« AnteriorContinuar »
each man, of which they keep three fourths to themfelves, and it is the best part of their maintenance.-Swift.
A GENEALOGIST fets forth to a prince that he is defcended in a direct line from a count, whose kindred, three or four hundred years ago, had made a family compact with a houfe, the memory of which is extinguished. That house had fome diftant claim to a province, the last proprietor of which died of an apoplexy. The prince and his council inftantly refolve that this province belongs to him of divine right. The province, which is fome hundred leagues from him, protefts that it does not fo much as know him; that it is not difpofed to be governed by him; that before prefcribing laws to them, their confent at least was neceffary: thefe allegations do not fo much as reach the prince's ears; it is infifted on, that his right is inconteftible. He inftantly picks up a multitude, who have nothing to do and nothing to lofe; clothes them with coarse blue cloth; puts on them hats bound with coarse white worsted; makes them turn to the right and left; and thus marches away with them to glory.
Other princes, on this armament, take part in it to the best of their ability, and foon cover a small extent of country with more hireling murderers, than Gengis Kan, Tamerlane, and Bajazet, had at their heels.
People at no small distance, on hearing that fighting is going forward, and that if they would make one, there are five or fix fous a day for them, immediately divide into two bands, like reapers, and go and fell their fervices to the best bidder.
Thefe multitudes furioufly butcher one another, not only without having any concern in the quarrel, but without fo much as knowing what it is about.
Sometimes five or fix powers are engaged, three against three, two against four, fometimes even one against five, all equally detefting one another, and friends and foes by turns, agreeing only in one thing, to do all the mifchief possible.Voltaire.
PERPLEX'D with trifles through the vale of life,
THEY err who count it glorious to fubdue
Violent or fhameful death their due reward.-Milton,
Of nations conquer'd and of worlds undone;
OPPRESSED with gloomy melancholy, I threw myself on my bed, in order to forget what I had feen, and still more what I had read. Sleep foon invaded my senses. Eternal Juftice appeared in the sky to judge the fons of men. The skeleton of Alexander the Macedonian, and that of a robber and murderer, were fummoned to appear" Look, Alexander," faid Justice, "Look upon thy competitor ;-this robber "wanted only power and strength to equal thee, and he would "have made ufe of the fame means as thou, to ravage the "world. His courage was as great as thine; but being "constrained by obftacles, he was obliged to murder his "fellow-creatures by night. Those who attend to fee my
laws put in execution, were fortunately able to bring him "to the fcaffold; there he confeffed his crimes, and acknow "ledged he deferved the most shameful punishment.
"Wretch where is the difference between this robber and "thee? It is a pity the chastisement did not fall on thy head. "Power fupported thy iron arm, which crushed mankind; "thou destroyedít my laws by firing of towns; thou didst "oblige terrified mortals to erect altars to thee; thou didst "ftab the bofom of friendship; the fcandal of thy victories "has led kings aftray, who, taking example by thee, have "been unjuft. Approach, cruel Cæfar, thou who wept before "the ftatue of this murderer, ambitious of deserving such "another. Nothing could stop thy career, neither the genius "of Rome, nor the tears of thy country. Armed with a "poniard, thou stabbedst her, whilft the invited thee to her Thou deftroyedft the wifdom of fix ages of glory, " in order to establish on their ruins horrible defpotism. Get "thee gone! thy name begins to be as deteftable as those of Tamerlane, Attila, Charles the XIIth, and Gengifkan. "Wife men have profcribed their odious and deftructive
genius. It is only the blind multitude who are still feduced, “and who, in their low ideas, cannot discriminate between "the powerful criminal who efcapes punishment, and the "obfcure guilty who fuffers juftly.
"Princes, conquerors, generals, warriors, whatever pom"pous titles you bear, vile ambitious wretches, bloody men, "hudder!-You have accustomed mankind to destroy each "other! you have made war an habitual fcourge, and an ever growing trade! you have dared to embellish murder "with the pompous name of glory! it is you, undoubtedly, "will be anfwerable for the crimes you have made them "commit; --but whoever comes to offer you the hand "stained with blood, he that could put a stop to cruelty, or "avoid being an accomplice in it, or has been a volunteer to "ferve your wrathful purposes for base interest; he, I fay, "will be as guilty as yourfelves. By what authority dare a "mortal inflict death? Does not his exiftence belong to God, "who created him? Destruction is an outrage against the Divine "Being. Shudder, cruel murderers, in my prefence! nothing can excufe you the blood of your brethren cries aloud for 66 vengeance. Even he who is ftained with only one bloody fpot, fhall be tormented several ages by the devouring fire "of repentance. You will ftill even fob with forrow, when "the clemency of a merciful God will vouchfafe to absolve you; for I must tell you that the flain is indelible.
"Your motive was, to merit the admiration of future ages. "Well, you are condemned to fuffer until that happy period,
Conquerors.-Clergyman.—Courts of Justice.
"when an enlightened people will execrate war, and thofe "who light the horrible torch. Alexander! thy name must "be held in deteftation over all that country where thou wouldst "be deified; all those who followed thy example, must be "ranked among the profligate villains, before thou canst expect 66 any forgiveness.-May this time not be fo diftant as the "reparation of thy crimes would require !-Suffer patiently;
you already begin to be deteftable; thy exploits already "begin to be looked upon as barbarous and unjust; wife men have ftampt with difgrace thy impious imitators."-Mercier.
WOULD I defcribe a preacher, fuch as Paul,
COURTS of JUSTICE.
IT is effential to the prefervation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws and administration of juftice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the fecurity of the rights of the people, that the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court should hold their offices fo long as they behave well; subject, however, to fuch limitations on account of age, as may be provided by the conftitution of the ftate; and that they fhould have honourable falaries afcertained and established by ftanding laws.Conflitution of New-Hampshire.
CRIMES and PUNISHMENTS.
IN criminal profecutions, the trial of facts, in the vicinity where they happen, is fo effential to the fecurity of the life,
liberty, and eftate of the citizen, that no crime or offence ought to be tried in any other county than that in which it is committed except in cafes of general infurrection in any particular county, when it fhall appear to the judges of the fuperior court, that an impartial trial cannot be had in the county where the offence may be committed; and upon their report, the legiflature fhall think proper to direct the trial in the nearest county in which an impartial trial can be obtained.
All penalties ought to be proportioned to the nature of the offence. No wife legiflature will affix the fame punishment to the crimes of theft, forgery, and the like, which they do to thofe of murder and treafon. Where the fame undiftinguifking feverity is exerted against all offences, the people are led to forget the real diftinction in the crimes themselves, and to commit the most flagrant with as little compunction as they do the lightest offences: for the fame reafon, a multitude of fanguinary laws is both impolitic and unjuft; the true defign of all punishments being to reform, not to exterminate mankind, Idem.
REFLECT, that life and death, affecting founds!
IT was perhaps ordained by Providence, to hinder us from tyrannifing over one another, that no individual should be of fuch importance, as to caufe, by his retirement or death, any chafm in the world.-Rambler.
TO neglect, at any time, preparation for death, is to fleep on our poft at a fiege: but to omit it in old age, is to fleep at an attack. Idem.
NOTHING more certain than to die, but when
Is most uncertain: if so, every hour
We should prepare us for the journey, which
To the divine decree, not argue it.-Beaumont.