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But rather shun me, shun a desp'rate wretch,
One who has scap'd a thousand deaths in battle,
For the first fault, should fall a wretched victim
Stat. Alexander —Oh, is it possible! Immortal gods ! can guilt appear so lovely Yet, yet I pardon, I forgive thee all. Alex. Forgive me all ! oh, catch the heavenly sounds ! Catch them, ye winds! and, as ye fly, disperse
The rapt’rous tidings through th' extended world
My equals in the throne as in the grave,
ACT THE FOURTH.
A Square before the Palace.
Enter CLYTUs, HEPHEstion, and EUMENEs.
Clyt. Urge me no more—I hate the Persian dress; Nor should the king be angry at the rev'rence I owe my country—sacred are her customs, And honest Clytus will to death observe them. Oh! let me rot in Macedonian rags, Or, like Calisthenes, be cag'd for life, Rather than shine in fashions of the east.
Eum. Let me, brave Clytus, as a friend, entreat
Heph. What virtue is there that adorns a throne, Exalts the heart, and dignifies the man, Which shines not brightly in our royal master? And yet perversely you'll oppose his will, And thwart an innocent unhurtful humour. Clyt. Unhurtful! oh, 'tis monstrous affectation, Pregnant with venom, in its nature black, And not to be excus'd l—Shall man, weak man : Exact the rev'rence which we pay to Heaven, And bid his fellow-creatures kneel before him, And yet be innocent? Hephestion, no; The pride that lays a claim to adoration, Insults our reason, and provokes the gods. Eum. Yet what was Jove, the god whom we adore ? Was he not once a man, and rais'd to heaven, For gen’rous acts and virtues more than human : Heph. By all his thunder and his sov’reign power, I'll not believe the world yet ever felt An arm like Alexander's—Not that god You nam'd, though riding in a car of fire, Could, in a shorter space, do greater deeds; Or more effectually have taught mankind To bend submissive, and confess his sway. Clyt. I tell you, boy, that Clytus loves the king As well as you, or any soldier here; Yet I disdain to sooth his growing pride: The hero charms me—but the god offends. Heph. Then go not to the banquet. Clyt. Why, I was bid, - ~ Young minion—was I not, as well as you ? I'll go, my friend, in this old habit, thus, And laugh, and drink the king's health heartily; And while you, blushing, bow your heads to earth, And hide them in the dust—I'll stand erect, Straight as a spear, the pillar of my country, And be by so much nearer to the gods. Heph. But see, the king appears.
Enter ALEXANDER, STATIRA, PARISATIs, SYSIGAMBIs, THEssaLUs, and GAURDs.
Par. Oh, gracious monarch! Spare him, oh, spare Lysimachus's life I know you will—the brave delight in mercy. Aler. Shield me, Statira, shield me from her sorr0WS. Par. Save him, oh, save him, ere it be too late Speak the kind word; let not your soldier perish For one rash action by despair occasion'd. I'll follow thus, for ever on my knees. You shall not pass. Statira, oh, entreat him! Aler. Oh, madam | take her, take her from about me; Her streaming eyes assail my very soul, And shake my best resolves. Stat. Did I not break Through all for you? Nay, now, my lord, you must: By all th' obedience I have paid you long, By all your passion, sighs, and tender looks, Oh, save a prince, whose only crime is love Sys. I had not join'd in this bold suit, my son; But that it adds new lustre to your honour. Aler. Honour ! what's that 2 Has not Statira said it Fly, Clytus: snatch him from the jaws of death, And to the royal banquet bring him straight, Bring him in triumph, fit for loads of honour. [Exeunt HEPHESTIoN, CLYTUs, and PAR is ATI's. Stat. Why are you thus beyond expression kind? Oh, my lov'd lords my fond, my raptured heart, By gratitude and love at once inflam'd, With wild emotions flutters in my breast; Oh, teach it, then, instruct it how to thank you! Aler. Excellent woman | 'Tis not in nature to support such joy.