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I'll rush, and strike before their blow can fall.
Euxus. Shall join you at the gate. The word ?
[Exeunt LYSANDER and EUXUS.
AMPHARES and the Ephori with the Officers, &c.
The gate of the prison seen at a distance.
1. Epho. The hour is past.
Amph. Silence. He comes.
Enter a Spartan. Agis following:
Amph. To thy death.
Agis. I am betray'd! What mockery is this
Amph. The licence of thy tongue affronts the
laws, Where awful rev'rence our high office bears. Agis. Know ye not this, ye guardians of the
laws, The meanest citizen of Lacedæmon Without free trial cannot be condemn’d; Much less your king. What law have I trans
gress'd ? Point out my crime ; produce my bold accusers.
Amph. Thy crime is tyranny.
Agis. Is that my crime ?
Amph. Behold the stubborn spirit of this man :
Agis. Who made you judges of the life of Agis? But you have judged : yourselves, and earth, and
Amph. Proceeds this boldness from thy trust in
him ? Thy great avenger is, like thee, a captive, And under the same mortal sentence lies.
Agis. Ye powers above ! Lysander too a captive! Where was he taken?
Amyh. In the streets of Sparta,
Agis. Alas! alas ! Lysander ! O my friend !
Sparta, And, like the parent bird hov’ring too near Its captive young, thy noble life is lost ! Forgive these tears, my country! Agis weeps For thee. Alas! thy brave defender's gone ! O Lacedæmon, thou art fall’n for ever! Thy bad estate shall every day grow worse ; Successive tyrants shall exhaust thy strength, Till all thy generous youths have bled in vain ; At last the consummation of thy woes Shall come upon thee ; some ambitious foe Shall stretch the iron arm of conquest forth, And grasp thee in the circle of his empire. My native land, the kingdom of my fathers,
Shall be no more a nation ! O my country,
Agis. Ha! No more
i Epho. Thou tempt'st thy fate.
Agis. I scorn it. Since my hope
1 Epho. To reason hearken.
Agis. Reason bids me die,