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Hem. Then, Florinda, thus I spurn the tyrant!
Abjure his prophet's law, no Moor can wed
Flor. Well, dost thou renounce me?
Alv. Hear me, Hemeya !-will you yield obedience To Philip's will, and swear yourself a Christian?
Hem. A Christian!
Alv. Ay! it is the law.
Hem. The law !
What law can teach me to renounce my country ?
Alv. Then choose between your prophet and Florinda. Hem. Wilt thou abandon me? [To Florinda.
Alv. Let my deep curse fall on her head— Flor. Don't breathe those dreadful wordsDo I deserve that you should doubt me?—no! In infancy I gazed upon your face
With an instinctive reverence, that grew
To reason's tender dictate: never yet
Have I offended you; and let me say,
My tears may flow from eyes long used to weeping-
My heart may break indeed; love can do this;
But never can it teach Florinda's hand
To draw down sorrows on a father's age,
Or to deserve his curse.
Hem. This, this from thee?
Flor. You've found the dreadful secret of my soul! But hold-what am I doing?-pride, where art thou? Am I so fallen in passion ?-oh, my father,
Lead me from hence!
Hem. Florinda, stay one momentDon't leave me-don't abandon me.
Flor. My father, lead me hence !
Alv. [To Hemeya.] You have heard Alvarez' will-
The faith of Mahomet, renounce Florinda!
Flor. Yes, I will look upon thee, and perhaps Shall never look again-for, from this hour,
You never may behold or hear me more.
Hem. Then let me die!
Flor. Hemeya, listen to me!
My heart has owned its weakness: yet, thank heav'n,
My sex's dignity: I've not the pow'r
But none shall see the blushes where they hang!-
I'll hide my wretchedness!-Farewell, Hemeya!
[As she goes out, she looks back for an instant. Oh, Hemeya! [Exit, R.
Hem. She blest me as she parted; yet I feel
Between despair and crime! my fate cries out,
Nor rush to clasp it here ?-would the faint traveller,
END OF ACT I.
SCENE I.-The Exterior of the Inquisition.
Mal. Renounce his people! Haly, I did not think,
Hal. After long struggles of reluctant honour,
Is to be solemnized.
Mal. I have heard enough.
Hal. But when you tell what you had come to teach
And he has heard that on his brows shall shine
The crown his fathers wore; when you have told him—
He shall not wear a crown. A diadem
That once burnt bright within him. Thou, meanwhile,
That to their secret ears I may unfold
Renounce the faith
[Exit Haly, L.
That suffering had endeared, when twenty thousand
When freedom's flame from yonder mountain tops
But hold! he comes! there was a time, Hemeya,
Enter HEMEYA, R.
I charge thee not to touch my garment's edge!
Hem. Oh, Malec, this from thee! when I behold thee, After long months of absence, dost thou scorn me?
Mal. Dost thou not scorn thyself? I know it all; Fame has not kept thy baseness from mine ears. What, for a wanton!
Mal. Ay, a Spanish wanton !
Is she not one of those same melting dames,
That let men's eyes blaze on unveiled charms,
Hem. I permit you
To rail against myself; heap on my head
Mal. What should I fear?
Away, slight boy! and speak not of thy father.
Hem. I am guilty; I confess that I am guilty.
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
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
Look on yon gloomy towers; e'en now we stand
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!
But deeply curse them!
There ye stand aloft,
Frowning in all your black and dreary pride,
Hem. By heavens !
Thy burning front, thy flaming eyes, proclaim it!
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?