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Point me to right! I'll onward to its goal Weed their young minds from those pernicious
With double energy, will expiate all,
That, in the days of ignorance, might offcnd; The arch-impostor has implanted in them,
Only restore my children to my care,

Train them in virtue's school, and lead them on Give to my craving arıs my hapless children, To deeds of glorious and immortal honour. That I may form them, turn them back from wrong,



SCENE I.-MAHOMET's apartment.

He's not her father, as she knows it not.

Trust me, those partial ties of blood and kindred MaHomeT alone.

Are but the illusive taints of education : Mah. Ambition knows not conscience

What we call nature is mere habit, Mirvan; Well, this Zaphna

That habit's on our side; for the whole study Is fixed at length-I lessoned him so home, Of this young creature's life has been obedience, Dealt to his young enthusiastic soul

To think, believe, and act as pleasured me. Such promises and threats

But hold; the hour, on which our furtune hangs,

Is now at hand. While Zaphna seeks the temple, Enter MIRVAN.

Let us look round us, see that not a wheel
Mirvan, what news?

Lag in the vast machine we have at work :
Mir. Oh, Mahomet, I fear the nice woven web It is success, that consecrates our actions;
Of our design's unravelled. Ere thy spirit The vanquished rebel as a rebel dies,
Had re-inflamed young Zaphna with the thirst The victor rebel plumes him on a throne.
Of old Alcanor's blood, he had revealed

[Exeunt. The dreadful purpose to Hercidesa Mah. Ha!

SCENE II.—The temple. Mir. Hercides loves the youth, and Zaphna Enter Zapuna, with a drawn sword in his hand.

still llas held him as a father.

Zaph. Well then, it must be so; I must disMah. That I like not.

charge What does Hercides say? thinks he with us? This cruel duty-Mahomet enjoins it,

Mir. Oh no; he trembles at the very thought And Heaven, through him, demands it of my Of this dread scene, compassionates Alcanor,

hands. And

Horrid, though sacred, act !—my soul shrinks Mah. He's but a half friend then, and a half back, friend

And wont admit conviction-Ay, but Heaven! Is not a span from traitor. Mirvan, Mirvan, Heaven's call I must obey-Oh dire obedience ! A dangerous witness must be some way dealt What dost thou cost me! my humanity! with :

Why, duty, art thou thus at war with nature? Am I obeyed?

Mir. Tis done.
Mah. Then for the rest

Thou here, Palmira! oh! wh

fatal transport Or e'er the harbinger of morrow's dawn

Leads thee to this sad place, these dark abodes,
Gleam in the east, Alcanor, thou must set, Sacred to death? Thou hast no business here.
Or Mahomet and all his hopes must perish: Pal. Oh, Zaphna, fcar and love have been my
That's the first step; then, Waphna, next for thee! guides.
Soon as thy hands have dealt the midnight mis- What horrid sacrifice is this enjoined thee?

What victim does the god of Mahomet
In thy own blood the secret must be drowned. Claim from thy tender hand ?
Thus quit of son and father (those curst rivals, Zaph. Oh, my guardian angel,
Who elbow me at once in love and grandeur) Speak, resolve me;
Both Mecca and Palinira shall be mine.

How can assassination be a virtue?
Oh towering prospect ! how it fills the eye How can the gracious parent of mankind
Of my aspiring and enamoured soul!

Delight in mankind's sufferings? May not thus Night! put on double sable, that no star

prophet, May be a spy on those dark deeds—Well, This great announcer of his heavenly will, Mirvan,

Mistake it once? Shall we accomplish this?

Pal. Oh, tremble to examine. Mir. We shall, iny chief.

He sees our hearts-To doubt is to blaspheme. Mah. What though I scize his life, from whom Euph. Be steady, then, my soul, firm to the she sprung?


And let religion steel thee against pity.

Zaph. 'Twas Heaven spoke by thee; thou'rt Come forth, thou foe to Mahomet, and Heaven, its oracle, And meet the doom thy rebel faith deserves ! And I'll fulfil its laws. This is the hour, Come forth, Alcanor !

In which he pays, at the adjoining altar, Pal. Who, Alcanor !

Black rites to his imaginary gods. Zaph. Yes.

Follow me not, Palmira. Pal. The good Alcanor ?

Pal. I must follow; Euph. Why do you call him good?

I will not, dare not, leave thee. Curse on his pagan virtues ! he must die;

Zaph. Gentle maid, So Mahomet commands : and yet metlinks I beg thee Ay these walls; thou canst not bear Some other deity arrests my arm,

This horrid scene-Oh, these are dreadful moAnd whispers to my heart-Zaphna, forbear!

ments! Pal. Distracting state !

Begone-quick-this way Zaph. Alas ! my dear Palmira,

Pal. No, I follow thee, I'm weak, and shudder at this bloody business. Retread thy every footstep, though they lead Help me, oh help, Palnira! I am torn,

To the dark gulph of death. Distracted with this conflict.

Zuph. Thou matchless maid !--to the dire Zeal, horror, love, and pity, seize my breast,

trial then.

(Exeunt. And drag it different ways. Alas! Palmira, You see me tossing on a sea of passions ;

SCENE draws, and discovers the inner part of Tis thine, my angel, to appease this tempest,

the temple, with a pagan altår and images ; Fix my distracted will, and teach me

ALCANOR addressing himself to the idols. Pal. What !

Alc. Eternal Powers ! that deign to bless these What can I teach thee in this strife of passions ? mansions, Oh Zaphna! I revere our holy prophet,

Protectors of the sons of Ishmael, Think all his laws are registered in heaven, Crush, crush this blasphemous invader's force, And every mandate minted in the skies.

And turn him back with shame! If power be Zaph. But then, to break through hospitality,

your's, And murder him, by whom we are protected! Oh! shield your injured votaries, and lay

Pal. Oh, poor Alcanor ! generous, good Alca- Oppression, bleeding at your altar's foot. My heart bleeds for thee.

Enter Zapuna and PalmIRA. Zaph. Know then, unless I act this horrid scene, Pal. entering.] Act not this blondy deed! ol: Unless I plunge this dagger in the breast

save him, save him! Of that old man, I must-I must

Zaph. Save him, and lose both paradise and Pal. What

thee! Zaph. Must, Palmira

Pal. Hah, yon' he stands-Oh! Zaphna, all (Oh agonizing thought !) lose thee for ever.

my blood is frozen at the sight! Pal. Am I the price of good Alcanor's blood ? Alc. 'Tis in your own behalf that I implore Zaph. So Mahomet ordains.

The terrors of your might; swift, swiftly Pal. Horrible dowry!

Pour vengeance on this vile apostate's head, Zaph. Thou knowest the curse our prophet Who dares profanely wrest your thunder from has denounced,

you, Of endless tortures on the disobedient;

And lodge it with an unknown fancied god. Thou knowest with what an oath I have bound Zaph. Hear how the wretch blasphemes ! So,

myself To vindicate his laws, extirpate all,

Pal. Hold, Zaphna ! That dare oppose his progress; say then, fair Zaph. Let me go one,

Pal. I cannot-cannot. Thou tutoress divine, instruct me how,

Alc. But if, for reasons which dim-sighted morHow to obey my chief, perforın my oath,

tals Yet list to mercy's call!

Can't look into, you'll crown this daring rebel Pal. This rends


With royalty and priesthood, take my life! Zaph. How to avoid being banished thee for And if, ye gracious Powers! you have aught of ever!

bliss Pal. Oh, sare me from that thought! must In store for me, at my last hour permit me that e'er be?

To see my children, pour my blessing on them, Zuph. It must not : thou hast now pronounced Expire in their dear arms, and let them close his doom.

These eyes, which then would wish no afterPal. What doom? Have I!

sight! Zaph. Yes, thou hast sealed his death.

Pal. His children, did he say? Pul. I seal his death!-Did I?.

Zaph. I think he didVOL. I.

3 X



Alc. For this I'll at your altar pay my vows, Zaph. Who art thou ! let me lean on theeAnd mahe it smoke with incense: (Retires be- I find hind the altar.

My powers returning. Is it thou, Palmira ? Zuph. Now's the time; (Drawing his sword. Where have I been what have I done? Insulting Heaven, he flies to stones for refuge : Pal. I know not: Now let me strike!

Think on't no more. Pal. Stay but one moment, Zaphna.

Zaph. But I must think and talk on't too, PalZaph. It must not be—unhand me.

mira; Pal. What to do?

I seiz'd the victim by his hoary locksZaph. To serve my God and king, and merit (Thou, Heaven, didst will it) thee.

Then, shuddering with horror, buried strait [ Breaking from Palmira. and going towards the The poignard in his breast. í had redoubled altar, he starts, and stops short.

The bloody plunge—what cannot zeal persuade !) Hla! what are ye, ye terrifying shades?

But that the venerable sire poured forth What means this lake of blood, that lies before So piteous a groan ! looked so, Palmirame?

And with a feeble voice, cried, Is it Zaphna ? Pal. Oh Zaphna ! let us Aly these horrid roofs. I could no more. Oh? hadst thou seen, my

Zaph. No, no-Go on, ye ministers of death; love, Lead me the way: I'll follow ye.

The fell, fell dagger in his bosom, viewed Pal. Stay, Zaphna!

llis dying face, where sat such dignity, Heap no more horrors on me; I'm expiring Clothed with compassion towards his base as Beneath the load.

sassin ! Zaph. Be hushed-the altar trembles !

[Throwing himself on the ground. What means that omen! does it spur to murder, The dire remembrance weighs me to the earthOr would it rein me back? No, 'tis the voice Here let me dieOf Heaven itself, that chides my lingering hand. Pal. Rise, my loved Zaphna ! rise, Now send up thither all thy vows, Palmira, And let us fly to Mahome for protection : Whilst I obey its will and give the stroke. If we are found in these abodes of slaughter,

[Goes out behind the altar after Alcanor. Tortures and death attend us : let us fly! Pal. What vows? Will Heaven receive a mur- Zaph. starting up.) I did fly at that blasting derer's vows !

sight, Palmira, For sure I'm such, whilst I prevent not murder. When drawing out the fatal steel he cast Why beats my heart thus? what soft voice is such tender looks! I fed—the fatal steel, this,

The voice, the tender looks, the bleeding victim That's waken’d in my soul, and preaches mercy? Blessing his murderer, I could not fly : If Heaven demands his life, dare I oppose? No, they elung to me, rived my throbbing heart, Is it my place to judge ?-Ha! that dire groan And set my brain on fire. What have we done! Proclaims the bloody business is about.

Pal. Hark! what's that noise ! I tremble for Zaphna ! oh Zaphna !

thy life.

Oh! in the name of love, by all the ties,
Re-enter Zapuna.

Those sacred ties, that bind thee mine for ever, Zaph. Ha! where am I?

I do conjure thee, follow me! Who calls me? where's Palmira ? she's not here : ALCANOR comes from behind the altar, What fiend has snatched her from me?

leaning against it, with the bloody Pal. Heavens ! he raves !

sword in his hand. Dost thou not know me, Zaphna ! her, who lives Zaph. Ha ! look, Palmira, see what object's that, For thee alone !-Why dost thou gaze thus on me? Which bears upon my tortured sight! Ís't he? Zaph. Where are we?

Or is't his bloody manes come to haunt us? Pál, Hast thou then discharged

Pal. 'Tis he himself, poor wretch! struggling The horrid duty ?

with death, Zaph. What dost thou say?

And feebly crawling towards us. Let me fly, Pal. Alcanor

And yield what help I can: let me support thee, Zaph. Alcanor! what Alcanor ?

Thou much-lamented, injured, good old man ! Pal. Gracious Heaven,

Zaph. Why don't I move? my feet are rooted Look down upon him !

here, Let's be gone, my Zaphna!

And all my frame is struck and withered up Let's fly this place!

As with a lightning's blast. Zaph. Oh, whither Ay! to whom?

Alc. My gentle maid, D'ye see these hands? who will receive these Wilt thou support me? hands?

Weep not, my Palmira. Pal. Oh, come, and let me wash them with Pal. I could weep tears of blood, if that would my tears!

serve thee.

Alc. [Sitting down.] Zaphna, come hither ; | Its bigot purpose; I hope to live to animate thou hast ta'en my life,

Our friends 'gainst this impostor : Lead them, For what offence, or what one thought towards Zaphna, thee,

To root out a rapacious baneful crew, That anger or malevolence gave birth,

Whose zeal is frenzy, whose religion murder! Heaven knows I am unconscious. Do not look so : Zaph. Swift, swift, ye hours ! and light ine to I see thou dost relent.


Come, thou infernal weapon,
Enter Pharon hastily,

[Snatches the bloody sa ord. Pha. (Starting back.) Ha ! 'tis too late, then. I'll wash off thy foul stain with the heart's blood Alc. Would I could see Hercides !-Pharon, Of that malignant sanctified assassin! lo!

[As Zuphna is going off, Mirvan and his Thy martyred friend, by his distempered hand,

followers enter, and stop him. Is now expiring !

Mir. Seize Zaphna, Pha. Dire unnatural crime !

And load the traiterous murderer with chains ! Oh, wretched parricide !-behold thy father! Help you the good Alcanor-Ilapless man!

[Pointing to Alcanor. Our prophet, in a vision, learnt to-night Zaph. My father!

The mournful tale of thy untimely end, Pal. Father! ha!

And sent me straight to seize the vile assassin, Alc. Mysterious Heaven !

That he might wreak severest justice on him: Pha. Hercides, dying by the band of Mirvan, Mahomet comes to vindicate the laws, Who slew him, lest he should betray the secret, Not sufler, with impunity, their breach. Saw me approach, and, in the pangs of death, Ale. Heavens! what accumulated crimes are Cried, ' Fly and save Alcanor; wrest the sword

here! • From Zaphna's hands, if 'tis not yet too late, Zaph. Where is the monster? bear me instant • That's destined for his death; then let him to him, know,

That I may blast hiin with my eye, may curse ! That Zaphna and Palmira are his children.'

bim Pal. That Zaphna and Palmira are his chil-With my last hesitating voice! dren!

Pal. Thou traitor! Dost hear that, Zaphna?

Did not thy own death-doing tongue enjoin Euph. 'Tis enough, my fate!

This horrid deed ? Canst thou aught more?

Mir. Not mine, by Ileaven ! Alc. Oh, nature ! oh, my children!

Zaph. Not thine! By what vile instigations wert thou driven, Mir. No; by our prophct, and his holy faith, Unhappy Zaphna ! to this bloody action ? Of all the thoughts ere harboured in this breast, Zaph. (Falling at his father's feet.] Oh, I can. It ne'er had such a monster for its tenant ! not speak!

Zaph. Most accomplished villain ! Restore me, sir, restore that damned weapon, Mirvan, look at me-darest thou--That I, for once, may make it, as I ought,

Mir. Of with him,

[ To the Solliers. An instrument of justice.

And see him well secured, till Mahomet Pal. [Kneeling.): Oh, my father !

Demands him of you. Strike here! the crime was mine; 'twas I alone, Pal. Villain, hold! [Laying hold of Zaphna. That worked his will to this unnatural deed ! Mlir. Away! Upon these terms alone he could be mine; Zaph. Just, just reward of my credulity! And incest was the price of parricide !

Pal. Let me go with himn; I will share thy Zaph. Strike your assassins

fate, Alc. I embrace my children,

Unhappy Zaphna, for I share thy guiltAnd joy to see them, though my life's the forfeit! But then

[Looking back at Alcanor. Rise, children, rise, and live : live to revenge Mlir. No more, you must to Mahomet : Your father's death.-But, in the name of nature, Obey without reluctance : Our great prophet, By the remains of this paternal blood,

In pity to your tender frame and years, That's oozing from my wound, raise not your will take you under his divine protection. hands

Pal. [Aside.) Oh death! deliver me from such 'Gainst your own being. Zaphna, wouldst thou protection!

Mir. If you would aught to save the destined A second deadlier mischief?

Zaphna, Self-slaughter cannot atone for parricide. Follow me to the prophet; you may move him Zuph. Then I will live,

To mitigate his doom.--Away! Live to some purpose : This is glorious suffering.

[To the soldiers who hold Zanhna. Alc. Thy undetermined arın has not quite ful. You this way.

{To Palmira, filled

Zaph. Pardon!

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do me

Pal. Oh, pardon!

Bare this wound to them; let that speak the [They are led off by degrees, looking al- cause,

ternately at their father and each other. The treacherous cause--for words begin to fail Alc. Oh, insupportable !

me; Both from me torn, then, when I wanted most Then, if in death I can but serve my country, Their consolation.

(4 shout. Save my poor children from this tiger's gripe, Pha. Hark!

And give a second life to that loved pair, The citizens are roused, and all, in arms, By whose misguided zeal I lose my own Rush on to your defence.

What patriot, or parent, but would wish, Alc. Pharon, support me

In so divine a cause, to fall a martyr ! Some moments longer.—Help, conduct me to

[Ereunt. wards them;



Mir. Safe in a dungeon, where he dies apace.

Ere at the altar's foot he slew his sire,
Enter MAHOMET and Mirvax. In his own veins he bore his guilt's reward,
Mah. Wrong will be ever nursed and fed A deadly draught of poison.
with blood !-

Mah.' I would be kind, and let him die deocir. So this boy bigot held his pious purpose ?

ed, Mir. Devoutly

Nor know that parent-blood defiles bis sonl. Mah. What a senseless machine

Mir. He cannot know it: if the grave be silent, Can superstition make the reasoner man ! I'm sure Hercides isAlcanor lies there on his bed of earth?

Mah. Unhappy Zaphna! Mir. This moment he expired, and Mecca's Something like pity checks me for thy death. youth

But why-I must not think that way shall In vain lament their chief. To the mad crowd

Mahomet That gathered round, good Ali and myself Give a new paradise to all mankind, (Full of thy dauntless heavenly-seeming spirit) And let remorse of conscience be the hell Disclaimed the deed, and pointed out the arm Of his own breast! My safety claimed his life, Of righteous Heaven, that strikes for Mahomet. And all the heaven of fair Palmira's charms Think ye, we cried (with eyes and hands uprear- Shall be my great reward. ed),

Mir. My noble lord, Think ye our holy prophet would consent Palmira is at hand, and waits your pleasure. To such a crime, whose foulness casts a blot Mah. At hand! How, Mirvan, couldst thou On right of nations, nature, and our faith?

let me talk Oh, rather think he will revenge his death, On themes of guilt, when that pure angels near? And root his murder froin the burdened earth! Mir. The weeping fair, led on by flattering Then struck our breasts, and wept the good old hope man,

Of Zaphna's life, attends your sacred will : And only wished he'd died among the faithful, A silent pale dejection shrouds her cheeks, And slept with Ibrahim.

And, like the lily in a morning shower, Mah. Excellent Mirvan!

She droops her head and locks up all her sweets. Mir, We, then, both at large

Mah. Say Mahomet awaits, and then Descanted on thy clemency and bounty. Assemble all our chiefs, and on this platform On that the silent and desponding crowd Let them attend me straight. [Erit Mirvan. Broly out in murmurs, plaints, and last in shouts, And each mechanic grew a mussulman.

Enter Palmira with attendants. Mah, Ohi, worthy to deceive and awe the Pal. upart.) Where have they led me? world,

Methinks each step I take, the mangled corse Second to Mahomet ! let me embrace thee- Of my dear father (by poor Zaphna mangled) But say, is not our army at their gates

Lies in my way, and all I see is blood—[Starting. To back our clemency?

'Tis the impostor's self!-Burst, heart, in silence. Mir. Omar commands

Mah. Maid, lay aside this dread. Palmira's Their nightly march through unsuspected paths,

fate And with the inorn appears.

And that of Mecca by my will is fixed. Mah. At sight of them,

This great event, that fills thy soul with horror, The weak remaining billows of this storm Is anystery to all but Heaven and Mahomet. Will lash themselves to peace-But where is Pal. Oh, ever righteous Heaven ! canst thog Zaphna?


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