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IRENE. What wild mistake is this! Take hence, with speed, Your robe of mourning, and your dogs of death. Quick from my sight, you inauspicious monsters ; Nor dare, henceforth, to shock Irene's walks.

HASAN.
Alas! they come commanded by the sultan,
Th' unpitying ministers of Turkish justice,
Nor dare to spare the life his frown condemns.

IRENE. Are these the rapid thunderbolts of war, That pour with sudden violence on kingdoms, And spread their flames, resistless, o'er the world? What sleepy charms benumb these active heroes, Depress their spirits, and retard their speed ? Beyond the fear of ling’ring punishment, Aspasia now, within her lover's arms, Securely sleeps, and, in delightful dreams, Smiles at the threat'nings of defeated rage.

[graphic]
[graphic]

Now shalt thou shine, the darling of the sultan,
The plot all Cali's, the detection thine.

HASAN to CARAZA.
Does not thy bosom (for I know thee tender,
A stranger to th' oppressor's savage joy,)
Melt at Irene's fate, and share her woes?

CARAZA.

Her piercing cries yet fill the loaded air,
Dwell on my ear, and sadden all my soul.
But let us try to clear our clouded brows,
And tell the horrid tale with cheerful face;
The stormy sultan rages at our stay.

ABDALLA.
Frame your report with circumspective art:
Inflame her crimes, exalt your own obedience;
But let no thoughtless hint involve Abdalla.

CARAZA. What need of caution to report the fate Of her, the sultan's voice condemn'd to die? Or why should he, whose violence of duty Has serv'd his prince so well, demand our silence?

ABDALLA.

Perhaps, my zeal, too fierce, betray'd my prudence ;
Perhaps, my warmth exceeded my commission;
Perhaps I will not stoop to plead my cause,
Or argue with the slave that sav'd Demetrius.

CARAZA.

From his escape learn thou the pow'r of virtue ; Nor hope his fortune, while thou want'st his worth.

HASAN.
The sultan comes, still gloomy, still enragod.

SCENE XI.

HASAN, CARAZA, MAHOMET, MUSTAPHA,

ABDALLA.

MAHOMET. Where's this fair traitress? Where's this smiling mischief, Whom neither vows could fix, por favours bind ?

HASAN.
Thine orders, mighty sultan, are perform’d,
And all Irene now is breathless clay.

MAHOMET.
Your hasty zeal defrauds the claim of justice,
And disappointed vengeance burns in vain.
I came to heighten tortures by reproach,
And add new terrours to the face of death.
Was this the maid, whose love I bought with empire ?
True, she was fair; the smile of innocence
Play'd on her cheek-So shone the first apostate-
Irene's chamber! Did not roaring Cali,
Just as the rack forc'd out his struggling soul,
Name for the scene of death, Irene's chamber?

MUSTAPHA,

His breath prolong’d, but to detect her treason,
Then, in short sighs, forsook his broken frame.

MAHOMET.
Decreed to perish in Irene's chamber!
There had she lulld me with endearing falsehoods,
Clasp'd in her arms, or slumb'ring on her breast,
And bar'd my bosom to the ruffian's dagger.

SCENE XII.

HASAN, CARAZA, MAHOMET, MUSTAPHA,

MURZA, ABDALLA.

MURZA.
Forgive, great sultan, that, by fate prevented,
I bring a tardy message from Irene.

MAHOMET.
Some artful wile of counterfeited love!
Some soft decoy to lure me to destruction !
And thou, the curs'd accomplice of her treason,
Declare thy message, and expect thy doom.

MURZA.
The queen requested, that a chosen troop
Might intercept the traitor Greek, Demetrius,
Then ling’ring with his captive mistress here.

MUSTAPHA.
The Greek, Demetrius! whom th' expiring bassa
Declar'd the chief associate of his guilt!

MAHOMET. A chosen troop-to intercept-DemetriusThe queen requested—Wretch, repeat the message ; And, if one varied accent prove thy falsehood, Or but one moment's pause betray confusion, Those trembling limbs—Speak out, thou shiv’ring traitor.

MURZA.

The

queen requested

MAHOMET.

Who? the dead Irene?
Was she then guiltless! Has my thoughtless rage

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