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النشر الإلكتروني

What folly, or what rage, your duty blinds,
To violate the sleep of holy minds?
Hence, to the task assigned you here below!
Upon the ocean make loud tempests blow;
Into the wombs of hollow clouds repair,
And crush out thunder from the bladdered air ;
From pointed sun-beams take the mists they drew,
And scatter them again in pearly dew;
And of the bigger drops they drain below,
Some mould in hail, and others stamp in snow.

Dam. Mercy, bright spirit! I already feel
The piercing edge of thy immortal steel :
Thou, prince of day, from elements art free;
And I all body when compared to thee.
Thou tread'st the abyss of light,
And where it streams with open eyes canst go :
We wander in the fields of air below,
Changelings and fools of heaven; and thence shut

Wildly we roam in discontent about :
Gross heavy-fed, next man in ignorance and sin,
And spotted all without, and dusky all within.
Without thy sword I perish by thy sight;
I reel, and stagger, and am drunk with light.

Amar. If e'er again thou on this place art found,
Full fifty years I'll chain thee under ground;
The damps of earth shall be thy daily food,
All swoln and bloated like a dungeon toad :
And when thou shalt be freed, vet thou shalt lie
Gasping upon the ground, too faint to fly,
And lay below thy fellows in the sky.

Dam. O pardon, pardon this accursed deed,
And I no more on magic fumes will feed,
Which drew me hither by their powerful steams.
Amar. Go expiate thy guilt in holy dreams.

[Exit DAM.

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But thou, sweet saint, henceforth disturb no more

[To S. CATH. With dreams not thine, thy thoughts to heaven re

store. (The Angel ascends, and the scene shuts. Nig. Some holy being does invade this place, And from their duty does my spirits chase. I dare no longer near it make abode : No charms prevail against the Christians' God.

Plac. How doubtfully these spectres fate foretell! In double sense, and twilight truth they dwell : Like fawning courtiers for success they wait, And then come smiling, and declare for fate. Enter Maximin and PORPHYRIUS, attended by

VALERIUS and guards. But see, the tyrant and my rival come : I, like the fiends, will flatter in his doom : None but a fool distasteful truth will tell, So it be new and please, 'tis full as well. [Plac. whispers with the Emperor, who seems pleased. Max. You charm me with your news, which I'll

reward ; By hopes we are for coming joys prepared : Possess her love, or from that love be free Heaven speaks me fair : If she as kind can prove, I shall possess, but never quit my love. Go, tell me when she wakes.

[Exit Plac. [PORPHYRIUS seems to beg something of him. Porphyrius, no; She has refused, and I will keep my vow.

Por. For your own sake your cruel vow defer; The time's unsafe, your enemies are near, And to displease your men when they should fight

Mar. My looks alone my enemies will fright; And o'er my men I'll set my careful spies, To watch rebellion in their very eyes.

No more, I cannot bear the least reply.
Por. Yet, tyrant, thou shalt perish ere she die.

Valeria here! how fortune treats me still
With various harms, magnificently ill !
Mar. Valeria, I was sending to your tent,

[To VAL. But my commands your presence does prevent, This is the hour, wherein the priest shall join Your holy loves, and make Porphyrius mine.

Val. Now hold, my heart ! and Venus I implore, Be judge if she he loves deserves him more. [Aside. Por. Past hope! and all in vain I would

preserve My life, not for myself, but her I serve. Aside. Val. I come, great sir, your justice to demand.

[To the Emperor. Mar. You cannot doubt it from a father's hand.

Por. Sir, I confess, before her suit be known; And by myself condemned, my crime I own. I have refused.

Val. Peace, peace, while I confess I have refused thee for unworthiness.

Por. I am amazed.

Mar. What riddles do you use?
Dare either of you my commands refuse?

Val. Yes, I dare own, howe'er 'twas wisely done
To adopt so mean a person for your son,
So low you should not for your daughter chuse;
And, therefore, sir, this marriage I refuse.
Max. You liked the choice when first I thought

it fit. Val. I had not then enough considered it.

Mar. And you have now considered it too much: Secrets of empire are not safe to touch,

Por. Let not your mighty anger rise too high; "Tis not Valeria merits it, but I: My own unworthiness so well I knew, That from her love I consciously withdrew.

Val. Thus rather than endure the little shame To be refused, you blast a virgin's name. You to refuse, and I to be denied ! Learn more discretion, or be taught less pride.

Por. O heaven, in what a labyrinth am I led !
I could get out, but she detains the thread.
Now must I wander on, till I can see,
Whether her pity or revenge it be. [Aside.
Max. With what child's



anger do


I'll punish both, if either disobey.

Val. Since all the fault was mine, I am content, Porphyrius should not share the punishment.

Por. Blind that I was till now, that could not


”Twas all the effect of generosity! She loves me, even to suffer for my sake; And on herself would my refusal take. [Aside.

Mar. Children to serve their parents intrest live; Take heed what doom against yourself you give.

[70 VAL.

Por. Since she must sufler, if I do not speak, 'Tis time the laws of decency to break. She told me, sir, that she your choice approved, And (though I blush to own it) said she loved ; Loved me desertless, who, with shame, confest Another flame had seized upon my breast; Which when, too late, the generous princess knew, And feared your justice would my crime pursue, l'pon herself she makes the tempest fall

, And my refusal her contempt would call..

Val. He raves, sir, and, to cover my disdain, Unhandsomely would his denial feign;

And, all means failing him, at last would try

usurp the credit of a scorn, and die.
But, let him live: His punishment shall be
The grief his pride will bring for losing me.

Max. You both obnoxious to my justice are ;
And, daughter, you have not deserved my care.
'Tis my command you strictly guarded be,
Till your fantastic quarrel you agree.
Por. Sir---

Max. I'll not hear you speak, her crime is plain;
She owns her pride, which you perhaps may feign.
She shall be prisoner till she bend her mind
To that, which is for both of you designed.
Val. You'll find it hard my free-born will to

bound. Max. I'll find that power o'er wills, which hea

ven ne'er found. Free-will's a cheat in any one but me; In all but kings, 'tis willing slavery; An unseen fate which forces the desire; The will of puppets danced upon a wire. A monarch is The spirit of the world in 'every mind; He may match wolves to lambs, and make it kind. Mine is the business of your little fates ; And though you war, like petty wrangling states, You're in my hand; and, when I bid you cease, You shall be crushed together into peace. Val. Thus by the world my courage will be prized;

(Aside. Seeming to scorn, who am, alas, despised : Dying for love's, fulfilling honour's laws; A secret martyr, while I own no cause. [Exit VAL. Max. Porphyrius, stay; there's something I would

hear : You said you loved, and you must tell me where.

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