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Is but the path. What is it that we seek ? Enjoyment! We have cut the way short to it,
And not gone tracking it through human ashes,
Making a grave with every footstep.
All hearts are happy, and all voices bless The king of peace, who holds a world in
Sar. Art sure of that? I have heard
Some say that there be traitors.
Sar. What cause? true, fill the goblet up; We will not think of them: there are none such,
Or if there be, they are gone.
The safety of the king the monarch, say
The god Sardanapalus!
[ZAMES and the Guests kneel, and exclaim —
Mightier than His father Baal, the god Sardanapalus ! [It thunders as they kneel; some start up in confusion. Zam. Why do you rise, my friends? in that strong peal
His father gods consented.
Myr. Menaced, rather. King, wilt thou bear this mad impiety? 31 Sar. Impiety!-nay, if the sires who reign'd
Before me can be gods, I'll not disgrace
Their lineage. But arise, my pious friends; Hoard your devotion for the thunderer there:
I seek but to be loved, not worshipp'd.
Both Both you must ever be by all true subjects.
Sar. Methinks the thunders still in-
An awful night.
My realm to one wide shelter for the
Myr. Thou 'rt no god, then, not to be Able to work a will so good and general As thy wish would imply.
And your gods, then,
Who can and do not?
Do not speak of that,
Lest we provoke them.
Were there no temples, would there, think ye, be
Air worshippers? that is, when it is angry And pelting as even now.
The Persian prays
Unroof'd and desolate, how many flatterers Would lick the dust in which the king lay low?
Alt. The fair Ionian is too sarcastic Upon a nation whom she knows not well; The Assyrians know no pleasure but their king's,
And homage is their pride.
again! Zam. The big rain pattering on the roof. Sar. No more.
Pan. Prince Salemenes doth implore the king
To arm himself, although but for a moment, And show himself unto the soldiers: his Sole presence in this instant might do more Than hosts can do in his behalf.
Sar. Will I not? Ho, there! But seek not for the buckler: 't is Too heavy: :-a light cuirass and my sword. Where are the rebels?
Pan. Scarce a furlong's length From the outward wall the fiercest conflict rages.
Sar. Then I may charge on horseback. Sfero, ho!
Order my horse out.
There is space
And wilt thou?
Even in our courts and by the outer gate,
Pan. "T was When I late left him, and I have no fear: Our troops were steady, and the phalanx form'd.
Sar. Tell him to spare his person present, And that I will not spare my ownsay,
Pan. There's victory in the very word. [Exit PANIA. forth, and arm
Sar. Altada Zames
Is all in readiness in the armoury.
quit The post but with their lives it, Zames.
Altada, arm yourself and return here;
[Exeunt ZAMES, ALTADA, and all save MYRRHA. Enter SFERO and others with the King's Arms, etc. Sfe. King! your armour. Sar. (arming himself). Give me the cuirass so: my baldric; now My sword: I had forgot the helm — where is it? That's well- no, 't is too heavy: you mistake, too It was not this I meant, but that which bears
A diadem around it.
Sire, I deem'd That too conspicuous from the precious
To risk your sacred brow beneath — and
This is of better metal, though less rich.
Sar. You deem'd! Are you too turn'd
Your part is to obey: return, and -no
Wear Caucasus! why, 't is
Sar. I go forth to be recognised, and thus
Shall be so sooner. Now my spear!
[In going stops short and turns to SFERO. Sfero - I had forgotten — bring the mirror. Sfe. The mirror, sire? Sar. Yes, sir, of polish'd brass, Brought from the spoils of India — but be speedy. [Exit SPERO. Sar. Myrrha, retire unto a place of safety. Why went you not forth with the other
Love me, whate'er betide. My chiefest glory
Shall be to make me worthier of
Me perish! If he vanquish not, I perish;
To yield him no more of it than a grave; And yet I love him more. Oh, mighty
Jove! Forgive this monstrous love for a barba
rian Who knows not of Olympus! Yes, I love him
And the foe too; and in the moon's broad light,
His silk tiara and his flowing hair
Were you sent by the king?
The king, the king fights as he revels. Ho! What, Sfero! I will seek the armoury He must be there. [Erit ALTADA. "T is no dishonour
And a Greek bard his minstrel, a Greek tomb
His monument. How goes the strife, sir?
Enter an Officer.
Myr. Posted with the guard appointed
Those little words, a kingdom and a king,
Like a small bubble breaking with the
Which bore it, shall be nothing. At the
My fate is in my keeping: no proud victor
Away with me, 240
Enter SARDANAPALUS and SALEMENES with Soldiers.
Serry your ranks stand firm. I have
A trusty satrap for the guard of Zames, 260
[PANIA returns towards MYRRHA.
The king? Pan. Sent me here to conduct you hence,
The river, by a secret passage.
Pan. Not till the last. Still, still he does whate'er
Will he then give way
Sal. Hark! they come — - they come.