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As great might have aspir'd; and me, though mean,
Drawn to his part; but other pow'rs as great
Fell not, but stand unshaken, from within,
Or from without, to all temptations arm'd.
Had'st thou the same free will and pow'r to stand?
Thou had'st. Whom hast thou then, or what t' accuse,
But Heav'n's free love, dealt equally to all?
Be then his love accurs'd, since love or hate,
To me alike it deals eternal wo.
Nay, curs'd be thou; since against his thy will
Chose freely what it now so justly rues.
Me miserable! which way shall I flee
Infinite wrath, and infinite despair?
Which way I flee is Hell; myself am Hell;
And in the lowest deep a lower deep,
Still threat'ning to devour me, opens wide,
To which the Hell I suffer seems a Heav'n.
O then at last relent; is there no place
Left for repentance, none for pardon left?
None left but by submission; and that word
Disdain forbids me, and my dread of shame
Among the spirits beneath, whom I seduc'd,
With other promises, and other vaunts,
Than to submit, boasting I could subdue
Th' Omnipotent. Ah me, they little know
How dearly I abide that boast so vain,
Under what torments inwardly I groan,
While they adore me on the throne of Hell:
With diadem and sceptre high advanc'd,
The lower still I fall, only supreme-
In misery; such joy ambition finds.
But say I could repent, and could obtain,
By act of grace, my former state; how soon
Would height recall high thoughts, how soon unsay
What feign'd submission swore! ease would recant
Vows made in pain, as violent and void:
For never can true reconcilement grow
Where wounds of deadly hate have pierc'd so deep:
Which would but lead us to a worse relapse,
And heavier fall: so should I purchase dear
Short intermission, bought with double smart.
This knows my punisher: therefore as far
From granting he, as I from begging peace:
All hope excluded thus, behold instead
Of us outcast, exil'd, his new delight,
Mankind created, and for him this world.
So farewell hope; and, with hope, farewell fear;
Farewell remorse; all good to me is lost;
Evil be thou my good: by thee at least
Divided empire with Heav'n's King I hold,
And by thee more than half perhaps will reign;
As man ere long, and this new world, shall know.
CATO'S SOLILOQUY. '
Ir must be so-Plato, thou reason'st well-
Else whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire,
This longing after immortality?
Or whence this secret dread, and inward horrour
Of falling into nought? Why shrinks the Soul
Back on herself, and startles at destruction?
'Tis the Divinity, that stirs within us;
"Tis Heav'n itself, that points out a hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Eternity! thou pleasing, dreadful thought!
Through what variety of untried being,
Through what new scenes and changes must we pass !
The wide, th' unbounded prospect lies before me;
But shadows, clouds, and darkness rest upon it.
Here will I hold. If there's a power above us,
(And that there is, all Nature cries aloud
Through all her works,) he must delight in virtue ;
And that which he delights in must be happy.
But when, or where?-This world was made for Cæsar.
I'm weary of conjectures-this must end 'em.
Thus am I doubly arm'd-My death and life,
My bane and antidote are both before me.
This in a moment brings me to an end;
But this informs me I shall never die.
The Soul, secur'd in her existence, smiles
At the drawn dagger, and defies it's point:
The stars shall fade away, the Sun himself
Grow dim with age, and Nature sink in years;
But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth,
Unhurt amidst the war of elements,
The wreck of matter, and the crush of worlds.
SOUTHAMPTON AND ESSEX.
Officer. My Lord,
We bring an order for your execution,
And hope you are prepar'd; for you must die
This very hour.
South. Indeed! the time is sudden !
Essex. Is death th' event of all my flatter'd hope?
False Sex! and Queen more perjur'd than them all!
But die I will without the least complaint;
My soul shall vanish silent as the dew
Attracted by the sun from verdant fields
And leaves of weeping flow'rs.-Come, my dear friend,
Partner in fate, give me thy body in
These faithful arms, and O now let me tell thee,
And you, my Lords, and Heav'n my witness too,
I have no weight, no heaviness on my soul,
But that I've lost my dearest friend his life.
South. And I protest, by the same powers divine,
And to the world, 'tis all my happiness,
The greatest bliss of mind yet e'er enjoyed,
Since we must die, my Lord, to die together.
Officer. The Queen, my lord Southampton, has been pleas'd,
To grant particular mercy to your person;
And has by us sent you a reprieve from death,
With pardon of your treasons, and commands.
You to depart immediately from hence.
South. O my unguarded soul! Sure never was A man with mercy wounded so before.
Essex. Then I am loose to steer my wand'ring voyage;
Like a bad vessel, that has long been cross'd,
And bound by adverse winds, at last gets liberty,
And joyfully makes all the sail she can
To reach her wish'd-for port-Angels protect
The Queen; for her my chiefest pray'rs shall be,
That as in time she spar'd my noble friend,
And owns his crimes worth mercy, may she ne'er
Think so of me too late, when I am dead-
Again, Southampton, let me hold thee fast,
For 'tis my last embrace.
South. O be less kind, my friend, or move less pity,
Or I shall sink beneath the weight of sadness!
I weep that I am doom'd to live without you,
And should have smil'd to share the death of Essex.
Essex. O spare this tenderness for one that needs it,
For her that I commit to thee, 'tis all
I claim of my Southampton.O my wife!
Methinks that very name should stop thy pity,
And make thee covetous of all as lost,
That is not meant to her-be a kind friend
To her, as we have been to one another;
Name not the dying Essex to thy queen,
Lest it should cost a tear, nor e'er offend her.
South. O stay, my Lord; let me have one word more ; One last farewell, before the greedy axe Shall part my friend, my only friend, from me, And Essex from himself-I know not what Are call'd the pangs of death, but sure I am, I feel an agony that's worse than deathFarewell.
Essex. Why that's well said-
Then let us part just like two travellers,
Take distant paths, only this diff'rence is,
Thine is the longest, mine the shortest way-
Now let me go-if there's a throne in Heav'n
For the most brave of men and best of friends,
I will bespeak it for Southampton.
South. And I, while I have life, will hoard thy mem❜ry: When I am dead, we then shall meet again. Essex. Till then, Farewell. South. Till then, Farewell.
EARL OF ESSEX.
Jaff. By Heav'n, you stir not!
I must be heard, I must have leave to speak!
Thou hast disgrac'd me, Pierre, by a vile blow!
Had not a dagger done thee nobler justice ?
But use me as thou wilt, thou canst not wrong me,
For I am fall'n beneath the basest injuries:
Yet look upon me with an eye of mercy;
With pity and with charity behold me;
Shut not thy heart against a friend's repentance;
But, as there dwells a godlike nature in thee,
Listen with mildness to my supplications.
Pier. What whining monk art thou? what holy cheat,. That wouldst encroach upon my cred❜lous ears, And cant'st thus vilely? hence! I know thee not. Not know me, Pierre !
Pier. No, know thee not; what art thou?
Jaff. Jaffier, thy friend, thy once lov'd, valu'd friend! Though now deserv'dly scorn'd, and us'd most hardly.
Pier. Thou Jaffier! thou my once lov'd, valu'd friend!» By Heav'ns thou liest; the man so call'd, my friend, Was gen'rous, honest, faithful, just, and valiant, Noble in mind, and in his person lovely, Dear to my eyes, and tender to my heart: But thou a wretched, base, false, worthless coward, Poor even in soul, and loathsome in thy aspect: All eyes must shun thee, and all hearts detest thee. Prithee avoid, nor longer cling thus round me, Like something baneful, that my nature's chill'd at.
Jaff. I have not wrong'd thee: by these tears I have not But still am honest, true, and hope too, valiant ;