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The Inside of the Temple.
Enter Phocion and MELANTHoN.
Phoc. Each step I move, a grateful terror shakes
My frame to dissolution.
, Mel. Summon all
Thy wonted firmness; in that dreary vault
A living king is number'd with the dead.
I'll take my post, near where the pillar'd aisle
Supports the central dome, that no alarm
Surprise you in the pious act. [Erit.
Phoc. If here
They both are found; if in Evander's arms
Euphrasia meets my search, the fates atone
For all my suff'rings, all afflictions past.
Yes, I will seek them—ha!—the gaping tomb
Invites my steps—now, be propitious, Heaven!
[He enters the Tomb.
Eup. All hail, ye caves of horror!—In this gloom Divine content can dwell, the heartfelt tear, Which, as it falls, a father's trembling hand Will catch, and wipe the sorrows from my eye. Thou Pow'r supreme ! whose all-pervading mind Guides this great frame of things; who now behold'st . me; Who, in that cave of death, art full as perfect As in the gorgeous palace, now, while night Broods o'er the world, I’ll to thy sacred shrine, “.
And supplicate thy mercies to my father. Who’s there?—Evander 3 Answer—tell me—speak
Enter Phocion, from the Tomb.
Phoc. What voice is that 2—Melanthon Eup. Ha! those sounds!— Speak of Evander; tell me that he lives, Or lost Euphrasia dies. Phoc. Heart-swelling transport! Art thou Euphrasia 'tis thy Phocion, love; Thy husband comes. Eup. Support me;—reach thy hand. Phoc. Once more I clasp her in this fond embrace!. Eup. What miracle has brought thee to me? Phoc. Love Inspir'd my heart, and guided all my ways. Eup. Oh, thou dear wanderer! But wherefore here 2 Why in this place of woe: My tender little one,— Say, is he safe Oh! satisfy a mother; Speak of my child, or I go wild at once 1 Tell me his fate, and tell me all thy own. Phoc. Your boy is safe, Euphrasia; lives to reign In Sicily: Timoleon's gen'rous care Protects him in his camp :—dispel thy fears; The gods once more will give him to thy arms. Eup. My father lives sepulchred ere his time, Here in Eudocia's tomb; let me conduct thee. Phoc. I came this moment thence. Eup. And saw Evander: Phoc. Alas! I found him not. Eup. Not found him there?— And have they then—Have the fell murderers—Oh! [Faints away. Phoc. I've been too rash; revive, my love, revive; Thy Phocion calls; the gods will guard Evander, And save him to reward thy matchless virtue.
Enter Evan DER and MELANTHoN.
Eva. Lead me, Melanthon; guide my aged steps; Where is he let me see him.
Phoc. My Euphrasia;
Thy father lives; thou venerable man!
Behold !—I cannot fly to thy embrace.
Eup. These agonies must end me—ah, my father!
Again I have him, gracious pow'rs! again
I clasp his hand, and bathe it with my tears.
Eva. Euphrasia –Phocion, too!—Yes, both are
Oh, let me thus, thus strain you to my heart.
Phoc. Protected by a daughter's tender care,
By my Euphrasia sav'd That sweet reflection
Exalts the bliss to rapture.
Eup. Why, my father,
Why thus adventure forth The strong alarm
O'erwhelm'd my spirits.
Eva. I went forth, my child,
When all was dark, and awful silence round,
To throw me prostrate at the altar's foot,
And crave the care of Heav’n for thee and thine.
Phil. Inevitable ruin hovers o'er you:
The tyrant's fury mounts into a blaze;
Unsated yet with blood, he calls aloud
For thee, Evander thee his rage hath order'd
This moment to his presence.
Eva. Lead me to him :
His presence hath no terror for Evander.
, Eup. Horror! It must not be.
Phil. No, never, never:
I'll perish rather! But the time demands
Our utmost vigour. His policy has granted
A day's suspense from arms; yet even now
His troops prepare, in the dead midnight hour,
With base surprise, to storm Timoleon’s camp.
Eva. And doth he grant a false insidious truce,
To turn the hour of peace to blood and horror?
Eup. I know the monster well: when specious
Becalms his looks, the rankling heart within
Teems with destruction.
Mel. Now, Phocion, now, on thee our hope de-
Fly to Timoleon; I can grant a passport:
Rouse him to vengeance; on the tyrant turn
His own insidious arts, or all is lost.
Phoc. Evander thou, and thou, my best Euphrasia,
Both shall attend my flight.
Mel. It were in vain ;
Th' attempt would hazard all.
Eup. Together here
We will remain, safe in the cave of death;
And wait our freedom from thy conqu'ring arm.
Eva. Oh, would the gods roll back the stream of
And give this arm the sinew that it boasted
At Tauromenium, when its force resistless
Mow’d down the ranks of war! I then might guide
The battle's rage, and, ere Evander die,
Add still another laurel to my brow.
Eup. Enough of laurell'd victory your sword
Hath reap'd in earlier days. -
Eva. And shall my sword,
When the great cause of liberty invites,
Remain inactive, unperforming quite
Youth, second youth, rekindles in my veins:
Tho' worn with age, this arm will know its office;
Will show, that victory has not forgot
Acquaintance with his hand.—And yet—O shame!
It will not be: the momentary blaze
Sinks, and expires: I have surviv'd it all ;
Surviv'd my reign, my people, and myself.
Eup. Fly, Phocion, fly; Melanthon will conduct
Mel. And when th'assault begins, my faithful co-
Shall form their ranks around this sacred dome.
Phoc. And my poor captive friends, my brave com-
Taken in battle, wilt thou guard their lives? -
Mel. Trust to my care: no danger shall assail
Pho. By Heav'n, the glorious expectation swells
This panting bosom Yes, Euphrasia, yes;
Awhile I leave you to the care of Heav'n.
Fell Dionysius tremble; ere the dawn
Timoleon thunders at your gates! the rage,
The pent-up rage, of twenty thousand Greeks,
Shall burst at once; and the tumultuous roar
Alarm th' astonish'd world.
Eva. Yet, ere thou go'st, young man,
Attend my words: Tho' guilt may oft provoke,
As now it does, just vengeance on its head,
In mercy punish it. The rage of slaughter
Can add no trophy to the victor's triumph;
Bid him not shed unnecessary blood.
Conquest is proud, inexorable, fierce;
It is humanity ennobles all!
So thinks Evander, and so tell Timoleon.
Phoc. Farewell;-the midnight hour shall give you
[Erit, with MELANTIIoN and PHILoTAs.
Eup. Ye guardian deities, watch all his ways.
Eva. Come, my Euphrasia, in this interval
Together we will seek the sacred altar,
And thank the God, whose presence fills the doom,
For all the wond’rous goodness lavish'd on us. -