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Lys. 'Tis true; old Clytus is an oracle. That circles in our bodies, can deserve: Put up, Hephestion did not passion blind Therefore I take all helps, much more the king's, My reason, I on such occasion too
And what your majesty vouchsafed to give; Could thus have urged.
Your word is past, where all my hopes must Heph. Why is it then we love?
hang. Cly. Because unmanned.
Lys. There perish too-all words want sense Why, is not Alexander grown example?
in love; O that a face should thus bewitch a soul, But love and I bring such a perfect passion, And ruin all that's right and reasonable ! So nobly pure, 'tis worthy of her eyes, Talk be my bane, yet the old man must talk: Which, without blushing, she may justly prize. Not so he loved, when he at Issus fought, Heph. Such arrogance, should Alexander woo, And joined in mighty duel great Darius, Would lose him all the conquests he has won. Whom from his chariot, flaming all with gems, Lys. Let not a conquest once be named by He hurled to earth, and crushed the imperial
you, crown ;
Who this dispute must to my mercy owe. Nor could the gods defend their images,
Sys. Rise, brave Lysimachus, Hephestion rise: Which with the gaudy coach lay overturned : 'Tis true Hephestion first declared his love ; 'Twas not the shaft of love, that did the feat; And 'tis as true, I promised him my aid; Cupid had nothing there to do; but now Your glorious king turned mighty advocate. Two wives he takes, two rival queens disturb How noble, therefore, were the victory, The court; and while each hand does beauty | If we could vanquish this disordered love! hold,
Heph. 'Twill never be. Where is there room for glory?
Lys. No, I will yet love on, Heph. In his heart.
And hear from Alexander's mouth, in what Cly. Well said;
Hephestion merits more than I. You are his favourite, and I had forgot
Sys. I grieve, Who I was talking to. See Sysigambis comes, And fear the boldness, which your love inspires; Reading a letter to your princess; go,
But lest her sight should haste your enterprize, Now make your claim, while I attend the king. 'Tis just I take the object from your eyes.
[Ereunt Sys, and PAR.
Lys. She's gone, and see, the day, as if her Enter SYSIGAMBIS, PARISATIS.
look Par. Did not you
father? Yes, I see Had kindled it, is lost, now she is vanished. You did; his very name but mentioned brings Heph. A sudden gloominess and horror come The tears, howe'er unwilling, to your eyes. I loved him too; he would not thus have forced Lys. Let's away to meet the king; My trembling heart, which your commands may You know my suit. break,
Heph. Yonder Cassander comes,
inform us. Sys. Forbear thy lost complaints ;
Lys. No, I would avoid him;
That shocks my nature,
Cass. The morning rises black, the lowering This, whom I thought to govern, being young,
sun, Heaven, as a 'plague to power, has rendered As if the dreadful business he foreknew, strong;
Drives heavily his sable chariot on; Judge my distresses, and my temper prize, The face of day now blushes scarlet deep, Who, though unfortunate, would still be wise. As if it feared the stroke which I intend, Lys. To let you know, that misery doth sway Like that of Jupiter.—Lightning and chunder!.
(Both kneel. The lords above are angry, and talk big, An humbler fate than yours, see at your feet Or rather walk the mighty cirque like mourners The lost Lysimachus : ' mighty queen, Clad in long clouds, the robes of thickest night, I have but this to beg,-impartial stand, And seem to groan for Alexander's fall. And, since Hephestion serves by your permis- 'Tis as Cassander's soul could wish it were, sion,
Which, whensoe'er it flies at lofty mischief, Disdain not me, who ask your royal leave Would startle fate, and make all heaven conTo cast a throbbing heart before her feet.
cerned. Heph. A blessing, like possession of the prin. A mad Chaldean, in the dead of night,
Came to my bed-side with a flaming torch; No services, not crowns, nor all the blood And bellowing o'er me, like a spirit damned,
He cried, 'Well had it been for Babylon, To haunt some cloister with my senseless walk, If cursed Cassander never had been born.' When thus the noble soul of Polyperchon
Lets go the aim of all his actions, honour. Enter THESSALUS, and PHILIP, with letters. Thess. The king shall slay me, cut me up alive, Thess. My lord Cassander.
Ply me with fire and scourges, rack me worse Cass. Ha! who's there?
Than once he did Philotas, e'er I bow. Phil. Your friends.
Cass. Curse on thy tongue for mentioning Cass. Welcome, dear Thessalus, and brother
I had rather thou hadst Aristander been,
And to my soul's confusion raised up hell, Phil. From Macedon
With all the furies brooding upon horrors, A trusty slave arrived great Antipater Than brought Philotas' murder to remembrance. Writes, that your mother laboured with you long, Phil. I saw him racked, a sight so dismal sad Your birth was slow, and slow is all your life. My eyes did ne'er behold. Cass. He writes, dispatch the king-Craterus
Cass. So dismal? peace! comes,
It is unutterable: let me stand, Who in my room must govern Macedon;
upon the tragedy you saw; Let him not live a day-he dies to-night; By Mars it comes ! ay ! now the rack's set for And thus my father but forestalls my purpose: Bloody Craterus, his inveterate foe, Why am I slow then? If I rode on thunder, With pitiless Hephestion standing by : I must a moment have to fall from heaven, Philotas, like an angel seized by fiends, Ere I could blast the growth of this Colossus. Is straight disrobed, a napkin ties his head, Thess. The haughty Polyperchon comes this His warlike arms with shameful cords are bound, way;
And every slave can now the valiant wound. A mal-content, on whom I lately wrought, Pol. Now, by the soul of royal Philip fled, That for a slight affront, at Susa given, I dare pronounce young Alexander, who Bears Alexander most pernicious hate.
Would be a god, is cruel as a devil. Cass. So, when I mocked the Persians, that Cass. Oh, Polyperchon, Philip, Thessalus, adored him,
Did not your eyes rain blood, your spirits burst, He struck me in the face, and by the hair To see your noble fellow-soldier burn, He swung me to his guards to be chastised; Yet without trembling, or a tear, endure For which and for my father's weighty cause, The torments of the damned ? O barbarians, When I abandon what I have resolved,
Could you stand by, and yet refuse to suffer? May I again be beaten like a slave!
Ye saw him bruised, torn, to the bones made But lo, where Polyperchon comes: now fire him
bare; With such complaints, that he may shoot to ruin. His veins wide lanced, and the poor quivering
flesh Enter POLYPERCHON.
With pincers from his manly bosom ript, Pol. Sure I have found those friends, dare se Till
discovered the great heart lie panting. cond me;
Pol. Why killed we not the king, to save PhiI hear fresh murmurs as I pass along:
lotas? Yet, rather than put up, I'll do't alone.
Cass. Asses! fools! but asses will bray, and Did not Pausanias, a youth, a stripling,
fools be angry: A beardless boy, swelled with inglorious wrong, Why stood ye then like statues ? there's the For a less cause his father Philip kill ?
case, Peace then, full heart! move like a cloud about, The horror of the sight had turned ye marble. And when time ripens thee to break, O shed So the pale Trojans, from their weeping walls, The stock of all thy poison on his head ! Saw the dear body of the godlike Hector, Cuss. All nations bow their heads with ho-Bloody and soiled, dragged on the famous ground, mage down,
Yet senseless stood, nor with drawn weapons ran, And kiss the feet of this exalted man:
To save the great remains of that prodigious The name, the shout, the blast from every mouth, Is Alexander : Alexander bursts
Phil. Wretched Philotas ! bloody Alexander ! Your cheeks, and with a crack so loud
Thess. Soon after him the great Parmenio fell, It drowns the voice of Heaven ; like dogs ye Stabbed in his orchard by the tyrant's doom. fawn,
But where's the need to mention public loss, The carth's commanders fawn, and follow him; When each receives particular disgrace ? Mankind starts up to hear his blasphemy: Pol. Late I remember, to a banquet called, And if this hunter of this barbarous world After Alcides' goblet swift had gone But wind himself a God, you echo him The giddy round, and wine had made me bold,
Stirring the spirits up to talk with kings, Pol. I echo him?
I saw Craterus with Hephestion enter I fawn, or fall, like a far eastern slave,
In Persian robes; to Alexander's health And lick his feet? Boys hoot me from the pa They largely drank; then, turning eastward, fell
Flat on the pavement, and adored the sun. VOL. I.
With universal cry.
Straight to the king they sacred reverence gave, The Indies, kept him revelling at Susa;
To whom he swore (before he could espouse her) I laughed aloud, and scoffing, asked them why That he would never bed Roxana more. They kissed no harder ;-but the king leapt up, Pol. How did the Persian queen receive the And spurned me to the earth, with this reply:• Do thou !'-whilst with his foot he prest my Of his revolt? peck,
Thess. With grief incredible: Till from my ears, my nose, and mouth, the Great Sysigambis wept, but the young queen blood
Fell dead among her maids; Gushed forth, and I lay foaming on the earth– Nor could their care For which I wish this dagger in his heart. With richest cordials, for an hour or more,
Cass. There spoke the spirit of Calisthenes ! Recover life. Remember he's a man, his flesh as soft
Cass. Knowing how much she loved, And penetrable as a girl's: we have seen him I hoped to turn her all into Medea; wounded,
For, when the first gust of her grief was past, A stone has struck him, yet no thunderbolt: I entered, and with breath prepared did blow A pebble felled this Jupiter along:
The dying sparks into a towering flame,
Conceiving, not unlikely, that the line
As a wronged woman's hate? Thus far it helps Are your hearts firm ?
To give him troubles; which perhaps may end Phil. Hell cannot be more bent
him, To any ruin, than I to the king's.
And set the court in universal uproar. Thess. And I.
But see! it ripens more than I expected: Pol. Behold my hand; and if you doubt my The scene works up ; kill him, or kill thyself; truth,
So there be mischief any way, 'tis well; Tear up my breast, and lay my heart upon it. Now change the vizor, every one disperse, Cass. Join then, 0 worthy, hearty, noble And with a face of friendship meet the king. hands,
(Ereunt. Fit instruments for such majestic souls ! Remember Hermolaus, and be hushed.
Enter SYSIGAMBIS, STATIRA, PARISATIS, ALCass. To-day he comes from Babylon to Susa,
tendants. With proud Roxana.
Stat. Give me a knife, a draught of poison, Ah! who's that?-look there!
flames ! Enter the Ghost of King Philip, shaking a
Swell heart, break, break, thou stubborn thing! truncheon at them, walks over the Stage.
Now, by the sacred fire, I'll not be held;
Why do ye wish my life, yet stifle me Cass. Now by the gods, or furies, which I ne'er For want of air? pray give me leave to walk. Believed, there's one of them arrived to Sys. Is there no reverence to my person due?
Darius would have heard me; trust not rumour. What art thou ? glaring thing, speak! What, the Stut. No, he hates, spirit
He loaths the beauties, which he has enjoyed. Of our king Philip, or of Polyphemus ?
0, he is false, that great, that glorious man Nay hurl thy truncheon, second it with thunder; Is tyrant midst of his triumphant spoils, We will abide Thessalus, saw you nothing? Is bravely false, to all the gods forsworn: Thess. Yes, and am more amazed than you Yet, who would think it! no, it cannot be, can be.
It cannot -What, that dear protesting man! Phil. 'Tis said, that many prodigies were seen He, that has warmed my feet with thousand This morn, but none so horrible as this.
sighs, Pol. What! can you fear ? though the earth Then cooled them with his tears, died on my yawned so wide,
knees, That all the labours of the deep were seen, Outwept the morning with his dewy eyes, And Alexander stood on the other side, And groaned and swore the wandering stars away! I'd leap the burning ditch to give him death, Sys. No, 'tis impossible, believe thy mother, Or sink myself for ever: Pray, to the business. That knows him well.
Cass. As I was saying, this Roxana, whom, Stat. Away, and let me die : To aggravate my hate to him, I love,
O’tis my fondness, and my easy nature, Meeting him as he came triumphant from That would excusc him ; but I know he's false,
'Tis now the common talk, the news of the I will have remedy, I will, I will,
distracted ; madness may throw off False to Statira, false to her that loved him; The mighty load, and drown the flaming pasThat loved him, cruel victor as he was, And took him, bathed all o'er in Persian blood; Madam, draw near, with all that are in presence, Kissed the dear cruel wounds, and washed them And listen to the vow, which here I make. o'er
Sys. Take heed, my dear Statira, and conAnd o'er in tears then bound them with my
What desperate love enforces you to swear, Laid him all night upon my panting bosom, Stat. Pardon me, for I have considered well; Lulled like a child, and hushed him with my songs. And here I bid adieu to all mankind.
Par. If this be true, ah, who will ever trust Farewell, ye cozeners of the easy sex, A man again !
And thou the greatest, falsest, Alexander ! Stat. A man! a man!
Farewell, thou most beloved, thou faithless dear! Thus with thy hand held up, thus let me swear
If I but mention him, the tears will fall; thee
Sure there is not a letter in his name, By the eternal body of the sun,
But is a charm to melt a woman's eyes. Whose body, O forgive the blasphemy,
Sys. Clear up thy griefs; thy king, thy AlexI loved not half so well as the least part
Slat. By heaven I never will,
And when I break itCurls like a vine, and touches like a god.
Sys. Ah, do not ruin all! Sys. When will thy spirits rest, these transports Stat. May I again be flattered and deluded, cease ?
May sudden death, and horrid, com instead Stat. Will you not give me leave to warn my Of what I wished, and take me unprepared ! sister?
Sys. Still kneel, and with the same breath As I was saying—but I told his sweetness;
call again Then he will talk-good gods, how he will talk ! The woeful imprecation thou hast made. Even when the joy he sighed for is possest, Stat. No, I will publish it through all the court, He speaks the kindest words, and looks such Then, in the bowers of great Semiramis, things,
For ever lock my woes from human view, Vows with such passion, swears with so much Sys. Yet be persuaded. grace,
Stat. Never urge me more, That 'tis a kind of heaven to be deluded by him. Lest, driven to rage, I should my life abhor, Par. But what was it, that you would have And in your presence put an end to all me swear?
The fast calamities, that round me fall. Stat. Alas, I had forgot ! let me walk by Par. O angry heaven! what have the guiltless And weep awhile, and I shall soon remember.
done! Sys. Have patience, child, and give her liberty; And where shall wretched Parisatis run! Passions, like seas, will have their ebbs and flows: Sys. Captives in war, our bodies we resigned; Yet, while I see her thus, not all the losses But now made free, love does our spirits bind. We have received, since Alexander's conquest, Stat. When to my purposed loneness I retire, Can touch my hardened soul ; her sorrow reigns Your sight I through the grates shall oft desire, Too fully there.
And after Alexander's health enquire. Par. But what if she should kill herself? And if this passion cannot be removed,
Stat. Roxana then enjoys my perjured love, Ask how my resolution he approved, Roxana clasps my monarch in her arms :
How much he loves, how much he is beloved? Doats on my conqueror, my dear lord, my king, Then, when I hear that all things please him Devours his lips, eats him with hungry kisses :
well, She grasps him all, she, the curst happy she! Thank the good gods, and hide me in my cell. By heaven I cannot bear it, 'tis too much;
[Ereunt. I'll die, or rid me of the burning torture.
Like silk-worms we are hid in our own web, SCENE I.
But we shall burst at last through all the strings;
And, when time calls, come forth in a new form, Noise of trumpets sounding far off.-The scene Not insects to be trod, but dragons winged.
draws, and discovers a battle of crows and ra Thess. The face of all the court is strangely vens in the air ; an eagle and a dragon meet
altered: and fight; the eagle drops down with all the There's not a Persian I can meet, but stares rest of the birds, and the drugon flies away. As if he were distracted. Oxyartes, Soldiers walk off, shaking their heads. The Statira's uncle, openly declaimed conspirators come forward.
Against the perjury of Alexander, Cass. He comes, the fatal glory of the world, Phil. Others, more fearful, are removed to The headlong Alexander, with a guard
Susa, Of thronging crowns, comes on to Babylon, Dreading Roxana’s rage, who comes i'th' rear Though warned, in spite of all the powers above, To Babylon. Who, by these prodigies, foretel his ruin.
Cass. It glads my rising soul, Pol. Why all this noise, because a king must That we shall see him racked before he dies: die?
I know he loves Statira more than life, Or does heaven fear, because he swayed the earth,
And on a crowd of kings in triumph borne, His ghost will war with the high Thunderer ? Comes big with expectation to enjoy her. Curse on the babbling fates, that cannot see
But when he hears the oaths, which she has taA great man tumble, but they must be talking!
ken, Cass. The spirit of king Philip, in those arms
Her last adieu made public to the world, We saw him wear, passed groaning through the Her vowed divorce, how will remors e consume court,
him, His dreadful eye-balls rolled their horror up Prey, like the bird of hell, upon his liver! wards;
Pol. To baulk his longing, and delude his lust, He waved his arms, and shook his wondrous head. Is more than death, 'tis earnest for damnation. I have heard, that, at the crowing of the cock, Cass. Then comes Roxana, who must help our Lions will roar, and goblins steal away;
party ; But this majestic air stalks stedfast on,
I know her, jealous, bloody, and ambitious. Spite of the morn, that calls him from the east, Sure 'twas the likeness of her heart to mine, Nor minds the opening of the ivory door. And sympathy of natures, caused me love her: Phil. 'Tis certain, there was never day like 'Tis fixed, I must enjoy her, and no way this.
So proper as to make her guilty first. Cass. Late as I musing walked behind the pa Pol. To see two rival queens of different hulace,
Enter LYSIMACHUS, and HEPHESTION. But having spied me, like a cockatrice,
Cass. Of that anon: But see Lysimachus, He glared a while; then, with a shriek so shrill And the young favourite. Sort, sort yourselves, As all the winds had whistled from his mouth, And, like to other mercenary souls, He dashed me with the gore he held, and va Adore this mortal god, that soon must bleed. nished.
Lys. Here I will wait the king's approach, and Pol. That, which befel me, though 'twas hor stand
His utmost anger, if he do me wrong. When I consider it, appears ridiculous:
Heph. That cannot be, from power so absoFor as I passed through a bye, vacant place,
lute I met two women, very old and ugly,
And bigh as his. That wrung their hands, and howled and beat Lys. Well, you and I have done. their breasts,
Pol. How the court thickens ! And cried out, poison! When I asked the cause,
[Trumpets sound. They took me by the ears, and with strange Cass. Nothing to what it will-Does he not
force Held me to the earth, then laughed, and disap- To hear a thousand, thousand embassies, peared.
Which from all parts to Babylon are brought; Cass. Ó how I love destruction with a method, As if the parliament of the world Which none discern, but those that weave the Had met, and he came on, a god, to give plot !
The infinite assembly glorious audience,