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Know, thou may'st better dally
With a dead prophet, than a living king.
Miff. I but reserved them to present thy greatness An offering worthy thee.
Must. By the same token there was a dainty virgin, (virgin, said I! but I wont be too positive of that, neither) with a roguish leering eye! he paid me down for her upon the nail a thousand golden sultanins, or he had never had her, I can tell him that; now, is it very likely he would pay so dear for such a delicious morsel, and give it away out of his own mouth, when it had such a farewell with it too?
Enter Sebastian, conducted in mean Habit, with Alvarez, Antonio, and Almeyda, her Face veiled with a Barnus.
M. Mol. Ay; these look like the workmanship of heaven;This is the porcelain clay of human kind, And therefore cast into these noble moulds.
Dor. [Aside, while the Emperor whispers Benducar. By all my wrongs,
Tis he! damnation seize me, but 'tis he!
Ben. [Aside to Dor.] The emperor would learn these prisoners' names; You know them?
Dor. Tell him, no;And trouble me no more—I will not know them. Shall I trust heaven, that heaven which I renounced, With my revenge? Then, where's my satisfaction? No; It must be my own, I scorn a proxy. [Aside.
M. Mol. 'Tis decreed;
Muf. Hold, sir; the woman must not draw. M. Mol O Mufti, We know your reason; let her share the danger. Muf. Our law says plainly, women have no souls. M. Mol. Tis true; their souls are mortal, set her by;
Yet, were Almeyda here, though fame reports her The fairest of her sex, so much, unseen, I hate the sister of our rival-house, Ten thousand such dry notions of our Alcoran Should not protect her life, if not immortal; Die as she could, all of a piece, the better That none of her remain.
[Here an Urn is brought in; the Prisoners approach with great concernment, and among the rest, Sebastian, Alvarez, and Antonio, who come more chearj'ully. Dor. Poor abject creatures, how they fear to die! These never knew one happy hour in life, Yet shake to lay it down. Is load so pleasant? Or has heaven hid the happiness of death, That men may dare to live ?—Now for our heroes. [The Three approach. O, these come up with spirits more resolved. Old venerable Alvarez;—well I know him, The favourite once of this Sebastian's father; Now minister, (too honest for his trade) Religion bears him out; a thing taught young, In age ill practised, yet his prop in death. O, he has drawn a black; and smiles upon't, As who should say,—My faith and soul are white, Though my lot swarthy: Now, if there be hereafter.
He's blest; if not, well cheated, and dies pleased. Anton. [Holding his lot in his clenched hand.] Here
I have thee;Be what thou wilt, I will not look too soon: Thou hast a colour; if thou prov'st not right, I have a minute good ere I behold thee. Now, let me roll and grubble thee: Blind men say, white feels smooth, and black feels rough;
Thou hast a rugged skin, I do not like thee.
Dor. There's the amorous airy spark, Antonio,
If it be black, yet only dyed, not odious
As black as hell;—another lucky saying!
And wishes his boots off again, for fear
[sebastian comes up to draw. M. Mol. [To Ben.] Mark him, who now approaches
Bend. He looks as man was made; with face erect,
That scorns his brittle corpse, and seems ashamed
M. Mol. He has his wish;
Dor. Robbed of my vengeance, by a trivial chance!
Fine work above, that their anointed care
M Mol. One of these three is a whole hecatomb,
[The Three draw again; and the Lot falls on
Sebast. Then there's no more to manage: if I fall,
M. Mol Sebastian! ha! it must be he; no other Could represent such suffering majesty. I saw him, as he terms himself, a sun Struggling in dark eclipse, and shooting day On either side of the black orb that veiled him.
Sebast. Not less even in this despicable now, Than when my name filled Afric with affright, And froze your hearts beneath your torrid zone.
Bend. [To M. Mol . ] Extravagantly brave! even to an impudence Of greatness.
Sebast. Here satiate all your fury: Let fortune empty her whole quiver on me; I have a soul, that, like an ample shield, Can take in all, and verge enough for more. I would have conquered you; and ventured only A narrow neck of land for a third world, To give my loosened subjects room to play. Fate was not mine,
Nor am I fate's. Now I have pleased my longing, And trod the ground which I beheld from far, I beg no pity for this mouldering clay;For, if you give it burial, there it takes Possession of your earth;If burnt and scattered in the air, the winds, That strow my dust, diffuse my royalty, And spread me o'er your clime: for where one atom Of mine shall light, know, there Sebastian reigns. M. Mol . What shall I do to conquer thee?
Sebast. Impossible! Souls know no conquerors. M. Mol. I'll shew thee for a monster through my Afric.
Sebast. No, thou canst only shew me for a man: Afric is stored with monsters; man's a prodigy, Thy subjects have not seen.
M. Mol. Thou talk'st as if Still at the head of battle. Sebast. Thou mistakest, For then I would not talk. Bend. Sure he would sleep. Sebast. Till doomsday, when the trumpet sounds to rise;