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with humble confidence in the mercy of God; and with devout aspirations towards his eternal and ever-increasing favour."
· Real virtue can love nothing but virtue.-FENELON.
DIONYSIUS, PYTHIAS, AND DAMON.
GOOD God! what do I see? "Tis Pythias arriving here! 'Tis Pythias himself!I never could have thought it. Hah! it is he he is come to die, and to redeem his friend.
Pythias. Yes; it is I. I went away for no other end but to pay to the gods what I had vowed them; to settle my family affairs according to the rules of justice; and to bid adieu to my children, in order to die the more peaceably.
Diony. But what makes you come back? How now! hast thou no fear of death? Comest thou to seek it like a desperado, a madman?
Pyth. I come to suffer it, though I have not deserved it; I cannot find it in my heart to let my friend die in my stead. Diony. Thou lovest him better than thyself then?
Pyth. No: I love him as myself; but I think I ought to die rather than he, since it was I thou didst intend to put to death it were not just that he should suffer, to deliver me from death, the punishment thou preparedst for me. Diony. But thou pretendest to deserve death no more than he.
Pyth. It is true, we are both equally innocent; and it is no juster to put me to death than him.
Diony. Why sayest thou, then, that it were not just he should die instead of thee?
Pyth. It is equally unjust in thee to put Damon or me to death: but Pythias were unjust did he let Damon suffer a death that the tyrant prepared only for Pythias.
Diony. Thou comest then, on the day appointed, with no other view than to save the life of a friend, by losing thy
Pyth. I come, with regard to thee, to suffer an act of in
justice, which is common with tyrants; and, with respect to Damon, to do a piece of justice, by rescuing him from a danger which he incurred out of generosity to me.
Diony. And, thou, Damon, wert thou not really afraid that Pythias would never come back, and that thou shouldst have to pay for him?
Damon. I knew but too well that Pythias would return punctually, and that he would be much more afraid to break his word, than to lose his life: would to the gods that his relations and friends had forcibly detained him; so he would now be the comfort of good men, and I should have that of dying for him.
Diony. What does life displease thee?
Damon. Yes; it displeases me when I see a tyrant. Diony. Well, thou shalt see him no more: I'll have thee put to death immediately.
Pyth. Pardon the transports of a man who regrets his dying friend. But remember, that it was I only thou devotedst to death: I come to suffer it, in order to redeem my friend refuse me not this consolation in my last hour.
Diony. I cannot bear two men, who despise their lives and my power.
Damon. Then thou canst not bear virtue.
Diony. No: I cannot bear that proud, disdainful virtue, which contemns life, which dreads no punishment, which is not sensible to riches and pleasures.
Damon. However, thou seest that it is not insensible to honour, justice, and friendship.
Diony. Guards! take Pythias away to execution: we shall see whether Damon will continue to despise my power.
Damon. Pythias, by returning to submit himself to thy pleasure, has merited his life at thy hand; and I, by giving myself up to thy indignation for him, have enraged thee: be content, and put me to death.
Pyth. No, no, Dionysius; remember that it was I alone who displeased thee: Damon could not
Diony. Alas! what do I see? Where am I? How unhappy am I, and how worthy to be so! No, I have hitherto known nothing; I have spent my days in darkness and errour: all my power avails me nothing towards making myself beloved: I cannot boast of having acquired, in above thirty years of tyranny, one single friend upon earth: these two men, in a private condition, love each other tenderly,
unreservedly confide in each other, are happy in a mutual love, and content to die for each other.
Pyth. How should you have friends, you who never loved any body? Had you loved men, they would love you: you have feared them: they fear you, they detest you.
Diony. Damon! Pythias! vouchsafe to admit me between you, to be the third friend of so perfect a society: 1 give you your lives, and will load you with riches.
Damon. We have no occasion for thy riches; and as for thy friendship, we cannot accept of it until thou be good and just; till that time thou canst have only trembling slaves, and base flatterers. Thou must be virtuous, beneficent, sociable, susceptible of friendship, ready to hear the truth, and must know how to live in a sort of equality with real friends, in order to be beloved by free men.
The evening was glorious, and light through the trees
For the Queen of the Spring, as she pass'd down the vale,
The skies, like a banner in sunset unroll'd,
We gazed on the scenes, while around us they glow'd,
Nor the Moon, that rolls nightly through star light and blue.
Like a spirit, it came in the van of a storm!
In the hues of its grandeur, sublimely it stood,
'Twas the bow of Omnipotence; bent in His hand,
Not dreadful, as when in the whirlwind he pleads,
In the breath of his presence, when thousands expire,
And vultures, and wolves, are the graves of the slain :
Not such was the Rainbow, that beautiful one!
Awhile, and it sweetly bent over the gloom,
I gazed not alone on that source of my song;
Like a visit the converse of friends—or a day,
"Tis a picture in memory distinctly defined,
Eternity of God.-GREENWOOD.
WE receive such repeated intimations of decay in the world through which we are passing; decline and change and loss, follow decline and change and loss in such rapid succession, that we can almost catch the sound of universal wasting, and hear the work of desolation going on busily around us. "The mountain falling cometh to nought, and the rock is removed out of his place. The waters wear the stones, the things which grow out of the dust of the earth are washed away, and the hope of man is destroyed." Conscious of our own instability, we look about for something to rest on, but we look in vain. The heavens and the earth had a beginning, and they will have an end. The face of the world is changing, daily and hourly. All animated things grow old and die. The rocks crumble, the trees fall, the leaves fade, and the grass withers. The clouds are flying, and the waters are flowing away from us.
The firmest works of man, too, are gradually giving way, the ivy clings to the mouldering tower, the brier hangs out from the shattered window, and the wallflower springs from the disjointed stones. The founders of these perishable works have shared the same fate long ago. If we look back to the days of our ancestors, to the men as well as the dwellings of former times, they become immediately associated in our imaginations, and only make the feeling of instability stronger and deeper than before. In the spacious domes, which once held our fathers, the serpent hisses, and the wild bird screams. The halls, which once were crowded with all that taste, and science, and labour could procure, which resounded with melody, and were lighted up with beauty, are buried by their own ruins, mocked by their own desolation. The voice of merriment, and of wailing, the steps of the busy and the idle have ceased in the deserted courts, and the weeds choke the entrances, and the long grass waves upon the hearth-stone. The works of art, the forming hand, the tombs, the very ashes they contained, are
While we thus walk among the ruins of the past, a sad feeling of insecurity comes over us; and that feeling is by no means diminished when we arrive at home. If we turn to