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left.—[Perceives the CHILD.) What have we here ?-A child, as I'm a soldier !
2nd Sold. 'Tis a sweet little babe! Now would it be a great charity to take this infant from its pagan mother's power.
1st Sold. It would so: I have one at home shall play with it.—Come along.
[Exeunt with the CHILD Cora. [Without.] This way, dear Alonzo !
Re-enter CORA, with ALONZO
Now am I right-there-there—under that tree. Was it possible the instinct of a mother's heart could mistake the spot ? Now wilt thou look at him as he sleeps, or shall I bring him waking with his full, blue, laughing eyes, to welcome you at once ? Yes, yes I Stand thou there; I'll snatch him from his rosy slumber, blushing like the perfumed morn. [She runs up to the spot, and finding only the mantle and
veil, which she tears from the ground, and the CHILD
Alon. Be calm, beloved Cora; he has waked and crept to a little distance; we shall find him. Are you assured this was the spot you left him in ?
Cora. Did not these hands make that bed and shelter for him ? and is not this the veil that covered him ?
Alon. Here is a hut yet unobserved. . Cora. Hal yes, yes! there lives the savage that has robbed me of my child.—[Beats at the door.) Give me back my child | restore to me my boy!
Enter Las-CASAS from the hut
Las-Cas. Who calls me from my wretched solitude ?
Cora. Give me back my child 1-[Goes into the hut and calls.] Fernando !
Alon. Almighty powers I do my eyes deceive me? LasCasas !
Las-Casas. Alonzo, my beloved young friend !
Alon. My revered instructor !
Cora. Will you embrace this man before he restores my boy?
Alon. Alas, my friend ! in what a moment of misery do we meet !
Cora. Yet his look is goodness and humanity. Good old man, have compassion on a wretched mother, and I will be your servant while I live. But do not-for pity's sake, do not say you have him not! do not say you have not seen him.
[Runs into the wood Las-Cas. What can this mean ?
Alon. She is my wife. Just rescued from the Spaniards' prison, I learned she had fled to this wild forest. Hearing my voice, she left the child, and flew to meet me : he was left sleeping under yonder tree.
Las-Cas. How ! did you leave him ?
Cora. Oh, you are right I right | unnatural mother that I was ! I left my child, I forsook my innocent ! But I will fly to the earth’s brink, but I will find him. [Runs out
Alon. Forgive me, Las-Casas, I must follow her ; for at night I attempt brave Rolla's rescue.
Las-Cas. I will not leave thee, Alonzo. You must try to lead her to the right : that way lies your camp. Wait not my infirm steps : I follow thee, my friend. (Exeunt
SCENE II.—The Outpost of the Spanish Camp. In the back
ground a torrent, over which a bridge is formed by a felled
tree. Trumpets sound without. Enter ALMAGRO, followed by SOLDIERS, leading Rolla in
Alm. Bear him along; his story must be false.
Rol. False ! Rolla utter falsehood! I would I had thee in a desert with thy troop around thee, and I but with my sword in this unshackled hand !
[Trumpets without Alm. Is it to be credited that Rolla, the renowned Peruvian hero, should be detected, like a spy, skulking through our camp ?
Piz. What do I see ? Rolla !
Piz. Release him instantly I Believe me, I regret this insult.
Rol. You feel then as you ought.
Piz. Nor can I brook to see a warrior of Rolla's fame disarmed. Accept this, though it has been thy enemy's. [Gives a sword.) The Spaniards know the courtesy that's due to valour.
Rol. And the Peruvians how to forget offence.
Enter DAVILLA and SOLDIERS, with ALONZO'S CHILD
Dav. Here are two soldiers, captured yesterday, who have escaped from the Peruvian hold-and by the secret way we have so long endeavoured to discover. Piz. Silence, imprudent! Seest thou not
[Pointing to ROLLA Dav. In their way, they found a Peruvian child, who
Piz. What is the imp to me ? Bid them toss it into the sta.
Rol. Gracious Heavens ! it is Alonzo's child! Give it to me.
Piz. Ha ! Alonzo's child K-[Takes the CHILD.] Welcome, thou pretty hostage, Now Alonzo is again my prisoner !
Rol. Thou wilt not keep the infant from its mother ?
Piz. Will I not! What, when I shall meet Alonzo in the heat of the victorious fight, thinkest thou I shall not have a check upon the valour of his heart, when he is reminded that a word of mine is this child's death ?
Rol. I do not understand thee
Piz. My vengeance has a long arrear of hate to settle with Alonzo ! and this pledge may help to settle the account.
[Gives the CHILD to a SOLDIER Rol. Man! Man! Art thou a man ? Couldst thou hurt that innocent ?-By Heaven! it's smiling in thy face.
Piz. Tell me, does it resemble Cora.
Rol. Pizarro I thou hast set my heart on fire. If thou dost harm that child, think not his blood will sink into the barren sand. No! faithful to the eager hope that now trembles in this indignant heart, 'twill rise to the common God of nature and humanity, and cry aloud for vengeance on his accursed destroyer's head.
Piz. Be that peril mine.
Rol. [Throwing himself at his feet.] Behold me at thy feet -me, Rolla 1-me, the preserver of thy life me, that have never yet bent or bowed before created man! In humble agony I sue to thee-prostrate I implore theebut spare that child, and I will be thy slave.
Piz. Rolla I still art thou free to go-this boy remains with me.
Rol. Then was this sword Heaven's gift, not thine [Seizes the CHILD.] Who moves one step to follow me dies upon the spot.
(Exit with the CHILD Piz. Pursue him instantly—but spare his life.—[Exeunt DAVILLA and ALMAGRO with SOLDIERS.) With what fury he defends himself! Ha! he fells them to the ground and
Alm. Three of your brave soldiers are already victims to your command to spare this madman's life ; and if he once gain the thicket
Piz. Spare him no longer.- [Exit ALMAGRO.] Their guns must reach him-he 'll yet escape-holloa to those horsethe Peruvian sees them—and now he turns among the rocks —then is his retreat cut off.—[ROLLA crosses the wooden bridge over the cataract pursued by the SOLDIERS—they fire at him—a shot strikes him.] Now |-quick ! quick ! seize the child !
(ROLLA tears from the rock the tree which supports the
bridge, and retreats by the background, bearing off the CHILD
Re-enter ALMAGRO and DAVILLA
Alm. By hell ! he has escaped and with the child unhurt.
Dav. NO-He bears his death with him. Believe me I saw him struck upon the side.'
Piz. But the child is saved-Alonzo's child! Oh! the furies of disappointed vengeance !
Alm. Away with the revenge of words—let us to deeds ! Forget not we have acquired the knowledge of the secret pass, which through the rocky cavern's gloom brings you at once to the stronghold where are lodged their women and their treasures.
Piz. Right, Almagro ! Swift as thy thought, draw forth a daring and a chosen band—I will not wait for numbers. Stay, Almagro ! Valverde is informed Elvira dies to-day.
Alm. He is—and one request alone she-
Alm. The boon is small-'t is but for the noviciate habit which you first beheld her in—she wishes not to suffer in the gaudy trappings which remind her of her shame.
Piz. Well, do as thou wilt—but tell Valverde, at our return, as his life shall answer it, to let me hear that she is dead.
SCENE III.-ATALIBA's Tent
Enter ATALIBA, followed by CORA and ALONZO
Cora. Oh! avoid me not, Ataliba ! To whom, but to her king, is the wretched mother to address her griefs. The gods refuse to hear my prayers ! Did not my Alonzo fight for thee? and will not my sweet boy, if thou ’lt but restore him to me, one day fight thy battles too ?
Alon. Oh! my suffering love—my poor heart-broken Cora !-thou but wound'st our sovereign's feeling soul, and not reliev'st thy own.
Cora. Is he our sovereign, and has he not the power to give me back my child ?
Ata. When I reward desert, or can relieve my people, I feel what is the real glory of a king—when I hear them suffer, and cannot aid them, I mourn the impotence of all mortal power. Soldiers. [Without.] Rolla! Rolla ! Rolla !