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Erir. My bosom meets the point,
Who pour my tempest on the capitol ? Than Perseus far more welcome to my breast. How shall I sweeten life to thy sad spirit
Dem. Necessity, for gods themselves too strong, I'll quit my throne this hour, and thou shalt Is weaker than thy charms. [Drops the dagger.
reign. Erir. Oh, my Demetrius !
Dem. You recommend that death, you would (Turns, and goes to a farther part of the stage.
dissuade; Dem. Oh, my Erixene!
Ennobled thus by fame and empire lost, [Both silent, weep, and tremble. As well as life! Small sacrifice to love. Erir. Farewell!
[Going. [Going to stab himself, the king runs to preDem. Where goest! [Passionately seizing her. rent him ; but too late. Erir. To seek a friend.
King. Ah, hold! nor strike thy dagger through Dem. He's here.
heart! Erir. Yes, Perseus' friend
Dem. 'Tis my first disobedience, and my last. Earth, open and receive me!
(Falls. Dem. Heaven strike us dead,
King. There Philip fell! There Macedon exAnd save me from a double suicide,
pired! And one of tenfold death.-0 Jove! O Jove! I see the Roman eagle hovering o'er us,
(Falling on his knees. And the shaft broke, should bring her to the But I'm distracted. (Suddenly starting up.
(Pointing to DEMETRIUS. What can Jove? Why pray?
Dem. Hear, good Antigonus, my last request: What can I pray for ?
Tell Perseus, if he'll sheath his impious sword Erir. For a heart.
Drawn on his father, I'll forgive him all; Dem. Yes, one,
Though poor Erixene lies bleeding by : That cannot feel. Mine bleeds at every vein. Her blood cries vengeance; but my father'sWho never loved, ne'er suffered; he feels no
King. As much his goodness wounds me, as Who nothing feels but for himself alone;
his death. And, when we feel for others, reason reels, What then are both ? O Philip, once renowned! O’erloaded, from her path, and man runs mad. Where is the pride of Greece, the dread of Rome, As love alone can exquisitely bless,
The theme of Athens, the wide world's example, Love only feels the marvellous of pain;
And the god Alexander's rival, now? Opens new veins of torture in the soul,
Even at the foot of fortune's precipice, And wakes the nerve, where agonies are born. Where the slave's sigh wafts pity to the prince, E'en Dymas, Perseus, (hearts of adamant !) And his omnipotence cries out for more! Might weep these torments of their mortal foe. Erir. Shall I be less compassionate than they? So solid swells thy grandeur, pigmy man!
Ant. As the swoln column of ascending smoke, [Takes up the dugger. What love denied, thine agonies have done,
King. My life's deep tragedy was planned with
(Stabs herself. From scene to scene, advancing in distress, Demetrius' sigh outstings the dart of death. Through a sad series, to this dire result; Enter the King, &c.
As if the Thracian queen conducted all,
And wrote the moral in her children's blood; King. Give my Demetrius to my arms; I call | Which seas might labour to wash out in vain. him
Hear it, ye nations ! distant ages, hear, To life from death, to transport from despair.
And learn the dread decrees of Jove to fear! Dem. See Perseus' wife !' (Pointing at Erix. llis dread decrees the strictest balance keep; let Delia tell the rest.
The father groans who made a mother weep; King. My grief-accustomed heart can guess But if no terror for yourselves can move,
too well. Dem. That sight turns all to guilt, but tears
Tremble, ye parents, for the child ye love;
For your Demetrius: mine is cloomed to bleed, and death. King. Death! Who shall quell false Perseus,
A guiltless victim, for his father's deed. now in arms?
AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY.
An epilogue, through custom, is your right,
In history's authentic record read
Perseus surviv'd, indeed, and fill’d the throne; From such a source an emperor's embrace!
Unpitied, scorned, insulted his last hour,
His ancient empire, falling, shares his fate.
WHEN breathing statues mould'ring waste away, Of love, made greatly wretched by excess !
Obedient to her call, this night appears The bright afflicted Mariamne rise.
Whose perfect charms were but her second praise: He looks majestic with a milder mien :
Beauty and virtue your otection claim ; His features soften’d with the deep distress Give tears to beauty, and to virtue fame.
SAMEAS, the King's Cup-bearer.
FLAMINIUS, a Roman General.
SALOME, the King's Sister.
Guards, Messengers, Attendants,
With Narbal's talents ; none is better form'd SCENE I.
To gild the pageant of a gaudy day:
He's nobly born, and popularly vain, Enter PHERORAS, NARBAL, and SoHEMUS.
Rare tinsel-stuff t'adorn a room of state ! Pher. The morning in her richest purple rob’d, But in the council, where the public careSmiles with auspicious lustre on the day, Pher. In that high sphere you, Sohemus, alone Which brings my royal brother back from Rhodes, Must ever shine: and may your wisdom raise Confirm'd in empire by the general voice Your master's fortune, to divide the globe Of Cæsar, and the senate.
With this new Cæsar; and no longer sway Nar. This blest day
A short precarious sceptre, which must shake In latest annals shall distinguish'd shine, With each tempestuous gust that blows from Sacred to majesty, and dear to love:
Rome. The same which saw the royal lovers march Soh. With blushes I must hear you call me In nuptial pomp, revolving, now restores
wise, Herod to Mariamne, and his crown.
When one impassion'd woman can destroy Sok. Fortune at length to merit grows a friend, My surest plans, and with a sigh blow down Or fate ordain'd the happiest stars to shed The firmest fabric of deliberate thought. Their influence on his birth: or sure, since Rome, Heav'ns! that a king consummate for a throne, With civil discord rent, so oft hath chang'd So wise in council, and so great in arms, Her own great lords, (as bleeding conquest rais'd, Should, after nine long years, remain a slave, Or sunk the doubtful balance, we had shar'd Because his wife is fair! What art thou, beauty, The same vicissitudes of restless pow'r.
Whose charm makes sense and valour grow as Nar. Herod avow'd the dear respect he bore
tame To Antony, and dropp'd a generous tear
As a blind turtle? To grace his ruins.
Pher. Is thy wisdom proof Pher. Yes, and Cæsar sat
Against the blandishments of warm desire ? Pensive and silent; in his anxious breast It ill defends thee from Arsinoe's charms ! Perhaps revolving, that of all his train,
The sullen sweetness of a down-cast eye, Who proudly wanton in his mounted rays, A feign'd unkindness, or a just reproach, Gay flutt'ring insects of a summer noon, Breath'd in a sigh, and soften'd with a tear, How few would bear the wintry storms of fate! Would make thy rigid marble melt like snow At length he smiling rose, receiv'd the crown On the warm bosom of the youthful spring. From Herod's hand, and plac'd it on his brow; Soh. In thoughtless youth, gay nature gives the Crying, shine there for Cæsar cannot find
rein A worthier bead to wear thee.
To love, and bids him urge the full career : Sok. From the grace
But Herod should restrain his head-strong course, Of such a victor to receive a crown,
Now reason is mature. With such peculiar attributes of fame,
Pher. He never can; Cocfers more glory than a chronicle
For Mariamne with superior charms Of scepter'd ancestors.
Triumphs o'er reason; in her look she bears Pher. Narbal, your care
A paradise of ever-blooming sweets: Will see due honours to the day discharg'd. Fair as the first idea beauty prints Let the shrill trumpet's cheerful note enjoin On the young lover's soul: a winning grace A general feast, and joy with loud acclaim Guides every gesture, and obsequious love Through all the streets of Solyma resound: Attends on all her steps; for, majesty Let steams of grateful incense cloud the sky, Streams from her eye to each beholder's heart,
Till the rich fragrance reach the utmost bounds and checks the transport which her charms inOf Herod's empire: let each smiling brow.
spire : Wear peaceful olive, whilst the virgin choirs Who would not live her slave !-Nor is her mind Warbling his praise, his paths with flow’rs per- Form’d with inferior elegance !-By her, fume,
So absolute in every grace, we guess Who guards Judæa with the shield of Rome. What essence angels have.
(Exit NAR. Soh. Who can admire
The brightest angel, when his hand unsheaths SCENE II.
The vengeful sword, or with dire pestilence PHERORAS and SOHEMUS.
Unpeoples nations ? If death sits enthron'd
In the soft dimple of a damask cheek, Solt. My lord, the province you've assign'a He thence can aim his silent dart as sure, agrees
As from the wrinkle of a tyrant's frown : VOL. II,
And that's our case! Yet with a lover's eye The garland of the war, by partial fate
browPher. We sure may praise
But I with Narbal will prevail, to impart The snake that glitters in her summer pride, This most ungrateful order to the queen. And yet beware the sting.
(Erit PHER. Soh. But low in dust Crush the crown'd basilisk, or else she kills
SCENE III. Whate'er her eye commands. You need, my lord,
SALOME enters to SOHEMUS. No clearer light than this, by which to read Sal. I hope, my lord, young Hazeroth's affront The purpose of my soul.
Will not pass unresented. Pher. Though 'tis obscure,
Soh. I've dispatched It strikes like lightning that with fear confounds A message to the king: the account I gave The pale night-wanderer, whilst it shews the path. Imported nothing but severest truth; You, Sohemus, have cause to think the queen Yet wittiest malice scarce could feign a roll Charges the taking off her uncle's head
Of keener calumnies. To your advice; and gladly would atone
Sal. He mentioned me?
Of Idumean spinster, in degree
Who kept Apollo's temple.
Soh. He said by my sole counsels were de The circle of his crown.
stroyed Soh. If to pursue
All of the royal Asmonæan race, The safest measure to secure his throne, Whom justice made the victims of the state : Shall irritate the queen to make me fall Whose injured, discontented ghosts too long A victim to her rage, the conscious pride Had cried revenge, but should not cry in vain : Of having acted what the king ordained,
Then half unsheathed his sabre.
Sal. That vain boy Enter Messenger with a Letter to PHERORAS.
Believes his near relation to the queen Will yet support me. 'Tis not worth my care, Exempts his haughty youth from all restraint. Whether the trembling hand of age must shake He's Mariamne's echo, and repeats From the frail glass my last remaining sand;
But half her menaces. Or fortume break the phial, ere the sum
Soh. What time more fit Of half my life is told.
To put her threats in act, than when the king Pher. "Tis from the king :
Flies with redoubled ardour to her arms? A most unpleasing message for the queen. Passion improves with absence; and his heart Soh. May I, my lord, partake ?
So soft and passive to the power of love, Phar. The infant prince
Will then be vacant only to his queen.-. Must live an hostage of the league at Rome; Fortune of late a glorious scene disclos’d, Cæsar hath sent a minister of trust
But soon snatch'd back the visionary joy! With guards' to wait him. This perhaps the king The blissful hour is past-Curst, doubly curst Hath kept concealed that his return might calm Be this boy-emperor! who tamely spar'd The afflicted queen, and soften the surprise. The warmest friend that Antony could boast. Soh. Names he, my lord, the general to whose Had Herod perish'd by his vengeful sword,
I soon had sent (for so he left in charge) The prince must be consigned?
His queen, the worshipp'd idol of his soul, Pher. Rome could not chuse
To attend him to the shades.-Clouds of despair For that high charge a pobler delegate,
Now terminate our view! Than my Flaminius; for a bolder hand
Sal. Can you discern
His son for hostage, to reside in Rome.
Sal. Were triple thunder vollied at the queen, The weary veterans, resting on their spears, It could not rend her bleeding bosom more Swear by the gods and majesty of Rome,
Than such a message. They blushed with indignation to behold
Soh. At this little spark,