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the projects it grasped at should happen to be realised, cold present to the gratitude and admiration of the universe an unbounded extent of utility--s0 consoling as to make men forget, in the exuberance of the harvest, the tears and the tcil of those who perished while the seed was casting iv, and the heat and brunt of the day were to be borne.

These prospects, the influence of which was so deeply felt and widely diilused, were at first of that undefined and shapeless character which their probable nemoteness, and their apparent impracticability must have lent to ihem. There was a visible glory kindling and beaming in the distance, and athwart the heaven of our hopes there was unfolded a Aaming scroll bearing for its LEGEND, (amidst a thousand words that could not be decyphered, by reason of the very light in which they were traced, or of the throbbing yet joyous anxiety of those who were gazing on them,) an assurance of final VICTORS and triumph. This indistinctness in the details, accompanied by the vivid impression of reality as to the main result, made the pulse of nations beat quicker and fuller; and each individual breast relied, with a more unhesitating confidence, and a sharpened appetite, for the promised bliss, on the general and perhaps obscure intimation dealt forth, of the approaching disenthralment of the souls that were sunk down in bondage, or smitten by the despot, or goadež by the taskmaster. Each nation felt or imagined a series of wrongs of its own; each individual had an unproclaimed or a publisher catalogue of his peculiar grievances-endured and reluctantly submitted to, on the ground of some vague or fluctuating respect for the well-being of society, but for which he cherished a larking wish to be avenged on the cause that produced them. No matter whether these hardships were generated by the morbid condition of their own mind and feelings-or were exaggerated by their passion for revolution and change ; or, if real, whether they might not be encreased ratlier than remedied; or, finally, if partially or totally remedied, the remedy itself' might not be lasting; or again, if lasting, it might only have shifted the load of inconvenience or oppression to another quarter of the social system, where it might press with equal force, perhaps, and greater bitterness. — The glorious vision was after all sure to be looked upon as the mysterious prognostic of the liberation of each real or imaginary sufferer: and the nist and clouds, brightening though they were, that still hung over the prophecy, could not but prove favourable to the fond interpretation that the honest and sensitive and warm hearted—thougħ mistaken enthusiast might choose to put upon it. Even those who had no particular vexation to complain of;—who were flushed with youth, and elastic with health, and buoyant with the ennobling consciousness of independance in mind and fortune; who were proud of their high rank and still prouder of the beneficence of which it afforded so many opportunities; even they were not altogether exempt from a participation in those thrilling anxieties, that made their way into every mind that was not entirely bowed down in natural imbecility, or in contented ignorance. The generous and the good that belonged to this class, were, during the prevalence of hose agitating hopes and fears, influenced mainly by an ungrounded and deceptive estimate of human nature, formed hastily out of the prototype that they found within themselves: overrating of course its tendencies to what is benevolent, as well as its capacity for progressing towards what is perfect. It is only the best men-though certainly not the greatest—that have always nourished this amiable delusion when in a contemplative retreat, and, in some instances, have, staked their lives, property and exertions; or embodying the dream in something like a practical and tangible shape; and have only surrendered it as unattainable, when it has been shown to be productive of disorder or ruin—when either its votaries or its objects—or both, have fallen victims to the unsound but well-meant absurdities that have sprung out of it.

In every people, therefore, that had any pretension to civilization, and together with its benefits and blessings, inherited also some of those blots, imperfections and infirmities that have beset its growth and advancement, and have cleaved with almost uniform tenacity—to all the forms which it has been known to assume, there were not wanting numbers—as well of those who felt themselves aggrieved, as those, who, themselves unharmed, were resolved to hazard every thing for the sake of vindicating the obsolete or trampled rights, and pulling up by the roots the inveterate abuses and corruptions of the whole community. The apprehensiou or the desire of this “coming" change-which “threw" its vast dimly-defined, and tremulous “ shadow before,” filled, deeply and agitatingly, the souls of men, and prepared them to meet, in terror or in rapture, any withering or benign aspect that the visitation should clothe itself withal, whenever it would descend on the kingdoms of the earth, and discharge its burthen of storm-purifying at once, and transient; or perhaps wrap them up in the darkness of anarchy and blood, and heap the ruins of all that was valuable and venerable in the ancient form of things, upon its now unredeemed corruption, and its unpropped feebleness, -rendering that corruption, permanent, and that imbecility, ferocious.

The delicious dreams of political regeneration, and of individual as well as of social perfectibility, that used formerly to amuse the scholar in his retirement, and console the visionary philosopher for the actual sorrows and calamities that fell to his own lot, or the lot of others, were at the period I am speaking of, not only as bright and captivating as ever, but looked like something fast ripening into a palpable existence;-to be no longer the calm and beauteous light descending from heaven, and throwing its hallow-, ed splendour around the dusky cell of the dreamer, and on the mystic page he was devouring, visible only to the eye of him whose imagination had created it, whose fancy varied and enriched it, and whose proud and soli-, tary spirit was gladdened and warmed by its presence: but to become a luminary of the firmament, spreading its glory on the mountain tops, and sending its visitation of life and heat and vigour and freshness along the remote and parched vallies: to become, in short, a thing of REALITY, destined no more to come and disappear at any man's bidding; or to be . governed by the capricious operations of any man's genius—be it morbid or healthy---as by a species of magical incantation; or to be tied down to the degrading and dishonourable compact of an evanescent and fluctuating form of existence, recognized in one spot, and disowned in another; fitfully gleaming and vanishing in some sheltered and beloved retreat, like the restless spirit of innocent and murdered beauty, haunting the scenes of her young and earthly attachment, and revealing herself, in a paroxysm of that love which the grave has not extinguished, nor the stroke of death been able to cleave asunder, to that faithful and pensive mourner who still hangs over her ashes, and whose feverish and aching sight is strained after the cold phantom which so feebly corresponds to the vivid image indelibly traced on his heart, or to the once living and glowing and unstained and de


voted creature that was clasped to his bosom. No; the vision was no longer distant and indistinct; it was not a thing to be smiled away, or Jaughed away, or scorned away. It was not a lonely visitant at the shrines of the devotee; nor a timid wanderer amidst the cloistered haunts of the studious; nor a dubious and casual sojourner at the head of some consecrated stream ; nor a worshipped inhabitant of some hermit's cave, whose depth it occasionally illumined, and whose dreariness it enlivened: butto the yearnings of the whole world which was either crushed and pining and struggling beneath the load of antient despotism, or, in consequence of the partial knowledge diffused, more or less, throughout its kingdoms, with proud dissatisfaction, and reluctant and murmuring submission, was barely tolerating the antiquated abuses that had been engrafted on, and grown up with the best and purest constitutions;—to the world, in general, thus acquainted with its real grievances, tremblingly alive to the right and the necessity of their address, awfully and fearfully agitated by the very consciousness-newly awakened-of the power that yet lay dormant, and that it might be either perdition or salvation to rouse into activity, feeling at once, and groping its way with mingled delight and terror, to the experiment of what would probably be effected by its own merely physical energies when combined with the quickening spirit (and of what quality that great moral agent should be) by which they must be guided; yet, in a more special manner, to the young, the daring, the enlightened, and the enterprising portion of mankind-wherever they were to be found, amidst all the discrepancies of natural habits and manners, all the antipathies of national rivalry, and the still greater diversities of taste, knowledge and civilization,--to those minds on which, the causes and motives that pressed with some degree of force in every other quarter, operated with peculiar and overwhelming force, because their sensitiveness made them more acutely and gallingly quick in the perception of the pressure, while their elasticity made them more fiercely rebound and battle against it; to all these classes of spectators—whether taken in the aggregate or considered in the detail as far as regards the more influential groups dispersed here and there, the glorious prospect, (previously ridiculed as an idle chimera or scouted as an impudent illusion, or perhaps generously pardoned for the sake of the amiable but misdirected philosophy that had fondly reposed upon it,) began to lose its character of dimness and of floating indefiniteness, and to assume a bold, broad and distinct outline together with an aspect as bright as it was majestic. To the anxious and enraptured beholder and the eager listener-whether, before this crisis, he were a theorist or a practical man, no matter—there came a spectacle ardently longed for, yet hardly expected as probable; there came whispering sounds of freedom, as if from the heart of the mountain solitudes where it had been left to wander and breathe and sigh alone; and they were, each nioment, swelling on the car and rejoicing the soul, and gathering into a mighty and rushing wird that was expected to purify and embalm whatever it should cross in its path, while the roar, as if of many waters, into which its voice was too evidently rising seemed to carry terror only to the quaking breast of the oppressor, and to infuse fresh hope and strength into that of the oppressed and the virtuous. li was no wonder then, that every people and every individual should have gazed on those sights which at this moment were more obviously assuming the shape and bearing of the redemption best suited to their own peculiar wants and claims; and

listened to those portentous voices that were heard alternately loud and low; sinking at one time, to the soft and soothing cadence of pity and consolation, breaking out, the next, into the wild and plaintive wail over the dead or the desolate, and, again piercing the very heavens with the shout of victory and the song of triumph--sure of being heard by “each in his own tongue” and interpreted into the announcement and promise of the boon, whatever it might be, for which each sufferer panted, and by which all the desperate and designing who did not suffer, hoped to profit. The fascination by which the warm-hearted, well-educated and inexperienced were allured into a love of the changes thus gradually yet irresistably making their way through the world, and into a participation of the risques that were alto rether inseparable from their progress, was greatly increased by the connexion that was supposed to subsist between the schemes of moral and political improvement then set afloat, and the everclear, ever-honoured cause of literature, the sciences and the arts. Through the whole of their career—from their cradle in Egypt, and their nursery in ancient Greece, to their grave in the bosom of Europe amidst the ruins of the Western Empire;- from their resurrection and revival on the spot where they had fallen, up to the period of which I have been speaking, the latter half of the eighteenth century, during their occasional struggles and depression, their repulses and success, their transient obscuration and renovated lustre; in spite of the sanguinary wars by which the home of their repose was deluged, and in spite of the cold and crafty selfishness of the politics by which it was almost invariably disgraced, throughout all these fuctuations in their fortune, and in detiance of all those obstacles that from to time were planted in their path, they still breathed of the liberty from which they drew their life-blood, and beneath whose MATERNAL shadow they had grown up and prospered, and their attachment and zeal in behalf of that Deity from whom they inhaler immortality, were presented, to the mind of enthusiastic youth, as invested, with the strong recommendation of the tenderness of a close kindred, and the justice of a vast debt. Very little was detracted from the grace they might lend or the support they might throw around any cause, by the heartlessness, impiety, insincerity, and mean and sottish profligacy of several among their votaries. Notwithstanding the stigma that was burnt into the character, and the blemishes that defiled the conduct of some who knelt before their shrine and assumed the office and authority of their priesthood, their own aspect was as pure, calm, and majestic as the heaven on which it was bent, while their response had all the solemnity and sacredness of an oracle, and all the clearness and decision of a mandate.

It would indeed be surprising if these or similar thoughts—to which a trembling pen, an impaired memory, a shattered mind, though a willing heart, can do no justice at this distance of time--had not then occurred to a young person circumstanced as I was, and exerted a good deal of influence over my subsequent actions. To me and the other ardent enthusiasts who thought and felt with me, in Europe and in America, the interesting and momentous, projects on which we were hastening to embark, appeared to be nothing short of a mighty procedure that embodied-by the help of one common tie, and on a magnificent scale—the united demands of humanity that had suffered, and the high behests of God, who had willed that those sufferings should cease. The accordance was natural and unavoidable between the shape into which the purest and most generous impulses of man's heart were moulded, namely a lofty and disinterested patrio'ism-and the forin into which the varied creations of his intellect had cast themselves, that is, learning and the arts. In the one and the other of these exhibitions, we discerned nothing else but the longings of the immortal mind half-realized, and its bold and healthful products already massed into enduring solidity and into intensest splendour. Their union would, of course, reflect a reciprocal light and afford reciprocal aids. Not only the homely concerns of ordinary life would be ennobled by the new spirit that was to interfere with and preside over them, and the peaceful proceedings of legislation and government be rendered less futile and less obnoxious, but the sword itself, no longer grasped by the rude and untaught ferocity of a mere soldier, would have its edge tempered by a kindlier principle; and its flashing gleam, caught from the flame that the genius of philosophy had fed in secret and now blown abroad on the face of the earth, would be at once resplendent and salutary---would not lead on to victory alone (for what is that but another name for a field of carnage where by dint of brute force or skill or bravery or accident, one party survives and outdoes the resources, the numbers, or the courage of another?) but guide to that brighter glory in which itself would be eclipsed, and victory would be abso, bed and forgotten---the guardianship of human rights and the stability of human happiness. The dazzling prospect thus disclosed to my enthusiastic temperament by the condition of the world at that period, combined with the many attractions which my own mind unconsciously spread out upon it, filled me with a pleasure of which the remnant has not yet ceased to glow, and which was not diminished ---though it was stirred into an agreeable agitation---by the uncertainty in which its bright and promising issues were as yet involved. It was like the mid-day radiance of Summer reposing on the verge of the horizon and wrapping up the whole sweeping line of the distant hills and shining lakes and sparkling waterfalls--- no longer audible or but faintly heard---and tufted villas and verdant bowers and grey ruins; with, here and there, the scarcely distinguishable slope of a valley; and an encroaching arm of the sea ---in one veil-like and vapoury shower of red light,



Youth of the year, O fairest Spring!
Enchanting mother of sweet flow'rs,
Of new-bom loves, and each green thing
That sprouts anew beneath thy show'rs,
Thou slialt return; but canst thou bring
With thee, my once delicious hours ?
Thou shalt return; but ob no mora
Can I be what I was before !

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