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My eyes are dazzled, and my ravished heart
Possessed of these,
Plenty, content, and power, might take their turn,
At our approach, and once more bend before us.
A pleasing dream! 'Tis past; and now I wake
Nay, it was more than thought. I saw and touched The bright temptation, and I see it yet. "T is here- 't is mine — I have it in possession' Must I resign it? Must I give it back? Am I in love with misery and want, To rob myself, and court so vast a loss? Retain it, then. But how? There is a way.
Why sinks my heart? Why does my blood run cold?
Enter Old Wilmot.
Old Wilmot. The mind contented, with how little pains The wandering senses yield to soft repose, And die to gain new life! He's fallen asleep Already happy man! What dost thou think, My Agnes, of our unexpected guest?
He seems to me a youth of great humanity : Just ere he closed his eyes, that swam in tears, He wrung my hand, and pressed it to his lips; And with a look that pierced me to the soul, Begged me to comfort thee: and Dost thou hear me? What art thou gazing on? Fie, 't is not well! This casket was delivered to you closed:
Should this be known,
Why have you opened it?
Agnes. And who shall know it?
O. Wil. There is a kind of pride, a decent dignity, Due to ourselves, which, spite of our misfortunes, May be maintained and cherished to the last. To live without reproach, and without leave To quit the world, shows sovereign contempt And noble scorn of its relentless malice.
Agnes. Shows sovereign madness, and a scorn of sense! Pursue no further this detested theme:
I will not die! I will not leave the world,
For all that you can urge, until compelled.
O. Wil.. To chase a shadow when the setting sun
Is darting his last rays, were just as wise
Now the last means for its support are failing:
This warmth might be excused. But take thy choice.
Agnes. Nor live, I hope.
O. Wil. There is no fear of that.
Agnes. Then we 'll live both.
Perhaps thou dost but try me; yet take heed.
O. Wil. The inhospitable murder of our guest!
Agnes. 'Tis less impiety, less against nature,
O. Wil. It is no matter whether this or that
Or none could act amiss. And that all err,
O, what is man, his excellence and strength,
Agnes. You're too severe : reason may justly plead For her own preservation.
O. Wil. Rest contented :
Agnes. Then naught remains
But the swift execution of a deed
That is not to be thought on, or delayed.
We must dispatch him sleeping: should he wake, 'T were madness to attempt it.
O. Wil. True, his strength,
Single, is more, much more, than ours united;
Of wretches mad with anguish !
Agnes. By what means,
By stabbing, suffocation, or by strangling,—
O. Wil. Why, what a fiend!
How cruel, how remorseless, how impatient,
Agnes. Barbarous man!
Whose wasteful riots ruined our estate,
And drove our son, ere the first down had spread
To seek his bread 'mongst strangers, and to perish
The loveliest youth, in person and in mind,
Thou cruel husband! thou unnatural father!
To drive me to despair, and then reproach me!.
I ought not to reproach thee. I confess
That thou hast suffered much so have we both.
Ere he reclined him on the fatal couch,
Agnes. The sash.
you make use of that, I can assist. O. Wil. No.
'Tis a dreadful office, and I'll spare
Thy trembling hands the guilt. Steal to the door,
The Vanity of the World.-FRANCIS QUARLES.* 1. FALSE world, thou ly'st thou canst not lend The least delight;
* The author of "Emblems." He flourished from 1592 tb 1844.
Thy favors cannot gain a friend,
Thy morning pleasures make an end
Poor are the wants that thou supply'st,
And yet thou vaunt'st, and yet thou vy'st
2. Thy babbling tongue tells golden tales Of endless treasure ;
Thy bounty offers easy sales
Of lasting pleasure;
Thou ask'st the conscience what she ails,
There's none can want where thou supply'st:
There's none can give where thou deny'st.
Alas! fond world, thou boasts; false world, thou ly'st.
3. What well-advised ear regards
What earth can say?
Thy words are gold, but thy rewards
Thy cunning can but pack the cards,
Thy game at weakest, still thou vy'st;
If seen, and then revy'd, deny'st;
Thou art not what thou seem'st; false world, thou ly'st.
4. Thy tinsel bosom seems a mint
Of new-coined treasure;
A paradise, that has no stint,
No change, no measure;
A painted cask, but nothing in't,
Nor wealth, nor pleasure:
Vain earth! that falsely thus comply'st
With man; vain man! that thou rely'st
On earth; vain man, thou dot'st; vain earth, thou ly'st. 5. What mean dull souls, in this high measure,
In earth's base wares, whose greatest treasure
The height of whose enchanting pleasure
Are these the goods that thou supply'st
Us mortals with? Are these the high'st?
Can these bring cordial peace? false world, thou ly'st.