« AnteriorContinuar »
Ah! dear Alydia, for thy blessed sake
I'd cast my treasures all before the winds,
To be blown back from whence I gather'd them.
Though ill it doth befit my native temper
T' reward these men for their impertinence,
Yet-But hold, for yonder comes Sir Robert,
My dearest, safest, casket-keeping friend,
Of that bright jewel, dear Alydia.
Good-morrow, dear Sir Robert; how art thou?
How thy lady too; and fair Alydia ?
Sir R. All well, I thank you; but something like yourself,
With wishes full as they do wish the sails
With kindly winds to waft your coffers here
With all good speed. How are you this morning?
Del. Well in my health, and in my mind most happy, For, Heaven be prais'd, the other ship which parted (By the boisterous winds now a month since) From that I sail'd in, with part of my wealth→→ Which I divided, to reduce the hazard Of the wild winds, and the devouring sea
Is now within the river safe arriv'd;
And these two chests, Sir Robert, do contain
Some of my rich embarkments from the East,
As diamonds, choicest pearls, and precious silks,
Spices, and costly gums of rarest kind.
These with your good care and disposition
Are to be manag'd, sold, or so exchang'd
As in good time they may converted be
Into a British mansion, fields and flocks,
Fair gardens, grateful shades, with lowing herds
In this blest land, where Freedom holds her court,
Where Kings and Princes only can find shelter
From the rude blasts of the usurper's power,
Whom honor'd trophies cannot satisfy :
But midnight murders and adult'rous insults,
Wide spreading ruin, gratify the tyrant.
Sir R. It is true; for th' hero and the merchant,
The prince, the peasant, indeed all mankind,
Have felt the weight of his malignancy,
Or fear th' extension of his wily power.
The envied wreaths achiev'd in manly battle
Adorn a soldier, are his valor's meed:
Far diff'rent are the crafty tyrant's honors;
He ruins nations under Friendship's mask,
By sneaking treasons, dark deceitfulness :
And makes himself a mark for all brave men
To point and hurl their indignation at.
For this bold England at him throws defiance;
She feels for others' mis'ries as her own,
And in humanity's soft office yields
Protection to the fugitive or King.
Here's no distinction in protective power:
'Tis that which makes our country so rever'd;
For even-handed justice and compassion
Reign ev'ry where in England's happy realm.
Del. It was the dear remembrances of them,
Connected with th' instinctive love of country,
Which caus'd me to resolve to leave the East,
Though half my great possessions I should lose
And honors of high sort by doing so.
But I'm well paid for all such losses now,
Since dear Alydia is to share with me
The gleanings of my fortune's richer harvest.
Sir R. Yes, my dear Delmore, though she is my niece,
Her worth is equal to the honor done her;
For did you fully know how sweet, how sensible,
How rarely modest, true, and good she is,
You'd think her richly worth your treasures left.
Del. Indeed I do, and even ten times o'er More than the bright dominions of the East. But come, my friend, allow me to go in, And with you meet the darling of my soul,
To gain new blessings from her lovely eyes.
Sir R. With pleasure I'll attend you, but-be wise.
Enter DELMORE and ALYDIA.
Alydia wiping away a tear.
Del. What means that tear, that crystal falling drop, Which, like the morning's silver-tiuted dew,
That falls from snowy lilies, pure, perfum'd,
And op'ning roses which glad June displays?
My soul's delight, inform me what it means?
Aly. Perhaps a whim, sir, that my mind permits,
Which I'm not able to explain to you,
Except it be, as I have heard it said,
Sometimes the eye with joy is thus beguil❜d;
Mine may perchance be so, for you are near.
Del. O let me chide it from that envy'd spot.-
Hence, thou invidious tear, thy power take,
Nor touch the lilies that adorn my fair,
Soft mingling with the roses on her cheek;
Channel not there, nor course that beauteous track. Aly. Oh! sir, I ought your compliment chide hence, Consid'ring it not suitable to me;
But smitten maidens cherish with delight
Love's gentle falsehood breath'd from lips belov'd.
Del. O, Falsehood fled at thy nativity,
Affrighted at his beauteous enemy.
Aly. Good Delmore, if I had not been inform'd
That from the eastern clime you lately came,
And consequently brought some flow'ry growth
Of the rich language which you left behind,
I should suspect your kind sincerity:-
But I must seek out words, if possible,
To pay you back your shining compliments.
Del. If you do so, I pray thee don't forget
Th' unworthy object of thy compliments.
But any words from thee are good, my love,
Being sanctified in passing lips like thine.
Aly. I'm afraid thou hast stopp'd my speaking any :
Yet, can't I leave myself so much thy debtor;
For thou hast spread the tender buds of fancy
Into the various tinted flowers that charm
In eloquence, like the bright cheerful sun,
Soothing the sense in the thick-blossom'd Spring.
Thus would I say, till 1 had reach'd the height
And summit of love's compliment and praise :
But, that I feel a prompt opinion here
Which seems to whisper Delmore loves plain truth
Simply-rob'd and free from gaudy trappings :
If thou dost so, I would then frankly tell
My uncle's approbation, to your suit,
Waits, Delmore, now expecting you to ask.
Del. Then thy consent to join that hand so fair
With this unworthy and rude hand of mine
Will make me happier than words can tell.
Aly. That honor, Sir, was not so near my thoughts,
But be it as my uncle and you fix.
And now methinks I seem as doth a youth
Shipp'd, and just bound towards some unknown coast,
All tim❜rous, thinking of the enterprise :
"Tis strange too we so many hours have pass'd
And never yet of kindred have convers'd;
Do let me hear of something in your life
Which I may learn and grow familiar with,
"Twill make me think we have been long acquainted.
Del. Love and all kindred are so center'd here
I scarcely wish now to discover more;
Though I from India came to find my friends--
But I will tell thee how my life was spent,
My days, and hours, and lesser times till this,
Till this blest hour that I now spend with thee:-
Twelve years from that dire inauspicious night
When I was seiz'd, and forc'd on board a vessel
Bound for the sultry climate of the east ;--
Aly. What did you say that you were forc'd from hence ?
Del. Yes, my Alydia, most inhumanly;
But wherefore still remains a mystery :
I was at that time but in my twelfth year,
Three out of which I parentless had been,
Under the conduct of my worthy grandsire,
Who to myself and only elder brother
Bestow'd such kindness, and a father's care:
Our loss grew light by his indulgent goodness;
To him in trust was vested for our use
By will, the fortune which my father left,
To be divided into moieties,
On the obtaining each of twenty-one ;
With this proviso, that if either died
Before the lapse of his miuority,
That then it should revert to the survivor.
My brother, I remember, came of age,
And had possession of one moiety,
Which he in traffic blended with my grandsire,
And us'd his name in merchandise with his :
Here all my knowledge of them separates.
Aly. Thy tale hath stirr'd my curious soul to hear—
Pray thee proceed, I can, alas, foretel