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Our fruitful vales, and all the verdant wealth
That crowns fair Lebanon's aspiring brows.
Here have the locusts pitch'd, nor will they leave
These tasted sweets, these blooming fields of plenty,
For barren sands and native poverty,
Till driven away by force.

Bum. What can we do?
Our people in despair, our soldiers harrass'd
With daily toil, and constant nightly watch:
Our hopes of succour from the emperor
Uncertain; Eutyches not yet return'd,
That went to ask them; one brave army beaten;
Th' Arabians numerous, cruel, flush'd with conquest.

Herb. Besides, you know what phrenzy fires their minds, Of their new faith, and drives them on to danger.

Eam. True;—they pretend the gates of Paradise, Stand ever open to receive the souls Of all, that die in fighting for their cause.

Pho. Then would I send their souls to Paradise,
And give their bodies to our Syrian eagles.
Our ebb of fortune is not yet so low,
To leave us desperate. Aids may soon arrive;
Mean time, in spite of their late bold attack,
The city still is ours; their force repell'd,
And therefore weaker; proud of this success,
Our soldiers too have gain'd redoubled courage,
And long to meet them on the open plain.
What hinders, then, but we repay this outrage,
And sally on their camp?

Eum. No—let us first
Believe th'occasion fair, by this advantage,
To purchase their retreat on easy terms:
That failing, we the better stand acquitted
To our own citizens. However, brave Phocyas,
Cherish this ardour in the soldiery,
And in our absence form what force thou canst,

Then if these hungry bloodhounds of the war
Should still be deaf to peace, at our return
Our widen'd gates shall pour a sudden flood
Of vengeance on them, and chastise their scorn.



A Plain before the City. A Prospect of Tents at a Distance.

Enter Caled, Abudah, and Daran.

Dar. To treat, my chiefs!—What! are we mer-
chants then,
That only come to traffic with those Syrians,
And poorly cheapen conquest on conditions?
No; we were sent to fight the caliph's battles,
Till every iron neck bend to obedience.
Another storm makes this proud city ours;
What need we treat?—I am for war and plunder.

Cal. Why, so am I—and but. to save the lives
Of mussulmans, not christians, I would not treat.
I hate these christian dogs; and 'tis our task,
As thou observ'st, to fight; our law enjoins it:
Heaven, too, is promis'd only to the valiant.
Oft has our prophet said, the happy plains
Above, lie stretch'd beneath the braze, of swords.

Abu. Yet, Daran's loth to trust that heaven for pay; This earth, it seems, has gifts that please him more.

Cal. Check not his zeal, Abudah.

Abu. No; I praise it.
Yet, I could wish that zeal had better motives,
Has victory no fruits but blood and plunder?

That we were sent to fight, 'tis true; but wherefore?
For conquest, not destruction. That obtain'd,
The more we spare, the caliph has more subjects,
And Heaven is better serv'd—But see, they come!


Enter Eumenes, Herbis, and Artamon.

Cal. Well, christians; we are met—arid war awhile,
At your request, has still'd his angry voice,
To hear what you will purpose.

Eum. We come to know,
After so many troops you've lost in vain,
If you'll draw off in peace, and save the rest.

Herb. Or rather to know first—for yet we know
Why on your heads you call our pointed arrows,
In our own just defence? What means this visit?
And why see we so many thousand tents
Rise in the air, and whiten all our fields?

Cal. Is that a question now? you had our summons, When first we march'd against you, to surrender. Two moons have wasted since, and now the third Is in its wane. Tis true, drawn off a while, At Aiznadin we met and fought the powers Sent by your emperor to raise our siege. Vainly you thought us gone; we gain'd a conquest. You see we are return'd; our hearts, our cause, Our swords the same.

Herb. But why those swords were drawn,
And what's the cause, inform us.

Eum. Speak your wrongs,
If wrongs you have receiv'd, and by what means
They may be now repair'd.

Abu. Then, christians, hear!
And Heaven inspire you to embrace its truth!
Not wrongs t'avenge, but to establish right,

Our swords were drawn: for such is Heaven's com-
Immutable. By us great Mahomet,
And his successor, holy Abubeker,
Invite you to the faith.

Eum. Now, in the name of Heaven, what faith is
That stalks gigantic forth thus arm'd with terrors,
As if it meant to ruin, not to save?
That leads embattled legions to the field,
And marks its progress out with blood and slaughter?

Herb. Bold, frontless men! that impudently dare To blend religion with the worst of crimes! And sacrilegiously usurp that name, To cover fraud, and justify oppression!

Eum. Where are your priests? What doctors of your law Have you e'er sent t' instruct us in its precepts? To solve our doubts, and satisfy our reason, And kindly lead us, through the wilds of error, To these new tracts of truth—This would be friendship, And well might claim our thanks.

Cal. Friendship like this With scorn had been receiv'd: your numerous vices, Your clashing sects, your mutual rage and strife, Have driven religion, and her angel guards, Like outcasts from among you. In her stead, Usurping superstition bears the sway, And reigns in mimic state, 'midst idol shows, And pageantry of power. Who does not mark Your lives, rebellious to your own great prophet, Who mildly taught you?—Therefore Mahomet Has brought the sword, to govern you by force. Eum. O, solemn truths! though from an impious tongue! [Aside.

That we're unworthy of our holy faith,

To Heaven, with grief and conscious shame, we own.

But what are you, that thus arraign our vices,

And consecrate your own?

Are you not sons of rapine, foes to peace,

Base robbers, murderers

Cal. Christians, no—

Eum. Then say, Why have you ravag'd all our peaceful borders t Plunder'd our towns? and by what claim e'en now, You tread this ground i

Herb. What claim, but that of hunger? The claim of ravenous wolves, that leave their dens To prowl at midnight round some sleeping village, Or watch the shepherd's folded flock for prey?

Cal. Blasphemer, know, your fields and towns are ours; Our prophet has bestow'd them on the faithful, And Heaven itself has ratify'd the grant.

Eum. Oh! now indeed you boast a noble title!
What could your prophet grant? a hireling slave!
Not e'en the mules and camels which he drove,
Were his to give; and yet the bold impostor
Has canton'd out the kingdoms of the earth,
In frantic fits of visionary power,
To sooth his pride, and bribe his fellow madmen!

Cal. Was it for this you sent to ask a parley,
T' affront our faith, and to traduce our prophet!
Well might we answer you with quick revenge
For such indignities—Yet hear, once more,
Hear this, our last demand; and, this accepted,
We yet withdraw our war. Be christians still,
But swear to live with us in firm alliance,
To yield us aid, and pay us annual tribute.

Eum. No—Should we grant you aid, we must be rebels; And tribute is the slavish badge of conquest. Yet since, on just and honourable terms, We ask but for our own—Ten silken vests, c

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