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Julian. My world and thine are not that distant one. Is age less wise, less merciful, than grief, To keep this secret from thee, poor old man ? Thou canst not lessen, canst not aggravate My sufferings, canst not shorten or extend Half a sword's length between my God and me. I thank thee for that better thought than fame, Which none, however, who deserve, despise, Nor lose from view till all things else are lost.
Abdalazis. Julian, respect his age, regard his power.
Many, who fear'd not death, have dragy'd along
A piteous life in darkness and in chains.
Never was man so full of wretchedness,
But something may be suffered after all ;
Perhaps in what clings round his breast and helps
To keep the ruin up, which he, amid
His agony and frenzy, overlooks ;
But droops upon at last, and clasps, and dies.
Julian. Although a Muza send far underground,
Into the quarry whence the palace rose,
His mangled prey, climes alien and remote
Mark and record the pang. While, overhead,
Perhaps he passes on his favorite steed,
Less heedful of the misery he inflicts
Than of the expiring sparkle from a stone;
Yet we, alive or dead, have fellow-men,
If ever we have served them, who collect
From prisons and from dungeons our remains,
And bear them in their bosom to their sons.
Man's only relics are his benefits ;
These, be there ages, be there worlds, between,
Retain him in communion with his kind :
Hence is our solace, our security,
Our sustenance, till heavenly truth descends,
Covering with brightness and beatitude
The frail foundations of these humbler hopes,
And, like an angel guiding us, at once
Leaves the loose chain and iron gate behind.
COLERIDGE. (THE · Remorse' of one of the greatest of modern poets was acted with some success in 1813. It has many of the elements of the most attractive dramatic composition. Alvar is supposed to have been murdered by his brother Ordonio; but he is saved. The guilty man again seeks Alvar's life, but without knowing him. The following scene, in a dungeon, opens the fifth Act. We scarcely need point out the exquisite beauty of the opening soliloquy.)
Alvar. And this place my forefathers made for man!
This is the process of our love and wisdom
To each poor brother who offends against us-
Most innocent, perhaps—and what if guilty ?
Is this the only cure ? Merciful God!
and natural outlet shrivelled up
By ignorance and parching poverty,
His energies roll back upon his heart,
And stagnate and corrupt, till, chang'd to poison,
They break out on him, like a loathsome plague-spot!
Then we call in our pampered mountebanks ;
And this is their best cure! Uncomforted
And friendless solitude, groaning, and tears,
And savage faces, at the clanking hour,
Seen through the steam and vapors of his dungeon
By the lamp's dismal twilight! So he lies,
Circled with evil, till bis very soul
Unmoulds its essence, hopelessly deformed
By sights of evermore deformity!
With other ministrations thou, O Nature !
Healest thy wandering and distempered child :
Thou pourest on him thy soft influences,
Thy sunny hues, fair forms, and breathing sweets;
Thy melodies of woods, and winds, and waters !
Till he relent, and can no more endure
To be a jarring and a dissonant thing
Amid this general dance and minstrelsy;
But, bursting into tears, wins back his way,
His angry spirit healed and harmonized
By the benignant touch of love and beauty.
I am chill and weary! Yon rude bench of stone,
In that dark angle, the sole resting place!
But the self-approving mind is its own light,
And life's best warmth still radiates from the heart
Where love sits brooding, and an honest purpose.
[Retires out of sight.
[A noise at the dungeon-door. It opens, and ORDONIO
enters, with a goblet in his hand.
Ordonio. Hail, potent wizard ! in my gayer mood
I poured forth a libation to old Pluto,
And, as I brimmed the bowl, I thought on thee.
Thou hast conspired against my life and honor,
Hast tricked me foully; yet I hate thee not.
Why should I hate thee? This same world of ours,
'Tis but a pool amid a storm of rain,
And we the air-bladders that course up and down,
And joust and tilt in merry tournament ;
And, when one bubble runs foul of another,
The weaker needs must break.
I see thy heart !
There is a frightful glitter in thine eye
Which doth betray thee. Inly tortured man.
This is the revelry of a drunken anguish,
Which fain would scoff away
And quell each human feeling.
The death of a man—the breaking of a bubble-
'Tis true I cannot sob for such misfortunes ;
But faintness, cold and hunger-curses on me
If willingly I e'er inflicted them !
Come, take the beverage ; this chill place demands it.
[Ordonio proffers the goblet Alv. Yon insect on the wall, Which moves this way and that its hundred limbs,
Were it a toy of mere mechanic craft,
It were an infinitely curious thing!
But it has life, Ordonio! life, enjoyment!
And, by the power of its miraculous will,
Wields all the complex movements of its frame
Unerringly to pleasurable ends!
Saw I that insect on this goblet's brim,
I would remove it with an anxious pity!
Ord. What meanest thou ?
There's poison in the wine.
Ord. Thou bast guessed right; there's poison in the wine.
There's poison in 't—which of us two shall drink it ?
For one of us must die !
Whom dost thou think me? Ord. The accomplice and sworn friend of Isidore. Alv.
I know him not. And yet methinks I have heard the name but lately. Means he the husband of the Moorish woman ? Isidore ? Isidore ?
Ord. Good ! good! That lie; by heaven it has restored me. Now I am thy master! Villain! thou shalt drink it, Or die a bitterer death. Alv.
What strange solution
Hast thou found out to satisfy thy fears,
And drug them to unnatural sleep?
[Alvar takes the goblet, and throws it to the ground
Ord. Thou mountebank!
Mountebank and villain !
What, then, art thou ? For shame, put up thy sword !
What boots a weapon in a withered arm?
I fix mine eye upon thee, and thou tremblest !
I speak, and fear and wonder crush thy rage,
And turn it to a motionless distraction !
Thou blind self-worshipper! thy pride, thy cunning,
Thy faith in universal villainy,
Thy shallow sophisms, thy pretended scorn
For all thy human brethren-out upon them!
What have they done for thee? Have they given thee peace ?
Cured thee of starting in thy sleep? or made
The darkness pleasant when thou wak'st at midnight?
Art happy when alone? Canst walk by thyself,
With even step and quiet cheerfulness?
Yet, yet, thou mayst be saved-
Saved ? saved ?
Could I call up one pang of true remorse!
326.—THE CANADIAN INDIANS.
Sir F. B. HEAD. [Sir Francis B. Head is one of those writers who has achieved a reputa tion, not by the power of his imagination or the resources of his learning, but by the happy art by which he can describe, in a vivid and picturesque manner, scenes and characters which have come under his own observation. He has thus made his gallopings across the Pampas, and his loungings at the baths of Nassau, equally interesting. The following extract from “The Emigrant' has the same quality of graphic truth.)
I do not know at what rate in the eastern world the car of Juggernaut advances over its victims, but it has been roughly estimated that in the opposite hemisphere of America the population of the United States, like a great wave, is constantly rolling towards the westward, over the lands of the Indians, at the rate of about twenty miles per annum.
In our colonies the rights of the Indians have been more carefully attended to. The British sovereign and British parliament have faithfully respected them; and as a very friendly feeling exists between the red men of the forest and their white brethren, our governors have never found any difficulty in maintaining the title of “ Father” by which the Indians invariably address them.
Yet, notwithstanding this just feeling and this general desire of our countrymen to act kindly towards the Indians, it had for some time been in contemplation in Upper Canada to prevail