The Mourning Bride/Act IV

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Act IV, Scene 1[edit]

A Room of State. -

Enter ZARA and SELIM. -

ZARA. Thou hast already rack'd me with thy Stay;
Therefore require me not to ask thee twice:
Reply at once to all. What is concluded?

SELIM. Your Accusation highly has incens'd
The King, and were alone enough to urge
The Fate of Osmyn; but to that, fresh News
Is since arriv'd, of more revolted Troops.
'Tis certain Heli too is fled, and with him
(Which breeds Amazement and Distraction) some
Who bore high Offices of Weight and Trust,
Both in the State and Army. This confirms
The King, in full belief of all you told him,
Concerning Osmyn's corresponding with
The Heads of those who first began the Mutiny.
Wherefore a Warrant for his Death is sign'd;
And Order given for publick Execution.

ZARA. Ha! haste thee! fly, prevent his Fate and mine;
Find out the King, tell him I have of Weight
More than his Crown t'impart ere Osmyn die.

SELIM. It needs not, for the King will strait be here,
And as to your Revenge, not his own Int'rest,
Pretend to Sacrifice the Life of Osmyn.

ZARA. What shall I say? Invent, contrive, advise
Somewhat to blind the King, and save his Life
In whom I live. Spite of my Rage and Pride,
I am a Woman, and a Lover still.
O! 'tis more Grief but to suppose his Death,
Than still to meet the Rigour of his Scorn.
From my Despair my Anger had its Source;
When he is dead I must despair for ever.
For ever! that's Despair- it was Distrust
Before; Distrust will ever be in Love,
And Anger in Distrust, both short-liv'd Pains.
But in Despair, and ever-during Death,
No Term, no Bound, but Infinite of Woe.
O Torment, but to think! what then to bear?
Not to be born- Devise the Means to shun it,
Quick; or, by Heav'n, this Dagger drinks thy Blood.

SELIM. My Life is yours, nor wish I to preserve it,
But to serve you. I have already thought.

ZARA. Forgive my Rage; I know thy Love and Truth.
But say, what's to be done? or when, or how
Shall I prevent, or stop th' approaching Danger?

SELIM. You must still seem most resolute and fix'd
On Osmyn's Death; too quick a Change of Mercy
Might breed Suspicion of the Cause. Advise,
That execution may be done in private.

ZARA. On what Pretence?

SELIM. Your own Request's enough.
However, for a Colour, tell him, you
Have Cause to fear his Guards may be corrupted,
And some of them bought off to Osmyn's Int'rest;
Who, at the Place of Execution, will
Attempt to force his way for an Escape.
The State of things will countenance all Suspicions.
Then offer to the King to have him strangl'd
In secret, by your Mutes; and get an Order,
That none but Mutes may have Admittance to him.
I can no more, the King is here. Obtain
This Grant- and I'll acquaint you with the rest. -

Enter KING, Gonsalez, GARCIA, PEREZ. -

KING. Bear to the Dungeon those Rebellious Slaves,
Th' ignoble Currs, that yelp to fill the Cry,
And spend their Mouths in barking Tyranny.
But for their Leaders, Sancho and Ramirez,
Let 'em be led away to present Death.
Perez, see it perform'd.

GONS. Might I presume,
Their Execution better were deferr'd,
'Till Osmyn die. Mean time we may learn more
Of this Conspiracy.

KING. Then be it so.
Stay, Soldier; they shall suffer with the Moor.
Are none return'd of those who follow'd Heli?

GONS. None, Sir. Some Papers have been since discover'd
In Roderigo's House, who fled with him,
Which seem to intimate, as if Alphonso,
Still alive, were arming in Valentia:
Which wears indeed this Colour of a Truth,
They who are fled have that way bent their Course.
Of the same Nature, divers Notes have been
Dispers'd, t'amuze the People; whereupon
Some ready of Belief, have rais'd this Rumour:
That being sav'd upon the Coast of Africk,
He there disclos'd himself to Albucacim,
And by a secret Compact made with him,
Open'd the way to this Invasion;
While he himself, returning to Valentia
In private, undertook to raise this Tumult.

ZARA. Ha! hear'st thou that? Is Osmyn then Alphonso!
O Heav'n! a thousand things occur
To my Remembrance now, that make it plain.
O certain Death for him, as sure Despair
For me, if it be known- If not, what Hope
Have I? Yet 'twere the lowest Baseness, now
To yield him up- No, I will still conceal him,
And try the Force of yet more Obligations.

GONS. 'Tis not impossible. Yet, it may be
That some Impostor has usurp'd his Name.
Your beauteous Captive, Zara, can inform,
If such a one, so 'scaping, was receiv'd,
At any time, in Albucacim's Court.

KING. Pardon, fair Excellence, this long Neglect:
An unforeseen, unwelcome Hour of Business,
Has thrust between us and our while of Love;
But wearing now a-pace with ebbing Sand,
Will quickly waste, and give again the Day.

ZARA. You're too secure: The Danger is more imminent
Than you high Courage suffers you to see;
While Osmyn lives, you are not safe.

KING. His Doom
Is pass'd; if you revoke it not, he dies.

ZARA. 'Tis well. By what I heard upon your Entrance,
I find I can unfold what yet concerns
You more. One that did call himself Alphonso
Was cast upon my Coast, as is reported;
And oft had private Conference with the King;
To what Effect I knew not then: But that
Alphonso, privately departed, just
About the time our Arms embark'd for Spain.
What I know more, is, That a tripple League
Of strictest Friendship, was profess'd between
Alphonso, Heli, and the Traytour Osmyn.

KING. Publick Report is ratify'd in this.

ZARA. And Osmyn's Death requir'd of strong necessity.

KING. Give Order strait, that all the Pris'ners die,
We will our self behold the Execution.

ZARA. Forbear a Moment; somewhat more I have
Worthy your private Ear, and this your Minister.

KING. Let all else void the Room. Garcia, give Order
For doubling all our Guards; command that our
Militia are in Arms: We will anon
Ride forth, and view the order of our Troops.

[Exeunt GARCIA, PEREZ, and Attendants.]

ZARA. I am your Captive, and you've us'd me nobly;
And in return of that, tho' otherwise
Your Enemy, I have discover'd Osmyn
His private Practice and Conspiracy
Against your State: And fully to discharge
My self of what I've undertaken, now
I think it fit to tell you, that your Guards
Are tainted; some among 'em have resolv'd
To rescue Osmyn at the Place of Death.

KING. Is Treason then so near us as our Guards!

ZARA. Most certain; tho' my Knowledge is not yet
So ripe, to point at the particular Men.

KING. What's to be done?

ZARA. That too I will advise.
I have remaining in my train some Mutes,
A Present once from the Sultana Queen,
In the Grand Signior's Court. These, from their Infancy,
Are practis'd in the Trade of Death; and shall
(As there the Custom is) in private strangle Osmyn.

GONS. My Lord, the Queen advises well.

KING. What Off'ring, or what Recompence remains
In me, that can be worthy of so great Services?
To cast beneath your Feet the Crown you've sav'd,
Though on the Head that wears it, were too little.

ZARA. Of that hereafter; but, mean time, 'tis fit
You order none may have Admittance to
The Pris'ner, but such Messengers, as I
Shall send.

KING. Who waits there? -

Enter PEREZ. -

On your Life take heed,
That only Zara's Mutes, or such who bring
Her Warrant, have admittance to the Moor.

ZARA. They and no other; not the Princess self.

PEREZ. Your Majesty shall be obey'd.

KING. Retire. [Ex. PEREZ.]

GONS. That Interdiction so particular,
Pronounc'd with Vehemence against the Princess,
Should have more Meaning than appears bare-fac'd.
The King is blinded by his Love, and heeds
It not. Your Majesty sure might have spared
That last Restraint; you hardly can suspect
The Princess is Confederate with the Moor.

ZARA. I've heard, her Charity did once extend
So far to visit him, at his Request.

GONS. Ha!

KING. How? she visit Osmyn! What, my Daughter?

SELIM. Madam, take heed; or you have ruin'd all.

ZARA. And after did sollicite you on his
Behalf.-

KING. Never. You have been mis-inform'd.

ZARA. Indeed? Then 'twas a Whisper spread by some
Who wish'd it so; a common Art in Courts.
I will retire, and instantly prepare
Instruction for my Ministers of Death [Exeunt ZARA and SELIM.]

GONS. There's somewhat yet of Mystery in this;
Her Words and Actions are obscure and double,
Sometimes concur, and sometimes disagree;
I like it not.

KING. What dost thou think, Gonsalez;
Are we not much indebted to this fair one?

GONS. I am a little slow of Credit, Sir,
In the Sincerity of Womens Actions.
Methinks this Lady's Hatred to the Moor,
Disquiets her too much; which makes it seem
As if she'd rather that she did not hate him.
I wish her Mutes are meant to be employ'd
As she pretends- I doubt it now- Your Guards
Corrupted; how? by whom? who told her so?
I' th' Evening Osmyn was to die; at Mid-night
She beg'd the Royal Signet to release him;
I' th' Morning he must die again; ere Noon
Her Mutes alone must Strangle him or he'll
Escape. This put together suits not well.

KING. Yet, that there's Truth in what she has discover'd,
Is manifest from every Circumstance.
This Tumult, and the Lords who fled with Heli,
Are Confirmation- that Alphonso lives,
Agrees expresly too with her Report.

GONS. I grant it, Sir; and doubt not, but in Rage
Of Jealousie, she has discover'd what
She now repents. It may be I'm deceiv'd.
But why that needless Caution of the Princess?
What if she had seen Osmyn? to' 'twere strange.
But if she had, what was't to her? unless
She fear'd her stronger Charms, might cause the Moor's
Affection to revolt.

KING. I thank thee, Friend.
There's Reason in thy Doubt, and I am warn'd.
But think'st thou that my Daughter saw this Moor?

GONS. If Osmyn be, as Zara has related,
Alphonso's Friend; 'tis not impossible,
But she might wish on his Account to see him.

KING. Say'st thou? by Heav'n thou hast arous'd a Thought,
That like a sudden Earth-quake, shakes my Frame;
Confusion! then my Daughter's an Accomplice,
And plots in Private with this hellish Moor.

GONS. That were too hard a Thought- but see she comes.
'Twere not amiss to question her a little,
And try howe'er, if I've divin'd aright.
If what I fear be true, she'll be concern'd
For Osmyn's Death, as he's Alphonso's Friend.
Urge that, to try if she'll sollicite for him. -

Enter ALMERIA and LEONORA. -

KING. Your coming has prevented me, Almeria;
I had determin'd to have sent for you.
Let your Attendant be dismiss'd; I have [Exit LEONORA.]
To talk with you. Come near, why dost thou shake?
What mean those swollen and redfleck'd Eyes, that look
As they had wept in Blood, and worn the Night
In waking Anguish? Why this, on the Day
Which was design'd to celebrate thy Nuptials?
But that the Beams of Light are to be stain'd
With reeking Gore, from Traytors on the Rack:
Wherefore I have deferr'd the Marriage-Rites,
Nor shall the guilty Horrors of this Day
Prophane that Jubilee.

ALM. All Days to me
Henceforth are equal; this the Day of Death,
To Morrow, and the next, and each that follows,
Will undistinguish'd roll, and but prolong
One hated Line of more extended Woe.

KING. whence is thy Grief? Give me to know the Cause,
And look thou answer me with Truth; for know,
I am not unacquainted with thy Falshood.
Why art thou mute? base and degenerate Maid!

GONS. Dear Madam, speak, or you'll incense the King.

ALM. What is't to speak? or wherefore should I speak?
What mean these Tears, but Grief unutterable?

KING. Yes, Guilt; they are the dumb Confessions of
Thy guilty Mind; and say thou wert Confed'rate
With damn'd Conspirators to take my Life.
O impious Parricide! now canst thou speak?

ALM. O Earth, behold, I kneel upon thy Bosom,
And bend my flowing Eyes, to stream upon
Thy Face, imploring thee that thou wilt yield;
Open thy Bowels of Compassion, take
Into thy Womb the last and most forlorn
Of all thy Race. Hear me, thou common Parent;
-I have no Parent else- be thou a Mother,
And step between me and the Curse of him,
That was- that was, but is no more a Father.
But brands my Innocence with horrid Crimes,
And for the tender Names of Child and Daughter,
Now calls me Murderer and Parricide.

KING. Rise, I command thee rise- and if thou wou'dst
Acquit thy self of those detested Names,
Swear thou hast never seen that foreign Dog,
Now doom'd to die, that most accursed Osmyn.

ALM. Never, but as with Innocence, I might,
And free of all bad Purposes. So Heav'n's
My Witness.

KING. Vile equivocating Wretch!
With Innocence? Death and Perdition, she
Confesses it. By Heav'n I'll have him rack'd,
Torn, mangl'd, flay'd, impal'd- all Pains and Tortures
That Wit of Man and dire Revenge can think,
Shall he accumulated under-bear.

ALM. Oh, I am lost- there, Fate begins to wound.

KING. Hear me, then, if thou canst reply, know, Traitress,
I'm not to learn that curs'd Alphonso lives;
Nor am I ignorant what Osmyn is.-

ALM. Then all is ended, and we both must die,
Since thou'rt reveal'd, alone thou shalt not die.
And yet alone would I have dy'd, Heav'n knows,
Repeated Deaths, rather than have reveal'd thee.
Yes, all my Father's wounding Wrath, tho' each
Reproach cuts deeper than the keenest Sword,
And cleaves my Heart; I would have born it all,
Nay, all the Pains that are prepar'd for thee:
To the remorseless Rack I would have given
This weak and tender Flesh, to have been bruis'd
And torn, rather than have reveal'd thy Being.

KING. Hell, Hell! do I hear this, and yet endure!
What, dar'st thou to my Face avow thy Guilt?
Hence, e'er I curse- flie my just Rage, with speed;
Lest I forget us both, and spurn thee from me.

ALM. And yet a Father! think I am your Child.
Turn not your Eyes away- look on me kneeling;
Now curse me if you can, now spurn me off.
Did ever Father curse his kneeling Child!
Never: for always Blessings crown that Posture.
Nature inclines, and half-way meets that Duty,
Stooping to raise from Earth the filial Reverence;
For bended Knees, returning folding Arms,
With Pray'rs, and Blessings, and paternal Love.
O hear me then, thus crawling on the Earth-

KING. Be thou advis'd, and let me go while yet
The light Impression thou hast made, remains.

ALM. No, never will I rise, nor loose this Hold,
'Till you are mov'd, and grant that he may live.

KING. Ha! who may live? take heed, no more of that;
For on my Soul he dies, tho' thou, and I,
And all should follow to partake his Doom.
Away, off, let me go.- Call her Attendants. -

Enter LEONORA and Attendants. -

ALM. Drag me, harrow the Earth with my bare Bosom,
I'll not let go, 'till you have spar'd my Husband.

KING. Ha! what say'st thou? Husband! Husband! Damnation!
What Husband? which? who?

ALM. He, he is my Husband.

KING. Poyson and Daggers! who?

ALM. O- [Faints.]

GONS. Help, support her.

ALM. Let me go, let me fall, sink deep- I'll dig,
I'll dig a Grave, and tear up Death; I will;
I'll scrape 'till I collect his rotten Bones,
And cloath their Nakedness with my own Flesh,
Yes, I will strip of Life, and we will change:
I will be Death; then tho' you kill my Husband
He shall be mine, still and for ever mine.

KING. What Husband? who? whom dost thou mean?

GONS. Alas, she raves!

ALM. O that I did. Osmyn, he is my Husband.

KING. Osmyn.

ALM. Not Osmyn, but Alphonso is my dear
And wedded Husband- Heav'n, and Air, and Seas,
Ye Winds and Waves, I call ye all to witness.

KING. Wilder than Winds or Waves thy self dost rave.
Should I hear more, I too should catch thy Madness.
Yet somewhat she must mean of dire Import,
Which I'll not hear, 'till I am more at Peace.
Watch her returning Sense, and bring me Word:
And look that she attempt not on her Life. [Ex. KING.]

ALM. O stay, yet stay; hear me, I am not mad.
I would to Heav'n I were- He's gone!

GONS. Have Comfort.

ALM. Curs'd be that Tongue, that bids me be of Comfort;
Curs'd my own Tongue, that cou'd not move his Pity;
Curs'd these weak Hands, that cou'd not hold him here;
For he is gone to doom Alphonso's Death.

GONS. Your too excessive Grief works on your Fancy,
And deludes your Sense. Alphonso, if living,
Is far from hence, beyond your Father's Power.

ALM. Hence, thou detested, ill-tim'd Flatterer;
Source of my Woes: Thou and thy Race be curs'd;
But doubly thou, who could'st alone have Policy
And Fraud, to find the fatal Secret out,
And know that Osmyn was Alphonso.

GONS. Ha!

ALM. Why dost thou start? What dost thou see or hear?
Was it the doleful Bell, toling for Death?
Or dying Groans from my Alphonso's Breast?
See, see, look yonder! where a grizled, pale,
And ghastly Head, glares by, all smear'd with Blood,
Gasping as it would speak; and after it,
Behold a damp, dead Hand has dropp'd a Dagger:
I'll catch it- hark! a Voice cries Murder! 'tis
My Father's Voice; hollow it sounds, and from
The Tomb it calls- I'll follow it, for there
I shall again behold my dear Alphonso. [Exit with Attendants.]

GONS. She's greatly griev'd; nor am I less surpriz'd.
Osmyn Alphonso! no; she over-rates
My Policy! I ne'er suspected it:
Nor now had known it, but from her Mistake.
Her husband too! Ha! Where is Garcia then?
And where the Crown that shou'd descend on him,
To grace the Line of my Posterity?
Hold, let me think- if I shou'd tell the King-
Things come to this Extremety? his Daughter
Wedded already- what if he should yield?
Knowing no Remedy, for what is past;
And urg'd by Nature pleading for his Child,
With which he seems to be already shaken.
And tho' I know he hates beyond the Grave
Anselmo's Race; yet if- That If concludes me.
To doubt, when I may be assur'd, is Folly.
But how prevent the Captive Queen, who means
To set him free? Ay, now 'tis plain; O well
Invented Tale! He was Alphonso's Friend.
This subtle Woman will amuze the King,
If I delay- 'twill do- or better so.
One to my Wish. Alonzo, thou art welcome. -

Enter ALONZO. -

ALON. The King expects your Lordship.

GONS. 'Tis no matter.
I'm not i'th' Way at present, good Alonzo.

ALON. If't please your Lordship, I'll return, and say
I have not seen you.

GONS. Do, my best Alonzo.
Yet stay, I would- but go; anon will serve-
Yet I have that requires thy speedy help.
I think thou would'st not stop to do me Service.

ALON. I am your Creature.

GONS. Say thou art my Friend.
I've seen thy Sword do Noble Execution.

ALON. All that it can, you Lordship shall command.

GONS. Thanks; and I take thee at thy Word. Thou'st seen,
Among the Followers of the Captive Queen,
Dumb Men, that make their Meaning known by Signs.

ALON. I have, my Lord.

GONS. Could'st thou procure with Speed
And Privacy, the wearing Garb of one
Of those, tho' purchas'd by his Death, I'd give
Thee such Reward, as should exceed thy Wish.

ALON. Conclude it done. Where shall I wait your Lordship?

GONS. At my Appartment. Use thy utmost diligence;
Away, I've not been seen- haste, good Alonzo. [Ex. ALON.]
So, this can hardly fail. Alphonso slain,
The greatest Obstacle is then remov'd.
Almeria widow'd, yet again may wed;
And I yet fix the Crown on Garcia's Head. [Exit. -]