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Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
CATO'S SOLILOQUY ON IMMORTALITY
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!
The wide, the unbounded prospect lies before me;
By act of grace my former state; how soon
For never can true reconcilement grow
Which would but lead me to a worse relapse
ROLLA'S ADDRESS TO THE PERUVIANS
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.
I'm weary of conjectures,-this must end 'em.
Thus am I doubly armed. My death and life,
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.
REV. GEORGE CROLY
(Ireland, c. 1780-1860)
Catiline DeFIES THE SENATE
I do not rise to waste the night in words;
Let that Plebeian talk; 'tis not my trade;
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,
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;
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;
I scorn to count what feelings, withered hopes,
I have within my heart's hot cells shut up,
"Traitor!" I go; but, I return. This-trial}
Or make the infant's sinews strong as steel.
For there, henceforth, shall sit, for household gods,
Shapes hot from Tartarus!-all shames and crimes,
Wan Treachery, with his thirsty dagger drawn;
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.
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD
RIENZI TO THE ROMANS
I come not here to talk. Ye know too well
Or open rapine, or protected murder,
He tossed not high his ready cap in air,
I had a brother once, a gracious boy,
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
Have ye brave sons?-Look in the next fierce brawl
GEORGE NOEL GORDON, LORD BYRON
Why are ye beautiful? I cannot love ye.
Art a delight-thou shin'st not on my heart.
To see them die! Have ye fair daughters? - Look
- From "Rienzi, A Tragedy." 1828.
My breast upon its rocky bosom's bed
How beautiful is all this visible world!
But we, who name ourselves its sovereigns, we,
To sink or soar, with our mixed essence make A conflict of its elements, and breathe
JOHN HOWARD PAYNE
LUCIUS JUNIUS BRUTUS OVER THE BODY OF LUCRETIA
Brutus — Thus, thus, my friends, fast as our breaking hearts
Permitted utterance, we have told our story;
Ask ye what brings me here? Behold this dagger,
By youthful fancy when the blood strays wild,
The breath of degradation and of pride.
-From Manfred," Act I., Scene 2.
RIENZI'S LAST APPEAL
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
That beauteous flower,- that innocent sweet rose,
Say, would ye seek instruction? Would ye ask
EDWARD GEORGE EARLE LYTTON BULWER, LORD LYTTON
The gods themselves,- shall justify the cry,
-From Brutus, A Tragedy." 1818.
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.
SERGEANT BUZFUZ, IN PICKWICK »
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
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
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