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I had as lief not be, as live to be
In awe of such a thing as myself.
I was born free as Cæsar; so were you ;
We have both fed as well; and we can both
Endure the winter's cold as well as he.
For, once, upon a raw and gusty day,
The troubled Tiber, chafing with its shores,
Cæsar says to me,—“Darest thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point ?”—Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,
And bade him follow ; so indeed he did.
The torrent roared, and we did buffet it;
With lusty sinews throwing it aside,
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried,—“Help me, Cassius, or I sink.”
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber,
Did I the tired Cæsar; and this man
Is now become a god; and Cassius is
A wretched creature, and must bend his body
If Cæsar carelessly but nod on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake : 'tis true this god did shake;
His coward lips did from their color fly;
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose its lustre ; I did hear him groan,
Aye, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans
Mark him, and write his speeches in their books,
“ Alas!" it cried—“Give me some drink, Titinius”–
As a sick girl.
Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.
Brutus and Cæsar!—What should be in that Cæsar?
Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together : yours is as fair a name;
Sound them: it doth become the mouth as well ;
Weigh them: it is as heavy; conjure with 'em :
Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now in the name of all the gods at once,
Upon what meats doth this our Cæsar feed,
That he hath grown so great ? Age, thou art shamed;
Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods.
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was famed with more than with one man?
When could they say,
that talked of Rome,
That her wide walls encompassed but one man?
Oh! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once, that would have brooked
The infernal devil, to keep his seat in Rome,
As easily as a king.
Our fathers crossed the ocean's wave
To seek this shore;
They left behind the coward slave
To welter in his living grave -
With hearts unbent, and spirits brave,
They sternly bore
Such toils as meaner souls had quelled;
But souls like these, such toils impelled
Hail to the morn, when first they stood
On Bunker's height,
And, fearless stemmed the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mowed in ranks the hireling brood,
In desperate fight!
Oh! 'twas a proud, exulting day,
For even our fallen fortunes lay
There is no other land like thee,
No dearer shore;
Thou art the shelter of the free;
The home, the port of liberty
Thou hast been, and shalt ever be,
Till time is o'er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son
Thou art the firm unshaken rock,
On which we rest;
And, rising from thy hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant's frown shall mock,
And slavery's galling chains unlock,
And free the oppressed :
All, who the wreath of freedom twine,
Beneath the shadow of their vine
We love thy rude and rocky shore,
And here we stand
Let foreign navies hasten o'er,
And on our heads their fury pour,
And peal their cannon's loudest roar,
And storm our land :
They still shall find, our lives are given
To die for home ;-and leant on heaven
MOLOCH'S ORATION FOR WAR.—Milton.
My sentence is for open war: of wiles, More unexpert, I boast not; them let those Contrive who need; or when they need; not now For while they sit contriving, shall the rest, Millions that stand in arms, and longing wait The signal to ascend, sit lingering here Heaven's fugitives, and for their dwelling-place Accept this dark opprobrious den of shame, The prison of his tyranny who reigns By our delay! No, let us rather choose, Armed with hell-flames and fury, all at once
O’er heaven's high towers to force resistless way,
Turning our tortures into horrid arms
Against the torturer; when to meet the noise
Of his almighty engine he shall hear
Infernal thunder; and, for lightning, see
Black fire and horror shot with equal rage
Among his angels : and his throne itself
Mixed with Tartarean sulphur, and strange fire,
His own invented torments.-But perhaps
The way seems difficult, and steep to scale
With upright wing against a higher foe.
Let such bethink them, if the sleepy drench
Of that forgetful lake benumb not still,
That in our proper motion we ascend
Up to our native seat: descent and fall
To us is adverse. Who but felt of late
When the fierce foe hung on our broken rear
Insulting, and pursued us through the deep,
With what compulsion and laborious fight
We sunk thus low !-The ascent is easy
then :The event is feared :-should we again provoke Our stronger, some worse way his wrath may
To our destruction; if there be in hell
Fear to be worse destroyed.—What can be worse
Than to dwell here, driven out from bliss, condemned
In this abhorred deep to utter wo;
Where pain of unextinguishable fire
Must exercise us without hope of end,
The vassals of his anger, when the scourge
Inexorable, and the torturing hour
Call us to penance ?-More destroyed than thus,
We should be quite abolished, and expire.
What fear we then ?-What doubt we to incense
His utmost ire! which to his height enraged,
Will either quite consume us and reduce
To nothing this essential ; happier far,
Than miserable to have eternal being;
Or if our substance be indeed divine,
And cannot cease to be, we are, at worst,
On this side nothing; and by proof we feel
Our power sufficient to disturb his heaven,
And with perpetual inroad to alarm,
Though inaccessible, his fatal throne;
Which if not victory, is yet revenge.
REGULUS BEFORE THE ROMAN SENATE.— Jewsbury.
Thou here !--and have not prison gloom,
And taunting foes, and threatened doom,
Obscured thy courage yet?“
Oh joy for earth! thus to behold
One spirit of such glorious mold;
One sun that cannot set,-
Though storms beat round it in their might,
And sorrow flings her blackest night.
Thy power is past, thy sword hath rust,
Thine outward honor in the dust,
Nor chief, nor ruler thou!
The fetter's mark is on thy limb—
Thine hair is gray—thine eye is dim-
And on thy pallid brow,
Those records of soul-strife are set,
That none may gaze on, and forget.
Thou lion chained thou eagle blind!
Though last I saw thee unconfined
In grandeur and in might,
One empire wreath thy victor crown,
Another, tremble at thy frown,-
Less glorious far that sight,
Than thus to view thee standing now,
Chief of the stern and stricken brow!
The mighty ones of Rome are met,
Her senate sages round thee set,
(Each worthy of a throne)
Yet mean, compared with thine, their state;
They, but dispose of others' fate,
Thou, patriot—of thine own;
For them, the world may guerdon be, -
Thine, thine, is immortality!
But holier things than life or power
Surround thee in this awful hour ;
Still warrior art thou strong ?
That suppliant—'tis thy wife that bends,
Those tears--they flow from faithful friends,
Thy children round thee throngi