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b. The more effeminate and foft his life,
more his fame, to ftruggle to the field,
meet his glorious fate: confefs, proud fpirit,
I will have it from thy very mouth)
better he deferv'd my love than thou.
O, whither wouldst thou drive me? I
muft grant, but with a fwelling foul,
quez had your love with more defert:
u he fought and died: I fought against you:
igh all the mazes of the bloody field
d your facred life; which that 1 mifs'd
the propitious error of my fate,
f my foul; my foul's a regicide.
Thou might ft have given it a more gentle
I prevent'ft me ftill in all that 's noble.
vill raife thee up with better news:
plante's heart was ever thine;
I'd to wed, becaufe the was my ward,
I was abfent when the gave her hand:
ld my threats, or his purfuing courtship,
he confummation of his love:
ndulging tears, fhe pines for thee,
w and a maid.
Dor. What, my Alonzo, faid you? my Alonzo
Let my tears thank you, for I cannot speak;
And if I could,
Words were not made to vent fuch thoughts as
Seb. Thou canst not fpeak, and I can ne'er be
Have I been curfing Heaven, while Hea'en blefs'd me!
mean'ft to kill a tyrant, not a king.
didit thou not, Alonzo?
Can I speak?
I cannot answer to Alonzo:
rax cannot answer to Alonzo:
was too kind a name for me. [arms,
when I fought and conquer'd with your
bleft age I was the man you nam'd: -
ge and pride debas'd me into Dorax;
, like Lucifer, my name above.
Yet twice this day I ow'd my life to Dorax.
Ifav'd you but to kill you: there's my grief.
Nay if thou canst be griev'd, thou canst
ouldst not be a villain, tho' thou wouldst:
wn'ft too much in owning thou haft err'd:
oo little, who provok'd thy crime.
9, ftop this headlong torrent of your good-
I too faft upon a feeble foul, [nefs;
wn'd in tears before; fpare my confufion,
fpare, and fay not, firft you err'd.
I have not dar'd, through guilt and fhame,
w myself beneath your royal feet.
urn this rebel, this proud renegade;
t you fhould, nor will I more complain.
Indeed thou shouldst not ask forgivenefs
un mad with exftafy of joy : in one moment to be reconcil'd ven, and to my king, and to my love: y is my friend, and ftops me fhort, unhappy rival. Poor Henriquez! Art thou to generous too, to pity him? en I was unjust to love him better. t me ever hold thee in my arms; Tour quarrels be but fuch as thefe, ail love beft, and clofeft fhall embrace: Henriquez was-be my Alonzo.
Some ftrange reverse of fate must fure attend
This vaft profufion, this extravagance
Of Heaven to blefs me thus. 'Tis gold fo pure,
It cannot bear the ftamp without allay.
Be kind, ye pow'rs, and take but half away ɔ
With eafe the gifts of fortune I refign;
But let my love and friend be ever mine.
§. 28. Antony and Ventidius. DRYDEN. Ant. THE HEY tell me 'tis my birth-day; and I'll keep it With double pomp of fadnefs.
'Tis what the day deferves which gave me breath. Why was I rais'd the meteor of the world, Hung in the fkies, and blazing as I travell'd, Till all my fires were spent, and then caft downwards
To be trod out by Cæfar?
Vent. [Afide.] On my foul
'Tis mournful, wond'rous mournful!
Ant. Count thy gains;
Now, Antony, wouldst thou be born for this
Glutton of fortune, thy devouring youth
Hast starv'd thy wanting age.
Vent. [Afide] How forrow fhakes him!
So now the tempeft tears him up by th' roots,
And on the ground extends the noble ruin.
Ant. [Having thrown himself down.]
Lie there, thou shadow of an emperor;
The place thou preffeft on thy mother earth
Is all thy empire now: now it contains thee;
Some few days hence, and then it will be too large,
When thou'rt contracted in thy narrow urn,
Shrunk to a few cold afhes: then Octavia,
(For Cleopatra will not live to see it)
Octavia then will have thee all her own,
And bear thee in her widow'd hand to Cafar.
Cæfar will weep, the crocodile will weep,
To fee his rival of the univerfe
Lie ftill and peaceful there. I'll think no more
Give me fome mufic; look that it be fad;
I'll foothe my melancholy, till I fwell
And burit myself with fighing-
'Tis fomewhat to my humour. Stay, I fancy
I'm now turn'd wild, a commoner of nature
Of all forfaken, and forfaking all;
Live in a fhady forest's fylvan fcene;
Stretch'd at my length beneath fome blasted oak,
I lean my head upon the moffy bark,
And look juft of a piece as I grew from it :
My uncomb'd locks, matted like mifletoe,
Hang o'er my hoary face; a murm'ring brook.
Runs at my foot-
Vent. Methinks, I fancy
Myfelf there too.
Ant. The herd come jumping by me,
And fearlefs quench their thirft while I look on,
And therefore will not leave you.
Ant. Will not leave me ? [I? Where have you learnt that answer! Who am Vent. My emperor: the man I love next Heaven. If I faid more, I think 't were fcarce a fin: You're all that's good and godlike.
Ant. All that's wretched. You will not leave me then?
Vent. 'Twas too prefuming
To fay I would not: but I dare not leave you;
And 'tis unkind in you to chide me hence
So foon, when I fo far have come to fee you.
Ant. Now thou haft feen me, art thou fatisfied?
For, if a friend, thou haft beheld enough;
And, if a foe, too much.
Vent. Look, emperor, this is no common dew, I have not wept thefe forty years; but now My mother comes afresh into my eyes; I cannot help her foftness.
Ant. By Heaven he weeps, poor good old man! he weeps!
The big round drops course one another down The furrows of his cheeks. Stop 'em, Ventidius, Or fhall I blush to death; they fet my fhame, That caus'd'em, full before me.
Ant. Sure there's contagion in the tears of See, I have caught it too. Believe me, 'tis not For my own griefs, but thine,-nay, fatherVent. Emperor!
Ant. Emperor! why that's the ftyle of victory.
The conqu ring foldier, red with unfelt wounds,
Salutes his general fo: but never more
Shall that found reach my ears.
Vent. I warrant you.
Ant. A&tium, A&tium! O
Vent. It fits too near you.
Ant. Here, here it lies; a lump of lead by day; And in my fhort, diftracted, nightly flumbers, The hag that rides my dreams
Vent, Out with it give it vent.
Ant. Urge not my fhame-
Vent. So has Julius done." [thou think,'ft; Ant. Thou favour'ft me, and fpeak'ft not half For Julius fought it out, and loft it fairly: But Antony
Vent. Nay, ftop not.
(Well, thou wilt have it)-like a coward fled, Fled while his foldiers fought; fled firft, Ventidius. Thou long'st to curse me, and I give thee leave. I know thou cam'ft prepar'd to rail.
Ant. I'll help thee-I have been a man, Venti-
Vent. Yes, and a brave one: but [dius.
Ant. I know thy meaning.
But I have loft my reafon, have difgrac'd
The name of foldier, with inglorious cafe.
In the full vintage of my flowing honours
Sate fill, and faw it preft by other hand.
Fortune came fmiling to my youth, and ww'd it,
And purple greatnefs met my ripen'd ye
When firft I came to empire, I was borne
On tides of people, crowding to my triumph;
The wifh of nations, and the willing world
Received me as its pledge of future peace.
I was fo great, fo happy, fo belov'd,
Fate could not ruin me; till I took pains,
And work'd against my fortune,chid her from me,
And turn'd her loofe: yet still the came agai
My careless days, and my luxurious nights
At length have wearied her, and now he's get
Gone, gone, divorc'd for ever! Help me, fo
To curfe this madman, this induftrious fool,
Who labour'd to be wretched. Pry' thee curient
Vent. You are too fenfible already
Of what you've done, too confcious of your
And like a fcorpion, whipt by others firft
To fury, fting yourself in mad revenge.
I would bring balm, and pour it in your wors
Cure your distemper'd mind, and heal your
Ant. I know thou wouldst.
Vent. I will.
Ant. Ha, ha, ha, ha!
Vent. You laugh.
Ant. I do, to fee officious love
Give cordials to the dead.
Vent. You would be loft then!
Ant. I am.
Vent. I fay you are not. Try your fort Ant. I have to th' utmost. Dost thou th
Without juft caufe? No, when I found all lo
Beyond repair, I hid me from the world,
And learnt to fcorn it here; which now I
So heartily, I think it is not worth
The cost of keeping.
Vent. Cæfar thinks not fo:
He'll thank you for the gift he could not tak
You would be kill'd like Tully, would you!
Hold out your throat to Cæfar, and die tr
Ant. No, I can kill myself; and fo recr Vent. I can die with you too, when time ferve:
But fortune calls upon us now to live,
To fight, to conquer.
Ant. Sure thou dream'ft, Ventidius. [be
Vent. No, 'tis you dream; you fleep away
In defperate floth, mifcall'd philofophy.
Up, up, for honour's fake; twelve legions
And long to call you chief. By painful journ
I led 'em, patient both of heat and hunger,
Down from the Parthian marches to the Nile
Twill do you good to fee their fun-burnt fact
Their fearr'd cheeks, and chopt hands; tha: «
virtue in 'em ;
Why fhould they fight, indeed, to make her [doms, And make you more a flave? to gain you kingWhich for a kifs, at your next midnight feast, You'll fell to her? Then the new names her jewels,
And calls this diamond fuch or fuch a tax;
Each pendant in her car fhall be a province.
Ant. Ventidus, I allow your tongue free li.
On all my other faults; but on your life, [cence
No word of Cleopatra: the deferves
More worlds than I can lofe.
Vent. Behold, you pow'rs,
To whom you have entrusted human kind;
See Europe, Afric, Afia put in balance;
And all weigh'd down by one light worthlefs
I think the gods are Antonies, and give,
Like prodigals, this nether world away
To none but wafteful hands.
Ant. You grow prefumptuous.
Vent. Itake the privilege of plain love to fpeak. Ant. Plain love! plain arrogante, plain infolence!
Thy men are cowards; thou, an envious traitor;
Who, under feeming honefty, haft vented
The burden of thy rank o'erflowing gall.'
O, that thou wert my equal; great in arms
As the first Cæfar was, that I might kill thee
Without ftain to my honour!
Vent. You may kill me.
1 faid it in my rage: pr'ythee forgive me. Why didft thou tempt my anger, by discovery Of what I would not hear?
Vent. No prince but you
Could merit that fincerity I us’d
Nor durft another man have ventur'd it:
But you, ere love mifled your wand'ring eyes,
Were fure the chief and beft of human race,
Fram'd in the very pride and boast of nature.
Ant. But Cleopatra
Go on; for I can bear it now.
Vent. No more.
Ant. Thou dar'ft not truft my paffion; but thou mayft:
Thou only lov't, the reft have flatter'd me. Vent. Heaven's bleffing on your heart, for that kind word.
May I believe you love me? Speak again.
Ant. Indeed I do. Speak this, and this, and this Thy praises were unjust; but I'll deserve 'em, And yet mend all. Do with me what thou wilt; Lead me to victory, thou know'ft the way.
Vent. And, will you leave this-Ant. Pr'ythee do not curfe her, And I will leave her; tho' Heaven knows I love Beyond life, conqueft, empire, all but honour But I will leave her.
Vent. That's my royal master. And thall we fight?
Ant. I warrant thee, old foldier: Thou shalt behold me once again in irch; And, at the head of our old troops, that beat The Parthians, cry aloud, Come, follow me!
Vent. O, now I hear my emperor! In that word Octavius fell. Gods, let me fee that day; And, if I have ten years behind, take all : I'll thank you for the exchange. Ant. O, Cleopatra !
Ant. I've done. In that laft figh fhe went
Cæfar fhall know what 'tis to force a lover
From all he holds most dear.
Vent. Methinks you breathe
Another foul; your looks are more divine;
You fpeak a hero, and you move a god.
Ant. O, thou haft fir'd me! my foul's up in
And mans each part about me. Once again [arins,
You have done more already; call'd me traitor. The noble eagerness of fight has feiz'd me;
Vent. For fhewing you yourself, Which none elfe durft have done. But had I been That name, which I difdain to speak again, Beeded not have fought your abject fortunes, eme to partake your fate, to die with you.
That eagerness, with which I darted upward
To Caffius' camp. In vain the steepy hill
Oppos'd my way; in vain a war of fpears
Sung round my head, and planted all my thields"
I won the trenches, while my foremost men
Lagg'd on the plain below.
Before I go, I'll rip the malady,
And let the venom flow before your eyes,
This is a debt to the great Theodofius,
The grandfather of your illuftrious blood:
And then farewell for ever.
Theo. Prefuming Marcian!
What canft thou urge against my innocence! Thro' the whole courfe of all my harmless yath, Ev'n to this hour, I cannot call to mind One wicked act which I have done to shames. Mar. This may be true: yet if you give the fway
To other hands, and your poor subjects suffer,
Theo. HA! what rafh thing art thou, who Your negligence to them is as the caufe.
A value on thy life, thus to prefume Against the fatal orders I have given, Thus to entrench on Cæsar's solitude, And urge me to thy ruin?
Mar. Mighty Cæfar,
I have tranfgrefs'd; and for my pardon bow
To thee, as to the gods, when I offend:
Nor can I doubt your mercy, when you know
The nature of my crime. I am commission'd
From all the earth to give thee thanks and praises,
Thou darling of mankind! whofe conqu'ring arms
Already drown the glory of great Julius;
Whofe deeper reach in laws and policy
Makes wife Auguftus envy thee in heaven!
What mean the Fates by fuch prodigious virtue?
When fcarce the manly down yet fhades thy face,
With conqueft thus to over-run the world,
And make barbarians tremble. O ye gods!
Should Destiny now end thee in the bloom,
Methinks I fee thee mourn'd above the lofs
Of lot'd Germanicus; thy funerals,
Like his, are folemniz'd with tears and blood,
Theo. How, Marcian!
Mar. Yes, the raging multitude,
Like torrents, fet no bound to their mad grief;
Shave their wives' heads, and tear off their own
With wild defpair they bring their infants out,
To brawl their parents' forrow in the streets:
Trade is no more, all courts of juftice stopt;
With tones they dash the windows of their
Pull down their altars, break their household
And still the universal groan is this-
"Conftantinople's loft, our empire's ruin'd;
Since he his gone that father of his country,
Since he is dead, O life, where is thy pleafure?
O Rome, O conquer'd world, where is thy glory!"
Theo. I know thee well, thy cuftom and thy
Thou didst upbraid me; but no more of this, Not for thy life
Mar. What's life without my honour? Could you transform yourself into a Gorgon, Or make that beardlefs face like Jupiter's, I would be heard in fpite of all your thunder: O pow'r of guilt! you fear to ftand the test Which virtue brings: like fores your vices make
Before this Roman healer, But, by the gods,
O Theodofius, credit me, who know
The world, and hear how foldiers cenfure kings;
In after times, if thus you fhould go on,
Your memory by warriors will be fcorn'd,
As much as Nero or Caligula loath'd:
They will defpife your floth, and backward caft,
More than they hate the other's cruelty.
And what a thing, ye gods, is fcorn or pity!
Heap on me, Heaven, the hate of all mankind;
Load me with malice, envy, deteftation ;
Let me be horrid to all apprehenfion,
And the world fhun me, fo I fcape but fcorn.
Theo. Pr'ythee no more.
Mar. Nay, when the legions make compari.
And fay, Thus cruel Nero once refolv'd,
On Galba's infurrection, for revenge
To give all France as plunder to the army;
To poifon the whole fenate at a feaft;
To burn the city, turn the wild beasts out,
Bears, lions, tigers, on the multitude;
That, fo obftructing thofe that quench'd the ft,
He might at once deftroy rebellious Rome-
Theo. O cruelty! why tell'ft thou me of thin
Am I of fuch a barb'rous bloody temper?
Mar. Yet fome will fay, This fhew'd he had
However fierce avenging, and pernicious,
That favour'd of a Roman: but for you,
What can your partial fycophants invent,
To make you room among the emperors?
Whofe utmost is the smalleft part of Nero
A pretty player, one that can act a hero,
And never be one. O ye immortal gods !
Is this the old Cæfarean majesty?
Now in the name of our great Romulus,
Why fing you not, and fiddle too, as he did?
Why have you not, like Nero, a Phonafcus !
One to take care of your celestial voice?
Lie on your back, my lord, and on your ftomach
Lay a thin plate of lead, abftain from fruits;
And when the business of the stage is done,
Retire with your loofe friends to coftly banquets,
While the lean army groans upon the ground.
Theo. Leave me, I fay, left I chaftife thee;
Hence, begone, I fay-
Mar. Not till you have heard me out.
Build too, like him, a palace lin'd with gold,
As long and large as that of th' Efquiline:
Inclofe a pool too in it, like the fea,
And at the empire's coft let navies meet;
Adorn your ftarry chambers too with gems; Contrive the plated ceilings to turn round, With pipes to caft ambrofian oils upon you : Confume with this prodigious vanity,
mere perfumes and odorous diftillations, f fefterces at once four hundred millions; naked virgins wait you at your table, nd wanton Cupids dance and clap their wings. matter what becomes of the poor földiers, they perform the drudgery they are fit for; hy let 'em starve for want of their arrears, op as they go, and lie like dogs in ditches. Theo. Come, you are a traitor! Mar. Go to, you are a boy———— by the gods
Theo. If arrogance like this,
to the emperor's face, fhould 'fcape unpunished,
write myself a coward; die, then, villain, ath too glorious for so bad a man, Theodocius' hand.
Marcian difarms him, but is wounded. ar. Now, Sir, where are you? it, in the name of all our Roman fpirits, charms my hand from giving thee thy fate? he not cut me off from all my honours? n my commiffions, fham'd me to the earth, fh'd the court, a vagabond for ever? ot the foldiers hourly ask it from me? their own wrongs, and beg me to revenge
t hinders now, but that I mount the throne, nake, befides,this purple youth my footstool? irmies court me: "and my country's caufe, injuries of Rome and Greece, persuade me, but this Roman blood which he has drawn, 'll make me emperor whether I will or no: ot, for less than this, the latter Brutus, fe he thought Rome wrong'd, in perfon aft his friend a black confpiracy, [head tab the majesty of all the world? 0.Act as you please: I am within your pow'r. r. Did not the former Brutus, for the crime tus, drive old Tarquin from his kingdom? hall this prince too, by permitting others t their wicked wills, and lawless pleasures, from the empire its dear health, being, happiness, and ancient glory? in this dishonourable rest ?
e, I fay, dream on, while the starv'd troops Id and waking in the winter camp; ke pin'd birds, for want of fuftenance, n the haws and berries of the fields? er, temper me, ye gracious gods!
my hand forbearance, to my heart tant loyalty! I would but shake him, im a little from this death of honour, ew him what he should be.
Thou'ft faid, and done, and brought to my remembrance,
You accufe me,
were fome moniter most unheard of! the ruin of the army; then ng your commiffion: but by Heaven O Marcian! this I never did, r intended it; nor fay I this thy stern usage; for with what
I grow already weary of my life. Mar. My lord, I take your word:
The wounds which rage within your country's bowels;
The horrid ufage of the fuffering foldier
But why will not our Theodofius know?
If you entrust the government to others
That act thefe crimes, who but yourself's to blame?
Be witnefs, O ye gods! of my plain dealings.
Of Marcian's honefty, howe'er degraded,
I thank you for my banishment: but alas!
My lofs is little to what foon will follow!
Reflect but on yourself and your own joys ;
Let not this lethargy for ever hold you.
'Twas rumour'd thro' the city, that you lov'd';
That your efpoufals fhould be folemniz'd;
When on a fudden here you fend your orders
That this bright favourite, the lov'd Eudofia,
Should lofe her head.
Theo. O heaven and earth! What fay'st thou That I have feal'd the death of my Eudofia! Mar. 'Tis your own hand and fignet: yet I fwear,
Tho' you have given to female hands your fway,
And therefore I, as well as the whole army,
For ever ought to curfe all womankind;
Yet when the virgin came, as the was doom'd,
And on the fcaffold, for that purpose rais'd
Without the walls, appear'd before the army-
Theo. What; on a fcaffold! ha! before the
Mar. How quickly was the tide of fury turn'd
To foft compaffion, and relenting tears!
But when the axe
Sever'd the brightest beauty of the earth
From that fair body-had you heard the groan,
Which, like a peal of diftant thunder, ran
Through all the armed hoft, you would have
By the immediate darkness that fell round us,
Whole nature was concern'd at such a suff'ring,
And all the gods were angry.
Theo. O Pulcheria !