ePub 版

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!
My heart heaves up and swells; he's poison to me;
My injured honour, and my ravished love,
Bleed at their murderer's sight.

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;
These of a better aspect, with the rest,
Shall share one common doom, and lots decide it.
For every numbered captive, put a ball
Into an urn; three only black be there,
The rest, all white, are safe.

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,
The wittiest woman's toy in Portugal:
Lord, what a loss of treats and serenades!
The whole she-nation will be in mourning for him. Anton. I've a moist sweaty palm; the more's my

If it be black, yet only dyed, not odious
Damned natural ebony, there's hope, in rubbing,
To wash this Ethiop white.—[Looks.] Pox o' the

As black as hell;—another lucky saying!
I think the devil's in me;—good again!
I cannot speak one syllable, but tends
To death or to damnation. [Holds up his ball. Dor. He looks uneasy at his future journey,


And wishes his boots off again, for fear
Of a bad road, and a worse inn at night.
Go to bed, fool, and take secure repose,
For thou shalt wake no more.

[sebastian comes up to draw. M. Mol. [To Ben.] Mark him, who now approaches
to the lottery:He looks secure of death, superior greatness,
Like Jove, when he made Fate, and said, Thou art
The slave of my creation.—I admire him.

Bend. He looks as man was made; with face erect,


That scorns his brittle corpse, and seems ashamed
He's not all spirit; his eyes, with a dumb pride,
Accusing fortune that he fell not warm;
Yet now disdains to live. [sebast. draws a black.

M. Mol. He has his wish;
And I have failed of mine.

Dor. Robbed of my vengeance, by a trivial chance!


Fine work above, that their anointed care
Should die such little death! or did his genius
Know mine the stronger daemon, feared the grapple,
And looking round him, found this nook of fate,
To skulk behind my sword ?—Shall I discover him ?—
Still he would not die mine; no thanks to my
Revenge; reserved but to more royal shambles.
'Twere base, too, and below those vulgar souls,
That shared his danger, yet not one disclosed him,
But, struck with reverence, kept an awful silence.
I'll see no more of this;—dog of a prophet!

[Exit Dorax.

M Mol. One of these three is a whole hecatomb,
And therefore only one of them shall die:
The rest are but mute cattle; and when death
Comes like a rushing iion, couch like spaniels,
With lolling tongues, and tremble at the paw:
Let lots again decide it.

[The Three draw again; and the Lot falls on

Sebast. Then there's no more to manage: if I fall,
It shall be like myself; a setting sun
Should leave a track of glory in the skies.—
Behold Sebastian, king of Portugal.

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;

« 上一頁繼續 »