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Ant. Dost thou think me desperate
And learnt to scorn it here; which now I do
The cost of keeping.
Cæsar thinks not so;
He'll thank you for the gift he could not take.
To fight, to conquer.
Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius.
Up, up, for honour's sake; twelve legions wait you
I led 'em, patient both of heat and hunger,
Down from the Parthian marches to the Nile.
Their scarr'd cheeks, and chopt hands; there's virtue in 'em.
Ven. I say, in Lower Syria.
There may be life in these.
Bring 'em hither;
They will not come.
Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with promised aids, To double my despair? They're mutinous.
To succour me. O trifler!
Most firm and royal.
Yet they will not march
I am besieg'd.
You would make haste to head 'em.
Ven. There's but one way shut up-how came I hither?
My soldiers to demand a reason of
My actions. Why did they refuse to march?
Ven. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra.
Ven. They said they would not fight for Cleopatra. Why should they fight, indeed, to make her conquer, And make you more a slave?
You grow presumptuous. Ven. I take the privilege of plain love to speak. Ant. Plain love! Plain arrogance, plain insolence! Thy men are cowards; thou an envious traitor; Who, under seeming honesty, hast vented The burden of thy rank, o'erflowing gall. O, that thou wert my equal; great in arms As the first Cæsar was, that I might kill thee, Without stain to my honour!
You may kill me. You have done more already; call'd me traitor. Ant. Art thou not one?
For showing you yourself, Which none else durst have done. But had I been, That name, which I disdain to speak again,
I needed not have sought your abject fortunes,
A traitor then-a glorious, happy traitor;
I've been too passionate.
Forgive me, soldier ;
You thought me false; Thought my old age betray'd you. Kill me, sir; Pray kill me; yet you need not-your unkindness Has left your sword no work.
I did not think so;
I said it in my rage: pr'ythee, forgive me.
No prince but you Could merit that sincerity I used;
Nor durst another man have ventured it.
Ant. Thou shalt behold me once again in iron; And, at the head of our old troops, that beat
The Parthians, cry aloud, Come, follow me!
Ven. O, now I hear my emperor! In that word
Octavius fell. Methinks you breathe
Ant. O, thou hast fir'd me! my soul's up in arms,
Our hearts and arms are still the same.
EXTRACT FROM MR. WEBSTER'S SPEECH IN REPLY TO MR. HAYNE.
THE eulogium pronounced on the character of the state of South Carolina, by the honourable gentleman, for her revolutionary and other merits, meets my hearty concurrence. I shall not acknowledge, that the honourable member goes before me in regard for whatever of distinguished talent or distinguished character, South Carolina has produced. I claim part of the honor, I partake in the pride of her great names. I claim them for countrymen, one and all. The Laurens, the Rutledges, the Pinckneys, the Sumpters, the Marions-Americans, all-whose fame is no more to be hemmed in by state lines, than their talents and patriotism were capable of being circumscribed within the same narrow limits. In their day and generation, they served and honoured the country, and the whole country; and their renown is of the treasures of the whole country. Him, whose honoured name the gentleman himself bears→→→ does he suppose me less capable of gratitude for his patriotism, or sympathy for his sufferings, than if his eyes had first opened upon the light in Massachusetts, instead of South Carolina? Sir, does he suppose it is in his power to exhibit a Carolina name so bright as to produce envy in my bosom? No, sir; increased gratification and delight, rather.
Sir, I thank God, that if I am gifted with little of the spirit which is said to be able to raise mortals to the skies, I have yet none, as I trust, of that other spirit, which would drag angels down. When I shall be found, sir, in my place
here, in the Senate, or elsewhere, to sneer at public merit, because it happened to spring up beyond the little limits of my own state, or neighbourhood: when I refuse, for any such cause, or for any cause, the homage due to American talent, to elevated patriotism, a sincere devotion to liberty and the country; or if I see an uncommon endowment of heaven; if I see extraordinary capacity and virtue in any son of the South-and if moved by local prejudice, or gangrened by state jealousy, I get up here to abate the tithe of a hair from his just character and just fame, may my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth! Sir, let me recur to pleasing recollections-let me indulge in refreshing remembrance of the past-let me remind you that in early times no states cherished greater harmony, both of principle and of feeling, than Massachusetts and South Carolina. Would to God, that harmony might again return. Shoulder to shoulder they went through the revolution-hand in hand they stood round the administration of Washington, and felt his own great arm lean on them for support. Unkind feeling, if it exists, alienation and distrust, are the growth, unnatural to such soils, of false principles since sown. They are weeds, the seeds of which that same great arm never scattered.
Mr. President, I shall enter on no encomium upon Massachusetts-she needs none. There she is-behold her, and judge for yourselves. There is her history-the world knows it by heart. The past, at least is secure. There is Boston, and Concord, and Lexington, and Bunker Hill— and there they will remain forever. The bones of her sons, fallen in the great struggle for independence, now lie mingled with the soil of every state from New England to Georgia; and there they will lie for ever. And, sir, where American liberty raised its first voice, and where its youth was nurtured and sustained, there it still lives, in the strength of its manhood, and full of its original spirit. If discord and disunion shall wound it-if party strife and blind ambition shall hawk at and tear it-if folly and madness-if uneasiness, under salutary and necessary restraint, shall succeed to separate it from that Union, by which alone its existence is made sure, it will stand, in the end, by the side of that cradle in which its infancy was rocked; it will stretch forth its arm with whatever vigour it may still retain, over the friends who gather round it; and it will fall at last, if fall it must, amidst the proudest monuments of its own glory, and on the very spot of its origin.
Rai. Then wherefore?—and upon thy lofty brow Why burns the troubled flush?
Perchance 'tis shame.
Yes! it may well be shame!-for I have striven
Noting it thus. I have prepared
The means for thy escape.
What! thou! the austere,
The inflexible Procida! hast thou done this,
Deeming me guilty still?
Upbraid me not.
By Roman fathers done,-but I am weak.
For the night wanes. Thy fugitive course must be
Who holds no deep asylum in his breast,
Art thou in love
With death and infamy, that so thy choice
Upon that shame wherewith ye have branded me,
And part me, with its dark remembrances,
Float in dim beauty through the gloom; but here,
Thy hopes are closed!
And what were they to mine?-Thou wilt not fly!