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87. SCENE FROM PIZARRO.—Kotzebue.
PIZARRO AND Gomez.
Pizarro. How now, Gomez, what bringest thou ?
Gomez. On yonder hill, among the palm trees, we have surprised an old Peruvian. Escape by flight, he could not, and we seized him unresisting.
Piz. Drag him before us. [Gomez leads in Orozembo.]
Piz. Audacious! This insolence has sealed thy doom.
that I shall die.
Piz. Less audacity might have saved thy life.
Piz. Hear me, old man. Even now we march against the Peruvian army. We know there is a secret path that leads to your strong hold among the rocks. Guide us to that, and name thy reward. If wealth be thy wish
Oro. Ha, ha, ha.
Oro. Yes; thee and thy offer! Wealth! I have the wealth of two gallant sons. I have stored in heaven, the riches which repay good actions here! and still my chiefest treasure do I wear about me.
Piz. What is that? Inform me.
Oro. I will; for thou canst never tear it from me. An unsullied conscience.
Piz. I believe there is no other Peruvian who dares speak as thou dost.
Oro. Would I could believe there is no other Spaniard who dares act as thou dost.
Gom. Obdurate pagan! how numerous is your army?
Piz. Knowest thou Alonzo ?
Oro. Know him! Alonzo! Our nation's benefactor! the guardian angel of Peru!
Piz. By what has he merited that title?
Oro. I will answer that; for I love to speak the hero's name. Rolla, the kinsman of the king, is the idol of our army: In war, a tiger; in peace, a lamb. Cora was once betrothed to him, but finding she preferred Alonzo, he resigned his claim for Cora's happiness.
Piz. Romantic savage! I shall meet this Rolla soon.
Oro. Thou hadst better not! The terrors of his noble eye would strike thee dead.
Gom. Silence, or tremble!
Oro. Beardless robber! I never yet have trembled before man—Why before thee, thou less than man!
Gom. Another word, audacious heathen, and I strike!
. Strike, Christian! then boast among thy fellows: " I too have murdered a Peruvian.”
SECOND SCEYE.— Sentinel.
ROLLA AND ALONZO.
[Enter Rolla, disguised as a monk.] Rolla. Inform me, friend, is Alonzo, the Peruvian, confined in this dungeon ?
Sentinel. He is.
Soldier-I must speak with him.
Sent. [Pushing him back with his gun.) Back! Back! it s impossible.
Rolla. I do entreat you, but for one moment.
Look on these precious gems! In thy land they will be wealth for thee and thine, beyond thy hope or wish. Take them; they are thine ; let me but pass one moment with Alonzo. Sent. Away!
Wouldst thou corrupt me? Me! an old Castilian !—I know my duty better.
Rolla. Soldier! hast thou a wife?
Sent. In my native village, in the very cot where I was born.
Rolla. Dost thou love thy wife and children?
Rolla. Soldier ! imagine thou wert doomed to die a cruel death in a strange land, what would be thy last request?
Sent. That some of my comrades should carry my dying blessing to my wife and children.
Rolla. What if that comrade were at thy prison door, and should there be told, thy fellow soldier dies at sunrise, yet thou shalt not for a moment see him, nor shalt thou bear his dying blessing to his poor children, or his wretched wife, what wouldst thou think of him who thus could drive thy comrade from the door?
Sent. How ?
Rolla. Alonzo has a wife and child; and I am come but to receive for her, and for her poor babe, the last blessing of
Sent. Go in.
[Exit Sentinel. Rolla. (Calls) Alonzo! Alonzo!
[Enter Alonzo, speaking as he comes in.] Alonzo. How! is the hour elapsed? Well, I am ready. Rolla. Alonzo- -know me! Alon. Rolla! O Rolla! how didst thou
the guard ? Rolla. There is not a moment to be lost in words. This disguise I tore from the dead body of a friar as I passed our field of battle. It has gained me entrance to thy dungeon; now take it thou, and fly.
Alon. And Rolla
Rolla. Will remain here in thy place.
Rolla. I shall not die, Alonzo. It is thy life, Pizarro seeks, not Rolla's; and thy arm may soon deliver me from prison. Or, should it be otherwise, I am as a blighted tree in the deşert; nothing lives beneath my shelter. Thou art a husband and a father; the being of a lovely wife and helpless infant depends upon thy life. Go! go! Alonzo, not to save thyself, but Cora and thy child.
Alon. Urge me not thus, my friend, I am prepared to
die in peace.
Rolla. To die in peace ! devoting her you have sworn to live for, to madness, misery, and death!
Alon. Merciful heavens!
Rolla. If thou art yet irresolute, Alonzo—now, mark me well. Thou knowest that Rolla never pledged his word and shrunk from its fulfilment. Know then, if thou art proudly obstinate, thou shalt have the desperate triumph of seeing Rolla perish by thy side.
Alon. O Rolla! you distract me! you the robe, and though dreadful the necessity, we will strike down the guard and force our passage.
Rolla. What the soldier, on duty here?
Alon. Yes; else, seeing two, ihe alarm will be instant death.
Rolla. For my nation's safety, I would not harm him. That soldier, mark me, is a man! All are not men that wear the human form. He refused my prayers, refused my gold, denying to admit—till his own feelings bribed him. I will not risk a hair of that man's head, to save my heart-strings from consuming fire. But haste! A moment's farther pause, and all is lost.
Alon. Rolla, I fear thy friendship drives me from honor and from right.
Rolla, Did Rolla ever counsel dishonor to his friend? [Throwing the friar's garment over his shoulders.] There! conceal thy face. Now God be with thee.
This interesting dialogue is taken from Kotzebue's “Pizarro." Kotzebue was born at Weimar, in 1761, and was assassinated in 1819, by Sandt, a fanatical student at Jena. In the scene between Rolla and the sentinel the voice of nature speaks.” Rolla appeals, successfully, to the feelings
of the sentinel, not by gold, but by the power of irresistible eloquence. It is true, as Rolla says, that “all are not men, that wear the human forin, that is to say, some men are destitute of those feelings of humanity which pervaded the bosom of the “soldier.” He was truly and emphatically a man, for admitting Rolla, and so was Rolla, for solemnly pledging himself not to see injured “a hair of that man's head.”. The dialogue, being throughout highly rhetorical, constitutes a very good elocutionary exercise.
88. A DIALOGUE FROM THE HISTORY OF KING RICHARD III.
RICHARD AND QUEEŅ ANNE.
Richard. I'd have thee die minion! [More calmly.] I'd have thee die. I'm tired of thee. The young Elizabeth is passing fair, and I would wed her. Mark me, thou art the only obstacle. Dost thou understand me?
Anne. [Mournfully.] Yes, I understand thee well; and believe me, Richard, thou canst not more ardently desire my death than
Rich. [Interrupting her.] Ha! sayest thou so? [Handing her u phial of poison, and speaking in a whisper.] Anne, in this phial there is a solace both for thy cares and mine ;—drink this then, and mourn no more.
Anne. No, tempter, I will not drink! [With sudden energy.] Monster! thou hast made earth a hell to me, and now thou wouldst bar' my entrance to heaven. Away! I will not commit self-murder.
Rich. The crime and punishment shall rest on my head, for see, (plucking a poniard from his girdle,] this shall be thy excuse in the heaven thou pratest of, that either thou must have drank that potion, or this dagger would have silenced thy scruples. Die, thou must, by the one or the other ; but I would rather thou didst choose the poison, being, as thou knowest, a peaceful man, eschewing bloodshed.
Anne. [Taking the poison.] The guilt of this deed be upon thy head! [Fixing her eyes on the king, and speaking in a roice of dying energy.] Unhappy Richard ! thou hast steeped thy soul in guilt
, of which thou wilt never reap the harvest. I feel the spirit of prophecy on my lips. Listen to it for thy soul's sake. The bride thou hast chosen thou shalt never