Ariſtomenes, Prince of the Meſſenians and Arcadians.
Ariſtor, Son to Ariſtomenes.
Alcander, a Principal Officer under Ariſtomenes.
Demagetus, Or the Royal Shepherd, Son to the Prince of Rhodes, under the Diſguiſe of a Shepherd call’d Climander.
Arcaſius, An old Lord, under the Habit of a Shepherd, Counſellor to Demagetus.
Anaxander, One of the Kings of Lacedemon (for they had always Two) and Leader of their Forces againſt Ariſtomenes.
Clarinthus, Chief Counſellor to Anaxander, a Lord of Sparta.
Clinias,A Shepherd keeping his Flock on the Plains of Meſſenia, cloſe to the Walls of Phærea, with other Shepherds.
Herminia, Daughter to Ariſtomenes.
Barina,Her Woman and Confident.
Amalintha, Daughter to Anaxander.
Phila, Her Woman and Confident.
Shepherdeſſes on the Plains of Meſſenia.
Soldiers, Officers, Guards, and Attendants, ſeveral Lords of the Spartan Council.
The general scenes are Ariſtomenes’s Camp near the Walls of Phærea; ſometimes the Town of Phærea, and ſometimes the Plains among the Shepherds.
Act I. Scene I.A pleaſant Plain by a Wood-ſide; beyond it are ſeen, on one ſide, ſome of the Shepherds Hamlets; on the other (at a diſtance) the Walls of Phærea, a Garriſon of the Lacedemonians. Enter Climander meeting Arcaſius; both dreſt like Shepherds.
A Sword, Arcaſius, that when Time has freed me
From the ſevere Injunctions of a Father,
May fill my Hand, inſtead of this vile Hook,
And fit it for the Work, a Prince is born to?
But, ’till to-morrow’s, and the next day’s Sun
Shall light the angry, and contentious World,
Your Promiſe to your Father is in Force;
As well as the Aſſurance, which you gave,
That in my Cuſtody theſe Arms ſhou’d reſt,
Until that fatal Time demands their Uſe.
That Ariſtomenes, the Spartan Terrour,
Were leading me, this moment, bravely on
Through Dangers, equal to the Cauſe he fights for,
Preſerving theſe free Plains from foreign Bondage!
Though in the Strife this Body ſtrew’d the Ground,
To Fame, and Publick Good an early Victim.
And thou beneath th’impending Plagues may’ſt periſh;
Since He, whom Oracles appoint to Aid thee,
Thus wiſhes with his Own, to ſell Thy Safety,
For the raſh Praiſe of an intruding Warriour.
Which oftner we fulfil by heedleſs Chance,
Than the vain Study to purſue their Meaning;
Which makes me baniſh, from my lab’ring Thoughts,
Thoſe Myſtick Words, which ſerve but to perplex them.
Which to prevent, ev’n now I will repeat them:
The Iſle of Rhodes ſhall be of Peace bereft,
Unleſs it by the Heir thereof be left,
And that He wed, ere he returns agen,
The Beauteous Daughter of the Beſt of Men;Whoſe 5 U6r 299
Whoſe Father’s preſence there ſhall ſave the State,
And ſmooth the threatning Brow of angry Fate.
Was left in Darkneſs, to employ our Search:
Yet, in Obedience, Hither did I come
To feed a Flock, and mix with ſimple Swains;
Becauſe the Prieſts, who ſway in Princes Courts,
Declar’d, that perfect Innocence, and Virtue
Was to be found but in their lowly Rank,
And There, the Beſt of Men was to be ſought for.
That ſlighting (in a Caſe of ſuch Importance)
The Pride of Titles, and of equal Birth,
You might eſpouſe One of theſe Rural Maids,
Whoſe Parents harmleſs Preſence in our Land
Might bring the Bleſſings of the Gods upon us;
And, leſt the Wards (which ſtill infeſt theſe Countries)
Shou’d tempt you from the Fates, and his Deſign,
How ſtrictly did He Charge it on your Duty,
That, ’till the Time, which now, Two Days muſt end,
You ſhou’d not leave theſe Plains, to ſeek the Camp!
But here have ſpent the long and lazy Hours,
Careleſly ſtretch’d beneath ſome Sylvan Shade,
And only ſent my Wiſhes to their Tents:
But ere the Battle (which is ſoon intended)Shall 6 U6v 300
Shall meet in glorious Tryal of their Right,
I will be there, and ſide with the Meſſenians.
That firſt your Native Country might be ſerv’d,
Think on her Danger, and your Sovereign’s Will:
’Twas to the Reed, and not the wrangling Trumpet
He bid you liſten, to ſecure his Peace;
Nor have you look’d with Love, as he requir’d,
On any Shepherdeſs, tho’ ne’er ſo Fair,
Or born of Parents, harmleſs as their Flocks.
Low on my Knees, my Lord, let me prevail.He Kneels.
That, when the Time, decreed you, do’s expire,
You will not proſecute this raſh Deſign;
But go with me yet farther on theſe Plains,
And ſeek to pleaſe your Father, and the Gods,
In ſuch ſafe, humble ways, as they direct us.
But truſt me, when we have ſubdued theſe Countries,
When Lacedemon’s Kings ſhall ſue for Peace,
And make great Ariſtomenes Returns
Agreeing to his Merits, and their Wrongs,
And I have gain’d ſuch Honour as becomes me;
Whate’er thou doſt requeſt ſhall be obſerv’d:
And tho’ my Soul finds ſuch vaſt diſproportion
Betwixt the Thoughts, with which ſhe is inſpir’d,
And thoſe, that lodge in theſe poor Country Maids;Yet 7 U7r 301
Yet ſhall my Duty o’er my Temper riſe,
I’ll truſt (like Others) only to my Eyes,
And think, that Women in Perfection are,
Tho ne’er ſo Ignorant, if Young and Fair,
Sure I hear the diſtant Sound of Drums.Aſide.
Heav’n grant what I’ve been told, and kept ſo ſecret,
Of a Deſign this Day to end the War,
Be not a Truth too tempting for my Reaſons!
For all the Lawns, that lie beyond the Hill,
Where ſtill our Flocks were us’d to feed in peace,
Are fill’d with War, and dark with flying Arrows:
The Sheep diſperſe, whilſt none regard their Safety,
But call on Pan, to ſhield th’advent’rous Chief,
The noble Ariſtomenes from Danger.
Nor tye me to a few remaining Hours:
For, by the horrid Shield, that bears the Gorgon,
I Swear; if thou refuſe to arm me now
With what I ſent thee lately to provide,
Theſe Feet ſhall bear me ſandal’d to the Battle,
This flow’ry Wreath ſhall mix with their ſtern Helmets,
And Death I’ll take, if not impower’d to give it.
Call all your fainting Virtue to aſſiſt
And help you keep your Promiſe to your Father.
To let the Sound of War thus ſtrike my Senſe,
Yet keep my Heart in a cool, even Temper.
Hark! this way comes the Noiſe, and I will meet it.
I hope All’s paſt, leſt He and Rhodes ſhou’d periſh.
Turn their ſweet Harmony to Sighs and Groans!
To the fierce Wolves deliver up their Flocks,
And leave Meſſenia to the cruel Victor!
And, if he’s Dead, fall’n in his Country’s Cauſe:
The Gods have giv’n Him Fame, whilſt We are Wretched.
Which, ’tis believ’d, they’ll uſe with utmoſt Rigour:
Preſſing too far on the Auxiliary Troops,
The Foe ſurrounding bore him from his Horſe,
Then with the Thongs of their curs’d Cretan Bows
Bound his ſtrong Arms, and lead him off, in Triumph.
Reſcue from their vile Hands the noble Prey,
And ſend him warmer Friends than Demagetus,Aſide.
Who, knowing not his Perſon, lov’d his Valour!
O ill-tim’d Duty, how haſt thou betray’d me!
Where is Ariſtor? Where’s the brave Alcander?
For ought, as yet, the Army can diſcover:
Alcander heads, but cannot lead them on,
And ’tis believ’d they quickly will forſake him;
Such cold Diſmay and Terrour had poſſeſs’d ’em!
Yet ere we part, forever part from hence,
(If ſo the cruel Tyrant ſhou’d Decree)
Let us appoint one ſad and ſolemn Meeting,
Where all the Enſigns of our former Mirth
May be defac’d and offer’d to His Praiſe,
That made our Nights ſecure, and bleſs’d our Days.
Again, one Ev’ning on theſe Plains we’ll meet,
Charming me, with thy Tears, to this ſoft Circle,
Whilſt the bright Spirit, Honour is gone by,
And borne away on never-turning Pinions!
Why wou’d’ſt thou thus contrive againſt my Fame,
And rob my fiery Youth of this firſt War,
(For which it languiſh’d with a Lover’s Fondneſs)
By ſaying ſtill ’twou’d laſt, ’till Time had freed me?
But I will yet purſue it thro’ Deſpair,
And ſhare their Ruin, tho’ deny’d their Glory.
Which if you ſlight ſhall of the Gods implore
A haſty Death, to fall on old Arcaſius:
Nor think, this Poſture means to croſs your way;
For, by thoſe Powers I ſwear; if they will Fight
As much, we hear ’tis doubted by the Shepherds,
I will not ſue, to keep you from the Army,
Or bring on me your future Life’s Reproaches.
Let me obtain but This, for all my Service,
To be firſt ſent to ſound their Diſpoſition,
Which I’ll relate with Truth, and help your Purpoſe:
In this Attempt Two Hours will not be loſt;
Oh! give ſo much, to ſave his Life, that loves you.
And my long Knowledge of the Truth that guides thee.
About it then, whilſt, in that ſhady Grove,
I with impatience wait for thy Return.
Here lies my Way――
For ſhame! like Men, that once have known their Uſe,
Take ’em again, and wait, or ſeek the Foe.
We cannot find our General out amongſt ’em:
’Tis thought they’ve made ſure Work with him already;
And now you’d have us run upon their Swords.
We thank you, Captain. Come away, away!
Can ye ſo ſoon forget your Noble General,
Your Ariſtomenes, whoſe Courage fed ye,
And by whoſe Conduct, ye have ſlept ſecurely
In reach of Foes, that trebled ye in Number!
Can ye forget the Care, that heal’d your Wounds;
The Tongue, that prais’d them; or thoſe Liberal Hands,
That pour’d down Gold, faſter than they your\ Blood!
But, ſince they ſay, He’s Dead, What can we do?
At leaſt, ’till there are Tydings from the Town:
Then, if he lives, we may attempt his reſcue;
Or, if he’s Dead, in a moſt juſt deſpair
Burn their accurſt Phærea o’er their Heads,
And then diſperſe, when we’re ſo far reveng’d.
Do this my Friends; Come, come, I know you will:
You lov’d the General――
And ſtay, ’till we’re inform’d as he adviſes.
Take up your Arms and truſt, my Friends, to me:
Your Lives ſhall not be ſet on idle Hazards;
Loſe no more time, but let us join the Army.
Which in thoſe Hamlets, now within our Sight,
The Shepherds find, with whom we may partake it.
Urging the Danger of a Virgin’s Honour,
When left defenceleſs to the Conqueror’s Will:
But doſt thou think, we may not thro’ theſe Woods
Find out ſome gloomy Cave to Men unknown,
And there expiring, ſleep ſecure for ever?
Since Ariſtomenes may yet be Living?
Might have its Courſe; for now ’twill flow
And ſtop our farther Paſſage, barring the Sight
Which ſhou’d conduct our Steps.
But put on chearful Looks to ſuit this Habit,
And make the World believe you what you ſeem.
I ſhou’d forget the gay, fantaſtick Scene,
And drop theſe Tears, when Smiles were moſt expected.
Let us return and wait in your Pavilion,
Till Anaxander ſhall command you thence
To ſerve the baſe Delight of ſome proud Spartan.
I yield, Barina; make me what thou wilt:
See, I no more am Sad, look on this Brow;Canſt 15 X3r 309
Canſt thou read there that I have loſt a Father,
The beſt, the fondeſt, and the deareſt Father?
Forgive the tender Thought, that breeds this Change;
I’ll weep it off, and ſmile again to pleaſe thee.
And your approaching Ruin.
What muſt I do? indeed I will obſerve thee.
Wait my Return, who muſt go find the Shepherds,
And frame ſome Story; that when you appear,
Thro’ no Enquiries we become ſuſpected:
And in my abſence, be your Thoughts employ’d
To bend your Mind to what the Times require.
Suit to my alter’d State my low Deſire;
My Fare be plain, and homely my Attire,
My Treſſes with a ſimple Fillet bind,
Face the hot Sun, and wither in the Wind;
In my parch’d Hand a rural Crook be found,
The Trees my Curtains, and my Bed the Ground:
That Fortune (who at Greatneſs aims her Blow)
When thus diſguis’d may not a Princeſs know.
We may now go home to our Wives, and our Shops.
That has been our Back-friend ſo long,
As one may ſay――
Thou ne’er look’d’ſt him in the Face:
But we ſhall have the toſſing, and the tumbling of him
Aſſoon as ever the ſowre-fac’d Senators
Have diſmiſs’d their Judgments upon him.
Here, here he comes; bear back, bear back.
To ſee thoſe Hands in ſervile Fetters ty’dWhich 17 X4r 311
Which broke the Bondage of the proud Meſſenians,
Whom Sparta long had held in hard Subjection.
Ere yet their Captive General do’s appear,
Be it amongſt your ſelves, My Lords, reſolved
What Courſe will anſwer beſt our Ends upon them.
Speak you, Clarinthus, for’moſt of the Aſſembly;
And then, let ev’ry one add what he pleaſes.
Which muſt ſecure what Lacedemon toils for:
Let him reſign that Country, kept by him
From the entire Subjection, to our Yoke;
Or let his ſpeedy Death deliver to Us
What his too active Life has long kept back.
All the Sen.
And ſo his Mind will prove, if I miſtake not.
Have urg’d that Country, where you rule in Chief,
To break our Yoke, and make Incurſions on us,
Since known to all, will juſtify our Sentence
Which is; That you ſhall meet the Death deſerv’d,
Unleſs to keep our Quiet for the future,
You bring again Meſſenia to our Sway,
Paying ſuch Tribute, as ſhall be impos’d
By Us, the Lords of that offenſive State.
This is the Choice, we kindly ſet before you,
And wiſh, that you wou’d take the ſafeſt Part.
That Pow’r forbid it, under whoſe Protection
I’ve often fought her Battles with Succeſs,
And drove th’ ill-grounded War home to your Sparta!
I am a Man, and Nature bars that ſaying:
Yet I dare Dye; no Spartan here, but knows it.
But ſince the Fates (whoſe Wills we beſt can read,
When thus unfolded in their dire Events)
Tell me by theſe vile Bonds I muſt ſubmit;
Propoſe the gentleſt Bargain you can make,
And if I find my Life bears equal Weight,
I am content to take it, elſe ’tis Yours.
Miſtaken Men, who think not of our Power,
And that we may command what we propoſe:
Since the firſt Sally, now, muſt take PoſſeſſionOf 19 X5r 313
Of what your frighted Rout will ſoon abandon.
Ye baſely wrong with foul reproachful Names
Thoſe valiant Troops, which yet ye cannot Conquer:
For know, thou proud inſulting Anaxander,
There’s at their Head a reſolute young Man,
That will not ’bate thee in his ſtrict Account
One Sigh or Groan, thy Tortures or thy Dungeons
Shall wreſt in Dying from his Father’s Boſom.Anaxander and the Senate talk among themſelves, whilſt Ariſtor comes forward upon the Stage.
But there he ſtands!Aſide ſeeing Ariſtor.
Ariſtor thro’ that Spartan Dreſs I view,
And ne’er, till now, wiſh’d not to ſee my Son.
Protect him from their Knowledge, ſome kind Pow’r,
If Youth, or Virtue e’er engag’d your Pity!
For He’ll ne’er yield to what has been demanded.
Of ſwift Revenge, thinking to fright our Juſtice:
But we’ll take care, firſt, to perform our Part,
Then, venture what your daring Son can offer.
The Dungeon is his Sentence, thither bear him.
Who now has got a Sword; Diſarm, and take him.
Therefore be bleſt the Stratagem that ſtopt him!
Sent from the Country here to find a Cure;
But hearing, as the Croud paſs’d by his Lodgings,
That Ariſtomenes wou’d ſoon be Sentenc’d,
He broke his Ward, and fancy’d He muſt ſave him.
I have purſu’d him, ’till I’m faint with Crying,
And am confounded at his frantick Paſſion.
Oh! Royal Sir, forgive it――
Then, to thy Miſtreſs, my dear Daughter, Go
And ſay we now again ſhall ſoon ſee Sparta.
Now follow me, I’ll lead ye to his Lodgings.
May Heaven reward her, if ſhe means his Safety.Aſide.
Now I can meditate on my own Fortunes,
And ſlight the worſt can reach me.
Again I’ll try him――To Clar.
Now, Ariſtomenes, that this wild Chance
Has given you time to think upon our Sentence,
Have you enough conſider’d of it’s Horror,
To bend your ſtubborn Will to our Demands?
That active Faculty, which we call Phancy,
Soon as you ſpoke, dragg’d me thus bound by Slaves
Thro’ the throng’d Streets, exciting ſeveral Paſſions;
The Barb’rous Croud ſhouted their clamorous Joy,
Becauſe unpuniſh’d they might ſport with Blood;
Old Men and Matrons, deſtin’d long for Death,
With envious Pleaſure ſaw me forc’d before them
To tread that Path, in ſpight of vigorous Nature,
Whilſt tender Virgins turn’d aſide their Heads,
And dropt, in Silence, the ſoft Tears of Pity:
But, Oh! the Soldiers; from the Soldier’s hands
Methoughts I ſaw their Swords neglected thrown,
When Fortune ſhew’d they cou’d not ſave the Braveſt
(If once ſhe frown’d) from ſuch a Fate as mine.
Whether you’ll meet our Mercy, or the Dungeon.
I ſtood reclin’d upon the horrid Brim,
And gaz’d into it, ’till my baffl’d Sight
Piercing beyond the many jetting Rocks
That help to break by turns the falling Body,
Was loſt in Shades, where it muſt reſt for-ever:
And ready now to be puſh’d rudely off,
This was my laſt, and beſt Reflection on it,
That there dwelt Peace, which is not to be found
In his dark Boſom, that has ſold his Country.
See this obey’d, and plunge him headlong down;
There, he’ll have Time, if Life, for ſuch fine Thoughts.
Away, and bring me word it is perform’d.
Rabble and Sold.
Peace and Proſperity to Lacedemon!
Act II. Scene I.A Room in the Palace. Ariſtor alone.
And from that Window, barr’d too cloſely up
To give me leave to leap upon their Heads,
Have curs’d the Croud, and told ’em whoſe I am:
At which they laugh, and cry ’tis Phila’s Madman.He attempts but cannot force the Door.
Confuſion! that ſhe dares confine me thus!
Whilſt my free Thoughts, unfollow’d by my Hand,
Muſt ſee that curſed Deed, they can’t prevent.
Oh! Ariſtomenes, my noble Father!
Hear me, ye Fates, and let me but Revenge him;
Give me Revenge; and now, methinks, I graſp it,
Broke thro’ his Guards, I ſeize upon the Tyrant,
And ſtab him thus, and thus――He acts all this.
Then bear him to the Ground, thus falling on him,
And to his Heart thus tearing my wide way.
Oh! let me find him, tho’ to raiſe his SorrowsWith 24 X7v 318
With the ſad Sound of my repeated Groans.
Ha! on the Ground! then be it too my Seat!Sits on the Ground by him.
For I will ſhare in this Exceſs of Grief,
As well as in the Days of milder Fortune,
I bore a part in Love, that knew no Meaſure.
O Ariſtomenes! oh! my Ariſtor!
Such Groans ſhall hourly iſſue from his Dungeon,
And fright the bloody Spartans into Madneſs.He looks up.
Ha! ſure I ſhou’d know that Form, that Shape, thoſe Limbs,
That lab’ring Boſom, and thoſe Locks diſhevel’d:
But take not from thy Face that friendly Cloud;
Do not expoſe it, leſt thro’ all it’s Charms
My deep Revenge find out whoſe Stamp it bears,
And urge me on to ſomething Dark and Fatal.
And bring the Blood of Anaxander near me?Coming up fiercely to her.
Canſt thou too fondly think, that Love’s ſoft Bands,
His gentle Cords of Hyacinths and Roſes,
Wove in the dewy Spring, when Storms are ſilent,
Can tye theſe Hands, provok’d by horrid Murther!
But fly this Ground, while I have Power to bid thee.
The Life, I’ve kept but to indulge your Love,
Now to this loud, miſtaken Rage I offer.
Take it, Oh! take it; Means cannot be wanting,
Altho’ no Inſtrument of Death be near you:
This Hair, theſe flatter’d Locks, theſe once-lov’d Treſſes
Round my ſad Neck thus knit will ſoon perform it;
Or, on theſe trembling Lips your Hand but preſt
Will ſend the riſing Breath down to my Heart,
And break it, telling who deny’d it Paſſage.
Speak but a few ſuch Words, as now you utter’d,
And my poor hov’ring Soul will fly before ’em.
Farewel Ariſtor, ſee! the Work is done:
I did but think I heard their killing Sound,
And the bare Fancy ſaves you farther Study.
And I will whiſper to it ſuch Repentance,
Such Love, ſuch Fondneſs, ſuch unheard-of Paſſion,
As ſhall confine it to it’s beauteous Manſion.
Thus let me hug, and preſs thee into Life,
And lend thee Motion from my beating Heart,To 26 X8v 320
To ſet again the Springs of thine in working.
But tell me, ere again ſo firm ’tis fixt
That it muſt coſt an Agony like this,
To let it out to Liberty and Eaſe,
Will you not hate me for my Father’s Guilt?
And dart through all the Horrors of my Soul,
Like Heaven’s bright Flaſhes in a Night of Shadows,
I will not hate, or e’er reproach thee more:
Yet let me breathe ſo gently one Complaint,
So gently, that it may not break thy Peace,
Tho’ it for ever has diſcarded mine,
And ask, why you thus cruelly wou’d uſe me,
Why, have me ſeiz’d, and bound with frantick Fetters,
Snatch’d from my Duty by a Woman’s wile,
And here confin’d, whilſt my great Father periſh’d?
It was the Fates deſign and Phila’s action:
She ſaw you thus diſguis’d amongſt the Croud,
And, ere ſhe would acquaint me with your Danger,
Follow’d to watch the means how to prevent it.
Which muſt have broke, had your Conſent been with her.But, 27 Y1r 321
But, Amalintha, now my Rage is gone,
And Love thro’ this miſtake has forc’d his way,
It ſpreads before my Thoughts the gaudy Scene
Of thoſe Delights, which have been once allow’d it;
Brings to my Phancy in their ſofteſt Dreſs
The gentle Hours, that told our Private Meetings;
Shews me the Grove, where, by the Moon’s pale Light
We’ve breathd out tender Sighs, ’till coming Day
Has drawn them deeper, warning us to part,
Which ne’er we did, ’till ſome new Time was ſet
For the return of thoſe tranſporting Pleaſures.
And ſo again, we’ll meet, and ſigh, and love.
And I muſt leave thee, Soul to ſad Ariſtor,
With all thoſe Pleaſures which I but repeated,
As Dying Friends will catch one laſt Embrace
Of what they know, they muſt forego forever.
From thoſe Delights, where ’twou’d have endleſs ſtray’d:
But, my Aristor! (for I’ll call you mine,
Though all the Stars combine againſt my Title,
And bar fulfilling of the Vows they’ve witneſs’d)Y Tell 28 Y1v 322
Tell me, tho’ we muſt ne’er in Nuptials join,
May we not meet, and at this diſtance ſigh?
And when I’ve hoarded up a Stock of Tears,
Which in the Spartan’s fight I dare not laviſh,
Oh! tell me, if I may not ſeek you out,
And in large Showers thus pour them down before you?
And think with what vaſt Storms my Soul is toſs’d!Comes up to hear earnestly.
Think too, that but to gaze upon thee thus,
To ſtand in reach of thy Ambroſial Breath,
And hear thy Voice, ſweet as the Ev’ning Notes,
When in ſtill Shades the Shepherds ſooth their Loves,
I wou’d not mind an Army in my way,
Or ſtop at raging Seas, or brazen Towers.
Yet, Amalintha, tho’ I Dye to ſpeak it,
Yet, we muſt part, we muſt, my Amalintha!
Let them make even one Account betwixt us,
And we’ll in ſpight of vengeful Thunder join,
If then, thy Heart be as reſolv’d as mine.
But ſince thoſe Fates deny it to your Power,The 29 Y2r 323
The Will I to your mighty Wrongs forgive,
Your Father’s now juſt going to your Lodgings.
A little time will call the State to Council;
And when the Croud by that is thither drawn,
One I will ſend to wait on your Eſcape:
And if you tempt new Dangers, know Aristor
That Amalintha too will periſh in them.
A gaſping Wretch, the cruel Bird of Prey;
Bids him make haſte th’ Eternal Shades to find,
And leave like me, all that is Dear behind.
I ſee the much lov’d Spirit from me fly;
And with vain Cries purſue it to that Coaſt,
Where it muſt land, and my weak Hopes be loſt.He leads her to the Door, and returns ſpeaking as he’s going out at the Other.
Now, let Revenge awhile ſuſtain my Heart,
And Fate yet cloſe my Life with ſome exalted Part!
Diſpel the gloomy Vapours, that oppreſs’d them,
And cloath’d my Dreams with more than mortal Horrour.
So low in my deep Phancy was I plung’d,
That o’er my Head impetuous Rivers ruſh’d,
And Mountains grew betwixt our World and me:
Hungry and Cold, methought I wander’d on
Thro’ fruitleſs Plains, that Food nor Comfort nouriſh’d,
’Till hideous Serpents twiſted me about,
And drew me to their Den all foul and loathſome;
But I will quit the Bed, that breeds ſuch Viſions,
And ſummon all my Officers to Council;
For with to-morrow’s Dawn we’ll ſtorm Phærea.He walks about feeling for the Door.
Ha! where’s the Door, my Tent is ſure transform’d,
And all I touch is Rock that ſtreams with Dew.
Oh! that I’d ſlept, that I had ſlept for ever!He ſtarts.
Yes, Anaxander, yes! thou worſt of Furies!
I know thy Dungeon now, and my dark Ruin:
Yet why, ye Fates, ſince fall’n below your Succour,Wou’d 31 Y3r 325
Wou’d ye thus cruelly reſtore my Senſes,
To make me count my Woes by tedious Moments,
Dye o’er again, choak’d by unwholſome Damps,
Parch’d up with Thirſt, or clung with pining Hunger,
Borne piecemeal to the Holes of lurking Adders,
Or mould’ring to this Earth, where thus I caſt me?Throws himſelf on the Ground. Muſick is heard without the Scene, after it has play’d awhile and ceaſes, He ſpeaks.
How, Harmony! nay then the Fiends deride me:
For who, but they, can ſtrike Earth’s ſounding Entrails,
Or with low Winds thus fill her tuneful Pores?
Oh! that ſome Words of horrid Senſe wou’d join it,
To tell me where I might conclude my Sorrows!
To that laſt Aſylum fly,
Where no anxious Drops of Care,
Where no ſighing Sorrows are,
Friends or Fortune none deplore,
None are Rich, and none are Poor,
Nor can Fate oppreſs them more.
To this laſt Aſylum fly,
Fallen Wretch! make haſte and Dye!
And with the Speed thou urgeſt I’ll obey thee.
Will ſplit the Circle of thy Brains.
To thy Freedom I perſuade thee,
To a wat’ry Pit will lead thee,
Which has no glorious Sun-beam ſeen,
No Footſteep known, or bord’ring Green,
For thouſand rolling Ages paſt.
Fallen Wretch! to this make haſte,
To this laſt Aſylum fly.
Fallen Wretch! make haſte and Dye!
Which ſtill is neareſt Cure, when at the Higheſt.
I come, I come――
And wou’d breed thee more Confuſion.
I, thy better Genius, move thee,
I, that guard, and I, that love thee;
I, who in thy rocky way,
Cloth’d in Eagles Feathers lay,
And in ſafety brought thee down,
Where none living e’er was known.
Chearful Hope I bring thee now,
Chearful Hope the Gods allow.Mortal 33 Y4r 327
Mortal, on their Pleaſures wait,
Nor ruſh into the Arms of Fate.
And tho’ a juſt Deſpair had diſpoſſeſs’d it,
Yet, thus encourag’d, will I truſt the Gods
With thoſe few Moments, Nature has to ſpare me;
Nor follow thee, thou bad perſuading Spirit.
Yet tell me, who thou art, and why thou tempt’ſt me?
To Phærea with thee came;
Hung o’er thee in the murd’ring Croud,
And clapp’d my dusky Wings aloud;
Now endeavour’d to deceive thee,
And will never, never, leave thee.
War and Honour’s Trumpet hear.
He his deareſt Blood ſhall pay.
Hear it ye repeating Stones,
And confirm it by your Groans!
The Field of Honour is his Bed of Eaſe;
He toils for’t all the Day of his hard Life,
And lays him there at Night, renown’d and happy:
Therefore this Threat was vain malicious Fury.
For hated Good is ruſhing by.
Nay then, thou ſhalt not ’ſcape; I’ll ſeize and grapple with thee,
And by my conqu’ring Arm o’ercome thy Influence.
Fool that I was! to think, it cou’d be vanquiſht.
This is ſome rav’ning Beaſt; the Fur betrays it;
A Fox, I think, teach me to be as ſubtle,
Extremity, thou Mother of Invention!He catches it.
I have it now; and where it leads, will follow.
My better Genius do’s this Hour preſide:
Be ſtrong that Influence, and thou my Guide.
Unheeding every thing, but my ſad Thoughts,That 35 Y5r 329
That my faint Limbs no longer can ſupport me.
Oh! let me reſt; and if ’tis Death I feel,
A Gueſt more welcome none yet entertain’d.
And yet, I wou’d not doubt him:
I’ve climb’d the Hill, better to view the Camp;
And all are fixt, and motionleſs as Death.
Therefore awhile I will command my Patience:
He cannot now be long―― He turns and ſees Herm. and gazes earneſtly on her. ――Ha! Who lies there?
A lovely Shepherdeſs; but faint ſhe ſeems.
Say, beauteous Maid, if ſo much Strength is left,
How beſt a Stranger, may aſſiſt, or ſerve you!He kneels down by her.
She do’s not ſpeak; but looks into my Heart,
And melts it to the ſoftneſs of her Eyes.
Hard by, a Spring clear as the Tears ſhe drops,
Runs bubbling under a delicious Shade:
Water, thence fetch’d in a Pomegranate’s rind,
May call her fainting Spirits to their office.
Yet he’s ſo gentle ſure I need not fear him:
Tho’ at his firſt approach my Heart beat high,
’Till Halcyon ſounds, and words of Pity calm’d it;
Nay, ſomething courtly in them was imply’d:
And if the Swains are poliſh’d, all like him,
Their humble Sheds may ſcorn our ruder Greatneſs.
Endue this Water, ſacred to thy Name,
With all the Vertues, needful to reſtore her.
And He, whom you invok’d, reward you largely!
In but declaring where you feed your Flocks,
And to what Shade, when Phœbus hotteſt ſhines,
You lead thoſe happy Sheep, to ’ſcape his Fury;
That I, expoſing mine to the wide Plains,
May ſeek you out, and ſigh till Night before you.
No leafy Hamlet, ſtrew’d with painted Flowers;
Or moſſy Pillow, to repoſe my Head:
But wander from a diſtant, fatal Place,
Where I have loſt my Parents, and my Succour,
And now, in ſuch a Habit as becomes it,
Seek the low Plains, to learn the Art you practiſe.
’Tis ſure the faireſt that my Eyes e’er fix’d on.Aſide.
Who were your Parents, gentle Maid, declare?
My Mother early Dy’d; but Fame has told me,She’d 37 Y6r 331
She’d all Perfections, which make other Proud,
Yet wore them, as ſhe knew not they adorn’d her.
And be, in this, my Father’s Praiſe expreſt:
That by an Oracle He was confeſt
Of all the Race of Men to be the Beſt.
And in a Moment I the greateſt Lover!He ſpeaks this tranſportedly and ſeizes her Hand, which he kiſſes.
Whilſt to complete my Bliſs, by Heav’ns decree
Theſe Beauties all are mine, and thus I claim them.
From the dark Ends of ſuch unruly Tranſports!She takes her Hand away haſtily and riſes.
Nor dare, preſumptuous Swain, once to renew them,
Or tempt more Dangers than a Crook can anſwer!
Built round with Steel, or plung’d all o’er in Styx.
Then, let your Beauty’s Triumphs be complete,
Which, after ſuch a Threat, can bend my Knee,
And make me ſue for Pardon, as for Life.
Since She, who yields to have her Beauty worſhipp’d,
Muſt pay too much to him, that brings the Incenſe.
Your Heart is mine; the amorous Stars ordain it,
Which ſmiling, hung o’er my auſpicious Birth,And 38 Y6v 332
And not an angry Planet croſs’d their Influence:
They bid me Love, and the Harmonious God
When askt, what Path ſhou’d lead me on to Glory,
Sent forth a Sound, that charm’d the hoary Prieſt,
And ſaid, a Paſſion, ſoft as that, muſt bleſs me.
Then, do not ſtrive to diſappoint their Purpoſe,
Or quench Celeſtial Flames with Scorn or Coldneſs.
Oh! that a Smile might tell me, that you wou’d not,
A gentle Word, a Look, a Sigh confirm it,
Or any ſign, that bears the ſtamp of Love!
But ’tis in vain, and ſome more happy Youth
Has drawn my Lot, and mock’d foretelling Phœbus.
For know, no Paſſion e’er poſſeſs’d this Breaſt,
Nor will the mighty Griefs, that now have ſeiz’d it,
E’er yield to give a ſofter Gueſt admittance.
But my Companion comes; Shepherd farewell!
When next we meet, if Heav’n that Moment ſends,
For your Aſſiſtance lent, we may be Friends.
Nor Oracles explain themſelves by Words.
Let talking Age the Joys of Friendſhip prove,
Beauty for Youth was made, and Youth alone for Love.
Act III. Scene I.A Myrtle-Grove with a Fountain belonging to Anaxander’s Palace. Enter Amalintha and Phila.
Unapt for Love, and harſh, as our rude Cuſtoms!
Or why, ye cruel Fates! did you deny
My Birth to be among the neighb’ring Swains,
Where, on the flow’ry Banks of ſmooth Paniſus
I might have ſat, and heard the gentle Vows
Of ſome proteſting Shepherd, uncontroul’d!
That firſt your Eyes encounter’d with Ariſtor’s.
Where the young Prince, whom I too much had mark’d
Thro’ all the graceful Toils of that bleſt Day,
Redeem’d my Life, with Hazard of his own,
From the chaſ’d Boar, that now had almoſt ſeiz’d me.
I heard you thank him for the gen’rous Reſcue.
And paid if down a Ranſom for my Life:Since 40 Y7v 334
Since when, how often in this Place we’ve met,
And with what Pleaſure, thou alone can’ſt tell,
The only Friend, and witneſs of our Paſſion.
But, prithee go, and keep off all Intruders,Exit Phila..
Whilſt with my Sorrows now I tread this Grove,
Which ſhou’d not thrive, when all our Hopes are blaſted.
Henceforth thy figure, in my Enſigns borne,
Shall tell the World (if e’er I ’ſcape theſe Walls)
That ’twas thy Conduct drew me from my Bondage.
How fair this Grove appears to my loath’d Dungeon!He ſees the Fountain.
Oh! welcome to my Sight, thou gentle Spring!
Ne’er did’ſt thou cool a Thirſt, that rag’d like mine.
I bow my Knees upon thy moſſy Brim,He kneels and lays his Mouth to the Stream.
And, as they drank, ere Art had worſted Nature,
Draw thy refreſhing Stream to my ſcorch’d Entrails.Drinks agen.
Again, O Nectar, moſt delicious!
This favour more, and then I quit thy Borders.
Faded the Flow’rs, and with’ring ev’ry Branch:Whilſt 41 Y8r 335
Whilſt thro’ the Leaves the ſad, and ſighing Winds,
Methinks, all ſay, the Hours of Bliſs are paſt;
And here, we ne’er ſhall meet each other more.Ariſtom. comes towards her.
Ha! what Intruder do my Eyes behold?
A Stranger, and invade my private Walks,
The Doors too all ſecur’d! Tell how you came.
Till the ſweet Air beat on my clammy Brows.
Which (tho’ offended with your Preſence here)
I wou’d be glad farther to have Unriddl’d.Draws her Dagger.
This be my Guard; and now you may proceed,
And, if you dare, diſcover who you are.
From whence theſe Hands have dug my way to Light.
’Tis Ariſtomenes that ſtands before you.
As ’tis reported of you Spartan Ladies,
By my Eſcape your Fame ſhall riſe ſo high,
That ne’er an ancient Heroes ſhall outſoar it:
If not, I know the Place from whence I came,
And ’twill be told with more uncommon Things,
Which ſhall make up the Story of my Fortunes,
That I alone liv’d to be there twice Bury’d.She looks about. Nay, 42 Y8v 336
Nay, look not round; for if you fear you wrong me,
I wou’d not injure you, to gain my Safety.
For all that Lacedemon holds moſt Precious.
I gaz’d about, leſt any were in ſight,
That might prevent my dear Deſign to ſave you.
Support me, as I walk, like one that ſerv’d me,
And when they have unlock’d that Poſtern-door,
I’ll give you ſome Command before the Guard,
Which to perform they ſhall admit your Paſſage:
Or this muſt force it, if your evil StarsGives him her Dagger.
Have plac’d ſuch there, as know and wou’d detain you.
Let me be told, to whoſe bleſt Aid I owe it;
And how I may diſcharge ſo vaſt a Debt:
Tho’ I, and all that’s dear to me ſhou’d periſh,
I wou’d not ſtir, ’till ſatisfy’d in this.
Tho’ whilſt I ſpeak, I tremble for your Danger,
That to declare my Name, might work my Ruin:
But ſince ſuch Gratitude crowns your great Virtues,
I have a Bleſſing to implore from you,
When the full Time ſhall ripen and reveal it;
Harder, I fear, to grant, and much more dearThan 43 Z1r 337
Than what I now aſſiſt you to preſerve.
By new-recovered Light, and what it ſhews me,
Your brighter Form, with yet a fairer Mind,
By all the ties of Honour, here I ſwear;
Be that untouch’d, and your Requeſt is granted.
I ask no more――but, that you haſte to ’ſcape:
Without that Camp the open Champain lies.
May Fortune, which the hardeſt Part has done,
Crown her great Work, and lead you ſafely on!
Is’t not enough, ye Gods, we bear our own,
That thus you ſuffer the vain trifler Love
To bring the Griefs of others too upon us!
But thou haſt chill’d them in a Moments ſpace
With that cold dew that trickles from thine Eyes.
Is not Ariſtor ſafe?――
Thou ſay’ſt he is not, in that weeping ſilence:
But lives he yet? if this thou do’ſt not anſwer,
My Death ſhall free thee from all farther Queſtions.
But oh! that ſome free Tongue, that lov’d you leſs,
Cou’d tell how little time that Life muſt laſt
To you ſo precious, and I fear ſo fatal!
Believe thou’ſt crown’d the Kindneſs of thy Life,
By giving endleſs Reſt to her that wants it.
Stay, Madam, ſtay, and ſince it muſt be told,
Know that Ariſtor, ſoon as free to do it,
Again into your Father’s preſence ruſh’d,
And makes a new attempt upon his Perſon,
But miſs’d his Blow, was ſeiz’d, and in Confinement
Now waits but the aſſembling of the Council,
Throughly to be examin’d, and diſcover’d.
With this Relief to my ſad Bed I go,Siezes Phila’s Dagger.
There wrapt in horrid Shades will lay me down,
And, when thou com’ſt charg’d with the heavy News,
Beware, no tedious Circumſtance detain,
No fruitleſs Pray’r, or word of Comfort ’ſcape thee;
But with a Voice, ſuch as the Dying uſe,
Bid me expire―― ――Then to my Father go,And 45 Z2r 339
And ſay, he kill’d his Daughter in his Foe;
Who knowing, ſhe his Temper cou’d not move,
Th’exceſs of Hate paid with th’exceſs of Love.
I will not wait the Trifler’s ſlow return,
But go my ſelf (tho’ thus unarm’d) amongſt them.He is going and meets Arcaſius.
Art thou at length come back!
If ’twou’d not waſte more time to blame thy ſtay,
Old loit’ring Man! I ſhou’d reprove thee for it.
Not Dye for ſuch a General!
Tho’ brave Alcander tries to urge their Fury,
And waſtes his own, to put new Life into them:
Sometimes he weeps, and throws his Helmet from him,
Kneels to his Troops, and wooes them to Compaſſion,
Which draws a gen’ral ſympathizing Show’r,
And makes him think, he has obtain’d his Purpoſe:
Then on his fiery Steed in haſte he leaps,
And cries, Come on; but not an Enſign waves,
Or any Motion ſeconds the Deſign.Z2 The 46 Z2v 340
The Meaner ſort cry out aloud for Pay,
And mutiny to be diſcharg’d the Service.
The Gold and Jewels which my Father gave,
Will fire their Souls, inſenſible of Duty;
And by it’s aid, I’ll gain what moſt I thirſt for.
A King his Claim but to one Kingdom lays,
Wide as the Univerſe is boundleſs Praiſe.
This ſhining Maſs ſhall buy a glorious Name,
They purchaſe all the World, who purchaſe Fame.
Let me declare the Time to be expir’d,
Which bound you in your Promiſe to your Father:
By Artifice I wrought you to believe
Thoſe Days remain’d, which are indeed run out.
Your Soul may now be free, and Heaven protect you!
Worthy thy knowledge, when we meet again:
But now make haſte, and from its deep concealment,
In the low Earth, fetch me the Wealth I mention’d.
About theſe Woods thy quick Return ſhall find me.
I dare not tell her, that I like this Shepherd,
Nor yet indeed ſcarce own it to my ſelf.
’Tis ſtrange, my Mind ſhou’d ſink thus with my Fortunes;
Yet he did talk above their humble ſtrain,
And, as he knew that Nature had ſupply’d
What Fortune had deny’d him for Attraction,
Claim’d my weak Heart, and ſaid he muſt poſſeſs it.
Deſign’d in Honour of their loſt Protector,
In which our ſhare (tho’ ſecret) muſt be greateſt.
I ſee none move, nor hear their mournful Notes.
Have I not heard thee ſay ſometimes, Barina,
That in a Dream, form’d by the Day’s diſcourſe
Of the ſweet Life, that here they led in ſafety,
My Mother ſaw me wed one of theſe Swains,
And ſmil’d, tho’ I had made a Choice below me?
That you, like others, ſhou’d behold their Revels:
Nor have I, ſince her Death left you my Charge,
Allow’d it, till worſe Dangers forc’d us hither;
Tho’ of my ſelf, I ne’er obſerve ſuch Trifles,
Where things of Yeſterday are odly piec’dZ3 With 48 Z3v 342
With what had paſs’d ſome twenty Years before,
Knit in a weak and diſproportion’d Chain,
Which cannot hold to lead us to the Future.
Whate’er I’ve ſaid, I wiſh this had no meaning,Aſide.
And that ſome other Place cou’d give us ſhelter.
Great Ariſtomenes, now cou’d I meet thee!
But that’s a Bleſſing which I muſt not know,Aſide.
’Till where thine is, my Spirit too ſhall go.
Oh! that my Grief wou’d force it to retire,
And Tears for him quench this new-kindl’d Fire!
Deceive my Hopes; or now, within their reach
That unknown Beauty moves, which lately charm’d them.
’Tis ſhe! and with the ſpeed that ſuits my Paſſion,
I will o’ertake, and farther urge it to her.
Before th’ aſſembling Shepherds are arriv’d;
And having met one that can give her tydings,
Is buſy to enquire about their coming.Untimely 49 Z4r 343
Untimely Caution!―― ――’Tis too late to move,
When once o’ertaken by the wings of Love.
But all the neighb’ring Ecchoes caught the Sound,
And ſent it doubl’d to Climander’s Boſom:
The am’rous Streams have borne it down their Banks,
And the glad Plains breathe nothing, ſince, but Love.
Oh! ſpeak it one again, and the fond Vine
Shall with a ſtricter graſp embrace the Elm,
Whilſt joyful Birds ſhall hail it from the Branches.
Since on theſe Plains no ſyllable is ſecret,
Hereafter my cloſe Thoughts ſhall be confin’d,
And in this Breaſt lock’d up from all Men’s Knowledge.
Silence can ne’er laſt long, nor yet conceal it,
A thouſand ways ’twill ſpeak without a Voice,
And, whilſt it ſtruggles to obtain that Freedom,
Betraying Sighs will ’ſcape, and more declare it;
’Twill ſpeak in liſt’ning to the Lover’s Tale,
And ſay, ’tis Sympathy that makes it pleaſant.
For all he ſpeaks I feel, and he muſt find.Aſide. Z4 Oh! 50 Z4v 344
Oh! yet, let me reflect upon my Birth,
And quit, in time, the Ground I can’t maintain!
For if I ſpeak, whilſt on your Eyes I gaze,
It muſt be all of Love, and that offends you;
Yet ſince, perhaps, I ne’er may meet you more,
I wou’d have told the Story of my Heart,
And e’er it breaks, have mov’d you to compaſſion.
Amidſt the noiſie Pomp, that waits their Luſtre?
Still ſhou’d I vainly liſten for the SoundAſide.
Of ſuch ſoft Words which charm my Sorrows from me.
Oh! that our Births were equal, as our Thoughts!
Yet I will pity him, and Fate be guilty.
And turns again thoſe gentle Lights upon me!
If Pity ’twas; Oh! yet indulge that warmth,
And Love ’twill ſoon produce, to meet my Wiſhes.She looks kindly on him.
’Tis done, ’tis done! be witneſs ye ſtill Skies,
That all her Looks are calm, and ſmooth as yours,
And not one Frown forbids my forward Hopes:
Let this fair Hand be added to confirm them,
And eaſe the mighty longings of my Paſſion.
Now, Shepherd riſe, and hear what I’ve to ſay;
And if a Sigh mix with the fatal Sentence,
Believe, ’tis from the Grief, with which I give it.
You muſt not love me――She ſighs.
Shou’d Pan pronounce it, in a Voice ſo loud
’Twou’d rive the knotty Oaks, that ſhade his Altars,
I wou’d to Syrinxes oppoſe your Beauties,
And ask the Gods, whoſe Loves had beſt Foundation?
Wou’d ſay, they ne’er deſign’d our Hands ſhou’d join.
But ſee! the Swains are gath’ring tow’rds this Place:
Yet, Shepherd, know, that if a Prince wou’d Love,
’Tis in your Form he muſt ſucceſsful prove.
Th’ Ambition of her Mind charms like her Perſon,Aſide. Nor 52 Z5v 346
Nor can the Blood, that bleeds ſuch Thoughts be abject .
But welcome good Arcaſius with that Bait,
Which ſhall be ſoon diſpers’d among the Soldiers:
And if it win them to my great Deſign,
’Tis worth the Kingdoms which its Price might ranſom.
Whilſt from this neighb’ring Grove are heard the Notes
Of that ſweet Bird, that warbles to the Night,
Now telling us her Shadows are approaching:
And yet the tardy Shepherds are not come.
But who can haſte to break his chearful Pipe,
Tear the ſweet Garland, made by her he ſighs for,
And ſing of Death, when Love is all his Paſſion?
Or fall into our melancholy Strains,
Lend to that Eccho, greedy of thy Voice,
Some moving Words, upon ſo ſoft a ſubject.
To all things elſe the Joys of theſe ſweet Plains;
Since, now perhaps, we muſt too ſoon forſake them.
Leſt the ſad Ceremony break our purpoſe.
In ſoft Pleaſure ſtill leads,
Tunes his Voice to his Reed,
And makes Love in the Shades.
To be Great, to be Wiſe,
To be Rich, to be Proud,
To be loaded with Bus’neſs
Or loſt in a Croud,
He ne’er ſeeks, or deſires:
Let but Silvia be won,
He is Great, he is Rich,
And his Bus’neſs is done.
Whilſt their Nymphs are as happy,
As Happy as Fair;
For who has moſt Beauty,
Has of Lovers moſt ſhare.
Some will ſtay, ſome will fly,
Some be falſe, ſome be true:
For the Loſt we ne’er grieve,
But ſtill cheriſh the New.Shouts.
’Tis vain of their Frailties,
Or Falſhoods to mind ’em:
Mankind we muſt take,
We muſt take, as we find ’em.
Flow like our Joy, and chear the Meads about thee.
Pan, take in thankful Sacrifice; our Flocks,
And ev’ry rural Swain proclaim his Praiſes!
But yet, the Cauſe we wiſh to hear explain’d.
Good Clinias, tell the Cauſe――
The Plain’s Protector, and the Army’s Genius,
The Virgin’s Refuge, when the Town’s in Flames,
And Shield to thoſe whom Fortune makes his Vaſſals.
No other e’er cou’d fill a Praiſe like this.
And ruſhes on, when once ’t has forc’d a Paſſage.
And not a duſty Soldier in the Hoſt,
That has not hugg’d him to his ſwarthy Boſom.
And their hoarſe Joy ſounds like their diſtant Drums:
His Hands, as if the Cretan Thongs ſtill held them,
Are uſeleſs made, and fetter’d now with Kiſſes;
Whilſt neighing Steeds think that the War ſurrounds them,
And prance in Air light as their Maſter’s Minds.
That their loud Queſtions drive his Anſwers back,
And will not let them reach the neareſt to him.
We now muſt change our Habits, and return.Aſide to Bar.
What did I ſay, return! O yes! I muſt,
And never hope to ſee Climander more:To herſelf.
Yet will I give my Heart this laſt Relief
(Since Fate will have it bear th’unequal Paſſion)
To let him know my Love, and endleſs Flight,
And live on the dear Thought that he laments it.
And ’twas the only one that cou’d be heard:But 56 Z7v 350
But no reply was made; I think he is not.
For he ſo heavily will take that Loſs,
Our Joys will not be long, nor he amongſt us.
That with large Sums new fir’d the trembling Hoſt,
And from the Camp had led on ſome Deſign
A Party, that for Wealth wou’d riſque their Lives,
Tho’ cold and dull to Thoughts of gen’rous Duty.
And ſome I heard that call’d him Demagetus.
Thick flew his Gold, as ſwarms of Summer-Bees,
And ’twas to ſuccour or revenge the Gen’ral.
He ask’d their Aid――
But whither he has led them, none can tell.
Ere Ariſtomenes return’d, he went
And is not heard of ſince.
Now therefore Clinias, you that guide our Sports,
Tell us what we’re to do to ſhew our Joy.
To riſe with new appearing Day;
And ere the Sun has kiſs’d ’em dry,
With various Rubans Noſegays tye.
Deckt with Flow’rs, and cloath’d in Green,
Ev’ry Shepherdeſs be ſeen:
Ev’ry Swain with Heart and Voice
Meet him, meet him, and rejoice:With 57 Z8r 351
With redoubl’d Pæans ſing him,
To the Plains, in Triumph bring him:
And let Pan and Mars agree,
That none’s ſo kind and brave as He.
Act IV. Scene I.The General’s Pavilion. Enter Dreſt in the Habit of an Officer Demagetus with Arcaſius.
How cou’d’ſt thou bring this cruel Story to me,
Ere thou had’ſt ſearch’d Meſſenia’s utmoſt Bound,
And travell’d o’er the ſpacious World of Shepherds?
She muſt be yet amongſt their Shades conceal’d;
And thro’ them will I pierce, like prying Phœbus,
To find my Love, or loſe myſelf for ever.
The Reaſons, why I choſe to ſee you firſt,
Ere I proceeded to purſue her Paths.
And turn’d ſwift eager Love to Icy Reaſons.
I muſt be Cold as thou art, if I hear thee,
Or loſe one moment more in doating Queſtions.
Oh! thou haſt found a way indeed to ſtay me.
And ’twas my Hopes from thence of ſome Diſcovery,
That kept me here ’till you had broke and read it.
This to Climander from the Nymph that leaves him
To everlaſting Grief, ſhou’d have been added:
For ſo ’twill prove, if no more Comfort’s here.He reads it.
To love, yet from the Object fly,
Harder is, than ’tis to Dye:
Yet, for ever I remove,
Yet, for ever will I love.
Shepherd, ſeek no more to find;
Fate, not I, has been Unkind.
We pluck on Fate, by ſtriving to avoid it.
To ſhun the low Addreſſes of a Swain,
For ever has ſhe left a Prince deſpairing.
Why didſt thou not, as I at parting bid thee,
Find out, and let her know my fair Intentions,
And that my Birth was Noble as her Wiſhes?
But full of Tranſports when I heard your Story,
Thinking the Fates wou’d now fulfill their Promiſe
Thro’ her the Daughter to the beſt of Men,Fled 59 Aa1r 353
Fled to diſcover what you gave in Charge,
Travers’d the Plains in a long fruitleſs Search,
But cou’d not find that Beauty born to Bleſs us.
For ere I reach’d it, the fair Gueſt was vaniſh’d;
Upon the Floor lay her neglected Hook,
And o’er the Door hung Boughs of fading Willow,
To ſhew, as Shepherds uſe, the Place forſaken.
That Paper there I found, and near it lay
This precious Gemm, that bears a well-cut Signet,Shews him a Ring.
By chance ſure dropt, yet may aſſiſt your Purpoſe.
For without End is that, as is this Circle.
Oh! that my way to Bliſs ſhou’d ſeem ſo plain,
Yet in a moment thus be loſt and wilder’d!
Now in the midſt of Crouds and loud Applauſes,
That greet me for reſtoring them Ariſtor,
Muſt wretched Demagetus ſigh for Love,
And hang his drooping Head, tho’ wreath’d with Laurels.A ſound of Drums and Trumpets.
But hark! the Gen’ral comes――
To him the Oracle I have reveal’d,
And all the Story of my rural Life.
I’ll tell him too the Cauſe of my new Grief,
Which to relieve, I inſtantly muſt leave him.
From theſe fond Arms, that ever thus wou’d hold thee!Embracing him.
Thou kind Reſtorer of my lov’d Ariſtor.
Come to the Camp, and hear them ſhout thy Name,
Whilſt I declare thee equal in Command
With him, who owes his Life to thy young Valour.
I know you Love, by your own kind Confeſſion:
But that too muſt ſucceed, ſince now your Birth
Is known to anſwer all the great Deſires,
Which, to my Wonder, did poſſeſs the Breaſt
Of that fair rural Maid, whoſe Beauty charm’d you.
We’ll ſend, and with the Pomp that ſuits a Princeſs,
(Since ſuch your gen’rous Paſſion means to make her)
Have her conducted to a rich Pavilion,
And join your Hands, as Heav’n has join’d your Hearts.
This, my Ariſtor, be your pleaſing Task.
I ſent for her, to ſee the generous Stranger.
Tell me, my beſt of Friends, the way to ſerve you.
Hear me, my Lord, nor think my Sorrows light:To Ariſtomenes.
For Love, the only Comfort of fond Youth,
Is loſt for ever to the poor Climander.
That Name and Voice bears down my fainting Spirits.
I ſhall be known, yet have not Strength to fly:
Where will this end, and where’s Herminia’s Honour!
Proceed, and if there’s help on Earth, we’ll find it.
With haſty Steps, and in my Heart ſoft Wiſhes,
Love, and a thouſand flatt’ring Expectations,
I fled the clam’rous Praiſe prepar’d to meet me,
And ſought the Path that led to my Deſires:Aa2 But 62 Aa2v 356
But ere I was advanc’d beyond the Camp,
The Voice of this Old Man
Croſs’d my ſad way, and cry’d, She’s gone for ever.
If other Proofs are wanting to confirm it.
She own’d her Love, and with this Signet bound it,
And in the Folds of this dear Paper left
At once the Tokens of my Joy and Ruin.
And now Neceſſity muſt make me Bold.Aſide.
Oh! yet, ere you proceed to view that Paper,She throws her ſelf at Ariſtomenes Feet.
(Wrapt in Confuſion) hear your Daughter ſpeak,As he is opening the Letter.
And pity in her Fate all Women’s Frailty.
And, ’till ſhe has finiſh’d, let no Word be utter’d.
Nor cou’d I, but to hear her ſpeak, be Silent.Aſide.
And caſt my doating Love upon that Shepherd,
(For ſuch he is, altho’ a Plume adorns him)My 63 Aa3r 357
My wretched Hand, and now my Tongue confeſſes:
For by that Paper, indiſcreetly penn’d,
The Secret wou’d be told, ſhou’d I conceal it.
But Oh! my Lord, ſince you can ne’er forgive me;
A ſad Recluſe for ever let me live,
Or Dye for Love, to do my Birth more Juſtice.
How firſt you came acquainted with this Shepherd.
Diſguis’d, I in your abſence ſought the Plains,
And in that Habit heard the pow’rful Sighs
Of one that knew not then his own Preſumption.
Wou’d’ſt thou receive’t, and bleſs the Pow’rs that ſent him?
Yes, I cou’d bleſs thoſe Pow’rs which now undo me.
When, Sir, I diſobey your order’d Silence,
And haſte to tell her ’tis a Prince adores her,
That wou’d have ſought her on the lowly Plains,
And for her Favour quitted all Dominion.
And know, Herminia, to encreaſe thy Paſſion,
Thou hold’ſt that noble Hand, that ſav’d thy Brother,Aa3 And 64 Aa3v 358
And gives thy Father, in this new Alliance,
More Joy, than when he firſt receiv’d and bleſs’d thee.
Whilſt in deep, ſilent Raptures I poſſeſs them:Taking her from Ariſtomenes.
For Demagetus is above Diſcourſe,
And will not wrong his Love with faint Expreſſions.
I ſmiling give my Hand now to a Shepherd,
Yet fear not to offend my Mother’s Ghoſt.
And old Arcaſius has outliv’d his Cares.
Tho’ all the Love, it ſhews, you had before.
I’ll ſoon be there, and ſee thoſe Rites perform’d,
That ſhall confirm her Yours; be Kind and Happy.Exeunt Herminia and Demagetus leading her follow’d by Arcaſius, Barina and others. Ariſtor is going too but is call’d back by his Father.
Come back Ariſtor, and the reſt withdraw:
For ſomething I wou’d ſay to you in private.The Attendants go off.
Free from the Croud, and unobſerv’d my Tranſports,
I wou’d embrace, and welcome thee to Life,And 65 Aa4r 359
And with a loud repeated Bleſſing pay
The pious Care, that brought it to ſuch Dangers.
Oh! that the Love of Women ſhou’d be thought
To paſs the Fondneſs which a Father feels,
When thus he graſps a Son of thy Perfections,Embracing him.
My Dear, my Lov’d Ariſtor!
Seems as ’twou’d cloſe in conference with mine.
And tell thee, thou doſt lock ſome Secret there
Which all my depth of Kindneſs ne’er cou’d fathom:
I ſee it in the Cloud, that ſhades thy Brow.
And ſtill thy penſive Eyes are downwards caſt,
As thou wou’d’ſt ſeek the Grave, or ſomething lower:
Long have I this obſerv’d――
And thought whole Nights away, to find the Cauſe,
Which now, my Son, I urge thee to reveal:
And think that He who beſt can love thee asks it.
I cannot ſpeak, for ſpeaking muſt offend:
Yet ſhou’d my Silence grieve ſuch mighty Goodneſs,Aa4 ’Twou’d 66 Aa4v 360
’Twou’d break that Heart, which thus you ſeek to ſuccour.
Upon my Knees a ſtrange Requeſt I make,Offering to Kneel but his Father takes him up.
That you wou’d quite forget, and think me Dead;
Which the approaching Battle ſhou’d confirm,
And leave you to poſſeſs your other Comforts.
And when I wou’d have ſhar’d amongſt my Race
Impartial Kindneſs, as their Birthrights claim’d,
Still to my Heart Ariſtor wou’d be neareſt,
Still, with a Merit not to be withſtood,
Wou’d preſs beyond my cool and equal Purpoſe,
And ſeize a double Portion of my Love:
And wilt thou loſe it now, to keep thy Silence?
And then, let Words relieve this mighty Paſſion:
They will, they will; the Sweetneſs of thy Temper
Will melt before a juſt and warm Perſuaſion.
Now, let me know it――
But Oh! my Lord, ’tis what you muſt not know.
As is thy faded Cheek now to thy Father,
It were moſt fit――
Oh! think, my Son, who ’twas that made it Noble,
And train’d it in the Paths of Truth and Honour:
Elſe, what had hinder’d, but thou might’ſt have been(In 67 Aa5r 361
(In ſpite of all the Virtues with thee born,
For Education is the ſtronger Nature)
A bragging Coward, or a baſe Detractor,
A Slave to Wealth, or falſe to Faith or Friendſhip,
Lull’d in the common Arms of ſome Seducer,
And loſt to all the Joys of Virtuous Love.
When haſtily I preſs’d that Word upon thee,
To catch that fluſhing Witneſs in thy Face,
Was all this Bait contriv’d; no more, my Son,
No more diſſembling of a Truth ſo plain:
I ſee ’tis Love, the beſt of all our Paſſions,
And fram’d like Thee; ſure none cou’d e’er Deſpair,
Nor can I fear thou’d’ſt make a vulgar Choice.
When of three Goddeſſes he choſe the Faireſt.
And anſwers it with Vows, more ſtrong than Ours.
Than is the frown of Jove, that ſhakes the Poles,
And makes the Gods forget they are Immortal.
By all thoſe Powers I ſwear, I will not croſs thee;
Be ſhe a Spartan Dame, ’bate me but One,And 68 Aa5v 362
And tho’ a Foe, I yield thou ſhou’d’ſt poſſeſs her.
Who is that One, ſo fatally excepted?
It is the Tyrant Anaxander’s Daughter,
Whom, tho’ I ne’er beheld, I muſt abhor,
As borrowing her Blood from ſuch a Fountain.
You’ll think it has contracted by her Love:
For ’tis that Tyrant’s Daughter I adore,
And ne’er, while Life is here, will change my Purpoſe.
Not Groans of Earthquakes, or the Burſt of Thunder,
The Voice of Storms urging the dang’rous Billows,
E’er ſtruck the Senſe with ſounds of ſo much Horror.
It muſt not, Oh! it muſt not, ſhall not be:
Sooner this Dagger, tho’ my Soul lives in thee,Drawing Amalintha’s Dagger.
Shou’d let out thine with this prepoſt’rous Paſſion,
Than I wou’d yield, it e’er ſhou’d meet Succeſs.
That Poinard beſt is fitted to my Heart,
Since Her’s it was, whoſe Eyes have deeper pierc’d it:
Quickly, my Lord, let me receive it here,And 69 Aa6r 363
And ſee me proud in Death to wear that Favour.
Fate then is practiſing upon my Soul
What ſudden Turns, and Tryals man can bear.
Leſt fainting with the Weight of what I feel,
I poorly fall, unlike your Son or Soldier.
With which I raſhly charg’d the Life ſhe gave me.Still to himſelf.
Then my own Hand thus ſets me free for ever.
But let it not exceed, leſt both I cancel,
And only liſten to my wild Deſpair.
And to a Woman’s Claim reſign my Vengeance?
No; let my Ear ſtill fly the fatal Suit,
And from her Tears be turn’d my harden’d Face.
What did I ſay! a haſty Bluſh has ſeiz’d it,
For but imagining a Thing ſo vile.Turn 70 Aa6v 364
Turn back my Face from Her that ſhunn’d not mine,
When it was Death to know, and to preſerve me!
No; let the Fiends be obſtinate in Ill,
Revenge be their’s, while Godlike Man is grateful.
Two Ladies veil’d, eſcaping from Phærea,
Ask with ſuch earneſtneſs for Prince Ariſtor,
That, ſure, their Bus’neſs is of mighty Moment.
From one this Ring at her entreaty, Sir, I muſt deliver.Gives it to Ariſtor and Exit.
She’s come in time, to ſee me fall her Victim.
Since ’twas from her’s, I took this healing Weapon,
That has cut off the Hate in which I held her.
’Twas ſhe that met me riſing from my Grave,
And fearleſs freed the Foe to her and Sparta:
Then in a grateful Promiſe was I bound
Not to deny whate’er ſhe ſhou’d requeſt;
And ſure thy Love, before the Pomp of Crowns,
Is what a Maid muſt ask, that knows its Value.
Then let me Dye, for having griev’d ſuch Goodneſs.Embracing his Father’s Knees.
And to this Tent conduct the Royal Maid,
Whilſt in that inner Part I ſtand conceal’d,
And hear her tell, why thus ſhe comes to ſeek us:
Thence will I iſſue, as occaſion calls,
And giving thee, give all I hold moſt precious.
Safe in this Camp, and in Aristor’s Love,
Which ne’er was truly bleſs’d, ’till this glad Moment.
Now Amalintha, let my Joys o’erflow;
And ere I ask what brought thee to my ſight,
Let it be fill’d with thy amazing Beauties,
And with this Hand my longing Lips be clos’d.
Thus pleas’d, thus wrapt in Love, thus dying fond.
But oh Ariſtor! ſince I laſt beheld you,
So has this Life been threaten’d by the Fates,
That to your Arms ’tis forc’d for Peace and Safety.
Too ſtrong for all the Shocks of rig’rous Fortune.
But what beneath thy Father’s Roof cou’d fright thee?Or 72 Aa7v 366
Or what bold Danger break thro’ his Protection?
When Aristomenes they found eſcap’d,
High was their Rage as Billows in a Tempeſt;
And all the Arts of State were put in uſe
To find who had aſſiſted in his Flight:
But ſtill in vain, ’till ſubtle, vile Clarinthus――
But cou’d he pry into thy generous Heart,
And find it there, that you had nobly done it?
And are not ſecret Thoughts ſecure againſt him?
For ’twas his Counſel, when all others fail’d,
To know by ſpeaking Gods the deep Contrivance;
And from the Oracle, in ſome few Moments,
The full Diſcov’ry will have reach’d Phærea,
Which ere it does, I was advis’d to leave,
By one that heard the horrid Voice accuſe me,
And with a Speed unmark’d outflew the reſt.
But not to ſave my Life, or ’ſcape their Fury:
For ſhou’d your Heart, which boldly I will claim,
Be yet deny’d me by your injur’d Father,
Not all his Army ſhou’d retard my Steps
From leading to the Town, and certain Ruin:
For they have ſworn it (with this Imprecation,
That ’till ’tis done, no Victory may bleſs them)
To ſacrifice the Soul that ſav’d the Gen’ral.
Conſume the utmoſt Town of Lacedemon.
Take your Security, and ſofteſt Wiſhes,
Your dear Aristor take, and if ought more
The fair Preſerver of his Father claims,
Be it but nam’d, and at that inſtant granted.
No longing Thought, no Hope for Amalintha:
For ſtill his Love preſcrib’d their tender Limits.
If in the awful Preſence of a Father
I run upon my Joys, and graſp ’em thus.Embraces her.
For Privacy is only fit for Lovers.
Which muſt be ſoon, remember thou’rt a Soldier,
And that the Battle, we ſhall lead to morrow,
Will ask for our beſt of Care and Preparation.
But give me leave here to attend that Summons.Exit Ariſtomenes.
For Oh! my Amalintha, ſince thou’rt mine,
Since I can tell my Heart that darling Truth;
The Moments that muſt take me from thy ſight,
Will paſs for loſt, and uſeleſs to Aristor.And 74 Aa8v 368
And this War done, which now we ſoon ſhall finiſh
(For You not there, what God will fight for Sparta?)
I’ll ſwear the Sun and radiant Light ſhall part,
Ere I will once be found from this lov’d Preſence.
And let the pattern of a Love ſo perfect
Reform Mankind, and bleſs believing Women.
But can I think it is Aristor ſpeaks?
That I behold, and hear you ſafe from Danger,
Whom late I ſaw aſſaulted ſo with Death,
When from the Guard a Weapon you had ſnatch’d,
And but that brave Swords length cou’d keep him from you?
Hope and fond Expectation all had left me:
Arm’d with this Dagger full I ſtood in vain,
And from my Window watch’d the fatal Stroke,
Which ſoon was to be copy’d on my Heart;
Then, had I meant to own your noble Love,
And told mine Dying, whilſt the Croud had trembl’d.
For ’twas to ſtop your Arm, that mine perform’d
What elſe had been above the Force of Nature;
And when the Drums of Demagetus thunder’d,
As thro’ the ſhiver’d Gates he ruſh’d to ſave me,
You may remember, that I wou’d not meet him,
Till I had told my Love what meant the Tumult,
Which ſince has given me Fears, cold as pale Death,
Leſt ſome Obſerver might have charg’d it on you.
But Oh! already hark! the Trumpet calls,
And jealous Fame no longer lets me keep you.
Muſt you be gone, muſt you obey this Summons?
Yet, do not weep――
Be this Embrace the Earneſt of a Thouſand.
Now let me lead you to Herminia’s Tent:
Then think, I go more to ſecure your Charms,
And fight to reſt with Peace in theſe fair Arms.
Act V. Scene I.The Scene is the Camp. A Noiſe of Drums and Trumpets. Enter Ariſtomenes, Ariſtor, Demagetus, Alcander, ſeveral Officers and Soldiers. Enter an Officer from the other Door, and ſpeaks to the General.
The Battle he has marſhall’d as you order’d;
And that your Preſence now is only wanted.
Now, my brave Followers, be your ſelves to Day,
And more I need not ask, that know your Valour;
Who’ve ſeen you at the backs of Spartans ride,
Till their long Flight, and not your Conquest, tir’d you.The Soldiers ſhout.
And Oh! my Sons, ſince they who bravely ſeek it,
May meet with Death, when all his Darts are flying,
Let me Embrace, and breathe my Bleſſings on ye.Embraces Demagetus.
Yet, Demagetus, if I ’ſcape him now,
And Victory attends my great Endeavour,
Thou ſhalt Thriumphant lead me into Rhodes,
Where we’ll obey the Gods, and ſave thy Country.
Thou doſt not fill my Arms, ’tis Air I graſp:
Nor do my Eyes behold thee――
Where is my Son, ha! where is my Ariſtor?
It ſounds ſo hollow, ſcarce my Ear receives it.
They talk of Omens, ha! I muſt not think on’t;
Such chilling Damps wou’d blaſt a Day of Battle:Aſide.
Yet let my evil Genius but be true,
And a fam’d End is all it can portend me.
May we not know what thus diſturbs your Thoughts?
And now the Field, the duſty Field, my Sons,
Muſt be the Scene, where we ſhall nobly act
What our great Spirits, and our Country urges.
The Trumpet calls, with the impatient Drum;
And He that loves his Honour, let him come.
Is there no happy Land,
Where only Love, and its kind Laws prevail?Bb2 Where Bb2v 372 79
Where the falſe Trumpet flatters not to Death,
Nor the more noiſy Drum outcries the Dying?
Oh! Phila, why ſhou’d Men with Hearts unmov’d
Seek the bold War, and leave ours trembling for them?
Now whilſt I ſpeak, a chilling Fear ſurrounds me;
And ev’ry Tread I hear, is haſt’ning on,
Methinks, to tell me, all my Hopes are periſh’d.
Unhurt by Fortune, thro’ more threat’ning Dangers,
Now faint, when Reaſon bids you think the beſt?
The Sound goes from us, and the lucky War
(Since you’ve the Promiſe of your Father’s Life)
Proceeds, as we cou’d wiſh, for the Meſſenians.
Sink to my Heart, and bid it think of Ruin.
Laſt Night my Dreams ſhew’d me Ariſtor bleeding;
And o’er my Head a ſcreaming Voice proclaim’d
That Amalintha’s haſty Fate had kill’d him:
I clos’d my Eyes to catch another Viſion,
That might interpret, or prevent the firſt;
But all in vain, no Help or Comfort found me,
And wrapt in Fears, I wak’d and ſtill continue
For what’s foretold ſo fatal to my Love.
But here come Tydings, and the Bearer ſmiles;
Good let them be, and theſe vain Fears will vaniſh.
And bids me ſay, what I my ſelf can witneſs,
That Lacedemon’s Battle breaks to pieces,
And ſoon will give him leave to find you here.
And may your Honours ſtill outſhine its Luſtre.
Stay here, whilſt I report this to Herminia,
If Demagetus too be yet in ſafety.
And wou’d be forcing Tears to my ſad Eyes:
But I’ll repel them with this welcome Meſſage,
And put on all the ſmiles of Love to meet him.
In hopes to ſhare the Plunder of the Foe,
Finding by their retiring we prevail:
But I’ll report it loudly to the General.
Oh! here are ſome returning; are they Meſſenians?
They wear the Habit, yet no Face I know;
Their Haſte and Looks do ſeem to point at Miſchief:
I will conceal my ſelf, and watch their Purpoſe.
Wiſh, that no Victory might bleſs our Arms,
Till we had ſacrific’d the Traytor’s Life,
That freed this Lyon, which devours us all.
And ſhe had Dy’d, I think, had ſhe not fled for’t.
And ſaw that Conqueſt wou’d no more attend us
Till we perform’d what to the Gods we ſwore,
I mov’d the King――
To let me with your Aid attempt the Camp,
Which if I found unguarded,
I wou’d to Sparta ſoon convey the Traytreſs,
Where ſhe ſhou’d meet the Rigour of the Law.
Theſe are the Royal Tents, where ſhe muſt be;
Therefore no more remains, but to ſecure her.
With but my ſingle Arm againſt their Numbers!
But to the Battle, and Ariſtor’s Ear I’ll fly for Help;That 81 Bb4r 375
That may o’ertake, and croſs the bloody Purpoſe.
Reſtrain thoſe Hands, that gave your Gen’ral to you.
Let me but hear you ſpeak, and name the Cauſe;
Which, if a juſt one, I’ll ſubmit to Fortune.
The cruel Sentence of an angry Father.
Turn not away that Face, but hear your Princeſs;
I can’t reſiſt, no Force, no Help is near me:
Therefore command, that but my Arms be freed,
And let me not be dragg’d, where I muſt follow.
Forbear to cry for Help, as we conduct you?
Give me your Hand, and now perform your Promiſe,
To follow where I’ll lead you――
My Voice, and not my Feet, my Word engag’d;Bb4 And 82 Bb4v 376
And whilſt my Hand holds this, I will not follow.
My Father’s Life already I’ve ſecur’d;
And if you yet will quit this dang’rous Purpoſe,
Yours with Rewards, as great as your Deſires,
Shall too be given you, and all Wrongs lie bury’d.
Therefore alive or dead will bear you from ’em.
A Princeſs at your Feet behold in Tears,
And ſpare my Blood, the Royal Blood of Sparta.
For, ſuch you’ve been to that high Blood you’ve boaſted.
I will not ſpare nor pity, but thus ſeize you.
Your Deaths are all that you ſhall meet with here.
Now my next Task
Muſt be to reſcue thoſe, who ſhar’d the Danger.He runs at Ariſtor who kills him, he ſpeaks falling.
Thou’ſt kill’d Clarinthus; And
The Fiends reward thee.
I askt but that, to crown the War we’ve ended.
The dying Bed of wretched Amalintha!
Nay, do not weep, ſince ’tis the Fate’s Decree,
Who let one luckleſs Moment interpoſe
Betwixt Aristor’s coming, and my Ruin.
Here, ſet me down; and let this laſt EmbraceSits down.
Reward the Cares and Fears, my Life has coſt thee.
Now leave me, Phila, to perform a Part,
Which muſt not be prevented by thy Tears.
But be not far, and when thou ſeeſt me fall’nDead 84 Bb5v 378
Dead in Ariſtor’s Arms, who’ll ſoon return,
Come forth, and tell him ’twas my laſt Requeſt
(By all our Love, by all our Sighs and Sorrows,
By our new Vows, and ſwiftly faded Joys)
That He wou’d yet ſurvive his Amalintha;
Nor let the fatal Viſion prove a Truth,
That ’twas my Fate, my haſty Fate that kill’d him.
Quickly retire, and let me hide this Stream,
Leſt he ſhou’d ſwell it with a Flood of Tears,
And waſte in Grief my ſmall remaining Life,
Which I deſign to laviſh out in Love.Phila goes off. Amalintha pulls her Garment over her Wound.
About him let my dying Arms be thrown,
Whilſt I deny my parting Life one Groan.
My failing Breath ſhall in ſoft Sighs expire,
And tender Words ſpend my laſt vital Fire;
That of my Death Men this Account may give,
She ceas’d to Love, as others ceaſe to Live.
When this moſt lucky Hand has made them groundleſs,
Securing to my Life its greatest Bleſſing,
Your matchleſs Love, and all its dying Tranſports.
I wou’d be glad to know, that Death has Tranſports.
But are there none, none that do Live and Love?
That early meet, and in the Spring of Youth,
Not croſs’d, or troubl’d in the ſoft Deſign,
Set ſweetly out, and travel on to Age
In mutual Joys, that with themſelves expire?
But ſince our Lot it is, t’encreaſe the number,
Let us not loſe a Thought on other’s Fortunes,
But keep them ſtill employ’d upon our own;
For in no Hearts, ſure, Love e’er wrought more Wonders.
Thro’ the ſtern hazards of a Father’s Wrath,
And all the Hate of Sparta and Meſſenia.
If e’er I wept, ’twas Love that forc’d the Dew,
And not my Country, or my colder Friendſhips;
And on my Face (when Lacedemon mourn’d)
Suſpected Smiles were ſeen to mock her Loſſes;
Becauſe that Love was on the adverſe Party.
Thus fond, thus doating have I paſs’d my Hours,
And with their dear remembrance will I cloſe
My Life’s laſt Scene, and graſp you thus in Dying.
Proceed thus to deſcribe thy tender Soul,
And charm me with thy mighty Senſe of Paſſion:For 86 Bb6v 380
For know, ’twas that which fix’d me ever thine,
When with a Pleaſure, not to be expreſs’d,
I found no Language of my Love eſcap’d thee,
Tho’ wrapt in Myſt’ry to delude the Croud;
When ev’ry longing Look cou’d raiſe a Bluſh,
And every Sigh I breath’d, heave this lov’d Boſom,
Which held ſuch ſoft Intelligence with mine,
And now o’erflows with a like Tide of Pleaſure.
And takes the Thoughts ev’n of Elyſium from me.
Nor will I, as ſome peeviſh Beauty might,
Take light offence, that mine you did not mention;
Since ’tis my equalling Ariſtor’s Love
Is all the Charm, I wou’d be proud to boaſt of.
I ſaw you Fair, beyond the Fame of Helen;
But Beauty’s vain, and fond of new Applauſe,
Leaving the laſt Adorer in Deſpair
At his approach, who can but praiſe it better:
Whilſt Love, Narciſſus-like, courts his Reflection,
And ſeeks itſelf, gazing on other’s Eyes.
When this I found in yours, it bred that Paſſion,
Which Time, nor Age, nor Death, ſhall e’er diminiſh.
But, after Death, Ariſtor, cou’d you love me,
Still call to me your Thoughts, when ſo far abſent,And 87 Bb7r 381
And mourn me ſleeping in that Rival’s Arms?
Still ſhou’d I turn my Eyes to thy cold Grave,
Still love thee there, and wiſh to lie as low.
But why do’s ev’ry Period of thy Speech
Thus ſadly cloſe with that too mournful Subject?
Why, now I preſs this Queſtion, doſt thou weep,
Yet in my Boſom ſtrive to hide thy Tears?
Paleneſs is on thy Cheek, and thy damp Brow
Strikes to my Heart ſuch ſympathizing Cold,
As quenches all its Fire, but that of Love.
Oh! ſpeak my Life, my Soul, my Amalintha;
Speak, and prevent the boding Fears that tell me
Eternal Separation is at hand,
And after this, I ne’er ſhall claſp thee more.
The tender circling of theſe Arms can wound,
’Tis ſure ſome inward Anguiſh do’s oppreſs thee,
Which too unkindly thou wilt ſtill keep ſecret.
Had not that Groan, and my Weak Tears betray’d me:Speaks faintly.
For Death, which from Clarinthus I receiv’d,
Is come to ſnatch my Soul from theſe Embraces.
Till Art is weary’d for thy Preſervation.
Haſte to procure it Phila: all that hear me
Fly to her Aid; or you more ſpeedy GodsThe 88 Bb7v 382
The Cure be yours, and Hecatombs attend you.
But none approach: then let me haſte to bring it,
Tho’ thus to leave her is an equal Danger.
One Moment loſe the Sight that ever charm’d them.
No Art can bring relief; and melting Life
But lingers till my Soul receives th’Impreſſion
Of that lov’d Form, which ever ſhall be laſting,
Tho’ in new Worlds, new Objects wou’d efface it.
Together we’ll expire, and trace thoſe Worlds,
As fond, and as united as before:
For know, my Love, the Sword of War has reach’d me;Opening his Boſom.
And none wou’d I permit to bind this Wound,
Till to thy gentle Hand I cou’d reveal it.
The Blood uncheck’d ſhall now profuſely flow,
And Art be ſcorn’d, that cou’d but half reſtore me.
Employ my Hand, yet warm, to cloſe the Wound,
And with my ſuppling Tears diſperſe the Anguiſh.
Your Country asks your ſtay, and more your Father:
This Blood is his, ally’d to all his Virtues,
By him more priz’d, than what ſupports his Frame,
Nor ſhou’d be laviſh’d thus without his Licence.
Oh! Ariſtomenes haſte to preſerve it,
Since Life from me departs, and Love is uſeleſs
But ſoon my following Spirit ſhall o’ertake her.
My Godlike Father gave her to my Arms,
And then reſign’d to her more powerful Claim
This purple Stream, which wafts me to poſſeſs her.
May every Power, that ſhields paternal Goodneſs,
Enfold his Perſon, and ſupport his Sway:
His dear remembrance take theſe parting Tears,He weeps.
And then be free, my Soul, for ties more laſting,
Eternal Love, the faithful Lovers due,
In thoſe bleſt Fields, which ſtand diſplay’d before me.
If when I ſaw her fall my Strength had ſerved me:
But all my Cares departed with her Life,
And mine I hope is now for ever going.
Nor ever did a Victory more completeStoop 90 Bb8v 384
Stoop to the General’s Valour――
Some Troops are order’d to ſecure Phærea;
And with to-morrow’s Sun he enters there
To take the Homage of the conquer’d Spartans.
As generouſly, as he’d ne’er known the Dungeon.
And now, with the high Marks of Conqueſt crown’d,
Is coming to declare to Amalintha
That all her Wiſhes, and her Fears are ended.Turning to go into the Tent, he ſees the Bodies.
They are indeed; for ever, ever ended.
Oh! turn and ſee where that pale Beauty lies,
And faithful, dead Aristor, bleeding by her!
Our lofty Boaſts, and brave expected Triumphs?
Lie there, my Sword, beneath my Leader’s Feet;Lays his Sword at Ariſtor’s Feet.
For under him I fought, and now weep for him.
A Soldier for a Soldier’s Fall may weep,
And ſhed theſe Drops without unmanly Weakneſs.A Sound of Trumpets.
But hark! the Gen’ral, how ſhall we receive him?
A while we’ll with our Bodies ſhade this Proſpect,
And tell him by our Looks, ſome Grief attends him;
Leſt all his Fortitude ſhou’d not ſupportA 91 Cc1r 385
A Change ſo ſudden in his wretched Fortune.
Nor can we learn from whence this Loſs proceeds.
And will admit of the too dire Relation.
That when the Sorrow, which at firſt muſt bar
All cold Enquiries, ſhall awhile be paſt,
The Gen’ral may be told to what he owes it.
But ſee! he enters; be we Sad and Silent:
For Oh! too ſoon this fading Joy muſt vaniſh.
And you kind Shepherds, and your gentle Nymphs,
Receive my Thanks for the Perfumes you ſcatter,
Which yet ſhall flouriſh under our Protection.
The joyful Tydings of this Day’s Atchievements:
Therefore let her be told, we wiſh her Preſence.Seeing none move.
Ha! what none ſtir! perhaps Ariſtor’s with her:
Why let him tell it; from a Lover’s mouth,
’Twill bear a Sound more welcome and harmonious.
And ſure in Love and Battle none exceeds him,
The laſt you all can witneſs; you ſaw him Fight,
Saw the young Warrior with his Beaver up
Dart like the Bolt of Jove amongſt their Ranks,
And ſcatter ’em like an Oak’s far-ſhooting Splinters.
Will none confirm it? this is envious Silence.Walks up and down.
Thou Demagetus, ha! thou’rt all in Tears,
And ſo are theſe that make a Wall about thee:
The Cauſe deliver, Oh! declare it quickly.
Reveal it you, or you, ſince all partake it:To Alcander, &c.
What ſilent ſtill!――
If yet ye do not ſpeak, ye do not love me;
I find ye do not, ſince ye all are Speechleſs.
Ariſtor wou’d have ſpoke, had he been here.
You have it now, my Lord, and muſt weep with us.
For round this Place I dare not let them ſtray,
Leſt they explain, too ſoon, thy fatal meaning.
Oh! Anaxander, had ſuch Trembling ſeiz’d me,
When at the Army’s Head I met thy Fury;
The pooreſt of thy Troops had cry’d me Coward.
Why ſo we’re all, there’s not a Man that is not;
We all dread ſomething, and can ſhrink with Terror:
Yet he that comes a Conqu’ror from the Field,
Shall find a vain Applauſe to crown his Valour,
Tho’ fainting thus, and ſweating cold with Fear.Pauſes and leans on an Officer.
But didſt thou ſay, Ariſtor cou’d not ſpeak?
Oh! that I live to ask it! not anſwer to his Father!
Rough Winters paſs, and Springs come ſmiling on;
But Thou doſt talk of Never, Demagetus:
Yet ere Deſpair prevails, retract that Word
Whoſe cloudy diſtance bars the reach of Thought,
Nor lets one Ray of Hope e’er dawn beyond it.
Never, Oh never!
Divide, and let him know the worſt.To the Officers.
All dallying Circumſtance, and vain Deluſion,
And will be told directly where to find him.
So gloomy, waſte, ſo deſtitute of Comfort,
When all Mankind beſides lay drown’d in Ruin.
Oh! thou wert well inform’d, my evil Genius;
And the complaining Rocks mourn’d not in vain:
For here my Blood, my deareſt Blood I pay
For this poor Wreath, and Fame that withers like it;Tears the Wreath, and throws himſelf upon his Son.
The Ground, that bore it, take the ſlighted Toy,
Whilſt thus I throw me on his breathleſs Body,
And groan away my Life on theſe pale Lips.
Oh! O’, O’, O’,――
Thus did I claſp him, ere the Battle join’d,
When Fate, which then had Doom’d him, mock’d my Arms,
Nor in their folds wou’d let me feel my Son.
Oh! that his Voice (tho’ low as then it ſeem’d)
Cou’d reach me now!――But the fond Wiſh is vain,
And all but this too weak to eaſe my Pain.
The Spartans may come back, and take our Bodies;
For when yours goes, our Spirits ſhall attend it.
Without the Charms of my Ariſtor’s preſence,
Without his Arm to ſecond me in Fight,
And in ſtill Peace his Voice to make it perfect?He riſes in a Paſſion and comes forward on the Stage.
Yes, I will live, ye Sov’reign Pow’rs, I will:
You’ve put my Virtue to its utmoſt Proof;
Yet thus chaſtis’d, I own ſuperiour Natures,
And all your fixt Decrees this Sword ſhall further,
’Till Rhodes is reſcu’d, and my Task completed.
Who knows, but that the Way to your Elyſium
Is Fortitude in Ills, and brave Submiſſion;
Since Heroes whom your Oracles diſtinguiſh,
Are often here amidſt their Greatneſs wretched?
But yet my Heart! my lov’d, my loſt Ariſtor!
And join with all the Earth to bring you Comfort.
My Demagetus, thou haſt far to travel;The 96 Cc3v 390
The Bloom of Youth ſits graceful on thy Brow,
And bids thee look for Days of mighty Pleaſures,
For proſp’rous Wars, and the ſoft Smiles of Beauty,
For generous Sons, that my reflect thy Form,
And give thee Hopes, as I had, of their ſuccour.
And bid thee here, here in this Face behold
How biting Cares have done the work of Age,
And in my beſt of Strength mark’d me a Dotard.
Defeated Armies, ſlaughter’d Friends are here;
Diſgraceful Bonds, and Cities laid in Aſhes:
And if thou find’ſt, that Life will yet endure it,
Since what I here have loſt――
So bow’d, ſo waining ſhalt thou ſee this Carcaſs,
That ſcarce thou wilt recall what once it was.
Then be inſtructed Thou, and All that hear me,
Not to expect the compaſs of ſoft Wiſhes,
Or conſtant Joys, which fly the fond Poſſeſſor.
Since Man, by ſwift returns of Good and Ill,
In all the Courſe of Life’s uncertain ſtill;
By Fortune favour’d now, and now oppreſt,
And not, ’till Death, ſecure of Fame, or Reſt.