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The prophet's eye beheld; nay, more th His honour and his truth! Rightly thou 'Tis I who snatch him from thee.
Flor. Not from me-
It is from life you snatch him! Let him ea
Hem. Can I do that?
Flor. Do anything but perish.
1 reck not of myself; but I have heard,
Since last we parted, more than first I feared;
Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone
Mal. I will not think a well-wrought tear or twe Can make thee base again.
Hem. [To Malec.] Within thy bosom I'll bury all my face; for, if I dare
To gaze upon her charms, they will unman me. Flor. And dost thou scorn to look upon Florinda And am I spurned so far? once 'twas otherwise; Now I am fit for scorn!
Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
Mal. Are you a man? are you his son
Whose heart ne'er felt a throb but for his country?
Hem. Look here, and pity me! behold this face, Where shines a soul so pure, so sweet a spiritCan I renounce her? tell me if I can!
Look on him, my Florinda! lift those eyes,
Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live?
I never can resign thee.
Mal. Worthless Moor!
Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?
Flor. You shall not tear him into death.
Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,
Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
Mal. I do, indeed, I spurn him for his weakness;
Flor. I can resign Hemeya's heart,
But cannot give his life; nay, tell me, Malec,
You who have loved him, watched his tenderest youth, And hold him in your heart-would you consent
To yield him up to burning martyrdom,
And cast him in the raging furnace
I'hat persecution lights with blasts of hell?
Mal. Better that he should perish-
Wouldst plunge him in destruction? wouldst thou see
In all the torments of a ling'ring death,
Mal. Woman, thou hast employed thy sex's cunning,
To make my friend a villain; but beware,
Else I will break thy spells; I will unloose
The charméd threads thou wind'st around his soul.
Flor. I will renounce him! you, perchance, desire,
I ask for nothing but Hemeya's safety,
Hem. Leave me! never!
Mal. [Draws his dagger.] Then it is done! prophet, behold the deed!
Strengthen my trembling hand; it is for freedom,
[He pauses for an instant, and, after a struggle, ex-
I cannot do it!
I am myself a coward.
[Lets the dagger fall.-Hemeya and Florinda start. Hem. Abhorred, detested villain !
Mal. Call me coward,
For that I feel I am; 'twas Heaven itself
Hem. Cursed be the creed that can make murder
Thee! thee! Florinda-here, within my arms!
Ha! was it here thou would'st have plunged the poniard?
Mal. Do not think
The blow was destined for her heart alone-
I had been brave enough to do the deed
Hem. I heed not what he says; I can but tl ink His cursed steel was aimed against thy life.
Flor. And that alone could blot thine image here. Hem. But Murder trembled as it gazed upon thee; He could not strike; thy beauty, like a charm, Unnerved his grasp! Heaven sets its seal upon thee, And consecrates thy form! Oh! what bright wonders Are gathered in thy face, when e'en the Prophet Could not compel him to the bloody deed, And Malec's hand could shudder!
Flor. Thou then wilt ne'er
Renounce Florinda for the cruel faith
That would have pierced a heart that beats for thee?
Enter ALVAREz, r.
Alv. [To Hemeya.] I come to seek you, for the gorgeous temple
Is kindled with the church's brightest pomp;
Hem. Is my fate so near its hard completion?
Thou hast consented, else the fiercest fires
Flor. Then lose not an instant;
Take him, my father, else he will go back.
[Crosses him over to Alvarez. Alv. To-night a priest shall join your wedded hands. Hem. And let that thought alone possess my soul! Upon the verge of ruin I will gaze On the bright vision that all ires me on, And leads me to the gulf; I'll turn my eyes Tow'rds the star-studded heaven, where still it shines While I am sinking. Yes, when I behold thee, Conscience is scarce a rebel to thy charms.
go, Florinda; do not forget
That, if I dare be guilty, 'tis for thee! [Exeunt Alvarez and Hemeya, B Flor. I am happy now-~
A beam of angel-bliss falls on my heart,
[The gates of the Inquisition open-the bell tells twice. What do I see?
Enter GOMEZ, PESCARA, aad INQUISITORS, from the interior of the edifice, U. E.
The Inquisition's servants-Gomez, Pescara!
[Rushes up wildly and exultingly to the Inquisitors.
Gom. [Advancing towards her.] Who art thou,
Pes. Forgive her, holy father, for she seems Touched with inspiring power. [Goes up to her.] The fair Florinda!
cry you mercy, madam.
Flor. Pardon me, I know not what I said.
Pes. Do you deign
To look upon the wretch from whom your eyes
Flor. My lord, 'tis not my purpose to offend you :
Tell me, what cause has calle 1 these men of death
Pes. Ay, 'tis your sex's vice; when curiosity