« PreviousContinue »
his parents, he is not permitted to enjoy any post of trust or honor. It is believed that a sacrifice, offered by an impious hand, can neither be acceptable to Heaven, nor pro! itable to the state ; and that an undutiful son cannot be capable of performing any great action, or of executing justice with impartiality. Therefore, my son, if you be wise, you will pray to Heaven to pardon the offences com5 mitted against your mother. Let no one discover the con
tempt with which you have treated her; for the world will **condemn, and abandon you for such behavior. And if it
be even suspected, that you repay with ingratitude the good i offices of your parents, you will inevitably forego the kind* mess of others; because, no man will suppose that you
have a heart to requite either his favors or his friendship.”
It was a noble spectacle ainidst the flames that were conuming Troy, and while the multitude were intent only on rescuing their paltry treasures, to see the dutiful Æneas bearing on his shoulder the venerable Anchises, his aged father, to a place of safety. But ah! how rare such examples of filial piety! My God! the blood freezes in the veins at the thought of the ingratitude of children. Spirits of my sainted parents, could I recall the hours when it was in my power to honor you, how different should be my gonduct. Ah! were not the dead unmindful of the reverence the living pay them, I would disturb the silence of your tombs with nightly orisons, and bedew the urn which contains your ashes with perpetual tears !--Nott.
“ Of an unbounded stomach,” Shakspeare says,
But had he seen a player of our days,
Equalled not that within the bounds
This actor's belt surrounds,
This player, when the peace enabled shoala
Although his wishes
He found himself at Lille one afternoon, , 3 And that he might the breeze enjoy,
And catch a peep at the ascending moon
Until the moon began to shine,
Stumping along with might and inain ;
And though 'tis plain
He puffed and blew along the road,
When in his path he met a clown
“Tell me,” he panted in a thawing state,
- Dost think I can get in, friend, at the gate ? “ Get in,” replied the hesitating loon, · Measuring with his eye our bulky wight, " Why-en-ves, sir--I should think you miglit, A load of hay went in this afternoon."
Prince Henry. Why thou owest Heaven a death. (Exit.)
Falstaff 'Tis not due yet: I would be loath to pay him before his day. What need I be so forward with him that calleth not on me? Well, 'tis no matter ; honor pricks me on. Yea, but how if honor prick me off when I come on? how then ? Can honor set to a leg ? No. Or an arm ? No. Or take away the grief of a wound ? No. Honor hath no skill in surgery then ? No. What is honor? A word ? What is that word honor ? Air. A trim reckoning !--Who hath it? He that died o' Wednesday. Doth he feel it ? No. Doth he hear it ? No. Is it insensible then ? Yea, to the dead. But will it not live with the living ? No. Why? Detraction will not suffer it:—therefore, I'll none of it; Honor is a mere scutcheon, and so ends my catechism.
LESSON LIX. Conflagration of an Amphitheatre at Rome.-CROLY. Rome was an ocean of flame. Height and depth were covered with red surges, that rolled before the blast like an endless tide. The billows burst up the sides of the hills, which they turned into instant volcanoes, exploding volumes of smoke and fire ; then plunged into the depths in a hundred glowing cataracts, then climbed and consumed again. The distant sound of the city in her convulsion went to the soul. The air was filled with the steady roar of the advancing flame, the crash of falling houses, and the hideous outcry of the myriads flying through the streets, or surrounded and perishing in the conflagration. ... All was clamor, violent struggle, and helpless death. Men and women of the highest rank were on foot, trampled by the rabble that had then lost all respect of conditions. One dense mass of miserable life, irresistible from its weight, crushed by the narrow streets, and scorched by the flames over their heads, rolled through the gates like an endless stream of black lava. . . . . . . . . .
The fire had originally broken out upon the Palatine, and
hot smokes that wrapped and half blinded us, hung thick 3 as night upon the wrecks of pavilions and palaces; but
the dexterity and knowledge of my inexplicable guide carried us on. It was in vain that I insisted upon knowing the purpose of this terrible traverse. He pressed his hand on his heart in reassurance of his fidelity, and still spurred on. We now passed under the shade of an immense range of lofty buildings, whose gloomy and solid
strength seemed to bid defiance to chance and time. A* · sudden yell appalled me. A ring of fire swept round its
summit; burning cordage, sheets of canvass, and a shower 4 of all things combustible, flew into the air above our heads.
An uproar followed, unlike all that I had ever heard--a hideous mixture of howls, shrieks and groans. The flames rolled down the narrow street before us, and made the passage next to impossible. While we hesitated, a huge fragment of the building heaved, as if in an earth- * quake, and fortunately for us fell inwards. The whole scene of terror was then open. The great amphitheatre of Statilius Taurus had caught fire : the stage with its inflammable furniture, was intensely blazing below. The flames 5 were wheeling up, circle above circle, through the seventy thousand seats that rose from the ground to the roof. I stood in unspeakable awe and wonder on the side of this colossal cavern, this mighty temple of the city of fire. At length a descending blast cleared away the smoke that covered the arena.--The cause of those horrid cries was now visible. The wild beasts kept for the games had broken from their dens.--Maddened by affright and pain, lions, tigers, panthers, wolves, whole herds of the monsters of India and Africa, were inclosed in an impassable barrier 6 of fire. They bounded, they fought, they screamed, they
tore; they ran howling round and round the circle ; they made desperate leaps upwards through the blaze; they were flung back, and fell only to fasten their fangs in each other, and with their parching jaws bathed in blood, die raging. I looked anxiously to see whether any human being was involved in this fearful catastrophe. To my great relief, I could see none. The keepers and attendants had obviously escaped. As I expressed my gladness, I was startled by a loud cry from my guide, the first sound that I had heard him utter. He pointed to the opposite side of
7 the amphitheatre. There indeed sat an object of melan
choly interest : a man who had been either unable to escape, or had determined to die. Escape was now impossible. He sat in desperate calmness on his funeral pile. He was a gigantic Ethiopian slave, entirely naked. He had chosen his place, as if in mockery, on the imperial throne ;
the fire was above him and around him ; and under this * tremendous canopy he gazed, without the movement of a muscle, on the combat of the wild beasts below; a solitary sovereign, with the whole tremendous game played for himself, and inaccessible to the power of man.
She is not mad who kneels to thee;
And what I was, and what should be. ·
• My language shall be mild, though sad;
I am not mad, I am not mad.
2 My tyrant husband forged the tale,
Which chains me in this dismal cell;
Oh! jailer, haste that sate to tell :
His heart at once 'twill grieve and glad
I am not mad, I am not mad.
3 He smiles in scorn, and turns the key ;
He quits the grate ;; I knelt in vain;
'Tis gone! and all is gloom again.
Life, all thy comforts once I had;