Зображення сторінки

But, in my absence, like a lurking thief,
Stole on my treasure, and at once undid me.
Arp. Had they not kept me from the means of

Forgetting all the rules of christian suffering,
I had done a desp’rate murder on my soul,
Ere the rude slaves, that waited on his will,
Had forc'd me to his-

Mon. Stop thee there, Arpasia,
And bar my fancy from the guilty scene !
Let not thought enter, lest the busy mind
Should muster such a train of monstrous images,
As would distract me. Oh, I cannot bear it!
Thou lovely hoard of sweets, where all my joys
Were treasur’d up, to have thee rifled thus !
Thus torn, untasted, from my eager wishes!
But I will have thee from him. Tamerlane
(The sovereign judge of equity on earth)
Shall do me justice on this mighty robber,
And render back thy beauties to Moneses.
Arp. And who shall render back my peace, my

The spotless whiteness of my virgin soul?
Ah! no, Moneses—Think not I will ever
Bring a polluted love to thy chaste arms:
I am the tyrant's wife. Oh, fatal title!
And, in the sight of all the saints, have sworn,
By honour, womanhood, and blushing shame,
To know no second bride-bed but my grave.
Shortly, oh! very shortly, if my sorrows
Divine aright, and Heav'n be gracious to me,
Death shall dissolve the fatal obligation.
Moneses! now the

surges rise,
The swelling sea breaks in between our barks,
And drives us to our fate on different rocks.
Farewell !--My soul lives with thee.-----

Mon. Death is parting,

Yes, my

"Tis the last sad adieu 'twixt soul and body. But this is somewhat worse—My joy, my comfort, All that was left in life, fleets after thee!

[Exeunt, severally.



The Inside of the Royal Tent.

Enter AXALLA and Selima. Ar. Why was I ever blest!-Why is remembrance Rich with a thousand pleasing images Of past enjoyments, since 'lis but plague to me? When thou art mine no more, what will it ease me To think of all the golden minutes past, To think that thou wert kind, and I was happy? But like an angel fall’n from bliss, to curse My present state, and mourn the heav'n I've lost.

Sel. Hope better for us both; nor let thy fears, Like an unlucky omen, cross my way. Ax. But see, the sultan comes !

Enter BAJAZET. Baj. To have a nauseous courtesy forc'd on me, Spite of my will, by an insulting foe! Ha! they would break the fierceness of my temper,

And make me supple for their slavish purpose.
Curse on their fawning arts !

(SELIMA comes forward, and kneels to BAJAZET.
Sel. My lord ! my royal father!

Baj. Ha! what art thou?
What heavenly innocence! that in a form
So known, so lov'd, has left thy paradise,
For joyless prison, for this place of woe !
Art thou


Sel. Have you forgot me?
Alas, my piety is then in vain !
Your Selima, your daughter whom you lov'd,
The fondling once of her dear father's arms,
Is come to claim her share in his misfortunes ;

To help to wear the tedious minutes out,
To soften bondage, and the loss of empire.

Baj. Now, by our prophet, if my wounded mind
Could know a thought of peace, it would be now:
Ev'n from thy prating infancy thou wert
My joy, my little angel ; smiling comfort
Came with thee, still to glad me. Now I'm curs'd
Ev’n in thee too. Reproach and infamy
Attend the christian dog i'wbom thou wert trusted.
To see thee here--'twere better see thee dead!

Ar. Thus Tamerlane to royal Bajazet
With kingly greeting sends : since with the brave
(The bloody business of the fight once ended)
Stern bate and opposition ought to cease';
Thy queen already to thy arms restor’d,
Receive this second gift, thy beauteous daughter :
And if there be aught farther in thy wish,
Demand with honour, and obtain it freely.

Baj. Bear back thy fulsome greeting to thy master;
Tell him, I'll none on't. Can he restore
My fame diminish’d, loss of sacred honour,
The radiancy of majesty eclips'd ?
For aught besides, it is not worth my care ;

[ocr errors]

The giver and his gifts are both beneath me.

Ar. Enough of war the wounded earth has known :
Oh, sultan! by the Pow'r divine I swear,
With joy I would resign the savage trophies
In blood and battle gain’d, could I atone
The fatal breach 'twixt thee and Tamerlane;
And think a soldier's glory well bestow'd
To buy mankind a peace.

Baj. And what art thou,
That dost presume to mediate 'twixt the rage
Of angry kings?

Ax. A prince, born of the noblest,'
And of a soul that answers to that birth,
That dares not bút do well. Thou dost put on
À forc'd forgetfulness, thus not to know me,
A guest so lately to thy court, then meeting
On gentler terms.

Sel. Could aught efface the merit
Of brave Axalla's name? yet when your daughter
Shall tell how well, how nobly she was us’d,
How light this gallant prince made all her bondage,
Most sure the royal Bajazet will own
That honour stands indebted to such goodness,
Nor can 'a monarch's friendship more than pay it.
Baj. Ha ! 'know'st thou that, fond girl ?--Go-'tis

not well,
And when thou couldst descend to take a benefit
From a vile Christian, and thy father's foe,
Thou didst an act dishonest to thy race:
Henceforth, unless thou inean'st to cancel all
My share in thee, and write thyself a bastard,
Die, starve, know any evil, any pain,
Rather than taste a mercy from these dogs.
Sel: Atas! Axaltatom plesene.com

Ax. Weep not, lovely maid !!" i 1!1! otrs
I swear,
One sigh from thee has made a large amends
For all thy angry father's frowns and fierceness!"

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

! !

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Baj. Oh, my curst fortune!

-Am I fallin'th us.law!
Dishonour'd to my face! Thou earth born thing!
Thou clod! how hast thou dar'd 10: lift thy eyes :
Up to the sacred race of mighty Ottoman,
Whom kings, whom e'en our prophet's boly offspring
At distance have beheld? And what art thoud I be
What glorious titles blazon out thy birih?
Thou vile obscurity d balsay-thou base one.

Ax. Thus challeng’d, virtue, modest as she is,
Stands up to do herself a common justice:
To answer, and assert that inborn merit, indi
That worth, which conscious to herself she feels. A
Were honour to be scann'd by lungadescent,
From ancestors illustrious, kcould waunt van; dadi
A lineage of the greatest, and recount,
Among my fathers, names ob ancient story,
Heros and god-like patriots, who subdu'd
The world by arms and virtute, anvel, buiag Romans,
Scornid to be kings; but that be their own praise:
Nor will I borrow merit from the dead,
Myself an undeserver. I could prove
My friendship such, as thou niglat'st deign t' accept
With honour, when it comes with friendly, office,
To render back thy crown, and former greatness;

Baj. To me give back what yesterday took from me
Would be to give like Heav'n, when having finish'd
This world (the goodly work of bis creation) 1-1,si?
He bid his favourite man be lord of all. 12
But this

Ac. Nor is this gift beyond my pow'r.
Oft has the mighty master of my arms WT
Urg'd me, with large ambition, to demand !
Crowns and dominions from his bouuteous pow'r; v
'Tis true, I wav'd the proffers and have held it .
The worthier choice to wait upon bis virtues,
To be the friend and partner of his warsi a XA
Than to be Asia's lord. Nor wonder then,
If, in the confidence of such a friendship,

[ocr errors][merged small]
« НазадПродовжити »