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Ye gods ! 'is inspiration! What a thought! Hot. 'Tis better not to be, than thus to sutter. The very ship that brought, that made us slaves, Abo. To die at once, than leave our wretcheu Swims in the river still - we'll seize on that,
offspring And not a life shall fall.
Heirs of the chains and scourges that “ Abo. And shall we, then,
Oro. No more. Desert our honest, brave, unhappy friends? My friend here tells me, you have.well resolved Blast all their hopes ?
[To the Slaves. “ Oro. O, no! we'll go together;
To make one glorious effort to be freeNot one associate shall be left behind.
To risk your lives, and all the threefold woes “ Abo. Why, farewell, then, revenge. It shall That would attend our unsuccessful contest. be so."
[The Slaves look on each other, and answer no• We sball expect you, sir.
thing. Oro. You shall not lung.
[Ereunt. Hot. [Clamorously.] All, all we risk for freedom
-and revenge! SCENE III,-A Plantation.
[OROONOKO turns quick, and looks earnestly at
Oro. [After a pause.] 'Tis well-'tis great!
[Turning to the rest.] But I have found First S. 'Tis about the time now; he'll be here
the means soon.
To gain our purpose by a safer way. Second S. Well; but what are we to do?
Hot. [Interrupting.) A safer! Let him talk of First S. To do! why, we are to be free.
safer ways, Second S. Ay! 'Twas lucky this Aboan came Who holds his life more dear than great revenge. among us. When I look at him, and hear bini
[Oroonoko turns hastily again, and · looks at talk, I think I'm free already.
Hotman, firing his eyes some time upon him, Third S. Why, ay, to be sure; such men as he without speaking ; Hotman at length shows may do much.
some signs of confusion-OROONOKO then Second S. Why, we were all such men, till slavery turns and speaks to ABOAN. broke us. But what is the project ?
Oro. Is this the man whose zeal you praised so Third S. Why, we shall hear, we shall bear.
much? First S. Ay, let Aboan alone; I'll warrant he'll Abo. It is. put us in a way.
Hot. [More confused.] They whisper-yes, I am Second S. There's Hotman, too. Did you hear suspected how be fired, when our tyrants ran away, and left I must talk louder still.
[Aside. us to the Indians ?
Oro. (Still eyeing Hotman.] And is he trusted First S. Did I? Ay. Hotman, in my opinion, with ibe whole design? bas as much spirit as Aboan. Here they are, Abo. He is, my lord. coming together. Let us draw back a little. See
Oro. The marks of guilt are on him. how earnestly they talk-don't let us interrupt Abo. Not so, my lord. them.
[They retire to the back of the stage. Oro. Whence his confusion, then, to meet my Enter Hotman and Aboan.
Abo. Whence his confusion, now, suppose him Abo. This is his scheme; I left him but this
Oro. Whence! From the consciousness of falseHot. I like it not. A glorious feat, indeed,
hood bere, For souls of fire, provoked by burning wrongs, That which makes villains start at their own shadow, To seize a ship by night, and steal away,
That made him fear my eye, though it could reach Our useless weapons slumb'ring in the sheath. No farther than the covering of his beart. Confusion! and our suff'rings unrevenged ! E'en now he trembles, and a sickly hue Abo. Indeed, I thought of more. But is not Steals on his cheeks. freedom,
Abo. It does-yet try him farther. Without the chance of contest, worth acceptance ? Oro. To try him, now he's trusted, boots us noHot. I know not-to those frigid clods, perhaps;
thing. To our pale lords, who only dare to strike
Abo. Do it, if only to restore our hope, Whom others bind, it might—but not to me. Or end the torments of suspense. By all my wrongs, I thirst for more than freedom. Oro, I will. Abo. Thy noble ardour might e'en warm the Your zeal, my friend, I honour; but you knowdead!
[To Hotman. We'll try once more its power on Oroonoko. Hot. That nobler hopes have set my soul on fire, But soft-here are our friends, and, as I think, Than just to steal a ship, and run awayAt distance comes the prince—it must be he. If I consent to this, ye gods ! Welcome, my friends, the prince is of your party, [He affects to speak this loudly, but his voice
[Turning to the Slaves. falters through his fear. And has engaged to make your cause his own. Oro. If you do not consent, you will not sureSee where he comes.
Hot. I will not what ?-Who is there that sus. Enter OROONOKO.
[In a great confusion.–OROoxoko looks at Here are our friends, my lord,
ABOAN, then turns again to Hotman. Who ask but your concurrence to be free.
Oro. Suspects my friend !-Of what should we Oro. If to ail these I am the means of freedom,
suspect you ? 'Tis well I was a slave'is well that here
Abo. [Hastily. By heav'ns ? if I suspected any “I've learn'd be wrongs you suffer.
Of a perfidious view to blast our hopes,
Your honest service to the governnient This dagger bere at once should make him faithful. Shall be rewarded with your liberty. [Pauses.
[HOTMAN, S. 1:3 to speak, but is Let's seeovercome by
Hot. [Aside.] Could I have work'd them up to Or, (To Aboan.) What think you now?
farther mischief, Avo, By all my fears, a coward and a traitor. My wages had been more.
[Retiring Oro. He'll certainly betray us.
Gov. Here, Hotman-hark ye, Abo. That he shall not;
Let Captain Driver come to me this moment. For what I swore, I'll do.
[Exit HOTMAN. Oro. What wilt thou do?
Why, this is just the thing I would have wish'd. Abo. I'll stop bis mouth before you; stab him The laws now take this Oroonoko off, here,
And leare Imoinda mine-the ship secur'd, And then let him inform.
His party will desert him, and with ease [Going to stab HOTMAN, OROoxoko holds him I then may seize my prey.
-Hotman, who keeps his eye upon them, per-
Enter Captain Driver. some irresolute gestures, steals off unperceived. Captain, what hands have you on board to-night? Oro. Thou art not mad
Capt. D. Not many, but enough to do the busiAbo. I would secure ourselves.
I learn'd it from the slave I met below.
Capt. D. I know it, Governor, and have sent [Turns about, and misses Hosmas. him with orders that the ship should weigh, and What, is he gone?
stand from shore : 'tis doing, sir, ere now. Abo. [To the Slaves.] Is Hotman gone?
Gov. Your crew, then, captain, are not all on First S. Hotman, my lord, is gone : but doubt
board ? him not.
Capt. D. No, no; I'll send them orders to be ready; The stern inquiring look of majesty
They'll do for your Prince Oroonako, yet... (We feel its pow'r) will sirike the mind with awe; Gov. Well, Captain, I'll expect you; I shall Ile dared to differ, sir ; but, when opposed,
order He felt confused; the difference of his state- All the militia under arms directly, Oro. Why, be it so.
Here on the platform. My fellow-sufferers and worthy friends,
Capt. D. You need not fear me. [Ereunt. To-morrow, early as the breaking day, We rendezvous behind the citron-grove ;
SCENE II.- The Citron Grove—Meonlight. Till then, farewell.
[Exeunt Slares. Aboan!
Enter OROONOXO, ABOAN, IMOINDA, Slaves, Abo. My lord.
Women, and Children, following. Oro. 'Twas better not to trust them with our fears,
Oro. Come on, my friends! see, where the rising Yet let t em meet at a more early time; Within this hour--and then, though Hotman's | Now shines upon our purpose ! Let our march false,
At once be swift and silent, like ber course; We may succeed before we are betray'd.
The ship surprised, we triumph without conflict, Abo. 'We may-I'll after them and do it. Nor mark our way to liberty with blood.
My lord, my prince-
Oro. Well, what of him!--Take courage-what
of him? SCENE 1.- The Governor's House.
First S. My lord, I fear he has betray'd us.
Oro. Why? Enter Hotman and the Lieutenant-Governor.
First S. From our last rendezvous, my lord, e'en Gov. To seize the ship, say you ? Hot. E'en so, my lord.
| watch'd him to the Governor's; but there Gov. At wbat hour?
He stay'd not long ; I saw, as be came out, Hot. The bour I cannot tell.
He spoke to Captain Driver, and from him Gou. Were you not trusted then?
I watch'd him still; be basted to the ship, Hot. I was, my lord; but he they call the Which, now unmoord, lies farther from the shore , prince-
The Captain and his crew are up in arms,, Gov. What, Oroonoko?
All the militia out, the place alarm'd : Hot. The same, my lord ; a bloody-minded fel. They'll soon be here.
Oro. Why, we must meet them, then; the iron He and another took it in their heads
band To think I was not quite the rogue I seem'd, Of stern necessity is now upon us; And, if I had not left them, would have stabb'd me. And from the rack sbe drives us to our swords. Gov. Indeed !-Well, we must be beforeband
[Draws. with them,
The women and the children fall bobind,
Unfit for dangers, such as now approach us.
linless it be to throw yourselves away? What will become of them!
Famine must eat you up, if you go on. [“ ABOAN, who, during this scene, expresses the You see, our numbers could with ease compel
utmost anguish of mind, by his gestures and what we request :-and what do we request?
about the Men.
Gov. To those poor wretches who have been I know thee faithful, therefore blame thee not."
seduced abo. O, my dear lord ! my heart drops blood to And led away, to all and ev'ry one, think
We offer a full pardon. My hasty, eager, fond credulity
Oro. Then, fall on! [Preparing to engage. Should let that slave's false seeming thus undo us. Gov. Lay hold upon't, before it be too late ; Oro. Name it no more.
Pardon and mercy. Abo. 'Tis lost—'tis ruin'd-and by me! but [The Men leave OROONOKO, and fall upon their this
faces, crying out for pardon. [He suddenly draws a dagger, and offers to stab Slaves. Pardon ! Merey! Pardon !
himself-OROONOKO lays hold of his hand. Oro. Let them go, all. Now, Governor, I see, Oro. Hold ! now you wrong my design: thus far I own, the folly of my enterprise, Thou'st only err'd; but to desert me now The rashness of this action; and must blush,
[Wresting the dagger from him. Quite through this veil of night, a whitely shame, Would be a crime indeed-I need thy help.
To think I could design to make those free,
[Turning to İMOINDA. Who were by nature slaves ; wretches, design'd Imoinda, you must not expose yourself:
To be their masters' dogs, and lick their feet. Retire, my love ; I almost fear for you.
We were too few before for victory, Imo. I fear no danger : life, or death, I will
(Eseunt all Slaves. Enjoy with you.
We're still enow to die. [To IMOINDA and ABOAN. First S. [Alarmed.] They come! they come! I see them; they're upon us.
Enter BLANDFORD. Oro. (Putting himself before 1MoiNDA.] My person is your guard.
Gov. Live, royal sir,
Live, and be happy long, on your own terms; Enter the Lieutenant Governor, with Hotman and Only consent to yield, and you shall have
his Rabble.-Captain STANMORE and his Men. What terms you can propose, for you and yours, Abo. There is the villain that betray'd our cause,
Oro. Consent to yield! Shall I betray myself? His life is due to me.
Bla. I'm glad you have proceeded by fair means. (Advancing.
[To the Governor. Oro. Hold you; and you who come against us, I came to be a mediator. hold!
Gov. Try what you can work upon him. I charge you in the general good to all, “ And wish I could command you, to prevent
Oro. Are you come against me, too?
Bla. Is this to come against you ?
[Crossing to Oroonoko, and offering him his
sword. But, if you follow fate, you find it bere.
Unarm'd to put myself into your hands ? Who first advances
I come, I hope, to serve you.
Oro. You have serv'd me;
I thank you for't; and I am pleas'd to think Capt. D. Here, here, here they are, Governor :-You were my friend, while i bad need of one : Wbat, seize upon my ship!
But now 'tis past :-this farewell, and begotia. Come, boys, fall on. [ Advancing first.
[Embraces nin. Oro. [Stabbing him.] Thou art fall'n, indeed. Bla. It is not pass'd, and I must serve you still. (Captain Driver falls in the arms of two Sailors. I would make up these breaches, which the sword Thy own blood be upon thee !
Will widen more, and close us all in lore. Gov. Rest it there.
Oro. I know what I have done, and I should be He did deserve his death. Take him away. A child, to think they ever can forgive.
[They remove the body. Forgive! Were there but that, I would not live You see, sir, and those mistaken men
To be forgiven :-Is there a power on earth Must be our witnesses, we do not come
That I can ever need forgiveness from ? As enemies, and thirsting for your blood.
Bla. You shall not need it. If we desir'd your ruin, the revenge
Oro. No, I will not need it. Of our companion's death bad push'd it on.
Bla. You see, be offers you your own conditions, But that we overlook, in a regard
For you and yours. To common safety and the public good.
Oro. Must I capitulate ? Oro. Regard that public good : draw off your Precariously compound, on stinted terms, men
To save my life?
Bla. Sir, be imposes none.
If your great heart cannot descend to treat,
"Gov. He will rely on what you say to him :
[To BLANDFORD. Offer him what you can, I will confirm
ACT V. And make all good. Be you my pledge of trust. - Bla. I'll answer, with my life, for all he says.
SCENE I.-Governor's House. Gov. Ay, do, and pay the forfeit, if you please.
Enter the Lieutenant-Governor, with BLANDFORD Bla. Consider, sir, can you consent to throw
and STANMORE. That blessing from you, you so hardly found,
[Points to IMOINDA. Bla. Have you no reverence of future fame? And so much valued once?
No awe upon your actions, from the tongues, Oro. Imoinda, oh!
The censuring tongues of men, that will be free? " 'Tis she that holds me on this argument If you confess humanity, believe Of tedious life : I could resolve it soon,
There is a God, to punish or reward Were this cursed being only in debate.
Our doings here, do not provoke your fate. But my Imoinda struggles in my soul,
Gov. Tell me no more of fame and breach of She makes a coward of me, I confess.
faith, I am afraid to part with her in death;
The public good requires that he should die. And more afraid of life, to lose ber here.
Sta. The public good must totter when the base Bla. “ This way, you must lose her;" think upon Is fraud, and craft, and prostituted honour. The weakness of her sex, made yet more weak Bla. When guilt is sanctified by bold pretences With her condition, requiring rest
That wrong is in its consequences right, And soft indulging ease, to nurse your hopes The bond that holds society together And make you a glad faiher.
Is broken, rule and order at an end, Oro. There, I feel
And anarchy must desolate the world. A father's fondness and a husband's love.
Gov. The planters hold not these opinions, sir; They seize upon my heart, strain all its strings They think it well that bloodshed was prevented To pull me to them from my stern resolve. By any means, and now are clamorous Husband and father! all the melting art
To have this slave cut off, Of eloquence lives in those soft'ning names. Bla. We are not, sure, so wretched, to have “ Methinks I see the babe, with infant hands,
these. Pleading for life, and begging to be born. The rabble, judge for us ; the changing crowd, Shall I forbid his birth ? deny bim life?
The arbitrary guard of fortune's power The beavenly comforts of all-cheering light? Who wait to catch the sentence of her frowns,
1 These are the calls of Nature, that call loud, And hurry all to ruin she condemns. They will be heard, and conquer in their cause." Sta. So far from farther wrongs, that 'tis a shame He must not be a man who can resist them. He should be where he is. Good Governor, No, my Imoinda! I will venture all
Order his liberty; he yielded up To save thee, and that little innocent :
Himself, his all. The world may be a better friend to him
Bla. He yielded on your word; Than I have found it. Now I yield myself : And I am made the cautionary pledge,
(Gives up his sword. The gage and hostage of your keeping it. The conflict's pass'd, and we are in your hands. Remember, sir, he yielded on your word;
[The Sailors gather about OROONOKO and Your word !-Which honest men will think should
ABOAN, and seize them. Gov. So you shall find you are. Dispose of the last resort of truth, and trust on earth, them
You cannot sure persist in such an act, As I commanded you.
And be sedately cruel and perfidious. Bla. Good Heav'n forbid! You cannot mean- Sta. Besides, the wretch has now no longer Gov. This is not your concern.
power [To BLANDFORD, who goes hastily to STANMORE. Of doing harm, were he disposed to use it. Bia. For Heaven's sake, use your int'rest with Bla. But he is not disposed. him, Stanmore!
Sta. We'll be his sureties, sir. Gov. I must take care of you. [To IMOIDA. Bla. Yes, we will answer for him now, my friend; Imo. I'm at tbe end
The Governor, I know, will thank us. Of all my care: here will I die with him!
Gov. Well, you will have it so ; do what you
[Holding OroonOKO. please just what you will with him; I give you Oro. You shall not force her from me.
[Erit. [He holds her. Bla. We thank you, sir; this way, pray come Gov. Then I must [They force her from him. with me.
[Exeunt. Try other means, and conquer force by force : Break-cut off his bold ! Bring her away! SCENE II.-OROONOKO discovered upon his back, Sta. Dear Governor, consider what you do!
his legs and arms stretched out, und chained to Imo. I do not ask to live-kill me but here!
the ground. Gov. Away! Oro. Oh, bloody dogs ! Inbuman murderers !
Enter BLANDFORD and STANMORE. [IMOINDA is forced out by the Governor.-Ex- Bla. O miserable sight! help, eunt OROONOKO and ABOAN, guarded. Assist me to free him from his chains.
[They help him up, and bring him forward,
looking down. Most injured prince ! how shall we clear ourseivost
Sta. We are not guilty of your injuries,
No way consenting to tlient; but abhor,
Bla. [Aside.) I'll have an eye on him. Abominate, and loathe this cruelty:
(Ereunt BLANDFORD and STANMORB. Oro. If you would have me think you are not all Gov. I have lied myself into a little time, Confederates, all accessary to
And must employ it; they'll be here again; Tbe base injustice of your Governor ;
But I must be before them. If you would have me live, as you appear
(Going out, he meets I MOINDA, and seises her, Concern'd for me ; if you would have me live Are you come ? To thank and bless you, there is yet a way
l'll court no longer for a happiness To tie me ever to your honest love ;
That is in my own keeping: you may still Bring my Imoinda to me; give me her,
Refuse to grant, so I have power to take, To charm my sorrows, and,
The man that asks, deserves to be denied. I'll sit down with my wrongs, never to rise
Enter BLANDFORD, behind him. Against my fate, or think of vengeance more.
Bla. Be satisfied-you may depend upon us; Imo. He does, indeed, that asks unworthily. We'll bring her safe to you, and suddenly.
Bla. You hear lier, sir ; that asks unworthily. In the meantime
Gov. You are no judge. Endeavour to forget, sir, and forgive;
Bla. I am, of my own slave. And hope a better fortune.
Gov. Begone, and leave us. [Eseunı BLANDFORD and STANMORE. Bla. When you let her go. Oro, Forget! forgive! I must indeed forget,
Gov. To fasten upon you, When I forgive; but, while I am a man,
Imo. Help! murder! help!
[Esit. In flesh, that bears the living marks of shame, Gov. She shall not 'scape me so. I've gone too The print of bis dishonourable chains,
far, I never can forgive this Governor,
Not to go farther. Curse on my delay! This villain.
But yet she is, and shall be, in my pow'r. [Exit What shall I do? If I declare myself,
Bla. Nay, then it is the war of honesty ;, I know him, be will creep behind his guard I know you, and will save you from yourself. Of followers, and brave me in his fears;
[Exit. “ Else, lion-like, with my devouring rage,
(Pausing Oro. To honour bound ! and yet a slave to love! If I should turn bis Christian arts on him, I am distracted by their rival powers, Promisc him, speak bim fair, fattor, and creep
And both will be obey'd. 0, great revenge! With fawning steps to get within his faith, Thou raiser and restorer of fallen fame! I could betray him then, as he has me.
Let me not be tuworthy of thy aid, But, am I sure by that to right myself?
For stopping in thy course : I still am thine, Lying's a certain mark of cowardice;
But can't forget I am Imoinda's, too. And, when the tongue forgets its honesty,
She calls me from my wrongs, to rescue her. The beart and band may drop their functions too,
No man condemn me, who has never felt And nothing worthy be resolved or done.
A woman's power, or tried the force of love: Honour should be concerned in honour's cause. Love, love will be Let me but find out
My first ambition, and my fame the next. An honest remedy, I have the hand,
Enter ABOAN, bloody.
My ever faithful friend !
Abo. I have no name
That can distinguish me from the vile earth
To which I'm going : a poor abject worm,
That crawl'd a while upon the bustling world, Gov. (Impatiently. ] Well, what's the matter And now am trampled to my dust again. now?
Oro. I see thee gash'd and mangled.
The bangman's band would have been merciful. To bring her to him.
Do not you scorn me, sir, to thiok I can
I do not come for pity, but for pardon.
Oro. For pardon! wound me not with keener Gov. I tell you! why, don't you know ?
anguish Bla. Jour servant says she’s in the house. Than yet I feel, by thinking thou canst need it:
Gov. No, do; I brought her home at first, in- Thou'st spent an honourable life with me; deed; but I thought it would not look well to keep the earliest servant of my rising fame. her here ; I removed her in the hurry, only to take Abo. And would attend it with my latest care : care of her. What! sbe belongs to you, I have My life was yours, and so shall be my death. nothing to do with her!
You must not live; alas! you must not lire : Sta. But where is she now, sir?
Bending and sinking, I have dragg'd my steps Gov. Why, faith! I can't say certainly; you'll Thus far, to tell you that you cannot live; hear of her at Parham-house, I suppose ; there or To warn you of those ignominious wrongs, thereabouts : I think I sent her there,
Whips, rods, and all the instruments of death,