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But I, unhappy, in my bonds, must yet
Almanz, Vain man, thy hopes of Ferdinand are weak!I hold thy chain too fast for him to break. But, since thou threaten'st us, I'll set thee free, That I again may fight, and conquer thee.
D. Arcos. Old as I am, I take thee at thy word, And will to-morrow thank thee with my sword.
Almanz. I'll go, and instantly acquaint the king, And sudden orders for thy freedom bring. Thou canst not be so pleased at liberty, As I shall be to find thou darest be free.
[Exeunt Almanzor, Arcos, and the rest, excepting only A H D All A and Zulema. Abdal. Of all those Christians who infest this town, This duke of Arcos is of most renown.
Zul. Oft have I heard, that, in your father's reign, His bold adventurers beat the neighbouring plain; Then under Ponce Leon's name he fought, And from our triumphs many prizes brought; Till in disgrace from Spain at length he went, And since continued long in banishment.
Abdal. But, see, your beauteous sister does appear.
Zul. By my desire she came to find me here. [zulema and Lyndaraxa whisper; then Zui»
goes out, and Lyndar. is going after. Abdal. Why, fairest Lyndaraxa, do you fly
[Staying her. A prince, who at your feet is proud to die?
Lyndar. Sir, I should blush to own so rude a thing,
[Staying. As 'tis to shun the brother of my king.
Abdal. In my hard fortune, I some ease should find, Did your disdain extend to all mankind. But give me leave to grieve, and to complain, That you give others what I beg in vain.
Lyndar. Take my esteem, if you on that can live;
Abdal. My rival merits you.—
Lyndar. That for his virtue, sir, you make defence,
Abdal. I fain would ask, ere I proceed in this, If, as by choice, you are by promise his?
Lyndar. The engagement only in my love does lie, But that's a knot which you can ne'er untie. Abdal. When cities are besieged, and treat to yield, If there appear relievers from the field, The flag of parley may be taken down, Till the success of those without is known.
Lyndar. Though Abdelmelech has not yet possest, Yet I have sealed the treaty in my breast.
Abdal. Your treaty has not tied you to a day;
Lyndar. Princes are subjects still.—
VOL. IV. D
And since, sir, you are none, your hopes remove; For less than empire I'll not change my love. Abdal. Had I a crown, all I should prize in it, Should be the power to lay it at your feet.
Lyndar. Had you that crown, which you not hope, Then I, perhaps, might stoop, and take it up. But till your wishes and your hopes agree, You shall be still a private man with me.
Abdal. If I am king, and if my brother die,
Lyndar. Two if's scarce make one possibility.
Abdal. The rule of happiness by reason scan; You may be happy with a private man.
Lyndar. That happiness I may enjoy, 'tis true; But then that private man must not be you. Where'er I love, I'm happy in my choice; If I make you so, you shall pay my price.
Abdal. Why would you be so great?
Lyndar. Because I've seen, This day, what 'tis to hope to be a queen.— Heaven, how you all watched each motion of her eye!None could be seen while Almahide was by, Because she is to be—her majesty!— Why would I be a queen? Because my face Would wear the title with a better grace. If I became it not, yet it would be Part of your duty, then, to flatter me. These are but half the charms of being great; I would be somewhat, that I know not yet:— Yes! I avow the ambition of my soul, To be that one to live without controul! And that's another happiness to me, To be so happy as but one can be.
Abdal. Madam,—because I would all doubts remove,— Would you, were I a king, accept my love?
Lyndar. I would accept it; and, to shew 'tis true, From any other man as soon as you. Abdal. Your sharp replies make me not love you less;But make me seek new paths to happiness.— What I design, by time will best be seen: You may be mine, and yet may be a queen. When you are so, your word your love assures. Lyndar. Perhaps not love you,—but I will be yours.— [He offers to take her hand, and kiss it. Stay, sir, that grace I cannot yet allow; Before you set the crown upon my brow.— That favour which you seek, Or Abdelmelech, or a king, must have; When you are so, then you may be my slave.
[Exit; but looks smiling back on.him.
Abdal. Howe'er imperious in her words she were, Her parting looks had nothing of severe; A glancing smile allured me to command, And her soft fingers gently pressed my hand: I felt the pleasure glide through every part; Her hand went through me to my very heart. For such another pleasure, did he live, I could my father of a crown deprive.— What did I say?— Father!—That impious thought has shocked my mind:How bold our passions are, and yet how blind I—She's gone; and now, Methinks, there is less glory in a crown:My boiling passions settle, and go down. Like amber chafed, when she is near, she acts;When farther off, inclines, but not attracts.
Assist me, Zulema, if thou wouldst be
Zul. I met my sister, but I do not see
Abdal. I stand reproved, that I did doubt at all;
Zul. Add to the rest, this one reflection more: When she is married, and you still adore, Think then,—and think what comfort it will bring,— She had been mine, Had I but only dared to be a king!
Abdal. I hope you only would my honour try; I'm loth to think you virtue's enemy.
Zul. If, when a crown and mistress are in place, Virtue intrudes, with her lean holy face, Virtue's then mine, and not I virtue's foe. Why does she come where she has nought to do? Let her with anchorites, not with lovers, lie; Statesmen and they keep better company. Abdal. Reason was given to curb our head-strong will.
Zul. Reason but shews a weak physician's skill;