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Of mother, queen, or friend. But what's the loss Are thoughts there visible, like children's toys
I held with Anthony, should to the sword Her. My fate would force from rigour's finty Sentence my head, that her's should likewise fall; eye
Lest the proud successor, who seiz'd my throne, Tiven tears of blood !
(He weeps. Should triumph in my bed?-No! that resolve Fla. 0, sir ! reflert, if thus
A carnal fiend imparted; and she paid The bare recital wounds your fancy now,
His service with her honour!A yet more dreadful pain may pierce your heart. Arsi. Royal sir, Love may once more revive, vain hopeless love! Her honour is unblemished; all the blame When the dear object of your longing soul Transfer to my officious zeal! I told Lies mouldering in the dust. If so, the wretch That fatal secret. Who, buried in a trance, returns to life,
Her. How !-Did Sohemus And walks distracted o'er the rattling bones Impart that most important charge to you? Of his dead fathers, in the dreary vault
Arsi. To me his vows of love were then adLess horror feels, than sad remorse will raise
dress'd; Within your breast !
Which when disdain'd, with more persuasive force Her. "O Mariamne lost !
To recommend his passion, he reveald To love for ever lost! to love and me! The dreadful mandate left in trust : and swore I've liv'd love's slave too long: but jealousy, That if you perished by the sword of Rome, That yellow fiend, hath dipt the torch in gall, My love alone was ransom for the life And now 'twill light no more!
of my dear royal mistress. Fla. If the queen's false,
Her. Fly! 0 Ay! My wife hath been officious to her crimes, Swift as the cherub to preserve his charge, And shares in the pollution : let her plea Reverse the doom of death.
[Erit Arsi. Be heard; and if she fails in her defence, I'll slay her at your feet.
To them PHERORAS enters.
Her. [To PHER.) Is Sohemus
Secur'd for torture?
Pher. Sir, he took the alarm,
And fled for safety to the royal tower;
The portal forc'd, the soldiers found him fallen May sooth your anguish, when the fluttering soul On his self-slaughtering sword, stretch'd on the Prepares to wing her last eternal flight;
ground Assist my quiet, and resolve my doubts ! Weltering in blood; he speechless there expir'd. Was Sohemus admitted to the queen,
Her. Too far confiding in that traitor's skill Whilst I was gone to Rhodes?
In arts of rule, he so misused my power, Arsi. Never, my lord.
That distant story may record my reign Her. Never?
From year to year, by many a cruel deed;
By marks of desolation.
Enter MARIAMNE, supported by the High-Priesť Criminal correspondence : they might write, And doubtless did.
and NARBAL; Arsinoe follows with the Arsi. That commerce could not ’scape My notice, who, by constant duty bound,
Her. Heavens avert Waited so near the queen.
The bodings of my soul! I fear the queenHer. What if she saw ?
High-Pr. Oh, sir !
High-Pr. A few moments more
Will rank her with the dead! Of majesty, nor brandished thunder, awes
Arsi. Ere I arrived A Roman spirit, (şuch I hope she bears) The deadly draught was given, which soon will To make it start from the plain tracks of truth,
end And deviate into falsehood.
The sense of all her woes. Her. Can the queen
Her. And all my joys! Pierce to the close recesses of the soul;
O call, call our physicians ! now let art
Esert her saving power, or ever prove
Nar. My gracious lord! The minister of death!
High-Pr. Good heaven, restore to wretched Mar. The venom's spread
Palestine Too far for art.
Her sole support and grace! Her. O! wish to live, and heaven
Her. What minister [Raising himself Will crown thy wish with life : heaven will be just of this dark realm art thou !-If 'tis thy post To that bright innocence, which I have wrong’d! To guide the dead through this disastrous gloom, Wrong’d with excess of love to fury wrought! Lead to that mournful mansion, where the ghosts O wretch, wretch, wretch !
Of those abide, whom fatal beauty sent Mar. Death's welcome, now I hear
Untimely to the shades.--See! see! she soars :-My innocence avow'd.
How bright a track she leaves along the sky; Her. I, I, whose life
And looks with pity down. Oh see! she rests Was bound with thine, by striving to secure On the soft fleece of yonder purple cloud, Thy beauties all my own, have killed the dove Where angels fan her with their golden plumes : I fondly grasp'd too close. O see! she's pale: Stay, Mariamne, stay ! Take, take, ye powers, my life to lengthen hers !
(He sinks into their arms, Chain me, ye furies, to your burning wheel! Pher. O! from his face Whipmeten thousand years with scorpions there, The blush of life retires. To save her life!
Nar. His bosom heaves Mar. I pity and forgive
With strong convulsive throes. Your violence of passion, which hath wrought Fla. Raise him, my lords. The ruin of us both.
Her. Alas ! forbear; ye but prolong the pains Her. I ill deserve
Of labouring nature; let me sink to peace Thy pardon or thy pity.--Yet vouchsafe, And may oblivion cast her sable veil Thou fairest pattern of transcendant goodness! O'er my sad story, and conceal the crimes Vouchsafe thy wretched lord a last embrace, Of majesty misled. My urn, alas ! Whose soul is ready wing’d to wait on thine: Can hope for no compassion : when the doom OhY-bless the dying penitent with peace, Of my dear, lovely, virtuous, queen is told, The moments which remain!
The tears will freeze on pity's gentle cheek, Mar. Good heaven insure [They embrace. And not bedew
ashes! -To your care Eternal peace to both!
(To FLA. Her. Thou shalt not die
Receive this royal orphan, and implore Thou art too young, too faultless, and too fair, Cæsar's protection to preserve his crown; To fall a prey to death!
And when, mature in manhood, he receives Mar. The thick’ning shades
A consort to his throne, may every grace O’erspread my swimming eyes.—Where is my And
every virtue join, to make her styl’d child?
The Mariamne of the admiring age! Bring him, poor babe, to take a parting kiss! May sweet compliance, honour, dear esteem, Farewell !- I'm now at peace. [She dies. And mutual faith, cement their mutual joys ! High-Pr. In that soft sigh
But ever may he shun too fond excess, The gentle spirit soar'd.
That soft seducing impotence of mind, Arsi. Oh! dead, dead, dead !
By which subdued, his wretched father fell! Her. Then, death, strike on! [He faints. Led by imperious love a tortured slave, Fate, thou hast done thy worst.
To the sad refuge of an early grave. [He dies, Pher. My royal brother! Oh!
SPOKEN IN THE CHARACTER OF MARIAMNE.
TRE poet, in a whim extremely new,
And yet, 'tis vain to reason, or to rail,
My Hebrew spark had acted as he ought ; The gods vouchsaf'd to send him quick to lieaven: With a keen appetite enjoy'd the feast,
And in no Spartan novel can I find, And, decently suffic'd, withdrawn to rest : The good man griev'd to leave his spouse behind. But, glutton-like, to grudge the world his leaving, In such gay lights when wedded life is shown, Was wond'rous unpolite, to my conceiving ! What couple would not wish the case their own? Homer, who human nature nicely knew, But, gallants, if you Herod's rule approve, (Ye critics, I read Greek,- -as well as you) To give no quarter in the lists of love; În colours of a softer kind display'd
If jealous rage, or fond fantastic dreams, The husband civil to the wife who stray’d. Exalt your passion to such dire extremes ;
Though Helen had elop’d, her gentle lord Let each bright Mariamne chuse her man; Renew'd her forfeit claim to bed and board: Then, kill us all- -with kindness, if ye cau. For which dear foible of the fair forgiven,
Tue Tragic Muse, sublime, delights to show
The absent pomp with brighter gems supply. Princes distress'd, and scenes of royal woe; Forgive us, then, if we attempt to shew, In awful pomp, majestic, to relate
In artless strains, a tale of private woe. The fall of nations, or some hero's fate; A London 'prentice ruin'd is our theme, That scepter'd chiefs may, by example, know Drawn from the fam'dold song that bears his name. The strange vicissitudes of life below;,
We hope your taste is not so light to scorn What dangers on security attend,
A moral tale esteem'd ere you were born; How pride and cruelty in ruin end;
Which, for a century of rolling years, Hence providence supreme to know, and own Has fili'd a thousand thousand eyes with tears. Humanity adds glory to a throne.
If thoughtless youth, to warn and shame the age In every former age, and foreign tongue, From vice destructive, well becomes the stage; With native grandeur thus the goddess sung. If this example innocence insure, Upon our stage, indeed, with wish'd success, Prevent our guilt, or by reflection cure; You've sometimes seen her in an humbler dress ; If Millwood's dreadful crimes, and sad despair, Great only in distress, when she complains, Commend the virtue of the good and fair ; In Southern's, Rowe's, or Otway's moving strains, Though art be wanting, and our numbers fail, The brilliant drops that fall from each bright eye, Indulge the attempt, in justice to the tale.
SCENE,-London, and an adjacent Village,
saved ! Excellent queen! O how unlike those SCENE 1.-A Room in THOROWGOOD's House. princes, who make the danger of foreign enemies
a pretence to oppress their subjects by taxes Enter THOROWGOOD and TRUEMAN.
great, and grievous to be borne! True. Sir, the packet from Genoa is arrived. Thor. Not so our gracious queen; whose richest
[Gives letters. exchequer is her people's love, as their happiness Thor. Heaven be praised! The storm that her greatest glory. threatened our royal mistress, pure religion, li- True. On these terms to defend us, is to make berty, and laws, is, for a time, diverted. The our protection a benefit worthy her who confers haughty and revengeful Spaniard, disappointed of it, and well worth our acceptance. Sir, have you the loan on which he depended from Genoa, any commands for me at this time? must now attend the slow returns of wealth from Thor. Only look carefully over the files, to his new world, to supply his empty coffers, ere he see whether there are any tradesmen's bills uncan execute his proposed invasion of our happy paid; if there are, send and discharge them. We island. By this means, time is gained to make must not let artificers lose their time, so useful such preparations, on our part, as may, Heaven to the public and their families, in unnecessary concurring, prevent his malice, or turn the medi- attendance.
[Exit TRUEMAN. tated mischief on himself.
Enter MARIA. True. He must be insensible indeed, who is not affected when the safety of his country is con- Well, Maria, have you given orders for the encerned. Sir, may I know by what means ? tertainment? I would have it in some measure If I am not too bold
worthy the guests. Let there be plenty, and of Thor. Your curiosity is laudable; and I gratify the best, that the courtiers may at least commend it with the greater pleasure, because from thence our hospitality you may learn, how honest merchants, as such, Mar. Sir, I have endeavoured not to wrong may sometimes contribute to the safety of their your well-known generosity by an ill-timed parsicountry, as they do at all times to its happiness ; mony. that if hereafter you should be tempted to any Thor. Nay, it was a needless caution : I have action that has the appearance of vice or mean- no cause to doubt your prudence. ness in it, upon reflecting on the dignity of our Mar. Sir, I find myself unfit for conversation; profession, you may, with honest scorn, reject I should but increase the number of the company, whatever is unworthy of it.
without adding to their satisfaction. True. Should Barnwell, or I, who have the be- Thor. Nay, my child, this melancholy mast not nefit of your example, by our ill conduct, bring be indulged. any imputation on that honourable name, we Mar. Company will but increase it: I wish must be left without excuse.
you would dispense with my absence. Solitude Thor. You compliment, young man. (True- best suits my present temper. MAN bows respectfully.) Nay, I am not offended. Thor. You are not insensible, that it is chiefly As the name of merchant never degrades the on your account these noble lords do me the ho. gentleman, so, by no means does it exclude him; nour so frequently to grace my board. Should only take heed not to purchase the character of you be absent, the disappointment may make complaisant at the expence of your sincerity.— them repent of their condescension, and think But, to answer your question : The bank of Ge- their labour lost. noa had agreed, at an excessive interest, and on Mar. He, that shall think his time or honour good security, to advance the king of Spain a sum lost in visiting you, can set no real value on your of money sufficient to equip his vast Armada ; of daughter's company, whose only merit is, that she which our peerless Elizabeth (more than in name is yours. The man of quality, who chooses to the mother of her people) being well informed, converse with a gentleman and merchant of your sent Walsingham, her wise and faithful secretary, worth and character, may confer honour by so to consult the merchants of this loyal city; who doing, but he loses none. all agreed to direct their several agents to influ- Thor. Come, come, Maria, I need not tell you, ence, if possible, the Genoese to break their con- that a young gentleman may prefer your convertract with the Spanish court. It is done: thc sation to minc, and yet intend me no disrespect state and bankof Genoa having maturely weighed, at all; for though he may lose no honour in my and rightly judged of their true interest, prefer company, it is very natural for him to expect the friendship of the merchants of London to more pleasure in yours. I remember the time that of the monarch, who proudly styles himself when the company of the greatest and wisest king of both Indies.
men in the kingdom would have been insipid and True. Happy success of prudent counsels! tiresome to ine, if it had deprived me of an opWhat an expence of blood and treasure is here 'portunity of enjoying your mother's.