Page images
PDF
EPUB

speak,

What has he not been ?-All the names of love, Baj. Haste, Haly, follow, and secure the Brothers, or fathers, husbands, all are poor:

Greek: Moneses is myself; in my fond heart,

Him too I wish to keep within my power. Even in my vital blood, he lives and reigns:

(Erit HALY. The last dear object of my parting soul

Der. If my dread lord permit his slave to Will be Moneses; the last breath that lingers Within my panting breast shall sigh Moneses. I would advise to spare Axalla's life,

Mon. It is enough! Now to thy rest, my soul! Till we are safe beyond the Parthian's power; The world and thou have made an end at once. Him, as our pledge of safety, may we hold; Arp. Fain would I still detain thee, hold thee And, could you gain him to assist your flight, still:

It might import you much. Nor honour can forbid, that we together

Baj. Thou counsell'st well; Should share the few poor minutes that remain. And though I hate him (for he is a Christian, I swear, methinks this sad society

And to my mortal enemy devoted), Has somewhat pleasing in it.-Death's dark Yet, to secure my liberty and vengeance, shades

I wish he now were ours. Seem, as we journey on, to lose their horror; Der. And see, they come! At near approach the monsters, formed by fear, Fortune repents; again she courts your side, Are vanished all, and leave the prospect clear ; And, with this first fair offering of success, Amidst the gloomy vale, a pleasing scene, She wooes you to forget her crime of yesterday. With flowers adorned, and never-fading green, Inviting stands, to take the wretched in : Enter OMAR, with AXALLA prisoner, SELIMA No wars, no wrongs, no tyrants, no despair,

following, weeping. Disturb the quiet of a place so fair,

Ax. I will not call thee villain; 'tis a name But injured lovers find Elysium there. (Exeunt. Too holy for thy crime: to break thy faith,

And turn a rebel to so good a master,
Enter BAJAZET, OMAR, HALY, and the Dervise. Is an ingratitude unmatched on earth.
Baj. Now, by the glorious tomb that shrines The first revolting angel's pride could only
our prophet,

Do more than thou hast done. Thou copiest By Mecca's sacred temple, here I swear,

well, Our daughter is thy bride! and to that gift And keep’st the black original in view. Such wealth, such power, such honours will I add, Om. Do rage, and vainly call upon thy master That monarchs shall with envy view thy state, To save his minion. My revenge has caught And own thou art a demi-god to them,

thee, Thou hast given me what I wished, power of re

And I will make thee curse that fond presumpvenge,

tion, And when a king rewards, 'tis ample retribution. That set thee on to rival me in aught. Om. Twelve Tartar lords, each potent in his Baj. Christian, I hold thy fate at my disposal! tribe,

One only way remains to mercy open; Have sworn to own my cause, and draw their Be partner of my flight and my revenge, thcusands,

And thou art safe. Thy other choice is death.
To-morrow, from the ungrateful Parthian's side: Om. What means the sultan?
The day declining seems to yield to night,

Der. I conjure you, hold-
Ere little more than half her course be ended. Your rival is devoted to destruction,
In an auspicious hour prepare for flight;

(Aside to OMAR
The leaders of the troops, through which we pass, Nor would the sultan now defer bis fate,
Raised by my power, devoted to my service, But for our common safety. Listen further.
Shall make our passage secret and secure.

[Whispers. Der. Already, mighty sultan, art thou safe, Ar. Then briefly thus. Death is the choice I Since, by yon passing torches' light, I guess,

make; To his pavilion Tamerlane retires,

Since, next to Heaven, my master and my friend Attended by a train of waiting courtiers.

Has interest in my life, and still shall claim it. All who remain within these tents are thine, Baj. Then take thy wish--Call in our mutes ! And hail thee as their lord.

Sel. My father, Ha! the Italian prince,

If yet you have not sworn to cast me off,
With sad Moneses, are not yet gone forth. And turn me out to wander in misfortune;

Baj. Ha! with our queen and daughter ! If yet my voice be gracious in your ears;
Om. They are ours:

If yet my duty and my love offend not,
I marked the slaves, who waited on Axalla; Oh, call your sentence back, and save Axalla!
They, when the emperor past out, prest on, Baj. Rise, Selima! The slave deserves to die,
And mingled with the crowd, nor missed their Who durst, with sullen pride, refuse iny mercy:
lord:

Yet, for thy sake, once more I offer life. He is your prisoner, sir: I go this moment, Sel. Some angel whisper to my anxious soul, To seize, and bring him to receive his doom. What I shall do to save him.-Oh, Axalla!

[Exit OMAR. | Is it so easy to thee to forsake me?

Canst thou resolve, with all this cold indifference, Sel. See, see, sir, he relents! [To BAJAZET,
Never to see me more? To leave me here Already he inclines to own your cause.
The miserable mourner of thy fate,

A little longer, and he is all yours.
Condemned to waste my widowed virgin youth, Baj. Then mark how far a father's fondness
My tedious days and nights, in lonely weeping,

yields. And never know the voice of comfort more? Till midnight I defer the death he merits, Ar. Search not too deep the sorrows of my And give him up 'till then to thy persuasion. breast :

If by that time he meets my will, he lives; Thou say’st I am indifferent and cold;

If not, thyself shalt own he dies with justice. Oh! is it possible my eyes should tell

Ax. 'Tis but to lengthen life upon the rack. So little of the fighting storm within?

I am resolved already. Oh! turn thee from me, save me from thy beau Sel. Oh! be still, ties!

Nor rashly urge a ruin on us both ! Falsehood and ruin all look lovely there. 'Tis but a moment more I have to save thee.--Oh! let my labouring soul yet struggle through- Be kind, auspicious Alla, to my prayer! I will-I would resolve to die, and leave thee. More for my love, than for myself, I fear; Baj. Then let him die !-He trifles with my Neglect mankind awhile, and make him all thy favour.

care! (Ereunt AXALLA and SELIMA, I have too long attended his resolves.

Baj. Moneses--is that dog secured? Sel. Oh! stay a minute, yet a minute longer! Om. He is.

(To BAJAZET. Baj. 'Tis well-My soul perceives returning A minute is a little space in life.

greatness, There is a kind consenting in his eyes,

As nature feels the spring. Lightly she bounds, And I shall win him to your royal will. And shakes dishonour, like a burden, from her Oh, my Axalla! seem but to consent!

Once more imperial, awful, and herself,

[To Ax. aside. So, when, of old, Jove from the Titans filed, Unkind and cruel, will you then do nothing? Ammon's rude front his radiant face belied, I find I am not worth thy least of cares. And all the majesty of Heaven lay hid.

Ar. Oh! labour not to hang dishonour on me! At length, by fate, to power divine restored, I could bear sickness, pain, and poverty, His thunder taught the world to know its Lord, Those mortal evils worse than death, for thee. The God grew terrible again, and was agai But this-It has the force of fate against us,

adored.

(Eseunt, And cannot be.

[ocr errors][merged small]

To drive her out with empire, and revenge.

Still she comes back, like a retiring tide,
SCENE I.-BAJAZET'S Tent.

That ebbs awhile, but strait returns again,
Arp. Sure 'tis a horror more than darkness And swells above the beach.
brings,

Ha. Why wears my lord That sits upon the night! Fate is abroad; An anxious thought for what his power comSome ruling fiend hangs in the dusky air,

mands? And scatters ruin, death, and wild distraction, When, in a happy hour, you shall ere long O'er all the wretched race of man below. Have borne the empress from amidst your foes, Not long ago, a troop of ghastly slaves

She must be yours, be only and all yours. Rushed in, and forced Moneses from my sight; Baj. On that depends my fear. Yes, I must Death hung so heavy on his drooping spirits,

have her; That scarcely could he say-Farewell—for ever! I own, I will not, cannot, go without her. And yet, methinks, some gentle spirit whispers, But such is the condition of our flight, Thy peace draws near, Arpasia, sigh no more! That should she not consent, 'twould hazard all And see! the king of terrors is at hand; To bear her hence by force. Thus I resolve His minister appears.

then,

By threats and prayers, by every way, to more
Enter BAJAZET and HALY.

her;
Baj. (Aside to Haly.) The rest I leave If all prevail not, force is left at last;
To thy dispatch; for, oh! my faithful Haly, And I will set life, empire on the venture,
Another care has taken up thy master.

To keep her mine-Be near to wait my will. Spite of the high-wrought tempest in my soul,

(Erit HALT. Spite of the pangs which jealousy has cost me,

When last we parted, 'twas on angry terms; This haughty woman reigns within my breast; Let the remembrance die, or kindly think In vain I strive to put her from my thoughts, That jealous rage is but a hasty flame,

now.

at blazes out, when love too fiercely burns. Till thou shalt rend thy hair, tear out thy eyes, drp. For thee to wrong me, and for me to And curse thy pride; while I applaud my vensuffer,

geance. the hard lesson that my soul has learnt, Arp. Oh, fatal image! All my powers give nd now I stand prepared for all to come;

way, or is it worth my leisure to distinguish And resolution sickens at the thought; love or jealousy commit the violence.

A flood of passion rises in my breast, ach have alike been fatal to my peace,

And labours fiercely upward to my eyes. onfirming me a wretch, and thee a tyrant. Come, all ye great examples of my sex, Baj. Still to deform thy gentle brow with Chaste virgins, tender wives, and pious matrons! frowns,

Ye holy martyrs, who with wondrous faith nd still to be perverse, it is a manner

And constancy unshaken, have sustained bhorrent from the softness of thy sex:

The rage of cruel men, and fiery persecution, omen, like summer storms, awhile are cloudy, Come to my aid, and teach me to defy urst out in thunder and impetuous showers; The malice of this fiend! I feel, I feel ut strait, the sun of beauty dawns abroad, Your sacred spirit arm me to resistance. nd all the fair horizon is serene.

Yes, tyrant, I will stand this shock of fate;. Arp. Then, to retrieve the honour of my sex, Will live to triumph o'er thee, for a moment, ere I disclaim that changing and inconstancy : Then die well pleased, and follow my Moneses. o thee I will be ever as I am.

Baj. Thou talk'st it well. But talking is thy Baj. Thou say'st I am a tyrant; think so privilege; still,

'Tis all the boasted courage of thy sex; nd let it warn thy prudence to lay hold Though, for thy soul, thou dar'st not meet the n the good hour of peace, that courts thee

danger.

Arp. By all my hopes of happiness, I dare ! ouls, formed like mine, brook being scorned My soul is come within her ken of Heaven; but ill.

Charmed with the joys and beauties of that e well advised, and profit by my patience;

place, is a short-liv'd virtue.

Her thoughts and all her cares she fixes there, Arp. Turn thine eyes

And 'tis in vain for thee to rage below: ack on the story of my woes, barbarian! Thus stars shine bright, and keep their place 'hou, that hast violated all respects

above, Due to my sex, and honour of my birth. Though ruffling winds deform this lower world. 'hou brutal ravisher! that hast undone me, Baj. This moment is the trial. Luined my love! Can I have peace with thee? Arp. Let it come! mpossible! First Heaven and hell shall join; This moment then sball shew I am a Greek, They only differ more.

And speak my country's courage in my suffering. Baj. I see 'tis vain

Baj. Here, mercy, I disclaim thee! Mark me, o court thy stubborn temper with endearments.

traitress! Resolve, this moment, to return my love, My love prepares a victim to thy pride, Ind be the willing partner of my flight,

And when it greets thee next, 'i will be in blood. Dr, by the prophet's holy law, thou diest!

(Exit BAJAZET. Arp. And dost thou hope to fright me with Arp. My heart beats higher, and my nimble

the phantom, Death? 'Tis the greatest mercy thou canst give; Ride swiftly through their purple channels round. so frequent are the murders of thy reign, 'Tis the last blaze of life. Nature revives, One day scarce passing by, unmark”d with blood, Like a dim winking lamp, that flashes brightly Chat children, by long use, have learnt to scorn it. With parting light, and straight is dark for ever, Inow, I disdain to aid thy treacherous purpose; And see, my last of sorrows is at hand; And shouldst thou dare to force me, with my Death and Moneses come together to me; cries

As if my stars, that had so long been cruel, I will call Heaven and earth to my assistance. Grew kind at last, and gave me all I wish. Baj. Confusion ! dost thou brave me? But

Enter MONESES, guarded by some Msutes; others Shall find a passage to thy swelling heart,

attending with a cup of poison, and a bowa And rack thee worse than all the pains of death.

string: That Grecian dog, the minion of thy wishes, Mon. I charge ye, O ye ministers of fate! Shall be dragg'd forth, and butcher'd in thy Be swift to execute your master's will; sight;

Bear me to my Arpasia; let me tell her, Thou shalt behold him when his pangs are The tyrant is grown kind. He bids me go, terrible,

And die beneath her feet. A joy shoots through Then, when he stares, and gasps, and struggles My drooping breast; as often, when the trumpet strongly,

Has called my youthful ardour forth to battle, Even in the bitterest agony of dying ;

High in my hopes, and ravish'd with the sound,

spirits

my wrath

(She des

I have rush'd eager on, amidst the foremost, And the last night, can shut out my Arpasia

. To purchase victory, or glorious death.

[The Mutes strangle MONESES Arp. If it be happiness, alas ! to die,

Arp. Oh, dismal ! 'tis not to be borne! Ye To lie forgotten in the silent grave,

moralists ! To love and glory lost, and from among

Ye talkers! what are all your precepts now! The great Creator's works expung'd and blotted, Patience? distraction! Blast the tyrant, blast Then, very shortly, shall we both be happy.

him, Mon. There is no room for doubt; 'tis cer- Avenging lightnings ! Snatch him bence, ye tain bliss.

fiends! The tyrant's cruel violence, thy loss,

Love! Death! Moneses! Nature can no more ; Already seem more light; nor has my soul Ruin is on her, and she sinks at once. One unrepented guilt upon remembrance,

She sinks dies To make me dread the justice of hereafter ; : Baj. Help, Haly! raise her up, and bear her But standing now on the last verge of life,

out! Boldly I view the last abyss, eternity,

Ha. Alas! she faints.
Eager to plunge, and leave my woes behind me. Arp. No, tyrant, 'tis in vain.

Arp. By all the truth of our past loves, I vow, Oh! 'I am now beyond thy cruel power;
To die appears a very nothing to me.

The peaceful slumber of the grave is on me: But, oh, Moneses ! should I not allow

Even all the tedious day of life I've wandered, Somewhat to love, and to my sex's tenderness ? Bewildered with misfortunes: This very now I could put off my being At length 'tis night, and I have reached og Without a groan; but to behold thee die!.

home. Nature shrinks in me at the dreadful thought, Forgetting all the toils and troubles past, Nor can my constancy sustain this blow. Weary I'll lay me down, and sleep, till-Oh! Mon. Since thou art armed for all things after death,

Baj. Fly, ye slaves, Why should the pomp and preparation of it And fetch me cordials ! No, she shall not die! Be frightful to thy eyes? There's not a pain, Spite of her sullen pride, I'll hold in life, Which age or sickness brings, the least disorder And force her to be blest against her will. That vexes any part of this fine frame,

Ha. Already 'tis beyond the power of art; But's full as grievous. All that the mind feels For, see, a deadly cold has froze the blood, Is much, much more. And see, I go to prove it. The pliant limbs grow stiff, and lose their use, Enter a Mute: he signs to the rest, who proffer Even beauty too is dead; an ashy pale

And all the animating fire is quenched : a bow-string to MONESES.

Grows o'er the roses; the red lips have lost Arp. Think, ere we part !

Their fragrant hue, for want of that sweet Mon. Of what?

breath, Arp. Of something soft,

That blest them with its odours as it past. Tender and kind, of something wondrous sad. Baj. Can it be possible? Can rage and grief, Oh, my full soul !

Can love and indignation be so fierce, Mon. My tongue is at a loss;

So mortal in a woman's heart? Confusion! Thoughts crowd so fast, thy name is all I've Is she escaped then? What is royalty, left,

If those, that are my slaves, and should live for My kindest, truest, dearest, best Arpasia!

me, [The Mutes struggle with him. Can die, and bid defiance to my power? Arp. I have a thousand, thousand things to utter,

Enter the Dervise, A thousand more to hear yet. Barbarous vil Der. The valiant Omar sends, to tell thy lains !

greatness Give me a minute. Speak to me, Moneses ! The hour of fight is come, and urges haste; Mon. Speak to thee? 'Tis the business of my Since he descries, near Tamerlane's pavilion, life,

Bright troops of crowding torches, who from 'Tis all the use I have for vital air.

thence, Stand off, ye slaves ! To tell thee that my heart On either hand, stretch far into the night, Is full of thee; that, even at this dread mo And seem to form a shining front of battle

. ment,

Behold, even from this place thou may'st discern My fond eyes gaze with joy and rapture on thee;

them.

(Looking Angels, and light itself, are not so fair.

Buj. By Alla, yes! they cast a day around

them, Enter BAJAZET, HALY, and Attendants.

And the plain seems thick-set with stars, as Baj. Ha! wherefore lives this dog? Be quick,

heaven. ye slaves !

Ha! or my eyes are false, they move this way; And rid me of my pain.

'Tis certain so. Fly, Haly, to our daughter. Mon. For only death,

(Erit HALT

Let some secure the Christian prince, Axalla; My heart's warm blood gush out upon your We will begone this minute.

hands;

Since from your spring I drew the purple stream, Enter OMAR.

And I must pay it back, if you demand it. Om. Lost! undone!

Baj. Hence, from my thoughts, thou soft reBaj. What mean'st thou ?

lenting weakness !Om. All our hopes of flight are lost.

Has thou noi given me up a prey ? betrayed me? Mirvan and Zama, with the Parthian horse, Sel. Oh, not for worlds! not even for all the Inclose us round; they hold us in a toil.

joys, Baj. Ha! whence this unexpected curse of Love, or the prophet's paradise can give ! chance?

Amidst the fears and sorrows of my soul, Om. Too late I learnt, that early in the night Amidst the thousand pains of anxious tender, A slave was suffered, by the princess' order,

ness, To pass the guard. I clove the villain down, I made the gentle, kind Axalla swear, Who yielded to his flight; but that's poor ven Your life, your crown, and honour should be geance.

safe. That fugitive has raised the camp upon us, Baj. Away! my soul disdains the vile deAnd unperceiv'd by favour of the night,

pendence! In silence they have marched to intercept us. No, let me rather die, die like a king!

Baj. My daughter! Oh, the traitress! Shall I fall down at the proud Tartar's foot, Der. Yet we have

And say, have mercy on me? Hark! they come! Axalla in our power,

and
angry
Tamerlane

[Shout. Will buy his favourite's life on any terms. Disgrace will overtake my lingering hand; Om. With those few friends I have, I for a Die then! Thy father's shame, and thine, die while

with thee! [Offers to kill her. Can face their force: if they refuse us peace, Sel. For Heaven, for pity's sake! Revenge shall sweeten ruin, and 'twill joy me, Baj. No more, thou trifler! To drag my foe down with me, in my fali.

[She catches hold of his arm. [Erit OMAR. Ha! dar'st thou bar my will ?- Tear off her

hold! Enter HALY, with SELIM, weeping. Sel. What, not for life! Should I not plead Baj. See where she comes, with well-dissem

for life, bled innocence;

When nature teaches even the brute creation With truth and faith so lovely in her face, To hold fast that, her best, her noblest gift? As if she durst even disavow the falsehood. Look on my eyes, which you so oft have kissed, Hop'st thou to make amends with trifling tears, And swore they were your best-lov'd queen's, For my lost crown, and disappointed vengeance ?

my mother's; Ungrateful Selima ! thy father's curse ! Behold them now streaming for mercy, mercy! Bring forth the minion of her foolish heart ! Look on me, and deny me, if you can! lle dies this moment.

'Tis but for life I beg! Is that a boon Ha. Would I could not speak

So hard for me to obtain, or you to grant ? The crime of fatal love! The slave who fled, Oh, spare me! Spare your Selima, my father! By whom we are undone, was that Axalla. Baj. A lazy sloth hangs on my resolution: Buj . Ha! say'st thou?

It is my Selima !-Ha! What, my child! . Hid beneath that vile appearance,

And can I murder her? Dreadful imagination ! The princess found a means for his escape. Again they come! I leave her to my foes ! Sel. I am undone! even nature has disclaimed

(Shouts. me!

And shall they triumph o'er the race of Bajazet! My father! have I lost you all ? My father! Die, Selima!-Is that a father's voice ? Baj. Talk'st thou of nature, who hast broke Rouse, rouse, my fury! Yes, she dies, the victim her bands !

To

my lost hopes ! Out, out, thou foolish naThou art my banė, thou witch! thou infant

parricide!

Seize her, ye slaves! and strangle her this moBut I will study to be strangely cruel;

ment!

[To the Mutes. I will forget the folly of my fondness;

Sel. Oh, let me die by you! Behold my Drive all the father from my breast; now snatch

breast ! thee,

I would not shrink! Oh, save me but from Tear thee to pieces, drink thy treacherous blood,

these! And make thee answer all my great revenge! Baj. Dispatch! [The Mutes seize her. Now, now, thou traitress! Sel. Plunge the poniard deep!

Lofers to kill her. Sel. But for a moment, while I pray

That Heaven may guard my royal father!

She embraces him. Buj. Dogs! The life my father gave shall hear his summons, Sci. That you may only bless me, ere I die! And issue at the wound ! -Start not to feel

(Shout,

ture!

« PreviousContinue »