« ElőzőTovább »
Oswald. The next wave will come up to the chair. It is folly to stay. We shall be covered with salt water.
Canute. Well, does the sea obey my commands ? If it be my subject, it is a very rebellious subject. See how it swells, and dashes the angry foam and salt spray over my sacred person! Vile sycophants ! did you think I was the dupe of your base lies ? that believed your abject flatteries ? Know, there is but one Being whom the sea will obey. He is Sovereign of heaven and earth, King of kings, and Lord of Lords. It is only he who can say to the ocean, “ Thus far shalt thou go, but no farther, and here shall thy proud waves be stayed.” A king is but a man, and a man is but a worm. Shall a worm assume the power of the great God, and think the elements will obey him ? May kings learn to be humble from my example, and courtiers learn truth from your disgrace !
THE TWO ROBBERS.
Alexander. What, art thou the Thracian robber, of whose exploits I have heard so much ?
Robber. I am a Thracian, and a soldier.
Alex. A soldier !-a thief, a plunderer, an assassin ! the pest of the country! I could honor thy courage, but I must detest and punish thy crimes.
Robber. What have I done of which you can complain ?
Alex. Hast thou not set at defiance my authority; violated the public peace, and passed thy life in injuring the persons
properties of thy fellow subjects ?
Robber. Alexander ! I am your captive — I must hear what you please to say, and endure what you please to inflict. But my
soul is unconquered; and if I reply at all to your reproaches, I will reply like a free man.
Alex. Speak freely. Far be it from me to take the advantage of my power to silence those with whom I deign to converse !
Robber. I must then answer your question by another. How have you passed your life.
Alex. Like a hero. Ask Fame, and she will tell you. Among the brave, I have been the bravest : among sovereigns, the noblest : among conquerors, the mightiest.
Robber. And does not Fame speak of me too? Was there ever a bolder captain of a more valiant band? Was there ever — But I scorn to boast. You yourself know that I have not been easily subdued.
Alex. Still, what are you but a robber-a base dishonest robber?
Robber. And what is a conqueror ? Have not you, too, gone about the earth like an evil genius, blasting the fair fruits of peace and industry : plundering, ravaging, killing, without law, without justice, merely to gratify an insatiable lust for dominion ? All that I have done to a single district with a hundred followers, you have done to whole nations with a hundred thousand. If I have stripped individuals, you have ruined kings and princes. If I have burned a few hamlets, you have desolated the most flourishing kingdoms and cities of the earth. What is then the difference, but that as you were born a king, and I a private man, you have been able to become a mightier robber than I ?
Alex. But if I have taken like a king, I have given like a king. If I have subverted empires, I have founded greater. I have cherished arts, commerce, and philosophy.
Robber. I, too, have freely given to the poor, what I took from the rich. I have established order and discipline among the most ferocious of mankind; and have stretched out my protecting arm over the oppressed. I know little of the philosophy you talk of; but I believe neither you nor I shall ever repay to the world the mischiefs we have done it.
Alex. Leave me — take off his chains and use him well. (Exit robber.) Are we then so much alike?- Alexander a robber?— Let me reflect.
Seer. Lochiel ! Lochiel ! beware of the day
Lochiel. Go preach to the coward, thou death-telling seer !
Seer. Ha! laugh’st thou, Lochiel, my vision to scorn ?
'Tis the fire shower of ruin, all dreadfully driven
Lochiel. False wizard, avaunt! I have marshalled my clan -
Seer. - Lochiel ! Lochiel ! beware of the day!
Ah no! for a darker departure is near,-
Lochiel. Down, soothless insulter! I trust not the tale :
[Scene, Dr. Gregory's Study. Enter a plump Glasgow merchant.]
Patient. Good morning, Dr. Gregory; I'm just come into Edinburgh about some law business, and I thought when I was here, at any rate, I might just as weel tak your advice, sir, about my trouble.
Doctor. And pray what may your trouble be, my good sir ?
Pa. Indeed, Doctor, I'm not very sure; but I'm thinking it's a kind of weakness that makes me dizzy at times, and a kind of pinkling about my stomach — I'm just na right.
Dr. You are from the west country, I should suppose, sir.