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Would die a thousand deaths to serve his king,
And justify his loyalty and truth.
Lys. I meant, his minion there should feel my
Love claims his blood, nor shall he live to triumph
In that destruction that awaits his rival.
Aler. I pardon thee, for my old Clytus' sake;
But if once more thou mention thy rash love,
Or dar'st attempt Hephestion's precious life,
I'll pour such storms of indignation on thee,
Philotas' rack, Calisthenes' disgrace,
Shall be delight to what thou shalt endure.
Clyt. My lord, the aged queen, with Parisatis,
Come to congratulate your safe arrival.
Enter SYsigAMBIs and PARIsATIs.
Aler. Oh, thou, the best of women, Sysigambis! Source of my joy, blest parent of my love!
Sys. In humble duty to the gods and you,
Permit us, sir, with gratitude to bow.
Thro' you the royal house of Persia shines,
Rais'd from the depth of wretchedness and ruin,
In all the splendour of imperial greatness.
Alex. To meet me thus was generously done :
But still there wants, to crown my happiness,
That treasure of my soul, the dear Statira !
Had she but come to meet her Alexander,
I had been blest indeed
Clyt. Now who shall dare
To tell him of the queen's vow
Aler. How fares
My love?—Ha! neither answer me! all sileni i
A sudden horror, like a bolt of ice,
Shoots to my heart, and 'numbs the seat of life.
Heph. I would relate it, but my courage fails me.
Aler. Why stand you all as you were rooted
What! will none answer? my Hephestion silent :
If thou hast any love for Alexander,
If ever I oblig'd thee by my care,
When thro' the field of death my eye has watch'd
Resolve my doubts, and rescue me from madness.
Heph. Your mourning queen has no disease but
occasio by the jealous pangs of love:
She heard, dread sir, (for what can 'scape a lover ?)
That you, regardless of your vows, at Susa
Had to Roxana's charms resign'd your heart,
And revell'd in the joys you once foreswore.
Alex. I own, the subtle sorceress, in my riot,
My reason gone, seduc’d me to her bed,
But, when I wak'd, I shook the Circe off;
Tho' the enchantress held me by the arm;
Nor griev'd I less for that which I had done,
Than when at Thais' suit, enrag'd with wine,
I set the fam'd Persepolis on fire.
Heph. Your queen, Statira, in the rage of grief,
And agony of desperate love, has sworn
Never to see your majesty again.
Aler. Oh, madam has she 3 has Statira sworn
Never to see her Alexander more ?
Par. With sorrow, sir, I heard the solemn vow;
My mother heard it, and in vain adjur'd her,
By every tender motive to recall it.
Sys. But with that fierceness she resents her
Dwells on your fault, and heightens the offence,
That I could wish your majesty forget her.
Aler. Ha! could you wish me to forget Statira!
The star which brightens Alexander's life,
His guide by day, and goddess of his nights!
I feel her now, she beats in every pulse,
Throbs at my heart, and circles with my blood!
Sys. Have patience, son, and trust to Heaven and
If my authority has any influence,
I will exert it, and she shall be yours.
Aler. Haste, madam, haste, if you would have me
Fly, ere for ever she abjure the world,
And stop the sad procession: [Erit SysigAMBIs.]
Hang thou about her, wash her feet with tears—
Nay haste; the breath of gods, and eloquence
Of angels go along with you. [Etit PARIsATIs.
Oh my heart!
Lys. Now let your majesty, who feels the pangs
Of disappointed love, reflect on mine.
Clyt. What are you mad? Is this a time to plead 2
Lys. The prop'rest time; he dares not now be partial,
Lest Heav'n, in justice, should avenge my wrongs,
And double ev'ry pang which he feels now.
Alex. Why dost thou tempt me thus to thy un-
Death thou shouldst have, were it not courted so.
But know, to thy confusion, that my word,
Like destiny, admits of no repeal;
Therefore in chains shall thou behold the nuptials
Of my Hephestion. Guards, take him prisoner.
[The GUARDs seize Lys1MACHUs.
Lys. Away, ye slaves! I'll not resign my sword,
Till first I’ve drench'd it in my rival's blood.
Aler. I charge you, kill him not ; take him
The dignity of kings is now concern'd,
And I will find a way to tame this rebel.
Clyt. Kneel, for I see rage lightning in his eyes
Lys. I neither hope, nor will I sue for pardon.
Had I my sword and liberty again,
Again I would attempt his favourite's heart.
Aler. Hence, from my sight, and bear him to a dungeon. Perdiccas, give this lion to a lion: None speak for him; fly, stop his mouth; away. LIErit Lysimach Us, PERDIccAs, and GUARDs. Clyt. This comes of women—the result of love; Yet were I heated now with wine, I doubt I should be preaching in this fool's behalf. Aler. Come hither, Clytus, and my friend, Hephestion; Lend me your arms; for I am sick o'the sudden. I fear, betwixt Statira's cruel vows, And fond Roxana's arts, your king will fall. Clyt. Better the race of women were destroy'd, And Persia sunk in everlasting ruin Hephes. Look up, my lord, and bend not thus your head, As if you purpos'd to forsake the world, Which you have greatly won. Aler. "Would I had not; There is no true joy in such unwieldy fortune. Eternal gazers lasting troubles make; All find my spots, but few observe my brightness. Stand from about me all, and give me air. Yes, I will shake this Cupid from my soul; I'll fright the feeble god with war's alarms, Or drown his pow'r in floods of hostile blood. Grant me, great Mars, once more in arms to shine, And break, like lightning, thro' the embattled line; Thro' fields of death to whirl the rapid car, And blaze amidst the thunder of the war, Resistless as the bolt that rends the grove; Or greatly perish, like the son of Jove. [Ereunt.
A Square before the Palace.
Trumpets sounding a Dead March; Lysimachus led
Prisoner; EumENEs, PERDIccAs, PARISATIs, and
Par. Stay, my Lysimachus! a moment stay! Oh, whither art thougoing!—hold a moment 1 Unkind! Thou know'st my life was wrapt in thine, Why wouldst thou then to worse than death expose me? . . . Lys. Oh, may'st thou live in joys without allay! Grant it, ye gods! a better fortune waits thee; Live and enjoy it—'tis my dying wish, While to the grave the lost Lysimachus Alone retires, and bids the world adieu. Par. Even in the grave will Parisatis join thee: Yes, cruel man nor death itself shall part us; A mother's pow'r, a sister's soft'ning tears, With all the fury of a tyrant's frown, Shall not compel me to outlive thy loss. Lys. Were I to live till nature's self decay'd, This wondrous waste of unexampled love I never could repay—O Parisatis Thy charms might fire a coward into courage, How must they act then on a soul like mine 2 : a