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[Scene - A Prison in Paris, during the Reign of Terror.] D'AUBIGNE'o an aged Royalist. — BLANCHIE, his Daughter, a
Without relenting, on thy silvery hair?
D'AUBIGNE'. Yes, my poor child !
BLANCHE. Oh! shall we gaze again
And the gray turret of our own château,
The loving laughter in their children's eyes,
— Father! thy glance is clouded, — on thy brow
D'AUBIGNE'. Upon my brow, dear girl,
There sits, I trust, such deep and solemn peace 20 As may befit the Christian, who receives
And recognizes, in submissive awe,
Thou dost not mean - No, no ! it cannot be !— Didst thou not say 25 They send us home ?
D'AUBIGNE'. Where is the spirit's home? -
Beyond the sword's reach, and the tempest's power?30 Where, but in Heaven.
BLANCHE.. My father!
We must die !
- Come to my heart, and weep there ! — for awhile 5 Give Nature's passion way, then brightly rise
In the still courage of a woman's heart !
BLANCHE (falling on his busom.) Oh! clasp me fast i 10 Thy trembling child ! — Hide, hide me in thine arms — Father!
D'AUBIGNE'. Alas! my flower, thou 'rt young to go, Young, and so fair ! - Yet were it worse, methinks,
To leave thee where the gentle and the brave, 15 The loyal-hearted and the chivalrous,
And they that loved their God, have all been swept. .
No altar holy; therefore did they fall,
In noble blood ; the temples are gone down,
25 To quit forever the dishonored soil,
The burdened air ? — Our God upon the cross, —
And bravely die !
An evil doom for thy dear honored head !
Say, will they part us?
We shall not be divided.
BLANCHE. Thanks to God !
Oh! pardon these weak shrinkings of thy child !
Oh! swiftly now,
As yet I know not. — Each low throbbing pulse
Blancie (kneeling before him.) My father! lay thy hand On thy poor Blanche's head, and once again
Bless her with thy deep voice of tenderness,
D'AUBIGNE'. If I may speak through tears !
Child of my heart !- thou who dost look on me 20 With thy lost mother's angel-eyes of love !
Thou that hast been a brightness in my path,
There springing up, — with soft light round thee shed, 25 For immortality ! - Meek child of God!
I bless thee — He will bless thee ! — In His love
As thou hast lived, — my duteous, holy Blanche!
Blanche (rising.) Now is there strength
And say, — “ Thy will be done!” 35 D'AUBIGNE' (pointing upwards.) Seest thou, my child,
Yon faint light in the west ? The signal-star
Of our due vesper-service, gleaming in
This night alone, without the lifted voice 5 Of adoration in our narrow cell,
As if unworthy Fear or wavering Faith
In its dark hour once more ! — And we will sleep 10 Yes, calmly sleep, when our last rite is closed.
(They sing together.)
CXVII. — THE LAST HOURS OF WEBSTER.
EVERETT. [The following extract is the concluding portion of a speech delivered by Mr. Everett, October 27, 1852, in Faneuil Hall, Boston, at a meeting of the cit. izens of Boston, assembled in consequence of the death of Mr. Webster, which had taken place on the 24th.]
Among the many memorable words which fell from the lips of our friend just before they were closed forever, the most remarkable are those which have been quoted by a
previous speaker, — " I STILL LIVE.” They attest the se5 rene composure of his mind; the Christian heroism with
which he was able to turn his consciousness in upon himself, and explore, step by step, the dark passage (dark to us, but to him, we trust, already lighted from above),
which connects this world with the world to come. But I 10 know not what words could have been better chosen to
express his relation to the world he was leaving — “I still live.” This poor dust is just returning to the dust from which it was taken, but I feel that I live in the affections
of the people to whose services I have consecrated my 15 days. “I still live.” The icy hand of death is already laid on my heart, but I shall still live in those words of counsel which I have uttered to my fellow-citizens, and which I now leave them as the last bequest of a dying
friend. 5 In the long and honored career of our lamented friend,
there are efforts and triumphs which will hereafter fill one of the brightest pages of our history. But I greatly ert if the closing scene — the height of the religious sublime
- does not, in the judgment of other days, far transcend 10 in interest the brightest exploits of public life. Within
that darkened chamber at Marshfield was witnessed a scene of which we shall not readily find the parallel. The serenity with which he stood in the presence of the King
of Terrors, without trepidation or flutter, for hours and 15 days of expectation: the thoughtfulness for the public busi
ness, when the sands were so nearly run out; the hospitable care for the reception of the friends who came to Marshfield; that affectionate and solemn leave separately taken,
name by name, of wife and children and kindred and 20 friends and family, down to the humblest members of the
household; the designation of the coming day, then near at hand, when “all that was mortal of Daniel Webster should cease to exist!” the dimly-recollected strains of
the funeral poetry of Gray; the last faint flash of the 25 soaring intellect; the feebly-murmured words of Holy Writ
repeated from the lips of the good physician, who, when all the resources of human art had been exhausted, had a drop of spiritual balm for the parting soul; the clasped
hands; the dying prayers. Oh! my fellow-citizens, this 30 is a consummation over which tears of pious sympathy
will be shed ages after the glories of the forum and the senate are forgotten.
“His sufferings ended with the day,
Yet lived he at its close;
In statue-like repose.