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Play'd fearless in th' inviolated shades.
This elemental joy, this gen’ral calm,
Is sure the smile of unoffended Heav'n.
Behold, within th' embow'ring grore League with our chiefs and propagate sedition?
Whate'er their scheme, the bassa's death de
With melancholy mien, feats it,
Pensive, and envious of Irene's greatness. And gratitude's strong ties restrain my tongue. Steal unperceiv'd upon her meditations
But see, the lofty maid, at our approach,
Resumes th' imperious air of haughty virtue. What ties to slaves ? what gratitude to foes? Are these th’unceasing joys, th' uumingled plea
(To Aspasia. CARAZA.
For which Aspasia scorn'd the Turkish crown? In that black day when slaughter'd thousands fell Is this th’ unshaken confidence in Hear'n? Around these fatal walls, the tide of war
Is this the boasted bliss of conscious virtue? Bore me victorious onward, where Demetrius When did content sigh out her cares in secret ? Tore unresisted from the giant hand
When did felicity repine in deserts ? Of stein Sebalias the triumphant crescent,
ASPASIA. And dash'd the might of Asam from the ramparts.
Ill suits with guilt the gaieties of triumph : There I became, nor blush to make it known, When daring vice insults eternal Justice, The captive of his sword. The coward Greeks, The ministers of wrath forget compassion, Enrag'd by wrongs, exulting with success, And snatch the flaming bolt with hasty hand. Doom'd me to die with all the Turkish captains; But brave Demetrius scorn'd the mean revenge, And gare me life.
Forbear thy threats, proud prophetess of ill,
Vers'd in the secret counsels of the sky.
Do thou repay the gift,
[Exeunt. Thus on deceitful Etna's flow'ry side
Unfading verdure glads the roving eye;
While secret flames, with unextinguish'd rage,
Insatiate on her wasted entrails prey,
And melt her treach'rous beauties into ruin,
[Enter Demetrius. ASPASIA, SOLA.
ASPASIA, IRENE, DEMETRIUS.
The rack expects us,
and the sword pursues. Till, conscious of th' encircling deity,
Greece is no more; the prosperous tyrant lives,
Reserv'd for other lands, the scourge of Hearin.
IRENE, ASPASIA, DEMETRIUS, ABDALLA.
At length the prize is mine — The haughty maid
Henceforth shall live for me ; for me alone
watch, The breast where virtue guards the throne of Steal from Abdalla's eye the sign to smile.
Cease this wild roar of savage exultation :
Advance, and perish in the frantic boast.
Forbear, Demetrius, 'tis Aspasia calls thee ;
Thy love, Aspasia, calls; restrain thy sword;
Forgive, my fair ; 'tis life, 'tis nature calls : At once a thousand passions fir'd his cheek! Now, traitor, feel the fear that chills my hand. “ Then all, is past,” he cry'd—and darted from Nor at the call of Cali deign'd to turn.
'Tis madness to provoke superfluous danger,
Avd cowardice to dread the boast of folly.
Fly, wretch, while yet my pity grants thee flight;
The power of Turkey waits upon thy call. Amazement seiz'd us, and the hoary bassa Leave but this maid, resign a hopeless claim, Stood torpid in suspense ; but soon Abdalla
And drag away thy life in scorn and safety,
Thy life, too mean a prey to lure Abdalla.
Once more I dare thy sword ; behold the prize,
Behold I quit her to the chance of battle.
[Quitting Aspasia, O Greece ! renown'd for science and for wealth, Behold thy boasted honours snatch'd away.
Well may'st thou call thy master to the combat,
And try the hazard, that hast nought to stake ; Though disappointment blast our general scheme, Alike my death or thive is gain to thee ; Yet much remains to hope. I shall not call
But soon thou shalt repent : another moment The day disastrous that secures our fight;
Shall throw th' attending janizaries round thee. Nor think that effort lost which rescues thee.
[Exit hastily Abdalla. [Enter Abdalla.
Stay-in this dubious twilight of conviction, ASPASIA, INEXE, DEMETRIUS,
The gleams of reason, and the clouds of passion,
Irradiate and obscure my breast by turns : Abdalla fails; now, Fortune, all is mine. [Aside. Wiù spread resistless light upon my soul.
Stay but a moment, and prevailing truth Haste, Murza, to the palace, let the sultan [To one of her Attendants.
But since none knows the danger of a moment, ful.
And Heav'n forbids to lavish life away,
[Exit Murza. This lucky stratagem shall charın the Sultan,
Let kind compulsion terminate the contest. Secure his confidence, and fix his love. [ Aside.
[Seizing her hand. Ye Christian captires, follow me to freedom;
A galley waits us, and the winds invite.
Whence is this violence ?
lo vain I listen to th' inviting call
Your calmer thought Of freedoin and of love; my trembling joints,
Will teach a gentler term.
Forbear this rudeness, To share the miseries herself has caus'd.
And learn the rev'rence due to Turkey's queen:
Fly, slaves, and call the sultan to my rescue.
Farewell, unhappy maid : may every joy
And when, contemptuous of imperial pom'r, Press not her fight, while yet her feeble nerves
Disease shall chase the phantoms of ambition, Refuse their office, and uncertain life
May penitence attend thy mournful bed, Still labours with imaginary woe;
And wing thy latest prayer to pitying Hear'n! Here let me tend her with officious care,
[Exeunt Dem. Asp.with part of the attendants. Watch each unquiet flutter of the breast,
SCENE VI. And joy to feel the vital warmth return, To see the cloud forsake her kindling cheek, [Irene walks at a distance from her attendants.) And hail the rosy dawn of rising health.
After a pause.
Against the head, which innocence secures, Oh! rather, scornful of flagitious greatness,
Insidious malice aims her darts in vain, (Hear'n. Resolve to share our daugers and our toils,
Turn'd backwards by the pow'rful breath of Companion of our flight, illustrious exile, Perhaps even now the lovers unpursu'd Leave slavery, guilt, and infamy behind. Bound o'er the sparkling waves. Go, bappy bark,
Thy sacred freight shall still the raging main. IRENE.
To guide thy passage shall th' aërial spirits My soul attends thy voice, and banish'd virtue
Fill all the starry lamps with double blaze; Strives to regain ber empire of the mind :
Th’applauding sky shall pour forth all its beams, Assist her efforts with her strong persuasion ;
To grace the triumph of victorious virtue;
While I, not yet familiar to my crimes, Sure 'tis the happy hour ordaind above,
Recoil from thought, and shudder at myself. When vanquish'd vice shall tyranvize no more.
How am I chang'd! How lately did Irene
Fly from the busy pleasures of her sex, (brance, Remember peace and anguish are before thee, And live her guiltless inoments o'er anew!
Well pleas'd to search the treasures of rememAnd honour and reproach, and Heav'n and Hell.
Come, let us seek new pleasures in the palace, ASPASIA.
[TÓ her attendants going off. Content with freedom, and precarious greatness.
Till soft fatigue invite us to repose.
Now make thy choice, while yet the pow'r of [Enter MUSTAPHA, meeting and stopping her.]
choice Kind Hear'n affords thee, and inviting mercy
MUSTAPHA. Holds out her hand to lead thee back to truth. Fair falsehood, stay.
What dream of sudden power What wild mistake is this ! Take hence with Has taught my slave the language of command !
speed Henceforth be wise, nor hope a second pardon. Your robe of mourning, and your dogs of death.
Quick from my sight, you inauspicious monsters, MUSTAPHA.
Nor dare henceforth to shock Irene's walks. Who calls for pardon froin a wretch condemn'd?
Alas! they come commanded by the sultan, Thy look, thy speech, thy action, all is wild. Th’unpitying ministers of Turkish justice, Who charges guilt on ine?
[ness— Nor dare to spare the life his frown condemns.
IRENE. Who charges guilt! Are these the rapid thunderbolts of war, Ask thy heart; attend the voice of conscience That pour with sudden violence on kingdoms, Who charges guilt ! lay by this proud resent- And spread their flames resistless o'er the world? ment
What sleepy charms benumb these active heroes, That fires thy cheek, and elevates thy mien, Depress their spirits, and retard their speed ? Nor thus usurp the dignity of virtue.
Beyond the fear of ling'ring punishment,
Aspasia now within her lover's arms
Smiles at the threat'nings of defeated rage.
We come, bright virgin, though relenting naMUSTAPHA.
tare That hope is past ; Shrinks at the hated task, for thy destruction; Hard was the strife of justice and of love; When summon'd by the sultan's clam'rous fury, But now 'tis o'er, and justice has prevaild. We ask'd with tim'rous tongue th' offender's Know'st thou not Cali? know'st thou not Deme.
He struck his tortur'd breast, and roar'd, Irene.
Again his thund'ring voice return'd, Irene.
Whence is this rage? what barb'rous tongue has
wrong'd ine? Perfidious ! - yes - too well thou know'st them What fraud misleads him? or what crimes intraitors.
Their treason throws no stain upon Trene. Expiring Cali nam'd Irene's chamber,
Irene's chamber ! From my faithful bosom The sultan kuows it, Far be the thought-But hear my protestation. He knows how near apostacy to treason But'tis not mine to judge-Iscorn and leave thee. I go, lest vengeance urge my hand to blood,
'Tis ours, alas ! to punish, not to judge, To blood too mean to stain a soldier's sabre.
Not call'd to try the cause, we heard the sen[Erit Mustapha.
tence, IRENE, to her attendants.
Ordain'd the mournful messengers of death,
Some cruel stratagem of jealous beauty !
Perhaps yourselves the villains that defame me, Enter HASAN, CARAZA, with Mutes, who throw Now haste to murder, ere returning thought the black robe upon TRENE, and sign to her Recal th' extorted doom. It must be so : attendants to withdraw.
Confess your crime, or lead me to the sultan;
Then shall you feel what language cannot utter, Forgive, fair excellence, th' unwilling tongue,
Each piercing torture, ev'ry change of pain, The tongue, that, forc'd by strong necessity,
That vengeance can invent, or pow'r inflict. Bids beauty such as thine prepare to die,
[Enter ABDALLA; he stops short and listens.
Quick at my call, shall execute your charges
Dispatch, and learn a fitter time for pity.
Grant me one hour, O grant me but a moment All is not lost, Abdalla ; see the queen,
And bounteous Hear'n repay the mighty mercy See the last witness of thy guilt and fear With peaceful death, and happiness eternal. Enrob'd in death-Dispatch her, and be great.
l'he prayer I cannot grant-I dare not hear.
Unutterable anguish! The fraudful moments ply their silent wings, Guilt and Despair, pale spectres! grin around And steal thy life away. Death's norrid angel
me, Already shakes his bloody sabre o'er thee. And stun me with the yellings of damnation! The raging sultan burns till our return, O, hear my pray’rs ! accept, all-pitying Hear'n, Curses the dull delays of ling'ring mercy, These tears, these pangs, these last remains of And thinks his fatal mandates ill obey'd. Nor let the crimes of this detested day (life;
Be charg'd upon my soul. 0, mercy ! mercy
[Mutes force her out. Is then your sov'reign's life so cheaply rated, That thus you parly with detected treason ?
ABDALLA, HASAN, CARAZA,
Safe in her death, and in Demetrius's flight,
Now shalt thou shine the darling of the sultan, O let me but be heard, nor fear from me
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?
But let us try to clear our clouded brows,
And tell the horrid tale with cheerful face;
The stormy sultan rages at our stay. Deem us not deaf to woe, nor blind to beauty,
ABDALLA That thus constrain’d we speed the stroke of death. (Beckons the Mules. Frame your report with circumspective art:
Inflame her crimes, exalt your own obedience :
But let no thoughtless bint involve Abdalla. O name not death! Distraction and amazement,
CARAZA. Horrour and agony, are in that sound !
What need of caution to report the fate Let me but live, heap woes on woes upon me, Of her the sultau's voice condema'd to die? Hide me with murd'rers in the dungeon's gloom, Or why should he, whose violence of duty Seud me to wander on some pathless shore, Has serv'd his prince so well, demand our siLet shame and hooting infamy pursue me,
lence? Let slav'ry harass, and let hunger gripe.
Perhaps my zeal 100 fierce betray'd my priCould we reverse the sentence of the sultan,
dence; Our bleeding bosoms plead Irene's cause.
Perhaps my warmth exceeded my commissiva; But cries and tears are vain ; prepare with pa- Perhaps I will not stoop to plead my cause, tience
Or argue with the slave that sar'd Demetrius. To meet that fate we can delay no longer. [The Mutes at the sign lay hold of her.
From his escape learn thon the pov'r of virtne;
Nor hope his fortune, while thou want'st his Dispatch, ye ling'ring slaves; or nimbler hands,