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Forgive, great sultan, that, by fate prevented,
I bring a tardy message from Irene.

MAHOMET Some artful wile of counterfeited love! Some soft decoy to lure me to destruction! And thou, the curs'd accomplice of her treason, Declare thy message, and expect thy doom.


The queen requested, that a chosen troop
Might intercept the traitor Greek, Demetrius,
Then ling'ring with his captive mistress here.


The Greek, Demetrius' whom th' expiring bassa Declar'd the chief associate of his guilt!

MAHOMET A chosen troop—to intercept—Demetrius— The queen requested—Wretch, repeat the mes

sage; And, if one varied accent prove thy falsehood, Or but one moment's pause betray confusion, Those trembling limbs-Speak out, thou shiv'ring traitor.

MURZA The queen requested


Who? the dead Irene? Was she then guiltless! Has my thoughtless rage Destroy'd the fairest workmanship of heav'n! Doom'd her to death, unpity'd and unheard, Amidst her kind solicitudes for me! Ye slaves of cruelty, ye tools of rage,

[To Hasan and Caraza. Ye blind, officious ministers of folly, Could not her charms repress your zeal for murder ? Could not her pray’rs, her innocence, her tears, Suspend the dreadful sentence for an hour ? One hour had freed me from the fatal errour! One hour had sav'd me from despair and madness.

CARAZA Your fierce impatience forc'd us from your presence, Urg'd us to speed, and bade us banish pity, Nor trust our passions with her fatal charms.

MAHOMET What hadst thou lost, by slighting those commands ? Thy life, perhaps-Were but Irene spar'd, Well, if a thousand lives like thine had perish'd; Such beauty, sweetness, love, were cheaply bought With half the grov'ling slaves that load the globe.


Great is thy woe! But think, illustrious sultan,
Such ills are sent for souls, like thine, to conquer.
Shake off this weight of unavailing grief,
Rush to the war, display thy dreadful banners,
And lead thy troops, victorious, round the world.

MAHOMET Robb’d of the maid, with whom I wish'd to triumph, No more I burn for fame, or for dominion; Success and conquest now are empty sounds, Remorse and anguish seize on all my breast; Those groves, whose shades embower'd the dear

Irene, Heard her last cries, and fann'd her dying beauties, Shall hide me from the tasteless world for ever.

(Mahomet goes back, and returns. Yet, ere I quit the sceptre of dominion, Let one just act conclude the hateful dayHew down, ye guards, those vassals of destruction,

[Pointing to Hasan and Caraza. Those hounds of blood, that catch the hint to kill, Bear off, with eager haste, th' unfinished sentence, And speed the stroke, lest mercy should o’ertake



Then hear, great Mahomet, the voice of truth.

Hear! shall I hear theel didst thou hear Irene?

CARAZA Hear but a moment.


Hadst thou heard a moment, Thou might'st have liv’d, for thou hadst spar'd Irene.

I heard her, pitied her, and wish'd to save her.


And wish'd-be still thy fate to wish in vain.


I heard, and soften'd, till Abdalla brought
Her final doom, and hurried her destruction.


Abdalla brought her doom! Abdalla brought it! The wretch, whose guilt, declar'd by tortur'd Cali, My rage and grief had hid from my remembrance: Abdalla brought her doom!


Abdalla brought it, While yet she begg'd to plead her cause before thee.

MAHOMET O, seize me, madness—Did she call on me! I feel, I see the ruffian's barb'rous rage. He seiz'd her melting in the fond appeal, And stopp'd the heav'nly voice that call’d on me. My spirits fail; awhile support me, vengeanceBe just, ye slaves; and, to be just, be cruel; Contrive new racks, imbitter ev'ry pang, Inflict whatever treason can deserve, Which murder'd innocence that call’d on me.

[Exit Mahomet; Abdalla is dragged off.



MUSTAPHA tO MURZA What plagues, what tortures, are in store for thee, Thou sluggish idler, dilatory slave!

IRENE; A TRAGEDY Act V Behold the model of consummate beauty, Torn from the mourning earth by thy neglect.

MURZA Such was the will of heav'n—A band of Greeks, That mark'd my course, suspicious of my purpose, Rush'd out and seiz'd me, thoughtless and unarm’d, Breathless, amaz’d, and on the guarded beach Detain'd me, till Demetrius set me free.

So sure the fall of greatness, rais'd on crimes !
So fix'd the justice of all conscious heav'n!

When haughty guilt exults with impious joy,
Mistake shall blast, or accident destroy;
Weak man, with erring rage, may throw the dart,
But heav'n shall guide it to the guilty heart.

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