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PIZARRO; OR THE SPANIARDS IN PERU. A TRAGEDY IN FIVE ACTS.

TRANSLATED FROM THE GERMAN OF KOTZEBUE.

NEW-YORK: PRINTED FOR CHARLES SMITH, AND STEPHEN STEPHENS. 1800.

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DRAMATIS PERSONAE.

  • ATALIBA, King of Quito.
Commanders of his arms
  • ROLLA,
  • ALONZO,
  • CORA, Alonzo's Wife.
  • PIZARRO, Leader of the Spaniards.
  • ELVIRA, Pizarro's Mistress.
Pizarro's Associates.
  • ALMAGRO,
  • GONZALO,
  • DAVILLA,
  • GOMEZ,
  • VALVERDE, Pizarro's Secretary.
  • LAS CASAS a Spanish Ecclesiastic.
  • An old blind Man.
  • OROZEMBO, an old Cacique.
  • A Boy.
  • A Centinel.
  • Attendant.
  • Peruvian Officer.
  • Soldiers.
[Page 01]

PIZARRO.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

A magnificent Pavilioa near PIZARRO'S Tent—a View of the Spanish Camp in the back Ground—ELVIRA is discovered sleeping under a canopy on one side of the Pavilion—VALVERDE enters, gazes on ELVIRA, kneels and attempts to kiss her hand; ELVIRA, awak­ened, rises and looks at him with indignation.
Elvira.

AUDACIOUS! Whence is thy privilege to interrupt the few moments of repose my harrassed mind can snatch amid the tumults of this noisy camp? Shall I inform your master of this presumptuous treachery? Shall I disclose thee to Pizarro? Hey!

Val.

I am his servant, it is true—trusted by him—and I know him well; and therefore 'tis I ask, by what magic could Pizarro gain your heart, by what fatality still holds he your affection?

Elv.

Hold! thou trusty SECRETARY!

Val.

Ignobly born! In mind and manners rude, f [...]ro­cious and unpolished, though cool and crafty if occasion need—in youth audacious—ill his first manhood—a li­cenced pirate—treating men as brutes; the world as booty; yet now the Spanish hero he is styled—the first of Spanish conquerors! and for a warrior so accomplish­ed 'tis fit Elvira should leave her noble family, her fame, her home, to share the dangers, humours and the crimes of such a lover as Pizarro!

Elv.

What! Valverde moralizing▪ But grant I am in error, what is my incentive?—Passion, infatuation, call it as you will; but what attaches thee to this despised, un­worthy leader?—Base lucre is thy object, mean fraud thy means. Could you gain me, you only hope to win a higher interest in Pizarro—I know you.

Val.
[Page 02]

On my soul you wrong me; what else my faults, I have none towards you: but indulge the scorn and levity of your nature; do it while yet the time permits; the gloomy hour, I fear, too soon approaches.

Elv.

Valverde a prophet too!

Val.

Hear me Elvira—Shame from his late defeat, and burning wishes for revenge, again have brought Pizarro to Peru: But trust me, he overrates his strength, nor measures well the foe. Encamped in a strange country, where terror cannot force, nor corruption buy a single friend, what have we to hope? The army murmuring at increasing hardships, while Pizarro decorates with gaudy spoil the gay pavilion of his luxury! each day diminishes our force.

Elv.

But you are not the heirs of those that fall?

Vol.

Are gain and plunder then our only purpose? Is this Elvira's heroism?

Elv.

No, so save me Heaven! I abhor the motive, means and end of your pursuits; but I will trust none of you:—in your whole army there is not one of you that has a heart, or speaks ingeniously—aged Las-Casas, and he alone excepted.

Val.

He! an enthusiast in the opposite and worst extreme!

Elv.

Oh! had I earlier known that virtuous man, how different might my lot leave been.

Val.

I will grant, Pizarro could not then so easily have duped you; forgive me, but at that event I still must wonder.

Elv.

Hear me, Valverde.—When first my virgin fancy waked to love, Pizarro was my country's idol. Self­taught, self-raised, and self-supported, he became a hero; and I was formed to be won by glory and renown. 'Tis known that when he left Panama in a slight vessel, his force was not an hundred men. Arrived in the island of Gallo with his sword he drew a line upon the sands, and said, "Pass those who fear to die or conquer with their leader." Thirteen alone remained, and at the head of these the warrior stood his ground. Even at the mo­ment when my ears first caught this tale, my heart ex­claimed, "Pizarro is its lord!" What since I have [Page 03] perceived, or thought, or felt! you must have more worth to win the knowledge of.

Val.

I press no further; still assured that while Alonzo de Molina, our General's former friend and pupil, leads the enemy, Pizarro never more will be a conqueror. (Trumpets without.)

Elv.

Silence I hear him coming; look not perplexed.—How mystery and fraud confound the countenance! Quick put on an honest face if thou canst.

Pizarro.

(Speaking without.) Chain and secure him; I will examine him myself.

PIZARRO Enters. VALVERDE bows—ELVIRA laughs.
Piz.

Why dost thou smile, Elvira.

Elv.

To laugh or weep without a reason, is one of the [...]ew privileges we women have.

Piz.

Elvira, I will know the cause, I am resolved.

Elv.

I am glad of that, because I love resolution, and I am resolved not to tell you. Now my resolution, I take it, is the better of the two, because it depends upon my­self, and yours does not.

Piz.

Psha! trifler!

Val.

Elvira was laughing at my apprehensions that—

Piz.

Apprehensions!

Val.

Yes,—that Alonzo's skill and genius should so have disciplined and informed the enemy, as to—

Piz.

Alonzo! the traitor! How [...] once loved that man! His noble mother entrusted him, boy, to my protection. At my table did he feast—in my sent did he repose. I had marked his early genius and the valorous spirit that grew with it. Often I [...]ad talked to him of our first adventures—what storms we struggled with—what perils we surmounted. When landed with a slender host upon an unknown land—then, when I told him how [...] and fatigue, discord and toil, day by day, did thin ou [...] ranks; amid close-pressing enemies, how still undaunted I endured and dared—maintained my purpose and my power, in despite of growing mutiny or bold revolt, till with my faithful few remaining I became at last victo­rious! [Page 04] —When I say of these thing I spoke, the youth, Alonzo, with tears of wonder and delight, would throw him on my neck, and swear his soul's ambition owned no other leader.

Val.

What could subdue attachment so begun?

Piz.

Las-Casas—he it was, with fascinating craft and canting precep [...]s of humanity, raised in Alonzo's mind a new enthusiasm, which forced him, as the stripling termed it, to forego his country's claims for those of human nature.

Val.

Yes, the traitor left you, joined the Peruvians, and became they enemy and Spain's

Piz.

But first with weariless remonstrance he sued to win me from my purpose, and untwine the sword from my determined grasp. Much he spoke of right, of jus­tice, of humanity, calling the Peruvians our innocent and unoffending brethren.

Val.

They!—Obdurate heathens!—They our bre­thren!

Piz.

But when he found that the soft folly of the pleading tears he dropt upon my bosom fell on marble, he flew and joined the foe: then, profiting by the les­sons he had gain'd in wrong'd Pizarro's School, the youth so disciplined and led his new allies, that soon he forc'd me—Ha! I burn with shame and fury while I own it! in base retreat and soul discumfiture to quit the shore.

Val.

But the hour of revenge is come.

Piz.

It is; I am returned—my force is strengthened, and the audacious Boy shall soon know that Pizarro lives, and has—a grateful recollection of the thanks he owes him.

Val.

'Tis doubted whether still Alonzo lives.

Piz.

'Tis certain he does; one of his armour-bearers is just made prisoner: twelve thousand are his force, as he reports, led by Alonzo and Peruvian Rolla. This day they make a solemn sacrifice on their ungodly altars. We must profit by their security, and attack them unpre­pared—the sacrificers shall become the victims.

Elv.

(Aside) Wretched innocents! And their own blood shall be dew their altars!

Piz.

Right! (Trumpets without.) Elvira, retire!

Elv.
[Page 05]

Why should I retire?

Piz.

Because men are to meet here, and on manly business.

Elv.

O, men! men! ungrateful and perverse! O, woman! still affectionate though wrong'd! The beings to whose eyes you turn for animation, hope and rapture, through the days of mirth and revelry; and on whose bosoms in the hour of sore calamity you seek for rest and consolation; THEM, when pompous follies of your mean ambition are the question, you treat as playthings or as slaves!—I shall not retire.

Piz.

Remain then—and, if thou canst, be silent.

Elv.

They only babble who practice not reflection. I shall think—and thought is silence.

Piz.

Ha! there's somewhat in her manner lately—(PIZARRO looks sternly and suspiciously towards EL­VIRA, who meets him with a commanding and unal­tered eye.)

Enter LAS-CASAS, ALMAGRO, GONZALO, DAVILLA, Officers and SoldiersTrumpets without.
Las-C.

Pizzaro we attend your summons.

Piz.

Welcome, venerable father—my friends, most welcome. Friends and fellow-soldiers, at length the hour is arrived, which to Pizarro's hopes presents the full reward of our undaunted enterprize and long-enduring toils. Confident in security, this day the foe devotes to solemn sacrifice if with bold surprize we strike on their solemnity—trust to your leader's word—we shall not fail.

Alm.

Too long inactive have we been mouldering on the coast—our stores exhausted, and our soldiers mur­muring—Battle! Battle!—then death to the arm'd, and chains to the defenceless.

Dav.

Death to the whole Peruvian race!

Las-C.

Merciful Heaven!

Alm.

Yes, General, the attack, and instantly! Then shall Alonzo, basking at his ease, soon cease to scoff our suffering and scorn our force.

Las-C.

Alonzo!—scorn and presumption are not in his nature.

Alm.
[Page 06]

'Tis fit Las-Casas should defend his pupil.

Piz.

Speak not of the traitor—or hear his name but as the bloody summons of assault and vengeance. It ap­pears we are agreed?

Alm. and Dav.

We are.

Gon.

All!—Battle! Battle!

Las-C.

Is then the dreadful measure of your cruelty not yetcompleat?—Battle?—gracious heaven! Against whom?—Against a king in whose mild bosom your at­trocious injuries even yet have not excited hate! but who, insulted or victorious, still sues for peace. Against a people who never wronged the living being their cre­ater formed; a people, who, children of innocence! received you as cherish'd guests with eager hospitality and confiding kindness. Generously and freely did they share with you their comforts, their treasures, and their homes: you repaid them by fraud, oppression, and dis­honor. These eyes have witnessed all I speak—as gods you were received; as fiends have you acted.

Piz.

Las-Casas!

Las-C.

Pizarro, hear me!—Hear me, chieftains!—And thou, all powerful! whose thunder can shiver into sand the adamantine rock—whose lightnings can pierce to the core of the rived and quaking earth—Oh! let thy power give effect to thy servant's words, as thy spirit gives courage to his will! do not I implore you, chief­tains—countrymen—do not, I implore you, renew the foul barbarities which your insatiate avarice has inflicted on this wretched, unoffending race!—But hush, my sighs—fall not, drops of useless sorrw!—heart-breaking anguish choak not my utterance—All I entreat is, send me once more to those you call your enemies—Oh! let me be the messenger of penitence from you, I shall return with blessings and with peace from them—Elvira you weep!—Alas! and does this dreadful crisis move no heart but thine?

Alm.

Because there are no women here but she and thou.

Piz.

Close this idle war of words: time flies, and our opportunity will be lost. Chieftains, are ye for in­stant battle?

All.

We are.

Las-C.
[Page 07]

Oh, men of blood—(Kneels.) God! thou hast anointed me thy servant—not to curse, but to [...] my countrymen: yet now my blessing on their force were blasphemy against thy goodness.—(Rises.) No! I curse your purpose, homicides! I curse the bond of blood by which you are united. May fell division, infamy, and rout, defeat your projects and rebuke your hopes: on you and on your children, be the peril of the innocent blood which shall be shed this day! I leave you, and forever! No longer shall these aged eyes be seared by the horrors they have witnessed. In caves, in forests, will I hide myself; with tygers and with savage beasts will I commune: and when at length we meet again before the blest tribunal of that deity, whose mild doctrines and whose mercies ye have this day re­nounced, then shall YOU feel the agony and grief of soul which tear the bosom of your accusers now!

(Going.
Elv.

Las-Casas! Oh! take me with thee, Las-Casas.

Las-C.

Stay! lost, abused lady! I alone am useless here. Perhaps thy loveliness may persuade to pity, where reason and religion plead in vain. Oh! save thy innocent fellow-creatures if thou canst: then shall thy frailty be redeemed, and thou wilt share the mercy thou bestowest.

(Exit.
Piz.

How, Elvira! wouldst thou leave me?

Elv.

I am [...]ewildered, grown terrified!—Your inhumanity—and that good Las-Casas—oh! he appeared to me just now something more than heavenly: and you! ye all looked worse than earthly.

Piz.

Compassion sometimes becomes a beauty.

Elv.

Humanity always becomes a conqueror.

Alm.

Well! heaven be praised, we are rid of the old moralist.

Gon.

I hope he'll join his preaching pupil. Alonzo.

Piz.

Now to prepare our muster and our march [...] At mid-day is the hour of the sacrifice. Consulting with our guides, the rout of your divisions shall be given to each commander. If we surprize, we conquer; and if we conquer, the gates of Quito will be open to us.

Alm.

And Pizarro then be monarch of Peru.

Piz.

Not so fast—ambition for a time must take coun­sel from discretion. Ataliba still must hold the shadow [Page 08] of a sceptre in his hand—Pizarro still appear dependant upon Spain: while the pledge of future peace, his daughter's hand, secures the proud succession to the crown I seek.

Alm.

This is best. In Pizarro's plans observe, the statesman's wisdom guides the warrior's valor.

Val.

(Aside to Elvira.) You mark, Elvira?

Elv.

O, yes,—this is best—this is excellent.

Piz.

You seem offended. Elvira still retains my heart. Think—a sceptre waves me on.

Elv.

Offended?—No!—Thou know'st thy glory is my idol; and this will be most glorious, most just and honorable.

Piz.

What mean you?

Elv.

Oh! nothing—mere woman's prattle—a jealous whim, perhaps: but let it not impede the royal hero's course,—(Trumpels without.) The call of arms invites you—A way! away! you, his brave, his worthy fellow­warriors.

Piz.

And go you with me?

Elv.

Undoubtedly! I needs must be the first to hail the future monarch of Re [...].

Enter GOMEZ.
Alm.

How, Gomez! what bringst thou?

Gom.

On yonder hill among the palm-trees we have surprised an old cacique; escape by flight he could not, and we seized him and his attendant unresisting; yet his lips breath nought but bitterness and scorn.

Piz.

Drag him before us. (GOMEZ leaves the tent, and returns conducting OROZEMBO and Attendant, in chains, guarded.) What art thou stranger?

Oro.

First tell me which among you is the captain of this band of robbers.

Piz.

Ha!

Alm.

Madman!—Tear out his tongue, or else.—

Oro.

Thou wilt hear some truth.

Dav.

(Shewing his poniard.) Shall I not plunge this into his heart.

Oro.
[Page 09]

(To Pizarro,) Does your army boast many such heroes as this?

Piz.

Audacious!—This insolence has sealed thy doom. Die thou shalt, gray-headed ruffian. But first confess what thou knowest.

Oro.

I know that which thou hast just assured me of—that I shall die

Piz.

Less audacity might have preserved thy life.

Oro,

My life is as a withered tree—it is not worth pre­serving.

Piz.

Hear me, old man. Even now me march against the Peruvian army. We know there is a secret path that leads to your strong-hold among the rocks: guide us to that, and name thy reward. If wealth be thy wish—

Oro.

Ha! ha! ha, ha!

Piz.

Dost thou despise my offer?

Oro.

Thee and thy offer!—Wealth!—I have the wealth of two dear gallant sons—I have stored in heaven the riches which repay good actions here—and still my chiefest treasure do I bear about me.

Piz.

What is that? Inform me.

Oro.

I will; for it never can be thine—the treasure of a pure unsullied conscience.

Piz.

I believe there is no other Peruvian who dares speak as thou dost.

Oro.

Would I could believe there is no other Spaniard who dares act as thou dost!

Gon.

(aside.) Obdurate Pagan!—How numerous is your army?

Oro.

Count the leaves of yonder forest.

Alm.

Which is the weakest part of your camp?

Oro.

It has no weak part-on every side 'tis fortified by justice.

Piz.

Where have you concealed your wives and your children?

Oro.

In the hearts of their husbands and their fathers.

Piz.

Knowest thou Alonzo?

Oro.

Know him!—Alonzo!—Know him!—Our na­tions benefactor!—The guardian angel of Peru!

Piz.

By what has he meritted that title?

Oro.

By not resembling thee.

Alm.
[Page 10]

Who is this Rolla, joined with Alonzo in com­mand?

Oro.

I will answer [...] for I love to hear and to repeat [...]he [...]ero's name. Rolla, the kinsman of the king, is the idol of our army; in war a tyger, chased by the hunter's spear; in peace as gentle as the unweaned lamb. CORA was once betrothed to him; but finding she preferred Alonze, he resigned his claim, and, I fear, his peace, to friendship and to COR [...]'s happiness; yet still he loves her with a pure and holy [...]re.

Piz.

Romantic savage!—I shall meet this Rolla soon.

Oro.

Thou hadst better not! The terrors of his noble eye would strike thee dead.

Dav.

Silence, or tremble!

Oro.

Beardless robber! I never yet have trembled before God—why should I tremble before man?—why before thee, thou less than man!

Dav.

Another word, audacious heathen, and I strike!

Oro.

Strike, Christian! Then boast among thy fel­lows—I too have murdered a Peruvian!

Dav.

Hell and vengeance seize thee! (Stabs him.)

Piz.

Hold!

Dav.

Couldst thou longer have endured his insults?

Piz.

And therefore should he die untortured?

Oro.

True! Observe, young man—your unthinking rashness has saved me from the rack; and you yourself have lost the opportunity of a useful lesson; you might have seen with what cruelty vengeance would have in­flicted torments, and with what patience virtue would have borne them.

Elv.

(supporting Orozembo's head upon her bosom.) Oh! ye are monsters all. Look up thou martyr'd inno­cent—look up once more, and bless me ere thou diest. God! how I pity thee!

Oro.

Pity me!—Me! so near my happiness! Bless thee, lady!—Spaniards—Heaven turn your hearts, and pardon you as I do. (Orozembo is borne off dying.)

Piz.

Away!—Davilla! If thus rash a second time—

Dav.

Forgive the hasty indignation which—

Piz.

No more—unbind that trembling wretch—let him depart; 'tis well he should report the mercy which we [Page 11] shew to insolent defiance—Hark!—our troops are mo­ving.

Attendant.

(on passing Elvira) If through your gen­tle means my master's poor remains might be preserved from insult.—

Elv.

I understand you.

Att.

His sons may yet thank your charity, if not re­venge their father's fate.

(Exit.
Piz.

What says the slave?

Elv.

A parting word to thank you for your mercy.

Piz.

Our guard and guides approach. (soldiers march through the tents) Follow me, friends—each shall have his post assigned, and ere Peruvia's God shall sink be­neath the main, the Spanish banner, bathed in blood, shall float above the walls of vanquished Quito.

(Exit.
Val.

Is it now presumption that my hopes gain strength [...] the increasing horrors which I see appal Elvira's [...]

Elv.

I am mad with terror and remorse! Would I could fly these dreadful scenes!

Val.

Might not Valverde's true attachment be thy re­fuge?

Elv.

What wouldst thou do to save or to revenge me?

Val.

I dare do all thy injuries may demand—a word—and he lies bleeding at your feet.

Elv.

Perhaps we will speak again of this. Now leave me.

(Exit Valverde.
Elv.

(alone.) No! not this revenge—no! not this in­strument. Fie, Elvira! even for a moment to council with this unworthy traitor!—Can a wretch false to a con­siding master, be true to any pledge of love or honor?—Pizarro will abandon me—yes; me—who, for his sake, have sacrificed—Oh, God!—What have I not sacrificed for him; yet curbing the avenging pride that swells this bosom; I still will further try him. Oh, men! ye who, wearied by the fond fidelity of virtuous love, seek in the wanton's flattery a new delight, oh, ye may insult and leave the hearts to which your faith was pledged, and sti­fling self-reproach, may fear no other peril; because such hearts, however you injure and desert them, have yet the proud retreat of an unspotted fame—of unreproaching [Page 12] conscience. But beware the desperate libertine who for­sakes the creature whom his arts have first deprived of all natural protection—of all self-consolation! What has he left her?—Despair and vengeance!

(Exit.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE. I.

A bank surrounded by a wild wood, and rocks.—CORA, sitting at the foot of a tree, is playing with her child.—ALONZO looks over them with delight and cheerfulness.
Cora.

Now confess, does he resemble thee or not?

Al.

Indeed he is liker thee—thy rosy softness, thy smi­ling gentleness.

Cora.

But his auburn hair, the color of his eyes, Alonzo.—O! my lord's image, and my heart's adored! (Pressing the child to her bosom)

Al.

The little darling urchin robs me, I doubt, of some portion of thy love, my Cora. At least he shares ca­resses, which till his birth were only mine.

Cora.

Oh, no, Alonzo! a mother's love for her dear babe is not a stealth, or taken from the father's store; it is a new delight that turns with quickened gratitude to HIM, the author of her augmented bliss.

Al.

Could Cora think me serious?

Cora.

I am sure he will speak soon: then will be the last of the three holydays allowed by Nature's sanction to the fond anxious mother's heart.

Al.

What are those thee?

Cora.

The ecstacy of his birth I pass; that in part is selfish: but when first the white blossoms of his teeth ap­pear, breaking the crimson buds that did encase them; that is a day of joy: next when from his father's arms he runs without support, and clings, laughing and de­lighted, to his mother's knee; that is the mother's heart's [Page 13] next holyday: and sweeter still the third, whenever his little stammering tongue shall utter the greatful sound of Father, Mother!—O! that is the dearest joy of all.

Al.

Beloved Cora!

Cora.

Oh! my Alonzo! daily, hourly, do I pour thanks to Heaven for the dear blessing I possess in him and thee,

Al.

To Heaven and Rolla.

Cora.

Yes, to Heaven and Rolla: and art thou not grateful to them too, Alonzo? art thou not happy?

Al.

Can Cora ask the question?

Cora.

Why then of late so restless on thy couch?—Why to my waking watching ear so often does the still­ness of the night betray thy struggling sighs?

Al.

Must I not fight against my country, against my brethren?

Cora.

Do they not seek our destruction, and are not all men brethren?

Al.

Should they prove victorious?

Cora.

I will fly, and meet thee in the mountains.

Al.

Fly, with thy infant, Cora?

Cora.

What! think you a mother, when she runs from danger, can feel the weight of her child?

Al.

Cora, my beloved, do you wish to set my heart at rest?

Cora.

Oh, yes, yes, yes!

Al.

Hasten then now to the concealment in the moun­tains; there dwells your father, and there all our matrons and virgins, and our warriors' offspring, are allotted to wait the issue of the war. Cora will not alone resist her husbands's, her sister's, and her monarch's wish.

Cora.

Alonzo, I cannot leave you: Oh! how in every moment's absence would my fancy pai [...]tyou, wounded, alone, abandon'd' No, no, I cannot leave you.

Al.

Rolla will be with me.

Cora,

Yes, while the battle rages, and where it rages most, brave Rolla will be found. He may revenge, but cannot save thee. To follow danger he will leave even thee. But I have sworn never to forsake thee but with life. Dear, dear, Alonzo! can you wish that I should break my vow.

Al.

Then be it so. Oh! excellence in all that's great and lovely, in courage, gentleness, and truth; my pride, [Page 14] my content, my all! Can there on earth be fools who seek for happiness, and pass love in the pursuit?

Cora.

Alonzo, I cannot thank you: silence is the gra­tude of true affection: who seeks to follow it by sound will miss the track. (shout without) Does the king approach?

Al.

No, 'tis the general placing the guard that will sur­round the temple during the sacrifice. 'Tis Rolla comes, the first and best of heroes. (Trumpets sound)

ROLLA.
Rol.

(as entering) Then place them on the hill fronting the Spanish camp.

(Enters.)
Cora.

Rolla my friend my brother!

Al.

Rolla! my friend, my benefactor! how can our lives repay the obligations we owe you?

Rol.

Pass them in peace and bliss.—Let Rolla witness it, and he is overpaid.

Cora.

Look on this child—He is the life-blood of my heart; but if ever he loves or reveres thee less than his own father his mother's hate fall on him!

Rol.

Oh, no more!—What sacrifice have I made to merit gratitude? The object of my love was Cora's hap­piness.—I see her happy.—Is not my object gain'd and am I not rewarded? Now, Cora listen to a friend's ad­vice. You must away; you must seek the sacred caverns, the unprophaned recess, whither, after this day's sacrifice, our matrons, and even the virgins of the Sun, retire.

Cora.

Not secure with Alonzo and with thee, Rolla?

Rol.

We have heard Pizarro's plan is to surround us. Thy presence, Cora, cannot aid, but may impede our ef­forts.

Cora.

Impede!

Rol.

Yes, yes. Thou knowest how tenderly we love thee; we, thy husband and thy friend. Art thou near us? our thoughts, our valour—vengeance will not be our own.—No advantage will be pursued that leads us from the spot where thou art placed; no succour will be given but for thy protection. The faithful lover dares not be all himself amid the war, until he knows that the beloved of his soul is absent from the peril of the sight.

Al.
[Page 15]

Thanks to my friend! 'tis this I would have urged.

Cora.

This timid excess of love, producing fear instead of valor, flatters, but does not convince me: the wife is incredulous.

Rol.

And is the mother unbelieving too?

Cora.

No more—Do with me as you please, My friend, my husband! place me where you will.

Al.

My adored! we thank you both. (march without). Hark! the King approaches to the sacrifice. You, Rolla, spoke of rumours of surprise.—A servant of mine, I hear, is missing; whether surprised or treacherous, I know not.

Rol.

It matters not. We are every where prepared. Come, Cora, upon the altar 'mid the rocks, thou wilt im­plore a blessing on our cause. The pious supplication of the trembling wife, and mother's heart, rises to the throne of mercy, the most resistless prayer of human homage.

(Exeunt.)

SCENE II.

The Temple of the Sun: it represents the magnificence of Peruvian idolatry: in the centre is the altar.—A so­lemn march.—The Warriors and King enter on the side of the Temple.—ROLLA, ALONZO, and CORA, on the other.
Ata.

Welcome Alonzo!—(To Rolla.) Kinsman, thy hand.—(To Cora.) Blessed be the object of the happy mother's love.

Cora.

May the sun bless the father of his people!

Ata.

In the welfare of his children lives the happiness of their king. Friends, what is the temper of our sol­diers?

Rol.

Such as becomes the cause which they support; their cry is, victory or death! our King! our Country and our God!

Ata.

Thou, Rolla, in the hour of peril, hast been wont to animate the spirit of their leaders, ere we proceed to consecrate the banners which thy valour knows so well to guard.

Rol.
[Page 16]

Yet never was the hour of peril near, when to in­spire them words were so little needed. My brave asso­ciates—partners of my toil, my feelings and my fame!—can Rolla's words add vigour to the virtuous energies which inspire your hearts?—No—YOU have judged as I have, the foulness of the crafty plea by which these bold invaders would delude you—Your generous spirit has compared as mine has, the motives, which, in a war like this, can animate their minds, and ours.—THEY by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule—WE, for our country, our altars, and our homes.—THEY follow an adventurer whom they fear—and obey a power which they hate—WE serve a monarch whom we love—a God whom we adore.—Wherever they move in anger, desolation tracks their progress!—Where­ver they pause in amity, affliction mourns their friend­ship!—They boast, they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error!—Yes—THEY will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice and pride—They offer us their protection—Yes, such pro­tection as vultures give to lambs—covering and devouring them!—They call on us to barter all of good we have in­herited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better which they promise.—Be our plain answer this; The throne WE honour is the PEOPLE'S CHOICE—the laws we reverence are our brave father's legacy—the faith we follow teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all man­kind, and die with hope of bliss beyond the grave. Tell your invaders this, and tell them too, we seek no change; and, least of all, such change as they would bring us. (Trumpets sound.)

Ata.

(embracing Rolla.) Now, holy friends, ever mindful of these sacred truths, begin the sacrifice. A so­lemn procession commences from the recess of the Temple above the altar.—The priests and virgins of the Sun ar­range themselves on either side—the High-Priest ap­proaches the altar, and the solemnity begins—The invo­cation of the High Priest is followed by the Chorusses of the priests and virgins—Fire from above lights upon the altar.—The whole assembly rise and join in the thanks­giving.) Our offering is accepted.—Now to arms, my friends prepare for battle.

[Page 17] Enter ORANO.
Ora.

The enemy!

Ata.

How near?

Ora.

From the hill's brow, e'en now as I o'er looked their force, suddenly I perceived the whole in motion: with eager haste they march towards our deserted camp, as if apprised of this most solemn sacrifice.

Rol.

They must be met before they reach it.

Ata.

And you, my daughters, with your dear children, away to the appointed place of safety.

Cora.

Oh, Alonzo! (Embracing him.)

Al.

We shall meet again.

Cora.

Bless us once more, ere you leave us.

Al.

Heaven protect and bless thee, my beloved, and thee my innocent!

Ata.

Haste, Haste!—each moment is precious!

Cora.

Farewell, Alonzo! Remember thy life is mine.

Rol.

Not one farewell to Rolla?

Cora.

(Giving him her hand.) Farewell the God of war be with you: but, bring me back Alonzo. (Exit with the child.)

Ata.

(Draws his sword.) Now, my brethren, my sons, my friends, I know your valor.—Should ill success assail us, be despair the last feeling of your hearts.—If successful, let mercy be the first. Alonzo, to you I give to defend the narrow passage of the mountains. On the right of the wood be Rolla's station. For me, strait forwards will I march to meet them, and fight until I see my people saved, or they behold their monarch fall. Be the word of battle—God and our native land.

(A march. Exeunt.)

SCENE III.

The Wood between the Temple and the Camp.
Enter ROLLA and ALONZO.
Rol.

Here, my friend, we separate—soon, I trust, [...] meet again in triumph.

Al.
[Page 18]

Or, perhaps, we part to meet no more. Rolla, a moment's pause; we are yet before our army's strength; one earnest word at parting.

Rol.

There is in language now no word but battle.

Al.

Yes, one word more—Cora!

Rol.

Cora! Speak!

Al.

The next hour brings us—

Rol.

Death or victory!

Al.

It may be victory to oen—death to the other.

Rol.

Or both may fall.

Al.

If so, my wife and child I bequeath to the protec­tion of heaven and my king. But should I only fall, Rolla, be thou my heir.

Rol.

How?

Al.

Be Cora thy wife—be thou a father to my child.

Rol.

Rouse thee, Alonzo! Banish these timid fancies.

Al.

Rolla! I have tried in vain, and cannot fly from she foreboding which oppresses me: thou know'st it will not shake me in the fight: but give me your promise.

Rol.

If it be Cora's will—Yes—I promise—(Gives his hand.)

Al.

Tell her it was my last wish! and bear to her and to my son, my last blessing.

Rol.

I will.—Now then to our posts, and our swords speak for us. (They draw their swords.)

Al.

For the king and Cora!

Rol.

For Cora and the king!

(Exeunt different ways. Alarms without.)

SCENE IV.

A view of the Peruvian Camp, with a distant View of a Peruvian Village. Trees growing from a rocky Emi­nence on one side. Alarms continue.
Enter an Old blind Man and a Boy,
O. Man.

Have none returned to the camp?

Boy.

One messenger alone. From the temple they all march to meet the foe.

O. Man.
[Page 19]

Hark! I hear the din of battle. O! had I still retained my sight. I might now [...] grasp'd a sword, and died a soldier's death! Are we quiet alone?

Boy.

Yes!—I hope my father will be safe!

O. Man.

He will do his duty. I am more anxious for thee my child.

Boy.

I can stay with you, dear grandfather.

O. Man.

But should the enemy come, they will drag thee from me, my boy.

Boy.

Impossible, grandfather! for they will see at once that you are old and blind, and cannot do without me.

O. Man.

Poor child! you little know the hearts of these inhuman men.—(Discharge of cannon is heard.) Hark! the noise is near—I hear the dreadful roaring of the fiery engines of these cruel strangers.—(Shouts at a distance.) At every shout with involuntary Haste I clench my hand, and fancy still it grasps a sword! Alas! I ca [...] only serve my country by my prayers. Heaven preserve the Inca and his gallant soldiers!

Boy.

O father! there are soldiers running—

O. Man.

Spaniards, Boy?

Boy.

No, Peruvians!

O. Man.

How! and flying from the field!—It can­not be.

Enter two Peruvian Soldiers.

speak to them, boy!—Whence come you? how goes the battle?

Sol.

We cannot stop; we are sent for the reserve behind the hill. The day's against us. —(Exeunt Soldiers.)

O. Man.

Quick, then, quick!

Boy.

I see the points of lances glittering in the light.

O. Man.

Those are Peruvians. Do they bend this way.

Enter a Peruvian Soldier
Boy.

Soldier, speak to my blind Father.

Sol.

I am sent to tell the helpless father to retreat [Page 20] among the rocks; all will be lost, I fear. The king is wounded.

O. Man.

Quick, boy! lead me to the hill, where thou may'st view the plain. (Alarms).

Enter ATALIBA wounded, with ORANO, Officers, and Soldiers.
Atal.

My wound is bound, believe me, the hurt is nothing: I may return to the fight.

Ora.

Pardon your servant; but the allotted priest who attends the sacred banner has pronounced that the Inca's blood once shed, no blessing can await the day until he leaves the field.

Ata.

Hard restraint! O! my poor brave soldiers! Hard that I may no longer be a witness of their va­lour. But haste you; return to your comrades: I will not keep one soldier from his post. Go, and avenge your fallen brethren—(Extent Orano Officers and sol­diers.) I will not repine; my own fate is the last anx­iety of my heart. It is for you my people, that I feel and fear.

Old man and Boy advance
O. Man.

Did I not hear the voice of an unfortunate?—Who is it complains thus?

Ata.

One almost by hope forsaken.

O. Man.

Is the king alive?

Ata.

The king still lives.

O. Man.

Then thou art not forsaken! Ataliba protects the meanest of his subjects.

Ata.

And who shall protect Ataliba.

O. Man.

The immortal powers, that protect the just. The virtues of our monarch alike secure to him the affec­tion of his people and the [...] regard of heaven.

Ata.

How impious had I murmured! How wondrous, thou supreme disposer, are thy acts! Even in this moment, which I had thought the bitterest trial of moral suffering, thou hast infused the sweatest sensation of my life—it is the assurance of my people's love.

Boy.
[Page 21]

(Turning forward.) O father!—Stranger, see those hideous men that rush upon us yonder!

Ata.

H [...]! Spaniards!—And I—Ataliba—ill-fated fu­gitive, without a sword even to try the ransom of a monarch's life.

Enter DAVILLA, ALMAGRO, and Spanish Soldiers.
Dav.

'Tis he—our hopes are answered—I know him well—it is the king!

Alm.

Away! Follow with your royal prize. Avoid those Peruvians, though in flight. This way we may regain our line.

(Exeunt Davilla, Almagro, and Soldiers with Ataliba, prisoner.
O. Man.

The king! wretched old man, that could not see his gracious form!—Boy wouldst thou had'st led me to the reach of those ruffians' swords!

Boy.

Father! all our countrymen are flying here for refuge.

O. Man.

No—to the rescue of their king—they never will desert him. (Alarms without.)

Enter Peruvian officers and soldiers, flying across the Stage; ORANO following.
Ora.

Hold, I charge you! Rolla calls you.

Officer.

We cannot combat with their dreadful en­gines.

Enter ROLLA.
Rol.

Hold, recreants! cowards!—What fear ye death, and fear not shame? By my soul's fury, I cleave to the earth the first of you that stirs, or plunge your dastard swords into your leader's heart, that he no more may witness your disgrace. Where is the king?

Ora.

From this old man and boy I learn that the detach­ment of the enemy which you observed so suddenly to quit the field, have succeeded in surprising him; they are yet in sight.

Rol.

And bear the Inca off a prisoner?—Hear this [Page 22] ye base, disloyal rout! Look there. The dust you see hangs on the bloody Spaniards' track, dragging with rus­sian taunts your king, your father!—Ataliba in bondage, Now fly, and seek your own safety, if you can.

O. Man.

Bless the voice of Rolla—and bless the stroke I once lamented, but which now spares these ex­tinguished eyes the shame of seeing the pale trembling wretches who dare not follow Rolla though to save their king!

Rol.

Shrink ye from the thunder of the foe—and fall ye not at this rebuke? Oh! had ye each but one drop of the loyal blood which gushes to waste through the brave heart of this sightless veteran! Eternal shame pursue, if ye desert me now!—But do—alone I go—alone—to die with glory by my monarch's side!

Soldiers.

Rolla! we'll follow thee. (Trumpets sound: Rollo rushes out, followed by Orano, officers and soldiers.)

O. Man.

O godlike Rolla!—And thou sun, send from thy clouds avenging lightning to his aid!—Haste, my boy; ascend some height, and tell to my impatient terror what thou seest.

Boy.

I can climb this rock, and the tree above. (As­cends the rock, and from thence into the tree.) O—now I see them—now—yes—and the Spaniards turning by the steep.

O. Man.

Rolla follows them?

Boy.

He does—he does—he moves like an arrow!—now he waves his arm to our soldiers—(report of cannon heard.) Now there is fire and smoke.

O. man.

Yes fire is the weapon of those fiends.

Boy.

The wind blows off the smoke: they are all mix­ed together.

O. Man.

Seest thou the king?

Boy.

Yes—Rolla is near him! His sword sheds fire as he strikes!

O. Man.

Bless thee, Rolla! Space not the monsters, Boy, Father, father! the Spaniards fly!—O—now I see the king embracing Rolla. (Waving his cap for joy. Shouts of victory, flourish of trumpets, &c.

O. Man.

(falls on his knees.) Fountain of life! how can my exhausted breath, bear to thee thanks for this one moment of my life! My boy come down and let me kiss [Page 23] thee—My strength is gone! (the boy having run to the old man).

Boy.

Let me help you, father—You tremble so—

O. Mad.

'Tis with transport, boy! (Boy leads the old man off.

Shouts, Flourish, &c.

Enter ATALIBA, ROLLA, and Peruvian Officers, and Soldiers.
Ata.

In the name of my people, the saviour of whose sovereign you have this day been, accept this emblem of his gratitude. (giving Rolla his sun of diamonds.) The tear that falls upon it may for a moment dim its lustre, yet does it not impair the value of the gift.

Rol.

It was the hand of Heaven, not mine, that saved my king.

Enter ORANO, and Soldiers.
Rol.

Now, soldier, from Alonzo?

Ora.

Alonzo's genius soon repaired [...] early broke our ranks; but I fear we [...] loss; his eager spirit urged him too [...] suit!

Ata.

How! Alonzo slain?

1st Sol.

I saw him fall.

2d Sol.

Trust me I beheld him up against and fight [...] he was then surrounded and disarmed.

Ata.

O! victory, dearly purchased!

Rol.

O Cora! who shall tell thee this!

Ata.

Rolla, our friend is lost—our native country saved! Our private sorrows must yield to the public claim for triumph. Now go we to fulfil the first, the most sa­cred duty which belongs to victory—to dry the widowed and the orphaned tear of those whose brave protecte [...] have perished in their country's cause.

(Triumphant march, and exeunt.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.
[Page 24]

ACT III.

SCENE I.

A wild retreat among stupendous Rocks.—CORA and her child, which other Wives and Children of the Peru­vian Warriors, are scattered about the scene in groups.—They sing alternately, stanzas expressive of their si­tuation, with a CHORUS, in which all join.
First Peruvian Woman.

ZULUGA, seest thou nothing yet?

Zul.

Yes, two Peruvian soldiers, one on the hill; the other entering the thicket in the vale

2d. Per. Woman.

One more has pass'd—He comes—but pale and terrified.

Cora.

My heart will start from my bosom.

Enter a Peruvian soldier, panting for breath.
Wom.

Well! joy or death?

Sold.

The battle is against us. The king is wounded, and a prisoner.

[...].

[...] and misery!

Cora.

(In a faint voice.) And Alonzo?

[...].

I have not seen him.

1st Wom.

O whither must we fly?

2d Wom.

Deeper into the forest.

Cora.

I shall not move.

Another Soldier, (without).

Victory! vic­tory!

He enters hastily

Rejoice! Rejoice! We are victorious!

Wom.

(Springing up.) Welcome! Welcome! thou messenger of joy; but the king!

Sold.

He leads the brave warriors, who approach.

(The triumphant march of the army is heard at a distance.—The Women and Children join in a strain expressive of anxiety and exultation.—The Warriors [Page 25] enter singing the Song of Victory, in which all join—The King and ROLLA follow, and are met with raptur­ous and affectionate respect. CORA during this scene, with her Child in her arms, runs through the ranks, searching and enquiring for ALONZO.)

Ata.

Thanks, thanks, my children! I am well: be­lieve it; the blood once stop'd, my wound was nothing. (Cora at length approaches Rolla, who appears to have been mournfully avoiding her.) Where is Alonzo?

(Rolla turns away in silence.)
Cora.

(Falling at the king's feet.) Give me my hus­band, give this child his father.

Ata.

I grieve that Alonzo is not here.

Cora.

Hop'd you to fine him?

Ata.

Most anxiously,

Cora.

Ataliba! is he not dead?

Ata.

No! the Gods will have heard our prayers.

Cora.

Is he not dead, Ataliba?

Ata.

He lives—in my heart.

Cora.

Oh kings! torture me not thus! Speak out, this child fatherless?

Ata.

Dearest Cora! do not thus dash aside the little hope that still remains.

Cora.

The little hope! yet still there is hope! Speak to me, Rolla, you are the friend of truth.

Rol.

Alonzo has not been found.

Cora.

Not found! what mean you? will not you Rolla, tell the truth? Oh! let me not hear the thunder rolling at a distance; let the bolt fall and crush my brain at once.—Say not that he is not found: say at once that he is dead.

Rol.

Then should I say false.

Cora.

False! Blessing on thee for that word! But snatch me, from this terrible suspense. Lift up thy little hands, my child; perhaps thy ignorance may plead better than thy mother's agony.

Rol.

Alonzo is taken prisoner.

Cora.

Prisoner! and by the Spaniards? Pizarro's pri­soner? Then is he dead?

Ata.
[Page 26]

Hope better—the richest ransom which our realm can yield, a herald shall this instant bear.

Per. Women.

Oh! For Alozo's ransom—our gold, our gems!—all! all!—Here, dear Cora,—here! here!

(The Peruvian Women eagerly tear off their ornaments, and run and take them from their Children, to offer them to CORA.)

Ata.

Yes, for Alonzo's ransom they would give all!—I thank thee, father, who hast given me such hearts to rule over!

Cora.

Now one boon more, beloved monarch. Let me go with the herald.

Atal.

Remember, Cora, thou art not a wife only, but a mother too: hazard not your own honour, and the safety of your infant. Among these barbarians the sight of thy youth, thy loveliness, and innocence, would but rivet faster your Alonzo's chains, and rack his heart with added fears for thee.—Wait, Cora, the return of the herald.

Cora.

Teach me how to live till then.

Ata.

Now we go to offer to the gods, thanks for our victory, and prayers for our Alonzo's safety.

(March and procession. Exeunt omnes.)

SCENE II.

The Wood.
Enter CORA and Child.
Cora.

Mild innocence, what will become of thee?

EnterROLLA.
Rol.

Cora, I attend thy summons at the appointed spot.

Cora.

Oh my child, my boy!—hast thou still a fa­ther?

Rol.

Cora can thy child be fatherles; while Rolla lives.

Cora.
[Page 27]

Will he not soon want a mother too?—For canst thou think I will survive Alonzo's loss?

Rol.

Yes! for his child's sake!—Yes, as thou didst love Alonzo, Cora, listen to Alonzo's friend.

Cora.

You bid me listen to the world.—Who was not Alonzo's friend?

Rol.

His parting words—

Cora.

His parting words! (Wildly) Oh, speak!

Rol.

Consign'd to me too precious trusts—his blessing to his son, and a last request to thee.

Cora.

His last request! his last!—Oh, name it!

Rol.

If I fall said he—(and sad forebodings shook him while he spoke)—promise to take my Cora for thy wife; be thou a father to my child.—I pledged my word to him, and we parted.—Observe me, Cora, I repeat this only, as my faith to do so was given to Alonzo—for myself, I neither cherish claim nor hope.

Cora.

Ha! does my reason fail me, or what is this hor­rid light that presses on my brain? Oh, Alonzo! It may be thou hast fallen a victim to thy own guileless heart—hadst thou been silent, hadst thou not made a fatal legacy of these wretched charms—

Rol.

Cora! what hateful suspicion has possessed thy mind?

Cora.

Yes, yes, 'tis clear—his spirit was ensnar'd; he was led to the fatal spot, where mortal valour could not front a host of murderers—He fell—in vain did he exclaim for help to Rolla. At a distance you look'd on and smil'd—You could have saved him—could—but did not.

Rol.

Oh, glorious sun! can I have deserved this? Co­ra, rather bid me strike this sword into my heart.

Cora.

No! live! live for love! for that love thou seek­est; whose blossoms are to shoot from the bleeding grave of thy betray'd and slaughter'd friend! But thou hast borne to me the last words of my Alonzo! Now hear mine—Sooner shall this boy draw poison from this tortured breast—sooner would I link me to the pallid corse of the mean­est wretch that perish'd with Alonzo, than he call Rolla father—than I call Rolla husband!

Rol.

Yet call me what I am—thy friend, thy protector!

Cora.

(Distractedly.) Away! I have no protector but my God!—With this child in my arms will I hasten to [Page 28] the field of slaughter—There with these hands will I turn up to the light every mangled body—seeking, howe'er by death disfigur'd, the sweet smile of my Alonzo:—with fearful cries I will shriek out his name till my veins snap! If the smallest spark of life remains, he will know the voice of his Cora, open for a moment his unshrouded eyes, and bless me with a last look; But if we find him not—Oh! then, my boy, we will to the Spanish camp—that look of thine will win me passage through a thousand swords—They too are men.—Is there a heart that could drive back the wife that seeks her bleeding husband; or the innocent babe that cries for his imprison'd father? No, no, my child, every where we shall be safe.—A wretched mother bearing a poor orphan in her arms, has nature's passport through the world. Yes, yes, my son, we'll go and seek thy father.

[Exit with the child.
Rol.

(After a pause of agitation.) Could I have merit­ed one breath of thy reproaches, Cora, I should be the wretch—I think I was not formed to be.—HER safety must be my present purpose—then to convince her she has wronged me!

[Exit.

SCENE III.

Pizarro's Tent.
PIZARRO, traversing the scene in gloomy and furious agitation.

Well, capricious idol, fortune, be my ruin thy work and boast. To myself I will still be true.—Yet e'er I fall, grant me one smile to prosper in one act of vengeance, and be that smile Alonzo's death.

Enter ELVIRA.

Who's there? who dares intrude? Why does my guard neglect their duty?

Elv.

Your guard did what they could—but thy kn [...]w [Page 29] their duty better than to enforce authority, when I refused obedience.

Piz.

And what is it you desire?

Elv.

To see how a hero bears misfortune.—Thou, Pizarro, art not now collected—not thyself.

Piz.

Would'st thou I should rejoice that the spears of the enemy, led by accurs'd Alonzo, have pierc'd the bravest hearts of my followers?

Elv.

No!—I would have thee cold and dark as the night that follows the departed storm; still and sullen as the awful pause that precedes nature's convulsion: yet I would have thee feel assured that a new morning shall arise, when the warrior's spirit shall stalk forth—nor fear the future nor lament the past.

Piz.

Woman! Elvira!—Why had not all my men hearts like thine?

Elv.

Then would thy brows have this day worn the crown of Quito.

Piz.

Oh! hope fails me while that scourge of my life and fame, Alonzo, leads the enemy.

Elv.

Pizarro, I am come to probe the hero further not now his courage but his magnanimity—Alonzo is your prisoner.

Piz.

How!

Elv.

'Tis certain; Valverde saw him even now drag­ged in chains within your camp. I chose to bring you the intelligence myself.

Piz.

Bless thee, Elvita, for the news!—Alonzo in my power!—then I am the conqueror—the victory is MINE!

Elv.

Pizarro this is savage and unmanly triumph. Be­lieve me, you raise impatience in my mind to see the man whose valour, and whose genius, awe Pizarro; whose misfortunes are Pizarro's triumph; whose bondage is Pizarro's safety.

Piz.

Guard!—(Enter Guard.)—Drag here the Spanish prisoner Alonzo!—Quick bring the traitor here.

(Exit Guard.
Elv.

What shall be his fate?

Piz.

Death! death! in lingering torments! protracted to the last stretch that burning vengeance can devise, and fainting life sustain.

Elv.
[Page 30]

Shame on thee! Wilt thou have it said that the Peruvians found Pizarro could not conquer till Alonzo felt that he could murder?

Piz.

Be it said—I care not. His fate is sealed.

Elv.

Follow then thy will: but mark me; if basely thou dost shed the blood of this brave youth, Elvira's lost to thee for ever.

Piz.

Why this interest for a stranger? What is Alonzo's fate to thee?

Elv.

His fate!—nothing!—thy glory, every thing!—Think'st thou I could love thee script of fame, of honor, and a just renown?—Know me better.

Piz.

Thou shouldst have known ME better. Thou shouldst have known, that, once provok'd to hate, I am for ever fixed in vengeance.—(Alonzo is brought in, in chains guarded. Elvira observes him with attention and admiration.)—Welcome, welcome, Don Alonzo de Molina; 'tis long since we have met: thy mended looks should speak a life of rural indolence. How is it that amid the toils and cares of war thou dost preserve the healthful bloom of careless ease? Tell me thy secret.

Al.

Thou wilt not profit by it. Whate'er the toils or cares of war, peace is here. (Putting his hand to his heart.)

Piz.

Sarcastic boy!

Elv.

Thou art answered rightly. Why sport with the unfortunate?

Piz.

And thou art wedded too, I hear; aye, and the father of a lovely boy—the heir no doubt, of all his father's loyalty; and all his mother's faith.

Al.

The heir I trust to all his father's scorn of fraud, oppression, and hypocrisy—the heir I hope to all his mother's virtue, gentleness, and truth—the heir, I am sure to all Pizarro's hate

Piz.

Really! Now do I feel for this poor orphan; for fatherless to-morrow's sun shall see that child. Alon­zo, thy hours are numbered.

Elv.

Pizarro—no!

Piz.

Hence—or dread my anger.

Elv.

I will not hence; nor do I dread thy anger.

Al.

Generous loveliness! spare thy unavailing pity. [Page 31] Seek not to thwart the tiger with his prey beneath his fangs.

Piz.

Audacious rebel! Thou renegado from thy mo­narch and thy God!

Al.

'Tis false.

Piz.

Art thou not, tell me, a deserter from thy coun­try's legions—and with vile heathens leagued, hast thou not warred against thy native land?

Al.

No! Deserter I am none! I was not born among robbers! pirates! murderers!—When those legions, lured by the abhored lust of gold and by thy foul ambition urged, forgot the honor of Castilians, and forsook the du­ties of humanity, THEY deserted ME. I have not warred against my native land, but against those who have usurp­ed its power. The banners of my country, when first I followed arms beneath them, were Justice, Faith and Mercy. If these are beaten down and trampled under foot—I have no country, nor exists the power entitled to re­proach me with revolt.

Piz.

The power to judge and punish thee at least exists.

Al.

Where are my judges.

Piz.

Thou wouldst appeal to the war council?

Al.

If the good Las-Casas have yet a seat there, yes if not, I appeal to Heaven!

Piz.

And to impose upon the folly of Las-Casas, what would be the excuses of thy reason?

Elv.

The folly of Las-Casas!—Such doubtless, his mild precepts seem to thy hard-hearted wisdom!—O! would I might have lived as I will die, a sharer in the follies of Las-Casas!

Al.

To him I should not need to urge the foul barbarities which drove me from your side; but I would gently lead him by the hand through all the lovely fields of Quito; there in many a spot where late was barrenness and [...], I would shew him how now the opening blossom, blade; or perfumed bud; sweet bashful pledges of delicious har­vest, washing their incense to the ripening sun give chearful promise to the hope of industry. This, I would say, is my work! Next I should tell how hurtful custom [...] and superstitions strange and sullen, would often scatter and dismay the credulous minds of these deluded inno­cents; and then would I point out to him where now, in [Page 32] clustered villages, they live like brethren, social and con­fiding, through the burning day Content sits basking on the cheek of Toil, till laughing Pastime leads them to the hour of rest—this too is mine!—And prouder yet—at that still pause betwixt exertion and repose, belonging not to [...], labor, or to rest, but unto him who sanctions and ordains them all; I would show him many an eye, and many a hand, by gentleness from error won, raised in pure devotion to the true and only God!—this too I could tell him is Alonzo's work!—Then would Las-Casas [...] me in his aged arms; from his uplifted eyes a tear of gracious thankfulness would fall upon my head, and that on [...] drop would be to me at once this world's best proof, that I had acted rightly here, and surest hope of my Crea­tors mercy and reward hereafter.

Elv.

Happy, virtuous Alonzo! And thou, Pizarro, [...] with fear of death a man who thinks and nets us he does!

Piz.

Daring, obstinate enthusiast! But know the pi­ous blessing [...] thy preceptor's tears does not await thee here: he has fled like thee—like thee no doubt, to join the foes of Spain. The perilous trial of the next reward you hope, is nearer than perhaps you've thought; for, by my country's, wrongs and by mine [...]own, to-morrow's sun shall see thy death.

Elv.

Hold!—Pizarro—hear me!—If not always justly at least act always greatly. Name not thy country's wrongs—'tis plain they have no share in thy resentment. Thy fury 'ga [...]nst this youth is private hate, and deadly personal revenge; if this be so—and even now thy de­rected conscience in that look avows it—profane not the name of justice or thy country's cause, but let him arm, and bid him to the field on equal terms.

Piz.

Officious advocate for treason—peace!—Bear him hence—he knows his sentence.

Al.

Thy revenge is eager, and I'm thankful for it—t [...]e thy haste to mercy. For thee, sweet pleader in mis­fortune's cause, accept my parting thanks. The camp is not thy proper sphere. Wert thou among you savages as they are called, thoud'st find companions [...] [...]pn­genial to thy heart.

Piz.
[Page 33]

Yes; she shall bear the tidings of thy death to Cora.

Al.

Inhuman man! that pang at least might have been spared me; but thy malice shall not shake my constancy. I go to death—many shall bless, and none will curse my memory. Thou still wilt live, and still wilt be—Pizarro.

(Exit guarded.
Elv.

Now by the indignant scorn that burns upon my cheek, my soul is shamed and sickened at the meanness of thy vengeance.

Piz.

What has thy romantic folly aimed at? He is mine enemy, and in my power.

Elv.

He is in your power, and therefore is no more an enemy. Pizarro, I demand not of thee virtue—I ask not from thee nobleness of mind—I require only just dealing to the fame thou hast acquired; be not the [...] of thine own renown. How often have you sworn, that the sacri­fice which thy wondrous valour's high report had won you from subdued Elvira, was the proudest triumph of your fame? Thou knowest I bear a mind not east in the common would—not formed for tame sequestered love—content [...]mid houshold cares, to prattle to an idle offspring, and wait the dull delight of an obscure lover's kindness—no! my; heart was framed to look up with awe and ho­mage to the object it adored: my ears to own no music but the thrilling records of his praise; my lips to scorn all babbling but the tales of his achievements; my brain to turn giddy with delight, reading the applauding tributes of his monarch's and his country's gratitude; my every faculty to throb with transport, while I heard the shouts of acclamation which announced the [...]oming of my Hero; my whole soul to love him with devotion [...] with enthu­siasm! to see no other object—to own no other ti [...]—but to make HIM my WORLD! Thus to love is at least no common weakness.—Pizarro!—was not such my love for thee?

Piz.

It was, Elvira!

Elv.

Then do not make me hateful to myself, by tear­ing off the mask at once—bearing the hedious imposture that has undone me! Do not an act which, how'ver thy present power may glos [...] it to the world, will make thee [Page 34] hateful to all future ages—accursed and scorned by pos­terity.

Piz.

And should posterity applaud my deeds, think'st thou my mouldering bones would rattle then with trans­port, in my tomb?—This is renown for visionary boys to dream of—I understand it not. The fame I value shall uplift my living estimation—overbear with popular sup­port, the envy of my foes—advance my purposes, and aid my power.

Elv.

Each word thou speakest—each moment that I hear thee—dispels the fatal mist through which I've judged thee. Thou man of mighty name but little soul. I see thou wert not born to feel what genuine fame and glory are—yes, prefer the flattery of thy own fleeting day to the bright circle of a deathless name—yes, prefer to stare upon the grain of sand on which you trample, to mu­sing on the starred canopy above thee. Fame, the sove­reign deity of proud ambition, is not to be worshipped so: who seeks alone for living homage, stands a mean can­vasser in her temple's porch, wooing promiscuously from the fickle breath of every wretch that passes, the brittle tribute of his praise. He dares not approach the sacred altar—no noble sacrifice of his is placed there, nor ever shall his worshipped image fixed above, claim for his me­mory a glorious immortality.

Piz.

Elvira, leave me.

Elv.

Pizarro, you no longer love me.

Piz.

It is not so, Elvira. But what might I not suspect—this wondrous interest for a stranger!—Take back thy reproach.

Elv.

No, Pizarro; as yet I am not lost to you—one string still remains, and binds me to your fate. Do not, I conjure you—do not for thine own sake, tear it as under, shed not Alonzo's blood!

Piz.

My resolution's fixed.

Elv.

Even though that moment lost you Elvira forever?

Piz.

Even so.

Elv.

Pizarro, if not to honour, if not to humanity, yet listen to affection; bear some memory of the sacrifices I have made for thy sake. Have I not for thee quitted my parents, my friends, my fame, my native land? When es­caping, did I not risk in rushing to thy arms to bury my­self [Page 35] in the bosom of the deep? have I not shared in all thy perils, heavy storms at sea, and frightful 'scapes on shore? Even on this dreadful day, amid the rout of battle, who remained firm and constant at Pizarro's side? Who presented her bosom as his shield to the assailing foe?

Piz.

'Tis truly spoken all. In love thou art thy sex's miracle—in war the soldier's pattern—and therefore my whole heart and half my acquisitions are thy right.

Elv.

Convince me I possess the first—I exchange all title to the latter, for—mercy to Alonzo.

Piz.

No more!—Had I intended to prolong his doom, each word thou utterest now would hasten on his fate.

Elv.

Alonzo then at morn will die?

Piz.

Think'st thou yon sun will set?—As surely at his rising shall Alonzo die.

Elv.

Then be it done—the string is crack'd—sundered forever. But mark me—thou hast heretofore had cause, 'tis true, to doubt my resolution howe'er offended—but mark me now—the lips which cold and jeering, barbing revenge with rancourous mockery, can insult a fallen enemy, shall never more receive the pledge of love: the arm un­shaken by its bloody purpose, which shall assign to need­less torture the victim who avows his heart, never more shall press the hand of faith!—Pizarro, scorn not my words—beware you slight them not!—I feel how noble are the motives which now animate my thoughts—who could not feel as I do, I condemn—who, feeling so, yet would not act as I SHALL, I despise!

Piz.

(After a pause, looking at her with a smile of contempt.) I have heard thee, Elvira, and know well the noble motives which inspire thee—fit advocate in Virtue's cause!—Believe me, I pity thy tender feelings for the youth Alonzo!—He dies at sun-rise!

(Exit.
Elv.

'Tis well! 'tis just I should be humbled—I had forgot myself, and in the cause of innocence assumed the tone of virtue. 'Twas fit I should be rebuked—and by Pizarro. Fall, fall, ye few reluctant drops of weakness—the last these eyes shall ever shed. How a woman can love Pizarro, thou hast known too well—how she can hate thou hast yet to learn. Yes, thou undaunted!—Thou, whom yet no mortal hazard has appalled!—Thou wh [...] on Panama's brow didst make alliance with the rav­ing [Page 36] elements, that tore the silence of that horrid night—when thou didst follow, as thy pioneer, the crashing thun­der's drift, and stalking o'er the trembling earth, did plant thy banner by the red vulcano's mouth! Thou, who when ba [...]tling on the sea, and thy brave ship was blown to splin­ters, wast seen—as thou didst bestride a fragment of the smoking wreck—to wave thy glittering sword above thy head—as thou wouldst defy the world in that extremity! Come fearless man—now meet the last and fellest peril of thy life—meet! and survive—an injured woman's fury, if thou canst.

(Exit.
END OF THE THIRD ACT.
[Page 37]

ACT IV.

SCENE. I.

A Dungeon in the Rock, near the Spanish camp.— ALONZO in Chains.—A Centinel walking near the Entrance.
Alonzo.

For the last time, I have beheld the shadow'd ocean close upon the light.—For the last time, thro' my cleft dungeon's roof, I now behold the quivering lustre of the stars.—For the last time, O Sun! (and soon the hour) I shall behold thy rising, and thy level beams melting the pale mists of morn to glittering dew drops.—Then comes my death, and in the morning of my day, I fall, which—No, Alonzo, date not the life which thou hast run, by the mean reck'ning of hours and days, which thou hast breath'd: a life spent worthily should be measured by a noble line—by deeds—not years—Then wouldst thou murmur not—but bless the Providence, which in so short a span, made THEE the instrument of wide and spreading blessings, to the helpless and oppress'd!—Tho' sinking in decrepid age—HE prematurely falls, whose memory records no benefit conferred by him on man: they only have lived long, who have lived virtuously.

Enter a Soldier—shews the Centinel a Passport, who withdraws.
Alonzo.

What bear you there?

Sol.

These refreshments I was order'd to leave in your dungeon.

Al.

By whom order'd?

Sol.

By the Lady Elvira; she will be here herself be­fore the dawn.

Al.

Bear back to her my humblest thanks; and take thou the refreshments, friend—I need them not.

Sol.

I have served under you, Don Alonzo—Pardon my saying, that my heart pities you.

(Exit.
Al.

In Pizarro's camp, to pity the unfortunate, no doubt requires forgiveness—(Looking out) Surely even now, thin streaks of glimmering light steal on the darkness of [Page 38] the East.—If so, my life is but one hour more.—I will not watch the coming dawn; but in the darkness of my cell, my last prayer to thee, Power Supreme! shall be for my wife and child!—Grant them to dwell in innocence and peace; grant health and purity of mind—all else is worthless.

(Enters the caveru.
Cent.

Who's there? answer quickly! who's there?

Rol.

A Friar, come to visit your prisoner.

ROLLA enters, disguised as a Monk.
Rol.

Inform me, friend—Is not Alonzo, the Spanish prisoner, confined in this dungeon?

Cent.

He is.

Rol.

I must speak with him.

Cent.

You must not.

Rol.

He is my friend.

Cent.

Not if he were your brother.

Rol.

What is to be his fate?

Cent.

He dies at sun-rise.

Rol.

Ha!—then I am come in time.

Cent.

Just—to witness his death.

Rol.

Soldier—I must speak with him.

Cent.

Back,—back.—It is impossible!—

Rol.

I do intreat you, but for one moment!

Cent.

You intreat in vain—my orders are most strict.

Rol.

Even now, I saw a messenger go hence.

Cent.

He brought a pass, which we are all accustomed to obey.

Rol.

Look on this wedge of massive gold—look on these precious gems.—In thy own hand they will be wealth for thee and thine, beyond thy hope or wish, take them—they are thine.—Let me but pass one minute with Alonzo.

Cent.

Away!—wouldst thou corrupt me?—Me an old Castilian!—I know my duty better.

Rol.

Soldier!—hast thou a wife

Cent.

I have.

Rol.

Hast thou children?

Cent.

Four—honest, lively boys.

Rol.

Where didst thou leave them?

Cent.

In my native village—even in the cot there myself was born.

Rol.
[Page 39]

Dost thou love thy children and thy wife?

Cent.

I do love them!—God knows my heart,—I do.

Rol.

Soldier! imagine thou wert doom'd to die a cruel death in this strange land—What would be thy last request?

Cent.

That some of my comrades should carry my dying blessing to my wife and children.

Rol.

Oh! but if that comrade was at thy prison gate—and should there be told—thy fellow soldier dies at sun-rise,—yet thou shalt not for a moment see him—nor shall thou bear his dying blessing to his poor children, or his wretched wife,—what would'st thou think of him, who thus cou'd drive thy comrade from the door?

Cent.

How!

Rol.

Alonzo has a wife and child—I am come but to receive for her, and for her babe, the last blessing of my friend.

Cent.

Go in.—(Retires.)

Rol.

Oh! holy nature! thou dost never plead in vain.—There is not, of our earth, a creature bearing form, and life, human or savage—native of the forest wild, or giddy air—around whose parent bosom, thou hast not a cord entwined of power to tie them to their offspring's claims, and at thy will to draw them back to thee. On iron pennons borne—the blood-stain'd vulture cleaves the storm—yet, is the plumage closest to her heart, soft as the cygnet's down, and o'er her unshell'd brood, the murmuring ring-dove sits not more gently!—Yes!—now he is beyond the porch, barring the outer gate!—Alon­zo!—Alonzo!—my friend! Ha!—in gentle sleep!—Alonzo—rise!

Al.

How! Is my hour elaps'd?—Well, (returning from the recess.) I am ready,

Rol.

Alanzo,—know me.

Al.

What voice is that?

Rol.

'Tis Rolla's

Al.

Rolla!—my friend!—(Embracing him) Hea­vens! how could'st thou pass the guard Did this habit—

Rol.

There is not a moment to be lost in words:—this disgused I [...] from the dead body of a [...], as I pass'd [Page 40] our field of battle—it has gain'd me entrance to thy dun­geon—now take it thou, and fly.

Al.

And Rolla—

Rol.

Will remain here in thy place.

Al.

And die for me!—No!—Rather eternal tortures rack me.

Rol.

I shall not die Alonzo.—It is thy life Pizarro seeks, not Rolla's—and from my prison soon will thy arm deliver me;—or, should it be otherwise—I am as a blighted plantain standing alone amid the sandy desart—Nothing seeks or lives beneath my shelter—Thou art a husband, and a father—The being of a lovely wife and helpless infant hang upon thy life—Go!—Go!—Alon­zo!—Go—to save—not thyself—but Cora, and thy child!—

Al.

Urge me not thus, my friend—I am prepar'd to die in peace.

Rol.

To die in peace!—devoting her you've sworn to live for—to madness, misery, and death!—For, be as­sured,—the state I left her in forbids all hope, but from thy quick return [...].

Al.

Oh! God!

Rol.

If thou art yet irresolute, Alonzo—now heed me well.—I think thou hast not known that Rolla ever pledg'd his word, and shrunk from its fulfilment.—And, by the heart of truth I swear, if thou art proudly obstinate to deny thy friend the transport of preserving Cora's life, in thee,—no power that sways the will of man shall stir me hence;—and thoul't but have the desperate triumph, of seeing Rolla perish by thy side,—with the assur'd con­viction, that Cora, and thy child, are lost for ever.

Al.

Oh! Rolla!—you distnact me!

Rol.

A moment's further pause, and all is lost—The dawn approaches—Fear not for me—I will treat with Pizarro as for surrender and submission;—I shall gain time, doubt not—while thou, with a chosen band, pas­sing the secret way, may st at night return—release thy friend, and bear him back in triumph.—Yes hasten—dear Alonzo!—Even now I hear the frantic Cora call thee!—Haste!—Haste!—Haste!

Al.

Rolla, I fear your friendship drives me from ho­nor, and from right.

Rol.
[Page 41]

Did Rolla ever counsel dishonor to his friend?

Al.

Oh my preserver!—(Embracing him.)

Rol.

I feel thy warm tears dropping on my cheek—Go!—I am rewarded—(Throws the Friars garment over Alonzo. [...]—There!—conceal thy face; and that they may not clank, hold fast thy chains—Now—God be with thee!

Al.

At night we meet again.—Then,—so aid me Heaven! I return to save—or—perish with thee!

(Exit.
Rol.

(Alone.) He has pass'd the outer porch—He is safe!—He will soon embrace his wife and child!—Now, Cora, did'st thou not wrong me? This is the first time throughout my life, I ever deceived man—Forgive me, God of truth! if I am wrong—Alonzo flatters himself that we shall meet again—Yes—There!(lifting his hand to heaven) assuredly we shall meet again:—there possess in peace, the joys of everlasting love, and friend­ship—on earth imperfect, and embitter'd.—I am an inter­ested man; for do I not die, that, when Cora ascends to her father, her first question may be, off where is Rolla." I will reti [...]e,—lest the guard return before Alonzo may have pass'd their lines.—(Retires into the reces [...].)

Enter ELVIRA.
Elv.

No—not Pizarro's brutal taunts—not the glowing admiration which I feel for this noble youth, shall raise an interest in this harass'd bosom which honour would not sanction. If he reject the vengeance my heart has sworn against the tyrant, whose death alone can save this land—yet, shall the delight be mine to restore him to his Cora's arms, to his dear child, and to the unoffending people, whom his virtues guide, and valour guards.—Alonzo, come forth!

Re-enter ROLLA.
Elv.

Ha!—who art thou?—Where is Alonzo?

Rol.

Alonzo's fled.

Elv.

Fled!

Rol.

Yes—and he must not be pursued—Pardon this roughness, ( [...] her hand)—but a moment's precious to Alonzo's flight.

Elv.
[Page 42]

What if I call the guard?

Rol.

Do so—Alonzo still gains time.

Elv.

What if I thus free myself?(Shews a dagger.)

Rol.

Strike it to my heart—Still, with the convu [...]sive grasp of death, I'll hold thee fast.

Elv.

Release me—I give my faith, I neither will alarm the guard, nor cause pursuit.

Rol.

At once, I trust thy word—A feeling boldness in those eyes assure me that thy soul is noble.

Elv.

What is thy name? Speak freely—By my order the guard is removed beyond the outer porch.

Rol.

My name is Rolla.

Elv.

The Peruvian leader?

Rol.

I was so yesterday—To-day, the Spaniards captive.

Elv.

And friendship to Alonzo moved thee to this act?

Rol.

Alonzo is my friend—I am prepared to die for him. Yet is the cause a motive stronger far than friendship.

Elv.

One only passion else could urge such generous rashness.

Rol.

And that is—

Elv.

Love?

Rol.

True!

Elv.

Gallant!—ingenius Rolla!—Know that my pur­pose here was thine; and were I to save thy friend—

Rol.

How!—a woman bless'd with gentleness and courage, and vet not Cora!

Elv.

Does Rolla think so meanly of all female hearts?

Rol.

Not so—you are worse and better than we are!—

Elv.

To save thee, Rolla, from the tyrant's vengeance—restore thee to thy native land—and thy native land to peace—would'st thou not rank Elvira with the good?

Rol.

To judge the action, I must know the means.

Elv.

Take this dagger.

Rol.

How to be used?

Elv.

I will conduct thee to the tent where fell Pizarro sleeps—That scourge of innocence—the terror of thy race—the fiend, that desolates thy afflicted country.

Rol.

Have you not been injured by Pizarro?

Elv.
[Page 43]

Deeply as scorn and insult can infuse their deadly venom.

Rol.

And you ask that I shall murder him in his sleep!

Elv.

Would he not have murder'd Alonzo in chains? he that sleeps and he that's bound, are equally defenceless. Hear me, Rolla—so may I prosper in this perilous act as, searching my full heart, I have put by all rancorous motive of private vengeance there, and feel that I advance to my dread purpose in the cause of human nature, and at the call of sacred justice.

Rol.

The God of justice sanctifies no evil as a step towards good. Great actions cannot be atchieved by wicked means.

Elv.

Then. Peruvian! since thou dost feel so coldly for thy country's wrongs, this hand, tho' it revolt my soul, shall strike the blow.

Rol.

Then is thy destruction certain, and for Peru thou peris [...]est!—Give me the dagger!

Elv.

Now follow me:—but first—and dreadful to the hart [...]—you must strike down the guard.

Rol.

The soldier who was on duty here?

Elv.

Yes, him—else, seeing thee, the alarm will be instant.

Rol.

And I must stab that soldier as I pass? Take back thy dagger.

Eto.

Rolla!

Rol.

That soldier, mark me, is a man—All are not men that bear the human form. He refus'd my prayers—refus'd my gold—denying to admit—till his own feelings [...] him. For my nations safty, I would not harm that man!

Elv.

Then he must be with us—I will answer for his safety.

Rol.

Be that plainly understood between us;—for whate'er betide our enterprize, I will not risk a hair of that man's head, to save my heart strings from consuming fire.

(Exeunt.
[Page 44]

SCENE II.

The inside of Pizarro's Tent.—Pizarro on a Couch, in disturbed sleep.
Piz.

(in his sleep) No mercy, traitor.—Now at his heart!—Stand off there, you—Let me see him bleed!—Ha! ha! ha!—Let me hear that groan again.

Enter ROLLA and ELVIRA.
Elv.

There!—NOw, lose not a moment.

Rol.

You must leave me now. This scene of blood fits not a woman's presence.

Elv.

But a moment's pause may—

Rol.

Go!—Retire to your own tent—and return not here—I will come to you—Be thou not known in this business, I implore you!

Elv.

I will withdraw the guard that waits.

(Exit Elvira.
Rol.

Now have I in my power the accurs'd destroyer of my country's peace: yet tranquilly he rests.—God!—can this man sleep?

Piz.

(In his sleep.) Away! Away!—Hideous fiends!—Tear not my bosom thus!

Rol.

No:—I was in error—the balm of sweet repose he never more can know. Look here ambitious fools!—Ye, by whose inhuman pride, the bleeding sacrifice of nations is held as nothing—behold the rest of the guilty! He is at my mercy—and one blow!—No!—my heart and hand refuse the act: Rolla cannot be an assasin!—You Elvira must be saved!(Approaches the Couch.) Pizarro! awake!—

Piz.

(Starts up) Who?—Guard!—

Rol.

Speak not—another word is thy death—Call not for aid!—this arm will be swifter than thy guard.

Piz.

What art thou? and what is thy will?

Rol.

I am thine enemy! Peruvian Rolla! Thy death is not my will, or I could have slain thee sleeping.

Piz.

Speak, what else?

Rol.

Now thou art at my mercy—answer me!—Did [Page 45] a Peruvian ever yet wrong or injure thee, or any of thy nation: didst thou, or any of thy nation, ever yet shew mercy to a Peruvian in your power? Now shalt thou feel—and if thou hast a heart, thou [...]t feel it keenly!—a Peruvian's vengeance! (Drops the dagger at his feet) There!

Piz.

Is it possible! (Walks aside confounded.)

Rol.

Can Pizarro be surprised at this? I thought forgiveness of injuries had been the Christian's precept—Thou seest, at least it is the Peruvian's practice.

Piz.

Rolla—thou hast indeed surpris'd subdu'd me. (Walks again aside as in irresolute thought.)

Re-enter ELVIRA, (not seeing Pizarro.)
Elv.

Is it done? Is he dead? (Sees Pizarro) How!—still living! Then I am lost! And for you, wretched Peruvians! mercy is no more!—Oh! Rolla! treacherous, or cowardly?—

Piz.

How can it be, that—

Rol.

Away! Elvira speaks she knows not what! Leave me (to Elvira) I conjure you, with Pizarro.

Elv.

How!—Rolla, do'st thou think I shall retract—or that I meanly will deny, that in thy hand I plac'd a poignard to be plung'd into that tyrant's heart? No:—my sole regret is, that I trusted to thy weakness, and did not strike the blow myself.—Too soon thou'lt learn that mercy to that man is direct cruelty to thy race!

Piz.

Guard! Quick! a guard to seize this frantic woman.

Elv.

Yes, a guard! I call them too! And soon I know they lead me to my death. But think not, Pizarro, the fury of thy flashing eyes shall awe me for a moment—Nor think that woman's anger, or the feelings of [...] injur'd heart, prompted me to this design—No! Ha [...] I been only influenc'd so—thus failing, shame and remorse would weigh me down. But tho' defeated and destroyed as now I am, such is the greatness of the cause that ur­ged me, I shall perish glorying in the attempt, and my last breath of life shall speak the proud avowal of my purpose—to have rescued millions of innocens from the blood-thirsty [Page 46] tyranny of ONE—by ridding the insulted world of THEE.

Rol.

Had the act been noble as the motive—Rolla would not have shrunk from its performance.

Enter Guards
Piz.

Seize this discover'd fiend, who sought to kill your leader.

Elv.

Touch me not, at the peril of your souls;—I am your prisoner, and will follow you.—But thou, their triumphant leader, shalt hear me. Yet, first—for thee Rolla, accept my forgiveness: even had I been the victim of thy nobleness of heart, I should have admired thee for it—But 'twas myself provok'd my doom—thou would'st have shielded me.—Let not thy contempt fol­low me to the grave. Didst thou but know the spell-like arts by which this hypocrite first undermin'd the virtue of a guileless heart! how, even in the pious sanctuary wherein I dwelt, by corruption and fraud, he practis'd upon those in whom I most confided—till my distemper'd fancy led me, step by step, into the [...] of guilt— [...]

Piz.

Why am I not obey'd?—Tear her hence!

Elv.

'Tis past—but didst thou know my story, Rolla, thou would'st pity me.

Rol.

From my soul I pity thee!

Piz.

Villains! drag her to the dungeon!—prepare the torture instantly.

Elv.

Soldiers—but a moment more—'Tis to applaud your general—It is to tell the astonish'd world, that, for once, Pizarro's sentence is an act of justice: yes, rack me with the sharpest tortures that ever agoniz'd the human frame; It will be justice. Yes—bid the minions—wr [...]neh forth the sinews of those arms that have caress'd and—ever have defended thee! Bid them, pour burn­ing metal into the bleeding cases of those eyes, that so oft, oh God!—have hung with love and homage on thy looks—then approach me bound on the abhorted wheel—there glut thy savage eyes with the convuls'd spasms of that dishonor'd bosom, which was once thy [...]! Yet, will I bear it all! And when thou shalt bid them tear me to death, hoping that thy unshrinking [Page 47] ears may at last be feasted with the music of my cries, I will not utter one shriek or groan—but to the last gasp, my body's patience shall deride vengeance, as my soul defies thy power.

Piz.

(Endeavouring to conceal his agitation.) Hear'st thou the wretch whose hands were even now prepared for murder?

Rol.

Yes! And if her accusation's false, thou wilt not shrink from hearing her: if true, thy barbarity can­not make her suffer the pangs thy conscience will inflict on thee

Elv.

And now, farewell, world!—Rolla farewell!—Farewell thou condemn'd of heaven!—(To Pizarro)—for repentance and remorse, I know, will never touch thy heart.—We shall meet again.—Ha! be it thy horror here, to know that we shall meet hereafter!—And when thy parting hour approaches—hark to the knell, whose dreadful beat will strike to thy despairing soul. Then, will vibrate to thy ear the curses of the cloister'd saint from whom you stole me. Then the last shrieks which burst from my mother's breaking heart, as she died, appealing to her God against the seducer of her child! Then the blood-stifled groan of my murder'd brother—murdered by thee, fell monster!—seeking atonement for his sisters ruin'd honour.—I hear them now To me, the recollection's madness!—At such an hour,—what will it be to thee?

Piz.

A moment's more delay, and at the peril of your lives—

Elv.

I have spoken—and the last mortal frailty of my heart is past.—And now, with an updaunted spirit, and unshaken firmness, I go to meet my destiny. That I could not live nobly, has been PIZARRO'S ACT. That I will die nobly, shall be my OWN.

(Exit guarded.
Piz.

Rolla, I would not thou, a warrior valiant and re­nown'd, should credit the vile tales of this frantic woman, The cause of all this fury—O! a wanton passion for the rebel youth Alonzo, now my prisoner.

Rol.

Alonzo is not now thy prisoner.

Piz.

How!

Rol.

I came to rescue him—to deceive his guard—I have succeeded; I remain thy prisoner.

Piz.
[Page 48]

Alonzo fled!—Is then the vengeance dearest to my heart never to he gratified?

Rol.

Dismiss such passions from thy heart; then thou'lt consult its peace.

Piz.

I can face all enemies that dare confront me—I cannot war against my nature.

Rol.

Then Pizarro, ask not to be deem'd a hero—to tri­umph o'er ourselves is the only conquest, where fortune makes no claim. In battle, chance may snatch the laurel from thee, or chance may place it on thy brow—but in a contest with yourself, be resolute, and the virtuous im­pulse must be the victor.

Piz.

Peruvian! thou shalt not find me to thee ungrate­ful, or ungenerous—return to your countrymen—you are at liberty.

Rol.

Thou do'st act in this as honor and duty bid thee.

Piz.

I cannot but admire thee, Rolla; I would we might be friends.

Rol.

Farewell.—Pity Elvira!—become the friend of virtue—and thou wilt be mine.

(Exit.
Piz.

Ambition! tell me what is the phantom I have fol­lowed? where is the one delight which it has made my own? my fame is the mark of envy—my love the dupe of treachery—my glory eclips'd by the boy I taught—my re­venge defeated and rebuked by the rude honor of a savage foe—before whose native dignity of soul I have sunk con­founded and subdued—and I have suffered him to escape! The enemy's strength was in my power.—Guards! (go­ing) hold, Pizarro, hast thou not pledged thy faith: dam­nation!—yet he is but a heathen, and our priests—away, away! damned sophistry!—the faith of heroes ever was the same.

(Exit.
[Page 49]

SCENE III.

An open place near the Peruvian camp.
ATALIBA, Reposing under a Tree
Ata,

Every thing around me is dreary and silent.—The sensations which succeed a victory resemble those which succeed a fever. We have scarcely strength enough to rejoice. Our smiles swim in tears—the tri­umph is expressed in sighs. Conquest is always dearly bought. Historians tell us how many are slain, but never let us know how many are made wretched. The arrow, which hits one heart, sometimes inflicts a hundred wounds. Oh! I would give all my conquests for one harvest festival.

Enter a Courtier
Court.

The herald has returned without consolation.

Ata.

Is Alonza dead?

Court.

No, but the Spaniards have refused the ransom. Your treasures, said the haughty robbers, belong to us, and soon we shall be your masters. Justice dwells in our strength.

Ata.

What! not humbled yet. Do these address, then, which are hissing round my throne, for ever grow again? where is Cora?

Court.

She fled with her child but none knows whither. The army is alarmed, for Rolla too has disappeared.

Ata.

Rolla! Impossible! He forsake me, when sur­rounded my misfortune and danger! oh, heavens! Is there no one who wishes to obtain my dignity! I will ex­change my situation for that of the meanest of my realm.

Enter ALONZO, in the Monk's habit.
Al.

Do I behold my king again?

Ata.

Alonzo, is it you?

Al.

Where is my wife?

Ata.

How did you escape?

Al.
[Page 50]

By half a miracle.

Ata.

Speak!—tell me all.

Al.

Who but Rolla could, by friendship urged, make so great a sacrifice? who but Rolla could muffle himself in this mantle, and force his way even to my prison? He it was, that broke my chains to h [...]ng them on himself.

Ata.

Rolla in our enemy's power! alas! you wound me again.

Al.

(Throwing off the monks habit.) Give me a sword, and five hundred of your boldest warsiors, that I may hasten to release him.

Ata.

Shall I risk in you my last support?

Alon.

The enemy is dismayed; and the camp on the right side but ill defended. Pizarro has made himself detested by his cruelties. His soldiers murmur; let them not have time to reflect. Another victory, and we drive them into the ocean.

Ata.

Accompany me, I will myself examine where it will be most proper to attack them.

Al.

Do not expose yourself to danger, you are our king.

Ata.

When the children are surrounded with danger, the father should exert himself.

Al.

Let me first embrace my dearest Cora.

Ata.

(with confusion.) Cora!

Al.

Her sufferings must have been great.

Ata.

They have indeed.

Al.

I will return to you in a few moments.

Ata.

Where will you seek her?

Al.

(alarmed) Is she not here?

Ata.

Her anxiety drove her from us.

Al.

Whither?

Ata.

I know not. To the mountains, perhaps where her father dwells.

Al.

Heavens! what a chillness runs through my veins!

Court.

She was seen running about the field of battle, calling for Alonzo till it was dark.

Al.

And—

Court.

Then she disappeared in the woods.

Al.

The woods! where Spanish soldiers are continually—Cora! Cora! (Going.)

Ata.

Alonzo! whither are you going!

Al.
[Page 51]

Wherever error and despair may lead me. Good Inca, you are in safety. The vanquished foe dare not attack you. Oh you who does protect the rights of all your subjects, respect, the rights of nature, my wife, my child, my all is [...], Release me from my duty as a leader, that I may fulfil the duties of a husband, and go in search of Cora.

Ata.

I deeply feel your agony, go, but forget not Rolla.

Al.

Cora!—Rolla!—what guardian angel will direct my steps.

(Exit.
Ata.

(to the Courtier.) Give me your sword, (the Courtier presents I [...]) [...] (tries to raise it but his arm sinks) I cannot, poor monarch! what avail reason and courage of the limbs refuse their office.

(Exit.)
END OF THE FOURTH ACT.
[Page 52]

ACT V.

SCENE. I.

A thick Forest—in the back ground a Hut almost covered by Boughs of Trees—A dreadful storm, with Thunder and Lightning—CORA has covered her Child on a Bed of Leaves and Moss—Her whole appearance is wild and distracted.
Cora.

O NATURE! thou has [...] the strength of love. My anxious spirit is untired in its march—my wearied, shivering frame, sinks under it. And, [...] thee, my boy—when faint beneath thy lovely burthen, could I refuse to give thy slumbers that poor bed of rest! O my child! were I assured thy father breathes no more, how quickly would I [...]ay me down by thy dear side; but down—down for ever. (Thunder and lightning). I ask thee not, unpitying storm! to abate thy rage, in mercy to poor Cora's misery; nor while thy thunders spare his slumbers will I disturb my sleeping cherub. Tho' Heaven knows I wish to hear the [...] of life, and feel that life is near me. But I will [...] all while what I have of reason holds. (Thunder and lightning.) Still, still, implacable! unfeeling settlements! yet still dost thou sleep, my smiling innocent O, death! when wilt thou grant to this babe's mother such repose? Sure I may shield thee better from the storm; my veil may—

While she is wrapping her mantle and her veil over him, ALONZO'S voice is heard a great distance.

Al.

Cora!

Cora.

Hah!!! (Rises.)

Al. (Again)

Cora!

Cora.

O, my heart! Sweet Heaven deceive me not!—Is it not Alonzo's voice?

Al.

(Nearer) Cora!

Cora.

It is—it is Alonzo!

Al.

(Nearer still) Cora my beloved!—

Cora.

Alonzo!—Here!—Here!—Alonzo!

(Runs out
[Page 53] Enter two Spanish Soldiers.
1st Sol.

I tell you we are near our out-posts, and the word we heard just now was the countersign.

2d sol.

Well, in [...]our escape from the enemy, to have discovered their secret passage thro' the rocks, will prove a lucky chance to us—Pizarro will reward us.

1st Sol.

This way—The sun, though clouded, is on our left. (Perceives the Child.) What have we here?—A child!—as I am a soldier.

2d Sol.

'Tis a sweet [...] babe. Now would it be a great charity to take this infant from its pagan mother's power.

1st Sol.

It would so.—I have one at home shall play with it.—Come along.

(Takes the Child. Exeunt.)
Re-enter CORA with ALONZO.
Cora.

(Speaking without) This way, dear Alonzo, Now I am [...]—there—there—under that tree. Was it possible the instinct of a mother's heart could mistake the spirit. Now will you look at him as he sleeps, or shall I bring [...] waking with his full blue laughing eyes to welcome [...] at once—Yes—yes—stand thou there—I'll snatch [...] from his rosy slumber, blushing like the perfume [...].

She runs up to the spot, and, finding only the [...] and veil, which she tears from the ground, [...] the child gone, (shrieks) and stands in speechless [...].

Al.

(Running to her) Cora!—my heart's beloved!

Cora.

He is gone!

Al.

Eternal God!

Cora.

He is gone!—my child! my child!

Al.

Where did you leave him?

Cora.

(Dashing herself on the spat) Here!

Al.

Be calm, beloved Cora—he has wak'd, and accept to a little distance—we shall find him—are you assured this was the spot you left him in?

Cora.

Did not these hands make that bed, and shelter for him?—and is not this the veil that covered him?

Al.

Here is a hut yet unobserved.

Cora.
[Page 54]

Ha! Yes, yes! therelives the savage that has rob'd me of my child—(Beats at the door exclaiming) Give me back my child—restore to me my boy!

Enter LAS CASSAS from the Hut
Las-C.

Who calls me from my wretched solitude?

Cora.

Give me back my child! (Goes into the hut and calls) Fernando!

Al.

Almighty powers! do my eyes deceive me! Las Casas!!!

Las-C.

Alonzo,—my belov'd young friend!

Al.

My rever'd instructor. (Embracing.)

Cora.

(Returned.) Will you embrace [...] man before he restores my boy?

Al.

Alas, my friend—in what a moment of misery do we meet!

Cora.

Yet his look is goodness and humanity.—Good old man, have compassion on a wretched mother—and I will be your servant while I live.—But do not, for pity's sake—do not say, you have him not—do not say you have not seen him.

(Runs into the Wood.)
Las-C.

What can this mean?

Al.

She is my wife.—Just rescued from the Spanish prison, I learn'd she had fled to this wild forest—hearing my voice, she left the child, and flew to [...] me—he was left sleeping under yonder tree.

Las-C.

How! did you leave him?—(Cora returns.)

Cora,

O, you are right!—right!—unnatural, mother, that I was—I left my child—I forsook my [...]—but I will fly to the earth's brink, but I will find him. I have left my darling infant, and the vengeance of the gods pursue me.

Las-C.

Oh that I could console you!

Al.

Help me to bear this load of [...].

Cora.

(Raving) Look at that speckled snake!—look how it twines round the child's body!—now it hisses!—now it stings his heart!

Al.

Dearest Cora, compose yourself.

Cora.

Do you see that cruel condor hovering in the air. Now it shoots down—darts its talons into the de­fenceless infant. There a blood thirsty tyger lies in [Page 55] ambush, waiting for its prey!—now it springs from the thicket!—see how it tears him to pieces! (Falls) Help! help!

Al.

(Kneeling by her side.) My wife! my son!

Las-C.

Images of misery pursue me even to this soli­tude!

Al.

Console us, Oh, Las-Casas, my instructor, my benefactor, do not forsake us at this sorrowful hour.

Las-C.

I will remain with you, but we are near the Spanish camp, fly to your friends. I will accompany you.

Al.

But how shall we convey this wretched being?

Las-C.

Raise her.

Al.

Come, dearest Cora—let us go.

Cora.

Go! whither?

Al.

To our friends.

Cora.

I quit this place—this place where my Fernando died?

Al.

We are so near the enemy's camp.

Cora.

How cruel thou art! shall I even not collect my infant's bones?

Al.

Your father and brother are arrived.

Cora.

I have neither father nor brother. I only had a child.

Al.

We will go in search of it.

Cora.

(Suddenly springing up) Go in search of it? where! where!

Al.

This old man will assist us.

Cora.

Yes, yes good old man! assist us to seek our child.

Las-C.

Willingly, dear Cora, if you will collect yourself.

Cora.

Have you any children?

Las-C.

No.

Cora.

Then I may forgive the expression. Give me back my child—then you will learn to know the compo­sure of a mother.

(Runs out.)
Al.

Forgive me, Las-Casas, I must follow her: for at night, I attempt brave Rolla's rescue.

Las-C.

I will not leave you, Alonzo—you must try to lead her to the right—that way lies your camp—Wait not my infirm steps,—I follow you, my friend.

(Exeunt.
[Page 56]

SCENE II.

The Out Post of the Spanish Camp.—The back ground wild and rocky, with a Torrent falling down the Precipice, over which a Bridge is formed by a felled Tree. Trumpets sound without.
Almagro.

(Without.) Bear him along—his story must be false.(Entering.)

ROLLA (in Chains) brought in by Soldiers.
Rol.

False!—Rolla, utter falsehood!—I would I had thee in a desart with thy troop around thee;—and I, but with my sword in this unshackled hand!—(Trumpets without.

Alm.

Is it to be credited that Rolla, the renown'd Peruvian hero—should be detected like a spy, skulking thro' our camp?

Rol.

Skulking!

Alm.

But answer to the general—he is here.

Enter PIZARRO.
Piz.

What do I see! Rolla!

Rol.

O! to your surprise, no doubt.

Piz.

And bound too!

Rol.

So fast, you need'st not fear approaching me.

Alm.

The guards surpris'd him, passing our out-post.

Piz.

Release him instantly.—Believe me, I regret this insult.

Rol.

You feel then as you ought.

Piz.

Nor can I brook to see a warrior of Rolla's fame disarm'd—Accept this, tho' it has been thy enemy's. (Gives a sword.) The Spaniards know the courtesy that's due to valour.

Rol.

And the Peruvian, how to forget offence.

Piz.

May not Rolla and Pizarro cease to be foes?

Rol.

When the sea divides us!—

Piz.

How if we were to be united by mutual interest? [Page 57] my claim to Quito's throne I will renounce. Submit to the Spanish sceptre, acknowledge the christian faith, and I am satisfied.

Rol.

Generous indeed!

Piz.

The protection of a mighty monarch depends on Pizarro's friendship, and this Pizarro makes thee an offer of his hand.

Rol.

Rolla never was a traitor.

Piz.

Thou wilt alone avert misfortune from thy native land.

Rol.

I owe my life but not my honor, to my native land.

Piz.

It is only removing a weak king from a station for which he was not formed.

Rol.

Ataliba weak!—but were he weak, a king who makes his people happy, is, through their affection, strong.

Piz.

Follow thy own counsel.

Rol.

My conscience has long since decided.

Piz.

Rejected friendship rages as fiercely as rejected love.

Rol.

Ha! that is the point at which I see you aim. Take off the mask.

Piz.

(Subduing his fury.) Rolla, thou mistak'st me.

Rol.

May I now depart?

Piz.

(After a struggle) Freely.

Rol.

Will nothing intercept my way.

Piz.

Nothing unless repentance bring thee back.

Rol.

Thanks to the gods, I have never yet repented any thing.

Enter DAVILLA and Soldiers, with the Child
Dav.

Here are two soldiers, captived yesterday, who have escap'd from the Peruvian hold,—and by the secret way we have so long endeavoured to discover.

Piz.

Silence;—imprudent!—Seest thou not?—(Point­ing to Rolla)

Dav.

In their way they found a Peruvian child, who seems—

Piz.

What is the imp to me?—Bid them toss it into the sea.

Rol.
[Page 58]

Gracious heaven! it is Alonzo's child!—give it to me.

Piz.

Ha! Alonzo's child!—Welcome, thou pretty hostage.—Now Alonzo is again my prisoner!

Rol.

Thou wilt not keep the infant from its mother?

Piz.

Will I not!—What, when I shall meet Alonzo in the heat of the victorious fight—think'st thou I shall not have a check upon the valour of his heart, when he is reminded that a word of mine is this child's death?

Rol.

I do not understand you.

Piz.

My vengeance has a long arrear of hate to settle with Alonzo!—and this pledge may help to settle the account,

Rol.

Man! Man!—Art thou a man?—Could'st thou hurt that innocent!—By Heaven! it is smiling in thy face.

Piz.

Figure to thyself this little head stuck on a lance's point—then fancy Alonzo, with uplifted sword, running against us, bearing all before him like a rapid stream, which nothing can arrest but a—child's head. Ha! I see him there standing petrified.—Down sinks his sword, and with horror in his countenance, he surveys the bloody banner, from which the drops are still trickling down the lance. Ha! ha! ha!

Rol.

Dost thou call thyself a human being?

Piz.

And then at his arrival at home, when his anxi­ous wife throws her white arms around his neck, and with her silken hair wipes off the drops of blood—"Stop," he will say "you think this to be the enemy's blood."—Ha! ha! ha! it's the blood of your infant."

Rol.

Look at the boy's sweet smiles. Could'st thou murder this innocent?

Piz.

Could'st thou kill a pigeon?

Rol.

Be contented with a ransom, I will send this infant's weight in silver.

Piz.

Convert it into a monument, to be erected on his grave.

Rol.

Pizarro, I have spared your life. Grant me in return this infant's life.

Piz.

Tell me, does it resemble Cora?

Rol.

Pizarro! thou hast set my heart on fire—If thou do'st harm that child—think not his blood will sink into [Page 59] the barren sand—No!—faithful to the eager hope that now trembles in his indignat heart—'twill rise to the common God of nature and humanity, and cry aloud for vengeance on it's accurs'd destroyer's head.

Piz.

Be that peril mine.

Rol.

(Throwing himself at his feet) Behold me at thy feet—Me, Rolla!—Me, the preserver of thy life!—Me, that have never yet bent or bow'd before created man!—In humble agony I sue to you—prostrate I implore you—but spare that child, and I will be your slave.

Piz.

Rolla! still art thou free to go—this boy remains with me.

Rol.

Then was this sword Heaven's gift, not thine! (Seizes the Child)—Who moves one step to follow me, dies upon the spot.

[Exit, with the Child.
Piz.

Pursue him instantly—but spare his life (Exeunt Almagro and soldiers.) With what fury he defends him­self!—Ha!—he fells them to the ground—and now—

Enter ALMAGRO.
Alm.

Three of your brave soldiers are already victims to your command to spare this madman's life; and if he once gains the thicket—

Piz.

Spare him no longer (Exit Almagro.) Their guns must reach him—he'll yet escape—holloa to those horse—the Peruvian sees them—and now he turns among the rocks—then is his retreat cut off.

(Rolla crosses the wooden bridge over the cataract, pursu­ed by the soldiers—they fire at him—a shot strikes him—Pizarro exclaims

Piz.

Now! quick! quick! seize the child!—

(Rolla tears from the rock the tree which supports the bridge, and retreats by the back ground, bearing off the child.)

Re-enter ALMAGRO.
Alm.

By hell! he has escap'd!—and with the child unhurt.

Dav.
[Page 60]

No—he bears his death with him—Believe me, I saw him struck upon the side.

Piz.

Shot!—Brave man—worthy of a nobler Heath!—I might have won thy friendship—yes, by heaven I admire him—yet I am his murderer! away!—give me a thousand men like him, and I will conquer the world!

SCENE III.

An open place near the Peruvian Camp.
Enter ATALIBA in deep Meditation
Ata.

The storm is over, the enemy quiet, and my troops are buried in profound sleep. Not a breath of air is murmuring in the trees. All is silent around me—but not here—(pointing to his heart.) And why not here?—Did I not draw the sword for God and my country? why am I to be pursued by the spectres of the slain? Why am I to be tormented by the groans of the dying?

Enter CORA, raving.
Cora.

Whither am I going? where is my child's grave (Seeing the king) ha! thou son of the sun, restore to me my child.

Ata.

Cora, whence come you?

Cora.

From my infants grave—there under the earth—there it is cold and damp. (shudders) I shiver!

Ata.

Horrible!

Enter ALONZO and LAS-CASAS, in search of CORA.
Al.

Wretched Cora! whether does thy phrenzy lead thee?

Cora.

Peace Alonzo. There stands the sun of the gods. The sun is his father. Let him but say a word, and the grave will open, and throw out its prey (Embraces [Page 61] his knees) oh my king, speak this one powerful word! have pity on a distracted mother's anguish.

Ata.

Ye gods! what means this?

Al.

She has lost her infant.

Ata.

Poor mother, I cannot receive you. Alas! I am [...] king.

Corn.

You cannot! who can help me then? To whom have the gods entrusted our existence? It was thee who led the Peruvians to battle—it was my Alonzo that fought for thee—dost thou refuse me the only reward for all his courage—the life of a child, who will hereafter fight for thee?

Ata.

Annihilate me ye gods! I cannot bear this.

Cora.

(Hastily rising) Tyrant who cannot be moved either by my prayers or by my anguish, has not yet blood enough been split to satisfy thy rank ambition? Behold on each of thy diamonds hangs a drop of blood. Art thou [...] satisfied—must an infant be torn from a mother's breast to cast it to the beasts of prey?—What is thy diadem to me? what cares a mother for Quito's throne? Come hither her all ye, whom victory has robbed of children! assist me to curse this barbarian and let the cries of our misery rise with his shouts of joy to heaven. Oh, if he does but feel for ever the distresses of one wretched mother, his punishment will be great. (Sinks breathless to the ground.

Al.

(Clasping her in his arms)—To Ataliba.) Excuse the parenzy of a mother.

Ata.

(Wiping away a tear) Alas! my throne can bestow no compensation for this tear.

Cora.

(Smiling) Alonzo, my breast is painful. Reach me the child. (Exhausted) Oh, cruel Alonzo; you see me dying, and will not let me feel once more the rapture of embracing my child.

Al.

Alas! this is more horrid than her phrenzy. Continue raging, poor helpless mother! thou no longer hast a child.

Cora.

(Smiling) Thou no longer hast a child.

Enter a Peruvian

Peruvian Rolla comes.

Ata.

and Alon. Rolla! Rolla!

[Page 62] Enter ROLLA Wounded, in his right hand the bloody sword, on his left arm CORA'S Child.
Ata.

Heavens!

Rol.

(Sinks on his knees before Cora exclaiming) Cora, thy infant!

Cora.

My child—covered with blood!

Rol.

It is my blood (Giving her the child.)

Cora.

(Pressing it to her breast) My infant! Rolla!

Rol.

I loved thee! thou hast done me injustice! I can do no more—(Sinking.)

Alon.

(Kneeling down by him) Rolla! thou diest!—

Rol.

For Cora—and thee!—(Dies.)

Cora.

(Throwing herself down by the body) O! has ever mortal loved like this man? (To the child) Boy, thou art dearly purchased!

Al.

(Starting up) Las-Casas! help me to believe in God.

Las-C.

His ways are obscure. Pray and be humble.

THE END.

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