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Who still survives, of Muley-Moluch's branch?
Dor. Yes, such a one there is a captive here, And brother to the dead.
Alv. The powers above Be praised for that! My prayers for my good master, I hope, are heard.
Seb. Thou hast a right in heaven. But why these prayers for me?
Alv. A door is open yet for your deliverance.— Now you, my countrymen, and you, Almeyda, Now all of us, and you, my all in one, May yet be happy in that captive's life.
Seb. We have him here an honourable hostage For terms of peace; what more he can contribute To make me blest, I know not.
Alv. Vastly more;Almeyda may be settled in the throne, And you review your native clime with fame. A firm alliance and eternal peace, The glorious crown of honourable war, Are all included in that prince's life. Let this fair queen be given to Muley-Zeydan, And make her love the sanction of your league. Seb. No more of that; his life's in my dispose, And prisoners are not to insist on terms; Or, if they were, yet he demands not these.
Alv. You should exact them.
Alm. Better may be made, These cannot: I abhor the tyrant's race,— My parents' murderers, my throne's usurpers. But, at one blow, to cut off all dispute, Know this, thou busy, old, officious man,— I am a Christian; now be wise no more; Or, if thou wouldst be still thought wise, be silent .
Alv. O, I perceive you think your interest touched: Tis what before the battle I observed; But I must speak, and will.
Seb. I prythee, peace;
Alv. I wish she may not wed to blood more near.
Seb. What if I make her mine?
Alv. Now heaven forbid!
Seb. Wish rather heaven may grant;
Ant. The fairest of her sex.
Mor. The pride of nature.
Dor. He only merits her, she only him;
Alv. And to themselves
Seb. Did not I love thee past a change to hate,
Alv. Know, sir, I would be silent if I durst:
Seb. I pardon thee the effects of doting age,
Alv. Have you forgot?
Seb. Thou mean'st my father's will,
And found 'twas grounded on our different faiths;
Alv. Still had he lived and seen this change,
Seb. I have a dark remembrance of my father: His reasonings and his actions both were just; And, granting that, he must have changed his mea sures. >i
Alv. Yes, he was just, and therefore could not change.
Seb. 'Tis a base wrong thou offer'st to the dead.
Alv. Now heaven forbid,
Seb. Crazed fool, who would'st be thought an oracle,
Come down from off the tripos, and speak plain. My father shall be justified, he shall:
'Tis a son's part to rise in his defence, And to confound thy malice, or thy dotage. Alv. It does not grieve me, that you hold me crazed;
But, to be cleared at my dead master's cost, O there's the wound! but let me first adjure you, By all you owe that dear departed soul, No more to think of marriage with Almeyda.
Seb. Not heaven and earth combined can hinder it.
Alv. Then witness heaven and earth, how loth I am To say, you must not, nay, you cannot, wed: And since not only a dead father's fame, But more, a lady's honour, must be touched, Which, nice as ermines, will not bear a soil, Let all retire, that you alone may hear What even in whispers I would tell your ear.
[All are going out.
Alm. Not one of you depart; I charge you, stay! And were my voice a trumpet loud as fame, To reach the round of heaven, and earth, and sea, All nations should be summoned to this place, So little do I fear that fellow's charge: So should my honour, like a rising swan, Brush with her wings the falling drops away, And proudly plough the waves.
Seb. This noble pride becomes thy innocence; And I dare trust my father's memory, To stand the charge of that foul forging tongue.
Alv. ft will be soon discovered if I forge. Have you not heard your father in his youth, When newly married, travelled into Spain, And made a long abode in Philip's court r
Seb. Why so remote a question, which thyself Can answer to thyself? for thou wert with him, His favourite, as I oft have heard thee boast, And nearest to his soul.
Alv. Too near, indeed; forgive me, gracious heaven,
That ever I should boast I was so near, The confident of all his young amours !— And have not you, unhappy beauty, heard, [To Alm.
Have you not often heard, your exiled parents Were refuged in that court, and at that time?
Alm. 'lis true; and often since my mother owned, How kind that prince was to espouse her cause;
She counselled, nay enjoined me on her blessing,
Seb. Thou helpst me well to justify my war:
Ah. And can you find No mystery couched in this excess of kindness? Were kings e'er known, in this degenerate age, So passionately fond of noble acts, Where interest shared not more than half with honour? Seb. Base grovelling soul, who know'st not honour's worth, But weigh'st it out in mercenary scales! The secret pleasure of a generous act Is the great mind's great bribe.
Ah. Show me that king, and I'll believe the Phoenix. But knock at your own breast, and ask your soul, If those fair fatal eyes edged not your sword More than your father's charge, and all your vows? If so,—and so your silence grants it is,— Know, king, your father had, like you, a soul, And love is your inheritance from him. Almeyda's mother, too, had eyes, like her, And not less charming; and were charmed^no less Than yours are now with her, and hers with you.
Alm. Thou liest, impostor! perjured fiend, thou liest!
Seb. Was't not enough to brand my father's fame, But thou must load a lady's memory? O infamous! O base, beyond repair! And to what end this ill-concerted lie, Which palpable and gross, yet granted true,