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To breathe the fresh’ning air ; you shall not go
For, should you pass the flaming gates again,
They would swallow you
Exit, L. Alv. Oh, my daughter!
Enter a SPANIARD, L. Speak—tell me-speak !
Span. Your daughter has appeared
Amid the flames at last, and at her casement
Stands with her face and arms to heaven uplifted,
And seems a suff’ring angel-while below
The multitude in speechless horror stands.
Alv. (Kneeling.) Hear, and record my oath ! he that
Florinda to my arms, shall win her hand,
And be inheritor of all my treasures ;
And, if I break that oath, the heaviest curse
Fall on my head !
(A loud shout is heard, L. What's that I hear?
Enter a SPANIARD, L.-after a short pause. Span. My lord, a desp'rate man with furious force Bursts through the gathered thousands, scales the walls, And plunges through the flame.
Alv. Oh, heaven reward him! [Another shout, L. That sound sends life again through every vein, And my
[Voices without, l.] She is saved ! she is saved !
Alu O heaven!
Lead me from hence, and let me sce my child.
[Exeunt, L. SCENE III.-A Garden adjoining the Palace of Alvarez
part of which appears already consumed and blackened. Enter HemEYA, L. U. E., bearing Florinda in his arms.
Hem. I feel thy pressure in my heart-I have thee-
I clasp thee here, while all my senses rush
In the full throb of rapture ! all my being
Seems gathered in the pulse that beats to thee :
I am beloved, I am beloved !
Flor. Hemeya !
Heaven, let me thank thee, that this generous man
Has saved me! I will look on thee, Hen.eya!--
My eyes will tell thee;-I am very faint ;-
I cannot speak;—but I am grateful to thee.
Hem. Florinda! my beloved !
Oh, pardon me,
If for one moment of delirious joy,
I held thee to my he
rt; but here, behold,
A slave before thy feet; all that I ask
Is to gaze long upon thee, till
Forgets all earthly sorrow : oh, Florinda !
What sleepless nights, what days of desperation,
Since first thy form came on my raptured sight,
And rested in
heart! I did not know you loved me.
Flor. I confess that I am grateful to thee.
Hem. Do not talk
Of chilling gratitude ; in the dread moment
When death hung hov’ring o'er thee, I did heai-
Oh! I did hear thee say, that death itself
Was welcome here! was welcome in my arms.
Flor. Don't look upon me! for within thy gaze I sink into the earth.
Hem. Why would Florinda,
She who is made of gentleness and pity,
Deny that beam of dawning happiness,
That glimpse of op’ning heaven?
Flor. Because Florinda
Scarce to her shuddering heart had dared to tell,
What she has told to thee! I ne'er can wed thee,
And what a pang it is to love thee still !
Dost thou not know my father frowns upon thee?
Dost thou not know I never can be thine ?
Yet, wretched that I am, I have revealed
What I must blush to think of.—But he comes,
My father comes : oh! I must dry these tears ;
Within his arms forget my ev'ry grief;
And feel I am a daughter.—My dear father!
Enter ALVAREZ, L., crosses, C.
Alv. My child !
Hem. Yes, take her, clasp her to your heart,
And as that heart beats with a father's transport,
Moor as I am, don't blame me that I love her.
Alv. By heaven, I see thy mother in thy face!
Thou god-like man, what shall I say to thee ?
Oh ! let my tears fall on this noble hand,
And speak a burning soul!
Hem. I am rewarded.
Alv. Brave, generous man!
Hem. Nay, good my lord, you overpay
My poor desert, and grow my creditor :-
But you forget me- I am most unworthy-
I am the Moor.
Alv. No:-I remember well;
Thou art hateful to the Christian.-Yesterday
I did command Florinda, on the pain
Of heaviest imprecation, ne'er to gazo
Upon thy face again.
Flor. Oh, my dear father,
Florinda can be wretched, if you please,
But not ungrateful, too!
Alv. Give me thy hand :-you love the Mocr?
Flor. My lord !
Alv. Come, you confess it ;
Your looks reveal your heart: and Count Pescara
Interpreted the silent tear aright,
When first I bade you wed him.
Flor. Let my grave,
Oh! let a couch of lead, let the cold shroud,
And the earth's grass, be all my place of rest,
Ere Count Pescara, at heaven's awful shrine,
Claims from these lips the perjured oath to love
The man from whom my sinking heart recoils.
Hem. Howe'er you deal with me, let not
Florinda be wedded to that villain !-
Alv. Hear me, Moor!
Pescara is Grenada's governor,
And bears the sway of Philip ;-long he loved
And wooed Florinda with her father's sanction.
Thou art a Moor-thy nation is a slave :
And, though from Moorish kings thou art descended,
The Christian spurns thee; yet it is to thee
I give Florinda's hand.
Flor. What do I hear ?
Hem. Am I in heaven ?-Oh, speak, speak, Count AL
Speak it again !-let me be sure of it,
For I misdoubt my senses.
Alv. She is yours !
Hem. Which of you shall I kneel to ? let me press
Your rev'rend knees within my straining arms-
I shall grow wild with rapture; men will say
The madd’ning planet smote me with its power.
Florinda, thou art mine! my wife ! my joy !--
[Crosses to 1. Thou exquisite perfection !-thou fair creature ! Who now shall part us ?
As he embraces her, PESCARA enters, L.
Pes. I !-speak, Count Alvarez.
What is it I behold ?-don't look upon me
As if you never had beheld
I am Pescara-you have not to learn
What Count Pescara is ?—who ever wronged me
That did not perish? I had come to greet you,
And, as I passed, the rascal rabble talked
Of some wild dotard vow, some graybeard's folly ;-
I seized a wretch that dared to slander you,
And dashed him to the earth for the vile falsehood.
Alv. It gratitude be crime-
Pes. What do I hear?
Hem. What you shall hear again. [Crosses to Pescara.
Pes. Moor, not from thee ;-
I would not let thee speak a Spaniard's shame.
(Crosses to Florinda.] You, madam, will inform me; you,
Are bent upon the ground—whose yielding form
Doth seem like sculptured modesty ; nay, tell me,
For I have tidings for your ear.
Flor. My lord, I do confess, my father's will
Unites ine to the Moor.
Pes. And you obey him;
For here obedience is an easy virtue.
Flor. Yes; where my heart : wells with the glowing
Of tender, thrilling gratitude !—my being
Owns in its deep recess the consciousness
That it is all his own: nay, think, my lord,
Can I behold his face, and not exclaim,
“ This is the man who saved me!” can I feel
The pleasures of existence-can I breathe
The morning air, or see the dying day
Sink in the western sky—can I inhale
The rose's perfume, or behold the lights
That shine forever in yon infinite heaven
Or can I taste one joy that nature gives
To this, our earthly tarrying-place-nor think
That 'tis to him I owe each little flower
I tread on in life's bleakness ?
E'en now I place my
upon my heart,
And, as it throbs, there is a voice within
That tells this throbbing heart it would be still,
Were not Hemeya brave. This is my father-
[Crosses to Alvarez
that life Hemeya did preserve ;
And when he gives my hand in recompense,
I cannot but obey.
Pes. I thank you, madam ;-
And, since it seems that gratitude's the fashion,
Your pains shall be requited.-Know, fair maid,
The daughter of Alvarez never shall
Be wedded to a Moor; nay, do not start-
Hem. My lord !
Alv. Count Pescara! what is it that you mean?
Pes. I mean, my lord,
That others have more care of your nobility
Than you have ta’en yourself.—Ha! ha! a Moor!
One of that race that we have trodden down
From empire's height, and crushed-a damned Morisco,
Accursed of the church, and by the laws
Proscribed and branded.—What, you choose a Moor
To swell the stream of your nobility
With his polluted blood ?-in sooth, 'tis pleasant !
TIem. You have forgot me; you forget yourself.-
Through centuries of glory, on the heads
Of my great ancestors, the diarlem
Shone through the world, and from each royal brow
Came dow: with gath'ring splendour;-and if bere