« PreviousContinue »
Say with my latest gasp I groan'd for pardon. I say I lov'd you, and I love you still,
Ambitious, fierce, and burn alike for glory.
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.
Madam, I've spoke my heart, and could say more, Enter PULCHERIA and JULIA at one Door,
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; May 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 me to Help ine 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 iny meanness, To a repentance ; coine then to the trial; Ev’n till you rais’d me to my envy'd height, I have in secret lov'd you
For by my arms, my life, and dearer honour,
If you go back, when given me by his hand,
In distant wars my fate I will deplore,
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,
hands—MARCIAN, 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 Death's strong arm shall ne'er divide; Into my veins a cold and deadly draught,
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
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
relation; 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. - (Dies. When from his dying eyes, swoľn to the brim, Theo. O ́Marcian! O Pulcheria ! did not the The big round drops rolld down his manly face;
power When from his hallowed breast 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 gift more great, the gallant Marciar. And dye it to the hilt, with these last words On then, my friend, now shew thy Roman spirii! 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, Or, if you did, I'm past 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
ALL FOR LOVE;
THE WORLD WELL LOST.
PROLOGUE. What flocks of critics hover here to-day, Like Hectors, in at every party-fray. As vultures wait on armies for their prey, Let those find fault whose wit's so very small, All gaping for the carcase of a play!
They've need to show that they can think at all: With croaking notes they bode some dire event, Errors like straws upon the surface flow; And follow dying poets by the scent.
He who would search for pearls, must dive below, Our's gives himself for gone, you've watch'd Fops may have leave to level all they can,
As pigmies would be glad to lop a man. He fights this day unarm’d, without his rhyme ; Half wits are fleas; so little and so light, And brings a tale which often has been told, We scarce could know they live, but that they As sad as Dido's, and almost as old.
bite. His bere, whom you wits his bully call,
But as the rich, when tired with daily feasts, Bates of his mettle, and scarce rants at all : For change, become their next poor tenant'sguests, He's somewhat lewd, but a well-meaning mind, Drink hearty draughts of ale from plain brown Weeps much, fights little, but ts wondrous kind;
bowls, In short, a pattern and.companion fit.
And snatch the homely rasher from the coals; For all the keeping Tonies of the pito
So you, retiring from much better cheer, I could name more: a wife, and mistress too ; For once, may venture to do penance here. Both, (to be plain) too good for most of you, And since that plenteous autumn now is past, The wife well-natured, and the mistress true. Whose grapes and peaches have indulg'd your Now, poets, if your fame has been his care,
taste, Allow him all the candour you can spare.
Take in good part, from our poor poet's board, A brave man scorns to quarrel once a day, Such rivelled fruits as winter can afford.
Just breaking on our heads.
Ser. Our faint Egyptians pray for Antony,
But in their servile hearts they own Octavius. SERAPION and Myris, Priests of fsis, 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,
Ser. Yet the foe
Mecænas and Agrippa, who can most
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 then Has not beheld the face of Cleopatra, Sea-horses, foundering in the slimy mud, But here in Isis' temple lives retired, Tossed up their leads, and dashred the doze about And makes his heart a prey to black despair.. them.
Alex. 'Tis true; and we much fear he hopes, Enter ALEXAS behind them.
To cure his mind of love. Myr. Avert these omens, Heaven !
Ser. If he be van uished, Ser: Last night, between the hours of twelve Or make his peace, Egipt is doomed 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 firm, our Alexandria Shook all the dome; the doors around
me clapt; Rivalled proud Rome dominion's other stat) The iron wicket, that defends the vault,
And Fortune striding, like a vast Colossus Where the long race of Ptolemies is laid, Could fix an equal foot of empire here. Burst open, and disclosed the mighty dead : Aler. Had I my wish, these tyrants of all naFrom out each monument, in order placed, An armed ghost starts up, the boy-king last Who lord it o'er mankind, should perish, perisli, Reared his
inglorious head: a peal of groans Each by the other's sword; but since our will Then followed, and a lamentable toice
Is lamely followed 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, slie 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 ruins, 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, but "tis in vainSer. My lord, i saw you not,
This changes my designs, this blasts my counsels, Nor meant my words should reach your ears; And makes me use all means to keep him here, 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
The people's hearts.
Enter VENTIDIUS, talking aside with a gentle Aler. 'Tis not åt it should,
man vf 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 up to heaven, Our emperor's great lieutenant in the past, And every public place repeat this echo. Who first shewed Rome, that Partlúa could be Vent. Fine pageantry!
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. 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, Alex. A love, which knows no bounds to AnAnd I'll 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 VENTIDIUS, with the other, comes forwurd Laboured for him, when each propitious star to the front.
Stood wakefal in his orb to watch that hour, Vent. Not see him, say you ?
And shed his better influence: 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 Pent. I bring him 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 be more gentle than Vent. Worl 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 mate sacrifice upbraid the no use
priest? Of any thing but thought; or if he talks, He knows him not his executioner. "Tis to himsell, 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 pleasing. She has left him The boy Octavius; then he draws his mouth The blank 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 toy, 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: Oh, 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! He 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 pitiful [ALEXAS and the præests come forward. Than all their praying virgins left at home! Aler. You have your full instructions; now ad Alex. Would 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 nort 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 charms.