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SCENE IL

ASPASIA, IRENE, CALI, ABDALLA.

CALI to ABDALLA, as they advance.
Behold our future sultaness, Abdalla ;-
Let artful flatt'ry now, to lull suspicion,
Glide, through Irene, to the sultan's ear.
Would'st thou subdue th' obdurate cannibal
To tender friendship, praise him to his mistress.

[TO IRENE.]

Well may those eyes, that view these heav'nly charms,
Reject the daughters of contending kings;

For what are pompous titles, proud alliance,
Empire or wealth, to excellence like thine?

ABDALLA.

Receive th' impatient sultan to thy arms;
And may a long posterity of monarchs,
The pride and terrour of succeeding days,
Rise from the happy bed; and future queens
Diffuse Irene's beauty through the world!

IRENE.

Can Mahomet's imperial hand descend
To clasp a slave? or can a soul, like mine,
Unus'd to pow'r, and form'd for humbler scenes,
Support the splendid miseries of greatness?

CALI.

No regal pageant, deck'd with casual honours,
Scorn'd by his subjects, trampled by his foes;
No feeble tyrant of a petty state,

Courts thee to shake on a dependant throne;
Born to command, as thou to charm mankind,
The sultan from himself derives his greatness.
Observe, bright maid, as his resistless voice

VOL. I.

Drives on the tempest of destructive war,
How nation after nation falls before him.

ABDALLA.

At his dread name the distant mountains shake Their cloudy summits, and the sons of fierceness, That range uncivilized from rock to rock, Distrust th' eternal fortresses of nature,

And wish their gloomy caverns more obscure.

ASPASIA.

Forbear this lavish pomp of dreadful praise;
The horrid images of war and slaughter
Renew our sorrows, and awake our fears.

ABDALLA,

Cali, methinks yon waving trees afford
A doubtful glimpse of our approaching friends;
Just as I mark'd them, they forsook the shore,
And turn'd their hasty steps towards the garden.

CALI.

Conduct these queens, Abdalla, to the palace:
Such heav'nly beauty, form'd for adoration,
The pride of monarchs, the reward of conquest!
Such beauty must not shine to vulgar eyes.

SCENE III.

CALI, solus.

How heav'n, in scorn of human arrogance, Commits to trivial chance the fate of nations! While, with incessant thought, laborious man Extends his mighty schemes of wealth and pow'r, And towers and triumphs in ideal greatness; Some accidental gust of opposition

Blasts all the beauties of his new creation,

O'erturns the fabrick of presumptuous reason,

And whelms the swelling architect beneath it.

Had not the breeze untwin'd the meeting boughs, And, through the parted shade, disclos'd the Greeks, Th' important hour had pass'd, unheeded, by,

In all the sweet oblivion of delight,

In all the fopperies of meeting lovers;

In sighs and tears, in transports and embraces,
In soft complaints, and idle protestations.

SCENE IV.

CALI, DEMETRIUS, LEONTIUS.

CALI.

Could omens fright the resolute and wise,
Well might we fear impending disappointments.

LEONTIUS.

Your artful suit, your monarch's fierce denial,
The cruel doom of hapless Menodorus

DEMETRIUS.

And your new charge, that dear, that heav'nly maid

LEONTIUS.

All this we know already from Abdalla.

DEMETRIUS.

Such slight defeats but animate the brave
To stronger efforts and maturer counsels.

CALI.

My doom confirm'd establishes my purpose.
Calmly he heard, till Amurath's resumption
Rose to his thought, and set his soul on fire:
When from his lips the fatal name burst out,
A sudden pause th' imperfect sense suspended,
Like the dread stillness of condensing storms.

DEMETRIUS.

The loudest cries of nature urge us forward;
Despotick rage pursues the life of Cali;
His groaning country claims Leontius' aid;
And yet another voice, forgive me, Greece,
The pow'rful voice of love, inflames Demetrius ;
Each ling'ring hour alarms me for Aspasia.

CALI.

What passions reign among thy crew, Leontius?
Does cheerless diffidence oppress their hearts?
Or sprightly hope exalt their kindling spirits?
Do they, with pain, repress the struggling shout,
And listen eager to the rising wind?

LEONTIUS.

All there is hope, and gaiety, and courage,
No cloudy doubts, or languishing delays;
Ere I could range them on the crowded deck,
At once a hundred voices thunder'd round me,
And ev'ry voice was liberty and Greece.

DEMETRIUS.

Swift let us rush upon the careless tyrant,
Nor give him leisure for another crime.

LEONTIUS.

Then let us now resolve, nor idly waste
Another hour in dull deliberation.

CALI.

But see, where destin'd to protract our counsels,
Comes Mustapha.-Your Turkish robes conceal you.
Retire with speed, while I prepare to meet him
With artificial smiles, and seeming friendship.

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SCENE V.

CALI, MUSTAPHA.

CALI.

I see the gloom, that low'rs upon thy brow; These days of love and pleasure charm not thee; Too slow these gentle constellations roll;

Thou long'st for stars, that frown on human kind, And scatter discord from their baleful beams.

MUSTAPHA.

How blest art thou, still jocund and serene,
Beneath the load of business, and of years!

CALI.

Sure, by some wond'rous sympathy of souls,
My heart still beats responsive to the sultan's;
I share, by secret instinct, all his joys,
And feel no sorrow, while my sov'reign smiles.

MUSTAPHA.

The sultan comes, impatient for his love;
Conduct her hither; let no rude intrusion
Molest these private walks, or care invade
These hours, assign'd to pleasure and Irene.

SCENE VI.

MAHOMET, MUSTAPHA.

MAHOMET.

Now, Mustapha, pursue thy tale of horrour.
Has treason's dire infection reach'd my palace?
Can Cali dare the stroke of heav'nly justice,
In the dark precincts of the gaping grave,
And load with perjuries his parting soul?
Was it for this, that, sick'ning in Epirus,

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