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Æp. Laias alone; no errand mine for crowds.
Mer. On what relying, to crush such a foe?
Ep. One sudden stroke, and the Messenians' love.

M. ARNOLD

1095 THOMAS PERCY, EARL OF WORCESTER TO

RICHARD VERNON

I in loving us;

T is not possible, it cannot be,

he will suspect us still, and find a time
to punish this offence in other faults:
suspicion shall be all stuck full of eyes:
for treason is but trusted like the fox;
who, ne'er so tame, so cherished and locked up,
will have a wild trick of his ancestors.
Look how we can, or sad or merrily,
interpretation will misquote our looks;
and we shall feed like oxen at a stall,
the better cherished still the nearer death.

W. SHAKESPEARE

1096 CALANTHA BEFORE THE DEAD BODY OF ITHOCLES

FOR
FORGIVE me:-now I turn to thee, thou shadow

of my contracted lord: bear witness all,
I put my mother's wedding-ring upon
his finger; 'twas my father's last bequest.
Thus I new marry him, whose wife I am;
death shall not separate us. O, my lords,
I but deceived your eyes with antick gesture
when one news straight came huddling on another,
of death and death and death, still I danced for-

ward; but it struck home, and here, and in an instant. Be such mere women, who with shrieks and outcries can vow a present end to all their sorrows: yet live to court new pleasures, and outlive them. They are the silent griefs which cut the heart

strings;

let me die smiling. Near. 'Tis a truth too ominous.

Cal. One kiss on these cold lips; my last ! crack, crackArgos now's Sparta's king.

J. FORD

1097

CALENDARO A CONSPIRATOR-BERTUCCIO

CHIEF OF THE ARSENAL

Cal.

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UT if we fail — Bert. They never fail who die

in a great cause: the block may soak their gore; their heads may sodden in the sun; their limbs be strung to city gates and castle wallsbut still their spirit walks abroad. Though years elapse and others share as dark a doom, they but augment the deep and sweeping thoughts which overpower all others and conduct the world at last to freedom: What were we if Brutus had not lived ? He died in giving Rome liberty, but left a deathless lessona name which is a virtue, and a soul which multiplies itself throughout all time, when wicked men wax mighty, and a state turns servile; he and his high friend were styled, “The last of Romans!' Let us be the first of true Venetians, sprung from Roman sires.

LORD BYRON

1098 DONNA ISABELLA ON DISCOVERING THE BODY

OF HER MURDERED SON DON MANUEL

YE
E terror-stricken witnesses, that feed

your gaze upon my anguish, learn to know
how warning visions cheat, and boding sneers
but mock our hopes. When in my teeming womb
this daughter lay, her father in a dream
saw from his nuptial couch two laurels grow,
and in the midst a lily all in flames,
that catching swift the boughs and knotted stems
burst forth with crackling rage, and o'er the house
spread in one mighty sea of fire. Perplexed
by this terrific dream, my husband sought
the counsels of the mystic art and thus
pronounced the sage-- If I a daughter bore,

the murderess of his sons, the destined spring
of ruin to our house, the baleful child
should see the light.' For this her father spoke
the dire behest of death. I rescued her,
the innocent, the doomed one: from my arms
the babe was torn: to stay the curse of heaven,
and save my sons, the mother gave her child.

A. SWANWICK from Schiller

1099

BEATRICE-DON CÆSAR-CHORUS

B.
MY

Y brother! D. C. Sister, are thy tears for me? B.

Live for our mother! D. C. For our mother?

B. Live
for her and for thy sister! Cho. She has won:
resistless are her prayers. Despairing mother,
awake to hope again-his choice is made:

thy son shall live. D. C. (to his brother's coffin) I will not rob thee, brother,

the sacrifice is thine ;-Hark, from the tomb,
mightier than mother's tears, or sister's love,
thy voice resistless cries: my arms enfold
a treasure, potent with celestial joys
to deck this earthly sphere, and make a lot
worthy the gods! but shall I live in bliss,
while in the tomb thy sainted innocence
sleeps unavenged? Thou, Ruler of our days
all just, all-wise, let not the world behold
thy partial care! I saw her tears-enough-
they fowed for me! I am content, my brother,

I come! (he stabs himself)
Cho.

In dread amaze I stand, nor know
if I should mourn his fate. One truth revealed
speaks in my heart:—no good supreme is life:
but of all earthly ills the chief is—Guilt!

A. SWANWICK from Schiller

I100 LORD CLIFFORD-EDMUND EARL OF RUTLAND.

Clif. HOW now! is he dead already? Or, is it fear,

! ,

that him ? open

them. Rut. So looks the pent-up lion o'er the wretch

that trembles under his devouring paws:

and so he walks, insulting o'er his prey;
and so he comes to rend his limbs asunder.
Ah, gentle Clifford, kill me with thy sword,
and not with such a cruel threat’ning look.
Sweet Clifford, hear me speak before I die;-
I am too mean a subject for thy wrath,

be thou reveng'd on men, and let me live. Clif. In vain thou speak'st, poor boy; my father's blood

hath stopp'd the passage where thy words should enter. Rut. Then let my father's blood open it again :

he is a man, and, Clifford, cope with him. 1101 Clif. Had I thy brethren here, their lives, and thine,

were not revenge sufficient for me;
no, if I digg'd up thy forefathers' graves,
and hung their rotten coffins up in chains,
it could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart,
The sight of any of the house of York
is as a fury to torment my soul;
and till I root out their accursed line,
and leave not one alive, I live in hell.
Therefore-

[Lifting his hand. Rut. O, let me pray before I take my death:

to thee I pray; Sweet Clifford, pity me!
Clif. Such pity as my rapier's point affords.
Rut. I never did thee harm; Why wilt thou slay me?
Clif. Thy father hath-
Rut. But 'twas ere I was born.

Th hast one son, for his sake pity me;
lest, in revenge thereof,-since God is just,-
he be as miserably slain as I.
Ah, let me live in prison all my days;
and when I give occasion of offence,

then let me die, for now thou hast no cause. Clif. No cause?

Thy father slew my father; therefore, die.

W. SHAKESPEARE

1102

ARCAS SEEING MEROPE WITH THE AXE

UPLIFTED AGAINST ÆPYTUS

Arc. HAT do I see?
Mer.

A murderer at death's door.
Therefore no words!

WHA

Arc.

A murderer? Mer.

And a captive to the dear next-of-kin to him he murdered.

Stand and let vengeance pass! Arc.

Hold, O Queen, hold ! thou know'st not whom thou strik'st... Mer.

I know his crime.
Arc. Unhappy one! thou strik'st-
Mer.

A most just blow.
Arc. No, by the gods, thou slay'st-
Mer.

Stand off!
Arc.

Thy son! Mer. Ah!.........[she lets the axe drop and falls insensible]

ÆPYTUS (awaking) Who are these? What shrill, ear-piercing scream wakes me thus kindly from the perilous sleep wherewith fatigue and youth had bound mine eyes, even in the deadly palace of my foe?

Arcas! Thou here?
Arc.

O my dear master! O
my child, my charge belov’d, welcome to life!

as dead we held thee, mourn'd for thee as dead. 1103 Æp. In word I died, that I in deed might live.

But who are these?
Arc.

Messenian maidens, friends.
Æp. And, Arcas!—but I tremble !
Arc.

Boldly ask.
Ap. That black-robed, swooning figure?...
Arc.

Merope.
Æp. O mother! mother!
Mer.

Who upbraids me? ah!...

[seeing the axe. Æp. Upbraids thee? no one. Mer.

Thou dost well: but take... Æp. What wav'st thou off? Mer.

That murderous axe away!
Æp. Thy son is here.
Mer.

One said so, sure, but now.
Æp. Here, here thou hast him!
Mer.

Slaughter'd by this hand...
Ep. No, by the Gods, alive and like to live!
Mer. What thou?—I dream.-
Ep.

May'st thou dream ever so!

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