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THE BEST PLAYS
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE.
VOL. I.--PART II.
PUBLISHED BY WILLIAM MILLER, OLD BOND-STREET.
PRINTED BY JAMES BALLANTYNE,
Their virtue due to nature, not to fear.
Why have you ceased to wish this happy clangci, Enter Zara and SELIMA.
A barred seraglio !sad, unsocial life! Sel. It moves my wonder, young and beaute-Scorned, and a slave! All this has lost its terror ; ous Zara,
And Syria rivals, now, the banks of Seine ! Whence these new sentiments inspire your heart ! Zur, Joys, which we do not know, we do not Your peace of mind increases with your charms; wish. Tears now no longer shade your eyes soft lustre: My fate's bound in by Sion's sacred wal) : You meditate no inore those happy clines, Closed, from my infancy, within this palace, To which Nerestan will return to guide you.
Custom has learnt, from time, the power to You talk no more of that gay nation now,
please. Where men adore their wives, and woman's I claim no share in the remoter world, power
The sultan's property, his will my law; Draws reverence from a polished people's softness: Unknowing all but him, his power, his fame; Their husbands' equals, and their lovers' queens! To live his subject is my only hope, Free without scandal; wise without restraint; All else an empty dream.---Vol. I.
Sel. Ilave you forgot
I rank myself, with joy, among your slaves. Absent Nerestan then? whose generous friend- Zar. Be still my equal- and enjoy my blessship
ings; So nobly vowed redemption from your chains ! For, thou partaking, they will bless me more. How oft have you admired his dauntless soul ! Sel. Alas! but Heaven! wili it permit this Osman, his conqueror, by his courage charmed, marriage ? Trusted his faith, and on his word released him: Will not this grandeur, falsely called a bliss, Though not returned in time--we yet expect him. Plant bitterness, and root it in your heart? Nor had bis noble journey other motive, Have you forgot you are of Christian blood ? Than to procure our ransom.- And is this, Zar. Ah me! What hast thou said? why wouldst This dear, warm hope, become an idle dream?
thou thus Zur. Since after two long years he not returns, Recal my wavering thoughts? How know I, what, Tis plain his promise stretched beyond his power. Or whence I am. Heaven kept it hid in darkness, A stranger and a slave, unknown, like him, Concealed me from myself, and from my blood. Proposing much, means little ;-talks and lows, Sel. Nerestan, who was born a Christian, here Delighted with a prospect of escape :
Asserts, that you, like him, had Christian paHe promised to ransom ten Christians more,
rents; And free us all from slavery!-I own
Besides that cross, which, from your infant I once admired the unprofitable zeal,
years But now it charms no longer.-
Has been preserved, was found upon your bosom, Sel. What if yet,
As if designed by Heaven, a pledge of faith lle, faithful, should return, and hold his vow; Due to the God you purpose to forsake! Would you not, then
Zar. Can my fond heart, on such a feeble Zar. No matter_Time is past,
proof, And every thing is changed
Embrace a faith, abhorred by him I love? Sel. But, whence comes this?
I see too plainly custom forms us all; Zur. Gó—'were too much to tell thec Zara's Our thoughts, our morals, our most fixed belief, fate:
Are consequences of our place of birth : The sultan's secrets, all, arc sacred here : Born beyond Ganges, I had been a Pagan; But my fond heart delights to mix with thine. In France, a Christian ; I am here a Saracen : Some three months past, when thou, and other 'Tis but instruction, all! Our parents hand slaves,
Writes on our heart the first faint characters, Were forced to quit fair Jordan's flowery bank; Which time, re-tracing, deepens into strength, Heaven, to cut short the anguish of my days, That nothing can efface, but death or Heaven! Raised me to comfort by a powerful hand; Thou wert not made a prisoner in this place, This mighty Osman !
Till after reason, borrowing force from years, Scl. What of hina?
Hlad lent its lustre to enlighten faith :Zur. This sultan,
For me, who, in my cradle, was their slave, This conqueror of the Christians, loves Thy Christian doctrines were too lately taught Sel. Whom?
me; Sar. Zara!
Yet, far from having lost the reverence due, Thou blushest, and I guess thy thoughts accuse This cross, as often as it meets my eye,
Strikes through my heart a kind of awful fear! But, know me better----'twas unjust suspicion. I honour, froin my soul, the Christian law; All emperor as he is, I cannot stoop
Tkose laws, which, softening nature by humanity, To honours, that bring shame and baseness with Melt nations into brotherhood ;-no doubt thcia:
Christians are happy; and 'tis just to love them. Reason and pride, those props of modesty, Sel. Why have you, then, declared yourself Sustain ny guarded heart, and strengthen virtue: their foe? Rather than sink to infamy, let chains
Why will you join your band with this proud OsEmbrace me with a joy, such love denies !
man's, No-1 shall now astonish thee;- His greatness Who owes his triumph to the Christian ruin? Submits to own a pure and honest fame.
Zar. Ah !who could slight the offer of his Among the shining crowds, which live to please heart? lhim,
Nay-for I mean to tell thee all my weakness, His whole regard is fixed on me alone :
Perhaps I had, ere now, profest thy faith, Ile offers marriage; and its rites now wait, But Osman loved me-and I've lost it all :To crown ine enpress of this eastern world. I think on nonę but Osman-my pleased heart, Sel. Your virtue and your charms deserve it Filled with the blessing, to be loved by him,
Wants room for other happiness. Place thou My heart is not surprised, but struck to hear it. Before thy eyes, his merit and his fame, If to be empress can complete your happiness, His youth, yet blooming but in manhood's dawn,