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THE advantage of Garrick in Achmet, and Mossop in Barbarossa, when this play first appeared in 1755, contributed more to its success than the invention of the author, who has evidently borrowed his design from other dramatic productions; particularly, from the tragedy of Merope, and in some delineations of character from Tamerlane and the Mourning Bride.
Master Betty made his first appearance before a London audience, in the interesting character of Achmet, in this play; and was received with loud laughter, which ended in tumultuous applause at his surprising ability and genuine grace.
It is here correctly given, as then performed
This babit, which to thy mistaken eye
Confirms my guilt, I wear a heart as true SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Palace. As Sadi's to my king. Enter OTHMAN and a SLAVE.
Sadi. Why then beneath
This cursed roof, this black usurper's palace, Oth. A stranger, say'st thou, that inquires Dar'st thou to draw infected air, and live of Othman?
The slave of insolence !
With murder, lust, and rapine ! did he not His name and quality?
Come from the depths of Barea's solitude, Sluve. That be declined :
With fair pretence of faith and firm alliance ! But call'd himself thy friend.
Did not our grateful king, with open arms, Oth. Conduct the stranger to nie.
Receive him as his guest?'O fatal hour!
[Exit Slave. Did he not then with hot, adult'rous eye, Perhaps some worthy citizen, returned Gaze on the Queen Zaphira? Yes, 'twas lust, From voluntary exile, to Algiers,
Lust gave th' infernal whisper to his soul, Once known in happier days.
And bade him murder, if he would enjoy!
Yet thou, pernicious traitor, unabash'd
Canst wear the murderer's badge.
Oth. Mistaken man ! My honoured friend !
Yet still I love thee : Sadi. Stand off-pollute me not:
Still unprovok'd by thy intemperate zeal, These honest arms, though worn with want, Could passion prompt me to licentious speech, disdain
Bethink thee-might I not reproach thy flight Thy gorgeous trappings, earned by foul dis. With the foul names of fear and perfidy? honour.
Didst thou not fly, when Barbarossa's sword Oth. Forbear thy rash reproaches ; for be-Reek'd with the blood of thy brave country. neath.
What then did I ?-Beneath this hated roof, I would not have thee found within these In pity to thy widow'd queen
[Flourish. Sadi. In pity?
And hark—these warlike sounds proclaim Oth. Yes, Sadi! Heaven is witness, pity
th' approach sway'd me.
Of the proud Barbarossa, with his train. With honest guile I did enrol my name Begone In the black list of Barbarossa's friends : Sadi. May dire disease and pestilence In hope, that some propitious hour might rise, Hang o'er his steps !-Farewell-Remember, When heaven would dash the murderer from
Othman, his throne,
Thy queen's, thy prince's, and thy country's And give young Selim to his orphan'd people.
[Exit. Sadi. Indeed! canst thou be true ?
Oth. When I forget them be contempt my Oth. By heaven, I am.
Enter BARBAROSSA, Guards, &c.
Sadi. I find thee honest; and with pride Oth. My lord, they are.
Bar. Did not the rack extort confession Can aught, my friend, be done?
from them? Cap aught be dar'd?
Oth. They died obdurate : while the melting Oth, We groan beneath the scourge. Wept at their groans and anguish. (crowd This very morn, on false pretence of ven- Bar. Curse on their womanish hearts! geance
But why sits For the foul murder of our honour'd king, That sadness on thy brow? for oft I find thee Five guiltless wretches perish'd on the rack. Musing and sad; while joy for my return, Sadi. O my devoted country!
My sword victorious, and the Moors o'erBut say, the widow'd queen-my heart bleeds
thrown, for her.
Resounds through all my palace. Oth. Hemm'd round by terrors,
Oth. Mighty warrior! Within this cruel palace, once the seat The soul, intent on offices of love, of every joy, through seven long tedious Will oft neglect or scorn the weaker proof, years,
Which smiles or speech can give. She mourns her murder'd lord, her exil'd son, Bar. Well: be it so. Her people fallen : the murderer of her lord, To guard Algiers from anarchy's misrule, Returning now from conquest o'er the Moors, I sway the regal sceptre. Tempts her to marriage; but with noble firm- But 'tis strange, Surpassing female, she rejects his vows, (ness, That when, with open arms, I would receive Scorning the horrid union. Meantime he,
Young Selim; would restore the crown, which With ceaseless bate, pursues her exil'd son,
[bounty, The virtuous youth, even into foreign climes. Reft from his father's head-he scorns my Ere this, perhaps, he bleeds. A murd'ring And proudly kindles war in foreign climes, ruffian
[dagger Against my power, who sav'd his bleeding Is sent to watch his steps, and plunge the
country. Into his guiltless breast. Sadi. Is this thy faith!
Enter ALADIN. Tamely to witness to such deeds of horror! Aladin. Brave prince, I bring thee tidings Give me thy poignard? lead me to the tyrant. Of high concernment to Algiers and thee. What though surrounding guards
Young Selim is no more. Oth. Repress thy rage.
Oth. Selim no more! Thou wilt alarm the palace, wilt involve Bar. Why that astonishment ? Thyself, thy friend, in ruin, Haste thee hence; He was our bitterest foe. Haste to the remnant of our loyal friends, Oth. So perish all thy causeless enemies! And let maturer councils rule thy zeal.
Bar. How died the prince, and where? Sadi. Yet let us ne'er forget our prince's Aladin. The rumour tells, wrongs:
That, Aying to Oran, he there beggd succours Remember, Othman, (and let vengeance rise) From Ferdinand of Spain, t' invade Algiers. How in the pangs of death, and in his gore Bar. From Christian dogs ! Welt'ring, we found our prince!
Oth. How ! league with infidels ! His royal blood,
Aladin. And there held council with the The life-blood of his people, o'er the bath
haughty Spaniard, Ran purple! Oh, remember! and revenge! To conquer and dethrone thee; but in vain : Oth. Doubt not my zeal. But haste, and For in a dark encounter with two slaves, seek qur friends.
Wherein the one fell by his youthful arm, Near to the western port Almanzor dwells, Selim at length was slain. Yet vaseduc'd by Barbarossa's power.
Bar. Ungrateful boy! He will disclose to thee, if aught be heard Oft have I courted him to meet my kindness; Of Selim's safety, or (what more dread) But still in vain; he shunn'd me like a pestiOf Selim's death. Thence best may our re
lence : solves
[thee. Nor could I e'er behold him, since the down Be drawn hereafter. But let caution guide Cover’d his manly cheek.-How many years Sadi. I obey thee.
Numbered he? Near to the western port, thou say'st ?
Oth. I think, scarce thirteen, when his faOth. Even there.
(mosque ther died, Close by the blasted palm-tree, where ihe And now some twenty. O’erlooks the city. Haste thee hence, my Bar. Othman, now for proof friend.
Of undissembled service. Well I know,
Thy long experienc'd faith hath plac'd thee Irene. Oh, frown not thus! Sure, pity ne'er In the queen's confidence:
deservd Othman, she must be won.
A parent's frown! but look more kindly on me, Plead thou my cause of love :
Let thy consenting pity mix with mine,
And heal the woes of weeping majesty.
[zeal, Bar. What means that gushing tear ? Oth. Mighty king,
Irene. Oh, never shall Irene taste of peace, Where duty bids, I go.
While poor Zaphira mourns. Bar. Then haste thee, Othman,
Bar. Dry up thy tears. What! damp the Ere yet the rumour of her son's decease
general triumph, Hath reach'd her ear;
That echoes through Algiers! which now Tell her, I come, borne on the wings of love!
shall pierce Haste-ily– I follow thee. [Exit OTHMAN. The vaulted heaven, as soon as fame shall Now, Aladin,
spread Now fortune bears us to the wish’d-for port: Young Selim's death, my empire's bitterest This was the rock I dreaded. Dost not think
foe. Th' attempt was greatly daring?
Irene. O generous Selim!
(Weeps. Aludin. Bold as needful.
Bar, Ah! there's more in this ? What booted it, to cut the old serpent off, Tell me, Irene :-on thy duty, tell me, While the young adder nested in his place? Why, at this detested nanie of Selim, Bar. True : Algiers, is mine,
Afresh thy sorrow streams? Without a rival.
Irene. Yes, I will tell thee, Yet I wonder much,
For he is gone, and dreads thy hate no more ; Omar returns not: Omar, whom I sent My father knows, that scarce five moons are On this high trust. I fear, 'tis he hath fallen.
past, Didst thou not say, two slaves encounter'd Since the Moors siez'd and sold me at Oran,Selim ?
A hopeless captive in a foreign clime. Aladin. Ay, two; 'tis rumour'd so.
Bar. Too well I know, and rue the fatal day. Bar. And that one fell?
But what of this? Aladin. Even so :-by Selim's hand; while Irene, Oft have I told thee, his companion
How, midst the throng, a youth appear'd: his Planted his happier steel in Selim's heart. Bright as the morning star.
[eye Bar. Omar, I fear, is fallen. From my right Bar. And was it Selim ? I gave my signet to the trusty slave; (hand Did he redeem thee? And bade him send it, as the certain pledge Irene. With unsparing hand Of Selim's death; if sickness or captivity, He paid th' allotted ransom: at his feet I wept, Or wayward fate, should thwart his quick Dissolv'd in tears of gratitude and joy. return.
But when I told my quality and birth, Aladin. The rumour yet is young; perhaps He started at the name of Barbarossa ; The trusty slave's approach. (foreruns And thrice turn'd pale. Yet, with recovery Bar. We'll wait the event.
[ther, Meantime give out, that now the widowa" Go to Algiers,” he cried; “protect my moqueen
[love And be to her what Selim is to thee.” Hath dried her tears, prepar'd to crown my Even such, my father, was the generous youth, By marriage rites; spread wide the flattering Who, by the hands of bloody men, tale:
Lies number'd with the dead. For, if persuasion win not her consent,
Bar, Amazement chills me! Power shall compel,
Was this thy unknown friend conceal'd from This night my will devotes to feast and joy, False-faithless child !
[me? For conquest o'er the Moor. Hence, Aladin, Irene. Could gratitude do less ? And see the night-watch close the palace He said, thy wrath pursu'd him; thence conround.
[Exit ALADIN. jur'd me Now to the qeeen.
Not to reveal his name.
Bar. Thou treacherous maid !
To stoop to freedom from thy father's foe! My wayward daughter-Still with thy folly Irene. Alas, my father! thwart
(tears? He never was thy foe. Each purpose of my soul ?-Why these sullen Bar. What! plead for Selim! Irene. Let not these tears offend my father's O coward ! traitress to thy father's glory! eye ;
Hence from my sight! They are the tears of pity. From the queen Beware thee;- shun the queen: nor taint her I come, thy suppliant.
[love ; Bar. What wouldst thou urge?
With Selim's fate.--Yes, she shall crown my Irene. Thy dread return from war,
Or by our prophet, she shall dread my power And proffer'd love, have open'd every wound,
[E.ri. The soft and lenient hand of time had clos'd. Irene. Unhappy queen! If ever gentle pity touch'd thy heart,
To what new scenes of horror art thou doom'd! Urge not thy harsh command
She but entreats to die To see her; her distracted soul is bent In her dear father's tent; thither, good queen, To mourn in solitude. She asks no more. My care shall speed thee, whi.e suspicion Bar. She mocks my love. Had not war,
sleeps. And great ambition, call'd me from Algiers, What tho' my frowning father pour his rage Ere this, my power had reach'd what she de- On my defenceless head ; yet innocence nies.
[peace, Shall yield her firm support, and conscious But there's a cause, which touches on my
virtue And bids me brook no more her false delays. Gild all my days. Could I but save Zaphira,
Let the storm beat; I'll weep and pray, till Pour thy complaints before him: let thy she,
Kindle his indignation to pursue (wrongs Bereft of her lov'd lord-of every joy bereft, This vile usurper, till unceasing war And Heaven forget, my father e'er was cruel. Blast his ill-gotten power.
[Exit. Zoph. Ah, say'st thou, Othman ?
Thy words have shot like lightning through ACT II.
(friend! SCENE I.-- Another Apartment.
And all my soul's on fire !—Thou faithful
Yes-with more gentie speech I'll sooth his Enter ZAPHIRA.
Regain my freedom; reach my father's tents; Zaph. When shall I be at peace? O righte-There paint my countless woes. His kindling ous Heaven,
rage Strengthen my fainting soul, which fain would Shall wake the valleys into honest vengeance ; To confidence in thee But woes on woes
The sudden storm shall pour on Barbarossa; O'erwhelm me! first my husband-now my And every glowing warrior steep his shaft son !
Chand In deadlier poison, to revenge my wrongs. Both dead !—both slaughter'd by the bloody
Oth. There spoke the queen. But as thou Of Barbarossa!
lov'st thy freedom,
(kindle, Touch not on Selim's death. Thy soul will Enter OTHMAN.
And passion mount in flames that will consume
thee. faithful Othman!
Zaph. My murder'd son! Yes, to revenge Our fears were true :-my Selim is no more!
(dains. Oth. Has then the fatal secret reach'd thine I'll speak a language which my heart disInhuman tyrant!
[ear? Oth. Peace, peace! the tyrant comes : now, Zaph. Strike him, Heaven, with thunder!
injur'd queen, Nor let Zaphira doubt thy Providence. Plead for thy freedom, hope for just revenge, Oth. Twas that we fear'd. Oppose not And check each rising passion. Heaven's high will,
(Exit OTHMAN. Nor struggle with the tenfold chain of fate, That links thee to thy woes! Oh, rather yield,
Behold the conqu’ror.
Zaph. O Barbarossa! Oth. 'Tis Barbarossa.
No more the pride of conquest e'er can charm Zaph. Tyrant!
My widow'd heart! With my departed lord Does he assume the name of king?
My love lies buried ! Oth. He does.
Then turn thee to some happier fair, whose Zaph. O title vilely purchas'd! by the blood
[cere ; Of innocence ! by treachery and murder ! May crown thy growing love with love sinMay Heaven, incens’d, pour down its ven- For I have none to give. geance on him,
Bar. Love ne'er should die : Blast all his joys, and turn them into horror; 'Tis the soul's cordial ;-'tis the fount of life; Till frenzy rise, and bid him curse the hour Therefore should spring eternal in the breast: That gave his crimes their birth! My faithful One subject lost, another should succeed; Othman,
And all our life be love. My sole surviving comfort! can no means be Zaph. Urge me no more: thou might'st with found,
equal hope To fly these black’ning horrors that surround Woo the cold marble weeping o'er a tomb, oth. That hope is vain! The tyrant knows To meet thy wishes! But, if gen'rous love thy hate.
Dwell in thy breast, vouchsafe me proof sinHence, day and night, his watchful guards Surround thec. Rouse not then his anger; Give me safe convoy to the native vales Let soft persuasion and mild eloquence Of dear Mutija, where my father reigns. Redeem that liberty, which stern rebuke Bar. Oh, blind to proffer'd bliss! what, Would rob thee of for ever.
fondly quit Zaph. Cruel task!. An injur'd queen
Of empire, for an Arab's wand'ring tent, To kneel for liberty! and, oh! to whom ? Where the mock chieftain leads his vagrant Even to the murderer of her lord and son!
tribes O, perish first, Zaphira! yes, I'll die! From plain to plain, and faintly shadows opt For what is life to me? my dear, dear lord ! The majesty of kings !-Far other joys My hapless child !-yes, I will follow you. Here shall attend thy call. Oth. Wilt thou not see him, then?
To thee, exalted fair! submissive realms Zaph. I will not, Othman;
Shall bow the neck; and swarthy kings and Or if I do, with bitter imprecation,
Shall kneel before thee.
Which even the mind at ease may well disdain ; Zaph. Revenge?-0 tell me
But, ah! what mockery is the tinsel pride Tell me but how? what can a helpless woman? Of splendour, when, by wasting woes, the Oth. Gain but the tyrant's leave, and reach
mind thy father :
Lies desolate within ;-sucb, such is mine!
O'erwhelm'd with ills, and dead to every joy ; Bur. Perdition seize her! Envy me not this last request, to die Nor threats can move, nor promise now allure, in my dear father's tents!
Her haughty soul: nay, she defies my power; Bar. Thy suit is vain
And talks of death, as if her female form Zaph. Thus kneeling at thy feet-I do be- Inshrin'd some hero's spirit. seech thee.
Aladin. Let her rage foam. Bar. Thou thankless fair!
I bring thee tidings that will ease thy pain. Thus to repay the labours of my love!
Bur. Say'st thou?--Speak on–O give me Had I not seiz'd the throne when Selim died, quick relief! Ere this, thy foes had laid Algiers in ruin : Aludin. The gallant youth is come, who slew I check'd the warring powers, and gave you
her son. Make thee but mine,
(peace. Bar. Who, Omar ? I will descend the throne, and call thy son Aladin. No; unhappy Omar fell (join'd From banishment to empire.
By Selim's hand. But Achmet, whom he Zaph. Oh my heart !
His brave associate, so the youth bids tell Can I bear this?
Reveng'd his death, by Selim's. (thee, Inhuman tyrant! Curses on thy head!
Bur." Gallant youth!
Bar. That speaks him true.-Conduct him, Bar. What means Zaphira?
[Exit ALADIN What means this burst of grief?
This is beyond my hope. The secret pledge Zaph. Thou fell destroyer! [conscience Restor’d, prevents suspicion of the deed, Had not guilt steel'd thy heart, awak’ning While it confirms it done. Would flash conviction on thee, and each look, Shot from these eyes, be arm’d with serpent
Enter Selim disguised as ACHMET, and horrors,
ALADIN. To turn thee into stone !--Relentless man! Selim. Hail, mighty Barbarossa! as the Who did the bloody deed? Oh tremble, guilt, pledge
[Kneels. Where'er thou art!- Look on me, tell me, or Selim's death, behold thy ring restor’d:Who slew my blameless son? (tyrant! That pledge will speak the rest. Bar. What envious tongue
Bur. Rise, valiant youth ! Hath dar'a to taint my name with slander ! But first, no more a slave-I give thee freedom. Thy Selim lives: nay more, he soon shall Thou art the youth, whom Omar (now no more) If ihou consent to bless me.
[reign, Join'd his companion in this brave attempt? Zaph. Never! Oh, never-Sooner would í Selim. I am.
Bar. Then tell me how you sped.—Where An unknown exile through the torrid climes Of Afric, sooner dwell with wolves and tigers, That insolent? Thañ mount with thee my murder'd Selim's Selim. We found him at Oran, (people. throne ?
Plotting deep mischief to thy throne and Bar. Rash queen, forbear! think on thy Bur. Wellye repaid the traitor.captive state;
Selim. As we ought. Remember, that within these palace walls While night drew on, we leapt upon our prey. I am omnipotent:-yield thee then :
Full at his heart brave Omar aim'd the Avert my gathering horrors that surround thee, poignard,
[hand, And dread the power incens'd.
Which Selim shunning, wrench'd it from his Zaph. Dares thy licentious toogue pollute Then plung'd it in his breast. I hasted on, mine ear
(not Too late to save, yet I reveng'd my friend: With that foul menace !--Tyrant, dread'st thou My thirsty dagger with repeated blows Th'all-seeing eye of Heaven, its lifted thun- Search'd every artery : they fell together, der,
(stores Gasping in folds of mortal enmity; And all the redd’ning vengeance which it And thus in frowns expir'd. For crimes like thine?-Yet know, Zapbira Bur. Well hast thou sped: scorns thee.
Thy dagger did its office, faithful Achmet! Though robb’d by thee of every dear support, And high reward shall wait thee.-One thing No tyrant's threat can awe the free-born soul,
[queen. That greatly dares to die. (Exit ZAPHIRA. Be the thought fortunate!-Go, seek the Bar. Where should she learn the tale of Se- For know, the rumour of her Selim's death Jim's death?
Hath reach'd her ear: hence dark suspicions Could Othman dare to tell it? If he did,
rise, My rage shall sweep him, swifter than the Glancing at me. Go, tell her, that thou To instant death!
(whirlwind, saw'st Enter ALADIN.
Her son expire ;-that, with his dying breath,
He did conjure her to receive my vows, O Aladin !
(thought And give her country peace. Timely thou com’st, to ease my lab'ring
Most welcome, Othman;
Behold this gallant stranger. He hath done Bar. The news of Selim's fate hath reach'd | The state good service. Let some high reward her ear.
Await him, such as may o'erpay his zeal. Whence could this come?
Conduct him to the queen, for he hath news Aludin. I can resolve the doubt.
Worthy her ear, from her departed son; A female slave, attendant on Zaphira, Such as may win her love-Come, Aladin, O'erheard the messenger who brought the tale, The banquet waits our presence ;-festal joy And gave it to her ear.
Laughs in the mantling goblet; and the night,