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'Thy voice would be a trumpet in the mountains, That from their snow-crowned tops and hollow vales, Would echo back the blast of liberty!

Dost thou not understand me?

Hem. Speak! can I free my people? can I rend Our shameful bonds asunder, and revenge?

Mal. Canst thou?

Hem. Do not command me not to love;
But, if there be a road to liberty,
Provided death, with his uplifted dart,
Stand at its entrance-speak! is there a way?
Mal. And, were there not a way,

We'd hew one in the rock!—there is a way. [Crosses, L.
Hem. My soul hangs in thy lips-

Mal. I fear thee still. I fear thy wav'ring nature.
Hem. No, you wrong me; by heaven, you wrong me!
Mal. Fall upon the earth,

And by thy father's sacred memory

By all thy people's wrongs-by Allah's name—
Swear-

Enter FLORINDA, R.

Flor. [Interrupting him.] Hold! what is it that I see! Hem. A wretch !

Mal. Swear! quickly swear, before a woman's art Turns thee to that a woman's self should spurn.

Flor. What should he swear?

Mal. Forever to renounce thee!

Flor. Ay! let him, if he will; let him renounce me. I will not say that I am hardly used,

Nor load him with my love! I can bear all,

Except to see him perish.

Mal. Swear, Hemeya, never to be a Christian!
Flor. Hold, for heaven's mercy!

Hem. Bright angel, art thou come to save, or damn me? Flor. I'm come to tell the perils that surround thee. Cruel, unkind Hemeya! I perceive

The power that Malec holds upon thy soul.
But yesterday, e'en at the cloister's gates,

You vowed you would renounce the world for me.

Mal. Ay! what is worth much more than all the world,

More than the crescent diadem that shines

On Selim's turbaned brow! more than the heaven

The prophet's eye beheld; nay, more than theeHis honour and his truth! Rightly thou hast said 'Tis I who snatch him from thee.

Flor. Not from me-

It is from life you snatch him!
Never behold me more!

Hem. Can I do that?

Let him leave me,

Flor. Do anything but perish.
1 reck not of myself; but I have heard,
Since last we parted, more than first I feared;
The King's decree hath armed Pescara's hand
With power omnipotent against the Moors.
Death hovers over thy head! Gomez, Pescara,
Are crouched to leap upon thee.
Hemeya, be a Christian, or you perish!

Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone
Art all that makes life worth the keeping to me.
Mal. I will not think a well-wrought tear or two
Can make thee base again.

Hem. Florinda!

Mal. Hold!

Hem. [To Malec.] Within thy bosom
I'll bury all my face; for, if I dare

To gaze upon her charms, they will unman me.
Flor. And dost thou scorn to look upon Florinda?
And am I spurned so far? once 'twas otherwise;
Now I am fit for scorn!

Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
Flor. I am, indeed, a woman; and I feel
My sex's cruel portion, to be wooed,
And flattered, and adored, until at last
We own our nature's folly ;-then you spurn,
Who wept and sighed before. You then pull down
The idol that you worshipped, and you deem,
Because a woman loves, she should be scorned!
I should not weep, and you would not despise me !
Hem. Malec!

Mal. Are you a man? are you his son Whose heart ne'er felt a throb but for his country?

Hem. Look here, and pity me! behold this face, Where shines a soul so pure, so sweet a spiritCan I renounce her? tell me if I can!

Look on him, my Florinda! lift those eyes,
So full of light, and purity, and love;
Look on him, and he'll pity me.

Flor. Hemeya,

Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live?
Hem. Stay near my heart, and, as I press thee thus,
I shall no longer feel this agony :

I never can resign thee.

Mal. Worthless Moor!

Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?

Woman!

Flor. You shall not tear him into death.
Mal. [Aside.] I cannot do it-yet, must I behold
The son of Moorish kings a woman's slave?
I'll try to rouse him still.

Perfidious traitor!

Hem. Traitor!

Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
A postate!

Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
How his frame trembles, and what agony
Is stamped upon his face? Oh, pity him!

[Crosses, c.

Mal. I do, indeed, I spurn him for his weakness; But, woman, have a care-leave him, renounce him, Or else

Flor. I can resign Hemeya's heart,

But cannot give his life; nay, tell me, Malec,

You who have loved him, watched his tenderest youth, And hold him in your heart-would you consent

To yield him up to burning martyrdom,
And cast him in the raging furnace

That persecution lights with blasts of hell?
Mal. Better that he should perish-
Flor. Dost thou say so?

Wouldst plunge him in destruction? wouldst thou see

him

In all the torments of a ling'ring death,
While Gomez and Pescara stood beside,
To glut themselves upon his agonies?

Mal. Woman, thou hast employed thy sex's cunning,
To make my friend a villain; but beware,
Else I will break thy spells; I will unloose

The charméd threads thou wind'st around his soul.

Flor. I will renounce him! you, perchance, desire,
That from your prophet's votaries he should choose
One fairer and more happy than Florinda!
Let him but speak it, and a cloister's cell
Shall be the refuge of her misery.
I ask for nothing but Hemeya's safety,
And that's too dear to part with.

[graphic]

Hem. Leave me! never!

Mal. [Draws his dagger.] Then it is done! prophet, behold the deed!

Strengthen my trembling hand; it is for freedom,
It is for Heaven I strike!

[He pauses for an instant, and, after a struggle, ex-
claims,

I cannot do it!

I am myself a coward.

[Lets the dagger fall.-Hemeya and Florinda start. Hem. Abhorred, detested villain! [Crosses, c.

Mal. Call me coward,

For that I feel I am; 'twas Heaven itself
That bade me strike, and nature conquered me.
Hem. Cursed be the creed that can make murder
holy!-

Thee! thee! Florinda-here, within my arms!
Ha! was it here thou would'st have plunged the poniard
Fear not, sweet trembler! Shelter thee, my love!
Harm shall ne'er reach thee here. Avoid my sight!
Fanatic, hence! in him I once revered,
I see the reeking murderer-

Mal. Do not think

The blow was destined for her heart alone-
If, in obedience to the prophet's law,

I had been brave enough to do the deed
That Mahomet had sanctioned, from her heart
I would have drawn the steel to plunge it here,
And, as the life flowed forth, have told thee that
Which thou shalt never hear. I leave thee now,
But thou art sunk so deep, that 'twere in vain
To pluck thee from thy shame. I go to seek
Grenada's Moors, met for a noble
Know, thou hast lost a crown!
Hemeya! Oh, Hemeya!

purpose. Farewell forever!

[Exit, L.

Hem. I heed not what he says; I can but think His cursed steel was aimed against thy life.

Flor. And that alone could blot thine image here. Hem. But Murder trembled as it gazed upon thee ;He could not strike; thy beauty, like a charm, Unnerved his grasp! Heaven sets its seal upon thee, And consecrates thy form! Oh! what bright wonders Are gathered in thy face, when e'en the Prophet Could not compel him to the bloody deed, And Malec's hand could shudder!

Flor. Thou then wilt ne'er

Renounce Florinda for the cruel faith

That would have pierced a heart that beats for thee?
That look! I'm blest!—and see, my father comes,
To be the witness of Florinda's bliss.

Enter ALVAREZ, R.

you,

Alv. [To Hemeya.] I come to seek
geous temple

Is kindled with the church's brightest pomp;
And thousands wait your presence, to begin
The rite of adjuration.

for the gor

Hem. Is my fate so near its hard completion?
Alv. It is well

Thou hast consented, else the fiercest fires
The Inquisition kindles for the Moors,
Had been thy portion.

go back.

Flor. Then lose not an instant; Take him, my father, else he will [Crosses him over to Alvarez. Alv. To-night a priest shall join your wedded hands. Hem. And let that thought alone possess my soul! Upon the verge of rain I will gaze On the bright vision that allures me on, And leads me to the gulf; I'll turn my eyes Tow'rds the star-studded heaven, where still it shines While I am sinking. Yes, when I behold thee, Conscience is scarce a rebel to thy charms. I go, Florinda; do not forget That, if I dare be guilty, 'tis for thee! [Exeunt Alvarez and Hemeya, R. Flor. I am happy now—

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