The rival queens, or, The death of Alexander the Great acted at the Theater-Royal by their majesties servants
Lee, Nathaniel, 1653?-1692., Dryden, John, 1631-1700., La Calprenède, Gaultier de Coste, seigneur de, d. 1663. Cassandre. English.
Page  37

ACT IV.

Enter Clytus in his Macedonian habit; Hephestion, Eumenes, Meleager, &c. in Persian Robes.
Clyt.
AWay, I will not wear these Persian Robes;
Nor ought the King be angry for the reverence
I owe my Country, sacred are her Customs,
Which honest Clytus shall preserve to death.
O let me rot in Macedonian rags,
Rather then shine in fashions of the East.
Then for the Adorations he requires,
Rost my old body in eternal flames,
Or let him Cage me, like Calisthenes.
Eum.
Dear Clytus, be perswaded.
Heph.
You know the King
Is God-like, full of all the richest Virtues
That ever Royal heart possess'd; yet you
Perverse, but to one humour will oppose him.
Clyt.
Call you it humour! 'tis a pregnant one,
By Mars there's venom in it, burning pride;
And though my life shou'd follow, rather then
Bear such a hot ambition in my bowels,
I'd rip 'em up to give the poyson vent.
Mel.
Was not that Jupiter whom we adore
A man? but for his more then human acts,
Advanc'd to Heav'n, and worshipt for its Lord!
Heph.
By all his Thunder, and his Sov'raign Power,
I'le not believe the Earth yet ever felt
An arm like Alexanders; not that God
You nam'd, though riding in a Car of fire,
And drawn by flying Horses wing'd with Lightning,
Cou'd in a space more short do greater deeds,
Drive all the Nations, and lay wast the World.
Clyt.
There's not a man of War amongst you all
That loves the King like me; yet I'le not flatter,
Nor sooth his vanity, 'tis blamable,
And when the wine works, Clytus thoughts will out,
Page  38 Heph.
Then go not to the Banquet.
Clyt.
I was call'd,
My Minion, was I not, as well as you?
I'le go, my Friends, in this old Habit thus,
And laugh, and drink the King's health heartily;
And while you blushing bow your heads to earth,
And hide'em in the dust, I'le stand upright,
Strait as a Spear, the Pillar of my Country,
And be by so much nearer to the Gods—
But see, the King and all the Court appear.
Enter Alexander, Sysigambis, Statira, Parisatis, &c.
Par.
Spare him, O spare Lysimachus his life;
I know you will, Kings shou'd delight in mercy.
Alex.
Shield me, Statira, shield me from her sorrow.
Par.
O save him, save him, e're it be too late;
Speak the kind word before the gaping Lyon
Swallow him up; let not your Souldier perish,
But for one rashness which despair did cause.
I'le follow thus for ever on my knees,
And make your way so slippery with tears,
You shall not pass.—Sister, do you conjure him.
Alex.
O Mother, take her, take her from me,
(kneels.
Her watry eyes assault my very Soul,
They shake my best resolve.—
Stat.
Did not I break
Through all for you? nay now my Lord you must.
Sys.
Nor wou'd I make my Son so bold a prayer,
Had I not first consulted for his Honour.
Alex.
Honour! what Honour! has not Statira said it?
Were I the King of the blue Firmament,
And the bold Titans shou'd again make War,
Though my resistless Arrows were made ready,
By all the Gods she shou'd arrest my hand.
Fly then, ev'n thou his Rival so belov'd,
Fly with old Clytus, snatch him from the jaws
Of the devouring Beast, bring him adorn'd
To the Kings Banquet, fit for loads of Honour.
Exeunt Heph. Eum. Par.
Page  39 Stat.
O my lov'd Lord! let me embrace your knees,
I am not worthy of this mighty passion:
You are too good for Goddesses themselves;
No woman, not the Sex, is worth a grain
Of this illustrious life of my dear Master.
Why are you so Divine to cause such fondness?
That my heart leaps, and beats, and fain wou'd out,
To make a dance of Joy about your feet.
Alex.
Excellent woman! no, 'tis impossible
To say how much I love thee:—Ha! again!
Such Extasies life cannot carry long;
The day comes on so fast, and beamy joy
Darts with such fierceness on me, night will follo
A pale Crown'd head flew lately glaring by me,
With two dead hands, which threw a Chrystal Globe
From high, that shatter'd in a thousand pieces.
But I will lose these boding Dreams in wine;
Then warm and blushing for my Queens embraces,
Bear me with all my heat to thy lov'd bosom.
Stat.
Go, my best Love, and chear your drooping Spirits;
Laugh with your Friends, and talk your grief away,
While in the Bow'r of great Semiramis,
I dress your Bed with all the sweets of Nature,
And crown it as the Altar of my Love;
Where I will lay me down and softly mourn,
But never close my eyes till your return.
Ex. Stat. Sysig.
Alex.
Is she not more then mortal man can wish!
Diana's Soul, cast in the flesh of Venus!
By Jove 'tis ominous, our parting is;
Her face look'd pale too, as she turn'd away:
And when I wrung her by the Rosie fingers,
Methought the strings of my great heart did crack.
What should it mean?—Forward, Laomedon.
Roxana meets him, with Cassand. Polip. Phil. and Thess.
Why Madam gaze you thus?
Rox.
For a last look,
(she holds his hand.
And that the memory of Roxana's wrongs
May be for ever printed in your mind.
Page  40 Alex.
O Madam, you must let me pass.
Rox.
I will;
But I have sworn that you shall hear me speak,
And mark me well, for Fate is in my breath:
Love on the Mistress you adore to death:
Still hope; but I fruition will destroy:
Languish for pleasures, you shall ne're enjoy.
Still may Statira's Image draw your sight,
Like those deluding Fires that walk at night;
Lead you through fragrant Grots, and flowrie Groves,
And charm you through deep Grass with sleeping Loves;
That when your fancy to its height does rise,
The light you lov'd may vanish from your eyes,
Darkness, Despair, and Death your wandring Soul surprize.
Alex.
Away; lead, Meleager, to the Banquet.
Ex. cum suis.
Rox.
So unconcern'd! O I cou'd tear my flesh,
Or him, or you, nay all the world to pieces.
Cas.
Still keep this Spirit up, preserve it still,
Lose not a grain, for such Majestick Atomes
First made the world, and must preserve its greatness.
Rox.
I know I am whatever thou canst say;
My Soul is pent, and has not elbow room;
'Tis swell'd with this last slight, beyond all bounds:
O that it had a space might answer to
Its infinite desire, where I might stand
And hurl the Sphears about like sportive Balls.
Cas.
We are your Slaves, admirers of your fury;
Command Cassander to obey your pleasure,
And I will on, swift as my nimble Eye
Scales Heav'n when I am angry with the Fates.
No Age, nor Sex, nor dignity of bloud,
No tyes of Law or Nature, not the life
Imperial, though guarded with the Gods,
Shall bar Cassander's vengeance, he shall dye.
Rox.
Ha! shall he dye? shall I consent to kill him?
To see him clasp'd in the cold arms of death,
Whom I with such an eagerness have lov'd?
Do I not bear his Image in my womb?
Which while I meditate, and roul revenge,
Starts in my body like a fatal pulse,
Page  41 And strikes compassion through my bleeding bowels.
Pol.
These scruples which your Love wou'd raise might pass,
Were not the Empire of the world consider'd:
How will the glorious Infant in your womb,
When time shall teach his tongue, be bound to curse you,
If now you strike not for his Coronation!
Cas.
If Alexander lives, you cannot reign,
Nor shall your Child; old Sysigambis head
Will not be idle:—sure destruction waits
Both you and yours; let not your anger cool,
But give the word, say Alexander bleeds,
Draw dry the veins of all the Persian Race,
And hurl a ruine o're the East, 'tis done.
Pol.
Behold the Instruments of this great work.
Phil.
Behold your forward Slave.
Thes.
I'le execute.
Rox.
And when this ruine is accomplish'd, where
Shall curst Roxana fly with this dear load?
Where shall she find a refuge from the arms
Of all the Successors of this great man?
No barb'rous Nation will receive a guilt
So much transcending theirs, but drive me out:
The wildest Beasts will hunt me from their Dens,
And Birds of prey molest me in the Grave.
Cas.
No, you shall live, pardon the insolence
Which this Almighty Love enforces from me,
You shall live safer, nobler then before,
In your Cassander's arms.
Rox.
Disgrac'd Roxana, whither wilt thou fall!
I ne're was truly wretched till this moment;
There's not one mark of former Majesty,
To awe my Slave that offers at my Honour.
Cas.
Madam, I hope you'l not impute my passion
To want of that respect which I must bear you;
Long I have Lov'd—
Rox.
Peace, most audacious Villain!
Or I will stab this passion in thy throat.
What, shall I leave the bosom of a Deity
To clasp a clod, a moving piece of Earth,
Which a Mole heaves? so far art thou beneath me.
Page  42 Cas.
Your Majesty shall hear no more my folly.
Rox.
Nor dare to meet my Eyes; for if thou dost,
With a Love-glance thy plots are all unravell'd,
And your kind thoughts of Alexander told;
Whose life, in spight of all his wrongs to me,
Shall be for ever sacred and untouch'd.
Cas.
I know, dread Madam, that Cassander's life
Is in your hands so cast to do you service.
Rox.
You thought, perhaps, because I practis'd charms
To gain the King, that I had loose desires:
No, 'tis my pride that gives me height of pleasure,
To see the man by all the world admir'd,
Bow'd to my bosom, and my Captive there:
Then my veins swell, and my arms grasp the Poles,
My breasts grow bigger with the vast delight,
'Tis length of Rapture, and an age of Fury.
Cas.
By your own life, the greatest oath I swear,
Cassander's passion from this time is dumb.
Rox.
No, if I were a wanton, I wou'd make
Princes the Victims of my raging fires:
I, like the changing Moon, wou'd have the Stars
My followers, and mantled Kings by night
Shou'd wait my call; fine Slaves to quench my flame,
Who lest in Dreams they should reveal the deed,
Still as they came, successively shou'd bleed.
Cas.
To make attonement for the highest crime,
I beg your Majesty will take the life
Of Queen Statira as a Sacrifice.
Rox.
Rise, thou hast made me ample expiation:
Yes, yes, Statira, Rival thou must dye,
I know this night is destin'd for my ruine,
And Alexander from the glorious Revels
Flys to thy arms.
Phil.
The Bowers of Semiramis are made
The Scene this night of their new kindled Loves.
Rox.
Methinks I see her yonder, O the torment!
Busie for bliss, and full of expectation:
She adorns her head, and her eyes give new lustre;
Languishes in her Glass, trys all her looks;
Steps to the door and listens for his coming;
Page  43 Runs to the Bed, and kneels, and weeps, and wishes,
Then lays the Pillow easie for his head,
Warms it with sighs, and moulds it with her kisses.
O I am lost, torn with imagination!
Kill me, Cassander, kill me instantly,
That I may haunt her with a thousand Devils.
Cas.
Why d'ye stop to end her while you may?
No time so proper, as the present now:
While Alexander feasts with all his Court,
Give me your Eunuchs, half your Zogdian Slaves,
I'le do the deed; nor shall a waiter 'scape,
That serves your Rival, to relate the news.
Pol.
She was committed to Eumenes charge:
Rox.
Eumenes dyes, and all that are about her:
Nor shall I need your aid, you'l Love again;
I'le head the Slaves my self, with this drawn Dagger,
To carry death that's worthy of a Queen.
A common Fate ne're rushes from my hand,
'Tis more then life to dye by my command.
And when she sees
That to my arm her ruine she must owe,
Her thankfull head will straight be bended low,
Her heart shall leap half way to meet the blow.
Ex. Rox.
Cas.
Go thy ways, Somele;—she scorns to sin
Beneath a God:—we must be swift, the ruine
We intend, who knows, she may discover.
Pol.
It must be acted suddenly, to night
Now at the Banquet Philip holds his Cup.
Phil.
And dares to execute,—propose his Fate.
Cas.
Observe in this small Viol certain death;
It holds a poyson of such deadly force,
Shou'd Esculaepius drink it, in five hours
(For then it works) the God himself were mortal.
I drew it from Nonarris horrid Spring,
A drop infus'd in Wine, will seal his death,
And send him howling to the lowest shades.
Phil.
Wou'd it were done.
Cas.
O we shall have him tear
(Ere yet the Moon has half her Journey rode)
The world to Atoms; for it scatters pains
Page  44 All sorts, and through all nerves, veins, arteries,
Even with extremity of frost it burns:
Drives the distracted Soul about her house,
Which runs to all the pores, the doors of life,
Till she is forc'd for air to leave her dwelling.
Pol.
By Pluto's self the work is wondrous brave.
Cas.
Now separate, Philip and Thessalus
Hast to the Banquet; at his second call,
Give him the fatal draught that crowns the night,
While Polipercon and my self retire.
[Exeunt omnes praeter Cassand.]
Yes, Alexander, now thou payst me well,
Bloud for a blow is Interest indeed:
Methinks I am grown taller with the Murder,
And standing straight on this Majestick pile,
I hit the Clouds, and see the world below me.
O 'tis the worst of racks to a brave Spirit
To be born base, a Vassal, a curst Slave:
Now by the project lab'ring in my brain,
'Tis nobler far to be the King of Hell,
To head Infernal Legions, Chiefs below,
To let 'em loose for earth, to call 'em in
And take account of what dark deeds are done,
Then be a Subject-God in Heav'n unblest,
And without mischief have Eternal rest.
Exit.
The Scene draws, Alexander is seen standing on a Throne with all his Commanders about him, holding Goblets in their hands.
Alex.
To our Immortal health, and our fair Queens;
All drink it deep, and while it flys about,
Mars and Bellona joyn to make us Musick.
A hundred Bulls be offer'd to the Sun,
White as his beams.—Speak the big voice of War,
Beat all our Drums, and blow our Silver Trumpets,
'Till we provoke the Gods to act our pleasure
Sound while they drink.
In bowls of Nectar, and replying Thunder.
Page  45 Enter Hephestion, Clytus, leading in Lysimachus in his Shirt bloudy, Perdiccas, Guard.
Clyt.
Long live the King, and Conquest crown his Arms
With Laurels ever green; Fortune's his Slave,
And kisses all that fight upon his side.
Alex.
Did I not give command you shou'd preserve
Lysimachus?
Heph.
You did.
Alex.
What then portend those bloudy marks?
Heph.
Your mercy flew too late; Perdiccas had,
According to the dreadfull charge you gave,
Already plac'd the Prince in a lone Court,
Unarm'd, all but his hands, on which he wore
A pair of Gauntlets; such was his desire,
To shew in death the difference betwixt
The bloud of the Aeacides, and common men.
Clyt.
At last the door of an old Lyons den
Being drawn up, the horrid Beast appear'd:
The flames which from his eyes shot gloomy red,
Made the Sun start, as the spectators thought,
And round 'em cast a day of bloud and death.
Heph.
When we arriv'd, just as the valiant Prince
Cry'd out, O Parisatis take my life,
'Tis for thy sake I go undaunted thus
To be devour'd by this most dreadfull creature.
Clyt.
Then walking forward, the large Beast disery'd
His prey, and with a roar that made us pale,
Flew fiercely on him; but the active Prince
Starting aside, avoided his first shock,
With a slight hurt, and as the Lyon turn'd,
Thrust Gauntlet, arm and all, into his throat,
And with Herculean force tore forth by th' roots
The foaming bloudy tongue; and while the Savage,
Faint with that loss, sunk to the blushing Earth
To plough it with his teeth, your conqu'ring Souldier
Leap'd on his back, and dash'd his skull to pieces.
Alex.
By all my Laurels 'twas a God-like act,
And 'tis my Glory, as it shall be thine,
Page  46 That Alexander cou'd not pardon thee.
O my brave Souldier! think not all the prayers
Of the lamenting Queens cou'd move my Soul,
Like what thou hast perform'd; grow to my breast.
embraces him.
Lys.
However Love did hurry my wild arm,
When I was cool my fev'rish bloud did bate,
And as I went to death, I blest the King.
Alex.
Lysimachus, we both have been transported,
But from this hour be certain of my heart:
A Lyon be the Impress of thy Shield,
And that Gold Armour we from Porcus won
The King presents thee; but retire to Bed,
Thy toils ask rest.
Lys.
I have no wounds to hinder
Of any moment; or if I had, though mortal,
I'd stand to Alexander's health, till all
My veins were dry, and fill 'em up again
With that rich bloud which makes the Gods Immortal.
Alex.
Hephestion, thy hand, embrace him close;
Though next my heart you hang the Jewel there,
For scarce I know whether my Queen be dearer,
Thou shalt not rob me of my Glory, Youth,
That must to Ages flourish.—Parisatis
Shall now be his that serves me best in War.
Neither reply; but mark the charge I give,
And live as Friends.—Sound, Sound my Armies Honour;
Health to their bodies, and eternal Fame
Wait on their memory, when those are ashes;
Live all you must, 'tis a God gives you life.
(Sound.
[Lysimachus offers Clytus a Persian Robe, and he refuses it.]
Clyt.
O vanity!
Alex.
Ha! what says Clytus?
Who am I?
Clyt.
The Son of good King Philip.
Alex.
No, 'tis false,
By all my Kindred in the Skies
Jove made my Mother pregnant.
Clyt.
I ha' done.
Page  47 Here follows an Entertainment of Indian Singers and Dancers: The Musick flourishes.
Alex.
Hold, hold, Clytus, take the Robe.
Clyt.
Sir, the Wine,
The weather's hot; besides you know my humour.
Alex.
O 'tis not well, I'd burn rather then be
So fingular and froward.
Cylt.
So wou'd I
Burn, hang, or drown; but in a better cause
I'le drink, or fight, for Sacred Majesty,
With any here.—Fill me another Bowl;
Will you excuse me?
Alex.
You will be excus'd;
But let him have his humour, he is old.
Clyt.
So was your Father, Sir,—This to his memory.
Sound all the Trumpets there.
Alex.
They shall not sound
Till the King drinks;—by Mars I cannot tast
A moments rest for all my years of bloud,
But one or other will oppose my pleasure.
Sure I was form'd for War, eternal War;
All, all are Alexander's Enemies,
Which I cou'd tame;—yes, the Rebellious world
Shou'd feel my wrath:—But let the sports go on.
The Indians Dance.
Lys.
Nay Clytus, you that cou'd advise—
Alex.
Forbear;
Let him persist, be positive, and proud,
Sullen, and dazl'd, amongst the Nobler Souls,
Like an Infernal Spirit that had stole
From Hell, and mingled with the laughing Gods.
Clyt.
When Gods grow hot, where is the difference
'Twixt them and Devils?—fill me Greek wine, yet fuller,
For I want Spirits.
Alex.
Ha! let me hear a Song.
Clyt.
Musick for Boys:—Clytus wou'd hear the groans
Page  48 Of dying persons, and the Horses neighings;
Or if I must be tortur'd with shrill voices,
Give me the crys of Matrons in sack'd Towns.
Heph.
Lysimachus, the King looks sad, let us awake him:
Health to the Son of Jupiter Ammon;
Ev'ry man take his Goblet in his hand,
Kneel all, and kiss the Earth with adoration.
Alex.
Sound, sound, that all the Universe may hear,
That I cou'd speak like Jove, to tell abroad
The kindness of my people.—Rise, O rise,
My hands, my arms, my heart is ever yours.
[Comes from his Throne, all kiss his hand.]
Clyt.
I did not kiss the Earth, nor must your hand,
I am unworthy, Sir.
Alex.
I know thou art,
Thou enviest my great Honour:—Sit, my Friends,
Nay I must have a room:—Now let us talk
Of War, for what more fits a Souldiers mouth?
And speak, speak freely, or ye do not love me,
Who think you was the bravest General
That ever led an Army to the Field?
Heph.
I think the Sun himself ne're saw a Chief
So truly great, so fortunately brave,
As Alexander; not the fam'd Alcides,
Nor fierce Achilles, who did twice destroy,
With their all-conqu'ring Arms, the famous Troy.
Lys.
Such was not Cyrus.
Alex.
O you flatter me.
Clyt.
They do indeed, and yet you love 'em for it,
But hate old Clytus, for his hardy Virtue.
Come, shall I speak a man more brave then you,
A better General, and more expert Souldier?
Alex.
I shou'd be glad to learn, instruct me, Sir.
Clyt.
Your Father Philip,—I have seen him March,
And fought beneath his dreadful Banner, where
The stoutest at this Table would ha' trembl'd.
Nay frown not, Sir, you cannot look me dead.
When Greeks joyn'd Greeks, then was the tug of War,
The labour'd Battle sweat, and Conquest bled.
Page  49 Why shou'd I fear to speak a truth more noble,
Then e're your Father Jupiter Ammon told you;
Philip fought men, but Alexander women.
Alex.
Spite! by the Gods, proud spite! and burning envy!
Is then my Glory come to this at last,
To vanquish women? Nay he said, the stoutest here
Wou'd tremble at the dangers he has seen.
In all the sicknesses and wounds I bore,
When from my reins the Javelins head was cut,
Lysimachus, Hephestion, speak, Perdiccas,
Did I tremble? O the cursed Lyar!
Did I once shake or groan? or bear my self
Beneath my Majesty, my dauntless courage?
Heph.
Wine has transported him.
Alex.
No, 'tis plain, meer malice:—
I was a woman too at Oxydrace,
When planting at the walls a Scaling-Ladder,
I mounted spite of showrs of Stones, Bars, Arrows,
And all the lumber which they thunder'd down,
When you beneath cry'd out, and spread your arms,
That I shou'd leap amongst you; did I so?
Lys.
Turn the discourse, my Lord, the old man rav'd.
Alex.
Was I a woman, when like Mercury
I left the walls to fly amongst my Foes?
And like a baited Lion, dy'd my self
All over with the bloud of those bold Hunters:
Till spent with toil, I battel'd on my knees,
Pluck'd forth the Darts that made my Shield a Forrest,
And hurl'd 'em back with most unconquer'd fury.
Clyt.
'Twas all Bravado, for before you leapt,
You saw that I had burst the Gates in sunder.
Alex.
Did I then turn me like a Coward round
To seek for succour? Age cannot be so base;
That thou wert young again, I wou'd put off
My Majesty to be more terrible,
That liké an Eagle I might strike this Hare
Trembling to Earth: shake thee to dust, and tear
Thy heart for this bold Lye, thou feeble dotard.
Clyt.
What do you pelt me like a Boy with Apples?
He tosses Fruit at him as they rise:
Kill me, and bury the disgrace I feel.
Page  50 I know the reason that you use me so,
Because I sav'd your life at Granniccus,
And when your back was turn'd, oppos'd my breast
To bold Rhesaces Sword; you hate me for't,
You do, proud Prince.
Alex.
Away, your breath's too hot.
(flings him from him.
Clyt.
You hate the Benefactor, though you took
The Guift, your life, from this dishonour'd Clytus,
Which is the blackest, worst ingratitude.
Alex.
Go, leave the Banquet; thus far I forgive thee.
Clyt.
Forgive your self for all your Blasphemies,
The riots of a most debauch'd, and blotted life,
Philotas murder—
Alex.
Ha! what said the Traytor?
Lys.
Eumenes, let us force him hence.
Clyt.
Away.
Heph.
You shall not tarry;
Drag him to the door.
Clyt.
No, let him send me, if I must be gone,
To Philip, Attalus, Calisthenes,
To great Parmenio, and his slaughter'd Sons:
Parmenio, who did many brave exploits
Without the King,—the King without him nothing.
Alex.
Give me a Javelin.
(takes one from the Guards.
Heph.
Hold, Sir.
Alex.
Off, Sirrah, lest
At once I strike it through his heart and thine.
Lys.
O sacred Sir, have but a moments patience.
Alex.
Preach patience to another Lion;—what,
Hold my arms? I shall be murder'd here,
Like poor Darius, by my own barb'rous Subjects.
Perdiccas, sound my Trumpets to the Camp,
Call all my Souldiers to the Court; nay hast,
For there is Treason plotting 'gainst my life,
And I shall perish e're they come to rescue.
Lys. and Heph.
Let us all dye, e're think so damn'd a deed.
(kneel.
Alex.
Where is the Traytor?
Clyt.
Sure there's none about you;
But here stands honest Clytus, whom the King
Page  51 Invited to his Banquet.
Alex.
Be gone, and sup with Philip,
strikes him through.
Parmenio, Attalus, Calisthenes,
And let bold Subjects learn by thy sad Fate,
To tempt the patience of a man above 'em.
Clyt.
The rage of wine is drown'd in gushing bloud;
O Alexander, I have been too blame,
Hate me not after death, for I repent
That so I urg'd your noblest, sweetest nature.
Alex.
What's this I hear? say on, my dying Souldier.
Clyt.
I shou'd ha' kill'd my self, had I but liv'd
To be once sober:—Now I fall with honour,
My own hand wou'd ha' brought foul death; O pardon.
(dies.
Alex.
Then I am lost, what has my vengeance done?
Who is it thou hast slain? Clytus; what was he?
Thy faithful Subject, worthiest Counsellor,
Who for the saving of thy life has now
A noble recompence; for one rash word,
For a forgetfulness which wine did work,
The poor, the honest Clytus thou hast slain!
Are these the Laws of Hospitality?
Thy Friends will shun thee now, and stand at distance,
Nor dare to speak their minds, nor eat with thee,
Nor drink, lest by thy madness they dye too.
Heph.
Guards, take the body hence.
Alex.
None dare to touch him,
For we must never part; cruel Hephestion,
And you, Lysimachus, that had the power,
Yet would not hold me.
Lys.
Dear Sir, we did.
Alex.
I know it;
Ye held me like a Beast, to let me go
With greater violence:—O you have undone me!
Excuse it not, you that cou'd stop a Lion,
Cou'd not turn me; you shou'd have drawn your Swords,
And barr'd my rage with their advancing points;
Made Reason glitter in my dazl'd eyes,
Till I had seen what ruine did attend me.
That had been noble, that had shew'd a Friend,
Clytus wou'd so have done to save your lives.
Page  52 Lys.
When men shall hear how highly you were urg'd—
Alex.
No, you have let me stain my rising virtue,
Which else had ended brighter then the Sun.
Death, Hell, and Furies! you have sunk my Glory:
O I am all a blot, which Seas of tears,
And my hearts bloud, can never wash away;
Yet 'tis but just I try, and on the point
Still reaking hurl my black polluted breast.
Heph.
O sacred Sir, this must not be.
Eum.
Forgive my pious hands.
Lys.
And mine, that dare disarm my Master.
Alex.
Yes, cruel men, you now can shew your strength;
Here's not a Slave but dares oppose my Justice;
Yet I will render all endeavours vain
That tend to save my life:—here I will lye
(falls.
Close to his bleeding side, thus kissing him,
These pale dead lips that have so oft advis'd me,
Thus bathing o're his Reverend face in tears,
Thus clasping his cold body in my arms,
Till death, like him, has made me stiff and horrid.
Heph.
What shall we do?
Lys.
I know not, my wounds bleed afresh
With striving with him; Perdiccas, lends your arm.
Ex. Per. Lys.
Heph.
Call Aristander hither,
Or Meleager, let's force him from the body.
Cries without, Arm, Arm, Treason, Treason, Enter Perdiccas bloudy.
Perd.
Hast, all take Arms; Hephestion, where's the King?
Heph.
There, by old Clytus side, whom he has slain.
Perd.
Then misery on misery will fall,
Like rouling billows to advance the storm.
Rise, sacred Sir, and hast to aid the Queen,
Roxana fill'd with furious Jealonsie,
Came with a Guard of Zogdean Slaves unmark'd,
And broke upon me with such sudden rage,
That all are perish'd who resistance made:
I only with these wounds through clashing Spears
Have forc'd my way, to give you timely notice.
Page  53 Alex.
What says Perdiccas? is the Queen in danger?
Perd.
She dyes unless you turn her Fate, and quickly;
Your distance from the Palace asks more speed,
And the ascent to th' flying Grove is high.
Alex.
Thus from the Grave I rise to save my Love,
All draw your Swords, with wings of Lightning move;
When I rush on, sure none will dare to stay,
'Tis Beauty calls, and Glory shews the way.
Exeunt.