Novelonlinefree.com

The Inflexible Captive Part 5

The Inflexible Captive - novelonlinefree.info

You’re reading novel The Inflexible Captive Part 5 online at novelonlinefree.info. Please use the follow button to get notification about the latest chapter next time when you visit novelonlinefree.info. Use F11 button to read novel in full-screen(PC only). Drop by anytime you want to read free – fast – latest novel. It’s great if you could leave a comment, share your opinion about the new chapters, new novel with others on the internet. We’ll do our best to bring you the finest, latest novel everyday. Enjoy

_Pub._ They're not yet met, my father.

_Reg._ Haste--away-- Support my counsel in th' a.s.sembled Senate, Confirm their wav'ring virtue by thy courage, And Regulus shall glory in his boy.

_Pub._ Ah! spare thy son the most ungrateful task.

What!--supplicate the ruin of my father?

_Reg._ The good of Rome can never hurt her sons.



_Pub._ In pity to thy children, spare thyself.

_Reg._ Dost thou then think that mine's a frantic bravery?

That Regulus would rashly seek his fate?

Publius! how little dost thou know thy sire!

Misjudging youth! learn, that like _other_ men, I shun the _evil_, and I seek the _good_; But _that_ I find in _guilt_, and _this_ in _virtue_.

Were it not guilt, guilt of the blackest die, Even to _think_ of freedom at th' expense Of my dear bleeding country? To me, therefore, Freedom and life would be the heaviest evils; But to preserve that country, to restore her, To heal her wounds though at the price of _life_, Or what is dearer far, the price of liberty, Is _virtue_--therefore slavery and death Are Regulus's good--his wish--his choice.

_Pub._ Yet sure our country----

_Reg._ Is a _whole_, my Publius, Of which we all are _parts_; nor should a citizen Regard his interests as distinct from hers; No hopes or fears should touch his patriot soul, But what affect her honour or her shame.

E'en when in hostile fields he bleeds to save her, 'Tis not _his_ blood he loses, 'tis his _country's_; He only pays her back a debt he owes.

To her he's bound for birth and education: Her laws secure him from domestic feuds, And from the foreign foe her arms protect him.

She lends him honours, dignity, and rank, His wrongs revenges, and his merit pays; And like a tender and indulgent mother, Loads him with comforts, and would make his state As blest as nature and the G.o.ds design'd it.

Such gifts, my son, have their alloy of _pain_; And let th' unworthy wretch who will not bear His portion of the public burden lose Th' advantages it yields;--let him retire From the dear blessings of a social life, And from the sacred laws which guard those blessings; Renounce the civilis'd abodes of man, With kindred brutes one common shelter seek In horrid wilds, and dens, and dreary caves, And with their s.h.a.ggy tenants share the spoil; Or if the savage hunters miss their prey, From scatter'd acorns pick a scanty meal;-- Far from the sweet civilities of life; There let him live and vaunt his wretched freedom: While we, obedient to the laws that guard us, Guard _them_, and live or die as they decree.

_Pub._ With reverence and astonishment I hear thee!

Thy words, my father, have convinc'd my reason, But cannot touch my heart:--nature denies Obedience so repugnant. I'm a son.

_Reg._ A poor excuse, unworthy of a Roman!

Brutus, Virginius, Manlius--they were fathers.

_Pub._ 'Tis true, they were; but this heroic greatness, This glorious elevation of the soul, Has been confin'd to fathers.--Rome, till now, Boasts not a son of such unnatural virtue, Who, spurning all the powerful ties of blood, Has labour'd to procure his father's death.

_Reg._ Then be the first to give the great example-- Go, hasten; be thyself that son, my Publius.

_Pub._ My father! ah!--

_Reg._ Publius, no more; begone-- Attend the Senate--let me know my fate; 'Twill be more glorious if announc'd by thee.

_Pub._ Too much, too much thy rigid virtue claims From thy unhappy son. Oh, nature, nature!

_Reg._ Publius! am I a stranger, or thy father?

In either case an obvious duty waits thee: If thou regard'st me as an alien here, Learn to prefer to mine the good of Rome; If as a father--reverence my commands.

_Pub._ Ah! couldst thou look into my inmost soul, And see how warm it burns with love and duty, Thou would'st abate the rigour of thy words.

_Reg._ Could I explore the secrets of thy breast, The virtue I would wish should flourish there Were fort.i.tude, not weak, complaining love.

_Pub._ If thou requir'st my _blood_, I'll shed it all; But when thou dost enjoin the harsher task That I should labour to procure thy death, Forgive thy son--he has not so much virtue.

[_Exit_ PUBLIUS.

_Reg._ Th' important hour draws on, and now my soul Loses her wonted calmness, lest the Senate Should doubt what answer to return to Carthage.

O ye protecting deities of Rome!

Ye guardian G.o.ds! look down propitious on her, Inspire her Senate with your sacred wisdom, And call up all that's Roman in their souls!

_Enter_ MANLIUS (_speaking_).

See that the lictors wait, and guard the entrance-- Take care that none intrude.

_Reg._ Ah! Manlius here?

What can this mean?

_Man._ Where, where is Regulus?

The great, the G.o.dlike, the invincible?

Oh, let me strain the hero to my breast.--

_Reg._ (_avoiding him._) Manlius, stand off, remember I'm a slave!

And thou Rome's Consul.

_Man._ I am something more: I am a man enamour'd of thy virtues; Thy fort.i.tude and courage have subdued me.

I _was_ thy _rival_--I am _now_ thy _friend_; Allow me that distinction, dearer far Than all the honours Rome can give without it.

_Reg._ This is the temper still of n.o.ble minds, And these the blessings of an humble fortune.

Had I not been a _slave_, I ne'er had gain'd The treasure of thy friends.h.i.+p.

_Man._ I confess, Thy grandeur cast a veil before my eyes, Which thy reverse of fortune has remov'd.

Oft have I seen thee on the day of triumph, A conqueror of nations, enter Rome; Now, thou hast conquer'd fortune, and thyself.

Thy laurels oft have mov'd my soul to envy, Thy chains awaken my respect, my reverence; Then Regulus appear'd a hero to me, He rises now a G.o.d.

_Reg._ Manlius, enough.

Cease thy applause; 'tis dang'rous; praise like thine Might tempt the most severe and cautious virtue.

Bless'd be the G.o.ds, who gild my latter days With the bright glory of the Consul's friends.h.i.+p!

_Man._ Forbid it, Jove! said'st thou thy _latter_ days?

May gracious heav'n to a far distant hour Protract thy valued life! Be it _my_ care To crown the hopes of thy admiring country, By giving back her long-lost hero to her.

I will exert my power to bring about Th' exchange of captives Africa proposes.

_Reg._ Manlius, and is it thus, is this the way Thou dost begin to give me proofs of friends.h.i.+p?

Ah! if thy love be so destructive to me, What would thy hatred be? Mistaken Consul!

Shall I then lose the profit of my wrongs?

Be thus defrauded of the benefit I vainly hop'd from all my years of bondage?

I did not come to show my chains to Rome, To move my country to a weak compa.s.sion; I came to save her _honour_, to preserve her From tarnis.h.i.+ng her glory; came to s.n.a.t.c.h her From offers so destructive to her fame.

O Manlius! either give me proofs more worthy A Roman's friends.h.i.+p, or renew thy hate.

_Man._ Dost thou not know, that this exchange refus'd, Inevitable death must be thy fate?

_Reg._ And has the name of _death_ such terror in it, To strike with dread the mighty soul of Manlius?

'Tis not _to-day_ I learn that I am mortal.

The foe can only take from Regulus What wearied nature would have shortly yielded; It will be now a voluntary gift, 'Twould then become a tribute seiz'd, not offer'd.

Yes, Manlius, tell the world that as I liv'd For Rome alone, when I could live no longer, 'Twas my last care how, dying, to a.s.sist, To save that country I had liv'd to serve.

Please click Like and leave more comments to support and keep us alive.

Rates:

novelonlinefree.info rate: 4.5/ 5 - 2 votes

RECENTLY UPDATED MANGA

The Inflexible Captive Part 5 summary

You're reading The Inflexible Captive. This manga has been translated by Updating. Author(s): Hannah More. Already has 116 views.

It's great if you read and follow any novel on our website. We promise you that we'll bring you the latest, hottest novel everyday and FREE.

novelonlinefree.info is a most smartest website for reading manga online, it can automatic resize images to fit your pc screen, even on your mobile. Experience now by using your smartphone and access to novelonlinefree.info