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CVI.—SUPPOSED SPEECH OF REGULUS TO THE
E. KELLOGG. (Regulus was a Roman general, who, in the first Punic war, was taken prisoner by the Carthaginians, and after a captivity of several years, was sent by them to Rome, with an embassy to solicit peace, or, at least, an exchange of prisoners. But Regulus earnestly dissuaded his countrymen from both, and, resisting all the persuasions of his friends to remain in Rome, he returned to Carthage, where he is said to have been put to death, with the most cruel tortures.]
1. The beams of the rising sun had gilded the lofty domes of Carthage, and given, with its rich and mellow light, a tinge of beauty even to the frowning ramparts of the outer harbor. Sheltered by the verdant shores, an hundred triremes? were riding proudly at their anchors, their brazen beaks : glittering in the sun, their streamers dancing in the morning breeze, while many a shattered plank and timber gave evidence of desperate conflict with the fleets of Rome.
2. No murmur of business or of revelry arose from the city. The artisan o had forsaken his shop, the judge his tribunal, the priest the sanctuary, and even the stern stoic had come forth from his retirement to mingle with the crowd that, anxious and agitated, were rushing toward the senate-house, startled by the report that Regulus had returned to Carthage.
3. Onward, still onward, trampling each other under foot, they rushed, furious with anger and eager for revenge. Fathers were there, whose sons were groaning in fetters; maidens, whose lovers, weak and wounded, were dying in the dungeons of Rome, and gray-haired men and matrons, whom the Roman sword had left childless.
4. But when the stern features of Regulus were seen, and his colossal’ form towering above the ambassadors who had returned with him from Rome; when the news .
passed from lip to lip that the dreaded warrior, so far from advising the Roman senate to consent to an exchange of prisoners, had urged them to pursue, with exterminating vengeance, Carthage and Carthaginians, — the multitude swayed to and fro like a forest beneath a tempest, and the rage and hate of that tumultuous throng vented itself in groans, and curses, and yells of vengeance. But calm, cold, and immovable as the marble walls around him, stood the Roman; and he stretched out his hand over that frenzied crowd, with gesture as proudly commanding as though he still stood at the head of the gleaming cohorts & of Rome.
5. The tumult ceased; the curse, half muttered, died upon the lip; and so intense was the silence, that the clanking of the brazen manacles upon the wrists of the captive fell sharp and full upon every ear in that vast assembly, as he thus addressed them:
6. “Ye doubtless thought -- for ye judge of Roman virtue by your own — that I would break my plighted oath, rather than, returning, brook your vengeance. I might give reasons for this, in Punico comprehension, most foolish act of mine. I might speak of those eternal principles which make death for one's country a pleasure, not a pain. But, by great Jupiter! methinks I should debase myself to talk of such high things to you; to you, expert in womanly inventions; to you, well-skilled to drive a treacherous trade with simple Africans for ivory and gold! If the bright blood that fills my veins, transmitted free from godlike ancestry, were like that slimy ooze which stagnates in your arteries, I had remained at home, and broke my plighted oath to save my life.
7. “I am a Roman citizen; therefore have. I returned, that ye might work your will upon this mass of flesh and bones, that I esteem no higher than the rags that cover them. Here, in your capital, do I defy you. Have I noti
conquered your armies, fired your towns, and dragged your generals at my chariot wheels, since first my youthful arms could wield a spear? And do you think to see me crouch and cower before a tamed and shattered senate ? The tearing of flesh ard rending of sinews is but pastime compared with the mental agony that heaves my frame.
8. The moon has scarce yet waned since the proudest of Rome's proud matrons, the mother upon whose breast I slept, and whose fair brow so oft had bent over me before the noise of battle had stirred my blood, or the fierce toil of war nerved my sinews, did with fondest memory of bygone hours entreat me to remain. I have seen her, who, when my country called me to the field, did buckle on my harness with trembling hands, while the tears fell thick and fast down the hard corselet scales, - I have seen her tear her gray locks and beat her aged breast, as on her knees she begged me not to return to Carthage; and all the assembled senate of Rome, grave and reverend men, proffered the same request. The puny torments which ye have in store to welcome me withal, shall be, to what I have endured, even as the murmur of a summer's brook to the fierce roar of angry surges on a rocky beach.
9. Last night, as I lay fettered in my dungeon, I heard a strange, ominous sound : it seemed like the distant march of some vast army, their harness clanging as they marched, when suddenly there stood by me Xanthippus, the Spartan general, by whose aid you.conquered me, and, with a voice low as when the solemn wind moans through the leafless forest, he thus addressed me: “Roman, I come to bid thee curse, with thy dying breath, this fated city; know that in an evil moment, the Carthaginian generals, furious with rage that I had conquered thee, their conqueror, did basely murder me. And then they thought to stain my brightest honor. But, for this foul deed, the wrath of Jove shall rest upon them here and hereafter.” And then he vanished.
10. And now, go bring your sharpest torments. The woes I see impending over this guilty realm shall be enough to sweeten death, though every nerve and artery were a shooting pang. I die! but my death shall prove a proud triumph; and, for every drop of blood ye from my veins do draw, your own shall flow in rivers. Woe to thee, Carthage! Woe to the proud city of the waters! I see thy nobles wailing at the feet of Roman senators ! thy citizens in terror! thy ships in flames! I hear the victorious shouts of Rome! I see her eagles glittering on thy ramparts. Proud city, thou art doomed! The curse of God is on thee — a clinging, wasting curse. It shall not leave thy gates till hungry flames shall lick the fretted to gold from off thy proud palaces, and every brook runs crimson to the sea.
1 RĂ'PÄRTS. Elevations of earth 1. ought to be free from all passions,
round a place as a means of de unmoved by joy or grief, and to fence.
regard all things governed by un: TRI'RĒME. An ancient kind of vessel, avoidable necessity.
with three ranks of oars on a side. 7 Cọ-Lðs'sẠL. Gigantic; huge. & BEAK. The upper part of the stem 8 Cö'HÖRT. A body of soldiers. The of a ship.
Roman cohort consisted of be4 AR'TI-SAN. A mechanic.
tween five and six hundred foot 6 SANCT'U-A-RY. The most retired and soldiers.
sacred part of a temple; a holy | 9 PŪ'nỊC. Carthaginian; hence, unplace; a church.
worthy of trust, as the Romans 6 Sto'ịcs. A sect of ancient philoso thought the Carthaginians were.
phers, who taught that a man | 10 FRET'TED. Formed into raised work.
CVII. - THE BATTLE OF NASEBY.
[The battle of Naseby was fought June 14, 1645, between Charles I. and the parliamentary army under Fairfax and Cromwell. The main body of the royal army was commanded by Lord Astley; Prince Rupert, the king's nephew and a German by birth, led the right wing, and Sir Marmaduke Langdale the left. Skippon was a general on the parliamentary side. The royal army,
though successful in the early part of the action, was totally defeated. Alcatia was a disorderly quarter of London, and Whitehall was the royal palace. Temple Bar was a place in London where, formerly, the heads of traitors were exposed. This ballad is supposed to be written by an officer in the victorious army, and expresses the sentiments which such a man would naturally feel at the triumph of a cause which he believed to be right.]
: 1. O, WHEREFORE come ye forth, in triumph from the North,
With your hands, and your feet, and your raiment all red ? And wherefore doth your rout® send forth a joyous shout ?
And whence be the grapes of the wine-press which ye tread?
2. O, evil was the root, and bitter was the fruit,
And crimson was the juice of the vintage that we trod;
Who sat in the high places, and slew the saints of God.
3. It was about the noon of a glorious day of June,
That we saw their banners dance, and their cuirasses 3 shine; And the Man of Blood was there, with his long essenced hair,
And Astley, and Sir Marmaduke, and Rupert of the Rhine.
4. Like a servant of the Lord, with his Bible and his sword,
The general rode along us, to form us to the fight, . When a murmuring sound broke out, and swelled into a shout,
Among the godless horsemen, upon the tyrant's right.
5. And, hark ! like the roar of the billows on the shore,
The cry of battle rises along their charging line !
For Charles, King of England, and Rupert of the Rhine !
6. The furious German comes, with his clarions and his drums,
His bravoes of Alsatia, and pages of Whitehall ;
7. They are here! They rush on! We are broken! We are gone!
Our left is borne before them like stubble on the blast.
Stand back to back, in God's name, and fight it to the last.