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PROLOGUE,

WBITTEN BY

SPOKEN BY MB GARRICK.

If, in these days of luxury and ease,
A tale from Sparta's rigid state can please;
If patriot plans a British breast can warm;
If kings asserting liberty can charm;
If virtue still a grateful aspect wear;
Check not at Agis' fall the gen'rous tear.

He view'd his subjects with a parent's love;
With zeal to save a sinking people strove;
Strove their changed hearts with glory to inflame;
To mend their morals, and restore their name;
Till faction rose with murder at her side;
Then mourn'd his country, persevered, and died.

That country once for virtue was revered;
Admired by Greece; by haughty Asia fear'd.
Then citizens and soldiers were the same;
And soldiers heroes; for their wealth was fame.
Then for the brave the fair reserved her charms,
And scorn'd to clasp a coward in her arms.
The trumpet call'd; she seized the sword and shield;
Array'd in haste her husband for the field;
And sighing, whisper'd in a fond embrace,
"Remember!—death is better than disgrace."

The widow'd mother shew'd her parting son
The race of glory which his sire had run.
"My son, thy flight alone I shall deplore.
Return victorious !—or return no more!"

While beauty thus with patriot zeal combined,
And round the laurel'd head her myrtle twined;
Whilst all confest the virtuous were the great;
Fame, Valour, Conquest, graced the Spartan state.
Her pow'r congenial with her virtue grew,
And Freedom's banner o'er her phalanx flew;
But soon as Virtue dropt her sick'ning head,
Fame, Valour, Conquest, Power and Freedom fled.

May this sad scene improve each Briton's heart! Rouse him with warmth to act a Briton's part! Prompt him with Sparta's noblest sons to vie; To live in glory; and in freedom die!

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DRAMATIS PERSONS.

Agis, King of Sparta.
Lysander, )
Amphares, \
Rhesus, l
Euxus, }

Agesistrata, Mother of Agis.

Sandane, Queen to Leonidas, the exiled King.

Euanthk, an Athenian Lady.

Senators, Ephori, Messengers.

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