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Erir. My bosom meets the point, Than Perseus far more welcome to my breast.

Don. Necessity, for gods themselves too strong, Is weaker than thy charms. [Drops the dagger.

Erix. Oh, my Demetrius! [Turns, and goes to a farther part of the stage.

Don. Oh, my Erixene!

[Both silent, weep, and tremble.

Erix. Farewell! [Going.

Dem. Where goest! [Passionately seizing her.

Erix. To seek a friend.

Dem. He's here.

Erix. Yes, Perseus' friend Earth, open and receive me!

Dem. Heaven strike us dead, And save me from a double suicide, And one of tenfold death.—O Jove! 0 Jove!

[Falling on his knees. But I'm distracted. [Suddenly starting up.

What can Jove? Why pray i
What can I pray for?

Erix. For a heart.

Dem. Yes, one, That cannot feel. Mine bleeds at every vein. Who never loved, ne'er suffered; he feels nothing, Who nothing feels but for himself alone; And, when we feel for others, reason reels, O'erloaded, from her path, and man runs mad. As love alone can exquisitely bless, Love only feels the marvellous of pain; Opens new veins of torture in the soul, And wakes the nerve, where agonies are born. E'en Dymas, Perseus, (hearts of adamant!) Might weep these torments of their mortal foe.

Erix. Shall I be less compassionate than they? [Takes up the dagger. What love denied, thine agonies have done,

[Stats herself. Demetrius' sigh outstings the dart of death.

Enter the King, $c.

King. Give my Demetrius to my arms; I call

him To life from death, to transport from despair. Dem. Sec Perseus' wife! [Pointing at Erix.

let Delia tell the rest. Xing. My grief-accustomed heart can guess

too well. Dem. That sight turns all to guilt, but tears

and death. King. Death! Who shall quell false Perseus, now in arms?

Who pour my tempest on the capital?

How shall I sweeten life to thy sad spirit?

I'll quit my throne this hour, and thou shalt reign. Dem. You recommend that death, you would dissuade; Ennobled thus by lame and empire lost, As well as life! Small sacrifice to love.

[Going to stab himself, the king runs to prevent him; but too late. King. Ah, hold! nor strike thy dagger through

my heart 1 Dem. 'Tis my first disobedience, and my last.

[Falls. King. There Philip fell! There Macedon expired! I see the Roman eagle hovering o'er us, And the shaft broke, should bring her to tho ground. [Pointing to Demetrius. Dem. Hear, good Antigonus, my last request: Tell Perseus, if he'll sheath his impious sword Drawn on his father, I'll forgive him all; Though poor Erixene lies bleeding by: Her blood cries vengeance; but my father's^—

peace [Dies.

King. As much his goodness wounds me, as his death. What then are both? 0 Philip, once renowned! Where is the pride of Greece, the dread of Rome, The theme of Athens, the wide world's example, And the god Alexander's rival, now i Even at the foot of fortune's precipice, Where the slave's sigh wafts pity to the prince, And his omnipotence cries out for more I

Ant. As the swoln column of ascending smoke. So solid swells thy grandeur, pigmy man! King. My life's deep tragedy was planned with art, From scene to scene, advancing in distress, Through a sad series, to this dire result; As if the Thracian queen conducted all, And wrote the moral in her children's blood; Which seas might labour to wash out in vain. Hear it, ye nations! distant ages, hear, And learn the dread decrees of Jove to fear! His dread decrees the strictest balance keep; The father groans who made a mother weep; But if no terror for yourselves can move, Tremble, ye parents, for the child ye love; For your Demetrius: mine is doomed to bleed, A guiltless victim, for hjs father's deed.

[Exeunt ornnes.


An epilogue, through custom, is your right, But ne'er, perhaps, was needful till this night; To-night the virtuous falls, the guilty flies, Guilt's dreadful close our narrow scene denies.

In history's authentic record read
What ample vengeance gluts Demetrius' shade:
Vengeance so great, that when his tale is told,
With pity some even Perseus may behold.

Perseus surviv'd, indeed, and fill'd the throne; But ceaseless cares in conquest made him groan. Nor reign'd he long; from Rome swift thunder

flew, And headlong from his throne the tyrant threw: Thrown headlong down, by Rome in triumph led, For this night's deed, his perjur'd bosom bled. His brothers ghost each moment made him start, And all his father's anguish rent his heart. When rob'd in black his children round him

hung, And their rais'd arms in early sorrows wrung; The younger smil'd, unconscious of their woe, At which thy tears, O Rome! began to flow, So sad the scene: what then must Perseus feel, To see Jove's race attend the victor's wheel: To see the slaves of his worst foes increase.

From such a source! an emperor's embrace!

He sicken'd soon to death, and, what is worse,
He well deserv'd and felt the coward's curse;
Unpitied, scorned, insulted his last hour,
Far, far from home, and in a vassal's power:
His pale cheek rested on his shameful chain,
No friend to mourn, no flatterer to feign.
No suit retards, no comfort sooths his doom,
And not one tear bedews a monarch's tomb.
Nor ends it thus—dire vengeance to complete,
His ancient empire, falling, shares his fate.
His throne forgot!—his weeping country chain'd!
And nations ask—Where Alexander reign'd i
As public woes a prince's crimes pursue,
So public blessings are his virtues due.
Shout, Britons, shout! auspicious fortune bless,
And cry, long live—our title to success!






When breathing statues mould'ring waste away,
And tombs, unfaithful to their trust, decay,
The muse recalls the suffering good to fame,
Or wakes the prosp'rous villain into shame:
To the stern tyrant gives fictitious pow'r,
To reign the restless monarch of an hour.
Obedient to her call, this night appears
Groat Herod rising from a length of years;
A name enlarg'd with titles not his own,
(Servile to mount, and savage on the throne:
Whose bold ambition trembling Jewry view'd,
In blood of half her royal race imbru d.
But now reviving in the British scene,
He looks majestic with a milder mien:
His features softcn'd with the deep distress

Of love, made greatly wretched by excess!
From lust of pow'r to jealous fury tost,
We shew the tyrant in the lover lost.

If no compassion, when his crimes are weigh'd,
To his ill-fated fondness must be paid,
Yet see, ye fair! and see with pitying eyes,
The bright afflicted Mariamne rise.
No fancied tale our op'ning scenes disclose,
Historic truth, and swell with real woes.
Awful in virtuous grief the queen appears,
And strong the eloquence of royal tears.
Then let her fate your kind attention raise,
Whose perfect charms were but her second praise:
Beauty and virtue your protection claim;
Give tears to beauty, and to virtue fame.



Herod the Great.

His Young Son.

Pheroras, the King's Brother.

Sohemus, first Minister.

Narbal, a Lord of the Queens Party.

Hazerotii, a young Lord related to the Queen


SAMEAS, the King's Cup-bearer.
FLAMINIUS, a Roman General.



Salome, the King's Sister.

Arsinoe, chief Attendant on the Queen.

Guards, Messengers, Attendants. Scene,A Room of State in Herod's Palace at Jerusalem.




P/icr. The morning in her richest purple rob"d,
Smiles with auspicious lustre on the day,
Which brings my royal brother back from Rhodes,
Confirm'd in empire by the general voice
Of Caesar, and the senate.

Aar. This blest day
In latest annals shall distinguish'd shine,
Sacred to majesty, and dear to love:
The same which saw the royal lovers march
In nuptial pomp, revolving, now restores
Herod to Mariamne, and his crown.

Soh. Fortune at length to merit grows a friend,
Or fate ordain'd the happiest stars to shed
Their influence on his birth: or sure, since Rome,
With civil discord rent, so oft hath changM
Her own great lords, (as bleeding conquest rais'd,
Or sunk the doubtful balance,) we had shar'd
The same vicissitudes of restless pow'r.

Nar. Herod avov/d the dear respect be bore To Antony, and dropp'd a generous tear To grace his ruins.

Pher. Yes, and Ca?sar sat
Pensive and silent; in his anxious breast
Perhaps revolving, that of all his train,
Who proudly wanton in his mounted rays,
Gay flutt'ring insects of a summer noon,
How few would bear the wintry storms of fate!
At length he smiling rose, receiv'd the crown
From Herod's hand, and plac'd it on bis brow;
Crying, shine there! for Caesar cannot find
A worthier head to wear thee.

Soil. From the grace
Of such a victor to receive a crown,
With such peculiar attributes of fame,
Confers more glory than a chronicle
Of scepterM ancestors.

Pher. Narbal, your care
Will sec due honours to the day discharg'd.
Let the shrill trumpet's cheerful note enjoin
A general feast, and joy with loud acclaim
Through all the streets of Solyroa resound:
Let steams of grateful incense cloud the sky,
Till the rich fragrance reach the utmost bounds
Of Herod's empire: let each smiling brow
Wear peaceful olive, whilst the virgin choirs
Warbling his praise, his paths with flow'rs per-
Who guards Judaea with the shield of Rome.

[Exit Nar.

Pheroras and Sohemus.

Sji. My lord, the province you've assign'd

With Narbal's talents; none is better form'd
To gild the pageant of a gaudy day:
He's nobly born, and popularly vain,
Rare tinsel-stuff t'adorn a room of state!
But in the council, where the public care—<—

Pher. In that high sphere you, Sohemus, alone
Must ever shine: and may your wisdom raise
Your master's fortune, to divide the globe
With this new Cxsar; and no longer sway
A short precarious sceptre, which must shake
With each tempestuous gust tliat blows from

Soh. With blushes I must hear you call mei wise, When one impassion'd woman can destroy My surest plans, and with a sigh blow down The firmest fabric of deliberate thought. Heav'ns! that a king consummate for a throne, So wise in council, and so great in arms, Should, after nine long years, remain a slave, Because his wife is fair! What art thou, beauty, Whose charm makes sense and valour grow as

As a blind turtle?

Pher. Is thy wisdom proof
Against the blandishments of warm desire?
It ill defends thee from Arsinoe's charms!
The sullen sweetness of a down-cast eye,
A feign'd unkindness, or a just reproach,
Breath'd in a sigh, and soften'd with a tear,
Would make thy rigid marble melt like snow
On the warm bosom of the youthful spring.

Soh. In thoughtless youth, gay nature gives the
To love, and bids him urge the full career:
But Herod should restrain his head-strong course,
Now reason is mature.

Pher. He never can; For Mariamne with superior charms Triumphs o'er reason; in her look she bears A paradise of ever-blooming sweets: Fair as the first idea beauty prints On the young lover's soul: a winning grace Guides every gesture, and obsequious love Attends on all her steps; for, majesty Streams from her eye to each beholder's heart, And checks the transport which her charms inspire: Who would not live her slave !—Nor is her mind Form'd with inferior elegance !—By her, So absolute in every grace, we guess What essence angels have.

Soh. Who can admire The brightest angel, when his hand unsheaths The vengeful sword, or with dire pestilence Unpeoples nations? If death sits entliron'd In the soft dimple of a damask cheek, He thence can aim his silent dart as sure, As from the wrinkle of a tyrant's frown:

And that's our case! Yet with a lover's eye
You view the gay malignance, that will blast
Both you and all your friends.

Pher. We sure may praise
The snake that glitters in her summer pride,
And yet beware the sting.

Soh. But low in dust
Crush the crown'd basilisk, or else she kills
Whate'er her eye commands.—You need, my

lord, Nq clearer light than this, by which to read The purpose of my soul.

Pher. Though 'tis obscure,
It strikes like lightning that with fear confounds
The pale night-wanderer, whilst it shews the path.
You, Sohemus, have cause to think the queen
Charges the taking off her uncle's head
To your advice; and gladly would atone
Hcrkindred blood with yours: revenge still glows,
Though hid in treacherous embers; and you'll

The dire effect, whene'er occasion breathes
A gale to waken and foment the flame.
But I, unpractis'd in th' intrigues of courts,
And disciplin'd in camps, will not supply
Increase of fuel to these home-bred jars:
I hope the king will see them soon supprest;
Or care succeeding care will ever tread
The circle of his crown.

Soh. If to pursue
The safest measure to secure his throne,
Shall irritate the queen to make me fall
A victim to her rage, the conscious pride
Of having acted what the king ordained,

Enter Messenger with a Letter to PHERORAS.
Will yet support me. 'Tis not worth my care,
Whether the trembling hand of age must shake
From the frail glass my last remaining sand;
Or fortune break the phial, ere the sum
Of half my life is told.

Pher. 'Tis from the king:
A most nnpleasing message for the queen.

Soh. May I, my lord, partake?

Phar. The infant prince Must live an hostage of the league at Rome; Caesar hath sent a minister of trust With guards to wait him. This perhaps the king Hath kept concealed, that his return might calm The afflicted queen, and soften the surprise.

Soh. Names he, my lord, the general to whose care The prince must be consigned?

Pher. Rome could not chuse For that high charge a nobler delegate, Than my Flaminius; for a bolder hand Ne'er flew her conquering eagles at their prey. We in the Parthian wars together learned The rudiments of arms; the summer sun Hath seen our marches measured by his own; In battle so intrepid, that he shewed An appetite of danger; oft I've heard The weary veterans, resting on their spears, Swear by the gods and majesty of Rome, Thcv blushed with indignation to behold

The garland of the war, by partial fate TransferrM from theirs, to grace a stripling's


But I with Narbal will prevail, to impart
This most ungrateful order to the queen.

[Exit Pher.

Salome enters to Sohemus.

Sal. I hope, my lord, young Hazeroth'g affront Will not pass unresented.

Soh. I've dispatched
A message to the king: the account I gave
Imported nothing but severest truth;
Yet wittiest malice scarce could feign a roll
Of keener calumnies.

Sat. He mentioned me?

Soh. Traduced you basely, by the opprobrious name Of Iduma^an spinster, in degree The third descendant of an heathen slave, Who kept Apollo's temple.

Sat. The king's veins Hold the same blood, whatever is the source; And if the wretch survives that vile reproach, The king's a slave indeed. What was your crime?

Soh. He said by my sole counsels were de-
All of the royal Asmonsean race,
Whom justice made the victims of the state:
Whose injured, discontented ghosts too long
Had cried; revenge, but should not cry in vain:
Then half unsheathed his sabre.

Sat. That vain boy
Believes his near relation to the queen
Exempts his haughty youth from all restraint.
He's Mariamne's echo, and repeats
But half her menaces.

&>A. What time more fit
To put her threats in act, than when the king
Flies with redoubled ardour to her arms?
Passion improves with absence; and his heart
So soft and passive to the power of love.
Will then be vacant only to his queen.—
Fortune of late a glorious scene disclos'd.
But soon snatch'd back the visionary joy!

The blissful hour is past Curst, doubly curst

Be this boy-emperor! who tamely spar'd
The warmest friend that Antony could boast.
Had Herod pcrish'd by his vengeful sword,
I soon had sent (for so he left in charge)
His queen, the worshipp'd idol of his soul,
To attend him to the shades.—Clouds of despair
Now terminate our view!

Sal. Can you discern
No glimmering hope? Though dim, the distan

May serve to steer our course.

Soh. The king will send
His son for hostage, to reside in Rome.

Sal. Were triple thunder vollied at the queen.
It could not rend her bleeding bosom more
Than such a message.

Soh. At this little spark,

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