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MELNOTTE'S VISIONARY HOME.

197 “Zounds !" cried the brewer, “that's a task More difficult to grant than ask : Most gladly would I give the smack Of the last beer to the ensuing; But where am I to find a black, And boil him down at overy brewing?" Anon

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MELNOTTE'S VISIONARY HOME.

(By permission of the late Lord Lytton.)
Nay, dearest, nay. If thou wouldst have me paint
The home to which, could Love fulfil its prayers,
This hand would lead thee, listen! A deep vale
Shut out by Alpine hills from the rude world,
Near a clear lake, margin’d by fruits of gold
And whispering myrtles; glassing softest skies,
As cloudless, save with rare and roseate shadows,
As I would have thy fate!

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A palace lifting to eternal summer
Its marble walls, from out a glossy bower
Of coolest foliage musical with birds,
Whose songs should syllable thy name. At noon
We'd sit beneath the arching vines, and wonder
Why Earth could be unhappy, while the Heavens
Still left us youth and love! We'd have no friends
That were not lovers; no ambition, save
To excel them all in love! We'd read no books
That were not tales of love; that we might smile
To think how poorly eloquence of words
Translates the poetry of hearts like ours !
And when night came, amidst the breathless heavens
We'd guess what star should be our home when love
Becomes immortal; while the perfumed light
Stole through the mist of alabaster lamps,
And every air was heavy with the sighs
Of orange groves and music from sweet lutes,
And murmurs of low fountains that gush forth
l' the midst of roses ! Dost thou like the picture?

(From the "Lady of Lyons.")

198

THE QUARREL OF BRUTUB AND CASSIUS.

THE QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.

Cassius. That you have wronged me doth appear in this: You have condemned and noted Lucius Pella For taking bribes here of the Sardians ; Wherein my letter (praying on his side, Because I knew the man) was slighted of.

Brutus. You wrong'd yourself to write in such a case.

Cas. In such a time as this it is not meet
That every nice offence should bear its comment.

Bru. Yet let me tell you, Cassius, you yourself
Are much condemn'd to have an itching palm ;
To sell and mart your offices for gold
To undeservers.

Cas. I an itching palm !
You know that you are Brutus that speak this,
Or, by the gods! this speech were else your last.

Brú. The name of Cassius honours this corruption,
And chastisement doth therefore hide its head,

Cas. Chastisement !

Brun Remember March, the Ides of March remember!
Did not great Julius bleed for justice' sake ?
What! shall one of us
That struck the foremost man of all this world
But for supporting robbers-shall we now
Contaminate our fingers with base bribes,
And sell the mighty space of our large honours
For so much trash as may be grasped thus ?
I had rather be a dog, and bay the moon,
Than such a Roman.

Cas. Brutus, bay not me.
I'll not endure it. You forget yourself
To hedge me in. I'm a soldier,
Older in practice, abler than yourself
To make conditions.

Bru. Go to ! you are not, Cassius.
Cas. I am.
Bru. I say you are not.
Cas. Urge me no more : I shall forget myself:
Have mind upon your health ; tempt me no farther.

Bru. Away, slight man !
Cas. Is't possible ?

THE QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.

199

Bru. Hear me, for I will speak.
Must I give way and room to your rash choler ?
Shall I be frighted when a madman stares ?

Cas. Must I endure all this?
Bru. All this ! ay, more. Fret till your proud heart

break:
Go show your slaves how choleric you are,
And make your bondmen tremble. Must I budge ?
Must I observe you ? Must I stand and crouch
Under your testy humour? By the gods !
You shall digest the venom of your spleen,
Though it do split you ; for from this day forth
I'll use you for my mirth, yea for my laughter,
When

you are waspish.
Cas. Is it come to this?
Bru. You say you are a better soldier :
Let it appear so; make your vaunting true ;
And it shall please me well. For mine own part,
I shall be glad to learn of noble men.

Cas. You wrong me every way, you wrong me, Brutus ;
I said an elder soldier, not a better.
Did I

say

better? Bru. If you did, I' care not. Cas. When Caesar lived, he durst not thus have moved

me.

Bru. Peace, peace ! You durst not so have tempted him.
Cas. I durst not?
Bru. No.
Cas. What durst not tempt him ?
Bru. For your life you durst not.

Cas. Do not presume too much upon my love ;
I
may

do that I shall be sorry for.
Bru. You have done that you should be sorry for.
There is no terror, Cassius, in your threats,
For I am arm’d so strong in honesty,
That they pass by me as the idle wind
Which I respect not. I did send to you
For certain sums of gold, which you denied me;
For I can raise no money by vile means.
By heavens ! I had rather coin my heart,
And drop my blood for drachmas, than wring
From the hard hands of peasants their vile trash
By any indirection. I did send

200

TAE QUARREL OF BRUTUS AND CASSIUS.

To you for gold to pay my legions,
Which you denied me! Was that done like Cassius ?
Should I have answered Caius Cassius so?
When Marcus Brutus grows so covetous,
To lock such rascal counters from his friends,
Be ready, gods ! with all your thunderbolts
Dash him to pieces.

Cas. I denied you not.
Bru. You did.

Cas. I did not: he was a fool
That brought my answer back. Brutus hath rived my

heart.
A friend should bear a friend's infirmities;
But Brutus makes mine greater than they are.

Bru. I do not. Still you practise them on me.
Cas. You love me not.
Bru. I do not like your faults.
Cas. A friendly eye could never see such faults.

Bru. A flatterer's would not, though they did appear As huge as high Olympus.

Cas. Come Antony! and young Octavius, come !
Revenge yourself alone on Cassius,
For Cassius is a-weary of the world-
Hated by one he loves ; braved by his brother;
Check'd like a bondman ; all his faults observed,
Set in a note-book, learn'd and conn’d by rote,
To cast into my teeth. Oh, I could weep
My spirit from mine eyes! There is my dagger,
And here my naked breast-within, a heart
Dearer than Plutus' mine, richer than gold :
If that thou need’st a Roman’s, take it forth !
I, that denied thee gold, will give my heart.
Strike as thou didst at Cæsar, for I know
When thou didst hate him worst, thou lovedst him better
Than ever thou lovedst Cassius.
Bru. Sheathe your dagger ;

when you will, it shall have scope :
Do what you will, dishonour shall be humour.
O, Cassius, you are yokéd with a man
That carries anger as the flint bears fire,
Who, much enforcéd, shows a hasty spark,
And straight is cold again.

Cas. Hath Cassius lived

Be angry

THS LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

201

To be but mirth and laughter to his Brutus,
When grief and blood ill-tempered vexeth him?

Bru. When I spoke that, I was ill-tempered too.
Cas. Do you confess so much ? Give me your

hand.
Bru. And my heart too. (Embracing.)
Cas. 0, Brutus !
Bru. What's the matter ?

Cas. Have you not love enough to bear with me, When that rash humour which my mother gave me Makes me forgetful ?

Bru. Yes, Cassius ; and, from henceforth, When you are over-earnest with your Brutus, He'll think your mother chides, and leave you so.

Shakespere.

THE LADDER OF ST. AUGUSTINE.

SAINT AUGUSTINE ! well hast thou said

That of our vices we can frame
A ladder, if we will but tread

Beneath our feet each deed of shame.

All common things, each day's events,

That with the hour begin and end,
Our pleasures and our discontents,

Are rounds by which we may ascend.
The low desire, the base design,

That makes another's virtues less ;
The revel of the treacherous wine,

And all occasions of excess.
The longing for ignoble things,

The strife for triumph more than truth,
The hardening of the heart that brings

Irreverence for the dreams of youth.
All thoughts of ill : all evil deeds

That have their root in thoughts of ill;
Whatever hinders or impedes

The action of the nobler will.

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