페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

may retire.

What will they all produce but Zara's tears, Had I not seen, had I not read, sach proof To quench this fancied anger? Your lost heart, of her light falsehood as extinguish'd doubt, Seduc'd against itself, will search but reasons I could not be a man, and not believe her. To justify the guilt which gives it pain: Zara. Alas, my lord! what cruel fears bave Rather conceal from Zara this discovery;

seiz'd you ? And let some trusty slave convey the letter, What, harsh, mysterious words were those I Re-clos'd to her own hand : then shall you

heard? learn,

Osman. What fears should Osman feel, Sple of her frauds, disguise, and artifice,

since Zara loves him? The firmness, or abasement of her soul. Zara. I cannot live, and answer to your Osman. Thy counsel charms me! We'll

voice about it now.

In that reproachful tone; your angry eye Here, take this fatal letter; choose a slave Trembles with fury while you talk of love. Whom yet she never saw, and who retains Osman. Since Zara loves bim! His tried Adelity-dispatch-be gone.

Zara. Is it possible

[Exit Orasmin. Osman should disbelieve it?--Again, again Now wbither shall I turn my eyes and steps Your late repented violence returns. The surest way to shun her, and give time Alas! what killing frowns you dart against me! For this discovering trial ?-Ileaven she's here! Can it be kind, can it be just to doubt me?

Osman. No! I cau doubt no longer.You Re-enter ZARA.

[Erit Zara. So, madam! fortune will befriend my cause, Ind free me from your fetters.—You are met

Re-enter ORAŞMIN. Most aptly, to dispel a new-ris'n doubt, Orasmin, she's perfidious, even beyond That claims the finest of your arts to gloss it. Her sex's undiscover'd power of seeming. Unhappy each by other, it is time

Say, hast thou chosen a slave?-Is he inTo end our mutual pain, that both may rest.

structed ? You want not generosity, but love;

Hasle to detect her vileness and my wrongs, My pride forgotten, my obtruded throne, Oras. Punctually I have obey'd your whole My favours, cares, respect, and tenderness,

command.: Touching your gratitude, provok'd regard; But have you arm'd, my lord, your injur'd Till, by à length of benefits besieg'd,

heart, Your heart submitted, and you thought 'twas With coldness and indifference? Can you hear, love:

All painless and unmov'd, the false one's shame? But you deceir'd yourself, and injur'd me. Osman. Orasmin, I adore her more than There is, I'm told, an object more deserving Your love than Osman: I would know his Orås. My lord! my emperor! forbid it,

heaven! Be just, nor trifle with my anger: tell me Osman. I have discern'd a gleam of distant Now, while espiring, pity struggles faint ; While I have yet, perhaps, the power to pardon, Now hear me with attention.-Soon as night Give up the bold invader of my claim, !las thrown her welcome shadows o'er the And let him die to save thee. Thou art known.

palace ; Think and resolve. While I yet speak, re- When this Nerestan, this ungrateful Christian, nounce him;

Shall lurk in expectation near our walls, While yet the thunder rolls suspended, stay Be watchful that our guards surprise and seize it;

him; Let thy voice charm me, and recall my soul, Then, bouod in fetters and o'erwhelm'd with That turns averse, and dwells no more on Zara.

shame, Zara. Can it be Osman speaks, and speaks Conduct the daring traitor to iny presence: to Zara?

But, above all, be sure you hurt not Zara; Learn, cruel! learn that this afflicted heart, Mindful to what supreme excess I love. This heart which beaven delights to prove by

[Exit Orasmin. tortures,

On this last trial all my hopes depend, Did it not love, bas pride and power to shun Prophet, for once thy kind 'assistance lend, you.

Dispel the doubts thai rack my anxious breast : I know not whether heaven, that frowns upon If Zara's innocent, thy Osman's bless’d. [Exit.

me, Has destin'd my unhappy days

ACT V.

yours; But, be my fate or bless'd or curst, I swear,

Scene I.--Enter Zara and Selima. By honour, dearer ev'n than life or love, Could Zará be but mistress of herself,

Zara. Sooth me no longer with this vain

desire; She would with cold regard look down on to a recluse like me, who dares henceforth kings,

Presume admission! - The seraglio is shut; And, you alone excepted, fly 'em all. And to this sacred truth, attesting heaven!

Barr'd and impassable, as death to time!

My brother ne'er must hope to see me more.I call thy dreadful notice !-If my heart How now! what unknown slave accosts us Deserves reproach, 'tis for, but not from,

here? Osman. Osman. What! does she yet presume to

Enter MELIDOR. swear sincerity ?

Mel. This letter, trusted to my hands, reOb, boldness of unblushing perjury!

ceive,

ever.

name.

hope.

your counsel,

ear

fears;

In secret witness I am wholly yours.

Enter OSMAN and ORASMIN. [Zara reads the Letter. Osman. Swifter, ye hours, move on; my Sel. Thou everlasting Ruler of the world!

fury glows Shed thy wish'd mercy on our bopeless tears; Impatient, and would push the wheels of time. Redeem us from the hands of hated infidels, How now? What message dost thou bring? And save my princess from the breast of Osman.

Speak boldly.

[Aside. What answer gave she to the letter sent her? Zara. I wish, my friend, the comfort of Mel. She blush'd, and trembled, and grew

pale, and paus’d; Sel. Retire-you shall be calld-wait near Then blush'd, and read it, and again grew pale; --go, leave us. ,

And wept, and smild, and doubted, and re[Exit Melidor.

sols'd Zara. Read this, and tell me what I ought For after all this race of varied passions, to answer:

When she had sent me out, and callid me For I would gladly hear my brother's voice.

back, Sel. Say rather you would hear the voice Tell him (she cried) who bas intrusted thee, of heaven.

That Zara's heart is fix’d, nor shrinks at danger; 'Tis not your brother calls you, but your God. And that my faithful friend will, at the hour,

Zara. I know it, nor resist his awful will; Expect and introduce him to his wish. Thou know'st that I bave bound my soul by Osman. Enough; be gone! I bave no oath;

for more. [To the Slave. But can I, ought I, to engage myself, Leave me, thou too, Orasmin. Leave me,

life, My brother, and the Christians, in this danger? For ev'ry mortal aspect moves my hate: Sel. ''Tis nol their danger that alarms your

[To Orasmin.

Leave me to my distraction, [Exit Orasmin. Your love speaks loudest to your shrinking soul. Who am I? Heav'n! Who am I? What reThis tiger, savage in his tenderness,

solve I? Courts with contempt, and threatens amidst Zara! Nerestan! sound these words like names softness;

Decreed to join? Why pause I? Perish Zara-
Yet cannot your neglected heart efface Would I could tear her image from my beart.
llis fated, fix'd impression!
Zora. What reproach

Re-enter ORASMIN,
Can I with justice make him ?-I indeed Orasmin! Friend! relurn, I cannot bear
Have given him cause to hate me!

This absence from thy reason: 'twas unkiod,
Was not his throne, was not his temple ready? 'Twas cruel to obey me, thus distress'd,
Did he not court his slave to be a queen, And wanting power to think, when I had lost
And have not I declin'd it?-[ who ought

thee. To tremble, conscious of affronted power! llow goes the hour? Has he appear'd, this rival? Have not 1 triumph'd o'er his pride and love? Perish the shameful sound. Thi villain ChrisSeen him submit his own high will to mine,

tian! And sacrifice his wishes to my weakness? llas he appear'd below? Sel. Talk we no more of this unhappy pas- Oras. Silent and dark sion :

Th' unbreathing world is husb’d, as if it heard What resolution will your virtue take? And listen'd to your sorrows. Zara. All things combine to sink me to Osman. Oh, treach'rous night! despair:

Thou lend'st thy ready veil to ev'ry treason, From the aglio death alone will free me. And teemning mischiefs ibrive beneath thy shade. I long to see the Christians' bappy climes; Hark! Heard'st thou nothing ? Yet in the moment while I form that prayer, Oras. My lord. I sigh a secret wish to Janguish here.

Osman. A voice, like dying groans! How sad a state is mine! my restless soul Oras. I listen, but can hear nothing. All ignorant wbat to do, or what to wish: Osman. Again! look out-he comes-My only perfect sense is that of pain.

Oras. Nor tread of mortal fool, nor voice Oh, guardian heaven! protect my brother's life,

I hear: For I will mect him, and fulfil his prayer: The still seraglio lies, profoundly plung'd Then, when from Solyma's unfriendly walls, In death-like silence! nothing stirs. The air His absence shall unbind his sister's tongue, Is soft, as infant sleep, no breathing wing Osman shall learn the secret of my birth, Steals through the shadows to awaken night. My faith unsbaken, and my deathless love; Osman. Horrors a thousand times more He will approve my choice, and pity me.

dark than these, I'll send my brother word he may expect me. Benight my sufforing soul. Thou dost not Call in the faithful slave. God of my fathers!

know [Exit Selima. To what excess of tenderness I lov'd ber: Let thy hand save me, and thy will direct. I knew no happiness but what she gave me,

Nor could have felt a mis’ry but for her! Re-enter MELIDOR, with Selima. Pity this weakness-mine are tears, Orasmin, Go--tell the Christian who intrusted thee, That fall cot oft, nor lightly: That Zara's heart is fix’d, nor shrinks at danger; Oras. Tears! Oh, heaven!. And that my faithful friend will, at the hour, Oh, my unhappy lord! I tremble for you, Expect and introduce him to his wish.

Osman. Do-tremble at my sufferings, al Away-the sultan comes; he must not find us.

[Exeunt Zara and Selima. At my revenge too, tremble-for 'tis due,

my love;

[ocr errors]

And will not be deluded.

Osman. Dost thou behold ber, slave? Oras. Ilark! I bear

Nrr. Unhappy sister! The steps of men along the neighb'ring wall! Osmun. Sister! Didst thou say sister? If Osman. Fly! seize bim! 'tis Nerestan? Wait

thou didst, no chains,

Bless me with deafness, heaven! But drag him down to my impatient eye. Ner. Tyrant! I did.

[Exit Oras. She was my sister. All that now is left thee,

Dispatch-From my distracted heart dráin nest Enter Zara and Selima, in the dark.

The remnant of the rayal Christian blood! Zara. Wbere art thou, Selima ? Give me Old Lusignan, expiring in iny arms, thy hand.

Seot his too wretched son, with his last blessIt is so dark, I tremble as I step,

ing, With fears and startings, never felt till now! To bis now murder's daughter ! Osman. Damnation!'lis her voice! the well- Would I had seen the bleeding innocent! known sound

I would have liv'd to speak to her in death; That bas so often charm'd me into baseness! Would have awaken'd'in her languid heart

[Draws a Dagger. A liselier sense of her abandon'd God; Rerenge, stand firm, and intercept bis wishes! That God, who left by her, forsook her too, Rerenge! On whom? No matter: earth and And gave the poor lost sufferer to thy rage. heaven

Osman. Thy sister! Lusignan' ber father! Would blush, should I forbear: now, Zara,

Selima! now.. [Drops the Dagger. Can this he true? and have 'I wrongd thee, I must not, cannot strike, the starting steel,

Zara? l'nwilling, flies my band, and shuns to wound Sel. Thy lore was all the cloud "wixt ber her.

and leav'n! Zara. This is the private path; come near

Osman. Be dumb! - for thou art base, sê er, lead me.

add distraction Are we not notic'd, think’st thou ?

To my already more than bleeding hearl! Sel. Fear not, madam;

And was thy love sincere? What then remains ? Il cannol now be long, ere we shall meet him. Ner. Why should a tyrant hesitate on mur. Osman. That word has given me back my

der! ebbing rage.

There now remains but imine of all the blood, [Recovers the Dagger. Which through thy father's cruel reign and Zara. I walk in terror, and my heart fore

thine, bodes.

Has never ceas'd lo stream on Syria's sands, Who's there? Nerestan: Is it you? 0 wel- Restore a wretch to his unhappy race;

Nor hope that torments, after such a scene, Osman. [Stabs her.]. This to thy heart. Can force one feeble groan to seast thy anger,

'Tis not the traitor meets thee, I waste my fruitless words in empty air ; Tis the betray'd, who writes it in thy blood. The tyrant, o’er the bleeding wound he made, Zara. 'Oh, gracious heaven! receive my Hangs bis unmoving, eye, and heeds not me. parting soul,

Osman. Oh, Zara ! And take thy trembling servant to thy mercy. Oras. Alas, my lord, return! Whither would

[Dies.

grief Osman. Soul! then revenge has reach'd Transport your gen'rous heart? This Christian thee. I will now

dog Haste from this fatal place : I cannot leave her! Osman. 'Take off his fetters, and observe Whom did I strike? 'Was this the act of love? Swallow me, earth! She's silent! Zara's dead! To him and all his friends, give instant liberty: And should I live to see returning day, Pour a profusion of the richest gifts Twill show me but her blood! show me lest On these unhappy Christians; and when heap'd joyless,

With vary'd benefits, and charg'd with riches, la a wide, empty world, with nothing round Give 'em safe conduct to the nearest port. me,

Oras. But, sir
But penitence and pain: and yet 'twas just. Osman. Reply not, but obey.
Hark! Destiny bas sent her lover to me,

Fly --nor dispute thy master's last command, To fill my vengeance, and restore my joy. Thy prince, who orders -- and thy friend, who

loves thee! Re-enter ORASMIN, with NerEsTAN. Go - lose no time — farewell — be gone -- and Approach, thou wretch! thou more than cursd!

thou! come near!

Unhappy warrior- yet less lost than I Thou who, in gratitude for freedom gaind, Hlaste from our bloody land, and to thy own Hast giv'n 'me miseries beyond thy own! Convey this poor pale object of my rage. Thou heart of hero with a traitor's soul! Thy king, and all his Christians, when they. Are my commands obey'd ?

hear Oras. All is prepar'd.

Thy miseries, shall mourn 'em with their tears ; Osinan. Thy' wanton eyes look round in Bui

, if thou tell’st 'em mine, and tellst 'em search of her

truly, Whose love, descending to a slave like thee, They who shall hate my crime, shall pity me. From my dishonour'd hand receiv'd her doom. Take too, this poniard with thee, which my See! where she lies

band Ner. Oh, fatal, rash mistake!

Has stain'd with blood far dearer than my own;

come

[ocr errors]

my will:

Tell 'em with this I murder'd ber I lor'd; Rev'rence this hero, and conduct him safe. The noblest and most virtuous among wo

[Dies. men!

Ner. Direct me, great inspirer of the soul! The soul of innocence, and pride of truth : How I should act, how judge in this distress! Tell 'em I laid my empire ai her feet: Amazing grandeur! and detested rage! Tell 'em ! plung d my dagger in her blood: Ev'n I, amidst my tears, admire this foe, Tell 'em Lso ador'd- and thus reveng'd her. And mourn his death, who liv’d to give me [Stabs himself.

[Curtain falls.

woe.'

HOME.

JOAN HOME, a native of Scotland, born in the vicinity of Ancrum, in Roxburgshire, in 1724, after the usual course of edacation for the church, was ordained and inducted to the living of Athelstaneford, and was the successor of the Roy. Mr Clair, author of The Grave. In the rebellion of 1745 he took up arms in defence of the existing government. He was present at the battle of Falkirk'; where lie was taken prisoner, and, with five or six other gentlemen, escaped from the castle of Down. After the rebellion he resumed the dulies of his profession. Having a natural inclination for the Belles Lettres, which he bad cultivated with some care; he wrote his tragedy of Douglas, and presente& it to the managers of the Edinburgh Theatre. Its reception will be easily imagined from the following anecdole. During the representation a young and sanguine Scoichman, in the pil, transported with delight and enthusiasto, cried out ou a sudden with an air of triumph, “Weel lods ; hwar's yeer Wolly Shokspeer nou !" (where is your William Sbakspeare now). The author being a clergyman, the resentmeni of the elders of the kirk, and many other zealous members of that sect was inflamed, not only against him, bint the performers also; on whom, together with him, they freely denounced their anathemas in pamphlets and public papers. The Taller indeed it was out of their power

, greatly to injure ; but their rod was near falling very heavy on the anthor, whom the assembly repudialed, and cut off from his preferments. In Erigland, however, he had the good fortune to meet with friends, and being through the interest of the Earl of Bute and some other persons of distinction, recommended to the notice of his present majesly, then Prince of Wales, his Royal Highness was pleased to bestow a pension on him; thus, sheltering him under his own patronage, he put it out of the power of either bigotry, envy, or malevolence to blast his laurelsi Mr Home allerwards pursued his poetical ellorts, and produced more dramatic pieces, which were brought on the stage in London; but Douglas must always stand as his master-piece in dramatic writing. He never afterwards resumed his clerical profession, which he had abandoned in 1757 ; but enjoyed a place under government in Scotland. Mr. Home, always the friend and patron of meril, as far as his circumstances would admit, was the means of bringing the celebrated poems of Ossian to light. While Macpherson was schoolmaster of Ruthven in Badenoch, he occupied his leisure hoars in collecting, from the native, but illiterate bards of the mountains of Scotland, fragments of these inimitable poems; a few of them he translated, and inserted in a weekly Miscellany, then publishing at Edinburgh. The beauty of these pieces soon attracted the notice of Ms. Home, Dr. Robertsun and Dr. Blair, and they i resolved to sent Macpherson on a journey all over the Highlands, at their expence, tu collect the originals of those poems, which have since been a subject of so much controversy. Mr. Home died at Manchester-house ucar Edinburgh, Sept. the 4th 18c8.

DOUGLAS. This piece was first produced at Edinburgh, 1756; and the success it met with, induced our author to offer it to the London managers; wliere, volwithstanding all the influence exerted in its favour, it was refused by Garrick. Mr. Rich, however, accepted it, and it was acted the first time at Covent-garden, March the 14th 1757 ; where its real worth soon placed it out of the reach of critical censure. The plot was suggested by the pathetical old Scotch ballad of Gil (or Child) Morrice, reprinted in the third volume of Percy's Reliques of Ancient Poetry, and it is founded on the quarrels of the families o. Douglas and other of the Scots clans. This tragedy has a great deal of pathos in it, some of the narratives are pleasingly aliecting, and the descriptions poetically beautiful. On its first appearance Hume gave his opinion, that is was one of the most interesting and pathetic pieces ever exhibited in any theatre. He declared, that ihe author possessed the true theatric genius of Shakspeare and Olway; but must remember, that the author was & Scotchran, consequently such extravagant praise requires no comment. Gray however had so high an opinion of this first drama of Mr. Home, that in a letter to a friend in 1757, le says, “I am greatly struck with the tragedy of Douglas, though it has infinite fanlis: the author seems to have retrieved the true language of the Stage, which had been lost for these bundred years; and there is one scene (between Matilda and the Old Peasant) so masterly, that it strikes me blind to all the defects in the world.” To this opinion every reader of lasle will readily subscribe. Johason blames Mr. Gray for concluding his celebrated ode with suicide; a circumstance borrowed perhaps from Douglas, in which lady Randolphi, otherwise a blameless character, precipitates herself, like the Bard, from a clill, into elernay.

we

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]
[ocr errors]

ACT I.

Still hears and answers to Matilda's moan. Scene l.-- The Court of a Castle, surrounded Are e'er permitted to review this world,

Oh, Douglas! Douglas! if departed ghosts

Within the circle of that wood thou art,
Enter LADY RANDOLPH.

And with the passion of immortals hear'st Lady R. Ye woods and wilds, whose me- My lamentation: bear'st thy wretched wife lancholy gloom

Weep for her husband slain, her infant lost. Accords with my soul's sadness, and draws forth My brother's timeless death I seem to mourn, The voice of sorrow from my bursting, heart, Who perish'd with thee on this fatal day. Farewell awhile: I will not leave you long; But Randolph comes, whom fate bas made For in your shades I deem some spirit dwells, Who from the chiding, stream, or groaning oak, To chide my anguish, and defraud the dead.

my lord,

mourn:

my words.

Enter Lord RANDOLPH.

Anna. Have I distress'd you with officious, Lord R. Again these weeds of woe! say,

love, dost thou well

And ill-tim'd mention of your brother's fate? To feed a passion which consumes thy life? Forgive me, lady: humble though I am, The living claim some duty; vainly thou The mind I bear partakes not of my fortune: Bestow'st thy cares upon the silent dead. So fervently I love you, that to dry Lady R. Silent, alas! is he for whom I These piteous tears, I'd throw my life away.

Lady R. What power directed thy unChildless, without memorial of his name,

conscious longue He only now in my remembrance lives. To speak as thou hast done ? to name – Lord R. Time, that wears out the trace of Anna. I know not: deepest anguish,

But since my words have made my mistress Has past o'er thee in vain.

tremble, Sure thou art not the daughter of sir Malcolm: I will speak so no more; but silent mis Strong was his rage, eternal his resentment: My tears with hers. For when thy brother fell, he smild to hear Lady R. No, thou shalt not be silent. » That Douglas' son in the same field was slain. I trust thy faithful love, and thou shalt be Lady R. Oh! rake not up the ashes of my Henceforth the instructed partner of my woes fathers :

But what avails it? Can thy feeble pity Implacable resentment was their crime, Roll back the flood of never-ebbing time? And grievous has the expiation been. Compel the earth and ocean to give up Lord R. Thy grief wrests to its purposes Their dead alive?

Anna. What means my noble mistress? I never ask'd of thee that ardent love

Lady R. Didst thou not ask, 'what had my Which in the breasts of fancy's children burns.

sorrows been, Decent affection and complacent kindness If I in early youth bad lost a husband? Were all I wish'd for; but I wish'd in vain. In the cold bosom of the earth is lodgid, Hence with the less regret my eyes behold Mangled with wounds, the husband of my The storm of war that gathers o'er this land:

youth If I should perish by the Danish sword, And in some cavern of the ocean lies Matilda would not shed one tear the more. My child and his Lady R. Thou dost not think so: woful Anna. Ob! lady most rever'd! as I am,

The tale wrapt up in your amazing words I love thy merit, and esteem thy virtues. Deign to unfold. But whither goest thou now?

Lady R. Alas! an ancient feud, Lord R. Straight to the camp,

Hereditary evil, was the source Where every warrior on the tiptoe stands Of my misfortunes. Ruling fate decreed, of expectation, and impatient asks

That
my

brave brother should in battle save Each who arrives, if he is come to tell The life of Douglas' son, our house's foe: The Danes are landed.

The youthful warriors vow'd eternal friendship. Lady R. O, may adverse winds,

To see the vaunted sister of his friend, Far from the coast of Scotland drive their Impatient, Douglas to Balarmo came, fleet!

Under a borrow'd name.-My heart be gain'd; And every soldier of both hosts return Nor did I long refuse the hand be begg'd: In peace and safety to his pleasant home! My brother's presence authoriz’d our marriage. Lord R. Thou speak'st a woman's, hear a Three weeks, three little weeks, with wings warrior's wish:

of down, Right from their native land, the stormy north, Had o'er us flown, when my lov'd lord was May the wind blow, till every keel is fix’d

callid Immoveable in Caledonia's strand!

To fight his father's battles; and with him, Then shall our foes repent their bold invasion, In spite of all my tears, did Malcolm go. And roving armies shun the fatal shore. Scarce were they gone, when my stern sire Lady, farewell: I leave thee not alone;

was told, Yonder comes one whose love makes duty That the false stranger was lord Douglas' son. light.

[Exit. Frantic with rage, the baron drew his sword,

And questiond me. Alone, forsaken, faint, Enter ANNA.

Kneeling beneath his sword, falt'ring, I took Anna. Forgive the rashness of your Anna's An oath equivocal, that I ne'er would love;

Wed one of Douglas' name. Sincerity! lrgd by affection, I have thus presum'd Thou first of virtues, let no mortal leave To interrupt your solitary thoughts; Thy onward path! although the earth should And warn you of the hours that you neglect,

gape, And lose in sadness.

And from the gulf of hell destruction cry, Lady R. So to lose my hours

To take dissimulation's winding way. Is all the use I wish to make of time.

Anna. Alas! how few of women's fearful Anna. To blame thee, lady, suits not with

kind

Durst own a truth so hardy!
But sure I am, since death first prey'd on man, Lady R. The first truth
Neçer did sister thus a brother mourn. Is easiest to avow. This moral learn,
What had your sorrows been if you had lost, This precious moral

, from my tragic tale.In early youth the husband of your heart ? In a few days the dreadful tidings came Lady Ř. Ob!

That Douglas and my brother both were slaio.

my state:

« 이전계속 »