Puslapio vaizdai

Upon the hatches. Thence we look'd tow'rd England,
And cited up a thousand heavy times,
During the wars of York and Lancaster,
That had befall'n us. As we pass'd along
Upon the giddy footing of the hatches,
Methought that Glo'ster stumbled, and in falling
Struck me (that sought to stay him) overboard,
Into the tumbling billows of the main.


Lord! Lord! methought, what pain it was to drown! What dreadful noise of waters in my ears! What sights of ugly death within my eyes I thought I saw a thousand fearful wrecks A thousand men, that fishes gnawed upon; Wedges of gold, great anchors, heaps of pearl, Inestimable stones, unvalued jewels; Some lay in dead men's skulls; and in those holes Where eyes did once inhabit, there were crept, As 'twere in scorn of eyes, reflecting gems, That woo'd the slimy bottom of the deep, And mock'd the dead bones that lay scatter'd by.

Brak. Had you such leisure in the time of death,
To gaze upon the secrets of the deep?

Clar. Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To find the empty, vast, and wandering air:
But smother'd it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.


Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony? Clar. No, no; my dream was lengthen'd after life; O then began the tempest to my soul: I pass'd, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger-soul, Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, Who cried aloud-" What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?" And so he vanish'd. Then came wand'ring by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood, and he shriek'd out aloud"Clarence is come; false, fleeting, perjured Clarence. That stabb'd me in the field by Tewksbury! Seize on him, furies! take him to your torments!"' With that, methought, a legion of foul fiends Environ'd me, and howled in mine ears Such hideous cries, that with the very noise I trembling waked; and for a season after Could not believe but that I was in hell; Such terrible impression made my dream.

Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. Ah! Brakenbury, I have done those things
That now give evidence against my soul
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me!
Oh, God! if my deep pray'rs cannot appease thee,
But thou wilt be avenged on my misdeeds,
Yet execute thy wrath on me alone :
O spare my guiltless wife, and my poor children!
I prithee, Brakenbury, stay by me:
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.

Speech of Demosthenes to the Athenians,


[ocr errors]

THIS greatest of ancient orators was born at Athens, about B.C. 380. Although, in consequence of his father's premature death, his education in early life was neglected, while his own health was extremely weak, he became equally great as a politician and an orator, animating the Athenians against their crafty foe, Philip of Macedon. After various vicissitudes, he poisoned himself, B.C. 322, to avoid falling into the hands of Antipater, to whom he had been delivered up by the conquered Athenians.

Athenians! had this assembly been called together on an unusual occasion, I should have waited to hear the opinions of others before I had offered my own; and if what they had proposed had seemed to me judicious, I should have given my reasons from those who had spoken before me. But as the subject of our present deliberations has been often treated by others, I hope I shall be excused, though I rise up first to offer my opinion. Had the schemes formerly proposed been successful, there had been no occasion for the present consultation.


First, then, my countrymen, let me entreat you not to look upon the state of our affairs as desperate, though it be unpromising:

for, as, on one hand, to compare the present with times past, matters have, indeed, a very gloomy aspect; so, on the other, if we extend our views to future times, I have good hopes that the distresses we are now under will prove of greater advantage to us than if we had never fallen into them. If it be asked, what probability there is of this? I answer, I hope it will appear that it is our egregious misbehaviour alone that has brought us into these disadvantageous circumstances: from which follows the necessity of altering our conduct, and the prospect of bettering our circumstances by doing so.

If we had nothing to accuse ourselves of, and yet found our affairs in their present disorderly condition, we should not have room left even for the hope of recovering ourselves. But, my countrymen, it is known to you, partly by your own remembrance, and partly by information from others, how gloriously the Lacedæmonian war was sustained, in which we engaged in defence of our own rights against an enemy powerful and formidable; in the whole conduct of which war, nothing happened unworthy the dignity of the Athenian state; and this within these few years past. My intention, in recalling to your memory this part of our. history, is to show you that you have no reason to fear any enemy, if your operations be wisely planned and vigorously executed.

The enemy has, indeed, gained considerable advantages, by treaty as well as by conquest; for it is to be expected that princes and states will court the alliance of those who seem powerful enough to protect both themselves and their confederates. But, my countrymen, though you have of late been too supinely negligent of what concerned you so nearly, if you will, even now resolve to exert yourselves unanimously, each according to his respective abilities and circumstances, the rich by contributing liberally towards the expense of the war, and the rest by presenting themselves to be enrolled, to make up the deficiencies of the army and navy; if, in short, you will at last resume your own character, and act like yourselves, it is not yet too late, with the help of Heaven, to recover what you have lost, and to inflict the just vengeance on your insolent enemy.

But when will you, my countrymen, when will you rouse from your indolence, and bethink yourselves of what is to be done? When you are forced to it by some fatal disaster? when irresistible necessity drives you? What think ye of the disgraces which are already come upon you? Is not the past sufficient to stimulate your activity, or do ye wait for somewhat yet to come, more forcible and urgent? How long will you amuse yourselves with inquiring of one another after news,* as you ramble idly about the streets? What news so strange ever came to Athens, as that a Macedonian should subdue this state and lord it over Greece? Again, you ask one another, "What, is Philip dead ?"

"For all the Athenians, and strangers which were there, spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell or to hear some new thing."-Acts xvii. 21.

"No," it is answered; "but he is very ill." How foolish this curiosity! What is it to you whether Philip is sick or well? Suppose he were dead, your inactivity would soon raise up against yourselves another Philip in his stead; for it is not his strength that has made him what he is, but your indolence, which has of late been such, that you seem neither in a condition to take any advantage of the enemy, nor to keep it if it were gained by others for you.

Wisdom directs, that the conductors of a war always anticipate the operations of the enemy, instead of waiting to see what steps he shall take; whereas you Athenians, though you be masters of all that is necessary for war-as shipping, cavalry, infantry, and funds, have not the spirit to make the proper use of your advantages, but suffer the enemy to dictate to you every motion you are to make. If you hear that Philip is in the Chersonesus, you order troops to be sent thither; if at Pylæ, forces are to be detached to secure that post. Wherever he makes an attack, there you stand upon your defence; you attend him in all his motions, as soldiers do their general: but you never think of striking out for yourselves any bold and effectual scheme for bringing him to reason, by being beforehand with him. A pitiful manner of carrying on war at any time; but in the critical circumstances you are now in, utterly


Oh, shame to the Athenian name! We undertook this war against Philip in order to obtain redress of grievances, and to force him to indemnify us for the injuries he had done us; and we have conducted it so successfully, that we shall by and by think ourselves happy if we escape being defeated and ruined. For who can think that a prince of his restless and ambitious temper will not improve the opportunities and advantages which our indolence and timidity present him? Will he give over his designs against us, without being obliged to it? And who will oblige him-who will restrain his fury? Shall we wait for assistance from some unknown country? In the name of all that is sacred, and all that is dear to us, let us make an attempt with what forces we can raise; if we should not be able to raise as many as we would wish, let us do somewhat to curb this insolent tyrant of his pursuits. Let us not trifle away the time in hearing the ineffectual wranglings of orators, while the enemy is strengthening himself and we are declining, and our allies growing more and more cold to our interest, and more apprehensive of the consequences of continuing on our side.

[ocr errors]

Dr: Johnson and his Times.

LITTLE need be said to remind the reader of the name of Macaulay, equally great as the orator, the historian of England, as the poet who has brought back the stories of ancient Rome, and the essayist.


Johnson grown old-Johnson in the fulness of his fame and in the enjoyment of a competent fortune is better known to us than any other man in history. Everything about him, his coat, his wig, his figure, his face, his scrofula, his St. Vitus's dance, his rolling walk, his blinking eye, the outward signs which too clearly marked his approbation of his dinner, his insatiable appetite for fish sauce and veal-pie with plums,his inextinguishable thirst for tea, his trick of touching the posts as he walked, his mysterious practice of treasuring up scraps of orange-peel,his morningslumbers, his midnight disputations, his contortions, his mutterings,

his gruntings, his puffings, his vigorous, acute, and ready elo quence, his sarcastic wit, his vehemence, his insolence, his fits of tempestuous rage, his queer inmates, old Mr. Levett and blind Mrs. Williams, the cat Hodge and the negro Frank,-all are as familiar to us as the objects by which we have been surrounded from childhood. But we have no minute information respecting those years of Johnson's life during which his character and his manners became immutably fixed. We know him, not as he was known to the men of his own generation, but as he was known to men whose father he might have been. That celebrated club of which he was the most distinguished member contained few persons who could remember a time when his fame was not fully established, and his habits completely formed... Boswell and Mrs. Thrale, the two writers from whom we derive most of our knowledge respecting him, never saw him till long after he was fifty years old, till most of his great works had become classical, and till the pension bestowed on him by the Crown had placed him above poverty. Of those eminent men who were his most intimate associates, towards the close of his life, the only one, as far as we remember, who knew him during the first ten or twelve years of his residence in the capital, was David

[ocr errors]
« AnkstesnisTęsti »