Scene I.A Dungeon.
Alonzo is discovered in chains. A Sentinel walking near.
Alon. For the last time I have beheld the shadowed ocean close upon the light. For the last time, through my cleft dungeons roof, I now behold the quivering lustre of the stars. For the last time, O sun! (and soon the hour) I shall behold thy rising, and thy level beams melting the pale mists of morn to glittering dew-drops. Then comes my death, and in the morning of my day I fall, whichno, Alonzo, date not the life which thou hast run by the mean reckoning of the hours and days which thou hast breathed: a life spent worthily should be measured by a nobler lineby deeds, not years. Then wouldst thou murmur not, but bless the Providence which in so short a span made thee the instrument of wide and sproading blessings to the helpless and oppressed. Though sinking in decrepit age, he prematurely falls whose memory records no benefit conferred by him on man. They only have lived long, who have lived virtuously.
Enter a Soldier, shows the Sentinel a passport, who withdraws.
Alon. What bear you there?
Sold. These refreshments I was ordered to leave in your dungeon.
Alon. By whom ordered?
Sold. By the lady Elvira: she will be here herself before the dawn.
Alon. Bear back to her my humblest thanks; and take thou the refreshments, friendI need them not.
Sold. I have served under you, Don Alonzo. Pardon my saying, that my heart pities you.
Alon. In Pizarros camp, to pity the unfortunate, no doubt requires forgiveness.[Looking out.] Surely, even now, thin streaks of glimmering light steal on the darkness of the east. If so, my life is but one hour more. I will not watch the coming dawn; but in the darkness of my cell, my last prayer to thee, Power Supreme! shall be for my wife and child! Grant them to dwell in innocence and peace; grant health and purity of mindall else is worthless.
[Retires into the dungeon.
Sent. Whos there? Answer quickly! whos there?
Rol. [Without.] A friar come to visit your prisoner.
Enter Rolla, disguised as a Monk.
Rol. Inform me, friendis not Alonzo, the Spanish prisoner, confined in this dungeon?
Sent. He is.
Rol. I must speak with him.
Sent. You must not.
[Stopping him with his spear.
Rol. He is my friend.
Sent. Not if he were your brother.
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