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SOLILOQUY OF THE DYING ALCHEMIST.

99

Of weakness and mistrust, and bow it down,
Worthy and beautiful, to the much-loved one.

This were indeed to feel
The soul-thirst slacken at the living stream,
To live-0 God! that life is but a dream!

And death- -Aha! I reel
Dim-dim-I faint-darkness comes o'er my eye'
Cover me ! save me!- God of heaven! I die!

'Twas morning, and the old man lay alone.
No friend had closed his eyelids, and his lips,
Open and ashly pale, the expression wore
Of his death-struggle. His long silvery hair
Lay on his hollow temples thin and wild,
His frame was wasted, and his features wan
And haggard as with want, and in his palm
His nails were driven deep, as if the throe
Of the last agony had wrung him sore.

The fire beneath the crucible was out;
The vessels of his mystic art lay round,
Useless and cold as the ambitious hand
That fashioned them, and the small rod,
Familiar to his touch for three score years,
Lay on the alembic's rim, as if it still
Might vex the elements at its master's will.

And thus had passed from its unequal frame
A soul of fire, –a sun-bent eagle stricken
From his high soaring down,-an instrument
Broken with its own compass. O, how poor
Seems the rich gift cf genius, when it lies,
Like the adventurous bird that hath outflown
His strength upon the sea, ambition wrecked,
A thing the thrush might pity, as she sits
Brooding in quiet on her lowly nest.

RECONSTRUCTION.

A COLLOQUY IN TWO SCENES.

F. B. WILSON.

Characters.

GODDESS OF LIBERTY.
NEGRO RACE, represented by a single person.
BREMER,
THALWORTH,

Rebels seeking pardon.
FARNTON,

TORTEEN,
CoSTUMES.-GODDESS OF LIBERTY-White dress covered with silver
stars ; red and blue sash ; silvered crown ; liberty pole and cap by her
side. Rebels—Citizen's dress suit. NEGRO—Soldier's uniform; one
hand in sling ; no cap.

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SCENE I.-GODDESS OF LIBERTY seated ; seat elevated. Stand near her covered with papers marked "Pardon.She has soine in her hand.

GODDESS. When cruel war was abroad on land and sea; when my brave sons were giving their strength, that liberty might be established; when I saw the mangled corpses on many a field of battle, my blood ran cold in my veins, and sickness brought me nigh to death. But God in his kind mercy spared me; and America still lives.

Though she has suffered a baptism of blood; though her brave sons have fallen by thousands; yet millions that were bound by the accursed chains of slavery are now free. Oh! God, thou hast given many blessings to this people, and we pray thee that thou wilt not desert us, in this, our hour of greatest trial. The entreaties for “pardon” come to me from those who have, with the engines of war, attempted to crush the brave, loyal sons of America; from those who have made the young wife a widow, and the motherless, orphans; who have, by their fightings, left a vacant chair by every fireside

RECONSTRUCTION.

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throughout the land. Now, can 7 grant themi pardun ? Are they to be trusted ? . Who but God can assist me to answer these questions that are thrust upon ine for solution, : Bitt, here come others to ask me to pardor their dreadfür wrongs.

Enter four rebels, BREMER, THALWORTH, FARNTON and TORTEEN. GODDESS sits with head resting on hand. They arrange themselves in a semicircle around her.

BREMER. Can we be restored to citizenship?

THALWORTH. Can we have the rights of freemen restored to us?

FARNTON. Do you accept our entreaties for pardon ?
TORTEEN. Have we our rights given us as before ?

GODDESS. Your questions are questions of great moment. They have a direct bearing on the interests of America. Can I trust you, who have for four years been enemies to me? who have wealth and the power that wealth gives at your

command: BREMER. Your interests are our interests; your land is our land. We would not injure you, for in so doing we injure ourselves.

GODDESS. Why did you not think of that before rebellion spread over all our happy land? why did you not use your influence to prevent a war? why did you become our enemies?

FARNTON. The questions you ask us are too severe. We would bury the past; beg thy pardon for our many offences, and in the future endeavor to live as American's sons should live.

GODDESS. Yet I cannot trust you. You must make some sacrifice ere you can claim to be my sons. Your wealth gives you too great an influence. Many have been made poor by your own wickedness, and they have suffered enough. Take your wealth, give it to them, and then I will receive you as my children. Do this, become poor; let those that are suffering the tortures of poverty be made happy by your wealth. Begin life again, and if you ever become

wealthy let it be by honesc toil. Until you do this, 7 ardon will not be granted, " (Rebels drop their heads) nor the rights of citizenship restored(Music heard without.)

CURTAIN.

SCENE II.-No papers are to be seen. GODDESS alone, standing.

GODDESS. Another important question is being discussed throughout our land. Shall the negro vote? Shall color prevent an honest heart from the right of suffrage? God created all men free and equal. The black and the white man are subjects of his creation. They both have a never dying soul that is destined to live on and on forever. (Advances, stands with hands clasped about liberty pole, head resting on them. NEGRO enters, kneels at her feet.) Your master was restored to citizenship by giving up a few paltry dollars. He fought my sons, and hurled death's missive in their brave ranks. He is pardoned. If I can trust him, can I not trust you? You, who have aided my sons in breaking down this terrible rebellion? God grant that my decision may not be a wrong decision. The black man shall vote. (NEGRO rises.) He is free, and we pray thee, O God, to grant thy blessing on a down-trodden and wronged race. (Takes NEGRO by hand, points to banner.) Look upon that flag; emblem of the institutions for which you have been fighting. There are red lines of blood, and white lines of spirit truth. In saying you may exercise the right of suffrage, I help you on the white line. Walk uprightly, honor your country and your God. (Music, as curtain falls.)

CURTAIN.

UNJUST NATIONAL ACQUISITION.

THOMAS CORWIN.

MR. PRESIDENT, the uneasy desire to augment our territory has depraved the moral sense and blighted the otherwise keen sagacity of our people. Sad, very sad, are the

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lessons which Time has written for u3. Through and in them all I see nothing but the inflexible execution of that old law which ordains, as eternal, the cardinal rule, “ Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods, nor anything which is his." Since I have lately heard so much about the dismemberment of Mexico, I have looked back to see how, in the course of events, which some call “ Providence,” it has fared with other nations who engaged in this work of dismemberment.

I see that in the latter half of the eighteenth century, three powerful nations, Russia, Austria and Prussia, united in the dismemberment of Poland. They said, too, as you say, “It is our destiny.” They “wanted room.” Doubtless each of these thought, with his share of Poland, his power was too strong ever to fear invasion, or even insult. One had his California, another his New Mexico, and the third his Vera Cruz.

Did they remain untouched and incapable of harm ? Alas! no-far, very far from it. Retributive justice must fulfil its destiny too. A very few years pass off, and we hear of a new man, a Corsican lieutenant, the self-named “armed soldier of Democracy,” Napoleon. He ravages Austria, covers her land with blood, drives the Northern Cæsar from his capital, and sleeps in his palace. Austria may now remember how her power trampled upon Poland. Did she not pay dear, very dear for her California ?

But has Prussia no atonement to make ? You see this same Napoleon, the blind instrument of Providence, at work there. The thunders of his cannon at Jena proclaim the work of retribution for Poland's wrongs; and the successors of the Great Frederick, the drill-sergeant of Europe, are seen flying across the sandy plains that surround their capital, right glad if they may escape captivity and death.

But how fares it with the Autocrat of Russia ? Is he secure in his share of the spoils of Poland ? No. Suddenly we see, sir, six hundred thousand armed men marching to Moscow. Does his Vera Cruz protect him now?

Far from

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