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which, as it contains some exceedingly beautiful lines, we do not choose to omit.
The Queen of the Morea had died in giving birth to an only daughter, whom, with her dying words, she desired might be called Pharonnida. Before she expired, she addressed the King in the following beautiful lines, breathed from the bottom of a soft and tender soul:
"This, this is all that I shall leave behind,
This only child was the darling and solace of the royal widower, amidst "woes that would have shaken his soul to earth."
"Had not this comfort stopp'd them, which beguiles
When Pharonnida arrived at woman's estate, her father chose a palace in the Vale of Ceres, near to his capital of Corinth, for her residence, and assigned her a guard of one hundred noble Spartan youths, the command of which he gave toAlmanzor, the bold, haughty, and ambitious man before mentioned. Whenever the king visited this favored daughter, (which he was at this time doing) there was a peculiar custom that she should sit in judgment on all cases which occurred during the time of his visit.—Before her tribunal the accused Argalia was fated to appear,—the day of his trial having come on, the Princess ascended the seat of justice,—the prisoner was brought forth, who
"In this low ebb of fortune did appear,
The wrongful charge was made, but
"His noble soul still wings itself above
Passion's dark fogs; and like that prosperous dove,
The world's first pilot for discovery sent,
When all the floods that bound the firmament
O'erwhelm'd the earth, conscience's calm joy t' increase,
Returns, fraught with the olive branch of peace."
He attempted to defend himself, but false witnesses being produced to prove the accusation, he saw it would be vain to make any further defence.N An ominous silence intervened—Pharonnida, struck with admiration at the demeanour and appearance of Argalia, could not refrain from tears—and she at the same time made a deep impression upon the heart of the prisoner.
"Yet in this high
Tide of his blood, in a soft calm to die,
One of the assistant judges at length pronounced the fatal sentence, which was received by the prisoner with calm attention.
"His ev'ry look, so far
At the instant the Court was rising, and the jailors hurrying Argalia away, Ariamnes arrived. Having related so much of the stranger's story as he was acquainted with, he prevailed upon the princess to suspend the execution of the sentence, until he had an opportunity of investigating the truth of the charge. The Court was a second time about to break up, and was a second time interrupted by the abrupt entrance of Aphron, who having been alarmed at the absence of his friend, had quitted his sick bed in search of him. He menaced the Court, if they dared to spill the blood of one so well allied in the adjacent state of Epirus; but all the grace that could be obtained was a reprieve for three days. There were at this time ambassadors from Epirus at the Spartan Court—Pharonnida sent for them, and discovered that Aphron was the son, and Argalia the adopted son, of one of them. The three days had now expired, and preparations were made for the execution of the noble prisoner.
Sorrow reigned in the heart of the princess—sad and alone, she remained in a room which overlooked the place of execution, and continually repaired to the window to take a last look at the engaging prisoner. The silence with which the spectators were waiting for the last fatal ceremony was suddenly broken, and Ariamnes, at the head of a troop of clowns, rushed through the crowd accompanied by Florenza, who had been beset and prevented from coming sooner by Almanzor. Florenza was called upon for her evidence, which the poet introduces in the following happy and delicate lines:
"And here vain art
Argalia was of course set at liberty; and Almanzor, having disobeyed a summons for his appearance, was condemned to perpetual banishment. The curiosity of the king was excited by the novel scene which he had witnessed, and he requested the ambassador would relate the history of his adopted son, which he did in substance as follows:
One day, " about the birth o' th' sluggish morning, when the crusted earth was tinselled o'er with frost, and each sprig clad with winter's wool," Argalia, then an infant, was brought by two strangers to a cottage in the neighbourhood of the Epirot's country seat. The cottager's wife agreed to take charge of the infant, and they accordingly left it with her, having first suspended a rare and costly jewel round its neck. Here it was that Argalia, as he grew up, attracted the notice and gained the affection of the kind Epirot; and a brave achievement which he performed, called that" affection into useful action." The Epirot took him from his foster parents, and placed him in his own house as a companion to his son. The secret of his birth, however, still remained unknown. Such was the story of Euriolus.—The ambassadors, with the two young friends, being about to return to their own country, Molarchus (the Spartan admiral) invited them previous to their departure to a marine fete, to be given to the court on board his own ship, of which the poet has introduced a splendid and gorgeous description. Whilst the guests were in their full career of mirth, and unsuspicious of treachery, the admiral weighed anchor and set sail. The attendants at first imagined this to be a mere frolic to amuse the king, but observing the ship was doubling the cape, they began to suspect that all was not right—they immediately rushed upon deck, where they were encountered by the armed crew, and a sharp conflict took place between them. Meanwhile the admiral, under cover of the night, carried off the princess in a boat. The rest of the crew having taken care to bore such holes in the ship as would ensure her destruction, also betook themselves to the boats, and the ship soon afterwards went down. Argalia and his friend Aphron seized one of the crew's boats, and after a hard contest, in which Aphron was killed, got possession of it. Argalia rescued the king and Euriolus from a watery grave, but his noble friend Ariamnes perished. Guided by a friendly light, Argalia and his companions landed on a rocky island, where they found an empty boat, in which they learned the admiral had arrived with the princess, and retired to a castle on the island. Argalia, having manufactured a ladder out of the ropes of a decayed ship which was lajd on the strand, immediately proceeded to the castle, scaled the walls, surprised and slew Molarchus, and carried off the princess in triumph to her father. The king, as a token of his gratitude, appointed Argalia captain of the princess's guard; and returned to Corinth; while Pharonnida and Argalia retired to the vale of Ceres, where they spent some months in happy seclusion and free delights, which nourished and strengthened their mutual but unavowed attachment, the gentle and gradual progress of which, is described in a passage of great richness and beauty. In the midst of this delightful intercourse, Pharonnida was one night visited by a dream, from which, as it is distinguished by its vigorous conception and lofty strain of poetry, we shall venture to present our readers with an extract.
"A strong prophetic dream,
Fix'd in the flaming centre of the world,
This shadowy picture exhibited danger threatening Argalia and herself under a variety of fortunes; but terminated with the following happy prospect:
"A golden cloud did bow
Her from approaching danger; which being done,
In the morning, whilst the princess was brooding over her midnight joys, Argalia brought her a packet from her