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'Twas the hour of noon, Noon in Hesperia ! The sweet convent bells Rung forth a merry peal, and the loud hum Of the wide city, labour's cheerful cry, The rattle of the clattering carriage wheels, The jingling bells of the low panniered mule, Journeying townward with his swelling load Of golden fruitage ; the wild chanted song of the dark muleteer from the pine dell, Himself unseen, and childhood's sportive cry (Dear age! that loves to tell its joy aloud) Swell’d mingling o'er the golden-waved sea. Warm'd by the glorious sun, each dome appear'd Fused in the glowing æther. Beautiful In varied radiance shone the sacred fane, The pillar'd mansion of the senator, The fair suburban palace, with its sweet And balmy terrace-gardens, 'mid whose flowers The infant noble chas'd the azure fiy, Wild as his laughing self, and the neat cot Of the laborious peasant, with its door And windows overarch'd with the ripe vine, Rear'd from a twig by the fond family, And trimm'd, at vacant eve, with pious care. Well suited was the scene, the place, the hour, To fill the heart with gentlest ecstasy, And soft emotions, such as pour the oil Of peace upon the soul, and open up The springs of pity and universal love. And longer had the pleasing trance enthrall’d The sea-boy's breast, but the haste-breathing pipe, And the loud echoing of the quick-paced deck Call'd him to duty. No swift-winged gale Swept with rude wing the sea, nor furrow'd up Its rough'ning bosom ; but from all its depths A bubbling came, and its wild spirit began To rouse its sleeping furies, and call forth Its boisterous company of mountain waves In strange mysterious heavings, and wild swells Portentous. The glad sea-birds, with wild whirls, Bath'd in the surge ; and the exulting bark Did pare the waters with her eager prow. Silence was on the land, as deep as death, All save the city's murmur: the tall pines On the near shore hung calm and motionless O’er the perturbed waves, that dash'd beneath Their sleeping branches, 'mid whose pleasant leaves The innocent birds were fitting.
Not a breath Stirred on the mountains ; but the churning foam Whirld on the tortured deep, that groan'd aloud, And madly writh'd and wrestled to be free, Like a chain'd maniac! There was no strong breeze To guide their path ; and the disorderly waves Clash'd on each other like a rebel host That rush to mutual strife ; and the tall ship Danc'd like a light straw on their bounding tops. Dark ominous clouds rollid o'er the murky sky, And blotted out the sun ; but Etna's brow Glar'd forth bright noon-day, with its blazing spires Of column'd flame. A vast impervious mass Of pitchy darkness, cloud in cloud involved, Like a funereal pall, the city wrapt In its demoniac covering. All at once A wild unearthly mingling of strange sound Rose from Euphemia, like the rolling flight Of countless chariot-wheels, with jarring noise
Commingled, and a low and hollow groan,
Then at once
Where had Euphemia gone
The City of St. Euphemia, in Calabria, was totally destroyed by an earthquake in 1628. Father Kircher states, that after the clouds which bad gathered over it had dispersed, nothing but a dismal and putrid lake was to be seen, where the city had stood.
Enwrapt thee, thoughtless, in his blood-stained arms,
Next morn some villagers,
And he said,
TAXES ON KNOWLEDGE-DUTY ON PAPER-DIRECT AND
We boast that we belong to “ The Movement;" that is, to the class of Reformers who maintain that the great measure of Reform obtained, is only a means to an end ; that the Reformed Parliament must proceed to lop off every thing that is rotten in our institutions, in order that the machine of Government may work well for the labouring classes, whose interests and undeniable rights have hitherto been sacrificed by Tory oppressors to increase the wealth of the aristocracy. In this important work, to which Ministers and the Reformed Parliament have to address themselves, we farther maintain, that there must be no delay. He has looked with a very superficial eye at what has been going on in this country for some years past, who has not discerned that the spirit of Reform, which has been so conspicuously active, and which has already produced so grand a result as the Reform Bill, has been itself urged to activity by another spirit. The ancient mariner tells us of the spirit “which maketh the ship to go." There is a spirit which maketh the car of Reform to go; that has supplied the force which has kept the wheels of the car in motion, and will continue to impel it forward, in all probability at an accelerated pace, for years to come, and with a force which it will be impossible to resist. The Spirit of Power to which we allude, is the Ge. nius of Want. He it is, although not always visible to the careless observer, who has called every Reform Meeting, who has dictated every Reform Petition, who has set in motion every Reform procession. While Mr. Brodie, as chairman of the Edinburgh Political Union, occupied the precentor's desk in the Cowgate Chapel, we indistinctly saw the Genius of Want in the superior pulpit, presiding over the president We saw him affixing the placards on the public places of Edinburgh, summoning the Political Union to the King's Park, the first great public meeting of the citizens of Edinburgh in the open air. We saw his dusky form immensely dilated, leaning over the chairman at that meeting, and obscuring the sky above the assemblage of twenty thousand people. The same potent spirit was visible to us, at the same place, when the still greater multitude afterwards assembled there, the Whig leaders being compelled by his influence to that unwonted act of decision, the taking part in an openair meeting. Again, we saw him on the same spot overhanging an immense multitude, his features expressing terrible determination, a large black flag in his hand, exhibiting a skull and cross bones, with the ominous in. scription, “REFORM or DEATH.” Once more we saw him, with his haggard features relaxed into a grim smile, heading the Jubilee Procession. But it were vain to state where we have seen him. He has been the great actor in every revolution, and in every measure of Reform that has taken place. His terrific power is exerted always by one of these two instruments, Reform or Revolution ; and the choice is left to the aristocracy, or the privileged orders of the nation, in which he establishes himself. Forty years ago, the French nobles chose the one way: our aristocracy has wisely given way to the wishes of the people, and chosen the other and better alternative.
As this terrible spirit has not taken his departure, and will not, until the people, whom he has stirred up to demand Reform, obtain a redress of all their grievances, it behoves the Ministry and the Parliament to address themselves seriously to their task. The Genius of Want endures no trifling. By a single movement of one of his gigantic limbs, he can overthrow the whole framework of Government; and great would be the misery before any other form could be substituted and order restored. Again, we say to the Ministers and the Parliament, proceed in the good work which must be done. You must abolish monopolies, extinguish tithes, cut off all pensions and sinecures, take off the malt tax, and abolish the corn laws; shorten the duration of Parliaments, and give voters the protection of the ballot. All these things must be done before the Genius of Want will be satisfied, and take his departure from our land. All these things you should therefore do quickly.
But there is one pestilential impost, which, if you will take off, we shall feel satisfied as to the certainty of your intentions to do everything which the suffering people have a just right to demand ; and shall ascribe any delay of the other measures to difficulties which you suppose to be at present beyond your control. Abolish the taxes on knowledge. Let there be no restraint on the poorest of the people acquiring a knowledge of their rights. Do this, and we shall give you the fullest credit for upright intentions, and use what influence we possess to restrain the natural impatience of the people for the other measures of Reform, on the justice and necessity of which they have long made up their minds; although many of you whose mental vision should be more acute than theirs, and would be so were you as immediately accessible to the impulse of the Genius of Want as they are, still are, or affect to be, unenlightened in regard to the same measures.
We are not now about to discuss the expediency of the removal of the odious Taxes on Knowledge ; that has been done by so many journals, so ably and so often, as to make any demonstration of their nature and effects wholly unnecessary, except as to one particular, to which we are how to call your attention. Suffice it to say, that we are of the common opinion, that the reduction of the stamp duty on newspapers should be great, and the papers conveyed free of postage, otherwise the circulation of newspapers would be confined in a great measure to their own places of publication ; each hamlet or village having its own paltry newspaper, instead of the metropolitan papers, which will always be the ablest and most liberal in their views, circulating widely, and disseminating sound principles over the whole country. The duty on all periodicals, we think, should be one penny per sheet ; at least on all containing news or political discussions. On the propriety of placing any duty on merely literary publications, we have great doubts; and are inclined to think they should be exempted from duty, unless they wish to avail themselves of circulation by post.
The Taxes on Knowledge consist of the stamps on newspapers and the duty on paper. There are some minor taxes affecting knowledge: such as the stamp duty on pamphlets, and on almanacks, and the eleven copies of books required by Stationers' Hall. But these are so trifling, that remark on them is needless. They will be taken off, with the others, as a matter of course ; also those needless and vexatious regulations as to finding security against publishing blasphemous and seditious libels.
General as has been the complaint against the newspaper stamps, there