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Though Evander ranks as the first male character in this play, no actor likes to appear in the part. He would rather be inferior, and less infirm. As Mr. Murphy had much theatrical experience as well as taste, it is astonishing that the personage most talked of, most praised, and by far the most perfect character in the whole drama, should never make his appearance! Timoleon is a great warrior and a good man; and it seems wonderful how the audience, on the first night of the play, would quit the theatre without seeing him. Yet it was but modesty and respect in the author, not to bring so magnanimous a hero on the scene, to speak bad poetry. The great tragic dramatist, Otway, wrotemiserable comedies: Let it be no disgrace to Murphy that he has written an indifferent tragedy. By the merit of his comic scenes, his tragic ones are perhaps judged, and in the comparison lose half their value.

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THE

GRECIAN DAUGHTER.

ACT THE FIRST.

SCENE I,

Enter MELANTHoN and PHILOTAs.

Mel. Yet, yet a moment; hear, Philotas, hear me!

Phil. No more; it must not be.

Mel. Obdurate man; Thus wilt thou spurn me, when a king distress'd, A good, a virtuous, venerable king, The father of his people, from a throne Which long with ev'ry virtue he adorn'd, Torn by a ruffian, by a tyrant's hand, Groans in captivity? In his own palace Lives a sequester'd prisoner? Oh! Philotas, If thou hast not renounc'd humanity,

Let me behold my sovereign; once again

Admit me to his presence; let me see
My royal master.

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Phil. Urge thy suit no further; Thy words are fruitless; Dionysius' orders Forbid access; he is our sov’reign now. 'Tis his to give the law, mine to obey. Mel. Thou canst not mean it: his to give the law . Detested spoiler —his a vile usurper Have we forgot the elder Dionysius, Surnam'd the Tyrant? To Sicilia's throne The monster waded through whole seas of blood. Sore groan'd the land beneath his iron rod; Till rous’d at length Evander came from Greece, Like Freedom's Genius came, and sent the tyrant Stript of the crown, and to his humble rank Once more reduc'd, to roam, for vile subsistence, A wandering sophist through the realms of Greece. Phil. Whate'er his right, to him in Syracuse All bend the knee; his the supreme dominion, And death and torment wait his sovereign nod. Mel. But soon that pow'r shall cease behold his walls Now close encircled by the Grecian bands; Timoleon leads them on; indignant Corinth Sends her avenger forth, array'd in terror, To hurl ambition from a throne usurp’d, And bid all Sicily resume her rights. Phil. Thou wert a statesman once, Melanthon; now, Grown dim with age, thy eye pervades no more The deep-laid schemes which Dionysius plans. Know then, a fleet from Carthage even now Stems the rough billow; and, ere yonder sun, That now declining seeks the western wave, Shall to the shades of night resign the world, Thou'lt see the Punic sails in yonder bay, Whose waters wash the walls of Syracuse. Mel. Art thou a stranger to Timoleon's name 2 Intent to plan, and circumspect to see All possible events, he rushes on

Resistless in his course ! Your boasted master
Scarce stands at bay; each hour the strong blockade
Hems him in closer, and, ere long, thou’lt view
Oppression's iron rod to fragments shiver'd :
The good Evander then
Phil. Alas, Evander
Will ne'er behold the golden time you look for!
Mel. How! not behold it! Say, Philotas, speak!
Has the fell tyrant, have his felon murderers
Phil. As yet, my friend, Evander lives.
Mel. And yet
Thy dark half-hinted purpose—lead me to him;
If thou hast murder'd him—
Phil. By Heav'n, he lives!
Mel. Then bless me with one tender interview.
Thrice has the sun gone down since last these eyes
Have seen the good old king; say, why is this 2
Wherefore debarr'd his presence? Thee, Philotas,
The troops obey that guard the royal pris'ner;
Each avenue to thee is open; thou
Canst grant admittance; let me, let me see him?
Phil. Entreat no more; the soul of Dionysius
Is ever wakeful; rent with all the pangs
That wait on conscious guilt.
Mel. But when dun night—
Phil. Alas! it cannot be: but mark my words:
Let Greece urge on her general assault.
Despatch some friend, who may o'erleap the walls,
And tell Timoleon, the good old Evander
Has liv'd three days, by Dionysius' order,
Lock'd up from ev’ry sustenance of nature,
And life, now wearied out, almost expires.
Mel. If any spark of virtue dwell within thee,
Lead me, Philotas, lead me to his prison 1
Phil. The tyrant’s jealous care hath mov’d him
thence.
Mel. Ha! mov’d him, say’st thou?
Phil. At the midnight hour,

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