Слике страница
PDF
ePub

Æmil. Immortal gods! who gave me sons like these, Forsake them not, but guard your work divine.

Titus. Think not, o best of fathers, best of men,
That with unfilial arrogance I speak.
My heart is full this instant of affection,
Hard to suppress. Dear to my soul are those
I leave behind, bitter to me their sorrows.
But destiny supreme hath marked my way;
And I accept what honour cannot shun.
By trivial accident, by various ills
Fatal to man, thou might'st have lost thy sons,
And they in dark oblivion would have slept :
But now I see the goal that Jove assigns,
And glory terminates our short career.
Be this thy comfort; I avow it mine.
Admir'd and mourned by Rome, for Rome we die.
Of fate secure, immortal is our fame,
And spotless laurels deck thy children's tomb.

Æmil. O! my son, thou art the judge
And arbiter of fate. Time, rapid fly,
And bring a joyful victory to Rome!
Let me but see the scale of combat turned,
And die in glad assurance of her safety.

Var. The hero's fire invades my secret soul :
Like his my bosom burns. You shall not die,
Unaided and alone. Perhaps the gods !-
I know not that; but I will raise a pile
Of glorious ruin. Shine, ye stars of Rome!
First in the column stand my British bands.
Prepare your squadrons, and protract the time
Of his return.

SECTION XI.

cicero—LORD CHESTERFIELD..... V. Knos.

Cicero. MISTAKE me not. I know how to value the sweet courtesies of life. Affability, attention, decorum of behaviour, if they have not been ranked by philosophers among the virtues, are certainly related to them, and have a powerful influence in promoting social happiness. I have recommended them, as well aself. But I contend, and no sophistry shall preyi

rive up this point, that to be truly amiable,

[graphic]

-if

of heart. Assumed by the artful to serve the purposes of private interest, they degenerate to contemptible grimace and detestable hypocrisy.

Chest. Excuse me, my dear Cicero; I cannot enter farther into the controversy at present. I have a hundred engagements at least; and see yonder my little elegant French Comptesse. I promised her and myself the pleasure of a promenade. Pleasant walking enough in these elysian groves. So much good company too, that if it were not that the canaille are apt to be troublesome, I should not much regret the distance from the Thuilleries. But adieu, mon cher ami, for I see Madame *

** is joining the party. Adieu, adieu !

Cic. Contemptible fop!

Chest. Ah! what do I hear ? Recollect that I a man of honour, unused to the pity or the insults of an upstart, a novus homo. But perhaps your exclamation was not meant of me- so, why

Cic. I am as little inclined to insult as to flatter you. Your levity excited my indignation ; but my compassion for the degeneracy of human nature, exhibited in your instance, absorbs my contempt.

Chest. I could be a little angry, but as bienséance forbids it, I will be a philosopher for once. A-propos, pray how do you reconcile your-what shall I call it-your unsmooth address to those rules of decorum, that gentleness of manners, of which you say you know and teach the propriety as well as myself?

Cic. To confess the truth, I would not advance the external embellishment of manners to extreme refinement. Ornamental education, or an attention to the graces, has a connexion with effeminacy. In acquiring the gentleman, I would not lose the spirit of a man.

There is a gracefulness in a manly character, a beauty in an open and ingenuous disposition, which all the professed teachers of the arts of pleasing know not how to communicate.

Chest. You and I lived in a state of manners, as different as the periods at which we lived were distant. You Romans—pardon me, my dear, you Romans-had a little of the brute in you. Come, come, I must overlook it. You were obliged to court plebeians for their suffrages; and if similis simili gaudet, it must be owned, that the greatest of you were secure of their favour. Why, Beau Nash would have handed your Catos and Brutuses out of the ball-room, if they had shown their unmannerly heads in

it; and my Lord Modish, animated with the conscious merit of the largest or smallest buckles in the room, according to the temporary ton, would have laughed Pompey the Great out of countenance. Oh, Cicero, had you lived in a modern European court, you would have caught a degree of that undescribable grace, which is not only the ornament, but may be the substitute of all those laboured attainments which fools call solid merit. But it was not your good fortune, and I make allowances.

Cic. The vivacity you have acquired in studying the writings and the manners of the degenerate Gauls, has led you to set too high a value on qualifications which dazzle the lively perceptions with a momentary blaze, and to depreciate that kind of worth which can neither be obtained nor understood without serious attention and sometimes painful efforts.

Chest. That the great Cicero should know so little of the world, really surprises ine.

A little libertinism, my dear, that's all; how can one be a gentleman without a little libertinism ?

Cic. I ever thought that to be a gentleman, it was requisite to be a moral man. And surely you, who might have enjoyed the benefits of a light to direct you, which I wanted, were blameable in omitting religion and virtue in your system.

Chest. What! superstitious too!—You have not then conversed with your superior, the philosopher of Ferney. I thank Heaven I was born in the same age with that great luminary. Prejudice had else, perhaps, chained me in the thraldom of my great grandmother. These are enlightened 'days; and I find I have contributed something to the general illumination, by my posthumous letters.

Cic. Boast not of them. Remember you were a father.

Chest. And did I not endeavour most effectually to serve my son, by pointing out the qualifications necessary to a foreign ambassador, for which department I always designed him? Few fathers have taken more pains to accomplish a son than myself. There was nothing I did not condescend to point out to him.

Cic. True: your condescension was great indeed. You were the pander of your son. You not only taught him the mean arts of dissimulation, the petty tricks which degrade nobility; but you corrupted his principles, fomented his passions, and even pointed out objects for their gratification. You might have left the task of teaching him fashionable vice to a vicious world. Example, and the corr:

D

affections of human nature, will ever be capable of accomplishing this unnatural purpose. But a parent, the guardian appointed by nature for an uninstructed offspring introduced into a dangerous world, who himself takes upon him the office of seduction, is a monster indeed.

Chest. Spare me, Cicero. I have never been accustonied to the rough conversation of an old Roman. I feel myself little in his company. I seem to shrink in his noble presence. I never felt my insignificance so forcibly as

French courtiers and French philosophers, of the age of Louis the Fourteenth, have been my models; and amid the dissipation of pleasure, and the hurry of affected vivacity, I never considered the gracefulness of virtue, and the beauty of an open, sincere, and manly character.

now.

SECTION XII.

EXTRACT FROM MR. HAYNE's speech.

1830.

ity;

If there be one state in the Union, Mr. President, (and 1

say it not in a boastful spirit,) that may challenge comparisons with any other for an uniform, zealous, ardent and uncalculating devotion to the Union, that state is South Carolina. Sir, from the very commencement of the revolution up to this hour, there is no sacrifice, however great, she has not cheerfully made; no service she has ever hesitated to perform. She has adhered to you in your prosper

but in your adversity she has clung to you, with more than filial affection. No matter what was the condition of her domestic affairs, though deprived of her resources, divided by parties, or surrounded with difficulties, the call of the country has been to her as the voice of God. Domestic discord ceased at the sound-every man became at once reconciled to his brethren, and the sons of Carolina were all seen crowding together to the temple, bringing their gists to the altar of their common country.

What, sir, was the conduct of the south during the revolution ? Sir, I honour New-England for her conduct in that glorious struggle. But great as is the praise which belongs to her, I think, at least equal honour is due the south. They espoused the quarrel of their brethren, with a generous zeal, which did not suffer them to stop to calculate their interest in the dispute. Favourites of the mother country,

possessed of neither ships nor seamen to create a commercial rivalship, they might have found in their situation a guarantee, that their trade would be forever fostered and protected by Great Britain. But trampling on all considerations either of interest or of safety, they rushed into the conflict, and, fighting for principle, periled all, in the sacred cause of freedom. Never was there exhibited in the history of the world higher examples of noble daring, dreadful suffering and heroic endurance, than by the whigs of Carolina, during the revolution. The whole state, from the mountains to the sea, was overrun by an overwhelming force of the enemy. The fruits of industry perished on the spot where they were produced, or were consumed by the foe. The “plains of Carolina” drank up the most precious blood of her citizens. Black and smoking ruins marked the places which had been the habitations of her children! Driven from their homes, into the gloomy and almost impenetrable swamps, even there the spirit of liberty survived ; and South Carolina, sustained by the example of her Sumpters and her Marions, proved by her conduct that though her soil might be overrun, the spirit of her people was invincible.

SECTION XIII.

MONTALBA-GUIDO-PROCIDA-RAIMOND.....Mrs. Hemans.

Pro Welcome, my brave associates !—We can share
The wolf's wild freerlom here. Th’ oppressor's haunt
Is not 'midst rocks and caves.

Where is he
Who from his battles had returned to breathe
Once more, without a corslet, and to meet
The voices, and the footsteps, and the smiles,
Blent with his dreams of home? Of that dark tale
The rest is known to vengeance! Art thou here,
With thy deep wrongs and resolute despair,
Childless Montalba ?

Mont. (advancing.) He is at thy side.
Call on that desolate father, in the hour
When his revenge is nigh.
Pro.'

Thou, too, come forth,
From thine own balls an exile! Dost thou make
The mountain-fastnesses thy dwelling still,

« ПретходнаНастави »