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Nor less his change of form appall’d the sight:
Up rose that Dervise, not in saintly garb,
But like a warrior bounding on his barh,
Dash'd his high cap, and tore his robe away,
Shone his maild breast, and flash'd his sabre's ray,
His close but glittering casque, and sable plume,
More glittering eye, and black brow's sabler gloom,
Glared on the Moslem's eyes some Afrit sprite,
Whose demon death-blow left no hope for fight.
The wild confusion, and the swarthy glow
Of flames on high and torches from below:
The shriek of terror, and the mingling yell,
For swords began to clash, and shouts to swell,
Flung o'er that spot of earth the air of hell !
Distracted, to and fro, the flying slaves
Behold but bloody shore and fiery waves;
Nought heeded they the Pacha's angry cry,
They seize that Dervise! seize on Zatanai.
He saw their terror-check'd the first despair
That urged him but to stand and perish there,
Since far too early and too well obey'd,
The flame was kindled ere the signal made:
He saw their terror-from his baldric drew
His bugle-brief the blast—but shrilly blew :
"Tis answer'd, • Well ye speed, my gallant crew!
Why did I doubt their quickness of career ?
And deem design had left me single here?"
Sweeps his long arm - that sabre's whirling sway
Sheds fast atonement for its first delay;
Completes his fury what their fear begun,
And makes the many basely quail to one.
The cloven turbans o'er the chamber spread,
And scarce an arm dare rise to guard its head:
Even Seyd, convulsed, o'erwhelmed with rage, surprise.
Retreats before him though he still defies.
No craven he, and yet he dreads the blow,
So much confusion magnifies his foe!
His blazing galleys still distracted sight.
He tore his beard, and foaming fled the fight;
l'or now the pirates passed the Haram gate,
And burst within, and it were death to wait:
Where wild Amazement shrieking, kneeling throws
The sword aside, in vain, the blood o'erflows!
The Corsairs pouring, haste to where within,
Invited Conrad's bugle, and the din
Of groaning victims, and wild cries for life,
Proclaim'd how well he did the work of strife.
They shout to find him grim and lonely thero,
A glutted tiger mangling in his lair,
Biit short their greeting, shorter his reply,
“ 'Tis well, but Seyd escapes, and he must die;
Much hath been done, but more remains to do,
Their galleys blaze, why not their city too ?”
Quick as the word, they seized him each a torch
And fire the dome from minaret to porch.
A stern delight was fix'd
But sudden sunk, for on his ear the cry
Of women struck, and like a deadly knell
Knock'd at that heart unmoved by battle's yell.
“Oh! burst the Haram-wrong not on your lives
One female form-remember—we have wives.
On thein such outrage Vengeance will repay ;
Man is our foe, and such 'tis ours to slay ;
But still we spared-must spare the weaker prey.
Oh! I forgot-but Heaven will not forgive
If at my word the helpless cease to live;
Follow who will-I go-we yet have time
Our souls to lighten of at least a crime."
He climbs the crackling stair-he bursts the door,
Nor feels his feet glow scorching with the floor ;
His breath choked gasping with the volumed smoke.
But still from room to room his way he broke.
They search-they find they save ; with lusty arms
Each bears a prize of unregarded charms;
Calm their loud fears: sustain their sinking frames
With all the care defenceless beauty claims;
So well could Conrad tame their fiercest mood,
And check the very hands with gore imbrued.
But who is she? whom Conrad's arms convey
From reeking pile and combat's wreck-away-
Who but the love of him he dooms to bleed ?
The Haram queen-but still the slave of Seyd !
Brief time had Conrad now to greet Gulnare,
Few words to re-assure the trembling fair;
For in that pause compassion snatch'd from war,
The foe before retiring fast and far,
With wonder saw their footsteps unpursued,
First slowlier fled—then rallied-then withstoou.
This Seyd perceives—then first perceives how few,
Compared with his, the Corsair's roving crew,
And blushes o'er his error, as he eyes
The ruin wrought by panic and surprise.
Alla il Alla! Vengeance swells the cry
Shame mounts to rage that must atone or die!
And flame for flame and blood for blood must tell,
The tide of triumph ebbs that flow'd too well-
When wrath returns to renovated strife,
And those who fought for conquest strike for life.
Conrad beheld the danger-he beheld
His followers faint by freshening toes repellid :
“ One effort-one-to break the circling host !”
They form-unite-charge-waver-all is lost !
Within a narrower ring compress'd, beset,
Hopeless, not heartless, strive and struggle yet-
Ah! now they fight in firmest file no more,
Hemm'd in-cut off-cleft down-and trampled o'er;
But each strikes singly, silently, and home,
And sinks outwearied rather than o'ercome,
His last faint quittance rendering with his breath,
Till the blade glimmers in the grasp of death!
But first, ere came the rallying host to blows,
And rank to rank, and hand to hand oppose,
Gulnare and all her Haram handmaids freed,
Safe in the dome of one who held their creed.
By Conrad's mandate safely were bestow'd,
And dried those tears for life and fame that flow'd :
And when that dark-eyed lady, young Gulnare,
Recall’d those thoughts late wandering in despair,
Much did she marvel o'er the courtesy
That smoothid his accents, soften'd in his eye:
'Twas strange—that robber thus with gore bedew'd
Seem'd gentler then than Seyd in fondest mood.
The Pacha woo'd as if he deem'd the slave,
Must seem delighted with the heart he gave :
The Corsair vow'd protection, soothed affright,
As if his homage were a woman's right.
" The wish is wrong-nay, worse for female-vain:
Yet much I long to view that chief again ;
If but to thank for, what my fear forgot,
The life--my loving lord remember'd not !”
And him she saw, where thickest carnage spread,
But gathered breathing from the happier dead;
Far from his band, and battling with a host
That deem right dearly won the field he lost,
Felld—bleeding-baffled of the death he sought,
And snatch'd to expiate all the ills he wrought;
Preserved to linger and to live in vain,
While Vengeance ponderd o'er new plans of rain,
And stanch'd the blood she saves to shed again-
But drop by drop, for Seyd's unglutted eye
Would doom him ever dying—ne'er to die i
Can this be he? triumphant late she saw,
When his red hand's wild gesture waved, a law!
'Tis he, indeed-disarm‘d but undepress’d,
His sole regret the life he still possess'd ;
His wounds too slight, though taken with that will,
Which would have kiss'd the hand that then could kill.
Oh, were there none of all the many given,
To send his soul-he scarcely ask'd to heaven?
Must he alone of all retain his breath,
Who more than all had striven and struck for death?
He deeply felt—what mortal hearts must feel,
When thus reversed on faithless fortune's wheel,
For crimes.committed, and the victor's threat
Of lingering tortures to repay the debt-
He deeply, darkly felt; but evil pride
That led to perpetrate--now nerves to hide.
Still in his stern and self-collected mien
A conqueror's more than captive's air is seen,
Though faint with wasting toil and stiffening wound.
But few that saw-so calmly gazed around :
Though the far shouting of the distant crowd,
Their tremors o'er, rose insolently loud,
The better warriors who beheld him near,
Insulted not the foe who taught them fear;
And the grim guards that to his durance led,
In silence eyed him with a secret dread.
From J. POCOCK's Operatic Play of Rob Roy
BAILIE NICOL JARVIE, a Glasgow Magistrate
WYLIE, a Bookkeeper,
MATTIE, a Housekeeper.
(The reader need scarcely be told that this play is merely a dramatization of Scott's immortal work of the same name. To any one who can give the broad Scotch dialect its full swing, the Bailie is a capital character. The struggle between his close-fisted commercial, education and the natural promptings of his generous heart affords examples of fine character painting. Care should be taken not to sink the good
bailie's oddities into absurdities. Mattie is a neat, tidy housekeeper and Saunders Wylie one of those old-time bookkeepers that were as honest and upright as they were scarce even in old times
COSTUMES.— The Bailie and Wylie both wear plain dresses of about the time of our Revolutiou ; the Bailie wears a wig Mattie-woolen dress, gray stockings, high-heeled shoes, plaid for wrapper.]
SCENE.- A room in BAILIE NICOL JARVIE's house at
Enter BAILIE NICOL JARVIE and SAUNDERS WYLIE, L.
BAIL. My conscience! I tell ye, Saunders, ye're daft, ye're mad! Osbaldistone and Co. in danger! It's no' possible.
Wy. It's very true, Bailie; and I thought it but right to let you, my auld maister, ken o't.
BAIL. Troth, Saunders, ye’ve stunned me wi’ the evil communication. Osbaldistone and Co. fail! Stop! My conscience ! Mattie! (calling off.)
WY. Maister Owen, the head clerk, and junior partner, has been at our house wi' the news, an' begging for time to tak' up the bills.
BAIL. Owen! I remember, he's a man o' figures, a man o'calculation ; an' if he talks oruin, by my saul, it's not far aff! But what for did he no ca npon Nicol Jarvie? I'm a merchant,an’a magistrate, as weel as Mac Vittie; but he thinks nae mair o' me, I reckon, than oan auld Scotch pedlar. Mattie! Mattie! Mattie !
Tell the clerk to bring the ledger.
MAT. The clerk! Lord, Bailie! he's safe in his bed these twa hours.
BAIL. A-bed, the lazy blackguard! Then fetch it yoursel, Mattię. MAT. I’se do your bidding, Bailie.
[hrit R. BAIL. My conscience, I havena had sican a shock, since my worthy faither, the Deacon, (peace be wi’ him) left me to fetch my way alane in this wicked warld. But what says Mac Vittie? Will he grant the time ?
Wy. No a day. Mr. Jarvie; no an hour. Things look sae bad, I fear my employers mean to resort to the severest
I heard them talk o' arresting Maister Owen, so you had best look to yoursel.