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“Declares thee blameless, and the gods behold thee."
I was but going hence by mere decay,
To that futurity which Plato taught.
Thither, oh! thither was Evander going,
But thou recall'st me; thou!
Eup. Timoleon too
Invites thee back to life.
Eva. And does he still
Urge on the siege 2
Eup. His active genius comes
To scourge a guilty race. The Punic fleet,
Half lost, is swallow'd by the roaring sea.
The shatter'd refuse seek the Lybian shore,
To bear the news of their defeat to Carthage.
Eva. These are thy wonders, Heav'n 1 Abroad thy
Moves o'er the deep, and mighty fleets are vanish'd,
Eup. Ha!—Hark!—what noise is that?
Some busy footstep beats the hallow'd pavement.
Oh sir, retire—Ye pow'rs l—Philotas l—ha!
Phil. For thee, Euphrasia, Dionysius calls!
Some new suspicion goads him. At yon gate
I stopp'd Calippus, as with eager haste
He bent his way to seek thee.—Oh ! my sovereign,
My king, my injur'd master, will you pardon
The wrongs I’ve done thee? [Kneels to Evanpek,
Eva. Virtue such as thine,
From the fierce trial of tyrannic pow'r
Shines forth with added lustre.
Phil. Oh forgive -
My ardent zeal; there is no time to waste.
You must withdraw: trust to your faithful friends,
Pass but another day, and Dionysius
Falls from a throne usurp'd.
Eva. But ere he pays
The forfeit of his crimes, what streams of blood
Shall flow in torrents round ! Methinks I might
Prevent this waste of nature—I'll go forth,
And to my people show their rightful king.
Eup. Banish that thought; forbear; the rash at-
Were fatal to our hopes; oppress'd, dismay’d,
The people look aghast, and, wan with fear,
None dare espouse your cause.
Eva. Yes, all will dare
To act like men;–their king, I gave myself
To a whole people. I made no reserve;
My life was theirs; each drop about my heart
Pledg'd to the public cause—devoted to it;
That was my compact: is the subjects' less 2
If they are all debas'd, and willing slaves,
The young but breathing to grow grey in bondage,
And the old sinking to ignoble graves,
Of such a race no matter who is king !
And yet I will not think it; no-my people
Are brave and gen'rous; I will trust their valour.
Eup. Yet stay; yet be advis'd.
Phil. As yet, my liege,
No plan is fix'd, and no concerted measure.
The fates are busy: wait the vast event.
Trust to my truth and honour. Witness, gods,
Here, in the temple of Olympian Jove,
Eva. Forbear: the man like thee,
Who feels the best emotions of the heart,
Truth, reason, justice, honour's fine excitements,
Acts by those laws, and wants no other sanction.
Eup. Again th' alarm approaches; sure destruc-
To thee, to all, will follow:—hark! a sound
Comes hollow murm'ring through the vaulted aisle,
It gains upon the ear. Withdraw, my father;
All's lost, if thou art seen.
Phil. And lo! Calippus
Darts with the lightning's speed across the aisle.
Eva. Thou at the senate house convenemy friends.
Melanthon, Dion, and their brave associates,
Will show, that liberty has leaders still.
Anon I'll meet them there: my child, farewell;
Thou shalt direct me now.
[Exit PHILotAs.—Evan DER enters the Tomb. Eup. [Coming forward.] How my distracted heart throbs wild with fear !
What brings Calippus? wherefore? save me, Heaven!
Cal. This sullen musing in these drear abodes
Alarms suspicion: the king knows thy plotting;
Thy rooted hatred to the state and him.
His sov’reign will commands thee to repair
This moment to his presence.
Eup. Ha! what means
The tyrant?—I obey. [Erit Calippus.] And, oh! ye
Ye ministers of Heaven, defend my father;
Support his drooping age; and when anon
Avenging justice shakes her crimson steel,
Oh! be the grave at least a place of rest;
That from his covert, in the hour of peace,
Forth he may come to bless a willing people,
And be your own just image here on earth [Erit.
Enter Dionysius, CALIPPUs, &c.
Dio. Away each vain alarm the sun goes down: Nor yet Timoleon issues from his fleet. There let him linger on the wave-worn beach. Here the vain Greek shall find another Troy, A more than Hector here. Though Carthage fly, Ourself, still Dionysius, here remains. And means the Greek to treat of terms of peace By Heav'n, this panting bosom hop'd to meet His boasted phalanx on the embattled plain : And doth he now, on peaceful councils bent, Despatch his herald?—Let the slave approach.
Now, speak thy purpose; what doth Greece impart?
Her. Timoleon, sir, whose great renown in arms Is equall'd only by the softer virtues Of mild humanity, that sway his heart, Sends me his delegate to offer terms, On which ev'n foes may well accord; on which The fiercest nature, though it spurns at justice, May sympathize with his.
Dio. Unfold thy mystery; Thou shalt be heard.
Her. The gen'rous leader sees, With pity sees, the wild destructive havoc Of ruthless war; he hath survey'd around The heaps of slain that cover yonder field, And, touch'd with gen’rous sense of human woe, Weeps o'er his victories.
Dio. Your leader weeps'
Then let the author of those ills thou speak'st of,
Let the ambitious factor of destruction,
Timely retreat, and close the scene of blood.
Why doth affrighted peace behold his standard
Uprear'd in Sicily and wherefore here
The iron ranks of war, from which the shepherd
Retires appall'd, and leaves the blasted hopes
Of half the year, while closer to her breast
The mother clasps her infant?
Her. "Tis not mine
To plead Timoleon's cause; not mine the office
To justify the strong, the righteous, motives
That urge him to the war: the only scope
My deputation aims at, is to fix
An interval of peace, a pause of horror,
That they, whose bodies, on the naked shore,
Lie weltering in their blood, from either host
May meet the last sad rites to mature due,
And decent lie in honourable graves.
Dio. Go tell your leader, his pretexts are vain.
Iet him, with those that live, embark for Greece,
And leave our peaceful plains; the mangled limbs
Of those he murder'd, from my tender care
Shall meet due obsequies.
Her. The hero, sir,
Wages no war with those, who bravely die.
'Tis for the dead I supplicate; for them
We sue for peace; and to the living too
Timoleon would extend it, but the groans
Of a whole people have unsheath'd his sword.
A single day will pay the funeral rites.
To-morrow's sun may see both armies meet
Without hostility, and all in honour;
You to inter the troops who bravely fell;
We, on our part, to give an humble sod
To those, who gain’d a footing on the isle,
And by their death have conquer'd.
Dio. Be it so ;