Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

His nod' | has decided all causes in Sicily | for these three years. | And his decisions have broken all law', all precedent, | all right. | The sums he has, by arbitrary taxes, and unheard-of impositions, extorted from the industrious poor, I are not to be computed. | The most faithful allies of the commonwealth, I have been treated as enemies. | Roman citizens, like slaves, have been put to death with tortures. The most atrocious crim'inals | have been exempted, for money, from deserved punishments; and men, of the most unexceptionable char'acters, condemned, and banished, unheard.

The harbours, though sufficiently fortified, and the gates of strong towns', I have been opened to pirates, and ravagers. | The soldiery, and sailors, | belonging to a province under the protection of the commonwealth, have been starved to death. ; | whole fleets', / to the great detriment of the prov'ince, I suffered to perish. I The ancient monuments of either Sicilian, or Ro'man greatness, the statues of heroes, and princes, have been carried off'; / and the temples stripped of the images. I

Having, by his iniquitous sentences, | filled the prisons with the most industrious, and deserving of the people, | he then proceeded to order numbers of Roman citizens to be strangled in the jailsı; I so that the exclamation, j“ I am a citizen of Rome !" | which has often, in the most distant regions, I and among the most barbarous people, I been a protection, I was of no service to them; 1 but, on the contrary, I brought a speedier, and more severe pun'ishment upon

them. 1 I ask now, Verres, | what thou hast' to advance against this charge ? | Wilt thou pretend to deny' it?! Wilt thou pretend that any thing false', I that even any thing ag'gravated, | has been urged against thee? | Had any prince', I or any state', / committed the same outrage against the privilege of Roman citizens, I should we not think we had sufficient ground for demanding satisfaction?

What punishment ought, then, to be inflicted | upon a tyrannical, and wicked prætor, | who dared, at no greater distance than Sicily, I within sight of the Italian coast', / to put to the infamous death of crucifixion, that unfortunate, and innocent citizen, / Publius Gavius Cosa'nus, I only for his having asserted his privilege of citizenship, I and declared his intention of appealing to the justice of his country, against the cruel oppressor who had unjustly confined him in prison at Syracuse, / whence he had just made his escape?|

The unhappy man, / arrested as he was going to embark for his native country, I is brought before the wicked prætor. | With eyes darting fury, and a countenance distorted with cruelty, he orders the helpless victim of his rage to be stripped', | and rods' to be brought — accusing him, but without the least shadow of evidence, I or even of suspicion, | of having come to Sicily as a spy. | It was in vain that the unhappy man cried out, 1 “I am a Roman cit'izen — | I have served under Lucius Pre'tius / who is now at Panormus, / and will attest my innocence.”

The blood-thirsty prætor, | deaf to all he could urge in his own defence, I ordered the infamous punishment to be inflicted. | Thus, Fathers, I was an innocent Roman citizen | publicly mangled with scour'ging; / while the only words he uttered, T amidst his cruel sufferings, were, 1 “I am a Roman citizen !" | With these he hoped to defend himself from violence, and infamy. But of so little service was this privilege to him, I that, while he was thus asserting his citizenship, I the order was given for his execution,- for his execution upon the cross !!

O lib'erty!- 10 sound once delightful to every Roman ear ! | O sacred privilege of Roman citizen

| once' sacred - | now tram pled upon ! But what then. ! | Is it come to this' ? | Shall an inferior magistrate, I a governor, who holds his whole power of the Roman people, in a Roman province,

within sight of Italy, | bind, scourge, torture with fire, and red hot plates of iron, I and at last put to the infamous death of the cross, I a Roman citizen? | Shall neither the cries of innocence expiring in agony, | nor the tears of pitying spectators, nor the majesty of the Roman commonwealth, nor the fear of the justice of his country, / restrain the licentious, and wanton cruelty of a monster, I who, in confidence of his riches, | strikes at the root of liberty, and sets mankind at defiance?

I conclude with expressing my hopes, | that your wisdom, and justice, Fathers, I will not, by suffering the atrocious, and unexampled insolence of Caius Verres | to escape due punishment, I leave room to apprehend the danger of a total subversion of authority, and the introduction of general anarchy, and confusion.

CATO's SOLILOQUY.

(ADDISON.) SCENE - Cato sitting in a thoughtful posture, with Plato's book

on the Immortality of the Soul in his hand; and a drawn sword

on the table by him. It must be so | Plato, thou reasonest well, !Else whence this pleasing hope', / this fond desire', | This longing after immortality ? | Or whence this secret dread, I and inward horror, I Of falling into nought, ? | why shrinks the soul | Back on herself, and star'tles at destruction ? | 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 1 'T is heaven itself | that points out an hereafter, | And intimates eternity to man. | Eternity!) thou pleas'ing, dread,ful thought! | Through what variety of untried being, Through what new scenes, and changes must we pass! | The wide', the unbounded prospect lies before me; | But shad'ows, clouds', and darkiness resti upon it.

1

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, I must be happy. I
But when! | or where !- this world was made for

Cæsar.
I'm weary of conjectures - | this must end them. I

(Laying his hand on his sword. Thus am I doubly arm’d: | my death , and life, I My bane', and antidote / are both before me: 1 This in a moment brings me to an end ; | But this informs me, I shall never die.. ! The soul, secured in her existence, / smiles At the drawn dagger, | and defies its point. I The stars shall fade away, the sun himself Grow dim with age', I and nature sink in years, ; | But thou shalt flourish in immortal youth', / Unhurt amidst the war of elements, | The wreck of mat'ter, and the crush of worlds. 1

HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY.

(SHAKSPEARE.)
To be, - or not to be that is the question:
Whether 't is nobler in the mind | to suffer
The slings, and arrows of outrageous fortune; |
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles, 1
And, by opposing, end them? | To die' — to sleep' - |
No more

| and, by a sleep, I to say we end
The heart-ache, / and the thousand natural shocks |
That flesh is heir to : l’t is a consummation
Devoutly to be wish'd.

.

To die' - to sleep - | To sleep! 1 perchance to dream - ay, there's the rubi; | For, in that sleep of death, | what dreams may come, | When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,a

[blocks in formation]

Must give us pause. | There's the respect |
That makes calamity of so long life': 1
For who would bear the whips, and scorns of time',
The oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The pangs of despised love, the law's delay', |
The insolence of office, and the spurns,
That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
When he himself might his quietus make |
With a bare bod kin?c |

Who would far delsd bear,
To groan, and sweat under a weary life, |
But that the dread of something after death |
("That undiscover'd country from whose bourne
No traveller returns.), ?puzzles the willi ; |
And makes us rather bear those ills we have',
Than fly to others that we know not of ? |

Thus conscience does make cowards of us all'; /
And thus the native hue of resolution,
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought ; |
And enterprises of great pith, and moment, |
With this regard, their currents turn awry', I
And lose the name of action.

BRUTUS' ORATION ON THE DEATH OF CÆSAR.

(SHAKSPEARE.) Ro'mans, coun'trymen, and lovers! | hear me for my cause'; / and be si'lent that you may hear. | Believe me for mine honourf; and have respect' unto mine honour | that you may believe. 1 Censure me in your wisdom; and awake your sen'ses that you may the better judge. |

[ocr errors]

Consideration. • Kồn'tů-mé-lé, rudeness. c The ancient term for a small dagger. Packs, burdens. Börn, boundary, limit. Mine honour ; not mine-non'nur.

е

« AnteriorContinuar »