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and reproaches him with every species of base ingratitude, tells him he first gave him his life, enriched him with the spoils of Antony, upon every occafion had been profusely liberal and kind to him, preferred his interest even to those, who had fought for him, and by whose blood he had purchased the empire; and had admitted him, upon the death of Mæcenas, into the first place in his confidence. Augustus adds too, that it was by his advice he retained his power; and after all this, says he, you would assassinate me. Cinna does not barely deny the conspiracy, but exclaims, “I, Sir, have I such a treacherous soul, such a base design !"

Augustus cuts him short in this disgrace- ' ful lie, Thewing him he has full information of the plot; and very justly says, “ The liberty of thy country could not be thy object, for then thou wouldīt not have hindered my restoring it. Thou must design therefore to reign in my place. Alas ! Rome must be unhappy indeed, if I were the only obstacle, and that after my death

it should not fall into better hands than thine. Learn to know what thou art : . descend into thyself: thou art honoured, praised, and loved, all tremble before thee, so high have I raised thy fortune : but thou wouldst be the pity of those who now envy that fortune, if I abandoned thee to thy own little merit. Contradict me if thou canft; tell me what is thy merit, what are thy virtues, what are thy glorious exploits, what are those rare qualities, by.which thou could'st pretend to my favour, what is it raises thee above the vulgar? My favour is thy only glory; thy power arises from it; that alone raises and supports thee; it is that, not thou, which is respected: thou hast neither rank nor credit, but what arises from it; and to let thee fall, I need only draw back the hand that supports thee,”

Quel était ton desfein, et que pretendais-tu,
Après m'avoir au temple à tes pieds abattu ?
Affranchir ton pays d'un pouvoir monarchique ?
Si j'ai bien entendu tantôt ta politique,
Son salut désormais dépend d'un souverain,
Qui pour tout conserver tienne tout en sa main ;

Wein.

Et

Et si la liberté te faisait entreprendre,
Tu ne m'euses jamais empêché de la rendre ;
Tu l'aurais acceptée au nom de tout l'état,
Sans vouloir l'acquerir par un assassinat.
Quel etait donc ton but ? d'y regner en ma place?
D'un etrangè malheur son deftin le menace,
Si pour monter au trône et lui donner la loi,
Tu ne trouves dans Rome autre obstacle que moi ; ;
Si jusques à ce point son sort est deplorable,
Que tu sois aprés moi le plus considerable:,

Et que ce grand fardeau de l'empire Romain · Ne puisse aprés ma mort tomber mieux qu'en ta main.

Apprens à te connaître, et descens en toi-même.
On t'honore dans Rome, on te courtise, on t'aime ;
Chacun tremble sous toi, chacun t'offre des voeux;

Ta fortune est bien haut, tu peux ceque je veuxe : - Mais tu ferais pitié, même à ceux qu'elle irrite, · Si je t'abandonnais à ton peu de merite.

Ose me dementir, dis-moi ce que tu vaux,
Conte-moi tes vertus, tes glorieux travaux,
Les rares qualités par où tu m'as dû plaire,
Et tout ce qui t'éleve au-dessus du vulgaire.
Ma faveur fait ta gloire, & ton pouvoir en vient;
Elle seule t'éleve, & seule te soutient,

C'est

C'est elle qu'on adore, et non pas ta personne,
Tu n'as crèdit ni rang qu'autant qu'elle t'en donne;
Et pour te faire choir je n'aurais aujourd'hui
Qu'à retirer la main qui feule est ton appui.

Emilia enters, and behavęs with the most insolent pride, undaunted assurance, and unfeeling ingratitude ; and declares to Augustus, that so long as she is handsome enough to get lovers, he shall never want enemies. Auguftus still adheres to his plan of clemency, (for that too is plan, and the result of prudent deliberation, not of generous magnanimity) he pardons Maximus, forgives Cinna in spite of his unworthiness, and bestows upon him Emilia and the consulship. Emilia is at haft mitigated, and modestly tells Auguftus, that Heaven has ordained, a change in the Commonwealth, since it has changed her Heart. What is there in all this that can move either Pity or Terror? In what is it moral, in what is it interesting, where is it pathetic ?

It is a common error, in the plan of Corneille's tragedies, that the interest of the piece turns upon some unknown person, generally a haughty princess ; so that instead of the representation of an important event, and the characters of illustrious persons, the business of the drama is the love-intrigue of a termagant Lady, who, if she is a Roman, insults the Barbarians, if she is a Barbarian, braves the Romans, and even to her Lover is insolent and fierce. Were such a person to be produced on our theatre, she would be taken for a mad Poetess escaped from her keepers in Bedlam, who, fancying herself a Queen, was ranting, and delivering her mandates in rhyme upon the stage. All the excuse that can be made for Corneille in such representations is, that characters like these, dignified indeed with nobler senti· ments, were admired in the Romances, whete the manners of chivalry are exaggerated. By the institutions of chivalry, every valiant knight professed a peculiar

devotion

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