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EPILOGUE.

CRAMN'D to the throat with wholesome moral 1 Where shades of heroes roam, each mighty name, stuff,

And court my aid to rise again to fame; Alas, poor audience, you have had enough. To you I come, to freedom's noblest seat, Was ever hapless heroine of a play

And in Britannia fix my last retreat. In such a piteous plight as ours to-day?

In Greece and Rome, I watch'd the public weal, Was ever woman so by love betray'd ?

The purple tyrant trembled at my steel : Match'd with two husbands, and yet-die a maid. Nor did I less o'er private sorrows reign, But, bless me hold! what sounds are these I'| And mend the melting heart with softer pain. hear

On France and you then rose my brightning star, I see the Tragic Muse herself appear.

With social ray—The arts are ne'er at war. [The back scene opens, and discovers a romantic Oh, as your fire and genius strongly blaze,

sylvan landscape, from which the Tragic | As your's are generous Freedom's bolder lays, Muse advances slowly, and speaks the fol- Let not the Gallic taste leave yours behind, lowing lines:

In decent manners and in life refin'd. Hence with your flippant epilogue, that tries Banish the motley,mode to tag low verse, To wipe the virtuous tear from British eyes; The laughing ballad to the mournful hearse. That dares my moral, tragic scene, profane, When through five acts your hearts have learnd With strains-at best, unsuiting, light, and vain. . to glow, Hence from the pure unsullied beams that playTouch'd with the secret force of honest woe; In yon fair eyes where virtue shines-away! | Oh, keep the dear impression on your breast,

Britons, to you, from the Castalian groves, Nor idly lose it for a wretehed jest. Where dwell the tender, oft unhappy loves;

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Ye glittering train! whom lace and velvet bless, | Ennobled, yet unchanged, it nature shine; Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress;

If no wild draught depart from reason's rules, From grovelling business and superfluous care, Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools; Ye sons of avarice! a moment spare :

Intriguing wits! his artless plot forgive, 'Votries of fame and worshippers of power! And spare him, beauties, though his lovers live. Dismiss the pleasing phantoms for an hour. Be this at least his praise; be this his pride; Our daring bard, with spirit unconfin’d,

To force applause no modern arts are tried. Spreads wide the mighty moral for mankind. Should partial catcalls all his hopes confound, Learn here how Heaven supports the virtuous He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound. mind,

Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit, Daring, though calm; and vigorous, though resign'd.

No snares, to captivate the judgment, spreads; Learn here what anguish racks the guilty breast, Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads. In power dependent, in success deprest; Unmoved the witlings sneer and rivals rail; Learn here that peace from innocence must Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fail. flow;

He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain, All else is empty sound, and idle show.

With merit needless, and without it vain. If truths like these with pleasing language lo reason, nature, truth, he dares to trust; join ;

| Ye fops, be silent! and, ye wits, be just !

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ACT I.

Leon. Well might the weakness of our empire SCENE I.

sink

Before such foes, of more than human force; DEMETRIUS and LEONTIUS in Turkish habits.

Some power invisible, from Heaven or hell, Leon. And is it thus Demetrius meets his Conducts their armies, and asserts their cause, friend,

Dem. And yet, my friend, what miracles were Hid in the mean disguise of Turkish robes,

wrought With servile secrecy to lurk in shades,

Beyond the power of constancy and courage ? And vent our sufferings in clandestine groans? Did unresisted lightning aid their cannon? Dem. Till breathless fury rested from destruc | Did roaring whirlwinds sweep us from the ramtion,

parts? These groans were fatal, these disguises vain: 'Twas vice that shook our nerves ; 'twas vice, But now our Turkish conquerors have quenched

Leontius, Their rage, and palled their appetite of murder; That froze our veins, and withered all our powers. No more the glutted sabre thirsts for blood, Leon. Whate'er our crimes, our woes demand And weary cruelty remits her tortures.

compassion, Leon. Yet Greece enjoys no gleam of transient Each night, protected by the friendly darkness, hope,

Quitting my close retreat, I range the city, No soothing interval of peaceful sorrow; And, weeping, kiss the venerable ruins : The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest, With silent pangs I view the towering domes, The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless ! | Sacred to prayer; and wander through the streets, The last corruption of degenerate man !

Where commerce lavished unexhausted plenty, Urged by the imperious soldier's fierce command, And jollity maintained eternal revelsThe groaning Greeks break up their golden ca- Dem. How changed alas Now, ghastly verns,

desolation Pregnant with stores, that India's mines might In triumph sits upon our shattered spires ; envy,

Now superstition, ignorance, and error, The accumulated wealth of toiling ages.

Usurp our temples, and profane our altars. Dem. That wealth, too sacred for their coun- Leon. From every palace burst a mingled clatry's use!

mour, That wealth, too pleasing to be lost for freedom! The dreadful dissonance of barbarous triumph, That wealth, which, granted to their weeping Shrieks of affright, and wailings of distress. prince,

| Oft when the cries of violated beauty. Had ranged embattled nations at our gates Arose to Heaven, and pierced my bleeding breast, But thus reserved to lure the wolves of Turkey, I felt thy pains, and trembled for Aspasia. Adds shame to grief, and infamy to ruin.

Dem. Aspasia ! spare that loved, that mourn. Lamenting avarice now too late discovers

ful name! Her own neglected, in the public safety.

Dear hapless maid ! tempestuous grief o'erbears Leon. Reproach not misery. The sons of My reasoning powers-Dear, hapless, lost As

Greece,
Il-fated race! so oft besieged in vain,

Leon. Suspend the thought.
With false security beheld invasion.

Dem. All thought on her is madness : Why should they fear!—That Power, that kindly Yet let me think I see the helpless maid ! spreads

| Behold the monsters gaze with savage rapture, The clouds, a signal of impending showers, Behold how lust and rapine struggle round her! To warn the wandering linnet to the shade, Leon. Awake, Demetrius, from this dismal Beheld, without concern, expiring Greece,

dream; And not one prodigy foretold our fate.

Sink not beneath imaginary sorrows : Dem. A thousand horrid prodigies foretold it. Call to your aid your courage and your wisdom; A feeble government, eluded laws,

Think on the sudden change of human scenes; A factious populace, luxurious nobles,

Think on the various accidents of war; And all the maladies of sinking states.

| Think on the mighty power of awful virtue; When public villany, too strong for justice, Think on that providence that guards the good. Shows his bold front, the harbinger of ruin,

Dem. O Providence! extend thy care to me, Can brave Leontius call for airy wonders, For courage droops unequal to the combat, Which cheats interpret, and which fools regard? And weak philosophy denies her succours. When some neglected fabric nods beneath Sure some kind sabre, in the heat of battle, The weight of years, and totters to the tempest, Ere yet the foe found leisure to be cruel, Must Heaven dispatch the messengers of light, Dismissed her to the sky, Or wake the dead to warn us of its fall ? 1 Leon. Some virgin martyr,

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Perhaps, enamoured of resembling virtue, Or wandering in the wilds of future being, With gentle hand restrained the streams of life, A single thought now rove, recall it home. And snatched her timely from her country's fate, But can thy friend sustain the glorious cause, Dem. From those bright regions of eternal The cause of liberty, the cause of nations?

Dem. Observe him closely with a statesman's Where now thou shin'st among thy fellow saints, 1 eye, Arrayed in purer light, look down on me! Thou, that hast long perused the draughts of naIn pleasing visions, and assuasive dreams,

ture, O! soothe my soul, and teach me how to lose And know'st the characters of vice and virtue, thee!

Left by the hand of heaven on human clay. Leon. Enough of unavailing tears, Demetrius: Cali. His mien is lofty, his demeanour great; I came obedient to thy friendly summons, Nor sprightly folly wantons in his air, And hopéd to share thy counsels, not thy sor Nor dull serenity becalms his eye. rows:

Such had I trusted once as soon as seen; While thus we mourn the fortune of Aspasia, But cautious age suspects the flattering form, To what are we reserved ?

And only credits what experience tells. Dem. To what I know not;

Ilas silence pressed her seal upon his lips? But hope, yet hope, to happiness and honour Does adamantine faith invest his.heavt? If happiness can be without Aspasia.

Will he not bend beneath a tyrant's frown? Leon. But whence this new-sprung hope? Will he not melt before ambition's fire ? Dem. From Cali Bassa ; .

Will he not soften in a friend's embrace, The chief, whose wisdom guides the Turkish Or flow dissolving in a woman's tears? counsels.

Dem. Sooner these trembling leaves shall find He, tired of slavery, though the highest slave,

a voice, Projects at once our freedom and his own; And tell the secrets of their conscious walks ; And bids us, thus disguised, await him here. Sooner the breeze shall catch the flying sounds, Leon. Can he restore the state he could not And shock the tyrant with a tale of treason. save?

Your slaughtered multitudes, that swell the shore In-vain, when Turkey's troops assailed our walls, | With monuments of death, proclaim his courage; His kind intelligence betrayed their measures ; Virtue and liberty engross his soul, Their arms prevailed, though Cali was our friend. And leave no place for perfidy or fear. Dam. When the tenth sun bad set upon our Leon. I scorn a trust unwillingly reposed. sorrows,

Demetrius will not lead me to dishonour; At midnight's private hour, a voice unknown Consult in private; call me when your scheme Sounds in my sleeping year, ' Awake, Deme- Is ripe for action, and demands the sword. trius!

(Going « Awake, and follow me to bettor fortunes.' | Dom. Leontius, stay. Surprised, I start, and bless the happy dream; Cali. Forgive an old man's weakness, Then, rousing, know the fiery chief Abdallah, And share the deepest secrets of my soul, Whose quick impatience seized my doubtful My wrongs, my fears, my motives, my designs

When unsuccessful wars, and civil factions, And led me to the shore where Cali stood, Embroiled the Turkish state, our sultan's faPensive, and listening to the beating surge.

ther, There, in soft hints, and in ambiguous phrase, Great Amurath, at my request, forsook With all the diffidence of long experience, The cloister's ease, resumed the tottesing throne, That oft had practised fraud, and oft detected, And snatched the reins of abdicated power The veteran courtier half revealed his project. From giddy. Mahomet's unskilful hand. By his command, equipped for speedy flight, This fired the youthful-king's ambitious breast; Deep in a winding creek a galley lies,

He murmurs vengeance at the name of Cali, Manned with the bravest of our fellow captives, And dooms my rash-fidelity to ruin. Seleeted by my care, a hardy band,

Dem. Unhappy lot of all that shine in courts ! That long to hail thee chiet.

For forced compliance, or for zealous virtue, Leon. But what avails

Still odious to the monarch or the people. So small a force? Or why should Cali fly?

Cati. Such are the woes, when arbitrary power, Or how can Cali's flight restore our country? And lawless passion, hold the sword of justice.

Dem. Reserve these questions for a safer hour, If there be any land, as fame roports, Or hear himself; for see, the Bassa comes. Where common laws restrain the prince and

subject, Enter CALI Bassa.

A happy land, where circulating power Cali. Now summon all thy soul, illustrious Flows through each member of the embodied Christian !

state; Awake each faculty thật sleeps within thee, Sure, not unconscious of the mighty blessing, The courtier's policy, the-sage’s firmness, Her grateful sons shine bright with every virtue; The warrior's ardour, and the patriot's zeal; Untainted with the lust of innovation, If, chasing past events with vain pursuit, | Sure all unite to hold her league of rule

hand,

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sook

death?

Unbroken as the sacred chain of nature, | At length rekindled his accustomed fury,
That links the jarring elements in peace. | And changed the endearing smile and amorous
Leon. But-say, great Bassą, why the Sultan's whisper
anger,

To threats of torture, death, and violation. Burning in vain, delays the stroke of death? Dem. These tedious narratives of frozen age Cali. Young, and unsettled in his father's king. | Distract my soul! dispatch thy lingering tale: doms,

Say, did a voice from Heaven restrain the tyrant? Fierce as he was, he dreaded to destroy

Did interposing angels guard her from him? The empire's darling, and the soldier's boast; Cali. Just in the moment of impending fate, But now confirmed, and swelling with his con Another plunderer brought the bright Irene; quests,

Of equal beauty, but of softer mien, Secure he tramples my declining fame,

Fear in her eye, submission on her tongue, Frowns unrestrained, and dooms me with his . Her mournful charms attracted his regards, eyes.

Disarmed his rage, and in repeated visits Dem. What can reverse thy doom?

Gained all his heart; at length his eager love Cali. The tyrant's death.

To her transferred the offer of a crown. Dem. But Greece is still forgot.

Leon. Nor found again the bright temptation Cali, On Asia's coast,

fail ? Which lately blessed my gentle government, · Cali. Trembling to grant, nor daring to refuse Soon as the sultan's anexpected fate

While Heaven and Mahomet divide her fears, Fills all the astonished empire with confusion, With coy caresses and with pleasing, wiles My policy shall raise an easy throne;

She feeds his hopes, and soothes him to delay. The Tarkish powers from Europe shall retreat, For her, repose is banished from the night, And harass Greece no more with wasteful war. And business from the day. In her apartments A galley manned with Greeks,-thy charge, Le-He lives optius,

Leon. And there must fall. Attends to waft us to repose and safety. .

Cali. But yet the attempt Dem. That »Nessel, if observed, alarms the Is hazardous. court,

Leon. Forbear to speak of hazards ! And gives a thousand fatal questions birth; What has the wretch that has survived his counWhy stored for flight ? and why prepared by try, Cali?

His friends, his liberty, to hazard ? Cali. This hour I'll beg, with unsuspecting Cali. Life. face,

Dem. The inestimable privilege of breathing ! Leave to perform my pilgrimage to Mecca; Important hazard! What's that airy bubble, Which, granted, hides my purpose from the When weighed with Greece, with virtue, with world,

Aspasia ?
And, though rosused, conceals it from the sultan. | A floating atom, dust that falls unheeded

Leon. How can a single hand attempt a life, Into the adverse scale, nor shakes the balance. Which armies guard, and citadels inclose?

Cali. At least this day be çalmo-If we sucCali. Forgetful of command, with captive : ceed, beauties,

Aspasia's thine, and all thy life is raptureFar from his troops, he, toys his hours away. See! Mustapha, the tyrant's minion comes. A roving soldier seized in Sophia's temple Invest Leontius with his new command; A virgio, shining with distinguished charms, And wait Abdalla's unsuspected visits : And brought his beauteous plunder to the sultan. | Remember freedom, glory, Greece, and love. Dem. In Sophia's temple !-What alarm

(Exeunt Dem. and LEON. Proceed. Cali. The sultan, gazed, he wondered, and he

Enter MUSTAPHA. loved ;

Mus. By what enchantment does this lovely In passion lost; he bade the conquering fair

Greek
Renounce her faith, and be the queen of Turkey; Hold in her chains the captivated sultan?
The pious maid, with modest indignation, He tires his favourites with Irene's praise,
Threw back the glittering bribe.

And seeks the shades to muse upon Irene; Dem. Celestial goodness!

Irene steals unheeded from his tongue, It must, it must be she !-Her name?

And mingles unperceived with every thought. Cali. Aspasia.

Cali. Why should the sultan shun the joys of Dem. What hopes, what terrors rush upon my beauty, soul !

Or arm his breast against the force of love? O lead me quickly to the scene of fate;

Love, that with sweet vicissitude relieves Break through the politician's tedious forms! The warrior's labours, and the monarch's cares. Aspasia calls me, let me fly to save her.

But will she yet receive the faith of Mecca? Leon. Did Mahomet reproach or praise her Mus. Those powerful tyrants of the female virtue?

breast, Cali. His offers oft repeated, still refused, Fear and ambition, urge her to compliance;

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