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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

too:

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

Amphares.

Add that to the offences I forgive.
It is the sacred maxim of my reign,
That in a prince's consecrated breast
Revenge and anger should not long remain.
These passions in a king afflict the state,
By driving rash offenders to despair.
This day decides your character with me.
Now let your actions prove your words sincere.

Amph. No other terms I ask, and sure I am Ne'er shall Amphares need again forgiveness.

{Exit Amphares.

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

design.

Age has not changed the tenor of my mind,
Nor pall'd my admiration of true glory.
Sprung, like thy father, from Alcides' blood,

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.

[Exit Agesistrata.

Agis alone.

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.
With Sparta too> I would be proud to rise,
And gain such glory as my fathers gain'd,
When Persia's tyrant trembled at their arms.
If in this just ambition I should perish,
My name shall go to nations yet unborn.
But I must change my strain: Euanthe comes.
Alas! Lysander, led by love and thee,
She left her Athens for this land of broils.

Enter Euanthe.

Euan. No tidings from the camp?

Agis. None, fair Euanthe.
If we had lost the field, the flying rout
Ere this had reach'd our gates.

Euan. Oh! many a dame,
Matron and virgin, tremble at this hour;
But who has cause like mine? The most forlorn
And desolate of women is Euanthe!
If

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,
Ne'er shall your eyes again behold Lysander.
Disdain in him is fatal as despair.

Agis. When he returns victorious from the field,
Then shall he hear who best has spoke his praise.
But I must leave you now: The senate waits me.
Hereafter we shall speak of this, and smile;
Like mariners who on the peaceful shore
Sit, and with pleasure talk of tempests past.

[Exit Agis.

Euanthe alone.

This stedfast ease is all assumed, I see;
He staggers at the imminent event.
How dreadful is this interval to me,
Who am bereft and destitute of all
Those aids that stay affliction; and must bear
The weight of woe that's heavier every hour.
The queen, the generous Agis too, discharge
The dues of kindred with unfeigned love.
But our acquaintance is not old enough
To yield a ripen'd sympathy, whose taste
Alone can comfort such a mind as mine.
Yet I repent me not, in this extreme,

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