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VIRGINIA.

Virginia was a young Roman girl, the daughter of Virginius, an officer in the Roman army, but a plebeian. While her father was absent on a campaign, Appius Claudius, the chief magistrate of Rome, one of the wickedest of men, claimed Virginia as his slave, and induced a base fellow called Marcus to swear that she was his property. Icilius, to whom Virginia was engaged, sent post-haste to the army for her father. Virginius returned, but could not beat down the false witness of Marcus. When he saw that he was obliged to give up his daughter to be a slave, he took a knife from a butcher's bench that stood near, and stabbed her to the heart.

OVER the Alban mountains, the light of morning broke;

From all the roofs of the Seven Hills 1 curled the thin wreaths of smoke:

The city gates were open; the Forum,2 all alive

With buyers and with sellers, was humming like a hive :
Blithely on brass and timber the craftsman's stroke was ringing,
And blithely o'er her panniers the market-girl was singing;
And blithely young Virginia came smiling from her home-
Ah! woe for young Virginia! the sweetest maid in Rome.
With her small tablets in her hand, and her satchel on her arm,
Forth she went bounding to the school, nor dreamed of shame

harm.

a

She crossed the Forum shining with the stalls in alleys gay,
And just had reached the very spot whereon I stand this day,
When up the varlet Marcus came; not such as when, erewhile,5
He crouched behind his patron's heels, with the true client smile :6
He came with lowering forehead, swollen features, and clenched

fist,

or

And strode across Virginia's path, and caught her by the wrist:
Hard strove the frighted maiden, and screamed with look
aghast-7
And at her scream from right to left the folk came running

fast;

d

And the strong smith, Muræna, gave Marcus such a blow,
The caitiff reeled three paces back, and let the maiden go:
Yet glared he fiercely round him, and growled, in harsh
tone,
"She's mine, and I will have her: I seek but for mine own.
She is my slave, born in my house, and stolen away and sold,
The year of the sore sickness, ere she was twelve hours old.
I wait on Appius Claudius; I waited on his sire:

e

Let him who works the client wrong beware the patron's ire!"
-But ere the varlet Marcus again might seize the maid,

Who clung tight to Muræna's skirt, and sobbed, and shrieked for

aid,

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Forth through the throng of gazers
And stamped his foot, and rent his

breast,

fell 8

the young Icilius 10 pressed,
gown, and smote upon his

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And beckoned to the people, and, in bold voice and clear,
Poured thick and fast the burning words which tyrants quake to

hear.

Straightway Virginius led the maid a little space aside, To where the reeking shambles 11 stood, piled up with horn and

hide;

Hard by, a flesher 12 had laid his whittle13 downVirginius caught the and hid it in his gown; And then his eyes grew very dim, and his throat began to swell, And in a hoarse, changed voice he spake, Farewell, sweet child,

on a block whittle up

66

farewell!

Oh! how I loved my darling! Though stern I sometimes be,
To thee, thou know'st, I was not So. Who could be so to thee?
And how my darling loved me! How glad she was to hear
My footstep on the threshold, when I came back last year!
And how she danced with pleasure to see my civic crown,
And took my sword, and hung it up, and brought me forth my

14

gown:

15

Now, all those things are over-yes, all thy pretty ways—
Thy needlework, thy prattle, thy snatches of old lays;
And none will grieve when I no forth, or smile when I return,
Or watch beside the old man's bed, or weep upon his urn.
-The time is come! See, how he points his eager hand this way!
See, how his eyes gloat on thy grief, like a kite's upon the prey.
With all his wit he little deems, that, spurned, betrayed, bereft,16
Thy father hath, in his despair, one fearful refuge left.
He little deems, that in' this hand I clutch what still can save
Thy gentle youth from taunt and blows, the portion of the slave.-
Then clasp me round the neck once more, and give me one more

k

kiss;

99

And now, mine own dear little girl, there is no way-but THIS ! -With that he lifted high the steel, and smote her in the side, And in her blood she sank to earth, and with one sob she died! MACAULAY.

CAUTIONS: a. Avoid the verse-accent upon when. Hasten on to the erewhile, which is the emphatic word. b. The verse-accent strikes the and; but it should be read and-clenched fist. c. Hurry on to scream, and do not let the accent touch the at. d. In the same way, read: and-the-strong smith. e. There is no emphasis upon is. Read: she-is-my-slave. f. Avoid the verse-accent on through. g.and h. The to and the in must be carefully avoided. i. Take care not to let the accent strike the in. j. The verse-accent strikes could; but the emphasis is on who. k. Avoid the verse-accent which strikes the his. l. The verse-accent strikes in; but the emphasis is on this. m. Hurry on to blood, and read and-in-her-blood.

MEANINGS: 1. Roofs of the Seven Hills, houses on the Seven Hills upon which Rome was built. 2. Forum, market-place. 3. Blithely, merrily. 4. Varlet

mean fellow. 5. Erewhile, just now. 6. He crouched behind his patron's heels, with the true client smile, he walked behind his patron with a smile of sneaking flattery on his face. It was the duty of a patron to protect his clients or dependents, and it was the duty of a client to do the will of his patron. 7. Aghast, of terror. 8. Fell, cruel. 9. Sore sickness, plague. 10. Icilius, he was the tribune of the people for that year. It was the duty of the tribune to look after the interests of the plebs or common people, and to protect them from the attacks of the patres or nobles. 11. Shambles, butchers' market stalls. 12. Flesher, butcher. 13. Whittle, knife. 14. Civic crown, crown granted by the State for bravery, like our "Victoria Cross." 15. Snatches of old lays, bits of old ballads. 16. Bereft, deprived of his child.

0

EVENING HYMN.

a

To the sound of evening bells,
All that lives to rest repairs,1
Birds unto their leafy dells,2

Beasts unto their forest lairs.3
All things wear a homebound look,1
From the weary hind 5 that plods
Through the cornfields to the rook

C

Sailing toward the glimmering woods. 'Tis the time with power to bring Tearful memories of home

To the sailor, wandering

On the far-off barren foam.7
What a still and holy time!
Yonder glowing sunset
Like the pathway to a clime,9
Only seen till now in dreams.

seems

R. C. TRENCH.

CAUTIONS: a. Avoid the verse-accent on to, and hasten on to sound, which however, is not so important as evening bells. b. The pause after birds and beasts will enable the reader to escape the verse-accent on the second syllable of unto. c. Avoid the verse-accent on from and hasten on to weary hind.

MEANINGS: 1. Repairs, goes. 2. Dells, pleasant nooks in the woods. 3. Lair, a place to lie down; a den. 4. Homebound look, a look as if they were going home. 5. Hind, farm-labourer. 6. Glimmering, shining in the last rays of the setting sun. 7. Foam, poetical word for the sea. 8. Glowing, shining with a soft red light. 9. Clime, country.

HOPE.

BUT thou, O Hope! with eyes so fair,
What was thy delighted measure ?1
Still it whispered promised pleasure,
And bade the lovely scenes at distance hail?!

THE STARS.

b

Still would her touch
And from the rocks,
She called on Echo still

the strain prolong; 3
the woods, the vale,
through all the song;
And where her sweetest theme1 she chose,
A soft responsive voice was heard at every close;
And Hope enchanted smiled, and waved her golden hair.

COLLINS. CAUTIONS: a. A long pause must be made here. The reader turns from addressing Hope directly, to speaking about her. b. Avoid the verse-accent upon from.

MEANINGS: 1. Measure, song. 2. Bade the lovely scenes at distance hail. Saluted, or sent a greeting to, the beautiful landscape. 3. The strain prolong, lengthen out the music. 4. Theme, subject of song. 5. Responsive, answering.

THE SHIPWRECK.

This poem presents two pictures-the wife at home, walking on the shore, and looking anxiously out through the tempest; the husband at sea, drifting rapidly on to the rocks, beyond hope of saving.

THROUGH the night, through the night,
In the saddest unrest,
Wrapt in white, all in white,

169

With her babe on her breast,
Walks the mother so pale,
Staring out on the gale
Through the night!

Through the night, through the night,
Where the sea lifts the wreck,

Land in sight, close in sight,
On the surf-flooded deck1
Stands the father so brave,
Driving on to his grave
Through the night!

CAUTION: The measure of the verse employed in this poem is perhaps too quick; but this may be corrected by the slowness with which it is read. But the words through the night should be read with a short intonation, as of alarm. MEANING: 1. Surf, the broken waves that dash over rocks.

STARS.

THEY glide upon their endless way,

For ever calm, for ever bright;
No blind hurry, no delay,

Mark the daughters of the Night :
They follow in the track of Day,

In divine delight."

Shine on, sweet orbëd1 souls for aye,"
For ever calm, for ever bright:
We ask not whither lies your way,
Nor whence ye came, nor
what your light.
Be—still a dream throughout the day,
A blessing through the night.

B. CORNWALL.

CAUTIONS: a. Avoid the verse-accent on mark. b. This line to be read with great fulness and slowness.

MEANINGS: 1. Orbed, round in shape. 2. Aye, ever.

NEW LIGHT.

WHERE
are the swallows fled?
Frozen and dead

a

Perchance upon some bleak and stormy shore.

O doubting heart!

Far over purple seas,

They wait in sunny ease,

The balmy southern breeze'

O

To bring them to their northern homes once more.

Why must the flowers die?
Prisoned they lie

In the cold tomb, heedless of tears

O doubting heart!

They only sleep' below

The soft white ermine snow,

or rain.

While winter winds shall blow,

To breathe and smile upon you soon again.

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Fair hope is dead, and light

Is quenched in night;

What sound can break the silence of despair

O doubting heart!

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