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Leon. Believe me, madam, I lament Anselmo, Who knew our flight, we closely were pursu'd, And always did compassionate his fortune: Have often wept, to see how cruelly Your father kept in chains his fellow king: And oft at night, when all have been retir'd, Have stol'n from bed, and to his prison crept, Where, while his gaolor slept, I through the
And almost taken; when a sudden storm
Drove us, and those that follow'd, on the coast
Of Afric: There our vessel struck the shore,
And, bulging 'gainst a rock was dash'd in pieces,
But heav'n spar'd me for yet much more af-
Conducting them who follow'd us, to shun Have softly whisper'd, and inquir'd his health, The shoal, and save me floating on the waves, Sent in my sighs and pray'rs for his deliv'rance; While the good queen and my Alphonso For sighs and pray'rs were all that I could offer. Alm. Indeed thou hast a soft and gentle
He did endear himself to your affection,
By all the worthy and indulgent ways
His most industrious goodness could invent;
Proposing, by a match between Alphonso,
His son, the brave Valencian prince, and you,
To end the long dissension, and unite
The jarring crowns.
Alm. Why was I carried to Anselmo's court?
Or there, why was I us'd so tenderly?
Why not ill treated, like an enemy ?
For so my father would have us'd his child.
O, Alphonso, Alphonso!
Leon. Alas! Were you then wedded to
Alm. That day, that fatal day, our hands
For when my lord beheld the ship pursuing,
And saw her rate so far exceeding ours,
He came to me, and begg'd me by my love,
I would consent the priest should make us one;
That whether death or victory ensu'd,
I might be his, beyond the pow'r of fate;
The queen too did assist his suit-I granted;
And in one day was wedded, and a widow.
Leon. Indeed, 'twas mournful—
Alm. 'Twas-as I have told thee-
For which I mourn, and will for ever mourn;
Nor will I change these black and dismal robes,
Or ever dry these swoln and wat'ry eyes;
Or ever taste content, or peace of heart,
While I have life and thought of my Al-
phonso. [Loud shouts.
The distant shouts proclaim your father's tri-
umph. [Shouts at a distance.
O cease for heav'n's sake, assuage a little
This torrent of your grief; for much I fear
Twill urge his wrath, to see you drown'd in
Devouring seas have wash'd thee from my sight,
No time shall rase thee from my memory;
No, I will live to be thy monument:
The cruel ocean is no more thy tomb;
But in my heart thou art interr'd; there, there,
Thy dear resemblance is for ever fix'd;
My love, my lord, my husband still, though lost!
Leon. Husband! O, heav'ns!
Alm. Alas! What have I said?
My grief has hurry'd me beyond all thought. Alphonso, hear the sacred vow I make;
I would have kept that secret; though I know And thou, Anselmo, if yet thou art arriv'd
Thy love and faith to me deserve all confi-Through all impediments of purging fire,
To that bright heav'n where my Alphonso reign.
Behold thou also, and attend my vow:
When joy appears in ev'ry other face.
Alm. And joy he brings to ev'ry other heart
But double, double weight of woe to mine;
For with him Garcia comes-Garcia, to whon
I must be sacrificed, and all the vows
I gave my dear Alphonso basely broken.
No, it shall never be; for I will die
First, die ten thousand deaths.-Look down
Leon. Witness these tears
The memory of that brave prince stands fair If ever I do yield, or give consent,
And I have heard imperfectly his loss;
But fearful to renew your troubles past,
I never did presume to ask the story.
Alm. If for my swelling heart I can,
By any action, word, or thought, to wed
Another lord; may then just heav'n show'r dow
Unheard-of curses on me, greater far
(If such there be in angry heav'n's
I'll Than any I have yet endur'd.-And
My heart has some relief: having so well
Discharg'd this debt, incumbent on my love
Yet one thing more I would engage from the
Leon. My heart, my life, and will, are o
Alm. I thank thee. 'Tis but this: ano
I was a welcome captive in Valencia,
Ev'n on the day when Manuel, my father,
Led on his conqu'ring troops, high as the gates
Of king Anselmo's palace; which, in rage,
And heat of war, and dire revenge, be fir'd.
The good king flying to avoid the flames,
Started amidst his foes, and made captivity
His fatal refuge-Would that I had fall'n'
Amidst those flames-but 'twas not so decreed.
Alphonso, who foresaw my father's cruelty,
Had borne the queen and me on board a ship
Leon. Alas! I fear some fatal resolution.
Ready to sail; and when this news was brought Alm. No, on my life, my faith, Imean no
We put to sea; but being betray'd by some Nor violence.- I feel myself more light,
Are wrapp'd aud busied in the general joy
Thou wilt withdraw, and privately with me
Steal forth to visit good Anselmo's tomb.
And more at large since I have made this vow.
Perhaps I would repeat it there more solemnly.
Tis that, or some such melancholy thought;
Upon my word, no more.
Leon. I will attend you.
What, tears! my good old friend-
Gon. But tears of joy.
Believe me, sir, to see you thus, has fill'd
Mine eyes with more delight than they can hold.
King. By heav'n thou lov'st me, and I am
pleas'd thou dost.
Take it for thanks, old man, that I rejoice
Alon. The lord Gonsalez comes to tell your To see thee weep on this occasion-some
The king is just arrived.
Alm. Conduct him in.
That's his pretence: his errand is, I know,
To fill my ears with Garcia's valiant deeds;
And gild and magnify his son's exploits.
But I am arm'd with ice around my heart,
Not to be warm'd with words, or idle elo-
Here are, who seem to mourn at our success!
Why is't, Almeria, that you meet our eyes,
Upon this solemn day, in these sad weeds?
In opposition to my brightness, you
And yours are all like daughters of affliction.
Alm. Forgive me, sir, if I in this offend.
The year, which I have vow'd to pay to heav'n,
In mourning and strict life, for my deliv'rance
From wreck and death, wants yet to be expir'd,
King. Your zeal to heav'n is great, so is
Gon. Be ev'ry day of your long life like this. The sun, bright conquest, and your brighter eyes, Yet something too is due to me, who gave Have all conspir'd to blaze promiscuous light, That life which heav'n preserv'd. A day beAnd bless this day with most unequal lustre. Your royal father, my victorious lord, In filial duty, had aton'd and given Laden with spoils, and ever-living laurel, A dispensation to your vow-No more! Is entring now in martial pomp the palace. Twas weak and wilful-and a woman's error. Five hundred mules precede his solemn march, Yet-upon thought, it doubly wounds my sight, Which groan beneath the weight of Moor-To see that sable worn upon the day
Chariots of war, adorn'd with glitt'ring gems,
Succeed; and next, a hundred neighing steeds,
White as the fleecy rain on Alpine hills;
That bound and foam, and champ the gol-
As they disdain'd the victory they grace.
Prisoners of war in shining fetters follow:
And captains of the noblest blood of Afric
Sweat by his chariot-wheels;
The swarming populace spread every wall,
While you alone retire, and shun this sight;
This sight, which is indeed not seen (though
The multitude should gaze) in absence of
Succeeding that in which our deadliest foe,
Hated Anselmo! was interr'd-By heav'n!
It looks as thou didst mourn for him! just so
Thy senseless vow appear'd to bear its date,
Not from that hour wherein thou wert pre-
But that wherein the curs'd Alphonso perish'd.
Ha! What! thou dost not weep to think
Gon. Have patience, royal sir; the princess
To have offended you. If fate decreed,
One pointed hour should be Alphonso's loss,
And her deliverance, is she to blame?
King. I tell thee she's to blame, not to have
Alm. My lord, mine eyes ungratefully behold When my first foe was laid in earth; such The gilded trophies of exterior honours. Nor will my ears be charm'd with sounding words,
Such detestation bears my blood to his:
My daughter should have revell'd at his death;
She should have made these palace walls to
And all this high and ample roof to ring
With her rejoicings. What, to mourn and
weep, and pray, and grieve
There's not a slave, a shackled slave of mine,
But should have smil'd that hour, through all
Alm. I doubt not of the worth of Garcia's And shook his
chains in transport and rude harmony!
Gon. What she has done was in excess of
Betray'd by too much piety, to seem
As if she had offended.-Sure, no more.
King. To seem is to commit, at this con-
KING, attended by GARCIA and several Officers; Files of Prisoners, in Chains, and I wo'not have a seeming sorrow seen Guards. ALMERIA meets the KING, and To-day.-Retire, divest yourself with speed kneels; afterwards GONSALEZ kneels and Of that offensive black; on me be all kisses the KING'S Hand, while GARCIA The violation of your vow; for you, does the same to the PRINCESS. It shall be your excuse that I command it. King. Almeria, rise- My best Gonsalez, Gar. [Kneeling] Your pardon, sir, if I presume so far,
As to remind you of your gracious promise. That had our pomp been with your presence King. Rise, Garcia-I forgot. Yet stay, Al
Alm. My boding heart!-What is your
King. Draw near, and give your hand: and
Receive this lord, as one whom I have found
Worthy to be your husband and my son.
Gar. Thus let me kneel to take-O not to
But to devote, and yield myself for ever
The slave and creature of my royal mistress.
Gon. O let me prostrate pay my worthless
King. No more; my promise long since
pass'd, thy services,
And Garcia's well-try'd valour, all oblige me.
This day we triumph; but to-morrow's sun,
Garcia, shall shine to grace thy nuptials-
Gar. She faints! help to support her.
Gon. She recovers.
King. A fit of bridal fear. How is't, Almeria?
Alm. A sudden chillness seizes on my spirits.
Your leave, sir, to retire.
King. Garcia, conduct her.
[Garcia leads Almeria to the Door,
This idle vow hangs on her woman's fears.
I'll have a priest shall preach her from her faith,
And make it sin not to renounce that vow
Which I'd have broken. Now, what would
Enter ALONZO and Attendants.
Alon. Your beauteous captive, Zara, is arriv'd,
And with a train as if she still were wife
To Albucacim, and the moor had conquer'd.
King. It is our will she should be so
Th' expecting crowd had been deceiv'd; and seen
The monarch enter not triumphant, but
In pleasing triumph led; your beauty's slave.
Zara. If I on any terms could condescend
To like captivity, or think those honours,
Which conquerors in courtesy bestow,
Of equal value with unborrow'd rule,
And native right, to arbitrary sway,
I might be pleas'd, when I behold this train
With usual homage wait. But when I feel
These bonds, I look with loathing on myself;
And scorn vile slavery, though doubly hid
Beneath mock-praises, and dissembled state.
King. Those bonds! 'Twas my command
you should be free;
How durst you, Perez, disobey?
Per. Great sir,
Your order was she should not wait your
But at some distance follow, thus attended.
King. 'Tis false! 'twas more! I bid she
should be free;
If not in words, I bid it by my eyes!
Her eyes did more than bid-Free her and hers
With speed;-yet stay-my hands alone can
Fit restitution here. Thus I release you,
And by releasing you, enslave myself.
Zara. Such favours, so conferr'd, though
Deserve acknowledgment from noble minds.
Such thanks, as one hating to be oblig'd—
Yet hating more ingratitude, can pay,
King. Born to excel, and to command!
As by transcendent beauty to attract
All eyes, so by pre-eminence of soul
at-To rule all hearts.
Garcia, what's he, who with contracted brow, Bear hence these prisoners. Garcia, which is he, [Beholding Osmyn, as they unbind him. Of whose mute valour you relate such wonders? And sullen port, glooms downwards with [Prisoners led off.
Gar. Osmyn, who led the Moorish horse; At once regardless of his chains, or liberty? Gar. That, sir, is he of whom I spoke; that's Osmyn.
Great sir, at her request, attends on Zara. King. He is your prisoner; as you please dispose him.
Gar. I would oblige him, but he shuns my
And with a haughty mien, and stern civility,
Dumbly declines all offers: if he speak,
'Tis scarce above a word; as he were born
Alone to do, and did disdain to talk;
At least to talk where he must not command.
King. Such sullenness, and in a man so brave,
Must have some other cause than his captivity.
Did Zara, then, request he might attend her?
Gar. My lord, she did.
King. That, join'd with his behaviour,
Begets a doubt. I'd have 'em watch'd; perhaps
Her chains hang heavier on him than his own.
Enter ZARA and OSMYN, in Chains; con-
ducted by PEREZ and a Guard, attended
by SELIM and several Mutes.
King. What welcome and what honours,
A king and conqueror can give, are yours.
A conqueror indeed, where you are won;
Who with such lustre strike admiring eyes,!
King. He answers well the character you
Whence comes it, valiant Osmyn, that a man
So great in arms, as thou art said to be,
So hardly can endure captivity,
The common chance of war?
Osm. Because captivity
Has robb'd me of a dear and just revenge.
King. I understand not that.
Osm. I would not have you,
Zara. That gallant Moor in battle lost
Whom more than life he lov'd; and the regre
Of not revenging on his foes that loss,
Has caus'd this melancholy and despair.
King. She does excuse him: 'tis as I sus
pected. [To Gonsale.
Gon. That friend may be herself: seem no
His arrogant reply: she looks concern'd.
King. I'll have inquiry made; perhaps h
Yet lives, and is a prisoner. His name?
King. Garcia, that search shall be your car
It shall be mine to pay devotion here;
At this fair shrine to lay my laurels down,
And raise love's altar on the spoils of war.
Conquest and triumph now, are mine no more;
Nor will I victory in camps adore:
Fickle in fields, unsteadily she flies,
But rules with settled sway in Zara's eyes.
SCENE I The Aisle of a Temple.
And that dumb mouth, significant in show
Invites me to the bed, where I alone
Shall rest; shows me the grave, where na-
And long oppress'd with woes and bending
May lay the burden down aud sink in slumbers
Of peace eternal. My father then
Will cease his tyranny; and Garcia too
Will fly my pale deformity with loathing.
My soul, enlarg'd from its vile bonds, will
Enter ALMERIA and LEONORA.
Alm. It was a fancy'd noise, for all is hush'd. And range the starry orbs and milky ways
Leon. It bore the accent of a human voice. To my Alphonso's soul. O joy too great!
Aim. It was thy fear, or else some tran-O ectasy of thought! Help me, Anselmo!
Whistling through hollows of this vaulted aisle.
Alm. No, all is hush'd, and still as death-
How rev'rend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch and pond'rous roof,
By its own weight made stedfast and im-
Looking tranquillity. It strikes an awe
And terror on my aching sight: the tombs
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart.
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice;
Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me hear
Thy voice-my own affrights me with its
Help me, Alphonso! take me, reach thy hand;
To thee, to thee I call, to thee, Alphonso!
Enter OSMYN from the Tomb.
Osm. Who calls that wretched thing that
and all the host of heaven, support me!
Osm. Whence is that voice, whose shrillness
from the grave,
And growing to his father's shroud roots up
Alm. Mercy! Providence! O speak,
Speak to it quickly, quickly; speak to me,
Comfort me, help me, hold me, hide
Leonora, in thy bosom from the light,
And from my eyes.
Osm. Amazement and illusion!
Rivet and nail me where I stand, ye pow'rs,
Leon. Let us return: the horror of this place,
And silence, will increase your melancholy.
Aim. It may my fears, but cannot add to that.
No, I will on; show me Anselmo's tomb;
Lead me o'er bones and skulls, and moulder-That tender, lovely form of painted air,
Of human bodies, for I'll mix with them;
Or wind me in the shroud of some pale corse
Yet green in earth, rather than be the bride
Of Garcia's more detested bed: that thought
Exerts my spirit; and my present fears
Are lost in dread of greater ill. Then show me,
Lead me, for I'm bolder grown: Lead on
Where I may kneel, and pay my vows again
To him, to heav'n, and my Alphonso's soul.
SCENE IL Opens and discovers a Place of
Tombs; one Monument fronting the View.
Heli. I wander through this maze of mo-
That motionless I may be still deceiv'd.
Let me not stir or breathe, lest I dissolve
So like Almeria. Ha! it sinks, it falls;
I'll catch it ere it goes, and grasp her shade.
Tis life! 'tis warm! 'tis she! 'tis she herself!
Nor dead, nor shade, but breathing and alive!
It is Almeria, 'tis, it is my wife!
Leon. Alas, she stirs not yet, nor lifts her
He too is fainting-Help me, help me, stranger,
Whoe'er thou art, and lend thy hand to raise
Heli. Ha! 'tis he! and with Almeria!
O miracle of happiness! O joy
Unhoped for! Does Almeria live?
Osm. Where is she?
Let me behold and touch her, and be sure
Yet cannot find him-bark! sure 'tis the voice "Tis she.
Of one complaining-there it sounds-I'll fol-Look up, Almeria, bless me with thy eyes; [Exit. Look on thy love, thy lover, and thy husband. Alm. I've sworn I'll not wed Garcia: why d'ye force me?
Enter ALMERIA and LEONORA.
Leon. Behold the sacred vault, within whose
The poor remains of good Anselmo rest,
let fresh and unconsum'd by time or worms.
What do I see? O heav'n! either my eyes
Are false, or still the marble door remains
Inclos'd; the iron gates, that lead to death
Beneath, are still wide-stretch'd upon their hinge,
And staring on us with unfolded leaves..
Alm. Sure 'tis the friendly yawn of death
That thus relenting they have giv'n thee back You must be quick, for love will lend her wings.
To earth, to light and life, to love and me.
Osm. O I'll not ask, nor answer how, or
Let me look on thee yet a little more.
Osm. And why? what dost thou mean? why
dost thou gaze so?
Alm. What love? who is she? why are you
Osm. She's the reverse of thee; she's my
Harbour no thought that may disturb thy peace;
I'll think how we may meet
To part no more: my friend will tell thee all;
How I escap'd, how I am here, and thus;
How I'm not call'd Alphonso now, but Osmyn,
And he Heli. All, all he will unfold,
Ere next we meet-
Alm. Sure we shall meet again—
Osm. We shall; we part not but to meet
Gladness and warmth of ever-kindling love Alm. I know not, 'tis to see thy face, I think-[Dwell with thee, and revive thy heart in absence.
It is too much! too much to bear, and live!
To see him thus again is such profusion
Of joy, of bliss-I cannot bear-I must
Be mad-I cannot be transported thus!
Osm, Thou excellence, thou joy, thou heav'n of love!
Alm. Where hast thou been? and how art thou alive?
Sure from thy
Osm. I did;
father's tomb thou didst arise!
and thou, my love, didst call
but how cam'st thou there?
wert thou alone?
Osm. I was, and lying on my father's lead,
When broken echoes of a distant voice
[Exeunt Almeria, Leonora, and Heli. Yet I behold her-yet-and now no more. Turn your lights inward, eyes, and view my thought,
So shall you still hehold her.
Enter ZARA and SELIM.
Zara. See where he stands, folded and fix'd
Stiff'ning in thought, a statue among statues!
Why, cruel Osmyn, dost thou fly me thus?
Am I more loathsome to thee than the grave,
That thou dost seek to shield thee there, and
My love? But to the grave I'll follow theeDisturb'd the sacred silence of the vault, He looks not, minds not, hears not: barb'rous In murmurs round my head. I rose and listen'd,
And thought I heard thy spirit call Alphonso; Am I neglected thus? am I despis'd?
I thought I saw thee too; but O, I thought not Not heard! ungrateful Osmyn!
That I indeed should be so blest to see thee-
Alm. But still how cam'st thou hither? how
What's he who, like thyself, is started here
Osm. Where? Ha! what do I see? Antonio!
I'm fortunate indeed-my friend too, safe!
Heli. Most happily, in finding you thus
Alm. More miracles! Antonio too escap'd!
Osm. And twice escap'd, both from the rage
And war; for in the fight I saw him fall.
Heli. But fell unhurt, a pris'ner as yourself,
And as yourself made free: hither I came
Impatiently to seek you, where I knew
Your grief would lead you to lament Anselmo.
Osm. What means the bounty of all-gra-
That persevering still, with open hand
It scatters good, as in a waste of mercy?
Where will this end? But heav'n is infinite
In all, and can continue to bestow,
When scanty number shall be spent in telling.
Leon. Or I'm deceiv'd, or I beheld the
Of two in shining habits, cross the aisle;
Who, by their pointing, seem'd to mark this
Alm. Sure I have dreamt, if we must part
Or we could sleep till we again were met.
Zara. Yes, traitor! Zara, lost, abandon'd Zara,
Is a regardless suppliant now to Osmyn.
The slave, the wretch that she redeem'd from
Disdains to listen now, or look on Zara.
Osm. Far be the guilt of such reproaches
Lost in myself, and blinded by my thoughts,
I saw you not till now.
Zara. Now then you see me-
But with such dumb and thankless eyes you
Better I was unseen than seen thus coldly.
Osm. What would you from a wretch wh
And only for his sorrows chose this solitude
Look round, joy is not here, nor cheerfulnes
You have pursu'd misfortune to its dwelling,
Yet look for gaiety and gladness there.
Zara. Inhuman! Why, why dost thou rac
And with perverseness, from the purpos answer?
What is't to me, this house of misery?
What joy do I require? If thou dost mour
come to mourn with thee; to share thy grie
And give thee for 'em, in exchange, my los
Osm. O that's the greatest grief-I am
Heli. Zara with Selim, sir; I saw and For all I've done, and all I have endur'd:
For saving thee, when 1 beheld thee first,