Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

Meanwhile, each, as he can, forget his loss,
And bear the present lot-

3 Offi. Sir, I have mark'd The camp's extent: 'tis stretch'd quite through the

valley. I think that more than half the city's here. Eum. The prospect gives me much relief. I'm

pleas'd, My honest countrymen, t'observe your numbers ; And yet it fills my eyes with tears—'Tis said, The mighty Persian wept, when he survey'd His numerous army, but to think them mortal; Yet he then flourish'd in prosperity. Alas! what's that ?-Prosperity !-a harlot, That smiles but to betray! Hear me, all gracious Heaven, Let me wear out my small remains of life Obscure, content with humble poverty, Or, in affliction's hard but wholesome school, If it must be— I'll learn to know myself, And that's more worth than empire. But, O Heaven, Curse me no more with proud prosperity! It has undone me!-Herbis! where, my friend, Hast thou been this long hour?

Enter Herbis.
Herb. On yonder summit,
To take a farewell prospect of Damascus.

Eum. And it is worth a look?

Herb. No—I've forgot it. All our possessions are a grasp of air: We're cheated, whilst we think we hold them fast: And when they're gone, we know that they were no

thing. But I've a deeper wound.

Eum. Poor, good old man ! 'Tis true—thy son—there thou’rt indeed unhappy.

Enter ARTAMON.
What, Artamon! art thou here, too?

Art. Yes, sir.
I never boasted much,
Yet I've some honour, and a soldier's pride;
I like not these new lords.

Eum, Thou’rt brave and honest.
Nay, we'll not yet despair. A time may come,
When from these brute barbarians we may wrest
Once more our pleasant seats.-Alas! how soon
The flatterer hope is ready with his song,
To charm us to forgetfulness !--No more-
Let that be left to Heaven.-See, Herbis, see,
Methinks we've here a goodly city yet.
Was it not thus our great forefathers liv’d,
In better times—in humble fields and tents,
With all their flocks and herds, their moving wealth!
See, too, where our own Pharplar winds his stream
Through the long vale, as if to follow us,
And kindly offers his cool, wholesome draughts,
To ease us in our march !-Why, this is plenty.

Enter EUDOCIA.
My daughter!—wherefore hast thou left thy tent?
What breaks so soon thy rest?

Eud. Rest is not there,
Or I have sought in vain, and cannot find it.
Oh, no!-we're wanderers, it is our doom;
There is no rest for us.

Eum. Thou art not well.

Eud. I would, if possible, avoid myself.
I'm better now, near you.

Eum. Near me! alas,
The tender vine so wreathes its folded arms
Around some falling elm-It wounds my

heart
To think thou follow'st but to share my ruin.
I have lost all but thee.

Eud. O, say not so!
You have lost nothing ; no--you have preserv’d,
Immortal wealth, your faith inviolate
To Heaven and to your country.
Ruin is yonder, in Damascus, now
The seat abhorr'd of cursed infidels.
Infernal error, like a plague, has spread
Contagion through its guilty palaces,
And we are fled from death.

Eum. Heroic maid!
Thy words are balsam to my griefs. Eudocia,
I never knew thee till this day; I knew not
How

many virtues I had wrong'd in thee! Eud. If you talk thus, you have not yet forgiven me. Eum. Forgiven thee ! -Why, for thee it is, thee

only,
I think, Heaven yet may look with pity on us;
Yes, we must all forgive each other now.
Poor Herbis, too— we both have been to blame.
O, Phocyas !--but it cannot be recall’d.
Yet, were he here, we'd ask him pardon too.
My child !-I meant not to provoke thy tears.

Eud. [Aside.] O, why is he not here? Why do I see
Thousands of happy wretches, that but seem
Undone, yet still are bless'd in innocence,
And why was he not one?

Enter an OFFICER.
Offi. Where is Eumenes ?
Eum. What means thy breathless haste?

Offi. I fear there's danger:
For, as I kept my watch, I spy'd afar
Thick clouds of dust, and, on a nearer view,
Perceiv'd a body of Arabian horse
Moving this way. I saw them wind the hill,
And then lost sight of them.

Herb. I saw them too,

Where the roads meet on t'other side these hills,
But took them for some band of christian Arabs,
Crossing the country. This way did they move?

Offi. With utmost speed.
Eum. If they are christian Arabs,
They come as friends; if other, we're secure
By the late terms. Retire a while, Eudocia,
Till I return.

[Exit EU DOCIA. I'll to the guard myself. Soldier, lead on the way.

Enter another OFFICER.
2 Off. Arm! arm ! we're ruin'd!
The foe is in the camp.

Eum. So soon!
2 Offi. They've quitted
Their horses, and with sword in hand have forc'd
Our guard; they say they come for plunder.

Eum. Villains !
Sure Caled knows not of this treachery!
Come on--we can fight still. We'll make them know
What 'tis to urge the wretched to despair. (Exeunt.

Enter DARAN. Dar. Let the fools fight at distance—Here's the

harvest. Reap, reap, my countrymen -Ay, there--first clear Those further tents- [Looking between the Tents. What's here? a woman !-fair She seems, and well attir'd !-It shall be so. I'll strip her first, and then

[Exit, and returns with EUDOCIA. Eud. Struggling.) Mercy! O, spare me! spare me! Heaven, hear my cries !

Dar. Woman, thy cries are vain : No help is near.

Enter PHOCYAS. Pho. Villain, thou liest! take that To loose thy hold

(Pushing at him with his Spear. He falls. Eudocia !

Eud. Phocyas !-O, astonishment ! Then is it thus that Heaven has heard my prayers ! I tremble still—and scarce have power to ask thee How thou art here, or whence this sudden outrage ?

Pho. Sure every angel watches o'er thy safety! Thou seest 'tis death t'approach thee without awe, And barbarism itself cannot profane thee.

Eud. Whence are these alarms?

Pho. Some stores remov'd, and not allow'd by treaty, Have drawn the Saracens to make a search. Perhaps 'twill quickly be agreed-But, Oh! Thou know'st, Eudocia, I'm a banish'd man, And ’tis a crime I'm here once more before thee; Else, might I speak, 'twere better for the present, If thou wouldst leave this place.

Eud. No I have a father, (And shall I leave him?) whom we both have wrong'd, And yet, alas! For this last act how would I thank thee, Phocyas! I've nothing now but prayers and tears to give, Cold, fruitless thanks !—But 'tis some comfort yet, That fate allows this short reprieve, that thus We may

behold each other, and once more May mourn our woes, ere yet again we part

Pho. For ever!
"Tis then resolv'd-It was thy cruel sentence,
And I am here to execute that doom.

Eud. What dost thou mean?
Pho. [Kneeling.] Thus at thy feet-
Eud. O, rise !

Pho. Never—No, here I'll lay my burden down; I've try'd its weight, nor can support it longer.

« НазадПродовжити »