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Pyr. Forget the term of hatred, and behold (Tormenting thought !) whose death alone has A friend in Pyrrhus ! Give me but to hope !
Pyr. Madam, 'tis well! Tis very well! I find, Both for your wrongs and mine. Inspired by Your will must be obeyed. Imperious captive, you,
It shall. Henceforth Í blot you from my mind : What would I not atchieve ! Again shall Troy You teach me to forget your charms; to hate Rise from its ashes: this right arm shall fix
you: Her seat of empire; and your son shall reign. For know, inhuman beauty, I have loved Andr. Such dreams of greatness suit not my Too well to treat you with indifference. condition:
Think well upon it: my disordered soul His hopes of empire perished with his father. Wavers between the extremes of love and rage; No; thou imperial city, ancient Troy,
I've been too tame; I will awake to vengeance Thou pride of Asia, founded by the gods ! The son shall answer for the mother's scorn. Never, oh, never must we hope to see
The Greeks demand him : nor will I endanger Those bulwarks rise, which Hector could not My realms, to pleasure an ungrateful woman. guard!
Andr. Then he must die! Alas, my son must Sir, all I wish for, is some quiet exile,
die ! Where, far from Greece removed, and far from He has no friend, no succour left, beside you,
His mother's tears, and his own innocence. I may conceal my son, and mourn my husband. Pyr. Go, madam; visit this unhappy son. Your love creates me envy. Oh, return! The sight of him may bend your stubborn heart, Return to your betrothed Hermione.
And turn to softness your unjust disdain. Pyr. Why do you mock me thus? You know, I shall once more expect your answer. Go, I cannot.
And think, while you embrace the captive boy, You know my heart is yours: my soul hangs on Think that his life depends on your resolves. you:
[Exit Pyrrhus, &c. You take up every wish : my waking thoughts, Andr. I'll go: and in the anguish of my heart, And nightly dreams are all employed on you,
child—If he must die, my life 'Tis true, Hermione was sent to share
Is wrapt in his; I shall not long survive. My throne and bed; and would with transport 'Tis for his sake that I have suffered life, hear
Groaned in captivity, and out-lived Hector. The vows which you neglect.
Yes, my Astyanax, we'll go together! Andr. She has no Troy,
Together to the realms of night we'll go ! No Hector to lament: she has not lost. There to thy ravished eyes thy sire I'll shew, A husband by your conquests. Such a hus- land point him out among the shades below. band!
• The proud Hermione, that tyrannized
' In Sparta's court, and triumphed in her charms ? HERMIONE and CLEONE,
• Her insolence at last is well repaid.' Her. Well, I'll be ruled, Cleone: I will see I cannot bear the thought! him;
Cleo. You wrong yourself I have told Pylades that he may bring him; With unbecoming fears. He knows too well But trust me, were I left to my own thoughts, Your beauty and your worth. Your lover comes I should forbid him yet. Cleo. And why forbid him?
To offer insults; but to repeat his vows, Is he not, madam, still the same Orestes? And breathe his ardent passion at your feet. Orestes, whose return you oft have wished? But, madam, what's your royal father's will? The man whose sufferings you so oft lamented, What orders do your letters bring from Sparta? And often praised his constancy and love? Her. His orders are, if Pyrrhus still deny
Her. That love, that constancy, so ill requited, The nuptials, and refuse to sacrifice Upbraids me to myself! I blush to think This Trojan boy, I should with speed embark, How I have used him; and would shun his pre- And with their embassy return to Greece.
Cleo. What would you more? Orestes comes What will be my confusion when he sees me
in time Neglected, and forsaken, like himself? To save your honour. Pyrrhus cools apace; Will he not say, 'Is this the scornful maid, Prevent his falsehood, and forsake himn first.
I know you hate him : you have told me so. To favour him: my father's wrongs avenged;
His mighty sire's, his own immortal fame;
And if I have power over my owo heart, 'tis bis, And with Orestes
Cleo. Madam, he coniesHer. No! I must have time
Hor. Alas, I did not think
He was so near! I wish I might not see him.
Is it a compliment of form or love?
And every time I visit you I am perjured.
I blush to own it; but I know no cure.
I courted dangers, and I longed for death.
ful tale? Let us begone! But what if he repent?
It ill becomes the ambassador of Greece What if the perjured prince again submit, To talk of dying and of love. Remember And sue for pardon? What if he renew
The kings you represent: Shall their revenge His former vows? But, oh, the faithless man! Be disappointed by your ill-timed passion? He slights me ! drives me to extremities !-How- Discharge your embassy: 'tis not Orestes ever,
The Greeks desire should die,
Orest. My embassy
Orest. I now prepare for Greece. But ere
go, transport you?
Would hear my final doom pronounced by you. Andromache, alas! is innocent.
What do I say—I do already hear it! A woman plunged in sorrow; dead to love : My doom is fixed: I read it in your eyes. And when she thinks on Pyrrhus, 'tis with horror. Her. Will you then still despair? be still susHer. Would I had done so too! He had not picious ? then
What have I done? Wherein have I been cruel? Betrayed my easy faith. But I, alas !
'Tis true, you find me in the court of Pyrrhus : Discovered all the fondness of my soul ! But 'twas my royal father sent me bither. I made no secret of my passion to him, And who can tell but I have shared your griefs? Nor thought it dangerous to be sincere : Have I ne'er wept in secret? Never wished My eyes, my tongue, my actions spoke my heart. To see Orestes? Cleo. Well might you speak without reserve
Orest. Wished to see Orestes !
Oh joy ! oh ecstacy! My soul's entranced ! Engaged to you by solemn oaths and treaties. Oh, charming princess! Oh, transcendent maid!
Her. His ardour too was an excuse for mine: My utmost wish -Thus, thus let me express With other eyes he saw me then! Cleone, My boundless thanks! I never was unhapps Thou mayst remember, every thing conspired Am I Orestes:
-Or is it you,
Her. You are Orestes,
Orest. Then is Orestes blest ! My griefs are The same unaltered, generous, faithful lover:
fed! The prince whom I esteem; whom I lament; Fled like a dream !-Methinks I tread in air ! And whom I fain would teach my heart to love! Pyrrhus, enamoured of his captive queen, Orest. Ay, there it is ! I have but your es- Will thank me, if I take her rival hence : teem,
He looks not on the princess with my eyes ! While Pyrrhus has your heart !
Surprising happiness Unlooked-for joy! Her. Believe me, prince,
Never let love despair !-the prize is mine! Were you as Pyrrhus, I should hate you ! Be smooth, ye seas! and ye, propitious winds, Orest. No!
Breathe from Epirus to the Spartan coasts! I should be blest! I should be loved as he is !- I long to view the sails unfurled !-But, see! Yet all this while I die by your disdain, Pyrrhus approaches in a happy hour. While he neglects your charms, and courts another.
Enter PYRRHUS, and Puoenix. Her. And who has told you, prince, that I'm Pyr. I was in pain to find you, prince. My
neglected ? Has Pyrrhus said(Oh, I shall go distracted !) Ungoverned temper would not let me weigh Has Pyrrhus told you so ?
The importance of your embassy, and hear Who think thus meanly of me?- Sir, perhaps, You argue for my good.—I was to blame. All do not judge like you !
I since have poised your reasons; and I thank Orest. Madam, go on!
My good allies: their care deserves my thanks. Insult me still : I'm used to bear your scorn. You have convinced me, that the weal of Greece, Her. Why am I told how Pyrrhus loves or My father's honour, and my own repose, hates?
Demand that Hector's race should be destroyed. -Go, prince, and arm the Greeks against the I shall deliver up Astyanax ; rebel ;
And you, yourself, shall bear the victim hence. Let them lay waste his country! raze his towns; Orest. If you approve it, sir, and are content Destroy his fleets; his palaces ;-himself !- To spill the blood of a defenceless child, Go, prince, and tell me then how much I love | The offended Greeks, no doubt, will be appeased. him.
Pyr. Closer to strain the knot of our alliance, Orest. To hasten his destruction, come your- I have determined to espouse llermione. self;
You come in time to grace our nuptial rites : And work your royal father to his ruin.
In you the kings of Greece will all be present; Her. Meanwhile he weds Andromache! And you have right to personate her father, Orest. Ah, princess !
As his ambassador, and brother's son. What is it I hear!
Go, prince, renew your visit; tell Hermione, Her. What intamy for Greece,
To-morrow I receive her from your hands. If he should wed a Phrygian, and a captive ! Orest. [.Aside.] Oh, change of fortune ! Oh, Orest. Is this your hatred, madam ?—'Tis in undone Orestes :
(Erit Orestes. vain
Pyr. Well, Phoenix, am I still a slave to love? To hide your passion; every thing betrays it: What think'st thou now? Am I myself again? Your looks, your speech, your anger : nay, your
Phæn. Tis as it should be : this discovers silence;
Pyrrhus; Your love appears in all ; your secret flame Shews all the hero. Now you are yourself! Breaks out the more, the more you would con- The son, the rival of the great Achilles ! ceal it.
Greece will applaud you; and the world confess, Her. Your jealousy perverts my meaning still, Pyrrhus has conquered Troy a second time. And wrests each circuinstance to your disquiet; Pyr. Nay, Phonix, now I but begin to. Bly very hate is construed into fondness.
triumph : Orest. Impute my fears, it groundless, to my I never was a conqueror love.
Believe me, a whole host, a war of foes, Her. Then hear me, prince. Obedience to a May sooner be subdued, than love. Oh, Phænix, father
What ruin have I shunnef! The Greeks enraged, First brought me hither; and the same obedience Ilung o'er me, like a gathering storm, and soon Detains me here, till Pyrrbus drive me bence, Had burst in thunder on my head; while I Or my offended father shall recall me.
Abandoned duty, empire, honour, all, Tell this proud king, that Menelaus scorns To please a thankless woman !-One kind look To match bis daughter with a foe of Greece; Had quite undone me! Bid him resign Astyanax, or me.
Phæn. Oh, my royal master! If he persists to guard the hostile boy,
The gods, in favour to you, made her cruel. flerinione eruburks with you for Sparta.
Pyr. Thou sawest with how much scorn she [Exit Hier. and Cleone. treated me!
When I permitted her to sec her son,
I'll give my anger its free course against her. I hoped it might have worked her to my wishes. Thou shalt see, Phænix, how I'll break her pride! I went to see the mournful interview,
Phan. Oh, go not, sir !-- There's ruin in her And found her bathed in tears, and lost in passion.
You do not know your strength: you'll fall beWild with distress, a thousand times she called
fore her, On Hector's name: and when I spoke in comfort, Adore her beauty, and revive her scorn. And promised my protection to her son,
Pyr. That were, indeed, a most unmanly weakShe kissed the boy; and called again on Hector:
ness; Then, strained him in her arms; and cried, “ 'Tis Thou dost not know me, Phænix. he!
Phen. Ah, my prince! 'Tis he himself ! his eyes, his every feature ! You are still struggling in the toils of love! His very frown, and his stern look already! Pyr. Canst thou then think I love this woman 'Tis he: 'Tis my loved lord whom I embrace !
still ? Does she then think, that I preserve the boy, One who repays my passion with disdain ! To soothe, and keep alive her fame for Hector? A stranger, captive, friendless, and forlorn; Phæn. No doubt, she does; and thinks you fa- She and her darling son within my power; voured in it;
His life a forfeit to the Greeks: Yet I But let her go, for an ungrateful woman! Preserve her son; would take her to my throne; Pyr. I know the thoughts of her proud stub- Would fight her battles, and avenge her wrongs; born heart:
And all this while she treats me as her foe! Vain of her charms, and insolent in beauty, Phæn. You have it in your power to be reShe mocks my rage; and, when it threatens loudest, venged. Expects 'twill soon be humbled into love.
Pyr. Yes :—and I'll shew my power! I'll give But we shall change our parts; and she shall
her cause find
To hate me! her Astyanax shall die I can be deaf, like her; and steel my heart. What tears will then be shed! How will she then, She's Hector's widow; I Achilles son;
In bitterness of heart, reproach my name ! Pyrrhus is born to hate Andromache.
Then, to complete her woes, will I espouse Phæn. My royal master, talk of her no more; Hermione :—'Twill stab her to the heart ! I do not like this anger. Your Hermione
Phæn. Alas, you threaten like a lover still ! Should now engross your thoughts. 'Tis time to Pyr. Phenix, excuse this struggle of my soul: see her;
'Tis the last effort of expiring love. 'Tis time you should prepare the nuptial rites, Phæn. Then hasten, sir, to see the Spartan And not rely upon a rival's care;
princess; It may be dangerous.
And turn the bent of your desires on her. Pyr. But tell me, Phænix,
Pyr. Oh ! 'tis a heavy task to conquer love, Dost thou not think, the proud Andromache And wean the soul from her accustomed fondWill be enraged, when I shall wed the princess ? Phæn. Why does Andromache still haunt your But, come ! A long farewell to Hector's widow. thoughts?
"Tis with a secret pleasure I look back, What is't to you, be she enraged or pleased ? And see the many dangers I have passed. Let her name perish: think of her no more ! The merchant thus, in dreadful tempests tost, Pyr. No, Phænix ! I have been too gentle Thrown by the waves on some unlooked-for coast, with her,
Oft turns, and sees, with a delighted eye, I've checked my wrath, and stiffled my resent- Midst rocks and shelves the broken billows Aly;
And, while the outrageous winds the deep deform, She knows not yet to what degree I hate her. Smiles on the tumult, and enjoys the storm. Let us return :- -I'll brave her to her face :
Life is not worth my care. My soul grows des
perate. Enter Pylades and ORESTES,
I'll bear her off, or perish in the attempt. Pyl. For Heaven's sake, sir, compose your I'll force her from his arms :-By Heaven I will ! ruffled mind,
Pyl. Well, 'tis agreed, my friend :-We'll force And moderate your rage !
her hence, Orest. No, Pylades!
But still consider, we are in Epirus. This is no time for counsel. I am deaf. The court, the guards, Hermione herself, Talk not of reason! I have been too patient. The very air we breathe, belongs to Pyrrhus.
Good gods! what tempted you to seek her here!|(As Pyrrhus has consented) into Greece,
Orest. Lost to myself, I knew not what I did. Go, Pylades-
Pyl. This violence of temper may prove fatal. No danger can deter a friend :-Lead on!
train : These outrages of fate, with temper!
The ships are ready, and the wind sits fair : He tells me, that he weds Hermione;
There eastward lies the sea; the rolling waves And will to-morrow take her from my hand ! Break on those palace-stairs. I know each pass, My hand shall sooner tear the tyrant's heart.- Each avenue and outlet of the court. Pyl . Your passion blinds you, sir ; he's not to This very night we'll carry her on board. blaine.
Orest. Thou art too good! I trespass on thy Could you but look into the soul of Pyrrhus,
friendship, Perhaps you'd find it tortured, like your own. But, Oh! excuse a wretch, whom no man pities,
Orest. No, Pylades ! 'Tis all design–His pride, Except thyself: one just about to lose To triumph over me, has changed his love. The treasure of his soul: whom all mankind The fair Hermione, before I came,
Conspire to hate, and one who hates himself. In all her bloom of beauty, was neglected. When will my friendship be of use to thee? Ah, cruel gods! I thought her all my own! Pyl. The question is unkind. But now reShe was consenting to return to Sparta :
member Her heart, divided betwixt rage and love, To keep your counsel3 close, and hide your Was on the wing to take its leave of Pyrrhus.
thoughts; She heard my sighs; she pitied my complaints ; Let not Herinione suspect—no more She praised my constancy ;
-The least indiffer- I see her coming, sir-
Orest. Away, my friend;.
[Erit Pylades. Orest. Did I not see Her hate, her rage, her indignation rise
Enter HERMIONE and CLEONE. Against the ungrateful man?
Orest. Madam, your orders are obeyed; I Pyl. Believe me, prince,
have seen 'Twas then she loved him most. Had Pyrrhus Pyrrhus, my rival; and have gained him for you. left her,
The king resolves to wed you. She would have formed some new pretext to stay.
Her. So I am told : Take my advice :-Think not to force her hence; And farther, I am informed that you, Orestes, But fly yourself from her destructive charms. Are to dispose me for the intended marriage. Her soul is linked to Pyrrhus: Were she yours, Orest. And are you, madam, willing to comShe would reproach you still, and still regret
ply! Her disappointed nuptials.
Her. Could I imagine Pyrrhus loved me still? Orest. Talk no more!
After so long delays, who would have thought I cannot bear the thought! She must be mine! His hidden fames would shew themselves at last, Did Pyrrhus carry thunder in his hand,
And kindle in his breast, when mine expired? I'd stand the bolt, and challenge all his fury, I can suppose, with you,
he fears the Greeks; Ere I resigned Hermione. By force
That it is interest, and not leve, directs him; I'll snatch her hence, and bear her to my ships; And that my eyes had greater power o'er you. Have we forgot her mother Helen's rape?
Orest. No, princess, no! It is too plain he Pyl. Will then Orestes turn a ravisher, And blot his embassy?
Your eyes do what they will, and cannot fail Orest. Oh, Pylades !
To gain a conquest, where you wish they should. My grief weighs heavy on me :~'Twill distract Her. What can I do? alas !
my faith is
yet, you see, how far I had complied, Let not thy generous love betray thee farther : And made my duty yield to your intreaties. The gods have set me as their mark, to empty Orest. Ah, cruel maid! you knew—but I have Their quivers on me.-Leave me to myself.
done. Mine be the dunger; mine the enterprize. All have a right to please themselves in love : All I request of thee is, to return,
I blame not you. 'Tis true, I hoped—but you And, in my place, convey Astyanax
Are inistress of your heart, and I'm content. VOL. I.