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Or, like Calisthenes, be cag'd for life,
Eum. Let me, brave Clytus, as a friend intreat you.
Heph. What virtue is there that adorns a throne, Exalts the heart, and dignifies the man, Which shines not brightly in our royal master? And yet perversely you'll oppose his will, And thwart an innocent unhurtful humour.
Clyt. Unhurtfull oh, 'tis monstrous affectation ! Pregnant with venom, in its nature black, And not to be excus'd.Shall man, weak man! Exact the rev'rence which we pay to Heaven, And bid his fellow-creatures kneel before him, And yet be innocent? Hephestion, no; The pride that lays a claim to adoration Insults our reason and provokes the gods,
Eum. Yet what was Jove, the god whom we adore? Was he not once a man, and rais'd to heaven For gen'rous acts and virtues more than human?
Heph. By all his thunder and his sov’reign power I'll not believe the world yet ever felt An arm like Alexander's.--Not that god You nam'd, tho' riding in a car of fire, Could in a shorter space do greater deeds; Or more effectually have taught mankind To bend submissive, and confess his sway.
Clyt. I tell you, boy, that Clytus loves the king As well as you or any soldier here; Yet I disdain to sooth his growing pride : The hero charms me-but the god offends,
Heph. Then go not to the banquet.
Clyt. Why, I was bid,
Heph. But see, the king appears.
Enter ALEXANDER, STATIRA, SYSIGAMBIS, PARI
SATIS, and Attendants.
Alex. Shield me, Statira, shield me from her sor.
Par. Save him, oh save him ere it be too late!
Alex. Oh, madaml take her, take her from about
Her streaming eyes assail my very soul,
Stat. Did I not break
By all your passion, sighs, and tender looks,
Sys. I had not join'd in this bold suit, my son;
[Exeunt Heph. &c.
Alex. Excellent woman! 'Tis not in nature to support such joy.
Stat. Go, my best love; unbend you at the banquet; Indulge in joy, and laugh your cares away ; While in the bowers of great Semiramis I dress your bed with all the sweets of nature, And crown it as the altar of our loves, Where I will lay me down and softly mourn, But never close my eyes till you return. [Exeunt Stat.
Alex. Is she not more than mortal can desire,
As Venus lovely, and Diana chaste?
Enter ROXANA, CASSANDER, and POLYPERCHON.
Rox. For a last look,
[Ex. Alex. &3c.
Cas. Still keep this spirit up, preserve it still,
Rox. Shall he then die ? shall I consent to kill him?
consent to have him basely murdered,
Poly. The weak fond scruples of your love might
Cas. If Alexander lives you cannot reign,
Poly. Not he alone, the Persian race shall bleed:
Rox. But 'till this mighty ruin be accomplish'd
Cas. Would you vouchsafe in these expanded arms
Rox. Disgrac'd Roxanal whither art thou fallini 'Till this curs'd hour I never was unhappy : There's not one mark of former majesty To awe the slave that offers at rny honour.
Cas. Impute not, madam, my unbounded passion To want of rev'rence have lov'd you long.
Rox. Peace, villain! peace, and let me hear no more. Think'st thou I'd leave the boson of a god