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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 nature due,
And decent lie in honourable graves.
Div. 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 ;
I grant thy suit: soon as to-morrow's dawn
Illume the world, the rage of wasting war
In vain shall thirst for blood.
Thou know'st my last resolve, and now farewell.
Some careful officer conduct him forth. -
By Heav'n, the Greek hath offered to my sword
An easy prey; a sacrifice to glut
My great revenge. Calippus, let each soldier
This night resign his wearied limbs to rest,
That ere the dawn, with renovated strength,
On the unguarded, unsuspecting foe,
Disarm’d, and bent on superstitious rites,
From every quarter we may rush undaunted,
Give the invaders to the deathful steel,
And by one carnage bury all in ruin.
My valiant friends, haste to your several posts,
And let this night a calm unruffled spirit
Lie hush'd in sleep : away, my friends, disperse.
Philotas, waits Euphrasia as we order'd :
Phil. She's here at hand.
Dio. Admit her to our presence.
Rage and despair, a thousand warring passions,
All rise by turns, and piecemeal rend my heart.
Yet ev'ry means, all measures must be tried,
To sweep the Grecian spoiler from the land,
And fix the crown unshaken on my brow.
Eup. What sudden cause requires Euphrasia's presence?
Dio. Approach, fair mourner, and dispel thy fears. Thy grief, thy tender duty to thy father, Has touch'd me nearly. In his lone retreat, Respect, attendance, every lenient care To sooth affliction, and extend his life, Evander has commanded.
Eup. Wile dissembler
Detested homicide! [Aside.]—And has thy heart
Felt for the wretched :
Dio. Urgencies of state
Abridg’d his liberty; but to his person
All honour hath been paid.
Eup. The righteous gods
Have mark'd thy ways, and will in time repay
Dio. If to see your father,
If here to meet him in a fond embrace,
Will calm thy breast, and dry those beauteous tears,
A moment more shall bring him to your presence.
Eup. Ha! lead him hither! Sir, to move him now,
Aged, infirm, worn out with toil and years—
No, let me seek him rather—If soft pity
Has touch'd your heart, oh! send me, send me to
Dio. Control this wild alarm; with prudent care
Philotas shall conduct him; here I grant
The tender interview.
Eup. Disastrous fate 1
Ruin impends!—This will discover all; [Aside.
I'll perish first.
Though much I languish to behold my father,
Yet now it were not fit—the sun goes down;
Night falls apace; soon as returning day—
Dio. This night, this very hour, you both must
Together you may serve the state and me.
Thou seest the havoc of wide wasting war;
And more, full well you know, are still to bleed.
Thou may'st prevent their fate.
Eup. Oh! give the means,
And I will bless thee for it.
Dio. From a Greek
Torments have wrung the truth. Thy husband, Pho-
Dio. He ; tis he Hath kindled up this war; with treacherous arts Inflam'd the states of Greece; and now the traitor Comes with a foreign aid to wrest my crown. Eup. And does my Phocion share Timoleon's glory? Dio. With him invests our walls, and bids rebellion Erect her standard here. Eup. Oh! bless him, gods ! Where'er my hero treads the paths of war, List on his side; against the hostile javelin Uprear his mighty buckler; to his sword Lend the fierce whirlwind's rage, that he may come With wreaths of triumph, and with conquest crown'd, And a whole nation's voice Applaud my hero with a love like mine! Dio. Ungrateful fair! Has not our sovereign will On thy descendants fix'd Sicilia's crown? Have I not vow'd protection to your boy? Eup. From thee the crown! from thee! Euphrasia's children Shall on a nobler basis found their rights; On their own virtue, and a people's choice. Dio. Misguided woman' Eup. Ask of thee protection The father's valour shall protect his boy. Dio. Rush not on sure destruction; ere too late Accept our proffer'd grace. The terms are these : Instant send forth a message to your husband; Bid him draw off his Greeks, unmoor his fleet, And measure back his way. Full well he knows You and your father are my hostages; And for his treason both may answer. Eup. Think'st thou then So meanly of my Phocion?—Dost thou deem him Poorly wound up to a mere fit of valour, To melt away in a weak woman's tear? Oh! thou dost little know him; know'st but little Of his exalted soul. With gen'rous ardour
Still will he urge the great, the glorious plan, And gain the ever honour'd bright reward, Which fame entwines around the patriot's brow, And bids for ever flourish on his tomb, For nations freed, and tyrants laid in dust. Dio. By Heav'n, this night Evander breathes his last. Eup. Better for him to sink at once to rest, Than linger thus beneath the gripe of famine, In a vile dungeon, scoop'd with barb'rous skill Deep in the flinty rock; a monument Of that fell malice, and that black suspicion, That mark'd your father's reign; a dungeon drear, Prepar'd for innocence!—Vice liv'd secure, It flourish'd, triumph'd, grateful to his heart; 'Twas virtue only could give umbrage; then, In that black period, to be great and good Was a state crime; the pow'rs of genius then Were a constructive treason. Dio. Now your father's doom Is fix'd; irrevocably fix’d. Eup. Thy doom, perhaps, May first be fix'd; the doom that ever waits The fell oppressor—from a throne usurp'd Hurl’d headlong down. Think of thy father's fate At Corinth, Dionysius! Dio. Ha! this night Evander dies; and thou, desested fair! Thou shalt behold him, while inventive cruelty Pursues his wearied life through every nerve. I scorn all dull delay. This very night Shall sate my great revenge. [Exit. Eup. This night, perhaps, Shall whelm thee down, no more to blast creation. My father, who inhabit'st with the dead, Now let me seek thee in the lonely tomb, And tremble there with anxious hope and fear