The Works Of John Dryden, Volume 4 (of 18) - Almanzor And Almahide, Marriage-a-la-Mode, The Assignation
by John Dryden
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Abdelm. 'Tis won, 'tis won! and Lyndaraxa, now, Who scorned to treat, shall to a conquest bow. To every sword I free commission give; Fall on, my friends, and let no rebel live. Spare only Lyndaraxa; let her be In triumph led, to grace my victory. Since by her falsehood she betrayed my love, Great as that falsehood my revenge shall prove.—

Enter LYNDARAXA, as frightened, attended by women.

Go, take the enchantress, bring her to me bound!

Lyndar. Force needs not, where resistance is not found: I come, myself, to offer you my hands; And, of my own accord, invite your bands. I wished to be my Abdelmelech's slave; I did but wish,—and easy fortune gave.

Abdelm. O, more than woman false!—but 'tis in vain.— Can you ere hope to be believed again? I'll sooner trust the hyaena, than your smile; Or, than your tears, the weeping crocodile. In war and love none should be twice deceived; The fault is mine if you are now believed.

Lyndar. Be overwise, then, and too late repent; Your crime will carry its own punishment. I am well pleased not to be justified; I owe no satisfaction to your pride. It will be more advantage to my fame, To have it said, I never owned a flame.

Abdelm. 'Tis true, my pride has satisfied itself: I have at length escaped the deadly shelf. The excuses you prepare will be in vain, Till I am fool enough to love again.

Lyndar. Am I not loved?

Abdelm. I must with shame avow, I loved you once;—but do not love you now.

Lyndar. Have I for this betrayed Abdalla's trust? You are to me, as I to him, unjust. [Angrily.

Abdelm. 'Tis like you have done much for love of me, Who kept the fortress of my enemy.

Lyndar. 'Tis true, I took the fortress from his hand; But, since, have kept it in my own command.

Abdelm. That act your foul ingratitude did show.

Lyndar. You are the ungrateful, since 'twas kept for you.

Abdelm. 'Twas kept indeed; but not by your intent: For all your kindness I may thank the event. Blush, Lyndaraxa, for so gross a cheat: 'Twas kept for me,—when you refused to treat! [Ironically.

Lyndar. Blind man! I knew the weakness of the place: It was my plot to do your arms this grace. Had not my care of your renown been great, I loved enough to offer you to treat. She, who is loved, must little lets create; But you bold lovers are to force your fate. This force, you used, my maiden blush will save; You seemed to take, what secretly I gave. I knew we must be conquered; but I knew What confidence I might repose in you. I knew, you were too grateful to expose My friends, and soldiers, to be used like foes.

Abdelm. Well, though I love you not, their lives shall be Spared out of pity and humanity.— Alferez, [To a Soldier.] go, and let the slaughter cease. [Exit the Alferez.

Lyndar. Then must I to your pity owe my peace? Is that the tenderest term you can afford? Time was, you would have used another word.

Abdelm. Then, for your beauty I your soldiers spare: For, though I do not love you, you are fair.

Lyndar. That little beauty why did heaven impart, To please your eyes, but not to move your heart! I'll shroud this gorgon from all human view, And own no beauty, since it charms not you! Reverse your orders, and your sentence give; My soldiers shall not from my beauty live.

Abdelm. Then, from your friendship they their lives shall gain; Tho' love be dead, yet friendship does remain.

Lyndar. That friendship, which from withered love does shoot, Like the faint herbage on a rock, wants root. Love is a tender amity, refined: Grafted on friendship it exalts the kind. But when the graff no longer does remain, The dull stock lives, but never bears again.

Abdelm. Then, that my friendship may not doubtful prove,— Fool that I am to tell you so!—I love. You would extort this knowledge from my breast, And tortured me so long that I confest. Now I expect to suffer for my sin; My monarchy must end, and yours begin.

Lyndar. Confess not love, but spare yourself that shame, And call your passion by some other name. Call this assault, your malice, or your hate; Love owns no acts so disproportionate. Love never taught this insolence you shew, To treat your mistress like a conquered foe. Is this the obedience which my heart should move! This usage looks more like a rape than love.

Abdelm. What proof of duty would you I should give?

Lyndar. 'Tis grace enough to let my subjects live! Let your rude soldiers keep possession still; Spoil, rifle, pillage,—any thing but kill. In short, sir, use your fortune as you please; Secure my castle, and my person seize; Let your true men my rebels hence remove; I shall dream on, and think 'tis all your love!

Abdelm. You know too well my weakness and your power: Why did heaven make a fool a conqueror! She was my slave, 'till she by me was shewn How weak my force was, and how strong her own. Now she has beat my power from every part, Made her way open to my naked heart: [To a Soldier. Go, strictly charge my soldiers to retreat: Those countermand who are not entered yet. On peril of your lives leave all things free. [Exit Soldier. Now, madam, love Abdalla more than me. I only ask, in duty you would bring The keys of our Albayzyn to the king: I'll make your terms as gentle as you please. [Trumpets sound a charge within, and soldiers shout. What shouts, and what new sounds of war are these?

Lyndar. Fortune, I hope, has favoured my intent, [Aside. Of gaining time, and welcome succours sent.

Enter the Alferez.

Alferez. All's lost, and you are fatally deceived: The foe is entered, and the place relieved. Scarce from the walls had I drawn off my men, When, from their camp, the enemy rushed in, And prince Abdalla entered first the gate.

Abdelm. I am betrayed, and find it now too late. When your proud soul to flatteries did descend, [To her. I might have known it did some ill portend. The weary seaman stormy weather fears, When winds shift often, and no cause appears. You by my bounty live— Your brothers, too, were pardoned for my sake, And this return your gratitude does make.

Lyndar. My brothers best their own obligement know; Without your charging me with what they owe. But, since you think the obligement is so great, I'll bring a friend to satisfy my debt. [Looking behind.

Abdelm. Thou shalt not triumph in thy base design; Though not thy fort, thy person shall be mine. [He goes to take her: She runs and cries out help.

Enter ABDALLA, Duke of ARCOS, and Spaniards. ABDELMELECH retreats fighting, and is pursued by the adverse party off the stage. The alarm within.

Enter again ABDALLA and the Duke of ARCOS, with LYNDARAXA.

D. Arcos. Bold Abdelmelech twice our Spaniards faced, Though much out-numbered; and retreated last.

Abdal. Your beauty, as it moves no common fire, [To LYNDARAXA. So it no common courage can inspire. As he fought well, so had he prospered too, If, madam, he, like me, had fought for you.

Lyndar. Fortune, at last, has chosen with my eyes; And, where I would have given it, placed the prize. You see, sir, with what hardship I have kept This precious gage, which in my hands you left. But 'twas the love of you which made me fight, And gave me courage to maintain your right. Now, by experience, you my faith may find, And are to thank me that I seemed unkind. When your malicious fortune doomed your fall, My care restrained you then from losing all; Against your destiny I shut the gate, And gathered up the shipwrecks of your fate; I, like a friend, did even yourself withstand, From throwing all upon a losing hand.

Abdal. My love makes all your acts unquestioned go, And sets a sovereign stamp on all you do. Your love I will believe with hood-winked eyes;— In faith, much merit in much blindness lies. But now, to make you great as you are fair, The Spaniards an imperial crown prepare.

Lyndar. That gift's more welcome, which with you I share. Let us no time in fruitless courtship lose, But sally out upon our frighted foes. No ornaments of power so please my eyes, As purple, which the blood of princes dies. [Exeunt.

SCENE III.—The Alhambra.

BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, ALMAHIDE, and Guards, &c. The Queen wearing a scarf.

Aben. My little journey has successful been, The fierce Almanzor will obey the queen. I found him, like Achilles on the shore, Pensive, complaining much, but threatening more; And, like that injured Greek, he heard our woes, Which, while I told, a gloomy smile arose From his bent brows: And still, the more he heard, A more severe and sullen joy appeared. But, when he knew we to despair were driven, Betwixt his teeth he muttered thanks to heaven.

Boab. How I disdain this aid! which I must take, Not for my own, but Almahide's sake.

Aben. But when he heard it was the queen who sent, That her command repealed his banishment, He took the summons with a greedy joy, And asked me how she would his sword employ: Then bid me say, her humblest slave would come, From her fair mouth with joy to take his doom.

Boab. Oh that I had not sent you! though it cost My crown! though I, and it, and all were lost!

Aben. While I, to bring this news, came on before, I met with Selin—

Boab. I can hear no more.

Enter HAMET.

Hamet. Almanzor is already at the gate, And throngs of people on his entrance wait.

Boab. Thy news does all my faculties surprise; He bears two basilisks in those fierce eyes; And that tame daemon, which should guard my throne, Shrinks at a genius greater than his own. [Exit BOAB. with ABEN. and Guards.

Enter ALMANZOR; seeing ALMAHIDE approach him, he speaks.

Almanz. So Venus moves, when to the Thunderer, In smiles or tears, she would some suit prefer; When with her cestus girt, And drawn by doves, she cuts the liquid skies, And kindles gentle fires where'er she flies: To every eye a goddess is confest, By all the heavenly nation she is blest, And each with secret joy admits her to his breast.— Madam your new commands I come to know, If yet you can have any where I go. [To her bowing. If to the regions of the dead they be, You take the speediest course to send by me.

Almah. Heaven has not destined you so soon to rest: Heroes must live to succour the distrest.

Almanz. To serve such beauty all mankind should live; And, in our service, our reward you give. But stay me not in torture, to behold And ne'er enjoy. As from another's gold The miser hastens, in his own defence, And shuns the sight of tempting excellence; So, having seen you once so killing fair, A second sight were but to move despair. I take my eyes from what too much would please, As men in fevers famish their disease.

Almah. No; you may find your cure an easier way, If you are pleased to seek it,—in your stay. All objects lose by too familiar view, When that great charm is gone, of being new; By often seeing me, you soon will find Defects so many, in my face and mind, That to be freed from love you need not doubt; And, as you looked it in, you'll look it out.

Almanz. I rather, like weak armies, should retreat, And so prevent my more entire defeat. For your own sake in quiet let me go; Press not too far on a despairing foe: I may turn back, and armed against you move, With all the furious train of hopeless love.

Almah. Your honour cannot to ill thoughts give way, And mine can run no hazard by your stay.

Almanz. Do you then think I can with patience see That sovereign good possessed, and not by me? No; I all day shall languish at the sight, And rave on what I do not see all night; My quick imagination will present The scenes and images of your content.

Almah. These are the day-dreams which wild fancy yields, Empty as shadows are, that fly o'er fields. Oh, whither would this boundless fancy move! 'Tis but the raging calenture of love. Like a distracted passenger you stand, And see, in seas, imaginary land, Cool groves, and flowery meads; and while you think To walk, plunge in, and wonder that you sink.

Almanz. Love's calenture too well I understand; But sure your beauty is no fairy-land! Of your own form a judge you cannot be; For, glow-worm like, you shine, and do not see.

Almah. Can you think this, and would you go away?

Almanz. What recompence attends me, if I stay?

Almah. You know I am from recompence debarred, But I will grant your merit a reward; Your flame's too noble to deserve a cheat, And I too plain to practise a deceit. I no return of love can ever make, But what I ask is for my husband's sake; He, I confess, has been ungrateful too, But he and I are ruined if you go: Your virtue to the hardest proof I bring;— Unbribed, preserve a mistress and a king.

Almanz. I'll stop at nothing that appears so brave: I'll do't, and now I no reward will have. You've given my honour such an ample field, That I may die, but that shall never yield. Spite of myself I'll stay, fight, love, despair; And I can do all this, because I dare. Yet I may own one suit— That scarf, which, since by you it has been borne, Is blessed, like relicks which by saints were worn.

Almah. Presents like this my virtue durst not make, But that 'tis given you for my husband's sake. [Gives the scarf.

Almanz. This scarf to honourable rags I'll wear, As conquering soldiers tattered ensigns bear; But oh, how much my fortune I despise, Which gives me conquest, while she love denies! [Exeunt.


SCENE I.—The Alhambra.


Esper. Affected modesty has much of pride; That scarf he begged, you could not have denied; Nor does it shock the virtue of a wife, When given that man, to whom you owe your life.

Almah. Heaven knows, from all intent of ill 'twas free, Yet it may feed my husband's jealousy; And for that cause I wish it were not done.

To them BOABDELIN, and walks apart.

See, where he comes, all pensive and alone; A gloomy fury has o'erspread his face: 'Tis so! and all my fears are come to pass.

Boab. Marriage, thou curse of love, and snare of life, [Aside That first debased a mistress to a wife! Love, like a scene, at distance should appear, But marriage views the gross-daubed landscape near. Love's nauseous cure! thou cloyest whom thou should'st please; And, when thou cur'st, then thou art the disease. When hearts are loose, thy chain our bodies ties; Love couples friends, but marriage enemies. If love like mine continues after thee, 'Tis soon made sour, and turned by jealousy; No sign of love in jealous men remains, But that which sick men have of life—their pains.

Almah. Has my dear lord some new affliction had? [Walking to him. Have I done any thing that makes him sad?

Boab. You! nothing: You! But let me walk alone.

Almah. I will not leave you till the cause be known: My knowledge of the ill may bring relief.

Boab. Thank ye; you never fail to cure my grief! Trouble me not, my grief concerns not you.

Almah. While I have life, I will your steps pursue.

Boab. I'm out of humour now; you must not stay.

Almah. I fear it is that scarf I gave away.

Boab. No, 'tis not that; but speak of it no more: Go hence! I am not what I was before.

Almah. Then I will make you so; give me your hand! Can you this pressing and these tears withstand?

Boab. Oh heaven, were she but mine, or mine alone! [Sighing, and going off from her. Ah, why are not the hearts of women known! False women to new joys unseen can move; There are no prints left in the paths of love, All goods besides by public marks are known; But what we most desire to keep, has none.

Almah. Why will you in your breast your passion crowd, [Approaching him. Like unborn thunder rolling in a cloud? Torment not your poor heart, but set it free, And rather let its fury break on me. I am not married to a god; I know, Men must have passions, and can bear from you. I fear the unlucky present I have made!

Boab. O power of guilt! how conscience can upbraid! It forces her not only to reveal, But to repeat what she would most conceal!

Almah. Can such a toy, and given in public too—

Boab. False woman, you contrived it should be so. That public gift in private was designed The emblem of the love you meant to bind. Hence from my sight, ungrateful as thou art! And, when I can, I'll banish thee my heart. [She weeps.

To them ALMANZOR wearing the Scarf. He sees her weep.

Almanz. What precious drops are those, Which silently each other's track pursue, Bright as young diamonds in their infant dew? Your lustre you should free from tears maintain, Like Egypt, rich without the help of rain. Now cursed be he who gave this cause of grief; And double cursed, who does not give relief!

Almah. Our common fears, and public miseries, Have drawn these tears from my afflicted eyes.

Almanz. Madam, I cannot easily believe It is for any public cause you grieve. On your fair face the marks of sorrow lie; But I read fury in your husband's eye: And, in that passion, I too plainly find That you're unhappy, and that he's unkind.

Almah. Not new-made mothers greater love express Than he, when with first looks their babes they bless; Not Heaven is more to dying martyrs kind, Nor guardian angels to their charge assigned.

Boab. O goodness counterfeited to the life! O the well-acted virtue of a wife! Would you with this my just suspicions blind? You've given me great occasion to be kind! The marks, too, of your spotless love appear; Witness the badge of my dishonour there. [Pointing to ALMANZOR'S scarf.

Almanz. Unworthy owner of a gem so rare! Heavens! why must he possess, and I despair? Why is this miser doomed to all this store; He, who has all, and yet believes he's poor?

Almah. [to ALMANZ.] You're much too bold, to blame a jealousy So kind in him, and so desired by me. The faith of wives would unrewarded prove, Without those just observers of our love. The greater care the higher passion shows; We hold that clearest we most fear to lose. Distrust in lovers is too warm a sun, But yet 'tis night in love when that is gone; And in those climes which most his scorching know, He makes the noblest fruits and metals grow.

Almanz. Yes; there are mines of treasure in your breast, Seen by that jealous sun, but not possest. He, like a devil, among the blest above, Can take no pleasure in your heaven of love. Go, take her; and thy causeless fears remove; [To the King. Love her so well, that I with rage may die: Dull husbands have no right to jealousy: If that's allowed, it must in lovers be.

Boab. The succour, which thou bring'st me, makes thee bold: But know, without thy aid, my crown I'll hold; Or, if I cannot, I will fire the place, Of a full city make a naked space. Hence, then, and from a rival set me free! I'll do, I'll suffer any thing but thee.

Almanz. I wonnot go; I'll not be forced away: I came not for thy sake; nor do I stay. It was the queen who for my aid did send; And 'tis I only can the queen defend: I, for her sake, thy sceptre will maintain; And thou, by me, in spite of thee, shalt reign.

Boab. Had I but hope I could defend this place Three days, thou should'st not live to my disgrace So small a time; Might I possess my Almahide alone, I would live ages out ere they were gone. I should not be of love or life bereft; All should be spent before, and nothing left.

Almah. [to BOAB.] As for your sake I for Almanzor sent, So, when you please, he goes to banishment. You shall, at last, my loyalty approve: I will refuse no trial of my love.

Boab. How can I think you love me, while I see That trophy of a rival's victory? I'll tear it from his side.

Almanz. I'll hold it fast As life, and when life's gone, I'll hold this last; And if thou tak'st it after I am slain, I'll send my ghost to fetch it back again.

Almah. When I bestowed that scarf, I had not thought, Or not considered it might be a fault; But, since my lord's displeased that I should make So small a present, I command it back. Without delay the unlucky gift restore; Or, from this minute, never see me more.

Almanz. The shock of such a curse I dare not stand: [Pulling it off hastily, and presenting it to her. Thus I obey your absolute command. [She gives it to the King. Must he the spoils of scorn'd Almanzor wear?— May Turnus' fate be thine, who dared to bear The belt of murdered Pallas! from afar Mayest thou be known, and be the mark of war! Live, just to see it from thy shoulders torn By common hands, and by some coward worn. [An alarm within.

Enter ABDELMELECH, ZULEMA, HAMET, ABENAMAR; their swords drawn.

Abdelm. Is this a time for discord or for grief? We perish, sir, without your quick relief. I have been fooled, and am unfortunate; The foes pursue their fortune and our fate.

Zul. The rebels with the Spaniards are agreed.

Boab. Take breath; my guards shall to the fight succeed.

Aben. [to ALMANZOR.] Why stay you, sir? the conquering foe is near: Give us their courage, and give them our fear.

Hamet. Take arms, or we must perish in your sight.

Almanz. I care not: perish: for I will not fight, I wonnot lift an arm in his defence: And yet I wonnot stir one foot from hence. I to your king's defence his town resign; This only spot, whereon I stand, is mine.— Madam, be safe, and lay aside your fear, [To the Queen You are as in a magic circle here.

Boab. To our own valour our success we'll owe. Haste, Hamet, with Abenamar to go; You two draw up, with all the speed you may, Our last reserves, and yet redeem the day. [Exeunt HAMET and ABENAMAR one way, the King the other, with ABDELMELECH, &c. Alarm within.

Enter ABDELMELECH, his sword drawn.

Abdelm. Granada is no more! the unhappy king Venturing too far, ere we could succour bring, Was by the duke of Arcos prisoner made, And, past relief, is to the fort conveyed.

Almanz. Heaven, thou art just! go, now despise my aid.

Almah. Unkind Almanzor, how am I betrayed! Betrayed by him in whom I trusted most! But I will ne'er outlive what I have lost. Is this your succour, this your boasted love! I will accuse you to the saints above! Almanzor vowed he would for honour fight, And lets my husband perish in my sight. [Exeunt ALMAHIDE and ESPERANZA.

Almanz. Oh, I have erred; but fury made me blind; And, in her just reproach, my fault I find! I promised even for him to fight, whom I— But since he's loved by her, he must not die. Thus, happy fortune comes to me in vain, When I myself must ruin it again.


Aben. The foe has entered the Vermillion towers; And nothing but the Alhambra now is ours.

Almanz. Even that's too much, except we may have more; You lost it all to that last stake before. Fate, now come back; thou canst not farther get; The bounds of thy libration here are set. Thou know'st this place, And, like a clock wound up, strik'st here for me; Now, Chance, assert thy own inconstancy, And, Fortune, fight, that thou may'st Fortune be!— They come: here, favoured by the narrow place, [A noise within. I can, with few, their gross battalion face. By the dead wall, you, Abdelmelech, wind; Then charge, and their retreat cut off behind. [Exeunt. [An alarm within.

Enter ALMANZOR and his Party, with ABDALLA prisoner.

Almanz. You were my friend: and to that name I owe [To ABDAL. The just regard, which you refused to show. Your liberty I frankly would restore, But honour now forbids me to do more. Yet, sir, your freedom in your choice shall be, When you command to set your brother free.

Abdal. The exchange, which you propose, with joy I take; An offer easier than my hopes could make. Your benefits revenge my crimes to you, For I my shame in that bright mirror view.

Almanz. No more; you give me thanks you do not owe: I have been faulty, and repent me now. But, though our penitence a virtue be, Mean souls alone repent in misery; The brave own faults when good success is given, For then they come on equal terms to heaven. [Exeunt.

SCENE II.—The Albayzyn.


Benz. I see there's somewhat which you fear to tell; Speak quickly, Ozmyn, is my father well? Why cross you thus your arms, and shake your head? Kill me at once, and tell me he is dead.

Ozm. I know not more than you; but fear not less; Twice sinking, twice I drew him from the press: But the victorious foe pursued so fast, That flying throngs divided us at last. As seamen parting in a general wreck, When first the loosening planks begin to crack; Each catches one, and straight are far disjoined, Some borne by tides, and others by the wind; So, in this ruin, from each other rent, With heaved-up hands we mutual farewells sent: Methought his eyes, when just I lost his view, Were looking blessings to be sent to you.

Benz. Blind queen of Chance, to lovers too severe, Thou rulest mankind, but art a tyrant there! Thy widest empire's in a lover's breast: Like open seas, we seldom are at rest. Upon thy coasts our wealth is daily cast; And thou, like pirates, mak'st no peace to last.

To them LYNDARAXA, Duke of Arcos, and Guards.

D. Arcos. We were surprised when least we did suspect, And justly suffered by our own neglect.

Lyndar. No; none but I have reason to complain! So near a kingdom, yet 'tis lost again! O, how unequally in me were joined A creeping fortune, with a soaring mind! O lottery of fate! where still the wise Draw blanks of fortune, and the fools the prize! These cross, ill-shuffled lots from heaven are sent, Yet dull Religion teaches us content; But when we ask it where the blessing dwells, It points to pedant colleges, and cells; There shows it rude, and in a homely dress, And that proud Want mistakes for happiness. [A trumpet within.


Brother! what strange adventure brought you here?

Zul. The news I bring will yet more strange appear. The little care you of my life did show, Has of a brother justly made a foe; And Abdelmelech who that life did save, As justly has deserved that life he gave.

Lyndar. Your business cools, while tediously it stays On the low theme of Abdelmelech's praise.

Zul. This I present from Prince Abdalla's hands. [Delivers a letter, which she reads.

Lyndar. He has proposed, (to free him from his bands) That, with his brother, an exchange be made.

D. Arcos. It proves the same design which we had laid. Before the castle let a bar be set; And when the captives on each side are met, With equal numbers chosen for their guard, Just at the time the passage is unbarred, Let both at once advance, at once be free.

Lyndar. The exchange I will myself in person see.

Benz. I fear to ask, yet would from doubt be freed,— Is Selin captive, sir, or is he dead?

Zul. I grieve to tell you what you needs must know,— He is a prisoner to his greatest foe; Kept with strong guards in the Alhambra tower; Without the reach even of Almanzor's power.

Ozm. With grief and shame I am at once opprest.

Zul. You will be more, when I relate the rest. To you I from Abenamar am sent, [To OZMYN. And you alone can Selin's death prevent. Give up yourself a prisoner in his stead; Or, ere to-morrow's dawn, believe him dead.

Benz. Ere that appear, I shall expire with grief.

Zul. Your action swift, your counsel must be brief.

Lyndar. While for Abdalla's freedom we prepare, You in each other's breast unload your care. [Exeunt all but OZMYN and BENZAYDA.

Benz. My wishes contradictions must imply; You must not go; and yet he must not die. Your reason may, perhaps, the extremes unite; But there's a mist of fate before my sight.

Ozm. The two extremes too distant are, to close; And human wit can no mid way propose. My duty therefore shows the nearest way To free your father, and my own obey.

Benz. Your father, whom, since yours, I grieve to blame, Has lost, or quite forgot, a parent's name; And, when at once possessed of him and you, Instead of freeing one, will murder two.

Ozm. Fear not my life; but suffer me to go: What cannot only sons with parents do! 'Tis not my death my father does pursue; He only would withdraw my love from you.

Benz. Now, Ozmyn, now your want of love I see; For would you go, and hazard losing me?

Ozm. I rather would ten thousand lives forsake; Nor can you e'er believe the doubt you make. This night I with a chosen band will go, And, by surprise, will free him from the foe.

Benz. What foe! ah whither would your virtue fall! It is your father whom the foe you call. Darkness and rage will no distinction make, And yours may perish for my father's sake.

Ozm. Thus, when my weaker virtue goes astray. Yours pulls it back, and guides me in the way: I'll send him word, my being shall depend On Selin's life, and with his death shall end.

Benz. 'Tis that, indeed, would glut your father's rage: Revenge on Ozmyn's youth, and Selin's age.

Ozm. Whate'er I plot, like Sysiphus, in vain I heave a stone, that tumbles down again.

Benz. This glorious work is then reserved for me: He is my father, and I'll set him free. These chains my father for my sake does wear: I made the fault; and I the pains will bear.

Ozm. Yes; you no doubt have merited these pains; Those hands, those tender limbs, were made for chains! Did I not love you, yet it were too base To let a lady suffer in my place. Those proofs of virtue you before did show, I did admire; but I must envy now. Your vast ambition leaves no fame for me, But grasps at universal monarchy.

Benz. Yes, Ozmyn, I shall still this palm pursue; I will not yield my glory even to you. I'll break those bonds in which my father's tied, Or, if I cannot break them, I'll divide. What, though my limbs a woman's weakness show, I have a soul as masculine as you; And when these limbs want strength my chains to wear, My mind shall teach my body how to bear. [Exit BENZ.

Ozm. What I resolve, I must not let her know; But honour has decreed she must not go. What she resolves, I must prevent with care; She shall not in my fame or danger share. I'll give strict order to the guards which wait, That, when she comes, she shall not pass the gate. Fortune, at last, has run me out of breath; I have no refuge but the arms of death: To that dark sanctuary I will go; She cannot reach me when I lie so low. [Exit.

SCENE III.—The Albayzyn.

Enter, on one side, ALMANZOR, ABDALLA, ABDELMELECH, ZULEMA, HAMET. On the other side, the Duke of ARCOS, BOABDELIN, LYNDARAXA, and their Party. After which the bars are opened; and at the same time BOABDELIN and ABDALLA pass by each other, each to his Party; when ABDALLA is passed on the other side, the Duke of ARCOS approaches the bars, and calls to ALMANZOR.

D. Arcos. The hatred of the brave with battles ends, And foes, who fought for honour, then are friends. I love thee, brave Almanzor, and am proud To have one hour when love may be allowed. This hand, in sign of that esteem, I plight; We shall have angry hours enough to fight. [Giving his hand.

Almanz. The man who dares, like you, in fields appear, And meet my sword, shall be my mistress here. If I am proud, 'tis only to my foes; Rough but to such who virtue would oppose. If I some fierceness from a father drew, A mother's milk gives me some softness too.

D. Arcos. Since first you took, and after set me free, (Whether a sense of gratitude it be, Or some more secret motion of my mind, For which I want a name that's more than kind) I shall be glad, by whate'er means I can, To get the friendship of so brave a man; And would your unavailing valour call, From aiding those whom heaven has doomed to fall. We owe you that respect, Which to the gods of foes besieged was shown, To call you out before we take your town.

Almanz. Those whom we love, we should esteem them too, And not debauch that virtue which we woo. Yet, though you give my honour just offence, I'll take your kindness in the better sense; And, since you for my safety seem to fear, I, to return your bribe, should wish you here. But, since I love you more than you do me, In all events preserve your honour free; For that's your own, though not your destiny.

D. Arcos. Were you obliged in honour by a trust, I should not think my own proposals just; But since you fight for an unthankful king, What loss of fame can change of parties bring?

Almanz. It will, and may with justice too be thought, That some advantage in that change I sought. And though I twice have changed for wrongs received, That it was done for profit none believed. The king's ingratitude I knew before; So that can be no cause of changing more. If now I stand, when no reward can be, 'Twill show the fault before was not in me.

D. Arcos. Yet there is a reward to valour due, And such it is as may be sought by you; That beauteous queen, whom you can never gain, While you secure her husband's life and reign.

Almanz. Then be it so; let me have no return [Here LYNDARAXA comes near, and hears them. From him but hatred, and from her but scorn. There is this comfort in a noble fate, That I deserve to be more fortunate. You have my last resolve; and now, farewell: My boding heart some mischief does foretell; But what it is, heaven will not let me know. I'm sad to death, that I must be your foe.

D. Arcos. Heaven, when we meet, if fatal it must be To one, spare him, and cast the lot on me. [They retire.

Lyndar. Ah, what a noble conquest were this heart! I am resolved I'll try my utmost art: In gaining him, I gain that fortune too, Which he has wedded, and which I but woo. I'll try each secret passage to his mind, And love's soft bands about his heart-strings wind. Not his vowed constancy shall 'scape my snare; While he without resistance does prepare, I'll melt into him ere his love's aware. [She makes a gesture of invitation to ALMANZOR, who returns again.

Lyndar. You see, sir, to how strange a remedy A persecuted maid is forced to fly: Who, much distressed, yet scarce has confidence To make your noble pity her defence.

Almanz. Beauty, like yours, can no protection need; Or, if it sues, is certain to succeed. To whate'er service you ordain my hand, Name your request, and call it your command.

Lyndar. You cannot, sir, but know, that my ill fate Has made me loved with all the effects of hate: One lover would, by force, my person gain; Which one, as guilty, would by force detain. Rash Abdelmelech's love I cannot prize, And fond Abdalla's passion I despise. As you are brave, so you are prudent too; Advise a wretched woman what to do.

Almanz. Have courage, fair one, put your trust in me; You shall, at least, from those you hate, be free. Resign your castle to the king's command, And leave your love concernments in my hand.

Lyndar. The king, like them, is fierce, and faithless too; How can I trust him who has injured you? Keep for yourself, (and you can grant no less) What you alone are worthy to possess. Enter, brave sir; for, when you speak the word, These gates will open of their own accord; The genius of the place its lord will meet, And bend its tow'ry forehead to your feet. That little citadel, which now you see, Shall, then, the head of conquered nations be; And every turret, from your coming, rise The mother of some great metropolis.

Almanz. 'Tis pity, words, which none but gods should hear, Should lose their sweetness in a soldier's ear: I am not that Almanzor whom you praise; But your fair mouth can fair ideas raise:— I am a wretch, to whom it is denied To accept, with honour, what I wish with pride; And, since I light not for myself, must bring The fruits of all my conquests to the king.

Lyndar. Say rather to the queen, to whose fair name I know you vow the trophies of your fame. I hope she is as kind as she is fair; Kinder than inexperienced virgins are To their first loves; (though she has loved before, And that first innocence is now no more:) But, in revenge, she gives you all her heart, (For you are much too brave to take a part.) Though, blinded by a crown, she did not see Almanzor greater than a king could be, I hope her love repairs her ill-made choice: Almanzor cannot be deluded twice.

Almanz. No, not deluded; for none count their gains, Who, like Almanzor, frankly give their pains.

Lyndar. Almanzor, do not cheat yourself, nor me; Your love is not refined to that degree: For, since you have desires, and those not blest, Your love's uneasy, and at little rest.

Almanz. 'Tis true, my own unhappiness I see; But who, alas, can my physician be? Love, like a lazy ague, I endure, Which fears the water, and abhors the cure.

Lyndar. 'Tis a consumption, which your life does waste, Still flattering you with hope, till help be past; But, since of cure from her you now despair, You, like consumptive men, should change your air: Love somewhere else; 'tis a hard remedy, But yet you owe yourself so much, to try.

Almanz. My love's now grown so much a part of me, That life would, in the cure, endangered be: At least, it like a limb cut off would show; And better die than like a cripple go.

Lyndar. You must be brought like madmen to their cure, And darkness first, and next new bonds endure: Do you dark absence to yourself ordain, And I, in charity, will find the chain.

Almanz. Love is that madness which all lovers have; But yet 'tis sweet and pleasing so to rave: 'Tis an enchantment, where the reason's bound; But Paradise is in the enchanted ground; A palace, void of envy, cares and strife, Where gentle hours delude so much of life. To take those charms away, and set me free, Is but to send me into misery; And prudence, of whose cure so much you boast, Restores those pains, which that sweet folly lost.

Lyndar. I would not, like philosophers, remove, But show you a more pleasing shape of love. You a sad, sullen, froward love did see; I'll show him kind, and full of gaiety. In short, Almanzor, it shall be my care To show you love; for you but saw despair.

Almanz. I, in the shape of love, despair did see; You, in his shape, would show inconstancy.

Lyndar. There's no such thing as constancy you call; Faith ties not hearts; 'tis inclination all. Some wit deformed, or beauty much decayed, First constancy in love a virtue made. From friendship they that land-mark did remove, And falsely placed it on the bounds of love. Let the effects of change be only tried; Court me, in jest, and call me Almahide: But this is only counsel I impart, For I, perhaps, should not receive your heart.

Almanz. Fair though you are As summer mornings, and your eyes more bright Than stars that twinkle in a winter's night; Though you have eloquence to warm and move Cold age, and praying hermits, into love; Though Almahide with scorn rewards my care,— Yet, than to change, 'tis nobler to despair. My love's my soul; and that from fate is free; 'Tis that unchanged and deathless part of me.

Lyndar. The fate of constancy your love pursue! Still to be faithful to what's false to you. [Turns from him, and goes off angrily.

Almanz. Ye gods, why are not hearts first paired above, But some still interfere in others' love! Ere each for each by certain marks are known, You mould them up in haste, and drop them down; And, while we seek what carelessly you sort, You sit in state, and make our pains your sport. [Exeunt on both sides.


Enter ABENAMAR, and Soldier.

Aben. Haste and conduct the prisoner to my sight. [Exit Soldier, and immediately enters with SELIN bound.

Aben. Did you, according to my orders, write? [To SELIN And have you summoned Ozmyn to appear?

Selin. I am not yet so much a slave to fear, Nor has your son deserved so ill of me, That by his death or bonds I would be free.

Aben. Against thy life thou dost the sentence give; Behold how short a time thou hast to live.

Selin. Make haste, and draw the curtain while you may; You but shut out the twilight of my day. Beneath the burden of my age I bend: You kindly ease me ere my journey's end. [To them a Soldier with OZMYN; OZMYN kneels.

Aben. to Selin. It is enough, my promise makes you free; Resign your bonds, and take your liberty.

Ozm. Sir, you are just, and welcome are these bands; 'Tis all the inheritance a son demands.

Selin. Your goodness, O my Ozmyn, is too great; I am not weary of my fetters yet: Already, when you move me to resign, I feel them heavier on your feet than mine.

Enter another Soldier.

Sold. A youth attends you in the outer room, Who seems in haste, and does from Ozmyn come.

Aben. Conduct him in.—

Ozm. Sent from Benzayda, I fear, to me.

To them BENZAYDA, in the habit of a man.

Benz. My Ozmyn here!

Ozm. Benzayda! 'tis she!— Go youth, I have no business for thee here; Go to the Albayzyn, and attend me there. I'll not be long away; I pray thee go, By all our love and friendship—

Benz. Ozmyn, no: I did not take on me this bold disguise, For ends so low, to cheat your watchmen's eyes. When I attempted this, it was to do An action, to be envied even by you; But you, alas, have been too diligent, And what I purposed fatally prevent! Those chains, which for my father I would bear, I take with less content to find you here; Except your father will that mercy show, That I may wear them both for him and you.

Aben. I thank thee, fortune! thou hast, in one hour, Put all I could have asked thee in my power. My own lost wealth thou giv'st not only back, But driv'st upon my coast my pirate's wreck.

Selin. With Ozmyn's kindness I was grieved before, But yours, Benzayda, has' undone me more.

Aben. to a Soldier. Go fetch new fetters, and the daughter bind.

Ozm. Be just at least, sir, though you are not kind: Benzayda is not as a prisoner brought, But comes to suffer for another's fault.

Aben. Then, Ozmyn, mark, that justice which I do, I, as severely, will exact from you: The father is not wholly dead in me; Or you may yet revive it, if it be. Like tapers new blown out, the fumes remain, To catch the light, and bring it back again. Benzayda gave you life, and set you free; For that, I will restore her liberty.

Ozm. Sir, on my knees I thank you.

Aben. Ozmyn, hold; One part of what I purpose is untold: Consider, then, it on your part remains, When I have broke, not to resume your chains. Like an indulgent father, I have paid All debts, which you, my prodigal, have made. Now you are clear, break off your fond design, Renounce Benzayda, and be wholly mine.

Ozm. Are these the terms? Is this the liberty? Ah, sir, how can you so inhuman be? My duty to my life I will prefer; But life and duty must give place to her.

Aben. Consider what you say, for, with one breath, You disobey my will, and give her death.

Ozm. Ah, cruel father, what do you propose! Must I then kill Benzayda, or must lose? I can do neither; in this wretched state. The least that I can suffer is your hate; And yet that's worse than death: Even while I sue, And choose your hatred, I could die for you. Break quickly, heart, or let my blood be spilt By my own hand, to save a father's guilt.

Benz. Hear me, my lord, and take this wretched life, To free you from the fear of Ozmyn's wife. I beg but what with ease may granted be, To spare your son, and kill your enemy; Or, if my death's a grace too great to give, Let me, my lord, without my Ozmyn live. Far from your sight and Ozmyn's let me go, And take from him a care, from you a foe.

Ozm. How, my Benzayda! can you thus resign That love, which you have vowed so firmly mine? Can you leave me for life and liberty?

Benz. What I have done will show that I dare die; But I'll twice suffer death, and go away, Rather than make you wretched by my stay: By this my father's freedom will be won; And to your father I restore a son.

Selin. Cease, cease, my children, your unhappy strife, Selin will not be ransomed by your life. Barbarian, thy old foe defies thy rage; [To ABEN. Turn, from their youth, thy malice to my age.

Benz. Forbear, dear father! for your Ozmyn's sake, Do not such words to Ozmyn's father speak.

Ozm. Alas, 'tis counterfeited rage; he strives But to divert the danger from our lives: For I can witness, sir, and you might see, How in your person he considered me. He still declined the combat where you were; And you well know it was not out of fear.

Benz. Alas, my lord, where can your vengeance fall? Your justice will not let it reach us all. Selin and Ozmyn both would sufferers be; And punishment's a favour done to me. If we are foes, since you have power to kill, 'Tis generous in you not to have the will; But, are we foes? Look round, my lord, and see; Point out that face which is your enemy. Would you your hand in Selin's blood embrue? Kill him unarmed, who, armed, shunned killing you? Am I your foe? Since you detest my line, That hated name of Zegry I resign: For you, Benzayda will herself disclaim; Call me your daughter, and forget my name.

Selin. This virtue would even savages subdue; And shall it want the power to vanquish you?

Ozm. It has, it has; I read it in his eyes; 'Tis now not anger, 'tis but shame denies; A shame of error, that great spirits find, When keeps down virtue struggling in the mind.

Aben. Yes, I am vanquished! The fierce conflict's past, And shame itself is now o'ercome at last. 'Twas long before my stubborn mind was won; But, melting once, I on the sudden run; Nor can I hold my headlong kindness more, Than I could curb my cruel rage before. [Runs to BENZ., and embraces her. Benzayda, 'twas your virtue vanquished me; That could alone surmount my cruelty. [Runs to SELIN, and unbinds him. Forgive me, Selin, my neglect of you; But men, just waking, scarce know what they do.

Ozm. O father!

Benz. Father!

Aden. Dare I own that name! Speak, speak it often, to remove my shame. [They all embrace him. O Selin, O my children, let me go! I have more kindness than I yet can show. For my recovery I must shun your sight; Eyes used to darkness cannot bear the light. [He runs in, they following him.

SCENE II.—The Albayzyn.


Almanz. 'Tis war again, and I am glad 'tis so; Success shall now by force and courage go. Treaties are but the combat of the brain, Where still the stronger lose, and weaker gain.

Abdelm. On this assault, brave sir, which we prepare, Depends the sum and fortune of the war. Encamped without the fort the Spaniard lies, And may, in spite of us, send in supplies. Consider yet, ere we attack the place, What 'tis to storm it in an army's face.

Almanz. The minds of heroes their own measures are, They stand exempted from the rules of war. One loose, one sally of the hero's soul, Does all the military art controul; While timorous wit goes round, or fords the shore, He shoots the gulph, and is already o'er; And, when the enthusiastic fit is spent, Looks back amazed at what he underwent. [Exeunt. [An alarum within.

Re-enter ALMANZOR and ABDELMELECH, with their Soldiers.

Abdelm. They fly, they fly; take breath and charge again.

Almanz. Make good your entrance, and bring up more men. I feared, brave friend, my aid had been too late.

Abdelm. You drew us from the jaws of certain fate. At my approach, The gate was open, and the draw-bridge down; But, when they saw I stood, and came not on, They charged with fury on my little band, Who, much o'erpowered, could scarce the shock withstand.

Almanz. Ere night we shall the whole Albayzyn gain. But see, the Spaniards march along the plain To its relief; you, Abdelmelech, go, And force the rest, while I repulse the foe. [Exit ALMANZOR.

Enter ABDALLA, and some few Soldiers, who seem fearful.

Abdal. Turn cowards, turn! there is no hope in flight; You yet may live, if you but dare to fight. Come, you brave few, who only fear to fly, We're not enough to conquer, but to die.

Abdelm. No, prince, that mean advantage I refuse; 'Tis in your power a nobler fate to choose. Since we are rivals, honour does command We should not die, but by each other's hand. Retire; and, if it prove my destiny [To his men. To fall, I charge you let the prince go free. [The Soldiers depart on both sides.

Abdal. O, Abdelmelech, that I knew some way This debt of honour, which I owe, to pay! But fate has left this only means for me, To die, and leave you Lyndaraxa free.

Abdelm. He, who is vanquished and is slain, is blest; The wretched conqueror can ne'er have rest; But is reserved a harder fate to prove. Bound in the fetters of dissembled love.

Abdal. Now thou art base, and I deserve her more; Without complaint I will to death adore. Dar'st thou see faults, and yet dost love pretend? I will even Lyndaraxa's crimes defend.

Abdelm. Maintain her cause, then, better than thy own,— Than thy ill got, and worse defended throne. [They fight, ABDALLA falls.

Abdelm. Now ask your life.

Abdal. 'Tis gone; that busy thing, The soul, is packing up, and just on wing, Like parting swallows, when they seek the spring: Like them, at its appointed time, it goes, And flies to countries more unknown than those.

Enter LYNDARAXA hastily, sees them, and is going out again. ABDELMELECH stops her.

Abdelm. No, you shall stay, and see a sacrifice, Not offered by my sword, but by your eyes. From those he first ambitious poison drew, And swelled to empire from the love of you. Accursed fair! Thy comet-blaze portends a prince's fate; And suffering subjects groan beneath thy weight.

Abdal. Cease, rival, cease! I would have forced you, but it wonnot be; I beg you now, upbraid her not for me. You, fairest, to my memory be kind! [To LYNDAR. Lovers like me your sex will seldom find. When I usurped a crown for love of you, I then did more, than, dying, now I do. I'm still the same as when my love begun; And, could I now this fate foresee or shun, Would yet do all I have already done. [Dies. [She puts her handkerchief to her eyes.

Abdelm. Weep on, weep on, for it becomes you now; These tears you to that love may well allow. His unrepenting soul, if it could move Upward in crimes, flew spotted with your love; And brought contagion to the blessed above.

Lyndar. He's gone, and peace go with a constant mind! His love deserved I should have been more kind; But then your love and greater worth I knew: I was unjust to him, but just to you.

Abdelm. I was his enemy, and rival too, Yet I some tears to his misfortune owe: You owe him more; weep then, and join with me: So much is due even to humanity.

Lyndar. Weep for this wretch, whose memory I hate! Whose folly made us both unfortunate! Weep for this fool, who did my laughter move! This whining, tedious, heavy lump of love!

Abdelm. Had fortune favoured him, and frowned on me, I then had been that heavy fool, not he: Just this had been my funeral elegy. Thy arts and falsehood I before did know, But this last baseness was concealed till now; And 'twas no more than needful to be known; I could be cured by such an act alone. My love, half blasted, yet in time would shoot; But this last tempest rends it to the root.

Lyndar. These little piques, which now your anger move, Will vanish, and are only signs of love. You've been too fierce; and, at some other time, I should not with such ease forgive your crime: But, in a day of public joy like this, I pardon, and forget whate'er's amiss.

Abdelm. These arts have oft prevailed, but must no more: The spell is ended, and the enchantment o'er. You have at last destroyed, with much ado, That love, which none could have destroyed, but you. My love was blind to your deluding art; But blind men feel, when stabbed so near the heart.

Lyndar. I must confess there was some pity due; But I concealed it out of love to you.

Abdelm. No, Lyndaraxa; 'tis at last too late: Our loves have mingled with too much of fate. I would, but cannot now, myself deceive: O that you still could cheat, and I believe!

Lyndar. Do not so light a quarrel long pursue: You grieve your rival was less loved than you. 'Tis hard, when men of kindness must complain!

Abdelm. I'm now awake, and cannot dream again.

Lyndar. Yet hear—

Abdelm. No more; nothing my heart can bend: That queen, you scorned, you shall this night attend. Your life the king has pardoned for my sake; But on your pride I some revenge must take. See now the effects of what your arts designed! Thank your inconstant and ambitious mind. 'Tis just that she, who to no love is true, Should be forsaken, and contemned, like you.

Lyndar. All arts of injured women I will try: First I will be revenged; and then I'll die. But like some falling tower, Whose seeming firmness does the sight beguile, So hold I up my nodding head a while, Till they come under; and reserve my fall, That with my ruins I may reach them all,

Abdelm. Conduct her hence. [Exit LYNDAR. guarded.

Enter a Soldier.

Sold. Almanzor is victorious without fight; The foes retreated when he came in sight. Under the walls, this night, his men are drawn, And mean to seek the Spaniard with the dawn.

Abdelm. The sun's declined: Command the watch be set without delay, And in the fort let bold Benducar stay.— [Exit Sold. I'll haste to court, where solitude I'll fly, And herd, like wounded deer, in company. But oh, how hard a passion to remove, When I must shun myself, to 'scape from love! [Exit.

SCENE III.—A Gallery in the Alhambra.


Hamet. I thought your passion for the queen was dead, Or that your love had, with your hopes, been fled.

Zul. 'Twas like a fire within a furnace pent: I smothered it, and kept it long from vent; But, fed with looks, and blown with sighs so fast, It broke a passage through my lips at last.

Hamet. Where found you confidence your suit to move? Our broken fortunes are not fit to love. Well; you declared your love:—What followed then?

Zul. She looked as judges do on guilty men, When big with fate they triumph in their dooms, And smile before the deadly sentence comes. Silent I stood, as I were thunder-struck; Condemned and executed with a look.

Hamet. You must, with haste, some remedy prepare: Now you are in, you must break through the snare.

Zul. She said, she would my folly yet conceal; But vowed my next attempt she would reveal.

Hamet. 'Tis dark; and in this lonely gallery, Remote from noise, and shunning every eye, One hour each evening she in private mourns, And prays, and to the circle then returns.

Zul. These lighted tapers show the time is nigh. Perhaps my courtship will not be in vain: At least, few women will of force complain.

At the other end of the Gallery, enter ALMANZOR and ESPERANZA.

Hamet. Almanzor, and with him The favourite slave of the sultana queen.

Zul. Ere they approach, let us retire unseen, And watch our time when they return again: Then force shall give, if favour does deny; And, that once done, we'll to the Spaniards fly. [Exeunt ZUL. and HAMET.

Almanz. Now stand; the apartment of the queen is near; And, from this place, your voice will reach her ear. [ESPERANZA goes out.



He. How unhappy a lover am I, While I sigh for my Phillis in vain; All my hopes of delight Are another man's right, Who is happy, while I am in pain!


She. Since her honour allows no relief, But to pity the pains which you bear, 'Tis the best of your fate In a hopeless estate, To give o'er, and betimes to despair.


He. I have tried the false med'cine in vain; For I wish what I hope not to win: From without, my desire Has no food to its fire; But it burns and consumes me within.


She. Yet, at least, 'tis a pleasure to know That you are not unhappy alone: For the nymph you adore Is as wretched, and more; And counts all your sufferings her own.


He. O ye gods, let me suffer for both; At the feet of my Phyllis I'll lie: I'll resign up my breath, And take pleasure in death To be pitied by her when I die.


She. What her honour denied you in life, In her death she will give to your love. Such flame as is true After fate will renew, For the souls to meet closer above.

Enter ESPERANZA again, after the Song.

Almanz. Accept this diamond, till I can present Something more worthy my acknowledgement. And now farewell: I will attend, alone, Her coming forth; and make my sufferings known. [Exit ESPERANZA. A hollow wind comes whistling through that door, And a cold shivering seizes me all o'er; My teeth, too, chatter with a sudden fright:— These are the raptures of too fierce delight, The combat of the tyrants, hope and fear; Which hearts, for want of field-room, cannot bear. I grow impatient;—this, or that's the room:— I'll meet her;—now methinks, I her her come. [He goes to the door; the Ghost of his Mother meets him: He starts back: The Ghost stands in the door. Well may'st thou make thy boast, whate'er thou art! Thou art the first e'er made Almanzor start. My legs Shall bear me to thee in their own despite: I'll rush into the covert of thy night, And pull thee backward, by the shroud, to light; Or else I'll squeeze thee, like a bladder, there, And make thee groan thyself away to air. [The Ghost retires. So, thou art gone! Thou canst no conquest boast: I thought what was the courage of a ghost.— The grudging of my ague yet remains; My blood, like icicles, hangs in my veins, And does not drop:—Be master of that door, We two will not disturb each other more. I erred a little, but extremes may join; That door was hell's, but this is heaven's and mine. [Goes to the other door, and is met again by the Ghost. Again! by heaven, I do conjure thee, speak! What art thou, spirit? and what dost thou seek? [The Ghost comes on softly after the conjuration; and ALMANZOR retires to the middle of the stage.

Ghost. I am the ghost of her who gave thee birth; The airy shadow of her mouldering earth. Love of thy father me through seas did guide; On seas I bore thee, and on seas I died. I died; and for my winding sheet a wave I had, and all the ocean for my grave. But, when my soul to bliss did upward move, I wandered round the crystal walls above; But found the eternal fence so steeply high, That, when I mounted to the middle sky, I flagged, and fluttered down, and could not fly. Then, from the battlements of the heavenly tower, A watchman angel bid me wait this hour; And told me, I had yet a task assigned, To warn that little pledge I left behind; And to divert him, ere it were too late, From crimes unknown, and errors of his fate.

Almanz. Speak, holy shade; thou parent-form, speak on! [Bowing. Instruct thy mortal-elemented son; For here I wander, to myself unknown. But O, thou better part of heavenly air, Teach me, kind spirit, since I'm still thy care, My parents' names: If I have yet a father, let me know To whose old age my humble youth must bow, And pay its duty, if he mortal be, Or adoration, if a mind, like thee.

Ghost. Then, what I may, I'll tell.— From ancient blood thy father's lineage springs, Thy mother's thou deriv'st from stems of kings. A Christian born, and born again that day, When sacred water washed thy sins away. Yet, bred in errors, thou dost misemploy That strength heaven gave thee, and its flock destroy.

Almanz. By reason, man a godhead may discern, But how he should be worshipped cannot learn.

Ghost. Heaven does not now thy ignorance reprove, But warns thee from known crimes of lawless love. That crime thou knowest, and, knowing, dost not shun, Shall an unknown and greater crime pull on: But if, thus warned, thou leav'st this cursed place, Then shalt thou know the author of thy race. Once more I'll see thee; then my charge is done. Far hence, upon the mountains of the moon, Is my abode; where heaven and nature smile, And strew with flowers the secret bed of Nile. Blessed souls are there refined, and made more bright, And, in the shades of heaven, prepared for light. [Exit Ghost.

Almanz. O heaven, how dark a riddle's thy decree, Which bounds our wills, yet seems to leave them free! Since thy fore-knowledge cannot be in vain, Our choice must be what thou didst first ordain. Thus, like a captive in an isle confined, Man walks at large, a prisoner of the mind: Wills all his crimes, while heaven the indictment draws, And, pleading guilty, justifies the laws. Let fate be fate; the lover and the brave Are ranked, at least, above the vulgar slave. Love makes me willing to my death to run; And courage scorns the death it cannot shun.

Enter ALMAHIDE with a taper.

Almah. My light will sure discover those who talk.— Who dares to interrupt my private walk?

Almanz. He, who dares love, and for that love must die, And, knowing this, dares yet love on, am I.

Almah. That love which you can hope, and I can pay, May be received and given in open day: My praise and my esteem you had before; And you have bound yourself to ask no more.

Almanz. Yes, I have bound myself; but will you take The forfeit of that bond, which force did make?

Almah. You know you are from recompence debarred; But purest love can live without reward.

Almanz. Pure love had need be to itself a feast; For, like pure elements, 'twill nourish least.

Almah. It therefore yields the only pure content; For it, like angels, needs no nourishment. To eat and drink can no perfection be; All appetite implies necessity.

Almanz. 'Twere well, if I could like a spirit live; But, do not angels food to mortals give? What if some demon should my death foreshow, Or bid me change, and to the Christians go; Will you not think I merit some reward, When I my love above my life regard?

Almah. In such a case your change must be allowed: I would myself dispense with what you vowed.

Almanz. Were I to die that hour when I possess, This minute shall begin my happiness.

Almah. The thoughts of death your passion would remove; Death is a cold encouragement to love.

Almanz. No; from my joys I to my death would run, And think the business of my life well done: But I should walk a discontented ghost, If flesh and blood were to no purpose lost.

Almah. You love me not, Almanzor; if you did, You would not ask what honour must forbid.

Almanz. And what is honour, but a love well hid?

Almah. Yes, 'tis the conscience of an act well done, Which gives us power our own desires to shun; The strong and secret curb of headlong will; The self-reward of good, and shame of ill.

Almanz. These, madam, are the maxims of the day, When honour's present, and when love's away. The duty of poor honour were too hard, In arms all day, at night to mount the guard. Let him, in pity, now to rest retire; Let these soft hours be watched by warm desire.

Almah. Guards, who all day on painful duty keep, In dangers are not privileged to sleep.

Almanz. And with what dangers are you threatened here? Am I, alas! a foe for you to fear? See, madam, at your feet this enemy; [Kneels. Without your pity and your love I die.

Almah. Rise, rise, and do not empty hopes pursue; Yet think that I deny myself, not you.

Almanz. A happiness so high I cannot bear: My love's too fierce, and you too killing fair. I grow enraged to see such excellence!— If words, so much disordered, give offence, My love's too full of zeal to think of sense. Be you like me; dull reason hence remove, And tedious forms, and give a loose to love. Love eagerly; let us be gods to-night; And do not, with half yielding, clash delight.

Almah. Thou strong seducer, opportunity! Of womankind, half are undone by thee! Though I resolve I will not be misled, I wish I had not heard what you have said! I cannot be so wicked to comply; And, yet, am most unhappy to deny! Away!

Almanz. I will not move me from this place: I can take no denial from that face!

Almah. If I could yield,—but think not that I will,— You and myself I in revenge should kill; For I should hate us both, when it were done, And would not to the shame of life be won.

Almanz. Live but to-night, and trust to-morrow's mind: Ere that can come, there's a whole life behind. Methinks, already crowned with joys I lie, Speechless and breathless, in an ecstasy! Not absent in one thought: I am all there: Still close, yet wishing still to be more near.

Almah. Deny your own desires; for it will be Too little now to be denied by me. Will he, who does all great, all noble seem, Be lost and forfeit to his own esteem? Will he, who may with heroes claim a place, Belie that fame, and to himself be base? Think how august and godlike you did look, When my defence, unbribed, you undertook; But, when an act so brave you disavow, How little, and how mercenary now!

Almanz. Are, then, my services no higher prized? And can I fall so low, to be despised?

Almah. Yes; for whatever may be bought, is low; And you yourself, who sell yourself, are so. Remember the great act you did this day: How did your love to virtue then give way! When you gave freedom to my captive lord,— That rival who possessed what you adored,— Of such a deed what price can there be made? Think well; is that an action to be paid? It was a miracle of virtue shown; And wonders are with wonder paid alone. And would you all that secret joy of mind, Which great souls only in great actions find, All that, for one tumultuous minute lose?

Almanz, I would that minute before ages chuse. Praise is the pay of heaven for doing good; But love's the best return for flesh and blood.

Almah. You've moved my heart so much, I can deny No move; but know, Almanzor, I can die. Thus far my virtue yields; if I have shown More love than what I ought, let this atone. [Going to stab herself.

Almanz. Hold, hold! Such fatal proofs of love you shall not give: Deny me; hate me; both are just,—but live! Your virtue I will ne'er disturb again; Nor dare to ask, for fear I should obtain.

Almah. 'Tis generous to have conquered your desire; You mount above your wish, and lose it higher. There's pride in virtue, and a kindly heat; Not feverish, like your love, but full as great. Farewell; and may our loves hereafter be But image-like, to heighten piety.

Almanz. 'Tis time I should be gone.— Alas! I am but half converted yet; All I resolve, I with one look forget; And, like a lion, whom no arts can tame, Shall tear even those, who would my rage reclaim. [Exeunt severally. [ZULEMA and HAMET watch ALMANZOR; and when he is gone, go in after the Queen.


Lyndar. It is enough, you've brought me to this place: Here stop, and urge no further my disgrace. Kill me; in death your mercy will be seen, But make me not a captive to the queen.

Abdelm. 'Tis therefore I this punishment provide: This only can revenge me on your pride. Prepare to suffer what you shun in vain; And know, you now are to obey, not reign.

Enter ALMAHIDE shrieking; her hair loose; she runs over the stage.

Almah. Help, help, O heaven, some help!


Zul. Make haste before, And intercept her passage to the door.

Abdelm. Villains, what act are you attempting here!

Almah. I thank thee, heaven! some succour does appear. [As ABDELMELECH is going to help the Queen, LYNDARAXA pulls out his sword, and holds it.

Abdelm. With what ill fate my good design is curst!

Zul. We have no time to think; dispatch him first.

Abdelm. O for a sword! [They make at ABDELMELECH; he goes off at one door, while the Queen escapes at the other.

Zul. Ruined!

Hamet. Undone!

Lyndar. And, which is worst of all, He is escaped.

Zul. I hear them loudly call.

Lyndar. Your fear will lose you; call as loud as they: I have not time to teach you what to say. The court will in a moment all be here; But second what I say, and do not fear. Call help; run that way; leave the rest to me. [ZUL. and HAMET retire, and within cry,—Help!

Enter, at several doors, the King, ABENAMAR, SELIN, OZMYN, ALMANZOR, with Guards attending BOABDELIN.

Boab. What can the cause of all this tumult be? And what the meaning of that naked sword?

Lyndar. I'll tell, when fear will so much breath afford.— The queen and Abdelmelech—'Twill not out— Even I, who saw it, of the truth yet doubt, It seems so strange.

Almanz. Did she not name the queen? Haste; speak.

Lyndar. How dare I speak what I have seen?— With Hamet, and with Zulema I went, To pay both theirs, and my acknowledgment To Almahide, and by her mouth implore Your clemency, our fortunes to restore. We chose this hour, which we believed most free, When she retired from noise and company. The ante-chamber past, we gently knocked, Unheard it seems, but found the lodgings locked, In duteous silence while we waited there, We first a noise, and then long whispers hear; Yet thought it was the queen at prayers alone, Till she distinctly said,—If this were known, My love, what shame, what danger would ensue! Yet I,—and sighed,—could venture more for you!

Boab. O heaven, what do I hear!

Almanz. Let her go on.

Lyndar. And how,—then murmured in a bigger tone Another voice,—and how should it be known? This hour is from your court attendants free; The king suspects Almanzor, but not me.

Zul. I find her drift; Hamet, be confident; [At the door. Second her words, and fear not the event.

ZULEMA and HAMET enter. The King embraces them.

Boab. Welcome, my only friends;—behold in me, O kings, behold the effects of clemency! See here the gratitude of pardoned foes! That life, I gave them, they for me expose!

Hamet. Though Abdelmelech was our friend before, When duty called us, he was so no more.

Almanz. Damn your delay!—you torturers, proceed! I will not hear one word but Almahide.

Boab. When you, within, the traitor's voice did hear, What did you then?

Zul. I durst not trust my ear; But, peeping through the key-hole, I espied The queen, and Abdelmelech by her side; She on the couch, he on her bosom lay; Her hand about his neck his head did stay, And from his forehead wiped the drops away.

Boab. Go on, go on, my friends, to clear my doubt; I hope I shall have life to hear you out.

Zul What had been, sir, you may suspect too well; What followed, modesty forbids to tell: Seeing what we had thought beyond belief, Our hearts so swelled with anger and with grief, That, by plain force, we strove the door to break. He, fearful, and with guilt, or love, grown weak, Just as we entered, 'scaped the other way; Nor did the amazed queen behind him stay.

Lyndar. His sword, in so much haste, he could not mind; But left this witness of his crime behind.

Boab. O proud, ungrateful, faithless womankind! How changed, and what a monster am I made! My love, my honour, ruined and betrayed!

Almanz. Your love and honour! mine are ruined worse:— Furies and hell!—What right have you to curse? Dull husband as you are, What can your love, or what your honour, be? I am her lover, and she's false to me.

Boab. Go; when the authors of my shame are found, Let them be taken instantly and bound: They shall be punished as our laws require: 'Tis just, that flames should be condemned to fire. This, with the dawn of morning shall be done.

Aben. You haste too much her execution. Her condemnation ought to be deferred; With justice, none can be condemned unheard.

Boab. A formal process tedious is, and long; Besides, the evidence is full and strong.

Lyndar. The law demands two witnesses; and she Is cast, for which heaven knows I grieve, by three.

Ozm. Hold, sir! since you so far insist on law, We can from thence one just advantage draw: That law, which dooms adultresses to die, Gives champions, too, to slandered chastity.

Almanz. And how dare you, who from my bounty live, Intrench upon my love's prerogative? Your courage in your own concernments try; Brothers are things remote, while I am by.

Ozm. I knew not you thus far her cause would own, And must not suffer you to fight alone: Let two to two in equal combat join; You vindicate her person, I her line.

Lyndar. Of all mankind, Almanzor has least right In her defence, who wrong'd his love, to fight.

Almanz. 'Tis false: she is not ill, nor can she be; She must be chaste, because she's loved by me.

Zul. Dare you, what sense and reason prove, deny?

Almanz. When she's in question, sense and reason lie.

Zul. For truth, and for my injured sovereign, What I have said, I will to death maintain.

Ozm. So foul a falsehood, whoe'er justifies, Is basely born, and, like a villain, lies. In witness of that truth, be this my gage. [Takes a ring from his finger.

Hamet. I take it; and despise a traitor's rage.

Boab. The combat's yours.—A guard the lists surround; Then raise a scaffold in the encompassed ground, And, by it, piles of wood; in whose just fire, Her champions slain, the adultress shall expire.

Aben. We ask no favour, but what arms will yield.

Boab. Choose, then, two equal judges of the field: Next morning shall decide the doubtful strife, Condemn the unchaste, or quit the virtuous wife.

Almanz. But I am both ways cursed: For Almahide must die, if I am slain; Or for my rival I the conquest gain. [Exeunt.



I have outfac'd myself; and justified, What I knew false, to all the world beside. She was as faithless as her sex could be; And, now I am alone, she's so to me. She's fallen! and, now, where shall we virtue find? She was the last that stood of womankind. Could she so holily my flames remove, And fall that hour to Abdelmelech's love? Yet her protection I must undertake; Not now for love, but for my honour's sake, That moved me first, and must oblige me still: My cause is good, however her's be ill. I'll leave her, when she's freed; and let it be Her punishment, she could be false to me.

To him ABDELMELECH, guarded.

Abdelm. Heaven is not heaven, nor are there deities There is some new rebellion in the skies. All that was good and holy is dethroned, And lust and rapine are for justice owned.

Almanz. 'Tis true; what justice in that heaven can be, Which thus affronts me with the sight of thee? Why must I be from just revenge debarred? Chains are thy arms, and prisons are thy guard: The death, thou diest, may to a husband be A satisfaction; but 'tis none to me. My love would justice to itself afford; But now thou creep'st to death below my sword.

Abdelm. This threatening would show better were I free.

Almanz. No; wert thou freed, I would not threaten thee; This arm should then—but now it is too late! I could redeem thee to a nobler fate. As some huge rock, Rent from its quarry, does the waves divide, So I Would souse upon thy guards, and dash them wide: Then, to my rage left naked and alone, Thy too much freedom thou should'st soon bemoan: Dared like a lark, that, on the open plain Pursued and cuffed, seeks shelter now in vain; So on the ground wouldst thou expecting lie, Not daring to afford me victory. But yet thy fate's not ripe; it is decreed, Before thou diest, that Almahide be freed. My honour first her danger must remove, And then revenge on thee my injured love. [Exeunt severally.


The SCENE changes to the Vivarambla, and appears filled with Spectators; a Scaffold hung with black.

Enter the QUEEN guarded, with ESPERANZA.

Almah. See how the gazing people crowd the place, All gaping to be filled with my disgrace. [A shout within. That shout, like the hoarse peals of vultures, rings, When over fighting fields they beat their wings.— Let never woman trust in innocence, Or think her chastity its own defence; Mine has betrayed me to this public shame, And virtue, which I served, is but a name.

Esper. Leave then that shadow, and for succour fly To Him we serve, the Christian's Deity. Virtue's no god, nor has she power divine: But He protects it, who did first enjoin. Trust then in Him; and from his grace implore Faith to believe, what rightly we adore.

Almah. Thou Power unknown, if I have erred, forgive! My infancy was taught what I believe. But if the Christians truly worship thee, Let me thy Godhead in thy succour see: So shall thy justice in my safety shine, And all my days, which thou shalt add, be thine!

Enter the KING, ABENAMAR, LYNDARAXA, BENZAYDA: then ABDELMELECH guarded; and after him SELIN and ALABEZ, as Judges of the Field.

Boab. You, judges of the field, first take your place.— The accusers and accused bring face to face. Set guards, and let the lists be opened wide; And may just heaven assist the juster side!

Almah. What! not one tender look, one passing word? Farewell, my much unkind, but still loved lord! Your throne was for my humble fate too high, And therefore heaven thinks fit that I should die. My story be forgot, when I am dead, Lest it should fright some other from your bed; And, to forget me, may you soon adore Some happier maid,—yet none could love you more. But may you never think me innocent, Lest it should cause you trouble to repent.

Boab. 'Tis pity so much beauty should not live; [Aside. Yet I too much am injured, to forgive. [Goes to his seat.

Trumpets: Then enter two Moors, bearing two naked swords before the accusers ZULEMA and HAMET, who follow them. The Judges seat themselves; the QUEEN and ABDELMELECH are led to the Scaffold.

Alabez. Say for what end you thus in arms appear; What are your names, and what demand you here?

Zul. The Zegrys' ancient race our lineage claims; And Zulema and Hamet are our names. Like loyal subjects in these lists we stand, And justice in our king's behalf demand.

Hamet. For whom, in witness of what both have seen, Bound by our duty, we appeach the queen And Abdelmelech, of adultery.

Zul. Which, like true knights, we will maintain, or die.

Alabez. Swear on the Alcoran your cause is right, And Mahomet so prosper you in fight. [They touch their foreheads with the Alcoran, and bow.

Trumpets on the other side of the Stage; two Moors, as before, with bare swords before ALMANZOR and OZMYN.

Selin. Say for what end you thus in arms appear; What are your names, and what demand you here?

Almanz. Ozmyn is his, Almanzor is my name; We come as champions of the queen's fair fame.

Ozm. To prove these Zegrys, like false traitors, lie; Which, like true knights, we will maintain, or die.

Selin. [to ALMAH.] Madam, do you for champions take these two, By their success to live or die?

Almah. I do.

Selin. Swear on the Alcoran your cause is right; And Mahomet so prosper you in fight. [They kiss the Alcoran. [OZMYN and BENZAYDA embrace, and take leave in dumb show; while LYNDARAXA speaks to her Brother.

Lyndar. If you o'ercome, let neither of them live, But use with care the advantages I give: One of their swords in fight shall useless be; The bearer of it is suborned by me. [She and BENZAYDA retire.

Alabez. Now, principals and seconds, all advance, And each of you assist his fellow's chance.

Selin. The wind and sun we equally divide, So let the event of arms the truth decide. The chances of the fight, and every wound, The trumpets, on the victor's part, resound. [The Trumpets sound; ALMANZOR and ZULEMA meet and fight; OZMYN and HAMET. After some passes, the sword of OZMYN breaks; he retires, defending himself, and is wounded; the Zegrys' Trumpets sound their advantage. ALMANZOR, in the mean time, drives ZULEMA to the farther end of the Stage, till, hearing the Trumpets of the adverse Party, he looks back, and sees OZMYN'S misfortune; he makes at ZULEMA just as OZMYN falls, in retiring, and HAMET is thrusting at him.

Hamet. [to OZMYN, thrusting.] Our difference now shall soon determined be.

Almanz. Hold, traitor, and defend thyself from me. [HAMET leaves OZMYN (who cannot rise), and both he and ZULEMA fall on ALMANZOR, and press him; he retires, and HAMET, advancing first, is run through the body, and falls. The Queen's Trumpets sound. ALMANZOR pursues ZULEMA.

Lyndar. I must make haste some remedy to find:— Treason, Almanzor, treason! look behind. [ALMANZOR looks behind him to see who calls, and ZULEMA takes the advantage, and wounds him; the Zegrys' Trumpets sound; ALMANZOR turns upon ZULEMA, and wounds him; he falls. The Queens Trumpets sound.

Almanz. Now triumph in thy sister's treachery. [Stabbing him.

Zul. Hold, hold! I have enough to make me die, But, that I may in peace resign my breath, I must confess my crime before my death. Mine is the guilt; the queen is innocent: I loved her, and, to compass my intent, Used force, which Abdelmelech did prevent. The lie my sister forged; but, O! my fate Comes on too soon, and I repent too late. Fair queen, forgive; and let my penitence Expiate some part of— [Dies.

Almah. Even thy whole offence!

Almanz. [to the Judges.] If aught remains in the sultana's cause, I here am ready to fulfil the laws.

Selin. The law is fully satisfied, and we Pronounce the queen and Abdelmelech free.

Abdelm. Heaven, thou art just! [The Judges rise from their seats, and go before ALMANZOR to the Queens Scaffold; he unbinds the Queen and ABDELMELECH; they all go off, the People shouting, and the Trumpets sounding the while.

Boab. Before we pay our thanks, or show our joy, Let us our needful charity employ. Some skilful surgeon speedily be found, To apply fit remedies to Ozmyn's wound.

Benz. [running to OZM.] That be my charge: my linen I will tear; Wash it with tears, and bind it with my hair.

Ozm. With how much pleasure I my pains endure, And bless the wound which causes such a cure! [Exit OZM. led by BENZ. and ABEN.

Boab. Some from the place of combat bear the slain.— Next Lyndaraxa's death I should ordain: But let her, who this mischief did contrive, For ever banished from Granada live.

Lyndar. Thou shouldst have punished more, or not at all: By her thou hast not ruined, thou shalt fall. The Zegrys shall revenge their branded line, Betray their gate, and with the Christians join. [Aside. [Exit LYNDARAXA with ALABEZ; the bodies of her Brothers are borne after her.

ALMANZOR, ALMAHIDE, and ESPERANZA, re-enter to the King.

Almah. The thanks thus paid, which first to heaven were due, My next, Almanzor, let me pay to you: Somewhat there is of more concernment too, Which 'tis not fit you should in public know. First let your wounds be dressed with speedy care, And then you shall the important secret share.

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