Page images




1. VITAL spark of heavenly flame,

Quit, oh, quit this mortal frame !
Trembling, hoping, lingering, flying,
Oh, the pain, the bliss of dying!
Cease, fond nature, cease thy strife,

And let me lavguish into life.
2. Hark! they whisper: angels say,

“Sister spirit, come away.”.
What is this absorbs me quite,
Steals my senses, shuts my sight,
Drowns my spirit, draws my breath?

me, my soul, can this be death?
3. The world recedes; it disappears!
Heaven opens on my eyes! my ears

With sounds seraphic ring !
Lend, lend your wings ! I mount! I fly!
O grave! where is thy victory?

O death! where is thy sting?




1. SPEAK the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you: trippingly on the tongue; but if you mouth it, as many of our players do, I had as lief the town-crier spake my lines. Nor do not saw the air too much with your hand thus, but use all gently; for in the very torrent, tempest, and, as I may say, WHIRLWIND of your passion, you must acquire and beget a temperance, that may give it smoothness. Oh, it offends me to the soul, to hear a robustious periwig-pated fellow tear a passion to tatters, to very rags, to split the ears of the groundlings; who, for the most part, are capable of nothing but inexplicable durub shows and noise.

2. I would have such a fellow whipped for c'erdoing Termagant: it out-herods Herod. Pray you, avoid it. Be not too tame neither, but let your own discretion be your tutor. Suit the action to the word; the word to the action: with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature; for any thing so over-done is from the purpose of playing; whose end, both at the first and now, was, and is, to hold, as 'twere, the mirror up to nature: to show virtue her own feature; scorn her own image; and the very age and body of the time, his form and pressure.

3. Now this, overdone or come tardy off, though it make the unskilful laugh, cannot but make the judicious grieve; the censure of which one must, in your allowance, o'erweigh a whole theatre of others. Oh, there be players, that I have seen play, and heard others praise, and that highly, not to speak it profanely, that, neither having the accent of Christians, nor the gait of Christian, pagan, or man, have so strutted and bellowed, that I have thought some of nature's journeymen had made men, and not made them well: they imitated humanity so abominably




1 HERMES, the Grecian name of Mercury, who was the god of eloquence: the “Son of Hermes” therefore refers to Demosthenes, the greatest of Grecian orators.

1. CECROPIA, the original name of Athens, derived from Cecrops, who is said to have founded that city.

2. OLYNTHIAN, pertaining to Olynthus, an important town on the coast of Macedonia.

3. Phocis, a country in the northern part of ancient Greece.

5. “PHILIPPI's lord,” Philip of Macedon,—to resist whose aggressions Demosthenes employed all his eloquence.

1. HEARD ye those loud contending waves,

That shook Cecropia's pillar'd state?
Saw ye the mighty from their graves

Look up, and tremble
Who shall calm the angry
Who the mighty task perfs






And bid the raging tumult cease?
See the son of Hermes rise;
With siren tongue, and speaking eyes,

Hush the noise, and soothe to peace !
2. Lo! from the regions of the north,

The reddening storm of battle pours;
Rolls along the trembling earth,

Fastens on the Olynthian towers.
3. Where rests the sword? where sleep the brave
Awake! Cecropia's ally save

From the fury of the blast;
Burst the storm on Phocis' walls;
RISE! or Greece forever falls;

UP! or freedom breathes her last.
4. The jarring states, obsequious now,

View the patriot's hand on high;
Thunder gathering on his brow,

Lightning flashing from his eye.
5. Borne by the tide of words along,
One voice, one mind, inspire the throng.

“To arms! to ARMS! to ARMS!” they cry;
Grasp the shield and draw the sword,
Lead us to Philippi's lord,

Let us conquer him, or die."




James Otis, a distinguished American patriot, was born at West Barnstable, May, 1724, and was killed by lightning in 1783. He was an eminent lawyer, statesman, and scholar.

1. ENGLAND may as well dam up the waters of the Nile with bulrushes as fetter the step of freedom, more proud and firm in this youthful land than where she treads the sequestered glens of Scotland, or couches herself among the magnificent mountains of Switzerland. Arbitrary principles, like those against which we now contend, have cost one king of England his life, another his crown, and they may yet cost a third his most flourishing colonies. 2. We are two millions; one-fifth fighting-men. We are bold and vigorous, and we call no man master. To the nation from whom we are proud to derive our origin we ever were, and we ever will be, ready to yield unforced assistance; but it must not, and it never car be, EXTORTED.

3. Some have sneeringly asked, "Are the Americans too poor to pay a few pounds on stamped paper?” No! America, thanks to God and herself, is rich. But the right to take ten pounds implies the right to take a thousand; and what must be the wealth that avarice, aided by power, cannot exhaust? True, the specter is now small; but the shadow he casts before him is huge enough to darken all this fair land.

4. Others, in a sentimental style, talk of the immense debt of gratitude which we owe to England. And what is the amount of this debt? Why, truly, it is the same that the young lion owes to the dam, which has brought it forth on the solitude of the mountain, or left it amid the winds and storms of the desert.

5. We plunged into the wave, with the great charter of freedom in our teeth, because the fagot and torch were behind us. We have waked this new world from its savage lethargy; forests have been prostrated in our path; towns and cities have grown up suddenly as the flowers of the tropics; and the fires in our autumnal woods are scarcely more rapid than the increase of our wealth and population. And do we owe all this to the kind succor of the mother country? No! we owe it to the tyranny that drove us from her, to the pelting storms which invigorated our helpless infancy.

6. But perhaps others will say, “We ask no money from your gratitude: we only demand that you should pay your own expenses." And who, I pray, is to judge of their necessity? Why, the king: and, with all due reverence to his sacred majesty, he understands the real wants of his distant subjects as little as he does the language of the Choctaws! Who is to judge concerning the frequency of these demands? The ministry. Who is to judge whether the money is properly expended? The Cabinet behind the throne. In every instance, those who take are to judge for those who pay. If this system is suffered to go into operation, we shall have reason to esteem it a great privilege that rain and dew do not depend upon Parliament; otherwise, they would soon be taxed and dried.

7. But, thanks to God, there is freedom enough left upon earth to resist such monstrous injustice. The flame of liberty is extinguished in Greece and Rome; but the light of its glowing embers is still bright and strong on the shores of America.

Actuated by its sacred influence, we will resist unto death. But we will not countenance anarchy and misrule. The wrongs that a desperate community have heaped upon their enemies shall be amply and speedily repaired. Still, it may be well for some proud men to remember that a fire is lighted in these colonies which one breath of their king may kindle into such fury that the blood of all England cannot extinguish it.




2. SLOGAN, the war-cry of a Highland clan in Scotland.
2. HOME and Gordon, names of leaders in the Scottish army
8. Fal'con, (fak'n or falskon.)

1. Far on the left, unseen the while,

Stanley broke Lennox and Argyle;
Though there the western mountaineer
Rush'd with bare bosom on the spear,
And flung the feeble targe aside,
And with both hands the broad-sword plied
'Twas vain: but Fortune, on the right,
With fickle smile cheer'd Scotland's fight.
Then fell that spotless banner white,

The Howard's lion fell;
Yet still Lord Marmion's falcon flew
With wavering flight, while fiercer grew

Around the battle-yell.
2. The border slogan rent the sky;
A Home! a GORDON! was the cry:

Loud were the clanging blows;
Advanced, forced back, now low, now high,

The pennon sunk and rose :
As bends the bark's mast in the gale
When rent are rigging, shrouds, and sail,

It waver'd 'mid the foes.
3. And now, straight up the hill there rode

Two horsemen drench'd with gore,
And in their arms, a helpless load,

A wounded knight they bore.

« PreviousContinue »