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Ant. Dost thou think me desperate
Cæsar thinks not so;
Ant. No, I can kill myself; and so resolve.
To fight, to conquer.
Sure thou dream'st, Ventidius.
Up, up, for honour's sake; twelve legions wait you
Ven. I say, in Lower Syria.
Bring 'em hither;
There may be life in these.
They will not come.
Ant. Why didst thou mock my hopes with promised aids, To double my despair? They're mutinous.
Ven. Most firm and royal.
Yet they will not march
To succour me. O trifler!
I am besieg'd.
Ven. There's but one way shut up-how came I hither? Ant. I will not stir.
They would perhaps desire
A better reason.
I have never used
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. 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, Come to partake your fate, to die with you. What hindered me t' have led my conqu'ring eagles, To fill Octavius' bands? I could have been A traitor then-a glorious, happy traitor; And not have been so call'd.
Forgive me, soldier;
I've been too passionate.
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 Another soul; your looks are more divine; You speak a hero, and you move a god.
Ant. O, thou hast fir'd me!
Our hearts and arms are still the same.
my soul's up in arms,
EXTRACT FROM MR. WEBSTER'S SPEECH IN REPLY TO
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.
My father!-wherefore here?
"Twas not for this I came.
Rai. Then wherefore?-and upon thy lofty brow Why burns the troubled flush?
Pro. Perchance 'tis shame. Yes! it may well be shame!—for I have striven With nature's feebleness, and been o'erpower'd. -Howe'er it be, 'tis not for thee to gaze, 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.
It is even so.
For the night wanes. Thy fugitive course must be
In silence, and for ever.
Rai. Let him fly Who holds no deep asylum in his breast, Wherein to shelter from the scoffs of men! -I can sleep calmly here. Pro. Art thou in love With death and infamy, that so thy choice Is made, lost boy! when freedom courts thy grasp? Rai. Father! to set th' irrevocable seal Upon that shame wherewith ye have branded me, There needs but flight. What should I bear from this, My native land?—A blighted name, to rise And part me, with its dark remembrances, For ever from the sunshine!-O'er my soul Bright shadowings of a nobler destiny Float in dim beauty through the gloom; but here, On earth, my hopes are closed.
Thy hopes are closed! And what were they to mine?-Thou wilt not fly!