« AnteriorContinuar »
is, they are all kept down by fear, having no where to turn to, through your sluggishness and indolence, which I say you must lay aside now.
Look only, O men of Athens! at the state of the case, at what a pitch of effrontery the man has arrived, -not to give you any longer a choice, whether you will act, or whether you will forbear; but he threatens you, and uses lofty language, as we are told, and cannot be content to remain in peaceable possession of the conquests he has made, but is continually encroaching upon you, in all directions, and drawing a net completely round you, who sit still and look on.
When, O men of Athens! when will you do what you ought? when something shall happen! when some necessity shall arise! Why, in what light do you view your present situation ? For I think the most pressing necessity to free men is the disgrace attached to failure. Are you content, tell me, to walk about the market-place, and inquire of each other, what news? Why, can any thing be, more new, than for a man of Macedon to vanquish the Athenians, and rule the affairs of Greece ? Is Philip dead ? No, by heavens ! but he is sick. And what is it to you ? For were this Philip to die, you will soon raise up for yourselves another, if such be your way of attending to your affairs. For he has not been thus aggrandized so much by his own power, as by your neglect.
Moreover, be assured of this, that if any thing should happen to him, and fortune should favour us, which always provides for us so much better than we for ourselves, (and may her efforts for us be complete !) by being upon the spot, and taking advantage of the confusion, into which all things would be thrown, you might dispose of them at your pleasure. But in your present state, not even when an opportunity puts into your hands Amphipolis, can you take it, lagging behind as you do, both in your preparations and your resolutions,
EXTRACT FROM THE SWITZER'S WIFE.
The bright blood left the youthful mother's cheek;
Back on the linden-stem she leaned her form; And her lip trembled, as it strove to speak,
Like a frail harp-string, shaken by the storm.
'Twas but a moment, and the faintness passed, And the free Alpine spirit woke at last.
And she, that ever through her home had moved
With the meek thoughtfulness and quiet smile
And timid in her happiness the while,
Ay, pale she stood, but with an eye of light,
And took her fair child to her holy breast,
As it found language: Are we thus oppressed !
I know what thou wouldst do,-and be it done!
Thy soul is darkened with its fears for me, Trust me to Heaven, my husband !-this, thy son,
The babe whom I have borne thee, must be free; And the sweet memory of our pleasant hearth May well give strength-if aught be strong on earth.
'Thou hast been brooding o'er the silent dread
Of my desponding tears; now lift once more,
And let thine eagle glance my joy restore !
'Go forth beside the waters, and along
The chamois-paths, and through the forests go; And tell, in burning words, thy tale of wrong
To the brave hearts that midst the hamlet glow. God shall be with thee, my beloved !-Away! Bless but thy child, and leave me,–I can pray!'
He sprang up like a warrior-youth awaking
To clarion-sounds upon the ringing air; He caught her to his breast, while proud tears breaking
From his dark eyes, fell o'er her braided hair,And · Worthy art thou,' was his joyous cry, "That man for thee should gird himself to die.
My bride, my wife, the mother of my child !
Now shall thy name be armour to my heart;
Be taught of thee to choose the better part !
And thus they parted, by the quiet lake,
In the clear starlight : he, the strength to rouse
To rock her child beneath the whispering boughs,
SPEECH OF MIRABEAU, IN REPLY TO OBJECTIONS AGAINST
AN ADDRESS TO THE THRONE, REQUESTING THE REMOVAL OF MINISTERS.
GENTLEMEN OF THE ASSEMBLY,- It is said, that by assuming the right to petition the King to remove his ministers, you will confound the three powers. We shall soon have occasion to examine this theory of three powers, which, properly analyzed, will perhaps show the ease, with which the mind mistakes words for things, and acquiesces in accustomed conclusions, without taking the trouble to examine the principles upon which they are founded. The valorous champions of the three powers will then inform us, if they can, what they mean by this large phrase of three powers ; and how they can conceive of the judicial or even of the legislative power, as wholly distinct from the execu
You forget that the people, whose action you limit by the three powers, is itself the source of all power. You forget that you are disputing the right of the master to control his agents. You forget that we, the representatives of the people, we, in whose presence all powers are suspended, even those of the chief magistrate of the nation, when he attempts to oppose us—you forget that we do not attempt to appoint or remove the ministers by our decrees, but merely to express the opinion of our constituents upon the administration of this or that minister. What then? Do you refuse us the right of declaring our sentiments, and compel us to
contemplate the conduct of ministers in respectful silence, when at the same time you grant us the power of impeaching them, and constituting the court which shall bring them to judgment ? Do you not perceive how much more moderate I am than you, and how much more favourably I deal with the government? You leave no interval between perfect silence and impeachment. But I give notice, before I impeach ; I object, before I punish; I afford opportunity for weakness and errour to withdraw, before I treat them as crimes.
But look at Great Britain, see what agitation is there produced by the right you claim! It raised the storm in which England was lost! England lost? Gracious Heaven! what disastrous news! But tell me, then, in what latitude did this happen ? What earthquake, what convulsion of nature swallowed up that famous island, that exhaustless store-house of great examples, that classic ground of the friends of liberty? But surely you are mistaken : England is still flourishing for the eternal instruction of the world. England is repairing, in glorious tranquillity, the wounds she inflicted on herself in a paroxysm of fever. England is carrying to perfection every branch of industry, and exploring every path that leads to wealth and greatness.
CONCLUSION OF MR EMMET'S SPEECH, IN THE TRIAL OF
WILLIAM S. SMITH.
I could wish, before I conclude, to make another observation. This trial has, by some, been considered as a party question, and I understand that my conduct, in the defence of the gentleman indicted, has been talked of, by the weak and ignorant, as something like a dereliction of my professed political principles. I pity such party bigots, and have only to assure them, that no feelings such as they possess, shall ever weaken my zeal for my client. But as to my political principles, they are a subject on which I am too proud to parley, or enter into a vindicatory explanation with any man. In me, republicanism is not the result of birth, nor the accidental offspring of family connexions—it is the fruit of feeling and sentiment, of study and reflection, of observation and experience ;-it is endeared to me by sufferings
and misfortunes. I see gentlemen on that jury, between whose political principles and mine, there is not a shade of difference—we agree as to the hands to which we would confide the offices, honours, power and wealth of the republic. I trust we also agree in this, that nothing can be more injurious to the due administration of the law, than that political considerations or party prejudices should be permitted to ascend the bench, or enter into the jury-box. That pollution of justice has given rise to many of those abominations and horrours which have disgraced and desolated
Europe. I adjure you, do not mingle the spirit of party · with the wholesome medicine of the law; for if you do, most assuredly, sooner or later, even-handed justice will commend the ingredients of the poisoned chalice to your own lips. I entreat you, exercise your prerogatives and discharge your duty in the spirit of uprightness and mercy-do not suffer the defendant to be sacrificed as a sin-offering or a peaceoffering; and if he is to be made the scape-goat, on which are to be fixed the faults of others, give him, at least, the privilege of escape.
EXTRACT FROM A SPEECH OF LORD BELHAVEN, IN OPPOSI
TION TO A JOINT LEGISLATURE BETWEEN ENGLAND AND
My LORD,—When I consider this affair of an union between the two nations, as it is expressed in the several articles thereof, and now the subject of our deliberation, I find my mind crowded with a variety of very melancholy thoughts, and I think it my duty to disburthen myself of some of them, by laying them before and exposing them to the serious consideration of this honourable house.
I think I see a free and independent kingdom delivering up that, which all the world hath been fighting for since the days of Nimrod; yea, that, for which most of all the empires, kingdoms, states, principalities and dukedoms of Europe, are at this very time engaged in the most bloody and cruel wars that ever were; to wit, a power to manage their own affairs by themselves, without the assistance and counsel of any other.
I think I see the noble and honourable peerage of Scot