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Caius. I see it; and I thank thee, courteous friend:
Thou art, or I mistake,—thou art Quintilius?

Cit. The same, and still thy friend. Coraggio! (exit.)

Cornelia. Turn, Gracchus, and behold—'midst all the people,
This way advancing, proud Opimius comes.

Awake! the hour has come to try thy soul.

Caius. Depart, and fear not.

Feel if it tremble.

Corn. Give me thine hand.

Corn. No-'tis firm, and tells me,
That better knowest thou how to die, than how
To forfeit honour I am well content.

Caius. 'Tis there;

Caius. Licinia, fare thee well! if this embrace
Should be-if fate-support the unhappy woman,
Oh mother! consciousness hath left her quite.
Farewell! I trust to thee my wife, my son.

(Cornelia retires supporting Licinia.)
Caius. (pausing before the statue of his father.)
Oh thou, who from that silent marble speakest
To thy son's constant heart! unconquered sire!
I feel thy summons; thou shalt be content.
Or Rome this day is free, or soon I too,

A naked ghost shall rush to thine embrace!

Opimius now enters, preceded by the lictors, and followed by the senators, tribunes and populace. He addresses the people in an harangue of great art and eloquence, and divides them in their opinions. Gracchus, after a short tumult, obtains leave to speak.

Caius. from the tribunal) This is the last time I shall speak to you,
My countrymen. My enemies and yours

Have on my death resolved. I owe ye thanks,
That to my lips allowing their free speech,
Ye will not suffer me to die infamous.
And greater infamy can a Roman know,
Than with the name of tyrant on his front
Branded, to pass among the silent dead?

A murdered brother's ghost will meet me there,

See me all covered with inglorious wounds,

And cry, "What hand hath wrought this shame? from whence

These gory trenches?" And what answer, then,

Shall I return, O Romans? Those same hands,

Will I reply, have me to slaughter dragged,
Which butchered thee, that day the people left
Ungrateful, their defender to his foes,-
When thy sad corse lay in the open street,
Horribly mangled,-and thy forehead rent
Wide with a grisly wound-thine innocent blood
Ran in long streams-as, like some worthless wreck,
They cast thy corse, yet warm, in Tiber's wave,
Which, for the first time stained with Roman blood
In civil conflict spilt, flowed to the sea.
Nor aught availed thee then the tribune's rank,
Which made thy person sacred. And I too,-

My tale will run, was by patrician hate

Murdered. I too, for the same crimes condemned,
Was called a tyrant; I, whose every thought
Was to my country only consecrated;

1, who redeemed the people from the bonds
Of their insatiate lords; I, who restored
Their ravished rights to their paternal fields;
I who am poor, plebeian, I who have been
The eternal torment of all tyrants-I
Too am a tyrant! Oh my countrymen!
Is this the wages that your servants gain?

3d Citizen. Gracchus, take heart. The people is not thus Ungrateful, and none here thinks thee a tyrant.

Speak boldly in your argument, and fear not.

Caius. Here let the oppressor fear. Am I, forsooth,
Of the Patrician temper? Did I fear,
When, at the imminent peril of my life,
I dared surround your prostrate liberties,
With solemn laws, as bulwarks? I am he,
Oh Rome, acknowledge me! I am he, who
Against the unjust, usurping senate stood,
And made the people free-yea, made them kings,
All powerful. And in this have I offended?
Answer me, countrymen, was this my crime?
3d Cit. No; here we all are kings.

All power resides.

2d Cit. And in the people

1st Cit. The senate of our will

Is executor, and no more.

Caius. Your foe

Is then declared, who charges as my sin
Your perfect liberty, and makes his moan,
Ever, o'er lost patrician tyranny.

Three hundred base and hireling senators

Sat in the judgment seat. The strong broke through,
Or bought exemption from the feeble bonds

Of law, and poverty became a vice.

I overthrew this venal, odious court,

And thrice a hundred judges, of staunch faith
And incorrupt, I added. So the people
Had their due share of the judicial power.
Now, Romans, who, for this most holy work,
Dares censure Caius Gracchus before you?
Who? an Opimius, and those same, same traitors,
To whom the market of your lives and fortunes
Was barred by me. Oh virtue, name how vain!
Mocked by the wicked and the vile! ah! where,
Now, wilt thou rear thy throne, when even here,
Here, in the centre of all famous Rome,

And all her sacred gods, thou bearest the name
Of guilt, and so art punished!

(An old Man.) True; too true,

'Tis dangerous to be warm in virtue's cause.

Surely, some god is reasoning from his lips.

Caius. By the great goodness of the immortal gods, Born in the lap of this fair Italy,

The rights of Roman citizenship I deemed
Common to all her soil; from slavery

Redeemed, and made her the world's greatest nation.
You, Romans, you, renowned, illustrious sons
Of this loved mother, will you, as a crime,

Impute to me her rescued liberty?

1st Cit. No; we are all Italians; one sole people, One single family.

And brethren.

People. Italians all,

Old Man. Oh delightful sound! Oh words Noble, divine! these tears for joy o'erflow.

Caius. Oh! now indeed I hear the shouts sublime,

Of Romans worthy; and behold the tears

Worthy of men. But cease your griefs awhile;
Hear my last damning crime; and not of grief,
But the hot tears of madness and of wrath,
Will ye pour forth, oh people much abused!
Grant me your patient audience. Of your lords
The insatiate avarice, that on your woes
Remorseless trampled, had by rapine seized
All your possessions, and had only left
Your souls to tenant their debased abodes.
Your tyrants left ye life, but to enjoy
Your never ceasing sorrows-but to tread

On your bowed necks-draw tight your servile bonds,—
And, as the climax of your wrongs, despise ye
Even for the sufferance themselves enforced.
Now hear my crime,-my most unheard offence,
Whose total sum I in two words express—
To give you back your own--to give you back
So much of earth, as with a little dust,
Might hide your over-toiled and wearied bones.
Oh miserable brethren! the wild beasts
Have, 'mid the desert rocks and savage woods,
Some lair, where each may lay his limbs in peace,
And shun the assaults of the inclement skies.

You, Romans, you, who 'neath an iron load,
O'er the whole earth, expose to painful death

Your lives in Rome's behalf—you, the world's masters,
Nought in this world possess-save what not even
All-grasping avarice can take away,

The common air and light. Along our plains,
Ye wander idly; fainting by your sides,
With famine, sad and piteous company!
Your squalid wives and naked babes attend,

Who cry for bread.

Meantime, their banquets high,
Drunk with rich wine and lustful surfeits, hold
The gown-robed harpies, with some wanton strain
Feeding their ears: and all this which their gorge
Insatiable devours, is your own blood.

Your blood has brought their dazzling palaces,
Bright with barbaric pomp, and trapped with gold;
Their perfumes from Arabia, and the dye

Sidonian, and their sumptuous carpetings;
Their wide domains and regal villas, reared
By Tiber, or in shady Tusculum;

Their paintings and their statues ;—in one word,
All that ministers to their pride, has cost
Rivers of blood, in hard-fought battles drawn
From your own bosoms, by the hostile swords,-
And nothing, save their vices, is their own.
Unjust, cruel patricians! and they dare
To call you, on the toilsome fields of war,
Laggards and rebels, they who have debauched,
With customs stolen from the lascivious East,
The ancient Latine strain severe, and changed
Our camps to brothels; they, who battening free
On subject nations and the empire's wealth,
To die by famine leave our soldiery,
And drive them to complaint and to despair,
Until they make them robbers. They, forsooth,
Mourn for our ancient discipline destroyed;
They, in the hour of joining battles, shout,

"Fight for your household gods, your fathers' tombs!"
But which of ye, oh wretched countrymen!
Which of ye hath or altar, or hearth stone,
Or poor paternal sepulchre ?

Not one!

People, (with a loud shout.) Not one!

Caius. For whom then do ye rush to death?

For whose sake have ye gained those scars, whose large
And crimson characters I see appear,

Through each worn tunic's rents? Oh! let me kiss

Those honourable wounds! Their sight o'erpowers
My heart too much with pity; and at once,

I thrill with anger, and dissolve in tears.

2d Cit. Poor Caius! see, he weeps-for us he weeps, Magnanimous heart!

A tumult soon ensues; and the lictor Antilius, in endeavouring to drive back the people, is stabbed by Fulvius and his followers. Gracchus throws himself from the tribunal. to save the life of Opimius, and prevent the effusion of more blood. He cites Opimius to appear before the people, on the expiration of his consulship; and persuades the multitude to disperse quietly. Fulvius departs full of vexation, at this unexpected clemency. Opimius, determined on revenge, after giving private orders to one of his creatures, retires followed by the senators.

In the fourth act, as Cornelia is discoursing with Gracchus on the dangerous magnanimity he had just displayed, the forum is surrounded by armed mercenaries, and he finds himself in the power of his enemies. One of the finest scenes in the drama ensues between Cornelia, Gracchus and Licinia, whose pathetic appeals to his conjugal and paternal tenderness

at length overpower her husband's resolution to go forth and confront his enemies, at the certain peril of his life. At this juncture, a citizen enters, and informs Gracchus that a rumour is abroad, implicating him with his sister and Fulvius, in the murder of Emilianus. On hearing this he rushes from the portico. While his wife breaks out into uncontrouled anguish, Cornelia here preserves the firmness and dignity of her character, and her devotion to the glory of her son, though preserved only by a violent death.


Cornelia, sola.

Is there on earth a family more wretched,
A heart with more distracting tortures torn,
Than mine? The daughter of great Africanus
And mother of the Gracchi, once was I

For such fair names renowned-I who was wooed
Once to a monarch's nuptials, quite deserted,
Of all this pageantry, have only left

The melancholy splendour of my woes.

Two sons I bore for Rome; two noble sons;
Rome of her freedom weary, murdered them-
And by what hands! Alas! it is a crime

To give life to great souls; and those are praised
Only, who bring forth profligates. Such praise
Let mothers of Opimii win; but me

It better pleases, that my sons should perish
Mangled and pierced, than live in infamy.-
But I must follow his disastrous path-

Ah me! what crowd draws nigh? a funeral bier-
In solemn train, the mournful senators

Uprear it on their shoulders. How the sight

Freezes my veins. It is dead Scipio's hearse.

My heart fails, and my feet seemed clogged to earth.

Oh impious daughter! what a deed was thine!

Enter Opimius and the Senators, carrying the bier of Æmilianus, Lictors and People.

Opimius. Here, for a while, set down your funeral load.

People, friends, senators, 'tis here we owe

The last sad tribute that the public grief
Can pay the best of men. There never was,
There never will be juster cause for tears.
Romans! your father, and your empire's light,
Yea, the world's glory, lie in this sad hearse,
Forever quenched in darkness. Oh what strength,
What grandeur from the power of Rome has past!
How at the tidings will the realms rejoice

Of Asia and of Afric; for the arm

Invincible, that made their armies quake,
Is now forever palsied; and in vain

We, with our tears, demand him back to life.
Vol. I. No. V.


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