ページの画像
PDF
ePub

land, whose valiant predecessors led armies against their enemies, upon their own proper charges and expenses, now divested of their followers and vassalages, and put upon such an equal foot with their vassals, that I think I see a petty English exciseman receive more homage and respect, than what was paid formerly to their quondam Mackallamors.

I think I see the present peers of Scotland, whose noble ancestors conquered provinces, overrun countries, reduced and subjected towns and fortified places, exacted tribute through the greatest part of England, now walking in the court of requests, like so many English attornies, laying aside their walking swords when in company with the English peers, lest self-defence should be found murder.

In short, I think I see the laborious ploughman, with his corn spoiling upon his hands for want of sale, cursing the day of his birth. I think I see the incurable difficulties of landed men, fettered under the golden chain of equivalents, their pretty daughters petitioning for the want of husbands, and their sons for want of employments.

I think I see our mariners delivering up their ships to their Dutch partners, and, what through presses and necessity, earning their bread as underlings in the English navy. But above all, my lord, I think I see our ancient mother Caledonia, like Cæsar, sitting in the midst of our senate, ruefully looking round about her, covering herself with her royal garment, attending the fatal blows, and breathing out her last with a—et tu quoque, mi fili?

Are not these, my lord, very afflicting thoughts? And yet they are at least part suggested to me by these dishonourable articles. Should not the consideration of these things vivify these dry bones of ours? Should not the memory of our noble predecessors' valour and constancy rouse up our drooping spirits ? Are our noble predecessors' souls got so far into the English cabbage-stalks and cauliflowers, that we should show the least inclination that way? Are our eyes so blinded ? Are our ears so deafened ? Are our hearts so hardened ? Are our tongues so faltered ? Are our hands so fettered ? that in this our day—I say, my lord, that in this our day, we should not mind the things that concern the very being and well-being of our ancient kingdom, before the day be hid from our eyes?

When I consider this treaty as it hath been explained and spoke to, before us these three weeks past, I see the English constitution remaining firm, the same two houses of parliament, the same taxes, the same customs, the same excises, the same trading companies, the same municipal laws and courts of judicature; and all ours either subject to regulations or annihilations, only we are to have the honour to pay their old debts, and to have some few persons present for witnesses to the validity of the deed, when they are pleased to contract more.

PEACE AND WAR. --Shelley."

How beautiful this night! the balmiest sigh
Which vernal zephyrs breathe in evening's ear,
Were discord to the speaking quietude
That wraps this moveless scene. Heaven's ebon vault,
Studded with stars unutterably bright,
Through which the moon's unclouded grandeur rolls,
Seems like a canopy which Love had spread
To curtain her sleeping world. Yon gentle hills,
Robed in a garment of untrodden snow;
Yon darksome rocks, whence icicles depend
So stainless, that their white and glittering spires
Tinge not the moon's pure beam ; yon castled steep,
Whose banner hangeth o'er the time-worn tower
So idly, that rapt fancy deemeth it
A metaphor of peace;-all form a scene
Where musing solitude might love to lift
Her soul above this sphere of earthliness;
Where silence, undisturbed, might watch alone,
So cold, so bright, so still.

Ah! whence yon glare,
That fires the arch of heaven ?-That dark red smoke,
Blotting the silver moon? The stars are quenched
In darkness, and the pure and spangling snow
Gleams faintly through the gloom that gathers round!
- Hark to that roar, whose swift and deafening peals

In countless echoes through the mountains ring,
Starting pale Midnight on her starry throne !
Now swells the intermingling din; the jar,
Frequent and frightful, of the bursting bomb;
The falling beam, the shriek, the groan, the shout,

The ceaseless clangour, and the rush of men
Inebriate with rage: -loud, and more loud
The discord grows, till pale death shuts the scene,
And o'er the conqueror and the conquered draws
His cold and bloody shroud.–Of all the men
Whom day's departing beam saw blooming there,
In proud and vigorous health; of all the hearts
That beat with anxious life at sunset there,
How few survive, how few are beating now !
All is deep silence, like the fearful calm
That slumbers in the storm's portentous pause;
Save when the frantic wail of widow'd love
Comes shuddering on the blast, or the faint moan,
With which some soul bursts from the frame of clay,
Wrapt round its struggling powers.

The grey morn
Dawns on the mournful scene; the sulphurous smoke ·
Before the icy wind slow rolls away,
And the bright beams of frosty morning dance
Along the spangling snow. There tracts of blood
Even to the forest's depth, and scattered arms,
And lifeless warriors, whose hard lineaments
Death's self could change not, mark the dreadful path
Of the outsallying victors : far behind,
Black ashes note where their proud city stood.
Within yon forest is a gloomy glen-
Each tree, which guards its darkness from the day,
Waves o’er a warrior's tomb.

EXTRACT FROM AN ORATION OF ÆSCHINES AGAINST DE

MOSTHENES.

Edinburgh Review.

WHAT!—Is the man, whom you propose to be crowned, of such a description, that he cannot be known by those who have been benefited by him, unless there be somebody to speak for you? Ask, then, the judges, if they knew Chabrias, and Iphicrates, and Timotheus; and inquire of them, wherefore they gave them rewards and erected statues to their honour? They all, with one voice, will answer, that it was to Chabrias, on account of the naval victory at Naxos,-to Iphicrates, because he cut in pieces the Lacedæmonian legion,-to Timotheus, for the relief of Corcyra, —and to others, because many and honourable exploits had been performed by them in war.

And if any one should inquire of you, why you will not give them to Demosthenes, your answer should be, Because he has taken bribes,-because he is a coward,-because he has deserted his post in the field ! And whether (think you) will you honour him, or dishonour yourselves, and those who have died for you in battle-whom imagine you see bewailing-if this man shall be crowned ? For it would be monstrous, O Athenians! should you honour Demosthenes, the man who proposed the last of all your expeditions, and betrayed your soldiers to the enemy!

But, what is the most important of all, if your youths should inquire of you, upon what model they ought to form their conduct, what will you answer? For you well know, that it is not the Palæstras alone, nor the schools, nor i music, which instruct your youth, but much more the public proclamations.

Is any man, scandalous in his life, and odious for his vices, proclaimed in the theatre as having been crowned on account of his virtue, his general excellence and patriotism !-the youth who witnesses it is depraved. Does any profligate and abandoned libertine, like Ctesiphon, suffer punishment! -all other persons are instructed. Does a man, who has given a vote against what is honourable and just, upon his return home, attempt to teach his son ? He, with good reason, will not listen; and that which would otherwise be instruction, is justly termed importunity,

Do you, thercfore, give your votes not merely as deciding the present cause, but with a view to consequences for your justification to those citizens, who are not now present, but who will demand an account from you of the judg. ment which you have pronounced. For you know full well, O Athenians! that the credit of the city will be such as is the character of the person who is crowned ; and it is a disgrace for you to be likened, not to your ancestors, but to the cowardice of Demosthenes.

FROM THE SAME.

Our city is scandalized on account of the measures of Demosthenes. And you will appear, if you should crown him, to be of the same mind with those who are violating the common peace; but if you act contrariwise, you will acquit the people of the charge.

Do you therefore deliberate, not as on behalf of a foreign country, but your own, and do not distribute your honours as of course, but discriminate, and set apart your rewards for more worthy persons and men of better account. And make use not of your ears only, when you consult, but of your eyes, looking round amongst each other to see, what manner of persons they are, who are about to come forward in support of Demosthenes ;-whether his partners in the chase, or companions in exercises during his youth. But no,-by the Olympian Jupiter !—he has not been in the habit of hunting the wild boar, or attending to graces of the body, but he has been constantly practising arts to rob the wealthy of their estates. Bear also in mind his boastfulness, when he asserts, that he rescued Byzantium out of the gripe of Philip as ambassador, and drew off the Acarnanians from his cause, and roused the Thebans by his harangues. For he supposes that you are arrived at such a pitch of simplicity as to be gulled into a belief of all this ; as if you were cherishing amongst you, not a vagabond of a common informer, but the goddess of persuasion herself.

But when, at the conclusion of his speech, he shall call before you, as advocates, the partakers of his bribes, believe that you see, upon this rostrum, where I am now standing to address you, drawn up in array against their effrontery, the great benefactors of their country-Solon, who adorned the democracy with the most excellent laws,-a wise man, a good lawgiver, mildly, as befitted him, entreating you not to make the speeches of Demosthenes of more avail than your oaths and the laws ;-Aristides too, who settled their contributions for the Greeks, and upon whose death the people portioned his daughters, demanding, if you are not ashamed that your ancestors were upon the very point of putting to death Arthmius of Zelia, who brought the money of the Persians into Greece, and journeyed into our city, being then a public guest of the people of Athens, and did ex

« 前へ次へ »