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“Your eyes do what they will, and cannot fail
"To gain a conquest, where you wish they should.” Her. What can I do? alas! my faith is promis’d. . Can I refuse what is not mine to give? A princess is not at her choice to love; All we have left us is a blind obedience : And yet, you see, how far I had comply'd, And made my duty yield to your intreaties. Orest. Ah, cruel maid! you knew—but I have done. All have a right to please themselves in love: I blame not you. 'Tis true, I hop'd;—but you Are mistress of your heart, and I'm content. 'Tis fortune is my enemy, not you. But, madam, I shall spare you farther pain On this uneasy theme, and take my leave.
[Exit Orestes. Her. Cleone, could'st thou think he'd be so calm: Cleo. Madam, his silent grief sits heavy on him. He's to be pitied. His too eager love
Has made him busy to his own destruction.
His threats have wrought this change of mind is
Her. Dost thou think Pyrrhus capable of fear! Whom should the intrepid Pyrrhus fear? the Greeks? Did he not lead their harrass'd troops to conquest When they despair'd, when they retir'd from Troy, And sought for shelter in their burning fleets? Did he not then supply his father's place? No, my Cleone, he is above constraint;
He acts unforc'd; and where he weds he loves.
Cleo. Oh, that Orestes had remain'd in Greece!
I fear to-morrow will prove fatal to him.
Her. Wilt thou discourse of nothing but Orestes? Pyrrhus is mine again!-Is mine for ever!
Oh, my Cleone! I am wild with joy!
Pyrrhus, the bold! the brave! the godlike Pyrrhus!
Cleo. Madam, conceal your joy-I see Andromache: She weeps, and comes to speak her sorrows to you. Her. I would indulge the gladness of my heart! Let us retire: her grief is out of season.
Enter ANDROMACHE and CEPHISA.
Andr. Ah, madam, whither, whither do you fly ?
To envy you the heart your charms have won :
"Hector first taught me love; which my fond heart
Her joy, her bliss, her last surviving comfort!
Alas, what danger is there in a child,
Sav'd from the wreck of a whole ruin'd empire?
Her. Madam, 'tis easy to conceive your grief:
If you gain him, I shall comply of course.
[Exit Her. and Cleone. Andr. Didst thou not mind with what disdain she
Youth and prosperity have made her vain;
She has not seen the fickle turns of life.
Ceph. Madam, were I as you, I'd take her counsel! I'd speak my own distress: one look from you Will vanquish Pyrrhus, and confound the Greeks— See, where he comes-Lay hold on this occasion.
Enter PYRRHUS and PHOENIX.
Pyr. Where is the princess? Did you not inform me Hermione was here ?
Phan. I thought so, sir.
Andr. Thou seest what mighty power my eyes
Pyr. What says she, Phoenix?
Andr. I have no hope left!
Phan. Let us begone :-Hermione expects you. Ceph. For Heaven's sake, madam, break this sullen silence.
Andr. My child's already promis'd
Ceph. But not given.
Andr. No, no! my tears are vain! his doom is fixt! Pyr. See, if she deigns to cast one look
Andr. I provoke him by my presence.
Let us retire..
Pyr. Come, let us satisfy
The Greeks; and give them up this Phrygian boy. Andr. Ah, sir! recall those words-What have you
If you give up my son, Oh, give up me!—
You, who so many times have sworn me friendship:
Pyr. Phoenix will answer you: my word is past.
Pyr. I was your lover then: I now am free.
To favour you, I might have spar'd his life :
"Andr. Ah, sir, you understood
"My tears, my wishes, which I durst not utter, "Afraid of a repulse." Oh, sir, excuse
The pride of Royal blood, that checks my soul.
You know, alas! I was not born to kneel,
Pyr. No! in your heart you curse me! you disdain My generous flame, and scorn to be oblig❜d!
"This very son, this darling of your soul,
"Would be less dear, did I preserve him for you. "Your anger, your aversion fall on me!
"You hate me more than the whole league of Greece:" But I shall leave you to your great resentments. Let us go, Phœnix, and appease the Greeks.
Andr. Then, let me die! and let me go to Hector. Ceph. But, madam—
Andr. What can I do more? The tyrant
Sees my distraction and insults my tears. [To Ceph.
I thought the brave were still the most compassionate.
If he must die
Pyr. Phoenix, withdraw a while.
Rise, madam-Yet you may preserve your son.