The Works Of John Dryden, Vol. 7 (of 18) - The Duke of Guise; Albion and Albanius; Don Sebastian
by John Dryden
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Dor. Death to my eyes, I see Sebastian with him! Must he be served?—Avoid him: If we meet, It must be like the crush of heaven and earth, To involve us both in ruin. [Exit.

Bend. 'Twas a bare saving game I made with Dorax; But better so than lost. He cannot hurt me; That I precautioned: I must ruin him.— But now this love; ay, there's the gathering storm! The tyrant must not wed Almeyda: No! That ruins all the fabric I am raising. Yet, seeming to approve, it gave me time; And gaining time gains all. [Aside. [BENDUCAR goes and waits behind the Emperor. The Emperor, SEBASTIAN, and ALMEYDA, advance to the front of the stage: Guards and Attendants.

Emp. to Seb. I bade them serve you; and, if they obey not, I keep my lions keen within their dens, To stop their maws with disobedient slaves.

Seb. If I had conquered, They could not have with more observance waited: Their eyes, hands, feet, Are all so quick, they seem to have but one motion, To catch my flying words. Only the alcayde Shuns me; and, with a grim civility, Bows, and declines my walks.

Emp. A renegade: I know not more of him, but that he's brave, And hates your Christian sect. If you can frame A farther wish, give wing to your desires, And name the thing you want.

Seb. My liberty; For were even paradise itself my prison, Still I should long to leap the crystal walls.

Emp. Sure our two souls have somewhere been acquainted In former beings; or, struck out together, One spark to Afric flew, and one to Portugal. Expect a quick deliverance: Here's a third, [Turning to ALMEYDA. Of kindred sold to both: pity our stars Have made us foes! I should not wish her death.

Alm. I ask no pity; if I thought my soul Of kin to thine, soon would I rend my heart-strings, And tear out that alliance; but thou, viper, Hast cancelled kindred, made a rent in nature, And through her holy bowels gnawed thy way, Through thy own blood, to empire.

Emp. This again! And yet she lives, and only lives to upbraid me!

Seb. What honour is there in a woman's death! Wronged, as she says, but helpless to revenge; Strong in her passion, impotent of reason, Too weak to hurt, too fair to be destroyed. Mark her majestic fabric; she's a temple Sacred by birth, and built by hands divine; Her souls the deity that lodges there; Nor is the pile unworthy of the god.

Emp. She's all that thou canst say, or I can think; But the perverseness of her clamourous tongue Strikes pity deaf.

Seb. Then only hear her eyes! Though they are mute, they plead; nay, more, command; For beauteous eyes have arbitrary power. All females have prerogative of sex; The she's even of the savage herd are safe; And when they snarl or bite, have no return But courtship from the male.

Emp. Were she not she, and I not Muley-Moluch, She's mistress of inevitable charms, For all but me; nor am I so exempt, But that—I know not what I was to say— But I am too obnoxious to my friends, And swayed by your advice.

Seb. Sir, I advised not; By heaven, I never counselled love, but pity.

Emp. By heaven thou didst; deny it not, thou didst: For what was all that prodigality Of praise, but to inflame me?

Seb. Sir—

Emp. No more; Thou hast convinced me that she's worth my love.

Seb. Was ever man so ruined by himself? [Aside.

Alm. Thy love! That odious mouth was never framed To speak a word so soft: Name death again, for that thou canst pronounce With horrid grace, becoming of a tyrant. Love is for human hearts, and not for thine, Where the brute beast extinguishes the man.

Emp. Such if I were, yet rugged lions love, And grapple, and compel their savage dames.— Mark my Sebastian, how that sullen frown, [She frowns. Like flashing lightning, opens angry heaven, And, while it kills, delights!—But yet, insult not Too soon, proud beauty! I confess no love.

Seb. No, sir; I said so, and I witness for you, Not love, but noble pity, moved your mind: Interest might urge you too to save her life; For those, who wish her party lost, might murmur At shedding royal blood.

Emp. Right, thou instruct'st me; Interest of state requires not death, but marriage, To unite the jarring titles of our line.

Seb. Let me be dumb for ever; all I plead, [Aside. Like wildfire thrown against the winds, returns With double force to burn me.

Emp. Could I but bend, to make my beauteous foe The partner of my throne, and of my bed—

Alm. Still thou dissemblest; but, I read thy heart, And know the power of my own charms; thou lov'st, And I am pleased, for my revenge, thou dost.

Emp. And thou hast cause.

Alm. I have, for I have power to make thee wretched. Be sure I will, and yet despair of freedom.

Emp. Well then, I love; And 'tis below my greatness to disown it; Love thee implacably, yet hate thee too; Would hunt thee barefoot, in the mid-day sun, Through the parched desarts and the scorching sands, To enjoy thy love, and, once enjoyed, to kill thee.

Alm. 'Tis a false courage, when thou threaten'st me; Thou canst not stir a hand to touch my life: Do not I see thee tremble, while thou speak'st? Lay by the lion's hide, vain conqueror, And take the distaff; for thy soul's my slave.

Emp. Confusion! How thou view'st my very heart! I could as soon Stop a spring-tide, blown in, with my bare hand, As this impetuous love:—Yes, I will wed thee; In spite of thee, and of myself, I will.

Alm. For what? to people Africa with monsters, Which that unnatural mixture must produce? No, were we joined, even though it were in death, Our bodies burning in one funeral pile, The prodigy of Thebes would be renewed, And my divided flame should break from thine.

Emp. Serpent, I will engender poison with thee; Join hate with hate, add venom to the birth: Our offspring, like the seed of dragons' teeth, Shall issue armed, and fight themselves to death.

Alm. I'm calm again; thou canst not marry me.

Emp. As gleams of sunshine soften storms to showers, So, if you smile, the loudness of my rage In gentle whispers shall return but this— That nothing can divert my love but death.

Alm. See how thou art deceived; I am a Christian: 'Tis true, unpractised in my new belief, Wrongs I resent, nor pardon yet with ease; Those fruits come late, and are of slow increase In haughty hearts, like mine: Now, tell thyself If this one word destroy not thy designs: Thy law permits thee not to marry me.

Emp. 'Tis but a specious tale, to blast my hopes, And baffle my pretensions.—Speak, Sebastian, And, as a king, speak true.

Seb. Then, thus adjured, On a king's word 'tis truth, but truth ill-timed; For her dear life is now exposed anew, Unless you wholly can put on divinity, And graciously forgive.

Alm. Now learn, by this, The little value I have left for life, And trouble me no more.

Emp. I thank thee, woman; Thou hast restored me to my native rage, And I will seize my happiness by force.

Seb. Know, Muley Moluch, when thou darest attempt—

Emp. Beware! I would not be provoked to use A conqueror's right, and therefore charge thy silence. If thou wouldst merit to be thought my friend, I leave thee to persuade her to compliance: If not, there's a new gust in ravishment, Which I have never tried.

Bend. They must be watched; [Aside. For something I observed creates a doubt. [Exeunt Emp. and BEND.

Seb. I've been too tame, have basely borne my wrongs, And not exerted all the king within me: I heard him, O sweet heavens! he threatened rape; Nay, insolently urged me to persuade thee, Even thee, thou idol of my soul and eyes, For whom I suffer life, and drag this being.

Alm. You turn my prison to a paradise; But I have turned your empire to a prison: In all your wars good fortune flew before you; Sublime you sat in triumph on her wheel, Till in my fatal cause your sword was drawn; The weight of my misfortunes dragged you down.

Seb. And is't not strange, that heaven should bless my arms In common causes, and desert the best? Now in your greatest, last extremity, When I would aid you most, and most desire it, I bring but sighs, the succours of a slave.

Alm. Leave then the luggage of your fate behind; To make your flight more easy leave Almeyda: Nor think me left a base, ignoble prey, Exposed to this inhuman tyrant's lust; My virtue is a guard beyond my strength, And death, my last defence, within my call.

Seb. Death may be called in vain, and cannot come; Tyrants can tie him up from your relief; Nor has a Christian privilege to die. Alas, thou art too young in thy new faith: Brutus and Cato might discharge their souls, And give them furloughs for another world; But we, like sentries, are obliged to stand In starless nights, and wait the appointed hour[2].

Alm. If shunning ill be good To those, who cannot shun it but by death, Divines but peep on undiscovered worlds, And draw the distant landscape as they please; But who has e'er returned from those bright regions, To tell their manners, and relate their laws? I'll venture landing on that happy shore With an unsullied body and white mind; If I have erred, some kind inhabitant Will pity a strayed soul, and take me home.

Seb. Beware of death! thou canst not die unperjured, And leave an unaccomplished love behind. Thy vows are mine; nor will I quit my claim: The ties of minds are but imperfect bonds, Unless the bodies join to seal the contract.

Alm. What joys can you possess, or can I give, Where groans of death succeed the sighs of love? Our Hymen has not on his saffron robe; But, muffled up in mourning, downward holds His drooping torch, extinguished with his tears.

Seb. The God of Love stands ready to revive it, With his etherial breath.

Alm. 'Tis late to join, when we must part so soon.

Seb. Nay, rather let us haste it, ere we part; Our souls, for want of that acquaintance here, May wander in the starry walks above, And, forced on worse companions, miss ourselves.

Alm. The tyrant will not long be absent hence; And soon I shall be ravished from your arms.

Seb. Wilt thou thyself become the greater tyrant, And give not love, while thou hast love to give? In dangerous days, when riches are a crime, The wise betimes make over their estates: Make o'er thy honour, by a deed of trust, And give me seizure of the mighty wealth.

Alm. What shall I do? O teach me to refuse! I would,—and yet I tremble at the grant; For dire presages fright my soul by day, And boding visions haunt my nightly dreams; Sometimes, methinks, I hear the groans of ghosts, Thin, hollow sounds, and lamentable screams; Then, like a dying echo, from afar, My mother's voice, that cries,—Wed not, Almeyda! Forewarned, Almeyda, marriage is thy crime.

Seb. Some envious demon to delude our joys; Love is not sin, but where 'tis sinful love.

Alm. Mine is a flame so holy and so clear, That the white taper leaves no soot behind; No smoke of lust; but chaste as sisters' love, When coldly they return a brother's kiss, Without the zeal that meets at lovers' mouths[3].

Seb. Laugh then at fond presages. I had some;— Famed Nostradamus, when he took my horoscope, Foretold my father, I should wed with incest. Ere this unhappy war my mother died, And sisters I had none;—vain augury! A long religious life, a holy age, My stars assigned me too;—impossible! For how can incest suit with holiness, Or priestly orders with a princely state?

Alm. Old venerable Alvarez— [Sighing.

Seb. But why that sigh in naming that good man?

Alm. Your father's counsellor and confident—

Seb. He was; and, if he lives, my second father.

Alm. Marked our farewell, when, going to the fight, You gave Almeyda for the word of battle. 'Twas in that fatal moment, he discovered The love, that long we laboured to conceal. I know it; though my eyes stood full of tears, Yet through the mist I saw him stedfast gaze; Then knocked his aged breast, and inward groaned, Like some sad prophet, that foresaw the doom Of those whom best he loved, and could not save.

Seb. It startles me! and brings to my remembrance, That, when the shock of battle was begun, He would have much complained (but had not time) Of our hid passion: then, with lifted hands, He begged me, by my father's sacred soul, Not to espouse you, if he died in fight; For, if he lived, and we were conquerors, He had such things to urge against our marriage, As, now declared, would blunt my sword in battle, And dastardize my courage.

Alm. My blood curdles, And cakes about my heart.

Seb. I'll breathe a sigh so warm into thy bosom, Shall make it flow again. My love, he knows not Thou art a Christian: that produced his fear, Lest thou shouldst sooth my soul with charms so strong, That heaven might prove too weak.

Alm. There must be more: This could not blunt your sword.

Seb. Yes, if I drew it, with a curst intent, To take a misbeliever to my bed: It must be so.

Alm. Yet—

Seb. No, thou shalt not plead, With that fair mouth, against the cause of love. Within this castle is a captive priest, My holy confessor, whose free access Not even the barbarous victors have refused; This hour his hands shall make us one.

Alm. I go, with love and fortune, two blind guides, To lead my way, half loth, and half consenting. If, as my soul forebodes, some dire event Pursue this union, or some crime unknown, Forgive me, heaven! and, all ye blest above, Excuse the frailty of unbounded love! [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—Supposed a Garden, with lodging rooms behind it, or on the sides.

Enter MUFTI, ANTONIO as a slave, and JOHAYMA the MUFTI'S wife.

Muf. And how do you like him? look upon him well; he is a personable fellow of a Christian dog. Now, I think you are fitted for a gardener. Ha, what sayest thou, Johayma?

Joh. He may make a shift to sow lettuce, raise melons, and water a garden-plat; but otherwise, a very filthy fellow: how odiously he smells of his country garlick! fugh, how he stinks of Spain.

Muf. Why honey bird, I bought him on purpose for thee: didst thou not say, thou longedst for a Christian slave?

Joh. Ay, but the sight of that loathsome creature has almost cured me; and how can I tell that he is a christian? an he were well searched, he may prove a Jew, for aught I know. And, besides, I have always longed for an eunuch; for they say that's a civil creature, and almost as harmless as yourself, husband.—Speak, fellow, are not you such a kind of peaceable thing?

Ant. I was never taken for one in my own country; and not very peaceable neither, when I am well provoked.

Muf. To your occupation, dog; bind up the jessamines in yonder arbour, and handle your pruning-knife with dexterity: tightly I say, go tightly to your business; you have cost me much, and must earn it in your work. Here's plentiful provision for you, rascal; salading in the garden, and water in the tank, and on holidays the licking of a platter of rice, when you deserve it.

Joh. What have you been bred up to, sirrah? and what can you perform, to recommend you to my service?

Ant. [Making Legs.] Why, madam, I can perform as much as any man, in a fair lady's service. I can play upon the flute, and sing; I can carry your umbrella, and fan your ladyship, and cool you when you are too hot; in fine, no service, either by day or by night, shall come amiss to me; and, besides I am of so quick an apprehension, that you need but wink upon me at any time to make me understand my duty. [She winks at him.]—Very fine, she has tipt the wink already. [Aside.

Joh. The whelp may come to something in time, when I have entered him into his business.

Muf. A very malapert cur, I can tell him that; I do not like his fawning—You must be taught your distance, sirrah. [Strikes him.

Joh. Hold, hold. He has deserved it, I confess; but, for once, let his ignorance plead his pardon; we must not discourage a beginner. Your reverence has taught us charity, even to birds and beasts:—here, you filthy brute, you, take this little alms to buy you plasters. [Gives him a piece of money.

Ant. Money, and a love-pinch in the inside of my palm into the bargain. [Aside.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Sir, my lord Benducar is coming to wait on you, and is already at the palace gate.

Muf. Come in, Johayma; regulate the rest of my wives and concubines, and leave the fellow to his work.

Joh. How stupidly he stares about him, like a calf new come into the world! I shall teach you, sirrah, to know your business a little better. This way, you awkward rascal; here lies the arbour; must I be shewing you eternally? [Turning him about.

Muf. Come away, minion; you shall shew him nothing.

Joh. I'll but bring him into the arbour, where a rose-tree and a myrtle-tree are just falling for want of a prop; if they were bound together, they would help to keep up one another. He's a raw gardener, and 'tis but charity to teach him.

Muf. No more deeds of charity to-day; come in, or I shall think you a little better disposed than I could wish you.

Joh. Well, go before, I will follow my pastor.

Muf. So you may cast a sheep's eye behind you? in before me;—and you, sauciness, mind your pruning-knife, or I may chance to use it for you. [Exeunt Mufti and JOHAYMA.

Ant. [Alone.] Thank you for that, but I am in no such haste to be made a mussulman. For his wedlock, for all her haughtiness, I find her coming. How far a Christian should resist, I partly know; but how far a lewd young Christian can resist, is another question. She's tolerable, and I am a poor stranger, far from better friends, and in a bodily necessity. Now have I a strange temptation to try what other females are belonging to this family: I am not far from the women's apartment, I am sure; and if these birds are within distance, here's that will chuckle them together. [Pulls out his Flute.] If there be variety of Moors' flesh in this holy market, 'twere madness to lay out all my money upon the first bargain. [He plays. A Grate opens, and MORAYMA, the Mufti's Daughter, appears at it.]—Ay, there's an apparition! This is a morsel worthy of a Mufti; this is the relishing bit in secret; this is the mystery of his Alcoran, that must be reserved from the knowledge of the prophane vulgar; this is his holiday devotion.—See, she beckons too. [She beckons to him.

Mor. Come a little nearer, and speak softly.

Ant. I come. I come, I warrant thee; the least twinkle had brought me to thee; such another kind syllable or two would turn me to a meteor, and draw me up to thee.

Mor. I dare not speak, for fear of being overheard; but if you think my person worth your hazard, and can deserve my love, the rest this note shall tell you. [Throws down a Handkerchief.] No more, my heart goes with you. [Exit from the Grate.

Ant. O thou pretty little heart, art thou flown hither? I'll keep it warm, I warrant it, and brood upon it in the new nest.—But now for my treasure trove, that's wrapt up in the handkerchief; no peeping here, though I long to be spelling her Arabic scrawls and pot-hooks. But I must carry off my prize as robbers do, and not think of sharing the booty before I am free from danger, and out of eye-shot from the other windows. If her wit be as poignant as her eyes, I am a double slave. Our northern beauties are mere dough to these; insipid white earth, mere tobacco pipe clay, with no more soul and motion in them than a fly in winter. Here the warm planet ripens and sublimes The well-baked beauties of the southern climes. Our Cupid's but a bungler in his trade; His keenest arrows are in Africk made. [Exit.


SCENE I.—A Terrace Walk; or some other public place in the castle of Alcazar.


Emp. Married! I'll not believe it; 'tis imposture; Improbable they should presume to attempt, Impossible they should effect their wish.

Bend. Have patience, till I clear it.

Emp. I have none: Go bid our moving plains of sand lie still, And stir not, when the stormy south blows high: From top to bottom thou hast tossed my soul, And now 'tis in the madness of the whirl, Requir'st a sudden stop? unsay thy lie; That may in time do somewhat.

Bend. I have done: For, since it pleases you it should be forged, 'Tis fit it should: far be it from your slave To raise disturbance in your sacred breast.

Emp. Sebastian is my slave as well as thou; Nor durst offend my love by that presumption.

Bend. Most sure he ought not.

Emp. Then all means were wanting: No priest, no ceremonies of their sect; Or, grant we these defects could be supplied, How could our prophet do an act so base, So to resume his gifts, and curse my conquests, By making me unhappy? No, the slave, That told thee so absurd a story, lied.

Bend. Yet till this moment I have found him faithful: He said he saw it too.

Emp. Dispatch; what saw he?

Bend. Truth is, considering with what earnestness Sebastian pleaded for Almeyda's life, Enhanced her beauty, dwelt upon her praise—

Emp. O stupid, and unthinking as I was! I might have marked it too; 'twas gross and palpable.

Bend. Methought I traced a lover ill disguised, And sent my spy, a sharp observing slave, To inform me better, if I guessed aright. He told me, that he saw Sebastian's page Run cross the marble square, who soon returned, And after him there lagged a puffing friar; Close wrapt he bore some secret instrument Of Christian superstition in his hand: My servant followed fast, and through a chink Perceived the royal captives hand in hand; And heard the hooded father mumbling charms, That make those misbelievers man and wife; Which done, the spouses kissed with such a fervour, And gave such furious earnest of their flames, That their eyes sparkled, and their mantling blood Flew flushing o'er their faces.

Emp. Hell confound them!

Bend. The reverend father, with a holy leer, Saw he might well be spared, and soon withdrew: This forced my servant to a quick retreat, For fear to be discovered.—Guess the rest.

Emp. I do: My fancy is too exquisite, And tortures me with their imagined bliss. Some earthquake should have risen and rent the ground, Have swallowed him, and left the longing bride In agony of unaccomplished love. [Walks disorderly.

Enter the Mufti.

Bend. In an unlucky hour That fool intrudes, raw in this great affair, And uninstructed how to stem the tide.— [Aside. [Coming up the Mufti,—aside.] The emperor must not marry, nor enjoy:— Keep to that point: Stand firm, for all's at stake.

Emp. [Seeing him.] You druggerman[4] of heaven, must I attend Your droning prayers? Why came ye not before? Dost thou not know the captive king has dared To wed Almeyda? Cancel me that marriage, And make her mine: About the business, quick!— Expound thy Mahomet; make him speak my sense, Or he's no prophet here, and thou no Mufti; Unless thou know'st the trick of thy vocation, To wrest and rend the law, to please thy prince.

Muf. Why, verily, the law is monstrous plain: There's not one doubtful text in all the alcoran, Which can be wrenched in favour to your project.

Emp. Forge one, and foist it into some bye-place Of some old rotten roll: Do't, I command thee! Must I teach thee thy trade?

Muf. It cannot be; For matrimony being the dearest point Of law, the people have it all by heart: A cheat on procreation will not pass. Besides, [In a higher tone.] the offence is so exorbitant, To mingle with a misbelieving race, That speedy vengeance would pursue your crime, And holy Mahomet launch himself from heaven, Before the unready thunderbolts were formed. [Emperor, taking him by the throat with one hand, snatches out his sword with the other, and points it to his breast.

Emp. Slave, have I raised thee to this pomp and power, To preach against my will?—Know, I am law; And thou, not Mahomet's messenger but mine!— Make it, I charge thee, make my pleasure lawful; Or, first, I strip thee of thy ghostly greatness, Then send thee post to tell thy tale above. And bring thy vain memorials to thy prophet, Of justice done below for disobedience.

Muf. For heaven's sake hold!—The respite of a moment!— To think for you—

Emp. And for thyself.

Muf. For both.

Bend. Disgrace, and death, and avarice, have lost him! [Aside.

Muf. 'Tis true, our law forbids to wed a Christian; But it forbids you not to ravish her. You have a conqueror's right upon your slave; And then the more despite you do a Christian, You serve the prophet more, who loathes that sect.

Emp. O, now it mends; and you talk reason, Mufti.— But, stay! I promised freedom to Sebastian; Now, should I grant it, his revengeful soul Would ne'er forgive his violated bed.

Muf. Kill him; for then you give him liberty: His soul is from his earthly prison freed.

Emp. How happy is the prince who has a churchman, So learned and pliant, to expound his laws!

Bend. Two things I humbly offer to your prudence.

Emp. Be brief, but let not either thwart my love.

Bend. First, since our holy man has made rape lawful, Fright her with that; Proceed not yet to force: Why should you pluck the green distasteful fruit From the unwilling bough, When it may ripen of itself, and fall?

Emp. Grant her a day; though that's too much to give Out of a life which I devote to love.

Bend. Then, next, to bar All future hopes of her desired Sebastian, Let Dorax be enjoined to bring his head.

Emp. [To the Mufti.] Go, Mufti, call him to receive his orders.— [Exit Mufti. I taste thy counsel; her desires new roused, And yet unslaked, will kindle in her fancy, And make her eager to renew the feast.

Bend. [Aside.] Dorax, I know before, will disobey: There's a foe's head well cropped.— But this hot love precipitates my plot, And brings it to projection ere its time.

Enter SEBASTIAN and ALMEYDA, hand in hand; upon sight of the Emperor, they separate, and seem disturbed.

Alm. He breaks at unawares upon our walks, And, like a midnight wolf, invades the fold. Make speedy preparation of your soul, And bid it arm apace: He comes for answer, And brutal mischief sits upon his brow.

Seb. Not the last sounding could surprise me more, That summons drowsy mortals to their doom, When called in haste to fumble for their limbs, And tremble, unprovided for their charge: My sense has been so deeply plunged in joys, The soul out-slept her hour; and, scarce awake, Would think too late, but cannot: But brave minds, At worst, can dare their fate. [Aside.

Emp. [Coming up to them.] Have you performed Your embassy, and treated with success?

Seb. I had no time.

Emp. No, not for my affairs; But, for your own, too much.

Seb. You talk in clouds; explain your meaning, sir.

Emp. Explain yours first.—What meant you, hand in hand? And, when you saw me, with a guilty start, You loosed your hold, affrighted at my presence.

Seb. Affrighted!

Emp. Yes, astonished and confounded.

Seb. What mak'st thou of thyself, and what of me? Art thou some ghost, some demon, or some god, That I should stand astonished at thy sight? If thou could'st deem so meanly of my courage, Why didst thou not engage me man for man, And try the virtue of that Gorgon face, To stare me into statue?

Emp. Oh, thou art now recovered; but, by heaven, Thou wert amazed at first, as if surprised At unexpected baseness brought to light. For know, ungrateful man, that kings, like gods, Are every where; walk in the abyss of minds, And view the dark recesses of the soul.

Seb. Base and ungrateful never was I thought; Nor, till this turn of fate, durst thou have called me: But, since thou boast'st the omniscience of a god, Say in what cranny of Sebastian's soul, Unknown to me, so loathed a crime is lodged?

Emp. Thou hast not broke my trust, reposed in thee!

Seb. Imposed, but not received.—Take back that falsehood.

Emp. Thou art not married to Almeyda?

Seb. Yes.

Emp. And own'st the usurpation of my love?

Seb. I own it, in the face of heaven and thee; No usurpation, but a lawful claim, Of which I stand possessed.

Emp. She has chosen well, Betwixt a captive and a conqueror.

Alm. Betwixt a monster, and the best of men!— He was the envy of his neighbouring kings; For him their sighing queens despised their lords; And virgin daughters blushed when he was named. To share his noble chains is more to me, Than all the savage greatness of thy throne.

Seb. Were I to chuse again, and knew my fate, For such a night I would be what I am. The joys I have possessed are ever mine; Out of thy reach; behind eternity; Hid in the sacred treasure of the past: But blest remembrance brings them hourly back.

Emp. Hourly indeed, who hast but hours to live. O, mighty purchase of a boasted bliss! To dream of what thou hadst one fugitive night, And never shalt have more!

Seb. Barbarian, thou canst part us but a moment! We shall be one again in thy despite. Life is but air, That yields a passage to the whistling sword, And closes when 'tis gone.

Alm. How can we better die than close embraced, Sucking each other's souls while we expire? Which, so transfused, and mounting both at once, The saints, deceived, shall, by a sweet mistake, Hand up thy soul for mine, and mine for thine.

Emp. No, I'll untwist you: I have occasion for your stay on earth. Let him mount first, and beat upon the wing, And wait an age for what I here detain; Or sicken at immortal joys above, And languish for the heaven he left below.

Alm. Thou wilt not dare to break what heaven has joined?

Emp. Not break the chain; but change a rotten link, And rivet one to last. Think'st thou I come to argue right and wrong?— Why lingers Dorax thus? Where are my guards, [BENDUCAR goes out for the Guards, and returns. To drag that slave to death?— [Pointing to SEB. Now storm and rage; Call vainly on thy prophet, then defy him For wanting power to save thee.

Seb. That were to gratify thy pride. I'll shew thee How a man should, and how a king dare die! So even, that my soul shall walk with ease Out of its flesh, and shut out life as calmly As it does words; without a sign to note One struggle, in the smooth dissolving frame.

Alm. [To the Emp.] Expect revenge from heaven, inhuman wretch! Nor hope to ascend Sebastian's holy bed. Flames, daggers, poisons, guard the sacred steps: Those are the promised pleasures of my love.

Emp. And these might fright another, but not me; Or me, if I designed to give you pleasure. I seek my own; and while that lasts, you live.—

Enter two of the Guards.

Go, bear the captive to a speedy death, And set my soul at ease.

Alm. I charge you hold, ye ministers of death!— Speak my Sebastian; Plead for thy life; Oh, ask it of the tyrant: 'Tis no dishonour; trust me, love, 'tis none. I would die for thee, but I cannot plead; My haughty heart disdains it, even for thee.— Still silent! Will the king of Portugal Go to his death like a dumb sacrifice? Beg him to save my life in saving thine.

Seb. Farewell; my life's not worth another word.

Emp. [To the Guards.] Perform your orders.

Alm. Stay, take my farewell too! Farewell the greatness of Almeyda's soul!— Look, tyrant, what excess of love can do; It pulls me down thus low as to thy feet; [Kneels to him. Nay, to embrace thy knees with loathing hands, Which blister when they touch thee: Yet even thus, Thus far I can, to save Sebastian's life.

Emp. A secret pleasure trickles through my veins: It works about the inlets of my soul, To feel thy touch, and pity tempts the pass: But the tough metal of my heart resists; 'Tis warmed with the soft fire, not melted down.

Alm. A flood of scalding tears will make it run. Spare him, Oh spare! Can you pretend to love, And have no pity? Love and that are twins. Here will I grow; Thus compass you with these supplanting cords, And pull so long till the proud fabrick falls.

Emp. Still kneel, and still embrace: 'Tis double pleasure, So to be hugged, and see Sebastian die.

Alm. Look, tyrant, when thou nam'st Sebastian's death, Thy very executioners turn pale. Rough as they are, and hardened in their trade Of death, they start at an anointed head, And tremble to approach.—He hears me not, Nor minds the impression of a god on kings; Because no stamp of heaven was on his soul, But the resisting mass drove back the seal.— Say, though thy heart be rock of adamant, Yet rocks are not impregnable to bribes: Instruct me how to bribe thee; name thy price; Lo, I resign my title to the crown; Send me to exile with the man I love, And banishment is empire.

Emp. Here's my claim, [Clapping his Hand to his Sword. And this extinguished thine; thou giv'st me nothing.

Alm. My father's, mother's, brother's death, I pardon; That's somewhat sure; a mighty sum of murder, Of innocent and kindred blood struck off. My prayers and penance shall discount for these, And beg of heaven to charge the bill on me: Behold what price I offer, and how dear, To buy Sebastian's life!

Emp. Let after-reckonings trouble fearful fools; I'll stand the trial of those trivial crimes: But, since thou begg'st me to prescribe my terms, The only I can offer are thy love, And this one day of respite to resolve. Grant, or deny; for thy next word is fate, And fate is deaf to prayer.

Alm. May heaven be so, [Rising up. At thy last breath, to thine! I curse thee not; For, who can better curse the plague, or devil, Than to be what they are? That curse be thine.— Now, do not speak, Sebastian, for you need not; But die, for I resign your life.—Look, heaven, Almeyda dooms her dear Sebastian's death! But is there heaven? for I begin to doubt; The skies are hushed, no grumbling thunders roll.— Now take your swing, ye impious; sin unpunished; Eternal Providence seems overwatched, And with a slumbering nod assents to murder.

Enter DORAX, attended by three Soldiers.

Emp. Thou mov'st a tortoise-pace to my relief. Take hence that once a king; that sullen pride, That swells to dumbness: lay him in the dungeon, And sink him deep with irons, that, when he would, He shall not groan to hearing; when I send, The next commands are death.

Alm. Then prayers are vain as curses.

Emp. Much at one In a slave's mouth, against a monarch's power. This day thou hast to think; At night, if thou wilt curse, thou shalt curse kindly; Then I'll provoke thy lips, lay siege so close, That all thy sallying breath shall turn to blessings.— Make haste, seize, force her, bear her hence.

Alm. Farewell, my last Sebastian! I do not beg, I challenge justice now.— O Powers, if kings be your peculiar care, Why plays this wretch with your prerogative? Now flash him dead, now crumble him to ashes, Or henceforth live confined in your own palace; And look not idly out upon a world, That is no longer yours. [She is carried off struggling; Emperor and BENDUCAR follow. SEBASTIAN struggles in his Guards' arms, and shakes off one of them; but two others come in, and hold him; he speaks not all the while.

Dor. I find I'm but a half-strained villain yet; But mongrel-mischievous; for my blood boiled, To view this brutal act; and my stern soul Tugged at my arm, to draw in her defence. [Aside. Down, thou rebelling Christian in my heart! Redeem thy fame on this Sebastian first; [Walks a turn. Then think on other wrongs, when thine are righted. But how to right them? on a slave disarmed, Defenceless, and submitted to my rage? A base revenge is vengeance on myself:— [Walks again. I have it, and I thank thee, honest head, Thus present to me at my great necessity.— [Comes up to SEBASTIAN. You know me not?

Seb. I hear men call thee Dorax.

Dor. 'Tis well; you know enough for once:—you speak too; You were struck mute before.

Seb. Silence became me then.

Dor. Yet we may talk hereafter.

Seb. Hereafter is not mine: Dispatch thy work, good executioner.

Dor. None of my blood were hangmen; add that falsehood To a long bill, that yet remains unreckoned.

Seb. A king and thou can never have a reckoning.

Dor. A greater sum, perhaps, than you can pay. Meantime, I shall make bold to increase your debt; [Gives him his Sword. Take this, and use it at your greatest need.

Seb. This hand and this have been acquainted well: [Looks on it. It should have come before into my grasp, To kill the ravisher.

Dor. Thou heard'st the tyrant's orders; guard thy life When 'tis attacked, and guard it like a man.

Seb. I'm still without thy meaning, but I thank thee.

Dor. Thank me when I ask thanks; thank me with that.

Seb. Such surly kindness did I never see.

Dor. [To the Captain of his Guards.] Musa, draw out a file; pick man by man. Such who dare die, and dear will sell their death. Guard him to the utmost; now conduct him hence, And treat him as my person.

Seb. Something like That voice, methinks, I should have somewhere heard; But floods of woes have hurried it far off, Beyond my ken of soul. [Exit SEBASTIAN, with the Soldiers.

Dor. But I shall bring him back, ungrateful man! I shall, and set him full before thy sight, When I shall front thee, like some staring ghost, With all my wrongs about me.—What, so soon Returned? this haste is boding.

Enter to him Emperor, BENDUCAR, and MUFTI.

Emp. She's still inexorable, still imperious, And loud, as if, like Bacchus, born in thunder. Be quick, ye false physicians of my mind; Bring speedy death, or cure.

Bend. What can be counselled, while Sebastian lives? The vine will cling, while the tall poplar stands; But, that cut down, creeps to the next support, And twines as closely there.

Emp. That's done with ease; I speak him dead:—proceed.

Muf. Proclaim your marriage with Almeyda next, That civil wars may cease; this gains the crowd: Then you may safely force her to your will; For people side with violence and injustice, When done for public good.

Emp. Preach thou that doctrine.

Bend. The unreasonable fool has broached a truth, That blasts my hopes; but, since 'tis gone so far, He shall divulge Almeyda is a Christian; If that produce no tumult, I despair. [Aside.

Emp Why speaks not Dorax?

Dor. Because my soul abhors to mix with him. Sir, let me bluntly say, you went too far, To trust the preaching power on state-affairs To him, or any heavenly demagogue: 'Tis a limb lopt from your prerogative, And so much of heaven's image blotted from you.

Muf. Sure thou hast never heard of holy men, (So Christians call them) famed in state affairs! Such as in Spain, Ximenes, Albornoz; In England, Wolsey; match me these with laymen.

Dor. How you triumph in one or two of these, Born to be statesmen, happening to be churchmen! Thou call'st them holy; so their function was: But tell me, Mufti, which of them were saints?— Next sir, to you: the sum of all is this,— Since he claims power from heaven, and not from kings, When 'tis his interest, he can interest heaven To preach you down; and ages oft depend On hours, uninterrupted, in the chair.

Emp. I'll trust his preaching, while I rule his pay; And I dare trust my Africans to hear Whatever he dare preach.

Dor. You know them not. The genius of your Moors is mutiny; They scarcely want a guide to move their madness; Prompt to rebel on every weak pretence; Blustering when courted, crouching when opprest; Wise to themselves, and fools to all the world; Restless in change, and perjured to a proverb. They love religion sweetened to the sense; A good, luxurious, palatable faith. Thus vice and godliness,—preposterous pair!— Ride cheek by jowl, but churchmen hold the reins: And whene'er kings would lower clergy-greatness, They learn too late what power the preachers have, And whose the subjects are; the Mufti knows it, Nor dares deny what passed betwixt us two.

Emp. No more; whate'er he said was my command.

Dor. Why, then, no more, since you will hear no more; Some kings are resolute to their own ruin.

Emp. Without your meddling where you are not asked, Obey your orders, and dispatch Sebastian.

Dor. Trust my revenge; be sure I wish him dead.

Emp. What mean'st thou? What's thy wishing to my will? Dispatch him; rid me of the man I loath.

Dor I hear you, sir; I'll take my time, and do't.

Emp. Thy time! What's all thy time? What's thy whole life To my one hour of ease? No more replies, But see thou dost it; or—

Dor. Choke in that threat; I can say or as loud.

Emp. 'Tis well; I see my words have no effect, But I may send a message to dispose you. [Is going off.

Dor. Expect an answer worthy of that message.

Muf. The prophet owed him this; And, thanked be heaven, he has it. [Aside.

Bend. By holy Alla, I conjure you stay, And judge not rashly of so brave a man. [Draws the Emperor aside, and whispers him. I'll give you reasons why he cannot execute Your orders now, and why he will hereafter.

Muf. Benducar is a fool, to bring him off; I'll work my own revenge, and speedily. [Aside.

Bend. The fort is his, the soldiers' hearts are his; A thousand Christian slaves are in the castle, Which he can free to reinforce his power; Your troops far off, beleaguering Larache, Yet in the Christians' hands.

Emp. I grant all this; But grant me he must die.

Bend. He shall, by poison; 'Tis here, the deadly drug, prepared in powder, Hot as hell fire: Then, to prevent his soldiers From rising to revenge their general's death, While he is struggling with his mortal pangs, The rabble on the sudden may be raised To seize the castle.

Emp. Do't;—'tis left to thee.

Bend. Yet more;—but clear your brow, for he observes. [They whisper again.

Dor. What, will the favourite prop my falling fortunes? O prodigy of court! [Aside [Emp. and BEND. return to DOR.

Emp. Your friend has fully cleared your innocence; I was too hasty to condemn unheard, And you, perhaps, too prompt in your replies. As far as fits the majesty of kings, I ask excuse.

Dor. I'm sure I meant it well.

Emp. I know you did:—This to our love renewed.— [Emp. drinks. Benducar, fill to Dorax. [BEND. turns, and mixes a Powder in it.

Dor. Let it go round, for all of us have need To quench our heats: 'Tis the king's health, Benducar, [He drinks. And I would pledge it, though I knew 'twere poison.

Bend. Another bowl; for what the king has touched, And you have pledged, is sacred to your loves. [Drinks out of another Bowl.

Muf. Since charity becomes my calling, thus Let me provoke your friendship; and heaven bless it, As I intend it well. [Drinks; and, turning aside, pours some drops out of a little vial into the Bowl; then presents it to DORAX.

Dor. Heaven make thee honest; On that condition we shall soon be friends. [Drinks.

Muf. Yes, at our meeting in another world; For thou hast drunk thy passport out of this. Not the Nonacrian font, nor Lethe's lake, Could sooner numb thy nimble faculties, Than this, to sleep eternal. [Aside.

Emp. Now farewell, Dorax; this was our first quarrel, And, I dare prophecy, will prove our last. [Exeunt Emp. BEND. and the Mufti.

Dor. It may be so.—I'm strangely discomposed; Quick shootings thro' my limbs, and pricking pains, Qualms at my heart, convulsions in my nerves, Shiverings of cold, and burnings of my entrails, Within my little world make medley war, Lose and regain, beat, and are beaten back, As momentary victors quit their ground.— Can it be poison! Poison's of one tenor, Or hot, or cold; this neither, and yet both. Some deadly draught, some enemy of life, Boils in my bowels, and works out my soul. Ingratitude's the growth of every clime; Africk, the scene removed, is Portugal. Of all court service, learn the common lot,— To-day 'tis done, to-morrow 'tis forgot. Oh, were that all! my honest corpse must lie Exposed to scorn, and public infamy; My shameful death will be divulged alone; The worth and honour of my soul unknown. [Exit.

SCENE II.—A Night-Scene of the Mufti's Garden, where an Arbour is discovered.


Ant. She names herself Morayma; the Mufti's only daughter, and a virgin! This is the time and place that she appointed in her letter, yet she comes not. Why, thou sweet delicious creature, why torture me with thy delay! Dar'st thou be false to thy assignation? What, in the cool and silence of the night, and to a new lover?—Pox on the hypocrite, thy father, for instructing thee so little in the sweetest point of his religion.—Hark, I hear the rustling of her silk mantle. Now she comes, now she comes:—no, hang it, that was but the whistling of the wind through the orange-trees.—Now, again, I hear the pit-a-pat of a pretty foot through the dark alley:—No, 'tis the son of a mare, that's broken loose, and munching upon the melons.—Oh, the misery of an expecting lover! Well, I'll e'en despair, go into my arbour, and try to sleep; in a dream I shall enjoy her, in despite of her. [Goes into the Arbour, and lies down.

Enter JOHAYMA, wrapt up in a Moorish mantle.

Joh. Thus far my love has carried me, almost without my knowledge whither I was going. Shall I go on? shall I discover myself?—What an injury am I doing to my old husband! Yet what injury, since he's old, and has three wives, and six concubines, besides me! 'tis but stealing my own tithe from him. [She comes a little nearer the Arbour.

Ant. [Raising himself a little, and looking.] At last 'tis she; this is no illusion, I am sure; 'tis a true she-devil of flesh and blood, and she could never have taken a fitter time to tempt me.

Joh. He's young and handsome—

Ant. Yes, well enough, I thank nature. [Aside.

Joh. And I am yet neither old nor ugly: Sure he will not refuse me.

Ant. No; thou may'st pawn thy maidenhead upon't, he wont. [Aside.

Joh. The Mufti would feast himself upon other women, and keep me fasting.

Ant. O, the holy curmudgeon! [Aside.

Joh. Would preach abstinence, and practise luxury! but, I thank my stars, I have edified more by his example than his precept.

Ant. [Aside.] Most divinely argued; she's the best casuist in all Africk. [He rushes out, and embraces her.] I can hold no longer from embracing thee, my dear Morayma; the old unconscionable whoreson, thy father, could he expect cold chastity from a child of his begetting?

Joh. What nonsense do you talk? do you take me for the Mufti's daughter?

Ant. Why, are you not, madam? [Throwing off her barnus.

Joh. I find you had an appointment with Morayma.

Ant. By all that's good, the nauseous wife! [Aside.

Joh. What! you are confounded, and stand mute?

Ant. Somewhat nonplust, I confess, to hear you deny your name so positively. Why, are not you Morayma, the Mufti's daughter? Did not I see you with him: did not he present me to you? were you not so charitable as to give me money? ay, and to tread upon my foot, and squeeze my hand too, if I may be so bold to remember you of past favours?

Joh. And you see I am come to make them good; but I am neither Morayma, nor the Mufti's daughter.

Ant. Nay, I know not that: but I am sure he is old enough to be your father; and either father, or reverend father, I heard you call him.

Joh. Once again, how came you to name Morayma?

Ant. Another damned mistake of mine: for, asking one of my fellow-slaves, who were the chief ladies about the house, he answered me, Morayma and Johayma; but she, it seems, is his daughter, with a pox to her, and you are his beloved wife.

Joh. Say your beloved mistress, if you please; for that's the title I desire. This moonshine grows offensive to my eyes; come, shall we walk into the arbour? there we may rectify all mistakes.

Ant. That's close and dark.

Joh. And are those faults to lovers?

Ant. But there I cannot please myself with the sight of your beauty.

Joh. Perhaps you may do better.

Ant. But there's not a breath of air stirring.

Joh. The breath of lovers is the sweetest air; but you are fearful.

Ant. I am considering indeed, that, if I am taken with you—

Joh. The best way to avoid it is to retire, where we may not be discovered.

Ant. Where lodges your husband?

Joh. Just against the face of this open walk.

Ant. Then he has seen us already, for aught I know.

Joh. You make so many difficulties, I fear I am displeasing to you.

Ant. [Aside.] If Morayma comes, and takes me in the arbour with her, I have made a fine exchange of that diamond for this pebble.

Joh. You are much fallen off, let me tell you, from the fury of your first embrace.

Ant. I confess I was somewhat too furious at first, but you will forgive the transport of my passion; now I have considered it better, I have a qualm of conscience.

Joh. Of conscience! why, what has conscience to do with two young lovers that have opportunity?

Ant. Why, truly, conscience is something to blame for interposing in our matters: but how can I help it, if I have a scruple to betray my master?

Joh. There must be something more in't; for your conscience was very quiet when you took me for Morayma.

Ant. I grant you, madam, when I took you for his daughter; for then I might have made you an honourable amends by marriage.

Joh. You Christians are such peeking sinners! you tremble at a shadow in the moonshine.

Ant. And you Africans are such termagants, you stop at nothing. I must be plain with you,—you are married, and to a holy man, the head of your religion: go back to your chamber; go back, I say, and consider of it for this night, as I will do on my part: I will be true to you, and invent all the arguments I can to comply with you; and who knows but at our next meeting the sweet devil may have more power over me? I am true flesh and blood, I can tell you that for your comfort.

Joh. Flesh without blood, I think thou art; or, if any, it is as cold as that of fishes. But I'll teach thee, to thy cost, what vengeance is in store for refusing a lady who has offered thee her love.—Help, help, there! will nobody come to my assistance?

Ant. What do you mean, madam? for heaven's sake, peace; your husband will hear you; think of your own danger, if you will not think of mine.

Joh. Ungrateful wretch, thou deservest no pity!—Help, help, husband, or I shall be ravished! the villain will be too strong for me! Help, help, for pity of a poor distressed creature!

Ant. Then I have nothing but impudence to assist me: I must drown her clamour, whatever comes on't. [He takes out his Flute, and plays as loud as he can possibly, and she continues crying out.

Enter the MUFTI, in his Night-gown, and two Servants.

Muf. O thou villain, what horrible impiety art thou committing! what, ravishing the wife of my bosom!—Take him away; ganch him[5], impale him, rid the world of such a monster! [Servants seize him.

Ant. Mercy, dear master, mercy! hear me first, and after, if I have deserved hanging, spare me not. What have you seen to provoke you to this cruelty?

Muf. I have heard the outcries of my wife; the bleatings of the poor innocent lamb.—Seen nothing, sayst thou? If I see the lamb lie bleeding, and the butcher by her with his knife drawn, and bloody, is not that evidence sufficient of the murder? I come too late, and the execution is already done.

Ant. Pray think in reason, sir; is a man to be put to death for a similitude? No violence has been committed; none intended; the lamb's alive: and, if I durst tell you so, no more a lamb than I am a butcher.

Joh. How's that, villain, dar'st thou accuse me?

Ant. Be patient, madam, and speak but truth, and I'll do any thing to serve you: I say again, and swear it too, I'll do any thing to serve you. [Aside.

Joh. [Aside.] I understand him; but I fear it is now too late to save him:—Pray, hear him speak, husband; perhaps he may say something for himself; I know not.

Muf. Speak thou, has he not violated my bed, and thy honour?

Joh. I forgive him freely, for he has done nothing. What he will do hereafter to make me satisfaction, himself best knows.

Ant. Any thing, any thing, sweet madam: I shall refuse no drudgery.

Muf. But did he mean no mischief? was he endeavouring nothing?

Joh. In my conscience, I begin to doubt he did not.

Muf. It's impossible:—then what meant all those outcries?

Joh. I heard music in the garden, and at an unseasonable time of night; and I stole softly out of my bed, as imagining it might be he.

Muf. How's that, Johayma? imagining it was he, and yet you went?

Joh. Why not, my lord? am not I the mistress of the family? and is it not my place to see good order kept in it? I thought he might have allured some of the she-slaves to him, and was resolved to prevent what might have been betwixt him and them; when, on the sudden, he rushed out upon me, caught me in his arms with such a fury—

Muf. I have heard enough.—Away with him!

Joh. Mistaking me, no doubt, for one of his fellow-slaves: with that, affrighted as I was, I discovered myself, and cried aloud; but as soon as ever he knew me, the villain let me go; and I must needs say, he started back as if I were some serpent; and was more afraid of me than I of him.

Muf. O thou corrupter of my family, that's cause enough of death!—once again, away with him.

Joh. What, for an intended trespass? No harm has been done, whatever may be. He cost you five hundred crowns, I take it.

Muf. Thou say'st true, a very considerable sum: he shall not die, though he had committed folly with a slave; it is too much to lose by him.

Ant. My only fault has ever been to love playing in the dark; and the more she cried, the more I played, that it might be seen I intended nothing to her.

Muf. To your kennel, sirrah; mortify your flesh, and consider in whose family you are.

Joh. And one thing more,—remember from henceforth to obey better.

Muf. [Aside.] For all her smoothness, I am not quite cured of my jealousy; but I have thought of a way that will clear my doubts. [Exit MUF. with JOH. and Servants.

Ant. I am mortified sufficiently already, without the help of his ghostly counsel. Fear of death has gone farther with me in two minutes, than my conscience would have gone in two months. I find myself in a very dejected condition, all over me; poor sin lies dormant; concupiscence is retired to his winter-quarters; and if Morayma should now appear,—I say no more; but, alas for her and me! [MORAYMA comes out of the Arbour, she steals behind him, and claps him on the Back.

Mor. And if Morayma should appear, as she does appear,—alas! you say, for her and you.

Ant. Art thou there, my sweet temptation! my eyes, my life, my soul, my all!

Mor. A mighty compliment! when all these, by your own confession, are just nothing.

Ant. Nothing, till thou camest to new create me; thou dost not know the power of thy own charms: Let me embrace thee, and thou shalt see how quickly I can turn wicked.

Mor. [Stepping back.] Nay, if you are so dangerous, it is best keeping you at a distance, I have no mind to warm a frozen snake in my bosom; he may chance to recover, and sting me for my pains.

Ant. Consider what I have suffered for thy sake already, and make me some amends; two disappointments in a night: O cruel creature!

Mor. And you may thank yourself for both. I came eagerly to the charge before my time, through the back-walk behind the arbour; and you, like a fresh-water soldier, stood guarding the pass before. If you missed the enemy, you may thank your own dulness.

Ant. Nay, if you will be using stratagems, you shall give me leave to make use of my advantages, now I have you in my power: we are fairly met; I'll try it out, and give no quarter.

Mor. By your favour, sir, we meet upon treaty now, and not upon defiance.

Ant. If that be all, you shall have carte blanche immediately; for I long to be ratifying.

Mor. No; now I think on't, you are already entered into articles with my enemy Johayma:—"Any thing to serve you, madam; I shall refuse no drudgery:"—Whose words were those, gentleman? was that like a cavalier of honour?

Ant. Not very heroic; but self-preservation is a point above honour and religion too. Antonio was a rogue, I must confess; but you must give me leave to love him.

Mor. To beg your life so basely, and to present your sword to your enemy; Oh, recreant!

Ant. If I had died honourably, my fame indeed would have sounded loud, but I should never have heard the blast:—Come, don't make yourself worse-natured than you are; to save my life, you would be content I should promise any thing.

Mor. Yes, if I were sure you would perform nothing.

Ant. Can you suspect I would leave you for Johayma?

Mor. No; but I can expect you would have both of us. Love is covetous; I must have all of you; heart for heart is an equal trick. In short, I am younger, I think handsomer, and am sure I love you better. She has been my stepmother these fifteen years: You think that is her face you see, but it is only a daubed vizard; she wears an armour of proof upon it; an inch thick of paint, besides the wash. Her face is so fortified, that you can make no approaches to it without a shovel; but, for her constancy, I can tell you for your comfort, she will love till death, I mean till yours; for when she has worn you out, she will certainly dispatch you to another world, for fear of telling tales, as she has already served three slaves, your predecessors, of happy memory, in her favours. She has made my pious father a three-piled cuckold to my knowledge; and now she would be robbing me of my single sheep too.

Ant. Pr'ythee, prevent her then; and at least take the shearing of me first.

Mor. No; I'll have a butcher's pennyworth of you; first secure the carcase, and then take the fleece into the bargain.

Ant. Why, sure, you did not put yourself and me to all this trouble for a dry come-off; by this hand— [Taking it.

Mor. Which you shall never touch, but upon better assurances than you imagine. [Pulling her hand away.

Ant. I'll marry thee, and make a Christian of thee, thou pretty damned infidel.

Mor. I mean you shall; but no earnest till the bargain be made before witness: there is love enough to be had, and as much as you can turn you to, never doubt; but all upon honourable terms.

Ant. I vow and swear by Love; and he's a deity in all religions.

Mor. But never to be trusted in any: he has another name too, of a worse sound. Shall I trust an oath, when I see your eyes languishing, your cheeks flushing, and can hear your heart throbbing? No, I'll not come near you: he's a foolish physician, who will feel the pulse of a patient, that has the plague-spots upon him.

Ant. Did one ever hear a little moppet argue so perversely against so good a cause! Come, pr'ythee, let me anticipate a little of my revenue.

Mor. You would fain be fingering your rents before-hand; but that makes a man an ill husband ever after. Consider, marriage is a painful vocation, as you shall prove it; manage your incomes as thriftily as you can, you shall find a hard task on't to make even at the year's end, and yet to live decently.

Ant. I came with a Christian intention to revenge myself upon thy father, for being the head of a false religion.

Mor. And so you shall; I offer you his daughter for your second. But since you are so pressing, meet me under my window to-morrow night, body for body, about this hour; I'll slip down out of my lodging, and bring my father in my hand.

Ant. How, thy father!

Mor. I mean, all that's good of him; his pearls and jewels, his whole contents, his heart and soul; as much as ever I can carry! I'll leave him his Alcoran, that's revenue enough for him; every page of it is gold and diamonds. He has the turn of an eye, a demure smile, and a godly cant, that are worth millions to him. I forgot to tell you, that I will have a slave prepared at the postern gate, with two horses ready saddled.—No more, for I fear I may be missed; and think I hear them calling for me.—If you have constancy and courage—

Ant. Never doubt it; and love in abundance, to wander with thee all the world over.

Mor. The value of twelve hundred thousand crowns in a casket!—

Ant. A heavy burden, heaven knows! but we must pray for patience to support it.

Mor. Besides a willing titt, that will venture her corps with you. Come, I know you long to have a parting blow with me; and therefore, to shew I am in charity— [He kisses her.

Ant. Once more for pity, that I may keep the flavour upon my lips till we meet again.

Mor. No, frequent charities make bold beggars; and, besides, I have learned of a falconer, never to feed up a hawk when I would have him fly. That's enough; but, if you would be nibbling, here's a hand to stay your stomach. [Kissing her hand.

Ant. Thus conquered infidels, that wars may cease, Are forced to give their hands, and sign the peace.

Mor. Thus Christians are outwitted by the foe; You had her in your power, and let her go. If you release my hand, the fault's not mine; You should have made me seal, as well as sign. [She runs off, he follows her to the door; then comes back again, and goes out at the other.


SCENE I.—BENDUCAR'S Palace, in the Castle of Alcazar.


Bend. My future fate, the colour of my life, My all, depends on this important hour: This hour my lot is weighing in the scales, And heaven, perhaps, is doubting what to do. Almeyda and a crown have pushed me forward: 'Tis fixed, the tyrant must not ravish her; He and Sebastian stand betwixt my hopes; He most, and therefore first to be dispatched. These, and a thousand things, are to be done In the short compass of this rolling night; And nothing yet performed, None of my emissaries yet returned.

Enter HALY, first Servant.

Oh Haly, thou hast held me long in pain. What hast thou learnt of Dorax? is he dead?

Haly. Two hours I warily have watched his palace; All doors are shut, no servant peeps abroad; Some officers, with striding haste, passed in, While others outward went on quick dispatch. Sometimes hushed silence seemed to reign within; Then cries confused, and a joint clamour, followed; Then lights went gliding by, from room to room, And shot, like thwarting meteors, cross the house. Not daring further to inquire, I came With speed, to bring you this imperfect news.

Bend. Hence I conclude him either dead, or dying. His mournful friends, summoned to take their leaves, Are thronged about his couch, and sit in council. What those caballing captains may design, I must prevent, by being first in action.— To Muley-Zeydan fly with speed, desire him To take my last instructions; tell the importance, And haste his presence here.— [Exit HALY. How has this poison lost its wonted way? It should have burnt its passage, not have lingered In the blind labyrinths and crooked turnings Of human composition; now it moves Like a slow fire, that works against the wind, As if his stronger stars had interposed.—

Enter HAMET.

Well, Hamet, are our friends, the rabble, raised? From Mustapha what message?

Ham. What you wish. The streets are thicker in this noon of night, Than at the mid-day sun; a drowsy horror Sits on their eyes, like fear, not well awake; All crowd in heaps, as, at a night alarm, The bees drive out upon each others backs, To imboss their hives in clusters; all ask news; Their busy captain runs the weary round, To whisper orders; and, commanding silence, Makes not noise cease, but deafens it to murmurs.

Bend. Night wastes apace; when, when will he appear!

Ham. He only waits your summons.

Bend. Haste their coming. Let secrecy and silence be enjoined In their close march. What news from the lieutenant?

Ham. I left him at the gate, firm to your interest, To admit the townsmen at their first appearance.

Bend. Thus far 'tis well: Go, hasten Mustapha. [Exit HAMET.

Enter ORCHAN, the third Servant.

O, Orchan, did I think thy diligence Would lag behind the rest!—What from the Mufti?

Orc. I sought him round his palace; made inquiry Of all the slaves; in short, I used your name, And urged the importance home; but had for answer, That, since the shut of evening, none had seen him.

Bend. O the curst fate of all conspiracies! They move on many springs; if one but fail, The restiff machine stops. In an ill hour he's absent; 'Tis the first time, and sure will be the last, That e'er a Mufti was not in the way, When tumults and rebellion should be broached. Stay by me; thou art resolute and faithful; I have employment worthy of thy arm. [Walks.


Mul. Zeyd. You see me come, impatient of my hopes, And eager as the courser for the race: Is all in readiness?

Bend. All but the Mufti.

Mul. Zeyd. We must go on without him.

Bend. True, we must; For 'tis ill stopping in the full career, Howe'er the leap be dangerous and wide.

Orc. [Looking out.] I see the blaze of torches from afar, And hear the trampling of thick-beating feet; This way they move.

Bend. No doubt, the emperor. We must not be surprised in conference. Trust to my management the tyrant's death, And haste yourself to join with Mustapha. The officer, who guards the gate, is yours: When you have gained that pass, divide your force; Yourself in person head one chosen half, And march to oppress the faction in consult With dying Dorax. Fate has driven them all Into the net; you must be bold and sudden: Spare none; and if you find him struggling yet With pangs of death, trust not his rolling eyes And heaving gasps; for poison may be false,— The home thrust of a friendly sword is sure.

Mul. Zeyd. Doubt not my conduct; they shall be surprised. Mercy may wait without the gate one night, At morn I'll take her in.

Bend. Here lies your way; You meet your brother there.

Mul. Zeyd. May we ne'er meet! For, like the twins of Leda, when I mount, He gallops down the skies. [Exit MUL. ZEYD.

Bend. He comes:—Now, heart, Be ribbed with iron for this one attempt; Set ope thy sluices, send the vigorous blood Through every active limb for my relief; Then take thy rest within thy quiet cell, For thou shalt drum no more.

Enter Emperor, and Guards attending him.

Emp. What news of our affairs, and what of Dorax? Is he no more? say that, and make me happy.

Bend. May all your enemies be like that dog, Whose parting soul is labouring at the lips.

Emp. The people, are they raised?

Bend. And marshalled too; Just ready for the march.

Emp. Then I'm at ease.

Bend. The night is yours; the glittering host of heaven Shines but for you; but most the star of love, That twinkles you to fair Almeyda's bed. Oh, there's a joy to melt in her embrace, Dissolve in pleasure, And make the gods curse immortality, That so they could not die. But haste, and make them yours.

Emp. I will; and yet A kind of weight hangs heavy at my heart; My flagging soul flies under her own pitch, Like fowl in air too damp, and lugs along, As if she were a body in a body, And not a mounting substance made of fire. My senses, too, are dull and stupified, Their edge rebated:—sure some ill approaches, And some kind sprite knocks softly at my soul, To tell me, fate's at hand[6].

Bend. Mere fancies all. Your soul has been before-hand with your body, And drunk so deep a draught of promised bliss, She slumbers o'er the cup; no danger's near, But of a surfeit at too full a feast.

Emp. It may be so; it looks so like the dream That overtook me, at my waking hour, This morn; and dreams, they say, are then divine, When all the balmy vapours are exhaled, And some o'erpowering god continues sleep. 'Twas then, methought, Almeyda, smiling, came, Attended with a train of all her race, Whom, in the rage of empire, I had murdered: But now, no longer foes, they gave me joy Of my new conquest, and, with helping hands, Heaved me into our holy prophet's arms, Who bore me in a purple cloud to heaven[7].

Bend. Good omen, sir; I wish you in that heaven Your dream portends you,— Which presages death. [Aside.

Emp. Thou too wert there; And thou, methought, didst push me from below, With thy full force, to Paradise.

Bend. Yet better.

Emp. Ha! what's that grizly fellow, that attends thee?

Bend. Why ask you, sir?

Emp. For he was in my dream, And helped to heave me up.

Bend. With prayers and wishes; For I dare swear him honest.

Emp. That may be; But yet he looks damnation.

Bend. You forget The face would please you better. Do you love, And can you thus forbear?

Emp. I'll head my people, Then think of dalliance when the danger's o'er. My warlike spirits work now another way, And my soul's tuned to trumpets.

Bend. You debase yourself, To think of mixing with the ignoble herd; Let such perform the servile work of war, Such who have no Almeyda to enjoy. What, shall the people know their god-like prince Skulked in a nightly skirmish? Stole a conquest, Headed a rabble, and profaned his person, Shouldered with filth, borne in a tide of ordure, And stifled with their rank offensive sweat?

Emp. I am off again; I will not prostitute The regal dignity so far, to head them.

Bend. There spoke a king. Dismiss your guards, to be employed elsewhere In ruder combats; you will want no seconds In those alarms you seek.

Emp. Go, join the crowd;— [To the Guards. Benducar, thou shalt lead them in my place. [Exeunt Guards. The God of Love once more has shot his fires Into my soul, and my whole heart receives him. Almeyda now returns with all her charms; I feel her as she glides along my veins, And dances in my blood. So when our prophet Had long been hammering, in his lonely cell, Some dull, insipid, tedious Paradise, A brisk Arabian girl came tripping by; Passing she cast at him a side-long glance, And looked behind, in hopes to be pursued: He took the hint, embraced the flying fair, And, having found his heaven, he fixed it there. [Exit Emperor.

Bend. That Paradise thou never shalt possess. His death is easy now, his guards are gone, And I can sin but once to seize the throne; All after-acts are sanctified by power.

Orc. Command my sword and life.

Bend. I thank thee, Orchan, And shall reward thy faith. This master-key Frees every lock, and leads us to his person; And, should we miss our blow,—as heaven forbid!— Secures retreat. Leave open all behind us; And first set wide the Mufti's garden gate, Which is his private passage to the palace; For there our mutineers appoint to meet, And thence we may have aid.—Now sleep, ye stars, That silently o'erwatch the fate of kings! Be all propitious influences barred, And none but murderous planets mount the guard. [Exit with ORCHAN.

SCENE II.—A Night-Scene of the Mufti's Garden.

Enter the Mufti alone, in a Slave's Habit, like that of ANTONIO.

Muf. This it is to have a sound head-piece; by this I have got to be chief of my religion; that is, honestly speaking, to teach others what I neither know nor believe myself. For what's Mahomet to me, but that I get by him? Now for my policy of this night: I have mewed up my suspected spouse in her chamber;—no more embassies to that lusty young stallion of a gardener. Next, my habit of a slave; I have made myself as like him as I can, all but his youth and vigour; which when I had, I passed my time as well as any of my holy predecessors. Now, walking under the windows of my seraglio, if Johayma look out, she will certainly take me for Antonio, and call to me; and by that I shall know what concupiscence is working in her. She cannot come down to commit iniquity, there's my safety; but if she peep, if she put her nose abroad, there's demonstration of her pious will; and I'll not make the first precedent for a churchman to forgive injuries.

Enter MORAYMA, running to him with a Casket in her hand, and embracing him.

Mor. Now I can embrace you with a good conscience; here are the pearls and jewels, here's my father.

Muf. I am indeed thy father; but how the devil didst thou know me in this disguise? and what pearls and jewels dost thou mean?

Mor. [Going back.] What have I done, and what will now become of me!

Muf. Art thou mad, Morayma?

Mor. I think you'll make me so.

Muf. Why, what have I done to thee? Recollect thyself, and speak sense to me.

Mor. Then give me leave to tell you, you are the worst of fathers.

Muf. Did I think I had begotten such a monster!—Proceed, my dutiful child, proceed, proceed.

Mor. You have been raking together a mass of wealth, by indirect and wicked means: the spoils of orphans are in these jewels, and the tears of widows in these pearls.

Muf. Thou amazest me!

Mor. I would do so. This casket is loaded with your sins; 'tis the cargo of rapines, simony, and extortions; the iniquity of thirty years muftiship converted into diamonds.

Muf. Would some rich railing rogue would say as much to me, that I might squeeze his purse for scandal!

Mor. No, sir, you get more by pious fools than railers, when you insinuate into their families, manage their fortunes while they live, and beggar their heirs, by getting legacies, when they die. And do you think I'll be the receiver of your theft? I discharge my conscience of it: Here, take again your filthy mammon, and restore it, you had best, to the true owners.

Muf. I am finely documented by my own daughter!

Mor. And a great credit for me to be so: Do but think how decent a habit you have on, and how becoming your function to be disguised like a slave, and eaves-dropping under the women's windows, to be saluted, as you deserve it richly, with a piss-pot. If I had not known you casually by your shambling gait, and a certain reverend awkwardness that is natural to all of your function, here you had been exposed to the laughter of your own servants; who have been in search of you through the whole seraglio, peeping under every petticoat to find you.

Muf. Pr'ythee, child, reproach me no more of human failings; they are but a little of the pitch and spots of the world, that are still sticking on me; but I hope to scour them out in time. I am better at bottom than thou thinkest; I am not the man thou takest me for.

Mor. No, to my sorrow, sir, you are not.

Muf. It was a very odd beginning though, methought, to see thee come running in upon me with such a warm embrace; pr'ythee, what was the meaning of that violent hot hug?

Mor. I am sure I meant nothing by it, but the zeal and affection which I bear to the man of the world, whom I may love lawfully.

Muf. But thou wilt not teach me, at this age, the nature of a close embrace?

Mor. No, indeed; for my mother-in-law complains, that you are past teaching: But if you mistook my innocent embrace for sin, I wish heartily it had been given where it would have been more acceptable.

Muf. Why this is as it should be now; take the treasure again, it can never be put into better hands.

Mor. Yes, to my knowledge, but it might. I have confessed my soul to you, if you can understand me rightly. I never disobeyed you till this night; and now, since, through the violence of my passion, I have been so unfortunate, I humbly beg your pardon, your blessing, and your leave, that, upon the first opportunity, I may go for ever from your sight; for heaven knows, I never desire to see you more.

Muf. [Wiping his eyes.] Thou makest me weep at thy unkindness; indeed, dear daughter, we will not part.

Mor. Indeed, dear daddy, but we will.

Muf. Why, if I have been a little pilfering, or so, I take it bitterly of thee to tell me of it, since it was to make thee rich; and I hope a man may make bold with his own soul, without offence to his own child. Here, take the jewels again; take them, I charge thee, upon thy obedience.

Mor. Well then, in virtue of obedience, I will take them; but, on my soul, I had rather they were in a better hand.

Muf. Meaning mine, I know it.

Mor. Meaning his, whom I love better than my life.

Muf. That's me again.

Mor. I would have you think so.

Muf. How thy good nature works upon me! Well, I can do no less than venture damning for thee; and I may put fair for it, if the rabble be ordered to rise to-night.

Enter ANTONIO, in a rich African habit.

Ant. What do you mean, my dear, to stand talking in this suspicious place, just underneath Johayma's window?—[To the Mufti.] You are well met, comrade; I know you are the friend of our flight: are the horses ready at the postern gate?

Muf. Antonio, and in disguise! now I begin to smell a rat.

Ant. And I another, that out-stinks it. False Morayma, hast thou thus betrayed me to thy father!

Mor. Alas! I was betrayed myself. He came disguised like you, and I, poor innocent, ran into his hands.

Muf. In good time you did so; I laid a trap for a bitch-fox, and a worse vermin has caught himself in it. You would fain break loose now, though you left a limb behind you; but I am yet in my own territories, and in call of company; that's my comfort.

Ant. [Taking him by the throat.] No; I have a trick left to put thee past thy squeaking. I have given thee the quinsy; that ungracious tongue shall preach no more false doctrine.

Mor. What do you mean? you will not throttle him? consider he's my father.

Ant. Pr'ythee, let us provide first for our own safety; if I do not consider him, he will consider us, with a vengeance, afterwards.

Mor. You may threaten him for crying out; but, for my sake, give him back a little cranny of his windpipe, and some part of speech.

Ant. Not so much as one single interjection.—Come away, father-in-law, this is no place for dialogues; when you are in the mosque, you talk by hours, and there no man must interrupt you. This is but like for like, good father-in-law; now I am in the pulpit, it is your turn to hold your tongue. [He struggles.] Nay, if you will be hanging back, I shall take care you shall hang forward. [Pulls him along the Stage, with his Sword at his Reins.

Mor. The other way to the arbour with him; and make haste, before we are discovered.

Ant. If I only bind and gag him there, he may commend me hereafter for civil usage; he deserves not so much favour by any action of his life.

Mor. Yes, pray bate him one,—for begetting your mistress.

Ant. I would, if he had not thought more of thy mother than of thee. Once more, come along in silence, my Pythagorean father-in-law.

Joh. [At the Balcony.] A bird in a cage may peep, at least, though she must not fly.—What bustle's there beneath my window? Antonio, by all my hopes! I know him by his habit. But what makes that woman with him, and a friend, a sword drawn, and hasting hence? This is no time for silence:—Who's within? call there, where are the servants? why, Omar, Abedin, Hassan, and the rest, make haste, and run into the garden; there are thieves and villains; arm all the family, and stop them.

Ant. [Turning back.] O that screech owl at the window! we shall be pursued immediately; which way shall we take?

Mor. [Giving him the Casket.] 'Tis impossible to escape them; for the way to our horses lies back again by the house, and then we shall meet them full in the teeth. Here, take these jewels; thou mayst leap the walls, and get away.

Ant. And what will become of thee, then, poor kind soul?

Mor. I must take my fortune. When you are got safe into your own country, I hope you will bestow a sigh on the memory of her who loved you.

Ant. It makes me mad to think, how many a good night will be lost betwixt us! Take back thy jewels; 'tis an empty casket without thee: besides, I should never leap well with the weight of all thy father's sins about me; thou and they had been a bargain.

Mor. Pr'ythee take them, 'twill help me to be revenged on him.

Ant. No, they'll serve to make thy peace with him.

Mor. I hear them coming; shift for yourself at least; remember I am yours for ever. [Servants crying, "this way, this way," behind the Scenes.

Ant. And I but the empty shadow of myself without thee!—Farewell, father-in-law, that should have been, if I had not been curst in my mother's belly.—Now, which way, Fortune? [Runs amazedly backwards and forwards. Servants within, "Follow, follow; yonder are the villains." O, here's a gate open; but it leads into the castle; yet I must venture it. [A shout behind the Scenes, where ANTONIO is going out. There's the rabble in a mutiny; what, is the devil up at midnight! However, 'tis good herding in a crowd. [Runs out. MUFTI runs to MORAYMA, and lays hold on her, then snatches away the Casket.

Muf. Now, to do things in order, first I seize upon the bag, and then upon the baggage; for thou art but my flesh and blood, but these are my life and soul.

Mor. Then let me follow my flesh and blood, and keep to yourself your life and soul.

Muf. Both, or none; come away to durance.

Mor. Well, if it must be so, agreed; for I have another trick to play you, and thank yourself for what shall follow.

Enter Servants.

Joh. [From above.] One of them took through the private way into the castle; follow him, be sure, for these are yours already.

Mor. Help here quickly, Omar, Abedin! I have hold on the villain that stole my jewels; but 'tis a lusty rogue, and he will prove too strong for me. What! help, I say; do you not know your master's daughter?

Muf. Now, if I cry out, they will know my voice, and then I am disgraced for ever. O thou art a venomous cockatrice!

Mor. Of your own begetting. [The Servants seize him.

1 Serv. What a glorious deliverance have you had, madam, from this bloody-minded Christian!

Mor. Give me back my jewels, and carry this notorious malefactor to be punished by my father.—I'll hunt the other dry-foot. [Takes the jewels, and runs out after ANTONIO at the same passage.

1 Serv. I long to be hanselling his hide, before we bring him to my master.

2 Serv. Hang him, for an old covetous hypocrite; he deserves a worse punishment himself, for keeping us so hardly.

1 Serv. Ay, would he were in this villain's place! thus I would lay him on, and thus. [Beats him.

2 Serv. And thus would I revenge myself of my last beating. [He beats him too, and then the rest.

Muf. Oh, ho, ho!

1 Serv. Now, supposing you were the Mufti, sir.— [Beats him again.

Muf. The devil's in that supposing rascal!—I can bear no more; and I am the Mufti. Now suppose yourselves my servants, and hold your hands: an anointed halter take you all!

1 Serv. My master!—You will pardon the excess of our zeal for you, sir: Indeed we all took you for a villain, and so we used you.

Muf. Ay, so I feel you did; my back and sides are abundant testimonies of your zeal.—Run, rogues, and bring me back my jewels, and my fugitive daughter; run, I say. [They run to the gate, and the first Servant runs back again.

1 Serv. Sir, the castle is in a most terrible combustion; you may hear them hither.

Muf. 'Tis a laudable commotion; the voice of the mobile is the voice of heaven.—I must retire a little, to strip me of the slave, and to assume the Mufti, and then I will return; for the piety of the people must be encouraged, that they may help me to recover my jewels, and my daughter. [Exeunt Mufti and Servants.

SCENE III.—Changes to the Castle Yard,

And discovers ANTONIO, MUSTAPHA, and the Rabble shouting. They come forward.

Ant. And so at length, as I informed you, I escaped out of his covetous clutches; and now fly to your illustrious feet for my protection.

Must. Thou shalt have it, and now defy the Mufti. 'Tis the first petition that has been made to me since my exaltation to tumult, in this second night of the month Abib, and in the year of the Hegira,—the Lord knows what year; but 'tis no matter; for when I am settled, the learned are bound to find it out for me; for I am resolved to date my authority over the rabble, like other monarchs.

Ant. I have always had a longing to be yours again, though I could not compass it before; and had designed you a casket of my master's jewels too; for I knew the custom, and would not have appeared before a great person, as you are, without a present: But he has defrauded my good intentions, and basely robbed you of them; 'tis a prize worthy a million of crowns, and you carry your letters of marque about you.

Must. I shall make bold with his treasure, for the support of my new government.—[The people gather about him.]—What do these vile raggamuffins so near our person? your savour is offensive to us; bear back there, and make room for honest men to approach us: These fools and knaves are always impudently crowding next to princes, and keeping off the more deserving: Bear back, I say.—[They make a wider circle.]—That's dutifully done! Now shout, to shew your loyalty. [A great shout.]—Hear'st thou that, slave Antonio? These obstreperous villains shout, and know not for what they make a noise. You shall see me manage them, that you may judge what ignorant beasts they are.—For whom do you shout now? Who's to live and reign; tell me that, the wisest of you?

1 Rabble. Even who you please, captain.

Must. La, you there! I told you so.

2 Rabble. We are not bound to know, who is to live and reign; our business is only to rise upon command, and plunder.

3 Rabble. Ay, the richest of both parties; for they are our enemies.

Must. This last fellow is a little more sensible than the rest; he has entered somewhat into the merits of the cause.

1 Rabble. If a poor man may speak his mind. I think, captain, that yourself are the fittest to live and reign; I mean not over, but next, and immediately under, the people; and thereupon I say, A Mustapha, a Muatapha!

Omnes. A Mustapha, a Mustapha!

Must. I must confess the sound is pleasing, and tickles the ears of my ambition; but alas, good people, it must not be! I am contented to be a poor simple viceroy. But prince Muley-Zeydan is to be the man: I shall take care to instruct him in the arts of government, and in his duty to us all; and, therefore, mark my cry, A Muley-Zeydan, a Muley-Zeydan!

Omnes. A Muley-Zeydan, a Muley-Zeydan!

Must. You see, slave Antonio, what I might have been?

Ant. I observe your modesty.

Must. But for a foolish promise, I made once to my lord Benducar, to set up any one he pleased.—

Re-enter the Mufti, with his Servants.

Ant. Here's the old hypocrite again.—Now stand your ground and bate him not an inch. Remember the jewels, the rich and glorious jewels; they are designed to be yours, by virtue of prerogative.

Must. Let me alone to pick a quarrel; I have an old grudge to him upon thy account.

Muf. [Making up to the Mobile.] Good people, here you are met together.

1 Rabble. Ay, we know that without your telling: But why are we met together, doctor? for that's it which no body here can tell.

2 Rabble. Why, to see one another in the dark; and to make holiday at midnight.

Muf. You are met, as becomes good Mussulmen, to settle the nation; for I must tell you, that, though your tyrant is a lawful emperor, yet your lawful emperor is but a tyrant.

Ant. What stuff he talks!

Must. 'Tis excellent fine matter, indeed, slave Antonio! He has a rare tongue! Oh, he would move a rock, or elephant!

Ant. What a block have I to work upon! [Aside.]—But still, remember the jewels, sir; the jewels.

Must. Nay, that's true, on the other side; the jewels must be mine. But he has a pure fine way of talking; my conscience goes along with him, but the jewels have set my heart against him.

Muf. That your emperor is a tyrant, is most manifest; for you were born to be Turks, but he has played the Turk with you, and is taking your religion away.

2 Rabble. We find that in our decay of trade. I have seen, for these hundred years, that religion and trade always go together.

Muf. He is now upon the point of marrying himself, without your sovereign consent: And what are the effects of marriage?

3 Rabble. A scolding domineering wife, if she prove honest; and, if a whore, a fine gaudy minx, that robs our counters every night, and then goes out, and spends it upon our cuckold-makers.

Muf. No; the natural effects of marriage are children: Now, on whom would he beget these children? Even upon a Christian! O, horrible! how can you believe me, though I am ready to swear it upon the Alcoran! Yes, true believers, you may believe, that he is going to beget a race of misbelievers.

Must. That's fine, in earnest; I cannot forbear hearkening to his enchanting tongue.

Ant. But yet remember—

Must. Ay, ay, the jewels! Now again I hate him; but yet my conscience makes me listen to him.

Muf. Therefore, to conclude all, believers, pluck up your hearts, and pluck down the tyrant. Remember the courage of your ancestors; remember the majesty of the people; remember yourselves, your wives, and children; and, lastly, above all, remember your religion, and our holy Mahomet. All these require your timeous assistance;—shall I say, they beg it? No; they claim it of you, by all the nearest and dearest ties of these three P's, self-preservation, our property, and our prophet.—Now answer me with an unanimous cheerful cry, and follow me, who am your leader, to a glorious deliverance.

Omnes. A Mufti, a Mufti! [Following him off the stage.

Ant. Now you see what comes of your foolish qualms of conscience; the jewels are lost, and they are all leaving you.

Must. What, am I forsaken of my subjects? Would the rogue purloin my liege people from me!—I charge you, in my own name, come back, ye deserters, and hear me speak.

1 Rabble. What, will he come with his balderdash, after the Mufti's eloquent oration?

2 Rabble. He's our captain, lawfully picked up, and elected upon a stall; we will hear him.

Omnes. Speak, captain, for we will hear you.

Must. Do you remember the glorious rapines and robberies you have committed? Your breaking open and gutting of houses, your rummaging of cellars, your demolishing of Christian temples, and bearing off, in triumph, the superstitious plate and pictures, the ornaments of their wicked altars, when all rich moveables were sentenced for idolatrous, and all that was idolatrous was seized? Answer first, for your remembrance of all these sweetnesses of mutiny; for upon those grounds I shall proceed.

Omnes. Yes, we do remember, we do remember.

Must. Then make much of your retentive faculties.—And who led you to those honey-combs? Your Mufti? No, believers; he only preached you up to it, but durst not lead you: He was but your counsellor, but I was your captain; he only looed you, but, 'twas I that led you.

Omnes. That's true, that's true.

Ant. There you were with him for his figures.

Must. I think I was, slave Antonio. Alas, I was ignorant of my own talent!—Say then, believers, will you have a captain for your Mufti, or a Mufti for your captain? And, further, to instruct you how to cry, will you have A mufti, or No mufti?

Omnes. No Mufti, no Mufti!

Must. That I laid in for them, slave Antonio—Do I then spit upon your faces? Do I discourage rebellion, mutiny, rapine, and plundering? You may think I do, believers; but, heaven forbid! No, I encourage you to all these laudable undertakings; you shall plunder, you shall pull down the government; but you shall do this upon my authority, and not by his wicked instigation.

3 Rabble. Nay, when his turn is served, he may preach up loyalty again, and restitution, that he might have another snack among us.

1 Rabble. He may indeed; for it is but his saying it is sin, and then we must restore; and therefore I would have a new religion, where half the commandments should be taken away, the rest mollified, and there should be little or no sin remaining.

Omnes. Another religion, a new religion, another religion!

Must. And that may easily be done, with the help of a little inspiration; for I must tell you, I have a pigeon at home, of Mahomet's own breed; and when I have learnt her to pick pease out of my ear, rest satisfied till then, and you shall have another. But, now I think on't, I am inspired already, that 'tis no sin to depose the Mufti.

Ant. And good reason; for when kings and queens are to be discarded, what should knaves do any longer in the pack?

Omnes. He is deposed, he is deposed, he is deposed!

Must. Nay, if he and his clergy will needs be preaching up rebellion, and giving us their blessing, 'tis but justice they should have the first-fruits of it.—Slave Antonio, take him into custody; and dost thou hear, boy, be sure to secure the little transitory box of jewels. If he be obstinate, put a civil question to him upon the rack, and he squeaks, I warrant him.

Ant. [Seizing the Mufti.] Come, my quondam master, you and I must change qualities.

Muf. I hope you will not be so barbarous to torture me: we may preach suffering to others, but, alas! holy flesh is too well pampered to endure martyrdom.

Must. Now, late Mufti, not forgetting my first quarrel to you, we will enter ourselves with the plunder of your palace: 'tis good to sanctify a work, and begin a God's name.

1 Rabble. Our prophet let the devil alone with the last mob.

Mob. But he takes care of this himself.

As they are going out, enter BENDUCAR, leading ALMEYDA: he with a sword in one hand; BENDUCAR'S Slave follows, with MULEY-MOLUCH'S head upon a spear.

Must. Not so much haste, masters; comeback again; you are so bent upon mischief, that you take a man upon the first word of plunder. Here is a sight for you; the emperor is come upon his head to visit you. [Bowing.] Most noble emperor, now I hope you will not hit us in the teeth, that we have pulled you down; for we can tell you to your face, that we have exalted you. [They all shout.

Bend. Think what I am, and what yourself may be, [To ALMEYDA apart. In being mine: refuse not proffered love, That brings a crown.

Alm. [To him.] I have resolved, And these shall know my thoughts.

Bend. [To her.] On that I build.— [He comes up to the Rabble. Joy to the people for the tyrant's death! Oppression, rapine, banishment, and blood, Are now no more; but speechless as that tongue, That lies for ever still. How is my grief divided with my joy, When I must own I killed him! Bid me speak; For not to bid me, is to disallow What for your sakes is done.

Must. In the name of the people, we command you speak: but that pretty lady shall speak first; for we have taken somewhat of a liking to her person.—Be not afraid, lady, to speak to these rude raggamuffians; there is nothing shall offend you, unless it be their stink, an't please you. [Making a leg.

Alm. Why should I fear to speak, who am your queen? My peaceful father swayed the sceptre long, And you enjoyed the blessings of his reign, While you deserved the name of Africans. Then, not commanded, but commanding you, Fearless I speak: know me for what I am.

Bend. How she assumes! I like not this beginning. [Aside.

Alm. I was not born so base to flatter crowds, And move your pity by a whining tale. Your tyrant would have forced me to his bed; But in the attempt of that foul brutal act, These loyal slaves secured me by his death. [Pointing to BENDUCAR.

Bend. Makes she no more of me than of a slave?— [Aside. Madam, I thought I had instructed you [To ALMEYDA. To frame a speech more suiting to the times: The circumstances of that dire design, Your own despair, my unexpected aid, My life endangered by his bold defence, And, after all, his death, and your deliverance, Were themes that ought not to be slighted o'er.

Must. She might have passed over all your petty businesses, and no great matter; but the raising of my rabble is an exploit of consequence, and not to be mumbled up in silence, for all her pertness.

Alm. When force invades the gift of nature, life, The eldest law of nature bids defend; And if in that defence a tyrant fall, His death's his crime, not ours, Suffice it, that he's dead; all wrongs die with him; When he can wrong no more, I pardon him: Thus I absolve myself, and him excuse, Who saved my life and honour, but praise neither.

Bend. 'Tis cheap to pardon, whom you would not pay. But what speak I of payment and reward! Ungrateful woman, you are yet no queen, Nor more than a proud haughty christian slave: As such I seize my right. [Going to lay hold of her.

Alm. [Drawing a Dagger.] Dare not to approach me!— Now, Africans, He shows himself to you; to me he stood Confessed before, and owned his insolence To espouse my person, and assume the crown, Claimed in my right; for this, he slew your tyrant; Oh no! he only changed him for a worse; Embased your slavery by his own vileness, And loaded you with more ignoble bonds. Then think me not ungrateful, not to share The imperial crown with a presuming traitor. He says, I am a Christian; true, I am, But yet no slave: If Christians can be thought Unfit to govern those of other faith, 'Tis left for you to judge.

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