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Enter ABSALoN, with two or three.

ABs. Set up your mules, and give them well to eat,

And let us meet our brothers at the feast;
Accursed is the master of this feast,
Dishonour of the house of Israel,
His sister's slander, and his mother's shame.
Shame be his share that could such ill contrive,
To ravish Thamar, and, without a pause,
To drive her shamefully from out his house:
But, may his wickedness find just reward
Therefore doth Absalon conspire with you,
That Ammon die what time he sits to eat;
For in the holy temple have I sworn
Wreak of his villainy in Thamar's rape.
And here he comes; bespeak him gently, all,
Whose death is deeply graved in my heart.

Enter AMMON, with ADoNIA and Jon ADAB, to ABSALON and his company.

AM. Our shearers are not far from hence, I wot; And Ammon to you all his brethren Giveth such welcome as our fathers erst Were wont in Judah and Jerusalem:But, specially, lord Absalon, to thee, The honour of thy house and progeny; Sit down and dine with me, king David's son, Thou fair young man, whose hairs shine in mine eye, Like golden wires of David's ivory lute.

ABs. Ammon, where be thy shearers, and thy men,

That we may pour in plenty of thy wines,”
And eat thy goats' milk, and rejoice with thee?
AM. Here cometh Ammon's shearers, and his
men ; -
Absalon, sit and rejoice with me.
[Here enter a company of shepherds, and
dance and sing.
AM. Drink, Absalon, in praise of Israel;
Welcome to Ammon's fields from David's court.
ABs. Die with thy draught; perish, and die ac-
curs'd ;
Dishonour to the honour of us all;
Die for the villainy to Thamar done,
Unworthy thou to be king David's son. [Exit Abs.
Jon AD. O, what hath Absalon for Thamar done,
Murder'd his brother, great king David's son
AD. Run, Jonadab, away, and make it known,
What cruelty this Absalon hath shown.
Ammon, thy brother Adonia shall
Bury thy body among the dead men's bones;
And we will make complaint to Israel
Of Ammon's death, and pride of Absalon.

[Exeunt omnes.

Enter DAVID with JoAB, ABIs A1, CUSAY, with drum and ensign against RABBAH.

DAv. This is the town of the uncircumcis'd,
The city of the kingdom, this is it,
Rabbah, where wicked Hanon sitteth king:

* wines] Old copy “vines.”

Despoil this king, this Hanon of his crown;
Unpeople Rabbah, and the streets thereof;
For in their blood, and slaughter of the slain,
Lieth the honour of king David's line.
Joab, Abisai, and the rest of you,
Fight ye this day for great Jerusalem.
JoAB. And see, where Hanon shows him on the
walls;
Why then do we forbear to give assault,
That Israel may, as it is promised,
Subdue the daughters of the Gentiles' tribes;
All this must be perform'd by David's hand.
DAv. Hark to me, Hanon, and remember well:
As sure as he doth live that kept my host,
What time our young men by the pool of Gibeon,
Went forth against the strength of Isboseth,
And twelve to twelve did with their weapons play,
So sure art thou, and thy men of war,
To feel the sword of Israel this day:
Because thou hast defied Jacob's God,
And suffer'd Rabbah with the Philistine,
To rail upon the tribe of Benjamin.
HA. Hark, man: as sure as Saul thy master fell,
And gor'd his sides upon the mountain tops,
And Jonathan, Abinadab, and Melchisua,
Water'd the dales and deeps of Ascalon
With bloody streams, that from Gilboa ran
In channels through the wilderness of Ziph,
What time the sword of the uncircumcis'd
Was drunken with the blood of Israel;

So sure shall David perish with his men,
Under the walls of Rabbah, Hanon's town.
JoAB. Hanon, the God of Israel hath said,
David the king shall wear that crown of thine,
That weighs a talent of the finest gold,
And triumph in the spoil of Hanon's town,
When Israel shall hale thy people hence,
And turn them to the tile-kiln, man and child,
And put them under harrows made of iron,
And hew their bones with axes, and their limbs
With iron swords divide and tear in twain.
Hanon, this shall be done to thee and thine,
Because thou hast defied Israel.
To arms, to arms, that Rabbah feel revenge,
And Hanon's town become king David's spoil.
[Alarum, excursions, assault, eaceunt omnes.

Then the trumpets, and DAv1D with HANoN's crow?.

DAv. Now clattering arms, and wrathful storms of war,

Have thunder'd over Rabbah's razed towers;
The wreakful ire of great Jehovah's arm,
That for his people made the gates to rend,
And cloth'd the Cherubins in fiery coats,
To fight against the wicked Hanon's town.
Pay thanks, ye men of Judah, to the king,
The God of Sion and Jerusalem,
That hath exalted Israel to this,
And crowned David with this diadem.

JoAB. Beauteous and bright is he among the tribes;

As when the sun attir'd in glistering robe,”
Comes dancing from his oriental gate,
And bridegroom-like hurls through the gloomy air
His radiant beams, such doth king David show,
Crown'd with the honour of his enemies' town,
Shining in riches like the firmament,
The starry vault that overhangs the earth:
So looketh David king of Israel.

ABIs. Joab, why doth not David mount his throne
Whom heaven hath beautified with Hanon's crown 2
Sound trumpets, shalms, and instruments of praise
To Jacob's God for David's victory.
------ 2 - 1
Éater Josapan. "

Jon AD. Why doth the king of Israel rejoice 2
Why sitteth David crown'd with Rabbah's rule 7
Behold, there hath great heaviness befallen
In Ammon's fields by Absalon's misdeed!
And Ammon's shearers, and their feast of mirth
Absalon hath overturned with his sword;

* As when the sun, &c.] Hawkins, who (Preface to the Origin of the Eng. Drama, vol. i. p. 11.) justly praises this simile, had forgotten the following lines of Spenser:— “At last, the golden orientall gate Of greatest heaven gan to open fayre; And Phoebus, fresh as brydegrome to his mate, Came dauncing forth, shaking his deawie hayre; And hurld his glistring beams through gloomy ayre.” F. Q. B. l. c. 5. st. 2.

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