Scene I.A wild retreat among stupendous rocks.
Cora and her Child, with other Wives and Children of the Peruvian Warriors, discovered. They sing alternately stanzas expressive of their situation, with a Chorus, in which all join.
1st Wom. Zuluga, seest thou nothing yet?
Zul. Yes, two Peruvian soldiersone on the hill, the other entering the thicket in the vale.
2nd Wom. One more has passed.He comesbut pale and terrified.
Cora. My heart will start from my bosom.
Enter a Peruvian Soldier panting for breath.
Wom. Well! joy or death?
Sold. The battle is against us. The king is wounded and a prisoner.
Wom. Despair and misery!
Cora. [In a faint voice.] And Alonzo?
Sold. I have not seen him.
1st Wom. Oh! whither must we fly?
2nd Wom. Deeper into the forest.
Cora. I shall not move.
2nd Sold. [Without.] Victory! victory!
Enter another Peruvian Soldier.
2nd Sold. Rejoice! rejoice! we are victorious!
Wom. [Springing up.] Welcome! welcome, thou messenger of joy;but the king?
2nd Sold. He leads the brave warriors who approach.
[The triumphant march of the army is heard at a distance. The Women and Children join in a strain expressive of anxiety and exultation.
Enter the Peruvian Warriors, singing the Song of Victory. Ataliba and Rolla follow, and are greeted with rapturous shouts. Cora, with her Child in her arms, runs through the ranks searching for Alonzo.
Ata. Thanks, thanks, my children! I am well, believe it; the blood once stopped, my wound was nothing.
Cora. [To Rolla.] Where is Alonzo?[Rolla turns away in silence.] Give me my husband; give this child his father.
[Falls at Atalibas feet.
Ata. I grieve that Alonzo is not here.
Cora. Hoped you to find him?
Ata. Most anxiously.
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