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Oh, emperor ! I own I ought to give thee Thou takest into thy bosom, to thy councils ! Some nobler mark, than dying, of my faith. They are thy only friends. The true believers Then let the pains I feel my friendship prove;
Mourn to behold thee favoar this Axalla. 'Tis easier far to die, than cease to love.
Tam. I fear me, thou outgoest the prophet's [Erit Aralla.
And bring'st his venerable name to shelter
Or me to suffer. When thou namest my friend, Enter severally Moneses, and Prince of
Thou namest a man beyond a monk's discerning, TANAIS.
Virtuous and great, a warrior and a prince. Mon. If I not press untimely on his leisure, Der. He is a Christian; there our law conYou would much bind a stranger to your service, demns him, To give me means of audience from the emperor. Although he were even all thou speakest, and Pr. Most willingly; though, for the present moment,
Tam. 'Tis false; no law divine condemns the We must intreat your stay; he holds him private. virtuous, Mon. His counsel, I presume ?
For differing from the rules your schools devise. Pr. No, the affair
Look round, how Providence bestows alike Is not of earth, but heaven_A holy man, Sunshine and rain, to bless the fruitful year, (One whom our prophet's law calls such) a der- On different nations, all of different faiths ; vise,
And (though by several- names and titles wor. Keeps him in conference.
shipped) Mon. Hours of religion,
Heaven takes the various tribute of their praise; Especially of princes, claim a reverence, Since all agree to own, at least to mean, Nor will be interrupted.
One best, one greatest, only Lord of all. Pr. What his business
Thus, when he viewed the many forms of nature, Imports, we know not; but, with earnest suit, He found that all was good, and blest the fair vaThis morn, he begged adinittance. Our great riety.
Der. Most impious and profane !– Nay, frown (Than whom none bows more lowly to high Hea- not, prince! ven)
Full of the prophet, I despise the danger In reverend regard holds all that bear
Thy angry power may threaten. I command thee Relation to religion, and, on notice
To hear, and to obey; since thus says Mahomet: Of his request, received him on the instant. Why have I made thee dreadful to the nations ? Mon. We will attend his pleasure. [E.reunt. Why have I given thee conquest, but to spread
My sacred law even to the utmost earth,
And make iny holy Mecca the world's worship? Tam. Thou bring'st me thy credentials from Go on, and wheresoe'er thy arms shall prosper, the highest,
Plant there the prophet's name; with sword and From Alla, and our prophet. Speak thy message;
fire It must import the best and noblest ends. Drive out all other faiths, and let the world Der. Thus speaks our holy Mahomet, who has Confess him only. given thee
Tam. Had he but commanded To reign and conquer : ill dost thou repay My sword to conquer all, to make the world The bounties of his hand, unmindful of
Know but one lord, the task were not so hard ; The fountain whence thy streams of greatness 'Twere but to do what has been done already ; flow.
And Philip's son, and Cæsar, did as niuch; Thou hast forgot high Heaven, hast beaten down But to subdue the unconquerable mind, And trampled on religion's sanctity,
To make one reason have the same effect Tam. Now, as I am a soldier and a king Upon all apprehensions; to force this (The greatest names of honour), do but make Or this man, just to think as thou and I do; Thy imputation out, and Tamerlane
Impossible! Unless souls were alike Shall do thee ample justice on himself.
In all, which differ now like human faces. So much the sacred name of Heaven awes me, Der. Well might the holy cause he carried on, Could I suspect my soul of harbouring aught If Musselmen did not make war on Musselmen. To its dishonour, I would search it strictly, Why holdest thou captive a believing monarch? And drive the offending thought with fury forth. Now, as thou hopest to 'scape the prophet's Der. Yes, thou hast hurt our holy prophet's curse, honour,
Release the royal Bajazet, and join, By fostering the pernicious Christian sect : With force united, to destroy the Christians. Those, whom his sword pursued, with fell de- Tam. 'Tis well I've found the cause that straction,
mores thy zeal.
What shallow politician set thee on,
(The last support and refuge that is left me) In hopes to fright me this way to compliance ? Shall raise me from the ground, and bid me live! Der. Our prophet only
Tam. Rise, prince, nor let me reckon up thy Tam. No--thou dost belie him,
worth, Thou maker of new faiths! that darest to build And tell how boldly that might bid thee ask, Thy fond inventions on religion's name.
Lest I should make a merit of my justice, Religion's lustre is, by native innocence,
The common debt I owe to thee, to all, Divinely pure, and simple from all arts; Even to the meanest of mankind, the charter You daub and dress her like a common mistress, By which I claim my crown, and Heaven's proThe harlot of your fancies; and, by adding
tection. False beauties, which she wants not, make the Speak, then, as to a king, the sacred name world
Where power is lodged, for righteous ends alone, Suspect her angel's face is foul beneath,
Mon. One only joy, one blessing, my fond heart And would not bear all lights. Hence! I have Had fixed its wishes on, and that is lost; found thee.
That sister, for whose safety my sad soul Der. I have but one resort. Now aid me, Endured a thousand fearsprophet!
[ Aside. Tam. I well remember, Yet I have somewhat further to unfold ;
When, ere the battle joined, I saw thee first,
[The Dervise draws a concealed dagger, Thou told’st a moving tale of her misfortunes,
Such as bespoke my pity. Is there aught Țam. No, villain, Heaven is watchful o'er its Thou canst demand froin friendship? Ask, and worshippers,
have it. [Wresting the dagger from him. Mon. First, oh! let me entreat your royal And blasts the murderer's purpose. Think, thou goodness, wretch !
Forgive the folly of a lover's caution, Think on the pains that wait thy crime, and That forged a tale of folly to deceive you. tremble
Said I, she was my sister?-Oh! 'tis false; When I shall doom thee
She holds a dearer interest in my soul, Der. 'Tis but death at last;
Such as the closest ties of blood ne'er knew; And I will suffer greatly for the cause,
An interest, such as power, wealth, and honour, That urged me first to the bold deed.
Cannot buy, but love, love only, can bestow : Tam. Oh, impious !
She was the mistress of my vows, my bride, Enthusiasm thus makes villains martyrs.
By contract mine; and long ere this the priest (Pausing.) It shall be som -To die ! "twere a re- Had tied the knot for ever, had not Bajazetward
Tamn. Ha! Bajazet! - If yet his power withholds Now, learn the difference 'twixt thy faith and The cause of all thy sorrows, all thy fears, mine:
E’en gratitude for once shall gain upon him, Thine bids thee lift thy dagger to my throat; Spite of his savage temper, to restore her. Mine can forgive the wrong, and bid thee live. This morn a soldier brought a captive beauty, Keep thy own wicked secret, and be safe! Sad, though she seemed, yet of a form most rare, If thou repentest, I have gained one to virtue, By much the noblest spoil of all the field; And am, in that, rewarded for my mercy; E'en Scipio, or a victor yet more cold, If thou continuest still to be the same,
Might have forgot his virtue at her sight. 'Tis punishment enough to be a villain.
Struck with a pleasing wonder, I beheld her, Ilence! from my sight-It shocks my soul to Till, by a slave that waited near her person, think,
I learned she was the captive sultan's wife : That there is such a monster in my kind. Straight I forbid my eyes the dangerous joy
[Exit Dervise. Of gazing long, and sent her to her lord. Whither will man's impiety extend?
Mon. There was Moneses lost! Too sure my Oh, gracious Heaven! dost thou withhold thy heart thunder,
(From the first mention of her wondrous charms) When bold assassins take thy name upon them, Presaged it could be only my Arpasia. And swear they are the champions of thy cause ? Tam. Arpasia ! didst thou say?
Mon. Yes, my Arpasia.
Tam. Sure I mistake, or faịn would mistake
[Kneeling to Tam. Mon. His queen! his wife! he brings that hoUndone, and ruined, blasted in my hopes,
ly title, Here let me fall before your sacred feet, To varnish o'er the monstrous wrongs he has done And groan out my misfortunes, till your pity
Tam. Alas! I fear me, prince, thy griefs are Shall wake my drowsy soul from her dead sleep, just;
Till the last trump do summon. Thou art, indeed, unhappy
Tam. Let thy virtue Mon. Can you pity me,
Stand up and answer to these warring passions, And not redress?" Oh, royal Tamerlane ! That vex thy manly temper. From the moment
[Kneeling. When first I saw thee, something wondrous noble Thou succour of the wretched, reach thy mercy Shone through thy form, and won my friendship To save me from the grave, and from oblivion !
for thee, Be gracious to the hopes that wait my youth. Without the tedious form of long acquaintance; Oh! let not sorrow blast me, lest I wither, Nor will I lose thee poorly for a woman. And fall in vile dishonour! Let thy justice Come, droop no more! thou shalt with me pursue Restore me my Arpasia; give her back, True greatness, till we rise to immortality. Back to my wishes, to my transports give her, Thou shalt forget these lesser cares, Moneses; To my fond, restless, bleeding, dying bosom! Thou shalt, and help me to reform the world. Oh! give her to me yet while I have life
Mon. So the good genius warns his mortal To bless thee for the bounty! Oh, Arpasia !
charge Tam. Unhappy, royal youth, why dost thou ask To fly the evil fate that still pursues him, What honour must deny? Ha! is she not Till it have wrought his ruin. Sacred TamerHis wife, whom he has wedded, whom enjoyed ? And wouldst thou have my partial friendship Thy words are as the breath of angels to me. break
But, oh! too deep the wounding grief is fixt, That holy knot, which, tied once, all mankind For any hand to heal. Agree to hold sacred and undissolveable ?
Tum. This dull despair The brutal violence would stain my justice, Is the soul's laziness. "Rouse to the combat, And brand me with a tyrant's hated name And thou art sure to conquer. War shall reTo late posterity.
store thee; Mon. Are then the vows,
The sound of arms shall wake thy martial ardour, The holy vows we registered in heaven,
And cure this amorous sickness of thy soul, But common air?
Begun by sloth, and nursed by too much ease. Tam. Could thy fond love forget
The idle god of love supinely dreams, The violation of a first enjoyment?
Amidst inglorious shades and purling streams; But sorrow has disturbed and hurt thy mind. In rosy fetters and fantastic chains, Mon. Perhaps it has, and, like an idle mad- He binds deluded maids and simple swains ; man,
With soft enjoyments wooes them to forget That wanders with a train of hooting boys, The hardy toils and labours of the great, I do a thousand things to shame my reason. But, if the warlike trumpet's loud alarms Then let me fly, and bear my follies with me, To virtuous acts excite, and manly arms, Far, far from the world's sight. Honour and The coward boy avows his abject fear, fame,
On silken wings sublime he cuts the air, Arms, and the glorious war shall be forgotten; Scared at the noble noise and thunder of the No noble sound of greatness, or ambition,
SCENE I.—Bujazet's Tent.
Der. Just entering here, I met the Tartar ge
neral, Enter Haly, and the Dervise.
Fierce Omar. Haly. To 'scape with life from an attempt like Ha. He commands, if I mistake not, this,
This quarter of the army, and our guards. Demands my wonder justly.
Der. The same. By his stern aspect, and the Der. True, it may;
fires But 'tis a principle of his new faith ;
That kindled in his eyes, I guessed the tumult 'Tis what his Christian favourites have inspired, Some wrong had raised in his tempestuous soul; Who fondly make a merit of forgiveness, A friendship of old date had given me privilege And give their foes a second opportunity, To ask of his concerns. In short, I learned, If the first blow should miss. Failing to serve That, burning for the sultan's beauteous daughter, The sultan to my wish, and even despairing He had begged her, as a captive of the war, Of further means to effect his liberty,
From Tamerlane; but meeting with denial A lucky accident retrieved my hopes.
Of what he thought his services might claim, Ha. The prophet and our master will reward Loudly he storms, and curses the Italian, Thy zeal in their behalf; but speak thy purpose. As cause of this affront. I joined his rage,
And added to his injuries, the wrongs
The nymph whose hand, by fraud or force, Our prophet daily meets with from Axalla.
Some tyrant has possessed,
In her own choice is blessed.
The sadly weeping fair
Conjures thee, not to lose in day
The object of her care. Dishonour blast my name! Was it for this
To grasp whose pleasing form she sought, That I directed his first steps to greatness,
That motion chased her sleep ; Taught him to climb, and made him what he is? Thus by ourselves are oft'rest wrought When our great Cham first bent his eyes towards The griefs, for which we weep.
him, (Then petty prince of Parthia) and, by me Arp. Oh, death! thou gentle end of human Persuaded, raised him to his daughter's bed,
sorrows, Called him his son, and successor of the empire; Still must my weary eye-lids vainly wake Was it for this, that like a rock I stood,
In tedious expectation of thy peace? And stemmed a torrent of our Tartar lords, Why stand thy thousand thousand doors still Who scorned his upstart sway? When Calibes,
open, In bold rebellion, drew e'en half the provinces
To take the wretched in, if stern religion To own his cause, I, like his better angel, Guard every passage, and forbid my entrance ? Stood by his shaking throne, and fixed it fast : Lucrece could bleed, and Portia swallow fire, And am I now so lost to his remembrance, When urged with griefs beyond a mortal sufferThat, when I ask a captive, he shall tell me,
ance; She is Axalla's right, his Christian minion? But here it must not be. Think then, Arpasia,
Der. Allow me, valiant Omar, to demand, Think on the sacred dictates of thy faith, Since injured thus, why right you not yourself? And let that arm thy virtue to perform The prize you ask is in your power.
What Cato's daughter durst not !-Live, ArOm. It is,
pasia, And I will seizeit in despite of Tamerlane,
And dare to be unhappy.
arms, Nobler than Omar. From a father's hand And adds even beauty to adorn his conquest, Receive that daughter, which ungrateful Tamer- Yet she ordains the fair should know no fears, lane
No sorrows to pollute their lovely eyes, Has to your worth denied.
But should be used even nobly, as herself, Om. Now, by my arms,
The queen and goddess of the warrior's vows. It will be great revenge. What will your sultan Such welcome as a camp can give, fair sultaness, Give to the man that shall restore his liberty, We hope you have received; it shall be larger, His crown, and give him power to wreak his ha- And better as it may. tred
Arp. Since I have borne Upon his greatest foe?
That miserable mark of fatal greatness, Ha. All he can ask,
I have forgot all difference of conditions ; And far beyond his wish.
[Trumpets. Sceptres and fetters are grown equal to me, Om. These trumpets speak
And the best change my fate can bring is death. The emperor's approach; he comes once more Tam, When sorrow dwells in such an angel To offer terms of peace. Retire within.
form, I will know farther-he grows deadly to me; Well may we guess that those above are mournAnd curse me, prophet, if I not repay
Suffers some wondrous violation here,
To make the saints look sad. Oh! teach my
power Draws, and discovers ARPAsia lying on a couch. To cure those ills which you unjustly suffer, SONG.
Lest Heaven should wrest it from my idle hand,
If I look on, and see you weep in vain.
Arp. Not that my soul disdains the generous
It is not in my fate to be made happy;
Nor will I listen to the cozener, Hope,
Tam. If I could have wronged thee, But stand resolved to bear the beating storm If conscious virtue, and all-judging Heaven, That roars around me; safe in this alone, Stood not between to bar ungoverned appetite, That I am not immortal. Though 'tis hard, What hindered, but in spite of thee, my captive, *Tis wondrous hard, when I remember thee, I might have used a victor's boundless power, Dear native Greece! and you, ye weeping And sated every wish my soul could form? maids,
But to secure thy fears, know, Bajazet, That were conipanions of my virgin youth! This is
ainong the things I dare not do. My noble parents! Oh, the grief of heart, Baj. By.hell, it is false! else wherefore art The pangs, that, for unhappy me, bring down
thou present? Their reverend ages to the grave with sorrow. What cam'st thou for, but to undo my honour? And yet there is a woe surpassing all :
I found thee holding amorous parly with her, Ye saints and angels, give me of your constancy, Gazing and glutting on her wanton eyes, If you expect I shall endure it long!
And bargaining for pleasures yet to come : Tam. Why is my pity all that I can give My life, I know, is the devoted priceTo tears like yours? And yet I fear 'tis all; But take it! I am weary of the pain. Nor dare I ask, what mighty loss you mourn, Tam. Yet ere thou rashly urge my rage too far, Lest honour should forbid to give it back. I warn thee to take heed: I am a man, Arp. No, Tamerlane, nor did I mean thou And have the frailties common to man's nature : shouldst :
The fiery seeds of wrath are in my temper, Bat know, (though to the weakness of my sex And may be blown up to so fierce a blaze, I yield these tears) my soul is more than man. As wisdom cannot rule. Know, thou hast touchThink, I am born a Greek, nor doubt my virtue; A Greek! from whose famed ancestors of old Even in the nicest, tenderest part, my honour; Rome drew the patterns of her boasted heroes. My honour; which, like power, disdains being They must be mighty evils that can vanquish
questioned; A Spartan courage, and a Christian faith. Thy breath has blasted my fair virtue's farne,
And marked me for a villain, and a tyrant.
Arp. And stand I here an idle looker-on, Baj. To know no thought of rest! to have the To see my innocence murdered and mangled mind
By barbarous hands, nor can revenge the wrong! Still ministering fresh plagues, as in a circle, Art thou a man, and dar'st thou use me thus ? Where one dishonour treads upon another;
[To Bajazet. What know the fiends beyond it? Ha! by hell, Hast thou not torn me from my native country,
[Steing Arp. and Tam. From the dear arins of my lamenting friends, There wanted only this to make me mad. From my soul's peace, and from my injured love? Comes he to triunph here? to rob iny love, Hast thou not ruined, blotted me for ever, And violate the last retreat of happiness? And driven me to the brink of black despair?
Tam. But that I read upon thy frowning brow, And is it in thy mnalice yet to add That war yet lives, and rages in thy breast, A wound more deep, to sully my white name, Once more (in pity to the suffering world) My virtue ? I meant to offer peace.
Buj. Yes, thou hast thy sex's virtues, Baj. And meanest thou too
Their affectation, pride, ill-nature, noise, To treat it with our empress ? and to barter Proneness to change, even from the joy that The spoils, which fortune gave thee, for her fa- pleased them : vours?
your idol, dear variety, Arp. What would the tyrant? [Aside. That for another love you would forego
Baj. Seekest thou thus our friendship? An angel's form, to mingle with a devil's; Is this the royal usage thou didst boast? Through every state and rank of men you wander,
Tam. The boiling passion, that disturbs thy soul, Till even your large experience takes in all Spreads clouds around, and makes thy purpose The different nations of the peopled earth. dark
Arp. Why soughtst thou not from thy own imUnriddle what thy mystic fury aims at.
pious tribe Baj. Is it a riddle? Read it there explained; A wife like one of these? For such thy race There, in my shame. Now judge me thou, O (If human nature brings forth such) affords. prophet,
Greece, for chaste virgins famed, and pious maAnd equal Heaven, if this demand not raye!
trons, The peasant-hind, begot and born to slavery, Teems not with monsters like your Turkish wives, Yet dares assert a husband's sacred right, Whom guardian eunuchs, haggard and deformed, And guards his homely couch from violation : Whoin walls and bars make honest by constraint. And shall a monarch tamely bear the wrop Know, I detest, like hell, the crime thou mene Without complaining?