Imágenes de página

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


: [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 !—Thať impious thought has shocked my

How bold our passions are, and yet how blind
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
That friend thou seem'st, assist me against me.
Betwixt my love and virtue I am tossed;
This must be forfeited, or that be lost.
I could do much to merit thy applause,-
Help me to fortify the better cause;
My honour is not wholly put to flight,
But would, if seconded, renew the fight.

Zul. I met my sister, but I do not see
What difficulty in your choice can be: .
She told me all; and 'tis so plain a case,
You need not ask what counsel to embrace.

Abdal. I stand reproved, that I did doubt at all;
My waiting virtue staid but for thy call:
'Tis plain that she, who, for a kingdom, now
Would sacrifice her love, and break her vow,
Not out of love, but interest, acts alone,
And would, even in my arms, lie thinking of a

throne. Zul. Add to the rest, this one reflection more: When she is married, and you still adore, Think then,—and think whatcomfort 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;

Gives nothing, while the raging fit does last,
But stays to cure it, when the worst is past.
Reason's a staff for age, when nature's gone;
But youth is strong enough to walk alone.

Abdal. In cursed ambition I no rest should find,
But must for ever lose my peace of mind.
Zul. Methinks that peace of mind were bravely

lost; A crown, whate'er we give, is worth the cost.

Abdal. Justice distributes to each man his right; But what she gives not, should I take by might?

Zul. If justice will take all, and nothing give, Justice, methinks, is not distributive.

Abdal. Had fate so pleased, I had been eldest born, And then, without a crime, the crown had worn! Zul. Would you so please, fate yet a way would

find; Man makes his fate according to his mind. The weak low spirit, fortune makes her slave; But she's a drudge, when hectored by the brave: If fate weaves common thread, he'll change the

doom, And with new purple spread a nobler loom.

Abdal. No more! I will usurp the royal seat; Thou, who hast made me wicked, make me great.

Zul. Your way is plain: the death of Tarifa Does on the king our Zegrys' hatred draw : Though with our enemies in show we close, 'Tis but while we to purpose can be foes. Selin, who heads us, would revenge his son; But favour hinders justice to be done. Proud Ozmyn with the king his power maintains, And, in him, each Abencerrago reigns.

Abdal. What face of any title can I bring?

Zul. The right an eldest son has to be king.
Your father was at first a private man,
And got your brother ere his reign began:

When, by his valour, he the crown had won,
Then you were born a monarch's eldest son.
Abdal. To sharp-eyed reason this would seem un-

But reason I through love's false optics view.

Zul. Love's mighty power has led me captive too; I am in it unfortunate as you.

Abdal. Our loves and fortunes shall together go; Thou shalt be happy, when I first am so.

Zul. The Zegrys at old Selin's house are met,
Where, in close council, for revenge they sit:
There we our common interest will unite;
You their revenge shall own, and they your right.
One thing I had forgot, which may import:
I met Almanzor coming back from court,
But with a discomposed and speedy pace,
A fiery colour kindling all his face:
The king his prisoner's freedom has denied,
And that refusal has provoked his pride.

Abdal. 'Would he were ours ! -
I'll try to gild the injustice of his cause,
And court his valour with a vast applause.

Zul. The bold are but the instruments o'the wise;
They undertake the dangers we advise :
And, while our fabric with their pains we raise,
We take the profit, and pay them with praise.



Almans. That he should dare to do me this dis-

Is fool, or coward, writ upon my face?

Refuse my prisoner!—I such means will use,
He shall not have a prisoner to refuse.
Abdal. He said, you were not by your promise

tied; That he absolved your word, when he denied. Almanz. He break my promise, and absolve my

vow! "Tis more than Mahomet himself can do! The word, which I have given, shall stand like fate; Not like the king's, that weather-cock of state. He stands so high, with so unfixed a mind, Two factions turn him with each blast of wind: But now, he shall not veer! my word is past; I'll take his heart by the roots, and hold it fast. Abdal. You have your vengeance in your hand

this hour; Make me the humble creature of your power; The Granadines will gladly me obey; (Tired with so base and impotent a sway) And, when I shew my title, you shall see, I have a better right to reign than he.

Almanz. It is sufficient that you make the claim; You wrong our friendship when your right you

When for myself I fight, I weigh the cause;
But friendship will admit of no such laws:
That weighs by the lump; and, when the cause is

Puts kindness in to set the balance right.
True, I would wish my friend the juster side;
But, in the unjust, my kindness more is tried:
And all the opposition I can bring,
Is, that I fear to make you such a king.

Abdal. The majesty of kings we should not blame,
When royal minds adorn the royal name;
The vulgar, greatness too much idolize,
But haughty subjects it too much despise.

« AnteriorContinuar »