The Mourning Bride/Act V
Act V, Scene 1
A Room of State. -
Enter KING, PEREZ and ALONZO. -
KING. NOT to be found? In an ill hour he's absent.
None, say you, none? what not the Fav'rite Eunuch?
Nor she her self, nor any of her Mutes,
Have yet requir'd Admittance?
PEREZ. None, my Lord.
KING. Is Osmyn so dispos'd as I commanded?
PEREZ. Fast bound in double Chains, and at full length
He lies supine on Earth; as easily
She might remove the fix'd foundation, as
Unlock the rivets of his bonds.
KING. 'Tis well.
[A Mute appears, and seeing the KING retires.]
Ha! seize the Mute; Alonzo, follow him. [Ex. ALONZO.]
Entring he met my Eyes, and started back,
Frighted, and fumbling one hand in his bosom,
As to conceal th' Importance of his Errand.
[Alonzo re-enters with a Paper.]
ALON. O bloody Proof of obstinate Fidelity!
KING. What dost thou mean?
ALON. Soon as I seiz'd the Man,
He snatch'd from out his Bosom this- and strove
With rash and greedy haste, at once to cram
The Morsel down his throat. I catch'd his Arm,
And hardly wrench'd his Hand to wring it from him;
Which done, he drew a Ponyard from his Side,
And on the instant plung'd it in his Breast.
KING. Remove the Body thence 'ere Zara see it.
ALON. I'll be so bold to borrow his Attire;
'Twill quit me of my Promise to Gonsalez. [Exit.]
PEREZ. Whate'er it is the King's Complexion turns.
KING. How's this? my mortal Foe beneath my Roof!
[Having read the letter.]
O, give me Patience, all ye Powers! no, rather
Give me Rage, Rage, implacable Revenge,
And trebled Fury- Ha! who's there?
PEREZ My Lord.
KING. Hence, Slave, how dar'st thou bide to watch and pry
Into how poor and mean a thing, a King descends;
How like thy self, when Passion treads him down?
Ha! stir not, on thy Life: For thou wert fix'd,
And planted here to see me gorge the Bait,
And lash against the Hook- By Heav'n you're all
Rank Traytors; thou art with the rest combin'd;
Thou knew'st that Osmyn was Alphonso, knew'st
My Daughter privately conferr'd with him,
And wert the Spy and Pander to their Meeting.
PEREZ. By all that's holy, I'm amaz'd.-
KING. Thou lyest.
Thou art Accomplice too much with Zara; here
Where she sets down- still will I set thee free- [Reading.]
That somewhere is repeated- I have Power
O'er them that are thy Guards- Mark that, thou Traytor.
PEREZ. It was your Majesty's Command, I should
Obey her Order.-
KING reading.- And still will I set
Thee free, Alphonso- Hell! curs'd, curs'd Alphonso!
False, perfidious Zara! Strumpet Daughter!
Away, begon thou feeble Boy, fond Love,
All Nature, Softness, Pity and Compassion,
This Hour I throw ye off, and entertain
Fell hate, within my breast, Revenge and Gall.
By Heav'n I'll meet, and counterwork this Treachery.
Hark thee, Villain, Traitor- answer me, Slave.
PEREZ. My Service has not merited those Titles.
KING. Dar'st thou reply? Take that- thy Service? thine?
What's thy whole Life, thy Soul, thy All, to my
One moment's Ease? Hear my Command; and look
That thou obey, or Horrour on thy Head.
Drench me thy Dagger in Alphonso's Heart.
Why dost thou start? Resolve to do't, or else-
PEREZ. My Lord, I will.
KING. 'Tis well- that when she comes to set him free,
His Teeth may grin, and mock at her Remorse. [PEREZ going.]
-Stay thee- I've farther thought- I'll add to this,
And give her Eyes yet greater Disappointment.
When thou hast ended him, bring me his Robe;
And let the Cell where she'll expect to see him
Be darken'd, so as to amuze the Sight.
I'll be conducted thither-
But see she comes; I'll shun th' Encounter; do
Thou follow, and give heed to my Direction. [Exeunt. -]
Enter ZARA and SELIM. -
ZARA. The Mute not yet return'd! 'tis strange. Ha! 'twas
The King that parted hence; frowning he went;
His Eyes like Meteor's roll'd, then darted down
Their red and angry Beams; as if his Sight
Would, like the raging Dog-star, scorch the Earth,
And kindle Ruine in its Course. Think'st thou
He saw me not?
SELIM. He did: But then as if
His Eyes had err'd, he hastily recall'd
Th' imperfect Look, and sternly turn'd away.
ZARA. Shun me when seen? I fear thou hast undone me.
Thy shallow Artifice begets Suspicion,
And, like a Cobweb-Veil, but thinly shades
The Face of thy Design; alone disguising
What should have ne'er been seen; imperfect Mischief!
Thou like the Adder, venomous and deaf,
Hast strung the Traveller; and, after, hear'st
Not his pursuing Voice; ev'n where thou think'st
To hide, the rustling Leaves, and bended Grass
Confess, and point the Path which thou hast crept.
O Fate of Fools! officious in Contriving;
In executing puzzled, lame and lost.
SELIM. Avert it, Heav'n, that thou should ever suffer
For my Defect; or that the Means which I
Devis'd to serve should ruine your Design!
Prescience is Heav'ns alone, not giv'n to Man.
If I have fail'd in what, as being a Man,
I needs must fail; impute not as a Crime
My Nature's want, but punish Nature in me:
I plead not for a Pardon, and to live,
But to be punish'd and forgiven. Here, strike;
I bare my Breast to meet your just Revenge.
ZARA. I have not leisure now to take so poor
A Forfeit as thy Life: Somewhat of high
And more important Fate requires my Thought.
When I've concluded on my self, if I
Think fit, I'll leave thee my Command to die.
Regard me well; and dare not to reply
To what I give in Charge; for I'm resolv'd.
Instruct the two remaining Mutes, that they
Attend me instantly, with each a Bowl
Of those Ingredients mix'd, as will with speed
Benumn the living Faculties, and give
Most easie and inevitable Death.
Yes, Osmyn, yes; be Osmyn or Alphonso,
I'll give thee Freedom, if thou dar'st be free:
Such Liberty as I embrace my self,
Thou shalt partake. Since Fates no more afford;
I can but die with thee to keep my Word. [Exeunt.]
Act V, Scene 2
Scene changes to the Prison. -
Enter Gonsalez, disguis'd like a Mute, with a Dagger. -
GONS. Nor Centinel, nor Guard! the Doors unbarr'd!
And all as still, as at the Noon of Night!
Sure Death already has been busie here.
There lies my Way, that Door is too unlock'd. [Looks in.]
Ha! sure he sleeps- all's dark within, save what
A Lamp that feebly lifts a sickly Flame,
By fits reveals- his Face seems turn'd to favour
Th' Attempt: I'll steal, and do it unperceiv'd.
What Noise! some body coming? 'st, Alonzo?
No body? sure he'll wait without- I would
'Twere done- I'll crawl, and sting him to the Heart;
Then cast my Skin, and leave it there to answer it. [Goes in. -]
Enter GARCIA and ALONZO. -
GAR. Where? where, Alonzo? where's my Father? where
The King? Confusion! all is on the Rout!
All's lost, all ruin'd by Surprize and Treachery.
Where, where is he? Why dost thou thus mislead me?
ALON. My Lord, he enter'd but a moment since,
And could not pass me unperceiv'd- What hoa!
My Lord, my Lord, what, hoa! My Lord Gonsalez! -
Enter Gonsalez, bloody. -
GONS. Perdition choak your Clamours- whence this Rudeness?
GAR. Perdition, Slavery, and Death,
Are entring now our Doors. Where is the King?
What means this Blood? and why this Face of Horror?
GONS. No matter- give me first to know the Cause
Of these your rash and ill-tim'd Exclamations.
GAR. The Eastern Gate is to the Foe betray'd,
Who but for Heaps of Slain, that choak the Passage,
Had enter'd long 'ere now, and born down all
Before 'em, to the Pallace Walls. Unless
The King in Person animate our Men
Granada's lost; and to confirm this Fear,
The Traitor Perez, and the Captive Moor,
Are through a Postern fled, and join the Foe.
GONS. Would all were false as that; for whom you call
The Moor, is dead. That Osmyn was Alphonso;
In whose Heart's Blood this Ponyard yet is warm.
GAR. Impossible; for Osmyn flying, was
Pronounc'd aloud by Perez for Alphonso.
GONS. Enter that Chamber, and convince your Eyes,
How much Report has wrong'd your easie Faith. [GARCIA goes in.]
ALON. My Lord, for certain truth, Perez is fled;
And has declar'd the Cause of his Revolt,
Was to Revenge a Blow the King had giv'n him.
GAR. [Returning.] Ruine and Horrour! O heart-wounding Sight!
GONS. What says my Son? what Ruine? ha? what Horrour?
GAR. Blasted my Eyes, and speechless be my Tongue,
Rather than or to see, or to relate
This Deed- O dire Mistake! O fatal Blow!
The King- -
GONS, ALON [Together.] The King!
GAR. Dead, welt'ring, drown'd in Blood.
See, see, attir'd like Osmyn, where he lies.
[They go in.]
O whence, or how, or wherefore was this done?
But what imports the Manner, or the Cause?
Nothing remains to do, or to require,
But that we all should turn our Swords against
Our selves, and expiate with our own his Blood.
GONS. O Wretch! O curs'd, and rash, deluded Fool!
On me, on me, turn your avenging Sword.
I, who have spilt my Royal Master's Blood,
Should make Atonement by a Death as horrid;
And fall beneath the Hand of my own Son.
GAR. Ha! what? atone this Murther with a greater!
The Horrour of that Thought, has damp'd my Rage.
The Earth already groans to bear this Deed;
Oppress her not, nor think to stain her Face
With more unnatural Blood. Murder my Father!
Better with this to rip up my own Bowels,
And bathe it to the Hilt, in far less damnable
GONS. O my Son, from the blind Dotage
Of a Father's Fondness these Ills arose;
For thee I've been ambitious, base, and bloody:
For thee I've plung'd into this Sea of Sin;
Stemming the Tide, with one weak Hand, and bearing
With the other, the Crown, to wreath thy Brow,
Whose Weight has sunk me 'ere I reach'd the Shore.
GAR. Fatal Ambition! Hark! the Foe is enter'd: [Shout.
The Shrilness of that Shout speaks 'em at hand.
We have no time to search into the Cause
Of this surprizing and most fatal Errour.
What's to be done? The King's Death known, will strike
The few remaining Soldiers with Despair,
And make 'em yield to Mercy of the Conquerour.
ALON. My Lord, I've thought how to conceal the Body;
Require me not to tell the Means, 'till done,
Lest you forbid what then you may approve. [Goes in.]
GONS. They shout again! Whate'er he means to do,
'Twere fit the Soldiers were amuz'd mean time
With Hopes, and fed with Expectation of
The King's immediate Presence at their Head.
GAR. Were it a Truth, I fear 'tis now too late.
But I'll omit no Care, nor Haste; and try
Or to repel their Force, or bravely die. [Exit.]
GONS. What hast thou done, Alonzo?
ALON. Such a Deed
As but an Hour ago I'd not have done,
Tho' for the Crown of Universal Empire.
But what are Kings reduced to common Clay?
Or who can wound the Dead?- I've from the Body
Sever'd the Head, and in a Corner of
The Room dispos'd it, muffled in the Mute's
Attire; leaving alone to View, the bloody
And undistinguishable Trunk:
Which may be still mistaken by the Guards
For Osmyn, if in seeking for the King
They chance to find it.
GONS. 'Twas and Act of Horrour;
And of a piece with this Day's dire Misdeeds.
But 'tis not yet the time to ponder, or
Repent. Haste thee, Alonzo, hence, with speed,
To aid my Son. I'll follow with the last
Reserve, to re-inforce his Arms: at least,
I shall make good, and shelter his Retreat. [Exeunt.]
Act V, Scene 3
The Same. -
Enter ZARA, follow'd by SELIM, and two Mutes bearing the Bowls. -
ZARA. Silence and Solitude are ev'ry where!
Thro' all the Gloomy Ways, and Iron Doors
That hither lead, nor Humane Face nor Voice
Is seen, or heard. A dreadful Din was wont
To grate the Sense, when entred here; from Groans
And Howls of Slaves condemn'd, from Clink of Chains,
And Crash of rusty Bars and creeking Hinges:
And ever and anon, the Sight was dash'd
With frightful Faces, and the meagre Looks
Of grim and gashly Executioners
Yet, more; this Stilness terrifies my Soul,
Than did that Scene of Complicated Horrors.
It may be, that the Cause, and Purpose of
My Errand, being chang'd from Life to Death,
Has also wrought this chilling Change of Temper.
Or does my Heart bode more? what can it more
Let 'em set down the Bowls, and warn Alphonso
That I am here- so. You return and find [Mutes going in.
The King; tell him, what he requir'd, I've done,
And wait his coming to approve the Deed. [Exit SELIM.]
What have you seen? Ha! wherefore stare you thus,
[The Mutes return, and look affrighted.]
With hagger'd Eyes? why are your Arms a-cross?
Your heavy and desponding Heads hung down?
Why is't you more than speak in these sad Signs?
Give me more ample Knowledge of this Mourning. -
[They go to the Scene which opens and shews the Body. -]
Ha! prostrate! bloody! headless! O- start Eyes,
Split Heart, burst ev'ry Vein, at this dire Object:
At once dissolve and flow; meet Blood with Blood;
Dash your encountering Streams with mutual Violence,
'Till Surges roll and foaming Billows rise,
And curl their Crimson Heads, to kiss the Clouds!
-Rain, rain ye Stars, spout from your burning Orbs
Precipitated Fires, and pour in Sheets
The blazing Torrent on the Tyrant's Head;
Scorch and consume the curst persidious King. -
Enter SELIM. -
SELIM. I've sought in vain, the King is no where to
ZARA. Get thee to Hell, and seek him there. [Stabs him.]
His Hellish Rage had wanted Means to act,
But for thy fatal and pernicious Counsel.
SELIM. You thought it better then- but I'm rewarded.
The Mute you sent, by some Mischance was seen,
And forc'd to yield your Letter with his Life:
I found the dead and bloody Body stripp'd-
My Tongue faulters, and my Voice fails-
Drink not the Poyson- for Alphonso is- [Dies.]
ZARA. As thou art now- And I shall quickly be.
'Tis not that he is dead; for 'twas decreed
We both should die. Nor is't that I survive;
I have a Remedy for that. But Oh,
He dy'd unknowing in my Heart.
He knew I lov'd, but knew not to what height:
Nor that I meant to fall before his Eyes,
A Martyr and a Victim to my Vows:
Insensible of this last Proof he's gone.
Yet Fate alone can rob his Mortal Part
Of Sense: His Soul still sees, and know each Purpose,
And fix'd event of my persisting Faith.
Then, wherefore do I pause?- give me the Bowl.
[A Mute kneels and gives one of the Bowls.]
Hover a Moment, yet, thou gentle Spirit,
Soul of my Love, and I will wait thy Flight.
This to our mutual Bliss when joyn'd above. [Drinks.]
O friendly Draught, already in my Heart!
Cold, cold; my Veins are Icicles and Frost.
I'll creep into his Bosom, lay me there;
Cover us close- or I shall chill his Breast,
And fright him from my Arms- See, see, he slides
Still further from me; look, he hides his Face,
I cannot feel it- quite beyond my reach.
O now he's gone, and all is dark- [Dies.]
[The Mutes kneel and mourn over her. -]
Enter ALMERIA and LEONORA. -
ALM. O let me seek him in this horrid Cell;
For in the Tomb or Prison, I alone
Must hope to find him.
LEO. Heav'ns! what dismal Scene
Of Death is this? The Eunuch Selim slain!
ALM. Shew me, for I am come in search of Death;
But want a Guide; for Tears have dim'd my Sight.
LEO. Alas, a little farther, and behold
Zara all pale and dead! two frightful Men,
Who seem the Murderers, kneel weeping by:
Feeling Remorse too late, for what they've done.
But O forbear- lift up your Eyes no more;
But haste away, fly from this Fatal Place,
Where Miseries are multiply'd; return
And look not on; for there's a Dagger that
Will stab the Sight, and make your Eyes rain Blood.
ALM. O I fore-see that Object in my Mind.
Is it at last then so? is he then dead?
What dead at last, quite, quite, for ever dead?
There, there I see him; there he lies, the Blood
Yet bubbling from his Wounds- O more than Savage!
Had they, or Hearts, or Eyes, that did this Deed?
Could Eyes endure to guide such cruel Hands?
Are not my Eyes guilty alike with theirs,
That thus can gaze, and yet not turn to Stone?
-I do not weep! The Springs of Tears are dry'd;
And of a sudden I am calm, as if
All things were well; and yet my Husband's murder'd!
Yes, yes, I know to mourn; I'll sluce this Heart,
The Source of Woe, and let the Torrent loose.
-Those Men have left to weep, and look on me;
I hope they murder all on whom they look.
Behold me well; your bloody Hands have err'd,
And wrongfully have put to Death those Innocents:
I am the Sacrifice design'd to bleed;
And come prepar'd to yield my Throat- they shake
Their Heads in sign of Grief and Innocence!
[They point at the Bowl on the Ground.]
And point! what mean they? Ha! a Cup. O well
I understand what Medicine has been here.
O noble Thirst! and yet too greedy to
Drink all- O for another Draught of Death.
[They point at the other Cup.]
Ha! point again? 'tis there, and full, I hope.
O thanks the liberal Hand that fill'd thee thus;
I'll drink my glad Acknowledgment-
LEO. O hold
For Mercy's sake; upon my Knees- forbear.-
ALM. With Thee the kneeling World should beg in vain,
Seest thou not there who prostrate lies,
And pleads against thee? who shall then prevail?
Yet I will take a cold and parting Leave,
From his pale Lips; I'll kiss him e'er I drink,
Lest the rank Juice should blister on my Mouth,
And stain the Colour of my last Adieu.
Horrour! a headless Trunk! nor Lips nor Face,
[Coming nearer the Body, starts and lets fall the Cup.]
But spouting Veins, and mangled Flesh! O, O. -
Enter ALPHONSO, HELI, PEREZ, with GARCIA Prisoner,
Guards and Attendants. -
ALPH. Away, stand off, where is she? let me fly,
Save her from Death; and snatch her to my Heart.
ALPH. Forbear; my Arms alone shall hold her up:
Warm her to Life, and wake her into Gladness.
O let me talk to thy reviving Sense,
The Words of Joy and Peace; warm thy cold Beauties,
With the new-flushing Ardour of my Cheek;
Into thy Lips, pour the soft trickling Balm
Of Cordial Sighs; and re-inspire thy Bosom
With the Breath of Love. Shine, awake Almeria,
Give a new Birth To thy long-shaded Eyes,
Then double on the Day reflected Light.
ALM. Where am I? Heav'n! what does this Dream intend?
ALPH. O may'st thou never dream of less Delight,
Nor ever wake to less substantial Joys.
ALM. Giv'n me again from Death! O all ye Pow'rs
Confirm this Miracle! can I believe
My Sight, against my Sight? and shall I trust
That Sense, which in one Instant shews him dead
And living? Yes, I will; I've been abus'd
With Apparitions and affrighting Fantoms:
This is my Lord, my Life, my only Husband;
I have him now, and we no more will part.
My Father too shall have Compassion-
ALPH. O my Heart's Comfort; 'tis not giv'n to this
Frail Life, to be entirely bless'd. Even now,
In this extreamest Joy, my Soul can taste,
Yet am I dash'd to think that thou must weep;
Thy Father fell, where he design'd my Death.
Gonsalez and Alonzo, both of Wounds
Expiring, have with their last Breath confess'd
The just Decrees of Heav'n, in turning on
Themselves, their own most bloody Purposes.
Nay, I must grant, 'tis fit you shou'd be thus- [She weeps.]
Let 'em remove the Body from her Sight.
Ill-fated Zara! Ha! a Cup? alas!
Thy Errour then is plain; but I were Flint
Not to o'er-flow in Tribute to thy Memory.
She shall be Royally interr'd. O Garcia,
Whose Virtue has renounc'd thy Father's Crimes,
Seest thou, how just the Hand of Heav'n has been?
Let us that thro' our Innocence survive,
Still in the Paths of Honour persevere,
And not from past or present Ills Despair:
For Blessings ever wait on vertuous Deeds;
And tho' a late, a sure Reward succeeds.
[Exeunt Omnes. -]