Captives, The. A Tragedy - Act 2, Scene 12


Araxes conducts in Hydarnes, and retires .

Astarbe. Hydarnes.

The King is gracious, and delights in mercy;
And know that free confession merits life:
I'll intercede. Know you the Prince Sophernes?
You are unhappy men betray'd to ruin:
And will ye suffer for another's crime?
Speak of him, as ye ought; 'twas he betray'd you.
Hyd. If racks and tortures cannot tear confession
From innocence, shall woman's flattery do it?
No; my heart's firm, and I can smile on death.
Ast. Think not to hide what is already known.
'Tis to Sophernes that you owe those chains,
We've fathom'd his designs, they're all laid open;
We know him turbulent and enterprizing.
By the foul murder of my lord the King,
He meant to set his captive nation free.
Unfold this truth, and I'll insure thy pardon.
Hyd. What! lead a hateful life of ignominy!
And live the bane of all society!
Shun'd like a pestilence, a curst informer!
Yet since the fate of kingdoms may depend
On what I speak; truth shall direct my lips.
The Queen has offer'd grace. I know the terms,
Ast. By the King's life, I swear.
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