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Haste from this fatal place—I cannot leave her!
Enter ORASMIN vith Nerestan.
Approach, thou wretch! thou more than cursed!
come near— Thou, who, in gratitude for freedom gained, Hast given me miseries beyond thy own! Thou heart of hero with a traitors soul! Go—reap thy due reward! prepare to suffer, Whate'er inventive malice can inflict, To make thee feel thy death, and perish slow. Are my commands obeyed?
Orai. All is prepared.
Osm. Thy wanton eyes look round, in search of her, Whose love, descending to a slave like thee, From my dishonoured hand received her doom. See, where she lies!
Nt;. Oh fatal, rash mistake 1
Osm. Dost thou behold her, slave?
Ner. Unhappy sister!
Otm. Sister!—Didst thou say sister? If thou didst, Bless me with deafness, Heaven!
Ner. Tyrant! I did— She was my sister—All that now is left thee, Dispatch—From my distracted heart drain next The remnant of the royal Christian blood: Old Lusignan, expiring in my arms, Sent his too wretched son, with his last blessing, .To his now murdered daughter!— Would I had seen the bleeding innocent! I would have lived to speak to her in death: Would have awakened, in her languid heart, A livelier sense of her abandoned God: That God, who, left by her, forsook her too, And gave the poor lost sufferer to thy rage.
Osm. Thy sister!—Lusignan her father!—Selima! Can this be true?—and have I wronged thec, Zara?
Scl. Thy love was all the cloud 'twixt her and Heaven!
Osm. Be dumb—for thou art base, to add distraction To my already more than bleeding heart. And was thy love sincere ?—What then remains?
Ner. Why should a tyrant hesitate on murder? There now remains but mine, of all the blood, Which, through thy father's cruel reign and
thine, Has never ceased to stream on Syria's sands. Restore a wretch to his unhappy race; Nor hope that torments, after such a scene, Can force one feeble groan to feast thy anger. I waste my fruitless words in empty air; The tyrant, o'er the bleeding wound he made, Hangs his unmoving eye, and heeds not me.
Osm. Oh Zara!—
Oras. Alas! my lord, return—whither would grief Transport your generous heart ?—This Christian dog—
Osm. 'lake off his fetters, and observe my will; To him, and all his friends, give instant liberty: Pour a profusion of the richest gifts On these unhappy Christians; and, when heaped With varied benefits, and charged with riches, Give them safe conduct to the nearest port.
Oras. But, sir—
Otm. Reply not, but obey.— Fly—nor dispute thy master's last command, Thy prince, who orders—and thy friend, who
loves thee! Go—lose no time—farewell—begone—and thou! Unhappy warrior—yet less lost than I— Haste from our bloody land—and to thy own Convey this poor, pale object of my rage. Thy king, and all his Christians, when they hear Thy miseries, shall mourn them with their tears; But, if thou tell'st them mine, and tell'st them
truly, They, who shall hate my crime, shall pity me. Take, too, this poniard with thee, which my
hand Has stained with blood far dearer than my own; Tell them—with this I murdered her I loved; The noblest and most virtuous among women! The sold of innocence, and pride of truth: Tell them I laid my empire at her feet: Tell them I plunged my dagger in her blood; Tell them, I so adored—and thus revenged her.
[Stubs himself. Reverence this hero—and conduct him safe.
Ner. Direct me, great inspirer of the soul! How should I act, how judge in this distress? Amazing grandeur! and detested rage! Even I, amidst my tears, admire this foe, And mourn his death, who lived to give me woe.
[Eieunt omnes. HERE, take a surfeit, sirs, of being jealous,
And shun the pains that plague these Turkish fellows:
Where love and death join hands, their darts confounding:
Save us, good Heaven, from this new way of wounding.
Curst climate! where to cards a lone-left woman
Has only one of her black guards to summon!
Sighs, and sits moped, with her tame beast to gaze at:
And that cold treat is all the game she plays at!
For, should she once some abler hand be trying,
Poniard's the word! and the first deal is—dying! 'Slife! should the bloody whim get ground in Britain,
Where woman's freedom has such heights to sit on,
Dagger, provok'd, would bring on desolation,
And murdered belles unpeople half the nation!— Fain would I hope this play, to move compassion,
And live to hunt suspicion out of fashion.—
Four motives strongly recommend the lover's
Hate of this weakness that our scene discovers.
First, then—A woman will or won't, depend on't: If she will do't, she will:—and there's an end
on't. But if she won't—since safe and sound your trust
is, Fear is affront, and jealousy injustice.
Next—he who bids his dear do what she pleases, Blunts wedlock's edge; and all its torture eases: For—not to feel your sufferings, is the same, As not to suffer:—all the difference—name. Thirdly—The jealous husband wrongs bis honour; No wife goes lame, without some hurt upon her: And the malicious world will still be guessing, Who oft dines out, dislikes her own cook's dressing. Fourthly, and lastly—to conclude my lecture, If you would fix the inconstant wife, respect her. She who perceives her virtues overrated, Will fear to have the account more justly stated: And borrowing, from her pride, the good wife's
seeming, Grow really such—to merit your esteeming.
Is former times, when wit was no offence,
And fire each bosom with its country's love
So much a Briton—that he scorns to roam
To foreign climes, to fetch his hero home
Conscious that in these scenes is clearly shewn Britain can boast true heroes of her own. Murder avowed by law he boldly paints,
Heroes and patriots, hypocrites and saints;
Party, be dumb in each pathetic scene,
Our muse, to-night, asserts an honest mean;
Enter Bishop Juxon and Duke of Richmond.
Jus. Tig most true; And though the lords refus'd to join the hill, Yet they proceed without them. Lawless man! Whither, at last, will thy impieties, Thv daring insolence extend, when kings Feel from a subject-hand the scourge of pow'r? Where may an injur'd monarch ho[>e for safety, If he not find it in his people's hearts?
Rich. Oh, Naseby, Naseby, wliat a deadly stroke Was thy ill-fated field to royalty! On thy success depended monarchy; The fate of rebels anil the fate of kings Hung on thy battle: but thou, faithless too, ConspirM with faction to o'erthrow us all, And bring to sight these more than bloody times.
Jus. To-morrow docs the black tribunal sit When majesty is cited to appear Before his tyrant subjects. Oh, preposterous! Is't not as bad as if these rebel hands Should from their seats tear forth their ruling
eyes, Whose watch directs the body's use and safety r
Rich. It cannot be! 'Tis not in cruelty To think of spilling royal blood. Mercy, sure, , And the pretended justice of their cause, Will save them from the weight of so much guilt. Jux. What added guilt can that black bosom feel, That has shook off allegiance to its king? Whole seas of common and of noble blood Will not suffice; the banquet must be crown'd, And the brain heated with the blond of kings. But see where Cromwell comes! upon his brow Dissimulation stamp'd. If I can judge By lineament and feature, that man's heart Can both contrive and execute the worst And the most daring actions yet conceiv'd. Ambitious, bloody, resolute and wise, He ne'er betrays his meaning till he acts, And ne'er looks out but with the eye of purpose. His head so cool, that it appears the top
Of Alpine hill, clad with slow-wasting snow;
Crom. Now through the maze of gloomy policy Has fire-eyed faction worked her way to light, And deck d ambition in the robe of power. Our fears in Charles's safety are remov'd, And but one blow remains to fix our state— The lopping oft' his head. No more the royal
tree Shall, from legitimacy's root, presume To sprout forth tyrant branches. Commonwealths Own no hereditary right, unless our worth Shine equal to our birth. Wherefore, at once, Down with nobility—the commons rule! Avaunt prerogative and lineal title, And be the right superior merit.
Fair. I was to seek you, sir'; some lab'ring doubts, Which, in the uncertainty of these strange times. Call for the ray of clearness, make me press (Perhaps unseasonably) to your ear. You will forgive the impatience of a man Who labours to be right—by your example.
Crom. Good Fairfax, spare me; I am ill at words, And utter badly where I mean respect: Uncouth my answers are to truth and plainness; But to a compliment I ne'er could speak: Yet could you look into my secret mind, There my soul speaks to Fairfax as to one Book'd in the fairest page of my esteem, And written on my heart—But to your doubts.
Fair. You may remember, sir, when first my sword, My fortune, life, and still, yet more—my honour, Were all engag'd to fight the cause of justice; You thought, with me, the wrongs to be redress'd Were the attempts upon the subjects' right, The unregarded laws, and bold design To stretch prerogative to boundless rule. Design full fair and noble! and th' event Has crown'd our utmost wishes. England owns No arbitrary sway; the king's adherents Are all dispers'd, or the remains so few, They are not worth a fear; the king himself In close confinement. Now, let reason judge, And blend discretion with success. Let us be just—but let us stop at justice, Nor by too hasty zeal o'ershoot the mark. The Roman spirits, savage as they were,
When they determin'd to abolish kings,
Fair. Whither does all this tend? I pray for-
And what the world may yet expect of Fairfax.
Crom. 'Tis true indeed—I had forgot myself;
FViir. Dearly he suffers for misguided steps,