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By too severe a fate,
Fallen from his high estate.
With downcast look the joyous victor sate,
The vārious turns of fate below;
And tears began to flow. 5. The mighty master smiled to see
That love was in the next degree :
Softly sweet, in Lýdian' measures,
Soon he soothed his soul to pleasures :
Never ending, still beginning,
Fighting still, and still destroying:
Think, oh think it worth enjoying!
Take the good the gods provide thee.
Gazed on the fair
Who caused his care,
Sighed and looked, and sighed again :
i Lýd' i an, pertaining to Lydia, said especially of one of the ancient & country of Asia Minor, or to its in- Greek modes or keys, the music in habitants : hence, soft; effeminate;- which was soft and pathetic.
6. Now strike the golden lyre again
A louder yět, and yet a louder strain !
Has raised up his head !
nazed, he stares around.
See the furies arise !
How they hiss in their hair,
Behold a ghastly band,
Each a torch in his hand !
And unburied remain,
Inglorious, on the plain.
To the valiant crew.
How they point to the Persian abodes,
And glittering temples of their hostile göds !
Thaïs led the way
To light him to his prey;
Thus long ago, –
And sounding lyre,
Helen, a most beautiful woman elāūs, who, with the other Greek of ancient Greece, whom Paris, the chiefs, resolved to avenge her abduc son of Priam, king of Troy, stole tion. Hence rose the Trojan war, from the arms of her husband, Men- · Bellows, (běl' lús).
At last, divine Cecilia' came,
Inventress of the vocal frame :
Enlarged the former narrow bounds,
And added length to solemn sounds, With nature's mother wit, and arts unknown before.
Let old Timotheüs yield the prize,
Or both divide the crown :
DRYDEN. JOHN DRYDEN, one of the great masters of English verse, was born at Oldwinckle, in Northamptonshire, August, 1631. He was educated at Westminster and Trinity College, Cambridge. He began his literary career by a set of heroic stanzas on the death of Cromwell, which was a good precursor of his future excellence. The Restoration occurring when he was in his thirtieth year, excluded him for the time from government employment and patronage, and he at once devoted himself to literature for a profession. The stage now offered itself as the only means through which his pen could furnish a livelihood; and, in the course of twenty-five years, he wrote twenty-seven dramas, the most remarkable of which are his “Heroic Plays.” From these rhymed dialogues arose that mastery of the English heroic couplet which he was the first to acquire, and in which no succeeding poet has nearly equaled him. The prefaces, dedications, and essays, with which he accompanied his dramas, exhibit him at once as the earliest writer of regular and elegant English prose, and as the first who aimed in our language at any thing like philosophical criticism. These prose fragments contain some of the most felicitous specimens of style which our tongue has ever produced. His engagement to write plays for the King's Theater gave him £300 a year: his circumstances were improved by his marriage, in 1665, with Lady Elizabeth Howard, daughter of the Earl of Berkshire; and in 1670 he received, with a salary of £200 a year and the famous butt of wine, the joint offices of historiographer-royal and poet-laureate. “ Absalom and Achitophel,” the best of all his political satires, appeared in 1681. “ The Medal” and "Mac Flecknoe,” works of the same kind, followed soon after. In 1685, Dryden was received into the Church of Rome, the first public fruit of which was the “Hind and Panther,” a rich allegorical poem, in which the main arguments of the Roman Church are stated. The Revolution, taking place in his fifty-seventh year, deprived the poet of his courtly patrons and pensions, and forced him to spend the last twelve years of his life in hard toil. Some of his best works were produced in this period. In 1690 appeared his tragedy of “Don Sebastian,” the best of his serious plays. In 1697 he threw off at a heat his“ Alexander's Feast," one of the most animated of all lyrical poems; and his spirited translation of Virgil appeared the same year. Lastly, in the spring of 1700, were published his “Fables," which prove that his warm imagination then burned as brightly
* Cecilia, the patron saint of mu- and depicted on canvas by more sic, erroneously regarded as the in- than one of the great painters. Raventress of the organ, suffered mar. phael has most admirably presented tyrdom A. D. 220. She has been her as the personification of heavenly celebrated by several of the poets, devotion.
as ever, and that his metrical skill increased at the close of his life. These admirable poems shed a glory on the last days of the poet, who died on the 1st of May, 1700. For an extended description of Dryden's poetical endowments, the reader is referred to the 66th Exercise, p. 243.
171. HAMLET'S SOLILOQUY.
To Whether is nobler in the mind, to suffer
The slings and ărrows of outrageous fortune ;
There's the respect
Who would fardels bear,
4. Thus conscience does make cowards of us all ;
And thus the native hue of resolution
172. CATO'S! SOLILOQUY.
T must be so -Plato, thou reasonest well!
Else, whence this pleasing hope, this fond desire, This longing after immortality ? Or whence this secret dread, and inward horror, Of falling into naught? Why shrinks the soul Back on herself, and startles at destruction ? 'Tis the divinity that stirs within us; 'Tis Heaven itself, that points out a hereafter,
And intimates eternity to man.
Through what variety of untried being,
1 Marcus Porcius Cato, great- of the republican party were finally grandson of Cato the Censor, was extinguished by the battle of Thapborn B. C. 95. From his youth he sus, April 6th, B. C. 46. Failing to was celebrated for his bravery, vir- inspire his countrymen, who were tue, decision, severity, and harshness collected at Utica, with courage to of character. He was the principal endure a siege, he resolved not to supporter of Cicero in his measures outlive the downfall of the republic. for suppressing the Catilinerian con- After providing for the safety of his spiracy; and on the commencement friends, and spending the greater of civil war, in B. C. 49, he joined part of the night in perusing Plato's the party of Pompey against Cæsar. Phædo, he inflicted on himself the After the defeat of the former, Cato wound of which he died, in the fortyproceoded to Africa, where the hopes ninth year of his age.