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Oro. The enemy!
Ora. From the hill's brow, e'en now as I o'erlooked their force, suddenly I perceived the whole in motion: with eager haste they march towards our deserted camp, as if apprised of this most solemn sacrifice.
Rol. They must be met before they reach it.
Ata. [To CORA, &c.] And you, my daughters, with your dear children, away to the appointed place of safety. Cora. Oh, Alonzo!
[Embracing him. Al. We shall meet again. Cora. Bless us once more, ere thou leave us.
Al. Heaven protect and bless thee, my beloved; and thee, my innocent!
Ata. Haste! haste!-each moment is precious!
Cora. Farewell, Alonzo! Remember thy life is mine.
Rol. [As she is passing him.] Not one farewell to Rolla?
Cora. [Giving him her hand.] Farewell! the God of war be with thee: but bring me back Alonzo.
[Exit, with the child. Ata. [Drawing his sword.] Now, my brethren, my sons, my friends, I know your valonr. Should ill success assail us, be despair the last feeling of your hearts. If successful, let mercy be the first. Alonzo, to thee I give to defend the narrow passage of the mountains. On the right of the wood be Rolla's station. For me, straight forwards will I march to meet them, and fight until I see my people saved, or they behold their monarch fall. Be the word of battleGod! and our native land! [4 March.-Exeunt. King first, ROLLA and
ALONZO follow hund-in-hand , SOLDIERS close up the rear.
SCENE III.-A Wood.
Enter Rolls and ALONZO. Rol. Here, my friend, we separate-soon, I trust, to meet again in triumph.
Al. Or perhaps we part to meet no more. Rolla, a moment's pause; we are yet before our army's strength; one earnest word at parting.
Rol. There is in language now no word but battle.
Al. If so, my wife and child I bequeath to the protection of heaven and my king. But should I only fall, Rolla, be thou my heir.
Ai. Be Cora thy wife~be thou a falher to my child.
Rol. Rouse thee, Alonzo! Banish these timid fancies.
Al. Rolla! I have tried in vain, and cannot fly from the foreboding which oppresses me; thou know'st it will not shake me in the fight: but give me the promise I exact. Rol. If it be Cora's will-Yes-I promise.
[Gives his hand. Al. Tell her it was my last wish! and bear to her and to my son, my last blessing.
Rol. I will. -Now then to our posts, and let our swords speak for us. [They draw their swords.
Al. For the king and Cora! Rol. For Cora and the king !
[Exeunt. Scene IV.-A View of the Peruvian Camp.
Enter an Old BLIND Man and a Bor. 0. Man. Have none returned to the camp?
Boy. One messenger alone. From the temple they all march'd to meet the foe.
O. Man. Hark! I hear the din of ballle. O! had I still retain'd my sight, I might now have grasp'd a sword, and died a soldier's death! Are we quite alone?
Bor. Yes!—I hope my father will be safe!
0. Man. He will do his duty. I am more anxious for thee, my child.
Boy. I can stay with thee, dear grandfather.
0. Man. But should the enemy come, they will drag thee from me, my boy.
Boy. Impossible, grandfather! for they will see at once that thou art old and blind, and cannot do withe out me.
0. Man. Poor child! thou little know'st the hearts of these inhuman men. [Trumpets, alarums, and discharges of cannon heard.] Hark! the noise is near -I hear the dreadful roaring of the fiery engines of these cruel strangers. [Shouts at a distance.] At every shout, with involuntary haste, I clench my hand, and fancy still it grasps a sword! Alas! I can only serve my country by my prayers. Heaven preserve the Inca, and his gallant soldiers !
Bor. O father! there are soldiers running-
0. Man. How! and flying from the field!- It cannot be.
Enter Two Peruvian SOLDIERS. O speak to them, boy!—Whence come you? How goes the battle?
Sol. We may not stop; we are sent for the reserve behind the hill. The day's against us.
[Exeunt SOLDIERS. 0. Man. Quick, then, quick.
Bor. I sec the points of lances glittering in the light.
O Man. Those are Peruvians. Do they bend this way?
Enter a Peruvian SOLDIER. Bor. Soldier, speak to my blind falher.
Sol. I'm sent to tell the help!ess father to retreat among the rocks: all will be lost, I fear.—The king is wounded.
0. Man. Quick, boy! Lead me to the hill where thou mayst view the plain.
[-Alarms.—Old Man and Boy retire. Enter ATALIBA, wounded , with Orano, Officers ,
and Soldiers. Ata. My wound is bound; believe me, the hurt is nothing; I may return to the fight.
Ora. Pardon your servant, but the allotted priest who attends the sacred banner has pronounced, that the Inca's blood once shed, no blessing can await the day, until he leave the field.
Ata. Hard restraint! 0! my poor brave soldiers! -Hard that I may no longer be a witness of their valour. But haste you; return to your comrades: I will not keep one soldier from his post. Go, and avenge your fallen brethren. [Exeunt Orano, etc.] I will not repine: my own fate is the last anxiety of my heart. It is for you, my people, that I feel and fear.
[Old Man and Boy advance. 0. Man. Did I not hear the voice of an unfortunate? Who is it complains thus?
Ata. One almost by hope forsaken.
0. Man. Then thou art not forsaken! Ataliba protects the meanest of his subjects.
Ata. And who shall protect Ataliba?
0. Man. The Immortal Powers, that protect the just. The virtues of our monarch alike secure to him the affection of his people, and the benign regard of heaven.
Ata. How impious had I murmur’d! How wondrous, thou Supreme Disposer, are thy acts! Even in this moment, which I had thought the bitterest
trial of mortal suffering, thou hast infused the sweetest sensation of my life—it is the assurance of my people's love.
Bor. [T'urning forward.] O father!-Stranger! see those hideous men that rush upon us yonder!
Ata. Ha! Spaniards! And I, Ataliba-ill-fated fugitive! without a sword even to try the rausom of a monarch's life. Enter DaviLLA, ALMAGRO, and Spanish Soldiers.
Dav. 'Tis he-our hopes are answered—I know him well-it is the king.
Alm. Away; follow with your prize. Avoid those Peruvians, though in flight. This way we may regain our line. [Exeunt DaviLLA, ALMAGRO, elc.
with ATALIBA, prisoner: O. Man. The king, Wretched old man, that could not see his gracious form!—Boy, would thou hadst led me to the reach of those ruffian's swords!
Bor. Father! all our countrymen are flying here for refuge.
0. Man. No-to the rescue of their king--they never will desert him.
[Alarms without. Enter Peruvian Officers and Soldiers , ORANO
following. Ora. Hold, I charge you! Rolla calls you. Offi. We cannot combat with their dreadful engines.
Enter ROLLA. Rol. Hold, recreants! cowards!—What, fuar ye death, and fear not shame? By my soul's fury, I cleave to the earth the first of you that stirs, or plunge your dastard swords into your leader's heart, that he no more may witness your disgrace. Where is the king?
Ora. From this old man and boy I learn, that the detachment of the enemy, which you observed só suddenly to quit the field, have succeeded in surprising him; they are yet in sight.
Rol. And bear the Inca off a prisoner!--Hear this,