Abbildungen der Seite

Cato. Those very reasons thou hast urged forbid it.

Dec. Cato, I've orders to expostulate,
And reason with you, as from friend to friend.
Think on the storm that gathers o'er your head,
And threatens every hour to burst upon it!
Still may you stand high in your country's honors.
Do but comply and make your peace with Cæsar,
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 such conditions.

Dec. Cæsar 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 public censure,
And stand the judgment of a Roman Senate:
Bid him do this, and Cato is his friend.

Dec. Cato, the world talks loudly of your wisdom,-
Cato. Nay, more, though Cato's voice was ne'er em

To clear the guilty, and to varnish crimes,
Myself will mount the Rostrum in his favor,
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, that is Cæsar's foe?
Cato. Greater than Cæsar: 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 Cæsar's sword has made Rome's Senate little
And thinned its ranks. Alas! thy dazzled eye
Beholds this man in a false glaring light,
Which conquest and success have thrown upon


Didst thou but view him right, thou ’dst see him black
With murder, treason, sacrilege, and - crimes
That strike my soul with horror but to name them.
I know thou look’st on me as on a wretch
Beset with ills, and covered with misfortunes ;
But, as I love my country, millions of worlds
Should never buy me to be like your Cæsar.

Dec. Does Cato send this answer back to Cæsar,
For all his generous cares and proffered friendship?

Cato. His cares for me are insolent and vain :
Presumptuous man! the gods take care of Cato.
Would Cæsar 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 sheltering men much better than himself.

JOSEPH ADDISON. (1672 — 1719.)



CHĀ'RY, A., careful ; cautious.
PA'GAN, a., heathen.
IN'TRI-CATE, a., entangled.

BEN'I-SON (-zon), n., a blessing.
LAB'Y-RINTH, n., a maze.
SUCCINCT-LY, ad., briefly ; compactly

I’m bidden, little Mary, to write verses unto thee;
I'd fain obey the bidding, if it rested but with me;
But the mistresses I 'm bound to (nine ladies, hard to please !),
Of all their stores poetic so closely keep the keys,
That 't is only now and then — by good luck, as we may say
A couplet or a rhyme or two falls fairly in my way.
Fruit forced is never half so sweet as that comes quite in season ;
But some folks must be satisfied with rhyme, in spite of reason ;
So, Muses, all befriend me,- albeit of help so chary,
To string the pearls of poësy for loveliest little Mary.
And yet, ye pagan damsels, * not over-fond am I
To invoke your haughty favors, your fount of Cas'taly:

* By the pagan damsels, the “nine ladies hard to please,” the author means the Nine Muses ; female deities that were imagined by the ancients to preside over poetry, music, &c. The fount of Castaly was on Mount Par. Dassus, in Greece, and was sacred to Apollo and the Muses.

I've sipped a purer fountain ; I've decked a holier shrine ;
I own a mightier mistress ; O Nature, thou art mine!

And only to that well-head, sweet Mary, I 'll resort,
For just an artless verse or two,— a simple strain and short,
Befitting well a pilgrim, wayworn with care and strife,
To offer thee, young traveler, in the morning track of life.

[ocr errors]

There 's many a one will tell thee, 't is all with roses gay;
There's many a one will tell thee, 't is thorny all the way.
Deceivers are they every one, dear child, who thus pretend :
God's ways are not unequal; make Him thy trusted friend,
And many a path of pleasantness He 'll clear away for thee,
However dark and intricate the labyrinth may be.

I need not wish thee beauty, I need not wish thee grace;
Already both are budding in that infant form and face.
I will not wish thee grandeur, I will not wish thee wealth ;
But only a contented heart, peace, competence, and health ;
Fond friends to love thee dearly, and honest friends to chide,
And faithful ones to cleave to thee, whatever may


[ocr errors]

And now, my little Mary, if better things remain
Unheeded in my blindness,'unnoticed in my

I'll sum them up succinctly in “ English'undefiled,”
My mother-tongue's best benison,- God bless thee, precious child !


[ocr errors]


PRO-MUL-GA'TION, n., open teaching. A-CHIEVEʻMENT, n., a deed ; a feat.
PER-PE-TU'I-TY, n., endless duration. FRAN'CHISE, n., a privilege.
AR-TIF'L-CER, n., a mechanic.

TRUS-TEE', n., one who has a trust. Pronounce Stael, Stah'ěl. Do not slur the sound of er in gov'ern-ment. In con. ducts', con'tests, &c., heed the consonant terminations.

1. It is by the promulgation of sound morals in the community, and, more especially, by the training and instruction of the young, that woman performs her part toward the preservation of a free government. It is generally admitted that public liberty, the perpe

tuity of a free constitution, rests on the virtue and intelligence of the community which enjoys it. How is that virtue to be inspired and how is that intelligence to be communicated? Bonaparte once asked Madame de Staël in what manner he could most promote the happiness of France. Her reply is full of political wisdom. She said : “ Instruct the mothers of the French people.”

2. Mothers are, indeed, the affectionate and effective teachers of the human race. The mother begins her process of training with the infant in her arms. It is she who directs, so to speak, its first mental and spiritual pulsations. She conducts it along the impressible years of childhood and youth, and hopes to deliver it to the rough contests and tumultuous scenes of life, armed by those good principles wlrich her child has received from maternal care and love.

3. If we draw within the circle of our contemplation the mothers of a civilized nation, what do we see? We behold so many artificers working, not on frail and perishable matter, but on the immortal mind, moulding and fashioning beings who are to exist forever. We applaud the artist, whose skill and genius, present the mimic man upon the canvas; we admire and celebrate the sculptor, who works out that same image in enduring marble; but how insignificant are these achievements, though the highest and the fairest in all the departments of art, in comparison with the great vocation of human mothers! They work, not upon the canvas that shall fail, or the marble that shall crumble into dust, but upon mind, upon spirit, which is to last forever, and which is to bear, for good or evil, throughout its duration, the impress of a mother's plastic hand.

4. I have already expressed the opinion, which all allow to be correct, that our security for the dūration of the free institutions which bless our country de pends upon the habits of virtue, and the prevalence of knowledge and of education. Knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the larger term of education. The feelings are to be disciplined; the passions are to be restrained; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be instilled, and pure morality inculcated, under all circumstances.

5. All this is comprised in education. Mothers who are faithful to this great charge will tell their children that neither in political nor in any other concerns of life can man ever withdraw himself from the perpetual obligations of conscience and of duty; that in every act, whether public or private, he incurs a just responsibility, and that in no condition is he warranted in trifling with important rights and obligations.

6. They will impress upon their children the truth, that the exercise of the elective franchise is a social duty, of as solemn a nature as man can be called to perform; that a man may not innocently trifle with his vote; that every free elector is a trustee, as well for others as himself; and that every man and every meas, ure he supports has an important bearing on the interests of others, as well as on his own. It is in the inculcation of high and pure morals, such as these, that, in a free republic, woman performs her sacred duty, and fulfills her destiny.

DANIEL WEBSTER. (1782-1852.)

FATHER of light and life ! thou Good Supreme !
0, teach me what is good l teach me thyself!
Save me from folly, vanity, and vice,
From every low pursuit ; and feed my soul
With knowledge, conscious peace, and virtue pure,
Sacred, substantial, never-fading bliss !

« ZurückWeiter »