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Would graceful look upon my dagger's point.
ACT THE SECOND.
, SCENE Ie A wild romantic Scene amidst overhanging Rocks; a Cavern on one Side. ARCAs, with a Spear in his Hand.
Arcas. The gloom of night sits heavy on the world, And o'er the solemn scene such stillness reigns,
As 'twere a pause of nature; on the beach
Enter PHILoTAs, from the Cavern.
Phil. What ho! brave Arcas | ho!
Arcas. Why thus desert thy couch
Phil. Methought the sound
Arcas. At intervals the oar's resounding stroke Comes echoing from the main. Save that report, A death-like silence through the wide expanse Broods o'er the dreary coast.
Phil. Do thou retire,
Arcas. How fares
Phil. Arcas, shall I own
Arcas. May no alarm disturb thee. [Eait.
Phil. Some dread event is lab'ring into birth. At close of day the sullen sky held forth Unerring signals. With disastrous glare, The moon's full orb rose crimson'd o'er with blood; And lo! athwart the gloom a falling star Trails a long tract of fire —What daring step Sounds on the flinty rock Stand there; what, ho! Speak, ere thou dar'st advance. Unfold thy purpose: Who and what art thou? Eup. [Within..] Mine no hostile step; I bring no valour to alarm thy fears : It is a friend approaches. Phil. Ha! what mean Those plaintive notes? Eup. [Within..] Here is no ambush'd Greek, No warrior to surprise thee on the watch. An humble suppliant comes—Alas, my strength Exhausted quite, forsakes this weary frame. Phil. What voice thus piercing thro’ the gloom of night What art thou? what thy errand? quickly say, Wherefore alarm'st thou thus our peaceful watch? JEup. [Within..] Let no mistrust affright thee—
Enter Euphrasia. Lo! a wretch, The veriest wretch that ever groan'd in anguish, Comes here to grovel on the earth before thee! To tell her sad, sad tale, implore thy aid, For sure the pow'r is thine; thou canst relieve My bleeding heart, and soften all my woes. Phil. Euphrasia! -Why, princess, thus anticipate the dawn 2 Still sleep and silence wrap the weary world; The stars in mid career usurp the pole; The Grecian bands, the winds, the waves are hush'd; All things are mute around us; all but you Rest in oblivious slumber from their cares. Eup. Yes; all, all rest: the very murd'rer sleeps; Guilt is at rest: I only wake to misery! Phil. oy didst thou gain the summit of the rock 2
Eup. Give me my father; here you hold him fetter'd ; Oh! give him to me If ever The touch of nature throbb’d within your breast, Admit me to Evander . In these caves I know he pines in want; let me convey Some charitable succour to a father. Phil. Alas, Euphrasia! would I dare comply Eup. It will be virtue in thee. Thou, like me, Wert born in Greece:—Oh! by our common parent— Nay, stay; thou shalt not fly; Philotas, stay; You have a father too; think, were his lot Hard as Evander's; if by felon bands Chain'd to the earth, with slow-consuming pangs He felt sharp want, and with an asking eye Implor’d relief, yet cruel men denied it, Would'st thou not burst thro’ adamantine gates, Thro' walls and rocks, to save him? Think, Philotas, Of thy own aged sire, and pity mine. Think of the agonies a daughter feels, When thus a parent wants the common food, The bounteous hand of nature meant for all. Phil. Twere best withdraw thee, princess; thy assistance Evander wants not; it is fruitless all; Thy tears, thy wild entreaties, are in vain. Eup. Ha!—thou hast murder'd him ; he is no more; I understand thee;—butchers, you have shed The precious drops of life. Phil. Alas! this frantic grief can nought avail. Retire, and seek the couch of balmy sleep, In this dead hour, this season of repose. Eup. And dost thou then, inhuman that thou art! Advise a wretch like me to know repose 2 This is my last abode:–these caves, these rocks, Shall ring for ever with Euphrasia's wrongs.
Here will I dwell, and rave, and shriek, and give These scatter'd locks to all the passing winds; Call on Evander lost;And cruel gods and cruel stars invoking, Stand on the cliff in madness and despair. Phil. By Heav'n, My heart in pity bleeds. No other fear assails this warlike breast. I pity your misfortunes; yes, by Heav'n, My heart bleeds for you.-Gods! you've touch'd - my soul! The gen'rous impulse is not given in vain. I feel thee, Nature, and I dare obey. Oh! thou hast conquer’d—Go, Euphrasia, go, |Behold thy father. Eup. Raise me, raise me up; I'll bathe thy hand with tears, thougen'rous man! Phil. Yet, mark my words; if aught of nourishment Thou would'st convey, my partners of the watch Will ne'er consent. . Eup. I will observe your orders: On any terms, oh! let me, let me see him. Phil. Yon lamp will guide thee through the cavern'd way. Eup. My heart runs o'er in thanks; the pious act Timoleon shall reward; the bounteous gods, And thy own virtue, shall reward the deed. [Goes into the Cave. Phil. Prevailing, powerful virtue!—Thousubduest The stubborn heart, and mould'st it to thy purpose. Would I could save them l—But tho’ not for me The glorious pow'r to shelter innocence, Yet for a moment to assuage its woes, Is the best sympathy, the purest joy Nature intended for the heart of man, When thus she gave the social gen'rous tear. [Evil,