Imagens das páginas

Shall flow in torrents round ! Methinks I might Prevent this waste of nature—I'll go forth, And to my people show their rightful king. Eup. Banish that thought; forbear; the rash attempt Were fatal to our hopes; oppress'd, dismay’d, The people look aghast, and, wan with fear, None dare espouse your cause. Eva. Yes, all will dare To act like men;–their king, I gave myself To a whole people. I made no reserve; My life was theirs; each drop about my heart Pledg'd to the public cause—devoted to it; That was my compact: is the subjects' less 2 If they are all debas'd, and willing slaves, The young but breathing to grow grey in bondage, And the old sinking to ignoble graves, Of such a race no matter who is king ! And yet I will not think it; no—my people Are brave and gen'rous; I will trust their valour. Eup. Yet stay; yet be advis'd. Phil. As yet, my liege, No plan is fix'd, and no concerted measure. The fates are busy: wait the vast event. Trust to my truth and honour. Witness, gods, Here, in the temple of Olympian Jove, Philotas swears Eva. Forbear: the man like thee, Who feels the best emotions of the heart, Truth, reason, justice, honour's fine excitements, Acts by those laws, and wants no other sanction. Eup. Again th' alarm approaches; sure destruction To thee, to all, will follow:—hark! a sound Comes hollow murm'ring through the vaulted aisle, It gains upon the ear. Withdraw, my father; All's lost, if thou art seen. E

Phil. And lo! Calippus
Darts with the lightning's speed across the aisle.

Eva. Thou at the senate house convene my friends.
Melanthon, Dion, and their brave associates,
Will show, that liberty has leaders still.
Anon I'll meet them there: my child, farewell;
Thou shalt direct me now.

[Éxit PHilotas.--EVANDER enters the Tomb. Eup. Coming forward.] How my distracted heart

throbs wild with fear! What brings Calippus? wherefore? save me, Heaven!


Cal. This sullen musing in these drear abodes
Alarms suspicion : the king knows thy plotting;
Thy rooted hatred to the state and him.
His sov'reign will commands thee to repair
This moment to his presence.

Eup. Ha! what means
The tyrant ?-I obey. [Exit Calippus.] And, oh! ye

Ye ministers of Heaven, defend my father;
Support his drooping age; and when anon
Avenging justice shakes her crimson steel,
Oh! be the grave at least a place of rest;
That from his covert, in the hour of

peace, Forth he may come to bless a willing people, And be your own just image here on earth [Exit.



Dio. Away each vain alarm! the sun goes down:
Nor yet Timoleon issues from his fleet.
There let him linger on the wave-worn beach.
Here the vain Greek shall find another Troy,
A more than Hector here. Though Carthage ily,
Ourself, still Dionysius, here remains.
And means the Greek to treat of terms of peace ?
By Heav'n, this panting bosom hop'd to meet
His boasted phalanx on the embattled plain!
And doth he now, on peaceful councils bent,
Despatch his herald ?-Let the slave approach.

Enter the HERALD,
Now, speak thy purpose; what doth Greece impart?

Her. Timoleon, sir, whose great renown in arms
Is equallid only by the softer virtues
Of mild humanity, that sway his heart,
Sends me his delegate to offer terms,
On which ev'n foes may well accord; on which
The fiercest nature, though it spurns at justice,
May sympathize with his.

Dio. Unfold thy mystery;
Thou shalt be heard.

Her. The gen'rous leader sees,
With pity sees, the wild destructive havoc
Of ruthless war; he hath survey'd around
The heaps of slain that cover yonder field,
And, touch'd with gen'rous sense of human woe,
Weeps o'er his victories.
Dio. Your leader weeps!

Then let the author of those ills thou speak'st of,
Let the ambitious factor of destruction,
Timely retreat, and close the scene of blood.
Why doth affrighted peace behold his standard
Uprear'd in Sicily? and wherefore here
The iron ranks of war, from which the shepherd
Retires appallid, and leaves the blasted hopes
Of half the year, while closer to her breast
The mother clasps her infant?

Her. 'Tis not mine
To plead Timoleon's cause; not mine the office
To justify the strong, the righteous, motives
That urge

him to the war: the only scope
My deputation aims at, is to fix
An interval of peace, a pause of horror,
That they, whose bodies, on the naked shore,
Lie weltering in their blood, from either host
May meet the last sad rites to nature due,
And decent lie in honourable graves.

Div. Go tell your leader, his pretexts are vain.
Let him, with those that live, embark for Greece,
And leave our peaceful plains; the mangled limbs
Of those he murder'd, from my tender care
Shall meet due obsequies.

Her. The hero, sir,
Wages no war with those, who bravely die.
'Tis for the dead I supplicate; for them
We sue for peace; and to the living too
Timoleon would extend it, but the groans
Of a whole people have unsheath'd his sword.
A single day will pay the funeral rites.
To-morrow's sun may see both armies meet
Without hostility, and all in honour;
You to inter the troops who bravely fell ;
We, on our part, to give an humble sod
To those, who gain'd a footing on the isle,
And by their death have conquer'd.

Dio. Be it so;

[ocr errors]

I grant thy suit : soon as to-morrow's dawn
Illume the world, the rage of wasting war
In vain shall thirst for blood.
Thou know'st my last resolve, and now farewell.
Some careful officer conduct him forth.

By Heav'n, the Greek hath offered to my sword
An easy prey ; a sacrifice to glut
My great revenge. Calippus, let each soldier
This night resign his wearied limbs to rest,
That ere the dawn, with renovated strength,
On the unguarded, unsuspecting foe,
Disarm'd, and bent on superstitious rites,
From every quarter we may rush undaunted,
Give the invaders to the deathful steel,
And by one carnage bury all in ruin.
My valiant friends, haste to your several posts,
And let this night a calm unruffled spirit
Lie hush'd in sleep: away, my friends, disperse.
Philotas, waits Euphrasia as we order'd?

Phil. She's here at hand.

Dio. Admit her to our presence.
Rage and despair, a thousand warring passions,
All rise by turns, and piecemeal rend my heart.
Yet ev'ry means, all measures must be tried,

sweep the Grecian spoiler from the land,
And fix the crown unshaken on my brow.

Eup. What sudden cause requires Euphrasia's pre-

Dio. Approach, fair mourner, and dispel thy fears.
Thy grief, thy tender duty to thy father,
Has touch'd me nearly. In his lone retreat,
Respect, attendance, every lenient care
To sooth affliction, and extend his life,
Evander has commanded.
Eup. Vile dissembler!

« AnteriorContinuar »