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Than owning that ingratitude thou urgest?
That isthmus stands between two rushing seas;
Which, mounting, view each other from afar,
And strive in vain to meet.
Dor. I'll cut that isthmus :
Thou know'st I meant not to preserve thy life,
But to reprieve it, for my own revenge.
I saved thee out of honourable malice :
Now draw; I should be loath to think thou dar'st not:
Beware of such another vile excuse.
Seb. Oh, patience, Heaven!
Dor. Beware of patience too;
That's a suspicious word: it had been proper,
Before thy foot had spurned me; now ’tis base :
Yet, to disarm thee of thy last defence,
I have thy oath for my security :
The only boon I begged was this fair combat:
Fight, or be perjured now; that's all thy choice.
Seb. Now can I thank thee as thou wouldst be thanked :
Never was vow of honour better paid, [Drawing.
If my true sword but hold, than this shall be.
The sprightly bridegroom, on his wedding-night,
More gladly enters not the lists of love.
Why, 'tis enjoyment to be summoned thus.
Go; bear my message to Henriquez' ghost;
say his master and his friend revenged him. Dor. His ghost ! then is my hated rival dead ?
Seb. The question is beside our present purpose ; Thou seest me ready; we delay too long.
Dor. A minute is not much in either's life, When there's but one betwixt us; throw it in, And give it him of us who is to fall.
Seb. He's dead : make haste, and thou may’st yet o’er
Dor. When I was hasty, thou delay’dst me longer.
I pr’ythee, let me hedge one moment more
Into thy promise : for thy life preserved,
Be kind; and tell me how that rival died,
Whose death, next thine, I wished.
Seb. If it would please thee, thou shouldst never know.
But thou, like jealousy, inquir’st a truth,
Which found, will torture thee; he died in fight:
Fought next my person; as in concert fought :
and blow for every blow;
Save when he heaved his shield in my defence,
And on his naked side received my wound:
Then, when he could no more, he fell at once,
But rolled his falling body 'cross their way,
And made a bulwark of it for his prince.
Dor. I never can forgive him such a death!
Seb. I prophesied thy proud soul could not bear it.
Now, judge thyself, who best deserved my love.
I knew you both; and, durst I say, as Heav'n
Foreknew among the shining angel host
Who should stand firm, who fall.
Dor. Had he been tempted so, so had he fall’n;
And so had I been favoured, had I stood.
Seb. What had been, is unknown; what is, appears ; Confess he justly was preferred to thee.
Dor. Had I been born with his indulgent stars,
My fortune had been his, and his been mine.
Oh, worse than hell! what glory have I lost,
And what has he acquired by such a death!
I should have fallen by Sebastian's side ;
My corpse had been the bulwark of my king.
His glorious end was a patched work of fate,
Ill-sorted with a soft, effeminate life:
It suited better with my life than his
So to have died : mine had been of a piece,
Spent in your service, dying at your feet.
Seb. The more effeminate and soft his life,
The more his fame, to struggle to the field,
And meet his glorious fate : confess, proud spirit
(For I will have it from thy very mouth),
That better he deserved my love than thou.
Dor. Oh, whither would you drive me! I must grant,
Yes, I must grant, but with a swelling soul,
love with more desert :
For you he fought and died; I fought against you;
Through all the mazes of the bloody field
Hunted your sacred life; which that I missed,
Was the propitious error of my fate,
Not of my soul; my soul's a regicide.
Seb. Thou might'st have given it a more gentle name;
Thou meant'st to kill a tyrant, not a king.
Speak; didst thou not, Alonzo ?
Dor. Can I speak?
Alas! I cannot answer to Alonzo :
No, Dorax cannot answer to Alonzo:
Alonzo was too kind a name for me.
Then, when I fought and conquered with your arms,
In that blest age I was the man you named;
and pride debased me into Dorax, And lost, like Lucifer, my name above.
Seb. Yet twice this day I owed my life to Dorax.
Dor. I saved you but to kill you: there's my grief.
Seb Nay, if thou canst be grieved, thou canst repent; Thou couldst not be a villain, though thou wouldst; Thou own’st too much, in owning thou hast erred; And I too little, who provoked thy crime.
Dor. Oh, stop this headlong torrent of your goodness ; It comes too fast upon a feeble soul Half drowned in tears before ; spare my confusion; For pity, spare, and say not first you
For yet I have not dared, through guilt and shame,
To throw myself beneath your royal feet.
Now spurn this rebel, this proud renegade:
'Tis just you should, nor will I more complain.
Seb. Indeed thou shouldst not ask forgiveness first;
But thou prevent’st me still, in all that's noble.
Yes, I will raise thee up with better news :
Thy Violante's heart was ever thine ;
Compelled to wed, because she was my ward,
Her soul was absent when she gave her hand :
Nor could my threats, or his pursuing courtship,
Effect the consummation of his love :
So, still indulging tears, she pines for thee,
A widow and a maid.
Dor. Have I been cursing Heav'n, while Heaven blessed
I shall run mad with ecstasy of joy :
What, in one moment to be reconciled
To Heaven, and to my king, and to my love !
But pity is my friend, and stops me short,
For my unhappy rival. Poor Henriquez!
Seb. Art thou so generous, too, to pity him ?
Nay, then, I was unjust to love him better.
Here let me ever hold thee in my arms;
And all our quarrels be but such as these,
Who shall love best, and closest shall embrace :
Be what Henriquez was:
Dor. What! my Alonzo, said you ? My Alonzo !
Let my tears thank you; for I cannot speak;
And if I could,
Words were not made to vent such thoughts as mine.
Seb. Thou canst not speak, and I can ne'er be sileni".
Some strange reverse of fate must sure attend
This vast profusion, this extravagance
Of Heaven to bless me thus.
"Tis gold so pure,
It cannot bear the stamp, without alloy.
Be kind, ye Powers, and take but half away :
With ease the gifts of fortune I resign ;
But let my love, and friend, be ever mine.
Love is that madness which all lovers have; But yet
'tis sweet and pleasing so to rave. 'Tis an enchantment, where the reason's bound; But Paradise is in th' enchanted ground. A palace void of envy, cares, and strife; Where gentle hours delude so much of life. To take those charms away, and set me free, Is but to send me into misery. And prudence, of whose cure so much you boast, Restores those pains which that sweet folly lost..... Unveil, my love, and lay aside your fears. The storm that caused your fright is past and done.