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The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. II by Aphra Behn

Part 4 out of 11

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From your Commands, and all your Bounties to me,
You should forgive the Pride you do create,
And all its strange Effects;
Which if I have mistaken, let me die.
Only this Mercy grant me, to believe,
That if our Adorations please the Gods,
Mine cannot be offensive to my Princess,
Since they are equally Religious.

_Cleo_. Stranger--before I punish thy Presumption,
Inform me who it is that has offended?
Who giving me no other knowledge of him,
Than what his sword has done--dares raise his Eyes to me?

_Ther_. Madam, what you demand is just,
And I had rather die than disobey you;
But I am constrain'd by a Necessity
(Which when you know, you certainly will pardon)
For some time to conceal my Birth and Name.

_Cleo_. Till then you should have kept your Flame conceal'd,
'T had been less disobliging from a criminal one,
Whose Quality had justify'd his Boldness.

_Ther_. Ah! Madam, wou'd Heaven and you wou'd find
no other Difficulty
Than want of Quality to merit you!

_Cleo_. I must confess, _Clemanthis_, with a Blush,
That nothing of the rest displeases me.

_Ther_. Ah, Madam, how you bless me!
And now with Confidence I dare assure you,
That which should render me more worthy of you,
Shall be in me found more to your Advantage,
Than in those Princes who have taken on 'em
The Glory of your Service.

_Cleo_. As I am very reasonable, and do act
With more Sincerity than Artifice,
I'll now desire no more.
But have a care you use my Bounty well;
For I am now grown kind enough to think
That all you say is true.

_Ther_. Madam, banish me your Presence, as the Man
Of all the World unworthy to adore you,
If I present not to you in _Clemanthis_
A Man enough considerable to hope.

_Cleo_. But oh! Clemanthis, I forgot my Fate,
My Destiny depends upon my People;
Urg'd by the Queen, they've made a Resolution
To give me to that Prince who does most powerfully
Advance the Ruin of the King of _Scythia_.

_Ther_. Madam, I am not ignorant of the Conditions
That are impos'd on those who pretend to you;
I will not only serve you in this War
With more Success than any,
But set the Crown of _Scythia_ on your Head.

_Cleo_. That's bravely said.

_Ther_. Perhaps it seems extravagantly spoken,
In the Condition you behold me now;
But here I vow--I never will demand
[_Kneels_.
The Divine _Cleomena_ till I have crown'd her--
Yes, Madam, till I have crown'd her Queen of _Scythia_.
--Till then--give me but hope--enough, to live--
[Rises.

_Cleo_. That's to your Passion due; and when I know
Who 'tis I favour--I will more allow.

_Sem_. Madam, the Queen is here.

_Enter_ Queen, Honorius, Artabazes, Ismenes, _Guards,
Attendants, &c_.

_Queen_. I am glad to see you all in Readiness;
To morrow I intend to be i'th' Camp,
--And _Cleomena_ is your General;
Since 'tis her Cause we fight, it is but just
She share the Danger of it with the Glory.

_Arta_. We all approve it, Madam, and are proud
Fair _Cleomena_ shall a Witness be
Of what we do to serve her,
And see the easy Conquest we shall make
Upon the Persons of her Enemies.

_Hon_. I know not, Sir, what you may do,
But we have found it not so easy.

_Arta_. Oh, there's no doubt, but we'll depopulate _Scythia_,
And lead its King, with the vain Prince his Son,
Loaden with Irons, to adorn your Triumphs.

_Ther_. Madam, I must confess your Force is great,
And the Assistance of these Men considerable;
Yet I advise your Majesty to prepare
For the Defeat of the great King of _Scythia_,
As to a Business much more difficult
Than they present it to you: for I know
The Forces of that Nation are not less.
[_Looks with scorn on them_.
--Consider too, that King was never conquer'd,
Though these believe to do't with so much ease.
I oft have seen _Thersander_, that young Prince,
Upon whose Sword Fortune her self depends,
--And I can tell--he's not so easily chain'd,
As, _Artabazes_, you imagine him.

_Arta_. What, do you think to fright us with the Praises
You give our Enemies?
--I have heard of that King, and of _Thersander_ too;
But never heard of so much Terror in 'em,
Should make us apprehend an ill Success;
--And you, _Clemanthis_, do not know us well,
To think we'll tremble for the Prince of _Scythia_,
Though many such as you should take his part.

_Ther_. How, many such as I!
[_Gomes up to his Breast_.
Gods! with your selves no other Enemies
To join with that young Prince;
To conquer him and many such as I,
Requires a Number of such Kings as you.

_Ism_. It is too much, _Clemanthis_; were you well
Affected to the Service of the Queen,
You would not thus commend her Enemies.

_Ther_. Madam, I humbly beg your Pardon,
I have fail'd in the Respect I owe you,
By what I've said in favour of your Enemies,
Whom, whilst you think so easily o'ercome,
You will neglect that Power should make you Victor.

_Qu_. 'Tis Virtue, Sir, that makes you give what's due,
Though to the Advantage of those Men you hate--
--I must not have you take ought ill from him. [_To the_ King.
But as you've all unanimously join'd
To assist us in this War, so all embrace,
[Ther. _salutes 'em coldly_.
Be one and ever Friends.
Brother, I leave the Conduct of this hopeful Army [_To_ Hon.
To your unquestion'd Care; and if you can,
Oblige this noble Stranger for ever in our Service.

_Cleo_. Uncle, I'll to the Camp with you;
And you, _Clemanthis_, must be near me still.

[Ther. _bows. All go out but_ Ther. Hon. Lysan.

_Hon. Clemanthis_, you are troubled.

_Ther_. I was a little ruffled, but 'tis gone.

_Hon_. You shou'd not blame them, Sir, for envying you,
A Man so young, and such a Name in War.

_Ther_. That, Sir, is only your Esteem of it.

_Hon_. No, dear _Clemanthis_, that I may declare
To all the World and thee, how much I prize it,
Without consulting of your Quality,
I'll make you absolute Master of my Fortune.

_Ther_. Heav'ns! whence this Generosity? [_Aside_.

_Hon_. I have a Daughter, Sir, an only Child,
Whom all the World esteems a virtuous one,
And for whose Love Princes have su'd in vain,
I now with Joy will render you in Marriage.

_Ther_. I am undone! [_Aside_.
It is a Princess, Sir, I must admire,
But never durst behold her with Eyes of Love,
A Maid so much above me.

_Hon_. I am a Man, whose martial Disposition
Renders me too unartful in my Language;
I cannot study Fineness in my Words,
But with Sincerity declare my Heart,
And do propose this Marriage with _Olympia_,
For your Advantage and the publick Interest,
Besides my own Content.

_Ther_. Have you consider'd, Sir, I am below her?

_Hon_. No more of that; go visit my _Olympia_,
She is prepared to give you Entertainment.
[_Ex_. Hon.

_Ther_. Marry _Olympia_!
No, cou'd he with Olympia give the World,
I could not love, nor marry her.
--Oh, my Lysander! what evasion now?
--Didst hear the noble Offer of the General?

_Lys_. I did, great Sir, and what will you return?

_Ther_. If I refuse, I must offend the Man
To whom of all the World I am most oblig'd,
And one who knowing me but by my Services,
Offers me what _Thersander_ might accept.

_Lys_. It's fit you should consult the Princess, Sir,
What 'tis you ought to do.

_Ther_. I'll take thy Counsel--and wait upon _Olympia_:
--Yes, I will go visit her, though but to prove
No Torment can be like dissembled Love.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE IV. _A Chamber_.

_Enter Queen, Cleomena, Honorius.

_Qu_. Is't possible, my Brother, you can have
So great a Passion for the publick good,
As willingly to sacrifice your Child to its Repose,
And make her Arms the soft and easy Chains
To link this gallant Stranger to our Interest?

_Hon_. His Virtue I prefer above a Crown.

_Cleo_. You shou'd love Virtue as you ought to love it;
Not give it over-measure--But are you sure he will accept it?

_Hon_. I am not certain, being not come so far;
But I propos'd it, and no doubt he lik'd it.

_Cleo_. This cannot be his Malice; for he was ever noble,
[Hon. _talks to the_ Queen.
But false or feign'd, I can endure no more on't:
--By Heaven, this Stranger's false! false as his Name!
--_Semiris_ found him gazing on her Picture:
--'Tis so--he loves _Olympia_!
And when I ask the Name of her he lov'd,
I urg'd it with such softness in my Eyes,
That he in Pity of me swore 'twas I:
--Now can I find how much my Soul's possest
With Love, since 'tis with Jealousy opprest.
[_Goes out_.

_Qu_. How do you like the Trial of _Orsames_,
Which I intend to make?

_Hon_. You'll oblige your People, and do a Mother's Duty.

_Qu_. You know 'twas not the Tyrant in my Nature,
That from his Infancy has kept him ignorant
Of what he was--but the Decrees of Heaven.

_Hon_. Madam, 'tis true; and if the Gods be just,
He must be King too, though his Reign be short:
You cannot alter those Decrees of Heaven.

_Qu_. The Gods are Witness how these eighteen Years
I have with much Regret conceal'd his Birth.

_Hon_. You know the last Defeat the _Scythians_ gave us,
Th' impatient People broke the Castle-gates,
And against all your Powers were ready to have crown'd him;
And shou'd we now be conquer'd, nothing less
Will still the mutinous Army: try him, Madam,
He may be fit for great Impressions,
Had he but good Examples to dispose him.

_Qu_. I'll have it done to night.
Heaven, if it be thy Will, inspire my Son
With Virtue fit to wear his Father's Crown.
[_Exeunt_.

_Scene draws off, discovers_ Thersander _seemingly courting_
Olympia. _Enter_ Cleomena; _sees them, starts, gazes
on them, then goes out unseen. The Scene closes and
changes to her Apartment.--She enters in a Rage_--

_Cleo_. Perfidious Man! am I abandon'd then? [_Rage_.
Abandon'd for _Olympia_! my Slave--
And yet I lov'd him more than I did Heaven-- [_Soft_.
And shall he quit me thus?
Without being punish'd for this Infidelity?
--No, let me be a shame to all my Sex then
--Oh, _Clemanthis_! to whom I fondly gave my Liberty,
When first I saw thee sleeping in the Wood.
--But I grow soft, a Passion too unfit
For so much Anger as my Soul's possess'd with;
'Twas but even now he lov'd me with such Ardor,
And he who promis'd me the Crown of _Scythia_,
Dar'st thou become unjust, ungrateful Stranger!
Who having rais'd thy Eyes to _Cleomena_,
Would sacrifice her to another Mistress?
--This Heart, which ought not to've been given away,
But by the Services and Blood of Kings,
How hast thou lost it on a false Unknown,
Without being paid for it one single Sigh!--

_Enter_ Thersander; _she draws a Dagger; offers to kill
him, but cannot_.

Traitor--hast thou the impudence to appear before me,
Or dost thou come to meet thy just Reward?
[_Offers to stab him_.
--There's something in his Looks that does preserve him,
Or I'm not truly brave, and dare not kill him.
--Go, treacherous Unknown, whom I've preferr'd
Before so many Princes, who in vain
Sue for this credulous Heart which thou'st betray'd.

_Ther_. Ah! Madam, can you be thus cruel to me,
And not inform me how I have offended?

_Cleo_. Be gone, I say, if thou would'st save a Life,
Which those that dare do evil fear to lose.

_Ther_. Those Eyes thus order'd are far worse than Death.
End what you have so well begun,
And kill me;
Yet from another's Hand
The Blow would he less cruel.

_Cleo_. Oh, Impudence!
Still he wou'd cheat my Rage, as he has abus'd my Love;
But, Monster, though thou art below my Hand,
I'm yet a Princess, and I can command.
By Heaven, I'll try how much Rage can invent.
_Semiris_, call _Qlympia_ to me strait;
She shall in Triumph with me stand and smile,
To see thee by some Vassal bleed.

_Ther_. There needs no other witness of my Death.
But her I have offended;
To you alone I offer up my Life: for dying,
I've something to relate may justify your Rage,
Though not deserve your Pity.

_Cleo_. Hell!
Now I'm confirm'd, he fears that she should see
Him die, lest it should cost her but a Tear;
--Why should I want the Strength?
--But Oh, I cannot.
[_Offers to present the Dagger_.
But canst thou live, false Man, and see me frown?

_Ther_. No, Madam, I can die--thus--
[_Offers to fall on his Sword_.

_Cleo_. Stay--
Thou shalt not so much Glory gain:
No, live, and prove wretched enough to know
How very poorly thou hast lost my Heart.
[_Ex. raving_.
[Ther. _gazes after her_.

_Ther_. Must I then live?--I will obey--farewel,
The fairest and unkindest of thy Sex;
If e'er it be thy chance to meet with one
That loves more than _Thersander_, if thou canst
Treat him worse than thou hast done me--
For oh! how miserable is the Wretch, whose Prayer
Repuls'd, like me, lives only to despair.

[_Exit_.

ACT III.

SCENE I.

_The Curtain is let down--being drawn up, discovers_ Orsames
_seated on a Throne asleep, drest in Royal Robes, the Crown
and Sctpter lying by on a Table_. Geron _near the Throne.
On either side of the Stage, Courtiers ready drest, and multitude
of Lights. Above is discovered the_ Queen, Olympia,
_and Women_, Pimante, Artabazes, Ismenes; _Soft Musick
plays;--whilst he wakes by degrees, and gazes round
about him, and on himself with Wonder_.

_Ors_.--Gods! what am I?
--Or, is there any other God but I?

_Ger_. Yes, my great Lord;
But you're a King, a mighty Monarch, Sir.

_Ors_. I understand thee, 'tis some God thou mean'st.

_Ger_. On Earth it is: your Power too is as great;
Your Frowns destroy, and when you smile you bless;
At every Nod the whole Creation bows,
And lay their grateful Tributes at your Feet;
Their Lives are yours, and when you deign to take 'em,
There's not a Mortal dares defend himself:
But that you may the more resemble Heaven,
You should be merciful and bountiful.

_Ors_. I do believe I am the King thou speak'st of.

_Ger_. Behold this Crown--this sacred Thing is yours.

[_Kneels and gives him the Scepter and Crown; he puts
it on, and walks about_.

_Ors_. It is a glorious Object--
And fit for none but me--

_Olymp_. Madam, methinks the King is the finest Man
That e'er I saw--shall he not still be King?

_Qu_. I hope he will deserve it.

_Ors_. So, now methinks I move like Heaven itself,
All circled round with Stars,
--Hah! what's this that kneels?

[_The_ Queen _kneels, he snatches her up_.

_Ger_. The Queen your Mother, Sir.--

_Ors_. By my great self it is another Woman,
Which I have burnt with a desire of seeing.
--Be gone, and leave us here alone together;
I've something to impart to this fair Thing,
Must not be understood by you.

_Qu_. Why, Sir, what is it you can impart to me,
Which those about you must not understand?

_Ors_. A new Philosophy inspir'd by Nature,
And much above whatever Geron taught.
--Come and augment my Knowledge.

_Qu_. Why me, Sir, more than any one about you?

_Ors_. Thou art all soft and sweet like springing Flowers,
And gentle as the undisturbed Air.

_Qu_. But I am your Mother.

_Ors_. No matter; thou'rt a Woman, art thou not?
And being so, the Mother cannot awe me.

_Ger_. Sir, 'tis the Person gave you Life and Being.

_Ors_. That gave me Life! oh, how I love thee for't!
Come--and I'll pay thee back such kind Returns--

_Ger_. Most Royal Sir, this Woman was
Not made by Heaven--for you.

_Ors_. Away with your Philosophy; but now you said--
I was a King, a mighty God on Earth,
And by that Power I may do any thing.

_Ger_. But Kings are just as well as powerful, Sir.

_Ors_. I am so to my self, do not oppose me.

_Ger_. Sir, this one is not meant, not form'd for you.

_Ors_. Am I a God, and can be disobey'd?
Remove that Contradiction from my sight,
And let him live no longer: ha, more Women!
[Exit Geron.

_Enter_ Olympia _and other Women_.

Oh Nature, how thou'st furnish'd me with Store!
And finer far than this--
[_Gazes on_ Olympia.
--But what is that whose Eyes give Laws to all,
And like the Sun, eclipse the lesser Lights?

_Qu_. Speak to him, _Olympia_.

_Ors_. Who tells me what she is?

_Olym_. Oh, how I tremble!--Sir, I am a Maid.

_Ors_. A Maid! and may you be approacht with Knees and Prayers
[_Kneels_.

_Olym_. I am your Slave, you must not kneel to me--
Takes him up.

_Ors_. How soon my Glory's vanisht!
Till now I did believe I was some God,
And had my Power and my Divinity
Within my Will; but by this awful Fear,
I find thou art the greater Deity:
--Pray tell me, fairest, are you not a Woman?

_Olym_. I am a Woman, and a Virgin, Sir.

_Ors_. I did believe that thou wert something more,
For I have seen a Woman, and ne'er knew
So much Disorder in my Soul before:
--For every Look of thine gives me a Pain,
And draws my Heart out of its wonted Seat.

_Olym_. Alas, Sir, have I hurt you?

_Ors_. Extremely hurt me, thou hast a secret Power,
And canst at distance wound,
Which none but Heaven and you cou'd ever do.
--But 'twas my Fault; had I not gaz'd on thee,
I had been still a King, and full of Health.
--Here--receive this Crown, 'tis now unfit for me,
Since thou hast greater Power--whilst it sits here--
[_He takes off his Crown, and puts it on her_.
It looks like Stars fall'n from their proper Sphere:
--So, now they're fixt again.

_Qu. Pimante_, speak to him to take it back.

_Pim_. He kills me with his Looks.
--Sir, when you part with this, you'll be despis'd;
Your Glory, and your Thunder, all will vanish.

_Ors_. I yet have something that shall make thee fear,
I'm still a King, though I must bow to her;
Take him away to Death immediately--

_Pim_. Any where to be out of your Sight--
A King, quotha? [_Exit_.

_Ors_. Come, my fair Virgin, this shall be my Altar,
And I will place thee here, my Deity.

_Qu_. Great Sir, that Throne is only fit for you.

_Ors_. I say again, I'll have it fit for two:
Thou art a Woman, thank the Gods for that:
--Ascend, my lovely Virgin, and adorn it;
Ascend, and be immortal as my self.

_Art_. That Throne she was not born to.

_Ors_. Into the Sea with that bold Counsellor,
And let him there dispute with Winds and Waves. [_Art. ex_.

_Being seated on a Throne, enter several in Masquerades,
and dance_.

--Cou'd I be sensible of any Pleasure,
But what I take in thee, this had surpriz'd me.

_Olym_. A Banquet, Sir, attends you.

_Ors_. Dispose me as you please, my lovely Virgin;
For I've resign'd my Being to your Will,
And have no more of what I call my own,
Than Sense of Joys and Pains, which you create.
[_They rise, and sit down at a Banquet. He gazes on her_.

_Olym_. Will you not please to eat?

_Ors_. It is too gross a Pleasure for a King.
Sure, if they eat, 'tis some celestial Food,
As I do by gazing on thy Eyes--
Ah, lovely Maid--

_Olym_. Why do you sigh, Sir?

_Ors_. For something which I want; yet having thee,
What more can Heaven bestow to gratify
My Soul and Sense withal?

_Olym_. Sir, taste this Wine;
Perhaps 'twill alter that deceiv'd Opinion,
And let you know the Error of your Passion;
'Twill cause at least some Alteration in you.

_Ors_. Why shouldst thou ask so poor a Proof of me?
But yet, I will obey,--give me the Wine.

[_They put something into the Bowl_.

_Olym_. How do you like it, Sir?

_Ors_. Why--well; but I am still the same.
Come, give it me again--'tis very pleasant--
Will you not taste it too?--
Methinks my Soul is grown more gay and vigorous;
What I have drank, has deify'd thee more,
Heightens the Pleasure which I take to gaze on thee,
And sends a thousand strange uneasy Joys,
That play about my Heart, and more transport me--
Drink, my fair Virgin, and perhaps thy Eyes
May find some Charms in me to make thee thus.

_Olym_. Alas, they've found already but too many. [_Aside_.

_Ors_. I thought I must have gaz'd on thee for ever;
--But oh! my Eyes grow heavy in the Play,
As if some strange Divinity about me
Told me my Safety lay in their Declension.
--It is not Sleep!--sure, Kings do never sleep;
That were a low submission to a Power
A Monarch shou'd despise--but yet 'tis so:
Ye Gods, am I but mortal then?
Or do you ever sleep? I find ye do!
But I must--and lose this lovely Object:
Grant, oh ye Gods, that I may find it in a Dream,
Let her Idea hover about my Soul,
And keep it still in this harmonious Order
--And gently blow the Flame't has kindled there.
[_Falls asleep_.

_Enter_ Geron, Pimante, _and_ Arates.

_Pim_. Are you sure he's asleep?

_Ger_. How do you like him, Madam?

_Qu_. I fear he is a Tyrant in his Nature.

_Ger_. But since he can be tam'd by Love and Beauty,
You should not doubt but he'll be fit to reign.

_Qu_. Remove him now into his own Apartment,
And still continue to impose upon him,
Till you receive new Orders.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE II. _A Grove near the Camp_.

_Enter_ Cleo. _with a Truncheon in her Hand, a Sword and
a Quiver of Arrows by her side, with_ Semiris.

_Sem_. Madam, you are sad,
As if you doubted your Success to day.

_Cleo_. There are some Moments wherein I do repent me
The too rash Banishment of poor _Clemanthis_.
How did he take the Letter which I sent?

_Sem_. As Persons innocent and full of Health
Receive unlookt-for Sentences of Death;
He sigh'd, and said he wou'd obey your Will:
And, Madam, had you seen his silent Grief,
You wou'd have thought him innocent.

_Cleo_. Innocent! banish that foolish Pity from your Heart,
That wou'd persuade thee he is innocent.
Did I not see him courting of Olympia?
And can my Eyes deceive me?

_Sem. Olympia_, Madam! Gods, what do I hear!
Till now I did not know his Fault of Banishment.

_Cleo_. And was't not cause enough?

_Sem_. Ah, Madam, what Injustice have you done?
Before _Clemanthis_ came into your Cabinet,
He entertain'd me for a pretty while
With the Intentions of your generous Uncle;
He told me how he offer'd him _Olympia_,
And that he durst not seem to disesteem it,
Being your Uncle, and a Man to whom
He ow'd so much; but most to hide his Passion:
And then was coming to consult with you,
How he should manage this Affair with him.

_Cleo_. And is this Truth thou tell'st me, dear _Semiris_?

_Sem_. Madam, I do not use t'abuse your Credit.

_Cleo_. Fly then, _Semiris_, and reverse his Doom.

_Sem_. Would I knew whither, Madam.

_Cleo_. Why, is he no longer then in the Camp?

_Sem_. Ah, Madam, is he longer in the World?
For 'tis impossible to be imagin'd
He parted hence with any Thought of Life.

_Cleo_. Send ev'ry way to find him--hark, I'm call'd--
[_Trumpets sound_.
And he that finds him first, is made for ever.
Oh Jealousy, thou Passion most ingrate!
Thy Ills procure more Mischief than thy Hate.
'Tis thou art Tyrant, when Love bears the blame,
'Tis pity thou'rt consistent with Love's Flame.
I'll not my Weakness nor Resentment show;
A Heart like mine, should sooner break than bow.
--Come, my _Semiris_, we too long have stay'd;
That Call, till now, was never disobey'd.

[_Trumpets sound. Ex_.

SCENE III. _Scythian Tents_.

_Enter_ Amintas, _drest fine, with_ Urania.

_Ura_. Within this Shade till the black Day be past,
I will attend thy Fortune, or thy Fate.

_Amin_. The King has taken Horse, the Fight's begun,
And I must leave thee to the Gods and Prayer.

_Ura_. Why was I made a Woman? or being so,
Why had I not a masculine Courage given me?
That side by side I might have shar'd thy Glory,
Or have expir'd together?

_Amin_. Thou wilt undo me with this Tenderness.
Come send me kindly from thee,
With Joys about my Heart that may preserve it;
Here rest till my Return; farewel, my Fair.

_Ura_. And if I never see thee more, farewel--
[Amin. _exit_.
Here I will lay me down, and never rise,
Till thou return'st with Laurel, or with Cypress.
[_Sits down_.
Now I cou'd curse the Fortune of my Prince,
Who quits a Father for an Enemy,
To satisfy a Flame will ruin him.
[_A noise of Fighting_.
--The Fight increases; Oh ye Gods of Battel,
In midst of all your Rage preserve my Love.

_Enter_ Artabazes _over the Stage, and goes out_.

_Art_. My Nephew kill'd! and I dismounted too! oh curst Fate!

_Ura_. This Noise has comfort in't, it sounds like Victory.

[_A hollowing within amongst the noise of Fighting.
Enter_ Amintas.

--Oh Gods! _Amintas_! what has Fortune done?

_Amin_. The undaunted _Scythians_ never lost the Field;
Yet now at first 'twas doubtful
To which side Fortune would incline her self
_Ismenes_ kill'd where'er he turn'd his Sword,
And quite defeated our _Agrippian_ Forces;
Yet was not satisfy'd, knowing the King
To be the Price of _Cleomena's_ Heart,
But sought him out on all sides,
Whom 'twas not hard to find;
For he was hurrying now from Rank to Rank,
Distributing a Death to all Opposers.
But young _Ismenes_ having pierc'd the Squadrons,
And knowing our great King by several Marks,
Boldly cry'd out,--Defend the Life I claim.
The King made no Reply, but at that Word
Prepar'd himself to fight.

_Ura_. Thou kill'st me, till thou bring'st him off again.

_Amin_. Disorder'd thus--the _Dacian_ took Advantage,
And charg'd with so much Vigour--we gave Ground;
When on that side the single Combat was,
There appear'd a Body of two thousand Horse,
Led by a Man, whose Looks brought Victory,
And made the conquering Foe retire again:
But when he did perceive the King engag'd,
With unresisted Fury he made up,
And rushing in between them,
Gave the young Prince a blow upon his Head,
That struck him from his Horse.
After this Victory _Thersander's_ Name
Did fly from Mouth to Mouth,
Inspiring every _Scythian_ with new Valour:
He kill'd _Philemon_, and forc'd _Artabazes_
To seek his Safety by his Horse's Flight;
--But here's the King--retire into this Wood.
[Ura. _Ex_.

_Enter_ King, Thersander, _Officers, and Soldiers_.

_King_. Let me once more embrace my dear _Thersander_.

_Amin_. The Prince is wounded, Sir.

_King_. He is--but they look lovely on him.

_Ther_. They're too slight Marks to give you of my Duty;
Your Majesty has greater need of Care.

_King_. Thou art my best Physician, and thy sight
Heals all the Wounds I have: come in with me,
And let me lay thee to my panting Bosom,
Thou great Preserver of my Crown and Life.

_Ther_. I'll wait upon you, Sir,
[_Exeunt all but_ Ther. _and_ Amin.
Now let me take thee to my Arms, my Friend;
For thou art half my self, my dear _Amintas_:
I have strange News to tell thee since we parted,
And need thy Counsel in an Affair of Love
--Thou know'st my business to the Dacian Court
Was to have set thee free; but oh, my Friend!
In lieu of that I've made my self a Captive.

_Amin_. Your Story, Sir, I know, but heard withal,
The Princess did repay your grateful Flame.

_Ther_. I thought she did, for so a while she seem'd;
And when I thought my self the most secure,
Being fortify'd with all her new-made Promises,
My blooming Hopes were blasted e'er full-blown,
And I receiv'd her Orders for my Banishment,
Which I as soon obey'd: but by the way,
I did conceive a thousand Revolutions,
Sometimes to serve my Princess--then my Father;
Sometimes 'twas Nature got the upper hand,
And then again 'twas Love: in this Dispute
I met the Levies of the _Isadons_,
Who were the last of all our Cavalry,
To whom I made me known, and came so luckily,
As gain'd the yet-disputing Victory.

_Amin_. 'Twas in an happy Moment.

_Ther_. Thus I comply'd with what I ow'd my Duty.
But these of Love are still unsatisfy'd:
Dare I, who could offend to that degree,
As to deserve a Banishment from her,
Approach her uninvited?

_Amin_. 'Twas dangerous, Sir.

_Ther_. Then 'twere the fitter for my Enterprise:
--But her Displeasure--oh, my _Cleomena_!
If, for the Punishment of my Disobedience,
You'd only take away that Life you threaten,
How willingly I wou'd resign it up,
Rather than undergo this Separation!

_Amin_. You'll certainly expose your Life by going:
What other Reason could she have to banish you,
But from her Knowledge that you were _Thersander_?
And, Sir, you see her Passion for _Clemanthis_
Cou'd not o'ercome her Hatred for her Enemy.

_Ther_. No, when I call to mind her cruel Words;
If chusing me before so many Kings,
I find 'twas to the Stranger, not the _Scythian_,
She killingly addrest 'em; therefore I'll venture on in my Design:
--Give order that our Horses be made ready,
Whilst I excuse our Absence to the King; our stay will not be long:
Mean time it may be thought
We're gone to view the Camp;
Interest and Love but rarely do agree,
Yet I must reconcile 'em both to me.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE IV. _The Dacian Tents_.

_Enter_ Queen, Cleo. Hon. Arta. Ism. _Women, Attendants_.

_Cleo_. 'Twas strangely lost, and yet I dare affirm,
The Victory had been ours but for _Thersander_,
Who like the impetuous Sea oppos'd by Land,
Made Breaches, and o'erflow'd all that lay near it.

_Ism_. I had reveng'd you on the King of _Scythia_,
Had his Arrival not prevented me.

_Cleo_. He is brave, without dispute.

_Ism_. And 'tis as certain that he did surprize me,
Without permitting time for my Defence,
He had not else so soon dismounted me.
But, Madam, I design (if you approve it)
To fight _Thersander_ in a single Combat.

_Art_. That Justice I may hope as well as you;
He kill'd my Nephew, young _Philemon_,
For which I'll be reveng'd.

_Qu_. I cannot but commend that noble Ardor
That carries you to those Designs of Glory;
What thinks my Brother of it?

_Hon_. I like it, if the Victor will accept it.

_Cleo_. And so do I;
And that we may do equal Justice to you all,
We'll write _Thersander's_ Name,
And he who draws that Name shall fight the Combat.

_Hon_. But are you sure he will accept the Offer?

_Ism_. I dare engage he will.

_Cleo_. I am of your Opinion;
The only brave are never proud of Conquest,
I'll write his Name my self.

_Enter_ Page.

_Hon_. What Shouts are these? [_A Shout without_.

_Page_. Madam, _Clemanthis_ is arriv'd.

_Qu_. The News is welcome.

_Enter_ Ther. _kneels, kisses the_ Queen's _Hand;
the same to_ Cleomena--_salutes all_.

_Ther_. Madam, the great Necessity which made me leave you,
When I believ'd my self unprofitable,
Could not detain me when I was assur'd
My Sword could do you Service.

_Qu_. This Visit recompenses all our Loss,
You've made it in a time you may redeem
The Opinion your Absence almost forfeited.

_Hon_. Sir, I cou'd chide you too, but that your Sight
Changes my Anger into kinder Welcomes.

_Ther_. I ought to suffer, Sir, in your Opinion,
Till my Excuses may redeem my Credit.

_Cleo_. How great at once, and innocent he seems,
And how his Eyes his past Offence redeems!
Whilst all my Cruelties they seem t' upbraid,
They pardon too the Faults themselves have made.

_Qu_. I'm satisfy'd, and you are fitly come
To share a Danger we are now disputing.

_Ther_. 'Tis not the Danger, Madam, can divert me
From enterprizing ought that is to serve you.

_Art_. Madam, consider who we are,
And ought not to be rank'd with one below us.

_Ther_. Your Honour, _Artabazes_, is too nice;
Would we could find in this Dispute, whate'er it be,
That were the greatest Difficulty:
--Madam, name your Commands.

_Qu_. We are drawing of a Lot
To fight _Thersander_ in a single Combat.

_Ther_. Hah--_Thersander_, Madam, is a Conqueror.

_Ism_. Since you're so nice, we will excuse you, Sir.

_Ther_. What an unlucky accident was this!
One Moment's longer stay had made me happy, [_Aside_.
And render'd up these Rivals to my Power.

_Hon_. Come, Sir, the Lots are ready.
[_They draw Lots. It falls to_ Ther.

_Ther_. My Fears are all compleated-- [_Aside_.
The Lot is mine.

_Cleo. Clemanthis_, I'm so sensible of the Danger [_Aside to him_.
Whereto you must expose your self for me,
I cannot think with Pleasure on the Victory
You possibly may gain.

_Ther_. Encourag'd thus, I cannot fail of Conquest;
[_Bows to her, and speaks low_.
But, Madam, if _Thersander_ be as nice
[_Turns to the Queen_.
As these two Princes are, it will be hard
To get him to accept a Challenge from me.

_Cleo. Clemanthis'_ Deeds has rais'd his Fame too high
To be esteem'd unworthy of that Justice;
Nor can we find the _Scythian_ Prince a Foe
More equal to his Youth and Valour too.

_Ther_. If Fortune bless me with Success to Day,
I'll owe it to your Cause and not my Sword.

_Qu_. May'st thou be ever Victor. [_They lead him out.
Manent_ Arta. Ism.

_Art_. My Art shall fail me then.

_Ism_. You are displeas'd, Sir.

_Art_. Is that a Wonder?
Who can be tame, and see an unknown Youth,
Who brings no Forces but his single Arm,
Ravish the Hope and Spoil of Victory from us.
And rival us in Love as well as Glory,
Whilst both our Claims to _Cleomena's_ Heart
Must be neglected since we want Success?

_Ism_. We could pretend to her no other way.

_Art_. Have you, or I, less Virtue than _Clemanthis_?

_Ism_. Yes, if we envy at his Merits.

_Art_. Pursue your virtuous Road, and in the end
See whether you or I reach first the Goal.
I'll take Revenge.
[Art. exit.

_Ism_. I Honour will pursue,
A Path which never led me to Repentance.
--_Clemanthis_, if thy Life I basely sought,
Like him, I'd save the Hazard of my own;
But as thou'rt brave, so thou shalt bravely fall
Before _Thersander_ rob me of thy Life,
Or thou the Fortune hast to vanquish him--
And if in this Encounter I expire,
I do but fall a Victim to an hopeless Fire.

[_Exit_.

SCENE V. _Changes to the Wood_.

_Discovers_ Ther. _and_ Amin. _among the Trees, changing
Clothes; after which they come forth_.

_Ther_. So, now thou dost appear so like _Clemanthis_,
That not a _Dacian_ but will be mistaken in thee.

_Amin_. My Lord, I know not how I may appear,
But I am ignorant how I am to act.

_Ther_. Remain within the Covert of this Wood,
Until the Sign be given for the Combat,
And then appear upon the Place appointed,
Where I will meet and fight with thee;
But so I'll order all the Blows I give,
They shall not wound nor hurt thee,
For still remember I must be the Victor.

_Amin_. I will endeavour to perform it so,
[_Noise_.
That none shall know the Fallacy.

_Ther_. Be gone, I hear a Noise; farewel, dear _Amintas_,
Remember that you act Clemanthis well.
[_Ex_. Ther.

_Enter some Fellows in Clokes_.

1 _Fel_. That's he that goes into the Wood, I know him by his Plume; are
ye all ready?

2 _Fel_. Yes, for a greater Murder than the killing of one single Man;
and here's a Place as fit as we could wish; shall we set upon him
altogether?

1 _Fel_. Ay, ay, Neatness in this Affair is not required: kill him, and
_Artabazes_ desires no more.

[The Fellows go behind the Trees, they fight, Amintas falls.

Enter _Ismenes_.

_Ism_. Into this Wood he went, as if he knew my Business,
Here we unseen may end the Difference--
[Noise within.
--Hark--what Noise of fighting's that?
Perhaps my Aid's requir'd.
[_Exit_.

Ism. _goes in, Scene draws open, discovers_ Amintas _lying as dead all
bloody_, Pimante _peeping_; Ism. _re-enters_.

_Ism_. It is _Clemanthis_, and this barbarous Deed
Is done by _Artabazes_.
[_Exit_.

_Enter_ Pimante.

_Pim_. Had ever Cavalier such damn'd Luck? I have heard it disputed, that
this same Danger was to be courted by the Brave and Bold; but I, who took
the best Care I could whilst the Fight lasted to secure my self by this
Retreat, find my self even here surrounded with it; and poor Clemanthis,
who, I'll warrant, came too with my Design, has met here what he
endeavour'd to shun: Yonder's Ismenes too--well, we are all but Men.

_Ism_. Here's yet some Breath remaining; oh, _Pimante_, lend thy
Assistance.
--_Clemanthis_, if thou yet hast so much Sense, Inform us how thou cam'st
thus wounded?

_Amin_. Know, Sir, _Thersander_--Prince of _Scythia_--_Thersander_--
Prince of _Scythia_.
[_Faints_.

_Pim_. Alas, he's dead, Sir, trouble him no further.

_Ism_. The Prince of _Scythia_ do this!

_Pim_. Ay, ay, this mighty Prince fearing to encounter a single Man, has
set a dozen to kill him; Mercy upon us, 'twas a bloody Fight: but, Sir,
what shall we do with the Body?

_Ism_. If I could command thee any thing it should be Silence,
Till I have met _Thersander_ in his Room.
[Ism. _exit_.

_Pim_. You should command me, though I was never good at Secrets.

_Enter_ Cleomena, Semiris.

_Cleo_. Let the Coach wait at the Entrance of the Wood:
I find I am a perfect Woman now,
And have my Fears, and fits of Cowardice.

_Sem_. Madam, will you not see the Combat then?

_Cleo_. I dare not, something here assures me _Clemanthis_ will be
conquer'd.

_Pim_. Ha! the Princess here? on my Conscience there was never Mischief
but a Woman was at one end o'nt.

_Sem_. How now, _Pimante_, why do you look so scurvily?

_Pim_. Ah, Madam, such a Sight so dismal and bloody!

_Cleo_. What says he?

_Pim. Clemanthis_, Madam--

_Cleo. Clemanthis_! Oh, what of him?
Why, my prophetick Heart, dost thou betray me?

_Sem_. For Heaven's sake, Madam, reassume your Courage.

_Cleo_. Yes--I will hear--the fatal Story--out.

_Pim_. Truth is, Madam, to retire from the Noise and Fury of the Battle,
I came into this Wood; and when I thought all Danger past, I heard even
here the Noise of Swords and Fighting; which endeavouring to avoid, I
fell almost into the Danger of them.

_Sem_. Leave out the History of your own Fears, and come to the Business.

_Pim_. But ah, Madam, unseen I saw: who did I see--
Ah, who should I see but _Clemanthis_, Madam,
Fixt with his Back against yon Cypress-tree,
Defending himself against a dozen Murderers.
I was, alas, too weak to take the weaker side,
And therefore came not forth to his Assistance.
Prince _Ismenes_ would have taken his Part, but came too late too;
But e'er he died we begg'd to know his Murderers,
And he could answer nothing but--_Thersander_.

_Cleo_. Remove me to the Body of my Love--

[_They lead her to_ Amin. _who lies wounded; she
gazes on him a while, his Face being all bloody_.

--I will not now deplore as Women use,
But call up all my Vengeance to my Aid.
Expect not so much Imbecillity--
From her whose Love nor Courage was made known
Sufficiently to thee. Oh, my _Clemanthis_!
I wou'd not now survive thee,
Were it not weak and cowardly to die,
And leave thee unreveng'd.
--Be calm, my Eyes, and let my Soul supply ye;
A silent broken Heart must be his Sacrifice:
Ev'ry indifferent Sorrow claims our Tears,
Mine do require Blood, and 'tis with that
These must be washt away--
[_Rises, wipes her Eyes_.
Whatever I design to execute,
Pimante, and Semiris, I conjure ye,
Go not about to hinder, but be silent,
Or I will send my Dagger to this Heart.
Remove this Body further into the Wood,
And strip it of these glittering Ornaments,
And let me personate this dear dead Prince.
Obey, and dress me strait without reply.
There is not far from hence a Druid's Cell,
A Man for Piety and Knowledge famous:
Thither convey the breathless sacred Corps,
Laid gently in my Chariot,
There to be kept conceal'd till further Orders.

_Sem_. Ah, Madam, what is't you intend to do?

_Cleo_. What shou'd I do but die--ah! do not weep,
But haste to do as I command ye:
Haste, haste, the Time and my Revenge require it.

_Sem_. For Heaven's sake, Madam, for your royal self,
Do not pursue this cruel fatal Enterprize;
Pity the Queen, your Servants, and all Mankind.

_Cleo_. Away, thou feeble thing, that never knew'st the
real Joys of Love,
Or ever heard of any Grief like mine;
If thou wou'dst give me Proofs of thy Esteem,
Forget all Words, all Language, but Revenge.
Let me not see so much of Woman in thee
To shed one Tear, but dress thy Eyes with fierceness,
And send me forth to meet my Love, as gay,
As if intended for my nuptial Day.
That Soul that sighs in pity of my Fate,
Shall meet returns of my extremes! Hate:
Pity with my Revenge must find no room;
I'll bury all but Rage within thy Tomb.

[_Exeunt_.

ACT IV.

SCENE I. _A Flat Wood_.

_Enter_ Cleomena _drest in_ Clemanthis's _Clothes_, Semiris
_bearing the Cap and Feather_, Pimante _the Sword_.

_Cleo_. Come, my _Semiris_, you must assist a little,
And you, _Pimante_, buckle on my Sword.

_Pim_. I never parted with a Sword so unwillingly in my Life.

_Cleo_. So--How dost thou like me now?
Might I not pass, thus habited, for _Clemanthis_?

_Pim_. Yes, Madam, till you come to the fighting part.

_Cleo_. Now go, and do as I have ordered you.

_Sem_. Ah, Madam, though I must not wait on you to fight,
I will in Death, 'tis my first Act, and last of Disobedience.
[_Weeps_.

_Cleo_. Do not disturb me with thy Grief, _Semiris_:
Go leave me to my self, and Thoughts of Vengeance:
And thou, base Traitor-Prince, shalt buy thy Life
At such a Rate shall ruin thee for ever;
And if I fall--as I believe I shall--
The very Shame to know I am a Woman,
Shall make thee curse thy Fortune and thy Arms,
If thou hast any Sense of Manhood left,
After the barbarous Murder thou hast done:
But if my better Fortune guide my Arm,
This Arm (whom Love direct) to meet thy Heart,
Then I shall die with real Satisfaction.
The time draws on when I should try my Fate;
Assist me, mighty Love, in my Design,
That I may prove no Passion equals mine.

_Sem_. Madam, consider whom you must encounter.

_Cleo_. Consider thou who's dead, the brave _Clemanthis_!
[_Weeps_.
Oh, 'tis a Shame to weep, being thus attir'd;
Let me once more survey my self--
And yet I need not borrow Resolution:
_Clemanthis_, thou art murder'd, that's the Word,
'Tis that creates me Man, and valiant too,
And all incensed Love can prompt me to.
Hark--hark--the joyful Summons to my Death.
[_Trumpets sound_.
Go, leave me to approach it solemnly--
Come, my dear Sword, from thee I must expect
That Service which my Arm may fail to affect;
And if thou ever did'st thy Master love,
Be sure each Stroke thou mak'st may mortal prove.

[_Exeunt severally_.

SCENE II. _Between the two Camps_.

_After a Noise of Trumpets at some distance and fighting,
the Scene draws, and discovers_ Cleomena _and_ Thersander
_fighting_: Lysander. _On one side stands the_ King of Scythia
_with his Party: on the other, the_ Queen of Dacia, Hon.
Artabazes, _and her Party_: Vallentio.

_Ther_. What mak'st thou to fight as if indeed thou wert _Clemanthis_?
But since thou art not him thou represent'st,
Whoe'er thou be'st, 'twas indiscreetly done,
To draw me from an order might have sav'd thee;
--Whois't that dares assume _Clemanthis'_ shape?
[_They fight_.

_Cleo_. Unworthy _Scythian_, whose reported Valour
Unjustly was admir'd, cou'dst thou believe the covert of the Wood
[Cleo. _falls, he stoops to look on her_.
Cou'd hide thy Treason--Treason which thou durst own too?
[_A cry of Joy on the_ Scythian's _side_.

_Ther_. Ah! _Cleomena_, is it you?
What have I done that could so far transport you?
_Clemanthis'_ Boldness has incur'd your Hate,
But he has been severely punisht for't;
And here in lieu of that unhappy Stranger,
Receive _Thersander_ with his equal Passions,
But not his equal Crimes.

_Cleo_. Oh, Villain, since thou'st punish'd _Clemanthis_,
Punish the unhappy _Cleomena_ too,
And take her Life who came to have taken thine.

_Qu_. 'Tis not _Clemanthis_, but my _Cleomena_--
With whom _Thersander_ fights--ah, cruel Child;
[_They carry her off_.

_Ther_. Oh, whither, whither do you bear my Goddess?
Return, and here resign your sacred Load,
That whilst't has Life it may behold the Sacrifice
That I will make of this wild wretched Man
That has so much offended--Disobey'd!
--My Arms, my Arms, Lysander, mount me strait,
And let me force the disobedient Troops;
Those Coward-Slaves that could behold her bleed,
And not revenge her on the Murderer:
Quickly my Arms, kill, burn, and scatter all;
Whilst 'midst the Ruins of the World I fall.

[_The_ Scythian _Guards carry him off by force.
Enter_ Ismenes _with his Sword. They all descend_.

_Ism_. Still thus defeated and outstript by Fate,
Resolv'd betimes, but sallied out too late;
Fortune and Love are equally unkind:
--Who can resist those mighty Powers combin'd?

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE III. _A Prison_.

_Enter_ Orsames, Geron.

_Ger_. May I not know what 'tis afflicts you so?
You were not wont to hide your Soul from me.

_Ors_. Nor wou'd I now, knew I but how to tell thee;
Oh, _Geron_, thou hast hitherto so frighted me
With thoughts of Death, by Stories which thou tell'st
Of future Punishment i'th' other World,
That now I find thou'st brought me to endure
Those Ills from Heaven thou say'st our Sins procure.
There's not a little God of all the Number
That does not exercise his Arts on me,
And practise Power, which by my suffering
He grows more mighty in--I'll not endure it.

_Ger_. Why not, as well as I?

_Ors_. Thou may'st do what thou wilt; but there's a Difference
(As vast as 'twixt the Sun and lesser Lights)
Between thy Soul and mine;
Thou canst contented sit whole Days together,
And entertain thy Lute, that dull Companion,
Till duller Sleep does silence it and thee:
But I, whose active Soul despise that drousy God,
Can ever dare him in his height of Power:
Then when he ties thee to thy lazy Couch,
Where thou'rt so far from Sense, thou'st lost thy Soul;
Even then, my Geron, my divertive Fancy
Possesses me, beyond thy waking Thought--
But, _Geron_, all was but an airy Dream;
I wak'd, and found my self a thing like thee.

_Ger_. What was your Dream?

_Ors_. Why, I will try to tell it thee
--Methought I saw the Firmament divide,
And all the Clouds, like Curtains, draw aside;
The Sun in all his Glories, ne'er put on
So bright a Ray, nor Heaven with more Lustre shon!
The Face of Heaven too bright for mortal Eye
Appear'd, and none durst gaze upon't but I;
In Jove's illustrious Throne I only sat,
Whilst all the lesser Gods did round me wait;
My Habit, such as cannot be exprest;
Iris in all her various Colours drest,
The Morning-Sun, nor Sun-declining Sky,
Was half so beautiful, so gay, as I.
The brightest Stars in all Heaven's Canopy
Were chosen out to make a Crown for me;
With which methought they glorify'd my Brow,
And in my Hand they plac'd the Thunder too;
The World was mine, and thousands such as thou,
Still as I moved, low to the Earth did bow;
Like thronging Curls upon the wanton Sea,
They strove, and were as numerous as they:
Thither I soon descended in a Cloud;
But in the midst of the adoring Croud,
Almighty Woman at my Feet did bow,
Adorn'd with Beauties more than Heaven can show:
But one among the rest (for there were store)
Whilst all did me, I did that one adore;
She did unking me, and her wondrous Eyes
Did all my Power and Thunder too despise;
Her Smiles could calm me, and her Looks were Law;
And when she frown'd, she kept my Soul in awe.
Oh, _Geron_, while I strive to tell the rest,
I feel so strange a Passion in my Breast,
That though I only do relate a Dream,
My Torments here would make it real seem.

_Ger_. 'Tis lucky that he takes it for a Dream. [Aside.
--Pray do not form Ideas in your Fancy,
And suffer them to discompose your Thoughts.

_Ors_. In spite of your Philosophy, they make
A strange Impression on me.

_Ger_. That's perfect Madness, Sir.

_Ors. Geron_, I will no longer be impos'd upon,
But follow all the Dictates of my Reason.
--Come tell me, for thou hast not done so yet,
How Nature made us; by what strange Devices.
Tell me where 'twas you lighted on me first;
And how I came into thy dull Possession?
Thou say'st we are not born immortal,
And I remember thou wert still as now,
When I could hardly call upon thy Name,
But as thou wouldst instruct my lisping Tongue;
And when I ask'd thee who instructed thee,
Thoud'st sigh, and say a Man out-worn by Age,
And now laid in the Earth--but tell me, Geron,
When time has wasted thee, for thou'rt decaying,
Where shall I find some new-made Work of Nature,
To teach those Precepts to, I've learnt of thee?
--Why art thou silent now?

_Ger_. You ought not, Sir, to pry into the hidden Secrets of the Gods.

_Ors_. Come, tell not me of Secrets, nor of Gods--
What is't thou studiest for, more new Devices?
Out with 'em--this Sulleness betrays thee;
And I have been too long impos'd upon.
I find my self enlightened on a sudden,
And ev'ry thing I see instructs my Reason;
'T has been enslav'd by thee--come, out without it.

_Ger_. I dare not, Sir.

_Ors_. Who is't thou fear'st?

_Ger_. The Anger of the Gods,
Who will not have their high Decrees reveal'd,
Till they themselves unfold 'em in their Oracles.

_Ors_. What are those Oracles?

_Ger_. Heavenly Voices, Sir, that expound what's writ
In the Eternal Book of Destiny.

_Ors_. I'll know what's writ in that eternal Book,
Or let thee know what it contains of thee.

_Ger_. What will you do?

_Ors_. Throw thee into the Sea; by Jupiter, I will.
[_Offers to take him up_.

_Ger_. Stay, _Orsames_--
'Tis true, I have Commands from _Cleomena_,
But yet the Time is hardly ripe for the Design. [_Aside_.

_Ors_. Begin your Story--or, by Heaven--

_Ger_. I shall--When you consider who I am,
With how much Care and Toil I've brought you up;
How I have made my aged Arms your Cradle,
And in my Bosom lull'd you to your rest;
How when you wept, my Tears kept time with yours,
And how your Smiles would dry again those Showers;
You will believe 'tis my Concern for you,
And not your Threats, makes me declare a Truth.

_Ors_. Forward, my dearest _Geron_,
Whilst I as silent as a healthy Sleep,
As growth of Flowers, or motion of the Air,
Attend each long'd-for Syllable thou breath'st.

_Ger_. Be pleas'd to walk into the Garden, Sir,
And there I'll tell you Wonders to ensue;
But first, great Sir, your Pardon for the past.
[_Kneels_.

_Ors_. I give it thee--Gods, this is fine indeed!
Thy Language and thy Mien are altered.
Oh, how my Soul's inlarg'd already! go, lead the way.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE IV. _The_ Scythian _Tents_.

_Enter_ Thersander, Lysander.

_Ther_. Leave me, I will be calm,
[_Exit_ Lysander.
For this same change of _Cleomena's_ Habit
Has but increas'd my Love--and all my Softness--
'Twas in that Habit that I left _Amintas_.
Gods! has he betray'd me then?
No, I must not have so mean a Thought of him;
'Tis certain that she knows I am _Thersander_--
But if the bold _Clemanthis_ be _Thersander_,
Son to the Enemy of _Cleomena_;
Yet still 'tis that _Clemanthis_ that ador'd her,
And whom she once made happy with her Love.
But I have wounded her, and here remain [_Draws his Sword_.
The Marks of my Dishonour in her Blood.
Oh cruel Instrument of my shameful Crime!
Must the first Service thou hast render'd me
Prove to my Soul so fatal? That Sword I left _Amintas_,
Wou'd have deny'd Obedience to this Hand,
This sacrilegious Hand drew it against her.

_Enter_ King.

_King_. How now, _Thersander_, what, still melancholy?
Upon the first Appearance of your Sadness,
I thought't had been for fighting with a Woman;
But now I fear that could not be the Cause,
Unless 'twere fortify'd by stronger Passions--
'Tis not impossible, but when you saw
The Eyes of _Cleomena_ in the Combat
They might disarm your Rage, and teach you Love.
If this be all, I'll offer Peace in such a time
As they're not able to make War against us,
And with it Propositions of a Marriage.

_Ther_. Happy Mistake! Great Sir,
I'll not deny the Eyes of _Cleomena_
Have given me Wounds which nothing else can cure;
And in that Moment when I would have kill'd her,
They staid my guilty Hand, and overcame
The shameful Conqueror--
I'll say no more, nor give Laws to your Bounty;
But if your Majesty approve my Flame,
I shall receive her as the greatest Blessing
Heaven can bestow upon me.

_King_. I'm glad to find my Son of my Opinion;
For I have already propos'd it to 'em,
Which I believe they will with Joy embrace.

_Ther_. All but the lovely Princess, whose Aversion
Is still so great against our Family,
That I despair she ever will be drawn to't.

_King_. They'll hardly rally up their routed Forces
To make fresh War upon us; they're at our Mercy now,
And as an Honour will embrace the Alliance.

_Ther_. Pray Heaven they may.

_King_. If they refuse I will recall my Mercy,
And make them dearly buy their Scorn;
Come, we expect our Herald from their Tents.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE V. Cleomena's _Apartments_.

_Enter_ Queen, Cleomena _in a Night-Gown_, Semiris.
A Table with Pen and Ink.

_Cleo_. Madam, I confess my self unworthy of your Tenderness.

_Qu_. Ah, _Cleomena_! you value my Repose at too cheap a Rate,
When you expose a Life so dear to me
To so much Danger, as to fight _Thersander_.

_Cleo_. I am not the first Person of my Sex
Has drawn a Sword upon an Enemy;
Do you not say he is my Father's Murderer?
And does he not deprive me of that Crown,
You say the Gods have destin'd me to wear?

_Qu_. 'Tis true, he's Son to him that kill'd thy Father;
But bating that, he has committed nothing
But what wou'd rather cause esteem than hate.

_Cleo_. Pardon me, Madam, if I am forc'd to say,
My Sentiments cannot correspond with yours.

_Qu_. What think you of a Husband in this Prince?

_Cleo_. How, Madam, marry _Thersander_!

_Qu_. The King has generously offered it;
My Council do approve it, and the Army
Cannot contain their Joy for the blest News.

_Cleo_. Gods! let the Council and the Army perish,
E'er I lose one single Moment of my Satisfaction;
Is this the Hate which with my Milk you made me suck
For all that Race? is this th' Effect of my fierce Education?

_Qu_. All things must be preferr'd to th' Publick Good,
When join'd with my Commands.

_Cleo_. What you command, I dare not disobey:
But, Madam, I beseech you do not claim
That cruel Duty here.

_Qu_. You'll find it fit to change that peevish Humour,
And I will leave you to consider of it.
[_Exit_.

_Cleo_. Gods! marry me, marry me to _Thersander_!
No, not whilst this--remains in my Possession;
[_Pulls out a dagger_.
--I must confess it is a generous Offer;
How came it in their Souls?

_Sem_. Madam, perhaps Love has inspir'd it.

_Cleo_. Hah, Love--that Miracle may be;
When I reflect upon the Prince's words,
When he had vanquish'd me--I do not doubt it;
Then he confess'd he had a Passion for me;
I wonder at the sudden Birth of it--

_Sem_. Madam, your Eyes make Captives at first sight.

_Cleo_. Oh my dear Eyes, how shall I love ye now,
For wounding more than my dull Sword could do?
'Twas Anger and Revenge that gave ye Charms,
Only to help the weakness of my Arms;
And when my Woman's Courage feeble grew,
My Heart did kindly send its Aids to you.
And thou, _Thersander_, surely canst not blame
My Cruelty, who do allow thy Flame:
Love on, love on; and if thou dost despise
All other ways, I'll kill thee with my Eyes.

_She sits down, and writes_. _Enter_ a Page.

_Page_. Madam, there is without an Officer
Who bad me tell your Highness that he waits.

_Cleo_. Admit him--and, Page, give you this Letter to the Queen.

_Sem_. Madam, it is _Vallentio_ whom you sent for.

_Enter_ Vallentio.

_Cleo_. _Vallentio_, I believe thee brave and honest.

_Val_. Madam, the last I dare affirm.

_Cleo_. Tell me, _Vallentio_, didst thou ever love?

_Val_. Madam, your Interest, my Arms, and a brave Enemy.

_Cleo_. But didst thou never feel a softer Passion?

_Val_. Madam, I own, though with a Blush I do so,
I've felt the Power of two fair Eyes;
And I have Wounds that yet would bleed afresh,
Should but the cruel Murderess appear.

_Cleo_. Then thou art fit to hear a Secret from me;
--But first, _Vallentio_ tell me who I am.

_Val_. My Princess, Madam, and my General;
And one, who from your Power of Beauty holds
No less Dominion o'er th' adoring World,
Than from the Greatness you were born to.

_Cleo_. And you're contented I should be your Queen?

_Val_. Madam, I am--_Pimante_ has been prating. [_Aside_.

_Cleo_. The Army too are of your mind.

_Val_. I cannot answer for the Army, Madam.

_Cleo_. But--what think you of _Orsames_?

_Val_. Madam, I think he merits to be King
In any other World but where you reign.

_Cleo_. And what if I would have him King of this?

_Val_. Why then he shall be King, if you would have it so.

_Cleo_. Yes, I would have it, by my self I would;
This is the time to let the Monarch know
The Glories he was born to;
Nor can I die in Peace till he be crown'd. [_Aside_.
I'll have this Nation happy in a Prince,
A Prince they long in silence have bemoan'd,
Which every slight occasion breaks out loud,
And soon will raise them up to a Rebellion,
The common People's God on Holy-days.
--And this, _Vallentio_, I have often observ'd;
And 'tis an Act too humble for my Soul,
To court my self into security.

_Sem_. Madam, the Gods do disapprove his Reign,
Which they not only say shall be but short,
But Bloody and Tyrannick.

_Cleo_. I will expound that Oracle,
Which Priests unridling make more intricate:
They said that he should reign, and so he did,
Which lasted not above a pair of Hours.
But I my self will be his Oracle now,
And speak his kinder Fate,
And I will have no other Priest but thee, [_To_ Vallentio.
Who shall unfold the Mystery in plain terms.

_Val_. Madam, the City and the Army are, by this Defeat,
Enough inclin'd to hear that Reason.

_Cleo_. _Geron_ already has Instructions what to do,
And you need none, wanting no Resolution.

_Val_. If I miscarry, Madam, I'll be condemn'd,
Never to look my Foe i'th' Face again.

_Cleo_. Haste, and be prosperous--

[_Exit_. Val.

_Semiris_, are those Garments ready I spoke for?

_Sem_. Madam, they're here--but now what will you do?

_Cleo_. Now, I will die--and now thou know'st my Will.

_Sem_. Ah, Madam, 'tis too much you let me know,
Denying me t' attend you where you go,
With such a Guide I cannot err.

_Cleo_. Alone I'll go, the Journey is not far
In passing; though I miss the aids of Day,
Yet my _Clemanthis_ lights me on my way.
Why dost thou weep? indeed thou art unkind.

_Sem_. I weep because you'd leave me here behind;
Doubting my Love, I beg you wou'd permit
That I might give you the last proof of it.
I in your last adventure was too slow,
And will not be deny'd my Duty now.

_Cleo_. Thou show'st a Soul so generous and free,
That I'm contented thou shou'dst follow me;
Come, dry thy Eyes, such helps we do not need;
To ease our Griefs, we must not weep but bleed.

[_Exeunt_.

SCENE VI. _A Street_.

_Enter_ Vallentio _passing over the Stage, is met by a
Rabble of Citizens_.

_1 Cit_. Well, Colonel, have you delivered our Grievances to the Queen?

_Val_. Yes, I have.

_1 Cit_. Well, and what Success? shall we have a King?

_Val_. And why a King? why should you be thus earnest
for a King? what good will a King do you? he's but a
single Man, cannot redeem the lost Victory, cannot raise
up your dead Members, no, nor levy new ones.

_1 Cit_. That's all one, Colonel, we will have a King:
for look ye, Colonel, we have thought of a King, and
therefore we will have one. Hah, Neighbours! a substantial
Reason.

_All_. Ay, ay, a King, a King.

_Val_. I like your Resolution, but not your Reason; and
must have a better than that.

_1 Cit_. 'Sha, Sir, we can give you many, though that's
sufficient; as look you, Sir, 'tis first a new thing to have
a King--a thing--a thing--we have not been acquainted
with in our Age: besides, we have lost the Victory, and
we are very angry with some body, and must vent it somewhere.
You know, Colonel, we have busy Heads, working
Brains, which must be executed; therefore, what say you,
are we to have leave to shut up Shop, and go to work with
long Staff and Bilbo, or are we to be very mutinous, and
do't in spite of you?

_Val_. You shall not need; go, shut up your Shops, gather
your Fellow-mutineers together, and meet me at the Citadel;
but be sure you're well arm'd, lest the Queen's Guards
prevent you.

_1 Cit_. I warrant you for honest true Hearts enough
at any mischief, though not to go against the _Scythians_; for,
Colonel, we love Civil Wars, Colonel, Civil Wars.

_Val_. Make haste, and then I'll shew you my Orders
for the King's Deliverance.

_Cit_. Oh, incomparable Colonel! we will raise thy Statue
in Brass in the Market-place, and worship it when we have
done--but harkye, Colonel, are we to give no Quarter?

_Val_. None to those that oppose you.

_All_. No, no, none, none.

_Cit_. Oh, how this will please ye all, my Mates--

[_Citizens goes out.
Enter_ Pimante.

_Pim_. Oh, Colonel, the Princess, Colonel.

_Val_. Well, Sir.

_Pim_. She's fled away, and none knows whither.

_Val_. I left her in her Tent just now.

_Pim_. Ay, ay, Colonel, that's all one, she's gone just as she
shou'd have been married too--there's the Devil on't! Oh,
the Days we shou'd have seen! the dancing, loving Days!

_Val_. Gone alone?

_Pim_. No, no, that dissembling thing _Semiris_ is with her;
she only left a Letter for the Queen, which she has sent
to the Prince of _Scythia_. Oh, adieu, adieu, to Love and Musick.
[_Goes out crying_.

_Val_. This is strange--if she be gone, 'tis time the King
were free--I'll haste to meet the Rabble, that it may not
look like an act of my own.
[_Exit_.

SCENE VII. Thersander's _Tent_.

_He enters with a Letter in his Hand open--with
Attendants_.

_Ther_. Be gone, I'll read the Letter o'er again,
[_Exeunt Attendants_.
And here impress thy Cruelty, and see what that will do
To set me free.
_Ther_. reads the Letter--
_Finding it impossible to obey your unkind Commands, I am
fled, and do resolve never to marry that_ Barbarian, _whose
Crimes are only known to me; no, nor any other that cannot
bring me his Head; whereto sollicite_ Artabazes, _and_ Ismenes,
if they will obey_. Cleomena.

If I consult my Reason and my Courage,
They say I should not love this cruel Maid.
But oh, my Reason, you're weak to counsel;
I'll think of nothing else but dying for her,
Since 'tis my Life she asks, and here demands it.
But 'tis in vain to arm my happy Rivals,
For I my self can more devoutly serve you.
'Tis I will pierce this unaccepted Heart,
Whose Flames are found so criminal--

_Enter_ Lysander.

_Lys_. Sir, there's without a Youth that desires admittance.

_Ther_. From whom comes he?

_Lys_. He would not tell me that, but has a Letter,
Which he'll deliver only to your Highness.

_Ther_. Bring him in, it may be from _Amintas_.

_Enter_ Cleomena _drest like a Country-Shepherd, comes
bowing to him, gives him a Note_.

_Ther_. reads to himself--
Guard thee well, _Thersander_; for thou shalt die by the
Hand that brings thee this.

[_She stabs him; he falls into_ Lysander's _Arms_.

_Cleo_. Here's to thee, dear _Clemanthis_--

_Lys_. Help, Treason, help--

_Ther_. Ah, lovely Youth, who taught thee so much cruelty?
And why that Language with that angry Blow?

_Cleo_. Behold this Face, and then inform thy self.
[_Discovers her self_.

_Ther_. 'Tis _Cleomena_! oh ye Gods, I thank ye!
It is her Hand that wounds me,
And I'll receive my Death with perfect Joy,
If I may be permitted but to kiss
That blessed Hand that sent it.

_Enter_ King _and Guards_.

_King. Thersander_ murder'd! oh, inhumane Deed!
Drag the Traitor to a Dungeon, till we have
Invented unheard of Tortures to destroy him by--
[_The Guards seize_ Cleo. _and_ Sem. _who was just entring_.
My Wounds are deep as thine, my dear _Thersander_;
Oh, fatal Day, wherein one fatal Stroke.
Has laid the Hopes of _Scythia_ in his Tomb!

_The Guards go to carry_ Cleo. _and_ Sem.
Ther. _calls 'em back_.

_Ther_. Oh, stay, and do not bear so rudely off
Treasures you cannot value.
--Sir,--do not treat her as my Murderer,
But as my Sovereign Deity--
Instead of Fetters, give her Crowns and Scepters;
And let her be conducted into Dacia,
With all the Triumphs of a Conqueror.
For me, no other Glory I desire,
Than at her Feet thus willingly to expire.

[_Goes to throw himself at her Feet, they prevent it and go off_.

ACT V.

SCENE I.

_A Council-Table: The_ King of Scythia _seated
on a Throne, Officers, Attendants, Guards_.

_King_. Bring the fair Prisoner forth, and let's examine
What Reasons could inspire her with this Cruelty;
--How beautiful she is! [_Gazes on her_.

_Enter_ Cleomena _in Fetters_, Lysander, _with Guards_.

_Cleo_. Thy Silence seems to license me to speak,
And tell thee, King, that now our Faults are equal;
My Father thou hast kill'd, and I thy Son;
This will suffice to tell thee who I am.
--Now take my Life, since I have taken his,
And thou shalt see I neither will implore
Thy needless Clemency by any Word or Sign:
But if my Birth or Sex can merit ought,
Suffer me not to languish any longer
Under these shameful Irons.
[_With scorn_.

_King_. Cruel as Fair, 'tis with too much injustice
Thou say'st our Crimes are equal:
For thou hast kill'd a Prince that did adore thee;
And I depriv'd thy Father of his Life,
When he assaulted mine in open Field,
And so, as cannot leave a stain on thee,
Or give thee Cause to say I've done thee wrong,
But if I had, wherefore (oh, cruel Maid)
Didst thou not spare that Heart that dy'd for thee,
And bend thy Rage against thy Father's Foe?
But thou well know'st, in killing of _Tkersander_,
The Father's Life would quickly follow after.

_Cleo_. I will not seek excuses for my actions,
But I protest to thee before the Gods,
It was not to revenge my self on thee
I kill'd thy Son;
But what he suffered was for his own Sin,
For he has banish'd from me all on Earth
That could compleat my Happiness--
[_Weeps_.
--And now dispose my Destiny as you please,
Only remember that I am a Woman.

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