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May glorious laurels wreath it! In our realm
To banish the firm troops before whose valour
Of reckless foes!
To their young reason; while their sinews grow
I would not grieve thee; but thy valiant troop-
Medon, there is no office I can add
To those thou hast grown old in; thou wilt guard
Think of thee, my lord?
In death, the father from whose heart, in life,
A piece of human frailty! Swear to me
Needs not the magic of a single name,
Of nymph-like loveliness, which finest chords
Of foreign power should threaten. Swear to me
Wherefore ask this now?
Thou shalt live long;-the paleness of thy face,
Of lustrous years.
Ion. Hear and record the oath, immortal powers! Now give me leave a moment to approach
That altar unattended.
In whose mild service my glad youth was spent,
Look on me now;-and if there is a power,
As at this solemn time I feel there is,
[He goes to the altar.
Beyond ye, that hath breathed through all your shapes
In earth and heaven; to ye I offer up
This conscious being, full of life and love,
For my dear country's welfare. Let this blow
End all her sorrows!
[Stabs himself and falls.
ON my arrival, I saw some persons nearly at the top, and some just commencing the ascent. They were all at the very edge, and
certainly their apparently perilous situation justified me in the conviction that I should never be able to mount. However, determining to make the attempt, I commenced outside from where the entrance has been formed, and walked along the whole length of one side of the square, about forty feet from the ground, to the opposite corner; the ledge being narrow, and in one place quite broken, requiring a long step to gain the next stone. As the pyramid itself formed a wall to the right hand, and consequently an apparent defence, I felt no want of courage till I reached the corner where the ascent is, in many places, absolutely on the angle, leaving no protection on either side. About this time I began to be heartily frightened; and when I heard one gentleman from above call to me to desist, and another tell me not to think of proceeding, right glad was I to return, and to attribute my want of success to their advice rather than to my own deficiency of spirit. Each of the gentlemen, as they descended, told me the difficulty and fatigue were great, and they evidently were heated and tired; but at length, in answer to my question, a hundred times repeated, of "Do you think I could go ?" they proposed to me to try, at least, and kindly offered to accompany me.
Away I went; and, by the assistance of a footstool at some places, and the aid of the guides, and the gentlemen to encourage me, I succeeded in arriving half-way, all the way exclaiming, I shall never get down again; and, indeed, my head was so giddy, that it was some minutes after I was seated, at the resting-stone half-way, before I could recover myself. Being a little refreshed, I resumed the ascent; but the guides were so clamorous that I turned back, finding their noise, and pushing, and crowding, as dangerous as the height. The gentlemen at length brought them to some degree of order, partly by remonstrance, and partly by carrying the majority to the top, and leaving only two with me. This quiet, in some degree, restored my head; and the footing, as I advanced, becoming more easy, I reached the summit amidst the hurras of the whole party. It was a considerable time, however, before I gained confidence to look around, notwithstanding I was on a surface thirty feet square.
The prospect, though from so great an elevation, disappointed me. I saw, indeed, an immense extent of cultivated country, divided into fields of yellow flax and green wheat, like so many squares in a chess-board, with the Nile and its curious canals, which cause their luxuriance, and a vast tract of desert on the other side. I must, however, acknowledge, that this scenery I enjoyed on recollection, for 1 was too anxious how I was to get down, to think much of the picturesque. A railing, even of straws, might give some slight notion
of security; but here there was absolutely nothing; and I had to cross and recross the angle, as the broken ledges rendered it necessary; for it is a mistake to suppose there are steps; the passage is performed over blocks of stone and granite, some broken off, others crumbling away, and others, which have dropped out all together, have left an angle in the masonry; but all these are very irregular. Occasionally the width and height of the stones are equal, but generally the height greatly exceeds the width; in many parts the blocks are four feet high.