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A rancorous garland: let the roots of death
Bloom on this blasted front !
Ah! ah! Hemeya !
Had'st thou but told me, ere this wretched moment,
That Malec could have saved thee-thou wouldst ne'er
Behold a victim clad for sacrifice
Sludd'ring before thy sight, and thinking death
The only mercy left.-Then I had been
I had been still thine own! But now, oh, God!
I do not dare to tell thee what I am.
Hem. Let me embrace thee once ere thou hast said What will call down my curse, and make me fling thee Like a detested.creature from my
heart! Flor. Hold! for thy touch is guilt-unloose me !-spar
me ! I am
Hem. What art thou ?
Flor. I am Pescara’s wife!
Hem. Thou art a woman!-that's another name
For falsehood, treason, perjury, and hell! (Crosses, L.
Elor. If I have wrongs to heaven, I've none to thee !
Hem. Where is thy oath to die?—thine oath, Florinda:
Where is thy oath that an eternal grave
Should be thy bed?
Flor. I have kept it ; 'twas thy life
That dragged me to the shrine : to save that life,
To pluck thee from the rack !
Hem. No, 'twas to bind me
Down on a bed of fire !-ten thousand deaths
Were better than to see thee what thou art !
E'en from Pescara's arms-
Flor. No; at the shrine
I claimed aloud his promise, I was desperate;
And though he stamped, and in his mouth a curse
Frothed in its gnashing fury, from the altar
I rushed into thy dungeon. Oh, Hemeya !
I came to give thee freedom. Go, Hemeya,
And leave me here to die! Oh! prize that life,
I charge thee, prize it well, for which I paid
So large a price! Keep! keep it as the pledge
Of broken-hearted love! and, ere thou goest,
Hear my last words; for, wedded as I am,
Death will excuse the passion of iny
Since first I saw, I loved thee;-ev'ry day
But added to the fire thine eyes had kindled:
And now, e'en now, thou art more dear than ever!
There may be those as wretched as myself,
But none e'er loved so tenderly !
Pescara, who has gradually advanced during the last
speech, rushes between them. Pes. Have I no other name? it is
husband! Hem. Villain !
Flor. Do not speak to him, Thou art still within his
power. Pes. I sent thee here To liberate a traitor; opportunity Should not have been abused. Why is he here ? Flor. He shall depart-oh, hold! [To Hemeya.] he
shall depart! Pes. He shall--and never shall return !
This blackest plot of hell was worthy thee!
Worthy the Inquisition, where thy soul
Was early trained to guilt.
Pes. [Stamping.] Behold my answer:
[A cell opens in the wall, aud executioners appear in
it, L. F.
Now let me look upon you !-this is well:
Thou art the man I hate: I wooed this woman,
And I was scorned for thee. If without love
I loved, I didn't hate without revenge! -
Thou'st told me I was tutored in the cells
Of the Inquisition : thou’rt in the right,
And I will prove that I have studied well
The science of infliction !
Hem. Dost thou think
Thy tortures fright me, then ?
Pes. I do not think it ; here is my
victim ! Flor. Do
you hear this, ye heavens? Pes. And do
hear meE'en now the priest scarce breathed the marriage vow, And passion fiercely burned; yet, even then, You dared me with his name : you called aloud, And bade me free him: love then died at once,
2 reigned here alone! I sent thee lere,
d thee : I saw thee in his bosom;
ar-he dies !
He dies before thy face !
No, 'tis impossible:
i to try, 'tis but to terrify me;
not mean the horrid deed you speak
e a man, you are a human creature !
! thou wilt not! Have I not performed
(read condition ? did I not appear
ring before the altar! didst thou not promise,
thou not swear? am-am I not your wife?
· You are, and love my foe! Come forth, and seizo
n. And send me quickly from this cursed world,
e guilt, like his, can triumph.
or. Then, heav'n, where are thy lightnings?
s. In my grasp. Drag, drag him to your tortures !
or. Hold, tormentors !
kill-oh, kill me first ; here, in my heart,
fell thirst for blood!
Pescara drags her from them.
let me not behold it ! Death, do thy work,
iu art too slow within my raging breast !
1, mountains, down, and hide me from this horror!
ist, earth, and swallow me!-almighty heav'n!
etch forth thy arm, and save him! Ha! they drag
him, ey bear him to their torments !-why, O heav'n! hy am I thus abandoned ? (Voices without.] “ The Moors!" (Florinda listens for a moment, and a shout is heard
-she shrieks, and rushes towards the front and falls
on her knees.--Pescara stands appalled, the alarmHem. That sound has raised me to the sun; my soul low mounts in triumph !-well, infernal villain, Vell mayst thou stand amazed ! thy hour is come! Chou art enclosed in thy own dep of blood.
Pes. Traitors and slaves !-ha! that thought !
He clenches his dagger-Hemeya struggles with the
This, this is left me still ! within my grasp
I clutch it like a fierce and desp’rate joy !
Look here! look here, vile Moor!-despite of fate
I still shall triumph o'e thee !
[Advances to stab Florenda-as he lifts the dagger,
Hemeya, who has broken from his Executioners,
rushes up, tears it from his hand, and stabs him
the Moors rush in with Malec at their head, L. U. E.,
while Florinda sinks into the arms of Hemeya-
Pescaro, after a vain attempt to speak, falls dead.
Mal. Hau, glorious Moor!
Hem. My friend ! my brave deliverer!
Mal. The Moors are up in arms—the Alpuxerras
Have poured their marshalled thousands to the field :
The crescent floats upon Grenada's tower,
And morning shall behold thee on the throne.
Kneel, Moors ! behold your king!
Hem. Arise, my friends! Florinda, fate has poured
A thousand blessings in one rapturous hour-
But, in the thick’ning splendours of my stars,
Thou art my loveliest light.
Flor. If it be possible.-
Thou, who dost weigh our mis’ries with our crimes,
Oh, take from death this agony ! Hemeya,
While 'twas for thee I trembled, pain grew dull,
And lost its pow'r upon me ; now, 'tis here !
Hem. Florinda !
Flor. Yes, I have kept my promise to thee:
This is its dread fulfilment !-- you were wrong
To chide me for my falsehood: ere my marriage,
I poured a deadly draught within my veins :
That first was ice; but now in streams of fire
Comes rushing through my bosom!
Hem. Give me a sword!
Give me some means of death! bring, bring me poison !
Or bear me to the rack from which I 'scaped !
Here, here, in mercy plunge your steels together!
Ha! what is't I see! I thank thee, fortune!
Trou bast druck the wound, but thou cans heal it, ton
Perccires Pescara's dagger on the ground, and stabs
himself-Florinda shrieks, and falls on her knees
beside him. Mal. Thou shouldst have lived ! thy life was still thy
And, but for that, I'd follow thee.
Fate cannot take the joy to look upon thee,
To die beholding thee -
[Dies.----Florinda continues insensible
Mal. In the next battle
I'll find the way to join thee. Ha! Hemeya!
Is this the palace of thy monarchy ?
Is this thy Throne? is this, thy silent corse,
All that remains of him that once I loved ?
[While Malec is speaking, Florinda appears to staunch
the blood of Hemeya with her hair.
Flor. It still will flow; but I'll stay here forever!
I'll look on these cold lips--my shiv'ring hand
Shall press this cold, cold forehead !--and I'll staunch
This blood that still flows on.
Mal. Remove the body-poor distracted wretch,
I pity thee !-uplift that bleeding corse,
And bear it from the dungeon.
Flor. No, you shall not,
You shall not tear me hence: no! never! never!
husband ! death! 'twas death!
Death married us together! here I will dig
A bridal bed, and we'll lie there forever!
I will not go! ha! you may pluck my heart out,
But I will never go! Help!-help!-Hemeya !
They drag me to Pescara's cursed bed!
They tend the chains of fire that bind me to thee!
DISPOSITION OF THE CHARACTERS AT THE FALL OF