conquered Athens,—all but the invincible spirits of Sophocles, the duke of Athens, and Dorigen, his wife. The beauty of the latter inflames Martius, and he seeks to save her husband; but Sophocles will not ask his life, although assured that a word Will save him, and the execution of both proceeds.

“Valerius. Bid thy wife farewell.

Soph. No, I will take no leave. My Dorigen, Yonder, above, ’bout Ariadne’s crown, My spirit shall hover for thee. Prithee, haste.

Dor. Stay, Sophocles,—with this tie up my sight; Let not soft nature so transformed be, And lose her gentler-sexed humanity, To make me see my lord bleed. So, ’tis well; Never one object underneath the sun Will I behold before my Sophocles: Farewell; now teach the Romans how to die.

M ar. Dost know what ’tis to die?

Soph. Thou dost not, Martius, And, therefore, not what ’tis to live: to die Is to begin to live. It is to end An old, stale, weary work, and to commence A newer and a better. ’Tis to leave Deceitful knaves for the society Of gods and goodness. Thou thyself must part At last from all thy garlands, pleasures, triumphs, And prove thy fortitude when then ’twill do.

Val. But art not grieved nor vexed to leave thy life


Sop/z. Why should I grieve or vex for being sent To them I ever loved best? Now I’ll kneel, But with my back toward thee; ’tis the last duty This trunk can do the gods.

Mar. Strike, strike, Valerius, Or Martius’ heart will leap out at his mouth. This is a man, a woman! Kiss thy lord, And live with all the freedom you were wont.