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In what suspense, what agony of fear,
To some one of my race. 5 ALCESTIS.
Death hath his rights, Of which not e'en the great Supernal Powers May hope to rob him. By his ruthless hand, Already seized, the noble victim lay,
The heir of empire, in his glowing prime
The blessed, the loved, by all who owned his sway,
How much by his Alcestis ? Such was he, 15 Already in the unsparing grasp of death,
Withering, a certain prey. Apollo thence
Must fall a voluntary sacrifice. 20 Another of his lineage, or to him
By closest bonds united, must descend
What do I hear?
The dread exchange
Is ready, nor is wholly worthless him
O mighty goddess of the icfernal shades !
Pueres. All prepared the prey! 35 And to our blood allied ! O heaven ! — and yet
* Orcus, the god of the lower world.
Thou bad'st me weep no more !
Yes, thus I said,
Thy son's, nor I deplore my husband's doom. 5 Let him be saved, and other sounds of woe,
Less deep, less mournful far, shall here be heard,
E’en while the involuntary tribute lasts, 10 The victim shall be honored, who resigned
Life for Admetus. Wouldst thou know the prey, -
Father! 't is I. 15 PHERES. What hast thou done? O heaven!
What hast thou done? And think'st thou he is saved
His very soul!— Of thee, beloved far more
More than himself ! -Oh! no, it shall not be !
Thoni perish, 0 Alcestis ! in the flower
Not him, not him alone, but us, but all, 25 Who as a child adore thee! Desolate
Would be the throne, the kingdom, reft of thee.
O thou, the source of each domestic joy, — 30 Thou in whose life alone Admetus lives, —
His glory, his delight, — thou shalt not die,
Whose task, whose duty is, for him to die. 35 My race is run ; — the fulness of my years,
The faded hopes of age, and all the love
Which hath its dwelling in a father's heart,
So richly is endowed, — all, all unite b To grave in adamant the just decree,
That I must die. But thou — 1 bid thee live!
An aged sire's devotedness. 10 ALCESTIS.
But if in silence I have heard thy words,
What canst thou say Which I should hear ? I go, resolved to save
Him who, with thee, would perish:— to the shrine 20 E'en now I fly.
ALCESTIS. Stay, stay thee! 't is too late.
Heard and accepted the terrific vow
To death. And I am firm, and well I know
Yes! thou mayst weep my fate, 30 Mourn for me, father! but thou canst not blame
My lofty purpose. Ch! the more endeared
Is worthy of Admetus. I descend.
In thy presence here
Its dread effects. Through all my burning veins
The Monarch of the Dead hath heard ; - he calls,
CXXXVI. - CANNING AND BROUGHAM.
(This passage of words between Canning and Brougham took place in April, 18:23. Canning had recently come into the cabinet, as secretary for foreign affairs, in consequence of the death (by his own hands) of the Marquis of Londonderry, more generally known as Lord Castlereagh. The charge brought against Canning was, that he had come into office without extorting any distinct pledges from his colleagues in favor of Catholic emancipation, to which he was well known to be friendly; and this formed the burden of Brougham's attack. Canniny's d fence was, that if that concession had been insisted upon, it would have been impossible to form an administration to carry on the government of the country; and that it was better to secure some desirable results, than to lose the whole by insisting upon having either the whole or none.
The tone of debate in the English house of commons is more guarded and decorous than that of our house of representatives; and Canning's language was an unusually vehement expression of feeling.]
Though they resembled each other in standing foremost and alone in their respective parties, they were in every other respect opposed as the zenith and nadir, or as light
and darkness. 5 This difference extended even to their personal appear
ance. Canning was airy, open, and prepossessing ; Brougham seemed stern, hard, lowering, and almost repulsive. The head of Canning had an air of extreme elegance: that
of Brougham was much the reverse ; but stili, in whatever 10 way it was viewed, it gave a sure indication of the terrible
power of the inhabitant within. Canning's features were handsome; his eye, though deeply ensconced under his eyebrows, was full of sparkle and gayety. The features of Brougham were harsh in the extreme: while his forehead shot up to a great elevation, his chin was long
and square; his mouth, nose, and eyes seemed huddler 5 together in the centre of his face — the eyes absolutely
lost amid folds and corrugations; and while he sat listening, they seemed to retire inward, or to be veiled by a filmy curtain, which not only concealed the appalling glare
which shot away from them when he was roused, but ren10 dered his mind and his purpose a sealed book to the keenest scrutiny of man.
Canning's passions appeared upon the open campaign of his face, drawn up in a ready array, and moved to and fro
at every turn of his oration, and every retort in that of his 15 antagonist: those of Brougham remained within, as in a
citadel which no artillery could batter and no mine blow up; and even when he was putting forth all the power of his eloquence, when every ear was tingling at what he said,
and while the immediate object of his invective was writh20 ing in helpless and indescribable agony, his visage retained
its cold and brassy hue, and he triumphed over the passions of other men by seeming to be wholly without passion himself. The whole form of Canning was rounded, and
smooth, and graceful; that of Brougham angular, long, 25 and awkward. When Canning rose to speak, he elevated
his countenance, and seemed to look round for the applause of those about him, as an object dear to his feelings; while Brougham stood coiled and concentrated, reckless of
all but the power that was within himself. From Canning 30 there was expected the glitter of wit and the flow of spirit
- something showy and elegant. Brougham stood up as a being whose powers and intentions were all a mystery whose aim and effect no living man could divine. You
bent forward to catch the first sentence of the one, and 35 felt human nature elevated in the specimen before you;
you crouched and shrank back from the other, and dreams