« ZurückWeiter »
XX-IN A HUNDRED YEARS.
I and tears :
How oft do I muse, 'mid the thoughtless and gay,
How dark are your fortunes, ye sons of the soil,
Then what meaneth the chase after phantom joys,
Ah, 'tis not the same in a hundred years,
AM charged with pride and ambition. The charge is
true, and I glory in its truth. Who ever achieved any thing great in letters, arts, or arms, who was not ambitious ? Cæsar was not more ambitious than Cicero. It was but in another way. Let the ambition be a noble one, and who shall blame it? I confess I did once aspire to be queen, not only of Palmyra, but of the East. That I am.
I now aspire to remain so. Is it not an honorable ambition ? Does it not become a descendant of the Ptolemies and of Cleopatra ?
2. I am applauded by you all for what I have already done. You would not it should have been less. But why pause here? Is so much ambition praiseworthy, and more criminal ? Is it fixed in nature that the limits of this empire should be Egypt, on the one hand, the Hellespont and the Euxine, on the other? Were not Suez and Armenia more natural limits? Or hath empire no natural limit, but is broad as the genius that can devise, and the power that can win ?
3. Rome has the West. Let Palmyra possess the East. Not that nature prescribes this and no more.
The gods prospering, and I swear not that the Mediterranean shall hem me in upon the west, or Persia on the east. Longi'nus is right,- I would that the world were mine. I feel, within, the will and the power to bless it, were it so.
4. Are not my people happy? I look upon the past and the present, upon my nearer and remoter subjects, and ask, nor fear the answer. Whom have I wronged ?—What province have I oppressed? What city pillaged? What region drained with taxes? Whose life have I unjustly taken, or estates coveted or robbed ? Whose honor have I wantonly assailed? Whose rights, though of the weakest and poorest, have I trenched upon ? I dwell, where I would ever dwell, in the hearts of my people. It is written in your faces, that I reign not more over you than within you. The foundation of my throne is not more power, than love.
5. Suppose now, my ambition add another province to our realm. Is it an evil? The kingdoms already bound to us by the joint acts of ourself and the late royal Odena'tus, we found discordant and at war. They are now united and at peace. One harmonious whole has grown out of hostile and sundered parts. At my hands they receive a common justice and equal benefits. The channels of their commerce have I opened, and dug them deep and sure. Prosperity and plenty are in all their borders. The streets of our capital bear testimony to the distant and various industry which here seeks its market.
6. This is no vain boasting :-receive it not so, good friends. It is but truth. He who traduces himself, sins with him who traduces another. He who is unjust to himself, or less than just, breaks a law, as well as he who hurts his neighbor. I tell you what I am, and what I have done, that your trust for the future may not rest upon ignorant grounds. If I am more than just to myself, rebuke me. If I have overstepped the modesty that became me, I am open to your censure, and will bear it.
7. But I have spoken, that you may know your queen, not only by her acts, but by her admitted principles. I tell you then that I am ambitious,—that I crave dominion, and while I live will reign. Sprung from a line of kings, a throne is my natural seat. I love it. But I strive, too,you can bear me witness that I do,—that it shall be, while I sit upon it, an honored, unpolluted seat. If I can, I will hang a yet brighter glory around it.
XXII.—THE LAUNCH OF THE SHIP.
“B'Staunch and strong, a goodly
a That shall laugh at all disaster,
And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!”
The merchant's word
All is finished ! and at length
And o'er the bay,
The ocean old,
He waits impatient for his bride.
Then the Master,