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SCENE I-Bajazet's Tent.



SURE 'tis a horror, more than darkness brings,
That sits upon the night! Fate is abroad;
Some ruling fiend hangs in the dusky air,
And scatters ruin, death, and wild distraction,
O'er all the wretched race of man below.
Not long ago, a troop of ghastly slaves
Rushed in, and forced Moneses from my sight;
Death hung so heavy on his drooping spirits,
That scarcely could he say-Farewell-for ever!
And yet, methinks, some gentle spirit whispers,
Thy peace draws near, Arpasia, sigh no more!
And see! the king of terrors is at hand;

His minister appears.

Enter BAJAZET and HALY. Baj. [Aside to Haly.] The rest I leave To thy dispatch. For, oh! my faithful Haly, Another care has taken up thy master. Spite of the high-wrought tempest in my soul, Spite of the pangs which jealousy has cost me, This haughty woman reigns within my breast; In vain I strive to put her from my thoughts, To drive her out with empire, and revenge. Still she comes back, like a retiring tide, That ebbs awhile, but strait returns again, And swells above the beach.

Ha. Why wears my lord

An anxious thought for what his power commands?
When, in a happy hour, you shall, ere long,
Have borne the empress from amidst your foes,
She must be yours, be only and all yours.

Baj. On that depends my fear. Yes, I must have her;

I own, I will not, cannot, go without her.
But such is the condition of our flight,
That should she not consent, 'twould hazard all
To bear her hence by force. Thus I resolve

By threats and prayers, by every way, to move her;

If all prevail not, force is left at last;
And I will set life, empire, on the venture,
To keep her mine-Be near to wait my will.

[Exit Haly. When last we parted, 'twas on angry terms; Let the remembrance die, or kindly think That jealous rage is but a hasty flame, That blazes out, when love too fiercely burns. Arp. For thee to wrong me, and for me to suffer,

Is the hard lesson that my soul has learnt,
And now I stand prepared for all to come;
Nor is it worth my leisure to distinguish
If love or jealousy commit the violence.
Each have alike been fatal to my peace,
Confirming me a wretch, and thee a tyrant.

Baj. Still to deform thy gentle brow with

And still to be perverse, it is a manner
Abhorrent from the softness of thy sex :
Women, like summer storms, awhile are cloudy,
Burst out in thunder, and impetuous showers;
But strait, the sun of beauty dawns abroad,
And all the fair horizon is serene.

Arp. Then, to retrieve the honour of my sex, Here I disclaim that changing and inconstancy: To thee I will be ever as I am.

Baj. Thou sayest I am a tyrant; think so still,
And let it warn thy prudence to lay hold
On the good hour of peace, that courts thee now,
Souls, formed like mine, brook being scorned but

Be well advised, and profit by my patience;
It is a short-lived virtue.

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To court thy stubborn temper with endearments.
Resolve, this moment, to return my love,
And be the willing partner of my flight,
Or, by the prophet's holy law, thou diest!

Arp. And dost thou hope to fright me with the phantom,

Death? 'Tis the greatest mercy thou canst give; So frequent are the murders of thy reign,

One day scarce passing by unmarked with blood, That children, by long use, have learnt to scorn it.

Know, I disdain to aid thy treacherous purpose,
And shouldst thou dare to force me, with my cries
I will call Heaven and earth to my assistance.
Baj. Confusion! dost thou brave me? But
my wrath

Shall find a passage to thy swelling heart,
And rack thee worse than all the pains of death.
That Grecian dog, the minion of thy wishes,
Shall be dragged forth, and butchered in thy sight;
Thou shalt behold him when his pangs are

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Come, all ye great examples of my sex,
Chaste virgins, tender wives, and pious matrons!
Ye holy martyrs, who, with wondrous faith
And constancy unshaken, have sustained
The rage of cruel men, and fiery persecution,
Come to my aid, and teach me to defy
The malice of this fiend! I feel, I feel
Your sacred spirit arm me to resistance.
Yes, tyrant, I will stand this shock of fate;
Will live to triumph o'er thee, for a moment,
Then die well pleased, and follow my Moneses.
Baj. Thou talkest it well. But talking is thy

"Tis all the boasted courage of thy sex;

Mon. There is no room for doubt; 'tis certain


The tyrant's cruel violence, thy loss,
Already seem more light; nor has my soul
One unrepented guilt upon remembrance,
To make me dread the justice of hereafter;
But standing now on the last verge of life,
Boldly I view the last abyss, eternity,
Eager to plunge, and leave my woes behind me.
Arp. By all the truth of our past loves, I vow,
To die appears a very nothing to me.
But, oh, Moneses! should I not allow
Somewhat to love, and to my sex's tenderness?
This very now I could put off my being

Though, for thy soul, thou darest not meet the Without a groan; but to behold thee die !


Nature shrinks in me at the dreadful thought,
can my constancy sustain this blow.
Mon. Since thou art armed for all things after

Arp. By all my hopes of happiness, I dare!-Nor
My soul is come within her ken of heaven;
Charmed with the joys and beauties of that place,
Her thoughts and all her cares she fixes there,
And 'tis in vain for thee to rage below:
Thus stars shine bright, and keep their place

Though ruffling winds deform this lower world.
Baj. This moment is the trial.

Arp. Let it come!

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My love prepares a victim to thy pride,
And when it greets thee next, 'twill be in blood.
[Exit Bajazet.
Arp. My heart beats higher, and my nimble

Ride swiftly through their purple channels round.
"Tis the last blaze of life. Nature revives,
Like a dim winking lamp, that flashes brightly
With parting light, and straight is dark for ever.
And see, my last of sorrows is at hand;
Death and Moneses come together to me;
As if my stars, that had so long been cruel,
Grew kind at last, and gave me all I wish.

Why should the pomp and preparation of it
Be frightful to thy eyes? There's not a pain,
Which age or sickness brings, the least disorder
That vexes any part of this fine frame,
But is full as grievous.
Is much, much more.

All that the mind feels
And see, I go to prove it.

Enter a Mute; he signs to the rest, who proffer
a bow-string to Moneses.

Arp. Think, ere we part!
Mon. Of what?

Arp. Of something soft,

Tender and kind, of something wondrous sad.
Oh, my full soul!

Mon. My tongue is at a loss;
Thoughts crowd so fast, thy name is all I have

My kindest, truest, dearest, best Arpasia!

[The Mutes struggle with him. Arp. I have a thousand, thousand things to


A thousand more to hear yet. Barbarous villains!

Give me a minute. Speak to me, Moneses!

Mon. Speak to thee? Tis the business of my life, bow-Tis all the use I have for vital air.

Enter MONESES, guarded by some Mutes; others
attending with a cup of poison, and a

Mon. I charge ye, O ye ministers of fate!
Be swift to execute your master's will;
Bear me to my Arpasia; let me tell her,
The tyrant is grown kind. He bids me go,
And die beneath her feet. A joy shoots through
My drooping breast; as often, when the trumpet
Has called my youthful ardour forth to battle,
High in my hopes, and ravished with the sound,
I have rushed eager on, amidst the foremost,
To purchase victory, or glorious death.

Arp. If it be happiness, alas! to die,
To lie forgotten in the silent grave,
To love and glory lost, and from among

The great Creator's works expunged and blotted,
Then, very shortly, shall we both be happy.

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Patience! distraction! Blast the tyrant, blast him,

Avenging lightnings! Snatch him hence, ye

fiends! Love! Death! Moneses! Nature can no more; Ruin is on her, and she sinks at once.

[She sinks down. Baj. Help, Haly! raise her up, and bear her out!

Ha. Alas! She faints.

Arp. No, tyrant, 'tis in vain.

Oh! I am now beyond thy cruel power;
The peaceful slumber of the grave is on me:
Even all the tedious days of life I have wandered,
Bewildered with misfortunes:

At length 'tis night, and I have reached my home.
Forgetting all the toils and troubles past,
Weary I'll lay me down, and sleep, till-

-Oh! [She dies.

Baj. Fly, ye slaves! And fetch me cordials. No, she shall not die! Spite of her sullen pride, I'll hold in life, And force her to be blest against her will.

Ha. Already 'tis beyond the power of art; For, see, a deadly cold has froze the blood, The pliant limbs grow stiff, and lose their use, And all the animating fire is quenched: Even beauty too is dead; an ashy pale Grows o'er the roses; the red lips have lost Their fragrant hue, for want of that sweet breath,

That blest them with its odours as it past.

Baj. Can it be possible? Can rage and grief, Can love and indignation be so fierce,

So mortal in a woman's heart? Confusion!
Is she escaped then? What is royalty,

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Om. Too late I learnt, that early in the night
A slave was suffered, by the princess' order,
To pass the guard. I clove the villain down,
Who yielded to his flight; but that's poor ven-

That fugitive has raised the camp upon us,
And unperceived, by favour of the night,
In silence they have marched to intercept us.
Baj. My daughter! Oh, the traitress!
Der. Yet we have

Axalla in our power, and angry Tamerlane
Will buy his favourite's life, on any terms.

Om. With those few friends I have, I for a while

Can face their force: if they refuse us peace, Revenge shall sweeten ruin, and 'twill joy me, To drag my foe down with me, in my fall.

[Exit Omar.

Enter HALY, with SELIMA, weeping. Baj. See where she comes, with well-dissembled innocence;

With truth and faith so lovely in her face,
As if she durst even disavow the falsehood.-
Hop'st thou to make amends with trifling tears,
For my lost crown, and disappointed vengeance?
Ungrateful Selima! thy father's curse!

Bring forth the minion of her foolish heart!
He dies this moment.-

Ha. Would I could not speak

If those, that are my slaves, and should live for The crime of fatal love! The slave who fled,

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Der. The valiant Omar sends, to tell thy greatness

The hour of flight is come, and urges haste; Since he descries, near Tamerlane's pavilion, Bright troops of crowding torches, who from thence,

On either hand, stretch far into the night, And seem to form a shining front of battle. Behold, even from this place thou mayst discern them. [Looking out. Baj. By Alla, yes! they cast a day around them, And the plain seems thick-set with stars, as heaven.

Ha! or my eyes are false, they move this way; 'Tis certain so. Fly, Haly, to our daughter.

[Erit Haly. Let some secure the Christian prince, Axalla; We will begone this minute.

Enter OMAR.

Om. Lost! undone!

By whom we are undone, was that Axalla.
Baj. Ha! sayest thou?

Ha. Hid beneath that vile appearance,
The princess found a means for his escape.
Sel. I am undone! even nature has disclaim-
ed me!

My father! have I lost you all? My father!
Baj. Talk'st thou of nature, who hast broke

her bands!

Thou art my bane, thou witch! thou infant parricide!

But I will study to be strangely cruel;
I will forget the folly of my fondness;
Drive all the father from my breast; now snatch

Tear thee to pieces, drink thy treacherous blood,
And make thee answer all my great revenge!
Now, now, thou traitress!
[Offers to kill her.

Sel. Plunge the poignard deep!

[She embraces him. The life my father gave shall hear his summons, And issue at the wound!Start not to feel My heart's warm blood gush out upon your hands; Since from your spring I drew the purple stream, And I must pay it back, if you demand it.

Baj. Hence, from my thoughts, thou soft relenting weakness!

Has thou not given me up a prey? betrayed me!
Sel. Oh, not for worlds! not even for all the

Love, or the prophet's paradise can give !
Amidst the fears and sorrows of my soul,
Amidst the thousand pains of anxious tenderness,
I made the gentle, kind Axalla swear,

| Be this the whitest hour of all my life!
This one success is more than all my wars,
The noblest, dearest glory of my sword.

Sel. Alas, Axalla! Death has been around me;
My coward soul still trembles at the fright,
And seems but half secure, even in thy arms.
Ax. Retire, my fair, and let me guard thee

Blood and tumultuous slaughter are about us,
And danger, in her ugliest forms, is here;

Your life, your crown, and honour, should be safe.
Baj. Away! my soul disdains the vile depend-Nor will the pleasure of my heart be full,
Till all my fears are ended in thy safety.

No, let me rather die, die like a king!
Shall I fall down at the proud Tartar's foot,
And say, have mercy on me? Hark! they come!

Disgrace will overtake my lingering hand;
Die then! Thy father's shame, and thine, die
with thee!
[Offers to kill her.

Sel. For Heaven, for pity's sake!
Baj. No more, thou triffer!

[She catches hold of his arm. Ha! darest thou bar my will? Tear off her hold! Sel. What, not for life! Should I not plead for life?

When nature teaches even the brute creation
To hold fast that, her best, her noblest gift.
Look on my eyes, which you so oft have kissed,
And swore they were your best-loved queen's,
my mother's;

Behold them now streaming for mercy, mercy!
Look on me, and deny me, if you can!
"Tis but for life I beg! Is that a boon
So hard for me to obtain, or you to grant?
Oh, spare me! Spare your Selima, my father!
Baj. A lazy sloth hangs on my resolution:
It is my Selima!-Ha! What, my child!
And can I murder her?-Dreadful imagination!
Again they come! I leave her to my foes!

And shall they triumph o'er the race of Bajazet !
Die, Selima! Is that a father's voice?
Rouse, rouse, my fury! Yes, she dies the victim
To my lost hopes! Out, out, thou foolish nature!
Seize her, ye slaves! and strangle her this mo-
[To the Mutes.
Sel. Oh, let me die by you! Behold my breast!
I would not shrink! Oh, save me but from these!
Baj. Dispatch! [The Mutes seize her.
Sel. But for a moment, while I pray
That Heaven may guard my royal father.
Baj. Dogs!

Sel. That you may only bless me, ere I die.

[Shout. Baj. Ye tedious villains! then the work is mine! [As Bajazet runs at Selima, with his sword, enter Tamerlane, Axalla, &c. Axalla gets between Bajazet and Selima, whilst Tamerlane and the rest drive Bajazet and the Mutes off the Stage. Ar. And am I come to save thee? Oh, my joy!

[Exeunt Axalla and Selima.

MA, MIRVAN, and Soldiers; with BAJAZET,
OMAR, and the Dervise, prisoners.

Tam. Mercy at length gives up her peaceful

And justice sternly takes her turn to govern;
'Tis a rank world, and asks her keenest sword,
To cut up villainy of monstrous growth.
Zama, take care, that with the earliest dawn,
Those traitors meet the fate their treason merits!
[Pointing to Omar and the Dervise.
For thee, thou tyrant! [To Baj.] whose oppres-

sive violence

Has ruined those thou shouldst protect at home;
Whose wars, whose slaughters, whose assassina-


(That basest thirst of blood! that sin of cowards!)
Whose faith, so often given, and always violated,
Have been the offence of Heaven, and plague of

What punishment is equal to thy crimes?
The doom, thy rage designed for me, be thine:
Closed in a cage, like some destructive beast,
I'll have thee borne about, in public view,
A great example of that righteous vengeance,
That waits on cruelty, and pride, like thine.

Baj. It is beneath me to decline my fate;
I stand prepared to meet thy utmost hate :
Yet think not I will long thy triumph see:
None want the means, when the soul dares be

I'll curse thee with my last, my parting breath,
And keep the courage of my life, in death;
Then boldly venture on that world unknown:
It cannot use me worse than this has done.
[Exit Bajazet, guarded.
Tam. Behold the vain effects of earth-born
That scorned Heaven's laws, and all its power

That could the hand, which formed it first, for

And fondly say, I made myself be great!
But justly those above assert their sway,
And teach even kings what homage they should


Who then rule best, when mindful to obey.

[Exeunt omnes.

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Scene, Sciolto's palace and garden, with some part of the street near it, in Genoa.

Alt. LET this auspicious day be ever sacred, No mourning, no misfortunes happen on it: Let it be marked for triumphs and rejoicings; Let happy lovers ever make it holy,


Chuse it to bless their hopes, and crown their wishes,

This happy day, that gives me my Calista!

Hor. Yes, Altamont; to-day thy better stars Are joined to shed their kindest influence on thee; Sciolto's noble hand, that raised thee first, Half dead and drooping o'er thy father's grave, Completes it's bounty, and restores thy name To that high rank and lustre which it boasted, Before ungrateful Genoa had forgot The merit of thy god-like father's arms; Before that country, which he long had served, In watchful councils, and in winter-camps, Had cast off his white age to want and wretchedness,

And made their court to faction by his ruin. Alt. Oh, great Sciolto! Oh, my more than father!

Let me not live, but at thy very name,

My eager heart springs up, and leaps with joy. When I forget the vast, vast debt I owe thee

Forget! (but 'tis impossible) then let me
Forget the use and privilege of reason,
Be driven from the commerce of mankind,
To wander in the desert among brutes,
To bear the various fury of the seasons,
The night's unwholsome dew, and noon-day's

To be the scorn of earth and curse of heaven!

Hor. So open, so unbounded was his goodness, It reached even me, because I was thy friend. When that great man I loved, thy noble father, Bequeathed thy gentle sister to my arms, His last dear pledge and legacy of friendship, That happy tie made me Sciolto's son;

He called us his, and, with a parent's fondness, Indulged us in his wealth, blessed us with plenty, Healed all our cares, and sweetened love itself.

Alt. By Heaven, he found my fortunes so


That nothing but a miracle could raise them: My father's bounty, and the state's ingratitude, Had stripped him bare, not left him even a grave. Undone myself and sinking with his ruin,

I had no wealth to bring, nothing to succour him, But fruitless tears.

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