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And pining wants of wretched slavery,
Which I've outlived, only in hopes of thee?
Am I thus paid at last for deathless love,
And called the cause of thy misfortune now?

Isa. Inquire no more: 'twill be explained too soon.
Bir. What! canst thou leave me too? [Going off

Isa. Pray let me go:
For both our sakes, permit me-

Bir. Rack me not with imaginations
Of things impossible--Thou canst not mean
What thou hast said—Yet something she must mean.
—'Twas madness all-Compose thyself, my love;
The fit is past; all may be well again :
Let us to bed.

Isa. To bed! You've raised the storm
Will sever us forever.
The rugged hand of fate has got between
Our meeting hearts, and thrusts them from their joys.

Bir. Nothing shall ever part us.

Isa. Oh! there's a fatal story to be told; Be deaf to that, as Heaven has been to me! When thou shalt hear how much thou hast been wronged, How wilt thou curse thy fond believing heart, Tear me from the warm bosom of thy love, And throw me like a poisonous weed away! When I am dead, forgive and pity me.

[Exit. Bir. What can she mean? These doubtings will distract me. Some hidden mischief soon will burst to light; I cannot bear it I must be satisfied'Tis she, my wife, must clear this darkness to me. She shall-if the sad tale at last must come ! She is my fate, and best can speak my doom. [Exit.


Oroonoko, an African Prince, is entrapped by Slave-dealers and car

ried to Surinam, then in possession of the English. He is sold to the Governor of the Island, and there he finds his Wife IMOINDA, also a Slave, exposed to the unlawful solicitations of the Governor. Instigated by the sense of his wrongs, he joins a Conspiracy of the Slaves on the Island, which has been organized by ABOAN, his Friend and Countryman. The Slaves rise, led on by OROONOKO and Aboan, but are overpowered by the Authorities. OROONOKO and A BOAN are captured, and brutally punished. ImoindA is secured by the Guvernor, when the following Scene ends the Tragedy.


Oro. To honour bound! and yet a slave to love!
I am distracted by their rival powers,
And both will be obeyed. Ogreat Revenge !
Thou raiser and restorer of fall’n fame!
Let me not be unworthy of thy aid,
For stopping in thy course. I still am thine ;
But can't forget I am Imoinda's too.
She calls me from my wrongs to rescue her.
No man condemn me, who has never felt
A woman's power, or tried the force of love;
To run his glorious race of light anew,
And carry on the world. Love, love will be
My first ambition, and my fame the next.

Enter ABOAN, bloody.
My eyes are turned against me, and combine
With my sworn enemies, to represent
This spectacle of horror. Aboan!

Aboan. I have no name

That can distinguish me from the vile earth,
To which I'm going : a poor abject worm,
That crawled awhile upon the bustling world,
And now am trampled to my dust again.

Oro. I see thee gashed and mangled !

Aboan, Spare my shame,
To tell how they have used me; but believe,
The hangman's hand would have been merciful.
Do not you scorn me, Sir, to think I can
Intend to live under this infamy?
I do not come for pity, to complain.
I've spent an honourable life with you;
The earliest servant of your rising fame,
And would attend it with


latest care : My life was yours, and so shall be


You must not live;.
Bending and sinking, I have dragged my steps
Thus far, to tell you


you cannot live : To warn you of those ignominious wrongs, Whips, rods, and all the instruments of death, Which I have felt, and are prepared for you. This was the duty that I had to pay. 'Tis done, and now I beg to be discharged.

Oro. What shall I do for thee?

Aboan. My body tires,
And wo'not bear me off to liberty :
I shall again be taken, made a slave.
A sword, a dagger, yet would rescue me.
I have not strength to go and find out death,
You must direct him to me.
Oro. Here he is,

[Gives him a dagger. The only present I can make thee now;

And, next the honourable means of life,
I would bestow the honest means of death.
Aboan. I cannot stay to thank you.

If there is
A being after this, I shall be yours
In the next world, your faithful slave again.
This is to try. [Stabs himself.] I had a living sense
Of all your royal favours, but this last
Strikes through my heart. I wo’not say farewell,
For you must follow me.

Oro. In life and death,
The guardian of my honour! Follow thee?
I should have gone before thee : then perhaps
Thy fate had been prevented. All his care
Was to preserve me from the barbarous rage
That worried him, only for being mine.
Why, why, ye gods! why am I so accursed,
That it must be a reason of your wrath,
A guilt, a crime sufficient to the fate
Of any one, but to belong to me?'
My friend has found it out, and my wife will soon:
My wife ! the very fear's too much for life.
I can't support it.

Where's Imoinda ? Oh ?
[Going out, he meets IMOINDA, who runs into his arms.
Thou bosom softness ! Down of all my cares !
I could recline my thoughts upon this breast
To a forgetfulness of all my griefs,

yet be happy : but it wo’not be.
Thou art disordered, pale, and out of breath!
If fate pursue thee, find a shelter here.
What is it thou wouldst tell me?

Imo. 'Tis in vain to call him villain.
Oro. Call him governor: is it not so ?

Imo. There's not another, sure.

Oro. Villain's the common name of mankind here,
But his most properly. What! what of him?
I fear to be resolved, and must inquire.
He had thee in his power.

Imo. I blush to think it.
Oro. Blush! to think what?
Imo. That I was in his

Oro. He could not use it ?
Imo. What can't such men do?
Oro. What did he? durst he ?
Imo. What he could he dared.

Oro. His own gods damn him then! For ours have none, No punishment for such unheard-of crime.

Imo. This monster, cunning in his flatteries,
When he had wearied all his useless arts,
Leaped out, fierce as a beast of prey, to seize me.
I trembled, feared.

Oro. I fear and tremble now.
What could preserve thee? What deliver thee?
Imo. That worthy man you used to call your

friendOro. Blandford ? Imo. Came in, and saved me from his rage.

Oro. He was a friend indeed to rescue thee !
And, for his sake, I'll think it possible
A Christian


be yet an honest man. Imo. O did you know what I have struggled through, To save me ycurs, sure you would promise me Never to see me forced from you again.

Oro. To promise thee! O! do I need to promise ? But there is now no further use of words, Death is security for all our fears.

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