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Though hopeless to escape, fought well and firmly;
Nor yielded, till o'ermatch'd by many hands,
He seem'd to shame our conquest, whilst be own'd it.
Tam. Thou speak’st him as a soldier should a

soldier,
Just to the worth he finds. I would not war

[To Moneses.
With aught that wears thy virtuous stamp of greatness.
Thy habit speaks thee Christian- Nay, yet more,
My soul seems pleas’d to take acquaintance with thee,
As if ally'd to thine.
Why art thou, then, a friend to Bajazet?
And why my enemy?

Man. If human wisdom
Could point out every action of our lives,
And
say,

Let it be thus, in spite of fate
Or partial fortune, then I had not been
The wretch I am.

Tam. The brave meet every accident
With equal minds. Think nobler of thy foes,
Than to account thy chance in war an evil.

Mon. Far, far from that: I rather hold it grievous
That I was forc'd ev'n but to seem your enemy ;
Nor think the baseness of a vanquish'd slave
Moves me to flatter for precarious life,
Or ill-bought freedom, when I swear by Heav'n!
Were I to chuse from all mankind a master,
It should be Tamerlane.

Tam. A noble freedom Dwells with the brave, unknown to fawning syco

phants, And claims a privilege of being believ'd. I take thy praise as earnest of thy friendship.

Mon. Still you prevent the homage I should offer. Oh, royal sir! let my misfortunes plead, And wipe away the hostile mark I wore. I was, when not long since my fortune haild me,

Bless'd to my wish, I was the Prince-Moneses;
Born, and bred up to greatness : witness the blood,
Which through successive heros" veins, ally'd
To our Greek emperors, rolld down to me,
Feeds the bright flame of glory in my heart.
Tam, Ey'n that! that princly tie should bind thet

to me,
If virtue were not more than all alliance.

Mon. I have a sister, oh, severe remembrance! Our noble house's, nay, her sex's pride; Nor think my tongue too lavish, if I speak her Fair as the fame of virtue, and yet chaste As its cold precepts ; wise beyond her sex And blooming youth; soft as forgiving mercy, Yet greatly brave, and jealous for her honour: Such as she was, to say I barely lov'd her, Is poor to my soul's meaning. Prom our infancy, There grew a mutual tenderness between us, Till, not long since, her vows were kindly plighted To a young lord, the equal of her birth The happy day was fix’d, and now approaching, When faithless Bajazet (upon whose honour, In solemn treaty given, the Greeks depended) With sudden war broke in upon the country, Secure of peace, and for defence unready.

Tam. Let majesty no more be held divine, Since kings, who are call’d gods, profane themselves.

Mon. Among the wretches, whom that deluge swep: Away to slavery, myself and sister, Then passing near the frontiers to the court, (Which waited for her nuptials) were surpris'd, And made the captives of the tyrant's pow'r. Soon as we reach'd his court, we found our usage Beyond what we expected, fair and noble: "Twas then the storm of

your

victorious Look'd black, and seem'd to threaten, when he press'd

arms

me

3.18

(By oft repeating instances) to draw
My sword for him: But when he found my soul
Disdain'd his purpose, be more fiercely told me,
That my Arpasia, my lov'd sister's fate
Depended on my courage shown for him.
I had long learnt to hold myself at nothing;
But for her sake, to ward the blow from her,
I bound my service to the man I hated.
Six days are past, since, by the sultan's order,
I left the pledge of my return behind,
And went to guard this princess to his camp:
The rest the brave Axalla's fortune tells you.

Tam. Wisely the tyrant strove to prop his cause
By leaguing with thy virtue ; but just Heav'n
Has torn thee from his side, and left him naked
To the avenging bolt, that drives upon him.
Forget the name of captive, and I wish
I could as well restore that fair one's freedom,
Whose loss hangs heavy on thee: yet, ere night,
Perhaps, we may deserve thy friendship nobler;
Th' approaching storm may cast thy shipwreck d

wealth
Back to thy arms: till that be past, since war
(Though in the justest cause) is ever doubtful,
I will not ask thy sword to aid my victory,
Lest it should hurt that hostage of thy valour
Our common foe detains,

Mon. Let Bajazet
Bend to his yoke repining slaves by force;
You, sir, have found a nobler way to empire,
Lord of the willing world.

Tam. Haste, my Axalla, to dispose with safety Thy beauteous charge, and on the foe revenge The pain which 'absence gives; thy other care, Honour and arms, now summon thy attendance. Now do thy office well, my soul! Remember Thy cause, the cause of Heav'n and injur'd earth.

thou Supreme! if thy great spirit warms

My glowing breast, and fires my soul to arms,
Grant that my sword, assisted by thy pow'r,
This day may peace and happiness restore,
That war and lawless rage may vex the world no more.

[Exeunt TAMERLANE, MONESES, PRINCE OF

TANAIS, ZAMA, MIRVAN, and ATTENDANTS. Ax. The battle calls, and bids me haste to leave thee; Oh, Selima kBut let destruction wait. Are there not hours enough for blood and slaughter ? This moment shall be love's, and I will waste it In soft complainings, for thy sighs and coldness, For thy forgetful coldness ; even at Birza, When in thy father's court my eyes first own'd thee, Fairer than light, the joy of their beholding, Even then thou wert not thus.

Sel. Young and unskilful in the world's false arts, I suffer'd love to steal upon my softness, And warm me with a lambent guiltless flame: Yes, I have heard thee swear a thousand times, And call the conscious pow'rs of Heav'n to witness The tend'rest, truest, everlasting passion. But, oh! 'tis past; and I will charge remembrance To banish the fond image from my

soul. Since thou art sworn the foe of royal Bajazet, I have resolv'd to hate thee,

Ax. Is it possible!
Hate is not in thy nature; thy whole frame
Is harmony, without one jarring atom.
Why dost thou force thy eyes to wear this coldness ?
It damps the springs of life. Oh! bid me die,
Much rather bid me die, if it be true
That thou hast sworn to hate me..

Sel. Let life and death
Wait the decision of the bloody field ;
Nor can thy fate, my conqueror, depend
Upon a woman's hate.

Yet, since you urge
A power, which once perhaps I had, there is
But one request that I can make with honour.

Ar. Oh, name it! say!

Sel. Forego your right of war,
And render me this instant to my father.

Ar. Impossible! -The tumult of the battle, That bastes to join, cuts off all means of commerce Betwixt the armies.

Sel. Swear then to perform it,
Which way soe'er the chance of war determines,
On my first instance.

Ax. By the sacred majesty
Of Heaven, to whom we kneel, I will obey thee ;
Yes, I will give thee this severest proof
Of my soul's vow'd devotion;
But is there nothing,
No small return that honour can afford
For all this waste of love ?
What! not one kind look ?
Then thou art chang’d indeed. [Trumpets.] Hark, I

am summon's,
And thou wilt send me forth like one unbless'd;
Whom fortune bas forsaken, and ill fate
Mark'd for destruction.
Nor is life or fame
Worthy my care, since I am lost to thee. [Going

Sel. Ha! goest thou to the fight?
Ar. I do. -Farewell!
Sel. What! and no more! A sigh heaves in my

breast,
And stops the struggling accents on my tongue,
Else, sure, I should have added something more,
And made our parting softer.

Ax. Give it way.
The niggard honour, that affords not love,
Forbids not pity-
If it were possible my heart could stray,
One look from thee would call it back again,
And fix the wanderer for ever thine.

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