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Enter CLYTUS in his Macedonian habit; HEPHESTION, EUMENES, MELEAGER, &c. in Per sian robes.
Cly. AWAY, I will not wear these Persian
Nor ought the king be angry for the reverence
I owe my country: sacred are her customs,
Which honest Clytus shall preserve to death.
O let me rot in Macedonian rags,
Rather than shine in fashions of the east.
Then for the adorations he requires,
Roast my old body in infernal flames,
Or let him cage me like Calisthenes.
En. Dear Clytus, be persuaded.
Heph. You know the king
Is godlike, full of all the richest virtues,
That ever royal heart possessed; yet you
Perverse, but to one humour will oppose him.
Cly. Call you it humour? 'tis a pregnant one,
By Mars there's venom in it, burning pride;
And, though my life should follow, rather than
Bear such a hot ambition in my bowels,
I'd rip them up to give the poison vent.
Mele. Was not that Jupiter, whom we adore, A man, but, for his more than human acts, Advanced to heaven, and worshipped for its lord! Heph. By all his thunder and his sovereign power,
I'll not believe the earth yet ever felt
An arm like Alexander's; not that god
You named, though riding in a car of fire,
And drawn by flying horses, winged with light-
Could, in a shorter space, do greater deeds,
Drive all the nations, and lay waste the world.
Cly. There's not a man of war among you all,
That loves the king like me; yet I'll not flatter,
Nor soothe his vanity, it is blameable;
And when the wine works, Clytus's thoughts will
Heph. Then go not to the banquet.
Cly. I was called,
My minion, was I not, as well as you?
I'll go, my friends, in this old habit thus,
And laugh, and drink the king's health heartily;
And while you, blushing, bow your heads to earth,
And hide them in the dust, I'll stand upright,
Straight as a spear, the pillar of my country,
And be by so much nearer to the gods
But see, the king and all the court appear.
Enter ALEXANDER, SYSIGAMBIS, STATIRA, PA-
Par. Spare him, O spare Lysimachus his life! I know you will; kings should delight in mercy. Aler. Shield me, Statira, shield me from her sorrow!
Par. O save him, save him, e'er it be too late!
Swallow him up; let not your soldier perish
Speak the kind word, before the gaping lion
But for one rashness, which despair did cause:
I'll follow thus for ever on my knees,
And make your way so slippery with tears,
You shall not pass-Sister, do you conjure him!
Alex. O mother, take her, take her from me;
Her watry eyes assault my very soul,
They shake my best resolve-
Stat. Did I not break
Through all for you? nay, now, my lord, you
Sys. Nor would I make my son so bold a prayer Had I not first consulted for his honour.
Alex. Honour! what honour! has not Statira
Were I the king of the blue firmament,
And the bold Titans should again make war,
Though my resistless arrows were made ready,
By all the gods she should arrest my hand.
Fly then, even thou, his rival so beloved,
Fly with old Clytus, snatch him from the jaws
Of the devouring beast, bring him adorned
To the king's banquet, fit for loads of honour.
[Exeunt Heph. Eum. Par. and Cly. Stat. O my loved lord! let me embrace your knees!
I am not worthy of this mighty passion:
You are too good for goddesses themselves :
No woman, nor the sex, is worth a grain
Of this illustrious life of my dear master.
Why are you so divine, to cause such fondness,
That my heart leaps, and beats, and fain would
To make a dance of joy about your feet?
Alex. Excellent woman! no, 'tis impossible
To say how much I love thee-Ha! again!
Such extasics life cannot carry long;
The day comes on so fast, and beamy joy
Darts with such fierceness on me, night will fol
A pale crowned head flew lately glaring by me,
With two dead hands, which threw a crystal globe
From high, that shattered in a thousand pieces.
But I will lose this boding dream in wine;
Then, warm and blushing for my queen's embra
Bear me, with all my heat, to thy loved bosom.
Stat. Go, my best love, and cheer your droop-
Laugh with your friends, and talk your grief away,
While, in the bower of great Semiramis,
I dress your bed with all the sweets of Nature,
And crown it as the altar of my love;
Where I will lay me down, and softly mourn,
But never close my eyes till you return.
Alex. Is she not more than mortal e'er can wish!
Diana's soul cast in the flesh of Venus!
By Jove, 'tis ominous, our parting is;
Her face looked pale too, as she turned away :
And when I wrung her by the rosy fingers,
Methought the strings of my great heart did
What should it mean?Forward, Leomedon.
Roxana meets him, with CASSANDer, Polyper-
CHON, PHILIP, and THESSALUS.
Why, madam, gaze you thus?
Ror. For a last look, [She holds his hand.
And that the memory of Roxana's wrongs
May be for ever printed on your mind.
Alex. O madain, you must let me pass.
Rox. I will.
But I have sworn, that you shall hear me speak,
And mark me well, for fate is in my breath :
Love on the mistress, you adore, to death;
Still hope, but I fruition will destroy;
Languish for pleasures, you shall ne'er enjoy.
Still may Statira's image draw your sight,
Like those deluding fires that walk at night;
Lead you through fragrant grots and flow'ry groves,
And charm you through deep grass with sleeping
That when your fancy to its height does rise,
That light, you loved, may vanish from your
Darkness, despair, and death, your wandering soul surprize.
Alex. Away! lead, Meleager, to the banquet. [Ex. with Mel. &c. Ror. So unconcerned! O I could tear my flesh,
Or him, or you, nay all the world to pieces.
Cass. Still keep this spirit up, preserve it still, Lose not a grain, for such majestic atoms First made the world, and must preserve its greatness.
Rox. I know I am whatever thou canst say. My soul is pent, and has not elbow room; 'Tis swelled with this last slight, beyond all bounds:
O that it had a space might answer to
Its infinite desire, where I might stand,
And hurl the spheres about like sportive balls!
Cass. We are your slaves, admirers of your
Command Cassander to obey your pleasure,
And I will on, swift as your nimble eye
Scales heaven; when I am angry with the fates,
No age, nor sex, nor dignity of blood,
No ties of law nor nature, not the life
Imperial, though guarded by the gods,
Shall bar Cassander's vengeance--he shall die. Ror. Ha! shall he die? shall I consent to kill him?
To see him clasped in the cold arms of death,
Whom I with such an eagerness have loved?
Cass. If Alexander lives, you cannot reign,
Nor shall your child; old Sysigambis' head
Will not be idle-sure destruction waits
Both you and yours; let not your anger cool,
But give the word; say, Alexander bleeds,
Draw the dry veins of all the Persian race,
And hurl a ruin o'er the east, 'tis done.
Pol. Behold the instruments of this great
Phil. Behold your forward slave.
Thess. I'll execute.
Ror. And when this ruin is accomplished,
Shall curst Roxana fly with this dear load?
Where shall she find a refuge from the arms
Of all the successors of this great man?
No barbarous nation will receive a guilt
So much transcending theirs, but drive me out:
The wildest beasts will hunt me from their dens,
And birds of prey molest me in the grave.
Cass. No, you shall live-pardon the insolence
Which this almighty love enforces from me-
You shall live safer, nobler than before,
In your Cassander's arms.
Ror. Disgraced Roxana, whither wilt thou fall! I ne'er was truly wretched till this moment: There's not one mark of former majesty To awe my slave, that offers at niy honour. Cass. Madam, I hope you'll not impute my passion
To want of that respect, which I must bear you; Long have I loved
Ror. Peace, most audacious villain, Or I will stab this passion in thy throat! What, shall I leave the bosom of a deity, To clasp a clod, a moving piece of earth, Which a mole heaves? So far art thou beneath
Should wait my call; fine slaves to quench my
Who, lest in dreams they should reveal the deed,
Still as they came, successively should bleed.
Cass. To make atonement for the highest
I beg your majesty will take the life
Of queen Statira as a sacrifice.
Ror. Rise, thou hast made ample expiation;
Yes, yes, Statira, rival, thou must die;
I know this night is destined for my ruin,
And Alexander from the glorious revels
Flies to thy arms.
Phil. The bowers of Semiramis are made
The scene this night of their new kindled loves.
Ror. Methinks I see her yonder, (oh the tor-
Busy for bliss, and full of expectation:
She adorns her head, and her eyes give new
Languishes in her glass, tries all her looks;
Steps to the door, and listens for his coming;
Runs to the bed, and kneels, and weeps, and
Then lays the pillow easy for his head,
| A drop infused in wine will seal his death,
And send him howling to the lowest shades.
Phil. Would it were done!
Cass. O we shall have him tear
(E'er yet the moon has half her journey rode)
The world to atoms; for it scatters pains
All sorts, and through all nerves, veins, arteries.
Even with extremity of frost, it burns;
Drives the distracted soul about her house,
Which runs to all the pores, the doors of life,
Till she is forced for air to leave her dwelling.
Pol. By Pluto's self, the work is wondrous
Cass. Now separate: Philip and Thessalus,
Haste to the banquet; at his second call
Give him that fatal draught, that crowns the
While Polyperchon and myself retire.
Exeunt omnes, præter Cussander.
Yes, Alexander, now thou pay'st me well;
Blood for a blow is interest indeed.
Methinks I am grown taller with the murder,
And, standing straight on this majestic pile,
I hit the clouds, and see the world below me!
Oh, 'tis the worst of racks to a brave spirit,
Warms it with sighs, and moulds it with her To be born base, a vassal, a cursed slave;
Oh, I am lost! torn with imagination!
Kill me, Cassander, kill me instantly,
That I may haunt her with a thousand devils!
Cass. Why do you stop to end her while you
No time so proper as the present; now
While Alexander feasts with all his court:
Give me your eunuchs, half your Zogdian slaves,
I'll do the deed; nor shall a waiter escape,
That serves your rival, to relate the news.
Pol. She was committed to Eumenes' charge.
Ror. Eumenes dies, and all that are about her,
Nor shall I need your aid; you'll love again;
I'll head the slaves myself, with this drawn dag-
To carry death, that's worthy of a queen.
A common fate ne'er rushes from my hand;
'Tis more than life to die by my command:
And when she sees,
That to my arm her ruin she must owe,
Her thankful head will straight be bended low,
Her heart shall leap half way to meet the blow.
Cass. Go thy ways, Semele-she scorns to sin
Beneath a god-We must be swift; the ruin
We intend, who knows, she may discover?
Pol. It must be acted suddenly; to night;
Now at the banquet; Philip holds his cup.
Phil. And dares to execute-propose his fate.
Cass. Observe in this small phial certain death;
It holds a poison of such deadly force,
Should Esculapius drink it, in five hours
Now, by the project labouring in my brain,
'Tis nobler far to be a king in hell,
To head infernal legions, chiefs below,
To let them loose for earth, to call them in,
And take account of what dark deeds are done,
Than be a subject-god in heaven, unblest,
And without mischief have eternal rest! [Exit.
The Scene draws, ALEXANDER is seen standing on a throne, with all his commanders about him, holding goblets in their hands.
Aler. To our immortal health, and our fair
All drink it deep, and while it flies about,
Mars and Bellona join to make us music.
A hundred bulls be offered to the sun,
White as his beams-speak the big voice of war,
Beat all our drums, and blow our silver trum-
Till we provoke the gods to act our pleasure,
In bowls of nectar and replying thunder!
[Sound while they drink.
Enter HEPHESTION, CLYTUS, leading LYSIMA-
CHUS in his shirt, bloody; PERDICCAS, Guard.
Cly. Long live the king, and conquest crown
With laurels ever-green: Fortune's his slave,
And kisses all that fight upon his side.
Alex. Did not I give command you should
(For then it works) the god himself were mor- Lysimachus?
I drew it from Nonarris' horrid spring;
Aler. What, theri, portend those bloody marks?
Heph. Your mercy flew too late: Perdiccas had,
According to the dreadful charge you gave,
Already placed the prince in a lone court,
Unarmed, all but his hands, on which he wore
A pair of gauntlets; such was his desire,
To shew in death the difference betwixt
The blood of the acides, and common men.
Cly. At last the door of an old lion's den
Being drawn up, the horrid beast appeared:
The flames, which from his eyes shot glooming
Made the sun start, as the spectators thought,
And round them cast a day of blood and death.
Heph. When we arrived, just as the valiant
Cried out, 'O Parisatis, take my life;
"Tis for thy sake I go undaunted thus,
To be devoured by this most dreadful creature.
Cly. Then walking forward, the large beast
His prey, and with a roar, that made us pale,
Flew fiercely on him;, but the active prince,
Starting aside, avoided his first shock,
With a slight hurt, and as the lion turned,
Thrust gauntlet, arm and all, into his throat,
And, with Herculean force, tore forth by the roots
The foaming bloody tongue; and while the sa-
Faint with that loss, sunk to the blushing earth, To plough it with his teeth, your conquering soldier
Leaped on his back, and dashed his skull to pieces.
Aler. By all my laurels, 'twas a godlike act,
And 'tis my glory, as it shall be thine,
That Alexander could not pardon thee.
O my brave soldier, think not all the prayers
Of the lamenting queens could move my soul
Like what thou hast performed: Grow to my
Lys. However love did hurry my wild arm,
When I was cool, my feverish blood did bate,
And as I went to death, I blest the king.
Aler. Lysimachus, we both have been transported,
But from this hour be certain of my heart;
A lion be the impress of thy shield,
And that golden armour, we from Porus won,
The king presents thee: but retire to bed,
Thy toils ask rest.
Lys. I have no wounds to hinder,
Of any moment; or if I had, though mortal,
I'd stand to Alexander's health, till all
My veins were dry, and fill them up again
With that rich blood, which makes the gods im-
Aler. Hephestion, thy hand, embrace him
Though next my heart you hang, the jewel there,
scarce I know whether my queen be nearer, on shalt not rob me of my glory, youth, anust to ages flourish-Parisatis
Burn, hang, or drown, but in a better cause;
I'll drink or fight for sacred majesty
With any here- Fill me another bow!!
Will you excuse me?
Alex. You will be excused;
But let him have his humour, he is old.
Cly. So was your father, sir-This to his me-
Sound all the trumpets there.
Alex. They shall not sound
Till the king drinks-By Mars, I cannot take
A moment's rest for all my years of blood,
But one or other will oppose my pleasure.
Sure I was formed for war;
All, all are Alexander's enemies;
Which I could tame-Yes, the rebellious world
Should feel my wrath-But let the sports go on.
[The Indians dance.
Lys. Nay, Clytus, you that could advise-
Let him persist, be positive, and proud,
Sullen and dazzled, amongst the noble souls,
Like an infernal spirit, that had stole
From hell, and mingled with the laughing gods.
Cly. When gods grow hot, where's the differ-
Heph. Lysimachus, the king looks sad; let us
Health to the son of Jupiter Ammon!
Every man take his goblet in his hand,
Kneel all, and kiss the earth with adoration.
Aler. Sound, sound, that all the universe may
That I could speak like Jove, to tell abroad
The kindness of my people-Rise, O rise,
My hands, my arms, my heart is ever yours.
[Comes from his throne, all kiss his hand.
Cly. I did not kiss the earth, nor must your
I am unworthy, sir.
Alex. I know thou art,
Thou enviest my great honour-Sit, my friends;
Nay, I must have room-Now let us talk
Of war, for what more fits a soldier's mouth?
And speak, speak freely, or you do not love me,
Who, think you, was the bravest general
That ever led an army to the field?
I mounted, spite of showers of stones, bars, ar
And all the lumber, which they thundered down,
When you beneath cried out, and spread your arms,
That I should leap among you, did I so?
Lys. Turn the discourse, my lord, the old man
Alex. Was I a woman, when, like Mercury,
I left the walls to fly amongst my foes,
And, like a baited lion, dyed myself
All over with the blood of those bold hunters?
Till spent with toil, I battled on my knees,
Plucked forth the darts, that made my shield a
And hurled them back with most unconquered
Cly. Twas all bravado, for before you leaped, You saw that I had burst the gates asunder.
Alex. Did I then turn me, like a coward, round, To seek for succour? Age cannot be so base; That thou wert young again! I would put off
Heph. I think the sun himself ne'er saw a My majesty, to be more terrible,
So truly great, so fortunately brave,
As Alexander: not the famed Alcides,
Nor fierce Achilles, who did twice destroy,
With their all-conquering arms, the famous Troy.
Lys. Such was not Cyrus.
Alex. O you flatter me.
Cly. They do indeed, and yet you love them for it,
But hate old Clytus for his hardy virtue.
Come, shall I speak a man more brave than you,
A better general, and a more expert soldier?
Aler. I should be glad to learn; instruct me,
The laboured battle sweat, and conquest bled.
Why should I fear to speak a truth more noble
Then e'er your father, Jupiter Ammon, told you?
Philip fought men, but Alexander women.
Alex. Spite! by the gods, proud spite! and
Is then my glory coine to this at last,
To vanquish women? Nay, he said the stoutest
Would tremble at the dangers he had seen,
In all the sickness and the wounds I bore,
When from my reins the javelin head was cut,
Lysimachus, Hephestion, speak, Perdiccas,
Did I e'er tremble? O the cursed liar!
Did I once shake or groan? or bear myself
Beneath my majesty, my dauntless courage?
Heph. Wine has transported him.
Alex. No, 'tis plain mere malice :
I was a woman too at Oxydrace,
When planting at the walls a scaling ladder,
That, like an eagle, I might strike this hare
Trembling to earth; shake thee to dust, and tear
Thy heart for this bold lye, thou feeble dotard!
Cly. What, do you pelt me, like a boy, with
apples? [He tosses fruit at him as they rise.
Kill me, and bury the disgrace I feel!
I know the reason that you use me so,
Because I saved your life at Granicus;
And, when your back was turned, opposed my
To bold Rhesaces' sword; you hate me for it,
You do, proud prince.
Alex. Away! your breath's too hot.
[Flings him from him. Cly. You hate the benefactor, though you took The gift, your life, from this dishonoured Clytus; Which is the blackest, worst ingratitude.
Alex. Go, leave the banquet: Thus far I forgive thee.
Cly. Forgive yourself for all your blasphemies, The riots of a most debauched and bloated life; Philotas' murder
Alex. Ha! What said the traitor?
Lys. Eumenes, let us force him hence.
Heph. You shall not tarry: Drag him to the
Cly. No, let him send me, if I must be gone,
To Philip, Attalus, Calisthenes;
To great Parmenio, to his slaughtered sons:
Parmenio, who did many brave exploits
Without the king-the king, without him, nothing.
Aler. Give me a javelin!
[Takes one from the guards. Heph. Hold, sir!