Almanz. He much o'er-rates the little I have done. [ALMANZOR goes to the door, and there seems to give out orders, by sending people several ways.
Selin to Ozmyn. Now, to revenge the murder of my son, To morrow for thy certain death prepare; This night I only leave thee to despair.
Ozmyn. Thy idle menaces I do not fear: My business was to die or conquer here. Sister, for you I grieve I could no more: My present state betrays my want of power; But, when true courage is of force bereft, Patience, the only fortitude, is left. [Exit with SELIN.
Almah. Ah, Esperanza, what for me remains But death, or, worse than death, inglorious chains!
Esper. Madam, you must not to despair give place; Heaven never meant misfortune to that face. Suppose there were no justice in your cause, Beauty's a bribe that gives her judges laws. That you are brought to this deplored estate, Is but the ingenious flattery of your fate; Fate fears her succour, like an alms, to give; And would you, God-like, from yourself should live.
Almah. Mark but how terribly his eyes appear! And yet there's something roughly noble there, Which, in unfashioned nature, looks divine, And, like a gem, does in the quarry shine. [ALMANZOR returns; she falls at his feet, being veiled.
Almah. Turn, mighty conqueror, turn your face this way, Do not refuse to hear the wretched pray!
Almanz. What business can this woman have with me?
Almah. That of the afflicted to the Deity. So may your arms success in battle find; So may the mistress of your vows be kind, If you have any; or, if you have none, So may your liberty be still your own!
Almanz. Yes, I will turn my face, but not my mind: You bane and soft destruction of mankind, What would you have with me?
Almah. I beg the grace [Unveiling. You would lay by those terrors of your face. Till calmness to your eyes you first restore, I am afraid, and I can beg no more.
Almanz. [Looking fixedly on her.] Well; my fierce visage shall not murder you. Speak quickly, woman; I have much to do.
Almah. Where should I find the heart to speak one word? Your voice, sir, is as killing as your sword. As you have left the lightning of your eye, So would you please to lay your thunder by.
Almanz. I'm pleased and pained, since first her eyes I saw, As I were stung with some tarantula. Arms, and the dusty field, I less admire, And soften strangely in some new desire; Honour burns in me not so fiercely bright, But pale as fires when mastered by the light: Even while I speak and look, I change yet more, And now am nothing that I was before. I'm numbed, and fixed, and scarce my eye-balls move: I fear it is the lethargy of love! 'Tis he; I feel him now in every part: Like a new lord he vaunts about my heart; Surveys, in state, each corner of my breast, While poor fierce I, that was, am dispossessed. I'm bound; but I will rouse my rage again; And, though no hope of liberty remain, I'll fright my keeper when I shake my chain. You are— [Angrily.
Almah. I know I am your captive, sir.
Almanz. You are—You shall—And I can scarce forbear—
Almanz. 'Tis all in vain; it will not do: [Aside. I cannot now a seeming anger show: My tongue against my heart no aid affords; For love still rises up, and choaks my words.
Almah. In half this time a tempest would be still.
Almanz. 'Tis you have raised that tempest in my will. I wonnot love you; give me back my heart; But give it, as you had it, fierce and brave. It was not made to be a woman's slave, But, lion-like, has been in desarts bred, And, used to range, will ne'er be tamely led. Restore its freedom to my fettered will, And then I shall have power to use you ill.
Almah. My sad condition may your pity move; But look not on me with the eyes of love:— I must be brief, though I have much to say.
Almanz. No, speak; for I can hear you now all day. Her sueing sooths me with a secret pride: [Softly. A suppliant beauty cannot be denied: [Aside. Even while I frown, her charms the furrows seize; And I'm corrupted with the power to please.
Almah. Though in your worth no cause of fear I see, I fear the insolence of victory; As you are noble, sir, protect me then From the rude outrage of insulting men.
Almanz. Who dares touch her I love? I'm all o'er love: Nay, I am love; love shot, and shot so fast, He shot himself into my breast at last.
Almah. You see before you her, who should be queen, Since she is promised to Boabdelin.
Almanz. Are you beloved by him? O wretched fate, First that I love at all; then, loved too late! Yet, I must love!
Almah. Alas, it is in vain; Fate for each other did not us ordain. The chances of this day too clearly show That heaven took care that it should not be so.
Almanz. Would heaven had quite forgot me this one day! But fate's yet hot— I'll make it take a bent another way. [He walks swiftly and discomposedly, studying. I bring a claim which does his right remove; You're his by promise, but you're mine by love. 'Tis all but ceremony which is past; The knot's to tie which is to make you fast. Fate gave not to Boabdelin that power; He wooed you but as my ambassador.
Almah. Our souls are tied by holy vows above.
Almanz. He signed but his: but I will seal my love. I love you better, with more zeal than he.
Almah. This day I gave my faith to him, he his to me.
Almanz. Good heaven, thy book of fate before me lay, But to tear out the journal of this day: Or, if the order of the world below Will not the gap of one whole day allow, Give me that minute when she made her vow! That minute, ev'n the happy from their bliss might give; And those, who live in grief, a shorter time would live. So small a link, if broke, the eternal chain Would, like divided waters, join again.— It wonnot be; the fugitive is gone, Prest by the crowd of following minutes on: That precious moment's out of nature fled, And in the heap of common rubbish laid, Of things that once have been, and are decayed.
Almah. Your passion, like a fright, suspends my pain; It meets, o'erpowers, and beats mine back again: But as, when tides against the current flow, The native stream runs its own course below, So, though your griefs possess the upper part, My own have deeper channels in my heart.
Almanz. Forgive that fury which my soul does move; 'Tis the essay of an untaught first love: Yet rude, unfashioned truth it does express; 'Tis love just peeping in a hasty dress. Retire, fair creature, to your needful rest; There's something noble labouring in my breast: This raging fire, which through the mass does move, Shall purge my dross, and shall refine my love. [Exeunt ALMAHIDE and ESPERANZA. She goes, and I like my own ghost appear; It is not living when she is not here.
To him ABDALLA as King, attended.
Abdal. My first acknowledgments to heaven are due; My next, Almanzor, let me pay to you.
Almanz. A poor surprise, and on a naked foe, Whatever you confess, is all you owe; And I no merit own, or understand That fortune did you justice by my hand: Yet, if you will that little service pay With a great favour, I can shew the way.
Abdal. I have a favour to demand of you; That is, to take the thing for which you sue.
Almanz. Then, briefly, thus: when I the Albayzyn won, I found the beauteous Almahide alone, Whose sad condition did my pity move; And that compassion did produce my love.
Abdal. This needs no suit; in justice, I declare. She is your captive by the right of war.
Almanz. She is no captive then; I set her free; And, rather than I will her jailor be, I'll nobly lose her in her liberty.
Abdal. Your generosity I much approve; But your excess of that shows want of love.
Almanz. No, 'tis the excess of love which mounts so high, That, seen far off, it lessens to the eye. Had I not loved her, and had set her free, That, sir, had been my generosity; But 'tis exalted passion, when I show I dare be wretched, not to make her so: And, while another passion fills her breast, I'll be all wretched rather than half blest.
Abdal. May your heroic act so prosperous be, That Almahide may sigh you set her free.
Zul. Of five tall towers which fortify this town, All but the Alhambra your dominion own: Now, therefore, boldly I confess a flame, Which is excused in Almahide's name. If you the merit of this night regard, In her possession I have my reward.
Almanz. She your reward! why, she's a gift so great, That I myself have not deserved her yet; And therefore, though I won her with my sword, I have, with awe, my sacrilege restored.
Zul. What you deserve I'll not dispute, because I do not know; This only I will say, she shall not go.
Almanz. Thou, single, art not worth my answering: But take what friends, what armies thou canst bring; What worlds; and, when you are united all, Then will I thunder in your ears,—She shall.
Zul. I'll not one tittle of my right resign.— Sir, your implicit promise made her mine; When I, in general terms, my love did show, You swore our fortunes should together go.
Abdal. The merits of the cause I'll not decide, But, like my love, I would my gift divide. Your equal titles then no longer plead; But one of you, for love of me, recede.
Almanz. I have receded to the utmost line, When, by my free consent, she is not mine: Then let him equally recede with me, And both of us will join to set her free.
Zul. If you will free your part of her, you may; But, sir, I love not your romantic way. Dream on, enjoy her soul, and set that free; I'm pleased her person should be left for me.
Almanz. Thou shalt not wish her thine; thou shalt not dare To be so impudent, as to despair.
Zul. The Zegrys, sir, are all concerned to see How much their merit you neglect in me.
Hamet. Your slighting Zulema, this very hour Will take ten thousand subjects from your power.
Almanz. What are ten thousand subjects such as they? If I am scorned—I'll take myself away.
Abdal. Since both cannot possess what both pursue, I grieve, my friend, the chance should fall on you; But when you hear what reason I can urge—
Almanz. None, none that your ingratitude can purge. Reason's a trick, when it no grant affords; It stamps the face of majesty on words.
Abdal. Your boldness to your services I give: Now take it, as your full reward,—to live.
Almanz. To live! If from thy hands alone my death can be, I am immortal, and a god to thee. If I would kill thee now, thy fate's so low, That I must stoop ere I can give the blow: But mine is fixed so far above thy crown, That all thy men, Piled on thy back, can never pull it down: But, at my ease, thy destiny I send, By ceasing from this hour to be thy friend. Like heaven, I need but only to stand still. And, not concurring to thy life, I kill. Thou canst no title to my duty bring; I'm not thy subject, and my soul's thy king. Farewell. When I am gone, There's not a star of thine dare stay with thee: I'll whistle thy tame fortune after me; And whirl fate with me wheresoe'er I fly, As winds drive storms before them in the sky. [Exit.
Zul. Let not this insolent unpunished go; Give your commands; your justice is too slow. [ZULEMA, HAMET, and others are going after him.
Abdal. Stay, and what part he pleases let him take: I know my throne's too strong for him to shake. But my fair mistress I too long forget; The crown I promised is not offered yet. Without her presence all my joys are vain, Empire a curse, and life itself a pain. [Exeunt.
ACT IV. SCENE I.
Enter BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, and Guards.
Boab. Advise, or aid, but do not pity me: No monarch born can fall to that degree. Pity descends from kings to all below; But can, no more than fountains, upward flow. Witness, just heaven, my greatest grief has been, I could not make your Almahide a queen.
Aben. I have too long the effects of fortune known, Either to trust her smiles, or fear her frown. Since in their first attempt you were not slain, Your safety bodes you yet a second reign. The people like a headlong torrent go, And ev'ry dam they break, or overflow; But, unopposed, they either lose their force, Or wind, in volumes, to their former course.
Boab. In walls we meanly must our hopes inclose, To wait our friends, and weary out our foes: While Almahide To lawless rebels is exposed a prey, And forced the lustful victor to obey.
Aben. One of my blood, in rules of virtue bred! Think better of her, and believe she's dead.
Boab. We are betrayed, the enemy is here; We have no farther room to hope or fear.
Almanz. It is indeed Almanzor whom you see, But he no longer is your enemy. You were ungrateful, but your foes were more; What your injustice lost you, theirs restore. Make profit of my vengeance while you may, My two-edged sword can cut the other way.— I am your fortune, but am swift like her, And turn my hairy front if you defer: That hour, when you deliberate, is too late; I point you the white moment of your fate.
Aben. Believe him sent as prince Abdalla's spy; He would betray us to the enemy.
Almanz, Were I, like thee, in cheats of state grown old, (Those public markets, where, for foreign gold, The poorest prince is to the richest sold) Then thou mightst think me fit for that low part; But I am yet to learn the statesman's art. My kindness and my hate unmasked I wear; For friends to trust, and enemies to fear. My heart's so plain, That men on every passing through may look, Like fishes gliding in a crystal brook; When troubled most, it does the bottom shew, 'Tis weedless all above, and rockless all below.
Aben. Ere he be trusted, let him then be tried; He may be false, who once has changed his side.
Almanz. In that you more accuse yourselves than me; None who are injured can inconstant be. You were inconstant, you, who did the wrong; To do me justice does to me belong. Great souls by kindness only can be tied; Injured again, again I'll leave your side. Honour is what myself, and friends, I owe; And none can lose it who forsake a foe. Since, then, your foes now happen to be mine, Though not in friendship, we'll in interest join: So while my loved revenge is full and high, I'll give you back your kingdom by the by.
Boab. That I so long delayed what you desire, [Embracing him. Was, not to doubt your worth, but to admire.
Almanz. This counsellor an old man's caution shows, Who fears that little, he has left, to lose: Age sets a fortune; while youth boldly throws. But let us first your drooping soldiers cheer; Then seek out danger, ere it dare appear: This hour I fix your crown upon your brow; Next hour fate gives it, but I give it now. [Exeunt.
Lyndar. O, could I read the dark decrees of fate, That I might once know whom to love, or hate! For I myself scarce my own thoughts can guess, So much I find them varied by success. As in some weather-glass, my love I hold; Which falls or rises with the heat or cold.— I will be constant yet, if fortune can; I love the king,—let her but name the man.
Hal. Madam, a gentleman, to me unknown, Desires that he may speak with you alone.
Lyndar. Some message from the king.—Let him appear.
Enter ABDELMELECH; who throws off his disguise.—She starts.
Abdelm. I see you are amazed that I am here: But let at once your fear and wonder end. In the usurper's guards I found a friend, Who led me safe to you in this disguise.
Lyndar. Your danger brings this trouble in my eyes.— But what affair this 'venturous visit drew?
Abdelm. The greatest in the world,—the seeing you.
Lyndar. The courage of your love I so admire, That, to preserve you, you shall straight retire. [She leads him to the door. Go, dear! each minute does new dangers bring; You will be taken, I expect the king.
Abdelm. The king!—the poor usurper of an hour: His empire's but a dream of kingly power.— I warn you, as a lover and a friend, To leave him, ere his short dominion end: The soldier I suborned will wait at night, And shall alone be conscious of your flight.
Lyndar. I thank you, that you so much care bestow; But, if his reign be short, I need not go. For why should I expose my life, and yours, For what, you say, a little time assures?
Abdelm, My danger in the attempt is very small; And, if he loves you, yours is none at all. But, though his ruin be as sure as fate, Your proof of love to me would come too late. This trial I in kindness would allow; 'Tis easy; if you love me, show it now.
Lyndar. It is because I love you, I refuse; For all the world my conduct would accuse, If I should go with him I love away; And, therefore, in strict virtue, I will stay.
Abdelm. You would in vain dissemble love to me; Through that thin veil your artifice I see. You would expect the event, and then declare; But do not, do not drive me to despair: For, if you now refuse with me to fly, Rather than love you after this, I'll die; And, therefore, weigh it well before you speak; My king is safe, his force within not weak.
Lyndar. The counsel, you have given me, may be wise; But, since the affair is great, I will advise.
Abdelm. Then that delay I for denial take. [Is going.
Lyndar. Stay; you too swift an exposition make. If I should go, since Zulema will stay, I should my brother to the king betray.
Abdelm. There is no fear; but, if there were, I see You value still your brother more than me.— Farewell! some ease I in your falsehood find; It lets a beam in, that will clear my mind: My former weakness I with shame confess, And, when I see you next, shall love you less. [Is going again.
Lyndar. Your faithless dealings you may blush to tell: [Weeping. This is a maid's reward, who loves too well.— [He looks back. Remember that I drew my latest breath, In charging your unkindness with my death.
Abdelm. [coming back] Have I not answered all you can invent, Even the least shadow of an argument?
Lyndar. You want not cunning what you please to prove, But my poor heart knows only how to love; And, finding this, you tyrannize the more: 'Tis plain, some other mistress you adore; And now, with studied tricks of subtlety, You come prepared to lay the fault on me. [Wringing her hands. But, oh, that I should love so false a man!
Abdelm. Hear me, and then disprove it, if you can.
Lyndar. I'll hear no more; your breach of faith is plain: You would with wit your want of love maintain. But, by my own experience, I can tell, They, who love truly, cannot argue well.— Go faithless man! Leave me alone to mourn my misery; I cannot cease to love you, but I'll die. [Leans her head on his arm.
Abdelm. What man but I so long unmoved could hear [Weeping. Such tender passion, and refuse a tear!— But do not talk of dying any more, Unless you mean that I should die before.
Lyndar. I fear your feigned repentance comes too late; I die, to see you still thus obstinate: But yet, in death my truth of love to show, Lead me; if I have strength enough, I'll go.
Abdelm. By heaven, you shall not go! I will not be O'ercome in love or generosity. All I desire, to end the unlucky strife, Is but a vow, that you will be my wife.
Lyndar. To tie me to you by a vow is hard; It shows, my love you as no tie regard.— Name any thing but that, and I'll agree.
Abdelm. Swear, then, you never will my rival's be.
Lyndar. Nay, pr'ythee, this is harder than before.— Name any thing, good dear, but that thing more.
Abdelm. Now I too late perceive I am undone; Living and seeing, to my death I run. I know you false, yet in your snares I fall; You grant me nothing, and I grant you all.
Lyndar. I would grant all; but I must curb my will, Because I love to keep you jealous still. In your suspicion I your passion find; But I will take a time to cure your mind.
Halyma. O, madam, the new king is drawing near!
Lyndar. Haste quickly hence, lest he should find you here!
Abdelm. How much more wretched than I came, I go! I more my weakness and your falsehood know; And now must leave you with my greatest foe! [Exit ABDELM.
Lyndar. Go!—How I love thee heaven can only tell: And yet I love thee, for a subject, well.— Yet whatsoever charms a crown can bring, A subject's greater than a little king. I will attend till time this throne secure; And, when I climb, my footing shall be sure.— [Music without. Music! and, I believe, addressed to me.
Wherever I am, and whatever I do, My Phyllis is still in my mind; When angry, I mean not to Phyllis to go, My feet, of themselves, the way find: Unknown to myself I am just at her door, And, when I would rail, I can bring out no more Than, Phyllis too fair and unkind!
When Phyllis I see, my heart bounds in my breast, And the love I would stifle is shown; But asleep, or awake, I am never at rest, When from my eyes Phyllis is gone. Sometimes a sad dream does delude my sad mind; But, alas! when I wake, and no Phyllis I find, How I sigh to myself all alone!
Should a king be my rival in her I adore, He should offer his treasure in vain: O, let me alone to be happy and poor, And give me my Phyllis again! Let Phyllis be mine, and but ever be kind, I could to a desart with her be confined, And envy no monarch his reign.
Alas! I discover too much of my love, And she too well knows her own power! She makes me each day a new martyrdom prove, And makes me grow jealous each hour: But let her each minute torment my poor mind, I had rather love Phyllis, both false and unkind. Than ever be freed from her power.
Enter ABDALLA, with guards.
Abdal. Now, madam, at your feet a king you see; Or, rather, if you please, a sceptered slave: 'Tis just you should possess the power you gave. Had love not made me yours, I yet had been But the first subject to Boabdelin. Thus heaven declares the crown I bring your due; And had forgot my title, but for you.
Lyndar. Heaven to your merits will, I hope, be kind; But, sir, it has not yet declared its mind. 'Tis true, it holds the crown above your head; But does not fix it 'till your brother's dead.
Abdal. All, but the Alhambra, is within my power; And that my forces go to take this hour.
Lyndar. When, with its keys, your brother's head you bring, I shall believe you are indeed a king.
Abdal. But since the events of all things doubtful are, And, of events, most doubtful those of war; I beg to know before, if fortune frown, Must I then lose your favour with my crown?
Lyndar. You'll soon return a conqueror again; And, therefore, sir, your question is in vain.
Abdul. I think to certain victory I move; But you may more assure it, by your love. That grant will make my arms invincible.
Lyndar. My prayers and wishes your success foretell.— Go then, and fight, and think you fight for me; I wait but to reward your victory.
Abdal. But if I lose it, must I lose you too?
Lyndar. You are too curious, if you more would know. I know not what my future thoughts will be: Poor women's thoughts are all extempore. Wise men, indeed, Beforehand a long chain of thoughts produce; But ours are only for our present use.
Abdal. Those thoughts, you will not know, too well declare. You mean to wait the final doom of war.
Lyndar. I find you come to quarrel with me now; Would you know more of me than I allow? Whence are you grown that great divinity, That with such ease into my thoughts can pry? Indulgence does not with some tempers suit; I see I must become more absolute.
Abdal. I must submit, On what hard terms soe'er my peace be bought.
Lyndar. Submit!—you speak as you were not in fault.— 'Tis evident the injury is mine; For why should you my secret thoughts divine?
Abdal. Yet if we might be judged by reason's laws—
Lyndar. Then you would have your reason judge my cause!— Either confess your fault, or hold your tongue; For I am sure I'm never in the wrong.
Abdal. Then I acknowledge it.
Lyndar. Then I forgive.
Abdal. Under how hard a law poor lovers live! Who, like the vanquished, must their right release, And with the loss of reason buy their peace.— [Aside. Madam, to show that you my power command, I put my life and safety in your hand:— Dispose of the Albayzyn as you please, To your fair hands I here resign the keys.
Lyndar. I take your gift, because your love it shows, And faithful Selin for alcade chuse.
Abdal. Selin, from her alone your orders take.— This one request, yet, madam, let me make, That, from those turrets, you the assault will see; And crown, once more, my arms with victory. [Exeunt, leading her out. [SELIN remains with GAZUL and REDUAN, his servants.
Selin. Gazul, go tell my daughter that I wait— You Reduan, bring the prisoner to his fate. [Exeunt GAZ. and RED. Ere of my charge I will possession take, A bloody sacrifice I mean to make: The manes of my son shall smile this day, While I, in blood, my vows of vengeance pay.
Enter at one door BENZAYDA, with GAZUL; at the other, OZMYN bound, with REDUAN.
Selin. I sent, Benzayda, to glad your eyes: These rites we owe your brother's obsequies.— You two [To GAZ. and RED.] the cursed Abencerrago bind: You need no more to instruct you in my mind. [They bind him to a corner of the stage.
Benz. In what sad object am I called to share? Tell me, what is it, sir, you here prepare?
Selin. 'Tis what your dying brother did bequeath; A scene of vengeance, and a pomp of death!
Benz. The horrid spectacle my soul does fright: I want the heart to see the dismal sight.
Selin. You are my principal invited guest, Whose eyes I would not only feed, but feast: You are to smile at his last groaning breath, And laugh to see his eye-balls roll in death; To judge the lingering soul's convulsive strife, When thick short breath catches at parting life.
Benz. And of what marble do you think me made?
Selin. What! can you be of just revenge afraid?
Benz. He killed my brother in his own defence. Pity his youth, and spare his innocence.
Selin. Art thou so soon to pardon murder won? Can he be innocent, who killed my son? Abenamar shall mourn as well as I; His Ozmyn, for my Tarifa, shall die. But since thou plead'st so boldly, I will see That justice, thou would'st hinder, done by thee. Here, [Gives her his sword.] take the sword, and do a sister's part: Pierce his, fond girl, or I will pierce thy heart.
Ozm. To his commands I join my own request; All wounds from you are welcome to my breast: Think only, when your hand this act has done, It has but finished what your eyes begun. I thought, with silence, to have scorned my doom; But now your noble pity has o'ercome; Which I acknowledge with my latest breath,— The first whoe'er began a love in death.
Benz. to Selin. Alas, what aid can my weak hand afford? You see I tremble when I touch a sword: The brightness dazzles me, and turns my sight; Or, if I look, 'tis but to aim less right.
Ozm. I'll guide the hand which must my death convey; My leaping heart shall meet it half the way.
Selin to Benz. Waste not the precious time in idle breath.
Benz. Let me resign this instrument of death. [Giving the sword to her father, and then pulling it back. Ah, no! I was too hasty to resign: 'Tis in your hand more mortal than in mine.
Hamet. The king is from the Alhambra beaten back, And now preparing for a new attack; To favour which, he wills, that instantly You reinforce him with a new supply.
Selin to Benz. Think not, although my duty calls me hence, That with the breach of yours I will dispense. Ere my return, see my commands you do: Let me find Ozmyn dead, and killed by you.— Gazul and Reduan, attend her still; And, if she dares to fail, perform my will. [Exeunt SELIN and HAMET. [BENZAYDA looks languishing on him, with her sword down; GAZUL and REDUAN standing with drawn swords by her.
Ozm. Defer not, fair Benzayda, my death: Looking on you, I should but live to sigh away my breath. My eyes have done the work they had to do: I take your image with me, which they drew; And, when they close, I shall die full of you.
Benz. When parents their commands unjustly lay, Children are privileged to disobey; Yet from that breach of duty I am clear, Since I submit the penalty to bear. To die, or kill you, is the alternative; Rather than take your life, I will not live.
Ozm. This shows the excess of generosity; But, madam, you have no pretence to die. I should defame the Abencerrages race, To let a lady suffer in my place. But neither could that life, you would bestow, Save mine; nor do you so much pity owe To me, a stranger, and your house's foe.
Benz. From whencesoe'er their hate our houses drew, I blush to tell you, I have none for you. 'Tis a confession which I should not make, Had I more time to give, or you to take: But, since death's near, and runs with so much force, We must meet first, and intercept his course.
Ozm. Oh, how unkind a comfort do you give! Now I fear death again, and wish to live. Life were worth taking, could I have it now; But 'tis more good than heaven can e'er allow To one man's portion, to have life and you.
Benz. Sure, at our births, Death with our meeting planets danced above, Or we were wounded by a mourning love!— [Shouts within.
Red. The noise returns, and doubles from behind; It seems as if two adverse armies joined.— Time presses us.
Gaz. If longer you delay, We must, though loth, your father's will obey.
Ozm. Haste, madam, to fulfil his hard commands. And rescue me from their ignoble hands. Let me kiss yours, when you my wound begin, Then easy death will slide with pleasure in.
Benz. Ah, gentle soldiers, some short time allow! [To GAZ. and RED. My father has repented him ere now; Or will repent him, when he finds me dead. My clue of life is twined with Ozmyn's thread.
Red. 'Tis fatal to refuse her, or obey.— But where is our excuse? what can we say?
Benz. Say any thing. Say, that to kill the guiltless you were loth; Or if you did, say, I would kill you both.
Gaz. To disobey our orders is to die.— I'll do't,—who dares oppose it?
Red. That dare I. [REDUAN stands before OZMYN, and fights with GAZUL. BENZAYDA unbinds OZMYN, and gives him her sword.
Benz. Stay not to see the issue of the fight; [RED. kills GAZ. But haste to save yourself by speedy flight. [OZMYN kneels to kiss her hand.
Ozm. Did all mankind against my life conspire. Without this blessing I would not retire.— But madam, can I go and leave you here? Your father's anger now for you I fear: Consider you have done too much to stay.
Benz. Think not of me, but fly yourself away.
Red. Haste quickly hence; the enemies are nigh! From every part I see the soldiers fly. The foes not only our assailants beat, But fiercely sally out on their retreat, And, like a sea broke loose, come on amain.
Enter ABENAMAR, and a party with their swords drawn, driving in some of the enemies.
Aben. Traitors, you hope to save yourselves in vain!— Your forfeit lives shall for your treason pay; And Ozmyn's blood shall be revenged this day.
Ozm. No, sir, your Ozmyn lives; and lives to own [Kneeling to his father. A father's piety to free his son.
Aben. My Ozmyn!—O, thou blessing of my age! [Embracing him. And art thou safe from their deluded rage!— Whom must I praise for thy deliverance? Was it thy valour, or the work of chance?
Ozm. Nor chance, nor valour, could deliver me; But 'twas a noble pity set me free.— My liberty, and life, And what your happiness you're pleased to call, We to this charming beauty owe it all.
Aben. Instruct me, visible divinity!— [To her. Instruct me by what name to worship thee! For to thy virtue I would altars raise, Since thou art much above all human praise. But see,—
Enter ALMANZOR, his sword bloody, leading in ALMAHIDE attended by ESPERANZA.
My other blessing, Almahide, is here!— I'll to the king, and tell him she is near: You, Ozmyn, on your fair deliverer wait, And with your private joys the public celebrate. [Exeunt ABEN. OZM. and BENZ.
Almanz. The work is done; now, madam, you are free; At least, if I can give you liberty: But you have chains which you yourself have chose; And, O, that I could free you too from those! But you are free from force, and have full power To go, and kill my hopes and me, this hour.— I see, then, you will go; but yet my toil May he rewarded with a looking while.
Almah. Almanzor can from every subject raise New matter for our wonder and his praise. You bound and freed me; but the difference is, That showed your valour; but your virtue this.
Almanz. Madam, you praise a funeral victory, At whose sad pomp the conqueror must die.
Almah. Conquest attends Almanzor every where; I am too small a foe for him to fear: But heroes still must be opposed by some, Or they would want occasion to o'ercome.
Almanz. Madam, I cannot on bare praises live: Those, who abound in praises, seldom give.
Almah. While I to all the world your worth make known, May heaven reward the pity you have shown!
Almanz. My love is languishing, and starved to death; And would you give me charity—in breath? Prayers are the alms of churchmen to the poor: They send's to heaven, but drive us from their door.
Almah. Cease, cease a suit So vain to you, and troublesome to me, If you will have me think that I am free. If I am yet a slave, my bonds I'll bear; But what I cannot grant, I will not hear.
Almanz. You will not hear!—You must both hear and grant; For, madam, there's an impudence in want.
Almah. Your way is somewhat strange to ask relief You ask with threatening, like a begging thief.— Once more, Almanzor, tell me, am I free?
Almanz. Madam, you are, from all the world,—but me!— But as a pirate, when he frees the prize He took from friends, sees the rich merchandize, And, after he has freed it, justly buys; So, when I have restored your liberty— But then, alas, I am too poor to buy!
Almah. Nay, now you use me just as pirates do: You free me; but expect a ransom too.
Almanz. You've all the freedom that a prince can have; But greatness cannot be without a slave. A monarch never can in private move, But still is haunted with officious love. So small an inconvenience you may bear; 'Tis all the fine fate sets upon the fair.
Almah. Yet princes may retire, whene'er they please, And breathe free air from out their palaces: They go sometimes unknown, to shun their state; And then, 'tis manners not to know or wait.
Almanz. If not a subject then, a ghost I'll be; And from a ghost, you know, no place is free. Asleep, awake, I'll haunt you every where; From my white shroud groan love into your ear: When in your lover's arms you sleep at night, I'll glide in cold betwixt, and seize my right: And is't not better, in your nuptial bed, To have a living lover than a dead?
Almah. I can no longer bear to be accused, As if what I could grant you, I refused. My father's choice I never will dispute; And he has chosen ere you moved your suit. You know my case; if equal you can be, Plead for yourself, and answer it for me.
Almanz. Then, madam, in that hope you bid me live; I ask no more than you may justly give: But in strict justice there may favour be, And may I hope that you have that for me?
Almah. Why do you thus my secret thoughts pursue, Which, known, hurt me, and cannot profit you? Your knowledge but new troubles does prepare, Like theirs who curious in their fortunes are. To say, I could with more content be yours, Tempts you to hope; but not that hope assures. For since the king has right, And favoured by my father in his suit, It is a blossom which can bear no fruit. Yet, if you dare attempt so hard a task, May you succeed; you have my leave to ask.
Almanz. I can with courage now my hopes pursue, Since I no longer have to combat you. That did the greatest difficulty bring; The rest are small, a father and a king!
Almah. Great souls discern not when the leap's too wide, Because they only view the farther side. Whatever you desire, you think is near; But, with more reason, the event I fear.
Almanz. No; there is a necessity in fate, Why still the brave bold man is fortunate: He keeps his object ever full in sight, And that assurance holds him firm and right. True, 'tis a narrow path that leads to bliss, But right before there is no precipice: Fear makes men look aside, and then their footing miss.
Almah. I do your merit all the right I can; Admiring virtue in a private man: I only wish the king may grateful be, And that my father with my eyes may see. Might I not make it as my last request,— Since humble carriage suits a suppliant best,— That you would somewhat of your fierceness hide— That inborn fire—I do not call it pride?
Almanz. Born, as I am, still to command, not sue, Yet you shall see that I can beg for you; And if your father will require a crown, Let him but name the kingdom, 'tis his own. I am, but while I please, a private man; I have that soul which empires first began. From the dull crowd, which every king does lead, I will pick out whom I will chuse to head: The best and bravest souls I can select, And on their conquered necks my throne erect. [Exeunt.
ACT V. SCENE I.
ABDALLA alone, under the walls of the Albayzyn.
Abdal. While she is mine, I have not yet lost all, But in her arms shall have a gentle fall: Blest in my love, although in war o'ercome, I fly, like Antony from Actium, To meet a better Cleopatra here.— You of the watch! you of the watch! appear.
Sold. [above.] Who calls below? What's your demand?
Abdal. 'Tis I: Open the gate with speed; the foe is nigh.
Sold. What orders for admittance do you bring?
Abdal. Slave, my own orders; look, and know the king.
Sold. I know you; but my charge is so severe, That none, without exception, enter here.
Abdal. Traitor, and rebel! thou shalt shortly see Thy orders are not to extend to me.
Lyndar. [above.] What saucy slave so rudely does exclaim, And brands my subject with a rebel's name?
Abdal. Dear Lyndaraxa, haste; the foes pursue.
Lyndar. My lord, the Prince Abdalla, is it you? I scarcely can believe the words I hear; Could you so coarsely treat my officer?
Abdal. He forced me; but the danger nearer draws: When I am entered, you shall know the cause.
Lyndar. Entered! Why, have you any business here?
Abdal. I am pursued, the enemy is near.
Lyndar. Are you pursued, and do you thus delay To save yourself? Make haste, my lord, away.
Abdal. Give me not cause to think you mock my grief: What place have I, but this, for my relief?
Lyndar. This favour does your handmaid much oblige, But we are not provided for a siege: My subjects few; and their provision thin; The foe is strong without, we weak within. This to my noble lord may seem unkind, But he will weigh it in his princely mind; And pardon her, who does assurance want So much, she blushes when she cannot grant.
Abdal. Yes, you may blush; and you have cause to weep. Is this the faith you promised me to keep? Ah yet, if to a lover you will bring No succour, give your succour to a king.
Lyndar. A king is he, whom nothing can withstand; Who men and money can with ease command. A king is he, whom fortune still does bless; He is a king, who does a crown possess. If you would have me think that you are he, Produce to view your marks of sovereignty; But if yourself alone for proof you bring, You are but a single person, not a king.
Abdal. Ungrateful maid, did I for this rebel? I say no more; but I have loved too well.
Lyndar. Who but yourself did that rebellion move: Did I e'er promise to receive your love? Is it my fault you are not fortunate? I love a king, but a poor rebel hate.
Abdal. Who follow fortune, still are in the right; But let me be protected here this night.
Lyndar. The place to-morrow will be circled round; And then no way will for your flight be found.
Abdal. I hear my enemies just coming on; [Trampling within. Protect me but one hour, till they are gone.
Lyndar. They'll know you have been here; it cannot be; That very hour you stay, will ruin me: For if the foe behold our interview, I shall be thought a rebel too, like you. Haste hence; and, that your flight may prosperous prove, I'll recommend you to the powers above. [Exit LYND. from above.
Abdal. She's gone: Ah, faithless and ungrateful maid!— I hear some tread; and fear I am betrayed. I'll to the Spanish king; and try if he, To countenance his own right, will succour me: There is more faith in Christian dogs, than thee. [Exit.
Enter OZMYN, BENZAYDA, and ABENAMAR.
Benz. I wish (To merit all these thanks) I could have said, My pity only did his virtue aid; 'Twas pity, but 'twas of a love-sick maid. His manly suffering my esteem did move; That bred compassion, and compassion love.
Ozm. O blessing sold me at too cheap a rate! My danger was the benefit of fate. [To his father. But that you may my fair deliverer know, She was not only born our house's foe, But to my death by powerful reasons led; At least, in justice, she might wish me dead.
Aben. But why thus long do you her name conceal?
Ozm. To gain belief for what I now reveal: Even thus prepared, you scarce can think it true, The saver of my life from Selin drew Her birth; and was his sister whom I slew.
Aben. No more; it cannot, was not, must not be: Upon my blessing, say not it was she. The daughter of the only man I hate! Two contradictions twisted in a fate!
Ozm. The mutual hate, which you and Selin bore, Does but exalt her generous pity more. Could she a brother's death forgive to me, And cannot you forget her family? Can you so ill requite the life I owe, To reckon her, who gave it, still your foe? It lends too great a lustre to her line, To let her virtue ours so much out-shine.
Aben. Thou gav'st her line the advantage which they have, By meanly taking of the life they gave. Grant that it did in her a pity shew; But would my son be pitied by a foe? She has the glory of thy act defaced: Thou kill'dst her brother; but she triumphs last: Poorly for us our enmity would cease; When we are beaten, we receive a peace.
Benz. If that be all in which you disagree, I must confess 'twas Ozmyn conquered me. Had I beheld him basely beg his life, I should not now submit to be his wife; But when I saw his courage death controul, I paid a secret homage to his soul; And thought my cruel father much to blame, Since Ozmyn's virtue his revenge did shame.
Aben. What constancy can'st thou e'er hope to find In that unstable, and soon conquered mind? What piety can'st thou expect from her, Who could forgive a brother's murderer? Or, what obedience hop'st thou to be paid, From one who first her father disobeyed?
Ozm. Nature, that bids us parents to obey, Bids parents their commands by reason weigh; And you her virtue by your praise did own, Before you knew by whom the act was done.
Aben. Your reasons speak too much of insolence; Her birth's a crime past pardon or defence. Know, that as Selin was not won by thee, Neither will I by Selin's daughter be. Leave her, or cease henceforth to be my son: This is my will; and this I will have done. [Exit ABEN.
Ozm. It is a murdering will, That whirls along with an impetuous sway, And, like chain-shot, sweeps all things in its way. He does my honour want of duty call; To that, and love, he has no right at all.
Benz. No, Ozmyn, no; it is a much less ill To leave me, than dispute a father's will: If I had any title to your love, Your father's greater right does mine remove: Your vows and faith I give you back again, Since neither can be kept without a sin.
Ozm. Nothing but death my vows can give me back: They are not yours to give, nor mine to take.
Benz. Nay, think not, though I could your vows resign, My love or virtue could dispense with mine. I would extinguish your unlucky fire, To make you happy in some new desire: I can preserve enough for me and you, And love, and be unfortunate, for two.
Ozm. In all that's good and great You vanquish me so fast, that in the end I shall have nothing left me to defend. From every post you force me to remove; But let me keep my last entrenchment, love.
Benz. Love then, my Ozmyn; I will be content [Giving her hand. To make you wretched by your own consent: Live poor, despised, and banished for my sake, And all the burden of my sorrows take; For, as for me, in whatsoe'er estate, While I have you, I must be fortunate.
Ozm. Thus then, secured of what we hold most dear, (Each other's love) we'll go—I know not where. For where, alas, should we our flight begin? The foe's without; our parents are within.
Benz. I'll fly to you, and you shall fly to me; Our flight but to each other's arms shall be. To providence and chance permit the rest; Let us but love enough, and we are blest. [Exeunt.
Enter BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, ABDELMELECH, Guards: ZULEMA and HAMET, Prisoners.
Abdelm. They are Lyndaraxa's brothers; for her sake, Their lives and pardon my request I make.
Boab. Then, Zulema and Hamet, live; but know, Your lives to Abdelmelech's suit you owe.
Zul. The grace received so much my hope exceeds, That words come weak and short to answer deeds. You've made a venture, sir, and time must shew, If this great mercy you did well bestow.
Boab. You, Abdelmelech, haste before 'tis night, And close pursue my brother in his flight. [Exeunt ABDELMELECH, ZULEMA, and HAMET.
Enter ALMANZOR, ALMAHIDE, and ESPERANZA.
But see, with Almahide The brave Almanzor comes, whose conquering sword The crown, it once took from me, has restored. How can I recompence so great desert!
Almanz. I bring you, sir, performed in every part, My promise made; your foes are fled or slain; Without a rival, absolute you reign. Yet though, in justice, this enough may be, It is too little to be done by me: I beg to go, Where my own courage and your fortune calls, To chase these misbelievers from our walls. I cannot breathe within this narrow space; My heart's too big, and swells beyond the place.
Boab. You can perform, brave warrior, what you please; Fate listens to your voice, and then decrees. Now I no longer fear the Spanish powers; Already we are free, and conquerors.
Almanz. Accept, great king, to-morrow, from my hand, The captive head of conquered Ferdinand. You shall not only what you lost regain, But o'er the Biscayan mountains to the main, Extend your sway, where never Moor did reign.
Aben. What, in another, vanity would seem, Appears but noble confidence in him; No haughty boasting, but a manly pride; A soul too fiery, and too great to guide: He moves excentric, like a wandering star, Whose motion's just, though 'tis not regular.
Boab. It is for you, brave man, and only you, Greatly to speak, and yet more greatly do. But, if your benefits too far extend, I must be left ungrateful in the end: Yet somewhat I would pay, Before my debts above all reckoning grow, To keep me from the shame of what I owe. But you Are conscious to yourself of such desert, That of your gift I fear to offer part.
Almanz. When I shall have declared my high request, So much presumption there will be confest, That you will find your gifts I do not shun; But rather much o'er-rate the service done.
Boab. Give wing to your desires, and let 'em fly, Secure they cannot mount a pitch too high. So bless me, Alha, both in peace and war, As I accord, whate'er your wishes are.
Almanz. Emboldened by the promise of a prince, [Putting one knee to the ground. I ask this lady now with confidence.
Boab. You ask the only thing I cannot grant. [The King and ABENAMAR look amazedly on each other. But, as a stranger, you are ignorant Of what by public fame my subjects know; She is my mistress.
Aben. —And my daughter too.
Almanz. Believe, old man, that I her father knew: What else should make Almanzor kneel to you?— Nor doubt, sir, but your right to her was known: For had you had no claim but love alone, I could produce a better of my own.
Almah. [softly to him.] Almanzor, you forget my last request: Your words have too much haughtiness expressed. Is this the humble way you were to move?
Almanz. [to her.] I was too far transported by my love. Forgive me; for I had not learned to sue To any thing before, but heaven and you.— Sir, at your feet, I make it my request— [To the King. [First line kneeling: second, rising, and boldly. Though, without boasting, I deserve her best; For you her love with gaudy titles sought, But I her heart with blood and dangers bought.
Boab. The blood, which you have shed in her defence, Shall have in time a fitting recompence: Or, if you think your services delayed, Name but your price, and you shall soon be paid.
Almanz. My price!—why, king, you do not think you deal With one who sets his services to sale? Reserve your gifts for those who gifts regard; And know, I think myself above reward.
Boab. Then sure you are some godhead; and our care Must be to come with incense and with prayer.
Almanz. As little as you think yourself obliged, You would be glad to do't, when next besieged. But I am pleased there should be nothing due; For what I did was for myself, not you.
Boab. You with contempt on meaner gifts look down; And, aiming at my queen, disdain my crown. That crown, restored, deserves no recompence. Since you would rob the fairest jewel thence. Dare not henceforth ungrateful me to call; Whate'er I owed you, this has cancelled all.
Almanz. I'll call thee thankless, king, and perjured both: Thou swor'st by Alha, and hast broke thy oath. But thou dost well; thou tak'st the cheapest way; Not to own services thou canst not pay.
Boab. My patience more than pays thy service past; But now this insolence shall be thy last. Hence from my sight! and take it as a grace, Thou liv'st, and art but banished from the place.
Almanz. Where'er I go, there can no exile be; But from Almanzor's sight I banish thee: I will not now, if thou wouldst beg me, stay; But I will take my Almahide away. Stay thou with all thy subjects here; but know, We leave thy city empty when we go. [Takes ALMAHIDE'S hand.
Boab. Fall on; take; kill the traitor. [The Guards fall on him; he makes at the King through the midst of them, and falls upon him; they disarm him, and rescue the King.
Almanz. —Base and poor, Blush that thou art Almanzor's conqueror. [ALMAHIDE wrings her hands, then turns and veils her face. Farewell, my Almahide! Life of itself will go, now thou art gone, Like flies in winter, when they lose the sun. [ABENAMAR whispers the King a little, then speaks aloud.
Aben. Revenge, and taken so secure a way, Are blessings which heaven sends not every day.
Boab. I will at leisure now revenge my wrong; And, traitor, thou shalt feel my vengeance long: Thou shalt not die just at thy own desire, But see my nuptials, and with rage expire.
Almanz. Thou darest not marry her while I'm in sight: With a bent brow thy priest and thee I'll fright; And in that scene, Which all thy hopes and wishes should content, The thought of me shall make thee impotent. [He is led off by Guards.
Boab. As some fair tulip, by a storm oppressed, [To ALMAH. Shrinks up, and folds its silken arms to rest; And, bending to the blast, all pale and dead, Hears, from within, the wind sing round its head,— So, shrouded up, your beauty disappears: Unveil, my love, and lay aside your fears. The storm, that caused your fright, is passed and done. [ALMAHIDE unveiling, and looking round for ALMANZOR.
Almah. So flowers peep out too soon, and miss the sun. [Turning from him.
Boab. What mystery in this strange behaviour lies?
Almah. Let me for ever hide these guilty eyes, Which lighted my Almanzor to his tomb; Or, let them blaze, to show me there a room.
Boab. Heaven lent their lustre for a nobler end; A thousand torches must their light attend, To lead you to a temple and a crown. Why does my fairest Almahide frown? Am I less pleasing then I was before, Or, is the insolent Almanzor more?
Almah. I justly own that I some pity have, Not for the insolent, but for the brave.
Aben. Though to your king your duty you neglect, Know, Almahide, I look for more respect: And, if a parent's charge your mind can move, Receive the blessing of a monarch's love.
Almah. Did he my freedom to his life prefer, And shall I wed Almanzor's murderer? No, sir; I cannot to your will submit; Your way's too rugged for my tender feet.
Aben. You must be driven where you refuse to go; And taught, by force, your happiness to know.
Almah. To force me, sir, is much unworthy you, [Smiling scornfully. And, when you would, impossible to do. If force could bend me, you might think, with shame, That I debase the blood from whence I came. My soul is soft, which you may gently lay In your loose palm; but, when 'tis pressed to stay, Like water, it deludes your grasp, and slips away.
Boab. I find I must revoke what I decreed: Almanzor's death my nuptials must precede. Love is a magic which the lover ties; But charms still end when the magician dies. Go; let me hear my hated rival's dead; [To his Guard. And, to convince my eyes, bring back his head.
Almah. Go on: I wish no other way to prove That I am worthy of Almanzor's love. We will in death, at least, united be: I'll shew you I can die as well as he.
Boab. What should I do! when equally I dread Almanzor living and Almanzor dead!— Yet, by your promise, you are mine alone.
Almah. How dare you claim my faith, and break your own?
Aben. This for your virtue is a weak defence: No second vows can with your first dispense. Yet, since the king did to Almanzor swear, And in his death ungrateful may appear, He ought, in justice, first to spare his life, And then to claim your promise as his wife.
Almah. Whate'er my secret inclinations be, To this, since honour ties me, I agree: Yet I declare, and to the world will own, That, far from seeking, I would shun the throne. And with Almanzor lead a humble life: There is a private greatness in his wife.
Boab. That little love I have, I hardly buy; You give my rival all, while you deny: Yet, Almahide, to let you see your power, Your loved Almanzor shall be free this hour. You are obeyed; but 'tis so great a grace, That I could wish me in my rival's place. [Exeunt KING and ABENAMAR.
Almah. How blessed was I before this fatal day, When all I knew of love, was to obey! 'Twas life becalmed, without a gentle breath; Though not so cold, yet motionless as death. A heavy quiet state; but love, all strife, All rapid, is the hurricane of life. Had love not shewn me, I had never seen An excellence beyond Boabdelin. I had not, aiming higher, lost my rest; But with a vulgar good been dully blest: But, in Almanzor, having seen what's rare, Now I have learnt too sharply to compare; And, like a favourite quickly in disgrace, Just knew the value ere I lost the place.
To her ALMANZOR, bound and guarded.
Almanz. I see the end for which I'm hither sent, To double, by your sight, my punishment. There is a shame in bonds I cannot bear; Far more than death, to meet your eyes I fear.
Almah. That shame of long continuance shall not be: [Unbinding him. The king, at my entreaty, sets you free.
Almanz. The king! my wonder's greater than before; How did he dare my freedom to restore? He like some captive lion uses me; He runs away before he sets me free, And takes a sanctuary in his court: I'll rather lose my life than thank him for't.
Almah. If any subject for your thanks there be, The king expects them not, you owe them me. Our freedoms through each other's hands have past; You give me my revenge in winning last.
Almanz. Then fate commodiously for me has done; To lose mine there where I would have it won.
Almah. Almanzor, you too soon will understand, That what I win is on another's hand. The king (who doomed you to a cruel fate) Gave to my prayers both his revenge and hate; But at no other price would rate your life, Than my consent and oath to be his wife.
Almanz. Would you, to save my life, my love betray? Here; take me; bind me; carry me away; Kill me! I'll kill you if you disobey. [To the Guards.
Almah. That absolute command your love does give, I take, and charge you by that power to live.
Almanz. When death, the last of comforts, you refuse, Your power, like heaven upon the damned, you use; You force me in my being to remain, To make me last, and keep me fresh for pain. When all my joys are gone, What cause can I for living longer give, But a dull, lazy habitude to live?
Almah. Rash men, like you, and impotent of will, Give chance no time to turn, but urge her still; She would repent; you push the quarrel on, And once because she went, she must be gone.
Almanz. She shall not turn; what is it she can do, To recompense me for the loss of you?
Almah, Heaven will reward your worth some better way: At least, for me, you have but lost one day. Nor is't a real loss which you deplore; You sought a heart that was engaged before. 'Twas a swift love which took you in his way; Flew only through your heart, but made no stay: 'Twas but a dream, where truth had not a place; A scene of fancy, moved so swift a pace, And shifted, that you can but think it was;— Let then, the short vexatious vision pass.
Almanz. My joys, indeed, are dreams; but not my pain: 'Twas a swift ruin, but the marks remain. When some fierce fire lays goodly buildings waste, Would you conclude There had been none, because the burning's past?
Almah. It was your fault that fire seized all your breast; You should have blown up some to save the rest: But 'tis, at worst, but so consumed by fire, As cities are, that by their fall rise higher. Build love a nobler temple in my place; You'll find the fire has but enlarged your space.
Almanz. Love has undone me; I am grown so poor, I sadly view the ground I had before, But want a stock, and ne'er can build it more.
Almah. Then say what charity I can allow; I would contribute if I knew but how. Take friendship; or, if that too small appear, Take love,—which sisters may to brothers bear.
Almanz. A sister's love! that is so palled a thing, What pleasure can it to a lover bring? 'Tis like thin food to men in fevers spent; Just keeps alive, but gives no nourishment. What hopes, what fears, what transports can it move? 'Tis but the ghost of a departed love.
Almah. You, like some greedy cormorant, devour All my whole life can give you in an hour. What more I can do for you is to die, And that must follow, if you this deny. Since I gave up my love, that you might live, You, in refusing life, my sentence give.
Almanz. Far from my breast be such an impious thought! Your death would lose the quiet mine had sought. I'll live for you, in spite of misery; But you shall grant that I had rather die. I'll be so wretched, filled with such despair, That you shall see, to live was more to dare.
Almah. Adieu, then, O my soul's far better part! Your image sticks so close, That the blood follows from my rending heart. A last farewell! For, since a last must come, the rest are vain, Like gasps in death, which but prolong our pain. But, since the king is now a part of me, Cease from henceforth to be his enemy. Go now, for pity go! for, if you stay, I fear I shall have something still to say. Thus—I for ever shut you from my sight. [Veils.
Almanz. Like one thrust out in a cold winters night, Yet shivering underneath your gate I stay; One look—I cannot go before 'tis day.— [She beckons him to be gone. Not one—Farewell: Whate'er my sufferings be Within, I'll speak farewell as loud as she: I will not be out-done in constancy.— [She turns her back. Then like a dying conqueror I go; At least I have looked last upon my foe. I go—but, if too heavily I move, I walk encumbered with a weight of love. Fain I would leave the thought of you behind, But still, the more I cast you from my mind, You dash, like water, back, when thrown against the wind. [Exit.
As he goes off, the KING meets him with ABENAMAR; they stare at each other without saluting.
Boab. With him go all my fears: A guard there wait, And see him safe without the city gate.
To them ABDELMELECH.
Now, Abdelmelech, is my brother dead?
Abdelm. Th' usurper to the Christian camp is fled; Whom as Granada's lawful king they own, And vow, by force, to seat him on the throne. Mean time the rebels in the Albayzyn rest; Which is in Lyndaraxa's name possest.
Boab. Haste and reduce it instantly by force.
Abdelm. First give me leave to prove a milder course. She will, perhaps, on summons yield the place.
Boab. We cannot to your suit refuse her grace. [One enters hastily, and whispers ABENAMAR.
Aben. How fortune persecutes this hoary head! My Ozmyn is with Selin's daughter fled. But he's no more my son: My hate shall like a Zegry him pursue, 'Till I take back what blood from me he drew.
Boab. Let war and vengeance be to-morrow's care; But let us to the temple now repair. A thousand torches make the mosque more bright: This must be mine and Almahide's night. Hence, ye importunate affairs of state, You should not tyrannize on love, but wait. Had life no love, none would for business live; Yet still from love the largest part we give; And must be forced, in empire's weary toil, To live long wretched, to be pleased a while. [Exeunt.
Success, which can no more than beauty last, Makes our sad poet mourn your favours past: For, since without desert he got a name, He fears to lose it now with greater shame. Fame, like a little mistress of the town, Is gained with ease, but then she's lost as soon: For, as those tawdry misses, soon or late, Jilt such as keep them at the highest rate; And oft the lacquey, or the brawny clown, Gets what is hid in the loose-bodied gown,— So, fame is false to all that keep her long; And turns up to the fop that's brisk and young. Some wiser poet now would leave fame first; But elder wits are, like old lovers, cursed: Who, when the vigour of their youth is spent, Still grow more fond, as they grow impotent. This, some years hence, our poet's case may prove; But yet, he hopes, he's young enough to love. When forty comes, if e'er he live to see That wretched, fumbling age of poetry, 'Twill be high time to bid his muse adieu:— Well may he please himself, but never you. Till then, he'll do as well as he began, And hopes you will not find him less a man. Think him not duller for this year's delay; He was prepared, the women were away; And men, without their parts, can hardly play. If they, through sickness, seldom did appear, Pity the virgins of each theatre: For, at both houses, 'twas a sickly year! And pity us, your servants, to whose cost, In one such sickness, nine whole months are lost. Their stay, he fears, has ruined what he writ: Long waiting both disables love and wit. They thought they gave him leisure to do well; But, when they forced him to attend, he fell! Yet, though he much has failed, he begs, to-day, You will excuse his unperforming play: Weakness sometimes great passion does express; He had pleased better, had he loved you less.
* * * * *
ALMANZOR AND ALMAHIDE:
CONQUEST OF GRANADA
THE SECOND PART.
—Stimulos dedit aemula virtus. LUCAN.
TO THE SECOND PART.
They, who write ill, and they, who ne'er durst write, Turn critics, out of mere revenge and spite: A playhouse gives them fame; and up there starts, From a mean fifth-rate wit, a man of parts. (So common faces on the stage appear; We take them in, and they turn beauties here.) Our author fears those critics as his fate; And those he fears, by consequence must hate, For they the traffic of all wit invade, As scriveners draw away the bankers' trade. Howe'er, the poet's safe enough to day, They cannot censure an unfinished play. But, as when vizard-mask appears in pit, Straight every man, who thinks himself a wit, Perks up, and, managing his comb with grace, With his white wig sets off his nut-brown face; That done, bears up to th' prize, and views each limb, To know her by her rigging and her trim; Then, the whole noise of fops to wagers go,— "Pox on her, 'tmust be she;" and—"damme, no!"— Just, so, I prophesy, these wits to-day Will blindly guess at our imperfect play; With what new plots our Second Part is filled, Who must be kept alive, and who be killed. And as those vizard-masks maintain that fashion, To soothe and tickle sweet imagination; So our dull poet keeps you on with masking, To make you think there's something worth your asking. But, when 'tis shown, that, which does now delight you, Will prove a dowdy, with a face to fright you.
ALMANZOR AND ALMAHIDE,
CONQUEST OF GRANADA.
THE SECOND PART.
SCENE I.—A Camp.
Enter KING FERDINAND, QUEEN ISABELLA, ALONZO D'AGUILAR; Attendants, Men and Women.
K. Ferd. At length the time is come, when Spain shall be From the long yoke of Moorish tyrants free. All causes seem to second our design, And heaven and earth in their destruction join. When empire in its childhood first appears, A watchful fate o'ersees its tender years; Till, grown more strong, it thrusts and stretches out, And elbows all the kingdoms round about: The place thus made for its first breathing free, It moves again for ease and luxury; Till, swelling by degrees, it has possessed The greater space, and now crowds up the rest; When, from behind, there starts some petty state, And pushes on its now unwieldy fate; Then down the precipice of time it goes, And sinks in minutes, which in ages rose.
Q. Isabel. Should bold Columbus in his search succeed, And find those beds in which bright metals breed; Tracing the sun, who seems to steal away, That, miser-like, he might alone survey The wealth which he in western mines did lay,— Not all that shining ore could give my heart The joy, this conquered kingdom will impart; Which; rescued from these misbelievers' hands, Shall now, at once, shake off its double bands: At once to freedom and true faith restored, Its old religion and its ancient lord.
K. Ferd. By that assault which last we made, I find, Their courage is with their success declined: Almanzor's absence now they dearly buy, Whose conduct crowned their arms with victory.
Alonzo. Their king himself did their last sally guide; I saw him, glistering in his armour, ride To break a lance in honour of his bride: But other thoughts now fill his anxious breast; Care of his crown his love has dispossest.
To them ABDALLA.
Q. Isabel. But see, the brother of the Moorish king: He seems some news of great import to bring.
K. Ferd. He brings a spacious title to our side: Those, who would conquer, must their foes divide.
Abdal. Since to my exile you have pity shown, And given me courage yet to hope a throne; While you without our common foes subdue, I am not wanting to myself or you; But have, within, a faction still alive, Strong to assist, and secret to contrive, And watching each occasion to foment The people's fears into a discontent; Which, from Almanzor's loss, before were great, And now are doubled by their late defeat: These letters from their chiefs the news assures. [Gives letters to the KING.
K. Ferd. Be mine the honour, but the profit yours.
To them the DUKE OF ARCOS, with OZMYN and BENZAYDA, Prisoners.
K. Ferd. That tertia of Italians did you guide, To take their post upon the river side?
D. Arcos. All are according to your orders placed: My chearful soldiers their intrenchments haste; The Murcian foot hath ta'en the upper ground, And now the city is beleaguered round.
K. Ferd. Why is not then their leader here again?
D. Arcos. The master of Alcantara is slain; But he, who slew him, here before you stands: It is that Moor whom you behold in bands.
K. Ferd. A braver man I had not in my host; His murderer shall not long his conquest boast: But, Duke of Arcos, say, how was he slain?
D. Arcos. Our soldiers marched together on the plain; We two rode on, and left them far behind, Till, coming where we found the valley wind, We saw these Moors; who, swiftly as they could, Ran on to gain the covert of a wood. This we observed; and, having crossed their way, The lady, out of breath, was forced to stay: The man then stood, and straight his faulchion drew; Then told us, we in vain did those pursue, Whom their ill fortune to despair did drive, And yet, whom we should never take alive. Neglecting this, the master straight spurred on; But the active Moor his horse's shock did shun, And, ere his rider from his reach could go, Finished the combat with one deadly blow. I, to revenge my friend, prepared to fight; But now our foremost men were come in sight, Who soon would have dispatched him on the place, Had I not saved him from a death so base, And brought him to attend your royal doom.
K. Ferd. A manly face, and in his age's bloom; But, to content the soldiers, he must die: Go, see him executed instantly.
Q. Isabel. Stay; I would learn his name before he go: You, Prince Abdalla, may the prisoner know.
Abdal. Ozmyn's his name, and he deserves his fate; His father heads the faction which I hate: But much I wonder, that with him I see The daughter of his mortal enemy.
Benz. 'Tis true, by Ozmyn's sword my brother fell; But 'twas a death he merited too well. I know a sister should excuse his fault; But you know too, that Ozmyn's death he sought,
Abdal. Our prophet has declared, by the event, That Ozmyn is reserved for punishment; For, when he thought his guilt from danger clear, He, by new crimes, is brought to suffer here.
Benz. In love, or pity, if a crime you find, We two have sinned above all human kind.
Ozm. Heaven in my punishment has done a grace; I could not suffer, in a better place: That I should die by Christians it thought good, To save your father's guilt, who sought my blood. [To her.
Benz. Fate aims so many blows to make us fall, That 'tis in vain to think to ward them all: And, where misfortunes great and many are, Life grows a burden, and not worth our care.
Ozm. I cast it from me, like a garment torn, Ragged, and too indecent to be worn: Besides, there is contagion in my fate, [To BENZ. It makes your life too much unfortunate.— But, since her faults are not allied to mine, In her protection let your favour shine. To you, great queen, I make this last request, (Since pity dwells in every royal breast) Safe, in your care, her life and honour be: It is a dying lover's legacy.
Benz. Cease, Ozmyn, cease so vain a suit to move; I did not give you on those terms my love. Leave me the care of me; for, when you go, My love will soon instruct me what to do.
Q. Isabel. Permit me, sir, these lovers' doom to give: My sentence is, they shall together live. The courts of kings To all distressed should sanctuaries be, But most to lovers in adversity. Castile and Arragon, Which long against each other war did move, My plighted lord and I have joined by love; And, if to add this conquest heaven thinks good, I would not have it stained with lovers' blood.
K. Ferd. Whatever Isabella shall command Shall always be a law to Ferdinand.
Benz. The frowns of fate we will no longer fear. Ill fate, great queen, can never find us here.
Q. Isabel. Your thanks some other time I will receive: Henceforward safe in my protection live. Granada is for noble loves renowned: Her best defence is in her lovers found. Love's an heroic passion, which can find No room in any base degenerate mind: It kindles all the soul with honour's fire, To make the lover worthy his desire. Against such heroes I success should fear, Had we not too an host of lovers here. An army, of bright beauties come with me; Each lady shall her servant's actions see: The fair and brave on each side shall contest; And they shall overcome, who love the best. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.—The Alhambra.
Zul. True, they have pardoned me; but do they know What folly 'tis to trust a pardoned foe? A blush remains in a forgiven face: It wears the silent tokens of disgrace. Forgiveness to the injured does belong; But they ne'er pardon, who have done the wrong. My hopeful fortunes lost! and, what's above All I can name or think, my ruined love! Feigned honesty shall work me into trust, And seeming penitence conceal my lust. Let heaven's great eye of Providence now take One day of rest, and ever after wake.
Enter BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, and Guards.
Boab. Losses on losses! as if heaven decreed Almanzor's valour should alone succeed.
Aben. Each sally we have made, since he is gone, Serves but to pull our speedy ruin on.
Boab. Of all mankind, the heaviest fate he bears, Who the last crown of sinking empire wears. No kindly planet of his birth took care: Heaven's outcast, and the dross of every star! [A tumultuous noise within.
What new misfortunes do these cries presage?
Abdelm. They are the effects of the mad people's rage. All in despair tumultuously they swarm: The fairest streets already take the alarm; The needy creep from cellars under ground; To them new cries from tops of garrets sound; The aged from the chimneys seek the cold; And wives from windows helpless infants hold.
Boab. See what the many-headed beast demands.— [Exit ABDELM. Cursed is that king, whose's honour's in their hands. In senates, either they too slowly grant, Or saucily refuse to aid my want; And, when their thrift has ruined me in war, They call their insolence my want of care.
Aben. Cursed be their leaders, who that rage foment, And veil, with public good, their discontent: They keep the people's purses in their hands, And hector kings to grant their wild demands; But to each lure, a court throws out, descend, And prey on those they promised to defend.
Zul. Those kings, who to their wild demands consent, Teach others the same way to discontent. Freedom in subjects is not, nor can be; But still, to please them, we must call them free. Propriety, which they their idol make, Or law, or law's interpreters, can shake.
Aben. The name of commonwealth is popular; But there the people their own tyrants are.
Boab. But kings, who rule with limited command, Have players' sceptres put into their hand. Power has no balance, one side still weighs down, And either hoists the commonwealth or crown; And those, who think to set the scale more right, By various turnings but disturb the weight.
Aben. While people tug for freedom, kings for power, Both sink beneath some foreign conqueror: Then subjects find too late they were unjust, And want that power of kings, they durst not trust.
To them ABDELMELECH.
Abdelm. The tumult now is high, and dangerous grown: The people talk of rendering up the town; And swear that they will force the king's consent.
Boab. What counsel can this rising storm prevent?
Abdelm. Their fright to no persuasions will give ear: There's a deaf madness in a people's fear.
Enter a Messenger.
Mess. Their fury now a middle course does take; To yield the town, or call Almanzor back.
Boab. I'll rather call my death.— Go and bring up my guards to my defence: I'll punish this outrageous insolence.
Aben. Since blind opinion does their reason sway, You must submit to cure them their own way. You to their fancies physic must apply; Give them that chief on whom they most rely. Under Almanzor prosperously they fought; Almanzor, therefore, must with prayers be brought.
Enter a second Messenger.
2 Mess. Haste all you can their fury to assuage: You are not safe from their rebellious rage.
Enter a third Messenger.
3 Mess. This minute, if you grant not their desire, They'll seize your person, and your palace fire.
Abdelm. Your danger, sir, admits of no delay.
Boab. In tumults people reign, and kings obey.— Go and appease them with the vow I make, That they shall have their loved Almanzor back. [Exit ABDEL. Almanzor has the ascendant o'er my fate; I'm forced to stoop to one I fear and hate: Disgraced, distressed, in exile, and alone, He's greater than a monarch on his throne: Without a realm, a royalty he gains; Kings are the subjects over whom he reigns. [A shout of acclamations within.
Aben. These shouts proclaim the people satisfied.
Boab. We for another tempest must provide. To promise his return as I was loth, So I want power now to perform my oath. Ere this, for Afric he is sailed from Spain.
Aben. The adverse winds his passage yet detain; I heard, last night, his equipage did stay At a small village, short of Malaga.
Boab. Abenamar, this evening thither haste; Desire him to forget his usage past: Use all your rhetoric, promise, flatter, pray.
To them ALMAHIDE, attended.
Aben. Good fortune shows you yet a surer way: Nor prayers nor promises his mind will move; 'Tis inaccessible to all, but love.
Boab. Oh, thou hast roused a thought within my breast, That will for ever rob me of my rest. Ah jealousy, how cruel is thy sting! I, in Almanzor, a loved rival bring! And now, I think, it is an equal strife, If I my crown should hazard, or my wife. Where, marriage, is thy cure, which husbands boast, That in possession their desire is lost? Or why have I alone that wretched taste, Which, gorged and glutted, does with hunger last? Custom and duty cannot set me free, Even sin itself has not a charm for me. Of married lovers I am sure the first, And nothing but a king could be so curst.
Almah. What sadness sits upon your royal heart? Have you a grief, and must not I have part? All creatures else a time of love possess; Man only clogs with cares his happiness: And, while he should enjoy his part of bliss, With thoughts of what may be, destroys what is.
Boab. You guess aright; I am oppressed with grief, And 'tis from you that I must seek relief. [To the company. Leave us; to sorrow there's a reverence due: Sad kings, like suns eclipsed, withdraw from view. [The Attendants go off, and chairs are set for the King and Queen.
Almah. So, two kind turtles, when a storm is nigh, Look up, and see it gathering in the sky: Each calls his mate, to shelter in the groves, Leaving, in murmur, their unfinished loves: Perched on some drooping branch, they sit alone, And coo, and hearken to each other's moan.
Boab. Since, Almahide, you seem so kind a wife, [Taking her by the hand. What would you do to save a husband's life?
Almah. When fate calls on that hard necessity, I'll suffer death, rather than you shall die.
Boab. Suppose your country should in danger be; What would you undertake to set it free?
Almah. It were too little to resign my breath: My own free hand should give me nobler death.
Boab. That hand, which would so much for glory do, Must yet do more; for it must kill me too. You must kill me, for that dear country's sake; Or, what's all one, must call Almanzor back.
Almah. I see to what your speech you now direct; Either my love or virtue you suspect. But know, that, when my person I resigned, I was too noble not to give my mind. No more the shadow of Almanzor fear; I have no room, but for your image, here.
Boab. This, Almahide, would make me cease to mourn, Were that Almanzor never to return: But now my fearful people mutiny; Their clamours call Almanzor back, not I. Their safety, through my ruin, I pursue; He must return, and must be brought by you.
Almah. That hour, when I my faith to you did plight, I banished him for ever from my sight. His banishment was to my virtue due; Not that I feared him for myself, but you. My honour had preserved me innocent: But I would, your suspicion to prevent; Which, since I see augmented in your mind, I yet more reason for his exile find.
Boab. To your entreaties he will yield alone. And on your doom depend my life and throne. No longer, therefore, my desires withstand; Or, if desires prevail not, my command.
Almah. In his return, too sadly I foresee The effects of your returning jealousy. But your command I prize above my life; 'Tis sacred to a subject and a wife: If I have power, Almanzor shall return.
Boab. Cursed be that fatal hour when I was born! [Letting go her hand, and starting up. You love, you love him; and that love reveal, By your too quick consent to his repeal. My jealousy had but too just a ground; And now you stab into my former wound.
Almah. This sudden change I do not understand. Have you so soon forgot your own command?
Boab. Grant that I did the unjust injunction lay, You should have loved me more than to obey. I know you did this mutiny design; But I'll your love-plot quickly countermine. Let my crown go; he never shall return; I, like a phoenix, in my nest will burn.
Almah. You please me well; that in one common fate You wrap yourself, and me, and all your state. Let us no more of proud Almanzor hear: 'Tis better once to die, than still to fear; And better many times to die, than be Obliged, past payment, to an enemy.
Boab. 'Tis better; but you wives have still one way: Whene'er your husbands are obliged, you pay.
Almah. Thou, heaven, who know'st it, judge my innocence!— You, sir, deserve not I should make defence. Yet, judge my virtue by that proof I gave, When I submitted to be made your slave.
Boab. If I have been suspicious or unkind, Forgive me; many cares distract my mind: Love, and a crown! Two such excuses no one man e'er had; And each of them enough to make me mad: But now my reason reassumes its throne, And finds no safety when Almanzor's gone. Send for him then; I'll be obliged, and sue; 'Tis a less evil than to part with you. I leave you to your thoughts; but love me still! Forgive my passion, and obey my will. [Exit BOABDELIN.
My jealous lord will soon to rage return; That fire, his fear rakes up, does inward burn. But heaven, which made me great, has chose for me, I must the oblation for my people be. I'll cherish honour, then, and life despise; What is not pure, is not for sacrifice. Yet for Almanzor I in secret mourn! Can virtue, then, admit of his return? Yes; for my love I will by virtue square; My heart's not mine, but all my actions are. I'll like Almanzor act; and dare to be As haughty, and as wretched too, as he. What will he think is in my message meant? I scarcely understand my own intent: But, silk-worm like, so long within have wrought, That I am lost in my own web of thought. [Exit ALMAHIDE.
SCENE I.—A Wood.
Enter OZMYN and BENZAYDA.
Ozm. 'Tis true, that our protection here has been The effect of honour in the Spanish queen; But, while I as a friend continue here, I to my country must a foe appear.
Benz. Think not, my Ozmyn, that we here remain As friends, but prisoners to the power of Spain. Fortune dispenses with your country's right; But you desert your honour in your flight.
Ozm. I cannot leave you here, and go away; My honour's glad of a pretence to stay. [A noise within,—Follow, follow, follow!—
Enter SELIN, his sword drawn, as pursued.
Selin. I am pursued, and now am spent and done; My limbs suffice me not with strength to run. And, if I could, alas! what can I save? A year, the dregs of life too, from the grave. [Sits down on the ground. Here will I sit, and here attend my fate, With the same hoary majesty and state, As Rome's old senate for the Gauls did wait.
Benz. It is my father; and he seems distressed.
Ozm. My honour bids me succour the oppressed; That life he sought, for his I'll freely give; We'll die together, or together live.
Benz. I'll call more succour, since the camp is near, And fly on all the wings of love and fear. [Exit BENZ.
Enter ABENAMAR, and four or five Moors. He looks and finds SELIN.
Aben. You've lived, and now behold your latest hour.
Selin. I scorn your malice, and defy your power. A speedy death is all I ask you now; And that's a favour you may well allow.
Ozm. [shewing himself.] Who gives you death, shall give it first to me; Fate cannot separate our destiny.— [Knows his father. My father here! then heaven itself has laid The snare, in which my virtue is betrayed.
Aben. Fortune, I thank thee! thou hast kindly done, To bring me back that fugitive, my son; In arms too? fighting for my enemy!— I'll do a Roman justice,—thou shalt die!
Ozm. I beg not you my forfeit life would save; Yet add one minute to that breath you gave. I disobeyed you, and deserve my fate; But bury in my grave two houses' hate. Let Selin live; and see your justice done On me, while you revenge him for his son: Your mutual malice in my death may cease, And equal loss persuade you both to peace.
Aben. Yes, justice shall be done on him and thee.— Haste and dispatch them both immediately. [To a soldier.
Ozm. If you have honour,—since you nature want,— For your own sake my last petition grant; And kill not a disarmed, defenceless foe, Whose death your cruelty, or fear, will show. My father cannot do an act so base:— My father!—I mistake;—I meant, who was.
Aben. Go, then, dispatch him first who was my son!
Ozm. Swear but to save his life, I'll yield my own.
Aben. Nor tears, nor prayers, thy life, or his, shall buy.
Ozm. Then, sir, Benzayda's father shall not die!— [Putting himself before SELIN. And, since he'll want defence when I am gone, I will, to save his life, defend my own.
Aben. This justice, parricides, like thee, should have!— [ABEN. and his party attack them both. OZM. parries his father's thrusts, and thrusts at the others.
Enter BENZAYDA, with ABDALLA, the Duke of ARCOS, and Spaniards.
Benz. O, help my father! and my Ozmyn save!
Abdal. Villains, that death you have deserved is near!
Ozm. Stay, prince! and know, I have a father here!— [Stops ABDALLA'S hand. I were that parricide, of whom he spoke, Did not my piety prevent your stroke.
D. Arcos. to Aben. Depart, then, and thank heaven you had a son.
Aben. I am not with these shows of duty won.
Ozm. to his Father. Heaven knows, I would that life, you seek, resign; But, while Benzayda lives, it is not mine. Will you yet pardon my unwilling crime?
Aben. By no entreaties, by no length of time, Will I be won; but, with my latest breath, I'll curse thee here, and haunt thee after death. [Exit ABEN. with his party.
Ozm. Can you be merciful to that degree, [Kneeling to SELIN. As to forgive my father's faults in me? Can you forgive The death of him I slew in my defence, And from the malice separate the offence? I can no longer be your enemy: In short, now kill me, sir, or pardon me. [Offers him his sword. In this your silence my hard fate appears.
Selin. I'll answer you, when I can speak for tears. But, till I can, Imagine what must needs be brought to pass; [Embraces him. My heart's not made of marble, nor of brass. Did I for you a cruel death prepare, And have you, have you made my life your care! There is a shame contracted by my faults, Which hinders me to speak my secret thoughts. And I will tell you—when the shame's removed— You are not better by my daughter loved.— Benzayda be yours.—I can no more.
Ozm. Blessed be that breath which does my life restore! [Embracing his knees.
Benz. I hear my father now; these words confess That name, and that indulgent tenderness.
Selin. Benzayda, I have been too much to blame; But let your goodness expiate my shame: You Ozmyn's virtue did in chains adore, And part of me was just to him before.— My son!—
Ozm. My father!—
Selin. Since by you I live, I, for your sake, your family forgive. Let your hard father still my life pursue, I hate not him, but for his hate to you; Even that hard father yet may one day be By kindness vanquished, as you vanquished me; Or, if my death can quench to you his rage, Heaven makes good use of my remaining age.
Abdal. I grieve your joys are mingled with my cares; But all take interest in their own affairs; And, therefore, I must ask how mine proceed.
Selin. They now are ripe, and but your presence need: For Lyndaraxa, faithless as the wind, Yet to your better fortunes will be kind; For, hearing that the Christians own your cause, From thence the assurance of a throne she draws. And since Almanzor, whom she most did fear, Is gone, she to no treaty will give ear; But sent me her unkindness to excuse.
Abdal. You much surprise me with your pleasing news.
Selin. But, sir, she hourly does the assault expect, And must be lost if you her aid neglect: For Abdelmelech loudly does declare, He'll use the last extremities of war, If she refuse the fortress to resign.
Abdal. The charge of hastening this relief be mine.
Selin. This while I undertook, whether beset, Or else by chance, Abenamar I met; Who seemed, in haste, returning to the town.
Abdal. My love must in my diligence be shown.— And [To ARCOS.] as my pledge of faith to Spain, this hour I'll put the fortress in your master's power.
Selin. An open way from hence to it there lies, And we with ease may send in large supplies, Free from the shot and sallies of the town.
D. Arcos. Permit me, sir, to share in your renown; First to my king I will impart the news, And then draw out what succours we shall use. [Exit Duke of ARCOS.
Abdal. [Aside.] Grant that she loves me not, at least I see She loves not others, if she loves not me.— 'Tis pleasure, when we reap the fruit of pain: 'Tis only pride, to be beloved again. How many are not loved, who think they are! Yet all are willing to believe the fair; And, though 'tis beauty's known and obvious cheat, Yet man's self-love still favours the deceit. [Exit ABDAL.
Selin. Farewell, my children! equally so dear, That I myself am to myself less near: While I repeat the dangers of the war, Your mutual safety be each other's care. Your father, Ozmyn, till the war be done, As much as honour will permit, I'll shun: If by his sword I perish, let him know It was, because I would not be his foe.
Ozm. Goodness and virtue all your actions guide; You only err in choosing of your side. That party I, with honour, cannot take; But can much less the care of you forsake: I must not draw my sword against my prince, But yet may hold a shield in your defence. Benzayda, free from danger, here shall stay, And for a father and a lover pray.
Benz. No, no! I gave not on those terms my heart, That from my Ozmyn I should ever part: That love I vowed, when you did death attend, 'Tis just that nothing but my death should end. What merchant is it, who would stay behind, His whole stock ventured to the waves and wind? I'll pray for both, but both shall be in sight; And heaven shall hear me pray, and see you fight.
Selin. No longer, Ozmyn, combat a design, Where so much love, and so much virtue join.
Ozm. [To BENZ.] Then conquer, and your conquest happy be, Both to yourself, your father, and to me.— With bended knees our freedom we'll demand Of Isabel, and mighty Ferdinand: Then while the paths of honour we pursue, We'll interest heaven for us, in right of you. [Exeunt.
SCENE II.—The Albayzyn.
An alarm within; then Soldiers running over the stage. Enter ABDELMELECH, victorious, with Soldiers.