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Mal. Dost thou not scorn thyself? I know it all; Fame has not kept thy baseness from mine ears. What, for a wanton !
Hem. Wanton !
Mal. Ay, a Spanish wanton !
Is she not one of those same melting dames,
Unlike the prophet's virgin votaries,
That let men's eyes blaze on unveiled charms,
And are themselves the wooers ? 'tis for a wanton
You choose to be a villain.
Hem. I permit you
To rajl against myself; heap on my head
Your heaviest curse, your blackest reprobation :
Open my heart, and stab; drive in more deep
The arrow of remorse ; but do not dare,
Though you're my father's friend-
Mal. What should I fear ?
Away, slight boy! and speak not of thy father.
I'm glad he sleeps in unattesting marble,
Else hadst thou been a parricide.
Hem. I am guilty; I confess that I am guilty.
But if you felt what youth and passion feel
If those soft
had ever beamed
If long, like me, thou’dst withered in despair,
Till fresh’ning hope rose in this desert heart:
, like me, thou’dst borne her in thy bosom, While ruin flamed above
Mal. Forbear, fond youth! my eyes are palled already.
Rein in thy wanton fancy; dost thou think
That I am made to hear a lover's follies ?
Go, tell them to the moon, and howl with dogs!
Did she possess the charms of her who sleeps
Within the prophet's bosom, I would spurn
The man who had renounced, for her embrace,
His country and himself.
Hem. We have no country!
Mal. Thou hast, indeed, no country?
Hem. Are we not bound to earth? the lording Spa-
Treads on our heads! we groan beneath the yoke
That, shaken, gores more deeply!
Resistance will but ope new founts of blood
To gush'in foaming torrents. Dost thou forget
The Spaniard lifts the sword, and almost wishes
That we should give pretence to tyranny ?
Look on yon gloomy towers; e'en now we stand
Within the shadows of the Inquisition.
Mal. Art thou afraid ? look at yon gloomy towers !
Has thy fair union told thee to beware
Of damps and rheums, caught in the dungeon's vapours ?
Or has she said those dainty limbs of thine
Were only made for love ? Look on yon towers !
Ay, I will look upon them; not to fear,
But deeply curse them! There ye stand aloft,
Frowning in all your black and dreary pride,
Monastic monuments of human misery,
Houses of torment, palaces of horror!
Oft have you echoed to the lengthened shriek
Of midnight murder; often have you heard
The deep-choked groan of stifled agony
Burst in its dying whisper; curses on ye!
Curse on the tyrant that sustains you, too !
Oh! may ye one day, from your tow'ring height
Fall on the wretches that uphold your domes,
And crush them in your ruins! Oh, Hemeya!
Look there, Hemeya ! think how many Moors,
How many of our wretched countrymen,
Are doomed to perish there, unless-
Hem. By heavens !
Thy burning front, thy flaming eyes, proclaim it!
Some glorious thought is lab'ring: -speak!--what mean'st
I feel thy spirit's mastery; my soul
Fires in the glowing contact! Malec, speak !
Tell me, what can we do ?
Mal. What can men do
Who groan beneath the lash of tyranny,
And feel the strength of madness? Have we not cime-
'Twas not in vain I sought those rugged heights,
Nor vainly do I now again return;
Amid the Alpuxerra's cragged cliffs,
Are there not myriads of high-hearted Moors,
That only need a leader to be free?
T'hy voice would be a trumpet in the mountains,
That from their snow-crowned tops and hollow vales,
Would echo back the blast of liberty !
Dost thou not understand me ?
Hem. Speak! can I free my people ? can I rend
Our shameful bonds asunder, and revenge?
Mal. Canst thou ?
Hem. Do not command me not to love ;
But, if there be a road to liberty,
Provided death, with his uplifted dart,
Stand at its entrance-speak ! is there a way?
Mal. And, were there not a way,
We'd hew one in the rock !—there is a way. [Crosses, L.
Hem. My soul hangs in thy lips-
Mal. I fear thee still. I fear thy wav'ring nature.
Hem. No, you wrong me; by heaven, you wrong me!
Mal. Fall upon the earth,
And by thy father's sacred memory
By all thy people's wrongs-by Allah's name-
Enter FLORINDA, R.
Flor. [Interrupting him.] Hold! what is it that I see!
Hem. A wretch !
Mal. Swear! quickly swear, hefore a woman's art
Turns thee to that a woman's self should spurn.
Flor. What should he swear ?
Mal. Forever to renounce thee!
Flor. Ay! let him, if he will; let him renounce me.
I will not say that I am hardly used,
Nor load him with my love! I can bear all,
Except to see him perish.
Mal. Swear, Hemeya, never to be a Christian !
Flor. Hold, for heaven's mercy !
Hem. Bright angel, art thou come to save, or damn me?
Flor. I'm come to tell the perils that surround thee.
Cruel, unkind Hemeya! I perceive
The power that Malec holds
But yesterday, e'en at the cloister's gates,
You vowed you would renounce the world for me.
Mal, Ay! what is worth much more than all the world, More than the crescent diadem that shines On Selim's turbaned brow! more than the heaven
The prophet's eye beheld ; nay, more than theeHis honour and his truth! Rightly thou hast said 'Tis I who snatch him from thee.
Flor. Not from nieIt is from life you snatch him! Let him leave me, Never behold nie more !
Hem. Can I do that?
Flor. Do anything but perish.
1 reck not of myself; but I have heard,
Since last we parted, more than first I feared ;
The King's decree hath armed Pescara's hand
With power omnipotent against the Moors.
Death' hovers over thy head! Gomez, Pescara,
Are crouched to leap upon
thee. Hemeya, be a Christian, or you perish!
Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone Art all that makes life worth the keeping to me.
Mal. I will not think a well-wrought tear or two Can make thee base again.
Hem. (To Malec.] Within thy bosom
I'll bury all my face; for, if I dare
To gaze upon her charms, they will unman me.
Flor. And dost thou scorn to look upon
Florinda ? And am I spurned so far? once 'twas otherwise ; Now I am fit for scorn!
Hem. Florinda !
Mal. Hold !
Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
Flor. I am, indeed, a woman; and I feel
My sex's cruel portion, to be wooed,
And flattered, and adored, until at last
We own our nature's folly ;-then you spurn,
Who wept and sighed before. You then pull down
The idol that you worshipped, and you deem,
Because a woman loves, she should be scorned !
I should not weep, and you would not despise me !
Mal. Are you a man ? are you his Whose heart ne'er felt a throb but for his country?
Hem. Look here, and pity me! behold this face, Where shines a soul so pure, so sweet a spiritCan I renounce her? tell me if I can!
Look on him, my Florinda ! lift those eyes,
So full of light, and purity, and love ;
Look on him, and he'll pity me.
Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live ?
Hem. Stay near my heart, and, as I press thee thus,
I shall no longer feel this agony:
I never can resign thee.
Mal. Worthless Moor!
Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?
Flor. You shall not tear him into death. [Crosses, c.
Mal. (Aside.] I cannot do it-yet, must I behold
The son of Moorish kings a woman's slave ?
I'll try to rouse him still. Perfidious traitor!
Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
How his frame trembles, and what agony
Is stamped upon his face ? Oh, pity him!
Mal. I do, indeed, I spurn him for his weakness ;
But, woman, have a care- -leave him, renounce him,
Flor. I can resign Hemeya's heart, But cannot give his life; nay, tell me, Malec, You who have loved him, watched his tenderest youth, And hold him in
To yield him up to burning martyrdom
And cast him in the raging furnace
T'hat persecution lights with blasts of hell ?
Mał. Better that he should perish
Flor. Dost thou say so?
Wouldst plunge him in destruction ? wouldst thou see
In all the torments of a lingåring death,
While Gomez and Pescara stood beside,
To glut themselves upon his agonies ?
Mal. Woman, thou hast employed thy sex's cunning,
To make my friend a villain; but beware,
Else I will break thy spells; I will unloose
The charméd threads thou wind'st around his soul.