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Since then you press it, I must be your guest.-
Methinks I labour, as I onward move,
As under check of some controuling pow'r.
What can this mean? Wine
my thoughts, And mirth and converse lift
soul again. [Exeunt.
The back scene draws, and jews a banquet.
Enter MANDANE, richly dressed.
It was this day that gave me life; this day
Should give much more, should give me Memnon too:
But I am rival'd by his chains; they clasp
The hero round (a cold, unkind, embrace!);
And but an earnest of far worse to come :
While he, my soul, in dungeon darkness clos'd,
Breathes damp unwholesome fteams, and lives on poison,
I am compell’d to suffer ornaments,
To wear the rainbow, and to blaze in gems;
To put on all the shining guilt of dress,
When 'tis almost a crime that I still live :
These eyes, which can't dissemble, pouring forth
The dreadful truth, are honest to my heart;
· These robes, O Memnon ! are Mandane's chains,
And load, and gall, and wring, her bleeding heart.
Enter MYRON, NICANOR, AULETES, &c. They take
Sound louder, sound, and waft my wish to heav'n.
Hear me, ye righteous gods, and grant my pray'r;
For ever sine propitious on my daughter :
Protect her, profper her; and when I'm dead,
Still bless me in Mandane's happiness!
[The bowl goes round. Mufic. Hafte, call my daughter; none can taste of joy Till she, the mistress of the feast, is with us.
A servant brings NICANOR a letter : He reads it.
The king's commands at any hour are welcome,
MYRON. Not leave us, general ?
Ha! the king here writes me, The discontented populace, that held, O'er midnight bowls, their desperate cabals, Are now in bold defiance to his power: Amid the terrors of this stormy night, Ev'n now they deluge all yon western vale, And form a war, impatient for the day : The spreading poison too has caught his troops, And the revolting soldiers stand in arms Mix'd with seditious citizens.
Your call is great.
Enter MA'NDANE. Myron starts from his feat in disorder.
O Memnon ! how shall I become a banquet,
Suppress my sorrows, and comply with joy?
Severest fate! Am I deny'd to grieve ?
Be comforted, my child: I'll soon return.
Why dost thou make me blush? I feel my tears
Run trickling down my cheek.
MYRON. (Aside to Auletes.]
Her smiles were dreadful, but her tears are deatha
I can no more : I sink beneath her charms,
And feel a deadly fickness at my heart.
Your cheek is pale: I dare not let you part:
You are not well-
A small indispofition: I soon fall throw it from me Farewel, general; Çonquest attend your arms. »
You shall not leave Your servant's roof; 'tis an unwholesome air, And my apartment wants a guest.
If health returns, I shall not press my couch,
And hear of distant conquests; but o'ertake thee,
And add new terror to the front of war.
Mean time, you are a guardian to my child:
Let her not miss a father in
abfence: She's all
soul holds dear.
NICANOR waits on MYRON off the stage, and returns
My child, I feel a tenderness at heart
I never felt before: Come near, Mandane ;
Let me gaze on thee, and indulge the father-
Thy dying mother with her clay-cold hand
Press'd mine ; then, turning on thee her faint eye,
Let fall a tear of fondness, and expir’d-
I cannot love thee well enough; her grace
Softens thy cheek, and lives within thine eye.
Let me embrace you both-My heart o’erflows-
If I Tould fall-Thy mother's monument-
But I shall kill thy tenderness-No more :
Nay, do not weep; I shall return again,
And with my dearest child fit down in peace,
And long enjoy her goodness.
If the gods
Regard your daughter's fervent vows, you will.
Farewel, my only care; my soul is with thee ;
Regard yourself, and you remember me.
[Exit. Enter MYRON and Auleres.
No place can give me ease; my restless thought,
Like working billows in a troubled sea,
Tosses me to and fro; nor know I whither.
What am I, who, or where ? --Ha! where indeed!
But let me pause, and ask myself again,
If I am well awake-Impetuous bliss !
My heart leaps up; my mounting spirits blaze;
My soul is in a tempeft of delight !
My lord, you tremble, and your eyes betray
Strange tumults in your breaft.
What hour of night?
My lord, the night's far spent.
The gates are barrd,
And all the houshold is compos'd to rest.
All: And the great Nicanor's own apartment,
Proud to receive a royal guest, expects you.
Perdition on thy soul for naming him !
Nicanor! O I never shall sleep more!
Defend me! Whither wander'd my bold thoughts!
Broke loose from reason, how did they run mad !
And now they are come home all arm'd with stings,
And pierce my bleeding heart-
I beg the gods to disappoint my crime ;
Yet almost .wish them deaf to my desire :
I long, repent; repent, and long again;
And ev'ry moment differs from the last.
I must no longer parley with destruction :
Auletes, seize me ; force me to my chamber;
There chain me down, and guard me from myself:
Hell rises in each thought; 'tis time to fly. [Exeunt.
Enter MANDANE and RAMESES.
I hope your fears have giv'n a false alarm.
You've heard my frequent visions of the night ;
You know my father's absence, Myron's passion :
Jutt now I met him ; at my fight he started;
Then with such ardent eyes he wanderd o'er me,
And gaz'd with such malignity of love,
Sending his soul out to me, in a look
So fiercely kind, I trembled, and retir'd.
No more; my friends (which, as I have inform’d you,
The queen to gall the tyrant has set free)