페이지 이미지
PDF

The rapt’rous tidings through th' extended world
That all may share in Alexander's joy!
Stat. Yes, dear deceiver ! I forgive thee all,
But longer dare not hearthy charming tongue;
For while I hear thee my resolves give way;
Be therefore quick, and take thy last farewell.
Farewell, my love—Eternally farewell !
Aler. Go then, inhuman! triumph in my pains,
Feed on the pangs that rend this wretched heart,
For now 'tis plain you never lov'd. Statira !
Oh, I could sound that charming cruel name
Till the tir'd echo faint with repetition.
Oh, my Statira !
I swear, my queen, I'll not outlive our parting.
My o grows still as death. Say, wilt thou par-
on 2
'Tis all I ask. Wilt thou forgive the transports
Of a deep wounded heart, and all is well ?
Stat. Rise, and may Heaven forgive you like
Statira !
Aler. You are too gracious—Clytus, bear m
hence.
When I am laid i'th' earth yield her the world.
There's something here, that heaves as cold as ice,
That stops my breath. Farewell, farewell for ever!
Stat. Hold off, and let me run into his arms;
My life, my love, my lord, my Alexander!
If thy Statira's love can give thee joy,
Revive, and be immortal as the gods.
Aler. Oh, let me press thee in my eager arms,
And strain thee hard to my transported breast.
Stat. But shall Roxana
Aler. Let her not be nam'd.
Qh ! how shall I repay you for this goodness 2
And you, my fellow warriors, who could grieve
I'or your lost king : But talk of griefs inc
more ;
The banquets waits, and I invite you all.

My equals in the throne as in the grave,
Without distinction come, and share my joy.
Clyt. Excuse me, sir, if I for once am absent.
Alex. Excuse thee, Clytus! none shall be excus'd:
All revel out the day, 'tis my command.
Gay as the Persian god ourself will stand
With a crown'd goblet in our lifted hand;
Young Ammon and Statira shall go round,
While antic measures beat the burden'd ground,
And to the vaulted skies our trumpets' clangors
sound. [Ereunt,

ACT THE FOURTH.

SCENE I.

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

You.

D

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; i. 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. Alex. Shield me, Statira, shield me from her sorroWS. 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. Alex. Honour ! what's that ? 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 PARISAT.1s. 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.

Stat. Go, my pest love; unbend you at the banuet; inaug"in joy, and laugh your cares away; While, in the bowers of great Semiramis, I dress your bed with all the sweets of nature, And crown it as the altar of our loves, Where I will lay me down, and softly mourn, But never close my eyes till you return. [Erit STATIRA.

Aler. Is she not more than mortal can desire, As Venus lovely, and Diana chaste? And yet, I know not why, our parting shocks me ; A ghastly paleness sat upon her brow, Her voice, like dying echoes, fainter grew, And, as I wrung her by the rosy fingers, Methought the strings of my great heart were

- crack'd.

What could it mean 2 Forward, Eumenes.

Enter RoxANA, CAssand ER, and PolyperchoN.

Why, madam, gaze you thus?
Roa. For a last look,
And to imprint the memory of my wrongs,
Roxana's wrongs, on Alexander's mind.
Aler. On to the banquet.
[Ereunt ALEXANDER, &c.
Ror. Ha! with such disdain!
So unconcern'd / Oh, I could tear myself
Him, you, and all the hateful world, to atoms.
Cas. Still keep this spirit up, preserve it still,
And know us for your friends: we like your rage:
'Tis lovely in you, and your wrongs require it.
Here, in the sight of Heaven, Cassander swears,
Unaw'd by death, to second your revenge:
Speak but the word, and, swift as thought can fly,
The tyrant falls a victim to your fury.

Ror. Shall he then die? shall I consent to kill him 2

« 이전계속 »