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Despise—but, it may be, avoid the life
MYRRHA returns with a lighted torch in her hand, and a cup in
Sard. And the cup ?
'T is my country's custom to
And mine To make libations amongst men.
I've not Forgot the custom; and, although alone, Will drain one draught in memory
many A joyous banquet past. [SARDANAP
APALUS takes the cup, and after drinking and tinkling the reversed cup, as a drop falls, exclaims
And this libation
And dost thou think
Sard. Now, farewell; one last embrace.
love to thee, shall they, Purged from the dross of earth, and earthly passion, Mix pale with thine. A single thought yet irks me.
Sard. Say it.
Myr. It is, that no kind hand will gather
It is long
pure as is
The winds of heaven, and scatter'd into air,
Then farewell, thou earth!
Sard. And that?
[The trumpet of PANIA sounds without, Sard.
Hark ! Myr.
reward! and now I owe thee nothing, Not even a grave.
[He mounts the pile. Now, Myrrha ! Myr.
Art thou ready? Sard. As the torch in thy grasp.
[MYRRHA fires the pile. Mur.
'Tis fired! I come. [As MYRRHA springs forward to throw herself
into the flames, the curtain falls,
Note 1. Page 152.
And thou, my own Ionian Myrrha. “The Ionian name had been still more comprehensive, having included the Achaians and the Bæotians, who, together with those to whom it was afterwards contined, would make nearly the whole of the Greek nation*; and among the Orientals it was always the general name for the Greeks.”— Mitford's Greece, vol. I. p. 199.
Note 2. Page 158.
Eat, drink, and love; the rest 's not worth a fillip.” “For this expedition he took not only a small chosen body of the phalanx, but all his light troops. In the first day's march he reached Anchialus, a town said to have been founded by the king of Assyria, Sardanapalus. - The fortifications, in their magnitude and extent, still in Arrian's time, bore the character of greatness, which the Assyrians appear singularly to have affected in works of the kind. A monument representing Sardanapalus was found there, warranted by an inscription in Assyrian characters, of course in the old Assyrian language, which the Greeks, whether well or ill, interpreted thus : "Sardanapalus, son of Anacyndaraxes, in one day founded Anchialus and Tarsus. Eat, drink, play: all other human joys are not worth a fillip.” Supposing this version nearly exact (for Arrian says it was not quite su), whether the purpose has not been to invite to civil order a people disposed to turbulence, rather than to recommend immoderate luxury, may perhaps reasonably be questioned. What, indeed, could be the object of a king of Assyria in founding such towns in a country so distant from his capital, and so divided from it by an immense extent of sandy deserts and lofty mountains, and, still more, how the inhabitants could be at once in circumstances to abandon themselves to the intemperate joys which their prince has been supposed to have recommended, is not ubvious; but it may deserve observation that, in that line of coast, the southern of Lesser Asia, ruins of cities, evidently of an age after Alexander, yet barely named in history, at this day astonish the adventurous traveller by their magnificence and elegance. Amid the desolation which, under a singularly barbarian government, has for so many centuries been daily spreading in the finest countries of the globe, whether more from soil and climate, or from opportunities for commerce, extraordinary means must have been found for communities to flourish there, whence it may seem that the measures of Sardanapalus were directed by juster views than have been commonly ascribed to him; but that monarch having been the last of a dynasty, ended by a revolution, obloquy on his memory would follow of course from the policy of his successors and their partisans.
“ The inconsistency of traditions concerning Sardanapalus is striking in Diodorus’s account of him." -- Mitford's Greece, vol. ix, pp. 311, 312, and 313.
FRANCIS FOSCARI, Doge of Venice.
MARINA, Wife of the young FoSCARI.
Scene–The Ducal Palace, Venice.