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To mount full rebel-high : I have their hatred,
And, thanks to Heaven, deserve it. Good Demetrius
Can see your towns and kingdoms torn away
By these PROTECTORS, and ne'er lose his temper.
My weakness! I confess, it makes me rave;
It makes me weep, and my tears rarely flow.
Pericles. Was ever stronger proof of filial love;
Perseus. Vain are Rome's hopes while you and I survive;
But should the sword take me, and age my father,
(Heaven grant they leave him to the stroke of age !)
The Kingdom and the King are both their own;
A duteous, loyal King, a sceptred slave,
A willing Macedonian slave to Rome.
King. First let an earthquake swallow Macedonia.
Perseus. How, at such news, would Hannibal rejoice?
How the great shade of Alexander smile?
The thought quite chokes me up: I can no more.
Perseus. No, Sire- Why have I spoke at all ?
'Twas needless. Philip justifies my charge,
Philip's the single witness which I call,
To prove Demetrius guilty.
King. What dost thou mean?
Perseus. What mean I, Sire! what mean I!-to run mad,
For who unshaken both in heart and brain,
Can recollect it?
Perseus. This morning's insult.
This morning, they proclaim'd Him Philip's King,
This morning, they forgave you for his sake.
O pardon, pardon! — I could strike him dead.
King. More temper.
Perseus. Not more truth-that cannot be!
And that it cannot, one proof can't escape you;
For what but truth could make me, Sire, so bold ?
Rome puts forth all her strength to crown her minion,
Demetrius' vices thriving of themselves,
Her fulsome flatt'ries dung to ranker growth,
Demetrius is the burden of her song:
Each river, hill, and dale has learn’d his name :
While elder Perseus in a whisper dies.
Demetrius treats, Demetrius gives us peace;
Demetrius is our god, and would be so-
My sight is short-look on him, you that can,
What sage experience sits upon his brow, (sneeringly)
What awful marks of wisdom, who vouchsafes
To patronize a Father and a King.
Such patronage is TREASON.
King. TREASON! Death!
(with vehemence) Perseus. Nor let the ties of blood bind up the hands
Of justice; Nature's ties are broke already;
For who contend before you?—your two sons ?
No; read aright-'tis Macedon and Rome.
A well-masked foreigner, and your-only Son,
Guard of your life, and exile of your LOVE;
Now, bear me to my dungeon: what so fit
As darkness, chains, and death, for such a traitor!
King. Speak, Demetrius.
Antigonus. My lord, he cannot speak; accept his tears
Instead of words.
Perseus. His tears as false as they.-
Now with fine phrase, and foppery of tongue,
More graceful action, and a smoother tone,
That orator of fable, and fair face,
Will steal on your bribed hearts, and, as you listen,
Plain truth, and I, plain Perseus, are forgot. Demetrius.* My Father! KING! and Judge! thrice awful
Your Son, your SUBJECT, and your PRISONER, hear.
Thrice humble state! If I have grace of speech,
(Which gives, it seems, offence) be that no crime,
Which oft has served my country and my king;
Nor in my brother let it pass for virtue,
That, as he is, ungracious he would seem:
For oh! he wants not art, though grace may fail him,
The wonted aids of those that are accused,
Has my accuser seized. He shed false tears,
That my true sorrows might suspected flow;
He seeks my life, and calls me MURDERER ;
And vows no refuge can he find on earth,
That I may want it in a father's arms;
Those arms to which e'en strangers fly for safety.
King. Speak to your charge.
(sternly) Demetrius. He charges me with treason.
If I'm a traitor-if I leagued with Rome,
Why did his zeal forbear me till this hour?
Was treason then no crime, till (as he feigns)
I sought his life? Dares Perseus hold, so much,
His father's welfare cheaper than his own?
Less cause have I, a brother to complain.
He says, I wade for empire though his blood;
He says, I place my confidence in Rome-
Why murder him if Rome will crown my brow?
Will then a sceptre, dipp'd in brother's blood,
Conciliate love, and make my reign secure ?
False are both charges, and he proves them false
By placing them together.
Antigonus. That's well urged.
Demetrius. Mark, Sire, how Perseus, unawares, absolves me
From guilt in all, by loading all with guilt.
Did I design him poison at my feast,
Why then did I provoke him in the field
That, as he did, he might refuse to come?
When angry he refused, I should have soothed
His roused resentment, and deferred the blow;
Not destined him that moment to my sword,
Which I before instructed him to shun.
Through fear of death did he decline my banquet,
Could I expect admittance then at his ?
These numerous pleas at variance, overthrow
Each other, and are advocates for me.
Perseus. No, Sire, Postliminious is his advocate.
King. Art thou afraid that I should hear him out?
Demetrius. Quit, then, this picture, this well painted fear,
And come to that which touches him indeed:
Why is Demetrius not despised of all,
His second in endowments, as in birth ?
How dare I draw the thoughts of MACEDON ?
How dare I gain esteem with foreign powers ?
Esteem, when gain'd, how dare I to preserve ?
These are his secret thoughts: these burn within,
These sting up accusations in his soul,
Turn friendly visits to foul fraud and murder,
And pour in poison to the bowl of love.
MERIT IS TREASON IN A YOUNGER BROTHER
King. But clear your conduct with regard to Rome.
Demetrius. Alas! dread Sire, I grieve to find set down
Among my crimes, what ought to be my praise.
That I went hostage or ambassador,
Was Philip's high command, not my request :
Indeed, when there, in both characters,
I bore in mind to whom I owe my birth:
Rome's favour followed. If it is a crime
To be regarded, spare a crime you caused;
Caused by your orders and example too.
True, I'm Rome's friend, while Rome is your ally ;
When not, this hostage, this ambassador,
So dear, stands forth the fiercest of her FOES;
At your command, flies swift on wings of fire,
The native thunder of a father's arm,
Antigonus. There spoke at once, the Hero, and the Son.
Demetrius. To close-To thee*, I grant some thanks are due,
Not for thy kindness, but malignity;
Thy character's my friend, tho' Thou my foe;
For, say, whose temper promises most guilt ?
Perseus, importunate, demands my death.
I do not ask for His. Ah! no; I feel
Too powerful nature pleading for him HERE.
But, were there no fraternal tie to bind me,
A son of Philip must be dear to me.
If you, my FATHER, had been angry with me,
An ELDER brother, a less AWFUL parent,
He should assuage you, He should intercede,
Soften my failings, and indulge my youth;
But my asylum drops its character;
I find not there my rescue, but my ruin.
Perseus. His bold assurance.
(sneeringly) King. Do not interrupt him; But let thy brother finish his defence.
[affected. Demetrius. O Perseus ! how I tremble as I speak! (much
Where is a brother's voice, a brother's eye?
Where is the melting of a brother's HEART?
Where is our awful father's dread command ?
Where a dear, dying mother's last request ?
Forgot, scorned, hated, trodden under foot!
Thy heart, how dead to every call of nature!
Unson'd! unbrother'd! nay, unhumaniz'd!
Far from affection, as thou’rt near in blood!
Oh! Perseus! Perseus !—but my heart's too full.
(caught by Antigonus)
Perseus. Vengeance overtakes his crimes. (malicious tone)
King. No more!
Antigonus. See, from his* hoary brow he wipes the dew,
Which agony wrings from him.
King. Oh! my friend, (to Dymas)
These boys at strife, like Etna's struggling flames,
Convulsions cause, and make a mountain shake;
Shake Philip's firmness, and convulse his heart,
And, with a fiery flood of civil war,
Threaten to deluge my divided land.
I've heard them both; by neither am convinced ;
And yet Demetrius' words went through my heart.-
A double crime Demetrius, is your charge:
Fondness for Rome, and hatred to your brother.
If you can prove your innocence in one,
'Twill give us cause to think you wrong’d in both. Demetrius. How shall I prove it, Sir ? (most anxiously. King. This honest man
Detests the Romans. If you wed his daughter,
Rome's foe becomes the guardian of your faith. Demetrius. I told you, Sire, when I returned from Rome-. King. How !-Dost thou want an absolute command? Your Brother, Father, Country, all exact it.
(to Demetrius. Antigonus. See yonder guards at hand if you refuse; (aside
Nay, more, a father, so distressed demands
A son's compassion, to becalm his heart.
Oh! Sir, comply.
(Antigonus. Demetrius. There ! then ! indeed you touch me; (aside to
Besides, I'm confined and Perseus FREE,
I never, never, shall behold her more,-
Pardon, ye gods! an artifice forced on me.
Dread Sire, your Son complies.
(To the King. Dymas. Astonishment! King. Strike off his chains. Nay, Perseus, too, is free;
They wear no bonds but those of duty, now.
Dymas, go, thank the prince: he weds your daughter,
And highest honours pay your high desert.
THE BANISHMENT OF CATILINE.
“ Catiline, a man of noble family, who had been Prætor of Africa, canvassed for the Consulship. His claim was set aside, on the ground that some charges relative to his late employment had not been cleared up. This he asserted to be a pretext, and occupied himself in forming a party. It was rumoured that his cabal entertained designs against the state. The pride of the Senate gave way to their fears, and at the next election Cicero was chosen Consul. Catiline canvassed a third time, and was again defeated, directly in consequence of Cicero's coming to the election in armour, and declaring that he wore it through fear of assassination. Hopeless of legitimate success, he now plunged into revolt, answered the menaces of the senate by open defiance, and set the republic on the chance of a single battle.”