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'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent;
That day he overcame the Nervii :-
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through:
See, what a rent the envious Casca made :
Through this, the well-beloved Brutus stabbed ;
And, as he plucked his cursèd steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it,
As rushing out of doors, to be resolved
If Brutus so unkindly knocked, or no ;
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel :
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Cæsar loved him !
This was the most unkindest cut of all :
For when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite.vanquished him: then burst his mighty heart ;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell.
0, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then I, and you, and all of us fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourished over us.
O, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel,
The dint' of pity: these are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what weep you, when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look you here,
Here is himself, marred, as you see, with traitors.....
Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable ;
What private griefs they have, alas ! I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts ;
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend; and that they know full well
That gave me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action, nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood : I only speak right on ;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know;
Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me: but, were Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffile up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.....
Yet, hear me, countrymen ; yet hear me speak. ....
Why, friends, you go to do you know not what :
Wherein hath Cæsar thus deserved your loves ?
Alas! you know not-I must tell
then :You have forgot the will I told you
of. Here is the will, and under Cæsar's seal. To every
Roman citizen he gives -
To every several man, seventy-five drachmas.
Moreover, he hath left you all his walks,
His private arbours, and new-planted orchards,
On this side Tiber; he hath left them you,
And to your heirs for ever ; common pleasures,
To walk abroad, and recreate yourselves.
Here was a Cæsar! When comes such another ?
CATO'S SOLILOQUY ON THE IMMORTALITY
OF THE SOUL.
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 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 a 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. 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 I am 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 never 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 amid the war of elements, The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds !
TELL'S ADDRESS TO THE ALPS.
William Tell, BY SHERIDAN KNOWLES,
YE crags and peaks, I'm with you once again!
I hold to you the hands you first beheld
To show you they still are free. Methinks I hear
A spirit in your echoes answer me,
And bid your tenant welcome to his home
Again ! O sacred forms, how proud you look !
How high you lift your heads into the sky!
How huge you look ! how mighty and how free!
How do you look for all your bared brows
More gorgeously majestical than kings,
Whose loaded coronets exhaust the mines !
Ye are the things that tower, that shine-whose smile
Makes glad — whose frown is terrible—whose forms,
Robed or unrobed, do all the impress wear
Of awe divine-whose subject never kneels
In mockery, because it is your boast
To keep him free! Ye guards of liberty,
I'm with you once again! I hold my hands to you
To show they still are free! I rush to you
As though I could embrace you !
Scaling yonder peak,
I saw an eagle wheeling near its brow.
O'er the abyss his broad expanded wings
Lay calm and motionless upon the air,
As if he floated there without their aid,
By the sole act of his unlorded will
That buoyed him proudly up. Instinctively
I bent my bow ; yet kept he rounding still
His airy circle, as in the delight
Of measuring the ample range beneath
And round about : absorbed, he heeded not
The death that threatened him— I could not shoot,
'Twas liberty. I turned my bow aside
And let him soar away.
When I wedded thee The land was free !-0 with what pride, I used To walk these hills, and look up to my God And bless Him that it was so !- It was free! From end to end, from cliff to lake, 'twas free! Free as our torrents are, that leap our rocks, And plough our valleys, without asking leave; Or as our peaks, that wear their caps of snow, In very presence of the regal sun ! How happy was I in it then !- I loved Its very storms !-Yes, Emma !—I have sat In my boat, at night, when down the mountain gorge The wind came, roaring—sat in it, and eyed The thunder breaking from his cloud, and smiled To see him shake his lightnings o'er my head, And think I had no master, save his own! You know the jutting cliff, round which a track