hands and forthwithal I was whole.”
25 Lancelot suffered & endured many

sharp showers and lived by fruit &

such as he might get & drank water

two year.
26 Many gowns given at a knighting.
27 Lancelot taken to King Pelles'

castle & recognized by Elaine &

healed of his wounds by the Sancgreall.
28 Called himself Le Chevalier mal-fait,

the knight that hath trespassed, & dwelt

in Joyous-isle. There Sir L. made
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let make him a shield all of sables, &

a queen crowned in the midst all of

silver and a knight clean armed standing

before her, & every day once he w d look

towards the realm of Logris where Q.

G. was, and then he then he w d fall a weeping.
29 Galahad knighted at 15 by Lancelot.
30 The sieges of the round table all about

written with letters of gold, “Here ought

to set he” & “he ought to set here”;

and in the siege perilous letters neatly

written of gold that said, “Four

hundred winters & four & fifty accom-

-plished after the passion of our Lord

I.C. ought this siege to be fulfilled.”

This was on the feast of Pentecost.
31 A sword sticking in a stone which hoved on the water which

Lancelot said he could not draw

out and “wit ye well that this same

day will the adventure of the Sancgreall

begin.” The hall doors & windows shut

by themselves but the hall not greatly darkened.”
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32 Letters writ in the siege perilous.—

“This is the siege of Sir Galahad the good knight.”

Sir Galahad draws out the sword which

was the sword with which Sir Balen le

Savage slew his brother Balan.
33 A damsel comes & says to Lancelot

“Your great doings be changed sith

today in the morning.”
34 Iesserance--a jacket of light plate armour.
35 Lancelot came of the 8th degree from

our Lord I.C. & Sir Galahd of the 9th
36 Then anon they heard a cracking & crying

of thunder, & in the midst of the

blast entered a sunbeam more clear

by 7 times than ever they saw day,

& all they were alighted of the Grace

of the Holy Ghost. (Pentecost.) And

either saw other fairer than ever

they saw afore, & they looked every

man on other as they had been dumb.

Then there entered into the hall the

holy grail covered with White Samite,
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but there was none might see it nor

who bare it, and there was all the

hall fulfilled with good odours & every

knight had such meat & drink as he

best loved in this world.
37 Gawaine first proposes the quest, and

Arthur says—Ye have bereft me of

the fairest fellowship & the truest of

knighthood that ever were seen together

in any realm of the world. Sir Gawain

ye have set me in great sorrow, for I

have great doubt that my true fellowship

shall ever meet more here again.
38 150 knights took the quest of the S.G.
39 Guenevere bids Lancelot god-speed.
40 Galahad has a white shield given him

on which Joseph of Arimathy had

made a cross with his own blood.
41 Just before Sir Lancelot's sleep, he

& Sir Percivale are smitten down by Galahad.
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42 But Sir Lancelot rode overthwart

& endlong in a wild forest, & had no

path but as wild adventure led him,

and at last he came unto a stone

cross which departed 2 ways in waste

land. And by the cross was a stone

that was of marble, but it was so

dark that Sir L. might not well know

what it was. Then Sir L. looked by

him & saw an old chapel & there

he weened to have found people.

And so Sir L. tied his horse to a tree

& there he put off his shield & hung

it upon a tree, & then he went unto

the chapel door & found it wasted &

broken. And within he found a fair

altar full richly arrayed with cloth

of silk, & there stood a fair candlestick

which bare 6 great candles & the

candlestick was of silver. And when

Sir L. saw this light he had a great

will for to enter into the chapel but
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he could find no place where he might

enter. Then was he passing heavy &

dismayed. The he returned & came

again to his horse & took off his bridle

& saddle & let him pasture, & unlaced

his helm & ungirded his sword & laid

him down to sleep upon his shield

before the cross. And so he fell on

sleep & half waking & half sleeping

he saw &c. He was overtaken

with the sin that he had no power to arise

against the holy vessel.
43 Then anon Sir Lancelot awaked &

set himself upright & bethought

him what he had there seen & whether

it were dreams or not. Right so he

heard a voice that said—Sir Lancelot,

more hardy than is the stone, & more

bitter than is the wood, & more naked

& bare than is the leaf of the fig-tree,

therefore go thou from hence & withdraw

thee from this holy place.
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44 There he said: When I sought worldly

adventures & worldly desires I ever

achieved them & had the better in every

place, & never was I discomfited

in no quarrel were it right or wrong.

And now I take upon me the adventures

of holy things, & now I see that mine

old sin hindreth me & shameth me

so that I had no power to stir or speak

when the holy blood appeared before me.

So then he sorrowed till it was

day, & heard the owl of the air sing;

then was he somewhat comforted.
45 Sir Lancelot confesses to a hermit

all his life and how he had loved

a queen unmeasurably many years,

—and all the great deeds of arms

that I have done I did the most part

for the queen's sake, & for her sake

would I do battle were it right or

wrong, & never did I battle all

only for God's sake.
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46 Also Merlin made the round

table in token of the roundness of the

Deleted Text47 Sir Percival enters a ship covered

within & without with white samite.

47 The Sancgreall which is the secret

thing of the Lord Jesu Christ.
48 Sir Ector has a vision in which he

sees Sir Lancelot as a well, but

when he stooped to drink of that

water, the water sank from him.
49 Lancelot has a vision of the Sanc

Sancgreall before the chamber con–

taining it in the castle of Corbonek.
50 Lancelot's sin had lasted for 24 years.
51 “Now shall very knights be fed, and

the holy meat be parted.”
52 A figure with the likeness of a child

and the visage was as red and as bright

as any fire, and smote himself

into that bread.
53 “Knights marvellous”
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54 Sir Galahad “As the flower of the

lily, as the flower of the rose, and

as the colour of fire.”
55 “When the deadly flesh began to

behold the spiritual things.”
56 Lancelot returns to Guenevere—

“& forgat the promise and the profession

that he made in the quest. There

had no knight passed him in the

quest of the Sancgreall, but ever

his thoughts were privily upon the queen.
57 She forbids him the court, thinking

his love has slackened.
58 Sir Pinell at a feast given by Guenevere tries to poison s Sir

Gawaine with an apple because he killed Sir Lamoracke , which

Sir Patrice eats & dies. Sir Mador

de la Port appeals the queen of

his cousin's death. Sir Launcelot rescues her.
59 On the day Arthur made Lancelot

knight, through hastiness he lost his

sword, and the queen found it &

lapped it in her train & gave it him.

and therefore at that day he promised her

ever to be her knight in right or wrong.
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60 Astolat is Guildford: Elaine la

Blanche the fair maid of Astolat.

Lancelot wears her red sleeve on his helm at

the tournament. And he used

another shield, leaving his with her

as too well known. Guenevere

is incensed. Elaine waits on

him while he lies sick of his wounds

got at the tournament. She offers

herself to Lancelot, is rejected, &

dies for his love. Is rowed in a

barge to Westminster where the court is.
61 Said of Q. Guenevere--“While she lived she

was a true lover, & therefore she

had a good end.”
62 The Queen's knights bore plain white

63 Sir Meliagraunce, loving the queen,

captures her as she rides a-Maying,

& overcame her knights, & imprisons

her at Lambeth. Sir Lan She
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  • For God of all strokes will have one
  • In every battle that is done.
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contrives to send word to Lancelot

who on reaching Lambeth has his

horse shot but not killed by Ms archers lying in

ambush. He kills a carter & takes

his cart, the horse following stuck

full of arrows, & another carter

driving. At the queen's request he

pardons Sir Meliagraunce, and

is called Le Chevalier du Chariot.

Sir L. sleeps with the queen, & hurts

his hand in getting through her

window to do so. Sir M. sees his

blood on her pillows & accuses him

her of sleeping with one of her

wounded knights who are lying

hard by. Sir L. wages battle with

him, & is afterwards dropped down

a trap. A lady who brings him food

loves & delivers him. He is again

in time to rescue the queen from

burning & kill Sir M.
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64 Sir Lancelot heals Sir Urre by prayer

& laying on of hands, after King

Arthur had failed as well as many

other knights. “And even Sir Lancelot

wept as he had been a child that

had been beaten.”
65 Sir Lancelot rode in a chariot 12

months to brave those who put

him to ridicule & did great deeds therein.
66 Sir Agravaine & Sir Mordred tell

King Arthur of L & G's love, & waylay

him with twelve other knights in her

chamber. “But whether they were

abed or at other manner of disports,

it one list not thereof to make

mention, for love at that time

was not as it is nowadays.”

Lancelot slays all except Mordred.

Mordred insists on Guenevere being

burnt. She is brought to the stake

at Caerleyll, and Sir Lancelot

& his knights rescue her, dispoiled
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unto her smock, & cast a kirtle and

gown on her, & carry her off to his

Castle of Joyous-Gard.
67 King Arthur besieges Joyous-Gard for

16 weeks.
68 Sir Lancelot denies that guilty the queen

has played Arthur false, “howbeit

it hath liked her good grace to have

me in charity & to cherish me more

than any other knight.”
69 The Pope sends a bull commanding

Arthur to raise the siege & take

back Guenevere to Caerleyll.
70 Lancelot is banished through Sir

Gawaine's advice (whose brother Gareth

& Gaheris he had slain unadvisedly

in rescuing Guenevere) and leaves

Joyous-Gard; and afterward he

called it Dolorous-Gard.
71 He ships at Cardiff and goes to

Benwicke in France, hi father's

Kingdom; some men call it Beyon,

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& some men call it Beaune, whereas

the wine of Beaune is.
72 Arthur follows & besieges Benwicke

leaving Sir Mordred regent in England

& Q. Guenevere in his care. The siege

lasts half a year.
73 Mordred has himself cronwed

at Canterbury, then goes to

Winchester (Camelot) & tells Guenevere

she must wed him. She pretends

to consent, but escapes to the

Tower of London and is there besieged

by Mordred.
74 Arthur hears of this & lands at

Dover where Mordred meets him

to fight it out let his landing.

A battle ensues, & Gawaine is

killed being wounded afresh

where Lancelot had lately wounded

75 They go down to meet in battle

at Salisbury, but afterwards
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a peace is proposed, & both sides

agree to it, but each privily resolves

to set on if a single sword is drawn.

for fear of treason. An adder appearing,

a knight of Arthur's draws his sword to kill it,

and Mordred's party set on and commence

the final battle in which Arthur

' Mordred slay each other.
76 The Queens who took King Arthur

away after death were Morgan

le Fay his sister; the queen of

Northgalis; the Queen of the

Waste Lands; & Nimue the chief

lady of the Lake.
77 Guenevere goes to Almesbury;

and there she let make herself a

nun, & wore white clothes & black.
78 Lancelot returns to England &

goes to see Guenevere in the

nunnery of which she is abbess.

She says: I require & beseech thee

heartily, for all the love that ever
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was ever between us two, that thee never

look me in the visage. . . . . . .

For as well as I have loved thee, Sir

Lancelot, now my heart will not

once serve me to see thee; for through me

& thee is the flower of kings and

knights destroyed.” Lancelot says

he shall enter a monastery; “for

I take record of God in you have I

had mine earthly joy. Wherefore,

madame, I pray you kiss me

once & never more.” “Nay, said

the queen, “that shall I never do,

but abstain you from such things.”

And so they departed. But there

was never so hard a hearted man

but he would have wept to see

the sorrow that they made; for there

was a lamnetation as though

they had been stungen with spears,

& many times they swooned, & the

ladies bare the queen to her chamber.
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And Sir Lancelot awoke & rode all

went & his horse & rode all

that day & all that night in a forest

weeping. He comes to a hermitage

where he finds the bishop of Canterbury

who has become a hermit & Sir

Bedivere who has joined him. Sir

B. tells Sir L. of the last battle &c.

And Sir Lancelot threw abroad

his armour & said, —Alas! who

may trust this world? Then he

takes the habit of priesthood.
79 A vision comes 3 times in the nightto Sir L. & bids

him go to Almesbury, where he

will find Guenevere dead.
80 And when Sir Lancelot was come

to Almesbury, within the nunnery,

Queen Guenevere died but half an

hour before; & the ladies told Sir L.

that Q.G. had told all, or she died,

that Sir L. had been priest near

12 months; “and hither he cometh
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as fast as he may to fetch my corpse;

and beside my lord King Arthur he

shall bury me.” Wherefore the Queen

said in hearing of them all, “I beseech

Almighty God that I may never have

power to see Sir Lancelot with my

worldly eyes.” “And this,” said all

the ladies, “was ever her prayer all

those 2 days until she was dead.”

Then Sir Lancelot saw her visage,

but he wept greatly, but sighed;

and so he did all the observance

of the service himself, both the

dirge at night & the mass on the

81 She is borne by King Sir L. & his

fellows who have become priests

to Glastonbury & there buried with

Arthur. “Truly” said Sir L. “I trust

I do not displease God, for he knoweth

well my intent, for my sorrow

was not nor is not for any rejoicing
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of sin, but my sorrow may never

have an end, when I remember

& call to mind her beauty her

bounty & her nobleness.”
82 Lancelot falls sick. “My

fair lords,” said Sir L. “wit ye

well my careful body will into

the earth: I have warning

more than I will now say.” He

dies & is buried at Joyous-Gard.
83 Sir Ector who been seeking

his brother Sir Lancelot, arrives

during the funeral rites. And

then Sir Ector threw his shield,

his sword, & his helm from him.

“Ah Sir Lancelot!” said he, “thou

wert head of all Christian knights.

And now I dare say,” said Sir

Ector, “ that Sir Lancelot there

thou liest, thou that wert never

matched of none eartly knight's

hands; and thou wert the curteist
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knight that ever bore shield; & thou

wast the truest friend to thy lover

that ever bestrode horse; & thou

wert the truest lover of a sinful

man that ever loved a woman;

and thou wert the kindest man

that ever strook with sword; and

thou wert the goodliest person that

ever came among press of knights;

and thou wert the meekest man

& the gentlest that ever ate in

hall among ladies; & thou wert

the sternest knight to thy mortal

foe that ever put spear in rest.”
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Manuscript Addition: metre “The Sea Limits” in long lines
Editorial Description: DGR's note at bottom of the page
Tra le notizie dei Professori di disegno

racolte dal Baldinucci leggiamo

che Serafino Serafini pittore modenese,

che fiori circa il 1390, nella

Cappella della famiglia de'

Petrati, ch'ei dipinse in San Domenico

di Ferrara, mise la seguente iscrizione.
  • “Mille trecento con septanta sei
  • Erano corsi gl'auri del Signore
  • E'l quarto entrava, quando al suo onore
  • Questa cappella al suo bel fin [minei?]
  • Ed io che tutto ensì la storiei
  • Fui Serafin da Mitina pintore.
  • E Frate Aldobrandino Inquisitore
  • L'ordine diede, et io lo seguitei.
  • E far la fece, sappia ognun per [?]
  • 10La Donna di Francesco di Lamberto.

vol 1. p.206
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God's Graal.
  • Lancelot lay beside the well:
  • ( God's Graal is good)
  • Oh my soul is sad to tell
  • The weary quest and the bitter quell;
  • For he was the lord of lordlihood,
  • And sleep on his eyelids fell.
  • Lancelot lay before the shrine:
  • ( The apple tree's in the wood. )
  • There was set Christ's very sign,
  • 10The bread unknown and the unknown wine
  • That the soul's life for a livelihood
  • Craves from his wheat & vine.
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Manuscript Addition: No. 3
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
My Lady (Canzone)
  • I'll tell you of my Lady all I know;
  • And if my lady knew
  • That I would tell this, she would &c
  • &c &c &c &c
  • And say, “Why, all is his, so let him tell.”
She is full of incidents, like all beautiful

Nature. Then follow descriptive lines

about her different attitudes, expressions, &c

Perhaps to wind up by saying that nothing

one can say is so expressive of her

as her own name, which means

herself only—and that cannot be

said for others to hear.
Every part of her has its own ways of

loving and is like a separate

mistress. Descriptions &c—
Image of page [56] page: [56]
Manuscript Addition: No. 4
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
  • By none but me can the tale be told,
  • The butcher of Rouen, poor Berold.
  • ( Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.)
  • 'Twas a royal train put forth to sea;
  • Yet the tale can be told by none but me.
  • ( The sea hath no King but God alone.)

  • Blithe is the shout on Harfleur's strand
  • When morning lights the sails to land:
  • And blithe is Honfleur's echoing gloam
  • 10When mothers call the children home:

  • Where lands were none 'neath the dark sea-sky,
  • We told our names, that man & I.
  • “O I am Gilbert de l'Aigle hight,
  • And son I am to a belted knight.”
  • “And I am Berold the butcher's son
  • Who slays the beasts in Rouen town.”

  • “O wherefore black, O King, ye well may say,
  • For white is the hue of death to-day.”
  • “Your son & all his fellowship
  • 20Sleep in the sea's bed with the White Ship.” . . . . . .
  • There's many an hour must needs beguile
  • A King's high heart that he should smile,—
  • ( Lands are swayed by a King on a throne.)
  • Full many a lordly hour, full fain
  • But this King never smiled again.
  • ( The sea hath no King but God alone.)
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Manuscript Addition: No. 5
Editorial Description: WMR's numeration of the work.
The Orchard-Pits
Note: On the manuscript stanzas 3 and 4 appear in reverse order. DGR first cancelled stanza 3, then restored it (marking it “stet”), adding at the same time a mark indicating that the received stanza 3 should precede stanza 4.
  • Piled deep below the screening apple-branch
  • They lie with bitten Those dead men lie with apples in their hands:
  • And some are only ancient bones that blanch,
  • And some had ships that last year's wind did launch,
  • And some were yesterday the lords of lands.
  • In the soft dell glen, among the apple-trees,
  • High up above the hidden pit she stands
  • And there for ever sings, who gave to these,
  • That lie below, her magic hour of ease,
  • 10 And those her apples holden in their hands.
Added Text
  • Th i us in night my dreams is shown me; and her hair
  • Crosses my lips & draws my burning breath:
  • Her song spreads golden wings upon the air;
  • Life's eyes are gleaming from her forehead fair,
  • And from her breasts the ravishing eyes of Death.
  • Men say to me that sleep hath many dreams,
  • Yet I knew never but this dream alone.
  • There from a dried-up channel, once the stream's,
  • The glen slopes up; even such in sleep it seems
  • 20 As to my waking sight the place well-known.
Note: The text of these draft fragments of the poem is written in pencil
  • I Berold was under the sea
  • I knew what the flood of death must be
  • And cried to Christ to strengthen me
  • Pale Fitz-Stephen stood by the helm
  • With 'Mid all those folk that the waves must whelm
  • A great king's own son heir for the waves to whelm
  • And the helpless pilot pale at the helm
Image of page [58] page: [58]
Manuscript Addition: a 3
Editorial Description: Notation on upper right in unknown hand.
The Orchard-Pit s
Men tell me that sleep has many dreams;

but all my life I have dreamt one dream

alone. In childhood, I saw a man in

my dream; and in manhood, I know

that I am he; but the thing shown is

the same
I see a glen whose sides slope upward

from the deep bed of a dried-up stream,

and are covered with apple-trees and

either slope is covered with wild apple-trees.

In the largest tree, within the fork whence

the limbs divide, a fair goldenhaired

woman stands and sings, with one

white arm stretched along a branch

of the tree, and with the other holding

forth a bright red apple, as if to some

one coming down the slope. Below her

feet the trees grow more and more tangled

and stretch from both sides across the

deep pit below: and the pit is full

of the bodies of men.
They lie in heaps beneath the screen of

boughs, with her apples bitten in their

hands; and some are no more than

ancient bones now, and some seem

dead but yesterday. She stands over them

in the glen, and sings for ever, and

offers her apple still.
Image of page [59] page: [59]
Note: At the top of the page DGR has cancelled both the repeated title and a line of asterisks.
My This dream s shows me no strange

place. I know the dell glen and have known

it from childhood, and heard many

tales of those who have died there

by the siren's spell.
I pass there often now and look at

it as one might look at a place chosen

for one's grave. I see nothing, but I

know that it means death for me.

The apple-trees are like others, and

have childish memories connected

with them, though I was taught to

shun the place.
No man sees the woman but once, and

then no other is near; and no man

sees that man again.
Image of page [60] page: [60]
Note: blank page
Image of page [61] page: [61]
One day in hunting, my dogs tracked the

deer to that dell, and he fled and

crouched under that tree, but the dogs

would not go near him. And when

I approached, he looked in my eyes

as if to say, “Here you shall die, and

will you here give death?” And his

eyes seemed the eyes of my soul, &

I called off the dogs, who were glad

to follow me, and we left the deer

to fly.
I know that I must go there and hear

the song and take the apple. I join

with the young knights in their games,

and have led our vassals and fought

well. But all seems to me a dream

except what only I among them all

shall see. Yet who knows? Is there

one among them doomed like myself

and who is silent, like me? We shall

not meet in the dell, for each man
Image of page [62] page: [62]
Note: blank page
Image of page [63] page: [63]

goes there alone: but in the pit we shall

meet each other, and perhaps know.
Each man who is the siren's choice

dreams the same dream, and always

of some familiar spot wherever he

lives in the world; and it is there

that he finds her when his time comes.

But when he sinks in the pit, it is

the whole pomp of her dead gathered

through the world that awaits him

there; for all attend her to grace

her triumph. Have they any souls

out of those bodies? Or are the bodies

still the house of the soul, the siren's

prey till the day of judgment?
We were ten brothers. One is gone

there already. One day we looked

for his return from a border foray,

and his men came home without

him, saying that he had told them
Image of page [64] page: [64]
Note: blank page
Image of page [65] page: [65]

he went to seek his love who awaited would

him by the way come to meet him by another road. But anon his love met

them, to welcome asking for him; and they sought

him vainly all that day. But in

the night his love rose from a dream;

and she went to the edge of the

Siren's dell, and there lay his helmet

and his sword. And her they sought

in the morning, and there she lay

dead. None has ever told this

thing to my love, my sweet love who

is affianced to me.
One day at table my love offered me

an apple. And as I took it she

laughed, and said, “Do not eat,

it is the fruit of the Siren's dell.”

And I laughed and ate: and at

the heart of the apple was a red

stain like a woman's mouth; and

as I bit it I could feel a kiss

upon my lips.
Image of page [66] page: [66]
Note: blank page
Image of page [67] page: [67]
And I was troubled, and they that saw were

silent; but my love laughed & said proudly & looked

around & said
One The same evening I walked with my love by

that place, and she would needs

have me sit with her by under the

apple-tree in which the siren is said

to stand. Then she stood in the hollow

fork of the tree, and plucked an

apple, and stretched it to me and

would have sung: but at that

moment she cried out, and leaped

from the tree into my arms, and

said that the leaves were whispering

other words to her, and my name

among them. She threw the apple

to the bottom of the dell and followed

it with her eyes to see how far it

would fall, till it was hidden by

the tangled boughs. And as we

still looked, a little snake crept

up through them.
She would needs go with me afterwards

to pray in the church, where my
Image of page [68] page: [68]
Note: Originally a blank page, DGR used it to copy out a stanza of verse.
Note: WMR incoporated the lines as the final (fifth) stanza of the fragment of the ballad DGR intended to write. But the document here shows that the stanza was written as DGR was copying out the prose version of the tale and that it corresponds to the prose text of paragraph 15. It therefore would almost certainly have come into the ballad at some later point, and not as stanza 5.
  • My love I call her, and she loves me well:
  • But I love her as in the maelström's cup
  • The whirled stone loves the leaf inseparable
  • That clings to it round all the circling swell
  • And that the same last eddy swallows up.
Image of page [69] page: [69]
ancestors and hers are buried: and

she looked round on the effigies and

said, “How long will it be before we

lie here carved together?” And I thought

I heard the wind in the apple trees that

seemed to whisper, “How long?”
And late that night, when all were

asleep, I went back to the dell and

said in my turn, “How long?” And

for a moment I seemed to see a

hand and apple stretched from the

middle of the tree where my love had

stood. And then it was gone: and

[?] I plucked the apples

and bit them and cast them in the

pit, and said, “Come.”
I speak of my love, and she loves

me well: but I love her only as the

stone whirling down the rapids loves

the dead leaf that travels with
Image of page [70] page: [70]
Note: blank page
Image of page [71] page: [71]

it and clings to it, and that the

same eddy will swallow up.
Last night, at last, I dreamed how the end

will come & now I know it is near. I saw in sleep not only the

lifelong pageant of the glen, but I took

my part in it at last and knew learned

for certain why that dream was mine.
I seemed to be walking with my love among

the hills that lead downward to the glen:

and still she said, “It is late;” but the

wind was glenwards, and said, “Hither.”

And still she said, “Home grows far;”

but the rooks flew glenwards, and said,

“Hither.” And still she said, “Come back;”

but the sun had set, and the moon

laboured towards the glen, and said,

“Hither.” And my heart said in me,

“Aye, thither at last.” Then we stood

on the summit of margin of the slope,

with the apple-trees beneath us; and

the moon bade the clouds fall from her,

and sat in her throne like the sun at

noonday: and none of the apple-trees

were bare now, though autumn was

far worn, but fruit & blossom covered

them together. And they were too thick

to see through clearly; but looking far down
Image of page [72] page: [72]

I saw a white hand holding forth an apple,

and heard the first notes of the Siren's song.

Then my love clung to me and wept; but

I began to struggle down the slope through

the thick wall of bough and fruit and

blossom, scattering them as the storm scatters

the dead leaves; for that one apple only

would my heart have. And my love snatched

at me as I went; but the branches I thrust

away sprang back on my path, & tore

her hands and face: and the last

I knew of her was the lifting of her

arms to heaven as she cried aloud above

me, while I still forced my way downwards.

And now the Siren's song rose clearer as I went.

At first she sang, “Come to Love;” and of the

sweetness of Love she said many things. And next

she sang, “Come to Life;” & Life was sweet in

her song. But long before I reached her, she

knew that all her will was mine: and then

her voice rose softer than ever, and her words

were, “Come to Death;” and Death's name in

her mouth was the very swoon of all sweetest things

that be. And then my path cleared; and she

stood over against me in the fork of the tree I knew so well,

blazing now like a lamp beneath the moon. And one

kiss I had of her mouth, as I took the apple from her

hand. But while I bit it, my brain whirled & my

foot stumbled; and I felt my crashing fall through

the tangled boughs beneath her feet, and saw the

dead Damned white faces that welcomed me in the

pit. And so I woke cold in my bed: but it still

seemed that I lay indeed at last among those who

shall be my mates for ever, and could feel the apple

still in my hand.
Image of page [73] page: [73]
Manuscript Addition: No. 6
Editorial Description: WMR's notation in the upper left corner, numerating the item in the notebook
Last Love

Deleted Text
  • Love hath a chamber all of imagery,
  • And there in one dim nook
  • A little storied web wherein my heart
  • From pag leaf to leaf is read as in a book.

(One part in the middle of the web

begun and left unfinished—a face

with ravelled threads falling over it

& hiding it.) Love says that the time

has come to fin resume & finish

this part of the web, though much

has come between since it was


Deleted Text
  • And instantaneous penetrating sense,
  • In spring's first hour, of other springs gone by

Deleted Text
  • and things
  • Conjectured in the lamentable night.

  • What thing so pitiful as the poor Past?
Image of page [74] page: [74]
Manuscript Addition: No. 7
Editorial Description: WMR's notation in upper left corner, numerating the notebook item
Note: DGR has added the numbers 1, 3, 2, 4 at the left of the first four couplets here, thus indicating his preferred sequence for them.
  • Lost love-labour & lullaby,
  • And lowly let love lie.
  • Lovelorn labour and life laid by,
  • And lowly let love lie.
  • Late love-longing and life-sorrow
  • And love's life lying low.
  • Lost love-morrow and love fellow
  • And love's life lying low.
  • Beauty's bower in the dust o'erblown
  • 10 With a bare white breast of bone.
  • Barren beauty and bower of sand
  • With a blast on either hand.
  • Hollow heaven and the hurricane
  • And hurry of the heavy rain.
Image of page [75] page: [75]
Manuscript Addition: No. 8
Editorial Description: WMR's notation in upper left corner, numerating the notebook item
[“Rose Mary”]
Note: WMR has added the title in square brackets above the text, which has been cancelled on the page by DGR.
Deleted Text
  • “Small hope, my girl, for a helm to hide
  • In mists that cling to a wild moorside:
  • No will for them but of Soon they melt with the wind and sun,
  • And scarce they'd would wait till the a deed were done:
  • God send such snare be the worst to shun!
  • “Still the road shifts winds ever anew
  • And As it hastens on towards Holycleugh:
  • Everywhere the path lies clear;
  • And now as/ As ever the castle draws more near;
  • Still past it goes, and there's nought to fear.
  • Now/And now it has passed and still no fear.
  • And ever the castle great walls loom s more near,
  • Till the castle-shadow, steep and sheer,
  • 10Drifts as a cloud, and the sky is clear.”
  • “Enough, my daughter,” the mother said,
  • And took to her breast the bending head;
  • “Rest here, darling, as long ago,
  • While your a heart's song lulls you, sweet & low;
  • For all is learnt that we need to know.
  • “Long the miles and many the hours
  • From the castle-wall to the abbey-towers;
  • But there he may journey without dread;
  • Too thick with life is the whole road spread
  • 20For murder's trembling foot to tread.”
Image of page [76] page: [76]
Scene I to begin with a description by the

hermit of dawn at sea after the storm overnight—

golden plough on the sea-fields—“And a

fresh dawn again incredible” &c.
Image of page [77] page: [77]
Note: This is DGR's early prose synopsis of parts II and III of the ballad.
Their embrace lasted till

the mother felt unable

to embrace longer the

creature to whom she

must still give so much

pain. Then suddenly

her sobs ceased, and

giving one long kiss to

her daughter, she held

her tightly still, but

away from herself, and

said: “You spoke but now

but wedding music. How

if the bridegroom came

home again but sought

you not and said not

a word?” and Rose

Mary looked in wonder

& said: I know his

heart, and I would

say that he was troubled

and overwearied, and

that he would not see me

till his eyes could make

mine happy.” But the

mother said, “What if

his hands and lips were

cold when you clasped

and kissed them?” And

Rose Mary answered, “I

know his heart; and

I would say that the wind

was chill, and that it

was a sweet task for
Image of page [78] page: [78]
my hands and lips to warm

them.” Then the mother:

“But what if you asked

him of your wedding day &

he never answered?” And Rose

Mary answered said, “But mother,

his heart is mine; and I

should know then for certain

that he meant me a sweet

surprise, and that the music

and the garlands were at the

door and would meet my

eyes ere I could ask again.

But wherefore do you speak

thus?” Then her mother was

silent as not knowing what

to say again, till she clasped

her yet more closely and asked

once more: “How think you

poor daughter, that I know

your secret and your sin?”

And Rose Mary said: “Alas!

I never thought how you knew,

when your words showed me

that so it was: and now

your love makes me pray

again that you know. Did

you learn it by the Beryl

stone?” But the mother

said: “The Beryl stone speaks

not to me. But had you no

fears, daughter, knowing your

own heart, when you so last you

sought its counsel which the

pure alone may claim, and

no fears since for the truth of

its showing?” Then Rose

Mary started like a stricken

fawn; & she said, “O mother,

but still I saw!” And the

mother: “Ah daughter, why

hid you your heart from my

great love? Alas! I would
Image of page [79] page: [79]
have told you that sin in the

sëer must chase away the

good spirits of the Beryl, and

the evil ones that took their

place might either show

nought to you or show the

truth by contraries.” Then

Rose Mary neither spoke nor

moved: and her mother

kissed her many times &

said: “O daughter, believe

that a love no less than his

is still with you: but oh!

more cold and mute than

you are now is the bridegroom

who has come home to-day.

O daughter, the mist you

saw on the road to Holycleugh

was no mist but a veil of

error and deceit: there

and not in the vally the

danger lurked, and thence

has your dead love been born

home today.” But while

she still spoke, Rose Mary

swooned. Her mother wrung

her hands and called to

her in vain: then, going

without the chamber door, she

opened a secret panel, and

hurrying to the altar chamber,

returned with a flask from

which she sprinkled the

pallid face and hands. Soon

there came some first signs of

returning life: and then the

mother stood up and hid her

eyes, saying: ”O how shall I

bear to meet her glance when

she wakes? O for some help

to wrestle with this terrible

horror! I will seek the priest

who prays by the dead man, &

he shall aid me to soothe her anguish.”
Image of page [80] page: [80]
With that, she ran down the castle

stairs to the hall where the dead

man still lay as he had been

brought in, with the priest praying

beside him, while the scared

retainers of the house crowded

in but stood aloof from the body.

The priest rose on seeing her, &

giving her a packet, told her

that it had been found next

the slain man's heart. The lady

took it and said to him: She

“O father, she knows the worst now.

I beseech of you, go seek her in

my chamber, where she lies not

yet recovered from a swoon;

and when she can hear you,

speak to her of Heaven and

comfort before I come again. I

will be with you ere long, but

it may well be that only such

words as yours should first

meet her ears.” The priest

hastened away; and then the

lady, bidding all the others with-

-draw, sat knelt down by the head

of the corpse, and gazed long

in the face, saying: “Sorely

didst thou wrong my child

and me;
Added Textalas!

and by her unwitting word means

has God's will brought thee

to death.
yet had thy life

stayed with thee, I doubt not

thy loving heart would have

redeemed her honour and

thine own.
Added TextThy shrift thou hast never

won; but may death spoil

thy soul for sin!
Peace be with

thee; but what with her?”

As she was about to kiss the

brow of the corpse, her eyes fell

on the papers that she still held

in her hand, and she said,—

“Ah poor child, doubtless here

is some pledge of thine.” She

opened the packet, and found

a lock of golden hair twined

round some a folded paper.
Image of page [81] page: [81]
Her hand trembled, and she

said: “This is none of my child's

dark tresses!” And opening the

paper hastily, she read this:—

“Come home, my love, three

days hence at Holy Cross. I

I will go thither as for a shrift,

and do then do likewise. My

brother rides from Holycleugh

the day before, and will not

return till we are safe with

our love alone where he cannot

reach us.” As she finished

reading, she closed her eyes &

seemed nigh to swoon; then

she dropped her hands like one

murmuring, “The Warden's

sister of Holycleugh!” But

anon with a long moan she

rose to her feet. “O God!” she

said, ”O God! and was it

for this? Well hast thou

paid thy treason, thou dead

body and soul!” And as

she spoke, she smote the face

of the corpse with the long lock of

golden hair, and left it

lying across the pale lips.

At the same instant, the

priest called to her from the

gallery that ran round

the hall, bidding her come

quickly, for her daughter

was gone from the chamber

where he had sought her, &

they must now seek her together.
Part III
Rose Mary, on being left alone

by her mother, had ere long re

-covered from her swoon. As she

rose to her feet, all the agony of

the past hour rushed back con-

-fusedly on her soul, and she
Image of page [82] page: [82]
looked round for her mother &

doubted if it might not be a dream.

She staggered towards the

chamber door, hardly knowing

what she did, but calling wildly

on her mother & her lover to

come to her. Beyond the chamber

door, the secret door in the

wall still stood open, having

been left so in haste by her mother

when she sought the restoratives.

She made her way up the dim

staircase, still half unconscious

and uttering broken cries and

moans, till at the summit she

found herslef at in the little

altar-chamber. On the altar,

between burning lamps and

before an open book, stood the

Beryl stone on a silver tripod.

Then all rushed back clearly

on her mind, and she shrank

as from the sight of a serpent.

Above the altar there hung

against the wall the helmet

and sword which her father

had worn in Palestine when

he fought there and won the

talisman. Then suddenly

she took down the sword, and

spoke to the Beryl-stone saying:

“O ye accursed spirits! Strong

was the hand that brought

ye hither, yet shall a weak

hand suffice to send ye hence.

Now, my true love, even as

they have slain thee, so God

send they may take my life

also; and as they speed to Hell

I shall see thy face in Heaven;

for by the grace of God, surely

our sin is shall be thus atoned.” Then

heaving up the sword with both

hands, she brought the blade

down on the Beryl-stone and
Image of page [83] page: [83]
cleft it asunder. The clang

of the falling sword was answered

by a deafening shock, as if all

the earth and sky met together,

with wind and rain, with the

rush of fire and water, with

the voice of laughter and tears.

And when it ceased, Rose Mary

lay upon the ground pale and

dead, but with no mark of

death upon her, & with the sword

still in her hand: Then a voice

said in the room: “Come with

me, sweet soul, and I will

bring thee to thy rest. Me thy

sin chased from the talisman,

and to me thou comest in

pardon, who hast chased my

foes from it again. Already

has thy heart forgotten its

hope in death, for the heaven

of pity is far from the hell

of treason. Thy place, true

soul, is in Mary's rose-bower,

with all smiles and kisses of

love; though for thee, poor

corpse, nought is left but

loving sighs and tears, but

rent rose-flowers and rosemary.”
Image of page [84] page: [84]
Manuscript Addition: No. 9
Editorial Description: WMR's notation in upper left corner, numerating the notebook item
Note: The page is headed by WMR's bracketed description "“[Three Notes]”. The texts are scripted upside down (in relation to the scrpting norm in the rest of the notebook pages).
Note: Though a prose text, this seems clearly to have been drafted for “Commandments”, pieces of which he was drafting in his notebooks from 1871 onwards.
Idealize all things but thyself. ? an

Seek thine ideal in anywhere except in

thyself. Once find fix it there, and the ways

of thy real ? self will matter nothing

to thee, whose eyes are fixed/ set only can rest on the ideal

already perfected.
Could I have seen the thing I am to-day,

The same (how strange!) the same as I was then!

Yet the time may come when to my soul

it may be difficult in such old things

to tell which came first of all the

days which now seem so wide apart.
Note: This is DGR's prose synopsis of the sonnet “Transfigured Life”.
As the features of a child are recall now

the father & now the mother, and yet are

different from both; so in a work may

be traced in a new form this or that

passion or experience of its author's life,

though all be turned to a fresh purpose.
Image of page [85a] page: [85a]
1. How King ArthurSir Lancelot

was made a knight at the hand

of King Arthur, & how Queen Guenevere

crowned him.
2. How Sir Lancelot being in quest of the S[ancgreal] fell in

a deep sleep before the shrine,

of the Sancgrael for he might

not enter in, because of

the love he bore to Queen

Guenevere, King Arthur's wife.
3. How Sir Galahad, Sir Laucelot's

son with Sir Bors & Sir

Percival, they 3 being clean

maids, were fed with the

Sancgreal, but Sir Percival's

sister died on the way.
4. How Sir Agravaine, Sir Mordred, and Sir Sir Lancelot was

found in Queen Guenevere's chamber,

and how Sir Agravain & Sir Mordred

with more came with 12 knights

to slay him.
5. How Sir Lancelot parted

from Queen Guenevere at

King Arthur's tomb, and

would have kissed her at

parting, but she would not.
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San Graal

Image of page [85] page: [85]
The Love Philtre
Note: This is DGR's prose synopsis of the projected work.
A woman, intensely enamoured of a man who

does not love her, makes use of a philtre to

secure his love. In this she succeeds; but

it also acts gradually upon his life. She

attempts to avert this by destroying the whole

whole effect of the philtre, but finds this is

not permitted her; and he dies in her

arms, deeply loving her and deeply loved

by her, while she is conscious of being the

cause of his death. As he yields his

last breath in a kiss, she knows that

his spirit now hates her.
Note: This is DGR's prose synopsis of his projected work on Michael Scott.
Michael Scott's Wooing
Michael Scott & a friend, both young and

dissolute, are returning from a carouse

by moonlight, along a wild sea-coast

during a groundswell. As they come

within view of a small house on the

rocky shore, his companion taunts

Michael Scott with as to his known passion

for the maiden Janet who dwells

there with her father, and as to the

failure of the snares he has laid

for her. Scott is goaded to great

irritation, and as they near the point

of the sands overlooked by the cottage,

he turns round on his friend and

declares that the maiden shall come
Image of page [86] page: [86]

out to him then & there at his summons.

The friend still taunts & banters him

saying that wine has heated his

brain; but Scott stands quite still,

muttering & regarding the cottage with

a gesture of command. After he has done

so for some time, the door opens softly,

& Janet comes running down the rock.

As she approaches, she nearly rushes

into Michael Scott's arms, but instead,

swerves aside, runs swiftly by him,

& plunges into the surging waves.

With a shriek Michael plunges after

her, & strikes out this side & that,

and lashes his way among the billows,

between the rising & sinking breakers;

but all in vain, —no sign appears

of her. After some time spent in this

way he returns almost exhausted

to the sands, and passing without

answer by his appalled & questioning

friend, he climbs the rock to the door

of the cottage, which is now closed.

Janet's father answers his loud

knocking, and to him he says,—

“Slay me, for your daughter has

drowned herself this hour in yonder

sea, & by my means.” The father

at first suspects some stratagem, but

finally deems him mad, & says,—
Image of page [87] page: [87]

“You rave,—my daughter is at rest in her

bed.” “Go seek her there,” answers Michael

Scott. The father goes up to his daughter's

chamber, & returning very pale, signs

to Michael to follow him. Together

they climb the stair, & find Janet half

lying and half kneeling, as if in the

act of turned violently round, as if

in the act of rising from her bed, she

had again thrown herself backward

and clasped the feet of a crucifix

at her bedhead; so she lies dead.

Michael Scott rushes from the house,

and returning maddened to the

seashore, is with difficulty restrained

from suicide by his friend. At last he

stands like stone for a while, and

then, as if repeating an inner whisper,

he describes the maiden's last struggle

with her heart. He says how she

loved him but would not sin; how

hearing in her sleep his appeal from

the shore she almost yielded, and the

embodied image of her longing came

rushing out to him; but how at in the

last instant she turned back for

refuge to Christ, & her soul was wrung

from her by the struggle of her heart.

“And as I speak,” he says, “the fiend

who whispers this concerning her says

also in my ear how surely I am lost.”
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White canvas

model with turps & burnt sienna &


When dry paint with oil, but

thin especially in the shadows.

When dry, glaze.—
Image of page [89] page: [89]
Note: The notes are written in pencil on the endpaper of the notebook.
Mr Harmer (shoemaker)

Assistant overseer


(2 miles from Hastings)

Mr Dewdney

Bell Hotel


(4 miles from H.)

Sidley—a mile from Boxhill

Mr. Churchman

George Inn

Electronic Archive Edition: 1
Source File: nb0005.duke.rad.xml
Copyright: Digital images used with permission of the Duke University Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library.