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guns in the redoubt on the right with volleys of musketry and rifles.
They swept proudly past, glittering in the morning sun in all the pride
and splendour of war. We could scarcely believe the evidence of our
senses! Surely that handful of men are not going to charge an army in
position? Alas! it was but too true; their desperate valour knew
no bounds, and far indeed was it removed from its so-called better
part - discretion. They advanced in two lines, quickening their pace
as they closed towards the enemy. A more fearful spectacle was never
witnessed than by those who, without the power to aid, beheld their
heroic countrymen rushing to the arms of death. At the distance of
twelve hundred yards the whole line of the enemy belched forth, from
thirty iron mouths, a flood of smoke and flame through which hissed the
deadly balls. Their flight was marked by instant gaps in our ranks, by
dead men and horses, by steeds flying wounded or riderless across the
plain. The first line is broken, it is joined by the second; they never
halt or check their speed for an instant; with diminished ranks, thinned
by those thirty guns, which the Russians had laid with the most deadly
accuracy, with a halo of flashing steel above their heads, and with a
cheer which was many a noble fellow's death-cry, they flew into the
smoke of the batteries; but ere they were lost to view the plain was
strewn with their bodies and with the carcasses of horses. They were
exposed to an oblique fire from the batteries on the hills on both
sides, as well as to a direct fire of musketry. Through the clouds of
smoke we could see their sabres flashing as they rode up to the guns and
dashed between them, cutting down the gunners as they stood. We saw them
riding through the guns, as I have said: to our delight we saw them
returning, after breaking through a column of Russian infantry, and
scattering them like chaff, when the flank fire of the battery on the
hill swept them down, scattered and broken as they were. Wounded men and
dismounted troopers flying towards us told the sad tale: demigods could
not have done what we had failed to do. At the very moment when they
were about to retreat, an enormous mass of lancers was hurled on their
flank. Colonel Shewell, of the 8th Hussars, saw the danger, and rode his
few men straight at them, cutting his way through with fearful loss.
The other regiments turned and engaged in a desperate encounter. With
courage too great almost for credence, they were breaking their way
through the columns which enveloped them, when there took place an act
of atrocity without parallel in the modern warfare of civilised nations.
The Russian gunners, when the storm of cavalry passed, returned to their
guns. They saw their own cavalry mingled with the troopers who had just
ridden over them, and, to the eternal disgrace of the Russian name, the
miscreants poured a murderous volley of grape and canister on the mass
of struggling men and horses, mingling friend and foe in one common
ruin. It was as much as our Heavy Cavalry Brigade could do to cover
the retreat of the miserable remnants of that band of heroes as they
returned to the place they had so lately quitted in all the pride of
life. At 11:35 not a British soldier, except the dead and dying, was
left in front of the Muscovite guns.

_The "Times" Correspondent_.




* * * * *




THE MERCHANT OF VENICE.


SCENE. - _Venice. A Court of Justice.

Enter the_ DUKE, _the_ Magnificoes, ANTONIO,
BASSANIO, GATIANO, SALARINO, SALANIO, _and
others_.


_Duke_. What, is Antonio here?

_Ant_. Ready, so please your grace.

_Duke._ I am sorry for thee; thou art come to
answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy.

_Ant_. I have heard
Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify
His rigorous course; but since he stands obdurate
And that no lawful means can carry me
Out of his envy's reach, I do oppose
My patience to his fury, and am arm'd
To suffer, with a quietness of spirit,
The very tyranny and rage of his.

_Duke_. Go one, and call the Jew into the court,

_Salan_. He is ready at the door: he comes, my lord.

_Enter_ SHYLOCK.


_Duke_. Make room, and let him stand before our face.
Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too,
That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice
To the last hour of act; and then 'tis thought
Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse more strange
Than is thy strange apparent cruelty;
And where thou now exact'st the penalty,
(Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh),
Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture,
But, touch'd with human gentleness and love,
Forgive a moiety of the principal;
Glancing an eye of pity on his losses,
That have of late so huddled on his back,
Enow to press a royal merchant down
And pluck commiseration of his state
From brassy bosoms and rough hearts of flint,
From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never train'd
To offices of tender courtesy.
We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.

_Shy._ I have possess'd your grace of what I purpose;
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of my bond:
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter and your city's freedom.
You'll ask me, why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh than to receive
Three thousand ducats; I'll not answer that:
But, say, it is my humour; is it answer'd?

* * * * *

_Bass._ This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

_Shy_. I am not bound to please thee with my answer.

* * * * *

_Ant._ I pray you, think you question with the Jew:
You may as well go stand upon the beach
And bid the main flood bate his usual height;
You may as well use question with the wolf
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb;
You may as well forbid the mountain pines
To wag their high tops and to make no noise,
When they are fretted with the gusts of heaven;
You may as well do any thing most hard,
As seek to soften that - than which what's harder? -
His Jewish heart: therefore, I do beseech you,
Make no more offers, use no farther means,
But with all brief and plain conveniency
Let me have judgment, and the Jew his will.

_Bass_. For thy three thousand ducats here is six.

_Shy_, If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them; I would have my bond.

_Duke_. How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?

_Shy_. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them: shall I say to you,
Let them be free, marry them to your heirs?
Why sweat they under burthens? let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands? You will answer
"The slaves are ours:" so do I answer you;
The pound of flesh, which I demand of him,
Is dearly bought; 'tis mine, and I will have it:
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice:
I stand for judgment: answer; shall I have it?

_Duke_. Upon my power, I may dismiss this court,
Unless Bellario, a learned doctor,
Whom I have sent for to determine this,
Come here to-day.

_Salar_. My lord, here stays without
A messenger with letters from the doctor,
New come from Padua.

_Duke_. Bring us the letters; call the messenger.

_Enter_ NERISSA, _dressed like a lawyer's clerk._

_Duke._ Came you from Padua, from Bellario?

_Ner_. From both, my lord. Bellario greets your grace.

[_Presenting a letter_.

_Bass_. Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

_Shy_. To cut the forfeiture from that bankrupt there.

_Gra_. Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak'st thy knife keen; but no metal can,
No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee?

_Shy_. No, none that thou hast wit enough to make.

* * * * *

_Duke_. This letter from Bellario doth commend
A young and learned doctor to our court: -
Where is he?

_Ner_. He attendeth here hard by,
To know your answer, whether you'll admit him.

_Duke_. With all my heart. Some three or four of you,
Go give him courteous conduct to this place.

* * * * *

_Enter_ PORTIA, _dressed like a doctor of laws_.

_Duke_. Give me your hand. Came you from old Bellario?

_Por_. I did, my lord.

_Duke_. You are welcome: take your place.
Are you acquainted with the difference
That holds this present question in the court?

_Por_. I am informed thoroughly of the cause.
Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?

_Duke_. Antonio and old Shylock, both stand
forth.

_Por_. Is your name Shylock?

_Shy_. Shylock is my name.

_Por_. Of a strange nature is the suit you follow;
Yet in such rule that the Venetian law
Cannot impugn you as you do proceed.
You stand within his danger, do you not?

_Ant_. Ay, so he says.

_Por_. Do you confess the bond?

_Ant_. I do.

_Por_. Then must the Jew be merciful.

_Shy_. On what compulsion must I? tell me that.

_Por_. The quality of mercy is not strain'd;
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
'Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this scepter'd sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself:
And earthly power doth then show likest God's
When mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew,
Though justice be thy plea, consider this,
That, in the course of justice, none of us
Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy;
And that same prayer doth teach us all to render
The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much
To mitigate the justice of thy plea;
Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice
Must needs give sentence 'gainst the merchant there.

_Shy_. My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,
The penalty and forfeit of my bond.

_Por_. Is he not able to discharge the money?

_Bass_. Yes, here I tender it for him in the court;
Yea, twice the sum: if that will not suffice;
I will be bound to pay it ten times o'er,
On forfeit of my hands, my head, my heart:
If this will not suffice, it must appear
That malice bears down truth. And I beseech you,
Wrest once the law to your authority:
To do a great right, do a little wrong,
And curb this cruel devil of his will.

_Por_. It must not be; there is no power in Venice
Can alter a decree established:
'Twill be recorded for a precedent,
And many an error, by the same example,
Will rush into the state: it cannot be.

_Shy._ A Daniel come to judgment! yea, a Daniel!
O wise young judge, how do I honour thee!

_Por._ I pray you, let me look upon the bond.

_Shy._ Here 'tis, most reverend doctor, here it is.

_Por._ Shylock, there's thrice thy money offer'd thee.

_Shy._ An oath, an oath, I have an oath in heaven:
Shall I lay perjury upon my soul?
No, not for Venice.

_Por._ Why, this bond is forfeit;
And lawfully by this the Jew may claim
A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off
Nearest the merchant's heart. Be merciful:
Take thrice thy money; bid me tear the bond.

_Shy._ When it is paid according to the tenour.
It doth appear you are a worthy judge;
You know the law, your exposition
Hath been most sound: I charge you by the law,
Whereof you are a well-deserving pillar,
Proceed to judgment: by my soul I swear
There is no power in the tongue of man
To alter me: I stay here on my bond.

_Ant._ Most heartily I do beseech the court
To give the judgment.

_Por._ Why then, thus it is:
You must prepare your bosom for his knife.

_Shy._ O noble judge! O excellent young man!

_Por_. For the intent and purpose of the law
Hath full relation to the penalty,
Which here appeareth due upon the bond.

_Shy_. 'Tis very true: O wise and upright judge!
How much more elder art thou than thy looks!

_Por_. Therefore lay bare your bosom.

_Shy_. Ay, his breast:
So says the bond; doth it not, noble judge?
"Nearest his heart:" those are the very words.

_Por_. It is so. Are there balance here to weigh
The flesh?

_Shy_. I have them ready.

_Por_. Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge,
To stop his wounds, lest he do bleed to death.

_Shy_. Is it so nominated in the bond?

_Por_. It is not so express'd: but what of that?
'Twere good you do so much for charity.

_Shy_. I cannot find it; 'tis not in the bond.

_Por_. Come, merchant, have you anything to say?

_Ant_. But little: I am arm'd and well prepared.
Give me your hand, Bassanio: fare you well!
Grieve not that I am fallen to this for you;
For herein Fortune shows herself more kind
Than is her custom: it is still her use
To let the wretched man outlive his wealth,
To view with hollow eye and wrinkled brow
An age of poverty; from which lingering penance
Of such a misery doth she cut me off.
Commend me to your honourable wife:
Tell her the process of Antonio's end;
Say how I loved you, speak me fair in death.

* * * * *

_Shy_. We trifle time: I pray thee, pursue sentence.

_Por_. A pound of that same merchant's flesh is thine:
The court awards it, and the law doth give it.

_Shy_. Most rightful judge!

_Por_. And you must cut this flesh from off his breast:
The law allows it, and the court awards it.

_Shy_. Most learned judge! A sentence; come, prepare.

_Por_. Tarry a little; there is something else.
This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood;
The words expressly are "a pound of flesh:"
Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.

_Gra_. O upright judge! Mark, Jew: O learned judge!

_Shy_. Is that the law?

_Por_. Thyself shalt see the act:
For, as thou urgest justice, be assured
Thou shalt have justice, more than thou desirest.

_Gra_. O learned judge! Mark, Jew; a learned judge!

_Shy_. I take this offer, then; pay the bond thrice,
And let the Christian go.

_Bass_. Here is the money.

_Por_. Soft!
The Jew shall have all justice; soft! no haste:
He shall have nothing but the penalty.

_Gra_. O Jew! an upright judge, a learned judge!

_Por_. Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more
But just a pound of flesh: if thou cut'st more
Or less than a just pound, be it but so much
As makes it light or heavy in the substance,
Or the division of the twentieth part
Of one poor scruple; nay, if the scale do turn
But in the estimation of a hair,
Thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate.

_Gra_. A second Daniel, a Daniel, Jew!
Now, infidel, I have thee on the hip.

_Por_. Why doth the Jew pause? take thy forfeiture.

_Shy_. Give me my principal, and let me go.

_Bass_. I have it ready for thee; here it is.

_Por_. He hath refused it in the open court:
He shall have merely justice and his bond.

_Gra_. A Daniel, still say I, a second Daniel!
I thank thee, Jew, for teaching me that word.

_Shy_. Shall I not have barely my principal?

_Por_. Thou shalt have nothing but the forfeiture,
To be so taken at thy peril, Jew.

_Shy_. Why, then the devil give him good of it!
I'll stay no longer question.

_Por_. Tarry, Jew:
The law hath yet another hold on you.
It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be proved against an alien,
That by direct or indirect attempts
He seek the life of any citizen,
The party 'gainst the which he doth contrive
Shall seize one half his goods; the other half
Comes to the privy coffer of the state;
And the offender's life lies in the mercy
Of the duke only, 'gainst all other voice.
In which predicament, I say, thou stand'st;
For it appears, by manifest proceeding,
That indirectly and directly too
Thou hast contrived against the very life
Of the defendant; and thou hast incurr'd
The danger formerly by me rehearsed.
Down, therefore, and beg mercy of the duke.

_Gra_. Beg that thou mayst have leave to hang thyself:
And yet, thy wealth being forfeit to the state,
Thou hast not left the value of a cord;
Therefore, thou must be hang'd at the state's charge.

_Duke_. That thou shalt see the difference of our spirit,
I pardon thee thy life before thou ask it:
For half thy wealth, it is Antonio's;
The other half comes to the general state,
Which humbleness may drive unto a fine.

_Por_. Ay, for the state, not for Antonio.

_Shy_. Nay, take my life and all; pardon not that:
You take my house when you do take the prop
That doth sustain my house; you take my life
When you do take the means whereby I live.

_Por_. What mercy can you render him, Antonio?

_Gra_. A halter gratis; nothing else, for God's sake.

_Ant_. So please my lord the duke, and all the court
To quit the fine for one half of his goods;
I am content, so he will let me have
The other half in use, to render it,
Upon his death, unto the gentleman
That lately stole his daughter.

* * * * *

_Por_. Art thou contented, Jew? what dost thou say?

_Shy_. I am content.

SHAKESPEARE.




[Notes: _Merchant of Venice. Obdurate_, with the second syllable long,
which modern usage makes short.


_Frellen_ - agitated. A form of participial termination frequently found
in Shakespeare, as _strucken_, &c. It is preserved in _eaten, given,
&c._


_Within his danger_ = in danger of him.


_Which humbleness may drive unto a fine_ = which with humility on your
part may be commuted for a fine.]




* * * * *




IL PENSEROSO.

Hence vain deluding Joys,
The brood of Folly, without father bred!
How little you bestead,
Or fill the fixèd mind with all your toys!
Dwell in some idle brain,
And fancies fond with gaudy shapes possess,
As thick and numberless
As the gay motes that people the sunbeams.
Or likest hovering dreams,
The fickle pensioners of Morpheus' train.

But hail, thou Goddess, sage and holy!
Hail, divinest Melancholy!
Whose saintly visage is too bright
To hit the sense of human sight,
And therefore to our weaker view
O'erlaid with black, staid Wisdom's hue:
Black, but such as in esteem
Prince Memnon's sister might beseem
Or that starred Ethiop queen that strove
To set her beauty's praise above
The Sea-Nymphs, and their powers offended;
Yet thou art higher far descended;
Thee bright-haired Vesta, long of yore
To solitary Saturn bore;
His daughter she; in Saturn's reign
Such mixture was not held a stain:
Oft in glimmering bowers and glades
He met her, and in secret shades
Of woody Ida's inmost grove,
While yet there was no fear of Jove.
Come, pensive nun, devout and pure,
Sober, steadfast, and demure
All in a robe of darkest grain,
Flowing with majestic train
And sable stole of cyprus lawn,
Over thy decent shoulders drawn.
Come, but keep thy wonted state,
With even step and musing gait,
And looks commèrcing with the skies,
Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes;
There, held in holy passion still,
Forget thyself to marble, till
With a sad leaden downward cast,
Thou fix them on the earth as fast;
And join with thee calm Peace and Quiet,
Spare Fast, that oft with gods doth diet.
And hears the Muses in a ring
Aye round about Jove's altar sing;
And add to these retirèd Leisure,
That in trim gardens takes his pleasure;
But first, and chiefest, with thee bring
Him that yon soars on golden wing,
Guiding the fiery-wheelèd throne,
The cherub Contemplation;
And the mute Silence hist along,
'Less Philomel will deign a song
In her sweetest, saddest plight,
Smoothing the rugged brow of Night,
While Cynthia checks her dragon yoke,
Gently o'er the accustomed oak;
- Sweet bird, that shunn'st the noise of folly,
Most musical, most melancholy;
Thee, chauntress, oft, the woods among
I woo, to hear thy even-song;
And missing thee, I walk unseen,
On the dry smooth-shaven green,
To behold the wandering Moon,
Riding near her highest noon,
Like one that had been led astray
Through the heaven's wide pathless way;
And oft, as if her head she bowed,
Stooping through a fleecy cloud.
Oft, on a plat of rising ground,
I hear the far-off Curfew sound
Over some wide-watered shore,
Swinging slow with sullen roar.
Or, if the air will not permit,
Some still, removed place will fit,
Where glowing embers through the room
Teach light to counterfeit a gloom,
Far from all resort of mirth,
Save the cricket on the hearth,
Or the bellman's drowsy charm,
To bless the doors from nightly harm.
Or let my lamp at midnight hour
Be seen on some high lonely tower,
Where I may oft out-watch the Bear
With thrice-great Hermes, or unsphere
The spirit of Plato, to unfold
What worlds, or what vast regions hold
The immortal mind, that hath forsook
Her mansion in this fleshly nook;
And of those demons that are found
In fire air, flood, or under ground,
Whose power hath a true consent
With planet, or with element.
Sometime let gorgeous Tragedy
In sceptered pall come sweeping by,
Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line,
Or the tale of Troy divine,
Or what (though rare) of later age
Ennobled hath the buskined stage.
But, O sad Virgin, that thy power
Might raise Musaeus from his bower,
Or bid the soul of Orpheus sing
Such notes as, warbled to the string,
Drew iron tears down Pluto's cheek,
And made Hell grant what Love did seek!
Or call up him that left half-told
The story of Cambuscan bold,
Of Camball, and of Algarsife,
And who had Canace to wife
That owned the virtuous ring and glass;
And of the wondrous horse of brass
On which the Tartar king did ride;
And if aught else great bards beside
In sage and solemn tunes have sung,
Of tourneys and of trophies hung,
Of forests and enchantments drear,
Where more is meant than meets the ear.
Thus Night, oft see me in thy pale career,
Till civil-suited Morn appear.
Not tricked and frounced as she was wont
With the Attic Boy to hunt,
But kerchiefed in a comely cloud
While rocking winds are piping loud,
Or ushered with a shower still,
When the gust hath blown his fill,
Ending on the rustling leaves,
With minute drops from off the eaves.
And when the sun begins to fling
His flaring beams, me, Goddess, bring
To archèd walks of twilight groves,
And shadows brown, that Sylvan loves,
Of pine or monumental oak,
Where the rude axe, with heavèd stroke,
Was never heard the nymphs to daunt,
Or fright them from their hallowed haunt.
There in close covert by some brook
Where no profaner eye may look,
Hide me from Day's garish eye,
While the bee with honeyed thigh,
That at her flowery work doth sing,
And the waters murmuring,
With such concert as they keep,
Entice the dewy-feathered Sleep:
And let some strange mysterious dream
Wave at his wings in airy stream
Of lively portraiture displayed,
Softly on my eyelids laid:
And as I wake sweet music breathe
Above, about, or underneath,
Sent by some spirit to mortals good,
Or the unseen Genius of the wood.
But let my due feet never fail,
To walk the studious cloister's pale,


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