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Thy 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, before 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 upon thy soul.

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 thee— His honour and his truth! Rightly thou hast said 'Tis I who snatch him from thee.

Flor. Not from me-

It is from life you snatch him! Let him leave me, Never behold me 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!
Hem. Malec !

Mal. Are you a man? are you his son

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.

Flor. Hemeya,

Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live?

Hem. Stay near my heart, and, as I

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.

thee thus,

[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!
Hem. Traitor!

Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
A postate!

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, Or else

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 your heart-would you consent

To yield him up to burning martyrdom,

And cast him in the raging furnace

That persecution lights with blasts of hell?

Mal. Better that he should perish

Flor. Dost thou say so?

Wouldst plunge him in destruction? wouldst thou see


In all the torments of a ling'ring 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.

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Can I behold his face, and not exclaim,
"This is the man who saved me!" can I feel
The pleasures of existence-can I breathe
The morning air, or see the dying day
Sink in the western sky-can I inhale
The rose's perfume, or behold the lights
That shine forever in yon infinite heaven
Or can I taste one joy that nature gives
To this, our earthly tarrying-place-nor think
That 'tis to him I owe each little flower
I tread on in life's bleakness?

E'en now I place my hand upon my heart,
And, as it throbs, there is a voice within
That tells this throbbing heart it would be still,
Were not Hemeya brave.-This is my father-
[Crosses to Alvarez.

He gave that life Hemeya did preserve;
And when he gives my hand in recompense,
I cannot but obey.

Pes. I thank you, madam ;

And, since it seems that gratitude's the fashion,
Your pains shall be requited.-Know, fair maid,
The daughter of Alvarez never shall

Be wedded to a Moor; nay, do not start-

Hem. My lord !

Pes. No!-never!

Alv. Count Pescara! what is it that you mean?
Pes. I mean, my lord,

That others have more care of your nobility

Than you have ta'en yourself. Ha! ha! a Moor!
One of that race that we have trodden down

From empire's height, and crushed-a damned Morisco,
Accursed of the church, and by the laws

Proscribed and branded.-What, you choose a Moor To swell the stream of your nobility

With his polluted blood?-in sooth, 'tis pleasant! Hem. You have forgot me; you forget yourself.Through centuries of glory, on the heads

Of my great ancestors, the diadem

Shone through the world, and from each royal brow Came down with gath'ring splendour;—and if here

It shines no more-'tis fate! but what art thou?

[Crosses to Pescara.

The frown of fortune could not make me base;
The smile of fortune could not make thee noble.-
Who knows not that Pescara once, within
The Inquisition's dungeons, toiled at torture ?-
There Philip found you, and his kindred soul
Owned the soft sympathy.

Pes. My birth!-confusion

And must I ever feel the reptile crawl,
And see it pointed at ?-what if I rush,

And with a blow strike life from out his heart?
No-no! my dagger is my last resource.

[Draws a roll of parchment from his bosom.
Here, Moor, within thy grasp I plant a serpent,
And, as it stings, think 'tis Pescara's answer-
This very night it reached me from Madrid,
And thou art first to hear it. Look you here:
If Caucasus were heaped between you both,
With all his snows-his snows have not the pow'r
To freeze your amorous passion half so soon
As Philip's will.-Farewell-but not forever!

[Gives the parchment to Hemeya, and exit, L. Alv. As Philip's will!-rumour went late abroad, Spain's gloomy sovereign had decreed to crush Your race to deeper servitude.-Florinda, Be not so terrified.

Flor. Can I behold

The quick convulsive passions o'er his face,
And read his soul's deep agony, nor feel

A terror in my heart? [Crosses to Hemeya.] Tell me,

What heavy blow relentless fortune strikes―

What other misery is still in store

To fall upon our heads.

Hem. A Christian!-no!

Flor. Wilt thou not speak to me? wilt thou not chase The dreadful fears that throng about my soul?

Wilt thou not speak to me?

Hem. Accursed tyrant!

Florinda, wilt thou leave me ?-can my fate

Can kings and priests-e'er pluck thee from my soul?

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