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thou must needs choose thy party in the war
which is now kindling 'twixt thy friend and him
who is thy Emperor.

War! is that the name?

War is as frightful as heaven's pestilence.
Yet it is good, is it heaven's will as that is.
Is that a good war, which against the Emperor
thou wagest with the Emperor's own army?
O God of heaven! what a change is this.
Beseems it me to offer such persuasion
to thee, who like the fix'd star of the pole
wert all I gazed at on life's trackless ocean?
O! what a rent thou makest in my heart!
the ingrain'd instinct of old reverence,
the holy habit of obediency,

must I pluck live asunder from thy name?

S. T. COLERIDGE from Schiller



H. NAY, then I cannot blame his cousin king,

that wished him on the barren mountain starve. But shall it be that you,-that set the crown upon the head of this forgetful man,

and for his sake wear the detested blot

of murderous subornation,-shall it be

that you a world of curses undergo,

being the agents, or base second means,
the cords, the ladder, or the hangman rather?

W. Peace, cousin, say no more:

and now I will unclasp a secret book,
and to your quick-conceiving discontents
I'll read you matter deep and dangerous;
as full of peril and adventurous spirit
as to o'erwalk a current roaring loud
on the unstedfast footing of a spear.

H. If he fall in, good night :-or sink or swim:
send danger from the east unto the west,

so honour cross it from the north to south,
and let them grapple :-0, the blood more stirs
to rouse a lion, than to start a hare!





TILL in his sullen mood? no intermission

This melancholy fit?

Tim. It rather, madam,

increases than grows less.

Pul. Did he take

no rest, as you could guess?

Chr. Not any, madam.


Like a Numidian lion, by the cunning
of the desperate huntsman taken in a toil
and forced into a spacious cage, he walks
about his chamber; we might hear him gnash
his teeth in rage, which open'd, hollow groans
and murmurs issued from his lips, like winds
imprison'd in the caverns of the earth
striving for liberty; and sometimes throwing
his body on his bed, then on the ground,
and with such violence, that we more than fear'd,
and still do, if the tempest of his passions
by your wisdom be not laid, he will commit
some outrage on himself.




HAT powerful star shined at this man's nati-

and blessed his homely cradle with full glory?
What throngs of people press and buzz about him,
and with their humming flatteries sing him Cæsar!
sing him aloud, and grow hoarse with saluting him!
How the fierce-minded soldier steals in to him!
Carinus sues, the emperor entreats him,

all eyes live on him. Yet I am still Maximinian,
still the same poor and wretched thing, his servant.
What I have got by this? I have gone as far

to woo this purblind honour, and have passed

as many dangerous expeditions,

as noble and as high: nay, in his destiny,

have done as much, swet thorough as many perils, only the hangman of Volusius Aper,

which I mistook, has made him emperor

and me his slave. Can the gods see this,

F. S.



see it with justice, and confer their blessings
on him that never flung one grain of incense
upon their altars? never bowed his knee yet?






DO believe you innocent, a good man,

and Heaven forgive that naughty thing that wrong'd

Why look ye wild, my friends? why stare ye on me?
I charge ye, as ye are men, my men, my lovers,
as ye are honest faithful men, fair soldiers,
let down your anger! Is not this our sovereign?
the head of mercy and of law? who dares, then,
but rebels scorning law, appear thus violent?
is this a place for swords, for threatening fires?
the reverence of this house dares any touch,
but with obedient knees and pious duties?
are we not all his subjects, all sworn to him?
has not he power to punish our offences,

and do not we daily fall into 'em? Assure your-

I did offend, and highly, grievously;

this good sweet prince I offended, my life forfeited,
which yet his mercy and his old love met with,
and only let me feel his light rod this way:

ye are to thank him for your general,

pray for his life and fortune, sweat your bloods for



would I not, so would Eteocles.


Cre. He cruel was, you fond to hold his hestes.










Is then a fault to doe a king's command?
When his commaund is cruel and unjust.
Is it unjust that he unburied be?

He not deserved so cruel punishment.
He was his country's cruel enemie.

Or else was he that held him from his right.
Bare he not armes against his native land?
Offendeth he that seekes to winne his owne?

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In spite of thee he shal unburyed be.

In spite of thee these hands shall bury him.
And with him eke then will I bury thee.
So grant the gods I get none other grave
then with my Polynices dear to rest.
Go, Sirs, lay hold on her and take her in.
I will not leave this corps unburyed.

Canst thou undoe the thing that is decreed!
A wicked foule decree to wrong the dead.
The ground ne shall ne ought to cover him.
Creon, yet I beseech thee for thy love.
thy prayers not prevayle.

Away, I say,






HIS is no answer, thou unfeeling man, to excuse the current of thy cruelty. Shy. I am not bound to please thee with my answer. Bass. Do all men kill the things they do not love? Shy. Hates any man the thing he would not kill? Bass. Every offence is not a hate at first.

Shy. What, would'st thou have a serpent sting thee twice? Ant. I pray you, think you question with the Jew:


you may as well go stand upon the beach,
and bid the main flood bate his usual height;
you may as well use question with the wolf,
why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
you may as well forbid the mountain pines
to wag their high tops, and to make no noise,
when they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
you may as well do any thing most hard,

as seek to soften that (than which what's harder?)
his Jewish heart:-therefore, I do beseech you,
make no more offers, use no further means,
but, with all brief and plain conveniency,
let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.



HE who by the card

Η o' th' world's opinion steers his course shall


in no safe port. But to your ear, my lord,
I give this free account. Seven winters past,
when I set sail from Sicily, a storm

o'ertook the ship so powerful that the pilot
gave up the stern to th' ordering of the waves;
his art and hand grown useless: those kind stars,
the sailors used t'invoke, were lost i' th' tempest,
and nothing but a night not to be seen

was seen by us. When every one began

t' advance himself toward death, as men condemn'd
to th' axe, when hope of pardon is shut out;

I, spite o' th' envious cloud, look'd up to heaven,
and darted my faith thither, vowing to
forsake the flatter'd pomp and business of
the faithless world, if I with safety might
attain the land.

O' the sudden, night forsook us, and the loud
unruly winds fled to their unknown dwellings;
when a soft breath 'gan whisper to our sails,
a calm was to ensue.

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despised, and thought extinguished quite,

with inward eyes illuminated,

his fiery virtue roused

from under ashes into sudden flame;

and as an evening dragon came,

assailant on the perched roosts,

and nests in order ranged

of tame villatic fowl, but as an eagle

his cloudless thunder bolted on their heads.

So Virtue, given for lost,

depressed and overthrown, as seemed,

like that self-begotten bird,

in the Arabian woods embost,

that no second knows nor third,

and lay erewhile a holocaust,

from out her ashy womb now teemed,
revives, reflourishes, then vigorous most
when most unactive deemed;

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