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Once more approach and hear me; ’tis not now
A time to waste in the vain war of words,
A crisis big with horror is at hand.
I meant to spare the stream of blood, that soon
Shall deluge yonder plains. My fair proposals
Thy haughty spirit hath with scorn rejected.
And now, by Heav'n, here, in thy very sight,
Evander breathes his last.
Eup. If yet there's wanting
A crime to fill the measure of thy guilt,
Add that black murder to the dreadful list;-
With that complete the horrors of thy reign.
Dio. Woman, beware: Philotas is at hand,
And to our presence leads Evander. All
Thy dark complottings, and thy treach'rous arts,"
Have proved abortive.
Eup. Ha!—What new event?
And is Philotas false?—Has he betray'd him?
Dio. What, ho! Philotas I
Eup. How my heart sinks within me!
Dio. Where’s your pris'ner?
Phil. Evander is no more.
Dio. Ha!—Death has robb’d me
Of half my great revenge.
Phil. Worn out with anguish,
I saw life ebb apace. With studied art
We gave each cordial drop, alas, in vain;
He heav'd a sigh, invok'd his daughter's name,
Smil'd and expir’d. -
Dio, Bring me his hoary head!
Phil. You'll pardon, sir, my over-hasty zeal.
I gave the body to the foaming surge
Down the steep rock despis’d.
Dio. Now rave and shriek,
And rend your scatter'd hair. No more Evander
Shall sway Sicilia's sceptre.
Now then, thou feel'st my vengeance.
Eup. Glory in it;
Exult and triumph. Thy worst shaft is sped.
Yet still th' unconquer'd mind with scorn can view
With the calm sunshine of the breast can see
Thy pow'r unequal to subdue the soul
Which virtue form'd, and which the gods protect.
Dio. Philotas, bear her hence; she shall not live;
This moment bear her hence!—you know the rest:-
Go, see our will obey'd ; that done, with all
A warrior's speed, attend me at the citadel;—
There meet the heroes whom this night shall lead
To freedom, victory, to glorious havoc,
And the destruction of the Grecian name. [Erit.
Eup. Accept my thanks, Philotas;–generous man!
These tears attest th' emotions of my heart.
But, oh! should Greece defer
Phil. Dispel thy fears;
Phocion will bring relief: or should the tyrant
Assault their camp, he’ll meet a marshall'd foe.
Let me conduct thee to the silent tomb.
Eup. Ah! there Evander, naked and disarm’d,
Defenceless quite, may meet some ruffian stroke.
Phil. Lo! here's a weapon; bear this dagger to him.
In the drear monument, should hostile steps
Dare to approach him, they must enter singly:
This guards the passage; man by man they die.
There may’st thou dwell amidst the wild commotion.
Eup. Ye pitying gods, protect my father there!
Enter CALIPPUs, and several OFFICERs: Dionysius meeting them.
Dio. Ye brave associates, who so oft have shar'd Our toil and danger in the field of glory, My fellow warriors, what no god could promise Fortune hath giv'n us. In his dark embrace Lo! sleep envelops the whole Grecian camp. Against a foe, the outcasts of their country, Freebooters, roving in pursuit of prey, Success by war, or covert stratagem Alike is glorious. Then, my gallant friends, What need of words? The gen’rous call of freedom, Your wives, your children, your invaded rights, All that can steel the patriot breast with valour, Expands and rouses in the swelling heart. Follow th' impulsive ardour; follow me, Your king, your leader: in the friendly gloom Of night, assault their camp; your country's love, And fame eternal, shall attend the men Who march'd through blood and horror, to redeem From the invader's pow'r their native land.
Cal. Lead to the onset; Greece shall find we bear Hearts prodigal of blood when honour calls; Resolv’d to conquer, or to die in freedom.
Dio. Thus I've resolv’d: When the declining moon
Hath veil'd her orb, our silent march begins.
The order thus:–Calippus, thou lead forth
Iberia's sons with the Numidian bands,
And line the shore.—Perdiccas, be it thine
To march thy cohorts to the mountain's foot,
Where the wood skirts the valley; there make halt
Till brave Amyntor stretch along the vale,
Ourself, with the embodied cavalry
Clad in their mail'd cuirass, will circle round
To where their camp extends its furthest line;
Unnumber'd torches there shall blaze at once,
The signal of the charge; then, oh, my friends !
On every side, let the wild uproar loose,
Bid massacre and carnage stalk around,
Unsparing, unrelenting; drench your swords
In hostile blood, and riot in destruction.
Away, my friends ! -
Rouse all the war! fly to your sev'ral posts,
And instant bring all Syracuse in arms! -
The Inside of the Temple.
A Monument in the Middle. -
EUPHRASIA, ERIXENE, and FEMALE ATTENDANTs.
Eup. Which way, Erixene, which way, my virgins,
Shall we direct our steps ? What sacred altar
Clasp on our knees? -
Eric. Alas, the horrid tumult -
Spreads the destruction wide. On ev'ry side
The victor's shouts, the groans of murder'd wretches,
In wild confusion rise. Once more descend
Eudocia's tomb; there thou may'st find a shelter.
Eup. Anon, Erixene, I mean to visit,
Perhaps, for the last time, a mother's urn.
This dagger there, this instrument of death,
Should fortune prosper the fell tyrant's arms,
This dagger then may free me from his pow'r,
And that drear vault intomb us all in peace.
IPuts up the Dagger.
Of arms with clearer sound advances. Hark!
That sudden burst!—Again!—They rush upon us!
The portal opens; lo!—see there!—behold !
War, horrid war, invades the sacred fane;
No altar gives a sanctuary now. [Warlike Music.
Enter Dionysius and CALIPPUs, with several
Dio. Herewill Imocktheir siege!herestand at bay, And brave them to the last.
Cal. Our weary foes Desist from the pursuit.
Dio. Tho' all betray me, Tho' every god conspire, I will not yield. If I must fall, the temple's pond’rous roof, The mansion of the gods combin’d against me, Shall first be crush'd, and lie in ruin with me. Euphrasia here! Detested, treach'rous woman! For my revenge preserv'd —By Heav'n, 'tis well; Vengeance awaits thy guilt, and this good sword Thus sends thee to atone the bleeding victims This night has massacred.
Cal. [Holding Dionysius’s Arm.] My liege, for
Her life preserv'd may plead your cause with Greece,
And mitigate your fate.
Div. Presumptuous slave!
My rage is up in arms;—by Heav'n, she dies.
Enter Evan DER, from the Tomb.
Eva. Horror! forbear!—Thou murd'rer, hold thy hand 1 The gods behold thee, horrible assassin . -Restrain the blow ; it were a stab to Heav'n ; r