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I bar you both. My body interposed,
Now let me see, which of you dares to strike.
By Jove, you have stirred the old man! That rasn
That first advances, moves against the gods,
And our great king, whose deputy I stand.
Lys. Some properer time must terminate our quar-

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.-
Say, what's the noble cause of all this madness,
What vast ambition blows the dangerous fire?
Why, a vain, smiling, whining, cozening, woman!
By all my triumphs, in the heat of youth,
When towns were sack'd, and beauties prostrate lay,
When my blood boil'd, and nature worked me high,
Clytus ne'er bow’d his body to such shame;
I knew them, and despised their cobweb arts—
The whole sex is not worth a soldier's thought.
Lys. Our cause of quarrel may to thee seem light
But know, a less hath set the world in arms.
Clyt. Yes, Troy, they tell us, by a woman fell;
Curse on the sex, they are the bane of virtue!
Death ! I had rather this right arm were lost,
Than that the king should hear of your imprudence—
What, on a day thus set apart for triumph !
Lys. We were, indeed, to blame.
Clyt. This memorable day !
When our hot master, whose impatient soul
Out-rides the sun, and sighs for other worlds
To spread his conquests, and diffuse his glory,
Now bids the trumpet for a while be silent,
And plays with monarchs whom he us’d to drive;
Shall we, by broils, awake him into rage,
And rouse the lion that has ceas'd to roar 2

Lys. Clytus, thou'rt right—put up thy sword,
Hephestion: -

Had passion not eclipsed the light of reason,
Untold we might this consequence have seen.

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.

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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;
You know, my child, 'tis Alexander's will?
He demands you for his lov'd Hephestion;
To disobey him might inflame his wrath,
And plunge our house in ruins yet unknown.

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,
Would lose him all the conquests he has won.
Lys. To talk of conquests well, becomes the


Whose life and sword are but his rival's gift

Sys. It grieves me, brave Lysimachus, to find . .
My power fall short of my desires to serve you:
You know Hephestion first declared his love,
And 'tis as true I promis'd him my aid;
Your glorious king, his mighty advocate,
Became himself an humble suppliant for him.
Forget her, prince, and triumph o'er your passion,
A conquest worthy of a soul like thine.

Lys. Forget her, madam! Sooner shall the Sun
Forget to shine, and tumble from his sphere.
Farewell, great queen—my honour now demands,
That Alexander should himself explain
That wond’rous merit, which exalts his favourite,
And casts Lysimachus at such a distance. [Erit.

Sys. In this wild transport of ungovern'd passion,
Too far, I fear, he will incense the king.
Is Alexander yet, my lord, arriv'd 2

Heph. Madam, I know not; but Cassander comes;
He may perhaps inform us.

Sys. I would shun him :
Something there is, I know not why, that shocks

Something my nature shrinks at when I see him.
i [Ereunt

* Enter Cassander. V

Cas. The face of day now blushes scarlet deep,
Now blackens into night; the low'ring sun,
As if the dreadful business he foreknew,
Drives heavily his sable chariot on.
All nature seems alarmed for Alexander.
Why, be it so : her pangs proclaim my triumph.
A mad Chaldean, with a flaming torch,


Came to my bed last night, and bellowing o'er me,
* Well had it been for Babylon, he cried,
* If curst Cassander never had been born.'

Enter THEssal Us, with a Packet.

How now dear Thessalus ; what packet's that?
Thes. From Macedon; a trusty slave just
brought it.
Your father chides us for our cold delay;
He says Craterus, by the king's appointment,
Comes, in his room, to govern Macedon,
Which nothing but the tyrant's death can hinder;
Therefore he bids us boldly strike,
Or quit our purpose, and confess our fears.
Cas. Is not his fate resolv'd? this might he dies,
And thus my father but forestalls my purpose.
How am I slow then : If I rode on thunder,
Winged as the lightning, it would ask some mo"
Ere I could blast the growth of this Colossus.
Thes. Mark where the haughty Polyperchon
comes | -
Some new affront, by Alexander given,
Swells in his heart, and stings him into madness.
Cas. Now, now's our time; he must, he shall, be
Ours :
His haughty soul will kindle at his wrongs,
Blaze into rage, and glory in revenge.

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.

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