Imágenes de páginas




Hated name! his jealous rage
Broke out in pertidy-Ob curs'd Aspasia,

Born to complete the ruin of her country!
Hide me, oh hide me from upbraiding Greece ;
Oh, hide me from myself!

At length the prize is mine-The haughty maid
That bears the fate of empires in her air,

Henceforth shall live for me ; for me alone
Be fruitless grief

Shall plume her charms, and, with attentive The doom of guilt alone, nor dare in seize

watch, The breast where virtue guards the throne of Steai from abstálla's eye the sign to smile.

peace. .
Devolve, dear maid, thy sorrnus on the wretch,
Whose fear, or rage, or treachery, betray us !

Cease this wild roar of savage exuitation :
IRENE, aside.

Advance, and perish in the frantic boast.
A private station may discover more;

ASPASIA. Then let me rid i hem of Irene's presence:

Forbear, Demetrius, 'tis Aspasia calls thee; Proceed, and give a loose to love and treason.


Thy love, Aspasia, calls; iestrain ihy sword ;
Nurrus on useless wounds with idle courage.



[blocks in formation]


[ocr errors]




Stay-in this dubious twilight of conviction,

The gleams of reason, and the clouds of passion,

Irradiate and obscure my breast by turns : Abdalla frils; now, Fortune, all is nine. [ Aside.

Stay but a moment, and prevailing truth Haste, Murza, to the palace, let the sultan

Will spread resistless light upon my soul.
[To one of her Attendants.

Dispatch his guards to stop the flying traitors,
While I protract their stay. Be swift and faith. But since none knows the danger of a moment,

And Heav'n forbids to lavish life away,

[Exit Murza. This lucky stratagem shall charm the Sultan,

Let kind compulsion termipate the contest. Secure his confidence, and fix his love. [ Aside. Ye Christian captives, follow me to freedom;

(Seising her hand

A galley waits us, and the winds invite.
Behold a boaster's worth ! Now spatch, my fair,
The happy moment ; hasten to the shore,
Ere he return with thousands at his side.

Whence is this violence ?

[ocr errors]



[ocr errors][ocr errors]



[ocr errors]







In vain I listen to th’inviting call

Your calmer thought
Of freedom and of love; my trembling joints,

Will teach a gentler term.
Relax'd with fear, refuse to bear me forward,
Depart, Demetrius, lest my fate involve thee;
Forsake a wretch abandon'd to despair,

Forhear this rudeness,
To share the miseries herself has caus'd. And learn the rer'rence due to Turkey's queen:

Fiy, slaves, and call the sultan to my rescnt.
Let us not struggle with th' eternal will,
Nor languish o'er irreparable ruins;

Farewell, unhappy maid : may every jog
Come, haste and live-Thy innocence and truth Be thine, that wealth can give, or guilt receive !
Shall bless our wand'rings, and propitiate Heav'n.

And when, contemptuous of imperial pow'r

, Press not her flight, while yet her feeble nerves

Disease shall chase the phantoms of ambition

. Refuse their office, and uncertain life

May penitence attend thy mournful bed, Stillabours with imaginary woe;

And wing thy latest prayer to pitying Hearin! Here let me tend her with otlicious care,

[Exeunt Dem. Asp.with part of the attendauls,
Watch each unquiet flutter of the breast,
And joy to feel the vital warmth returii,

To see the cloud forsake her kindling cheek,
And hail the rosy dawn of rising health.

[Irene walks at a distance from her attendants)

After a pause.

Against the head, which innocence secures, Oh! rather, scornful of Aagitious greatness,

Insidious maliee aims ber darts in vain, (Hear's. Resolve to share our dangers and our toils,

Turn'd backwards by the pow'rful breath of Coinpanion of our flight, illustrious exile,

Perhaps even now the lovers unpursu'd Leave slavery, guilt, and infamy bebind.

Bound o'er the sparkling waves. Go, happy berk

, Thy sacred freight shall still the raging main IRENE.

To guide thy passage shall th' aërial spirits My soul attends thy voice, and banish'd virtue

Fill all the starry lamps with double blaze ; Strives to regain her empire of the mind:

Th’applanding sky shall pour forth all its beams, Assist her efforts with her strong persuasion;

To grace the triumph of victorious virtue; Sure 'tis the happy hour ordain'd above,

While I, not yet familiar to my crimes, When vanquish'd vice shall tyrannize no more.

Recoil from thought, and shudder at myseli.

How am I chang’d! How lately did Irene

Fly from the busy pleasures of her sex, (brance,

Well pleas'd to search the treasures of remediAnd honour and reproach, and Heav'n and Hell.

Come, let us seek new pleasures in the palace,
Content with freedom, and precarious greatness.

Till soft fatigue invite us to repose.
Now make thy choice, while yet the pow'r of (Enter MUSTAPHA, meeting and stopping ber.)

Kind Heav'n affords thee, and inviting mercy
Holds out her hand to lead thee back to truth. Fair falsehood, stay.

[To her attendants going of





[blocks in formation]




What dream of sudden power What wild mistake is this! Take hence with Has taught my slave the language of command !

speed Henceforth be wise, nor hope a second pardon. Your robe of mourning, and your dogs of death.

Quick from my sight, you inauspicious monsters, MUSTAPIA.

Nor dare henceforth to shock Irene's walks. Who calls for pardon from a wretch condemn'd?

Alas! they come commanded by the sultan, Thy look, thy speech, thy action, all is wild. Th’unpitving ministers of Turkish justice, Who charges guilt on me?

[ness, Nor dare to spare the life his frowa condemns. MUSTAPUA.

Who charges guilt! Are these the rapid thunderbolts of war, Ask thy heart ; attend the voice of conscience That pour with sudden violence on kingdoms, Who charges guilt ! lay by this proud resent- And spread their flames resistless o'er the world? ment

What sleepy charms benumb these active heroes, That fires thy cheek, and elevates thy mien, Depress their spirits, and retard their speed ? Nor thus nsurp the dignity of virtue.

Beyond the fear of lingʻring punishment, Review this day.

Aspasia now within her lover's arms

Securely sleeps, and in delightful dreams

Smiles at the threat'nings of defeated rage.
Whate'er thy accusation,
The sultan is my judge.

We come, bright virgin, though relenting na-

That hope is past ; Shrinks at the hated task, for thy destruction;
Hard was the strife of justice and of love; When summon’d by the sultan's clam'rous fury,
But now 'tis u'er, anıl justice has prevail'd. We ask'd with tim'rous tongue th' offender's
Know'st thou not Cali? know'st thou not Deme.


He struck his tortur'd breast, and roar'd, Irene.
We started at the sound, again inquird ;

Again his tlıund'ring voice return'd, Irene.
Bold slave, I koow them both-I know them trai-

Whence is this rage? what barb'rous tongue bas MUSTAPHA.

wrong'd me? Perfidious! - yes too well thou know'st them What fraud misleads bim? or what crimes intraitors.

cense ?



[ocr errors]
[blocks in formation]

Their treason throws no stain upon Trene. Expiring Cali nam'd Irene's chamber,
This day has prov'd my fondness for the sultan; The place appointed for his master's death.
He knew Irene's truth.





Irene's chamber ! From my faithful bosom The sultan knows it, Far be the thought-But hear my protestation. He knows how near apostacy to treason But’tis not mine to judge—I scorn and leave thee. I go, Iest vengeance urge my hand to blood,

'Tis ours, alas ! to punish, not to judge, To bloud too mean to stain a soldier's sabre.

Not call'd to try the cause, we heard the sen[Erit Mustapha.

tence, IRENE, to her attendants.

Ordain'd the mournful messengers of death, Go, blust'ring slave He has not heard of Murza. That dextrous message frees me from suspicion. Some ill-designing statesmen's base intrignie! SCENE VIII.

Some cruel stratagem of jealous beauty !

Perhaps yourselves the villains that defame me, Enter Hasan, CARAZA, with Mutes, who throw Now baste to murder, ere returning thought

the black robe upon TRENE, and sign to her Recal th' extorted doom. It must be so: attendants to withdraw.

Confess your crime, or lead me to the sultan;
There dauntless truth shall blast the vile accuser;

Then shall you feel what language cannot utter, Forgive, fair excellence, th' unwilling tongue,

Each piercing torture, ev'ry change of pain, The tongue, that, forc'd by strong necessity,

That vengeance can invent, or pow'r inflict. Bids beauty such as thine prepare to die,

[Enter ABDALLA; he stops short and listens.



Quick at my call, shall execute your charge;

Dispatch, and learn a fitter time for pity.

ABDALLA, aside.

Grant me one hour, O grant me but a moinent All is not lost, Abdalla ; see the queen,

And brunteous Heav'n repay the mighty mercy See the last uitress of thy guilt and fear With peaceful death, and happiness eternal. Enrob'd in death-Dispatch her, and be great.





The prayer I cannot grant-I dare not hear, Unhappy fair! compassion calls upon me Short be thy pains, [Signs again to the Mutes. To check this torrent of imperious rare ; While unavailing anger crowds thy tongue

IRENE. With idle threats and fruitless exclamation,

Unutterable anguish! The fraudful moments ply their silent wings, Guilt and Despair, pale spectres! grin around And steal thy life away. Death's horrid angel

me, Already shakes his bloovly sabre o'er thee. And stun me with the yellings of damnation! The raging sultan burns till our return,

O, hear'my pray'rs! accept, all-pitying Hear'n, Curses the dull delays of ling'ring mercy, These tears, these pangs, these last remains of And thinks his fatal mandates ill obey'd. Nor let the crimes of this detested day (life;

Be charg'd upon my soul. 0, mercy! mercy!

[Mules force her out. Is then your sov'reign's life so cheaply rated, 'That this you parly with detected treason ?

Should she prevail to gain the sulian's presence,
Soon inight her tears engage a lover's credit;

Perhaps her malice might transfer the charge;

ABDALLA, aside. Perhaps ber pois'nous tongue might blast Abdalla.

Safe in her death, and in Demetrius's flight, abdalla, bid thy troubled breast be calm.

Now shalt thou shine the darling of the sultan, Olet me bat be heard, nor fear from me

The plot all Cali's, the detection thine, Or lights of pow'r, or projecis of ambition,

Vly hopes, iny wishes, terminate in lie,
A little life, fur grief, and for repentance. Loes not thy busom (sor I know thee tender,

A stranger to th' oppressor's sarage joy)

Melt at Irene's fate, and share her woes?
I mark'd her wily messenger afar,

And saw him skulking in the closest walks:
I guess'd her dark designs, and waind the sultan, Her piercing cries yet fill the loaded air,
And bring ber former sentence new confirmu. Duell on my car, and sadden all my soul.

But let us try to clear our clouded brows,

And tell the horrid tale with cheerful face;
Then call it not our cruc'ty, por crime;

The stormy sultan rages at our stay. Deem us not cleaf to woe, vor blind to beauty,

ABDALLA. 'ltat ilins constrain'd we speed the stroke of death. [Bechons the Mutes. Frame your report with circumspective art:

Intiame her crimes, exalt your own obedience :

But let no thoughtless hint involve Abdalla.
O name not death! Distraction and amaze-

Horronr and agony, are in that sonnd!

What need of cantion to report the fate Let me but live, heap woes on woes upon me, Of her the sultaui's voice cundemn'd to die? Hide me with murd'rers in the dangeon's gloom, | Or why should he, whose violence of daty Seud ine to wander op some pa:h'ess shore, Has serv'd bis prince so well, demand our siLet shame and hooting infanıy pursue me,

lence ? Let slav'ry harass, and let hunger gripe.


Perhaps my zeal too fierce betray'd my proCould we reverse the sentence of the sultan,

dence ; Our bleediug bosoms plead Irene's cause.

Perhaps my warmth exceeded my commission ; But cries and tears are vain ; prepare with pa- Perhaps I will not stoop to plead my cause, tience

Or argue with the slave tbat sar'd Demetrius. To meet ihat fate we can delay no longer. [The Mutes at the sign lay hold of her.


From his escape learn thon the pow'r of virtue ; Dispatch, re ling'ring slares; or nimbler hands, Nor lope bis fortune, while thou wani'st his




And, if one varied accent prove thy falsehood,

Or but one moment's pause betray confusion, The sultan comes, still gloomy, still enraged.

Those trembling limbs--Speak out, thou shiv'ring

traitor. SCENE XI.





The queen requested.







Where's this fair trait'ress? Where's this smiling

Who? the dead Irene? mischief?

Was she then guiltless! has my thoughtless Whom neither vows could fix, nor favours bind ?

rage Destroy'd the fairest workmanship of Hearin!

Dooin'd her to death unpity'd and unheard, Thine orders, mighty sultan! are perform’d,

Amidst her kind solicitudes for me! And all Irene now is breathless clay.

Ye slaves of cruelty, ye tools of rage,

[To Has. and Car.

Ye blind officions ministers of fully, [der? Your hasty zeal defrauds the claim of justice,

Could not her charms repress your zeal for mure

Could not her pray'rs, her innocence, her tears, And disappointed vengeance buros in rain. I came to heighten tortures by reproach,

Suspend the dreadful sentence for an hour?

One hour haul freed me from the fatal errour! And add new terrours to the face of death. Was this the maid-whose love I bought with em

One hour had sard me from despair and mad. pire ? True, she was fair ; the smile of innocence

CARAZA. Play'd on her cheek-So shone the first apos- | Your fierce impatience forc'd us from your preIrene's chamber! Did not roaring Cali, state

sence, Just as the rack forc'd out his struggling soul,

Urg'd us to speed, and bade us banish pity, Name for the scene of death Irene's chamber?

Nor trust our passions with her fatal charms. MUSTAPHA. His breath prolong's) but to letect her treason,

What hadst thou lost by slighting those comThen in short sighs forsook his broken frame,


Thy life perhaps-Were but Irene spar'd,

Well if a thousand lives like thine had perish'd; Decreed to perish in Irene's chamber !

Such beauty, sweetness, love, were cheaply There had she lull'd me with endearing false

bought hoods,

With half the grov'ling slaves that load the globe. Clasp'd in her arms, or slumb'ring on her breast, And bar'd my bosom to the ruffian's dagger.


Great is thy woe! But think, illustrious sultan, SCENE XII.

Such ills are sent for souls like thine to conquer.

Shake off this weight of unavailing grief, HASAN, CARAZA, MAHOMET, MUSTAPHA, MURZA,

Rush to the war, display thy dreadful banners,

And lead thy troops victorious round the world. MURZA, Forgive, great sultan! that, by fate prevented,

Rubb'd of the inaid with whom I wish'd to triI bring a tardy message, from Irene.


No more I burn for fame, or for dominion; Some artful wile of counterfeited love!

Success and conquest now are empty sounds,'

Remorse and avguish seize on all my breast;
Some soft decoy to lure me to destruction !
And thou, the curs'd accomplice of her treason

Those groves, whose shares einbower'd the dear

(tics, Declare thy message, and expect thy doom.

Heard her last crics, and fann'd her dying beau.

Shall hide mc from the tasteless world for ever, MURZA.

(Mahoinet goes back and relurns. The queen requested that a chosen troop

Yet, ere I quit the sceptre of dominion, Might intercept the traitor Greek, Demetrius,

Let one just act conclude the hateful day. Then ling'ring with his captive mistress here.

Hew down, ye guards, those vassals of distraction, MUSTAPHA.

[Painting to Hasan and Caraza.

Those hounds of blood, that catch the hint to The Greek Demetrius! whom th' expiring bassa Declar'd the chief associate of his guilt! Bear off with eager haste th' unfinish'd sentence,

And speed the stroke, lest mercy should o'ertake MAHOMET.

them. A chosen troop—to intercept-DemetriusThe queen requested-Wretch, repeat the message;

Then hear, great Mahomet, the roice of truth.






« AnteriorContinuar »