Bernier, François, Travels in the Mogul Empire A.D. 1656-1668

(Westminster, Eng. :  Constable,  1891.)



Jump to page:

Table of Contents

  Page 467  

APPENDIX I.                           467

where Morat's wife is about to become a Suttee.    With this may be
compared pp. 306-315 of Bernier's narrative :—

A Procession of Priests, Slaves following, and last, Melesinda in white.

Ind. Alas ! what means this pomp ?
Aur. 'Tis the Procession of a Funeral Vow,

Which cruel Laws to Indian Wives allow.

When fatally their Virtue they approve ;

Chearful in flames, and Martyrs of their love.
Ind. Oh my foreboding heart! th' event I fear ;

And see ! sad Melesinda does appear.
Mel. You wrong my love ; what grief do I betray ?

This is the Triumph of my Nuptial day.

My better Nuptials ; which, in spight of Fate,

For ever joyn me to my dear Morat.

Now I am pleas'd ; iny jealousies are o'er :

He's mine; and I can lose him now no more.
Emp. Let no false show of Fame your reason blind.
Ind. You have no right to die ; he was not kind.
Mel.  Had he been kind, I could no love have shown :

Each vulgar Virtue would as much have done.

My love was such, it needed no return ;

But could, though he supplied no fuel, burn.

Rich in it self, like Elemental fire.

Whose pureness does no Aliment require.

In vain you would bereave me of my Lord;

For I will die : Die is too base a word ;

I'll seek his breast, and, kindling by his side,

Adorn'd with flames, I'll mount a glorious Bride.


Davies, in his Dramatic Miscellanies, London 1784, pp. 157-158
vol. iii., styles it Dryden's last and most perfect tragedy in ryme :—' In
this play the passions are strongly depicted, the characters were dis¬
criminated, and the diction more familiar and dramatic than in any of
his preceding pieces. . . . The Court greatly encouraged the play of
Aureng-Zebe. The Author tells us, in his dedication, that Charles 11.
altered an incident in the plot, and pronounced it to be the best of all
Dryden's tragedies.' It was revived in 1708, 1709, and 1721, when it
was performed on the nth December at Drury Lane.

Addison considered Aureng-Zebe's complaint of the vicissitudes and
disappointments of life. Act iv. Scene I, the best lines in the play :—

Aur. When I consider Life, 'tis all a cheat;

Yet, fool'd wdth hope, men favour the deceit;
  Page 467