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And make me supple for their slavish purpose.
Curse on their fawning arts!
[selima comcsforward, and kneels to Bajazet.
Sel. My lord! my royal father!
Baj. Ha! what art thou?
What heavenly innocence! that in a form
So known, so lov'd, has left thy paradise,
For joyless prison, for this place of woe!
Art thou my Selima?
Sel. Have you forgot me?
Alas, my piety is then in vain!
Your Selima, your daughter whom you lov'd,
The fondling once of her dear father's arms,
Is come to claim her share in his misfortunes;
To help to wear the tedious minutes out,
To soften bondage, and the loss of empire.
Baj. Now, by our prophet, if my uoundcd mind
Could know a thought of peace, it would be now:
Ev'n from thy prating infancy thou wert
My joy, my little angel; smiling comfort
Came with thee, still to glad me. Now I'm curs'd
Ev'n in thee too. Reproach and infamy
Attend the christian dog t' whom thou wert trusted.
To see thee here—'twere better see thee dead!
Ax. Thus Tamerlane to royal Bajazet
With kingly greeting sends: since with the brave
(The bloody business of the fight once ended)
Stern hate and opposition ought to cease;
Tby queen already to thy arms restor'd,
Receive this second gift, thy beauteous daughter:
And if there be aught farther in thy wish,
Demand with honour, and obtain it freely.
Baj. Bear back thy fulsome greeting to thy master;
Tell him, I'll none on't. Can he restore
My fame diminish'd, loss of sacred honour,
The radiancy of majesty eclips'd?
For aught besides, it is not worth my care;
The giver ftnd 'hrs gifts Are both beneath me.
Ax. Enough of war the wounded earth has known:
Oh, sultan! by the Pow'r divine'I swear,
With joy I would resign the savage trophies'
In blood and battle gain'd, could I atone
The fatal breach 'twixt thee and Tamerlane;
And think a soldier's glory well bestow'd
To buy mankind a peace.
Baj. And what art thou,
That dost presume to mediate 'twixt the rage
Of angry kings? '' '''.
Ax. A prince, born of the noblest,
And of a soul that answers to that birth,
TChat dares not but do well. Thou dost put on
A forc'd forgetfulness, thus not to know me,
A guest so lately to thy court, then meeting
On gentler terms.—'—' '"
Set. Could aught effacethe merit
Of brave Alalia's nariie ? !yet when your daughter
Shall tell h'ow'wefI,how nobly she was us'd,
How light this gaMririt pri'nce made all her bondage,
Most sure "the royal Bajazet will own
That honoursfalnds 'indebted to such goodness,
Nor can 'a mori'aVch'i friendship more than pay it.
Baj. "Ha! kribw'st thou that,'fond girl ?—Go—'tis not well, An<f when thou'couldSt descend to take a benefit From a vile Christian, and thy father's foe, Thou didst an act dishonest to thy race: Henceforth, unless thou rheah'st to cancel all My share in thee, and "write thyself a bastard, Die, starve,'know any evil, uny pain, Rather than taste a mercyfrbm these dogs. '"''S(l. Alas! Axilla!"*" '''" '"••''
Ax. Weep hot, lovely maid!1'' ""'l:l'
One sigh from thee has made a large amends
For all thy angry father's frowns and fierceness.
Baj. Oh, my curat fortune!—Am1 fall'n'thus law'.
Dishonour'd to my face! Thou earth born thing!
Thou clod! how hast thou dar'd to lift ihy eyes
Up to the. saered race of mighty Ottoman,: . ii]
Whom kings, whom e'en our prophet's, holy offspring
At distance have beheld I And what art thou?
What glorious titles blazon out thy bir.h i
Thou vile obscurity! ha !—say—thou base one.
Ax. Thus challeng'd, virtue, modest as she is,
Stands up to do herself a commpn justice:
To answer, and assert that inborn merit, •„ .. :.'7.
That worth, which conscious to herself she feels. Lv
Were honour to be scaun'd by long descent, . . •'••
From ancestors illuMrious, I could vaunt .it•
A lineage of the greatest, ahdirectotiBt,. ., . *K
Among my fathersj naroe.s ol anctau story,; ^..A
Heros and god-like patriots, who suhdu'd
The world by arms and virtM^wwl, boiag Romans,
Scorn'd to be kings; but that be their own praise:
Nor will I borrow merit from the dead,
Myselfan undeserved• XooiildprbvO';'' f
My friendship wch, as thou raigUt'st deign t" accept
With honour., #hen it comes with friendly office,
To render back thy. crowa, and former greatness; *
Baj. To me gi"e back what yesterday took from me£
Would be to give like Heav'n, when having tinish'd
This world (the goodly work of his creation): '. \.iit
He bid his favourite man be lord of all.
But this ' • •• ,. ■ • •i. ., ,..( ... i•. .iii
Ax. Nor it this gift, beyond my powV.
Oft has the mighty master of my arms: l• wii)i;T
Urg'd me, with large ambition, to demand •i I \'.
Crowns and dominioiis from his bounteous pow'ri "A
'Tis true, I *a»'d. iku proffer; ami have•held it • -i i'
The worthier c.bwse t^waitrupondbia virtues* J
To be the friend and partner of his wmrsvua A
Than to be Asia's lord. Nor wonder then,
If, in the confidence of such a friendship,
I promise boldly for the royal giver,
Thy cri.wn and empire.
Baj. Fur our daughter thus
Mean'st thou to barter r Ha! 1 tell thee, Christian,
There is but one, one dowry thou canst give,
And I can ask, worthy my daughter's love.
Ax. Oh! name the mighty ransom; task my pow'r; Let there be danger, difficulty, death, T' enhance the price.
Baj. 1 take thee at thy trotd.": Bring me the Tartar's head.
Baj. Tamerlane's! '•'• '• M •••"" •! •'•. • •• •" That death, that deadly poison to my glory.
Ax. Prodigious! Horrid!
Baj. And couldst thou hope to bribe mc with aught else?' «•'" t• ?» injh , .' With a vile peace, patch'd up on slavish terms? With tributary kingship?——No!——To merit A recomptnee for me, sate my revenge. The Tartar is my bane, i cannot bear him: One heav'n and earth can never hold us both; Still shall we bate, and with defiance deadly Keep *age alive, till one be lost for ever: As if two suns should meet in the meridian, And strive in fiery c mbat for the passage. Weep'at thou, fond girl? Now as thy king, and father, I charge thee, drive this slave from thy remembrance! Hate shall be pious in thee. Come and join
;;" [Laying hold on her Hand. To curse thy father's foes.
Sel. Undone for evert 'i!,..
Now^tyrant duty, art thou yet obeyed?'
There is no more to give tbeev Oh, Axalla!
[ba Jazf.t lata*out Selima, the looking back on
Axaha. . n i ''i"•
Enta- Tamerlane and a Dervise.
Tarn. Thou bring'st me thy credentials from the highest, From Alia, and our prophet. Speak thy message, It must import the best and noblest ends.
Ber. Thus speaks our holy Mahomet, who has
giv'n thee .
To reign and conquer: ill dost thou repay
The bounties of his hand, unmindful of
The fountain whence thy streams of greatness flow.
Thou hast forgot high Heav'n ; hast beaten down
And trampled on religion's sanctity.
Tarn. Now, as I am a soldier and a king,
(The greatest names of honour) do but make
Thy imputation out, and Tamerlane
Shall do thee ample justice on himself.
So much the sacred name of Heaven awes me,
Could I suspect my soul of harbouring aught
To its dishonour, I would search it strictly,
And drive th' offending thought with fury forth.
Der. Yes, thou hast hurt our holy prophet's honour*
By fostering the pernicious Christian sect:
They are thy only friends. The true believers. ;mA
Mourn to behold thee favour this Axalla.
Tarn. I fear me, thou out-go'st the prophet's order, And bring'st his venerable name to shelter ..-,7*
A rudeness ill becoming thee to use,
Or me to suffer. When thou nam'st my friend,