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HEROISM.

"Paradise is under the shadow of swords."

Mahomet.

RUBY wine is drunk by knaves,
Sugar spends to fatten slaves,
Rose and vine-leaf deck buffoons;
Thunderclouds are Jove's festoons,
Drooping oft in wreaths of dread
Lightning-knotted round his head;
The hero is not fed on sweets,
Daily his own heart he eats;
Chambers of the great are jails,
And head-winds right for royal sails.

VIII.

HEROISM.

IN the elder English dramatists, and mainly in the plays of Beaumont and Fletcher, there is a constant recognition of gentility, as if a noble behavior were as easily marked in the society of their age as color is in our American population. When any Rodrigo, Pedro or Valerio enters, though he be a stranger, the duke or governor exclaims, 'This is a gentleman,' — and proffers civilities without end; but all the rest are slag and refuse. In harmony with this delight in personal advantages there is in their plays a certain heroic cast of character and dialogue, as in Bonduca, Sophocles, the Mad Lover, the Double Marriage, wherein the speaker is so earnest and cordial and on such deep grounds of character, that the dialogue, on the slightest additional incident in the plot, rises naturally into poetry. Among many texts take the following. The Roman Martius has conquered Athens, — all but the invincible spirits of Sophocles, the duke of Ath

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latter inflames Martius, and he seeks to save her husband; but Sophocles will not ask his life, although assured that a word will save him, and the execution of both proceeds:

Valerius. Bid thy wife farewell.

Soph. No, I will take no leave. My Dorigen, Yonder, above, 'bout Ariadne's crown,

My spirit shall hover for thee. Prithee, haste.

So, 't is well;

Dor. Stay, Sophocles, - with this tie up my sight;
Let not soft nature so transformed be,
And lose her gentler sexed humanity,
To make me see my lord bleed.
Never one object underneath the sun
Will I behold before my Sophocles:
Farewell; now teach the Romans how to die.
Mar. Dost know what 't is to die?

Soph. Thou dost not, Martius,

And, therefore, not what 't is to live; to die
Is to begin to live. It is to end

An old, stale, weary work and to commence
A newer and a better. 'T is to leave

Deceitful knaves for the society

Of gods and goodness. Thou thyself must part
At last from all thy garlands, pleasures, triumphs,
And prove thy fortitude what then 't will do.

Val. But art not grieved nor vexed to leave thy life thus?

Soph. Why should I grieve or vex for being sent

To them I ever loved best? Now I'll kneel,
But with my back toward thee: 't is the last duty
This trunk can do the gods.

Mar. Strike, strike, Valerius,

This is a man, a woman.

Kiss thy lord,

And live with all the freedom you were wont.

O love! thou doubly hast afflicted me
With virtue and with beauty. Treacherous heart,

My hand shall cast thee quick into my urn,

Ere thou transgress this knot of piety.

Val. What ails my brother?

Soph. Martius, O Martius,

Thou now hast found a way to conquer me.

Dor. O star of Rome! what gratitude can speak

Fit words to follow such a deed as this?

Mar. This admirable duke, Valerius,
With his disdain of fortune and of death,
Captived himself, has captivated me,
And though my arm hath ta'en his body here,
His soul hath subjugated Martius' soul.

By Romulus, he is all soul, I think;

He hath no flesh, and spirit cannot be gyved,
Then we have vanquished nothing; he is free,
And Martius walks now in captivity."

mon, few

I do not readily remember any poem, play, sernovel or oration that our press vents in the last years, which goes to the same tune. We have a great many flutes and flageolets, but not often the sound of any fife. Yet Wordsworth's "Laodamia," and the ode of "Dion," and some sonnets, have a certain noble music; and Scott will sometimes draw a stroke like the portrait of Lord Evandale given by Balfour of Burley. Thomas Carlyle, with his

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