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Arch. Young man, you are disposed to flatter; but tell me, which parts of it did you think most strikingly beautiful.
Gil B. If, where all was excellent, any parts were par. ticularly so, I should say they were the personification of hope, and the description of a good man's death.
Arch. I see you have a delicate knowledge of the truly beautiful. This is what I call having taste and sentiment. Gil Blas, henceforth give thyself no uneasiness about thy fortune, I will take care of that. I love thee, and as a proof of my affection, I will make thee my confidant: yes, my child, thou shalt be the repository of my most secret thoughts. Listen with attention to what I am going to say. My chief pleasure consists in preaching, and the Lord gives a blessing to my homilies; but I confess my weakness. The honor of being thought a perfect orator has charmed my imagination; my performances are thought equally nervous and delicate ; but I would of all things avoid the fault of good authors, who write too long. Wherefore, my dear Gil Blas, one thing that I exact of thy zeal, is, whenever thou shalt perceive my pen smack of old age, and my genius flag, don't fail to advertise me of it, for I don't trust to my own judgment, which
may be seduced by self-love. That observation must proceed from a disinterested understanding, and I make choice of thine, which I know is good, and am resolved to stand by thy decision.
Gil B. Thank heaven, Sir, that time is far off. Besides, a genius like that of your grace, will preserve its vigor much better than any other, or, to speak more justly, will be always the same. I look upon you as another Cardinal Ximines, whose superior genius, instead of being weakened, seemed to acquire new strength by age.
Arch. No flattery, friend, I know I am liable to sink all at once. People at my age begin to feel infirmities, and the infirmities of the body often affect the understanding. I repeat it to thee again, Gil Blas, as soon as thou shalt judge mine in the least impaired, be sure to give me notice. And be not afraid of speaking freely and sincerely, for I shall receive thy advice as a mark of thy affection.
Gil B. Your grace may always depend upon my fidelity.
Arch. I know thy sincerity, Gil Blas; and now tell me plainly, hast thou not heard the people make some remarks upon my late homilies? Gil B. Your homilies have always been admired, but it seems to me that the lăst did not appear to have had so powerful an effect upon the audience as former ones.
Arch: How, Sir, has it met with any Aristarchus ?*
Gil B. No, Sir, by no means, such works as yours are not to be criticised; every body is charmed with them. Nevertheless, since you have laid your injunctions upon me to be free and sincere, I will take the liberty to tell you that your last discourse, in my judgment, has not altogether the energy of your other performances. Did you not think so, Sir, yourself?
Arch. So, then, Mr. Gil Blas, this piece is not to your taste?
Gil B. I don't say so Sir, I think it excellent, although a little inferior to your other works.
Arch. I understand you ; you think I flag, don't you ? Come, be plain ; you believe it is time for me to think of retiring.
Gil B. I should not have been so bold as to speak so freely, if your grace had not commanded me; I do no more, therefore, than obey you; and I most humbly beg that you will not be offended at my freedom.
Arch. God forbid ! God forbid that I should find fault with it. I don't at all take it ill that you should speak your sentiments, it is your sentiment itself, only, that I find bad. I have been most egregiously deceived in your narrow un. derstanding:
Gil B. Your grace will pardon me for obeying Arch. Say no more, my child, you are yet too_raw to distinctions. Be it known to you,
I composed a better homily, than that which you disapprove; for, my genius, thank_heaven, hath, as yet, lost nothing of its vigor: henceforth I will make a better choice of a confidant. Go! go, Mr. Gil Blas, and tell my treasurer to give you a hundred ducats,t and may heaven conduct you with that sum. Adieu, Mr. Gil Blas! I wish you all manner of prosperity, with a little more taste.
Dialogie :-ALEXANDER the Great, and a ROBBER.-Dr. AIKIN.
Alexander. What, art thou the Thracian robber, of whose exploits I have heard so much?
* Aristarchus was a celebrated grammarian of Samos. He was famous fo: his critical powers; and he revised the poems of Homer with such severity, that, ever after, all severe critics were called Aristarchi.
+ Pron. důk'-its.
Robber. I am a Thracian, and a soldier.
Alex. A soldier !a thief, a plunderer, an assassin! the pest of the country; I could honor thy courage, but I must detest and punish thy crimes.
Robber. What have I done, of which you can complain?
Alex. Hast thou not set at defiance my authority ; violated the public peace, and păssed thy life in injuring the persons and properties of thy fellow-subjects ?
Robber. Alexander ! I am your captive-I must hear what you please to say, and endure what you please to inflict. But my soul is unconquered ; and if I reply at all to your reproaches, I will reply like a free man.
Alex. Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the advăntage of my power, to silence those with whom I deign
Robber. I must then answer your question by another. How have you passed your life?
Alex. Like a hero. Ask Fame, and she will tell you. Among the brave, I have been the bravest : among sovereigns, the noblest : among conquerors, the mightiest.
Robber. And does not Fame speak of me too? Was there ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band? Was there ever—but I scorn to boast. You yourself know that I have not been easily subdued.
Alex. Still, what are you but a robber-a base, dishonest robber?
Robber. And what is a conqueror ? Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blăsting the fair fruits of peace and industry; plundering, ravaging, killing, without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion? All that I have done to a single district with a hundred followers, you have done to whole nations with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, you have ruined kings and princes. If I have burned a few hamlets, you have desolated the most flourishing kingdoms and cities of the earth. What is, then, the difference, but that as you were born a king, and I a private man, you have been able to become a mightier robber than I ?
Alex. But if I have taken like a king, I have given like a king. If I have subverted empires, I have founded greater. I have cherished arts, commerce, and philosophy.
Robber. I, too, have freely given to the poor what I took from the rich. I have established order and discipline among the most ferocious of mankind, and have stretched out my protecting arm over the oppressed. I know, indeed, little of the philosophy you talk of, but I believe neither you nor I shall ever atone to the world for half the mischief we have done it.
Alex. Leave me. Take off his chains, and use him well. Are we then so much alike? Alexander like a robber? Let me reflect.
Lines written in 1821 ; on hearing that the Austrians had en
tered Naples-with scarcely a show of resistance on the part of the Neapolitans, who had declared their independence, and
pledged themselves to maintain it.—MOORE. Av, down to the dust with them, slaves as they are !
From this hour let the blood in their dăstardly veins, That shrunk from the first touch of Liberty's war,
Be sucked out by tyrants, or stagnate in chains ! On-on, like a cloud, through their beautiful vales,
Ye locusts of tyranny !blăsting them o'er : Fill-fill
up their wide, sunny waters, ye sails, From each slave-mart in Europe, and poison their shore. May their fate be a mock-word-may men of all lands
Laugh out with a scorn that shall ring to the poles, When each sword, that the cowards let fall from their hands,
Shall be forged into fetters to enter their souls ! And deep, and more deep, as the iron is driven,
Base slaves ! may the whet of their agony be, To think-as the damned haply think of the heaven They had once in their reach,—that they might have
been free. Shame! shame! when there was not a bosom, whose heat
Ever rose o'er the zero of Castlereagh's heart, That did not, like Echo, your war-hymn repeat,
And send back its prayers with your Liberty's start! ... When the world stood in hope—when a spirit that breathed
Full fresh of the olden time whispered about, And the swords of all Italy, half-way unsheathed,
But waited one conquering word to flash out !
When around you the shades of your mighty in fame,
Filicaias and Petrarchs seemed bursting to view, And their words and their warnings,-like tongues of bright
Worth ages of history-when, had you but hurled
You should falter-should cling to your pitiful breath, Cower down into beasts, when you might have stood men,
And prefer a slave's life, to a glorious death !
Through your dungeons and palaces, " Freedom is o'er? If there lingers one spark of her fire, tread it out,
And return to your empire of darkness once more. For if such are the braggarts that claim to be free,
Come, Despot of Russia, thy feet let me kiss :Far nobler to live the brute bondman of thee,
Than sully even chains by a struggle like this.
Soliloquy of Macbeth, when going to murder Duncan, king of
Is this a dagger, which I see before me, The handle toward my hand ? Come, let me clutch thee:I have thee not; and
see thee still.