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And when at last the hoary king, her father, SCENE I.-The Palace of PYRRHUS. Great Menelaus, gave away his daughter,
His lovely daughter, to the happy Pyrrhus, Enter ORESTES, PYLADES, and Attendants.
The avenger of his wrongs, thou saw'st nur grief
, Orest. O PYLADES! what's life without a My torture, my despair; and how I dragged, friend?
From sea to sea, a heavy chain of woes. At sight of thee my gloomy soul cheers up; O Pylades ! my heart has bled within me, My hopes revive, and gladness dawns within me. To see thee, prest with sorrows not the on, After an absence of six tedious moons,
Still wandering with me like a banished man; How could I hope to find my Pylades,
Watchful, and anx'ous for thy wretched friend, My joy, my comfort, on this fatal shore ? To temper the wild transports of my mind, Even in the court of Pyrrhus ! in these realms, And save me from myself. These hated realms, so cross to all my wishes. Pyl. Why thus unkind ? Oh, my brave friend! may no blind stroke of fate Why will you envy me the pleasing task Divide us more, and tear me from myself. Of generous love, and sympathizing friendship?
Pyl. O prince! O my Orestes! O my friend! Orest. Thou miracle of truth—but hear me on. Thus let me speak the welcome of my heart. When in the midst of my disastrous fate,
[Embracing. I thought how the divine Hermione, Since I have gained this unexpected meeting, Deaf to my vows, regardless of my plaints, Blest be the powers who barred my way to Greece, Gave up herself, in all her charms, to Pyrrhas; And kept me here, e'er since the unhappy day, Thou may'st remember, I abhorred her name, When warring winds (Epirus full in view) Strove to forget her, and repay her scom. Sundered our barks on the loud, stormy main. I made my friends, and even myself, believe
Orest. It was, indeed, a morning full of horror! My soul was freed. Alas! I did not see, Pyl. A thousand boding cares have racked my That all the malice of my heart was love. soul
Triumphing thus, and yet a captive still, In your behalf. Often, with tears, I mourned In Greece I landed : and in Greece I found The fatal ills, in which your life's involved, The assembled princes all alarmed with fears, And grudged you dangers which I could not In which their common safety seemed concerned share.
I joined them: for I hoped that war anu glory I feared to what extremes the black despair, Might fill my mind, and take up all my thoughts : That preyed upon your mind, might have betray- And, that my shattered soul, impaired with grief,
Once more would reassume its wonted vigour, And lest the gods, in pity to your woes,
And every idle passion quit my breast. Should hear your prayers, and take the life you Pyl. The thought was worthy Agamemnon's
loathed. But now with joy I see you! The retinue, Orest. But see the strange perverseness of my And numerous followers, that surround you here,
stars, Speak better fortunes, and a mind disposed Which throws me on the rock I strove to shun! To relish life.
The jealous chiefs, and all the states of Greer, Orest. Alas! my friend, who knows
With one united voice complain of Pyrrhus; The destiny to which I stand reserved!
That now, forgetful of the promise given, I come in search of an inhuman fair,
And mindless of his godlike father's fate, And live or die, as she decrees my fate.
Astyanax he nurses in his court; Pyl. You much surprise me, prince!—I thought Astyanax, the young, surviving hope
Of ruined Troy; Astyanax, descended Of your unpitied, unsuccessful passion.
From a long race of kings ; great Hector's son. Why, in Epirus, should you hope to find
Pyl. A name still dreadful in the ears of Hermione less cruel, than at Sparta ?
Greece! I thought pride, and the disdainful manner But, prince, you'll cease to wonder why the child In which she treated all your constant sufferings, Lives thus protected in the court of Pyrrhus, Hau broke your fetters, and assured your free. When you shall hear, the bright Andromache, dom:
His lovely captive, charms him from his purpose : Ashaired of your repulse, and slighted vows, The mother's beauty guards the helpless son. You hated her; you talked of her no more: Orest. Your tale confirms what I have heard; Prince, you deceived me.
and hence Oresi. I deceived myself.
Spring all my hopes. Since my proud rival wooes Do not upbraid the unhappy man, that loves Another partner to his throne and bel, thee.
Hermione may still be mine. Her father, Thou know'st I never bid my passion from thee; The injured Menelaus, thinks already Thou saw'st it in its birth and in its progress; His daughter slighted, and the intended nuptials
Too long delayed. I heard his loud complaints Pyrrhus, instead of granting what they ask,
Go, and dispose Hermione to see
Himself, in all his sorrows, at her feet.
Enter PYRRHUS, PHENIX, and Altendanlsa. My own undoing. Goaded on by love,
Before I speak the message of the Greeks, ! I canvassed all the suffrages of Greece ;
Permit me, sir, to glory in the title And here I come their sworn ambassador, Of their ambassador; since I behold : To speak their jealousies, and claim this boy. Troy's vanquisher, and great Achilles' son.. Pylo Pyrrhus will treat your embassy with Nor does the son rise shori of such a father;
If Hector fell by hiin, Troy fell by you. Full of Achilles, his redoubted sire,
Bu whai your father never would have done, Pyrrhus is proud, impetuous, headstrong, fierce; You do. You cherish the remains of Troy ; Made up of passions : Will he then be swayed, And by an ill-timed pity keep alive And give to death the son of her he loves? The dying embers of a ten years war.
Orest, Oh, would he render up Hermione, Have you so soon forgot the mighty Hector? And keep Astyanax, I should be blest !
The Greeks remember his higlı brandished sword, He must; he shall. Hermione is my life, That filled their states with widows and with orMy soul, my rapture !—I'll no longer curb
phans, The strong desire that hurries me to madness : For which they call for vengeance on his son. I'll give a loose to love; I'll bear her hence; Who knows what he may one day prove? Whe I’H tear her from his arms; I'll—0, ye gods !
knows Give me Hermione, or let me die !
But he may brave us in our ports, and, filled But tell me, Pylades ; how stand my hopes ? With Hector's fury, set our fleets on blaze? Is Pyrrhus still enamoured with her charms ? You may, yourself, live to repent your mercy, Or dost thou think he'll yield me up the prize, Comply, then, with the Grecians' just demands : The dear, dear prize, which he has ravished from Satiate their vengeance, and preserve yourself. me?
Pyri The Greeks are for my safety more conPyl. I dare not flatter your fond hopes so far;
cerned The king, indeed, cold to the Spartan princess, Than I desire. I thought your kings were met Turns all his passion to Andromache,
On more important counsel. When I heard Hector's afflicted widow. But in vain,
The name of their ambassador, I hoped With interwoven love and rage, he sues
Some glorious enterprise was taking birth. The charming captive, obstinately cruel. Is Agamemnon's son dispatched for this? Oft he alarms hei for her child confined
And do the Grecian chiefs, renowned in war, Apart; and when her tears begin to flow, A race of heroes, join in close debate, As soon he stops them, and recalls his threats, To plot an infant's death! What right has Greece Hermione a thousand times has seen
To ask his life? Must I, must I alone, His ill-requited vows return to her ;
Of all the scepter'd warriors, be denied And takes his indignation all for love.
To treat my captive as I please? Know, prince, What can be gathered from a man so various ? When Troy lay smoking on the ground, and each He may, in the disorder of his soul,
Proud victor shared the harvest of the war, Wed her he hates, and punish her he loves. Andromache and this her son were mine;
Orest. But tell me how the wronged Hermione Were mine by lot; and who shall wrest them Brooks her slow nuptials, and dishonoured charms?
from me ? Pyl. Hermione would fain be thought to scorn Ulysses bore away old Priam's queen; Her wavering lover, and disdain his falsehood; Cassand, a was your own great father's prize; But, spite of all her pride and conscious beauty, Did I concern myself in what they won? She mourns in secret her neglected charms, Did I send embassies to claim their captives? And oft has made me privy to her tears :
Orest. But, sir, we fear for you, and for ourStill threatens to be gone; yet still she stays ;
selves. And sometimes sighs, and wishes for Orestes. Troy may again revive, and a new Hector, Oresi. Ali, were those wishes from her heart, Rise in Astyanax. Then think betimes
Pyr. Let dastard souls be timorously wise: I'd fly in transport.
(Flourish within. But tell them, Pyrrhus knows not how to form Pyl. Hear! the king approaches
Far-fancied ills, and dangers out of sight. To give you audience. Speak your embassy Orest. Sir, call to mind the unrivalled strength Without reserve: urge the demands of Greece;
of Troy ; And, in the name of all the kings, require, Her walls, her bulwarks, and her gates of brass; That Hector's son be given into your hands. Her kings, her heroes, and embattled armies !
my friend !
Pyr. I call them all to mind; and see them all Pyr. I'm told, that he has loved her lor, Confused in dust; all mixt in one wide ruin; Phæn. If so, All but a child, and he in bondage held. Have you not cause to fear the smother'd fame What vengeance can we fear from such a Troy? May kindle at her sight, and blaze anew, If they have sworn to extinguish Hector's race, And she be brought to listen to his passion ? Why was their vow for twelve long months de- Pyr. Ay, let them, Phænix, let them love their ferred?
fill! Why was he not in Priam's bosom slain ? Let them go hence; let them depart together : He should have fallen among the slaughtered Together let them sail for Sparta : all my ports
Are open to them both. From what constraigt, Whelmed under Troy. His death had then been What irksome thoughts, should I be then relie just.
ved! When age and infancy, alike in vain,
Phæn. But, sir, Pleaded their weakness; when the heat of con- Pyr. I shall, another time, good Phonis, quest,
Unbosom to thee all my thoughts---for, see, And horrors of the fight, roused all our rage, Andromache appears. And blindly hurried us through scenes of death, My fury then was without bounds : but now,
Enter ANDROMACHE and CEPHISA. My wrath appeased, must I be cruel still ? Pyr. May I, madam, And, deaf to all the tender calls of pity, Flatter my hopes so far as to believe Like a cool murderer, bathe my hands in blood; You come to seek me here? An infant's blood ?-No, prince-go, bid the Andr. This way, sir, leads Greeks
To those apartments where you guard my son, Mark out some other victim; my revenge Since you permit me, once a day, to visit Has had its fill. What has escaped from Troy All I have left of Hector and of Troy, Shall not be saved to perish in Epirus.
I go to weep a few sad moments with him. Orest. I need not tell you, sir, Astyanax I have not yet, to-day, embraced my child; Was doomed to death in Troy; nor mention how I have not held him in my widowed arms. The crafty mother saved her darling son:
Pyr. Ah, madam, should the threats of Greece The Greeks do now but urge their former sen
You'll have occasion for your tears, indeed! Nor is't the boy, but Hector, they pursue;
Andr. Alas, what threats ! What can alam The father, who so oft in Grecian blood
the Greeks? Has drenched his sword; the father, whom the There are no Trojans left! Greeks
Pyr. Their hate to Hector May seek even here.—Prevent them, sir, in time. Can never die: the terror of his name Pyr. No! let them come; since I was born Still shakes their souls, and makes them dread
his son. Eternal war. Let them now turn their arms Andr. A mighty honour for victorious Greece, On him, who conquered for them : let them come, To fear an infant, a poor friendless child; And in Epirus seek another Troy.
Who smiles in bondage, nor yet knows himself 'Twas thus they recompensed my godlike sire; The son of Hector, and the slave of Pyrrhus. Thus was Achilles thank'd. But, prince, remem- Pyr. Weak as he is, the Greeks demand his
Andr. And, sir, do you comply
How should the child avenge his slaughter'd sire? Orest. Hermione will sway your soul to peace, But, cruel men! they will not have him live And mediate 'twixt her father and yourself: To cheer my heavy heart, and ease my bonds. Her beauty will enforce my embassy.
I promised to myself in him a son, Pyr. Hermione may have her charms; and I In him a friend, a husband, and a father. May love her still, though not her father's slave. But I must suffer sorrow heaped on sorrow; 1
may in time give proofs, that I'm a lover; And still the fatal stroke must come from you. But never must forget, that I'm a king.
Pyr. Dry up those tears, I must not see you Meanwhile, sir, you may see fair Helen's daugh
And know, I have rejected their demands. I know how near in blood you
stand allied. The Greeks already threaten me with war: That done, you have my answer, prince. The But, should they arm, as once they did for Helen, Greeks,
And hide the Adriatic with their fleets; No doubt, expect your quick return.
Should they prepare a second ten years siege,
[Er. Orest. &c. And lay my towers and palaces in dust, Phæn. Sir, do you send your rival to the prin- I am determined to defend your son,
And rather die myself than give him up.
But, madam, in the midst of all these dangers, I may concer il my son, and mourn my husband. Will you refuse me a propitious smile ?
Your love cre ates me envy. Oh, return! Hated of Greece, and prest on every side, Return to you ir betrothed Hermione. Let me not, madam, while I fight your cause, Pyr. Why do you mock me thus ? You know, Let me not combat with your cruelties,
I cannı ot. And count Andromache amongst my foes ! You know my heart is yours.: my soul hangs on Andr. Consider, sir, how this will sound in you: Greece?
You take up every wish: my waking thoughts, How can so great a soul betray such weakness ? And nightly dre ums, are all employed on you. Let not men say, so generous a design
'Tis true, Hermione was sent to share Was but the transport of a heart in love. My throne and Led; and would with transport
Pyr. Your charms will justify me to the world. hear Andr. How can Andromache, a captive queen, The vows which you neglect. O’erwhelmed with grief, a burthen to herself, Andr. She has n'o Troy, Harbour a thought of love? Alas! what charms No Hector to lamer it: she has not lost Have these unhappy eyes, by you condemned A husband by your conquests. Such a husband ! To weep for ever? "Talk of it no more.
(Tormenting thought !) whose death alone has To reverence the misfortunes of a foe;
made To succour the distrest; to give the son Your sire immortal : Pyrrhus and Achilles To an afflicted mother; to repel
Are both grown great by my. calamities. Confederate nations, leagued against his life; Pyr. Madam, 'tis well! 'tis very well! I find, Unbribed by love, unterrified by threats, Your will must be obeyed. Imperious captivc, To pity, to protect him, these are cares, It shall. Henceforth Í blot you from
mind: These are exploits worthy Achilles' son. You teach me to forget your charms; to hate Pyr. Will your resentments, then, endure for
For know, inhuman beauty, I have loved Must Pyrrhus never be forgiven ? 'Tis true, Too well to treat you with indifference. My sword has often reeked in Phrygian blood, Think well upon it: my disordered soul And carried havoc through your royal kindred ; Wavers between the extremes of love and rage; But you, fair princess, amply have avenged
I've been too tame; I will awake to vengeance! Old Priam's vanquished house, and all the
woes The son shall answer for the mother's scorn. I brought on them, fall short of what I suffer. The Greeks demand him : nor will I endanger We both have suffered in our turns : and now My realms to pleasure an ungrateful woman, Our common foe should teach us to unite.
Andr. Then he must die ! Alas ! my son must Andr. Where does the captive not behold a foe?
die! Pyr. Forget the term of hatred, and behold He has no friend, no succour left, beside A friend in Pyrrhus ! Give me but to hope ! His mother's tears, and his own innocence. I'll free your son; I'll be a father to him:
Pyr. Go, madam ; visit this unhappy son. Myself will teach him to avenge the Trojans. The sight of him may bend your stubborn heart, l'i
go in person to chastise the Greeks, And turn to softness your unjust disdain. Both for your wrongs and mine. Inspired by you, I shall once more expect your answer. Go, What would I not achieve ! Again shall Troy And think, while you embrace the captive boy, Rise from its ashes: this right arm shall fix Think that his life depends on your resolves. Her seat of empire; and your son shall reign.
[Ereunt PYRRHUS, 8c, Andr. Such dreams of greatness suit not my Andr. I'll go, and in the anguish of my heart, condition:
Weep o'er my child—If he must die, my life His hopes of empire perished with his father. Is wrapt in his; I shall not long survive. No; thou imperial city, ancient Troy,
'Tis for his sake that I have suffered life, Thou pride of Asia, founded by the gods ! Groaned in captivity, and out-lived Hector. Never, oh, never must we hope to see
Yes, my Astyanax, we'll go together! Those bulwarks rise, which Hector could not Together to the realms of night we'll go ! guard !
There to thy ravished eyes thy sire I'ls shew, Sir, all I wish for, is some quiet exile,
And point him out among the shades below. Where, far from Greece removed, and far from you,
But trust me, were I left to my own thoughts,
I should forbid him yet.
Cleo. And why forbid him?
Orestes, whose return you oft have wished ? I have told Pylades that he may bring him ; The man whose sufferings you so oft lamented,
And often praised his constancy and love? I'll stay, Cleone, to perplex their loves;
Her. That love, that constancy, so ill requited, I'll stay till, by an open breach of contract, Upbraids me to myself! I blush to think I make him hateful to the Greeks. Already How I have used him; and would shun his pre- Their vengeance have I drawn upon the son,
Their second embassy shall claim the mother: What will be my confusion when he sees me I will redouble all my griefs on her! Neglected, and forsaken, like himself ?
Cleo. Ah, madam, whither does you rage Will he not say, ' Is this the scornful maid,
transport you? • The proud Hermione, that tyrannized
Andromache, alas! is innocent, * In Sparta's court, and triumphed in her charms? A woman plunged in sorrow; dead to love : • Her insolence at last is well repaid.'
And when she thinks on Pyrrhus, 'tis with horror. I cannot bear the thought !
Her. Would I had done so too! he had not thea Cleo. You wrong yourself
Betrayed my easy faith. But I, alas ! With unbecoming fears. He knows too well Discovered all the fondness of my soul ! Your beauty and your worth. Your lover comes I made no secret of my passion to him, not
Nor thought it dangerous to be sincere: To offer insults; but to repeat his vows, My eyes, my tongue, my actions spoke my heart. And breathe his ardent passion at your feet. *Cleo. Well might you speak without reserve But, madam, what's your royal father's will? What orders do your letters bring from Sparta? Engaged to you by solemn oaths and treaties.
Her. His orders are, if Pyrrhus still deny Her. His ardour too was an excuse for mire: The nuptials, and refuse to sacrifice
With other eyes he saw me then! Cleone, This Trojan boy, I should with speed embark, Thou mayst remember, every thing conspired And with their embassy return to Greece. 10 favour him: my father's wrongs avenged; Cleo. What would you more? Orestes comes The u reeks triumphant; fleets of Trojan spoils; in time
His mighty sire's, his own immortal fame; To save your honour. Pyrrhus cools apace: · His eager love; all, all conspired against me; Prevent his falsehood, and forsake him first. -But I have done : I'll think no more of Pyrrhus. I know you hate him: you have told me so. Orestes wants not merit; and he loves me. Her. Hate him! My injured honour bids me My gratitude, my honour, both plead for him: hate him.
And if I've power o'er my own heart, 'tis his. The ungrateful man, to whom I fondly gave Cleo. Madam, he comesMy virgin heart; the man I loved so dearly; Her. Alas, I did not think The man I doated on! Oh! my Cleone ! He was so near ! I wish I might not see him. How is it possible I should not hate him ! Cleo. Then give him over, madam. Quit his
Enter ORESTES. court;
How am I to interpret, sir, this visit? And with Orestes
Is it a compliment of form or love? Her. No! I must have time
Orest. Madam, you know my weakness. 'Tis To work
up all my rage ! To meditate A parting full of horror! My revenge
To love unpitied: to desire to see you, Will be but too much quickened by the traitor. And still to swear each time shall be the last. Cleo. Do you then wait new insults, new af- | My passion breaks through my repeated oaths, fronts?
And every time I visit you I'm perjured. To draw you from your father! Then to leave you! Even now, I find my wounds all bleed afresh: In his own court to leave you-For a captive ! I blush to own it; but I know no cure. If Pyrrhus can provoke you, he has done it. I call the gods to witness, I have tried Her. Why dost thou heighten my distress? - Whatever man could do (but tried in vain), I fear
To wear you from my mind. Through stormy To search out my own thoughts, and sound my seas, heart.
And savage climes, in a whole year of absence, Be blind to what thou seest: believe me cured: I courted dangers, and I longed for death. Flatter my weakness ; tell me I have conquered; Her. Why will you, prince, indulge this mournThink that my injured soul is set against him;
Cleo. Why would you loiter here, then? To talk of dying and of love. Remember
The kings you represent: Shall their revenge
Orest. My embassy And sue for pardon? What if he renew
Is at an end, for Pyrrhus has refused His former vows ? But, oh, the faithless man ! To give up Hector's son. Some hidden power He slights me! drives me to extremities !-How- Protects the boy. ever,
Her. Faithless, ungrateful man! Lutside.