U4r

Aristomenes:

or, the
Royal Shepherd.

A
tragedy.

U4 U4v

Dramatis Personæ.

Men.

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
.

Women.

Herminia, Daughter to Aristomenes.

Barina, Her Woman and Confident.

Amalintha, Daughter to Anaxander.

Phila, Her Woman and Confident.

Theata,
and

Lamia,

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.

Aris.
U5r 297

Aristomenes.

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.

Clim.

Hast thou provided me a Horse and
Arms,

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?

Arca.

Unwillingly, I have obey’d your Orders;

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.

Clim. U5v 298

Clim.

Call it not Fatal; Oh! that ’twere arriv’d!

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.

Arca.

O wretched Rhodes! Thy Ruin is pronounc’d,

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.

Clim.

No more of Oracles!

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.

Arc.

From Mine they will not part, nor
shou’d from Yours;

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 U6r 299

Whose Father’s presence there shall save the State,

And smooth the threatning Brow of angry Fate.”

Clim.

But, Who this Man, or, Where his
Daughter is,

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.

Arc.

’Tis True, they did; and therefore urg’d
our Prince;

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!

Clim.

Nor have I done it, as Thyself can witness;

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 U6v 300

Shall meet in glorious Tryal of their Right,

I will be there, and side with the Messenians.

Arc.

Oh! that you wou’d not!

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.

Clim.

Nay, prithee, do not kneel; it grates
my Nature:
Raises him.

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 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,

Arc.

Ha! [A Noise is heard of distant Drums.

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!

Enter frighted, Theata and Lamia, Shepherdesses.

Thea.

Oh! may we here be safe, tell us Climander?

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.

Clim.

Hear me, Arcasius, hear and do not thwart
me;
Aside to Arc.

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.

Arc. U7v 302

Arc.

Oh! do not ask my Aid; but in this
Tryal,

Call all your fainting Virtue to assist

And help you keep your Promise to your Father.

Clim.

I did not Promise him to be a Coward,

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.

As he is going, a confus’d Noise and Cry is heard within.

Arc.

They’re Cries of Grief, and not the
Shouts of Battle.

I hope All’s past, lest He and Rhodes shou’d perish.

Enter meeting, Climander, Clinias, and other
Shepherds.

1st Shep.

Ruin’d, Undone!

Clinias,[Speaker label not present in original source]

Let every Shepherd weep!

Turn their sweet Harmony to Sighs and Groans!

To the fierce Wolves deliver up their Flocks,

And leave Messenia to the cruel Victor!

Clim.

The Victor, Clinias! is the Fight then
over?

Clin.

It is, and We again the Slaves of Sparta.

Clim.

Then Aristomenes must sure be breathless,

And, if he’s Dead, fall’n in his Country’s Cause:

The Gods have giv’n Him Fame, whilst We are
Wretched.

Clin.

Oh! He’s not Dead, but Living in their
Power,
Which, U8r 303

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.

Clim.

Convert, ye Powers, to Blood and Tears
that 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?

To them.

Clin.

The first may share in his great Father’s
Fate,

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.

1st Shep. U8v 304

1st Shep.

So let it be!

Again, one Ev’ning on these Plains
we’ll meet,

2d Shep.

But never tread them more with
chearful Feet.
Exeunt Shepherds and Shepherdesses.

Clim.

Cruel Arcasius! How hast thou undone me,

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.

As he’s going Arc. kneels.

Arc.

Yet, this last time, behold my bended Knees,

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.

Clim. X1r 305

Clim.

Thou hast obtain’d it, by thy promis’d
Aid,

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.

Arca.

Which shall not be prolong’d, my Lord,
believe me.
Exeunt severally. Enter several Soldiers, running over the Stage, and
throwing away their Arms.

1st Sold.

Away, away, haste to the Woods for
Shelter.

2d Sold.

Do they begin to sally from the Town?

3d Sold.

I know not; look behind him, he that
will.

Here lies my Way――

They run into the Wood. Enter more, doing as the former.

1st Sold.

Farewell the Wars! Oh! never such a
General!

2d Sold.

Never such Sorrow! never such a
General!
Enter more.

2d Sold.

What, is the Army all dispers’d, and
broken!
To them.

3d Sold.

No, but the Wisest of them do as We do.

Away, away――

X Enter X1v 306 Enter Alcander meeting them.

Alcand.

Why do ye fly my Friends, and cast
these from ye?

For shame! like Men, that once have known their
Use,

Take ’em again, and wait, or seek the Foe.

3d Sold.

Seek ’em, for what?

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!

Exit follow’d by some others.

Alc.

Oh! yet my Fellow-Soldiers, stay and hear
me;

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!

1st Sold.

No; were he but amongst us, we’d
Dye with him.

2d. Sold.

We are no Cowards, Captain, nor
Ungrateful.

But, since they say, He’s Dead, What can we
do?

Alcand. X2r 307

Alcand.

Go back, and keep a little while together;

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――

1st Sold.

Curs’d be He, that did not!

2d Sold.

We will go back, but ne’er shall see
him more.

3d Sold.

Then we will Fight no more, that’s
sure enough.

4th Sold.

Howe’er, let’s follow the brave Captain
here,

And stay, ’till we’re inform’d as he advises.

Alcand.

Come, I will march before you.

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.

They take up their Arms, and Exeunt. Enter Herminia and Barina, Disguis’d like
Shepherdesses.

Herm.

Alas! Barina, whither wilt thou lead me?

Bar.

To Safety, Madam, poor and humble
Safety,

Which in those Hamlets, now within our Sight,

The Shepherds find, with whom we may partake it.

X2 Herm. X2v 308

Herm.

Thus far indeed thou’st brought me on
to seek 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?

Bar.

Why shou’d we Dye,

Since Aristomenes may yet be Living?

Herm.

Oh! that thou had’st not nam’d him! ’Till we were lodg’d, where Grief She starts and weeps.

Might have its Course; for now ’twill flow

And stop our farther Passage, barring the Sight

Which shou’d conduct our Steps.

Bar.

It must not Madam, nor must you indulge
it,

But put on chearful Looks to suit this Habit,

And make the World believe you what you seem.

Herm.

I cannot do it. In the midst of Sports

I shou’d forget the gay, fantastick Scene,

And drop these Tears, when Smiles were most
expected.

Bar.

Then ’tis in vain farther to seek for Shelter:

Let us return and wait in your Pavilion,

Till Anaxander shall command you thence

To serve the base Delight of some proud Spartan.

Herm.

Oh! yet avert that Fate, ye angry
Powers!

I yield, Barina; make me what thou wilt:

See, I no more am Sad, look on this Brow;

Canst 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.

Bar.

No; I’ll weep too, for his, that’s past,

And your approaching Ruin.

Herm.

Alas! I had forgot, but now am Calm:

What must I do? indeed I will observe thee.

Bar.

Then not far hence, conceal’d within this
Grove

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.

Herm.

To Fate and thy Advice I will submit,

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.

Exeunt. X3
The X3v 310 The Scene changes to a Street in the Town of
Phærea (the Lacedemonian Garrison) a Rabble
and many common Soldiers in the Street.

1st Sold.

All’s done, all’s done my Fellows.

We may now go home to our Wives, and our
Shops.

1st Rabble.

Ay, that we may; we have caught
him at last

That has been our Back-friend so long,

As one may say――

2d Sold.

Nay, I’ll be sworn,

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.

3d Rabble.

Ay, I’ll warrant ye, shall we;

Here, here he comes; bear back, bear back.

Aristomenes bound and guarded is conducted over the
Stage, the Rabble crouding and following him
with confus’d Cries and Shouts, Exeunt.
The Scene changed, discovers a Council-Chamber
in Anaxander’s Palace: Anaxander, Clarinthus,
and several Lords of Sparta.

Anax.

Most happily, my Lords, we now are
met,

To see those Hands in servile Fetters ty’d

Which 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.

Clar.

Short be my Speech, and plain, as is the
way

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.

Anax.

What say the rest?――

All the Sen.

All, all agree to this.

Clar.

No middle Course can be of use to Sparta.

Anax.

It is enough; Call for the Prisoner there.

A Lord.

Bring in the Pris’ner; ’tis the King’s
Command.
Aristomenes is brought in by the Guard.
Aristor in a Spartan Dress presses in amongst the
Croud, whilst Phila appears at the Door.

Anax.

At last, we see the Hero can be Conquer’d.
To Clar.

Clar.

Not in his Looks; for they are haughty
still,

And so his Mind will prove, if I mistake not.

Anax.

That you, our Pris’ner now, of late our
Foe,
X4 Have X4v 312

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.

Aristom.

Enslave my Country, to secure my
Life!

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!

Clar.

He braves us in his Bond: then you wou’d
Dye.

Aristom.

I do not say, I wou’d;

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.

Anax.

’Tis not for Us to wave, or change our
Terms,

Mistaken Men, who think not of our Power,

And that we may command what we propose:

Since the first Sally, now, must take Possession

Of X5r 313

Of what your frighted Rout will soon abandon.

Aristom.

My frighted Rout!

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!

Clar.

Let it be so, and speedily perform’d, Aloud.

For He’ll ne’er yield to what has been demanded.

Anax.

You nam’d the Dungeon, with a Threaten
too

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.

Aristor.

Not till this Hand has done a swifter
Justice.
Draws and runs at Anax.

Anax.

Ha! what means this, my Guards!
He avoids the thrust: Phila runs in. Phila. X5v 314

Phila.

Help, Soldiers, help; seize that distracted
Spartan,

Who now has got a Sword; Disarm, and take
him.

They disarm him.

Aristor.

’Tis false; stand off, ye Slaves, and know
I am――

Phila.

Oh! stop his Mouth; for if he raves,
he Dyes.
They stop his Mouth with a Handkerchief.

Aristom.

As sure as now he Lives, had he spoke
more
Aside.

Therefore be blest the Stratagem that stopt him!

Anax.

What means this, Phila; speak, Who is
this Madman?

Phila.

One by a Friend entrusted to my Care,

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――

Anax.

We do, and pity him: remove him hence,

Then, to thy Mistress, my dear Daughter, Go

And say we now again shall soon see Sparta.

Phila.

I shall, my Lord!

Now follow me, I’ll lead ye to his Lodgings.

[To the Guards. Exit Phila with the Guards bearing off Aristor. Aristom. X6r 315

Aristom.

Whoe’er she be,

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.

Anax.

He’s deep in Thought, which may produce
a Change.

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?

Aristom.

Yes, Anaxander, I have weigh’d it well:

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.

Clar.

He’ll move the Croud; urge him to speak directly.
Anax. X6v 316

Anax.

All this is from the purpose; plainly tell

Whether you’ll meet our Mercy, or the Dungeon.

Aristom.

My Train of Thoughts to that dark
Cave had led me;

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.

Anax.

Away with him to instant Tryal of it:

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.

Exeunt Anax. and Lords.
Aristomenes born off.

Rabble and Sold.

Away, away; the Dungeon,
the Dungeon.

Peace and Prosperity to Lacedemon!

Exeunt. Act
X7r 317

Act II. Scene I.

A Room in the Palace. Aristor alone.

Arist.

I’ve torn with Cries the Roof of this vile
Mansion,

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! O’,O’,O’,――

Throws himself upon the Ground. Enter Amalintha, the Door by one without immediately
lock’d after her.

Amal.

Where is this wretched Mourner?

Oh! let me find him, tho’ to raise his Sorrows

With 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!

She puts her Handkerchief before her Eyes weeping.

Aristor.

Whoe’er thou art, repeat again that
Sound:

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.

Amal.

This from Aristor! this to Amalintha!
She rises and shews her Face.

Aristor.

Why wou’d’st thou tempt me thus advent’rous
Maid,

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!

Oh X8r 319
Oh! do not trust it――

But fly this Ground, while I have Power to bid
thee.

Amal.

Aristor, no; my Flight shall not preserve
me:

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.

Aristor.

Tryal beyond the Strength of Man
and Lover!

Amal.

Or, if you wou’d be quicker in Dispatch,

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.

She faints, he catches her in his Arms.

Aristor.

Oh! stop the glorious Fugitive a moment;

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 X8v 320

To set again the Springs of thine in working.

Amal.

I hear your Summons, and my Life
returns:

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?

Aristor.

By the soft Fires of Love, that fill my
Breast,

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?

Amal.

’Twas none of mine, by your dear self I
swear;

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.

Aristor.

I will believe you to my Heart’s relief,

Which must have broke, had your Consent been
with her.

But, 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.

Amal.

And so again, Aristor, we’ll contrive,

And so again, we’ll meet, and sigh, and love.

Aristor.

Oh! O’,O’,――Amalintha!

Amal.

Oh! why that Groan, that deep, that
deathlike Groan!

Aristor.

When Soul and Body part, it can’t be
softer;

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.

Amal.

Indeed, you’ve call’d my wand’ring
Fancy back

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 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?

She weeps.

Aristor.

Cease to oppress me more; thou weeping
Beauty,

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!

Amal.

Never to meet agen? Tell me but that.

Aristor.

Alas! not I, the Fates can only tell it:

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.

Amal.

No: on those Terms you mean, we
must not meet:

But since those Fates deny it to your Power,

The Y2r 323

The Will I to your mighty Wrongs forgive,

From without the Door.

Phila.

Madam, you’ll be surpriz’d; haste to
return:

Your Father’s now just going to your Lodgings.

Aristor.

All Plagues and Curses meet him!
Aside.

Amal.

Oh! then I must be gone.

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.

Aristor.

Fear not, my Love.

Phila.

Haste, Madam, haste, or we are all
Undone.
From without.

Amal.

So from his few short Moments calls
away

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.

Aristor.

Whilst, like the Friend that’s sadly
weeping by,

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!

Exit. Y2 The Y2v 324
The Stage darken’d represents the Inside of a Dungeon,
Aristomenes lying down in it, and struggling as
coming out of a Swoon.

Aristom.

At last ’tis vanquish’d; and my soaring
Spirits

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 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!

A Voice within Sings.

1st Voice.

Fallen Wretch! make haste, and Dye!

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!

The Voice ceases. Y3 Aristom. Y3v 326

Aristom.

Thou counsell’st rightly; show me but
the way,

And with the Speed thou urgest I’ll obey thee.

He rises. The Voice Sings again.

1st Voice.

A pointed Rock with little pains

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!

Aristom.

I come, thou kind Provoker of Despair,

Which still is nearest Cure, when at the Highest.

I come, I come――

Going towards the Voice, another Sings at the
other side, upon which He stops and listens.

2d Voice.

Stay, oh! stay; ’tis all Delusion,

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 Y4r 327

Mortal, on their Pleasures wait,

Nor rush into the Arms of Fate.

The Voice ceases.

Aristom.

To hope, is still the Temper of the
Brave:

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?

1st Voice.

I thy evil Genius am,

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.

2d Voice.

I’ll protect him from thy Pow’r.

1st Voice.

I shall find a careless Hour.

2d Voice.

Laurels He again shall wear,

War and Honour’s Trumpet hear.

1st Voice.

For one fatal, famous Day,

He his dearest Blood shall pay.

Hear it ye repeating Stones,

And confirm it by your Groans!

A dismal Groan is heard round the Dungeon.

Aristom.

What all this Bellowing for a Conqueror’s
Death!
Y4 The Y4v 328

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.

1st Voice.

Now away, away I fly;

For hated Good is rushing by.

Here the Voice ceases quite. A machine, like a Fox, runs about the Dungeon smelling,
and rushes against Aristomenes, who taking
it for his evil Genius, catches at it, and speaks.

Aristom.

What! hast thou Substance too, and
dar’st assault me!

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.

Exit. led out by the Fox.
The Scene changes to the Plains by the Woodside. Enter from the Wood Herminia alone and faint.

Herm.

Here ’twas she left me; but so far I’ve
stray’d,

Unheeding every thing, but my sad Thoughts,

That 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.

She sits down, leaning against a Tree. Enter Climander looking towards the Camp, as expecting
the return of Arcasius.

Clim.

He has exceeded much the time prefixt;

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.

He goes out.

Herm.

He’s gone, but quickly will return again;

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.

Enter Y5v 330 Enter again Climander with Water in a Pomegranate-
Shell.

Clim.

Pan! if thou e’er did’st hear a Shepherd’s
Prayer,

Endue this Water, sacred to thy Name,

With all the Vertues, needful to restore her.

She drinks.

Herm.

Your Pray’r is heard; kind Shepherd take
my Thanks,

And He, whom you invok’d, reward you largely!

Clim.

Oh! You may far outdo all He can grant,

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.

Herm.

Alas! I have no Flocks, or Skill to guide
them;

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.

Clim.

She may be Noble then; and for her Form,

’Tis sure the fairest that my Eyes e’er fix’d on.

Aside.

Who were your Parents, gentle Maid, declare?

Herm.

They were not mean, and yet I must
conceal them:

My Mother early Dy’d; but Fame has told me,

She’d 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.

Clim.

The Best of Men! and you the Fairest
Woman!

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.

Herm.

Protect me all ye Powers, that wait on
Virtue,

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!

Clim.

A Man there lives not, shou’d have urg’d
that to me,

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.

Herm.

I can forgive, whilst I forbid such Language;

Since She, who yields to have her Beauty worshipp’d,

Must pay too much to him, that brings the Incense.

Clim.

To Me you cannot, ’tis a Debt to Fate.

Your Heart is mine; the amorous Stars ordain it,

Which smiling, hung o’er my auspicious Birth,

And 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.

Herm.

I must not leave you with a Thought
that wrongs me:

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.

Clim.

Heav’n can’t be true, if it no more affords,

Nor Oracles explain themselves by Words.

Let talking Age the Joys of Friendship prove,

Beauty for Youth was made, and Youth alone for
Love.

Exeunt severally.
Act. Y7r 333

Act III. Scene I.

A Myrtle-Grove with a Fountain belonging
to Anaxander’s Palace.
Enter Amalintha and Phila.

Amal.

Why had not I a barb’rous Spartan
Soul,

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!

Phila.

’Twas on those fatal Plains, I well remember,

That first your Eyes encounter’d with Aristor’s.

Amal.

Yes, in a Chace we met, when Truce
allow’d it,

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.

Phila.

When I arriv’d the first of all your Train,

I heard you thank him for the gen’rous Rescue.

Amal.

I did; yes Phila, with my Heart I thank’d
him,

And paid if down a Ransom for my Life:

Since 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.

She walks into the Grove. From the other Door, the Fox runs over the Stage,
follow’d soon after by Aristomenes, his Hands foul
with Earth.

Aristom.

Farewell my wild Companion, and my
Leader!
Pointing to the Fox.

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.

Washes the Earth off his Hands, and rises. Re-enter Amalintha.

Amal.

Oh! ’tis all dismal, now that Love is absent,

Faded the Flow’rs, and with’ring ev’ry Branch:

Whilst 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.

Aristom.

As comes the Mole, by painful working
upwards,

Till the sweet Air beat on my clammy Brows.

Amal.

There’s something mystical in what you
utter;

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.

Aristom.

I’d not deny my Name, to ’scape that
Dungeon,
Pointing behind the Scenes.

From whence these Hands have dug my way to
Light.

’Tis Aristomenes that stands before you.

Amal.

O blest and strange Surprize!
Aside.

Aristom.

Now, if you have a Soul for noble Deeds,

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, Y8v 336

Nay, look not round; for if you fear you wrong
me,

I wou’d not injure you, to gain my Safety.

Amal.

Nor wou’d I fail to help you to secure it,

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 Stars

Gives him her Dagger.

Have plac’d such there, as know and wou’d detain
you.

Aristom.

As long as Life, I’ll proudly wear this
Favour.

Amal.

Oh! haste, my Lord, lose not this precious
moment.

Aristom.

No, stay; and ere I take one step
tow’rds Freedom,

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.

Amal.

Know then, my Lord――

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 dear

Than Z1r 337

Than what I now assist you to preserve.

Aristom.

By Liberty, which none like me can
value,

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.

Amal.

Of you, my Lord, and of the list’ning
Gods

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!

Exit Aristom. leading her. Enter Phila weeping.

Phila.

What shall I say, or how reveal this to
her?

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!

Amalintha returns.

Amal.

Oh! Phila, I such Tydings have to tell
thee,

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.

Z Phila. Z1v 338

Phila.

Yet he do’s live:

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!

Amal.

Go on; and if thou kill’st me with the
Story,

Believe thou’st crown’d the Kindness of thy Life,

By giving endless Rest to her that wants it.

Phila.

I cannot speak――
Weeping.

Amal.

Then one, that can, I instantly must
seek for.
Going out.

Phila.

Publick Enquiry pulls his Ruin on her.

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.

Amal.

Darkness, and Night surround me.

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 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.

Exit weeping and leaning on Phila.
The Scene changes to the Plains. Enter Climander.

Clim.

All Patience this wou’d tire――

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.

Arcas.

’Twas vain to move, ’till I had seen the
utmost,

Clim.

The utmost! What was that, will they
not Fight?

Not Dye for such a General!

Arcas.

My Lord, they will not――

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 Z2v 340

The Meaner sort cry out aloud for Pay,

And mutiny to be discharg’d the Service.

Clim.

Base, mercenary Slaves! Yet these I’ll
use:

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.

He is going.

Arcas.

Since you’re determin’d to attempt these
Dangers,

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!

Clim.

For this discov’ry I’ll return another

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.

Exeunt. Enter Herminia and Barina.

Bar.

See we are come to soon; I said ’twou’d
prove so.
Herm. Z3r 341

Herm.

It is no matter, long we shall not wait. Bar. looks out for the Shepherds.

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.

Bar.

Sure, they’ve put off this melancholy
Meeting

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.

Herm.

Be not impatient: Where can we be
better?

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?

Bar.

She did; and therefore never wou’d consent

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,

Herm.

D’ye call those nightly Visions then but
Trifles?

Bar.

No doubt our Dreams are so; the work
of Phancy,

Where things of Yesterday are odly piec’d

Z3 With 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.

Herm.

We’ll walk a while――

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!

They go off the Stage. Enter at the other Door Climander.

Clim.

Either my Eyes, indulgent to my Love,

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.

Exit. Re-enter Herminia.

Herm.

She fears my Fate, and fain wou’d have
me go,

Before th’ assembling Shepherds are arriv’d;

And having met one that can give her tydings,

Is busy to enquire about their coming.

Untimely Z4r 343

Untimely Caution!―― ――’Tis too late to move,

When once o’ertaken by the wings of Love.

Enter Climander behind her.

Clim.

From those fair Lips no sooner fell that
word,

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.

Herm.

No; I have spoke too much――

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.

Clim.

Oh! not if Love be there; it cannot be:

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.

Herm.

He shakes my Soul, whilst thus he do’s
describe it:

For all he speaks I feel, and he must find.

Aside. Z4 Oh! Z4v 344

Oh! yet, let me reflect upon my Birth,

And quit, in time, the Ground I can’t maintain!

She’s going.

Clim.

Nay, do not fly me, and I will be Speechless:

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.

Herm.

Meet him no more! then, what can
Crowns afford me,

Amidst the noisie Pomp, that waits their Lustre?

Still shou’d I vainly listen for the Sound

Aside.

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.

She stops and turns towards him.

Clim.

Blest be the Thought, that thus retards
your steps,

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.

Kneels and kisses her Hand. Herm. Z5r 345

Herm.

Take, freely take this first and last of
Favours.

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.

Clim.

I must not love you, tho’ you Sigh to
speak it!

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?

Herm.

Those Gods, who made our Births so
disproportion’d,

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.

Enter Arcasius with a Casket.

Clim.

Then in this happy Form, since you approve
it,

Behold――

She interrupts him.

Herm.

No more! as you wou’d keep th’ Esteem
I’ve shown you.
Exit.

Clim.

Another time must tell this Secret to her.

Th’ Ambition of her Mind charms like her Person,

Aside. Nor 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.

Exeunt with the Casket follow’d by Arcasius. Enter Theata and Lamia.

Lamia.

The Dews are falling, and the Sun declin’d,

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.

Theata.

When all our Hours were gay, it was
not thus:

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?

Lamia.

Now thou dost talk of Love, yet ere
we part,

Or fall into our melancholy Strains,

Lend to that Eccho, greedy of thy Voice,

Some moving Words, upon so soft a subject.

Theata.

Rather that Song I’d chuse, which do’s
prefer

To all things else the Joys of these sweet Plains;

Since, now perhaps, we must too soon forsake them.

Lamia. Z6r 347

Lamia.

A better can’t be chose; haste to perform
it,

Lest the sad Ceremony break our purpose.

Theata,[Speaker label not present in original source]

TheSong.

(1.)

She Sings.
A young Shepherd his Life

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.

(2.)

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.

Thealta. Z6v 348

Thealta.

What Shouts are these!
Shouts.

Lamia.

They’re loud, and speak some Joy; and
still repeated.
Enter Herminia and Barina.

Lamia.

Fair Stranger, know you whence these
Shouts proceed?

Herm.

I do not; but these coming, sure, can
tell us.
Enter with great Signs of Joy Clinias with other Shepherds and Shepherdesses, &c.

Climn.

Swell, swell, Panisus, o’er thy spacious
Bounds,

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!

Lamia.

Such Sounds, as these, meet with a
gen’ral welcome:

But yet, the Cause we wish to hear explain’d.

Good Clinias, tell the Cause――

Clin.

He is return’d, and stands, like Fate,
amongst ’em,

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.

Herm.

’Tis Aristomenes thou hast describ’d:

No other e’er cou’d fill a Praise like this.

Clin.

’Tis He indeed, next to the Gods, our
Succour.

Herm.

Transporting News! how did the Army
meet him?
Clin. Z7r 349

Clin.

Just as a long stopt Current meets the Sea,

And rushes on, when once ’t has forc’d a Passage.

2d Shep.

Heav’n has their Plumes; for high as
that they toss ’em:

And not a dusty Soldier in the Host,

That has not hugg’d him to his swarthy Bosom.

Clin.

No Voice is what it was an Hour ago;

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.

2d Shep.

How he escap’d, all ask in such Confusion,

That their loud Questions drive his Answers back,

And will not let them reach the nearest to him.

Herm.

It is enough, ye Powers that guard Messenia!

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.

Exit with Bar.

Lam.

Where is Aristor? Is he too return’d?

Clin.

That question did the Gen’ral ask aloud;

And ’twas the only one that cou’d be heard:

But Z7v 350

But no reply was made; I think he is not.

Theata.

Then we’re but half restor’d――

For he so heavily will take that Loss,

Our Joys will not be long, nor he amongst us.

Lamia.

Fear not the worst――

2d. Shep.

I met a rumour of a stranger Prince,

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.

Clin.

’Tis true; of Rhodes they say,

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.

2nd Shep.

The Gen’ral’s safe, and that’s enough
for us:

Now therefore Clinias, you that guide our Sports,

Tell us what we’re to do to shew our Joy.

Clin.

To Laugh, to Sing, to Dance, to Play,

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 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.

Exeunt.

Act IV. Scene I.

The General’s Pavilion. Enter Drest in the Habit of an Officer Demagetus
with Arcasius.

Dema.

Sh’ has left the Plains, and is not to be
found.

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.

Acra.

You will not hear (so much your Passion
sways)

The Reasons, why I chose to see you first,

Ere I proceeded to pursue her Paths.

Dema.

Therespoke the sixty Winters, that have
froze thee,

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.

He’s going. Arca. Z8v 352

Arca.

Behold these Tokens, and let them retard
you.

Dema.

Tokens of Love, sent to the fond Climander.

Oh! thou hast found a way indeed to stay me.

Arca.

Take that, to you directed; A Letter.

And ’twas my Hopes from thence of some Discovery,

That kept me here ’till you had broke and read it.

Dema.

Then thou shalt hear it. Reads the Direction.

“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?

Arca.

I was not negligent, nor wou’d be thought
so:

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 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.

Dema.

I shew’d thee, as we pass’d, her new
rais’d Hamlet.

Arca.

Thither at last I went, but Oh! too late:

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.

Dema.

Give me that Emblem of my fatal Passion:

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.

Aa A Aa1v 354 A Flourish. Enter Aristomenes, Aristor, Alcander, and
other Attendants.

Aristom.

Why, Demagetus, art thou from my
Sight,

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.

Dema.

Alas! my Lord――

Aristom.

A Soldier sigh, when courting Fame
attends him!

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.

Enter Aa2r 355 Enter an Attendant to Aristomenes.

Attend.

The Princess is without, and waits
your Pleasure.

Aristom.

Conduct her in――

I sent for her, to see the generous Stranger.

To Alcander. Enter behind the Company Herminia and Barina.

Aristor.

My Lord, what you command, I take
in charge.
To Aristomenes.

Tell me, my best of Friends, the way to serve you.

To Demagetus.

Dema.

I know it not my self, and that’s the
Torture.

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.

Herm.

Climander―― To Barina.

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!

To herself.

Aristom.

So sad a Pause still keeps us in Suspence:

Proceed, and if there’s help on Earth, we’ll find it.

Dema.

At my return, made joyful by Success,

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 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.

Aristom.

Perhaps ’tis some Mistake,

If other Proofs are wanting to confirm it.

Dema.

Oh! far too many for Climander’s Peace.

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.

Gives the Letter and Ring to Aristomenes.

Herm.

The Character and Signet will betray me;

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.

Aristom.

Ha! Thou dost much surprize me;
but go on,

And, ’till she has finish’d, let no Word be utter’d.

Dema.

By all my fleeting Sorrows ’tis my Love:

Nor cou’d I, but to hear her speak, be Silent.

Aside.

Aristom.

Proceed, and ’bate those Tears, that
stay thy Speech.

Herm.

That I have stoop’d below the Blood
you gave me,

And cast my doating Love upon that Shepherd,

(For such he is, altho’ a Plume adorns him)

My 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.

Aristom.

Be comforted, and farther yet unfold

How first you came acquainted with this Shepherd.

Herm.

To ’scape the Fury of prevailing Foes,

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.

Aristom.

Where he a Prince, and still wou’d
urge his Suit

Wou’d’st thou receive’t, and bless the Pow’rs that
sent him?

Herm.

I shou’d not hide my Thoughts, or blush
to own them.

Yes, I cou’d bless those Pow’rs which now undo me.

Demagetus comes forward.

Demag.

I cannot wait these Forms; Love plead
my Pardon,

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.

Aristom.

Then take her, thou most worthy
Prince of Rhodes!
Giving her to him.

And know, Herminia, to encrease thy Passion,

Thou hold’st that noble Hand, that sav’d thy
Brother,

Aa3 And Aa3v 358

And gives thy Father, in this new Alliance,

More Joy, than when he first receiv’d and bless’d
thee.

Dema.

Let all the Joys of Earth give place to
mine,

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.

Herm.

So let mine flow, and O Barina, see

I smiling give my Hand now to a Shepherd,

Yet fear not to offend my Mother’s Ghost.

Bar.

No; that smiles too, and all that love and
serve you.

Arca.

The Fate of Rhodes is clear and chearful
now;

And old Arcasius has outliv’d his Cares.

Aristor.

Now as a Brother, take this new Embrace;
To Demagetus.

Tho’ all the Love, it shews, you had before.

Aristom.

Conduct her, Demagetus, to her Tent:

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 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!

Aristor.

My Prince, my Gen’ral, and the Best
of Fathers!

Aristom.

Thy Heart speaks loud, and knocking
at my Breast

Seems as ’twou’d close in conference with mine.

Aristor.

It wou’d, my Lord, and strives to force
its Passage.
Aristomenes looses his Arms from embracing him.

Aristom.

Oh, no my Son! for now I must be
plain,

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.

Aristor.

Oh! that you did not love, or wou’d
not ask it!

I cannot speak, for speaking must offend:

Yet shou’d my Silence grieve such mighty Goodness,

Aa4 ’Twou’d 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.

Aristom.

My other Comforts! All are light to
Thee:

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?

Aristor.

My Life I rather wou’d; but Oh! my
Lord!
[Sighs.

Aristom.

Another Sigh, another yet, my Son!

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――

Aristor.

Believe that if ’twere fit, it shou’d be
told:

But Oh! my Lord, ’tis what you must not know.

Aristom.

Not I, Aristor! if thy Soul were bare

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 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.

Aristor.

Ha! Virtuous Love!

Aristom.

What, dost thou start? why, so I
meant thou shou’d’st.

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.

Aristor.

On Ida’s Top not Paris made a nobler,

When of three Goddesses he chose the Fairest.

Aristom.

Will she not hear thy Love?

Aristor.

Oh yes! with all the softness of her Sex,

And answers it with Vows, more strong than Ours.

Aristom.

If thus it be, what hast thou then to
fear?

Aristor.

A Father’s Wrath, more dreadful to
Aristor

Than is the frown of Jove, that shakes the Poles,

And makes the Gods forget they are Immortal.

Aristom.

Thou wrong’st my Love in that
mistaken Terror.

By all those Powers I swear, I will not cross thee;

Be she a Spartan Dame, ’bate me but One,

And Aa5v 362

And tho’ a Foe, I yield thou shou’d’st possess her.

Aristor.

I dare not ask; my trembling Love
forbids it.

Who is that One, so fatally excepted?

Aristom.

Then, I’ll by telling thee prevent that
Trouble.

It is the Tyrant Anaxander’s Daughter,

Whom, tho’ I ne’er beheld, I must abhor,

As borrowing her Blood from such a Fountain.

Aristor.

Take mine, my Lord, then to wash
out that Stain
Offers his Breast.

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.

Aristom.

Confusion seize those Words, and Her
that caus’d ’em!

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.

Aristor.

Of all the Instruments by Vulcan form’d,

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 Aa6r 363

And see me proud in Death to wear that Favour.

Aristomenes amaz’d looks on the Dagger, and
speaks to himself.

Aristom.

This Dagger Her’s, this Anaxander’s
Daughter’s!

Fate then is practising upon my Soul

What sudden Turns, and Tryals man can bear.

Aristor.

Oh! do not pause――

Lest fainting with the Weight of what I feel,

I poorly fall, unlike your Son or Soldier.

Aristom.

If this were Her’s, Her’s were the
grateful Vows,

With which I rashly charg’d the Life she gave me.

Still to himself.

Aristor.

Ha! not a Look, not one sad parting
Word!

Then my own Hand thus sets me free for ever.

Offers to Stab himself, but is stay’d by Aristomenes.

Aristom.

Hold! by Love and Duty yet a moment
hold!

Aristor.

My Life they’ve swayed, and must
command a Moment

But let it not exceed, lest both I cancel,

And only listen to my wild Despair.

Aristom.

Shall I perform them? shall I hear her
plead?

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 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.

Enter an Attendant.

Attend.

Pardon, my gracious Lord, this bold
Intrusion.

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.

Aristom.

Retire, and if not call’d, return no
more.

Aristor.

’Tis Amalintha’s Ring, my Amalintha’s:

She’s come in time, to see me fall her Victim.

Aristom.

No; to receive her from my Hand,
my Son;

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.

Aristor.

The Transports of my Soul be thus exprest;

Then let me Dye, for having griev’d such Goodness.

Embracing his Father’s Knees.
Aristom. Aa7r 365

Aristom.

No; rise my Son, go meet and chear
thy Love,

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.

He goes into the inner Tent. Aristor goes out at
the other Door and re-enters immediately leading
Amalintha veil’d follow’d by Phila.

Aristor.

Dismiss that Cloud, and with it all your
Fears,

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.

Kisses her Hand.

Amal.

Thus, after each short absence, may we
meet,

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.

Aristor.

Still may they prove a Haven for my
Love,

Too strong for all the Shocks of rig’rous Fortune.

But what beneath thy Father’s Roof cou’d fright
thee?

Or Aa7v 366

Or what bold Danger break thro’ his Protection?

Amal.

’Twas from Himself, and all the Lords
of Sparta.

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――

Aristor.

That Villain will be first in Blood and
Mischief.

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?

Amal.

I did believe them so, ’till he disprov’d it:

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.

Aristor.

As swiftly may the bounteous Gods
reward him.

Amal.

This, my Aristor, brings me to your Tents,

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.

Enter Aa8r 367 Enter Aristomenes from the inward Tent.

Aristom.

That Army you have nam’d, shall first
in Flames

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.

Amal.

Beyond Aristor’s Heart there’s no Request,

No longing Thought, no Hope for Amalintha:

For still his Love prescrib’d their tender Limits.

Aristor.

Oh! let it not be thought irrev’rent
Passion,

If in the awful Presence of a Father

I run upon my Joys, and grasp ’em thus.

Embraces her.

Aristom.

Thou well dost intimate I shou’d retire;

For Privacy is only fit for Lovers.

Aristor.

Pardon my Transport, Sir, nor thus
mistake it.

Aristom.

No more, my Son! but when the
Trumpet calls,

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.

Aristor.

Never was I yet wanting to my Charge.

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 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.

Amal.

Confirm it, all ye soft and gentle Pow’rs!

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.

Aristor.

I saw your dire Intent, and that preserv’d
me:

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.

Trumpets sound. Amal. Bb1r 369

Amal.

No; for too much their own Concern
engag’d them.

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?

Aristor.

Oh! yes, I must; it is the Voice of
Honour.

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.

He leads her off.

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.

Offiocer.

My Lord! I’m from Alcander bid
to say,

The Battle he has marshall’d as you order’d;

And that your Presence now is only wanted.

Aristom.

Tell him we come; and let the Drums
beat higher.
Bb Now, Bb1v 370

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.

Dem.

Still you’re the Best of Men, as they
declar’d you.

Aristom.

Now let me fold thee thus, my Life’s
best Treasure!
He Embraces Aristor, but seems disorder’d, and
not to feel him in his Arms, which he often clasps
about him.

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?

Aristor.

Here my dear Lord, here pressing to
your Bosom.
His Voice seems to Aristomenes to be low and
different from what it was usually.

Aristom.

From what far distant Valley comes
thy Voice?
It Bb2r 371

It sounds so hollow, scarce my Ear receives it.

Aristor.

What means my noble Father!

Aristom.

Till now, my faithful Senses never
fail’d me.

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.

Aristor.

You reason with your self, and turn
from others.

May we not know what thus disturbs your
Thoughts?

Aristom.

Nothing――a Vapour cross’d me, but
’tis gone:

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.

He draws his Sword and goes off follow’d by the
rest with their Swords drawn, Drums and Shouts
of Battle immediately succeed.
The Noise continues, the Scene changes to a
fine Tent.
Enter Amalintha follow’d by Phila.

Amal.

Not yet enough! when will this Discord
cease!

Is there no happy Land,

Where only Love, and its kind Laws prevail?

Bb2 Where Bb2v 372

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.

Phila.

Why shou’d you, Madam, who have
pass’d already,

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.

Amal.

So do’s it seem; but yet my failing
Spirits

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.

Phila.

Your Fate work his? it rather will protect
him.

But here come Tydings, and the Bearer smiles;

Good let them be, and these vain Fears will vanish.

Enter Bb3r 373 Enter an Officer.

Amal.

From Prince Aristor? Do’s he live, and
send you?

Officer.

Madam he does――

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.

Amal.

Take this, and wear it, Soldier, for your
News;
Gives him a Jewel.

And may your Honours still outshine its Lustre.

Stay here, whilst I report this to Herminia,

If Demagetus too be yet in safety.

Officer.

He is; and near Aristor did I leave him.

Amal.

Come with me, Phila; yet my Heart is
heavy,

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.

Exit with Phila into the Tent.

Officer.

The Centinels have all forsook the Tents,

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.

He conceals himself. Bb3 Enter Bb3v 374 Enter Clarinthus with others disguis’d like
Messenian Soldiers.

Clar.

You heard the King, and the chief Lords
of Sparta

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.

Sold.

We did, we did――

Clar.

You’ve also heard, ’twas Amalintha’s
Action.

Sold.

Yes, and the King then said, his Vow
shou’d stand:

And she had Dy’d, I think, had she not fled
for’t.

Clar.

’Tis true; therefore when I reflected on
our Curse,

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.

They follow him into the inner Tent and the
conceal’d Officer comes out.

Officer.

Curst Conspiration, not to be prevented

With but my single Arm against their Numbers!

But to the Battle, and Aristor’s Ear I’ll fly for
Help;

That Bb4r 375

That may o’ertake, and cross the bloody Purpose.

Exit. The Women shriek in the inner Tent, and Re-enter
Clarintha, &c. leading in Amalintha and Phila.

Amal.

Messenians are ye, and yet treat me thus!

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.

Clar.

’Tis but too just, and do’s not ask explaining.

Amal.

Oh! now Clarinthus in your Voice I read

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.

Clar.

Will you, relying then on me for Safety,

Forbear to cry for Help, as we conduct you?

Amal.

By Castor’s Soul I swear it.

Clar.

Then taking first her Dagger, free her
Arms.

Give me your Hand, and now perform your
Promise,

To follow where I’ll lead you――

Just as Clarinthus is offering to take her Hand,
she snatches Phila’s Dagger, and then answers
Clarinthus.

Amal.

No, stay Clarinthus; that I did not Promise.

My Voice, and not my Feet, my Word engag’d;

Bb4 And Bb4v 376

And whilst my Hand holds this, I will not follow.

Clar.

So swift and subtle? yet disarm and take
her.

Amal.

Hear me but speak, Clarinthus:

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.

Clar.

More than I love Rewards, I hate Messenia;

Therefore alive or dead will bear you from ’em.

He offers to seize her, she keeping him
off with her Dagger kneels.

Amal.

Oh! Pity yet my Youth, and wretched
Fortunes;

A Princess at your Feet behold in Tears,

And spare my Blood, the Royal Blood of Sparta.

Clar.

Yes, and be lost our selves to save a
Trayt’ress?

For, such you’ve been to that high Blood you’ve
boasted.

I will not spare nor pity, but thus seize you.

He wrests the Dagger from her, she rises hastily
and follow’d by Phila escapes into the Tent,
Clarinthus pursues her, and immediately the
Cries of Women are heard.
Enter at the other Door Aristor and Soldiers.

Aristor.

Oh! we are come in time. Detested
Villains,

Your Deaths are all that you shall meet with here.

They fight. Re-enter Bb5r 377 Re-enter Clarinthus.

Clar.

The Victim’s struck which could not be
borne off.
Aside.

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.

Aristor.

Dye; and those Fiends thou call’st on,
meet thy Spirit.

I askt but that, to crown the War we’ve ended.

He and his Men fall on the rest, fighting off the Stage. Enter Amalintha wounded and supported by Phila.

Amal.

Phila thy Hand; help me to reach that
Couch,

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 Embrace

Sits 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.

Phila.

Thus pale, thus faint, and dying must I
leave you!

Amal.

Yes; if thou wilt obey, thou must retire:

But be not far, and when thou seest me fall’n

Dead 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.

Phila.

Let me but stay, at least ’till he’s arriv’d.

Amal.

’Twou’d cross my Purpose, hark! I
hear him coming.

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.

Enter Aristor hastily, and sits down by her.

Aristor.

How fares my Love? sink not beneath
your Fears,

When this most lucky Hand has made them
groundless,

Securing to my Life its greatest Blessing,

Your matchless Love, and all its dying Transports.

Amal. Bb6r 379

Amal.

Its dying Transports, did you say
Aristor?

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?

Aristor.

Indeed, there are but few, that are thus
Happy.

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.

Amal.

Oh! no, to mine I gladly did admit it

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.

She embraces him.

Aristor.

Far be that Hour; but Oh! my Amalintha,

Proceed thus to describe thy tender Soul,

And charm me with thy mighty Sense of Passion:

For 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.

Amal.

Oh! yes, it do’s; it meets the vast Delight,

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.

Aristor.

Believe not, that I slighted such Perfections.

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.

Amal.

For Time, or Age, I think not of their
Power.

But, after Death, Aristor, cou’d you love me,

Still call to me your Thoughts, when so far absent,

And Bb7r 381

And mourn me sleeping in that Rival’s Arms?

Aristor.

Yes; if I cou’d outlive my Amalintha,

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.

Embraces her, and she starts and groans.

Amal.

Oh! O’, O’, O’.

Aristor.

Nay, if the gentle foldings of my Love,

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.

Amal.

Secret it shou’d have been, ’till Death
had seal’d it;

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.

Aristor.

Oh fatal sound! but let me not suppose
it,

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 Gods

The 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.

Endeavours to go.

Amal.

Aristor stay; nor let my closing Eyes

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.

Aristor.

No, Amalintha; if it must be so,

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.

Amal.

Oh! let me plead in Death against that
Purpose,

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

Aristor――

She Dies. Aristor. Bb8r 383

Aristor.

Her fleeting Breath has borne far hence
my Name:

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.

My Amalintha――

He takes her in his Arms and dies. Enter Phila.

Phila.

I shou’d have come, and urg’d his Preservation,

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.

She falls in a Swoon at Amalintha’s Feet. Shouts of Victory. Enter Demagetus, Arcasius,
Alcander,
and several Officers, their Swords
drawn as coming from Battle.

Demag.

A glorious Day, and warmly was it
fought:

Nor ever did a Victory more complete

Stoop 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.

Alcand.

They say, that Anaxander he has freed

As generously, as he’d ne’er known the Dungeon.

Demag.

He did, at Prince Aristor’s kind Request;

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!

Alcand.

O sudden Horror! where’s our Conquest
now,

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.

Dema.

We’ll all join to encrease the mournful
Shower.

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 support

A Cc1r 385

A Change so sudden in his wretched Fortune.

Nor can we learn from whence this Loss proceeds.

Phila.

Yes, that you may from me: Life yet
remains,

And will admit of the too dire Relation.

Demag.

Then gently bear her hence, and hear
it from her;
They lead off Phila.

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.

They stand together before the Bodies. A Flourish of Drums and Trumpets,
with Shouts of Joy.
Enter several Officers and Soldiers, the Shepherds and
Shepherdesses strewing Flowers, follow’d by Aristomenes,
his Sword drawn in his Hand, and a
Wreath of Victory on his Head.

Aristom.

Enough my Friends! enough my
Fellow-Soldiers!

And you kind Shepherds, and your gentle
Nymphs,

Receive my Thanks for the Perfumes you scatter,

Which yet shall flourish under our Protection.

Shepherds, &c.

Great Aristomenes! Live long
and happy!
Cc Others. Cc1v 386

Others.

Live long and happy, Father of Messenia!

Aristom.

Now to fair Amalintha wou’d I speak

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.

Demag.

Enquire it not, my Lord; too soon
’twill find you.

Aristom.

I must prevent it by my hasty Search.

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.

Demag.

Aristor’s here, but Oh! he cannot
speak.
You Cc2r 387

You have it now, my Lord, and must weep
with us.

Aristom.

Thy Tongue has warn’d my Eyes to
seek the Centre:
Looks down.

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!

Demag.

Oh! never more!

Aristom.

The Sun will keep his Pace, and Time
revolve,

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!

Demag.

This Passion must rise higher, ere it
falls.

Divide, and let him know the worst.

To the Officers.
Cc2 Aristom. Cc2v 388

Aristom.

Where is my Son? my Grief has pass’d
all Bounds,

All dallying Circumstance, and vain Delusion,

And will be told directly where to find him.

Demag.

Oh! then behold him there!
They divide. He seeing the Bodies stands
awhile amaz’d and speechless, drops his Sword,
then speaks.

Aristom.

So look’d the World to Pyrrha, and
her Mate;

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.

He takes the Sword that lay at Aristor’s Feet, and
goes to fall upon it, Demagetus takes hold of it.
Demag. Cc3r 389

Demag.

Oh! hold, my Lord; nor stab at once
your Army.
All the Officers and Soldiers kneel, Alcander speaks.

Alcand.

We’re all your Sons; and if you strike,
my Lord,

The Spartans may come back, and take our
Bodies;

For when yours goes, our Spirits shall attend it.

They all prepare to fall on their Swords.

Aristom.

Wou’d you then have me live, when
thus unbowell’d,

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!

Demag.

Let me succeed him in his active Duty,

And join with all the Earth to bring you Comfort.

Aristom.

Comfort on Earth! Oh! ’tis not to
be found.

My Demagetus, thou hast far to travel;

The 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.

Demag.

With these indeed my Thoughts have
still been flatter’d.

Aristom.

Then let me draw this flatt’ring Veil
aside,

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.

Finis.