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Sard. Patience, prince, and hear me. Sal. A worthy moral, and a wise inShe has all power and splendour of her scription, station,
For a king to put up before his subjects! Respect, the tutelage of Assyria's heirs, Sard. Oh, thou wouldst have me doubtThe homage and the appanage of sove- less set up edictsreignty.
"Obey the king contribute to his treasureI married her as monarchs wed—for state, Recruit his phalanx-spill your blood at And loved her as most husbands love their bidding wives.
Fall down and worship, or get up and toil." If she or thou supposedst I could link me Or thus—“Sardanapalus on this spot Like a Chaldean peasant to his mate, Slew fifty thousand of his enemies. Ye knew nor me, normonarchs, nor mankind. These are their sepulchres, and this his Sal. I pray thee, change the theme; my trophy." blood disdains
I leave such things to conquerors; enough Complaint, and Salemenes' sister seeks not For me, if I can make my subjects feel Reluctant love even from Assyria's lord ! The weight of human misery less, and glide Nor would she deign to accept divided Ungroaning to the tomb ; I take no licence passion
Which I deny to them. We all are men. With foreign strumpets and Ionian slaves. Sal. Thy sires have been revered as The queen is silent.
godsSard. And why not her brother?
Sard. In dust Sal. I only echo thee the voice of empires, And death, where they are neither gods Which he who long neglects not long will govern.
Talk not of such to me! the worms are gods; Sard. The ungrateful and ungracious At least they banqueted upon your gods, slaves! they murmur
And died for lack of further nutriment. Because I have not shed their blood, nor Those gods were merely men; look to led them
their issueTo dry into the desert's dụst by myriads, I feel a thousand mortal things about me, Or whiten with their bones the banks of But nothing godlike, unless it may be Ganges;
The thing which you condemn,a disposition Nor decimated them with savage laws,
To love and to be merciful, to pardon Nor sweated them to build up pyramids, The follies of my species,and (that's human) Or Babylonian walls.
To be indulgent to my own. Sal. Yet these are trophies
Sal. Alas! More worthy of a people and their prince The doom of Nineveh is seald.-Woe-woe Than songs, and lutes, and feasts, and To the unrivall’d city! concubines,
Sard. What dost dread ? And lavish'd treasures, and contemned Sal. Thou art gaarded by thy foes: in virtues.
a few hours Sard. Now, for my trophies I have founded the tempest may break out which overcities :
whelms thee, There's Tarsus and Anchialus, both built And thine and mine; and in another day In one day-what could that blood-loving What is shall be the past of Belus' race. beldame,
Sard. What must we dread ?
Which has environ'd thee with snares;
signet Which shames both them and thee to coming To quell the machinations, and I lay ages.
The heads of thy chief foes before thy feet. Sard. Shame me! By Baal, the cities, Sard. The heads- how many! though well built,
Sal. Must I stay to number Are not more goodly than the verse! Say When even thine own's in peril? Let me go; what
Give me thy signet-trust me with the rest. Thou wilt gainst me,my mode of life or rule, Sard. I will trust no man with unliBut nothing 'gainst the truth of that brief
mited lives. record.
When we take thosc from others, we nor know Why, those few lines contain the history What we have taken, nor the thing we Of all things human; hear—“Sardanapalus give. The king, and son of Anacyndaraxes, Sal. Wouldst thou not take their lives In one day built Anchialus and Tarsus.
who seek for thine? Eat, drink, and love; the rest's not worth Sard. That's a hard question.-But, I a fillip."
In the state's service, I have still my dowry, of such. Well, sirs, your will be done! Which shall be consecrated to his rites,
as one day, And those of— (She stops with agitation. I trust, Heaven's will be done too! Chief of the Ten. Best retain it for your Chief of the Ten. Know yon, lady, children.
To whom ye speak, and perils of such speech? Marina. Ay, they are fatherless, I thank Marina. I know the former better than you.
yourselves; Chief of the Ten. We
The latter- like yourselves; and can face Cannot comply with your request. His relics
both. Shall be exposed with wonted pomp, and Wish you more funerals ? follow'd
Barb. Heed not her rash words; Unto their home by the new Doge, not clad Her circumstances must excuse her bearing As Doge, but simply as a senator.
Chief of the Ten. We will not note them Marina. I have heard of murderers, who
down. have interr'd
Barb. (turning to Loredano, who is Their victims; but nc'er heard, until this writing upon his tablets) hour,
What art thou writing, Of so much splendour in hypocrisy With such an earnest brow, upon thy O'er those they slew. I've heard of widows'
tablets ? tears
Lored. (pointing to the Doge's body) Alas! I have shed somc— always thanks to That he has paid me! you!
Chief of the Ten. What debt did he I've heard of heirs in sables--you have owe you? left none
Lored. A long and just one; Nature's To the deceased, so you would act the part
debt and mine. (Curtain falls
S AR D A NA PALUS,
A TRA G E DY.
For the historical foundation of the comTHE ILLUSTRIOUS GÖTHE. positions in question, the reader is referred
to the Notes. A stranger presumes to offer the homage of The Author has in one instance attempted a literary vassal to his liege-lord, the first to preserve, and in the other to approach of eristing writers, who has created the the unities ; conceiving that with any literature of his own country and illustrated very distant departure from them, there that of Europe. The unworthy production may be poetry, but can be no drama. He which the author ventures to inscribe to him is aware of the unpopularity of this notion is entitled SARDANAPALUS.
in present English literature; but it is not a system of his own, being merely an opinion, which, not very long ago, was the
law of literature throughout the world, PREFACE.
and is still so in the more civilized parts
of it. But “Nous avons changé tout cela,” Ix publishing the T'ragedies of Sardana- and are reaping the advantages of the change. palus, and of The Two Foscari, I have only The writer is far from conceiving that any to repeat that they were not composed with thing he can adduce by personal precept the most remote view to the stage. or example can at all approach his regular,
On the attempt made by the Managers or even irregular, predecessors: he is merely in a former instance, the public opinion giving a reason why he preferred the more has been already expressed.
regular formation of a structure, however With regard to my own private feelings, feeble, to an entire abandonment of all rules as it seems that they are to stand for no- whatsoever. Where he bas failed, the faithing, I shall say nothing.
lure is in the architect,-and not in the art.
WOMEN. SARDANAPALUS, King of Niniveh and Assyria. ZARINA, the Queen. ARBAces, the Mede who aspired to the Throne. MYRRHA, an Ionian female Slave, and the BELESES, a Chaldean and Soothsayer.
Favourite of SARDANAPALUS. SALEMENES, the King's Brother-in-law. Women composing the Harem of SARDANAALTADA, an Assyrian Officer of the Palace. PALUS, Guards, Attendants, Chaldean
Paxla. ZAXES. Spero. BALEA.
Scene-a Hall in the Royal Palace of
The blood of Nimrod and Semiramis
Sink in the earth, and thirteen hundred SCENE I.-A Hall in the Palace.
Of empire ending like a shepherd's tale; Salemenės (solus). He hath wrong'd his He must be roused. In his effeminate heart
queen, but still he is her lord ; There is a careless courage which corHe hath wrong'd my sister, still he is my ruption brother ;
Has not all quench'd, and latent energies, He hath wrong d his people, still he is their Represt by circumstance, but not destroyd
Steep'd, but not drown'd, in deep volupAnd I must be his friend as well as subject: tuousness. He must not perish thus. I will not see If born a peasant, he had been a man
Cannot the thing be done without? Who I would not give the smile of one fair girl are they
For all the popular breath that c'er divided Whom thou suspectest ? Let them be A name from nothing. What are the rank arrested,
tongues Sal. I would thou wouldst not ask me; of this vile herd, grown insolent with the next moment
feeding, Will send my answer through thy bab- That I should prize their goisy praise, or bling troop
dread of paramours,and thence fly o'er the palace, Their noisome clamour ? Even to the city, and so baffle all.
Sal. You have said they are men ; Trust me.
As such their hearts are something. Sard, Thou knowest I have done so ever; Sard. So my dogs' are; Take thou the signet. [Gives the Signet. And better, as more faithful: - but, proceed: Sal. I have one more request.
Thou hast my signet :- since they are Sard. Name it.
tumultuous, Sal. That thou this night forbear the Let them be temper'd; yet not roughly, till banquet
Necessity enforce it. I hate all pain, In the pavilion over the Euphrates. Given or received; we have enough within us, Sard. Forbear the banquet! Not for all The meanest vassal as the loftiest monarch, the plotters
Not to add to each other's natural burthen That ever shook a kingdom! Let them come, Of mortal misery, but rather lessen, And do their worst: I shall not blench for By mild reciprocal alleviation, them;
The fatal penalties imposed on life; Nor rise the sooner; nor forbear the goblet; But this they know not, or they will not know. Nor crown me with a single rose the less; I have, by Baal! done all I could to soothe Nor lose one joyous hour.-I fear them not.
them: Sal. But thou wouldst arm thee, wouldst I made no wars, I added no new imposts, thou not, if needful?
I interfered not with their civic lives, Sard. Perhaps. I have the goodliest I let them pass their days as best might armour, and
suit them, A sword of such a temper; and a bow Passing my own as suited me. And javelin, which might furnish Nimrod Sal. Thou stopp'st forth:
Short of the duties of a king; and therefore A little heavy, but yet not unwieldy. They say thou art unfit to be a monarch. And now I think on't, 'tis long since I've Sard. They lie.—Unhappily, I am unfit used them,
To be aught save a monarch; else for me, Even in the chase. Hast ever seen them, The meanest Mede might be the king instead. brother?
Sal. There is one Mede, at least, who Sal. Is this a time for buch fantastic
seeks to be so. trifling? –
Sard. What meanst thou? – 'tis thy serrei; If need be, wilt thou wear them?
thou desirest Sard. Will I not?
Few questions, and I'm not of curious nature. Oh! if it must be so, and these rash slaves Take the fit steps; and since necessity Will not be ruled with less, I'll use the Requires, I sanction and support thee. Ne'er sword Was man who more desired to rule in
peace Till they shall wish it turn’d into a distaff. The peaceful only; if they rouse me, better Sal. They say, thy sceptre 's turn'd to They had conjured up stern Nimrod from that already.
his ashes, Sard. That's false! but let them say so: “The mighty hunter." I will turn these the old Greeks,
realms Of whom our captives often sing, related To one wide desert-chase of brutes, who were, The same of their chief hero, Hercules, But would no more, by their own choice, Because he loved a Lydian queen : thou seest
be human. The populace of all the nations seize What they have found me, they belie; that Each calumny they can to sink their
They yet may find me – shall defy their Sal. They did not speak thus of thy fathers.
wish Sard. No;
To speak it worse; and let them thank They dared not. They were kept to toil
themselves. and combat,
Sal. Then thou at last canst feel? Aud never changed their chains but for Sard. Feel! who feels not their armour:
Ingratitude ? Now they have peace and pastime, and the Sul. I will not pause to answer licence
With words, but deeds. Keep thou awake To revel and to rail; it irks me not.
Which sleep, at times, but is not dead Sard. I know there doth, but not its name; within thee,
What is it? And thou mayst yet bc glorious in thy reign, Myrrha. In my native land a God, As powerful in thy realm. Farewell! And in my heart a feeling like a God's,
(Exit Salemenes. Exalted ; yet I own 'tis only mortal, Sard. (solus). Farewell!
For what I feel is humble, and yet happyHe's gone; and on'his finger bears my signet, That is, would be happy; butWhich is to him a sceptre. He is stern
(Myrrha pauses. As I am heedless; and the slaves deserve Sard. There comes To feel a master. What may be the danger, For ever soniething between us and what I know not :- he hath fonnd it, let him We deen our happiness: let me remove quell it.
The barrier which that hesitating accent Must I consume my life-this little life Proclaims to thine, and mine is seal'd. In guarding against all may make it less? Myrrha. My lord ! it is not worth so much! It were to die Sard. My lord · my king-sire—boveBefore my hour, to live in dread of death, reign! thus it is Tracing revolt; suspecting all about me, For ever thus, address'd with awe. I ne'er Becanse they are near; and all who are can see a sinile, unless in some broad remote,
banquet's Because they are far. But if it should be so- Intoxicating glare, when the buffoong If they should sweep me off from earth Have gorged themselves up to eqnality, and empire,
Or I have quail'd me down to their abaso Why, what is earth or empire of the earth?
ment. I have loved, and lived, and multiplied Myrrha, I can hear all these things, these my image;
names, To die is no less natural than those- Lord - king-sire-monarch-nay,time was Acts of this clay! 'Tis true I have not shed I prized them, Blood, as I night have done, in oceans, till That is, I suffer'd them- from slaves and My name became the synonyme of death
nobles; A terror and a trophy. But for this But when they falter from the lips I love, I feel no penitence; my life is love: The lips which have been press’d to mine, If I must shed blood, it shall be by force.
a chill Till now no drop from an Assyrian vein Comes o'er my heart, a cold sense of the Hath flow'd for me, nor hath the smallest
of this my station, which represses feeling Of Nineveh's vast treasures e'er been lavishd In those for whom I have felt most, and On objects which could cost her sons a tear :
makes me If then they hate me, 'tis because I hate not; Wish that I could lay down the dull tiara, If shey rebel, it is because I oppress not. And share a cottage on the Caucasus Oh, men! ye must be ruled with scythes, With thee, and wear no crowns but those pot sceptres,
of flowers. And mow'd down like the grass, else all Myrrha. Would that we could ! we reap
Sard. Ind dost thou feel this? - Why? Is rank abundance, and a rotten harvest Myrrha. Then thou wouldst know what Of discontents infecting the fair soil,
thou canst never know. Making a desert of fertility.--
Sard. And that is -
At least a woman's.
Sard. I have proved a thousand-
A thousand, and a thousand. The Ionian Myrrha we would crave her Myrrha. Hearts ? presence.
Sard. I think so. Attendant. King, she is here.
Myrrha. Not one! the time may come
thou mayst. MYRRHA enters.
Sard. will. Sard. (apart to Attendant) Away! Hear, Myrrha; Salemenes has declared (Addressing Myrrha) Beautiful being! Or why or how he hath divined it, Belus, Thou dost almost anticipate my heart; Who founded our great realm, knows more It throbb’d for thee, and here thou comest:
than I let nie
But Salemenes bath declared my throne Deem that some unknown influence, some In peril. sweet Oracle,
Myrrha. He did well. Communicates between us, though unseen, Sard. And sayst thou so? In absence, and attracts us to each other. Thou whom he spurn'd so harshly, and Myrrhu. There doth.