Aureng-zebe

Aurang-zebe  (1675) 
by John Dryden

A stage play based on the Mughal emperor w:Aurangzeb

To the Right Honourable, JOHN, Earl of MULGRAVE, Gentleman of his Majesty's Bed-Chamber, and Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter.



PROLOGUE.


Our Author by experience finds it true, 'Tis much more hard to please himself than you: And out of no feign'd modesty, this day, Damns his laborious Trifle of a Play: Not that its worse than what before he writ, But he has now another taste of Wit; And to confess a truth, (though out of time) Grows weary of his long-lov'd Mistris, Rhyme. Passion's too fierce to be in Fetters bound, And Nature flies him like Enchanted Ground. What Verse can do, he has perform'd in this, Which he presumes the most correct of his: But spite of all his pride a secret shame, Invades his breast at Shakespear's sacred name: Aw'd when he hears his Godlike Romans rage, He, in a just despair, would quit the Stage. And to an Age less polish'd, more unskill'd, Does, with disdain the foremost Honours yield. As with the greater Dead he dares not strive, He wou'd not match his Verse with those who live: Let him retire, betwixt two Ages cast, The first of this, and hindmost of the last. A losing Gamester, let him sneak away; He bears no ready Money from the Play. The Fate which governs Poets, thought it fit, He shou'd not raise his Fortunes by his Wit. The Clergy thrive, and the litigious Bar; Dull Heroes fatten with the spoils of War: All Southern Vices, Heav'n be prais'd, are here; But Wit's a luxury you think too dear. When you to cultivate the Plant are loath, 'Tis a shrewd sign 'twas never of your growth: And Wit in Northern Climates will not blow, Except, like Orange-trees, 'tis hous'd from Snow. There needs no care to put a Play-house down, 'Tis the most desart place of all the Town. We and our Neighbours, to speak proudly, are Like Monarchs, ruin'd with expensive War. While, like wise English, unconcern'd, you sit, And see us play the Tragedy of Wit.



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Persons Represented

The old Emperor. By Mr. Mohun.

Aureng-Zebe his Son. By Mr. Hart.

Morat, his younger Son. By Mr. Kynaston.

Arimant, Governour of Agra. By Mr. Wintershal.

Dianet. Indian Lord, or Omrah, of a Factions.

Solyman. Indian Lord or Omrah, of a Factions.

Mir Baba. Indian Lord, or Omrah, of a Factions.

Abas. Indian Lord, or Omrah, of a Factions.

Asaph Chan. Indian Lord, or Omrah, of a Factions.

Fazel Chan. Indian Lord, or Omrah, of a Factions.

Nourmahal, the Empress. By Mrs. Marshal.

Indamora, a Captive Queen. By Mrs. Cox.

Melesinda, Wife to Morat. By Mrs. Corbet.

Zayda, Favourite Slave to the Empress. By Mrs. Uphil.


SCENE, Agra, in the Year 1660.

Main text


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ACT I.


Arimant, Asaph Chawn, Fazel Chawn.


Arim. Heav'n seems the Empire of the East to lay On the success of this important day: Their Arms are to the last decision bent, And Fortune labours with the vast event: She now has in her hand the greatest stake, Which for contending Monarchs she can make. What e'r can urge ambitious Youth to sight, She pompously displays before their sight: Laws, Empire, All permitted to the Sword, And Fate could ne'r an ampler Scene afford.

Asaph. Four several Armies to the Field are led, Which, high in equal hopes four Princes Head: Indus and Ganges, our wide Empires Bounds, Swell their dy'd Currents with their Natives wounds: Each purple River winding, as he runs, His bloudy arms about his slaughter'd Sons.

Fazel. I well remember you foretold the Storm, When first the Brothers did their Factions form: When each, by curs'd Cabals of Women, strove To draw th'indulgent King to partial Love.

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Arim. What Heav'n decrees, no prudence can prevent. To cure their mad Ambition, they were sent To rule a distant Province each alone. What could a careful Father more have done? [25] He made provision against all, but Fate; While, by his health, we held our peace of State. The weight of seventy Winters prest him down, He bent beneath the burthen of a Crown: Sickness, at last, did his spent Body seize, And life almost sunk under the disease: Mortal 'twas thought, at least by them desir'd, Who, impiously, into his years inquir'd: As at a Signal, streight the Sons prepare For open force, and rush to sudden War: Meeting, like Winds broke loose upon the Main, To prove, by Arms, whose Fate it was to Reign.

Asaph. Rebels and Parricides!

Arim. Brand not their actions with so foul a name: Pity, at least, what we are forc'd to blame. When Death's cold hand has clos'd the Father's eye, You know the younger Sons are doom'd to die. Less ills are chosen greater to avoid, And Nature's Laws are by the States destroy'd. What courage tamely could to death consent, And not, by striking first, the blow prevent? Who falls in fight, cannot himself accuse, And he dies greatly who a Crown pursues.

To them, Solyman Agah.


Solym. A new Express all Agra does afright: Darah and Aureng-Zebe are joyn'd in Fight; [50] The Press of people thickens to the Court, Th'impatient crowd devouring the report.

Arim. T'each changing news they chang'd affections bring, And servilely from Fate expect a King.

Solym. The Ministers of State, who gave us Law, In corners, with selected Friends, withdraw:

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There, in deaf murmurs, solemnly are wise; Whisp'ring, like Winds, ere Hurricanes arise. The most corrupt are most obsequious grown, And those they scorn'd, officiously they own.

Asaph. In change of Government, The Rabble rule their great Oppressors Fate: Do Sovereign Justice, and revenge the State.

Solym. The little Courtiers, who ne'r come to know The depth of Factions, as in Mazes go, Where Int'rests meet and cross so oft, that they With too much care are wilder'd in their way.

Arim. What of the Emperor?

Solym. Unmov'd, and brave, he like himself appears, And, meriting no ill, no danger fears: Yet mourns his former vigour lost so far, To make him now spectator of a War: Repining that he must preserve his Crown By any help or courage but his own: Wishes, each minute, he could unbeget [75] Those Rebel-Sons, who dare t'usurp his Seat: To sway his Empire with unequal skill, And mount a Throne, which none but he can fill.

Arim. Oh! had he still that Character maintain'd, Of Valour, which in blooming Youth he gain'd! He promis'd in his East a glorious Race; Now, sunk from his Meridian, sets apace. But as the Sun, when he from Noon declines, And with abated heat, less fiercely shines, Seems to grow milder as he goes away, Pleasing himself with the remains of Day: So he who, in his Youth, for Glory strove, Would recompence his Age with Ease and Love.

Asaph. The name of Father hateful to him grows, Which, for one Son, produces him three Foes.

Fazel. Darah, the eldest, bears a generous mind; But to implacable revenge inclin'd. Too openly does Love and hatred show: A bounteous Master, but a deadly Foe.

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Solym. From Sujah's valour I should much expect, But he's a Bigot of the Persian Sect: And, by a Foreign Int'rest seeks to Reign, Hopeless by Love the Sceptre to obtain.

Asaph. Morat's too insolent, too much a Brave, His Courage to his Envy is a Slave. [100] What he attempts, if his endeavours fail T'effect, he is resolv'd no other shall.

Arim. But Aureng-Zebe, by no strong passion sway'd, Except his Love, more temp'rate is, and weigh'd: This Atlas must our sinking State uphold; In Council cool, but in Performance bold: He sums their Virtues in himself alone, And adds the greatest, of a Loyal Son: His Father's Cause upon his Sword he wears, And with his Arms, we hope, his Fortune bears.

Solym. Two vast Rewards may well his courage move, A Parent's Blessing, and a Mistris Love. If he succeed, his recompence, we hear, Must be the Captive Queen of Cassimere.

To them, Abas.


Abas. Mischiefs on mischiefs, greater still, and more: The neighb'ring Plain with Arms is cover'd o'r: The Vale an Iron-Harvest seems to yield Of thick-sprung Lances in a waving Field. The pollish'd Steel gleams terribly from far, And every moment nearer shows the War. The Horses Neighing by the Wind is blown, And Castl'd-Elephants o'r-look the Town.

Arim. If, as I fear, Morat these Pow'rs commands, Our Empire on the brink of ruine stands: Th'ambitious Empress with her Son is joyn'd, [125] And, in his Brother's absence, has design'd The unprovided Town to take with ease, And then, the Person of the King to seize.

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Solym. To all his former Issue she has shown Long hate, and labour'd to advance her own.

Ab. These Troops are his. Surat he took; and thence, preventing Fame, By quick and painful Marches hither came. Since his approach, he to his Mother sent, And two long hours in close debate were spent.

Arim. I'll to my Charge, the Cittadel, repair, And show my duty by my timely care.

To them the Emperor with a Letter in his hand: after him, an Ambassador, with a Train following.


Asaph. But see, the Emperor! a fiery red His Brows and glowing Temples does o'r-spread, Morat has some displeasing Message sent.

Amb. Do not, great Sir, misconstrue his intent; Nor call Rebellion what was prudent care, To guard himself by necessary War: While he believ'd you living, he obey'd: His Governments but as your Vice-Roy sway'd: But, when he thought you gone, T'augment the number of the Bless'd above, He deem'd 'em Legacies of Royal love: Nor arm'd his Brothers Portions to invade, But to defend the present you had made.

Emp. [150] By frequent Messages, and strict Commands, He knew my pleasure to discharge his Bands: Proof of my life my Royal Signet made; Yet still hearm'd, came on, and disobey'd.

Amb. He thought the Mandat forg'd, your death conceal'd: And but delay'd, till truth should be reveal'd.

Emp. News of my death from Rumor he receiv'd; And what he wish'd, he easily believ'd: But long demurr'd, though from my hand he knew I liv'd, so loath he was to think it true. Since he pleads ignorance to that command, Now let him show his duty, and disband.

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Amb. His Honour, Sir, will suffer in the Cause, He yields his Arms unjust if he withdraws: And begs his Loyalty may be declar'd, By owning those he leads to be your guard.

Emp. I, in my self, have all the Guard I need; Bid the presumptuous Boy draw off with speed: If his audacious Troops one hour remain, My Cannon from the Fort shall scour the Plain.

Amb. Since you deny him entrance, he demands His Wife, whom cruelly you hold in Bands: Her, if unjustly you from him detain, He justly will by force of Arms regain.

Emp. O'r him, and his, a right from Heav'n I have; [175] Subject, and Son, he's doubly born my Slave. But whatsoe'r his own demerits are, Tell him, I shall not make on Women, War. And yet I'll do her Innocence the grace, To keep her here, as in the safer place. But thou, who dar'st this bold defiance bring, May'st feel the rage of an offended King. Hence from my sight, without the least reply: One word, nay, one look more, and thou shalt die. [Exit Ambassador.

Re-enter Arimant.


Arim. May Heav'n, great Monarch, still augment your bliss With length of days, and every day like this. For, from the Banks of Gemna news is brought, Your Army has a bloudy Battel fought: Darah from Loyal Aureng-Zebe is fled; And fourty thousand of his Men lie dead. To Sujah next your conquering Army drew; Him they surpris'd, and easily o'r-threw.

Emp. 'Tis well.

Arim. But well! what more could at your wish be done, Than two such Conquests gain'd by such a Son? Your pardon, mighty Sir;

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You seem not high enough your Joys to rate; You stand indebted a vast sum to Fate: And should large thanks for the great Blessing pay.

Emp. My fortune owes me greater every day. [200] And, should my joy more high for this, appear, It would have argu'd me before of fear. How is Heav'n kind, where I have nothing won, And Fortune onely pays me with my own?

Arim. Great Aureng-Zebe did duteous care express: And durst not push too far his good success. But lest Morat the City should attack, Commanded his victorious Army back; Which, left to march as swiftly as they may, Himself comes first, and will be here this day, Before a close-form'd Siege shut up his way.

Emp. Prevent his purpose, hence, hence with all thy speed. Stop him; his entrance to the Town forbid.

Arim. How, Sir? your Loyal, your Victorious Son?

Emp. Him would I, more than all the Rebels, shun.

Arim. Whom with your pow'r and fortune, Sir, you trust; Now to suspect is vain, as 'tis unjust. He comes not with a Train to move your fear, But trusts himself, to be a pris'ner here. You knew him brave, you know him faithful now: He aims at Fame, but Fame from serving you. 'Tis said; Ambition in his breast does rage: Who would not be the Hero of an Age? All grant him prudent: prudence interest weighs, And interest bids him seek your love and praise. [225] I know you grateful; When he march'd from hence, You bad him hope an ample recompence: He conquer'd in that hope; and from your hands, His Love, the precious pledge he left, demands.

Emp. No more; you search too deep my wounded mind: And show me what I fear, and would not find. My Son has all the debts of duty paid: Our Prophet sends him to my present aid.

8]

Such virtue to distrust were base and low: I'm not ungrateful---or I was not so! Inquire no farther, stop his coming on: I will not, cannot, dare not see my Son.

Arim. 'Tis now too late his entrance to prevent: Nor must I to your ruine give consent. At once your Peoples heart and Son's you lose: And give him all, when you just things refuse.

Emp. Thou lov'st me sure; thy faith has oft been tri'd, In ten pitch'd Fields, not shrinking from my side, Yet giv'st me no advice to bring me ease.

Arim. Can you be cur'd, and tell not your disease? I ask'd you, Sir.

Emp. ---Thou should'st have ask'd again: There hangs a secret shame on guilty men. Thou shouldst have pull'd the secret from my breast, Torn out the bearded Steel to give me rest: [250] At least, thou should'st have ghess'd--- Yet thou art honest, thou could'st near have ghess'd. Hast thou been never base? did Love ne'r bend Thy frailer Virtue, to betray thy Friend? Flatter me, make thy Court, and say, It did: Kings in a Crowd would have their Vices hid. We would be kept in count'nance, sav'd from shame: And own'd by others who commit the same. Nay, now I have confess'd.--- Thou seest me naked and without disguise: I look on Aureng-Zebe with Rivals eyes. He has abroad my enemyes o'recome, And I have sought to ruin him at home.

Arim. This free confession showes you long did strive: And virtue, though opprest; is still alive. But what success did your injustice find?

Emp. What it deserv'd, and not what I design'd. Unmov'd she stood, and deaf to all my prayers, As Seas and Winds to sinking Mariners. But Seas grow calm, and Winds are reconcil'd: Her Tyrant beauty never grows more mild.

9]

Pray'rs, promises, and threats were all in vain.

Arim. Then cure your self by generous disdain.

Emp. Virtue, disdain, despair, I oft have tri'd, And foil'd, have with new Arms my Foe defi'd. [275] This made me with so little joy to hear The Victory, when I the Victor fear.

Arim. Something you swiftly must resolve to do, Lest Aureng-Zebe your secret Love should know. Morat without does for your ruine wait; And would you lose the Buckler of your State? A jealous Empress lies within your Arms, Too haughty to endure neglected Charms. Your Son is duteous, but (as Man) he's frail. And just revenge o'r vertue may prevail.

Emp. Go then to Indamora, say from me, Two Lives depend upon her secresie. Bid her conceal my passion from my Son Though Aureng-Zebe return a Conqueror, Both he and she are still within my pow'r. Say, I'm a Father, but a Lover too: Much to my Son, more to my self I owe. When she receives him, to her words give Law: And even the kindness of her glances awe. See, he appears! [After a short whisper, Arimant departs.

Enter Aureng-Zebe, Dianet, and Attendants. AurengZebe kneels to his Father, and kisses his hand.


Aur. My Vows have been successful as my Sword: My pray'rs are heard, you have your health restor'd. Once more 'tis given me to behold your face: The best of Kings and Fathers to embrace. Pardon my tears; 'tis joy which bids 'em flow, [300] A joy which never was sincere till now. That which my Conquest gave I could not prize; Or 'twas imperfect till I saw your eyes.

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Emp. Turn the discourse: I have a reason why I would not have you speak so tenderly. Knew you what shame your kind expressions bring, You would in pity spare a wretched King.

Aur. A King! you rob me, Sir, of half my due: You have a dearer name, a Father too.

Emp. I had that name.

Aur. ---What have I said or done, That I no longer must be call'd your Son? 'Tis in that name, Heav'n knows, I glory more, Than that of Prince, or that of Conqueror.

Emp. Then you upbraid me; I am pleas'd to see You're not so perfect, but can fail, like me. I have no God to deal with.

Aur. ---Now I find Some slie Court-Devil has seduc'd your mind: Fill'd it with black suspicions, not your own: And all my actions through false Optics shown. I ne'r did Crowns ambitiously regard: Honour I sought, the generous mind's reward. Long may you live! while you the Sceptre sway I shall be still most happy to obey.

Emp. [325] Oh, Aureng-Zebe! thy virtues shine too bright, They flash too fierce: I, like the Bird of Night, Shut my dull eyes, and sicken at the sight. Thou hast deserv'd more love than I can show: But 'tis thy fate to give, and mine to owe. Thou seest me much distemper'd in my mind: Pull'd back, and then push'd forward to be kind. Virtue, and---fain I would my silence break, But have not yet the confidence to speak. Leave me, and to thy needful rest repair.

Aur. Rest is not suiting with a Lover's care. I have not yet my Indamora seen. [Is going.


Emp. Somewhat I had forgot; come back again: So weary of a Father's company!

Aur. Sir, you were pleas'd your self to license me.

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Emp. You made me no relation of the Fight. Besides, a Rebel's Army is in sight. Advise me first: yet go--- He goes to Indamora; I should take [Aside.

A kind of envious joy to keep him back. Yet to detain him makes my love appear: I hate his presence, and his absence fear. [Exit.


Aur. To some new Clime, or to thy native Sky, Oh friendless and forsaken Virtue flie. Thy Indian Air is deadly to thee grown: [350] Deceit and canker'd malice rule thy Throne. Why did my Arms in Battel prosp'rous prove, To gain the barren praise of Filial love? The best of Kings by Women is misled, Charm'd by the Witchcraft of a second Bed. Against my self I Victories have wonn, And by my fatal absence am undone.

To him Indamora, with Arimant.


But here she comes! In the calm Harbour of whose gentle breast, My Tempest-beaten Soul may safely rest. Oh, my heart's joy! what e'r my sorrows be, They cease and vanish, in beholding thee! Care shuns thy walks; as at the cheerful light, The groaning Ghosts, and Birds obscene take flight. By this one view, all my past pains are paid: And all I have to come more easie made.

Ind. Such sullen Planets at my Birth did shine, They threaten every Fortune mixt with mine. Fly the pursuit of my disastrous love, And from unhappy Neighbourhood remove.

Aur. Bid the laborious Hind, Whose hardned hands did long in Tillage toil, Neglect the promis'd Harvest of the Soil. Should I, who cultivated Love with Bloud, Refuse possession of approaching good?

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Ind. [375] Love is an aery good Opinion makes: Which he who onely thinks he has, partakes. Seen by a strong Imagination's Beam; That tricks and dresses up the gaudy Dream. Presented so, with rapture 'tis enjoy'd: Rais'd by high Fancy, and by low destroy'd.

Aur. If Love be Vision, mine has all the fire Which, in first Dreams, young Prophets does inspire: I dream, in you, our promis'd Paradice: An Ages tumult of continu'd bliss. But you have still your happiness in doubt: Or else 'tis past, and you have dream't it out.

Ind. Perhaps not so.

Aur. ---Can Indamora prove So alter'd? Is it but, Perhaps you Love? Then farewell all! I thought in you to find A Balm, to cure my much distemper'd mind. I came to grieve a Father's heart estrang'd; But little thought to find a Mistris chang'd. Nature her self is chang'd to punish me: Virtue turn'd Vice, and Faith Inconstancy.

Ind. You heard me not Inconstancy confess: 'Twas but a Friend's advice to love me less. Who knows what adverse Fortune may befall? Arm well your mind: hope little, and fear all. [400] Hope, with a goodly prospect, feeds your Eye: Shows, from a rising ground, possession nigh: Shortens the distance, or o'r-looks it quite: So easie 'tis to travel with the sight.

Aur. Then to despair you would my Love betray, By taking hope, its last kind Friend, away. You hold the Glass, but turn the Perspective; And farther off the lessen'd Object drive. You bid me fear: in that your change I know: You would prepare me for the coming blow. But, to prevent you, take my last Adieu; I'll sadly tell my self you are untrue, Rather than stay to hear it told by you. [Going.


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Ind. Stay, Aureng-Zebe, I must not let you go. And yet believe your self, your own worst Foe, Think I am true, and seek no more to know. Let in my breast the fatal Secret lie, 'Tis a sad Riddle, which, if known, we die. [Seeming to pause.


Aur. Fair Hypocrite, you seek to cheat in vain; Your silence argues you ask time to feign. Once more, farewel: the snare in sight is laid, 'Tis my own fault if I am now betray'd. [Going again.


Ind. Yet once more stay; you shall believe me true, Though in one Fate I wrap my self and you. Your absence---

Arim. [425] ---Hold; you know the hard Command I must obey: you onely can withstand Your own mishap. I beg you on my Knee, Be not unhappy by your own Decree.

Aur. Speak, Madam, by (if that be yet an Oath) Your Love, I'm pleas'd we should be ruin'd both. Both is a sound of joy. In Death's dark Bow'rs our Bridals we will keep: And his cold hand Shall draw the Curtain when we go to sleep.

Ind. Know then, that Man whom both of us did trust, Has been to you unkind, to me unjust. The Guardian of my Faith so false did prove, As to sollicite me with lawless Love: Pray'd, promis'd, threaten'd, all that Man could do, Base as he's great; and need I tell you who?

Aur. Yes; for I'll not believe my Father meant: Speak quickly, and my impious thoughts prevent.

Ind. Yo've said; I wish I could some other name!

Arim. My duty must excuse me, Sir, from blame. A Guard there.

Enter Guards.


Aur. ---Slave, for me?

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Arim. ---My Orders are To seize this Princess, whom the Laws of War Long since made Prisoner.

Aur. [450] ---Villain.

Arim. ---Sir, I know Your Birth, nor durst another call me so.

Aur. I have redeem'd her; and as mine she's free.

Arim. You may have right to give her liberty: But with your Father, Sir, that right dispute; For his commands to me were absolute; If she disclos'd his love, to use the right Of War, and to secure her from your sight.

Aur. I'll rescue her, or die. [Draws.

And you, my friends, though few, are yet too brave To see your Gen'rals Mistris made a Slave. [All draw.


Ind. Hold, my dear Love! if so much pow'r there lies, As once you own'd, in Indamora's Eyes, Lose not the Honour you have early wonn; But stand the blameless pattern of a Son. My love your claim inviolate secures: 'Tis writ in Fate, I can be onely yours. My suff'rings for you make your heart my due: Be worthy me, as I am worthy you.

Aur. (Putting up his sword.) I've thought, and bless'd be you who gave me time: My Virtue was surpris'd into a Crime. Strong Virtue, like strong Nature, struggles still: Exerts itself, and then throws off the ill. I to a Son's and Lover's praise aspire: [475] And must fulfil the parts which both require. How dear the cure of jealousie has cost! With too much care and tenderness y'are lost. So the fond Youth from Hell redeem'd his Prize, Till looking back, she vanish'd from his eyes! [Exeunt severally.


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ACT II.


Betwixt the Acts, a Warlike Tune is plaid, shooting off Guns, and shouts of Souldiers are heard, as in an Assault.

Aureng-Zebe, Arimant, Asaph Chawn, Fazel Chawn, Solyman.


Aur. What man could do, was by Morat perform'd: The Fortress thrice himself in person storm'd. Your valour bravely did th'Assault sustain; And fill'd the Moats and Ditches with the Slain. Till, mad with rage, into the Breach he fir'd: Slew Friends and Foes, and in the Smoak retir'd.

Arim. To us you give what praises are not due: Morat was thrice repuls'd, but thrice by you. High, over all, was your great conduct shown: You sought our safety, but forgot your own.

Asaph. Their Standard, planted on the Battlement, Despair and death among the Souldiers sent: You, the bold Omrah tumbled from the Wall; And shouts of Victory pursu'd his fall.

Fazel. To you, alone, we owe this prosp'rous day: Our Wives and Children rescu'd from the prey: Know your own int'rest Sir, where e'r you lead, We joyntly vow to own no other Head.

Solym. Your wrongs are known. Impose but your commands; This hour shall bring you twenty thousand hands.

Aur. Let them who truly would appear my friends, Employ their Swords, like mine, for noble ends. No more: remember you have bravely done: Shall Treason end, what Loyalty begun? [25] I own no wrongs; some grievance I confess, But Kings, like Gods, at their own time redress.

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Yet, some becoming boldness I may use: I've well deserv'd, nor will he now refuse. [Aside.

I'll strike my Fortunes with him at a heat: And give him not the leisure to forget. [Exit, attended by the Omrahs.


Arim. Oh! Indamora, hide these fatal Eyes; Too deep they wound whom they too soon surprise: My Virtue, Prudence, Honour, Interest, all Before this Universal Monarch fall. Beauty, like Ice, our footing does betray; Who can tread sure on the smooth slippery way? Pleas'd with the passage, we slide swiftly on: And see the dangers which we cannot shun.

To him, Indamora.


Ind. I hope my liberty may reach thus far: These Terras Walks within my limits are. I came to seek you, and to let you know, How much I to your generous Pity owe. The King, when he design'd you for my Guard, Resolv'd he would not make my Bondage hard: If otherwise, you have deceiv'd his end; And whom he meant a Guardian, made a Friend.

Arim. A Guardian's Title I must own with shame: But should be prouder of another Name.

Ind. And therefore 'twas I chang'd that Name before: [50] I call'd you Friend, and could you wish for more?

Arim. I dare not ask for what you would not grant: But wishes, Madam, are extravagant. They are not bounded with things possible: I may wish more then I presume to tell: Desire's the vast extent of humane mind, It mounts above, and leaves poor hope behind. I could wish---

Ind. What?

Arim. Why did you speak? yo've dash'd my Fancy quite: Ev'n in th'approaching minute of delight.

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I must take breath--- Ere I the Rapture of my wish renew, And tell you then, It terminates in you.

Ind. Have you consider'd what th'event would be? Or know you, Arimant, your self, or me? Were I no Queen, did you my beauty weigh, My Youth in bloom, your Age in its decay?

Arim. I my own Judge, condemn'd my self before: For pity aggravate my crime no more. So weak I am, I with a frown am slain; You need have us'd but half so much disdain.

Ind. I am not cruel yet to that degree: Have better thoughts both of yourself, and me. Beauty a Monarch is, [75] Which Kingly power magnificently proves, By crouds of Slaves, and peopled Empire loves. And such a Slave as you, what Queen would lose? Above the rest, I Arimant would chuse: For counsel, valour, truth, and kindness too, All I could wish in man, I find in you.

Arim. What Lover could to greater joy be rais'd! I am, methinks, a God by you thus prais'd.

Ind. To what may not desert, like yours, pretend? You have all qualities---that fit a Friend.

Arim. So Mariners mistake the promis'd Coast: And, with ful Sails, on the blind Rocks are lost. Think you my aged veins so faintly beat, They rise no higher than to Friendships heat? So weak your Charms, that, like a Winter's night, Twinkling with Stars, they freez me while they light?

Ind. Mistake me not, good Arimant, I know My Beauty's pow'r, and what my charms can do. You your own Talent have not learn'd so well; But practise one, where you can ne'r excel. You can at most, To an indiff'rent Lover's praise pretend: But you would spoil an admirable Friend.

18]


Arim. Never was Amity so highly priz'd; Nor ever any Love so much despis'd. [100] Ev'n to my self ridiculous I grow; And would be angry, if I knew but how.

Ind. Do not. Your Anger, like your Love, is vain: When e'r I please, you must be pleas'd again. Knowing what pow'r I have your will to bend, I'll use it; for I need just such a Friend. You must perform, not what you think is fit: But, to what ever I propose, submit.

Arim. Madam, you have a strange Ascendant gain'd; You use me like a Courser, spurr'd and rein'd: If I fly out, my fierceness you command, Then sooth, and gently stroke me with your hand. Impose; but use your pow'r of Taxing well: When Subjects cannot Pay, they soon Rebel.

Enter the Emperor, unseen by them.


Ind. My Rebels punishment would easie prove: You know y'are in my pow'r by making Love.

Arim. Would I, without dispute, your will obey, And could you, in return, my life betray?

Emp. What danger, Arimant, is this you fear? Or what Love-secret which I must not hear? These alter'd looks some inward motion show. His cheeks are pale, and yours with blushes glow. [To her.


Ind. 'Tis what, with justice, may my anger move: He has been bold, and talk'd to me of Love.

Arim. I am betray'd, and shall be doom'd to die! [Aside.


Emp. [125] Did he, my Slave, presume to look so high? That crawling Insect, who from Mud began, Warm'd by my Beams, and kindl'd into Man? Durst he, who does but for my pleasure live, Intrench on Love, my great Prerogative? Print his base Image on his Sovereign's Coin? 'Tis Treason if he stamp his Love with mine.

19]


Arim. 'Tis true, I have been bold; but if it be A crime---

Ind. ---He means, 'tis onely so to me. You, Sir, should praise, what I must disapprove: He insolently talk'd to me of Love: But, Sir, 'twas yours, he made it in your name: You, if you please, may all he said disclaim.

Emp. I must disclaim what e'r he can express: His groveling sense will show my passion less. But stay, if what he said my message be, What fear, what danger could arrive from me? He said, He feard you would his life betray.

Ind. Should he presume again, perhaps I may. Though in your hands he hazard not his life, Remember, Sir, your fury of a Wife; Who, not content to be reveng'd on you, The Agents of your passion will pursue.

Emp. If I but hear her nam'd, I'm sick that day; [150] The sound is mortal, and frights life away. Forgive me, Arimant, my jealous thought: Distrust in Lovers is the tender'st fault. Leave me, and tell thy self in my excuse, Love, and a Crown, no Rivalship can bear; And precious things are still possess'd with fear. [Exit Arimant bowing.

This, Madam, my excuse to you may plead; Love should forgive the faults which Love has made.

Ind. From me, what pardon can you hope to have, Robb'd of my Love, and treated as a Slave?

Emp. Force is the last relief which Lovers find: And 'tis the best excuse of Wooman-kind.

Ind. Force never yet a generous Heart did gain: We yield on parley, but are storm'd in vain. Constraint, in all things, makes the pleasure less; Sweet is the Love which comes with willingness.

Emp. No; 'tis resistance that inflames desire: Sharpens the Darts of Love, and blows his Fire.

20]

Love is disarm'd that meets with too much ease: He languishes, and does not care to please. And therefore 'tis your golden Fruit you guard With so much care, to make possession hard.

Ind. Was't not enough you took my Crown away, But cruelly you must my Love betray? I was well pleas'd to have transferr'd my right, [175] And better chang'd your Claim of Lawless might, By taking him, whom you esteem'd above Your other Sons, and taught me first to love.

Emp. My Son, by my command his course must steer: I bad him love, I bid him now forbear. If you have any kindness for him still, Advise him not to shock a Father's will.

Ind. Must I advise? Then let me see him, and I'll try t'obey.

Emp. I had forgot, and dare not trust your way. But send him word, He has not here an Army to command: Remember he and you are in my hand.

Ind. Yes, in a Father's hand, whom he has serv'd; And, with the hazard of his life, preserv'd. But piety to you, unhappy Prince, Becomes a crime, and duty an offence: Against your self, you with your Foes combine, And seem your own destruction to design.

Emp. You may be pleas'd your Politiques to spare: I'm old enough, and can my self take care.

Ind. Advice from me was, I confess, too bold: Y'are old enough it may be, Sir, too old.

Emp. You please your self with your contempt of Age: But Love, neglected, will convert to Rage. [200] If on your head my fury does not turn, Thank that fond dotage which so much you scorn. But, in another's person, you may prove, There's warmth for Vengeance left, though not for Love.

21]

Re-enter Arimant.


Arimant. The Empress has the Anti-chambers past, And this way moves with a disorder'd haste: Her brows, the stormy marks of anger bear.

Emp. Madam, retire: she must not find you here. [Exit Indamora with Arimant.

Enter Nourmahal hastily.


Nour. What have I done, that Nourmahal must prove The scorn and triumph of a Rival's Love? My eyes are still the same, each glance, each grace, Keep their first lustre, and maintain their place; Not second yet to any other face.

Emp. What rage transports you? are you well awake? Such Dreams distracted minds in Feavers make.

Nour. Those Feavers you have giv'n, those Dreams have bred, By broken Faith, and an abandon'd Bed. Such Visions hourly pass before my sight; Which from my eyes their Balmy slumbers fright, In the severest silence of the night. Visions, which in this Cittadel are seen; Bright, glorious Visions of a Rival Queen.

Emp. Have patience, my first flames can ne'r decay: These are but Dreams, and soon will pass away. Thou know'st, my Heart, my Empire, all is thine: [225] In thy own Heav'n of Love serenely shine: Fair as the face of Nature did appear, When Flowers first peep'd, and Trees did Blossoms bear, And Winter had not yet deform'd th'inverted Year. Calm as the Breath which fans our Eastern Groves, And bright as when thy Eyes first lighted up our Loves. Let our eternal Peace be seal'd by this, With the first ardour of a Nuptial Kiss. [Offers to kiss her.


Nour. Me would you have, me your faint kisses prove, The dregs and droppings of enervate Love?

22]

Must I your cold long-labouring age sustain, And be to empty joys provok'd in vain? Receive you sighing after other Charms, And take an absent Husband in my Arms?

Emp. Even these reproaches I can bear from you: You doubted of my Love, believe it true. Nothing but Love this patience could produce; And I allow your rage that kind excuse.

Nour. Call it not patience; 'tis your guilt stands mute: You have a cause too foul to bear dispute. You wrong me first, and urge my rage to rise, Then I must pass for mad; you, meek and wise, Good man, plead merit by your soft replies. Vain priviledge poor Women have of tongue: Men can stand silent, and resolve on wrong.

Emp. [250] What can I more? my friendship you refuse, And even my mildness, as my crime, accuse.

Nour. Your sullen silence cheats not me, false Man; I know you think the bloudiest things you can. Could you accuse me, you would raise your voice: Watch for my crimes, and in my guilt rejoyce. But my known virtue is from scandal free, And leaves no shadow for your calumny.

Emp. Such virtue is the plague of humane life: A virtuous Woman, but a cursed Wife. In vain of pompous chastity y'are proud: Virtue's adultery of the Tongue, when loud, I, with less pain, a Prostitute could bear, Than the shrill sound of Virtue, virtue hear. In unchaste Wives--- There's yet a kind of recompensing ease: Vice keeps 'em humble, gives 'em care to please: But against clamorous Virtue, what defence? It stops our mouthes, and gives your noise pretence.

Nour. Since Virtue does your indignation raise, 'Tis pity but you had that Wife you praise.

23]

Your own wild appetites are prone to range; And then you tax our humours with your change.

Emp. What can be sweeter than our native home! Thither for ease, and soft repose, we come: [275] Home is the sacred refuge of our life: Secur'd from all approaches, but a Wife. If thence we fly, the cause admits no doubt: None but an Inmate Foe could force us out. Clamours, our privacies uneasie make: Birds leave their Nests disturb'd, and Beasts their Haunts forsake.

Nour. Honour's my crime that has your loathing bred: You take no pleasure in a virtuous Bed.

Emp. What pleasure can their be in that estate, Which your unquietness has made me hate? I shrink far off--- Dissembling sleep, but wakeful with the fright. The day takes off the pleasure of the night.

Nour. My thoughts no other joys but pow'r pursue: Or, if they did, they must be lost in you. And yet the fault's not mine--- Though Youth and Beauty cannot warmth command; The Sun in vain shines on the barren Sand.

Emp. 'Tis true, of Marriage-bands I'm weary grown. Love scorns all ties, but those that are his own. Chains that are dragg'd, must needs uneasie prove: For there's a God-like liberty in Love.

Nour. What's Love to you? The bloom of Beauty other years demands; Nor will be gather'd by such wither'd hands: [300] You importune it with a false desire: Which sparkles out, and makes no solid fire. This impudence of Age, whence can it spring? All you expect, and yet you nothing bring. Eager to ask, when you are past a grant; Nice in providing what you cannot want. Have conscience; give not her you love this pain: Sollicite not your self, and her, in vain.

24]

All other Debts may compensation find: But Love is strict, and will be paid in kind.

Emp. Sure of all ills, Domestic are the worst; When most secure of blessings, we are curst. When we lay next us what we hold most dear, Like Hercules, invenom'd Shirts we wear; And cleaving mischiefs.

Nour. ---What you merit, have: And share, at least, the miseries you gave. Your days, I will alarm, I'll haunt your nights: And, worse than Age, disable your delights. May your sick Fame still languish, till it die: All Offices of Pow'r neglected lie, And you grow cheap in every Subject's eye. Then, as the greatest Curse that I can give; Unpiti'd, be depos'd; and after live. [Going off.


Emp. Stay; and now learn, [325] How criminal soe'r we Husbands are, 'Tis not for Wives to push our crimes too far. Had you still Mistris of your temper been, I had been modest, and not own'd my Sin. Your fury hardens me: and what e'r wrong You suffer, you have cancell'd by your tongue. A Guard there; seize her: she shall know this hour, What is a Husband's and a Monarch's pow'r, [Guard seizes her.

Enter Aureng-Zebe.


Nour. I see for whom your Charter you maintain: I must be fetter'd, and my Son be slain, That Zelyma's ambitious Race may reign. Not so you promis'd, when my Beauty drew All Asia's Vows; when Persia left for you The Realm of Candahar for Dow'r I brought: That long contended Prize for which you fought.

Aur. The name of Step-mother, your practis'd Art, By which you have estrang'd my Father's heart,

25]

All you have done against me, or design, Shows your aversion, but begets not mine. Long may my Father India's Empire guide: And may no breach your Nuptial Vows divide.

Emp. Since Love obliges not, I from this hour, Assume the right of Man's Despotic pow'r: Man is by Nature form'd your Sexes head: And is himself the Canon of his Bed. [350] In Bands of Iron fetter'd you shall be: An easier yoke than what you put on me.

Aur. Though much I fear my int'rest is not great, [Kneeling.

Let me your Royal Clemency intreat. Secrets of Marriage still are Sacred held: There sweet and bitter by the wise conceal'd. Errors of Wives reflect on Husbands still: And, when divulg'd, proclaim you've chosen ill. And the mysterious pow'r of Bed and Throne, Should always be maintain'd, but rarely shown.

Emp. To so perverse a Sex all Grace is vain: It gives 'em courage to offend again: For with feign'd tears they penitence pretend: Again are pardon'd, and again offend. Fathom our pity when they seem to grieve; Onely to try how far we can forgive. Till lanching out into a Sea of strife, They scorn all pardon, and appear all Wife. But be it as you please: for your lov'd sake, This last and fruitless trial I will make. In all requests, your right of merit use: And know, There is but one I can refuse. [He signs to the Guards, and they remove from the Empress.


Nour. You've done enough, for you design'd my Chains: The Grace is vanish'd, but th'Affront remains. Nor is't a Grace, or for his merit done; [375] You durst no farther, for you fear'd my Son. This you have gain'd by the rough course you prove; I'm past Repentance, and you past my Love. [Exit.


26]


Emp. A Spirit so untam'd the world ne'r bore.

Aur. And yet worse usage had incens'd her more. But since by no obligement she is ti'd, You must betimes for your defence provide. I cannot idle in your danger stand; But beg once more I may your Arms command: Two Battels your auspicious Cause has wonn; My Sword can perfect what it has begun, And, from your Walls, dislodge that haughty Son.

Emp. My Son, your valour has, this day, been such, None can enough admire, or praise too much. But now, with reason, your success I doubt: Her Faction's strong within, his Arms without.

Aur. I left the City in a Panic fright: Lions they are in Council, Lambs in Fight. But my own Troops, by Mirzah led, are near: I, by to morrow's dawn, expect 'em here. To favour 'em, I'll Sally out ere day, And through our slaughter'd Foes enlarge their way.

Emp. Age has not yet So shrunk my Sinews, or so chill'd my Veins, But conscious Virtue in my breast remains. [400] But had I now That strength, with which my boiling Youth was fraught; When in the Vale of Balasor I fought, And from Bengale their Captive Monarch brought; When Elephant 'gainst Elephant did rear His Trunck, and Castles justl'd in the Air; My Sword thy way to Victory had shown: And ow'd the Conquest to it self alone.

Aur. Those fair Idea's to my aid I'll call, And emulate my great Original. Or, if they fail, I will invoke in Arms, The pow'r of Love, and Indamora's Charms.

Emp. I doubt the happy influence of your Star: T'invoke a Captives name bodes ill in War.

Aur. Sir, give me leave to say, What ever now The Omen prove, it boded well to you.

27]

Your Royal Promise, when I went to fight, Oblig'd me to resign a Victor's right. Her liberty I fought for, and I wonn: And claim it as your General, and your Son.

Emp. My ears still ring with noise, I'm vext to death: Tongue-kill'd, and have not yet recover'd breath. Nor will I be prescrib'd my time by you: First end the War, and then your Claim renew. While to your Conduct I my Fortune trust, [425] To keep this pledge of duty is but just.

Aur. Some hidden cause your jealousie does move, Or you could ne'r suspect my Loyal Love.

Emp. What love soever by an Heir is shown, He waits but time to step into the Throne. You're neither justifi'd, nor yet accus'd: Mean while, the Pris'ner with respect is us'd.

Aur. I know the kindness of her Guardian such, I need not fear too little, but too much. But how, Sir, how have you from virtue swerv'd? Or what so ill return have I deserv'd? You doubt not me, nor have I spent my bloud, To have my faith no better understood: Your Soul's above the baseness of distrust: Nothing but Love could make you so unjust.

Emp. You know your Rival then; and know 'tis fit, The Son's should to the Father's Claim submit.

Aur. Sons may have right, which they can never quit. Your self first made that Title which I claim: First bid me love, and authoris'd my flame.

Emp. The value of my gift I did not know: If I could give, I can resume it too.

Aur. Recal your gift, for I your power confess: But first, take back my life, a gift that's less. Long life would now but a long burthen prove: [450] You're grown unkind, and I have lost your love. My grief let unbecoming speeches fall: I should have di'd, and not complain'd at all.

28]


Emp. Witness yee Pow'rs, How much I suffer'd, and how long I strove Against th'assaults of this imperious Love! I represented to my self the shame Of perjur'd Faith, and violated Fame. Your great deserts, how ill they were repay'd; All arguments, in vain, I urg'd and weigh'd: For mighty Love, who Prudence does despise, For Reason, show'd me Indamora's Eyes. What would you more, my crime I sadly view, Acknowledge, am asham'd, and yet pursue.

Aur. Since you can love, and yet your error see, The same resistless pow'r may plead for me. With no less ardor I my claim pursue: I love, and cannot yield her even to you.

Emp. Your elder Brothers, though o'rcome, have right: The youngest yet in Arms prepar'd to fight. But, yielding her, I firmly have decreed, That you alone to Empire shall suceed.

Aur. To after Ages let me stand a shame, When I exchange for Crowns my Love or Fame. You might have found a mercenary Son, [475] To profit of the Battels he had won: Had I been such, what hinder'd me to take The Crown? nor had th'exchange been yours to make. While you are living, I no right pretend; Wear it, and let it where you please descend. But from my Love, 'tis Sacrilege to part: There, there's my Throne in Indamora's heart.

Emp. 'Tis in her heart alone that you must Reign: You'll find her person difficult to gain. Give willingly what I can take by force: And know, Obedience is your safest course.

Aur. I'm taught, by Honour's precepts, to obey: Fear to Obedience is a slavish way. If ought my want of duty could beget; You take the most prevailing means, to threat.

29]

Pardon your Bloud that boils within my veins; It rises high, and menacing disdains. Even death's become to me no dreadful name: I've often met him, and have made him tame: In fighting fields, where our acquaintance grew, I saw him, and contemn'd him first for you.

Emp. Of formal duty make no more thy boast: Thou disobey'st where it concerns me most. Fool, with both hands thus to push back a Crown: And headlong cast thy self from Empire down. [500] Though Nourmahal I hate, her Son shall Reign: Inglorious thou, by thy own fault remain. Thy younger Brother I'll admit this hour: So mine shall be thy Mistris, his thy Pow'r. [Exit.


Aur. How vain is Virtue which directs our ways Through certain danger to uncertain praise! Barren, and aery name! thee Fortune flies; With thy lean Train, the Pious and the Wise. Heav'n takes thee at thy word, without regard; And lets thee poorly be thy own reward. The World is made for the bold impious man; Who stops at nothing, seizes all he can. Justice to merit does weak aid afford; She trusts her Ballance, and neglects her Sword. Virtue is nice to take what's not her own; And, while she long consults, the Prize is gone.

To him, Dianet.


Dia. Forgive the Bearer of unhappy news: Your alter'd Father openly pursues Your ruine; and, to compass his intent, For violent Morat in haste has sent. The Gates he order'd all to be unbarr'd: And from the Market-place to draw the Guard.

Aur. How look the People in this turn of State?

Dia. They mourn your ruine as their proper Fate.

30]

Cursing the Empress: for they think it done [525] By her procurement, to advance her Son. Him too, though aw'd, they scarcely can forbear: His pride they hate, his violence they fear. All bent to rise, would you appear their Chief, Till your own Troops come up to your relief.

Aur. Ill treated, and forsaken, as I am, I'll not betray the glory of my name: 'Tis not for me, who have preserv'd a State, To buy an Empire at so base a rate.

Dia. The points of Honour Poets may produce; Trappings of life, for Ornament, not Use: Honour, which onely does the name advance, Is the meer raving madness of Romance. Pleas'd with a word, you may sit tamely down; And see your younger Brother force the Crown.

Aur. I know my fortune in extremes does lie: The Sons of Indostan must Reign, or die. That desperate hazard Courage does create; As he plays frankly, who has least Estate, And that the World the Coward will despise, When Life's a Blank, who pulls not for a Prize.

Dia. Of all your knowledge, this vain fruit you have, To walk with eyes broad open to your Grave.

Aur. From what I've said, conclude, without reply, I neither would Usurp, nor tamely die. [550] Th'attempt to flie, would guilt betray, or fear: Besides, 'twere vain; the Fort's our Prison here. Somewhat I have resolv'd--- Morat, perhaps, has Honour in his breast: And, in extremes, bold Counsels are the best. Like Emp'ric Remedies, they last are tri'd; And by th'event condemn'd, or justifi'd. Presence of mind and courage in distress, Are more than Armies to procure success. [Exit.


31]

ACT III.

Arimant, with a Letter in his hand: Indamora.


Arim. And I the Messenger to him from you? Your Empire you to Tyranny pursue: You lay commands, both cruel and unjust, To serve my Rival, and betray my trust.

Ind. You first betray'd your trust in loving me, And should not I my own advantage see? Serving my Love, you may my Friendship gain, You know the rest of your pretences vain. You must, my Arimant, you must be kind: 'Tis in your Nature, and your Noble Mind.

Arim. I'll to the King, and streight my trust resign.

Ind. His trust you may, but you shall never mine. Heav'n made you love me for no other end, But to become my Confident and Friend: As such, I keep no Secret from your sight, And therefore make you judge how ill I write: Read it, and tell me freely then your mind: If 'tis indited as I meant it, kind.

Arim. (reading,) I ask not Heav'n my freedom to restore, But onely for your sake---I'll read no more: And yet I must--- (Reading.)

Less for my own, than for your sorrow, sad--- Another line, like this, would make me mad--- (As reading)

Heav'n! she goes on---yet more---and yet more kind! [25] Each Sentence is a Dagger to my mind. (Reading)

See me this night--- Thank Fortune, who did such a Friend provide, For faithful Arimant shall be your Guide. Not onely to be made an Instrument, But preingag'd without my own consent!

32]


Ind. Unknown t'ingage you still augments my score, And gives you scope of meriting the more.

Arim. The best of men Some int'rest in their actions must confess; None merit but in hope they may possess. The fatal Paper rather let me tear, Than, like Bellerophon, my own Sentence bear.

Ind. You may; but 'twill not be your best advice: 'Twill onely give me pains of writing twice. You know you must obey me, soon or late: Why should you vainly struggle with your Fate?

Arim. I thank thee, Heav'n, thou hast been wondrous kind! Why am I thus to slavery design'd, And yet am cheated with a free-born mind? Or make thy Orders with my reason sute, Or let me live by Sense a glorious Brute--- [She frowns.

You frown, and I obey with speed, before That dreadful Sentence comes, See me no more: See me no more! that sound, methinks, I hear [50] Like the last Trumpet thund'ring in my ear.

Enter Solyman.


Solym. The Princess Melesinda, bath'd in tears, And toss'd alternately with hopes and fears, If your affairs such leisure can afford, Would learn from you the fortunes of her Lord.

Arim. Tell her, that I some certainty may bring; I go this minute to attend the King.

Ind. This lonely Turtle I desire to see: Grief, though not cur'd, is eas'd by Company.

Arim. (to Solym.) Say, if she please, she hither may repair, And breathe the freshness of the open Air. [Exit Solym.


Ind. Poor Princess! how I pity her estate, Wrapt in the ruines of her Husbands Fate! She mourn'd Morat should in Rebellion rise; Yet he offends, and she's the Sacrifice.

33]


Arim. Not knowing his design, at Court she staid; Till, by command, close pris'ner she was made. Since when, Her Chains with Roman Constancy she bore; But that, perhaps, an Indian Wife's is more.

Ind. Go, bring her comfort; leave me here alone.

Arim. My love must still be in obedience shown. [Exit Arim.

Enter Melesinda, led by Solyman, who retires afterwards.


Ind. When graceful sorrow in her pomp appears, Sure she is dress'd in Melesinda's tears. Your head reclin'd, (as hiding grief from view,) [75] Droops, like a Rose surcharg'd with morning Dew.

Mel. Can Flow'rs but droop in absence of the Sun, Which wak'd their sweets? and mine, alas! is gone. But you the noblest Charity express: For they who shine in Courts still shun distress.

Ind. Distress'd my self, like you, confin'd I live: And therefore can compassion take, and give. We're both Love's Captives, but with Fate so cross, One must be happy by the others loss. Morat, or Aureng-Zebe must fall this day.

Mel. Too truly Tamerlain's Successors they, Each thinks a World too little for his sway. Could you and I the same pretences bring, Mankind should with more ease receive a King: I would to you the narrow World resign, And want no Empire while Morat was mine.

Ind. Wish'd freedom I presage you soon will find; If Heav'n be just, and be to Virtue kind.

Mel. Quite otherwise my mind foretels my Fate: Short is my life, and that unfortunate. Yet should I not complain, would Heav'n afford Some little time, ere death, to see my Lord.

Ind. These thoughts are but your melancholy's food; Rais'd from a lonely life, and dark abode:

32]

But whatsoe'r our jarring fortunes prove, [100] Though our Lords hate, me-thinks we two may love.

Mel. Such be our Loves as may not yield to Fate: I bring a heart more true than fortunate. [Giving their hands.

To them Arimant.


Arim. I come with haste suprising news to bring: In two hours time, since last I saw the King, Th'affairs of Court have wholely chang'd their face: Unhappy Aureng-Zebe is in disgrace: And your Morat, (proclaim'd the Successor) Is call'd, to awe the City with his power. Those Trumpets his triumphant Entry tell. And now the Shouts waft near the Cittadel.

Ind. See, Madam, see th'event by me foreshown: I envy not your chance, but grieve my own.

Mel. A change so unexpected must surprise: And more, because I am unus'd to joys.

Ind. May all your wishes ever prosp'rous be, But I'm too much concern'd th'event to see. My eyes too tender are--- To view my Lord become the publick scorn. I came to comfort, and I go to mourn. [Taking her leave.


Mel. Stay, I'll not see my Lord, Before I give your sorrow some relief; And pay the charity you lent my grief. Here he shall see me first with you confin'd: And, if your virtue fail to move his mind, [125] I'll use my int'rest that he may be kind. Fear not, I never mov'd him yet in vain.

Ind. So fair a Pleader any Cause may gain.

Mel. I have no taste, me-thinks, of coming joy; For black presages all my hopes destroy. Die, something whispers, Melesinda, die; Fulfil, fulfil thy mournful Destiny.

29]

Mine is a gleam of bliss, too hot to last, Watry it shines, and will be soon o'r-cast.

Indamora and Melesinda re-enter, as into the Chamber:


Arim. Fortune seems weary grown of Aureng-Zebe, While to her new-made Favourite, Morat, Her lavish hand is wastefully profuse: With Fame and flowing Honours tided in, Born on a swelling Current smooth beneath him. The King and haughty Empress, to our wonder, If not atton'd, yet seemingly at peace. As Fate for him that Miracle reserv'd.

Enter in Triumph, Emperor, Morat, and Train.


Emp. I have confess'd I love. As I interpret fairly your design, So look not with severer eyes on mine. Your Fate has call'd you to th'Imperial Seat: In duty be, as you in Arms are, great. For Aureng-Zebe a hated name is grown, And Love less bears a Rival than the Throne.

Mor. To me, the cries of fighting Fields are Charms: [150] Keen be my Sable, and of proof my Arms. I ask no other blessing of my Stars: No prize but Fame, nor Mistris but the Wars. I scarce am pleas'd I tamely mount the Throne: Would Aureng-Zebe had all their Souls in one: With all my elder Brothers I would fight, And so from partial Nature force my right.

Emp. Had we but lasting Youth, and time to spare, Some might be thrown away on Fame and War: But Youth, the perishing good, runs on too fast: And unenjoy'd will spend it self to waste; Few know the use of life before 'tis past.

36]

Had I once more thy vigour to command, I would not let it die upon my hand: No hour of pleasure should pass empty by, Youth should watch joys, and shoot 'em as they flie.

Mor. Me-thinks all pleasure is in greatness found. Kings, like Heav'ns Eye, should spread their beams around. Pleas'd to be seen while Glory's race they run: Rest is not for the Chariot of the Sun. Subjects are stiff-neck'd Animals, they soon Feel slacken'd Reins, and pitch their Rider down.

Emp. To thee that drudgery of Pow'r I give: Cares be thy lot: Reign thou, and let me live. The Fort I'll keep for my security, [175] Bus'ness, and public State resign to thee.

Mor. Luxurious Kings are to their People lost; They live, like Drones, upon the public cost. My Arms, from Pole to Pole, the World shall shake: And, with my self, keep all Mankind awake.

Emp. Believe me, Son, and needless trouble spare; 'Tis a base World, and is not worth our care. The Vulgar, a scarce animated Clod, Ne'r pleas'd with ought 'em, above Prince or God. Were I a God, the drunken Globe should roul: The little Emmets with the humane Soul Care for themselves, while at my ease I sat, And second Causes did the work of Fate. Or, if I would take care, that care should be For Wit that scorn'd the World, and liv'd like me.

To them, Nourmahal, Zayda, and Attendants.


Nour. My dear Morat, [Embracing her Son.

This day propitious to us all has been: You're now a Monarch's Heir, and I a Queen. Your youthful Father now may quit the State, And finds the ease he sought, indulg'd by Fate. Cares shall not keep him on the Throne awake, Nor break the golden Slumbers he would take.

37]


Emp. In vain I struggl'd to the Goal of Life, While Rebel-Sons, and an imperious Wife Still dragg'd me backward into noise and strife.

Mor. [200] Be that remembrance lost; and be't my pride To be your pledge of peace on either side.

To them, Aureng-Zebe.


Aur. With all th'assurance Innocence can bring, Fearless without, because secure within, Arm'd with my courage, unconcern'd I see This pomp; a shame to you, a pride to me. Shame is but where with wickedness 'tis joyn'd; And, while no baseness in this breast I find, I have not lost the birth-right of my mind.

Emp. Children (the blind effect of Love and Chance, Form'd by their sportive Parents ignorance) Bear from their birth th'impressions of a Slave: Whom Heav'n for play-games first, and then for service gave. One then may be displac'd, and one may Reign: And want of Merit, render Birth-right vain.

Mor. Comes he t'upbraid us with his innocence? Seize him, and take the preaching Brachman hence.

Aur. Stay, Sir; I, from my years, no merit plead: To his Father.

All my designs and acts to duty lend. Your Life and Glory are my onely end; And for that Prize I with Morat contend.

Mor. Not him alone; I all Mankind defie. Who dares adventure more for both than I?

Aur. I know you brave, and take you at your word: That present service which you vaunt, afford. [225] Our two Rebellious Brothers are not dead: Though vanquish'd, yet again they gather head. I dare you, as your Rival in renown, March out your Army from th'Imperial Town: Chuse whom you please, the other leave to me: And set our Father absolutely free.

28]

This, if you do, to end all future strife, I am content to lead a private life: Disband my Army to secure the State, Nor aim at more, but leave the rest to Fate.

Morat. I'll do't. Draw out my Army on the Plain: War is to me a pastime, Peace a pain.

Emp. (to Mor.) Think better first. (To Aur.)

You see your self inclos'd beyond escape, And therefore, Proteus-like, you change your shape. Of promise prodigal, while pow'r you want, And preaching in the Self-denying Cant.

Morat. Plot better; for these Arts too obvious are, Of gaining time, the Masterpiece of War: Is Aureng-Zebe so known?

Aur. ---If Acts like mine, So far from int'rest, profit, or design, Can show my heart, by those I would be known: I wish you could as well defend your own. My absent Army for my Father fought: [250] Yours, in these Walls, is to inslave him brought. If I come singly, you an armed guest, The World with ease may judge whose Cause is best.

Mor. My Father saw you ill designs pursue: And my admission show'd his fear of you.

Aut. Himself best knows why he his Love withdraws: I owe him more than to declare the cause. But still I press our duty may be shown By Arms.

Mor. ---I'll vanquish all his foes alone.

Aur. You speak as if you could the Fates command, And had no need of any other hand. But, since my Honour you so far suspect, 'Tis just I should on your designs reflect. To prove your self a Loyal Son, declare You'll lay down Arms when you conclude the War.

Mor. No present answer your demand requires; The War once done, I'll do what Heav'n inspires.

25]

And while the Sword this Monarchy secures, 'Tis manag'd by an abler Arm than yours.

Emp. Morat's design a doubtful meaning bears: [Apart.

In Aureng-Zebe true Loyalty appears. He, for my safety, does his own despise; Still, with his wrongs, I find his duty rise. I feel my Virtue strugling in my Soul, [275] But stronger Passion does its pow'r controul. Yet be advis'd your ruine to prevent. [To Aur. apart.

You might be safe, if you would give consent.

Aur. So to your welfare I of use may be, My life or death are equal both to me.

Emp. The Peoples hearts are yours; the Fort yet mine: Be wise, and Indamora's love resign. I am observ'd: remember that I give This my last proof of kindness, die, or live.

Aur. Life, with my Indamora, I would chuse; But, losing her, the end of living lose. I had consider'd all I ought before; And fear of death can make me change no more. The Peoples love so little I esteem, Condemn'd by you, I would not live by them. May he who must your favour now possess, Much better serve you, and not love you less.

Emp. I've heard you; and, to finish the debate, [Aloud.

Commit that Rebel pris'ner to the State.

Mor. The deadly draught he shall begin this day: And languish with insensible decay.

Aur. I hate the lingring summons to attend, Death all at once would be the nobler end. Fate is unkind! me-thinks a General Should warm, and at the head of Armies fall. [300] And my ambition did that hope pursue, That so I might have di'd in fight for you. [To his Father.


Mor. Would I had been disposer of thy Stars; Thou shouldst have had thy wish, and di'd in Wars. 'Tis I, not thou, have reason to repine, That thou shouldst fall by any hand, but mine.

40]


Aur. When thou wert form'd, Heav'n did a Man begin; But the brute Soul, by chance, was shuffl'd in. In Woods and Wilds thy Monarchy maintain: Where valiant Beasts, by force and rapine, reign. In Life's next Scene, if Transmigration be, Some Bear or Lion is reserv'd for thee.

Mor. Take heed thou com'st not in that Lion's way: I prophecy thou wilt thy Soul convey Into a Lamb, and be again my Prey. Hence with that dreaming Priest.

Nour. ---Let me prepare The pois'nous draught: his death shall be my care. Near my Apartment let him pris'ner be: That I his hourly ebbs of life may see.

Aur. My life I would not ransome with a pray'r: 'Tis vile, since 'tis not worth my Father's care. I go not, Sir, indebted to my grave: You pai'd your self, and took the life you gave. [Exit.


Emp. O that I had more sense of vertue left, [Aside.

[325] Or were of that, which yet remains, bereft. I've just enough to know how I offend, And, to my shame, have not enough to mend. Lead to the Mosque---

Mor. Love's pleasures why should dull devotion stay? Heav'n to my Melesinda's but the way. [Exeunt Emperor, Morat, and Train.


Zayd. Sure Aureng-Zebe has somewhat of Divine, Whose virtue through so dark a clowd can shine. Fortune has from Morat this day remov'd The greatest Rival, and the best belov'd.

Nour. He is not yet remov'd.

Zayd. ---He lives, 'tis true; But soon must die, and, what I mourn, by you.

Nour. My Zayda, may thy words prophetic be: Embracing her eagerly.

I take the Omen, let him die by me. He stifl'd in my arms shall lose his breath: And Life it self shall envious be of Death.

41]


Zay. Bless me, you Pow'rs above!

Nour. ---Why dost thou start? Is Love so strange? or have not I a heart? Could Aureng-Zebe so lovely seem to thee, And I want eyes that noble worth to see? Thy little Soul was but to wonder mov'd: My sense of it was higher, and I lov'd. That Man, that God-like Man, so brave, so great; [350] But these are thy small praises I repeat. I'm carri'd by a Tide of Love away: He's somewhat more than I my self can say.

Zay. Though all th'Idea's you can form be true, He must not, cannot be possess'd by you. If contradicting int'rests could be mixt, Nature herself hast cast a bar betwixt. And, ere you reach to this incestuous Love, You must Divine and Humane Rights remove,

Nour. Count this among the Wonders Love has done: I had forgot he was my Husband's Sone!

Zay. Nay, more; you have forgot who is your own: For whom your care so long design'd the Throne. Morat must fall, if Aureng-Zebe should rise.

Nour. 'Tis true; but who was ere in love, and wise? Why was that fatal knot of Marriage ti'd, Which did, by making us too near, divide? Divides me from my Sex! for Heav'n, I find Excludes but me alone of Woman-kind. I stand with guilt confounded, lost with shame, And yet made wretched onely by a name. If names have such command on humane Life, Love sure's a name that's more Divine than Wife. That Sovereign power all guilt from action takes, At least the stains are beautiful it makes.

Zay. [375] Th'incroaching ill you early should oppose: Flatter'd 'tis worse, and by indulgence grows.

Nour. Alas! and what have I not said or done? I fought it to the last: and Love has wonn.

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A bloudy Conquest; which destruction brought, And ruin'd all the Countrey where he fought. Whether this Passion from above was sent The Fate of him Heav'n favours to prevent, Or as the curse of Fortune in excess; That, stretching, would beyond its reach possess: And, with a taste which plenty does deprave, Loaths lawful good and lawless ill does crave?

Zay. But yet consider---

Nour. ---No, 'tis loss of time: Think how to farther, not divert my crime. My artful Engines instantly I'll move: And chuse the soft and gentlest hour of Love. The Under-Provost of the Fort is mine. But see, Morat! I'll whisper my design.

Enter Morat with Arimant, as talking: Attendants.


Arim. And for that cause was not in public seen: But stays in Prison with the captive Queen.

Mor. Let my Attendants wait; I'll be alone: Where least of State, there most of Love is shown.

Nour. My Son, your bus'ness is not hard to ghess; [To Mor.

Long absence makes you eager to possess: [400] I will not importune you by my stay; She merits all the Love which you can pay. [Exit with Zayda.

Re-enter Arimant, with Melesinda; then Exit. Morat runs to Melecinda, and embraces her.


Mor. Should I not chide you, that you chose to stay In gloomy shades, and lost a glorious day? Lost the first fruits of joy you should possess In my return, and made my Triumph less?

Mel. Should I not chide, that you could stay and see Those joys, preferring public Pomp to me?

43]

Through my dark Cell your shouts of Triumph rung: I heard with pleasure; but I thought 'em long.

Mor. The Public will in Triumphs rudely share. And Kings the rudeness of their joys must bear: But I made haste to set my Captive free: And thought that work was onely worthy me. The Fame of antient Matrons you pursue; And stand a blameless pattern to the new. I have not words to praise such Acts as these: But take my Heart, and mold it as you please.

Mel. A trial of your kindness I must make, Though not for mine so much as Virtue's sake. The Queen of Cassimeer---

Mor. ---No more, my love; That onely suit I beg you not to move. That she's in Bonds for Aureng-Zebe I know, And should, by my consent, continue so. [425] The good old man, I fear, will pity show. My Father dotes, and let him still dote on; He buys his Mistris dearly with his Throne.

Mel. See her; and then be cruel if you can.

Mor. 'Tis not with me as with a private Man. Such may be sway'd by Honour, or by Love; But Monarchs, onely by their int'rest move.

Mel. Heav'n does a Tribute for your pow'r demand: He leaves th'opprest and poor upon your hand. And those who Stuards of his pity prove, He blesses, in return, with public Love. In his distress, some Miracle is shown: If exil'd, Heav'n restores him to his Throne. He needs no Guard while any Subjects near: Nor, like his Tyrant Neighbours, lives in fear: No Plots th'Alarm to his retirements give: 'Tis all Mankinds concern that he should live.

Mor. You promis'd friendship in your low estate; And should forget it in your better Fate; Such Maxims are more plausible than true; But somewhat must be given to Love and you.

44]

I'll view this Captive Queen; to let her see, Pray'rs and complaints are lost on such as me.

Mel. I'll bear the news: Heav'n knows how much I'm pleas'd, That, by my care, th'afflicted may be eas'd.

As she is going off, Enter Indamora.


Ind. [450] I'll spare your pains, and venture out alone, Since you, fair Princess, my protection own. But you, brave Prince, a harder task must find; To Morat kneeling, who takes her up.

In saving me, you would but half be kind. An humble Suppliant at your feet I lie; You have condemn'd my better part to die. Without my Aureng-Zebe I cannot live; Revoke his Doom, or else my Sentence give.

Mel. If Melesinda in your love have part, Which, to suspect, would break my tender heart: If Love, like mine, may for a Lover plead, By the chaste pleasures of our Nuptial Bed, By all the int'rest my past suff'rings make, And all I yet would suffer for your sake; By you your self, the last and dearest tie---

Mor. You move in vain; for Aureng-Zebe must die.

Ind. Could that Decree from any Brother come? Nature her self is sentenc'd in your doom. Piety is no more, she sees her place Usurp'd by Monsters, and a savage Race. From her soft Eastern Climes you drive her forth, To the cold Mansions of the utmost North. How can our Prophet suffer you to Reign, When he looks down, and sees your Brother slain? Avenging Furies will your life pursue: [475] Think there's a Heav'n, Morat, though not for you.

Mel. Her words imprint a terror on my mind. What if this death, which is for him design'd, Had been your Doom, (far be that Augury!) And you, not Aureng-Zebe, condemn'd to die?

45]

Weigh well the various turns of Humane Fate, And seek, by Mercy, to secure your State.

Ind. Had Heav'n the Crown for Aureng-Zebe design'd, Pity, for you, had pierc'd his generous mind. Pity does with a Noble Nature suit: A Brother's life had suffer'd no dispute. All things have right in life, our Prophet's care Commands the beings eve'n of Brutes to spare. Though int'rest his restraint has justifi'd, Can life, and to a Brother, be deni'd?

Mor. All Reasons for his safety urg'd, are weak: And yet, me-thinks, 'tis Heav'n to hear you speak.

Mel. 'Tis part of your own being to invade---

Mor. Nay, if she fail to move, would you perswade? Turning to Inda.

My Brother does a glorious Fate pursue. I envy him, that he must fall for you. He had been base had he releas'd his right: For such an Empire none but Kings should fight. If with a Father, he disputes this prize, My wonder ceases when I see these Eyes.

Mel. [500] And can you then deny those Eyes you praise? Can Beauty wonder, and not pity raise?

Mor. Your intercession now is needless grown: Retire, and let me speak with her alone. [Melesinda retires, weeping, to the side of the Theatre.

Queen, that you may not fruitless tears employ, Taking Indamora's hand.

I bring you news to fill your heart with joy: Your Lover King of all the East shall Reign: For Aureng-Zebe to morrow shall be slain.

Ind. The hopes you rais'd y'ave blasted with a breath: Starting back.

With Triumphs you began, but end with Death. Did you not say, my Lover should be King?

Mor. I, in Morat, the best of Lovers bring? For one forsaken both of Earth and Heav'n, Your kinder Stars a nobler choice have given: My Father, while I please, a King appears; His Pow'r is more declining than his Years.

46]

An Emperor and Lover, but in show: But you, in me, have Youth and Fortune too. As Heav'n did to your eyes and form Divine, Submit the Fate of all th'Imperial Line; So was it order'd by its wise Decree, That you should find 'em all compris'd in me.

Ind. If, Sir, I seem not discompos'd with rage, Feed not your fancy with a false presage. Farther to press your Courtship is but vain: [525] A cold refusal carries more disdain, Unsetled Virtue stormy may appear; Honour, like mine, serenely is severe. To scorn your person, and reject your Crown, Disorder not my face into a frown. [Turns from him.


Mor. Your Fortune you should rev'rently have us'd: Such offers are not twice to be refus'd. I go to Aureng-Zebe, and am in haste: For your Commands, they're like to be the last.

Ind. Tell him, With my own death I would his life redeem; But, less than Honour, both our Lives esteem.

Mor. Have you no more?

Ind. ---What shall I do or say? [Aside.

He must not in this fury go away. Tell him, I did in vain his Brother move; And yet he falsly said, he was in love. Falsly; for had he truly lov'd, at least, He would have giv'n one day to my request.

Mor. A little yielding may my love advance: She darted from her eyes a sidelong glance, Just as she spoke; and, like her words, it flew: Seem'd not to beg, what yet she bid me do. A Brother, Madam, cannot give a day; [To her.

A Servant, and who hopes to merit, may.

Mel. [550] If, Sir--- [coming to him.


Mor. No more---set speeches, and a formal tale, With none but States-men and grave Fools prevail.

47]

Dry up your tears, and practise every Grace, That fits the Pageant of your Royal place. [Exit.


Mel. Madam, the strange reverse of Fate you see: [To Ind.

I piti'd you, now you may pity me. [Exit after him.


Ind. Poor Princess! thy hard Fate I could bemoan, Had I not nearer sorrows of my own. Beauty is seldom fortunate, when great: A vast Estate, but overcharg'd with Debt. Like those whom want to baseness does betray: I'm forc'd to flatter him I cannot pay. O would he be content to seize the Throne: I beg the life of Aureng-Zebe alone. Whom Heav'n would bless, from Pomp it will remove, And make their wealth in privacy and Love. [Exit.


48]

ACT IV.

Aureng-Zebe solus.


Distrust, and darkness, of a future state, Make poor Mankind so fearful of their Fate. Death, in it self, is nothing; but we fear To be we know not what, we know not where. [Soft Music.

This is the Ceremony of my Fate: A parting Treat; and I'm to die in State. They lodge me, as I were the Persian King: And with luxurious Pomp my death they bring.

To him Nourmahal.


Nour. I thought, before you drew your latest breath, To smooth your passage, and to soften death; For I would have you, when you upward move, Speak kindly of me, to our Friends above: Nor name me there th'occasion of your Fate; Or what my Interest does, impute to Hate.

Aur. I ask not for what end your Pomp's design'd; Whether t'insult, or to compose my mind: I mark'd it not; But, knowing Death would soon th'Assault begin, Stood firm collected in my Strength within: To guard that breach did all my Forces guide, And left unmann'd the quiet Senses side.

Nour. Because Morat from me his being took, All I can say will much suspected look: 'Tis little to confess your Fate I grieve; [25] Yet more than you would easily believe.

49]


Aur. Since my inevitable death you know, You safely unavailing pity show: 'Tis Popular to mourn a dying Foe.

Nour. You made my Liberty your late request: Is no return due from a grateful breast? I grow impatient, till I find some way Great Offices, with greater, to repay.

Aur. When I consider Life, 'tis all a cheat; Yet, fool'd with hope, men favour the deceit; Trust on, and think to morrow will repay: To morrow's falser than the former day; Lies worse; and while it says, We shall be blest With some new joys, cuts off what we possest. Strange couzenage! none would live past years again, Yet all hope pleasure in what yet remain; And, from the dregs of Life, think to receive What the first sprightly running could not give. I'm tir'd with waiting for this Chymic Gold, Which fools us young, and beggars us when old.

Nour. 'Tis not for nothing that we life pursue; It pays our hopes with something still that's new: Each day's a Mistris, unenjoy'd before; Like Travellers, we're pleas'd with seeing more. Did you but know what joys your way attend, [50] You would not hurry to your journeys end.

Aur. I need not haste the end of Life to meet; The precipice is just beneath my feet.

Nour. Think not my sense of Virtue is so small: I'll rather leap down first, and break your fall. My Aureng-Zebe, (may I not call you so?) Taking him by the hand.

Behold me now no longer as your Foe; I am not, cannot be your Enemy: Look, is there any malice in my eye? Pray sit--- [Both sit.

That distance shows too much respect, or fear: You'll find no danger in approaching near.

Aur. Forgive th'amazement of my doubtful state: This kindness from the Mother of Morat!

50]

Or is't some Angel, pitying what I bore, Who takes that shape, to make my wonder more?

Nour. Think me your better Genius in disguise; Or any thing that more may charm your eyes. Your Guardian Angel never could excel In care, nor could he love his charge so well.

Aur. Whence can proceed so wonderful a change?

Nour. Can kindness to desert, like yours, be strange? Kindness by secret Sympathy is ty'd; For Noble Souls in Nature are alli'd. I saw with what a brow you brav'd your Fate; [75] Yet with what mildness bore your Father's hate. My Virtue, like a String wound up by Art, To the same sound, when yours was touch'd, took part, At distance shook, and trembled at my heart.

Aur. I'll not complain my Father is unkind, Since so much pity from a Foe I find. Just Heav'n reward this act.

Nour. 'Tis well the debt no payment does demand, You turn me over to another hand. But happy, happy she, And with the Bless'd above to be compar'd, Whom you your self would, with your self, reward: The greatest, nay, the fairest of her kind, Would envy her that Bliss which you design'd.

Aur. Great Princes thus, when Favourites they raise, To justifie their Grace, their Creatures praise.

Nour. As Love the Noblest Passion we account, So to the highest Object it should mount. It shows you brave when mean desires you shun. An Eagle onely can behold the Sun: And so must you; if yet, presage Divine There be in Dreams, or was't a Vision mine?

Aur. Of me?

Nour. ---And who could else employ my thought? I dream'd, your Love was by Love's Goddess sought; [100] Officious Cupids, hov'ring o'r your head, Held Myrtle wreaths: beneath your feet were spread

51]

What Sweets soe'r Sabean Springs disclose, Our Indian Jasmine, or the Syrian Rose: The wanton Ministers arround you strove For service, and inspir'd their Mother's Love: Close by your side, and languishing, she lies, With blushing cheeks, short breath, and wishing eyes; Upon your breast supinely lay her head, While, on your face, her famish'd sight she fed. Then, with a sigh, into these words she broke, (And gather'd humid kisses as she spoke.) Dull, and ingrateful! must I offer love? Desir'd of Gods, and envi'd ev'n by Jove: And dost thou ignorance or fear pretend? Mean Soul! and dar'st not gloriously offend? Then, pressing thus his hand---

Aur. ---I'll hear no more. [Rising up.

'Twas impious to have understood before; And I, till now, endeavour'd to mistake Th'incestuous meaning which too plain you make.

Nour. And why this niceness to that pleasure shown, Where Nature sums up all her joys in one; Gives all she can, and labouring still to give, Makes it so great, we can but taste and live: [125] So fills the Senses, that the Soul seems fled, And thought it self-does, for the time, lie dead; Till, like a String scru'd up with eager haste, It breaks, and is too exquisite to last?

Aur. Heav'ns! can you this, without just vengeance, hear? When will you thunder, if it now be clear? Yet her alone let not your Thunder seize: I, too, deserve to die, because I please.

Nour. Custom our Native Royalty does awe; Promiscuous Love is Nature's general Law: For whosoever the first Lovers were, Brother and Sister made the second Pair, And doubled, by their love, their piety.

Aur. Hence, hence, and to some barbarous Climate fly,

52]

Which onely Brutes in humane form does yield, And Man grows wild in Nature's common Field. Who eat their Parents, piety pretend; Yet there no Sons their Sacred Bed ascend. To vail great Sins, a greater Crime you chuse; And, in your Incest, your Adult'ry lose.

Nour. In vain this haughty fury you have shown. How I adore a Soul so like my own! You must be mine, that you may learn to live: Know joys, which onely she who loves can give. Nor think that action you upbraid, so ill: [150] I am not chang'd; I love my Husband still; But love him as he was, when youthful grace, And the first down began to shade his face: That Image does my Virgin-flames renew, And all your Father shines more bright in you.

Aur. In me a horrour of my self you raise; Curs'd by your love, and blasted by your praise. You find new ways to prosecute my Fate; And your least-guilty passion was your Hate.

Nour. I beg my death, if you can Love deny. Offering him a Dagger.


Aur. I'll grant you nothing; no, not ev'n to die.

Nour. Know then, you are not half so kind as I. [Stamps with her foot.

Enter Mutes, some with Swords drawn, one with a Cup.


You've chosen, and may now repent too late. Behold th'effect of what you wish'd, my Hate. This Cup, a cure for both our ills has brought: Taking the Cup to present him.

You need not fear a Philtre in the Draught.

Aur. All must be poison which can come from thee; Receiving it from her.

But this the least. T'immortal Liberty This first I pour---like dying Socrates; [Spilling a little of it.

Grim though he be, Death pleases when he frees.

53]

As he is going to drink, Enter Morat attended.


Mor. Make not such haste, you must my leisure stay: Your Fate's deferr'd, you shall not die to day. Taking the Cup from him.


Nour. What foolish pity has possess'd your mind, To alter what your prudence once design'd?

Mor. What if I please to lengthen out his date [175] A day, and take a pride to cozen Fate?

Nour. 'Twill not be safe to let him live an hour.

Mor. I'll do't, to show my Arbitrary pow'r.

Nour. Fortune may take him from your hands again, And you repent th'occasion lost in vain.

Mor. I smile at what your Female fear foresees: I'm in Fate's place, and dictate her Decrees. Let Arimant be call'd. [Exit one of his Attendants.


Aur. Give me the poison, and I'll end your strife: I hate to keep a poor precarious life. Would I my safety on base terms receive, Know, Sir, I could have liv'd without your leave. But those I could accuse, I can forgive: By my disdainful silence, let 'em live.

Nour. What am I, that you dare to bind my hand? [To Mor.

So low, I've not a Murder at command! Can you not one poor Life to her afford, Her who gave up whole Nations to your Sword? And from th'abundance of whose Soul and Heat, Th'o'rflowing serv'd to make your mind so great.

Mor. What did that greatness in a Woman's mind? Ill lodg'd, and weak to act what it design'd. Pleasure's your portion, and your slothful ease: When Man's at leisure, study how to please. Soften his angry hours with servile care, [200] And when he calls, the ready Feast prepare. From Wars, and from affairs of State abstain: Women Emasculate a Monarch's Reign;

54]

And murmuring Crouds, who see 'em shine with Gold, That pomp, as their own ravish'd Spoils behold.

Nour. Rage choaks my words: 'tis Womanly to weep: [Aside.

In my swoll'n breast my close revenge I'll keep; I'll watch his tender'st part, and there strike deep. [Exit.


Aur. Your strange proceeding does my wonder move; Yet seems not to express a Brother's love. Say to what Cause my rescu'd life I owe.

Mor. If what you ask would please, you should not know. But since that knowledge, more than Death, will grieve, Know, Indamora gain'd you this Reprieve.

Aur. And whence had she the pow'r to work your change?

Mor. The pow'r of Beauty is not new or strange. Should she command me more, I could obey; But her request was bounded with a day. Take that; and, if you'll spare my farther crime, Be kind, and grieve to death against your time.

Enter Arimant.


Remove this Pris'ner to some safer place: He has, for Indamora's sake, found grace: And, from my Mother's rage must guarded be, Till you receive a new Command from me.

Arim. Thus Love, and Fortune, persecute me still, [225] And make me Slave to every Rivals will. [Aside.


Aur. How I disdain a Life, which I must buy With your contempt, and her inconstancy! For a few hours, my whole content I pay: You shall not force on me another day. [Exit with Arimant.

Enter Melesinda.


Mel. I have been seeking you this hour's long space, And fear'd to find you in another place; But, since you're here, my jealousie grows less: You will be kind to my unworthiness.

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What shall I say? I love to that degree, Each glance another way is robb'd from me. Absence, and Prisons, I could bear again; But sink, and die, beneath your least disdain.

Mor. Why do you give your mind this needless care, And, for your self, and me, new pains prepare? I ne'r approv'd this passion in excess: If you would show your love, distrust me less. I hate to be pursu'd from place to place: Meet, at each turn, a stale domestic face. Th'approach of jealousie Love cannot bear, He's wild, and soon on wing; if watchful eyes come near.

Mel. From your lov'd presence, how can I depart? My eyes pursue the object of my heart.

Mor. You talk as if it were our Bridal night: Fondness is still th'effect of new delight; [250] And Marriage but the pleasure of a day: The Metall's base the Gilding worn away.

Mel. I fear I'm guilty of some great offence, And that has bred this cold indifference.

Mor. The greatest in the world to flesh and bloud: You fondly love much longer than you shou'd.

Mel. If that be all which makes your discontent, Of such a crime I never can repent.

Mor. Would you force Love upon me, which I shun? And bring course fare, when appetite is gone?

Mel. Why did I not, in Prison, die before My fatal freedom made me suffer more? I had been pleas'd to think I dy'd for you, And doubly pleas'd, because you then were true: Then I had hope; but now, alas, have none.

Mor. You say you love me; let that love be shown. 'Tis in your power to make my happiness.

Mel. Speak quickly: to command me is to bless.

Mor. To Indamora you my Suit must move: You'll sure speak kindly of the man you love.

Mel. Oh! rather let me perish by your hand, Than break my heart, by this unkind command:

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Think 'tis the onely one I could deny; And that 'tis harder to refuse than die. Try, if you please, my Rival's heart to win: [275] I'll bear the pain, but not promote the sin. You own what e'r perfections man can boast, And if she view you with my eyes, she's lost.

Mor. Here I renounce all love, all Nuptial ties: Henceforward live a stranger to my eyes: When I appear, see you avoid the place, And haunt me not with that unlucky face.

Mel. Hard, as it is, I this command obey, And haste, while I have life, to go away: In pity stay some hours, till I am dead, That blameless you may court my Rival's Bed. My hated face I'll not presume to show; Yet I may watch your steps where e'r you go. Unseen, I'll gaze; and with my latest breath, Bless, while I die, the Author of my death. [Weeping.

Enter Emperor.


Emp. When your Triumphant Fortune high appears, What cause can draw these unbecoming tears? Let cheerfulness on happy Fortune wait, And give not thus the Counter-time to Fate.

Mel. Fortune long frown'd, and has but lately smil'd: I doubt a Foe so newly reconcil'd. You saw but sorrow in its waning form, A working Sea remaining from a Storm; When the now weary Waves roul o'r the Deep, And faintly murmur ere they fall asleep.

Emp. [300] Your inward griefs you smother in your mind; But Fame's loud voice proclaims your Lord unkind.

Mor. Let Fame be busie where she has to do: Tell of fought Fields, and every pompous Show. Those Tales are fit to fill the Peoples ears; Monarchs, unquestion'd, move in higher Spheres.

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Mel. Believe not Rumor, but your self; and see The kindness 'twixt my plighted Lord and me. [Kissing Morat.

This is our State; thus happily we live; These are the quarrels which we take and give. (Aside to Mor.)

I had no other way to force a Kiss. Forgive my last Farewel to you, and Bliss. [Exit.


Emp. Your haughty carriage shows too much of scorn, And love, like hers, deserves not that return.

Mor. You'll please to leave me judge of what I do, And not examine by the outward show. Your usage of my Mother might be good: I judg'd it not.

Emp. ---Nor was it fit you shou'd.

Mor. Then, in as equal Ballance weigh my deeds.

Emp. My Right, and my Authority, exceeds. Suppose (what I'll not grant) Injustice done; Is judging me the duty of a Son?

Mor. Not of a Son, but of an Emperor: You cancell'd Duty when you gave me pow'r. [325] If your own Actions on your Will you ground, Mine shall hereafter know no other bound. What meant you when you call'd me to a Throne? Was it to please me with a Name alone?

Emp. 'Twas that I thought your gratitude would know What to my partial kindness you did owe: That what your Birth did to your Claim deny, Your merit of Obedience might supply.

Mor. To your own thoughts such hopes you might propose; But I took Empire not on terms like those. Of business you complain'd; now take your ease: Enjoy what e're decrepid Age can please: Eat, Sleep, and tell long Tales of what you were In flow'r of Youth, if any one will hear,

Emp. Pow'r like new Wine, does your weak Brain surprise, And its mad fumes, in hot discourses, rise; But time these giddy vapours will remove; Mean while I'll taste the sober joys of Love.

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Mor. You cannot Love, nor pleasures take, or give; But life begin, when 'tis too late to live. On a tir'd Courser you pursue delight, Let slip your morning and set out at night. If you have liv'd, take thankfully the past: Make, as you can, the sweet remembrance last. If you have not enjoy'd what Youth could give, [350] But life sunk through you like a leaky Sieve, Accuse yourself you liv'd not while you might; But, in the Captive Queen resign your right. I've now resolv'd to fill your useless place; I'll take that Post to cover your disgrace, And love her, for the honour of my Race.

Emp. Thou dost but try how far I can forbear, Nor art that Monster which thou wouldst appear: But do not wantonly my passion move; I pardon nothing that relates to Love. My fury does, like jealous Forts, pursue With death, ev'n Strangers who but come to view.

Mor. I did not onely view, but will invade: Could you shed venom from your reverend shade, Like Trees, beneath whose arms 'tis death to sleep; Did rouling Thunder your fenc'd Fortress keep, Thence would I snatch my Semele, like Jove, And midst the dreadful Rack enjoy my Love.

Emp. Have I for this, ungrateful as thou art, When Right, when Nature, struggl'd in my heart; When Heav'n call'd on me for thy Brother's claim, Broke all, and sulli'd my unspotted Fame? Wert thou to Empire, by my baseness, brought, And wouldst thou ravish what so dear I bought? Dear! for my Conscience and its peace I gave: [375] Why was my Reason made my passion's slave? I see Heav'ns Justice; thus the Pow'rs Divine, Pay Crimes with Crimes and punish mine by thine.

Mor. Crimes let them pay, and punish as they please: What Pow'r makes mine, by Pow'r I mean to seize.

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Since 'tis to that they their own greatness owe Above, why should they question mine below? [Exit.


Emp. Prudence, thou vainly in our Youth art sought, And with Age purchas'd art too dearly bought: We're past the use of Wit, for which we toil; Late Fruit, and planted in too cold a Soil. My Stock of Fame is lavish'd and decay'd; No profit of the vast profusion made. Too late my folly I repent; I know My Aureng-Zebe would ne'r have us'd me so. But, by his ruine I prepar'd my own; And, like a naked Tree, my shelter gone, To Winds and Winter-storms must stand expos'd alone. Exit.

Aureng-Zebe, Arimant.


Arim. Give me not thanks, which I will ne'r deserve; But know, 'tis for a Nobler Price I serve. By Indamora's will you're hither brought: All my reward, in her command I sought. The rest your Letter tells you.---See, like Light, She comes; and I must vanish, like the Night. [Exit.

Enter Indamora.


Ind. 'Tis now that I begin to live again: [400] Heav'ns, I forgive you all my fear and pain: Since I behold my Aureng-Zebe appear, I could not buy him at a Price too dear. His name alone afforded me relief, Repeated as a charm to cure my grief. I that lov'd name did, as some God, invoke, And printed kisses on it while I spoke.

Aur. Short ease; but long, long pains from you I find: Health, to my eyes; but poison, to my mind.

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Why are you made so excellently fair? So much above what other Beauties are, That, ev'n in cursing, you new form my breath; And make me bless those Eyes which give me death?

Ind. What reason for your curses can you find? My Eyes your conquest, not your death, design'd. If they offend, 'tis that they are too kind.

Aur. The ruines they have wrought, you will not see: Too kind they are, indeed, but not to me,

Ind. Think you base Interest Souls, like mine, can sway? Or that, for Greatness, I can Love betray? No, Aureng-Zebe, you merit all my heart, And I'm too Noble but to give a part. Your Father, and an Empire! am I known No more? or have so weak a judgment shown, In chusing you, to change you for a Throne?

Aur. [425] How, with a Truth, you would a Falshood blind! 'Tis not my Father's love you have design'd; Your choice is fix'd where Youth and Pow'r are joyn'd.

Ind. Where Youth and Pow'r are joyn'd! has he a name?

Aur. You would be told; you glory in your shame: There's Music in the Sound; and, to provoke Your pleasure more, by me it must be spoke. Then, then it ravishes, when your pleas'd ear The sound does from a wretched Rival hear. Morat's the name your heart leaps up to meet, While Aureng-Zebe lies dying at your feet.

Ind. Who told you this?

Aur. ---Are you so lost to shame? Morat, Morat, Morat: You love the name So well, your e'ry question ends in that; You force me still to answer you, Morat. Morat, who best could tell what you reveal'd; Morat, too proud to keep his joy conceal'd.

Ind. Howe'r unjust your jealousie appear, It shows the loss, of what you love, you fear; And does my pity, not my anger move: I'll fond it, as the froward Child of Love.

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To show the truth of my unalter'd breast, Know, that your life was given at my request: At least Repriev'd. When Heav'n deni'd you aid, [450] She brought it; she, whose falshood you upbraid.

Aur. And 'tis by that you would your falshood hide; Had you not ask'd, how happy had I dy'd! Accurst Reprieve! not to prolong my breath, It brought a ling'ring, and more painful death. I have not liv'd since first I heard the news; The gift the guilty giver does accuse. You knew the price, and the request did move, That you might pay the Ransome with your love.

Ind. Your accusation must, I see, take place; And I am guilty, infamous, and base!

Aur. If you are false, those Epithets are small; You're then the things, the abstract of 'em all. And you are false: you promis'd him your love. No other price a heart so hard could move. Do not I know him? could his Brutal mind Be wrought upon? could he be just, or kind? Insultingly, he made your love his boast; Gave me my life, and told me what it cost. Speak; answer. I would fain yet think you true: Lie; and I'll not believe my self, but you. Tell me you love; I'll pardon the deceit, And, to be fool'd, my self assist the cheat.

Ind. No; 'tis too late: I have no more to say. If you'll believe I have been false, you may.

Aur. [475] I would not; but your crimes too plain appear: Nay, even that I should think you true, you fear. Did I not tell you, I would be deceiv'd?

Ind. I'm not concern'd to have my truth believ'd. You would be cozin'd! would assist the cheat! But I'm too plain to joyn in the deceit: I'm pleas'd you think me false--- And, whatsoe'r my Letter did pretend, I made this meeting for no other end.

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Aur. Kill me not quite, with this indifference: When you are guiltless, boast not an offence. I know you better than your self you know: Your heart was true, but did some frailty show: You promis'd him your Love, that I might live; But promis'd what you never meant to give. Speak, was't not so? confess; I can forgive.

Ind. Forgive what dull excuses you prepare! As if your thoughts of me were worth my care.

Aur. Ah Traitress! Ah ingrate! Ah faithless mind! Ah Sex, invented first to damn Mankind! Nature took care to dress you up for sin: Adorn'd, without; unfinish'd left, within. Hence, by no judgment you your loves direct; Talk much, ne'r think, and still the wrong affect. So much self-love in your composures mix'd, [500] That love to others still remains unfix'd: Greatness, and Noise, and Show, are your delight; Yet wise men love you, in their own despight: And, finding in their native Wit no ease. Are forc'd to put your folly on to please.

Ind. Now you shall know what cause you have to rage; But to increase your fury, not asswage: I found the way your Brother's heart to move, Yet promis'd not the least return of Love. His Pride, and Brutal fierceness I abhor; But scorn your mean suspitions of me more. I ow'd my Honour and my Fame this care: Know what your folly lost you, and despair. [Turning from him.


Aur. Too cruelly your innocence you tell; Show Heav'n, and damn me to the pit of Hell. Now I believe you; tis not yet too late: You may forgive, and put a stop to Fate: Save me, just sinking, and no more to rise. [She frowns.

How can you look with such relentless eyes? Or let your mind by penitence be mov'd, Or I'm resolv'd to think you never lov'd.

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You are not clear'd, unless you mercy speak: I'll think you took th'occasion thus to break.

Ind. Small jealousies, 'tis true, inflame desire; Too great, not Fan, but quite blow out the Fire: [525] Yet I did love you, till such pains I bore, That I dare trust my self and you no more. Let me not love you; but here end my pain: Distrust may make me wretched once again. Now, with full Sails, into the Port I move, And safely can unlade my breast of Love; Quiet, and calm: why should I then go back, To tempt the second hazard of a Wrack?

Aur. Behold these dying eyes, see their submissive awe; These tears, which fear of death could never draw: Heard you that sigh? from my heav'd heart it past, And said, If you forgive not, 'tis my last. Love mounts, and rowls about my stormy mind, Like Fire, that's born by a tempestuous Wind. Oh, I could stifle you, with eager haste! Devour your kisses with my hungry taste! Rush on you! eat you! wander o'r each part, Raving with pleasure, snatch you to my heart! Then hold you off; and gaze! then, with new rage, Invade you, till my conscious Limbs presage Torrents of joy, which all their banks o'rflow! So lost, so blest, as I but then could know!

Ind. Be no more jealous. [Giving him her hand.


Aur. ---Give me cause no more: The danger's greater after, than before, [550] If I relapse; to cure my jealousie Let me (for that's the easiest parting) die.

Ind. My life!

Aur. ---My Soul!

Ind. ---My all that Heav'n can give! Death's life with you; without you, death to live.

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To them Arimant hastily.


Arim. Oh, we are lost, beyond all humane aid! The Citadel is to Morat betraid. The Traitor, and the Treason, known too late; The false Abas deliver'd up the Gate. Ev'n, while I speak, we're compass'd round with Fate. The Valiant cannot fight, or Coward flie; But both in undistinguish'd Crouds must die.

Aur. Then my Prophetic fears are come to pass: Morat was always bloudy; now, he's base: And has so far in Usurpation gone, He will by Paricide secure the Throne.

To them the Emperor.


Emp. Am I forsaken, and betray'd, by all? Not one brave man dare, with a Monarch, fall? Then, welcome death, to cover my disgrace; I would not live to Reign o'r such a Race. My Aureng-Zebe! [Seeing Aureng-Zebe.

But thou no more art mine; my cruelty Has quite destroy'd the right I had in thee. I have been base, [575] Base ev'n to him from whom I did receive All that a Son could to a Parent give: Behold me punish'd in the self-same kind, Th'ungrateful does a more ungrateful find.

Aur. Accuse your self no more; you could not be Ungrateful: could commit no crime to me: I onely mourn my yet uncancell'd score: You put me past the pow'r of paying more: That, that's my grief, that I can onely grieve, And bring but pity, where I would relieve; For had I yet ten thousand lives to pay, The mighty sum should go no other way.

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Emp. Can you forgive me? 'tis not fit you shou'd. Why will you be so excellently good? 'Twill stick too black a brand upon my name: The Sword is needless; I shall die with shame. What had my age to do with Love's delight, Shut out from all enjoyments but the sight?

Arim. Sir, you forget the danger's imminent: This minute is not for excuses lent.

Emp. Disturb me not--- How can my latest hour be better spent? To reconcile my self to him is more, Than to regain all I possess'd before. Empire, and Life are now not worth a pray'r: [600] His love, alone, deserves my dying care.

Aur. Fighting for you, my death will glorious be.

Ind. Seek to preserve your self, and live for me.

Arim. Lose then no farther time. Heav'n has inspir'd me with a sudden thought, Whence your unhop'd for safety may be wrought, Though with the hazard of my bloud 'tis bought. But, since my life can ne'r be fortunate, 'Tis so much sorrow well redeem'd from Fate. You, Madam, must retire; Your Beauty is its own security, And leave the conduct of the rest to me. Glory will crown my life, if I succeed; If not, she may afford to love me dead. [Aside.


Aur. My Father's kind; and, Madam, you forgive: Were Heav'n so pleas'd, I now could wish to live. And, I shall live. With Glory, and with Love, at once I burn: I feel th'inspiring heat, and absent God return. [Exeunt.


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ACT V.

Indamora alone.


The night seems doubled with the fear she brings, And, o'r the Cittadel, new spreads her wings. The Morning, as mistaken, turns about, And all her early fires again go out. Shouts, cries, and groans, first pierce my ears, and then A flash of Lightning draws the guilty Scene, And shows me Arms, and Wounds, and Dying men. Ah, should my Aureng-Zebe be fighting there, And envious Winds distinguish'd to my ear, His dying groans, and his last accents bear!

To her Morat, attended.


Mor. The bloudy bus'ness of the Night is done, And, in the Cittadel, an Empire wonn. Our Swords so wholly did the Fates employ, That they, at length, grew weary to destroy: Refus'd the work we brought; and, out of breath, Made Sorrow and Despair attend for Death. But what of all my Conquest can I boast? My haughty pride, before your eyes, is lost: And Victory but gains me to present That Homage, which our Eastern World has sent.

Ind. Your Victory, alas, begets my fears: Can you not then triumph without my tears? Resolve me; (for you know my Destiny In Aureng-Zebe's) say, do I live, or die?

Mor. [25] Urg'd by my Love, by hope of Empire fir'd; 'Tis true, I have perform'd what both requir'd: What Fate decreed; for when great Souls are giv'n, They bear the marks of Sov'reignty from Heav'n.

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My Elder Brothers my fore-runners came; Rough-draughts of Nature, ill design'd, and lame: Blown off, like Blossoms, never made to bear; Till I came, finish'd; her last labour'd care.

Ind. This Prologue leads to your succeeding sin: Bloud ended what Ambition did begin.

Mor. 'Twas rumor'd, but by whom I cannot tell, My Father scap'd from out the Cittadel: My Brother too may live.

Ind. ---He may.

Mor. ---He must: I kill'd him not: and a less Fate's unjust. Heav'n owes it me, that I may fill his room; A Phoenix-Lover, rising from his Tomb. In whom you'll lose your sorrows for the dead; More warm, more fierce, and fitter for your Bed.

Ind. Should I from Aureng-Zebe my heart divide, To love a Monster, and a Paricide? These names your swelling Titles cannot hide. Severe Decrees may keep our Tongues in awe; But to our thoughts, what Edict can give Law? [50] Ev'n you your self, to your own breast, shall tell Your crimes; and your own Conscience be your Hell.

Mor. What bus'ness has my Conscience with a Crown? She sinks in Pleasures, and in Bowls will drown. If mirth should fail, I'll busie her with cares; Silence, her clamorous voice with louder Wars: Trumpets and Drums shall fright her from the Throne, As sounding Cymbals aid the lab'ring Moon.

Ind. Repell'd by these, more eager she will grow; Spring back more strongly than a Scythian Bowe: Amidst your Train, this unseen Judge will wait; Examine how you came by all your State; Upbraid your impious Pomp; and, in your ear, Will hallow, Rebel, Tyrant, Murderer. Your ill-got Pow'r wan looks and care shall bring: Known but by discontent to be a King.

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Of Crouds afraid, yet anxious when alone; You'l sit and brood your sorrows on a Throne.

Mor. Birthright's a vulgar road to Kingly sway; 'Tis ev'ry dull-got Elder Brother's way. Dropt from above, he lights into a Throne; Grows of a piece with that he sits upon, Heav'ns choice, a low, inglorious, rightful Drone. But who by force a Scepter does obtain, Shows he can govern that which he could gain. [75] Right comes of course, what e'r he was before; Murder and Usurpation are no more.

Ind. By your own Laws you such Dominion make, As ev'ry stronger Pow'r has right to take: And Paricide will so deform your name, That dispossessing you will give a claim. Who next Usurps, will a just Prince appear; So much your ruine will his Reign endear.

Mor. I without guilt, would mount the Royal Seat; But yet 'tis necessary to be great.

Ind. All Greatness is in Virtue understood: 'Tis onely necessary to be good. Tell me, what is't at which great Spirits aim, What most your self desire?

Mor. ---Renown, and Fame, And Pow'r, as uncontrol'd as is my will.

Ind. How you confound desires of good and ill! For true renown is still with Virtue joyn'd; But lust of Pow'r lets loose th'unbridl'd mind. Yours is a Soul irregularly great, Which wanting temper, yet abounds with heat: So strong, yet so unequal pulses beat. A Sun which does, through vapours dimnly shine: What pity 'tis you are not all Divine! New molded, thorow lighten'd, and a breast [100] So pure, to bear the last severest test; Fit to command an Empire you should gain By Virtue, and without a blush to Reign.

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Mor. You show me somewhat I ne'r learnt before; But 'tis the distant prospect of a Shore, Doubtful in mists; which, like inchanted ground, Flies from my sight, before 'tis fully found.

Ind. Dare to be great, without a guilty Crown; View it, and lay the bright temptation down: 'Tis base to seize on all, because you may; That's Empire, that which I can give away: There's joy when to wild Will you Laws prescribe, When you bid Fortune carry back her Bribe: A joy, which none but greatest minds can taste; A Fame, which will to endless Ages last.

Mor. Renown, and Fame, in vain, I courted long; And still pursu'd 'em, though directed wrong. In hazard, and in toils, I heard they lay; Sail'd farther than the Coast, but miss'd my way: Now you have giv'n me Virtue for my guide; And, with true Honour, ballasted my Pride. Unjust Dominion I no more pursue; I quit all other claims but those to you.

Ind. Oh be not just to halves! pay all you owe: Think there's a debt to Melesinda too. [125] To leave no blemish on your after life; Reward the virtue of a Suff'ring Wife:

Mor. To love once past, I cannot backward move; Call yesterday again, and I may love. 'Twas not for nothing I the Crown resign'd; I still must own a Mercenary mind: I, in this venture, double gains pursue, And laid out all my Stock to purchase you.

To them Asaph Chan.


Now, what success? does Aureng-Zebe yet live?

Asaph. Fortune has giv'n you all that she can give, Your Brother---

Mor. ---Hold; thou show'st an impious joy, And think'st I still take pleasure to destroy:

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Know, I am chang'd, and would not have him slain.

Asaph. 'Tis past; and you desire his life in vain. He prodigal of Soul, rush'd on the stroke Of lifted Weapons, and did wounds provoke: In scorn of Night, he would not be conceal'd; His Souldiers, where he fought, his name reveal'd: In thickest crouds, still Aureng-Zebe did sound: The vaulted Roofs did Aureng-Zebe' rebound, Till late, and in his fall, the name was drown'd.

Ind. Wither that hand which brought him to his fate, And blasted be the tongue which did relate.

Asaph. His Body---

Mor. [150] ---Cease to inhanse her misery: Pity the Queen, and show respect to me. 'Tis ev'ry Painters Art to hide from sight, And cast in shades, what seen would not delight. Your grief, in me such sympathy has bred, [To her.

I mourn; and wish I could recall the dead. Love softens me; and blows up fires, which pass Through my tough heart, and melt the stubborn Mass.

Ind. Break, heart; or choak, with sobs, my hated breath; Do thy own work: admit no forreign death. Alas! why do I make this useless moan? I'm dead already, for my Soul is gone.

To them, Mir Baba.


Mir. What tongue the terror of this night can tell, Within, without, and round the Citadel! A new-form'd Faction does your pow'r oppose; The Fight's confus'd, and all who meet are foes: A second clamour, from the Town, we hear; And the far noise so loud, it drowns the near. Abas, who seem'd our Friend, is either fled; Or, what we fear, our Enemies does head: Your frighted Soldiers scarce their ground maintain.

Mor. I thank their fury; we shall fight again:

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They rouse my rage; I'm eager to subdue: 'Tis fatal to with-hold my eyes from you. [Exit with the two Omrahs.

Enter Melesinda.


Mel. Can misery no place of safety know? [175] The noise pursues me wheresoe'r I go, As Fate sought onely me, and where I fled, Aim'd all its Darts at my devoted head. And let it; I am now past care of life; The last of Women; an abandon'd Wife.

Ind. Whether Design or Chance has brought you here, I stand oblig'd to Fortune, or to Fear: Weak Women should, in danger, herd like Deer. But say, from whence this new combustion springs? Are there yet more Morats? more fighting Kings?

Mel. Him from his Mother's love your eyes divide, And now her Arms the cruel strife decide.

Ind. What strange misfortunes my vext life attend? Death will be kind, and all my sorrows end. If Nourmahal prevail, I know my fate.

Mel. I pity, as my own, your hard estate; But what can my weak charity afford? I have no longer int'rest in my Lord: Nor in his Mother, He: she owns her hate Aloud, and would her self Usurp the State.

Ind. I'm stupifi'd with sorrow, past relief Of tears: parch'd up, and wither'd with my grief.

Mel. Dry mourning will decays more deadly bring, As a North Wind burns a too forward Spring. Give sorrow vent, and let the sluces go.

Ind. [200] My tears are all congeal'd, and will not flow.

Mel. Have comfort; yield not to the blows of Fate.

Ind. Comfort, like Cordials after death, comes late. Name not so vain a word; my hopes are fled: Think your Morat were kind, and think him dead.

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Mel. I can no more--- Can no more arguments, for comfort, find: Your boding words have quite o'r-whelm'd my mind. [Clattering of weapons within.


Ind. The noise increases, as the Billows rore, When rowling from afar they threat the Shore. She comes; and feeble Nature now I find Shrinks back in danger, and forsakes my mind. I wish to die, yet dare not death endure; Detest the Med'cine, yet desire the Cure. I would have death; but mild, and at command: I dare not trust him in another's hand. In Nourmahal's, he would not mine appear; But arm'd with terror, and disguis'd with fear.

Mel. Beyond this place you can have no retreat: Stay here, and I the danger will repeat. I fear not death, because my life I hate: And envious death will shun th'unfortunate.

Ind. You must not venture.

Mel. ---Let me: I may do My self a kindness, in obliging you. [225] In your lov'd name, I'll seek my angry Lord; And beg your safety from his conqu'ring Sword: So his protection all your fears will ease, And I shall see him once, and not displease. [Exit.


Ind. Oh wretched Queen! what pow'r thy life can save? A stranger, and unfriended, and a slave!

Enter Nourmahal, Zayda, and Abas, with Souldiers.


Alas, she's here! [Indamora withdraws to the inner part of the Scene.


Nour. Heartless they fought, and quitted soon their ground, While ours with easie victory were crown'd. To you, Abas, my Life and Empire too, And, what's yet dearer, my Revenge, I owe.

Abas. The vain Morat, by his own rashness wrought, Too soon discover'd his ambitious thought;

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Believ'd me his, because I spoke him fair, And pitch'd his head into the ready snare: Hence 'twas I did his Troops at first admit; But such, whose numbers could no fears beget; By them th'Emperor's Party first I slew, Then turn'd my Arms the Victors to subdue.

Nour. Now let the head-strong Boy my will controul: Virtue's no slave of Man; no Sex confines the Soul: I, for my self, th'Imperial Seat will gain, And he shall wait my leisure for his Reign. But Aureng-Zebe is no where to be found. And now perhaps in Death's cold arms he lies: [250] I fought, and conquer'd, yet have lost the prize.

Zayd. The chance of War determin'd well the strife, That rack'd you, 'twixt the Lover and the Wife. He's dead, whose love had sulli'd all your Reign, And made you Empress of the World in vain.

Nour. No; I my pow'r and pleasure would divide: The Drudge had quench'd my flames, and then had di'd. I rage, to think without that Bliss I live; That I could wish what Fortune would not give: But, what Love cannot, Vengeance must supply; She, who bereav'd me of his heart, shall die.

Zayd. I'll search: far distant hence she cannot be. [Goes in.


Nour. This wondrous Master-piece I fain would see; This fatal Helen, who can Wars inspire, Make Kings her Slaves, and set the World on fire. My Husband lock'd his Jewel from my view; Or durst not set the false one by the true.

Re-enter Zayda, leading Indamora.


Zay. Your frighted Captive, ere she dies, receive; Her Soul's just going else, without your leave.

Nour. A fairer Creature did my eyes ne'r see! Sure she was form'd by Heav'n in spite to me!

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Some Angel copi'd, while I slept, each grace, And molded ev'ry feature from my face. Such Majesty does from her forehead rise, Her cheeks such blushes cast, such rays her eyes, [275] Nor I, nor Envy, can a blemish find; The Palace is, without, too well design'd: Conduct me in, for I will view thy mind. [To her.

Speak, if thou hast a Soul, that I may see, If Heav'n can make throughout another Me.

Ind. My tears and miseries must plead my cause; [Kneeling.

My words, the terror of your presence awes: Mortals, in sight of Angels, mute become; The Nobler Nature strikes th'Inferiour dumb.

Nour. The Palm is, by the Foes confession, mine; But I disdain what basely you resign. Heav'n did, by me, the outward model build: Its inward work, the Soul, with rubbish fill'd. Yet, Oh! th'imperfect Piece moves more delight; 'Tis gilded o'r with Youth, to catch the sight. The Gods have poorly robb'd my Virgin bloom, And what I am, by what I was, o'rcome. Traitress, restore my Beauty and my Charms, Nor steal my Conquests with my proper Arms.

Ind. What have I done, thus to inflame your hate? I am not guilty, but unfortunate.

Nour. Not guilty, when thy looks my pow'r betray, Seduce Mankind, my Subject, from my Sway, Take all my Hearts, and all my Eyes away? My Husband first; but that I could forgive: [300] He onely mov'd, and talk'd, but did not live. My Aureng-Zebe, for I dare own the name, The glorious sin, and the more glorious flame; Him, from my beauty, have thy eyes misled, And starv'd the joys of my expected Bed.

Ind. His love, so sought, he's happy that he's dead. O had I courage but to meet my Fate; That short dark passage to a future state;

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That melancholly Riddle of a breath.

Nour. That something, or that nothing, after death: Take this, and teach thy self. [Giving a Dagger.


Ind. Alas!

Nour. ---Why dost thou shake? Dishonour not the vengeance I design'd: A Queen, and own a base Plebeian mind! Let it drink deep in thy most vital part: Strike home, and do me reason in thy heart.

Ind. I dare not.

Nour. ---Do't, while I stand by and see, At my full gust, without the drudgery. I love a Foe, who dares my stroke prevent, Who gives me the full Scene of my content, Shows me the flying Soul's convulsive strife, And all the anguish of departing life: Disdain my mercy, and my rage defie; [325] Curse me with thy last breath; and make me see A Spirit worthy to have Rival'd me.

Ind. Oh, I desire to die; but dare not yet: Give me some respite, I'll discharge the debt. Without my Aureng-Zebe I would not live.

Nour. Thine, Traitress! thine! that word has wing'd thy fate, And put me past the tedious forms of hate. I'll kill thee with such eagerness and haste, As Fiends, let loose, would lay all Nature waste. Indamora runs back: as Nourmahal is running to her. Clashing of Swords is heard within.


Sold. Yield, y'are o'rpow'r'd: resistance is in vain. [Within.


Mor. Then death's my choice: submission I disdain. [Within.


Nour. Retire, you Slaves: Ah whether does he run [At the door.

On pointed Swords? Disarm, but save my Son.

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Enter Morat staggering, and upheld by Souldiers.


Mor. She lives! and I shall see her once again! I have not thrown away my life in vain. Catches hold of Indamora's Gown, and falls by her: she sits.

I can no more; yet, ev'n in death, I find My fainting body byass'd by my mind: I fall toward you; still my contending Soul Points to your breast, and trembles to its Pole.

To them Melesinda, hastily, casting her self on the other side of Morat.


Mel. Ah wo, wo, wo! the worst of woes I find! Live still: Oh live; live ev'n to be unkind. With half-shut eyes he seeks the doubtful day; But, Ah! he bends his sight another way. He faints! and in that sigh his Soul is gone; Yet Heaven's unmov'd, yet Heav'n looks careless on.

Nour. [350] Where are those Pow'rs which Monarchs should defend? Or do they vain Authority pretend, O'r humane Fates, and their weak Empire show, Which cannot guard their Images below? If, as their Image, he was not Divine, They ought to have respected him as mine. I'll waken them with my revenge; and she Their Indamora shall my Victim be, And Helpless Heav'n shall mourn in vain, like me. As she is going to stab Indamora, Morat raises himself, and holds her hand.


Mor. Ah, what are we, Who dare maintain with Heav'n this wretched strife, Puft with the pride of Heav'ns own gift, frail life? That blast which my ambitious Spirit swell'd, See by how weak a Tenure it was held!

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I onely stay to save the Innocent: Oh envy not my Soul its last content.

Ind. No, let me die; I'm doubly summon'd now; First, by my Aureng-Zebe; and, since, by you. My Soul grows hardy, and can death endure: Your Convoy makes the dang'rous way secure.

Mel. Let me, at least, a Funeral Marriage crave; Nor grudge my cold embraces in the Grave. I have too just a Title in the strife: By me, unhappy me, he lost his life: I call'd him hither; 'twas my fatal breath; [375] And I the Screech-Owl that proclaim'd his death. [Shout within.


Abas. What new Alarms are these? I'll haste and see. [Exit.


Nour. Look up, and live: an Empire shall be thine.

Mor. That I contemn'd, ev'n when I thought it mine. Oh, I must yield to my hard Destinies, [To Indamora.

And must for ever cease to see your eyes.

Mel. Ah turn your sight to me, my dearest Lord! Can you not one, one parting look afford? Ev'n so unkind in death? but 'tis in vain; I lose my breath, and to the Winds complain: Yet 'tis as much in vain your cruel scorn; Still I can love, without this last return. Nor Fate, nor You, can my vow'd faith controul; Dying, I'll follow your disdainful Soul: A Ghost, I'll haunt your Ghost; and, where you go, With mournful murmurs fill the Plains below.

Mor. Be happy, Melesinda, cease to grieve, And, for a more deserving Husband, live: Can you forgive me?

Mel. ---Can I! Oh my heart! Have I heard one kind word before I part? I can, I can forgive: is that a task To love, like mine? Are you so good to ask? One kiss---Oh 'tis too great a blessing this; [Kisses him,

I would not live to violate the bliss.

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Re-enter Abas.


Abas. [400] Some envious Devil has ruin'd us yet more: The Fort's revolted to the Emperor; The Gates are open'd, the Portcullis drawn; And deluges of Armies, from the Town, Come pow'ring in: I heard the mighty flaw, When first it broke; the crowding Ensigns saw, Which choak'd the passage; and, (what least I fear'd,) The waving Arms of Aureng-Zebe appear'd, Display'd with your Morat's: In either's Flag the golden Serpents bear, Erected Crests alike, like Volumes rear, And mingle friendly hissings in the Air. Their Troops are joyn'd, and our destruction nigh.

Nour. 'Tis vain to fight, and I disdain to flie. I'll mock the Triumphs which our Foes intend; And, spite of Fortune, make a glorious end. In pois'nous draughts my liberty I'll find: And from the nauseous World set free my mind. [Exit.

At the other end of the Stage, Enter Aureng-Zebe, Dianet, and Attendants. Aureng-Zebe turns back, and speaks, entring.


Aur. The lives of all, who cease from combat, spare; My Brother's be your most peculiar care: Our impious use no longer shall obtain; Brothers no more, by Brothers, shall be slain. [Seeing Indamora and Morat.

Ha! do I dream? is this my hop'd success? I grow a Statue, stiff, and motionless. Look, Dianet; for I dare not trust these eyes; [425] They dance in mists, and dazle with surprise.

Dia. Sir, 'tis Morat; dying he seems, or dead: And Indamora's hand---

Aur. ---Supports his head. [Sighing.


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Thou shalt not break yet heart, nor shall she know My inward torments, by my outward show; To let her see my weakness were too base; Dissembled Quiet sit upon my face: My sorrow to my eyes no passage find, But let it inward sink, and drown my mind. Falshood shall want its Triumph: I begin To stagger; but I'll prop my self within. The specious Tow'r no ruine shall disclose, Till down, at once, the mighty Fabrick goes.

Mor. In sign that I die yours, reward my love, [To Ind.

And seal my Pasport to the Bless'd above. [Kissing her hand.


Ind. Oh stay; or take me with you when you go: There's nothing now worth living for below.

Mor. I leave you not; for my expanded mind Grows up to Heav'n, while it to you is joyn'd: Not quitting, but enlarg'd! A blazing Fire, Fed from the Brand. [Dies.


Mel. Ah me! he's gone! I die! [Swoons.


Ind. ---Oh dismal day! Fate, thou hast ravish'd my last hope away. [450] O Heav'n! my Aureng-Zebe She turns, and sees Aureng-Zebe standing by her, and starts.

What strange surprise! Or does my willing mind delude my eyes, And shows the Figure always present there? Or liv'st thou? am I bless'd, and see thee here?

Aur. My Brother's body see convey'd with care, Turning from her, to his Attendants.

Where we may Royal Sepulture prepare. With speed to Melesinda bring relief; Recal her spirits, and moderate her grief.--- [Half turning to Ind.

I go, to take for ever from your view Both the lov'd Object, and the hated too. [Going away after the Bodies, which are carried off.


Ind. Hear me; yet think not that I beg your stay: Laying hold of him.

I will be heard, and after take your way.

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Go; but your late repentance shall be vain: He struggles still; She lets him go.

I'll never, never see your face again. [Turning away.


Aur. Madam, I know what ever you can say: You might be pleas'd not to command my stay. All things are yet disorder'd in the Fort; I must crave leave your audience may be short,

Ind. You need not fear I shall detain you long; Yet you may tell me your pretended wrong.

Aur. Is that the bus'ness? then my stay is vain.

Ind. How are you injur'd?

Aur. ---When did I complain?

Ind. Leave off your forc'd respect--- [475] And show your rage in its most furious form: I'm arm'd with innocence to brave the Storm. You heard, perhaps, your Brother's last desire; And after saw him in my arms expire: Saw me, with tears, so great a loss bemoan: Heard me complaining my last hopes were gone.

Aur. Oh stay, and take me with you when you go. There's nothing now worth living for below. Unhappy Sex! whose Beauty is your snare; Expos'd to trials; made too frail to bear. I grow a fool, and show my rage again: 'Tis Nature's fault; and why should I complain?

Ind. Will you yet hear me?

Aur. ---Yes, till you relate What pow'rful Motives did your change create. You thought me dead, and prudently did weigh Tears were but vain, and brought but Youths decay. Then, in Morat, your hopes a Crown design'd; And all the Woman work'd within your mind. I rave again, and to my rage return, To be again subjected to your scorn.

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Ind. I wait till this long storm be over-blown.

Aur. I'm conscious of my folly: I have done. I cannot rail; but silently I'll grieve. How did I trust! and how did you deceive! [500] Oh, Arimant, would I had di'd for thee! I dearly buy thy generosity.

Ind. Alas, is he then dead?

Aur. ---Unknown to me, He took my Arms; and while I forc'd my way, Through Troops of Foes, which did our passage stay, My Buckler o'r my aged Father cast, Still fighting, still defending as I past, The noble Arimant usurp'd my name; Fought, and took from me, while he gave me, fame. To Aureng-Zebe, he made his Souldiers cry, And seeing not, where he heard danger nigh, Shot, like a Star, through the benighted Sky. A short, but mighty aid: at length he fell. My own adventures 'twere lost time to tell; Or how my Army, entring in the night, Surpris'd our Foes: the dark disorder'd fight: How my appearance, and my Father shown, Made peace; and all the rightful Monarch own. I've summ'd it briefly, since it did relate Th'unwelcome safety of the man you hate.

Ind. As briefly will I clear my innocence: Your alter'd Brother di'd in my defence. Those tears you saw, that tenderness I show'd, Were just effects of grief and gratitude. [525] He di'd my Convert.

Aur. ---But your Lover too: I heard his words, and did your actions view; You seem'd to mourn another Lover dead: My sighs you gave him, and my tears you shed. But worst of all, Your gratitude for his defence was shown: It prov'd you valu'd life when I was gone.

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Ind. Not that I valu'd life; but fear'd to die: Think that my weakness, not inconstancy.

Aur. Fear show'd you doubted of your own intent: And she who doubts becomes less innocent. Tell me not you could fear; Fear's a large promiser, who subject live To that base passion, know not what they give. No circumstance of grief you did deny; And what could she give more who durst not die?

Ind. My love, my faith.

Aur. ---Both so adult'rate grown, When mix'd with fear, they never could be known. I wish no ill might her I love befall; But she ne'r lov'd who durst not venture all. Her life and fame should my concernment be; But she should onely be afraid for me.

Ind. My heart was yours; but, Oh! you left it here, [550] Abandon'd to those Tyrants, Hope and Fear: If they forc'd from me one kind look or word, Could you not that, not that small part afford?

Aur. If you had lov'd, you nothing yours could call: Giving the least of mine, you gave him all. True love's a Miser; so tenacious grown, He weighs to the least grain of what's his own. More delicate than Honour's nicest sense: Neither to give nor take the least offence. With, or without you, I can have no rest: What shall I do? y'are lodg'd within my breast: Your Image never will be thence displac'd; But there it lies, stabb'd, mangled, and defac'd.

Ind. Yet, to restore the quiet of your heart, There's one way left.

Aur. ---Oh name it.

Ind. ---'Tis to part. Since perfect bliss with me you cannot prove, I scorn to bliss by halves the man I love.

Aur. Now you distract me more: shall then the day, Which views my Triumph, see our loves decay?

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Must I new bars to my own joy create? Refuse, my self, what I had forc'd from Fate? What though I am not lov'd? Reason's nice taste does our delights destroy: [575] Brutes are more bless'd, who grosly feed on joy.

Ind. Such endless jealousies your love pursue, I can no more be fully bless'd than you. I therefore go, to free us both from pain: I pris'd your Person, but your Crown disdain. Nay, ev'n my own--- I give it you; for since I cannot call Your heart my Subject, I'll not Reign at all. [Exit.


Aur. Go: though thou leav'st me tortur'd on the Rack, 'Twixt Shame and Pride, I cannot call thee back. She's guiltless, and I should submit; but Oh! When she exacts it, can I stoop so low? Yes; for she's guiltless;---but she's haughty too Great Souls long struggle ere they own a crime: She's gone; and leaves me no repenting time. I'll call her now; sure, if she loves, she'll stay; Linger at least, or not go far away, [Looks to the door, and returns.

For ever lost, and I repent too late. My foolish pride, would set my whole Estate, Till, at one throw, I lost all back to Fate.

To him the Emperor, drawing in Indamora: Attendants.


Emp. It must not be, that he, by whom we live, Should no advantage of his gift receive. Should he be wholly wretched? he alone, In this bless'd day, a day so much his own? [To Indamora.

I have not quitted yet a Victor's right: [600] I'll make you happy in your own despight. I love you still; and if I struggle hard To give, it shows the worth of the reward.

Ind. Suppose he has o'rcome; must I find place Among his conquer'd Foes, and sue for grace?

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Be pardon'd, and confess I lov'd not well? What though none live my innocence to tell? I know it: Truth may own a gen'rous pride: I clear my self, and care for none beside.

Aur. Oh, Indamora, you would break my heart! Could you resolve, on any terms, to part? I thought your love eternal: was it ti'd So loosly, that a quarrel could divide? I grant that my suspitions were unjust; But would you leave me for a small distrust? Forgive those foolish words--- [Kneeling to her.

They were the froth my raging folly mov'd, When it boil'd up: I knew not then I lov'd; Yet then lov'd most.

Ind. (to Aur.) You would but half be blest! Giving her hand, smiling.


Aur. ---Oh do but try My eager love: I'll give my self the lie. The very hope is a full happiness; Yet scantly measures what I shall possess. Fancy it self, ev'n in enjoyment, is [625] But a dumb Judge, and cannot tell its bliss.

Emp. Her eyes a secret yielding do confess, And promise to partake your happiness. May all the joys I did my self pursue, Be rais'd by her, and multipli'd on you.

A Procession of Priests, Slaves following, and last Melesinda in white.


Ind. Alas! what means this Pomp?

Aur. 'Tis the Procession of a Funeral Vow, Which cruel Laws to Indian Wives allow, When fatally their Virtue they approve; Chearful in flames, and Martyrs of their Love.

Ind. Oh my foreboding heart! th'event I fear; And see! sad Melesinda does appear.

Mel. You wrong my love; what grief do I betray? This is the Triumph of my Nuptial day.

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My better Nuptials; which, in spight of Fate, For ever joyn me to my dear Morat. Now I am pleas'd; my jealousies are o'r: He's mine; and I can lose him now no more.

Emp. Let no false show of Fame your reason blind.

Ind. You have no right to die; he was not kind.

Mel. Had he been kind, I could no love have shown: Each vulgar Virtue would as much have done. My love was such, it needed no return; But could, though he suppli'd no fuel, burn. Rich in it self, like Elemental fire, [650] Whose pureness does no Aliment require. In vain you would bereave me of my Lord; For I will die: die is too base a word; I'll seek his breast, and kindling by his side, Adorn'd with flames, I'll mount a glorious Bride. [Exit.

Enter Nourmahal distracted, with Zayda.


Zay. She's lost, she's lost! but why do I complain For her, who generously did life disdain! Poison'd, she raves--- Th'invenom'd Body does the Soul attack; Th'invenom'd Soul works its own poison back.

Nour. I burn, I more than burn; I am all fire: See how my mouth and nostrils flame expire. I'll not come near my self--- Now I'm a burning Lake, it rowls and flows; I'll rush, and pour it all upon my Foes. Pull, pull that reverend piece of Timber near: Throw't on---'tis dry---'twill burn--- Ha, ha! how my old Husband crackles there! Keep him down, keep him down, turn him about: I know him; he'll but whiz, and strait go out. Fan me, you Winds: what, not one breath of Air? I burn 'em all, and yet have flames to spare. Quench me: pour on whole Rivers. 'Tis in vain: Morat stands there to drive 'em back again:

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With those huge Bellows in his hands, he blows [675] New fire into my head: my Brain-pan glows. See, see! there's Aureng-Zebe too takes his part; But he blows all his fire into my heart.

Aur. Alas, what fury's this?

Nour. ---That's he, that's he! Staring upon him, and catching at him.

I know the dear man's voice: And this my Rival, this the cursed she. They kiss; into each others arms they run: Close, close, close! must I see, and must have none? Thou art not hers: give me that eager kiss. Ingrateful! have I lost Morat for this? Will you?---before my face?---poor helpless I See all, and have my Hell before I die! [Sinks down.


Emp. With thy last breath thou hast thy crimes confest: Farewel; and take, what thou ne'r gav'st me, rest. But you, my Son, receive it better here: Giving him Indamora's hand.

The just rewards of Love and Honour wear. Receive the Mistris you so long have serv'd; Receive the Crown your Loialty preserv'd. Take you the Reins, while I from cares remove, And sleep within the Chariot which I drove. Back matter




Epilogue.


A pretty task! and so I told the Fool, Who needs would undertake to please by Rule: He thought that, if his Characters were good, The Scenes entire, and freed from noise and bloud; The Action great, yet circumscrib'd by Time, The Words not forc'd, but sliding into Rhime, The Passions rais'd and calm'd by just Degrees, As Tides are swell'd, and then retire to Seas; He thought, in hitting these, his bus'ness done, Though he, perhaps, has fail'd in ev'ry one: But, after all, a Poet must confess, His Art's like Physick, but a happy ghess. Your Pleasure on your Fancy must depend: The Lady's pleas'd, just as she likes her Friend. No Song! no Dance! no Show! he fears you'l say, You love all naked Beauties, but a Play. He much mistakes your methods to delight; And, like the French, abhors our Target-fight: But those damn'd Dogs can never be i'th' right. True English hate your Monsieur's paltry Arts; For you are all Silk-weavers, in your hearts. Bold Brittons, at a brave Bear-garden Fray, Are rouz'd: and, clatt'ring Sticks, cry, Play, play, play. Mean time, your filthy Forreigner will stare, And mutter to himself, Ha gens Barbare! And, Gad, 'tis well be mutters; well for him; Our Butchers else would tear him limb from limb. 'Tis true, the time may come, your Sons may be Infected with this French civility;


But this in After-ages will be done: Our Poet writes a hundred years too soon. This Age comes on too slow, or he too fast: And early Springs are subject to a blast! Who would excel, when few can make a Test Betwixt indiff'rent Writing and the best? For Favours cheap and common, who wou'd strive, Which, like abandon'd Prostitutes, you give? Yet scatter'd here and there I some behold, Who can discern the Tinsel from the Gold: To these he writes; and, if by them allow'd, 'Tis their Prerogative to rule the Crowd. For he more fears (like a presuming Man) Their Votes who cannot judge, than theirs who can.

FINIS.