Page images

Patience! distraction! Blast the tyrant, blast him,

Avenging lightnings! Snatch him hence, ye

fiends! Love! Death! Moneses! Nature can no more; Ruin is on her, and she sinks at once.

[She sinks down. Baj. Help, Haly! raise her up, and bear her out!

Ha. Alas! She faints.

Arp. No, tyrant, 'tis in vain.

Oh! I am now beyond thy cruel power;
The peaceful slumber of the grave is on me:
Even all the tedious days of life I have wandered,
Bewildered with misfortunes:

At length 'tis night, and I have reached my home.
Forgetting all the toils and troubles past,
Weary I'll lay me down, and sleep, till-Oh!
[She dies.

Baj. Fly, ye slaves !

And fetch me cordials. No, she shall not die!
Spite of her sullen pride, I'll hold in life,
And force her to be blest against her will.

Ha. Already 'tis beyond the power of art;
For, see, a deadly cold has froze the blood,
The pliant limbs grow stiff, and lose their use,
And all the animating fire is quenched :
Even beauty too is dead; an ashy pale
Grows o'er the roses; the red lips have lost
Their fragrant hue, for want of that sweet

That blest them with its odours as it past.

Baj. Can it be possible? Can rage and grief, Can love and indignation be so fierce, So mortal in a woman's heart? Confusion! Is she escaped then? What is royalty,

[blocks in formation]

Om. Too late I learnt, that early in the night
A slave was suffered, by the princess' order,
To pass the guard. I clove the villain down,
Who yielded to his flight; but that's poor ven-

That fugitive has raised the camp upon us,
And unperceived, by favour of the night,
In silence they have marched to intercept us,
Baj. My daughter! Oh, the traitress!
Der. Yet we have

Axalla in our power, and angry Tamerlane
Will buy his favourite's life, on any terms.

Om. With those few friends I have, I for a while

Can face their force: if they refuse us peace, Revenge shall sweeten ruin, and 'twill joy me, To drag my foe down with me, in my fall.

[Exit Omar.

Enter HALY, with SELIMA, weeping. Baj. See where she comes, with well-dissembled innocence;

With truth and faith so lovely in her face,
As if she durst even disavow the falsehood.-
Hop'st thou to make amends with trifling tears,
For my lost crown, and disappointed vengeance?·
Ungrateful Selima! thy father's curse!

Bring forth the minion of her foolish heart!
He dies this moment.-

Ha. Would I could not speak

If those, that are my slaves, and should live for The crime of fatal love! The slave who fled,

[blocks in formation]

Der. The valiant Omar sends, to tell thy greatness

The hour of flight is come, and urges haste; Since he descries, near Tamerlane's pavilion, Bright troops of crowding torches, who from thence,

On either hand, stretch far into the night, And seem to form a shining front of battle. Behold, even from this place thou mayst discern them. [Looking out. Baj. By Alla, yes! they cast a day around them, And the plain seems thick-set with stars, as


Ha! or my eyes are false, they move this way; 'Tis certain so. Fly, Haly, to our daughter.

[Erit Haly. Let some secure the Christian prince, Axalla; We will begone this minute.

Enter OMAR.

Om. Lost! undone!

By whom we are undone, was that Axalla.
Baj. Ha! sayest thou?

Ha. Hid beneath that vile appearance,
The princess found a means for his escape.
Sel. I am undone! even nature has disclaim-
ed me!

My father! have I lost you all? My father!
Baj. Talk'st thou of nature, who hast broke

her bands!

Thou art my bane, thou witch! thou infant parricide!

But I will study to be strangely cruel;
I will forget the folly of my fondness;
Drive all the father from my breast; now snatch

Tear thee to pieces, drink thy treacherous blood,
And make thee answer all my great revenge!
Now, now, thou traitress! [Offers to kill her.
Sel. Plunge the poignard deep!

[She embraces him. The life my father gave shall hear his summons, And issue at the wound!- -Start not to feel My heart's warm blood gush out upon your hands; Since from your spring I drew the purple stream, And I must pay it back, if you demand it.

Baj. Hence, from my thoughts, thou soft relenting weakness!

Has thou not given me up a prey? betrayed me! Sel. Oh, not for worlds! not even for all the joys,

| Be this the whitest hour of all my life!
This one success is more than all my wars,
The noblest, dearest glory of my sword.

Sel. Alas, Axalla! Death has been around me;
My coward soul still trembles at the fright,
And seems but half secure, even in thy arms.
Ar. Retire, my fair, and let me guard thee

Love, or the prophet's paradise can give!
Amidst the fears and sorrows of my soul,
Amidst the thousand pains of anxious tenderness,
I made the gentle, kind Axalla swear,
Your life, your crown, and honour, should be safe.
Baj. Away! my soul disdains the vile depend-Nor will the pleasure of my heart be full,
Till all my fears are ended in thy safety.

No, let me rather die, die like a king!
Shall I fall down at the proud Tartar's foot,
And say, have mercy on me? Hark! they come!

Disgrace will overtake my lingering hand;
Die then! Thy father's shame, and thine, die
with thee!
[Offers to kill her.

Sel. For Heaven, for pity's sake!
Baj. No more, thou trifler!

[She catches hold of his arm. Ha! darest thou bar my will? Tear off her hold! Sel. What, not for life! Should I not plead for life?

When nature teaches even the brute creation
To hold fast that, her best, her noblest gift.
Look on my eyes, which you so oft have kissed,
And swore they were your best-loved queen's,
my mother's;

Behold them now streaming for mercy, mercy!
Look on me, and deny me, if you can!
'Tis but for life I beg! Is that a boon
So hard for me to obtain, or you to grant?
Oh, spare me! Spare your Selima, my father!
Baj. A lazy sloth hangs on my resolution:
It is my Selima!-Ha! What, my child!
And can I murder her?-Dreadful imagination!
Again they come! I leave her to my foes!


[Shouts. And shall they triumph o'er the race of Bajazet ! Die, Selima! Is that a father's voice? Rouse, rouse, my fury! Yes, she dies the victim my lost hopes! Out, out, thou foolish nature! Seize her, ye slaves! and strangle her this moment! [To the Mutes. Sel. Oh, let me die by you! Behold my breast! I would not shrink! Oh, save me but from these! Baj. Dispatch! [The Mutes seize her. Sel. But for a moment, while I pray That Heaven may guard my royal father. Baj. Dogs!

Sel. That you may only bless me, ere I die.

[Shout. Baj. Ye tedious villains! then the work is mine! [As Bajazet runs at Selima, with his sword, enter Tamerlane, Axalla, &c. Axalla gets between Bajazet and Selima, whilst | Tamerlane and the rest drive Bajazet and the Mutes off the Stage. Ar. And am I come to save thee? Oh, my joy!

Blood and tumultuous slaughter are about us,
And danger, in her ugliest forms, is here;

[Exeunt Axalla and Selima,

MA, MIRVAN, and Soldiers; with BAJAZET,
OMAR, and the Dervise, prisoners.

Tam. Mercy at length gives up her peaceful

And justice sternly takes her turn to govern;
'Tis a rank world, and asks her keenest sword,
To cut up villainy of monstrous growth.
Zama, take care, that with the earliest dawn,
Those traitors meet the fate their treason merits!
[Pointing to Omar and the Dervise.
For thee, thou tyrant! [To Baj.] whose oppres-
sive violence

Has ruined those thou shouldst protect at home;
Whose wars, whose slaughters, whose assassina-


(That basest thirst of blood! that sin of cowards!)
Whose faith, so often given, and always violated,
Have been the offence of Heaven, and plague of

What punishment is equal to thy crimes?
The doom, thy rage designed for me, be thine:
Closed in a cage, like some destructive beast,
I'll have thee borne about, in public view,
A great example of that righteous vengeance,
That waits on cruelty, and pride, like thine.

Baj. It is beneath me to decline my fate;
I stand prepared to meet thy utmost hate :
Yet think not I will long thy triumph see:
None want the means, when the soul dares be

I'll curse thee with my last, my parting breath,
And keep the courage of my life, in death;
Then boldly venture on that world unknown :
It cannot use me worse than this has done.
[Exit Bajazet, guarded.
Tam. Behold the vain effects of earth-born
That scorned Heaven's laws, and all its power

That could the hand, which formed it first, for

And fondly say, I made myself be great!
But justly those above assert their sway,
And teach even kings what homage they should

Who then rule best, when mindful to obey.

[Exeunt omnes.

[blocks in formation]

Scene, Sciolto's palace and garden, with some part of the street near it, in Genoa.

Alt. LET this auspicious day be ever sacred, No mourning, no misfortunes happen on it; Let it be marked for triumphs and rejoicings; Let happy lovers ever make it holy,


Chuse it to bless their hopes, and crown their wishes,

This happy day, that gives me my Calista!

Hor. Yes, Altamont; to-day thy better stars Are joined to shed their kindest influence on thee; Sciolto's noble hand, that raised thee first, Half dead and drooping o'er thy father's grave, Completes it's bounty, and restores thy name To that high rank and lustre which it boasted, Before ungrateful Genoa had forgot The merit of thy god-like father's arms; Before that country, which he long had served, In watchful councils, and in winter-camps, Had cast off his white age to want and wretchedness,

And made their court to faction by his ruin.
Alt. Oh, great Sciolto! Oh, my more than

Let me not live, but at thy very name,
My eager heart springs up, and leaps with joy.
When I forget the vast, vast debt I owe thee-

Forget! (but 'tis impossible) then let me
Forget the use and privilege of reason,
Be driven from the commerce of mankind,
To wander in the desert among brutes,
To bear the various fury of the seasons,
The night's unwholsome dew, and noon-day's

To be the scorn of earth and curse of heaven!

Hor. So open, so unbounded was his goodness, It reached even me, because I was thy friend. When that great man I loved, thy noble father, Bequeathed thy gentle sister to my arms, His last dear pledge and legacy of friendship, That happy tie made me Sciolto's son;

He called us his, and, with a parent's fondness, Indulged us in his wealth, blessed us with plenty, Healed all our cares, and sweetened love itself.

Alt. By Heaven, he found my fortunes so


That nothing but a miracle could raise them : My father's bounty, and the state's ingratitude, Had stripped him bare, not left him even a grave. Undone myself and sinking with his ruin,

I had no wealth to bring, nothing to succour him, But fruitless tears.

Hor. Yet what thou couldest, thou didst, And didst it like a son; when his hard creditors, Urged and assisted by Lothario's father, (Foe to thy house, and rival of their greatness) By sentence of the cruel law forbid His venerable corpse to rest in earth, Thou gav'st thyself a ransom for his bones; With piety uncommon didst give up

Thy hopeful youth to slaves, who ne'er knew


Sour, unrelenting, money-loving villains,
Who laugh at human nature and forgiveness,
And are, like fiends, the factors of destruction.
Heaven, who beheld the pious act, approved it,
And bade Sciolto's bounty be its proxy,
To bless thy filial virtue with abundance.

Alt. But see, he comes, the author of my happiness,

The man who saved my life from deadly sorrow, Who bids my days be blest with peace and plenty, And satisfies my soul with love and beauty! Enter SCIOLTO; he runs to ALTAMONT, and embraces him.

Sci. Joy to thee, Altamont! Joy to myself! Joy to this happy morn that makes thee mine; That kindly grants what nature had denied me, And makes me father of a son like thee!

Alt. My father! Oh, let me unlade my breast,
Pour out the fulness of my soul before you;
Shew every tender, every grateful thought,
This wondrous goodness stirs. But it is impos-

And utterance all is vile; since I can only
Swear you reign here, but never tell how much.
Sci. It is enough; I know thee, thou art ho-


Goodness innate, and worth hereditary,
Are in thy mind; thy noble father's virtues
Spring freshly forth, and blossom in thy youth.

Alt. Thus Heaven from nothing raised his faint creation,

And then, with wondrous joy, beheld its beauty, Well pleased to see the excellence he gave.

Sci. O, noble youth! I swear, since first I knew thee,

Even from that day of sorrows when I saw thee,
Adorned and lovely in thy filial tears,
The mourner and redeemer of thy father,
I set thee down, and sealed thee for my own:
Thou art my son, even near me as Calista.
Horatio and Lavinia too are mine;

[Embraces Horatio.
All are my children, and shall share my heart.
But wherefore waste we thus this happy day?
The laughing minutes summon thee to joy,
And with new pleasures court thee as they pass;
Thy waiting bride even chides thee for delaying,
And swears thou com'st not with a bridegroom's

Alt. Oh! could I hope there was one thought of Altamont,

One kind remembrance in Calista's breast,
The winds, with all their wings, would be too slow
To bear me to her feet. For oh, my father!
Amidst the stream of joy that bears me on,
Blest as I am, and honoured in your friendship,
There is one pain that hangs upon my heart.
Sci. What means my son?

Alt. When at your intercession,
Last night, Calista yielded to my happiness,
Just ere we parted, as I sealed my vows
With rapture on her lips, I found her cold,
As a dead lover's statue on his tomb;
A rising storm of passion shook her breast,
Her eyes a piteous shower of tears let fall,
And then she sighed, as if her heart were break-

With all the tenderest eloquence of love,
I begged to be a sharer in her grief:
But she, with looks averse, and eyes that froze

Sadly replied, her sorrows were her own,
Nor in a father's power to dispose of.

Sci. Away! it is the cozenage of their sex;
One of the common arts they practise on us:
To sigh and weep then when their hearts beat

With expectation of the coming joy.
Thou hast in camps and fighting fields been bred,
Unknowing in the subtleties of women.
The virgin bride, who swoons with deadly fear,
To see the end of all her wishes near,
When blushing, from the light and public eyes,
To the kind covert of the night she flies,
With equal fires to meet the bridegroom moves,
Melts in his arms, and with a loose she loves.

Enter LOTHARIO and ROSSANO. Loth. The father, and the husband! Ros. Let them pass.

They saw us not.

Loth. I care not if they did;


Ere long I mean to meet them face to face,
And gall them with my triumph o'er Calista.
Ros. You lov'd her once.

Loth. I liked her, would have married her,
But that it pleased her father to refuse me,
To make this honourable fool her husband:
For which, if I forget him, may the shame
I mean to brand his name with, stick on mine!
Ros. She, gentle soul, was kinder than her fa-

Loth. She was, and oft in private gave me hearing;

Till, by long listening to the soothing tale,
At length her easy heart was wholly mine.
Ros. I have heard you oft describe her, haugh-

ty, insolent,

And fierce with high disdain: it moves my won der,

That virtue, thus defended, should be yielded A prey to loose desires.

Loth. Hear then, I will tell thee:
Once in a lone and secret hour of night,
When every eye was closed, and the pale moon
And stars alone shone conscious of the theft,
Hot with the Tuscan grape, and high in blood,
Haply I stole unheeded to her chamber.
Ros. That minute sure was lucky.
Loth. Oh, it was great!

I found the fond, believing, love-sick maid,
Loose, unattired, warm, tender, full of wishes;
Fierceness and pride, the guardians of her ho-


Were charmed to rest, and love alone was waking.
Within her rising bosom all was calm,

As peaceful seas that know no storms, and only
Are gently lifted and down by tides.
I snatched the glorious golden opportunity,
And with prevailing, youthful ardour pressed her,
Till with short sighs, and murmuring reluctance,
The yielding fair one gave me perfect happiness.
Even all the live-long night we passed in bliss,
In ecstacies too fierce to last for ever;

At length the morn and cold indifference came;
When, fully sated with the luscious banquet,
I hastily took leave, and left the nymph
To think on what was past, and sigh alone.
Ros. You saw her soon again?
Loth. Too soon I saw her:

For, Oh! that meeting was not like the former: I found my heart beat high no more with transport,

No more I sighed, and languished for enjoyment;
Twas past, and reason took her turn to reign,
While every weakness fell before her throne.
Ros. What of the lady?

Loth. With uneasy fondness

She hung upon me, wept, and sighed, and swore She was undone; talked of a priest, and marriage;

Of flying with me from her father's power;
Called every saint, and blessed angel down,
To witness for her that she was my wife.
I started at that name.

Ros. What answer made you?

Loth. None; but pretending sudden pain and illness,

Escaped the persecution. Two nights since,
By message urged and frequent importunity,
Again I saw her. Straight with tears and sighs,
With swelling breasts, with swooning, with dis-

With all the subtleties and powerful arts
Of wilful woman, labouring for her
Again she told the same dull nauseous tale.
Unmoved, I begged her spare the ungrateful sub-

Since I resolved, that love and peace of mind
Might flourish long inviolate betwixt us,
Never to load it with the marriage chain;
That I would still retain her in my heart,
My ever gentle mistress and my friend!

But for those other names of wife and husband,

They only meant ill-nature, cares, and quarrels.
Ros. How bore she this reply?
Loth. Even as the earth,

When, winds pent up, or eating fires beneath,
Shaking the mass, she labours with destruction.
At first her rage was dumb, and wanted words;
But when the storm found way, it was wild and

Mad as the priestess of the Delphic god,
Enthusiastic passion swelled her breast,
Enlarged her voice, and ruffled all her form.
Proud, and disdainful of the love I proffered,
She called me villain! monster! base betrayer!
At last, in very bitterness of soul,
With deadly imprecations on herself,
She vowed severely never to see me more;
Then bid me fly that minute: I obeyed,
And, bowing, left her to grow cool at leisure.
Ros. She has relented since, else why this

To meet the keeper of her secrets here
This morning?

Loth. See the person whom you named!

Well, my ambassadress, what must we treat of?
Come you to menace war, and proud defiance,
Or does the peaceful olive grace your message?
Is your fair mistress calmer! Does she soften?"
And must we love again? Perhaps she means
To treat in juncture with her new ally,
And make her husband party to the agreement.
Luc. Is this well done, my lord! Have you
put off

All sense of human nature? Keep a little,
A little pity, to distinguish manhood,

Lest other men, though cruel, should disclaim you,

And judge you to be numbered with the brutes.
Loth. I see thou hast learned to rail.
Luc. I have learned to weep:
That lesson my sad mistress often gives me :
By day she seeks some melancholy shade,
To hide her sorrows from the
prying world;
At night she watches all the long, long hours,
And listens to the winds and beating rain,
With sighs as loud, and tears that fall as ft;
Then, ever and anon, she wrings her hands,
And cries, false, false Lothario!

Loth. Oh, no more!

I swear thou wilt spoil thy pretty face with crying,

And thou hast beauty that may make thy fortune:
Some keeping cardinal shall doat upon thee,
And barter his church treasure for thy freshness.
Luc. What! shall I sell my innocence and

For wealth or titles, to perfidious man!
To man, who makes his mirth of our undoing!
The base, profest betrayer of our sex!
Let me grow old in all misfortunes else,
Rather than know the sorrows of Calista!
M m

« EelmineJätka »