Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

E

,

Cæsar said to me, Dar'st thou, Cassius, now
Leap in with me into this angry flood,
And swim to yonder point ?-Upon the word,
Accoutred as I was, I plunged in,

And bade him follow : so, indeed, he did. 4 The torrent roared ; and we did buffet it

With lusty sinews; throwing it aside
And stemming it with hearts of controversy.
But ere we could arrive the point proposed,
Cæsar cried, Help me, Cassius, or I sink.
I, as Æneas, our great ancestor,
Did from the flames of Troy upon his shoulder
The old Anchises bear, so, from the waves of Tiber,
Did I the tired Cæsar: And this man

Is now become a god; and Cassius is
5 A wretched creature, and must bend his body,

If Cæsar carelessly but ned on him.
He had a fever when he was in Spain,
And, when the fit was on him, I did mark
How he did shake : 'lis true, this god did shake :
His coward lips did from their color fly:
And that same eye, whose bend doth awe the world,
Did lose his lustre: I did hear him groan:
Ay, and that tongue of his, that bade the Romans

Mark him, and write his speeches in their books, 6 Alas! it cried, Give me some drink, Titinius,

As a sick girl. Ye gods, it doth amaze me,
A man of such a feeble temper should
So get the start of the majestic world,
And bear the palm alone.

Brutus.—Another general shout!
I do believe, that these applauses are
For some new honors that are hcaped on Cæsar.
Cassius.—Why, man, he doth bestride the narrow

world,
7 Like a Colossus; and we petty men
Walk under his huge legs, and peep about

To find ourselves dishonorable graves.
Men at some time are masters of their fates :
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars,
But in ourselves, that we are underlings.
Brutus, and Cæsar: what should be in that Cæsar?

Why should that name be sounded more than yours?
Write them together, yours is as fair a name;

Sound them, it doth become the mouth as well; 8 Weigh them, it is as heavy ; conjure them,

Brutus will start a spirit as soon as Cæsar.
Now in the names of all the gods at once,

Upon what meat doth this our Cæsar feed,
: That he is grown so great ? Age, thou art shamed !

Rome, thou hast lost the breed of noble bloods!
When went there by an age, since the great flood,
But it was fam’d with more than with one man?
When could they say, till now, that talked of Rome,

That her wide walks encompassed but one man ? *9 Now is it Rome indeed, and room enough,

When there is in it but one only man.
O! you and I have heard our fathers say,
There was a Brutus once, that would have brooked
The eternal devil to keep his state in Rome,
As easily as a king.

LESSON LXXXVII.

The Hospitable Negro Woman. 1 The enterprising traveller, Mungo Park, was employed, by the African Association, to explore the interior regions of Africa. In this hazardous undertaking, he encountered many dangers and difficulties. His wants were often supplied, and his distresses alleviated, by the kindness and compassion of the negroes. He gives the following lively and interesting account of the hospitable treatment he received from a poor negro woman :

“ Being arrived at Sego, the capital of the kingdom of Bambarra, situated on the banks of the Niger, I wished to 2 pass over to that part of the town in which the king resides : but, from the number of persons eager to obtain a passage, I was under the necessity of waiting two hours. During this time, the people who had crossed the river, carried information to Mansong, the king, that a white man was waiting for a passage, and was coming to see him. He immediately sent over one of his chief men, who informed me that the king could not possibly see me, until he knew what had brought me into his country; and that I must not presume to cross the river without the king's permission. 3 le therefore advised me to lodge, for that night, at a distant

village to which he pointed; and said that, in the morning, he would give me further instructions how to conduct myself.

“This was very discouraging. However, as there was no remedy, I set off for the village ; where I found, to my great mortification, that no person would admit me into his : house. From the prejudices infused into their minds, I was regarded with astonishment and fear; and was obliged

to sit the whole day without victuals, in the shade of a 4 tree.

“ The night threatened to be very uncomfortable ; for the wind rose, and there was great appearance of a heavy rain : the wild beasts too were so numerous in the neighborhood, that I should have been under the necessity of climbing up the tree, and resting among the branches. About sunset, however, as I was preparing to pass the night in this manner, and had turned my horse loose, that he might graze at liberty, a negro woman, returning from

the labors of the field, stopped to observe me; and perceiv5 ing that I was weary and dejected, inquired into my situation. I briefly explained it to her ; after which, with looks of great compassion, she took up my saddle and bridle, and told me to follow her. Having conducted me into her hut, she lighted a lamp, spread a mat on the floor, and told me I miglit remain there for the night. - Finding that I was very hungry, she went out to procure me something to eat; and returned in a short time with a very fine fish, which, having caused it to be half broiled upon some embers, she

gave me for supper. 6 “ The rites of hospitality being thus performed towards

a stranger in distress, my worthy benefactress (pointing to the mat, and telling me I might sleep there without apprehension) called to the female part of her family, who had stood gazing on me all the while in fixed astonishment, to resume their task of spinning cotton; in which they continued to employ themselves great part of the night. They lightened their labor by songs, one of which was composed extempore : for I was myself the subject of it. It

was sung by one of the young women, the rest joining in 7 a sort of chorus. The air was sweet and plaintive, and the words, literally translated, were these :

“The winds roared and the rains fell.-The poor white * man, faint and weary, came and sat under our tree.--He

has no mother to bring him milk ; no wife to grind his corni. Chorus. Let us pity the white man : no mother has he to bring him milk ; no wife to grind his corn."*

* These simple and pathetic sentiments, have been very beautifully versified and expanded by the duchess of Devonshire. The following is a copy of this little interesting piece of poetry :

1 The loud wind roared, the rain fell fast;

The white man yielded to the blast,
He sat him down beneath the tree,
For weary, sad, and faint was he:
And ah! no wife nor mother's care,
For him the milk or corn prepare.

CHORUS
The white man shall our pity share :
Alas! no wife, or mother's care,

For him the milk or corn prepare.
2 The storm is o'er, the tempest past,

And mercy's voice has hush'd the blast;
The wind is heard in whispers low;
The white man far away must go :
But ever in his heart will bear
Remembrance of the negro's care.

CHORUS.
Go, white man, go ; but with thee bear )
The negro's wish, the negro's prayer,
Remembrance of the negro's care.

LESSON LXXXVIII..

New-England.—PERCIVAL.
1 Hail to the land whereon we tread,

Our fondest boast;
The sepulchre of mighty dead,
The truest hearts that ever bled,
Who sleep on Glory's brightest bed,

• A fearless host:

No slave is here—our unchained feet
Walk freely, as the waves that beat

Our coast.
2. Our fathers crossed the ocean's wave

To seek this shore;
They left behind the coward slave
To welier in his living grave :-
With hearts unbent, and spirits brave,

They sternly bore
Such toils, as meaner souls had quelled ;
But souls like these, such toils impelled

To soar.

3 Hail to the morn, when first they stood

On Bunker's height,
And, fearless, stemmed the invading flood,
And wrote our dearest rights in blood,
And mowed in ranks the hireling brood,

In desperate fight!
O! 'twas a proud, exulting day,
For even our fallen fortunes lay

In light.

4 There is no other land like thee,

No dearer shore;
Thou art the shelter of the free;
The home, the port of liberty,
Thou hast been, and shalt ever be,

Till time is o’er.
Ere I forget to think upon
My land, shall mother curse the son

She bore.

5 Thou art the firm, unshaken rock

On which we rest;
And, rising from thy hardy stock,
Thy sons the tyrant's frown shall mock,
And Slavery's galling chains unlock,

And free the oppressed :
All, who the wreath of Freedom twine,
Beneath the shadow of their vine

Are blest. .

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »