Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

His steps are not upon thy paths,—thy fields

Are not a spoil for him,—thou dost arise And shake him from thee; the vile strength he wields

For earth's destruction thou dost all despise,

Spurning him from thy bosom to the skies, And send'st him, shivering in thy playful spray

And howling, to his gods, where haply lies His petty hope in some near port or bay, And dashest him again to earth :there let him lay.

The armaments which thunderstrike the walls

Of rock-built cities, bidding nations quake, And monarchs tremble in their capitals,

The oak leviathans, whose huge ribs make

Their clay creator the vain title take Of lord of thee, and arbiter of war;

These are thy toys, and, as the snowy flake, They melt into thy yeast of waves, which mar Alike the Armada's pride or spoils of Trafalgar

Thy shores are empires, changed in all save thee

Assyria, Greece, Rome, Carthage, what are they? Thy waters washed them power while they were free,

And many a tyrant since; their shores obey

The stranger, slave, or savage; their decay Has dried up realms to deserts :—not so thou ;

Unchangeable save to thy wild waves' playTime writes no wrinkle on thine azure browSuch as creation's dawn beheld, thou rollest now.

Thou glorious mirror, where the Almighty's form

Glasses itself in tempest; in all time,
Calm or convulsed-in breeze, or gale, or storm,

Icing the pole, or in the torrid clime

Dark-heaving ;-boundless, endless, and sublime-
The image of Eternity—the throne

Of the Invisible; even from out thy slime
The monsters of the deep are made; each zone
Obeys thee: thou goest forth, dread, fathomless, alone.

And I have loved thee, Ocean! and my joy

Of youthful sports was on thy breast to be
Borne, like thy bubbles, onward: from a boy

I wantoned with thy breakers—they to me

Were a delight; and if the freshening sea
Made them a terror—'twas a pleasing fear,

For I was as it were a child of thee,
And trusted to thy billows far and near,
And laid my hand upon thy mane—as I do here.

Speech on the Overtures of Bonaparte.

CHARLES JAMES FOX.

Where, then, sir, is this war, which on every side is pregnant with such horrors, to be carried? Where is it to stop? One campaign is successful to you; another to them; and, in this way, animated by the vindictive passions of revenge, hatred, and rancor, which are infinitely more flagitious, even, than those of ambition and the thirst of power, you may go on forever; as, with such black incentives, I see no end to human misery.

And all this without an intelligible motive. All this because you may gain a better peace a year or two hence ! So that we are called upon to go on merely, as a speculation! We must keep Bonaparte for some time longer at war, as a state of probation! Gracious God! sir, is war a state of probation? Is peace a rash system? Is it dangerous for nations to live in amity with each other? Are your vigilance, your policy, your common powers of observation, to be extinguished by putting an end to the horrors of war? Can not this state of probation be as well undergone without adding to the catalogue of human sufferings?

“But we must pause !What! must the bowels of Great Britain be torn out-her best blood be spilled—her treasure wasted—that you may make an experiment? Put yourselves, oh! that you would put yourselves in the field of battle, and learn to judge of the sort of horrors that you excite! In former wars, a man might, at least, have some feeling, some interest, that served to balance, in his mind, the impressions which a scene of carnage and of death must inflict.

If a man had been present at the battle of Blenheim, for instance, and had inquired the motive of the battle, there was not a soldier engaged who could not have satisfied his curiosity, and even, perhaps, allayed his feelings. They were fighting, they knew, to repress the uncontrolled ambition of the Grand Monarch.

But, if a man were present now at a field of slaughter, and were to inquire for what they were fighting—Fighting!" would be the answer; "they are not fighting; they are pausing." "Why is that man expiring? Why is the other writhing with agony? What means this implacable fury?” The answer must be,—“You are quite wrong, sir; you deceive yourself—they are not fightingdo not disturb them—they are merely pausing!

“This man is not expiring with agony—that man is not dead—he is only pausing! Lord help you, sir! they are not angry with one another; they have now no cause of quarrel, but their country thinks there should be a pause! All that you see, sir, is nothing like fighting—there is no harm, nor bloodshed in it whatever: it is nothing more than a political pause! It is merely to try an experiment—to see whether

Bonaparte will not behave himself better than heretofore; and, in the meantime, we have agreed to a pause in pure friendship !"

And is this the way, sir, that you are to show yourselves the advocates of order? You take up a system calculated to uncivilize the world—to destroy order—to trample on religion —to stifle, in the heart, not merely the generosity of noble sentiment, but the affections of social nature; and, in the prosecution of this system, you spread terror and devastation all around you.

A Tragedy.

T. D. TALMAGE.

Full organ.

How many acts are there in a tragedy? Five, I believe.

Act 1.-Young man starting from home. Parents and sisters weeping to see him go. Wagon passing over the hill. Farewell kiss thrown back.

Act II.—Marriage altar. Bright lights. White veil trailing through the aisle. Prayer and congratulations, and exclamations of "How well she looks!”

Act III.-Midnight. Woman waiting for staggering steps. Old garments stuck into broken window panes. Many marks of hardship on the face. Biting the nails of bloodless fingers. Neglect, cruelty, disgrace.

Act IV.—Three graves in a very dark place. Grave of a child, who died from want of medicine; grave of husband and father, who died of dissipation; grave of wife and mother, who died of a broken heart. Plenty of weeds but no flowers! Oh! what a blasted heath, with three graves !

Act V.-A destroyed soul's eternity. No light; no music; no hope! Despair coiling around the heart with unutterable anguish. Blackness of darkness forever! Woe! woe! woe! I cannot bear longer to look. I close my eyes at this last act of the tragedy.

Napoleon Bonaparte.

CHARLES PHILLIPS.

He is fallen! We may now pause before that splendid prodigy, which towered amongst us like some ancient ruin, whose frown terrified the glance its magnificence attracted. Grand, gloomy, and peculiar, he sat upon the throne, a sceptered hermit, wrapped in the solitude of his own originality. A mind bold, independent, and decisive a will, despotic in its dictates—an energy that distanced expedition, and a conscience pliable to every touch of interest, marked the outline of this extraordinary character—the most extraordinary, perhaps, that, in the annals of the world, ever rose, or reigned,

or fel].

Flung into life in the midst of a Revolution that quickened every energy of a people who acknowledged no superior, he commenced his course a stranger by birth and a scholar by charity. With no friend but his sword, and no fortune but his talents, he rushed into the lists where rank and genius had arrayed themselves; and competition fled from him as from the glance of destiny. He knew no motive but interest—he acknowledged no criterion but success—he worshiped no God but ambition; and with an Eastern devotion he knelt at the altar of his idolatry. Subsidiary to this, there was no creed that he did not profess—there was no opinion that he did not promulgate. In the hope of a dynasty, he upheld the Crescent; for the sake of a divorce, he bowed before the Cross; the orphan of St. Louis, he became the adopted child of the Republic; and, with a parricidal ingratitude, on the ruins both of the crown and the tribune, he reared the throne of his despotism. A professed Catholic, he imprisoned the Pope; a pretended patriot, he impoverished the country; and under the name of Brutus, he grasped without remorse, and wore without shame, the diadem of the Cæsars !

« VorigeDoorgaan »