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He went from hence to the court of Vienna, where he purposed to stay some time; but he was called home sooner than he had intended, upon a discovery, or suspicion, of intrigues managed by his sister. The strangers to whom he trusted most were so true to him, that those designs were crushed before he came back. But, on this occasion, he let loose his fury on all whom he suspected. Some hundreds of them were hanged, all round Moscow; and it was said that he cut off many heads with his own hand. And so far was he from relenting, or showing any sort of tenderness, that he seemed delighted with it. How long he is to be the scourge of that nation, or of his neighbors, God only knows.

WILLIAM PENN. 1644-1718.

Penn is distinguished, not only as the founder of the State of Pennsylvania, but as a writer in defence of the principles of the Society of Friends. In consequence of his Quaker views, he was repeatedly banished from his father's house, suffered much persecution, and was several times thrown into prison. While confined in the Tower of London, he wrote No Cross, No Crown, the most celebrated of his works, and still held in high esteem by the Friends. As the founder and governor of Pennsylvania, his perfect toleration in matters of religion, the kindness and good faith with which he always treated the Indians, and the affection with which they cherished his memory, are well known. By his intimacy with James II., he procured the release of fourteen hundred and eighty of his Quaker brethren, who were in prison when James came to the throne.

[From "No Cross, No Crown."]


THAT people are generally proud of their persons, is too visible and troublesome, especially if they have any pretence either to blood or beauty; the one has raised many quarrels among men, and the other among women, and men too often, for their sakes, and at their excitements. But to the first; what a pother has this noble blood made in the world — antiquity of name or of family whose father or mother, great-grandfather or greatgrandmother, was best descended or allied! What stock or what clan they came of! What coat of arms they gave!


Which had, of right, the precedence! But, methinks, nothing of man's folly has less show of reason to palliate it.

For, first, what matter is it of whom any one is descended, that is not of ill-fame; since it is his own virtue that must raise, or vice depress him? An ancestor's character is no excuse to a man's ill actions, but an aggravation of his degeneracy; and since virtue comes not by generation, I neither am the better nor the worse for my forefather; to be sure, not in God's account, nor should it be in man's. Nobody would endure injuries the easier, or reject favors the more, for coming by the hand of a man well or ill descended. I confess it were greater honor to have had no blots, and with a hereditary estate to have had a lineal descent of worth; but that was never found; no, not in the most blessed of families on earth — I mean Abraham's. To be descended of wealth and titles, fills no man's head with brains, or heart with truth; those qualities come from a higher 'Tis vanity, then, and most condemnable pride, for a man of bulk and character to despise another of less size in the world, and of meaner alliance, for want of them; because the latter may have the merit, where the former has only the effects of it in an ancestor; and though the one be great by means of a forefather, the other is so too, but 't is by his own; then, pray, which is the bravest man of the two?


"O," says the person proud of blood, "it was never a good world since we have had so many upstart gentlemen!" But what should others have said of that man's ancestor, when he started first up into the knowledge of the world? For he, and all men and families, ay, and all states and kingdoms too, have had their upstarts, that is, their beginnings. This is like being the true church, because old, not because good; for families to be noble by being old, and not by being virtuous. No such matter; it must be age in virtue, or else virtue before age; for, otherwise, a man should be noble by means of his predecessor, and yet the predecessor less noble than he, because he was the acquirer; which is a paradox that will puzzle all their heraldry to explain. Strange! that they should be more noble than their ancestor, that got their nobility for them! But if this be absurd, as it is, then the upstart is the noble man—the man

that got it by his virtue; and those only are entitled to his honor that are imitators of his virtue; the rest may bear his name from his blood, but that is all. If virtue, then, give nobility, which heathens themselves agree, then families are no longer truly noble than they are 'virtuous. * * * No, let blood and name go together; but pray, let nobility and virtue keep company, for they are nearest of kin. 'Tis thus posited by God himself, that best knows how to apportion things with an equal and just hand. He neither likes nor dislikes by descent; nor does he regard what people were, but are. * *

But, methinks, it would suffice to say, our own eyes see that men of blood, out of their gear and trappings, without their feathers and finery, have no more marks of honor by nature stamped upon them than their inferior neighbors. Nay, themselves being judges, they will frankly tell us they feel all those passions in their blood that make them like other men, if not further from the virtue that truly dignifies.

THOMAS OTWAY. 1651-1685.

Otway was the son of a clergyman, and was educated at Oxford. After leaving college, he for a time performed as an actor on the London stage. He was not adapted to this profession, but it gave him a knowledge of dramatic art, which was serviceable to him afterwards as a writer of plays. Irregularity and extravagance in his habits caused him to be always in poverty and suffering. By one account, his death is said to have been occasioned by swallowing hastily, after long fasting, a piece of bread given him in charity; another states that he died of fever occasioned by fatigue, or by drinking immoderately of water, when heated. The Orphan, and Venice Preserved, are the tragedies on which his fame chiefly rests. In some scenes of passionate affection he is thought to excel even Shakspeare.


Priuli. No more! I'll hear no more! begone, and leave me! Jaffier. Not hear me! by my suffering, but you shall!

My lord, my lord! I'm not that abject wretch

You think me. Patience! Where's the distance throws
Me back so far, but I may boldly speak

In right, though proud oppression will not hear me?
Pri. Have you not wronged me?

Jaf. Could my nature e'er

Have brooked injustice, or the doing wrongs,
I need not now thus low have bowed myself,
To gain a hearing from a cruel father.
Wronged you?

Pri. Yes, wronged me! in the nicest point,
The honor of my house, you've done me wrong.
You may remember - for I now will speak,
And urge its baseness

when you first came home From travel, with such hopes as made you looked on, By all men's eyes, a youth of expectation;

Pleased with your growing virtues, I received you;
Courted, and sought to raise you to your merits;
My house, my table, nay, my fortune, too,
My very self, was yours; you might have used me
To your best service; like an open friend,
I treated, trusted you, and thought you mine;
When, in requital of my best endeavors,
You treacherously practised to undo me;
Seduced the weakness of my age's darling,
My only child, and stole her from my bosom.
O, Belvidera!

Jaf. 'Tis to me you owe her;

Childless had you been else, and in the grave,
Your name extinct - no more Priuli heard of.
You may remember, scarce five years have past
Since in your brigantine you sailed to see
The Adriatic wedded by our duke;

And I was with you. Your unskilful pilot
Dashed us upon a rock; when to your boat
You made for safety-entered first yourself;-
The affrighted Belvidera, following next,
As she stood trembling on the vessel's side,
Was by a wave washed off into the deep;
When instantly I plunged into the sea,
And buffeting the billows to her rescue,
Redeemed her life with half the loss of mine.
Like a rich conquest, in one hand I bore her,

And with the other dashed the saucy waves,
That thronged and pressed to rob me of my prize.
I brought her, gave her to your despairing arms;
Indeed, you thanked me; but a nobler gratitude
Rose in her soul; for, from that hour, she loved me,
Till for her life she paid me with herself.

Pri. You stole her from me! like a thief, you stole her, At dead of night! - that cursed hour you chose

To rifle me of all my heart held dear!

May all your joys in her prove false, like mine!
A sterile fortune and a barren bed

Attend you both continual discord make
Your days and nights bitter and grievous still!
May the hard hand of a vexatious need
Oppress and grind you, till at last you find
The curse of disobedience all your portion!

Jaf. Half of your curse you have bestowed in vain.
Heaven has already crowned our faithful loves
With a young boy, sweet as his mother's beauty;
May he live to prove more gentle than his grandsire,
And happier than his father!

Pri. Rather live

To bait thee for his bread, and din your ears
With hungry cries; whilst his unhappy mother
Sits down and weeps, in bitterness and want!
Jaf. You talk as if 't would please you.
Pri. 'T would, by heaven!

Jaf. Would I were in my grave!

Pri. And she, too, with thee!

For, living here, you 're but my cursed remembrancers;

I once was happy!

Jaf. You use me thus, because

you know my soul Is fond of Belvidera. You perceive

My life feeds on her, therefore thus you treat me.
Were I that thief, the doer of such wrongs

As you upbraid me with, what hinders me
But I might send her back to you with contumely,
And court my fortune where she would be kinder.

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