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Of distant thunder mutters awfully;
Tempest unfolds its pinions o'er the gloom
That shrouds the boiling surge; the pitiless fiend,
With all his winds and lightnings, tracks his prey;
The torn deep yawns—the vessel finds a grave
Beneath its jagged gulf.
Ah! whence yon glare
That fires the arch of heaven 1—that dark red smoke
Bloating the silver moon 1 The stars are quenched
In darkness, and the pure spangling snow
Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round!
Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals
In countless echoes through the mountains ring,
Startling pale Midnight on her starry throne!
Now swells the intermingling din; the jar,
Frequent and frightful, of the bursting bomb;
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout,
The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men
Inebriate with rage !—loud and more loud
The discord grows; till pale Death shuts the scene,
And, o'er the conqueror and the conquered, draws
His cold and bloody shroud. Of all the men
Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,
In proud and vigorous health—of all the hearts
That beat with anxious life at sunset there—
How few survive, how few are beating now!
All is deep silence, like the fearful calm
That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause;
Save when the frantic wail of widowed love
Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan
With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay
Wrapt round its struggling powers.
The grey morn Dawns on the mournful scene ; the sulphurous smoke Before the icy wind slow rolls away, And the bright beams of frosty morning dance Along the spangling snow. There tracks of blood, Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms, And lifeless warriours, whose hard lineaments Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path Of the outsallying victors : far behind Black ashes note where their proud city stood. Within yon forest is a gloomy glen— Each tree which guards its darkness from the day, Waves o'er a warriour's tomb
Portius And Marcus.
Por. The dawn is overcast, the morning lowers,
And heavily in clouds brings on the day,
The great, the important day, big with the fate
Of Cato and of Rome our father's death
Would fill up all the guilt of civil war,
And close the scene of blood. Already Cresar
Has ravaged more than half the globe, and sees
Mankind grown thin by his destructive sword:
Should he go farther, numbers would be wanting
To form new battles, and support his crimes.
Ye gods, what havoc does ambition make
Among your works!
Marc. Thy steady temper, Portius,
Can look on guilt, rebellion, fraud, and Ccesar,
In the calm lights of mild philosophy;
I'm tortured, even to madness, when I think
On the proud victor: every time he's named,
Pharsalia rises to my view ;—I see
The insulting tyrant prancing o'er the field,
Strewed with Rome's citizens, and drenched in slaughter.
His horse's hoofs wet with patrician blood!
Oh, Portius! is there not some chosen curse,
Some hidden thunder in the stores of heaven,
Red with uncommon wrath, to blast the man
Who owes his greatness to his country's ruin 1
Por. Believe me, Marcus, 't is an impious greatness,
And mixed with too much horrour to be envied;
How does the lustre of our father's actions,
Through the dark cloud of ills that cover him,
Break out and burn with more triumphant brightness I
His sufferings shine, and spread a glory round him;
Greatly unfortunate, he fights the cause
Of honour, virtue, liberty, and Rome.
His sword ne'er fell, but on the guilty head;
Oppression, tyranny, and power usurped,
Draw all the vengeance of his arm upon them.
Marc. Who knows not this 1 but what can Cato do
Against a world, a base, degenerate world,
That courts the yoke, and bows the neck to Caesar 1
Pent up in Utica, he vainly forms
A pure epitome of Roman greatness;
And, covered with Numidian guards, directs
A feeble army, and an empty senate,
Remnants of mighty battles fought in vain.
By heaven, such virtues, joined with such success,
Distracts my very soul. Our father's fortune
Would almost tempt us to renounce his precepts.
Por. Remember what our father oft has told us:
The ways of Heaven are dark and intricate,
Puzzled in mazes, and perplext with errours:
Our understanding traces them in vain,
Lost and bewildered in the fruitless search;
Nor sees with how much art the windings run,
Nor where the regular confusion ends.
Hamlet And Hobatio.
Horatio. Hail to your lordship! Hamlet. I am glad to see you well: Horatio—or I do forget myself.
Hor. The same, my lord, and your poor servant ever. Ham. Sir, my good friend; I'll change that name with you.
And what make you from Wittenberg, Horatio t
Hor. A truant disposition, good my lord.
Ham. I would not hear your enemy say so;
Nor shall you do mine ear that violence,
To make it trustier of your own report
Against yourself. I know, you are no truant.
But what is your affair in Elsinore?
We 'll teach you to drink deep, ere you depart.
Hor. My lord, I came to see- your father's funeral.
Ham. I pray thee do not mock me, fellow-student; I think it was to see my mother's wedding.
Hor. Indeed, my lord, it followed hard upon.
Ham. Thrift, thrift, Horatio; the funeral baked meats Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables. Would I hadmet my dearest foe in heaven,. Or ever I had seen that day, Horatio! My father—methinks I see my father
Hot. Where, my lord 1
Ham. In my mind's eye, Horatio.
Hor. I saw him once; he was a goodly king.
Ham. He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again.
Hor. My lord, I think I saw him yesternight.
Ham. Saw! who?
Hor. My lord, the king, your father.
Ham. The king, my father!
Hor. Season your admiration for a while,
With an attent ear ; till I may deliver
This marvel to you.
Ham. For Heaven's love, let me hear.
Hor. Two nights together, had those gentlemen,
Marcellus and Bernardo, on their watch,
In the dead waist and middle of the night,
Been thus encountered : a figure, like your father,
Armed at point exactly, cap-a-pie,
Appears before them, and, with solemn march,
Goes slow and stately by them : thrice he walked
By their oppressed and fear-surprised eyes,
Within his truncheon's length; whilst they, distilled
Almost to jelly with the act of fear,
Stand dumb, and speak not to him. This to me,
In dreadful secrecy, impart they did;
And I with them, the third night, kept the watch:
Where, as they had delivered, both in time,
Form of the thing, each word made true and good,
The apparition comes. I knew your father;
These hands are not more like.
Ham. But where was this1?
Hor. My lord, upon the platform, where we watched.
Ham. Did you not speak to it?
Hor. My lord, I did;
But answer made it none. Yet once, methought,
It lifted up its head, and did address
Itself to motion, like as it would speak:
But, even then, the morning cock crew loud;
And, at the sound, it shrunk in haste away,
And vanished from our sight.
Ham. 'T is very strange.
Hor. As I do live, my honoured lord, 'tis true;
And we did think it writ down in our duty,
To let you know of it.
Ham. Indeed, indeed, Sir, but this troubles me. Hold you the watch to-night?
Hor. We do, my lord.
Ham. Armed, say you?
Hor. Armed, my lord.
Ham. From top to toe?
Hor. My lord, from head to foot.
Ham. Then saw you not his face.
Hor. O, yes, my lord; he wore his beaver up.
Ham. What, looked he frowningly?
Hor. A countenance more In sorrow than in anger.
Ham. Pale, or red?
Hor. Nay, very pale.
Ham. And fixed his eyes upon you?
Hor. Most constantly.
Ham. I would I had been there!
Hor. It would have much amazed you.
Ham. Very like, very like.—Staid it long?
Hor. While one with moderate haste might tell a hundred.
Ham. His beard was grizzled?—no?
Hor. It was, as I have seen it in his life, A sable silvered.
Ham. I will watch to-night; Perchance't will walk again.
Hor. I warrant't will.
Ham. If it assume my noble father's person,
I 'll speak to it, though hell itself should gape,
And bid me hold my peace. I pray you, Sir,
If you have hitherto concealed this sight,
Let it be tenable in your silence still;
And whatsoever else shall hap to-night,
G^ive it an understanding, but no tongue;
I will requite your love: so, fare you well.
Upon the platform, 'twixt eleven and twelve,
I 'll visit you.
EXTRACT FROM CICERO'S ORATION AGAINST CATILINE.
How far wilt thou, O Catiline! abuse our patience? How long shall thy madness outbrave our justice? To what extremities art thou resolved to push thy unbridled insolence