Let her with anchorites, not with lovers, lie;
Statesmen and they keep better company.
ABDAL. Reason was giv'n to curb our headstrong
ZUL. Reason but shows a weak physician's skill: 215 Gives nothing, while the raging fit does last,
But stays to cure it, when the worst is past.
Reason's a staff for age, when nature's gone;
But youth is strong enough to walk alone.
ABDAL. In curst ambition I no rest should find, 220 But must for ever lose my peace of mind.
ZUL. Methinks that peace of mind were bravely
A crown, whate'er we give, is worth the cost.
ABDAL. Justice distributes to each man his right;
But what she gives not, should I take by might? 225
ZUL. If justice will take all, and nothing give,
Justice, methinks, is not distributive.
ABDAL. Had fate so pleased, I had been eldest
And then, without a crime, the crown had worn.
ZUL. Would you so please, fate yet a way would
find; 230 Man makes his fate according to his mind. The weak low spirit fortune makes her slave;
But she's a drudge when hectored by the brave:
If fate weaves common thread, he'll change the
And with new purple spread a nobler loom. 235
ABDAL. No more! -- I will usurp the royal seat;
Thou, who has made me wicked, make me great.
ZUL. Your way is plain: the death of Tarifa
Does on the king our Zegrys' hatred draw;
Though with our enemies in show we close, 240 'Tis but while we to purpose can be foes. Selin, who heads us, would revenge his son;
But favor hinders justice to be done.
Proud Ozmyn with the king his pow'r maintains,
And in him each Abencerrago reigns. 245
ABDAL. What face of any title can I bring?
ZUL. The right an eldest son has to be king.
Your father was at first a private man,
And got your brother ere his reign began.
When, by his valor, he the crown had won, 250 Then you were born, a monarch's eldest son.
ABDAL. To sharp-eyed reason this would seem un-
But reason I through love's false optics view.
ZUL. Love's mighty pow'r has led me captive too:
I am in it unfortunate as you. 255
ABDAL. Our loves and fortunes shall together go;
Thou shalt be happy, when I first am so.
ZUL. The Zegrys at old Selin's house are met,
Where, in dose council, for revenge they sit:
There we our common int'rest will unite; 260 You their revenge shall own, and they your right.
One thing I had forgot which may import:
I met Almanzor coming back from court,
But with a discomposed and speedy pace,
A fiery color kindling all his face: 265 The king his pris'ner's freedom has denied, And that refusal has provoked his pride.
ABDAL. Would he were ours! --
I'll try to gild th' injustice of the cause,
And court his valor with a vast applause. 270
ZUL. The bold are but the instruments o' th' wise;
They undertake the dangers we advise:
And, while our fabric with their pains we raise,
We take the profit, and pay them with praise.
ALMANZ. That he should dare to do me this dis-
Is fool or coward writ upon my face?
Refuse my pris'ner! -- I such means will use,
He shall not have a pris'ner to refuse.
ABDAL. He said you were not by your promise
tied; 5 That he absolved your word, when he denied.
ALMANZ. He break my promise and absolve my
'Tis more than Mahomet himself can do!
The word which I have giv'n shall stand like fate;
Not like the king's, that weathercock of state. 10 He stands so high, with so unfixed a mind, Two factions turn him with each blast of wind.
But now, he shall not veer: my word is passed;
I'll take his heart by th' roots, and hold it fast.
ABDAL. You have your vengeance in your hand
this hour; 15 Make me the humble creature of your pow'r: The Granadins will gladly me obey,
Tired with so base and impotent a sway;
And, when I show my title, you shall see
I have a better right to reign than he. 20
ALMANZ. It is sufficient that you make the claim:
You wrong our friendship when your right you name.
When for myself I fight, I weigh the cause,
But friendship will admit of no such laws:
That weighs by th' lump; and, when the cause is
light, 25 Puts kindness in to set the balance right. True, I would wish my friend the juster side;