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The gale whose flower-sweet breath no more shall
Oh, what a gentle ministrant is Music
To Piety-to mild, to penitent Piety!
Oh, it gives plumage to the tardy prayer
That lingers in our lazy earthly air,
And melts with it to heaven.- -To die : 'tis dreary;
To die a villain's death, that's yet a pang.
But it must down: I have so steeped my soul
In the bitter ashes of true penitence,
That they have put on a delicious savour,
And all is halcyon quiet, all within. —
Bianca !—where is she ?-why comes she not ?
Yet I do almost wish her not to come,
Lest she again enamour me of life.
Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton.
RICHELIEU's Devotion to France.
.... I love my native land-
Not as Venetian, Englisher, or Swiss,
But as a noble and a priest of France;
All things for France-lo, my eternal maxim !
'The vital axle of the restless wheels
That bear me on! With her I have entwined
My passions and my fate-my crimes, my virtues-
Hated and loved, and schemed, and shed men's blood,
As the calm crafts of Tuscan sages teach
Those who would make their country great. Beyond
of France, my heart can travel not, But fills that limit to the farthest
And while I live-Richelieu and France are one.
We priests, to whom the Church forbids in youth
The plighted one—to manhood's toil denies
The soother helpmate—from our withered age
Shuts the sweet blossoms of the second spring
That smiles in the name Father-we are yet
Not holier than humanity, and must
Fulfil humanity's condition- Love !
Debarred the actual, we but breathe a life
To chill the marble of the ideal. Thus,
In the unseen and abstract Majesty,
My France--my country, I have bodied forth
A thing to love. What are these robes of state,
This pomp, this palace ? perishable bawbles !
In this world two things only are immortal -
Fame and a people !
RICHELIEU vindicates his Acts as Minister.
Adrien de Mauprat, men have called me cruel; I am not; I am just! I found France rent asunder,The rich men despots, and the poor banditti ;Sloth in the mart, and schism within the temple ; Brawls festering to rebellion; and weak laws Rotting away with rust in antique sheathsI have re-created France; and from the ashes Of the old feudal and decrepit carcase, Civilization on her luminous wings Soars—phæni x-like, to Jove !—what was my art ? Genius, some say,--some fortune,—witchcraft, some. Not so; my art was Justice !
The Pen mightier than the Sword.
Beneath the rule of men entirely great,
pen is mightier than the sword. Behold
The arch-enchanter’s wand—itself a nothing !
By taking sorcery from the master-hand
To paralyze the Cæsars, and to strike
The loud earth breathless ! Take away the sword-
States can be saved without it!
RICHELIEU reminds Louis of the Benefits attending his Administration.
Lo, I appeal to Time! Be just, my liegeI found your kingdom rent with heresies And bristling with rebellion; lawless nobles And breadless serfs; England fomenting discord; Austria—her clutch on your dominion; Spain Forging the prodigal gold of either Ind To armèd thunderbolts. The arts lay dead, Trade rotted in your marts, your armies mutinous, Your treasury bankrupt. Would you now revoke Your trust, so be it! and I leave you, sole, Supremest monarch of the mightiest realm, From Ganges to the Icebergs. Look withoutNo foe not humbled! Look within ! the Arts Quit for our schools, their old Hesperides, The golden Italy ! while throughout the veins Of your vast empire flows in strengthening tides Trade, the calm health of nations ! Sire, I know Your smootner courtiers please you best,-nor measure Myself with them,-yet soinetimes I would doubt If statesmen rocked and dandled into power Could leave such legacies to kings !
CLAUDE MELNOTTE describes to PAULINE, his Betrothed, a Palace by
the Lake of Como. Melnotte. Nay, dearest, nay, if thou wouldst have me
The home to which, could Love fulfil its prayers,
This hand would lead thee, listen! A deep vale
Shut out by Alpine hills from the rude world,
Near a clear lake, margined by fruits of gold
And whispering myrtles; glassing softest skies
As cloudless, save with rare and roseate shadows,
As I would have thy fate !
Pauline. My own dear love!
Mel. A palace lifting to eternal summer
Its marble walls, from out a glossy bower
Of coolest foliage, musical with birds,
Whose songs should syllable thy name! At noon
We sit beneath the arching vines, and wonder
Why Earth could be unhappy, while the Heavens
Still left us youth and love! We'd have no friends
That were not lovers; no ambition, save
To excel them all in love; we'd read no books
That were not tales of love—that we might smile
To think how poorly eloquence of words
Translates the poetry of hearts like ours !
And when night came, amidst the breathless heavens
what star should be our home when love
Becomes immortal; while the perfumed light
Stole through the mists of alabaster lamps,
And every air was heavy with the sighs
Of orange groves and music from sweet lutes,
And murmurs of low fountains that gush forth.
MELNOTTE describes his Love for Pauline, and its Consequences.
Mel. Pauline ! by pride,
Angels have fallen ere thy time; by pride-
That sole alloy of thy most lovely mould-
The evil spirit of a bitter love,
And a revengeful heart, had power upon
first years, my soul was filled with thee:
I saw thee, midst the flowers the lowly boy
Tended, unmarked by thee, a spirit of bloom,
And joy, and freshness, as if Spring itself
Were made a living thing, and wore thy shape!
I saw thee! and the passionate heart of man
Entered the breast of the wild-dreaming boy;
And from that hour I grew—what to the last
I shall be-thine adorer ! Well! this love,
Vain, frantic, guilty, if thou wilt, became
A fountain of ambition and bright hope :
I thought of tales that by the winter hearth
Old gossips tell-how maidens, sprung from Kings,
Have stooped from their high sphere; how Love, like Death,
Levels all ranks, and lays the shepherd's crook
Beside the sceptre.
Thus I made my home
In the soft palace of a fairy Future !
My father died; and I, the peasant-born,
Was my own lord. Then did I seek to rise
Out of the prison of my mean estate ;
And, with such jewels as the exploring Mind
Brings from the caves of Knowled ze, buy my ransom
From those twin jailers of the daring heart-