Imágenes de páginas

This hour I throw ye off, and entertain
Fell hate within my breast, revenge and gall.
By Heaven, I'll meet, and counterwork this treachery !
Hark thee, villain, traitor--answer me, slave !

Per. My service has not merited those titles.
Man. Darest thou reply? take that--thy service ?
thine !

[Strikes him. What's thy whole life, thy soul, thy all, to my One moment's ease? Hear my command; and look That thou obey, or horror on thy head. Drench me thy dagger in Alphonso's heart: Why dost thou start ? Resolve, orPer.

Sir, I will. Man. 'Tis well—that when she comes to set him free, His teeth may grin, and mock at her remorse.

[PEREZ going Stay thee-I've farther thought-I'll add to this, And give her eyes yet greater disappointment: When thou hast ended him, bring me his robe; And let the cell where she'll expect to see him Be darkened so as to amuse the sight. I'll be conducted thither-mark me wellThere with his turbant, and his robe arrayed, And laid along as he now lies supine, I shall convict her to her face of falsehood. When for Alphonso's she shall take my hand, And breathe her sighs upon my lips for his, Sudden I'll start, and dash her with her guilt. But see she comes; I'll shun the encounter; thou, Follow me, and give heed to my direction. [Exeunt.

Enter ZARA and Selim. Zara. The mute not yet returned !--ha, 'twas the king ! The king that parted hence! frowning he went; His eyes like meteors rolled, then darted down Their red and angry beams; as if his sight Would, like the raging dog-star, scorch the earth,

And kindle ruin in its course. Dost think
He saw me?

Sel. Yes: but then, as if he thought
His eyes had erred, he hastily recalled
The imperfect look, and sternly turned away.

Zara. Shun me when seen! I fear thou hast undone me.
Thy shallow artifice begets suspicion,
And like a cobweb veil, but thinly shades
The face of thy design ; alone disguising
What should have ne'er been seen; imperfect mischief!
Thou, like the adder, venomous and deaf,
Hast stung the traveller; and after hear'st
Not his pursuing voice; even where thou think'st
To hide, the rustling leaves and bended grass
Confess, and point the path which thou hast crept.
O fate of fools! officious in contriving ;
In executing puzzled, lame and lost.

Sel. Avert it, Heaven, that you should ever suffer
For my defect! or that the means which I
Devised to serve should ruin your design!
Prescience is Heaven's alone, not given to man.
If I have fail'd in what, as being man,
I needs must fail; impute not as a crime
My nature's want, but punish nature in me:
I plead not for a pardon, and to live,
But to be punished and forgiven. Here, strike!
I bare my breast to meet your just revenge.

Zara. I have not leisure now to take so poor
A forfeit as thy life: somewhat of high
And more important fate requires my thought.
When I've concluded on myself, if I
Think fit, I'll leave thee my command to die.
Regard me well; and dare not to reply
To what I give in charge; for I'm resolved.
Give order that the two remaining mutes
Attend me instantly, with each a bowl
Of such ingredients mixed, as will with speed

Benumb the living faculties, and give
Most easy and inevitable death.
Yes, Osmyn, yes; be Osmyn or Alphonso,
I'll give thee freedom, if thou darest be free:
Such liberty as I embrace myself,
Thou shalt partake. Since fates no more afford,
I can but die with thee to keep my word.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

Enter GONZALES alone, disguised like a Mute, with a

dagger. Gon. Nor sentinel, nor guard! the doors unbarred ! And all as still as at the noon of night! Sure death already has been busy here. There lies my way, that door too is unlocked. [Looks in. Ha! sure he sleeps-all's dark within, save what A lamp, that feebly lifts a sickly flame, By fits reveals.—His face seems turned, to favour The attempt. I'll steal, and do it unperceived. What noise! Somebody coming ? 'st, Alonzo ? Nobody ? Sure he'll wait without I would 'Twere done, I'll crawl, and sting him to the heart : Then cast my skin, and leave it there to answer it.

[Goes in. Enter GARCIA and ALONZO. Gar. Where? where Alonzo ? where's my

father ? The king! Confusion ! all is on the rout! where All's lost, all ruined by surprise and treachery. Where, where is he? why dost thou thus mislead me?

Alon. My lord, he entered but a moment since, And could not pass me unperceived.—What ho ! My lord, my lord ! what, ho! my Lord Gonzalez !

Re-enter GONZALEZ, bloody. Gon. Perdition choke your clamours !--whence this Garcia !

[rudeness? Gar. Perdition, slavery and death, Are entering now our doors. Where is the king ? What means this blood ? and why this face of horror ?

Gon. No matter-give me first to know the cause
Of these your rash and ill-timed exclamations.

Gar. The eastern gate is to the foe betrayed,
Who but for heaps of slain that choke the passage
Had entered long ere now, and borne down all
Before 'em, to the palace walls. Unless
The king in person animate our men,
Granada's lost: and to confirm this fear,
The traitor Perez, and the captive Moor,
Are through a postern fled, and join the foe.

Gon. Would all were false as that; for whom you call The Moor, is dead. That Osmyn was Alphonso; in whose heart's blood this poniard yet is warm.

Gar. Impossible, for Osmyn was, while flying, Pronounced aloud by Perez for Alphonso.

Gon. Enter that chamber, and convince your eyes, How much report has wronged your easy faith.

[GARCIA goes in Alon. My lord, for certain truth, Perez is fled; And has declared the cause of his revolt, Was to revenge a blow the king had given him.

Re-enter GARCIA. Gar. Ruin and horror! ( heart-wounding sig.t! Gon. What says my son ? what ruin? ha, what horror?

Gar. Blasted my eyes, and speechless be my tongue !
Rather than or to see, or to relate
This deed.- O dire mistake! O fatal blow!
The king-

Gon. Alon. The king !

Dead, weltering, drowned in blood.

See, see, attired like Osmyn, where he lies ! [They look in.
O whence, or how, or wherefore was this done?
But what imports the manner, or the cause ?
Nothing remains to do, or to require.
But that we all should turn our swords against
Ourselves, and expiate with our own his blood.

Gon. O wretch ! ( cursed, and rash, deluded fool!
On me, on me, turn your avenging sword !
I, who have spilt my royal master's blood,
Should make atonement by a death as horrid;
And fall beneath the hand of my own son.

Gar. Ha! what? atone this murder with a greater?
The horror of that thought has damped my rage.
The earth already groans to bear this deed;
Oppress her not, nor think to stain her face
With more unnatural blood. Murder


Better with this to rip up my own bowels,
And bathe it to the hilt, in far less damnable

Gon. O my son! from the blind dotage
Of a father's fondness these ills arose;
For thee I've been ambitious, base, and bloody:
For thee I've plunged into this sea of sin;
Stemming the tide with only one weak hand,
While t'other bore the crown, (to wreath thy brow,)
Whose weight has sunk me ere I reached the shore.
Gar. Fatal ambition ! Hark! the foe is entered.

[A shout.
The shrillness of that shout speaks 'er at hand.
We have no time to search into the cause
Of this surprising and most fatal error.
What's to be done? the king's death known, will strike
The few remaining soldiers with despair,
And make 'em yield to mercy of the conqueror.

Alon. My lord, I've thought how to conceal the body; Require me not to tell the means till done, Lest you forbid what then you may approve.

[Goes in. More shouting.

« AnteriorContinuar »