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Orest. I now prepare for Greece. But ere I go, | And wrests each circumstance to your disquict; Would hear my final doom pronounced by you. My very hate is construed into fondness. What do I say—I do already hear it !

Orest. Impute my fears, if groundless, to my My doom is fixed : I read it in your eyes.

love. Her. Will you then still despair ? be still sus- Her. Then hear me, prince. Obedience to a

father What have I done? Wherein have I been cruel? First brought me hither; and the same obedience 'Tis true, you find me in the court of Pyrrhus : Detains me here, till Pyrrhus drive me hence, But 'twas my royal father sent me hither, Or my offended father shall recall me. And who can tell but I have shared your griefs? Tell this proud king, that Menelaus scorns Have I ne'er wept in secret ? Never wished To match his daughter with a foe of Greece; To see Orestes?

Bid him resign Astyanax, or me. Orest, Wished to see Orestes !

If he persists to guard the hostile boy, Oh, joy! oh ecstacy ! my soul's entranced ! Hermione embarks with you for Sparta. Oh, charming princess ! Oh, transcendent maid !

[Ereunt HER. and CLEONE. My utmost wish !—Thus, thus let me express Orest. Then is Orestes blest ! My griefs are fled! My boundless thanks !-I never was unhappy-Fled like a dream !-Methinks I tread in air! Am I Orestes ?-

Pyrrhus, enamoured of his captive queen, Her. You are Orestes,

Will thank me, if I take her rival hence: The same unaltered, generous, faithful lover; He looks not on the princess with my eyes. The prince whom I esteem ; whom I lament; Surprising happiness! -Unlooked-for joy! And whom I fain would teach my heart to love! Never let love despair !-the prize is mine! Orest. Ay, there it is !-I have but your es- Be smooth, ye seas! and ye, propitious winds, teem,

Breathe from Epirus to the Spartan coasts ! While Pyrrhus has your heart!

I long to view the sails unfurled !-But, see! Her. Believe me, prince,

Pyrrhus approaches in a happy hour.
Were you as Pyrrhus, I should hate you!
Orest. No!

Enter PYRRHUS, and PHEXIX.
I should be blest! I should be loved as he is !-- Pyr. I was in pain to find you, prince. My
Yet all this while I dic by your disdain,
While he neglects your charms, and courts an- Ungoverned temper would not let me weigh
other.

The importance of your embassy, and hear Her, And who has told you, prince, that I'm You argue for my good. I was to blame. neglected ?

I since have poised your reasons; and I thank Has Pyrrhus said — Oh, I shall go distracted!) My good allies: their care deserves my thanks.

( Has Pyrrhus told you so?

-Or is it you,

You have convinced me, that the weal of Greece, Who think thus meanly of me?

--Sir, : erhaps, My father's honour, and my own repose, All do not judge like you.

Demand that Hector's race should be destroyed, Orest. Madam, go on!

I shall deliver up Astyanax ; Insult me still: I'm used to bear your scorn. And you, yourself, shall bear the victim hence. Her. Why am I told how Pyrrhus loves or Orest. If you approve it, sir, and are content hates?

To spill the blood of a defenceless child, -Go, prince, and arm the Greeks against the The offended Greeks, no doubt, will be appeased. rebel;

Pyr. Closer to strain the knot of our alliance, Let them lay waste his country! raze his towns; I have determined to espouse Hermione. Destroy his fleets; his palaces ;-himself !- You come in time to grace our nuptial rites : Go, prince, and tell me then how much I love In you the kings of Greece will all be present; him.

And you have right to personate her father, Orest. To hasten his destruction, come your- As his ambassador, and brother's son. self,

Go, prince, renew your visit; tell Hermione, And work your royal father to his ruin.

To-morrow I receive her from

your

hands. Her. Meanwhile he weds Andromache!

Orest. (Aside.] Oh, change of fortune! Oh, Orest. Ah, princess!

undone Orestes ! (Erit ORESTES. What is't I hear!

Pyr. Well, Phænix, am I still a slave to love? Her. What infamy for Greece,

What think'st thou now? Am I myself again? If he should wed a Phrygian, and a captive! Phæn. 'Tis as it should be: this discovers Orest. Is this your hatred, madam-'Tis in

Pyrrhus; vain

Shews all the hero. Now you are yourself, To hide your passion; every thing betrays it: The son, the rival of the great Achilles! Your looks, your speech, your anger, nay, your Greece will applaud you; and the world confess, silence;

Pyrrhus has conquered Troy a second time.
Your love appears in all ; your secret flame Pyr. Nay, Phoenix, now I but begin to triumph:
Breaks out the more, the more you would con- I never was a conqueror till now.
ceal it.

Believe me, a whole host, a war of foes,
Her. Your jealousy perverts my meaning still, | May sooner bę subdued, than love. Oh, Phænis,

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What ruin have I shunned! The Greeks, enraged, I've checked my wrath, and stifled my resentHung o'er me like a gathering storm, and soon

ment: Had burst in thunder on my head; while I She knows not yet to what degree I hate her. Abandoned duty, empire, honour, all,

Let us return; I'll brave her to her face: To please a thankless woman !-One kind look I'll give my anger its free course against her. Had quite undone me!

Thou shalt see, Phænix, how I'll break her pride! Phæn. Oh, my royal master!

Phæn. Oh, go not, sir ! - There's ruin in her The gods, in favour to you, made her cruel.

eyes! Pyr. Thou saw'st with how much scorn she You do not know your strength: you'll fal be treated me!

fore her, When I permitted her to see her son,

Adore her beauty, and revive her scom. I hoped it might have worked her to my wishes. Pyr. That were indeed a most unmanly weak I went to see the mournful interview,

ness; And found her bathed in tears, and lost in pas- Thou dost not know me, Phænix. sion.

Phan. Ah, my prince! Wild with distress, a thousand times she called You are still struggling in the toils of love! On Hector's name: and when I spoke in comfort, P'yr. Canst thou then think I love this woman And promised my protection to her son,

still? She kissed the boy; and called again on Hector: One who repays my passion with disdain ; Then, strained him in her arms; and cried, 'Tis A stringer, captive, friendless, and forlorn; he!

She and her darling son within my power; 'Tis he himself! his eyes, his very features! His life a forfeit to the Greeks? Yet I His very frown, and his stern look already! Preserve her son: would take her to my throne; 'Tis he: 'Tis my loved lord whom I embrace! Would fight her battles, and avenge her wrongs; Does she then think, that I preserve the boy,

And all this while she treats me as her foe! To sooth, and keep alive her flame for Hector Phæn. You have it in your power to be rePhæn. No doubt, she does; and thinks you

venged. favoured in it;

Pyr. Yes; and I'll shew my power ! I'll give But let her go, for an ungrateful woman! Pyr. I know the thoughts of her proud stub- To hate me! her Astyanax shall die ! born heart:

What tears will then be shed! How will she Vain of her charms, and insolent in beauty,

then,
She mocks my rage; and, when it threatens In bitterness of heart, reproach my name!
loudest,

Then, to complete her woes, will I espouse
Expects 'twill soon be humbled into love. Hermione: 'Twill stab her to the heart !
But we shall change our parts; and she shall Phan. Alas, you threaten like a lover still!
find

Pyr. Phænix, excuse this struggle of my soul:
I can be deaf, like her; and steel my heart 'Tis the last effort of expiring love.
She's Hector's widow; I Achilles' son;

Phan. Then hasten, sir, to see the Spartan
Pyrrhus is born to hate Andromache.

princess,
Phæn. My royal master, talk of her no more; And turn the bent of your desires on her.
I do not like this anger. Your Hermione Pyr. Oh! 'tis a heavy task to conquer love,
Should now engross your thoughts. 'Tis time to And wean the soul from her accustomed fond-

see her;
"Tis time you should prepare the nuptial rites, But, come!

A long farewell to Hector's widow. And not rely upon a rival's care;

'Tis with a secret pleasure I look back, It may be dangerous.

And see the many dangers I have passed.
Pyr. But tell me, Phænix,

The merchant thus, in dreadful tempests tost,
Dost thou not think, the proud Andromache Thrown by the waves on some unlooked-for coast,
Will be enraged, when I shall wed the princess ? Oft turns, and sees, with a delighted eye,
Phan. Why does Andromache still haunt your Midst rocks and shelves the broken billows fly;
thoughts ?

And, while the outrageous winds the deep deform,
What is’t to you, be she enraged or pleased? Smiles on the tumult, and enjoys the storm.
Let her name perish: think of her no more.

(Ercunt Pyr. No, Phænix !I have been too gentle

with her,

her cause

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Orest. Talk no more !
SCENE I.

I cannot bear the thought! She must be mine!

Did Pyrrhus carry thunder in his hand,
Enter PYLADES and ORESTES.

I'd stand the bolt, and challenge all his fury, Pyl. For Heaven's sake, sir, compose your Ere I resign'd Hermione.-By force ruffled mind,

I'll snatch her hence, and bear her to my ships ; And moderate your rage!

Have we forgot her mother Helen's rape ? Orest. No, Pylades !

Pyl. Will then Orestes turn a ravisher, This is no time for counsel.- I am deaf.

And blot his embassy ? Talk not of reason! I have been too patient. Orest. Oh, Pylades ! Life is not worth iny care. My soul grows des- My grief weighs heavy on me:- 'Twill distract

perate. I'll bear her off, or perish in the attempt.

O leave me to myself !-Let not thy friendship I'll force her from his arms:-By Heaven I will ! Involve thee in my woes. Too long already, Pyl. Well, 'tis agreed, my friend:-We'll force Too long hast thou been punished for my crimes. her hence,

It is enough, my friend !-It is enough! But still consider, we are in Epirus.

Let not thy generous love betray thee farther : The court, the guards, Hermione herself, The gods have set me as their mark, to empty The very air we breathe, belongs to Pyrrhus. Their quivers on me.—Leave me to myself. Good gods ! what tempted you to seek her here! Mine be the danger; mine the enterprise.

Orest. Lost to myself, I knew not what I did. All I request of thee is, to return,
My purposes were wild. Perhaps I came And, in my place, convey Astyanax
To menace Pyrrhus, and upbraid the woman. (As Pyrrhus has consented) into Greece.

Pyl. This violence of temper may prove fatal. Go, Pylades--
Orest. It must be more than man to bear these Pyl. Lead on, my friend, lead on!
shocks,

Let us bear off Hermione! No toil,
These outrages of fate, with temper!

No danger can deter a friend :-Lead on! He tells me, that he weds Hermione;

Draw up the Greeks; summon your numerous And will to-morrow take her from

my
hand! -

train : My hand shall sooner tear the tyrant's heart.- The ships are ready, and the wind sits fair: Pyl. Your passion blinds you, sir; he's not to There eastward lies the sea; the rolling waves blame.

Break on those palace-stairs. I know each pass, Could

you

but look into the soul of Pyrrhus, Each avenue and outlet of the court. Perhaps you'd find it tortured, like your own. This very night we'll carry her on board.

Orest. No, Pylades! 'Tis all design-His pride, Orest. Thou art too good! I trespass on thy To triumph over me, has changed his love.

friendship, The fair Hermione, before I came,

But, oh! excuse a wretch, whom no man pitics, In all her bloom of beauty, was neglected. Except thyself: one just about to lose Ah, cruel gods ! I thought her all my own! The treasure of his soul : whom all mankind She was consenting to return to Sparta : Conspire to hate, and one who hates himself. Her heart, divided betwixt rage and love, When will my friendship be of use to thee? Was on the wing to take its leave of Pyrrhus. Pyl. The question is unkind. But now reShe heard my sighs; she pitied my complaints ;

member She praised my constancy ;

-The least indif- To keep your counsels close, and hide your ference,

thoughts; From this proud king, had made Orestes trappy. Let not Hermione suspect—no morePyl. So your fond heart believes.

I see her coming, sirOrest. Did I not see

Orest. Away, my friend; Her hate, her rage, her indignation rise

I am advised; my all depends upon it. Against the ungrateful man?

(Erit Pyl. Pyl. Believe me, prince, 'Twas then she loved him most. Had-Pyrrhus

Enter HERMIONE and Cleone. left her,

Orest. Madam, your orders are obcyed ; I've She would have formed some new pretext to stay. Take my advice:- Think not to force her hence; Pyrrhus, my rival ; and have gained him for you. But fly yourself from her destructive charms. · The king resolves to wed you. Her soul is linked to Pyrrhus : Were she yours, Her. So I am told: She would reproach you still, and still regret And farther, I'm informed that you, Orestes, Her disappointed puptials.

Are to dispose me for the intended marriage.

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Orest. And are you, madam, willing to como

Enter ANDROMACHE and CEPHISA. Her. Could I imagine Pyrrhus loved me still ! Andr. Ah, madam, whither, whither do you fir? After so long delays, who would have thought Where can your eyes behold a sight more plea. His hidden flames would shew ihemselves at last,

sing And kindle in his breast, when mine expired ? Than Hector's widow suppliant and in tears? I can suppose, with you, he fears the Greeks; I come not an alarmed, a jealous foe, That it is interest, and not love, directs him; To envy you the heart your charms have won: And that my eyes had greater power o'er you. The only man I sought to please, is gone; Orest. No, princess, no! It is too plain he killed in my sighi, by an inhuman hand. loves you.

Hector first taught me love; which my fond heart Your eyes do what they will, and cannot fail Shall ever cherish, 'till we meet in death. To gain a conquest, where you wish they should. But, oh! I have a son !-And you, one day, Her. What can I do? Alas! my faith is pro- Will be no stranger to a mother's fondness: mised.

Bui Heaven forbid that you should ever know Can I refuse what is not mine to give?

A mother's sorrow for an only son, A princess is noi at he: choice to love;

Her joy, her bliss, her last surviving comfort, All we have left us is a blind obedience:

When every hour she trembles for his life!
And yet, you see, how fa. I h.d complied, Your power o'er Pyrrhus may relieve my fears.
And made my duty yield to your intreaties. Alas! what danger is there in a child,
Orest. An, cruel naid! you knew—but I have Saved from the wreck of a whole ruined empire!
done.

Let me go hide him in some desert isle:
All have a right to please themselves in love: You may rely upon my tender care
I blame not you. 'Tis true, I hoped-bui you To keep him far from perils of ambition:
Are mistress of your heart, and I'm content. All he can learn of me will be to weep.
'Tis fortune is my enemy, no. you.

Her. Madam, 'tis easy to conceive your grief:
But, madam, I shall spare you farther pain But it would ill become me to solicit
On this uneasy theme, and take my leave. In contradiction to my father's will:

[Erit ORESTES. 'Tis he who urges to destroy jour son. Her. Cleone, could'st thou think he'd be so Madam, if Pyrrhus musí be wroug'it to pity, calm ?

No woman does it better than yourself; Cleo. Madam, his silent grief sits heavy on If you gain him, I shall comply of course. him

(Ereune LE?. and CLEONE. He's to be pitied. His too eager love

Andr. Didst thou not mind with what disdaia Has made him busy to his own destruction.

she spoke? His threats have wrought this change of mind in Youth and prosperity have made her vain; Pyrrhus.

She has not seen the sickle turns of life. Her. Dost thou think Pyrrhus capable of fear! Ceph. Madam, were I as you, I'd take her Whom should the intrepid Pyrrhus fear? the

counsel. Greeks?

I'd speak my own distress : one look from you Did he not lead their harassed troops to con- Will vanquishPyrrhus, and confound the Grecksquest,

See, where he comes-Lay hold on this occasion. When they despaired, when they retired from

Enter PYRRHUS and PhaNiX.
Troy,
And sought for shelter in their burning fleets ? Pyr. Where is the princess ?–Did you not in-
Did he not then supply his father's place?
No, my Cleone, he's above constraint;

Hermione was here?
He acts unforced ; and where he weds he loves. Phæn. I thought so, sir.

Cleo. Oh, that Orestes had remained in Greece! Andr. Thou seesi what mighty power my eyes I fear to-morrow will prove fatal to him.

have on him? Her. Wilt thou discourse of nothing but Pyr. What says she, Phænix ? Orestes ?

Andr. I have no hope left! Pyrrhus is mine again !- Is mine for ever! Phæn. Let us be gone:—llermione expects Oh, my Cleone! I am wild with joy !

you. Pyrrhus, the bold! the brave! the godlike Pyrr- Ceph. For Heaven's sake, madam, break this hus!

sullen silence.
-Oh, I could tell thee numberless exploits, Andr. My child's already promised
And tire thee with his battles-Oh, Cleone Ceph. But not given.
Cleo. Madam, conceal your joy—I see Andro- Andr. No, no!

my tears are vain ! his doom is
mache:

fixed! She weeps, and comes to speak her sorrows to Pyr. See, if she deigns to cast one look upar

you.
Her. I would indulge the gladness of my heart! Proud woman!
Let us retire: ber grief is out of season.

Andr. I provoke, kim by my presence.
Let us retire.

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form me

[To Phen.

(To ČEPH.

us !

you said!

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Pyr. Come, let us satisfy

Let me intreat you to secure his life! The Greeks, and give them up this Phrygian boy. Must I turn suppliant for him! Think, oh think, Andr. Ah, sir! recall those words-- What have 'Tis the last time, you both may yet be happy!

I know the ties I break; the foes I arm : If you give up my son, oh, give up me!

I wrong Hermione; I send her hence; You, who so many times have sworn me friend. And with her diadem I bind your brows. ship:

Consider well; for 'tis of moment to you! Oh, Heavens L-Will you not look with pity on Chuse to be wretched, madam, or queen. me?

My soul, consumed with a whole year's despair, Is there no hope? Is there no room for pardon? Can bear no longer these perplexing doubts ;

Pyr. Phænix will answer you: my word is past. I know, if I'm deprived of you, I die: Andr. You, who would brave so many dangers But oh, I die, if I wait longer for you! for me!

I leave you to your thoughts. When I return, Pyr. I was your lover then: I now am free. We'll to the temple; there you'll find your son ; To favour you, I might have spared his life: And there be crowned, or give him up for ever. But you would ne'er vouchsafe to ask it of me.

(Erit PYRRHUS. Now, 'tis too late.

Ceph. I told you, madam, that, in spite of Andr. Ah, sir, you understood

Greece, My tears, my wishes, which I durst not utter, You would o’er-rule the malice of your fortune. Afraid of a repulse. Oh, sir, excuse

Andr. Alas! Cephisa, what have I obtained ! The pride of royal blood, that checks my soul. Only a poor short respite for my son. You know, alas ! I was not born to kneel, Ceph. You have enough approved your faith To sue for pity, and to own a master.

to Hector; Pyr. No! in your heart you curse me! you To be reluctant still would be a crime. disdain

He would himself persuade you to comply. My generous flame, and scorn to be obliged ! Andr. How wouldst thou give me Pyrrhus This very son, this darling of your soul,

for a husband ? Would be less dear, did I preserve him for you. Ceph. Think you, 'twill please the ghost of Your anger, your aversion fall on me!

your dead husband, You hate me more than the whole league of That you should sacrifice his son? Consider, Greece:

Pyrrhus once more invites you to a throne; But I shall leave you to your great resentments. Turns all his power against the foes of Troy; Let us go, Phænix, and appease the Greeks. Remembers not Achilles was his father; Andr. Then, let me die ! and let me go to Retracts his conquests, and forgets his hatred. Hector!

Andr. But how can I forget it ! How can I Ceph. But, madam

Forget my Hector, treated with dishonour; Andr. What can I do more? The tyrant Deprived of funeral rites; and vilely dragged, Sees my distraction, and insults my tears. A bloody corse, about the walls of Troy?

[To CEPH. Can I forget the good old king his father, -Behold how low you have reduced a queen! Slain my presence; at the altar slain, These eyes have seen my country laid in ashes; Which vainly, for protection, he embraced? My kindred fall in war; my father slain ; Hast thou forgot that dreadful night, Cephisa, My husband dragged in his own blood; my son When a whole people fell? Methinks I see Condemned to bondage, and myself a slave: Pyrrhus, enraged, and breathing vengeance, enter Yet, in the midst of these unheard-of woes, Amidst the glare of burning palaces : 'Twas some relief to find myself your captive; I see him hew his passage through my brothers ; And that my son, derived from ancient kings, And, bathed in blood, lay all my kindred waste. Since he must serve, had Pyrrhus for his master. Think, in this scene of horror, what I suffered ! When Priam kneeled, the great Achilles wept: This is the courtship I received from Pyrrhus ; I hoped I should not find his son less noble; And this the husband thou wouldst give me! No, I thought the brave were still the most compas- We both will perish first! I'll ne'er consent. sionate.

Ceph. Since you resolve Astyanax shall die, Oh, do not, sir, divide me from

my

child ! Haste to the temple, bid your son farewell. If he must die

Why do you tremble, madam? Pyr. Phænix, withdraw a while.

Åndr. O Cephisa !

(Exit PHOENIX. Thou hast awakened all the mother in me. Rise, madam-Yet you may preserve your son.

How can I bid farewell to the dear child, I find whenever I provoke your tears,

The pledge, the image of my much-loved lord ! I furnish you with arms against myself.

Alas, I call to mind the fatal day, I thought my hatred fixed before I saw you. When his too-forward courage led him forth Oh, turn your eyes upon me, while I speak, To seek Achilles. if discover in my looks

Ceph. Oh, the unhappy hour! An angry judge, or an obdurate foe!

'Twas then Troy fell, and all her gods forsoo Why will you force me to desert your cause?

her. In your son's

name I beg we may be friends; Andr. That morn, Cephisa, that ill-fated mo VOL, I.

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