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Haste from this fatal place I cannot leave her! | Ner. Why should a tyrant hesitate on murder? Whom did I strike? Was this the act of love? There now remains but mine, of all the blood, Swallow me, earth -She's silent-Zara's dead! | Which, through thy father's cruel reign and And should I live to see returning day,
thine, Twill shew me but her blood !shew me left | Has never ceased to stream on Syria's sands. joyless,
Restore a wretch to his unhappy race; In a wide, empty world, with nothing round me, Nor hope that torments, after such a scene, But penitence and pain-And yet 'twas just : Can force one feeble groan to feast thy anger. Hark !-Destiny has sent her lover to me, I waste my fruitless words in empty air; To fill my vengeance, and restore my joy.
The tyrant, o'er the bleeding wound he made,
Hangs his unmoving eye, and heeds not me. Enter ORASMIN with NERESTAN.
Osm. Oh Zara ! Approach, thou wretch ! thou more than cursed! Oras. Alas! my lord, return-whither would come near
grief Thou, who, in gratitude for freedom gained, Transport your generous heart ?—This Christian Hast given me miseries beyond thy own!
dogThou heart of hero with a traitor's soul !
Osm. Take off his fetters, and observe my Go-reap thy due reward ! prepare to suffer,
will; Whate'er inventive malice can inflict,
To him, and all his friends, give instant liberty: To make thee feel thy death, and perish slow. Pour a profusion of the richest gifts Are my commands obeyed ?
On these unhappy Christians; and, when heaped Oras. All is prepared.
With varied benefits, and charged with riches, Osm. Thy wanton eyes look round, in search Give them safe conduct to the nearest port. of her,
Oras. But, sirWhose love, descending to a slave like thee, Osm. Reply not, but obey.From my dishonoured hand received her doom. Fly-nor dispute thy master's last command, See, where she lies !
Thy prince, who orders—and thy friend, who Ner. Oh fatal, rash mistake!
loves thee! Osm. Dost thou behold her, slave?
Go-lose notime-farewell-begone and thou ! Ner. Unhappy sister!
Unhappy warrior-yet less lost than IOsm. Sister! -Didst thou say sister? If thou Haste from our bloody land-and to thy own didst,
Convey this poor, pale object of my rage. Bless me with deafness, Heaven!
Thy king, and all his Christians, when they hear Ner. Tyrant ! I did
Thy miseries, shall mourn them with their tears; She was my sister-All that now is left thee, But, if thou tell'st them mine, and tellst them Dispatch-From my distracted heart drain next The remnant of the royal Christian blood : They, who shall hate my crime, shall pity me. Old Lusignan, expiring in my arms,
Take, too, this poniard with thee, which my Sent his too wretched son, with his last blessing,
hand To his now murdered daughter !
Has stained with blood far dearer than my own; Would I had seen the bleeding innocent! Tell them with this I murdered her I loved; I would have lived to speak to her in death : The noblest and most virtuous among women! Would have awakened, in her languid heart, The soul of innocence, and pride of truth: A livelier sense of her abandoned God:
Tell them I laid my empire at her feet: That God, who, left by her, forsook her too, Tell them I plunged my dagger in her blood; And gave the poor lost sufferer to thy rage. Tell them, I so adored-and thus revenged her. Osm. Thy sister !-Lusignan her father!-Se
(Stabs himself. lima!
Reverence this hero—and conduct him safe. Can this be true!--and have I wronged thee,
Ner. Direct me, great inspirer of the soul ! Sel. Thy love was all the cloud 'twixt her and How should I act, how judge in this distress? Heaven!
Amazing grandeur ! and detested rage ! Osm. Be dumb—for thou art base, to add dis Even I, amidst my tears, admire this foe, traction
And mourn his death, who lived to give me woe. To my already more than bleeding heart.
(Ereunt omnes. And was thy love sincere?- What then remains ?
HERE, take a surfeit, sirs, of being jealous, I First, then-A woman will or won't, depend And shun the pains that plague these Turkish
If she will do't, she will :--and there's an end Where love and death join hands, their darts
But if she won't since safe and sound your trust Save us, good Heaven, from this new way of
Fear is affront, and jealousy injustice. Curst climate! where to cards a lone-left wo | Next--he who bids his dear do what she man
pleases, Has only one of her black guards to summon! Blunts wedlock's edge; and all its torture eases: Sighs, and sits moped, with her tame beast to For-not to feel your sufferings, is the same, gaze at:
| As not to suffer :- all the difference-name. And that cold treat is all the game she plays at ! | Thirdly-The jealous husband wrongs his hoFor, should she once some abler hand be trying,
nour; Poniard's the word! and the first deal is dying! No wife goes lame, without some hurt upon her: 'Slife! should the bloody whim get ground in And the malicious world will still be guessing, Britain,
Who oft dines out, dislikes her own cook's dressWhere woman's freedom has such heights to sit
Fourthly, and lastly—to conclude my lecture, Dagger, provok’d, would bring on desolation, If you would fix the inconstant wife, respect her. And murdered belles unpeople half the nation! She who perceives her virtues overrated, Fain would I hope this play, to move com- Will fear to have the account more justly stated: passion,
| And borrowing, from her pride, the good wife's And live to hunt suspicion out of fashion.
seeming, Four motives strongly recommend the lover's Grow really such-to merit your esteeming. Hate of this weakness that our scene discovers.
KING CHARLES I.
WRITTEN BY A FRIEND.
Is former times, when wit was no offence, And men submitted to be pleased with senseThen was the stage fair virtue's fav'rite school, Scourge of the knave, and mirror of the fool. Here oft the villain's conscious blush would rise, And fools become, by viewing folly, wise. Our bard, as then, despises song and dance, The notes of Italy, and jigs of France: With home distress he nobly hopes to move, And fire each bosom with its country's loveSo much a Briton--that he scorns to roam To foreign climes, to fetch his hero home Conscious that in these scenes is clearly shewn Britain can boast true heroes of her own. Murder avowed by law he boldly paints,
Heroes and patriots, hypocrites and saints;
MEN. King CHARLES. Duke of YORK. Duke of GLOUCESTER. Bishop Juxon. Duke of RICHMOND. Marquis of LINDSEY. OLIVER CROMWELL. FAIRFAX.
WOMEN. QUEEN. Princess ELIZABETH. Lady FAIRFAX.
SCENE,– Partly at St James's, and partly at Whitehall.
Of Alpine hill, clad with slow-wasting snow; SCENE I.
His execution rapid as the force
Of falling waters thund'ring down its base. Enter Bishop Juxon and Duke of RICHMOND. | Let us avoid him ; for my conscious soul Jur. Good day, my lord, if, in a time like Fears him in wonder, and in praise condemns him. this,
(Ereunt. Aught that is fortunate or good can happen; When desolation, wedded to despair,
Enter CROMWELL. Strides o'er the land, and marks her way with Crom. Now through the maze of gloomy policy ruin:
Has fire-eyed faction worked her way to light, Plenty is filed with justice ; rage and rapine And deck'd ambition in the robe of power. Have robb'd the widow'd matron, England, quite, Our fears in Charles's safety are remov'd, And left her now no dowry—but her tears. And but one blow remains to fix our stateRich. Is it then certain that the lawless com The lopping off his head. No more the royal mons
tree Have formed a court of justice (so they call it) Shall, from legitimacy's root, presume To bring the king to trial ?
To sprout forth tyrant branches. CommonJur. "Tis most true;
wealths And though the lords refus'd to join the bill, Own no hereditary right, unless our worth Yet they proceed without them. Lawless man! | Shine equal to our birth. Wherefore, at once, Whither, at last, will thy impieties,
Down with nobility—the commons rule!
Avaunt prerogative and lineal title,
Enter FAIRFAX. Rich. Oh, Naseby, Naseby, what a deadly U Fair. I was to seek you, sir; some lab'ring stroke
doubts, Was thy ill-fated field to royalty!
Which, in the uncertainty of these strange times, On thy success depended monarchy;
Call for the ray of clearness, make me press The fate of rebels and the fate of kings
(Perhaps unseasonably) to your ear. Hung on thy battle: but thou, faithless too, You will forgive the impatience of a man Conspir'd with faction to o'erthrow us all, Who labours to be right-by your example, And bring to sight these more than bloody times. Crom. Good Fairfax, spare me; I am ill at Jur. To-morrow does the black tribunal sit
words, When majesty is cited to appear
And utter badly where I mean respect : Before his tyrant subjects. Oh, preposterous ! Uncouth my answers are to truth and plainness; Is't not as bad as if these rebel hands
| But to a compliment I ne'er could speak : Should from their seats tear forth their ruling Yet could you look into my secret mind, eyes,
There my soul speaks to Fairfax as to one Whose watch directs the body's use and safety? Book'd in the fairest page of my esteem,
Rich. It cannot be! 'Tis not in cruelty And written on my heart-But to your doubts. To think of spilling royal blood. Mercy, sure, Fair. You may remember, sir, when first my And the pretended justice of their cause,
sword, Will save them from the weight of so much guilt. My fortune, life, and still, yet more-ny honour, Jur. What added guilt can that black bosom were all engag'd to fight the cause of justice; feel,
You thought, with me, the wrongs to be redress'd That has shook off allegiance to its king? Were the attempts upon the subjects' right, Whole seas of common and of noble blood The unregarded laws, and bold design Will not suffice; the banquet must be crown'd, To stretch prerogative to boundless rule. And the brain heated with the blood of kings. Design full fair and noble! and th' event But see where Cromwell comes ! upon his brow Has crown'd our utmost wishes. England owns Dissimulation stamp'd. If I can judge
No arbitrary sway; the king's adherents
And blend discretion with success.
The Roman spirits, savage as they were,
When they determin'd to abolish kings,
And what the world may yet expect of Fairfax. Shed not the blood of Tarquin, but expell'd him; The diamond, merit, in the quarry hid, And shall we, owners of the Christian law, Being unknown, unseen, attracts no eyes; Where mercy shines the foremost attribute, But, digg'd up by the lab'rer's curiosity, Be harder to appease? If not more mild,
And polished by the hand of gratitude, Let us not be more cruel than barbarians. It shines the ornament of human life. Charles grasped, we own, at arbitrary sway, Think therefore what you are, and what this And would have been a tyrant--for which crime
juncture : The kingdoms he was born to we have seiz'd. The fairest lock of fortune is display'd,
And should be seiz'd on by the bold and worthy. Crowns, as the gift of men, men may resume; Fair. You talk in clouds above my purpose But life, the gift of Heaven, let Heaven dispose of. quite; Crom. Well have you' weigh'd each growing which was but to enforce the cause of mercy, circumstancé, ;
And show how much is gain'd by stopping here; And held discretion in the nicest scale.
To tell you what my conscience makes opinion, Our fears remov'd, the subjects' rights restor’d, And strengthen that opinion by your voice. What have we more to do, than to sit down, Crom. 'Tis true indeed -I had forgot myself; And each enjoy the vineyard of his toil ? But whither was I hurried in my zeal? 'Tis true-but yet some clamours are abroad; E'en I can descant on a pleasing theme: Petitions daily crowd the parliament,
Can you forgive me? though 'tis hard indeed : That loudly call for justice on the king,
Exalted virtue can with ease forgive Imputing to his charge the guilt of murders, | A calumny, but not a praise.—No more. The desolation that has bared the land,
Heav'n can witness for me, with what true accord And swept the crops of plenty from our fields. | My thoughts meet yours ! how willing I would Fair. What, shall the rabble judge—those ser
stop vile curs,
The arm of violence, and make the law, Who, as they eat in plenty, snarl sedition? Stern as she is, assume a face of smiles. Are these to be regarded ?
The death of Charles is far from my designCrom. You mistake me.
And yet the general outcry is for justice : 'Tis not their outcries only; but, indeed,
He has been much to blame, you know he has ; Those who see farther, and with better judgment, And (but I soften those unruly thoughts) Fear, while he lives, his friends will never die; | Were I to speak the dictates of my heart, But, by some foreign force or home design, | I could not find a punishment too great, May some time shake the safety of the state. | To fall upon the man, who should, like Charles, besides, they speak of an approv'd good maxim, Forget all right, and waste with lavish hand Remove the cause, and the effect will cease. The rich revenue of his people's love. Oh, worthy Fairfax, thou art wise and valiant! Fair. Dearly he suffers for misguided steps, I have seen thee watch occasion, till advantage And knows that misery he meant to give; me smiling to thy arms, and crown'd thy pa- | He feels the bondage he design'd for us, tience:
And by the want of freedom counts its value. And then, in fight, I have beheld thy sword Crom. I pity him; and would the commons Outfly the pace of pestilential air,
think with me, And kill in multitudes.
He were as safe as Cromwell ; and, brave FairFair. Good sir, forbear.
fax, Crom. Blush not to hear a truth, when Crom We will endeavour it; and may that power, well speaks it :
Whose arm has fought the battle of our cause, My uncouth manner, ill at varnishing,
Incline them all to think like you-or me! (Aside. Beggars my will, and dresses praise uncomely. I will about it. Yet remember, Fairfax, Methinks I see thee in the rage of bastle,
The posture of these times: consider too, When Naseby's field confess'à thy victor arm, How great your expectations ought to be: And thy decision was the fate of kings.
Would Fairfax listen to the voice of Cromwell, Methinks 1 view thee in the bustling ranks, He should have nearer hopes than Charles's life: Where danger was the nearest for you brought Somewhat as great as your desert should crown
you, Unhelm'd, encounter armies, and despise And make you partner of the highest honours. The safety that the meanest soldier wore;
(Exit. And when a private man, with bold assertion,
Fair. The highest honours ! what can CromChalleng'd a conquest which your arm had gain’d; / well mean? And was reprov'd; methinks, I hear you say, Acquit me, Heav'n! I fought not but for justice; I have enough of glory, let him own it.
Rage fir'd me not, nor did ambition blind; Fair. Whither does all this tend? I pray for- No party led me, and no interest bound; bear
My tie was conscience, and my cause was free I never fought in hopes to have it told :