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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Bend. I have not patience; she consumes the time In idle talk, and owns her false belief: Seize her by force, and bear her thence unheard.

Alm. [To the People.] No, let me rather die your sacrifice, Than live his triumph. I throw myself into my people's arms; As you are men, compassionate my wrongs, And, as good men, protect me.

Ant. Something must be done to save her. [Aside to MUST.] This is all addressed to you, sir: she singled you out with her eye, as commander in chief of the mobility.

Must. Think'st thou so, slave Antonio?

Ant. Most certainly, sir; and you cannot, in honour, but protect her: now look to your hits, and make your fortune.

Must. Methought, indeed, she cast a kind leer towards me. Our prophet was but just such another scoundrel as I am, till he raised himself to power, and consequently to holiness, by marrying his master's widow. I am resolved I'll put forward for myself; for why should I be my lord Benducar's fool and slave, when I may be my own fool and his master?

Bend. Take her into possession, Mustapha.

Must. That's better counsel than you meant it: Yes, I do take her into possession, and into protection too. What say you, masters, will you stand by me?

Omnes. One and all, one and all.

Bend. Hast thou betrayed me, traitor?—Mufti, speak, and mind them of religion. [MUFTI shakes his head.

Must. Alas! the poor gentleman has gotten a cold with a sermon of two hours long, and a prayer of fear; and, besides, if he durst speak, mankind is grown wiser at this time of day than to cut one another's throats about religion. Our Mufti's is a green coat, and the Christian's is a black coat; and we must wisely go together by the ears, whether green or black shall sweep our spoils. [Drums within, and shouts.

Bend. Now we shall see whose numbers will prevail: The conquering troops of Muley-Zeydan come, To crush rebellion, and espouse my cause.

Must. We will have a fair trial of skill for it, I can tell him that. When we have dispatched with Muley-Zeydan, your lordship shall march, in equal proportions of your body, to the four gates of the city, and every tower shall have a quarter of you. [ANTONIO draws them up, and takes ALM. by the hand. Shouts again, and Drums.

Enter DORAX and SEBASTIAN, attended by African Soldiers and Portugueses. ALMEYDA and SEBASTIAN run into each others arms, and both speak together.

Seb. and Alm. My Sebastian! my Almeyda!

Alm. Do you then live?

Seb. And live to love thee ever.

Bend. How! Dorax and Sebastian still alive! The Moors and Christians joined!—I thank thee, prophet.

Dor. The citadel is ours; and Muley-Zeydan Safe under guard, but as becomes a prince. Lay down your arms; such base plebeian blood Would only stain the brightness of my sword, And blunt it for some nobler work behind.

Must. I suppose you may put it up without offence to any man here present. For my part, I have been loyal to my sovereign lady, though that villain Benducar, and that hypocrite the Mufti, would have corrupted me; but if those two escape public justice, then I and all my late honest subjects here deserve hanging.

Bend. [To DOR.] I'm sure I did my part to poison thee, What saint soe'er has soldered thee again: A dose less hot had burst through ribs of iron.

Muf. Not knowing that, I poisoned him once more, And drenched him with a draught so deadly cold, That, hadst not thou prevented, had congealed The channel of his blood, and froze him dry.

Bend. Thou interposing fool, to mangle mischief, And think to mend the perfect work of hell!

Dor. Thus, when heaven pleases, double poisons cure[8]. I will not tax thee of ingratitude To me, thy friend, who hast betrayed thy prince: Death he deserved indeed, but not from thee. But fate, it seems, reserved the worst of men To end the worst of tyrants.— Go, bear him to his fate, And send him to attend his master's ghost. Let some secure my other poisoning friend, Whose double diligence preserved my life.

Ant. You are fallen into good hands, father-in-law; your sparkling jewels, and Morayma's eyes, may prove a better bail than you deserve.

Muf. The best that can come of me, in this condition, is, to have my life begged first, and then to be begged for a fool afterwards[9]. [Exeunt ANTONIO, with the Mufti; and, at the same time, BENDUCAR is carried off.

Dor. [To MUST.] You, and your hungry herd, depart untouched; For justice cannot stoop so low, to reach The groveling sin of crowds: but curst be they, Who trust revenge with such mad instruments, Whose blindfold business is but to destroy; And, like the fire, commissioned by the winds, Begins on sheds, but, rolling in a round, On palaces returns. Away, ye scum, That still rise upmost when the nation boils; Ye mongrel work of heaven, with human shapes, Not to be damned or saved, but breathe and perish, That have but just enough of sense, to know The master's voice, when rated, to depart. [Exeunt MUSTAPHA and Rabble.

Alm. With gratitude as low as knees can pay [Kneeling to him. To those blest holy fires, our guardian angels, Receive these thanks, till altars can be raised.

Dor. Arise, fair excellence, and pay no thanks, [Raising her up. Till time discover what I have deserved.

Seb. More than reward can answer. If Portugal and Spain were joined to Africa, And the main ocean crusted into land, If universal monarchy were mine, Here should the gift be placed.

Dor. And from some hands I should refuse that gift. Be not too prodigal of promises; But stint your bounty to one only grant, Which I can ask with honour.

Seb. What I am Is but thy gift; make what thou canst of me, Secure of no repulse.

Dor. [To SEB.] Dismiss your train.— [To ALM.] You, madam, please one moment to retire. [SEBASTIAN signs to the Portugueses to go off; ALMEYDA, bowing to him, gives off also. The Africans follow her.

Dor. [To the Captain of the Guard.] With you one word in private. [Goes out with the Captain.

Seb. [Solus.] Reserved behaviour, open nobleness, A long mysterious track of stern bounty: But now the hand of fate is on the curtain, And draws the scene to sight.

Re-enter DORAX, having taken off his Turban, and put on a Peruke, Hat, and Cravat.

Dor. Now, do you know me?

Seb. Thou shouldst be Alonzo.

Dor. So you should be Sebastian: But when Sebastian ceased to be himself, I ceased to be Alonzo.

Seb. As in a dream, I see thee here, and scarce believe mine eyes.

Dor. Is it so strange to find me, where my wrongs, And your inhuman tyranny, have sent me? Think not you dream; or, if you did, my injuries Shall call so loud, that lethargy should wake, And death should give you back to answer me. A thousand nights have brushed their balmy wings Over these eyes; but ever when they closed, Your tyrant image forced them ope again, And dried the dews they brought: The long expected hour is come at length, By manly vengeance to redeem my fame; And, that once cleared, eternal sleep is welcome.

Seb. I have not yet forgot I am a king, Whose royal office is redress of wrongs: If I have wronged thee, charge me face to face;— I have not yet forgot I am a soldier.

Dor. 'Tis the first justice thou hast ever done me. Then, though I loath this woman's war of tongues, Yet shall my cause of vengeance first be clear; And, honour, be thou judge.

Seb. Honour befriend us both.— Beware I warn thee yet, to tell thy griefs In terms becoming majesty to hear: I warn thee thus, because I know thy temper Is insolent, and haughty to superiors. How often hast thou braved my peaceful court, Filled it with noisy brawls, and windy boasts; And with past service, nauseously repeated, Reproached even me, thy prince?

Dor. And well I might, when you forgot reward, The part of heaven in kings; for punishment Is hangman's work, and drudgery for devils.— I must, and will reproach thee with my service, Tyrant!—It irks me so to call my prince; But just resentment, and hard usage, coined The unwilling word; and, grating as it is, Take it, for 'tis thy due.

Seb. How, tyrant?

Dor. Tyrant.

Seb. Traitor!—that name thou canst not echo back; That robe of infamy, that circumcision Ill hid beneath that robe, proclaim thee traitor; And, if a name More foul than traitor be, 'tis renegade.

Dor. If I'm a traitor, think,—and blush, thou tyrant,— Whose injuries betrayed me into treason, Effaced my loyalty, unhinged my faith, And hurried me, from hopes of heaven, to hell. All these, and all my yet unfinished crimes, When I shall rise to plead before the saints, I charge on thee, to make thy damning sure.

Seb. Thy old presumptuous arrogance again, That bred my first dislike, and then my loathing.— Once more be warned, and know me for thy king.

Dor. Too well I know thee, but for king no more. This is not Lisbon; nor the circle this, Where, like a statue, thou hast stood besieged By sycophants and fools, the growth of courts; Where thy gulled eyes, in all the gaudy round, Met nothing but a lie in every face, And the gross flattery of a gaping crowd, Envious who first should catch, and first applaud, The stuff of royal nonsense: When I spoke, My honest homely words were carped and censured For want of courtly style; related actions, Though modestly reported, passed for boasts; Secure of merit if I asked reward, Thy hungry minions thought their rights invaded, And the bread snatched from pimps and parasites. Henriquez answered, with a ready lie, To save his king's,—the boon was begged before!

Seb. What say'st thou of Henriquez? Now, by heaven, Thou mov'st me more by barely naming him, Than all thy foul unmannered scurril taunts.

Dor. And therefore 'twas, to gall thee, that I named him. That thing, that nothing, but a cringe and smile; That woman, but more daubed; or, if a man, Corrupted to a woman; thy man-mistress.

Seb. All false as hell, or thou.

Dor. Yes; full as false As that I served thee fifteen hard campaigns, And pitched thy standard in these foreign fields: By me thy greatness grew, thy years grew with it, But thy ingratitude outgrew them both.

Seb. I see to what thou tend'st: but, tell me first, If those great acts were done alone for me? If love produced not some, and pride the rest?

Dor. Why, love does all that's noble here below; But all the advantage of that love was thine. For, coming fraughted back, in either hand With palm and olive, victory and peace, I was indeed prepared to ask my own, (For Violante's vows were mine before:) Thy malice had prevention, ere I spoke; And asked me Violante for Henriquez.

Seb. I meant thee a reward of greater worth.

Dor. Where justice wanted, could reward be hoped? Could the robbed passenger expect a bounty From those rapacious hands, who stripped him first?

Seb. He had my promise, ere I knew thy love.

Dor. My services deserved thou shouldst revoke it.

Seb. Thy insolence had cancelled all thy service: To violate my laws, even in my court, Sacred to peace, and safe from all affronts; Even to my face, and done in my despite, Under the wing of awful majesty, To strike the man I loved!

Dor. Even in the face of heaven, a place more sacred, Would I have struck the man, who, prompt by power, Would seize my right, and rob me of my love: But, for a blow provoked by thy injustice, The hasty product of a just despair, When he refused to meet me in the field, That thou shouldst make a coward's cause thy own!

Seb. He durst; nay more, desired, and begged with tears, To meet thy challenge fairly: 'Twas thy fault To make it public; but my duty, then, To interpose, on pain of my displeasure, Betwixt your swords.

Dor. On pain of infamy, He should have disobeyed.

Seb. The indignity, thou didst, was meant to me: Thy gloomy eyes were cast on me with scorn, As who should say,—the blow was there intended: But that thou didst not dare to lift thy hands Against anointed power. So was I forced To do a sovereign justice to myself, And spurn thee from my presence.

Dor. Thou hast dared To tell me, what I durst not tell myself: I durst not think that I was spurned, and live; And live to hear it boasted to my face. All my long avarice of honour lost, Heaped up in youth, and hoarded up for age! Has honour's fountain then sucked back the stream? He has; and hooting boys may dry-shod pass, And gather pebbles from the naked ford.— Give me my love, my honour; give them back— Give me revenge, while I have breath to ask it!

Seb. Now, by this honoured order which I wear, More gladly would I give, than thou dar'st ask it; Nor shall the sacred character of king Be urged, to shield me from thy bold appeal. If I have injured thee, that makes us equal; The wrong, if done, debased me down to thee. But thou hast charged me with ingratitude; Hast thou not charged me? speak!

Dor. Thou know'st I have: If thou disown'st that imputation, draw, And prove my charge a lie.

Seb. No; to disprove that lie, I must not draw. Be conscious to thy worth, and tell thy soul, What thou hast done this day in my defence. To fight thee after this, what were it else Than owning that ingratitude thou urgest? That isthmus stands between two rushing seas; Which, mounting, view each other from afar, And strive in vain to meet.

Dor. I'll cut that isthmus. Thou know'st I meant not to preserve thy life, But to reprieve it, for my own revenge. I saved thee out of honourable malice: Now, draw;—I should be loth to think thou dar'st not: Beware of such another vile excuse.

Seb. O patience, heaven!

Dor. Beware of patience, too; That's a suspicious word. It had been proper, Before thy foot had spurned me; now 'tis base: Yet, to disarm thee of thy last defence, I have thy oath for my security. The only boon I begged was this fair combat: Fight, or be perjured now; that's all thy choice.

Seb. Now can I thank thee as thou would'st be thanked. [Drawing. Never was vow of honour better paid, If my true sword but hold, than this shall be. The sprightly bridegroom, on his wedding night, More gladly enters not the lists of love: Why, 'tis enjoyment to be summoned thus. Go, bear my message to Henriquez ghost; And say, his master and his friend revenged him.

Dor. His ghost! then is my hated rival dead?

Seb. The question is beside our present purpose: Thou seest me ready; we delay too long.

Dor. A minute is not much in either's life, When there's but one betwixt us; throw it in, And give it him of us who is to fail.

Seb. He's dead; make haste, and thou may'st yet o'ertake him.

Dor. When I was hasty, thou delayed'st me longer— I pr'ythee let me hedge one moment more Into thy promise: For thy life preserved, Be kind; and tell me how that rival died, Whose death, next thine, I wished.

Seb. If it would please thee, thou shouldst never know; But thou, like jealousy, enquir'st a truth, Which, found, will torture thee.—He died in fight; Fought next my person; as in concert fought; Kept pace for pace, and blow for every blow; Save when he heaved his shield in my defence, And on his naked side received my wound. Then, when he could no more, he fell at once; But rolled his falling body cross their way, And made a bulwark of it for his prince.

Dor. I never can forgive him such a death!

Seb. I prophesied thy proud soul could not bear it.— Now, judge thyself, who best deserved my love? I knew you both; and (durst I say) as heaven Foreknew, among the shining angel host, Who would stand firm, who fall.

Dor. Had he been tempted so, so had he fallen; And so had I been favoured, had I stood.

Seb. What had been, is unknown; what is, appears. Confess, he justly was preferred to thee.

Dor. Had I been born with his indulgent stars, My fortune had been his, and his been mine.— O worse than hell! what glory have I lost, And what has he acquired, by such a death! I should have fallen by Sebastian's side, My corps had been the bulwark of my king. His glorious end was a patched work of fate, Ill sorted with a soft effeminate life; It suited better with my life than his, So to have died: Mine had been of a piece, Spent in your service, dying at your feet.

Seb. The more effeminate and soft his life, The more his fame, to struggle to the field, And meet his glorious fate. Confess, proud spirit, (For I will have it from thy very mouth) That better he deserved my love than thou?

Dor. O, whither would you drive me? I must grant,— Yes, I must grant, but with a swelling soul,— Henriquez had your love with more desert. For you he fought, and died: I fought against you; Through all the mazes of the bloody field, Hunted your sacred life; which that I missed Was the propitious error of my fate, Not of my soul: My soul's a regicide.

Seb. [More calmly.] Thou might'st have given it a more gentle name. Thou meant'st to kill a tyrant, not a king: Speak, didst thou not, Alonzo?

Dor. Can I speak! Alas, I cannot answer to Alonzo!— No, Dorax cannot answer to Alonzo; Alonzo was too kind a name for me. Then, when I fought and conquered with your arms, In that blest age, I was the man you named: Till rage and pride debased me into Dorax, And lost, like Lucifer, my name above.

Seb. Yet twice this day I owed my life to Dorax.

Dor. I saved you but to kill you: There's my grief.

Seb. Nay, if thou can'st be grieved, thou can'st repent; Thou could'st not be a villain, though thou would'st: Thou own'st too much, in owning thou hast erred; And I too little, who provoked thy crime.

Dor. O stop this headlong torrent of your goodness! It comes too fast upon a feeble soul, Half drowned in tears before: Spare my confusion; For pity spare; and say not first, you erred; For yet I have not dared, through guilt and shame, To throw myself beneath your royal feet.— [Falls at his feet. Now spurn this rebel, this proud renegade; 'Tis just you should, nor will I more complain.

Seb. Indeed thou should'st not ask forgiveness first; But thou prevent'st me still, in all that's noble. [Taking him up. Yes, I will raise thee up with better news. Thy Violante's heart was ever thine; Compelled to wed, because she was my ward, Her soul was absent when she gave her hand; Nor could my threats, or his pursuing courtship, Effect the consummation of his love: So, still indulging tears, she pines for thee, A widow, and a maid.

Dor. Have I been cursing heaven, while heaven blest me? I shall run mad with extacy of joy: What! in one moment, to be reconciled To heaven, and to my king, and to my love!— But pity is my friend, and stops me short, For my unhappy rival:—Poor Henriquez!

Seb. Art thou so generous, too, to pity him? Nay, then, I was unjust to love him better. Here let me ever hold thee in my arms; [Embracing him. And all our quarrels be but such as these, Who shall love best, and closest shall embrace. Be what Henriquez was,—be my Alonzo.

Dor. What, my Alonzo, said you? my Alonzo! Let my tears thank you, for I cannot speak; And, if I could, Words were not made to vent such thoughts as mine.

Seb. Some strange reverse of fate must sure attend This vast profusion, this extravagance Of heaven, to bless me thus. 'Tis gold so pure, It cannot bear the stamp, without alloy.— Be kind, ye powers! and take but half away: With ease the gifts of fortune I resign; But let my love and friend be ever mine. [Exeunt.


The Scene is, a Room of State.


Dor. Joy is on every face, without a cloud; As, in the scene of opening paradise, The whole creation danced at their new being, Pleased to be what they were, pleased with each other, Such joy have I, both in myself and friends; And double joy that I have made them happy.

Ant. Pleasure has been the business of my life; And every change of fortune easy to me, Because I still was easy to myself. The loss of her I loved would touch me nearest; Yet, if I found her, I might love too much, And that's uneasy pleasure.

Dor. If she be fated To be your wife, your fate will find her for you: Predestinated ills are never lost.

Ant. I had forgot To inquire before, but long to be informed, How, poisoned and betrayed, and round beset, You could unwind yourself from all these dangers, And move so speedily to our relief?

Dor. The double poisons, after a short combat, Expelled each other in their civil war, By nature's benefit, and roused my thoughts To guard that life which now I found attacked. I summoned all my officers in haste, On whose experienced faith I might rely; All came resolved to die in my defence, Save that one villain who betrayed the gate. Our diligence prevented the surprise We justly feared: So Muley-Zeydan found us Drawn up in battle, to receive the charge.

Ant. But how the Moors and Christian slaves were joined, You have not yet unfolded.

Dor. That remains. We knew their interest was the same with ours: And, though I hated more than death Sebastian, I could not see him die by vulgar hands; But, prompted by my angel, or by his, Freed all the slaves, and placed him next myself, Because I would not have his person known. I need not tell the rest, the event declares it.

Ant. Your conquests came of course; their men were raw, And yours were disciplined.—One doubt remains, Why you industriously concealed the king, Who, known, had added courage to his men?

Dor. I would not hazard civil broils betwixt His friends and mine; which might prevent our combat. Yet, had he fallen, I had dismissed his troops; Or, if victorious, ordered his escape.— But I forgot a new increase of joy To feast him with surprise; I must about it: Expect my swift return. [Exit.

Enter a Servant.

Serv. Here's a lady at the door, that bids me tell you, she is come to make an end of the game, that was broken off betwixt you.

Ant. What manner of woman is she? Does she not want two of the four elements? has she any thing about her but air and fire?

Serv. Truly, she flies about the room as if she had wings instead of legs; I believe she's just turning into a bird:—A house bird I warrant her:—And so hasty to fly to you, that, rather than fail of entrance, she would come tumbling down the chimney, like a swallow.


Ant. [Running to her, and embracing her.] Look, if she be not here already!—What, no denial it seems will serve your turn? Why, thou little dun, is thy debt so pressing?

Mor. Little devil, if you please: Your lease is out, good master conjurer, and I am come to fetch your soul and body; not an hour of lewdness longer in this world for you.

Ant. Where the devil hast thou been? and how the devil didst thou find me here?

Mor. I followed you into the castle-yard, but there was nothing but tumult and confusion: and I was bodily afraid of being picked up by some of the rabble; considering I had a double charge about me,—my jewels, and my maidenhead.

Ant. Both of them intended for my worship's sole use and property.

Mor. And what was poor little I among them all?

Ant. Not a mouthful a-piece: 'Twas too much odds, in conscience!

Mor. So, seeking for shelter, I naturally ran to the old place of assignation, the garden-house; where, for the want of instinct, you did not follow me.

Ant. Well, for thy comfort, I have secured thy father; and I hope thou hast secured his effects for us.

Mor. Yes, truly, I had the prudent foresight to consider, that, when we grow old, and weary of solacing one another, we might have, at least, wherewithal to make merry with the world; and take up with a worse pleasure of eating and drinking, when we were disabled for a better.

Ant. Thy fortune will be even too good for thee; for thou art going into the country of serenades and gallantries, where thy street will be haunted every night with thy foolish lovers, and my rivals, who will be sighing and singing, under thy inexorable windows, lamentable ditties, and call thee cruel, and goddess, and moon, and stars, and all the poetical names of wicked rhime; while thou and I are minding our business, and jogging on, and laughing at them, at leisure minutes, which will be very few; take that by way of threatening.

Mor. I am afraid you are not very valiant, that you huff so much beforehand. But, they say, your churches are fine places for love-devotion; many a she-saint is there worshipped.

Ant. Temples are there, as they are in all other countries, good conveniences for dumb interviews. I hear the protestants are not much reformed in that point neither; for their sectaries call their churches by the natural name of meeting-houses. Therefore I warn thee in good time, not more of devotion than needs must, good future spouse, and always in a veil; for those eyes of thine are damned enemies to mortification.

Mor. The best thing I have heard of Christendom is, that we women are allowed the privilege of having souls; and I assure you, I shall make bold to bestow mine upon some lover, whenever you begin to go astray; and, if I find no convenience in a church, a private chamber will serve the turn.

Ant. When that day comes, I must take my revenge, and turn gardener again; for I find I am much given to planting.

Mor. But take heed, in the mean time, that some young Antonio does not spring up in your own family; as false as his father, though of another man's planting.

Re-enter DORAX, with SEBASTIAN and ALMEYDA, SEBASTIAN enters speaking to DORAX, while in the mean time ANTONIO presents MORAYMA to ALMEYDA.

Seb. How fares our royal prisoner, Muley-Zeydan?

Dor. Disposed to grant whatever I desire, To gain a crown, and freedom. Well I know him, Of easy temper, naturally good, And faithful to his word.

Seb. Yet one thing wants, To fill the measure of my happiness; I'm still in pain for poor Alvarez' life.

Dor. Release that fear, the good old man is safe; I paid his ransom, And have already ordered his attendance.

Seb. O bid him enter, for I long to see him.

Enter ALVAREZ with a Servant, who departs when ALVAREZ is entered.

Alv. Now by my soul, and by these hoary hairs, [Falling down, and embracing the King's knees. I'm so o'erwhelmed with pleasure, that I feel A latter spring within my withering limbs, That shoots me out again.

Seb. Thou good old man, [Raising him. Thou hast deceived me into more, more joys, Who stood brim-full before.

Alv. O my dear child,— I love thee so, I cannot call thee king,— Whom I so oft have dandled in these arms! What, when I gave thee lost, to find thee living! 'Tis like a father, who himself had 'scaped A falling house, and, after anxious search, Hears from afar his only son within; And digs through rubbish, till he drags him out, To see the friendly light. Such is my haste, so trembling is my joy, To draw thee forth from underneath thy fate.

Seb. The tempest is o'erblown, the skies are clear, And the sea charmed into a calm so still, That not a wrinkle ruffles her smooth face.

Alv. Just such she shows before a rising storm; And therefore am I come with timely speed, To warn you into port.

Alm. My soul forebodes Some dire event involved in those dark words, And just disclosing in a birth of fate. [Aside.

Alv. Is there not yet an heir of this vast empire, Who still survives, of Muley-Moluch's branch?

Dor. Yes, such a one there is a captive here, And brother to the dead.

Alv. The powers above Be praised for that! My prayers for my good master, I hope, are heard.

Seb. Thou hast a right in heaven. But why these prayers for me?

Alv. A door is open yet for your deliverance.— Now you, my countrymen, and you, Almeyda, Now all of us, and you, my all in one, May yet be happy in that captive's life.

Seb. We have him here an honourable hostage For terms of peace; what more he can contribute To make me blest, I know not.

Ah. Vastly more; Almeyda may be settled in the throne, And you review your native clime with fame. A firm alliance and eternal peace, The glorious crown of honourable war, Are all included in that prince's life. Let this fair queen be given to Muley-Zeydan, And make her love the sanction of your league.

Seb. No more of that; his life's in my dispose, And prisoners are not to insist on terms; Or, if they were, yet he demands not these.

Alv. You should exact them.

Alm. Better may be made, These cannot: I abhor the tyrant's race,— My parents' murderers, my throne's usurpers. But, at one blow, to cut off all dispute, Know this, thou busy, old, officious man,— I am a Christian; now be wise no more; Or, if thou wouldst be still thought wise, be silent.

Alv. O, I perceive you think your interest touched: 'Tis what before the battle I observed; But I must speak, and will.

Seb. I pr'ythee, peace; Perhaps she thinks they are too near of blood.

Alv. I wish she may not wed to blood more near.

Seb. What if I make her mine?

Alv. Now heaven forbid!

Seb. Wish rather heaven may grant; For, if I could deserve, I have deserved her: My toils, my hazards, and my subjects' lives, Provided she consent, may claim her love; And, that once granted, I appeal to these, If better I could chuse a beauteous bride.

Ant. The fairest of her sex.

Mor. The pride of nature.

Dor. He only merits her, she only him; So paired, so suited in their minds and persons, That they were framed the tallies for each other. If any alien love had interposed, It must have been an eye-sore to beholders, And to themselves a curse.

Alv. And to themselves The greatest curse that can be, were to join.

Seb. Did not I love thee past a change to hate, That word had been thy ruin; but no more, I charge thee, on thy life, perverse old man!

Alv. Know, sir, I would be silent if I durst: But if, on shipboard, I should see my friend Grown frantic in a raging calenture, And he, imagining vain flowery fields, Would headlong plunge himself into the deep,— Should I not hold him from that mad attempt, Till his sick fancy were by reason cured?

Seb. I pardon thee the effects of doting age, Vain doubts, and idle cares, and over-caution; The second nonage of a soul more wise, But now decayed, and sunk into the socket; Peeping by fits, and giving feeble light.

Alv. Have you forgot?

Seb. Thou mean'st my father's will, In bar of marriage to Almeyda's bed. Thou seest my faculties are still entire, Though thine are much impaired. I weighed that will, And found 'twas grounded on our different faiths; But, had he lived to see her happy change, He would have cancelled that harsh interdict, And joined our hands himself.

Alv. Still had he lived and seen this change, He still had been the same.

Seb. I have a dark remembrance of my father: His reasonings and his actions both were just; And, granting that, he must have changed his measures.

Alv. Yes, he was just, and therefore could not change.

Seb. 'Tis a base wrong thou offer'st to the dead.

Alv. Now heaven forbid, That I should blast his pious memory! No, I am tender of his holy fame; For, dying, he bequeathed it to my charge. Believe, I am; and seek to know no more, But pay a blind obedience to his will; For, to preserve his fame, I would be silent.

Seb. Crazed fool, who would'st be thought an oracle, Come down from off the tripos, and speak plain. My father shall be justified, he shall: 'Tis a son's part to rise in his defence, And to confound thy malice, or thy dotage.

Alv. It does not grieve me, that you hold me crazed; But, to be cleared at my dead master's cost, O there's the wound! but let me first adjure you, By all you owe that dear departed soul, No more to think of marriage with Almeyda.

Seb. Not heaven and earth combined can hinder it.

Alv. Then witness heaven and earth, how loth I am To say, you must not, nay, you cannot, wed: And since not only a dead father's fame, But more, a lady's honour, must be touched, Which, nice as ermines, will not bear a soil, Let all retire, that you alone may hear What even in whispers I would tell your ear. [All are going out.

Alm. Not one of you depart; I charge you, stay! And were my voice a trumpet loud as fame, To reach the round of heaven, and earth, and sea, All nations should be summoned to this place, So little do I fear that fellow's charge: So should my honour, like a rising swan, Brush with her wings the falling drops away, And proudly plough the waves.

Seb. This noble pride becomes thy innocence; And I dare trust my father's memory, To stand the charge of that foul forging tongue.

Alv. It will be soon discovered if I forge. Have you not heard your father in his youth, When newly married, travelled into Spain, And made a long abode in Philip's court?

Seb. Why so remote a question, which thyself Can answer to thyself? for thou wert with him, His favourite, as I oft have heard thee boast, And nearest to his soul.

Alv. Too near, indeed; forgive me, gracious heaven, That ever I should boast I was so near, The confident of all his young amours!— And have not you, unhappy beauty, heard, [To ALM. Have you not often heard, your exiled parents Were refuged in that court, and at that time?

Alm. 'Tis true; and often since my mother owned, How kind that prince was to espouse her cause; She counselled, nay enjoined me on her blessing, To seek the sanctuary of your court; Which gave me first encouragement to come, And, with my brother, beg Sebastian's aid.

Seb. Thou helpst me well to justify my war: [To ALM.] My dying father swore me, then a boy, And made me kiss the cross upon his sword, Never to sheath it, till that exiled queen Were by my arms restored.

Alm. And can you find No mystery couched in this excess of kindness? Were kings e'er known, in this degenerate age, So passionately fond of noble acts, Where interest shared not more than half with honour?

Seb. Base grovelling soul, who know'st not honour's worth, But weigh'st it out in mercenary scales! The secret pleasure of a generous act Is the great mind's great bribe.

Alv. Show me that king, and I'll believe the Phoenix. But knock at your own breast, and ask your soul, If those fair fatal eyes edged not your sword More than your father's charge, and all your vows? If so,—and so your silence grants it is,— Know king, your father had, like you, a soul, And love is your inheritance from him. Almeyda's mother, too, had eyes, like her, And not less charming; and were charmed no less Than yours are now with her, and hers with you.

Alm. Thou liest, impostor! perjured fiend, thou liest!

Seb. Was't not enough to brand my father's fame, But thou must load a lady's memory? O infamous! O base, beyond repair! And to what end this ill-concerted lie, Which palpable and gross, yet granted true, It bars not my inviolable vows?

Alv. Take heed, and double not your father's crimes; To his adultery do not add your incest. Know, she's the product of unlawful love, And 'tis your carnal sister you would wed.

Seb. Thou shalt not say thou wer't condemned unheard; Else, by my soul, this moment were thy last.

Alm. But think not oaths shall justify thy charge, Nor imprecations on thy cursed head; For who dares lie to heaven, thinks heaven a jest. Thou hast confessed thyself the conscious pandar Of that pretended passion; A single witness infamously known, Against two persons of unquestioned fame.

Alv. What interest can I have, or what delight, To blaze their shame, or to divulge my own? If proved, you hate me; if unproved, condemn. Not racks or tortures could have forced this secret, But too much care to save you from a crime, Which would have sunk you both. For, let me say, Almeyda's beauty well deserves your love.

Alm. Out, base impostor! I abhor thy praise.

Dor. It looks not like imposture; but a truth, On utmost need revealed.

Seb. Did I expect from Dorax this return? Is this the love renewed?

Dor. Sir, I am silent; Pray heaven my fears prove false!

Seb. Away! you all combine to make me wretched.

Alv. But hear the story of that fatal love, Where every circumstance shall prove another; And truth so shine by her own native light, That, if a lie were mixt, it must be seen.

Seb. No; all may still be forged, and of a piece. No; I can credit nothing thou canst say.

Alv. One proof remains, and that's your father's hand, Firmed with his signet; both so fully known, That plainer evidence can hardly be, Unless his soul would want her heaven awhile, And come on earth to swear.

Seb. Produce that writing.

Alv. [To DORAX.] Alonzo has it in his custody; The same, which, when his nobleness redeemed me, And in a friendly visit owned himself For what he is, I then deposited, And had his faith to give it to the king.

Dor. Untouched, and sealed, as when intrusted with me, [Giving a sealed Paper to the King. Such I restore it with a trembling hand, Lest aught within disturb your peace of soul.

Seb. Draw near, Almeyda; thou art most concerned, For I am most in thee.— [Tearing open the Seals. Alonzo, mark the characters; Thou know'st my father's hand, observe it well; And if the impostor's pen have made one slip That shews it counterfeit, mark that, and save me.

Dor. It looks indeed too like my master's hand: So does the signet: more I cannot say; But wish 'twere not so like.

Seb. Methinks it owns The black adultery, and Almeyda's birth; But such a mist of grief comes o'er my eyes, I cannot, or I would not, read it plain.

Alm. Heaven cannot be more true, than this is false.

Seb. O couldst thou prove it with the same assurance! Speak, hast thou ever seen my father's hand?

Alm. No; but my mother's honour has been read By me, and by the world, in all her acts, In characters more plain and legible Than this dumb evidence, this blotted lie.— Oh that I were a man, as my soul's one, To prove thee traitor, and assassinate Of her fame! thus moved, I'd tear thee thus,— [Tearing the Paper. And scatter o'er the field thy coward limbs, Like this foul offspring of thy forging brain. [Scattering the Paper.

Alv. Just so shalt thou be torn from all thy hopes; For know, proud woman, know, in thy despite, The most authentic proof is still behind,— Thou wear'st it on thy finger: 'Tis that ring, Which, matched to that on his, shall clear the doubt. 'Tis no dumb forgery, for that shall speak, And sound a rattling peal to either's conscience.

Seb. This ring, indeed, my father, with a cold And shaking hand, just in the pangs of death, Put on my finger, with a parting sigh; And would have, spoke, but faultered in his speech, With undistinguished sound.

Alv. I know it well, For I was present.—Now, Almeyda, speak, And truly tell us how you came by yours.

Alm. My mother, when I parted from her sight To go to Portugal, bequeathed it to me, Presaging she should never see me more. She pulled it from her finger, shed some tears, Kissed it, and told me 'twas a pledge of love, And hid a mystery of great importance, Relating to my fortunes.

Alv. Mark me now, While I disclose that fatal mystery:— Those rings, when you were born and thought another's, Your parents, glowing yet in sinful love, Bid me bespeak: a curious artist wrought them. With joints so close, as not to be perceived, Yet are they both each other's counterpart; Her part had Juan inscribed, and his had Zayda, (You know those names are theirs,) and in the midst A heart divided in two halves was placed. Now, if the rivets of those rings inclosed Fit not each other, I have forged this lie; But, if they join, you must for ever part. [SEBASTIAN pulling off his Ring, ALMEYDA does the same, and gives it to ALVAREZ, who unscrews both the Rings, and fits one half to the other[10].

Seb. Now life, or death.

Alm. And either thine, or ours.— I'm lost for ever. [Swoons. The Women and MORAYMA take her up, and carry her off. SEBASTIAN here stands amazed without motion, his eyes fixed upward.

Seb. Look to the queen, my wife; for I am past All power of aid to her, or to myself.

Alv. His wife! said he, his wife! O fatal sound! For, had I known it, this unwelcome news Had never reached their ears: So they had still been blest in ignorance, And I alone unhappy.

Dor. I knew it, but too late, and durst not speak.

Seb. [Starting out of his amazement.] I will not live, no not a moment more; I will not add one moment more to incest; I'll cut it off, and end a wretched being: For, should I live, my soul's so little mine, And so much hers, that I should still enjoy.— Ye cruel powers, Take me, as you have made me, miserable; You cannot make me guilty; 'twas my fate, And you made that, not I. [Draws his Sword. ANTONIO and ALVAREZ lay hold on him, and DORAX wrests the Sword out of his hand.

Ant. For heaven's sake hold, and recollect your mind!

Alv. Consider whom you punish, and for what; Yourself unjustly; you have charged the fault On heaven, that best may bear it. Though incest is indeed a deadly crime, You are not guilty, since unknown 'twas done, And, known, had been abhorred.

Seb. By heaven, you're traitors all, that hold my hands. If death be but cessation of our thought, Then let me die, for I would think no more. I'll boast my innocence above, And let them see a soul they could not sully, I shall be there before my father's ghost, That yet must languish long in frosts and fires, For making me unhappy by his crime.— Stand oft, and let me take my fill of death; [Struggling again. For I can hold my breath in your despite, And swell my heaving soul out when I please.

Alv. Heaven comfort you!

Seb. What, art thou giving comfort! Wouldst thou give comfort, who hast given despair? Thou seest Alonzo silent; he's a man. He knows, that men, abandoned of their hopes, Should ask no leave, nor stay for sueing out A tedious writ of ease from lingering heaven, But help themselves as timely as they could, And teach the Fates their duty.

Dor. [To ALV. and ANT.] Let him go; He is our king, and he shall be obeyed.

Alv. What, to destroy himself? O parricide!

Dor. Be not injurious in your foolish zeal, But leave him free; or, by my sword, I swear To hew that arm away, that stops the passage To his eternal rest.

Ant. [Letting go his hold.] Let him be guilty of his own death, if he pleases; for I'll not be guilty of mine, by holding him. [The King shakes off ALV.

Alv. [To DOR.] Infernal fiend, Is this a subject's part?

Dor. 'Tis a friend's office. He has convinced me, that he ought to die; And, rather than he should not, here's my sword, To help him on his journey.

Seb. My last, my only friend, how kind art thou, And how inhuman these!

Dor. To make the trifle, death, a thing of moment!

Seb. And not to weigh the important cause I had To rid myself of life!

Dor. True; for a crime So horrid, in the face of men and angels, As wilful incest is!

Seb. Not wilful, neither.

Dor. Yes, if you lived, and with repeated acts Refreshed your sin, and loaded crimes with crimes, To swell your scores of guilt.

Seb. True; if I lived.

Dor. I said so, if you lived.

Seb. For hitherto was fatal ignorance, And no intended crime.

Dor. That you best know; But the malicious world will judge the worst.

Alv. O what a sophister has hell procured, To argue for damnation!

Dor. Peace, old dotard. Mankind, that always judge of kings with malice, Will think he knew this incest, and pursued it. His only way to rectify mistakes, And to redeem her honour, is to die.

Seb. Thou hast it right, my dear, my best Alonzo! And that, but petty reparation too; But all I have to give.

Dor. Your, pardon, sir; You may do more, and ought.

Seb. What, more than death?

Dor. Death! why, that's children's sport; a stage-play death; We act it every night we go to bed. Death, to a man in misery, is sleep. Would you,—who perpetrated such a crime, As frightened nature, made the saints above Shake heavens eternal pavement with their trembling To view that act,—would you but barely die? But stretch your limbs, and turn on t'other side. To lengthen out a black voluptuous slumber, And dream you had your sister in your arms?

Seb. To expiate this, can I do more than die?

Dor. O yes, you must do more, you must be damned; You must be damned to all eternity; And sure self-murder is the readiest way.

Seb. How, damned?

Dor. Why, is that news?

Alv. O horror, horror!

Dor. What, thou a statesman, And make a business of damnation In such a world as this! why, 'tis a trade; The scrivener, usurer, lawyer, shopkeeper, And soldier, cannot live but by damnation. The politician does it by advance, And gives all gone beforehand.

Seb. O thou hast given me such a glimpse of hell, So pushed me forward, even to the brink Of that irremeable burning gulph, That, looking in the abyss, I dare not leap. And now I see what good thou mean'st my soul, And thank thy pious fraud; thou hast indeed Appeared a devil, but didst an angel's work.

Dor. 'Twas the last remedy, to give you leisure; For, if you could but think, I knew you safe.

Seb. I thank thee, my Alonzo; I will live, But never more to Portugal return; For, to go back and reign, that were to show Triumphant incest, and pollute the throne.

Alv. Since ignorance—

Seb. O, palliate not my wound; When you have argued all you can, 'tis incest. No, 'tis resolved: I charge you plead no more; I cannot live without Almeyda's sight, Nor can I see Almeyda, but I sin. Heaven has inspired me with a sacred thought, To live alone to heaven, and die to her.

Dor. Mean you to turn an anchorite?

Seb. What else? The world was once too narrow for my mind, But one poor little nook will serve me now, To hide me from the rest of human kind. Africk has deserts wide enough to hold Millions of monsters; and I am, sure, the greatest.

Alv. You may repent, and wish your crown too late.

Seb. O never, never; I am past a boy: A sceptre's but a plaything, and a globe A bigger bounding stone. He, who can leave Almeyda, may renounce the rest with ease.

Dor. O truly great! A soul fixed high, and capable of heaven. Old as he is, your uncle cardinal Is not so far enamoured of a cloister, But he will thank you for the crown you leave him.

Seb. To please him more, let him believe me dead, That he may never dream I may return. Alonzo, I am now no more thy king, But still thy friend; and by that holy name Adjure thee, to perform my last request;— Make our conditions with yon captive king; Secure me but my solitary cell; 'Tis all I ask him for a crown restored.

Dor. I will do more: But fear not Muley-Zeydan; his soft metal Melts down with easy warmth, runs in the mould, And needs no further forge. [Exit DORAX.

Re-enter ALMEYDA led by MORAYMA, and followed by her Attendants.

Seb. See where she comes again! By heaven, when I behold those beauteous eyes, Repentance lags, and sin comes hurrying on.

Alm. This is too cruel!

Seb. Speak'st thou of love, of fortune, or of death, Or double death? for we must part, Almeyda.

Alm. I speak of all, For all things that belong to us are cruel; But, what's most cruel, we must love no more. O 'tis too much that I must never see you, But not to love you is impossible. No, I must love you; heaven may bate me that, And charge that sinful sympathy of souls Upon our parents, when they loved too well.

Seb. Good heaven, thou speak'st my thoughts, and I speak thine! Nay, then there's incest in our very souls, For we were formed too like.

Alm. Too like indeed, And yet not for each other. Sure when we part, (for I resolved it too, Though you proposed it first,) however distant, We shall be ever thinking of each other, And the same moment for each other pray.

Seb. But if a wish should come athwart our prayers!

Alm. It would do well to curb it, if we could.

Seb. We cannot look upon each other's face, But, when we read our love, we read our guilt: And yet, methinks, I cannot chuse but love.

Aim. I would have asked you, if I durst for shame, If still you loved? you gave it air before me. Ah, why were we not born both of a sex? For then we might have loved without a crime. Why was not I your brother? though that wish Involved our parents' guilt, we had not parted; We had been friends, and friendship is no incest.

Seb. Alas, I know not by what name to call thee! Sister and wife are the two dearest names, And I would call thee both, and both are sin. Unhappy we! that still we must confound The dearest names into a common curse.

Alm. To love, and be beloved, and yet be wretched!

Seb. To have but one poor night of all our lives; It was indeed a glorious, guilty night; So happy, that—forgive me, heaven!—I wish, With all its guilt, it were to come again. Why did we know so soon, or why at all, That sin could be concealed in such a bliss? Alm. Men have a larger privilege of words, Else I should speak; but we must part, Sebastian,— That's all the name that I have left to call thee;— I must not call thee by the name I would; But when I say Sebastian, dear Sebastian, I kiss the name I speak.

Seb. We must make haste, or we shall never part. I would say something that's as dear as this; Nay, would do more than say: One moment longer, And I should break through laws divine and human, And think them cobwebs spread for little man, Which all the bulky herd of nature breaks. The vigorous young world was ignorant Of these restrictions; 'tis decrepit now; Not more devout, but more decayed, and cold.— All this is impious, therefore we must part; For, gazing thus, I kindle at thy sight, And, once burnt down to tinder, light again Much sooner than before.

Re-enter DORAX.

Alm. Here comes the sad denouncer of my fate, To toll the mournful knell of separation; While I, as on my deathbed, hear the sound, That warns me hence for ever.

Seb. [To DOR.] Now be brief, And I will try to listen, And share the minute, that remains, betwixt The care I owe my subjects, and my love.

Dor. Your fate has gratified you all she can; Gives easy misery, and makes exile pleasing. I trusted Muley-Zeydan as a friend, But swore him first to secrecy: He wept Your fortune, and with tears not squeezed by art, But shed from nature, like a kindly shower: In short, he proffered more than I demanded; A safe retreat, a gentle solitude, Unvexed with noise, and undisturbed with fears. I chose you one—

Alm. O do not tell me where; For, if I knew the place of his abode, I should be tempted to pursue his steps, And then we both were lost.

Seb. Even past redemption; For, if I knew thou wert on that design, (As I must know, because our souls are one,) I should not wander, but by sure instinct Should meet thee just half-way in pilgrimage, And close for ever; for I know my love More strong than thine, and I more frail than thou.

Alm. Tell me not that; for I must boast my crime, And cannot bear that thou should'st better love.

Dor. I may inform you both; for you must go, Where seas, and winds, and deserts will divide you. Under the ledge of Atlas lies a cave, Cut in the living rock by Nature's hands, The venerable seat of holy hermits; Who there, secure in separated cells, Sacred even to the Moors, enjoy devotion; And from the purling streams, and savage fruits. Have wholesome beverage, and unbloody feasts.

Seb. 'Tis penance too voluptuous for my crime[11].

Dor. Your subjects, conscious of your life, are few; But all desirous to partake your exile, And to do office to your sacred person. The rest, who think you dead, shall be dismissed. Under safe convoy, till they reach your fleet.

Alm. But how am wretched I to be disposed?— A vain enquiry, since I leave my lord; For all the world beside is banishment.

Dor. I have a sister, abbess in Terceras, Who lost her lover on her bridal day.

Alm. There fate provided me a fellow-turtle, To mingle sighs with sighs, and tears with tears.

Dor. Last, for myself, if I have well fulfilled My sad commission, let me beg the boon, To share the sorrows of your last recess, And mourn the common losses of our loves.

Alv. And what becomes of me? must I be left, As age and time had worn me out of use? These sinews are not yet so much unstrung, To fail me when my master should be served; And when they are, then will I steal to death, Silent and unobserved, to save his tears.

Seb. I've heard you both;—Alvarez, have thy wish;— But thine, Alonzo, thine is too unjust. I charge thee with my last commands, return, And bless thy Violante with thy vows.— Antonio, be thou happy too in thine. Last, let me swear you all to secrecy; And, to conceal my shame, conceal my life.

Dor. Ant. Mor. We swear to keep it secret.

Alm. Now I would speak the last farewell, I cannot. It would be still farewell a thousand times; And, multiplied in echoes, still farewell. I will not speak, but think a thousand thousand. And be thou silent too, my last Sebastian; So let us part in the dumb pomp of grief. My heart's too great, or I would die this moment; But death, I thank him, in an hour, has made A mighty journey, and I haste to meet him. [She staggers, and her Women hold her up.

Seb. Help to support this feeble drooping flower. This tender sweet, so shaken by the storm; For these fond arms must thus be stretched in vain, And never, never must embrace her more. 'Tis past:—my soul goes in that word—farewell. [ALVAREZ goes with SEBASTIAN to one end of the Stage; Women, with ALMEYDA, to the other: DORAX coming up to ANTONIO and MORAYMA, who stand on the middle of the Stage.

Dor. Haste to attend Almeyda:—For your sake Your father is forgiven; but to Antonio He forfeits half his wealth. Be happy both; And let Sebastian and Almeyda's fate This dreadful sentence to the world relate,— That unrepented crimes, of parents dead, Are justly punished on their children's head.

Footnotes: 1. This whimsical account of the Slave-market is probably taken from the following passage in the "Captivity and escape of Adam Elliot, M.A."—"By sun-rising next morning, we were all of us, who came last to Sallee, driven to market, where, the Moors sitting taylor-wise on stalls round about, we were severally run up and down by persons who proclaimed our qualities or trades, and what might best recommend us to the buyer. I had a great black who was appointed to sell me; this fellow, holding me by the hand, coursed me up and down from one person to another, who called upon me at pleasure to examine what trade I was of, and to see what labour my hands had been accustomed to. All the seamen were soon bought up, but it was mid-day ere I could meet with a purchaser."—See A modest Vindication of Titus Oates, London, 1682.

2. The knight much wondered at his sudden wit; And said, The term of life is limited, Ne may a man prolong nor shorten it; The soldier may not move from watchful sted, Nor leave his stand until his captain bed. Fairy Queen, Book i. Canto 9.

3. The same artifice is used in "OEdipus," vol. vi. p. 149. to impress, by a description of the feelings of the unfortunate pair towards each other, a presentiment of their fatal relationship. The prophecy of Nostradamus is also obviously imitated from the response of the Delphic Pythoness to OEdipus.—Ibid. See p. 156.

4. For, interpreter; more usually spelled dragoman.

5. A horrid Moorish punishment. The criminal was precipitated from a high tower upon iron scythes and hooks, which projected from its side. This scene Settle introduces in one of his tragedies.

6. These presages of misfortune may remind the reader of the ominous feelings of the Duke of Guise, in the scene preceding his murder. The superstitious belief, that dejection of spirits, without cause, announces an impending violent death, is simply but well expressed in an old ballad called the "Warning to all Murderers:"

And after this most bad pretence, The gentleman each day Still felt his heart to throb and faint, And sad he was alway.

His sleep was full of dreadful dreams, In bed where he did lie; His heart was heavy in the day, Yet knew no reason why.

And oft as he did sit at meat, His nose most suddenly Would spring and gush out crimson blood, And straight it would be dry.

7. There is great art in rendering the interpretation of this ominous dream so ingeniously doubtful. The latter circumstance, where the Emperor recognises his murderer as a personage in his vision, seems to be borrowed from the story of one of the caliphs, who, before his death, dreamed, that a sable hand and arm shook over his head a handful of red earth, and denounced, that such was the colour of the earth on which he should die. When taken ill on an expedition, he desired to know the colour of the earth on which his tent was pitched. A negro slave presented him with a specimen; and in the black's outstretched arm, bared, from respect, to the elbow, as well as in the colour of the earth, the caliph acknowledged the apparition he had seen in his sleep, and prepared for immediate death.

8. Et quum fata volunt, bina venena juvant.—AUSONIUS.

9. Idiots were anciently wards of the crown; and the custody of their person, and charge of their estate, was often granted to the suit of some favourite, where the extent of the latter rendered it an object of plunder. Hence the common phrase of being begged for a fool.

10. This incident seems to be taken from the following passage in the Continuation of the Adventures of Don Sebastian.

"In Moran, an island some half league from Venice, there is an abbot called Capelo, a gentleman of Venice, a grave personage, and of great authority, hearing that the king laid wait for certain jewels that he had lost, (hoping thereby to recover some of them,) having a diamond in his keeping with the arms of Portugal, came to the town to the conventicles of St Francis, called Frari, where the king lay concealed, for that he was pursued by some that meant him no good, who no sooner beheld the ring, but he said, 'Verily this is mine, and I either lost the same in Flanders, or else it was stolen from me.' And when the king had put it upon his finger, it appeared otherwise engraven than before. The abbot enquiring of him that brought him the ring, how he came by it? he answered, it is true that the king hath said. Hence arose a strange rumour of a ring, that, by turning the stone, you might discern three great letters engraven, S.R.P. as much as to say, Sebastianus Rex Portugallix."—Harl. Mis. vol. v. p. 462.

11. It is said, in the pamphlets alluded to, that Don Sebastian, out of grief and shame for having fought against the advice of his generals, and lost the flower of his army, took the resolution of never returning to his country, but of burying himself in a hermitage; and that he resided for three years as an anchorite, on the top of a mountain in Dalmatia.



Mor. I quaked at heart, for fear the royal fashion Should have seduced us two to separation: To be drawn in, against our own desire, Poor I to be a nun, poor you, a friar.

Ant. I trembled, when the old man's hand was in, He would have proved we were too near of kin: Discovering old intrigues of love, like t'other, } Betwixt my father and thy sinful mother; } To make us sister Turk and Christian brother. }

Mor. Excuse me there; that league should have been rather Betwixt your mother and my Mufti father; 'Tis for my own and my relations' credit, Your friends should bear the bastard, mine should get it.

Ant. Suppose us two, Almeyda and Sebastian, With incest proved upon us—

Mor. Without question, Their conscience was too queazy of digestion.

Ant. Thou wouldst have kept the counsel of thy brother, And sinned, till we repented of each other.

Mor. Beast as you are, on Nature's laws to trample! 'Twere fitter that we followed their example. And, since all marriage in repentance ends, 'Tis good for us to part when we are friends. To save a maid's remorses and confusions, E'en leave me now before we try conclusions.

Ant. To copy their example, first make certain Of one good hour, like theirs, before our parting; Make a debauch, o'er night, of love and madness; And marry, when we wake, in sober sadness.

Mor. I'll follow no new sects of your inventing. One night might cost me nine long months repenting; First wed, and, if you find that life a fetter, Die when you please; the sooner, sir, the better. My wealth would get me love ere I could ask it: Oh! there's a strange temptation in the casket. All these young sharpers would my grace importune, And make me thundering votes of lives and fortune[1].

Footnote: 1. Alluding to the addresses upon the Revolution.

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