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Magnificent in royal pride, appears.
Relate the dreadful vision, which I saw, I must obey, and guard her son from danger. When first I landed captive in Epirus.
[Exit Phani.r. That every night, as in a dream I'lay,
A ghastly figure, full of gaping wounds,
His eyes aglare, his hair all stiff with blood, Ceph. Madam, once more you look and move Full in my sight thrice shook his head, and a queen!
groaned. Your sorrows are dispersed, yonr charins revive, I soon discerned my slaughtered Hector's shade; And every faded beauty blooms anew.
But, oh, how changed ! Ye, gods, how much unAndr. Yet all is not as I could wish, Cephisa.
like Ceph. You see the king is watchful o'er your The living Hector! Loud he bid me fly! son;
Fly from Achilles' son ! then sternly frowned, Decks him with princely robes, with guards sur- And disappeared. Struck with the dreadful rounds him.
sound, Astaynax begins to reign already.
I started and awaked. Andr. Pyrrhus is nobly minded : and I fain Ceph. But did he bid you Would live to thank him for Astyanax :
Destroy Astyanax ? 'Tis a vain thought-However, since my
child Andr. Cephisa, I'll preserve him; Has such a friend, I ought not to repine.
With my own life, Cephisa, I'll preserve him. Ceph. These dark unfoldings of your
per- Ceph. What may these words, so full of horplex me. What meant those floods of tears, those warm Andr. Know, then, the secret purpose
soul : As if you bid your son adieu for ever?
Andromache will not be false to Pyrrhus, For Heaven's sake, madam, let me know your Nor violate her sacred love to Hector. griefs !
This hour I'll meet the king; the holy priest If you mistrust my faith
Shall join us, and confirm our mutual vows : Andr. That were to wrong thee.
This will secure a father to my child: Oh, my Cephisa! this gay, borrowed air, That done, I have no farther use for life: This blaze of jewels, and this bridal dress, This pointed dagger, this determined hand, Are but mock trappings to conceal my woe: Shall save my virtue, and conclude my woes. My heart still mourns; I still am Hector's widow. Ceph. Ah, madam! recollect your scattered Ceph. Will you then break the promise given to Pyrrhus,
This fell despair ill suits your present fortunes. Blow up his rage afresh, and blast your hopes ? Andr. No other stratagem can serve my purAndr. I thought, Cephisa, thou hadst known
This is the sole expedient to be just
Of my great ancestors : Cephisa, thou
Wilt lend a hand to close thy mistress' eyes? Would Hector, were he living, and I dead,
Ceph. Oh, never think that I will stay behind Forget Andromache, and wed her foe! Ceph. I cannot guess what drift your thoughts Andr. No, my Cephisa ; I must have thee live. pursue;
Remember, thou didst promise to obey, But, oh, I fear there's something dreadful in it! And to be secret : wilt thou now betray. me? Must then Astyanax be doomed to die;
After thy long, thy faithful service, wilt thou And you to linger out a life in bondage? Refuse my last commands, my dying wish? Andr. Nor this, nor that, Cephisa, will I Once more I do conjure thee, live for me. bear;
Ceph. Life is not worth my care when you are My word is past to Pyrrhus, his to me;
gone. And I rely upon his promised faith.
Andr. I must commit into thy faithful hands Cnequal as he is, I know him well :
All that is dear and precious to my soul : Pyrrhus is violent, but he's sincere,
Live, and supply my absence to my child ; And will perform beyond what he has sworn. All that remains of Troy; a future progeny The Greeks will but incense him more; their Of herves, and a distant line of kings,
In him, is all entrusted to thy care. Will make him cherish Hector's son.
Ceph. But, madam, what will be the
of Ceph. Ah, madan,
Pyrrhus, Explain these riddles to my boding heart! Defrauded of his promised happiness ? Andr. Thou may'st remember, for thou oft Andr. That will require thy utinost skill: Ob
hast heard me
The first impetuous onsets of his grief;
Why am I still thus anxious for his life?
To laugh at my distress ? No, let him perish!
Alas! My orders! Oh, preposterous guilt ! Tell him my soul reposed itself on him,
Can I decree the death of him I love?
Ceph. Oh, for a spirit to support my grief! Was it for this I left my father's court?
Enter CLEONE. But tears break in! Grief interrupts my speech- Her. Oh, Cleone, help me! -My soul overflows in fondness—let him know What have I done? Is Pyrrhus yet alive? I died to save him : And would die again. What sayst thou? Answer nie: Where is the Season his mind with early hints of glory;
king? Make him acquainted with his ancestors;
Cleo. Madam, I saw the cruel prince set forTrace out their shining story in his thoughts;
On the fair captive; while through shouting
Her. Insulting tyrant ! I shall burst with rage! Should he prove headstrong, rash, or unadvised, But say, Cleone, didst thou mark him well! He then will frustrate all his mother's virtue, Was his brow smooth? Say, did there not appear Provoke his fate, and I shall die in vain. Some shade of grief, some little cloud of sorrow?
Ceph. Alas! I fear I never shall outlive you. Did he not stop? Did he not look once back? Andr. No more : thy tears, Cephisa, will be- Didst thou approach him? Was he not confoundtray me;
ed? Assume a chearful look, but still remember
Did he not
-Oh, be quick and tell me all! (Flourish within. Cleo. Madam, the tuinult of his joy admits Hark how the trumpet, with its sprightly notes, No thought but love. Unguarded he marched on, Proclaims the appointed hour, and calls us hence. 'Midst a promiscuous thiong of friends and foes. Hector, I come, once more a queen, to join thee! His cares all turn upon Astyanax, Thus the gay victim, with fresh garlands crown- Whom he has lodged within the citadel, ed,
Defended by the strength of all his guards. Pleased with the sacred fife's enlivening sound, Her. Enough! he dies —the traitor! Through gazing crowds in solemn state proceeds, Where's Orestes ? And, drest in fatal pomp, magnificently bleeds. Cleo. He's in the temple with his whole retinue.
[E.reunt. Her. Is he still resolute? Is he still deterinined? SCENE II.
Cleo. Madam, I fear
Her. How ! Is Orestes false?
Does he betray me too?
Perplex his soul, and wound him with remorse : Ye gods! What mean these horrors? I am un- His virtue and his love prevail by turns. done!
He told me Pyrrhus should not fall ignobly : My soul is on the rack! I cannot bear it: Pyrrhus, the warlike son of great Achilles. Why do I wander like some guilty ghost ? He dreads the censure of the Grecian states ; What brought me to this place? What kecps me Of all mankind; and fears to stain his honour. here?
Her. Poor timorous wretch! 'uis false! be bases The court of Pyrrhus has no room for me! Do I still doubt if I should love or hate him? To cope with dangers, and encounter death; Hard-hearted man! How unconcerned he left | 'Tis that he fears :- Am I bright Helen's daughme!
ter? Did he once sigh? Bestow one pitying look? To vindicate her wrongs all Greece conspired: Once shed a tear? Or speak one soft, kind word? For her confederate nations fought, and bingo Did he so much as feign one moment's sorrow,
were slain; To calm my griefs, and mitigate his falsehood ? Troy was o’erthrown, and a whole empire fell
My eyes want force to raise a lover's arin, What had he done? What could provoke thy Against a tyrant that has dared to wrong me!
Who set thee on?
With your own lips did you not curse the tyrant, I'll hurl destruction, like a whirlwind, round me! Pronounce his death, and urge me to destroy him? They must not wed! they must not live! they Her. What if, transported by my boundless shall not !
passion, Let me be gone! I have no time to lose ! I could not bear to see him wed another, Stand off! hold me not! I am all distraction ! Were you to obey a jealous woman's frenzy? Ob, Pyrrhus ! Tyrant! Traitor ! Thou shalt bleed! You should have dived into my inmost thoughts :
My heart, though full of rage, was free from maEnter ORESTES. Orest. Madam, 'tis done; your orders are obey- And all my anger was excess of love. ed:
Why did you take me at my word! You saw The tyrant lies expiring at the altar,
The struggles of my soul; you heard me rave; Her. Is Pyrrhus slain?
You should have questioned me a thousand times, Orest. Even now he gasps in death :
Yet still have doubted, and still questioned on, Our Greeks, all undistinguished in the crowd, Before you ventured on a life so precious. Flocked to the temple, and dispersed themselves Orest, Hear me but speak : Heaven knows, On every side the altar. I was there ;
against my will Pyrrhus observed me with a haughty eye,
Her. Why did you not return? Why not conAnd, proud to triumph over Greece in me,
sult me Froin his own brows he took the diadem, A second time? And, undetermined still, And bound it on the temples of his captive; Again return, and still find new delays? Receive, said he, my crown; receive my faith ; What had your rash officious Greeks, dire bloqdMine and my people's sovereign reign for ever,
hounds! From this blest hour, a father to your son, To do with my revenge? What drew you hither? Ill scourge his foes : henceforward be he styled To bring on me the vengeful woes that haunt The Trojan king; I swear it at the altar, And call the gods to ratify my vows.
Are these the fruits of your detested love? His subjects, with loud acclamations, shook Your fatal embassy, your
presence, The spacious dome. Our Greeks, enraged, cried Drove Pyrrhus to my rival ; and destroys out,
Both him and me. He might have loved inę still, Revenge! revenge! broke through the thronging Had you ne'er interposed-Avaunt! Begone! press,
And leave me in Epirus. I renounce And rushed, tumultuous, on the unguarded king; My friends, ny country, Greece, and all manTheir eager fury left no work for me.
kind : Pyrrhus awhile opposed their clashing swords, But chiefly I renounce thee! monster, thee ! And dealt his fatal blows, on every side,
[Erit. With manly firmness; till, opprest by numbers, Orest. Am I awake? Where am I? Soft my. Streaming with blood, all over gashed with wounds, soul; He reeled, he groaned, and at the altar fell. Be not too rash. -Was that Hermione? - Ilaste, madam; let us fly! Haste to our ships! Why should her anger thunder against me? They lie unmoored : our friends attend us there. Was not this blood shed all by her command ?Her. What have they done!
I am, indeed, a most outrageous monster! Orest. Madam, forgive their rage.
A ruffian, murderer, a base assassin ! I own your vengeance had been more complete, And all to please a false, ungrateful woman. Had Pyrrhus fallen by me, and had he known
Henceforward let the laws of nations cease; Hermione chastised him by my arm.
And let the pale, that severs right and wrong, Her. Peace, monster! peace ! Go tell thy hor- Things sacred and profane, be broken down; rid tale
Gods in their temples, kings upon their thrones, To savages, and howl it in the desert.
Are not in safety, while Orestes lives! Wouldst thou impute to me thy barbarous guilt? Oh! never more shall my torn mind be healed, He wouldst thou make the accomplice of thy Nor taste the gentle comfort of repose ! crimes ?
A dreadful band of gloomy cares surround me, llence to thy Greeks, and boast thy foul ex- And lay strong siege to my distracted soul !
ploits ! My soul abhors them! I disclaim the deed !
Enter Pylades, attended by Greeks. Begone! I know thee not! Thou fell barba- Pyl. Haste, prince; let us be gone : 'tis death rian!
to stay. Yol. I.
Andromache reigns queen: she gives the alarm, Pyl. Alas, poor prince !
Pyl. All will go well ; he settles into reason. Orest. You may depart,
Orest, Who talks of reason! Better to have My friends Hermione and I remain
Orest. Hermione no more !-Oh, all ye powers! I blaze again! See there! Look where they come;
Pyl. Full of disorder, wildness in her looks, A shoal of furies—How they swarm about me!
Pyl. Kind Heayen restore him to his wonted
Pyl. You hazard your retreat by these dclays. 'Twould be beyond our power to force him hence.
Enter Phenix, attended by Guards.
Triumphant villains !—The base, giddy rabble,
Whose hands should all have been employed Orest. The murdered lovers wait me-Hark, with fire, they call!
To waste the feet, flocked round the dying prinNay, if your blood still reeks, I'll mingle mine!
cess; One tomb will hold us all.
And, while they stand agaze, the Greeks embark. Pyl. Alas! I fear
Oh, 'tis too plain !—this sacrilegious murder
Most unexampled deed “Where, where, ye gods,
(A flourish of trumpets.
brain's on fire!
Enter ANDROMACHE and Cephisa.
When you shall dearly pay your bloody deeds!
you, It is Hermione that strikes -Confusion ! When thus you turn your impious rage on PyrShe catches Pyrrhus in her arms.- Oh, save me ! rhus; How terrible she looks! She knits her brow! Pyrrhus, the bravest man in all your league ; She frowns me dead! She frights me into mad- The man whose single valour made you triumph? ness!
(A dead march behind. Where am I?- Who are you?
Is my child there?
Ceph. It is the corpse of Pyrrhus.
Ceph. That sound proclaims the arrival of the
Andr. Il-fated prince ! too negligent of life, The guards conduct him from the citadel.
Andr. With open arms I'll meet him !-Oh,
Cepk. Alas, then, will your sorrows never end! Plays round my heart, and brightens up my sor-
Like gleams of sunshine in a lowering sky.
[To Phænir. When prest by dangers, and beset with foes, Let him be robed in all his regal state;
The gods their timely succour interpose;