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Say with my latest gasp I groan'd for pardon. I say I lov'd you, and I love you still,
Just here, my friend; hold fast, and fix the sword; More than my life, and equal to my glory.
I feel the art'ry where the life-blood lies; Methinks the warring spirit that inspires
It heaves against the point-Now, O ye gods ! This frame, the very genius of old Rome,
If for the greatly wrotched you have room, That makes me talk without the fear of death,
Prepare my place; for dauntless, lo, I come. And drives my daring soul to acts of honour,
The force of love thus makes the mortal wound, Flames in your eyes; our thoughts too are akin,
And Athenais sends me to the ground.

Ambitious, fierce, and burn alike for glory.
(Kills himself. Now, by the gods, I lov'd you in your fury,

In all the thunder that quite riv’d my hopes; SCENE III.— The outward part of the Temple. I lov'd you must, ev'n when you did destroy me. Enter PULCHERIA and JULIA at one Door,

Madam, I've spoke my heart, and could say more,

But that I see it grieves you; your high blood MARCIAN and Lucius at another.

Frets at the arrogance and saucy pride Pulch. Look, Julia, see the pensive Marcian Ofthis bold vagabond-May the gods forgive me comes;

Farewell—a worthier general may succeed me; 'Tis to my wish; I must no longer lose him, But none more faithful to the emperor's interest Lest he should leave the court indeed : he looks Than him you are pleas'd to call the traitor As if some mighty secret work'd within him,

Marcian. And labour'd for a vent.-Inspire me, woman! Pulch. Come back ; you've subt’ly play'd your That what my soul desires above the world,

part indeed ; play seem impos'd and forc'd on my affections. For first the emperor, whom you lately school'd, Luc. I say she loves you, and she stays to Restores you your commission ; next commands hear it

you, From your own mouth-Now, in the name of all As you're a subject, not to leave the court; The gods at once, my lord, why are you silent? Next,—but, oh heav'n! which way shall I express Take heed, sir, mark your opportunity;

His cruel pleasure, he that is so mild For if the woman lays it in your way,

In all things else, yet obstinate in this, And you o'ersee it, she is lost for ever.

Spite of my tears, my birth, and my disdain, Marc. Madam, I come to take my eternal Commands me, as I dread his high displeasure, leave;

O Marcian! to receive you as my husband. Your doom has banish'd me, and I obey :

Marc. Ha, Lucius! what, what does my fats The court and I shake hands, and now we part,

intend? Never to see each other more; the court

Luc. Pursue her, sir; 'tis as I said; she yields, Where I was born and bred a gentleman, And rages that you follow her no faster. No more, till your illustrious bounty rais'd me, Pulch. Is then at last my great authority And drew the earth-born vapour to the clouds : And my intrusted pow'r declin’d to this? But, as the gods ordain'd it, I have lost, Yet, oh my fate! what way can I avoid it? I know not how, through ignorance, your grace ; He charg'd me straight to wait him to the temple, And now the exhalation of my glory

And there resolve, oh Marcian! on this marriage. Is quite consum'd and vanish'd into air.

Now, generous soldier, as you're truly noble, Pulch. Proceed, sir.

O help me forth, lost in this labyrinth; Marc. Yet let those gods, that doom'd to Help me to loose this more than gordian-knot displease you,

And make me and yourself for ever happy! Be witnesses how much I honour you

Marc. Madam, i'll speak as briefly as I cang Thus, worshipping, I swear by your bright self, And as a soldier ought: the only way I leave this infamous court with more content To help this knot is yet to tie it faster. Than fools and flatt'rers seek it ; but, oh heaven! Since then the emperor has resolv'd you mine, I cannot go, if still your hate pursues me! For which I will for ever thank the gods, Yes, I declare it is impossible

And make this holiday throughout my life, To go to banishment without your pardon. I take him at his word, and claim his promise ; Pulch. You have it, Marcian; is there aught The empire of the world shall not redeem you. beside

Nay, weep not, madam ; though my outside's That you would speak, for I am free to hear?

rough, Marc. Since I shall never see you more, what Yet, by those eyes, your soldier has a heart hinders

Compassionate and tender as a virgin's; But my last words should here protest the truth? Ev'n now it bleeds to see those falling sorrows. Know then, imperial princess, matchless woman! Perhaps this grief may move the emperor Since first you cast your eyes upon my meanness, To a repentance ; coine then to the trial ; Ev'n till you rais'd me to my envy'd height, For by my arms, my life, and dearer honour, I have in secret lov'd you

If you go back, when given me by his hand, Pulch. Is this Marcian?

In distant wars my fate I will deplore, Marc. You frown, but I am still prepar'd for And Marcian's name shall ne'er be heard of





Are these our nuptials? These my promis'd joys? SCENE IV.-The Temple.

Athen. Forgive me, sir, this last respect I per

These sad remains—And oh, thou mighty spirit! TheodosIUS, ATHENAIS; ATTICUS joining their If yet thou art not mingled with the stars, handsMARCIAN, PULCHERIA, LUCIUS, JU

Look down and hear the wretched Athenais ! LIA, DELIA, and LEONTINE.

When thou shalt know, before I gave consent Attic. The more than gordian-knot is ty'd, To this indecent marriage, I had taken

Which Deatl's strong arm shall ne'er divide ; Into my veins a cold and deadly draught,
For when to bliss ye wafted are,

Which soon would render me, alas! unfit
Your spirits shall be wedded there: For the warm joys of an imperial lover,
Waters are lost, and fires will die,

And make me ever thine, yet keep my word But love alone can fute defy.

With Theodosius, wilt thou not forgive me?

Theo. Poison’d to free thee from the emperor! Enter ARANTIEs with the Body of VARANES.

Oh, Athenais! thou hast done a deed Arant. Where is the empress ? Where shall That tears my heart! What have I done against I find Eudosia ?

thee, By fate I'm sent to tell that cruel beauty, That thou should'st brand me thus with infamy She has robb’d the world of fame; her eyes have And everlasting shame? Thou might'st have made given

Thy choice without this cruel act of death; A blast to the big blossom of the war.

I left thee to thy will, and in requital
Behold him there nipp'd in his flow’ry morn, Thou hast murder'd all my fame!
Compelld to break his promise of a day; Athen. O pardon me!
A day that conquest would have made her boast; I lay my dying body at your feet,
Behold her laurel wither'd to the root,

And beg, my lord, with my last sighs intreat you, Canker'd and kill'd by Athenais' scorn.

To impute the fault, if ’tis a fault, to love, Athen. Dead, dead, Varanes!

And the ingratitude of Athenais, Theo. O ye eternal pow'rs

To her too cruel stars. Remember, too, That guide the world ! why do you shock our I beg'd you would not let me see the prince,

Presaging what has happen'd; yet my word, With acts like these, that lay our thoughts in As to our nuptials, was inviolable. dust?

Theo. Ha! she is going see her languishing Forgive me, heaven, this start, or elevate

eyes Imagination more, and make it nothing.

Draw in their beams; the sleep of death is on Alas! alas, Varanes! But speak, Aranthes,

her. The manner of his fate-Groans choke my words, Athen. Farewell, my lord! Alas, alas, Varanes! But speak, and we will answer thee with tears. To embrace thee now is not immodesty; Aran. His fever would, no doubt, by this have Or, if it were, I think my bleeding heart done

Would make me criminal in death to clasp thee,
What some few minutes past his sword perform’d. Break all the tender niceties of honour,
He heard from me your progress to the temple, To fold thee thus, and warm thee into life;
How you design’d at midnight to deceive him, For oh what man, like him, could woman move!
By a clandestine marriage: But, my lord, O prince belov'd! O spirit most divine !
Had you beheld his racks at


Thus, by my death, I give thee all my love, Or had your empress seen him in those torments, And seal my soul and body ever thine.- [Dics

. When from his dying eyes, swoľn to the brim, Theo. o Marcian! O Pulcheria! did not the The big round drops rold down his manly face;

power When from his hallowed brcast a murmuring Whom we adore, plant all his thunderbolts crowd

Against self-murderers, I would perish too; Of groans rush'd forth, and echo'd all is well : But as I am, I swear to leave the empire. Then had you seen him, O ye cruel gods ! To thee, my sister, I bequeath the world, Rush on the sword I held against his breast, And, yet a giit more great, the gallant Marcia. And dye it to the hilt, with these last words- On then, my friend, now shew thy Roman spiri! Bear me to Athenais

As to her sex fair Athenais was, Athen. Give me way, my lord ;

Be thou to thine a pattern of true honour; I have most strictly kept my promise with you: Thus we'll atone for all the present crimes, I am your bride, and you can ask no more, That yet it may be said in after-times, you did, I'm


the power to give; No age with such examples could compare, But here! O here!' on his cold bloody breast, So great, so good, so virtuous, and so fair! Thus let me breathe my last.

[Ercunt omnes Theo. O, empress! what, what can this trans

port mean?

Or, if








your time!

What flocks of critics hover here to-day,
As vultures wait on armies for their prey,
All gaping for the carcase of a play!
With croaking notes they bode some dire event,
And follow dying poets by the scent.
Our's gives himself for gone, you've watch'd
He fights this day unarm’d, without his rhyme ;
And brings a tale which often has been told,
As sad as Dido's, and almost as old.
His bero, whom you wits his bully call,
Bates of his mettle, and scarce rants at all :
He's somewhat lewd, but a well-meaning mind,
Weeps much, fights little, but ts wondrous kind;
In short, a pattern and.companion fit.
For all the keeping Tonies of the pitwe
I could name more: a wife, and mistress too;
Both, (to be plain) too good for most of you,
The wife well-natured, and the mistress true.
Now, poets, if your fame has been his care,
Allow him all the candour you can spare.
A brave man scorns to quarrel once a day,

Like Hectors, in at every party-fray.
Let those find fault whose wit's so very small,
They've need to show that they can think at all:
Errors like straws upon the surface flow;
He who would search for pearls, must dive below,
Fops may have leave to level all they can,
As pigmies would be glad to lop a man.
Half wits are fleas; so little and so light,
We scarce could know they live, but that they

But as the rich, when tired with daily feasts,
For change, become their next poortenant's guests,
Drink hearty draughts of ale from plain brown

bowls, And snatch the homely rasher from the coals; So you, retiring from much better cheer, For once, may venture to do penance here. And since that plenteous autumn now is past, Whose grapes and peaches have indulg'd your

taste, Take in good part, from our poor poet's board, Such rivelled fruits as winter can afford.

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Ps. 344


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and one,

Just breaking on our heads.
SCENE I.— The Temple of Isis.

Ser. Our faint Egyptians pray for Antony,

But in their servile hearts they own Octavius. SERAPION and Myris, Priests of tsis, discovered.

Myr. Why, then, does Antony dream out his Ser. Portents and prodigies are grown so fre


And tempts not fortune for a noble day,
That they have lost their name. Our fruitful Nile which might redeem what Actium lost?
Flowed, ere the wonted season, with a torrent Aler. He thinks 'tis past recovery.
So unexpected, and so wond'rous fierce,

Ser. Yet the foe
That the wild deluge overtook the haste Seems not to press the siege.
Even of the hinds, that watched it. Men and Aler. Oh, there's the wonder.

Mecænas and Agrippa, who can most
Were borne above the tops of trees, that grew With Cæsar, are his foes; his wife Octavia,
On the utmost margin of the water-mark; Driven from his house, solicits her revenge;
Then with so swift an ebb the flood drove back- And Dolabella, who was once his friend,

Upon some private grudge now seeks his ruin; It slipt from underneath the scaly herd : Yet still war seems on either side to sleep. Here monstrous phocæ panted on the shore ; Ser. 'Tis strange, that Antony, for some days Forsaken dolphins there, with their broad tails,

past, Lay lashing the departing waves; hard by theth Has not beheld the face of Cleopatra, Sea-horses, floundering in the slimy mud, But here in Isis' temple lives retired, Tossed up their heads, and dashed the doze about And makes his heart a prey to black despair.. them.

Alex. 'Tis tries and we much fear lie hopet, Enter ALEXAS behind them.

by absence,

To cure his mind of love.
Myr. Avert these omens, Heaven!

Ser. If he be vantuished
Ser. Last night, between the hours of twelve Or make his peace, Egypt is doonred to be

A Roman province, and our plenteous harvests
In a lone aisle of the temple while I walked, Must then redeem the scarceness of their soil.
A whirlwind rose, that, with a violent blast, While Antony stood firin, our Alexandria
Shook all the dome; the doors around me clapt; Rivalled proud Rotne dominion's other seat)
The iron wicket, that defends the vault, And Fortune struins, like a vast Colossus
Where the long race of Ptolemies is taid, Could fix an equal foot of compitenee
Burst open, and disclosed the mighty dead: Ater. Had I my wishi, those tyrants of all na-
From out each monument, in order placed,

ture, An armed ghost starts up the boy-king last Who lord it o'er mankinds should perish, perishi

, Reared his inglorious head: a peal of groans Each by the other's sword; but since our will Then followed, and a lamentable voice Is lainely fullowed by our power, we must Cried, ' Egypt is no more.' My blood ran back, Depend on one, with him to rise or fall. My shaking knees against each other knocked, Ser. How stands the queen affected? On the cold pavement down I fell entranced, Aler. Oh, she doats, And so unfinished left the horrid scene ! She doats. Serapion, on this vanquished man Aler. And dreamt you this, or did invent the And winds herself about his mighty cuins story,

(Shewing himself. Whom, would she yet forsake, yet yield him up, To frighten our Egyptian boys withal,

This hunted prey, to his pursuer's hands, And train them up betimes in fear of priesthood? She might preserve us-all i, buttis in vain

Ser. My lord, I saw you not, Nor meant my words should reach your bars; And makes me use all means to keep him here,

This changes my designs, this blasts my counsels, but what

Whom I could wish divided from her arms I uttered was most true.

Far as the earth's deep centre. Well, you know Aler. A foolish dream,

The state of things; no more of your ill omens Bred from the fumes of indigested feasts And black prognostics; labour to confim And holy luxury.

The people's hearts.
Ser. I know my duty :
This goes no farther.

Enter VENTIDIUS, talking aside with a gentle Aler. 'Tis not fit it should,

man of ANTONY'S. Nor would the times now bear it, were it true. Ser. These Romans will o'erhear us. All southern from yon hills the Roman camp But who's that stranger. by his warlike port, Hangs o'er us black and threatening, like a storm His fierce demeanor, and erected look,

He is of no vulgar note.

Live Antony, and Cleopatra live!
Aler. Oh, 'tis Ventidius,

Be this the general voice sent heaven,
Our emperor's great lieutenant in the past, And every public place repeat this echo.
Who first shewed Rome, that Paithia could be Vent. Fine pageantry!

[Aside. conquered.

Ser. Set out before your doors When Antony returned from Syria last, The images of all your sleeping fathers, He left this man to guard the Roman frontiers. With laurels crowned; with laurels wreathe your Ser. You seem to know him well.

posts, Aler. Too well. I saw him in Cilicia first, And strew with flowers the pavement; let the When Cleopatra there met Antony.

priest A mortal foe he was to us and Egypt;

Do present sacrifice, pour out the wine,
But let me witness to the worth I hate: And call the gods to join with you in gladness.
A braver Roman never drew a sword;

Vent. Curse on the tongue that bids this geFirm to his prince, but as a friend, not slave;

neral joy! He ne'er was of his pleasures, but presides

Can they be friends to Aritony, who revel O'er all his cooler hours, and morning counsels: When Antony's in danger ? Hide, for shame, In short, the plainness, fierceness, rugged virtue You Romans, your great grandsires' images, Of an old true-stampt Roman lives in him. For fear their souls should animate their marbles, His coming bodes, I know not what, of ill To blush at their degenerate progeny, To our affairs. Withdraw, to mark him better, Aler. A tove, which knows no bounds to AnAnd I'1 acquaint you why I sought you here,

tony, And what's our present work.

Would mark the day with honours, when all [They withdraw to a corner of the stage, and

Heaven VENTIDIÚS, with the other, comes forward | Laboured for him, when each propitious star to the front,

Stood wakeful in his orb to watch that hoor, Vent. Not see him, say you?

And shed his better mfluence: her own birth-day I say I must and will

Our queen neglected, like a vulgar fate, Gent. He has commanded,

That passed obscurely by. On pain of death, none should approach his pre- Vena Would it had slept sence.

Divided far from his, till some remote Vent. I bring kim news, will raise his drooping and future age had called it out, to ruin spirits,

Some other prince, not him! Give him new life.

Aler. Your emperor, Gent. He sees not Cleopatra.

Though grown unkind, would bemore gentle than Vent. World he had never seen her! To upbraid my queen for loving him too well

. Gent. He eats not, drinks not, sleeps not, bas Vent. Does the mute sacrifice upbraid the no use

priest? Of any thing but thought; or if he talks He knows him not his executioner. 'Tis to himself, and then tis perfect raving; Oh! she has decked his ruin with her love, Then he defies the world, and bids it pass ;

Led him in golden bands to gaudy slaughter, Sometimes he gnaws his lips, and curses loud And made perdition pleasingshe has left him The boy Octavius, then he draws his mouth The bank of what he was Into a scornful smile, and cries, Take all! I tell thee, eunuch, she has quite unmanned him The world's not worth my care.

Can any Roman see and know him now, Vent. Just, just his nature.

Thus altered, from the lord of half mankind, Virtue's his path, but sometimes 'tis too narrow Unbent, unsinewed, made a woman's

Por his vast soul, and then he starts out wide, Shrunk from the vast extent of all his honours,
And bounds into a vice, that bears him far And crampt within a corner of the world?
From his first course, and plunges him in ills : Ch, Antony !
But when his danger makes him find his fault, Thou bravest soldier, and thou best of friends!
Quick to observe, and full of sharp remorse, Bounteous as nature, next to nature's God?
Me censures eagerly his own misdeeds, Couldst thou but make new worlds, so wouldst
Judging himself with malice to himself,

thou give them,
And not forgiving what as man he did, As bounty were thy being. Rough in battle,
Because his other parts are more than man. As the first Romans when they went to war,
He must not thus be lost.

Yet, after victory, more pittlul (ALEXAS and the priests come forward. Than all their praying virgins left at home! Aler. You have your full instructions; now ad- Aler. Wonld you could add to those more vance ;

shining virtues, Proclaim your orders loudly.

His truth to her, who loves him. Ser. Romans ! Egyptians! hear the queen's Vent. Would I could mor! command;

But wherefore waste I precious hours with thee? Thus Cleopatra bids : Let labour cease; Thou art her darling mischief, her chief engine, To pomp and triumphs give this happy day, Antony's other fate. Go tell thy queen, That gave the world a lord; 'tis Antony's. Ventidius is arrived to end her charme.

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