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passable point, where degradation and disgrace begin, may this arm shrink palsied from its socket, if I fail to defend my own honor.
CXI.--HOBSON VERSUS NOBSON.
From the Farce of the “Lame Lover,” by Samuel Foote. Act 3.
Gentlemen of the Jury,--I AM, in this cause, counsel for Hobson, the plaintiff. The action is brought against Nebuchadonezer Nobson,—That he, the said Nobson, did cut down a tree, value two pence, and to his own use said tree did convert. Nobson justifies, and claims said tree as his tree. We will, gentlemen, first state the probable evidence, and then come to the positive :—and first, as to the probable. When was this tree here belonging to Hobson, and claimed by Nobson, cut down? Was it cut down publicly in the day, in the face of the sun, men, women, and children, all the world looking on? No; it was cut down privately in the night, in a dark night, nobody did see, nobody could see.-HumAnd then with respect and regard to this tree, I am instructed to say, gentlemen, it was a beautiful, an ornamental tree to the spot where it grew. Now, can it be thought that any man would come for to go in the middle of the night, nobody seeing, nobody did see, nobody could see, and cut down a tree, which tree was an ornamental tree, if the tree had been his tree ? Certainly no. And again, gentlemen, we moreover insist, that this tree was not only ornamental to the spot where it
but it was a useful tree to the owner : it was a plum tree, and not only a plum tree, but I am authorized to suy the best of plum trees--it was a damson plum. Now, gentlemen, can it be thought, that any man would come for to go, in the middle of the night, nobody seeing, nobody did see, nobody could see, and cut down a tree, which tree was not only an ornamental tree, but a useful tree; and not only a useful tree, but a plum tree; and not only a plum tree, but the best of plum trees,-a damson plum! Most assuredly no. If so be then that this be so, and so it most certainly is, I ap.
prehend no doubt will remain with the court, but my verdict will have, with full costs of suits, in such a manner, and so forth, as may nevertheless appear notwithstanding.
CXII.-SPEECH OF MARINO FALIERO,* THE DOGET OF VENICE.
From the Tragedy of “Marino Faliero,” of Lord Byron. Act 5.
I SPEAK to Time and to Eternity,
* Marino Faliero was Doge of Venice in the middle of the 14th cen. tury. On account of an insult offered to him by the senators, he formed a conspiracy to murder them all, and to annihilate the power of the the senate. But the plot was betrayed just before it was to have been executed, and the Doge and his fellow conspirators were arrested and put to death. The above is the speech which he made just before he was going to be executed.
+ This was formerly the title of the first magistrates in the Italian republics of Venice and Genoa.
He gained many brilliant victories in foreign wars.
A province for an empire, petty town
CXIII. -VELLUM, BUTLER, AND SIR GEORGE.
From the Comedy of “ The Drummer," by Addison. Act 2—Scene I.
[Vellum, with spectacles, enters upon the stage, with a letter in his hand, which he reads while walking about.]
Vel. This letter astonisheth ; may I believe my own eyesor rather my spectacles ?—" To Humphrey Vellum, Esqr. Steward to the Lady Truman. “ Vellum,
“I doubt not but you will be glad to hear your master is alive, and designs to be with you in half an hour.
* The whole commerce of Venice is now in the hands of the Jews and the Greeks, and the Huns form the garrison.
+ Of the first fifty Doges, five were massacred, five were banished with their eyes put out, and nine were deposed; so that nineteen out of the fifty lost the throne by violence.
The report of my being slain in the Netherlands, has, I find, produced some disorders in my family. I am now at the George inn. If an old man with a gray beard, in a black coat, inquires after you, give him admittance. He passes for a conjuror, but is, really, your faithful friend,
66 G. TRUMAN. “ P. S. Let this be a secret, and you
shall find your account in it."
This amazeth me! and yet the reasons why I should be. lieve he is still living are manifold. First, because this has often been the case of other military adventurers.--Secondly, because this letter can be written by none but himself-I know his hand and manner of spelling.–Thirdly
Enter BUTLER. But. Sir, here's a strange old gentleman that asks for you; he says he's a conjuror, but he's very supicious; I wish he ben't a Jesuit.
Vel. Admit him immediately.
But. I wish he ben't a Jesuit ; but he says he's nothing but a conjuror.
Vel. He says right. He is no more than a conjuror. Bring him in, and withdraw. [Exit BUTLER.] And, thirdly, as I was sayingEnter BUTLER, with SIR GEORGE, dressed in a large cloak, and
with a very long beard. But. Sir, here is the conjuror. What a devilish long beard he has ! I warrant it has been growing these hundred years. [Aside. Exit.]
Sir G. Dear Vellum, you have received my letter; but before we proceed, lock the door.
Vel. It is his voice ! [Shuts the door. ]
Sir G. In the next place, help me off with this cumber. some cloak.
Vel. It is his shape!
the table. Vel. [After having looked eagerly on Sir GEORGE through his spectacles.] It is his face, every lineament !
Sir G. Well, now I have put off the conjuror, and the old man, I can talk to thee more at my ease.
Vel. [In great glee.] Believe me, my good master, I am as much rejoiced to see you alive, as I was upon the day you
Your name was in all the newspapers, in the list of those that were slain.
Sir G. We have not time to be particular. I shall only tell thee in general, that I was taken prisoner in the battle, and was under close confinement several months. Upon my release, I was resolved to surprise my wife with the news of my being alive. Tell me, truly, was she afflicted at the re. port of my death?
Vel. Longer than I have known any widow's—at least three days!
Sir G. Three days, say'st thou? Three whole days! I'm afraid thou flatterest me ! O woman! woman !
Vel. Grief is twofold.
Sir G. This blockhead is as methodical as ever—but I know he's honest. [Aside.]
Vel. There is a real grief and there is a methodical grief. She was drowned in tears till such time as the tailor had made her widow's weeds—Indeed they became her.
Sir G. Became her! and was that her comfort ? Truly a most seasonable consolation !
Vel. But I must needs say she paid a due regard to your memory, and could not forbear weeping when she saw com. pany.
Sir G. That was kind indeed! I find she grieved with . a great deal of good breeding. But has she had many suitors ?
Vel. Several have made their overtures.
Sir G. There thou revivest me. But what means this Tinsel? Are his visits acceptable? Is he the man designed for my worthy successor ?
Vel. You do not consider that you have been dead these fourteen months.
Sir G. [Aside.] Was there ever such a dog ?
Vel. And I have often heard her say, that she must never expect to find a second Sir George Truman-meaning your ho-nor. [Bowing most respectfully.]