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Is this a night for walks of contemplation?
Something unusual hangs upon your heart,
And I will know it; by our loves I will.
To you I sacrificed my virgin fame;
Ask I too much to share in your distress?
Zan. In tears? Thou fool! then hear me, and
In hell's abyss, if ever it escape thee.
To strike thee with astonishment at once,
I hate Alonzo. First recover that,
And then thou shalt hear farther.
Isa. Hate Alonzo!
I own, I thought Alonzo most your friend,
And that he lost the master in that name.
Zan. Hear then. 'Tis twice three years since
that great man (Great let me call him, for he conquered me) Made me the captive of his arm in fight. He slew my father, and threw chains o'er me, While I, with pious rage, pursued revenge. I then was young; he placed me near his person, And thought me not dishonoured by his service. One day, (may that returning day be night,
The stain, the curse, of each succeeding year!)
For something, or for nothing, in his pride
He struck me- -While I tell it, do I live?
He smote me on the cheek-I did not stab him,
For that were poor revenge—E’er since, his
Has strove to bury it beneath a heap
Of kindnesses, and thinks it is forgot.
Insolent thought! and like a second blow!
Affronts are innocent, where men are worthless;
And such alone can wisely drop revenge.
Isa. But with more temper, Zanga, tell your
To see your strong emotions startles me.
Zan. Yes, woman, with the temper that befits
Has the dark adder venom? So have I,
When trod upon. Proud Spaniard, thou shalt
feel me !
For from that day, that day of my dishonour,
I from that day have cursed the rising sun,
Which never failed to tell me of my shame.
I from that day have blessed the coming night,
Which promised to conceal it; but in vain;
The blow returned for ever in my dream.
Yet on I toiled, and groaned for an occasion
Of ample vengeance; none is yet arrived.
Howe'er, at present I conceive warm hopes
Of what may wound him sore in his ambition,
Life of his life, and dearer than his soul.
By nightly march he purposed to surprise
The Moorish camp; but I have taken care
They shall be ready to receive his favour.
Failing in this, a cast of utmost moment,
Would darken all the conquests he has won.
Isa. Just as I entered, an express arrived.
Zan. To whom?
Isa. His friend, Don Carlos.
Zan. Be propitious,
Oh! Mahomet, on this important hour,
And give, at length, my famished soul revenge!
What is revenge, but courage to call in
Our honour's debts, and wisdom to convert
Others' self-love into our own protection?
But see, the morning dawns;
I'll seek Don Carlos, and enquire my fate.
Enter Don MANUEL and Don CARLOS. Man. My lord don Carlos, what brings your express?
Car. Alonzo's glory, and the Moors' defeat. The field is strewed with twice ten thousand slain,
Though he suspects his measures were betrayed.
He'll soon arrive. Oh, how I long to embrace
The first of heroes, and the best of friends!
I loved fair Leonora long before
The chance of battle gave me to the Moors,
From whom so late Alonzo set me free;
| And while I groaned in bondage, I deputed
This great Alonzo, whom her father honours,
To be my gentle advocate in love,
To stir her heart, and fan its fires for me.
Man. And what success?
Car. Alas, the cruel maid
Indeed her father, who, though high at court,
And powerful with the king, has wealth at heart,
To heal his devastation from the Moors,
Knowing I am richly freighted from the east,
My fleet now sailing in the sight of Spain,
(Heaven guard it safe through such a dreadful
Caresses me, and urges her to wed.
Man. Her aged father, sce,
Leads her this way.
Car. She looks like radiant Truth,
Brought forward by the hand of hoary Time-
You to the port with speed, 'tis possible
Some vessel is arrived. Heaven grant it bring
Tidings, which Carlos may receive with joy!
Enter Don ALVAREZ and LEOnora.
Alv. Don Carlos, I am labouring in your fa
With all a parent's soft authority,
And earnest counsel.
Car. Angels second you!
For all my bliss or misery hangs on it.
Alv. Daughter, the happiness of life depends On our discretion, and a prudent choice; Look into those they call unfortunate, And, closer viewed, you will find they are unwise: Some flaw in their own conduct lies beneath, And 'tis the trick of fools, to save their credit, Which brought another language into use. Don Carlos is of ancient, noble blood,
And then his wealth might mend a prince's for
For him the sun is labouring in the mines,
A faithful slave, and turning earth to gold.
His keels are freighted with that sacred power,
By which even kings and emperors are made.
Sir, you have my good wishes, and I hope
My daughter is not indisposed to hear you. [Erit.
Car. Oh, Leonora! why art thou in tears?
Because I am less wretched than I was?
Before your father gave me leave to woo you,
Hushed was your bosom, and your eyes serene.
Will you for ever help me to new pains,
And keep reserves of torment in your hand,
To let them loose on every dawn of joy?
Leon. Think you my father too indulgent to
That he claims no dominion o'er my tears?
A daughter sure may be right dutiful,
Whose tears alone are free from a restraint.
Car. Ah, my torn heart!
Leon. Regard not me, my lord;
I shall obey my father.
Car. Disobey him,
Rather than come thus coldly, than come thus
With absent eyes, and alienated mien,
Suffering address, the victim of my love.
Oh, let me be undone the common way,
And have the common comfort to be pitied,
And not be ruined in the mask of bliss,
And so be envied, and be wretched too!
Love calls for love. Not all the pride of beauty,
Those eyes that tell us what the sun is made of,
Those lips, whose touch is to be bought with life,
Those hills of driven snow, which seen are felt;
All these, possessed, are nought, but as they are
The proof, the substance of an inward passion,
And the rich plunder of a taken heart.
Leon. Alas, my lord, we are too delicate:
And when we grasp the happiness we wished,
We call on wit to argue it away:
A plainer man would not feel half your pains:
But some have too much wisdom to be happy.
Car. Had I known this before, it had been
I had not then solicited your father
To add to my distress; as you behave,
Your father's kindness stabs me to the heart.
Give me your hand-nay, give it, Leonora :
You give it not-nay, yet you give it not—
I ravish it.
Leon. I pray, my lord, no more.
Alon. Yes, much more-Don Carlos' friend. The conquest of the world would cost me dear, Should it beget one thought of distance in thee. I rise in virtues to come nearer to thee, conquer with Don Carlos in my eye, And thus I claim my victory's reward.
[Embracing him. Car. A victory indeed! your godlike arm Has made one spot the grave of Africa;
Car. Ah, why so sad? You know each sigh Such numbers fell! and the survivors fled,
does shake me :
Sighs there, are tempests here.
I have heard, bad men would be unblest in Hea
What is my guilt, that makes me so with you?
Have I not languished prostrate at thy feet?
Have I not lived whole days upon thy sight?
Have I not seen thee where thou hast not been?
And, mad with the idea, clasped the wind,
And doated upon nothing?
Good Carlos, by recounting of my faults,
And telling how ungrateful I have been.
Alas, my lord, if talking would prevail,
I could suggest much better arguments
Than those regards you threw away on me;
Your valour, honour, wisdom, praised by all.
But bid physicians talk our veins to temper,
And with an argument new-set a pulse;
Then think, my lord, of reasoning into love.
Car. Must I despair then? Do not shake me thus:
My tempest-beaten heart is cold to death;
Ah, turn, and let me warm me in thy beauties!
Heavens! what a proof I gave, but two nights
As frighted passengers from off the strand,
When the tempestuous sea comes roaring on
Alon. 'Twas Carlos conquered, 'twas his cruel chains
Inflamed me to a rage unknown before,
And threw my former actions far behind.
Car. I love fair Leonora. How I love her!
Yet still I find (I know not how it is)
Another heart, another soul for thee.
Thy friendship warms, it raises, it transports
Like music, pure the joy, without allay,
Whose very rapture is tranquillity:
But love, like wine, gives a tumultuous bliss,
Heightened, indeed, beyond all mortal pleasures,
But mingles pangs and madness in the bowl.
Zan. Manuel, my lord, returning from the port,
On business both of moment and of haste, Humbly begs leave to speak in private with you.
Car. In private! Ha! Alonzo, I will return; No business can detain me long from thee. [Exit. Zan. My lord Alonzo, I obeyed your orders. Alon. Will the fair Leonora pass this way? Zun. She will, my lord, and soon. Alon. Come near me, Zanga; For I dare open all my heart to thee. Never was such a day of triumph known! There's not a wounded captive in my train, That slowly followed my proud chariot wheels, With half a life, and beggary, and chains,
But is a god to me: I am most wretched.
In his captivity thou know'st, Don Carlos,
My friend, (and never was a friend more dear)
Deputed me his advocate in love,
To talk to Leonora's heart, and make
A tender party in her thoughts for him.
What did I do? I loved myself. Indeed,
One thing there is might lessen my offence,
(If such offence admits of being lessened)
I thought him dead; for (by what fate I know not)
His letters never reached me.
Zan. Thanks to Zanga,
Who thence contrived that evil which has hap-
Alon. Yes, cursed of Heaven! I loved myself,
In a late action, rescued from the Moors,
I have brought home my rival in my friend.
Zan. We hear, my lord, that in that action too,
Your interposing arm preserved his life.
Alon. It did-with more than the expence of mine;
For, Oh, this day is mentioned for their nuptials. But see, she comes-I will take my leave, and die.
Zan. Hadst thou a thousand lives, thy death
Unhappy fate! My country overcome!
My six years hope of vengeance quite expired!
Would nature were- -I will not fall alone:
But others' groans shall tell the world my death.
[Aside, and exit.
Alonzo, stay; you must not thus escape me; But hear your guilt at large.
Alon. Oh, Leonora !
What could I do! In duty to my friend,
I saw you; and to see is to admire.
For Carlos did I plead, and most sincerely.
Witness the thousand agonies it cost me!
You know I did. I sought but your esteem;
If that is guilt, an angel had been guilty.
I often sighed, nay, wept, but could not help it :
And sure it is no crime to be in pain.
But grant my crime was great; I am greatly cursed;
What would you more? Am I not most undone?
This usage is like stamping on the murdered,
When life is fled; most barbarous and unjust.
Leon. If from your guilt none suffered but
It might be so-
Alon. Who suffers with me?
Leon. Enjoy your ignorance, and let me go. Alon. Alas! what is there I can fear to know, Since I already know your hate? Your actions Have long since told me that.
Leon. They flattered you.
Alon. How! flattered me!
Leon. Oh, search in fate no farther!
I hate thee-Oh, Alonzo, how I hate thee! Alon. Indeed! and do you weep for hatred too!
Oh, what a doubtful torment heaves my heart!
I hope it most, and yet I dread it more.
Should it be so-s
-should her tears flow from
How would my soul blaze up in ecstacy!
Alon. When nature ends with anguish like to Ah no! how sink into the depth of horrors!
Sinners shall take their last leave of the sun,
And bid his light adicu.
Leon. The mighty conqueror
Disinaved! I thought you gave the foc your sor
'Twas but a world, and you are-Leonora.
Leon. That passion, which you boast of, is your guilt,
A treason to your friend. You think mean of me,
To plead your crimes as motives of my love.
Alon. You, madam, ought to thank those
crimes you blame;
'Tis they permit you to be thus inhuman,
Without the censure both of earth and heaven-
I fondly thought a last look might be kind.
Farewell for ever. This severe behaviour
Has, to my comfort, made it sweet to die.
Leon. Farewell for ever! Sweet to die! Oh,
Leon. Why would you force my stay?
Alon. What mean these tears?
Leon. I weep by chance; nor have my tears a meaning.
But Oh! when first I saw Alonzo's tears,
I knew their meaning well!
[Alon. falls passionately on his knees, and takes her hand.
Alon. Heavens! what is this? That excel lence, for which
Desire was planted in the heart of man; Virtue's supreme reward on this side Heaven; The cordial of my soul-and this destroys meIndeed, I flattered me that thou didst hate.
Leon. Alonzo, pardon me the injury
Of loving you. I struggled with my passion,
And struggled long: let that be some excuse.
Alon. Unkind, you know I think your love a
Beyond all human blessings! 'tis the price
Of sigh and groans, and a whole year of dying,
But Oh! the curse of curses!—Oh, my
Alon. What says my love? Speak, Leonora. Leon. Was it for you, my lord, to be so quick
In finding out objections to our love?
Think you so strong my love, or weak my virtue,
It was unsafe to leave that part to me?
Alon. Is not the day, then, fixed for your es-
Leon. Indeed, my father once had thoughts that way;
But, marking how the marriage pained my
Long he stood doubtful; but at last resolved, Your counsel, which determines him in all, Should finish the debate.
Must I not only lose her, but be made
Myself the instrument? Not only die,
But plunge the dagger in my heart myself?
This is refining on calamity.
Alas, I see him pale! I hear him groan!
He foams, he tears his hair, he raves, he bleeds,
(I know him by myself) he dies distracted!
Leon. How dreadful to be cut from what we
Alon. Ah, speak no more!
Leon. And tied to what we hate!
Leon. Is it possible? Alon. Death!
Leon. Can you?
Yes, take a limb; but let my virtue 'scape.
Alas, my soul, this moment I die for thee!
Leon. And are you perjured then for virtue's
Leon. What! do you tremble lest you should❘ How often have you sworn!--but go, for ever.
For what else can you tremble? Not for that My father places in your power to alter.
Alon. What's in my power? Oh, yes; to stab my friend!
Leon. To stab your friend were barbarous indeed!
Spare him--and murder me. I own, Alonzo,
You well may wonder at such words as these.
I start at them myself; they fright my nature.
Great is my fault; but blame me not alone:
Give him a little blame who took such pains
To make me guilty.
Alon. Torment! [After a pause, Leon. speaks.
Leon. Oh, my shame!
I sue, and sue in vain: it is most just,
When women sue, they sue to be denied.
You hate me, you despise me! you do well;
For what I've done I hate and scorn myself.
Oh, night, fall on me! I shall blush to death.
Alon. First perish all!
Leon. Say, what have you resolved? My father comes; what answer will you give him?
Alon. What answer! let me look upon that
And read it there.--Devote thee to another!
Not to be borne ! a second look undoes me.
Leon. And why undo you? Is it then, my lord,
So terrible to yield to your own wishes,
Because they happen to concur with mine?
Cruel! to take such pains to win a heart,
Which you was conscious you must break with
Alon. No, Leonora, I am thine for ever, [Runs and embraces her. In spite of Carlos-Ha! who's that? My friend? [Starts wide from her.
[Swoons. Alon. Heart of my heart, and essence of my
Where art thou!—Oh, I'm thine, and thine for ever!
The groans of friendship shall be heard no more.
For whatsoever crime I can commit,
I've felt the pains already.
And hear a maid whom doubly thou hast conquered.
I love thy virtue as I love thy person,
And I adore thee for the pains it gave me;
But as I felt the pains, I'll reap the fruit;
I'll shine out in my turn, and shew the world
Thy great example was not lost upon me.
Be it enough that I have once been guilty;
In sight of such a pattern, to persist,
Ill suits a person honoured with your
My other titles to that bliss are weak;
I must deserve it by refusing it.
Thus then I tear me from thy hopes for ever.
Shall I contribute to Alonzo's crimes?
No, though the life-blood gushes from my heart.
You shall not be ashamed of Leonora ;
Or that late time may put our names together.
Nay, never shrink; take back the bright example
You lately lent; Oh, take it while you may,
While I can give it you, and be immortal!