Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

But when to his sought bed, thy wandring air For one poor fault so early should remove,
Shall for the happiness it wished repair, And fall a' martyr to the god of love.
How will it groan to find thy rival there?

Ror. Is then Roxana's love and life so poor, How ghastly wilt thou look, when thou shalt see, That for another you can chuse to die, Through the drawn curtains, that great man and Rather than live for her? what have I done? me,

How am I altered since at Susa last Wearied with laughing, joys shot to the soul, You swore, and sealed it with a thousand kisses, While thou shalt grinning stand, and gnash thy Rather than lose Roxana's smallest charm, teeth, and howl ?

You would forego the conquest of the world? Stat. O barbarous rage! my tears I cannot Aler. Madam, you best can tell what magic keep,

drew But my full eyes in spite of me will weep. Me to your charms, but let it not be told

Ror. The king and I in various pictures drawn, For your own sake; take that conquered world, Clasping each other, shaded o'er with lawn, Dispose of crowns and scepters as you please, Shall be the daily presents I will send,

Let me but have the freedom of an hour, To help thy sorrow to her journey's end. To make account with this wronged innocence. And when we hear at last thy hour draws nigh, Stat. You know, my lord, you did commit a My Alexander, my dear love and I,

fault : Will coine and hasten on thy lingering fates, I ask but this, repeat your crime no more. And smile and kiss thy soul out through the grates. Aler. O never, never. Slat. 'Tis well, I thank thee ; thou hast waked Ror. Am I rejected, then? a rage,

Aler. Exhaust my treasures, Whose boiling now no temper can assuage :

Take all the spoils of the fair conquered Indies; I meet thy tides of jealousy with more,

But, for the ease of my afflicted soul, Dare thee to duel, and dash thee o'er and o'er. Go, where I never may behold thee more. Rar. What would you dare?

Ror. Yes, I will go, ungrateful as thou art, Stat. Whatever you dare do,

Bane to my life! thou torment of my days, My warring thoughts the bloodiest tracts pursue; Thou murderer of the world! for, as thy sword I am by love a fury made, like you :

Hath cut the lives of thousand thousand men, kill or be killed, thus acted by despair.

So will thy tongue undo all woman-kind. Ror. Sure the disdained Statira does not dare? But I'll be gone; this last disdain hath cured me, Stat. Yes, towering proud Roxana, but I dare. And I am now grown so in different, Ror. I tower indeed o'er thee;

I could behold you kiss without a pang, Like a fair wood, the shade of kings I stand; Nay, take a torch and light you to your bed: While thou, sick weed, do but infest the land. But do not trust me, no, for if you do,

Stat. No, like an ivy I will curl thee round, By all the furies and the fames of love, Thy sapless trunk of all its pride confound, By love, which is the hottest burning hell, Then, dry and withered, bend thee to the ground.

r'i

you both on fire to blaze for ever. [Erit. What Svaigambis' threats, objected fears,

Stat. O Alexander, is it possible? Good gods, My sister's sighs, and Alexander's tears, That guilt can shew so lovely yet I pardon, Could not effect, thy rival rage has done : Forgive thee all, by thy dear life I du. My soul, whose start at breach of oaths begun, Aler. Ha, pardon! saidst thou, pardon me? Shall to thy ruin violated run.

Sys. Now all thy mother's blessings fall upon ril see the king in spite of all I swore,

thee, Though curst, that thou mayest never see him My best, my most beloved, my own Statira! more.

Aler. Is it then true, that thou hast pardoned

me? Enter PERDICCAS, Alexander, SYSICAMBIS, at

And is it given me thus to touch thy hand, tendants, 8c.

And fold thy body in my longing arms ? Per. Madam, your royal mother, and the king. To gaze upon thy eyes, iny happier stars,

Aler. O my Statira! ( my angry dear! To taste thy lip, and thy dear baliny brcath, Turn thine eyes on me, I would talk to them: While every sigh comés forth so 'fraught with What shall I say to work upon thy soul?

sweets, Where shall I throw me? whither shall I fall? 'Tis incense to be offered to a god. Stat. For me you shall not fall.

Stat. Yes, dear impostor, 'tis most true, that I Aler. For thee I will,

Have pardoned thee; and 'tis as true, that while Before thy feet I'll have a grave dug up, I stand in view of thee, thy eyes will wound, And perish quick, be buried straight alive: Thy tongue will make me wanton as thy wishes; Give but, as the earth grows heavy on me, And while I feel thy hand, my body glows: A tender look, and a relenting word,

Therefore be quick, and take your last adieu, Suv but, 'twas pity that so great a man,

These yonr last sighs, and these your parting tears: Who had ten thousand deaths in battles 'scaped, Farewell, farewell, a long and last farewell!

set

like me.

ever.

thus ;

Aler. O my Hephestion, bear me, or I sink. But first kneel with me, all my soldiers kneel ! Stat. Nay, you may take_Heaven, how my

All kneel. heart throbs!

Yet lower-prostrate to the earth.—Ah! moYou may, you may, if yet you think me worthy,

ther, what, Take from these trembling lips a parting kiss. Will you

kncel too? Then let the sun stand still, Aler. No, let me starve first-why, Statira, To see himself out-worshipped; not a face why?

Be shewn, that is not washed all o'er in tears, What is the meaning of all this ?-O gods! But weep as if you here beheld me slain. I know the cause, my working brain divines- Sys. Isast thou a heart? or art thou savage You'll say you pardoned, but with this reserve,

turned ? Never to make me blest as I have been, But if this posture cannot move your mercy, To slumber by the side of that false man, I never will speak inore. Nor give a heaven of beauty to a devil:

Aler. O my Statira ! Think you not thus ? Speak, madam.

I swear, my queen, I'll not out-live thy hate, Sys. She is not worthy, son, of so much sorrow : My soul is still as death-But one thing more, Speak comfort to him, speak, my dear Statira, Pardon

my

last extremities—the transports I ask thee by those tears : Ah ! canst thou e'er Of a deep wounded breast, and all is well. Pretend to love, yet with dry eyes behold him? Stat. Rise, and may heaven forgive you all, Aler. Silence more dreadful than severest sounds :

Aler. You are too gracious.—Clytus, bear me Would she but speak, though death, eternal exile hence ; Hung on her lips, yet, while her tongue pronoun- When I am laid in earth, yield her the world. ces,

There's something here heaves, as cold as ice, There must be music even in my undoing. That stops my breath— Farewell, oh gods! for Stat. Still, my loved lord, I cannot see you

Stat. Hold off, and let me run into his arms, Nor can I ever vield to share vour bed:

My dearest, my all love, my lord, my king! 0 I shall find Roxana in your arms,

You shall not die, if that the soul and body
And taste her kisses left upon your lips.

Of thy Statira can restore thy life:
Aler. Yes, obstinate, I will, madam, you shall, Give me thy wonted kindness.
You shall, in spite of this resistless passion,

Alex. O the killing joy!
Be served; but you must give me leave to think O extasy! my heart will burst my breast,
You never loved:-0 could I see you thus ! To leap into thy bosom; but, by heaven,
Hell has not half the tortures that you raise. This night I will revenge me of thy beauties,

Cly. Never did passions combat thus before. For the dear rack I have this day endured ;
Aler. 0 I shall burst,

For all the sighs and tears that I have spent, Unless you give me leave to rave a while. I'll have so many thousand burning loves;

Sys. Yet e'er destruction sweep us both away, So swell thy lips, so till me with thy sweetness, Relent, and break through all to pity him! Thou shalt not sleep nor close thy wandring eyes: Aler. Yes, I will shake this Cupid from my The smiling hours shall all be loved away, arms,

We'll surfeit all the night, and languish all the If all the rages of the earth would fright him;

day. Drown him in the deep bowl of Hercules;

Stat. Nor shall RoxanaMake the world drunk, and then, like Eolus, Aler. Let her not be namedWhen he gave passage to the struggling winds, O mother! how shall I requite your goodness! I'll strike my spear into the reeling globe And you, my fellow warriors, that could weep To let it blood, set Babylon in a blaze,

For your lost king—But I invite you all, And drive this god of flames with more consu- My equals in the throne as in the grave, ming fire.

Without distinction to the riot come, Stat. My presence will but force him to ex- To the king's banquettremes;

Cly. I beg your majesty Besides, 'tis death to me to see his pains :

Would leave me out. Yet stand resolved never to yield again

Ale.r. None, none shall be excused; Perinit me to remove.

All revel out the day, 'tis my

command. Aler. I charge ye, stay her!

Gay as the Persian god our self will stand, For if she pass, by all the hell I feel,

With a crowned goblet in our lifted hand. Your souls, your naked ghosts, shall wait upon Young Ammon and Statira shall go round, her.

While anticineasures beat the burdened ground, O turn thee! turn ! thou barbarous brightness, And to the vaulted skies our clangors sound. turn!

(Exeunt. Hlear my last words, and see my utmost pang :

ACT IV.

let not

They shake

must.

SCENE I.

Par. O save him, save him, e'er it be too late! Exier Clytus in his Macedonian habit ;

Speak the kind word, before the gaping lion НЕ

Swallow him up; PAESTION, EUMENES, MELEAGER, &c. in Per- But for one rashness, which despair did cause :

your soldier perish sian robes.

I'll follow thus for ever on my knees, Cly. Away, I will not wear these Persian And make your way so slippery with tears, robes;

You shall not pass-Sister, do you conjure him! Nor ought the king be angry for the reverence Aler. O mother, take her, take her from me ; I owe my country: sacred are her customs,

[Kneels. Which honest Clytus shall preserve to death. Her watry eyes assault my very soul, O let me rot in Macedonian rags,

my

best resolveRather than shine in fashions of the east.

Stat. Did I not break Then for the adorations he requires,

Through all for you? nay, now, my lord, you Roast my old body in infernal flames, Or let him cage me like Calisthenes.

Sys. Nor would I make my son so bold a prayer Eum. Dear Clytus, be persuaded.

Had I not first consulted for his honour. Hepk. You know the king

Aler. Ilonour! what honour! has not Statira Is godlike, full of all the richest virtues,

said it! That ever royal heart possessed ; yet you Were I the king of the blue firmament, Perverse, but to one humour will oppose him. And the bold Titans should again make war,

Cly. Call you it humour? 'tis a pregnant one, Though my resistless arrows were made ready, By Mars there's venom in it, burning pride ; By all the gods she should arrest my hand. And, though my life should follow, rather than Fly then, even thou, his rival so beloved, Bear such a hot ambition in my bowels, Fly with old Clytus, snatch him from the jaws I'd rip them up to give the poison vent. of the devouring beast, bring him adorned

Mele. Was not that Jupiter, whom we adore, To the king's banquet, fit for loads of honour. A man, but, for his more than human acts,

(Ereunt Heph. Eum: Par. and Cly. Advanced to heaven, and worshipped for its lord! Stat. O my loved lord! let me einbrace your Heph. By all his thunder and his sovereign knees! power,

I am not worthy of this mighty passion : I'll not believe the earth yet ever felt

You are too good for goddesses themselves : An arm like Alexander's; not that god

No woman, nor the sex, is worth a grain You named, though riding in a car of fire, Of this illustrious life of my dear master. And drawn by flying horses, winged with light-Why are you so divine, to cause such fondness, ning,

That

my heart leaps, and beats, and fain would Could, in a shorter space, do greater deeds,

out, Drive all the nations, and lay waste the world. To make a dance of joy about your feet ?

Cly. There's not a man of war among you all, Aler. Excellent woman! no, 'tis impossible That loves the king like ine; yet I'll not flatter, To say how much I love thee-Ha! again! Nor soothe his vanity, it is blameable ;

Such extasies life cannot carry long; And when the wine works, Clytus's thoughts will The day comes on so fast, and beamy joy out.

Darts with such fierceness on me, night will folHeph. Then go not to the banquet.

low. Cly. I was called,

A pale crowned head few lately glaring by me, My minion, was I not, as well as you?

With two dead hands, which threw a crystal globe rii go, my friends, in this old habit thus, From high, that shattered in a thousand pieces. And laugh, and drink the king's health heartily; But I will lose this boding dream in wine; And while you, blushing, bow your heads to earth, Then, warm and blushing for my queen's embraAnd hide them in the dust, I'll stand upright,

ces, Straight as a spear, the pillar of my country, Bear me, with all my heat, to thy loved bosom. And be by so much nearer to the gods

Stat. Go, my best love, and cheer your droopBut see, the king and all the court appear.

ing spirits ;

Laugh with your friends, and talk your grief away, Enter Alexander, SYSIGAMBIS, Statira, PA-While, in the bower of great Semiramis, RISATIS, &c.

I dress your bed with all the sweets of Nature, Par. Spare him, O spare Lysimachus his life ! And crown it as the altar of my love; I know you will; kings should delight in mercy.

Where I will lay me down, and softly mourn, Aler. Shield ine, Statira, shield ine from her But never close my eyes till you return. sorrow!

[Erennt Stat. Sys. Vol. I.

R

Aler. Is she not more than mortal e'er can Cass. If Alexander lives, you cannot reign, wish!

Nor shall your child; old Sysigambis' head Diana's soul cast in the flesh of Venus !

Will not be idle--sure destruction waits By Jove, 'tis ominous, our parting is;

Both you and yours; let not your anger cool, Her face looked pale too, as she turned away : But give the word; say, Alexander bleeds, And when I wrung her by the rosy fingers, Draw the dry veins of all the Persian race, Methought the strings of my great heart did And hurl a ruin o'er the east, 'tis done. crack.

Pol. Behold the instruments of this great What should it mean? -Forward, Leomedon.

work.

Phil. Behold your forward slave.
Roxana meets him, with CASSANDER, POLYPER- Thess. I'll execute.
CHON, Philip, and THESSALUS.

Rox. And when this ruin is accomplished, Why, madam, gaze you thus?

where Ror. For a last look, [She holds his hand. Shall curst Roxana fly with this dear load? And that the memory of Roxana's wrongs Where shall she find a refuge from the arms May be for ever printed on your mind.

Of all the successors of this great man? Aler. O madam, you must let me pass. No barbarous nation will receive a guilt Ror. I will.

So much transcending theirs, but drive me out : But I have sworn, that you shall hear me speak, The wildest beasts will hunt me from their dens, And mark me well, for fate is in my breath : And birds of prey molest me in the grave. Love on the mistress, you adore, to death; Cass. No, you shall live-pardon the insolence Still hope, but I fruition will destroy ;

Which this almighty love enforces from me Languish for pleasures, you shall ne'er enjoy. You shall live safer, nobler than before, Still may Statira's image draw your sight, In your Cassander's arms. Like those deluding fires that walk at night; Ror. Disgraced Roxana, whither wilt thou fall? Lead you through fragrant grots and flow'ry groves, I ne'er was truly wretched till this moment: And charm you through deep grass with sleeping There's not one mark of former majesty loves;

To awe my slave, that offers at my honour. That when your fancy to its height does rise, Cass. Madam, I hope you'll not impute my That light, you loved, may vanish from your

passion eyes,

To want of that respect, which I must bear you; Darkness, despair, and death, your wandering Long have I lovedsoul surprize.

Ror. Peace, most audacious villain, Aler. Away! lead, Meleager, to the banquet. Or I will stab this passion in thy throat !

[Er. with Mel. 8c. What, shall I leave the bosom of a deity, Ror. So unconcerned ! 0 I could tear my To clasp a clod, a moving piece of earth, flesh,

Which a mole heaves? So far art thou beneath Or him, or you, nay all the world to pieces.

Cass. Still keep this spirit up, preserve it still, Cass. Your majesty shall hear no more folly. Lose not a grain, for such majestic atoms Ror. Nor dare to meet my eyes; for if thou First made the world, and must preserve its

dost greatness.

With a love-glance, thy plots are all unravelled, Ror. I know I am whatever thou canst say. And

your kind thoughts of Alexander told, My soul is pent, and has not elbow room; Whose life, in spite of all his wrongs to me, Tis swelled with this last slight, beyond all Shall be for ever sacred and untouched. bounds :

Cass. I know, dread madam, that Cassander's O that it had a space might answer to

life Its infinite desire, where I might stand,

Is in your hands, só cast to do you service. And hurl the spheres about like sportive balls! Ror. You thought, perhaps, because I practised Cuss. We are your slaves, admirers of your charms fury:

To gain the king, that I had loose desires : Command Cassander to obey your pleasure, No, 'tis my pride, that gives me height of pleaAnd I will on, swift as your nimble eye

sure, Scales heaven; when I am angry with the fates, To see the man, by all the world admired, No age, nor sex, nor dignity of blood,

Bowed to my bosoin, and my captive there. No ties of law nor nature, not the life

Cass. By your own life, the greatest oath I Imperial, though guarded by the gods,

swear, Shall bar Cassander's vengeance-he shall die. Cassander's passion from this time is dumb. Ror. Ila! shall he die? shall I consent to kill Ror. No, it I were a wanton, I would make him?

Princes the victims of my raging fires : To see him clasped in the cold arms of death, I, like the changing moon, would have the stars Whom I with such an eagerness have loved ? My followers, and mantled kings by night

me.

Should wait my call; fine slaves to quench my | A drop infused in wine will seal his death, flame,

And send him howling to the lowest shades. Who, lest in dreams they should reveal the deed, Phil. Would it were done! Sall as they caine, successively should bleed. Cass. 0 we shall have him tear Cass. To make atonement for the highest (E'er yet the moon has half her journcy rode) crime,

The world to atoms; for it scatters pains I beg your majesty will take the life

All sorts, and through all nerves, veins, arteries. Of queen Statira as a sacrifice.

Even with extremity of frost, it burns;
Rar. Rise, thou hast made ample expiation ; Drives the distracted soul about her house,
Yes, yes, Statira, rival, thou must die;

Which runs to all the porcs, the doors of life, I know this night is destined for my ruin, Till she is forced for air to leave her dwelling. And Alexander from the glorious revels

Pol. By Pluto's self, the work is wondrous Flies to thy arms.

brave. Phil. The bowers of Semiramis are made Cass. Now separate : Philip and Thessalus, The scene this night of their new kindled loves. Ilaste to the banquet; at his second call Ror. Methinks I see her yonder, (oh the tor- Give him that fåtal draught, that crowns the ment!)

night, Busy for bliss, and full of expectation :

While Polyperchon and myself retire. She adorns her head, and her eyes give new

Ereunt omnes, præter Cassander, lustre;

Yes, Alexander, now thou pay'st me well; Languishes in her glass, tries all her looks ; Blood for a blow is interest indeed. Steps to the door, and listens for his coming; Methinks I am grown taller with the murder, Runs to the bed, and kneels, and weeps, and And, standing straight on this majestic pile, wishes,

I hit the clouds, and see the world below me! Then lays the pillow easy for his head, Oh, 'tis the worst of racks to a brave spirit, Warins it with sighs, and moulds it with her to be born base, a vassal, a cursed slave; kisses.

Now, by the project labouring in my brain, Oh, I am lost! torn with imagination !

'Tis nobler far to be a king in hell, Kill me, Cassander, kill me instantly,

To head infernal legions, chiefs below, That I may haunt her with a thousand devils ! To let them loose for earth, to call them in, Cass. Why do you stop to end her while you And take account of what dark deeds are donc,

Than be a subject-god in heaven, ublest,
So time so proper as the present; now And without mischief have eternal rest! [Erit.
While Alexander feasts with all his court :
Give me your eunuchs, half your Zogdian slaves,

SCENE II.
I'll do the deed; nor shall a waiter escape,
That serves your rival, to relate the news.

The Scene drarcs, ALEXANDER is seen standing Pol. She was committed to Eumenes charge.

on a throne, wilh all his commanders about Ror. Eumenes dies, and all that are about her,

him, holding goblets in their hands. Nor shall I need your aid ; you'll love again; Aler. To our immortal health, and our fair I'll head the slaves myself, with this drawn dag- queen's;

All drink it deep, and while it flies about, To carry death, that's worthy of a queen. Mars and Bellona join to make us music. A common fate ne'er rushes from my hand; A hundred bulls be offered to the sun,

Tis more than life to die by my command : White as his beams-speak the big voice of war, And when she sees,

Beat all our drums, and blow our silver trumThat to my arm her ruin she mast owe,

pets, Her thankful head will straight be bended low, Till we provoke the gods to act our pleasure, fier heart shall leap half way to meet the blow! S In bowls of nectar and replying thunder ! [Erit Roxana.

[Sound while they drink. Cass. Go thy ways, Semele-she scorns to sin Beneath a godWe must be swift; the ruin

Enter HephesTiON, Clytus, leading LYSIM AWe intend, who knows, she may discover? cius in his shirt, bloody; PERDICAS, Guard.

Pol. It must be acted suddenly; to night; Cly. Long live the king, and conquest crown Now at the banquet; Philip holds his cup.

his arms Phil

. And dares to execute-propose his fate. With laurels ever-green: Fortune's his slave, Cass. Observe in this small phial certain death; And kisses all that fight upon his side. It holds a poison of such deadly force,

Aler. Did not I give command you should Should Æsculapius drink it, in five hours

preserve (For then it works) the god himself were mor- Lysimachus ? tal.

Heph. You did. I drew it from Nonarris' horrid spring;

Aler. What, then, portend those bloody marks?

may?

ger;

« EelmineJätka »