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Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I fly
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair!
Which way I fly is hell; myself am hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep
Still threat'ning to devour me opens wide;
To which the hell I suffer seems a heav'n.
O then at last relent: is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduced
With other promises and other vaunts
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ay me! they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain ;
Under what torments inwardly I groan;
While they adore me on the throne of hell,
With diadem and sceptre high advanced
The lower still I fall, only supreme
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain


Cato-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

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


(England, 1672–1719)


By act of grace my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore: ease would recant
Vows made in pain as violent and void.

For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierced so


Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission bought with double smart.
This knows my Punisher; therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging, peace.
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
of us outcast, exiled, his new delight,
Mankind, created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope, and, with hope, farewell fear,
Farewell remorse: all good to me is lost;
Evil, be thou my good; by thee at least
Divided empire with heav'n's King I hold.
By thee, and more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long and this new world shall know.
- From Paradise Lost, Book IV.


MY BRAVE associates, partners of my toils, my feelings, and my fame, can Rolla's words add vigor to the virtuous energies which inspire your

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

I'm weary of conjectures,-this must end 'em.

Thus am I doubly armed. My death and life,
My bane and antidote, are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to my end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The soul, secure 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.
-From the Tragedy of Cato," Act V.


(England, 1751-1816)

hearts? No; you have judged as I have, the foulness of the crafty plea by which these bold invaders would delude ye. Your generous spirit has compared as mine has, the motives which in a war like this can animate their minds and ours.

They, by a strange frenzy driven, fight for power, for plunder, and extended rule; we-for our country, our altars, and our homes! They follow an adventurer whom they fear, and obey a power which they hate; we serve a country which we love a God whom we adore. Where'er they move in anger, desolation tracks their progress; where'er they pause in amity, affliction mourns their friendship.

They boast they come but to improve our state, enlarge our thoughts, and free us from the yoke of error. Yes, they will give enlightened freedom to our minds, who are themselves the slaves of passion, avarice, and pride.


(Ireland, c. 1780-1860)


Catiline-Conscript Fathers!

I do not rise to waste the night in words;

Let that Plebeian talk; 'tis not my trade;
But here I stand for right,- let him show proofs,-
For Roman right; though none, it seems, dare

To take their share with me. Ay, cluster there! Cling to your master, judges, Romans, slaves! His charge is false; -- I dare him to his proofs. You have my answer. Let my actions speak!

But this I will avow, that I have scorned,
And still do scorn, to hide my sense of wrong!
Who brands me on the forehead, breaks my sword,
Or lays the bloody scourge upon my back,
Wrongs me not half so much as he who shuts
The gates of honor on me,- turning out
The Roman from his birthright; and, for what?
[Looking round him.
To fling your offices to every slave!
Vipers, that creep where man disdains to climb,
And, having wound their loathsome track to the

They offer us their protection; yes, such protection as vultures give to lambs, covering and devouring them. They call on us to barter all of good we have inherited and proved, for the desperate chance of something better which they promise. Be our plain answer this: The throne we honor is the people's choice; the laws we reverence are our brave fathers' legacy; the faith we follow, teaches us to live in bonds of charity with all mankind and die- with hope of bliss beyond the grave. Tell your invaders this, and tell them, too, we seek no change, and least of all, such change as they would bring us. - From Pizarro.” 1799


Of this huge, moldering monument of Rome, Hang hissing at the nobler man below!

Come, consecrated Lictors, from your thrones;
[To the Senate.
Fling down your sceptres; take the rod and ax,
And make the murder as you make the law!

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 my chain !

I held some slack allegiance till this hour;
But now my sword's my own. Smile on, my


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 sinews strong as steel.
This day's the birth of sorrow! This hour's work
Will breed proscriptions! Look to your hearths,
my lords!

For there, henceforth, shall sit, for household gods,

Shapes hot from Tartarus!-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.

I go; but not to leap the gulf alone. I go; but, when I come, 'twill be the burst Of ocean in the earthquake,- rolling back In swift and mountainous ruin. Fare you well! You build my funeral pile; but your best blood Shall quench its flame! Back, slaves! [To the Lictors.] I will return!

- From the Tragedy of Catiline." 1822.


(England, 1787-1855)


Rienzi- Friends!

I come not here to talk. Ye know too well
The story of our thraldom. We are slaves!
The bright sun rises to his course, and lights
A race of slaves! He sets, and his last beam
Falls on a slave: not such as, swept along
By the full tide of power, the conqueror leads
To crimson glory and undying fame,-
But base, ignoble slaves! - slaves to a horde
Of petty tyrants, feudal despots; lords,
Rich in some dozen paltry villages;
Strong in some hundred spearmen; only great
In that strange spell, -a name! Each hour, dark

Or open rapine, or protected murder,
Cry out against them. But this very day,
An honest man, my neighbor, there he stands, —
Was struck, -struck like a dog, by one who wore
The badge of Ursini ! because, forsooth,

He tossed not high his ready cap in air,
Nor lifted up his voice in servile shouts,
At sight of that great ruffian! Be we men,
And suffer such dishonor? Men, and wash not
The stain away in blood? Such shames are common.
I have known deeper wrongs. I, that speak to ye,

I had a brother once, a gracious boy,
Full of all gentleness, of calmest hope,
Of sweet and quiet joy; there was the look
Of Heaven upon his face, which limners give
To the beloved disciple. How I loved
That gracious boy! Younger by fifteen years,
Brother at once and son! He left my side,
A summer bloom upon his fair cheeks, — a smile
Parting his innocent lips. In one short hour,
The pretty, harmless boy was slain! I saw
The corse, the mangled corse, and then I cried
For vengeance! Rouse, ye Romans! Rouse, ye



Manfred-The spirits I have raised abandon meThe spells which I have studied baffle me The remedy I recked of tortured me:

I lean no more on superhuman aid;

It hath no power upon the past, and for
The future, till the past be gulfed in darkness,
It is not of my search. My mother earth!
And thou, fresh-breaking day; and you, ye moun-


Have ye brave sons?-Look in the next fierce brawl


Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye.
And thou, the bright eye of the universe,
That open'st over all, and unto all

Art a delight-thou shin'st not on my heart.
you, ye crags, upon whose extreme edge
I stand, and on the torrent's brink beneath
Behold the tall pines dwindle as to shrubs
In dizziness of distance; when a leap,
A stir, a motion, even a breath, would bring

To see them die! Have ye fair daughters? - Look
To see them live, torn from your arms, distained,
Dishonored; and, if ye dare call for justice,
Be answered by the lash! Yet this is Rome,
That sate on her seven hills, and from her throne
Of beauty ruled the world! Yet we are Romans.
Why, in that elder day, to be a Roman
Was greater than a king! And once again, —
Hear me, ye walls, that echoed to the tread
Of either Brutus !- once again I swear
The Eternal City shall be free!

- From "Rienzi, A Tragedy." 1828.

(England, 1788-1824)

My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
To rest forever-wherefore do I pause?
I feel the impulse, yet I do not plunge;
I see the peril - yet do not recede;
And my brain reels - and yet my foot is firm;
There is a power upon me which withholds,
And makes it my fatality to live,-
If it be life to wear within myself
This barrenness of spirit, and to be
My own soul's sepulcher; for I have ceased
To justify my deeds unto myself -
The last infirmity of evil.-Ay,
Thou winged and cloud-cleaving minister,
[An eagle passes.
Whose happy flight is highest into heaven,
Well may'st thou swoop so near me, I should be
Thy prey, and gorge thine eaglets; thou art gone
Where the eye cannot follow thee; but thine
Yet pierces downward, onward, or above,
With a pervading vision.- Beautiful!

How beautiful is all this visible world!
How glorious in its action and itself!

But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
Half dust, half deity, alike unfit

To sink or soar, with our mixed essence make A conflict of its elements, and breathe


(American, 1793-1852)


Brutus — Thus, thus, my friends, fast as our breaking hearts

Permitted utterance, we have told our story;
And now, to say one word of the imposture,—
The mask necessity has made me wear!
When the ferocious malice of your king-
King, do I call him?-When the monster, Tarquin,
Slew, as you most of you may well remember,
My father Marcus, and my elder brother,
Envying at once their virtues and their wealth,
How could I hope a shelter from his power,
But in the false face I have worn so long,?
Would you know why I have summon'd you to-

Ask ye what brings me here? Behold this dagger,
Clotted with gore! Behold that frozen corse!
See where the lost Lucretia sleeps in death!
She was the mark and model of the time-
The mold in which each female face was form'd—
The very shrine and sacristy of virtue!
Fairer than ever was a form created

By youthful fancy when the blood strays wild,
And never-resting thought is all on fire!
The worthiest of the worthy! Not the nymph
Who met old Numa in his hallow'd walks,
And whisper'd in his ear her strains divine,
Can I conceive beyond her :- The young choir
of vestal virgins bent to her. 'Tis wonderful,
Amid the darnel, hemlock, and base weeds
Which now spring rife from the luxurious compost
Spread o'er the realm, how this sweet lily rose ; —

The breath of degradation and of pride.
Contending with low wants and lofty will
Till our mortality predominates,
And men are — what they name not to themselves,
And trust not to each other.

-From Manfred," Act I., Scene 2.


Rienzi-Ye come, then, once again! Come ye as slaves or freemen? A handful of armed men are in your walls; will ye, who chased from your gates the haughtiest knights-the most practiced battle

How from the shade of those ill-neighboring plants
Her father shelter'd her, that not a leaf
Was blighted, but array'd in purest grace,
She bloom'd unsullied beauty. Such perfections
Might have call'd back the torpid breast of age
To long-forgotten rapture;- such a mind
Might have abash'd the boldest libertine,
And turn'd desire to reverential love
And holiest affection! Oh, my countrymen,
You all can witness that when she went forth
It was a holiday in Rome; — old age
Forgot its crutch, labor its task,—all ran;
And mothers, turning to their daughters, cried,
"There, there's Lucretia!" Now, look ye, where
she lies,

That beauteous flower,- that innocent sweet rose,
Torn up by ruthless violence,- gone! gone! gone!

Say, would ye seek instruction? Would ye ask
What ye should do? Ask ye yon conscious walls,
Which saw his poison'd brother!-saw the incest
Committed there, and they will cry,- Revenge!
Ask yon deserted street, where Tullia drove
O'er her dead father's corse, 'twill cry,- Revenge!
Ask yonder Senate House, whose stones are purple
With human blood, and it will cry,- Revenge!
Go to the tomb where lies his murder'd wife,
And the poor queen, who lov'd him as her son;
Their unappeasèd ghosts will shriek,- Revenge!
The temples of the gods-the all-viewing heav-



The gods themselves,- shall justify the cry,
And swell the general sound,- Revenge! Revenge!

-From Brutus, A Tragedy." 1818.

(England, 1803-1873)

men of Rome, succumb now to one hundred and fifty hirelings and strangers? Will ye arm for your tribune?-you are silent!- be it so! Will you arm for your own liberties, your own Rome?-silent still! By the saints that reign on the throne of the heathen gods, are ye thus fallen

from your birthright? Have you no arms for your own defense?

Romans, hear me ! Have I wronged you? - if so, by your hands let me die; and then, with knives yet reeking with my blood, go forward against the robber who is but the herald of your slavery; and I die honored, grateful, and avenged.

You weep! Aye, and I could weep, too-that I should live to speak of liberty in vain to Romans. Weep! is this an hour for tears? Weep now, and your tears shall ripen harvests of crime, and license, and despotism, to come!

Romans, arm; follow me, at once, to the Place of the Colonna; expel this ruffian Minorbino, expel your enemy (no matter what afterwards you do to me); — or, I abandon you to your fate.

What! and is it ye who forsake me, for whose cause alone man dares to hurl against me the thunders of his God, in this act of excommunication? Is it not for you that I am declared heretic and rebel? What are my imputed crimes?—That I have made Rome, and asserted Italy to be free! that I have subdued the proud magnates, who were the scourge both of pope and people.


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the plaintiff

THE plaintiff, gentlemen, is a widow; yes, gentlemen, a widow. The late Mr. Bardell, after enjoying for many years the esteem and confidence of his sovereign, as one of the guardians of his royal revenues, glided almost imperceptibly from the world, to seek elsewhere for that repose and peace which a custom house can never afford. Sometime before his death, he had stamped his likeness upon a little boy. With this little boy, the only pledge of her departed exciseman, Mrs. Bardell shrunk from the world, and courted the retirement and tranquillity of Goswell Street; and here she placed in her front parlor window a written placard, bearing this inscription: "Apartments furnished for a single gentleman. Inquire within.". I entreat the attention of the jury to the wording of this document,-" Apartments furnished for a single gentleman!" Mrs. Bardell's opinions of the opposite sex, gentlemen, were derived from a long contemplation of the inestimable qualities of her lost husband. She had no fear-she had no distrust she had no suspicion,-all was confidence and reliance. Mr. Bardell," said the widow, "Mr. Bardell was a man of honor- Mr. Bardell was a man of his word - Mr. Bardell was no deceiver- Mr. Bardell was once a single gentleman himself; to single gentlemen I look for

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And you, -you upbraid me with what I have dared and done for you! Men, with you I would have fought, for you I would have perished. You forsake yourselves in forsaking me; and, since I no longer rule over brave men, I resign my power to the tyrants you prefer.

Seven months I have ruled over you, prosperous in commerce, — stainless in justice, -victorious in the field; I have shown you what Rome could be ; and since I abdicate the government ye gave me, when I am gone, strike for your own freedom! It matters nothing who is the chief of a brave and great people. Prove that Rome hath many a Rienzi, but of brighter fortunes.

Heed me: I ride with these faithful few through the quarter of the Colonna, before the fortress of your foe. Three times before that fortress shall my trumpet sound; if at the third blast ye come not, armed as befits you, -I say not all, but three, but two, but one hundred of ye, -I break up my wand of office, and the world shall say one hundred and fifty robbers quelled the soul of Rome, and crushed her magistrate and her laws!

- From Rienzi. » 1835



(England, 1812-1870)

protection, for assistance, for comfort, and for consolation,-in single gentlemen I shall perpetually see something to remind me of what Mr. Bardell was, when he first won my young and untried affections; to a single gentleman, then, shall my lodgings be let." Actuated by this beau tiful and touching impulse (among the best im pulses of our imperfect nature, gentlemen), the lonely and desolate widow dried her tears, furnished her first floor, caught her innocent boy to her maternal bosom, and put the bill up in her parlor window. Did it remain there long? No. The serpent was on the watch, the train was laid, the mine was preparing, the sapper and miner were at work. Before the bill had been in the parlor window three days,-three days, gentlemen,—a Being, erect on two legs, and bearing all the outward semblance of a man, and not of a monster, knocked at the door of Mrs. Bardell's house. He inquired within; he took the lodgings; and on the very next day he entered into possession of them. This man was Pickwick,- Pickwick, the defendant.

Of this man Pickwick I will say little; the subject presents but few attractions; and I, gentlemen, am not the man, nor are you, gentlemen, the men, to delight in the contemplation of revolting heartlessness and systematic villainy.


say systematic villainy, gentlemen, . . and when I say systematic villainy, let me tell the defendant, Pickwick, if he be in court, as I am in

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