Imágenes de página

Empire, thon f01' a°d despicable thing,
When such as these make or unmake a king!
Abdal. How much of virtue lies in one great soul,

[Embracing him. Whose single force can multitudes controul!

[A trumpet within.

Enter a Messenger.

Messen. The Duke of Arcos, sir, Does with a trumpet from the foe appear. Boab. Attend him; he shall have his audience here.

Enter the Duke of Arcos.

D. Arcos. The monarchs of Castile and Arragon
Have sent me to you, to demand this town.
To which their just and rightful claim is known.

Boab. Tell Ferdinand, my right to it appears
By long possession of eight hundred years:
When first my ancestors from Afric sailed,
In Rodrique's death your Gothic title failed.

D. Arcos. The successors of Rodrique still remain,
And ever since have held some part of Spain:
Even in the midst of your victorious powers,
The Asturias, and all Portugal, were ours.
You have no right, except you force allow;
And if yours then was just, so ours is now.

Boab. Tis true from force the noblest title springs; I therefore hold from that, which first made kings.

D. Arcos. Since then by force you prove your title true, Ours must be just, because we claim from you. When with your father you did jointly reign, Invading with your Moors the south of Spain, I, who that day the Christians did command, Then took, and brought you bound to Ferdinand.

Boab. I'll hear no more; defer what you would say: In private we'll discourse some other day.

D. Arcos. Sir, you shall hear, however you are loth, That, like a perjured prince, you broke your oath: To gain your freedom you a contract signed, By which your crown you to my king resigned, From thenceforth as his vassal holding it, And paying tribute such as he thought fit; Contracting, when your father came to die, To lay aside all marks of royalty, And at Purchena privately to live, Which, in exchange, king Ferdinand did give. Boab. The force used on me made that contract void.

D. Arcos. Why have you then its benefits enjoyed?By it you had not only freedom then, But, since, had aid of money and of men; And, when Granada for your uncle held, You were by us restored, and he expelled. Since that, in peace we let you reap your grain, Recalled our troops, that used to beat your plain;And more-

Almanz. Yes, yes, you did, with wonderous care, Against his rebels prosecute the war, While he secure in your protection slept; For him you took, but for yourself you kept. Thus, as some fawning usurer does feed, With present sums, the unwary spendthrift's need, You sold your kindness at a boundless rate, And then o'erpaid the debt from his estate; Which, mouldering piecemeal, in your hands did fall, Till now at last you come to swoop it all.

D. Arcos. The wrong you do my king, I cannot bear;Whose kindness you would odiously compare.—

The estate was his; which yet, since you deny,
He's now content, in his own wrong, to buy. Almanz. And he shall buy it dear! What his he calls,
We will not give one stone from out these walls.

Boab. Take this for answer, then,—
Whate'er your arms have conquered of my land,
I will, for peace, resign to Ferdinand.—
To harder terms my mind I cannot bring;
But, as I still have lived, will die a king.

D. Arcos. Since thus you have resolved, henceforth prepare For all the last extremities of war: My king his hope from heaven's assistance draws.

Almanz. The Moors have heaven, and me, to assist their cause. [Exit Arcos.

Enter Esperanza.

Esper. Fair Almahide, (Who did with weeping eyes these discords see,
AndJears the omen may unlucky be,)
Prepares a zambra to be danced this night,
In hope soft pleasures may your minds unite.

Boab. My mistress gently chides the fault I made: But tedious business has my love delayed,— Business, which dares the joys of kings invade.

Almanz. First let us sally out, and meet the foe.

Abdal. Led on by you, we on to triumph go.

Boab. Then with the day let war and tumult cease;The night be sacred to our love and peace: Tis just some joys on weary kings should wait; Tis all we gain by being slaves to state. [Exeunt.


Enter Abdalla, Abdelmelech, Ozmyn, Zulema, and Ha Met, as returning from the sally.

Abdal. This happy day does to Granada bring A lasting peace, and triumphs to the king!— The two fierce factions will no longer jar, Since they have now been brothers in the war. Those who, apart, in emulation fought, The common danger to one body brought; And, to his cost, the proud Castilian finds Our Moorish courage in united minds.

Abdelm. Since to each others aid our lives we owe,
Lose we the name of faction, and of foe;
Which I to Zulema can bear no more,
Since Lyndaraxa's beauty I adore.

Zul. 1 am obliged to Lyndaraxa's charms,
Which gain the conquest I should lose by arms;
And wish my sister may continue fair,
That I may keep a good,
Of whose possession I should else despair.

Ozm. While we indulge our common happiness,
He is forgot, by whom we all possess;
The brave Almanzor, to whose arms we owe
All that we did, and all that we shall do;
Who, like a tempest, that out-rides the wind,
Made a just battle ere the bodies joined.

Abdelm. His victories we scarce could keep in view, Or polish them so fast as he rough-drew.

Abdal. Fate, after him, below with pain did move, And victory could scarce keep pace above:

Death did at length so many slain forget,
And lost the tale, and took them by the great.

Enter Almanzok, with the Duke of Arcos,

Hamet. Sec, here he comes,
And leads in triumph him, who did command
The vanquished army of king Ferdinand.

Almanz. [To the Duke.] Thus far your master's arms a fortune find Below the swelled ambition of his mind;
And Alha shuts a misbeliever's reign
From out the best and goodliest part of Spain.
Let Ferdinand Calabrian conquests make,
And from the French contested Milan take;
Let him new worlds discover to the old,
And break up shining mountains, big with gold;
Yet he shall find this small domestic foe,
Still sharp and pointed, to his bosom grow.

D. Arcos. Of small advantages too much you boast;You beat the out-guards of my master's host: This little loss, in our vast body, shows So small, that half have never heard the news. Fame's out of breath, ere she can fly so far, To tell them all, that you have e'er made war.

Almanz. It pleases me your army is so great; For now I know there's more to conquer yet. By heaven! I'll see what troops you have behind: I'll face this storm, that thickens in the wind; And, with bent forehead, full against it go, Till I have found the last and utmost foe.

D. Arcos. Believe, you shall not long attend in vain:To-morrow's dawn shall cover all the plain; Bright arms shall flash upon you from afar, A wood of lances, and a moving Avar.

« AnteriorContinuar »