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The horrid usage of the sufforing soldier : It would have touch'd your life. O pardon me, But why will not our Theodosius know? Dear prince, my lord, my emperor ! royal master! If you intrust the government to others
Droop not, because I utter'd some rash words, That act these crimes, who but yourself's to And was a madman—by th' immortal gods blame?
I love you as my soul: whate'er I said, Be witness, O ye gods! of my plain dealing, My thoughts were otherwise; believe these tears, Of Marcians honesty, howe'er degraded: Which do not use to flow, all shall be well: I thank you for my banishment; but, alas ! I swear that there are seeds in that sweet temper, My loss is little to what soon will follow; To atone for all the crimes in this bad age. Reflect but on yourself and your own joys: Theo. I thank thee-first for my Eudosia's life: Let not this lethargy for ever hold you.
What, but my love, could have call'd back that 'Twas rumour'd through the city, that you lov’d,
life That your espousals should be solemniz'd; Which thou hast made me hate? But oh, me When on a sudden here you sent your orders
thought That this bright favourite, the lov'd Eudosia, 'Twas hard, dear Marcian, very hard from thee, Should lose her head.
From him I ever reverenc'd as my father, Theo. O heav'n and earth! What say'st thou? To hear so harsh a message -but no more : That I have seal'd the death of my Eudosia? We're friends: Thy hand; nay if thou wilt not Marc. 'Tis your own hand and signet : Yet I
And let me fold my arms about thy neck, Though you have given to female hands your sway, I'll not believe thy love-In this forgive me. And therefore I, as well as the whole army, First let me wed Eudosia, and we'll out; For ever ought to curse all womankind; We will, my general, and make amends Yet, when the virgin came, as she was doom'd, For all that's past --Glory and arms, ye call, And on the scaffold, for that purpose rais’d, And Marcian leads me on. Without the walls appear'd before the army Marc. Let her not rest then,Theo. What! on a scaffold? Ha! before the Espouse her straight ; I'll strike you at a heat; army?
May this great humour get large growth within Marc. How quickly was the tide of fury turn'd
you, To soft compassion and relenting tears! But when And be encourag'd by the embold'ning gods. the axe
O what a sight will this be to the soldier, Sever'd the brightest beauty of the earth To see me bring you, drest in shining armour, From that fair body, had you heard the groan, To head the shouting squadrons 0 ye gods! Which, like a peal of distant thunder, ran Methinks I hear the echoing cries of joy, Through all the armed host, you would have The sound of trumpets, and the beat of drums; thought,
I see each starving soldier bound from earth, By the immediate darkness that fell round us, As if some god by miracle had rais'd him, Whole nature was concern'd at such a suffering, And, with beholding you, grow fat again. And all the gods were angry.
Nothing but gazing eyes, and opening mouths; Theo.. 0 Pulcheria!
Cheeks red with joy, and lifted hands about you: Cruel ambitious sister, this must be
Some wiping the glad tears that trickle down, Thy doing! O support me, noble Marcian! With broken los and with sobbing raptures, Now, now's the time, if thou dar’st strike; behold Crying, to arms! he's come, our emperor's come, I offer thee my breast, with my last breath ; To win the world! Why, is not this far better I'll thank thee too, if now thou draw'st my blood. Than lolling in a lady's lap, and sleeping, Were I to live, thy counsel should direct me; Fasting, or praying? Come, come, you shall be But 'tis too late
(He su oons.
And for Eudosia, she is your's already:
Marcian has said it; sir, she shall be yours. Marc. He faints ! what, hoa there, Lucius ! Theo. O Marcian! oh my brother, father, all! My lord the emperor, Eudosia lives;
Thou best of friends, most faithful counsellor, She's here, or will be in a minute-moment ; I'll find a match for thee too ere I rest, Quick as a thought she calls you to the temple. To make thee love me. For when thou art with Ő Lucius, help] have gone too far-but see,
me, He breathes again-Eudosia has awak'd him. I'm strong and well; but when thou’rt gone, I Theo. Did you not name Eudosia ?
am nothing. Marc. Yes, she lives; I did but feign the story of her death,
Enter ATHENAIS meeting THEODOSIUS. To find how near you plac'd her to your heart; Theo. Alas, Eudosia! tell me what to say ; And may the gods rain all their plagues upon me, For my full heart can scarce bring forth a word If ever I rebuke you thụs again :
Of that which I have sworn to see perform’d. Yet 'tis most certain that you sign’d her death, Athen. I am perfectly obedient to your pleaNot knowing what the wise Pulcheria offer'd, Who left it in my hand to startle you:
Theo. Well then I come to tell thee, that l'aBut, hy my life and fame, I did not think
Of all mankind, is nearest to my heart;
Athen. Rise, rise, my lord, let me entreat you I love him, dear Eudosia; and to prove That love on trial, all my blood's too little; I will not hear you in that humble posture : Er'n thee, if I were sure to die this moment, Rise, or I must withdraw. The world will blush (As heav'n alone can tell how far my fate For you and me, should
it behold a prince, Is off) O thou, my soul's most tender joy, Sprung from inimortal Cyrus, on his knees With my last breath I would bequeath him thee. Before the daughter of a
poor philosopher. Athen. Then you are pleased, my lord, to yield Vara. 'Tis just, ye righteous gods! my doom
me to him? Theo. No, my Eudosia ; no, I will not yield Nor will I strive to deprecate her anger. thee,
If possible, I'll aggravate my crimes, While I have life; for worlds I will not yield | That she may rage till she has broke my heart: thee :
'Tis all I now desire, and let the gods, Yet, thus far I am engag’d to let thee know, Those cruel gods that join to my undoing, He loves thee, Athenais, more than ever, Be witnesses to this unnatural wish, He languishes, despairs, and dies like me; Is to fall dead without a wound before her. .' And I have pass’d my word that he shall see thee. Athen. O ye known sounds! But I must steel Athen. Ah, sir, what have you 'done against
Methinks these robes, my Delia, are too heavy. And me! Why have you past your fatal word? Vura. Not worth a word, a look, nor one regards Why will you trust me, who am now afraid Is then the nature of my fault so heinous, To trust myself? Why do you leave me naked That, when I come to take my eternal leave, To an assault, who had made proof my virtue, You'll not vouchsafe to view me? This is scorn With this sure guard, never to see him more? Which the fair soul of gentle Athenais For, oh! with trembling agonies I speak it, Would ne'er have harbour'd. I cannot see a prince wbom once I lov'd, 0, for the sake of him, whom you ere long Bath'd in his grief, and gasping at my feet, Shall hold as fast as now your wishes form him, In all the violent trances of despair,
Give me a patient hearing; for however
Theo. O ye severer pow'rs! too cruel fate ! I would deliberate with my fate awhile ;
With snatching glances eye thee to the last; Yet, Athenais, still I trust thy virtue ;
Pause o'er a loss like that of Athenais, But if thy bleeding heart cannot refrain,
And parley with my ruin. Give, give thyself away; yet still remember, Athen. Speak, my lord; That moment Theodosius is no more.
To hear you is the emperor's command, (Erit Theo. with Artic. Pulc. LEON. And for that cause I readily obey. Athen. Now glory, now, if ever thou didst Vara. The emperor, the emperor's command, work
And for that cause she readily obeys ! In woman's mind, assist me.Oh, my heart ! I thank you, madam, that on any terms Why dost thou throb, as if thou wer't a-breaking? You condescend to hear me. Down, down, I say; think on thy injuries, Know then, Eudosia,-ah, rather let me call thee Thy wrongs, thy wrongs!—'Tis well my eyes are By the lov'd name of Athenais still ! dry,
That name that I so often have invok'd, And all within my bosom now is still.
And which was once auspicious to my vows,
So oft at midnight sigh'd amongst the groves, Enter VARANES, leaning on ARANTHES. The river's murmur and the echo's burden, Ha! is this he! or is't Varanes' ghost?
Which every bird could sing, and wind did bear; He looks as if he had bespoke his grave, By that dear name, I make this protestation, Trembling and pale; I must not dare to view By all that's good on earth, or blest in heaven, him;
I swear I love thee more, far more than ever; For, oh! I feel his melancholy here,
With conscious blushes too, here, help me, gods! And fear I shall too soon partake his sickness. Help me to tell her, though to my confusion,
Vura. Thus to the angry gods offending mortals, and everlasting shame, yet I must tell her, Made sensible by some severe affliction
I lay. the Persian crown before her feet. How all their crimes are register'd in heaven, Athen. My lord, I thank you, and to express In that nice court, how no rash word escapes,
those thanks But ev'n extravagant thoughts are all set down; As nobly as you offer 'em, I return Thus the poor penitents with fear approach The gift you make ; nor will I now upbraid you The reverend shrines, and thus for mercy bow; With the example of the emp’ror;
(Kneels. Not but I know 'tis that that draws you on, Thus melting too, they wash the hallowed earth, Thus to descend beneath your majesty, And groan to be forgiven.
And swell the daughter of a poor philosopher 0 empress! 0 Eudosia! such you are now,
With hopes of being great. are your titles, and must I not dare Varu. Ah, madam! ah, you wrong me; by the you Athenais more.
I had repented ere I knew the emperor I'll leave my shroud, and wake from death to Athen. You find, perhaps, too late, that Athe
thank thee. nais,
Athen. He shakes my resolution from the botHowever slighted for her birth and fortune,
tom: Has something in her person and her virtue, My bleeding heart too speaks in his behalf, Worth the regard of emperors themselves; And says my virtue has been too severe. And, to return the compliment you gave
Vura. Farewell, O empress! No Athenais My father, Leontine, that poor philosopher,
now; Whose utmost glory is to have been your tutor, I will not call thee by that tender name, I here protest, by virtue and by glory,
Since cold despair begins to freeze my bosom, I swear by heaven and all the powers divine, And all my pow'rs are now resolvid on death. Th’ abandon's daughter of that poor old man 'Tis said, that from my youth I have been rash, Shall ne'er be seated on the throne of Cyrus. Choleric, and hot; but let the gods now judge Vara. O death to all my hopes ! what hast By my last wish, if ever patient man thou sworn
Did calmly bear so great a loss as mine; To turn me wild ? Ah cursed throne of Cyrus, Since 'tis so doom'd by fate you must be wedded, Would thou had’st been o'erturn’d and said in for your own peace, when I am laid in earth, dust,
Forget that e'er Varanes had a being; His crown too thunderstruck, my father, all Turn all your soul to Theodosius' bosom :The Persian race, like poor Darius, ruin'd, Continue, gods, their days, and make 'em long: Blotted, and swept for ever from the world, Lucina wait upon their fruitful Hymen, When first ambition blasted thy remembrance ! | And many children, beauteous as the mother, Athen. O heaven! I had forgot the base af- And pious as the father, make 'em smile! front
Athen. O heav'ns! Offer'd by this proud man; a wrong so great, Vara. Farewell—I'll trouble you no more: It is remov'd beyond all hope of mercy:
The malady that's lodg'd within grows stronger; He had design’d to bribe my father's virtue, I feel the shock of my approaching fate: And by unlawful means
My heart too trembles at his distant march; Fly from my sight, lest I become a fury,
Nor can I utter more, if you should ask me. And break those rules of temperance I propos’d; Thy arm, Aranthes!—o'farewell for ever! Fly, fly, Varanies ! fly this sacred place,
Athen. Varancs, stay; and ere you go for ever, Where virtue and religion are profess'd : Let me unfold my heart. This city will not harbour infidels,
Vara. O Athenais!
What further cruelty hast thou in store
Athen. Since it is doom'd In foreign courts thou'lt find a thousand beau- That we must part, let's part as lovers should, ties
As those that have lov'd long, and lov'd well. That will comply for gold—for gold they'll weep, Vara, Art thou so good? 0 Athenais, oh! For gold be fond as Athenais was,
Athen. First, froin my soul I pity and forgive And charm thee still as if they lov'd indeed.
you; Thou'lt find enough companions too for riot, I pardon you that little hasty error, Luxuriant all, and royal as thyself,
Which yet has been the cause of both our ruins: Though thy loud vices should resound to heav'n. And let this sorrow witness for my heart Art thou not gone yet?
How eagerly I wish it had not been; Vara. No, I am charm’d to hear you : And since I cannot keep it, take it all
, O from my soul, I do confess myself
Take all the love, O prince! I ever bore you: The very blot of honour-I am more black Or, if 'tis possible, I'll give you more;
han thou, in all thy heat of just revenge, Your noble carriage forces this confession: With all thy glorious eloquence, canst make me. I rage, I burn, I bleed, I die for love! Athen. Away, Varanes.
I am distracted with this world of passion. Vara. Yes, madam, I am going
Vara. Gods! cruel gods ! take notice I forNay, by the gods, I do not ask thce pardon,
give you. Nor while I live will I implore thy mercy ;
Athen. Alas! my lord, my weaker tender sex But when I am dead, if, as thou dost return Has not your manly patience, cannot curb With happy Theodosius from the temple This fury in; therefore I let it loose; If, as thou go'st in triumph through the streets, Spite of my rigid duty, I will speak Thou chance to meet the cold Varanes there, With all the dearness of a dying lover. Borne by his friends to his eternal home, Farewell, most lovely, and most lov'd of men. Stop then, O Athenais ! and behold me; Why comes this dying paleness o'er thy face? Say, as thou hang’st about the emp’ror's neck, Why wander thus thy eyes? Why dost thou bend Alas! my lord! this sight is worth our pity. As if the fatal weight of death were on thee: If to those pitying words you add a tear,
Vura. Speak yet a little more; for, by the godsy. Or give one parting groan -If possible, And as I prize those blessed happy moments, If the good gods will grant my soul the freedom, ' I swear, 0 Athenais ! all is well:
O never better!
You say, you swear, you love me more than ever ; Athen. I doubt thee, dear Varanes;
Yet I must see you married to another : Yet, if thou dy'st, I shall not long be from thee. Can there be any plague or hell like this! Once more farewell, and take these last embraces. O Athenais ! whither shall I turn me? Oh! I could crush him to my heart! Farewell; You've brought me back to life; but, oh! what life? And as a dying pledge of my last love,
To a life more terrible than a thousand deaths. Take this, which all thy prayers could never Like one that had been buried in a trance, charm.
[Embraces him. With racking starts he wakes, and gazes round, What have I done? Oh lead me, lead me, Delia! Forc'd by despair his whirling limbs to wound, Ah, prince, farewell! angels protect and guard thee. And bellow like a spirit under ground;
Vara. Turn back, O Athenais, and behold me! Still urg'd by fate, to turn, to toss and rave, Hear my last words, and then farewell for ever! Tormented, dash'd, and broken in the grave. Thou hast undone me more by this confession:
Why should the heavenly powers persuadę
Poor mortals to believe
That they guard us here,
And rewurd us there, ed; DELIA. A Table with a Bowl of Poison.
Yet all our joys deceive ? Athen. A midnight marriage ! Must I to the temple
Her poignard then she took,
And with a dying look,
Philander, ah, my love, I come, Delia. The emp'ror, in compassion to the To meet thy shade below, prince,
Ah, I come! she cry'd,
With a wound so wide,
[Erit Del. Ran streaming down the floor ; So, now I am alone; yet my soul shakes;
Unmou'd she saw the flood, For where this dreadful draught may carry me
And blest her dying hour : The heavens can only tell ; yet I am resolv'd
Philander! Ah, Philander! still To drink it off in spite of consequence.
The bleeding Phillis cry'd; Whisper him, O some angel! what I'm doing ;
She wept a while, By sympathy of soul let him too tremble
And forc'd a smile, To hear my wond’rous faith, my wond'rous love,
Then clos'd her eyes and died.
Pulch. How fares my dear Eudosia? Ha! thou To mount and dare as never woman dar'd. 'Tis done-haste, Delia, haste !-come bring thy or else the tapers cheat my sight, like one lute,
That's fitter for thy tomb than Cæsar's bed: And sing my waftage to immortal joys.
A fatal sorrow dims thy shaded eyes, Methinks I can but smile at my own bravery! And, in despite of all thy ornaments, Thus from my lowest fortune rais'd to empire,
Thou seem'st to me the ghost of Athenais. Crown'd and adorn’d, worship'd by half the earth,
Athen. And what's the punishment, my dear While a young monarch dies for my embraces;
Pulcheria, Yet now to wave the glories of the world, What torments are allotted those sad spirits, O, my Varanes! though my birth's unequal,
Who, groaning with the burden of despair, My virtue sure has richly recompenc'd,
No longer will endure the cares of life, And quite outgone example!
But boldly set themselves at liberty,
Through the dark caves of death to wander 0:1, SONG,
Like wilder'd travellers, without a guide,
Eternal rovers in the gloomy maze,
Where scarce the twilight of an infant moon,
By a faint glimmer checquering through the trees, Alas ! 'tis all too late,
Reflects to dismal view the walking ghosts, Philander to restore !
And never hope to reach the blessed fields?
Pulch. No more of that; Atticus shall resolve Through the vast shades where I am doom'd to thee :
go; But see, he waits thee from the emperor ; Nor shall I need a violence to wound, Thy father too attends.
The storm is here that drives me on the ground;
Sure means to make the soul and body part, Enter LEONTINE, ATTICUS, &c. A burning fever, and a broken heart. Leont. Come, Athenais-Ha! what now! in What, hoa, Aranthes!.
tears? O fall of honour ! but no more, I charge thee,
Aran. You did, my lord; but, oh!
Of this bad world, and now am past all fear. And lie within his arms.
O ye avenging gods! is there a plague Athen. Yes, sir, I'll go;
Among your hoarded bolts and heaps of vengeance Let me but dry my eyes, and I will go :
Beyond the mighty loss of Athenais ? Eudosia, this unhappy bride, shall go
'Tis contradiction-Speak, then speak, Aranthes; Thus like a victim crown's and doom'd to bleed, For all misfortunes, if compard with that, I'll wait you to the altar, wed the emp'ror, Will make Varanes smile. And, if he pleases, lie within his arms.
Aran. My lord, the empress, Leont. Thou art my child again.
Crown'd and adorn'd with the imperial robes, Athen. But do not, sir, imagine that any charms At this dead time of night, with silent pomp, Or threat'nings shall compel me
As they design'd from all to keep it secret, Never to think of poor Varanes more:
But chiefly sure from you; I say, the empress No, my Varanes! no
Is now conducted by the general, While I have breath, I will remember thec; Atticus, and her father, to the temple, To thee alone I will my thoughts confine, There to espouse the emperor Theodosius. And all my meditations shall be thine:
Vara. Say'st thou? Is't certain? ha ! The image of thy woes my soul shall fill,
Aran. Most certain, sir. I saw 'em in procese Fate and my end, and thy remembrance still.
sion. As in some pop'lar shade the nightingale,
Vara. Give me thy sword. Malicious fate! 0 With piercing inoans, does her lost young bewail,
fortune! Which the rough hind, observing as they lay O giddy chance! O turn of love and greatness! Warm in their downy nest, had stolen away; Married-she has kept her promise now indeed; But she in mournful sounds does still complain, And, oh! her pointed fame and nice revenge Sings all the night, though all her songs are vain, Have reach'd their end. No, Aranthes, no; And still renews her miserable strain :
I will not stay the lazy execution So, my Varanes, 'till my death comes on, Of a slow fever. Give me thy hand, and swear Shall sad Eudosia thy dear loss bemoan. By all the love and duty that thou ow'st me,
(Exeunt. | To observe the last commands that I shall give
thee; SCENE II.
Stir not against my purpose, as thou fear'st
My anger and disdain ; nor dare t'oppose me Enter VARANES.
With troublesome unnecessary formal reasons; Vara. 'Tis night, dead night, and weary Na- For what my thought has doom'd, my hand shall ture lies
seal. So fast, as if she never were to risc;
I charge thee hold it stedfast to my heart, No breath of wind now whispers through the Fix'd as the fate that throws me on the point. trees,
Though I have liv'd a Persian, I will fall
Aran. What you command is terrible but saNor bay the ghosts that glide with horror by,
Vara. I charge thee, not;
And say, why! why, do my eyes run o'er?