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A room of State. Enter King, Perez, and Alonzo.
King. Not to be found 1 In an ill hour he's absent. * None, say you? none! What, not the fav’rite
Nor she herself, nor any of her mutes,
Have yet requir'd admittance ?
Per. None, my lord.
King. Is Osmyn so dispos'd as I commanded ?
Per. Fast bound in double chains, and at full length
He lies supine on earth ; with as much ease
She might remove the centre of this earth,
As loose the rivets of his bonds,
King. 'Tis well.
[A mute appears, and seeing the king, retires. „ Ha! stop, and seize that mute; Alonzó, follow him.
Ent’ring he met my eyes, and starting back,
Frighted, and fumbling, one hand in his bosom,
As to conceal th’importance of his errand.
[Alonzo follows him and returns with a paper.
Alon. A bloody proof of obstinate fidelity!
King. What dost thou mean?
Alon. Soon as I seiz'd the man,
He snatch'd from out his bosom this and strove
With rash and greedy haste, at once, to cram 20
The morsel down his throat. I caught his arm,
And hardly wrench'd his hand to wring it from him;
Which done, he drew a poignard from his side,
And on the instant plung'd it in his breast.
King. Remove the body thence, ere Zara see it.
Alon. I'll be so bold to borrow his attire; 'Twill quit me of my promise to Gonzales. [Aside. Ex.
“ Per. Whate'er it is, the king's complexion turns." King. How's this? My mortal foe beneath my roof!
[Having read the letter.
Oh, give me patience, all ye powers ! No, rather
Give me new rage, implacable revenge,
And trebled fury-Ha! who's there?
Per. My lord.
King. Hence, slave! how dar'st thou bide to watch
Into how poor a thing a king descends,
How like thyself, when passion treads him down?
Ha! stir not, on thy life; for thou wert fix'd,
And planted here, to see me gorge this bait,
And lash against the hook-By Heav'n, you're all
Rank traitors ! thou art with the rest combind : 40
Thou knew'st that Osmyn was Alphonso; knew'st
My daughter privately with him conferr’d;
And wert the spy and pander to their meeting. · Per. By all that's holy, I'm amaz’d
King. Thou ly’st. Thou art accomplice too with Zara; here Where she sets down-Still will I set thee free-[Reading That somewhere is repeated, I have power O’er them that are thy guards--Mark that, thou traitor,
Per. It was your majesty's command I should Obey her order.
King. [Reading. ]— And still will I set
Thee free, Alphonso Hell i curs'd, curs'd Alphonso
False and perfidious Zara! Strumpet daughter!
Away, begone, thou feeble boy, fond love;
All nature, softness, pity and compassion,
This hour I throw ye off, and entertain
Fell hate within my breast, revenge and gall.
By Heav'n, I'll meet, and counterwork this treachery.
Hark thee, villain, traitor-answer me, slave, 60
Per. My service has not merited those titles.
King. Dar'st thou reply? " Take that”-thy ser-
What's thy whole life, thy soul, thy all, to my
One moment's ease ? Hear my command ; and look
That thou obey, or horror on thy head:
Drench me thy dagger in Alphonso's heart.
Why dost thou start? Resolve, or
Per. Sir, I will.
King. 'Tis well--that when she comes to set him
His teeth may grin, and mock at her remorse.
[Perez going Stay thee-I've farther thought~I'll add to this,' And give her eyes yet greater disappointment : When thou hast ended him, bring me his robe; And let the cell where she'll expect to see him Be darken'd, so as to amuse the sight. I'll be conducted thither- mark me well
There with his turban, and his robe array'd,
And laid along, as he now lies, supine,
I shall convict her, to her face, of falshood.
When for Alphonso’s she shall take my hand, 80
And breathe her sighs upon my lips for his;
Sudden I'll start and dash her with her guilt.
But see, she comes. I'll shun th' encounter; thou
Follow me, and give heed to my direction. [Exeunt.
Enter ZARA and Selim. Zar. “ The mute not yet return'd!” ha! 'twas the
king, The king that parted hence! frowning he went; “ His eyes like meteors roll'd, then darted down “ Their red and angry beams; as if his sight “ Would, like the raging dog-star, scorch the earth, " And kindle ruin in its course :" Dost think He saw me?
Sel. Yes : but then, as if he thought His eyes had err'd, he hastily recallid Th’imperfect look, and sternly turn'd away. Zar. Shun me when seen! I fear thou hast undone
me. “ Thy shallow artifice begets suspicion, " And like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades “ The face of thy design! alone disguising " What should have ne'er been seen; imperfect
" mischief! . " Thou, like the adder, venomous and deaf, 100 “ Hast stung the traveller, and after hear'st
“ Not his pursuing voice; e’en when thou think'st “ To hide, the rustling leaves and bended grass « Confess and point the path which thou hast crept. " Oh, fate of fools! officious in contriving; “ In executing, puzzled, lame, and lost.”
Sel. Avert it Heav'n, that you should ever suffer
For my defect; or that the means which I
Devis'd to serve, should ruin your design.
Prescience is Heav'n's alone, not giv'n to man,
If I have fail'd, in what, as being man,
I needs must fail; impute not as a crime
My nature's want, but punish nature in me;
I plead not for a pardon, and to live,
But to be punish'd and forgiven. Here, strike;
I bare my breast to meet your just revenge.
Zar. I have not leisure now to take so poor
A forfeit as thy life ; somewhat of high
And more important fate requires my thought.
“ When I've concluded on myself, if I
“ Think fit, I'll leave thee my command to die.”
Regard me well ; and dare not to reply
To what I give in charge ; for I'm resolvid.
Give order that the two remaining mutes
Attend me instantly, with each a bowl
Of such ingredients mix'd, as will with speed
Benumb the living faculties, and give
Most easy and inevitable death.
Yes, Osmyn, yes; be Osmyn or Alphonso,
I'll give thee freedom, if thou dar'st be free :
Such liberty as I embrace myself,