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Make fast the doors ; heap wood upon the fire ;
Draw in your stools, and pass the goblet round,
And be the prattling voice of children heard.
Now let us make good cheer- But what is this?
Do I not see, or do I dream I see,
A form that midmost in the circle sits
Half visible, his face deformed with scars,
And foul with blood ?—0! yes, — I know it - there
Sits Danger, with his feet upon the hearth!
The dweller in the mountains, on whose ear
The accustomed cataract thunders unobserved,
The seaman, who sleeps sound upon
Nor hears the loud lamenting of the blast,
Nor heeds the weltering of the plangent wave, -
These have not lived more undisturbed than I.
But build not upon this; the swollen stream
May shake the cottage of the mountaineer,
And drive him forth; the seaman, roused at length,
Leaps from his slumber on the wave-washed deck;
And now the time comes fast when here in Ghent
He who would live exempt from injuries
Of armëd men must be himself in arms.
This time is near for all, — nearer for me.
I will not wait upon necessity,
And leave myself no choice of vantage-ground,
But rather meet the times where best I may,
And mould and fashion them as best I can.
XXXVII. - CATILINE'S DEFIANCE To the Roman Senato on the following decree being read by the Consul :
“ Lucius Sergius Catiline, by the decree of the Senate, you are declared an enemy and an alien to the State, and banished from the territory of the Commonwealth."
BANISHED from Rome! what's banished but set free
From daily contact of the things I loathe ?
“ Tried and convicted traitor ! " * - Who says this ?
Who'll prove it, at his peril, on my head ?
Banished ? — I thank you for 't. It breaks
I held some slack allegiance till this hour -
But now my sword 's my own. Smile on, my lords !
I scorn to count what feelings, withered hopes,
Strong provocations, bitter, burning wrongs,
I have within my heart's hot cells shut up,
To leave you in your lazy dignities.
But here I stand and scoff you :- here I fling
Hatred and full defiance in your face.
Your Consul 's merciful. For this all thanks.
He dares not touch a hair of Catiline.
“ Traitor !” I go — but I return. This — trial !*
Here I devote your Senate! I've had wrongs,
To stir a fever in the blood of age,
Or make the infant's sinew strong as steel.
This day's the birth of sorrows ! -This hour's work
Will breed proscriptions. — Look to your hearths, my lords,
For there henceforth shall sit, for household gods,
Shapes hot from Tar'tarus ! - all shames and crimes ;
Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn;
Suspicion, poisoning his brother's cup;
Naked Rebellion, with the torch and ax,
Making his wild sport of your blazing thrones ;
Till Anarchy comes down on you like Night,
And Massacre seals Rome's eternal grave!
REV. GEORGE CROLY.
XXXVIII. — CATO'S SOLILOQUY
ON THE IMMORTALITY OF THE SOUL.
[The speaker has a scroll in has hand.)
It must be so ! - Plato, thou reasonest well!
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality ?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror,
Of falling into naught? 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 untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes, must we pass !
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness, rest upon it. • He puts sgormful emphasis on this word trial, as if it were a misnomer,
ANIEL ON BEING DOOMED TO DEATH.
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 be happy.
But when ? or where ? — This world was made for Cæsar.
I'm weary of conjectures - this must end them.
(Laying his hand on his sword.)
Thus am I doubly armed : 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 neyer die,
The soul, secured 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.
XXXIX. - DANIEL ON BEING DOOMED TO DEATH,
And what is death, my friends, that I should fear it ?
To die! why, 't is to triumph : 't is to join
The great assembly of the good and just ;
Immortal worthies, heroes, prophets, saints !
0, 't is to join the band of holy men,
Made perfect by their sufferings ! 'Tis to meet
My great progenitors ; 't is to behold
The illustrious pātriarchs — those with whom the Lord
Deigned hold familiar converse !
'Tis to see
Blessed Noah and his children; once a world.
'Tis to behold (0! rapture to conceive !)
Those we have known and loved and lost below!
Behold Azariah and the band of brothers
Who sought in bloom of youth the cruel flames !
Nor shall we see heroic men alone,
Champions who fought the fight of faith on earth,
But heavenly conquerors, and angelic hosts,
Michael and his bright legions, who subdued
The foes of Truth! To join their blest employ
Of love and praise ! to the high melodies
Of choirs celestial to attune my voice
Accordant to the golden harps of saints
To join in blest hosannas to their king !
Whose face to see, whose glory to behold,
Alone were heaven, though saint or seraph none
Should meet our sight, and God alone were there!
This is to die! Who would not die for this?
Who would not die, that he might live for ever?.
MRS. H. MORZ
XL – THE QUALITY OF MERCY.
The quality of mercy is not strained;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blessed :
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest ; it becomes
The thronëd monarch better than his crown.
His scepter shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings :
But mercy is above his sceptered sway,
It is enthronëd in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice.
XLI. - OTHELLO’S FAREWELL.
O! NOW for ever
Farewell the tranquil mind! farewell content !
Farewell the plumëd troop, and the big wars,
That make ambition virtue! . 0, farewell!
Farewell the neighing steed, and the shrill trump,
The spirit-stirring drum, the ear-piercing fife,
The royal banner, and all quality,
Pride, pomp, and circumstance, of glorious war!
And, O! ye mortal engines, whose rude throats
The immortal Jove's dread clamors counterfeit,
Farewell! Othello's occupation 's gone!
PART NINTH.-HUMOROUS PIECES.
I. - AN ORATOR'S FIRST SPEECH IN PARLIAMENT. The virgin member takes his honored place, While beams of modest wisdom light his face : Multum in parco * in the man you see ; He represents — the people's majesty! Behold their choice ! the pledged, midst many a cheer, To give free trade, free votes, free bread and beer! Blest times! He sits at last within the walls Of famed St. Stephen's venerated halls ! 0, shades of Pitt and Fox! is he within The House of Commons? How his senses spin! Proud man! has he then caught the Speaker's eye? No, not just yet; but he will, by and by. I wonder if there are reporters here ! In truth there are, and hard at work ; don't fear. O, happy man! By the next post shall reach Your loved constituents the maiden speech. The Press (great tell-tale!) will to all reveal How you have — spoken for your country's weal! In gaping wonder will the words be read, " The new M. P.,f Lord Noodle, rose and said !” This pillar of the nation rises now, And toward the Speaker makes profoundest bow. Unused to so much honor, his weak knees Bend with the weight of senate dignities. He staggers — almost falls - stares — strokes his chin Clears out his throat, and ventures to begin. “Sir, I am sensible” (some titter near him) “ I am, sir, sensible -"Hear! hear! hear! hear him!” Now bolder grown, for praise mistaking pother, He lifts one arm, and spouts out with the other.
I am, sir, sensible — I am, indeed That, though — I should want words - I must proceed; And, for the first time in my life, I think I think that