Act IV, Scene IV

On the road to the sea-shore.

Phineus and his Tyrians.

PHINEUS
    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.

CRIES (outside)
    Drag her more quickly! To the rocks! To the rocks!
    Glory to great Poseidon!

PHINEUS
    Tyrians, be ready.

Perissus and a number of Syrians enter leading Andromeda bound.

SYRIANS
    To the rocks with her, to the rocks! Bind her on the rocks.

PHINEUS
    Pause, rabble! Yield you prey to Tyrian Phineus.
    Lift up thy lovely head, Andromeda!
    For thou art saved.

PERISSUS
    Who art thou with thy nose and thy fellows and thy spits?

PHINEUS
    Know’st thou me not? I am the royal Phineus.
    Yield up the Princess, fair Andromeda.

PERISSUS
    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.

ANDROMEDA
    What wilt thou with me, King of Tyre?

PHINEUS
    Sweet rose,
    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.

ANDROMEDA (sorrowfully)
    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?

PHINEUS
    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!

ANDROMEDA
    But they are my people,
    Perissus, lead me on. I will not go with him.

PHINEUS
    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!
    On, Tyrians!

PERISSUS
    Cleavers and axes to their spits!

ANDROMEDA
    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.

PHINEUS
    Is thy resolve unshakable?

ANDROMEDA
    It is.

PHINEUS
    Die then! To Death alone I yield thee.

He goes out with his Tyrians.

PERISSUS
    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.

SYRIANS
    On to the rocks! Glory to great Poseidon.

They go leading Andromeda.