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When our hot master, whose impatient soul
Outrides the sun, and sighs for other worlds
To spread his conquests and diffuse his glory,
Now bids the trumpet for a while be silent,
And plays with monarchs whom he us'd to drive;
Shall we by broils awake him into rage,
And rouse the lion that hath ceased to roar?
Lys. Clytus, thou ’rt right-put up thy sword, He. .
Had passion not eclips'd the light of reason
Untold we might
have seen. Heph. Why has not reason power to conquer love : Why are we thus enslav'd?
Clyt. Because unmann'd,
Because ye follow Alexander's steps.
Heav'ns! that a face should thus bewitch his soul
And ruin all that's great and godlike in it!
Talk be my bane-yet the old man must talk.
Not so he lov'd when he at Issus fought
And join'd in mighty combat with Darius,
Whom from his chariot, Aaming all with gems,
He hurl'd to earth and catch'd th' imperial crown.
'Twas not the shaft of love perform’d that feat ;
He knew no Cupids then. Now mark the change ;
A brace of rival queens embroil the court,
And while each hand is thus employ'd in beauty
Where has he room for glory?
Heph. In his heart.
Clyt. Well said young Minion 1-I indeed forgot To whom I spoke-But Sysigambis comes:
Now is your time, for with her comes an idol
That claims homage.-I'll attend the king. [Exit.
Enter SYSIGAMBIS with a Letter, and PARISATIS.
Sys. Why will ye wound me with your fond com.
And urge a suit that I can never grant?
You know my child, 't is Alexander's will;
Here he demands you for his lov'd Hephestion ;
To disobey him might inflame his wrath,
And plunge our house in ruins yet unknown.
Par. To sooth this god and charm him into temper
Is there no victim, none but Parisatis ?
Must I be doom'd to wretchedness and woe
That others may enjoy the conq’ror's smiles ?
Oh! if you ever lov'd my royal father-
And sure you did, your gushing tears proclaim i
If still his name be dear, have pity on me!
He would not thus have forc'd me to despair ;
Indeed he would not-Had I begg'd him thus
He would have heard me ere my heart was broke.
Sys. When will my suff'rings end? oh when, ye
gods ! For sixty rolling years my soul has stood The dread vicissitudes of fate unmov'd ; I thought 'em your decrees, and therefore yielded : But this last trial, as it springs from folly, Exceeds my suff'rance, and I must complain.
Lys. When Sysigambis mourns, no common woe Can be the cause-t is misery indeed. Yet pardon, mighty queen! a wretched prince
Who thus presumes to plead the cause of love,
Beyond my life, beyond the world, [Kneeling. ] 1 prize
Fair Parisatis.---Hear me, I conjure you!
have authoriz'd Hephestion's vows
Reject not mine-grant me but equal leave
To serve the princess, and let love decide.
Heph. A blessing like the beauteous Parisatis
Whole years of service, and the world's wide empire,
With all the blood that circles in our veins,
Can never merit, therefore in my favour
I begg'd the king to interpose his intrest,
Therefore I begg'd your majesty's assistance ;
Your word is past, and all my hopes rest on it.
Lys. [Rising.) Perish such hopes! for love's a
Which seeks the happiness of her we love
Beyond th' enjoyment of our own desires ;
Nor kings nor parents here have ought to do:
Love owns no influence, and disdains controul ;
Let 'em stand neuter-'t is all I ask.
Heph. Such arrogance did Alexander woo,
Would lose him all the conquests he has won.
Lys. To talk of conquests well becomes the man
Whose life and sword are but his rival's gift !
Sys. It grieves me, brave Lysimachus, to find
My power fall short of my desires to serve you :
You know Hephestion first declar'd his love,
And 't is as true I promis'd him my aid ;
Your glorious king, his mighty advocate,
Became himself an humble suppliant for him.
Forget her prince, and triumph o'er your passion, A conquest worthy of a soul like thine.
Lys. Forget her, madam! sooner shall the sun Forget to shine and tumble from his sphere. Alas! the stream that circles thro' my heart Is less than love essential to my being ! Farewell, great queen--my honour now demands That Alexander should himself explain That wondrous merit which exalts his fav’rite, And casts Lysimachus at such a distance. [Exit.
Sys. In this wild transport of ungovern'd passion Too far I fear he will incense the king. Is Alexander yet, my lord, arriv'd?
Heph. Madam, I know not; but Cassander comes; He may perhaps inform us.
Sys. I would shun him: Something there is, I know not why, that shocks me, Something my nature shrinks at when I see him.
[Exeunt. Enter CASSANDER.
Cas. The face of day now blushes scarlet deep,
Now blackens into night; the low'ring sun,
As if the dreadful bus’ness he foreknew,
Drives heavily his sable chariot on:
How fierce it lightens! how it thunders round me!
All nature seems alarm'd for Alexander.
Why, be it so: her pangs proclaim my triumph.
My soul's first wishes are to startle fate
And strike amazement thro' the host of heaven.
A mad Chaldean with a flaming torch,
Came to my bed last night, and bellowing o'er me, « Well had it been,' he cry'd, . for Babylon If curst Cassander never had been born.'
Enter THESSALUS with a Packet.
How now } dear Thessalus | what packet 's that?
Thes. From Macedon; a trusty slave just brought it.
Your father chides us for our cold delay;
He says Craterus, by the king's appointment,
Comes in his room to govern Macedon,
Which nothing but the tyrant's death can hinder;
Therefore he bids us boldiy strike,
Or quit our purpose and confess our fears.
Cas. Is not his fate resolv'd ? this night he dies, And thus my father but forestals my purpose. How am I slow then? If I rode on thunder, Wing'd as the lightning, it would ask some moments Ere I could blast the growth of this Colossus.
Thes. Mark where the haughty Polyperchon comes! Some new affront by Alexander giv'n Swells in his heart, and stings him into madness.
Cas. Now, now 's our time ; he must, he shall, be
His haughty soul will kindle at his wrongs,
Blaze into rage, and glory in revenge.
Poly. Still as I pass fresh murmurs fill my ears ;
All talk of wrongs, and mutter their complaints.
Poor soulless reptiles!-their revenge expires
In idle threats--the fortitude of cowards!