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You are not weary of your warrior friend.
low soldier, *
“ I pray thee do not mock me, fellow student.”
On a subject which Shakespeare has chosen for a play, which, if it is deformed with as many defects as any of his productions, is also perhaps adorned with more beauties, than any, it is impossible at all times to resist the pleasure of falling into his modes of expression. Indeed this submission, which confesses at once my admiration and my despair, is the only apology I can make to his memory for presuming to choose a subject resembling one of his.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.
SCENE I.-An Apartment in the Palace.
KING, QUEEN, AZEMA, ZAPHAN, SETHAR.
Zaph. They wait, dread king,
tribute: All after-counsels but inflame my hate. But as they stay with some pacific prospect, Be a new idol in our temple plac'd, And swift proclaim our mandate through the
city, That all the pris'ners taken in our wars, Of ev'ry nation, bow and worship it. Should but a man refuse, then heat the furnace, And throw the stubborn visionary in.
Az. Yet cast an eye of pity on the weak, Who press’d by dangers, still uphold their faith, Sustain'd how long, through tedious sufferings,
Through ways untrod before, 'mid chains and
exile. King. Azema, peace! nor prove unfit for
empire. When they narrate our friendly resolutions, This fact will give new vigour to their words: We have no psalmist kings, but we adore, With fervor great as their’s, our country's gods.
Zaph. Your will shall be obey'd.
King. Observe it, Zaphan. Exit Zaph. (To the Queen.) See, madam, how our em
pire gathers strength !
Queen. Under the guidance of the lord Araxes,
King. Araxes still? I loathe the very name: And while our valiant armies daily stretch Our iron frontier past it's usual bound, The people's loyalty our fortune equals. (look
ing at Sethar.) Seth. The kingly name, dread sir, is ever ho
nored ! Tyrant! that name is prostituted now. (Aside.) King. To-morrow fix we for our glorious tri
umph. Seth. Triumph indeed! and thou shalt bear
thy part. (Aside.)
King. Enthron’d in radiant car we draw the
homage Of rapturous Babylon, while in long train, Kings, princes, governors, with heads bow'd low, And hearts that almost bleed before our eyes, In chains at least, that make their bodies shrink, Shall form the glorious contrast of the day. (To Sethar, going out.) Sethar, observe! look,
you be there, old man, Or those gray hairs shall not protect their
master. Seth. I will be present at the triumph-sire.
King. Now, Meres, what? your swift impa
tience seems To chide your steps as tardy in our service. Meres. Most gracious sovereign, and you,
great queen, Credit the warning of your faithful servant. All is not well, nor safe in Babylon. King. Treason at work? then, on my life,
old Sethar Is no weak plotter of the daring mischief. Meres. Oroes—my forward zeal offends my
queen. Queen. My sacred friend! and guardian of
Yet on my
Beware, my lord, his country owes him thanks.
King: Th' anointed servant of our holy faith, Or he had fed the lions long ago. (Aside.) For if I did not fear him, I should
Meres. Though the grounds
life there's treason in the state, Aye, in the council, of no common size : Mark'd you how, 'mid the day's most holy ser
vice, E'en in the temple, men look'd vacant round, Nor fix'd one look on sacred majesty : Then when Mitranes enter'd, how they press'd To ask why lord Araxes was not there?
King. I do remember some strange whispering. Meres. Methought some demon clogg'd the
sacred hymn, As it ascended with it's proud thanksgiving. Then in the city all is out of course ; The dull mechanic pauses as he walks, Fixes his filthy finger on his forehead, And after deep laborious meditation, Proceeds, the fate of Babylon decided : In every street, wherever place is found Convenient for dispute, some four or five Collect, and probe each other for a meaning : One scarcely moves, as if he could not carry The mighty secret he is charg'd withal :