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ACT I.

VAN.

SCENE I.-Before TAMERLANE's Tent. Some accidental passion fires his breast, Enter the Prince of Tanais, ZAMA, and MIR- | And adds new horror to his native fury.

(Love, as 'tis thought, for a fair Grecian captive)

For five returning suns, scarce was he seen Pr, Hail to the sun! from whose returning By any, the most favoured of his court, light

But in lascivious ease, among his women, The cheerful soldier's arms new lustre take, Lived, from the war retired; or else alone, To deck the pomp of battle. O, my friends! In sullen mood, sat meditating plagues Was ever such a glorious face of war?

And ruin to the world; till yester morn, See, from this height, how all Galatia's plains, Like fire, that, labouring upwards, rends the earth, With nations numberless, are covered o'er; He burst with fury from his tent, commanding Who, like a deluge, hide the face of earth, All should be ready for the fight this day. And leave no object in the vast horizon,

Zam. I know his temper well, since in his court, But glittering arms, and skies.

Companion of the brave Axalla's embassy, Zam. Our Asian world,

I oft observed him; proud, impatient From this important day, expects a lord; Of aught superior, e'en of Heaven that made him; This day they hope an end of all their woes, Fond of false glory, of the savage power Of tyranny, of bondage, and oppression, Of ruling without reason, of confounding From our victorious emperor, Tamerlane. Just and unjust, by an unbounded will;

Mir. Well has our holy Alla mark'd him out, By whom religion, honour, all the bands The scourge of lawless pride, and dire ambition, That ought to hold the jarring world in peace, The great avenger of the groaning world. Were held the tricks of state, snares of wise princes, Well has be worn the sacred cause of justice To draw their easy neighbours to destruction, Upon his prosperous sword. Approving Heaven Mir. Thrice, Sy our law and prophet, has be Still crowned the righteous warrior with success;

sworn, As if it said, 'Go forth, and be my champion, By the world's lord and maker, lasting peace, Thou, most like me of all my works below." With our great master, and his royal friend,

Pr. No lust of rule, the common vice of kings, The Grecian emperor; as oft, regardless No furious zeal, inspir'd by hot-brain'd priests, Of plighted faith, with most unkingly baseness, Ill hid beneath religion's specious name, Has ta'en the advantage of their absent arms, E’er drew his temperate courage to the field : Without a war proclaimed, or cause pretended, But to redress an injur'd people's wrongs, To waste, with sword and fire, their fruitful fields; To save the weak one from the strong oppressor, Like some accursed fiend, who,'scaped from hell, Is all his end of war. And, when he draws Poisons the balmy air through which he flies, The sword to punish, like relenting Heaven, He blasts the bearded corn, and loaded branches, He seems unwilling to deface his kind.

The labouring hind's best hopes, and marks his Mir. So rich his soul, in every virtuous grace,

way with ruin. That, had not nature made him great by birth, Pr. But see his fate! The mighty Tamerlane Yet all the brave had sought him for their friend. Comes, like the proxy of inquiring Heaven, The Christian prince, Axalla, nicely bred To judge, and to redress. (Flourish of Trumpets. In polished arts of European courts, For him forsakes his native Italy,

Enter TAMERLANE, Guards, and other

Attendants. And lives a happy exile in his service. Pr. Pleased with the gentle manners of that Tam. Yet, yet a little, and destructive slaughter prince,

Shall rage around, and mar this beauteous pros. Our mighty lord is lavish of his friendship;

pect; Though Omar and the Tartar lords repine, Pass but an hour, which stands betwixt the lives And loudly tax their monarch as too partial. Of thousands and eternity, what change

Zum. Ere the mid hour of night, from tent to tent, Shall hasty death make in yon glittering plain! Unwearied, through the numerous host he past, Oh, thou fell monster, War! that in a moment Viewing, with careful eyes, each several quarter; Layest waste the noblest part of the creation, Whilst from his looks, as from divinity,

The boast and masterpiece of the great Maker, The soldiers took presage, and cried, Lead on, That wears, in vain, the impression of his image, Great Alla, and our emperor! lead on

Unprivileged from thee ! To victory, and everlasting fame.'

Health to our friends, and to our arms success, Mir. Hear you of Bajazet?

(To the Prince, ZAMA, and MIRVAN. Pr. Late in the evening

Such as the cause for which we fight deserves ! A slave, of near attendance on his person, Pr. Nor can we ask beyond what Heaven be'Scaped to our camp. From him we learned, the

stows, tyrant,

Preventing still our wishes. See, great sir With rage redoubled, for the fight prepares ; The universal joy your soldiers wear,

war.

Omen of prosperous battle.

Thy innocence and virtue as our foe. Impatient of the tedious night, in arms

Here, till the fate of Asia is decided, Watchful they stood, expecting opening day; In safety stay. To-morrow is your own. And now are hardly by their leaders held Nor grieve for who may conque, or who lose; From darting on the foe. Like a hot courser, Fortune on either side shall wait thy wishes. That, bounding, paws the mouldering soil, dis- Sel. Where shall my wonder and my praise daining

begin? The rein that checks him, eager for the race.

From the successful labours of thy arms, Tam. Yes, prince, I mean to give a loose to Or from a theme more soft, and full of peace,

Thy mercy and thy gentleness? Oh, Tamerlane! This morn Axalla, with my Parthian horse, What can I pay thee for this noble usage, Arrives to join me. He, who, like a storm, But grateful praise? So Heaven itself is paid. Swept, with bris flying squadrons, all the plains Give peace, ye powers above, peace to mankind; Between Angoria's walls and yon tall mountains, Nor let my father wage unequal war, That seem to reach the clouds; and now he Against the force of such united virtues ! comes,

Tam. Heaven hear thy pious wish!But since Loaden with spoils and conquest, to my aid.

our prospect (Flourish of Trumpets. Looks darkly on futurity, till fate 20 These trumpets speak his presence- Determine for us, let thy beauty's safety

Be my Axalla's care ; in whose glad eyes, Enter AXALLA, who kneels to TAMERLANE.

I read what joy the pleasing service gives him. Tam. Welcome! thou worthy partner of my Is there amongst thy other prisoners aught laurels,

[To Ax, Thou brother of my choice, a band more sacred Worthy our knowledge ? Than nature's brittle tie! By holy friendship,

Ar. "This brave man, my lord, Glory and fame stood still for thy arrival !

(Pointing to Yox. My soul seemed wanting in its better half, With long resistance held the combat doubtful And languished for thy absence; like a prophet, His party, prest with numbers, soon grew faint, That waits the inspiration of his god.

And would have left their charge an easy prey; Ar. My emperor! My ever royal master! Whilst be alone, undaunted at the odds, To whom my secret soul more lowly bends, Though hopeless to escape, fought well and Than forms of outward worship can express;

firmly; How poorly does your soldier pay this goodness, Nor yielded, till, o'ermatched by many hands, Who wears his every hour of life out for you! He seemed to shame our conquest, whilst he Yet 'tis his all, and what he has, he offers ;

owned it. Nor now disdain to accept the gift he brings, Tam. Thou speak'st him as a soldier should a

soldier, Enter Selima, Moneses, STRATOCLES, Pri- Just to the worth he finds. I would not war soners; Guards, Mutes, &c.

[To Mox. This earnest of your fortune. See, my lord, With aught that wears thy virtuous stamp of The noblest prize that ever graced my arms !

greatness. Approach, my fair

Thy habit speaks thee Christian-Nay, yet more, I'am. This is indeed to conquer,

My soul seems pleased to take acquaintance with And well to be rewarded for thy conquest;

thee, The bloom of opening flowers, unsullied beauty, As if allied to thine: perhaps 'tis sympathy Softness, and sweetest innocence she wears, Of honest minds; like strings wound up in music, And looks like nature in the world's first spring. Where, by one touch, both utter the same harBut say, Axalla

mony. Sel. Most renowned in war,

Why art thou, then, a friend to Bajazet?

(Kneeling to Ta». And why my enemy? Look with compassion on a captive maid,

Mon. If human wisdom
Though born of hostile blood ; nor let my birth, Could point out every action of our lives,
Derived from Bajazet, prevent that mercy, And say, ' Let it be thus, in spite of fate
Which every subject of your fortune finds. Or partial fortune,' then I had not been
War is the province of ambitious man,

The wretch I am.
Who tears the miserable world for empire; Tam. The brave meet every accident
Whilst our weak sex, incapable of wrong, With equal minds. "Think nobler of thy foes,
On either side claims privilege of safety. Than to account thy chance in war an evil.
Tum. (raising her.] Rise, royal maid! the pride Mon. Far, far from that : I rather hold it
of haughty power

grievous, Pays homage, not receives it, from the fair. That I was forced even but to seem your enemy; Thy angry father fiercely calls me forth,

Nor think the baseness of a vanquished slave And urges me, unwillingly, to arms.

Moves me to Hatter for precarious life, Yet, though our frowning battles menace death, Or ill-bought freedom, when I swear, by Heaven! And mortal conflict, think not that we hold Were I to chuse, from all mankind, a master,

It should be Tamerlane.

Has torn thee from his side, and left him naked Tam. A noble freedom

To the avenging bolt, that drives upon him. Dwells with the brave, unknown to fawning syco Forget the name of captive, and I wish phants,

I could as well restore that fair one's freedom, And claims a privilege of being believed. Whose loss hangs heavy on thee: yet ere night, I take thy praise as earnest of thy friendship. Perhaps, we may deserve thy friendship nobler; Mon. Still you prevent the homage I should | The approaching storm may cast thy shipwrecked offer.

wealth O, royal sir! let my misfortunes plead,

Back to thy arms: till that be past, since war And wipe away the hostile mark I wore. (Though in the justest cause) is ever doubtful, I was, when, not long since, my fortune hailed me, I will not ask thy sword to aid my victory, Blessed to my wish, I was the prince Moneses ; Lest it should hurt that hostage of thy valour, Born, and bred up to greatness: witness the blood, Our common foe detains. Which through successive heroes' veins, allied Mon. Let Bajazet To our Greek emperors, rolled down to me, Bend to his yoke repining slaves by force; Feeds the bright flame of glory in my heart. You, sir, have found a nobler way to empire, Tam. Even that, that princely tie should bind Lord of the willing world. thee to me,

Tam. Oh, my Axalla! If virtue were not more than all alliance. Thou hast a tender soul, apt for compassion,

Mon. I have a sister,--oh, severe remembrance! And art thyself a lover and a friend; Our noble house's, nay, her sex's pride; Does not this prince's fortune move thy temper? Nor think my tongue too lavish, if I speak her Ar. Yes, sir, I mourn the brave Moneses' fate, Fair as the fame of virtue, and yet chaste The merit of his virtue hardly matched As its cold precepts; wise beyond her sex With disadventurous chance: yet, prince, allow And blooming youth; soft as forgiving mercy,

me, Yet greatly brave, and jealous for her honour : Allow me, from the experience of a lover, Such as she was, to say I barely loved her, To say, one person, whom your story mentioned, Is poor to my soul's meaning. From our infancy, (If he survive) is far beyond you wretched : There grew a mutual tenderness between us, You named the bridegroom of your beautcous Till, not long since, her vows were kindly plighted sister. To a young lord, the equal of her birth.

Mon. I did. Oh, most accurst! The happy day was fixed, and now approaching, Ar. Think what he feels, When faithless Bajazet (upon whose honour, Dashed in the fierceness of his expectation: In solemn treaty given, the Greeks depended,) Then, when the approaching minute of possession With sudden war, broke in upon the country, Had wound the imagination to the heightSecure of peace, and for defence unready. Think, if he lives!

Tam. Let majesty no more be held divine, Mon. He lives! he does : 'tis true Since kings, who are called gods, profane them. He lives! But how? To be a dog, and dead, selves.

Were Paradise to such a state as his : Bon. Among the wretches, whom that deluge He holds down life, as children do a potion, swept

With strong reluctance and convulsive strugAway to slavery, myself and sister,

glings, Then passing near the frontiers to the court, Whilst his misfortunes press him to disgorge it. (Which waited for her nuptials) were surprised, Tum. Spare the remembrance; 'tis an useless And made the captives of the tyrant's power.

grief, Soon as we reached his court, we found our usage And adds to the misfortune by repeating. Beyond what we expected, fair and noble ; The revolution of a day may bring 'Twas then the storm of your victorious arms Such turns, as Heaven itself could scarce have Looked black, and seemed to threaten, when he promised, prest me

Far, far beyond thy wish: let that hope cheer thee. (By oft-repeating instances) to draw

Haste, my Axalla, to dispose with safety My sword for him: But when he found my soul Thy beauteous charge, and on the foe revenge Disdained his purpose, he more fiercely told me, The pain which absence gives; thy other care, That my Arpasia, my loved sister's fate,

Honour and arms, now summon thy attendance. Depended on my courage shewn for him. Now do thy office well, my soul ! Remember I had long learnt to hold myself at nothing; Thy cause, the cause of Heaven and injured earth, But for her sake, to ward the blow from her, o thou Supreme! if thy great spirit warms I bound my service to the man I hated.

My glowing breast, and fires my soul to arms, Six days are past, since, by the sultan's order, Grant that my sword, assisted by thy power, I left the pledge of my return behind,

This day may peace and happiness restore, And went to guard this princess to his camp: That war and lawless rage may vex the world no The rest the brave Axalla’s fortune tells you.

more! Tum. Wisely the tyrant strove to prop his (Exeunt TAMERLANE, MONESES, STRAcause,

TOCLES, Prince of TANAIS, ZAMA, MIRBy lcaguing with thy virtue ; but just Heaven

VAN, and Attendants.

thee;

ness

Ar. The battle calls, and bids me haste to leave y Then, then she was not sworn the foe of love;

When, as my soul confest its flame, and sued Oh, Selima !--but let destruction wait.

In moving sounds for pity, she frowned rarely, Are there not hours enough for blood and slaugh- But, blushing, heard me tell the gentle tale; ter?

Nay, even confest, and told me, softly sigbing, This moment shall be love's, and I will waste it She thought there was no guilt in love like mine. In soft complainings, for thy sighs and coldness, Sel. Young, and unskilful in the world's false For thy forgetful coldness; even at Birza,

arts, When in thy father's court my eyes first owned I suffered love to steal upon my softness, thee,

And warm me with a lambent guiltless flame: Fairer than light, the joy of their beholding, Yes, I have heard thee swear a thousand times, Even then thou wert not thus.

And call the conscious powers of heaven to witSel. Art not thou changed, Christian Axalla? Art thou still the same? The tenderest, truest, everlasting passion. Those were the gentle hours of peace, and thou But, oh!’tis past; and I will charge remernbrance The world's good angel, that didst kindly join To banish the fond image from my soul. Its mighty masters in harmonious friendship: Since thou art sworn the foe of royal Bajazet, But since those joys that once were ours are lost, I have resolved to hate thee. Forbear to mention them, and talk of war; Ar. Is it possible ! Talk of thy conquests and my chains, Axalla. Hate is not in thy nature; thy whole frame

Ar. Yet I will listen, fair, unkind upbraider ! Is harmony, without one jarring atom. Yet I will listen to thy charming accents, Why dost thou force thy eyes to wear this coldAlthough they make me curse my fame and for

ness? tune,

It damps the springs of life. Oh! bid me die, My laurel wreaths, and all the glorious trophies, Much rather bid me die, if it be true For which the valliant bleed -Oh, thou unjust That thou hast sworn to hate me !one!

Sel. Let life and death Dost thou then envy me this small return Wait the decision of the bloody field; My niggard fate has made, for all the mournings, Nor can thy fate, my conqueror, depend For all the pains, for all the sleepless nights, Upon a woman's hate. Yet, since you urge That cruel absence brings?

A power which once perhaps I had, there is Sel. Away, deceiver !

But one request that I can make with honour. I will not hear thy soothing. Is it thus

Ar. Oh, name it! say !That Christian lovers prove the faith they swear? Sel. Forego your right of war, Are war and slavery the soft endearments, And render me this instant to my father With which they court the beauties they admire? Av. Impossible.The tumult of the battle, 'Twas well my heart was cautious of believing That hastes to join, cuts off all means of comThy vows, and thy protesting. Know, my con

merce
queror,

Betwixt the armies.
Thy sword has vanquished but the half of Selima; Sol. Swear then to perform it,
Her soul disdains thy victory.

Which way soe'er the chance of war determines, Ar. Hear, sweet heaven!

On my first instance. Hear the fair tyrant, how she wrests love's laws, Ar. By the sacred majesty As she had vowed my ruin! What is conquest? Of heaven, to whom we kneel, I will obey thee! What joy have I from that, but to behold thee, Yes, I will give thee this severest proof To kneel before thee, and, with lifted eyes, Of my soul's vowed devotion ; I will part with To view thee, as devotion does a saint,

thee, With awful, trembling pleasure; then to swear (Thou cruel, to command it!) I will part with thee, Thou art the queen and mistress of my soul? As wretches, that are doubtful of hereafter, Has not even Tamerlane (whose word, next Part with their lives, unwilling, loth, and fearful, Heaven's,

And trembling at futurity. But is there nothing, Makes fate at second-hand) bid thee disclaim No small return that honour can afford, Thy fears? And dost thou call thyself a slave, For all this waste of love? Only to try how far the sad impression

Sel. The gifts of captives Can sink into Axalla?

Wear somewhat of constraint; and generous Sel. Oh, Axalla!

minds Ought I to hear you ?

Disdain to give, where freedom of the choice Ar. Come back, ye hours,

Does but seem wanting. And tell my Selima what she has done!

Ar. What! not one kind look? Bring back the time, when to her father's court | Then thou art changed indeed. [Trumpets.) Hark, I came, ambassador of peace from Tamerlane;

I am summoned, When, hid by conscious darkness and disguise, And thou wilt send me forth like one unblessel, I past the dangers of the watchful guards, Whom fortune has forsaken, and ill fate Bold as the youth who nightly swam the Helles. Markea for destruction. Thy surprising coldness pont :

Hangs on my soul, and weighs my courage down:

now:

And the first feeble blow I meet shall raze me So when some skilful artist strikes the strings, From all remembrance: nor is life or fame The magic numbers rouse our sleeping passions, Worthy my care, since I am lost to thee. (Going. And force us to confess our grief and pleasure. Sel. Ha! goest thou to the fight?

Alas! Axalla, say—dost thou not pity Ar. I do. Farewell!

My artless innocence, and easy fondness! Sel. What! and no more! A sigh heaves in Oh! turn thee from me, or I die with blushing! my breast,

Ar. No, let me rather gaze, for evergaze, And stops the struggling accents on my tongue, And bless the new-born glories that adorn thee! Else, sure, I should have added something more, From every blush that kindles in thy cheeks, And made our parting softer.

Ten thousand little loves and graces spring, Ar. Give it way.

To revel in the roses 'twill not be, The niggard honour, that affords not love,

Trumpels Forbids not pity.

This envious trumpet calls, and tears me from Sel. Fate perhaps has set

theeThis day, the period of thy life and conquests ; Sel. My fears increase, and doubly press me And I shall see thee, borne at evening back, A breathless corse. -Oh! can I think on that, I charge thee, if thy sword comes cross my faAnd hide my sorrows?

-No-they will have way, ther, And all the vital air, that life draws in,

Stop for a moment, and remember me. Is rendered back in sighs.

År. Oh, doubt not but his life shall be my care; Ar. The murmuring gale revives the drooping Even dearer than my own fame,

Sel. Guard that for me too. That at thy coldness languished at my breast : Ar. O, Selima ! thou hast restored my quiet. So breathe the gentle zephyrs on the spring, The noble ardour of the war, with love And waken every plant, and odorous flower, Returning, brightly burns within my breast, Which winter frost had blasted, to new life. And bids me be secure of all hereafter. Sel. To see thee for this moment, and no So cheers some pious saint a dying sinner more

(Who trembled at the thought of pains to come) Oh! help me to resolve against this tenderness, With Heaven's forgiveness, and the hopes of That charms my fierce resentments, and presents mercy : thee,

At length, the tumult of his soul appeased, Not as thou art, mine and my father's foe, And every doubt and anxious scruple eased, But as thou wert, when first thy moving accents Boldly he proves the dark, uncertain road; Won me to hear; when, as I listened to thee, The peace, his holy comforter bestowed, The happy hours past by us unperceived, Guides, and protects him like a guardian god. So was my soul fixt to the soft enchantment.

(Exit. Ar. Let me be still the same! I am, I must be. Sel. In vain all arts a love-sick virgin trics, If it were possible my heart could stray, Affects to frown, and seem severely wise, One look from thee would call it back again, In hopes to cheat the wary lover's eyes. And fix the wanderer for ever thine.

If the dear youth her pity strives to move, Sel. Where is my boasted resolution now? And pleads with tenderness, the cause of love,

[Sinking into his arms, Nature asserts her empire in her heart, Oh, yes! thou art the same; my heart joins with And kindly takes the faithful lover's part. thee,

By love herself, and nature, thus betrayed, And, to betray me, will believe thee still : No more she trusts in pride's fantastic aid, It dances to the sounds that moved it first, But bids her eyes confess the yielding maid. And owns at once the weakness of my soul.

(Erit SELIMA, Guards following,

АСТ II.

SCENE I.-TAMERLANE's Camp. That crowns him with the spoils of such a day,
Enter MONESES.

Has given it as an earnest of the world,

That shortly shall be his. Alon. The dreadful business of the war is

Enter STRATOCLES. over; And Slaughter, that, from yester morn 'till even, My Stratocles ! With giant steps past striding o'er the field, Most happily returned, might I believe Besmeared and horrid with the blood of nations, Thou bringst me any joy? Now, weary, sits among the mangled heaps, Stra. With my best diligence, And slumbers o'er her prey; while from this This night I have enquired of what concerns you. camp

Scarce was the sun, who shone upon the horror The cheerful sounds of victory and Tamerlane Of the past day, sunk to the western ocean, Beat the ligli arch of heaven. Deciding Pate, When, by perinission from the prince Axalla,

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