Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Stat. Then all the vision's true, [Retires. | Adore your bed, and see you softly laid? And I must die, lose my dear lord for ever; By all my pangs, and labours of my love, That, that's the murderer.

This has thrown off all that was sweet and gentle, Ror. Shut the brazen gate,

ThereforeAnd make it fast with all the massy bars.

Stat. Yet hold thy hand advanced in air! I know the king will fly to her relief,

I see my death is written in thy eyes ; But we have time enough. Where is my rival? | Therefore wreak all the lust of vengeance on me, Appear, Statira, now no more a queen;

Wash in my blood, and steep thee in my gore, Roxana calls ; where is your majesty?

Feed like a vulture, tear my bleeding heart; Slat. And what is she, who with such tower. But, O Roxana! that there may appear ing pride,

A glimpse of justice for thy cruelty, Would awe a princess, that is born above her? A grain of goodness for a mass of evil,

Ror. I like the port imperial beauty bears, Give me my death in Alexander's presence! It shews thou hast a spirit fit to fall

Ror. Not for the rule of heaven-Are you so A sacrifice to fierce Roxana's wrongs.

cunning? Be sudden then, put forth the royal breasts, What, you would have him mourn you as you Where our false master has so often languished,

fall, That I may change their milky innocence Take your farewell, and taste such healing kisses, To blood, and dye me in a deep revenge. As might call back your soul ? No, thou shalt Stat. No, barbarous woman, though I durst

fall meet death

Now, and when death has seized thy beauteous As boldly as our lord, with a resolve,

limbs,
At which thy coward heart would tremble ; I'll have thy body thrown into a well,
Yet I disdain to stand the fate you offer, Buried beneath a heap of stones for ever.
And therefore, fearless of thy dreadful threats,
Walk thus regardless by thee.

Enter a Slave.
Ror. Ha! so stately!

Slave. Madam, the king, with all his captains This sure will sink you.

and his guards, Stat. No, Roxana, no:

Are forcing ope the doors; he threatens thousand The blow you give will strike me to the stars,

deaths But sink my murderess in eternal ruin.

To all that stop his entrance, and I believe Ror. Who told you this?

Your eunuchs will obey him. Stat. A thousand spirits tell me:

Ror. Then I must haste.

[Stabs her. There's not a god but whispers in my ear,

Stat. What, is the king so near, This death will crown me with immortal glory; And shall I die so tamely, thus defenceless? To die so fair, so innocent, so young,

O ye gods, will you not help my weakness! Will make me company for queens above.

Ror. They are afar off. [Stabbing her. Ror. Preach on.

Stut. Alas! they are indeed,
Stat. While you, the burden of the earth,
Fall to the deep, so heavy with thy guilt,

Enter ALEXANDER, CASSANDER, POLYPERThat hell itself must groan at thy reception;

CHON, Guards and Attendants. While foulest fiends shun thy society,

Aler. Oh happy—Thou shalt reign the queen And thou shalt walk alone, forsaken fury!

of devils! Ror. Heaven witness for me, I would spare Ror. Do, strike, behold my bosom swells to thy life,

meet thee; If any thing but Alexander's love

'Tis full of thine, of veins that run ambition, Were in debate; come, give me back his heart, And I can brave whatever fate you bring. And thou shalt live empress of all the world. Aler. Call our physicians ! baste! I'll give an Stat. The world is less than Alexander's love,

empire Yet could I give it, 'tis not in my power. To save her-Oh my soul, alas, Statira! This I dare promise, if you spare my life, These wounds-Oh gods, are these my promiscd Which I disdain to beg,-he shall speak kindly.

joys! Ror, Speak! is that all? Stat. Perhaps, at my request,

Enter Physicians. And for a gift so noble as my life,

Stat. My cruel love, my weeping Alexander, Bestow a kiss.

Would I had died before you entered here! Ror. A kiss ! no more?

For now I ask my heart an hundred questions; Stat. O gods!

What ! must I lose my life, my lord, for ever? What shall I say to work her to my end? Aler. Ha! villains, are they mortal ?—what, Fain I would see him-Yes, a little more

retire! Embrace you, and for ever be your friend. Raise your dashed spirits from the earth, and say, Ror. O the provoking word! Your friend! Say she shall live, and I will make you kings. thou diest :

Give me this one, this poor, this only life, Your friend! What, must I bring you then toge- And I will pardon you for all the wounds, ther?

Which your arts widen, all diseases, deaths,

me.

Which your damned drugs throw through the I love you spite of all your cruelties; lingering world.

There is so much divinity about you, Ror. Rend not your temper; see a general I tremble to approach: yet here's my hold, silence

Nor will I leave the sacred robe, for such Confirms the bloody pleasure, which I sought; Is every thing that touches that blest body: She dies.

I'll kiss it as the relic of a god, Aler. And darest thou, monster, think to And love shall grasp it with these dying hards. escape?

Alex. O that thou wert a man, that I might Stat. Life's on the wing,-my love, my lord,

drive Come to my arms, and take the last adieu ! Thee round the world, and scatter thy contagion, Here let me lie, and languish out my soul. As gods hurl mortal plagues, when they are angry! Alex. Answer me, father, wilt thou take her Rox. Do, drive me, hew me into smallest from me?

pieces, What, is the black, sad hour at last arrived, My dust shall be inspired with a new fondness; That I must never clasp her body more? Still the love-motes shall play before your eyes, Never more bask in her eye-shine again, Where'er you go, however you despise. Nor view the loves, that played in those dear Alex. Away! there's not a glance that flies beams,

from thee, And shot me with a thousand thousand smiles? But, like a basilisk, comes winged with death. Stut. Farewel, my dear, my life, my most Ror. O speak not such harsh words, my royal loved lord!

master! I swear by Orosmades 'tis more pleasure, Look not so dreadful on your kneeling servant; More satisfaction that I thus die yours,

But take, dear sir, O take me into grace, Than to have lived another's-Grant me one By the dear babe, the burden of my womb, thing.

That weighs me down, when I would follow Aler. All, all,—but speak, that I may execute

faster! Before I follow thee.

My knees are weary, and my force is spent: Stat. Leave not the earth

o do not frown, but clear thy angry brow! Before Heaven calls you ; spare Roxana’s life; Your eyes will blast me, and your words are bolts, 'Twas love of you, that caused her give me death. That strike me dead: the little wretch I bear, And, O! sometimes, amidst your revels, think Leaps frighted at your wrath, and dies within Of your poor queen, and ere the chearful bowl Salute your lips, crown it with one rich tear, Aler. O thou hast touched my soul so tenderly, And I am happy.

[Dies. That I will raise thee, though thy hands are ruin. Aler. Close not thy eyes !

Rise, cruel woman, rise, and have a care, Things of import I have to speak before O do not hurt that unborn innocence, Thou tak’st thy journey :—Tell the gods I'm For whose dear sake I now forgive thee all. coming,

But haste, begone! fly, fly from these sad eyes, To give them an account of life and death, Fly with thy pardon, lest I call it back; And many other hundred thousand policies, Though I forgive thee, I must hate thee ever, That much concern the government of heaven- kor. I go, I fly for ever from thy sight. O she is gone! the talking soul is mute! My mortal injuries have turned my mind, She's hushed, no voice of music now is heard! And I could curse myself for being kind. The bower of beauty is more still than death; If there be any. majesty above, The roses fade, and the melodious bird,

That has revenge in store for perjured love, That waked their sweets, has left them now for Send, Heaven, the swiftest ruin on his head;

Strike the destroyer, lay the victor dead; Rox. 'Tis certain now you never shall enjoy Kill the triumpher, and avenge my wrong, her;

In height of pomp, while he is warm and Therefore Roxana may have leave to hope

young; You will at last be kind, for all my sufferings, Bolted with thunder let him rush along, My torments, racks, for this last dreadful mur- And when in the last pangs of life he lies, der,

Grant I may stand to dart him with my eyes: Which furious love of thee did bring upon me. Nay, after death, Aler. O thou vile creature! bear thee from Pursue his spotted ghost, and shoot him as he flies! my sight,

(Erit. And thank Statira, that thou art alive,

Aler. O my fair star, I shall be shortly with Else thou hadst perished; yes, I would have rent,

thee; With my just hands, that rock, that marble heart; For I already feel the sad effects I would have dived through seas of blood to Of those most fatal imprecations. find it,

What means this deadly dew upon my forehead? To tear the cruel quarry from its center. My heart too heaves. Rox. O take me to your arms, and hide my Coss. I will anon be still

(Aside. blushes!

The pouzon works.

ever.

Pol. I'll see the wished effect (Aside. As much more as the dead outweigh the living, Ere I remove, and gorge me with revenge.

Cass. Said he nothing?

Pol. When they took him up,
Enter PERDICCAS and LYSIMACHUS.

He sighed, and entered with a strange wild look, Per. I beg your majesty will pardon me, Embraced the princes round, and said he must A fatal messenger;

Dispatch the business of the world in haste. Great Sysigambis, hearing Statira's death,

Enter PHILIP and THESSALUS. Is now no more; Her last words gave the princess to the brave Phil. Back, back, all scatter-With a dreadful Lysimachus: but that, which most will strike

you,

shout Your dear Hephestion, having drank too largely I heard him cry, ' I am but a dead man!' At your last feast, is of a surfeit dead.

Thess. The poison tears him with that height Åler. How! dead? Hephestion dead? alas, the

of horror, dear

That I could pity him. Unhappy youth !-But he sleeps happy,

Pol, Peace -where shall we meet? I must wake for ever:- This object, this,

Cass. On Saturn's field. This face of fatal beauty,

Methinks I see the frighted deities Will stretch my lids with vast, eternal tears- Ramming more bolts in their big-bellied clouds, Who had the care of poor Hephestion's life? And firing all the heavens to drown his noise. Lys. Philarda, the Arabian artist.

Now we should laugh—But go, disperse yourÅler. Fly, Meleager, hang him on a cross !

selves, That for Hephestion.

While each soul here, that fills his noble vessel, But here lies my fate; Hephestion, Clytus, Swells with the murder, works with ruin o'er; All my victories for ever folded up:

And from the dreadful deed this glory draws, In this dear body my banner's lost,

We killed the greatest man that ever was. My standard's triumph's gone!

[Ereunt. O when shall I be mad? Give order to The army, that they break their shields, swords,

SCENE II. spears, Pound their bright armour into dust; away!

Enter ALEXANDER and all his Attendants. Is there not cause to put the world in mourning? Aler. Search there, nay, probe me, search my Tear all your robes :-- he dies, that is not naked

wounded reins ! Down to the waste, all like the sons of sorrow. Pull, draw it out! Burn all the spires, that seem to kiss the sky; Lys. We have searched, but find no hurt. Beat down the battlements of every city;

Aler. O I am shot, a forked burning arrow And for the monument of this loved creature, Sticks cross my shoulders: the sad venom flies, Root up those bowers, and pave them all with Like lightning, through my flesh, my blood, my Draw dry the Ganges, make the Indies poor; Lys. This must be treason. To build her tomb, no shrines nor altars spare,

Perd. Would I could but guess

ss ! But strip the shining gods to make it rare. [Erit. Aler. Ha! what a change of torments I enCoss. Ha! whither now? follow him, Polyper

dure ! chon.

[Erit Pol. A bolt of ice runs hissing through my bowels: I find Cassander's plot grows full of death; 'Tis sure the arm of death: give me a chair; Murder is playing her great master-piece, Cover me, for I freeze, and my teeth chatter, And the sad sisters sweat, so fast I urge

them. And my knees knock together. O how I hug myself for this revenge !

Perd. Heaven bless the king! My fancy's great in mischief; for methinks Aler. Ha! who talks of heaven? The night grows darker, and the labouring ghosts, I am all hell; I burn, I burn again! For fear that I should find new torments out, The war grows wondrous hot; hey for the Tigris Run o'er the old with most prodigious swiftness. Bear me, Bucephalus, amongst the billows: I see the fatal fruit betwixt the teeth,

O'tis a noble beast; I would not change him The sieve brim-full, and the swift stone stand still. For the best horse the Sun has in his stable:

For they are hot, their mangers full of coals, Enter POLYPERCHON.

Their manes are flakes of lightning, curls of fire, What, does it work?

And their red tails, like meteors, whisk about. Pol. Speak softly.

.. Lys. Help all, Eumenes, help! I cannot hold Cass. Well.

him ! Pol. It does;

Aler. Ha, ha, ha! I shall die with laughter, I followed him, and saw him swiftly walk Parmenio, Clytus, dost thou see yon fellow, Toward the palace; oft-times looking back, That ragged soldier, that poor tattered Greek? With watry eyes, and calling out Statira. See how he puts to flight the gaudy Persians, He stumbled at the gate, and fell along; With nothing but a rusty helmet on, throu Nor was he raised with ease by his attendants,

which But seemed a greater load than ordinary, The grizzly bristles of his pushing beard

gold:

marrow.

mon.

Drive them like pikes- -Ha, ha, ha!

Lys. Break not our hearts with such unkind Perd. How wild he talks !

expressions. Lys. Yet warring in his wildness.

Perd. We will not part with you, nor change Aler. Sound, sound, keep your ranks close;

for Mars. ay, now they come:

Aler. Perdiccas, take this ring, O the brave din, the noble clank of arms! And see me laid in the temple of Jupiter AmCharge, charge apace, and let the phalanx move; darius comes- -ha! let me in, none Dare Lys. To whom does your dread majesty beTo cross my fury.-Philotas is —unhorsed; ay,

queath 'tis Darius ;

The empire of the world? I see, I know him by the sparkling plumes,

Aler. To him that is most worthy. And his gold chariot, drawn by ten white horses: Perd. When will you, sacred sir, that we should But, like a tempest, thus I pour upon him

give He bleeds! with that last blow I brought him To your great memory those divine honours, down;

Which such exalted virtue does deserve? He tumbles! take him, snatch the imperial crown. Aler. When you are all most happy, and in They fly, they fly! -follow, follow!-Victo

peace. . ria! Victoria !

Your hands- -O father, if I have discharged Victoria ! -O let me sleep.

(Rises. Perd. Let's raise him softly, and bear him to The duty of a man to empire born ; his bed.

If, by unwearied toils, I have deserved Alex. Hold, the least motion gives me sudden The vast renown of thy adopted son, death;

Accept this soul, which thou didst first inspire, My vital spirits are quite parched up,

And which this sigh thus gives thee back again. And all my smoky entrails turned to ashes.

Dies. Lys. When you, the brightest star that ever Lys. Eumenes, cover the fallen majesty; shone,

If there be treason, let us find it out; Shall set, it must be night with us for ever. Lysimachus stands forth to lead you on,

Aler. Let me embrace you all before I die: And swears, by these most honoured dear reWeep not, my dear companions; the good gods

mains, Shall send you, in my stead, a nobler prince, He will not taste those joys which beauty brings, One that shall lead you forth with matchless con- Till we revenge the greatest, best of kings. duct.

[Ereunt omnes.

EPILOGUE.

WHATE'ER they mean, yet ought they to be curst, But for the youth in petticoats run wild,
Who this censorious age did polish first, With,“oh! the archest wag, the sweetest child!"
Who the best play for one poor error blame, The panting breast, wbite hands, and lily feet,
As priests against our ladies's arts declaim, No more shall your pall'd thoughts with plea-
And for one patch both soul and body damn.

sure meet: But what does more provoke the actor's rage, The woman in boy's clothes all boy shall be, (For we must shew the grievance of the stage) And never raise your thoughts above the knee. Is, that our women, which adorn each play, Well, if our women knew how false you are, Bred at our cost, become at length your prey: They would stay here, and this new trouble While green and sour, like trees we bear them

spare : all,

Poor souls! they think all gospel you relate, But when they're mellow, straight to you they Charmed with the noise of settling an estate; fall;

But when at last your appetites are full, You watch them bare and squab, and let them And the tired Cupid grows with action dull, rest,

You'll find some tricks to cut off the entail, But with the first young down you snatch the And send them back to us all worn and stale. nest.

Perhaps they'll find our stage, while they have Pray leave those poaching tricks, if you are wise,

rang'd, Ere we take out one letter of reprise;

To some vile canting conventicle chang’d; For we have vowed to find a sort of toys Where, for the sparks who once resorted there, Known to black friars, a tribe of chopping boys; With their curl'd wigs that scented all the air, If once they come, they'll quickly spoil your They'll see grave blockheads with short greasy sport;

hair, There's not one lady will receive your court: Green aprons, steeple-hats, and collar-bands,

Dull sniv'ling rogues that wring—not clap their | To their chopp'd cheeks their pickled kerchers hands;

hold, Where for gay punks that drew the shining Whose zeal too might persuade, in spite to you, crowd,

Our flying angels to augment their crew ; And misses that in vizards laugh'd aloud, While Farringdon, their hero, struts about 'em, They'll hear young sisters sigh, see matrons old And ne'er a damning critic dares to flout 'em.

« НазадПродовжити »