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Myrrha. And I would ask if this your The rebels, fighting inch by inch, and palace were

forming Unroofd and desolate, how many flatterers An orb around the palace, where they mean Would lick the dust in which the king lay To centre all their force, and save the king. low ?

(He hesitates.) I am charged toAliada. The fair Ionian is too sarcastic Myrrha. 'Tis no time for hesitation. Upon a nation whom she knows not well; Pania. Prince Salemenes doth implore The Assyrians know no pleasure but their

the king king's,

To arm himself, although but for a moment, And homage is their pride.

And show himself unto the soldiers : his Sard. Nay, pardon, guests,

Sole presence in this instant might do more The fair Greek's readiness of speech. Than hosts can do in his behalf. Altada. Pardon! sire:

Sard. What, ho!
We honour her of all things next to thee. My armour there.
Hark! what was that?

Myrrha. And wilt thou ?
Zames. That! nothing but the jar

Sard. Will I not?
Of distant portals shaken by the wind. Ho, there!--But seek not for the buckler; 'tis
Altada. It sounded like the clash of, Too heavy:-a light cuirass and my sword.
hark again!

Where are the rebels ?
Zames. The big rain pattering on the roof. Pania. Scarce a furlong's length
Sard. No more.

From the outward wall the fiercest conflict Myrrha, my love, hast thou thy shell in

rages. order?

Sard. Then I may charge on horseback. Sing me a song of Sappho, her, thou knowst, Sfero, ho! Who in thy country threw

Order my horse out. There is space enough Enter Pania, with his sword and garments To marshal half the horsenen of Arabia.

Even in our courts, and by the outer gate, bloody, and disordered. The Guests rise in

[Erit Sfero for the armour. confusion.

Myrrha. How I do love thee!
Pania (to the guards). Look to the portals; Sard. I ne'er doubted it.
And with your best speed to the wall Myrrha. But now I know thee.
without.

Sard. (to his Attendant) Bring down my Your arms! To arins! The king's in danger.

spear, too, Monarch !

Where's Salemenes? Excuse this haste,-'tis faith.

Pania. Where a soldier should be,
Sard. Speak on.

In the thick of the fight.
Pania. It is

Sard. Then hasten to him-Is
As Salemenes fear'd; the faithless satraps The path still open, and communication
Sard. You are wounded – give some Left 'twixt the palace and the phalanx ?

wine. Take breath, good Pania. Pania. Twas Pania. 'Tis nothing-a mere flesh-wound, When I late left him, and I have no fear: I am worn

Our troops were steady, and the phalanx More with my speed to warn my sovereign,

form'd. Than hurt in his defence.

Sard. Tell him to spare his person for Myrrha. Well, sir, the rebels.

the present, Pania. Soon as Arbaces and Beleses And that I will not spare my own-and say, reach'd

I come. Their stations in the city, they refused Pania. There's victory in the very word. To march: and on my attempt to use the

[Exit Pania. power

Sard. Altada-Zames-forth and arm ye! Which I was delegated with, they callid

There
Upon their troops, who rose in fierce defiance. Is all in readiness in the armoury:
Myrrha. ANI?

See that the women are bestow'd in safety
Pania. Too many,

In the remote apartments: let a guard Sard. Sparc not of thy free speech Be set before them, with strict charge to quit To spare mine ears the truth.

The post but with their lives—command it, Pania. My own slight guard

Zames. Were faithful - and what's left of it is still so. Altada, arm yourself, and return here; Myrrha. And are these all the force still Your post is near our person. faithful?

(Ercunt Zames, Altada, and all save Pania. No

Myrrha.
The Bactrians, now led on by Salemenes,
Who even then was on his way, still urged Enter Spero and others with the King's

Arms.
By strong suspicion of the Median chiefs,
Are numerous, and make strong head against Sfero. King! your nrmour.

prove them.

more

Sard. (arming himself.) Give me the And the helm not at all. Methinks, I seem cuirass—su : my baldric; now

(Flings away the helmet after trying My sword: I had forgot the helm, where it again. is it?

Passing well in these toys; and now to That's well-no, 'tis too heavy: you mistake, too

Altada! Where's Altada ? It was not this I meant, but that which bears Sfero. Waiting, sire, A diadem around it.

Without: he has your shield in readiness. Sfero. Sire, I deem'd

Sard. True; I forget he is my shieldThat too conspicuous from the precious

bearer stones

By right of blood, derived from age to age. To risk your sacred brow beneath-and, Myrrha embrace me; yet once more once

trust me, This is of better metal, though less rich. Love me, whate'er betide. My chiefest glory Sard. You deem’d! Are you too turnd Shall be to make me worthier of your love. a rebel? Fellow!

Myrrha. Go forth, and conquer ! Your part is to obey: return, and-no

[Ereunt Sardanapalus and Sfero. It is too late-I will go forth without it.

Now, I am alone. Sfero. At lcast wear this.

All are gone forth, and of that all ow few Sard. Wear Caucasus! why, 'tis Perhaps return. Let him but vanquish, and A mountain on my temples.

Me perish! If he vanquish not, I perish; Sfero. Sire, the meanest

For I will not outlive him. He has wound Soldier goes not forth tbus exposed to battle. About my heart, I know not how nor why. All men will recognize you - for the storm Not for that he is king; for now his Has ceased, and the muon breaks forth in kingdom her brightness.

Rocks underneath his throne, and the earth Sard. I go forth to be recognized, and thus

yawns Shall be so sooner. Now-my spear! I'm To yield him no more of it than a grave; arm'd.

And yet I love him more. Oh, mighty Jove! [In going stops short, and turns to Sfero. Forgive this monstrous love for a barbarian, Sfero-I had forgotten--bring the mirror. Who knows not of Olympus: yes, I love him Sfero. The mirror, sire?

Now, now, far more than- Hark-to the Sard. Yes, sir, of polish'd brass,

war-shout! Brought from the spoils of India--but be Methinks it nears me. If it should be so, speedy. [Exit Sfero.

[She draus forth a small vidl. Myrrha, retire unto a place of safety. This cunning Colchian poison, which my Why went you not forth with the other

father damsels ?

Learn'd to compound on Euxine shores, and Myrrha. Because my place is here.

taught me Sard. And when I am gone

How to preserve, shall frce me! It had Myrrha. I follow.

freed me Sard. You! to battle ?

Long ere this hour, but that I lovedl, until Myrrha. If it were so,

I half forgot I was a slave:- where all 'Twere not the first Greek girl had trod the Are slaves save one, and proud of servitude, path.

So they are served in turn by something I will await here your return.

lower Sard. The place

In the degree of bondage, we forget Is spacious, and the first to be sought out, That shackles worn like ornaments no less If they prevail; and, if it should be so, Are chaing. Again that shout! and now And I return not

the clash Myrrha. Still, we mect again.

Of arms-and now- and nowSard. How?

Enter ALTADA. Myrrha. In the spot where all must meet at last

Altada. Ho, Sfero, ho! In Ilades! if there be, as I believe,

Myrrha. He is not here; what wouldst A shore beyond the Styx; and if there be not,

thou with him? How In ashes.

Goes on the conflict ? Sard. Dar'st thou so much?

Altada. Dubiously and fiercely. Myrrha. I dare all things,

Myrrha. And the king? Except survive what I have loved, to be Altada. Like a king. I must find Sfero, A rebel's booty: forth, and do your bravest. And bring him a new spear and his own

helmet. Re-enter Sfero with the mirror.

lle fights till now bare-headed, and by far Surd. (looking at himself) This cuirass fits Too much exposed. The soldiers knew his mc well, the baldric better,

face,

And the foe too; and in the moon's broad Pania. And charged me to secure your life, light,

And beg you to live on for his sake, till His silk tiara and his flowing hair He can rejoin you. Make him a mark too royal. Every arrow Myrrha. Will he then give way? Is pointed at the fair hair and fair features, Pania. Not till the last. Still, still ho And the broad fillet which crowns both.

does whate'er Myrrha. Ye gods,

Despair can do; and step by step disputes Who fulmine o'er my fathers' land, protect The very palace. him!

Myrrha. They are here, then:-ay, Were you sent by the king ?

Their shouts come ringing through tho Altada. By Salemenes,

ancient halls, Who sent me privily upon this charge, Never profaned by rebel echoes till Without the knowledge of the careless This fatal night. Farewell, Assyria's line! sovereign.

Farewell to all of Nimrod! Even the name The king! the king fights as he revels! ho! Is now no more. What, Sfero! I will seek the armoury,

Pania. Away with me-away! He must be there.

[Erit Altada. Myrrha. No; I'll die here!-Away, and Myrha. 'Tis no dishonour-no

tell your king "Ti no dishonour to have loved this man. I loved him the last. I almost wish now, what I never wish'd

Enter SARDANAPALUS and SALEMENES with Before, that he were Grecian. If Alcides Were shamed in wearing Lydian Omphale's

Soldiers. Pania quits MYRRHA, and ranges She-garb, and wielding her vile distaff ;

himself with them. surely

Sard. Since it is thus,
He, who springs up a Hercules at once, We'll die where we were born-in our own
Nursed in effeminate arts from youth to

halls.
manhood,
Serry your ranks—stand firm.

I have
And rushes from the banquet to the battle, despatch'd
As though it were a bed of love, deserves A trusty satrap for the guard of Zames,
That a Greek girl should be his paramour, All fresh and faithful; they'll be here anon.
And a Greek bard his minstrel, a Greek tomb All is not over.- Pania, look to Myrrha.
His monument. How goes the strife, sir?

(Pania returns towards Myrrha.

Sal. We have breathing time: yet one Enter an Officer.

more charge, my friendsOfficer. Lost,

One for Assyria!
Lost almost past recovery. Zames! Where Sard. Rather say for Bactria !
Is Zames?

My faithful Bactrians, I will henceforth be Myrrha. Posted with the guard appointed King of your nation, and we'll hold together Towatch before the apartment of the women. This realm as province.

[Erit Officer. Sal. Hark! They come, they come. Myrrha. He's gone; and told no more than that all's lost!

Enter BELESES and ARBACEs with the Rebels. What need have I to know more? In those Arbaces. Set on, we have them in the words,

toil. Charge! Charge! Those little words, a kingdom and a king, Belcses. On! on!-Heaven fights for us A line of thirteen ages, and the lives

and with us.-On! Of thousands, and the fortune of all left [They charge the King and Salemenes With life, are merged : and I, too, with with their Troops, who defend themthe great,

selves till the arrival of Zames with Like a small bubble breaking with the wave the Guard before mentioned. The ReWhich bore it, shall be nothing. At the bels are then driven off, and pursued least

by Salemenes, etc. As the King is going My fate is in my keeping: no proud victor to join the pursuit, Belescs crosses him. Shall count me with his spoils.

Beleses. Ho! tyrant-I will end this war.

Sard. Even so,
Enter Pania.

My warlike priest, and precious prophet, and Pania. Away with me,

Grateful and trusty subject :-yield, I pray Myrrha, without delay; we must not lose

thee. A moment-all that's left us now.

I would reserve thee for a fitter doom, Myrrha. The king?

Rather than dip my hands in holy blood. Pania. Sent me here to conduct you Beleses. Thine hour is come. hence, beyond

Sard. No, thine.--I've lately read, The river, by a secret passage.

Though but a young astrologer, the stars; Myrrha. Then

And ranging round the zodiac, found thy lle lives

fate

In the sign of the Scorpion, which proclaims | His' silken son to save it: he defies
That thou wilt now be crush'd.

All augury of foes or friends; and like Beleses. But not by thee.

The close and sultry summer's day, which [They fight; Beleses is wounded and

bodes disarmed.

A twilight-tempest, bursts forth in such Sard. (raising his sword to despatch him thunder erclaims -)

As sweeps the air and deluges the earth. Now call upon thy planets, will they shoot The man's inscrutable. From the sky to preserve their seer and Sfero. Not more than others. credit?

All are the sons of circumstance; away-
[A party of Rebels enter and rescue Let's seek the slave out, or prepare to be

Beleses. They assail the King, who, Tortured for his infatuation, and
in turn, is rescued by a party of Condemnd without a crime. [Ereunt.

his Soldiers, who drive the Rebels off. The villain was a prophet after all.

Enter SALEMENES and Soldiers. Upon them-ho! there-victory is ours. Sal. The triumph is

[Erit in pursuit. Flattering: they are beaten backward from Myrrha (to Pania). Pursue! Why standst the palace,

thou here, and leavest the ranke And we have open'd regular access Of fellow-soldiers conquering without thee? To the troops station’d on the other side Pania. The king's command was not to Euphrates, who may still be true; nay, quit thee.

must be, Myrrha. Me!

When they hear of our victory. But where Think not of mc—a single soldier's arm Is the chief victor? where's the king ? Must not be wanting now. I ask no guard, I need no guard: what, with a world at stake,

Enter SARDANAPALUS, cum suis, and

MYRRHA.
Keep watch upon a woman? Hence, I say,
Or thou art shamed ! Nay, then, I will go Sard. Here, brother.
forth,

Sal. Unhurt, I hope.
A feeble female, 'midst their desperate strife, Sard. Not quite; but let it pass.
And bid thee guard me there where thou We've clear'd the palace-
shouldst shield

Sal. And, I trust, the city.
Thy sovereign.

[Exit Myrrha. Our numbers gather; and I have order'd Pania. Yet stay, damsel! She is gone.

onward If aught of ill betide her, better I A cloud of Parthians, hitherto reserved, Had lost my life. Sardanapalus holds her All fresh and fiery, to be pour'd upon them Far dearer than his kingdom, yet he fights in their retreat, which soon will be a flight. For that tvo; and can I do less than him, Sard. It is already, or at least they Who never flesh'd a scimitar till now ?

march'd Myrrha, return, and I obey you, though Faster than I could follow with my In disobedience to the monarch.

Bactrians,

[Exit Pania. Who spared no speed. I am spent; give Enter ALTADA, and SFERo by an opposite door.

Sal. There stands the throne, sire. Altada. Myrrha !

Sard. 'Tis no place to rest on, What, gone? yet she was here when the For mind nor body: let me have a couch, fight raged,

[They place a seat. And Pania also. Can aught have befallen A peasant's stool, I care not what: 80-now them?

I breathe more freely. Sfero. I saw both safe, when late the Sal. This great hour has proved rebels fled:

The brightest and most glorious of your life. They probably are but retired to make Sard. And the most tiresome. Where's Their way back to the harem.

my cup-bearer? Altada. If the king

Bring me some water.
Prove victor, as it seems even now he must, Sal. (smiling) 'Tis the first time he
And miss his own Ionian, we are doom'd Ever had such an order: even I,
To worse than captive rebels.

Your most austere of counsellors, would now Sfero. Let us trace them;

Suggest a purpler beverage.' She cannot be fled far; and, found, she Sard. Blood - doubtless. makes

But there's enough of that shed ; as for wine, A richer prize to our soft sovereign I have learn'd to-night the price of the Than his recover'd kingdom.

pure element: Altada. Baal himself

Thrice have I drank of it, and thrice renewid, Ne'er fought more fiercely to win empire, With greater strength than the grape over tban

gave me,

me a seat.

poor slave!

My charge upon the rebels. Where's the As a lute's pierceth through the cymbal's soldier

clash, Who gave me water in his helmet? Jarr'd but not drown'd by the loud batOne of the Guards. Slain, sire!

tling; her An arrow pierced his brain, while, scattering Waved arms, more dazzling with their The last drops from his helm, he stood in act

own-born whiteness To place it on his brows.

Than the steel her hand held, which she Sard. Slain! unrewarded!

caught up And slain to serve my thirst : that's hard, From a dead soldier's grasp; all these

things made Had he but lived, I would have gorged Her seem unto the troops a prophetess him with

Of victory, or Victory herself,
Gold: all the gold of earth could ne'er repay Come down to hail us hers.
The pleasure of that draught; for I was Sal. (aside) This is too much:
parch'd

Again the love-fit's on him, and all's lost,
As I am now. [They bring water-he drinks. Unless we turn his thoughts.
I live again-from henceforth

(Aloud.) But pray thee, sire, The goblet I reserve for hours of love, Think of your wound-you said even now But war on water.

'twas painful. Sal. And that bandage, sire,

Sard. That's true, too; but I must not Which girds your arm?

think of it. Sard. A scratch from brave Beleses. Sal. I have look'd to all things needful, Myrrha. Oh! he is wounded !

and will now Sard. Not too much of that;

Receive reports of progress made in such And yet it feels a little stiff and painful, Orders as I had given, and then return Now I am cooler.

To hear your further pleasure. Myrrha. You have bound it with

Sard. Be it so. Sard. The fillet of my diadem: the first Sal. (in retiring) Myrrha! time

Myrrha. Prince! That ornament was ever aught to me Sal. You have shown a soul to-night, Save an incumbrance.

Which, were he not my sister's lordMyrrha (to the Attendants). Summon

But now speedily

I have no time: thou lov'st the king? A leech of the most skilful: pray, retire; Myrrha. I love I will unbind your wound and tend it. Sardanapalus. Sard. Do so,

Sal. But wouldst have him king still ? For now it throbs sufficiently: but what Myrrha. I would not have him less than Knowst thou of wounds? yet wherefore do what he should be. I ask?

Sal. Well, then, to have him king, and Knowst thou, my brother, where I lighted on

yours, and all This minion?

He should, or should not be; to have him live, Sal. Herding with the other females, Let him not sink back into luxury. Like frightend antelopes.

You have more power upon his spirit than Sard. No: like the dam

Wisdom within these walls, or fierce Of the young lion, femininely raging,

rebellion (And femininely meaneth furiously, Raging without: look well that he relapse Because all passions in excess are female)

not. Against the hunter flying with her cub, Myrrha. There needed not the voice of She urged on with her voice and gesture and

Salemenes Her floating hair and flashing eyes the To urge me on to this: I will not fail. soldiers

All that a woman's weakness canIn the pursuit.

Sal. Is power Sal. Indeed !

Omnipotent o’er such a heart as his; Sard. You see, this night

Exert it wisely:

[Erit Salemenes. Made warriors of more than me. I paused Sard. Myrrha! what, at whispers To look upon her, and her kindled cheek; With my stern brother? I shall soon be Her large black eyes, that flash'd through jealous. her long hair

Myrrha (smiling). You have cause, sire; As it stream'd o'er her; her blue veins that

for on the earth there breathes not

A man more worthy of a woman's loveAlong her most transparent brow; her A soldier's trust-à subject's reverence nostril

A king's esteem-the whole world's admiDilated from its symmetry; her lips

ration! Apart; her voice that clove through all Sard. Praise him, but not so warmly. the din,

I must not

rose

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