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Down with him!' cried false Sextus,
With a smile on his pale face. Now yield thee,' cried Lars Porsena
Now yield thee to our grace.'
5. Round turned he, as not deigning
Those craven ranks to see;
To Sextus naught spake he;
The white porch of his home;
That rolls by the towers of Rome:
6. 'O Tiber, Father Tiber,
To whom the Romans pray,
Take thou in charge this day!'
The good sword by his side,
Plunged headlong in the tide.
7. No sound of joy or sorrow,
Was heard from either bank;
Stood gazing where he sank;
They saw his crest appear,
Could scarce forbear to cheer.
8. But fiercely ran the current,
Swollen high by months of rain;
And he was sore in pain,
And spent with changing blows;
But still again he rose.
9. Curse on him!' quoth false Sextus;
· Will not the villain drown? But for this stay, ere close of day
We should have sacked the town!' 'Heaven help him !'quoth Lars Porsena,
· And bring him safe to shore; For such a gallant feat of arms
Was never seen before.'
10. And now he feels the bottom;
Now on dry earth he stands ;
To press his gory hands;
And noise of weeping loud,
Borne by the joyous crowd.
That was of public right,
Could plough from morn till night;
And set it up on high,
To witness if I lie.
12. And in the nights of winter,
When the cold north winds blow,
Is heard amidst the snow;
Roars loud the tempest's din,
Roar louder yet within;
13. When the oldest cask is opened,
And the largest lamp is lit;
And the kid turns on the spit;
Around the firebrands close;
And the lads are shaping bows;
14. When the goodman mends his armour,
And trims his helmet's plume;
Goes flashing through the loom-
Still is the story told
Macaulay. loos'-ened Por'-sen-a cur'-rent
shut-tle tri'-umph sheathed ar'-mour
mer'-ri-ly con-stant Tus'-can-y vil-lain
laugh'-ter plied, used.
sacked, plundered. ath-wart', across.
feat, clever deed. deign'-ing, thinking it worth while. Al'-gi-dus, one of the Alban hills in crav'-en, cowardly.
Italy, at one time noted for its Pal-a-ti'-nus, one of the seven hills
oak woods. on which the city of Rome was em'-bers, red-hot ashes. built.
spit, a contrivance for roasting rap'-tur-ous, full of gladness.
EXERCISES. — 1. The Latin prefix (1) ultra- means beyond ; as ultramarine, beyond the sea ; Ultramontane, beyond the mountains. (2) Vicemeans in place of ; as vice-principal, one acting in place of the principal; viceroy, one acting in place of the king; vicegerent, one acting in place of a superior.
2. Analyse and parse the first four lines of stanza 6.
3. Make sentences of your own, and use in each one or more of the following words : Athwart, plied, feat, embers.
BATTLE OF PLASSEY. [This extract from Macaulay's Essay on Lord Clive describes the battle of Plassey, in which Clive gained the victory over a native ruler named Surajah Dowlah, in 1757. This memorable victory laid the foundation of British power in India. Plassey, the scene of the battle, lies about ninety-six miles north of Calcutta. ]
1. Clive was in a painfully anxious situation. He could place no confidence in the sincerity or in the courage of his confederate; and, whatever confidence he might place in his own military talents, and in the valour and discipline of his troops, it was no light thing to engage an army twenty times as numerous as his own. Before him lay a river over which it was easy to advance, but over which, if things went ill, not one of his little band would ever return. On this occasion, for the first and for the last time, his dauntless spirit, during a few hours, shrank from the fearful responsibility of making a decision. He called a council of war.
2. The majority pronounced against fighting; and Clive declared his concurrence with the majority. Long afterwards, he said that he had never called but one council of war, and that, if he had taken the advice of that council, the British would never have been masters of Bengal. But scarcely had the meeting broken up when he was himself again. He retired alone under the shade of some trees, and passed near an hour there in thought. .
He came back determined to put everything to the hazard, and gave orders that all should be in readiness for passing the river on the morrow.
3. The river was passed; and at the close of a toilsome day's march, the army, long after sunset, took up its quarters in a grove of mango-trees near Plassey, within a mile of the enemy.
Clive was unable to sleep; he heard, through the whole night, the sound of drums and cymbals from the vast camp of the Nabob.
It is not strange that even his stout heart should now and then have sunk, when he reflected against what odds, and for what a prize, he was in a few hours to contend.
4. Nor was the rest of Surajah Dowlah more peaceful. His mind, at once weak and stormy, was distracted by wild and horrible apprehensions. Appalled by the greatness and nearness of the crisis, distrusting his captains, dreading every one who approached him, dreading to be left alone, he sat gloomily in his tent, haunted, a Greek poet would have said, by the furies of those who had cursed him with their last breath in the Black Hole.
5. The day broke, the day which was to decide the fate of India. At sunrise the army of the Nabob, pouring through many openings from the camp, began to move towards the grove where the English lay. Forty thousand infantry, armed with firelocks, pikes, swords, bows and arrows, covered the plain. They were accompanied by fifty pieces of ordnance of the largest size, each tugged by a long team of white oxen, and each pushed on from behind by an elephant. Some smaller
under the direction of a few