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REV. JOHN HOME'S "DOUGLAS."
So-Lady Randolph shuns me; by-and-by,
I'll woo her as the lion woos his bride.
The deed's a doing now, that makes me lord
Of these rich valleys, and a chief of power.
The season is most apt; my sounding steps
Will not be heard amidst the din of arms.
Randolph has lived too long; his better fate
Had the ascendance once, and kept me down :
When I had seized the dame, by chance he came,
Rescued, and had the lady for his labour :
I 'scaped unknown: a slender consolation!
Heaven is my witness that I do not love
To sow in peril, and let others reap
The jocund harvest. Yet, I am not safe;
By love, or something like it, stung, inflamed,
Madly I blabbed my passion to his wife,
And she has threatened to acquaint him of it.
The way of woman's will I do not know :
But well I know the Baron's wrath is deadly.
I will not live in fear: the man I dread
Is as a Dane to me: ay, and the man
Who stands betwixt me and my chief desire.
No bar but he she has no kinsman near;
No brother in his sister's quarrels bold
And for the righteous cause, a stranger's cause,
I know no chief that will defy Glenalvon.
CHILD that I was, to start at my own shadow,
And be the shallow fool of coward conscience!
I am not what I have been; what I should be.
The darts of destiny have almost pierced
My marble heart. Had I one grain of faith
In holy legends, and religious tales,
I should conclude there was an arm above
That fought against me, and malignant turned,
To catch myself the subtle snare I set.
The intended murder introduced
A favourite to hide the sun from me;
And worst of all, a rival. Burning hell!
This were thy centre, if I thought she loved him! "Tis certain she contemns me; nay, commands me, And waves the flag of her displeasure o'er me,
And shall I thus be braved? Curbed, as she calls it, by Dame Chastity? Infernal fiends, if any fiends there be More fierce than love, ambition, and revenge, Rise up and fill my bosom with your fires! Darkly a project peers upon my mind, Like the red moon when rising in the east, Crossed and divided by strange-coloured clouds. I'll seek the slave who came with Norval hither, And for his cowardice was spurned from him. I've known a follower's rankled bosom breed Venom most fatal to his heedless lord.
AMEN! and virtue is its own reward!-
I think that I have hit the
In which she loves to speak. Honeyed assent,
How pleasing art thou to the taste of man,
And women also; flattery direct
Rarely disgusts. They little know mankind
Who doubt its operation; 'tis my key,
And opes the wicket of the human heart.
How far I have succeeded now, I know not.
Yet I incline to think her stormy virtue
Is lulled awhile: 'tis her alone I fear:
Whilst she and Randolph live, and live in faith
And amity, uncertain is my tenure.
That slave of Norval's I have found most apt:
I shewed him gold, and he has pawned his soul
To say and swear whatever I suggest.
Norval, I'm told, has that alluring look,
'Twixt man and woman, which I have observed
To charm the nicer and fantastic dames,
Who are, like Lady Randolph, full of virtue.
In raising Randolph's jealousy I may
But point him to the truth. He seldom errs,
Who thinks the worst he can of womankind.
SOLILOQUY OF BRUTUS ON CESAR
SHAKESPEARE'S "JULIUS CÆSAR."
It must be by his death: and, for my part,
I know no personal cause to spurn at him,
But for the general. He would be crowned :-
How that might change his nature, there's the question.
It is the bright day that brings forth the adder;
And that craves wary walking. Crown him?-That;-
And then, I grant, we put a sting in him,
That at his will he may do danger with.
The abuse of greatness is when it disjoins
Remorse from power: And, to speak truth of Cæsar,
I have not known when his affections swayed
More than his reason. But 't is a common proof
That lowliness is young ambition's ladder,
Whereto the climber-upward turns his face:
But when he once attains the upmost round,
He then unto the ladder turns his back,
Looks in the clouds, scorning the base degrees
By which he did ascend: So Cæsar may:
Then, lest he may, prevent. And, since the quarrel
Will bear no colour for the thing he is,
Fashion it thus; that what he is, augmented,
Would run to these, and these extremities;
And therefore think him as a serpent's egg,
Which, hatched, would, as his kind, grow mischievous;
And kill him in the shell
MACBETH'S SOLILOQUY ON
MURDER OF DUNCAN.
If it were done, when 'tis done, then 'twere well
It were done quickly: If the assassination
Could trammel up the consequence, and catch,
With his surcease, success; that but this blow
Might be the be-all and the end-all here,
But here, upon this bank and shoal of time,
We'd jump the life to come.
But in these cases,
We still have judgment here; that we but teach
Bloody instructions, which, being taught, return
To plague the inventor. This even-handed justice
Commends the ingredients of our poisoned chalice
To our own lips. He's here in double trust:
First, as I am his kinsman and his subject,
Strong both against the deed; then, as his host,
Who should against his murderer shut the door,
Not bear the knife myself. Besides, this Duncan
Hath borne his faculties so meek, hath been
So clear in his great office, that his virtues
Will plead like angels, trumpet-tongued, against
The deep damnation of his taking-off:
And pity, like a naked new-born babe,
Striding the blast, or heaven's cherubim, horsed
Upon the sightless couriers of the air,
Shall blow the horrid deed in every eye,
That tears shall drown the wind.-I have no spur
To prick the sides of my intent, but only
Vaulting ambition, which o'erleaps itself,
And falls on the other.
Go bid thy mistress, when my drink is ready,
She strike upon the bell. Get thee to bed.
Is this a dagger which I see before me,
The handle toward my hand? Come, let me clutch
I have thee not, and yet I see thee still.
Art thou not, fatal vision, sensible
To feeling as to sight? or art thou but
A dagger of the mind; a false creation,
Proceeding from the heat-oppressed brain?
I see thee yet, in form as palpable
As this which now I draw.
Thou marshall'st me the way that I was going;
And such an instrument I was to use.
Mine eyes are made the fools o' the other senses,
Or else worth all the rest. I see thee still;
And on thy blade and dudgeon gouts of blood,
Which was not so before.-There's no such thing.
It is the bloody business which informs
Thus to mine eyes.-Now o'er the one half world
Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse
The curtained sleep: witchcraft celebrates