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Page:The Works of Lord Byron (ed. Coleridge, Prothero) - Volume 1.djvu/450

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408
HINTS FROM HORACE.

Counts cent per cent, and smiles, or vainly frets,
O'er hoards diminished by young Hopeful's debts;
Weighs well and wisely what to sell or buy,
Complete in all life's lessons—but to die;
Peevish and spiteful, doting, hard to please,
Commending every time, save times like these;260
Crazed, querulous, forsaken, half forgot,
Expires unwept—is buried—Let him rot!


But from the Drama let me not digress,
Nor spare my precepts, though they please you less.[1]
Though Woman weep, and hardest hearts are stirred,[2]
When what is done is rather seen than heard,
Yet many deeds preserved in History's page
Are better told than acted on the stage;
The ear sustains what shocks the timid eye,
And Horror thus subsides to Sympathy,270
True Briton all beside, I here am French—
Bloodshed 'tis surely better to retrench:
The gladiatorial gore we teach to flow
In tragic scenes disgusts though but in show;
We hate the carnage while we see the trick,
And find small sympathy in being sick.
Not on the stage the regicide Macbeth

Appals an audience with a Monarch's death;[3]
  1. Your plot is told or acted more or less.—[MS. M.]
  2. To greater sympathy our feelings rise
    When what is done is done before our eyes.—[MS. L. (a).]

  3. Appalls an audience with the work of Death
    To gaze when Hubert simply threats to sere.—[MS. L. (a).]