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And many a spouse caresses such a friend.
Well, let him wail his death; then, rise to life;
Clasp the fond maid, too strict to be his wife!
He held her in his camp; might hold, alone;
Compulsion some humanity had shown.
Thy countrymen—will damn thee—the third

day—
This is not, sure, the true Hibernian way?

But I forgive him. He's a young beginner! Not quite a prostitute, and yet, a sinner! Forward to please, yet awkward to delight! He wants a Kindly hand to guide him right! A novice yet—Instruct him— He will mendFull many a widow wishes such a friend. E'en married dames may think a greater curse,

The slow performer that grows worse and worse! This, with a blush, I say, behind my fanCherish the boy, you'll raise him to a man!

Mr Wright.

The cause is heard. Ye gentle and ye brave,
'Tis your's to damn him—But, you join to save-
Then, hail Gustavus, who his country freed!
Ye sons of Britain, praise the glorious Swede!
Who bravely rais'd, and gen'rously relcas'd.
From blood-stain'd tyrant, and perfidious priest,
The state and church expiring at a breath!
Who held a life of slav'ry worse than death!
Reform'd religion ! re-established law,
And, that you dare to praise him, hail Nassau!
To point wbat lengths credulity has run,
What counsels shaken, and what states undone,
What hellish fury wings th' enthusiast's rage,
And makes the troubled earth one tragic stage,
What blasphemies imposture dare advance,
And build what terrors on weak ignorance,
How fraud alone rage to religion binds,
And makes a Pandemonium of our minds;
Our Gallic bard, fir'd with the glorious views,
First to his Crusade led his tragic muse,
Her power through France his charming numbers

MAHOMET,

THE

IMPOSTOR.

BY

MILLER.

PROLOGUE.

bore, But France wasdeaf—for all her priests were sore.

On English ground she makes a firmer stand, And hopes to suffer by no hostile hand: No clergy here usurp the freeborn mind, Ordaia'd to teach, and not enslave mankind; Religion here bids persecution cease, Without all order, and within all peace; Truth guards her happy pale with watchful care, And frauds, though pious, find no entrance there.

Religion, to be sacred, must be free; Men will suspect—where bigots keep the key: Itoodetl, and trained like hawks, th' enthusiasts

And the priests' victims in their pounces die.

Like whelps born blind, by mother church they're

bred, Nor wake to sight to know themselves misled; Murder's the game—and to the sport imprest, Proud of the sin, and in the duty blest, The layman's but the bloodhound of the priest. Whoe'er thou art that dar'st such themes advance, To priest-rid Spain repair, or slavish France, For Juda's here there do the devil's task, And trick up slav'ry in religion's mask; England still free, no surer means requires To sink their sottish souls and damp their martial fires. Britons! these numbers to yourselves you owe; Voltaire has strength to shoot in Shakespeare's

bow; Fame led him at his Hippocrene to drink, And taught to write with nature as to think; With English freedom English wit he knew, And from the inexhausted stream profusely drew: Cherish the noble bard yourselves have made, Nor let the frauds of France steal all our trade. Now of each prize the winner has the wearing, E'en send our English stage a privateering; With your commission we'll our sails unfold, And from their loads of dross import some gold.

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SCENE L—An apartment in the Temple of Mecca.

Enter ALCAKOR and PHARON.

Ale. Pharon, no more—shall I Fall prostrate to an arrogant impostor, Homage in Mecca one I banished thence, And incense the delusions of a rebel! No—blast Alcanor, righteous Heaven! if e'er This hand, yet free and uncontaminate, Shall league with fraud, or adulate a tyrant.

Pha. August and sacred chief of Islunael's senate, This zeal of thine, paternal as it is, Is fatal now—our impotent resistance Controuls not Mahomet's unbounded progress, But, without weakening, irritates the tyrant. When once a citizen, you well condemned him As an obscure, seditious innovator; But now he is a conqueror, prince, and pontiff, Whilst nations numberless embrace his laws, And pay him adoration—even in Mecca He boasts his proselytes.

Ale. Such proselytes Are worthy of him—low untutored reptiles, In whom sense only lives—most credulous still Of what is most incredible.

Pha. Be such Disdained, my lord; but may not the pest spread

upwards, And seize the head—Say, is the senate sound I I fear some members of that reverend class Are marked with the contagion, who, from views Of higher power and rank, Worship tnis rising sun, and give a sanction To his invasions.

Ale. If, ye Powers divine! Ye mark the movements of this nether world, And bring them to account, crush, crush those

vipers, Who, singled out by a community To guard their rights, shall, for a grasp of ore. Or jpaltry office, sell them to the foe!

Pita. Each honest citizen, I grant, is thine, And, grateful for thy boundless blessings on them, Would serve thee with their lives; but the approach Of this usurper to their very walls Strikes them with such a dread, that even these Implore thee to accept his proffered peace.

Ale. Oil, people lost to wisdom as to glory!
Go, bring in pomp, and serve upon your knees
Tin's idol, that will crush you with its weight.
Mark, I abjure him: by his savage hand
My wife and children perished, whilst in retf

geance
I carried carnage to his very tent,
Transfixed to earth his only son, and wore
His trapping as a trophy of my conquest.
This torch of enmity, thus lighted 'twixt us,
The hand of time itself can ne'er extinguish.

Pha. Extinguish not, but smother for a while
Its fatal flame, and greatly sacrifice
Thy private sufferings to the public welfare.
Oh say, Alcanor, wert thou to behold
(As 9oon thou may'st) this famed metropolis
With foes begirt, behold its pining tenants
Prey on each other for the means of life,
Whilst lakes of blood and mountains of the slain
Putrily the air,
And sweep off thousands with their poisonous

steams, Would thy slain children be avenged by tlus?

Ale. No, Pharon, no; I live not for myself: My wife and children lost, my country's now My family.

Pha. then let not that be lost.

Ale 'Tis lost by cowardice.

Pha. By rashness often.

Ale. Pharon, desist.

Pha. My noble lortl, I cannot, Must not desist, will not, since you're possessed Of means to bring this insolent invader To any terms you'll claim.

Ale. What means?

Pha. Palmira. That blooming fair, the flower of all his camp, By thee borne off in our last skirmish with him, Seems the divine ambassadress of peace, Sent to procure our safety. Mahomet Has by his heralds thrice proposed her ransom, And bade us fix the price.

Ale. I know it, Pharon: And wouldst thou then restore this noble treasure To that barbarian? Wouldst thou, for the frauds, The deaths, the devastations, he brings on us, Enrich his ruffian hands with such a gem, And render beauty the reward of rapine i Nay, smile not, friend, nor think that at these

years, Well travelled in the winter of my days, I entertain a thought towards this young beauty, But what's as pure as is the western gale, That breathes upon the uncropt violet—

Pha. My lord

Ale. This heart, by age and grief congealed, Is no more sensible to love's endearments Than are our barren rocks to morn's sweet dew, That balmy trickles down their rugged cheeks.

Pha. My noble chief, each master-piece of nature Commands involuntary homage from us.

Ale. I own, a tenderness unfelt before, A sympathetic grief, with ardent wishes To make her happy, fill my widowed bosom: I dread her being in that monster's power, And burn to have her hate him like myself. Twas on this hour I, at her modest suit, Promised her audience in my own pavilion. Pharon, go thou, meanwhile, and see the senate Assembled straight—I'll sound them as I ought. [Exeunt severally.

SCENE II.—Changes to a Room of State.

Enter PALMIRA.

PaL What means this boding terror, that usurps, In spite of me, dominion o'er my heart, Converting the sweet flower of new-blown hope To deadly nightshade, poisoning to my sou) The fountain of its bliss ?—Oh holy prophet 1 Shall I ne'er more attend thy sacred lessons? O Zaphna' much-loved youth! I feel for thee As for myself—But hold! my iinal audit I« now at hand—I tremble for the event! Here comes my judge—now liberty or bondage!

Enter Alcakoiu

Ale. Palmira, whence those tears? trust me, fair maid, Thou art not fallen into barbarians' hands; What Mecca can afford of pomp or pleasure, To call attention from misfortune's lap, Demand and share it.

Pal. No, my generous victor! My suit's for nothing Mecca can afford; Prisoner these two long months beneath your

roof, I have tasted such benignity and candour, Whilst your own hands so laboured to beguile The anxious moments of captivity, That oft I have called my tears ingratitude.

Ale. If aught remains, that's in my power, to
smooth
The ri«our of your fate, and crown yonr wishes,
Why, 'twould fill

The furrows in my cheeks, and make old age
Put on its summer's garb.

Pal. Thus low I bless thee. [Kneeling.

It is on you, on you alone, Alcanor,
My whole of future happiness depends;
Have pity then;

Pity, Alcanor, one, who is torn from all
That's dear or venerable to her soul;
Restore me, then, restore me to my country,
Restore me to my father, prince, and prophet!

Ale. Is slavery dear then? is fraud venerable? What country? a tumultuous wandering camp!

Pal. My country, sir, is not a single spot
Of such a mould, or fixed to such a clime;
No, 'tis the social circle of my friends,
The loved community in which I'm linked,
And in whose welfare all my wishes centre.

Ale. Excellent maid! Then Mecca be thy
country.
Robbed of my children, would Palmira deign
To let me call her child, the toil I took
To make her destiny propitious to her,
Would lighten the rough burthen of my own:
But no: you scorn my country and my laws.

Pal. Can I be yours, when not my own ? Your bounties Claim and share my gratitude—but Mahomet Claims right o'er me of parent, prince, and prophet.

Ale. Of parent, prince, and prophet! Heavens I that robber, Who, a 'scaped felon, emulates a throne, And. scoffer at all faiths, proclaims a new one!

Pal. Oh, cease, my lord! this blasphemous abuse Of one, whom millions with myself adore, Docs violence to my ear: such black profanr

ness 'Gainst Heaven's interpreter blots out remembrance Of favours past, and nought succeeds but horror.

Air. Oh superstition! thy pernicious rigours, Inflexible to reason, truth, and nature, Banish humanity the gentlest breasts.

Palmira, I lament to see thee plunged
So deep in error—

Pal. Do you then reject
My just petition? Can Alcanor's goodness
Be (leaf to suffering virtue?
Name but the ransom,
And Mahomet will treble what you ask.

Ale. There is no ransom Mahomet can offer,
Proportioned to the prize. Trust me, Palmira,
I cannot yield thee up. What! to a tyrant,
Who wrongs thy youth, and mocks thy tender

heart With vile illusions and fanatic terrors !—

Enter PHARON.

What wouldst thou, Pharon?

Pha. From yon western gate, Which opens on Moraida's fertile plains, Mahomet's general, Mirvan, hastes to greet thee.

Ale. Mirvan, that vile apostate!

Pha. In one hand He holds a scimitar, the other bears An olive branch, which to our chiefs he waves, An emblem of his suit—a martial youth, Zuphna by name, attends him for our hostage.

Pal. [Apart.\ Zaphna! mysterious heaven!

Pha. Mirvan advances
This way, my lord, to render you his charge.

Ale. Mirvan advance! how dare the traitor see me? Palmira, thou retire—Pharon, be present

[Exit Pal.

Enter MjRVAN.

After six years of infamous rebellion
Against thy native country, dost thou, Mirvan,
Again profane with thy detested presence
These sacred walls, which once thy hands de-
fended,
But thy bad heart has vilely since betrayed?
Thou poor deserter of thy country's gods,
Thou base invader of thy country s rights,
What wouldst thou have with me?

Mir. I pardon thee

Out of compassion to thy age and sufferings,
And high regard for thy experienced valour,
Heaven's great apostle offers thee in friendship
A hand could crush thec, and I come commis-
sioned
To name the terms of piece he deigns to tender.
Ate. He deigns to tender! insolent impostor!
Dost thou not, Mirvan, blush
To serve this wretch—this base of soul as birth?
Mir. Mahomet's grandeur's in himself; he
shines not
With borrowed lustre.

Plunged in the night of prejudice, and bound
In fetters of hereditary faith,
My judgment slept; but when I found him born
To mould anew the prostrate universe,
I started from my dream, joined his career,
And shar'd his arduous and immortal labours.
Once, I must own, 1 was as blind as thou:
Then wake to glory, and be changed like mc.

Ale. What death to honour, wakening to such glory!

Pha. Oh, what a fall from virtue was that change!

Mir. Come, embrace our faith, reign with Mahomet, And, clothed in terrors, make the vulgar tremble.

Ate. 'Tis Mahomet, anfl tyrants like to Mahomet, 'Tis Mirvan, and apostates like to Mirvan, I only would make tremble—Is it, say'st thou, Religion, that's the parent of this rapine, This virulence and rage:—No; true religion Is always mild, propitious, and humane, Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood, Nor bears destruction on tier chariot-wheels; But stoops to polish, succour, and redress, And builds her grandeur on the public good.

Mir. Thou art turned Cluistian, sure! some straggling monk Has taught thee these tame lessons—

Ale. If the Christians Hold principles like these, which reason dictates, Which all our notions of the powers divine Declare the social laws they meant for man, And all the beauties and delights of nature Bear witness to, the Christians may be right; Thy sect cannot, who, nursed in blood and

slaughter, Worship a cruel and revengeful being, And draw him always with his thunder round him, As ripe for the destruction of mankind.

Mir. If clemency delights thee, learn it here. Though banished, by thy voice, his native city, Though, by thy hand, robbed of his only son, Mahomet pardons thee; nay, farther, begs The hatred burning 'twixt you be extinguished, With reconciliation's generous tear.

Ale. I know thy master's arts: his generous tears, Like the refreshing drops, that previous fall To the wild outrage of o'ciu helming earthquakes, Only forerun destruction; Courage he has, not bravery; For blood and havock are the sure attendants On his victorious car.

Pha. Leagues he will make too

Ale. Like other grasping tyrants, till he eyes A lucky juncture to enlarge his bounds; Then he 11 deride them, leap o'er every tie Of sacred guarantee, or sworn protection; And when the oppressed ally implores assistance, Beneath that mask invade the wished-for realms, And from pure friendship take them to himself.

Mir. Mahomet lights Heaven's battles, bends the bow To spread Heaven's laws, and to subject to faith The iron neck of error.

A Ic. Lust and ambition, Mirvan, are the springs Of all his actions; whilst, without one virtue, Dissimulation, like a nattering painter, Bedecks him with the colouring of them all:

This is thy master's portrait—But no more

My soul's inexorable, and my hate

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