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Alm. No cause! Peace, peace; there is eternal cause,
And misery eternal will succeed.
Thou canst not tell—thou hast indeed no cause.
Leon. Believe me, Madam, I lament Anselmo,
And always did compassionate his fortune; 2d
Have often wept, to see how cruelly
Your father kept in chains his fellow-king:
And oft, at night, when all have been retir’d,
Have stol’n from bed, and to his prison crept;
Where, while his gaoler slept, I thro’ the grate
Have softly whisper’d, and enquir'd his health;
Sent in my sighs and pray'rs for his deliv'rance;
For sighs and pray'rs were all that I could offer.
Alm. Indeed thou hast a soft and gentle nature;
That thus could melt to see a stranger's wrongs.
Oh, Leonora, hadst thou known Anselmo
How wou'd thy heart have bled to see his sufferings
Thou hadst no cause, but general compassion.
Leon. Love of my royal mistress gave me cause;
My love of you begot my grief for him;
For I had heard, that when the chance of war
Had bless'd Anselmo's arms with vićtory,
And the rich spoil of all the field, and you, ,
The glory of the whole, were made the prey
Of his success; “that then, in spite of hate, 40
“Revenge, and that hereditary feud
“Between Valentia's and Granada's kings,”
He did endear himself to your affection,
By all the worthy and indulgent ways
His most industrious goodness could invent;
Proposing, by a match between Alphonso
His son, the brave Valentian prince, and you,
To end the long dissention, and unite
The jarring crowns.
“Alm. Alphonsol O, Alphonso I
“Thou too art quiet—long hast been at peace—
“Both, both—father and son are now no more.
“Then why am I ? Oh, when shall I have rest?
“Why do I live to say you are no more ?
“Why are all these things thus —Is it of force r
“Is there necessity I must be miserable
“Is it of moment to the peace of Heav'n,
“That I should be afflicted thus —If not,
“Why is it thus contriv'd : Why are things laid
“By some unseen hand, so, as of sure consequence,
“They must to me bring curses, grief of heart,
“The last distress of life, and sure despair? 62 “Leon. Alas! you search too far, and think too deeply.”
Alm. Why was I carried to Anselmo's court
Or there, why was I us’d so tenderly
Why not ill-treated, like an enemy
For so my father would have us’d his child.
Oh, Alphonso, Alphonso I
Devouring seas have wash'd thee from my sight.
No time shall raze thee from my memory;
No, I will live to be thy monument:
The cruel ocean is no more thy tomb:
But in my heart thou art interr'd ; there, there,
Thy dear resemblance is for ever fix’d;
My love, my lord, my husband still, tho' lost.
Leon. Husband l Oh, Heav'ns!
Alm. Alas! what have I said
My grief has hurry'd me beyond all thought.
I would have kept that secret; though I know
Thy love, and faith to me deserve all confidence. 80
“ But 'tis the wretch’s comfort still to have
“Some small reserve of near and inward woe,
“Some unsuspected hoard of darling grief,
“Which they unseen may wail, and weep, and mourn,
“And, glutton-like, alone devour.
“I knew not this.
“Alm. Oh, no, thou know'st not half,
“Know'st nothing of my sorrows—if thou didst—
“If I should tell thee, would'st thou pity me?
“Tell me; I know thou would'st; thou art com-
- - - passionate.”
Leon. Witness these tears
“Alm. I thank thee, Leonora—
“Indeed I do, for pitying thy sad mistress:
“For ’tis, alas ! the poor prerogative
“Of greatness to be wretched, and unpitied—
“But I did promise I would tell thee—What?
“My miseries! Thou dost already know 'em:
“And when I told thee thou didst nothing know,
“It was because thou didst not know Alphonso: 1co
“For to have known my loss, thou must have known
“His worth, his truth, and tenderness of love.”
Leon. The memory of that brave prince stands fair In all report— And I have heard imperfectly his loss; But, fearful to renew your troubles past, I never did presume to ask the story. Alm. If for my swelling heart I can, I’ll tell thee. I was a welcome captive in Valentia, E’en on the day when Manuel, my father, Led on his conqu'ring troops high as the gates Of king Anselmo's palace; which, in rage, And heat of war, and dire revenge, he fir’d. The good king, flying to avoid the flames, Started amidst his foes, and made captivity His fatal refuge—Would that I had fall'n Amidst those flames—but 'twas not so decreed. Alphonso, who foresaw my father's cruelty, Had borne the queen and me on board a ship Ready to sail; and when this news was brought 120 We put to sea; but being betray’d by some Who knew our flight, we closely were pursu'd, And almost taken ; when a sudden storm Drove us, and those that follow’d, on the coast Of Afric: There our vessel struck the shore And bulging 'gainst a rock, was dash'd in pieces; But Heav'n spar'd me for yet much more afflićtion I Conducting them who follow'd us, to shun The shore, and save me floating on the waves, While the good queen and my Alphonso perish'd. Leon. Alas! were you then wedded to Alphonso :
Alm. That day, that fatal day, our hands were join'd. For when my lord beheld the ship pursuing, And saw her rate so far exceeding ours, He came to me, and begg'd me by my love, I would consent the priest should make us one; That whether death or vićtory ensu'd I might be his, beyond the power of fate; The queen too did assist his suit—I granted; And in one day was wedded and a widow. 140
Leon. Indeed 'twas mournful
Alm. 'Twas as I have told thee—
For which I mourn, and will for ever mourn;
Nor will I change these black and dismal robes,
Or ever dry these swoln and watery eyes;
Or ever taste content, or peace of heart,
While I have life, and thought of my Alphonso.
“Leon. Look down, good Heav'n, with pity on her
“And grant that time may bring her some relief.
“Alm. Oh, no! time gives increase to my afflićtions, “The circling hours, that gather all the woes “Which are diffus’d thro’ the revolving year, “Come heavy laden with th' oppressing weight “To me; with me, successively, they leave “The sighs, the tears, the groans, the restless cares, “Andall the damps of grief, that did retard their flight: “They shake their downy wings, and scatter all “The dire collected dews on my poor head : “Then fly with joy and swiftness from me.”
- [Shouts at a distance.