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Made reason glitter in my
lives. Lys. When men shall hear how highly you were urged
Alex. No; you have let me stain my rising glory,
heart's blood can never wash away :
Heph. Oh, sacred sir! it shall not-must not be.
Lys. Forgive, dread sir !—forgive my pious hands, That dare in duty to disarm my master.
Alex. Yes, cruel men! ye now can show your strength : Here's not a slave but dares oppose my justice, Yet none had courage to prevent this murder : But I will render all endeavours vain That tend to save my life—here will I lie, [Falls on Clytus. Close to my murdered soldier's bleeding side; Thus clasping his cold body in my arms, 'Till death, like his, has closed my eyes forever.
Roxana, the first Queen of ALEXANDER, jealous of STATIRA, a Persian
Princess, beloved by ALEXANDER, joins a Conspiracy against the King, and determines to sacrifice her Rival to her jealousy and vengeance.
The Bower of Semiramis. -STATIRA discovered. Stat. Bless me, ye Powers above, and guard my virtue ! Where are you fled, dear shades ? where are you fled ! 'Twas but a dream, and yet I saw and heard My royal parents, who, while pious care Sat on my faded cheeks, pronounced with tears,
Tears such as angels weep, this hour my last,
fears are fled : My life, my joy, my Alexander, comes ! Rox. [Within.] Make fast the gate with all its massy
bars : At length we've conquered this stupendous height, And reached the grove.
Stat. Ye guardian gods, defend me! Roxana's voice! then all the vision's true, And die I must.
Rox. Secure the brazen gate. Where is my rival? 'tis Roxana calls.
Stat. And what is she who with such towering pride
Rox. Behold this dagger !—'tis thy fate, Statira !
Stat. Now little know'st thou what Statira dares !
Rox. Return, fair insolent ! return, I say :
Dar'st thou, presumptuous, to invade my rights !
Stat. Alas, Roxana ! 'tis not in my power ;
Rox. Oh, sorceress ! to thy accursèd charms
Stat. Yet think, Roxana, ere you plunge in murder,
Rox. Add still, if possible, superior horrors.
[Holds up the dagger
. Stat. Hold, hold thy hand advanced in air : I read my sentence written in thine eyes; Yet oh, Roxana ! on thy black revenge One kindly ray of female pity beam; And give me death in Alexander's presence. Rox. Not for the world's wide empire shouldst thou see
Fool ! but for him thou mightst unheeded live;
Stat. Is Alexander, oh ye gods! so nigh,
justice. Die, sorceress, die, and all my wrongs die with thee !
JAFFIER, - young Nobleman of Venice, of reduced Fortune, marries
BELVIDERA, Daughter of Priuli, a Senator of Venice, contrary to the wishes of her Father, who disinherits her. JAFFIER, in his destitution, solicits assistance from Priuli, and is repelled with scorn and contumely by the enraged Father. While smarting with the sense of his degradation, JAFFIER is met by his Friend Pierre, who has headed a Conspiracy to overturn the Government of Venice.
Those pageants of thy folly:
[Exit. Faf. Yes, if
heart would let me-
Pier. My friend, good-morrow ! How fares the honest partner of
heart? What, melancholy! not a word to spare me? Faf. I'm thinking, Pierre, how that damned starving
quality, Called honesty, got footing in the world.
Pier. Why, powerful villany first set it up, For its own ease and safety. Honest men Are the soft, easy cushions on which knaves Repose and fatten. Were all mankind villains, They'd starve each other ; lawyers would want practice, Cut-throats rewards : each man would kill his brother Himself; none would be paid or hanged for murde“: Honesty! 'twas a cheat invented first To bind the hands of bold, deserving rogues,