CLEOMENES, THE Spartan Heroe.

A TRAGEDY, As it is ACTED at the Theatre Royal.

Written by Mr. DRYDEN.

To which is prefixt The LIFE of Cleomenes.

His Armis, illâ quoque tutus in aulâ.
Juv. Sat. IV.

LONDON, Printed for Iacob Tonson, at the Iudge's-Head in Chancery-Lane near Fleet-Street. 1692.

Where Compleat SETS of Mr. Dryden's Works, in Four Volumes, are to be Sold. The PLAYS being put in the order they were Written.

To the Right Honourable The Earl of ROCHESTER, Knight of the most Noble Order of the Garter, &c.

'TIS enough for your Lordship to be consci­ous to your self of having perform'd a just and honourable Action, in Redeeming this Play from the Persecution of my Enemies; but it wou'd be ingratitude in me, not to publish it to the World. That it has appear'd on the Stage is principal­ly owing to you: That it has succeeded, is the Appro­bation of your Judgment, by that of the Publick. 'Tis just the Inversion of an Act of Parliament: Your Lord­ship first sign'd it, and then it was pass'd amongst the Lords and Commons. The Children of old Men are generally observ'd to be short liv'd, and of a weakly Constitution: How this may prove I know not; but hitherto it has promis'd well: And if it survive to Po­sterity, it will carry the Noble Name of its Patron a­long with it; or, rather, it will be carried by yours to after Ages. Ariosto, in his Voyage of Astolpho to the Moon, has given us a fine Allegory of two Swans; who, when Time had thrown the Writings of many Poets into the River of Oblivion, were ever in a readiness to secure the best, and bear them aloft, into the Temple of Im­mortality. Whether this Poem be of that Number, is left to the Judgment of the Swan who has preserv'd it: And though I can claim little from his Justice, I may presume to value my self upon his Charity. It will be told me, That I have mistaken the Italian Poet, who [Page] means only that some excellent Writers, almost as few in Number as the Swans, have rescued the Memory of their Patrons, from Forgetfulness and Time; when a vast Multitude of Crows and Vultures, that is, bad Scrib­blers, Parasites, and Flatterers, oppress'd by the weight of the Names which they endeavour'd to redeem, were forc'd to let them fall again into Lethe, where they were lost for ever. If it be thus, my Lord, the Table wou'd be turn'd upon me: But I shou'd only fail in my vain Attempt: For either some other Immortal Swan, will be more capable of sustaining such a weight, or you who have so long been Conversant in the management of great Affairs, are able with your own Pen, to do Justice to your self; and, at the same time, to give the Nation a clearer and more faithful insight into those Transacti­ons, wherein you have Worthily sustain'd so great a part. For to your Experience in State Affairs, you have also joyn'd no vulgar Erudition: Which all your Modesty is not able to conceal; for to understand critically the de­licacies of Horace, is a height to which few of our Noble Men have arriv'd: And that this is your deserv'd Com­mendation, I am a living Evidence; as far, at least, as I can be allow'd a Competent Judge on that subject. Your Affection to that admirable Ode, which Horace writes to his Mecaenas, and which I had the Honour to inscribe to you, is not the only Proof of this Assertion. You may please to remember, that in the late happy Conversati­on, which I had with your Lordship at a Noble Relati­ons of yours, you took me aside, and pleas'd your Self with repeating to me, one of the most Beautiful Pieces in that Author. It was the Ode to Barine, wherein you were so particularly affected with that Elegant Expres­sion, [Page] Iuvenumque prodis publica cura. There is indeed the Vertue of a whole Poem, in those words; that curiosa fe­licitas, which Petronius so justly ascribes to our Author. The Barbarity of our Language is not able to reach it: Yet, when I have leisure, I mean to try, how near I can raise my English to his Latin: Though in the mean time, I cannot but imagine to my self, with what Scorn his Sacred Manes wou'd look on so lame a Translation as I cou'd make. His Recalcitrat undique tutus might more reasonably be apply'd to me, than he himself ap­ply'd it to Augustus Caesar. I ought to reckon that Day, as very Fortunate to me, and distinguish it, as the An­cients did, with a whiter Stone; because it furnish'd me with an Occasion of reading my Cleomenes to a Beauti­ful Assembly of Ladies, where your Lordship's Three Fair Daughters, were pleas'd to Grace it with their Pre­sence: And, if I may have leave to single out any one in particular, there was your admirable Daughter-in-law; shining, not like a Star, but a Constellation of her Self; a more true and brighter Berenice. Then it was, that whether out of your own Partiality, and Indul­gence to my Writings, or out of Complaisance to the Fair Company, (who gave the first good Omen to my Success, by their Approbation,) your Lordship was pleas'd to add your own: And afterwards to Represent it to the Queen, as wholly Innocent of those Crimes, which were laid unjustly to its Charge. Neither am I to forget my Charming Patroness; though she will not allow my Publick Address to her, in a Dedication; but Protects me unseen, like my Guardian-Angel; and shuns my Gratitude, like a Fairy, who is Bountiful by stealth; and conceals the Giver, when she bestows the [Page] Gift. But my Lady Sylvius has been juster to me, and pointed out the Goddess, at whose Altar I was to pay my Sacrifice and Thanks Offering. And had she been silent, yet my Lord Chamberlain himself, in restoring my Play, without any Alteration, avow'd to me, that I had the most Earnest Sollicitress, as well as the Fairest; and that nothing cou'd be refus'd to my Lady Hyde.

These Favours, my Lord, receiv'd from your Self, and your Noble Family, have encourag'd me to this Dedi­cation; wherein I not only give you back a Play, which had you not redeem'd it, had not been mine; but also at the same time, Dedicate to you, the unworthy Author, with my inviolable Faith, and (how mean soever) my utmost Service: And I shall be proud to hold my De­pendance on you in Chief, as I do part of my small For­tune in Wiltshire. Your Goodness has not been wanting to me, during the Reign of my two Masters. And e­ven from a bare Treasury, my Success has been contrary to that of Mr. Cowley; and Gideon's Fleece has then been moisten'd, when all the Ground has been dry about it. Such and so many Provocations of this nature, have concurr'd to my Invading of your Modesty, with this Address. I am sensible that it is in a manner forc'd up­on you. But your Lordship has been the Aggressor in this Quarrel, by so many Favours, which you are not weary of conferring on me. Though at the same time, I own the Ambition on my side, to be ever esteem'd

Your Lordship's most Thankful And most Obedient Servant, JOHN DRYDEN.


'TIs now seven or eight Years since I design'd to write this Play of CLEOMENES; and my Lord Falkland, (whose Name I cannot mention without Honour, for the many Favours I have receiv'd from him) is pleas'd to witness for me, That in a French Book, which I presented him about that time, there were the Names of many Subjects that I had thought on for the Stage; amongst which, this Tragedy was one. This, was out of my Remembrance; but my Lord, on the occasion of stop­ping my Play, took the Opportunity of doing me a good Office at Court, by representing it as it was, a Piece long ago design'd: Which being judiciously treated, I thought was capable of moving Compas­sion on the Stage. The Success has justified my Opinion, and that at a time when the World is running mad after Farce, the Extre­mitie of bad Poetry, or rather the Iudgment that is fallen upon Dramatique Writing. Were I in the Humour, I have sufficient cause to expose it in its true Colours; but having for once escap'd, I will forbear my Satyr, and only be thankful for my Deliverance. A great part of my good Fortune, I must confess, is owing to the Iustice which was done me in the Performance: I can scarcely refrain from giving every one of the Actors their particular Commendations; but none of them will be offended, if I say what the Town has generally granted, That Mrs. Barry, always Excellent, has, in this Tragedy, excell'd Herself, and gain'd a Reputation beyond any Woman whom I have ever seen on the Theatre. After all, it was a bold Attempt of mine, to write upon a single Plott, unmix'd with Comedy; which though it be the natural and true way, yet is not to the Genius of the Nation. Yet to gratifie the barbarous Party of my Audience, I gave them a short Rabble-Scene, because the Mobb (as they call them) are represented by Plutarch and Polybius, with the same Character of Baseness and Cowardice, which are here describ'd, in the last Attempt of Cleo­menes. They may thank me, if they please, for this Indulgence; for no French Poet would have allow'd them any more than a bare [Page] Relation of that Scene, which debases a Tragedy to show upon the Stage

For the rest, some of the Mechanique Rules of Vnity are observed, and others are neglected. The Action is but one, which is the Death of Cleomenes; and every Scene in the Play, is tending to the Accomplishment of the Main Design. The Place is likewise one; for 'tis all in the compass of Alexandria, and the Port of that City. The time might easily have been reduc'd into the space of twenty four Hours, if I wou'd have omitted the Scence of Famine, in the Fifth Act; but it pleas'd me to try how Spartans cou'd endure it; and, besides, gave me the occasion of writing that other Scene, betwixt Cleomenes and his suspected Friend; and, in such a Case, 'tis better to trespass on a Rule, than leave out a Beauty.

As for other Objections, I never heard any worth answering; and least of all that Foolish One, which is rais'd against me by the Sparks, for Cleomenes not accepting the Favours of Cas­sandra. They wou'd not have re [...]us'd a fair Lady. I grant they wou'd not; but let them grant me, That they are not Hero's; and so much for the Point of Honour. A Man might have pleaded an Excuse for himself, if he had been false to an Old Wife, for the sake of a Young Mistress; but Cleora was in the Flower of her Age, and it was yet but Honey-moon with Cleomenes; and so much for Nature. Some have told me, That many of the fair Sex com­plain for want of tender Scenes, and soft Expressions of Love: I will endeavour to make them some amends, if I write again; and my next Hero shall be no Spartan.

I know it will be here expected, that I should write somewhat con­cerning the forbidding of my Play; but the less I say of it, the better. And besides, I was so little concern'd at it, that had it not been on consideration of the Actors, who were to suffer on my account, I should not have been at all sollicitous, whether it were play'd, or no. No body can imagine, that in my declining Age I write willingly, or that I am desirous of exposing, at this time of day, the small Repu­tation which I have gotten on the Theatre. The Subsistence which I had from the former Government, is lost; and the Reward I have f [...]om the Stage is so little, that it is not worth my Labour.

As for the Reasons which were given for suspending the Play, it seems they were so ill founded, that my Lord Chamberlain no sooner took the pains to read it, but they vanish'd; and my Copy was restor'd to me, without the least Alteration by his Lordship. 'Tis [...] as [Page] it was acted; and I dare assure you, that here is no Parallel to be found: 'Tis neither Compliment, nor Satyr; but a plain Story, more strictly followed than any which has appear'd upon the Stage. 'Tis true, it had been garbled before by the Superiours of the Play-house; and I cannot reasonably blame them for their Caution; because they are answerable for any thing that is publickly represented: And their Zeal for the Government is such, that they had rather lose the best Poetry in the World, than give the least Suspicion of their Loyalty. The short is, that they were diligent enough to make sure Work: and to geld it so clearly in some places, that they took away the very Manhood of it. I can only apply to them, what Cassandra says somewhere in the Play to Ptolomey;

To be so nice in my Concerns for you;
To doubt where Doubts are not; to be too fearful;
To raise a Bug-bear Shadow of a Danger;
And then be frighted, though it cannot reach you.

But, since it concerns me to be as circumspect as they are, I have given leave to my Bookseller to print the Life of Cleomenes, as it is elegantly, and faithfully translated out of Plutarch, by my learn­ed Friend, Mr. Creech; to whom the World has been indebted for his excellent Version of Lucretius; and I particularly oblig'd in his Translation of Horace. We daily expect Manilius from him; an Author worthy only of such Hands; which having formerly reveal'd the Secrets of Nature to us here on Earth, is now discovering to us her Palace in the Skies; and if I might be allow'd to say it, gi­ving Light to the Stars of Heaven.

Ergò vivida vis animi, pervicit; & extra
Processit longè, flammantia maenia Mundi.

But to return to Plutarch; you will find him particularly fond of Cleomenes his Character; who as he was the last of the Spartan Heroes, so he was, in my Opinion, the greatest. Even his Enemy, Po­lybius, though engag'd in the contrary Faction, yet speaks honourably of him; and especially of his last Action in Egypt. This Author is also made English, and will shortly be publish'd for the Common Benefit.

What I have added to the Story, is chiefly the Love of Aga­thoclea, the King's Mistress; whose Name I have chang'd into Cassandra; only for the better sound. As I have also the name of [Page] Nicagoras, into that of Coenus, for the same Reason. Cratisiclaea, Pantheus, and Sosybius, are to be found in the Story, with the same Characters which they have in the Tragedy. There is likewise mention made of the Son of Cleomenes, who had resolution enough to throw himself headlong from a Tower, when he had heard of his Father's ill Success. And for Cleora, whom I make the second Wife of Cleomenes (for Aegyatis was dead before) you will find a hint of her in Plutarch; for he tells us, That after the loss of the Bat­tle at Sellasia, he return'd to Sparta, and entring his own House, was there attended by a Free-born Woman of Megalopolis.

The Picture of Ptolomey Philopater, is given by the fore-men­tion'd Authors to the full. Both agree that he was an Original of his kind; a Lazy, Effeminate, Cowardly, Cruel, and Luxurious Prince, manag'd by his Favourite, and impos'd on by his Mistress. The Son of Sosybyus, whom I call Cleanthes, was a Friend to Cleomenes: but Plutarch says, he at length forsook him. I have giv'n him a fairer Character, and made it only a seeming Treache­ry, which he practis'd. If any be so curious to enquire what be­came of Cassandra, whose Fortune was left in suspence at the Con­clusion of the Play, I must first inform them, that after the death of Cleomenes, (the Heroe of my Poem,) I was oblig'd by the Laws of the Drama, to let fall the Curtain immediately; because the Action was then concluded. But Polybius tells us, that she surviv'd Ptolomey, who reign'd about Twenty seven Years; that with her Brother Agathocles, she govern'd Egypt in the Minority of his Son Ptolomey Epiphanes; and that finally for oppressing of the People, both the Brother and Sister were slain in a popular Insurrection.

There is nothing remaining, but my Thanks to the Town in ge­neral, and to the fair Ladies in particular, for their kind Reception of my Play. And though I cannot retract what I said before, that I was not much concern'd in my own particular, for the Embargo which was laid upon it: Yet I think my self oblig'd, at the same time, to render my Acknowledgments to those Honourable Persons, who were instrumental in the freeing it. For as it was from a Principle of Nobleness in them, that they would not suffer one to want, who was grown old in their Service: So it is from a Principle of another sort, that I have learn'd to possess my Soul in Patience, and not to be much disquieted, with any Disappointment of this Nature.

The following Verses were sent me by a young Gentleman, under Twenty Years of Age, whose Modesty would have conceal'd his Name; but I learn'd it from another Hand, and have taken the boldness to subscribe it without his Leave. I presume that on the reading of them, no body can blame me for making Cleonidas speak above his Youth, when you see an English­man so far surpassing my Spartan.

To Mr. Dryden, on his CLEOMENES.
HAs Youth then lost its great Prerogative?
And do's the Soul alone for Age survive?
Like Embryo's sleeping in their Seeds, seem nought,
'Till friendly Time does ripen it to Thought?
Judgment, Experience, that before was theirs;
But Fancy wanton'd in a younger Sphere;
Play'd with some loose and scatter'd Beams of Light,
And revell'd in an Anarchy of Wit.
Both Youth and Age unequally did charm;
As much too cold was this, as that too warm.
But you have reconcil'd their differing Praise,
By fixing both to your immortal Bays.
Where Fancy mounts, but Judgment holds the Reins;
Not checks, but guides you to harmonious Strains.
'Tis Harmony indeed, 'tis all unite,
Like finish'd Nature, and divided Light:
Like the vast Order, and its numerous Throng,
Crowded to their Almighty Maker's Song;
Where Heav'n and Earth seem but one single Tongue.
O wondrous Man! where have you learn'd the Art
To charm our Reason, while you wound the Heart!
Far more than Spartan Morals to inspire,
While your great Accents kindle Spartan Fire.
Thus Metals heated to the Artist's Will,
Receive th' Impressions of a Nobler Skill.
[Page]Your Hero form'd so regularly Good,
So nicely patient in his Want of Food,
That it no more th' Vndress of Death appears,
While the rich Garment of your Sence it wears.
So just a Husband, Father, Son, and Friend,
Great in his Life, but greater in his End:
That sure, like Xenophon, you meant to shew,
Not what they are, but what they ought to do;
At once a Poet, and Instructer too.
The Parts so manag'd, as if each were thine;
Thou draw'st both Ore and Metal from the Mine;
And to be seen, thou mak'st ev'n Vice to shine.
As if, like Siam's transmigrating God,
A single Life in each you made abode;
And the whole Business of the tedious round,
To Copy Patterns which in each you found.
Sure you have gain'd from Heav'n Promethean Fire,
To form, then kindle Souls into Desire:
Else why successive starts of Hopes and Fears;
A Martial Warmth first rais'd, then quench'd with Tears?
Unless this Truth shines clearly through the whole,
Sence Rules the World, but you command the Soul.
Theophilus Parsons.


THus fell Agis. His Brother Archidamus was too quick for Leonidas, and sav'd himself by a timely Retreat. But his Wife then newly brought to Bed, the Tyrant forc'd her from her own House, and compell'd her to marry his Son Cleomenes, though at that time too young for a Wife; for he was unwilling that any one else should have her, she being Heiress to her Father Gylippus's great Estate; for Person, the finest Woman in all Greece, very good-natur'd, of an exemplary Life, and therefore, they say, she did all she could, that she might not be compell'd to this Match.

Being thus married to Cleomenes, she hated Leonidas, but to the Youth she show'd her self a kind and obliging Wife. He, as soon as they came together, began to love her very much, and the con­stant Kindness that she still retain'd for the memory of Agis, wrought somewhat of Concern in the young Man for him, so that he would often enquire of her concerning what had pass'd, and at­tentively listen to the Story of Agis's Designs. Now Cleomenes had a generous and great Soul; he was as temperate and moderate in his Pleasures as Agis, but not so very cautious, circumspect and gentle: a spur of Passion always gall'd him, and his eagerness to pursue that which he thought good and just, was violent and heady. To make Men willing to obey, he conceiv'd to be the best Disci­pline; [Page 2] but likewise to break the stubborn, and force them to be better, was in his opinion commendable and brave. This Disposi­tion made him dislike the management of the City: The Citizens lay dissolv'd in supine Idleness and Pleasures; the King minded no­thing, designing, if no body gave him any disturbance, to waste his Time in Ease and Riot; the Publick was neglected, and each Man intent upon his private Gain. 'Twas dangerous, now Agis was kill'd, to mention the exercising and training of their Youth, and to set up for the ancient Bravery and Equality, was Treason against the State. 'Tis said also that Cleomenes, whilst a Boy, stu­died Philosophy under Sphaerus the Borystenite, who coming to Sparta, was very diligent in Instructing the Youth: Sphaerus was one of the chief of Zeno the Citiean's Scholars, and 'tis likely that he admir'd the manly Temper of Cleomenes, and inflam'd his generous Ambition. The ancient Leonidas (as Story saith) being ask'd, What manner of Poet he thought Tyrtaeus? reply'd, An ex­cellent one to whet the Courages of youth, for being fill'd with Fury by his Poems, they daringly ventur'd on any Danger: now the Stoicks Philosophy is a dangerous Incentive to hot and fiery Dispositions, but being mixt with a grave and cautious Temper, is very good to fix and settle the Resolutions.

Upon the Death of his Father Leonidas, he succeeded, and ob­serving the Citizens of all sorts to be debauch'd, the rich neglect­ing the Publick, and intent on their own Gain and Pleasure, and the poor being crampt in their private Fortunes, grown unactive, Cowards, and not inclinable to the Spartan Institution and way of Breeding, that he had only the Name of King, and the Ephori all the Power, was resolv'd to change the present posture of Af­fairs. He had a Friend whose name was Xenares, his Lover, (such an Affection the Spartans express by the word, [...]) him he sounded and of him he would commonly enquire, What manner of King Agis was, by what means, and by what Assistance he be­gan and pursu'd his Designs. Xenares at first willingly comply'd with his Request, and told him the whole Story, with all the par­ticular Circumstances of the Actions. But when he observ'd Cleo­menes to be extreamly affected at the Relation, and more than or­dinarily mov'd at Agis's new model of the Government, and beg­ging [Page 3] a repetition of the Story, he at first severely chid him, told him, He was frantick, and at last left off all sort of Familiarity and Conversation with him, yet he never told any Man the cause of their Disagreement, but would only say, Cleomenes knew very well. Cleomenes finding Xenares averse to his Designs, and thinking all others to be of the same opinion, consulted with none, but con­triv'd the whole Business by himself. And considering that it would be easier to bring about an Alteration when the City was at War, than when in Peace, he engag'd the Commonwealth in a Quarrel with the Achaeans, who had given them fair occasions to complain: for Aratus, a Man of the greatest Power amongst all the Achaeans, design'd from the very beginning to bring all the Pelo­ponnesians into one common Body. And to effect this, he under­took many Expeditions, and ran through a long course of Po­licy; for he thought this the only means to make them an equal Match for their foreign Enemies: All the rest agreed to his Pro­posals, only the Lacedaemonians, the Eleans, and as many of the Arcadians as inclin'd to the Spartan Interest, refus'd. Therefore as soon as Leonidas was dead, he fell upon the Arcadians, and wasted those especially that border'd on Achaia; by this means designing to try the Inclinations of the Spartans, and despising Cleomenes as a Youth, and of no experience in Affairs of State or War. Upon this the Ephori sent Cleomenes to surprise the Athenae­um (dedicated to Minerva) near Belbina, which is a pass of Laco­nia, and was then under the Jurisdiction of the Megalopolitans: Cleomenes possest himself of the place, and fortified it; at which Action Aratus shew'd no publick Resentment, but marcht by night to surprise Tegea and Orchomenium. The Design fail'd; for those that were to betray the Cities into his Hands, doubted the Success; so Aratus retreated, imagining that his Design had been undiscovered: But Cleomenes wrote a jeering Letter to him, and desired to know, as from a Friend, whither he intended to march at night? And Aratus answering, That having understood his Design to fortifie Belbina, he resolv'd to march thither to op­pose him. Cleomenes return'd, That he believed it, but desir'd him to give him an account, if it stood with his Convenience, why he carryed those Torches and Ladders with him.

[Page 4] Aratus laughing at the Jeer, and asking what manner of Youth this was; Democrites a Spartan Exile replyed, If you have any Designs upon the Lacedaemonians, begin before this young Eagle's Talons are grown. Presently after this, Cleomenes being in Arcadia with a few Horse, and 300 Foot, the Ephori fearing to engage in the War, comman­ded him home, but upon his Retreat, Aratus taking Caphuae, they commission'd him again. In this Expedition he took Methudrium, and spoiled the Country of the Argives, and the Achaians: to stop his Victory, and secure their Friends, sent 20000 foot and 1000 Horse against him, under the Command of Aristomachus. Cleome­nes fac'd them at Palantium, and offer'd Battle: But Aratus being dash'd at his Bravery, would not suffer the General to engage, but retreated, being curst by the Achaeans, and hooted at, and scorn'd by the Spartans, who were not above 5000, for a Coward. Cleo­menes encouraged by this Success, began to vaunt among the Citi­zens a Sentence of one of their ancient Kings, who said, The Spartans seldom enquired how many their Enemies were, but where they were. Af­ter this, marching to the Assistance of the Eleans, upon whom the Achaians warr'd, and about Lycaeum falling upon the Enemy in their Retreat, he routed their whole Army, taking a great number of Captives, and leaving many dead upon the Place; so that it was com­monly reported amongst the Greeks that Aratus was slain. But Ara­tus making the best Advantage of the Opportunity, presently after the Defear, march'd to Mantinaea, and before any body suspected it, took the City, and put a new Garrison into it. Upon this the Lacedaemonians being quite discouraged, and opposing Cleomenes's Design of carrying on the War, he was eager to send for Archida­mus, Agis's Brother from Messena, for he of the other Family had a Right to the Kingdom; and beside, Cleomenes thought that the Power of the Ephori would be abated when the Kingly State was fill'd up, and equally poised between the two Families. But those that were concern'd in the Murder of Agis understanding the Design, and fearing that upon Archidamus's Return they should be call'd to an Account, receiv'd him coming privately into Town, waited on him, and presently after murder'd him; but whether Cleomenes was against it (as Phylarchus imagines) or whether he was per­swaded by his Friends, and wink'd at the Contrivance, is uncer­tain; [Page 5] however, they were most blam'd, as having forc'd his Con­sent. But he still resolving to new-model the State, brib'd the Ephori to make him General: and won the Affections of many others by means of his Mother Cratesiclaea, who spared no Cost, and was very zealous to promote the same Interest; and though of her self she had no Inclination to marry, yet for her Son's sake she wedded one of the chiefest Citizens for Wealth and Power. Cleomenes marching forth with the Army now under his Com­mand, took Leuctra, a place belonging to Megalopolis; and the Achaeans quickly facing him with a good body of Men command­ed by Aratus in a Battle under the very Walls of the City, some part of his Army was routed. But Aratus commanding the Achae­ans not to pass a deep Hollow, and stopping the Pursuit, Lydiadas the Megalopolitan fretting at the Orders, encouraging the Horse which he led, and pursuing the routed Enemy, fell into a place full of Vines, Hedges and Ditches; and being forc'd to break his Ranks, was put into a great Disorder. Cleomenes observing the Ad­vantage, commanded the Tarentines and Cretans to engage him, by whom, after a brave Dispute he was routed and slain. The Lacedaemonians thus encouraged with a great shout fell upon the Achaeans and routed their whole Army. Of the slain, which were very many, some Cleomenes delivered upon Articles, but the Body of Lydiadas he commanded to be brought to him; and then put­ting on it a purple Robe, and a Crown upon its Head, sent a Con­voy with it to the Gates of Megalopolis. This Lydiadas was the Man that resign'd his Crown, restor'd Liberty to the Citizens, and joyn'd the City to the Achaean Interest. Cleomenes being very much raised by this Success; and perswaded, that if matters were wholly at his Disposal, he should quickly be too hard for the Achae­ans. He taught Megistones his Mother's Husband, That 'twas ex­pedient for the State to shake off the Power of the Ephori, and to put all their Wealth into one common Stock for the whole Body; That Sparta being restor'd to its old Equality, might be rais'd up to be Mistriss of all Greece. Megistones liked the Design, and en­gaged two or three more of his Friends. About that time one of the Ephori sleeping in Pasiphae's Temple, dream'd a very surpriz­ing Dream; for he thought he saw the four Chairs removed out [Page 6] of the place where the Ephori used to sit and hear Causes, and one only set there; and whilst he wondred, he heard a Voice out of the Temple, saying, This is best for Sparta. The Person telling Cleomenes this Dream, he was a little troubled at first, fearing that he us'd this as a Trick to sift him, upon some Suspicion of his De­sign; but when he was satisfied that the Relater spoke truth, he took heart again; and taking with him those whom he thought would be against his model, he took Eraea and Alcaea, two Cities of the Achaeans, furnish'd Orchomenium with Provisions, besieg'd Mantinaea; and with long marches so harass'd the Lacedaemonians, that many of them desir'd to be left in Arcadia; and he satisfy'd their Request. With the Mercenaries he march'd to Sparta, and by the way communicated his Design to those whom he thought fittest for his Purpose, and march'd slowly that he might catch the Ephori at Supper. When he was come near the City, he sent Eu­rycleidas to the Sussitium, the eating place of the Ephori, under pretence of carrying some Message from him from the Army; Threicion, Phaebis, and two of those which were bred with Cleo­menes, which they call Samothracae, follow'd with a few Souldiers; And whilst Eurycleidas was delivering his Message to the Ephori, they ran upon them with their drawn Swords, and slew them. Agesilaus as soon as he was run through, fell, and lay as dead; but in a little time he rose, silently convey'd himself out of the Room, and crept undiscover'd into a little House, which was the Temple of Fear, and which always us'd to be shut, but was then by chance open; being got in, he shut the Door, and lay close: the other four were kill'd, and above ten more that came to their Assistance; to those that were quiet, they did no harm, stopt none that fled the City, and spar'd Agesilaus, who came out of the Temple the next day. The Lacedaemonians have not only Temples dedica­ted to Fear, but also to Death, Laughter, and the like Passions: now they worship Fear, not as they do those Deities which they dread, esteeming it hurtfull, but thinking their Polity is chiefly kept up by Law; and therefore the Ephori (Aristotle is my Author) when they enter upon their Government, make Proclamation to the People, that they should shave their Whiskers, and be obedient to the Laws, that they might not be forc'd to be severe, using this [Page 7] trivial Particular (in my opinion) to accustom their Youth to O­bedience even in the smallest Matters. And the Ancients, I think, did not imagine Fortitude to be plain fearlessness, but a cautious Fear of Infamy and Disgrace: for those that show most Fear to­wards the Laws, are most bold against their Enemies; and those are least afraid of any Danger, who are most afraid of a just re­proach. Therefore he said well:

A Reverence still attends on Fear.

And Homer,

Fear'd you shall be, dear Vncle, and rever'd▪

And again,

In silence fearing those that bore the sway.

For 'tis very commonly seen, that Men reverence those whom they fear; and therefore the Lacedaemonians plac'd the Temple of Fear by the Sussitium of the Ephori, having rais'd their Power to almost absolute Monarchy.

The next day Cleomenes proscrib'd 80 of the Citizens, whom he thought necessary to banish, and removed all the Seats of the Ephori except one, in which he himself design'd to sit, and hear Causes; and calling the Citizens together, he made an Apology for his Proceedings, saying, That by Lycurgus the Senate was joyn'd to the Kings, and that that model of Government had con­tinued a long time, and needed no other sort of Magistrates to give it perfection. But afterward in the long War with the Mes­senians, when the Kings being to command the Army, had no time to attend civil Causes, they chose some of their Friends, and left them to determine the Suits of the Citizens in their stead. These were call'd Ephori, and at first behav'd themselves as Ser­vants to the Kings, but afterward by degrees they appropriated the Power to themselves, and erected a distinct sort of Magistracy. An evidence of the Truth of this may be taken from the usual Behaviour of the Kings, who upon the first and second Message of the Ephori, refuse to go, but upon the third readily attend them: [Page 8] And Asteropus, the first that rais'd the Ephori to that height of Power, liv'd a great many years after their Institution; therefore whil'st they modestly contain'd themselves within their own proper Sphear, 'twas better to bear with them than to make a distur­bance. But that an upstart introduc'd Power should so far de­stroy the old model of Government, as to banish some Kings, murder others without hearing their defence, and threaten those who desir'd to see the best and most divine Constitution restor'd in Sparta, was unsufferable. Therefore if it had been possible for him without Bloodshed, to have freed Lacedaemon from those foreign Plagues, Luxury, Vanity, Debts and Usury, and from those more ancient Evils, Poverty and Riches, he should have thought himself the happiest King in the World, having like an expert Physician cur'd the Diseases of his Countrey without pain. But now in this necessity Lycurgus's Example favour'd his Proceed­ings, who being neither King, nor Magistrate, but a private Man, and aiming at the Kingdom, came arm'd into the Market­place, and for fear of the King Carileus fled to the Altar: but he being a good Man, and a lover of his Countrey, readily consen­ted to Lycurgus's Project, and admitted an Alteration in the State. Thus by his own Actions Lycurgus show'd, That it was difficult to correct the Government without Force and Fear, in using which, he said, he would be so moderate, as never to desire their Assistance, but either to terrifie or ruine the Enemies of Sparta's Happiness and Safety. He commanded that all the Land should be left in common, and private Claims laid aside: That Debtors should be discharged of their Debts, and a strict search made, who were Foreigners, and who not: That the true Spartans, recover­ing their Courage, might defend the City by their Arms, and that we may no longer see Laconia, for want of a sufficient num­ber to secure it, wasted by the Aetolians and Illyrians. Then he himself first, with his Father-in-law Megistones, and his Friends, brought all their Wealth into one publick Stock, and all the other Citizens follow'd the example: the Land was divided, and every one that he had banish'd, had a share assign'd him; for he pro­mis'd to restore all, as soon as things were settled and in quiet; and compleating the common number of Citizens, out of the best [Page 9] and most agreeable of the neighbouring Inhabitants, he rais'd a Body of 4000 Men, and instead of a Spear, taught them to use a Sarissa, (a long Pike) with both hands, and to carry their Shields by a String fast­ned round their Arms, and not by a Handle, as before. After this he began to consult about the exercising and breeding of the Youth, (many Particulars of which, Sphaerus being then at Sparta, directed) and in a short time the Schools of Exercise, and their Sussitia, (common eating Places) recover'd their ancient Decency and Order, a few out of necessity, but the most voluntarily applying themselves to that generous and Laconick way of Living: besides, that the Name of Monarch might give them no jealousie, he made Eucleidas, his Brother, Partner in the Throne; and that was the only time that Sparta had two Kings of the same Family. Then understanding that the Achaeans and Aratus ima­gin'd that this Change had disturb'd and shaken his Affairs, and that he would not venture out of Sparta, and leave the City now unsettled by so great an Alteration, he thought it great and serviceable to his De­signs, to convince his Enemies that he was eagerly desirous of a War: And therefore making an Incursion into the Territories of Megalopolis, he wasted the Countrey very much, and got a considerable Booty. And at last taking those that us'd to act in the publick Solemnities travell­ing from Messena, and building a Theater in the Enemies Countrey, and setting a Prize of 40l. value, he sate Spectator a whole day; not that he either desir'd or needed such a Divertisement, but as it were insulting o're his Enemies, and that by thus manifestly despising them, he might show that he had more than conquer'd the Achaeans: For that alone of all the Greek or Kings Armies had no Stage-players, no Juglers, no dancing or singing Women attending it, but was free from all sorts of Loosness, Wantonness and Foppery; the young Men being for the most part upon Duty, and the old Men teaching them at leisure time to apply themselves to their usual Drollery, and to rally one another facetiously after the Laconick fashion; the Advantages of which I have discover'd in the Life of Lycurgus. He himself instructed all by his Ex­ample: he was a living Pattern of Temperance before every bodies eyes, and his course of Living was neither more stately nor more expen­sive than any of the Commons. And this was a considerable Advan­tage to him in his Designs on Greece; for Men when they waited upon other Kings, did not so much admire their Wealth, costly Furniture, and numerous Attendance, as they hated their Pride and State, their diffi­culty of Access, and scornful commanding Answers to their Petitions. [Page 10] But when they came to Cleomenes, who was both really a King, and bore that Title, and saw no Purple, no Robes of State upon him, no Chairs and Couches about him for his ease, and that he did not re­ceive Petitions, and return Answers after a long delay, by a number of Messengers, Waiters, or by Bills, but that he rose and came forward to meet those that came to wait upon him, staid, talk'd freely and graci­ously with all that had Business, they were extreamly taken, won to his Service, and profess'd that he alone was the true Son of Hercules. His common every days Meal was in a mean Room, very sparing, and after the Laconick manner; and when he entertain'd Ambassadors or Strangers, two more Beds were added, and a little better Dinner pro­vided by his Servants; but no Fricacies, no Dainties, only the Dishes were larger, and the Wine more plentiful; for he reprov'd one of his Friends for entertaining some Strangers, with nothing but Pulse and black Broth, such Diet as they usually had in their Phiditia, saying, That upon such occasions, and when they treat Strangers, 'twas not requisite to be too exact Laconians. After Supper, a Stand was brought in with a brass Vessel full of Wine, two silver Pots, which held almost a Quart apiece, a few silver Cups, of which he that pleas'd might drink, but no Liquor was forc'd on any of the Guests. There was no Musick, nor was any requir'd; for he entertain'd the Company, sometimes asking Questions, sometimes telling Stories: And his Dis­course was neither too grave, and unpleasantly serious, nor vain and abusive, but merrily facetious; for he thought those ways of catching Men by Gifts and Presents, which other Kings use, to be mean and inartificial; and it seem'd to him to be the most glorious method, and most suitable to a King, to win the Affections of those that came near him, by pleasant Discourse, and unaffected Conversation: for a Friend and Mercenary differ only in this, that the one is made by Con­versation and Agreeableness of Humour, and the other by Reward. The Mantineans were the first that oblig'd him; for getting by night in­to the City, and driving out the Achaean Garrison, they put them­selves under his Protection: he restor'd them their Polity and Laws, and the same day march'd to Tegea; and a little while after fetching a Compass through Arcadia, he made a descent upon Pherae in Achaia, intending to force Aratus to a Battel, or bring him into Disrepute, for refusing to engage, and suffering him to wast the Countrey: Hyper­batus at that time commanded the Army, but Aratus had all the Pow­er amongst the Achaeans. The Achaeans marching forth with their [Page 11] whole Strength, and incamping in Dumaeae, about Hecatombaeum, Cleo­menes came up, and thinking it not advisable to pitch between Du­maeae, a City of the Enemies, and the Camp of the Achaeans, he bold­ly dar'd the Achaeans, and forc'd them to a Battel, and routing the Pha­lanx, slew a great many in the Fight, and took many Prisoners; thence marching to Lagon, and driving out the Achaean Garrison, he restor'd the City to the Elaeans. The Affairs of the Achaeans being in this de­sperate condition, Aratus, who was wont to continue in his Govern­ment above a year, refus'd the Command, though they entreated and urg'd him to accept it; and this was ill done, when the Storm was high, to put the Power out of his own hands, and set another to the Helm. Cleomenes at first propos'd fair and easie Conditions by his Ambassadors to the Achaeans; but afterward he sent others, and requir'd the chief Command to be settled upon him; and in other Matters he promis'd to agree to reasonable Terms, and to restore their Captives and their Coun­trey. The Achaeans were willing to come to an agreement upon those terms, and invited Cleomenes to Lerna, where an Assembly was to be held; but it hapned that Cleomenes hastily marching on, and unreasonably drinking Water, brought up abundance of Blood, and lost his Voice: therefore being unable to continue his March, he sent the chiefest of the Captives to the Achaeans, and putting off the Meeting for some time retir'd to Lacedaemon. This ruin'd the Affairs of Greece, which was just then ready to recover it self out of its Disasters, and avoid the insult­ing and Covetousness of the Macedonians: for Aratus, whether fearing or distrusting Cleomenes, or envying his unlook'd-for Success, or think­ing it a disgrace for him who had commanded 33 years, to have a young Man succeed to all his Glory and his Power, and be Head of that Government which he had been raising and setling so many years; he first endeavour'd to keep the Achaeans from closing with Cleomenes; but when they would not hearken to him, fearing Cleomenes's daring Spirit, and thinking the Lacedaemonian's Proposals to be very reasonable who design'd only to reduce Peloponnesus to its old Model, he took his last Refuge, in an Action which was unbecoming any of the Greeks, most dishonourable to him, and most unworthy his former Bravery and Exploits: for he call'd Antigonus into Greece, and fill'd Peloponnesus with Macedonians, whom he himself, when a Youth, having beaten their Garrison out of the Castle of Corinth, had driven from the same Countrey; beside he declar'd himself an Enemy to all Kings, and hath left many dishonourable Stories of this same Antigonus, in those Com­mentaries [Page 12] which he wrote. And though he declares that he suffer'd considerable Losses, and underwent great dangers, that he might free Athens from the Power of the Macedonians, yet afterward he brought the very same Men arm'd into his own Countrey, and his own House, even to the Womens Apartment. He would not endure, that one of the Family of Hercules, and King of Sparta, and one that had re­form'd the Polity of his Countrey, as it were a disorder'd Harmony, and tun'd it to the plain Dorick measure of Lycurgus, to be styl'd, Head of the Triccaeans and Sicyonians; and whilst he fled the Pulse and short Coat, and, which were his chief Accusations against Cleomenes, the ex­tirpation of Wealth, and reformation of Poverty, he basely subjected himself, together with Achaea, to the Diadem and Purple, to the impe­rious Commands of the Macedonians, and their Satrapae. That he might not seem to be under Cleomenes, he sacrific'd the Antigonea, (Sa­crifices in Honour of Antigonus) and sung Paeans himself with a Garland on his Head, to the Honour of a rotten, consumptive Macedonian.

I write this not out of any design to disgrace Aratus (for in many things he shew'd himself vigorous for the Graecian Interest, and a great Man) but out of pity to the weakness of Humane Nature, which, in such a Person so excellent, and so many ways disposed to Vertue, cannot attain to a State irreprehensible. The Achaeans meeting again at Argos, and Cleomenes descending from Tegea, there were great hopes that all Dif­ferences would be compos'd. But Aratus, Antigonus, and He having already agreed upon the chief Articles of their League, fearing that Cleomenes would carry all before him, and either win, or force the Multi­tude to comply with his Demands, propos'd, that, having three hundred Hostages put into his Hands, he should come alone into the Town, or bring his Army to the place of Exercise, call'd Cillarabion, without the City, and treat there.

Cleomenes hearing this, said, That he was unjustly dealt with; for they ought to have told him so plainly at first, and not now he was come even to their Doors, show their Jealousie, and deny him Admissi­on: and writing an Epistle to the Achaeans about the same Subject; the greatest part of which was an Accusation of Aratus; and Aratus, on the other side, ripping up his Faults to the Assembly, he hastily dislodg'd; and sent a Trumpeter to denounce War against the Achaeans, but not to Argos, but to Aegium, as Aratus delivers, that he might not give them notice enough to make Provision for their Defence. Upon this, the Achaeans were mightily disturb'd, the common People expecting a Di­vision [Page 13] of the Land, and a Release from their Debts; and the chief Men being on many Accounts displeas'd with Aratus, and some Angry and at odds with him, as the occasion of the Macedonians descent on Pelo­ponnesus. Encouraged by these Misunderstandings, Cleomenes invades Achaea; and first took Pellene by surprise, and beat out the Achaean Garrison; and afterward brought over Pheneon and Pentelaeon to his side. Now the Achaeans suspecting some treacherous Designs at Corinth and Sicyon, sent their Horse and Mercenaries out of Argos to have an Eye upon those Cities, and they themselves went to Argos to cele­brate the Nemean Games. Cleomenes advertis'd of this march, and ho­ping (as it afterward fell out) that upon an unexpected Advance to the City now busied in the Solemnity of the Games, and throng'd with numerous Spectators he should raise a considerable Terror and Confu­sion amongst them; by night he march'd with his Army to the Walls, and taking the quarter of the Town call'd Aspis, which lies above the Theater, a place well fortify'd, and hard to be approach'd, he so terri­fy'd them, that none offer'd to resist, but agreed to accept a Garrison, to give twenty Citizens for Hostages, and to assist the Lacedaemonians, and that he should have the chief Command. This Action consider­ably encreas'd his Reputation, and his Power; for the ancient Spartan Kings, though they many ways endeavour'd to effect it, could never bring Argos to be stedfastly and sincerely theirs. And Pyrrhus a most experienc'd Captain, and brave Souldier, though be entred the City by force, could not keep Possession, but was slain himself with a con­siderable part of his Army: Therefore they admir'd the Dispatch and Contrivance of Cleomenes; and those that before derided him for say­ing that he imitated Solon and Lycurgus in releasing the People from their debts, and in equally dividing the Wealth of the Citizens, were now perswaded that he was the cause of the desirable Alterations in the Spartan Common-wealth: For before they were very low in the World, and so unable to secure their own that the Aetolians invading Laconia, brought away fifty thousand Slaves; (so that one of the elder Spartans is reported to have said, That They had done Laconia a kindness by un­burdening it) and yet a little while after applying themselves to their own Customs, and ancient Institution, they gave notable Instances of Courage as Obedience, and if they had been under the Eye of Ly­curgus himself; and quickly rais'd Sparta to be Head of all Greece, and recover'd Peloponnesus to themselves. Whilst Argos was taken, and Cleonae and Philius sided with Cleomenes, Aratus was at Corinth search­ing [Page 14] after some, who were reported to favour the Spartan Interest. The News being brought to him, disturb'd him very much; for he perceiv'd the City inclining to Cleomenes, and the Achaeans willing to be at ease; therefore he call'd all the Citizens into the common Hall, and, as it were undesignedly retreating to the Gate, he mounted his Horse that stood ready there, and fled to Sicyon; and the Corinthians made such hast to Cleomenes at Argos, that (as Aratus says) striving who should be first there, they spoil'd all their Horses: and Cleomenes was very angry with the Corinthians for letting Aratus escape: And Megistones came from Cleomenes to him, desiring him to deliver up the Castle of Corinth, which was then garrison'd by the Achaeans, and of­fer'd him a considerable Sum of Money; and that he answered, That Matters were not now in his Power, but he in theirs. Thus Aratus him­self writes. But Cleomenes marching from Argos, and taking in the Traezenians, Epidaurians, and Hermioneans, came to Corinth, and block'd up the Castle which the Achaeans would not surrender; and sending for Aratus's Friends and Stewards, committed his House and Estate to their Care and Management; and sent Tritimallus the Messenian to him a second time, desiring that the Castle might be equally garrison'd by the Spartans and Achaeans, and promising to Aratus himself double the Pension that he receiv'd from King Ptolomy: But Aratus refusing the Conditions, and sending his own Son with other Hostages to Antigo­nus, and perswading the Achaeans to make a Decree for delivering the Castle into Antigonus's Hands, Cleomenes invaded the Territority of the Sicyonians, and by a Decree of the Corinthians, seiz'd on all Aratus's Estate. In the mean time Antigonus, with a great Army, pass'd Gera­nia, and Cleomenes thinking it more adviseable to fortifie and garrison, not the Isthmus, but the Mountains called Onia, and by a long Siege and Skirmishes to weary the Macedonians, than to venture a set Battle, put his Design in Execution, which very much distress'd Antigonus; for he had not brought Victuals sufficient for his Army; nor was it easie to force a way through whilst Cleomenes guarded the Pass. He attempted by night to pass through Lechaeum, but fail'd, and lost some Men; so that Cleomenes and his Army were mightily encouraged, and so flusht with the Victory, and they went merrily to Supper; and An­tigonus was very much dejected, being reduc'd to those miserable straits. At last he design'd to march to the Promontory Heraeum, and thence transport his Army in Boats to Sicyon, which would take up a great deal of time, and be very chargeable. The same time about E­vening [Page 15] some of Aratus's Friends came from Argos by Sea, and invited him to return, for the Argives would revolt from Cleomenes. Aristo­tle was the Man that wrought the Revolt, and he had no hard task to perswade the common People; for they were all angry with Cleome­nes for not releasing them from their Debts as they expected. Upon this Advertisement Aratus with fifteen hundred of Antigonus's Souldiers fail'd to Epidaurus; but Aristotle not staying for his coming, drew out the Citizens, and fought against the Garrison of the Castle, and Timoxenus with the Achaeans from Sicyon, came to his Assistance. Cle­omenes heard the News about the second Watch of the Night, and sending for Megistones angrily commanded him to go and set things right at Argos. This Megistones was the Man who pass'd his word for the Argives Loyalty, and perswaded him not to banish the suspected. This Megistones he dispatch'd with two thousand Souldiers, and ob­serv'd Antigonus himself, and encouraged the Corinthians, pretending that there was no great matter in the Stirs at Argos, but only a lit­tle Disturbance rais'd by a few inconsiderable Persons. But when Me­gistones, entring Argos, was slain, and the Garrison could scarce hold out, and frequent Messengers came to Cleomenes for Succours, he fear­ing least the Enemy having taken Argos, should shut up the Passes, and securely waste Laconia, and besiege Sparta it self, which he had left without Forces; he dislodg'd from Corinth, and presently lost that City; for Antigonus entred it, and garrison'd the Town. He turn'd aside from his direct March, and assaulting the Wall of Argos, endea­vour'd to break in; and having clear'd a way under the quarter called Aspis, he joyn'd the Garrison which still held out against the Achaeans; some parts of the City he scal'd, and took, and his Cretan Archers clear'd the Streets. But when he saw Antigonus with his Phalanx de­scending from the Mountains into the Plain, and the Horse on all sides entring the City, he thought it impossible to maintain his Post, and therefore with all his Men made a safe Retreat behind the Wall. Ha­ving in a short time rais'd himself to a considerable height, and in one March made himself Master of almost all Peloponnesus, and lost all a­gain in as short a time: For some of his Allies presently forsook him, and others not long after put themselves under Antigonus's Protection. His Army thus defeated, as he was leading back the Relicks of his Forces, some from Lacedaemon met him in the Evening at Tegea, and brought him News of as great a Misfortune as that which he had late­ly suffer'd, and that was the Death of his Wife, whom he doted on [Page 16] so much, that when he was most prosperous, he would ever now and then make a step to Sparta, to visit his beloved Aegiatis.

This News afflicted him extreamly, and he griev'd, as a young Man would do for the loss of a very beautiful and excellent Wife; yet his Pas­sion did not debase the greatness of his Mind, but keeping his usual Voice, his Countenance, and his Habit, he gave necessary Orders to his Captains, and took care to secure the Tegeans. The next day he re­tir'd to Sparta, and having at home with his Mother and Children be­wail'd the loss, and finish'd his Mourning, he presently appear'd about the publick Affairs of the State. Now Ptolomy, the King of Aegypt, promis'd him Assistance, but demanded his Mother and Children for Hostages: this for some considerable time he was asham'd to discover to his Mother; and though he often went to her on purpose, and was just upon the Discourse, yet still refrain'd, and kept it to himself: so that she began to suspect somewhat, and ask'd his Friends, Whether Cleo­menes had somewhat to say to her, which he was afraid to speak? At last Cleomenes venturing to tell her, she laugh'd heartily, and said, Was this the thing that you had often a mind to tell me, and was afraid? Why do not you put me on Shipboard, and send this Carkase where it may be most serviceable to Sparta, before Age wastes it unprofitably here? Therefore all things being provided for the Voyage, they went to Taenarus on Foot, and the Army waited on them. Cratesiclaea, when she was ready to go on Board, took Cleomenes aside into Neptune's Temple, and embracing him who was very much dejected, and extreamly discompos'd, she said thus, Go to King of Sparta; when we are without door, let none see us Weep, or show any Passion below the Honour and Dignity of Sparta; for that alone is in our own Power: as for Success or Disappointments, those wait on us as the Deity decrees. Having said thus, and compos'd her Countenance, she went to the Ship with her little Grandson, and bad the Pilot put presently out to Sea. When she came to Aegypt, and understood that Ptolomy entertain'd Propo­sals and Overtures of Peace from Antigonus, and that Cleomenes, tho the Achaeans invited and urg'd him to an Agreement, was afraid, for her sake, to come to any, without Ptolomy's consent, she wrote to him, advising him to do that which was most becoming and most profitable for Sparta, and not for the sake of an old Woman and a little Child, always stand in fear of Ptolomy: this Character she maintain'd in her Misfortunes. Antigonus having taken Tegea, and plunder'd Or­chomenum and Mantinaea, Cleomenes was shut up within the narrow Bounds of Laconia, and made such of the Heilots as could pay five Attick pounds, [Page 17] free of Sparta, and by that means got together 500 Talents; and arming 2000 after the Macedonian fashion, that he might make a Body fit to oppose Antigonus's Lucaspidae (white Shields) he undertook a very considerable and very surprizing Enterprize. Megalopolis was at that time a City of itself, as big and as pow­erful as Sparta, and had the Forces of the Achaeans and Antigo­nus encamping on its sides; and it was chiefly the Megalopolitans doing, that Antigonus was call'd in to assist the Achaeans. Cle­omenes having a design upon this City, (no Action was ever more sudden and more unexpected) order'd his Men to take five days Provision, and so march'd to Sellasia, as if he intended to spoil the Country of the Argives; but from thence making a descent into the Territories of Megalopolis, and refreshing his Army about Rhaetium, he march'd through Helicon, directly to the City. When he was not far off the Town, he sent Panteus with two Regiments to surprize the Mesopyrgion, (the Quarter between the two Towers) which he understood to be the most unguarded Quarter of the Megalopolitans Fortifications; and with the rest of his Forces he follow'd leisurely Panteus, not on­ly surpriz'd that place, but finding a great part of the Wall without Guards, he pull'd down some Places, and demolish'd others, and kill'd all the Defenders that he found. Whilst he was thus busied, Cleomenes came up to him, and was got with his Army within the City, before the Megalopolitans knew of the surprize: At last, as soon as it was discover'd, some left the Town immediately, taking with them what Money they had ready; some arm'd, and engag'd the Enemy; and tho' they were not able to beat them out, yet they gave their Ci­tizens time and opportunity safely to retire: so that there were not above 1000 Persons left in the Town, all the rest flying with their Wives and Children, and escaping to Messena. A great number of those that arm'd and fought the Enemy, were sav'd, and very few taken, amongst whom were Lysandridas and Thea­ridas, two Men of great Power and Reputation amongst the Magalopolitans; and therefore the Soldiers, as soon as they were taken, brought them to Cleomenes: And Lysandridas, as soon as he saw Cleomenes afar off, cry'd out: Now King of Sparta, 'tis in your power by doing a most Kingly and braver Action than you have alredy perform'd, to purchase a considerable Glory. And Cleomenes [Page 18] guessing at his meaning, reply'd, What do you say Lysandridas, sure you will not advise me to restore your City to you again? 'Tis that which I mean; Lysandridas reply'd, and I advise you not to ruin so brave a City, but to fill it with faithful and stedfast Friends and Al­lies, by restoring their Country to the Megalopolitans, and being the Saviour of so considerable a People. Cleomenes paus'd a while, and then said, 'Tis very hard to trust so far in these Matters; but with us let Profit always yield to Glory. Having said this, he sent the two Men to Messena with a Trumpeter from himself, offering the Megalopolitans their City again, if they would forsake the Achaean Interest, and be on his side. Thô Cleomenes made these kind and obliging Proposals, yet Philopaemen would not suffer them to break their League with the Achaeans; and accusing Cleomenes to the People, as if his design was not to restore the City, but to take the Citizens too, he forc'd Thearidas and Ly­sandridas to leave Messena.

This was that Philopaemen, who was afterward Chief of the Achaeans, and a Man of the greatest Reputation amongst the Greeks, as I have made it appear in his own Life. This News coming to Cleomenes, though he had before taken such strict care that the City should not be plunder'd, yet then being in a Fury, and put out of all Patience, he rifled them of all their Coin, Plate and Jewels, and sent their Statues and Pictures un­to Sparta; and demolishing a great part of the City, he march'd away for fear of Antigonus and the Achaeans: but they never stirr'd, for they were in Aegium, at a Council of War. There Aratus mounted the Desk, wept a long while, and held his Mantle before his Face; and at last, the company being amaz'd, and commanding him to speak, he said, Megalopolis is ruin'd by Cleomenes, The Assembly was presently Dissolv'd; the Achae­ans being extremely surpriz'd at the suddeness and greatness of the loss; and Antigonus intending to send speedy succors, when he found his Army to gather very slowly out of their Winter-Quarters, he sent them Orders to continue there still; and he himself march'd to Argos with a considerable Body of Men. The The second Enterprize of Cleomenes seem'd to be carry'd on by extreme Boldness and unaccountable Madness; but yet in Poly­bius's Opinion, was done upon mature Deliberation and exact Fore-sight: for knowing very well that the Macedonians were [Page 19] dispers'd into their Winter-Quarters, and that Antigonus with his Friends and a few Mercenaries about him, winter'd in Argos; upon these Considerations he invaded the Country of the Argives, hoping to shame Antigonus to a Battle upon unequal terms, or else if he did not dare to fight, to bring him into Disrepute with the Achaeans. And this according­ly hapned; for Cleomenes wasting, plundring, and spoiling the whole Countrey, the Argives vex'd at the loss, ran in Troops to the Palace of the King, and clamour'd that he should either fight, or surrender his Command to better and braver Men. But Antigonus, as became an experienc'd Captain, accounting it dishonourable, foolishly to hazard his Army, and quit his Security, and not to be abus'd and rail'd at by the Rabble, would not march out against Cleomenes, but stood fix'd to the Designs which he had laid: Cleomenes in the mean time brought his Army up to the very Walls, and having uncontroul'dly spoil'd the Countrey, and insulted o'er his Ene­mies, drew off again. A little while after being advertis'd that Antigonus design'd for Tegea, and thence to make an Incursion into Laconia, he hastily march'd with his Army another way, and appear'd early in the morning before Argos, and wasted the Fields about it: the Corn he did not cut down with Reaping-hooks and Scythes, as Men usually do, but beat it down with Staves made like Scymetars, as if with a great deal of Contempt and wanton Scorn he spoil'd the Fields, and wast­ed the Country in his march; yet when his Soldiers would have set Cyllabris, the School of Exercise on Fire, he hindred the Attempt, reflecting upon serious consideration, that the Outrages committed at Megalopolis, were the effects of his Pas­sion rather than his Wisdom. He pretended to make such lit­tle account of, and so much to despise Antigonus, who first retir'd to Argos, and afterward plac'd Garisons on all the Mountains round about, that he sent a Trumpeter to desire the Keys of Heraeum, (Iuno's Temple) that he might sacrifice to the God­dess. Thus with a Scoff and bitter Reflection on Antigonus, and having sacrific'd to the Goddess▪ under the Walls of the Tem­ple, which was shut, he march'd to Phlius; and from thence driving out those that Garison'd Hologountum, he march'd down to Orchomenum. And these Enterprizes not only encourag'd the [Page 20] Citizens, but made him appear to the very Enemies to be an experienc'd Captain, and very worthy of Command: for with the Strength of one City, not only to fight the Power of the Macedonians, and all the Poloponnesians; not only to preserve Laconia from being spoil'd, but to waste the Enemies Country, and to take so many and such considerable Cities, is an Argu­ment of no common Bravery. He that first said, That Money was the Sinews of Affairs, seem'd chiefly in that Saying to respect War: And Demades, when the Athenians had voted that a Navy should be made ready, but had no Money, said, They should make Bread before they thought of Sailing. And the old Archidamus, in the beginning of the Poloponnesian War, when the Allies desir'd, that each Parties share of Contributions for the War should be determin'd, is reported to have said, War cannot be kept to a set Diet: For as well breath'd Wrestlers do in time weary and tire out the most active and most skilful Combitant; so Antigonus coming to the War with a great stock of Wealth, weary'd out Cleomenes, whose Poverty made it difficult for him either to pro­vide Pay for the Mercenaries, or Provisions for the Citizens. For in all other Respects the Time favour'd Cleomenes; for Anti­gonus's Affairs at home began to be disturb'd: for the Barbari­ans wasted and over-ran Macedonia whilst he was absent; and at that time a vast Army of the Illyrians came down: to be freed from whose Outrages, the Macedonians sent for Antigonus, and the Letters had almost been brought to him before the Battel was fought; upon the receipt of which he presently dislodg'd, and left the Achaeans Affairs to themselves. But Fortune, that loves to determine the greatest Affairs by a Minute, in this Con­juncture show'd such an exact niceness of Time, that immedi­ately after the Battle in Sellasia was over, and Cleomenes had lost his Army and his City, the Messengers reach'd Antigonus. And this made Cleomenes's Misfortune more to be pitied; for if he had forborn fighting two days longer, there had been no need of hazarding a Battle, since upon the departure of the Macedo­nians, he might have had what Conditions he pleas'd from the Achaeans. But now (as I hinted before) for want of Money, be­ing necessitated to rely wholly on his Arms, he was forc'd with 20000 (this is Polybius's Account) to engage thirty thousand; and approving himself an excellent Commander in this Diffi­culty, [Page 21] his Citizens showing an extraordinary Courage, and his Mer­cenaries Bravery enough; he was over-born by the different way of fighting, and the weight of the arm'd Phalanx. Besides, Phylarchus affirms, that the Treachery of some about him was the chief Cause of Cleomene's Ruine. For Antigonus gave Orders, that the Illyrians and Acharnanians should march round by a secret way, and en­compass the other Wing which Eucleidas, Cleomenes's Brother Com­manded; and then drew out the rest of his Forces to the Battel. And Cleomenes, from a convenient Rising, viewing his Order, and not seeing any of the Illyrians and Acharnanians, began to suspect that Antigonus had sent them upon some such Design; and calling for Damoteles, who was to inspect and to provide against Ambushes, commanded him carefully to look after, and discover the Enemies Designs upon his Rear.

But Damoteles (for some say Antigonus had brib'd him) telling him that he should not be solicitous about that matter, for all was well enough, but mind, and fight those that met him in the Front. He was satisfied, and advanc'd against Antigonus; and by the vi­gorous Charge of his Spartans, made the Macedonian Phalanx give ground, and press'd upon them with great Advantage about halfe a Mile; but then making a stand, and seeing the danger which the surrounded Wing commanded by his Brother Eucleidas was in, he cry'd out, Thou art lost, dear Brother, thou art lost, thou brave exam­ple to our Spartan Youth, and Theme of our Matron's Songs.

Eucleidas's Wing being thus cut in pieces, and the Conquerors from that part falling upon his Battle, he perceiv'd his Soldiers to be disorder'd, and unable to maintain the Fight, and therefore provided for his own safety. When he came into the City, he ad­vised those Citizens that he met, to receive Antigonus; and as for himself, he said, which should appear most advantageous to Sparta, whether his Life or Death, that he would chuse. Seeing the Wo­men running out to those that fled with him, taking their Arms, and bring Drinking to them, he entred into his own House, and his Servant, which was a Free-born Woman, taken from Megalopolis after his Wife's Death, offering, as she us'd to do, to make neces­sary Provision for him returning from the Battle; thô he was very thirsty, he refus'd to drink, and thô very weary, to sit down; but Arm'd as he was, he clapt his Arm side-way to a Pillar, and lean­ing his Forehead upon his Elbow, he rested his Body a little while, and ran over in his Thoughts what course he should take, and then [Page 22] with his Friends went presently to Gythium; where finding Ships fitted for the purpose, they embark'd. Antigonus taking the City, Treated the Lacedemonians courteously, and neither affronting, nor ruining the Dignity of Sparta, but permitting them to enjoy their own Laws and Polity, and sacrificing to the Gods, dislodg'd the the third day: for he heard that there was a great War kindled in Macedonia, and that the Country was spoil'd by the Barbarians; besides, he grew sick of a Consumption and continual Defluxion on the Lungs, yet he still kept up that he might return and free his own Country, and fall more Gloriously upon an heap of slaugh­ter'd Barbarians. As Phylarchus says, and 'tis probable, he broke a Vein by shouting in the Battle. In the Plays 'twas said, that af­ter the Victory he cry'd out for Joy, O fine Day! and presently bringing up abundance of Blood, fell into a Fever, and dy'd in a short time. And thus much concerning Antigonus.

Cleomenes sailing from Cytherae, touch'd at another Island call'd Aegyalia, whence, as he was about to depart from Cyrene, one of his Friends, Therycion by name, a Man of an haughty Spirit in all Enterprizes, and high and boasting in his Talk, came privately to him, and said thus; Sir, Death in Battel, which is the most Glo­rious, we have let go; though all heard us say, that Antigonus should never tread over the King of Sparta, unless dead: And now, that which is next in Bravery and Glory, is presented to us. Whither do we madly sail, flying that which is near, and seeking that which is far removed? For if it is not dishonourable for the Race of Hercules, to serve the Suc­cessors of Philip and Alexander, we shall save a long Voyage by delivering our selves up to Antigonus, who probably surpasseth Ptolomy as much as the Macedonians do the Aegyptians; but if we think it mean to sub­mit to those whose Arms have conquer'd us, why should we chuse him for our Lord by whom we have not yet been beaten? Is it that instead of one we might appear meaner than two, whilst we fly Antigonus, and flatter Ptolemy? Or, is it for your Mothers sake that you retreat to Aegypt? It will indeed be a very fine, and very desirable sight for her to be shown her Son by Ptolemy's Women, now chang'd from a Prince into an Ex­ile and a Slave. Are we not still Masters of our own Swords? And whilst we have Laconia in view, shall we not here free our selves from this disgraceful Misery, and clear our selves to those, who at Sellasia dy'd for the Honour and Defence of Sparta? Or, shall we sit lazily in Aegypt enquiring what News from Sparta? and whom Antigonus hath been pleas'd to make Governor of Lacedemon? Thus spoke Therycion; and [Page 23] this was Cleomenes's Reply; By seeking Death, you Coward, the most easie, and most ready Refuge, you fancy that you shall appear coura­gious and brave, though this Flight is baser than thy former. Better Men than we have given way to their Enemies, having been be­tray'd by Fortune, or oppress'd by Multitude; but he that sinks under La­bour or Afflictions, the Opinions or Reproaches of Men, is overcome by his own Effeminacy and Softness: For a voluntary Death ought not to be chosen as a Relief from Action, but an Exemplary Action it self; and 'tis base either to live or die only to our selves. That Death to which you now invite us, I propos'd only as a Release from our present Miseries, but carries nothing of Bravery or Profit in it. And I think it becomes both me and you not to despair of our Country; but when there are no hopes of that left, those that have an Inclination may quickly die. To this The­rycion return'd no Answer; but as soon as he could get out of Cle­omenes's Company, went toward the Shore, and ran himself through. But Cleomenes sailed from Aegialia, landed in Lybia, and being honourably conducted through the King's Country, came to Alexandria. When he was first brought to Ptolomy, no more than common Civilities, and usual Ceremonies were paid him▪ but when, upon tryal, he found him a Man of deep Sense, and great Reason, and that his plain Laconick way of Conversation car­ried a free Pleasantness with it, that he did nothing unbecoming the greatness of his Birth, nor bent under Fortune, and appear'd a more faithful Counsellor, than those who made it their business to please and flatter; he was asham'd, and repented that he had neg­lected so great a Man, and suffer'd Antigonus to get so much Power and Reputation by ruining him. Therefore he heap'd up Honours and Kindnesses on Cleomenes, and gave him Hopes that he would furnish him with an Army and a Navy to recover Greece, and re­instate him in his Throne. Besides, he allow'd him a yearly Pen­sion of four and twenty Tallents; a little part of which Sum sup­plied his and his Friends thrifty Temperance; and the rest was imploy'd in doing good Offices to, and in relieving the Necessi­ties of those that fled Greece, and retir'd into Aegypt.

But the elder Ptolomy dying before Cleomenes's Affairs had re­ceiv'd a full Dispatch, and the Successor being a loose, voluptu­ous and effeminate Prince, under the power of his Pleasures and his Women, his Business was neglected▪ for the King was so be­sotted with his Women and his Wine, that Balls, Musick and Dancing, were the only Employments of his most busie and seri­ous [Page 24] hours, and the greatest Affairs of State were manag'd by Aga­thoclea the King's Mistress, her Mother, and the Pimp Oinanthes. Therefore at the first they seem'd to stand in need of Cleomenes; for Ptolemy being afraid of his Brother Magas, who by his Mother's means had a great Interest among the Soldiers, took Cleomenes in­to his Cabinet-Council, and acquainted him with the Design of taking off his Brother. He, though all were for it, declar'd his opinion to the contrary, saying, The King, if it were possible, should have more Brothers for the better security and management of his Affairs: And Sosibius, the greatest Favourite, replying, That they were not secure of the Mercenaries whilst Magas was alive? Cleomenes return'd, That he need not trouble himself about that Matter; for amongst the Mer­cenaries there were above 3000 Pelopponesians, who were his fast Friends, and whom he could command at any time with his Nod. This Discourse made Cleomenes for the present to be look'd upon as a Man of In­tegrity and Power; but afterwards (Ptolomy's Weakness increasing his Fear, and, as it usually happens, where there is no Judgment and Wisdom at the bottom, placing his Security in Jealousie and Suspicion) rendred Cleomenes suspected to the Courtiers, as having too much Interest with the Mercenaries; and many had this Say­ing in their Mouths, That he was a Lion midst a flock of Sheep: for such he seem'd to be in the Court, slyly overlooking and taking notice of the management of Affairs; therefore when he desir'd a Navy and an Army from the King, his Petition was rejected. But when he understood that Antigonus was dead, that the Achaians were engag'd in a War with the Aetolians, and that the Affairs of Pelopponnesus, being now in very great Distraction and Distress, requir'd and invited his Assistance, he desir'd leave to depart only with his Friends, but could not obtain that, the King not so much as hearing his Petition, being shut up amongst his Women, and wasting his Hours in Debauchery and Frolicks. But Sosibius, the chief Minister of State, thought that Cleomones being detain'd a­gainst his will, would grow ungovernable and dangerous, and yet that it was not safe to let him go, being an aspiring, daring Man, and well acquainted with the Diseases and Weakness of the Kingdom; for no Presents, no Gifts, could win him to a Comply­ance. But as the Ox Apis, though revelling in all possible plenty and delight, yet desires to live as nature would provide for him, to be at liberty, and frisk about the Fields, and can scarce endure to be uuder the Priests keeping; so he could not brook their Court­ship, and tender Entertainment, but like Achilles,

[Page 25]
Whilst there, his heart did waste with secret grief,
And he was eager for the noisy Wars.

His Affairs standing in this condition, Nicagoras the Messenian came to Alexandria, a Man that deeply hated Cleomenes, yet pre­tended to be his Friend; for he had formerly sold Cleomenes a fair Estate, but never receiv'd the Money, because Cleomenes was either unable, (as it may be) or else, by reason of his engagement in the Wars and other Distractions, had no time to pay him. Cleomenes seeing him landing, (for he was then walking upon the Key) kindly saluted him, and ask'd, What Business brought to Aegypt? Nicagoras return'd his Compliment, and told him, That he came to bring some excellent War-horses to the King. And Cleomenes with a Smile subjoyn'd, I wish you had rather brought Pimps, Whores, and Pathicks; for those now are the King's chief Delight. Nicagoras at the present smil'd at the Conceit; but a few days after he put Cleome­nes in mind of the Estate that he had bought of him, and desir'd his Money, protesting that he would not have trouble him, if his Merchandize had turned to that Account, which he thought it would. Cleomenes reyly'd, That he had not a penny left of all that had been given him: At which Answer Nicagoras being nettled, told Sosibius Cleomenes's Scoff upon the King. He caress'd him for the Discovery, but desiring to have some greater Reason to excite the King against Cleomenes, persuaded Nicagoras to leave a Letter written against Cleomenes, importing that he had a Design, if he could have gotten Ships and Soldiers, to surprize Cyrene: Nicago­ras wrote such a Letter, and left Aegypt. Four days after Sosibius brought the Letter to Ptolomy, pretending it was just then deliver'd him, and with a bitter Invective excited the Fury of the Youth; upon this it was agreed, that Cleomenes should be invited into a large Apartment, and treated as formerly, but not suffer'd to go out again: this Usage was grievous to Cleomenes, and by this un­lucky Accident, his Hopes for the future seem'd to be quite dash'd. Ptolomy, the Son of Chrysermas, a Favourite of the Kings, always carried himself fairly towards Cleomenes; they contracted a near Acquaintance, and would talk freely together about the State. He upon Cleomenes's Desire came to him, had some Discourse with him, upon a few and inconsiderable Subjects, to avoid suspicion, and made some Excuses for the King; but as he went out again, not knowing that Cleomenes follow'd him to the Door, he very se­verely [Page 26] reprimanded the Keepers, for their Carelessness in looking after so great and so furious a wild Beast. This Cleomenes himself heard, and retiring before Ptolomy perceiv'd it, told his Friends what he had heard. Upon this they cast off all their former Hopes, and determin'd for violent Proceedings, resolving to be reveng'd on Ptolomy for his base and unjust Dealing▪ to have satisfaction for the Affronts, to die as it became Spartans, and not stay till, like fatted Sacrifices, they were Butcher'd: for 'twas both grievous and dishonourable for Cleomenes, who had scorn'd to come to Terms with Antigonus, a brave Warrior, and a Man of Action, to wait an effeminate King's leisure, till he should lay aside his Fiddle, and end his Dance, and then kill him. These Courses being re­solv'd on, and Ptolomy hapning at the same time to make a Progress to Canopus, they first spread abroad a Report, that his Freedom was order'd by the King; and it being the King's custom, to send Presents and an Entertainment to those whom he would free, Cle­omenes Friends made that Provision, and sent it into the Prison, thereby deceiving the Keepers, who thought it had been sent by the King; for he sacrific'd, and gave them large Pottions, and with a Crown upon his Head feasted and made merry with his Friends: 'tis said, that he began the Action sooner than he design'd, having understood that a Servant of one of the Accomplices lay abroad with a Mistress that he lov'd. This made him afraid of a Discovery; and therefore as soon as it was full Noon, and all the Keepers drunk and fast asleep, he put on his Coat, and opening the Seam on his right Shoulder, with his drawn Sword in his hand he issued forth, together with his Friends, provided in the same manner, making 13 in all. One of them, by Name Hippo­tas, was lame, he follow'd the first Onset very well; but when afterward he perceiv'd that they were more slow in their Advances for his sake, he desir'd them to run him through, and not ruine their Enterprize, by staying for an useless, unprofitable Man. By chance an Alexandrian was then riding by the Door, him they threw off, and setting Hippotas on Horseback, ran through the narrow Lanes, and proclaim'd Liberty to the People; but they, it seems, had Courage enough to praise and admire Cleomenes's Da­ring, but not one had the heart to follow and assist him. Three of them fell on Ptolomy, the Son of Chrysermas, as he was coming out of the Palace, and kill'd him: Another Ptolomy, the Lieute­nant of the City, advancing against them in a Chariot, they set [Page 27] upon, dispers'd his Guards and Attendants, and pulling him out of the Chariot, kill'd him upon the place. Then they made toward the Castle, designing to break open the Prison, and take the Prisoners to their Assistance; but the Keepers were too quick for them, and secur'd the Passages. Being baffled in this attempt, Cleomenes with his Company roam'd about the City, none joyning with him, but all retreating from, and flying his approach: therefore despairing of Success, and saying to his Friends, That it was no wonder that Women rul'd o'er those Men that fled Liberty, he excited them all to dye as bravely as became his Followers, and Men of their Glorious per­formances. This said, Hippotas was first, as he desir'd, run through by one of the young Men, and then each of them readily and re­solutely fell upon his own Sword, except Panteus, that Panteus that first surpriz'd Megalopolis. This Man being a very handsom Per­son, and a better Companion than any of the Youth, the King lov'd, and bade him, when he had seen him and the rest fall'n, dye, by their Example. Panteus walk'd over them as they lay, and prick'd every one with his Dagger, to try whether any was alive; when he prick'd Cleomenes in the Leg, and saw him turn upon his Back, he kiss'd him, sate down by him, and when he was quite dead, cover'd his Carkass, and then kill'd himself up­on his Body.

Thus fell Cleomenes,, that great, brave Man, after he had been king of Sparta sixteen Years. The news of their Fall being nois'd through the City, Cratesilaea, though a Woman of a great Spirit, could not bear up against the insupportable weight of this Affli­ction; but embracing Cleomenes's Children, made grievous Lamen­tations; but the eldest Boy, none suspecting such a Spirit in a Child, threw himself headlong from the top of the House; he was bruis'd very much, but not kill'd by the Fall, and was taken up crying, and expressing his Resentments for not being permitted to destroy himself. Ptolomy, as soon as an account of the Action was brought him, gave order that Cleomenes's Body should be Flea'd and hung up; that his Children, Mother, and the Women that were with her, should be kill'd. Amongst those was Panteus's Wife, a very fair Woman, and of a stately Carriage, who had been but newly Married, and suffer'd these disasters in the height of her Love. Her Parents would not let her embark with Panteus presently after they were Married, though she eagerly desir'd it, [Page 28] but shut her up, and kept her by violence at home; yet a few days after she got a Horse and a little Money, and escaping by Night, made speed to Taenarus, where she embark'd for Aegypt, came to her Husband, and with him cheerfully endur'd to live in a Foreign Country. She led Cratesiclaea as she was going with the Soldiers to Execution, help up her Train, and begg'd her to be courageous, who of her self was not in the least afraid of Death, and desir'd nothing else, but only to be kill'd before the Children. When they were come to the place of Execution, the Children were first kill'd before Cratesiclaea's Eyes, and afterward she her self, with only these words in her Mouth; O Children, whither [...] you gone? But Pantaeus's Wife girding her Garments close to her, and being a strong Woman, without any Noise or Lamentation, lookt after every one that was slain, and wound them up as well as her present Circumstances would permit; and after all, were kill'd, dressing her self, bound her Cloaths close about her, and suffering none to come near, or be an Eye-witness of her Fall, be­side the Executioner, she courageously submitted to the stroak, and wanted no body to look after her, or wind her up after she was dead. Thus in her Death the Modesty of her Mind appear'd, and set the Guard upon her Body, which she always kept when alive: And she in the declining Age of the Spartans shew'd, That Women were no unequal Rivals of the Men, and was an Instance of such a Courage as would not sneak to the Affronts of Fortune. A few days after, those that watch'd the hanging Body of Cleome­nes, saw a very great Snake winding about his Head, and cover­ing his Face, so that no Bird of Prey should fly at it. This made the King superstitiously afraid, and set the Women upon several Lustrations, as if he had been an extraordinary Man, and one be­lov'd by the Gods that had been slain. And the Alexandrians made Processions to the Place, and gave Cleomenes the Title of He­roe, and Son of the Gods, till the Philosophers satisfied them, by saying, That, as Oxen breed Bees, putrifying Horses breed Hornets, and Beetles rise from the Carkasses of dead Asses, so the Humours and Iuices of the Marrow of a Man's Body coagulating, produce Serpents. And this the Ancients observing, appropriated a Serpent rather than any other Creature to Heroe's.


Spoke by Mr. MOUNTFORT.
I Think or hope, at least, the Coast is clear,
That none but Men of Wit and Sence are here:
That our Bear-Garden Friends are all away,
Who bounce with Hands and Feet, and cry Play, Play.
Who to save Coach-hire, trudge along the Street,
Then print our Matted Seats with dirty Feet;
Who, while we speak, make Love to Orange-Wenches,
And between Acts stand strutting on the Benches:
Where got a Cock-horse, making vile Grimaces,
They to the Boxes show their Booby Faces.
A Merry-Andrew, such a Mob will serve,
And treat 'em with such Wit as they deserve:
Let 'em go People Ireland, where there's need
Of such new Planters to repair the Breed;
Or to Virginia or Jamaica Steer,
But have a care of some French Privateer;
For if they should become the Prize of Battle,
They'll take 'em Black and White for Irish Cattle.
Arise true Iudges in your own Defence,
Controul those Foplings, and declare for Sence:
For should the Fools prevail, they stop not there,
But make their next Descent upon the Fair.
Then rise ye Fair; for it concerns you most,
That Fools no longer should your Favours boast;
'Tis time you should renounce 'em, for we find
They plead a senseless Claim to Woman kind:
[Page]Such Squires are only fit for Country Towns,
To stink of A [...]e; and dust a Stand with Clownes:
Who, to be chosen for the Lands Protectors,
Tope and get Drunk before their Wise Electors.
Let not Farce Lovers your weak Choice upbraid,
But turn 'em over to the Chamber-maid.
Or if they come to see our Tragick Scenes,
Instruct them what a Spartan Hero means:
Teach 'em how manly Passions ought to move,
For such as cannot Think can never Love:
And since they needs will judge the Poets Art,
Point 'em with Fescu's to each shining Part.
Our Author hopes in you, but still in pain,
He fears your Charms will be employ'd in vain;
You can make Fools of Wits, we find each Hour,
But to make Wits of Fools, is past your Power.


Spoke by Mrs. BRACEGIRDLE.
THis Day, the Poet bloodily inclin'd,
Has made me die, full sore against my Mind!
Some of you naughty Men, I fear, will cry,
Poor Rogue! would I might teach thee how to die!
Thanks for your Love; but I sincerely say,
I never mean to die, your wicked way.
Well, since it is Decreed all Flesh must go,
(And I am Flesh, at least for ought you know;)
[Page]I first declare, I die with pious Mind,
In perfect Charity with all Mankind.
Next for my Will: —I have, in my dispose,
Some certain Moveables would please you Beaux;
As, first, my Youth; for as I have been told,
Some of you, modish Sparks, are dev'lish old.
My Chastity I need not leave among yee:
For to suspect old Fops, were much to wrong ye.
You swear y'are Sinners; but for all your haste,
Your Misses shake their Heads, and find you chaste.
I give my Courage to those bold Commanders
That stay with us, and dare not go for Flanders.
I leave my Truth, (to make his Plot more clear,)
To Mr. Fuller, when he next shall swear.
I give my Iudgment, craving all your Mercyes,
To those that leave good Plays, for damn'd dull Farces.
My small Devotion let the Gallants share
That come to ogle us at Evening Pray'r.
I give my Person—let me well consider,
Faith e'en to him that is the fairest Bidder.
To some rich Hunks, if any be so bold
To say those dreadful Words, To have and hold.
But stay— to give, and be bequeathing still,
When I'm so poor, is just like Wickham's Will:
Like that notorious Cheat, vast Sums I give,
Only that you may keep me while I live.
Buy a good Bargain, Gallants, while you may,
I'll cost you but your Half-a-Crown a day.

Persons Represented.

Cleomenes, King of Sparta.
Mr. Betterton.
Cleonidas, his Son by his first Wife,
Mr. Lee.
Ptolomy King of Egypt.
Mr. Alexander.
Sosybius, his Minister of State.
Mr. Sandford.
Cleanthes, Son to Sosybius, Friend to Cleomenes, Captain of Ptolo­my's Guard.
Mr. Mountford.
Pantheus, a Noble Spartan, the Fa­vourite of Cleomenes.
Mr. Kynaston.
Coenus, a Messenian Lord.
Mr. Hudson.
Cratisiclaea, Mother to Cleomenes.
Mrs. Betterton.
Cleora, Cleomenes's Second Wife.
Mrs. Bracegirdle.
Cassandra, Mistress to Ptolomy.
Mrs. Barry.
Priests of Apis. A Mariner. Egyptians. Guards.



SCENE I. SCENE, The Sea-Port of Alexandria.

Cleomenes solus.
DEjected! no, it never shall be said,
That Fate had power upon a Spartan Soul:
My mind on its own Centre stands unmov'd,
And Stable; as the Fabrick of the World:
Propt on it self; still I am Cleomenes:
I fought the Battle bravely, which I Lost;
And lost it, but to Macedonians,
The Successors of those who Conquer'd Asia.
'Twas for a Cause too, such a Cause I fought.
Unbounded Empire hung upon my Sword:
Greece, like a lovely Heifer, stood in view,
To see the Rival Bulls each other gore:
But wish'd the Conquest mine.
I fled; and yet I languish not in Exile;
[Page 2]But here in Egypt, whet my Blunted Horns;
And meditate new Fights, and chew my Loss.
Ah! why ye Gods, must Cleomenes wait
On this Effeminate Luxurious Court,
For tardy helps of base Egytian Bands?
Why have not I, whose individual mind
Would ask a Nation of such Souls t'inform it,
Why have not I ten Thousand hands to fight
It all my self? and make the Work my own?
Enter Cratisiclea, Cleora, Cleonidas.
Is this well done? or like the King of Sparta?
Or like my Son? to waste your time in Tears?
What have you done, that you avoid Mankind?
And sculk in Corners like a Guilty Slave?
We have been seeking you, my dearest Lord,
Thro' all the shady Walks and dark Retreats
Of Secret Care; That false deluding Friend,
That only sooths and keeps you Company,
To prey upon your last remains of Life.
I've heard you —
Hear her still; She tells you true.
This Melancholly Flatters; but Unmans you.
What is it else, but Penury of Soul;
A Lazie Frost, a numness of the Mind;
That Locks up all the Vigour to Attempt,
By barely Crying, 'tis Impossible?
You both mistake me: That I Grieve, 'tis true:
But 'tis a Grief of Fury; not Despair!
And if a manly drop or Two fall down,
It scalds along my Cheeks, like the Green Wood
That sputtring in the Flame works outward into Tears.
Why would you leave me then, and be alone?
Indeed it was a Churlish kind of sorrow;
Indeed it was, t'engross it all your self;
And not permit me to endure my share.
Think you, because I am of tender Mould,
[Page 3]I cannot suffer and partake your burdens;
Alas! I suffer more by not partaking
My Wife! My Mother! O! I am so divided,
That I grieve most for both, and love both most;
Two twining Vines about this Elm, whose fall
Must shortly—Very shortly crush you both,
And yet I will not go to Ground,
Without a Noble Ruine round my Trunk;
The Forest shall be shaken when I sink,
And all the neighboring Trees
Shall groan and fall beneath my vast Destruction.
That's something yet, an earnest of an Action;
Another Groan or two, and all goes well.
Well: I will live.
Thou shalt.
I'le try at least.
Do not go back: and bate of what thou saidst
Peace, peace: good Grandmother; he lives already,
And Conquers too, in saying he will try;
Nay, if the King of Sparta says he'll do't,
I ask no more then that;
For 'tis below a King to tell a Lye.
But where's the means?
The means is in the daring;
Had my own Mother liv'd, and ask'd that Question
I should have thought my Father had begot me,
Without her help, as Pallas sprung from Iove.
Think'st thou, he can defend us all, alone?
No — for I mean to help him.
That my Boy, my hopeful Lyons Whelp
Takes him and kisses him.
So Hector hugg'd his young Astyanax;
Went out to fight and never saw him more.
But why did not Astyanax go with Hector?
Because he was a Child, and could not go.
Was he a Spartan Child?
Oh no! a Trojan.
There's it, a Trojan Child: But grant me this,
There are no Spartan-Children we are born Men,
[Page 4]And tho' you say, I have but Fifteen years,
We Spartans take ten Strides before our Age,
And start beyond dull Nature.
Let me but live to shadow this young Plant,
From Blites and Storms; He'll soon shoot up a Heroe:
He must; I got him in the pride of Conquest;
For coming back from my first Maiden Battle,
Wherein I made the Great Aratus fly,
And added all his Laurels to my Brow,
I well remember that I spurr'd it hard,
And like a Meteor, shot before my Troops,
To reach my Love that night; I was a Bridegroom,
Or scarce had lost that name, and stealing home,
According to my Countries modest use,
I found my Aegiatis just undrest,
Wearying the gods with Vows for my return,
My Transport was so great, I could not stay,
But kiss'd, and took her trembling in my Arms,
And in that Fury of my Love, I stampt,
This Image of my Soul.
Enter Pantheus.
What, my Pantheus?
Where hast thou been this long long Year of Hours?
Where I have past a merry Mornings Walk,
With the best Company.
With whom?
Why with my self, in laughing at the World,
Making a Farce of Life, where Knaves and Fools,
And Mad-men, that's all Human-kind were Actors.
And what part Acted you?
As little as I could: And daily would have less,
So please the Gods, for that's a Wise Man's part.
Would I could share thy Balmy, even Temper,
And Milkiness of Blood.
You may.
As how?
[Page 5]
By! but forgetting you have been a King.
Then must I rust in Aegypt, never more
Appear in Arms, and be the Chief of Greece?
Now, by yon Blew Palace,
The Mansion of my great Fore-father Hercules
I would loose o're-agen Sellasia's Field
Rather than Fight behind, when proud Aratus led the Graecian Van.
What, when the lively Trumpets sound a Charge,
The word of Battle may be Hercules,
And after our great Grandsires Name, Aratus
Cries Cleomenes, bring you up the Rear.
If Fortune takes not off this Boy betimes,
He'l make mad work, and Elbow all his Neighbors.
My Neighbours! Little: Elbow all rhe World▪
And push off Kings, like Counters from the Board,
To place my self the foremost.
What wilt thou be, young Cockeril, when thy Spurs
Are grown to sharpness?
Why? I'll be a Spartan.
For if I said a King, I should say less:
I mean a Spartan while I live on Earth;
But when in Heaven, I'le stand next Hercules,
And thrust between my Father and the God.
Do you not view, my Lord?
As in a Glass, your Darling Fault, Ambition,
Reflected in your Son?
My Virtue rather:
I love to see him sparkle out betimes,
For 'twas my Flame that lighted up his Soul:
I am pleas'd with my own Work; Iove was not more
With Infant Nature, when his spatious Hand
Had rounded this huge ball of Earth, and Seas,
To give it the first push, and see it rowl
Along the vast Abyss.
My Mother would have had my Youth brought up
To Spin with Girls in Sparta.
Well said, my Boy; Yet Hercules they say
Took up the Distass once.
[Page 6]
Yes, when he had been Conquer'd by a Woman.
One thing I had forgot, which may import you,
to Cleom.
You'l suddainly hear news from Greece.
Thou wert
Indeed forgetful, not to tell me that,
For, from my first arrival on this Coast,
This fatal Aegypt, where I fled for Refuge,
In three long Months I have not heard from Greece.
What makes thee think I shall have news so soon?
As walking on the Beach I saw a Ship
Just entring in the Port, and on the Deck
Stood Coenus.
Coenus, saidst thou?
Yes, our Coenus, the rich Messenian Lord;
I saw and knew him, but amidst the shouts
Of Mariners, and busie Care to sling
His Horses soon ashore—He saw not me.
Then I shall hear of thee once more, Dear Country;
I fear too soon; shall hear how proud Antigonus
Led o'er Eurota's Banks, his Conquering Troops
And first, to wondring Sparta—shew'd a King,
A King that was not Hers:
Then I shall hear of Sacriledge and Murthers,
And Fires, and Rapes on Matrons, and on Maids.
Such news we must expect.
O happy Ghosts!
Of those that fell in the last fatal Fight,
And liv'd not to survive their Countries Loss;
Base as I was—I should have fall'n there too;
But first have rais'd a Mountain of the Dead,
To choak their way to Sparta.
Thus I knew
Your Blood would boil, and therefore I delaid
So long to tell you Coenus was arriv'd.
My Mother, my Cleora, and my Boy—
Stroking Cleonid.
Your Ears would be polluted with such Ills;
[Page 7]Which I must try to mollify before
They reach your tender hearing.
I Obey you.
But let not Grief disorder you too much
For what you lost.—
For me, while I have You, and you are kind,
I ask no more of Heaven.
I go too,
Because my King and Father bids me go:
Else, I have sternness in my Soul enough
To hear of Murders, Rapes, and Sacrilege:
For those are Soldiers work; and I wou'd hear 'em
To spur me to Revenge.
Exeunt Cratisiclea, Cleora, Cleonidas.
He's here already.
Now bear it like your self.
I am arm'd against it.
Enter Coenus, Salutes Cleomenes.
I heard, Sir, you were refug'd in this Court,
And come to beg a favour.
Good! a Favour!
Sure, thou mistak'st me for the King of Egypt;
And think'st I govern here?
Y'are Cleomenes.
No thanks to Heaven for that: I shou'd have dy'd,
And then I had not been this Cleomenes.
You promis'd Patience, Sir.
Thou art a Scurvy Monitor, I am Patient.
Do I foam at Lips;
Or stare at Eyes: Methinks I am wondrous Patient.
Now, thou shalt see how I can swallow Gall.
I prithee, Gentle Coenus, tell the Story.—
Speaking Softly.
Of Ruin'd Sparta; leave no Circumstance
Untold of all their Woes: And I will hear thee,
As unconcern'd, as if thou told'st a Tale
Of ruin'd Troy. I prithee tell us how
[Page 8]The Victors robb'd the Shrines, polluted Temples,
Ransack'd each Wealthy House: No, spare me that,
Poor honest Sparta had no Wealth to lose.
But when thou com'st to tell of Matrons ravish'd,
Raises his Voice.
And Virgins forc'd; Then raise thy Voice,
And let me hear their Howlings,
And dreadful shrieks, as in the act of Rape.
Again you are distemper'd!
Peace, I am not.
I was but reaching him to grace his Tale
With decent Horror.
Your sick Imagination feigns all this;
Now hear a truth, and wonder!
Has not the Conqueror been at Sparta?
Nay; then I know what follows Victory.
You interrupt as if you would not know.
Then if you will Imagine, think some King,
Who lov'd his People, took a peaceful Progress
To some far distant place of his Dominions;
Smil'd on his Subjects as he rode in Triumph,
And strew'd his Plenty, wheresoe'er he pass'd.
Nay, raise your Thoughts yet higher. Think some Deity,
Some better Cerés drawn along the Sky,
By Gentle Dragons, scatter'd as she flew,
Her fruitful Grains upon the teeming Ground,
And bad new Harvests rise.
Do we Dream, Pantheus?
No sure! We are awake— but 'tis he Dreams.
The Soldiers march'd, as in Procession, slow;
And enter'd Sparta like a Choir of Priests,
As if they fear'd to tread on holy Ground.
No Noise was heard; no Voice, but of the Cryer,
Proclaiming Peace, and Liberty to Sparta;
At that a peal of loud applause rang out,
And thin'd the Air, till even the Birds fell down
Upon the Shouters Heads: The Shops flew open,
And all the busie Trades renew'd their Tasks:
[Page 9]No Law was chang'd, no Custom was controul'd;
That had Lycurgus liv'd, or you return'd,
So Sparta would have shown.
If this be true!
If this indeed be true,
Then farewell Sparta.
Hear me out.
He reap'd no fruit of Conquest, but their Blessings;
Nor stay'd three Days in Sparta; Summon'd thence,
With sudden News that a Barbarian Host,
Was enter'd Macedonia!
And like a Mighty Deluge, rowling on,
Swept all before 'em. Thus alarm'd, he left us;
March'd Homeward; Met and Fought 'em; Nay, and Liv'd
To say the Field is mine.
Dy'd of his Wounds?
Not so; but straining loud his feeble Voice,
To animate his Soldiers, broke a Vein;
And in a purple Vomit pour'd his Soul.
O Bless'd! Bless'd Coenus! for this happy News.
Embraces Coenus.
O Wretch! O Born to all misfortunes! Curst,
Curst Cleomenes!
How's this! Are these the thanks you pay the Gods?
Who freed your Sparta, and remov'd by Death
Your only fatal Foe!
O Blind Pantheus!
Can'st thou not find, that had I but defer'd
Sellasia's Fight three Days; but three short Days:
Fate then had fought my Battle with Antigonus;
And I not fighting had been still a King.
That's true; but that you knew not when you fought.
Why therefore, once again, Curst Cleomenes!
'Tis not to be endur'd.
That Fate of Empires, and the fall of Kings
Should turn on flying Hours, and Catch of Moments.
Now, by my Soul, 'tis Lazy Wickedness,
To rail at Heaven, and not to help your self.
Heaven's but too kind, in offring you the means:
[Page 10]Your Fate, once more, is laid upon the Anvil:
Now pluck up all the Spartan in your Soul;
Now stretch at every stroke and Hammer out,
A new and nobler Fortune;
Else may the Peaceful Ground restore the Dead,
And give up Old Antigonus again.
I thank thee: Thou hast added Flame to Fury.
The Spartan Genius shall once more be rowz'd;
Our Houshold Gods, that droop upon our Hearths,
Each from his Venerable Face shall brush
The Macedonian Soot, and shine again.
Now you confess the Spartan.
Haste, Pantheus!
I struggle like the Priestess with a God;
With that oppressing God, that works her Soul.
Haste to Cleanthes, my Egyptian Friend;
That only Man that Egypt ever made:
He's my Lucina. Say my Friendship wants him
To help me bring to light a Manly Birth;
Which to the wondring World I shall disclose,
Or if he fail me, perish in my Throwes.
Ex. Omnes.



Enter Cleomenes, Cleanthes, Pantheus.
THe King sent for me, say'st thou! and to Council!
And I was coming to you, on that Message,
Just when I met Pantheus.
Good Omen, Sir, of some intended good,
Your Fortune mends: she reconciles apace,
When Aegypt makes th'Advances.
Rise a Prophet.
For since his Fathers death, this Ptolomey,
Has minded me no more
Then Boys their last Years Gugaws.
Petition on Petition; Prayer on Prayer,
For Aid, or free Dismission, all Unanswer'd;
[Page 11]As Cleomenes were not worth his Thought,
Or He, that God, which Epicurus dreamt;
Disclaiming Care, and lolling on a Cloud.
At length, it seems it pleases him to wake.
Yes, for himself, not you; he's drench'd too deep,
To wake on any Call, but his own danger:
My Father, his wise Pilot, has observ'd
The Face of Heaven, and sees a gathering Storm,
I know not from what quarter, but it threatens.
And while it Threats, he wants such hands as yours;
But when 'tis o're, the Thoughtless King returns,
To Native sloth, shifts sides, and slumbers on.
Sure, he'll remember to reward those Hands,
That help'd him from the plunge.
You Dream, Pantheus!
Of former times, when Gratitude was Virtue;
Reward him! Yes, like Aesop's Snake, the wretch
That warm'd him in his Bosom: We are Tools,
Vile abject things created for his use,
As Beasts for Men; as Oxen draw the Yoke,
And then are sacrific'd.
I would not use him so.
You are not Ptolomy,
Nor is He Cleomenes.
I'll press him home,
To give me my dispatch; few Ships will serve
To bear my little Band and me to Greece;
I will not ask him one of his Aegyptians;
No, Let 'em keep 'em all for Slaves and Stallions,
Fit only to beget their Successors.
Excepting one Aegyptian, that's my self.
Thou need'st not be excepted; Thou art only,
Misplanted in a base degenerate Soil;
But Nature when she made thee, meant a Spartan.
Then if your Father will but second us.—
I dare not promise for him, but I'll try,
He loves me, Love and Interest sometimes
May make a Statesman honest.
[Page 12]
For the King,
I know he'l not refuse us, for he dares not;
A Coward is the kindest Animal,
'Tis the most giving Creature in a fright.
Say the most promising, and there you hit him.
Well, I'le attack him on the shaking side,
That next his fearful Heart.
Enter Coenus.
I come to mind you of the late Request,
You would not hear: Be pleas'd t'engage this Lord
And then it may succeed.
What wouldst thou, Coenus?
I brought along
Some Horses of the best Thessalian breed,
High spirited and strong, and made for War;
These I would sell the King.
Mistaken Man:
Thou shouldst have brought him Whores and Catamites;
Such Merchandize is fit for such a Monarch.
Would'st thou bring Horses here to shame our Men?
Those very words of Spirited and War,
Are Treason in our Clime.
From the King downward, (if there be a downward,
From Ptolomy to any of his Slaves!)
No true Aegyptian ever knew in Horses
The Far Side from the Near.
Cleomenes told thee true: Thou should have brought
A soft pad Strumpet for our Monarch's use,
Tho' thank'd be Hell, we want not one at home!
Our Master's Mistriss, she that Governs all.
'Tis well ye Pow'rs, ye made us but Aegyptians,
You could not have impos'd
On any other People such a Load
As an Effeminate Tyrant and a Woman.
Sell me thy Horses, and at my return,
When I have got from Conquer'd Grecce the Pelf
That Noble Sparta scorns, I'll pay their value.
[Page 13]
Just as you paid me for the fair Estate
I sold you there.
What's that you mutter?
Nothing: That's what his Hopes are worth—
Ex. Coen.
I fear he's gone away dissatisfy'd.
I'll make it up: Those Horses I present you,
You'll put 'em to the use that Nature meant 'em.
I burden you too much!
If you refuse, you burden me much more:
A Trifle this,
A singing Eunuch's price; A Pandar's Fee
Exceeds this Sum at Court.
The King expects us
Come after us, Pantheus;
And bring my Boy Cleonidas along,
I'll shew his Youth this base Luxurious Court,
Just as in sober Sparta we expose
Our drunken Helotes: Only with design
To wean our Children from the vice of Wine.

SCENE II. The Apartment of Cassandra.

Enter King Ptolomey, Sosybius with Papers after him.
No more of Business.
Sir, the Council waits you!
Council! What's that? a pack of Bearded Slaves,
Grave Faces, Sawcy Tongues, and Knavish Hearts,
That never speak one word but Self's at bottom;
The Scavengers that sweep State-nusances,
And are themselves the greatest. I'll no Council.
Remember you appointed them, this day.
I had forgot, 'twas my Cassandra's Birth-day.
Your Brother Magas daily grows more dangerous,
And has the Soldiers Hearts.
I'll cut him off.
[Page 14]
Not so soon done as said: The Spartan King
Was summon'd for Advice, and waits without.
His Business is to wait.
Be pleas'd to Sign these Papers: They are all
Of great concern!
My pleasure is of more.
How I! could curse my Name of Ptolomy:
For 'tis so long; it asks an Hour to write it;
By Heav'n, I'll change it into Iove or Mars!
Or any other civil Monosyllable,
That will not tire my Hand.
These are for Common Good.
Shewing Papers.
I am glad of that:
Those shall be sure to wait.
Orders to pay the Soldiers, ripe for Mutiny;
They may Revolt.
To whom?
The Man you fear:
Your Brother, Magas.
That's indeed the danger:
Give me the Physick; Let me swallow quick—
There's Ptolomy for that; Now, not one more,
For every Minute I expect Cassandra
To call me to the Musick,
If she should find me at this rare Employment,
Of Signing out her Treasures?
The rest are only Grants to her you love,
And places for her Friends.
I'll Sign 'em all; were every one a Province:
Thou know'st her Humor, not to brook denial!
And then a Quarrel on her Birth-day too
Would be of ill presage.
Signs more Papers.
Enter Cassandra, Women.
I heard you waired, but you'll pardon me,
I was not sooner Drest.
Thus I begin my Homage to the Day
Kisses her Hand.
[Page 15]That brought me forth a Mistriss, and am proud
To be your foremost Slave.
Our little Entertainment waits; not worth
A longer Ceremony, please to Grace it?

The SCENE opens and discovers Cassandra's Apartment. Musicians and Dancers—Ptolomy leads in Cassandra, Sosybius follows—They Sit. Towards the end of the Song and Dance; Enter Cleomenes and Cleanthes on one side of the Stage, where they stand.


NO no, poor suff'ring Heart no Change endeavour,
Choose to sustain the smart, rather than leave her;
My ravish'd Eyes behold such Charms about her,
I can dye with her, but not live without her.
One tender Sigh of hers to see me Languish,
Will more than pay the price of my past Anquish:
Beware O cruel Fair, how you smile on me,
'Twas a kind Look of yours that has undone me.
Love has in store for me one happy Minute,
And She will end my pain who did begin it;
Then no day void of Bliss, or Pleasure leaving,
Ages shall slide away without perceiving:
Cupid shall guard the Door the more to please us,
And keep out Time and Death when they would seize us:
Time and Death shall depart, and say in flying,
Love has found out a way to Live by Dying.
After the Musick is over, Cleomenes speaks.
to Cleanth.
Is this the Council of th' Aegyptian King?
And am I call'd upon the Grave Debate,
To judge of trilling Notes and tripping Feet?
[Page 16]
'Tis of a piece with all the rest of Ptolomey!
A Singing and a Dancing Government.
O Aegypt, Aegypt! Thou art grown the Lees
Of all the World; The slime of thy own Nyle.
Sure, we had neither Human Syres, nor Mothers;
The Sun and Nyle begot us; W'are so Cowardly,
And yet so proud; so many Gods we have,
And yet not One—
No more—They seem to gaze on me with wonder.
And well they may to see a Man in Aegypt.
King, Cassand. Sosyb. rise and come forward.
Welcome! Royal Stranger!
Not only to my Court, but to my Bosom.
I heard you sent for me; but on what Business
Am yet to learn.
The greatest in the World: To see the Man,
Whom even his Foes extoll; His Friends adore,
And all Mankind admire.
Say rather, Sir,
A Man forsaken of his better Stars,
A banish'd Prince; The shadow of a King.
My Fathers Friend.
I must not think so vainly of my self.
To be what you have said, lest it upbraid you,
To let your Fathers Friend, for three long Months,
Thus Dance attendance for a word of Audience.
Now by my Soul, 'tis nobly urg'd: He speaks
As if he were in Sparta, on his Throne;
Not asking Aid; but granting:
How little looks our Pageant Prince to him!
This is the only King I ever saw.
By all the Gods; when I have stood repuls'd
Before your Gates, and could not gain admittance,
I have not Sigh'd so much for my own sorrows,
As I have blush'd for your ungenerous Usage.
Not a word, Ptolomey!
Asham'd by all that's good to be miscall'd
A King, when this is present.
[Page 17]
Think you 'tis nothing
For me to beg; That I constrain my Temper
To sue for Aid, which you should first have offer'd.
Believe me, Ptolomey, a Noble Soul
Does much that asks: He gives you pow'r t'oblige him.
Know, Sir, There's a proud Modesty in merit,
Averse from begging; and resolv'd to pay
Ten times the Gift it asks.
I have been to blame;
And you have justly tax'd my long neglect.
I am Young, and am a Lover; and how far
Fair Eyes may make even Kings forgetful. Look,
And read my best Excuse.
O Miracle! He blushes!
The first red Virtue I have ever seen
Upon that Face.
I am sorry, Sir, y'have made me your Excuse▪
As if I stood betwixt the Good you meant;
And intercepted every Royal Grace.
Now in my own Defence I must solicite
All his concerns as mine:
And if my Eyes have pow'r, He should not sue
In vain, nor linger with a long delay.
Well! J'll consider.
Say that word again;
And I'll consider too.
Prithee be satisfy'd, He shall be aided,
Or I'll no more be King.
When wert thou one? For shame, for shame ye Gods,
That e'er you put it in a Strumpets power,
To do so good a Deed!
I am a Spartan, Madam, scarce of Words;
We have but just enough to speak our Meaning.
Be thank'd; That's all I could have said to Iove,
Had Iove, like you, restor'd me to my Crown.
The Gods have giv'n you, Sir, the speedy means
to Cleom.
To satisfie your Debt of Gratitude.
Oh make me happy: Tell me how this Sword
[Page 18](This and my Heart are all that's left me now)
Can be Employ'd to serve the Crown of Aegypt.
Well said Father: Thou art a true Statesman.
So much for so much, is the way at Court.
My King has in the Camp a Younger Brother,
Valiant they say, but very Popular;
He gets too far into the Soldiers Grace;
And Inches out my Master.
Is the King
Assur'd of this, by any Overt-Act;
Or any close Conspiracy reveal'd?
He has it in his pow'r to be a Traytor;
And that's enough.
He has it in his will too:
Else why this Ostentation of his Virtues,
His Bounty, Valour, and his Temperance?
Why are they thus expos'd to publick View?
But as a Venus set besides a Monster,
To make an Odious Comparison;
As if his Brother wanted what he boasts?
What's to be done with him?
There needs no more, I think, but to contrive,
With Secresy, and Safety, to Dispatch him.
I thank thee, that thou hast not Cozen'd me
In this Advice: For two good deeds together
Had been too much in Conscience for thy calling.
He Dies, that's out of doubt.
Your Brother, Sir!
Why do you ask that Question?
Because I had a Brother;
(Oh grief to say I had, and have not now)
Wise, Valiant, Temperate; and in short a Spartan!
Had all the Virtues, which your Counsellor
Imputed to your Brother, as his Crimes:
He Lov'd me well; so well, he could but die,
To shew he Lov'd me better than his Life:
He lost it for me in Sellasia's Field;
And went the greatest Ghost of all our name,
That ever had a Brother or a King.
[Page 19]
Wipe off the Tears, that stand upon your Eyes;
Good Nature works too far. Kings have no Brothers:
What Men call such are Rivalls of their Crowns;
Yours tim'd his Death, so as to Merit Grief.
Who knows, but he laid in, by that last Action,
The means to have betray'd you, had he Liv'd.
I would say something: but I curb my passion,
Because thou art the Father to my Friend.
To you, Sir, this; If you Condemn your Brother,
To Ptolo.
Only because he's Bounteous, Great, and Brave;
Know you Condemn those Virtues, own you want 'em.
Had you a Thousand Brothers, such as he,
You ought to shew you are above 'em all;
By daring to reward, and Cherish 'em,
As Bucklers of your Crown in time of War;
And in soft Peace, the Jewels that adorn it.
I stand Corrected, Sir, he ought to Live.
I think so too.
I do not wish his Death,
Howe're I seem'd to give that rugged Counsel.
Well said again Father! Comply, comply:
Follow the Sun, True Shadow.
I only wish my Master may be safe;
But there are Mercenaries in the Army,
Three thousand Greeks, the Flower of all our Troops,
Like Wolves indeed among Aegyptian Lambs;
If these Revolt—(I do not say they will)
But if your Brother please to take the Crown:
And be not good enough to let you Reign,
Those Greeks where e'er they go, will turn the Scale.
What think you, Cleomenes?
He says true.
Then Magas must not live.
That does not follow:
Fear not those Mercenaries: They are mine;
Devoted to my Interest; Commanded by my Nod:
They are my Limbs of War, and I their Soul:
[Page 20]Were they in Arms against you at your Gates;
High in their Rage, and fix'd upon the Spoil,
Should I say, Hold; Nay, should I only Frown,
They could not bear my Eyes, but Aw'd and Master'd,
Like Lions to their Keepers, would couch and fawn
And disobey their Hunger.
Wondrous Man!
Embraces him.
How I admire thy Virtue!
And his Genius;
Some are born Kings,
Made up of three parts Fire, so full of Heaven,
It sparkles at their Eyes: Inferior Souls,
Know 'em as soon as seen, by sure instinct,
To be their Lords, and naturally Worship
The secret God within 'em.
Sir, I humbly beg
A word in private —
to Ptol.
You may go.
Cleanthes, follow me.
Ex. Ptol. Sosyb. Cleanthes.
Enter Cleonidas.
Panthaeus brought me hither to attend you,
And thou art welcome, but thou com'st too late.
Your Page of Honour!
The mistake is easie in such a Courts as this,
Where Princes look like Pages.
'Tis my Son!
I must have leave to love you, Royal Youth;
Above all Nations I Adore a Greek,
And of all Greeks a Spartan.
Looking on Cleomenes.
What he is,
And what I am, are owing to your Favour.
to Cleonid.
Shall I not be your Mistriss?
Looking on Cleom.
No, for I would not get Aegyptians.
For what, Sir, do you take us?
[Page 21]
For what you are;
When the Gods moulded up the Paste of Man,
Some of their Dough was left upon their hands,
For want of Souls: And so they made Aegyptians:
They were intended for four Feet; And when
They come to run before our Noble Spartans,
They'l curse the Gods for the Two Legs they ow'd 'em.
Then since you will not let me be your Mistriss,
Would I had been your Mother.
Looking still on Cleom.
So would not I:
For then I had not been all Spartan.
He answers not my Glances, stupid Man!
My tender Looks; my languishing Regards,
Are like mis-aiming Arrows, lost in Air,
And miss the flying Prey.
While She walks, Cleom. and Cleonid. are looking on a Picture hanging on the side of the Scenes.
She takes out a Pocket Glass and looks in it.
These Eyes I Thank the Gods
Are still the same: The Diamonds are not dimm'd:
Nor in their Lustre: lost in Ptolomy;
Small Boast: Alas! Ptolomy has no Soul,
'Tis what he wants, I love in Cleomenes;
Perhaps he dares not think I would be Lov'd,
Then must I make the advance; and making lose
The vast Prerogative our Sex enjoys,
Of being Courted first: Courted! To what?
To our own Wishes: There's the point; but still,
To speak our wishes first; Forbid it, pride,
Forbid it Modesty: True; They forbid it,
But Nature does not: When we are a Thirst,
Or Hungry, Will imperious Nature stay?
Not Eat nor Drink, before 'tis bid, Fall on:
Well Sex, if this must be,
That I must not invite: I may at least be suffer'd,
[Page 22]To lay some kind Occasion in his way,
That if he dare but speak; He may succeed.
She turns towards 'em, and observes what they're doing.
Cleom. turns and meets her; Cleonid. looks still on the Picture.
I durst not have presum'd to interrupt
Your private Thoughts.
They wholly were imploy'd in serving you;
But durst not, and presume, are words of Fear;
I thought they were not in your Spartan Tongue;
For my sake, banish 'em:
On what were you so earnestly employ'd?
You would not look this way.
A Picture, Madam.
View it agen, 'tis worth a second Sight,
Your Son observes it still; 'Twere well to help
My Lover's Understanding;
Goes with him to the Picture.
Know you this Piece, young Prince?
Some Battle, I believe; and in that Thought,
I gaze with such Delight.
Some Rape, I guess.
That's near the true Design, and yet mistaken;
'Tis Paris bearing from your Spartan Shore,
The Beauteous Hellen; How do you approve it?
Not in the least, for 'tis a scurvy piece.
And yet 'tis known to be Apelles Hand;
The Style is his, you grant he was a Master.
'Tis scurvy still, because it represents
A base dishonest Act; to violate
All Hospitable Rites, to force away,
His Benefactors Wife; Ungrateful Villain;
And so the Gods, Th' avenging Gods have judg'd.
Was he a Spartan King that suffer'd this?
Sure he reveng'd the Rape?
He did, my Boy,
And slew the Ravisher.
Look better, Sir; You'll find it was no Rape;
Mark well that Hellen in her Lovers Arms:
[Page 23]Can you not see, she but affects to strive;
She heaves not up her Hands to Heav'n for help,
But hugs the kind Companion of her Flight.
See how her tender Fingers strain his sides;
'Tis an Embrace; a Grasping of Desire;
A very Belt of Love, that Girds his Waste.
She looks as if she did not fear to fall,
But only lose her Lover if she fell:
Observe her Eyes; How slow they seem to rowl
Their Wishing Looks, and Languish on his Face:
Observe the whole Design, and you wou'd Swear,
She Ravish'd Paris, and not Paris, Her.
Sparta has not to Boast of such a Woman;
Nor Troy to thank her, for her ill-plac'd Love.
But Paris had; as for the War that follow'd,
'Twas but a Fable of a Graecian Wit,
To raise the Valour of his Countrymen:
For Menelaus was an Honest Wretch;
A Tame good Man, that never durst resent;
A meer Convenient Husband; Dull and Slavish;
By Nature meant the thing the Lovers made him.
His Goodness aggravates their Crime the more:
Had Menelaus us'd his Hellen ill,
Had he been Jealous, or distrusted both,
I would allow a grain or two, for Love;
And plead in their Excuse.
There was their safety that he was not Jealous:
What would you more of him? He was a Fool,
And put the happy means into their hands.
I cannot much commend my Countryman.
Indeed, my Lord, your Countryman was dull,
That did not understand so plain a Courtship.
Have Spartans Eyes for nothing? not to see
So manifest a Passion?
Yes too well.
Madam, your Goodness interests you too much
In Hellens Cause. I have no more to urge,
But that she was a Wife: That Word, a Wife,
In spight of all your Eloquence condemns her.
[Page 24]
You argue justly; Therefore 'twas a Crime:
But had she been a Mistris, not a Wife;
Her Love had been a Virtue, to forsake
The Nauseous Bed of a Loath'd fulsome King;
And fly into a sprightly Lovers Arms.
Her Love had been a Merit to her Paris,
To leave her Country, and what more her Kingdom:
With a Poor Fugitive Prince to Sail away,
And bear her Wealth along to make him happy.
You put your Picture in the fairest Light:
But both the Lovers broke their plighted Vows;
He to Oenone, She to Menelaus.
The Gods that made two Fools had done more justly
To have match'd Menelaus with Oenone:
Think better of my Picture, it deserves
A Second thought; it speaks; the Hellen speaks.
It speaks Aegyptian then; a base Dishonest Tongue.
You are too Young to understand her Language.
To Cleonidas.
Do not thank me,
To Cleomenes.
Till I have brought your business to perfection:
Doubt not my kindness; nothing shall be wanting
To make your Voyage happy.
I only fear th'Excess of your full Bounty!
To give me more then what my wants require.
Exit Cleomenes and Cleonidas.
Meaning, perhaps, my Person and my Love!
I would not think it so; and yet I fear,
And while I fear, his Voyage shall be hinder'd:
No breath of Wind
Can stir, to waft him hence, unless I please:
I am the Goddess that commands the Seas.
In Vain he Vows at any other Shrine,
My Heart is in his Hands; his Fate's in mine.
Exeunt Cassandra.


SCENE I. SCENE, The King's Apartment.

A Table set.— Ptolomey, Sosybius, Cassandra, sitting: Ptolomy at the Upper end; Cassandra on one side, Sosybius on the other.

I Must confess 'twas Obvious.

He said he could Command 'em with his Nod:
Can he do this with Mercenaries, rais'd
Not at his Charge, but yours? by you maintain'd:
What could he more, had they been Spartans born?
What would you hence infer?
What you observ'd?
Some are born Kings; and so is Cleomenes.
A great Soul dares not call himself a Villain:
He has that Interest, and will use it nobly;
To serve, and not to ruine his Protector,
Is Aegypt's safety, and the Kings, and Yours,
Fit to be trusted on a bare suppose,
That he is Honest? Honest, let him be;
But on his own Experiment, not ours!
Man is but Man; Unconstant still, and Various;
There's no to Morrow in him, like to Day.
Perhaps the Atoms rowling in his Brain,
Make him think Honestly this present Hour;
The next a Swarm of Base, Ungrateful Thoughts
May mount aloft: And where's our Aegypt then?
Who would trust Chance? since all Men have the Seeds
Of Good and Ill, which should work upward first.
All men! then you are one; and by that Rule,
Your wicked Atomes may be working now
To give bad Council; That you still may Govern.
I would the King would Govern.
Because you think I have too much Command.
Would you would rule me both by turns, in quiet,
And let me take my Ease!
[Page 26]
Then my turns first.
Our Masters Safety in sound reason ought
To be prefer'd to both.
So thinks Cassandra too.
No; Court Sosybius, and cast Cassandra off.
What have I said, or done,
To merit this unkindness?
Tell me but what you think of Cleomenes,
And be my Oracle.
I know him Grateful.
To know him grateful, is enough for Iove.
And therefore not too much for me in Aegypt:
I say, I know him Honest.
Then I know it.
Now may Sosybius speak?
He may: but not to contradict my knowledge.
Then I concur, to let him go for Greece;
And wish our Aegypt fairly rid of him.
For, as our Apis, tho' in Temples fed,
And under Golden Roofs, yet loaths his food,
Because restrain'd; and longs to roam in Meads,
Among the Milky-Mothers of the Herd.
So, Cleomenes, kept by force in Aegypt,
Is sullen at our Feasts; abhors our Dainties;
And longs to change 'em for his Spartan Broth.
He may be dang'rous here; Then send him hence,
With aid enough to Conquer all he lost,
And make him formidable to Mankind.
He may be formidable then to us,
That thou wou'dst say.
No: for you know him grateful.
Would thou wouldst learn to speak without a double,
Thou Delphian Statesman.
Would I could know your Wishes that I might:
I would but smooth their way and make em 'easy!
Good Old Man!
A little over Zealous, but well-meaning.
My Wishes are the honour of my King.
That Ptolomy may keep his Royal word▪
[Page 27]And I my promise to procure this Aid;
If to be Mistriss, signifies Command,
Let this be done: If not, the King may find,
Another Beauty, worthier of his Bed;
And I another Lover, less ungrateful:
Let Aegypt sink before that fatal day;
No, we are one: Cassandra, we are one:
Or I am nothing? Thou art Ptolomy.
Now you deserve to be the first of Kings,
Because you rank your self the first of Lovers:
What can I do to show Cassandra grateful?
Nothing but this;
To be so nice in my Concerns for you:
To doubt where Doubts are not: To be too fearful:
To raise a Bug-bear Shadow of a Danger,
And then be frighted, tho' it cannot reach you.
Be pleas'd to name your apprehensions, Madam.
Plain Souls like mine, judge others by themselves:
Therefore I hold our Cleomenes honest:
But since 'tis possible: Tho' barely so,
That he may prove ungrateful,
I would have pledges given us of his Faith,
His Wife, his Mother, and his Son, be left
As Hostages in Aegypt.
Some God inspir'd you with this prudent Council.
I thought so too, but that I durst not speak.
Leave me to manage this.
My best Sosybius!
But do it surely, by the easiest means,
Infuse it gently: Do not pour it down;
Let him not think he stands suspected here;
And least of all, by Me!
He shall not, Madam.
Now Sir, th' Illumination-Feast attends you:
For Apis has appear'd,
Why then I must be formal,
Go to the Temple.
[Page 28]Come my fair Cassandra,
That I may have an Object worth my Worship.
The God that I Adore is in my Breast;
This is the Tomple: This is the Sacrifice:
But to the Pow'rs Divine we make Appeal,
with great Devotion; and with little Zeal.
Exeunt Ptol, and Cassand.
Sosyb. solus.
Yes yes, it shall be done; but not her way:
Call in my Son Cleanthes: This Cassandra
Is our enchanting Syren: She that Sings
Our Ptolomy into secure Destruction:
In vain I Counsel him t'avoid his Ruine:
These Women-Charmers, Oh they have a Devil
Too strong to dispossess. Call in my Son.
Goes to the Door.
Enter Cleanthes.
Cleanthes! Are you Cleomenes's Friend,
Or only seem you such?
To seem to be, and not to be what I seem,
Are things my honest Nature understands not.
But you must love your King and Country more.
Yes, when I have a King and Country
That can deserve my Love!
Aegypt, as Aegypt is, deserves it not:
A People, baser than the Beasts they worship:
Below their Pot-herb-gods that grow in Gardens:
The King—
Go to; Young Man, what e'er he be,
I must not hear my Master vilify'd.
Why did you name him then? Were I at Pray'rs,
And even for you, whom as my Soul I love,
If Ptolomy should come a Cross my Thoughts,
A Curse would follow where I meant a Blessing.
'Tis well, tis well, I am so fond a Father;
Those words were death in any other Mouth;
I know too much of you, you love the Spartan,
Beyond your King and Country▪
[Page 29]
'Tis a Truth;
So Noble; I would own it to the Gods,
And they be proud to hear it,
Confess you love him better than your Father.
No; but I love him equal with my Father.
Say better, and say true:
If we were opposite, and one must fall,
Whom wouldst thou Save?
Neither; For both would dye:
Before I could resolve.
If I command thee,
To break thy Friendship with him? Wouldst thou?
Why then thou hast confess'd, thou lov'st him more.
Not so: For should he bid me disobey,
Or not love you: Thus, would I answer him,
As I have answer'd you.
Ungrateful Boy!
You bid me tell you true, and this is my reward.
Go from my Sight.
I will; but would not go
Without your Blessing.
O, so well I love thee,
That I could Curse thee for not loving me:
Stay, I would send thee on a Message to him,
But that I fear thy Faith.
You wrong my Piety.
It much concerns my Interest, which is thine;
Would'st thou deliver what I have to say?
Would'st thou induce his Reason to comply?
Both; Granting your Proposals Honourable▪
If not, employ some Mercenary Tongue,
The Court affords you store: And spare my Virtue!
I would have Cleomenes sent away,
With Royal Aid.
You promis'd him he should.
And would have thee perswade him to this Voyage.
A welcome Errand: Oh my dear, dear Father.
[Page 30]
But on my terms, mark that; my terms; Cleanthes.
I fear'd the Statesman in you.
I would have Aegypt safe: That's all my Interest;
And therefore he must leave behind for Pawns,
His Mother, Wife and Son.
'Tis clogging of a Gift: 'Tis base, mean Council;
I hope you gave it not.
No: 'Twas Cassandra!
But she would have that Odium cast on me,
I am her Beast of Burden and must bear it.
I never can belye so good a Father!
But this I'll do:
The Message shall be faithfully deliver'd,
And all the Strumpet stand expos'd to shame.
Thou hitst my meaning; but he must be secret;
Must seem to take the Favour as from Her:
And lay the hardship of the Terms on me.
He shall.
And thou wilt Gild this bitter Pill:
For there's no other way to go from hence,
But leaving these behind.
A Beam of Thought comes glancing on my Soul.
I'll undertake it
To his Father.
The Pledges shall be left.
My best Cleanthes:
Embraces him.
But haste, and lose no time!
I am all on fire to serve my Friend and Father.
Ex. Cleanthes.
This Cleomenes ought to be dispatch'd:
Dispatch'd the safest way: He ought to dye;
Not, that I hate his Virtue; but I fear it:
The Mistriss drives my Councils to the Leeward;
Now I must edge upon a point of Wind;
And make slow way, recovering more and more,
Till I can bring my Vessel safe ashore▪
Exit. Sosyb.

SCENE of a Temple with Illuminations. An Altar, Apis painted above; Priests and Choristers. Ptolomy, Cassandra, Courtiers Men and Women, all decently plac'd. Musick Instrumental and Vocal. Then Ptolomy taking Cassandra by the Hand, ad­vances to the Altar of Apis, bowing thrice, and gives the High Priest a Purse. Soft Musick all the while Ptolomy and Cassandra are Adoring and speaking.

Soul of the Universe, and source of Life,
Immortal Apis, thou thrice Holy Fire,
Hear Aegypt's Vows and mine: if as we dream,
Aegyptian Earth Impregnated with Flame,
Sprung the first man;
Preserve thy Primitive Plantation here.
Then for my self, thy Type, and thy Vicegerent,
Rowl from my Loins a long Descent of Kings:
Mix'd of Cassandra's kindly blood and mine.
Mine be she only, and I only hers.
And when I shall resolve again to thee,
May she survive me, and be Queen of Aegypt:
Hear this, and firm it with some happy Omen.
An Augury portending good Success arises from the Altar.
Apis be prais'd for this Auspicious Omen.
Ptolo. bowing retires and seems pleas'd.
Great pow'r of Love! who spreadst thy gentle fire:
Thro' humane Hearts, art every where Ador'd;
Accept these Vows, in shew to Apis paid,
And make his Altar thine: Hear not that wretch!
Because his Prayers were not address'd to thee;
Or only hear his last: that I may reign.
Make Cleomenes mine, and mine alone:
Give us a flight secure, a safe arrival;
And Crown our Wishes in each others Arms.
Hear this and firm it with some happy Omen.
A bad Omen arises from the Flames of the Altar.
Avert this Omen, Apis.
[Page 32]
Accurs'd be thou, Grass-eating fodder'd God!
Accurs'd thy Temple! more accurs'd thy Priests!
The Gods are theirs, not ours; and when we pray
For happy Omens, We their price must pay:
In vain at Shrines, th'ungiving suppliant stands;
This 'tis to make a Vow with Empty hands:
Fat Offrings are the Priesthoods only care;
They take the Money, and Heaven hears the Prayer.
Without a Bribe their Oracles are mute,
And their Instructed Gods refuse the suit.
Exit Cass. in a fury, King and Attendants follow. Scene closes.

SCENE, The Port of Alexandria.

Enter Cleomenes, and Cleanthes.
The Propositions are unjust and hard;
And if I swallow 'em, 'Tis as we take
The Wrath of Heaven.
We must have patience, for they will be Gods,
And give us no account of what we suffer.
My Father much abhors this middle way,
Betwixt a Gift and Sale of Courtesy:
But 'tis the Mistress; She that seem'd so kind,
'Tis she, that bears so hard a hand upon you:
She that would half Oblige, and half Affront.
Let her be what she is: That's Curse enough.
But such a Wife, a Mother, and a Son!
Oh sure, ye Gods! when ye made this vile Aegypt:
Ye little thought, they should be Mortgag'd here!
My only Comfort
Is, that I trust these precious Pawns with thee:
For thou art so religiously a Friend,
That I would sooner leave 'em in thy hands,
Than if I had security from Heav'n,
And all the Gods to answer for their safety.
[Page 33]
Yes, yes; They shall be safe;
And thou shalt have a pledge,
As strong as Friendship can make over to thee:
Deny me not, for I must go with thee,
And share what Fate allots for thee in Greece.
Cleomenes looks discontentedly.
Nay cast not on me that forbidding frown;
But let me be their pawn, as they are thine:
So I shall have thee wholly to my self.
And be thy Wife, thy Mother, and thy Son,
As thou art all to me.
Oh Friend!
Sighs and wipes his Eyes.
What wouldst thou say, my better part?
No more, but this; That thou art too unkind,
When even in kindness thou wouldst over-come.
Let me be proud; and pardon thou my Pride;
Base, Worthless Aegypt has no other Pawn,
To Counter-ballance these but only me.
'Twas on such terms alone, I durst propose it:
Shalt thou leave these?
And I not leave a Father, whom I love?
Come, come; It must be so.
We'll give each other all we have besides;
And then we shall be even. Here they are!
I leave thee. Break those tender Ties of Nature,
As gently as thou canst; they must be broken.
Going, returns.
But when thou seest Cassandra, curb thy Spleen;
Seem to receive the kindness as from her:
And if thou thinkst I love thee, for my sake,
Remembring me; strive to forget my Father.
Exit Cleanth.
Enter Cleora, Cratisiclea, and Cleonidas.
But how can I sustain to tell 'em this,
Walking from 'em.
Even in the gentlest Terms.
There are not words in any Tongue so soft
As I would use: The Gods must make a new one,
If they would have me speak.
[Page 34]
How King of Sparta! When your Fortune smiles,
A Glorious Sun-shine, and a Gloomy Soul.
The Gods love chearfullness, when they are kind;
They think their Gifts despis'd, and thrown away
On sullen thankless Hearts.
I hear my dearest Lord that we shall go.
What a mournful Eccho makes my Father!
By Mars, he stifles Go upon his Tongue;
And kills the joyful sound, he speaks so low,
That Heaven must Listen if it hear his thanks.
Yes, I shall go; but how?
With Aegypt's aid.
With his own Soul and Sword, a Thousand strong;
And worth ten Aegypts, and their ten Thousand Gods.
There's something more in this, than what we guess!
Some Secret anguish rowls within his Breast,
That shakes him like an Earthquake, which he presses,
And will not give it vent. I know him well,
He Blushes, and would speak, and wants a Voice!
And stares and Gapes like a forbidden Ghost,
Till he be spoke to first.—Tell me my Son!
Mother, I will,— And yet I cannot neither.
Mother! that word has struck me dumb again:
For, how can I say Mother, and propound
To leave her here behind, who gave me Life?
Mother! and Wife! and Son! the names that Nature
Most Loves to speak, are banish'd from my Mouth.
Tell us, My Love, the King has chang'd his mind,
And has refus'd us leave; for we can bear it:
Aegypt is Greece to me, while you are here.
Oh I would speak! But, Oh! you speak so kindly,
That you forbid my Speech: You call me, Love.
Was that too kind a Word?
It was to me; I am a meer Barbarian;
A Brute, a stock, for I have no Relations,
Or shortly shall have none.
Then we must die!
[Page 35]
We must: and welcome Death.
To save his Life.
The Gods forbid that you should dye for me!
No: You may live; but I must dye thrice over:
For I must leave you here, or must not go:
These are the hard Conditions offer'd me.
Then Aegypt would have Pledges: Is this all?
Yes, and a mighty All: 'Tis all I have:
But I propose it not; Remember that.
I do: and therefore I propose it first,
To save this virtuous Shame, this good Confusion,
That would not let you speak.
Oh! I could almost think you love me not:
You Granted me so quick, so willingly:
What I—bear witness Heaven, was slow to ask.
And would be loath to have.
I cannot leave you.
I was but wishing, thou wouldst draw me back,
And now I cannot go.
Are you turn'd Woman?
No more of this fond Stuff;
Shall I be left to gather Rust in Aegypt?
A Glue of Sloth to stick to my young Pinions;
And marr their flight; Habitual Cowardise:
No; I must learn my stubborn Trade of War,
From you alone, and envy you betimes.
But the Conditions! Oh these hard Conditions,
That such a Spirit must be left behind,
Untaught! unfashion'd by a Fathers hands!
A Spirit fit to start into an Empire,
And look the World to Law.
No more debating, for I see the pinch,
He must be left, and so must She and I:
For we are but your softnesses, My Son:
Th' Incumbrances and Luggage of the War:
Fight for us, and redeem us, if you please;
For there we are your clogs of Virtue: Here,
The Spurs of your return.
[Page 36]
I Thank you, Mother,
Once more you have Erected me to Man,
And set me upright with my Face to Heaven!
The Woman and the Boy, be yours awhile:
The War be mine alone!
There spoke the Spartan King: Think not on us.
I wonnot.
Not in Pray'rs!
In Pray'rs! That's poor,
As if the Gods were Thoughtless of their work;
Think on us, when you fight: and when you make
A lusty stroke, Cry out, That's for my Boy.
Dispose this mouldring Carcass as you please,
E're lingring Age or Sickness wear it out;
Unprofitable then for Sparta's good:
Be cheerful, fight it well, and all the rest,
Leave to the Gods and Fortune.
If they fail me,
Theirs be the Fault, For Fate is theirs alone:
My Virtue, Fame, and Honour are my own.
Exeunt omnes.


SCENE, An Antichamber of Cassandra's Lodging.

Enter Ptolomy, Sosybius, Coenus, Cassandra.
SO so; it works: now Mistriss sit you fast—
Humh, Whores and Catamites!
Wer those his words?
Upon my life they were.
Whom should he mean by those unmanner'd terms;
Can you guess?
'Twas kindly ask'd.
A foul mouth'd Villain.
[Page 37]
So, I should have thought,
But that this Lady knows him good and grateful.
Madam! I stand suspected without cause,
And, but I fear Revenge from this great Man,
I could say more.
I thought he was concern'd.
Who: I?
Speak boldly, Graecian, I protect thee.
Cleanthes then was present, and he added.
Enter Cleanth.
But he appears in time to hear his Charge.
My dear! dear! Son!
I fear thy lavish Tongue has ruin'd Thee;
What can I do to save Thee?
Well, proceed.
Can you deny, my Lord? that you were present,
When Cleomenes Tax'd the Court, and King
With Brutal Vices?
I remember somewhat,
Of certain Horses which he could not buy,
And saw thee go away dissatify'd,
Which to prevent, I meant to purchase 'em;
The rest I heard not, nor believe he spoke.
Cleanthes added farther; That thou saidst,
And we would know: E're Tortures force it from thee.
Now comes the fatal stroke.
He added farther.
No; thou add'st it all:
And I demand the Combat.
Let him speak.
Think first, Cleanthes! Think before you hazard,
Your Life and Honour in this bold Appeal,
Somewhat, you might have said, nay more you ought,
Since I commanded you to be a Spy
On Cleomenes Acts, and close Designs.
The good old Lyer would preserve my Life
And I must steer his course,
I think — I farther added
To the King.
[Page 38]
'Tis forgiven:
So wholly pardon'd, that I will not hear it;
Good Spies are useful, and must be encourag'd;
But what must next be done with Cleomenes?
Dispatch him, as the source of all your fears;
Observe the Mounting Billows of the Main,
Blown by the Winds into a raging Storm:
Brush off those Winds, and the high waves return,
Into their quiet first created Calm:
Such is the rage of busie blustring Crowds:
Fomented by th' Ambition of the great:
Cut off the Causes and th' Effect will cease;
And all the moving madness fall to Peace.
Let him seiz'd in order to his Death;
I am in haste, you know it, for my progress,
A thousand pleasures wait me at Canopus;
And this poor trifling business of one life,
Encumbers all: Cassandra! Are you ready?
We will be seen like Isis and Osyris,
Drawn in one Chariot for admiring Eyes,
To worship as we pass.
A word in private: Coenus, attend without.
Cassand. leads the King to a corner of the Stage; Sosyb. takes his Son to the other.
to Cleanth.
Now I am twice your Father, by preserving
The Life I gave you, which your Folly hazarded:
Break off all Friendship with that Spartan King,
Or never see me more: His Fate's resolv'd:
Nor can you stem the Tide: Avoid his ruines;
Reply not, but obey.
I know my Duty.
Thou overjoy'st me: Follow, we'll talk, farther.
Exeunt Sosyb. and Cleanthes.
What think you of Sosybius and his Son?
As of two Creatures zealous of my Service.
Oh Heavens! That I should love this King so well!
But that I dote: What can I see in him?
But dull good Nature and Simplicity!
[Page 39]Well, well! My little Dear, I find the Gods
Have given me here, no business of my own;
But made me just your Drudge to Love and save you.
'Protest I thought 'em honest; are they not?
Ye Gods! why did you make this Man your Image?
And made him but an Image: You'l forgive me?
I Love you so, that I am forc'd to rail.
You saw no close Conveyance of the Game
Betwixt the Crafty Sire, and Cunning Son.
How slily one invented an Excuse,
And t'other took it up as dext'rously?
Why sure Cleanthes was his Fathers Spy.
Yes, over you; but not on Cleomenes.
I fear you are betray'd, and the Gods blind you,
To make your ruine sure!
As how, Cassandra?
When you are absent—
'Tis in their Power—
To Murder Cleomenes
If they please;
Or else to set him free, and joyn with Magas.
I will not to Canopus.
Yes; You must.
But how shall I be safe, and take this Journey?
Leave that to me.
But you must go along.
No: I must stay here, in order to your safety,
To watch the growth of danger and prevent it.
This Cruel absence I must undergo;
Or else I Love you not.
Since I must go;
I'll cheat 'em of a Day, and come before
My time, for Love of thee.
To sum up all,
For we are both in haste;
Intrust your Royal Signet in my Hands.
Joyn'd with Sosybius.
[Page 40]
Would you trust a Statesman
Before your own dear Heart. You love him better▪
You naughty Man, in faith you do; and now I think on't,
I will not have your Signet: By this Kiss,
And this, and this, I will not.
By all three, thou shalt.
Gives her the Signet from his Finger.
But kill this Cleomenes quickly, he's dangerous.
He's in safe hands with me.
One more Embrace.
There, take it, and now go:
Thus for your good, I thrust you from my Arms.
Farewell, My Love.
Exit Ptolomy.
Farewell.— I hope for ever.
Now Cleomenes I will sound thy Soul:
For Life and Death depend upon thy Choice.
But for that easy Wretch, him I contemn.
Hard state of Lovers! Subject to our Laws!
Fools we must have, or else we cannot sway;
For none but Fools will Woman-kind Obey.
If they prove stubborn and resist our Will,
We Exercise our Pow'r, and use 'em ill.
The passive Slave that Whines, Adores and Dies,
Sometimes we pity: But we still despise.
But when we dote, the self same Fate we prove,
Fools at the best: But double Fools in Love.
We rage at first with ill dissembled scorn;
Then falling from our height, more basely mourn;
And Man, th'insulting Tyrant takes his turn.
Leaves us to Weep for our neglected Charms,
And hugs another Mistress in his Arms:
And that which humbles our proud Sex the most;
Of all our slighted favours makes his boast.
Exit Cassandra.
Enter Cleomenes.
Her Words, Her every Look, confess she loves me,
And therefore she detains these Hostages:
[Page 41]As pawns of my return to her and Aegypt.
Thus far 'tis plain and obvious: But the Picture.
That Hellen. There's the Riddle of her Love.
For what I see, or only think I see,
Is like a Glimps of Moon-shine, streak'd with red;
A shuffled, sullen, and uncertain Light,
That Dances thro' the Clouds, and shuts again;
Than 'ware a rising Tempest on the Main.
Enter Cassandra.
I would, but cannot speak.
The shame that should to Woman-kind belong,
Flown from my Bosom, hovers on my Tongue.
'Tis rarely seen, that Gods from Heaven descend;
But for some kind, some Charitable end.
And yet your troubled looks ill News import,
Stops, or Delays; but that's no News at Court:
There's somewhat which your pity would disguise.
Would you could read that somewhat in my Eyes.
But as you are a Spartan and a King,
Undaunted hear whatever News I bring:
The Favourite hates you; Coenus has betray'd
The bitter truths, that our loose Court upbraid.
Your Friend was set upon you for a Spy;
And on his Witness, you are doom'd to die.
I have been plung'd already twice in Woes,
And the third time above the Waves I rose.
Still I have strength to Steer me into Port,
And shun the Secret Quick-Sands of the Court.
But when my Friend, who should expecting stand,
On the bare Beach, to lend his helping hand;
When He defends th' Unhospitable shore,
And drives me thence, I sink for ever more.
But 'tis impossible; his Faith is try'd;
The Man, who had defam'd him thus; had ly'd.
Well! I forgive your blunt Laconique way,
It shall be seen, it shall, this very Day,
Who would preserve your Life, and who betray.
[Page 42]The King incens'd; the Favourite your Foe,
Yet on the same Conditions you may go:
Your Wife, your Son, your Mother left behind.
What think you now?
'Tis to be wond'rous kind.
Suppose I add a farther bounty yet.
It could but make your Favours over weight.
What if I went my self to waft you o'er?
And left you, when I saw you safe a shore?
For I should leave you, if you thought it fit,
Not to do more than Honour would permit.
Can I do less to show you I am kind,
To Comfort you for those you left behind?
The World would think you kinder than you ought.
Why should I care what base Aegyptians thought?
Immoderate Gifts oppress me, not relieve;
Nor dare I take, what ruins you to give.
Leave me to judge of that. I could prescribe
An easy way of giving back my Bribe.
Why would you force me farther than my part;
Look on my Eyes; and you may read my Heart.
Looks on her as by stealth.
Oh there you met me with a guilty Glance!
Now 'tis too late to plead your Ignorance.
I am so much below, and you above.
What can I say?
But one kind word. I Love.
As far as Gratitude that Love can pay.
Oh stop not there; for that's but half the way:
Would you to one poor narrow word confine
Your passion? When I put no bounds to mine.
Now you speak too soon; Forbear.
Nothing can please me, that begins with her.
I must begin where Nature void of Art,
Directs my Tongue, with her who rules my Heart.
Let us together sail before the Wind,
And leave that dull Domestique Drudge behind.
What? to expose her helpless Innocence,
To the wild fury of an Injur'd Prince?
[Page 43]
A vain surmise; their Talents would agree,
The Gods have made your Noble Mind for me:
And her insipid Soul for Ptolomey:
A heavy lump of Earth without desire,
A heap of Ashes that o're-lays your Fire.
Virtue, you must allow her, tho' a Foe.
No more, than what I would to Ice and Snow;
Yet those have Seeds of heat; her shivering Blood,
Makes her at best but impotently good.
But neither I can save you, if you stay,
Nor save my self unless I go away:
For if I stay behind, and set you free,
The Fury of the King would fall on me.
Then to prevent your Fate I must not go,
Death is my choice, since Heaven will have it so.
Heaven would preserve your Life, and so would I,
But you are obstinately bent to dye,
Some Men are made of such a leaky Mould▪
That their fill'd Vessels can no Fortune hold:
Pour'd in, it sinks away, and leaves 'em dry,
Of that unsusceptible Make am I:
Yet think not, Fair one, I your Charms despise,
My Heart's insensible, but not my Eyes.
Respect and Gratitude are all my store,
And those I give: My Love was giv'n before▪
Thus break false Merchants with an honest show:
Rich to themselves, but Bankrupts where they owe.
If at this awful distance I remain,
Better be too Devout, than too profane.
Flattery! Such Alms, the Priesthood gives the poor,
They Bless, and send 'em empty from the Door:
Know you, that Death stands ready at the Gate;
That I forbid him, and suspend your Fate;
The King's short absence leaves me absolute;
When he returns th'inevitable ill,
Is past my pow'r, and may be past my Will:
Unhappy Man! prevent thy Destiny;
Speak one kind word to save thy Life and me.
[Page 44]
Be answer'd, and expect no more Reply.
Disdain has swell'd him up, and choak'd his Breath:
Sullen and Dumb, and obstinate to Death:
No signs of pity in his Face appear;
Look! If th'ungrateful Creature shed one Tear!
Cram'd with his Pride, he leaves no room within
For Sighs to issue out, or Love to enter in.
He turns away.
What! dost thou turn thy Face in my despight?
Am I a Toad? a Monster to thy Sight?
Farewel fond pity then: As thou from me,
So, thy good Fortune turns her Face from Thee?
Left, scorn'd, and loath'd, and all without Relief,
Revenge succeeds to Love, and Rage to Grief:
Tempests and Whirlwinds through my Bosom move,
Heave up, and madly mount my Soul above
The reach of Pity, or the bounds of Love.
Approach and seize the Traytor
Enter Guards.
Now I can speak; thy kindness kept me dumb:
For that I could not answer: The false Syren,
No longer hiding her uncomely parts,
Struts on the Waves, and shews the Brute below.
Stop that foul Mouth: Behold this Royal Signet;
The Warrant of his Death.
Guards go to seize him.
Stand back ye Slaves,
He Draws his Sword.
And put me not to stain a Spartan Sword:
With base Aegyptian Blood.
He advances upon 'em, they retire with signs of fear.
Fall on, behold a Noble Beast at Bay:
And the vile Huntsmen shrink—More Aid: Who waits?
Enter Cleanthes.
Now Sir, What brings you here?
My Zeal to serve you.
That shall be try'd; Disarm him▪
Deliver me your Sword.
How's this, Cleanthes?
It must be so!
[Page 45]
Is this a Friends Advice,
To give me up defenceless to a Croud,
Whom Arm'd I could resist?
Must he dye, Madam!
Or be reserv'd for further punishment,
At Ptolomey's return?
Why ask you that?
Because his Destiny, for ought I find
Depends on you: Think first, and then Command.
Know then, that his last Thrid is on the Distaff,
And I can cut it now.
And are resolv'd?
I only said I can, and I can Save,
Disarm, and hurt him not.
Once more your Sword.
Send off those Villains: Tho' I fear 'em not;
Yet Cowards are offensive to my sight:
Nor shall they see me do an Act that looks
Below the Courage of a Spartan King.
Cleanthes! May I trust your Faith?
You may.
Begone, and wait my Call.
Ex. Guards.
Cleanthes! Stil my Friend; for such I hold thee
Tho' this bad Woman says thou art my Spy;
I cannot give a greater proof than this,
That I believe her not:
[Gives him his Sword.]
If thou art false,
'Tis in thy power to show it safely, now:
And compass that by Treason, which in Arms
Nor Thou, nor any Man alive can force.
Remember still, I gave it to a Friend:
For Life and Death are equal in themselves;
That which would cast the Ballance, is thy falshood,
To make my Death more wretched.
Then you may think me that, which you call False▪
But Duty to my Father —
Say no more!
I would not curse thee, for thou wer't my Friend.
[Page 46]I think thee still as honest as thou couldst;
Impenetrably good; but like Achilles,
Thou hadst a soft Aegyptian Heel undipt,
And that has made thee Mortal.
Cleanthes, Thou hast well approv'd thy Faith:
And as this Palace is thy Government,
On utmost peril of thy Life secure him.
One farther word—
Ex Cleanth, looking concernedly on Cleomenes.
So guilty as thou art, and canst thou look
On him, thou hast betraid? Go, take thy hire,
Which thou hast dearly purchas'd, and be great
For you, brave Sir, as you have given my hopes
But Air to feed on; Air shall be your Food:
No Bread shall enter these forbidden Doors.
Thin, hungry Diet, I confess; but still
The liker Spartan Fare: Keen Appetites,
And quick Digestion wait on you and yours.
O mix not Innocence and Guilt together:
What Love have they refus'd, or how offended?
Be Just, tho' you are Cruel, or be Kind,
And punish me alone.
There Nature works,
Then there I'll stab thee in thy tender part.
Shreeks of Wo­men within.
What dismal Cries are those?
Nothing, a trifling sum of Misery,
New added to the foot of thy Account:
Thy Wife is seiz'd by Force and born away;
Farewel, I dare not trust thy Vengeance further.
Running to the Door, he is stopt by Guards with drawn Swords.
Cleora—There stands Death, but no Cleora;
I would find both together.
Enter Cratisiclea, Cleonidas, and Pantheus bloody on his hand.
Oh King of Sparta!
Peace, Mother, Peace.
I have had news from Hell before you.
[Page 47] Cleora's gone to Death. Is there a Door,
A Casement, or a Rift within these Walls?
That can let loose my Body to her rescue?
All clos'd, nothing but Heaven above is open.
Nay, that's clos'd too: The Gods are deaf to Pray'rs!
Hush then; th' irrevocable Doom's gone forth,
And Pray'rs lagg after, but can ne'r o'er-take,
Let us talk forward of our woes to come.
Cleanthes! (Oh could you suspect his Faith?)
'Twas he, that headed those, who forc'd her hence.
Pantheus bleeds!
A scratch, a feeble Dart,
At distance thrown by an Aegyptian hand.
You heard me not, Cleanthes is—
He was—no more good Mother,
He tore a piece of me away, and still
The void place akes within me: O my Boy,
I have bad news to tell thee.
None so bad,
As that I am a Boy: Cleanthes scorn'd me,
And when I drove a Thrust, home as I could,
To reach his Traytor Heart, He put it by,
And cryed as in derision, Spare the Stripling;
Oh that insulting word: I wou'd have swopp'd
Youth for old Age, and all my Life behind,
To have been then a momentary Man.
Alas! Thy Manhood, like a forward Spring,
Before it comes to bear the promis'd Fruit
Is blighted in the Bud: Never, my Boy,
Canst thou fetch Manhood up, with thy short steps,
While with long strides the Giant stalks before thee.
Am I to dye before I am a Man?
Yes, thou must dye with me, and I with her
Who gave me life: and our poor Infant too within,
Must dye before it knows what dying means.
Three different Dates of Nature one would think;
But Fate has cramm'd us all into one Lease;
And that even now expiring.
[Page 48]
Yet we live.
No, even now we dye; Death is within us,
And keeps out Life, for nourishent is Life,
And we have fed our last; Hunger feeds Death.
A lingring Doom, but four days hence the same;
And we can shorten those, turn Days to Hours,
And Hours to Moments: Death is in our Call.
The sooner then the better.
So say I.
While we have spirits left to meet him boldly.
I'le hold my Breath,
And keep my Soul a pris'ner in my Body;
There let it creep and wander in the dark,
Till tir'd to find no out-let, it Retreats
Into my Spartan Heart, and there lies pleas'd:
So, we two are provided. Sir, your choice?
To Cleom.
Not this dispatch, for we may dye at leisure.
This Famine has a sharp and meager Face:
'Tis Death in an undress of Skin and Bone:
Where Age and Youth, their Land-mark tane away,
Look all one common furrow.
Yet you chuse it,
To please our Foes, that when they view our Skeletons,
And find 'em all alike, they may cry out,
Look how these dull obedient Spartans dy'd,
Just as we wish'd, as we prescrib'd their Death;
And durst not take a nobler, nearer way.
Not so, but that we durst not tempt the Gods,
To break their Images without their leave.
The moment e'r Cassandra came, I had
A Note without a Name, the Hand unknown,
That bad me not despair, but still hope well.
Then dye not yet;
For Heaven has means to free us; if not me,
Yet these and you: I am the hunted Stag,
Whose Life may may ransom yours.
[Page 49]
No more of that:
I find your distant drift to die alone:
An unkind Accusation of us all,
As if we durst not die: I'll not survive you!
Nor I.
Nor I.
But hear my Reasons!
Enter Cleora in a black Veil.
Ha! What Shadow's this! This that can glide through Walls!
Or pass its subtle Limbs through Bolts and Bars!
Black too! like what it represents, our Fate.
Too true a Shadow I, and you the Substance.
Lifts up her Veil.
Thus let me grow again to thee,
Too close for Fate to sever.!
Or let Death find me in these dear, dear Arms,
And looking on thee, spare my better part,
And take me willing hence.
What! are you dreaming, Son! with Eyes cast upwards
Like a mad Prophet in an Ecstasie?
Musing on what we saw.
Just such is Death,
With a black Veil, covering a beauteous Face!
Fear'd afar off
By erring Nature: a mistaken Phantom:
A harmless, lambent Fire. She kisses Cold;
But kind, and soft, and sweet, as my Cleora.
Oh could we know,
What Joys she brings; at least, what rest from Grief!
How should we press into her Friendly Arms,
And be pleas'd not to be, or to be happy?
Look! What we have forgot! The Joy to see
Cleora here, has kept us from enquiring,
By what strange means she enter'd.
Small Joy, Heaven knows, to be adopted here,
[Page 50]Into the meager Family of Famine!
The House of Hunger: therefore ask'd I not;
So am I pleased to have her Company,
And so displeas'd to have it but in Death—
I know not how or why, my surly Gaoler,
Hard as his Irons, and insolent as Pow'r,
When put in vulgar Hands, Cleanthes gone,
Put off the Brute; and with a gloomy Smile,
(That show'd a sullen loathness to be kind,)
Skreen'd me within this Veil, then led me forth;
And using to the Guards Cassandra's Name:
Made that my Pass-port: Every Door slew ope,
T' admit my Entrance; and then clapt behind me,
To barr my going back.
Some new Resolve!
Cassandra plots, and then refines on Malice:
Plays with Revenge: with Rage she snatch'd you hence,
And renders you with Scorn: I thought to show you
How easie 'twas to die, by my Example,
And hansel Fate before you: But thy presence
Has chang'd my Mind, to drag this lingring life,
To share thy Sorrows, and assist thy Weakness.
Come in, my Friends, and let us practise Death,
Stroke the grim Lyon, till he grow familiar.
Cleora! Thou and I, as Lovers should,
Will hand in hand to the dark Mansions go,
Where Life no more can cheat us into Woe;
That sucking in each others latest Breath,
We may transfuse our Souls, and put the change on Death.
Exeunt omnes▪
The End of the Fourth ACT.


Enter Cassandra and Sosybius.
ANd what
Have you determin'd?
He shall die.
A wholsome Resolution: Have you fix'd
The Time?
He daily dies, by Hours and Moments:
All vital Nourishment but Air is wanting!
Three rising Days and two descending Nights
Have chang'd the Face of Heav'n and Earth by turns;
But brought no kind Vicissitude to him:
His State is still the same: With hunger pinch'd:
Waiting the slow approaches of his Death;
Which halting on-wards, as his life goes back,
Still gains upon his Ground!
But e'er Fate reach him,
The Mercy of the King may interpose:
You have the Signet?
Yes! In your Despite!
Be not displeas'd suppose he shou'd escape?
Suppose he shou'd have Wings? Impossible.
Yet, Keepers have been brib'd: To whom can Ptolomy
Impute that Crime, but you?
He may: But let him if he dares:
Come, Statesman! Do not shuffle in your pace;
You wou'd expose me to the People's Hatred,
By hurrying on this Act of Violence:
You know a little thing provokes the Crowd
Against a Mistress: She's the Publick Mark:
Therefore content your self I will be safe:
Nor shall the Prisoner die a speedier Death,
[Page 52]Than what my Doom decreed: Unless the King
Reverse his Orders, by my Messenger.
May I presume to ask you, whom you sent?
Thy Son, unknown to thee; for so I charg'd him:
And this the promis'd hour of his Return.—Nay wonder not,
I chose him with design: That whatsoe'er
The King ordains, you both shou'd share th' Event:
And stand or fall with me. Ponder on that, and leave me!
What can she mean? She neither kills nor saves—
Exit Sosybius.
Now tell me, Heart: Now answer for thy self:
What wilt thou do! and what dost thou desire!
His Life? No, he's ungrateful: Or, his Death?
I tremble at that Word. What then? His Love!
His Love! my Heart! What! by Restraint, and Famine?
Are these the means to compass thy Design?
Revenge! My Hands so soft, his Heart so hard,
The blow recoils, and hurts me while I strike!
Like the mad Viper, scourg'd into a Rage,
I shoot into my self my fatal Sting.
Enter Mariner.
The Ship is ready, when you please to sail,
And waits but your Command: The Wind stands fair.
Be secret, and attend my farther pleasure—
Gives him a Purse, and exit Mariner.
So; this was time well manag'd: In three Days
To hire a Vessel—Put my Wealth on board:
Send off th' observing Son, and Fool the Father:
See him I will, to sound his last Resolves,
If Love can soften him, or Fear can bow.
If both shou'd fail, th' ungrateful Wretch shall find,
Rage has no Bounds in slighted Woman-kind.
Exit Cassandra.

SCENE, A Prison.

Enter Cleomenes.
NO Food: And this the third arising Sun:
But what have I to do with telling Suns,
And measuring Time? That runs no more for me!
Yet sure the Gods are good: I wou'd think so,
If they wou'd give me leave;
But Virtue in Distress, and Vice in Triumph
Make Atheists of Mankind.
Enter Cratisiclaea.
What Comfort, Mother?
A Soul, not conscious to it self of Ill,
Undaunted Courage, and a Master-mind:
No Comfort else but Death,
Who like a lazie Master stands aloof,
And leaves his Work to the slow hands of Famine.
All I wou'd ask of Heav'n,
Is, but to die alone; a single Ruine;
But to die o'er and o'er, in each of you,
With my own hunger pinch'd, but pierc'd with yours!
Grieve not for me!
What! not for you, my Mother!
I am strangely tempted to blaspheme the Gods;
For giving me so good, so kind a Parent:
And this is my return, to cause her Death—
Peace! Your Misfortunes cause it, not your Fault.
Enter Cleora.
What! my Cleora?
[Page 54]I stretch'd my bounds as far as I could go,
To shun the sight of what I cannot help;
A Flow'r withering on the Stalk for want
Of nourishment from Earth and showers from Heaven:
All I can give thee is but Rain of Eyes—
Wiping his Eyes.
Alas! I have not wherewithal to weep:
My eyes grow dim, and stiffen'd up with drought,
Can hardly rowl and walk their feeble round:
Indeed— I am faint.
And so am I.— Heaven knows! However
In pity of 'em both, I keep it secret:
Nor shall he see me fall—
Exit Cratisiclaea.
How does our helpless Infant?
It wants the Breast, its kindly nourishment:
And I have none to give, From these dry Cesterns
Which unsupply'd themselves, can yield no more:
It pull'd and pull'd but now, but nothing came.
At last it drew so hard, that the blood follow'd:
And that Red Milk I found upon its Lips,
Which made me swoon with fear.
Go in and rest thee,
And hush the Child asleep.
Exit Cleora.
Look down ye Gods—
Look, Hercules, thou Author of my Race,
And Jog thy Father Iove, that he may look
On his neglected Work of Humane-kind:
Tell him— I do not Curse him: But Devotion
Will cool in after times, if none but good Men suffer.—
What! another increase of Grief?
Enter Cleonidas.
O Father!
Why dost thou call me by so kind a name?
[...]! That implies presiding Care,
[...] to give.— Willing himself to want!
[...] thy needs require!
[Page 55]
A little Food!
Have you none, Father? One poor Hungry Morsel:
Or give me leave to die— as I desir'd;
For without your consent, Heaven knows, I dare not.
I prithee stay a little: I am loath
To say hard things of Heaven!
But what if Heaven
Will do hard things, must not hard things be said?
Y'have often told me, That the Souls of Kings
Are made above the rest of Humane Race;
Have they not Fortunes fitted for those Souls?
Did ever King die Starv'd?
I know not that:
Yet still be firm in this: The Gods are good,
Tho' thou and I may perish.
Indeed I know not,
That ever I offended Heaven in thought:
I always said my Prayers.
Thou didst thy Duty.
And yet you lost the Battel when I Pray'd.
'Twas in the Fates I should: But hold thee there!
The rest is all unfathomable depth:
This we well know, That if there be a Bliss
Beyond this present Life, 'tis purchas'd here,
And Virtue is its price.
But are you sure
Our Souls shall be Immortal?
Why that Question?
Because I find, that now my Body starves,
My Soul decays: I think not as I did:
My Head goes round: And now you swim before me▪
Methinks my Soul is like a Flame, unfed
With Oyl, that dances up and down the Lamp,
But must expire ere long.
I prithee try to hold it while thou canst.
I would obey you,
As I have always done, but I am faint;
And when you please to let me die, I'll thank you.
[Page 56]
Thou shalt have Food: I promise thee, thou shalt.
Then you shall promise to have Food for your self too;
For if you have it not, I would refuse to eat:
Nay I would chuse to die, that you might seed on me.
Mark, Heaven, his Filial Love,
And if a Family of such as these
Must perish thus, your Model is destroy'd
By which you made good Men.
Enter Pantheus hastily.
Be chearful, Sir, The Gods have sent us Food.
They try'd me of the longest: But by whom?
Go in and see.
Good Father, do not stay to ask, but go.
Go thou— thy Youth calls fiercer than my Age.
But then make haste: and come to take your part:
Hunger may make me impious to eat all,
And leave you last to starve—
Exit Cleonidas.
Sir, will you go?
I know not: I am half seas o'er to Death!
And since I must die once, I wou'd be loth
To make a double work of what's half finish'd;
Unless I could be sure the Gods wou'd still
Renew these Miracles: Who brought this Food?
He's here that can resolve you!
Exit Panth.
Enter Cleanthes with a Sword in his hand.
How dar'st thou come again within my sight?
Thou art— but 'tis no matter what thou art,—
I'll not consider thee so far to think
Thee worth Reproach.— Away, away Egyptian!
That's all the Name that's left Thee.
Such I appear indeed:
Why then for once, that which thou seem'st thou art:
Be gone.
Oh I have been too long away!
Too soon thou art return'd,
To Triumph o'er my Fate.
Forgive me, that I seem'd your Foe.
[Page 57]
Forgive me, Heaven, for thinking thee my Friend:
No more; 'tis loss of Time to talk.
Indeed it is,
When hunger calls so loud for Sustenance.
But whether Friend or Foe, 'tis Food I bring.
'Tis Poison; and my Mother, and my Wife,
And my poor famish'd Boy are eating Death:
Thou would'st not have me think that thou repent'st?
Heav'n knows, I do not!
Well said, Man! Go on —and be not bashful
To own the Merits of thy Wickedness.
What need has Innocence of a Repentance?
Shuffling again! Prithee be of a piece.
A little steddiness becomes a Villain.
Oh! Friend—for yet I dare to call you so;
Which if I were a Villain; sure I durst not.
Hear me—or kill me!
So, by Heav'n, I would,
For thy profaning Friendship's holy Name:
But for thou see'st no Justice hanging here
On this bare side, thou talk'st secure of Vengeance.
Then if you had a Sword, my Death's resolv'd!
Thy Conscience answers thee.
Without more Evidence than bare Surmise;
At most appearance of a Crime unprov'd;
And while unprov'd, uncertain?
Traitor, no more; 'tis fulsome!
Take the Sword—
Throws it to him.
I thank thee —Draw thy own.
Takes it up.
No— Take that too.
Draws his, and offers it.
Fool—Would'st thou die without Defence?
I would not:
But you forbad me to defend my self,
Then, when you would not hear me!
Can Falshood have a better Argument
Than Force for its Defence? Trust to that Topick,
And bear thee like a Man.
I think, I do.
[Page 58]
What kind o' Man is that, who dares not fight?
The Man, who dares not when his Honour calls,
Is what you mean; but what I never was:
For Honour never summons without Reason.
Force is the Law of Brutes. The dumb Creation,
Where Words and Reason want, appeal to Might.
I thought a King, and what you boast, a Spartan,
Might have known this without th' Aegyptian's telling.
Come, Come; Thou dar'st not fight.
By Heav'n, I dare.
But first my Honour must be justify'd,
If you dare be my Judge:
For in this crude and indigested Quarrel,
If I should fall unheard, you kill your Friend,
The Man who lov'd you best, and holds you dearest.
And should you perish in th' unjust Attempt,
The Sword that slew you, shou'd revenge your Death:
For I should soon o'ertake you in the way,
To quit my self before you reach'd the Shades,
And told your Tale to Minos.
Then I must hear: But swear, swear first I charge thee,
That when I have pronounc'd, thou wilt no more
Prolong thy prattle with some new Excuse:
And prithee cut it short—because I faint,
And long to kill thee first: Oh, I am going,
A rising Vapour rumbles in my Brains.
I hear my Words far off — stand, stand, thou Traytor,
And swim not thus before me—'tis too late,
Puts the point upon the ground once or twice, leans on't, and staggers.
And I fall unreveng'd—
Offers to run at him, and is falling.
What, ho, Pantheus!
Runs to him, and takes him in his Arms.
The best of Men is dying in my Arms,
And I want pow'r to save him.
Enter Pantheus.
Oh Heav'ns! what means this direful Object?
[Page 59]
Ask not with unassisting pity; bow him forward;
Rub his numb'd Temples, while I wipe the Sweat
From his cold clammy Face.
His mounting Heart
Bounces against my hands, as if it would
Thrust off his manly Soul.
Wrench ope his mouth,
While I infuse these Sovereign Drops, whose Pow'r
Will soon recal his wander'd sense —
He instills somewhat out of a Vial into his Mouth.
He stirs!
And stretches now, and seems t' essay his Limbs.
Where am I?
Standing a while, they support him.
In his Arms, who dy'd with you;
And now you live, revives.
Art thou, Panthaeus?
Believe your Eyes, I am.
Speak then, and truly, (for I trust not him,)
Who brought me back to Life?
Who, but he, who was left single with you,
Who caught you falling in his faithful Arms;
And not alone sufficient to restore you,
Call'd loud for my Assistance:
I found him propping you with trembling Hands;
His Eyes so haggard, I could scarce distinguish
Who was the living Friend, and who the dead.
All this Cleanthes! This, What this Cleanthes?
Yes, your Cleanthes.
Your suspected Friend,
Much wrong'd, but ever faithful!
Art thou sure
I live? Or am I in the Regions of the dead?
And hear the Fables there; my self a Fable?
Go in, and see your chearful Family
Eating his Bread, brought in their last Distress;
And with a good mistaking Piety,
First blessing him, then Heaven!
When I hear this, I have no need of Food:
[Page 60]I am restor'd without it.
Then, now hear me,
How I was forc'd into this seeming Falshood,
To save my self, the only means remaining
To save the Man I lov'd beyond my self;
And gain a needful Credit with Cassandra:
And yet even then deceiv'd, and sent far off
For three long Days, unknowing of your wants,
Not thinking she, who lov'd, could use you thus.
By Famishment to —
O no more! no more!
For now I understand e'er thou can'st speak it half:
To thee I ow'd the seizing of my Sword,
Lest I should fall by odds—My Wife's return,
All, all to thee— And thou art more than all:
Can'st thou forgive me? Can'st thou, my Cleanthes?
Can I deserve thus to grow here once more?
Embracing him.
Let me embrace my self quite into thee.
Come, come as fiercely as thou wilt—I meet thee—
Embraces Cleomenes.
I close within thee, and am thou again.
Why, this is as it should be.
I could not thus have taken to the Death
Anothers Falshood, but thine, only thine:
For infinitely, infinitely loving,
'Twas a wide gap thou mad'st within my Bosom,
And as my Soul rent from me.
But thy Hunger!
This violent Transport of my Reconcilement,
Makes me forget thy Wants — When I embrac'd thee
Thy spungy Body dwindled in my Arms,
And like a Ghost fled from me.
I could eat—
Going in.
Now my first Appetite of Love is serv'd;
And that was much the keenest: Let us in;
For Life looks lovely now, and worth preserving.
Not that way, Friend —
It leads you to the Women, and the Boy.
[Page 61]
And why must I avoid those tender Blessings?
Even such, because they are, you must avoid them.
For I must tell you, Friend, you have but time
To snatch a hasty Morsel, and away:
Nothing of Manhood must be clogg'd or soften'd
With Womanish Sighs and Tears, and kind Adieu's!
And those ill-tim'd Remorses of good Nature,
When your whole Soul is needful.
You tell us Wonders!
At the King's Return,
Which daily we expect, your Death's resolv'd:
This hour's your own! Take it, and tempt your Fortune;
Some few brave Friends I hope to add;
If not, all Aegypt's number'd in my self.
I am all on Fire; now for a lucky pull
At Fate's last Lottery:
I long to see the Colour, white or black;
That's the God's Work: And if I fall their shame,
Let 'em ne'er think of making Heroes more,
If Cowards must prevail.
The fewer Hands,
The fewer Partners in the share of Honour.
Come, my Pantheus: Lead, my best Cleanthes!
We three to all the World.
Magas, and Liberty, let be the Word:
Magas is lov'd, and Liberty desir'd.
A short Refection waits at the Lieutenant's,
That honest Friend, who sent you back your Wife;
We'll drink a Bowl of Wine, and pour the rest,
Not to the Dog Anubis; but to Iove,
The Freer and Avenger.
[Page 62] Enter Cratisiclaea, Cleora, Cleonidas.
Gone—and without taking leave!
The better.
He bated me the Forms, and you the Fondness.
Pantheus too, and he who brought the Food,
The brave Aegyptian, vanish'd all together.
Oh, my fore-boding Soul! he's gone to Death!
And that Cleanthes, whom thou call'st the Brave,
Has basely train'd him out to his Destruction!
Suspect him not: When Fate was in his power,
And by a Method so secure as Famine;
To save us then, shows he had little need
To trick my Son to Death:
I have a better prospect of th' Event.
Dear Mother! Comfort me and tell your Thoughts;
For I see nothing but a gathering Tempest,
Horror on Horror to the end of Heaven!
No, no; you are not of a Soul to bear
The mighty Good and Ill that meet mid-way,
As from two Goals; and which comes first upon us,
Fate only knows.
Then speak to me; for I can stand the Shock,
Like a young Plant that fastens in a Storm,
And deeper drives the Root.
Thy Soul's too strong; thy Body yet too weak
To bear the Crush: Be still, and wait thy Doom.
A Cry within: Liberty, Liberty; Magas, Magas; To Arms for Magas, and for Liberty.
What noble sound was that? So smart and vigorous?
A Soul in every Word.
Why that was it,
I thought, was doing; but I durst not tell,
Till now it shows it self.
The Works begun, my Boy; the Works begun:
There was thy Father in that Warlike Shout,
Stemming the Tide of Aegypt.
[Page 63]
O comfort me, my Husband's Mother; say,
My Lord may live and conquer.
But still make sure of Death: Trust we to that,
As to our last Reserve.
Alas, I dare not die.
Come, come, you dare:
Do not belie your Courage.
Heaven help me, I have none.
Then dare you be a Slave to base Aegyptians?
For that must be, if you outlive your Husband.
I think, I durst, to save my self from Death.
Then, as a Slave, you durst be ravish'd too?
The Gods forbid.
The Gods cannot forbid it
By any way but Death.
Then I dare die.
I told you so: You did not know your Vertue.
Poor trembling thing; I'll warm thee in my Bosom,
And make thee take Death kindly.
Another Shout within: Liberty and Magas.
What must become of me?
More Trouble yet about this paltry Being?
For shame no more such Qualms!
No more such vile Mistakes! I would die warm,
And not in Women's Company—but Men's.
Whether some God inspires me to this Act,
Or Fate inevitably calls me on,
I will not, cannot stay:
But as a generous, unflesh'd Hound, that hears
From far the Hunter's Horn and chearful Cry;
So will I haste; and by the Musick led,
Come up with Death or Honour—
Stop him, dear Mother; he may comfort us,
But cannot help his Father.
[Page 64]
The Hero's Blood is not to be controul'd;
Even in a Child 'tis madly Masterful:
But wait we patient with our petty Stakes,
Which on those greater Gamesters must depend;
For as they throw, our little Lots must follow,
Like sweepings of their heap.
Cratisiclaea and Cleora go in.
A Shout within: Liberty, Liberty, and Magas.
Enter Cleomenes, Cleanthes, Pantheus, followed by some few Aegyptians.
What? Is this populous City turn'd a Desart?
The Cry of Liberty runs on before us;
And yet not one appears!
By Hercules! we drive 'em through their Town:
They dare not stay to welcome their Deliverers.
The Cowards are afraid of what they wish:
And cou'd they be their own, they wou'd be ours.
They're gone! We talk to Houses and to Walls.
Not so: I see some peeping from their Doors.
What are you, Friends or Foes?
Four Aegyptians appear peeping at the opposite Entrances of the Stage.
1 Aegypt.
Friends, Friends: All honest Men, and Hearty to the Cause.
Explain what Cause—and give the general Cry.
1 & 2. Aegypt.
Liberty and Magas.
in their Tone.
Liberty and Magas!
The Cowards whisper Liberty so softly,
As if they were afraid the Gods should hear it,
And take 'em at their Word.
1. Egypt.
[Page 65]
No, Friend: We Vulgar never fear the Gods:
But we whisper, for fear our over-thwart Neighbours
Should hear us cry, Liberty, and betray us to the Government.
Of what side are you there?
to the opposite Egypt.
3. Egypt.
That's according as you succeed: Of your side hitherto.
If you are Men, come join with us.
4. Egypt.

You are too few for us to join with you; but get the greater Party of your side, and we'll be sure to help the Common Cry.


Dare you doe nothing to assert your Freedom?

3. Egypt.

Yes; We'll pray devoutly for you.


The Brave pray with their Swords; that's a Man's part.

4. Egypt.
Pray with our Swords, the Law calls Fighting;
And Fighting is Bloud-shed; And Bloud-shed is Hanging;
And Hanging is the part of a Dog, and not of a Man, in my opinion.
1. Egypt.
Every one shift for himself,
Egpytian Trumpets within.
The Government is a coming.
They shrink back in a fright, and clap the Doors.
Run; couch, ye Cowards, to your Tyrant Lords.
A Dog you worship, and partake his Nature:
A Race of speaking Spaniels.
Let 'em go; We'll doe our work without 'em.
The comfort is, our Foes are like our Friends—
Holy-day Hero's, drawn out once a month,
At publick Charge to Eat, and to be Drunk:
Mere Mouths of War.
Enter Sosybius and Coenus at the head of many Egypti­ans: They who spoke before, bolt out of their doors, and join with them.
'Twas what I always fear'd; e'en when I sav'd Thee,
To find thee thus engag'd among my Foes:
But, yet submit; And I can yet forgive Thee:
Consider; for 'tis all I have time to say,
[Page 66]Thou fight'st against thy Father.
Against my Father's Cause, but not my Father:
If you wou'd needs become your self a Slave,
And get me such, I must redeem us both,
And will, or perish in the brave Attempt.
Withdraw thy self from ruine: I command Thee.
Command I cannot: But, I beg you, Sir,
Engage not for an Arbitrary Power,
That odious Weight upon a Free-born-soul.
This is too much; fall on: But spare my Son.
Enter Cassandra attended.
Sosybius, hold! Withdraw your Men to distance:
You know this Signet: Obey your King in Me.
Shews the Signet.
Never more gladly: Tho' my Son's a Rebell;
Yet Nature works to save him.
Then rather than he shou'd untimely fall,
Coenus draws off Sosybius's his Men.
I wou'd forgive the Rest: and offer Life,
Panth. Cleom. Men, Ex. Manent Cassan. Sosyb. Cleanth.
Even to that Fugitive, if he please to treat.
Be short: and, if you can, for once, sincere.
What can you hope from this unequal Fight,
Where numbers rise from every Foe you kill,
And grow from their defeat?
We come resolv'd:
And to die killing is a kind of Conquest.
But are not Life and Freedom worth accepting,
When offer'd; and, with such Conditions too,
As make 'em both more pleasing? Your Friends safety,
Your Son, your Mother, and that only She,
Who loves you best, for your Companion home:
You know what She I mean.
Aside to him.
No private parley—
Stepping back.
Spartans doe all in publick.
We know your reasons for those secret whispers;
[Page 67]And to your Infamy—
[Aside to him.]
Peace, Peace, my Friend.
No injuries from Women can provoke
A Man of Honour to expose their Fame.
Madam; We understand each other well:
My Son, my Mother, and my Wife restor'd,
'Tis Peace; if not, 'tis War.
A fair Proposal: Be it Peace.
No, Fool! 'tis War. Know, Heavy Hero, know,
I gain'd this time for my secure Revenge;
To seize thy Wife and Mother: And to stab Thee
On both sides of thy Heart, they're gone to die,
To make thy Death more painfull. Farewel, Traytor!
And thank thy self—not me—
Ex. Cas. & Sosyb.
Revenge, revenge,
And speedy Death, or Conquest: Hold, Cleanthes!
Enter Cleonidas.
Poor Boy!
By Heaven, I am pleas'd to see thee safe this moment,
Tho' I expect the next to lose thee. Guard him,
Cleanthes: Set him safe behind the Front.
Come, Sir: You are now my Charge!
The Gods forbid
That I should seek this danger, and not share it.
[To Cleom.]
Forgive me, Sir, that once I disobey you,
To prove my self your Son; living, or dying,
I'll not be less than Man.
Oh! I could chide Thee.
But there's no time: for Love and Anger both
Fight by my side; and Heaven protect thy Courage.
Cleomenes, Cleanthes, Cleonidas, and their Party go off the Stage to fight the Egyptians.
Trumpets, Drums, Shouts and Clashings within.
[Page 68] Re-enter both Parties— The Egyptians first: Driven by Cleomenes Pantheus ready to kill Sosybius,— as having him down: Cleanthes runs to him, and interposes.
Pantheus, hold; or, turn thy Sword on me.
to Sosyb.
Rise, Sir; and, thank your Son.
to Panth.
Pursue the Foes: I have no Joy of Conquest
Till I have set my Father safe.
The Gods reward thy pious Care.
Cleanth. leads off his Father; while Pan­theus follows Cleomenes: The Egypti­ans are driven to the bottom of the Stage: They make a wheeling Fight; still retiring before the Spartans: Cle­omenes advances eagerly after the Egy­ptians, and, with Pantheus, drives 'em off: Cleonidas is left behind: So is Coenus who had skulk'd.
This was well watch'd: The Boy is left ungarded.
Thrusts at Cleonidas behind.
Oh! I am slain by Treason!
Revenge me, Royal Father.
Re-enter Cleomenes.
'Twas sure his voice:
Sees him on the ground.
Too sure: Pity and Rage
Distract my Soul: but rage will first be serv'd.
Runs at Coe­nus and kills him.
There's Justice for my self, and for my Son!
Look up, sweet Boy,
And tell me that thou liv'st.
Fain I would live
To Comfort you: I bleed and am asham'd
To say I faint, and call my self your Son;
[Page 69]O Traytor Coenus? What's become of him?
Look, there he lies.
I am glad on't,
Forgive me, Heaven: I hope 'tis no offence
To say I am glad, because he kill'd me basely.
Still, I grow fainter: Hold me, hold me, Father.
Cheer up, and thou shalt live.
No: I'm just dying.
What shall I lose?
A Boy: That's all. I might have liv'd to Manhood:
But once I must have dy'd.
But not before thy Father?
Nay: then you envy me, that I am first Happy:
I go; and when you come pray find me out
And own me for your Son.—
There went his Soul: Fate thou hast done thy worst,
And all thou canst henceforth; is but mean Slaughter,
The gleanings of this Harvest.—
Enter Pantheus.
Sir, y're well found: our Enemies are fled:
I left our men pursuing, and made haste
To bring this joyfull News.
Look there, and if thou dar'st, now give me joy.
Enough! y' have stopp'd my mouth— what Coenus kill'd?
I ask no Questions then, of who kill'd who:
The Bodies tell their Story as they lie.
Haste, and revenge!
Where are our Enemies?
Sculking, disperst in Garrets, and in Cellars.
Enter Cleanthes.
Not worth the seeking: Are these fit t'atone
For Cleomenes Mother, Son, and Wife?
But what the Gods have left us, we must take.
[Page 70]
'Tis all in vain: we have no further work:
The People will not be dragg'd out to Freedom:
They bar their Doors against it: Nay, the Prisoners
Even guard their Chains, as their inheritance;
And Man their very Dungeons, for their Masters:
Lest Godlike Liberty, the Comon Foe,
Should enter in; and they be judg'd hereafter
Accomplices of Freedom.
Then, we may sheath our Swords.
We may, Pantheus;
But so as brave men should, each in his Bosome.
That onely way is left us to die free.
All's lost for which I once desir'd to live.
Come, to our business then: Be speedy Sir;
And give the word; I'll be the first; to charge
The Grim Foe, death.
Fortune, Thou hast reduc'd me very low,
To do the Drudgery of fate my self!
What! not one brave Egyptian! not one worthy
To do me manly Right, in single Combat!
To fall beneath my fury? For that's Justice:
But, then to drag me after: For to die,
And yet, in Death to Conquer, is my Wish!
Then have your Wish: The Gods at last are kind:
And have provided you a Sword that's worthy
To match your own: 'Tis an Egyptians too.
Is there that hidden Treasure in thy Countrey?
The Gods be prais'd— for such a Foe I want.
— Not such a Foe, but such a Friend am I.
I would fall first, for fear I should survive you,
And pull you after to make sure in Death,
To be your undivided Friend for ever.
Then enter We into each others Breasts.
'Tis a sharp passage; yet a kind one too.
But to prevent the blind mistake of Swords,
Lest one drop first, and leave his Friend behind,
Both thrust at once, and home, and at our Hearts:
Let neither stand on Guard, but let our Bosomes
[Page 71]Lie open to each other in our Death,
As in our Life they were—
I Seal it thus.
Kiss and embrace.
And where's my part? You shut me out like Churls,
While you devour the Feast of Death betwixt you.
Cheer up thy Soul, and thou shalt die Pantheus:
But in thy turn: There's Death enough for all:
But as I am thy Master, wait my leisure,
And honestly Compose my Limbs to Rest,
Then serve thy self.— Now are you ready, Friend?
I am.
Then this to our next happy meeting—
They both push together, then stagger backwards and fall together in each others Arms.
Speak, have I serv'd you to your Wish, my Friend?
Yes, Friend— thou hast— I have thee in my heart—
Say— art Thou sped?
I am, 'tis my last Breath.
And mine— Then both are Happy—
both Die.
So, this was well perform'd and soon dispatch'd:
Both sound asleep already,
And farewell both for one short moment.
Trumpets sound, Vi­ctory within.
Those are the Foes, our little band is lost
For want of these Defenders: I must hasten,
Lest I be forc'd to live, and led in Triumph;
Defrauded of my Fate: I've earn'd it well,
And finish'd all my Task: This is my place:
Just at my Masters feet—Guard him, yee Gods,
And save his sacred Corps from publick shame—
He falls on his Sword, and lies at the feet of Cleom.▪ Dies.
Enter Sosybius, Cassandra, and Aegyptians.
'Tis what my Heart foreboded: There he lies,
Extended by the Man whom best he lov'd!
A better Friend than Son.
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What's he, or Thou? or Ptolomy? or Aegypt?
Or all the world to Cleomenes lost?
Then I suspected right: If my revenge,
Can ease my sorrow; This, the King shall know;
That thou mayst reap the due reward of Treason,
And violated Love.
Thy worst old Dotard.
I wish to die: but if my mind should Change,
So well I know my Power, that Thou art lost.
The King's arrival shall decide our Fate.
Mean time to show how much I honour Virtue,
Take up that Hero's Body, bear it high,
Like the Procession of a Deity:
Let his arm'd Figure on his Tomb be set,
And We like Slaves lie grovling at his feet;
Whose Glories growing till his latest Breath,
Excell'd all others: And his own in Death.—
Ex. omnes.

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