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Arm'd with hell Alames and fury, all at once
with Tartarean fulphur and strange fire,
And with perpetual inroads to alarm,
XV. Speech of Belial, advising Peace.
As not behind in hate ; if what was urg'd
Belike through impotence or unaware,
rage, And plunge us in the flames ? or, from above, Should intermitted vengeance arm again His red right hand to plague us ? what if all Her stores were open'd, and this firmament Of hell inould spout her cataracts of fire, Impendent horrours, threat'ning hideous fall One day upon our heads; while we, perhaps Designing or exhorting glorious war, Caught in a fiery tempelt, shall be hurl'd, Each on his rock transfix'd, the sport and prey Of wrecking whirlwinds : or for ever sunk Under yon boiling ocean, wrapt in chains ; There to converse with everlasting groans, Unrespited, unpitied, unrepriev'd, Ages of hopeless end ? this would be worse. War, therefore, open or conceal'd, alike My voice diffuades.
1. Belcour and Stockwell.. Stock.
FR Belcour, I am rejoiced to see you: you
are welcome to England. Bel. I thank you heartily, good Mr Stockwell. You and I have long conversed at a distance: now we are met: and the pleasure this meeting gives me, amply compensates for the perils I have run through in ac. complishing it.
Stock. What perils, Mr Belcour! I could not have thought you would have met with a bad paffage at this time o’year.
Bel. Nor did we. Courier-like, we came posting to your shores upon the pinions of the swiftest gales that ever blew. It is upon English ground all my difficulties have arisen: it is the passage from the river-side I complain of.
Stock. Indeed ! What obstructions can you have met between this and the river-side ?
Bel. Innumerable! Your town's as full of defiles as the island of Corsica ; and, I believe, they are as obsti. nately defended. So much liurry, bustle, and confufion, on your quays ; so many lugar-calks, porter-butts, and common council men, in your streets ; that, unless a man marched with artillery in his front, it-is more than the labour of a Hercules can effect to make any toierable way through your town.
Stock. I am sorry you have been so incommoded.
Bel. Why, truly, it was all my own fault. Accufomed to a land of slaves, and out of patience with the whole tribe of custom-house extortioners, boatmen, tidewaiters, and water-bailiffs, that beset me on all sides worse than a fwarm of musquetoes, I proceeded a little too roughly to brush them away with my ratan. The
sturdy rogues took this in dudgeon; and, beginning to rebel, the mob chose different sides, and a furious scuffle ensued; in the course of which, my person and apparel suffered fo much, that I was obliged to step into the first tavern to refit, before I could make my approaches in any decent trim.
Stock. Well, Mr Belcour, it is a rough sample you have had of my countrymen's spirit; but, I trust, you will not think the worse of them for it.
Bel. Not at all, not at all: I like them the better. Were I only a visitor, I might perhaps with them a little more tractable ; but, as a fellow-subject and a sharer in their freedom, I applauded their spirit--though I feel the effects of it in every bone in my tkin. Well, Mr Stockwell, for the first time in my life, here am I in England ; at the fountain-head of pleasure ; in the land of beauty, of arts, and elegancies. 'My happy Atars have given me a good estate, and tlie confpiring winds have blown me hither to spend it.
Stock. To use it, not to waste it, I hould hope ; to treat it, Mr Belcour, not as a vaffal over whom you have a wanton despotic power, but as a subject whom you are bound to govern with a temperate and restrained authority.
Bel. True, Sir, most truly said: mine's a commillion, not a right: I am the offspring of distress, and every child of sorrow is my brother. While I have hands to hold, therefore, I will hold them open to mankind. But, Sir, my passions are my masters ; they take me where they will; and, oftentimes, they leave to reafon and vir. tue nothing but my wifhes and my fighs.
Stock. Come, come, the man who can accuse, cortects himself.
Bel. Ah! that is an office I am weary of. I wish a friend would take it up: I would to Heaven you had leisure for the employ. But, did you drive a trade to the four corners of the world, you wonld not find the talk fo toilsome as to keep me free from faults.
Steck. Well, I am not discouraged. This candour tells me I should not have the fault of self-conceit to combat ; that, at least, is not amongst the minber.
Bel, No; if I knew that man on earth who thought