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My life's the Isthmus; through this narrow line
You first must cut, before those seas can join.
What fury, Zegrys, has possessed your minds?
What rage the brave Abencerrages blinds?
If of your courage you new proofs would show,
Without much travel you may find a foe.
Those foes are neither so remote nor few,
That you should need each other to pursue.
Lean times and foreign wars should minds unite;
When poor, men mutter, but they seldom fight.
O holy Alha! that I live to see
Thy Granadines assist their enemy!
You fight the christians' battles; every life
You lavish thus, in this intestine strife,
Does from our weak foundations take one prop,
Which helped to hold our sinking country up.

Ozm. Tis fit our private enmity should cease;
Though injured first, yet I will first seek peace.

Zul. No, murderer, no; I never will be won
To peace with him, whose hand has slain my son.

Ozm. Our prophet's curse
On me, and all the Abencerrages light,
If, unprovoked, I with your son did fight.

Abdelm. A band of Zegrys ran within the place,
Matched with a troop of thirty of our race.
Your son and Ozmyn the first squadrons led, Which, ten by ten, like Parthians, charged and fled.
The ground was strowed with canes where we did


Which crackled underneath our coursers' feet:
When Tarifa (I saw him ride a part)
Changed his blunt cane for a steel-pointed dart, And, meeting Ozmyn next, Who wanted time for treason to provide,——
He basely threw it at him, undefied.

Ozm. [Shelving his arms.] Witness this blood— which when by treason sought, That followed, sir, which to myself I ought.

. Zul. His hate to thee was grounded on a grudge,
Which all our generous Zegrys just did judge:
Thy villain-blood thou openly didst place
Above the purple of our kingly race.
Boab. From equal stems their blood both houses draw,
They from Morocco, you from Cordova.

Ham. Their mongrel race is mixed with Christian breed;Hence 'tis that they those dogs in prisons feed.
Abdelm. Our holy prophet wills, that charity
Should even to birds and beasts extended be:
None knows what fate is for himself designed;
The thought of human chance should make us kind.
Gom. We waste that time we to revenge should give:Fall on: let no Abencerrago live.

[Advancing before the rest of his party. AlManzor, advancing on the other side, and describing a line with his sword. Almanz. Upon thy life pass not this middle space;Sure death stands guarding the forbidden place. Gom. To dare that death, I will approach yet nigher;Thus,—wert thou compassed in with circling fire.


Boab. Disarm them both; if they resist you, kill. [almanzor, in the midst of the guards, kills

Gomel, and then is disarmed. Almanz. Now you have but the leavings of my will. Boab. Kill him! this insolent unknown shall fall, And be the victim to atone you all.

Ozm. If he must die, not one of us will live: That life he gave for us, for him we give. Boab. It was a traitor's voice that spoke those words;So are you all, who do not sheath your swords.

Zul. Outrage unpunished, when a prince is by, Forfeits to scorn the rights of majesty: No subject his protection can expect, Who what he owes himself does first neglect.

Aben. This stranger, sir, is he, Who lately in the Vivarambla place Did, with so loud applause, your triumphs grace.

Boab. The word which I have given, I'll not revoke;If he be brave, he's ready for the stroke. Almanz. No man has more contempt than I of breath, But whence hast thou the right to give me death? Obeyed as sovereign by thy subjects be, But know, that I alone am king of me. I am as free as nature first made man, Ere the base laws of servitude began, When wild in woods the noble savage ran.

Boab. Since, then, no power above your own you know, Mankind should use you like a common foe; You should be hunted like a beast of prey: By your own law I take your life away.

Almanz. My laws are made but only for my sake; No king against himself a law can make. If thou pretend'st to be a prince like me, Blame not an act, which should thy pattern be. I saw the oppressed, and thought it did belong To a king's office to redress the wrong: I brought that succour, which thou ought'st to bring, And so, in nature, am thy subjects' king.

Boab. I do not want your counsel to direct, Or aid to help me punish or protect.

Almanz. Thou want'st them both, or better thou would'st know, Than to let factions in thy kingdom grow. Divided interests, while thou think'st to sway, Draw, like two brooks, thy middle stream away:" For though they band and jar, yet both combine To make their greatness by the fall of thine. Thus, like a buckler, thou art held in sight, While they behind thee with each other fight.

Boab. Away, and execute him instantly!

[To his Guards.

Almanz. Stand off; I have not leisure yet to die.

To them, enter Abdalla hastily.

Abdal. Hold, sir! for heaven's sake hold!
Defer this noble stranger's punishment,
Or your rash orders you will soon repent.

Boab. Brother, you know not yet his insolence.

Abdal. Upon yourself you punish his offence:
If we treat gallant strangers in this sort,
Mankind will shun the inhospitable court;
And who, henceforth, to our defence will come,
If death must be the brave Almanzor's doom?
From Africa I drew him to your aid,
And for his succour have his life betrayed.

Boab. Is this the Almanzor whom at Fez you knew, When first their swords the Xeriff brothers drew?

Abdal. This, sir, is he, who for the elder fought, And to the juster cause the conquest brought; Till the proud Santo, seated on the throne, Disdained the service he had done to own: Then to the vanquished part his fate he led; The vanquished triumphed, and the victor fled. Vast is his courage, boundless is his mind, Rough as a storm, and humorous as wind; Honour's the only idol of his eyes;

The charms of beauty like a pest he flies;
And, raised by valour from a birth unknown,
Acknowledges no power above his own.

[boabdelin coming to Almanzor.

Scab. Impute your danger to our ignorance;
The bravest men are subject most to chance:
Granada much does to your kindness owe;
But towns, expecting sieges, cannot show
More honour, than to invite you to a foe.

Almanz. I do not doubt but I have been to blame:
But, to pursue the end for which I came,
Unite your subjects first; then let us go,
And pour their common rage upon the foe.

Boab. [to the Factions. \ Lay down your arms, and let me beg you cease Your enmities.

Zul. We will not hear of peace,
Till we by force have first revenged our slain.

Abdelm. The action we have done we will maintain.

Selin. Then let the king depart, and we will try Our cause by arms.

Zul. For us and victory. Boab. A king entreats you. Almanz. What subjects will precarious kings re, gard?

A beggar speaks too softly to be heard:Lay down your arms! 'tis I command you now.
Do it—or, by our prophet's soul I vow,
My hands shall right your king on him I seize.
Now let me see whose look but disobeys.

All. Long live king Mahomet Boabdelin!

Almanz. No more; but hushed as midnight silence go:He will not have your acclamations now. Hence, you unthinking crowd !—

[The Common People go off on both parties.

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