Antiochus the Great:

Or, The
Fatal Relapse.


As it is now Acted at the New-
in Lincolns-Inn-Fields. By
His Majesty’s Servants.

Written by Mrs. Jane Wiseman.


Printed for William Turner, at the Angel at Lincolns-Inn
; and Richard Bassett, at the Mitre over against
Chancery-Lane in Fleet-street
, 17021702.

A1v 1 pageomitted A2r

To the Right Honourable
Lord Jefferies,
Baron of Wem

My Lord


Though I cannot pursue the Road of Formal Dedications,
and Write a long unnecessary Discourse of the
Vertues of your Ancestors, who soar’d as much
above the Flattery of Poets, as the Malice of their Enemies;
and cou’d receive no Lustre from my Pen, had
my Age and Experience been of a larger extent; though
all the Charming Perfections of your Lordship, your admirable
Gay Humour, and eternal Vivacity of Wit, must
be pass’d by in Silence, for want of a more able Genius
to venture at the Task. Yet permit me to lay this
Trifling Poem at your Feet, which has nothing to recommend
it, but its Innocence; and as it is the first
Fruits of a Muse, not yet debas’d to the Low ImploymentA2 ment A2v
of Scandal or Private Reflection. The Reception
it met in the World, was not kind enough to make me
Vain, nor yet so ill, to discourage my Proceeding: Still
I design to follow that fickle Goddess Fortune, and try to
Charm her with what she seems to have most aversion to;
yet ’tis her fear that makes her flie from Poets with redoubled
haste, for well she knows the Power of Skilful
Numbers: Nor can I Despair of her Favour, for still as
she rejects, I’ll add to my Diligence, and with more
eagerness pursue the Chace; and sure there’s a necessity
that all resolv’d like me, should meet success at last: For
the Criticks, first, they Tax me with want of Business,
here I acquiesce, and making no Apology, only promise
them more hurry next time. Then they find fault with
Antiochus, as of too wavering a Character; Tho’ I believe,
if they wou’d but be at the trouble of examining themselves,
they wou’d do me Justice, and confess, ’tis natural
enough to Change the Language they are unwilling
to believe my own: and have chose one of our best
Poets for my Assistant, one I had not the happiness to
know, ’till after the Play was finish’d: But why shou’d
I keep your Lordship any longer on this Theme? To
your Judgment alone I submit; if there Condemn’d, I’ll
seek for no Appeal; and if Excus’d, fear no Censure;

My Lord,
Your Lordships Most Devoted,
Obliged, Humble Servant,

Jane Wiseman,



Spoken by Mr. Powel. Writ by a Friend.

’Tis a hard Tax upon the Stage we know,

That without Prologue, you’ll no Play allow:

Yet when you you have ’em, be they Grave or Witty,

For a Damn’d Play, they never move your Pity.

Nay, you’re displeas’d too if they are not new,

Though we are not to blame for that, but you.

For ’tis the Vice and Follies of the Age,

That with fresh Matter must supply the Stage:

But whilst our Fools and Knaves reare still the same,

How can you Prologues New, aoror Epilogues claim?

You’re lewd and foolish, as in the Beginning;

But you have no Variety of Sinning.

You still Trust Sharpers with your Gold at Play,

Cits still Trust you for Honour, not for Pay.

Ladies Intriegue by their own Ancient Rules,

Wou’d have it secret, and yet favour Fools.

Pert Lawyers Clerks, and spruce dapper Cits,

Quit thriving Cheats, to Starve in Verse like Wits.

Poets expose themselves to please the Town;

Criticks damn other Plays, yet shew their own.

The Roads to Vice and Folly are so known;

That even the Children of this Learned Town

Can at first sight foretel what Course you’ll take;

If Fool and Coward, then you’ll be a Rake.

If Hatched Fac’d, Quaint Body’d, Small Leg’d, they know.

The Odd Consumptive thing will be a Beau,

Who with Impudence presume, spight of their Faces,

With Wigg, and Drefs, to win the Ladies Graces.

If empty, vain, and possitive, they’ll be

A Wit—and play the Fool in Poetry.

And so in every Vice, in every Station,

There’s no Variety in all the Nation;

Ye Leading Sparks, pray bring up some New Fashion.

If you’ll but furnish us with some New Matter,

We’ll gratifie your Spleens with some New Satyr,

The A3v

The Dialogue Sung in the Third Act.

The Words by Mr. Gildon.


I vow, I think I’m grown a Woman,

Have Charms enough, enough to undo Man:

Besides, I’ll add a thousand Graces

They ne’er will find in other Faces.

Where’er I come I’ll raise Desire,

And light in e’ery Breast Loves Fire.

Here look brisk, and there look down;

On this I’ll smile, on that I’ll frown:

Gloat on this with Amorous Eye,

With looks severe that Fool deny;

With this I’ll laugh, with that I’ll cry,

With this all languishing I’ll die.

Thus from each Nymph I’ll bear her Swain,

And every Beau shall fill my Train.

Enter a young Shepherd.


Ah! Mirabella, Fair and Gay,

How oft I’ve wish’d this happy Day,

When I alone my Suit might move,

And tell you here how much I Love.

Ah! pity me, fair Mirabella,


What, Love from thee? Fough, filthy Fellow.

Is that a Dress, Is that a Mein,

With me in Publick to be seen.

No more of Love, oh, fie, fie, fie,


Oh! pity me, or else I die.


You sawcy thing, why what care I?


I’ll force a Kiss if you’re so shy.


Nay, pish, forbear; why what d’ye do Man?

You’ve nothing that can win a Woman.


I’ve Love, my fair one,


But no Money;


Enough to live on:


Peace, you Tony.

You’ve not enough to make you mine,

With Coach and Six, Sir, I must shine.

Sparkle in Box, and in the Ring,

Fough, be gone, thou filthy thing.


Oh! Pity me:


Oh! No, no, no.

Be gone, I say, you are no Beau,


No, I am Substance; He’s but Shew.



Be gone, I say, you are no Beau,


No, I am Substance, He’s but Shew.
Persons. A4r


Antiochus the Great, King of Asia and Syria. Mr. Powel.

Artenor, Brother to Leodice. Mr. Bowman.

Seleuchus, his Friend. Mr. Corey

Ormades, an Egyptian Prince, in Love with
Mr. Booth.

Philotas, an Egyptian, his Friend. Mr. Pack.

Archus, the Queens Eunuch. Mr. Porter.


Berenice, Queen, Secretly in Love with
Mrs,Mrs. Bowman.

Leodice, Sister to Artenor, Seduc’d by the
King, and now forsaken.
Mrs. Barry.

Irene, Favourite, Lady to the Queen. Mrs. Mertin.

Cypre, Favourite to Leodice,. Mrs. Prince.

Child to Leodice. Miss Porter.

Guards and Attendants.

Scene, Babylon.
A4v 1 pageomitted B1r 1

Or The
Fatal Relapse.

Act the First. Scene, a Room of State.

Leodice, Cypre, and Women.


She comes; she comes; the hated Berenice comes,

And I must fall to make my Rival way:

Curse on all Cowards, those slow dregs of Phlegm!

For Treason was not what the Rout dislik’d,

Mischief was ever welcome to their Wills:

But Courage fail’d, and the Slaves durst not Fight;

Else I had still been sole Commandress here;

Still Reign’d, in spight of an Usurping Queen,

Who by the Priviledge of an empty Title

Possesses all my Right.


The Change indeed is sad, yet do not grieve;

Great Hearts shou’d know to brave malicious Stars.


Canst thou believe so poorly of Leodice,

To think my Soul can lose by Fortune’s Frowns?

By the Immortal Powers, I scorn her Rage;

And still am great, and still will so continue,

’Till I think fit to end the busie Scuffle.

Nor shall the sprightly Boy I’ve born to Empire

Tamely resign to a lawful younger Brother.

Whilst I survive, I’ll teach him to Contend;

And when I die, by Fates severe Decree

My watchful Genius shall attend his Steps;

Inspire and lead him to revenge my Wrongs,

My ravish’d Power and my injur’d Love.


Hark! By these shouts they must be near at hand.


Away then, let’s retire and plot Revenge,

For with them comes my Artenor, my Brother;

Who shares my Injuries, and will my Vengeance.

Exeunt. B Scene B1v 2 Scene draws to the end of the Stage, Enter Antiochus, Berenice, Artenor, Seleuchus,
Philotas, Irene, and Ladies. Antiochus attended by Babylonians,
Berenice by Egyptians.


This day be Sacred to my Queen and Heaven,

That thus have doubly blest Antiochus

With matchless Beauty, and with glorious Peace.

Let my free Subjects taste unbounded Joy;

And let each Slave to day forget his Task.

Let the loud Peals of Gratitude be heard,

That distant Egypt may receive the sound,

And learn from thence how Berenice is ador’d,

Who condescended thus to wed a Foe,

And Crown his Arms with soft transporting Love,

Who sought her Father’s Empire and his Life.


Alas. Great Sir! To me there’s nothing due:

My Royal Father laid his strict Command,

And I the humble Creature of his Will,

Without dispute obey’d. ’Twas much indeed,

A Stranger and in Arms against himself!

He lov’d you, took you to his aged heart,

And gave you thence the dearest Pledge he had;

Which worthless as it is, if you are pleas’d,

Be all your generous Thanks apply’d to him.


Much to his Goodness I shall ever pay:

Much to the Gods that so inspir’d his Mind.

But, oh! to thee, the source of all my Joys,

To thee my grateful Soul for ever bends;

For thou wast Mistress of thy Lover’s Fate;

And hadst alone the Power to make me blest.

Thy Father gave thy hand, but cou’d no more;

And that without thy heart had made me wretched.


Nay, now you over-rate That Trifle;

For with my hand the sure Descent was given

Of Egypt’s Ancient Crown.


Oh, be not thus unkind, to wrong my Love,

And think that sullied with ambitious Falshood:

No! though thirst of Greatness drew me to the War;

Though Fame and Empire then were all I sought;

Yet when I heard of thy Angelick Form,

Thy wondrous Vertue and eternal Charms,

My hopes and wishes took another bent.

All that were by, can witness to my Love;

For when we met to treat of Peace and thee,

Ambition was no part of my concern:

I thought not of a Crown, but of thy Beauty.

B2r 3

And having urg’d thy Father to an Oath,

Thou shoud’st be mine, I had no more to say;

The rest was by my faithful Lords debated:

For Love and Expectation rais’d my Soul

Above regarding Articles of State!


Forgive me, Sir, if I have spoke amiss;

And let the just Obedience of my Life

Preserve your Love, and shew me grateful.


Both Soul and Body of Imperial make. Aside.


Come to my Arms, far dearer than my Soul;

To doubt my Passion, shews how well thou lovest.

Such kind Suspicion gives me new delight,

And I am blest beyond a Mortals share.


What shall I say to this excess of Love?


Say any thing, that I may hear thee talk:

For Charms are in thy Words, and Transport springs

From the bewitching Accents.


Oh, you are good, and will o’re-look my faults:

Nor frown to meet a Sadness in my Eyes

Not suiting with this Extasie.

The Cause will claim your Pardon and your Pity.

’Tis owing to a Daughter’s Tenderness,

Who, just parted from the best of Fathers,

Cannot forbear some Tears to his dear Memory,

Who sheds the same for me.


Forbear, thou best and kindest of thy Sex;

Cease to lament what thou shalt never miss:

For thou in thy Antiochus shalt find

A thousand Blessings more than thou hast lost.

The watchful pious Care of Philadelphus;

The eager Fondness of unpractis’d hearts;

The extasie of Passion at full growth;

And all that constant Faith which Heaven commands.


Sure none can boast a happier State than I,

Nor less regard it.



Then bannish Sorrow from thy lovely Breast,

It has no warrant to inhabit there:

The ugly and the old, the crawling Slave

Opprest with want and scorn, let them lament,

’Till anxious grief gnaw through their meagre forms,

Leaving them in the silent Arms of Death,


That certain cure of all our mortal ills,

And sase retreat for Monarch and for Slave.


But long may we be Strangers to its Shade:

We have no griefs to heal, no ills to shun;

Possest of all that’s valuable here:

Plac’d high in Power, and smiling Love our Friend.

B2 Each B2v 4

Each day shall bless us with some new delight;

And thronging Joys prevent our very Wishes,

’Till Heaven, to compleat and crown our Joy,

Forgives us Natures Debt, and makes us

Both immortal.


That were to make us wretched.

Pleasures like luscious Banquets cloy the most;

And constant Blessings dull and tasteless prove:

In vain you’d look for new Delights to charm.

At best we are but cheated with a shew,

An empty Vision of Variety!

Which when our restless Appetite receives,

We own the Disappointment.


Whence learn’d thy Youth these grave unequal Thoughts?

Thy Charms deny the Mortals thou wou’dst teach.

Every succeeding hour augments my Joy,

And shews new Beauties to my wondering Mind:

But lead we now where Mirth and Pleasure wait,

There let thy Smiles crown my exalted State;

And all thy Monarchs Happiness compleat.

Manet Artenor and Seleuchus.


She’s gone.


Curses attend her!


I know thy Grief; but do not curse the Queen,

She must be Good; or were she not, that form

Wou’d force a Blessing from the rudest breath.


She may be beautiful, and good as Angels,

Ingross the whole perfection of her Sex;

But she is rais’d upon my Sister’s Ruins,

And I am sworn her everlasting Foe.


She is indeed the Master-piece of Nature.


But she must fall

From the exalted top of tottering Power,

To low Contempt and Scorn.


What canst thou mean?


I mean, Leodice must rise again,

My banish’d injur’d Sister.

Come, thou’rt my Friend, and may’st assist me nobly.

What! lost in Thought? Thou canst not fear for me;

I have it in my Brain, to set all right again.


Ah, poor Seleuchus!


Ha! Why that Sigh, and these dejected Looks?

Now, by my Life, thou shalt not hide from me;

I’ve us’d thee like a Friend.

Sel. B3r 5


And I’ll return it; nay, o’re-pay the Tract:

I love the Queen.

My Eyes this hour have suck’d the Poyson in:

Nor can Despair expel the frantick Passion.

Though Birth and Marriage, Love, and every Barr

Which Fate can set ’twixt Happiness and me,

Oppose my Folly; yet I cannot turn,

But must adore, though sure to be undone.


Now, as thy Friend, I pity thee;

But have no power to condemn the Chance.

By this, thou’rt doubly bound to my Designs;

Both Interest and Friendship make thee mine;

For know, the Plot I’ve laid may serve thy ends.


You talk’d of Ruin to the Queen.


I’ll tell thee,

Antiochus was not the Man she chose;

But marry’d in obedience to her Father.

The brave Ormades, a young Native Prince,

Had Lov’d her long, and was agen belov’d,

But they conceal’d their Passions; why I know not.

And while the Prince was busied in the War,

Her Father forc’d her to Antiochus’s Bed,

In spight of all my subtile Opposition.


Is this thy Cordial to a fainting Friend?


Alas! Thy Brains are stupify’d by Love;

Or thou woud’st soon discern the health I offer.

This Tale improv’d, will give the King suspicion,

Which her unlucky Coldness will augment.

Those Tears consider’d, I can hardly think

The Tribute cou’d be paid to an old Father.

But shou’d I urge it, he’ll suspect my Interest.


Say this were done.


Then anxious days and restless gloomy nights

Wou’d breed indifference, and wrangling discord,

’Till all conclude in endless Separation.

Then he’ll remember his young smiling Image,

That hopeful Centre of my vast Ambition;

And joyfully restore him to his favour.

My Sister then, that fallen Star shall rise,

And shine with glorious Lustre, bright as ever:

Her smiling hours will then dance round agen,

To the same pleasing measures as before.


But what have I to hope?


Thou lov’st the Queen, and she’s above thy reach;

When she’s disgrac’d, she’s nearer to a level,

And thou perhaps may’st joyn in her Revenge,

Ormades B3v 6

Ormades is far off, and a new Lover

Will blot his memory with ease:

Come, Lovers are short-sighted; What say’st thou now?

Have I not lifted thee to a fair Prospect?


Thou hast, but with such dangerous ways between;

Such craggy Mountains, and such steep Descents,

That much I fear: But tell me, Artenor,

What must I do to work the fatal Mischief?


Hint what thou hast heard

With subtilty and caution, to Antiochus,

Thou shalt not want wherewith to amuse his Head.

All this I learn’d from the Queens Eunuch,

Whom I have brib’d, and molded for my own.

I’ll to Leodice, and comfort her,

Without whose Aid we 1 wordflawed-reproduction but Plot in vain.

She’s yet at Court, though banish’d by the King;

And cou’d she meet him in unlucky hour,

And for a while forget her haughty temper,

We need not doubt Success.

I must prepare her for the great Design.

Now to thy Task, away, lose not a 1 wordflawed-reproduction:

If possible, let us prevent a mischief yet unborn:

At night there is a Mask; there we shall meet.



Yes, I am going.

But, oh! a moment, let me think; on what?

To ruin what I love!

To blast the Glories of a Bridal Queen,

In hopes she’ll love me for the grateful Service!

Madness beyond example. Yet Artenor,

Who never Plots in vain, he leads me on:

Down all my fears; each timerous thought be gone.

I wou’d by nobler means obtain my Bliss,

But scanty Fate affords me only this.

Then, Oh! ye Gods, if I a Traytor prove,

Acquit your Slave, and lay the Fault on Love.

Act B4r 7

Act the Second.

Shouts at a distance, Long live, Antiochus and Berenice. Enter Leodice, followed
by Artenor and Cypre.


Oh! Whither shall I flie,

To ’scape the noise of these accursed Clamours?

Now I cou’d stoop to Banishment, or Death,

And give up all my Title to Revenge;

Oblige the ungenerous, faithless, cruel King,

And free my Rival from her evil Genius.

Hark! they shout agen! Now Plagues and Tortures,

Shout agen.

Great as those I feel, seize on them all,

And teach their bellowing, hoarse Plebeian Tongues

To rave and curse as I do.


Forbear these wild Complaints, thy Brother’s here;

And came to bring thy labouring Spirit ease.


Ease! name it not; there’s no such thing for me:

Ungrateful perjur’d Tyrant!

Thus to reward my everlasting Love.

How often have I sate in awful State,

And view’d with scorn the trembling wishing Crowd,

Where all that lifted their presumptious Eyes,

Bow’d to my Charms, and offered up their hearts;

Where sighing Princes have confess’d my Power,

And gaz’d to adoration!

These, these will point at my Prodigious Fall;

Laugh at my Wrongs, and glory in my Fate.

Oh that distraction wou’d relieve my Brain,

And free me from the sense of what I am!

Disgrac’d and Banish’d! Oh, my swelling heart!

Give me revenge, ye Gods, or I shall burst.


For Heaven’s sake have Patience for a while;

Think how to appease the King,

Who will be furious when he finds you here.


Why, let him kill me,

Lost and undone! What have I left to fear?

Now vile Reproach attends my hated Name,

And Infamy and Shame is all I’ve left;

Now every vulgar Fool starts at my Crimes,

Whom th’ other day they worship’d as a Goddess.

How glorious did thy Sister then appear!

How despicable dost thou see me now!

Like a false Idol gilded o’er for Worship,

And plac’d on high, believ’d a Golden God,

’Till B4v 8

’Till shook by Thunder from its lofty Seat,

The Fall discovers its inferior Dress.


I prithee be compos’d; I bring thee Hopes.


I will not listen to such empty sounds.


By all that’s good, I bring you Hopes in earnest.


Away, away;

Or talk of something nearer to my Soul:

Tell me of Poyson, Daggers, Death, Confusion,

These be the Subjects I wou’d treat on now;

These be our Theme, but mention Hope no more.


Yet wou’d you hear me, all might be retriev’d.


Oh never, never; he’s marry’d!

And Berenice must live and die a Queen.

Had his bewitching Charms betray’d her Vertue,

His soft, resistless, dear, deluding Arts

Deceiv’d her to his Arms, as they did me,

I then might hope.

I know my Youth and Beauty great as hers,

And cou’d not fear, upon the square of Fate;

But she, with curst Egyptian subtilty

Has wrought my Ruin, sure, and bound him fast.

Gods! Must I see this envy’d, hated Rival

Shine on a Throne which I shou’d have adorn’d?

Must her curst Race possess the daz’ling Crown?

And will no Power prevent her lavish Fortune?

Was every Blessing Cast and Stampt for her?

That thus he doats upon the worthless Bauble,

Crowning her Pleasures with excessive Love.

Confusion, that he basely robs me of:

From me he catch’d the first uniting Sparks;

I kindled in his Breast the generous Flame;

And from my Store he has inrich’d the Queen.

Oh! Torture, Treachery, and Wrongs unparallel’d!


Still will you let your Passion blind your Eyes;

And deaf to Intereft, ruin all for ever?


I will be Calm; but yet ’tis very hard

To enjoy the chiefest Blessings Heaven cou’d give,

And lose them all in one unlucky hour!

To fall from Love and Empire in one day!

Who but my self wou’d have out-liv’d the Loss?


Yet hear me:

If you’d stand this mighty shock of Fortune,

And combat with the Powers that will your Ruin;

Conceal this high wrought Fever of your Soul,

And keep your Rage for more important use.

First, undermine the Queen: It may be done,

She’s not so fixt as your Despair suggests:

The C1r 9

The Marriage was precipitate and rash:

The King has once been false, and may agen.

You have a Son may tempt him to relapse.


Say on, a glimpse of Comfort seems to bless me.

So the poor wretch in some sad Dungeon chain’d,

After a long despair in painful darkness,

Spying through a small Cleft the cheerful Light,

Rises with Joy, and shakes his lighter Chains,

Fancies he shall be free without delay,

Believes the Gods were mindful of his Prayers,

When the next hour perhaps is doom’d his last.


Throw off this melancholly from thy Soul:

Persue thy Fortune, she’ll agen be kind.

Cast off those Robes, and put on Sable Weeds;

Such sad solemnity will move the King.

But see! we’re interupted, let’s retire;

In private we’ll consult what’s to be done.

Exeunt. Enter Ormades disguis’d.


Sure this must be the place Philotas meant;

For here alone I miss the noisie Croud;

This is the hour, and yet he is not come.

Methinks I wander like an Out-law’d Slave.

Oh, when shall I have Peace?

By what strange Irony was wretched Man

Styl’d Monarch of the World, and made so vain,

To think all Pleasure was design’d for him?

That Nature’s business was to make him happy;

And each substantial Form Created to obey?

Alas! how far from this, is our true State?

Vassals to Passion, that Lords it o’er our Souls,

And scorns the just Reproof of feeble Reason.

Slaves to the empty sounds of Fame and Honour:

Fantoms, which dazle with fantastick show;

But when persu’d with anxious fruitless Care,

Like Shadows shrink from our deluded grasp:

Then loaded with the Fetters of fond Love;

Love! the great word which sums up all our woe;

The long continued Torment of our Lives.

Oh, Berenice, Berenice!

Enter Philotas.


At last I’ve found you.

How fares my dearest Friend?

C Speak; C1v 10


Forgive my Impatience; tell me first of Berenice:

Is she as blest as Woman can be made?

Pleas’d with the Ruins she has heap’d on me?

Speak; Does she Doat on the too happy King?

And is Ormades banish’d from her Memory?


Alas! she is a Sufferer like you;

And all the Pomp and Triumph of the Day

Cannot amuse her Grief.


Sure thou mistakest, for Berenice is Queen;

Love and Ambition both are made her Slaves!

She was design’d a Darling of the Gods:

And every Feature claims their tenderest Care

Where-e’er she moves; soft Peace and smiling Joy

Attend her happy flawed-reproduction2 letterseps, and Crown her wishes.


Forced to the Bed of loath’d Antiochus,

And made a flawed-reproduction1 word Sacrifice to State,

Whence shou’d her Pleasures rise?

All this long day I’ve waited by her side,

That I might find an opportunity

To tell her you had followed in disguise,

To obtain a parting look, a cold adieu;

And well I saw the anguish of her Soul,

Though much she strove to check the rising Sighs,

And hide the Tears that stole from her fair Eyes:

But when she heard her dear Ormades nam’d,

She scarce had Life to hear the Message out.


If any thing cou’d add to what I bear;

If there was any pain beyond despair,

This wou’d augment my Torture.


The Queen expects you at the Mask this Evening,

Where ’tis impossible you shou’d be known:

She’ll send her Evenuch to see my Dress,

That he may find me out and bring me to her.


Now cou’d my Breast receive a thought of comfort;

The hopes of seeing Berenice wou’d give it:

But she is lost, and I am curs’d for ever!


See! the King and Queen.


Oh Berenice! shou’d I stand a nearer view,

My Passions now are swell’d to such a hight,

I might betray my self, and ruin thee.

Exit. Enter Antiochus, Berenice, Irene, Artenor, Seleuchus, Guards,
and Attendants.


Why droops my Love amidst so many Pleasures? Can C2r 11

Can nothing charm thy Mind, nor cheer thy Heart?

Hast thou no taste for Babylonian Mirth?

That whilst all view thee with rejoycing Eyes

Thou sighing, check’st their murmuring delight

With unexpected sadness.


I’m much indebted to the Peoples Love;

More to your tenderness and fond regard:

But do not let my Sadness interrupt;

Or their Diversion, or your Royal Peace;

For part of it is constant to my Nature;

The rest will wear insensibly away,

And unobserv’d be lost.


Pray Heaven it may, before I take Infection;

For something sits so heavy on my Heart,

I almost fear.


The Gods avert all Omens from your Majesty.


Thus let me thank thee for thy vertuous Prayers. Embracing.

Thou Composition of unequal goodness:

But now retire my Life, and dress thy self,

In order for the Mask; the Night comes on:

’Tis time we were preparing.

Leads her out, and Re-enters.

Thanks to the Gods, that have me in esteem;

They’ve made the best of Woman-kind my Queen.

Is there on Earth another half so lovely?

So heavenly fair, and so exactly good?

Say, have you seen in any happy Court

Through all the various wanderings of Life,

A Form so excellent, a Soul so bright,

Beyond description, and above a Throne;

Unless ’twas rais’d on Jasper, deck’d with Stars

Like those on which the Goddesses are plac’d-


Oh, that I knew to dash this mighty Joy

With gnawing Grief, such as Ormades feels.



But when I saw her in her Father’s Court,

There hung no heavy Cloud upon her Brow,

All was Serene as Innocence or Peace.

Now there’s a sorrow settled in her Face,

Which takes the place of many a native Charm.

Now is thy time, pursue him on this Subject.

Aside to Sel.


She has lost a Father’s dear Society.


Has she not found a Royal tender Husband?


I cannot tell from whence her Sorrow springs:

If you have heard another Cause, relate it.


Princes Concerns are of the highest Nature;

And all I heard was but imperfect Rumour.

I beg your Majesty permit my Silence.

C2 Phi. C2v 12


Ha! I’m all surprise! Aside.

A chill concern creeps through my trembling Veins;

I fear some subtile Devil has betray’d us;

And then what Power can save Ormades Life?


Thou hast rais’d a Doubt which must have present ease;

What is it thou canst mean?


I heard a whisper, but it was no more,

Among the Egyptian Lords,

That Prince Ormades long has lov’d the Queen;

And once had hopes he shou’d successful prove;

If so, the Rage that now must rend his heart,

May move her Royal Pity.


Pity’s the Band that lets in Love by stealth;

And first taught Falshood to relenting Nature.

Pity! By all the Gods, it will corrupt her,

And I shall curse the hour that joyn’d our hands.

Philotas, know’st thou any thing of this?


I am confus’d, and know not what to answer. Aside.


Why art thou mute? Thou art Ormades Friend;

I’ve met thee oft in Battle by his side:

Each busied to defend the others Life,

Where I had cause indeed to think he fought

For Love as well as Fame: Say, Was it so?


That Prince Ormades lov’d the beautious Princess

Long e’er these happy Nuptials were design’d,

I hope your Majesty will think no Crime?


’Tis so! From this curs’d Source springs all her Grief;

Her Sighs and Tears are for Ormades Loss;

And I obtain’d her on her Father’s Oath:

I cannot bear the thought.


It works as I cou’d wish. Aside.


How is my State in one short moment chang’d!

But now, I thought my self a Demy-God.


Wou’d I had died, e’er thus disturb’d your Peace.


Why am I thus concern’d? If she’s unworthy,

I’ll throw her from my Arms, and be at rest

Oh! that my Rival was within my reach,

That happy Object of her secret wishes;

He soon shou’d prove my Rage!

Yet I’ll be Calm; perhaps ’tis all Suspicion:

Ormades may have Lov’d without return.

I’ll wait a little, to resolve my doubts;

But if I find her Heart another’s Prize,

My eager Love to endless Hate shall turn,

And load her life with Infamy and Scorn.

Act C3r 13

Act the Third.

Enter Leodice, in a Masquing Habit, Child, and Cypre, in Mourning.


Wait near at hand; and when I call, appear,

And strike his Eyes with sensible Remorse:

And thou, the unhappy Off-spring of a slighted Mother!

Plead my unhappy Cause, and move the King.


Fear not your little Boy; my Royal Father

Ne’er deny’d me any thing I ask’d him.


Oh! why must thy unerring Innocence

Suffer for Crimes unknown?

Why must thy Parents guilt fall on thy Head,

And weigh thee down, before thou know’st to sin?

My Infamy intail’d upon thy Name,

Will make thee wish thou never hadst been born!


I’ve done no Fault, and yet you make me cry.


Retire, dear pledge of an ill-fated Love,

Or tender Pity will dissolve my Brain

To everlasting Streams of flowing Tears.

Exit Child and Cypre

Now for my Task,

In humble sorrow to relate my wrongs.

This Dress will guard me from the least suspicion;

And thus I shall have liberty to gaze

On the curst Ravisher of all my Joys.

Oh, that my Breath was mixt with baneful Pestilence,

That I might blast and wrinkle her to Age;

Or that my Curses had the power of Fate!

Then she shou’d drink the dregs of my Despair,

And swift Destruction overtake her Glories.

Scene draws, and discovers Antiochus, Berenice, Irene, Philotas,
Artenor, Seleuchus, Ormades, Archus, and several Lords and
Ladies in Masquerade. Enter Leodice.


There stands the Queen:–confusion to the Title! Aside.

I know her by the sparkling Plume she wears;

And there’s the faithless King, unpunish’d yet,

Though false to every God, as well as me;

For ’twas by them he swore Eternal Faith.

Artenor C3v 14 Artenor talks to Leodice, Seleuchus to the Ladies; Philotas and
Ormades directed to the Queen by the Eunuch, who afterward retires
to Artenor.


How slight’s the impression of all other Charms,

When once the Heart hath felt Almighty Love?

Nor Wit, nor Shape can draw the Lover’s Thoughts

From the dear Object of his Constant Flame.


What say’st thou? Aside to the Eunuch.

A Stranger, and in Tears at meeting! Ha!

Observe him well, I’ll make it worth thy Care.

A Dialogue Sung between a Boy and a Girl. A Dance; after which,
as they are going out, Leodice kneels and holds the King’s Robe.


Turn your All Gracious Eyes, Most Mighty Sovereign;

And for one moment listen to my Prayers:

Not as Partaker of these high Diversions

Came I here, but to intreat your Mercy.

’Mongst all that lately fill’d this Sacred Presence,

I guess there’s none unfortunate but me;

And since a general Mirth inspires all,

Let not one Wretch be singled from its Influence:

None sure to Night can urge Complaints in vain,

When with a lavish Hand you scatter Joys

On all within your Reach.


What wou’d you? and it shall be granted;

Though I perhaps am not that Jove you think me.



I am descended from a Noble Family,

Whose bright Prosperity and riged Vertue

Were of equal wonder. Impartial Death

Snatch’d my dear Parents from my heedless Youth,

’Ere half their Race was finish’d;

Who dying, left me for a lasting Pledge,

A Jewel of inestimable value,

And charg’d me to esteem it as my Life;

Then told me it included secret Power

To make me Bless’d, Belov’d, Admir’d and Happy;

That when I lost it, Misery wou’d ensue:

My Fame be blasted, and and my Peace destroy’d.

I heard with due regard, and promis’d fair;

Swore to preserve it to my latest Hour:

And visiting the Silent, Sacred Urn,

Where afterwards their Pious Dust was laid,

Agen I often did renew my Vow.

Yet C4r 15

Yet see

How fruitless my Resolves! how vain my Care!

In one unguarded hour came a Robber,

Who bore the Prize triumphantly away.

I wou’d have rais’d my Voice to loud Complaint,

But long he sooth’d my Rage, and flatter’d me to Peace.

’Till I believ’d the sad Predictions false.

But Oh, too lately I am undeceiv’d:

The Victor grown unmindful of my Wrongs,

Now treats me with ungenerous disdain,

And drives me like a Vagabond away;

The only shame of all my spotless Race,

Who from their happy Seats above look down,

And own my Sufferings greater than my Crime.

To you, Great Monarch, I appeal for Justice:

Oh save me, save me from approaching Ruine.

I love the Foe that has procur’d my Fall.

Let him restore me to his dear Embrace,

Return my Passion, and forget his Hate;

So may eternal Joys reward your Aid,

And every God consent to what you wish.


Name me the Man, and he shall do thee Right,

By the Imperial Majesty of Kings;

By all that’s great above, and just below,

I swear he shall.


A thousand Blessings on that welcome Oath.

See here Leodice.

Throws off her Disguise.




Whose Honour was the spoil of your Victorious Love,

’Gainst which no Heart’s secure, no Vertue sase.

Happy in Innocence, and Chast Retirement

I spent the first soft Years of Blooming Youth:

And though an Orphan, stray’d not from my Duty,

’Till you remov’d the harmless Rural Scene;

And having heard how Fair I was, and Young,

Drew me to Court, and sully’d every Charm.

Thus Ruin’d, and made hateful to my self,

I wou’d have stole away and hid my Shame;

But then you seem’d to Love,

Pretended Grief, and counterfeited Passion;

And on your bended Knees implor’d my Stay;

Kiss’d every Murmer from my trembling Lips,

And drank the Tears that trickled from my Eyes:

Swore that the Crown shou’d to my Line descend;

And all with so much seeming Truth,

That I believ’d you wou’d be ever Constant,

And C4v 16

And fondly let my Infamy be publick.

Now see how well an easie Heart’s rewarded.


Why have you thus betray’d me to Dispute?

I wou’d have shun’d it and your Face for ever.


What have I done, that you shou’d hate me thus?

Be Just, and charge me with another Crime,

Besides my guilty Love of false Antiochus,

And I’ll be patient, and deny I’m wrong’d.


What need I search for any other Faults?

I am in Love with Vertue, yours is lost.


Thus when Malicious Devils have seduc’d

And plung’d our poor unwary Souls in Sin,

Themselves with black Infernal Cruelty

Stand first Accusers of those Crimes they’ve urg’d.

If Vertue be the only thing you Love,

And has alone the power to keep you true;

Why does your Treacherous Sex take so much pains

To undermine the beautiful Foundation?

Oh! Let all fond believing Maids by me be warn’d,

And hate as I do, base ungenerous Man;

Whom if you trust, your’r sure to be betray’d.

Fly from their power, laugh at their Complaint;

Disdain their Love, and baffle their Designs;

So you may scape my Sufferings, and my Faults.


Proceed, and let your Hate transcend that Love

Which once I priz’d, but cannot now return:

Forsake the Court, and you’ll be soon at ease.




Stay, I conjure you; if you go, I die.

See, I’m prepar’d; and well you know, I dare.

Draws a Dagger.

Oh, that I cou’d return thy Barbarous Hate!

But ’tis in vain I wish, in vain I strive.

My Rage is feign’d, and I am still Leodice;

That Foolish, Doating, Lost, Abandon’d Wretch!

Still you are dearer to my Soul than Peace;

Than Life; or pleasing Dreams of what I was.

Oh! look upon me, kneeling at your Feet:

Think in this Posture what I might have gain’d

Once, all that you cou’d grant; then hear me now,

Fallen to mean desires: I’ll ask like what I am.

Revoke my Banishment, and let me stay

In some unminded Corner of the Court;

Confine me if you please, with Iron Bars,

To see you through the Melancholly Grates,

At distance as you pass, is all I ask.

And see, here’s one to joyn in the Petition.

Goes to the Door, and brings in the Child and Cypre.
Ant- D1r 17


I feel my Heart relent, and melt to Pity.

What shall I do to guard my yielding Soul?


Long live my Royal Father.

See on his aking Knees your little Son,

Prays to the Gods you always may be Prosperous.


Sweet Innocence!


Dear Father, for you still are so:

Though now they tell me, I must call you King.

What have I done to anger you?

You never send to bring me to your sight,

Nor take me in your Arms now I am come,

As you were us’d to do.


Rise kneeling Cherub. Takes him in his Arms.

Thus I restore thee to Paternal Smiles.


But if you let my Mother and I go,

As she has told me that you say we must;

To be a cold all Night, alone all Day;

Indeed you do not care if we were dead.


Fear not, my Boy; thy Mother goes not,

But where smiling Plenty waits her coming:

And thou, my well drawn Image, shalt stay here.


Wou’d you then? Cou’d you rob me of my All?

My only Comfort Rigid Fate has left me.

Him can you think to separate from my Breast,

Whose lovely Being I so hardly purchas’d?

But he will not desert his Mother so.


No; I wou’d sooner die, if I knew how,

Than stay when you are gone:

But I’ll kneel down agen, and hang about his Knees,

’Till he has promis’d we shall both stay here.


By all thy Mothers Wrongs I am o’ercome;

And you shall stay, though ’tis to my Destruction.

Can’st thou forgive a faithless perjur’d King?

If so, forbear to weep, and haste to thy Apartment.

Anon, when all retire to needful rest,

I’ll come Conducted by thy faithful Brother;

Where every Minute that I stay with thee,

We’ll rob the Queen of whole Ages of Love.


My Heart was sunk into such deep despair,

I scarce can raise it to a thought of Joy.

With trembling Doubts, and various Hopes and Fears,

Confus’d Belief, and frantick wild Delight,

It flutters in my Breast, not yet at ease.


Let not disquiet longer vex thy Mind.

By Heaven, I swear thou’rt dear to me as ever.

Go then, and dress thy Face in Bridal Smiles;

D For D1v 18

For Love renew’d, is sweet as when begun,


It is, those tender Words have pierc’d my Soul,

And let in Transport with the charming Sound:

Oh! I shall long ’till the wish’d hour arrives;

And fondly chide Old Time’s dull, lazy pace:

Mistake each little noise for your approach;

And starting, make Addresses to a Shade.

Farewel, you will not fail?


Not for the World. Exit Leodice, Child, and Cypre.


This lucky Meeting has restor’d my Peace.

Now let the Queen prefer my Egyptian Rival;

I shall not grutch the Heart which I neglect;

He is not here to violate my Bed:

A hopeless Flame shall vex her anxious hours,

Whilst I am bless’d with all that Love can wish,

In my Leodice’s fond faithful Arms.

With eager Passion, and sost Transport prest,

Of endless Truth, and boundless Joys possest.

Exit. Enter Berenice, Irene, and Train.


Must everlasting hurry be my Fate?

When in my Father’s Court, I had some ease;

Here I am haunted with eternal noise:

See, I intreat you’d leave me for a while;

And sure a Queen may hope to be oblig’d

Exeunt Train.

Only do thou, my dear Irene, stay,

And help to calm the Tempest of my Mind.


To Love so well, and to be Lov’d agen;

And thus to Lose, and to be Lost for ever,

Is more than Stoick Vertue cou’d sustain.


I’ve seen Ormades; nor is this the worst:

I have consented to a Private Meeting.

He swore to die this Night, if I refus’d.

What shall I do? Advise thy wretched Mistress.


Alas, I’m at a loss.


Nothing but dire Confusion fills my Breast;

Yet in this Chaos of distracted thought,

Something is forming worthy of my Care.

What, if concealing my unhappy Love,

I meet him with a chilling proud indifference,

And justifie the Malice of my Stars?

Who knows but Heaven may prosper my Design,

And D2r 19

And teach me to destroy his hopeless Flame?

It shall be try’d.

I’ll lay by all this softness of my Temper;

Affect a haughty Coldness in my Eyes,

’Till he believe Ambition has betray’d me.

As yet I have but seen him in a Crowd,

Where I was forc’d to hide the pain I felt.

I am resolv’d, and he shall never know it.

If thus I give him Peace,

I’ll willingly embrace an Age of Misery;

Where, like the Damn’d, it will augment my Torture,

To think how more than bless’d I might have been,

Now curs’d for ever.

All Ills, but such as mine, may hope redress.

There’s none compleatly wretched but a Wife,

And she must bear the tedious Curse for Life.


Act the Fourth.

Enter Berenice and Irene.


The important hour approaches,

And the King’s absence favours your Design.


A heavy Damp sits on my trembling Heart;

I fear some fatal Consequence attends.

Oh, my Ormades!

The best, though most unfortunate of Men.


All Egypt lately wonder’d at his Actions.

Fame had no leasure but to sound his Praise:

Still he was foremost in the bloody Field,

And Fought, and Conquer’d like a Demi-God.


Yet no unpleasing roughness wrong’d his Temper,

That was commiserate as pitying Angels.

A Thousand thousand other Charms he has;

All lost to Berenice, whose Royal Father,

For Wisdom and for Mercy most Renown’d,

To save the Lives of Millions that must fall,

Whilst horrid War presents the ghastly Scene,

Propos’d a Peace to his half Conquer’d Foes,

And gave his Child to bind the fatal Contract.

’Till then Ormades was design’d his Son;

Whose Merit plac’d him next my Father’s Soul:

D2 Yet D2v 20

Yet we conceal’d our growing Loves with Care,

Lest Envy might oppose, and ruinruin all:

But still we waited with impatient wishes,

When the good King shou’d give us to each other.

Instead of that, O bane to all my Joys,

A solemn Oath is to Antiochus past,

Unknown to me, that I shou’d be his Bride,

And all denyal, all intreaties vain.


Is this, ye Powers, the Reward we meet

For Vertuous Love, for Innocence and Truth?


Oh! I have lost all that was Great and Good;

Generous, Kind and True in my Ormades,

His faithful Heart ne’er knew a Thought of Falshood:

No injur’d Woman charg’d her Wrongs on him.

Antiochus comes pall’d with other Love,

And a forsaken Mistress loudly rag’d;

The News reach’d Egypt, but alas too late.


Leodice, I’ve heard the Story told.


Ormades no such guilty Actions knew:

His Love was pure, his Fame and Honour white;

Yet I must drive him from my sight for ever.

No more his Eloquence must bless my Ears,

No more his matchless Form delight my Eyes;

No more his Vertue charm my wondering Soul.

I am anothers, and ’tis almost a Sin,

Barely to think and talk of his Perfections.

Antiochus is only mine;

And he alone shou’d be to Berenice dear,

And so he shall, in spight of Inclination.

I’ll teach my stubborn Tongue to know its Duty,

To call on him, my dear Antiochus.

Enter Antiochus.


Oh, that transporting Voice!

Thy dear Antiochus obeys thy Call.

Now where are my Suspicions? Lost, by Heaven!


Not one dare rise to face the charming Excellence.


Assist ye Powers to hide my pale Confusion;

For ebbing Blood flies from my fainting Heart,


And leaves each Joynt shivering with cold surprise.


And cou’d I think to wrong such Innocence?

Now by the Gods, it must not, cannot be.


Leodice must fall, ’tis so decreed:

This minute shall destroy her towering hopes,

And set her free from fruitless Expectation.

Agen D3r 21

Agen I leave thee for one fleeting moment;

To the Queen.

At my return I’ll ask Ten thousand Pardons,

And make thy tender Heart a full amends.



What Power has conscious Guilt?

Fixt like a Statue all this time I stood,

Unable to return a Word or Look:

But let us after him, my dear Irene;

Some Stratagem shall free me for one hour:

The Prince expects me, and I dare not fail,

Lest his rash Hand shou’d do some fatal Deed.

Oh, Antiochus, forgive me this, and I offend no more.

Exeunt. Enter Artenor and Seleuchus.


All’s lost, my Friend; Curse on my feeble Plots:

The doating King is Berenices Slave.

Soon as return’d, forgetful of his Promise,

He doom’d Leodice to gloomy Night;

Sent her a barbarous unexpected Message.

Strictly confining her to her Appartment:

Whence if the wretched Prisoner dares remove,

Eternal Banishment must be her Fate.


What can retrieve a Lovers Heart when lost?

I find as yet I am but half a Villain


This turn has eas’d my Heart, which fear’d for Berenice.


Here comes my Last, my only glympse of Hope;

My faithful Spy on the unthinking Queen:

Unusual haste attends his eager Steps;

Something of moment seems to bring him hither.

Enter Archus.

Say; What Discovery? What News?


Such as perhaps you’ll find it hard to credit.

Ormades was the Stranger I observ’d

So full of fond concern for blasted Love;

He has followed in disguise to Babylon,

Assisted by Philotas, long his Friend;

In whose Apartment, they this very Hour

Wait with impatience for the Queens approach;

Whither Irene and myself attend her,

None else being Trusted with the dangerous Secret.

Art. D3v 22


Now, What Reward can pay thy Diligence,

Thou best and truest of Egyptian Race?

But give thy boundless Hopes their ample Scope,

Wish all that Interest and Ambition can:

Leodice shall rise, and give thee more.


I must be gone; the Queen by this is ready:

Under the Notion of Religious Rites

Perform’d in Private to Egyptian Gods,

She gains with ease the unsuspected Hour.

At my return expect a full AccountAccount of what has pass’d.



There Eunuch, I’ll spare thy needless trouble-

Thus, let the Mischief be as deep as Hell,

The Gods and Heaven still dwell upon the Tongue;

And strong Devotion Cloaks the black Design.


Who wou’d have thought such seeming Innocence

Shou’d hide so unexcusable a Falshood?

When last I gaz’d on her Inchanting Beauty,

Such was her powerful Influence o’re my Soul,

I felt my Heart inlarg’d, my Temper chang’d;

My Love refin’d from every gross Desire.

I cou’d have Lov’d, methought, through endless Ages,

Even at that submssivesubmissive awful Distance;

And never wish’d a more substantial Joy.


Awake from this unmanly Lethargy!

Thou see’st her False; unworthy thy Concern.

Let us away to Alarm Antiochus:

He must be Witness to the Dark Cabal.

This shall confirm his weak imperfect Doubts,

And fix his Heart Leodice’s for ever.

Exeunt. Enter Berenice, Irene, and Archus.


My Courage fails me, and I dare not go!

Some Power Divine restrains my heedless Steps,

And I can move no farther.


Pardon your Slave, if he presumes to say,

This ominous Fear which startles your Resolves,

Is only the effect of timerous Nature.


I dare not urge my Royal Mistress on,

Lest the Event should contradict my Hopes.


What can I do? Advise me, dear Irene.


Too well I know,

’Till you have took your everlasting Leave,

Soft Peace will be a Stranger to your Breast.

Ber. D4r 23


And can’st thou think I shall have quiet then?

Alas, thou talk’st like those that know not Love!

Shou’d I succeed, and cure his hopeless Passion,

Where is my Ease, since I must still Love on?

Or shou’d I fail, which I have cause to fear,

And he persist in unrewarded Truth;

So much I feel his Suffering in my own,

That Pity, Gratitude, and Silent Love

Will burst my tender Heart.


Oh, wretched State of unoffending Innocence.


I come, Ormades, but I come the Queen;

With guiltless Fraud, I mean to heal thy Grief:

’Tis a hard Task; but I was born to Suffer.

Exeunt. Scene draws, and Discovers Ormades Lying on a Couch; Philotas
sitting by him, soft Musick Playing.


I grow uneasy,

And wish this busie parting Hour was pass’d.


These gentle Strains have charm’d my swelling Griefs.

And lull’d my Soul to a Prophetick Trance.

Just now, soft Slumber, Clos’d my yielding Eyes;

And straight methought, I mounted Light as Air,

And rang’d with wonder thro’ the Starry Orbs;

No Weight, no Pain, no Grief oppress’d me there:

Nothing but pure Etherial Love remain’d,

Quite disingag’d from Passion and Dispair.

Oh Happy State, of immaterial beings!

No fatal Marriage can dissolve your Peace;

Exempt from Jealousy, and fierce desire

From hopes and fears, and unsuccessful Love.

You walk at large, with most Extatick Bliss,

The endless Circle of returning Joy.

Enter Berenice, Irene, and Archus.


My sinking Heart wou’d shun the Glorious Trial:

Be still thou Coward.



See at your Royal Feet, a heap of Ruins

Thrown out by Fate from all the joys of Life:


Doom’d to the gloomy Mansion of the Grave;

There, in oblivion to be hid for ever.

Yet wandering like a discontented Ghost,

Till I had leave to Sigh my last adieu;

And View once more the beauteous Heaven I’ve lost.

Ber. D4v 24


Aid me ye Powers, for his dispair has Charms. Aside.

Ormades Rise?

And know, I come timely to end your folly,

To Chide the Rashness that has brought you hither,

Within the reach of my Antiochus.

He has heard you Lov’d; and shou’d you be discover’d,

What cou’d secure your Person from his Rage?

Nor is my Fame in less unluckyunlucky danger.

How wou’d malicious Tongues, that feast on Censure,

Condemn this parly, shou’d it e’er be known.


My Life! It is not worth my least regard:

Since you were lost, it has a burthen prov’d;

Nor need you fear aspersion;

My Death will witness to your purity.


Wrong not your Reason, by indulging Madness,

This Love and Constancy are empty Notions,

Fantastick Traces in Romantick Brains.

Regard me, Prince; be wise by my Example,

And from your self seek your own Happiness:

You’ll find, without me, you may still be Bless’d.

My Heart was once of this soft tender Mould,

And then Ormades was its only wish,

’Till great Ambition call’d, whose awful Voice

None but the dull unthinking disobey.

’Tis true, at first I made a doubtful pause:

But Reason soon directed me to choose;

And all the busie flattering Dreams of Love

In vain oppos’d the bright unerring Guide.

With blushing Joy I took the dazlling Crown,

Which joyn’d to that my Ancestors have worn,

Will grace my Off-spring with Superior Majesty.

Let Fame and Conquest charm your Manly Breast,

And Shining Glory raise you from Dispair.

The dusty Field, and the shrill Trumpet’s sound

Shou’d be at once your Business and your Sport:

For Amorous Sighs, and triffling Womans Smiles,

Are things below a Heroe.


Prodigious change! Such difference have I found

Between the Princess and the Queen,

I scarce can think them one.

The first was mild and gentle as soft Peace:

The last with awful Greatness speaks an Amazon:

Yet do not think, because your Heart is free

Captivity a Jest, or fond Chimera.

For I must drag the Chains that hold me yours

’Till Death release the Slave.

In vain you mind me of neglected Fame.

I’m E1r 25

I’m lost too far to listen to her Call;

Yet I have Courted and persu’d her close,

But ’Twas to raise my self to your regard.

Now I have done, since Berenice is lost;

Let the vain World contend for worthless Lawrels.


You nourish your Distemper, but take care;

For if you wou’d persuade my doubting Heart,

Berenice has Influence on your Soul,

I charge you shake off this efeminate weakness:

I wou’d not blush to hear your Story told.


Nor shall you need; by all that’s Great you shall not

Unravel all my Life to budding Childhood.

And charge it with a Baseness if you can;

And now I’ll bravely fall the Prince I’ve liv’d,

True to my Love, and Master of my Honour.


Touch not your Life, as you regard the Queen;

I wou’d not have a Murder to account.


There is no other way to give me ease,

And quit this guilty weakness of my Nature.


Remember that you came to take your leave:

My dear Antiochus expects me back,

And little Dreams how far I have transgress’d.


And can you term it breach of Duty then,

To hear a wretched Lover Mourn a-while?

Oh! Seek not to augment my killing Torture

By pitiless Disdain and cruel Scorn:

But shew some small remorse for your own sake,

That I may think you are not turn’d to Stone.


Let this suffice; I wish your Peace,

And as you value mine, I here Conjure you

Not to touch your Life; therefore be sure you live.


Hard Injunction; but I’ll try, since it is your Command,

And now adieu:

May all the Happiness which I have lost,

Even all I once expected,

By smiling Angels with officious Care

Be Scatter’d round your Throne,

And that no single Thought may cross your Joy;

Ne’re let the Wretch Ormades trick your Memory;

But from this Hour be forgot as if he ne’re had been.

Once more adieu, a long, a long adieu.


Support me, Heaven, or I sink with Grief, Aside.

Which wanting vent, will bend me to the Earth:

Yet I will struggle with this Heart of mine,

And bring it off, if Possible, with Glory.

Hold out one Minute longer.

E And E1v 26

And let me but pronounce the dismal Word:

When he is gone, thou shalt indulge thy self

In boundless Grief, and mad unequal’d Rage

Set all the Sluces to wild Sorrow free,

And ne’er regard whate’re Constructions pass.


Within: Who opens? Here’s the King wou’d enter. At the Door.


The King, and Artenor, then I’m betray’d.


Confusion! What cur’st Devil has done this?

What shall we do? The Prince my dearest Friend.


The Queen, my Royal Mistress; Oh! we are lost.


Will no body obey? Break down the Door, Without.

I’ll learn the cause of this Security.


Why shou’d my Innocence submit to Fear?

And when I am clear’d, what can offend the King?

The Door broke open, Enter Antiochus, Artenor, Seleuchus, Guards,
and Attendants.


By the Infernal Powers she is a Sorceress,

And there her Minion stands:

But swiftest Thunder to the Centre strike me

If they escape my Vengeance.


Suppress your Rage, Till you have heard me speak;

He is not guilty, nor have I been false.



How dost thou dare to wish I would believe thee,

Thou matchless Cozener of the World and me?

With what Assurance canst thou tell the Cause,

Of meeting here in private with Ormades?


Gods! Am I still, and Berenice upbraided?

Turn thou Imperial Charger of Bright Vertue,

And wreak on me the Malice of thy Nature;

But do not urge the Powers to thy Destruction,

By wronging her unspotted Innocence.


Fear not I shall neglect thee, daring Prince.

For I have Rage sufficient for you all,

And thou shalt have a double share,

Who cam’st thus far to force it from my Justice,

Guards take him Prisoner.


Oh. hold!

A long extended Life of Grief and Infamy

Be my wretched Portion;

And not one Soul believe my Innocence,

Or pity my Distress, if he deserves this Usuage.


Sue not for me, that will inrage him more;

But be remorseless as you were just now.

Re-act your Scorn, and prove your Innocence.

Your E2r 27

Your Faith to him, and Cruelty to me.


Furies and Hell! They wou’d delude me on

’Till I believ’d I was not wrong’d at all.


I fear not Death, nor do I wish for Mercy

Had Berenice been kind, I had valued Life;

But now decree whate’er your Rage thinks fit,

Without a murmur I’ll submit to Fate.


If all was fair, Why was not you acquainted

With this dark Mid-night Scene?

And plac’d to hear? So you had known the Truth.


Let those whose Vertue stands in need of Art,

Flie to such mean Designs to inhance their Merit;

Mine needs no Gloss; for Heaven and these can tell

How unblamable I stand,

Thy swelling Malice, and thy Master’s Rage.


I’ve lost all Patience;

Here, Royal Sir, take this Sword

And plunge it deep in my Lifes dearest Blood,

That dying I may speak their Innocence,

And force your Judgment to receive the Truth.


Oh! Do not take his offer; Interposing.

Vex me with lingering Deaths a tedious Age,

Or sink me instantly to endless Night;

But spare his Life, and take the Queen to Mercy.


His Life’s a Triffle, much below my Anger;

But all the deadliest, most contracted Plagues

Light on me,

If thou escape, or if I pardon her.


Oh, cruel Resolution!


Draw, and by thousand Wounds let out his hated Life. To the Guards.


Nay, then ’tis time to oppose; by Heaven, who stirs,

Shall pay his Life a forfeit for his Courage.



’Tis false, young Hector; Take him Prisoner there.
The Guards seize him, he struggles, and is dis-arm’d.


Curse on my feeble Arm,

That cou’d not keep my Sword to save my Friend.


Since you will urge my Fate, it shall be so;

But my own Hands must execute your Will?

Not those Plebeian Slaves, whose Wounds wou’d give

Dishonour to my Memory: Thus I excuse their Service.

Stabs himself.


Oh! Hold: What have you done?


Oh, Fatal Night! Oh, miserable Berenice.
E2 Orm. E2v 28


Death was my wish;

And now you cannot doubt my dying words.

By the Eternal Gods who wait my coming,

Your Queen is Chaste as purest Vestals are:

Nor in one Look transgress’d her Love to you;

Then take her to your Arms,

Tho ’tis a sight my Love wou’d once have shun’d.

Seek to appease her much wrong’d Innocence,

And let my Blood suffice to free my Friend.


Freedom and Chains to me are equal now.


Can it be possible? Hast thou not been false? To the Queen.


To him I have, but oh, to thee most true.


Then be restor’d to what thou wast before.


Restor’d to thee! To thy loath’d Arms!

Stand off thou Tyrant! I detest thee now.

See where my dear Ormades bleeding lies,

The untimely Sacrifice to thy curst Jealousie.


She loves me still.

Oh, Death! Thou art not half so welcome now.


He waited here but for a last adieu:

And though I Lov’d him more than now I can Hate thee,

I counterfeited Coldness and Disdain,

To put an end to his successless Passion.

The Task was finish’d;

And had you staid but one blest minute longer,

He had been gone, never to have return’d,

Within the reach of thy inhuman Power.


Then I, it seems, shar’d nothing of your Love;

But all your Heart was parted with before.


It was; Oh, my Ormades!


Why did I live to hear these tender words?

I shou’d have dy’d in Peace, and thought it gain:

But oh, to have an Interest in thy Soul,

And thus to lose it in Eternal Darkness,

Is worse than all I have endur’d already.


How wan he looks! How alter’d from himself!


Farewel thou faithful Friend, whom long I’ve Lov’d;

And thou the dearest Object of my Soul,

To the Queen.

Who parts with less reluctence from its Body,

Farewel, Fate summons me away:

I wou’d have liv’d and stab’d the Cruel Tyrant;

Have broke through all that barr’d thee from my Arms;

But ’twill not be.

Now my Eyes dazle, and my Heart grows cold;

Sound is far off, and I am lost in everlasting Shade.



He’s gone! And do I live? By Heaven, I will not. Snatches his Dagger.
Ire. E3r 29


Help, e’re it be too late.


Forbear this InsololenceInsolence.


Why do I shake? He has but done me Right:

Yet Soft Concern steals gently o’re my Spirits

In spight of what she owns.

Then rise, and leave this Place,

Ceace to Lament, my Rival in my sight,

And I’ll forget whats past, and Love agen.


Ceace to lament! Not till I ceace to live:

Here will I stay, and with my Tears imbalm him.

Oh, if thou canst afford me any Favour,

Take from my Eyes an Object they abhor;

And place thy Love on any thing but me.


This Cuts off all Remorse: Guards seise the Queen,

And take that hated Object from my sight,

They carry off the Body.

Who thus contemns my Love, shall feel my Justice.

Leodice shall now be made my Queen;

That faithful tender Beauty loves me still:

This Hour I’ll flie to her forsaken Bed,

And in her Arms laugh at thy scornful Folly.


With Joy I give thee back both Crown and Title.

Oh! That I cou’d with the same ease resign

The endless Sorrows they have heap’d on me.


Seleuchus, To thy Charge I give her up,

’Till she is call’d to answer for her Falshood.

Berenice led off by Seleuchus, and Guards. Artenor, Irene, and Archus follow.


Curst Disappointment, and inevitable Death

Persue thee close, thou unbelieving Tyrant:

His Presence swell’d my Breast with Manly Rage;

But now the rising Flood of tenderest Friendship

Drowns my Eyes: Oh, my Friend!

Thou art at rest, set free from painful Life,

Whilst I am Rack’d with lingering Dispair;

Curs’st with a Being I’d be glad to lose.

Act E3v 30

Act the Fifth.

Scene Leodice’s Apartment. Enter Leodice and Cypre.


Agen deluded; Oh my credulous Heart!

How coud’st thou hope the faithless King’s return?

As well thou might’st expect old hoary Time

To turn his Flight, and bring to Morrow back:

The swiftest Streams to stop their raging Course;

All the Impossibilities of Nature

Will sooner be accomplish’d; sooner far

Than Perjur’d Man return to cancel’d Faith.


Do not Dispair, he may again be yours:

He knows the powerful Influence of your Eyes,

And by confining you, betrays his Fear.


No! ’Tis his Caution, lest the Queen’s disturb’d;

I am a Prisoner to secure her Peace.

Oh! For Revenge, and I shall die with pleasure.

Why am I still, if that be my desire,

Wasting my Time in idle Sorrow here?

Rouse up thy Rage, Leodice, and think

What daring Act may satisfie thy Wrongs;

Call all thy Courage to assist thy Will:

Bravely perform, or die in the attempt.


Alas! your Foes are guarded from your Power;

And all the Mischiefs you wou’d hurl on them,

Will bound with double Rancour back on you.


’Tis false; they are Mortal, and shall feel my Rage;

Shall know what ’tis to wrong the undaunted Heart.

Look on me well, and read it in my Face,

Which glows with ripening Vengeance hot as Flames.

Now, by the Gods, I will persue the Work.

Antiochus shall wish he had been true:

Repent the Injuries he has done my Love.

Nor shall they drag Leodice to shame

When the great blow is given.

No; IllI’ll secure my Person from their Out-rage:

Cypre, go to my Closet, where thou wilt find

A Viol seal’d with Death, bring it to me here.


I dare not stir, so much I fear the consequence:

Forgive your Hand-maid, who ’till now has never disobey’d.


Nor must you this Command; for do not think

I have but one single Death within my Grasp.

See here, and learn how well I am resolv’d.

Shews a Dagger. But E4r 31

But I have thought, and will not trace the dismal Shades alone:

No, I’ll descend in Pomp, in glorious Pomp,

And a young Queen shall grace my Royal Train:

She has obscur’d my Brightness for a while,

But she shall find my Star has the Ascendant,

And that to Night she must attend Leodice;

So Fate and I decree. Fetch me the Viol then,

And spare the trouble of a third Command.


Oh, that I durst refuse!


Now clasp her in thy Arms, perfideous King:

There! Press her close; ’twill be thy last Embrace.

Regard her with those Transports once I gave;

And on her Beauties gaze thy Soul away:

For never more her Charms will fire thy Heart.

How will it please my Eyes to see him rowl,

Wild with Dispair along the bloody Pavement,

Cursing his feeble Gods,

That cou’d not rescue her from my Revenge.

I feellfeel my Soul enlarg’d, and all its softness lost.

I’ve talk’d my self into convenient Fury,

And shall act things beyond belief.

Re-enter Cypre with a Viol.

Bring me some Wine, I’ll temper it;

’Twill give me the more leisure to be pleas’d:

Exit CypCypre.

For shou’d the Poyson operate too fast,

I shall be robb’d of half the Joys I expect:

The full delight which Vengeance can afford

To one so brave, and so abus’d as I.

Re-enter Cypre with two Bowls.

Alas! Thy Diligence has over-done;

I shall not need to renew the fatal Draught.


I did not think you wou’d;

But on my knees implore I may partake:

You have often told me that you lov’d me well.

Oh! shew it now, and let me share your Fate.


Generous Maid, why shou’dst thou die?

Thou hast deserv’d much better of Leodice;

Yet take thy wish.

Divides the Poyson.

Thy Friendship is so true, thy Love so entire,

That I may want thee in the other World.


Now I rejoyce I shall not stay behind.
Leo. E4v 32


Oh, hold! Give me the Bowl; I had forgot my Child.

Thou must survive to guard his Innocence,

For sure my Brother will not live disgrac’d:

And here I yield thee up a Mothers Right:

Be tender of his Youth, and Heaven Reward thee.

Drinks and sets down the Bowls. Enter Antiochus.


Ha! What makes him here at this important minute?


See, I am come according to my Word;

Or rather to my Love, for that has brought me.

Why does the Lovely Fair One look so Cold?

Why flies she not into my Longing Arms,

To seal the welcome of returning Love?


Such Words, such Looks, such exquisite Deceit:

Who cou’d distrust, that has not been betray’d?


Your Majesty is come most unexpected.

Was not a Messenger in haste dispatch’d

To him.

To bid me quit the Hopes of so high favour?


There was, but I repented soon;

And grew impatient till I Crown’d thy Truth.

I’ll not relate what Accidents have past,

’Till I have done what’s worthy of my Change.


Lest she shou’d think Revenge my only Motive.


Such fleeting kindness merits small Esteem;

When next you go, youl treat me as before.

This trifling fit of goodness, like the last,

Will meanly end in aggravating Scorn.


Prithee forbear reproach,

Which the more Just, the harder to be born.

Let not severe Reflections on the past,

Nor idle Fears of what’s behind in Fate

Disturb our present Hours.

Wou’dst thou have Love? why, I am nothing else.

Come then, and meet my Flames with equal Rapture;

And be the dear soft Charms thou wast wont.


What shall I do? Cold Death invades my Heart:

And my faint Limbs refuse their kind support.


Nay, cou’d they bear me to the hated Queen;

My trembling Hands want strength to act them Vengeance.

Then must I fall unpitied, and alone,

And leave the King to bless my Rivals Arms?

To waste a long Luxurious Life with her,

Forgetful of my Wrongs? I cannot bear it;

No, F1r 33

No, that wou’d torture me agen hereafter:

He must go with me, there’s no other way

To keep him safe from Berenice’s Charms.

And will you then for ever be thus kind?

To him.

Swear that you will, and this shall bind your Oath;

This pleasing Draught compos’d of various Herbs.

Takes up the Bowl.

All Sacred to the Beautious Queen of Love;

Mingled with wondrous Art, and made to Charm,

By the strange Power of Mystick Words and Prayers:

This if you drink, will keep you ever mine,

I had it ready for your wish’d approach,

Before you sent the Cruel Fatal Message;

Then take the Bowl, and prove its kind effects.

Gives him the Bowl.

Now if he drinks, I shall at last be blest,

And undisturb’d sleep in my silent Tomb.


Nor restless Love, nor raging Jealousie,

Nor wild Ambition, nor unjust Revenge

Will then have Power to wake me:

All these Tormentors with Antiochus die.


I’ve thought, and am resolv’d to shew my Love;

I’ll drink the Philter, and secure thy Peace.

This to our Mutual,



Everlasting Love.


Now let us Love and Revel in Delight:

Do thou forget the Sufferings that are past,

And I’ll be Arm’d against approaching Fate.

Th’ Infernal Powers are working some dire Mischief;

For as I cross’d the Court, a hollow Voice

In mournful Accent cry’d, “Antiochus must fall!”

I heard, and knew it was no humane sound.


And did it not alarm you?

Suppose the Hand of Fate,

Just on th’ inevitable point of Death,

How wou’d you bear the knowledge?


The Thought of Death unusually affects me:

Name it no more, it pierc’d me cold as Ice.

Why dost thou start, and rowl thy charming Eyes

With such disorder’d motion?


The Queen.


Forget her.


I shall, but not in thy perfidious Arms.


Wilt thou not then be kind? What dost thou mean?
F Leo. F1v 34


I mean to die, and In the peaceful Grave

Forget both Sin and Shame:

My guilty Love, and thy unjust Disdain.

Nor must you stay behind to live anothers;

Now you are mine, and Berenice shall not part us.

This Hour concludes thy Falshood and my Fear,

Thanks to th’ Immortal Draught.


Ha! What hast thou given me? Speak.


A wondrous Cordial for distemper’d Minds,

Whose Sovereign Vertue can relieve the Heart

From raging pains of unsuccessful Love,

And free the labouring Brain from frivolous Care;

Lull busie States-Men to eternal Rest;

Ease weary Monarchs of th’ Imperial Load;

And the forsaken Mistress of vain Grief.


Am I then Poyson’d? barbarous Woman!


Inconstant Monarch, what cou’d I do less?

Was I not scorn’d when Banish’d? Now a Prisoner.

I Lov’d you, and was treated ill.

In private, and by stealth oblig’d;

But openly Dejected and Disgrac’d.

Yet think not ’twas Revenge alone that sway’d;

I too have drank my Fate, and cannot live.


It works; a thousand pointed Torments rend my Heart.

What, must I die alone? My Guards, who waits there?

Enter the Guards, Seleuchus, several Lords.

To fall thus meanly by a Womans Hand,

And add to History such a shameful Tale:

That Thought exceeds the Poyson.


Think not your Death ignoble from my Hand,

For I am much Superior to my Sex;

And all their timerous Weaknesses disown.

See! I had Courage to attend your Fate,

And bear you Company through the horrid Vault

Of never ending Darkness;

What my proud Rival durst not have design’d.


Alas! I had forsworn her Bed for ever.

And came prepar’d to satisfie thy Wishes.

I meant the Crown should on thy Son devolve,

And lasting Truth reward thy Sorrows past.

The Queen had injur’d me beyond forgiveness,

And to Leodice I flew for Peace;

But thy rash Hand has put an end to all.

Leo. F2r 35


What do I hear! Oh! Raging blind impatience,

To overthrough such generous Designs:

But why was not my fatal Hand with-held?

Shook with pale Horror and Convulsive Fear,

Why dropt it not the black misguided Bowl?

Where were the Gods that have regard to Kings?

All lost in Negligence and sloathful Ease?

Thunder and Lightning shou’d have warn’d you hence:

Not the faint Voice of one unheeded Demon.


Methinks I see my Glorious Ancestors

That Grac’d the Ancient House from whence I sprung,

From the high Arch look down with shame upon me.

Hide all your blushing Heads you Reverend Shades,

And let me plunge into profound Oblivion;

Forgetting and forgot by Human Race.



Oh! Do not go and leave me here behind;

Stay but one moment and I shall be ready.

I feel the deadly Influence disperse

Through every Atom of my Tortur’d Flesh;

But I have something still to do.

Thus on my Knees I beg you wou’d forgive me:

Remember Love was the unhappy Cause:

And do not shun me in the other World.


I do forgive thee, but can stay no longer. Dies.


He’s, gone, he’s gone, yet I am curst with Life;

My stubborn Nature will not yield to Death,

’Till he is lost in the unbounded space.

Oh! That some gentle Ghost, whom soft Compassion

Has drawn to view, and to lament our Fall,

Wou’d yetbeyet be kind, and wait a moment longer,

To guide me through the unknown Paths below;

The gloomy Tracts which new-born Souls persue,

’Till I can find my dear Antiochus.

Oh! I cou’d Curse my Fate for ling’ring thus.

Malicious Powers, how long will you detain me?

Death is at hand, ’tis well, I feel him here:

Welcome thou kind reliever of the Wretched,

Met by the Brave, and only shun’d by Cowards.



Still Providence is waking for the Innocent.

Now Berenice, thou art no longer Prisoner:

This dismal Scene prepares thy Glorious Triumph.

Remove the Bodies to some Bed of State,

And wait me to your Queen.

Exeunt. F2 Scene F2v 36 Scene draws, and discovers Palace, Table and Chair. Berenice sitting
at a Table Reading: Enter Artenor with a Dagger in one Hand,
and Poyson in the other.


Two Queens there cannot be, then one must fall;

And Destiny has thrown the Lot on Berenice:

I dare not trust Seleuchus with her Fate;

He Loves, and may assist her to escape:

So her Great Father might renew the War,

And force Antiochus to take her back.

Berenice seeing him, rises and comes forward.


Welcome, thou surly Minister of Death:

Why dost thou tread with Caution in thy Steps?

I am prepar’d, and meet thee with a Smile.


The Great Antiochus has sent you these;

You guess the fatal meaning.


There’s Mercy in the Choice, Going towards Artenor, starts back.

And I’ll receive it gratefully:

Feeble Resolution; alas, I dare not:

The Womanish fit returns upon my Soul,

And Death appears in all its fancy’d horrors.

I wou’d not Live; Then why this strange Confusion?

To die is but to sleep, and yet I fear:

Poor Coward, Nature, how art thou perplexing

Takes the Dagger and Poyson.

This pointed Steel wou’d soon dispatch the Work,

Had I but skill to guide it to my Heart;

But my poor shaking Hands, untaught in Murder,

May easily mistake the Purple way.

This cannot fail; sure Death attends the Draught:

But I may linger long in raging Tortures,

’Till I grow mad, and curse the Holy Powers;

Sullying in Death my whole Lifes Innocence.


I’ll wait no longer, lest some unseen Chance

Shou’d snatch her from my Power;


Though ’tis the dead of Night when all shou’d rest:

A Lover may be waking to prevent me.

Not yet determin’d? Then accept my Judgment;

To her,

This is the easiest, and the speediest way:

Snatches her Dagger, but as he is going to Stab her,
Enter F3r 37 Enter Seleuchus, Irene, Philotas, and Archus.


Perfidious Villain; Kills him.

Was Awful Majesty become thy Prey?


My Friends, are you made Prisoners too?


No; we are free, and come to wait on you

To Liberty and Peace.


This best of Men has brought you Life and Empire:

He Lov’d you; and with that Ambitious Wretch

Contriv’d your Fall, to further his Design;

’Till mov’d by Suffering Vertue to Repent,

He soon resolv’d to come and set you free,

Asking no more than to be thought your Friend.


That Title wear for ever:

To give me Friends and Liberty, and prove ’em,

Merits Reward larger than I can pay.


Here is another Mourning Criminal Shewing Archus.

Who sues wish me for Pardon.


With you he is forgiven.


Why didst thou lift thy Arm against the Innocent? Going to Artenor.


Thou know’st the Cause.

I’m going, and the Gods alone know whither:

I am griev’d I fell by thee, the Man I lov’d.


I mourn thy Fate; forgive my hasty Rage:

For when thou’st heard what I have to declare,

On any Terms thou wou’dst not wish to live.

The King is poyson’d by Leodice,

Who died her self by the fame violent means.

Her little helpless Son is made a Prisoner

’Till Philadelphus, who must be appeas’d

For all the Wrongs his Daughter has receiv’d,

Pronounce his Fate.


Enough; Farewel curst Life,

Vain Ambition, and unsuccessful Policy.



Antiochus dead!

Instead of a kind Mistress’s tender Arms,

Press’d in the cold Embraces of pale Death:

Then Artenor alone persu’d my Life,

Unknowing of his Sisters Lost Estate.


And justly he’s Rewarded.


Now I’m again a Queen; you think me such:

But here I quit the gaudy empty Title:

I wore the Pageantry but a few Days,

And F3v 38

And I am happy to resign the Load.

Back to my Native Country I’ll retire,

And lay my Crown at my Great Father’s Feet.


We’ll All attend you thither.


’Tis well; my Royal Father will Reward you

For all the Faithful Care you take of me.

Soon as I’ve gain’d his Blessing, I’ll withdraw,

And seek some lonely unfrequented Shade;

There to lament Ormades’s Cruel Fate:

Thither, my dear Irene. thou must go,

And prove the kind Companion of my Life.


To the Worlds utmost Limits I would wander,

To follow you in Power or Distress.


I know thou wou’dst do more than I deserve;

For I am guilty, Oh, ye Sacred Powers!

By you I swore to be Ormades’s Bride:

Yet when my Father gave me to another,

And bound the Contract with a solemn Oath,

I chose to live a false perfidious wretch,

Rather than fix the Perjury on him:

’Twas a hard Case: yet I am justly punish’d.

I had no right to swear; there was my Crime.

Then let all those that shall these Mischiefs hear,

To shun our Fate, wisely our Crimes forbear:

For Heaven its severest Justice shows

On lawless Love, and violated Vows.




Spoken by Mrs. Barry. Writ by a Friend.

This Story, on my Conscience, can’t be true;

For Constancy is so like Wedlock, few

Would e’en a seeming Husband’s Love persue.

To hate and leave that dowdy Lawful Life,

Is here the great Prerogative of Wife.

A well bred Writer, let whate’er betide,

Had plac’d th’ Elopment on the Woman’s side:

This of my Sexes, Privilege bereaves me;

And I must Murder him because he leaves me.

Much the fond Tale more probable were made,

If I had Poyson’d him because he stay’d.

Let no rude Husband after this grow Nice,

Nor fear his Wife should follow my Device:

Revenge more just our British Ladies find;

A Husband’s Wrongs are always paid in kind:

Mens Stratagems but small Advantage get,

And injur’d Women seldom die in Debt.