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DRAMATIS PERSONS

Agis, King of Sparta.
Lysander,

Amphaees,

Spartans*

Rhesus, . .

Euxus, I Thracwns.

Agesistrata, Mother of Agis.

Sandane, Queen to Leonidas, the exiled King*

Euanthe, an Athenian Lady.

Senators, Ephori, Messengers.

VOL. L N

A G I S.

ACT I.

SCENE,—A Court and Hall, common to the Palaces of the Kings of Sparta.

Enter Sandane, attended.

San. Hasten, Orontes, to the Senate-house, And learn if rumour's voice has spoke the truth.

[Exit Attendant.

The adverse fortune of an exiled king
Pursues my lord. Achaia's generous aid
Sustains his cause in vain. Why risk a battle,
When the continuance of defensive war
Secured success and victory in Sparta?
Would I had never left thy splendid court,
Delightful Sardis! to be Sparta's queen.

Enter Amphares.
Welcome, Amphares! Have the armies met?

Amph. They have. This morning, at the break

of day,

The Spartan army charged Achaia's host;
This and no more is known. Suspense and fear
Possess the people; to the gates they run,
Then to their houses: The still whisper spreads
Through justling multitudes the dread alarm.

San. Alas! revenge and empire now depend
On the wild issue of unruly war.
What if the arms of Agis should prevail?

Amph. Although he should, the toils of fate

surround him.

Dauntless and firm our brave associates stand,
And with impatience wait the destined hour
To rush on Agis. This unlook'd-for battle
Is but a solemn prelude to the act,
Which bold conspiracy will soon perform.
This day shall terminate the reign of Agis,
And make, O Queen! all power in Sparta thine.

San. I see that danger only whets the brave. But yet, Amphares, if my lord is vanquished, Will not the conquering army awe the city?

Amph. Agis shall be the surety of our cause, And hostage for our safety, till we wrest The sword from proud Lysander, if he conquers; But that I fear not much. New to command, From idle Athens the mock hero comes, Starts up a soldier, and a statesman too; Each palm he claims: All honours must adorn The chosen friend of visionary Agis.

San. May Mars direct him so to guide the war, As Agis rules the state: And mutiny Prove there as fatal as sedition here!

Amph. This factious state must change its feeble form,

Waver no more beneath a double reign
Of limited, contending, useless kings.
Henceforth one monarch shall in Sparta rule,
As Jove alone in high Olympus reigns.

San. So reign the mighty monarchs of the East;
And such imperial power, I thought, belong'd
To Sparta's king, else I had ne'er been queen.
Young, and deceived, I left my father's court
For Lacedaemon's miserable sceptre.
I did endeavour to extend its sway,
And to ambition roused my Spartan lord.
But the vain pupil of the Grecian schools,

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