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53. Vanoc's Patriotism.

Vunoc. Now, tribune.
Valens. Health to Vanoc.
Van. Speak your business.

Val. I come not as a herald, but a friend;
And I rejoice that Didus chose out me
To greet a prince, in my esteem the foremost.

Van. So much for words. — Now to your purpose, tribune

Val. Sent by our new lieutenant, who in Rome,
And since from me, has heard of your renown,
I come to offer peace; to recor.cile
Past enmities; to strike perpetual league
With Vanoc, whom our emperor invites
To terms of friendship, strictest bonds of union.

Van. We must not hold a friendship with the Romans
Val. Why must you not ?
Van. Virtue forbids it.

Val. Once
You thought our friendship was your greatest glory.

Van. I thought you honest. I have been deceived:
Would you deceive me twice? No, tribune, no!
You sought for war; maintain it as you may.

Val. Believe me, prince, your vehemence of spirit,
Prone ever to extremes, betrays your judgment.
Would you once coolly reason on our conduct-

Van. O, I have scanned it thoroughly. Night and day,
I think it over, and I think it base,
Most infamous, let who will judge — but Romans.
Did not my wife, did not my menial servant,
Against my crown, against my life conspire ?
Did they not levy war and wage rebellion ?
And when I would assert my right and power
As king and husband, when I would chastise
Two foul conspirators, - who, but Romans,
Opposed my justice, and maintained their crimes ?

val. At first, the Romans did not interpose,
But grieved to see their best allies at variance.
Indeed, when you turned justice into rigor,
We undertook to mediate for the queen,
And hoped to moderate —

Van. To moderate!
What would you moderate ? — my indignation ?
The just resentment of a virtuous mind ?
To mediate for the queen, you undertook !
Wherein concerned it you, but as you love
To exercise your insolence? Are you
To arbitrate my wrongs ? Must I ask leave,
Must I be taught to govern my own household ?
Am I then void of reason and of justice ?
When in my family offences rise,
Shall strangers, saucy intermeddlers, say,
Thus far, and thus you are allowed to punish ?
When I submit to such indignities,
When I am tamed to that degree of slavery,
Make me a citizen, a senator of Rome,
To watch, to live upon the smile of Claudius;
To sell my country with my voice for bread.

Val. Prince, you insult upon this day's success.
You may provoke too far. But I am cool.
I give your anger scope —

Van. Who shall confine it?
The Romans? Let them rule their slaves. I blush
That, dazzled in my youth with ostentation,
The trappings of the men seduced my virtue.

Val. Blush rather that you are a slave to passion,
Subservient to the wildness of your will,
Which, like a whirlwind, tears up all your virtues,
And gives you not the leisure to consider.
Did not the Romans civilize you?
Van. No. They brought new customs and new vices


Taught us more arts than honest men require,
And gave us wants that nature never knew.

Val. We found you naked
Van. And you found us free.
Val. Would you be temperate once, and hear me out -

Van. Speak things that honest men may hear with temper ,
Speak the plain truth, and varnish not your crimes.
Say that you once were virtuous - long ago
A frugal, hardy people, like the Britons,
Before you grew thus elegant in vice,
And gave your luxuries the name of virtues.
The civilizers ! — the disturbers, say
The robbers, the corrupters of mankind !
Proud vagabonds! who make the world your home,
And lord it where you have no right.
What virtue have you taught ?

Val. Humanity.
Van. O, patience! -

Val. Can you disown a truth confessed by all ?
A praise, a glory known in barbarous climes ?
Far as our legions march, they carry knowledge,
The arts, the laws, the discipline of life.
Our conquests are indulgences, and we
Not masters, but protectors of mankind.

Van. Prevaricating — false — most courteous tyrants;
Romans ! Rare patterns of humanity!
Came you then here, thus far through waves, to conquer
To waste, to plunder, out of mere compassion ?
Is it humanity that prompts you on
To ravage the whole earth, to burn, destroy ?
To raise the cry of widows and of orphans ?
To lead in bonds the generous, free-born princes,
Who spurn, who fight against your tyranny ?
Happy for us, and happy for you spoilers,
Had your humanity ne'er reached our world:
It is a virtue, -- so, it seems, you call it, -

A Roman virtue, that has cost you dear;
And dearer shall it cost if Vanoc lives;
Or, if we die, we shall leave those behind us
Who know the worth of British liberty.


54. The Memory of Joy.

How bountifully gifted is man! He lives not only in the present, but in the past and future. The days of his childhood belong to him, even when his hair is white and his eyes are clouded; and heaven itself may open on his vision, while he is wandering among the shadows of earth, and dwelling in a tabernacle of clay. He may look back to the rosy dawn and faint glimmerings of his intellectual day, and forward, till his unchecked sight discerns the dwelling-place of God, and grows familiar with eternity.

The greater part of our mental pleasures is drawn from the sources of memory and hope; for while Hope is constantly adorning the future with her fresh colors and bright images, Memory is as active in bringing back to us the joys of the past; and though it is also her duty to introduce its pains, it is with the veil of time becomingly thrown over them, to soften the severity of their features, and render their presence not only endurable, but often soothing and welcome.

But I would not speak of the pleasures, alone, which these kind handmaids of our life are commissioned to procure for us. They hold instruction in their keeping; and if we will intimately and seriously converse with them, we may receiye from their lips the lessons of wisdom and virtue.

They are to be consulted on the real business, as well as the meditative delights, of existence; for what would be the excitement of labor without the encouragements of hope ? and where could Experience go for bis treasures, if the storehouse of Memory should fail? I might compare these faculties to the valuable friends, who are always found ready to minister to our amusement, and participate in our gayety, and . equally ready to counsel our sober hours, and assist our emergencies with effectual help.

Let us attend to the instructive voice of Memory. Let us lend a careful ear to the moral of her tales. Let us, like the Psalmist, when we remember the days of old, hallow our reminiscences by meditating on the works of God — by tracing the hand of a merciful Providence through the varied for tunes of our course.

The memory of joy reaches far back in the annals of every one's life. Indeed, there are many who persuade themselves that they never experienced true pleasure, except in the earliest stages of their career ; who complain, that when the hours of childhood flew away, they bore off the best joys of life upon their wings, leaving passion to be the minister of youth, and care to be the portion of manhood, and regret and pain to drag old age into the grave.

I cannot sympathize in these gloomy views. I consider them in a high degree unjust to the happiness which God has spread out liberally through every division of our days, and which can be missed or forfeited in hardly any other manner than through our wilful sins. But I do not the less share the visions and participate in the pleasures of those who love to retrace the green paths of their early years, and refresh their hearts with the retrospect of guileless innocence, of sunbright hopes, of delights that the merest trifle could purchase, and of tears that any kind hand could wipe away

How many scenes exist in the remembrance of each one of us, soft, and dim, and sacred, beyond the painter's art to copy, but hung up, as in an ancient gallery, for the visits and contemplation of our maturer minds. Mellowed they are, and graced, like other pictures, by the slow and taste. ful hand of time.

The groves, through which we ran as free as our playmate the wind, wave with a more graceful foliage, and throw a purer shade; the ways which our young feet trod have lost

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