Page images
PDF
EPUB

One in whose eyes the smile of kindness made

Its haunt, like flowers by sunny brooks in May; Yet at the thought of others' pain, a shade

Of sweeter sadness chased the smile away.

3. Nor deem that when the hand that molders here Was raised in menace, realms were chilled with fear,

And armies mustered at the sign as when
Clouds rise on clouds before the rainy east,-

Gray captains leading bands of veteran men
And fiery youths to be the vulture's feast.
Not thus were waged the mighty wars that gave
The victory to her who fills this grave;

Alone her task was wrought;

Alone the battle fought; Through that long strife her constant hope was staid On God alone, nor looked for other aid.

4. She met the hosts of sorrow with a look

That altered not beneath the frown they wore; And soon the lowering brood were tamed, and took

Meekly her gentle rule, and frowned no more. Her soft hand put aside the assaults of wrath,

And calmly broke in twain

The fiery shafts of pain,
And rent the nets of passion from her path.

By that victorious hand despair was slain.
With love she vanquished hate, and overcame

Evil with good in her great Master's name.

5. Her glory is not of this shadowy state,

Glory that with the fleeting season dies; But when she entered at the sapphire gate,

What joy was radiant in celestial eyes !

How heaven's bright depths with sounding welcomes rung,
And flowers of Heaven by shining hands were flung!

And He who, long before,

Pain, scorn, and sorrow bore,
The mighty Sufferer, with aspect sweet,
Smiled on the timid stranger from his seat;
He who, returning glorious from the grave,

Dragged death, disarmed, in chains, a crouching slave. 6. See, as I linger here, the sun grows low;

Cool airs are murmuring that the night is near.
O gentle sleeper, from thy grave I go

Consoled, though sad, in hope, and yet in fear.
Brief is the time, I know,

The warfare scarce begun;

Yet all may win the triumphs thou hast won;
Still flows the fount whose waters strengthened thee.

The victors' names are yet too few to fill
Heaven's mighty roll; the glorious armory

That ministered to thee is open still.

LXXXVII.—INVECTIVE AGAINST CATILINE. FROM CLEVELAND'S CLASSICAL LITERATURE.

CICERO. 1. How long, O Catiline, wilt thou abuse our patience ? How long shalt thou bafile justice in thy mad career ? To what extreme wilt thou carry thy audacity ? Art thou nothing daunted by the nightly watch posted to secure the Palatium ? Nothing by the city guards ? Nothing by the rally of all good citizens ? Nothing by the assembling of the senate in this fortified place ? Nothing by the averted looks of all here present ? Seest thou not that all thy plots are exposed ? — that thy wretched conspiracy is laid bare to every man's knowledge, here in the senate ?—that we are all well aware of thy proceedings of last night; of the night before; the place of meeting, the company convoked, the measures concerted ?

2. Alas the times ! Alas the public morals! The senate understands all this. The consul sees it. Yet the traitor lives! Lives ? Ay, truly, and confronts us here in council; takes part in our deliberations; and, with his measuring eye, marks out each man of us for slaughter! And we, all this while, strenuous that we are, think we have amply discharged our duty to the state, if we but shun this madman's sword and fury!

3. Long since, O Catiline, ought the consul to have ordered thee to execution, and brought upon thy own head the ruin thou hast been meditating against others. There was that virtue once in Rome, that a wicked citizen was held more execrable than the deadliest foe. We have a law still, Catiline, for thee. Think not that we are powerless because forbearing. We have a decree—though it rests among our archives like a sword in its scabbard-a decree by which thy life would be made to pay the forfeit of thy crimes. And, should I order thee to be instantly seized and put to death, I make just doubt whether all good men would not think it done rather too late, than any man too cruelly.

4. But, for good reasons I will yet defer the blow, long since deserved. Then will I doom thee, when no man is found so lost, so wicked, nay, so like thyself, but shall confess that it was justly dealt. While there is one man that dares defend thee, live! But thou shalt live so beset, so surrounded, so scrutinized, by the vigilant guards that I have placed around thce, that thou shalt not stir a foot against the republic

without my knowledge. There shall be eyes to detect thy slightest movement, and ears to catch thy wariest whisper, of which thou shalt not dream..

5. The darkness of night shall not cover thy treason; the walls of privacy shall not stifle its voice. Baffled on all sides, thy most secret counsels .clear as noonday, what canst thou now have in view ? Proceed, plot, conspire, as thou wilt; there is nothing you can contrive, nothing you can propose, nothing you can attempt, which I shall not know, hear, and promptly understand. Thou shalt soon be made aware that I am even more active in providing for the preservation of the state, than thou in plotting its destruction !

LXXXVIII.-SCENES FROM THE MERCHANT OF

VENICE.

SHAKSPEARE.

Act I, SCENE I.- Venice. A Street.

Enter ANTONIO, SALARINO, AND SALANIO.
ANT.-In sooth, I know not why I am so sad;
It wearies me; you say it wearies you;
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,
What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born,
I am to learn;
And such a want-wit sadness makes of me,
That I have much ado to know myself.

SALAR.— Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
There, where your argosies, with portly sail,
Like signiors and rich burghers on the flood,
Or, as it were, the pageants of the sea,
Do overpeer the petty traffickers,

That court'sy to them, do them reverence,
As they fly by them with their woven wings.

SALAN.— Believe me, sir, had I such venture forth,
The better part of my affections would
Be with my hopes abroad. I should be still
Plucking the grass, to know where sits the wind;
Peering in maps, for ports and piers and roads;
And every object that might make me fear
Misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt
Would make me sad.

SALAR.— My wind, cooling my broth,
Would blow me to an ague, when I thought
What harm a wind too great might do at sea. S
I should not see the sandy hour-glass run,
But I should think of shallows and of flats;
And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand,
Vailing her high top lower than her ribs,
To kiss her burial. Should I go to church,
And see the holy edifice of stone,
And not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks,
Which, touching but my gentle vessel's side,
Would scatter all her spices on the stream;
Enrobe the roaring waters with my silks ;
And, in a word, but even now worth this,
And now worth nothing ? Shall I have the thought
To think on this, and shall I lack the thought,
That such a thing bechanced would make me sad ?
But tell not me; I know Antonio
Is sad to think upon his merchandise.

Ant.-Believe me, no; I thank my fortune for it,
My ventures are not in one bottom trusted,
Nor to one place; nor is my whole estate
Upon the fortune of this present year;
Therefore, my merchandise makes me not sad.

berse dy plain

reallis iluele if with

verting it is legitin ate

til

mi .

entire contre

« PreviousContinue »