Page images

Saladin. Assemble quickly
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. [Exit Attendant.]

Malek Adhel. Now, Saladin,
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, either,
The justness 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,
Thinkest thou, thy slumbers render quieter,
Thy waking thoughts more pleasing, to reflect
That, when thy voice had doom'd a brother's death,
The last request which e'er was his to utter
Thy harshness made him carry to the grave?

Saladin. Speak, then; but ask thyself if thou hast reason To look for much indulgence here,

Malek Adhel. I have not! Yet will I ask for it. We part forever; This is our last farewell; the king is satisfied ; The judge has spoke the irrevocable 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 unmoisten'd; let thy voice Then speak my doom untrembling; then, Unmoved, behold this stiff and blacken'd 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 deafness, 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 cherish'd memory
Would soothe the struggles of departing life!
Yet, 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-

Saladin. [Seizing his hand.] Brother! brother!

Malek Adhel. [Breaking away.] Now call thy followers
Death has not now
A single pang in store. Proceed! I'm ready.

Saladin. 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

Malek Adhel. Oh, stay thee, Saladin !
I did not ask for life. I only wish'd
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 offenses with his life.
Lo! even now they crowd to view my death,
Thy just impartiality. I go!
Pleased by my fate to add one other leaf
To thy proud wreath of glory. [Going.]

Saladin. Thou shalt not. [Enter Attendant.]

Attendant. My lord, the troops, assembled by your order,
Tumultuous throng the courts. The prince's death
Not one of them but vows he will not suffer.
The mutes have fled; the very guards rebel.
Nor think I, in this city's spacious round,
Can e'er be found a hand to do the office.

Malek Adhel. Oh, faithful friends! [To Attendant.] Thine shalte

Attendant. Mine? Never!
The other first shall lop it from the body.

Saladin. They teach ihe Emperor his duty well.
Tell them he thanks them for it. Tell them, too,
That, ere their opposition reach'd our ears,
Saladin had forgiven Malek Adhel.

Attendant. Oh, joyful news !
I haste to gladden many a gallant heart,
And dry the tear on many a hardy cheek,
Unused to such a visitor. [Exit.]

Saladin. These men, the meanest in society,

The outcasts of the earth,-by war, by nature
Harden'd, and render'd 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 vow'd allegiance,
Throw off their long obedience, risk their lives,
To save thee from destruction. While I,
I, who cannot, in all my memory,
Call back one danger which thou hast not shared,
One day of grief, one night of revelry,
Which thy resistless kindness hath not soothed,
Or thy gay smile and converse render'd sweeter,-
I, who have thrice in the ensanguined field,
When death seem'd certain, only utter'd “Brother!"
And seen that form, like lightning, rush between
Saladin and his foes, and that brave breast
Dauntless exposed to many a furious blow
Intended for my own,–I could forget
That 'twas to thee I owed the


Which sentenced thee to perish! Oh, 'tis shameful!
Thou canst not pardon me !

Malek Adhel. By these tears, I can!
O brother! from this very hour, a new,
A glorious life commences! I am all thine !
Again the day of gladness or of anguish
Shall Malek Adhel share; and oft again
May this sword fence thee in the bloody field.
Henceforth, Saladin,
My heart, my soul, my sword, are thine forever!




1. If any, against all these proofs, should maintain that the peace with the Indians will be stable without the posts, to them I will urge another reply. From arguments calculated to produce conviction, I will appeal directly to the hearts of those who hear me, and ask whether it is not already planted there. I resort especially to the convictions of the Western gentlemen, whether, supposing no posts and no treaty, the settlers will remain in security. Can they take it upon them to say that an Indian peace, under these circumstances, will prove firm ? No, sir ! it will not be peace, but a sword; it will be no better than a lure to draw victims within the reach of the tomahawk.

2. On this theme my emotions are unutterable. If I could find words for them, if my powers bore any proportion to my zeal, I would swell my voice to such a note of remonstrance, it should reach every log-house beyond the mountains. I would say to the inhabitants, Wake from your false security! Your cruel dangers, your more cruel apprehensions, are soon to be renewed. The wounds, yet unhealed, are to be torn open again. In the daytime, your path through the woods will be ambushed; the darkness of midnight will glitter with the blaze of your dwellings. You are a father,--the blood of your sons shall fatten your cornfield. You are a mother,—the war-whoop shall wake the sleep of the cradle.

3. On this subject you need not suspect any deception on your feelings. It is a spectacle of horror, which cannot be overdrawn. If you have nature in your hearts, they will speak a language compared with which all I have said or can say will be poor and frigid.

4. Who will say that I exaggerate the tendencies of our measures? Will any one answer, by a sneer,

that all this is idle preachWill any one deny that we are bound, and I would hope to good purpose, by the most solemn sanctions of duty, for the vote we give ? Are despots alone to be reproached for unfeeling indifference to the tears and blood of their subjects? Are republicans unresponsible? Have the principles on which you ground the reproach upon cabinets and kings no practical influence, no binding force ? Are they merely themes of idle declamation, introduced to decorate the morality of a newspaper essay, or to furnish pretty topics of harangue from the windows of that State-House? I trust it is neither too presumptuous nor too late to ask, Can you put the dearest interest of society at risk without guilt and without remorse?

5. It is vain to offer, as an excuse, that public men are not to be reproached for the evils that may happen to ensue from their

This is very true where they are unforeseen or in. evitable. Those I have depicted are not unforeseen; they are so far from

inevitable, we are going to bring them into being by our vote. We choose the consequences, and become as justly answerable for them as for the measure that we know will produce them.

6. By rejecting the posts, we light the savage fires; we bind the victims. This day we undertake to render account to the



widows and orphans whom our decision will make. To the wretches that will be roasted at the stake; to our country; and, I do not deem it too serious to say, to conscience and to God, we are answerable; and, if duty be any thing more than a word of imposture, if conscience be not a bugbear, we are preparing to make ourselves as wretched as our country.

7. There is no mistake in this case; there can be none. Experience has already been the prophet of events, and the cries of Our future victims have already reached us. The Western inhabitants are not a silent and uncomplaining sacrifice. The voice of humanity issues from the shade of the wilderness. It exclaims, that, while one hand is held up to reject this treaty, the other grasps a tomahawk.

It summons our imagination to scenes that

It is no great effort of the imagination to conceive that events so near are already begun. I can fancy that I listen to the yells of savage vengeance and the shrieks of torture! Already they seem to sigh in the western wind! Already they mingle with every echo from the mountains !

will open.







crags and peaks, I'm with you once again !
I hold to you the hands you first beh
To show they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again ! O sacred forms, how proud you look !
How high you lift your heads into the sky !
How huge you are ! how mighty, and how free!
Ye are the things that tower, that shine,-whose smile
Makes glad, whose frown is terrible, whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine. Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I call to you
With all my voice! I hold

To show they still are free. I rush to you,
As though I could embrace you !

Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow

hands to you,


« PreviousContinue »