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nutes; when the gallant commander of the Drake fell, and victory declared in favour of the Ranger.
The amiable Lieutenant lay mortally wounded; besides near forty of the inferior officers and crew, killed and wounded. A melancholy demonstration of this uncertainty of human prospects, and of the sad reverse of fortune, which an hour can produce. I buried them in a spacious grave, with the honors due to the memory of the brave.
Though I have drawn my sword in the present generous struggle for the rights of men, yet I am not in arms as an American; nor am I in pursuit of riches. My fortune is liberal enough; having no wife nor family; and having lived long enough to know that riches cannot insure happiness. I profess myself a citizen of the world, totally unfettered by the little, mean distinctions of climate, or of country, which diminish the benevolence of the heart, and set bounds to philanthropy. Before this was begun, 1 bad, at an early time of life, withdrawn from the sea service, in favour of “ calm contemplation and poetic ease.” I have sacrificed not only my favourite scheme of life, but the softer affections of the heart, and my prospects of domestic happiness, and I am ready to sacrifice my life also with cheerfulness; if that forfeiture could restore peace and good will among mankind.
As the feelings of your gentle bosom cannot but be congenial with mine, let me entreat you, madam, to use your persuasive art with your husband's, to endeavour to stop this cruel and destructive war, in which Britain never can succeed. Heaven can never countenance the barbarous and unmanly practice of the Britons in America, which savages would blush at; and which, if not discontinued, will soon be retaliated on Britain, by a justly enraged people. Should you fail in this, (for I am persuaded that you will attempt it, and who can resist the power of such an advocate ?) your endeavours to effect a general exchange of prisoners will be an act of humanity, which will afford you golden feelings on a death bed.
I hope this cruel contest will soon be closed; but should it continue, I wage no war with the fair. I acknowledge their force, and bend before it with submission. Let not, therefore, the amiable Countess of Selkirk regard me as an enemy. I am ambitious of her esteem and friendship, and would do any thing, consistent with my duty, to merit it.
The honour of a line from your hand, in answer to this, will lay me under a singular obligation ; and if I can render you any acceptable service in France or elsewhere, I hope you see into my character so far as to com mand me without the least grain of reserve.
I wish to know, exactly, the behaviour of my people ; as I determine to punish them, if they have exceeded their liberty. I have the honour to be, with much esteem, and with profound respect,
Madam, yours, &c. The Right Honourable, the Countess of Selkirk,
St. Mary's Isle, Scotland.
THE CAIO GRACCO OF MONTI.
The three tragedies of Vincenzo Monti stand in the highest rank of modern dramatic compositions; and are not unworthy of a comparison with the noblest productions of the ancient writers. Though he sometimes imitates their excellencies, it is in a manner not unworthy of the great originals, from whom he is not afraid to borrow. It is not our intention, however, at present, to enter into any examination of the merits of his dramas; but merely to give a succinct account of their several plots, for the purpose of introducing such specimens of his manner, as a translation nearly literal will allow. In future numbers, we shall probably notice his Aristodemo and Galeotto Manfredi, with his other poetical productions. At present, we propose to give a brief sketch of his Caio Gracco, which, as an heroic tragedy, we prefer to the Aristodemo, though there are different opinions, as to their relative merits.
The tragedy opens with a soliloquy of Gracchus, as he enters Rome at night, having just arrived from Egypt, where he had razed Carthage to the ground. His return, as he afterwards mentions, had been expedited by the messages of Marcus Fulvius, who had hitherto enjoyed his confidence, and had warned him that the patrician power was increasing, and that the popular laws he had introduced were in danger.
Oh my Licinia! Oh my son! I come
At length to end your woes, and with me bring
Yea, Vengeance, for a brother's massacre ! As Gracchus is about to enter his own porch, Fulvius appears, followed by a slave, whom he despatches with hasty words of encouragement, and injunctions of silence, to execute a dangerous and dreadful murder. The poor slave, however, has no sooner left him, than he pronounces his certain doom, as the only sure seal of secrecy. Though it is anticipating the development of the plot, it may be mentioned here, that Fulvius was the lover of the sister of Gracchus, who was the wife of Æmilianus; and that, by an agreement between the guilty pair, the slave was now commissioned to assassinate the most illustrious Roman of that age. Gracchus was himself the avowed and determined enemy of Æmilianus; from the part he had taken with the patricians, in the civil commotions, when Tiberius Gracchus was slain by Scipio Nasica. He was yet, however, entirely ignorant of the guilt of Fulvius ; and of the ultimate ends which he proposed to himself, by espousing so warmly the popular side. He meets him with joy, and a dialogue ensues on the past and present state of affairs, too long for translation. Fulvius alludes darkly to the assassination of Æmilianus, in language then unintelligible to Gracchus; but as he is insisting on a clearer explanation, he is interrupted by the approach of his mother Cornelia, and his wife Licinia, leading his son by the hand, who are leaving their home, accompanied by a freedman. They were going to the house of Æmilianus, who had warned them of the approaching troubles, and offered them the protection of his roof. Gracchus is incensed on hearing this; and Fulvius ventures to expostulate with the lofty Cornelia ; who, on learning his name, reproaches Gracchus with having such a companion ; and informs him that Fulvius is plotting against the virtue of his sister, and had that day been expelled from his house by her husband. She retires within her house, and Gracchus fol. lows, after bidding Fulvius prepare to exculpate himself.
In the second act, the consul Opimius and Drusus, (one of the tribunes,) meet at day-break in the Forum. Drusus. The earliest ray of morning scarce has lit
The summits of the Palatine; and yet,
The people trust their destiny, the great
And of himself?
and that it is his intention to have an interview with him, in order, under pretence of reasoning him into forbearancé, to drive him to some sudden act which might lead to his destruction. Gracchus enters, with the people, shouting his name, and denouncing the patricians. He persuades them to retire ; and an admirable scene follows, between Opimius and Gracchus, which we cannot give entire, and which does not admit of selections. Drusus enters, and announces the sudden death of Æmilianus, and that it was whispered that he perished by violence. Cornelia also enters with the tidings; and a dreadful suspicion crosses the mind of Gracchus, as the hints of Fulvius on the preceding night recur to his recollection. His confusion is remarked by Opimius and Drusus, who retire to consult their measures, on the hint thus obtained. As Caius is meditating on his suspicions, Fulvius enters, who does not deny his guilt, but justifies it as an act of patriotism. He descants on the tyranny, pride and cruelty of the Scipios, both at home and abroad; and vindicates himself still farther on the ground, that Gracchus had himself said that Æmilianus deserved death as a tyrant; and that he had therefore only acted the part of a friend, in obeying the suggestion. We give the remainder of the dialogue, which concludes the second act.
Caius. Thou my friend, villain! I have never been
Ful. Gracchus, cease
and be silent. Force me not to say more.
Caius. What more?
Ful. That wbich I may not utter.
Caius. What? of farther crimes ?
Caius. Knowest thou not? cold horror creeps
Caius. What sayest thou ?
Ful. Have a care,
Caius. No more. I will know.
Caius. (solus.) Ask my sister?
The third act opens with a scene between Cornelia, Lici. nia and Gracchus, in which the majesty of the Roman matron, and the dignified tenderness and apprehensions of the wife of Gracchus, are displayed with great power and beauty. Cornelia endeavours to persuade her son to desist from his purpose of investigating the circumstances of Scipio's death; well aware that the result would bring disgrace upon her daughter and her family. We pass on to the scene which follows.
(A crier advances, bearing a decree of the Senate, which he suspends on a pillar, and the people collect in a hasty manner to read it. A citizen, hav, ing observed it, approaches Gracchus, who stands absorbed in grief, and shakes him by the mantle.)
Cit. Gracchus, behold! observest thou the decree?
Caius. (reading.) LET THE CONSUL LOOK
Cit. Beware, unfortunate Roman! this decree
Licinia. What do I hear?