Imágenes de páginas

surely the object of either abhorrence or contempti, | and deserves not that his grey head') should secure him from insult.

Much more is he to be abhorred, who, as he has advanced in age has receded from virtue, and becomes more wicked with less temptation :who prostitutes himself for money which he cannot enjoy, and spends the remains of his life in the ruin of his country. I

But youth is not my only crime. I have been accused of acting a theatrical part. ! A theatrical part | may either imply some peculiarities of gesture, | or a dissimulation of my real sentiments, and an adoption of the opinions and language of another man. |

In the first sense, the charge is too trifling to be confuited, and deserves only to be mentioned to be despised. I am at liberty, like every other man, / to use my own language; / and though I may, perhaps, have some ambition; yet to please this gentleman, I shall not lay myself under any restraint, | or very solicitously copy his diction, or his mien, however matured by age, or modelled by experience. If any man shall

, | by charging me with theatrical behaviour, | imply that I utter any sentiments but my own, | I shall treat him as a calumniator | and a villain: nor shall any protection | shelter him from the treatment which he deserves. ' I shall, on such an occasion, without scruple, | trample upon all those forms with which wealth and dignity entrench themselves : | nor shall anything but age restrain my resentiment :/ age which always brings one privilege:) that of being insolent and supercilious without punishment. ||

But with regard to those whom I have offended, | I am of opinion that if I had acted a borrowed part, | I should have avoided their censure. | The heat that offended them | is the ardour of conviction, I and that zeal for the service of my country | which neither hope nor fear shall influence me to suppress.

I will not sit unconcerned | while my liberty is inva ded, nor look in silence upon public robbery. 1 I will

exert my endeavours, at whatever hazard, to repel the aggressor, | and drag the thief to jus tice, | what power soever may protect the villainy, I and whoever may partake of the plunder. |



Farewell, a long farewell, to all my greatness !
This is the state of man : | to-day he puts forth
The tender leaves of hopei; | to-morrow, blos'soms,
And bears his blushing honours thick upon him : 1
The third day, comes a frost, | a kil'ling frosti; |
And,—when he thinks, | good, easy man, | full surely
His greatness is a ripening, - | nips his roots, I
And then he falls, as I do.

I have ventur'd, !
Like little wanton boys that swim on blad ders, i
This* many summers, | in a sea of glory ; |
But far beyond my depth : | my high-blown pride
At length broke under me; and now has left me,
Weary, and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, | that must forever hide me.

Vain pomp, and glory of this world, | I hate ye; |
I feel my heart new open'd :| Oh! how wretched
Is that poor man that hangs on prin'ces' favours ! |
There is, * betwixt that smile he would aspire to, 1
That sweet aspect of princes, and their ruin,
More pangs, and fears | than wars, or women havev;
And when he falls, he falls like Lucifer, |
Never to hope again. I

* Thus it stands in Shakespeare.


(WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE.) Cromwell, I did not think to shed a tear | In all my misseries ; | but thou hast forc'd me, | Out of thy honest truth, I to play the woman. Let's dry our eyesı;/ and thus far hear me, Cromiwell : 1 And, iwhen I am forgotten, as I shall be, | And sleep in dull, cold marble, where no mention Of me more must be heard of,—| say, I. taught thee, Say, Wol'sey,- | that once trod the ways of glory, | And sounded all the depths, and shoals of honour, -1 Found thee a way, | out of his wreck, | to rise in ; | A sure, and safei one, though thy master miss'd it. | Mark but my fall, | and that that ru'in'd me. | Cromwell, I charge thee, fling away ambition;| By that sin fell the an'gels, | how can man then, I The image of his Maker, | hope to win by 'tı ? | Love thyself last: : | cherish those hearts that hate thee; Corruption wins not more than honesty. I Still in thy right hand carry gentle peace, To silence envious tongues. I

Be justı, and fear not:: 1
Let all the ends, thou aim'st at, be thy country's, |
Thy God's', and truth'sı;| then if thou fall’st, O Crom-

Thou fall'st a blessed martyr. ! O Cromwell, |
Had I serv'd my God | with half the zeal
I serv'd my king, | He would not in mine age 1
Have left me naked to mine enemies. /



(SIR JAMES WARE.) The history of the world is full of testimony | to prove how much depends upon industry is not an eminent orator has lived but is an example of it. | Yet, in contradiction to all this, the almost universal feeling appears to be, that industry can effect nothing, that eminence is the result of accident, and that every one must be content to remain just what he may happen to be. I Thus multitudes, who come forward as teachers and guides, | suffer themselves to be satisfied with the most indifferent attainments, and a miserable mediocrity, without so much as inquiring how they may rise higher, much less making any attempt to rise.

For any other art they would have served an apprenticeship, and would be ashamed to practise it in public befure they had learned it. ' If any one would sing, he attends a master, | and is drilled in the very elementary principles ; | and only after the most laborious process, dares to exercise his voice in public. ! This he does, though he has scarce anything to learn but the mechanical execution of what lies in sensible forms before the eye. But the extempore speaker, / who is to invent as well as to utter, / to carry on an operation of the mind | as well as to produce sound, | enters upon the work without preparatory discipline, and then wonders that he fails!

If he were learning to play on the flute for public exhibition, what hours and days would he spend in giving facility to his fingers, | and attaining the power of the sweetest and most expressive execution !! If he were devoting himself to the organ, | what months and years would he labour, that he might know its compass, and be master of its keys, and be able to draw out, at will, | all its various combinations of harmonious sound, | and its full richness and delicacy of expression !| And yet he will fancy that the grandest, the most various and most expressive of all instruments, / which the infinite Creator has fashioned by the union of an intellectual soul with the powers of speech, | may be played upon without study or practice ;| he comes to it a mere uninstructed tyro, / and thinks to manage all its stops, | and command the whole compass of its varied and compre

hensive power !!

He finds himself a bungler in the attempt, | is mortified at his failure, / and settles it in his mind forever, that the attempt is vain. I

Success in every art, / whatever may be the natural talent, is always the reward of industry and pains. But the instances are many, of men of the finest natural genius, / whose beginning has promised much, but who have degenerated wretchedly as they advanced, I because they trusted to their gifts, and made no efforts to improve. That there have never been other men of equal endowments with Demosthenes and Cicero, ) none would venture to suppose; but who have so devoted themselves to their art, | or become equal in excellence ?| If those great men had been content, like others, | to continue as they began, and had never made their persevering efforts for improvement, what would their countries have benefited from their genius, | or the world have known of their fame!! They would have been lost in the undistinguished crowd that sunk to oblivion around them. I



The Assyrian came down like the wolf on the fold,
And his cohorts were gleaming in purple and gold; I
And the sheen of their spears was like stars on the sea, I
When the blue wave rolls nightly on deep Galilee. I
Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green, |
That host with their banners at sunset were seen :
Like the leaves of the forest when autumn hath blown, I
That host on the morrow lay wither'd and strown. I
For the angel of death spread his wings on the blast,
And breath'd in the face of the foe as he pass'd; |
And the eyes of the sleepers wax'd deadly and chill,
And their hearts but once heav'd, and forever were still !|

« AnteriorContinuar »