Page images
PDF
EPUB

Horror.

By force, and at our heels all hell should rise
With blackest insurrection to confound

Heaven's purest light; yet our great enemy,
Awe. All incorruptible, would on his throne

Sit unpolluted, and th’ æthereal mould,
Incapable of stain, would soon expel
Her mischief, and purge off the baser fire
Victorious. Thus repuls'd, our final hope
Is fiat despair. We must exasperate
Our conqueror to let loose his boundless rage,
And that must end us, that must be our cure,
To be no more !Sad cure ! -For who would lose,
Though full of pain, this intellectual being,
These thoughts that wander through eternity.
To perish utterly ; for ever lost

In the wide womb of uncreated night,
Arguing. Devoid of sense and motion ?-But will he,

So wise, let loose at once his utmost ire,
Belike through impotence, or unawares,
To give his enemies their wish, and end

Thein in his anger whom his anger saves
Courage. To punish endless ? -"Wherefore cease we then,'

Say they who counsel war ; " we are decreed, Anguilh. Réseru'd and destin'd to eternal woe ; Despair. Whatever doing, what can we suffer more? * Arguing. What can we suffer worse?” * Is this then worst,

Thus sitting, thus consulting, thus in arms ? Terror. What, when we fled amain, pursu'd and struck

By Heaven's afflicting thunder, and besought
The deep to shelter us; this place then seem'd
A refuge from those wounds: Or when we lay,
Chain' d on the burning lake? That sure was

worse.

Apprehen. What if the breath, that kindled these grim fires,

Awak'd, should blow them into sevenfold rage,
And plunge us in the flames? Or from above,

Should intermitted vengeance, arm again Florror. His red right hand to plague us ? What if all

Her stores were opened ; and this firmament
Of hell should spout her cataracts of fire,

Diffuasion.

strance with

Impendent horrors, threat’ning hideous fall
One day upon our heads, while we, perhaps,
Designing or exhorting glorious war,
Caught in a fiery tempest, shall be hurld,
Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey
Of wrecking whirlwinds, or for evet sunk
Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains,
There to converse with everlasting groans,

Anguilh.
Unrespited, unpitied, unreliev'd,
Ages of hopeless end !—This would be worse. Affirming.
War, therefore, open, or conceald, alike
My voice dissuades.-
66 Shall we then live thus vile! The race of Remon-
Heaven

contempt. Thus trampled, thus expell’d, to fuffer here Chains and these torments !” Better these thran Disfuasion.

worse, By my advice. To suffer, as to do,

Arguing Our strength is equal ; nor the law unjust, That so ordains. This was at first resolv'd, If we were wise, against so great a fue Contending, and so doubtful what might fall. I laugh when those, who at the spear are bold,

Contempt. And vent rous, if that fail them, shrink and fear What yet they know must follow ; to endure Exile, or ignominy, or bonds, or pain, The sentence of their

This is now
Our dogm ; which if with courage we can bearEncourage.
Our foe supreme, in time, may much remit
His anger, and, perhaps, thus far remov'd,
Not mind us,-not offending, satisfy'd
With what is punish' d; whence these raging fires
Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames.
Our puremessence then will overcome
Their noxious vapour, or inur'd, not feel,
Or changʻd, at length, and to the place conformid
In temper, and in nature, will receive,
Familiar, the fierce heat, and void of pain,
This horror will grow mild, this darkness light.
Besides what hope the never-ending flow

Mitt
U 2

conquerorstaina

Of future days may bring ; what chance, what

change, Worth wajtings Since our present lot appears, For happy,

dishiatt lét, for ill, not worst, If we procure

not to ourselves more woe.

LXXII.

SUBMISSION.. COMPLAINT.

INTREATING.

Gratitude,

The speech of Seneca the philosopher, to Nero, complain

ing of the enoy of his enemies, and requesting the emperor to reduce him back to his former nurrow circumstances, that he might no longer be an object of their malignity, [The substance is taken from Corn. Tacit.

ANNAL. xiv.] Submilie. MAY it please the imperial Majesty of Cesar

favourably to accept the humble submissions and grateful acknowledgements of the weak, though faithful guide of his youth. (1)

It is now a great many years since I first had the honour of attending your imperial Majesty, as preceptor. And your bounty has rewarded

my labours with such affluence, as has drawn Co nplaint. upon me, what I had reason to expect, the envy

of many of those persons, who are always ready

to prescribe to their prince, where to bestow, and Apology. where to withhold his favours. It is well known,

that your illustrious ancestor, Augustus, bestowed on his deserving favourites, Agrippa, and Mæcenas, honours and emoluments, suitable to the dignity of the benefactor and to the services of the receivers; nor-has his conduct been blamed. My employment

(1) Seneca was one of Nero's preceptors ; and the emperor feemed, during the first part of his reign, to have profited much by his instructions. The egregious follies, and enormous, unprovoked cruelties he afterwards committed, of which his ordering Seneca to put himself to death, is among the mos flagrant, seem hardly otherwife accountable, than by supposing that he lost the ufe of his reason.

Pride.

about your imperial Majesty, has indeed been purely domestic; I have neither headed your armies, nor assisted at your councils. But you know, Sir, (though there are some, who do not seem to attend to it) that a prince may be served in different ways, some more, others less conspicuous, and that the latter may be, to him, as valuable as the former.

" But what,” say inay enemies, “shall a Reinonst. private person, of equestrian rank, and a provincial by birth, be advanced to an equality with the patricians ? Shall an upstart, of no name, nor family, rank with those, who can by the statues, which make the ornament of their palaces, reckon backward a line of ancestors, long enough to tire out the fasti? (1) Shall a philosopher, who has written for others precepts of moderation, and contempt of all that is external, himself live in affluence and luxury ? Shall he purchase estates, and lay out money at interest ? Shall he build palaces, plant gardens, and adorn a country-seat, at his own expense, and for his own pleasure ?

Cæsar has given royally, as became imperial Gratitudę. magnificence. Seneca has received what his prince Apology. bestowed; nor did he ever ask : he is only guilty of_not refusing. Cesar's rank places him above the reach of invidious malignity. Seneca is not, nor can be high enough to despise the envi- Complaint. ous. As the overloaded soldier, or traveller, would be glad to be relieved of his burden, so I, in this last stage of the journey of life, now that I find myself unequal to the lightest cares, beg that Cæsar would kindly ease me of the trouble of my Intreating. unwieldy wealth. 'I beseech him to restore to the imperial treasury, from whence it came, what is to me superfluous and cumbrous. The time and the attention, which I am now obliged to bestow upon my villa, and my gardens, I shall be glad

(1) The Fasli, or Calendars, or if you please, Almanacs of the ancients, had, as our Almanacs, tables of kings, consuls, &c.

to apply to the regulation of my mind.Cæsar is Gratitude. in the flower of life. Long may he be equal to

the toils of government! His goodness will grant Intreating. to his worn out servant, leave to retire. It will Apology. not be derogatory from Cæsar's greatness, to

have it said, that he bestowed favours on some, who, so far from being intoxicated with them, shewed, that they could be happy when (at their own request) divested of them.

LXXIII.

JEALOUSY.
Iago goes on to inflame OTHELLO's jealousy (see

page 205) against his innocent wife. OTHEL-
Lo is by him worked up to rage. Shakespear's

Othel.]

Iago. [Alone] I Will in Cassio's lodging drop Plotting.

this handkerchief,
That he may find it; then persuade the Moor,
His wife did give it-Trifles light as air,

Are to the jealous confirmation strong Malicious. As proofs from holy writ. This will work mis. joy.

chief.
Dangerous conceits are in their nature poisons,
Which at the first are scarce found to distaste;
But with a little action on the blood,
Burn like the mines of sulphur. [Othello appears.]
'Tis as I said
Look where he comes ! Not all the drowsy po-

tions,
That e'er calm'd raging anguish to repose,
Shall medicine thee to that blessed sleep,
Which thou ow'd'st the past night.

Enter OTHELLO. Does not see Iago.

Oth. Ha ! false to me! Southing Iago. Howu now, noble general ? No more of

that,

;

Perturbation

« EelmineJätka »