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ALMANZOR AND ALMAHIDE,

OR. THE

CONQUEST OF GRANADA.

THE FIRST PAHT.

ACT I. SCENE I.

Enter Boabdblin, Abenamak, Abdelmelech, and Guards.

Boab. Thus, in the triumphs of soft peace, I reign; And, from my walls, defy the powers of Spain; With pomp and sports my love I celebrate, While they keep distance, and attend my state.— Parent to her, whose eyes my soul enthral,

[To Aben.

Whom I, in hope, already father call,
Abenamar, thy youth these sports has known,
Of which thy age is now spectator grown;
Judge-like thou sit'st, to praise, or to arraign
The flying skirmish of the darted cane:

vor.. iv. c

But, when fierce bulls run loose upon the place, And our bold Moors their loves with danger grace, Then heat new-bends thy slacken'd nerves again, And a short youth runs warm through every vein.'

Aben. I must confess the encounters of this day Warmed me indeed, but quite another way,— Not with the fire of youth; but generous rage, To see the glories of my youthful age So far out-done.

Abdelm. Castile could never boast, in all its pride, A pomp so splendid, when the lists, set wide, Gave room to the fierce bulls, which wildly ran In Sierra Ronda, ere the war began; Who, with high nostrils snuffing up the wind, Now stood the champion of the savage kind. Just opposite, within the circled place, Ten of our bold Abencerrages race (Each brandishing his bull-spear in his hand,) Did their proud jennets gracefully command. On their steel'd heads their demi-lances wore Small pennons, which their ladies' colours bore. Before this troop did warlike Ozmyn go; Each lady, as he rode, saluting low; At the chief stands, with reverence more profound, His well-taught courser, kneeling, touched the ground;Thence raised, he sidelong bore his rider on, Still facing, till he out of sight was gone.

Boab. You praise him like a friend; and I confess, His brave deportment merited no less.

Abdelm. Nine bulls were launched by his victorious arm, Whose wary jennet, shunning still the harm, Seemed to attend the shock, and then-leaped wide: Mean while, his dext'rous rider, when he spied The beast just stooping, 'twixt the neck and head His lance, with never-erring fury, sped.

Aben. My son did well, and so did Hamet too; Yet did no more than we were wont to do; But what the stranger did was more than man.

Abdelm. He finished all those triumphs we be-
gan. One bull, with curled black head, beyond the rest,
And dew-laps hanging from his brawny chest,
With nodding front a while did daring stand,
And with his jetty hoof spurned back the sand;
Then, leaping forth, he bellowed out aloud:
The amazed assistants back each other crowd,
While monarch-like he ranged the listed field;
Some tossed, some gored, some trampling down he killed.

The ignobler Moors from far his rage provoke
With woods of darts, which from his sides he shook.
Mean time your valiant son, who had before
Gained fame, rode round to every Mirador;
Beneath each lady's stand a stop he made,
And, bowing, took the applauses which they paid.
Justin that point of time, the brave unknown
Approached the lists.

Boab. I marked him, when alone
(Observed by all, himself observing none)
He entered first, and with a graceful pride
His fiery Arab dextrously did guide,
Who, while his rider every stand surveyed,
Sprung loose, and flew into an escapade;
Not moving forward, yet, with every bound,
Pressing, and seeming still to quit his ground.
What after passed

Was far from the Ventanna where I sate,
But you were near, and can the truth relate.

[To Abdelm.

Abdelm. Thus while he stood, the bull, who saw his foe, His easier conquests proudly did forego;

And, making at him with a furious bound,
From his bent forehead aimed a double wound.
A rising murmur ran through all the field,
And every lady's blood with fear was chilled:
Some shrieked, while others, with more helpful care,
Cried out aloud,—Beware, brave youth, beware!
At this he turned, and, as the bull drew near,
Shunned, and received him on his pointed spear:
The lance broke short, the beast then bellowed loud,
And his strong neck to a new onset bowed.
The undaunted youth

Then drew; and, from his saddle bending low,
Just where the neck did to the shoulders grow,
With his full force discharged a deadly blow.
Not heads of poppies (when they reap the grain)
Fall with more ease before the labouring swain,
Than fell this head:

It fell so quick, it did even death prevent,
And made imperfect bellowings as it went.
Then all the trumpets victory did sound,
And yet their clangors in our shouts were drown'd.

[A confused noise within. Boab. The alarm-bell rings from our Alhambra walls, And from the streets sound drums and ataballes.

[JVithln, a bell, drums, and trumpets.

Enter a Messenger.

How now? from whence proceed these new alarms * Mess. The two fierce factions are again in arms;And, changing into blood the day's delight, The Zegrys with the Abencerrages fight;On each side their allies and friends appear;The Macas here, the Alabezes there:The Gazuls with the Bencerrages join, And, with the Zegrys, all great Gomel's line. Boab. Draw up behind the Vivarambla place;Double my guards,—these factions I will face;

And try if all the fury they can bring, •

Be proof against the presence of their king.

[Exit Boab.

The Factions appear: At the head of the Abencerrages, Ozmyn; at the head of the Zegrys, Zulema, Hamet, Gomel, and SeLin: Abenamar and Abdelmelech, joined with the Abencerrages.

Zul. The faint Abencerrages quit their ground: Press them; put home your thrusts to every wound.

Abdelm. Zegry, on manly force our line relies; Thine poorly takes the advantage of surprise: Unarmed and much out-numbered we retreat; You gain no fame, when basely you defeat. If thou art brave, seek nobler victory; Save Moorish blood; and, while our bands stand

by,

Let two and two an equal combat try.

Ham. Tis not for fear the combat we refuse, But we our gained advantage will not lose.

Zul. In combating, but two of you will fall; And we resolve we will dispatch you all.

Ozm. We'll double yet the exchange before we

die, And each of ours two lives of yours shall buy.

Almanzor enters betwixt them, as they stand ready to engage.

Aim. I cannot stay to ask which cause is best; But this is so to me, because opprest.

[Goes to the Aben.

To them Boabdelin and his guards, going bettvixt them.

Boab. On your allegiance, I command you stay; Who passes here, through me must make his way;

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