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Live after it, would give up honour too, Parting in death, makes it the easier.
You might have thrown me off, forsaken me, This only curse, the curse of losing thee. And my misfortunes: that had been a death Imo. If Heaven could be appeas'd, these cruel Indeed of terror, to have trembled at.
Oro. Forsaken ! thrown thee off! Are not to be entreated or believed:
Imo. But 'tis a pleasure more than life can 0! think on that, and be no more deceived.
give, Oro. What can we do?
That with unconquer'd passion to the last, Imo. Can I do any thing!
You struggle still, and fain would hold me to Oro. But we were born to suffer.
you. Imo. Suffer both.
Oro. Ever, ever! and let those stars, which are Both die, and so prevent them.
my enemies, Oro. By thy death!
Witness against me in the other world,
0! that we could incorporate, be one, 'Tis pathless, dark, and barren all to me,
Be only found to one another's joys!
Oro. Which is the way!
Imo. The god of love is blind, and cannot find Oro. Thou bespeak’st,
And goest before me.
But quick, make haste, our enemies have eyes Dino, So I would in love,
To find us out, and shew us the worst way In the dear unsuspected part of life,
Of parting: think on them.
Imo. O! no more of love!
For if I listen to you, I shall quite Oro, and can'st thou ask it?
Forget my dangers, and desire to live. I never durst inquire into myself
I can't live yours.
(Takes up the dagger, About thy fate, and thou resolv'st it all.
Oro. There all the stings of death Imo. Alas! my lord! my fate's resolv'd in Are shot into my heart:--What shall I do? yours.
Imo. This dagger will instruct you. Oro. 0! keep thee there: let not thy virtue
[Gives it him. shrink
Oro. Ha! this dagger!
Imo. Strike, strike it home, and bravely save Imo. I must die:
us both, I know 'tis fit, and I can die with you.
There is no other safety. Oro. O! thou hast banished hence a thousand Oro. It must be fears,
But first a dying kiss
(Kisses ker. Which sickened at my heart, and quite unmann's This last embrace
[Embracing her. Imo. Your fears for me; I know you fear'd my Imo. I'm ready. strength,
Oro, O! where shall I strike? And could not overcome your tenderness, Is there the smallest grain of that lov'd body To pass this sentence on me: and indeed That is not dearer to me than my eyes, There you were kind, as I have always found My bosom'd heart, and all the life-blood there? you,
Bid me cut off these limbs, hew off these hands, As you have ever been: for though I am Dig out these eyes, though I would keep them Resigned, and ready to obey my doom,
last Methinks it should not be pronounc'd by you. To
gaze upon thee: But to murder thee! Oro. O! that was all the labour of my grief. The
joy, and charm of every ravish'd sense, My heart and tongue forsook me in the strife: My wife! forbid it, nature. I never could pronounce it.
Imo. 'Tis your wife, Imo. I have for you, for both of us.
Who on her knees conjures you. O! in time Oro. Alas! for me! my death
Prevent those mischiefs that are falling on us. I could regard as the last scene of life,
You may be hurried to a shameful death, And act it through with joy, to have it done. And I too dragg'd to the vile governor; But then to part with thee !
Then I may cry aloud: when you are gone, Imo. 'Tis hard to part.
Where shall I find a friend again to save me? But parting thus, as the most happy must, Oro. It will be so. Thou unexampled virtue!
ke Thy resolution has recovered mine:
But let me pay the tribute of my grief,
A few sad tears to thy loved memory,
And then I follow
[Weeps ocer her. I welcome you, and death.
But I stay too long.
(A noise again. [He drops his dagger as he looks on her, and The noise comes nearer. Hold, before I
go, throws himself on the ground.
There's something would be done. It shall Oro. I cannot bear it.
be so. O let me dash against this rock of fate,
And then, Imoinda, I'll come all to thee. Dig up this earth, tear, tear her bowels out,
(Rises. To make a grave, deep as the centre down, To swallow wide, and bury us together!
BLANDFORD and his Party enter before the It will not be.Ó! then some pitying God
Governor and his Party, swords drawn on If there be one a friend to innocence)
both sides. Find yet a way to lay her beauties down
Goo. You strive in vain to save him, he shall Gently in death, and save me from her blood !
die. Imo. O rise! 'tis more than death to see you Blan. Not while we can defend him with our thus.
lives. I'll ease your love, and do the deed myself, Gov. Where is he? (She takes up the dagger, he rises in haste to Oro. Here's the wretch whom you would have tuke it from her:
Put up your swords, and let pot civil broils
Engage you in the cursed cause of one
Who cannot live, and now entreats to die.
Oro. O! for a whirlwind's wing to hurry us Blan. 'Tis his wife !
(They gather about the body. That in embraces lock'd we might plunge in, Alas! there was no other remedy. And perish thus in one another's arms !
Gov. Who did the bloody deed ?
Oro. The deed was mine:
Bloody I know it is, and I expect They shall not overtake us. This last kiss, Your laws should tell me so. Thus self-conAnd now farewell.
demn'd, Imo. Farewell, farewell for ever!
I do resign myself into your hands, Oro. I'll turn my face away, and do it so. The hands of justice-But I hold the sword Now, are you ready?
For you—and for myself. Imo. Now. But do not grudge me
[Stabs the Governor, and himself, then throws - The pleasure in my death of a last look:
himself by IMOINDA's body. * Pray look upon mé-Now I'm satisfied.
Stan. He has kill'd the governor, and stabb'd Oro. So fate must be by this.
himself. (Going to stab her, he stops short ; she lays Oro. 'Tis as it should be now. I have sent her hand on his, in order to gioe the blow.
his ghost Imo. Nay, then I must assist you;
To be a witness of that happiness And since it is the common cause of both, In the next world, which he denied us here. 'Tis just that both should be employ'd in it.
(Dies. Thus, thus 'tis finish'd, and I bless my fate, Blan, I hope there is a place of happiness
(Stabs herself. In the next world for such exalted virtue. That where I lived, I die, in these loved arms. Pagan or unbeliever, yet he lived
. [Dies. To all he knew : And if he went astray, Oro. She's gone. And now all's at an end There's mercy still above to set him right.
But Christians, guided by the heav'nly ray, Soft, lay her down; O we will part no more. Have no excuse if we mistake our way. [Throws himself by her.
WRITTEN BY CONGREVE, AND SPOKEN BY MRS VERBRUGGEN. You see we try all shapes, and shifts, and arts, Your different tastes divide our poet's cares: To tempt your favours, and regain your hearts. One foot the sock, t'other the buskin wears. We weep, and laugh, join mirth and grief together, Thus while he strives to please, he's forced to do't, Like rain and sunshine mix’d, in April sy'eather. Like Volscius, hip-hop, in a single boot.
Critics, he knows, for this may damn his books :
grow: Though they're no monsters, we may make
'em SO. If they're of English growth, they'll bear't with
patience : But save us from a spouse of Oroonoko's nations! Then bless your stars, you happy London wives, Who love at large, each day, yet keep your lives!
Nor envy poor Imoinda's doating blindness, Who thought her husband killa her out of kind
ness. Death with a husband ne'er had shewn such
charms, Had she once dy'd within a lover's arms. Her error was from ignorance proceeding : Poor soul ! she wanted some of our town-breed
ing. Forgive this Indian's fondness of her spouse; Their law no Christian liberty allows: Alas! they make a conscience of their vows! If virtue in a heathen be a fault, Then damn the heathen school, where she was
taught. She might have learn’d to cuckold, jilt, and sham, Had Covent-Garden been in Surinam.
The time has been when plays were not so Still they proceed, and, at our charge, write worse; plenty,
Twere some amends, if they could reimburse. And a less number, new, would well content ye. But there's the devil, though their cause is lost, New plays did then like almanacks appear, There's no recovering damages or cost. And one was thought sufficient for a year: Good wits, forgive this liberty we take, Though they are more like almanacks of late; Since custom gives the losers leave to speak. For in one year, I think they're out of date. But if provok'd your dreadful wrath remains, Nor were they, without reason, join’d together; Take your revenge upon the coming scenes : For just as one prognosticates the weather, For that damn'd poet's spar'd, who damns a How plentiful the crop, or scarce the grain,
brother, What peals of thunder, or what showers of rain; As one thief 'scapes, that executes another. So t'other can foretell, by certain rules,
Thus far alone does to the wits relate; What crops of coxcombs, or what floods of fools. But from the rest we hope a better fate. In suchlike prophecies were poets skill'd, To please, and move, has been one poet's theme, Which now they find in their own tribe fulfilld. Art may direct, but nature is his aim; The dearth of wit they did so long presage, And, nature miss'd, in vain he boasts his art, Is fallen on us, and almost starves the stage. For only nature can affect the heart. Were you not grieved, as often as you saw Then freely judge the scenes that shall ensue; Poor actors thresh such empty sheafs of straw? But, as with freedom, judge with candour too. Toiling and labʼring at their lungs' expence
He would not lose, through prejudice, his cause; To start a jest, or force a little sense?
Nor would obtain, precariously, applause. Hard fate for us, still harder in th' event : Impartial censure he requests from all, Our authors sin, but we alone repent.
Prepar'd by just decrees to stand or fall.
Alm. Alphonso ! O Alphonso !
Thou too art quiet—long hast been at peace A Room of State. The curtain rising slowly to Both, both ! father and son are now no more,
soft music, discovers ALMERIA in mourning, Then why am I? Oh, when shall I have rest? LEONORA waiting in mourning.
Why do I live to say you are no more? After the music, ALMERIA rises from her chair, Why are all these things thus? Is it of force? and comes forward.
Is there necessity I must be miserable ?
Is it of moment to the peace of heaven, Alm. Music has charms to sooth a savage breast, That I should be afflicted thus? If not, To soften rocks, or bend a knotted oak.
Why is it thus contrived? Why are things laid I've read, that things inanimate have moved, By some unseen hand, so as of sure consequence, And, as with living souls, have been informed They must to me bring curses, grief of heart, By magic numbers and persuasive sound.
The last distress of life, and sure despair? What then am I? Am I more senseless grown Leon. Alas! you search too far, and think too Than trees or flint? O, force of constant woe!
deeply. 'Tis not in harmony to calm my griefs.
Alm. Why was I carried to Anselmo's court? Anselmo sleeps, and is at peace; last night Or there, why was I used so tenderly? The silent tomb received the good old king. Why not ill-treated, like an enemy? He and his sorrows now are safely lodged For so my father would have used his child Within its cold, but hospitable bosom.
Oh, Alphonso, Alphonso! Why am not I at peace?
Devouring seas have washed thee from my sightLeon. Dear madam, cease,
No time shall raze thee from my memory; Or moderate your grief; there is no cause- No, I will live to be thy monument: Alm. No cause! Peace, peace; there is eter The cruel ocean is no more thy tomb,
But in my heart thou art interred; there, there, And misery eternal will succeed.
Thy dear resemblance is for ever fixed; Thou canst not tell thou hast indeed no cause. My love, my lord, my husband still, though lost.
Leon. Believe me, madam, I lament Anselmo, Leon. Husband! Oh, Heavens ! And always did compassionate his fortune; Alm. Alas! what have I said ? Have often wept, to see how cruelly
My grief has hurried me beyond all thought. Your father kept in chains his fellow-king: I would have kept that secret ; though I know And oft, at night, when all have been retired, Thy love, and faith to me deserve all confidence. Have stolen from bed, and to his prison crept ; But 'tis the wretch's comfort still to have Where, while his gaoler slept, I through the grate Some small reserve of near and inward woe, Have softly whispered, and enquired his health ; Some unsuspected hoard of darling griet, Sent in my sighs and prayers for his deliverance, Which they unseen may wail, and weep, and For sighs and prayers were all that I could offer.
mourn, Alm. Indeed thou hast a soft and gentle na And, glutton-like, alone devour. ture,
Leon. Indeed, That thus could melt to see a stranger's wrongs. I knew not this. Oh, Leonora ! hadst thou known Anselmo, Alm. Oh, no, thou know'st not half, How would thy heart have bled to see his suffer- Know'st nothing of my sorrows—if thou didst
If I should tell thee, wouldst thou pity me? Thou badst no cause, but general compassion. Tell me; I know thou wouldst; thou art com. Leon. Love of my royal mistress gave me cause;
passionate. My love of you begot my grief for him :
Leon. Witness these tears For I had heard, that when the chance of war Alm. I thank thee, LeonoraHad blessed Anselmo's arms with victory, Indeed I do, for pitying thy sad mistress : And the rich spoil of all the field, and you, For ’tis, alas! the poor prerogative The glory of the whole, were made the prey Of greatness to be wretched, and unpitiedOf his success; that then, in spite of hate, But I did promise I would tell thee-What ? Revenge, and that hereditary feud
My miseries! Thou dost already know them: Between Valentia's and Granada's kings, And when I told thee thou didst nothing know, He did endear himself to your affection,
It was because thou didst not know Alphonso: By all the worthy and indulgent ways
For to have known my loss, thou must have His most industrious goodness could invent;
known Proposing, by a match between Alphonso, His worth, his truth, and tenderness of love. His son, the brave Valentian prince, and you, Leon. The memory of that brave prince stands To end the long dissention, and unite
fair The jarring crowns.
In all report