« VorigeDoorgaan »
And millions in those solitudes, since first
TONE OF INDIGNATION.
(See Tone Drill No. 118.) [The tone of Indignation is the antithesis of the tone of Geniality. It proclaims a feeling against some person or thing. Its legitimate province is the exposure of sham and the denunciation of wrong.]
Crossing the Rubicon.
A gentleman speaking of Cæsar's benevolent disposition, and of the reluctance with which he entered into the civil war, observes: "How long did he pause upon the brink of the Rubicon?” How came he to the brink of that river? How dared he cross it? Shall a private man respect the boundaries of private property, and shall a man pay no respect to the boundaries of his country's rights? How dared he cross that river? Oh! but he paused upon the brink. He should have perished on the brink before he had crossed it! Why did he pause? Why does a man's heart palpitate when he is on the point of committing an unlawful deed? Why does the very murderer, his victim sleeping before him, and his glaring eye taking the measure of the blow, strike wide of the mortal part? Because of conscience! 'Twas that
' made Cæsar pause upon the brink of the Rubicon! Compassion! What compassion? The compassion of an assassin, that feels a momentary shudder as his weapon begins to cut! Cæsar paused upon the brink of the Rubicon! What was the Rubicon? The boundary of Cæsar's province. From what did it separate his province? From his country. Was that country a desert? No; it was fertile and cultivated, rich and populous! Its sons were men of genius, spirit and generosity! Its daughters were lovely, susceptible and chaste ! Friendship was its inhabitant! Love was its inhabitant ! Domestic affection was its inhabitant! Liberty was its inhabitant! All bounded by the stream of the Rubicon! What was Cæsar who stood upon the brink of that stream? A traitor, bringing war and pestilence into the heart of that country! No wonder that he paused,—no wonder if, his imagination wrought upon by his conscience, he had beheld blood instead of water, and heard groans instead of murmurs ! No wonder if some gorgon horror had turned him into stone upon the spot! But, no! he cried, “The die is cast!" He plunged ! he crossed ! and Rome was free no more!
The Partition of Poland.
CHARLES JAMES FOX.
Now, sir, what was the conduct of your own allies to Poland ? Is there a single atrocity of the French in Italy, in Switzerland, in Egypt, if you please, more unprincipled and inhuman than that of Russia, Austria and Prussia, in Poland ? What has there been in the conduct of the French to foreign powers; what in the violation of solemn treaties; what in the plunder, devastation, and dismemberment of unoffending countries; what in the horrors and murders perpetrated upon the subdued victims of their rage in any district which they have overrun,—worse than the conduct of those great powers in the miserable, devoted and trampledon Kingdom of Poland, and who have been, or are, our allies in this war for religion, social order, and the rights of Nations? 0, but you "regretted the partition of Poland !" Yes, regretted !—you regretted the violence, and that is all you did. You united yourself with the actors; you, in fact, by your acquiescence, confirmed the atrocity. But they are all your allies; and though they overran and divided Poland, there was nothing, perhaps, in the manner of doing it, which stamped it with peculiar infamy and disgrace. The hero of Poland, perhaps, was merciful and mild! Was he ?
Let unfortunate Warsaw, and the miserable inhabitants of the suburb of Praga in particular, tell! What do we understand to have been the conduct of this magnanimous hero, with whom, it seems, Bonaparte is not to be compared ? He entered the suburb of Praga, the most populous suburb of Warsaw, and there let his soldiery loose on the miserable, unarmed and unresisting people. Men, women and children,-nay, infants at the breast,—were doomed to one indiscriminate massacre! Thousands of them were inhumanly, wantonly butchered! And for what? Because they had dared to join in a wish to meliorate their own condition as a People, and to improve their Constitution, which had been confessed, by their own sovereign, to be in want of amendment. And such is the hero upon whom the cause of "religion and social order” is to repose! And such is the man whom we praise for his discipline and his virtue, and whom we hold out as our boast and our dependence; while the conduct of Bonaparte unfits him to be treated with even as an enemy!
Rienzi to the Romans.
MARY RUSSELL MITFORD.
Friends! I come not here to talk. Ye know too well The story of our thraldom. We are slaves ! The bright sun rises to his course, and lights A race of slaves! He sets, and his last beam Falls on a slave: not such as, swept along By the full tide of power, the conqueror leads To crimson glory and undying fame,But base, ignoble slaves !-slaves to a horde Of petty tyrants, feudal despots; lords, Rich in some dozen paltry villages; Strong in some hundred spearmen; only great In that strange spell-a name! Each hour, dark fraud, Or open rapine, or protected murder, Cry out against them. But this very day, An honest man, my neighbor,—there he stands,Was struck-struck like a dog, by one who wore The badge of Ursini! because, forsooth, He tossed not high his ready cap in air, Nor lifted up his voice in servile shouts, At sight of that great ruffian! Be we men And suffer such dishonor? Men, and wash not The stain away in blood ? Such shames are common. I have known deeper wrongs. I, that speak to ye, I had a brother once, a gracious boy, Full of all gentleness, of calmest hope, Of sweet and quiet joy; there was the look Of Heaven upon his face, which limners give To the beloved disciple. How I loved That gracious boy! Younger by fifteen years Brother at once and son! He left my side,
A summer bloom on his fair cheeks—a smile
TONE OF ADMIRATION.
(See Tone Drill No. 1.)
[The tone of Admiration proclaims the speaker's great delight or pleasure in the person or thing contemplated. It has a tinge of Amazement. ]
The Ice Storm.
After all, there are at least one or two things about New England weather (or, if you please, effects produced by it) which we residents would not like to part with. If we had not our bewitching autumn foliage, we should still have to credit the weather with one feature which compensates for all its bullying vagaries—the ice-storm-when a leafless tree is clothed with the ice from the bottom to the top—ice that