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On us with such deluded eyes, to think
We pay a private adoration to
This gilded marble, only deified
By some imperfect souls' unworthy fear,
Whose reason, darkened, flew to fancy for
Relief, and from whose vain ideas fram'd
Those tutelary powers, which wiser men
Pretend devotion to, only to awe
Irregular humanity into
A dull obedience to their power, which were
Mad to adore those deities they make.
Eur. Oh, horrid blasphemy!
Are these the hallowed mysteries you use
To sanctifie your offerings with 1 or is't
Your cruelty, now I am neer the steep
And dangerous precipice of death, to stagger
A feeble woman's faith, that so your mortall
May passe to an eternal punishment?
Had I no drop of bloud but what had been
Fir'd with a feaver of hot lusts, the grave's
Cold damps, unfetter'd by your prince's doom,
Had long ere this extinguisht them. My soul
The warm imbraces of her flesh is now,
Even now, forsaking; this frail body must,
Like a lost feather, fall from off the wing
Of vanity;—ere many minutes, lie
A lump of loth'd corruption, foul enough,
Without being with so black a sin deform'd.
Pri. Deluded innocence! think you, that fate should rob
Me of the glorious treassure of your beauty,
Soon as I had injoyed it? What though you are
With your heroick brother destin'd to
Conform a simple prince's zeal; I know
Wayes to evade it, that shall make him tremble
To touch this sacred beauty, with a reverence
Holy as that he payes unto the gods:
Whilst you, (though now) ordain'd to die a martyr,
Shall live a saint, among the sacred number
That in this temple spend their happy hours
In silent close delights, such as do make
The amorous soul spring in the womb of fancy:
Here every hour that links the chain of life,
We fill with pleasures, yet nere feel their surfets,
Degenerate to that pale disease of fear
The ignorant world cals conscience.
Eur. How strangely lies the devill here disguis'd
Within the masque of age and holinesse.
Pri. Of age! /look here, Eurione,
[Throws off his pontificals.
Is this a face to be dispis'd? be not amaz'd:
The holy reverence which the people bear
Unto my office, keeps me so much a stranger
Unto their knowledge, that I still may be
Secure within the shade of a disguise,
Pleasing the sprightly vestals, which my youth
Knows better how to do than feeble age.
Had not that excellence of beauty which
Appears in you, bright as men fancy angels,
I had not stoop't to this discovery; but,
With the severity of my office, led
You to inevitable death, which now
My love redeems you from, if with a fair
Consent you meet the vigour of my passion.
Eur. Witnesse, you gods, that see my soul devellop'd
From every thought of earth, how soon more willingly
I would submit myself to the embraces
Of crawling worms, the cold inhabitants
Of silent dormitories, than to have
My dying hopes warm'd into life again
By those wilde fires of thy prodigious lusts.
No, impious villain!—when ghastly horror makes
A giddy circle round thy death-bed, and
Thy sins, like Furies, all appear to fright
Thy trembling soul from her last stage of Iife^—
When thou shalt curse thy birth-day, and implore
Eternall darknesse to obscure thee from
Heaven's all-discerning eye, this sin shall not
Make up a link o' th' everlasting chain.
Pri. Must I be then denied? fond girl! thou hast
Precipitated all the hopes of life,
By this abortive virtue; unlesse thou canst
Command a guard of those imaginary
And helplesse deities, to circle thee
In forms more dreadful than the night, or death
Presents them to our fears, no power shall save thee;
Thy prayers are sown on unrelenting rocks—
Mixt with a wildernesse of air; through which
Thou'lt never find them in their wisht effects.
Tush! this weak resistance is in vain—
The virgin goddesse stirs not. [Eurione flies to the altar.
VOL. I. PART II. T
Eur. Oh, hear—hear me, you sacred powers,
And from your thrones look on an injured maid.
Pri. Poor fool!—they'r deaf to thunder.
Eur. Some pitying god protect me."
[Oroandes comes forward.
With what dignity and scorn does Eurione repel the offers of the Priest's " prodigious lusts;" with what awful solemnity does she pour forth her denunciation, as if it had burst from the stony lips of Minerva herself.
Zannazarro takes leave of his sister thus.
"Zan. So—now we have ended, my Eurione,
All our imployments on the earth: this is
The last of all our mortall interviews!
The wheels of time, worn on the road of age,
Will lose their motion, ere we shall again
Meet in the robes of flesh, which must, ere that,
Change to a thousand shapes its varied dust:
Yet still (—dear girl) our souls unseparable
Shall walk together to eternity."
The King, after struggling with his passion for Eurione until all his better feelings were silenced, resolves to put his love upon the fortune of the sword.
The scene between him and Oroandes possesses great merit; it is introduced by a picture of placid beauty, which imparts to the mind of the reader the same harmonious sentiments which shed a dignified calm over the soul of Oroandes. They are noble spirits both. Oroandes is the very abstraction of loyalty —of high and principled loyalty. The poet has skilfully depicted the dread with which the King shrinks from breathing his fuilty purpose; till, for fear of failing altogether in his object, e drags it forth with shame to light, and, impatient of a pretext to escape from the very thought of it, in the tumult of combat, seizes the words in which Oroandes disparagingly compares Eurione with the Cyprian princess, almost before they are uttered.
Oroandes alone, reading a note.
"Oro. —The hour, five—the place, the plain beneath the
I have not mist in either circumstance,
Unlesse my haste anticipated time;—it yet is not full five;
The morning hath not lost her virgin blush,
Nor step, but mine, soil'd the earth's tinsel'd robe.
How full of heaven this solitude appears,
This healthful comfort of the happy swain;
Who from his hard, but peacefull, bed rous'd up,
In's morning exercise saluted is
By a full quire of feather'd choristers,
Wedding their notes to the inamour'd air.
Here, Nature in her unaffected dresse,
Plaited with vallies and imbost with hills,
Enchac't with silver streams, and fring'd with woods,
Sits lovely in her native russet. * * *'
Enter the King, disguised. ,
Tis he, but strangely chang'd.
King. Oroandes, you're now a loyal subject.
Oro. All my ambition ne'r flew higher, sir,
Than in that region of your thoughts to thrive.
King. There it was grown to full maturity,
Ere thou wrotest man, my Oroandes; but I must,
Like wanton Nero, either ruine all
The glorious structure of thy hopes, or live
Imprison'd in thy loyalty;—thy life,
'Till now my strongest fortresse, is become
The fatall engine of my ruine.
Oro. Heavens! what have'I done to merit this?
King. Nothing but been too virtuous, and by that Center'd affections, which I must remove, Or shake thee into chaos.
Oro. This language blasts me: sure, I have no sin Ponderous enough to buoy your vengeance up Unto this dangerous height. Did I but think One viper lodg'd in my remotest thought, I'd tear each fibre of my heart to find The monster forth; and, in my bloud imbalm'd, Throw it as far as life's short span can reach. But heaven my witnesse is, no flame of zeal But hath been yours 'i the second magnitude; My vowes, of kin to those I paid the gods, My prayers, but love and duty fir'd into A holy calenture: yet if all this, Like a small star's kind influence govern'd by A regall planet's crosse aspects, must drop It's fading beams into that house of death, Your fierce destructive anger, let me shew
The latitude of my obedience, in
Dying at the command of him for whom
I only wish to live. Did my friends
, Look on the object through their tears, the ghost
Of my dead mother, capable of grief
As of eternity, and yet clothed in
Humanitie's most frail affections; all
Those rivulets of sorrow should not wash »
The sanguine stain of my resolves, so they,
If executed, could procure a calm
In this high tempest of your soul.
King. Thy virtue fathomes not my depth of guilt;
Such a prevention of my anger would
Only exchange the active passion for
Sorrow as insupportable: those characters,
Which must unfold the sables of my soul,
Are in dark hieroglyphicks hid, through which
Thy strength of judgment cannot pierce.
Oro. You speak in misty wonders, sir ; such as lead
My apprehension into wild meanders.
King. This will unriddle all our doubts—Draw.
Oro. Against my sovereign!—an act so wicked would
Retort the guilty steel into my breast.
Fear never yet marbled a coward's bloud
More than obedience mine; that breath hath lockt
In ice the panting channels of my heart,
No spirits dare from their cold center move.
King. Will you deny, when I command?
Oro. Pardon me, royall sir; had such a voice
Legitimated my attempts, I had
Not paus'd at the incounter of a danger
Horrid as all the wars o' th' elements,
When ruffl'd into stormes, could present:
I would bestride a cloud with lightning charg'd,
In's full carreer affront a thunderboult,
Leap through the clefts of earthquakes, or attempt
To prop the ruins of a falling rock,
Yet count all this my happinesse, so I
Met death in the white robes of loyalty.
But to encounter such a ghastly foe
In the black shadow of rebellion, shakes
The strongest pillars of my soul. You are my king!
My king—whose frowns should be
More dreadfull to me, than oraculous truths
When threat'ning sudden ruine; your sacred person