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Dioc. We'll about it.

[Exeunt Alc. Dioc. and Pyr,

Enter EURYDICE. Cre. Hail, royal maid! thou bright Eurydice, A lavish planet reigned when thou wert born, And made thee of such kindred mould to heaven, Thou seem'st more heaven's than ours.

Eur. Cast round your eyes,
Where late the streets were so thick sown with men,
Like Cadmus' brood, they jostled for the passage ;
Now look for those erected heads, and see them,
Like pebbles, paving all our public ways;
When you have thought on this, then answer me, --
If these be hours of courtship?

Cre. Yes, they are ;
For when the gods destroy so fast, 'tis time
We should renew the race.

Eur. What, in the midst of horror?
Cre. Why not then?

There's the more need of comfort.

Eur. Impious Creon!

Cre. Unjust Eurydice! can you accuse me Of love, which is heaven's precept, and not fear That vengeance, which you say pursues our crimes, , Should reach your perjuries ?

Eur. Still the old argument.
I bade you cast your eyes on other men,
Now cast them on yourself; think whạt you are.

Cre. A man.
Eur. A man!
Cre. Why, doubt you I'm a man?
Eur. 'Tis well you tell me so; I should mistake

you For

any other part o'the whole creation, Rather than think you man. Hence from my sight, Thou poison to my eyes !

Cre. 'Twas you first poisoned mine ; and yet, me

thinks, My face and person should not make you sport.

Eur. You force me, by your importunities, To shew you what you are.!!.

Cre. A prince, who loves you ; And, since your pride provokes me, worth your love, Even at its highest value.

Eur. Love from thee! Why love renounced thee ere thou saw'st the light; Nature herself start back when thou wert born, And cried,--the work's not mine. The midwife stood aghast; and when she saw Thy mountain back, and thy distorted legs, Thy face itself, Half-minted with the royal stamp of man, And half o'ercome with beast, stood doubting long, Whose right in thee were more; And knew not, if to burn thee in the flames. Were not the holier work.

Cre. Am I to blame, if nature threw my body In so perverse a mould? yet when she cast Her envious hand upon my supple joints, Unable to resist, and rumpled them On heaps in their dark lodging, to revenge Her bungled work, she stampt my mind more fair; And as from chaos, huddled and deformed, The god struck fire, and lighted up the lamps That beautify the sky, so he informed This ill-shaped body with a daring soul; And, making less than man, he made me more.

Eur. No; thou art all one error, soul and body; The first young trial of some unskilled power,

, Rude in the making art, and ape of Jove. Thy crooked mind within hunched out thy back, And wandered in thy limbs. To thy own kind Make love, if thou canst find it in the world;

And seek not from our sex to raise an offspring, Which, mingled with the rest, would tempt the gods To cut off hunian kind.?

Cre. No; let them leave The Argian prince for you. That enemy Of Thebes has made you false, and break the vows You made to me.

Eur. They were my mother's vows, Made when I was at nurse.

Cre. But hear me, maid : This blot of nature, this deforined, loathed Creon, Is master of a sword, to reach the blood Of your young minion, spoil the

minion, spoil the gods' fine work, And stab you in his heart.

Eur. This when thou dost, Then mayst thou still be cursed with loving me; And, as thou art, be still unpitied, loathed; And let his ghost---No, let his ghost have restBut let the greatest, fiercest, foulest fury, Let Creon haunt himself.

[Exit EUR. Cre, Tis true, I am What she has told me--an offence to sight: My body opens inward to my soul, And lets in day to make my vices seen By all discerning eyes, but the blind vulgar. I must make haste, ere Edipus return, To snatch the crown and her--for I still love, But love with malice. As an angry cur Snarls while he feeds, so will I seize and stanch The hunger of my

love on this proud beauty, And leave the


for slaves. Enter TIRESIAS, leaning on a staff, and led by his

Daughter Manto.
What makes this blind prophetic fool abroad?
Would his Apollo had him! he's too boly


For earth and me; I'll shun his walk, and seek
My popular friends.

[Exit CREON.
Tir. A little farther; yet a little farther,
Thou wretched daughter of a dark old man,
Conduct my weary steps : And thou, who seest
For me and for thyself, beware thou tread not,
With impious steps, upon dead corps. Now stay;
Methinks I draw more open, vital air.
Where are we?

Man. Under covert of a wall ; The most frequented once, and noisy part Of Thebes; now midnight silence reigns even here, And grass untrodden springs beneath our feet.

Tir. If there be nigh this place a sunny bank, There let me rest awhile :-A sunny bank! Alas! how can it be, where no sun shines, But a dim winking taper in the skies, That nods, and scarce holds up his drowzy head, To glimmer through the damps !

(A Noise within. Follow, follow, follow ! A

Creon, A Creon, A Creon!]
Hark! a tumultuous noise, and Creon's name
Thrice echoed.
Man. Fly, the tempest drives this way.

Tir. Whither can ageand blindness take theirflight?
If I could fly, what could I suffer worse,
Secure of greater ills ?

[Noise again, Creon, Creon, Creon! Enter Creon, Diocles, ALCANDER, PYRACMON;

followed by the Crowd, Cre. I thank ye, countrymen; but must refuse The honours you intend me; they're too great, And I am too unworthy; think again, And make a better choice. i Cit. Think twice! I ne'er thought twice in all my

life; That's double work.

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2 Cit. My first word is always my second ; and therefore I'll have no second word; and therefore, once again, I say, A Creon!

All. A Creon, A Creon, A Creon!
Cre. Yet hear me, fellow-citizens. .
Dioc. Fellow-citizens! there was a word of kind,

ness! Alc. When did Edipus salute you by that fami

liar name?
1 Cit. Never, never; he was too proud.

Cre. Indeed he could not, for he was a stranger;
But under him our Thebes is half destroyed.
Forbid it, heaven, the residue should perish
Under a Theban born!
"Tis true, the gods might send this plagueamong you,
Because a stranger ruled; but what of that?
Can I redress it now?

3 Cit. Yes, you or none. 'Tis certain that the gods are angry with us, Because he reigns.

Cre. Edipus may return; you may be ruined.

ļ Cit. Nay, if that be the matter, we are ruined already.

2 Cit. Half of us, that are here present, were living men but yesterday; and we, that are absent, do but drop and drop, and no man knows whether he be dead or living. And therefore, while we are sound and well, let us satisfy our consciences, and make a new king:

3 Cit. Ha, if we were but worthy to see another coronation! and then, if we must die, we'll go merrily together. Au. To the question, to the question. Dioc. Are you content, Creon should be your

king? All. A Creon, A Creon, A Creon! Tir. Hearme, ye Thebạns, and thou Creon, hear me,

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