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EPILOGUE.

Cramm'd to the throat with wholesome moral

stuff, Alas, poor audience, you have had enough. Was ever hapless heroine of a play In such a piteous plight as ours to-day? Was ever woman so by love betray'd r Match'd with two husbands, and yet—ilic p maid. But, bless me!—hold! what sounds are these I

hear— I see the Tragic Muse herself appear.

[ Thebacksceneopens,anddiscovers a rompiilic sylvan landscape, from which the Tragic MMte advances slowly, and speaks the following lines: Hence with jour;rlinpant-epilogue, that tries To wipe the virtuous tear from British eyes; That dares my morn], tragic scene profane. With strains—at best, urisuiting, light, and vain. 'Hence from the pure unsullied beams that play In yon fair eyes where Virtue shines—away! nitons, to you, from the Castdlian groves, Where dwell the tender, oft .unhamjylpvijs;

Where shades of heroes roam, each mighty name,
And court my aid to rise again to fame;
To you I come, to freedom s noblest seat,
Anil In Britannia fix my last retreat.
In Greece and Rome, I watch'd the public weal,
The purple tyrant trembled at my steel:
.Nor.did I less o'er private sorrows reign,
And mend the melting heart with softer pain.
On France and you then rose my brightning star,
With social ray—The arts are ne'er at war.
Oh, as your fire and genius strongly blaze,
As your's are generous Freedom's bolder lays,
Let not the .Gallic taste leave yours behind,
In decent manners and in life refin'd.
Banish the motley mode to tag low verse,
The laughing ballad to the mournful hearse.
When through five ajcts your'hearts have leam'd

to glow,
Touch'd with the secret force of honest woe;
Oh, keep the dear impression on your breast,
N.Qriilly_h«eJj.C}r.a wjsttlwdjest.

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Ye flittering train! whom lace and velvet bless,
Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress;
From grovelling business and superfluous care,
, Ye sons of avarice! a moment spare:
'Vot'ries of fame and worshippers of power!
Dismiss the pleasing phantoms for an hour.
Our daring bard, with spirit unconfin'd,
Spreads wide the mighty moral for mankind.
Learn here how Heaven supports the virtuous

mind, Daring, though calm; and vigorous, though re

sign'd. Leam here what anguish racks the guilty breast, In power dependent, in success deprest; Learn here that peace from innocence must

flow; All else is empty sound, and idle show. If truths like these with pleasing language

join;

Ennobled, yet unchanged, if nature shine;
If no wild draught depart from reason's rules,
Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools;
Intriguing wits' his artless plot forgive,
And spare him, beauties, though his lovers live.
Be this at least his praise; be tills his pride;
To force applause no modern arts are tried.
Should partial catcalls all his hopes confound.
He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound.
Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit,
He rolls no thunders o'er the drowsy pit.
No snares, to captivate the judgment, spreads;
Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads.
Unmoved the witlings sneer and rivals rail;
Studious to please, yet not ashamed to fad.
He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain,
With merit needless, and without it vain.
In reason, nature, truth, he dares to trust;
Ye fops, be silent! and, ye wits, be just!

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ACT I.

SCENE I.

Demetrius and Leontius in Turkish habits.

Leon. And is it thus Demetrius meets bis friend, Hid in the mean disguise of Turkish robes, With servile secrecy to lurk in shades, And vent our sufferings in clandestine groans? Hem. Till breathless fury rested from destruction, These groans were fatal, these disguises vain: But now our Turkish conquerors have quenched Their rape, and palled their appetite of murder; No more the glutted sabre thirsts for blood, And weary cruelty remits-her tortures.

Leon. Yet Greece enjoys no gleam of transient hope, No soothing interval of peaceful sorrow; The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest, The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless! The last corruption of degenerate man! Urged by the imperious soldier's fierce command, The groaning Greeks break up their golden caverns, Pregnant with stores, that India's mines might

envy, The accumulated wealth of toiling ages.

Dun. That wealth, too sacred for their country's use! That wealth, too pleasing to be lost for freedom! That wealth, which, granted to their weeping

prince, Had ranged embattled nations at our gates— But thus reserved to lure the wolves of Turkey, Adds shame to grief, and infamy to ruin. Lamenting avarice now too late discovers Her own neglected, in the public safety.

Leon. Reproach not miser)-. The sons of

Greece,
Ill-fated race! so oft besieged in vain,
With false security beheld invasion.
Why should they fear!—That Power, that kindly

spreads
The clouds, a signal of impending showers,
To warn the wandering linnet to the shade,
Beheld, without concern, expiring Greece,
And not one prodigy foretold our fate.

Dent. A thousand horrid prodigies foretold it.
A feeble government, eluded laws,
A factious populace, luxurious nobles,
And all the maladies of sinking states.
When public villany, too strong for justice,
Shows his bold front, the harbinger of ruin,
Can brave Leontius call for airy wonders,
Which cheats interpret, and which fools regard?
When some neglected fabric nods beneath
The weight of years, and totters to the tempest,
Must Heaven dispatch the messengers of light,
Or wake the dead to warn us of its fall?

7

Leon. Well might the weakness of our enipii e sink Before such foes, of more than human force; Some power invisible, from Heaven or hell, Conducts their armies, and asserts their cause.' Htm. And yet, my friend, what miracles wcrs wrought Beyond the power of constancy and courage? Did unresisted lightning aid their cannon? Did roaring whirlwinds sweep us from the ramparts i 'Twas vice that shook our nerves; 'twas vice,

Leontius, That froze our veins, and withered all our powers. Leon. Whate'er our crimes, our woes demand compassion. Each night, protected by the friendly darkness, Quitting my close retreat, I range the city, And, weeping, kiss the venerable ruins: With silent pangs I view the towering domes, Sacred to prayer; and wander through the streets, Where commerce lavished unexhausted plenty, And jollity maintained eternal revels—

Dem. How changed alas! Now, ghastly

desolation In triumph sits upon our shattered spires; Now superstition, ignorance, and error, Usurp our temples, and profane our altars. Leon. From every palace burst a mingled clamour, The dreadful dissonance of barbarous triumph, Shrieks of affright, and waitings of distress. Oft when the cries of violated beauty . Arose to Heaven, and pierced my bleeding breast, I felt thy pains, and trembled for Aspasia. Dan. Aspasia! spare that loved, that mournful name! Dear hapless maid! tempestuous grief o'erbears My reasoning powers—Dear, hapless, lost Aspasia! Leon. Suspend the thought. Dem. All thought on her is madness: Yet let me think—I see the helpless maid! Behold the monsters gaze with savage rapture, Behold how lust and rapine struggle round her! Leon. Awake, Demetrius, from this dismal dream; Sink not beneath imaginary sorrows: Call to your aid your courage and your wisdom; Think on the sudden change of human scenes; Think on the various accidents of war; Think on the mighty power of awful virtue; Think on that providence that guards the good. Dem. O Providence! extend thy care to me, For courage droops unequal to the combat, And weak philosophy denies her succours. Sure some kind sabre, in the heat of battle, Ere yet the foe found leisure to be cruel, Dismissed her to the sky. Leon. Some virgin maim,

Perhaps, enamoured of resembling virtue,
With gentle hand restrained the streams of life,
And snatched her timely from her country's fate,
Dem. From those bright regions of eternal

Where now thou sbin'st among tby follow saints, i
Arrayed in purer light, look down on me!
In pleasing visions, and assuasive dreams,
O! soothe my soul, and teach me how to lose
thee!
Leon. Enough of unavailing tears, Demotiius:
I came obedient to thy friendly summons,
And hoped to share -thy counsels, not thy sor-
rows:
While thus we-mourn the fortune of Aspasia,
To what are we reserved?

Dew. To what 1 know not;
But hope, yet hope, to happiness and honour—
If happiness can be without Aspasia.

Leon. But whence this now-«prung hope I Dan. From Cali Bassa; The chief, whose wisdom guides the Turkish

counsels. He, tired of slavery, though the highest slave, Projects at once our freedom and his own; And bids us, thus disguised, await him liere. Leon. Can he restore the state he could not save? In vain, when Turkey'-* troops assailed our walls, His kind intelligence betrayed their measures; Their anng prevailed, though Culi was our friend. Dam. When the tenth sun hud set upon our sorrows, At midnight's private hour, a voice unknown Sounds in my sleeping year, ' Awake, Demetrius! 'Awake, and follow mc to'bettor fortunes.' Surprised, I start, and bless the happy dream; Then, rousing, know she fiery chief Abdalluli, Whose quick impatience seized my doubtful

hand,
And led me to the shore where Cali stood,
Pensive, and listening to the beating surge.
There, in soft hiuts, and in ambiguous phrase,
With all the diffidence of long experience,
That oft had practiced fraud, and oft detected,
The veteran courtier half revealed his project.
By his command, equipped for speedy Might,
Deep in a winding creak a galley lies,
Manned with the bravastof our fellow captives,
Selected by my cure, a hardy band,
That long'to hail llice chief.

Leon. But what avails
So small a force? Or why-should Cali .fly i
Or I low nui Cali's flight restore our country?

Dent. Reserve these question* for a safer hour, Or hear himself; for see, the Bassa comes.

Eater Cali Bassa.

Cali. Now summon all thy soul, illustrious Christian! Awake each faculty that sleeps within thee, The courtier's policy, the sage's firmness, The warrior's ardour, and the patriot's zeal; If, chasing past events with vain pursuit,

Or wandering in the wilds of future being,
A single thought now rove, recall it home-
But can thy friend sustain the glorious cause,
The cause of liberty, the cause of nations?

Dcm. Observe him closely with a statesman's eye, Thou, that hast long perused the draughts of nature, And know'st the characters of vice and virtue, .Left by the bond of .heaven on human clay.

Cati. His mien is lofty, his demeanour great; Nor .sprightly folly wantons in bis air, Nor dull serenity becalms his eye. Such had I ttusted once as soon as seen; But cautious agesusoeets the flattering form, And only credits what experience tells, lias silence pressed her seal upon his lips i Does adamantine faith invest his heart r Will he not bend beneath a tyrant's .frown i Will he not melt before ambition's fire i Will he not soften in a friend's embrace, Or flow dissolving in a woman'* tears?

Dan. Sooner these trembling leaves shall find a voice, And tell the secrets, of their conscious walks; Sooner the breeze shall catch the flying sounds. And shock the tyrant with a tale of treason. Your slaughtered multitudes, that .swell the shore With monuments of death, proclaim his courage; Virtue and liberty engross his sou], And leave no place for perfidy or fear.

Leon. I scorn a trust unwillingly reposed. Demetrius will not lend'me to dishonour; Consult in private; call tue when your scheme Is ripe for action, and demands.the.swonl.

[Going.

Don. Leontius, stay.

C'o/i. Forgive an old man's weakness, And share .the deepest secrets of my soul, My wrongs, my fears, my.motives, inv designs.— When.unsuccessful wars, and civil factions, Embroiled the Turkish state, our sultan's .father, Great Anwrath, at my request, forsook The cloister's ease, resumed the tottering throne, And snatched'the reins of abdicated power From giddy Mahomet's unskilful hand. This fired the youthful king's qmbitionsibrcast; He murmurs vengeance at the name ofiCali, And dooms my rash fidelity to rum.

Dim. .Unhappv lot of all thatfliitu? in courts! For forced compliance, or 'for zealous-virtue, Still odious to the monarch or the people.

('.(/'. Such are the woes, when arbitrary power, And lawless .(Mission, hold the sword of justice. If there be any land, as lame reports, Where common laws restrain the prince and

subject, A happy land, where circulating power Flows through each member ot the embodied

state; Sure, not unconscious of the mighty blessing, Her grateful sons shine bright with every virtue; Untainted with the lust of innovation, Sure all unite to hold her league of rule

Unbrokon as the sacred chain of nature,
That links the jarring dements in peace.

Leon. But say, great l'.assa, why tlie Sultan's
anger,
Burning in vain, delays the stroke of death?
Call Young, and unsettled in his father's king-
doms,
Fierce as he was, he dreaded to destroy
The empire's darling, and the soldier's boast;
But now confirmed, and swelling with his con-
quests,
Secure he tramples ray declining fame,
Frowns unrestrained, and dooms we with his
eyes.
Dem. What can reverse thy doom?
Villi. The tyrant's death.
thin. But Greece is still forgot.
Cali. On Asia's coast,
Which lately blessed my gentle government,
Soon as the sultan's unexpected fate
Fills all the astonished empire with confusion,
My policy shall raise an easy throne;
The Turkish powers from Europe shall retreat,
And harass Greece no more with wasteful war.
A galley manned with Greeks,—thy charge, Le-
on tins,—
Attends to waft us to repose and safety.

Dent. That ^vessel, if observed, alarms the court, And gives a thousand fatal questions birth; Why .stored for flight? and why prepared by Cali? Cali. This hour I'll beg, with .unsuspecting . fo.ee, Leave to perform my pilgrimage to Mecca; Which, .granted,. hides my purpose from the

world, And, though refused, conceals it from the, sultan.

Jjcob. hlow can a single linnd attempt a life, Which armies guard, and citadels inclose? Cali. Forgetful of command, with captive beauties, Far from his .troops, ho. toys his hours away. A roving soldier seized >in Sophia's temple A virgin, shining with distinguished charms, And brought his beauteous plunder to the sultan. Dem. In Sophia's temple!—What alarm !—

Cali. The sultan gazed, he wondered, and.hc loved; In passion lost, he hide the conquering fault enounce her faith, and be the queen of Turkey; The pious maid, with modest indignation, Threw back the glittering bribe.

Dem. Celestial goodness!
It must, it must be she!—Her nave?

Cali. Aspasia.

Dem. What hopes, what terrors rush upon my soul! O lead me quickly to the scene of fate; Break through the politician's tedious forms! Aspasia calls me, let me fly to save her.

Leon. Did Mahomet reproach or praise her virtue?

Cali. His offers oft repeated, still refused,

At length rekindled his accustomed fury,

And changed the endearing smile and amorous

whisper To threats of torture, death, and violation.

Dem. These tedious narratives of frozen age Distract my soul! dispatch thy lingering tale; Say, did a voice from Heaven restrain the tyrant? Did interposing angels guard her from liiiii?

Cali. Just in the moment of impending fate, Another plunderer brought the bright Irene; Of equal beauty, but of softer mien, ,

Fear in her eye, submission on her tongue,
Her mournful charms attracted hi» regards,
Disarmed his rage, and in repeated visits
Gained all his heart; at length bis eager love
To her transferred the oiler of a crown.

Leon. Nor found again the bright temptation
fail?
Cali. Trembling to grant, nor daring to refute
While Heaven and Mahomet divide her fears,
With coy caresses and with pleasing wiles
She feeds his hopes, and soothes him to delay.
For her, repose is banished from the night,
And business from thc.day. in her apartments
He lives-

Leon. And there must fall.

Cali. But yet t^q;attanipt Is hazardous.

Leon. Forbear to speak of hazards! What has the wretch that.lias survived his coun

.try, His friends, his liberty, to hazard?

Cali. Life.

Dem. The inestimable privilege of breathing! 'Important hazard! What s tlmt airy bubble, When weighed with Greece, with virtue, with

Aspasia? A floating atom, dust that falls unheeded Into the adverse scale, nor shakes tin: balance.

Cali. At least tin's, day be {caiuin—r-jf we succeed, Aspasia's thine, and all thy life is rapture— Sec! Mustapha, .the tyrant's rmwon eonjes. Invest Lcontius with his now command; And wait AbdaUa's unsuspected ^visits: Remember freedom, glory, Greece, and love.

[Exeunt Dem. mid L i :■ >\.

Enter Mustapha.

Mas. By what:encbaftUncnt does tliis. lovely Greek Hold in her chains the captivated suknn? He tires his favourites with Irene's pause, And seeks the shades to muse upon Irene; Irene steals unheeded from his tongue, And mingles unperceived with every thought.

Cali. Why should the sultan shun the joys of beauty, Or arm his breast against the force of love? Love, tliat with sweet vicissitude relieves The warrior's labours, and the monarch's cares. But will she yet receive the faith of Mecca?

ATus. Those powerful tyrants of the female breast, Fear and ambition, urge her to compliance;

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