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it on this little altar. Every morning will I surround it with a garland of the freshest flowers, and when winter shall despoil our gardens, I will adorn it with a branch of myrtle. O may you, charming doves, may you be the happy omen of my
future bliss. But, alas! in spite of all my cares, the nose
fades. Dejected and colourless the flowers hang their heads around the cup; no longer they exhale perfunies, but their drooping leaves fall off. O Love, grant that the fate of these flowers may not prove a direful presage to my tender passion.
DAMETUS AND MILON.
See that ram, DAMETUS ; how he plunges in the bog, and how the sheep follow him. This mud produces nought but unwholesome weeds, and these waters swarm with noxious insects. Come, let us drive our flocks from hence.
Milon. How stupid are these animals ! Here is trefoil, thyme, and lavender : all these shrubs are encircled by the ivy; and yet they quit this pasture for the weeds of an infectious bog. But, DAMETUS, are we always more wise than they? Do we never leave the good to follow evil ?
DAMETUS. Whither will their stupidity drive them? Among these reeds, the frogs leap about them. Stupid, as you are, leave that bog, and come back to these verdant banks. In what a plight they are! and but now their wool was all so white !
Milon. So, here you are at last: leave no more these flowery downs. But tell me, DAMETUS, what is that I see ? Marble columns thrown down amid the mire, and surrounded by rank weeds and rushes. Behold that mouldering arch; it is buried in the ivy, and, from its crevices shoot forth the bramble and the thorn.
DAMETUS. It has been a monument.
Milon. I see it has, DAMETUS. See, here is an urn sunk in the mire; all its side appears to be ornamented with figures; terrible warriors, and fiery steeds, trampling under their feet men extended in the dust. He that wish'd to have his ashes cover'd with such direful images, was certainly no shepherd. The man, whose proud mausoleum has been thus suffer'd to tumble into ruins, was surely no friend to these villages. Posterity pays to his memory but small regard, and but fei flowers are strew'd around his tomb.
DAMETUS. His tomb! He was a monster! He laid waste these fertile plains, and of free-born men made slaves. The horses of his warriors trampled under foot the husbandman's fair hopes; and, with the dead bodies of our ancestors, he strew'd the desolated fields. As ravenous wolves rush on the timid flocks, so his armed squadrons bore down upon the peaceful sons of men, who never had of
fended him. Founding his grandeur on the enormity of his crimes, he display'd his pride in marble palaces, and gorged the blood of the provinces his barbarity had ravag'd. 'Twas himself that rais'd this pompous monument to his brutal fury.
Milon. What a hateful monster! But I admire his frenzy. It was to his crimes he erected this monument, that our latest posterity might not be ignorant of them, and that they might never forget, when they pass'd this way, to curse his memory; and now, behold his tomb thrown down, his ashes mix'd with the mud, and the urn that contain'd them fill'd with slime and venomous reptiles. Who can see, without a smile mix'd with horror and pity, the frog seated on the helmet of the hero, and the snail crawl unconcern'd along his dreadful sword!
DAMETUS. What now remains of all his fatal grandeur ? What, but the foul remembrance of his heinous deeds; while his mournful shade is consign'd to the torments of avenging furies.
Milon. None, no not one, will deign to offer up for him a single prayer. Immortal gods ! how wretched is the man whose days are stain'd by crimes! Even after he exists, his memory is held in execration. No, though I were offer'd all the riches of the earth to commit a crime, I would rather have two goats, and enjoy my peace of mind: and of them I would yet sacrifice one to the gods, as a grateful offering for my happiness,
Dametus. This place presents nothing but hideous images. Come with me, MILON; I will show thee a more glorious monument, that of an honest man-of my father. It was rais’d by his own hands. In the meantime, ALEXIS, thou wilt guard our flocks.
Milon. I will gladly go with thee to celebrate the memory of thy father. His rectitude is still revered, even in the most distant villages.
DAMETUS. Come on, my friend ; let us take the path that goes across the meadow. We shall pass by the god TERMINUS, crown'd with hopleaves, and the fruitful vine.
They went thither. On the right hand of the path lay a mead, whose grass rose to the waist : on the left, a field of corn, whose ears wav'd o'er their heads. The path led them to the peaceful shade of the most beautiful fruit-trees, which surrounded a spacious and pleasant cottage. DAMETUS placed a table under one of the most spreading trees, and on it set a basket of fresh-gathered fruit, and a pitcher fill’d with new-made wine.
Milon. Tell me, DAMETUS, where is the monument consecrated to thy father's memory? that I may pour the first cup of this wine to the manes of that virtuous man !
DAMETUS. Behold it here, my friend. Pour it under this peaceful shade. All that you see is the monument of his virtue. This country was a waste: it was his labour that fertilized these fields; his hands planted these fruitful trees. We, his children, and our latest posterity, shall bless his ashes; and they who partake with us the fruits of his labours, will, with us, bless his memory. The prosperity of the upright man remains upon our fields, our tranquil roofs, and us.
Milon. Just and beneficent man! Let this cup of wine, I here pour forth, be offer'd to thy memory! To leave a virtuous family in abundance, and to do good, even after our decease, can there be a monument more respectable, and more dear to humanity?
IRIS AND EGLA.
The air continues burning hot, though the sun already inclines toward the horizon. All the plants still languish. Come, iris, let us go down to the side of the river. The little silver waves play against the bank, and those bowers offer us the most refreshing shelter.
IRIS. Go on, EGLA; I will follow thee. Go a little before ; the boughs beat in my
face. EGLA. How transparent are these waters! one may see the smallest pebble at the bottom! How