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Demetrius to the aged Cali, on the dangers of procrastinatione; Aspasia's reprobation of Irene's meditated apostasy ; and the allusive panegyric' on the British constitution 8, may be enumerated, as examples of its excellence in sentiment and diction.
Lastly, we may consider Irene, as one other illustrious proof, that the most strict adherence to the far-famed unities, the most harmonious versification, and the most correct philosophy, will not vie with a single and simple touch of nature, expressed in simple and artless language. “But how rich in reputation must that author be, who can spare an Irene, and not feel the loss h."
YE glittring train, whom lace and velvet bless,
Suspend the soft solicitudes of dress!
From grov'ling bus'ness and superfluous care,
Ye sons of avarice, a moment spare!
Vot'ries of fame, and worshippers of power,
Dismiss the pleasing phantoms for an hour !
Our daring bard, with spirit unconfin'd,
Spreads wide the mighty moral for mankind.
Learn here, how heaven supports the virtuous mind,
Daring, though calm ; and vig'rous, though resign'd;
Learn here, what anguish racks the guilty breast,
In pow'r dependant, in success depress'd.
Learn here, that peace from innocence must flow;
All else is empty sound, and idle show.
If truths, like these, with pleasing language join ;
Ennobled, yet unchang’d, if nature shine ;
If no wild draught depart from reason's rules;
Nor gods his heroes, nor his lovers fools ;
Intriguing wits! his artless plot forgive;
And spare him, beauties! though his lovers live.
Be this, at least, his praise, be this his pride;
To force applause, no modern arts are try'd.
Should partial catcals all his hopes confound,
He bids no trumpet quell the fatal sound.
Should welcome sleep relieve the weary wit,
He rolls no thunders o'er the drowsy pit;
No snares, to captivate the judgment, spreads,
Nor bribes your eyes to prejudice your heads.
Unmov’d, though witlings sneer, and rivals rail,
Studious to please, yet not asham'd to fail,
He scorns the meek address, the suppliant strain,
With merit needless, and without it vain.
In reason, nature, truth, he dares to trust :
Ye fops, be silent: and, ye wits, be just !
MAHOMET, Emperour of the Turks,
CALI BASSA, First vizier,
A Turkish aga,
MURZA, An eunuch,
Mr. BARRY. Mr. BERRY. Mr. SOWDEN. Mr. HAVARD. Mr. USHER, Mr. BURTON. Mr. GARRICK, Mr. BLAKES. Mr. KING.
DEMETRIUS and LEONTIUS, in Turkish habits.
And, is it thus Demetrius meets his friend,
Hid in the mean disguise of Turkish robes,
With servile secrecy to lurk in shades,
And vent our suff'rings in clandestine groans ?
Till breathless fury rested from destruction,
These groans were fatal, these disguises vain : i
But, now our Turkish conquerors have quench'd
Their rage, and palļd their appetite of murder,
No more the glutted sabre thirsts for blood;
And weary cruelty remits her tortures.
Yet Greece enjoys no gleam of transient hope,
No soothing interval of peaceful sorrow :
The lust of gold succeeds the rage of conquest;
The lust of gold, unfeeling and remorseless,
The last corruption of degen’rate man!
Urg'd by th' imperious soldiers' fierce command,
The groaning Greeks break up their golden caverns,
Pregnant with stores, that India's mines might envy,
Th’ accumulated wealth of toiling ages.
DEMETRIUS. That wealth, too sacred for their country's use! That wealth, too pleasing to be lost for freedom ! That wealth, which, granted to their weeping prince, Had rang’d embattled nations at our gates!
But, thus reserv'd to lure the wolves of Turkey,
Adds shame to grief, and infamy to ruin.
Lamenting av’rice, now too late, discovers
Her own neglected in the publick safety.
LEONTIUS. Reproach not misery.—The sons of Greece, Ill fated race! so oft besieg'd in vain, With false security beheld invasion. Why should they fear?—That pow'r that kindly spreads The clouds, a signal of impending show'rs, To warn the wand'ring linnet to the shade, Beheld without concern expiring Greece; And not one prodigy foretold our fate.
A thousand horrid prodigies foretold it:
A feeble government, eluded laws,
A factious populace, luxurious nobles,
And all the maladies of sinking states,
When publick villany, too strong for justice,
Shows his bold front, the harbinger of ruin,
Can brave Leontius call for airy wonders,
Which cheats interpret, and which fools regard ?
When some neglected fabrick nods beneath
The weight of years, and totters to the tempest,
Must heav'n despatch the messengers of light,
Or wake the dead, to warn us of its fall?
Well might the weakness of our empire sink
Before such foes of more than human force :
Some pow'r invisible, from heay'n or hell,
Conducts their armies, and asserts their cause.
And yet, my friend, what miracles were wrought
Beyond the pow'r of constancy and courage ?