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That oath?

Xut. I do, by Heaven!
Pyth. Ask here no more.
The fatal tale is for thy private ear.
Retire, and learn it all. For poor Creusa,
She wronged not thee, upon herself alone
She drew Heaven's vengeance. And too surely

That murder, but intentional, not wrought
To horrid act, before the eternal throne
Stands forth the first of crimes. Who dare assume,
Unwarranted, Heaven's high prerogative
O'er life and death, with double force shall find
Turned on themselves the mischiefs they design-
[Exeunt omnes.

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Ah, Sadi here!

Enter SADI.

Oth. A STRANGER, say'st thou, that enquires of My honoured friend!

Othman ?

Slave. He does; and waits admittance.

Oth. Did he tell

His name and quality?

Slave. That he declined:

But called himself thy friend.

Oth. Where didst thou see him?

Sadi. Stand off-pollute me not!

These honest arms, though worn with want, dis


Thy gorgeous trappings, earned by foul dishonour.
Oth. Forbear thy rash reproaches: for beneath
This habit, which, to thy mistaken eye,
Confirms my guilt, I wear a heart as true

Slave. Even now, while twilight closed the day, As Sadi's to my king.

I spied him

Musing amid the ruins of yon tower,
That overhangs the flood. On my approach,
With aspect stern, and words of import dark,
He questioned me of Othman. Then the tear
Stole from his eye. But when I talked of power
And courtly honours here conferred on thee,
His frown grew darker: 'All I wish,' he cried,
Is to confer with him, and then to die!'
Oth. What may this mean?-Conduct the
stranger to me.
[Exit Slave.

Perhaps some worthy citizen, returned
From voluntary exile to Algiers,
Once known in happier days.

Sadi. Why then beneath

This cursed roof, this black usurper's palace,
Darest thou to draw infected air, and live
The slave of insolence! Why lick the dust
Beneath his feet, who laid Algiers in ruin?
But age, which should have taught thee honest

Has taught thee treachery!

Oth. Mistaken man!

Could passion prompt me to licentious speech Like thine

Sadi. Peace, false one! peace! The slave to power

Still wears a pliant tongue.-Oh, shame! to dwell

With murder, lust, and rapine! did he not
Come from the depths of Barca's solitude,
With fair pretence of faith and firm alliance?
Did not our grateful king, with open arms,
Receive him as his guest? O fatal hour!
Did he not, then, with hot, adulterous eye,
Gaze on the queen Zaphira? Yes, 'twas lust,
Lust gave the infernal whisper to his soul,
And bade him murder, if he would enjoy!
O complicated horrors! hell-born treachery!
Then fell our country, when good Selim died!
Yet thou, pernicious traitor, unabashed,
Canst wear the murderer's badge!

Oth. Mistaken man!

Yet hear me, Sadi

Sadi. What can dishonour plead ?

Oth. Yet blame not prudence.

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Of every joy through seven long years bereft,
She mourns her murdered lord, her exiled son,
Her people fallen: the murderer of her lord,
Returning now from conquest o'er the Moors,
Tempts her to marriage: spurred at once by lust,
And black ambition. But with noble firmness,
Surpassing female, she rejects his vows,

Sadi. Prudence! the stale pretence of every Scorning the horrid union. Meantime he,


The traitor's ready mask!

Oth. Yet still I love thee;

Still, unprovoked by thy intemperate zeal:
Could passion prompt me to licentious speech,
Bethink thee!-might I not reproach thy flight
With the foul names of fear and perfidy?
Didst thou not fly, when Barbarossa's sword
Reeked with the blood of thy brave country-

What then did I?-Beneath this hated roof,
In pity to my widowed queen-
Sadi. In pity?

Oth. Yes, Sadi; Heaven is my witness, pity swayed me.

Sadi. Words, words! dissimulation all, and guilt!

Oth. With honest guile I did inroll my name In the black list of Barbarossa's friends: In hope, that some propitious hour might rise, When Heaven would dash the murderer from his throne,

And give young Selim to his orphaned people.

Sadi. Indeed! can'st thou be true?

Oth. By Heaven, I am.

Sadi. Why then dissemble thus ?
Oth. Have I not told thee?

I held it vain to stem the tyrant's power
By the weak efforts of an ill-timed rage.

Sadi. Enough: I find thee honest; and with

Will join thy counsels. This, my faithful arm,
Wasted with misery, shall gain new nerves
For brave resolves. Can aught, my friend, be

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With ceaseless hate, pursues her exiled son; And-O detested monster! [He weeps.

Sadi. Yet more deeds Of cruelty! Just Heaven!

Oth. His rage pursues

The virtuous youth, even into foreign climes.
Ere this, perhaps, he bleeds. A murdering ruffian
Is sent to watch his steps, and plunge the dagger
Into his guiltless breast.

Sadi. Is this thy faith!

Tamely to witness to such deeds of horror! Give me thy poignard; lead me to the tyrant. What though surrounding guards—

Oth. Repress thy rage.

Thou wilt alarm the palace, wilt involve
Thyself, thy friend, in ruin. Haste thee hence;
Haste to the remnant of our loyal friends,
And let maturer councils rule thy zeal.

Sadi. Yet let us ne'er forget our prince's


Remember, Othman, (and let vengeance rise)
How in the pangs of death, and in his gore
Weltering, we found our prince! The deadly

Deep in his heart was fixed! His royal blood,
The life-blood of his people, o'er the bath
Ran purple! Oh, remember! and revenge!
Oth. Doubt not my zeal. But haste, and seek
our friends.

Near to the western port Almanzor dwells,
Yet unseduced by Barbarossa's power.
He will disclose to thee if aught be heard
Of Selim's safety, or (what more I dread)
Of Selim's death. Thence best may our resolves
Be drawn hereafter. But let caution guide thee.
For in these walks, where tyranny and guilt
Usurp the throne, wakeful suspicion dwells,
And squint-eyed jealousy, prone to pervert
Even looks and smiles to treason.

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Thy queen's, thy prince's, and thy country's [Exit Sadi. Oth. When I forget them, be contempt my lot!

Yet, for the love I bear them, I must wrap
My deep resentments in the specious guise
Of smiles, and fair deportment.

Enter BARBAROssa, Guards, &c.

Bar. Valiant Othman,

Are these vile slaves impaled?
Oth. My lord, they are.

Bar. Did not the rack extort confession from them?

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Nor could I e'er behold him, since the down Oth. They died obdurate: while the melting Covered his manly cheek. How many years Numbered he?


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Oth. I think, scarce thirteen, when his father died;

And now, some twenty.

Bar. Othman, now for proof

Of undissembled service. Well I know,
Thy long experienced faith hath placed thee high
In the queen's confidence: the crown I wear
Yet totters on my head, till marriage-rites
Have made her mine. Othman, she must be


Plead thou my cause of love: bid her dry up Her fruitless tears: paint forth her long delays; Wake all thy eloquence: Make her but mine, And such unsought reward shall crown thy zeal, As shall out-soar thy wishes.

Oth. Mighty king, Where duty bids, I go.

Bar. Then haste thee, Othman, Ere yet the rumour of her son's decease Hath reached her ear; ere yet the mournful tale Hath whelmed her in a new abyss of woe, And quenched all soft affection, save for him. Tell her, I come, borne on the wings of love! Haste- -fly-I follow thee. [Erit Othman. Now, Aladin,

Now fortune bears us to the wished-for port: We ride secure on her most prosperous billow. This was the rock I dreaded. Dost not think The attempt was greatly daring?

Ala. Bold as needful.

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Omar returns not: Omar, whom I sent
On this high trust. I fear, 'tis he hath fallen.
Didst thou not say two slaves encountered Selim?
Ala. Ay, two; 'tis rumoured so.
Bar. And that one fell?

Ala. Even so by Selim's hand; while his companion

Planted his happier steel in Selim's heart.
Bar. Omar, I fear, is fallen. From my right


I gave my signet to the trusty slave:
And bade him send it, as the certain pledge
Of Selim's death, if sickness or captivity,
Or wayward fate, should thwart his quick return.
Ala. The rumour yet is young; perhaps fore-


The trusty slave's approach.

Bar. We'll wait the event.

Mean time give out, that now the widowed queen

Hath dried her tears, prepared to crown my love
By marriage-rites: spread wide the flattering tale:
For if persuasion win not her consent,
Power shall compel.

Ala. It is, indeed, a thought

Which prudence whispers.

Bar. Thou, brave Aladin,

Hast been the firm companion of my deeds: Soon shall my friendship's warmth reward thy faith.

This night my will devotes to feast and joy,
For conquest o'er the Moor. Hence, Aladin;
And see the night-watch close the palace round.
[Exit Aladin.
Now to the queen. My hear expands with hope.
Let high ambition flourish in Selim's blood
Its root is struck: from this, the rising stem
Proudly shall branch o'er Afric's continent,
And stretch from shore to shore. My wayward

Enter IRENE.

What, drowned in tears? Still will thy folly


Each purpose of my soul? When pleasures spring
Beneath our feet, thou spurn'st the proffered boon,
To dwell with sorrow. Why these sullen tears?
Irene. Let not these tears offend my father's eye;
They are the tears of pity. From the queen
I come, thy suppliant.

Bar. On some rude request.
What wouldst thou urge?

Irene. Thy dread return from war, And proffered love, have opened every wound The soft and lenient hand of time had closed. If ever gentle pity touched thy heart, Now, let it melt! urge not thy harsh command To see her! her distracted soul is bent To mourn in solitude. She asks no more.

Bar. She mocks my love. How many tedious years

Have I endured her coyness? Had not war,

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Dry up thy tears. What! damp the general tri umph

That echoes through Algiers! which now shall pierce

The vaulted Heaven, as soon as fame shall spread
Young Selim's death, my empire's bitterest foe
Irene. O generous Selim!

Bar. Ah! there's more in this!
Tell me, Irene, on thy duty, tell me,
As thou dost wish, I would not cast thee off,
With an incensed father's curses on thee,

Now, tell me why, at this detested name of Selim,

Afresh thy sorrow streams?

Irene. Yes, I will tell thee,

For he is gone, and dreads thy hate no more!
My father knows, that scarce five moons are past,
Since the Moors seized, and sold me at Oran,
A hopeless captive in a foreign clime.

Bar. Too well I know, and rue the fatal day. But what of this?

Irene. Why should I tell, what horrors Did then beset my soul? Oft have I told thee, How midst the throng, a youth appeared: his


Bright as the morning star!
Bar. And was it Selim?
Did he redeem thee?

Irene. With unsparing hand
He paid the allotted ransom: And o'erbade
Avarice and appetite. At his feet I wept,
Dissolved in tears of gratitude and joy.
But, when I told my quality and birth,
He started at the name of Barbarossa;
And thrice turned pale. Yet, with recovery mild,
'Go to Algiers,' he cried; protect my mother,
And be to her, what Selim is to thee.'
Even such, my father, was the generous youth,
Who, by the hands of bloody, bloody men,
Lies numbered with the dead.

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