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SCENE I-Bajazet's Tent.
SURE 'tis a horror, more than darkness brings,
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?
Baj. On that depends my fear. Yes, I must have her;
I own, I will not, cannot, go without her.
By threats and prayers, by every way, to move her;
If all prevail not, force is left at last;
[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,
Baj. Still to deform thy gentle brow with
And still to be perverse, it is a manner
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,
Be well advised, and profit by my patience;
To court thy stubborn temper with endearments.
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,
Shall find a passage to thy swelling heart,
Come, all ye great examples of my sex,
"Tis all the boasted courage of thy sex;
Mon. There is no room for doubt; 'tis certain
The tyrant's cruel violence, thy loss,
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,
Arp. By all my hopes of happiness, I dare!-Nor
Though ruffling winds deform this lower world.
Arp. Let it come!
My love prepares a victim to thy pride,
Ride swiftly through their purple channels round.
Why should the pomp and preparation of it
All that the mind feels
Enter a Mute; he signs to the rest, who proffer
Arp. Think, ere we part!
Arp. Of something soft,
Tender and kind, of something wondrous sad.
Mon. My tongue is at a loss;
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
Mon. I charge ye, O ye ministers of fate!
Arp. If it be happiness, alas! to die,
The great Creator's works expunged and blotted,
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;
At length 'tis night, and I have reached my home.
-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!
Om. Too late I learnt, that early in the night
That fugitive has raised the camp upon us,
Axalla in our power, and angry Tamerlane
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.
Enter HALY, with SELIMA, weeping. Baj. See where she comes, with well-dissembled innocence;
With truth and faith so lovely in her face,
Bring forth the minion of her foolish heart!
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,
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.
Om. Lost! undone!
By whom we are undone, was that Axalla.
Ha. Hid beneath that vile appearance,
My father! have I lost you all? My father!
Thou art my bane, thou witch! thou infant parricide!
But I will study to be strangely cruel;
Tear thee to pieces, drink thy treacherous blood,
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!
Love, or the prophet's paradise can give !
| Be this the whitest hour of all my life!
Sel. Alas, Axalla! Death has been around me;
Blood and tumultuous slaughter are about us,
Your life, your crown, and honour, should be safe.
No, let me rather die, die like a king!
Sel. For Heaven, for pity's sake!
[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
Behold them now streaming for mercy, mercy!
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.
Enter TAMERLANE, the PRINCE of TANAIS, ZA-
Tam. Mercy at length gives up her peaceful
And justice sternly takes her turn to govern;
Has ruined those thou shouldst protect at home;
(That basest thirst of blood! that sin of cowards!)
What punishment is equal to thy crimes?
Baj. It is beneath me to decline my fate;
I'll curse thee with my last, my parting breath,
That could the hand, which formed it first, for
And fondly say, I made myself be great!
Who then rule best, when mindful to obey.
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
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.