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Oh, 'tis an act of cowardice and baseness,
Cor. Till I have cleared my honour in your council,
Auf. Thou canst not hope acquittal from the Volscians.
Cor. I do-nay, more, expect their approbation,
Of their whole nation with Imperial Rome,
By the just gods, I will-What would'st thou more?
Auf. What would I more, proud Roman! This I wouldFire the cursed forest, where these Roman wolves Haunt and infest their nobler neighbours round them; Extirpate from the bosom of this land A false, perfidious people, who, beneath The mask of freedom, are a combination Against the liberty of human kind,The genuine seed of outlaws and of robbers.
Cor. The seed of gods!-'Tis not for thee, vain boaster"Tis not for such as thou-so often spared By her victorious sword, to speak of Rome, But with respect, and awful veneration. Whate'er her blots, whate'er her giddy factions, There is more virtue in one single year Of Roman story, than your Volscian annals Can boast through all their creeping dark duration. Auf. I thank thy rage. This full displays the traitor. Cor. Traitor!-How now!
Ah, traitor, Marcius.
Auf. Ay, Marcius, Caius Marcius: dost thou think I'll grace thee with that robbery, thy stolen name,
BUBBLES OF THE DAY.
Coriolanus, in Corioli ?
You lords and heads o' the state, perfidiously
Hear'st thou, Mars?
The worst thy sword can do; while thou from me
Quit then this hostile camp: once more I tell thee,
BUBBLES OF THE DAY.
Sir Phenix Clearcake. I come with a petition to you-a petition, not parliamentary, but charitable. We propose, my lord, a fancy fair in Guildhall; its object so benevolent, and more than that, so respectable.
Lord Skindeep. Benevolence and respectability! Of course, I'm with you. Well, the precise object?
Sir P. It is to remove a stain-a very great stain-from the city; to give an air of maiden beauty to a most venerable institution; to exercise a renovating taste at a most inconsiderable outlay; to call up, as it were, the snowy beauty of Greece in the coal-smoke atmosphere of London; in a word, my lord-but as yet 'tis a profound
secret-it is to paint St. Paul's! To give it a virgin outside-to make it so truly respectable.
Lord S. A gigantic effort!
Sir P. The fancy fair will be on a most comprehensive and philanthropic scale. Every alderman takes a stall; and to give you an idea of the enthusiasm of the city-but this also is a secret-the Lady Mayoress has been up three nights making pincushions.
Lord S. But you don't want me to take a stall-to sell pincushions?
Sir P. Certainly not, my lord. And yet your philanthropic speeches in the house, my lord, convince me that, to obtain a certain good, you would sell anything.
Lord S. Well, well; command me in any way; benevolence is my foible. (Enter CAPT. SMOKE.)
Captain Smoke. We are about to start a company to take on lease Mount Vesuvius for the manufacture of lucifer matches.
Sir P. A stupendous speculation! I should say that, when its countless advantages are duly numbered, it will be found a certain wheel of fortune to the enlightened capitalist.
Smoke. Now, sir, if you would but take the chair at the first meeting (Aside to Chatham: We shall make it all right about the shares)-if you would but speak for two or three hours on the social improvement conferred by the lucifer-match, with the monopoly of sulphur secured to the company-a monopoly which will suffer no man, woman, or child to strike a light without our permission.
Chatham. Truly, sir, in such a cause, to such an auditory-I fear my eloquence.
Smoke. Sir, if you would speak well anywhere, there's nothing like first grinding your eloquence on a mixed meeting. Depend upon it, if you can only manage a little humbug with a mob, it gives you great confidence for another place.
Lord Skin. Smoke, never say humbug; it's coarse.
Smoke. Pardon me, my lord, it was coarse. But the fact is, humbug has received such high patronage, that now it's quite classic.
Chat. But why not embark his lordship in the lucifer question? Smoke. I can't; I have his lordship in three companies already. Three. First, there's a company-half a million capital-for extracting civet from assafoetida. The second is a company for a trip all round the world. We propose to hire a three-decker of the lords of the Admiralty, and fit her up with every accommodation for families. We've already advertised for wet-nurses and maids of all work.
Sir P. A magnificent project! And then the fittings up will be so respectable. A delightful billiard-table in the wardroom; with, for the humbler classes, skittles on the orlop-deck. Swings and
PHILIP VAN ARTEVElde.
archery for the ladies, trap-ball and cricket for the children, whilst the marine sportsman will find the stock of gulls unlimited. Weippert's quadrille band is engaged, and
Smoke. For the convenience of lovers, the ship will carry a par
Chat. And the object?
Smoke. Pleasure and education. At every new country we shall drop anchor for at least a week, that the children may go to school and learn the language. The trip must answer: 'twill occupy only three years, and we've forgotten nothing to make it delightful—nothing from hot rolls to cork jackets.
Brown. And now, sir, the third venture?
Smoke. That, sir, is a company to buy the Serpentine River for a Grand Junction Temperance Cemetery.
Brown. What! so many watery graves?
Smoke. Yes, sir, with floating tombstones. Here's the prospectus. Look here; surmounted by a hyacinth-the very emblem of temperance-a hyacinth flowering in the limpid flood. Now, if you don't feel equal to the lucifers-I know his lordship's goodness-he'll give you up the cemetery. (Aside to Chatham: A family vault as a bonus to the chairman.)
Sir P. What a beautiful subject for a speech! Water lilies and aquatic plants gemming the translucent crystal, shells of rainbow brightness, a constant supply of gold and silver fish, with the right of angling secured to shareholders. The extent of the river being necessarily limited, will render lying there so select, so very respectable. JERROLD.
PHILIP VAN ARTEVELDE.
Philip Van Artevelde was the son of Jacob or Jacques Artevelde, a brewer of Ghent, and a popular leader of his fellow-citizens in the fourteenth century. His son was burgomaster of the town; and when civil war broke out between Ghent and Bruges, he led the army of the citizens. The following extract is from the play of Philip Van Artevelde, by SIR HENRY TAYLOR; and it describes an interview between Philip and one of his colleagues. Philip was afterwards killed in the battle of Rosbeke, in 1382.
[The platform at the top of the steeple of St. Nicholas's Church, Ghent. Time, daybreak.]
Artevelde (alone). I have not slept. I am to blame for that.
Long vigils, joined with scant and meagre food,
Must needs impair that promptitude of mind
I think I could redeem an hour's repose
If this were over-blessèd be the calm
[He lies down.
[Falls asleep, but starts up almost instantly.
I heard a hoof, a horse's hoof, I'll swear,
Van den Bosch (without). What ho! Van Artevelde
Van den Bosch (entering).
Nay, what can they be?
The same dull, dismal, doleful, old, old story.
Van den Bosch. Nought to my ear, save howl of hungry dog, That hears the house is stirring-nothing else.
Artevelde. No,-now-I hear it not myself-no-nothing. The city's hum is up-but ere you came
'Twas audible enough.
Van den Bosch.
In God's name, what?
Artevelde. A horseman's tramp upon the road from Bruges. Van den Bosch. Why, then, be certain, 'tis a flag of truce! If once he reach the city, we are lost;
Nay, if he be but seen, our danger's great.
And send him back to Bruges?
Van den Bosch. Send him to Hades-that's a better place. Artevelde. Nay, softly, Van den Bosch; let war be war, But let us keep its ordinances.