Изображения страниц

Dor. So you should be Sebastian ;
But when Sebastian ceased to be himself,
I ceased to be Alonzo.

Seb. As in a dream
I see thee here, and scarce believe mine eyes.

Dor. Is it so strange to find me where my wrongs, And

your inhuman tyranny, have sent me? Think not you dream: or,


you did, my injuries
Shall call so loud, that lethargy should wake,
And death should give you back to answer me.
A thousand nights have brushed their balmy wings
Over these eyes; but ever when they closed,
Your tyrant image forced them ope again,
And dried the dews they brought.
The long-expected hour is come at length,
By manly vengeance to redeem my fame :
And that once cleared, eternal sleep is welcome.

Seb. I have not yet forgot I am a king,
Whose royal office is redress of wrongs :
If I have wronged thee, charge me face to face ;
I have not yet forgot I am a soldier.

Dor. 'Tis the first justice thou hast ever done me;
Then, though I loathe this woman's war of tongues,
Yet shall my cause of vengeance first be clear;
And Honour, be thou judge.

Seb. Honour befriend us both.
Beware, I warn thee yet, to tell thy griefs
In terms becoming majesty to hear :
I warn thee thus, because I know thy temper
Is insolent and haughty to superiors :
How often hast thou braved my peaceful court,
Filled it with noisy brawls and windy boasts ;

And with past service, nauseously repeated,
Reproached even me, thy prince ?

Dor. And well I might, when you forgot reward,
The part of heaven in kings; for punishment
Is hangman's work, and drudgery for devils.
I must and will reproach thee with my service,
Tyrant! It irks me so to call my prince;
But just resentment and hard usage coined
Th' unwilling word, and, grating as it is,
Take it, for 'tis thy due,

Seb. How, tyrant ?
Dor. Tyrant !

Seb. Traitor! that name thou canst not echo back :
That robe of infamy, that circumcision,
Ill hid beneath that robe, proclaim thee traitor ;
And if a name
More foul than traitor be, 'tis renegade.

Dor. If I'm a traitor, think, and blush, thou tyrant, Whose injuries betrayed me into treason, Effaced my loyalty, unhinged my faith, And hurried me from hopes of heaven to hell; All these, and all my yet unfinished crimes, When I shall rise to plead before the saints, I charge on thee, to make thy damning sure.

Seb. Thy old presumptuous arrogance again, That bred my first dislike, and then my loathing; Once more be warned, and know me for thy king.

Dor. Too well I know thee, but for king no more : This is not Lisbon, nor the circle this, Where, like a statue, thou hast stood besieged By sycophants and fools, the growth of courts ; Where thy gulled eyes, in all the gaudy round,

Met nothing but a lie in every face ;
And the gross flattery of a gaping crowd,
Envious who first should catch, and first applaud
The stuff or royal nonsense : when I spoke,
My honest, homely words were carped and censured,
For want of courtly style: related actions,
Though modestly reported, passed for boasts :
Secure of merit, if I asked reward,
Thy hungry minions thought their rights invaded,
And the bread snatched from pimps and parasites.
Henriquez answered, with a ready lie,
To save his king's, the boon was begged before.

Seb. What say'st thou of Henriquez? Now, by heaven,
Thou mov'st me more by barely naming him,
Than all thy foul, unmannered, scurril taunts.

Dor. And therefore 'twas to gall thee that I named him ; That thing, that nothing, but a cringe and smile; That woman, but more daubed; or if a man, Corrupted to a woman; thy man-mistress.

Seb. All false as hell or thou.

Dor. Yes; full as false
As that I served thee fifteen hard campaigns,
And pitched thy standard in these foreign fields :
By me thy greatness grew; thy years grew with it
But thy ingratitude outgrew them both.

Seb. I see to what thou tend'st; but tell me first,
If those great acts were done alone for me:
If love produced not some, and pride the rest ?

Dor. Why, love does all that's noble here below :
But all th' advantage of that love was thine :
For, coming fraughted back, in either hand
With palm and olive, victory and peace,

I was indeed prepared to ask my own
(For Violante's vows were mine before) :
Thy malice had prevention, ere I spoke ;
And asked me Violante for Henriquez.

Seb. I meant thee a reward of greater worth.

Dor. Where justice wanted, could reward be hoped ?
Could the robbed passenger expect a bounty
From those rapacious hands who stripped him first ?

Seb. He had my promise ere I knew thy love.
Dor. My services deserved thou shouldst revoke it.

Seb. Thy insolence had cancelled all thy service;
To violate my laws, even in my court,
Sacred to peace, and safe from all affronts ;
Ev'n to my face, and done in my despite,
Under the wing of awful majesty
To strike the man I loved !

Dor. Ev’n in the face of heaven, a place more sacred,
Would I have struck the man who, prompt by power,
Would seize my right, and rob me of my love:
But, for a blow provoked by thy injustice,
The hasty product of a just despair,
When he refused to meet me in the field,
That thou shouldst make a coward's cause thy own!
Seb. He durst: nay, more, desired and begged with

To meet thy challenge fairly : 'twas thy fault
To make it public; but my duty, then
To interpose, on pain of my displeasure,
Betwixt your swords.

Dor. On pain of infamy
He should have disobeyed.

Seb. Th’indignity thou didst was meant to me:


age :

Thy gloomy eyes were cast on me with scorn,
As who should say, the blow was there intended;
But that thou didst not dare to lift thy hands
Against anointed power : so was I forced
To do a sovereign justice to myself,

thee from my presence.
Dor. Thou hast dared
To tell me what I durst not tell myself:
I durst not think that I was spurned, and live;
And live to hear it boasted to my face.
All my long avarice of honour lost,
Heaped up in youth, and hoarded for
Has Honour's fountain then sucked back the stream !
He has; and hooting boys may dry-shod pass,
And gather pebbles from the naked ford.
Give me my love, my honour; give them back-
Give me revenge, while I have breath to ask it.

Seb. Now, by this honoured order which I wear, More gladly would I give than thou dar'st ask it. Nor shall the sacred character of king Be urged to shield me from thy bold appeal. If I have injured thee, that makes us equal: The

wrong, if done, debased me down to thee : But thou hast charged me with ingratitude; Hast thou not charged me? Speak.

Dor. Thou know'st I have.
If thou disown'st that imputation, draw,
And prove my charge a lie.

Seb. No; to disprove that lie, I must not draw:
Be conscious to thy worth, and tell thy soul
What thou hast done this day in my

defence : To fight thee, after this, what were it else

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »