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SCENE I.-The sea shore on the coast of
Don Alvar, wrapt in a boat cloak, and Zulimez (a Moresco), both as just landed.
Zul. No sound, no face of joy to welcome us! Alv. My faithful Zulimez, for one brief moment Let me forget my anguish and their crimes. If aught on earth demand an unmix'd feeling, "Tis surely this---after long years of exile, To step forth on firm land, and gazing round us, To hail at once our country, and our birth place. Hail, Spain! Granada, hail! once more I press Thy sands with filial awe, land of my fathers!
Zul. Then claim your rights in it! O, revered
Yet, yet give up your all too gentle purpose.
And let the guilty meet the doom of guilt!
Alv. Remember, Zulimez! I am his brother,
Injured indeed! O deeply injured! yet
Nobly minded Alvar!
This sure but gives his guilt a blacker dye.
Alv. The more behoves it, I should rouse with
Remorse! that I should save him from himself.
Zul. Remorse is as the heart in which it
And of a brother,
Alv. Dare I hold this, unproved? nor make one effort To save him?---Hear me, friend! I have yet to tell thee,
That this same life, which he conspired to take,
And at the imminent hazard of his own.
You have thrice told already
The years of absence and of secrecy,
To which a forced oath bound you: if in truth A suborned murderer have the power to dictate A binding oath--
My long captivity
Left me no choice: the very wish too languished
The murderous weapon, pointed at my breast,
Heavy presumption !
Alv. It weighed not with me---Hark! I will
tell thee all;
As we passed by, I bade thee mark the base
The morning of the day of my departure.
Had'st thou seen
How in each motion her most innocent soul
Beamed forth and brightened, thou thyself would'st Guilt is a thing impossible in her!
She must be innocent!
Proceed, my lord!
Alv. A portrait which she had procured by
(For even then it seems her heart foreboded
Or knew Ordonio's moody rivalry)
A portrait of herself with thrilling hand
With earnest prayers, that I would keep it sacred
To my own knowledge: nor did she desist,
Knew that which none but she could have disclosed.
Zul. A damning proof!
My own life wearied me!
And but for the imperative voice within,
With mine own hand I had thrown off the burthen. That voice, which quelled me, calmed me and I
The Belgic states: there joined the better cause;
And still the more I mused, my soul became
Some furlong hence.
Secrete the boat there.
All, all are in the sea-cave,
I bade our mariners
I will first seek to meet Ordonio's---wife!
If possible, alone too. This was her wonted walk,
And this the hour; her words, her looks
Will acquit her or convict.
Zul. Will they not know you?
Alv. With your aid, friend, I shall unfearingly Trust the disguise; and as to my complexion, My long imprisonment, the scanty food, This scar,---and toil beneath a burning sun, Have done already half the business for us. Add too my youth ;---since last we saw each other, Manhood has swoln my chest, and taught my voice A hoarser note---Besides, they think me dead; And what the mind believes impossible,
The bodily sense is slow to recognise.
Zul. 'Tis yours, sir, to command, mine to obey. Now to the cave beneath the vaulted rock, Where having shaped you to a Moorish chieftain, I'll seek our mariners; and in the dusk Transport whate'er we need to the small dell In the Alpujarras---there where Zagri lived. Alv. I know it well: it is the obscurest haunt Of all the mountains--
[both stand listening. Voices at a distance !
Let us away!