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Destroy'd the fairest workmanship of heav'n!
Doom'd her to death, unpity'd and unheard,
Amidst her kind solicitudes for me!
Ye slaves of cruelty, ye tools of rage,
[To Hasan and Caraza.
Ye blind, officious ministers of folly,
Could not her charms repress your zeal for murder?
Could not her pray’rs, her innocence, her tears,
Suspend the dreadful sentence for an hour?
One hour had freed me from the fatal errour!
One hour had sav'd me from despair and madness.
Your fierce impatience forc'd us from your presence,
Urg'd us to speed, and bade us banish pity,
Nor trust our passions with her fatal charms.
What hadst thou lost, by slighting those commands?
Thy life, perhaps—Were but Irene spar'd,
Well, if a thousand lives like thine had perish'd ;
Such beauty, sweetness, love, were cheaply bought
With half the grov'ling slaves that load the globe.
Great is thy woe! But think, illustrious sultan,
Such ills are sent for souls, like thine, to conquer.
Shake off this weight of unavailing grief,
Rush to the war, display thy dreadful banners,
And lead thy troops, victorious, round the world.
Robb’d of the maid, with whom I wish'd to triumph,
No more I burn for fame, or for dominion;
Success and conquest now are empty sounds,
Remorse and anguish seize on all my breast ;
Those groves, whose shades embower'd the dear Irene,
Heard her last cries, and fann'd her dying beauties,
Shall hide me from the tasteless world for ever.
[Mahomet goes back, and returns. Yet, ere I quit the sceptre of dominion, Let one just act conclude the hateful dayHew down, ye guards, those vassals of destruction,
[Pointing to Hasan and Caraza. Those hounds of blood, that catch the hint to kill, Bear off, with eager haste, th' unfinished sentence, And speed the stroke, lest mercy should o'ertake them.
Then hear, great Mahomet, the voice of truth.
Hear! shall I hear thee! didst thou hear Irene?
Hadst thou heard a moment, Thou might'st have liv’d, for thou hadst spar'd Irene.
I heard her, pitied her, and wish'd to save her.
And wish'd—be still thy fate to wish in vain.
I heard, and soften'd, till Abdalla brought
Her final doom, and hurried her destruction.
Abdalla brought her doom! Abdalla brought it!
The wretch, whose guilt, declar'd by tortur'd Cali,
My rage and grief had hid from my remembrance :
Abdalla brought her doom !
Abdalla brought it, While yet she begg'd to plead her cause before thee.
0, seize me, madness-Did she call on me!
I feel, I see the ruffian's barb'rous rage.
He seiz'd her melting in the fond appeal,
And stopp'd the heav'nly voice that callid on me.
My spirits fail ; awhile support me, vengeance-
Be just, ye slaves; and, to be just, be cruel;
Contrive new racks, imbitter ev'ry pang,
Inflict whatever treason can deserve,
Which murder'd innocence that calld on me.
[Exit Mahomet; Abdalla is dragged off.
HASAN, CARAZA, MUSTAPHA, MURZA.
MUSTAPHA tO MURZA.
What plagues, what tortures, are in store for thee,
Thou sluggish idler, dilatory slave!
Behold the model of consummate beauty,
Torn from the mourning earth by thy neglect.
Such was the will of heav'n—A band of Greeks,
That mark'd my course, suspicious of my purpose,
Rush'd out and seiz'd me, thoughtless and unarm’d,
Breathless, amaz’d, and on the guarded beach
Detain'd me, till Demetrius set me free.
So sure the fall of greatness, rais'd on crimes !
So fix'd the justice of all conscious heav'n!
When haughty guilt exults with impious joy,
Mistake shall blast, or accident destroy;
Weak man, with erring rage, may throw the dart,
But heav'n shall guide it to the guilty heart.
MARRY a Turk! a haughty, tyrant king !
Who thinks us women born to dress and sing
To please his fancy! see no other man!
Let him persuade me to it—if he can;
Besides, he has fifty wives ; and who can bear
To have the fiftieth part, her paltry share?
'Tis true, the fellow's handsome, straight, and tall,
But how the devil should he please us all!
My swain is little--true-but, be it known,
My pride's to have that little all my own.
Men will be ever to their errours blind,
Where woman's not allow'd to speak her mind.
I swear this eastern pageantry is nonsense,
And for one man--one wife's enough in conscience.
In vain proud man usurps what's woman's due ;
For us, alone, they honour's paths pursue:
Inspir’d by us, they glory's heights ascend;
Woman the source, the object, and the end.
Though wealth, and pow'r, and glory, they receive,
These are all trifles to what we can give.
For us the statesman labours, hero fights,
Bears toilsome days, and wakes long tedious nights;
And, when blest peace has silenc'd war's alarms,
Receives his full reward in beauty's arms.
SPOKEN BY MR. GARRICK, APRIL 5, 1750, BEFORE
THE MASQUE OF COMUS. Acted at Drury lane theatre, for the benefit of Milton's granddaughter.
Ye patriot crowds, who burn for England's fame,
Ye nymphs, whose bosoms beat at Milton's name;
Whose gen’rous zeal, unbought by flatt'ring rhymes,
Shames the mean pensions of Augustan times;
Immortal patrons of succeeding days,
Attend this prelude of perpetual praise ;
Let wit, condemn’d the feeble war to wage
With close malevolence, or publick rage ;
Let study, worn with virtue's fruitless lore,
Behold this theatre, and grieve no more.
This night, distinguish'd by your smiles, shall tell,
That never Britain can in vain excel;
The slighted arts futurity shall trust,
And rising ages hasten to be just.
At length, our mighty bard's victorious lays
Fill the loud voice of universal praise ;
And baffled spite, with hopeless anguish dumb,
Yields to renown the centuries to come;
With ardent haste each candidate of fame,
Ambitious, catches at his tow'ring name;
He sees, and pitying sees, vain wealth bestow
Those pageant honours, which he scorn'd below;
While crowds aloft the laureate bust behold,
Or trace his form on circulating gold.