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Britons, these numbers to yourselves you orue;
Voltaire hath strength to foot in Shakespeare's-bowi:
Fame led him at his Hippocrene to drink,
And taught to write with Nature, as to think :
With English freedom, English wit he knew,
And from the inexhausted Štream profusely drew.
Cherish the noble bard yourselves have made,
Nor let the frauds of France steal all our trade.
Now of each prize the winner has the wearingá -
E'en send our English stage a privateering :
With your commission we'll our fails unfold,
And from their loads of dross, import fome golim.
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DRAMATIS PERSON Æ.
M E N.
Mr. Bensley. Mirvan, his general,
Mr. Bransby. Ali,
Mr. Whitfield. Hercides, Officers of Mahomet, Mr. Norris, Ammon,
Mr. Stageldier. Zaphna, Captives brought up Mr. Brereton.
under Mabomet, Miss Younge. Alcanor, chief of the fenate of Mecca,
A Gentleman, Pharon, his friend,
The lines difinguished by inverted comas, ? thus,' are omitted in tbe
SCENE, an Apartment in the Temple of Mecca,
Enter Alcanor and Pharon,
PH ali proferate to an arrogantimpostor,
Homage in Mecca one I banilh'd thence,
And incense the delusions of a rebel!
No--blast Alcanor, righteous Heav'n! if e'er
This hand, yet free and uncontaminate,
Shall league with fraud, or adulate a tyrant.
Pha. August and sacred chief of Ishmael's senate,
This zeal of thine, paternal as it is,
Is fatal nowmour impotent resistance
Controuls not Mahomet's unbounded progress;
But, without weak’ning, irritates the tyrant.
When once a citizen, you well condemnd him
As an obscure, seditious innovator :
But now he is a conqu’ror, prince, and pontiff;
Whilit nations numberless embrace his laws,
And pay him adoration-Ev'n in Mecca
He boasts his profelytes.
Alc. Such profelytes
Are worthy of him-low, untutor'd reptiles,
In whom fenfe only lives--most credulous still
Of what is most incredible!
Pba. Be such
Disdain’d, my lord; but mayn't the peft spread upwards,
And seize the head-Say, is the senate found?
I fear some members of that rev'rend class
Are mark'd with the contagion, who, from views
Of higher power and rank,
Worship this rising fun, and give a fanction
To his invafions.
Alc. If, ye powers divine !
Ye mark the movements of this nether world,
And bring them to account, crush, crush those vipers,
Who, fingled out by a community
To guard their rights, shall, for a grasp of ore,
Or paltry office, fell 'em to the foe!
Pha. Each honest citizen, I grant, is thine,
And, grateful for thy boundless bieffings on them,,
Would serve thee with their lives ; but the approach
Of this usurper to their very walls
Strikes 'em with such a dread, that even these
Implore thee to accept his proffer'd peace.
Al. Oh, people, loft to wisdom, as to glory!
Go, bring in pomp, and serve upon your knees.
This idol, that will crufh you with its weight. .
Mark, I abjure him :. by his savage hand,
My wife and children perith'd, whilst in vengeance
I carry'd carnage to his very tent,
Transfix'd to earth his only fon, and wore
His trappings as a trophy of my conquest.
This torch of enmity thus lighted 'twixt us,
The hand of time itself can ne'er extinguish.
Pha. Èxtinguish not, but smother for a while
Its fatal flame, and greatly facrifice
Thy private suff'rings to the public welfare..
Oh, fay, Alcanor, wert thou to behold
(As soon thou may'ft) this fam'd metropolis
With foes bégirt, behold its pining tenants
Prey on each other for the means of life,
Whilst lakes of blood, and mountains of the flain,
Putrify the air,
And sweep off thousands with their pois'nous steams, ;
Would thy flain children be aveng'd by this ?
Alc. No, Pharon, no; I live not for înyself.
My wife and children lost, my country's now
Pha. Then let not that be lost.
Alc. 'Tis loft by cowardice.
Pha. By rashness, often,
Alc. Pharon, defist.
Pha. My noble lord, I cannot,
Must not defift, will not, fince you're poffess’d
Of means to bring this infolent invader
To any terms you'll claim.
Ali. What means ?
That blooming fair, the flow'r of all his camp,
By thee borne off in our last skirmish with him,
Seems the divine ambassadress of peace,
Sent to procure our safety. Mahomet
Has, by his heralds, thrice propos'd her ransom,
And bade us fix the price.
Alc. I know it, Pharon.
And wouldst thou then restore this noble treasure
To that Barbarian? • Wouldit thou, for the fraudin
• The deaths, the devastations he brings on us,
• Enrich his ruffian hands with such a gem,'
And render beauty the reward of rapine ?
Nay, sinile not, friend, nor think that at chefe years,
Well travelld in the winter of my days,
I entertain a thought tow'rds this young beauty,
But what's as pure as is the western gale,
That breathes upon the uncropted violet
Pha. My lord
Alc. This heart, by age and grief congeald,
Is no more sensible to love's endearments,
Than are our barren rocks to morn's sweet dew,
That balmy trickles down their rugged cheeks.
Pha. My noble chief, each master-piece of nature
Commands involuntary homage from us.
Alc. I own a tenderness, unfelt before,
A sympathetic grief, with ardent wishes
To make her happy, fill'd my widow'd bosom.
I dread her being in that monster's power,
And burn to have her hate him, like myself.
"Twas on this hour I, at her modest suit,
Promisod her audience in my own pavilion,