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Her. Cleone, couldst thou think he'd be so calin?

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 in

Her. Dost thou think Pyrrhus capable of fear! Whom should the intrepid Pyrrhus fear? the Greeks?

Did he not lead their harrassed troops to conquest,

When they despaired, when they retired from

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 unforced; and where he weds he loves.
Cleo. Oh, that Orestes had remained in Greece!
I fear to-morrow will prove fatal to him.

Her. Wilt thou discourse of nothing but Ores-

Pyrrhus is mine again!-Is mine for ever!
Oh, my Cleone! I am wild with joy!
Pyrrhus, the bold! the brave! the godlike Pyr-

-Oh, I could tell thee numberless exploits,
And tire thee with his battles-Oh, Cleone-
Cleo. Madam, conceal your joy-I see Andro-

She weeps, and comes to speak her sorrows to


Her. I would indulge the gladness of my heart! Let us retire: her grief is out of season.

Andr. Ah, madam, whither, whither do you fly?
Where can your eyes behold a sight more plea-

Than Hector's widow suppliant and in tears?
I come not an alarmed, a jealous foe,
To envy you the heart your charms have won :
The only man I sought to please, is gone;
Killed in my sight, by an inhuman hand.
Hector first taught me love; which my fond heart
Shall ever cherish, 'till we meet in death.
But, oh, I have a son!-And you, one day,
Will be no stranger to a mother's fondness:
But Heaven forbid that you should ever know
A mother's sorrow for an only son.
Her joy, her bliss, her last surviving comfort!
When every hour she trembles for his life!
Your power o'er Pyrrhus may relieve my fears.
Alas, what danger is there in a child,
Saved from the wreck of a whole ruined empire?
Let me go hide him in some desert isle:
You may rely upon my tender care

To keep him far from perils of ambition :
All he can learn of me, will be to weep.

Her. Madam, 'tis easy to conceive your grief:
But it would ill become me to solicit
In contradiction to my father's will:
"Tis he who urges to destroy your son.
Madam, if Pyrrhus must be wrought to pity,
No woman does it better than yourself;
If you gain him, I shall comply of course.

[Exeunt Her. and Cleone. Andr. Didst thou not mind with what disdain she spoke?

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


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Is there no hope? Is there no room for pardon? Pyr. Phoenix will answer you: my word is past. Andr. You, who would brave so many dangers for me!

Pyr. I was your lover then: I now am free. To favour you I might have spared his life: But you would ne'er vouchsafe to ask it of me. Now, 'tis too late.

Andr. Ah, sir, you understood
My tears, my wishes, which I durst not utter
Afraid of a repulse. Oh, sir, excuse

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My generous flame, and scorn to be obliged!
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

But I shall leave you to your great resentments. Let us go, Phoenix, 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. -Behold how low you have reduced a queen! These eyes have seen my country laid in ashes; My kindred fall in war; my father slain; My husband dragged in his own blood; my son Condemned to bondage, and myself a slave; Yet, in the midst of these unheard-of woes, 'Twas some relief to find myself your captive; And that my son, derived from ancient kings, Since he must serve, had Pyrrhus for his master. When Priam kneeled, the great Achilles wept: I hoped I should not find his son less noble.

You would o'er-rule the malice of your fortune. Andr. Alas! Cephisa, what have I obtained! Only a poor short respite for my son.

Ceph. You have enough approved your faith to Hector;

To be reluctant still would be a crime.
He would himself persuade you to comply.
Andr. How wouldst thou give me Pyrrhus ̧
for a husband?

Ceph. Think you, 'twill please the ghost of your dead husband,

That you should sacrifice his son? Consider,
Pyrrhus once more invites you to a throne;
Turns all his power against the foes of Troy;
Remembers not Achilles was his father;
Retracts his conquests, and forgets his hatred.

Andr. But how can I forget it! How can I
Forget my Hector, treated with dishonour;
Deprived of funeral rites; and vilely dragged,
A bloody corse, about the walls of Troy?
Can I forget the good old king his father,
Slain in my presence; at the altar slain!
Which vainly, for protection, he embraced?
Hast thou forgot that dreadful night, Cephisa,
When a whole people fell? Methinks I see
Pyrrhus, enraged, and breathing vengeance, enter
Amidst the glare of burning palaces:

I see him hew his passage through my brothers; And, bathed in blood, lay all my kindred waste. 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;


Oh, do not, sir, divide me from my child!
If he must die-

Pyr. Phoenix, withdraw a while. [Exit Phænix.
Rise, madam-Yet you may preserve your son.
I find whenever I provoke your tears,
I furnish you with arms against myself.
I thought my hatred fixed before I saw you.
Oh, turn your eyes upon me, while I speak,
And see, if you discover in my looks
An angry judge, or an obdurate foe!
Why will you force me to desert your cause?
In your son's name I beg we may be friends;
Let me intreat you to secure his life!

Must I turn suppliant for him? Think, oh think,
'Tis the last time, you both may yet be happy!
I know the ties I break; the foes I arm:
I wrong Hermione; I send her hence;
And with her diadem I bind your brows.
Consider well; for 'tis of moment to you!
Chuse to be wretched, madam, or a queen.
My soul, consumed with a whole year's despair,
Can bear no longer these perplexing doubts;
I know, if I'm deprived of you, I die:
But oh, I die, if I wait longer for you!
I leave you to your thoughts. When I return,
We'll to the temple; there you'll find your son;
And there be crowned, or give him up for ever.
[Exit Pyrrhus.
Ceph. I told you, madam, that in spite of

And this the husband thou wouldst give me! No, We both will perish first! I'll ne'er consent.

Ceph. Since you resolve Astyanax shall die, Haste to the temple, bid your son farewell. Why do you tremble, madam?

Andr. O Cephisa!

Thou hast awakened all the mother in me.
How can I bid farewell to the dear child,
The pledge, the image of my much-loved lord!
Alas, I call to mind the fatal day,
When his too-forward courage led him forth
To seek Achilles.

Ceph. Oh, the unhappy hour!

'Twas then Troy fell, and all her gods forsook her.

Andr. That morn, Cephisa, that ill-fated morn My husband bid thee bring Astyanax; He took him in his arms; and, as I wept, My wife, my dear Andromache, said he, (Heaving with stifled sighs to see me weep) What fortune may attend my arms, the gods Alone can tell. To thee I give the boy; Preserve him as the token of our loves; If I should fall, let him not miss his sire While thou survivest; but, by thy tender care, Let the son see that thou didst love his father. Ceph. And will you throw away a life so precious?

At once extirpate all the Trojan line?

Andr. Inhuman king! What has he done to


If I neglect your vows, is he to blame?

Oh, my dead lord! Oh, Priam's royal house! Has he reproached you with his slaughtered kin- Oh, my Astyanax! At what a price


Can he resent those ills he does not know?
But, oh! while I deliberate he dies.

No, no, thou must not die, while I can save thee;
Oh! let me find out Pyrrhus-Oh, Cephisa!
Do thou go find him.

Ceph. What must I say to him?

Andr. Tell him I love my son to such excess-
But dost thou think he means the child shall die?
Can love rejected turn to so much rage?
Ceph. Madam, he'll soon he here--Resolve
on something.

Andr. Well then, assure him-
Ceph. Madam, of your love?

Andr, Alas, thou knowest it is not in my power.

Thy mother buys thee!Let us go.
Čeph. But whither?

And what does your unsettled heart resolve?
Andr. Come, my Cephisa, let us go together,
To the sad monument which I have raised
To Hector's shade; where in their sacred urn
The ashes of my hero he inclosed;
The dear remains, which I have saved from Troy,
There let me weep, there summon to my aid,
With pious rites, my Hector's awful shade;
Let him be witness to my doubts, my fears,
My agonizing heart, my flowing tears;
Oh! may he rise in pity from his tomb,
And fix his wretched son's uncertain doom!


SCENE I-ANDROMACHE, CEPHISA. Ceph. BLEST be the tomb of Hector, that inspires

These pious thoughts: or is it Hector's self, That prompts you to preserve your son! 'Tis he Who still presides o'er ruined Troy; 'tis he Who urges Pyrrhus to restore Astyanax.

Andr, Pyrrhus has said he will; and thou bast heard him

Just now renew the oft-repeated promise.

Ceph. Already in the transports of his heart, He gives you up his kingdom, his allies, And thinks himself o'er-paid for all in you.

Andr. I think I may rely upon his promise: And yet my heart is over-charged with grief. Ceph. Why should you grieve! You see he bids defiance

To all the Greeks; and to protect your son Against their rage, has placed his guards about bim;

Leaving himself defenceless for his sake:
But, madam, think, the coronation pomp
Will soon demand your presence in the temple:
'Tis time you lay aside these mourning weeds.
Andr. I will be there; but first would see my


Ceph. Madam, you need not now be anxious for him;

He will be always with you, all your own,
To lavish the whole mother's fondness on him.
What a delight to train beneath your eye,
A son, who grows no longer up in bondage,
A son, in whom a race of kings revive!
But, madam, you are sad, and wrapt in thought,
As if you relished not your happiness.

Andr. Oh, I must see my son once more,

Ceph. Madam, he now will be no more a captive;

Your visits may be frequent as you please.

To-morrow you may pass the live-long dayAndr. To-morrow! Oh, Cephisa!-But, no more !

Cephisa, I have always found thee faithful:
A load of care weighs down my drooping heart.
Ceph. Oh! that 'twere possible for me to ease

Andr. I soon shall exercise thy long-tried faith.

Mean while I do conjure thee, my Cephisa,
Thou take no notice of my present trouble:
And when I shall disclose my secret purpose,
That thou be punctual to perform my will.

Ceph. Madam, I have no will but yours. My life Is nothing, balanced with my love to you.

Andr. I thank thee, good Cephisa; my Astyanax Will recompense thy friendship to his mother. But, come; my heart's at ease: assist me now To change this sable habit.-Yonder comes Hermione; I would not meet her rage. [Exeunt,


Cleo. This unexpected silence, this reserve, This outward calm, this settled frame of mind, After such wrongs and insults, much surprise me! You, who before could not command your rage, When Pyrrhus looked but kindly on his captive; How can you bear unmoved, that he should wed her,

And seat her on a throne which you should fill?
I fear this dreadful stillness in your soul!
Twere better, madam-

Her. Have you called Orestes?

Cleo. Madam, I have; his love is too impatient Not to obey with speed the welcome summons. His love-sick heart o'erlooks his unkind usage: His ardour's still the same-Madam, he's here,


Orest. Ah, madam, is it true? Does, then, Orestes

At length attend you by your own commands? What can I do

Her. Orestes, do you love me?

Orest. What means that question, princess?
Do I love you?

My oaths, my perjuries, my hopes, my fears,
My farewell, my return, all speak my love.
Her. Avenge my wrongs, and I'll believe them


Orest. It shall be done--my soul has catched the alarm.

We'll spirit up the Greeks-I'll lead them on-
Your cause shall animate our fleets and armies.
Let us return! let us not lose a moment,
But urge the fate of this devoted land!
Let us depart.

Her. No, prince, let us stay here!

I will have vengeance here--I will not carry
This load of infamy to Greece, nor trust
The chance of war to vindicate my wrongs.
Ere I depart, I'll make Epirus mourn.
If you avenge me, let it be this instant;

My rage brooks no delay-Haste to the temple,
Haste, prince, and sacrifice him!

Orest. Whom!

Her. Why, Pyrrhus.

Orest. Pyrrhus! Did you say, Pyrrhus?
Her. You demur !

Oh, fly, begone! give me no time to think!
Talk not of laws-he tramples on all laws-
Let me not hear him justified-away!

Orest. You cannot think I'll justify my rival.
Madam, your love has made him criminal.
You shall have vengeance; I'll have vengeance


But let our hatred be profest and open:
Let us alarm all Greece, denounce a war;
Let us attack him in his strength, and hunt him

By conquest: should I turn base assassin,
'Twould sully all the kings I represent.

Her. Have I not been dishonoured! set at nought!

Exposed to public scorn!—and will you suffer
The tyrant, who dares use me thus, to live?
Know, prince, I hate him more than once I loved

The gods alone can tell how once I loved him;
Yes, the false perjured man, I once did love him;
And spite of all his crimes and broken vows,
If he should live, I may relapse-who knows,
But I to-morrow may forgive his wrongs?
Orest. First let me tear him piece-meal-he
shall die.

But, madam, give me leisure to contrive
The place, the time, the manner of his death:
Yet I'm a stranger in the court of Pyrrhus;
Scarce have I set my foot within Epirus,
When you enjoin me to destroy the prince,
It shall be done this very night.

Her. But now,

This very hour, he weds Andromache;

The temple shines with pomp; the golden throne

Is now prepared; the joyful rites begin;
My shame is public-Oh, be speedy, prince!
My wrath's impatient-Pyrrhus lives too long!
Intent on love, and heedless of his person,
He covers with his guards the Trojan boy.
Now is the time! assemble all your Greeks;
Mine shall assist them; let their fury loose:
Already they regard him as a foe.
Begone, Orestes-kill the faithless tyrant:
My love shall recompense the glorious deed.
Orest. Consider, madam-

Her. You but mock my rage!

I was contriving how to make you happy.
Think you to merit by your idle sighs,
And not attest your love by one brave action?
Go, with your boasted constancy! and leave
Hermione to execute her own revenge!

I blush to think how my too easy faith
Has twice been baffled in one shameful hour!
Orest. Hear me but speak!—you know I'll
die to serve you!

Her. I'll go myself: I'll stab him at the altar; Then drive the poniard, reeking with his blood, Through my own heart. In death we shall


Better to die with him, than live with you!

Orest. That were to make him blest, and me

more wretched:

Madam, he dies by me:-Have you a foe,
And shall I let him live? My rival, too?
Ere yon meridian sun declines, he dies:
And you shall say, that I deserve your love.
Her. Go, prince; strike home! and leave the

rest to me.

Let all your ships be ready for our flight.

[Exit Orestes. Cleo. Madam, you'll perish in this bold at

tempt. Her. Give me my vengeance, I'm content to perish.

I was to blame to trust it with another:
In my own hands it had been more secure.
Orestes hates not Pyrrhus as I hate him :

I should have thrust the dagger home; have seen
The tyrant curse me with his panting breath,
And roll about his dying eyes, in vain,
To find Andromache, whom I would hide.
Oh, would Orestes, when he gives the blow,
Tell him he dies my victim!-Haste, Cleone;
Charge him to say, Hermione's resentments,
Not those of Greece, have sentenced him to

Haste, my Cleone! My revenge is lost,
If Pyrrhus knows not that he dies by me!
Cleo. I shall obey your orders-But see
The king approach!-Who could expect him


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Pyr. Madam, I ought to shun an injured prin


Your distant looks reproach me: and I come,
Not to defend, but to avow my guilt.
Pyrrhus will ne'er approve his own injustice;
Nor form excuses, while his heart condemns him.
I might perhaps alledge, our warlike sires,
Unknown to us, engaged us to each other,
And joined our hearts by contract, not by love:
But I detest such cobweb arts; I own
My father's treaty, and allow its force.

I sent ambassadors to call you hither;

The man, who ne'er was loved, can ne'er be false.
Obedience to a father brought you hither;
And I stood bound by promise to receive you :
But our desires were different ways inclined;
And you, I own, were not obliged to love me.

Her. Have I not loved you, then! perfidious man!

For you I slighted all the Grecian princes; Forsook my father's house; concealed my wrongs, When most provoked: would not return to Sparta,

In hopes that time might fix your wavering heart.

I loved you when inconstant: and even now,

Received you as my queen; and hoped my Inhuman king, that you pronounce my death,


So oft renewed, might ripen into love.

The gods can witness, madam, how I fought
Against Andromache's too fatal charms!
And still I wish I had the power to leave
This Trojan beauty, and be just to you.
Discharge your anger on this perjured man!
For I abhor my crime! and should be pleased
To hear you speak your wrongs aloud: no terms,
No bitterness of wrath, nor keen reproach,
Will equal half the upbraidings of my heart.

Her. I find, sir, you can be sincere: you scorn
To act your crimes with fear, like other men.
A hero should be bold; above all laws;
Be bravely false; and laugh at solemn ties.
To be perfidious shews a daring mind!
And you have nobly triumphed o'er a maid!
To court me; to reject me; to return;
Then to forsake me for a Phrygian slave:
To lay proud Troy in ashes; then to raise
The son of Hector, and renounce the Greeks,
Are actions worthy the great soul of Pyrrhus.
Pyr. Madam, go on: give your resentments

And pour forth all your indignation on me.
Her. "Twould please your queen, should I up-
braid your falsehood;

Call you perfidious, traitor, all the names
That injured virgins lavish on your sex;
I should o'erflow with tears, and die with grief,
And furnish out a tale to soothe her pride.
But, sir, I would not over-charge her joys:
If you would charm Andromache, recount
Your bloody battles, your exploits, your slaugh-

Your great achievements, in her father's palace. She needs must love the man, who fought so bravely,

And in her sight slew half her royal kindred. Pyr. With horror I look back on my past deeds!

I punished Helen's wrongs too far; I shed
Too much of blood: but, madam, Helen's

Should not object those ills the mother caused.
However I am pleased to find you hate me:
I was too forward to accuse myself:

My heart still doubts, if I should love or hate

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Pha. Sir, did you mind her threats? Your life is in danger!

There is no trifling with a woman's rage.
The Greeks, that swarm about the court, all hate

Will treat you as their country's enemy,
And join in her revenge: besides, Orestes
Still loves her to distraction: sir, I beg

Pyr. How, Phoenix! should I fear a woman's threats?

A nobler passion takes up all my thought:
I must prepare to meet Andromache.
Do thou place all my guards about her son:
If he be safe, Pyrrhus is free from fear.

PHOENIX, alone.

[Exit Pyr.

Oh, Pyrrhus! oh, what pity 'tis, the gods,
Who filled thy soul with every kindly virtue,
Formed thee for empire and consummate great-


Should leave thee so exposed to wild desires,
That hurry thee beyond the bounds of reason!
[A flourish of trumpets.
Such was Achilles; generous, fierce, and brave,
Open and undesigning: but impatient,
Undisciplined, and not to be controuled:
I fear the whirl of passion, this career,
That overbears reflection and cool thought;
I tremble for the event! But see, the queen,

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