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Enter POLYDAMAS, PALMYRA, ARTEMIS, ARGA
LEON : After them, EUBULUS and HERMOGENES,
Palm. You must be merciful.
Eub. This is our recompence For serving thy dead queen.
Herm. And education Of thy daughter. ,
Arga. You are too modest, in not naming all His obligations to you: Why did you Omit his son, the prince Leonidas? · Poly. That iniposture I had forgot; their tortures shall be doubled.
Herm. You please me; I shall die the sooner.
Eub. No; could I live an age, and still be racked, I still would keep the secret.
. [As they are going off, Enter LEONIDAS, guarded. Leon, Oh, whither do you hurry innocence ! If you have any justice, spare their lives; Or, if I cannot make you just, at least I'll teach you to more purpose to be cruel.
Palm. Alas, what does he seek!
Leon. Make me the object of your hate and ven
geance!. Are these decrepid bodies, worn to ruin, Just ready of themselves to fall asunder, And to let drop the soul, : Are these fit subjects for a rack and tortures? Where would you fasten any hold upon them? Place pains on me, united fix them here,
I have both youth, and strength, and soul to bear .. them;
And, if they merit death, then I much more,
Herm. Heaven forbid
Eub. Away with us. Farewell, sir :
[Aside. Suspicion's true.
[Whispers the King. Palm. Hear yet my last request for poor Leoni
das, Or take my life with his. Arga. Rest satisfied, Leonidas is he.
[To the King. Poly. I am amazed: What must be done?
Arga. Command his execution instantly: Give him not leisure to discover it; He may corrupt the soldiers. Poly. Hence with that traitor, bear him to his
death: Haste there, and see my will performed. Leon. Nay, then, I'll die like him the gods have
made me. Hold, gentlemen, I am
ARGALEON stops his mouth. Arga. Thou art a traitor; 'tis not fit to hear thee. VOL. IV.
Leon. I say, I am the Getting loose a little. Arga. So; gag him, and leael him off.
[Again \stopping his mouth. (LEONIDAS, HERMOGENES, EUBULUS, led off;
POLYDAMAS and ARGALEON follow. Palm. Duty and love, by turns, possess my soul And struggle for a fatal victory. I will discover he's the king :- Ah, no! That will perhaps save him; But then I'm guilty of a father's ruin. What shall I do, or not do? Either way I must destroy a parent, or a lover. Break heart; for that's the least of ills to me, And death the only cure.
[Swoons. Arte. Help, help the princess.
Rho. Bear her gently hence, where she may Have more succour.
[She is borne off; ARTE. follows her.
[Shouts within, and clashing of swords. Pala. What noise is that?
Enter AMALTHEA, running.
Rho. Madam, no more;
Pala. Or die with you: No subject e'er can meet A nobler fate, than at his sovereign's feet. [Exeunt.
[Clashing of swords within, and shouts. Enter LEONIDAS, RHODOPHIL, PALAMEDE, EUBU
LUS, HERMOGENES, and their Party, victorious;
Leon. That I survive the dangers of this day, Next to the gods, brave friends, be yours the hó
Leon. And as I would be just in my rewards,
Poly. And we expect it.
Poly. And I too long have governed, to desire A life without an empire.
Lcon. You are Palmyra's father; and as such, Though not a king, shall have obedience paid From him who is one. Father, in that name All injuries forgot, and duty owned. (Embraces him.
Poly. O, had I known you could have been this
. king, Thus god-like, great and good, I should have wished
To have been dethroned before. 'Tis now I live, And more than reign ; now all my joys flow pure, Unmixed with cares, and undisturbed by conscience. Enter PALMYRA, AMALTHEA, ARTEMIS, DORALICE,
and MELANTHA. Leon. See, my Palmyra comes! the frighted blood Scarce yet recalled to her pale cheeks,' Like the first streaks of light broke loose from dark
ness, And dawning into blushes. -Sir, you said [To Poly. Your joys were full; Oh, would you make mine so! I am but half restored without this blessing.
Poly. The gods, and my Palmyra, make you happy, As you make me! Gives her hand to LEONIDAS.
Palm. Now all my prayers are heard:
Mel. Let me die, but I'll congratulate his majesty: How admirably well his royalty becomes him! Becomes! that is lui sied, but our damned language expresses nothing.
Pala. How? Does it become him already? 'Twas but just now you said, he was such a figure of a man.
Mel. True, my dear, when he was a private man he was a figure ; but since he is a king, methinks he has assumed another figure : He looks so grand, and so august!
(Going to the King. Pala. Stay, stay ; I'll present you when it is more convenient. I find I must get her a place at court; and when she is once there, she can be no longer ridiculous; for she is young enough, and pretty enough, and fool enough, and French enough, to bring up a fashion there to be affected.
Leon. (To RHODOPHIL.] Did she then lead you to ... this brave attempt?
ses nothingoes it becom such a figu