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here, in the Senate, or elsewhere, to sneer at public merit, because it happened to spring up beyond the little limits of my own state, or neighbourhood : when I refuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, a sincere devotion to liberty and the country; or if I see an uncommon endowment of heaven; if I see extraordinary capacity and virtue in any son of the South-and if moved by local prejudice, or gangrened by state jealousy, I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and just fame, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth! Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections—let me indulge in refreshing remembrance of the past-let me remind you that in early times no states cherished greater harmony, both of principle and of feeling, than Massachusetts and South Carolina. Would to God, that harmony might again return. Shoulder to shoulder they went through the revolution-hand in hand they stood round the administration of Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support. Unkind feeling, if it exists, alienation and distrust, are the growth, unnatural to such soils, of false principles since sown. They are weeds, the seeds of which that same great arm never scattered. Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon
Massachusetts—she needs none. There she is—behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history—the world knows it by heart. The past, at least is secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hilland there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, fallen in the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every state from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie for ever. And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it-if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk at and tear it-if folly and madness—if uneasiness, under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed to separate it from that Union, by which alone its existence is made sure, it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm with whatever vigour it may still retain, over the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin.
Raimond. My father!—wherefore here?
Procida. 'Twas not for this I came.
Rai. Then wherefore !--and upon thy lofty brow Why burns the troubled flush? Pro.
Perchance 'tis shame. Yes! it may well be shame!--for I have striven With nature's feebleness, and been o'erpower'd. -Howe'er it be, 'tis not for thee to gaze, Noting it thus. I have prepared The means for thy escape. Rai.
What! thou! the austere, The inflexible Procida ! hast thou done this, Deeming me guilty still ! Pro.
Upbraid me not.
There have been nobler deeds
Let him fly
Art thou in love
Rai. Father! to set th' irrevocable seal
Thy hopes are closed ! And what were they to mine ?—Thou wilt not fly!
Why, let all traitors flock to thee, and learn
Now I feel
“ His solemn veil
Now, by just Heaven,
I will not plead.
Pro. We will not part in wrath !—the sternest hearts, Within their proud and guarded fatnesses,
Hide something still, round which their tendrils cling
Yet, on that summit,
No, fear thou not!
“Oh! not thus-
Let me deem
thee to my arms. Rai.
Now death has lost
Pro. Thou innocent !-Am I thy murderer then?
Thou wouldst receive our foes !—but they shall meet
Rai. Yet hear me!
No! thou’rt skill'd to make
[Going—he turns back for a moment. If there be aught-if aught--for which thou need'st Forgiveness—not of me, but that dread power From whom no heart is veil'd-delay thou not Thy prayer :-Time hurries on.
I am prepared. Pro. 'Tis well.
[Exit Procida. Rai.
Men talk of torture !-Can they wreak Upon the sensitive and shrinking frame, Half the mind bears, and lives ?-My spirit feels Bewilder'd; on its powers this twilight gloom Hangs like a weight of earth. It should be morn; Why, then, perchance, a beam of Heaven's bright sun Hath pierced, ere now, the grating of my dungeon, Telling of hope and mercy !
ACRES-DAVID.....R. B. Sheridan.
David. Then, by the mass, sir, I would do no such thing! ne'er a Sir Lucius O'Trigger in the kingdom should make me fight, when I wa'n't so minded. Oons! what will the old lady say, when she hears o't?
Acres. But my honour, David, my honour! I must be very careful of my honour.
Dav. Ay, by the mass ! and I would be very careful of it, and I think in return my honour couldn't do less than to be very careful of me.
Acr Odds blades! David, no gentleman will ever risk the loss of his honour !
Dav. I say, then, it would but be civil in honour never to risk the loss of a gentleman. Lookye, master, this honour seems to me to be a marvellous false friend; ay, truly, a very courtier-like servant. Put the case, I was a gentleman (which, I thank my stars, no one can say of me;) well—my honour makes me quarrel with another gentleman of my acquaintance. So, we fight. (Pleasant enough that.) Boh! I kill him ; (the more's my luck.) Now, pray, who gets the profit of it? Why, my honour. But put the case, that he kills me! by the mass ! I go to the worms, and my honour whips over to my enemy.
Acr. No, David, in that case ! odds, crowns and laurels ! your honour follows you to the grave !
Dav. Now, that's just the place where I could make a shift to do without it.
Acr. Zounds! David, you are a coward! It doesn't become my valour to listen to you. What, shall 1 disgrace my ancestors ? think of that, David; think what it would be to disgrace my ancestors !