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AGESISTRATA, Mother of Agis.
Senators, Ephori, Messengers.
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 vanquish’d, 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,
San. So reign the mighty monarchs of the East ;