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And many a spouse caresses such a friend. The slow performer that grows worse and worse!
| 'Tis your's to damn him-But, you join to save This is not, sure, the true Hibernian way? Then, hail Gustavus, who his country freed!
But I forgive him. He's a young beginner! Ye sons of Britain, praise the glorious Swede! Not quite a prostitute, and yet, a sinner! Who bravely rais'd, and gen'rously releas'd, Forward to please, yet awkward to delight! From blood-stain'd tyrant, and perfidious priest, He wants a kindly hand to guide him right! The state and church expiring at a breath! A novice yet-Instruct him— He will mend Who held a life of slav'ry worse than death ! Full many a widow wishes such a friend.
Reform'd religion ! re-established law, E'en married dames may think a greater curse, | And, that you dare to praise him, hail Nassau !
To point what lengths credulity has run, Like whelps born blind, by mother church they're What counsels shaken, and what states undone,
bred, What hellish fury wings th' enthusiast's rage, Nor wake to sight to know themselves misled; And makes the troubled earth one tragic stage, Murder's the game—and to the sport unprest, What blasphemies imposture dare advance, Proud of the sin, and in the duty blest,And build what terrors on weak ignorance, The layman's but the bloodhound of the priest. How fraud alone rage to religion binds,
Whoe'er thou art that dar'st such themes advance, And makes a Pandemonium of our minds; To priest-rid Spain repair, or slavish France, Our Gallic bard, fir'd with the glorious views, For Juda's here there do the devil's task, First to his Crusade led his tragic muse,
And trick up -slav'ry in religion’s mask ; Her power through France his charming numbers England still free, no surer means requires bore,
To sink their sottish souls and damp their mara But France was deaf-for all her priests were sore. tial fires.
On English ground she makes a firmer stand, Britons ! these numbers to yourselves you owe; And hopes to suffer by no hostile hand :
Voltaire has strength to shoot in Shakespeare's No clergy here usurp the freeborn mind,
bow; Ordain'd to teach, and not enslave mankind; Fame led him at his Hippocrene to drink, Religion here bids persecution cease,
And taught to write with nature as to think; Without all order, and within all peace;
With English freedom English wit he knew, Truth guards her happy pale with watchful care, And from the inexhausted stream profusely drew: And frauds, though pious, find no entrance there. Cherish the noble bard yourselves have made, Religion, to be sacred, must be free;
Nor let the frauds of France steal all our trade. Men will suspect—where bigots keep the key: Now of each prize the winner has the wearing, . Hooded, and trained like hawks, th' enthusiasts E'en send our English stage a privateering; fly,
With your commission we'll our sails unfold, And the priests' victims in their pounces die. And from their loads of dross import some gold.
Alc. If, ye Powers divine! SCENE I.-An apartment in the Temple of Ye mark the movements of this nether world, Meoca.
And bring them to account, crush, crush those
vipers, Enter ALCANOR and PHARON.
Who, singled out by a community Alc. Pharon, no more--shall I
To guard their rights, shall, for a grasp of ore, Fall prostrate to an arrogant impostor,
Or paltry office, sell them to the foe! Homage in Mecca one I banished thence,
Pha. Each honest citizen, I grant, is thine, And incense the delusions of a rebel !
And, grateful for thy boundless blessings on them, No-blast Alcanor, righteous Heaven! if e'er Would serve thee with their lives; but the apThis hand, yet free and uncontaminate,
proach Shall league with fraud, or adulate a tyrant. Of this usurper to their very walls Pha. August and sacred chief of Ishmael's se Strikes them with such a dread, that even these
Implore thee to accept his proffered peace. This zeal of thine, paternal as it is,
Alc. Oh, people lost to wisdom as to glory! Is fatal now-our impotent resistance
Go, bring in pomp, and serve upon your knees
His trapping as a trophy of my conquest.
This torch of enmity, thus lighted 'twixt us, Alc. Such proselytes
The hand of time itself can ne'er extinguish. Are worthy of him-low untutored reptiles, Pha. Extinguish not, but smother for a while In whom sense only lives-most credulous still Its fatal flame, and greatly sacrifice Of what is most incredible,
Thy private sufferings to the public welfare. Pha. Be such
Oh say, Alcanor, wert thou to behold Disdained, my lord; but may not the pest spread (As soon thou may'st) this famed metropolis upwards,
With foes begirt, behold its pining tenants And seize the head-Say, is the senate sound? Prey on each other for the means of life, I fear some members of that reverend class Whilst lakes of blood and mountains of the slain Are marked with the contagion, who, from views Putrify the air, of higher power and rank,
And sweep off thousands with their poisonous Worship this rising sun, and give a sanction
steams, To his invasions.
| Would thy slain children be avenged by this?
Ale. No, Pharon, no; I live not for myself: My wife and children lost, my country's now
Enter ALCANOR. My family,
Alc. Palmira, whence those tears? trust me, Pha. Then let not that be lost.
fair maid, Alc. 'Tis lost by cowardice.
Thou art not fallen into barbarians' hands; Pha. By rashness often.
What Mecca can afford of pomp or pleasure, Alc. Pharon, desist.
To call attention from misfortune's lap,
Demand and share it.
My suit's for nothing Mecca can afford;
Prisoner these two long months beneath your Al. What means ?
roof, | Pha, Palmira.
I have tasted such benignity and candour, That blooming fair, the flower of all his camp, Whilst your own hands so laboured to beguile By thee borne off in our last skirmish with him, The anxious moments of captivity, Seems the divine ambassadress of peace,
That oft I have called my tears ingratitude. Sent to procure our safety. Mahomet
Alc. If aught remains, that's in my power, to Has by his heralds thrice proposed her ransom,
smooth And bade us fix the price.
The rigour of your fate, and crown your wishes, Alc. I know it, Pharon:
Why, 'twould fill And wouldst thou then restore this noble treasure The furrows in my cheeks, and make old age To that barbarian? Wouldst thou, for the frauds, Put on its summer's garb. The deaths, the devastations, he brings on us, Pal. Thus low I bless thee. (Kneeling. Enrich his ruffian hands with such a gem, It is on you, on you alone, Alcanor, And render beauty the reward of rapine ? | My whole of future happiness depends ; Nay, smile not, friend, nor think that at these Have pity then; years,
Pity, Alcanor, one, who is torn from all Well travelled in the winter of my days,
That's dear or venerable to her soul; I entertain a thought towards this young beauty, | Restore me, then, restore me to my country, But what's as pure as is the western gale, Restore me to my father, prince, and prophet! That breathes upon the uncropt violet
Alc. Is slavery dear then ? is fraud venerable ? | Pha, My lord -.
What country? a tumultuous wandering camp! Ale. This heart, by age and grief congealed, Pal. My country, sir, is not a single spot Is no more sensible to love's endearments Of such a mould, or fixed to such a clime; Than are our barren rocks to morn's sweet dew, No, 'tis the social circle of my friends, That balmy trickles down their rugged cheeks. The loved community in which I'm linked, Pha. My noble chief, each master-piece of na- And in whose welfare all my wishes centre.
Alc. Excellent maid! Then Mecca be thy Commands involuntary homage from us.
country. Alc. I own, a tenderness unfelt before, Robbed of my children, would Palmira deign A sympathetic grief, with ardent wishes
To let me call her child, the toil I took To make her happy, fill my widowed bosom: To make her destiny propitious to her, I dread her being in that monster's power, Would lighten the rough burthen of my own: And burn to have her hate him like myself. But no: you scorn my country and my laws. 'Twas on this hour I, at her modest suit,
Pal. Can I be yours, when not my own? Your Promised her audience in my own pavilion.
bounties Pharon, go thou, meanwhile, and see the senate Claim and share my gratitude-but Mahomet Assembled straight-I'll sound them as I ought. Claims right o'er me of parent, prince, and pro
(Exeunt severally. phet.
Alc. Of parent, prince, and prophet! HeaSCENE II.-Changes to a Room of State.
vens! that robber,
Who, a 'scaped felon, emulates a throne,
And, scoffer at all faiths, proclaims a new one! Pal. What means this boding terror, that Pal. Oh, cease, my lord ! this blasphemous usurps,
abuse In spite of me, dominion o'er my heart,
Of one, whom millions with myself adore, Converting the sweet flower of new-blown hope Does violence to my ear: such black profaneTo deadly nightshade, poisoning to my soul
ness The fountain of its bliss ?-Oh holy prophet! 'Gainst Heaven's interpreter blots out rememShall I ne'er more attend thy sacred lessons ?
brance O Zaphna! much-loved youth! I feel for thee Of favours past, and nought succeeds but horror. As for myself-But hold! my final audit
Alc. Oh superstition ! thy pernicious rigours, Is now at hand-I tremble for the event! Inflexible to reason, truth, and nature, Here comes iny judge now liberty or bondage ! | Banish humanity the gentlest breasts.
Palmira, I lament to see thee plunged
Alc. What death to honour, wakening to such So deep in error
glory! Pal. Do you then reject
Pha. oh, what a fall from virtue was that My just petition? Can Alcanor's goodness
change! Be deaf to suffering virtue?
Mir. Come, embrace our faith, reign with Name but the ransom,
Mahomet, And Mahomet will treble what you ask.
And, clothed in terrors, make the vulgar tremble. Alc. There is no ransom Mahomet can offer, Alc. 'Tis Mahomet, and tyrants like to MaProportioned to the prize. Trust me, Palmira,
homet, I cannot yield thee up. What! to a tyrant, | 'Tis Mirvan, and apostates like to Mirvan, Who wrongs thy youth, and mocks thy tender I only would make tremble-Is it, say'st thou, heart
Religion, that's the parent of this rapine, With vile illusions and fanatic terrors !
This virulence and rage?-No; true religion
Is always mild, propitious, and humane,
Plays not the tyrant, plants no faith in blood, What wouldst thou, Pharon ?
Nor bears destruction on her chariot-wheels; Pha. From yon western gate,
But stoops to polish, succour, and redress, Which opens on Moraida's fertile plains, | And builds her grandeur on the public good. Mahomet's general, Mirvan, hastes to greet thee. Mir. Thou art turned Christian, sure! some Alc. Mirvan, that vile apostate!
straggling monk Pha. In one hand
Has taught thee these tame lessons He holds a scimitar, the other bears
Alc. If the Christians An olive branch, which to our chiefs he waves, Hold principles like these, which reason dictates, An emblem of his suit-a martial youth,
Which all our notions of the powers divine Zaphna by name, attends him for our hostage. Declare the social laws they meant for man,
Pal. (Apart. Zaphna! mysterious heaven ! And all the beauties and delights of nature
Bear witness to, the Christians may be right; This way, my lord, to render you his charge. | Thy sect cannot, who, nursed in blood and Alc. Mirvan advance ! how dare the traitor
slaughter, see me?
Worship a cruel and revengeful being, Palmira, thou retire-Pharon, be present. And draw him always with his thunder round him,
[Exit PAL. As ripe for the destruction of mankind.
Mir. If clemency delights thee, learn it here. Enter MIRVAN.
| Though banished, by thy voice, his native city, After six years of infamous rebellion
Though, by thy hand, robbed of his only son, Against thy native country, dost thou, Mirvan, Mahomet pardons thee; nay, farther, begs Again profane with thy detested presence
The hatred burning 'twixt you be extinguished, These sacred walls, which once thy hands de- With reconciliation's generous tear. fended,
Alc. I know thy master's arts : his generous But thy bad heart has vilely since betrayed ? · tears, Thou poor deserter of thy country's gods, Like the refreshing drops, that previous fall Thou base invader of thy country's rights, To the wild outrage of o'erwhelming earthquakes, What wouldst thou have with me?
Only forerun destruction; Mir. I pardon thee
Courage he has not bravery; Out of compassion to thy age and sufferings, For blood and havock are the sure attendants And high regard for thy experienced valour, On his victorious car. Heaven's great apostle offers thee in friendship Pha. Leagues he will make too A hand could crush thee, and I come commis Alc. Like other grasping tyrants, till he eyes sioned
A lucky juncture to enlarge his bounds; To name the terms of piece he deigns to tender. Then he'll deride them, leap o'er every tie
Alc. He deigns to tender ! insolent impostor! Of sacred guarantee, or sworn protection; Dost thou not, Mirvan, blush
And when the oppressed ally implores assistance, To serve this wretch-this base of soul as birth? Beneath that mask invade the wished-for realms, Mir. Mahomet's grandeur's in himself; he And from pure friendship take them to himself. shines not
Mir. Mahomet fights Heaven's battles, bends With borrowed lustre.
the bow Plunged in the night of prejudice, and bound To spread Heaven's laws, and to subject to faith In fetters of hereditary faith,
The iron neck of error. My judgment slept; but when I found him born Alc. Lust and ambition, Mirvan, are the springs To mould anew the prostrate universe,
Of all his actions; whilst, without one virtue, I started from my dream, joined his career,
Dissimulation, like a flattering painter, And shar'd his arduous and immortal labours. Bedecks him with the colouring of them all : Once, I must own, I was as blind as thou: This is thy master's portrait-But no moreThen wake to glory, and be changed like me. My soul's inexorable, and my hate