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The last request which e'er was his to utter,
Thy harshness made him carry to the grave?

Sal. Speak then; but ask thyself if thou hast reason
To look for much indulgence here.

Mal. Ad. I have not!

Yet will I ask for it. We part for ever;

This is our last farewell; the king is satisfied;
The judge has spoke the irrevocable sentence:
None sees, none hears, save that omniscient power,
Which, trust me, will not frown to look upon
Two brothers part like such.-When in the face
Of forces once my own, I'm led to death,
Then be thine eye unmoistened; let thy voice
Then speak my doom untrembling; then,
Unmoved behold this stiff and blackened corse.
But now I ask-nay, turn not, Saladin—
I ask one single pressure of thy hand,
From that stern eye one solitary tear—
Oh, torturing recollection! one kind word

From the loved tongue which once breathed naught but kindness. Still silent? Brother!-friend-beloved companion

Of all my youthful sports-are they forgotten?

Strike me with deafness, make me blind, Oh heaven!
Let me not see this unforgiving man

Smile at my agonies-nor hear that voice

Pronounce my doom, which would not say one word,
One little word, whose cherished memory
Would soothe the struggles of departing life—
Yet, yet thou wilt-Oh, turn thee Saladin !
Look on my face, thou canst not spurn me then;
Look on the once-loved face of Malek Adhel
For the last time, and call him—

Sal. (Seizing his hand.) Brother! brother!-
Mal. Ad. (Breaking away.) Now call thy followers.

Death has not now

A single pang in store. Proceed! I'm ready.

Sal. Oh, art thou ready to forgive, my brother,—

To pardon him who found one single error,

One little failing 'mid a splendid throng

Of glorious qualities

Mal. Ad. Oh stay thee, Saladin !

I did not ask for life-I only wished
To carry thy forgiveness to the grave.
No, emperor, the loss of Cesarea

Cries loudly for the blood of Malek Adhel.

Thy soldiers too, demand that he who lost
What cost them many a weary hour to gain,
Should expiate his offenses with his life.
Lo, even now they crowd to view my death,
Thy just impartiality.-I go-

Pleased by my fate to add one other leaf
To thy proud wreath of glory. (Going.)

Sal. Thou shalt not. (Enter Attendant.)

Atten. My lord, the troops assembled by your order
Tumultuous throng the courts-the prince's death
Not one of them but vows he will not suffer-
The mutes have fled-the very guards rebel—
Nor think I in this city's spacious round,

Can e'er be found a hand to do the office.

Mal. Ad.

Oh, faithful friends! (To Atten.) Thine shalt. Atten. Mine ?-Never!—

The other first shall lop it from the body.

Sal. They teach the emperor his duty well. Tell them he thanks them for it-tell them, too, That ere their opposition reached our ears, Saladin had forgiven Malek Adhel.

Atten. Oh joyful news!

I haste to gladden many a gallant heart,
And dry the tear on many a hardy cheek
Unused to such a visitor. (Exit.)

Sal. These men, the meanest in society,
The outcasts of the earth,-by war, by nature
Hardened, and rendered callous-these, who claim
No kindred with thee-who have never heard
The accents of affection from thy lips-
Oh, these can cast aside their vowed allegiance,
Throw off their long obedience, risk their lives,
To save thee from destruction. While I,
I, who cannot in all my memory

Call back one danger which thou hast not shared,
One day of grief, one night of revelry,

Which thy resistless kindness hath not soothed,
Or thy gay smile and converse rendered sweeter;
I, who have thrice in the ensanguined field,

When death seemed certain, only uttered-" Brother!"
And seen that form like lightning rush between
Saladin and his foes-and that brave breast
Dauntless exposed to many a furious blow
Intended for my own-I could forget

That 'twas to thee I owed the

very breath

Which sentenced thee to perish. Oh, 'tis shameful!
Thou canst not pardon me.

Mal. Ad. By these tears I can

Oh, brother! from this very hour, a new,
A glorious life commences-I am all thine.
Again the day of giadness or of anguish
Shall Malek Adhel share, and oft again

May this sword fence thee in the bloody field.
Henceforth, Saladin,

My heart, my soul, my sword, are thine for ever.



(A dark cavern. Isidore alone; an extinguished torch in his hand.) Isidore. Faith, 'twas a moving message-very moving! "His life in danger,—no but this.

"Twas now his turn to talk of gratitude."

And yet but no! there can't be such a villain.
It cannot be !

Thanks to that little crevice,

Which lets the moonlight in! I'll go and sit by it,
To peep at a tree, or see a he-goat's beard,

Or hear a cow or two breathe loud in their sleep;
Any thing but this crash of water-drops!
These dull abortive sounds, that fret the silence
With puny thwartings, and mock opposition!
So beats the deathwatch to the sick man's ear.

(He goes out of sight opposite to the moonlight, and returns in an ecstacy of fear.)

A hellish pit! the very same I dreamed of!

I was just in-and those damned fingers of ice

Which clutched my hair up!-ha! what's that? it moved. (Isidore stands staring at another recess in the cavern; in the meantime Ordonio enters with a torch and halloos to Isidore.) Isid. I swear that I saw something moving there! The moonshine came and went like a flash of lightningI swear I saw it move.

Ordonio. (Goes into the recess, then returns, and with great scorn.) A jutting clay-stone

Drops on the long lank weed that
And the weed nods and drips.


beneath :

Isid. (Forcing a laugh faintly.) A jest to laugh at! It was not that which scared me, good my lord.


What scared you, then?
Isid. You see that little rift?

But first permit me! (Lights his torch at Ordonio's.)
A lighted torch in the hand,

Is no unpleasant object here one's breath

Floats round the flame, and makes as many colors,
As the thin clouds that travel near the moon.

You see that crevice there?

My torch extinguished by these water-drops,
And marking that the moonlight came from thence,
I stept into it, meaning to sit there;

But scarcely had I measured twenty paces-
My body bending forward, yea, o'erbalanced
Almost beyond recoil, on the dim brink

Of a huge chasm I stept. The shadowy moonshine
Filling the void, so counterfeited substance,
That my foot hung aslant adown the edge.

Was it my own fear?

Fear too hath its instincts!

And yet such dens as these are wildly told of,
And there are beings that live, yet not for the eye.
An arm of frost above and from behind me,
Plucked up and snatched me backward.

Merciful heaven!

You smile! alas, even smiles look ghastly here!

My lord, I pray you, go yourself and view it.

Ord. It must have shot some pleasant feelings through you Isid. If every atom of a dead man's flesh

Should creep, each one with a particular life,

Yet all as cold as ever-'twas just so!
Or had it drizzled needled points of frost
Upon a feverish head made suddenly bald-

Ord. Why, Isidore,

I blush for thy cowardice. It might have startled,
I grant you, even a brave man for a moment-
But such a panic-

Isid. When a boy, my lord,

I could have sat whole hours beside that chasm,
Pushed in huge stones and heard them strike and dash
Against its horrid sides: then hung my head
Low down, and listened till the heavy fragments
Sank with faint crash in that still groaning well,
Which never thirsty pilgrim blessed, which never
A living thing came near-unless, perchance,

Some blind worm battens on the ropy
Close at its edge.

Ord. Art thou more coward now?


Isid. Call him, that fears his fellow-man, a coward!
I fear not man-but this inhuman cavern,
It were too bad a prison-house for goblins.
Besides, you'll smile my lord, but true it is,
My last night's sleep was very sorely haunted,
By what passed between us in the morning.
Oh sleep of horrors! now run down and stared at
By forms so hideous that they mock remembrance
Now seeing nothing and imagining nothing,
But only being afraid-stifled with fear!
While every goodly or familiar form

Had a strange power of breathing terror round me!
I saw you in a thousand fearful shapes;

And, I entreat your lordship to believe me,
In my last dream—

Ord. Well?

Isid. I was in the act

Of falling down that chasm, when Alhadre
Waked me she heard my heart beat.

Ord. Strange enough!

Had you been here before?

Isid. Never, my lord!

But mine eyes do not see it now more clearly,
Than in my dream I saw-that very chasm.

Ord. (Stands lost in thought.) I know not why it should be! yet it is

Isid. What is, my lord?

[blocks in formation]

To kill a man.—

Isid. Except in self-defense.

Ord. Why that's my case! and yet the soul recoils at it.— "Tis so with me, at least. But you, perhaps,

Have sterner feelings.

Isid. Something troubles you.

How shall I serve you? By the life you gave me,

By all that makes that life a value to me;

My wife, my babes, my honor, I swear to you,
Name it, and I will toil to do the thing,

If it be innocent! Rut this, my lord,

Is not a place where you could perpetrate,

No, nor propose, a wicked thing! The darkness,

When ten strides off we know 'tis cheerful moonlight,

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