Page images
[ocr errors]

Bel. Now for our mountain sport, up to yond hill,
Your legs are young. I'll tread these flats. Consider,
When you, above, perceive me like a crow;
That it is place which leffens and sets off :
And you may then revolve what tales I told

Of courts, of princes, of the tricks in war ;
That service is not service, so being done,
But being so allow'd. To apprehend thus,
Draws us a profit from all things we fee ;
And often, to our comfort, shall we find
The sharded beetle in a safer hold,
Than is the full-wing'd eagle. Oh, this life
Is nobler than attending for a check ;
Richer, than doing nothing for a bauble :
Prouder, than rustling in unpaid-for filk.
Such gain the cap of him, that makes them fine,
Yet keeps his book uncross'd :--no life to ours.

Guid. Out of your proof you speak; we, poor, unfledg'd,
Have never wing'd from view o'th' neft ; nor know
What air's from home. Haply this life is best,
If quiet life is beit ; sweeter to you,
That have a sharper known ; weil corresponding

age : but unto us, it is
A cell of ign’rance ; travelling a-bed ;
A prison, for a debtor that not dares
To ftride a limit.

Arv. What should we speak of, When we are old


? When we shall hear
The rain and wind beat dark December ? how,
In this our pinching cave, shall we discourse
The freezing hours away? We have seen nothing;
We're beastly ; subtle as the fox for prey,
M 3



Like warlike as the wolf, for what we eat,
Our valour is to chase what flies ; our cage
We make a choir, as doth the prison’d bird
And sing our bondage freely.

BEL. How you speak !
Did you but know the city's ufuries,
And felt them knowingly; the art o' th 'court,
As hard to leave, as keep ; whose top to clime,
Is certain falling ; or fö Nipp’ry, that
The fear's as bad as falling ; the toil of war ;
A pain that only seems to feek out danger
I'th' name of fame and honours ; which, dies i' th' fearch,
And hath as oft a fland'rous epitaph,
As record of fair act ; nay, many time,
Doth ill deserve, by doing well : what's worse
Must curt'fy at the censuré.--Oh, boys, this story
The world might read in me : my body's mark'd
With Roman swords; and my report was once
First with the best of note. Cymbeline lov'd me ;
And when a soldier was the theme, my name
Was not far off ; then was I as a tree,
Whofe bows did bend with fruit. But, in one night,
A storm, or robbery, call it what you will,
Shook down my mellow hangings, nay, my leaves ;
And left me bare to weather,

Guid. Uncertain favour !

Bel. My fault being nothing, as I have told you oft, But that two villains whose false oaths prevail'd Before my perfect honour) swore to Cymbeline, I was confed’rate with the Romans : fo Follow'd niy banishment; and, these twenty years This rock and thefe demesnes have been my world ;


Where I have liv'd at honest freedom ; paid
More pious debts to Heaver, than in all
The fore-end of my time.-But, up to th’ mountains.!
This is not hunter's language ; he that strikes
The venison first, shall be the lord o' th' feast ;
To him the other two shall minister,
And we will fear no poison, which attends
In place of greater state.
I'll meet you in the valleys.


B в оо. К



CH A P. I.



EAR Sensibility! source inexhausted of all that's

precious in our joys, or costly in our sorrows ! thou chainest thy martyr down upon his bed of straw, and it is thou who lifteft him up to Heaven. Eternal Fountain of our feelings ! It is here I trace thee, and this is thy divi. nity which stirs within me : not, that in some sad and fickening moments, . my soul shrinks back upon herself, and startles at destruction'

-mere pomp

of words !--but that I feel fome generous joys and generous cares beyond myself--all comes from thee, great, great Sensorium of the world! Which vibrates, if a hair of our head but falls

upon the ground, in the remotest defert of thy creation. Touched with thee, Eugenius draws my curtain when I languish ; kears my tale of symptoms, and blames the weather for the disorder of his nerves. Thou givest a portion of it some

[ocr errors]

times to the roughest peasant who traverses the bleakeft mountains.--He finds the lacerated lamb of another's flock. This moment I behold him leaning with his head against his crook, with piteous inclination looking down upon it ---Oh! had l come one moment fooner !-it bleeds to death-his gentle heart bleeds with it.

Peace to thee, generous swain! I see thou walkest off with anguish—but thy joys shall balance it ; for happy is thy *cottage, and happy is the sharer of it, and happy are the Jambs which sport about you.


снА Р.




ISGUISE thyself as thou wilt, ftill SLAVERY! still

thou art a bitter draught ; and though thousands in all ages

have been made to drink of thee, thou art not less bitter on that account. It is thou, LIBERTY, thrice sweet and gracious goddess, whom all in public or in private worä ship, whose taste is grateful, and ever will be so, till nature herself shall change no tint of words can spot thy snowy mantle, or chymic power turn thy sceptre into ironwith thee to fmile upon him as he eats his crust, the swain is happier than his monarch, from whose court thou art exiled. Gracious Heaven! grant me but health, thou great Bestower of it, and give me but this fair goddess as my companion ; and shower down thy mitres, if it seem good unto thy divine providence, upon those heads which are aching.

PURSUING these ideas, I sat down clofe by my table, and leaning my head upon my hand, I began to figure to myself M 5


« PreviousContinue »