ZUL. Of five tall tow'rs which fortify this town,
All but th' Alhambra your dominion own.
Now, therefore, boldly I confess a flame, 460 Which is excused in Almahida's name. If you the merit of this night regard,
In her possession I have my reward.
ALMANZ. She your reward! why, she's a gift so
That I myself have not deserved her yet; 465 And therefore, though I won her with my sword, I have, with awe, my sacrilege restored.
ZUL. What you deserve --
I'll not dispute because I do not know;
This only I will say, she shall not go. 470
ALMANZ. Thou, single, art not worth my answer-
But take what friends, what armies thou canst
What worlds; and, when you are united all,
Then I will thunder in your ears: 'She shall!'
ZUL. I'll not one tittle of my right resign. 475 Sir, your implicit promise made her mine;
When I in general terms my love did show,
You swore our fortunes should together go.
ABDAL. The merits of the cause I'll not decide,
But, like my love, I would my gift divide. 480 Your equal titles, then, no longer plead; But one of you, for love of me, recede.
ALMANZ. I have receded to the utmost line,
When, by my free consent, she is not mine:
Then let him equally recede with me, 485
And both of us will join to set her free.
ZUL. If you will free your part of her, you may;
But, sir, I love not your romantic way.
Dream on, enjoy her soul, and set that free;
I'm pleased her person should be left for me. 490
ALMANZ. Thou shalt not wish her thine; thou
shalt not dare
To be so impudent as to despair.
ZUL. The Zegrys, sir, are all concerned to see
How much their merit you neglect in me.
HAMET. Your slighting Zulema this very
hour 495 Will take ten thousand subjects from your pow'r.
ALMANZ. What are ten thousand subjects such
If I am scorned -- I'll take myself away.
ABDAL. Since both cannot possess what both
I grieve, my friend, the chance should fall on
But when you hear what reasons I can urge -----
ALMANZ. None, none that your ingratitude can
Reason's a trick, when it no grant affords;
It stamps the face of majesty on words.
ABDAL. Your boldness to your services I give: 505 Now take it, as your full reward -- to live.
ALMANZ. To live!
If from thy hands alone my death can be,
I am immortal, and a god, to thee.
If I would kill thee now, thy fate's so low, 510 That I must stoop ere I can give the blow. But mine is fixed so far above thy crown,
That all thy men,
Piled on thy back, can never pull it down.
But at my ease thy destiny I send, 515 By ceasing from this hour to be thy friend. Like heav'n, I need but only to stand still,
And, not concurring to thy life, I kill.
Thou canst no title to my duty bring:
I'm not thy subject, and my soul's thy king. 520 Farewell. When I am gone, There's not a star of thine dare stay with thee:
I'll whistle thy tame fortune after me;
And whirl fate with me wheresoe'er I fly,
As winds drive storms before 'em in the sky. 525
ZUL. Let not this insolent unpunished go;
Give your commands; your justice is too slow.
(ZULEMA, HAMET, and others are going after
ABDAL. Stay! and what part he pleases let him
I know my throne's too strong for him to shake.
But my fair mistress I too long forget: 530 The crown I promised is not offered yet. Without her presence all my joys are vain,
Empire a curse, and life itself a pain.
BOABDELIN, ABENAMAR, Guards.
BOAB. Advise, or aid, but do not pity me;
No monarch born can fall to that degree.
Pity descends from kings to all below;
But can, no more than fountains, upward flow.
Witness, just heav'n, my greatest grief has been, 5 I could not make your Almahide a queen.
ABEN. I have too long th' effects of fortune
Either to trust her smiles, or fear her frown.
Since in their first attempt you were not slain,
Your safety bodes you yet a second reign. 10 The people like a headlong torrent go, And every dam they break, or overflow;
But, unopposed, they either lose their force,