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Mal. What! have I struck thee dumb thou didst
By heavens ! thou didst not dare to ask it of me !
Christian was in thy lip, but back again
I frighted the base word within thy heart.
There let it rankle—there let it be an adder,
And breed a thousand other reptiles there-
It was enough to come before my
face, Fresh from the mould of shame, just stamped with vil
Hem. Must I behold thee-and I the cursed cause!
Mal. May'st thou behold me ?Methinks I'll feel a joy in all my tortures, Till they can tear thee, too :-ha! have I rooted thee? There stand forever!
[Exeunt Malec and Inquisitors, L. U. E.
Enter PESCARA, L. S. E.
Pes. Now is he fit to gaze on,
And I am half revenged !-this is the time
To sink him deeper into desperation.-
Most noble Moor--Christian, I should have said !
Hem. Ha! villain, art thou here?
Pes. The Count Pescara, Grenada's governor, your friend, is here. Hem. We are alone; thou art come to give me ven
Perfidious fiend !_nay, do not look astonished ;
This is no time for mockery.
Pes. Mockery! those alone
Who feel the poignant consciousness of shame,
Should fear its chastisement; who is compelled
To spurn himself, will, in an idiot's eyes,
Seek' the strong flashes of malignity,
And find scorn's fingers in an infant's hand !
You need not fear it; but I cry you mercy-
Moor sounded harshly in converted ears ;
But I'll repair the wrong, and call you Christian,
And sure you are one.
Hem. Ay, I am, thank heav'n,
This sword proclaims it; once the cimeter
Hung idly at my side, and I was forced
To gnash a choked revenge; but now I am
A Spaniard, and your peer !--thou damnéd villain,
Whose baseness is but equalled by thy guilt-
If I did not abhor, I'd pity thee!
Pes. You'd pity me!--it is a kind return
For admiration. Sure those virtues most
Command our wonder, that we ne'er can reach,
And I confess I ne'er could win the top
Of wisdom thou hast gained !-On Afric's shore,
Were I thy pirate brethren's wretched slave,
I would not be a cursed renegade!
I would not be what thou art!
Hem. I confess
That I am fallen, since e'en a wretch like thee
Can tell it to me, too; and yet, Pescara,
One thing at least I've gained; the right of vengeance,
As thou shalt sorely feel! come on, Pescara.
Pes. I marvel at your wrath-what is my crime ?
you wrong me.
Hem. Do not feign to wonder.—
Did not thy treach'rous falsehood win me here?
Didst thou not bid me fly to save my friend?
Pes. I did, but 'twas in kindness to thee.
This day I mean to celebrate your marriage
With a most new and curious spectacle
There shall be music, too.
Hem. What dev'lish purpose
Lurks in thy words, and shows but half the fiend?
Pes. I tell thee, music; thou shalt have the groans
Of gray-haired Malec ringing in thy ears !
The crackling flames in which he perishes
Shall hiss upon thee when thou art softly laid
Within the bosom of the amorous fair!
Nay, put thy sword within its sheath again;
Grenada's governor will never stoop
Down to thy wretched level !
Hem. Stay, Pescara !
And take the recompense of cowardice ! [Strikes him.
Pes. A blow from thee! my furious soul breaks loose,
And rushes on thee-I intended vengeance
More desperate and sweet;—but thou hast forced me
To shed thy 'life too soon.
Enter FLORINDA, L. U. E., and rushes between them.
Flor. Forbear! forbear! or in Florinda's blood
Let fury quench her fires !
Pes. Fool that I was ! The sudden phrensy hurried me awayI might have slain him, and a single blow Had burst the complicated toils I weave. [Aloud.] A woman's bosom be thy shield—he 'scapes Pescara's arm to goad Pescara's vengeance. [Exit, L.
Hem. He goes, and bears life with him; fall to ashes, Thou recreant hand, that did not pierce his heart !
(Florinda stops Hemeya from going, L. Thou, too, Florinda, hast conspired against me See what I am for thy sake!
Flor. Oh, Hemeya !
Speak as thou wilt, thou canst not take away
The tender pleasure of beholding thee.-
Een now 'twas rumoured that the Inquisition
Had seized and borne thee to the dread tribunal-
The sound was terrible ; fear winged my steps ;
I flew to find thee, and I find thee safe.-
E’en as I passed I saw that aged Moor
Dragged pitiless along; and oh, Hemeya !
I own a throb of joy, of fearful joy,
Burst here as I beheld it.
Hem. Joy, Florinda !
Flor. On thee they would have cast the clodden earth-
On thee they would have thrown opprobrium's stain-
On thee they would have trampled ;-ev'ry blow
That fell on Malec's face would have been thine.
And, oh! to see what thou hast 'scaped-to feel,
To clasp the certainty within my heart-
Hem. The earth was cast upon
his reverend face?
Flor. It had been cast in thine.
Hem. The populace ?
Flor. They would have scoffed at thee, too.
Hem. Now, perhaps,
From their infernal caverns they bring forth
The glitt'ring engines of ingenious agony;
Fior. The fires were thine ;-his groans and tortures,
Their engines and their racks,_all, all were thine ;
And I must have beheld it !
Hem. Coward ! slave!
Thou traitor to thy people, with a lie
Stuck quiv'ring in thy heart !-here, here I stand,
Festring in Christian garments, with my shame,
Like an envenomed robe, to scorch my limbs.
I dare lift up my brow, and mock the man !
Here is the place for me; here, on the earth,
Let ev'ry wretch tread on me as he passes !
Flor. This is too much for any mortal creature!
But, since I am doomed to more than human wo,
Give me, just heaven, much more than human patience !
Hemeya ! dear as thou art cruel to me!
I can bear all my sorrow; but to see thee
Phrensied in agony-think every pang
That breaks within thy heart must burst in mine.
Hem. Hark thee, Florinda! I am not so vileI'm not the very
you Now, by my natal star in yonder heav'n, He shall not perish!
Flor. Speak-what wouldst thou do? Hem. Where are you, Moors ?—it is Hemeya calls ! Where are you? I would kindle in your
souls The brave and fierce despair that
rages here, Or, if you dread to follow me, alone I'll save or die with him!
Flor. You shall not rush on death!
Hem. The voice of heav'n cries out within my soul ; A power
invincible swells in my arm;
Nothing can stay me now !—I'll save my friend;
And, when 'tis done, I've done with living, too.
Flor. Why is it that I live, then? oh, Hemeya!
Why did you save me from the kinder flames,
To make me curse the blessed light of heaven,
And call on death ?-but I shall call in vain,
When they have dragged me shrieking to the altar,
And fell Pescara-
Hem. Ha, the curséd name
That rakes up hell within me!'tis Pescara
Flor. Yes, 'tis Pescara that will tear me, too, To his accursed embrace.
Hem. Show not that image
To my distracted thought.
Flor. When thou art gone,
What will become of me! who then will hear
My phrensied shrieks for death, for help, for mercy?
Who then will hear me ? who will help me then ?
Thou wilt not! no, thou wilt abandon me.
“Oh! they will ring the marriage bell for me,
And, mid their frantic merriment, I'll hear • The toll of death for thee."
Hem. What shall I do?
Malec, can I desert thee f--and Florinda !
Flor. Is he to be my husband ? am I to be
The victim of his execrable love ?
Hem. Thy husband! fall before the face of heaven, And bid it witness, that, whate'er befalls me
Flor. Behold me, then! before the face of heaven
That heaven that does not pily me, I swear,
If I must choose between Pescara's love
And death's eternal bed, I will prefer
Death for my horrid bridegroom.
Now, then, tell me,
Am I to die? for Heaven, if thou forsake me,
Death only can preserve me.
Hem. No! this arm,
When I have done the deed, shall bear thee hence,
Far from Grenada's towers.
Enter HALY, L.
Hal. My lord ! my lord !
Hal. Is condemned !
Hem. Condemned ?
Hal. Already has the toll of death pealed out
Its dreadful notice ; ere the sun descend,
In all the pomp of martyrdom he dies.
Hem. Where are the Moors ? where are my country,