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'Tis fortune is my enemy, not you.
To keep him far from perils of ambition : But, madam, I shall spare you farther pain All he can learn of me, will be to weep. On this uneasy theme, and take my leave.
Her. Madam, 'tis easy to conceive your grief:
(Exit Orestes. But it would ill become ine to solicit Her. Cleone, couldst thou think he'd be so In contradiction to my father's will : calm ?
"Tis he who urges to destroy your son. Cleo. Madam, his silent grief sits heavy on Madain, if Pyrrhus must be wrought to pity, him.
No woman does it better than yourself ; He's to be pitied. His too eager love
If you gain him, I shall comply of course. Hlas made him busy to his own destruction.
[Ereunt Her. and Cleone. His threats have wrought this change of mind in Andr. Didst thou not mind with what disdain Pyrrhus.
Ceph. Madam, were I as you, I'd take her Did he not lead their harrassed troops to con- counsel. quest,
I'd speak my own distress : one look from you When they despaired, when they retired from Willvanquish Pyrrhus, and confound the Greeks Troy,
See, where he comes-Lay hold on this occasion. And sough for shelter in their burning fleets? Did he not then supply his father's place?
Enter Pyrrhus and Phenix. No, iny ('leone, he is above constraint;
Pyr. Where is the princess ?–Did you not inHe acts unforced ; and where he weds he loves.
form me Cleo. Oh, that Orestes had remained in Greece! Hermione was bere?
[To Phænis. I fear to-morrow will prove fatal to him.
Phan. I thought so, sir. Her. Wilt thou discourse of nothing but Ores- Andr. Thou seest what mighty power my eyes tes?
have ou him?
[To Cephisa. Pyrrhus is mine again !- Is mine for ever! Pyr. What says she, Phenix ? Oh, my Cleone! I am wild with joy !
Andr. I have no hope left! Pyrrhus, the bold! the brave! the godlike Pyr- Phæn. Let us be gone :-Ilermione expects rhus!
you. -Oh, I could tell thee numberless exploits, Ceph. For Heaven's sake, madam, break this And tire thee with his battles-Oh, Cleone
suilen silence. Cleo. Madam, conceal your joy-I see Andro- Andr. My child's already promised — mache:
Ceph. But not given. She weeps, and comes to speak her sorrows to Andr. No, no! my tears are vain! his doom you.
is fixed ! Her. I would indulge the gladness of my heart! Pyr. See, if she deigns to cast one look upon Let us retire : her grief is out of season.
The Greeks; and give them up this Phrygian boy.
ship: Hector first taught nie love; which my fond heart | Oh, Fleavens !—will you not look with pity on Shall ever cherish, 'till we meet in death.
me? But, oh, I have a son! - And vou, one day, Is there no hope? Is there no room for pardon? Will be no stranger to a mother's fondness: Pyr. Phænix will answer you: my word is past. But Heaven forbid that you should ever know Andr. You, who would brave so many dangers A mother's sorrow for an only son.
for me! Her joy, her bliss, ber last surviving comfort ! Pyr. I was your lover then : I now am free. When every hour she trembles for his life! To favour you I might have spared his life : Your power o'er Pyrrhus may relieve my fears. But you would ne'er vouchsafe to ask it of me. Alas, what danger is there in a child,
Now, 'tis too late. Saved from the wreck of a whole ruined empire? Andr. Ah, sir, you understood Let me go hide himn in some desert isle: My tears, my wishes, which I durst not utter, You may rely upon my tender care
Afraid of a repulse. Oh, sir, excuse
you said !
The pride of royal blood, that checks my soui. You would o'er-rule the malice of your fortune. You know, alas! I was not born to kneel,
Andr. Alas! Cephisa, what have I obtained ! To sue for pity, and to own a master.
Only a poor short respite for my son. Pyr. No! in your heart you curse me !
you Ceph. You have enough approved your faith disdain
to flector; My generous flame, and scorn to be obliged ! To be reluctant still would be a crime. This very son, this darling of your soul,
He would himself persuade you to comply. Would be less dear, did I preserve him for you. Andr. How-wouldst thou give me Pyrrhus. Your anger, your aversion fall on me!
for a husband ? You hate me more than the whole league of Ceph. Think you, 'twill please the ghost of your Greece :
dead husband, But I shall leave you to your great resentments. That you should sacrifice his son ? Consider, Let us go, Phænix, and appease the Greeks. Pyrrhus once more invites you to a throne; Andr. Then, let me die! and let me go to Turns all his power against the foes of Troy; Hector!
Remembers not Achilles was his father; Ceph. But, madam
Retracts his conquests, and forgets bis hatred. Andr. What can I do more? The tyrant Andr. But how can I forget it! How can I Sees my distraction, and insults my lears. Forget my Hector, treated with dishonour;
[To Ceph. Deprived of funeral rites; and vilely drauged, -Behold how low you have reduced a queen! A bloody corse, about the walls of Troy? These eyes have seen my country laid in ashes; Can I forget the good old king his father, My kindred fall in war; my father slain; Slain in iny presence; at the altar slain! My husband drayged in his own blood; my son Which vainly, for protection, he embraced? Condemned to bondage, and myself a slave; Hlast thou forgot that dreadful night, Cepbisa, Yet, in the midst of these unheard-of woes, When a whole people sell? Methinks I see 'Twas some reliet' to find myself your captive; Pyrrhus, enraged, and breathing vengeance, enter And that my son, derived from ancient kings, Amidst the glare of burning palaces: Since he must serve, had Pyrrhus for his master. I see him hew his passage through my brothers; When Priain kneeled, the great Achilles wept : And, bathed in blood, lay all my kindred waste. I hoped I should not find his son less noble. Think, in this scene of horror, what I suffered ! I thought the brave were still the most compas- This is the courtship I received from Pyrrhus; sionate.
And this the husband thou wouldst give me! No, Oh, do not, sir, divide me from my
child! We both will perish first ! I'll ne'er consent. If he must die
Ceph. Since you resolve Astyanax shall die, Pyr. Phænix, withdraw a while. (Erit Phænir. Haste to the temple, bid your son farewell. Rise, madam-Yet you inay preserve your son. Why do you tremble, madam? I find whenever I provoke your tears,
Andr. O Cephisa ! I furnish you with arms against myself.
Thou hast awakened all the mother in me. I thought my hatred fixed before I saw you. How can I bid farewell to the dear child, Oh, turn your eyes upon me, while I speak, The pledge, the image of my much-loved lord ! if you discover in my looks
Alas, I call to mind the fatal day, An angry judge, or an obdurate foe!
When his too-forward courage led him forth Why will you force me to desert your cause? To seek Achilles. In your son's name I beg we may be friends; Ceph. Oh, the unhappy hour! Let me intrcat you to secure his life!
'Twas then Troy fell, and all her gods forsook Must I turn suppliant for him? Think, oh think, her. Tis the last time, you both may yet be happy! Andr. That morn, Cephisa, that ill-fated morna I know the ties I break; the foes ( arm :
My husband bid thee bring Astyanax ; I wrong Hermione; I send her hence;
He took him in his arms; and, as I wept, And with her diadem I bind your brows. My wife, my dear Andromache, said he, Consider well; for 'tis of moment to you ! (teaving with stilled sighs to see me weep) Chuse to be wretched, madam, or a queen.
What fortune may attend my arms, the gods My soul, consumed with a whole year's despair, Alone can tell. To thee I give the boy; Can bear no longer these perplexing doubts ;
Preserve him as the token of our loves; I know, if I'm deprived of you, I die :
If I should fall, let him not miss his sire But oh, I die, if I wait longer for you!
While thou survivest; but, by thy tender care, I leave you to your thoughts. When I return, Let the son see that thou didst love his father. We'll to the temple; there you'll find your son; Ceph. And will you throw away a life so preAnd there be crowned, or give him up for ever.
[Erit Pyrrhus. At once extirpate all the Trojan line? Ceph. I told you, madam, that in spite of Andr. Inhuman king! What has be done to Grecce,
If I neglect your vows, is he to blame? Oh, my dead lord! Oh, Priam's royal house !
Thy mother buys thee Let us go.
And what does your unsettled heart resolve?
To Hector's shade; where in their sacred urn Ceph. What must I say to him?
The ashes of my hero lie inclosed; Andr. Teil him I love my son to such excess- The dear remains, which I have saved from Troy. But dost thou think he means the child shall die? There let me weep, there summon to my aid, Can love rejected turn to so much rage ? With pious rites, my Hector's awful shade; Ceph. Madam, he'll soon he here--Resolve Let him be witness to my doubts, my fears, on something.
My agonizing heart, my flowing tears; Andr. Well then, assure him—
Oh! may he rise in pity from his tomb, Ceph. Madam, of your love?
And fix his wretched soli's uncertain doom! Andr, Alas, thou knowest it is not in my power.
SCENE I.-ANDROM ACHE, CEPUISA.
| To-morrow you may pass the live-long day
Andr. Tomorrow! Oh, Cephisa !-But, no Ceph. Blest be the tomb of Hector, that in- more! spires
Cephisa, I have always found thee faithful : These pious thoughts : or is it Hector's self, A load of care weighs down my drooping heart. That prompts you to preserve your son! 'Tis he Ceph. Oh! that 'twere possible for me to ease Who still presides o'er ruined Troy ; 'tis be
you ! Who urges Pyrrhus to restore Astyanax.
Andr. I soon shall exercise thy long-tried Andr. Pyrrhus has said he will; and thou bast faith.• heard himn
Mean while I do conjure thee, my Cephisa, Just now renew the oft-repeated promise. Thou take no notice of my present trouble :
Ceph. Already in the transports of his heart, And when I shall disclose my secret purpose, He gives you up his kingdom, his allies,
That thou be punctual to perform my will. And thinks himself o'er-paid for all in you. Ceph. Madam, I have no will but yours. My lifa
Andr. I think I may rely upon his promise: Is nothing, balanced with my love to you. And yet my heart is over-charged with grief. Andr. I thank thee, good Cephisa; my Astyanax Ceph. Why should you grieve ! You see he will recompense thy friendship to his mother. bids defiance
But, come; my heart's at ease : assist me now To all the Greeks; and to protect your son To change this sable habit.--Yonder comes Against their rage, has placed his guards about Hermione ; I would not meet her rage. ( Ereunt,
bim; Leaving himself defenceless for his sake :
Enter HIERMIONE and CleoNE. But, madam, think, the coronation pomp
Cleo. This unexpected silence, this reserve, Will soon demand your presence in the temple : This outward calm, this settled frame of miod, Tis time you lay aside these mourning weeds. After such wrongs and insults, much surprise me! Andr. I will be there; but first would see my You, who before could not command your rage,
When Pyrrhus looked but kindly on his captive; Ceph. Madam, you need not now be anxious How can you bear unmoved, that he should wed for him;
her, He will be always with you, all your own, And seat her on a throne which you should fill? To lavish the whole mother's fondness on him. I fear this dreadful stillness in your soul ! What a delight to train beneath your eye, 'Twere better, madamA son, who grows no longer up in bondage, Her. Have you called Orestes? A son, in whom a race of kings revive!
Cleo. Madain, I have; his love is too impatient But, inadam, you are sad, and wrapt in thought, Not to obey with speed the welcome summons. As if you relished not your happiness.
His love-sick heart o'erlooks his unkind usage : Andr. Oh, I must see my son once more, His ardour's still the same-Madam, he's here,
Orest. Ah, madam, is it truc? Does, then, Your visits may be frequent as you please.
-you know I'll
At length attend you by your own commands? The temple shines with pomp ; the golden What can I do
throne Her. Orestes, do you love me?
Is now prepared; the joyful rites begin; Orest. What means that question, princess ? My shame is public-Oh, be speedy, prince ! Do I love you?
My wrath's impatient–Pyrrhus lives too long! My oaths, my perjuries, my hopes, my fears, Intent on love, and heedless of his person, My farew my return, all speak my love. He covers with his guards the Trojan boy. Her. Avenge my wrongs, and I'll believe them Now is the time ! assemble all Greeks; all.
Mine shall assist them; let their fury loose : Orest. It shall be done-my soul has catched Already they regard him as a foe. the alarm.
Begone, Orestes-kill the faithless tyrant : We'll spirit up the Greeks—I'll lead them on- My love shall recompense the glorious deed. Your cause shall animate our fleets and armies. Orest. Consider, madamLet us return ! let us not lose a moment,
Her. You but mock my rage! But urge the fate of this devoted land !
I was contriving how to make you happy. Let us depart.
to merit by your idle sighs, Her. No, prince, let us stay here !
And not attest your love by one brave action? I will have vengeance here, I will not carry Go, with your boasted constancy! and leave This load of infamy to Greece, nor trust Hermione to execute her own revenge ! The chance of war to vindicate my wrongs.
I blush to think how my too easy
faith Ere I depart, I'll make Epirus mourn.
Has twice been baffled in one shameful hour! If you avenge me, let it be this instant;
Orest. Hear me but speak !-
Her. I'll go myself: I'll stab him at the altar; Orest. Whom !
Then drive the poniard, reeking with his blood, Her. Why, Pyrrhus.
Through iny own heart. In death we shall Orest. Pyrrhus ! Did you say, Pyrrhus?
unite: Her. You demur !
Better to die with him, than live with you ! Oh, fly, begone! give me no time to think!
Orest. That were to make him blest, and me Talk not of laws-he tramples on all laws
more wretched : Let me not hear him justified-away!
Madam, he dies by me:--Have you a foe, Orest. You cannot think I'll justify my rival. And shall I let him live? My rival, too? Madam, your love has made him criminal.
Ere yon meridian sun declines, he dies : You shall have vengeance; I'll have vengeance And
shall say, that I deserve your love. too:
Her. Go, prince; strike home! and leave the But let our hatred be profest and open : Let us alarm all Greece, denounce a war; Let all your ships be ready for our flight. Let us attack him in his strength, and hunt him
[Erit Orestes. down
Cleo. Madam, you'll perish in this bold atBy conquest : should I turn base assassin,
tempt. 'Twould sully all the kings I represent.
Her. Give me my vengeance, I'm content to Her. Have I not been dishonoured ! set at perish. nought!
I was to blame to trust it with another: Exposed to public scorn !-and will
suffer In my own hands it had been more secure. The tyrant, who dares use me thus, to live? Orestes hates not Pyrrhus as I hate him : Kuow, prince, I hate him more than once I loved I should have thrust the dagger home; have seer him;
The tyrant curse me with his panting breath, The gods alone can tell how once I loved him; And roll about his dying eyes, in vain, Yes, the false perjured man, I once did love him; To find Andromache, whom I would hide. And spite of all his crimes and broken vows, Oh, would Orestes, when he gives the blow, If he should live, I may relapse—who knows, Tell him he dies my victim !-Haste, Cleone; But I to-morrow may forgive his wrongs ? Charge him to say, Hermione's resentments, Orest. First let me tear him piece-meal--he Not those of Greece, have sentenced him to shall die.
death. But, madam, give me leisure to contrive
Haste, my Cleone! My revenge is lost, The place, the tiine, the manner of liis death : If Pyrrhus knows not that he dies by me! Yet I'm a stranger in the court of Pyrrhus; Cleo. I shall obey your orders—But see Scarce have I set my foot within Epirus, The king approach Who could expect him When you enjoin me to destroy the prince,
here! It shall be done this very night.
Her. O fly! Cleone, fly! and bid Orestes
Not proceed a step before I see him. This very hour, he weds Andromache;
rest to me.
Her. But now,
The man, who ne'er was loved, can ne'er be false.
Obedience to a father brought you bither; Pyr. Madam, I ought to shun an injured prin- And I stood bound by promise to receive you:
But our desires were different ways inclined; Your distant looks reproach me: and I come, And you, I own, were not obliged to love me. Not to defend, but to avow my guilt.
Her. llave I not loved you, then! perfidious Pyrrhus will ne'er approve his own injustice; Nor form excuses, while his heart condemns him. For you I slighted all the Grecian princes; I might perhaps alledge, our warlike sires, Forsook my father's house; concealed my wrongs, Unknown to us, engaged us to each other, When most provoked: would not return to And joined our hearts by contract, not by love:
Sparta, But I detest such cobweb arts; I own
In hopes that time might fix your wavering My father's treaty, and allow its force.
heart. I sent ambassadors to call you hither;
I loved you when inconstant: and even now, Received you as my queen ; and hoped my Inhuman king, that you pronounce my death, oaths,
My heart still doubts, if I should love or hate So oft renewed, might ripen into love.
you: The gods can witness, madam, how I fought But, oh, since you resolve to wed another, Against Andromache's too fatal charms !
Defer your cruel purpose till to-morrow! And still I wish I had the power to leave This is the last request I e'er shall make you This Trojan beauty, and be just to you.
See if the barbarous prince vouchsafes an anDischarge your anger on this perjured man!
swer! For I abhor my crime ! and should be pleased Go, then, to the loved Phrygian! Hence! beTo hear you speak your wrongs aloud : no terms, No bitterness of wrath, nor keen reproach, And bear to her those vows, that once were Will equal half the upbraidings of my heart.
mine: Her. I find, sir, you can be sincere : you scorn Go, in defiance of the avenging gods ! To act your crimes with fear, like other men. Begone! the priest expects you at the altarA hero should be bold; above all laws;
But, tyrant, have a care I come not thither. Be bravely false; and laugh at solemn ties.
(E.cit Her. To be perfidious shews a daring mind!
Pha. Sir, did you mind her threats? Your life Then to forsake me for a Phrygian slave :
is in danger! To lay proud Troy in ashes; then to raise There is no trifling with a woman's rage. The son of Hector, and renounce the Greeks, The Greeks, that swarm about the court, all hate Are actions worthy the great soul of Pyrrhus.
you; Pyr. Madam, go on : give your resentments Will treat you as their country's enemy, birth;
And join in her revenge: besides, Orestes And forth all your indignation on me. Still loves her to distraction: sir, I begHer. 'Twould please your queen, should I up- Pyr. How, Phænix ! should I fear a woman's braid your falsehood;
threats? Call you pertidious, traitor, all the names A nobler passion takes up all my thought : That injured virgins lavish on your sex;
I must prepare to meet Andromache. I should o'erflow with tears, and die with grief, Do thou place all my guards about her son : And furnish out a tale to soothe her pride. If he be safe, Pyrrhus is free from fear. But, sir, I would not over-charge her joys :
[Erit Pyr. If you would charm Andromache, recount Your bloody battles, your exploits, your slaugh
Puexix, alone. ters,
Ob, Pyrrhus! oh, what pity 'tis, the gods, Your great achievements, in her father's palace. Who filled thy soul with every kindly virtue, She needs must love the man, who fought so Formed thee for empire and consummate greatbravely,
ness, And in her sight slew half her royal kindred. Should leave thee so exposed to wild desires, Pyr. With horror I look back on my past That hurry thee beyond the bounds of reason! deeds!
[A flourish of trumpets. I punished Helen's wrongs too far; I shed Such was Achilles; generous, fierce, and brave, Too much of blood : but, madam, Helen's Open and undesigning : but impatient, daughter
Undisciplined, and not to be controuled : Should not object those ills the mother caused. I fear the whirl of passion, this career, However I am pleased to find you hate me: That overbears reflection and cool thought; I was too forward to accuse myself :
I tremble for the event! But see, the queen,