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A day, an hour of virtuous liberty,
Is worth a whole eternity of bondage.
CATO, solus, sitting in a thoughtful posture: In his hand Plan
to's book on the immortality of the soul. A drawn sword
on the table by him.
T must be so
-Plato, thou reason’st well!
Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire !
This longing after immortality?
Or, whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into nought ? Why shrinks the soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction ?
'Tis the divinity, that stirs within us ;
'Tis heaven itself, that points out-an hereafter,
And intimates-eternity to man.
Eternity ! thou pleasing--dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untry'd beings,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me
But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it
Here will I hold. If there's a power above us,
(And that there is, all nature cries aloud,
Through all her works) he must delight in virtue;
And that which he delights in must he happy.
But when! or where! This world was made for Cæşar.
I'm weary of conjectures—this must end 'em.
Laying his hand on his sword,
Thus am I doubly arm’d: my death and life,
My bane and antidote are both before me.
This, in a moment, brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies its point.
The stars shall fade away, the sun himself
Grow dim with age, and nature sink in years ;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
What means this heaviness that hangs upon me?
This lethargy that creeps through all my senses ?
Nature oppress’d, and harrass'd out with care,
Sinks down to rest. This once I'll favour her,
my awaken'd soul may take her flight, Renew'd in all her strength, and fresh with life, An offering fit for Heaven. Let guilt or fear Disturb man's rest; Cato knows neither of 'em; Indifferent in his choice, to sleep or die.
Hamlet's Meditation on Death. ITTO be or not to be!-that is the question.
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind, to suffer
The stings and arrows of outrageous fortune;
Or to take arms against a siege of troubles,
And by opposing, end them ?--To die—to sleep-
No more ;-and by a sleep, to say we end
The heart-ache, and the thousand natural"shocks
That flesh is heir to'tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d. To die-to sleep,
To sleep-perchance to dream-aye, there's the rub.-
For, in that sleep of death what dreams may come,
When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,
Must give us pause.—There's the respect
That makes calamity of so long a life.
For, who would bear the whips and scorns o'thtime,
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despis'd love, the laws delay,
The insolence of office and the spurns
That patient merit of the unworthy takes;
When he himself might his quietus make
With a bare bodkin? Who would fardels bear,
groan and sweat under a weary life :
But that the dread of something after death
(That undiscovered country, from whose bourne
No traveller returns) puzzles the will:
And makes us rather bear those ills we have,
Than fly to others that we know not of;
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought
And enterprizes of great pith and moment,
With this regard, their currents turn away,
And loose the name of action.
FROM DRAMATIC WRITERS,
PRINCIPAL EMOTIONS AND PASSIONS
THEN is Orestes blest! My griefs are fled !
Fled like a dream! Methinks I tread in air !--
Surprising happiness! unlook’d-for joy!
Never let love despair ! The prize is mine!
Be smooth, ye seas ! and ye propitious winds,
Blow from the Epirus to the Spartan coast !
T'LL go; and in the anguish of my heart-
Is wrapt in his; I shall not long survive.
'Tis for his sake that I have suffer'd life
Groan'd in captivity; and out-liv'd Hector.---
Yet, my Astyanax! we'll go together;
Together--to the realms of night we'll go.
ADST thou but seen, as I did, how at last,
That's doom'd to banishment, came weeping forth.
Whilst two young virgins, on whose arms she lean'd
Kindly look'd up, and at her grief grew sad !
E’en the lew'd rabble, that were gather'd round
To see the sight, stood mute when they beheld her,
Govern'd their roaring throats--and grumbled pity.
"OME on Sir, here's the place-stand still-
How fearful 'tis to cast ones eyes so low!
The crows and coughs, that wing the midway air,
Shew scarce so gross as beetles. Half way down,
Hangs one that gathers samphire-dreadful trade!
Methinks he seems no bigger than one's head,
The fishermen, that walk upon the beach,
Appear like mice; and yon tall anchoring bark
Seems lessen'd to a cock; her cock, a buoy
Almost too small for sight. The murmuring surge,
That on the unnumber'd idle pebbles chafes,
Cannot be heard so high. I'll look no more,
Lest my brain turn and the disorder make me
Tumble down headlong.
Awe and Fear.
all is hush'd and still as death
How, reverend is the face of this tall pile,
Whose ancient pillars rear their marble heads,
To bear aloft its arch'd and pond'rous roof,
By its own weight made steadfast and immoveable,
Looking tranquillity! it strikes an awe
And a terror on my aching sight. The tombs,
And monumental caves of death look cold,
And shoot a chillness to my trembling heart.
Give me thy hand, and let me hear thy voice
Nay, quickly speak to me, and let me, hear
Thy voice-my own affrights me with its echoes.
ARK !—the death-denouncing trumpet sounds
The fatal charge, and shouts proclaim the onset.
Destruction rushes dreadful to the field,
And bathes itself in blood. Havock, let loose,
Now, undistinguish'd rages all around;
While Ruin, seated on her dreary throne,
Sees the plain strew'd, with subjects truly hers, ,
Breathless and cold.
Since thou hast striven to make us break our vow,
Which, nor our nature, nor our place can bear,
We banish thee for ever from our sight
And kingdom. If, when three days are expir’d,
Thy hated trunk be found in our dominions,
That moment is thy death-Away!
The curse of growing factions and divisions Still vex your councils, shake your public safety, And make the robes of government you wear, llateful to you-as these base chains to me.
graced me, and hindered me of half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my Bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies. And what's his reasons! I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes ? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions ? Is he not fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons,
subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmcd and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong usshall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility ? Revenge. If a christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufference be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction.
HAT find I here?
Fair Portia's counterfeit? - What demi-god
Hath come so near creation ? Move these eyes :
Or, whether riding on the ball of mine,
Seem they in motion ?--Here are sever'd lips,
Parted with sugar breath: so sweet a bar
Should sunder such sweet friends-Here, in her hairs,
The painter plays the spider, and hath woven
A golden mesh, t' entrap the hearts of men
Faster than gnats in cobwebs–But her eyes-
How could he see to do them: having made one,
Methinks it should have power to steal both his,
And leave itself unfinish’d:
TAKE thy demands to those that own thy power:
Know, I am still beyond thee. And though fortune
Has strip'd me of this train, this pomp of greatness,
This outside of a king, yet still my soul,
Fix'd high, and on herself alone dependent,
Is ever free and royal; and, even now,
As at the head of battle-does defy thee.
WAY! no woman could descend so low.
A skipping, dancing, worthless tribe you are :
Fit only for yourselves. You herd together;
And when the circling glass warms your vain hearts,
You talk of beauties that you never saw,
And fancy raptures that you never knew.
YET, yet endure-nor murmur, O my soul !
For, are not thy transgressions great and numberless?
Do they not cover thee, like rising floods ?
And press thee, like a weight of waters down?
Does not the hand of righteousness afflict thee?
And who shall plead against it? who shall say