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I'll rush, and strike before their blow can fall.
I'll storm the city while they force the camp.
Your troops-

Euxus. Shall join you at the gate. The word ?
Lysan. Agis. Farewell !—Now I shall save thee,

Agis,
Or leave my blood upon the stones of Sparta.

[Exeunt LYSANDER and EUXUS.

ACT V.

AMPHARES and the Ephori with the Officers, &c.

The gate of the prison seen at a distance.

1. Epho. The hour is past.
2. Epho. I fear-

Amph. Silence. He comes.
I hear the steps of wary treading feet.

Enter a Spartan. Agis following:
Agis. This way conducts not to Amycla's gate.
Ah! whither dost thou lead me?

Amph. To thy death.
The Ephori of Sparta have condemn’d thee.

Agis. I am betray'd! What mockery is this
Of sacred justice ? Lay aside the robes
And ensigns of authority prophaned :
The pomp of magistracy suits not treason.

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 ?
Had Agis been a tyrant, thou had'st been
His fawning slave, thou enemy of freedom !

Amph. Behold the stubborn spirit of this man :
He breathes his native arrogance, and still
Insults his judges, and avows his crimes.

Agis. Who made you judges of the life of Agis? But you have judged : yourselves, and earth, and

· heav'n,
Know how unjustly. To the gods above,
The sure avengers of a murder'd king,
I make my last appeal. Their messenger
Is on the wing ; Lysander comes apace ;
And Nemesis directs his righteous sword.

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,
Clad in the servile garment of a Helot.

Agis. Alas! alas ! Lysander ! O my friend !
Thy love for me, thy generous, fearless love,
Has wrought thy fall. For me thou camest to

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,
How irretrievable is thy condition !
The Macedonian vulture hovers o'er thee,
Soon to descend, and on thy vitals prey.
Amph. Thou may'st delay, perhaps avoid, thy

death.
Send forth thy mandate to the royal band
To halt till further orders.

Agis. Ha! No more
I trust thee, traitor. Would I had ever been
Thus deaf to thee! No, let the royal band
Revenge their gallant leader and their king.

i Epho. Thou tempt'st thy fate.

Agis. I scorn it. Since my hope
Of Sparta's lost, and my beloved friend
Has perish'd in my cause, why should I live ?
In any period of my former days
I rather would have chose to die attempting
The glorious design, which you have ruin’d,
Than live the prince of a degenerate people,
The tame spectator of a falling empire.

1 Epho. To reason hearken.

Agis. Reason bids me die,
As I have lived, unalter'd in my love
To Sparta, and unconquer'd in my purpose.

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