« ZurückWeiter »
That jealousy, though just, is still a crime; Love was her errand, but the hot-brain'd Spaniard, And will be still; for (not to blame the plot) Instead of love-produc'd-a filthy poignard That same Alonzo was a stupid sot,
Had he been wise, at this their private meeting, To kill a bride, a mistress unenjoyed
The proof o'th' pudding had been in the eating; 'Twere some excuse, had the poor man been Madam had then been pleas'd, and Don concloy'd :
tented, To kill her on icion, ere he knew
And all this blood and murder been prevented. Whether the heinous crime were false or true- Britons, be wise, and from this sad example, The priest said grace, she met him in the bower, Ne'er break a bargain, but first take a sample. In hopes she might anticipate an hour
WRITTEN BY MR. DODSLEY.
THE tragic muse, revolving many a page And pity throbs in every feeling breast;
Cur. I've partly heard
Her smothered story.
Post. Smothered by the king;
And wisely too: but thou shalt hear it all. Cur. There's something of magnificence about Not seas of adamant, not mountains whelmed us,
On guilty secrets, can exclude the day. I have not seen at Rome. But you can tell me. Long burnt a fixed hereditary hate
[Gazes round. Between the crowns of Macedon and Thrace ; Post. True: hither sent on former embassies, The sword by both too much indulged in blood. I know this splendid court of Macedon, Philip, at length, prevailed; he took, by night, And haughty Philip, well.
The town and palace of his deadly foe; Cur. His pride presumes
Rushed through the flames, which he had kindled To treat us here like subjects more than Romans,
round, More than ambassadors, who in our bosoms And slew him, bold in vain; nor rested there, Bear peace and war, and throw him which we But, with unkingly cruelty, destroyed please,
Two little sons within their mother's arms; As Jove his storm, or sunshine, on his creatures. Thus meaning to tread out those sparks of war, Post. This Philip only, since Rome's glory Which might one day flame up to strong revenge. rose,
The queen, through grief, on her dead sons exPreserves its grandeur to the name of king;
pired. Like a bold star, that shews its fires by day. One child alone survived; a female infant, The Greek, who won the world, was sent before Amidst these horrors, in the cradle smiled. him,
Cur. What of that infant? As the grey dawn before the blaze of noon: Post. Stung with sharp remorse, Philip had ne'er been conquered, but by Rome; The victor took, and gave her to his queen. And what can fame say more of mortal man? The child was bred, and honoured as her own; Cur. I know his public character.
She grew, she bloomed ; and now her eyes repay Post. It pains me
Her brothers' wounds, on Philip's rival sons. To turn my thought on his domestic state.
Cur. Is, then, Erixene that Thracian child? There Philip is no god; but pours his heart, How just the gods! from out that ruined house In ceaseless groans, o'er his contending sons ; He took a brand, to set his own on fire. And pays the secret tax of mighty men
Post. To give thee, friend, the whole in miniaTo their mortality.
ture, Cur. But whence this strife,
This is the picture of great Philip's court: Which thus afflicts him?
The proud, but melancholy king, on high Post. From this Philip's bed.
Majestic sits, like Jove enthroned in darkness; Two Alexanders spring.
His sons are as the thunder in his hand; Cur. And but one world?
And the fair Thracian princess is a star, Twill never do.
That sparkles by, and gilds the solemn scene. Post. They both are bright; but one,
[Shouts heard. Benignly bright, as stars to mariners;
'Tis their great day, supreme of all their year, And one a comet, with malignant blaze,
The famed lustration of their martial powers; Denouncing ruin.
Thence, for our audience, chosen by the king. Cur. You mean Perseus.
If he provokes a war, his empire shakes, Post. True.
And all her lofty glories nod to ruin, The younger son, Demetrius, you well know, Cur. Who comes ? Was bred at Rome, our hostage from his father. Post. O, that's the jealous elder brother; Soon after, he was sent ambassador,
Irregular in manners as in form. When Philip feared the thunder of our arins. Observe the fire, high birth and empire kindle! Rome's manners won him, and his manners Cur. He holds his conference with much emoRome;
tion. Who granted peace, declaring she forgave Post. The brothers both can talk, and, in their To his high worth the conduct of his father.
turn, This gave him all the hearts of Macedon ; Have borne away the prize of eloquence Which, joined to his high patronage from Rome, At Athens. Shun his walk : our own debate Inflames his jealous brother.
Is now at hand. We'll seek his lion sire, Cur. Glows there not
Who dares to frown on us, his conquerors; A second brand of enmity ?
And carries so much monarch on his brow,
As if he'd fright us with the wounds we gave The fair Erixene.
Post. O yes ;
Enter PERSEUS and PERICLES.
What pomps are due to this illustrious day?
Per. I am no gew-gaw for the throng to gaze Per. 'Tis empire ! empire ! empire ! let that
at : word
Some are designed by nature but for shew; Make sacred all I do, or can attempt !
The tinsel and the feather of mankind. Had I been born a slave, I should affect it;
Dem. Brother, of that no more: for shame, My nature's fiery, and, of course, aspires.
gird on Who gives an empire, by the gift defeats Your glittering arms, and look like any Roman. All end of giving; and procures contempt
Per. No, brother, let the Romans look like me, Instead of gratitude. An empire lost,
If they're ambitious. But, I prithee, stand; Destroyed, would less confound me, than resigned. Let me gaze on thee:- No inglorious figure ! Peri. But are you sure Demetrius will at- More Komuno, as it ought to be. tempt?
But what is this, that dazzles my weak sight? Per. Why does Rome court him ? For his vir- There's sunshine in thy beayer. tues? No.
Dem. 'Tis that helmet, To fire him to dominion ;' to blow up
Which Alexander wore at Granicus. A cival war; then to support him in it:
Per. When he subdued the world ? Ha! ist He gains the name of king, and Rome the power.
not so? Peri. This is, indeed, the common art of Rome. What world hast thou subdued? O yes, the fair! Per. That source of justice through the won- Think'st thou there could, in Macedon, be found dring world!
No brow might suit that golden blaze but thine! His youth and valour second Rome's designs : Dem. I wore it but to grace this sacred day: The first impels him to presumptuous hope ; Jar not for trifles. The last supports him in it. Then his person! Per. Nothing is a trifle, Thy hand, Q nature, has made bold with mine. That argues the presumption of the soul. Yet more! what words distil from his red lip, Dem. 'Tis they presume, who know not to de To gull the multitude! and they make kings. Ten thousand fools, knaves, cowards, lumped to- Per. Or who, deserving, scorn superior merit. gether,
Dem. Who combats with a brother, wounds Become all wise, all righteous, and almighty !
himself: Nor is this all : the foolish Thracian maid Wave private wrath, and rush upon the foes Prefers the boy to me!
Per. No; I would not wound
Per. The Romans!
You copy Hannibal, our great ally: The fool I feigned: my sighs are now sincere. Say, at what altar was you sworn their foe? It smarts; it burns: 0 that 'twere fiction still ! Peace-making brother! Wherefore bring you By Heaven, she seems more beauteous than do
But to prevent my glory from the field ? Peri. Dominion and the princess both are lost, The peace, you bring, was meant as war to me. Unless you gain the king. :
Dem. Perseus, be bold when danger's all your Per. But how to gain him? Old men love novelties; the last arrived War now, were war with Philip more than Rome. Still pleases best; the youngest steals their smiles. Per. Come, you love peace; that fair cheek Peri. Dymas alone can work him to his plea
hates a scar. sure ;
You, that admire the Romans, break the bridge First in esteem, and keeper of his heart. With Cocles, or with Curtius leap the gulph;
Per. To Dymas thou, and win him to thy will. And league not with the vices of our foes.
Per. With their women and their wits;
Your idol Lælius, Lælius the polite. Whate'er can stir the blood, or sway the mind, I hear, sir, you take wing, and mount in metre; Is now at stake; and double is the loss, Terence has owned your aid, your comrade Te. When an inferior bears away the prize.
Peri. Your brother, dressed for the solemnity! God-like ambition ! Terence there, the slave ! Per. To Dymas fly! gain him, and think on Dem. At Athens bred, and to the arts a foe?
Per. At Athens bred, and borrow arts from A prince indebted is a fortune made.
Rome? [Exit PERICLES. Dem. Brother, I've done: let our contention Enter DEMETRIUS.
Our mother shudders at it in her grave! Dem. How, brother! unattired? Have you for- And how has Philip mourned ? a dreadful foe, got
And awful king; but, oh! the tenderest parent,
That ever wept, in fondness, o'er a child." Conscience, what art thou? "thou tremendous Per. Why, ay, go tell your father ; fondly
Who dost inhabit us without our leave; Your arms around him; stroke him to your pur- And art, within ourselves, another self, pose,
A master self, that loves to domineer, As you are wont: I boast not so much worth; And treat the monarch frankly as the slave, I am no picture, by the doating eye
How dost thou light a torch to distant deeds! To be surveyed, and hung about his neck; Make the past present, and the future frown! I fight his battles; that's all I can do.
How, ever and anon, awake the soul, But, if you boast a piety sincere,
As with a peal of thunder, to strange horrors, One way you may secure your father's peace; In this long restless dream, which idiots hug, And one alone-resign Erixene.
Nay, wise men flatter with the name of life? Dem. You flatter me, to think her in my power. Ant. You think too much. We run our fates together: you deserve,
King. I do not think at all : And she can judge: proceed we, then, like friends; The gods impose, the gods inflict, my thoughts, And he, who gains her heart, and gains it fairly, And paint my dreams with images of dread! Let him enjoy his generous rival's too.
Last night, in sleep, I saw the Thracian queen Per. Smooth-speaking, insincere, insulting boy! | And her two murdered sons. She frowned upon Is, then, my crown usurped but half thy crime?
me, Desist; or by the gods, that smile on blood, And pointed at their wounds! How throbbed my Not thy fine form, nor yet thy boasted peace,
heart! Nor patronizing Rome, nor Philip's tears, How shook my couch ! and when the morning Nor Alexander's helmet; no, nor more,
came, His radiant form, should it alight in thunder, The formidable picture still subsisted, And spread its new divinity between us, And slowly vanished from my waking eye! Should save a brother from a brother's fury ! I fear some heavy vengeance hangs in air,
(Exit. And conscious deities infuse these thoughts, Dem. How's this? the waves ne'er ran thus To warn my soul of her approaching doom. high before;
The gods are rigid, when they weigh such deeds Resign thee! yes, Erixene, with life!
As speak a ruthless heart; they measure blood Thou, in whose eyes, so modest, and so bright, By drops, and bate not one in the repay. Love ever wakes, and keeps a vestal fire ; Could infants hurt me? 'Twas not like a king! Ne'er shall I wean my fond, fond heart from Ant. My lord, I do confess the gods are with us ; thee!
Stand at our side in every act of life, But Perseus warns me to rouse all my powers. And on our pillow watch each secret thought ; As yet I float in dark uncertainty;
Nay, see it in its embryo, yet unborn. For though she smiles, I sound not her designs: But their wrath ceases on remorse for guilt: I'll fly, fall, tremble, weep upon her feet, And well I know your sorrows touch your sons; And learn (O all ye gods !) my final doom!
- Nor is it possible but time must quench My father! ha! and on his brow deep thought Their flaming spirits in a father's tears. And pale concern! Kind Heaven assuage his sor- King. Vain comfort! I this moment overheard rows,
My jarring sons, with fury, shake my walls. Which strike a damp through all my flames of Ah! why my curse from those, who ought to bless love!
The queen of Thrace can answer that sad ques. Enter King and ANTIGONUS.
tion. King. Kings of their envycheat a foolish world : She had two sons; but two: and so have I. Fate gives us all in spite, that we alone
Misfortune stands with her bow ever bent Might have the pain of knowing all is nothing ! Over the world ; and he, who wounds another, The seeming means of bliss but heighten woe, Directs the goddess, by that part he wounds, When impotent to make their promise good: Where to strike deep her arrows in himself. Hence, kings, at least, bid fairest to be wretched. Ant. I own, I think it time your sons receive
Ant. True, sir; 'tis empty, or tormenting, all ; A father's awful counsel; or, while here, The days of life are sisters; all alike,
Now weary nature calls for kind repose, None just the same; which serves to fool us on Your curtains will be shaken with their broils : Through blasted hopes with change of fallacy : And, when you die, sons' blood may stain your While joy is like to-morrow, still to come;
tomb ! Nor ends the fruitless chase but in the grave! But other cares demand you now,—the Romans. King. Ay, there, Antigonus, this pain will king. O change of pain! the Romans? Perisk cease,
Rome! Which meets me at my banquet, haunts my pil- Thrice happy they, who sleep in humble life, low,
Beneath the storm ambition blows. 'Tis meet Nor by the din of arms is frighted from me. The great should have the fame of happiness,