Imágenes de páginas

each man, of which they keep three fourths to themselves, 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 prescribing laws to them, their confent at least was neceffary: these 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 lose; 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 fmall 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 furiously 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 mischief poffible.Voltaire.

PERPLEX'D with trifles through the vale of life,
Man ftrives 'gainft man, without a caufe for ftrife;
Armies embattled meet, and thousands bleed,
For fome vile spot where fifty cannot feed.
Squirrels for nuts contend; and, wrong or right,
For the world's empire kings ambitious fight.
What odds!-to us 'tis all the felf fame thing,
A nut, a world, a squirrel, and a king.—Churchill



THEY err who count it glorious to fubdue
By conqueft far and wide; to overrun
Large countries, and in field great battles win,
Great cities by affault: what do thefe worthies
But rob, and fpoil, burn, flaughter, and enflave
Peaceable nations? neighbouring or remote,
Made captive, yet deferving freedom more
Than thofe their conquerors, who leave behind
Nothing but ruin wherefoe'er they rove;
And all the flourishing works of peace deftroy;
Then fwell with pride, and must be titled gods,
Great benefactors of mankind, deliverers,
Worshipp'd with temple, prieft, and facrifice:
One is the fon of Jove, of Mars the other,
'Till conqueror death discovers them scarce men,
Rolling in brutish fin.

Violent or fhameful death their due reward.-Milton,
STRIPT of her gaudy plumes and vain difguife,
See where Ambition, mean and loathfome, lies;
Reflection with relentless hand pulls down
The tyrant's bloody wreath and ravish'd crown.
In vain he tells of battles bravely won,
Of nations conquer'd and of worlds undone
Triumphs like thefe, but ill with mankind fuit,
And fink the conqueror beneath the brute.-Churchill.

CONQUERORS. (A vifion.)

[ocr errors]


OPPRESSED with gloomy melancholy, I threw myself on my bed, in order to forget what I had seen, and still more what I had read. Sleep foon invaded my fenfes. 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 Juftice, "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.

[ocr errors]

"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 deftroyedít my laws by firing of towns; thou didst "oblige terrified mortals to erect altars to thee; thou didst "stab_the_bosom 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 deferving fuch "another. Nothing could stop thy career, neither the genius "of Rome, nor the tears of thy country. Armed with a "poniard, thou stabbedft her, whilft fhe invited thee to her Thou deftroyedft the wifdom of fix ages of glory, " in order to establish on their ruins horrible defpotifm. Get "thee gone! thy name begins to be as deteftable as those of Tamerlane, Attila, Charles the XIIth, and Gengifkan. "Wise 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 65 ever growing trade! you have dared to embellish murder "with the pompous name of glory! it is you, undoubtedly, "will be answerable for the crimes you have made them "commit;- -but whoever comes to offer you the hand "ftained 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 bafe intereft; 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? Deftruction 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 feveral 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 mufl tell you that the flain is indelible.


[ocr errors]

"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 those "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 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; wise men have ftampt with difgrace thy impious imitators."-Mercier.


[ocr errors]


WOULD I describe a preacher, fuch as Paul,
Were he on earth, would hear, approve and own,
Paul fhould himself direct me. I would trace
His master strokes, and draw from his defign.
I would express him fimple, grave, fincere ;
In doctrine uncorrupt; in language plain;
And plain in manner. Decent, folemn, chaste,
And natural in jefture. Much imprefs'd
Himself, as conscious of his awful charge,
And anxious mainly, that the flock he feeds
May feel it too. Affectionate in look,
And tender in addrefs, as well becomes
A meffenger of grace to guilty men.-Cowper.


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 state; and that they should have honourable falaries ascertained and established by standing laws. Conflitution of New-Hampshire.


IN criminal profecutions, the trial of facts, in the vicinity where they happen, is fo effential to the fecurity of the life,


liberty, and estate 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 superior 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 undistinguishing 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!
Are only varied modes of endless being:
Reflect, that life, like ev'ry other blessing,
Derives its value from its ufe alone.
Not for itself, but for a nobler end,
Th' Eternal gave it, and that end is virtue !
When inconfiftent with a greater good,

Reafon commands to caft the less away:
Thus life, with lofs of wealth, is well preferv'd,
And virtue cheaply fav'd with lofs of life.-Irene.

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: iffo, every hour

We should prepare us for the journey, which

Is not to be put off. I muft fubmit

To the divine decree, not argue it.-Beaumont.

« AnteriorContinuar »