JASON; A TRAGEDY, IN FIVE ACTS. BY R. GLOVER, ESQ. AUTHOR OF "LEONIDAS, AN EPIC POEM."

—Ex fumo dare lucem Cogitat, ut speciosa dehinc miracula promat.
Hor. de Art. Poet. v. 143

LONDON: PRINTED FOR J. DEBRETT, OPPOSITE BURLINGTON-HOUSE, PICCADILLY. MDCCXCIX.

TO THE READER.

THE following Tragedy, which is now of­fered to the Public from the pen of RICHARD GLOVER, Esq. Author of LEONIDAS, is a Sequel to the MEDEA, which has been per­formed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, with the greatest applause. This Piece was presented by him, many years previous to his death, to the celebrated Mrs. Yates, who passed the highest encomiums upon it; but owing to the grandeur of the scenery, and the expense required to bring it forward, it was altogether laid aside; and it has since that period been offered to the Managers of both Theatres, who still have the same objection. It is therefore only necessary to add, that the Public, well knowing the Author's talents, have it in their power to judge of its merits or defects.

G. Y. B.

Dramatis Personae.

  • JASON, under the name of MELAMPUS.
  • MADAUCES.
  • ORONTES.
  • Genius of Caucasus.
  • MEDEA, or the Enchantress.
  • CASSANDANE.
  • Nymphs and Spirits.

SCENE.—A Castle near Mount Caucasus, and the Caspian Sea.

[Page]JASON.

ACT I.

SCENE I.

MELAMPUS completely armed, and MADAUCES bearing a wand.
MADAUCES.
THESE snow-topp'd mountains, green in wood below;
That restless flood, which wears its stony bed,
And parts the meadows; yon expanse of waters,
Which, at the vale's extremity, presents
A sea; are all the workmanship of Nature:
The spot selected here is magic ground:
These massy structures, rivalling the hills,
Are not the labour of terrestrial hands.
MELAMPUS.
Whose then, my sage Madauces?
MADAUCES.
Dost thou mark?
A troop of horsemen, issu'd from the wood,
Pace by the banks of that resounding stream;
And one, who bears a diadem, precedes.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 6]
They may explain what region hath receiv'd us.
Meantime thy wonted caution will disguise.
My name and country. Call me still Melampus.—
Oh! couldst thou hide me from myself, Madauces!
MADAUCES.
Is this a time for languor? Look, Melampus.
MELAMPUS.
A lion sallies from that secret portal.
MADAUCES.
The tawny savage rushes on the chief
Of that advancing band. With coward fear
They shrink, they leave their unassisted lord.

SCENE II.

MADAUCES to MELAMPUS, going.
Fly with an eagle's swiftness, thou unconquer'd.
Alas! the lion gripes the monarch's arm—
Wind thy strong fingers in the shaggy mane—
One effort more will drag him down to earth—
Ay, there—thy jav'lin now will rive his heart.
O, in benignity prosuse to others,
Unkind and rig'rous to thyself! They come.

SCENE III.

MADAUCES, MELAMPUS, and ORONTES.
ORONTES.
Far as a king may condescend in thanks,
I render mine to thee.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 7]
Thy arm is wounded.
ORONTES.
I feel no pain. Most fortunate of men!
Thou from this ridge of Caucasus, around
The Caspian shore to Iaxartes' source,
Shalt be proclaim'd the happy, who hast sav'd
Their lord, Orontes.
MELAMPUS.
Is that distant water
The sar-fam'd Caspian? This the hoary front
Os Caucasus? Art thou the region's lord?
ORONTES.
The king of kings, of origin divine,
Who mean to raise thee nearer to myself.
Sev'n spacious cities, all with rich domains,
And the first rank among Orontes' servants,
Shall soon exalt thee from thy humble state.
MELAMPUS.
Sev'n times sev'n cities, capitals of realms,
Could not repair my loss, nor ease my troubles.
MADAUCES.
Melampus!
ORONTES.
Dost thou talk or think of troubles?
None canst thou seel, protected by my favour.
To glad thee more, I want thy further aid,
And will employ thee in a dearer cause
Than life itself. But instantly reveal
Thy birth and appellation.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 8]
Who I am,
Or whence deriv'd, avails not thee to know,
Me less to utter.
ORONTES.
I command thee, speak.
Whence and what art thou is my will to know.
MELAMPUS.
Mine to conceal.
ORONTES.
Ha! stranger.
MADAUCES.
Prince, forbear.
Solicitation, or command, is fruitless.
ORONTES.
He must be then some deity, resigning
His empyreal station to defend
My sacred head. None yet of mortal race
Hath disobey'd my pleasure, or endur'd
My wrinkling brow.
MELAMPUS.
No deity am I,
But one of earth's degen'rate sons like thee.
ORONTES.
Then dar'st thou dally with a king's impatience?
MELAMPUS.
Why rather dally with my own resentment,
Which should chastise ingratitude and pride?
ORONTES.
[Page 9]
Am I Orontes? Do adoring vassals,
Do princes crowd to thrust their splendid heads
Beneath my feet? Where am I?
MELAMPUS.
In my power.
ORONTES.
Thou at my smile no transport didst betray,
Nor fear'st my frown.
MELAMPUS.
Thou look'st around in vain.
Thy base, adoring homagers are fled,
Fled from the danger which my arm withstood.
They left their idol to the lion's paw,
And now to me, the victor of that savage.
Were my just anger equal to thy pride—
ORONTES.
Thou wouldst not stain thy sword with kingly blood!
MELAMPUS.
What shall prevent me? Thy imperial title?
Thy arrogance hath cancell'd all respect.
Or shall thy pow'r? Where is it? Thy dependants
Have left thee helpless. To thy single might
Art thou contracted.
ORONTES
(aside).
Strange these sounds, yet true.
MELAMPUS.
Thou seem'si dismay'd.
ORONTES.
[Page 10]
O stranger, I am mov'd,
But not with fear.
MELAMPUS.
Nor hast thou cause. The sallics
Of mere presumption never shall provoke me
Thou art secure, Orontes; not that streams
Of royal tincture have enrich'd thy veins,
But from the gen'rous warrant of thy aspect.
Sure thou hast seeds within, though yet unfruitful,
Through impious flatt'ry of barbarian slaves;
At least my soul is earnest to discover
A trace of merit in the man I sav'd;
If thou hast virtues sleeping in thy bosom,
Attend with patience while I rouse their languor.
ORONTES.
In admiration I suspend my voice.
MELAMPUS.
To be a man, and know himself, is all
Man can attain. Whoe'er aspires to more,
Is less than brute. The lion, whom I slew,
Had he address'd me with his smarting paw,
And I extracted thence an irksome thorn,
Would with mute thanks have lick'd my helpful hand.
Thou, just redeem'd from death's voracious maw,
Didst with rude insult thy protector greet.
Doth not that blood which trickles down thy arm
Denote thee frail? This day's mischance proclaim
Thee and thy pow'r obnoxious to disasters,
And fortune's sport? Did sickness never waste
Thy pamper'd flesh, nor anguish gnaw thy heart?
ORONTES.
Oh!
MELAMPUS.
[Page 11]
Cease to fear. I am thy friend.
ORONTES.
I own it.
But thy inquiry, if devouring anguish
Hath never gnaw'd my bosom, doth a note
Of discord strike which quite untunes my soul.
I am, indeed, obnoxious to disasters,
And fortune's sport.
MADAUCES.
Direct us where to lead thee,
And wind thy mantle round that wounded arm.
ORONTES.
If my whole frame were overspread with wounds,
They would be gentle to the rankling shaft,
Long fix'd, and deep, within my tortur'd heart.
Ye ramparts inaccessible, which hold
My hopes and joys, ah! never, never more
Through your enchanted portals must I pass
To view the queen of beauty! O, my friend,
To me the pomp of royalty is tedious,
The high repast is tasteless, gems are saint,
Persumes disgustful, softest music harsh.
Oft, as our god ascends his eastern hill,
And dips in darkness his returning wheels,
I sit and weep at these forbidden gates.
MELAMPUS.
Who is this fair one?
ORONTES.
Fair! That ruling pow'r,
Whose beams yet tinge the shadowy plumes of ev'ning,
[Page 12] In his meridian splendour is less bright,
The snowy lustre of the moon less fair.
MELAMPUS.
Now, if by wily stratagem or force
I may assist thee—
ORONTES.
Wilt thou, gallant stranger?
MELAMPUS.
I will.
ORONTES.
Then swear. Forgive, forgive my weakness.
How can I doubt thee?
MELAMPUS.
On my sword I swear,
By ev'ry tie of honour, and of truth—
ORONTES.
That thou this high achievement wilt attempt;
That should this magic threshold yield thee passage,
Thou wilt apply to yon disdaining fair
That eloquence, which charms my pride away,
And win her pity to a dying monarch,
Who throws his youth and empire at her feet.
MELAMPUS.
I call on Themis to record my oath.
ORONTES.
What god is Themis?
MELAMPUS.
Goddess she of justice,
In her pure service hath enroll'd my sword,
[Page 13] And on my shield her image is impress'd.
Oh! that my heart had borne it!
[Aside.
MADAUCES.
Hear the king.
ORONTES.
Wait till the morn. A rural palace near
Shall give thee welcome to a feastful board,
To strains concordant with th' enliv'ning dance,
And to refreshment on a couch of odours.
MELAMPUS.
Thrice hath the sun persorm'd his annual course,
Since I was seated at a social feast,
Since grief-assuaging music lull'd my ear,
And in my view the cheerful dance inspir'd;
Since I have stretch'd me on no soster couch
Than earth's cold surface, or th' unquiet deck,
With night's unfriendly moisture to contend,
With clam'rous tempests, and the beating rain.
No other pillow, than some pointed crag
Beside that water's melancholy fall,
To broken slumber shall invite my head.
ORONTES.
Unequall'd hardships! Liv'st thou to relate them!
Wilt thou be still offended, if a prince
Benignly try to sathom thy distress,
And raise thy head to comfort?
MELAMPUS.
Rest content.
My sword is thine, my sorrow mine alone.
ORONTES.
Enough.
MADAUCES.
[Page 14]
Enough indeed of time is wasted.
Prince, thou dost wnat some salutary hand.
We will transport thee gently—
MELAMPUS
to ORONTES.
Ha! thou droop'st.
Thy lips are pale.
ORONTES.
Support me. Musi I die!
Then near thee, cruel portal, shall I find
For the first time repose.
[Sinks down.
MELAMPUS.
His eyes are clos'd.
No help is near. He dies—and I the cause.

SCENE III.

A cloud descends, concealing the gale of the castle, and the body of ORONTES, from MELAMPUS and MA­DAUCES.
MADAUCES
retreating with MELAMPUS.
Around us all is marv'lous.
MELAMPUS.
Those rude blasts,
Whose sudden burst repell'd us—
MADAUCES.
Did not rise
At Nature's summons.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 15]
What a cloud is fall'n,
Impenetrably dark, and veils the castle!
MADAUCES.
Nor this a genuine vapour of the earth,
But for some hidden purpose fram'd by magic.
Look, it disperses, and the wind is charm'd
Again to silence. Ha! the king is gone.
MELAMPUS.
Gone! Whither?
MADAUCES.
Ask of heav'n.
MELAMPUS.
Life fled before,
By me expell'd.
MADAUCES.
He only was exhausted
By loss of blood, not dead.
MELAMPUS.
He died, I tell thee.
My ficrceness, my severity, destroy'd him.
Why should a wretch like me presume to censure
Another's frailty? I, who nurse within me
Two living vipers, horror and remorse,
I with the venom of my breath have blasted
His languid spirit.
MADAUCES.
O for ever blind
To thy own merit, thou didst then surpass
Thy wonted magnanimity and patience.
The snowy range of yonder hills displays
Not whiter flecces to the morning's ray,
[Page 16] Than doth repentance to the eye of heav'n
Thy bosom, blanch'd from guilt.
MELAMPUS.
It cannot be.
I feel myself detestable and hideous.
MADAUCES.
Shall never night return, but thou despond?
MELAMPUS.
No, never night to me shall usher peace,
Nor the sun joy.
MADAUCES.
O'ertoil'd, thou wantest rest.
MELAMPUS.
Where shall I find it?
MADAUCES.
Come, recline thy head
On me.
MELAMPUS.
No, rather dash it on a rock,
And so compose me to eternal rest.
MADAUCES.
What would befal me then?
MELAMPUS.
Ah! what, indeed,
Benevolent and venerable man,
Who thy paternal mansion dost abandon
To hear my howlings in these desert shades?
All who consort with me are doom'd to woe.
What is become of this unhappy king?
MADAUCES.
[Page 17]
Snatch'd from our sight by necromantic pow'r.
Now let us try, what spot secure and tranquil
This wilderness may yield us. I will stand
A watchful guardian o'er thy head to wave
This awful rod, and meditate some charm,
Which may in silence bind the restless throat
Of night's shrill bird; the lion of his rage,
The fell hyaena of her craft disarm,
And lurking tiger's vigilance elude;
That, undisturb'd, on sleep's refreshing lap
Thy manly vigour may relieve its toils:
Then like an eagle springing from his nest,
With wings expanded and undazzled sight,
To meet the sun, intrepid shalt thou rise,
Shalt look on glory, and forget thy woes.
END OF THE FIRST ACT.

ACT II.

SCENE I.

The Genius of Caucasus holding a branch of palm, and looking through the side-scene.
He sings.
[Trochaics.
LOVE-LORN maiden, I behold
Through these wilds thy dubious steps.
Me thou seest not, but thy ear
With consoling notes I fill.
Arm'd with safety are thy feet:
I am sent thy guide and guard.
CASSANDANE,
entering.
By love, by grief impell'd, and, voice benign!
By thee encourag'd, Cassandane bends
At these forbidden gates her suppliant knee.
Sublime possessor of these mystic walls,
Known by thy virtues only, while thy name
And history lie bury'd in concealment,
Who bear'st no title, but of sage enchantress,
Beneficent and gracious to these nations!
Redeem'd by thee from pestilence and famine,
Enrich'd with conquest and elate with triumph,
They once ador'd thy presence, but, desponding,
Regret thee now, their guardian pow'r withdrawn.
Thou dost not hear. Ah me! These massy bul­warks
Shut Cassandane from thy ear and sight.
Can I obtain a boon refus'd to all?
[Page 19]The Genius sings.
[Trochaics.
Injur'd maid, thy suit prefer:
Pity dwells within these gates,
Science to redress thy wrongs.
Cassandane, doubt no more.
CASSANDANE,
kneeling.
Then by thy pity, by my own slight merits,
Which once endear'd me to thy smile, I sue;
Stupendous woman, paragon of wisdom!
Let not another's sault exclude me longer!
O, to thy presence grant my woes access!
The Genius sings.
[Trochaics.
Horrid centinel, obey
What thy potent mistress wills:
To this virgin entrance give,
But thy hideous form conceal.

SCENE II.

A Spirit appearing on the battlement.
To mortal sight invisible I rise,
And curse thee, hateful messenger of pity,
Who open throw'st these interdicted gates.
CASSANDANE
starting, as the gates fly open.
Oh, direful voice! how dissonant from thine,
Intelligence harmonious, who, unseen,
Yet warbling sweet compassion, hast upheld
My fearful spirit! O attend me still!
[Page 20]The Genius sings.
[Cretics.
Void of fear, light in hope,
To my strains dance along
Over slowers, under shades,
[Trochaics.
Shades attun'd to liquid sounds
From the nightingales and rills.
CASSANDANE,
coming nearer to the gate.
Soft gales solicit with a fragrant whisper:
Birds trilling, vocal founts in music call.
Bless'd habitation! Emblem of that goodness
Which governs here a resuge to my troubles.
The Genius sings.
[Cretics.
Child of care, vocal founts,
Trilling birds, fragrant gales,
Glowing flow'rs charm the sense.
[Trochaics.
Here with wisdom thou shalt rest:
These may sooth, but wisdom cures.
[The Spirit, singing, enters the castle; Cassan­dane follows, and the gates close again.

SCENE III.

The Spirit on the battlement.
Night is collecting all her sable skirts,
To fly th' approaching dawn. Ye loit'ring nymphs,
Hear from your caves, your mountains, woods, and streams;
With awe receive the signal of my voice
For preparation: while in sounds of horror
I rouse the victim from his rocky pillow.
Ill-guided wand'rer, whose advent'rous steps
Have pass'd these lonely confines, didst thou hope
To rest conceal'd from me thy evil genius?
Awake. The raven with funcreal notes,
[Page 21] The screeching inmate of the moulder'd oak,
The tiger's yell, invite thee to despair;
While my infernal cries their discord aid
To pierce with dread thy enterprising soul,
Which shall to vultures leave thy mangled frame
In sight of these impenetrable walls.

SCENE IV.

The Spirit vanishes. MELAMPUS and MADAUCES.
MELAMPUS.
Malignant voice, thy threat'nings I desy.
MADAUCES.
There spoke my hero like himself.
MELAMPUS.
Why surely
Thou couldst not think a phantom of the night
Could shake my long-try'd firmness. No, Ma­dauces,
I sear no other than the direful image
Within me borne, and planted on my heart:
All else, apparcll'd in the blackest terrors,
The monster's brood, the necromancer's spell,
Whate'er the name of Demogorgon draws
From Pluto's borders, I can face, unmov'd.
Thou then, whose mind delib'rate age and science
Have cloth'd in wisdom, give thy last instruction▪
And my swift sword shall execute thy counsel.
The voice of a Nymph from behind the scene.
Whence is this wand'rer, who defiles our groves
With foul contagion from his perjur'd breath?
SECOND VOICE.
[Page 22]
It is Iolchian Jason, who, forsworn,
Betray'd his love; the weak ungrateful Jason,
Who for Creüsa, Creon's heir, abandon'd
The wise Medea, offspring of the sun.
THIRD VOICE.
Ye woods, ye rocks, ye hollow-winding shores,
Ye caverns, found the perjuries of Jason.
MELAMPUS.
I am reveal'd. My echo'd name disturbs
The nymphs, and fills their solitude with horror.
MADAUCES.
It is the cry of demons, to consound
Thy resolution.
MELAMPUS.
They declare me perjur'd.
Speak they not truth, Madauces? I am Jason,
That impious salse-one. I betray'd Medea,
Who sav'd me from disnonour, who subdu'd
The Colchian monsters, bless'd my toils with love,
And crown'd my triumphs with the golden fleece.
I slew my children by her srantic hand.
Oh, my poor slaughter'd boys! Your father's false­hood
Gave birth to madness, which destroy'd you both!
MADAUCES.
Aid not thy soes.
MELAMPUS.
The bloody act was mine.
Ye fiends, divulge my parricide and treason;
Blast with your taunting breath my strength, my courage:
[Page 23] Then rouse the desert, that some tiger's bowels
May sepulchre my sorrow and my shame.
MADAUCES.
Dost thou forget th' engagement to Orontes?
Doth thy performance slacken?
MELAMPUS.
No. Direct me
To rash on danger.
MADAUCES.
Summon thy attention.
Last night, when all was silent in the skies,
The moon, then smiling on me, I invok'd,
And charm'd a willing spirit from her orb.
By his fair guidance o'er the mead, I pluck'd
A flower, which opens to her mystic beams,
And shuts its bosom in the blaze of day.
Nine drops of precious moisture from this flower
Have bless'd with safety thy anointed spear;
Whose touch, unbarring those enchanted gates,
From magic durance shall protect thy body,
And visionary forms of peril quell:
The rest thy manly conduct must accomplish.
Now grasp the spear, nor quit thy sinewy hold!
This once forsaken, leaves thee to perdition.
The voice of a Fiend behind the scene.
How can the guilty prosper?
SECOND VOICE.
From his hand,
Enervated by crimes, the sword shall fall.
THIRD VOICE.
His spear shall break, his corselet be unbrac'd.
The faithless heart no buckler shall defend.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 24]
Fiends, do you brave me? O victorious deeds,
Which heretofore have dignify'd my arm,
Now rise in thought, and animate my bosom;
While, rending glory from the front of horror,
I add new lustre to your splendid roll.

SCENE V.

MELAMPUS and MADAUCES.
Melampus with his spear strikes the gates, which open with a harsh sound, and discover a Centaur, brandishing a mace, and standing across the en­trance. Melampus attacks the Centaur, who at the touch of the spear instantly vanishes. The whole wall disappears at the same time, and dis­covers a second wall and gate.
MADAUCES.
Now hast thou prov'd the virtues of thy spear.
MELAMPUS.
And will essay its energy again.
[He strikes the second gate, which disappears with the whole wall, leaving in view a craggy rock with a torrent of water down the middle, and a hydra and griffin on the summit. All vanish at the touch of the spear. A third wall appears, with a gulf of fire before it. The fire is filled with fiends, and a gigantic figure of Death, shaking a dart, is planted between the gulf and the gate.
MADAUCES.
These are illusive images of danger,
Which perseverance will dissolve to air.

SCENE VI.

MELAMPUS and MADAUCES.
Melampus strikes the figure of Death, which sinks with the fire.
MELAMPUS.
Thus far successful, I will try the temper
Of this third portal. Dost thou see, Madauces,
Yon Cyclops, rolling his presumptuous orb,
Which glares defiance from his spacious front,
More lofty than the battlement? By Mars,
I will have entrance, monster!
[The gate, opening spontaneously, admits Melampus, and is immediately shut against Madauces.

SCENE VII.

MADAUCES.
Stay, Melampus!
I am excluded. To a real soe,
No airy spectre, is he now expos'd.
From me no succour can he find but prayers.
Thou rising god, whose comprehensive eye
Now o'er the bright horizon beams afresh,
And views the bravest of mankind in peril,
Resent no longer thy Medea's wrong.
Compassionate the penitential Jason;
And with the swiftness of thy rays direct
His rapid jav'lin to the monster's heart.
(Looking attentively, as on some distant object.)
My eyes, be steady. Luminous in gold,
Dropp'd through th' unclosing portals of the east,
A cloud, low waving, skims along the vale.
[Page 26] The fleecy radiance opens. Two bright forms
Descend, and hither point their gliding course.

SCENE VIII.

MADAUCES and two Spirits, one personating the God of Riches, the other HEBE, Goddess of Youth.
FIRST SPIRIT.
Old Colchian, once attendant on Medea,
Sprung from that god who, bursting from the east,
Heard from his chariot thy ascending voice,
Hast thou forgot when Jason pledg'd his faith,
And by her love obtain'd the golden fleece?
Thou from her native Phasis to the walls
Of treach'rous Corinth didst her wand'rings share;
Thou best canst witness to her grief and wrongs;
When Jason lest her in a foreign clime,
Forlorn, unshelter'd, and espous'd Creüsa,
Thou saw'st the blood, congenial with the sun,
Flow from her infants by a mother's frenzy.
For guilty Jason dost thou lift thy voice?
Th' indignant god rejects th' unseemly pray'r,
By me delivers his sublime behests,
That thou assist his vengeance.
MADAUCES.
He may pierce
This aged bosom with consuming rays,
And he will find it to Medea true,
Nor less to that poor penitent, her husband.
FIRST SPIRIT.
Hear thy reward to animate thy duty.
I am the god of riches, bliss of age.
Come, and behold the diamond emblaze
[Page 27] My gorgeous hall. The emerald, the topaz,
The ruby, shoot their mingling beams around.
HEBE
sings.
[Trochaics.
Hebe I of youth am goddess:
I can smooth a wrinkled cheek:
Go, possess unbounded treasure;
I will then thy prime renew.
MADAUCES.
I fathom now the impotent device.
For me your thin-spun magic do you spread,
Audacious demons, under sacred forms
Of messengers from him who lights the world?
Hadst thou to give with that infernal hand
(To Plutus.)
The treasures, boasted by thy lying tongue;
Couldst thou rekindle fire in icy veins;
(To Hebe.)
Thus should a look command you back to hell.
[The Spirits vanish.

SCENE IX.

MADAUCES.
What hollow sound beneath me! Gods! I hear
A subterraneous groan, portending death.
The earth rocks under my supplanted feet.

SCENE X.

After a horrible sound under the stage, violent and repeated thunder and lightning above, the battle­ments of the castle totter, and fall; the third wall disappears, and discovers a beautiful garden with a magnificent palace.
MADAUCES; MELAMPUS prostrate on the ground, with his spear and shield held fast; ORONTES bending over him.
ORONTES.
My brave protector on the earth! oh, rise!
Rise to a king's embraces and support.
MELAMPUS,
rising.
Orontes!
MADAUCES
to MELAMPUS.
Art thou safe?
MELAMPUS.
I am, my friend.
And dost thou live, Orontes? Let me press thee
To my transported bosom. Quick relate
What fortune plac'd thee here.
ORONTES.
Thou first unfold
Thy wondrous acts which threw these ramparts down.
MADAUCES.
Nor kill my age, Melampus, with impatience.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 29]
Two gates I forc'd. Admitted through the last,
Ere yet beyond the entrance I could plant
My feet secure, impenetrable clouds
Enwrapp'd my forehead, and a steep descent
At once drew downward my reluctant steps,
Compell'd to trace a cavern's black abyss.
Three Gorgon spectres at th' extremest depth
Rose from the gaping mould with livid brands,
Whose glimm'ring sulphur on the clammy roof
And sides presented to my sick'ning sight
A hateful brood, distilling poison round▪
ORONTES.
What hath he suffer'd!
MADAUCES.
What surmounted! Hear.
MELAMPUS.
Amid this baleful scene a hideous voice
Roar'd through the dim vacuity. I turn'd;
When, lo! th' enormous Cyclops, striding down,
Lanc'd with impatient rage his pointed beam,
Which o'er my shoulder inoffensive flew;
Then with extended arms, and eager pace,
Advanc'd to grasp me. Blindly driv'n by fury,
And my kind fortune, on my spear he rush'd;
I held it firm, and felt the grating blade
Pierce his tough breast, and vibrate in his heart,
Whose groan redoubled horror through the cave.
ORONTES.
What next?
MELAMPUS.
[Page 30]
With peals of subterraneous thunder,
As from her centre, heav'd the earth convuls'd,
And shook me prostrate.
MADAUCES.
Such, as now we found thee.
MELAMPUS.
The swift transition to delights like these,
From earth's cold entrails and unwholesome va­pours
To this pure sky and these delicious bowers,
I mark with wonder, uninform'd by knowledge.
ORONTES.
My history, alas! is brief and sad.
By some strange pow'r transported from the spot
Where last you saw me sainting, I awoke
Beneath an arbour's melancholy roof,
With nightshade clad, with monumental yew,
And loathsome plants, the foes to life and joy.
MELAMPUS.
But thou wert wounded by the lion's claw.
ORONTES.
My wound was heal'd. A ghastly goblin stood
Full in my view, a centinel from hell.
All exclamations to discharge my grief,
E'en the complaints of disappointed love,
The cruel fiend deny'd me, and with scorn
Mock'd my imperial person when I mourn'd
My black reverse from boundless power to thral­dom.
When on the earth outstretch'd thy limbs ap­pear'd,
[Page 31] How I was suffer'd to approach I know not,
Nor yet how long in sreedom may continue
To grace thy merit with a monarch's praise.
MELAMPUS.
Give none to me. That recompence is due
To him alone, my counsellor and guardian.
ORONTES.
This poor old man? What succour could he yield
To thee, who doubtless spring from earliest kings,
If not by some divinity produc'd?
MELAMPUS.
Short-sighted prince, unexercis'd in knowledge!
Learn, that of all endowments Heav'n bestows,
Its richest boon is wisdom, far excelling
The flame of courage and the nerves of strength.
In me his wisdom triumphs. He directs
My sword and jav'lin. Had I gods for parents,
Herculean vigour, and the strength of Atlas,
Without this sage and venerable man,
I were inferior to the meanest reptile
Which crawls in darkness through a dungeon's slime.
He too is righteous—his unerring heart
No self-reproach torments—his tranquil thoughts
No sadd'ning care disquiets—but for me.
MADAUCES
to MELAMPUS, leaning upon him.
Be wise, Melampus.
MELAMPUS.
Wisdom fled with virtue.
ORONTES.
[Page 32]
I see the demon—Look! he glares upon me.
Assist me, hero—shield me from these torments.
MADAUCES.
He cannot help thee.
ORONTES
to MELAMPUS.
Whence this sudden change,
These agitations, which embitter joy,
And blot thy lustre?
MADAUCES.
Question him no further.
Thy presence now but irritates his pain.
ORONTES.
I must retire. The beck'ning fiend forbids
My longer stay.

SCENE XI.

MADAUCES and MELAMPUS.
CASSANDANE, unseen by them, appears in a grove.
CASSANDANE.
Appointed, here I take
My stand unseen.
MELAMPUS.
My friend! my second father!
Whose wisdom guides me, and whose art desends;
I prov'd the wonders of thy magic dew.
Enchanted gates unclos'd; the Centaur fled;
[Page 33] The Hydra veil'd her sev'n-fold neck in darkness.
O vers'd in science, and supremely good!
Is there no plant affords some precious juice,
Which may dispel the sorcery of anguish,
And disenchant the bosom from despair,
That black magician in the mind?
CASSANDANE.
Oh! words
To penetrate a marble heart!
MADAUCES.
My son!
Why drops that sorrow to deform thy glory?
MELAMPUS.
When I reflect how Heav'n and nature fram'd me,
With nerves and spirit for the hardiest toils,
With qualities endu'd me to secure
Felicity and praise; then how my folly,
Such gifts perverting, to the lowest depths
Of misery hath plung'd me—I must weep—
My very deeds this day excite distraction.
MADAUCES.
Think where thou art.
MELAMPUS.
Where conquest gives me rule,
What shall control my anguish but thy friendship?
MADAUCES.
Believe me, half thy toils are yet to come.
MELAMPUS.
Then I revive.
MADAUCES.
[Page 34]
Remember thy engagement▪
MELAMPUS.
I do, and will perform.
MADAUCES.
Prepare, and sollow.
MELAMPUS.
I am prepar'd. Behold my jav'lin safe;
And in fresh perils shall my soul exult,
Though, like Alcides, I descend to hell,
Or mix in combat with a giant race,
From those deriv'd who shook the tow'rs of Jove.

SCENE XII.

CASSANDANE.
Miraculous in valour, more in grief!
To court new dangers doth thy spirit swell,
Yet could thy tongue from agony of heart
Ask, "if no plant affords some precious juice
"Which might dispel the sorcery of anguish,
"And disenchant the bosom from despair,
"That black magician in the mind?" Alas!
Whoe'er thou art, whatever be thy fault,
I will report thee in the words of pity.
Thy own sad strain will mitigate resentment
At thy intrusion to this seat of wonders,
Which awe my mind, and ev'ry sense confound.

SCENE XIII.

CASSANDANE and the Genius of Caucasus.
The Genius sings.
Cretics and Trochaics.
To thy woes add not fear:
Thou hast aided her thou lov'st.
Serving her, thou shalt reap
Consolation and redress.
CASSANDANE.
Thou known, melodious comforter, whose voice
Procur'd my entrance, and in music smooth'd
The paths of terror, do I hear again
Thy accents melt? Thou com'st not sure deputed
To keep me longer absent from her sight.
I have perform'd the service she enjoin'd.
Alone amid these miracles I shudder.
Ah! reconduct me to her guardian breast.
She returns to the palace, the Spirit singing be­fore her, then vanishing at the gate as she en­ters.
END OF THE SECOND ACT.

ACT III.

SCENE I.

MADAUCES and MELAMPUS.
MADAUCES.
MY art informs me, that the utmost efforts
Of violence are try'd. Less obvious mischief,
And thence more dang'rous, threatens. Wary con­duct
Must now succeed to valour. All around
Is dress'd in soft delusion to dissolve
The firmest heart in languor. Ev'ry bird
Tunes to deceitful melody his throat;
The od'rous gales in whispers, and the rills
Diffuse in warbles heart-entrancing pleasures:
Each fragrant myrtle may conceal a fiend,
And fate sit lurking in perfidious flowers.
MELAMPUS.
Let me attempt the palace.
MADAUCES.
Something new
And strange awaits thee. I can pass no further;
My steps some hand invisible repels.
Thou know'st how far that weapon can befriend thee;
But with internal fences (may they prove
Like adamant!) against the pow'r of woman
Secure thy heart. The very sorm of beauty,
Much more of yielding beauty, arm'd with craft,
[Page 37] Subdues the mighty, and deceives the wise,
Most frail, least guarded, when oppress'd by sad­ness.
Should that accustom'd visitant approach thee
Just on the close of action, oh! endure,
Till my return endure thy heavy thoughts;
But shun relief from beauty's proffer'd joys,
Or thou art lost.
MELAMPUS.
Than adamant more strong,
To fence my heart thy counsels I retain.
MADAUCES.
A power to mine superior drives me hence,
And stops my frozen tongue.

SCENE II.

MELAMPUS.
My friend is gone:
I stand alone. This try'd defence I hold;
And on my single conduct must rely.
Now for the palace.

SCENE III.

MELAMPUS.
A large scroll, inscribed with letters of fire, appears in the air.
MELAMPUS.
Vision strange and new,
I will confront thee with a stedsast eye,
And give those characters of fire a voice.
[Page 38]He reads.
"Retreat in safety, ere that direful gate
"Is thrown abroad. Thy enterprise, pursu'd,
"Will end in cureless torment to thy mind."
He speaks.
That mind, in torment exercis'd so long,
Defies the menace, and disdains retreat.
Out of my way, thou obsiacle of air!
[He brandishes his spear, and the scroll vanishes.
The palace is disclos'd—th' enchantress comes!
That rod denotes her potent arm: that veil
O'ershades a visage hateful to the sun.
Yet majesty sustains her awful port,
And not unlike divinity she moves.

SCENE IV.

MELAMPUS and the Enchantress.
ENCHANTRESS.
Presumptuous man! what art thou, who hast dar'd
Invade my barrier, and molest my peace?
MELAMPUS.
Thou dost behold thy conqueror, proud woman!
That knowledge may suffice thee.
ENCHANTRESS.
Art thou pure,
Of blameless thoughts, and unpolluted truth?
Hast thou ne'er trac'd the devious paths of frailty?
They only, whose unviolated faith
No perjuries have stain'd, can sojourn here.
[Page 39] For them alone these chaste abodes reveal
Their hidden treasures. These harmonious choirs
For them alone Elysian music chaunt.
Them to refreshing banks these fountains call,
With flow'ry odours virtuous toils to cheer.
MELAMPUS.
Whence is thy right to question me, Enchantress,
Who dost prosane the sanctity of virtue,
In her bright garb infernal arts to mask?
Pure or impure, commission'd I appear
From sacred Themis to redress the wrong'd.
Whate'er I am, thy monsters I could tame,
Thy losty bulwarks mix with empty air,
And dissipate their visionary guard.
ENCHANTRESS,
waving her wand while she is speaking.
Seest thou this gloom which overcasts the sky?
Or feel'st this sudden chilness in the air?
The myrtles wither, and the roses fade,
At thy ill-boding sight. Reply: who art thou?
Death is ascending from his iron cell;
His arms are spread abroad: e'en now they raise
His house of terrors to enclose thee round.
Yet wilt thou answer?
[The scene changes to the inside of a sepulchre.
MELAMPUS.
Unappall'd I stand,
And spurn this salse creation of thy spells.
In justice strong, a victor's right I claim,
And rather question thee, hell's impious agent,
Why thou in base captivity retain'st
A hapless princess, and this nation's lord?
Why griev'st his bosom with thy hagard fiends?
ENCHANTRESS.
[Page 40]
O truly brave! Thy forti [...]de in wonder
Ev'n I contemplate; no [...] w [...]out compunction
Foresee the evils soon to s [...]rm around thee,
To stain with woman's tears a hero's cheek,
To shake with groans that majesty of form,
Or with distraction's dragon claw unrip
Th' excelling texture of that godlike mind.
MELAMPUS.
What canst thou raise more hidcous than my spear
Hath foil'd already? Call another Hydra;
Bring a new Centaur; arm a second Cyclops.
ENCHANTRESS.
All mortal force, all charms, I know, must fall
Before thy valour, guarded by that weapon.
Nor is there need of violence to quell thee.
Thou prodigy of virtues wove with errors,
Thou bear'st thy foc within thee. Not the touch
Of that anointed staff can there avail.
There is no plant "affords the precious juice
"Which may dispel the sorcery of anguish,
"Or disenchant the bosom from despair,
"That black magician in the mind."
MELAMPUS.
My words,
My own reflcctions hath she leagu'd against me.
What then? Thou, Themis, art my sov'reign judge,
Save one besides, before whose injur'd feet
My penitential spirit sues to break.
[At these last words the Enchantress turns aside, and weeps.
But wilt thou, pow'r of equity! permit
The artifice of magic to assume
[Page 41] Thy holy semblance, and arraign thy champion,
When, scorning safety, I refuse no hardship
Which may present me to the eye of mercy,
Wretch as I am! less hateful and deform'd?
No, no, thou wilt not. In thy righteous service,
I challenge Heav'n's support. Enchantress, hear.
Art thou confounded? Then the gods are present.
Does thy heart labour, sorceress, with sighs
O'er thy defeated cruelty and art?
Release the monarch and his captive princess;
Nor to an outrage on thy sex provoke me.
ENCHANTRESS.
Dost thou defy me still?
MELAMPUS.
I do, by Themis.
[She stamps on the ground, and waves her wand. A figure, representing FAME, ascends, bearing a mirror. A hand in the air holds a taper.
ENCHANTRESS.
Bold as thou art, by that infernal taper,
Dar'st thou survey this mirror?
MELAMPUS.
Yes, I dare;
And thou in dread this weapon may'st survey,
Which braves the keenest rancour of thy charms.
ENCHANTRESS.
Vain man, that weapon hath no other gift
Than to protect the body. To the mind
There is no guard, but innocence. Draw nigh.
Consider well in order, as they rise,
These melancholy portraitures of truth,
Reviving pass'd but sorrowful events.
[Page 42] This is Iolcos, where that first of vessels,
Proud Argo, deepens with the weight of heroes,
Sent to reclaim the golden fleece from Colchis.
Around their bark the wond'ring Nereids float.
Fame flies before them. Bounding o'er the surge,
See where they pass the Euxine's clashing jaws,
And there on Colchis rest their toiling oars.
Why dost thou start?
MELAMPUS.
I start—with admiration.
[The figure of Fame sinks. A second, represent­ing the God of LOVE, rises with a mirror.
ENCHANTRESS.
Lo! here, more lovely than his native Tempe,
The youth who leads the Argonautic band
Leaps to the shore. A winged troop of Loves
Around his head their purple torches wave;
While Juno, nuptial goddess, looks from heav'n,
And o'er his graces sheds celestial light.
Him soon, behold, that trembling maid accosts.
The colours vary on her virgin cheek;
Entranc'd she gazes; credulous, she hears:
Her plighted vows, her love to his she joins,
Her aiding magic to his warlike arm.
Her and the golden fleece, a double prize,
He bears away. There weeping, from his deek
Behold her take an everlasting leave
Of friends, of parents, of her native dwelling,
To him entrusting all. Incurious man!
Thou dost not ask their names.
MELAMPUS.
Their names!
ENCHANTRESS.
That virgin
[Page 43] Was once the wise Medea. He is Jason,
The brave, the beauteous, all-surpassing Jason.
MELAMPUS.
Detested name!
ENCHANTRESS.
Look up, another scene
Requires thy notice.
[The figure of Love sinks. A third, representing TIME, rises with a mirror.
There his father's house
Receives them; Juno looks from heav'n again
To bless their nuptial bed—Now view two chil­dren—
Fruit of his love—On her maternal lap
Note their disporting innocence. He casts
A tender look. Contentment seems to reign;
When all impairing Time dissolves the ties
Of constancy and truth. He quits Iolcos.
See him in Corinth wedding Creon's daughter.
Why gush those sorrows from thy flooded eyes?
Why burst those notes of anguish from thy soul?
Why dost thou rivet with convulsive grasp
Those hands together? Yet in deeper tones
Of heart-felt anguish must that bosom sound:
Those eyes be delug'd with a stronger tide;
Those hands in sharper agony be wrung.
[The figure of Time sinks. A FURY ascends with a mirror.
Look, where, to madness hurry'd by the Furies,
The lost Medea draws the murd'rous blade
Fresh from the re [...]king bowels of her children.
[Melampus, in consternation and horror, lets fall his shield and spear. She instantly lays her wand on his head. He sinks down in a trance. She throws herself upon him.
Oh, Jason, Jason! O ye faint remains
Of all which nature form'd in man most lovely!
How is that visage worn! How chang'd by care!
Pale, pale, my hero, is that seat of graces,
And all its lustre dead! Alas! sad ruin,
Thou know'st not who enfolds thee! and this kiss,
Giv'n in despight of Juno's stern command,
Thou dost not feel—Thou sleep'st—To me thou ow'st
That rest so long forbidden to thy brow.
Thy lance deserted gave thee to my wand;
That wand hath sav'd thee: thy Medea's love
Once more hath sav'd thee, and deny'd access
To swift distraction, hov'ring o'er thy brain.
[Thunder.
I hear thee, chiding goddess.
[She rises.
Yet no longer
In these sepulchral shadows shall he lie.
Avaunt, ye horrors!
[The scene changes to the garden and palace again.
Blasted be my arts.
O execrable series of enchantments,
So strongly wove by unforgiving pride!
That not my pity, not imperial Juno,
Were she appeas'd, nor Demogorgon's pow'r,
Could he relent, the texture can unwind.
He only must unweave it; and at last
[Looking on Melampus.
May sail by some involuntary error:
So hath capricious sorcery contriv'd.
Yet shalt not thou offend him with thy beams,
Meridian sun. Ye laurell'd shades, appear;
Attend, ye myrtles; o'er his head embower.
Sost winds, refresh him; and persume him, roses.
[A bower rises round Melampus.

SCENE V.

Enchantress and CASSANDANE from the palace, in tears.
ENCHANTRESS.
Poor Cassandane, sorrowful, like me,
Stands weeping yonder. Restless too with terror
She courts my beck'ning hand. Approach, dear maid.
To dry those tears, and calm that sighing breast,
This morn I gave thee entrance. Dost thou fear?
CASSANDANE.
How can I fear such goodness? But thy power,
Stupendous in achievement, hath depress'd
My grief-worn senses. Thunder at thy call
Peal'd in my ears; blue lightnings dimm'd my sight;
Earth felt thy foot, and shook like Cassandane.
ENCHANTRESS.
For thee and me these talents I exert.
Grief-worn, both labour with resembling evils.
Mine yet are undiscover'd. Thine I know;
Thy noble father's suff'rings too I know,
And long have pity'd. Be compos'd.
CASSANDANE.
I am,
When thou art near me.
ENCHANTRESS.
In the present hour
[Page 46] We must be near each other, must unite
In mutual efforts.
CASSANDANE.
Mutual efforts! How?
Why in this hour?
ENCHANTRESS.
The crisis of our fates
Is nigh.
CASSANDANE.
I tremble. What! of thine and mine?
ENCHANTRESS.
Of both. Look there.
(Pointing to Melampus.)
CASSANDANE
starts; then, with her eyes fixed upon him, speaks:
Dead! Dead! That sorm of manhood
Erect and noble, which allur'd my eye,
And melted thine, as winding through thy groves
His glances reach'd thy palace, is reduc'd
To clay, and soon will dissipate in dust.
My tongue was feeble to describe his sorrows,
And to appease thy anger strove in vain.
Forgive fresh tears and wonder.
ENCHANTRESS.
Faultless virgin,
Why dost thou ask forgiveness?
CASSANDANE.
Blind to science,
I never trac'd the spangled robe of night,
Nor knew the power of numbers. Though the meads
[Page 47] Yield their mysterious plants to hurt or heal,
I with unheeding ignorance pass by.
If I misjudge of thy transcendent works,
O'erlook my want of knowledge. But this deed—
ENCHANTRESS.
What deed, my Cassandane?
CASSANDANE.
Spare my weakness.
Perhaps my soul grows wild with admiration.
My senses, harass'd, may forget their functions,
My sight deceive me—Thou art still the sage
Rever'd for justice, and proclaim'd divine.
ENCHANTRESS.
Well may thy wonder be forgiv'n. My praise
Waits on thy gen'rous tears. But, gentle damsel,
Be not thus soon discourag'd. Ev'ry hour
With prodigy is charg'd. He only sleeps,
On whom our common destiny depends.
CASSANDANE.
What can I answer? Knowledge is thy part,
Belief is mine. Who is he?
ENCHANTRESS.
One, whose arm,
And dauntless magnanimity, controll'd
My fiercest guards.
CASSANDANE.
Yet wherefore lies he stretch'd
In this deep slumber, which too well resembles
The last to mortals?
ENCHANTRESS.
Thou shalt know hereafter.
CASSANDANE.
[Page 48]
Alas! how wan his aspect!
ENCHANTRESS.
Wan, indeed!
CASSANDANE.
Well might I rank him in the train of death.
How worn and wither'd!
ENCHANTRESS.
Scarce in manhood ripe,
Yet old in sorrow!
CASSANDANE.
Thou dost melt again,
These gushing tears new mystery contain.
But I submissive will suspend inquiry.
ENCHANTRESS.
Ah, Cassandane! didst thou know his merits
And half his griefs, thy tenderness would pour
A sea of pity on that livid face.
He now three years, invincible of men,
Each barb'rous nation, each inclement sky
Hath brav'd, redress and peace to all imparting,
All but himself.
CASSANDANE.
And rests my future peace
On him?
ENCHANTRESS.
Him singly.
CASSANDANE.
[Page 49]
Let me then awake him,
To hear my mournful story.
ENCHANTRESS.
Damsel, stay:
He must be waken'd to severe probation,
Not of his strength and courage, but his virtue.
If there he triumph, thou wilt soon accost him,
But thy deportment must be fram'd by me.
O hitherto victorious, may the balm
[To Melampus.
Of Morpheus brace thy constancy with firmness!
This magic weapon hath perform'd its office.
(Taking up the spear.)
Thy might hath conquer'd. Self-sustaining truth
Must triumph next, and scorn enchantment's aid.
Sweet friend, remove this jav'lin to the palace.
CASSANDANE.
Thou seem'st in agitation. I would stay,
Weak as I am, with thy permission stay,
To sooth thy trouble, or to share and weep.
ENCHANTRESS.
I trust thou wouldst. But leave me for a while.
CASSANDANE.
Ah me!
ENCHANTRESS.
Still fearful?
CASSANDANE.
Separate from thee
I am all weakness.
ENCHANTRESS.
[Page 50]
Thy harmonious guard
Will not sorsake thee. He shall greet thine eye
For the first time.
CASSANDANE.
Ah! rather let me hear,
Than see him.
ENCHANTRESS.
He, no sooty birth of darkness,
But genius fair of Caucasus, delights
To lay the ruffled Caspian with his song.
He charms the vulture, respiting the pains
Of torn Prometheus; nor to me less kind,
Oft-times alleviates my o'erburden'd hours
With his entrancing measures. He well pleas'd
Obeys my summons, never better pleas'd
Than to attend on purity like thine.

SCENE VI.

ENCHANTRESS, CASSANDANE, and the Genius.
ENCHANTRESS.
Be visible, good being. Sing of hope
To Cassandane. Let thy voice, which lulls
The floods and tempests, harmonize her thoughts.
The Genius sings.
O Hope! without thee life is pain.
Shed on this maid thy chosen sweets.
Nor less thy influence extend
To her whose virtues here preside.
ENCHANTRESS.
[Page 51]
To me Hope sings in vain. Severe suspense
I feel too heavy for her flutt'ring pinion.
Genius sings to the Enchantress, walking to and fro.
[Cretics and Trochaics.
Ah! no more woo despair!
Mounted on a serpent green,
Through the clouds Circe glides.
By her birds in gorgeous plumes
Juno drawn, hovers nigh.
On their aspect smiles are seen.
Droop no more, Hope descends.
ENCHANTRESS.
Their smiles I trust not. Leave me, gentle maiden,
Thou and thy guardian, not less good than power­ful.

SCENE VII.

ENCHANTRESS.
Grim Demogorgon, eldest thou of beings,
Whose name no pow'r celestial dares pronounce,
Who spread'st in darker, lower gloom, than hell,
Thy black pavilion, direful as thou art,
Thou hast been foil'd. Thy terrors could not awe
My Jason's soul, triumphant most when yielding
To her own righteous feelings. But, alas!
Your part, insidious goddesses, I fear.
Whate'er is soft'ning to unbend the mind,
Or fair and lovely to solicit sense,
Whate'er is dazzling to awake ambition,
Whate'er persuasive, dress'd in specious duty,
To cozen guileless honour into error,
You have contriv'd. But, Juno, should he fail
[Page 52] To catch the glimpses of reviving bliss,
Which now are trembling on a point of chance,
Think not Medea longer will remain
Repeating curses, hurling her upbraidings
On destiny and Heav'n! Thy rapid lightning
May strike th' uplifted poniard from my hand:
Among the thousand avenues to death
One will I find; then lay my burden down
Of evils, grown too mighty for complaint.
END OF THE THIRD ACT.

ACT IV.

SCENE I.

MELAMPUS asleep in the arbour, which disappears at a symphony of music, and the approach of a Nymph.
She sings.
FANCY, brighter than the Graces,
Who dost guide the tuneful Nine,
Wanton o'er this sleeping hero,
And before his waking soul
Hold in dreams thy artful mirror,
Stor'd with Pleasure's various forms.
[Melampus wakes, and the Nymph vanishes.

SCENE II.

MELAMPUS.
Deceitful strains! O rather from my brow
Had slumber started at a bursting cloud,
A torrent's hoarseness, or the din of arms!
These might perhaps reanimate my soul,
Who now prefers a feeble pray'r—to learn,
If yet her cup of misery be full.

SCENE III.

MELAMPUS.
A bright cloud advances towards the front of the stage.
Song from the cloud.
[Trochaic measure.
Youth, dissolve thy cares in pleasure;
Look where, half-attir'd, the damsels,
Tripping round that glassy fountain,
Smile, and proffer sweet endearment,
Each contending for thy choice.
MELAMPUS,
[Page 54]
turning to the side-scene.
I see a glassy fountain; I discern
A troop of damsels, azure-ey'd like morn,
Blithe as the spring, like summer glowing ripe,
In garments loosely waving. But I hear,
Or seem to hear, thy warnings, sage Madauces,
And thus exclude the wantons from my sight.
[He lifts his mantle before his eyes, and turns aside. The cloud opens, and discovers the figures of Venus and Cupid.
Venus sings.
Then to me exalt thy raptures,
Me, the queen of love and beauty.
See my son to cure thy anguish.
Hero, come. Divine embraces
Woo thee to Idalian bow'rs.
MELAMPUS.
A languor breath'd in odours from that cloud,
Allurement stealing through my eyes and ears,
Melt down my spirit. Long-suppress'd desires
Wake in my heart; and constancy is wav'ring.
Now, Themis, strengthen thy half-vanquish'd soldier!
Let me retreat, and plunge in deepest shades.
[He withdraws, and the cloud disappears.

SCENE IV.

Song from behind the scenes.
Filial rev'rence, pious duty,
Jove hath planted in the soul.
Turn thee, Jason, turn and bow thee.
Lo! thy father's regal step.
[Melampus re-enters.

SCENE V.

MELAMPUS, and AESON, who leads a Woman veiled, and in sumptuous attire.
MELAMPUS.
My father, Aeson!
AESON.
Yes, thou seest thy father.
Remit thy wonder, and attend, my son.
A learn'd Thessalian charmer at my pray'r
Devis'd this maze of marvels to confine
Thy restless valour, till my fault'ring steps
Might reach and stop thee in thy fruitless wan­d'rings.
A vessel lies in readiness to waft thee.
Return to blessings, and forget Medea.
MELAMPUS,
starting.
Forget Medea! That were still to copy
Th' ingratitude of Aeson, who accepted
The gift of empire, and forgot the giver;
Then tore each wreath of honour from his son,
And cast him down a precipice of shame,
Whence never, never can he rise again.
AESON.
Though deaf to duty, yield to virtuous love.
Behold thy virgin bride in Creon's daughter.
[The woman unveils.
MELAMPUS.
Creüsa!
CREUSA.
Jason, thou hast cause to marvel,
When thou behold'st the queen of Corinth here.
[Page 56] On this chaste lap thy weary head shall rest;
My voice shall lull thee, while the tempest roars;
My fond endearments shorten tedious time,
Till Neptune's wat'ry deserts thou hast pass'd,
To sit illustrious on the throne of Greece.
[Melampus, attempting to speak, is prevented by a full concert of music.
Song from behind the scenes.
Dance around, ye blooming Graces,
Sprotive Loves, and purple Hymen;
Hither bring your lyres, ye Muses,
This unrivall'd pair recording,
First of heroes, brightest queen.

SCENE VI.

MELAMPUS, AESON, CREUSA, and the three Graces, who dance to the harps of the Muses; then Hymen with his torch, accompanied by a band of Cupids with torches likewise. Hymen and one of the Graces dance.
MELAMPUS.
If ye be phantoms, with contempt I grect ye.
If ye be real—drive me not to madness.
My children's ghosts already glide before me.
AESON.
My son!
CREUSA.
My love! Look on me, wedded lord.
MELAMPUS.
A frozen figure, moulded from the snows,
Which chill. That mountain's summit would attract
Such looks as mine to thee.
AESON.
[Page 57]
O grief-devoted!
Canst thou refuse dominion, wealth, and beauty?
CREUSA.
Canst thou refuse Creüsa?
MELAMPUS.
Though thy hand,
That hand usurping once Medea's right,
Bore to my lips a taste of Lethe's streams,
Which with oblivion cleanse the troubled mind;
The liquid comfort I would dash aside,
And my own sorrows to thy love prefer:
While them I cherish, virtue may return.
[Aeson, Creüsa, &c. all vanish.

SCENE VII.

MELAMPUS.
Are ye no more than shadows? O my heart,
Art thou not less encumber'd? Sure a dawn
Of consolation seems to break upon thee;
Or dost thou cheat thyself?
[Music from a harp.
What strains are these,
So much resembling those mellifluous notes,
Which my companion Orpheus from his lyre
Was wont to raise, when Argo plough'd the deep,
And raptur'd Nereids follow'd; while his voice,
In celebrating songs of Jason's deeds,
O'er the smooth'd ocean floated on the breeze,
And ev'ry star had cast its cloudy veil.
Song from behind the scenes.
Virtue, only source of good,
From the breast awhile remov'd,
Leaves a watchful guard behind,
Conscience, to secure the heart.
[Page 58] If he opens once the gate,
She will soon access regain;
Blissful change! when light to gloom,
And to horror joy succeeds.
MELAMPUS.
Celestial sounds of transport from my ear
So long withheld! O Virtue, dost thou smile
Again on Jason? Purest goddess, stay!
While thy returning influence I feel,
Let me not sink in horrible amaze
How I, who once possess'd, could ever lose thee▪

SCENE VIII.

MELAMPUS and CASSANDANE appearing at a distance with the Genius of Caucasus.
The Genius sings.
Greet the hero, trembling maid,
He alone redress can yield;
Let not fear thy pace retard,
Nor sit heavy on thy tongue.
MELAMPUS.
I hear again the same Orphean voice.
But what new image of excelling beauty
Steps from the grove? Perhaps the captive princess
Orontes loves, and I am bound to rescue.
My spear is gone. Those formidable mirrors
Disarm'd my trembling and unwary hand.
Yet was that weapon well exchang'd for peace
Of mind, that best security within.
Jove and his handmaid Nature will sustain
The sortitude they gave me, and complete
My gen'rous purpose. She advances nearer.—
Fair sojourner in these fantastic shades,
If thou art she, whose loss Orontes mourns,
[Page 59] And whom a pow'r unnatural confines
Within these charm'd enclosures, not in vain
Have I o'erturn'd their barrier, to replace thee
In native freedom, and a monarch's love.
CASSANDANE.
O warrior, crown'd with merited success,
Who dost protect the innocent and injur'd,
There is no other in this wild recess,
Who wants like me assistance. In two hours
Wilt thou depute Orontes to this place?
MELAMPUS.
Wilt thou be here?
CASSANDANE.
Be confident, I will.
MELAMPUS.
Who, shall I say, enjoins me?
CASSANDANE.
If my words
Thou dost deliver, thou perform'st enough.
MELAMPUS.
Th' unhappy monarch is enthrall'd by demons.
CASSANDANE.
He shall have freedom. So from me assure him.
MELAMPUS.
Why this my sterious secret of thy name?
CASSANDANE.
Why, who art thou, most generous of men,
That thus undaunted hazardest thy life
To vindicate the injur'd?
MELAMPUS.
[Page 60]
One who, long
Dead to the sense of gladness in himself,
That peace he wanted, hath to others giv'n,
And from their comfort sometimes hath enjoy'd
A transitory interval from pain;
But ne'er so full and lasting as this day,
When he relieves thy beauties from their bondage.
CASSANDANE.
Fain would I know and soften thy afflictions,
At least deplore them in a grateful tear.
MELAMPUS.
From each inquietude I mean to raise thee,
In blooming joy produce thee to my friend,
And not depress thee by a tale of woc.
Yet, as the king, distracted by the fiend,
Hath left thy name unmention'd, thou explain
Who is the injur'd fair my fortune saves.
CASSANDANE.
Know then, deserving stranger, since that question
Thou urgest further, I am charg'd to answer,
That not thy welfare less than mine, depends
On my concealment from thee at this crisis.
MELAMPUS.
I am inur'd to wonders; but, fair captive,
Thou dost in mystery surpass them all.
I press to know thee; thou art charg'd to answer,
That both my welfare and thine own depend
On thy concealment from me at this crisis:
What crisis? What concurrence of events
Can interweave our fortunes? Both, produc'd
In distant climates, never till this hour
Held converse.
CASSANDANE.
[Page 61]
Spare me, and forgive my silence.
MELAMPUS.
Say, who hath charg'd thee?
CASSANDANE.
Ask the learn'd Enchantress.
Before I see Orontes she will greet thee:
Meantime remain in you high-arching bow'r.
MELAMPUS.
The learn'd Enchantress! May her name be told?
CASSANDANE.
Throughout this spacious region is she known
By no distinction but of learn'd and good.
MELAMPUS.
Is she this region's native?
CASSANDANE.
No.
MELAMPUS.
Whence come?
CASSANDANE.
Past my conjecture; though two years are fled
Since in a chariot, dragon-yok'd—
MELAMPUS.
What say'st thou?
CASSANDANE.
[Page 62]
I say, a chariot, drawn by winged dragons,
With blazing nostrils, through the air convey'd
Her form divine. The nations look'd aghast,
When on this brow of Caucasus she rested.
Soon by her pow'r this edifice was rais'd;
And soon her science veneration drew,
Her virtues love, from all the Caspian tribes.
MELAMPUS.
Her virtues!
CASSANDANE.
Yes, her virtues have obtain'd
An appellation adequate to heav'n
Of wise and bounteous. O, like nature wise
And learn'd in all her works, like dayspring pure,
When not a cloud or steaming vapour taints
The orient splendour, she is half ador'd
Through this wide region.
MELAMPUS
(aside).
Can she be Medea?
Vain thought!—her gen'rous science had disclaim'd
The deeds of malice I have felt and seen.
Some spell misleads this captive to admire
The tyranny which grieves her.
CASSANDANE
Thou art musing.
MELAMPUS.
I am, how she, whose goodness thou proclaim'st,
Should rob thy youth and innocence of freedom,
Depute a lion to destroy a king,
And still pursue him with inhuman torments.
CASSANDANE.
[Page 63]
Still thou dost ask what cannot be reveal'd.
MELAMPUS.
From me, thy benefactor, thou dost hide
Thy name and wrongs, extolling thy oppressor.
What can I think? My just suspicion whispers,
That all is here fallacious; what I see,
But painted shadow; what I hear, but fable:
And thou may'st prove but fleeting air at last,
By magic fancy colour'd to display
All that is fair and amiable in nature,
And on my frank credulity impose.
CASSANDANE.
My benefactor I confess thee, hero.
Thy doubts to banish, lo! my virgin hand,
Giv'n to confirm my gratitude, and prove
That I am real.
MELAMPUS,
holding her hand.
I am here a stranger.
Be not offended, fair one, at my caution,
Which, bound to search these mazes of delusion,
Familiariz'd with spectres, must endure
Till this tough knot of magic be unravell'd;
And thou no clew wilt lend me.
CASSANDANE.
I must leave thee.
Farewell, most gallant, courteous, and humane;
I praise thy conduct, and can add no more.
MELAMPUS.
Mysterious virgin! Though beyond enchantment
Thou dost perplex me, I in all obey thee.

SCENE IX.

MELAMPUS.
The good Enchantress!—so I heard her styl'd.
The pow'r exerted would bespeak Medea's,
Were it not mix'd with cruelty repugnant
To her untainted nature.—Yet those dragons—
With such from Corinth did she mount the clouds.
I want thy lights, Madauces, more than ever.
Kind fortune! I perceive him with Orontes.

SCENE X.

MELAMPUS, MADAUCES, and ORONTES.
MADAUCES.
My son!
MELAMPUS.
I soon will satisfy thy friendship.
Orontes, hail! Bless'd monarch, I have found
Thy queen of graces; lovelier than the dawn
Serenely rising on a night of storms,
She cheers our labours with propitious smiles.
ORONTES.
Thou hast beheld her with enamour'd looks,
And dost describe her in a lover's phrase.
MELAMPUS.
Dismiss thy fears. Not all the arms of beauty,
Not Juno's eye nor Cytherca's roses
Can touch my frozen heart.
ORONTES.
Then swear again.
MELAMPUS.
[Page 65]
A second time?
ORONTES.
Yes, swear a second time.
MELAMPUS.
To hallow'd Themis I repeat my oath.
ORONTES.
That she I love—
MELAMPUS.
Be render'd to thy arms.
Within two hours expect her presence here.
ORONTES.
Then I forget my torments, and the spurns
Of this injurious goblin.
MELAMPUS.
From those torments
She hath assur'd thy freedom.
ORONTES.
In two hours
Will she admit Orontes?
MELAMPUS.
On this spot.
Art thou content?
ORONTES.
Thrice happy.
MELAMPUS.
Then reply,
Whence sprang thy hasty and unjust suspicion,
When thou requir'dst me to renew my oath?
ORONTES.
[Page 66]
Forgive the ardour of impetuous love,
And the high passions in a royal breast.
MELAMPUS.
Thou dost miscall the gen'rous flame of love,
Nor feel'st the impulse of a noble passion.
It was that eager, genuine self-regard,
Which fits beside a throne, for ever doubting
The faithful hand of service, yet devouring
The good procur'd by others, and suppressing
The sense of obligation. Come, Orontes;
A way with this companion, not by nature,
But coz'ning habit foster'd in a mind
Deserving better inmates.
ORONTES.
Ah! again
I see the demon.
MELAMPUS.
He will soon forsake thee.
But that internal worst of fiends control,
Unfeeling pride: thus give thy virtues freedom.

SCENE XI.

MELAMPUS and MADAUCES.
MADAUCES.
Where is thy jav'lin?
MELAMPUS.
Gone. Yet I secure.
Retire with me: my station is that bow'r.
MADAUCES.
How fares thy mind?
MELAMPUS.
[Page 67]
Why, comforted, though dubious.
Pass to that arching bow'r: I there [...] station'd.
The story of my trials since we parted,
May show me still entitled to thy care;
And by the further guidance of thy knowledge,
Through tenfold perils more from guile or force,
I will attain to certainty at last.
END OF THE FOURTH ACT.

ACT V.

SCENE I.

The ENCHANTRESS veiled from the palace, MELAM­PUS from the grove.
ENCHANTRESS,
giving his spear.
THIS staff was thine. Receive it back from me.
MELAMPUS.
Thou tremblest. I, confounded by this gift,
Which arms my hand against thee, tremble too.
(They both continue motionless and silent; after a pause, Melampus proceeds:)
How awful is her silence! Thou no longer
Behold'st a foe. Still motionless and mute!
Then I will speak. My bosom shall discharge
Its load. I must.—O enterprise, which more
Than all my former labours shakes my frame!
Her structure totters.—O majestic form!
My restless, prying anguish must inquire,
If underneath that curtain thou dost veil
A face—
ENCHANTRESS.
Support me, Jason!
MELAMPUS.
On my name
She calls—She saints—Mysterious shade! away.
O earth and heaven! My wife! My injur'd wife!
Who shall support me now! Madauces, aid me.

SCENE II.

ENCHANTRESS, MELAMPUS, and Madauces.
MADAUCES
running to the ENCHANTRESS.
It is my royal mistress, thy Medea.
MELAMPUS.
May not this prove illusion still, Madauces?
The last dire effort of defeated magic
At once to burst my agonizing heart?
Yet, here to die, contemplating those seatures,
Were more than I could ask th' offended gods.
MADAUCES.
No, it is she. That weapon she restor'd
Ere now had giv'n illusion to the winds.
These are the lineaments divine, revealing
The Sun's descendant. Rouse thee; be a man;
Nor fear her wisdom will reproach thee now,
Or fix its radiant eye on aught but joy.
With equal fervour clasp her to thy heart,
Nor with the tardy coldness of dejection
Debase the gen'rous flame.
The ENCHANTRESS, reviving, fixes her eyes on ME­LAMPUS; them rushes into his arms.
My love! My lord!
O thou most comely in relumin'd virtue!
O beauteous image in the sight of heaven,
Come to my arms! Be there secure to find
What "may dispel the sorcery of anguish,
"And disenchant the bosom from despair,
"That black magician in the mind." O Jasou!
Now shall indeed these pure abodes unclose
Their blissful treasures; these harmonious choirs
[Page 70] For thee alone Elysian music chaunt;
Thee to refreshing banks these fountains call
To cheer thy virtuous labours.
MELAMPUS.
Let me fall
Before thy feet in penitential fervour,
And celebrate to smiling heav'n the bounty
Of thy forgiving love. O labours past!
Ye seas and deserts! Shapeless crags and rocks,
Which, fasting, sleepless, hopeless I have travers'd,
How is your awful retrospect transform'd
To glowing pictures of ecstatic joy!
My wife—Medea!—Is my soul secure
This is not still enchantment?—Doth Medea
Once more embrace her Jason?
ENCHANTRESS.
Oh! my heart
Will flow in doating fondness, till the gods
In envy dash these more than mortal raptures!
MELAMPUS.
What can allay them? This unweary'd arm,
Which through ten thousand hazards hath regain'd
These joys at last, now govern'd by thy wisdom,
Shall awe ill fortune, and protect the blessing.
MADAUCES.
There spoke a manly ardour, which became
The mouth of Jason to Aeetes' daughter.
ENCHANTRESS.
O thou most learn'd and faithful of my Colchians,
Who heretofore accompany'd my wand'rings,
My counsellor and friend! thy love to me,
And thy continu'd kindness to my Jason,
How shall I e'er compensate, when, alas!
[Page 71] Too soon thy counsels we may want again?
Still on a precipice we stand, Madauces.
MELAMPUS.
A precipice!
MADAUCES.
Proceed, my honour'd mistress.
ENCHANTRESS.
Oh! hear. Both hear, and weigh your answers well.
When I left Corinth, to Aectes' sister
My dragon-yoke convey'd me. On her isle
In solemn consult was a year consum'd
To weave these spells, propos'd by rigid Circe,
Approv'd by Juno, by the Sun, my grandsire;
And there obdurate Demogorgon lent
Each baleful engine of capricious magic
To prove the worth of Jason, or destroy.
To Madauces.
These goddesses have watch'd him from the hour
He too embark'd from Corinth to replace
Phaeacia's virgins, and my friendly train
Of ancient Colchians, in their native homes,
E'en till these wilds of Caucasus he reach'd.
MELAMPUS.
Have I not since surmounted ev'ry toil?
ENCHANTRESS.
Ah! while thy strenuous heart is thus triumphant,
E'en while I strain thee to my longing bosom,
Perhaps the keenest struggle is to come.
MELAMPUS.
No, let them bring my spirit to the proof.
I too will struggle with persisting valour;
Not with despondent loathing of the day,
[Page 72] As heretofore, but warm in hope of bliss,
Of conquest, since Medea is the prize.
ENCHANTRESS.
Thou hast perform'd what valour can accomplish.
Our ills, if any, are conceiv'd already,
And must irrevocably rise to birth.
One inadvertent, casual error past,
Since thy approach to this enchanted structure,
From our own grasp may wrest the present bliss.
At once subjected to some will unknown,
To us perhaps inflexible. Madauces,
Thou, recollecting ev'ry word and deed
Since first he enter'd these enchanted purlieus,
Unfold the series of his bold exploit.
MADAUCES.
Then I proclaim your happiness complete.
And I begin, attesting ev'ry pow'r,
E'en Circe, Juno, and thy bright forefather,
That clearest honour and unerring prudence
Have govern'd Jason's mind, his heart, his actions.
ENCHANTRESS
to MELAMPUS.
Then we will yet be happy. Do not droop.
My words might well dismay thee. Rest thy head
On this fond bosom. Thou art pale and sad.
Soon will my love efface that livid hue,
And with renewing freshness spread thy cheek.
Those care-indented surrows shall be fill'd
By joyous health; and youth's returning light
Disperse the gloom which hides thy wonted beauty.
MELAMPUS.
Till thou hast heard our story, and thyself
Hast sat in judgment; harass'd long by care,
And long acquainted with these froward spells,
I droop, I sink in terror on thy bosom.
MADAUCES.
[Page 73]
I see Orontes.
ENCHANTRESS.
He the first should know
That his protector is Medea's lord.

SCENE III.

ENCHANTRESS, MELAMPUS, MADAUCES, and ORONTES.
ORONTES,
entering.
Death to my sight! O perfidy!
MADAUCES.
What means
The king, so lately reseu'd from perdition?
ORONTES.
To thee, old man, my injur'd love appeals;
That this perfidious by repeated oaths
To me resign'd the fair-one I adore;
And I beheld him now profane her beauties
Within his false embrace.
ENCHANTRESS.
Hath Jason sworn?
MADAUCES.
Not knowing thou wert she Orontes woo'd.
ENCHANTRESS.
[Page 74]
This is the fatal inadvertent error!
O goddesses implacable! I hear you.
Again your whisper'd mandates thrill my heart,
Which must perform th'inhuman task enjoin'd.
In mercy yet uproot these pond'rous hills;
Beneath their bases crush this hateful spot:
Unbosom hell, and change th' embow'ring shades
To vaults of sulphur and devouring fire;
Or with the Caspian, from its bottom roll'd,
O'erwhelm your own creation of distress.
Oh, Jason! Jason!—We must part again.
MELAMPUS.
Dost thou pronounce that doom?
ENCHANTRESS.
I do—I must.
ORONTES.
My hopes revive.
ENCHANTRESS
to MELAMPUS.
Contest not, search not, hush
Complaint, and leave me.
MELAMPUS.
To ordain my fate
Thou art entitled—To contest thy will,
Were to renew past guilt—Ye pow'rs combin'd
For my destruction, instant let your spells
(I ask no more) erect a tomb for Jason!
My sight is clos'd, my heart already clay—
Madauces, bear me to the fun'ral pile.
ENCHANTRESS.
[Page 75]
Speed hence, Madauces—Yet in me confide.

SCENE IV.

ENCHANTRESS and ORONTES.
ENCHANTRESS.
My cruel part is over. Now, O king,
In supplication I address thy pity.
Me till this hour from benefits alone
Show'r'd on thy throne and subjects, dost thou know.
ORONTES.
Which more endear'd thy beauties to my soul.
ENCHANTRESS.
Forbear that theme, and listen, when I tell thee,
I am Medea, daughter of Aeetes,
Thy royal neighbour, whom the Sun begot.
Yon poor forlorn one is my wedded lord:
Three years divided by a fatal chance,
This day we met, on hard conditions met,
Which his unguarded oath to thee hath broken.
That oath if thou release not—
ORONTES.
Love forbid!
Dost thou require me to relinquish thee,
Thee now a royal progeny confess'd,
Thence more deserving of my throne and bed?
ENCHANTRESS.
Yet think again.
ORONTES.
[Page 76]
I do, divine Medea:
And were he free from treachery's black stain,
Nor had abus'd a monarch's ear with falsehood—
ENCHANTRESS.
Believe me, he is guiltless.
ORONTES.
If he were,
In competition with a monarch's peace
How can a wand'ring warrior's claim be rank'd?
ENCHANTRESS.
That claim is mine. Thy benefactress sues;
She, who corrected nature, from the womb
Of barren earth sertility upcall'd,
Chas'd from thy borders pestilence and death,
And to thy kingdom provinces united,
Sues to thy justice, gratitude, and honour,
For her sole comfort.
ORONTES.
Thou may'st learn to love,
And must at last prefer the chief of princes.
ENCHANTRESS.
Perdition seize thee, harden'd and ingrate!
Though thou o'erlook'st the services and worth
Of Pherendates, thy victorious captain,
Who with my aiding counsels tam'd thy foes;
Unaw'd by justice, though thy callous heart
Hath dar'd to break the tend'rest ties of faith;
Dost thou presume, thou glitt'ring mote, thou pageant,
Thou, to whose mind the purest lights of heav'n,
Fair truth and wisdom, never gain'd access,
[Page 77] Dar'st thou, gross child of ignorance, aspire
To mix thy darkness with Medea's flame?
Or hope, that she would condescend in love
To a mere monarch, and forsake a hero?
ORONTES.
How art thou chang'd from gentleness to rage,
Still in thy anger lovely and belov'd!
ENCHANTRESS.
True, thou hast known me gentle and benign,
Till in the circle of these magic walls
Thy hateful importunity confin'd me:
Now shalt thou find me terrible, and wielding
A vengeful rod too mighty for thy sceptre.
Not Pherendates, loyal in disgrace,
Embattling all thy myriads to redeem thee,
Could with an empire's force encounter mine.
Their strength should wither, and their banners fall,
At one vibration of this pow'rful wand.
[She waves her wand. The scene changes to a Ca­vern, terminated by a mouth, which represents an opening to the Infernal Regions.
ORONTES.
Is there no sanctity in kings? No guardian
By Heav'n appointed to protect them?
ENCHANTRESS.
None.
But in all breasts a judge severe is plac'd,
By Heav'n appointed to chastise, or warn.
Him not the sceptre's weight, the leader's staff,
Nor gemm'd tiara, which the nations fear;
Him not the arm'd battalions round a throne,
Nor purpled satraps who in homage stoop,
[Page 78] Can awe to silence, or with flatt'ry sooth.
Kings may refuse his dictates to obey,
But cannot shun his rod.
ORONTES.
Tremendous woman!
Light fled before her! I am plung'd in darkness.
ENCHANTRESS.
Bring the blue fire of Phlegethon, ye fiends;
Make horror visible: your torches wave,
Dipp'd in Tartarean sulphur.
[While she walks up and down waving her wand, the mouth discharges fire, several Demons leap out, some with blazing vases full of fire, others with torches; a Tomb ascending at the same time through the mid­dle of the stage.
ENCHANTRESS
to ORONTES.
King, behold;
This is thy couch, thy table, and thy tomb.
There night by night shall demons lay thy head,
There spread thy rueful banquet to the light
Of this thy only dayspring, this pale flame;
And, when thy thread of misery is spent,
They shall thy silent obsequies perform,
And there deposit thy unwept remains;
Unless thy heart, revisited by honour,
To gratitude be melted, and renew
Long-broken faith. That moment sets thee free.

SCENE V.

ORONTES.
I should surpass what flatt'ry e'er proclaim'd me,
Did I not shudder at this direful sentence.
Ha! Recollection, thy tumultuous throbs
Beat on my heart a summons to remorse;
She comes: I feel her here, with sorrow, shame,
And late repentance, in her ghastly train.
Combining all with these external terrors,
I feel my error, my neglect of merit;
I sink beneath them, and the heavier weight
Of my own black reflections.
[Dance of Fiends.
I feel my broken vows. Fall'n, fall'n Orontes!
A monumental dungeon is thy palace,
Captivity thy state, and fiends thy guard,
Who shake their inextinguishable fires
To keep my fears awake.—Melampus, save me!
Melampus!—Black ingratitude, be dumb;
Dare not profane that name, or hope his succour.
O tomb! my only place of rest, receive me.

SCENE VI.

ORONTES, and CASSANDANE veiled, with the Genius of Caucasus by her side.
Genius sings, as he enters, to a lute behind the scenes.
[Trochaics.
Dreary mansion of the dead,
Yield to innocence access:
Through thy dust of mould'ring bones
Beauty steps, with me her guard.
ORONTES.
[Page 80]
Can harmony be here? Sweet voice, which sings
Of innocence and beauty, canst thou breathe
Through tainted bosoms purity of feeling,
And charm the mind's deformity away?
A graceful image penetrates the gloom.
Ah! do not come a phantom of illusion,
Nor, with deceit accumulating woe,
Pollute the promise of thy specious mien.
CASSANDANE.
As thy good genius am I come, O king,
To show thy restless feet the paths of peace.
ORONTES.
Then my good genius thou may'st well be styl'd,
Whoe'er thou art.
CASSANDANE.
To pity frame thy mind;
A gen'rous sense of benefits recall;
The gate of virtue leads alone to peace.
ORONTES.
O Pherendates! I too late acknowledge
Thy toils, thy wounds, thy conquests for Orontes.
CASSANDANE.
Thou didst his daughter of her heart beguile,
Then to another form thy love transfer.
ORONTES.
It is for her the lion hath assail'd me,
Enchantments harass'd, and the demon haunted.
CASSANDANE,
[Page 81]
unveiling, and kneeling.
And her thou see'st before her sov'reign's feet.
ORONTES,
embracing her, at which the scene changes to the garden, and all the Fiends descend.
My Cassandane! O what pow'r convey'd thee
To quell these horrors, fix my wav'ring soul,
And backward turn my steps, whose errors touch'd
Ingratitude and guilt. Discrectest maid,
More to thy prudence is Orontes bound,
Than to thy father's valour. What could blind me
To leave that sost serenity of beauty,
And court the lightning of Medea's eye?
How cam'st thou hither? But explain hereafter.
The Genius sings.
[Creties.
How she came, I unfold:
Faithful love was her guide.
[Trochaics.
I the ruling genius here,
Fly to celebrate thy bliss.

SCENE VII.

ORONTES and CASSANDANE.
ORONTES.
Auspicious voice! I bless thee. Cassandane,
Fly to Melampus—Thou before hast seen him,
And, to dissuse selicity around,
With sweetest fraud deceiv'd him.
CASSANDANE.
Gracious lord,
I was instructed by the good Enchantress;
[Page 82] Nor told my name, too conscious in that period,
That, had Melampus to thy ears divulg'd me,
Thou wouldst have slighted Pherendates' daughter.
ORONTES.
They to the proffer'd blessing had been shut.
Too just reproach! Go, tell Melampus all,
Dwell on the dear narration, till thou gain'st
That matchless hero's pardon for my sault.
I will conduct Medea to his arms.

SCENE VIII.

ORONTES and the Enchantress.
How shall I hail thee! That I now restore
Wrong'd Pherendates, and espouse his daughter,
Do not impute to coward fear, nor hold me
Less than becomes a king.
ENCHANTRESS.
I hold thee greater,
Girt by a council now which gods revere,
By equity, beneficence, and wisdom.
And now convinc'd, thy danger from the lion,
Thy doleful bower, the sternness of Melampus,
My wrath and indignation, wilt thou bless.
Adversity's deep-searching hand was wanting
To weed thy bosom, force its worth to ripeness,
And thy imperial state with virtue crown,
Which shall exalt thee sar beyond thy titles.

SCENE IX.

ORONTES, the Enchantress, MADAUCES, and CAS­SANDANE led by MELAMPUS.
ORONTES
presenting the Enchantress to MELAMPUS.
Inimitable hero, let this gift
Repair my errors.
MELAMPUS.
Royal friend, my labours
Thou hast o'erpaid.
ENCHANTRESS.
Adversity, though bitter,
Medicinal to frailty we have felt,
And been corrected all. Our future days
Let us devote to rational delights
And contemplation. King of kings, Orontes,
Thou may'st hereafter from thy potent throne
With moral rapture traverse in remembrance
Each suff'ring past, and error's bonds dissolv'd.
Thou dearest hero, rising pure from trials,
Shalt cease from labours; thou shalt walk with science,
And in the tranquil fellowship of wisdom
Possess the morning sweets and ev'ning's calm
In these untroubled shades.
CASSANDANE.
What sudden blaze
Of light!
MADAUCES.
From Circe, Juno, and the Sun.
CASSANDANE.
[Page 84]
The Genius too of Caucasus returns.

SCENE X.

ORONTES, the Enchantress, MADAUCES, CASSAN­DANE, MELAMPUS, the Sun appearing over the palace; CIRCE mounted on a winged serpent on one side, JUNO in her chariol, drawn by pea­cocks, on the other; and the Genius advancing from the end of the stage, attended by Dryads, Oreads, Naiads, and Fauns: under them appears a beauti­ful hill. The Genius of Caucasus descends, and leads the Guardian Intelligences of woods, wa­ters, and mountains. Soft music.
The Genius sings.
Nymphs of Asia's spicy groves,
Of her fruit-empurpled hills,
Of their flow'ry-border'd streams,
Warbling over beds of gold—
Genii, who the mountains range,
Whence the cedar's spire ascends,
Piercing Asia's radiant sky—
Lift your feet, your voices tune,
Celebrate in dance and song
Her predicted fame and sway.
ENCHANTRESS.
I feel an impulse—All my sabric shakes—
A flame from those divinities pervades
My struggling breast, and prophecy is there.
Its rapture burns—The gods expand my voice,
And by their presence ratify the sound.
Not for inaction Jason's worth is prov'd,
A bright example to imperfect man
Of patient suff'ring and recover'd truth.
He shall with fame be recompens'd, and empire.
Unconquerable, he from hostile arms
The reconcil'd Aeetes shall desend,
And by his merit deisy his name.
From Cassandane shall a daughter spring;
She shall espouse Medea's future son,
Who, Med [...]s call'd, shall found a mighty throne,
Which shall o'ershadow all the eastern world.
THE END.

NEW PUBLICATIONS printed for J. DEBRETT.

TRAVELS in UPPER and LOWER EGYPT; per­formed by Order and at the Expense of Lewis the Sixteenth, in 1776, 1777, and 1778. Comprehending the most important Observations and interesting Discove­ries made in the Course of the Journey. Faithfully translated from the French of C. S. SONNINI, an Officer of Engineers in the French Navy; Member of several learned Academies in Europe, and assistant Contributor to Buffon, in the Ornithological Department of his Natural History.—Illustrated with a Map of Egypt, Portraits of the Author and of Murat Bey, and several other Engrav­ings, representing Picturesque Views, Antiquities, Natural History, &c. &c. from Drawings taken on the Spot, un­der the immediate Inspection of the Author, and en­graved by Landseer, Milton, Anker Smith, Watts, and the first Artists in the various Departments. With a Pre­face by the Translator, comprehending an authentic and interesting Account of the Trade to the Levant.—Ele­gantly printed uniformly to bind with Park's and Brown's Travels in Africa, on fine wove paper, hot-pressed, in one large volume quarto.

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