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Mirvan, look at merdar'st thou

Zaph. Pardon Mir. Off with him,

[To the Soldiers. Pal. Oh, pardon And see him well secured, till Mahomet

[They are led off by degrees, looking alterDemands him of you.

nately at their father and each other. Pal. Villain, hold! [Laying hold of ZAPHNA. Alc. Oh, insupportable ! Mir. Away!

Both from me torn, then, when I wanted most Zaph. Just, just reward of my credulity! Their consolation !

(A shout. Pal. Let me go with him; I will share thy Pha. Hark! fate,

The citizens are roused, and all, in arms, Unhappy Zaphna, for I share thy guilt

Rush on to your defence. But then

(Looking back at ALCANOR. Alc. Pharon, support me Mir. No more-you must to Mahomet : Some moments longer.—Help, conduct me toObey without reluctance: Our great prophet,

wards them; In pity to your tender frame and years,

Bare this wound to them ; let that speak the Will take you under his divine protection.

cause, Pal. (Aside.) Oh death! deliver me from such The treacherous cause--for words begin to fall protection !

me; Mir. If you would aught to save the destined Then, if in death I can but serve my country, Zaphna,

Save my poor children from this tiger's gripe, Follow me to the prophet; you may move him And give a second life to that loved pair, To mitigate his doom. ---Away!

By whose misguided zeal I lose my own[To the soldiers who hold ZAPHNA. What patriot, or parent, but would wish, You this way.

(To PALMIRA. | In so divine a cause, to fall a martyr! [Ereunt.

ACT V.

Mah. Oh, worthy to deceive and awe the SCENE I.

world,

Second to Mahomet ! let me embrace theeEnter MAHOMET and MIRVAN.

But say, is not our army

at their gates Mah. Wrong will be ever nursed and fed with To back our clemency? blood !

Mir. Omar commands So this boy bigot held his pious purpose ? Their nightly march through unsuspected paths, Mir. Devoutly.

And with the morn appears.
Mah. What reasonless machine

Mah. At sight of them,
Can superstition make the reasoner man ! The weak remaining billows of this storm
Alcanor lies there on his bed of earth?

Will lash themselves to peace-But where is Mir. This moment he expired, and Mecca's Zaphna? youth

Mir. Safe in a dungeon, where he dies apace. In vain lament their chief. To the mad crowd Ere at the altar's foot he slew his sire, That gather'd round, good Ali and myself In his own veins he bore his guilt's reward, (Full of thy dauntless heavenly-seeming spirit) A deadly draught of poison. Disclaimed the deed, and pointed out the arm Mah.' I would be kind, and let him die deof righteous Heaven, that strikes for Mahomet. ceived, Think ye, we cried (with eyes and hands uprear- Nor know that parent-blood defiles his soul. ed)

Mir. He cannot know it : if the grave be siThink ye our holy prophet would consent

lent, To such a crime, whose foulness casts a blot I'm sure Hercides is. On right of nations, nature, and our faith? Mah. Unhappy Zaphna ! Oh, rather think he will revenge his death, Something like pity checks me for thy death. And root his murder from the burdened earth! But why-I must not think that way-shall MaThen struck our breasts, and wept the good old

homet
man,

Give a new paradise to all mankind,
And only wished he'd died among the faithful, And let remorse of conscience be the hell
And slept with Ibrahim.

Of his own breast! My safety claimed his life, Mah. Excellent Mirvan!

And all the heaven of fair Palmira's charms Mir. We, then, both at large

Shall be my great reward. Descanted on thy clemency and bounty.

Mir. My noble lord, On that the silent and desponding crowd

Palmira is at hand, and waits your pleasure. roke out in murmurs, plaints, and last in shouts, Mah. At hand! How, Mirvan, couldst thou And each mechanic grew a mussulman.

let me talk

On themes of guilt, when that pure angel's near ?
Mir. The weeping fair, led on by flattering

Enter MIRVAN.
hope

Mir. Oh, Mahomet, all's lost, thy glory tarof Zaphna's life, attends your sacred will :

nished, A silent pale dejection shrouds her cheeks, And the insatiate tomb ripe to devour us! And, like the lily in a morning shower,

Hercides' parting breath divulged the secret. She droops her head and locks up all her sweets. The prison's forced, the city all in arms:

Mah. Say Mahomet awaits, and then See where they bear aloft their murdered chief, Assemble all our chiefs, and on this platform Fell Zaphna in their front, death in his looks, Let them attend me straight. (Erit MIRVAN. Rage all his strength. Spite of the deadly draught,

He holds in life but to make sure of vengeance. Enter PALMIRA with attendants.

Mah. What dost thou here, then instant Pal. (Apart.] Where have they led me?

with our guards, Methinks each step I take, the mangled corse Attempt to stem their progress, till the arrival Of my dear father (by poor Zaphna mangled) Of Omar with the troops. Lies in my way, and all I see is blood

Mir. I haste, my lord. [Erit MIRVAN.

Starting. Pal. Now, now, my hour's at hand! 'Tis the impostor's self !Burst, heart, in silence. Hearst thou those shouts, that rend the ambient Mah. Maid, lay aside this dread. Palmira's

air? fate,

Seest thou those glancing fires, that add new And that of Mecca, by my will is fixed.

horrors This great event, that fills thy soul with horror, To the night's gloom? fresh from thy murdering Is mystery to all but Heaven and Mahomet.

poignard, Pal. Oh, ever righteous Heaven ! canst thou My father's spirit leads the vengeful shades suffer

of all the wretches whom thy sword has butThis sacrilegious hypocrite, this spoiler,

chered : To steal thy terrors, and blaspheme thy name, I see them raise their unsubstantial arms Nor doom him instant dead ?

[Aside. To snatch me from thy rage, or worse, thy love. Mah. Child of my care,

Shadows shall conquer in Palmira's cause. At length from galling chains I've set thee free, Mah. (Aside.) What terror's this, that hangs And made thee triumph in a just revenge ;

upon her accents ? Think then thou’rt dear to me, and Mahomet I feel her virtue, though I know her weakness. Regards thee with a more than father's eye; Pal. Thou ask'st my love; go seek it in the Then know (if thou'lt deserve the mighty boon)

grave An higher name, a nobler fate, awaits thee. Of good Alcanor. Talk'st of grateful minds?

Pal. What would the tyrant ?- (Aside. Bid Zaphna plead for thee, and I may hear thee; Muh. Raise thy thoughts to glory,

Till then, thou art my scorn-May'st thou, like And sweep this Żaphna from thy memory,

me, With all that's past--Let that mean flame expire Behold thy dearest blood spilt at thy feet ! Before the blaze of empire's radiant sun. Mecca, Medina, all our Asian world, Thy grateful heart must answer to my bounties, Join, join to drive the impostor from the earth! Follow my laws, and share in all my conquests. Blush at his chains, and shake them off in venPal. What laws, what bounties, and what con

geance ! quests, tyrant ?

Muh. (Aside.) Be still, my soul, nor let a woFraud is thy law, the tomb thy only bounty, Thy conquests fatal as infected air,

Ruffle thy wonted calm.-Spite of thy hate, Dispeopling half the globe--See here, good Hea- Thou art lovely still, and charming even in mad

(A shout and noise of fighting. The venerable prophet I revered,

My fair, retire; nor let thy gentle soul The king I served, the god that I adored ! Shake with alarms; thou art my peculiar care: Alah. (Approaching her.) Whence this un- I go to qnell this traitorous insurrection,

wonted language, this wild frenzy ? And will attend thee straight. Pal. Where is the spirit of my martyred fa- Pal. No, tyrant, no; ther?

I'll join my brother, help to head our friends, Where Zaphna's, where Palmira's innocence ? And urge them on.

(A shout. Blasted by thee, by thee, infernal monster- Roll, roll your thunders, heavens, and aid the Thou found’st us angels, and hast made us fiends;

storm! Give, give us back our lives, our fame, our virtue: Now hurl your lightning on the guilty head, Thou canst not, tyrant--yet thou seek'st my And plead the cause of injured innocence ! love,

(Erit PAL. Scek’st with Alcanor's blood his daughter's love!

Enter Ali.
Dlah. [.4part.) Horror and death! the fatal
secret's known.

Mah. Whence, Ali, that surprise ?
Ali. My royal chief,
The foc prevails. Thy troops, led on by Mirvan,

man's rage

ven!

ness.

Are all cut off, and valiant Mirvan's self, Some cruel power unnerves my willing arm,
By Zaphna slain, lies weltering in his blood : Blasts my resolves, and weighs me down to earth.
The guard, that to our arms should ope the Mah. Such be the fate of all, who brave our
gates,

law. Struck with the common phrenzy, vow thy ruin, Nature and death have heard my voice, and now And death and vengeance is the general cry! Let Heaven be judge 'twixt Zaphna and myself, Mah. Can Ali fear ? then, Mahomet, be thy-And instant blast the guilty of the two. self!

Pal. Brother! oh, Zaphna ! Ali. See, thy few friends, whom wild despair Zaph. Zaphna now no more. hath armed,

(Sinking down by ALCANOR's body, and (But armed in vain) are come to die beside thee. leaning on the bier, PHARON kneeling

Mah. Ye heartless traitors ! Mahomet alone down with him, and supporting him. Shall be his own defender, and your guard Down, down, good Pharon—Thou poor injured Against the crowds of Mecca-Follow me.

corse, Ha!

May I embrace thee? Won't thy pallid wounds Enter ZAPHNA, PALMIRA, and PHARON, with And ooze fresh calls for vengeance ?

Purple anew at the unnatural touch, citizens, and the body of ALCANOR on a bier,

Pal. Oh, my brother ! Zaph. See, sec, my friends, where the Impostor Zuph. In vain's the guiltless meaning of my stands,

heart; With head erect, as if he knew not guilt, High heaven detests the involuntary crime, As if no tongue spake from Alcanor's wounds, And dooms for parricide-Then tremble, tyrant ! Nor called for vengeance on him.

If the Supreme can punish errors thus, Mah. Impious man!

What new-invented tortures must await Is it not enough to have spilt thy parent-blood, Thy soul, grown leprous with such foul offences ! But, with atrocious and blaspheming lips, But soft-now Fate and Nature are at strife Dar'st thou arraign the substitute of Heaven ! Sister, farewell! with transport should I quit Zuph. The substitute of Heaven ! so is the This toilsome, perilous, delusive stage, sword,

But that I leave thee on it: leave thee, Palmira, The pestilence, the famine; such art thou; Exposed to what is worse than fear can image, Such are the blessings Heaven has sent to man That tyrant's mercy; but I know thee brave; By thee its delegate ; nay, more, to me.- Know that thou'lt act a part-Look on her, HeaOh, he took pains, Palmira, upon us ;

ven, Deluded us into such monstrous crimes

Guide her, and--oh!

(Dics. As nature sickened at conception of !

Pal. Think not, ye men of Mecca, How couldst thou damn us thus ?

This death inflicted by the hand of heaven ; Mah. Babbler, avaunt !

'Tis he-that viperZaph. Well thou upbraid'st me; for to parley Mah. Know, ye faithless wretches ! with thee

'Tis mine to deal the bolts of angry heaven; Half brands me coward. Oh, revenge me, friends! Behold them there, and let the wretch, who Revenge Alcanor's massacre ; revenge

doubts, Palmira's wrongs, and crush the rancorous mon- Tremble at Zaphna's fate; and know, that Master!

homet Mah. Hear me, ye slaves, born to obey my Can read his thoughts, and doom him with a will!

look. Pal. Ah, hear him not ! fraud dwells upon Go then, and thank your pontiff and your prince

For each day's sun he grants you to behold. Zaph. Have at thee, fiend-Ha! Heaven! Hence to your temples, and appease my rage! (ZAPHNA udvancing, reels, and reclines on

(The people go off. his suord.

Pal. Ah, stay! my brother's murdered by this What cloud is this

tyrant: That thwarts upon my sight? My head grows By poison, not by piety, he kills. dizzy,

Mah. 'Tis done- -Thus ever be our law reMy joints unloose; sure 'tis the stroke of Fate.

ceived !

(Apart. Mah. (Aside.] The poison works ! then tri- Now, fair Palmiraumph, Mahomet!

Pal. Monster is it thus Zaph. Off, off, base lethargy!

Thou mak’st thyself a god, by added crimes, Pal. Brother, dismayed!

And murders justified by sacrilege? Hast thou not power but in a guilty cause, Mah. Think, exquisite Palmira ! for thy sake And only strength to be a parricide ?

Pal. Thou'st been the murderer of all my Zaph. Spare that reproach-Come on-It will not be;

See where Alcanor, see where Zaphna, lies; (Hangs down his sword, and reclines on Do they not call for me too at thy hands? PHARON.

Oh that they did! But I can read thy thoughts ;

his tongue.

race.

Palmira's saved for something worse than death; | Oh! snatch me from that sight ; quick, quick This to prevent-Zaphna, I follow thee.

transport me [Stabs herself with ZAPHNA's sword. To nature's loneliest mansion, where the sun Mah. What hast thou done!

Ne'er entered, where the sound of human tread Pal. A deed of glory, tyrant !

Was never heard—But wherefore ? still I there, Thou hast left no object worth Palmira's eyes, There still, shall find myself-Ay, that's the hell! And, when I shut out light, I shut out thee I'll none on't.

[Drawing his sword.

(Dies. Ali. Heavens ! help, hold him ! Mah. Farewell, dear victim of my boundless

[ALI, &c. disarm kim. passion!

Mah. Paltry dastards ! The price of treachery, the reward of murder, You fled the foe, but can disarm your master! Sink with thee to the earth-Oh, justice, jus- Angel of death, whose power l've long proclaimtice!

ed, In vain are glory, worship, and dominion ! Now aid me, if thou canst; now, if thou canst, All conqueror as I am, I am a slave,

Draw the kind curtain of eternal night, And, by the world adored, dwell with the damn- And shroud me from the horrors that beset me! ed!

(Ereunt MAHOMET, &c. My crimes have planted scorpions in my breast ; Pha. Oh! what a curse is life, when self-conHere, here, I feel them. "Tis in vain to brave

viction The host of terrors, that invade my soul : Flings our offences hourly in our face, I might deceive the world, myself I cannot. And turns existence torturer to itself! Ali. Be calm a while, my lord think what Here let the mad enthusiast turn his eyes, you are.

And see from bigotry what horrors rise; Mah. Ha ! what am I?

Here in the blackest colours let him read, [Turning to the bodies. That zeal, by craft misled, may act a deed, Ye breathless family,

By which both innocence and virtue bleed. Let your loud crying wounds say what I am.

(Ereunt omnes.

}

EPILOGUE..

LONG has the shameful licence of the age Coquette the fan, and leer a double meaning! With senseless ribaldry disgrac'd the stage; Shame on those arts that prostitute the bays! So much indecencies have been in vogue, Shame on the bard who this way hopes for They pleaded custom in the epilogue,

praise ! As if the force of reason was a yoke

The bold but honest author of to-night So heavy—they must ease it with a joke; Disdains to please you, if he please not right; Disarm the moral of its virtuous sway,

If, in his well-meant scene, you chance to find Or else the audience go displeas'd away.

Aught to ennoble or enlarge the mind; How have I blush'd to see a tragic queen If he has found the means, with honest art, With ill-timed mirth disgrace the well-wrote To fix the noblest wishes in the heart, scene;

In softer accents to inform the fair, From all the sad solemnity of woe

How bright they look when virtue drops the tear, Trip nimbly forth--to ridicule a beau:

Enjoy with friendly welcome the repast, Then, as the loosest airs she had been gleaning, | And keep the heart-felt relish to the last.

TANCRED AND SIGISMUNDA.

BY

THOMSON

PROLOGUE.

Bold is the man, who, in this nicer age,
Presumes to tread the chaste corrected stage.
Now, with gay tinsel arts, we can no more
Conceal the want of nature's sterling ore;
Our spells are vanish'd, broke our magic wand,
That us'd to waft you over sea and land;
Before your light the fairy people fade,
The demons fly,—the ghost itself is laid.
In vain of martial scenes the loud alarms,
The mighty prompter thund’ring out to arms,
The play-house posse clattering from afar,
The close-wedged battle and the din of war.
Now, even the senate seldom we convene;
The yawning fathers nod behind the scene.
Your taste rejects the glittering false sublime,
To sigh in metaphor, and die in rhyme.

High rant is tumbled from his gallery throne:
Description, dreams-nay similies are gone.

What shall we then ? to please you how devise,
Whose judgment sits not in your ears nor eyes
Thrice happy ! could we catch great Shakspeare's

art,
To trace the deep recesses of the heart;
His simple, plain sublime, to which is given
To strike the soul with darted flame from hea-

ven;
Could we awake soft Otway's tender woe,
The
pomp

of verse and golden lines of Rowe!
We to your hearts apply: let them attend;
Before their silent, candid bar we bend.
If warm’d they listen, 'tis our noblest praise :
If cold, they wither all the muse's bays.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

MEN.

WOMEN. TANCRED, Count of Leece.

SIGISMUNDA, daughter of Siffredi. MATTEO SIFFREDI, Lord .High Chancellor of LAURA, sister of Rodolpho, and friend to SigisSicily.

munda, Farl OSMOND, Lord High Constable of Sicily. RODOLPHO, friend to Tancred, and captain of

Barons, Officers, Guards, c. the guards.

SCENE,- The city of Palermo, in Sicily.

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