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Describing the new love he bears Roxana, Whose body, O forgive the blasphemy,
I loved not half so well as the least part
Of my dear precious faithless Alexander; Is any, panther's, lioness's rage
For I will tell thee, and to warn thee of him, So furious, any torrent's falls so swift,
Not the spring's mouth, nor breath of jessamin, As a wronged woman's hate ? Thus far it helps Nor violet's infant-sweets, nor opening buds, To give him troubles; which perhaps may end Are half so sweet as Alexander's breast; him,
From every pore of him a perfume falls, And set the court in universal uproar.
He kisses softer than a southern wind, But see ! it ripens more than I expected; Curls like a vine, and touches like a god. The scene works up; kill him, or kill thyself; Sys. When will thy spirits rest, these transports So there be mischief any way, 'tis well;
cease? Now change the vizor, every one disperse,
Stat. Will you not give me leave to warn my And with a face of friendship meet the king.
-but I told his sweetness;
Then he will talk-good gods, how he will talk! SCENE III.
Even when the joy he sighed for is possest, Enter SysIGAMBIS, STATIRA, PARISATIS, At-He speaks the kindest words, and looks such
Vows with so much passion, swears with so much Stat. Give me a knife, a draught of poison, grace, fames;
That 'tis a kind of heaven to be deluded by him. Swell heart, break, break, thou stubborn thing ! Par. But what was it, that you would have me Now, by the sacred fire, I'll not be held;
swear? Why do ye wish my life, yet stifle me
Stat. Alas, I had forgot! let me walk by, For want of air ? pray give me leave to walk. And weep awhile, and I shall soon remember. Sys
. Is there no reverence to my person due? Sys. Have patience, child, and give her liberty; Darius would have heard me : trust not rumour. Passions, like seas, will have their ebbs and Stat. No, he hates,
flows : He loaths the beauties, which he has enjoyed. Yet, while I see her thus, not all the losses 0, he is false, that great, that glorious man We have received, since Alexander's conquest, Is tyrant midst of his triumphant spoils,
Can touch my hardened soul; her sorrow reigns Is bravely false, to all the gods forsworn : Too fully there. Yet, who would think it! no, it cannot be,
Par. But what if she should kill herself? It cannot
-What, that dear protesting man! Stat. Roxana, then, enjoys my perjured love: He, that has warmed my feet with thousand sighs, Roxana clasps my monarch in her arıns; Then cooled them with his tears, died on my Doats on my conqueror, my dear lord, my king, knees,
Devours his lips, eats him with hungry kisses : Outwept the morning with his dewy eyes,
grasps him all, she, the curst happy she ! And groaned and swore the wandering stars away! By heaven I cannot bear it, 'tis too much;
Sys. No, 'tis impossible, believe thy mother, I'll die, or rid me of the burning torture.
I will have remedy, I will, I will,
Or go distracted; madness may throw off O'tis my fondness, and my easy nature,
The mighty load, and drown the faming passion. That would excuse him; but I know he's false, Madam, draw near, with all that are in presence, Tis now the common talk, the news of the And listen to the vow, which here I make. world,
Sys. Take heed, my dear Statira, and consider, False to Statira, false to her, that loved him; What desperate love enforces you to swear. That loved him, cruel victor as he was,
Stat, Pardon me, for I have considered well; And took him, bathed all o'er in Persian blood; And here I bid adieu to all mankind. Kissed the dear cruel wounds, and washed them Farewell, ye cozeners of the easy sex, o'er
And thou the greatest, falsest, Alexander ! And o'er in tears
then bound them with my Farewell, thou most beloved, thou faithless dear! hair,
If I but mention him, the tears will fall; Laid him all night upon my panting bosom,
Sure there is not a letter in his name, Lulled like a child, and hushed him with my But is a charm to melt a woman's eyes. songs.
Sys. Clear up thy griefs; thy king, thy AlexPar. If this be true, ah, who will ever trust
ander, A man again?
Comes on to Babylon.
Stat. Why, let him come,
Sys. Wilt thou not see him? By the eternal body of the sun,
Stat. By heaven I never will,
This is my vow, my sacred resolution; [Kneels. The fast calamities, that round me fall
. And when I break it
Par. O angry heaven! what have the guiltless Sus. Ah, do not ruin all!
done? Stat. May I again be flattered and deluded, And where shall wretched Parisatis run? May sudden death, and horrid, come instead Sys. Captives in war, our bodies we resigned; Of what I wished, and take me unprepared! But now made free, love does our spirits bind. Sys. Still kneel, and with the same breath call Stat. When to my purposed loneness I retire, again
Your sight I through the grates shall oft desire,
And after Alexander's health enquire.
Then, when I hear that all things please him Stat. Never urge me more;
well, Lest, driven to rage, I should my life abhor, Thank the good gods, and hide me in my cell. And in your presence put an end to all
When I consider, it appears ridiculous :
For as I passed through a bye vacant place, Notes of trumpets sounding far off.--The scene
I met two women, very old and ugly, draws, and discovers a battle of crows and ra- That wrung their heads, and howled, and beat vens in the air ; an eugle and a dragon meet their breasts, and fight; the eagle drops down with all the And cried out, poison : When I asked the cause, rest of the birds, and the dragon flies away. They took me by the ears, and with strange force Soldiers walk off
, shaking their heads. The Held me to the earth, then laughed, and disapconspirators come forward.
peared. Cass. He comes, the fatal glory of the world, Cass. O how I love destruction with a method, The headlong Alexander, with a guard
Which none discern, but those, that weave the Of thronging crowns, comes on to Babylon,
plot! Though warned, in spite of all the powers above, Like silk-worms we are hid in our own web, Who, by these prodigies, foretell his ruin. But we shall burst at last through all the strings; Pol. Why all this noise, because a king must And, when time caļls, come forth in a new formi, die?
Not insects to be trod, but dragons winged. Or does heaven fear, because he swayed the earth, Thess. The face of all the court is strangely His ghost will war with the high thunderer?
altered : Curse on the babbling fates, that cannot see There is not a Persian I can meet, but stares A great man tumble, but they must be talking. As if he were distracted. Oxyartes,
Cass. The spirit of king Philip, in those arms Statira's uncle, openly declaimed We saw him wear, passed groaning through the Against the perjury of Alexander. court,
Phil. Others, more fearful, are removed to His dreadful eye-balls rolled their horror up- Susa, wards;
Dreading Roxana's rage, who comes in the rear He waved his arms, and shook his wondrous head. To Babylon. I have heard, that, at the crowing of the cock, Cass. It glads my rising soul, Lions will roar, and goblins steal away;
That we shall see him racked before he dies: But this majestic air stalks stedfast on,
I know he loves Statira more than life, Spite of the morn, that calls him from the east, And on a crowd of kings, in triumph borne, Nor minds the opening of the ivory door. Comes big with expectation to enjoy her.
Phil. 'Tis certain, there was never day like this. But when he hears the oaths, which she has taCass. Late as I musing walked behind the pa- ken, lace,
Her last adieu made public to the world, I met a monstrous child, that, with his hands, Her vowed divorce, how will remorse consume Held to his face, which seemed all over eyes,
him, A silver bowl, and wept it full of blood : Prey, like the bird of hell, upon his liver! But having spied me, like a cockatrice,
Pol. To baulk his longing, aud delude his lust, He glared a while; then, with a shriek so shrill Is more than death, 'tis earnest for damnation. As all the winds had whistled from his mouth, Cass. Then comes Roxana, who must help our He dashed me with the gore he held, and vanished. party; Pol. That, which befel me, though it was hor- I know her, jealous, bloody, and ambitious. rid, yet
Sure it was the likeness of her heart to mine,
And sympathy of natures, caused me love her: Not love the king? such is not woman's love; 'Tis fixed, I must enjoy her, and no way
So fond a friendship, such a sacred flame, So proper as to make her guilty first.
As I must doubt to find in breasts above. Pol. To see two rival queens of different hu- Aler. Thou dost, thou lovest me, crown of all mours,
my wars, With a variety of torments vex him !
Thou dearer to me than my groves of laurel :
I know thou lovest thy Alexander more Enter LYSIMACHUS, and. HEPHESTION. Than Clytus does the king. No tears, Hephestion ; Cass. Of that anon: But see Lysimachus, I read thy passion in thy manly eyes, And the young favourite. Sort, sort yourselves, And glory in those planets of my life, And, like to other mercenary souls,
Above the rival lights, that shine in Heaven. Adore this mortal god, that soon must bleed. Lys. I see, that death must wait me, yet I'll on. Lys. Here I will wait the king's approach, and Åler. I'll tell thee, friend, and mark it, all ye stand
princes, His utmost anger, if he do me wrong.
Though never mortal man arrived to such Heph. That cannot be, from power so abso- A height as I; yet I would forfeit all, lute
Cast all my purples, and my conquered crowns, And high as his.
And die to save this darling of my soul. Lys. Well, you and I have done.
Give me thy hand, share all my sceptres while Pol. How the court thickens !
I live; and, when my hour of fate is come,
[Trumpets sound. I leave thee, what thou merit'st more than I, the Cass. Nothing to what it will-Does he not world.
Lys. Dread sir, I cast me at your royal feet. To hear a thousand thousand embassies,
Aler. What! my Lysimachus, whosc veins are Which from all parts to Babylon are brought ;
rich As if the parliament of the world
With our illustrious blood? My kinsman, rise ; Had met, and he came on, a god, to give Is not that Clytus? The infinite assembly glorious audience.
Cly. Your old faithful soldier.
Alex. Come to my hands, thus double arm the Enter Clytus, ARISTANDER in his robes, with a
And now, methinks, I stand like the dread God, Arist. Haste, reverend Clytus, haste and stop who, while his priests and I quaffed sacred blood, the king !
Acknowledged me his son. My lightning thou, Cly. He is already entered : Then the press And thou my mighty thunder I have seen Of princes, that attend so thick about him, Thy glittering sword out-fly celestial fire : Keep all, that would approach, at certain dis- And when I cried, 'Begone and execute,'
I've seen him run swifter than starting hinus, Arist. Though he were hemmed with deities I'd Nor bent the tender grass beneath his feet; speak to him,
Swifter than shadows fleeting o'er the fields; And turn him back from this highway to death. Nay, even the winds, with all their stock of wings, Cly. Here place yourself within his trumpet's Have puffed behind, as wanting breath to reach sound.
him. Lo, the Chaldean priests appear; behold
Lys. But if your majesty The sacred fire, Nearchus and Eumenes,
Cly. Who would not lose With their white wands, and dressed in eastern The last dear drop of blood for such a king? robes,
Aler. Witness, my elder brothers of the sky, To soothe the king, who loves the Persian inode: How much I love a soldier-O my Clytus, But see, the master of the world appears. Was it not when we passed the Granicus,
Thou didst preserve me from unequal force? Enter ALEXANDER; all kneel but Clytus.
It was then, when Spithridates and Rhesaces, Heph. () son of Jupiter, live for ever.
Fell both upon me with two dreadful strokes, Aler. Rise all; and thou my second self, my And clove my tempered helmet quite in sunder, love,
Then I remember, then thou didst me service; O my Hephestion, raise thee from the earth I think my thunder split them to the navel. Up to my breast, and hide thee in my heart. Cly. To your great self you owe that victory, Art thou grown cold? Why hang thine arms at And sure your arins did never gain a nobler. distance?
Aler. By Heaven, they never did; for well Hug me, or, by Heaven, thou lovest me not.
thou know'st, Heph. Not love, my lord ! break not the heart And I am prouder to have passed that stream, you framed,
Than that I drove a million o'er the plain : And moulded up to such an excellence !
Can none remember? Yes, I know all must, Then stamped on it your own immortal image. When Glory, like the dazzling cagle, stood, Vol. I.
Perched on my beaver in the Granick flood; Per. Our augurs shook, when, with a horrid
For fifty furlongs hid the fatal field.
Aler. Be witness for me, all ye powers divine, Haste with your griefs, to Susa take your way; If ye be angry, it is no fault of mine; Fly for your life, destructive is your stay, Therefore let furies face me with a band This morning having viewed the angry sky, From hell, my virtue shall not make a stand; And marked the prodigies, that threatened nigh, Though all the curtains of the sky be drawn, To our bright God I did for succour fly. And the stars wink, young Ammon shall go on : But oh
While my Statira shines, I cannot stay, Aler. What fears thy reverend bosom shake? Love lifts his torch to light me on my way, Or dost thou from some dream of horror wake? And her bright eyes create another day. If so, come grasp me with thy shaking hand, Lys. Ere you remove, be pleased, dread sir, to Or fall behind, while I the danger stand.
hear Aris. To Orosmades' cave I did repair, A prince allied to you by blood. Where I atoned the dreadful God with prayer : Aler. Speak quickly But as I prayed I heard long groans within, Lys. For all that I have done for you in war, And shrieks as of the damned, that howl for I beg the princess Parisatis. sin:
Aler. HaI knew the omen, and I feared to stay,
Is not my word already past? Hephestion, But prostrate on the trembling pavement lay. I know. he hates thee, but he shall not have her ; When he bodes happiness, he answers mild: We heard of this before- -Lysimachus, 'Twas so of old, and the great image smiled : I here command you nourish no design But now in abrupt thunder he replied,
To prejudice my person in the man Loud as rent rocks, or roaring seas, he cried, I love, and will prefer to all the world. * All empires, crowns, glory of Babylon,
Lys. I never failed to obey your majesty, Whose head stands wrapped in clouds, must Whilst you commanded what was in my power; tuinble down.'
Nor could Hephestion fly more swift to serve, Aler. If Babylon must fall, what is it to me? When you commanded us to storm a town, Or can I help immutable decree?
Or fetch a standard from the enemy : Down, then, vast traine, with all thy lofty towers, But, when you charge me not to love the prinSince it is so ordered by almiglity powers : Pressed by the fates, unloose your golden bars, I must confess, I disobey you, as 'Tis great to fall the envy of the stars.
I would the gods themselves, should they com
mand. Enter PerdiccaS, MELÉAGER.
Aler. You should, brave sir? hear me, and then Díel. O horror!
be dumb; Per. Dire portents!
When by my order curst Calisthenes Aler. Out with them, then;
Was, as a traitor, doomed to live in torments, What, are ye ghosts, ye empty shapes of men? Your pity sped him in despite of me. If so, the mysteries of hell unfold,
Think not I have forgot your insolence; Be all the scrolls of destiny unrolled,
No, though I pardoned it, yet if again Open the brazen leaves, and let it come; Thou darest to cross me with another crime, Point with a thunder-bolt your monarch's doom. The bolts of fury shall be doubled on thee. Per. As Meleager and myself in field,
In the mean time think not of Parisatis; Your Persian horse about the army wheeled, For if thou dost, by Jupiter Ammon, We heard a noise as of a rushing wind,
By my own head, and by king Philip's soul, And a thick storm the eye of day did blind : I'll not respect that blood of mine thou sharest, A croaking noise resounded through the air, But use thee as the vilest Macedonian. We looked, and saw big ravens battling there; Lys. I doubted dot at first but I should meet Each bird of night appeared himself a cloud, Your indignation, yet my soul's resolved; They met and fought, and their wounds rained And I shall never quit so brave a prize, black blood.
While I can draw a bow, or litt a sword. Mel. All, as for honour, did their lives expose; Aler. Against my life! Ah! was it so? hour Their talons clashed, and beaks gave mighty now? blows,
'Tis said, that I am rash, of hastv humour; Whilst dreadful sounds did our scared sense assail, But I appeal to the imunortal gods, As of small thunder, or huge Scythian hail, If ever petty poor provincial lord
Had temper like to mine: My slave, whom I For he, that dares but think so damned a lie, Could tread to clay, dares utter bloody threats. I'll have his body straight impaled before me, Cly. Contain yourself, dread sir; the noble | And glut my eyes upon his bleeding entrails. prince,
Cass. How will this engine of unruly passion I see it in his countenance, would die
Roar, when we have rammed him to the mouth To justify his truth; but love inakes many faults. with poison?
Aside. Lys. I meant his minion there should feel my Aler. Why stand you all, as you were rooted arm ;
here, Love asks his blood, nor shall he live to laugh Like the senseless trees, while to the stupid grove At my destruction.
I, like a wounded lion, groan my griefs, . Aler. Now be thy own judge;
And none will answer-what, not iny llephestion? i pardon thee for my old Clytus' sake;
If thou hast any love for Alexander, But, if once more thou mention thy rash love, If ever I obliged thee by my care, Or darest attempt Hephestion's precious life, When my quick sight has watched thee in the I'll pour such storms of indignation on thee,
fight; Philotus' rack, Calisthenes' disgrace,
Or if to see thee bleed I sent forth cries,
If this be true, if I deserve thy love,
Ease me, and tell the cause of my disaster. Heph. My lord, the queen comes to congratu- Heph. Your mourning queen (ivhich I had told late
before Your safe arrival.
Had you been calın) has no disease but sorrow, Aler. O thou, the best of women,
Which was orcasioned first by jealous pangs: Source of my joy, blest parent of my love! She heard, (for what can escape a watchiul loSys. Permit me kneel, and give those adora- ver?) tions,
That you at Susa, breaking all your vows, Which from the Persian family are due : Relapsed, and conquered by Roxana's charms, Have you not raised us from our ruins high? Gave up yourself devoted to her arms. And when no hand could help, nor any eye
Aler. I know that subtle creature, in
riot, Behold us with a tear, your's pitied me;
My reason gone, seduced me to her bed; You, like a god, snatched us froni sorrow's gulf, But when I waked I shook the Circe off, Fixed us in thrones above our former state. Though that enchantress held me by the arm, Par. Which, when a soul forgets, advanced so And wept, and gazed with all the force of love; pobly,
Nor grieved I less for that, which I had done, May it be drowned in deeper misery!
Than when at Thais' suit, enraged with wine, Åler. To meet me thus, was generously done; I set the famed Persepolis on fire. But still there wants, to crown my happiness, Heph. Your queen Statira took it so to leart, Life of my empire, treasure of my soul,
That, in the agony of love, she swore My dear Statira : Othat heavenly beam, Never to see your majesty again; Warmth of my brain, and fire of my heart; With dreadful imprecations she confirmed Had she but shot to see me, had she met me, Her oath, and I much fear that she will keep it. By this time I had been amongst the gods,
Aler. Ha! did she swear? did that sweet creaIf any extasy can make a height,
ture swear? Or any rapture hurl us to the heavens.
I'll not believe it; no, she is all softness, Cly. Now, who shall dare to tell him the All melting, mild, and calm as a rocked infant, queen's vow?
Nor can you wake her into cries: By heaven, Aler. How fares my love? ha-neither answer She is the child of love, and she was born in me!
smiles. Ye raise my wonder, darkness overwhelms me; Par. I and my weeping mother heard her If royal Sysigambis does not weep! Trembling and horror pierce me, cold as ice. Sys. And with such fierceness she did aggraIs she not well? what none, none answer me?
vate Or is it worse? Keep down), ye rising sighs, The foulness of your fault, that I could wish And murmur in the hollow of my breast : Your majesty would blot her from your breast. Run to my heart, and gather more sad wind; Aler. Blot her, forget her, hurl her from my That, when the voice of Fate shall call you forth, bosom, Ye may, at one rush, from the seat of life, For ever lose that star that gilds my life, Blow the blood out, and burst like a bladder, Guide of my days, and goddess of my nights ! Heph. I would relate it, but my courage fails No, she shall stay with me in spite of vows,
My soul and body both are twisted with her. Aler. If she be dead-That if is impossible ; The god of love empties his golden quiver, And let none here athrm it for his soul :
Shoots cvery grain of her into my heart;