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BY A FRIEND.
Oft has the biiskinM muse, with action mean,
surprise, Virtue and guilt in dread confusion rise, And love and hate, at once, and grief and joy,
Pity and rage, their mingled force employ.
SCENE I.—Battlements, with a Sea Prospect. Enter ZANGA.
Zan. Whether first nature, or long want of
peace, Has wrought my mind to this, I cannot tell: But horrors now are not displeasing to me:
[Thunder. I like this rocking of the battlements. Rage on, ye winds! burst, clouds, and waters
roar! You bear a just resemblance of my fortune, And suit the gloomy habit of my boul.
Who's there? My love I
ha. Why have you left my bed? Your absence more affrights .me than the storm.
Zan. The dead alone, in such a night, can rest, And I indulge my meditation here. Woman, away. I chuse to be alone.
Isa. I know you do, and therefore will not leave you; Excuse me, Zanga, therefore dare not leave you. Is this a night for walks of contemplation I Something unusual hangs upon your heart, And I will know it: by our loves I will. To you I sacrificed my virgin fame; Ask I too much to share in your distress?
Zan. In tears? Thou fool f Then hear me, and
Isa. Hate Alonzo!
Zan. Hear then. 'Tis twice three years since
I then was young; he placed me near his person*
For that were poor revenge E'er since, his
folly Has strove to bury it beneath a heap Of kindnesses, and thinks it is forgot. Insolent thought! and like a second blow! Affronts are innocent, where men are worthless; And such alone can wisely drop revenge.
Isa. But with more temper, Zanga, tell- your story; To see your strong emotions startles me.
Zan. Yes, woman, with the temper that befits it. Has the dark adder venom? So have I, When trod lqion. Proud Spaniard, thou shalt
feel me! For from that day, that day of my dishonour, I from that day have cursed the rising sun, Which never failed to tell ine of my shame.' I from that day have blessed the coming night. Which promised to conceal it; but in vain; The blow returned for ever in my dream. Yet on I toiled, and groaned for an occasion Of ample vengeance; none is yet arrived. Howe er, at present I conceive warm hopes Of what may wound him sore in his ambition, Life Of his life, and dearer than his soul. By nightly march he purposed to surprise The Moorish camp; but I have taken care They shall be ready to receive his favour. Failing in this, a cast of utmost moment, Would darken all the conquests he has won.
Isa. Just as I entered, an express arrived.
Zan. To whom?
Isa. His friend, Don Carlos. '
Zan. Be propitious, Oh, Mahomet, on this important hour, And give, at length, my famished soul revenge! What is revenge, but courage to call in
Our honour's debts, and wisdom to convert
SCENE II.—The Palace.
Enter Don MANUEL and Don CARLOS.
Man. My lord Don Carlos, what brings your express?
Car. Alonzo's glory, and the Moors' defeat. The field is strewed with twice ten thousand slain, Though he suspects his measures were betrayed. He'll soon arrive. Oh, how I long to embrace The first of heroes, and the best of friends! I loved fair Leonora long before The chance of battle gave me to the Moors, From whom so late Alonzo set ine free: And while I groaned in bondage, I deputed This great Alonzo, whom her father honours, To be my gentle advocate in love, To stir her heart, and fan its fires for me.
Man. And what success?
Car. Ala--, the cruel maid!
Indeed her father, who, though high at court,
Man. Her aged father, see, Leads her this way.
Car. She looks like radiant Truth, Brought forward by the hand of hoary Time. Yoo to the port with speed, 'tis possible Some vessel is arrived. Heaven grant it bring Tidings, which Carlos may receive with joy!
Enter Don Alvarez and Leonora.
Ait. Don Carlos, I am labouring in your fa-
Car. Angels second you!
Atv. Daughter, the happiness of life depends
[To Carlos. My daughter is not indisposed to hear you. [Exit.
Car. Oh, Leonora! why art thou in tears? Because I am less wretched than I was? Before your father gave me leave to woo you, Hushed was your bosom, and your eyes serene. Will you for ever help me to new pains, And keep reserves ot torment in your hand, To let them loose on every dawn of joy?
Leon. Think you my father too indulgent to me, That he claims no dominion o'er my tears? A daughter sure may be right dutiful, Whose tears alone are free from a restraint. Car. Ah, my torn heart! Leon. Regard not me, my lord; I shall obey my father.
Car. Disobey him, Rather than come thus coldly, than come thus With absent eyes, and alienated mien, Suffering address, the victim of my love. Oh, let me be undone the common way, And have the common comfort to be pitied, And not be ruined in the mask of bliss, And so be envied, and be wretched too! Love calls for love. Not all the pride of beauty, Those eyes that tell us what the sun is made of, Those lips, whose touch is to be bought with life, Those hills of driven snow, which seen are felt; All these, possessed, are nought but as they are The proof, the substance of an inward passion, And the rich plunder of a taken heart.
Leon. Alas, my lord, we are too delicate; And when we grasp the happiness we wished, We call on wit to argue it away: A plainer man would not feel half your pains; But some have too much wisdom to be happy. Car. Had I known this before, it had been well: I had not then solicited your father To add to my distress; as you behave, Your father's kindness stabs me to the heart. Give me your hand—nay, give it, Leonora; You give it not—nay, yet you give it not— I ravish it.
Leon. I pray, my lord, no more. Car. Ah, why so sad? You know each sigh . docs shake me: Sighs there, are tempests here. I've heard, bad men would be unblest in Heaven: What is my giu'lt, that makes me so with you? Have I not languished prostrate at thy feet? Have I not lived whole days upon thy sight? Have I not seen thee where thou hast not been. And, mad with the idea, clasped the wind, And doatcd upon nothing?
Leon. Court me not, Good Carlos, by recounting of my faults, And telling how ungrateful I have been. Alas, my lord, if talking would prevail, I could suggest much better arguments Than those regards you threw away on me; Your valour, honour, wisdom, praised by all. But bid physicians talk our veins to temper, And with an argument new-set a pulse; Then think, my lord, of reasoning into love. Car. Must I despair then? Do not shake me thus:
Mv tempest-beaten heart is cold to death;
[Trumpet*. Leon. The victor comes. My lord, I must
withdraw. Car. And must you go ?. Leon. Why should you wish me stay • Your friend's arrival will bring comfort to you, My presence none; it pains you and myself; For both our sakes, permit me to withdraw.
[Exit. Car. Sure, there, is no peril but in love. Oh, how My foes would boast to see me look so pale!
Enter Don AiONZO.
Alon. Carlos! I am whole again; Clasped in thy arms, it makes my heart entire.
Cur. Whom dare I thus embrace? The conqueror OfAfric?
Alon. Yes, much more—Don Carlos' friend. The conquest of die world would cost me dear, Should it beget one thought of distance in thee. 1 rise in virtues to come nearer to thee, 1 conquer with Don Carlos in my eye, And thus I claim my victory's reward.
Car. A victory indeed 1 your godlike arm Has made one spot the grave of Africa, Such numbers fell! and the survivors fled, As frighted passengers from off the strand, When the tempestuous sea comes roaring on them.
Alon. 'Twas Carlos conquered, 'twas his cruel chains Inflamed me to a rage unknown before, And threw my former actions far behind.
Car. I love fair Leonora,—how I love her! Yet still I find (I know not how it is) Another heart, another soul for thee. Thy friendship warms, it raises, it transports Like music; pure the joy, without allay, Whose very rapture is tranquillity: But.love, like wine, gives a tumultuous bliss, Heightened, indeed, beyond all mortal pleasures, But mingles pangs and madness in the bowl.
Zan. Manuel, my lord, returning from the port, On business both of moment and of haste, Humbly begs leave to speak in private with you.
Car. In private! Ha! Alonzo, I will return: No business can detain me long from thee. [Exit.
Zan. Mv l'ird Alonzo, I obeyed your orders.
Alon. Will the fair Leonora pass this way!
Zan. She will, my lord, and soon.
Alon. Come near me, Zanga; For I dare open all my heart to thee. Never was such a day of triumph known! There's not a wounded captive in my train, That slowly followed my proud chariot wheels, With half a life, and beggary, and chains, But is a god to me: I am most wretched. In his captivity thou know'st, Don Carlos, My friend, (and never was a friend more dear) Deputed me his advocate in love, To talk to Leonora's heart, and make A tender part)' in her thoughts for him. What did I do? I loved myself. Indeed, One thing there is might lessen my offence, (If such offence admits of being lessened) I thought him dead; for (by what fate I know not) His letters never reached me.
Zan. Thanks to Zanga, Who thence contrived that evil which has happened. [Aside.
Alon. Yes, cursed of Heaven! I loved myself, and now, In a late action rescued from the Moors, I have brought home my rival in my friend.
Zan. We hear, my lord, that in that action too, Your interposing arm preserved his life.
Alon. It did—with more than the expence of mine; For, oh, this day is mentioned for their nuptials. But see, she comes—I'll take my leave, and die.
Zan. Hadst thou a thousand lives, thy death would please me. Unhappy fate! My country overcome! My six years hope of vengeance quite expired!
Would nature were 1 will not fall alone;
But others' groans shall tell the. world my death.
[Aside, and exit.
Alon. When nature ends with anguish like to this, Sinners shall take their last leave of the sun, And bid his light adieu.
Leon. The mighty conqueror Dismayed! I thought you gave the foe your sorrows. Alon. Oh, cruel insult! Are those tears your sport, Which nothing but a love for you could draw! Afric I quellea, in hope by that to purchase Your leave to sigh unscorned; but I complain
not; 'Twas but a world, and you are—Leonora. Leon. That passion, which you boast of, is your guilt, A treason to your friend. You think mean of me, To plead your crimes as motives of my love. Alon. You, madam, ought to thank those crimes you blame; 'Tis they permit you to be thus inhuman, Without the censure both of earth and heaven— I fondly thought a last look might be kind. Farewell for ever! This severe behaviour Has, to my comfort, made it sweet to die.
Leon. Farewell for ever! Sweet to die! Oh,
Alonzo, stay; yon must not thus escape me,
Alon. Oh, Leonora!
I often sighed, nay, wept, but could not help it:
But grant my crime was great; I am greatly cursed; What would you more? Am I not most undone? This usage is like stamping on the murdered, When life is fled; most barbarous and unjust. Leon. If from your guilt none suffered but yourself,
II might be so Farewell. [Going.
Alon. Who suffers with me?
Leon. Enjoy your ignorance, and let me go.
Alon. Alas! what is there I can fear to know, Since I already know your hate? Your actions Have iongsincetold me that.
Leon. They flattered you.
Alon. How! flattered me!
Leon. Oh, search in fate no farther!
AUm. Indeed! and do you weep for hatred
Leon. Why would you force my stay?
Alon. What mean these tears?
Leon. I weep by chance, nor have my tears a meaning; But, oh! when first I saw Alonzo's tears, I knew their meaning well!
[ALON. falls passionately on his knees, and takes her hand.
Alon. Heavens! what is this? That excellence,
Leon. Alonzo, pardon me the injury
AUm. Unkind, you know I think your love a
But, oh! the curse of curses! Oh, my
Alon. What says my love? Speak, Leonora.
Leon. Was it for you, ray lord, to be so quick In finding out objections to our love? Think you so strong my love, or weak my virtue,
It was 'unsafe to leave that part to me?
Alon. Is not the day, then, fixed for your es» pousals?
Leon. Indeed, my father once had thoughts
Alon. O, agony!
Leuti. What! do you tremble lest you should
Alon. Wliat's in my power? Oh, yes; to stab my friend!
Leon. To stab your friend were barbarous indeed; Spare him—and murder me. I own; Alonzo, You well may wonder at such words as these; I start at them myself; they fright my nature. Great is my fault; but blame me not alone: Give him a little blame who took sue i (; ins To make me guilty.
Alon. Torment! [After a pause, Leon, speaks.
Leon. O my shame!
Alon. First perish all!
Leon. Say, what liave you resolved? My father comes; wliat answer will you give him?
Alon. What answer! let me look upon that face, And read it there.—Devote thee to another! Not to be borne! a second look undoes me.
Leon. And why undo you ? Is it then, my lord, So terrible to vield to your own wishes, Because they Happen to concur with mine? Cruel! to take such pains to win a heart, Which you was conscious you must break with parting.
Alon. No, Leonora, I am thine for ever,
[Runs and embraces her. In spite of Carlos—Ha! who's tliat? My friend! [Starts uidejromher, Alas, I see him pale! I hear him groan! He foams, he tears his hair, he raves, he bleeds, (I know him by myself) he dies distracted!
Leon. How dreadful to be cut from what we love!
Alon. Ah, speak no more!
Leon. And tied to what wc hate!
Leon. Is it possible?
Leon. Can you?