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To-day with Theodosius leave the world. SCENE 1.-4 stately Temple, which represents Leont. Methinks at such a 'glorious resignathe Christian religion, as in its first magnifi
tion, cence, veing, but lately established at Rome and The angelic orders should at once descend, Constantinople. The side scenes shew the hor- In all the paint and drapery of heaven, rid tortures, with which the Roman tyrants With charming voices, and with lulling strings, persecuted the church ; and the flat scene, To give full grace to such triumphant zeal. which is the limit of the prospect, discovers an Attic. No, Leontine; I fear there is a fault; altar richly adorned, before which Constantine For when I last confessed the emperor, is seen kneeling, with communder's about him, Whether disgust and melancholy blood, gazing at a bloody cross in the air, which, being From restless passions, urg'd not this divorce?. encompassed with many angels, offers itself to He only answered me with sighs and blushes. view, with those words distinctly written, In 'Tis sure, his soul is of the tenderest make, hoc signo vinces ! instruments are heard, and Therefore I'll tax him strictly: but, my friend, many attendants. The ministers, at divine ser=' Why should I give his character to you, vice, walk busily up and down, till ATTICUS, Who, when his father sent him into Persia, the chief of all the priests, and successor of St Were by that mighty monarch then appointed Chrysostom, in rich robes, comes forward with To breed him with his son, the prince Varanes. the philosopher LEONTINE; the waiters in Leont. And what will raise your'admiration is, ranks, bowing all the way before him. That two such different tempers should agree:
You know that Theodosius is compos'd
Of all the softness that should make a woman;
Judgment almost like fear fore-runs his actions,
And he will poise an injury so long,
But the young Persian prince quite opposite,
So fiery fierce, that those who view him nearly
May see his haughty soul still mounting in his Attic. O Leontine! was ever morn like this,
Till I at last had formed a perfect union,
Leont. Great successor of holy Chrysostom, A friendship that may challenge all the world,
Comes from his father's court to see our emperor, Since my.conversion, which your breath inspir'd ? Leont. So he intended till he came to Athens, Aitic. To see, this day, the emperor of the And 'at my homely board beheld my daughter ; east
Where, as fate ordered, she,
who never saw, Leave all the pleasures that the earth can yield, The glories of a court, bred up to books That nature can bestow, or art invent, In closets like a Sybil,—she, I say, In his life's spring, and bloom of gaudy years, Long since from Persia brought by me to Athens, To undergo the penance of a cloyster, Unskill'd in charms, but those which nature gave, Confined to narrow rooms, and gloomy walks,
her, Fastings, and exercises of devotion,
Wounded this scornful prince. In short, he. Which from his bed at midnight must awake
forced me him,
To wait him thither, with deep protestations, Methinks, O Leontine! is something more, That moment that bereft him of the sight Than yet philosophy could ever reach.
Of Athenais, gave him certain death.
Enter VARANES and ATHENAIS.
sence. Marina and Flavilla, two young virgins,
Vara. 'Tis strange, O Athenais! wond'rous all; Imperial born, cast in the fairest mould, Wondrous the shrines, and wonderful the altars! That e'er the hands of beauty form’d for woman; The martyrs, though
but drawn in painted fames, The mirrors of our court, where chastity Amaze me with the image of their sufferings; And innocence might copy spotless lustre; Saints cauopiz’d that dared with Roman tyrants,
Hermits that liv'd in caves, and fed with angels,, | I fear would forfeit all his vows to heaven,
And fix upon thy world, thy world of beauty. That bloody cross, in yonder azure sky,
(Eseunt. Above the head of kneeling Constantine, Inscribed about with golden characters,
Enter Theodosius leading MARINA and FLA• Thou shalt o'ercome in this ;' if it be true,
VILLA (all three drest in white) followed by
PULCHERIA. I say again, by heaven, 'tis wond'rous strange.
Athen. O prince, if thus imagination stirs you, Theo. Farewell, Pulcheria! and I pray, no A fancy rais'd from figures in dead walls,
more; How would the sacred breath of Atticus For all thy kind complaints are lost upon me. Inspire your breast, purge dross away, Have I not sworn the world and I must part? And drive this Athenais from your soul, Fate has proclaimed it, therefore weep no more; To make a virgin room, whom yet the mould Wound not the tenderest part of Theodosius,
rude fancy cannot comprehend ! My yielding soul, that would expire in calms ! Vara. What says my fair? Drive Athenais Wound me not with thy tears, and I' will tell from me!
thee, Start me not into frenzy, lest I rail
Yet ere I take my last farewell for ever, At all religion, and fall out with heaven. The cause of all my sufferings. Oh, my sister! And what is she, alas, that should supplant thee? A bleeding heart, the stings of pointed love, Were she the mistress of the world, as fair What constitution soft as mine can bear? As winter stars, or summer setting suns,
Pulch. My lord, my emperor, my dearest broAnd thou set by in nature's plainest dress,
ther, With that chaste modest look when first I saw Why all this while did you conceal it from me? thee,
Theo. Because I was ashamed to own my The heiress of a poor philosopher,
weakness; [Recorders reudy to flourish. I knew thy sharper wit, and stricter wisdom, I swear by all I wish, by all I love,
Would dart reproofs, which I could not endure. Glory and thee, I would not lose a thought, Draw near, o Atticus, and mark me well, Nor cast an eye that way, but rush to thee, For never yet did my complaining spirit To these loved arms, and lose myself for ever. Unload this weighty secret upon him, Athen. Forbear, my lord.
Nor groan a syllable of her oppression. Vara. O cruel Athenais!
Attic. Concealment was a fault; but speak at Why dost thou put me off, who pine to death,
large, And thrust me from thee when I would approach Make bare the wound, and I will pour in balm. thee?
Theo. 'Tis folly all, and fondness.-0, rememCan there be aught in this? Curse' then thy
brance ! birth-right,
Why dost thou open thus my wound again, Thy glorious titles and ill-suited greatness, And from my heart call down those warmer drops Since Athenais scorns thee. Take again That make me die with shame? Hear then, PulYour ill-timed honours; take'em, take 'em, gods !
cheria! And change me to some humble villager, Some few preceding days before I left If so at last for toils at scorching noon, The Persian court, hunting one morning early, In mowing meadows, or in reaping fields, I lost myself and all the company., At night she will but crown me with a smile, Still wandering on as fortune would direct me, Or reach the bounty of her hand to bless me. I past a rivulet, and alighted in Athen. When princes speak, their subjects The sweetest solitude I ever saw. should be silent ;
When straight, as if enchantment had been there, Yet with humility I would demand,
Two charming voices drew me, till I came Wherein appears my scorn, or my
aversion ? Where divers arbours overlook'd the river. Have I not for your sake abandoned home, Upon the osier bank two women sate, Where I had vowed to spend my calmer days? Who, when their song was ended, talk'd to one, But you perhaps imagine it but little
Who, bathing, stood far in the crystal stream. For a poor maid to follow you abroad,
But oh, what thought can paint that fair perfecEspecially the daughter of old Leontine ;
tion, Yet I must tell you, prince,
Or give a glimpse of such a naked glory!.. Vara. I cannot bear
Not sea-born Venus, in the courts beneath, Those frowns : I have offended, but forgive me. When the green nymphs first kiss'd her coral lips, For who, Athenais, that is toss'd
All polish’d, fair, and wash'd with orient beauty, With such tempestuous tides of love as I, Could in my dazzling fancy match her brightness. Can steer a steady course ? Retire, my fair,
Attic, Think where you are.
Recorders flourish. Theo. O, sir, you must forgive me! Hark! the solemnities are now beginning,
The chaste enthusiastic form appears, And Theodosius comes. Hide, hide thy charms! As when I saw her; yet I swear, Pulcheria, If to his clouded eyes such day should break, Had cold Diana been a looker-on, The royal youth, who dotes to death for love, She must have praised the virtues of the virgin
The satyrs could not grin, for she was veil'd; I run the race of lusty youth again.
Vara. By heaven it joys me too when I reDown to her knees, the nymph was wrapt in
Our thousand pastimes !when we borrow'd names, But oh for me! for me, that was too much! Alcides I, and thou my dearest Theseus ; Her legs, her arms, her hands, her neck, her When through the woods we chas'd the foaming breasts,
boar, i So nicely shap'd, so matchless in their lustre, With hounds that open'd like Thessalian bulls,
Such all-perfection, that I took whole draughts Like tygers flu’d, and sanded as the shoar,
dew: Alas, too fatal, sure! O Atticus,
Driv'n with the sport, as ships are tost in storms, Forgive me, for my story now is done.
Weran like winds, and matchless was our course; The nymph was drest, and with her two compa- Now sweeping o'er the limit of a hill, nions,
Now with a full career come thund'ring down Having descry'd me, shriek'd and fled away, The precipice, and sweat along the vale. Leaving me motionless, till Leontine,
Theo. O glorious time ! and when the gatherThe instructor of my youth, by chance came in,
ing clouds And wak'd me from the wonder that entranc'd me. Have called us home, say, did we rest; my broAttic. Behold, my lord, the man whom you
ther? have nam'd,
When on the stage, to the admiring court, The harbinger of prince Varanes, here.
We strove to represent Alcides' fury, Theo. 0°Leontine! ten thousand welcomes In all that raging heat, and pomp of madness, meet thee!
With which the stately Seneca adorned him; Thou foster-father of my tender youth,
So lively drawn, and painted with such horror, Who rear'd the plant, and prun'd it with such That we were forced to give it o'er; so loud care,
The virgins shriek’d, so fast they died away. How shall I look upon thee, who am fallen Vara. My Theodosius still! 'tis my lov'd broFrom all the principles of manlier reason, By thee infus'd, to more than woman's weakness? And by the gods we'll see those times again! Now by the majesty divine, that awes
Why then has rumour wrong'd thee, that reThis sacred place, I swear you must not kneel ;
ported And tell me, for I have a thousand things Christian enthusiasm had charm’d thee from us; To ask thee, where, where is my godlike friend? That, drawn by priests, and work’d by melanIs he arriv'd, and shall I see his face,
choly, Before I am cloyster'd from the world for ever? Thou’dst laid the golden reins of empire down, Leont. He comes, my lord, with all the ex. And sworn thyself a votary for ever! pecting joys
Theo. 'Tis almost true; and had not you arOf a young promis'd lover; from his
Theo. Yet, Leontine, yet answer me once more, Devoted to the pow'r whom we adore.
Vara. What power is that, that merits such Say, hast thou seen,-Oh, has that heavenly
I thought the sun more great and glorious, Appear'd to thee again ?-Behold he's dumb ! Than any that e'er mingled with the gods ; Proceed then to the solemn last farewell ;. Yet even to him my father never offer'd Never was man so willing, and prepar’d. More than a hecatomb of bulls and horses :
Now by those golden beams, that glad the world, Enter VARANES, ARANTHES, and Attendants.
I swear it is too much ! For one of these, Vara. Where is my friend! oh where is my But half so bright, our god would drive no more, belov'd,
He'd leave the darken'd globe, and in some cave My Theodosius ! Point him out, ye gods, Enjoy such charms for ever. That I may press him dead betwixt my arms, Attic. My lord, forbear! Devour him thus with over-hasty joys,
Such language does not suit with our devotion: That languish at his breast, quite out of breath, Nothing prophane must dare to murmur here, And cannot utter more!
Nor stain the hallow'd beauties of the place. Theo. Thou mightiest pleasure,
Yet, thus far we must yield; the emperor And greatest blessing, that kind heaven could Is not enough prepard to leave the world. send,
Varu. Thus low, most reverend of this sacred To glad my parting soul, a thousand welcomes !
place, O, when I look on thee, new starts of glory I kneel for pardon, and am half-converted, Spring in my breast, and, with a backward bound, By your permission that my
Return to my embraces. O my brother!'. Why dost thou droop? There will be time
enough For prayer and fasting, and religious vows; Let us enjoy, while yet thou art my own, All the magnificence of eastern courts ; : I hate to walk a lazy life away: Let's run the race which fate has set before us, And post to the dark goal.
Theo. Cruel destiny ! Why am not I thus too, O my Varanes ! Why are these costly dishes set before me? Why do these sounds of pleasure strike my ears, Why are these joys brought to my sick remem
brance, Who have no appetite, but am to sense, From head to foot, all a dead palsy o'er ? Vara. Fear not, my friend, all shall be well
Yet, sacred sirs, in these ertremes,
any passions govern here,
O may I never enter there! Flavilla What can pomp or glory do ; sings. Or what can human charms persuade ;
That mind that has a heav'n in tica,
And let us see the world no more.
And see his lute each angel brings,
By men upon earth, and angels in heaven.
MARINA and FLAV, disappear.
The world that is devotion's bane,
Where lust and proud ambition reign? Priest. Can you your costly robes forbeur,
To lide with us in poor attire ?
To sing at midnight in pur-quire ? s Priest. Can you forget your golden beds,
Where you might sleep beyond the morny
And have your beauteous tresses shorn ? Attic. Can you resolve to fast all day,
And weep and groan to be forgiven ?
And by affliction merit heud'n
While we the grace divine implare,
And sin shall never charm ye more. Marina The gate to bliss does open stand, sings. And all my penance is in view ;
The world, upon the other hand,
And still, when e'er occasion calis for arms, SCENE I.
Heav'n send the emperor a general
Renowii'd as Marcian; as to what is past, Enter PULCHERIA, JULIA, Attendants.
I think the world will rather praise than censure Pulch. These packets for the emperor Honorius; Pulcheria, when she pardons you the action. Be swift, let the agent haste to Rome.
Marc. Gods! gods! and thou, great founder I hear, my Julia, that our general
of old Rome! Is from the Goths returned with conquest home. What is become of all that mighty spirit,
Jul. He is; to-day I saw him in the presente, That rais'd our empire to a pitch so high? Sharp to the courtiers, as he ever was
Where is it pent? What but almighty power Because they went not with him to the wars. Could thus confine it, that but ome tew atoms To you he bows, and sues to kiss your hand. Now run through all the east and occident ? Pulch. He shall, my dearest Julia ; oft I have Pulch. Speak calmly, Marcian. told thee
Marc. Who can be temperate, The secret of my soul: If e'er I marry, That thinks as I do, madam! Whyhere's a fellow, Marcian's my husband; he is a man, my Julia, I have seen him fight against a troop of Vandals Whom I have studied long, and found him perfect : ' In your defence, as if he lov'd to bleed :Old Rome at every glance looks through his eyes, Come to my arms, my dear! Thou canst not talk, And kindles the beholders : Some sharp atoms But hast a soul above the proudlest of 'cm.Run through his frame, which I could wish were O, madam, when he has been all o'er blood, out.
And hack'd with wounds that seem'd to mouth He sickens at the softness of the emperor,
his praises, And speaks too freely of our female court; I've seen him smile still as he push'd death Then sighs, comparing it with what Rome was.
And with his actions rally distant fate,
Pulch. He has à noble form. Pulch. Ha! who are these that dare prophane Marc. Yet even this man, this place
That fought so bravely in his country's cause, With more than barb'rous insolence ?
This excellent man, this morning in the presence, Marc. At your feet,
Did I see wrong'd before the emperor, Behold I cast the scourge of these offenders, Scorn’d and despis'd because he could not cringe, And kneel to kiss your hand.
Nor plant his feet as some of thein could do. Pulch. Put up your sword,
One said his clothes were not well made, and And ere I bid you welcome from the wars,
damn'a Be sure you clear your honour of this rudeness, His taylor-Another said, he look'd Or, Marcian, leave the court.
As if he had not lost his maidenhead. Marc. Thus then, madam.
If things are suffer'd to be thus, down all The emperor receiv'd me with affection, Authority, pre-eminence, degree and virtue; Embrac'd me for my conquests, and retir'd; Let Rome be never mention'd; no, in the name When on a sudden all the gilded flies,
Of all the gods, be she forgotten ever. That buzabout the court, came fluttering round me: . Effeminate Persians, and the Lydian softness, This, with affected cringes, and minc'd words, Make all your fights; Marcian shall out no more: Begs me to tell my tale of victories;
For, by my arms, it makes a woman of me, Which done, hethanks me, slips behind his fellow, And my swoln eyes run o'er to think this worth, Whispers him in the car, then smiles and lis- This fuller honour than the whole court holds, tens, :
Should be ridiculous to knaves and fools; While I relate my story once again:
Should starve for want of what is necessary A third comes in, and asks me the same favour; To life's convenience, when luxurious bawds Whereon they laugh, while I, still ignorant, Areso o'er grown with fat, and cramm'd withriot, Go on; but one behind, more impudent, That they can hardly walk without an engine. Strikes on my shoulder; then they laugh outright. Pulch. Why did you not inform the emperor? But thoa, 1, guessing the abuse too late,
Marc. Because he will not hear me." Alas, Return'd my knight behind a box o'th' ear;
good man! Thendrew,and briefly told them they were rascals. He flies from this bad world, and still, when wars They, laughing stil,cry'dout'the general's musty;' And dangers come, he runs to his devotions, Whereon I drove 'em, madam, as you saw. To your new thing, I know not what you call it, This is, in short, the truth, I leave the judgment which Constantine began. To your own justice; if I have done ili,
Pulch. How, Marcian! are not you of that Sentence me, and I'll leave the court for ever. Religion which the emperor owns ? Pulch. First, you are welcome, Marcian, from Marc. No, madam; if you'll see my naked the Wars;