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Amph. The boldness of their hopes their deeds
will prove In the assembly, if Achaia conquer.
Ages. Amphares, say, what is their utmost aim?
Amph. The old dependants of the exiled king, And all the venal members of the state, Won by Sandane's arts and foreign gold, Aim to restore Leonidas, who comes With hostile armies to enslave his country: Therefore Sandane's proffers I rejected, Have warn'd the king, and would have served him
But since resentment and distrust prevent me, Neutral I stand, and will not seek that welcome Which his more artful enemies would give.
Agis. Thou speak'st more boldly than becomes
Add that to the offences I forgive.
Amph. No other terms I ask, and sure I am Ne'er shall Amphares need again forgiveness.
Manent Agis and Agesistrata.
Agis. Well has he judged the season of submission. He will assist us if Lysander conquers.
Ages. May Jove avert the evils which I fear! I dread the ruin of the Spartan state, And fear the downfal of our ancient house. The blackest fury of the Stygian realm, The most destructive, is infernal discord. Bathed in the blood of kings she walks this world, And tumbles states and empires to the ground.
Agis. Nations oft perish by their princes' crime; But now if Sparta's ancient state must fall, Gods and good men shall witness for its king, That he with fate contended for his people, And on the ruins of their virtue fell.
Ages. Think not I mean to blame your high
Age has not changed the tenor of my mind,
I feel the spirit of the Spartan line.
Only let me adjure thee to beware,
And walk with caution through surrounding perils.
Though thou despisest every form of danger,
Think what a helpless train attends on thee!
An aged mother, and an infant son.
Agis. Divine Alcides will protect his race.
Ages. I will invoke the God; in times like these Prayers. are the arms of our defenceless sex. A spotless choir of matrons and of virgins, Who o'er their country mourn, myself will lead To the high temple of the son of Jove. He yet may hear the voice of supplication, And stretch his arm to save the Spartan state.
Agis. Without, the enemy; within, the faction. What should I think? I have a thousand thoughts, That rise and fall like waves upon the shore. I need thee now, Lysander! O my friend! I lean on thee, and thou perhaps art fall'n.— Ye ever-living gods, who know my heart, I trust in you, for righteous are my thoughts,
All bent on raising up long-prostrate Sparta.
Euan. No tidings from the camp?
Agis. None, fair Euanthe.
Euan. Oh! many a dame,
Agis. Small the chance of what Euanthe fears; In the long wars of still-contending Greece Leaders of armies have but rarely fallen.
Euan One thing I know, and with prophetic tongue
I speak it, Prince! if Sparta triumph not,
Agis. When he returns victorious from the field,
This stedfast ease is all assumed, I see;