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ACT THE FIFTH

SCENE I.

The Bower of Semiramis,

STATIRA discovered.
Stat. Bless me, ye powers above, and guard my

virtue ! Where are you fięd, dear shades? where are you

fied ? 'Twas but a dream, and yet I saw and heard My royal parents, who, while pious care Sat on their faded cheeks, pronounced with tears, Tears such as angels weep, this hour

my

last !
But hence with fear---my Alexander comes,
And fear and danger ever fled from him.
My Alexander-would that he

here! For oh, I tremble, and a thousand terrors Rush in upon me, and alarm my heart!

[Flourish of Trumpets. But hark ! 'tis he, and all my fears are fled : My life, my joy, my Alexander, comes ! Rox. [Within.] Make fast the gate, with all its

massy bars : At length we have conquered this stupendous height,

Stat. Ye guardian gods defend me! Roxana's voice! then all the vision's true,

were

And reached the grove.

And die I must.

Enter ROXANA.

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Rox. Secure the brazen gate.
Where is

my

rival? 'tis Roxana calls:
Stat. And what is she, who, with such towering

pride,
Would awe a princess that is born above her.

Rox. Behold this dagger! 'Tis thy fate, Statira!
Behold, and meet it as becomes a queen.
Fain would I find thee worthy of my vengeance;
Here, take my weapon then, and if thou darest

Stat. How little know'st thou what Statira dares !
Yes, cruel woman! yes, I dare meet death
With a resolve at which thy coward heart
Would shrink; for terror haunts the guilty mind;
While conscious innocence, that knows no fear,
Can smiling pass, and scora thy idle threats.
Rox. Return, fair insolent ! return, I

say:
Darest thou, presumptuous, to invade my rights !
Restore him quickly to my longing arms,
And with him give me back his broken vows,
For, perjured as he is, he still is mine,
Or I will rend them from thy bleeding heart.

Stat. Alas, Roxana! 'tis not in my power;
I cannot if I would—and oh, ye gods !
Wþat were the world to Alexander's loss !

Ror. Oh, sorceress! to thy accursed charms
I owe the phrensy that distracts my soul;
To them I owe my Alexander's loss :
Too late tlou tremblest at iny just revenge,
My wrongs cry out, and vengeance will have way.

[Holds up the Dagger
Stat. Hold, hold, thy hand advanc'd in air :
I read my sentence written in thine eyes ;
Yet oh, Koxana!' on thy black revenge
One kindly ray of fen.ale pity beam;
And give me death in Alexander's

presence.

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Rox. Not for the world's wide empire shouldst

thou see him.
Fool ! but for him thou might'st unheeded live;
For his sake only art thou doom'd to die.
The sole remaining joy that glads my soul,
Is to deprive thee of the heart I have lost.

Enter SLAVE.
Slave. Madam, the king and all his guards are

come;
With frantic rage they thunder at the gate,
And must ere this have gained admittance.

Rox. Ha ! Too long I have trifled. Let me then redeem The time mispent, and make great vengeance sure.

Stat. Is Alexander, oh ye gods ! so nigh, And can he not preserve me from her fury? Rox. Nor he nor Heaven shall shield thee from my

justice. Die, sorceress, die, and all my wrongs die with thee!

Alexander. [Without.] Away, ye slaves ! 'stand of; Nor Heaven nor earth shall stop me. Enter ALEXANDER, LYSIMACHUS, CASSANDER, PER

DiCCAS, THESSALUS, OFFICERS, and GUARDS. Ha! Oh! my soul! Îny queen, my love, Statira! Are these my promised joys ?

Stat. Alas! My only love, my best and dearest blessing! Would I had died before you entered here; For, thus delighted, while I gaze upon thee, Death grows more horrid, and I'm loath to leave

thee. Alex. Thou shalt not leave me-Cruel, cruel

stars ! Oh, where's the monster, where's the horrid fiend, That struck at innocence, and murdered thesd

[Stabs her.

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Rox. Behold the wretch, who, desperate of thy

love,
In jealous madness gave the fatal blow !
Alex. To dungeons, tortures, drag her from my

sight,
Siat. My soul is on the wing:
Farewell, my most loved lord: ah, me! farewell!
Yet ere I die grant this request. Spare
Roxana’s lifeTwas love of you that caused
The death she gave me. And oh! sometimes think,
Amidst your revels, think on your poor queen :
And ere the cheerful bowl salutes your lips,
Enrich it with a tear, and I am happy, [Dies
Aler. Yet, ere thou tak'st thy flight-she's gone!

she's gone!
All, all is hushed, no music now is heard;
The roses wither, and the fragrant breath
That waked their sweets, shall never wake them

more !
Rox. Weep not, my lord! no sorrow can recall

her.
Oh turn your eyes, and in Roxana's arms,
You'll find fond love and everlasting truth.
Aler. Hence from my sight, and thank my dear

Statira
That yet thou art alive.

Ror. Yes, thus I'll fasten on your sacred robe,
Thus on my knees for ever cling around thee, :
Till you forgive me, or till death divide us.
Alex. Hence, fury, hence ; there's not a glance

of thine But like a basilisk comes winged with death, Rox. Oh speak not thus to one who kneels for

mercy! Think for whose sake it was I madly plunged In a crime abhorrent to my nature.

Alex. Oh, murderess, off! for ever shun my sight, My eyes detest thee, for thy soul is ruin.

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Roč. Barbarian! yes, I will for ever shun thee. Repeated injuries have steeled my heart, And I could curse myself for being kind: If there is any majesty above, That has revenge in store for perjured love, Send, Heaven, the swiftest ruin on his head; Strike the destroyer! lay the victor dead ! But what are curses ? curses will not kill, Nor ease the tortures I am doomed to feel! Alex. Oh, my fair star, I shall be shortly with

thee! What means this deadly dew upon my

forehead? My heart too heavesCas. The poison works.

Enter EUMENES.
Eum. Pardon, dread sir, a fatal messenger :
The royal Sysigambis is no more.
Struck with the horror of Statira's fate,
She soon expired, and with her latest breath
Left Parisatis to Lysimachus.
But, what I fear most deeply will affect you,
Your loved Hephestion's

Alex. Dead ! then he is blest!
But here, here lies my

fate. Hephestion ! Clytus! My victories all for ever folded up In this dear body. Here my banners lost, My standard's triumphs gone. Oh, when—Oh,

when Shall I be mad indeed !

[Exeunt all but CASSANDER and THESSALUS. Cass. He's gone but whither? Follow, Thessalus, Attend his steps, and let me know what passes.

[Exeunt THESSALUS and CASSANDER, separately.

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