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King. 'Tis well-that when she comes to set him free,
His teeth may grin, and mock at her remorse. [Perez going. Stay thee-I have farther thought-I will add to this,
And give her eyes yet greater disappointment:
When thou hast ended him, bring me his robe;
And let the cell, where she will expect to see him,
Be darkened, so as to amuse the sight.
I will be conducted thither-mark me well—
There with his turban, and his robe arrayed,
And laid along, as he now lies, supine,
I shall convict her, to her face, of falsehood.
When, for Alphonso's, she shall take
And breathe her sighs upon my lips, for his;
Sudden I will start, and dash her with her guilt.
But see, she comes. I will shun the encounter;
Zara. The mute not yet returned! ha! it was the king,
The king that parted hence! frowning he went;
His eyes, like meteors, rolled, then darted down
Their red and angry beams; as if his sight
Would, like the raging dog-star, scorch the earth,
And kindle ruin in its course: Dost think
He saw me?
Sel. Yes: but then, as if he thought
His eyes had erred, he hastily recalled
The imperfect look, and sternly turned away.
Zara. Shun me when seen! I fear thou hast
Thy shallow artifice begets suspicion,
And, like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades
The face of thy design! alone disguising
What should have ne'er been seen; imperfect
Thou, like the adder, venomous and deaf,
Hast stung the traveller, and after hearest
Not his pursuing voice; even when thou thinkst
To hide, the rustling leaves and bended grass
Confess, and point the path which thou hast crept.
Oh, fate of fools! officious in contriving;
In executing, puzzled, lame, and lost.
Sel. Avert it, Heaven, that you should ever suffer
For my defect; or that the means which 1
Devised to serve, should ruin your design.
Prescience is Heaven's alone, not given to man;
If I have failed, in what, as being man,
I needs must fail, impute not as a crime
My nature's want, but punish nature in me;
I plead not for a pardon, and to live,
But to be punished and forgiven. Here, strike; I bare my breast, to meet your just revenge.
Zara. I have not leisure now to take so poor
A forfeit as thy life; somewhat of high,
And more important fate, requires my thought.
When I have concluded on myself, if I
Think fit, I will leave thee my command to die.
Regard me well; and dare not to reply
To what I give in charge; for I am resolved.
Give order that the two remaining mutes
Attend me instantly, with each a bowl
Of such ingredients mixed, as will, with speed,
Benumb the living faculties, and give
Most easy and inevitable death.
Yes, Osmyn, yes; be Osmyn or Alphonso,
I will give thee freedom, if thou darest be free:
Such liberty as I embrace myself,
Thou shalt partake. Since fates no more afford;
I can but die with thee, to keep my word.
SCENE II.-Opening, shews the Prison. Enter GONSALEZ disguised like a Mute, with a dagger.
Gon. Nor centinel, nor guard! the doors unbarred !
And all as still, as at the noon of night!
Sure death already has been busy here.
There lies my way; that door, too, is unlocked.
Ha! sure he sleeps-all is dark within, save what
A lamp, that feebly lifts a sickly flame,
By fits reveals his face seems turned, to favour
The attempt: I'll steal and do it unperceived.
What noise! somebody coming! is it Alonzo?
Nobody. Sure he'll wait without--I would
'Twere done-I'll crawl, and sting him to the
Then cast my skin, and leave it there to answer
Enter GARCIA and ALONZO.
Gar. Where, where, Alonzo, where's my father? where
The king? Confusion! all is on the rout!
All is lost, all ruined by surprize and treachery.
Where, where is he? Why dost thou mislead me?
Alon, My lord, he entered but a moment
Of these your rash, and ill-timed exclamations. Gar. The eastern gate is to the foe betrayed, Who, but for heaps of slain that choak the pas
Had entered, long ere now, and borne down all
Before them, to the palace walls. Unless
The king in person animate our men,
Granada's lost; and, to confirm this fear,
The traitor Perez, and the captive Moor,
Are through a postern fled, and joined the foe.
Gons. Would all were false as that! for whom
The Moor, is dead. That Osmyn was Alphonso;
In whose heart's blood this poniard yet is warm.
Gar. Impossible; for Osmyn was, while fly-
Pronounced aloud by Perez for Alphonso.
Gons. Enter that chamber, and convince your eyes,
How much report has wronged your easy faith. [Garcia goes in. Alon. My lord, for certain truth, Perez is fled; And has declared, the cause of his revolt Was to revenge a blow the king had given him. Gar. [Returning.] Ruin and horror! Oh, heart-wounding sight!
Gons. What says my son? What ruin? Ha! what horror?
Gar. Blasted my eyes, and speechless be my tongue,
Rather than or to see, or to relate
This deed-Oh, dire mistake! Oh, fatal blow! The king
Gons. Alon. The king!
Gur. Dead, weltering, drowned in blood. See, see, attired like Osmyn, where he lies.
[They look in.
Oh, whence, or how, or wherefore was this done?
But what imports the manner or the cause?
Nothing remains to do, or to require,
But that we all should turn our swords against
Ourselves, and expiate, with our own, his blood.
Gons. Oh, wretch! Oh, cursed, rash, deluded
On me, on me turn your avenging swords.
I, who have spilt my royal master's blood,
Should make atonement by a death as horrid,
And fall beneath the hand of mine own son.
Gar. Ha! what! atone this murder with a
The horror of that thought has damped my rage.
The earth already groans to bear this deed;
Oppress her not, nor think to stain her face
With more unnatural blood. Murder my father!
Better with this to rip up my own bowels,
And bathe it to the hilt, in far less damnable
Gons. Oh, my son! from the blind dotage
Of a father's fondness these ills arose.
For thee I've been ambitious, base, and bloody: For thee I've plunged into this sea of sin; Stemming the tide with only one weak hand,
While the other bore the crown (to wreath thy brow),
Whose weight has sunk me, ere I reached the shore.
Gar. Fatal ambition! Hark! the foe is entered: (Shout. The shrillness of that shout speaks them at hand. We have no time to search into the cause Of this surprising, and most fatal error. What's to be done? the king's death known, would strike
The few remaining soldiers with despair,
And make them yield to mercy of the conqueror.
Alon. My lord, I've thought how to conceal
Require me not to tell the means, till done,
Lest you forbid what you may then approve.
Shout. Gons. They shout again! Whate'er he means
Severed the head, and in an obscure corner
Disposed it, muffled in the mute's attire,
Leaving to view of them who enter next,
Alone the undistinguishable trunk;
Which may be still mistaken by the guards
For Osmyn, if, in seeking for the king,
They chance to find it.
Gons. 'Twas an act of horror;
And of a piece with this day's dire misdeeds.
But 'tis no time to ponder or repent.
Haste thee, Alonzo, haste thee hence, with speed,
To aid my son. I'll follow, with the last
Reserve, to reinforce his arms: at least,
I shall make good, and shelter, his retreat.
Enter ZARA, followed by SELIM, and two Mutes bearing the bowls.
Zara. Silence and solitude are every where. Through all the gloomy ways, and iron doors, That hither lead, nor human face nor voice Is seen or heard. A dreadful din was wont To grate the sense, when entered here, from
And howls of slaves condemned; from clink of chains,
And crash of rusty bars and creaking hinges!
And ever and anon the sight was dashed
With frightful faces, and the meagre looks
Of grim and ghastly executioners.
Yet more this stillness terrifies my soul,
Than did that scene of complicated horrors.
It may be, that the cause of this my errand
And purpose, being changed from life to death,
Had also wrought this chilling change of temper.
Or does my heart bode more? What can it, more
Let them set down the bowls, and warn Alphonso
That I am here-so. You return, and find
[Mutes going in.
The king; tell him, what he required, I've done,
And wait his coming to approve the deed.
Enter Mutes. Zara. What have you seen? Ha! wherefore stare you thus,
[The mutes return, and look affrighted. With haggard eyes? Why are your arms across? Your heavy and desponding heads hung down? Why is it you more than speak in these sad signs?
Give me more ample knowledge of this mourning.
[They go to the scene, which openeng, she perceives the body.
Ha! prostrate! bloody! headless! Oh
A martyr, and a victim to my vows.
Insensible of this last proof he's gone;
Yet fate alone can rob his mortal part
Of sense his soul still sees, and knows each pur-
And fixed event, of my persisting faith.
Then wherefore do I pause? Give me the bowl.
[A mute kneels, and gives one of the bowls.
Hover a moment, yet, thou gentle spirit,
Soul of my love, and I will wait thy flight.
This to our mutual bliss, when joined above.
Oh, friendly draught, already in my heart.
Cold, cold; my veins are icicles and frost.
I'll creep into his bosom, lay me there;
Cover us close-or I shall chill his breast,
And fright him from my arms-See, see, he
Still farther from me; look, he hides his face,
I cannot feel it-quite beyond my reach,—
Oh, now he's gone, and all is dark-
[Dies. [The mutes kneel, and mourn over her. Enter ALMERIA and LEONORA.
Alm. Oh, let me seek him in this horrid cell; For in the tomb, or prison, I alone Must hope to find him.
Leon. Heavens! what dismal scene of death is this? The eunuch, Selim, slain! Alm. Shew me, for I am come in search of death;
But want a guide; for tears have dimmed my sight.
Leon. Alas, a little farther, and behold Zara all pale and dead! two frightful men,
Oh, Osmyn! Oh, Alphonso! Cruel fate!
Cruel, cruel, oh, more than killing object!
I came prepared to die, and see thee die-
Nay, came prepared myself to give thee death-Who
But cannot bear to find thee thus, my Osmyn-
Oh, this accursed, this base, this treacherous
seein the murderers, kneel weeping by ;
Feeling remorse, too late, for what they've done.
But, oh, forbear-lift up your eyes no more;
But haste away, fly from this fatal place,
Where miseries are multiplied; return,
Return, and look not on; for there's a dagger
Sel. I've sought in vain, for no where can the Ready to stab the sight, and make your eyes king
Zara. Get thee to hell, and seek him there.
His hellish rage had wanted means to act,
But for thy fatal and pernicious counsel.
Sel. You thought it better then-but I am re-
The mute you sent, by some mischance was seen,
And forced to yield your letter with his life;
I found the dead and bloody body stripped-
My tongue faulters, and my voice fails-I sink-
Drink not the poison-for Alphonso is[Dies.
Zara. As thou art now-and I shall quickly be.
"Tis not that he is dead: for 'twas decreed
We both should die. Nor is it that I survive;
I have a certain remedy for that.
But, oh, he died unknowing in my heart!
He knew I loved, but knew not to what height;
Nor that I meant to fall before his eyes,
Alm. Oh, I foreknow, foresee that object.
Is it at last then so? Is he then dead?
What! dead at last? quite, quite, for ever dead?
There, there, I see him; there he lies, the blood
Yet bubbling from his wounds-Oh, more thau
Had they or hearts or eyes, that did this deed ?
Could eyes endure to guide such cruel hands?
Are not my eyes guilty alike with theirs,
That thus can gaze, and yet not turn to stone?
-I do not weep! The springs of tears are dried; And of a sudden I am calm, as if All things were well; and yet my husband's murdered!
Yes, yes, I know to mourn! I'll sluice this heart, The source of woe, and let the torrent loose.
-Those men have left to weep! they look os me!
Seest thou not there? Behold who prostrate lies, And pleads against thee; who shall then prevail?
Yet I will take a cold and parting leave
From his pale lips; I'll kiss him ere I drink,
Lest the rank juice should blister on my mouth,
And stain the colour of my last adieu.
Horror! a headless trunk! nor lips nor face,
[Coming near the body, starts and lets full
But spouting veins, and mangled flesh! Oh, Oh!
Enter ALPHONSO, HELI, PEREZ, with GARCIA prisoner. Guards and Attendants.
Alph. Away, stand off! Where is she? let me fly,
Save her from death, and snatch her to my heart. Alm. Oh!
Alph. Forbear; my arms alone shall hold her
Into thy lips pour the soft trickling balm
Of cordial sighs; and re-inspire thy bosom
With the breath of love. Shine, awake, Almeria !
Give a new birth to thy long-shaded eyes,
Then double on the day reflected light.
Alm. Where am I? Heaven! what does this dream intend?
Alph. Oh, may'st thou never dream of less delight,
Nor ever wake to less substantial joys!
Alm. Given me again from death! Oh, all ye
Confirm this miracle! Can I believe
My sight against my sight? and shall I trust
That sense, which, in one instant, shews him dead
And living?-Yes, I will; I've been abused
With apparitions and affrighting phantoms:
This is my lord, my life, my only husband;
I have him now, and we no more will part.
My father, too, shall have compassion-
Alph. Oh, my heart's comfort; 'tis not given to this
Frail life to be entirely blessed. Even now,
In this extremest joy my soul can taste,
Yet I am dashed to think that thou must weep;
Thy father fell where he designed my death.
Gonsalez and Alonzo, both of wounds
Expiring, have, with their last breath, confessed
The just decree of Heaven, which on themselves
Has turned their own most bloody purposes.
Nay, I must grant, 'tis fit you should be thus-
Let them remove the body from her sight.
Ill-fated Zara! Ha! a cup! Alas!
Thy error then is plain! but I were flint
Not to o'erflow in tribute to thy memory.
Oh, Garcia !
Whose virtue has renounced thy father's crimes, Seest thou how just the hand of Heaven has been?
Let us, who through our innocence survive,
Still in the paths of honour persevere,
And not from past or present ills despair;
For blessings ever wait on virtuous deeds;
And, though a late, a sure reward succeeds.
SCENE L-Before Tamerlane's Tent. Enter the PRINCE of TANAIS, ZAMA, and MIR
As if it said, 'Go forth, and be my champion,
Thou, most like me of all my works below.'
Pr. No lust of rule, the common vice of kings,
No furious zeal, inspired by hot-brained priests,
Pr. HAIL to the sun! from whose returning Ill hid beneath religion's specious name,
The cheerful soldier's arms new lustre take,
To deck the pomp of battle. O, my friends!
Was ever such a glorious face of war?
See, from this height, how all Galatia's plains,
With nations numberless, are covered o'er;
Who, like a deluge, hide the face of earth,
And leave no object in the vast horizon,
But glittering arms, and skies.
Zam. Our Asian world,
From this important day, expects a lord;
This day they hope an end of all their woes,
Of tyranny, of bondage, and oppression,
From our victorious emperor, Tamerlane.
Mir. Well has our holy Alla marked him out,
The scourge of lawless pride, and dire ambition,
The great avenger of the groaning world.
Well has he worn the sacred cause of justice
Upon his prosperous sword. Approving Heaven
Still crowned the righteous warrior with success ;
E'er drew his temperate courage to the field:
But to redress an injured people's wrongs,
To save the weak one from the strong oppressor,
Is all his end of war. And, when he draws
The sword to punish, like relenting Heaven,
He seems unwilling to deface his kind.
Mir. So rich his soul, in every virtuous grace,
That, had not nature made him great by birth,
Yet all the brave had sought him for their friend.
The Christian prince, Axalla, nicely bred
In polished arts of European courts,
For him forsakes his native Italy,
And lives a happy exile in his service.
Pr. Pleased with the gentle manners of that prince,
Our mighty lord is lavish of his friendship;
Though Omar and the Tartar lords repine,
And loudly tax their monarch as too partial.
Zam. Ere the mid-hour of night, from tent to