243 R2r

A Day In Turkey.

or
The Russian Slaves.

A Comedy.
Interspersed with songs.

244 R2v

This play was brought out at Covent Garden in the year 17921792. The Author’s object was to place in a state of comparison the Manners of Europe and Asia, by bringing them in contact in Turkey—where Asia intrudes its Manners on Europe. Much of the florid language of the East is introduced.—The omission of Orloff’s song and of Ibrahim’s permitted those Characters to be allotted to Performers who were never Singers.

A La Greque is the only portrait on the stage of the giddy frenchman of the French Revolution, when the term Aristocrat was the common word of disapprobation for every thing that displeased, and the national naiveté still maintained itself—amidst the dread events of the day!

245 R3r

Prologue.

But five bright moons have chased night’s shades from earth

Since the War ceased that gave our Drama birth.

’Twas whilst the Russians in ignoble chains

Were from their Country dragged to hostile plains,

In vision rapt, our Bard sweet females saw

In dread of Mahomet’s enslaving law,

And beauty’s flurried cheek in terror fade

As midst war’s horrors it was captive made.

The griefs of Russia thus themselves presented,

Our author drew them, and no fear prevented!

For scenes of grief tear not the Poet’s soul,

Who feels that all is quite within controul!

And, but to taste the sweet delight to save,

In danger places beauty and the brave,

With light scenes chequering those fraught with woe,

This pleasing anxious life’s true sketch to show.

Thus was her bold imagination fired,

Ere War had yet her deadly train retired.

She hopes the story that was then combined

Need not to drear Oblivion be consigned!

No, let it now your generous passions raise,

And to have touched them oft has been her praise!

Now once again she trusts to witness here,

Your smile of pleasure, and your pity’s tear,

For though the Time is passed, the Feelings true

She drew from Nature to convey to you.

246 R3v

Characters.

Russians.

Orloff. Officer in the Russian Army. Mr. Farren.

A La Greque. His French Servant. Fawcett.

Petrowitz. Thompson.

Peter. His Son.— Cross.

Paulina. His Daughter.— Mrs. Esten.

Alexina. Orloff’s Wife.— Mrs. Pope.

Turks.

Ibrahim. The Bassa.— Mr. Holman.

Selim. Incledon.

Mustapha. Munden.

Azim Cubit.

Ismael. Farley.

Zilia. Mrs. Mattocks.

247 R4r

A Day In Turkey.

Act the First.

Scene I. a forest in Russia, near the frontiers of Turkey. in the back ground a Turkish camp. Turkish Soldiers pass and repass, searching the Wood. They retire through it. Enter Paulina hastily at a distance.

Pau.

Whither—whither shall we fly?—Brother! Father! come!—Driven from our little Estate, we must forth into the wide World!

Enter Petrowitz and Peter.

Peter.

Come Father, lean on me, that you may get on better, or we shall be picked up by some of the turban’d freebooters. They are out on their Hunt, and always consider us Russians but as animals of Chase! Let us run.

Petrowitz.

Alas! with the load of Seventy years 248 R4v 248 upon me, how hard a task! we shall never escape them Child!

Pau.

Tenderly. Dear Father—come!—come! chear up! and let us hurry on to the next village— come—courage Father!—Peter take care of that bag, you must bear the load of it, it contains all we have in the world!

Peter.

Why, if it had not been for some of our own provident Soldiers, I had had a greater weight to carry! They were so considerate as to look into our Cabin yesterday, and left no burthen—beyond my strength!

Pau.

They took away my best fur dress, alas! And he who took it, forsooth, said it was a laudable act, to prevent its being worn by an Enemy’s wife.—So, now I must into the chilly world without it!

Peter.

Yes, it was a peculiarly friendly action, and performed in the regular stile of Gentlemen Soldiers! Their very Looks were Oaths.—The black eye-brows of one of them expressed fiercer threats than I ever heard pass between fifty Siberian boarhunters. Clashing of Swords without. There— there! d’ye hear!—our enemies are at hand—and our Friends are coming down upon us!—Come, let us run!—from Friends and Enemies, holy Michael, defend us!

Exeunt. Clashing of swords, A la Greque runs in at top.

A La Gr.

There it goes—there it goes! Nothing can save thee my gallant master! This comes of reconnoitering idly. Had you not better have been in your tent, prudently breaking fast, than here rashly breaking heads! So—there—he’s disarmed! Well —you acted without Orders—’tis all your own fault. Now, how sentimental he looks! with his arms folded, and his sword in the hands of that beetle brow’d Turk!—But allons! on recollection I shall now be not a less man than my Master!

249 R5r 249 Enter Orloff with Selim and other Turks.

Sel.

Courageous Russian thou art our’s! Could Valour save thee against Numbers, captivity would ne’er be thy lot. Your Empress, we trust, has not many such Soldiers in the neighbouring Camp. Come, droop not Sir! this is the fortune of War!

Orloff.

A Soldier can endure not only death, but even Slavery, when a sense of Duty gives Dignity to his chains! but, mine are those of Folly, for, I reconnoiter’d but idly, and without Orders; and, attended only by this fellow, have lost my Liberty without Glory!

A La Gr.

Then I have lost mine too without Glory, for I attended without command, and for punishment —ah! quelle horreur! I am now Valet de chambre to a Slave!

Turk.

Nay, let not that affect thee! The fate of War, which has lowered your Master’s pride, may elate your’s. You are now his equal—for you are Slaves alike!

A La Gr.

Are we so? Oh, then I shall feel myself quite at home!—And has he, by your rules, no further right to command or threaten? Kind Sir, tell me but that—tell me but that!

Turk.

None! none!

A La Gr.

H-r-r-mph! Puts his hat on, takes out his snuff box, takes snuff, goes to his master, and offers his box. Take a pinch Sir, take a pinch!—pray make yourself free to that extent!

Orloff.

Scoundrel!

Throws up the box with his arm.

A La Gr.

Nay, no hard names—let us be obliging, as brother-slaves ought to be. And, now I think of it, hark ye Messieurs! I suppose Slaves with you take Rank according to their Usefulness.

Turk.

Certainly.

A La Gr.

Well then, my ci devant Master there 250 R5v 250 can do no earthly thing but fight; whilst I on the contrary am expert at all points!

Sel.

Your qualifications?

A La Gr.

They are innumerable! I sing an Italian Canzonetta, or a French Air—Helas! I fear you’ll permit no air but Turkish now! No man in Paris Sir— for I have the honour to be a frenchman—no man in Paris Sir understands better than myself, the Science of the delicate lodgement of the true Marechalle in the hair. I can friz you in a Taste beyond— Oh! what you’re all Crops I see—fore-fronts, and back fronts—my Genius will be lost amongst you! Why, you look as though you had all been scalped, and had covered your heads with your pillows!

Turk.

Frenchman! our Turbans are too elevated a subject for your sport!

A La Gr.

Dear Sir, let the subject of our dispute pointing to the turban and the ground. drop—it will be a proof of national taste!

Sel.

Thy speech is licentious and empty; but in a Frank we can pardon it—that too is national taste! However if your boasted qualifications end here, it is probable you will be a slave as low in rank as your Master.

A La Gr.

Pardonnez moi! I can do things he never thought of!—You are great Story—tellers I hear in Turkey! You have heard of the basket maker amongst Savages. I do not despair of seeing my master my Servant yet—chacun son tour!—Courage Monsieur Le Comte! I’ll treat you with great condescension depend on it—and it shall be my endeavour to make you forget in all things the distance between us!

Sel.

He seems too deeply absorbed in melancholy to be roused by thy impertinence!

A La Gr.

Melancholy?—poor young man he is thinking of his Wife!

Orloff.

Hasten, hasten, to your chains and to your 251 R6r 251 dungeons! The mental bitterness of this moment cannot be encreased by corporeal suffering!

A La Gr.

Chains and Dungeons! why surely there has not been a resurrection of our dead Bastille here, eh Messieurs? Have you lantern posts and hanging Marquisses too in this country?

Orloff.

Peace!

A La Gr.

Peace! that’s a bold demand. Your Empress can’t command it at the head of a hundred thousand men, and the most sublime Grand Seignior is obliged to put on his night cap without it, though he has half a million of these pretty Gentlemen to assist him.

Orloff.

Come Sir, let us not loiter here—I would have my fate determined—my misery at its worst!

Sel.

I shall conduct you but to the palace of the Bassa Ibrahim, not many leagues within the Front— iers beyond yonder camp, which he commands. What your fate may afterwards be his Humour determines.

A La Gr.

Then I hope we shall catch him in a good one, and then, what care I whether a Turk or a Russian has the honour to be my master?—What a misfortune to be born a Comte! Had he lost no more than I have, he’d be as careless as I am.— Come—brother slave—no ceremony, no ceremony now!

Exeunt. A la Greque struts out before his Master.

Scene II.

Rocks. Paulina runs across shrieking, followed by Peter. Turks pursue and bring them back.

Turk.

Stay, stay, young ones! it is but mannerly to wait for your Father. You see he is hobbling up, with as much celerity as suits him.

252 R6v 252

Pau.

Aye, very true!—Oh, Peter, what made us run! If Nature dont speak within us to take care of our Father, what would she prompt us to take care of!

Peter.

Number one, I believe, all the world over! —verily I am afraid it is so! But, having recovered our Hearts now—I’ll soon fetch him up I warrant you.

Exit. Re-enter with Petrowitz guarded.

Petrowitz.

O my children! The wounds these flints have made in my feet, are nothing to those inflicted on my heart for you.

Pau.

Oh the miseries of war! I wonder it is ever the pleasure of the great ones to set their hearts upon it! What could be the reason why the King of the Turks and our old Empress entered into an agreement to go to war?

Turk.

To give brave soldiers an opportunity of running away with such pretty girls as you, to be sure.

Pau.

Oh, if they were now to see my Father, and brother Peter, and I, in this condition, they wouldn’t be happy until they had put an end to it!

Peter.

Dont thee show thy ignorance! Excuse her Gentlemen! Dost think the great Grandees feel and reason in the same simple natural way that we do!

Turk.

To the Father. Come honesty chear up! at the next village there is a waggon, into which you and your family shall be put; you’ll very soon be at the end of your short journey.

Petrowitz.

Ah, Paulina! thou little know’st how my heart will tremble for thee, when we shall have quitted dear Russia for the Turks domains!

Exeunt.
253 R7r 253

Scene III.

the gardens of the Bassa’s palace. Decorated with Palms, Fountains, &c. In the Eastern Stile. Enter Mustapha.

Mus.

Where is she?—where is Alexina? I dont see her here. She is generally leaning near that Fountain, looking like the Nymph of the stream hallowing it with her tears.

Azim.

Without. But I say no!—do you mark me, I say no!

Enters with Slaves.

Mus.

Why, what a bawling you make. Wherefore come ye hither—eh?

Azim.

To look for that insolent female Slave Alexina, that I may curb her a little!

Mus.

Your ill humour towards her is never to be curbed. Your malice always keeps pace with your power! Thy turbulent disposition has made thee hateful!—Dont I know how to keep an obstinate female obedient to Authority as well as you?

Azim.

Ha! ha! ha!—Thee!—The greatest commanders in the world have been foiled at it. But, let me find her, and an experiment shall be made by one more experienced than they.

Exit at the bottom of the Garden, looking for her.

Mus.

Observe the orders I gave ye. When our Master arrives let no one be over busy to speak of Alexina the Russian. If possible I would have him forget that she is in his Palace.

Slave.

We will be careful!

Exeunt Slaves. Enter Alexina from the bottom of the Garden, followed by Azim.

Alex.

Pursue me not imperious Slave! You invade 254 R7v 254 my retirement, you hunt me from the solitude which can alone mitigate my sorrows!

Azim.

Stuff!—Solitude and retirement! they were made for the birds of Night. They may delight in them, Women should seek day-light.

Alex.

Day-light gives me no joy. Through added weeks have I dragged on a torpid existence Going to a tree.—here is my sad register! On the tender rind have I marked the return of each ungreeted day.—The wounds, now but discernible, will deepen as the tree advances to maturity, and speak, in another Age, the miseries of Alexina!

Song.

Alexina.

Ye joyful hours now fled away,

How hasty was your blithesome course!

How short and fleeting was the day,

Of pure and lively joy the source!

In feathery lightsome pace ye pass’d,

And sweetly chearful hastened by,

Ah! happiness hath fled full fast!

Hath fled and left me but to sigh!

I, a poor Captive, pine each day

That slowly creeps with lagging pace,

The sun of Freedom sheds no ray,

Its bright beams here we never trace!

The clouds that swim in air’s soft ocean,

Appear to scorn my prison towers!

Ah! Zephyr’s light unfetter’d motion

But heavier slower makes my hours.

Oh! now that wild on some high mountain,

I could inhale the wandering winds,

Or playful near some desart fountain,

Could emulate the bounding hinds!

255 R8r 255

Azim.

Such a wailing about Freedom! Come, come, be gay and happy like the rest of the Slaves. You are ordered to be so!—our Master is returning from the Camp.

Alex.

Mustapha, let not that unfeeling Slave address me—thou hast humanity!

Mus.

Would I could administer to the disease of his mind—it is a terrible one! The love of talking is in him an absolute frenzy! the love of ill-humoured talk too. To silence him is impossible—but, as he is subject to my Orders, I can oblige him to retire— Away!

Azim.

What! shall an insolent Russian?—she shall repent this deeply!

Exit.

Alex.

Doth your master indeed return to-day?

Mus.

Yes, and all here are in astonishment at your tears!

Alex.

Oh Mustapha! I sink to be thy suppliant! She is of no vulgar rank who thus sues to you for shelter.

Mus.

For shelter!—I am myself a Slave!

Alex.

But thou hast power with thy master. Oh! invent some excuse—contrive some means to save me from the interview.

Mus.

I will consider. I—Music at a distance. If it must be so, conceal yourself at once—for I hear the Music that announces his approach!

Alex.

Mustapha! my very Life depends on thy success.—Preserve me!

Sings, without music.

Thus, though a Slave, thy soul’s high state

Shall prove its origin divine,

Soar far above thy wretched fate,

And o’er thy chains sublimely shine.

Exit. 256 R8v 256 Enter Zilia (hastily.)

Zilia.

Ah! Mustapha, the Bassa is arrived all triumph, and, from what he has heard of her, full of anxiety to behold Alexina. He comes in full State —where is she?

Mus.

She just now ran off on that side, and I shall run off on this. For I have not settled what to say about her, and Bassas and Tygers are the two animals least to be trifled with!

Exit. a march heard at a distance. standard bearers advance. female slaves dance down the stage. chorus singers, and female slaves, follow, strewing flowers. The Bassa then enters with Selim and Azim, and his Principal Officers.

Song.

Selim, Zilia, and Chorus.

Hark! sound the Trumpet, breathe the Flute,

And touch the soft melodious Lute,

Return of Peace we gratefully applaud!

Ne’er more may know dispute,

Our Conqueror and our Lord.

Victorious Hero! blooming Sage!

The scourge and glory of the Age!

May blithesome mirth around thy footsteps shine,

Thy every hour engage,

And bless thy valiant Line.

257 S1r 257

In vain breathe Trumpets and the Flute,

And lost the soft melodious Lute,

When thy praise, Ibrahim, they would display!

Lost in the Theme they’re mute,

As twilight sinks in Day!

Ibr.

Enough of praise for our Triumph! a sweeter awaits me. Where is the lovely Russian, who, though my Captive more than two moons, I have not yet beholden.

Azim.

We joy in our Lord’s return, that her Pride may be humbled! Intolerable is the haughtiness of her demeanour, insolent her melancholy and reserve.

Ibr.

Thou hast seen her Selim, does she justify Azim’s description?

Sel.

She is reserved Sir, reserved and melancholy —but too gentle to be insolent.

Azim.

Selim knows her not. After indulging her melancholy more than two moons—I have ordered her to be chearful and lively in vain! Canst thou believe it, mighty Bassa, the idea of how glorious is the fate of her—whose image lives in the heart of Ibrahim worthy to live in the hearts of all! bows with his hands to his forehead has not once abated her sorrow!

Ibr.

Indeed! angrily. Bid her to my presence, to answer for this insult!

Zilia.

Insult!—ha! ha! Did any one ever hear such Language! Remember, Sir, she is no Asiatic slave, but an European, born beyond the boundaries of Turkey and the region of our manners!

Ibr.

Well, Zilia, and what then?

Zilia.

She has not permitted my advances towards intimacy with her. But, the chances of a varied life have gifted me with some knowledge of the Manners of the rest of Europe.—And let me impart a Secret to you! if she should find you in love with her, and should ever condescend to listen to a sentence from Vol. II. S 258 S1v 258 you, she will deem herself intitled to treat you as she pleases, and, instead of being herself a Slave, will assume unbounded authority over you!

Ibr.

Nay she will not venture to forget that I am—

Zilia.

A Bassa! and what then? You are thinking now of your own power, when you should be sensible only of her’s! You are powerful, and she is pretty, your empire is less absolute than her’s—beware of substituting Reproach for supplications!

Ibr.

Let her be summoned instantly! No—hold! If management is necessary, I will receive her in my Hall of Audience—dazzle her with my greatness—and astonish her into love!

Zilia.

Ha! ha! ha!—ha! ha! ha!

Ibr.

Why that laugh Zilia?

Zilia.

Ha! ha! ha! at your new invention—of astonishing people into Love! If you can contrive to do that, you will be the most surprising Bassa in all Turkey!

Ibr.

How then?

Zilia.

Ha! ha! you Mussulmen are a most extraordinary people!—Grandeur and Dignity inspire Love! They may inspire your Captive with Veneration and Respect, but veneration and respect grow in an atmosphere so chilly that Love starves in it.

Ibr.

Why, this adventure promises to be interesting! I am not however sure that I yet comprehend the Cupid we exiled hence, when our arms expelled his Subjects from these realms. What are the Means by which I may contrive to gain favour in this Foreigner’s heart?

Zilia.

By humility Sir—not Grandeur!—Dominion and Love are very different things.—

Apart to the Female Slaves

—Hark ye! if I can tinge his mind with such feelings, real Love will take possession of it—he will determine on Marriage, and we shall escape from Slavery!

259 S2r 259

Ibr.

Must I then become contemptible, before I can be beloved!

Zilia.

No, but you must forget that you are a Governor. In tender matters you had better be a Shepherd!

Ibr.

Does Love then know no distinctions?

Zilia.

At least it does not admit of any. The Peasant he makes equal to the highest Monarch, or sinks the Monarch to a level with the Peasant.

Ibr.

Why, under such a System, the Men must be the Slaves, and the empire of Love be transferred to the Women!—Away with every thing so exotic! I’ll waste no time in mean conquest over female Caprice—victory over the Enemy is alone worthy my Ambition!

Zilia.

Ha! ha!—there, now you are Turkish again! —Sagacious Sir! if you would really be heroic as a Conqueror—you must begin by being romantic in Love!

Song.

Zilia.

To Beauty’s empire Heroes yield,

What Triumph half so sweet?

What are the Laurels of the Field

Till laid at Beauty’s feet!

If they approve,

And bless with love,

The toil obtains its crown.

Should they disdain,

The labour’s vain,

E’en Fame herself will frown!

Ibr.

Well, my skilful Monitress, this is extraordinary—but it is charming! Through conquest then will I gain higher Glory, and thus shall I ensure her love.

S2 260 S2v 260

Zilia.

You are still mistaken! Mere Loftiness, I tell you, never attracts it. It holds in Contempt all power but its own. You must be but a humble Suppliant before you can become a Victor there, and participate in the mutual love of such marriage as is the source of felicity abroad.

Azim.

Mutual! Sir, she is your Slave—command her affection! Such baseness may befit other countries, a Mussulman is too sensible of his Dignity!

Zilia.

Aye, there are plenty of men, in the rest of Europe, sensible enough of their Dignity, and as much inclined to command and tyrannize as the Sublime Sultan himself;—but, they are soon brought under Rule!

Azim.

Aye, throughout Europe, except with us, Women have too much sway and liberty. We shall have infidelities introduced.

Zilia.

All a Mistake Mr. Glum-face! A tender Husband has no where any thing to fear.

Ibr.

Well, the labours of war are for a time suspended! and, during the interval, I will yield me, in all humility, to the laws of this new love—it cannot then withhold its promised blessings.

Zilia.

Why, I shall be going too far if I promise that! It allows of no formal demands. To the claims even of Merit the tender creature will sometimes be a perfect Hyæna! To deserve seems too frequently alas! every where the reason why the Lover does not succeed.

Ibr.

No matter! I feel strangely inclined to take my chance of participating in the chasten’d feelings and refined love of the rest of Europe, and to forget the toils of the Field—in the pleasing difficulties of this new adventure!

Exit, with part of his Train.

Selim.

He is in delightful spirits. But how strange it is that the Russian Slave should not have presented herself to welcome her Master!

261 S3r 261

Zilia.

Stranger if she had, when nothing could excite fiercer dread in her mind than the idea of inspiring him with a Passion. I am interested for her, and for that reason, as well as from a hope of obtaining escape for myself and all who are here, I shall endeavour to make Ibrahim pursue a conduct, not usual from a mighty Mussulman to his Slave!

Exit.

Sel.

Hark ye Azim! what makes your lovely countenance look so grim—where all is so gay? Your dark face suits the day as little—as a black cloud amidst surrounding sun-beams. Change it man, change it! you will lose nothing—for you must look carefully for a worse!

Azim.

Pshaw! I change not with every shifting wind.

Sel.

Since I saw thee last, I have trod the paths of Glory, slumbered amidst the frosts of the night, and toil’d amidst the beams of burning day—but I return and find thee the same! With me all things are changed—thou art unalter’d. Thy temper, like the deep shade of the forest, is chequer’d but by the dart of the angry lightning, the serene chearfulness of Morn dwells not with thee.

Song.

Selim.

Thy breast perturbed let Mercy cheer,

And harmonize thy rugged mind,

Thy lids let reach soft Pity’s tear

The gem of sentiment refined.

Could’st thou the tender bliss once feel

The sympathising bosom knows,

As through it gentle sorrows steal,

And heave the heart with tender throes,

Thy frowning brows would not thus pry,

Thy glance no more so sternly dart,

Sweet mercy’s beams would deck your eye,

And peace spring calmly in your Heart!

262 S3v 262

Azim.

If you like me not, thwart me not! There’s room enough in Turkey for thee and for me. Let the Raven and the Vulture rest on the same tree;— but, as far as are the streams of the Ilyssus from the waters of the Bosphorus, may you and I be for ever apart!

Exeunt.
263 S4r 263

Act the Second.

Scene I. an apartment in the bassa’s palace. Ibrahim seated under a Canopy. Zilia and Officers attending.

Ibr.

You allow then Zilia that some of the Customs of the rest of Europe are not less ridiculous than our own!

Zilia.

Oh, I can assure you they have their full share of the Absurd!—Priests they have, who are but Beaus! Senators, who are but Pages of the Court! and Soldiers, who study Finery more than the art of War! Amongst their Women—they have Grand-mothers who bedeck themselves like their Grand-daughters, and Wives, who consume half their lives at their Toilettes, and yet are shocked—if accused of placing an ornament with a view to charm.

Ibr.

Mahomet be praised, from these follies we are exempt.

Zilia.

Why perhaps yes—but then, your’s lean terribly the other way! Your Men, in aping Dignity, fix their features in a maukish Gravity, and seem but Statues made to walk by mechanism! Ceremonious and uncommunicative, their want of Ideas they conceal in awful Silence. Never having known the advantages264 S4v 264 vantages of elegant society, of Women they speak but as Slave-merchants.—Their ideas of the World they catch but from the Mariners who lie at anchor in their Ports, and have no Criterion for the abilities of a man—but the number of dupes he has made!

Ibr.

Nay, nay, Mercy to poor Man! or, at least, let the loveliness of our Women find some favour with you.

Zilia.

The women’s faces are pretty, but, they are without Expression. Their Forms are regular, but their Action conveys no Sentiment, and, ungifted with Taste, they study Dress only to bedizen themselves. Whilst, excluded from rational society with men, and unrespected by them, their Minds are uninformed, and their Manners ungraceful. In short, in the follies abroad there is a play of Mind that renders them interesting; your follies here— create but listlessness and Disgust!

Exit. Enter Selim.

Sel.

Prisoners, Sir, await your leisure.

Ibr.

Why are they intruded on me? are they of Rank?

Sel.

One of them seems to be so. The other is his Servant.

Ibr.

Bring them before me.

Exit Selim, and re-enters with Orloff and A la Greque

Ibr.

Who are you?

Orloff.

A Russian.

Ibr.

The insatiate enemy then of every Turk.

Orloff.

The enemy of those who oppose the interests of my Sovereign. To chastize them, I this morning bore a sword which your servants won not from me without much effort—the noblest acquisition of the day!

265 S5r 265

Ibr.

This air of intrepidity might have suited thy condition amidst the Russian camp. Thou art now but a Captive, display then the humility that becomes thy state.

Orloff.

I demand my Liberty! a truce has been proclaimed and—

Ibr.

In the hour you err—not till after thou wert captured;—thou art therefore by the laws of arms fairly our prisoner.—Who art thou?

A La Gr.

Not a Russian, dear Sir, ’pon my honour, nor the insatiate enemy of the Gentlemen of Turkey.—I never saw a prettier dressed, prettier behaved people in my life. They all show me as much politeness and good breeding as though they were my own Countrymen!

Ibr.

Of what country art thou!

A La Gr.

Oh, Paris Sir, Paris—a Frenchman! I just travelled into Russia out of kindness, to polish the Brutes a little, and to give them french Ideas. But, finding I could not re-model their heads, I took to their heels, and would have taught them dancing; they were as incapable however of improving below as above, so I betook myself to conducting the affairs of this Gentleman. The result has been that I have been led by him to dance in your chains, in which if I can but caper myself into your favour, I shall deem my last step the best I ever took!

Ibr.

The freedom of thy speech does not displease me!

A La Gr.

Obliging Sir! I am the most humble of your Slaves! ready to bow my head to your sandals, and to lick the dust from your imperial feet!

Ibr.

Ha! ha! ha!

A La Gr.

Ah!—ça ira! ça ira!—ça ira!

Springing.

Ibr.

Go, take thy master into thy protection, and see if thou canst inspire him with thy own good humour, it will render his chains the lighter.

266 S5v 266

A La Gr.

Chains! they wont weigh a rush with me!—ils sont toujours a la mode a Paris! I shall foot it to their clink, and feel myself at home again!

Exit Orloff, A la Greque, Selim, ;c;

Ibr.

Well Azim, where is the lovely Russian?

Enter Azim.

Azim.

Mighty Lord, thy Servant dares scarcely pronounce her message! I delivered your commands, and ordered her on pain of death to appear instantly before you, she however refuses to come!—talks of her sacred honour—and I know not what!

Ibr.

Cold, unimpassion’d, not to be awed—and a sacred regard for her Honour! How swiftly she gains an interest in my Heart—unfelt there before!

Azim.

What means my Lord!

Ibr.

Accustomed but to Eastern Slaves, you are incapable of discerning the Soul that animates Alexina.

Azim.

Thanks to our Prophet, for denying Women the privilege of Souls. This is the first I have met with that makes any pretensions to one, and it seems given her only to plague every one about her!

Ibr.

I am disgusted with the abject submission of our Eastern Captives, and rejoice that I have at length found a being who will excite in me the sensations of Hope and Despair.

Azim.

Supreme Lord! Bows, his hands to his head How is it possible that thou, for whom the glorious Sun enlivens the Universe, and who should’st give laws even to prostrate Kings—can’st think of suffering thy repose to be disturbed by a woman!

Ibr.

If I am distinguished amongst men, that which best distinguishes man—refined love—ought in my breast to be more tender, more powerful, than in the breast of others.

267 S6r 267

Azim.

Mighty Bassa, she will reject your Love; some threatened Penalty must—

Ibr.

Go, go, thou talk’st of hearts, as though they were as much under discipline as Janizaries! Beware how thou endeavourest to weaken her haughty Spirit. I will abate nothing of her inflexibility, will be enamoured of her scorn, her cruelty shall be my Triumph!

Azim.

My Lord! let thy Servant submit his fears! —The laws of this mighty empire will pass away, if Soul and Mind be granted thus to Woman!

Ibr.

Am I to be opposed—retire Slave!

Enter Zilia.

Zilia.

Why dont you go? have you not leave to depart? Come, try the fresh air, Goodman Whiskers!—Pulling him out by the sleeve. Exit Azim. My Lord if you would follow my advice—

Ibr.

I’ll follow none! My Heart spurns at instruction as needless, requires no more your lessons than his!

Exit.

Zilia.

Upon my word, he’s advanced a great way in a short time! I thought to have managed him like a puppet; but presto! he leaves his instructor groveling behind! I must contrive something more than he exactly intends though!—Yes, I think that may do—Mustapha and the others—Yes, yes, with these I’ll weave a web which, whilst it fills these gloomy regions with merriment, shall preserve Alexina—and gain Liberty for us all!

Exit.
268 S6v 268

Scene II.

the garden. Enter Mustapha.

Mus.

So, my Lord Bassa, that hasty step, and that eager look proclaim thy errand!

Enter Ibrahim (hastily.)

Ibr.

Where is the Russian Slave? ’tis said she spends her hours in my garden, though I cannot see her here. Yet I fancy her presence in the fragrant breath of the Rose-trees! and her melodious voice, in the strains that the beauteous songsters pour forth from amidst the shrubs! Where is she Mustapha?

Mus.

I saw her awhile ago on the Right there somewhere, but, may be, she’s on the left by this time —there’s no guessing!

Ibr.

Azim persists still that she is all Insolence!

Mus.

(Aside. I’ll follow the lead, and destroy every wish he may have to behold her!)—Yes, yes, as to insolence, match me her fellow if you can. I believe it would be as easy to march an army to St. Petersburgh, as to subdue her petulance.

Ibr.

Every word thou utterest gives new ardor to my hopes—I already adore her in idea!

Mus.

Aside. Hey-dey! what’s all this?

Ibr.

Oh Mustapha, my imagination paints her till my heart sinks—a slave to this new love. I see the beauteous Scorner dart living lightnings from her eye, her cheek glow with chaste disdain, I weep in anguish at her feet, and implore her compassion; melted by my prayers, yet still rigid and reserved, I behold the bewitching Conflict in her soul—triumph 269 S7r 269 in the discovery—yet conceal my delight—still implore, still complain—

Mus.

What then—what then, my Lord, you are not displeased at her haughtiness?

Ibr.

Displeased! Smiling.

Mus.

Aside. So, so, so! I have been driving on, when I should have been pulling back, spurring instead of using the check rein! If my description of her Mind frighten not—I’ll try to deter him by a description of her Person!

Ibr.

Nay proceed to paint her; pencil her in all her fascinating Pride, and heighten the flames within my heart—as you deck her in the coldness that reigns in the chilly regions whence she came.

Mus.

To be sure, as to that, she’s as cold as all their snow balls—she perfectly makes one’s teeth chatter at her. But then—if truth must be spoken, there is, after all, considering her attractions, a Peculiarity about her.—Why now, my Lord, look at me!

Ibr.

What means this?

Mus.

Why, they have a joke here, that there is a considerable resemblance between this said beautiful creature and me!

Ibr.

Ridiculous!

Mus.

Particularly about the Nose!—nay, there are handsome likenesses, my Lord!

Ibr.

Thou must be mad!

Mus.

Not that I ever saw any myself—except in the shape indeed; but there the advantage is with me, for her right shoulder and her right ear are rather too near neighbours—they are always together! Then her hair, it may suit some eyes, but, according to my fancy, the colour is execrable!

Ibr.

Wert thou not a Turk, I should believe thee intoxicated with wine.—I’ll this instant seek the charmer, and judge myself how far—Going off.

270 S7v 270 Enter Selim, on the other side.

Sel.

My Lord! a Messenger from the Divan—

Ibr.

Turns and stamps. What say’st thou!

Sel.

With weighty dispatches!

Ibr.

I wish they had been too heavy for his speed! —Let him wait!

Still going.

Sel.

He is ordered to return without delay to the Sublime Porte.

Ibr.

Impossible!—Would the Sublime Porte were sunk beneath its own Lumber!

Exit.

Sel.

What is all this? what does the wind carry now!

Mus.

Whims and oddities of all sorts! The humours of Bassas it is as impossible to guess at as the weight of moonshine!

Sel.

See! Alexina is weeping in that Arbour.

Mus.

Bless her! and her cheeks through the tears look like the Carnations of the Garden—tinged with the dew of the Morn!—For a moment retire.

Exit Selim. Enter Alexina, from an Alcove.

Alex.

Mustapha, trembling and grateful I have witnessed thy kindness! But, what will it avail? The dark prospect terrifies me! the rays of Hope have departed from my mind.

Mus.

Nay, consider Hope, Lady, as a favorite Lover—never to be lost sight of.

Alex.

Thou art light!

Mus.

Even so is Hope!—as light as one of your own country Rein-deer. Never let her be detached from your sledge, and she will skim with you o’er all the frosty scenes of life!

Alex.

Oh, that I could seize her! but, how is it possible within these walls—the abode of a Tyrant 271 S8r 271 and his Slaves? Say Mustapha—canst thou—canst thou not effect my escape!

Mus.

There indeed Hope will give you the slip! for I could as easily spring into the air and pluck a feather from the flying Eagle, as help you in that. And, to tell you the truth, my Master cannot much longer be defrauded of seeing you—he seeks you now!

Alex.

Dreadful words! thou can’st little guess at the horror with which they o’erpower me!—I do swear to thee—thee to whom my Vows were made, never to forget that I am thine! I have a Poniard that is thy surety—to be used but when pure angels shall nerve my arm to the blow, and sanctify an act —where abstinence would be the truest self destruction!

Exit.

Mus.

By my Turban, I hardly know where I stand. If our women have souls, those of women of other countries must be of a different species I believe! This is the first time this sort was ever in our region!—Come hither, Selim, will you?— Enter Selim. Be so good as to call on the Janissary Heli, he has sent me notice, that he has captured some slaves and other merchandize. Tell him that I shall be there directly, to look at his Women and his Velvets, I want to purchase some lively companion to cheer this mourner.

Sel.

So then, Fate willing to plague us, we shall have another female! Of all the merchandize our traders deal in, Women give their purchasers the most trouble.—And our wise and puissant Bassa is as much out of his track in Courtship too as he would be in the moon;—why, he is as melancholy as the most moping lover on the wrong side of his Charmer’s prison house!

272 S8v 272

Duet.

Selimand Mustapha.

Nonsense! whining,

Pouting, pining,

What Joke’s in all this pother!

If one’s a Prude,

And wont be woo’d,

I’d suit me with another.

If blue eyes frown,

I’d turn to brown,

Nor lose an hour in sighing.

Should half the sex

Combine to vex,

They’d never see me a dying.

Scene III.

a wide court, with several unfinished buildings. Slaves at work at a distance. Some of them drive barrows across the Stage, and go off. Enter A la Greque in a Slave’s habit, Wheeling a Barrow.

A La Gr.

Aye, wheel away Comrades—wheel away!—hang me if I do though!—I’ll wheel no more of their rubbish! let the Bassa dig dirt himself. Oversetting his Barrow.—Why the Sun here in Turkey seems to keep himself warm! Seating him— self; on the ground The former inhabitants of these parts, I have heard, thought him a Coachman—but hang me if I dont believe he’s a Baker, with a moveable oven always hot!—I wish he’d make acquaint— 273 T1r 273 ance with a Russian wind now for half an hour, or a good strong South-easter!—Whu! how I do long for a wind! if I was in Lapland, I’d buy all the witches have bottled up for ten years to come.

Sings.

Blow, blow, blow, a gentle little breeze

Bustle bustle bustle all amongst the trees—

Enter Azim.

Azim.

How now, you lazy monkey! What seated, tuning your pipes, in the middle of the day? To work —to work, Sirrah!

A La Gr.

Why really I prefer tuning my pipes to work, good Mr Mussulman, I do indeed!

Azim.

Then you shall smart, good Mr Frenchman, you shall indeed! Shaking his Whip.

A La Gr.

Why, would you take the trouble to beat me such a day as this? the fatigue would kill you—I am not so entirely without Feeling as to suffer it! Azim gives him a cut. Ah! rising. ’tis very hard that I am to be cut up in this way!—Pray, good Sir, can you tell me what are become of my own cloaths? I dont like these! They may be the last Paris cut for aught I know—I have not been there exactly lately—but, of the two, I’d rather have the old habits back again!

Azim.

Want your cloaths back again!—they are a Perquisite of Office, Sirrah!

A La Gr.

Why you wont take them from me will you?

Azim.

Aye fiercely.—or your head, were it a perquisite of Office!

A La Gr.

Bows. Oh truly—I have all due dread and respect for Office! Pray, Sir, what may your’s in this place be?

Azim.

To keep you, and your fellow Slaves, to your duty!

A La Gr.

And pray who keeps you to your duty?

Vol. II. T 274 T1v 274

Azim.

Who? why myself, to be sure!

A La Gr.

Then I think yourself is a great selftyrant—to oblige you to perform a duty so distressing to your Politeness!

Azim.

You are an odd fish!

A La Gr.

No, I am one of a pair;—I have a twin brother, just like me.

Azim.

The man who was taken with you?

A La Gr.

No, he has not such good fortune! He’s —ha! ha! a Russian Count and was my Master!— Parbleu! I could make you laugh about him!

Azim.

Well!

A La Gr.

About two months ago, Mr Slave-driver, he married.

Azim.

Well!

A La Gr.

A pretty girl troth, and daughter of one of the great Russian Boyards—a Boyard is a sort of Lord over the Peasants—I love to elucidate!

Azim.

Well!

A La Gr.

So, gentle Sir, a few hours after the ceremony, before the sun was gone down, and before the moon had thought about getting up for the evening—Whisp! his pretty bride was gone!

Azim.

Whither?

A La Gr.

That’s the very thing he would fain get at! Ma’am and he were walking, gentle as two Doves, admiring the glories of the setting sun in the Boyard’s garden, which garden was bordered by trees, which trees were bordered by a river—out sprang from the Wood forty Turks, with forty Sabres, and forty pair of great whiskers, which so frightened the Bride, that, instead of running away, she fainted away, and staid there!

Azim.

Ha! ha! ha! then my countrymen had a Prize! Grins.

A La Gr.

Six of them hurried off with her to a Felucca, which lay in the river at the edge of the Wood, whilst all the rest employed my Master. I 275 T2r 275 suppose they would have had him too, but the Boyard with a large party of friends appearing suddenly, they thought fit to make off with what they had. Well, my Master staid all that night on the banks raving!

Azim.

Ha! ha! ha! thy Story is well—and the Nightingales, I warrant, sung responses to his complaints, and the melancholy wood-dove coo’d in sympathetic sorrow!—It must have been very pleasant!

A La Gr.

Oh, as pleasant as could be! But, it cost him a fortnight’s lying in bed. Resting his arm familiarly on Azim’s Shoulder For a hissing hot fever laid hold of him, and the Doctors, with all their rank and file of phials and bolusses kept it safe enough in his veins—

Azim.

Why, you impudent french liberty-taker— to your work! Twirling him round, with indignation.

A La Gr.

Oh, I’ve not finished yet! I want to tell you how he joined the army, to have an opportunity of learning whether she had come this way, and how, in all the skirmishes we have had, he has drawn more Turkish blood than—I; and how he was caught at last reconnoitering—

Azim.

Go! you are an idle rascal, and would rather talk an hour than work a minute. Go, or I will draw some of your french blood, to balance accounts with your Master!

A La Gr.

Sir, you are exceedingly attentive; the most gentleman-like, civil, courtly, well-behaved slave-driver that a man could well encounter—Takes up the Barrow—my service to you, Sir!

Azim lashes him off.

Azim.

The time he mentions, about two months, is about the period when our Felucca landed Alexina, and his account tallies exactly with the account of the captors.—Aye, it must be so!—Now, will it add to her misery, or diminish it, to know that her Husband is so near?—I must consider, and she shall T2 276 T2v 276 either know it or not, according to the effect which I think it will produce on her.—I know she deeply hates me, let her look to it!

Enter Orloff in a Slave’s habit.

Azim.

Come, Sir, be so good as to take this spade into your hand. Dig you must and shall; I have had the honour to bring down as lofty spirits as your’s before now.

Orloff.

Torture I may not be able to escape—but I cannot submit to labour!

Azim.

And why not? Has Nature made any Distinction between you and the rest of the Slaves? Look at yourself Sir! Your Form, your Limbs, your Habit! are they in aught different from the rest?

Orloff.

Birth and Fortune have made distinctions.

Azim.

But, Fortune has deserted you, and pray recommend the recollection of your Birth to follow her, that you may attend to business.—Here, take the spade!

Orloff.

Snatches it, and throws it from him. Dare again insult me, I’ll cast thee there, and tread on thee!

Azim.

Aside.—Now, if the Bassa had not commanded me to abstain, I would have lashed him till his broken spirit brought him to my feet for Mercy! But, if I cant bend—I’ll torture it!

—So, you think you can master me, do ye?

Orloff.

I think not of thee.

Azim.

No, I suppose—ha! ha!—your pretty Wife is in your thoughts!

Orloff.

My Wife!—Ah! art thou apprized that I had a wife? Azim smiles contemptuously. Speak to me! tell me if thou know’st where she is!—Nay, turn not from me! every expression of thy countenance becomes important!—if thou wilt not speak to 277 T3r 277 me, let me but gaze on that, and there learn my Fate.

Azim.

Well, gaze and gaze!—Read’st thou there her Story? Dost thou know whether she breathes, and where?

Orloff.

Villain!—by every star in Heaven, if she lives, she’s chaste! Pauses. Had I gold and jewels, I would lavish the treasure at thy feet, but now—in Mercy—speak! tell me if Alexina lives!

Azim.

Ha! ha! ha!—if Alexina lives!

Laughs again, walking slowly off.

Orloff.

Nay thou shalt not avoid me! I will pursue thee, kneel at thy feet, perform each menial office, so thou wilt tell me of my Alexina!

Azim.

Turning. Now!—where are the Distinctions of thy Birth! do they prevent your feeling yourself —the common son of Nature!

Orloff.

They would prevent me from acting as thou dost!—Yet, thou shalt chide long, if thou wilt at length allay my Anguish—hear me, hear me!

Follows him out.
278 T3v 278

Act the Third.

Scene I. the garden. Enter Mustapha.

Mus.

Come along I say! What do you stand there for?—This is a stubborn one, I warrant her. Though she saw me pay down the money for her, she has not the least notion that she is sold! Nay, if you wont come Madam, I’ll fetch you!

Goes out, and re-enters with Paulina new dressed.

Pau.

Law! how you haul one! I tell you I dont like to walk here—let me alone!

Trying to disengage her hand.

Mus.

Come, come, Madam, none of your airs. You must here be obedient and civil.—Come along! The Janissary of whom I bought you told me you was a good natured creature.

Pau.

Yes, but he was not so boisterous as you are —and he gave me these fine cloaths. See, all spotted with Silver! look at this beautiful Turban. He gave me all.

Mus.

Why, that was only to set off your beauty, and raise your price on sale. But, I bought you for your good humour, that you might amuse here a sweet woman, who pines until she has become, like one of those myrtle blossoms, all paleness and fragrance.

279 T4r 279

Pau.

What’s all that to me. I shall be pale too, if I am to be snubbed by you.

Mus.

Who wants to snub you? Behave yourself prettily, and you may live as merrily here as a Sparrow on a May-bush. The gentle creature, for whom I bought ye, comes from the same country as yourself I suspect, and I guessed you might divert her with your prattle.

Pau.

Ah, did you so? Why you guessed as though you was a Conjurer;—for I am the most merry creature in our whole village, and, if I could but see my Father and Brother Peter

Mus.

Well, if you behave yourself pleasantly, and merit it, I’ll buy your Father and Brother Peter too.

Pau.

Buy! buy!—Why you talk of buying us, as though we were eggs at so much per dozen.

Mus.

It is the mode here. We buy up Liberty, as a Rarity!

Pau.

I wish you had not bought those frightful fellows that I see at work yonder.

Mus.

Oh, they are now and then convenient. We want them to take off a female head that is troublesome, or to fit her neck with a Bow-string, when the whim happens to seize a great man, of amusing himself with such a pastime.

Pau.

What wicked wretches you must be then! Get from my sight do! you frighten me so I cant bear ye!

Mus.

Ah! you have a Spirit I see. Hark ye Hussy!

Seizes her arm.

Pau.

Oh dear heart, dont look so ferocious! I suspect you are a Tyger.

Mus.

Dread my claws then!—See, here is the gentle creature for whom I bought ye. Had she had thy impertinence, she might have pined in sorrow, for me.

280 T4v 280 Enter Alexina.

Alex.

Nay, it is impossible!—And yet it is fact; —art thou not Paulina, the daughter of my Father’s Vassal Petrowitz?—Alas! thou art.—Unhappy Girl!

Pau.

Goodness! goodness! if it is not Lady Alexina!

Alex.

Thou canst not be ignorant that I was torn from my Husband, and dragged to Slavery!

Pau.

I did not know that you was in this part of the World. But, I am monstrous glad to see you in it—I have always been in luck!

Mus.

Yes, that Compliment was a Proof of it! However I find I have been in tolerable luck in my purchase. Try if you can amuse her child, I shall enlarge your party immediately!

Exit.

Pau.

Though he is so pert, yet for all him I will say, that I would not but have seen you here for the best gown I have. Not even for this—so fine!

Alex.

Ah Paulina! I fear it will lead to dishonour —that thou wilt sink to misery!

Pau.

It is misery enough, to be brought into such an odd out of the way country as this! I have been here but an hour—and it seems an hundred! In one place a parcel of copper-coloured creatures without tongues pop out, glaring with their saucer eyes; and, if you want to talk, and be a little sociable—I believe they learnt their alphabet from the sheep— ba! ba! ba! is all you can get! Then in another corner—

Alex.

Discontinue this strain. Speak to me of Orloff, and of my Parents! Did they bear up in the hour in which I was dragged from them?

Pau.

Truly as bad as you could wish! At last, it was said that my Lord the Count went into the army. And there he played about him valiantly! I warrant he has paid the Turks for robbing him of you—in coin they wont like!

281 T5r 281 Enter Mustapha and Zilia.

Mus.

Here, I have brought ye Zilia. She is a girl of Enterprize, and has hatched a fancy, which her powers of contrivance will bring to perfection.

Alex.

Alas! in what can she serve me? Can she restore me to my Country, to my Husband!

Mus.

Doubt her not, she has as many Plots as Dimples, so I leave you together. Pushes Paulina. Stand on the other side!

Pau.

I hope you and I shall be always on contrary sides Mr. Cross-patch!

Mus.

So hope I, Miss Nimble-tongue, or I should soon be beside myself!

Exit.

Alex.

Are there then means, Zilia, of contriving my escape! Oh, hasten to gratify the hope he has raised.

Zilia.

Ah! you know not the dangers you would incur.—Escape! a hundred lurking spies continually surround these walls, they have received their Orders —and here they only know to listen and to obey.

Alex.

Can I tremble at Danger—when Honour is threatened!—’twere impious to doubt of Safety.

Zilia.

Safety I hope to procure for you—but not through the medium of Danger! I was ignorant, Lady, of your marriage, until you, this instant, mentioned your Husband. This must cause some variation in my scheme.—Let me see!—I must give Ibrahim another object for the Passion (most extraordinary in these regions) with which I mean to inspire him. Hark ye, my dear, To Paulina. I must learn whether you know how to rule a Lover. Was you ever taught at home?

Pau.

I never had but one. He was a Soldier; but as I neither liked to follow the Camp, nor to live a Widow bewitched, I made him beat his march!

Zilia.

A regiment on its march, and your heart 282 T5v 282 not shiver to pieces amidst a thousand Alexanders and Cæsars!—However I shall teach you so to manage your next Lover, that he shall quit his standards and follow you!—To Alexina. Has the Bassa seen you yet?

Alex.

He sent Azim to command me to his presence.—I will first rush into the regions of Death.

Zilia.

Ha! ha!—Such a resolution in this country! —the notion is exotic—it is an ice-plant of the North!

Alex.

With Scorn. Are you the Friend who was to soothe my Sorrows!—But, what could I expect from the contented inhabitant of such a place as this?

Zilia.

Not so contented as you imagine, Lady. For, though I have taken a deep Interest in your welfare, I am prompted also to my Scheme by a hope—that it may procure escape also for myself and all my fellow captives.

Alex.

Ah! hast thou a Heart capable of cherishing such a Hope? Recollecting thy Birth, I should have been less severe.

Zilia.

Be grateful, Lady, that your’s was under a better System! and remember, in mercy, that it is difficult not to be the mere creature of the institutions of our Country. Mine was Georgia, and sold as a Slave from thence, I am at least less guilty here than a contented inhabitant from the rest of Europe would be.

Alex.

All allowance made for the force of Custom, in those who are ignorant of better, still you have elsewhere witnessed a happier System.

Zilia.

True I have, where the qualities of a Woman’s mind render her the object of Affection, where she is beloved as the participator in all the Interests of her husband’s life, and is respected whilst she is beloved.

Alex.

Connubial love, Zilia, is the affection of a heart—all Virtue. Its foundation is nobleness of mind; and, opening to a woman a more extended 283 T6r 283 field for exercising all the charities of her nature, instead of degrading her in her society with man, it gifts her with loftiest Dignity, and throws a Grace around all her actions in life.

Zilia.

Hence my determination to change all here.—I ought to have known what you would feel at my Levity; in gratitude for your reproof, I will but the more sedulously contrive escape for us all— to my joy no less than your’s!

Song.

Zilia.

To spring from sleep with jocund day,

To hasten o’er the dewy plain,

To lead the dance, to mix in play,

Or list, betrothed, my suitor swain,

To watch at noon my fleecy lambs

Within a shady grove’s recess,

To deck with Flowers their sportive dams,

Or my white crook with garlands dress,

This was my envied chearful lot,

For which I would all else resign;

Fate grant again my rural cot!

Be peace and merry freedom mine!

Alex.

Zilia! relieve my Suspense! impart the means of my escape.

Zilia.

If my scheme succeed by the aid of this young creature, the Bassa shall never see you, or at least not until he has become attached elsewhere, with a fidelity that will exclude every other object. But, Madam, we must at present confer in private. I intreat you to retire with me.—Ah! To Paulina who is following not so quick! Stay here until I return.—Stir not I charge you!

Exit with Alexina.

Pau.

Stay here, indeed! There is pretty good care taken that one shan’t run away! The walls are as high as their Mosques, and such piercing eyes 284 T6v 284 prowling about, that a mouse could not run from one shrub to another without observation.—How they all stare at me! So! here’s another of them, he looks rather better than the rest, but I wont speak to him.

Enter Ibrahim, followed by Slaves. He turns and speaks to them with impatience.

Ibr.

No more, no more of Business! Let not a thought of Duty here intrude itself—I have already sacrificed too much to it! They retire.—And now for converse with Alexina!—She must be here— I have found her—I have found her!

Pau.

Heigho! what shall I do with myself? I’ll gather Flowers for Lady Alexina.

Gathers.

Ibr.

My heart is already enslaved—she has a thousand charms! How dared Mustapha impute deformity to a figure—Symmetry itself! The hair he decried should form the Bow-strings of the God of Love they describe to me.

Pau.

I guessed as much! another of the Bowstringers!—Hang this sharp thorn, it has made my finger bleed!

Ibr.

Advancing. Hail bright daughter of the Northern World!—Thou art born to make Hearts bleed! Thy beauty sprang where the sun gives but chilly beams, but thy charms are more glowing than those where he darts his fiercest rays!

Pau.

Looks at him, then tosses her head scornfully away—Nonsense!

Ibr.

How exact were they in their description of her scorn!—Will you not speak to me?

Pau.

I wonder at some people!

Ibr.

What dost thou say? That mouth is too lovely to be closed so soon!

Pau.

Talking to her flowers. You are very pretty, and you are very sweet, but you are not complete 285 T7r 285 yet—Good Mr. What-d’ye-call reach me that flower that grows so high.

Ibr.

How new! and how bewitching is this! Presents the flower—Shall I arrange them for you?— Distinguished amongst Women, let me crown thee with the Myrtle of Love!

Pau.

Get along do!

Ibr.

Teach me not to displease you.

Pau.

Get out of my way then!

Ibr.

How she talks!—Do you know me?

Pau.

Not I!—I wish I was out of this Prison, I know that.

Ibr.

You are unacquainted with my Rank! Your haughtiness I was prepared to bow to, but I know not how to meet your Contempt.

Pau.

Dont begin to redden at me! I mind you no more than I do this sallow leaf. There see! I blow it, and away it flies! Go after it with your fine speeches about this and that, there lies your Way!

Song.

Paulina.

You think to talk of this and that,

And keep me here in silly chat,

But I know, I know better.

There clearly lies, kind Sir, your way!

Pursue it then I humbly pray,

And me you’ll make your debtor.

Why, bless my stars, ’tis very odd

That here upon this verdant sod

I cannot stay alone.

But, now you know so clear my mind,

Mayhap you’ll leave me here behind,

I prithee, Sir, begone!

Goes to a distance.

Ibr.

Charming Songstress! you bid me go, whilst 286 T7v 286 I am rivetted by eyes, wild and full of fire as those of the Antelope—when first in the Morn he darts his glance across the plain!

Pau.

If my eyes keep you here, I’ll shut them. There—how do you like me now?

Ibr.

In vain you close them, unless you could likewise hide that rosy mouth, those teeth, those features—that Form!—I could love you though you were blind.

Pau.

What! a hard-hearted Turk, who cuts heads off, love!

Ibr.

Pshaw! I love to distraction! could exist for ever around you, as the humming-bird lives on the vapour of the Rose!

Pau.

Aside. Now what can he mean by all this? I believe a Boyard could not talk finer!

—Aye, all of ye talk in a very flaming way in this part of the world—but I dont understand you! All I know is, that I dont love you, and I wont marry you. Do you understand that!

Song.

Ibrahim.

Charming Nymph! Oh, learn your Duty,

Vain is Wit, and vain is Beauty,

If, insensible to Love,

Sighs nor tears your heart can move!

Behold the Bird on yonder spray,

Sweet sonnets chaunting through the day,

Her mate sports round on playful wings,

Whilst she with joy more sweetly sings.

When blithe Beauty’s flown away,

Auburn tresses changed to grey,

Then in cold neglect you’ll mourn,

Vainly sigh for Youth’s return!

Pau.

I dont like your advice at all! There is more wisdom in an old song in my country, Russia.

287 T8r 287

Song.

Paulina.

Let Girl of Wit and Charms possess’d,

By all admired, by all caress’d,

Who needs, with fascinating eyes,

But mark her victim, and he dies!

Dominion keep while ’tis her own,

Her hand bestowed, the Suitor’s flown,

The inchantment’s broke! the Lamb will rouze,

A surly Bear she’ll find her spouse!

Withdraws to the back of the Stage.

Ibr.

The Enchantress! how well she knows the power of Love—I dare not pursue her! Oh no, she shall have a million of unreasonable wishes, that I may have the pleasure of humouring them!

Exit.

Pau.

Coming down. So! he’s gone— Enter Alexina, Mustapha, and Zilia. ah! see what sweet Flowers I have gathered for you! Why did you stay so long!

Alex.

Oh, my sweet girl, I owe every thing to you!

Pau.

What, all this for the Flowers!

Alex.

No, for Hope—for sweet returning Hope! —Paulina, the powerful Bassa is thy Slave—he truly loves you! I have witnessed your interview, and greet that fortune which has done for me in an instant, what, by a train of contrivances, we meant to have procured.

Mus.

Ah! but you little rogues, ’tis I that have done it, ’tis I that have brought about all this. Though in this, as in some other great actions, more is owing to chance than skill.

Pau.

Why, what makes you so full of your brags?

288 T8v 288

Zilia.

Why are you not sensible of your happiness in subduing the Heart of one of the greatest personages in the Empire?

Pau.

What—he is not then one of those cruel men who bow-string us?—How could I treat the Gentleman so? I’ll run after him, and make it up!

Running off.

Alex.

Following, and holding her. Stay! or you undo me! my fate is in your hands!

Mus.

Hark ye, my pretty maid! our Bassa happens to have an odd fancy—he doesn’t like too much honey.

Zilia.

Do you wish to retain his Heart? hearken to me—plague it! you’ll lose him, you fool, if you are tender! remember this for ever.

Pau.

Why, that’s just the way in my country too; as our Ladies grow fond, their Lovers grow careless; for all the world like the little wooden man and woman in the weather box—when one pops into the house, pop the other walks out.

Mus.

Keep the lesson you have heard in your mind, and you may be a very great Lady. Take care not to begin your pops too soon!

Zilia.

Come, my good girl, you shall go with me, and I will give you the prettiest lesson you ever learnt. In half an hour, you shall be able to play on a husband’s mind, as though it were a musical instrument—every note shall be obedient to your wish.

Alex.

Be attentive to her lessons, my dear Paulina; my Felicity depends on your Success. Preserve your own innocence, and be the guardian of mine.

Pau.

Preserve my own innocence! Aye, to be sure I will! for my Father has read to me, out of a good book, that a woman who has lost her innocence, has lost her Charms, and, like a faded rose that has fallen, the foot of every passenger will tread on 289 U1r 289 her!—My dear Lady, why, your eyes look as bright again as they did!

Alex.

Hope hath awaken’d his Lustre in them! My Heart is full—the brightest visions glide before me!

Zilia.

Come hither away, Paulina, to School!

Exeunt, all but Mustapha. Enter Selim.

Sel.

Why, Mustapha, the Russian Slave passed me with a look all pleasure! whence can it spring?

Mus.

From a hope of getting rid of a Lover, because the Bassa has fallen in love with Contempt! My Turban to a Jew’s tobacco box, we shall have strange revolutions here!

Sel.

What a Whim!—grow fond of Mind! and of mind in an ill-humour too! Who ever heard of it here as an object of Love at all!

Mus.

Well, every country hath its fancy!—the doctrine however is certainly not orthodox amongst Mussulmen!

Duet.

Mustapha. Selim.

Give us a female soft and kind

Whose joy ’twould be to love us,

The beauties of her precious Mind,

Attract not, they’re above us!

But dimpled cheeks, and sparkling eyes,

Are here deemed Wit and sound sense,

And better worth a Lover’s sighs

Than stores of mental nonsense!

Here but a beauteous rose-leaf lip

Speaks Reason and bright Science,

Mind Soul and Love in Fellowship!

Impossible Alliance!

Vol. II. U 290 U1v 291 U2r 291

Act the Fourth.

Scene I. a quadrangle. On one side a lofty Garden Wall. A la Greque trying to peep through. From behind are heard bursts of Laughter.

A La Gr.

I hope the workmen are bowstringed that built this Wall! Not a chink or cranny can I find, through which to catch the thousandth part of a Sun-beam. Laughs within. There again! Enter a Turk who crosses. Hark ye, Mr. Gravity! is there no getting a peep into these pretty gardens?

Turk.

No!

A La Gr.

What, are they never to be seen?

Turk.

No!

A La Gr.

If a body was to venture its neck over the wall to look at them—do you think it would be safe?

Turk.

No!

A La Gr.

Do you believe the Bassa would forgive such an innocent piece of Curiosity?

Turk.

No!

A La Gr.

Why, Master Mahomet, you manage your stock of words discreetly! Are you afraid they U2 292 U2v 292 wont last till winter if you let them fly off in couples?

Turk.

No!

A La Gr.

Well done, Steady!

Aside.

I’ll see if I cant coax him though!

—Come, friend, I’ll give you a Song on the word you are so fond of.

Song.

Mustapha.

A sapient Gemman once I saw,

The neighbours said he studied law.

When, full of grief,

In hand a Brief,

A poor man came,

Kind Sir, he cried,

Plead on my side!

The Lawyer careless answered—No!

One of the preachers would you ask,

To do a charitable task,

For Tom and Sue,

A Couple true

Who’d fain be tied,

With eye elate,

And strut of State,

The surly preacher answers—No!

Should labouring honest low-fed Dick,

Through constant starving very sick,

To Doctor send,

By some kind friend,

To beg Advice,

He strait will see

No hope of Fee,

And, two to one, he answers—No!

293 U3r 293

To a young beauty should you kneel,

And talk of all the pangs you feel,

With eye askance,

She’ll steal a glance,

And blushing sigh;

But Marriage press,

And urge to bless,

She’ll whisper forth a trembling—No!

A Politician ask to vote,

Who lists of Places knows by rote.

Though the State’s good

He understood

You had in view,

Yet should he find,

No Place designed,

His bow polite, you know, means—No!

Turk.

I like your Song.

A La Gr.

And I like your praise!

Turk.

To reward you I’ll show you a place where, by the help of good climbing, I sometimes get a squint over the wall—though if it were known, my next squint would be in t’other world.

A La Gr.

Come along then!

Exeunt.
294 U3v 294

Scene II.

the garden. Enter Zilia and Female Slaves, calling to their companions Who enter from opposite sides all the way up the Garden. During the Song others enter, dancing to the Music.

Chorus.

Come away! come away!

Companions so gay!

Come away! Come away!

Let no idler stay!

Song.

This is Freedom’s precious hour,

Welcome airy sportive Mirth!

We’ll enjoy thee whilst we’ve power,

Give to all thy whimsies birth!

Let our Masters burst with spite,

We’ll ne’er heed their shrugs or frowns,

Vary every blithe delight,

Whilst brisk joy our freedom crowns.

This is Freedom’s precious hour,

Welcome airy sportive Mirth!

We’ll enjoy thee whilst we’ve power,

Give to all thy whimsies birth!

295 U4r 295

Chorus.

Come away! come away!

Companions so gay!

Come away! come away!

Let no idler stay!

First Slave.

Thank our stars, we have again escaped from restraint, and, for one hour, our actions and our minds are free.

All going off.

A La Gr.

Appearing over the wall. Ha! ha! ha! You little merry rogues, you’re there are you? Give ye mirth and phantasy, whu! you’re in an extacy!

(The Women all run off shrieking, except Zilia.

Zilia.

Presuming Slave! do you know the consequence of your temerity in mounting so loftily?

A La Gr.

Yes, that you deem it the higher compliment!

Zilia.

Pshaw! your Vanity has raised you quite as much as the wall—escape! escape!

Exit.

A La Gr.

You little saucy jade, come back under the wall and blow me a kiss—You wont! Why get along then, you ill-humoured Baggage—ah! what you look back do you? you’d better turn!—This is a fine place for the Gypsies hang me if it is not.— Ah! here comes another— Enter Paulina. hark ye pretty maid—come this way.

Pau.

Gracious! where can that voice come from? I see nobody!

Running about.

A La Gr.

I say, you little rogue, if—why can this be? If my eyes are my own eyes, and if her eyes are her’s, it is Paulina, the daughter of old Petrowitz!

Pau.

Clapping her hands. Why that impudent 296 U4v 296 head was once on the shoulders of A La Greque! who ever thought to see it on the top of a Turkish wall?—What, have they bought you too?

A La Gr.

Oh no, I was taken fighting, after disarming a dozen Turks, and killing one of their Bassas. The cowardly rogues have shut me up here, for fear I should do them further mischief. I believe they thought I had a design on the Crown!

Pau.

Pshaw! nonsense.

A La Gr.

What, did you not hear that the Grand Turk offered a reward for my Head?

Pau.

Your head!—why what could he do with it?

A La Gr.

As I had no inclination to learn, I took to my heels to carry it off.

Pau.

Why then—how came it there! Pointing.

A La Gr.

Oh, that was because a whole army set upon me and my Master, Count Orloff, and at last took us.

Pau.

Mercy! is your Master Count Orloff here?

A La Gr.

Is he? aye, lock’d up within these Gates.

Pau.

If ever I heard the like! Why his Lady Alexina, who was stolen from him, is lock’d up here too!

A La Gr.

She here too! Why this place is like the sick Lion’s den, where all the beasts of the Forest assembled together!

Voices.

Without. Help! help! here’s somebody talking to one of the female slaves!

A La Gr.

I’ll prove you Liar in your teeth!

Goes down. Enter several Slaves.

First Slave.

Where is the stranger to whom you were talking? I heard his voice.—Let us drag her before the Bassa!—Go you and search the Gardens.

Second Slave.

Apart. We must take care what we do here! This is the new Slave whom we were 297 U5r 297 commanded to respect.—As long as she is in favour, her word will go further than our’s.

First.

I understand you!—Turning. I thought I heard a voice, but sounds deceive, or it might be a Bullfinch perhaps. We beg pardon for the mistake Lady!

Exeunt Slaves.

Pau.

Ha! ha! ha!—But, how oddly things turn out. Little does Lady Alexina think her Husband is so near.—Hist! A la Greque! A la Greque! Pshaw! he’s gone down now. Well I’ll run to bless her with the News, and to take another lesson for my behaviour to the Bassa. I shall be able then to behave as proudly as though my Father were a Noble of the Land!—Let me see, how was it I was to be a fine Lady?—First, I must disguise all the feelings of my Heart! but, how can I do so, without telling Fibs? Well but, as a fine lady, I find I mustn’t mind that! Secondly; when he kneels, I must turn from him, or hum a tune thus—hums.—Did you speak to me Sir? and, if he attempts a salute, I must complain of his insolence, and walk away thus!

Walks away scornfully.

Scene III.

the buildings. Enter Azim, with Ismael and Slaves.

Azim.

We must stand by each other Brothers! As the case stands, Alexina is wonderfully in favour; it seems as though the Bassa’s passion encreases in proportion as he hears of her perverseness! She will, no doubt, be revenged on us all, for the severities she endured previous to our Lord’s arrival. The Bassa has just now threatened vengeance to all who displeased her!

298 U5v 298

Ismael.

Will not Imprisonment displease her then?

Azim.

’Tis likely it may, but there is no danger in that to us; for we can, if necessary, connive at her escape. And, if we allow her to leave the Palace, she, whose mind is so discordant with all that passes here, will readily pardon the Prison!

Ism.

Well, well, let her be locked up, as you say, and then we may persuade him that she has escaped. We can dig down part of an old wall, and drop a Ladder, and who can doubt that that’s proof of it?

Azim.

Yes, and that old tower will be a proper place to confine her in; for drily. I dont entirely approve of poisoning her, and then, if need be, she can hereafter be produced.

Ism.

Why, aye we need not destroy her at present. It may you know be done, if it should happen to seem necessary, hereafter. Where shall we seize her?

Azim.

She is generally in the Garden, and alone. —We must watch for a moment when Mustapha is absent.

Slave.

Somebody comes!

Azim.

Disperse several ways! Those who have a Plot in hand should never be seen together—a flight of crows proclaims prey!

Exeunt severally. Enter Orloff and A la Greque.

Orloff.

Pursue me not, contemptible wretch! My sorrows are too sacred to be interrupted by resentment at thy folly.—Most torturous fate! to know that my Alexina lives, and not to know where.—My chains grow heavy indeed!

A La Gr.

I rather think, Sir, I can make them jingle lighter!

Orloff.

Begone, I say!

A La Gr.

Aye, people often drive good fortune 299 U6r 299 from them! I shall only say, as I was saying before, that this place has a Garden, and that that garden has a Wall!

Orloff.

My beloved Bride! could I but cheer thee by my voice, could I but lessen thy anguish by speaking to thee of my own!

A La Gr.

Well—a wall!—What is a Wall to me?

Orloff.

Could I each morning, as I greet its rays, but behold thee, I could bear to live even in this wretched state, and should creep each night to my straw pallet with less despondency, having first received from thy sweet eyes farewell!

A La Gr.

To be sure the Wall is a high wall, and a strong wall; but, it is but a Wall!

Orloff.

If thou darest mention the wall again—

A La Gr.

Well, I won’t then; but, was I to tell you what that Wall contains, I really believe you would forgive all my sauciness for ten years to come!

Orloff.

Ah! there lurks some meaning—What wouldst thou say?

A La Gr.

Aye, such a meaning!

Orloff.

Oh, trifle not!

A La Gr.

Why then, in two words, I have climbed the Garden Wall, and who do you think I saw in the Garden—Who do you think?

Orloff.

Speak! grasping his hand. Speak!—life depends upon thy words!

A La Gr.

Then, my Lord, there, as sure as you lost your Bride on the day of Marriage, there I saw the fair—Paulina daughter of old Petrowitz!

Orloff.

Torture!

A La Gr.

Aside. C’est bien drole! too much for him? how would he then have borne it had I seen his Wife!)—Goes to him. My Lord! my Lord! Why he’s as pale as Death—I dare not tell him now that Alexina is within a hundred yards of him—the extasy of that would compleat the business!

Orloff.

Bitter, bitter disappointment! it has rived 300 U6v 300 my Heart!—Wretch! to raise my hopes with artful cruelty, and then—but why do I talk to thee!

Exit.

A La Gr.

Why, if he would but have had Patience, and let me talk a little longer, I was just going to tell him that his Wife—but hang Patience! it is a humble Virtue, and not fit, it seems, for a Gentleman. Before I next see him, I’ll scale the wall again—for news for him about his Wife!

Scene IV.

a prison. Voices are heard without, Alexina shrieks.

Azim.

Entering. Stop her mouth, and drag her in!

Alexina dragged in, her hair dishevelled.

Alex.

Monsters—desist!—Drag me not from day, and from my husband!

Azim.

This is your habitation, Madam, make the best of it.

Alex.

At whose command is it my habitation? What is my Crime?—You act without the knowledge of your Lord, and, if you do, doubt not his Vengeance! he cannot authorize such Cruelty!

Azim.

Come, come, Madam, a few weeks spent here will quiet you a little. Your sorrows wont be half so violent a fortnight hence—let that comfort you!

Alex.

A Fortnight! Oh, it is an Eternity! Death is nothing to this!—Dragged, at such a moment, from Light and Health and Hope!—Running about wildly My husband is in the Palace!

Azim.

Then let him get you out, if he can!

Alex.

Hear me! kneeling. Tell him only that his 301 U7r 301 Alexina is here, that I may but hear his steps as he walks around my prison!

Azim.

Aye, you’re mighty humble now; you know what insolence I have borne from you.

Alex.

Oh, forgive me! Here, take this ring. Rising It is rich, but not half so rich as shall be thy reward, if thou wilt be my friend—if thou wilt pity me!

Azim.

Well! I am so far softened that I permit thee to use the apartment next this! It has more air and light—I’ll unlock it—its last Inhabitant had it fourteen years. There! you shall each added day have your allowance of food. Whether you are ever released or not depends on yourself. Be patient! that only can serve you.

Alex.

Patient! Oh, it shall be my Prayer! though still—I fear my brain will be disturbed!

Azim.

Well, you’ll find no other disturbance here! Come Madam Forces her in, and shuts the door. There, she’s safe, and that makes us safe!—Now, let us go and fix the rope-ladder, to be able to swear, if necessary, that she has escaped!—Comrades! they talk of countries where what we have done might be punished by the Sufferer!—but, we fear no punishment from any quarter but our Masters—and them we deceive!

Exeunt, laughing.
302 U7v 302

Act the Fifth.

Scene I. a spacious apartment. Enter Paulina, running from the top.

Pau.

Looking back. He follows me still.—Ah! Zilia little thinks of the difficulty I have, to behave to him as though I hated him. How hard it is when one sees a great gentleman, who I am sure will marry me, ready to die at one’s feet—and to be forced to be snappish!—He is coming here! which way shall I run next?

Looking about. Enter Ibrahim.

Ibr.

Oh fly me not—yet fly! Even the distance you throw me at, heightens your charms, and, whilst it tortures, bewitches me!

Pau.

Aside. I do like to hear him talk!

Ibr.

You smile! Ah, know you the value of such smiles? each merits a Throne.

Pau.

I suppose you hope, by all this, to make me forget I am a Captive!

Ibr.

It is I who am your Captive!

Pau.

I tell you once again, I can never be happy here. All is dismal, not a window to the Street! Nothing to look at but trees, and fountains, and great whiskers, and black slaves.

Ibr.

Could I but have the transport to interest 303 U8r 303 your Heart—this hated place would seem transformed to an Enchanted Palace!

Pau.

But, I tell you I never will suffer my Heart to be interested!

Aside.

It is very hard that I must belie my Conscience so—it makes my Heart jump every time!

Ibr.

Who knows what persevering constant Love may do? You may at length—rapture! confess an enchanting Pity for me.

Pau.

Aside..—I could confess it now perhaps, if I might speak out!

Ibr.

Charming creature—say only that I am not hateful to you!

Pau.

Aside..—It would be the truest word I ever spoke!

—But I will say that you are hateful to me —never speak to me about Love again!—In that room yonder they are singing and playing; but, dont you come I charge you—I will not let you come —or if you do, not a word—Looking back. No, not one word about Love!

Exit.

Ibr.

If there be Language in Looks, her words are false; ’tis but by her lip, not her eye, that love is forbidden!—Charming sex! who can make refusal bliss, and give delight even in denying! Going— Noise behind Ah! what Noise is that?

Puts his hand to his Scymetar.

Orloff.

Without. Base Slaves, in vain you oppose me! were your master surrounded by all his ministers of Vengeance, I would force my way.

Orloff bursts in. Ismael and Slaves endeavouring to withhold him. After them Selim enters.

Ibr.

Your way! Did not I pay some regard to your fame as a Soldier, by Mahomet your life’s swift stream should pay me for this insult!

304 U8v 304

Orloff.

Talk not of Life! Restore to me my Bride! restore—but canst thou? can’st thou restore to me the spotless angel, whom Heaven’s most sacred ordinance made mine?

Ibr.

Wretches! allow a Madman to assail me thus!

Orloff.

Thy Life, base Turk! shall be assailed. No Madman, but an injured Husband stands before thee!—Restore her! give her back to me, pure as the light of that morn on which I led her from the Altar.

Ibr.

Slaves speak! declare who it is he means—or dread my vengeance!

Aside.

—Fear thrills my blood —it must be her!

Sel.

Sir! it is the lovely Russian that he claims!

Ibr.

Ah! and doth he dare to this extent!—away with him to the torturous death he merits!

Slaves seize him.

Pau.

Rushing in, and catching hold of Orloff. Astonishment! Horror! stop base wretches!—Ibrahim! I cannot speak—have you a Heart!

Ibr.

Aside.—Ah! she is then his Wife!) Speak Russian! art thou the Husband of the beauteous Slave I love?

Orloff.

Love!—may I yet avenge me that thou hast given utterance to the word!

Ibr.

And art thou—but my Heart feels ’tis true! —Let both be forced from my presence!—They lead out Paulina I distrust my power of self restraint! Tear him away, lest I stain my honour with the blood of her husband whom I adore.

Orloff.

Stir I will not—give full sway to your vengeance—it would be Mercy now!

Ibr.

Amidst the agonies in which I see thee, thou art still my Envy!—She is thy wife—she surely loves thee! By what tortures would I not purchase your felicity! Bear him off I command—hurt him not— but force him hence!

Orloff.

Unhand me Slaves!

They drag him off.

Ibr.

And now, O Ibrahim, what remains for thee 305 X1r 305 —within whose eager reach the utmost happiness, a moment since, seemed placed!

Ism.

Mighty Lord! is not the beauteous slave within your power?

Ibr.

No! removed from it for ever—for her Heart is unattainable.

Sel.

Is it your pleasure Sir that we remove her altogether, and discard her with her Husband?

Ibr.

Never!—Virtue, in exacting that, thy commands are too rigorous!—I will go this instant, and at her feet—I dare not—if I see her I am lost! If I see her, with a dread of losing her, barriers human and divine would fall before me!

Hastens off.

Ism.

Run from the woman he loves!

Sel.

His generous spirit refrains from the exercise of tyrannic power.

Song.

Selim.

Love, disdaining to controul,

Nobly great, and pure as flame,

Captive holds th’ obedient soul,

Shudders at assumptive claim!

Modest Beauty care beguiles,

What delight can Power impart?

Comes joy of extorted smiles?

Void of Friendship in the Heart!

Ism.

Aye, these are all strange foreign feelings, that will pass away, or the Bassa must change his nature!

Sel.

Oh! though his passions are headstrong as the winds of the north that stir the Forest, yet will Reflection, in its holy ministry, their boisterous sway allay.

Exeunt. Vol. II. X 306 X1v 306 Enter Zilia and Female Slaves.

Zilia.

Ah! this room is luckily empty! Bring in the Bassa’s Seat. We’ll set it up here, to see how it looks before it goes to the pavilion. Come, make haste! They bring in a long narrow seat. Set it just here. Now on with its beautiful covering. They put it on, it reaches to the Ground. Now bring the Canopy. They bring in a decorated Canopy, fixed on a small Pilaster, and place it behind the Seat. Fix it just here. There, that will do. Walks round it Mercy! what’s that noise?—Why, here comes that impudent Slave that was hanging over the wall!

Female Slaves run in, followed by A la Greque.

A La Gr.

Fie! fie! pretty creatures, never spoil sweet features, with such spiteful angry looks! Grant me one salute, to save my life, for I am famished.

Zilia.

It would cost thee thy life, should it be known.

A La Gr.

Known!—Going to a distance Madam! Do you think I am a man to betray Secrets? I am only come here to learn one.

Zilia.

Why, you are quite at your ease!

A La Gr.

Why yes. And in order that I may be thoroughly so, I’ll sit down and be comfortable on this pretty seat.

Zilia.

You must not sit there! it is a little Throne made on purpose for the Bassa.

They endeavour to prevent him.

A La Gr.

Haughtily Oh then, it is just the Seat for a Frenchman to seize! Besides, I am here upon an important enquiry, and the Seat of State becomes it! Pray, have you one Alexina here, in her way from Russia? I came to enquire for a Friend of mine. —You lively little rogue Laying hold of Zilia’s hand 307 X2r 307 come here and sit down by me, you shall be my Bassa-ess, and tell me all about her.

Zilia.

Stranger! this is no place for Jesting! Fly swifter than light—unless you like Death!

A La Gr.

Like him! Not I.—Death is an Aristocrat! and I am bound as a frenchman to hate him.

Azim.

Without Search every where! He must be hereabout—I saw him descend. Come on this way!

Zilia.

There! Now, carelessness or discretion will be equally ineffectual—you are on the threshold of destruction!

Slaves.

We too are lost!

A La Gr.

Not unless I am found!—A dozen women without a scheme to save one man! Throws himself upon his knees, turning to one, then to another Save me! save me!

Zilia.

What use is there in kneeling?—yet there is use!—Lower! lower still! rest on your hands.— Reach the seat—quick! quick!

They put the Seat, and its covering, upon him, and place the Canopy behind him.

Azim.

Without Come this way I say!—here he must have passed. Enters with others Fly all of ye —hide yourselves. The new french Slave is somewhere here. Frenchmen there is no being guarded against—at other’s cost they make themselves free every where. You, Ismael and Hafez, go and search the inner apartments, I’ll wait here with the rest, to intercept him should he escape you.

Exeunt Ismael and Hafez.

Zilia.

Oh, we’ll take care he shall remain snug where he is!—You had better follow the rest.

Pushing him.

Azim.

I chuse to watch here.—This hurry and exertion is somewhat too much for a Turk! so I’ll sit down.

Zilia.

Pardon me, we have made this seat for the X2 308 X2v 308 Bassa alone! It is not your turn to be throned yet Master Azim.

Places herself before the Seat

Azim.

I say I’ll sit there Madam—so away! I have been walking since sun-rise.

Zilia.

Then walk till it sets. Motion is healthful!

Azim.

Away from the seat! I say I will have a sit down.

Zilia.

And you shall have one, if I can procure it for you, some day or other, and such a one as you shall never forget!—but, this seat none shall have but the Bassa.

Azim.

Patience is worn out!—I’ll convince you in a moment—

Goes to Zilia, and seizes her hand to pull her away

Ism.

Without We have found him!—we have found him!—A door is fastened on the inside—he must be there!

Azim.

Follow! follow!—Now, we’ll show a Frenchman what Liberty is in Turkey!

Exeunt all but the female slaves.

A La Gr.

Getting up with the Seat upon him That fellow is certainly Cerberus turned Turk!

They disengage him.—Voices without.

Zilia.

They return! Waste not an instant—Begone!

A La Gr.

Well, farewell to all of ye! and may all some day or other, have the luck to escape from hence like me!

Exit.

Zilia.

Let us run and appease Azim. You hear he is loud! his vengeance, losing another object, may fall on us—Haste! haste!

Exeunt.
309 X3r 309

Scene II.

the garden. moonlight. Enter Ibrahim, at a distance, thoughtfully. Followed by Selim.

Sel.

My Lord, dare I offer consolation!

Ibr.

I can receive none!—I have resolved she shall never know an Insult. I may—hereafter—perhaps restore her to her Husband.

Sel.

That will be a moment of Triumph to yourself! Affliction is a Blessing, when it produces Magnanimity.

Ibr.

When I can do that, Virtue thou may’st boast a Victory indeed! When I can resolve no more to view the sweet radiance of her eyes, to behold no more the unartificial Graces that adorn her, when I shall search these groves in vain for that dear Form, and listen and hear her voice no more—then Virtue thou may’st indeed boast a Triumph! A Pause Leave me! night and Solitude best harmonize with my mind.

Exeunt, different sides. Orloff appears at the top of the Wall And calls to A la Greque behind.

Orloff.

Quick, prithee! mount and give me the Rope. Thou art as slow, as if this moment were not the most precious of my life!

A La Gr.

Appearing Consider, I have but just had one escape, my Lord, and another escape may escape me. Here’s the Rope for you, however, if you will be so venturesome. You’ll find it long enough—I wish you may never be at the end of it.

310 X3v 310

Orloff.

Takes the Rope, and is let down Environ’d with Dangers as I am! this moment is the first that, for succeeding months, has given me one gleam of comfort.

A La Gr.

Well, my Lord, I leave you to enjoy it all, I’m off! The very Moon over my head seems to say—Sweet Monsieur A La Greque, your Master is under my influence, so take care of yourself!

Withdraws.

Orloff.

Ye walks, which the feet of my Alexina have so often passed, ye trees whose pendent boughs have given to her beauties your softening shade, ye Fountains, whose murmurs may have lulled her sorrows to repose, my full Soul greets ye! Soft vocal and instrumental music, at a distance. Ah! surely her voice floated on the passing breeze! —It cannot be. No; though charged with many a sweet note, it bore not her’s! Thou pale Moon, dart more seducive rays, and tempt my Angel from her retirement!—Ah! again the Music! near that spot then may she be found—whose Soul is Harmony. Music still heard for a short time Perchance, whilst music floats the air each way around, my voice, unnoted by any ear but that of Love, may draw her thence.

Song.

Orloff.

Cupid spread thy rapid wings!

Haste from Cytherean groves,

Where the beauteous Psyche sings,

Guarded by a band of Loves.

Throw around a spicey cloud,

Shade me from Suspicion’s eyes!

Lead me through the watchful crowd,

Or thy guiltless Votary dies!

Exit up the Garden. 311 X4r 311 Enter Paulina, opposite side. Music continues a few bars.

Pau.

Where, where can the Bassa conceal himself? I am tired of seeking him. Can he be offended that he flies me thus! Alas! I feel that I could not bear to pain him!— Enter Mustapha. Ah! Mustapha! hast thou seen the Bassa?

Mus.

Not I. I have been taken up in watching the motions of Azim, who, I am sure, has some contrivance in hand, though I cannot divine what.— Where is the gentle Alexina?

Pau.

I dont know—I have not seen her for a very long time!

Mus.

Nor I—I’ll seek her out.—Should the Bassa have seen her, I would not give an old Turban for our scheme for you!—But, what’s the matter? You look as dismal as a Widow at the funeral of her second husband!

Pau.

I cant find the Bassa—I have been looking for him till my eyes are dizzy. He actually flies me now, he does indeed!

Mus.

Aye, aye, you would be smirking, though I put ye on your Guard! You have learnt now, child, that fondness is cloying. Dash sweet sauce with acid, or it palls on the palate.

Pau.

So I did then. I was as cross as I could be. —To be sure I must say, that at leaving him, I told him—I told him he might follow; if he did not talk about Love though!

Mus.

Aye, now ’tis out! You gave leave to follow—and, of course, he runs away! Angrily312 X4v 312 This is the way you should treat him—Keep your distance Sir—how can you be so confident!—I hate you—I do indeed!—This you see would be graceful and captivating!

Pau.

That captivating?—ha! ha!

Mus.

I tell ye, Women are all Fools! If the sweet rogues knew what they lose when they cease to blush, and resign timidity for a confident air, we should soon see all their affectations resigned for one—better affected than not seen at all—an air of modesty.

Exit.

Pau.

For all he thinks he knows so much, the next time I’ll follow my own way, I am determined!

Mus.

Appearing at the side Remember the hint I gave you. If our Master should see your Countrywoman, all your hopes will be wisked off in a hurricane! You may as well attempt to catch a husband with bird-lime, as to catch him after that; so—prevent it!—prevent it!

Exit.

Pau.

How can I prevent it? Alack-a-day! what he fears has happened. As sure as harvest is yellow Lady Alexina must certainly have seen the Bassa— and he’ll now be her Adorer as he calls it. May be he’s at her feet sighing as he was to day at mine—I cannot bear it! the sight would break my heart!— Mercy, he is here! he is here!

Enter Ibrahim musing; seeing Paulina starts.

Ibr.

Oh Paulina, hide thee! hide thee! At sight of thee every resolution fails,—the pure flame of Virtue scarcely can exist! Gazing on her Cruel Stranger—why did’st thou not at first tell me thou wert, in right and heart, another’s! Why suffer mine to nurture torturous love, in ignorance that thine could beat only for another!

313 X5r 313

Pau.

What other?—Sings. Without Music.

Oh! ne’er till now this breast Love knew,

’Tis you alone e’er stole my heart,

It now can beat alone for you!

’Tis only now it feels Love’s dart.

Ibr.

Oh thou Enchantress!—Thou Wife of envied Orloff—thou hast my Soul in thraldom!

Pau.

Wife of Orloff!—wherefore call me thus!— Oh, spare me if I speak too plain—make me but your wife, my heart—my whole heart—will be your’s! You have awakened its first tender thought, will retain it to the last!

Ibr.

Art thou not his Wife!—whence then the anxiety which this day made thee save him?

Pau.

I heard thee but pronounce his dreadful Fate! And, let me tell you—that thou didst forget the Turk in thee and spare him (though you used me roughly) has ever since, in my eyes, given your features a more interesting air—bestowed on your eyes a more becoming expression!

Ibr.

Nay then, farewell to every dread!—Love! reign through every faculty and thought—for now for ever I am thine!

Clasps her.

Orloff.

Rushing in Adulterous Villain!

Presents a Dagger to Ibrahim’s breast. Paulina shrieks and runs off.

Ibr.

Ah! wrests the Dagger my life attacked!— Slaves! They hurry in on all sides twice to day! Seize him! Death now must expiate thy double crime!—

Aside

—Whence this?—he claims her still!

Orloff.

Dost think to degrade me to a state of terror? Death I welcome—welcome it midst tortures!

Ibr.

Russian! thou know’st me not! whilst left to myself, I could command myself! my ardent passions I could curb—and suppress the love that honour could not sanction!—But thou shalt know, 314 X5v 314 when thus opposed, I own no law but Will—Drag him away!

Exit.

Orloff.

Tyrant! I know my Fate! But, the bitterness of Death is past. To live after having seen my wife thus in thy arms is Madness—Death is refuge to me now!

Exeunt.

Scene III.

the prison. Dark Enter Alexina from a distance.

Alex.

This must be the darkest hour of Night. The dim light my solitary window afforded has long passed away, and gloom and silence every where prevail. Footstep nor sound, nor voice of Love or Friendship, reach me! Can I be her whose gloomy prospect, not a short hour since, felicity and freedom began to cheer!—the reverse is dreadful!

Voices without.

—This way! make safe the outer Gate!

Alex.

Slaves with lights! They come perhaps to end this wretched being! Ah!—that Nature shrinks from! and though each prospect of Life causes but dread, I fly from Death—by impulse irresistible!

Goes off in the distance. Orloff guarded in by Slaves.

1st Slave.

There Sir, here you must stay, till our Master pronounces the sort of Death you are to endure. We have great Variety here! The Bow-string 315 X6r 315 is the easiest you can hope for.—Apart to his Comrade—Wasn’t she who withdrew, the Russian Slave Alexina, concerning whom Mustapha has been so anxious in his enquiries?—how is this!

2d Slave.

’Tis strange she should be here, without his knowledge!—we’ll to him!

1st Slave.

We’ll leave you a lamp, Sir, to show the Apartment, and enliven your last hour!

Exeunt Slaves.

Orloff.

May that hour of bitterness be short! Here on the flinty earth I’ll pass it, and resign to Despair the fleeting moments that remain!

Throws himself on the ground. Enter Alexina, fearfully.

Alex.

What new Wretch hath Tyranny sent hither! Advancing, and viewing him. By every hope and dread it is my Husband!— —Orloff! seizing his hand my Orloff!— He starts up, throws her off, and hurries to the other side. Dost thou distrust thy Senses! It is Alexina, thy wretched—thy happy Alexina!

Orloff.

Abandoned Woman! Dost thou e’en follow to insult my last moments?—Or art thou even the messenger to administer the draught of Death!

Alex.

My Orloff! what mean you!

Advancing towards him.

Orloff.

Nay, rather than be enfolded in thy adulterous embrace I’ll—Draws a Dagger—my thoughts are desperate! Avoid me if thou wouldst live!

Alex.

Ah!—affliction hath confused his mind!— He throws away the Dagger. To threaten Death is needless! Be witness for me Celestial Spirits! that I’ll not an instant survive a 316 X6v 316 Husband’s hate!—All other miseries I have borne— this subdues me! Snatches up the dagger Thou accusest me of crimes I shudder at!—Orloff!—an Adultress would not dare this blow!

He springs forward, and seizes her arm.

Orloff.

Die!—yes, it should be so!—but, let Fate first reach me.—It lingers not, its Ministers are at hand!—Oh! had I not seen thee in his arms, ne’er had belief—

Alex.

My Orloff!—a beam of radiance once more breaks in upon me! The Bassa I have never seen! Nay, look not thus incredulous—this Dungeon proves it! I am here a Prisoner no less than you!

Orloff.

Fate! spare me yet a moment!—Scarcely dare I give way to the o’erpowering thought!—It must be thus!—it was not thee whom I beheld! it was another—Alexina is pure!

Alex.

As pure as at that sacred hour, when at the Altar you received my vows!

Orloff.

Clasping her Then, thou art dearer in these Prison walls, dearer in this thy faded beauty, than when, in full blaze of charms, you overpower’d my Senses beneath the haughty dome where first I woo’d thee.

Alex.

Boundless is the power of virtuous Love! Thus seeing thee—thus once again pressed to thy bosom—I am prepared for Death.

Orloff.

Its ministers now enter! they must mean that we should die together.—The arm that guided thee to the Altar, must support thee to this aweful scene! After a few painful moments we shall be united in eternal bands!

Mustapha.

Without Make fast the outer gate, and bring him along!

317 X7r 317 Enter Mustapha and Slaves, with Azim in chains, Followed by Zilia, and Attendants bearing Torches.

Mus.

I thought we should nick you at last! the net you fraudently spread for another, has now caught thee!

Zilia.

I promised you a set down, Azim, and now you have it!—Joy, joy to Alexina!

Mus.

To Alexina—and her Lord!

Orloff.

Ah! what means this!—to a hope of Bliss I dare not yield me yet!

Zilia.

Fear not to greet it! our master hath heard from Paulina your touching story, and sends us to conduct you to his presence.

Mus.

You must make haste, Madam, for we want room for Azim your persecutor!

Alex.

Farewell—farewell—ye dreary walls! We fly to light, to liberty—

Orloff.

—And love!

Exit, leading Alexina, followed by part of the Slaves.

Mus.

To Azim. You look a little strange—pray make free Sir; you are, you know, in a place of your own choice!

Zilia.

Hold up your head, man! and look round your new apartments! Examine the furniture—it is in your own taste! View the spacious windows—are you not charmed with your Prospect?—Monster! to this dreary abode thou didst consign Innocence and Virtue!

Azim.

Oh, that these galling chains were off! I to be thus imprisoned!

Mus.

Come, come—A few weeks spent here will quiet you a little!—I have heard every thing from your accomplices.—Your sorrows wont be 318 X7v 318 half so violent a fortnight hence as they are now! —let that comfort ye!

Azim.

I shall find none, but in nursing my hate for thee!

Mus.

For this ring Snatches Alexina’s ring from Azim’s finger I am so softened that I will permit thee to use the apartment next this—I’ll unlock it —its new tenant stands a chance to have it Fourteen years!—Nay, it is in vain to struggle, force him in!

Exit. Slaves force Azim in, the door is locked.

Zilia.

Compleatly trapp’d at last! Runs up to the door Good night, pretty Azim! He rattles his chains. Good night! I’ll give ye such a friendly call as this once a month or so during your Term. In the mean time, dream of Ease and Liberty!

Exeunt. Azim rattling his chains.

Scene IV.

an apartment. Enter Ibrahim at top, leading Paulina.

Ibr.

Beauteous Paulina! what wonderful events are these! It is no crime to love thee! I was struggling against a passion which it was determined should be a blessing to me!

Alex.

Without Hasten, my Orloff, let us hasten to his presence— Enter Orloff, Alexina, and A la Greque. Generous Ibrahim, I no longer tremble to appear before thee. In the presence of my Husband, I dare ask thy mercy!

Ibr.

Is it Mercy you ask?—how poor the word! I give you instant Liberty—and, in that, grant your 319 X8r 319 every Hope—for ye love! Valiant Russian, I embrace thee! The poniard you aim’d at my breast might have pierced a Heart, which, amidst the turbulence of war, and the blandishments of Peace, has yet preserved its own Respect—and offers you its Friendship!

Orloff.

Which I accept with the frankness and fervour that becomes a Soldier and a Husband.

Ibr.

To Alexina To such Charms I could not have been insensible, had I view’d them before Paulina had engrossed my Heart, and exalted me into the purer Lover of the realms around.—To-morrow you shall be escorted to your Camp. My Paulina’s Family too shall be discovered, and restored to their country with the means of future happiness. Whilst, to give that Dignity to love, without which it sinks into a degrading passion, I will restore the female captives to Liberty, and by solemn rites make this charmer mine.

Orloff.

Such a moment, Sir, is the Seal of Heaven on the purified Heart! Love has taught you to revere Marriage, and marriage will secure to you, in a unison of sentiment and mind, the pure felicity of which you have so long felt a want!

A La Gr.

What ups and downs there are in this world! My Lord, to Orloff I am once again your most duteous Servant! Fellow Slaves we shall be no more—so here ends the Tyranny of Equality!

Ibr.

Pronounce, Madam, the Fate of the profligate slave whose villainy had nearly brought about events so disastrous.—Shall he cease to exist?

Alex.

In this hour of felicity—let nothing cease to exist but Misfortune! Be the benevolent Mustapha rewarded, and Azim’s office and means of oppression being at an end, let Mercy be extended even to him.

Ibr.

Charming Magnanimity! which, flowing from the benevolent doctrines you are taught, shall make their unselfish principles my Study, whilst I, having 320 X8v 320 gratefully learnt that to reign in the heart of one virtuous woman is alone the felicity of love, enjoy every happiness with my Paulina.

Pau.

It is most grateful to my heart to see you thus happy! It shall be the study of my life to cause you continually to rejoice in the noble sentiments of this hour!

Ibr.

Orloff and Alexina! in your happiness too I participate—from the delightful sense of having been its cause! May the dangers risked but heighten the pleasure felt at escape, and none regret the time devoted to—A Day in Turkey.

321 Y1r

Epilogue.

Spoken by Alexina.

Escaped from Turkey, and from Prison free,

Yet still a Slave you shall behold in me,

A free-born english slave to mental pleasure,

Your plaudits seeking as her richest treasure!

Whilst you thus feast with cheering praise my ear

Still for the Author I endure some fear!

Perhaps you’ll say—Two Marriages for Love!

Thus foolish female pens for ever rove;

But give us, Madam, give us English life,

For who, in foreign realms, would seek a wife!

Critic! a short time since I would allow

Your comment just, but not, Sir Surly, now!

For now we know a Prince can cross the Seas

A Wife t’obtain a Nation’s heart to please.

Tell the rapt Orator, whose magic pen,

So lately scrutinized The Rights of Men,

Who fear’d that Honour, Courage, Love, were lost,

And Europe’s glories in a whirlwind tost,

The Age of Chivalry again returns!

And Love, in all its ancient splendor burns.

Heroic Enterprize doth still survive,

And Loyalty to Sex remain alive;

The unbought Grace of Life again we find,

And Proud Submission fill the public mind,

To her now borne to Britain’s happy coast,

’Tis fondly hoped to be a Nation’s boast!

Vol. II. Y 322 Y1v 322

Just lighted on this orb The Duchess of York had then but just reached the english shores. It will be recognized that Burke’s celebrated description of The Queen of France is quoted to compliment the arriving Stranger. the Vision shines,

Scarce seems to touch and all around refines,

May she hereafter through this chosen Isle

Be greeted ever with applauding smile.

When Like the Morning Star at wondrous height

She soars at length beyond this world and night,

Still may your blessings to her name be given

Whilst gently fading to her native Heaven!