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Isa. His friend, Don Carlos.
Zan. Be propitious,
O Mahomet! on this important hour,
And give at length my famished soul revenge !
What is revenge, but courage to call in
Our honour's debts, and wisdom to convert
Others' self-love into our own protection?
But see, the morning dawn breaks in upon us;
I'll seek Don Carlos, and inquire my fate.
ZANGA, to carry out his revenge, infuses jealousy into the mind of
Alonzo, by persuading him that his Wife LEONORA, Daughter of Alvarez, has proved false to her marriage-vows, with Don Carlos, Alonzo taxes LEONORA with infidelity; and she, maddened by the imputation, kills herself. The final catastrophe is developed in the following Scene.
Zan. How stands the great account 'twixt me and ven
Though much is paid, yet still it owes me much,
And I will not abate a single gruan.
Ha! that were well—but that were fatal too.
Why, be it so-Revenge so truly great,
Would come too cheap, if bought with less than life.
Isa. Ah, Zanga, see me tremble! Has not yet Thy cruel heart its fill? Poor Leonora
Zan. Welters in blood, and gasps for her last breath. What then ? We all must die.
Isa. Alonzo raves,
And, in the tempest of his grief, has thrice
Attempted on his life. At length, disarmed,
He calls his friends, that save him, his worst foes,
And importunes the skies for swift perdition.
Thus in his storm of sorrow : after
He started up, and called aloud for Zanga;
For Zanga raved; and see, he seeks you here,
To learn that truth, which most he dreads to know.
Zan. Begone. Now, now, my soul, consummate all.
Alon. Oh, Zanga!
Zan. Do not tremble so : but speak.
Alon. I dare not.
[Falls on him. Zan. You will drown me with your tears. Alon. Have I not cause ? Zan. As yet, you have no cause. Alon. Dost thou too rave?
Zan. Your anguish is to come :
You much have been abused.
Alon. Abused ! by whom?
Zan. To know, were little comfort.
Alon. Oh, 'twere much!
Zan. Indeed !
Alon. By Heaven! oh, give him to my fury !
Zan. Born for your use, I live but to oblige you.
Know, then, 'twas—I.
Alon. Am I awake?
Thy wife is guiltless—that's one transport to me;
And I, I let thee know it—that's another.
I urged Don Carlos to resign his mistress,
I forged the letter, I disposed the picture ;
I hated, I despised, and I destroy !
Zan. Why, this is well-why, this is blow for blow!
Where are you? Crown me, shadow me with laurels,
Ye spirits which delight in just revenge !
Let Europe and her pallid sons go weep;
Let Afric and her hundred thrones rejoice :
Oh, my dear countrymen, look down and see
How I bestride your prostrate conqueror !
I tread on haughty Spain, and all her kings.
But this is mercy, this is my indulgence;
'Tis peace, 'tis refuge from my indignation.
I must awake him into horrors. Hoa!
Alonzo, hoa ! the Moor is at the gate !
Awake, invincible, omnipotent !
Thou who dost all subdue !
Alon. Inhuman slave!
Zan. Fallen Christian, thou mistak'st
character. Look on me.
Who am I?-I know, thou say'st
The Moor, a slave, an abject, beaten slave:
(Eternal woes to him that made me so !)
But look again. Has six years cruel bondage
Extinguished majesty so far, that naught
Shines here to give an awe of one above thee?
When the great Moorish king, Abdallah, fell,
Fell by thy hand accursed, I fought fast by him.
His son, though, through his fondness, in disguise,
Less to expose me to th' ambitious foe.-
Ha! does it wake thee?-O'er
I stood astride till I had clove thy crest;
And then was made the captive of a squadron,
And sunk into thy servant-But, oh! what,
What were my wages ! Hear not Heaven, nor earth!
My wages were a blow! by Heaven, a blow!
And from a mortal hand!
Alon. O villain, villain !
Zan. All strife is vain.
[Showing a dagger.
Alon. Is thus my love returned ?
Is this my recompense ? Make friends of tigers !
Lay not your young, oh, mothers, on the breast,
For fear they turn to serpents as they lie,
And pay you for their nourishment with death !-
Carlos is dead, and Leonora dying !
Both innocent, both murdered, both by me.
Zan. Must I despise thee too, as well as hate thee ?
Complain of grief, complain thou art a man.-
Priam from fortune's lofty summit fell ;
Great Alexander 'midst his
Heroes and demi-gods have known their sorrows;
Cæsars have wept; and I have had—my blow;
But 'tis revenged, and now my work is done.
Yet, ere I fall, be it one part of
To force thee to confess that I am just. –
Thou seest a prince, whose father thou hast slain,
Whose native country thou hast laid in blood,
Whose sacred person (oh !) thou hast profaned,
Whose reign extinguished :-what was left to me,
So highly born? No kingdom, but revenge ;
No treasure but thy tortures and thy groans.
If men should ask who brought thee to thy end,
Tell them, the Moor, and they will not despise thee.
If cold white mortals censure this great
Warn them, they judge not of superior beings,
Souls made of fire, and children of the sun,
With whom revenge is virtue. Fare thee well-
Now, fully satisfied, I should take leave:
But one thing grieves me, since thy death is near-
I leave thee my example how to die.
As he is going to stab himself, Alonzo rushes upon him
to prevent him. In the mean time, enter Don Alvarez, attended. They disarm and seize ZANGA. ALONZO puts the dagger in his bosom.
Alon. No, monster, thou shalt not escape by death.
Alv. Oh, Alonzo !- Isabella,
Touched with remorse to see her mistress'
pangs, Told all the dreadful tale.
Alon. What groan was that?
Zan. As I have been a vulture to thy heart,
So will I be a raven to thine ear,
As true as ever snuffed the scent of blood,
As ever flapped its heavy wing against
The window of the sick, and croaked despair.
Thy wife is dead. [Alvarez goes aside, and returns.
Alv. The dreadful news is true,
Alon. Prepare the rack; invent new torments for him.
Zan. This too is well. The fixed and noble mind
Turns all occurrence to its own advantage;
And I'll make vengeance of calamity.
Were I not thus reduced, thou wouldst not know,
That, thus reduced, I dare defy thee still.
Torture thou mayst, but thou shalt ne’er despise me.
The blood will follow where the knife is driven,
The flesh will quiver where the pincers tear,
And sighs and cries by nature grow on pain.
But these are foreign to the soul : not mine,