« EelmineJätka »
Hold my arms? I shall be murdered here,
damned a deed.
Alex. Where is the traitor?
Cly. Sure there is none about you;
But here stands honest Clytus, whom the king Invited to his banquet.
Alex. Begone and sup with Philip, [Strikes him through. Parmenio, Attalus, Calisthenes; And let bold subjects learn, by thy sad fate, To tempt the patience of a man much above them.
Cly. The rage of wine is drowned in gushing
O Alexander, I have been to blame;
Cly. I should have killed myself, had I but
To be once sober-Now I fall with honour, My own hand would have brought foul death.O pardon!
[Dies. Alex. Then I am lost; what has my vengeance done?
Who is it thou hast slain? Clytus; what was he?
Thou foughtst bare-headed at the river Granicus,
Thy friends will shun thee now, and stand at distance,
Nor dare to speak their minds, nor eat with thee,
For we must never part. Cruel Hephestion
Lys. Dear sir, we did.
Alex. I know it;
Ye held me like a beast, to let me go
And barred my rage with their advancing points;
Till I had seen what ruin did attend me :
Alex. No, you have let me stain my rising virtue, Which else had ended brighter than the sun. Death, hell, and furies! you have sunk my glory : Oh, I am all a blot, which seas of tears, And my heart's blood, can never wash away; Yet 'tis but just I try, and on the point, Still reeking, hurl my black polluted breast, Heph. O sacred sir, that must not be. Eum. Forgive my pious hands. Lys. And mine, that dare disarm my master. Alex. Yes, cruel men, ye now can shew your
Here's not a slave but dares oppose my justice;
Lys. I know not, my wounds bleed afresh With striving with him: Perdiceas, lend us your arm. [Eennt Perdiccas, Lysimachus. Heph. Call Aristander hither;
Or Meleager, let us force him from the body.
Cries without-Arm! Arm! Treason, Treason! Enter PERDICCAS bloody.
Per. Haste, all take arms! Hephestion, where's the king?
Heph. There, by old Clytus' side, whom he has slain.
Per. Then misery on misery will fall, Like rolling billows, to advance the storm. Rise, sacred sir, and haste to aid the queen; Roxana, filled with furious jealousy, Came with a guard of Zogdian slaves unmasked, And broke upon me with such sudden rage, That all are perished, who resistance made:
I only with these wounds, through clashing spears, Have forced my way, to give you timely notice. Aler. What says Perdiccas? Is the queen in danger?
Per. She dies, unless you turn her fate, and quickly:
Your distance from the place asks more speed, And the ascent to the flying grove is high.'
Alex. Thus from my grave I rise to save my love, All draw your swords, with wings of lightning, move; When I rush on, sure none will dare to stay, "Tis beauty calls, and glory shews the way.
STATIRA is discovered sleeping in the bower of SEMIRAMIS; the spirits of Queen STATIRA, her Mother, and DARIUS, appear standing on each side of her, with daggers, threatening her. They sing.
Dar. Is innocence so void of cares,
That it can undisturbed sleep, Amidst the noise of horrid wars,
That make immortal spirits weep?
Stat. No boding crows, nor ravens come, To warn her of approaching doom.
Dar. She walks, as she dreams, in a garden of flowers,
And her hands are employed in the beautiful bowers;
She dreams of the man that is far from the grove, And all her soft fancy still runs on her love. Stat. She nods o'er the brooks, that run purling along,
And the nightingales lull her more fast with a song.
Dar. But see the sad end which the gods have
Stat. This poinard's thy fate.
Eer an hour be past, you must breathe out your last.
Dar. And be such another as I.
Enter ROXANA, with slaves and a dagger. Ror. At length we have conquered this stu pendous height,
These flying groves, whose wonderful ascent
Stat. Then all the vision's true,
Ror. Shut the brazen gate,
And make it fast with all the massy bars.
Stat. And what is she, who with such tower-
Would awe a princess, that is born above her?
Stat. No, barbarous woman, though I durst
As boldly as our lord, with a resolve,
Chorus. And be such another as I. [Exeunt. This sure will sink you.
Stat. Bless me, ye powers above, and guard my virtue!
I saw, nor was't a dream, I saw and heard
I heard their heavenly voices: Where, O where
The motion of my robes makes my heart leap.
I hear his tread, but dare not go to meet him.
Stat. No, Roxana, no:
The blow you give will strike me to the stars,
Stat. A thousand spirits tell me :
Stat. While you, the burden of the earth,
Ror. Heaven witness for me, I would spare
If any thing but Alexander's love
Stat. The world is less than Alexander's love,
Your friend! What, must I bring you then together?
Adore your bed, and see you softly laid?
Stat. Yet hold thy hand advanced in air;
What, you would have him mourn you as you fall?
I'll have thy body thrown into a well,
O ye gods, will you not help my weakness? Ror. They are afar off.
Stat. Alas! they are indeed. Enter ALEXANDER, CASSANDER, POLYPERCHON,
Guards and Attendants.
Alex. Oh happy! Thou shalt reign the queen of devils.
Rox. Do, strike, behold my bosom swells to meet thee;
'Tis full of thine, of veins that run ambition, And I can brave whatever fate you bring. Alex. Call our physicians! haste! I'll give an empire
To save her-Oh my soul, alas Statira! These wounds,-Oh gods, are these my promised joys!
Stat. My cruel love, my weeping Alexander, Would I had died before you entered here! For now I ask my heart an hundred questions; What! must I lose my life, my lord, for ever?
Alex. Ha! villains, are they mortal?-what,
Raise your dashed spirits from the earth, and say,
Ror. Rend not your temper; see a general
Confirms the bloody pleasure, which I sought; She dies.
Alex. And darest thou, monster, think to escape?
Stat. Life's on the wing,-my love, my lord, Come to my arms, and take the last adieu. Here let me lie, and languish out my soul.
Alex. Answer me, father, wilt thou take her
What, is the black, sad hour at last arrived,
And shot me with a thousand thousand smiles?
I swear by Orosmades, 'tis more pleasure,
Alex. All, all, but speak that I
Stat. Leave not the earth
Before Heaven calls you; spare Roxana's life.
Aler. Close not thy eyes;
To give them an account of life and death,
Rox. 'Tis certain now you never shall enjoy her;
Therefore Roxana may have leave to hope
And thank Statira, that thou art alive:
Else thou hadst perished; yes, I would have rent, With my just hands, that rock, that marble heart; I would have dived through seas of blood to find it,
To tear the cruel quarry from its center.
I love you spite of all your cruelties;
And love shall grasp it with these dying hands. Aler. O that thou wert a man, that I might drive
Thee round the world, and scatter thy contagion, As gods hurl mortal plagues, when they are angry! Ror. Do, drive me, hew me into smallest pieces,
My dust shall be inspired with a new fondness; Still the love-motes shall play before your eyes, Where'er you go, however you despise.
Aler. Away! there's not a glance that flies from thee,
But, like a basilisk, comes winged with death. Ror. O speak not such harsh words, my royal master!
Look not so dreadful on your kneeling servant;
My knees are weary, and my force is spent:
Aler. O thou hast touched my soul so tenderly, That I will raise thee, though thy hands are
Rise, cruel woman, rise, and have a care,
That has revenge in store for perjured love,
Kill the triumpher, and avenge my wrong,
Bolted with thunder let him rush along,
Pursue his spotted ghost, and shoot him as he flies! [Exit. Alex. O my fair star, I shall be shortly with thee;
For I already feel the sad effects
What means this deadly dew upon my forehead?
Cass. It will anon be still
The poison works.
Pol. I'll see the wished effect Ere I remove, and gorge me with revenge.
Enter PERDICCAS and LYSIMACHUS.
Great Sysigambis, hearing Statira's death,
Her last words gave the princess to the brave
Alex. How! dead? Hephestion dead? alas the
Unhappy youth!-But he sleeps happy,
Will stretch my lids with vast, eternal tears-
Alex. Fly, Meleager, hang him on a cross!
But here lies my fate; Hephestion, Clytus,
O when shall I be mad? Give order to
Pound their bright armour into dust; away!
Draw dry the Ganges, make the Indies poor;
I find Cassander's plot grows full of death;
And the sad sisters sweat, so fast I urge them.
The sieve brim full, and the swift stone stand still.
What, does it work? Pol. Speak softly. Cass. Well.
Pol. It does;
I followed him, and saw him swiftly walk
Pol. When they took him up,
He sighed, and entered with a strange wild look, Embraced the princes round, and said he must Dispatch the business of the world in haste.
Enter PHILIP and THESSALUS.
Phil. Back, back, all scatter-With a dreadful shout
I heard him cry, 'I am but a dead man!' Thess. The poison tears him with that height of horror,
'Tis sure the arm of death: give me a chair; Cover me, for I freeze, and my teeth chatter, And my knees knock together.
Perd. Heaven bless the king! Alex. Ha! who talks of heaven? I am all hell; I burn, I burn again! The war grows wondrous hot; hey for the Tiger! Bear me, Bucephalus, amongst the billows: O'tis a noble beast; I would not change him For the best horse the Sun has in his stable: For they are hot, their mangers full of coals, Their manes are flakes of lightning, curls of fire, And their red tails, like meteors, whisk about. Lys. Help all, Eumenes, help! I cannot hold him!
Alex. Ha, ha, ha! I shall die with laughter. Parmenio, Clytus, dost thou see yon fellow, That ragged soldier, that poor tattered Greek? See how he puts to flight the gaudy Pérsians, With nothing but a rusty helmet on, through which
The grizly bristles of his pushing beard
Alex. Sound, sound, keep your ranks close; ay,
now they come :
O the brave din, the noble clank of arms!
I see, I know him by the sparkling plumes,
He tumbles! take him, snatch the imperial crown. They fly, they fly!-follow, follow!--Victoria! Victoria!
Victoria!- -O let me sleep.
Perd. Let's raise him softly, and bear him to his bed.
Alex. Hold, the least motion gives me sudden death;
My vital spirits are quite parched up,
Shall set, it must be night with us for ever.
Alex. Let me embrace you all before I die: Weep not, my dear companions; the good gods Shall send you, in my stead, a nobler prince, One that shall lead you forth with matchless con