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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?
Norno! 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 ry night it reached me from Madrid,
And thou art first to hear it. Look
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 80 terrified.
Flor. Can I behold
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,
What heavy blow relentless fortune strikes-
What other misery is still in store
To fall upon our heads.
IIem. 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 mu ?
Hem. Accursed tyrant! Florinda, wilt thou leave me?--can my fateCan kings and priests-e'er pluck thee from my soul?
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 ?
Alv. Then choose between your prophet and Florindan
Hem. Wilt thou abandon me ?
[To Florinda. Alv. Let my deep curse fall on her head
Flor. Don't breathe those dreadful words Do I deserve that you should doubt me ?-no! In infancy I gazed upon your
face With an instinctive reverence,
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,
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 moment-
Don't leave me-don't abandon me.
Flor. My father, lead me hence !
Alv. (To Hemeya.] You have heard Alvarez' will
Take one day for decision : if to-morrow
You do not, in the face of heav'n, renounce
The faith of Mahomet, renounce Florinda ! [Erit, R.
Hem. Oh, misery!--my Florinda, look upon me!
Flor. Yes, I will look upon thee, and perhaps
Shall never look again--for, from this hour,
You never may behold or hear me more.
Hem. Then let me die!
Flor. Hemeya, listen to me!
My heart has owned its weakness : yet, thank he a i'n,
With all my sex's folly, still I bear
My sex's dignity : I've not the pow'r
To crush the fatal passion in my breast,
But I can bury it : yes, yes, Hemeya,
I feel my blood is noble, and Florinda
Shall never stoop before thee: from the world
I'll fly, from thee forever !_tears may fall
But none shall see the blushes where they hang!-
Thou shalt not see me weep—thou shalt not have
The cruel pleasure; in religion's cells
I'll hide my wretchedness !-Farewell, Hemeya!
And, heaven, if I may dare to lift to thee
A pray’r of earthly passion, touch his heart,
Fill it with holy light, and make him thine :-
And, howsoe'er thou shalt decide my doom,
On him pour down thy blessings !
[As she goes out, she looks back for an instant. Oh, Hemeya!
Erit, R. Hem. She blest me as she parted; yet I feel A curse fall on my heart ! I am doomed to choose Between despair and crime! my fate cries out, Be wretched or be guilty; but, Florinda, How could I live without thee?—can I see That form, to which I stretched my desp’rate arms In the wild dream of passion and despair, Brought to my bosom in assured reality, Nor rush to clasp it here !—would the faint traveller, Who long hath toiled through Afric's sultry sands, Droop o'er the fount that mid the desert gushed, Even from the burning rock, and die with thirst, While its clear freshness wooed him to be blest No! he would drink, though there were poison in it.
SCENE I.- The Exterior of the Inquisition.
Enter Malec and HALY, L.
Mal. Renounce his people! Haly, I did not think,
As here I journeyed from yon ragged cliffs,
To hear these fatal tidings. Oh, Hemeya !
Hal. After long struggles of reluctant honour,
He promised to abjure his nation's creed.
To-day the public rite of abjuration
Is to be solemnized.
Mal. I have heard enough.
Hal. But when you tell what you had come to teach
And he has heard that on his brows shall shine
The crown his fathers wore; when you have told him
Mal. I will not tell him, till he has deserved
He shall not wear a crown. A diadem
Shall never call him back to honour's road,
If honour could not do it. But I'll try.
power upon him; from its ashes 'Twill not be hard to wake the expiring flame That once burnt bright within him. Thou, meanwhile, Call at the Cadi's house the noblest Moors, That to their secret ears I may
unfold The cause of my return.
Renounce the faith
That suffering had endeared, when twenty thousand
Of his brave countrymen are leagued together,
To break the bonds of Philip's tyranny !
When freedom's flame from yonder mountain tops
Will blaze through Spain's wide realm, he basely falls
Before the tyrant's edict, and obeys !
But hold! he comes ! there was a time, Hemeya,
When I had rushed to catch thee in my arms !
Enter HEMEYA, r.
I charge thee not to touch my garment's edge!
Hem. Oh, Malec, this from thee! when I behold thee, After long months of absence, dost thou scorn me?
Mal. Dost thou not scorn thyself? I know it all; Fame has not kept thy baseness from mine ears. What, for a wanton !-
Hem. Wanton !
Mal. Ay, a Spanish wanton !
Is she not one of those same melting dames,
Unlike the prophet's virgin votaries,
That let men's eyes blaze on unveiled charms,
And are themselves the wooers ? 'tis for a wanton
You choose to be a villain.
Hem. I permit you
To rail against myself; heap on my head
Your heaviest curse, your blackest reprobation :
Open my heart, and stab; drive in more deep
The arrow of remorse ; but do not dare,
Though you're my father's friend-
Mal. What should I fear?
Away, slight boy! and speak not of thy father.
I'm glad he sleeps in unattesting marble,
Else hadst thou been a parricide.
Hem. I am guilty ; I confess that I am guilty.
But if you felt what youth and passion feel-
If those soft
If long, like me, thou’dst withered in despair,
Till fresh’ning hope rose in this desert heart :
Oh, if, like me, thou’dst borne her in thy bosom,
While ruin flamed above-
Mal. Forbear, fond youth! my eyes are palled i.kready
Rein in thy wanton fancy; dost thou think
That I am made to hear a lover's follies ?
Go, tell them to the moon, and howl with dogs!
Did she possess the charms of her who sleeps
Within the prophet's bosom, I would spurn
The man who had renounced, for her embrace,
His country and himself.
Hem. We have no country!
Mal. Thou hast, indeed, no country?
Hem. Are we not bound to earth? the lording Spa-
Treads on our heads! we groan beneath the yoke
That, shaken, gores more deeply!
Resistance will but ope new founts of blood