« 이전계속 »
Ai. Could Cora think me serious?
Cora. I am sure he will speak soon: then will be the last of the three holidays allowed by Nature's sanction to the fond auxious mother's heart.
Al. What are those three?
Cora. The ecstasy of his birth I pass; that in part is selfish: but when first the white blossoms of his teeth appear, breaking the crimson buds that did incase them; that is a day of joy: next when from his father's arms he runs without support, and clings , laughing and delighted, to his mother's knees; that is the mother's heart's next holiday: and sweeter still the third, whene'er his little stammering tongue shall utler the grateful sound of Father, Mother!--0! that is the dearest joy of all!
Al. Beloved Cora!
Cora. Oh! my Alonzo! daily, hourly, do I pour thanks to heaven for the dear blessing I possess in him and thee.
Al. To heaven and Rolla.
Cora. Yes, to heaven and Rolla: and art thon not grateful to them, too, Alonzo ? Art thou not happy ?
Al. Can Cora ask that question ?
Cora. Why, then , of late, so restless on thy couch? Why to my waking, watching ear, so often does the stillness of the night betray thy struggling sighs?
Al. Must not i fight against my country, against my brethren?
Cora. Do they not seek our destruction ? and are not all men brethren?
Al. Should they prove victorious!
Cora. What! think you a mother, when she runs from danger, can feel the weight of her child?
Al. Cora, my beloved, do you wish to set my heart at rest?
Cora. Oh, yes! yes! yes !
Ai. Hasten, then, to the concealment in the mountains; where all our matrons and virgins, and our
warriors' offspring, are allotted to await the issue of the war.-Cora will not alone resist her husband's, her sister's, and her monarch's wish.
Cora. Alonzo, I cannot leave thee: Oh! how in every moment's absence would my fancy paint you, wounded, alone, abandoned ! No, no, I cannot leave thee!
Al. Rolla will be with me.
Cora. Yes, while the battle rages, and where it rages most, brave Rolla will be found.
He may revenge, but cannot save thee. To follow danger, he will leave even thee. But I have sworn never to forsake thee but with life. Dear, dear Alonzo! canst thou wish that I should break my vow?
Al. Then be it so. Oh! excellence in all that's great and lovely, in courage, gentleness, and truth! my pride, my content, my all! Can there on this earth be fools who seek for happiness, and pass by love in the pursuit?
Cora. Alonzo, I cannot thank thee-silence is the gratitude of true affection: who seeks to follow it by sound, will miss the track. [Shouts without.] Does the king approach?
Al. No, 'tis the general, placing the guard that will surround the temple, during the sacrifice. 'Tis Rolla comes, the first and best of heroes.
ROLLA, within. Then place them on the hill fronting the Spanish camp.
[Enters. Cora. Rolla! my friend, my brother!
Al. Rolla! my friend, my benefactor! how can our lives repay the obligations which we owe thee?
Rol. Pass them in peace and bliss. Let Rolla wit ness it, he is overpaid.
Cora. Look on this child-he is the life blood of my heart; but if ever he love or revere thee less than his own fálher, his mother's hate fall on him!
Rol. Oh, no more! What sacrifice have I made to merit gratitude? The object of my love was Cora's happiness. I see her happy. Is not my object gained;
and am I not rewarded? Now, Cora, listen to a friend's advice. Thou must away; thou must seek the sacred caverns, the unprofaned recess, whither, after this day's sacrifice, our matrons, and c'en the virgins of the sun, retire.
Cora. Not secure with Alonzo, and with thee?
Rol. We have heard Pizarro's plan is to surprise us. Thy presence, Cora, cannot aid, but may impede our efforts.
Rol. Yes, yes. Thou know'st how tenderly we love thee; we, thy husband and thy friend. Art thou near us?—Our thoughts, our valoar-vengeance will not be our own. No advantage will be pursued, that leads us from the spot where thou art placed; no succour will be given but for thy protection. The faithful lover dares not be all himself amid the war, until he knows that the beloved of his soul is absent from the peril of the fight.
Al. Thanks to my friend; 'tis this I would have urged.
Cora. This timid excess of love, producing fear instead of valour, flatters, but does not convince me: the wife is incredulous.
Rol. And is the mother unbelieving, too?
Do with me as thou pleasest. My friend, my husband! place me where thou wilt.
Al. My adored! we thank you both. [March without.] Hark! the king approaches to the sacrifice. T'hou, Rolla, spokest of rumours of surprise. A servant of mine, I hear, is missing; whether surprised or treacherous,
I know not. Rol. It matters not; we are every where prepared. -Come, Cora, upon the altar 'mid the rocks thou'lt implore a blessing on our cause. The pious supplication of the trembling wife, and mother's heart, rises to the throne of mercy, the most resistless prayer of human homage. (Exeunt.-ROLLA leads off Cora.
ALONZO takes the Child by the hand, and follows.
SCENE 11. - The Temple of the Sun. - A solemn
March.-The Warriors and King enter—ROLLA, Alonzo, and Cora.
Ata. Welcome, Alonzo! [To Rolla.] Kinsman, thy hand. [To Cora.] Bless'd be the object of the happy mother's love.
Cora. May the son bless the father of his people?
Ala. In the welfare of his children lives the happiness of their king. Friends, what is the temper of our soldiers?
Rol. Such as becomes the cause which they support; their cry is, Victory or death! our king, our country, and our God!
Ata. Thou, Rolla, in the hour of peril, hast been wont to animate the spirit of their leaders, ere we proceed to consecrate the banners which thy valour knows so well to guard.
Rol. [During this speech the King, Alonzo, Cora, and Child stand near the Altar.] Yet never was the hour of peril near, when to inspire them words were so little needed. My brave associates! partners of my toil, my feelings, and my fame! Can Rolla's words add vigour to the virtuous energies which inspire your hearts? No! you have judged as I have, the foulness of the crafty plea by which these bold invaders would delude you. Your generous spirit has compared, as mine has, the motives which, in a war like this, can animate their minds, and ours.
They , by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule. We, for our country, our altars, and our homes. They follow an adventurer whom they fear, and obey a power which they hate.
We serve a monarch whom we love-a God whom we adore. Whene'er they move in anger, desolation tracks their progress! Whene'er they pause in amily,
affliction mourns their friendship. They boast, they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error! Yes-they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves
the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride. They offer us their protection—yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs-covering and devouring them! They call on us to barter all of good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better which they promise. Be our own plain answer this: -The throne we honour is the people's choice—the laws we reverence are our brave fathers' legacy-the faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind, and die with hope of bliss beyond the grave. Tell your invaders this, and tell them, too, we seek no change; anå, least of all, such change as they would bring us.
[Loud shouts of the Soldiery. Ata. [Embracing Rolla.] Now, holy friends, ever mindful of these sacred truths, begin the sacrifice.
Enter PRIESTS and VIRGINS.
The voices of our feeble choir;
Rolla and King advance to the Altar.
His foes to crush-to overthrow!
[Goes with Rolla.