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I bar you both. My body interposed,
rel. Heph. And cure the bleeding wounds my honour bcars. Clyt. Some properer time ! 'tis false—no hour is proper;
No time should see a brave man do amiss.-
Lys. Clytus, thou'rt right—put up thy sword,
Had passion not eclipsed the light of reason,
Heph. Why has not reason power to conquer love? Why are we thus enslaved
Clyt. Because unmanned; Because ye follow Alexander's steps. Heavens ! that a face should thus bewitch his soul, And ruin all that's great and godlike in it! Talk be my bane—yet the old man must talk. Not so he loved, when he at Issus fought, Andjoined in mighty combat with Darius, Whom, from his chariot, flaming all with gems, He hurled to earth, and catch'd th’ imperial crown. ‘Twas not the shaft of love performed that feat; He knew no Cupids then. Now mark the change; A brace of rival queens embroil the court, And, while each hand is thus employ'd in beauty, Where has he room for glory?
Heph. In his heart.
Clyt. Well said, young minion!—I indeed forgot To whom I spoke—But Sysigambis comes: Now is your time, for with her comes an idol, That claims homage—I'll attend the king. [Exit.
Enter SystgaMBls with a Letter, and PARISATIs.
Sys. Why will ye wound me with your fond com-
And urge a suit that I can never grant;
Par. To sooth this god, and charm him into tem
- per, -.
Is there no victim, none but Parisatis?
Must I be doomed to wretchedness and wo, That others may enjoy the conqueror's smiles Oh! if you ever loved my royal father— And sure you did, your gushing tears proclaim it— If still his name be dear, have pity on me! He would not thus have forced me to despair; Indeed he would not—Had I begged him thus, He would have heard me, eremy, heart was broke. Sys, * will my sufferings, end? Oh, when, ye. gods : For sixty rolling years my soul has stood The dread vicissitudes of fate unmoved; I thought them your decrees, and therefore yielded; But this last trial, as it springs from folly, * Exceeds my sufferance, and I must complain. Lys. When Sysigambis mourns, no common wo Can be the cause—'tis misery indeed! Yet pardon, mighty queen! a wretched prince, , Who thus presumes to plead the cause of love, Beyond my life, beyond the world, [Kneeling.] I prize Fair Parisatis-Hear me, I conjure you! As you have authorised Hephestion's vows, Reject not mine-grant me but equal leave, To serve the princess, and let love decide. Heph. A blessing like the beauteous Parisatis Whole years of service, and the world's wide empire, With all the blood that circles in our veins, Can never merit, therefore in my favour I begg'd the king to interpose his interest, Therefore I begg'd your majesty's assistance; Your word is past, and all my hopes rest on it. . Lys. [Rising.] Perish such hopes 1 for love's agenerous passion, Which seeks the happiness of her we love, Beyond the enjoyment of our own desires; Nor kings nor parents here have aught to do : Love owns no influence, and disdains control; Let them stand neuter-'tis all I ask.
Heph. Such arrogance, did Alexander woo,
Whose life and sword are but his rival's gift
Sys. It grieves me, brave Lysimachus, to find . .
Lys. Forget her, madam! Sooner shall the Sun
Sys. In this wild transport of ungovern'd passion,
Heph. Madam, I know not; but Cassander comes;
Sys. I would shun him :
* Enter Cassander. V
Cas. The face of day now blushes scarlet deep,
Came to my bed last night, and bellowing o'er me,
Enter THEssal Us, with a Packet.
How now dear Thessalus ; what packet's that?
Enter Poly PERcHoN.
Poly. Still as I pass, fresh murmurs fill my ears; All talk of wrongs, and mutter their complaints. Poor soulless reptiles!—their revenge expires In idle threats—the fortitude of cowards! Their province is to talk; ’tis mine to act, And show this tyrant, when he dar'd to wrong me, He wrong'd a man, whose attribute is vengeance.