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Now my first appetite of love is served;
It leads you to the women, and the boy.
Cleom. And why must I avoid those tender blessings?
Clean. Even such because they are, you must avoid them.
For I must tell you, friend, you have but time
Panth. You tell us wonders!
Which daily we expect, your death's resolved.
This hour's your own; take it, and tempt your for
Some few brave friends I hope to add;
If not, all Egypt's numbered in myself.
Cleom. I'm all on fire.-Now for a lucky pull
I long to see the colour, white or black:
Panth. The fewer hands,
The fewer partners in the share of honour. Cleom. Come, my Pantheus;-lead, my best Cleanthes !
We three to all the world.
Clean. Magas, and liberty, let be the word: Magas is loved, and liberty desired.
A short refection waits at the lieutenant's,
That honest friend, who sent you
Enter CRATESICLEA, CLEORA, CLEONIDAS.
He bated me the forms, and you the fondness.
Cleon. Pantheus, too, and he, who brought the food, The brave Egyptian, vanished altogether.
Cleor. Oh, my foreboding soul! he's gone to death! And that Cleanthes, whom thou call'st the brave, Has basely trained him to his destruction!
Crat. Suspect him not; when fate was in his power, And by a method so secure as famine,
To save us then, shows he had little need ·
To trick my son to death.
I have a better prospect of the event.
Cleor. Dear mother! comfort me, and tell your thoughts;
For I see nothing but a gathering tempest,
Crat. No, no; you are not of a soul to bear The mighty good and ill, that meet midway, As from two goals; and which comes first upon us, Fate only knows.
Cleon. Then speak to me, for I can stand the shock; Like a young plant, that fastens in a storm, And deeper drives the root.
Crat. Thy soul's too strong; thy body yet too weak, To bear the crush. Be still, and wait thy doom. [A cry within: Liberty, liberty! Magas, Magas! To arms for Magas, and for liberty! Cleon. What noble sound was that, so smart and
A soul in every word?
I thought was doing; but I durst not tell,
Till now it shows itself.
The work's begun, my boy; the work's begun ;
Cleor. O comfort me, my husband's mother! say, My lord may live and conquer !
But still make sure of death; trust we to that,
Cleor. Alas! I dare not die.
Crat. Come, come, you dare:.
Do not belye your courage.
Cleor. Heaven help me, I have none.
Crat. Then dare you be a slave to base Egyptians? For that must be, if you outlive your husband.
Cleor. I think, I durst, to save myself from death. Crat. Then, as a slave, you durst be ravished too? Cleor. The Gods forbid !
Crat. The Gods cannot forbid it
By any way but death.
Cleor. Then I dare die.
Crat. I told you so; you did not know your virtue.
Poor trembling thing, I'll warm thee in my bosom, And make thee take death kindly.
[Another Shout within-Liberty and Magas! Cleon. What must become of me?
Crat More trouble yet about this paltry being? For shame, no more such qualms !
Cleon. No more such vile mistakes! I would die
And not in women's company, but men's.
I will not, cannot stay:
But, as a generous, unfleshed hound, that hears
Cleor. Stop him, dear mother; he may comfort us, But cannot help his father.
Crat. The hero's blood is not to be controuled; Even in a child 'tis madly masterful. But wait we patient with our petty stakes, Which on those greater gamesters must depend; For, as they throw, our little lots must follow, Like sweepings of their heap.
[CRAT. and CLEORA go in. Trumpets; a Shout within-Liberty, Liberty, and Magas!
Enter CLEOMENES, CLEANTHES, PANTHEUS, followed by some few Egyptians.
Cleom. What, is this populous city turned a desert?
The cry of "Liberty" runs on before us,
By Hercules, we drive them through their town: They dare not stay to welcome their deliverers.
Clean. The cowards are afraid of what they wish; And, could they be their own, they would be ours. Cleom. They're gone; we talk to houses and to
Panth. Not so; I see some peeping from their doors.What are you? friends, or foes?
Four Egyptians appear, peeping from the opposite Entrances of the Stage.
1 Egypt. Friends, friends; all honest men,
And hearty to the cause.
Clean. Explain what cause; and give the general cry.
1 and 2 Egypt. Liberty and Magas.
1 Egypt. No, friend: We vulgar never fear the gods; but we whisper, for fear our o'erthwart neighbours should hear us cry, Liberty, and betray us to the government.
Clean. Of what side are you there?
[To the opposite Egyptian. 3 Egypt. That's according as you succeed: of your side hitherto.
Panth. If you are men, come join with us. 4 Egypt. You are too few for us to join with you; but get the greater party of your side, and we'll be sure to help the common cry.
Cleom. Dare you do nothing to assert your freedom? 3 Egypt. Yes, we'll pray devoutly for you. Clean. The brave pray with their swords; that's a man's part.
4 Egypt. Praying with our swords, the law calls fighting; and fighting is blood-shed; and bloodshed is hanging; and hanging is the part of a dog, and not of a man, in my opinion.
1 Egypt. Every one for himself.
The government is a coming.
[They shrink back in a Fright, and clap the Doors. Clean. Run! couch, you cowards, to your tyrant lords.