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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;
We'd hew one in the rock!—there is a way. [Crosses, L.
Mal. I fear thee still. I fear thy wav'ring nature.
And by thy father's sacred memory
By all thy people's wrongs-by Allah's name—
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!
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.
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!
Hem. Can I do that?
Let him leave me,
Flor. Do anything but perish.
Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone
Hem. [To Malec.] Within thy bosom
To gaze upon her charms, they will unman me.
Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
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,
Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live?
I never can resign thee.
Mal. Worthless Moor!
Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?
Flor. You shall not tear him into death.
Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
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,
That persecution lights with blasts of hell?
Wouldst plunge him in destruction? wouldst thou see
In all the torments of a ling'ring death,
Mal. Woman, thou hast employed thy sex's cunning,
The charméd threads thou wind'st around his soul.
Flor. I will renounce him! you, perchance, desire,
Hem. Leave me! never!
Mal. [Draws his dagger.] Then it is done! prophet, behold the deed!
Strengthen my trembling hand; it is for freedom,
[He pauses for an instant, and, after a struggle, ex-
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
Thee! thee! Florinda-here, within my arms!
Mal. Do not think
The blow was destined for her heart alone-
I had been brave enough to do the deed
purpose. Farewell forever!
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?
Enter ALVAREZ, R.
Alv. [To Hemeya.] I come to seek
Is kindled with the church's brightest pomp;
for the gor
Hem. Is my fate so near its hard completion?
Thou hast consented, else the fiercest fires
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—