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Alv. Ay! it is the law.
Hem. The law !

Flor. No!.

Hem. Then, Florinda, thus I spurn the tyrant!
They'd make a Christian of me-Philip proscribes
My nation and my creed; and on the pain
Of instant death, unless he publicly
Abjure his prophet's law, no Moor can wed
A Christian woman.

Flor. Well, dost thou renounce me?

Alv. Hear me, Hemeya !-will you yield obedience To Philip's will, and swear yourself a Christian? Hem. A Christian!

What law can teach me to renounce my country?

Alv. Then choose between your prophet and Florinda. Hem. Wilt thou abandon me?

[To Florinda.

Alv. Let my deep curse fall on her head-
Flor. Don't breathe those dreadful words-
Do I deserve that you should doubt me ?—no!
In infancy I gazed upon your face
With an instinctive reverence, that grew
To reason's tender dictate: never yet
Have I offended you; and let me say,

My tears may flow from eyes long used to weeping-
My form may wither in the gripe of grief-

My heart may break indeed; love can do this;
But never can it teach Florinda's hand

To draw down sorrows on a father's age,

Or to deserve his curse.

Hem. This, this from thee?

Flor. You've found the dreadful secret of my soul! But hold-what am I doing?-pride, where art thou? Am I so fallen in passion ?-oh, my father,

Lead me from hence!

Hem. Florinda, stay one momentDon't leave me-don't abandon me.

Flor. My father, lead me hence!

Alv. [To Hemeya.] You have heard Alvarez' will— Take one day for decision: if to-morrow You do not, in the face of heav'n, renounce The faith of Mahomet, renounce Florinda ! Hem. Oh, misery !-my Florinda, look upon me!

[Exit, R.

Flor. Yes, I will look upon thee, and perhaps
Shall never look again-for, from this hour,
You never may behold or hear me more.

Hem. Then let me die!

Flor. Hemeya, listen to me!

My heart has owned its weakness: yet, thank heav'n,
With all my sex's folly, still I bear
My sex's dignity: I've not the pow'r
To crush the fatal passion in my breast,
But I can bury it: yes, yes, Hemeya,
I feel my blood is noble, and Florinda
Shall never stoop before thee: from the world
I'll fly, from thee forever!-tears may fall,
But none shall see the blushes where they hang!-
Thou shalt not see me weep-thou shalt not have
The cruel pleasure; in religion's cells
I'll hide my wretchedness!-Farewell, Hemeya!
And, heaven, if I may dare to lift to thee
A pray'r of earthly passion, touch his heart,
Fill it with holy light, and make him thine :—
And, howsoe'er thou shalt decide my doom,
On him pour down thy blessings!

[As she goes out, she looks back for an instant. Oh, Hemeya! [Exit, R.

Hem. She blest me as she parted; yet I feel A curse fall on my heart! I am doomed to choose Between despair and crime! my fate cries out, Be wretched or be guilty; but, Florinda, How could I live without thee ?-can I see That form, to which I stretched my desp'rate arms In the wild dream of passion and despair, Brought to my bosom in assured reality, Nor rush to clasp it here ?-would the faint traveller, Who long hath toiled through Afric's sultry sands, Droop o'er the fount that mid the desert gushed, Even from the burning rock, and die with thirst, While its clear freshness wooed him to be blest ?— No! he would drink, though there were poison in it.

[Exit, L.

END OF ACT I.

ACT II.

SCENE I-The Exterior of the Inquisition.

Enter MALEC and HALY, L.

Mal. Renounce his people! Haly, I did not think,
As here I journeyed from yon ragged cliffs,
To hear these fatal tidings. Oh, Hemeya!

Hal. After long struggles of reluctant honour,
He promised to abjure his nation's creed.
To-day the public rite of abjuration
Is to be solemnized.

Mal. I have heard enough.

Hal. But when you tell what you had come to teach him;

And he has heard that on his brows shall shine

The crown his thers wore; when you have told him—
Mal. I will not tell him, till he has deserved
He shall not wear a crown. A diadem
Shall never call him back to honour's road,
If honour could not do it. But I'll try

My wonted power upon him; from its ashes
'Twill not be hard to wake the expiring flame
That once burnt bright within him. Thou, meanwhile,
Call at the Cadi's house the noblest Moors,

I may

unfold

That to their secret ears

The cause of my return.

Renounce the faith

[Exit Haly, L.

That suffering had endeared, when twenty thousand
Of his brave countrymen are leagued together,
To break the bonds of Philip's tyranny!

When freedom's flame from yonder mountain tops
Will blaze through Spain's wide realm, he basely falls
Before the tyrant's edict, and obeys!

But hold! he comes! there was a time, Hemeya,
When I had rushed to catch thee in my arms!

Enter HEMEYA, R.

I charge thee not to touch my garment's edge!

Hem. Oh, Malec, this from thee! when I behold thee, After long months of absence, dost thou scorn me?

Mal. Dost thou not scorn thyself? I know it all; Fame has not kept thy baseness from mine ears. What, for a wanton !—

Hem. Wanton!

Mal. Ay, a Spanish wanton !

Is she not one of those same melting dames,
Unlike the prophet's virgin votaries,

That let men's eyes blaze on unveiled charms,
And are themselves the wooers? 'tis for a wanton
You choose to be a villain.

Hem. I permit you

To rail against myself; heap on my head
Your heaviest curse, your blackest reprobation :
Open iny heart, and stab; drive in more deep
The arrow of remorse; but do not dare,
Though you're my father's friend—

Mal. What should I fear?

Away, slight boy! and speak not of thy father.
I'm glad he sleeps in unattesting marble,
Else hadst thou been a parricide.

Hem. I am guilty; I confess that I am guilty.
But if you felt what youth and passion feel-
If those soft eyes had ever beamed upon thee;
If long, like me, thou'dst withered in despair,
Till fresh'ning hope rose in this desert heart:
Oh, if, like me, thou'dst borne her in thy bosom,
While ruin flamed above-

Mal. Forbear, fond youth! my eyes are palled already. Rein in thy wanton fancy; dost thou think That I am made to hear a lover's follies?

Go, tell them to the moon, and howl with dogs!
Did she possess the charms of her who sleeps
Within the prophet's bosom, I would spurn
The man who had renounced, for her embrace,
His country and himself.

Hem. We have no country!

Mal. Thou hast, indeed, no country?

Hem. Are we not bound to earth? the lording Spaniard

Treads on our heads! we groan beneath the yoke

That, shaken, gores more deeply!
Resistance will but ope new founts of blood

To gush in foaming torrents. Dost thou forget
The Spaniard lifts the sword, and almost wishes
That we should give pretence to tyranny?
Look on yon gloomy towers; e'en now we stand
Within the shadows of the Inquisition.

Mal. Art thou afraid? look at yon gloomy towers! Has thy fair union told thee to beware

Of damps and rheums, caught in the dungeon's vapours? Or has she said those dainty limbs of thine

Were only made for love? Look on yon towers!
Ay, I will look upon them; not to fear,
But deeply curse them! There ye stand aloft,
Frowning in all your black and dreary pride,
Monastic monuments of human misery,
Houses of torment, palaces of horror!
Oft have you echoed to the lengthened shriek
Of midnight murder; often have you heard
The deep-choked groan of stifled agony
Burst in its dying whisper; curses on ye!
Curse on the tyrant that sustains you, too!
Oh! may ye one day, from your tow'ring height
Fall on the wretches that uphold your domes,
And crush them in your ruins! Oh, Hemeya!
Look there, Hemeya! think how many Moors,
How many of our wretched countrymen,
Are doomed to perish there, unless—

Hem. By heavens !

Thy burning front, thy flaming eyes, proclaim it!
Some glorious thought is lab'ring:-speak !-what mean'st

thou?

I feel thy spirit's mastery; my soul

Fires in the glowing contact! Malec, speak!
Tell me, what can we do?

Mal. What can men do

Who groan beneath the lash of tyranny,
And feel the strength of madness?

Have we not cime

ters?

'Twas not in vain I sought those rugged heights, Nor vainly do I now again return;

Amid the Alpuxerra's cragged cliffs,

Are there not myriads of high-hearted Moors,
That only need a leader to be free?

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