Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

now.

That blazes out, when love too fiercely burns. Till thou shalt rend thy hair, tear out thy eyes, drp. For thee to wrong me, and for me to And curse thy pride; while I applaud my vensuffer,

geance. Is the hard lesson that my soul has learnt, Arp. Oh, fatal image! All my powers give And now I stand prepared for all to come;

way, Nor is it worth my leisure to distingnish

And resolution sickens at the thought ; If love or jealousy commit the violence.

A flood of passion rises in my breast, Each have alike been fatal to my peace,

And labours fiercely upward to my eyes. Confirming me a wretch, and thee a tyrant. Come, all ye great examples of my sex, Baj. Still to deform thy gentle brow with Chaste virgins, tender wives, and pious matrons! frowns,

Ye holy martyrs, who with wondrous faith And still to be perverse, it is a manner

And constancy unshaken, have sustained Abhorrent from the softness of thy sex:

The rage of cruel men, and fiery persecution, Women, like summer storms, awhile are cloudy, Come to my aid, and teach me to defy Burst out in thunder and impetuous showers; The malice of this fiend ! I feel, I feel But strait, the sun of beauty dawns abroad, Your sacred spirit arm me to resistance. And all the fair horizon is serene.

Yes, tyrant, I will stand this shock of fate; Arp. Then, to retrieve the honour of my sex, Will live to triumph o'er thee, for a moment, Here I disclaim that changing and inconstancy : Then die well pleased, and follow my Moneses. To thee I will be ever as I am.

Baj. Thou talk'st it well. But talking is thy Baj. Thou say'st I am a tyrant; think so

privilege; still,

'Tis all the boasted courage of thy sex; And let it warn thy prudence to lay hold Though, for thy soul, thou dar'st not meet the On the good hour of peace, that courts thee

danger.

Arp. By all my hopes of happiness, I dare!-Souls, formed like mine, brook being scorned My soul is come within her ken of Heaven; but ill.

Charmed with the joys and beauties of that Be well advised, and profit by my patience;

place, It is a short-liv'd virtue.

Her thoughts and all her cares she fixes there, Arp. Turn thine eyes

And 'tis in vain for thee to rage below: Back on the story of my woes, barbarian! Thus stars shine bright, and keep their place Thou, that hast violated all respects

above, Due to my sex, and honour of my birth. Though ruffling winds deform this lower world. Thou brutal ravisher! that hast undone me, Baj. This moment is the trial. Ruined my love! Can I have peace with thee? Arp. Let it come! Impossible! First Heaven and hell shall join; This moment then shall shew I am a Greek, They only differ more.

And speak my country's courage in my suffering. Baj. I see 'tis vain

Baj. Here, mercy, I disclaim thee! Mark me, To court thy stubborn temper with endearments.

traitress! Resolve, this moment, to return my love, My love prepares a victim to thy pride, And be the willing partner of my flight, And when it greets thee next, 'twill be in blood. Or, by the prophet's holy law, thou diest !

(Exit BAJAZET. drp. And dost thou hope to fright me with Arp. My heart beats higher, and my nimble the phantom,

spirits Death? 'Tis the greatest mercy thou canst give; Ride swiftly through their purple channels round. So frequent are the murders of thy reign, 'Tis the last blaze of life. Nature revives, One day scarce passing by, unmark'd with blood, Like a dim winking lamp, that flashes brightly That children, by long use, have learnt to scorn it. With parting light, and straight is dark for ever.. Know, I disdain to aid thy treacherous purpose; And see, my last of sorrows is at hand; And shouldst thou dare to force me, with my Death and Moneses come together to me; cries

As if my stars, that had so long been cruel, I will call Heaven and carth to my assistance. Grew kind at last, and gave me all I wish. Buj. Confusion ! dost thou brave me? But

Enter Moneses, guarded by some Msutes; others Shall find a passage to thy swelling heart,

attending with a cup of poison, and a borcAnd rack thee worse than all the pains of death.

string: That Grecian dog, the minion of thy wishes, Mon. I charge ye, 0 ye ministers of fate! Shall be dragg'd forth, and butcher'd in thy Be swift to execute your master's will; sight;

Bear me to my Arpasia; let me tell her, Thou shalt behold him when his pangs are The tyrant is grown kind. He bids me go, terrible,

And die beneath her feet. A joy shoots through Then, when he stares, and gasps, and struggles My drooping breast; as often, when the trumpet strongly,

Has called my youthful ardour forth to battle, Even in the bitterest agony of dying ;

High in my hopes, and ravish'd with the sound,

my wrath

[She dies

I have rush'd eager on, amidst the foremost, And the last night, can shut out my Arpasia. To purchase victory, or glorious death.

(The Mutes strungle Moneses. Arp. If it be happiness, alas! to die,

Arp. Oh, dismal! 'tis not to be borne! Ye To lie forgotten in the silent grave,

moralists ! To love and glory lost, and from among

Ye talkers! what are all your precepts now? The great Creator's works expung'd and blotted, Patience? distraction! Blast the tyrant, blast Then, very shortly, shall we both be happy.

him, Mon. There is no room for doubt; 'tis cer- Avenging lightnings! Snatch hin hence, ye tain bliss.

fiends! The tyrant's cruel violence, thy loss,

Love! Death! Moneses ! Nature can no more; Already seem more light; nor has my soul Ruin is on her, and she sinks at once. One unrepented guilt upon remembrance,

(She sinks down. To make me dread the justice of hereafter; Baj. Help, Haly! raise her up, and bear her But standing now on the last verge of life,

out! Boldly I view the last abyss, eternity,

Ha. Alas! she faints.
Eager to plunge, and leave my woes behind me. Arp. No, tyrant, 'tis in vain.

Arp. By all the truth of our past loves, I vow, Oh! 'I am now beyond thy cruel power;
To die appears a very nothing to me..

The peaceful slumber of the grave is on me: But, oh, Moneses ! should I not allow

Even all the tedious day of life I've wandered, Somewhat to love, and to my sex's tenderness ? Bewildered with misfortunes: This very now I could put off my being At length 'tis night, and I have reached my Without a groan; but to behold thee die !-

home. Nature shrinks in me at the dreadful thought, Forgetting all the toils and troubles past, Nor can my constancy sustain this blow. Weary I'll lay me down, and sleep, till- -Oh! Mon. Since thou art armed for all things after death,

Baj. Fly, ye slaves, Why should the pomp and preparation of it And fetch me cordials! No, she shall not die! Be frightful to thy eyes? There's not a pain, Spite of her sullen pride, I'll hold in life, Which age or sickness brings, the least disorder And force her to be blest against her will

. That vexes any part of this fine frame,

Ha. Already 'tis beyond the power of art; But's full as grievous. All that the mind feels For, see, a deadly cold has froze the blood, Is much, much more. And see, I go to prove it. The pliant limbs grow stiff, and lose their use, Enter a Mute: he signs to the rest, who proffer Even beaviy too is dead; an ashy pale

And all the animating fire is quenched: a bow-string to MONESES.

Grows o'er the roses; the red lips have lost Arp. Think, ere we part !

Their fragrant hue, for want of that swart Mon. Of what? Arp. Of something soft,

That blest them with its odours as it past. Tender and kind, of something wondrous sad. Baj. Can it be possible ? Can rage and grief, Oh, my full soul !

Can love and indignation be so fierce, Mon. My tongue is at a loss ;

So mortal in a woman's heart? Confusion! Thoughts crowd so fast, thy name is all I've Is she escaped then? What is royalty, left,

If those, that are my slaves, and should live for My kindest, truest, dearest, best Arpasia !

me, (The Mutes struggle with him. Can die, and bid defiance to my power? Arp. I have a thousand, thousand things to utter,

Enter the Derrisc. A thousand more to hear yet. Barbarous vil- Der. The valiant Omar sends, to tell the lains !

greatness Give me a minute. Speak to me, Moneses ! The hour of flight is come, and urges laste; Mon. Speak to thee? 'Tis the business of my Since he descries, near Tamerlane's pavilion, life,

Bright troops of crowding torches, who fren 'Tis all the use I have for vital air.

thence, Stand off, ye slaves ! To tell thee that my heart On either hand, stretch far into the night, Is full of thee; that, even at this dread mo- And seem to form a shining front of battle. ment,

Behold, even from this place thou may'st discera My fond eyes gaze with joy and rapture on thee;

them.

(Looking mat. Angels, and light itself, are not so fair.

Baj. By Alla, yes! they cast a day arvasal

them, Enter BAJAZET, HALY, and Attendants.

And the plain seems thick-set with stars, Baj. Ha! wherefore lives this dog? Be quick,

heaven. ye slaves !

Ha! or my eyes are false, they move this way; And rid me of my pain.

'Tis certain so. Fly, Haly, to our daughter. Mon. For only death,

breath,

[ocr errors]

Let some secure the Christian prince, Axalla ; My heart's warm blood gush out upon your We will begone this minute.

hands;

Since from your spring I drew the purple stream, Enter Omar.

And I must pay it back, if you demand it. Om. Lost! undone!

Baj. Hence, from my thoughts, thou soft reBaj. What mean’st thou ?

lenting weakness ! Om. All our hopes of flight are lost.

Has thou not given me up a prey? betrayed me? Mirvan and Zama, with the Parthian horse, Sel. Oh, not for worlds! not even for all the Inclose us round; they hold us in a toil.

joys, Baj. Ha! whence this unexpected curse of Love, or the prophet's paradise can give! chance?

Amidst the fears and sorrows of my soul, Om. Too late I learnt, that early in the night Amidst the thousand pains of anxious tenderA slave was suffered, by the princess' order,

ness, To pass the guard. I clove the villain down, I made the gentle, kind Axalla swear, Who yielded to his flight; but that's poor ven- Your life, your crown, and honour should be geance.

safe. That fugitive has raised the camp upon us, Baj. Away! my soul disdains the vile deAnd unperceiv'd by favour of the night,

pendence! In silence they have marched to intercept us. No, let me rather die, die like a king! Buj. My daughter! Oh, the traitress! Shall I fall down at the proud Tartar's foot, Der. Yet we have

And say, have mercy on me? Hark! they come! Axalla in our power, and angry Tamerlane

[Shout. Will buy his favourite's life on any terms. Disgrace will overtake my lingering hand; Om. With those few friends I have, I for a Die then! Thy father's shame, and thine, die while

with thee! (Offers to kill her. Can face their force: if they refuse us peace, Sel. For Heaven, for pity's sake! Revenge shall sweeten ruin, and 'twill joy me, Baj. No more, thou trifler! To dray my foe down with me, in my fall.

(She catches hold of his arm. [Exit OMAR. Ha! dar'st thou bar my will ? – Tear off her

hold! Enter Haly, with Selim, weeping. Sel. What, not for life! Should I not plead Baj. See where she comes, with well-dissem

for life, bled innocence;

When nature teaches even the brute creation With truth and faith so lovely in her face, To hold fast that, her best, her noblest gift? As if she durst even disavow the falsehood.- Look on my eyes, which you so oft have kissed, Hop'st thou to make amends with trifling tears, And swore they were your best-lov'd queen’s, For my lost crown, and disappointed vengeance ? my mother's; Ungrateful Selima! thy father's curse! Behold them now streaming for mercy, mercy! Bring forth the minion of her foolish heart ! Look on me, and deny me, if you can! He dies this moment.

'Tis but for life I beg! Is that a boon Ha. Would I could not speak

So hard for me to obtain, or you to grant ? The crime of fatal love! The slave who fled, Oh, spare me! Spare your Selima, my father! By whom we are undone, was that Axalla.

Baj. A lazy sloth hangs on my resolution: Baj. Ha! say’st thou?

It is my Selima !-Ha! What, my child! . Ilid beneath that vile appearance,

And can I murder her? Dreadful imagination !The princess found a means for his escape. Again they come! I leave her to my foes! sel. I am undone! even nature has disclaimed

(Shouts. me!

And shall they triumph o'er the race of Bajazet! My father! have I lost you all? My father! Die, Selima !-Is that a father's voice !Baj. Talk'st thou of nature, who hast broke Rouse, rouse, my fury! Yes, she dies, the victim her bands!

To my lost hopes ! Out, out, thou foolish naThou art my bane, thou witch! thou infant par

ture! ricide!

Seize her, ye slaves! and strangle ber this moBut I will study to be strangely cruel;

ment!

(To the Mutes. I will forget the folly of my fondness ;

Sel. Oh, let me die by you! Behold my Drive all the father from my breast; now snatch

breast! thee,

I would not shrink! Oh, save me but from Tcar thee to pieces, drink thy treacherous blood,

these ! And make the answer all my great revenge! Baj. Dispatch! [The Mutes seize her. Now, now, thou traitress! Offers to kill her. sei. But for a moment, while I pray Sel. Plunge the poniard deep!

That Heaven may guard my royal father!

(She embraces him. Buj. Dogs! The life my father gave shall hear his summons, Sel. That you may only bless me, ere I die ! And issue at the wound !Start not to feel

(Shout,

Baj. Ye tedious villains ! then the work is Has ruined those thou shouldst protect at mine!

home; [As BAJAZET runs at SELIMA, with his sword, Whose wars, whose slaughters, whose assassinaenter TAMERLANE, AXALLA,&c. AXALLA

tions, gets between BAJAZET and SELIMA, whilst (That basest thirst of blood! that sin of cowards!) TAMERLANE and the rest drive BAJAZET Whose faith, so often given, and always violated, and the Mutes off the Slage.

Have been the offence of Heaven, and plague of Ar. And am I come to save thee? Oh, my

earth joy!

What punishment is equal to thy crimes ? Be this the whitest hour of all my life!

The doom, thy rage designed for me, be thine: This one success is more than all my wars, Closed in a cage, like some destructive beast, The noblest, dearest glory of my sword.

I'll have thee borne about, in public view, Sel. Alas, Axalla! Death has been around me; A great example of that righteous vengeance, My coward soul still trembles at the fright, That waits on cruelty, and pride, like thine. And seems but half

secure, even in thy arms. Buj. It is beneath me to decline my fate; Ax. Retire, my fair, and let me guard thee I stand prepar’d to meet thy utmost hate. forth:

Yet think not I will long thy triumph see : Blood and tumultuous slaughter are about us, None want the means, when the soul dares be And danger, in her ugliest forms, is here;

free. Nor will the pleasure of my heart be full, I'll curse thee with my last, my parting breath, Till all my fears are ended in thy safety. And keep the courage of my life, in death; [Exeunt AXALLA and SELIMA. Then boldly venture on that world unknown:

It cannot use me worse than this has done. Enter TAMERLANE, the Prince of Tanais, ZA

[Erit BAJAZET, guarded MA, MIRVAN, and Soldiers ; with BAJAZET,

Tam. Behold the vain effects of earth-born OMAR, and the Dervise, prisoners.

pride, Tum. Mercy at length gives up her peaceful That scorn'd Heaven's laws, and all its power sceptre,

defied ! And justice sternly takes her turn to govern; That could the hand, which formed it first, for'Tis a rank world, and asks her keenest sword,

get, To cut up villany of monstrous growth.

And fondly say, I made myself be great! Zama, take care, that with the earliest dawn, But justly those above assert their sway, Those traitors meet the fate their treason merits. And teach even kings what homage they should (Pointing to Omar and the Dervise.

pay, For thee, thou tyrant ! [To BAJ.] whose oppres- Who then rule best, when mindful to obey. sive violence

[Ereunt on

EPILOGUE.

Too well we saw what must have been our fate, When cheerful theatres with crowds were grac'd;
When harmony with beauty join'd, of late, But those good days of poetry are past;
Threaten’d the ruins of our sinking state; Now sour reformers in an empty pit,
Till you, from whom our being we receive, With table-books, as at a lecture, sit,
In pity bid your own creation live;

To take notes, and give evidence 'gainst wit. With moving sounds you kindly drew the fair, Those who were once our friends, employ'd And fix’d, once more, that shining circle here:

elsewhere, The lyre you bring is half Apollo's praise ; Are busy now in settling peace and war: Be ours the task to win and wear his bays. . With careful brows at Tom's and Will's they Thin houses were before so frequent to us,

meet, We wanted not a project to undo us;

And ask who did elections lose or getWe seldom saw your honours, but by chance, Our friend has lost-Faith I am sorry for't, As some folks meet their friends of Spain or He's a good man, and ne'er was for the court; France :

He to no government will sue for grace, 'Twas verse decay’d, or politics improv'd, By want of merit safe against a place, That had estrang’d you thus from what you By spite a patriot made, and sworn t' oppose lov’d.

All who are uppermost, as England's foes; Time was when busy faces were a jest,

Let Whig or Tory, any side prevail, When wit and pleasure were in most request; Still 'tis his constant privilege to rail.

Another, that the tax and war may cease, Talks of the duke of Anjou's right and peace, And, from Spain's wise example, is for taking A viceroy of the mighty monarch's making; Who should all rights and liberties maintain, And English laws by learn'd dragoons explain

Come, leave these politics, and follow wit;

There, uncontrolld, you may in judgment sit;
We'll never differ with a crowded pit:
We'll take you all, ev'n on your own conditions,
Think you great men, and wondrous politicians ;
And if you slight the offers which we make you,
No Brentford princes will for statesmen take

you.

VOL. I.

2 N

« НазадПродовжити »