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[Peeping In at the Stage Door.

Htp! music! music!—Have you more to play?
Somewhat I'll oner—stop your ciit^nt. prey.
Will you permit, and not pronounce me rude,
A bookseller one moment to intrude?
My name is Foolscap:—all my trouble's past,
fortune hath given me a rare helping cast.
To all my toils a wife hath put a Stop:
A devil hint; but now 1 keep a shop.
My master died, poor man! he's out of print!
His widow, she had eyes, and took my hint.
A prey to grief she could not bear to be,
And so turn'd over a new leaf with me.

I drive a trade; have authors in my pay,
Men of all work, per week, per sheet, per day.
Travelers, who not one foreign country know,
And past'ral poets—in the sound of Bow;
Translators, from the Greek they never read;
Cantubs and Sophs, in Covent-Garden bred j
Historians, who can't write, who only take
Scissors and paste; cut, vamp; a book they make.

I've treated for this play; can buy it too, If 1 could learn what you intend to do. If, for nine nights, you'll hear this tragic stuff; I have a ncwspHper, and there can puffi

A newspaper does wonders! none can be In debt, in love, dependent, or quite free; Ugly, or handsome, well, or ill in bed; Single, or married, or olive, or dead, But wc give life, death, virtue, vice, with ease; In short, a newspaper does what we please. There jealous authors at each other bark; -\ Till truth leaves not one glimpse, no, not f

one spark; f

But lies meet lies, and jostle in the dark. )
Our bard within has often felt the dart
Sent from our quiver, levelled at his heart.
I've press'd him, ere he plays this desperate game,
To answer all, and vindicate his name.
But he, convine'd that all but truth must die,
Leaves to its own mortality the lie.
Would any know while parties fight pell mell,
How he employs his pen i—his play will tell.
To that he trusts; that he submits to you,
Aim'd at your tenderest feelings; moral, new.
The scenes, he hopes, will draw the heart-felt

Scenes that come home to every bosom here.
If this will do, I'll run and buy it straight;
Stay, let me see; I think I'd better wait:
Yes, I'll be snug, till you have fix'd its fate.

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Enter Melastho* tad PHTLOTAS.

Melon. Yet, a moment; bear, Philotas, bear me.

PkiL No more; it most not be.

Melon. Obdurate man!
Thus wih thou spurn me, when a king distressed,
A good, a virtuous, venerable king,
The father of his people, from a throne,
Which long, with every virtue be adorned,
Torn by a ruffian, by a tvrant's hand,
Groans in captivity i In his own palace
Lives a sequestered prisoner? On! Philotas,
If tbou hast not renounced humanity,
Let me behold my sovereign; once again
Admit me to his presence; let me see
My royal master.

Phil. Urge thv suit no further;
Thy words are fruitless; Dionysius' orders
Forbid access; be is our sovereign now;
'Tis his to give tLe law, mine to obey.

Melon. Thou can'st not mean it: his to give
the law!
Detested spoiler!—his! a vile usurper!
Have we forgot the elder Dionysius,
Surnamed the tyrant? To Siulia's throne
The monster waded through » bole seas of blood.
Sore groaned the land beneath his iron rod,
Till, roused at length, Ev.inder came from Greece,
Like Freedom's genius came, and sent the tyrant,
Stripped of the crown, and to his humble rank
Once more reduced, to roam, for vile subsistence,
A wandering sophist through the realms of Greece.

Phil. Melanthon, yes: full clearly I remember The splendid day, when all rejoicing Sicily Hailed her deliverer.

Melan. Shall the tyrant's son Deduce a title from the father's guilt? Philotas, thou wert once the friend of goodness; Thou art a Greek; fair Corinth gave thee birth; I marked thy growing youth: I need not tell, With what an equal sway Evandcr reigned, How just, how upright, generous, and good! Prom every region bards and sages came; Whatc'er of science Egypt stored, All that the east had treasured, all that Greece Of moral wisdom taught, and Plato's voice, Was heard in Sicily. Shall Dionysius Extinguish every virtue from the land, Bow to his yoke the necks of freeborn men, And here perpetuate a tyrant's reign?

Phil. Whnte'er his right, to him, in Syracuse, All bend the knee; his the supreme dominion, And death and torment wait his sovereign nod. Melan. But soon that power shall cease: be* hold his walls Now close encircled by the Grecian bands; Timolcon leads them on; indignant Corinth Sends her avenger forth, arrayed in terror,

To hurl ambition from a throne usurped,
And bid all Sicily resume her rights.

Phil. Thou wert a statesman ooce, MeJaatocr,


Grown dim with age, thy eye pervades no more The deep-laid scheme* which Diooyatus plans. Know then, a fleet from Carthage even now Stems the rough billow; and, ere yonder sue, That, now declining, seeks the western wave, Shall to the shades of night re-sign the world, Tbou'lt see the Punk sails in yonder bay, Whose waters wash the walls of Syracuse.

Melan. Art thou a stranger to Timokoa'i name? Intent to plan, and circumspect to see All possible events, he rushes on Resistless in bis course! Your boasted master Scarce stands at bay; each hour the strong blockade Hems him in closer, and, ere loaf, thoult vww Oppression's iron rod to fragments shivered The good Evander then

Phtl. Alas! Evander Will ne'er behold the golden time jroo look fcr!

Melon, How! not behold it! Say, Pnoott, speak; Has the fell tyrant, have his felon murderer?—

PkiL As yet, my friend, Evander lives.

Melan. And yet, Thy dark half-hinted purpose—lead me to bin; If thou hast murdered him

Phtl. By Heaven, he lives!

Melan. Then bless me with one tender interview! Thrice has the sun gone down, since last toes*

eyes Have seen the good old king; say, why is this? Wherefore debarred his presence ? Thee, Phflotas, The troops obey, that guard the royal prisoner, Each avenue to thee is open; thou Can'st grant admittance; let me, let me see bin'

I'in i. Entreat no more; the soul of Dtonystt Is ever wakeful; rent with all the pangs That wait on conscious guilt.

Melan. But when dun night

Phil. Alas! it cannot'be: but mark my words. Let Greece urge on her general assault. Dispatch some friend, who may o'erleap tie

And tell Timoleon, the good old Evander
Has lived three days, by Dionysius' order,
Locked up from every sustenance of nature,
And life, now wearied out, almost expires.

Melan, If any spark of virtue dwells »te-. thee, Lead me, Philotas, lead me to bis prison.

Phil. The tyrant's jealous care hath moua him thence.

Melan, Ha! moved him, sa/st tbou?

Phil. At the midnight hour, Silent conveyed him up the steep ascent, To where the elder Dionysius formed, On the sham summit of the pointed rock, Which overhangs the deep, a dungeon drear: Cell within cell, a labyrinth of horror, Deep caverned in the cliff, where many a wretch, Unseen by mortal eye, has groaned in anguish, And died obscure, unpitied, and unknown.

Melon. Clandestine murderer! Yes, there's the scene Of horrid massacre. Full oft J've walked, When all things lay in sleep and darkness hush'd, Yes, oft I've walked the lonely sullen beach, And heard the mournful sound of many a corse Plunged from the rock into the wave beneath, That murmurs on the shore. And means he thus To end a monarch's life? Oh ! grant my prayer; My timely succour may protect his days; The guard is yours—

Pkil. Forbear; thou plead'st in vain; And though I feel soft pity throbbing here, Though each emotion prompts the generous deed, I must not yield; it were assured destruction. Farewell! dispatch a message to the Greeks; I'll to my station; now thou know'st the worst.


Melon. Oh, lost Evander! Lost Euphrasia too! How will her gentle nature bear the shock Of a dear father, thus in lingering pangs A prey to famine, like the veriest wretch, Whom the hard hand of misery hath griped! In vain she'll rave with impotence of sorrow; Perhaps provoke her fate: Greece arms in vain; All's lost; Evander dies!


Col. Where is the king?
Our troops, that sallied to attack the foe,
Retire disordered; to the eastern gate
The Greeks pursue; Timoleon rides in blood!
Arm, arm, and meet their fury.

Melon. To the citadel
Direct thy footsteps; Dionysius there,
Mar-liul- a chosen band.

Cat. Do thou call forth
Thy hardy veterans; haste, or all is lost! [Exit.

[Warlike music.

Melon. Now, ye just gods ! now look propitious down; Now give the Grecian sabre tenfold edge, And save a virtuous king! [ Warlike music.


Euph. War on, ye heroes, Ye great assertors of a monarch's cause! Let the wild tempest rage. Melanthon, ha! Did'st thou not hear the vast tremendous roar? Down tumbling from its base, the eastern tower Burst on the tyrant's ranks, and on the plain Lies an extended rain.

Melon. Still new horrors Increase each hour, and gather round our heads.

Euph. The glorious tumult lifts my towering
Once more, Melanthon, once again, my father
Shall mount Sicilia's throne.

Melon. Alas! that hour
Would come with joy to every honest heart,
Would shed divinest blessings from its wing;
But no such hour in all the round of time,
I fear, the fates averse will e'er lead on.

Euph. And still, Melanthon, still does pale
Depress thy spirit? Lo! Timoleon comes,
Armed with the power of Greece; the brave,
The just, god-like Timoleon! ardent to redress.
He guides the war, and gains upon his prey.
A little interval shall set the victor
Within our gates triumphant.

Milan. Still my fears Forebode for thee. Would thou had'st left this

place, When hence your husband, the brave Phocion,

fled, Fled with your infant son!

Euph. In duty fixed, Here I remained, while my brave generous

Fled with my child, and from his mother's arms
Bore my sweet little one. Full well thou know'st
The pangs I suffered in that trying moment.
Did I not weep? Did I not rave and shriek,
And by the roots tear my dishevelled hair i
Did I not follow to the sea-beat shore,
Resolved with him, and with my blooming boy,
To trust the winds and waves I

Melon. Deem not, Euphrasia,
I e'er can doubt thy constancy and love.

Euph. Melanthon, how I loved! the gods, wh«
Each secret image that my fancy formed,
The gods can witness how I loved my Phocion.
And yet I went not with him. Could I do it I
Could I desert my father I Could I leave;
The venerable man, who gave me being,
A victim here in Syracuse, nor stay
To watch his fate, to visit his affliction,
To cheer his prison hours, and, with the tear
Of filial virtue, bid even bondage smile?

Melon. The pious act, whate'er the fates intend, Shall merit heart-felt praise.

Euph. Yes, Phocion, go; Go with my child, torn from this matron breast. This breast that still should yield its nurture to

him, Fly with my infant to some happier shore. If he be safe, Euphrasia dies content. Till that sad close of all, the task be mine To tend a father with delighted care, To smooth the pillow of declining age, See him sink gradual into mere decay, On the last verge of life watch every look, Explore each fond unutterable wish, Catch his last breath, and close his eyes in peace.

Melon. I would not add to thy afflictions; yet My heart misgives; Evander's fatal period

Euph. Still is far off; the cods have sent relief, And once again I shall behold him king.

Melon. Alas! those glittering hopes but lend a ray To giW tl>e clouds, that hover o'er jour head, Soon to rain sorrow down, and plunge you deeper In black despair.

Euph. The spirit-stirring virtue, That glows within me, ne^r shall know despair. No, I will trust the gods. Desponding man! Hast thou not heard with what resistless ardour Timoleon drives the ttmmlt of the war? Hast thou not heard him thundering at our

gates? The tyrant's pent up in his last retreat; Anon thou'lt see his battlements in dust, His walls, his ramparts, and his towers in ruin; Destruction pouring in on every side; Pride and oppression at their utmost need; And nought to save him in his hopeless hour.

[jl Jiourtsh of trumpets. Melon. Ha! the fell tyrant comes—Beguile his rage, And o'er your sorrows cast a dawn of gladness.

Enter Dionysius, CALIPPUS, Officers, d/c.

Dion. The vain, presumptuous Greek! his hopes of conquest, Like a gay dream, are vanished into air. Proudly elate, and (lushed with easy triumph O'er vulgar warriors, to the gates of Syracuse He urged the war, till Dionysius' arm Let slaughter loose, and taught his dastard train To seek their safety by inglorious flight.

Euph. O Dionysius, if distracting fears Alarm this throbbing bosom, you will pardon A frail and tender sex. Should ruthless war Roam through our streets, and riot here in blood, Where shall the lost Euphrasia find a shelter? In vain she'll kneel, and clasp the sacred altar.

0 let me, then, in mercy, let me seek

The gloomy mansion, where my father dwells;

1 die content, if in his arms I perish.

Dion. Thou lovely trembler, hush thy fears to rest. The Greek recoils; like the impetuous surge That dashes on the rock, there breaks and loams, And backward rolls into the sea again. All shall be well in-Syracuse: a.flect Appears in view, and brings the chosen sons Of Carthage. From the hill that fronts the main, I saw their canvass swelling with the wind, While on the purple wave the western sun Glanced the remains of day.

Euph. Yet till the fury Of war subside, the wild, the horrid interval, In safety let me sooth to dear delight In a loved father's presence: from his sight, For three long days, with specious feigned excuse Your guards debarred me. Oh! while yet he

lives, JndnlgE a daughter's love: worn 6ut with age, Soon must he seal his eyes in endless night, And with his converse tharin my car no more. >

Lun. Y\ liv thus anticipate misfortune? Still

Evandcr mocks the injuries of time.
Calippus, thou survey the city round;
Station the centhiels, that no surprise
Invade the unguarded works, wlule drowsynight
Weighs down the soldier's eye. Afflicted fair,
Thy couch invites thee. When the tumult's o'er,
Thou'lt see Evandcr with redoubled joy.
Though now, unequal to the cares of empiit,
His age sequester him, yet honours high
Shall gild the evening of his various day.

Euph. For this benignity, accept my thanks.
They gush in tears, and my heart pours its tri-
Dion. Perdiccas, ere the mom's reroivinj
Unveil the face of things, do thou dispatch
A well-oared galley to liamitear'sfleet;
At the north point of yonder promontory,
Let some selected officer instruct him
To moor his ships, and issue on the land.
Then may Timoleon tremble: vengeance,Act,
Shall overwhelm his camp, pursue bis binds,
With fatal havoc, to the ocean's margin,
And cast their limbs to glut the vukire's(as**,
In mangled heaps, upon the naked shore.

. f£xirDlO.\TSR^. Euph. What do I hear? Melanthon, can ibei If Carthage comes, if her perfidious sons List in his cause, the dawn of freedom's gooe. Me tan. Woe, bitterest woe impends; taw

would'st not think— Euph. How ?—Speak! unfold! Melon, My tongue denies its office. Euph. How is my father.' Say, MelinthonAlttan. He,— I fear to shock thee with the tale of horror' Perhaps he dies this moment. Since TimoleM First formed his lines round this beleegooal

No nutriment has touched Evander's lips.
In the deep caverns of the rock imprisoned,
He pines in bitterest want.

Euph. To that abode
Of woe and horror, that last stage of life,
Has the fell tyrant moved him i

Mttan. There sequestered,
Alas! he soon must perish.

Euph. Well, my heart, Well do your vital drops forget to flow! Melan. Enough his sword has reeked <rt" public slaughter; Now, dark insidious deeds must thm mankind. Euph. Oh! night, that oft has heard my »*• cing shrieks Disturb thy awful silence; oft has heard Each stroke these hands, in frantic sorrow, pw> From this sad breast resounding; now now* I mean to vent complaints; I mean not no» With busy memory to retrace the wrongs The tyrant heaped on our devoted nee, I bear it all; with calmest patience bear it, Resigned and wretched, desperate and lost.

Melun. Despair, alas! is all the sad reS*^' Our fate allows as now.

Euph. Yet, why despair?
Is that the tribute to a father due?
Blood Is his due, Mclanthon; yes, the blood,
The vile, black blood, that fills the tyrant's veins,
Would graceful look upon my dagger's point.
Couie, Vengeance, come! shake offthis feeble sex,
Sinew my arm, and guide it to his heart.
And thou, O filial piety! that rtil'st
My woman's breast, turn to vindictive rage;
Assume the port of justice; shew mankind
Tyrannic guilt had never dared in Syracuse,
Beyond the reach of virtue.

Melon. Yet beware;
Controul this frenzy that bears down your rea-
Surrounded by his guards, the tyrant mocks
Your utmost fury; moderate your zeal,
Nor let him hear these transports of the soul,
These wild upbraidings.

Euph. Shall Euphrasia's voice
Be hushed to silence, when a father dies?

Shall not the monster hear his deeds accurst?
Shall he not tremble, when a daughter comes,
Wild with her griefs, and terrible with wrongs.
Fierce in despair, all nature, in her cause,
Alarmed and roused with horror? Yes, Mclan-
The man of blood shall hear me; yes ! my voice
Shall mount aloft upon the whirlwind's wing,
Pierce yon blue vault, and at the throne of Hea-
Call down red vengeance on the murderer's head.
Mclanthon, come; my wrongs will lend me force;
The weakness of my sex is gone; this arm
Feels tenfold strength; this arm shall do a deed
For heaven and earth, for men and gods, to won-
der at!
This arm shall vindicate a father's cause.



SCENE I.—A wild romantic scene amidtt ovtrhunging rocks; a cavern on one tide.

A Was. [Wit A a tpeurin his hand.]

The gloom of night sits heavy on the world;
And o'er the solemn scene such stillness reigns,
As 'twere a pause of nature; on the beach
No murmuring billow breaks; the Grecian tents
Lie sunk in sleep; no gleaming fires are seen;
All Syracuse is hushed; no stir abroad,
Save ever and anon the dashing oar,
Tliat beats the sullen wave. And hark!—Was

The groan of anguish from Evander's cell,
Piercing the midnight gloom ?—It is the sound
Of bustling prows, that cleave the briny deep.
Perhaps, at this dead hour, Hamilcar's fleet
Rides in the bay.

Enlrr Philotas,/»w« the cavern.

Phil. What ho! brave Areas! ho!

Arc. Why thus desert thy couch?

Phil. Methought the sound
Of distant uproar chased affrighted sleep.

Arc. At intervals the oars resounding stroke Comes echoing from the main. Save that report, A death-like silence through the wide expanse Broods o'er the dreary coast.

Phil. Do thou retire,
And seek repose; the duty of thy watch
Is now performed; I take thy post.

Arc. How fares
Your royal prisoner?

Phil. Areas, shall I own A secret weakness? My heart inward melts To see that suffering virtue. On the earth, The cold, damp earth, the royal victim lies; And while pale famine drinks his vital spirit, He welcomes death, and smiles himself to rest.

Oh ! would I could relieve him! Thou withdraw; Thy wearied nature claims repose; and now The watch is mine.

Arc. May no alarm disturb thee. [Exit.

Phil. Some dread event is labouring into birth. At close of day the sullen sky held forth Unerring signals. With disastrous glare The moon's full orb rose crimsoned o'er with

blood; And lo! athwart the gloom a falling star Trails a long tract of fire.—What daring step Sounds on the flinty rock? Stand there! what ho! Speak, ere thou dar'st advance! Unfold thy purpose: Who and what art thou?

Enter Euphrasia, bearing a light in her hand.

Euph. Mine no hostile step;
I bring no valour to alarm thy fears:
It is a friend approaches.

Phil. Ha! what mean
Those plaintive notes?

Euph. Here is no ambushed Greek, No warrior to surprise thee on the watch. An humb'e suppliant comes: Alas! my strength, Exhausted, quite forsakes this weary frame.

Phil. What voice thus piercing through the gloom of night— What art thou? what thy errand ? quickly say What wretch, with what intent, at tlusdeadhour— Wherefore alann'st thou thus our peaceful watch >

Euph. Let no mistrust affright thee—Lo! a wretch, The veriest wretch that ever groaned in anguish, Comes here to grovel on the earth before thee, To tell her sad, sad tale, implore thy aid— For sure the power is thine, thou canst relieve My bleeding heart, and soften all my woes.

PAi/. Ha! sure those accents—

[Takes the light from her.

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