On the road to the sea-shore.
Phineus and his Tyrians.
A mighty power confounds our policies.
Is’t Heaven? Is’t Fate? What’s left me, I will take.
‘Tis best to rescue young Andromeda
From the wild mob and bear her home to Tyre.
She, when the roar is over, will be left
My claim to Syria’s prostrate throne, which force,
If not diplomacy shall re-erect
And Tyre become the Syrian capital.
I hear the trampling of the rascal mob.
Drag her more quickly! To the rocks! To the rocks!
Glory to great Poseidon!
Tyrians, be ready.
Perissus and a number of Syrians enter leading Andromeda bound.
To the rocks with her, to the rocks! Bind her on the rocks.
Pause, rabble! Yield you prey to Tyrian Phineus.
Lift up thy lovely head, Andromeda!
For thou art saved.
Who art thou with thy nose and thy fellows and thy spits?
Know’st thou me not? I am the royal Phineus.
Yield up the Princess, fair Andromeda.
Art thou the royal Phineus and is this long nose thy sceptre?
I am Perissus, the butcher. Stand aside, royal Phineus, or I will chop the royally with my cleaver.
What wilt thou with me, King of Tyre?
I come to save thee. I will carry thee,
My bride, far from these savage Syrian tumults
To reign in loyal Tyre. Thou art safe.
My father and my mother are not safe
Nor Iolaus: nor is Syria safe.
Will you protect my people, when the god,
Not finding me, his preferable victim,
Works his fierce will on these?
Thou car’st for them?
They have o’erwhelmed thee with foul insult, bound thee.
Threatened thy lovely limbs with rascal outrage
And dragged to murder!
But they are my people,
Perissus, lead me on. I will not go with him.
Thou strange and beautiful and marvellous child,
Wilt thou or wilt thou not, by force I’ll have thee.
Golden enchantment! Thou art too rare a thing
For others to possess. Run, rascal rabble!
Cleavers and axes to their spits!
King Phineus, pause! I swear I will prefer
Death’s grim embrace rather than be thy wife
Abandoning my people. ‘Tis a dead body
Thou wilt rescue.
Is thy resolve unshakable?
Die then! To Death alone I yield thee.
He goes out with his Tyrians.
So then thou art off, royal Phineus!
So thou hast evaporated, bold god of the Hitites!
Thou hast saved thy royal nose from my cleaver.
On to the rocks! Glory to great Poseidon.
They go leading Andromeda.