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Brak. Had


such leisure in the time of death, so gaze upon the secrets of the deep?

Clar.. Methought I had; and often did I strive
To yield the ghost; but still the envious flood
Kept in my soul, and would not let it forth
To seek the empty, vast, and wandering air;
But smothered it within my panting bulk,
Which almost burst to belch it in the sea.

Brak. Awaked you not with this sore agony ?

Clar: O no, my dream was lengthened after life; O, then began the tempest of my soul; I passed, methought, the melancholy flood, With that grim ferryman which poets write of, Unto the kingdom of perpetual night. The first that there did greet my stranger soul, Was my great father-in-law, renowned Warwick, Who cried aloud: “ What scourge for perjury Can this dark monarchy afford false Clarence ?" And so he vanished ;-then came wandering by A shadow like an angel, with bright hair Dabbled in blood; and he shrieked out aloud: " Clarence is come,-false, FLEETING, PERJURED Clarence, That stabbed me in the field of Tewksbury; Seize on him, furies, take him to your torments !" With that, methought a legion of foul fiends Environed me, and howled in mine ears Such hideous cries, that, with the very noise, I trembling waked; and for a season after, Could not believe but that I was in hell!. Such terrible impression made my dream.

Brak. No marvel, lord, that it affrighted you;
I am afraid, methinks, to hear you tell it.

Clar. O, Brakenbury, I have done these things,
That now give evidence against my soul,
For Edward's sake; and see how he requites me!
I pray thee, gentle keeper, stay by me;
My soul is heavy, and I fain would sleep.

Brak. I will, my lord. [Clarence reposes himself on a chair.
Sorrow breaks seasons and reposing hours,
Makes the night morning, and the noontide night.
Princes have but their titles for their glories,
An outward honor for an inward toil :

Aad, for unfelt imaginations,
They often feel a world of restless cares;
So that between their titles and low name,
There's nothing differs but the outward fame.

This dialogue, in which Clarence relates to Brakenbury his sublime and terrible dream, occurs in Shakspeare's tragedy of King Richard III. It is one of the best pieces in our language, for a rhetorical exercise. The phrases in italic should be given with great power, and those in small capitals on a still higher key.

Some individuals say they think dialogues are theatrical, and consequently immoral. A dialogue is merely an interchange of sentiment,-a colloquy between two or more persons. Socrates conversed with Cebes and his other friends, during the last day and moments of his life, with a view of convincing them that the soul is immortal. That sublime and solemn dialogue is published in Plato's Phedon. The interviews which the apostles had with those to whom they taught the gospel, with each other, and with our Savior himself, may, with propriety, be called dialogues. Conversation is but another word for dialogue.

Dialogues, like single pieces, are rendered good or bad, by the sentiments embodied in them. But even if they were neither good nor bad, in a moral point of viow, they would aid the student, very much, in his efforts to become excellently skilled in reading and oratory. In some dialogues, serious characters appear; in others, ludicrous; and this is according to nature. In conversation or dialogues, the intonations and inflections of the voice, are more likely to be correct, than in reading or declaiming single pieces. Gesticulation, too, is generally better. The writer both admits and contends, that the influence of the unnatural manner in which actors sometimes exhibit the passions,—the dresses of some female performers,—the intoxicating drinks used in theatres,—and the bad women that frequent them, is to corrupt morals. As a substitute for the “unlawful pleasures," if indeed they can be called pleasures, to be found at badly conducted theatres; he would recommend those “innocent ones,” which may be derived from reading pieces, or exhibiting dialogues, plays, and tragedies "of chaste wit, as well as of pathos, beauty, and sublimity.”

86. VIRGINIUS AND LUCIUS.-James Sheridan Knowles

Lucius. 'Tis well you're found, Virginius!

Virginius. What makes you from the city ? look !
My Lucius, what a sight you're come to witness.?
My brave old comrade, honest Siccius!
Siccius Dentatus, that true son of Rome,
On whose white locks the mother looked more proudly
Than on the raven ones of her youngest and

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Most hopeful sons, is nothing but this,
The sign and token of himself! Look, comrades,
Here are the foes have slain him-not a trace
Of any other—not a body stripp'd-
Our father has been murdered. We'll revenge him
Like sons! Take up the body! Bear it to
The camp; and as you move your solemn march,
Be dumb or if you speak, be it but a word;
And be that word—Revenge!

Luc. Virginius!

Vir. I did not mind thee, Lucius ! Uncommon things make common things forgot. Hast thou a message for me, Lucius ? Well! I'll stay and hear it, but be brief; my heart Follows


Luc: You are wanted
In Rome.

Vir. On what account?
Luc. On

your arrival You'll learn.

Vir. How! is it something can't be told
At once? Speak out, boy! Ha! your looks are loaded
With matter—Is't so heavy that your tongue
Cannot unburden them? Your brother left
The camp on duty yesterday-hath aught
Happened to him? Did he arrive in safety?
Is he safe? Is he well ?

Luc. He is both safe and well.
Vir. What then? What then? Tell me the matter, Lucius,

Luc. I have said
It shall be told

Vir. Shall! I stay not for
That shall, unless it be so close at hand
It stop me not a moment. 'Tis too long
A coming. Fare you well, iny Lucius.

Luc. Stay,
Virginius. Hear me then with patience.
Vir. Well,

[Returns I am patient.

Luc. Your Virginia

Vir. Stop, my Lucius!
I am cold in every member of my frame !

If 'tis prophetic, Lucius, of thy news,
Give me such token as her tomb would, Lucius,
I'll bear it better. Silence.

Luc. You are still —
Vir. I thank thee, Jupiter! I am still a father!
Luc. You are, Virginius, yet-
Vir. What, is she sick ?
Luc. No.

Vir. Neither dead nor sick! All well! No harm!
Nothing amiss ! Each guarded quarter safe,
That fear may lay him

down and sleep, and yet
This sounding the alarm! I swear thou tell'st
A story strangely.-Out with't! I have patience
For any thing, since my Virginia lives,
And lives in health!

Luc. You are requir'd in Rome,
To answer a most novel suit.

Vir. Whose suit?
Luc. The suit of Claudius,
Vir. Claudius!
Luc. Him that's client
To Appius Claudius, the decemvir.

Vir. What!
That pander! Ha! Virginia! you appear
To couple them. What makes my fair Virginia

with Claudius? Innocence
Beside lasciviousness! His suit! What suit?
Answer me quickly! Quickly! lest suspense,
Beyond what patience can endure, coercing,
Drive reason from his seat!

Luc. He has claimed Virginia.

Vir. Claimed her! Claimed her!
On what pretence?
Luc. He

says she is the child
of a slave of his, who sold her to thy wife.

Vir. Go on ;-you see I'm calm.

Luc. He seized her in
The school, and dragged her to the forum, where
Appius was giving judgment.

Vir. Dragg'd her to
The forum! Well! I told you, Lucius,
I would be patient.

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Luc. Numitorious there confronted him!

Vir. Did he not strike him dead ?
True, true, I know it was in presence of
The decemvir_O! had I confronted him!
Well! well! the issue-Well! o'erleap all else,
And light upon the issue! Where is she?

Luc. I was despatched to fetch thee, ere I could learn.

Vir. The claim of Claudius-Appius's client-Ha!
I see the master-cloud—this ragged one,
That lowers before, moves only in subservience
To the ascendant of the other-Jove,
With its own mischief break it and disperse it,
And that be all the ruin! Patience! Prudence!
Nay, prudence, but no patience. Come! a slave
Dragged through the streets in open day! my child !
My daughter! my fair daughter, in the eyes
Of Rome! O! I'll be patient. Come! the essence
Of my best blood in the free common ear
Condemned as vile. O I'll be patient. Come!
O they shall wonder. I will be so patient.

The “Tragedy of Virginius," from which this dialogue is taken, is founded on historical facts. We learn from “ Ferguson's Rome,” that“ Appius Claudius, one of the usurpers, being captivated with the beauty of Virginia, the child of an honorable family, and already betrothed to a person of her own condition, endeavored to make himself master of her person, by depriving her at once of her parentage and of her liberty. For this pui. pose, under pretence that she had been born in servitude, and that she had been stolen away in her infancy, he suborned a person to claim her as his slave. The decemvir himself being judge in this iniquitous suit, gave judgment against the helpless party, and ordered her to be removed to the house of the person by whom he was claimed. In this affecting scene, the father, under pretence of bidding a last farewell to his child, came forward to embrace her; and, in the presence of the multitude, having then no other means to preserve her honor, he availed himself of the prerogative of a Roman father, and stabbed her to the heart with a knife. The indignation which arose from this piteous sight, reëstablished a patrician administration."

When Virginius tells Lucius, -"You see I'm calm ”...“O, I'll be patient”-he was greatly agitated; and, of course, those phrases, and other similar ones, are ironical. His deepest indignation was naturally aroused against the lascivious tyrant.

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