Page images

4. The shape, character and origin of the warriour were described, and how he had risen from slavery to power supreme. The astonished farmer found the description accorded with a son, who had been stolen from him at twelve years old; hope palpitated in his heart, he hastened home with his provisions, told his family what he had heard, and determined immediately to depart for Egypt.

5. His weeping wife and sons offered up prayers for his safe return. Going to the port of Alexandretta, he embarked there, and came to Damietta. One continued fear tormented him; his son, forsaking the religion of his fathers, had embraced Mahometanisın; and now, surrounded as he was by splendour, would he acknowledge his parents?

6. The thought lay heavy on his heart; yet, the wish to snatch his family from all the horrours of famine, the hope of finding a long lamented son, gave him fortitude. Ile continued his journey, came to the capital, repaired to the pal ice of Mourad, applied to the officers of the prince, and most ardently solicited admission.

7. His dress and appearance bespoke poverty and misfortune, and were poor recommendations; but his great age, so respectable in the East, pleaded in his behalf. One of the attendants went to the Bey, and told him an aged man, apparently miserable, requested an audience.

8. Let him enter, replied Mourad! and the farmer proceeded, with trembling steps, over the rich carpet which bespread the hall of the Divan, and approached the Bey, who reclined on a sofa, embroidered with silk and gold. Crowding sensations deprived him of the use of speech.

9 At last, after attentively looking, the voice of nature vanquishing fear, he fell, and embracing his knees, exclaimed, You are my son i The Bey raised him, endeavoured to recollect, and, after explanation, finding him to be his father, made him sit down by his side, and caressed him most affectionately.


10. The first gush of nature over, the sire described in what a deplorable state he had left his mother and brethren and the prince proposed to send for, and with them divide his riches and power, if they would embrace Islamism.

11. This the generous Christian had foreseen, and fearing youth might be dazzled, took not one of his sons


with him. He, therefore, firmly rejected Mourad's offer, and even remonstrated with him on his own change of religion. 12. The Bey, finding his father determined, and that his family's distress demanded immediate succour, sent him back to Syria, with a large sum of money, and a vessel loaded with corn. The happy husbandman immediately returned to the plains of Damascus, where his arrival banished misery and tears from his homely roof, and brought joy, ease and felicity.



Cato. Could he send it

To Cato's slaughter'd friends, it would be welcome,
Are not your orders to address the senate?

Dec. My business is with Cato; Cesar sees the
Straits to which you're driven, and, as he knows
Cato's high worth, is anxious for your life.

Cato. My life is grafted on the fate of Rome.
Would he save Cato, bid him spare his country.
Tell your dictator this; and tell him, Cato
Disdains a life which he has power to offer.

Dec. Rome and her senators submit to Cesar;
Her generals and her consuls are no more,
Who check'd his conquests, and deni'd his triumphs.
Why will not Cato be this Cesar's friend?

ESAR sends health to Cato

Cato. Those very reasons thou hast urg'd forbid it.
Dec. Cato, I have orders to expostulate,
And reason with you, as from friend to friend;
Think on the storm that gathers o'er your head,
And threatens ev'ry hour to burst upon it;
Still may you stand high in your country's honours;
Do but comply, and make your peace with Cesar.
Rome will rejoice, and cast its eyes on Cato,
As on the second of mankind.

Cato. No more;

I must not think of life on these conditions.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]


Dec. Cesar is well acquainted with your virtues,
And therefore sets this value on your life.
Let him but know the price of Cato's friendship,
And name your terms.

Cato. Bid him disband his legions,
Restore the commonwealth to liberty,
Submit his actions to the publick censure,
And stand the judgement of a Roman senate.
Bid him do this, and Cato is his freind.

Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your wisdom

Cato. Nay, more, tho' Cato's voice was ne'er employ'd
To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Myself will mount the rostrum in his favour,
And strive to gain his pardon from the people.

Dec. A style like this becomes a conqueror.
Cato. Decius, a style like this becomes a Roman.
Dec. What is a Roman, who is Cesar's foe?
Cato, Greater than Cesar; he's a friend to virtue.
Dec. Consider, Cato, you're in Utica,
And at the head of your own little senate;
You don't now thunder in the capitol,
With all the mouths of Rome to second you.

Cato. Let him consider that who drives us hither:
*Tis Cesar's sword has made Rome's senate little,
And thinn'd its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye
Beholds this man in a false, glaring light,
Which conquest and success have thrown upon him.
Dist thou but view him right, thou'dst see him black
With murder, treason, sacrilege and crimes,
That strike my soul with horrour but to name 'em.
I know thou look'st on me, as on a wretch
Beset with ills, and covered with misfortunes;
But, be it known to thee, millions of worlds
Should never buy me to be like that Cesar.

Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to Cesar,
For all his gen'rous cares and proffer'd friendship?
Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain;
Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato.
Would Cesar show the greatness of his soul,
Bid him employ his care for these my friends,
And make good use of his ill-gotten power,
By shelt'ring men much better than himself.

Dec. Your high, unconquer'd heart makes you forget
You rush on your destruction.
When I relate hereafter

You are a man.
But I have done.
The tale of this unhappy embassy,
All Rome will be in tears.


ITY the sorrows of a poor old man,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief, and Heaven will bless your store.

2. These tatter'd clothes my poverty bespeak,
These hoary locks proclaim my lengthen'd years,
And many a furrow in my grief-worn cheek
Has been the channel to a flood of tears.

3. Yon house, erected on the rising ground,
With tempting aspect drew me from my road;
For plenty there a residence has found,
And grandeur a magnificent abode.

4. Hard is the fate of the infirm and poor!
Here as I crav'd a morsel of their bread,
A pamper'd menial drove me from the door,
To seek a shelter in a humbler shed.

5. Oh! take me to your hospitable dome;
Keen blows the wind, and piercing is the cold!
Short is my passage to the friendly tomb,
For I am poor and miserably old.

6. Should I reveal the sources of my grief,
If soft humanity e'er touch'd your breast,
Your hands would not withhold the kind relief,
And tears of pity would not be repress'd.

7. Heaven sends misfortunes; why should we repine? 'Tis Heaven has brought me to the state you see; And your condition may be soon like mine, The child of sorrow, and of misery.

8. A little farm was my paternal lot,
Then like the lark I sprightly hail'd the morn;
But ah! oppression forc'd me from my cot,
My cattle died, and blighted was my corù,

9. My daughter, once the comfort of my age,
Lur'd by a villain from her native home,
Is cast abandon'd on the world's wide stage,
And doom'd in scanty poverty to roam.

10. My tender wife, sweet soother of my care,
Struck with sad anguish at the stern decree,
Feil, ling'ring fell, a victim to despair,
And left the world to wretchedness and me.
11. Pity the sorrows of a poor
old man,
Whose trembling limbs have borne him to your door,
Whose days are dwindled to the shortest span,
Oh! give relief, and heaven will bless your store,


REAL goodness consists in doing good to

our enemies. Of this truth the following apologue may serve for an illustration. A certain father of a family, advanced in years, being desirous of settling his worldly matters, divided his property between his three sons.

2. Nothing now remains, sáid he to them, but a diamond of great value; this I have determined to appropriate to whichever of you shall, within three months, perform the best actions.

3. His three sons accordingly departed different ways, and returned by the limited time. On presenting themselves before their judge, the eldest thus began.

4. Father, said he, during my absence, I found a stranger so circumstanced, that he was under the necessity of entrusting me with the whole of his fortune.

5. He had no written security from me, nor could he possibly bring any proof, any evidence whatever, of the depos it. Yet I faithfully returned to him every shilling. Was there not something commendable in this action?

6. Thou hast done what was incumbent upon thee to do, my son, replied the old man. The man who could have acted otherwise were unworthy to live; for honesty is a duty; thy action is an action of justice, not of goodness.

« PreviousContinue »