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In the state's service, I have still my dowry, of such. Well, sirs, your will be done! Which shall be consecrated to his rites,

as one day, And those of— (She stops with agitation. I trust, Heaven's will be done too! Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your Chief of the Ten. Know you, lady, children.

To whom ye speak,and perils of such speech? Marina. Ay, they are fatherless, I thank Marina. I know the former better than you.

yourselves ; Chief of the Ten. We

The latter-like yourselves; and can face Cannot comply with your request. His relics

both. Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and Wish you more funerals ? follow'd

Barb. Heed not her rash words; Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad Her circumstances must excuse her bearing. As Doge, but simply as a senator.

Chief of the Ten. We will not note them Marina. I have heard of murderers, who

down. have interr'd

Barb. (turning to Loredano, who is Their victims; but ne'er heard, until this writing upon his tablets) hour,

What art thou writing, Of so much splendour in hypocrisy With such an earnest brow, upon thy O'er those they slew. I've heard of widows'

tablets ? tears-

Lored. (pointing to the Doge's body) Alas! I have shed somc-always thanks to That he has paid me! you!

Chief of the Ten. What debt did he I've heard of heirs in sables---.you have owe you? left none

Lored. A long and just one; Nature's To the deceased, so you would act the part | debt and mine. Curtain falle

S A R D A NAP ALUS,

A TRA G E DY.

TO

For the historical foundation of the coinTHE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTHE. positions in question, the reader is referred

to the Notes. 4 stranger presumes to offer the homage of The Author has in one instance attempted

literary vassal to his liege-lord, the first to preserve, and in the other to approach of eristing writers, who has created the the unities ; conceiving that with any Eiterature of his own country and illustrated very distant departure from them, there that of Europe. The unworthy production may be poetry, but can be no drama. He which the author ventures to inscribe to him is aware of the unpopularity of this notion is entitled SABDANAPALUS.

in present English literature; but it is not a system of his own, being merely an opinion, which, not very long ago, was the

law of literature throughout the world, PREFACE.

and is still so in the more civilized parts

of it. But "Nous avons changé tout cela,” Ix publishing the Tragedies of Sardana- and are reaping theadvantages of the change. palus, and of The Two Foscari, I have only The writer is far from conceiving that any to repeat that they were not composed with thing he can adduce by personal precept the most remote view to the stage. or example can at all approach his regular,

On the attempt made by the Managers or even irregular, predecessors: he is merely in a former instance, the public opinion giving a reason why he preferred the more has been already expressed.

regular formation of a structure, however With regard to my own private feelings, feeble, to an entire abandonment of all rules as it seems that they are to stand for no- whatsoever. Where he bas failed, the faithing, I shall say nothing.

lure is in the architect,-and not in the art.

DRAMATIS PERSONE.

MEN.

WOMEN. SARDANAPALUS, King of Niniveh and Assyria. Zarina, the Queen. Arbacks, the Mede who aspired to the Throne. Myrrha, an Ionian female Slave, and the BELESES, a Chaldean and Soothsayer.

Favourite of SARDANAPALUS. SALEMENES, the King's Brother-in-law. Women composing the Harem of SARDANAALTADA, an Assyrian Officer of the Palace. PALUS, Guards, Attendants, Chaldean

Priests, Medes.

Scene—a Hall in the Royal Palace of BALBA.

Nineveh.

Panta. Zanes. SFERO.

years

ACT I.

The blood of Nimrod and Semiramis

Sink in the earth, and thirteen hundred SCENE I.-A Hall in the Palace.

Of empire ending like a shepherd's tale; Salemenės (solus). He hath wrong'd his He must be roused. In his effeminate heart

queen, but still he is her lord; There is a careless courage which corHe hath wrong'd my sister, still he is my ruption

Has not all quench’d, and latent energies, He hath wrong'å his people, still he is their Represt by circumstance, but not destroyd

Steep'd, but not drown'd, in deep volupAnd I must be his friend as well as subject: tuousness. He inust not perish thus. I will not see If born a peasant, he had been a man

brother;

sovereign,

war

To havo reachd an empire; to an empire | We'll meet again in that the sweetest hour, born,

When we shall gather like the stars above us, He will bequeath none; nothing but a name, And you will form a heaven as bright as Which his sons will not prize in heritage:

theirs; Yet, not all lost, even yet he may redeem Till then, let each be mistress of her time, Ilis sloth and shame, by only being that And thou, my own Ionian Myrrha, choose, Which he should be, as easily as the thing Wilt thou along with them or me? He should not be and is. Were it less toil Myrrha. My lord -To sway his nations than consume his life? Sard. My lord! my life, why answerest To head an army than to rule a harem?

thou so coldly? He sweats in palling pleasures.dulls his soul, It is the curse of kings to be so answered. And saps his goodly strength, in toils which Rule thy own hours, thou rulest mineyield not

say, wouldst thon Ilealth like the chase, nor glory like the Accompany our guests, or charm away

The moments from me ? Ile must be roused. Alas! there is no sound Myrrha. The king's choice is mine. [Sound of soft music heard from within. Sard. I

pray thee say not so: my To rouse him short of thunder. Hark!

chiefest joy the lute,

Is to contribute to thine every wish. The lyre, the timbrel; the lascivious I do not dare to breathe my own desire

. tinklings

Lest it should clash with thine; for thou Of lulling instruments, the softening voices

art still Of women, and of beings less than women, Too prompt to sacrifice thy thoughts for Must chime in to the echo of his revel,

others. While the great king of all we know of Myrrha. I would remain : I have no earth

happiness Lolls crown'd with roses, and his diadem Save in beholding thine; yet Lies negligently by to be caught up

Sard. Yet, what YET? By the first manly hand which dares to Thy own sweet will shall be the only barrier snatch it.

Which ever rises betwixt thee and me. Lo, where they come! already I perceive Myrrha. I think the present is the The reeking odours of the perfumed trains,

wonted hour And see the bright gems of the glittering Of council; it were better I retire. girls,

Sal. (comes forward and says) The Ionian Who are his comrades and his council, flash slave says well, let her retire. Along the gallery, and amidst the damsels, Sard. Who answers! How now, brother! As femininely garb’d, and scarce less female, Sal. The queen's brother, The grandson of Semiramis, the man-queen? And your most faithful vassal, royal lord. He comes! Shall I await him ? yes, and Sard. (addressing his train) As I have front him,

said, let all dispose their hours And tell him what all good men tell each Till midnight, when again we pray your other,

presence. [The court retiring Speaking of him and his. They come, (To Myrrka, rho is going) Myrrha!! the slaves,

thought thou wouldst remain. Led by the monarch subject to his slaves. Myrrha. Great king,

Thou didst not say so. SCENE II.-Enter SARDANAPALUS effeminate

Sard. But thou lookedst it; ly dressed, his Head crowned with Flow- I know each glance of those Ionic eyes, attended by a Train of Women and young ers, and his Robe negligently flowing, which said thou wouldst not leave me.

Myrrha. Sire! your brotherSlaves.

Sal. His consort's brother, minion of lonia!

How darest thou name me and not blush? Sardanapalus (speaking to some of his Sard. Not blush ! Attendants).

Thou hast no more eyes than heart to Let the pavilion over the Eaphrates

make her crimson Be garlanded, and lit, and furnish'd forth Like to the dying da For an especial banquet; at the hour Where sunset tints the snow witbrony Of midnight we will sup there: see nought shadows, wanting

And then reproach her with thine ovo And bid the galley be prepared. There is cold blindness, A cooling breeze which crisps the broad which will not see it. What, in tears, my clear river:

Myrrha ? Wo will embark anon. Fair nymphs, who Sal. Let them flow on; deign

more than one, To share the soft hours of Sardanapalus, And is herself the cause of bitterer tears

on Caucasus,

she weeps for

Sard. Cursed be he who caused those Sard. Not know the word ! tears to flow!

Never was word yet rung so in my earsSal. Curse not thyself – inillions do that Worse than the rabble's shout, or splitting already.

trumpet; Sard. Thou dost forget thee: make me I've heard thy sister talk of nothing else. not remember

Sal. To change the irksome theme, then, I am a monarch,

hear of vice. Sal. Would thou couldst!

Sard. From whom? Myrı ha. My sovereign,

Sal. Even from the winds, if thou couldst I pray, and thou too, prince, permit my

listen absence.

Unto the echoes of the nation's voice. Sard. Since it must be so, and this churl Sard. Come, I'm indulgent as thou has check'd

knowest, patient Thy gentle spirit, go; but recollect As thou hast often proved - speak out, what That we must forth with meet: I had rather

moves thee? lose

Sal. Thy peril. An empire than thy presence.

Sard. Say on.

(Erit Myrrha. Sal. Thus, then: all the nations, Sal. It may be,

For they are many, whom thy father left Thou wilt Jose both, and both for ever! In heritage, are loud in wrath against thee. Sard. Brother,

Sard. Gainst me! What would the slaves? I can at least command myself, who listen Sal. A king. To language such as this; yet urge me not Sard. And what Beyond my easy nature.

Am I then? Sal. 'Tis beyond

Sal. In their eyes a nothing; but That casy, far too easy, idle nature, In mine a man who might be something still. Which I would nrge thee. Oh that I Sard. The railing drunkards! why, what. could rouse thee!

would they have ? Though 'twere against myself.

Have they not peace and plenty? Sard. By the god Baal!

Sal. Of the first, The man would make me tyrant.

More than is glorious; of the last far less Sal. So thou art.

Than the king recks of. Thinkst thou there is no tyranny but that Sard. Whose then is the crime, or blood and chains? The despotism of vice But the false satraps, who provide no better? The weakness and the wickedness of luxury- Sal. And somewbat in the monarch who The negligence-the apathy - the evils

ne'er looks Of sensual sloth—produce ten thousand Beyond his palace-walls, or if he stirs tyrants,

Beyond them, 'tis but to some mountainWhose delegated cruelty surpasses

palace, The worst acts of one energetic master, Till sumnier-heats wear down. O glorious Flowever harsh and hard in his own bearing.

Baal ! T'he false and fond examples of thy lasts Who built up this vast empire, and wert Corrupt no less than they oppress, and sap

made In the same moment all thy pageant power A god, or at the least shinest like a god And those who should sustain 80 that Through the long centuries of thy renown, whether

This, thy presumed descendant, ne'er beheld 1 foreign foe invade, or civil broil As king the kingdoms thou didst leave as Distract within, both will alike prove fatal:

hero, The first thy subjects have no heart to Won with thy blood, and toil, and time, conquer;

and peril! The last they rather would assist than For what? to furnish imposts for a revel, vanquish.

Or multiplied extortions for a minion. Sard. Why what makes thee the mouth- Sard. I understand thee-thou wouldst

piece of the people? Sal. Forgiveness of the queen my sister's Forth as a conqueror. By all the stars wrongs;

Which the Chaldeans read! the restless nataral love unto my infant nephews;

slaves faith to the king,a faith he may need shortly, Deserve that I should curse them with their n more than words; respect for Nimrod's line; wishes, lso, another thing thou knowest not. And lead them forth to glory. Sard. What's that?

Sal. Wherefore not?
Sal. To thee an unknown word. Semiramis a woman only - led
Sard. Yet speak it,

These our Assyrians to the solar shores love to learn.

Of Ganges. Sal. Virtue.

Sard. 'Tis most true. And how return'd?

have me go

Sal. Why, like a man—a hero; baffled, but | And skirts of these our realms lie not, Not vanquish'd. With but twenty guards,

this Bacchus she made

Conquer'd the whole of India, did he not! Good her retreat to Bactria.

Sal. He did,and thence was deen'd a deity. Sard. And how many

Sard. Not so:- of all his conquests a Left she behind in India to the vultures ?

few columns, Sal. Our annals say not.

Which may be his, and might be mine, if I Sard. Then I will say for them- Thought them worth purchase and conThat she had better woven within her palace

veyanco, are Some twenty garments, than with twenty The landmarks of the seas of gore he shed, guards

The realms he wasted, and the hearts he Have fled to Bactria, leaving to the ravens,

broke. And wolves, and men - the fiercer of the But here, here in this goblet is his title three,

To immortality--the immortal grape Her myriads of fond subjects. Is this glory? From which he first express'd the soul, and Then let me live in ignominy ever.

gave Sal. All warlike spirits have not the To gladden that of man, as some atonement same fate.

For the victorious mischiefs he had done. Semiramis, the glorious parent of

Had it not been for this, he would have been A hundred kings, although she fail'd in A mortal still in name as in his grave; India,

And, like my ancestor Semiramis, Brought Persia, Media, Bactria, to the A sort of semi-glorious human monster. realm

Here's that which deified him -- let it non Which she once sway'd—and thou mightst Humanize thee; my surly, chiding brother, sway.

Pledge me to the Greek god! Sard. I sway them

Sal. For all thy realms She but subdued them.

I would not so blaspheme our country's Sal. It may be ere long

crecd. That they will need her sword more than Sard. That is to say, thou thinkest hin your sceptre.

a hero, Sard. There was a certain Bacchus, was That he shed blood by oceans; and no god

, there not?

Because he turn'd a fruit to an enchantment, I've heard iny Greek girls speak of such—. Which cheers the sad, revives the old, inspires they say

The young, makes Weariness forget histoil, He was a god, that is, a Grecian god, And Fear her danger; opens a new world An idol foreign to Assyria's worship, When this, the present, palls. Well, then, Who conquer'd this same golden realm of I pledge thee Ind

And him as a true man, who did his utmost Thou prat'st of, where Semiramis was in good or evil to surprise mankind.

vanquish'a. Sal. I have heard of such a man; and Sal. Wilt thou resume a revel at this hour! thou perceiv'st

Sard. And if I did, 'twere better than That he is deem'd a god for what he did.

a trophy, Sard. And in his godship I will honour Being bought without a tear. But that is not him

My present purpose: since thou wilt not Not much as man. What, ho! my cupbearer!

pledge me, Sal. What means the king ?

Continue what thou pleasest. Sard. To worship your new god (To the Cupbearer) Boy, retire. And ancient conqueror. Some wine, I

say. Enter Cupbearer.

Sal. I would but have recall'd thee from

thy dream : Sard. (addressing the Cupbearer) Better by me awaken'd than rebellion. Bring me the golden goblet thick with gems, Sard. Who should rebel? or why? what Which bears the name of Nimrod's chalice.

cause ? pretext? Hence!

I am the lawful king, descended from Fill full, and bear it quickly.

A race of kings who knew no predecessors.

[Exit Cupbearer. What have 1 done to thee, or to the people, Sal. Is this moment

That thou shouldst rail, or they rise up A fitting one for the resumption of

against me? Thy yet unslept-off revels

Sal. of what thou hast done to me, !

speak not. Re-enter Cupbearer, with wine.

Sard. But Sard. (taking the cup from him) Noble Thou thinkst that I have wrong'd the kinsman,

queen : is't not so ? If these barbarian Greeks of the far shores Sal. Think! Thou hast wrongd her!

(Drinks

.

(Erit Cupbearer.

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