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If we surprise, we conquer; and if we conquer , the gates of Quito will be open to us.
Alm. And Pizarro then be monarch of Peru.
Piz. Not so fast-ambition for a time must take counsel from discretion. Ataliba still must hold the shadow of a sceptre-in his hand-Pizarro still appear dependent upon Spain; while the pledge of future peace, his daughter's hand [Elv.rises, much agitated.] secures the proud succession to the crown I seek.
Alm. This is best. In Pizarro's plans observe the statesman's wisdom guides the warrior's valour.
Val. [To Elv.] You mark, Elvira ?
Piz. You seem offended. Elvira still retains my heart. Think—a sceptre waves me on.
El. Offended ? No! Thou knowest thy glory is my idol; and this will be most glorious, most just and honourable.
Piz. What mean you ?
Elv. Oh! nothing-mere woman's prattle--a jealous whim, perhaps : but let it not impede the royal hero's course. [Trumpets without.] The call of arms invites you. Away! away! you, his brave, his worthy fellow-warriors.
Piz. And go you not with me?
Elv. Undoubtedly! I needs must be the first to hail the future monarch of Peru.
Gom. On yonder hill, among the palm-trees, we have surprised an old cacique; escape by flight he could not, and we seized him and his attendant unresisting: yet his lips breathed nothing but bitterness and scorn. Piz. Drag him before us. [Elv. sits pensively:GOMEZ leaves the tent , and returns conducting
OROZEMBO, and attendant in chains.] What art thou, stranger ?
Oro. First tell me which among you is the captain of this band of robbers ?
Dav. [Shewing his poniard.] Shall I not plunge this into his heart?
Oro. [ After surveying Dav.contemptuously—then turning to Pız.] Does your army boast many such heroes as this?
Piz. Audacious! This insolence has sealed thy doom. Die thou shalt, gray-headed ruffian. But first confess what thou knowest.
Oro. I know that which thou hast just assured me of-that I shall die.
Piz. Less audacity, perhaps, might have preserved
Oro. My life is as a wilhered tree-It is not worth preserving
Piz. Hear me, old man. Even now we march against the Peruvian army. We know there is a secret path that leads to your strong-hold among the rocks: guide us to that, and name your reward. If wealth be thy wish,
Oro. Ha! ha! ha! ha!
Oro. Thee and thy offer! Wealth! I have the wealth of two dear gallant sons I have stored in heaven the riches which repay good actions hereand still my chief treasure I do bear about me.
Elv. What is that? Inform me.
Oro. I will; for it never can be thine—the treasure of a pure unsullied conscience. [ELVIRA still sits, pay
ing marked attention to OROZEMBO. Piz. I believe there is no other Peruvian who dares speak as thou dost.
Oro. Would I could believe there is no other Spaniard who dares act as thon dost!
Gon. Obdurale Pagan! How numerous is your army?
Oro. Count the leaves of yonder forest.
Oro. Il has no weak part-on every side 'lis fortified by justice.
Piz. Where have you concealed your wives and
Oro. In the hearts of their husbands and their fathers.
Piz. Know'st thou Alonzo ?
Oro. Know him! Alonzo! Know him! Our nation's benefactor! The guardian angel of Peru!
Piz. By what has he merited that title?
Alm. Who is this Rolla, joined with Alonzo in command?
Oro. I will answer that; for I love to hear and to repeat the hero's name. Rolla, the kinsman of the king, is the idol of our army; in war a tiger, chased by the hunter's spear; in peace more genlle than the unweaned lamb. Cora was once betrothed to him; but finding she preferred Alonzo, he resigned his claim, and, I fear, his peace, to friendship and to Cora's happiness; yet he still loves her with a pure and holy fire. Piz. Romantic savage! I shall meet this Rolla soon.
[Retires to confer with VALVERDE. Oro. Thou had'st better not! T'he terrors of his noble eye would strike thee dead.
Dav. Silence, or tremble!
Oro. Beardless robber! I never yet have trembled before God—why should I tremble before man? Why before thee, thou less than man!
Dav. Another word, audacious heathen, and I strike!
Oro. Strike! Christian! Then boast among thy fellows-I too have murdered a Peruvian!
Dav. Hell and vengeance seize thee! [Stabs him.
Oro. True! Observe , young man, [To Davilla,] thy unthinking rashness has saved me from the rack; and thou thyself hast lost the opportunity of a useful lesson: thou mightst thyself have seen with what cruelly ven
geance would have inflicted torments—and with what patience virtue would have borne them.
Elv. [Rising, runs to OROZEMBO, and supports his head on her bosom.] Oh! ye are monsters all. Look up, thou marlyr’d innoceni! look up once more, and bless me ere thou diest. God! how I pity thee!
Oro. Pily me! Me! So near my happiness! Bless thee, Lady! Spaniards—Heaven turn your hearts, and pardon you as I do. [OROZEMBO is borne of, dying.
Piz. Away!-Davilla! is thus rash a second timeDav. Forgive the hasty indignation wbich
Piz. No more-unbind that trembling wretch-let him depart: 'lis well he should report the mercy which we shew to insolent defiance. Hark! our troops are moving.
Att. [On passing Elvira.] If through thy gentle means my master's poor remains might be preserved from insult
Elv. I understand thee.
Att. His sons may yet thank thy charily, if not avenge their father's fate.
[Exit. Piz. What says the slave? Elv. A parting word to thank you for your mercy.
Piz. Our guards and guides approach. [Soldiers cross.] Follow me, friends—each shall have his post assigned, and here Peruvia's God shall sink beneath the main; the Spanish banner, bathed in blood, shall float above the walls of vanquish'd Quito.
[Exeunt all but Elvira and VALVERDE. Val. Is it now presumption that my hopes gain strength with the increasing horrors which I see appal Elvira's soul?
Elv. Tam mad wilh terror and remorse! Would I could fly these dreadful scenes!
Val. Might not Valverde's true altaehmeni be thy refuge?
Elv. What wouldst thou do to save or to avenge me?
Val. I dare do all thy injuries may demand - a word -and he lies bleeding at your feet.
Elv. Perhaps we will speak again of this. Now leave me.
[Exit VALVERDE. Elv. (alone.) No! not this revenge-no! not this instrument. Fie, Elvíra! even for a moment to counsel with this unworthy traitor! Can a wretch, false to a confiding master, be true to any pledge of love or honour? Pizarro will abandon me-yes; me-who, for his sake, have sacrificed-Oh, God! what have I not sacrificed for him; yet, curbing the avenging pride that swells this bosom, I still will further try him. Oh, men! ye who, wearied by the fond fidelity of virtuous love, seek in the wanton's flattery a new delight, oh, ye may insult and leave the hearts to which your faith was pledged, and, stifling self-reproach, may fear no other peril; because such hearts, howe'er you injure and desert them, have yet the proud retreat of an unspotted fame-of unreproaching conscience. But beware the desperate liberline, who forsakes the creature whom his arts have first deprived of all natural protection of all self-consolation!-What has he left her?-Despair and vengeance.
A bank.-CORA playing with her child , and
Al. Indeed he is liker thee—thy rosy softness, thy smiling gentleness.
Cora. But his auburn hair, the colour of his eyes , Alonzo. O! my lord's image, and my heart's adored!
[Pressing the child to her bosom. Al. The little daring urchin robs me, I doubt, of some portion of thy love, my Cora. At least he shares caresses, which lill his birth were only mine.
Coru. 0, no, Alonzo! A mother's love for her sweet babe is not a stealth from the dear father's store; it is a new delight that turns with quickened gratitude to him, the author of her augmented bliss.