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-Let us go
My husband bid thee bring Astyanax ;
But dost thou think he means the child shall de! He took him in his arms; and, as I wept,
Can love rejected turn to so much rage? My wife, my dear Andromache, said he,
Ceph. Madam, he'll soon be here -Resolve (Heaving with stifled sighs to see me weep),
on something What fortune may attend my arms, the gods
Andr. Well then, assure himAlone can tell. To thee I give the boy;
Ceph. Madam, of your love? Preserve him as the token of our loves ;
Andr. Alas, thou knowest it is not in a If I should fall, let him not miss his sire
power. While thou surviv'st; but, by thy tender care, Oh, my dead lord! Oh, Priam's royal house! Let the son see that thou didst love his father. Oh, my Astyanax! At what a price Ceph. And will you throw away a life so pre- Thy mother buys thee! cious ?
Ceph. But whither! At once extirpate all the Trojan line!
And what does your unsettled heart resolve ? Andr. Inhuman king! What has he done to Andr. Come, my Cephisa, let us go together, suffer?
To the sad monument which I have raised If I neglect your vows, is he to blame?
To Hector's shade ; where in their sacred uro Has he reproached you with his slaughtered kin- The ashes of my hero lie inclosed; dred?
The dear remains, which I have saved from Troy. Can he resent those ills he does not know? There let me weep, there summon to my aid, But, oh! while I deliberate he dies.
With pious rites, my Hector's awful shade; No, no, thou must not die, while I can save thee; Let him be witness to my doubts, my fears, Öh! let me find out Pyrrhus—Oh, Cephisa! My agonizing heart, my flowing tears : Do thou go find him.
Oh! may he rise in pity from his tomb, Ceph. What must I say to him?
And fix his wretched son's uncertain doom! Andr. Tell him I love my son to such excess
A son, who grows no longer up in bondage, SCENE I,
A son, in whom a race of kings revive !
But, madam, you are sad, and wrapt in thought, Enter ANDROMACHE and CEPHISA.
As if you relished not your happiness. Ceph. Blest be the tomb of Hector, that in Andr. Oh, I must see my son once more, Cospires
phisa ! These pious thoughts : or is it Hector's self, Ceph. Madam, he now will be no more a cap That prompts you to preserve your son ! 'Tis he Who still presides o’er ruined Troy; 'tis he Your visits may be frequent as you please. Who urges Pyrrhus to restore Astyanax. To-morrow you may pass the live-long day— Andr. Pyrrhus has said he will ; and thou hast Andr. Tomorrow! Oh, Cephisa !-But, ne heard him
more! Just now renew the oft-repeated promise. Cephisa, I have always found thee faithful:
Ceph. Already in the transports of his heart, A load of care weighs down my drooping heart. He gives you up his kingdom, his allies,
Ceph. Oh! that 'twere possible for me to ease And thinks himself o’erpaid for all in you.
you ! Andr. I think I may rely upon his promise : Andr. I soon shall exercise thy long-tried And yet my hcart is over-charged with grief.
faith. Ceph. Why should you grieve? You see he Meanwhile I do conjure thee, my Cephisa, bids defiance
Thou take no notice of my present trouble: To all the Greeks; and, to protect your son
And when I shall disclose my secret purpose, Against their rage, has placed his guards about That thou be punctual to perform my will. him;
Ceph. Madam, I have no will but yours. My Lcaving himself defenceless for his sake:
life But, madam, think, the coronation pomp Is nothing, balanced with my love to yon. Will soon demand your presence in the temple: Andr. I thank thee, good Cephisa ; my As?Tis time you lay aside those mourning weeds.
tyanax Andr. I will be there; but first would see my Will recompence thy friendship to his mother.
But, come; my heart's at ease : assist me now Ceph. Madam, you need not now be anxious To change this sable habit. ---Yonder comes for him ;
Hermione; I would not meet her rage. (Ercan!, He will be always with you, all your own, To lavish the whole mother's fondness on him,
Enter HERMIONE and CLEONE. What a delight to train beneath your eye,
too. This unexpected silence, this reserve,
his outward calm, this settled frame of mind, Know, prince, I hate him more than once I loved fter such wrongs and insults, much surprise me! ou, who before could not command your rage, The gods alone can tell how once I loved him! hen Pyrrhus looked but kindly on his captive; | Yes, the false perjured man, I once did love him; ow can you bear unmoved, that he should wed And spite of all his crimes and broken vows, her,
If he should live, I may relapse—who knows, nd seat her on a throne which you should fill? But I to-morrow may forgive his wrong? fear this dreadful stillness in your soul !
Orest. First let me tear him piece-real-he 'were better, madam
shall die. Her. Have you called Orestes ?
But, madam, give me leisure to contrive Cleo. Madam, I have; his love is too impa- The place, the time, the manner of his death: tient
Yet i'm a stranger in the court of Pyrrhus ; lot to obey with speed the welcome summons. Scarce have I set my foot within Epirus, is love-sick heart o'erlooks his unkind usage : When you enjoin me to destroy the prince. lis ardour's still the same-Madam, he's here. It shall be done this very night.
Her. But now,
This very hour, he weds Andromache;
throne t length attend you by your own commands ? Is now prepared; the joyful rites begin ; Vhat can I do
My shame is public-Oh, be speedy, prince ! Her. Orestes, do you love me?
My wrath's impatient-Pyrrhus lives too long ! Orest. What means that question, princess ? Intent on love, and heedless of his person, Do I love you?
He covers with his guards the Trojan boy. ly oaths, my perjuries, my hopes, my fears, Now is the time! assemble all
Greeks; ly farewell, my return, all speak my love. Mine shall assist them; let their fury loose : Her. Avenge my wrongs, and I'll believe them Already they regard him as a foe. all.
Begone, Orestes-kill the faithless tyrant : Orest. It shall be done—my soul has caught My love shall recompense the glorious deed. the alarm.
Orest. Consider, madamVe'll spirit up the Greeks-I'll lead them on Her. You but mock my rage! pour cause shall animate our fleets and armies. I was contriving how to make you happy. et us return ! let us not lose a moment, Think you to merit by your idle sighs, But urge the fate of this devoted land!
And not attest your love by one brave action ? et us depart.
Go, with your boasted constancy! and leave Her. No, prince, let us stay here!
Hermione to execute her own revenge ! will have vengeance here, I will not carry I blush to think how This load of intamy to Greece, nor trust
Has twice been baffled in one shameful hour! Che chance of war to vindicate my wrongs.
Orest. Hear me but speak !cre I depart, I'll make Epirus mourn.
die to serve you! f you avenge me, let it be this instant;
Her. I'll go myself: I'll stab him at the altar; My rage brooks no delay--Haste to the temple, Then drive the poniard, reeking with his blood, laste, prince, and sacrifice him!
Through my own heart. In death we shall Oresi. Whom !
unite: Her. Why, Pyrrhus.
Better to die with him, than live with you !
more wretched :
Ere yon meridian sun declines, he dies :
that I deserve your love. Madam, your love has made him criminal.
Her. Go, prince: strike home! and leave the You shall have vengeance; l'll have vengeance
Let all your ships be ready for our flight. But let our hatred be profest and open :
[Erit ORESTES. Let us alarm all Greece, denounce a war;
Cleo, Madam, you'll perish in this bold atLet us attack him in his strength, and hunt him tempt. down
Her. Give me my vengeance, I'm content to By conquest: should I turn base assassin, "I would sully all the kings I represent.
I was to blame to trust it with another : 1 Her. Have I not been dishonoured ! set at In my own hands it had been more secure nought!
Orestes hates not Pyrrhus as I hate him: Exposed to public scorn !—and will you suffer I should have thrust the dagger homo ; hrap The tyrant, who dares use me thus, to live?
my too easy faith
-you know I'll
rest to me.
The tyrant curse me with his panting breath, Your bloody battles, your exploits, your slaughAnd roll about his dying eyes, in vain,
ters, To find Andromache, whom I would hide. Your great atchievements, in her father's palace. Oh, would Orestes, when he gives the blow, She needs must love the man, who fought so Tell him he dies my victim !-Haste, Cleone;
bravely, Charge him to say, Hermione's resentments, And in her sight slew half her royal kindred. Not those of Greece, have sentenced him to Pyr. With horror I look back on my past death.
deeds! Haste, my Cleone! My revenge is lost,
I punished Helen's wrongs too far; I shed If Pyrrhus knows not that he dies by me! Too much of blood: but, madam, Helen's daughCleo. I shall obey your orders-But see
ter The king approach !-Who could expect him Should not object those ills the mother caused.
However I am pleased to find you hate me: Her. O fly! Cleone, fly! and bid Orestes I was too forward to accuse myself; Not to proceed a step before I see him.
The man, who ne'er was loved, can ne'er be [Exit CLEONE.
Obedience to a father brought you hither;
And I stood bound by promise to receive you: Pyr. Madam, I ought to shun an injured prin- But our desires were different ways inclined ;
And you, I own, were not obliged to love me. Your distant looks reproach me: and I come,
Her. Have I not loved you, then? perfidious Not to defend, but to avow my guilt.
man ! Pyrrhus will ne'er approve his own injustice; For you I slighted all the Grecian princes; Nor form excuses, while his heart condemns him. Forsook my father's house; concealed my wrongs, I might perhaps allege, our warlike sires, When most provoked; would not return to Unknown to us, engaged us to each other,
Sparta, And joined our hearts by contract, not by love: In hopes that time might fix your wavering heart. But I detest such cobweb arts; I own
I loved you when inconstant: and even now, My father's treaty, and allow its force.
Inhuman king, that you pronounce my death, I sent ambassadors to call you hither;
My heart still doubts, if I should love or hate Received you as my queen ; and "hoped my
But oh, since you resolve to wed another, . So oft renewed, might ripen into love.
Defer your cruel purpose till to-morrow! The gods can witness, madam, how I fought This is the last request I e'er shall make youAgainst Andromache's too fatal charms ! See if the barbarous prince vouchsafes an anAnd still I wish I had the power to leave
swer! This Trojan beauty, and be just to you.
Go, then, to the loved Phrygian! Hence ! be Discharge your anger on this perjur'd man ! For I abhor my crime, and should be pleased And bear to her those vows, that once were To hear you speak your wrongs aloud: no terms,
mine : No bitterness of wrath, nor keen reproach, Go, in defiance of the avenging gods! Will equal half the upbraidings of my heart. Begone! the priest expects you at the altar
Her. I find, sir, you can be sincere : you scorn But, tyrant, have a care I come not thither. To act your crimes with fear, like other men.
(Erit HER. A hero should be bold ; above all laws; Be bravely false; and laugh at solemn ties.
Enter Puenix. To be perfidious shews a daring mind !
Phư. Sir, did you mind her threats? Your life's And you have nobly triumphed o'er a maid.
in danger! To court me; to reject me; to return;
There is no trifling with a woman's rage. Then to forsake me for a Phrygian slave : The Greeks, that swarm about the court, all hate To lay proud Troy in ashes; then to raise
you; The son of Hector, and renounce the Greeks, Will treat you as their country's enemy, Are actions worthy the great soul of Pyrrhus. And join in her revenge: besides, Orestes Fyr. Madam, go on: give your resentments Still loves her to distraction: sir, I beg
Pyr. How, Phenix ! should I fear a woman's And pour forth all your indignation on me.
threats? Her. 'Twould please your queen, should I up- A nobler passion takes up all my thought: braid your talsehood;
I must prepare to meet Andromache.
If he be safe, Pyrrhus is free from fear.
ho filled thy soul with every kindly virtue, And will perform beyond what he has sworn. -rmed thee for empire and consummate great- The Greeks will but incense him more; their ness,
rage hould leave thee so exposed to wild desires, Will make him cherish Hector's son. hat hurry thee beyond the bounds of reason! Ceph. Ah, madam,
(A flourish of trumpets. Explain these riddles to my boding heart ! uch was Achilles; generous, fierce, and brave, Andr. Thou may'st remember, for thou oft pen and undesigning: but impatient,
hast heard me ndisciplined, and not to be controuled. Relate the dreadful vision, which I saw, fear the whirl of passion, this career,
When first I landed captive in Epirus ; "hat overbears reflection and cool thought; That every night, as in a dream I lay,
tremble for the event ! But see, the queen, A ghastly tigure, full of gaping wounds, -lagnificent in royal pride, appears.
His eyes aglare, his hair all stiff with blood, must obey, and guard her son from danger. Full in my sight thrice shook his head, and
I soon discerned my slaughtered Hector's shade; Enter ANDROMACHE and CEPHISA.
But, oh, how changed! Ye gods, how much unCeph. Madam, once more you look and move
like a queen!
The living Hector! Loud he bid me fly! Your sorrows are dispersed, your charms revive, Fly from Achilles' son ! then sternly frowned, And every faded beauty blooms anew.
And disappeared. Struck with the dreadful Andr. Yet all is not as I could wish, Cephisa.
sound, Ceph. You see the king is watchful o'er your I started and awaked. son;
Ceph. But did he bid you Decks him with princely robes, with guards sur Destroy Astyanax ? rounds him.
Andr. Cephisa, I'll preserve him ; Astyanax begins to reign already.
With my own life, Cepbisa, I'll preserve him. Andr. Pyrrhus is nobly minded : and I fain Ceph. What may these words, so full of hor Would live to thank him for Astyanax:
ror, mean? 'Tis a vain thought — However, since my child
Andr. Know, then, the secret purpose of my [las such a friend, I ought not to repine.
soul: Ceph. These dark unfoldings of your soul per- Andromache will not be false to Pyrrhus, plex me.
Nor violate her sacred love to Hector. What meant those floods of tears, those warm This hour I'll meet the king; the holy priest embraces,
Shall join us, and confirm our mutual vows: As if you bid your son adieu for ever?
This will secure a father to my child : For Heaven's sake, madam, let me know your That done, I have no farther use for life: griefs !
This pointed dagger, this determined hand, If you mistrust my faith
Shall save my virtue, and conclude my woes. Andr. That were to wrong thee.
Ceph. Ah, madam! recollect your scattered Oh, my Cephisa ! this gay, borrowed air,
reason; This blaze of jewels, and this bridal dress, This fell despair ill suits your present fortunes. Are but mock trappings to conceal my woe:
Andr. No other stratager can serve my purs My heart still mourns; I still am Hector's widow.
pose : Ceph. Will
you then break the promise given This is the sole expedient to be just to Pyrrhus,
To Hector, to Astyanax, to Pyrrhus. Blow up his rage afresh, and blast your hopes ? I shall soon visit Hector, and the shades Andr. I thought, Cephisa, thou hadst known Of my great ancestors : Cephisa, thou thy mistress.
Wilt lend a hand to close thy mistress' eyes? Could'st thou believe I would be false to Hector? Ceph. Oh, never think that I will stay behind Fall off from such a husband! break his rest,
you! And call him to this hated light again,
Andr. No, my Cephisa; I must have thee live. To see Andromache in Pyrrhus' arms?
Remember, thou didst promise to obey, Would Hector, were he living, and I dead, And to be secret: wilt thou now betray me? Forget Andromache, an wed her foe?
After thy long, thy faithful service, wilt thou Ceph. I cannot guess what drift your thoughts Refuse my last commands, my dying wish? purstie;
Once more I do conjure thee, live for me. But, oh, I fear there's something dreadful in it! Ceph. Life is not worth my care when you are Must then Astyanax be doomed to die,
gone. And you to linger out a life of bondage ?
Andr. I must commit into t.iy faithful hands Andr. Nor this, nor that, Cephisa, will I bear; All that is dear and precious to my soul: My word is past to Pyrrhus, his to me;
Live, and supply my absence to my child, And I rely upon his promised faith.
All that remains of Troy; a future progeny Unequal as he is, I know him well:
Of heroes, and a distant line of.ings, Pyrrhus is violent, but he's sincere,
In him, is all entrusted to thy care.
Ceph. But, madam, what will be the rage of , Once shed a tear? Or speak one soft, kind word ? Pyrrhus,
Did he so much as feign one moment's sorrow, Defrauded of his promised happiness?
To calm my griefs, and mitigate his falsehood?Andr. That will require thy utmost skill: Ob- Why am I still thus anxious for his life?
Why do I start at his impending fate? The first impetuous onsets of his grief;
Shall he then live? Shall the base traitor live, Use every artifice to keep him stedfast.
To laugh at my distress? No, let him perish! Sometimes with tears thou may'st discourse of Be quick, Orestes ! Execute my orders me;
Alas! My orders! Oh, preposterous guilt! Speak of our marriage; let him think I loved Can I decree the death of him I love? him;
Was it for this my soul delighted in him? Tell him my soul reposed itself on him,
Was it for this I left my father's court? When I resigned my son to his protection.
Have I then crossed so many realms and seas, Ceph. Oh, for a spirit to support my grief! To murder Pyrrhus ? Is there aught more before you go for ever?
Enter CLEONE. Andr. Oh, my Cephisa ! my swoln heart is full !
Her. Oh, Cleone, help me! I have a thousand farewells to my son:
What have I done? Is Pyrrhus yet alive? But tears break in! Grief interrupts my speech— What sayest thou ? Answer me: Where is the -My soul o'erflows in fondness-let him know
king? I died to save him, and would die again.
Cleo. Madam, I saw the cruel prince set forSeason his mind with early hints of glory;
ward, Make him acquainted with his ancestors ; Triumphant in his looks, and full of joy. Trace out their shining story in his thoughts ; Still as he walked, his ravished eyes were fist Dwell on the exploits of his immortal father, On the fair captive; while through shouting And sometimes let him hear his mother's name.
crowds Let him reflect upon his royal birth
She passed along with a dejected air, With modest pride; Pyrrhus will prove a friend: And seemed to mourn her Hector to the last. But let him know he has a conqueror's right. Her. Insulting tyrant! I shall burst with rage! He must be taught to stifle his resentments, But say, Cleone, didst thou mark him well? And sacrifice his vengeance to his safety. Was his brow smooth ? Say, did there not apShould he prove headstrong, rash, or unadvised,
pear He then will frustrate all bis mother's virtue, Some shade of grief, some little cloud of sorrow! Provoke his fate, and I shall die in vain.
Did he not stop? Did he not look once back? Ceph. Alas! I fear I never shall outlive you. Didst thou approach him? Was he not confoundAndr. No more: thy tears, Cephisa, will be
ed? tray me;
Did he not-Oh, be quick and tell me all ! Assume a cheerful look, but still remember Cleo. Madam, the tumult of his joy admits
(Flourish within. No thought but love. Unguarded he marched on, Hark how the trumpet, with its sprightly notes, 'Midst a promiscuous throng of friends and foes Proclaims the appointed hour, and calls us hence. His cares all turn upon Astyanax, Hector, I come, once more a queen, to join whom he has lodged within the citadel, thee!
Defended by the strength of all his guards. Thus the gay victim, with fresh garlands crown'd, Her. Enough! he dies !-the traitor! Pleased with the sacred fife's enlivening sound,
Where's Orestes ? Through gazing crowds in solemn state proceeds, Cleo. He's in the temple with his whole re And, drest in fatal pomp, magnificently bleeds.
tinue. (Exeunt. Her. Is he still resolute? Is he still deter
mined? SCENE II.
Cleo. Madam, I fear
Her. How! Is Orestes false?
Does he betray me too?
Perplex his soul, and wound him with remorse : Ye gods! What mean these horrors? I am un His virtue and his love prevail by turns. done!
He told me Pyrrhus should not fall ignobly; My soul is on the rack ! I cannot bear it: Pyrrhus, the warlike son of great Achilles. Why do I wander like some guilty ghost ?
He dreads the censure of the Grecian states; What brought me to this place? What keeps me Of all mankind; and fears to stain his honour. here?
Her. Poor tim'rous wretch! 'tis false! he base The court of Pyrrhus has no room for me!
ly fears Do I still donbt if I should love or hate him ? To cope with dangers, and encounter death; Hard-hearted man! How unconcerned he left 'Tis that he fears :-Am I bright Helen's daughme!
ter? Did he once sigh? Bestow one pitying look?
vindicate her wrongs all Greece courspired;