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2ar. Oh Heav'n my fears interpret
This thy silence; somewhat of high concern,
Long fashioning within thy labouring mind,
And now just ripe for birth, my rage has ruin'd.
Have I done this Tell me, am I so curs’d

Osm. Time may have still one fated hour to come, Which, wing'd with liberty, might overtake Occasion past.

Zar. Swift as occasion, I Myself will fly ; and earlier than the morn, Wake thee to freedom. “ Now 'tis late; and yet “Some news few minutes past, arriv'd, which seem'd “To shake the temper of the king—Who knows “What racking cares disease a monarch's bed : “Or love, that late at night still lights his lamp, “And strikes his rays thro’ dusk and folded lids, “Forbidding rest, may stretch his eyes awake, 200 “And force their balls abroad at this dead hour. “I’ll try.”

Osm. I have not merited this grace; Nor, should my secret purpose take effect, Can I repay, as you require, such benefits.

Zar. Thou canst not owe me more, nor have I more
To give, than I’ve already lost. But now,
So does the form of our engagements rest,
Thou hast the wrong till I redeem thee hence ;
That done, I leave thy justice to return
My love. Adieu. [Exit.

Osm. This woman has a soul
Of godlike mould, intrepid and commanding,

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And challenges, in spite of me, my best
Esteem; “to this, she's fair, few more can boast
“Of personal charms, or with less vanity
“ Might hope to captivate the hearts of kings;”
But she has passions which outstrip the wind,
And tear her virtues up, as tempests root
The sea. I fear, when she shall know the truth, 220
Some swift and dire event of her blind rage
Will make all fatal. But behold, she comes
For whom I fear, to shield me from my fears,
The cause and comfort of my boding heart.

Enter ALMe RIA.

My life, my health, my liberty, my all !
How shall I welcome thee to this sad place
How speak to thee the words of joy and transport?
How run into thy arms, withheld by fetters;
Or take thee into mine, while I’m thus manacled
And pinion'd like a thief or murderer
Shall I not hurt and bruise thy tender body,
And stain thy bosom with the rust of these
Rude irons Must I meet thee thus, Almeria

Alm. Thus, thus; we parted, thus to meet again. Thou told'st me thou would'st think how we might

meet

To part no more Now we will part no more ;
For these thy chains, or death, shall join us ever.

Osm. Hard means to ratify that word —Oh, cruelty I “That ever I should think beholding thee

“A torture —Yet such is the bleeding anguish 240 2

“ Of my heart, to see thy sufferings Oh, Heav'nl “ That I could almost turn my eyes away, 24 I “Or wish thee from my sight.

Alm. Oh, say not so | • Tho' 'tis because thou lov'st me. Do not say, “On any terms, that thou dost wish me from thee. “No, no, 'tis better thus, that we together “ Feed on each other's heart, devour our woes “With mutual appetite; and mingling in “ One cup the common stream of both our eyes, “ Drink bitter draughts, with never-slaking thirst ; “ Thus better, than for any cause to part. “What dost thou think Look not so tenderly “ Upon me—speak, and take me in thy arms “ Thou canst not; thy poor arms are bound, and

“ Strive

“In vain with the remorseless chains, which gnaw “And eat into thy flesh, fest’ring thy limbs “ With rankling rust.”

Osm. Oh I O

Alm. Give me that sigh. 26o Why dost thou heave, and stifle in thy griefs? Thy heart will burst, thy eyes look red, and start; Give thy soul way, and tell me thy dark thought.

Osm. For this world's rule, I would not wound thy

breast

With such a dagger as then stuck my heart. Alm.Why? why To knowit, cannot wound memore Than knowing thou hast felt it. Tell it me,

—Thou giv'st me pain with too much tenderness. 1

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Osm. And thy excessive love distraćts my sense. Oh, wouldst thou be less killing, soft, or kind, Grief could not double thus his darts against me. Alm. Thou dost me wrong, and grief too robs my * heart, If there he shoot not every other shaft; Thy second self should feel each other wound, And woe should be in equal portions dealt. I am thy wife— Osm. Oh, thou hast search'd too deep : There, there I bleed; there pull the cruel cords, That strain my cracking nerves; engines and wheels, That piece-meal grind, are beds of down and balm To that soul-racking thought. 281 Alm. Then I am curs’d Indeed, if that be so I if I'm thy torment, Kill me, then, kill me, dash me with thy chains, Tread on me : “What, am I the bosom-snake “That sucks thy warm life-blood, and gnaws thy “ heart; “Oh, that thy words had force to break those bonds, “As they have strength to tear this heart in sunder; “So should'st thou be at large from all oppression.” Am I, am I of all thy woes the worst Osm. My all of bliss, my everlasting life, Soul of my soul, and end of all my wishes, Why dost thou thus unman me with thy words, “And melt me down to mingle with thy weepings “Why dost thou ask Why dost thou talk thus “ piercingly "

Thy sorrows have disturb’d thy peace of mind,
And thou dost speak of miseries impossible.
Alm. Didst not thou say that racks and wheels were
balm -
And beds of ease, to thinking me thy wife wo
Osm. No, no ; nor should the subtlest pains that
hell 3oo
Or hell-born malice can invent, extort
A wish or thought from me to have thee other.
But thou wilt know what harrows up my heart:
Thou art my wife—nay, thou art yet my bride—
The sacred union of connubial love
Yet unaccomplish'd : “his mysterious rites
“ Delay’d; nor has our hymeneal torch
“ Yet lighted up his last most grateful sacrifice;
“But dash'd with rain from eyes, and swail'd with
“sighs,
“Burns dim, and glimmers with expiring light.”
Is this dark cell a temple for that god?
Or this vile earth an altar for such offerings
This den for slaves, this dungeon damp'd with woes;
“Is this our marriage bed are these our joys *
Is this to call thee mine : Oh, hold, my heart 1
To call thee mine Yes; thus even thus to call
Thee mine, were comfort, joy, extremest extasy.
But, Oh, thou art not mine, not e'en in misery;
And 'tis deny'd to me to be so bless'd,
AS to be wretched with thee. 32d
Alm. No ; not that
Th’ extremest malice of our fate can hinder:

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