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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
Never behold me more!

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;
The King's decree hath armed Pescara's hand
With power omnipotent against the Moors.
Death hovers over thy head! Gomez, Pescara,
Are crouched to leap upon thee.
Hemeya, be a Christian, or you perish!

Hem. It is not hard to die; thou, thou alone
Art all that makes life worth the keeping to me.

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!

Hem. Florinda!

Mal. Hold!

Weigh not your country with a woman's tears.
Flor. I am, indeed, a woman; and I feel
My sex's cruel portion, to be wooed,
And flattered, and adored, until at last
We own our nature's folly ;-then you spurn,
Who wept and sighed before. You then pull down
The idol that you worshipped, and you deem,
Because a woman loves, she should be scorned!
I should not weep, and you would not despise me!
Hem. Malec !

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,
So full of light, and purity, and love;
Look on him, and he'll pity me.

Flor. Hemeya,

Art thou so kind again, and wilt thou live?
Hem. Stay near my heart, and, as I press thee .hus,
I shall no longer feel this agony:

I never can resign thee.

Mal. Worthless Moor!

Why does my poniard tremble in my grasp?


[Crosses, c.

Flor. You shall not tear him into death.
Mal. [Aside.] I cannot do it-yet, must I behcld
The son of Moorish kings a woman's slave?
I'll try to rouse him still. Perfidious traitor!

Hem. Traitor!

Mal. Traitor! and, if there be a name more foul,

Flor. Spare him, spare him! dost thou see
How his frame trembles, and what agony
Is stamped upon his face? Oh, pity him!

Mal. I do, indeed, I spurn him for his weakness;
But, woman, have a care-leave him, renounce him,
Or else-

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-
Flor. Dost thou say so?

Wouldst plunge him in destruction? wouldst thou see


In all the torments of a ling'ring death,
While Gomez and Pescara stood beside,
To glut themselves upon his agonies?

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,
That from your prophet's votaries he should choose
One fairer and more happy than Florinda!
Let him but speak it, and a cloister's cell
Shall be the refuge of her misery.

I ask for nothing but Hemeya's safety,
And that's too dear to part with.

Hem. Leave me! never!

Mal. [Draws his dagger.] Then it is done! prophet, behold the deed!

Strengthen my trembling hand; it is for freedom,
It is for Heaven I strike!

[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 !

[Crosses, c.

Mal. Call me coward,

For that I feel I am; 'twas Heaven itself
That bade me strike, and nature conquered me.

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?
Fear not, sweet trembler! Shelter thee, my love!
Harm shall ne'er reach thee here. Avoid my sight!
Fanatic, hence! in him I once revered,
I see the reeking murderer-

Mal. Do not think

The blow was destined for her heart alone-
If, in obedience to the prophet's law,

I had been brave enough to do the deed
That Mahomet had sanctioned, from her heart
I would have drawn the steel to plunge it here,
And, as the life flowed forth, have told thee that
Which thou shalt never hear. I leave thee now,
But thou art sunk so deep, that 'twere in vain
To pluck thee from thy shame. I go to seek
Grenada's Moors, met for a noble purpose.
Know, thou hast lost a crown! Farewell forever!
Hemeya! Oh, Hemeya!

[Exit, L.

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?
That look! I'm blest!-and see, my father comes,
To be the witness of Florinda's bliss.

Enter ALVAREz, r.

Alv. [To Hemeya.] I come to seek you, for the gorgeous temple

Is kindled with the church's brightest pomp;
And thousands wait your presence, to begin
The rite of adjuration.

Hem. Is my fate so near its hard completion?
Alv. It is well

Thou hast consented, else the fiercest fires
The Inquisition kindles for the Moors,
Had been thy portion.

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,
And spreads Heaven's light about it.

[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.
He is a Christian! he has 'scaped your toils,
Heaven watches o'er his safety! you are foiled!
Stir not another step; back, back again—
Back to your cells and caverns. Do you not see
Faith, like an angel, hov'ring o'er his head?
Back, back, he is a Christian!

Gom. [Advancing towards her.] Who art thou,
That with loud adjuration has presumed
To interrupt the servants of the church?

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. Ay, but I know it. Stay, stay, fair maid!
[To Gomez.] Speed, Gomez, strike the blow,
Strike it at once! And, hark ye, as you go,
Think that Pescara will not be ungrateful.
[Exeunt Gomez and Inquisitors, R.
Flor. He sends him forth
Upon some dreadful purpose.

Pes. Do you deign

To look upon the wretch from whom your eyes
Were ever turned with loathing? but 'tis merciful.
This sun-set beam of hope-nay, do not tremble,
You should not fear the man that you despise.

Flor. My lord, 'tis not my purpose to offend you :
One poor request is all that I intreat;

Tell me, what cause has calle 1 these men of death
Forth from their dread abodes? whom do they seek?
What is their dread intent? teach me, my lord;
I do conjure you, teach me.

Pes. Ay, 'tis your sex's vice; when curiosity

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