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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.

my

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.

ground.

(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

peace

[Dies. thing,

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?

art,

(Exeunt omnes.

AN HISTORICAL TRAGEDY.

An epilogue, through custom, is your right,
But ne'er, perhaps, was needful till this night;
To-night the virtuous falls, the guilty flies,
Guilt's dreadful close our narrow scene denies.

In history's authentic record read
What ample vengeance gluts Demetrius' shade:
Vengeance so great, that when bis tale is tolila
With pity some even Perseus may behokh

Perseus surviv'd, indeed, and fill’d the throne; From such a source an emperor's embrace!
But ceaseless cares in conquest made him groan. He sicken'd soon to death, and, what is worse,
Nor reign'd he long; from Rome swift thunder He well deserv'd and felt the coward's curse;
flew,

Unpitied, scorned, insulted his last hour,
And headlong from his throne the tyrant threw: Far, far from home, and in a vassal's power :
Thrown headlong down, by Rome in triumph led, His pale cheek rested on his shameful chain,
For this night's deed, his perjur'd bosom bled. No friend to mourn, no flatterer to feign.
His brother's ghost each moment made him start, No suit retards, no comfort sooths his doom,
And all his father's anguish rent his heart. And not one tear bedews a monarch's tomb.
When rob’d in black his children round him Nor ends it thus-dire vengeance to complete,
hung,

His ancient empire, falling, shares his fate.
And their rais'd arms in early sorrows wrung; His throne forgot!—his weeping country chain'd!
The younger smil'd, unconscious of their woe, And nations ask-Where Alexander reign’d?
At which thy tears, O Rome! began to flow, As public woes a prince's crimes pursue,
So sad the scene : what then must Perseus feel, So public blessings are his virtues' due.
To see Jove's race attend the victor's wheel : Shout, Britons, shout! auspicious fortune bless,
To see the slaves of his worst foes increase, And cry, long live-our title to success!

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MARIAMNE.

A

TRAGEDY.

BY

ELIJAH FENTON.

PROLOGUE.

WHEN breathing statues mould'ring waste away, Of love, made greatly wretched by excess !
And tombs, unfaithful to their trust, decay, From lust of pow'r to jealous fury tost,
The muse recalls the suffering good to fame, We shew the tyrant in the lover lost.
Or wakes the prosp'rous villain into shame: If no compassion, when his crimes are weigh’d,
To the stern tyrant gives fictitious pow'r, To his ill-fated fondness must be paid,
To reign the restless monarch of an hour. Yet see, ye fair! and see with pitying eyes,

Obedient to her call, this night appears The bright afflicted Mariamne rise.
Great Herod rising from a length of years ; No fancied tale our op'ning scenes disclose,
A name enlarg'd with titles not his own, Historic truth, and swell with real woes.
Servile to mount, and savage on the throne : Awful in virtuous grief the queen appears,
Whose bold ambition trembling Jewry view'd, And strong the eloquence of royal tears.
In blood of half her royal race imbru'd. Then let her fate your kind attention raise,
But now reviving in the British scene,

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.

DRAMATIS PERSONÆ.

SAMEAS, the King's Cup-bearer.
MEN.

FLAMINIUS, a Roman General.
HEROD the Great.
His Young Son.

WOMEN.
PHERORAS, the King's Brother.

MARIAMNE.
SOHEMUS, first Minister.

SALOME, the King's Sister.
NARBAL, a Lord of the Queen's Party. ARSINOE, chief Attendant on the Queen,
HAZEROTH, a young Lord related to the Queen.
High-Priest.

Guards, Messengers, Attendants,
SCENE,- A Room of State in Herod's Palace at Jerusalem,

ACT I.

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,

D

name

And that's our case! Yet with a lover's eye The garland of the war, by partial fate
You view the gay malignance, that will blast Transferr'd from theirs, to grace a stripling's
Both you and all your friends.

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?
Her kindred blood with yours: revenge still glows, Soh. Traduced you basely, by the opprobrious
Though hid in treacherous embers; and you'll
feel

Of Idumean spinster, in degree
The dire effect, whene'er occasion breathes The third descendant of an heathen slave,
A gale to waken and foment the flame.

Who kept Apollo's temple.
But I, unpractis'd in th' intrigues of courts, Sal. The king's veins
And disciplin'd in camps, will not supply Hold the same blood, whatever is the source;
Increase of fuel to these home-bred jars : And if the wretch survives that vile reproach,
I hope the king will see them soon supprest; The king's a slave indeed. What was your crime?
Or care succeeding care will ever tread

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
Ne'er flew her conquering eagles at their prey. No glimmering hope? Though dim, the distan
We in the Parthian wars together learned

ray
The rudiments of arms; the summer sun May serve to steer our course.
Hath seen our marches measured by his own; Soh. The king will send
In battle so intrepid, that he shewed

His son for hostage, to reside in Rome.
An appetite of danger; oft I've heard

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,

care

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