Si quando aliquod officium existit amici in periculis adeundis aut communicandis, quis est qui id non maximis efferat landibus.
Cic. de Amic.


LONDON, Printed for Richard Parker, at the Ʋnicorn under the Piazza of the Royal Exchange in Cornhil. 1700.

Dramatis Personae.

  • Orestes, King of Mycenae.
  • Pilades, A Grecian Prince, his Friend.
  • Helymus Two Grecians, attendant on the Princes.
  • Diores. Two Grecians, attendant on the Princes.
  • Two Scythian Captains.
  • Messengers.
  • Ma Betterton.
  • Mr Williams.
  • Queen of the Scythians.
  • Iphigenia.
  • Euphrosine, a Grecian Lady, Confi­dent to Iphigenia.
  • Delia, another Grecian Lady, Priestess of Diana Taurica.
  • Priests and Priestesses.
  • Mrs Barry.
  • Mrs Bracegirdle.
  • Mrs Martin.

SCENE, A Wild Country on the top of a Mountain before the Temple of Diana Taurica.

To my Worthy Friend Mr JOHN FREEMAN.


O Restes, upon his arrival from Greece, is drawn by sympathy to take up his station with so good a Friend as you are. He could per­haps have made a choice that the world would have esteem'd more preferable and more illustrious. But, he judges not as the world judges. The Title of Friend is to him more atractive than a­ny in the Court of Honour; nay, he esteems it too more glorious. Virtue, Good Sense and Greatness of mind are requir'd to make a Friend; and where-ever he meets with those qualities he finds true Nobility. In you, indeed, he makes [Page] choice of a Person who derives no glori­ous Title from his Father, but who inhe­rits from him the truest Honour, that of an unblemish'd Character, the Character of an upright frank, understanding, sincere man. One who has greatness of mind enough to know that he was not born for himself, and who loves Mankind, the noble com­munity, of which he was made a member. One who is constantly true to himself, and constantly just to others, and always easie both to himself and others, agreea­ble to Strangers, dear to his Friends, and good to his very Enemies. As such he visits you, assur'd before-hand of his kind Reception, tho more upon the ac­count of his generous friendship, than any other merit he brings. I am,

Your most obliged Humble Servant, John Dennis.


MY chief design in writing the following Poem was to contribute my Mite towards the being serviceable to the publick. And I thought I could not do that more effectually than by endeavouring to enflame the Minds of an Audience with the Love of so noble a Virtue as Friendship. For all Communities owe their prosperity to their being united amongst them­selves, and derive their ruin from Faction and Intestine Discord. The misfortunes of England have always hap­pened from particular persons loving themselves too much, and others too little, and taking too little care of the publick, and too much of themselves. He who is generous enough to love his Friend, has greatness of mind enough to serve his Country: The Virtues have always been inseparable, and never was there an excel­lent Friend, but he was a good Patriot.

The subject that I chose in order to my design has been handled by several; yet the Fable or Plot is intirely my own. I consider, that the Writing of good Verses may make a man a good Verfifyer, but 'tis the forming a Fable alone, that can make a Poet. I therefore han­dled it with all the Care, and with all the Art which I was capable of bestowing on it; I chiefly took care to form it as regularly as possibly I could, that is, as Rea­sonably, as Decently, as Greatly, and as Virtuously; and to make it more agreeable, I endeavoured to reconcile Variety to Regularity: For Irregularity in the Drama, like Irregularity in Life, is downright extra vagance, and extravagance both upon the Stage, and in the World is always either Vice or Folly, and is often both.

At the same time I am far from thinking that any ob­servation of the Rules can make amends for want of Genius, I have the lesson of my Master too constantly in my mind, to be guilty of such a mistake.

Ego nec Studium sine divite vena,
Nec rude quid prosit video ingenium alterius sic
Altere poscit opem res & conjurat amice.

Here we see it is the opinion of Horace that the Rules signifie nothing without Genius; but here we see it is his opinion too that Genius signifies nothing without the Rules. Milton as to this latter point was exactly of Horace's mind. Milton, who is perhaps the greatest Ge­nius that has appear'd in the world for these seventeen hundred years, declares that Genius without the Rules is despicable. In the little Treatise of Education which he has writ to Mr Hartlib, he tells him that he would have his young Students learn something of Poetry. ‘I mean not (says he) the prosody of a Verse, but that sublime art which in Aristotle's Poeticks, in Horace, &c. teaches what the laws are of a true Epick Poem, what of a Dramatick, what of a Lyrick, what Decorum is, which is the grand Master-piece to observe. This would make them soon perceive what despicable Crea­tures our common Rhymers and Play-Writers are, and shew them what Religious, what Glorious and Mag­nificent use might be made of Poetry, both in Divine and in Humane things.’

That the present Tragedy is more Regular than most of our Tragedies are, I have some grounds to believe. Whether there is in it what is requir'd on the account of Genius, must be determin'd by the knowing Impartial Reader; that is, whether the Passions are touch'd, whe­ther the Expressions are worthy of the Passions, and whether there reigns throughout it that majestick Sad­ness which makes the pleasure of Tragedy.

For I declare here solemnly that it was never my in­tention to satisfie those who expect to be entertain'd with what they call fine things; I know a great deal better what the nature of my Art and the simplicity of the Drama demands, than to leave what the necessity of the action requires, whose vehement motion alone can in­flame an audience, and hunt for Impertinent Common-place [Page] Wit. As often as I write I shall endeavour to adapt my Sentiments to my Characters and to my Incidents, and make my Expressions fit for my Sentiments, and aban­don all fine reflections to be written by half Wits, and approv'd of by half Criticks. But to return to the Rules from which I digress'd; I had not said so much of them, but that I find it is the daily practice of our Empiricks in Poetry to turn our two Theatres into down­right Mountebanks Stages, to treat Aristotle and Horace with as contemptuous arrogance, as our Medicinal Quacks do Galen and the great Hippocrates; and to endea­vour to make the Rules, that is, Nature and Right Reason, as ridiculous and contemptible as the Rules have made their Writings.

The subject of the following Tragedy has al­ways been esteem'd so noble, that it has prevail'd upon the Writers of several Ages, and of several Na­tions to entertain the publick with it. It was late­ly brought upon the French Stage by one Monsieur de la Grange, and, as he tells us in his Preface, with extraordinary success. Tho he seems to me to have treated this subject without Force and without Art, yet I am very apt to believe him, because its greatness might very well sustain it. It was brought upon the Roman Stage by Pacuvius about the time of the great Sci­pio: And we find from the little Treatise that Cicero has left us of Friendship, the wonderful effect that that Tragedy had upon the minds of the Romans. Qui clamoris (says Lelius in that Treatise) tota cavea nuper, hospitis & Amici mei Marci Pacuvii fuerunt in nova fa­bula, cum ignorante rege uter eorum esset Orestes, Pylades Orestem se esse diceret ut pro illo necaretur; Orestes autem, ita ut erat, Orestem se esse perseveraret? What shouts of applause ran lately through the whole Pit at the new Play of my Guest and Friend Pacuvius; when the King inquiring which was Orestes, Pilades affirm'd it was he, that he might be sacrific'd in his stead; but Orestes persever'd in the contrary.’ About four hun­dred years before that, and above two thousand years before our time, it was brought upon the Athenian Stage [Page] by Euripides; and the Athenians, who were certainly the most ingenicus, and most delicate people that ever were in the world, were not only charm'd, but ravish'd with it. Aristotle, who in his little Treatise of Poetry drew his Rules from his constant observation of what had succeeded upon the Athenian Stage, is every where in that Treatise speaking of the Iphigenia in Tauris. He gives himself the trouble of laying down the general Plan of it: He commends the Discovery of Iphigenia to Orestes. He extols the incidents, as admirably contriv'd for exciting Compassion and Terror. In short, he is eve­ry where speaking of that Tragedy and the Oedipns of Sophecles. These considerations gave me encouragement to try how it would do upon our English Theatre: And from the first representations I expected all the success that I could reasonably desire, I never in my life at any Play took notice of a more strict attention, or a more profound silence. And there was something like what happen'd at the Representation of Pacuvius his Tragedy. For upon Orestes discovering his passion to Iphigenia in the fourth Act, there ran a general murmur through the Pit, which is what I had never seen before. But after three or four representations, several people, who du­ring that time had wholly abandon'd themselves to the Impression which Nature had made on them, began to study how to be discontented by Art; and repented heartily at having been pleas'd with what Athens and Rome and Paris had been pleas'd before. But if they answer, that they were displeas'd at my defects, and not at those beauties which so justly pleas'd the Ancients, and which please the Moderns; to that I reply, that by universal confession they were more touch'd by the fourth and fifth Acts than they were by the second. Now the fourth and fifth Acts are entirely my own, and the second is almost entirely Euripides. Yet this ve­ry▪ Act made little impression on them after the first representations. Is it that they were resolv'd all at once to set up for being more Refin'd than the French, more Discerning than the Romans, and more Delicate than the Athenians! I desire them to consider what ap­probations [Page] they have here of late given, and what ap­probations they have been forc'd to retract, and then they may answer the question.

Of all the Objections which have been made, but two appear to me to be of any moment. The first relates to the first Scene of the Play, which objection is universal; and therefore must be solid. The second belongs to the last Scene of the Play, and has been made by persons of extraordinary merit, and who have a hundred great qua­lities, of which their exalted Rank and exalted Birth are the least. The objection is this, That Orestes upon discovering Iphigenia to be his Sister shews too much joy for a Lover. But I desire them, with all the profound Respect that is due to them, that I may say three words in my Defence, and desire that they would not upon a transient reflection condemn me for a thing which I have been considering for a year. A person of Orestes's [...] may very well be suppos'd to love his Mistress [...] own sake: And how very natural is it [...] of grief, into which the sight of her [...] thrown him, a Danger by him believ'd unavoidable, should be turn'd into [...]tuous tran­sports of Joy upon the first view of her Deliverance? He saw very well that this Discovery was the only thing that could have deliver'd her, unless he would have parted with his Honour to save her. Besides, he had from the very beginning esteem'd and admir'd the Queen, as he declares in the third Act. She had twice in one day given him his Life and his Liberty, to which she had added his Friends Life and Liberty; she had given him the disposal of her self and her Subjects, and be­stow'd an Empire on him. And what Impression must not such Generosity make upon the soul of a generous man? And how far might it not go, upon a discovery that must immediately cool the violence of his former love into the calmness of fraternal affection? Besides, consider the circumstances of that astonishing Discovery. A young Princess, whom he and all Greece believ'd to have been inhumanely murder'd at the Altar of Diana in Aulis, a Princess who had been at ten years of age the [Page] admiration of her Country, the joy of her Relations, and the darling of the Prince her Brother; a Princess, whose unfortunate Beauty and untimely Fate all Greece with him had lamented, and look'd on it as one of the deplorable deeds, Hereditary to the Race of Tantalus: this very Princess was twelve years after beyond all ex­pectation, beyond all hope, and almost beyond all be­lief, discover'd by this very Brother to be alive in Tauris, and discover'd in the wonderful moment, in which that very discovery sav'd her from perishing in so remote a Country, at the Altar of the same Goddess. Judge if such an astonishing discovery as this could have had a­ny other effect in nature upon the mind of Orestes, than what I have given it in this Tragedy? A discovery, which not only sav'd his dearest Sister, and made happy his dearest Friend, but reconciled him perfectly to the Queen, oblig'd her to abandon the fatal Image to him, and so fulfill'd the command of Heaven, and appeas'd the Infernal Powers, and restor'd him to his former tran­quility.

Thus I have endeavour'd as briefly as I could to an­swer this objection, out of respect to the persons who made it. For the rest I leave them to be answer'd by the Reader. If they are solid, nothing that I can say can o'rethrow them, and if they are not founded on Reason, they will be sure to fall of themselves. For all opinions are sure to change, and prejudice and malice are sure to dye; only Reason is always the same, and only Truth is immortal.

The general success of the following Poem has been neither dispicable nor extraordinary. I have pleas'd those whom I desir'd to please, and the rest will one day follow. But let the Writers value themselves upon Fortune, who have nothing else to rely on. To which of her scribbling Favourites has she not been kind, has she not been coming? But short have been her fantastick favours, her affections fleeting, and general contempt, a terrible reverse, has follow'd. 'Tis my Ambition to owe my Success to Reason, and not to Chance, to please the most judicious and the best of men, and so to please for ever.


Spoke by Mr Verbruggen.
The Genius of England rises to a Warlike Symphony.
SEe, Britt [...], see, before your ravish'd eyes,
See England's lofty Guardian Genius rise.
Admiring see that formidable mien,
That is by Gods with veneration seen;
That from great Neptune due Respect can draw,
And keep the watry trembling world in awe.
I, who [...]our Souls with all that s great inspire,
With soaring thoughts, and each sublime desire;
'Tis I, my Brittons, who vouchsafe t' appear,
And. [...] God like Sons assembled here.
And [...] set you assembled all,
At [...] of my Majestic call.
[...] the Tragick Muse I have led,
Who had [...] [...]olling Moons been from you fled,
Forlorn, forsaken, the Celestial Maid
In Solitudes disconsolat [...] straid:
Wild as a Bacchanal I saw her rove,
This [...] Child of Memory and Jove.
Her once victorious eye now look'd Despair,
With miserable cries she rent the air,
Beat her Immortal Breasts, and tore her golden Hair.
Am I by all forsaken then! said she.
Oh is my Brittain faln to that degree,
As for effeminate Arts t' abandon me?
I left the enslav'd Italian with disdain,
And servile Gallia, and dejected Spain:
Grew proud to be confin'd to Brittain's shore,
Where Godlike Liberty had fix'd before;
Where Liberty thrives most, I most can soar.
Once more I thought t' inspire Athenian flights,
And once more towr to Sophoclean heights.
But oh, she cry'd, I feel a Ruder care,
And I have chang'd Ambition for Despair.
[Page]Here Song and Dance, and ev'ry Trifle reigni,
And leaves no room for my exalted strains.
Those Arts now rule that soften'd foreign Br [...]es,
And sunk the Southern Nations into Slaves.
This said the Muse, my Brittons, against you:
Oh Supreme Jove! And [...]
It is; so wanton are you [...]
That my Degenerate Sons I have [...]
Or what is worse, ye [...]
Oh what wou'd my [...]
Or Edward's Soul returning [...]
To see a Bearded more [...]
Dissolv'd and dying by [...]
To give you wholeso [...] [...]
With me the Tragick [...]
To your soft neighbours [...]
But listen you to [...] great [...]
'Tis true, the [...]
But what can weaken our [...]
Where cannot we exert our [...]
Yet from his mortal voice [...]
Whatever in the following Scen [...] [...]
Whate're may from [...]
That's his, from that [...]
But to what's ours [...]
And ours is all that's brave and [...]
And which can raising [...]
Friendship's the virtue which we [...]
He makes a Patriot too who makes a [...]
Who freely for his Friend re [...]gns his [...]
Would for his Country meet a glorious [...]
With silent awe, my Brittons then attend,
View the great Action of a Grecian Friend,
And learn degenerate [...] thoughts t' amend.
From Grecian fire let English hearts take flame,
And grow deserving of that noble name▪
For not the boundless Main which I controul,
[...]n so delight my Eye [...] or charm my Soul,
As I am pleas'd when my brave Sons I see
Worthy of Godlike Liberty and me:
He sinks to the same Symphony that he rose


ACT I. Storm.

Iphigenia. Euphrosine.
DEfend me, great Diana!
Defend thy Iphigenia, thou bright Goddess,
The wretched Servant of whose cruel rites
Before thy Sacred Temple here I stand!
A Storm so dreadful my eyes ne're beheld,
Not ev'n in this accursed Scythian Climate,
O're which the furious God of War presiding,
The restless [...] and the outrageous elements
All [...] War.

[...] something surely above Nature in it.

[...] Storm's so terrible to us,
How must it look, alas, to those poor Souls,
With conqu'ring Death conflicting on the Main!
Look there Euphrosine's a fight will melt
Thy pitying heart within thy tender bosom;
See, in the mouth of this tempestuous Bay,
Upon the Sommet of whose horrid Cliffs
This threatning Fabrick stands,
Yon goodly Vessel, of a foreign make,
No Pilot to conduct it but the Tempest,
Before the foaming surges bounds along.
Bless me, ye pow'rs! what god can save them sinking?
Shou'd they scape foundring in the wild Abyss,
Anon they run amain upon the Rocks
Of this inhospitable shore.
Or if by wondrous chance they avoid those Rocks,
Something more dangerous than the Rocks or Seas,
And rougher than the rudest of the Winds
Attends them on the shore.
If they are caught on Scythian ground they dye,
And fall the Victims of these dreadful Altars.
[Page 2]
They die, but by whose hands, Euphrosine?
Ah miserable me! Tho in this place
The men are more relentless than the Rocks,
Yet here are always Women to be found
More savage than the cruelst of their men.
Enter Messenger.
Whence art thou? And to whom?
From you uncultivated Eastern Plain,
O're which our Roving Scythians drive
Their wandring Habitations,
Our warlike Queen has sent me to demand,
If all things are prepar'd to solemnize
Our great Diana's Annual Festival.
Tell her they are.
The Garlands are prepar'd the Victim's crown'd,
The Sacred Pomp of the Procession's ready,
And nothing but the Queen herself is wanting;
For now the night, the fatal hour approaches.

I fly to let her know it.

Ah woe, Euphrosine! But yesterday.
This fatal office was conferr'd upon me,
Which to refuse had brought me certain Death,
And yet this night already I must—Heav'ns!
My Blood runs chill within me, at the thought
Of executing this most horrid office.
Yes, you're to plunge your Knife in human Blood;
But 'tis the Blood of Strangers.
Were you to offer up your darling Child,
Or to embrue your Hands in the dear Blood
Of one who lov'd you, and was belov'd by you,
How then wou'd your poor trembling Heart recoil
At the bare thought of such a dreadful office!
Yet, Iphigenia from a Race descends,
To which from Tantalus to Agamemnon,
Those dismal deeds have been but too familiar;
You sacrifice a Stranger to Diana,
Remember that your Father Agamemnon
A Daughter wou'd have sacrific'd.
O dire Original of all my woe!
Why, my Euphrosine, wou'dst thou remind me of it?
To that intention of a cruel Father
I owe a tedious twelve years misery;
I owe a tedious twelve years residence
In this sad Clime, where Heav'ns inclemency
Frowns all the year upon the Horrid Natives.
Where I must linger out a wretched life,
[Page 3]Far from my Country, and my dear Relations,
Far from the sweet society of Ladys,
Whose Souls with ev'ry Grace and Virtue fraught,
Alone can by their Conversation give
Insipid life a Relish.
'Tis now five years since the last wretched Grecian
Was thrown upon this Coast, and I alas
Am utterly a stranger to whate're
Has happen'd to my Country and my Friends;
Only last night, last feardful night, Orestes,
My only Brother, and the second hope
Of Royal Agamemnon's High born Race,
Broke my distracted slumbers with dire Visions,
That quite dismay'd my Soul; my very Dreams
All in this place, are like the Natives, dreadful.
However, you exclaim against those Natives,
To you, they are less barbarous than your Grecians,
And far more gentle than a cruel Father.
To them you owe your Liberty, your Honour,
To them too next the Gods you owe the punishment
Of a curst Slaves design upon them both▪
When for [...] space of three revolving Moons▪
The Grecian [...]eet had windbound lain at Aulis,
And great Achilles longing lay, impatient
To urge the Trojan Fate;
Calchas aloud proclaim'd throughout the Army
That the offended Gods deny'd the Winds,
Till that the King of Kings, who stood oblig'd
By an old Vow, to offer to Lucina
The loveliest product of the fertile year,
Should sacrifice his Beauteous Iphigenia.

Why wilt thou old Calamities renew?

To reconcile you more to your misfortune,
And shew you what great things the Gods have done for you,
Tho you ungratefully repine, the King
By damnable Ambition urg'd, consented
To what the Camp with one accord demanded,
And make your Marriage with the great Achilles,
The subtle lure to draw you down from Argos▪
The fraud of Calchas and of dire Ulysses!
False fatal Marriage▪
And tho true, untimely,
Scarce had ten Springs then bloom'd upon your Cheek,
And yet your tender Mother Clytemnestra,
Betray'd and flatter'd by the hope of seeing
[Page 4]Your Destiny united to a Hero's,
And such a Heroe from a Goddess sprung
Too soon consented to the fatal Journey.

I wou'd not hear the rest.

You must; at Aulis
The subtle Clytemnestra found the Cheat,
Then like a Raging Lyoness, whose young
Some desperate Hunter in the Toils entangles,
Your Raving Mother soon dismay'd your Father,
Flew to his Tent with Fury in her Soul
And Terror in her Eyes, storm'd, wept, pray'd, shriek'd,
Till she at last prevail'd on his hard heart;
So far she shook his fainting resolution.
What canst thou mean by this sad repetition
Of what I wou'd not hear?
Once more, I tell you,
To reconcile you to your Scythian Fate:
For to that strange degree you were undone,
That only Scythia's shore cou'd have preserv'd you
From a worse Fate than that from which you fled:
For after that your Mother had prevail'd
Upon your Father to retract your Destiny,
It was determin'd that at dead of night
You shou'd by stealth from Aulis be convey'd,
To Thracian Polimnestor's Court,
There to remain conceal'd till the event
Of that fam'd Expedition:
And that a Lesbian Slave in shape and size,
And age resembling yours,
In a long Veil should dye for Iphigenia;
So you escap'd, and so all Greece was cheated.
Unfortunate escape! for that which follows
Was ten times worse than Death, and barely mention'd
Strikes to my Heart like Fate, and shakes my Nature.
Yet I must on; your peace of mind depends on it.
That day it happen'd that there came to Aulis
A Master of a Vessel in his Boat,
Whose Ship lay out some leagues at Sea,
Being bound for the Propontis:
The Master was by Birth of Tomos;
The Country where the Isther
It self at all its sev'n wide mouths
Discharges in the Euxine.
To him you were deliver'd, with large Treasures,
And six small Virgins of your Train, of which
My wretched self was one:
[Page 5]To be convey'd to Thracian Polimnestor:
With him we at the Ship arriv'd, and sail'd:
But then that Beauty, which at Land had made you
The most unfortunate of women.
Had like to have prov'd more fatal on the Main;
For fir'd by that, and by the Treasure tempted,
The Captain past by Thrace and the Propontis,
Designing to transport us all to Tomos.

Oh the Villain!

As soon as in the Euxine, all the world
Appear'd to be compos'd but of two Elements;
The desperate Caitiff made a damn'd attempt;
We helpless wretches shriek'd to Heaven for succour,
When strait upon the wings of all the winds
Th' avenging Gods flew down from Heav'n to Rescue us,
Jove gave th' alarm to Nature, strait the Thunder
From different quarters roar'd, and the Blue Lightning
Thwarted the Lightning in its slanting flight;
The Sea Gods in a moment turn'd the Seas
Up from their deep Foundation.
They roaring out, in liquid Mountains roll'd,
With intervals of horrid Vales between them,
While [...]aming Monsters eccho'd to our shrieks,
Death in a thousand shapes at once appear'd,
And each of them amazing.
The very bare remembrance of that Storm
Still strikes a thrilling Horror to my Heart,
The terriblest I ever saw
Before I saw this ev'ning.
Yet 'twas by that that gracious Heav'n preserv'd us;
For now the Vessel tumbling in the Abyss,
The King of Terrors in his dismalst shape
Star'd in the Villains face, and made him soon
Desist from his curst enterprize.
A sharper care now seiz'd his guilty Soul.
Three days and nights adrift before the Storm
We in the Deep lay rolling, on the fourth
The Tempest wrack'd us on this Scythian shore;
We strait were by the Natives seizd, the Master
And all his Crew, the Crew of guilty wretches
Who would have sacrific'd our spotless Honours
To their infernal lusts, that very night
Yielded their throats at great Diana's Altars.
We were preserv'd, and constituted part
Of the bright train attendant on the Goddess.
[Page 6]
See, thou hast talk'd this▪ Tempest over too;
But ah the goodly Ship is seen no more,
And all the wretches in its hollow womb
Are perish'd in the waves; and now alas
The Elements seem reconcil'd, and now
The angry Ocean sinks into a Calm,
As if it like a Hungry Lyon roar'd
But for its prey, and were by that appeas'd.
But look, Euphrosine, what two are those
Who with such friendly care assist each other
To climb the craggy steepness of the Cliff,
While two at distance with unequal pace
Pursuing, pant behind them?
The wretched Remnants of the Wreck,
Who come to perish here.
Strangers they by their garb appear, and Grecians;
With what laborious toil they mount,
And ever and anon
They stop, and cast an eager eye
Tow'rds these Tremendrous Altars!
The foremost wears affliction in his aspect,
And the black Cloud that lowrs upon his Brow
Seems to declare strange wretchedness of sorrow.
Yet sorrow on his Brow majestick sits,
And shows that from no common cause it springs.
His mien seems earnest, and his looks profound,
Like one upon important business bent.
Ah wretch! if thou art by our Scythians seen,
Thy business is to dye.
But let's retire, and let th' Attendants bar
These massy Gates, for lo they come, Euphrosine.
Enter Orestes, Pilades, Helymus, Diores.

Shall we alarm the Guards?

Not for thy life.
My first request to great Diana, is,
That I may ne're perform this cruel function:
For that which Reason utterly abhors
Can ne're be acceptable to Divinity.
But if I am compell'd by these Batharians
To do a deed which most my Soul abhors,
Let the Slaves destin'd for the Altar, bleed:
But spare your Images, ye pow'rs above,
In those two Godlike Youths.
Exeunt Iph. Euph.
You Helymus, and you Diores,
Keep exact watch upon your several posts,
[Page 7]If we are caught on Scythian ground we die.
Ex. Hel. Di.
I fear not for my self, why shou'd a wretch
That groans beneath intolerable woe,
Fear Death, his kind Redeemer?
But for my Friend, my Pilades,
I cannot chuse but fear.
I cannot fear with my Orestes near me,
Not even for Orestes?
Alas, you need not fear for me,
I am so exquisitely miserable
That Death will long avoid me;
A wretch that labours with a world of woe;
By all but my Pilades forsaken,
By Gods and men forsaken,
And by the formidable Furies haunted.
Now your long miseries must cease, take comfort,
The Delphick God has said it.
This is the Temple of the Dreadful Goddess,
Whose cruel Altars smoke with Human gore,
If we her Image can transport to Athens
Your woes are at an end.
So said Diyine Apollo.
See, where that Image sits, inthron'd in Horror,
And on the Bloody Battlements behold
The spoils of murder'd Grecians.
The dreadful Gates are barr'd,
And the high Walls prohibit all access.
May we not justly then suspect this Oracle?
For how can we approach this fatal Image,
Or how can we transport it?
When we despair,
Great Love shall crown our action with success,
And from the Dangers of the place deliver us.
So said the God, upon our Virtue then,
Upon our Friendship firmly let's depend,
Immortal Love ne're stirs a moment from us.
Above the world, I swear I love my Pilades.
Then let us to the Ship retire,
That lies among the Rocks conceal'd,
And with the advantage of approaching night,
Sally with all our Friends,
Surprize and force the place.
Enter Helymus, and after him Diores.
How now? what means that ghastly look!
[Page 8]Hast thou too seen the Furies? Why standst thou speechless?
What means that deep fetcht groan? Why does Despair
Stare thro thy haggard eyes?
My Lords defend your selves.
For from the Brow of yonder neighb'ring Hill
A party of the Scythians have surpriz'd me;
Their reinless Steeds come scowring down the Mountain
As they had Wings, and seem to bend their course
Directly tow'rds the Temple.
It is enough, my Pilades retire,
In the good Ship thy refuge quickly take,
While I with Helymus and good Diores
Keep these inhumane Dogs that hunt for Blood at bay.
Had I made that Request to my Orestes▪
By Heav'n I ne're shou'd have forgiv'n my self,
Because Orestes ne're could have forgiven me.
Should Pilades have ask'd his only friend
To be so false, so infinitely base
As to desert him; one day I must dye,
That is most certain, and who knows how poorly,
How like the base born vulgar?
Cou'd I have ever wish'd to have faln more nobly,
Than fighting, dying for my Dear Orestes?
How shou'd a Friend expire but with his Friend?
And not when Death has seiz'd his nobler part
Drag a half wretched paralytick life,
His own forlorn Surviver.
Why wouldst thou then unkindly thus deprive me
Of such a Death as I shou'd envy thee?
Then as we have liv'd, let us embracing dye.
Now let them come. Had they attack'd me only,
I wou'd have giv'n my wretched Breast to them,
That groans beneath th' intolerable weight
Of never ceasing woe.
But since through mine they seek the life of Pilades,
By Castor, and the friendly God his Brother,
They'll find they safelier might have undertaken
To have rousd the Hungry Monarch of the Woods,
While slumbring o're his young.
Enter Queen of the Scythians, and Train.
Give orders that the Horse remain at distance,
Let these on foot attend me to the Temple,
There's something sad in my foreboding mind
T [...]s unbecoming of this pompous Festival.
[...] night, w [...]en Death-like Sleep had seiz'd on Mortals,
[Page 9]In the dread hour to silent Horror sacred,
This in the Visions of the Dark I saw,
The [...]ings of th' Apartment where I lay
Flew open with a Whi [...]wind [...] violent blast,
And to my eyes appear'd th' amazing form
Of [...] Goddess.
With [...] her head [...]
Her [...] wrathful frown [...],
[...] the Fates [...]reed.
She [...] Dreams are Dreams,
All [...] great Souls,
And I will think no more of it.
Seeing the Grecians.
Ha! [...] with Arms unlicenc'd,
And [...]
[...] that calls me Soveraign!
[...] at us, we are men,
And [...] ne're saw befor [...].

Yes, I'm a woman, born to command men.


No, to command Barbarians, we are Grecians

By your exalted Speech and touring Meins,
I took you to be Gods;
But if you're Grecians, we shall find you mortal:
For if you're Grecians, know that you must dye.
Then know that we resolve to die like Grecians,
Like two who know that we were born to die.

That ev'ry brave mans business is to die.

Th' Employment of your Scythians is to kill,
But the whole business of a Grecians life
Is like himself to die.
For Death is only certain, all things else
Depend on Fortune's Arbitrary freak,
And may or may not happen, Death is Fate's,
And only sure and common to us all.
Gods how they talk! I'll see what they can do
Fall on.

Now the two friendly Brother Gods assist us.

They beat off the Scythians.
[Page 10]
Gods! what have I beheld? with what a fury
They drove my Dastard Scythians all before the [...]
As Whirlwinds drive the D [...].
Protect me, great [...]!
Orestes, P [...]l [...]s▪ Helymu [...] Di [...]s [...]
Now Madam you may see, that th [...] we [...]
Grecians, are yet as fa [...] a [...] your [...]
As they're below the gods▪ But you are [...]
Expecting we should [...]
Because your [...]
But we are able to [...]
The high prerogative [...]
Your Subjects, as by [...] they [...]
In all their Combate [...]
Greatness of mind exci [...] [...]
Who conquers only to [...]
And to improve the vanquish'd.
That you shall see, your life, your [...]
Your Scepter's yours once more; [...]
To shew more mercy to unhappy [...].
Gods! Have I liv'd to hear such [...]
'Tis not the easie Conquers they obtain'd
That mortifies my pride; what's [...]
I have a greatness of my own, a greatness
Immortal, like my Soul in which it dwells,
And ne're can suffer by my Subjects buseness.
But this is what torment [...] me, I have heard,
Gods! I have heard them say such things, as shows
They who pronounc'd them thought they were to me
Superiour beings; but by Heav'n once more
I'll have them in my power, and then I'll shew them—
Re enter Scythians.
Oh! are you then return'd at last? you wretches!
What can you think your selves that you deserve?
When twenty of you, with true Scythian Scimitars,
Fled from four Greecian Swords.
1 Scyth.
Pardon, great Queen, we fled not from their Swords,
Their eyes had something more than mortal in them;
We could not bear their darting beams, which shot
Pernicious Fire thro all our daring Souls,
That in a moment blasted all our vigour.
Give order, that the Horse immediately
Fly down the Road that winds around the Cliff,
And intercept their passage to the Sea;
[Page 11] [...]
As much as [...];
She [...] Soul,
A [...]
Which [...] Breath of Jove,
And [...]
To all [...].
[...] can know thy worth,
No [...] [...], who [...]o proudly
Gave [...]
That [...] patent longs
To pay the mighty Debt in [...]ind. What then?
Thy Conscience knows it, and Immortal Jove
And the bright eye of you▪ Refulgent Goddess,
That with one view sees all the world, b [...] witness to it.
Gods! must they then depart with little thoughts of me?
What if they should? why should that fear disturb thee?
'Tis a precarious gre [...]ess that depends
On others thought [...] my own sustain my excellence.
Why dost thou with then with such eagerness
To have these Grecians in thy eye once more!
What means this strange disquiet, and the fire
Of this so wild, untractable desire?
The end of the First Act.


Iphigenia. Euphrosine.

HOw strangely she seem'd mov'd in the Relation.

But how differently?
Now quite transported with th' Heroick Action.
Then at their Victory as much [...]
And at their usage of her mortify'd.

But pleas'd.


Yet in the midst of joy disdaining to be pleas'd.

Sollicitous about th' event,
Impatient till 'tis known.
So uncommanding of herself
Till now I ne're observ'd her.
Shou'd but her Scythians intercept the Grecians
You'll find her show a passion still more impotent.
A distant shout.
What dost thou mean? 'tis what her Soul desires.
But the hoarse eccho of that distant shout
Tells us that we too long defer obedience
To what she now commanded, that while she
Her private Offerings paid to Great Diana,
We should advance toward the Cliffs dreadful brow,
From which the fearful downfal of the Precipice,
And the wild Horrors of the Rocky Beach
Lye subject to our view; from thence she thinks
We something may descry.
But ah! see there, see where the noble Strangers,
Prostrate and groveling on the stormy Beach,
Surrounded lye on ev'ry side by Fate.
The murdring Scythian shouting on the one side,
And the mad Euxin bellowing on the other,
And blanching with its flying foam their garments.
And now the savage croud all pours upon them.
Shout at distance.
And now they send up barbarous shouts to Heav'n.
Alas, they'll murder them; turn, turn Euphrosine,
My Soul this cruel prospect cannot bear.
They dare not touch them, for perhaps the Queen,
The Queen can less endure this sight than you.
[Page 13] [...]
Tho [...] her with a mind
Above [...] her Se [...],
Still as a woman, she [...] to Love,
Yet Love she [...] hour▪
For you still [...] Soul
So much of Grecian [...], and Grecian virtue,
That she has utterly contemn'd her Scythians.
All you have said these notte youths make good,
These [...] objects worthy her
That [...] held, and at the sight
Her [...] Soul took speedy fire▪

[...]: [...] meet Imagination all.

[...] were [...] much concern'd to observe her nicely,
Else had you plainly seen her words, her gestures,
Her mien, her eyes, and all her soul declare it.
Shout aloud.
But hark?
Whence the rude noise of this audacious shout,
So near this hallow'd place?
Enter Scythian.

Where is the Queen?

What would'st thou have? the Queen is in a place
Where for thy life thou must not dare t [...] approach.
Of the four Grecians two are now her Captives,
And with slow solemn march are guarded towards the Temple.

What have I heard?


What are they?


Grecians, we know no more.


Then heard you not their names?

Their names by strictest Oaths they enjoyn'd each other
Not to pronounce.

What numbers of you took them?

We took them not by advantage of our numbers,
But by the powerful influence of our Goddess,
Thrice had we now without success attack'd them,
From supernatural aid they drew their safety.
[Page 14]Oft Castor and his Brother they invok'd,
And some affirm these two Auxilia [...] Gods
Apparently sustain'd them.
Our Scythians now from neighbouring Rocks came [...]
And we a fresh and fourth attach prepar'd▪
The Grecians, the two friendly Gods involk'd,
Th' avenging pow'r of Great Diana we,
That in the Clouds inthron'd with Silver Glory,
Illustrated the Horrors of the Combat.
VVhen of the Grecians, one, to our astonishment,
Starting from out the rest in fearful manner,
Fix'd on the empty Air his staring eyes,
He shook his Temples, and his Teeth he g [...]ash'd,
And then he fetch'd a groan that seem'd to rend
His vital Thread asunder; then like a [...]yon
He formidably roar'd, Dost thou not see▪
Dost thou not see th abominable Fiend
Dost thou not see th' inexorable Fury?
Look how her bloody mouth spouts purple foam,
And her black Nostrils, cataracts of Fire!
Gods! how her cruel eyes shoot horrors thro my Soul▪
Save me, y' eternal pow'rs, for see she comes,
The dreadful Goddess comes, and now she raves,
And now her hissing curling Snakes erect
Their coal black Crests, and dart their forky Tongue▪
Do you see their odious eyes? I cannot bear them.
Damnation! how their fiery glances sting me!
But oh what shape, what dismal shape is that,
That staring wide with stony eyes behind them,
Appears more dreadful than ten thousand furies!
Oh 'tis my—

VVhat follow'd?

The rest with hollow dying sounds,
Imperfectly pronouncing.
He foam'd, he inward rowl'd his ghastly eyes,
And groaning, down he fell entranc'd before us

Poor wretched man! how influenc'd this the rest?

VVhile with astonishment all eyes were fix'd
On such a dreadful, such a wondrous object;
Two of them took the advantage of the occasion,
And sliding in between the craggy Piles
Of numerous Rocks invironing the Bay,
Were quickly in their winding mazes lost.

What did the fourth in consequence of him?

He, neither fled nor fought, nor yet submitted,
[Page 15]Anothers danger took up all his Soul,
Regardless of his own▪
For now th' entranc'd beginning to [...]
[...] their deadly [...];
[...] the [...] wretch,
And made [...] of his Friend.

[...] eternal [...]me.

[...] even [...] hearts▪
[...] but ravish them▪
The God like deed with general shout applauding,
Down we unanimously thr [...] our Javelins,
And the contention the remain'd,
Was who should save the Grecians.
Running, we gently rear'd them from the ground,
And cherish'd him who wanted most our help;
Till quickly we recall'd his fleeting Spirit.
Then into different Bands we all dividing,
Some ran among the Rocks to seek the Flyers,
And to the Temple some conduct the Captives.
But see they now draw near.
Euphrosine, inform the Queen of this,
VVhile I receive the Grecians.
Be wise, and come away.
Why would you see a sight that would distract you?
I would to Heaven it would, for that distraction
VVould drown a world of woe in sweet forgetfulness;
'Tis better surely not to know, than knowing,
To know that we are infinitely miserable.
But if I cannot bear these objects here,
How shall I then endure them at the Altar?
How shall I there approach them? how shall I there—
Let me not think of it, that thought has Daggers in it.

Be wise, and come away.

These noble youths bring news from Greece, Euphrosine.
'Tis now five years since I beheld a Grecian;
Oh how I long to hear from my dear Country.
Besides, consider what I left in Greece.
[Page 16]I left a Father there.

A cruel one.

Let him be cruel, still I am his Daughter;
I left a Mother there, she was not cruel.
Her very eyes were not so dear as I to her.
I owe my very life, I owe my all,
To her exceeding Tenderness!
There too I left the darling of my Soul,
The darling of my Virgin Soul, a Brother,
On whose young Temples scarce the seventh Summer
Had shed its golden Down.
Can I be thought to have left all these behind,
And to have left them all behind entirely?
Ah no! Their Images are here, Euph [...]osi [...]e;
And here remind me of the dear Originals,
Incessantly remind me.
There are no other objects here of tenderness
Or none, excepting thee.
And I, thou know'st am in my nature soft.
Then to indulge that softness strait retire,
And leave me here, to ask these noble youths
After my Country and my dear Relations.
Ex. Euph.
Enter Orestes. Pilades. Guard.
Approach ye most unfortunate of men!
Ill-fated youths, the Sons of wretched Parents!
Wretched your Brothers, and your Sisters miserable!
Madam, we know we are your Victims,
And come resolv'd to dye.
For Souls undaunted; why this vain compassion?
By you we bleed, and you deplore our destiny,
If that you think by softning our firm minds
To make death dreadful to us, you mistake us.
To Souls prepar'd, such little arts are vain;
Not all your Scythian Javelins once could daunt us,
Nor can your Female Lamentations melt us.
Your cruel Gods, when we approach their Altars
Shall blush, to see two men, two dying men
Unshaken and undaunted as themselves,
Amidst their high security.
So high a mind in such a low condition!
But from whence are you miserable men!
How long have ye been wanderers from your Country!
A long, long time 'twill be, e're you return to it.
Seek not to soften us by vain inquiries,
Nor to disturb us in our hour of Death.
[Page 17]
Grecians! you are I see, but of what Province?
I must be answer'd; my reasons are most urgent.

How should our answers possibly concern you?


Are you Brothers?


We are not so near as Brothers, and yet nearer.

Then you are Friends it seems:
What may we call you?


That is the name which Fortune has bestow'd upon you:
I ask not after that.
The mo [...]e we keep our names conceal'd
The more we keep this shameful Fate conceal'd!
This Fate so much unworthy of us.
Tho our Hearts bleed, our Names shall never suffer.

Say then, what State, what City gave you Birth?

Madam, we came resolv'd to dye;
And Death is now our business!
There's time enough, alas, for Death,
And long you will enjoy him.
Answer me first; oblige me so far, Grecian.

Argos, renown'd throughout the World's my Country.

Ha! Argos! Is it possible? O Heav'ns!
Tell me the truth, I here conjure thee, Grecian.
Within Mycaenaes Walls I first saw light,
Mycaenae, once the Towring Queen of Cities.

And yet you left it for this dismal place.


Ev'n so the gods would have it.


They're welcome Guests to me who come from Argos.


And Death's the hearty welcome we expect.

Grecian, you may inform me of some things,
Which most my impatient Soul desires to know.

You will be answer'd, speak.


You have heard of Troy, whose Fame has fill'd the Universe?

Oh, would to Jove I ne're had heard of Troy,
Not in my very Dreams!

'Tis said it now by Fate of War lies low.

But oh severely have its Heav'nly Founders
Upon its Conquerors reveng'd its fall.

Is Hellen at the last return'd?

As fatally to some of mine,
As ever she departed.

She once had like t' have fatal prov'd to me too!


My obligations to her are well known.

The common hatred of all Grecians she.
Say, are those Grecians yet come back?
[Page 18]Is Calchas yet return'd?

The lying Prophet perish'd on th' Aegean.


And Ulysses?

A wanderer upon Earth and Sea,
The outcast of the world▪
At length then halting vengeance has o'retaken them.
And proud Achilles! lives he?
In Fields, where once Troy stood, his Head lies low,
And he in vain at Aulis was contracted
To wretched Iphigenia.
False fatal Marriage!
The fraud of Calchas, and of dire Ulysses!
But run there any Rumours now in Greece,
Touching the Fate of that unhappy Princess?

She who was sacrific'd at Aul [...]?



They talk of her as of a pleasing vision
Sent down from Heav'n to chear our eyes a moment,
And then to Re-ascend.
But, Madam, who are you, who here enquire
Thus circumstantially of Grecian matters?
I too was born in Greece, and young was torn from it.
Should I proceed, my story is so strange,
That it could ne're find credit with you.
How bears the General his high Felicity?
What General? I am grown an utter stranger,
Ev'n to the very names of all the happy.

The King of Kings, Imperial Ag [...]memnon.


I cannot, will not speak, enquire no further.

Now by the Gods proceed, I here conjure you
'Tis a long time since last my Soul knew comfort

The King of Kings, is now but common clay.


Then are his Children wretched; say, how died he?


Most miserably, for himself and others?


Alas! but, how?

As Troy and Priam tumbled from their height,
As all the Race of Tantalus has faln,
So perish'd Agamemnon by a Woman.

A wretched creature sure, whoe're she be.


She weeps, by Heav'n; from whence these flowing tears?

I mourn, reflecting on his former happiness,
I mourn the sad vicissitudes of Fate,
The ills that every hour befal Mortality,
The common sad condition of poor man▪
[Page 19]My own [...]orlorn estate. How bears the Queen?—
Hold▪ by the Gods I here conjure you hold,
By vain enquiry plague my Soul no more.
Answer this once, and I have done for ever:
How bears the Queen this terrible disaster.

The Queen still met a more Tremendous Destiny.

Dissolve me Gods into a [...]ood of Tears.
How fell she?
Alas, 'tis terrible, it shakes my Nature▪
She fell by—



By the curst wretch to whom she gave his Being.

By her own Son? Astonishment of woe!
His Royal Father he reveng'd,
Whom barbarously she murder'd.
O Horror upon Horror! Dismal Race,
The true Descent of T [...]sal [...]!
Deplorable the Crime, and dire the Vengeance!

And direly have the Gods repaid him.


[...] he now [...] Arges?


Everywhere, and no where.

[...] Euph [...]osine▪ Iphigenia goes to her.

Madam, the Queen approaches.

Hast thou observ'd that Lady well, my Friend,
That's so acquainted with th' affairs of Greece?

I have.


Methink [...] there's much of Hellen in her form.


I was about t' inform you that I thought so.


That very Air that set the world on fire.

As sweet, yet check'd by something that's severe.
And see the very motion of that eye,
That went to all beholders Hearts like Lightning,
That moves ev'n mine in this my lost condition.
She is not only fair, my friend, she is good too,
She pities our misfortunes, nay, she weeps for them.
Pity's the Harbinger of Love, suppose
That this should be the object which the god
Foretold should be oblig'd by Love to assist us?
I would to Heaven it were! O hopeless wish▪
For at the sight of her my Soul dilates itself,
As at the view of a long absent Friend,
Unsatiated with gazing.
[Page 20]Enter Queen. Guard.
At length our Scythians have redeem'd their Honour,
And haughty Strangers you are in our pow'r.
But to you, Grecian, we have obligations,
Which we disdain to owe.
Guards, let him instantly be free; for th' other
Strait to the Temple let him be conducted,
And there expire the Victim of the Goddess.
The very mercy of a Scythians cruelty;
I gave you Life and Liberty, because.
I thought them grateful gifts, but Death's the present,
The only present you can make to me.
Would you requite the gifts which I bestow'd on you,
With my Friends Life and Liberty requite them,
And let my Blood appease your cruel Goddess.
Proud! Hast thou then disdain'd my proffer'd mercy?
Know one of you is doom'd to die, and instantly:
Determine which between you.

Scythians, conduct your Prisoner.

They are going.
Hold, you Barbarians, hold.
By all that wondrous pow'r of Sacred Friendship,
That but this moment charm'd your savage heart,
I here conjure you, hold!
Consider how we from our earliest years
To Pilades.
Have liv'd, as if one will, one soul had acted us;
Is this a time to differ? why wouldst thou
Usurp this wretched Death, that is my Right?
Who drew thee from the Clime of gentle Greece,
To this inhumane shore?
What but my miseries seduc'd thee hither!
The pomp and the support of my sad state?
What have I done t' induce you to believe
That I should proveso recreant to all goodness,
To let you suffer here instead of me?

Would you not have me suffer?

Would I not have thee suffer? canst thou ask it?
O my Friend!
And yet you urge me to survive you,
O contradiction!
What hast thou done, which can deserve the death,
Which fondly thus thou court'st?
What have I done that I deserve to live
After the only man of all the world
That's fit to be my Friend?
Thou hast no loss in me, or if thou had'st
Thou hast a Soul that is above thy Fortune,
[Page 21]Oh live my Friend, and shew this cursed Race
What Grecians can endure!
What live to see you here expire
Before my very Face!
Live and stand tamely by, while these Barbarians
Sheath their accursed Knives in your Hearts blood.
Away, I always own'd my selfa man,
And own no Virtue of that barbarous nature!
What will become of me?
If 'tis so hard to thee to lose thy Friend,
To thee whose faculties are all entire,
Whose Soul's in its full strength,
What must it be to me, who bow my neck
Beneath the Burthen which the Gods have laid on me?
Whose wounded spirit swoons beneath the pangs
Of sorrow, which no Tongue of man can utter.
O cursed sting of guilt that's insupportable!

Thou hast no guilt, the Gods themselves declar'd it.


Oh I have done a deed!


The Gods commanded thee.


Nature forbid me.

N [...]re is theirs, and theirs are all her Laws,
What their supream Authority has made,
Their independant pow'r can supersede.
Thou could'st not help performing their commands,
For what they will, is fate.
Then why at my last need have they forsaken me,
VVhy has the baser world disown'd this Fact,
And branded my great name with infamy?
VVhy gapes the Earth with ghastly yawns before me,
VVhile Hell unwilling from the Center bursts,
To shew me forms that fright my trembling Genius,
Blast all my Faculties, unhinge my Reason,
And in a moment make me start to madness?
Yet while I had thee by me 't was impossible
That I could be intirely miserable,
It was impossible that I could think
Upon thy wondrous Faith, thy wondrous Truth,
Upon thy wondrous Self, and not be pleas'd.
That thought, that only thought prevail'd upon me
To bear the smarting wounds of my own Spirit,
To bear the loss of Peace, the loss of Fame:
But must I lose my Friend, and must I bear it?
Ye Gods I will not bear it; and my plagues
Shall be your aspect no longer. Come ye Furies▪
[Page 22]Ye formidable Goddesses ascend,
And threefold madness to befriend me seize me.
What shall I do?
His fury wildly champs upon the Curb,
Anon it foams, and starting with a Bound,
Hurries him headlong, far from Reasons Road;
I shake, I tremble at the dismal consequence;
I can no longer bear this mortal Agony
In him whom dearer than my self I love.
No more!
Compose the Tumult in thy Raging Spirits,
Thy friend has listen'd to thy Lamentation,
And with a bleeding heart has heard
Thy miserable plea.

Is it not fitting then that I should bleed?


Grant me but one Request, and thou shalt die.


'Tis thine, whate're it be.


But swear.

Then by th' Almighty pow'r of our Jove,
By all our great Progenitors, his Off-spring,
I swear!
That thou wilt die as thou hast liv'd,
My Friend and my Companion.

Couldst thou doubt that? How willingly I swear!


Then hast thou sworn that I shall not survive thee.


Nay, that my last Request.—

Hold, by the Gods, to whom thou standst oblig'd
By dreadful Oaths; hold, make not that request,
And be not perjur'd in the hour of Death.
Now Death is arm'd, and with a fearful Sting▪

Now, Grecians, who's the Victim?


'Tis I.


'Tis I.


Pil. 'Tis both.

But both it must not be, I here am absolute,
But one shall fall a Victim to the Goddess.

To holy Friendship t'other falls a sacrifice.

Queen aside.
These are, ye Gods, the works of your own hands,
Your living Image.
To separate Apartments Guards conduct them.
Exeunt Guards, with Orestes and Pilades.
Now to the Temple lead, let's there consult
The Goddess, she herself shall choose her Victim.
Exeunt Queen and Attendants. Manet Iphigenia, Euph.
[Page 23]
Stay, my Euphrosine, one moment stay,
Hast thou observ'd that Godlike Youth,
Who shew'd that noble sorrow?

I have.

Does he deserve the Death which we prepare for him?
Does he not, say, Deserve to be Immortal?

Yet he must die.


Dye Nature first; he must not Dye, Euphrosine.


Yes, in the Arms of a young Beauteous Queen.

First let him bleed; no▪ let him live, ye pow'rs,
Let Iphigemia Die.

Amazement? What do I hear?


What wilt thou say when thou hast heard the rest.


The rest, oh Heav'ns!

To my Apartment instantly let's go,
There thou the secret of my Soul shalt know,
But not the very Winds of Heav'n must on it blow.
The end of the Second Act.


Iphigenia, Euphrosine.

WIlt thou betray me?


I'll rather dye with you.

Disswade me then no more; I am determin'd,
And Fate crys out I must not lose a moment.
Be gone then, fly, and send the unhappy Grecian to me.
Enter Delia.
Madam, the Queen commands that both the strangers
Without delay be brought into her presence.
Unfortunate command that thus prevents me!
I will not be prevented; inspire me thou,
Thou gentle God of Love, for whom I act.
Delia, inform the Queen, that of the Captives▪
The eldest is the Victim now
Of these most dreadful Altars,
For such, she says, is great Diana's Will.
His Eyes are muffled, and his Arms are pinion'd;
His Temples are with Holy Fillets bound,
Already has the sacred water cleans'd him,
[Page 24]And to the infernal Gods he stands devoted.
The other shall attend her instantly.
Exit Delia▪
To me convey the eldest of the strangers,
And to the cruel Queen dispatch the other.
And thou, Immortal Love, whose conqu'ring pow'r
Can give the Tender Timerous Virgin force,
Thus to defie the Terrors of the night:
Immortal Love indulge my bold design;
Preserve us, thou preserver of the Universe!
Enter Orestes.
Here all alone! That pleases me: But why,
Why I can gaze upon her unobserv'd,
And none condemn my weakness.
I have not half an hour to view the light;
And since I've felt the extremity of woe,
'Tis fit I find some pleasure e're I dye:
Death's ghastly Image then I'll chace away
With Love's Transporting Thoughts.
But if those Thoughts once make me fond of Life,
I'll think that I have reason to despair,
And so contented dye.
Coming up to Iph [...]
It was your pleasure that a dying wretch
Should come and take his leave of you.
Stranger, I sent for you to give you notice
That th' Altar is adorn'd, the Steel prepar'd,
And the next moment they expect the Victim.
The Victim will attend them.
But whose must be the executing arm?
Look how it Trembles at the Dreadful Deed!
Methinks with Horror, Stranger, you survey me.
No, do but strike with that soft melting look,
And my last breath shall Blessing pour my Soul on thee.
O Look, ill suited to this cursed office,
That nought respires but Blood and horrid Murther.
How long have you possess'd it?
Last night the Scythians, threatning horrid Tortures,
Compell'd me to accept of it;
But a more cruel wrack succeeds th' acceptance.
The fear of striking this accursed blow
Has torn my heartin pieces.

What object makes you start, and turn so pale?

I sark! heard you not the Temple doors
Upon their hinges turning!
[Page 25]
No, Twas the hollow Breath of the Black North,
That grumbles on the Mountain▪
My Apprehension every Moment murders me;
Ah Gods! we must make ha [...], the fatal Time draws nigh.
Yet something wou'd I whisper to your Soul,
Wou'd you vouchsafe to hear me▪
Alas 'tis now too late, we must be gone.

To Death, at your Command▪ this readily I run.

Going towards the Temple.
Ah Gods!
You run you know not whither; that's not the way.
Suppose that [...]ow some pitying God persuades me
Yet to preserve you from impending Fate.

And my Friend too!


And him too.


To that propitious God my very self I'll sacrifice.


Wou'd you take me the Partner of your Flight?

The Partner! What a Whirl of Fate is here!
Surprize and Joy distract me.

Wou'd you?


Or may I perish in it unlamented.

No more. Near yonder Western Point there lies
A leaky, Tempest-beaten, tatter'd Bark;
In which Four Wretches slumber out the Night,
To fit them for the Labours of the Day;
That we must seize on, and must trust to that.
Alas, we need not: Near you Eastern Point
The S [...]out, the Strong-ribb'd Argosic attends us:
A hundred daring Souls inclos'd in its huge Bulk,
All waiting on my Nod.

Were you not wreck'd then?


Among the Rocks the Vestel rides conceal'd.

What do I hear! nay then, the Gods regard us.
Remove a little further to the Right,
That no one from the Temple may discern you:
Thither I must return, and thence transport
The Image of the Goddess,

That in my Rapture I had quite forgot.

So shall we still be under her Protection,
And shall avoid the fierceness of her Anger.
Alas! You've nam'd the very fatal Thing
For which we touch'd on this accursed Shore.

Then came you here by choice?


To fetch this fatal Image of the Goddess.


What mov'd you to it?

[Page 26]

The Delphick God ordain'd it.

How every thing I hear gives me new Life,
And makes my Blood run dancing to my Heart!
Six Grecian Virgins, all of Noble Birth,
Within yon Temple wait upon my Call,
Who all wou'd offer up their Lives to serve me:
They tell me of prodigious Apparitions
That have astonish'd them this fatal Night:
Two shall amuse the Queen with the Relation,
While the rest secretly transport the Goddess.
And thou, old Night, the Friend to Love and Stealth,
T' indulge this Stealth to which great Love compels me,
Redouble all thy Shades.
Ex [...]ect me in a Moment back again;
But on your Life re move not from the place;
Let me be sure to find you here;
So may you find the Happiness you wish for.
Exit Iph.
Confirm that Wish, ye Heavens!
Heark! Who comes there! A Man! Pray Heav'n a Friend!
What Alteration can a Moment make!
I, who this Minute long'd to lay my Head
Down in the dark and peaceful Grave,
Am now grown fond of miserable Life.
What sudden Vigour Love receives from Hope!
For scarce an Hour is past since the soft God
Lay weak and languishing within my Breast;
Now raging there' he all his Pow'r exerts.
Enter Pilades.
Now Fate beware a Counter-turn!
Who comes here?

A Friend


My Pilades!


The same.


Speak lower.


I cannot speak too loud, who bring thee Safety.

Softly, I say: you know not what you do,
Nor to what Danger you expose us both.
The fear of Danger to the Winds deliver.
I bring thee Life, and Health, and Joy, my Friend:
The Scythian Queen has sent all these by me;
Yet on Conditions sent them.
[Page 27]But thou art cold, [...] if thou fear'dst the Terms.
Know, the Conditions will transport Orestes:
The Queen inclines to make another Choice
Of Victims for the Altar; but declares,
That Custom, which is Scythian Law, requires,
That all those Strangers, whom the Sovereign Rulers
By their Supream Prerogative preserve,
Must become Scythians, by espousing Scythians;
Born so, or grown so here by long continuance:
Or, by attending on those cruel Altars,
Appease the wrathful Goddess


The Mistress she design'd for me the nam'd:
The Name of yours she omitted; but she added,
That both our Lives and Happiness depend [...]
Upon your swift Compliance
I, as your Friend, engage you shou'd comply.

Why did you so?

Because I found by what she said,
And what she did not say,
Her lovely Self's the Person she designs for thee!
No matter.
Without my Knowledge, why shou'd you engage?
Because I thought in this impending Danger
You were in Reason bound, for your own sake,
To make my Engagement good.

For my own sake! I'll perish [...]ere comply.

Then, as a Friend, I frankly must inform you,
You stand oblig'd to make it good for mine.

A meer imaginary Obligation?

Imaginary? Will you force me then
T' upbraid you? What wou'd I have done for you?

You wou'd have died: and I wou'd bleed for Pilades.






You talk of dying, and refuse me what's so very easie?


Is then the doing a base thing so easie?


Where is the Baseness in espousing her?

Where is the Justice in espousing one,
Whom I can never love?
Come, come, your Friend is the unhappy Person
Whom you cou'd never love.

And yet you see I bear his bitterest Censures.

Why can you never love her?
[Page 28]From whence proceeds the Aversion?
Aversion I have none; for I esteem her:
Nay, I admire her.

Marry her then, and Love will soon succeed.


Urge me no more.


For your own sake, as well as mine, I must.


Have but a little Patience.

Were but my Life at Stake, I wou'd have Patience:
But what I vaine more, much more than Life,
My Love is lost, unless my Friend complies.

Your Love? What Love?

I told you that the Queen declar'd the Name
Of her whom she design'd for me.

And do you love her?

[...]er than Life, or what's more dear, than Peace;
Unless she brings it to this wretched Breast.

When cou'd you see her?


At our Arrival.


Ha! Where?


Just on this very spot.


Ha! on this Spot! saw whom! Gods, how I tremble!

The Priestess, tho' I ne'er approach'd the Altar,
Has with her pointed Weapon reach'd my Heart.
Damnation! wonderful accursed Accident!
Now Fate prepares her Counter-turn. You amaze me!
Was that a time for Love to make Impressions?
The force of Destiny wou'd surely have it so:
And great Apollo's Oracle encourag'd me.
But yet the Thought of your approaching Danger,
At first restrain'd the growing Fire within me:
But when the Queen insur'd your precious Life,
And gave me charming Hope,
She blew it into such a Flame,
I must possess or die.

How will relentless Heav'n dispose of me!

By that dear Love, an [...] all my Hope of Happiness,
Which lies in you, your faithful Friend entreats you.

I'll hear no more, you know not what you ask.


That you would do your Duty, that I ask.


I am not to be taught my Duty here.

Let it appear;
Was ever Man deceiv'd as I have been?

You deceive your self.

I is one indeed deceives me,
Whom I have long mistaken for my self,
[Page 29]Unjust Orestes!
Is not the Altar Deck'd, the Steel prepar'd
To rip this Breast that has so long receiv'd you,
And cherish'd you more dearly than my [...]lood
Than my Hearts Blood which I'm about to lose.

You shall not lose a Drop.

Comply then, and prevent it instantly▪
What can Orestes with such ease prevent it?
With so much safety too, with somuch Honour?
And yet Deliberate? Where is the Friend?
Where is the Celebrated Friend of Pilades?
But see their Priestesses advancing towards us,
Sent doubtlesly t'explore our R [...]olutio [...];
Can you Resolve to see this Fait [...]l Breast
Rip'd up before your Eyes.

Come I'll secure y [...] li [...]!


Will you?


I will by Heaven?


And when?


This very Moment.

Enter two Priestesses cross the Stage, with the Image Delia following them.

Then art thou yet my Friend.

Grecian, the Image is convey'd before
Your Friends will follow strait, prepare t'attend them.
To Or.

I am prepar'd (to Pil.) observe you that Procession?

Ex. Del.

What means that Image, and that nightly Progress?

Behold it well!
That very fatal Image great Apollo
Ordained us to transport.

And whither do these Priestesses remove it?

Where we without the least delay must follow;
Come, Come along; we must embark this Moment.
By Heaven my Head turns round, Is this a Miracle,
Or have you palpably design'd t'abuse me?

Thou hast heard a wonderous Truth!


What God has wrought that wonder?


Time's wanting now to tell thee.

How basely I have censur'd thee!
Canst thou forgive me? 'Tis my last request to thee.
Come, Thou art still my best, my only Friend.
Come, follow, by the glimmering of the Moon,
I see our friends are coming.
Our friends! Astonishment! What friends do you mean?
[Page 30]I'm more and more confounded.

Come on.




What can my Pilades design? Come on I say.




Canst thou Desert me?

The great design for which I came is executed,
I've done my Duty, and behold you Happy.
Your wretched Friend must never see you more.

Why do'st thou talk so?

My Life and Happiness are both confin'd,
To this accursed Climate.

The Priestess of Diana you will follow.


Till my last groan sets fre [...] [...]y afflicted Soul.

Enter [...].
Grecian, the Image is convey'd before us,
Prepare to follow.
to Or.
Yonder the Priestess of Diana comes,
Th' Associate of your flight. I go before,
What have I heard? Damnation!
It must be illusion and enchantment al [...]
By all that's good her self, her Lovely self
That slowly advancing seems to give directions
To some who are about her.
And for this reason you refus'd complyance
To what the Queen Demanded?

This was the very Reason?


You Love this Priestess of Diana then?

Thou art my self, my very self, my Pilades
View thy own Heart and see Orestes there.

A long and last farewel.


Wilt thou betray me?


Unkind t'insult thus o'er your dying Friend.

To die is to Betray me!
Nay dying you Betray both me and her.
She, she is in Distress, and wants your Help,
To free her from this Barbarous clime,
And this more Barbarous Office.
Can you affirm you love, and yet forsake her
In this extream necessity?
Can I affirm I Love, and yet behold her
within anothers Arms?
Who shall possess her lies in fate conceal'd.
[Page 31]She has not yet [...]
Come, the Time [...]
Our generous [...]
Come let it [...]
The sordid [...] Wretch that breaths, can die for Love,
'Tis a soft, [...]
Great Natures [...].
The Gods as many Lovers make [...] M [...]n:
But they scarce make two [...] Ages
Of all the Race of Living Men
Fame celebrates us Two [...] Friendship,
And shall a Woman [...]eak the Noble Bond?

Why? [...]


[...]? Would you then against her will possess her?

[...] die, [...], rather [...] contented
To drag on life [...],
And be my self a wretch most miserable,
Than render her unhappy.
'Tis spoken like a true and generous Lover,
Wilt thou not shew thy self a generous Friend,
My Pilades, and judge my Thoughts by thine,
Vast is the watry Plain that we must plough,
E're we discharge our sacred Load at Athens;
And we must labour all the Dismal way
With many Difficulties, mighty Dangers.
Those let thy Love and Virtue make thy Friends,
Attend her, Help her, Save her, court her, gain her,
Incline her Heart, and I'll release my claim.
What shall I answer? Love and Shame Distract me;
Must He surpass me thus in Godlike proofs
Of unexampled Faith? He must not, shall not,
Tho' he has surely prepossest her Soul.
I will not make my self so little to my self;
No, I'll live rather greatly miserable,
That with my self I may contented die.
Thou hast o'ercome, Orestes,
And Noble Friendship has prevail'd o'er Love.
But oh my Friend, if on these cursed Altars
I had spilt the Blood that's next my Heart to save thee,
It had been an easier Sacrifice.
Enter Iph.

No more, she comes.


Who's that? The Stranger?

[Page 32]

The same.


Is that your Friend?


It is.

Let us away,
Now all our Interruptions are remov'd;
For I pretending Orders from the Queen,
Have from their Posts, remov'd the Neighbouring Sentry's.
But whither? Thro' what Dangers am I running?
Look not my Soul, Oh, look not now before thee!
My Head grows giddy with th' amazing prospect.
Look backward then, survey the dreadful Altar;
I do, I see, I see the Bloody Knife there;
Ah Gods! I feel it, with its cruel point;
It Goads and Stabs me forward, Let's begone;
I can no longer bear the Murdring thought.
As they are going out, they are met by a party of Scythi­ans, bringing back the four Priestesses, and the Image.



Here, Here are their Accomplices, fall on:


Hold Savages, O Hold.


Forbear, Forbear.

As for us two, we yield our selves your Captives,
Touch not with Impious Hands her Sacred Limbs.
I had forgot, she is Dianas Priestess,
Keep off your Hands, but guard her with your Eyes.
Be it your Care the Prisoners to confine,
I'll to the Queen Relate their black Design.

Ah wretched Men! by cruel God's betray'd.


Pity thy self alas too lovely Maid.

Death soon will put an end to all our woe,
But Oh what pangs art thou to undergoe,
Who art condemn'd to stike th' Inhuman Blow.
The End of the Third Act.


Enter Queen, and Scythian.

WHat have I heard! Arm'd Men upon the Breach!

Above an hundred, all with Grecian Plumes,
And Grecian Shields.
Double the Guards around the Temple,
And strongly guard the Passes.
Who saw these Grecians?
As we expecting lay for your Return,
Upon the Summe [...] of yon shagg [...]e Mountain,
That bending its black Brow, with dreadful Scowl,
Over the gloomy Deep, affrights great Neptune,
By the pale Moon's reflected Beams we spied them:
And on the sight, dismounting all my Men,
I brought them to defend your sacred Person.
And so, upon your March at this dead Season,
You took these Grecian Fugitives: 'Tis well;
You have done important Service, and I thank you.
But what's the Reason that the younger Captive
Is not already in my Presence?
My severe Charge how dare they disobey?

Behold, dread Queen, he comes.

Then go and see my other Orders executed.
Ex. Scyth.
Enter Pilades.
Whom wou'd not that Majestick Mien deceive?
And his Friend's God-like Eyes that look Divinity?
Why shou'd the Sacred Character of Virtue
Shine on a Villain's Countenance? Ye Pow'rs!
Why fix'd ye not a Brand on Treason's Front,
That we might know t' avoid perfidious Mortals?
Look if the Traytor once vouchsafes to blush!
To him.
If still his Countenance be not assur'd!
His Eyes Commanding, and his Aspect Lordly!
How do'st thou dare, with that audacious Look,
T' affront offended Majesty?

I know no Mortal whom I ought to fear.

[Page 34]
An Hypocrite, and not afraid!
What makes Hypocrisie so very odious?
Unless because 'tis Cowardice.
Know, Queen, I scorn Hypocrisie, and know
The basest of Hypocrisies is Slander.
And am I then defi'd, presumptuous Grecian,
And dar'd to prove my Charge?

I dare ev'n Jove, who knows all Hearts, to pro [...]t.

Then, past Reply thou soon shalt stand convicted.
When I in Mercy gave you Life and Liberty,
Did you not own your self oblig'd?

I own it.

But when Diana's Priestess I bestow'd on you,
Did not you seem transported? Answer me.
Was not your Joy extravagant and loud?
Did you not swear, that I, of all the World,
Was she who nearest had oblig'd your Soul?

I said it, and I thought it.

Did you not promise to reside in Scythia?
And to engage your Friend to do the like?
That with the Service of your Life you might
Return me, Thanks for the rich Present made you?
Were not these very Words your own?

They were.

Then think of thy base Flight, if thou dar'st think of it,
And say, thou art not a Hypocrite.
What canst thou answer to thy just Accuser?
That which will make my Accuser say, she wrongs me.
You accuse me that I wou'd have fled: Indeed
I attempted to regain that Liberty,
Of which your Pow'r unjustly had depriv'd me.
What Reason cou'd you find, insulting Queen,
To make them Captives whom the Gods made free,
And gave them Souls deserving Liberty?
As against Nature's Laws we are your Victims,
Against the Right of Nations we're your Captives;
And any way was lawful to fair Liberty,
Which we were born for, and for which we'll die.

That very Moment I restor'd your Liberty.

Indeed you did restore it, but on Terms
Impossible to be perform'd by us.

Why did you then approve them?


I never knew them well till I had left you.

A meer Pretence! Is Grecian Faith so known?
Had not you giv'n that Faith to remain here?
But then that Faith was on Conditions giv'n;
[Page 35]Which soon I found you never cou'd perform.



Because the Gift you offer'd, was no Gift.


What was no Gift? The Present which you priz'd so!

Had it been real, it had been inestimable.
You only gave me Words, and the vain Promise
Of what the Gods had taken from your Pow'r.
Surely thou ravest,
Is not Diana's Priestess in my Pow'r?
Her Body is; but tho' it be a glorious One
Without her Soul, I wou'd refuse the Treasure:
But love alone can of her Soul dispose;
And, without leave obtain'd of you,
The God had frankly done it.

Ha! To whom!


How fain you wou'd extort this Secret from me?


How fain I wou'd? by Heav'n I will extort it.

You never shall; I know I am to bleed,
And with me too the fatal Truth shall die.
Then 'tis no Truth, and thou wilt die a Villain:
Die with the Brand of an ungrateful Traytor,
An odious Hypocrite.
To be reveng'd for these opprobrious Wrongs,
I need but tell you what you ask, proud Princess.

Do it then.


Will you persist to urge me?


I will. The Priestess! Who has touch'd her Heart?


In your own Breast the fatal Secret's lodg'd.


Lodg'd in my Breast!

Ask, ask your self the Question, who is he
Who finds the way of touching Scythian Hearts?
Ha! Gods! That stings.
Here Guards, withdraw your Pris'ner,
And bring Diana's Priestess hither instantly.
Exeunt with Pil.
By yon Bright Goddess, He's come off with Honour.
But Oh, the exalted Virtue of his Friend!
Who freely for his Friend can Life resign,
And for his Mistress can contemn a Crown!
This Raises him still more in my Esteem.
It wou'd do, had he made a better Choice.
And is the Priestess then preferr'd to me?
Have I, who have had the Ambition to behold
Admiting Monarchs at my Feet adoring,
Li [...]'d to reflect, with mortifying Soul,
That I my self, to one unknown, have offer'd,
[Page 36]And been, O Gods! by one unknown refus'd?
And for Diana's Priestess too refus'd!
Refus'd! Scorn'd! loath'd! Oh, how that tears my Heart!
But if thou hast a Soul, with treble Scorn
Return it: Suffer him to take this Priestess;
And let his despicable Choice revenge thee.
What! must he gain her by the odious Boast,
That he has sacrific'd me to my Creature?
And can I suffer it? I cannot think of it
Without Distraction. But the Priestess comes.
Enter Iphigenia.
So; From whence come you? Ha! whence these Disorders?
What makes you tremble? And what strikes you dumb?
To such a haughty and insulting Look
I have not learnt to answer.

I look, as it becomes me, on my Slave.

The sight of such a Slave shou'd make you humble,
By shewing you to what excess of Wretchedness
The Daughter of a mighty King may fall.

Say, From whence come you? I command you answer.


I have no Pow'r to speak.


So hasty was your Flight?

Who must not fly from acting Cruelties,
At which Barbarity it self can melt?
Oh, how those meek and melting Words
Become the soft and tender Race of Tantalus!
The Race of Tantalus has been revengeful:
But yet it ne'er was bloody unprovok'd.
What have these Grecians done to me?
What hadst thou done t' assembled Greece at Aulis?
What hadst thou done to thy own Father there?
Who to thy Ruin, unprovok'd, consented;
Nay, press [...]d it, urg'd it.
My Mother urg'd it not.
I from the Heroines of our Race have [...]e [...]rnt
To shew soft Pity.
Thou from the Heroines of thy Race hast learnt,
Thou hast, fond Maid, to shew a guiltier Passion.
Oh, how their kind Reception of their Guests
Had made their Names throughout the World renown'd!
For an Example of such kind Reception,
Perhaps I need not fly to Greece.
I understand thee well.
[Page 37]Plagu'd by the Terrors of impending Wrath,
Thou would'st provoke and hasten Death, thou would'st,
And have him swifter that he may be gentler,
But know, fond Maid, thou shalt not die so early,
Think of thy Gratitude to thy Preserver,
And think what that deserves.

My preserver!

Was ever such audacious insolence?
Who was it sav'd thee from immediate Death,
At thy Arrival on the S [...] of Tauris?
Would I had been a Man at that Arrival,
For then my Blood had [...]ain'd your cruel Altars!
O wretch, ingrateful to that black Degree,
As to disown the mighty Obligation,
By which thou liv'st to sa [...] thou art not oblig'd!
Would'st thou insinuate that thy Sex preserv'd thee?

Men are the Victims that your Goddess claims!


Not always.

Tradition says so, and your bloody Rites
Are founded on Tradition.
When she her self declares her awful Will,
Tradition's of no force.
But not the feeble voice of faint Tradition;
No, the loud call of the descending Goddess,
Claim'd thee at Aulis her devoted Victim,
At least so Calchas said.
The fraud of Calchas plainly she Detected,
By suffering me to evade th'inhuman Altar.
'Twas Clytemnestra's Sacrilege preserv'd thee,
And not the Goddess;
Who wracking thee on this her sacred Shore,
Strongly appears to Redemand her Fugitive.

Before these Grecians came you had no such thoughts.

No, thy soft graceful look, and seeming innocence,
Inclin'd me to suspect the crafty Calchas.
But thy black Guilt appearing with thy Ingratitude,
Makes me repent of my mistaken pity.
O fatal pity▪ Rightly term▪d mistaken?
True pity would have suffered me to bleed;
Then I had been at rest in the Dark Grave,
With my unhappy Parents!
Not have convers'd with everlasting woe,
In you Dire Tabernacle of Despair!
For there no smiling Beam of Joy is seen;
No gladsom sound is ever heard,
[Page 38]But all is always rueful Lamentation,
If thuo'rt so sensible of this,
Then know that there's a punishment preparing for thee,
A punishment that's worthy thy perfidiousness.
If 'tis so terrible to see these Sights,
So woful but to hear these sounds of Sorrow,
What must it be to act the bloody Office?
What must it be to one who has a Soul
As soft as thine, as melting ev'n as Mercies,

Ah miserable me!

To act it, nay, and act it on a Grecian?
One who himself has only tender thoughts,
Or only tender Thoughts at least towards thee.
One who perhaps could die for thee, for whom
Perhaps ev'n thou could'st die?

Ah Gods!

See how her Soul declares its weakness,
And now unable to contain its grief,
Pours forth a Deluge of Impetuous Sorrow!
What must it be to think the Dreadful time
Of doing this accursed Deed approaches!
That the next Moment thou must stain thy Hands,
By going to his Heart a cursed way?
While thy Soul hears th'intolerable Sound
Of his last dying Groans, and sees his Eyes.
His Trembling dying Eyes, that in Deaths cruel'st pangs
Look kindly up, as if they blest their Murtherer?
Go bring the Eldest of the Captives hither,
To some of the Guards who go out.
Priestess alone, I leave thee with thy Lover,
But know thy Conference with him must be short;
And know that yet 'tis in thy power to save him.
But let not pass the irrevocable Moment;
Think that the next comes hurrying on, and then
Unless thou first perswad'st him to abandon thee,
Thou shalt behold him to the Altar drag'd,
Where by thy Hand he dies, and when that's done,
Thou, Thou shalt by the sacred Steel expire,
Thou the devoted Victim of the Goddess.
Guards! On your Lives, observe them at a distance.
Ex. with Train.
Inhuman Queen! Must I not only lose him,
But must I urge him to forsake me? No,
Alas thou need'st not urge him, ▪that assure thy self;
For what would'st thou perswade him to?
[Page 39]To avoid Death, and to embrace a Crown?
A little argument will there prevail,
But the Queen says [...], is [...]?
No, 'tis the Vision of a [...] Woman.
But say it should be true, forbid it Gods▪
Oh should He love me, [...] taste of misery,
Which ev'n in this [...]
For I could die [...] he lo [...] me,
How can I plead [...] my self successfully?
How can I e'er find [...] can perswade him
To make another Happy [...] thought!
To make another Happy▪ and me Miserable?
I cannot, I can see him [...] first.
Perish! By whom! Ah w [...]tch! Inhuman wretch!
And canst thou then at last resolve to Murder him?
Enter Orestes.
See where He comes, and with a Look so sweet,
As might disarm ev'n Death, ye Gods, ye Gods,
Who have resolved that I must be a wretch,
Beyond whatever Mortal was before;
Take care that I prevail to my undoing,
And give me strength enough to court Despair.
Madam, I come to hear your last Commands,
Let them be what they will, yet I with Joy am come.
But why upon this lovely Brow,
So black a clo%d of Sorrow?
Oh could you see my Heart▪ and all the Horrour
Which wildly rages there, how would you pity me?

Alas! ev'n now I pity thee!


Do you?

Yes, from my very Soul, you cannot think
How much Compassion tears my tortur'd Heart.
Make hast then, and prevent the cursed Blow,
That I'm compell'd to strike.

Had I a Dagger, I would do it instantly.


There is an easier way at least to you.


Name it.


I cannot.



Grecians abhor.
That Virgins of Affairs like this should speak,
[Page]You have beheld [...]

O [...]


Wherefore [...]

Too well [...]
And would not [...]
Which I can never [...]
Then I am [...]
But why should you [...]
Reason and Justice [...]
I love another.
Ha! Then his fatal [...]
What ground the Queen had for her strange suspic [...]on.
You love another?

O more than Life, you see I love another.




That let me Hide ev'n from [...]


Ha! Why should you conceal it from her?


Ask me no more.


I must, and you must answer.


She is my Mortal Enemy.

Can any Woman prove a Mortal Enemy▪
To one who loves like you?
Your passion known perhaps had made her kind.

'Tis to avoid her kindness [...] conceal it.


T'avoid it?


More than Ten Thousand Deaths I dread her kindne [...]


You love your Enemy, and drea her Kindness?

She is by force, and [...] Choice my Enemy
She pities me, ev'n from her [...]
Yet my hard Fate compells her to be cruel to me
But ye Gods!
How much I suffer from [...]
Than from her Cruelty [...]
O Heaven and Earth, I tremble least the Queen
Had but too just a ground for her suspicion.
Who can see her, he Loves in Grief,
And bear an equal Mind?
How might my Passion known, augment her Sorrow?
But what can force her since she is so tender,
T'appear your Mortal Enemy?

Why should you ask! Your questions but disturb me!

I ask to save you, and I must be answer'd;
Speak, what can force her, since she is so tender,
T'appear your Mortal Enemy?
[Page] [...]
[...] Thoughts in me,
[...]l Deed.
[...] Fury that thou dream'st not of.
Gods! Am I [...] who loves me!
[...] these Convulsions?
[...] Suppose that you were forc'd
[...] wou'd it not shake you?
[...] Murther,
[...] say,
[...] Heart?
[...] it.
[...] you
[...] obey?

[...] like a Fury?




[...], how that stings [...]

Ha! what, you [...] and tremble, and turn pale!
When the bare mention works on you so terribly.
Can I endure the thing?
The Pow'r that you adore, and that commands it,
Will calm, and will support you.
What if one God commands the dreadful Deed?
Perhaps another mightier Pow'r forbids it;
[Page]And if I do it, [...]
Not to be born [...]
Without Despair and [...]
Which then shall I [...]

Which of [...]

Thou ask'st [...]
His awful Name's [...]

When [...]


Ev'n now [...]




Here, [...]




Here, look [...]




Is' he not manifest [...]


Oh astonishment!

If thou art blind, [...]
Know, that thou feel'st [...]
And own'st his dreadful [...]
And canst thou be so infinitely [...]
To love this▪ Object of Divine Displea [...] [...]
Oh this pathetick Silence how it [...]
How this Disorder in thy [...]
And quite destroys my [...]
Cou'd you see all the [...]
Cou'd you behold my Heart [...]
I have been shewn [...]
And in that Sight I saw a [...]

Think what's to [...]


I do, I do, my Soul's [...]


Reflect upon my [...]

Damnation! [...]
And what must I endure!

Have Mercy then upon yourself and me.

O for a Dagger!
That plunging it in my Heart's Blood,
I might to both shew Mercy.

That Thought's a Dagger; there's another way.

My Heart, my Life, my very▪ Soul is yours:
My Honour and my Virtue are the Gods:
They are Depositums entrusted with me;
And I'll, untouch'd, with my last Breath restore them.
[Page] [...]
[...] Grecian, the Queen has sent [...]s to inform thee,
That [...]y Delay has mortally offended her;
And Death and Vengeance chase thee now in view.
Here, you must to the Temple guard the Priestess.
To some of the Guards.
And you in Iron Bonds must bind the Pris'ner:
To others.
Then lead him where the Ministers expect him,
To bind his Temples, and to veil his Eyes.
Stay but one Moment, when a Wretch requires it,
The only happy Moment I ere knew.
1 Scyth.
We dare not; for severely we're forbidden.
The Grecians who were seen upon the Beach,
[Page 44]With their drawn Weapons [...]
And if thou shouldst [...]
The Queen has sworn [...]
That we shall all of us [...]
D'y' hear? We [...]
The Cornets with their [...]
Bind him, you Slaves [...]
How dare you stand [...]
My Grecians [...]
I'd give the World [...]
While they bind [...]
But since it will [...]
I ask not Liberty, [...]
I ask not ev'n a [...]
Pour down your Plagues on my devoted Head,
Torment me, rack me, [...]ear me,
Torture me any way, unless by torturing he [...]
Comfort her poor afflicted Heart, ye Pow'rs!
And grant, that at our next accursed meeting,
Grant, cruel Gods, that mine be all the Pain.

Break Heart, that we may never meet again.

The End of the Fourth ACT.


SCENE The Outward Temple.
Enter Queen, Priests and Priestesses.
1 Pr.

SAve us ye eternal Pow'rs that save the Just.

2 Priest.

Protect us, great Diana!

1 Priest.

What dismal Night is this?

2 Pr.

A dreadful Night indeed!

1 Pr.

Sure all the Elements will now be wrack'd,

And 'tis the end of all things.

Are you the Sacred Ministers of Heav'n,
And yet afraid of Thunder?
1 Pr.

Wh [...]n Jove's disturb'd, what Mortal dares be calm?

I who am conscious of committing nothing,
That may provoke his Anger.
Are all things ready?
They are, ev'n now th'adorn the fatal Image.
[Page] [...]
[...] Grecians are [...] And is it possible?
[...] could they force in spight of your resistance,
[...] up the M [...]un [...]n's Steep ascent?
[...] You have heard how first by slow Degrees they ascended,
While as they mounted d [...]sky Clouds arose
And Heaven appear'd to s [...]o [...]l upon th' Attempt,
And lowring blacken'd all their March, while ours
Upon the Margin of the horrid Summet,
With threatning Dares impatiently expected them.
But when within our Javelins reach they arriv'd
Upon the sudden Jove declar'd aloud for them.
The dreadful Thunder from behind them roar'd,
While at our Scythians Eyes the blasting Lightning flew,
The Grecians with a shout that breath'd Defiance,
Receiv'd th' Auspicious Signal; and the Thunder
Seem'd as an Instrument of War t'excite them.
Hear ye Barbarians! H [...]ar great Jove they cryed,
Threatning Destruction to your cursed Race.
And as the Rocks Restor'd the Dreadful cry
Murmuring they clash'd a formidable Din
Upon their flaming Shields, then shook their Horrid Spears,
Their Spears that bristled with th'amazing Beams
Of the Retorted Lightning; Hideous they ascended,
As flaming Furies mounting from the Abyss,
While all our Scythians look'd like pale Offenders,
[Page 46]When they behold Hell's Ghastly [...]

Infamous Slave [...] [...]

This fron [...] [...]
Where I, great Queen, by [...]
Prepar'd the [...]
When lo the [...]
The Mournful [...]
When in [...]
I hurrying drag [...]

And [...]

Not I [...]
As we were [...]
The Grecians that [...]
Had driv'n our [...]
And quite o'ercome [...]
Swift as the Lightning [...]
And in a Moment, [...]

And thou art alive to tell this▪

My Life was of Importance to your Service▪
And therefore I preserv'd it.
A panick Fear had now dispers'd our Scythians▪
Some fell, some sled, but all remain'd Disorder'd.
Iby this Voice alone retriev'd the Fainting,
Confirm'd the Doubtful, and recall'd the Flying:
Ralli [...]d by me, they still maintain'd their ground,
When I withdrew to inform▪ you of your Danger,
And know your further pleasur [...]
O Death to all my Hopes! [Aside] Return I charge [...]
If thy [...] dear to thee, with speed Return;
And tell th [...]se Scandals to the Scythian Race,
That they had better never have been born,
Than [...]'er behold my Ev [...] without the Prisoner?
Tell them, they can but dieby Grecian Hands;
And if they die by them, they die with Honour,
And they who die with Honour, die with Pleasure.
But should they owe their Deaths to my Revenge,
O [...] Thou, O Heaven! that shouts the shout of Triumph,
[...]ead in my Eyes the Rest, and fly to inform them.
Ex. Scyth.
1 Pr.

The Gods apparently reject this Sacrifice.


How durst thou think so?

1 Pr.
The prodigies so lately seen confirm it.
Scarce had the Night upon her Carr ascending,
Thrown her black Influence round the Mournful Hemisphere,
When a Mad Whirlwinds Subterranean blast,
Made the Dome tremble from its deep Foundation.
And shook the dreadful glories of its Spires.
[Page] [...]
Yet hide themselves from [...] they have given
A Spirit, worthy of the [...]?
Enter [...]
Ha! Art thou then return'd▪ What do [...] Grecians?

The Grecians make a surely slow Retreat.


And where's the Victim?


Look where the Scythians guard him towards the Altar.


You are just ye pow'rs in all your ways!

Now let the Rites begin.

The flat Scene draws and discovers the Altar, Iphigenia on the one side, and Euphrosine on the other in Mourning postures. The Victim veild is introduced by flat Trumpets, a Train of Priests and [Page 48] Priestesses and Guards. The Victim is led [...]; after that a dreadful Symphony, and then the following Ode.
Ode for the Sacrifice. Three Priests, Chorus of Priests and Priestesses.
1 Pr.

HAil great Diana, [...]ear and s [...],


We Sacrifice thee.

2 Pr.
Hail Moon that with thy silver Light,
Govern'st the Empire of the Night,
Look down and see,

We Sacrifice to thee.

3 Pr.
And thou the Dreadfull'st of the three,
Hail Infernal Hecate!
Ascend and see!

We Sacrifice to thee.


Thee, Great Diana, thee,
Goddess renown'd for Chastity,
Thee first of all we Invoke,
To see us strike the fatal stroke.
On him who with a Heart prophane,
Thy very Altars sought to stain.
Thy presence open'd the dark Womb
And gave him Entrance to the Light;
Thy presence too must open the sad Tomb,
And send him to Eternal Night.


Thee Goddess, thee, we all invoke
To see us strike the fatal stroke.
2 Pr.
Thou Mo [...]n that with thy Silver Light,
Govern'st the Empire of the Night;
Thee, Goddess, thee, we next Invoke,
To see the fatal stroke.
As Horrour thou art pleas'd to see,
Horror loves to g [...] on thee.
Each Fiend, and ev'ry ghastly Spright
That so abhors thy Brother's Ray,
Yet oft forsakes eternal Night
To revel in thy paler Day.
Thee, Goddess, Thee we next invoke,
Look down and see the fatal Stroke.


2 Chor.
She sees, she sees, a gloomy Red
H [...] half her glowing Face o'erspread.
[Page 49]But, [...]h behold, o'er half her Light,
Some Charm d [...]ses gloomy Night;
I [...] must be some Thessalian Charm,
[...], [...] your Trumpets, give the alarm;
Let [...] [...] the Sky,
[...] your Drums,
A [...] [...] the Victim die.


2 Pr.
But hold, till lastly thee,
[...] Hecate!
Queen of Furies we invoke,
Ascend and see the fatal Stroke.
Ascend from everlasting Night,
Blasting Nature with the sight;


She comes, she cleaves the trembling Ground,
And spreading horrour all around,
D [...]ly dies the misty Air,
Her dark and gri [...]ly Features fright,
The coal black Steeds that drag the Night,
And Nature's Ce [...]ti [...]els they sc [...]re,
Heark how with dreary Shriek the Owl,
And▪ frighted W [...]lv [...]s with dreadful Howl,
Her dire approach declare.
She's here, her Guard of Furies se [...],
And Furies now as great are we,
Her Spirit rages in our Souls,
And in our frantick Eyes it rowls.
To the dismal Deed she's come to excite us,
And nothing but Blood can delight us;
Give us Blood, give us Blood,
Give us a Flood,
Let it flow, let it flow,
Strike, strike the fatal Blow.
A shout just as the Ode ends.
[Page 50]
Oh insolence, audacious, insupportable!
Look out and see who 'tis that dares disturb
The Execution of this dreadful Ceremony.
Enter Messenger.
Great Queen, provide betimes for your security,
The Greeks returning, bear down all before them,
And the next moment will invest the Temple.

Are all the Gates madefast?


They'r all with Bars of solid Brass secur'd.


Then I'll prevent them, Priestess do thy Duty.


Goddess, look down, thy Priestess is thy Victim.

Offers to stab herself, the Victim throws off his Veil, and [...] the Knife from her, discovering himself to be Pilades; [...] same time speaking as follows.
Oh hold, 'tis Sacrilege to strike that stroke,
Thy Beauties are the Darling care of Heav'n;
Look up, and see the Wonder it has wrought
On purpose to preserve them.

May I believe my Eyes! Amazing sight!


Miraculous Events!

Thou thought'st to die for the dear Man thou lov'st,
And I, alas, am come to die for him.
O all ye Pow'rs whose Wisdom rules the Universe,
Let me adore the Wonders of your Providence!
Revenge thy, injur'd Handmaid, great Diana!
Revenge thy injur'd self, we're both betray'd,
By my own faithless Subjects we're betray'd.
No, cruel Queen, thou see'st I am come to die,
And satisfie you both.

Where is thy Friend?


Where! at the Head of his Victorious Grecians.

Oh, cursed Fate!
What brought thee here, to suffer in his stead?
Agreement with your Scythians, and desire
To save the only Man of all the World,
That's fit to be a Friend, by gaining time
Enough for his Embarkment.
What hast thou said? Agreement with my Scythians?
Oh the vile Traitors! Why should they agree to it?
To save themselves.
After our Greeks had forced my God-like Friend from them,
They who soon found their Victim irretrievable,
And knew what torments they must undergo,
Unless they could make you think they had retriev'd him,
They who with Wonder had beheld the Pow'r
[Page 51]Of [...] Friendship in my Friend and me,
To my Apartment c [...]me half dead with fear,
VVhere they inform'd me of our Gr [...] Valour,
Your Threats, their baseness, and my Friend's escape,
I [...] gain time for hi [...] Embarkment,
[...] and die for him.

[...] the Altar thus unbound?

[...] I agreed with them.
Death [...] embrac'd,
But the [...] of a Slave,
My free [...] soul disdain'd▪
[...] W [...] ever any thing thing so great?
[...] And yet so tender and so true?
[...] me Grecian, but so nobly,
[...] beauteous as thy Fraud,
[...] that thou must die,
[...] a God like Action!
[...] [...]he! Must he die for it?
To Iph.
[...] it all ye Pow'rs!
[...] selves inspir'd this wondrous Virtue,
[...] least, he ne'er shall die.
[...]. But die th [...] [...]st;
[...] Rites, and great Revenge require it.
[...] thy Office.
[...] O [...] never, never!
[...]. Ah, miserable Creature! think with trembling,
What Vengeance thou art drawing on thy Head.
[...] the time presses, I shall be prevented,
[...]ake thou the sacred Steel, and strike the Blow.
To another Priestess.

Make way for the Elder of the Captives there, Make way.


For the Elder of the Captives!

As the other Priestess is going to strik [...], Orestes enters, runs between the Dagger and Pilades, and embraces him.
He lives, he lives, I have him in my Arms,
This turn, ye Pow'rs, has made amends for all.
Confusion! I am lost, the Greek [...] are here,
Strike thro' them both.
Ah, cruel fight! Ah, Gods! I cannot bear it.
Thus, let me intercept the barbarous Blow.
A [...] the other Priestess goes to strike, Iphigenia interposes.

O Death and Vengeance! Her, her Heart transfix.


Who's the chief Priestess?

[Page 52]
Hers, li [...]t thy ex [...]ting Arm, haste, strike,
I'm lost, undone, on every side betray'd,
And the next moment we shall be prevented.
O hurt not her, by Heav'n and Earth I adjure you▪
[...]o [...] I am come alone, and come to die.

What say'st thou? 'Tis impossible.


'Tis certain.


Wert thou not Rescued by thy Friends?


I was▪


Hast thou been retaken then by our S [...]ythians?


Your Scythians are dispers'd, and we are Victors.


Where are thy Grecians then?


Upon the horrid sommet of the Cliff,

By my Command, obsequiously they wait.


How got you entrance?

At the Iron Wicket of the Postern, where
Arm'd with a hundred Javelins, Death stands Centry,
And none can there unlicens'd pass and live.

What brought thee to this fatal place alone?


I come to die.


Thou com'st to die! the Conquerour comes to die!

Af [...]er our Greeks had forced me from your Scythians,
And the sho [...]t Fury of the Fight was past;
As soon as the Retreat we slowly made,
Had giv'n me time for thought;
My Joy soon vanish'd all, for soon I found
That I had left all that I held most precious,
All that was dear to my afflicted Soul,
Ev'n in the Jaws of Fate,
Strait I prevail'd upon my valiant Friends
T'attempt a second Rescue.
Then to my Friend's Apartment we all flew,
To force his Guards, the Guards indeed we forc'd,
But him we found not, there I grew inform'd
Of his deplorable, tho' God▪like purpose;
That his inimitable Love for me
Made him to a bloody doom devoted stand,
At these inhumane Altars.
Swift as a Storm we hurried to the Temple,
But when I found the Massy Gates all barr'd,
The dreadful Rites begun, and my poor Friend
At the Altar, and about to breath his last,
To breath his last for me;
Witness ye Pow'rs, that thought I could not bear,
With rigorous Commands I enjoyn'd my Friends
To leave me to the adverse Gods and Fate.
[Page 53]For Gods and Fate cry'd out that I must bleed,
Or else surviving ev'ry minute die▪
My Friends unwilling▪ yet with Tears ob [...]y'd;
And here alone th [...] Conquerou [...]'s come to die.

Unheard of Friendship!


Un [...]ampl [...]d Faith!


O Const [...]ncy Di [...]i [...]!

Was [...] [...]n so great a sight
Of glorio [...]s W [...]e before!
Euph. to Iph.
Courage, my Princess, for the Gods declare for us,
They are here among us▪ they are manifest;
For these are plainly more than Human Actions▪
I am o'recome, I yield y' Almighty Powers,
To hurt such Vi [...]ue were to touch your selves,
Such Virtue is Divi [...]ity.
Here, set them free immediately.



The Grecians.






Then, wh [...]re's the Victim for our Solemn Rites?


The Goddess has herself declar'd her Victim.




Enquire no more, but set thy Prisoners free.


They are free.

Queen▪ to Or.
Gr [...]cian I need not be asham'd to own
That I am charm'd by thy exalted Virtue.
The Immortal Powers themselves are fond of less.
Twice in one night has it prevail'd upon me
To give thee Life, to give thee Liberty;
But since thou shew'st thou valuest not thy own,
I here bestow thy Friends upon thee too.

From my soul▪ I thank you.

But Custom, which▪ [...] Scy [...]i [...] Law▪ requires▪
That they whom my Pr [...]rogative▪ [...]s free,
Must become Scythians▪ by Espousing Scythian [...]

But Liberty in that too will be necessary.

As free as is the Wind shall be thy choice:
Thou shalt be for [...]'d in nothing, yet permit me▪
To give thy Wife a Dowry worthy thee.
Thy Souls surpassing greatness I admire!
Which Heaven that form'd it sure design'd for Empire;
Accept of mine, thy wiser nobler Sway
Will polish these Barbarians into Men.
Thine are the vast extended Plains of Tauris.
[Page 54]My self, my Subjects, Men and Women, all
Shall govern'd be by thy unbounded Sway;
The Soveraign Partner of thy Royal Bed
Among a thousand Scythian Beauties choose,
And make her happy who's most worthy thee.
Then I am lost again.
Iph. aside.

Art thou not mov'd?

Amaz'd, confounded, Gods! Are these the words
Of a Barbarian, of a Savage Scythian?
But, be she what she will
Such generous Passion I ne'r knew till now,
No, not in Greece, but oh its Artful modesty!
What, no reply?
My Present sure deserves at least your Thanks.
Oh! It deserves much more than I can pay!
Oh! It deserves my Heart, my very Soul:
And now, ev'n now I ought to be beheld
Paying my Adorations at your Feet;
And off'ring all my self with fervent Vows.
But oh! have pitty on so lost a Creature,
Who has no Heart, no Soul, no Vows to pay,
Who has given all these, who has given himself away
A Voluntary Slave, one so accurst,
That though he mortally detests Ingratitude,
Yet wants the power, nay wants the very will
To pay th' Immense acknowledgment he owes.

Suppose some God should free you from this Passion?


I wish not to be free:

Yet put the Case you were this moment free,
Might I expect to find you grateful then?
For Grecian, I am loth to think you hate me.
Hate you! O Heaven! of all your lovely Sex
You I esteem, and you I most admire,
Should I say more, I basely should deceive you.
To wrong you in that Nature, that indeed
Would be the height of black ingratitude.
For all my softer thoughts another claims;
Who, though the tenderest of her gentle Sex,
Yet has a Tyrants force upon my Soul.
But were I not prevented by that Passion,
Now Prostrate at your Feet you should behold me,
Prouder to obey your absolute Commands
Than to Controul th' extended Plains of Tauris.

May I believe thee?

Yes, could I haue resolv'd to say what's false,
You had heard a falshood that would more have pleas'd you.
[Page 55]

But swear.


Propose the Oath.


Swear by the dreadful Altar you have escap'd.


By this Tremendous Altar then I swear.

This Altar then shall free that from a Passion
That's so unworthy thee, [...] like the Priestess,
To the Ministers.
For her the Goddess [...] her Victim.
Here, take [...], bind [...] drag her to the Altar,
And in he [...] [...] some plunge the Sacred Steel.

O Heaven! The Priestess!


Impious Proposal!


Think not that we will e're endure that sight.

Think not that you'll endure it! Think where you are.
You both are in my power.
They who dare die are always in their own.
Our Breasts shall intercept th' accursed blow.

Guards, 'tis your Duty to take care of that.


No barbarous power can force us to survive her.

Die then, and prove the Plagues which for the Perjur'd
The direful Goddesses prepare below,
As soon as she expires, thou to be mine
Hast by th' inviolable Altar sworn.
In what a Mase, O Fate, am I entangled!
But think, reflect, by all the Gods I adjure you.
And Oh regard that lovely dying Face,
Meek and resign'd in these extreamest Sufferings.
Oh look and stop th' Abominable Blow!
Mercy, sweet Mercy will it self
Be murder'd by that Blow.
Look, cast your Eyes around, behold a sight
Enough to dissolve Flint, see these Barbarians
Whose Eyes have been inur'd to ghastly Murder,
Whose Cr [...]son Arms are dy'd with horrid Grain,
Ev'n they Dissolve, they me [...] their Eyes shed Tears,
Those Cruel Eyes that [...]ever [...] before.
Look how they're seiz'd with hidden Horror all!
But above all look up, be hold your Goddess!
Think that you see her [...] wrathful Frown
Denouncing Plagues on your Devoted Heads!
Think that already her avenging Arms
Are lifted, and prepare the dreadful Judgments
That must be pour'd on this accursed Race,
Revenging with its utter extirpation,
Her Priestess Murder'd, and here Shrine prophan'd.
Seythians, 'tis true.
These Judgments we must fearfully expect
[Page 56]If we lay impious Hands upon the Priestess.
All Scyth.

Unbind the Priestess, set her free immediately.

Hear me first, Scythians, and you Grecians hear!
Scythians, what slavish Doubt has seiz'd your Souls?
What [...]ear you? To provoke the dreadful Goddess!
This is her Victim; she her self has claim'd her;
Nay, and with so much vehemence has claim'd her,
She left th' Immortal Mansions of blest Beings
On purpose to demand her, and too long
This Priestess has already liv'd Devoted to her.
I till this hour, forgive it awful Goddess,
I by a Tender weakness mov'd, preserv'd her;
And Heaven best knows how I have been rewarded.
Now for you, Grecians, you too shall be satisfi'd.

No, never, if she dies.

Yes, though she dies, for when you know this Priestess
You will your selves demand and urge her Fate.
At least if you're the Sons of those brave Grecians
Who carried their Heroick Arms to Asia,
And with a thousand Sail Beleaguer'd Troy.
With one accord your Fathers urg'd her Fate,
Nay her own Father to the Altar doom'd her,
Because the severe Goddess had exacted her.

May I believe my Sense? Am I awake!

O all y' Immortal Powers! How am I tortur'd
By the fierce pangs of wondrous Expectation!
But Death by her Mothers Artifice she escap'd,
While a young Lesbian Slave in Shape and Size
And Age resembling hers, in a long Veil
Was at the Altal offer'd in hear stead.

Support me! Gods! Support me!


Why dost thou thus exclaiming interrupt me?

Oh! I have most amazing things to tell you!
But first Important Questions I must ask.
I have Important things t' enquire of her.
And Queen, assure thy self on what I say
Thy Peace, thy lasting Happiness depends.

Speak, but be short then, what are the Gods doing!

Say then, poor, lost, abandon'd Virgin, say,
Didst thou from bleeding at a Grecian Altar
By thy fond Mothers Artifice escape!
I did, and thank the Gods a thousand times for it;
By that escape I have liv'd to dye for thee.
[Page 57]
Talk not of Death, alas, but answer me,
O thou art sure the▪ Darling Care of Providence,
And it has wrought prodigious things to save thee!
How com [...] it that thy strange Escape▪ in Greece
Was never hea [...]d or talk'd of [...]
Of [...] wretched Parents
Were [...] it, [...] night inform'd me
They [...]adly [...] by a [...].

O Miracle of [...] O Transport▪

My Sisters both werein [...] [...]nfancy,
My Brother scarce had seen the [...].
By Heav'n and [...]rth it can be no [...] but [...],
See Helens Form upon that lovely Front!
Answer but one thing more, say from what Altar
Didst thou escape, and by what Artifice?
Alas 'tis a long Story,
And my weak Spirits, by my Grief opprest,
Will let me say no more.
But in my Cabinet it large 'tis written,
Yet grant me this, my first and last Request,
To Greece transport the Writing.
Talk not of Writing [...], Writing [...] may be lost;
But tell me in a word what I must say,
What and to whom?
Inform my Friends and Kindred then [...]t Argos,
That the forlorn abandon'd [...]

O supreme Jov [...], whose P [...]idence has wrought this!

What makes you lif [...] your [...] to Heaven,
And starting thus exclaim?
Was ever Vision of the Night so strange,
So wonderful as this! Say on, say on.
Tell them at Argos, that [...]or Iphigenia,
Whom fondly they believ'd at [...] sacri [...]c'd,
Escap'd the Altar there▪ but that the Goddess
Upon the Shore of Ta [...]ris found her Victim.
And with, O wish my Brother, my Orestes,
A much more gentle Fate!

Thus, thus, thy Brother, thy Orestes thanks thee.


My Brother! Oh!


My dearest Sister!

Can it be true!
Or does my Sense, grown wild with Grief, delude me?

Her Brother! is it possible! her Brother!


Her Brother! and the powerful King of Argo [...]

Is't possible! O the transporting Joy!
Impetuous Flood of unexpected Rapture!
[Page 58]Whether I live or no I cannot tell.
Haste, Scythians, haste, upon your knees unbind her.
Hold off your barbarous hands, presumptuous Slaves,
And let a Prince be honour'd with that Task.
unbinds [...]er.
O Queen! O Friend! O Sister!
Was ever Night like this!
Thus to these lovely Limbs I Liberty restore.
O woul [...] but the good Gods and she consent
That I for ever might remain a Captive.
Qu. to Iph.
Canst thou forgive me all this cruel Usage,
Of which Love only could have made me guilty?
Canst thou, thou tend'rest of all Humankind?
Can you so much as ask it? all my Soul
Is to transporting Tenderness resign'd.
Thou art all Goodness; in this strict Embrace
Let all Unkindness be forgot for ever.
Now, how shall we pay equal Thanks to Heav'n,
For this so great, so wonderful Deliverance?
Chiefly with flaming Zeal our Thanks to thee,
To thee our Thanks we pay, Divine Apollo!
And thy unerring Oracle adore.
Next, let me pay my Debt to thee, my Pilades,
And with the best of Sisters let me bless
The kindest, truest and the best of Friends.
She cannot now be mine, and ne'er shall be anothers,
Take her my Friend, thou art my very self,
The other, dearer Half of thy Orestes.
Take her, and with her take ten thousand Joys,
All the high Raptures thy fierce Passion promises▪
Thou answer'st not.
Oh, I want Breath to speak, I die with Ecstasie!
And my tumultuous Thoughts above all Words are rais'd▪
Here let me with dumb Eloquence experss 'em,
Here pour out the abundance of my Soul.
Kissing her Hand.
And next to you, great Queen, I pay my Acknowledgments,
And now with Joy accept this Realm of Tauris,
That at your Feet you may behold a Slave
With two Imperial Sceptres.
And now prepare to leave this barbarous Clime,
Here but by Deputy henceforward reign,
The Gods such Worth design'd to govern Greece,
To shine the Glory of the bravest Nation,
And give example to a Race of Heroines,
Who have Force to follow so sublime a Pattern.
Your Goddess is the Partner of your Voyage.
Whose Image great Apollo's Deplhick Oracle▪
Has with reiterated Voice demanded.
[Page 59]
The Prodigies of this [...]upendous Night,
And Vision of the last confirm that Oracle.
With me the Goddess shall to Greece remove,
And these inhumane Rites shall cease for ever.
The Gods are good, and Lovers of Mankind,
And that Religion that allows of Cruelty
Is not divine, but impious and abominable.
Lastly our Thanks once more we pay to thee,
Son of immortal Jove, divine Apollo,
Who hast made good thy bounteous Oracles.
We are preserv'd, and mighty Love preserves us.
Now, from this wond'rous Night let Mortals learn,
When in obedience to the Gods they tread
The doubtful Paths of Destiny, to affront
The dreadfullest Dangers with a dauntless Spirit.
Let 'em not ev'n in worst Extreams despair;
For while they keep to Virtue's narrow Paths,
With Guards invincible they march surrounded.
The Gods who surely guide them on the way,
From them no more than from themselves can stray,
For Virtue's of Divinity a Ray.

EP [...]LOGUE, by Coll. Codrington.

OUR Bard shall end to night, as He began,
Prologue, Play, Epilogue shall speak the Man,
Shew a more Tragick Poet if you can.
With Pride he owns that he would gain your Hearts,
But he will use no little Whorish Arts.
With Pride he owns, that 'tis his glorious Aim
To court and to possess the Tragick Dame.
How can he court, or how can be possess,
Who shames the Goddess by a forein Dress?
That decks her like a trivial merry Muse,
Or a rank Strumpet, strolling from the Stews.
Yet thus disguis'd she oft has here been shown,
To all her genuine Votaries unknown,
Yet still you thought the motly Garb her own.
Oft have you seen her with the Comick Muse,
Walk hand in hand, Grimace and Posture use,
Debase her Majesty and Terror lose.
What needs such Art your kind Applause to win
What need such Farce to drive away your Spleen,
Who thus are pleas'd have Farce enough within.
Our Bard resolves to steer a diff'rent Course,
And travel upwards to the Grecian Source.
Where he at first saw the chast, awful Maid,
And with observing Eyes her Charms survey'd.
Those Charms he would with a bold hand express,
Nor make 'em [...]ainter by an English Dress.
To please the Great, the Gen'rous, and the Fair,
Shall [...]ver be his Pride, and be his Care.
Next he would stand the knowing Criticks Test,
To Fortune unconcern'd he leaves the rest.
For well he knows the Ignorant and the Base
Scatter in waste their Censure and their Praise.

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