Imagens das páginas
PDF

18

MARC ANTONY'S ORATION.

Your hearts and minds to mutiny and rage, I should do Brutus wrong, and Cassius wrong; Who, you all know, are honourable men. I will not do them wrong; I rather choose To wrong the dead, to wrong myself, and you, Than I will wrong such honourable men. But here's a parchment with the seal of Cæsar; I found it in his closet-'tis his will. Let but the commons hear this testament (Which, pardon me, I do not mean to read), And they would go and kiss dead Cæsar's wounds, And dip their napkins in his sacred blood ; Yea, beg a hair of him for memory, And, dying, mention it within their wills, Bequeathing it, as a rich legacy, Unto their issue.

If you have tears prepare to shed them now.
You all do know this mantle : I remember
The first time ever Cæsar put it on;
'Twas on a summer's evening, in his tent;
That day he overcame the Nervii.
Look! in this place ran Cassius' dagger through ;
See, what a rent the envious Casca made ;
Through this the well-belovéd Brutus stabb'd;
And, as he pluck'd his cursed steel away,
Mark how the blood of Cæsar followed it!
As rushing out of doors, to be resolv'd
If Brutus so unkindly knock’d, or no.
For Brutus, as you know, was Cæsar's angel.
Judge, O you gods! how dearly Cæsar lov'd him !
This was the most unkindest cut of all ;
For, when the noble Cæsar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitor's arms,
Quite vanquished him : then burst his mighty heart ;
And, in his mantle muffling up his face,
Even at the base of Pompey's statue,
Which all the while ran blood, great Cæsar fell,
0, what a fall was there, my countrymen !
Then I, and you, and all of us, fell down,
Whilst bloody treason flourish'd over us.
0, now you weep; and, I perceive, you feel

JOHN LITTLEJOHN.

The dint of pity. These are gracious drops.
Kind souls, what, weep you when you but behold
Our Cæsar's vesture wounded ? Look you here,
Here is himself, marr'd, as you see, with traitors.

Good friends, sweet friends, let me not stir you up
To such a sudden flood of mutiny.
They that have done this deed are honourable.
What private griefs they have, alas, I know not,
That made them do it; they are wise and honourable,
And will, no doubt, with reasons answer you.
I come not, friends, to steal away your hearts;
I am no orator, as Brutus is;
But, as you know me all, a plain blunt man,
That love my friend ; and that they know full well
That give me public leave to speak of him.
For I have neither wit, nor words, nor worth,
Action nor utterance, nor the power of speech,
To stir men's blood ; I only speak right on;
I tell you that which you yourselves do know ;
Show you sweet Cæsar's wounds, poor, poor dumb mouths,
And bid them speak for me. But were I Brutus,
And Brutus Antony, there were an Antony
Would ruffle up your spirits, and put a tongue
In every wound of Cæsar, that should move
The stones of Rome to rise and mutiny.

Shakespere.

JOHN LITTLE JOHN.

(By permission of the Author.)
JOHN LITTLEJOHN was stanch and strong,
Upright and downright, scorning wrong ;
He gave good weight and paid his way,
He thought for himself, and said his say.
Whenever a rascal strove to pass,
Instead of silver, a coin of brass,
He took his hammer, and said with a frown,
The coin is spurious, nail it down."

20

JOHN MAYNARD.

John Littlejohn was firm and true,
You could not cheat him in “two and two;
When foolish arguers, might and main,
Darkened and twisted the clear and plain,
He saw through the mazes of their speech
The simple truth beyond their reach;
And crushing their logic, said, with a frown,
Your coin is spurious, nail it down.
John Littlejohn maintained the right,
Through storm and shine, in the world's despite ;
When fools or quacks desired his vote,
Dosed him with arguments learned by rote,
Or by coaxing, threats, or promise tried
To gain his support to the wrongful side,
Nay, nay,said John, with an angry frown,
Your coin is spurious, nail it down.
When told that kings had a right divine,
And that the people were herds of swine,
That nobles alone were fit to rule,
That the poor were unimproved by school,
That ceaseless toil was the proper fate
Of all but the wealthy and the great ;
John shook his head, and said, with a frown,
The coin is spurious, nail it down.
When told that events might justify
A false and crooked policy ;
That a decent hope of future good
Might excuse departure from rectitude ;
That a lie, if white, was a small offence,
To be forgiven by men of sense ;
Nay, nay,said John, with a sigh and a frown,
The coin is spurious, nail it down.

Charles Mackay.

JOHN MAY NA RD.

In North America once lived

A man unknown to fame;
(Methinks that very few have heard
. Of brave John Maynard's name).

JOHN MAYNARD.

A skilful pilot he was bred ;

In God was his delight; His head was clear, his hands were strong,

His hopes seemed ever bright.
Once, from Detroit to Buffalo

A steamer plied her way ;
And honest John stood at the helm,

That lovely summer day.
Well filled with joyous passengers,

She cut the waters wide,
Leaving a silver line of light

Along the foaming tide.

But suddenly her captain starts !

His cheek is white as snow !
O! sight of dread !– Light wreaths of smoke

Come curling from below!
Then rose the horrid shout of fire !

Appalling, wild, and drear !
A boat the steamer carried not,

Nor human aid was near !

All hands to instant work were called :

Alas! all toil was vain ! The fury of the raging flames

No effort might restrain. “How long ere Buffalo be reached ?

Arose an eager cry.
“ About three-quarters of an hour,"

John Maynard made reply.
Then forward rush the passengers,

Dismayed with terror sore :
John Maynard at the helm still stands,

As steadfast as before,

Now dreadful clouds of smoke arise,

And sheets of flame divide ! “ John Maynard, are you at the helm ?"

The captain loudly cried.

FOR A THAT AND ^' THAT.

“Ay, aye, sir !" was the quick repiy.

“Then say, how does she head ?" “South-east by east”--the answer camo

Above the uproar dread. “ Head her south-east !” the captain shouts,

"And run her quick ashore.“Ay, aye, sir !” but the quick response

Was feebler than before.
“ John Maynard ! can you still hold on

Five minutes longer still ?”
The captain's ear scarce caught the words

“By God's good help I will !”
Scorched were the old man's face and hair ;

One hand disabled hung ;
Yet with the other to the wheel

As to a rock he clung!
He beached the ship !—to all on board

A landing safe was given;
But, as the latest leaped on shore,
John Maynard rose to heaven.

Josephine, “ British Workman," 1863.

FOR A' THAT AND A' THAT.

IS THERE, for honest poverty,

That hangs his head, and a that ? The coward slave, we pass him by,

And dare be poor, for a' that. For a' that, and a' that,

Our toil's obscure, and a' that, The rank is but the guinea stamp,

The man's the gowd for a' that.
What tho' on hamely fare we dine,

Wear hodden grey, and a' that ;
Gie fools their silks, and knaves their winė,

A man's a man for a' that;

« AnteriorContinuar »