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Which lighted my Almanzor to his tomb;
Boab. Heaven lent their lustre for a nobler end;
Almah. I justly own that I some pity have, Not for the insolent, but for the brave.
Aben. Though to your king your duty you ne-
Almah. Did he my freedom to his life prefer,
Aben. You must be driven wheresyou refuse to go; And taught, by force, your happiness to know. Almah. To force me, sir, is much unworthy you,
[Smiling scornfully. And, when you would, impossible to do.
Boab. I find I must revoke what I decreed:
[To his Guard, And, to convince my eyes, bring back his head.
Almah. Go on: I wish no other way to prove That I am worthy of Almanzor's love. We will in death, at least, united be: I'll shew you I can die as well as he.
Boab. What should I do! when equally I dread
Almanzor living and Almanzor dead!
Yet, by your promise, you are mine alone.
Almah. How dare you claim my faith, and break your own?
Aben. This for your virtue is a weak defence:
Almah. Whate'er my secret inclinations be, To this, since honour ties me, I agree:
Boab. That little love I have, I hardly buy;
[Exeunt King and Abenamar.
Almah. How blessed was I before this fatal
I had not, aiming higher, lost my rest;
To her Almanzor, bound and guarded.
Almanz. I see the end for which I'm hither sent, To double, by your sight, my punishment. There is a shame in bonds I cannot bear; Far more than death, to meet your eyes I fear. Almah. That shame of long continuance shall not be: [Unbinding him.
The king, at my entreaty, sets you free.
Almanz. The king! my wonder's greater than before;How did he dare my freedom to restore?He like some captive lion uses me;He runs away before he sets me free, And takes a sanctuary in his court:I'll rather lose my life than thank him for't.
Almah. If any subject for your thanks there be, The king expects them not, you owe them me. Our freedoms through each other's hands have past;You give me my revenge in winning last.
Almanz. Then fate commodiously for me has done;To lose mine there where I would have it won.
Almah. Almanzor, you too soon will understand, That what I win is on another's hand. The king (who doomed you to a cruel fate) Gave to my prayers both his revenge and hate; But at no other price would rate your life, Than my consent and oath to be his wife.
Almanz. Would you, to save my life, my love betray?Here; take me; bind me; carry me away; Kill me! I'll kill you if you disobey.
[To the Guards,
AUnah. That absolute command your love does give, I take, and charge you by that power to live. Almanz. When death, the last of comforts, you refuse, Your power, like heaven upon the damned, you use;You force me in my being to remain, To make me last, and keep me fresh for pain. When all my joys are gone, What cause can I for living longer give, But a dull, lazy habitude to live?
Almah. Rash men, like you, and impotent of will, Give chance no time to turn, but urge her still; She would repent; you push the quarrel on, And once because she went, she must be gone.
Almanz. She shall not turn; what is it she can do, To recompense me for the loss of you?
Almah. Heaven will reward your worth some better way:At least, for me, you have but lost one day. Nor is't a real loss which you deplore; You sought a heart that was engaged before. 'Twas a swift love which took you in his way; Flew only through your heart, but made no stay: 'Twas but a dream, where truth had not a place; A scene of fancy, moved so swift a pace, And shifted, that you can but think it was; Let, then, the short vexatious vision pass.
Almanz. My joys, indeed, are dreams; but not my pain: 'Twas a swift ruin, but the marks remain.
When some fierce fire lays goodly buildings waste,
Would you conclude
There had been none, because the burning's past?Almah. It was your fault that fire seized all your breast;You should have blown up some to save the rest:
Almah. Then say what charity I can allow;
Almanz. A sister's love! that is so palled a thing,
move? 'Tis but the ghost of a departed love.
Almah. You, like some greedy cormorant, devour All my whole life can give you in an hour. What more I can do for you is to die, And that must follow, if you this deny. Since I gave up my love, that you might live, You, in refusing life, my sentence give.
Almanz. Far from my breast be such an impious thought!Your death would lose the quiet mine had sought. I'll live for you, in spite of misery; Put you shall grant that I had rather die.