Part 5 out of 10
_Hip_. I ever had a strange aversion for him:
But when Gonsalvo landed there, and made
A kind of courtship, (though, it seems, in jest,)
It served to conquer me; which Estevan
Perceiving, pressed my aunt to haste the marriage.
What should I do? My aunt importuned me
For the next day: Gonsalvo, though I loved him,
Knew not my love; nor was I sure his courtship
Was not the effect of a bare gallantry.
_Gons_. Alas! how grieved I am, that slight address
Should make so deep impression on your mind,
In three days time!
_Hip_. That accident, in which
You saved my life, when first you saw me, caused it,
Though now the story be too long to tell.
Howe'er it was, hearing that night, you lay
Aboard your ship, thus, as you see, disguised,
In clothes belonging to my youngest nephew,
I rose ere day, resolved to find you out,
And, if I could, procure to wait on you
Without discovery of myself: but fortune
Crossed all my hopes.
_Gons_. It was that dismal night
Which tore my anchor up, and tossed my ship,
Past hope of safety, many days together,
Until at length it threw me on this port.
_Hip_. I will not tell you what my sorrows were,
To find you gone; but there was now no help.
Go back again, I durst not; but, in fine,
Thought best, as fast as my weak legs would bear me,
To come to Alicant, and find my sister,
Unknown to any else: But, being near
The city, I was seized upon by thieves,
From whom you rescued me.--The rest you know.
_Gons_. I know too much indeed for my repose.
_Capt_. Do you know me?
_Gons_. Now I look better on thee,
Thou seemest a greater villain than I thought thee.
_Jul_ 'Tis he!
_Hip_. That bloody wretch, that robbed us in
_Gons_. Slave! darest thou lift thy hand against me?
Darest thou touch any one whom he protects,
Who gave thee life? But I accuse myself,
Not thee: The death of all these guiltless persons
Became my crime, that minute when I spared thee.
_Capt_. It is not all your threats can alter me
From what I have resolved.
_Gons_. Begin, then, first
_Capt_. I will, by laying here my sword.
[_Lays his sword at Gonsalvo's feet_.
_All_. What means this sudden change?
_Capt_. Tis neither new, nor sudden.--From that time
You gave me life, I watched how to repay it;
And Roderick's servant gave me speedy means
To effect my wish: For, telling me, his master
Meant a revenge on you, and on Don Manuel,
And then to seize on Julia, and depart,
I proffered him my aid to seize a vessel;
And having, by enquiry, found out yours,
Acquainted first the captain with my purpose,
To make a seeming mastery of the ship.
_Man_. How durst he take your word?
_Capt_. That I secured,
By letting him give notice to the ships
That lay about: This done, knowing the place
You were to fight on was behind the rock,
Not far from thence, I, and some chosen men,
Lay out of sight, that, if foul play were offered,
We might prevent it:
But came not in; because, when there was need,
Don Manuel, who was nearer, stepped before me.
_Gons_. Then the boat, which seemed
To lie by chance, hulling not far from shore,
Was placed by your direction there?
_Capt_. It was.
_Gons_. You're truly noble; and I owe much more
Than my own life and fortunes to your worth.
_Capt_. 'Tis time I should restore their liberty
To such of yours, as yet are seeming prisoners.
I'll wait on you again. [_Exit Captain_.
_Rod_. My enemies are happy; and the storm,
Prepared for them, must break upon my head.
_Gons_. So far am I from happiness, heaven knows
My griefs are doubled!
I stand engaged in hopeless love to Julia;
In gratitude to these:--
Here I have given my heart, and here I owe it.
_Hip_. Dear master, trouble not yourself for me;
I ever made your happiness my own;
Let Julia witness with what faith I served you.
When you employed me in your love to her,
I gave your noble heart away, as if
It had been some light gallant's, little worth:
Not that I loved you less than Angelina,
But myself less than you.
_Gons_. Wonder of honour!
Of which my own was but a fainter shadow.
When I gave Julia, whom I could not keep,
You fed a fire within, with too rich fuel,
In giving it your heart to prey upon;
The sweetest offering that was ever burnt
Since last the Phoenix died.
_Hip_. If Angelina knew, like me, the pride
Of noble minds, which is to give, not take,
Like me she would be satisfied, her heart
Was well bestowed, and ask for no return.
_Amid_. Pray, let my heart alone; you'll use it as
The gipsies do our money;
If they once touch it, they have power upon't.
_Enter the Servant, who appeared in the first act with GONSALVO_.
_Serv_. O, my dear lord, Gonsalvo de Peralta!
_Rod_. De Peralta, said you? You amaze me!
_Gons_. Why?--Do you know that family in Seville?
_Rod_. I am myself the elder brother of it.
_Gons_. Don Rodorick de Peralta!
_Rod_. I was so,
Until my mother died, whose name, de Sylva,
I chose, (our custom not forbidding it)
Three years ago, when I returned from Flanders:
I came here to possess a fair estate,
Left by an aunt, her sister; for whose sake
I take that name; and liked the place so well,
That never since have I returned to Seville.
_Gons_. 'Twas then that change of name, which caused my letters
All to miscarry. What an happy tempest
Was this, which would not let me rest at Seville,
But blew me farther on, to see you here!
_Amid_. Brother, I come to claim a sister's share:
But you're too near me, to be nearer now.
_Gons_. In my room, let me beg you to receive
_Amid_. I take it half unkindly,
You give me from yourself so soon: Don Manuel,
I know, is worthy, and, but yesterday,
Preserved my life; but, it will take some time
To change my heart.
_Man_. I'll watch it patiently, as chemists do
Their golden birth; and, when 'tis changed, receive it
With greater care than they their rich elixir,
Just passing from one vial to another.
_Rod_. Julia is still my brother's, though I lose her.
_Gons_. You shall not lose her; Julia was born
For none but you;
And I for none but my Honoria:
Julia is yours by inclination;
And I, by conquest, am Honoria's.
_Hon_. 'Tis the most glorious one that e'er was made:
And I no longer will dispute my happiness.
_Rod_. Julia, you know my peevish jealousies;
I cannot promise you a better husband
Than you have had a servant.
_Jul_. I receive you
With all your faults.
_Rod_. And think, when I am froward,
My sullen humour punishes itself:
I'm like a day in March, sometimes o'ercast
With storms, but then the after clearness is
The greater. The worst is, where I love most,
The tempest falls most heavy.
_Jul_. Ah! what a little time to love is lent!
Yet half that time is in unkindness spent.
_Rod_. That you may see some hope of my amendment,
I give my friendship to Don Manuel, ere
My brother asks, or he himself desires it.
_Man_. I'll ever cherish it.
_Gons_. Since, for my sake, you become friends, my care
Shall be to keep you so. You, captain, shall
Command this carrack, and, with her, my fortunes.
You, my Honoria, though you have an heart
Which Julia left, yet think it not the worse;
'Tis not worn out, but polished by the wearing.
Your merit shall her beauty's power remove;
Beauty but gains, obligement keeps our love.
WRITTEN BY THE
HON. SIR ROBERT HOWARD,
THE INDIAN QUEEN
The plays of Sir Robert Howard were tolerated by his contemporaries,
on account of the rank, gallantry, and loyalty, of the author; at
least, we are now unable to discover any better reason for their
success. The Committee, alone, kept possession of the stage till our
time; and that solely supported by the humours of Teague, an honest
blundering Irish footman, such as we usually see in a modern farce.
From a hint, given by Langbaine, Sir Robert Howard seems to have been
suspected of frequent plagiarisms. At any rate it is certain, that, in
the composition of the Indian Queen, he was so fortunate, as to have
the assistance of our great poet, who was bound to him by ties of
It is, of course, difficult even to guess at the share which Dryden
had in the Indian Queen. Several of the characters have a strong
resemblance to others, which he afterwards drew in bolder colours.
Thus, Montezuma, who, like the hero of an ancient romance, bears
fortune to any side which he pleases to espouse, is justly pointed out
by Settle, as the prototype of Almanzor; though we look in vain for
the glowing language, which, though sometimes bordering on burlesque,
suits so well the extravagant character of the Moorish hero. Zempoalla
strongly resembles Nourmuhal in Aureng-Zebe; both shewing that high
spirit of pride, with which Dryden has often invested his female
characters. The language of the Indian Queen possesses, in general,
greater ease, and a readier flow of verse, than Sir Robert Howard
appears to have possessed, when unassisted. Of this he seems,
himself, to have been sensible; and alludes to Dryden's acknowledged
superiority, when maintaining against him the cause of dramatic blank
verse, as preferable to rhyme. Besides general hints towards the
conception of the characters, and a superintendance of the dialogue,
it is probable, that Dryden wrote some entire scenes of the following
piece. In the third act particularly, the passage respecting the
incantation, which resembles that in the Indian Emperor, has strong
traces of our author's manner.
[Footnote 1: "But writing the epistle in so much haste, I had almost
forgot one argument, or observation, which that author (Dryden) has
most good fortune in. It is in his Epistle Dedicatory, before his
essay of _Dramatic Poesie_; where, speaking of rhyme in plays, he
desires it may be observed, that none are violent against it, but such
as have not attempted it, or who have succeeded ill in the attempt:
Which, as to myself, and him, I easily acknowledge;--for, I confess,
none has written in that way better than himself, nor few worse than
_Introduction to the Great Favourite, or the Duke of Lerma_.]
The Indian Queen was acted in 1664; and received, says Langbaine, with
great applause. It was printed in 1665.
_As the music plays a soft air, the curtain rises slowly, and
discovers an Indian Boy and Girl sleeping under two plantain-trees;
and, when the curtain is almost up, the music turns into a tune
expressing an alarm, at which the Boy awakes, and speaks;
_Boy_. WAKE, wake, Quevira! our soft rest must cease,
And fly together with our country's peace!
No more must we sleep under plantain shade,
Which neither heat could pierce, nor cold invade;
Where bounteous nature never feels decay,
And opening buds drive falling fruits away.
_Que_. Why should men quarrel here, where all possess
As much as they can hope for by success?--
None can have most, where nature is so kind,
As to exceed man's use, though not his mind.
_Boy_. By ancient prophecies we have been told,
Our world shall be subdued by one more old;--
And, see, that world already hither come.
_Que_. If these be they, we welcome then our doom!
Their looks are Such, that mercy flows from thence,
More gentle than our native innocence.
_Boy_. Why should we then fear these, our enemies,
That rather seem to us like deities?
_Que_. By their protection, let us beg to live;
They came not here to conquer, but forgive.--
If so, your goodness may your power express,
And we shall judge both best by our success.
_The Inca of Peru_.
MONTEZUMA, _his General_.
ACACIS, _son to_ ZEMPOALLA.
TRAXALLA, _General to_ ZEMPOALLA.
GARUCCA, _a faithful subject to_ AMEXIA.
_The God of Dreams_.
ISMERON, _one of the prophets, a conjuror_.
_Officers and Soldiers.
Peruvians and Mexicans.
AMEXIA, _the lawful queen of Mexico_.
ZEMPOALLA, _the usurping Indian Queen_.
ORAZIA,_daughter to the Inca_.
_Attendants of Ladies_.
ACT I. SCENE I.
_Enter Inca,_ ORAZIA, MONTEZUMA, ACACIS, _prisoners, with
_Inca_. Thrice have the Mexicans before us fled,
Their armies broke, their prince in triumph led;
Both to thy valour, brave young man, we owe;
Ask thy reward, but such as it may show
It is a king thou hast obliged, whose mind
Is large, and, like his fortune, unconfined.
_Mont_. Young, and a stranger, to your court I
There, by your favour, raised to what I am:
I conquer, but in right of your great fate,
And so your arms, not mine, are fortunate.
_Inca_. I am impatient, till this debt be paid.
Which still encreases on me while delayed;
A bounteous monarch to himself is kind:
Ask such a gift as may for ever bind
Thy service to my empire, and to me.
_Mont_. What can this gift, he bids me ask him, be!
Perhaps he has perceived our mutual fires,
And now, with ours, would crown his own desires;
'Tis so, he sees my service is above
All other payments but his daughter's love.
_Inca_. So quick to merit, and to take so slow?
I first prevent small wishes, and bestow
This prince, his sword and fortunes, to thy hand;
He's thine unasked; now make thy free demand.
_Mont_. Here, prince, receive this sword, as only due
[_Gives_ ACACIS _his sword_.
To that excess of courage shown in you.--
When you, without demand, a prince bestow,
Less than a prince to ask of you were low.
_Inca_. Then ask a kingdom; say, where thou wilt
_Mont_. I beg not empires, those my sword can gain;
But, for my past and future service too,
What I have done, and what I mean to do;
For this of Mexico which I have won,
And kingdoms I will conquer yet unknown;
I only ask from fair Orazia's eyes
To reap the fruits of all my victories.
_1 Peru_. Our Inca's colour mounts into his face.
_2 Peru_. His looks speak death.
_Inca_. Young man of unknown race,
Ask once again; so well thy merits plead,
Thou shall not die for that which thou hast said;
The price of what thou ask'st, thou dost not know;
That gift's too high.
_Mont_. And all besides too low.
_Inca_. Once more I bid thee ask.
_Mont_. Once more I make
The same demand.
_Inca_. The Inca bids thee take
Thy choice, what towns, what kingdoms thou would'st have.
_Mont_. Thou giv'st me only what before I gave.
Give me thy daughter.
_Inca_. Thou deserv'st to die.
O thou great author of our progeny,
Thou glorious sun, dost thou not blush to shine,
While such base blood attempts to mix with thine!
_Mont_. That sun, thou speak'st of, did not hide his face,
When he beheld me conquering with his race.
_Inca_. My fortunes gave thee thy success in fight!
Convey thy boasted valour from my sight;
I can o'ercome without thy feeble aid.
[_Exeunt Inca_, ORAZIA, _and Peruvians_.
_Mont_. And is it thus my services are paid?
Not all his guards--
[_Offers to go,_ ACACIS _holds him_.
_Aca_. Hold, sir.
_Mont_. Unhand me.
_Aca_. No, I must your rage prevent
From doing what your reason would repent;
Like the vast seas, your mind no limits knows,
Like them, lies open to each wind that blows.
_Mont_. Can a revenge, that is so just, be ill?
_Aca_. It is Orazia's father, you would kill.
_Mont_. Orazia! how that name has charmed my sword!
_Aca_. Compose these wild distempers in your breast;
Anger, like madness, is appeased by rest.
_Mont_. Bid children sleep, my spirits boil too high;
But, since Orazia's father must not die,
A nobler vengeance shall my actions guide;
I'll bear the conquest to the conquered side,
Until this Inca for my friendship sues,
And proffers what his pride does now refuse.
_Aca_. Your honour is obliged to keep your trust.
_Mont_. He broke that bond, in ceasing to be just.
_Aca_. Subjects to kings should more obedience pay.
_Mont_. Subjects are bound, not strangers, to obey.
_Aca_. Can you so little your Orazia prize,
To give the conquest to her enemies?
Can you so easily forego her sight?
I, that hold liberty more dear than light,
Yet to my freedom should my chains prefer,
And think it were well lost to stay with her.
_Mont_. How unsuccessfully I still o'ercome!
I brought a rival, not a captive, home;
Yet I may be deceived; but 'tis too late
To clear those doubts, my stay brings certain fate.
Come, prince, you shall to Mexico return,
Where your sad armies do your absence mourn;
And in one battle I will gain you more
Than I have made you lose in three before.
_Aca_. No, Montezuma, though you change your side,
I, as a prisoner, am by honour tied.
_Mont_. You are my prisoner, and I set you free.
_Aca_. 'Twere baseness to accept such liberty.
_Mont_. From him, that conquered you, it should be sought.
_Aca_. No, but from him, for whom my conqueror fought.
_Mont_. Still you are mine, his gift has made you so.
_Aca_. He gave me to his general, not his foe.
_Mont_. How poorly have you pleaded honour's laws!
Yet shun the greatest in your country's cause.
_Aca_. What succour can the captive give the free.
_Mont_. A needless captive is an enemy.
In painted honour you would seem to shine;
But 'twould be clouded, were your wrongs like mine.
_Aca_. When choler such unbridled power can
Thy virtue seems but thy revenge's slave:
If such injustice should my honour stain,
My aid would prove my nation's loss, not gain.
_Mont_. Be cozened by thy guilty honesty,
To make thyself thy country's enemy.
_Aca_. I do not mean in the next fight to stain
My sword in blood of any Mexican,
But will be present in the fatal strife,
To guard Orazia's and the Inca's life.
_Mont_. Orazia's life, fond man! First guard thy
Her safety she must owe to me alone.
_Aca_. Your sword, that does such wonders, cannot
In an ill cause, secure of victory.
_Mont_. Hark, hark! [_Noise of trampling_.
_Aca_. What noise is this invades my ear?
Fly, Montezuma! fly, the guards are near:
To favour your retreat, I'll freely pay
That life, which you so frankly gave this day.
_Mont_. I must retire; but those, that follow me,
Pursue their deaths, and not their victory.
_Aca_. Our quarrels kinder than our friendships
You for my country fight, I for your love.
_Enter_ INCA _and Guards_.
_Inca_. I was to blame to leave this madman free;
Perhaps he may revolt to the enemy,
Or stay, and raise some fatal mutiny.
_Aca_. Stop your pursuits, for they must pass
_Inca_. Where is the slave?
_Aca_. O'er the plain;
Where he may soon the camp, or city, gain.
_Inca_. Curse on my dull neglect!
And yet I do less cause of wonder find,
That he is gone, than that thou stayest behind.
_Aca_. My treatment, since you took me, was so free,
It wanted but the name of liberty.
I with less shame can still your captive live,
Than take that freedom, which you did not give.
_Inca_. Thou brave young man, that hast thy years outdone,
And, losing liberty, hast honour won,
I must myself thy honour's rival make,
And give that freedom, which thou would'st not take.
Go, and be safe.--
_Aca_. But that you may be so--
Your dangers must be past before I go.
Fierce Montezuma will for fight prepare,
And bend on you the fury of the war,
Which, by my presence, I will turn away,
If fortune gives my Mexicans the day.
_Inca_. Come, then, we are alike to honour just,
Thou to be trusted thus, and I to trust.
_Enter_ ZEMPOALLA, TRAXALLA, _and attendants_.
_Zemp_. O my Acacis!
Does not my grief, Traxalla, seem too rude,
Thus to press out before my gratitude
Has paid my debts to you?--yet it does move
My rage and grief, to see those powers above
Punish such men, as, if they be divine,
They know will most adore, and least repine.
_Trax_. Those, that can only mourn when they are crost,
May lose themselves with grieving for the lost.
Rather to your retreated troops appear,
And let them see a woman void of fear:
The shame of that may call their spirits home.
Were the prince safe, we were not overcome,
Though we retired: O, his too youthful heat,
That thrust him where the dangers were so great!
Heaven wanted power his person to protect
From that, which he had courage to neglect:
But since he's lost, let us draw forth, and pay
His funeral rites in blood; that we or they
May, in our fates, perform his obsequies,
And make death triumph when Acacis dies.
_Zemp_. That courage, thou hast shown in fight, seems less
Than this, amidst despair to have excess:
Let thy great deeds force fate to change her mind:
He, that courts fortune boldly, makes her kind.
_Trax_. If e'er Traxalla so successful proves,
May he then say he hopes, as well as loves;
And that aspiring passion boldly own,
Which gave my prince his fate, and you his throne?
I did not feel remorse to see his blood
Flow from the spring of life into a flood;
Nor did it look like treason, since to me
You were a sovereign much more great than he.
_Zemp_. He was my brother, yet I scorned to pay
Nature's mean debts, but threw those bonds away;
When his own issue did my hopes remove,
Not only from his empire, but his love.
You, that in all my wrongs then bore a part,
Now need not doubt a place within my heart:
I could not offer you my crown and bed,
Till fame and envy with long time were dead;
But fortune does now happily present
Occasions, fit to second my intent.
Your valour may regain the public love,
And make the people's choice their queen's approve.
Hark, hark, what noise is this, that strikes my ear!
_Trax_. 'Tis not a sound that should beget a fear;
Such shouts as these have I heard often fly
From conquering armies, crowned with victory.
_Zemp_. Great God of vengeance, here I firmly vow,
Make but my Mexicans successful now,
And with a thousand feasts thy flames I'll feed;
And that I take shall on the altars bleed;
Princes themselves shall fall, and make thy shrine,
Died with their blood, in glorious blushes shine.
_Enter a Messenger_.
_Trax_. How now!
What news is this that makes thy haste a flight?
_Mess_. Such as brings victory without a fight.
The prince Acacis lives--
_Zemp_. Oh, I am blest!--
_Mess_. Reserve some joy till I have told the rest.
He's safe, and only wants his liberty:
But that great man, that carries victory
Where'er he goes; that mighty man, by whom
In three set battles we were overcome;
Ill used (it seems) by his ungrateful king,
Does to our camp his fate and valour bring.
The troop gaze on him, as if some bright star
Shot to their aids; call him the god of war:
Whilst he, as if all conquest did of right
Belong to him, bids them prepare to fight;
Which if they should delay one hour, he swears
He'll leave them to their dangers, or their fears,
And shame, which is the ignoble coward's choice.
At this the army seemed to have one voice,
United in a shout, and called upon
The god-like stranger, "Lead us, lead us on."
Make haste, great sir, lest you should come too late,
To share with them in victory, or fate.
_Zemp_. My general, go; the gods be on our side;
Let valour act, but let discretion guide.
Great god of vengeance,
I see thou dost begin to hear me now:
Make me thy offering, if I break my vow. [_Exeunt_.
ACT II. SCENE I.
_Enter_ INCA _and_ ORAZIA, _as pursued in a battle_.
_Oraz_. O fly, sir, fly; like torrents your swift foes
Come rolling on--
_Inca_. The gods can but destroy.
The noblest way to fly is that death shows;
I'll court her now, since victory's grown coy.
_Oraz_. Death's winged to your pursuit, and yet you wait
To meet her--
_Inca_. Poor Orazia, time and fate
Must once o'ertake me, though I now should fly.
_Oraz_. Do not meet death; but when it comes, then die.
_Enter three Soldiers_.
_3 Sold_. Stand, sir, and yield yourself, and that fair prey.
_Inca_. You speak to one, unpractised to obey.
_Mont_. Hold, villains, hold, or your rude lives shall be
Lost in the midst of your own victory:
These have I hunted for;--nay, do not stare;
Be gone, and in the common plunder share.
How different is my fate, from theirs, whose fame
From conquest grows! from conquest grows my shame.
_Inca_. Why dost thou pause? thou canst not give me back,
With fruitless grief, what I enjoyed before;
No more than seas, repenting of a wreck,
Can with a calm our buried wealth restore.
_Mont_. 'Twere vain to own repentance, since I know
Thy scorn, which did my passions once despise,
Once more would make my swelling anger flow,
Which now ebbs lower than your miseries:
The gods, that in my fortunes were unkind,
Gave me not sceptres, nor such gilded things;
But, whilst I wanted crowns, enlarged my mind
To despise sceptres, and dispose of kings.
_Inca_. Thou art but grown a rebel by success,
And I, that scorned Orazia should be tied
To thee my slave, must now esteem thee less:
Rebellion is a greater guilt than pride.
_Mont_. Princes see others' faults, but not their own;
'Twas you that broke that bond, and set me free:
Yet I attempted not to climb your throne,
And raise myself; but level you to me.
_Oraz_. O, Montezuma, could thy love engage
Thy soul so little, or make banks so low
About thy heart, that thy revenge and rage,
Like sudden floods, so soon should overflow?
Ye gods, how much I was mistaken here!
I thought you gentle as the gall-less dove;
But you as humoursome as winds appear,
And subject to more passions than your love.
_Mont_. How have I been betrayed by guilty rage,
Which, like a flame, rose to so vast a height,
That nothing could resist, nor yet assuage,
Till it wrapt all things in one cruel fate.
But I'll redeem myself, and act such things,
That you shall blush Orazia was denied;
And yet make conquest, though with wearied wings,
Take a new flight to your own fainting side.
_Inca_. Vain man, what foolish thoughts fill thy swelled mind!
It is too late our ruin to recall;
Those, that have once great buildings undermined,
Will prove too weak to prop them in their fall.
_Enter_ TRAXALLA, _with the former soldiers_.
_1 Sold_. See, mighty sir, where the bold stranger stands,
Who snatched these glorious prisoners from our hands.
_Trax_. 'Tis the great Inca; seize him as my prey,
To crown the triumphs of this glorious day.
_Mont_. Stay your bold hands from reaching at what's mine,
If any title springs from victory;
You safer may attempt to rob a shrine,
And hope forgiveness from the deity.
_Trax_. O, my dear prince, my joys to see you live
Are more than all that victory can give.
_Aca_. How are my best endeavours crost by fate!
Else you had ne'er been lost, or found so late.
Hurried by the wild fury of the fight,
Far from your presence, and Orazia's sight,
I could not all that care and duty show,
Which, as your captive, mighty prince, I owe.
_Inca_. You often have preserved our lives this day,
And one small debt with many bounties pay.
But human actions hang on springs, that be
Too small, or too remote, for us to see.
My glories freely I to yours resign,
And am your prisoner now, that once were mine.
_Mont_. These prisoners, sir, are mine by right of war;
And I'll maintain that right, if any dare.
_Trax_. Yes, I would snatch them from thy weak defence;
But that due reverence, which I owe my prince,
Permits me not to quarrel in his sight;
To him I shall refer his general's right.
_Mont_. I knew too well what justice I should find
From an armed plaintiff, and a judge so kind.
_Aca_. Unkindly urged, that I should use thee so;
Thy virtue is my rival, not my foe;
The prisoners fortune gave thee shall be thine.
_Trax_. Would you so great a prize to him resign?
_Aca_. Should he, who boldly for his prey designed
To dive the deepest under swelling tides,
Have the less title if he chance to find
The richest jewel that the ocean hides?
They are his due--
But in his virtue I repose that trust,
That he will be as kind as I am just:
Dispute not my commands, but go with haste,
Rally our men, they may pursue too fast,
And the disorders of the inviting prey
May turn again the fortune of the day.
_Mont_. How gentle all this prince's actions be!
Virtue is calm in him, but rough in me.
_Aca_. Can Montezuma place me in his breast?
_Mont_. My heart's not large enough for such a guest.
_Aca_. See, Montezuma, see, Orazia weeps.
_Mont_. Acacis! is he deaf, or, waking, sleeps?
He does not hear me, sees me not, nor moves;
How firm his eyes are on Orazia fixt!
Gods, that take care of men, let not our loves
Become divided by their being mixt.
_Aca_. Weep not, fair princess, nor believe you are
A prisoner, subject to the chance of war;
Why should you waste the stock of those fair eyes,
That from mankind can take their liberties?
And you, great sir, think not a generous mind
To virtuous princes dares appear unkind,
Because those princes are unfortunate,
Since over all men hangs a doubtful fate:
One gains by what another is bereft;
The frugal deities have only left
A common bank of happiness below,
Maintained, like nature, by an ebb and flow.
ZEMPOALLA _appears seated upon a throne, frowning
upon her attendants; then comes down and speaks.
Zemp_. No more, you, that above your prince's
With your rebellious breath, a stranger's name.
_1 Peru_. Dread empress--
_Zemp_. Slaves, perhaps you grieve to see
Your young prince glorious, 'cause he sprang from me;
Had he been one of base Amexia's brood,
Your tongues, though silent now, had then been
Traxalla, welcome; welcomer to me
Than what thou bring'st, a crown and victory.
_Trax_. All I have done is nothing; fluttering
Now tells no news, but of the stranger's name,
And his great deeds; 'tis he, they cry, by whom
Not men, but war itself is overcome;
Who, bold with his success, dares think to have
A prince to wear his chains, and be his slave.
_Zemp_. What prince?
_Trax_. The great Peruvian Inca, that of late
In three set battles was so fortunate,
Till this strange man had power to turn the tide,
And carry conquest into any side.
_Zemp_. Would you permit a private man to have
The great Peruvian Inca for his slave?
Shame to all princes! was it not just now
I made a sacred, and a solemn vow,
To offer up (if blest with victory)
The prisoners that were took? and they shall die.
_Trax_. I soon had snatched from this proud stranger's hand
That too great object for his bold demand;
Had not the prince, your son, to whom I owe
A kind obedience, judged it should be so.
_Zemp_. I'll hear no more; go quickly take my guards,
And from that man force those usurped rewards;
That prince, upon whose ruins I must rise,
Shall be the gods', but more my sacrifice:
They, with my slaves, in triumph shall be tied,
While my devotion justifies my pride:
Those deities, in whom I place my trust,
Shall see, when they are kind, that I am just. [_Exit_.
_Trax_. How gladly I obey!
There's something shoots from my enlivened frame,
Like a new soul, but yet without a name,
Nor can I tell what the bold guest will prove;
It must be envy, or it must be love:
Let it be either, 'tis the greatest bliss
For man to grant himself, all he dares wish;
For he, that to himself himself denies,
Proves meanly wretched, to be counted wise.
_Enter_ MONTEZUMA _and_ ACACIS.
_Aca_. You wrong, me, my best friend, not to believe
Your kindness gives me joy; and when I grieve,
Unwillingly my sorrows I obey:
Showers sometimes fall upon a shining day.
_Mont._. Let me, then, share your griefs, that in
Would have took part.
_Aca_. Why should you ask me that?
Those must be mine, though I have such excess;
Divided griefs increase, and not grow less.
_Mont_. It does not lessen fate, nor satisfy
The grave, 'tis true, when friends together die;
And yet they are unwilling to divide.
_Aca_. To such a friend nothing can be denied.
You, when you hear my story, will forgive
My grief, and rather wonder that I live;
Unhappy in my title to a throne,
Since blood made way for my succession:
Blood of an uncle too, a prince so free
From being cruel, it taught cruelty.
His queen Amexia then was big with child;
Nor was he gentler than his queen was mild;
Th'impatient people longed for what should come
From such a father, bred in such a womb;
When false Traxalla, weary to obey,
Took with his life their joys and hopes away.
Amexia, by the assistance of the night,
When this dark deed was acted, took her flight;
Only with true Garucca for her aid:
Since when, for all the searches that were made,
The queen was never heard of more: Yet still
This traitor lives, and prospers by the ill:
Nor does my mother seem to reign alone,
But with this monster shares the guilt and throne.
Horror choaks up my words: now you'll believe,
'Tis just I should do nothing else but grieve.
_Mont_. Excellent prince!
How great a proof of virtue have you shown,
To be concerned for griefs, though not your own!
_Aca_. Pray, say no more.
_Enter a Messenger hastily_.
_Mont_. How now, whither so fast?
_Mess_. O sir, I come too slow with all my haste!
The fair Orazia--
_Mont_. Ha, what dost thou say?
_Mess_. Orazia with the Inca's forced away
Out of your tent; Traxalla, in the head
Of the rude soldiers, forced the door, and led,
Those glorious captives, who on thrones once shined,
To grace the triumph, that is now designed. [_Exit_.
_Mont_. Orazia forced away!--what tempests roll
About my thoughts, and toss my troubled soul!
Can there be gods to see, and suffer this?
Or does mankind make his own fate or bliss;
While every good and bad happens by chance,
Not from their orders, but their ignorance?--
I will pull a ruin on them all,
And turn their triumph to a funeral.
_Aca_. Be temperate, friend.
_Mont_. You may as well advise
That I should have less love, as grow more wise.
_Aca_. Yet stay--I did not think to have revealed
A secret, which my heart has still concealed;
But, in this cause since I must share with you,
'Tis fit you know--I love Orazia too:
Delay not then, nor waste the time in words,
Orazia's cause calls only for our swords.
_Mont_. That ties my hand, and turns from thee that rage
Another way, thy blood should else assuage:
The storm on our proud foes shall higher rise,
And, changing, gather blackness as it flies:
So, when winds turn, the wandering waves obey,
And all the tempest rolls another way.
_Aca_. Draw then a rival's sword, as I draw mine.
And, like friends suddenly to part, let's join
In this one act, to seek one destiny;
Rivals with honour may together die. [_Exeunt_.
ACT III. SCENE I.
ZEMPOALLA _appears seated upon her Slaves in triumph,
and the Indians, as to celebrate the victory,
advance in a warlike dance; in the midst of which
triumph_, ACACIS _and_ MONTEZUMA _fall in upon
ZEMPOALLA _descends from her triumphant throne,
and_ ACACIS _and_ MONTEZUMA _are brought in before
Zemp_. Shame of my blood, and traitor to thy own:
Born to dishonour, not command a throne!
Hast thou, with envious eyes, my triumph seen?
Or couldst not see thy mother in thy queen?
Couldst thou a stranger above me prefer?
_Aca_. It was my honour made my duty err;
I could not see his prisoners forced away,
To whom I owed my life, and you the day.
_Zemp_. Is that young man the warrior so renowned?
_Mont_. Yes, he, that made thy men thrice quit their ground.
Do, smile at Montezuma's chains; but know,
His valour gave thee power to use him so.
_Trax_. Grant that it did, what can his merits be,
That sought his vengeance, not our victory?
What has thy brutish fury gained us more,
Than only healed the wounds, it gave before?
Die then, for, whilst thou liv'st, wars cannot cease;
Thou may'st bring victory, but never peace.
Like a black storm thou roll'st about us all,
Even to thyself unquiet, till thy fall.
[_Draws to kill him_.
_Aca_. Unthankful villain, hold!
_Trax_. You must not give
Him succour, sir.
_Aca_. Why then, I must not live.
Posterity shall ne'er report, they had
Such thankless fathers, or a prince so bad.
_Zemp_. You're both too bold to will or to deny:
On me alone depends his destiny.
Tell me, audacious stranger, whence could rise
The confidence of this rash enterprise?
_Mont_. First tell me, how you dared to force from me
The fairest spoils of my own victory?
_Zemp_. Kill him--hold, must he die?--why, let him die;--
Whence should proceed this strange diversity.
In my resolves?
Does he command in chains? What would he do,
Proud slave, if he were free, and I were so?
But is he bound, ye gods, or am I free?
'Tis love, 'tis love, that thus disorders me.
How pride and love tear my divided soul!
For each too narrow, yet both claim it whole:
Love, as the younger, must be forced away.--
Hence with the captives, general, and convey
To several prisons that young man, and this
_Trax_. How concerned she is!
I must know more.
_Mont_. Fair princess, why should I
Involve that sweetness in my destiny?
I could out-brave my death, were I alone
To suffer, but my fate must pull yours on.
My breast is armed against all sense of fear;
But where your image lies, 'tis tender there.
_Inca_. Forbear thy saucy love, she cannot be
So low, but still she is too high for thee.
_Zemp_. Be gone, and do as I command; away!
_Mont_. I ne'er was truly wretched till this day.
_Oraz_. Think half your sorrows on Orazia fall,
And be not so unkind to suffer all:
Patience, in cowards, is tame hopeless fear,
But, in brave minds, a scorn of what they bear.
[_Exit Inca_, MONTEZUMA, ORAZIA, _and_ TRAXALLA.
_Zemp_. What grief is this which in your face appears?
_Aca_. The badge of sorrow, which my soul still wears.
_Zemp_. Though thy late actions did my anger move,
It cannot rob thee of a mother's love.
Why shouldst thou grieve?
Grief seldom joined with blooming youth is seen;
Can sorrow be where knowledge scarce has been?
Fortune does well for heedless youth provide,
But wisdom does unlucky age misguide;
Cares are the train of present power and state,
But hope lives best that on himself does wait:
O happiest fortune if well understood,
The certain prospect of a future good!
_Aca_. What joy can empire bring me, when I know
That all my greatness to your crimes I owe:
_Zemp_. Yours be the joy, be mine the punishment.
_Aca_. In vain, alas, that wish to Heaven is sent
For me, if fair Orazia must not live.
_Zemp_. Why should you ask me what I cannot
She must be sacrificed: Can I bestow
What to the gods, by former vows, I owe?
_Aca_. O plead not vows; I wish you had not shown
You slighted all things sacred for a throne.
_Zemp_. I love thee so, that, though fear follows still,
And horror urges, all that have been ill,
I could for thee
Act o'er my crimes again; and not repent,
Even when I bore the shame and punishment.
_Aca_. Could you so many ill acts undertake,
And not perform one good one for my sake?
_Zemp_. Prudence permits not pity should be shown
To those, that raised the war to shake my throne.
_Aca_. As you are wise, permit me to be just;
What prudence will not venture, honour must;
We owe our conquest to the stranger's sword,
Tis just his prisoners be to him restored.
I love Orazia; but a nobler way,
Than for my love my honour to betray.
_Zemp_. Honour is but an itch of youthful blood,
Of doing acts extravagantly good;
We call that virtue, which is only heat
That reigns in youth, till age finds out the cheat.
_Aca_. Great actions first did her affections move,
And I, by greater, would regain her love.
_Zemp_. Urge not a suit which I must still deny;
Orazia and her father both shall die:
Begone, I'll hear no more.
_Aca_. You stop your ears--
But though a mother will not, Heaven will hear;
Like you I vow, when to the powers divine
You pay her guiltless blood, I'll offer mine. [_Exit_.
_Zemp_. She dies, this happy rival, that enjoys
The stranger's love, and all my hopes destroys;
Had she triumphed, what could she more have done,
Than robbed the mother, and enslaved the son?
Nor will I, at the name of cruel, stay:
Let dull successive monarchs mildly sway:
Their conquering fathers did the laws forsake,
And broke the old, ere they the new could make,
I must pursue my love; yet love, enjoyed,
Will, with esteem, that caused it first, grow less:
But thirst and hunger fear not to be cloyed,
And when they be, are cured by their excess.
_Trax_. Now I shall see, what thoughts her heart
For that, which wisdom covers, love reveals. [_Aside_.
Madam, the prisoners are disposed.
_Zemp_. They are?
And how fares our young blustering man of war?
Does he support his chains with patience yet?
_Trax_. He, and the princess, madam--
_Zemp_. Are they met?
_Trax_. No: but from whence is all this passion
_Zemp_. 'Twas a mistake.
_Trax_. I find this rash unknown
Is dangerous; and, if not timely slain,
May plunge your empire in new wars again.
_Zemp_. Thank ye; I shall consider.
_Trax_. Is that all?
The army doat on him, already call
You cruel; and, for aught I know, they may
By force unchain, and crown him in a day.
_Zemp_. You say, I have already had their curse
For his bad usage; should I use him worse?
_Trax_. Yet once you feared his reputation might
Obscure the prince's in the people's sight.
_Zemp_. Time will inform us best what course to
But let us not our sacred vows defer:
The Inca and his daughter both shall die.
_Trax_. He suffers justly for the war; but why
Should she share his sad fate? A poor pretence,
That birth should make a crime of innocence.
_Zemp_. Yet we destroy the poisonous viper's young,
Not for themselves, but those from whom they
_Trax_. O no, they die not for their parents' sake,
But for the poisonous seed which they partake.
Once more behold her, and then let her die,
If in that face or person you can see
But any place to fix a cruelty.
The heavens have clouds, and spots are in the moon;
But faultless beauty shines in her alone.
_Zemp_. Beauty has wrought compassion in your
_Trax_. And you to valour are become as kind.
To former services there's something due,
Yet be advised--
_Zemp_. Yes, by myself, not you.
_Trax_. Princes are sacred.
_Zemp_. True, whilst they are free:
But power once lost, farewell their sanctity:
'Tis power, to which the gods their worship owe,
Which, uncontrouled, makes all things just below:
Thou dost the plea of saucy rebels use;
They will be judge of what their prince must chuse:
Hard fate of monarchs, not allowed to know
When safe, but as their subjects tell them so.
Then princes but like public pageants move,
And seem to sway, because they sit above. [_Exit_.
_Trax_. She loves him; in one moment this new
Has drove me out from this false woman's breast;
They, that would fetter love with constancy,
Make bonds to chain themselves, but leave him free
With what impatience I her falsehood bear!
Yet do myself that, which I blame in her;
But interest in my own cause makes me see
That act unjust in her, but just in me. [_Exit_.
ISMERON _asleep.--Enter_ ZEMPOALLA.
_Zemp_. Ho, Ismeron, Ismeron!
He stirs not; ha, in such a dismal cell
Can gentle sleep with his soft blessings dwell?
Must I feel tortures in a human breast,
While beasts and monsters can enjoy their rest?
What quiet they possess in sleep's calm bliss!
The lions cease to roar, the snakes to hiss,
While I am kept awake,
Only to entertain my miseries.
Or if a slumber steal upon my eyes,
Some horrid dream my labouring soul benumbs
And brings fate to me sooner than it comes.
Fears most oppress when sleep has seized upon
The outward parts, and left the soul alone.
What envied blessings these cursed things enjoy!
Next to possess, 'tis pleasure to destroy.
Ismeron! ho, Ismeron, Ismeron! [_Stamps_.
_Ism_. Who's that, that with so loud and fierce a call
Disturbs my rest?
_Zemp_. She, that has none at all,
Nor ever must, unless thy powerful art
Can charm the passions of a troubled heart.
_Ism_. How can you have a discontented mind,
To whom the gods have lately been so kind?
_Zemp_. Their envious kindness how can I enjoy,
When they give blessings, and the use destroy?
_Ism_. Dread empress, tell the cause of all your grief;
If art can help, be sure of quick relief.
_Zemp_. I dreamed, before the altar that I led
A mighty lion in a twisted thread;
I shook to hold him in so slight a tie,
Yet had not power to seek a remedy:
When, in the midst of all my fears, a clove,
With hovering wings, descended from above,
Flew to the lion, and embraces spread,
With wings, like clasping arms, about his head,
Making that murmuring noise that cooing doves
Use, in the soft expression of their loves;
While I, fixed by my wonder, gazed to see
So mild a creature with so fierce agree:
At last the gentle dove turned from his head,
And, pecking, tried to break the slender thread,
Which instantly she severed, and released
From that small bond the fierce and mighty beast,
Who presently turned all his rage on me,
And, with his freedom, brought my destiny.
_Ism_. Dread empress, this strange vision you relate
Is big with wonder, and too full of fate,
Without the god's assistance, to expound.
In those low regions, where sad night hangs round
The drowsy vaults, and where moist vapours steep
The god's dull brows, that sways the realm of sleep;
There all the informing elements repair,
Swift messengers of water, fire, and air,
To give account of actions, whence they came,
And how they govern every mortal frame;
How, from their various mixture, or their strife,
Are known the calms and tempests of our life:
Thence souls, when sleep their bodies overcome,
Have some imperfect knowledge of their doom.
From those dark caves those powers shall strait appear;
Be not afraid, whatever shapes they wear.
_Zemp_. There's nothing, thou canst raise, can make me start;
A living form can only shake my heart.
_Ism_. _You twice ten hundred deities,
To whom we daily sacrifice;
You powers, that dwell with fate below,
And see what men are doomed to do;
Where elements in discord dwell;
Thou god of sleep, arise and tell
Great Zempoalla what strange fate
Must on her dismal vision wait._
_Zemp_. How slow these spirits are! Call, make them rise,
Or they shall fast from flame and sacrifice.
_Ism_. Great empress,
Let not your rage offend what we adore,
And vainly threaten, when we must implore.
Sit silently, and attend--
While my powerful charms I end.
_By the croaking of the toad,
In their caves that make abode;
Earthy Dun that pants for breath,
With her swelled sides full of death;
By the crested adders' pride,
That along the clifts do glide;
By thy visage fierce and black;
By the death's-head on thy back;
By the twisted serpents placed
For a girdle round thy waist;
By the hearts of gold that deck
Thy breast, thy shoulders, and thy neck:
From thy sleepy mansion rise,
And open thy unwilling eyes,
While bubbling springs their music keep,
That use to lull thee in thy sleep._
_God of Dreams rises_.
_God_. Seek not to know what must not be revealed;
Joys only flow where fate is most concealed:
Too busy man would find his sorrows more,
If future fortunes he should know before;
For, by that knowledge of his destiny,
He would not live at all, but always die.
Enquire not, then, who shall from bonds be freed,
Who 'tis shall wear a crown, and who shall bleed:
All must submit to their appointed doom;
Fate and misfortune will too quickly come:
Let me no more with powerful charms be pressed;
I am forbid by fate to tell the rest.
[_The god descends_.
_Zemp_. Stay, cozener, thou, that hat'st clear truth like light,
And usest words dark as thy own dull night.
You tyrant gods, do you refuse to free
The soul, you gave, from its perplexity?
Why should we in your mercies still believe,
When you can never pity, though we grieve?
For you have bound yourselves by harsh decrees;
And those, not you, are now the deities.
[_Sits down sad_.
_Ism_. She droops under the weight of rage and care:
You spirits, that inhabit in the air,
With all your powerful charms of music, try
To bring-her soul back to its harmony.
SONG SUNG BY AERIAL SPIRITS.
_Poor mortals, that are clogged with earth below,
Sink under love and care,
While we, that dwell in air,
Such heavy passions never know.
Why then should mortals be
Unwilling to be free
From blood, that sullen cloud,
Which shining souls does shroud?
Then they'll shew bright,
And like us light,
When leaving bodies with their care,
They slide to us and air_.
_Zemp_. Death on these trifles! Cannot your art find
Some means, to ease the passions of the mind?
Or, if you cannot give a lover rest,
Can you force love into a scornful breast?
_Ism_. Tis reason only can make passions less;
Art gives not new, but may the old increase;
Nor can it alter love in any breast,
That is with other flames before possessed.
_Zemp_. If this be all your slighted arts can do,
I'll kindle other flames, since I must burn,
And all their temples into ashes turn.
_Ism_. Great queen--
_Zemp. If you would have this sentence staid,
Summon their godheads quickly to your aid,
And presently compose a charm, that may
Love's flames into the stranger's breast convey,
The captive stranger, he whose sword and eyes
Wheree'er they strike, meet ready victories:
Make him but burn for me, in flames like mine,
Victims shall bleed, and feasted altars shine:
Down go your temples, and your gods shall see
They have small use of their divinity. [_Exeunt_.
SCENE I.--_The scene opens, and discovers_ MONTEZUMA
_sleeping in prison_.
_Enter_ TRAXALLA _leading in_ ORAZIA.
_Trax_. Now take your choice, and bid him live or die;
To both shew pity, or shew cruelty:
'Tis you that must condemn, I'll only act;
Your sentence is more cruel than my fact.
_Oraz_. You are most cruel, to disturb a mind,
Which to approaching fate was so resigned.
_Trax_. Reward my passion, and you'll quickly prove
There's none dare sacrifice what I dare love.
Next to thee, stranger; wake, and now resign
The bold pretences of thy love to mine,
Or in this fatal minute thou shalt find--
_Mont_. Death, fool; in that thou may'st be just and kind:
'Twas I that loved Orazia, yet did raise
The storm, in which she sinks: Why dost thou gaze,
Or stay thy hand from giving that just stroke,
Which, rather than prevent, I would provoke?
When I am dead, Orazia may forgive;
She never must, if I dare wish to live.
_Oraz_. Hold, hold--O Montezuma, can you be
So careless of yourself, but more of me?
Though you have brought me to this misery,
I blush to say I cannot see you die.
_Mont_. Can my approaching fate such pity move?
The gods and you at once forgive and love.
_Trax_. Fond fool, thus to mis-spend that little breath
I lent thee to prevent, not hasten, death:
Let her thank you she was unfortunate,
And you thank her for pulling on your fate;
Prove to each other your own destinies. [_Draws_.
_Enter_ ZEMPOALLA _hastily, and sets a dagger to_
_Zemp_. Hold, hold, Traxalla, or Orazia dies.--
O, is't Orazia's name that makes you stay?
'Tis her great power, not mine, that you obey.
Inhuman wretch, dar'st thou the murderer be
Of him, that is not yet condemned by me?
_Trax_. The wretch, that gave you all the power you have,
May venture sure to execute a slave;
And quench a flame your fondness would have burn,
Which may this city into ashes turn,
The nation in your guilty passion lost;
To me ungrateful, to your country most:
But this shall be their offering, I their priest.
_Zemp_. The wounds, thou giv'st, I'll copy on her breast:
Strike, and I'll open here a spring of blood,
Shall add new rivers to the crimson flood.
How his pale looks are fixed on her!--'tis so.
Oh, does amazement on your spirits grow?
What, is your public love Orazia's grown?
Could'st thou see mine, and yet not hide thy own?
Suppose I should strike first, would it not breed
Grief in your public heart to see her bleed?
_Trax_. She mocks my passion; in her sparkling eyes
Death, and a close dissembled fury lies:
I dare not trust her thus. [_Aside_.]--If she must die,
The way to her loved life through mine shall lie.
[_He puts her by, and steps before_ ORAZIA; _and
she runs before_ MONTEZUMA.
_Zemp_. And he, that does this stranger's fate design,
Must, to his heart, a passage force through mine.
_Trax_. Can fair Orazia yet no pity have?
'Tis just she should her own preserver save.
_Zemp_. Can Montezuma so ungrateful prove
To her, that gave him life, and offers love?
_Oraz_. Can Montezuma live, and live to be
Just to another, and unjust to me?
You need not be ungrateful; can she give
A life to you, if you refuse to live?--
Forgive my passion; I had rather see
You dead, than kind to any thing but me.
_Mont_. O, my Orazia!
To what new joys and knowledge am I brought!
Are death's hard lessons by a woman taught?
How to despise my fate I always knew;
But ne'er durst think, at once, of death and you:
Yet since you teach this generous jealousy,
I dare not wish your life, if I must die.
How much your love my courage does exceed!
Courage alone would shrink to see you bleed!
_Zemp_. Ungrateful stranger! thou shalt please thy eyes,
And gaze upon Orazia while she dies!--
I'll keep my vow!--It is some joy to see,
That my revenge will prove my piety.
_Trax_. Then both shall die!--We have too long withstood,
By private passions urged, the public good.
_Zemp_. Sure he dissembles; and, perhaps, may prove
My ruin, with his new ambitious love:
Were but this stranger kind, I'd cross his art,
And give my empire, where I gave my heart.
[_Aside_. Yet, thou ungrateful man,
Let thy approaching ruin make thee wise.
_Mont_. Thee, and thy love, and mischief, I despise!
_Zemp_. What shall I do? Some way must yet be tried;--
What reason can she use whom passions guide!
[_Aside. Trax_. Some black designs are hatching now:--False eyes
Are quick to see another's treacheries.
[_Aside. Zemp_. Rash stranger, thus to pull down thy own fate!
_Mont_. You, and that life you offer me, I hate.
_Zemp_. Here, jailor, take--What title must he have?
Slave, slave!--Am I then captive to a slave?--
Why art thou thus unwilling to be free?
_Mont_. Death will release me from these chains, and thee.
_Zemp_. Here, jailor, take this monster from my sight,
And keep him where it may be always night.
Let none come near him; if thou dost, expect
To pay thy life, the price of the neglect.
_Mont_. I scorn thy pity, and thy cruelty;
And should despise a blessing sent from thee.
_Zemp_. O, horror to my soul! take him away!--
My rage, like dammed-up streams, swelled by some stay,
Shall, from this opposition, get new force,
And leave the bound of its old easy course.--
Come, my Traxalla, let us both forgive,
And in these wretches' fates begin to live.
The altars shall be crowned with funeral boughs,
Peace-offerings paid,--but with unquiet vows.
[_Exeunt_ ZEMP. _and_ TRAX.
_Oraz_. How are things ordered, that the wicked should
Appear more kind and gentle than the good?
Her passion seems to make her kinder prove,
And I seem cruel through excess of love:
She loves, and would prevent his death; but I,
That love him better, fear he should not die.
My jealousy, immortal as my love,
Would rob my grave below, and me above,
Of rest.--Ye gods, if I repine, forgive!
You neither let me die in peace, nor live.
_Enter_ ACACIS, _Jailor, and Indian_.
_Jail_. They are just gone, sir.
_Aca_. 'Tis well: Be faithful to my just design,
And all thy prince's fortune shall be thine.
_Ind_. This shall to the empress. [_Exit Indian_.
_Oraz_. What can this mean!--
'Twas Prince Acacis, if I durst believe
My sight; but sorrow may like joy deceive:
Each object different from itself appears,
That comes not to the eyes, but through their tears.
_Enter_ ACACIS, _bringing in_ MONTEZUMA.
_Aca_. Here, sir, wear this again;--[_Gives a sword_.
Now follow me.
_Mont_. So, very good;--
I dare not think, for I may guess amiss;
None can deceive me while I trust in this. [_Exeunt_.
_Enter_ ORAZIA, _conducted by two Indians with their
swords drawn;_ MONTEZUMA, ACACIS _whispering
_Aca_. Think what a weight upon thy faith I lay.
_Ind_. I ne'er did more unwillingly obey.
_Aca_. First, Montezuma, take thy liberty;
Thou gavest me freedom, here I set thee free:
We're equal now. Madam, the danger's great
Of close pursuit; to favour your retreat,
Permit we two a little while remain
Behind, while you go softly o'er the plain.
_Oraz_. Why should I go before?--What's your intent?--
Where is my father?--Whither am I sent?
_Aca_. Your doubts shall soon be cleared. Conduct her on.
So, Montezuma, we are now alone.
That which my honour owed thee I have paid;
As honour was, so love must be obeyed.
I set Orazia, as thy captive, free;
But, as my mistress, ask her back from thee.
_Mont_. Thou hast performed what honour bid thee do:
But friendship bars what honour prompts me to.--
Friends should not fight.
_Aca_. If friendship we profess,
Let us secure each others happiness:
One needs must die, and he shall happy prove
In her remembrance, t'other in her love.
My guards wait near; and, if I fail, they must
Give up Orazia, or betray their trust.
_Mont_. Suppose thou conquer'st, would'st thou wander o'er
The south-sea sands, or the rough northern shore,
That parts thy spacious kingdom from Peru,
And, leaving empire, hopeless love pursue?
_Aca_. By which of all my actions could you guess,
Though more your merit, that my love was less?
What prize can empire with Orazia bear?
Or, where love fills the breast, what room for fear?
_Mont_. Let fair Orazia then the sentence give,
Else he may die whom she desires to live.
_Aca_. Your greater merits bribe her to your side;
My weaker title must by arms be tried.
_Mont_. Oh, tyrant love! how cruel are thy laws!
I forfeit friendship, or betray thy cause:
That person, whom I would defend from all
The world, that person by my hand must fall.
_Aca_. Our lives we to each others friendship owe;
But love calls back what friendship did bestow:
Love has its cruelties, but friendship none;
And we now fight in quarrels not our own. [_Fight.
_Oraz_. What noise is this?--
Hold, hold! what cause could be so great, to move
This furious hatred?--
_Mont_. 'Twas our furious love.--
_Aca_. Love, which I hid till I had set you free,
And bought your pardon with my liberty;
That done, I thought, I less unjustly might
With Montezuma, for Orazia, fight;
He has prevailed, and I must now confess
His fortune greater, not my passion less;
Yet cannot yield you, till his sword remove
A dying rival, that holds fast his love.
_Oraz_. Whoever falls, 'tis my protector still,
And then the crime's as great, to die as kill.--
Acacis, do not hopeless love pursue;
But live, and this soft malady subdue.
_Aca_. You bid me live, and yet command me die!
I am not worth your care;--Fly, madam, fly!
(While I fall here unpitied) o'er this plain,
Free from pursuit, the faithless mountains gain;
And these I charge,
As they would have me think their friendship true,
Leave me alone, to serve, and follow you:
Make haste, fair princess, to avoid that fate,
Which does for your unhappy father wait.
_Oraz_. Is he then left to die, and shall he see
Himself forsaken, ere his death, by me?
_Mont_. That would you do?
_Oraz_. To prison I'll return,
And there, in fetters, with my father mourn.
_Mont_. That saves not his, but throws your life
_Oraz_. Duty shall give what nature once must
_Aca_. Life is the gift, which heaven and parents
And duty best preserves it, if you live.
_Oraz_. I should but further from my fountain fly,
And, like an unfed stream, run on and die:
Urge me no more, and do not grieve to see
Your honour rivalled by my piety.
[_She goes softly of, and often looks back_.
_Mont_. If honour would not, shame would lead the way;
I'll back with her.
_Aca_. Stay, Montezuma, stay!--
Thy rival cannot let thee go alone,
My love will bear me, though my blood is gone.
[_As they are going off,_
_Enter_ ZEMPOALLA, TRAXALLA, _the Indian that
went to tell her, and the rest, and seize them_.
_Zemp_. Seize them!--
_Aca_. Oh, Montezuma, thou art lost.
_Mont_. No more, proud heart, thy useless courage boast!--
Courage, thou curse of the unfortunate!
That canst encounter, not resist, ill fate.
_Zemp_. Acacis bleeds!--
What barbarous hand has wounded thus my son?
_Mont_. 'Twas I; by my unhappy sword 'twas done.--
Thou bleed'st, poor prince, and I am left to grieve
My rival's fall.
_Trax_. He bleeds, but yet may live.
_Aca_. Friendship and love my failing strength renew;
I dare not die, when I should live for you;
My death were now my crime, as it would be
My guilt to live when I have set you free:
Thus I must still remain unfortunate,
Your life and death are equally my fate.
ORAZIA _comes back_.
_Oraz_. A noise again!--alas, what do I see!
Love, thou didst once give place to piety:
Now, piety, let love triumph awhile;--
Here, bind my hands: Come, Montezuma, smile
At fortune; since thou sufferest for my sake,
Orazia will her captive's chains partake.
_Mont_. Now, fate, thy worst.
_Zemp_. Lead to the temple straight,
A priest and altar for these lovers wait:
They shall be joined, they shall.
_Trax_. And I will prove
Those joys in vengeance, which I want in love.
_Aca_. I'll quench your thirst with blood, and will destroy
Myself, and, with myself, your cruel joy.
Now, Montezuma, since Orazia dies,
I'll fall before thee, the first sacrifice;
My title in her death shall exceed thine,
As much as, in her life, thy hopes did mine:
And when with our mixed blood the altar's dyed,
Then our new title let the gods decide.
ACT V. SCENE I.
_The Scene opens, and discovers the Temple of the Sun,
all of gold, and four Priests, in habits of white and
red feathers, attending by a bloody altar, as ready
Then enter the Guards_, ZEMPOALLA, _and_ TRAXALLA;
_Inca_, ORAZIA, _and_ MONTEZUMA,_ bound. As soon
as they are placed, the Priest sings_.
_You to whom victory we owe,
Whose glories rise
And from our fates below;
Never did your altars shine
Feasted with blood so near divine;
Princes to whom we bow,
As they to you:--
Thus you can ravish from a throne,
And, by their loss of power, declare your own._
_Zemp_. Now to inflict those punishments, that are
Due to the authors of invasive war;
Who, to deceive the oppressed world, like you,
Invent false quarrels to conceal the true.
_Inca_. My quarrel was the same, that all the gods
Must have to thee, if there be any odds
Betwixt those titles that are bad or good,
To crowns descended, or usurped by blood:--
Swell not with this success; 'twas not to thee,
But to this man, the gods gave victory.
_Mont_. Since I must perish by my own success,
Think my misfortunes more, my crimes the less;
And so, forgiving, make me pleased to die,
Thus punished for this guilty victory.
_Inca_. Death can make virtue easy; I forgive:
That word would prove too hard, were I to live;
The honour of a prince would then deny,
But in the grave all our distinctions die.
_Mont_. Forgive me one thing yet; to say, I love,
Let it no more your scorn and anger move;
Since, dying in one flame, my ashes must
Embrace and mingle with Orazia's dust.
_Inca_. Name thy bold love no more, lest that last breath,
Which should forgive, I stifle with my death.
_Oraz_. Oh, my dear father! Oh, why may not I,
Since you gave life to me, for you now die?
_Mont_. 'Tis I, that wrought this mischief, ought to fall
A just and willing sacrifice for all.
Now, Zempoalla, be both just and kind,
And, in my fate, let me thy mercy find:
Be grateful, then, and grant me that esteem,
That as alive, so dead, I may redeem.
_Oraz_. O, do not for her cruel mercy move;
None should ask pity but from those they love.
_Inca_. Fond girl! to let thy disobedient eyes
Show a concern for him, whom I despise.
_Oraz_. How love and nature may divide a breast,
At once by both their powers severely prest!
Yet, sir, since love seems less, you may forgive;
I would not have you die, nor have him live;
Yet if he dies, alas! what shall I do?
I cannot die with him, and live with you.