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His lofty port, his voice in vain disguised,
Proclaim-if that I dare pronounce it.
Atten. Thy royal brother!
Bring him instantly. (Exit ATTENDANT.
Now, with his spēcious, smooth, persuasive tongue,
Fraught with some wily subterfuge, he thinks
To dissipate my anger. He shall die.
[Enter ATTENDANT and MALEK ADHEL. Leave us together. (Exit ATTENDANT.) (Aside.] I should know
Now summon all thy fortitude, my soul,
Nor, though thy blood cry for him, spare the guilty!
[Aloud.] Well, strānger, speak ; but first unvail thyself,
For Săl'adın' must view the form that fronts him.
Malek Adhel. Behold it, then!
I see a traitor's visage.
Mal. Ad. A brother's !
Saladin owns no kindred with a villain.
Mal. Ad. O, patience, Heaven. Had any tongue but thine Uttered that word, it ne'er should speak another.
Sal. And why not now? Can this heart be more pierced
By Malek Adhel's sword than by his deeds ?
Oh, thou hast made a desert of this bosom!
For open candor, planted sly disguise ;
For confidence, suspicion ; and the glow
Of generous friendship, těnderness, and love,
Forever banished! Whither can I turn,
When he by blood, by gratitude, by faith,
By every tie, bound to support, forsakes me ?
Who, who can stand, when Malek Adhel falls ?
* Săl' a dĩn, the hero of this dra- and conquests. Christians and Saramatic piece, was born in 1137. He cens have vied with each other in became Sultan of Egypt and Syria writing panegyrics on the justice, in 1168, from which period he is valor, generosity, and political wisnoted for his wars with the Chris dom of this prince, who possessed tian crusaders. He died at Damas- the art, not simply of acquiring cus in 1193, leaving a brother and power, but of devoting it to the seventeen sons to share his power good of his subjects.
Hěnceforth I turn me from the sweets of love :
The smiles of friendship, and this glorious world,
In which all find some heart to rest upon,
Shall be to Saladin a cheerlèss void, -
His brother has betrayed him!
Thou art softened;
I am thy brother, then ; but late thou saidst-
My tongue can never utter the base title !
S1. Was it traitor ? True !
Thou hast betrayed me in my fondést hopes !
Villain ? 'Tis just ; the title is appropriate
Dissembler ? 'Tis not written in thy face;
No, nor imprinted on that spēcious brow;
But on this breaking heart the name is stamped,
Forever stamped, with that of Malek Adhel!
Think'st thou I'm softened ? By Mahomet! these hands
Should crush these aching eyeballs, ere a tear
Fall from them at thy fate ! O monster, monster!
The brute that tears the infant from its nurse
Is excellent to thee, for in his form
The impulse of his nature may be read ;
But thou, so beautiful, so proud, so noble,
Oh, what a wretch art thou? Oh! can a term
In all the various tongues of man be found
To match thy infamy?
Go on! go on!
'Tis but a little while to hear thee, Saladin ;
And, bursting at thy feet, this heart will prove
Its penitence, at least.
That were an end
Too noble for a traitor! The bowstring is
A more appropriate finish! Thou shalt die !
Mal. Ad. And death were welcome at another's mandate !
What, what have I to live for? Be it so,
If that, in all thy armies, can be found
An executing hand.
Oh, doubt it not!
They're eager for the office. Perfidy,
So black as thine, effaces from their minds
All memory of thy former excellence.
Mal. Ad. Defer not then their wishes. Saladin,
If e'er this form was joyful to thy sight,
This voice seemed grateful to thine ear, accede
To my last prayer -Oh, lengthen not this scene,
To which the agonies of death were pleasing !
Let me die speedily!
This very hour!
[Aside.] For, oh! the more I look upon that face,
The more I hear the accents of that voice,
The monarch softens, and the judge is lost
In all the brother's weakness; yet such guilt,-
Such vile ingratitude,-it calls for vengeance;
And vengeance it shall have! What, ho! who waits there?
[Enter ATTENDANT. Atten. Did your highness call ? Sal.
My forces in the court. Tell them they come
To view the death of yonder bosom-traitor.
And, bid them mark, that he who will not spare
His brother when he errs, expects obedience,
Silent obedience, from his followers.
183. THE SARACEN BROTHERS.
ALEK ADHEL. Now, Săl'adin,
The word is given, I have nothing more
To fear from thee, my brother. I am not
About to crave a miserable life.
Without thy love, thy honor, thy esteem,
Life were a burden to me. Think not, zither,
The justice of thy sentence I would question.
But one request now trembles on my tongue,-
One wish still clinging round the heart, which soon
Not even that shall torture,—will it, then,
Think'st thou, thy slumbers render quiëter,
Thy waking thoughts more pleasing, to reflect,
That when thy voice had doomed a brother's death,
The last request which e'er was his to utter,
Thy harshness made him carry to the grave ?
Sal. Speak, then ; but ask thyself if thou hast reason
To look for much indulgence here.
I have not!
Yět will I ask for it. We part forever ;
This is our last farewell; the king is satisfied ;
The judge has spoke the irrev'ocable sentence.
None sees, none hears, save that omniscient Power,
Which, trust me, will not frown to look upon
Two brothers part like such. When, in the face
Of forces once my own, I'm led to death,
Then be thine eye unmoistened ; let thy voice
Then speak my doom untrembling; then
Unmoved, behold this stiff and blackened corse ;
But now I ask—nay, turn not, Saladin !
I ask one single pressure of thy hand;
From that stern eye one solitary tear-
Oh, torturing recollection !-one kind word
From the loved tongue which once breathed naught but kindness.
Still silent ? Brother! friend! beloved companion
Of all my youthful sports !-are they forgotten?
Strike me with děafness, make me blind, o Heaven !
Let me not see this unforgiving man
Smile at my agonies ! nor hear that voice
Pronounce my doom, which would not say one word,
One little word, whose cherished memory
Would soothe the struggles of departing life!
Yět, yet thou wilt! Oh, turn thee, Saladin !
Look on my face—thou canst not spurn me then;
Look on the once-loved face of Malek Adhel
For the last time, and call him-
Sal. (seizing his hand.] Brother! brother!
Mal. Ad. [breaking away.] Now, call thy followers.
Death has not now a single pang in store. Proceed ! I'm ready.
Sal. Oh, art thou ready to forgive, my brother ?
To pardon him who found one single error,
One little failing, mid a splendid throng
Of glorious qualities--
Mal. Ad. Oh, stay thee, Saladin !
I did not ask for life. I only wished
To carry thy forgiveness to the grave.
No, Emperor, the loss of Cesarea
Cries loudly for the blood of Malek Adhel.
Thy soldiers, too, demand that he who lost
What cost them many a weary hour to gain,
Should expiate his offences with his life.
Lo! even now they crowd to view
Thy just impartiality. I go!
Pleased by my fate to add one other leaf
To thy proud wreath of glory. [Going.
Thou shalt not. [Enter ATTENDANT.
Atten. My lord, the troops assembled by your order
Tumultous throng the courts. The prince's death
Not one of them but vows he wi not suffer.
The mutes have fled ; the very guards rebel.
Nor think I, in this city's spācious round,
Can e'er be found a hand to do the office.
Mal. Ad. O faithful friends! [To Atten.) Thine shalt.
Atten. Mine ?-Never !-
The other first shall lop it from the body.
Sal. They teach the Emperor bis duty well.
Tell them he thanks them for it. Tell them, too,
That ere their opposition reached our ears,
Saladin had forgiven Malek Adhel.
Atten. O joyful news !
I haste to gladden many a gallant heart,
And dry the tear on many a hardy cheek,
Unused to such a visitor. [Erit.
Sal. These men, the mēanèst in society,
The outcasts of the earth,-by war, by nature
Hardened, and rendered callous,—these, who claim
No kindred with thee,—who have never heard
The accents of affection from thy lips,-
Oh, these can cast aside their vowed allegiance,
Throw off their long obediënce, risk their lives,
To save thee from destruction! While I,
I, who can not, in all my memory,
Call back one dānger which thou hast not shared,
One day of grief, one night of revelry,
Which thy resistless kindness hath not soothed,