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Alv. By heaven, I see thy mother in thy face!
Thou god-like man, what shall I say to thee?
Oh! let my tears fall on this noble hand,
And speak a burning soul!

Hem. I am rewarded.

Alv. Brave, generous man!

:

Hem. Nay, good my lord, you overpay My poor desert, and grow my creditor :But you forget me- -I am most unworthyI am the Moor.

Alv. No:-I remember well;

Thou art hateful to the Christian.-Yesterday
I did command Florinda, on the pain
Of heaviest imprecation, ne'er to gaze
Upon thy face again.

Flor. Oh, my dear father,

Florinda can be wretched, if you please,
But not ungrateful, too!

Alv. Give me thy hand :-you love the Mocr?
Flor. My lord!

Alv. Come, you confess it;

Your looks reveal your heart: and Count Pescara
Interpreted the silent tear aright,

When first I bade you wed him.

Flor. Let my grave,

Oh! let a couch of lead, let the cold shroud,
And the earth's grass, be all my place of rest,
Ere Count Pescara, at heaven's awful shrine,
Claims from these lips the perjured oath to love
The man from whom my sinking heart recoils.
Hem. Howe'er you deal with me, let not
Florinda be wedded to that villain !—

Alv. Hear me, Moor!

Pescara is Grenada's governor,

And bears the sway of Philip;-long he loved
And wooed Florinda with her father's sanction.
Thou art a Moor-thy nation is a slave:

And, though from Moorish kings thou art descended,
The Christian spurns thee; yet it is to thee

I give Florinda's hand.

Flor. What do I hear?

Hem. Am I in heaven -Oh, speak, speak, Count AL

varez,

Speak it again!-let me be sure of it,
For I misdoubt my senses.

Alv. She is yours!

Hem. Which of you shall I kneel to? let me press
Your rev'rend knees within my straining arms—
I shall grow wild with rapture; men will say
The madd'ning planet smote me with its power.
Florinda, thou art mine! my wife! my joy!-

Thou exquisite perfection!-thou fair creature!
Who now shall part us?

As he embraces her, PESCARA enters, L.

Pes. I!-speak, Count Alvarez.
What is it I behold ?—don't look upon me
As if you never had beheld my face.
I am Pescara-you have not to learn
What Count Pescara is ?-who ever wronged me
That did not perish? I had come to greet you,
And, as I passed, the rascal rabble talked
Of some wild dotard vow, some graybeard's folly ;-
I seized a wretch that dared to slander you,

And dashed him to the earth for the vile falsehood.
Alv. If gratitude be crime-

Pes. What do I hear?

[Crosses to 1.

Hem. What you shall hear again. [Crosses to Pescara. Pes. Moor, not from thee;—

I would not let thee speak a Spaniard's shame.

[Crosses to Florinda.] You, madam, will inform me; you,

whose eyes

Are bent upon the ground-whose yielding form
Doth seem like sculptured modesty; nay, tell me,
For I have tidings for your ear.

Flor. My lord, I do confess, my father's will Unites me to the Moor.

Of tender, thrilling gratitude!-my being
Owns in its deep recess the consciousness
That it is all his own: nay, think, my lord,

Pes. And you obey him;

For here obedience is an easy virtue.

Flor. Yes; where my heart swells with the glowing

sense

Can I behold his face, and not exclaim,
"This is the man who saved me!" can I feel
The pleasures of existence-can I breathe
The morning air, or see the dying day
Sink in the western sky-can I inhale
The rose's perfume, or behold the lights
That shine forever in yon infinite heaven
Or can I taste one joy that nature gives
To this, our earthly tarrying-place-nor think
That 'tis to him I owe each little flower
I tread on in life's bleakness?

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E'en now I place my hand upon my heart,
And, as it throbs, there is a voice within
That tells this throbbing heart it would be still,
Were not Hemeya brave.—This is my father-
[Crosses to Alvarez

He gave that life Hemeya did preserve ;
And when he gives my hand in recompense,
I cannot but obey.

Pes. I thank you, madam ;

And, since it seems that gratitude's the fashion,
Your pains shall be requited.-Know, fair maid,
The daughter of Alvarez never shall

Be wedded to a Moor; nay, do not start-
Never!

Hem. My lord!

Pes. No!-never!

Alv. Count Pescara! what is it that you mean?
Pes. I mean, my lord,

That others have more care of your nobility
Than you have ta'en yourself.-Ha! ha! a Moor!
One of that race that we have trodden down

From empire's height, and crushed-a damned Morisco,
Accursed of the church, and by the laws

Proscribed and branded.-What, you choose a Moor
To swell the stream of your nobility

With his polluted blood?-in sooth, 'tis pleasant!

Hem. You have forgot me; you forget yourself.-
Through centuries of glory, on the heads
Of my great ancestors, the dia lem

--

Shone through the world, and from each royal brow
Came down with gath'ring splendour;-and if here

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It shines no more-'tis fate! but what art thou?

Crosses to Pescara.

The frown of fortune could not make me base;
The smile of fortune could not make thee noble.-
Who knows not that Pescara once, within
The Inquisition's dungeons, toiled at torture ?-
There Philip found you, and his kindred soul
Owned the soft sympathy.

Pes. My birth!-confusion

And must I ever feel the reptile crawl,
And see it pointed at ?—what if I rush,
And with a blow strike life from out his heart?
No-no! my dagger is my last resource.

[Draws a roll of parchment from his bosom.
Here, Moor, within thy grasp I plant a serpent,
And, as it stings, think 'tis Pescara's answer-
This very night it reached me from Madrid,
And thou art first to hear it. Look you here:
If Caucasus were heaped between you both,
With all his snows-his snows have not the pow'r
To freeze your amorous passion half so soon
As Philip's will.-Farewell-but not forever

[Gives the parchment to Hemeya, and exit, L Alv. As Philip's will!-rumour went late abroad, Spain's gloomy sovereign had decreed to crush Your race to deeper servitude.-Florinda, Be not so terrified.

Flor. Can I behold

The

quick convulsive passions o'er his face, And read his soul's deep agony, nor feel

A terror in my heart? [Crosses to Hemeya.] Tell me, Hemeya,

What heavy blow relentless fortune strikes—

What other misery is still in store

To fall upon our heads.

Iem. A Christian !-no!

Flor. Wilt thou not speak to me? wilt thou not chase The dreadful fears that throng about

my soul?

Wilt thou not speak to me?

Hem. Accursed tyrant!

Florinda, wilt thou leave me ?-can my fate

Can kings and priests-e'er pluck thee from my soul?

Flor. No!

Hem. Then, Florinda, thus I spurn the tyrant !
They'd make a Christian of me-Philip proscribes
My nation and my creed; and on the pain
Of instant death, unless he publicly

Abjure his prophet's law, no Moor can wed
A Christian woman.

Flor. Well, dost thou renounce me?

Alv. Hear me, Hemeya !—will you yield obedience To Philip's will, and swear yourself a Christian ? Hem. A Christian!

Alv. Ay! it is the law.
Hem. The law !

What law can teach me to renounce my country?

[To Florinda.

Alv. Then choose between your prophet and Florinda Hem. Wilt thou abandon me ? Alv. Let my deep curse fall on her headFlor. Don't breathe those dreadful wordsDo I deserve that you should doubt me?—no! In infancy I gazed upon your face With an instinctive reverence, that grew

To reason's tender dictate: never yet
Have I offended you; and let me say,

My tears may flow from eyes long used to weeping-
My form may wither in the gripe of grief—

My heart may break indeed; love can do this;
But never can it teach Florinda's hand

To draw down sorrows on a father's age,

Or to deserve his curse.

Hem. This, this from thee?

Flor. You've found the dreadful secret of my soul! But hold—what am I doing?-pride, where art thou? Am I so fallen in passion ?-oh, my father,

Lead me from hence!

Hem. Florinda, stay one momentDon't leave me-don't abandon me.

Flor. My father, lead me hence!

Alv. [To Hemeya.] You have heard Alvarez' willTake one day for decision: if to-morrow You do not, in the face of heav'n, renounce The faith of Mahomet, renounce Florinda! [Exit, R. Hem. Oh, misery!-my Florinda, look upon me!

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