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Whose parting soul is labouring at the lips. Emp. The people, are they raised?

Bend. And marshalled too; Just ready for the march. Emp. Then I'm at ease. Bend. The night is yours; the glittering host of heaven

Shines but for you; but most the star of love, That twinkles you to fair Almeyda's bed. Oh, there's a joy to melt in her embrace, Dissolve in pleasure, And make the gods curse immortality, That so they could not die.

13ut haste, and make them yours.

Emp. I will; and yet
A kind of weight hangs heavy at my heart;
My flagging soul flies under her own pitch,
Like fowl in air too damp, and lugs along,
As if she were a body in a body,
And not a mounting substance made of fire.
My senses, too, are dull and stupified,
Their edge rebated :—sure some ill approaches,
And some kind sprite knocks softly at my soul,
To tell me, fate's at hand f.

t These presages of misfortune may remind the reader of the ominous feelings of the Duke of Guise, in the scene preceding his murder. The superstitious belief, that dejection of spirits, without cause, announces an impending violent death, is simply but well expressed in an old ballad called the "Warning to all Murderers;"

And after this most bad pretence,

The gentleman each day
Still felt his heart to throb and faint.

And sad he was alway.

His sleep was full of dreadful dreams.

In bed where he did lie;
His heart was heavy in the day,

Yet knew no reason why.

Betid. Mere fancies all.
Your soul has been before-hand with your body,
And drunk so deep a draught of promised bliss,
She slumbers o'er the cup; no danger's near,
But of a surfeit at too full a feast.

Emp. It may be so; it looks so like the dream
That overtook me, at my waking hour,
This morn; and dreams, they say, are then divine,
When all the balmy vapours are exhaled,
And some o'erpowering god continues sleep.
'Twas then, methought, Almeyda, smiling, came,
Attended with a train of all her race,
Whom, in the rage of empire, I had murdered:
But now, no longer foes, they gave me joy
Of my new conquest, and, with helping hands,
Heaved me into our holy prophet's arms,
Who bore me in a purple cloud to heaven *.

Bend. Good omen, sir; I wish you in that heaven Your dream portends you,— Which presages death. [Aside.

Emp. Thou too wert there;

And oft as he did sit at meat,

His nose most suddenly
Would spring and gush out criiusan blood,

And straight it would be dry.

* There is great art in rendering the interpretation of this ominous dream so ingeniously doubtful. The latter circumstance, where the Iimperor recognises his murderer as a personage in his vision, seems to be borrowed from the story of one of the caliphs, who, before his death, dreamed, that a sable hand and arm shook over his head a handful of red earth, and denounced, that such was the colour of the earth on which he should die. When taken ill on an expedition, he desired to know the colour of the earth on which his tent was pitched. A negro slave presented him with a specimen; and in the black's outstretched arm, bared, from respect, to the elbow, as well as in the colour of the earth, the caliph acknowledged the apparition he had seen in his sleep, and prepared for immediate death.

And thou, methought, didst push me from below, With thy full force, to Paradise. Bend. Yet better. »•

Emp. Ha! what's that grizly fellow, that attends thee?

Bend. Why ask you, sir?

Emp. For he was in my dream, And helped to heave me up.

Bend. With prayers and wishes;
For I dare swear him honest.

Emp. That may be;
But yet he looks damnation.

Bend. You forget
The face would please you better. Do you love,
And can you thus forbear?

Emp. I'll head my people,
Then think of dalliance when the danger's o'er.
My warlike spirits work now another way,
And my soul's tuned to trumpets.

Bend. You debase yourself,
To think of mixing with the ignoble herd;
Let such perform the servile work of war,
Such who have no Almeyda to enjoy.
What, shall the people know their god-like prince
Skulked in a nightly skirmish? Stole a conquest,
Headed a rabble, and profaned his person,
Shouldered with filth, borne in a tide of ordure,
And stifled with their rank offensive sweat?

Emp. I am off again; I will not prostitute
The regal dignity so far, to head them.

Bend. There spoke a king.
Dismiss your guards, to be employed elsewhere
In ruder combats; you will want no seconds
In those alarms you seek.

Emp. Go, join the crowd;— [To the Guards. Benducar, thou shalt lead them in my place.

[Exeunt Guards.

The God of Love once more has shot his fires
Into my soul, and my whole heart receives him.
Almeyda now returns with all her charms;
I feel her as she glides along my veins,
And dances in my blood. So when our prophet
Had long been hammering, in his lonely cell,
Some dull, insipid, tedious Paradise,
A brisk Arabian girl came tripping by;
Passing she cast at him a side-long glance,
And looked behind, in hopes to be pursued:
He took the hint, embraced the flying fair,
And, having found his heaven, he fixed it there.

[Exit Emperor.

Bend. That Paradise thou never shalt possess.
His death is easy now, his guards are gone,
And I can sin but once to seize the throne;
All after-acts are sanctified by power.

Ore. Command my sword and life.

Bend. I thank thee, Orchan, And shall reward thy faith. This master-key Frees every lock, and leads us to his person; And, should we miss our blow,—as heaven forbid!—Secures retreat. Leave open all behind us; And first set wide the Mufti's garden gate, Which is his private passage to the palace; For there our mutineers appoint to meet, And thence we may have aid.—Now sleep, ye stars, That silently o'erwatch the fate of kings! Be all propitious influences barred, And none but murderous planets mount the guard.

[Exit with Orckan. SCENEII.—A Night-Scene of the Muftis Garden.


Enter the Mufti alone, in a Slaves Habit, like that vf Anton Io.

Muf. This it is to have a sound head-piece; by this I have got to be chief of my religion; that is, honestly speaking, to teach others what I neither know nor believe myself. For what's \Jahomet to me, but that I get by him? Now for my policy of this night: I have mewed up my suspected spouse in her chamber;—no more embassies to that lusty young stallion of a gardener. Next, my habit of a slave; I have made myself as like him as I can, all but his youth and vigour; which when I had, I passed my time as well as any of my holy predecessors. Now, walking under the windows of my seraglio, if Johayma look out, she will certainly take me for Antonio, and call to me; and by that I shall know what concupiscence is working in her. She cannot come down to commit iniquity, there's my safety; but if she peep, if she put her nose abroad, there's demonstration of her pious will; and I'll not make the first precedent for a churchman to forgive injuries.

Enter Morayma, running to him with a Casket in her hand, and embracing him.

Mor. Now I can embrace you with a good conscience; here are the pearls and jewels, here's my father.

Muf. I am indeed thy father; but how the devil didst thou know me in this disguise? and what pearls and jewels dost thou mean?

Mor. [Going back.] What have I done, and what will now become of me!

Muf. Art thou mad, Morayma?

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