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Thou art the ruins of the noblest man,
That ever lived in the tide of times.
Woe to the hand that shed this costly blood !
Over thy wounds now I prophesy-
Which like dumb mouths, do ope their ruby lips,
To beg the voice and utterance of my tongue;-
A curse shall light upon the lines of inen;
Domestic fury, and fierce civil strife,
Shall cumber all the parts of Italy :
Blood and destruction shall be so in use,
And dreadful objects so familiar,
That mothers shall but smile, when they behold
Their infants quartered by the hands of war;
All pity choked with custom of fell deeds;
And Cæsar's spirit, raging for revenge,
With Até by his side, come hot from hell,
Shall in these confines, with a monarch's voice,
Cry, Havoc! and let slip the dogs of war!
MEETING OF SATAN AND DEATH AT THE GATE OF HELL.
Meanwhile the adversary of God and Man,
Satan, with thoughts inflamed of highest design,
Puts on swift wings, and towards the gates of Hell
Explores his solitary flight : sometimes
He scours the right hand coast, sometimes the left,
Now, shaves with level wing the deep, then soars
Up to the fiery concave, towering high,
As when far off at sea a fleet descried
Hangs in the clouds, by equinoctial winds
Close sailing from Bengala, or the isles
Of Tunate and Tidore, whence merchants bring
Their spicy drugs; they, on the trading flood,
Through the wide Ethiopian to the Cape,
Ply, stemming nightly, toward the pole : so seem'd
Far off the flying fiend. At last appear
Hell bounds, high reaching to the horrid roof,
And thrice three fold the gates: three folds were brass,
Three iron, three of adamantine rock
Impenetrable, impaled with circling fire,
Yet unconsumed. Before the gates there sat
On either side a formidable shape;
The one seem'd woman to the waist, and fair,
But ended foul in many a scaly fold
Voluminous and vast, a serpent arm'd
With mortal sting; about her middle round
cry of hell-hounds, never ceasing, bark'd
With wide Cerberean mouths full loud, and rung
A hideous peal. Far less abhorr'd than these
Vexed Scylla, bathing in the sea that parts
Calabria from the hoarse Trinacrian shore :
Nor uglier follow the night hag, when, calld
In secret, riding through the air she comes,
Lured with the smell of infant blood, to dance
With Lapland witches, while the laboring moon
Eclipses at their charms. The other shape,
If shape it might be call'd that shape had none
Distinguishable in member joint or limb;
Or substance might be called that shadow seem'd;
For each seemed either ; black it stood as night,
Fierce as ten furies, terrible as Hell,
And shook a dreadful dart; what seem'd his head
The likeness of a kingly crown had on.
Satan was now at hand; and from his seat
The monster moving, onward came as fast
With horrid strides; Hell trembled as he strode.
The undaunted Fiend what this might be admired,
Admired, not fear'd: God and his Son except,
Created thing naught valued he, nor shunn'd,
And with disdainful look thus first began.
“Whence and what art thou, execrable shape ! That dar'st, though grim and terrible, advance Thy miscreated front athwart my way
To yonder gates? through them I mean to pass,
That be assured, without leave ask'd of thee :
Retire, or taste thy folly; and learn by proof,
Hell-born! not to contend with Spirits of Heaven!"
To whom the goblin, full of wrath replied,
" Art thou that traitor angel, art thou he, Who first broke peace in Heaven, and faith, till then Unbroken, and in proud rebellious arms Drew after him the third part of Heaven's sons Conjured against the Highest, for which both thou And they, outcast from God, are here condemn'd To waste eternal days in woe and pain? And reckon’st thou thyself with spirits of Heaven, Hell-doom'd! and breath'st defiance here and scorn, Where I reign king, and to inflame thee more, Thy king and lord ! Back to thy punishment, False fugitive! and to thy speed add wings, Lest with a whip of scorpions I pursue Thy lingering, or with one stroke of this dart Strange horrow seize thee, and pangs unfelt before."
So spake the grisly terror, and in shape, So speaking and so threat’ning, grew tenfold More dreadful and deform’d: on the other side, Incensed with indignation, Satan stood Unterrified, and like a comet burn'd, That fires the length of Ophiuchus huge In the arctic sky, and from his horrid hair Shakes pestilence and war. Each at the head Leveld his deadly aim : their fatal hands No second stroke intend; and such a frown Each cast at the other, as when two black clouds With heaven's artillery fraught, come rattling on Over the Caspian, they stand front to front Hovering a space, till winds the signal blow To join their dark encounter in mid air : So frowned the mighty combatants, that Hell Grew darker at their frown; so match'd they stood ;
For never but once more was either like
To meet so great a foe : and now great deeds
Had been achieved, whereof all Hell had rung,
Had not the snaky sorceress that sat
Fast by Hell gate, and kept the fatal key,
Risen, and with hideous outcry rush'd between.
SCENE FROM THE TRAGEDY OF KING JOHN.-Shakspeare: PRINCE ARTHUR, HUBERT, AND ATTENDANTS.
SCENE.—A room in the castle, Northampton.
Enter HUBERT and two ATTENDANTS. Hubert. Heat me these irons hot: and, look thou stand Within the arras : when I strike
foot Upon the bosom of the ground, rush forth And bind the boy, which you shall find with me, Fast to the chair : be heedful: hence and watch. Attendant. I hope, your warrant will bear out the
deed. Hub. Uncleanly scruples ! Fear not you ; look to't.
Enter ARTHUR. Arthur. Good morrow, Hubert. . Hub.
Good morrow, little prince.
Arth. As little prince (having so great a title
To be more prince,) as may be. You are sad.
Hub. Indeed, I have been merrier.
Mercy on me!
Methinks, nobody should be sad but I:
Yet, I remember, when I was in France,
Young gentlemen would be as sad as night,
Only for wantonness. By my christendom,
So I were out of prison, and kept sheep,
I should be merry as the day is long ;
And so I would be here, but that I doubt
My uncle practices more harm to me:
He is afraid of me, and I of him :
Is it my fault that I were Geoffrey's son?
No indeed, is't not; and I would to heaven,
I were your son, so you would love me, Hubert.
Hub. If I talk to him, with his innocent prate,
He will awake my mercy, which lies dead :
Therefore I will sudden, and despatch.
Arth. Are you sick, Hubert? You look pale to-day.
In sooth, I would you were a little sick;
That I might sit all night, and watch with you.
I warrant, I love
you Hub. His words do take possession of my bosom.Read here, young Arthur. [Showing a paper.] How now, foolish rheum !
[Aside. Turning dispiteous torture out the door! I must be brief; lest resolution drop Out at mine eyes, in tender womanish tears.Can you not read it? Is it not fair writ?
Arth. Too fairly, Hubert, for so foul effect : Must you
with hot irons burn out both mine eyes ? Hub. Young boy, I must. Arth.
And will you? Hub.
And I will.
Arth. Have you the heart? When your head did but
I knit my handkerchief about your brows,
(The best I had, a princess wrought it me,)
And I did never ask it you again :
And with my hand at midnight held your head ;
And, like the watchful minutes to the hour,
Still and anon cheered up the heavy time;
Saying, What lack you ? and, where lies your grief?
Or, what good love may I perform for you?
Many a poor man's son would have lain still,
And pe'er have spoke a loving word to you;
But you at your sick service had a prince.
Nay, you may think, my love was crafty love,