Графични страници
PDF файл

to the resolute spirits of British Patriots?

Of what is their danger? Say of sedition, treason, insurrection, rebellion, and civil war. True men have no fears of such evils as these

all ideas of rights and privileges of the governing and the governed, is implied in the words sacrifice," "demand," "yielding," giving up," and other words of similar signification, as if some struggle were

[ocr errors]

-false, have no hope. Who will rise constantly going on between tyrants

to subvert the state? Would one nobleman — one gentleman -one merchant-one manufacturer-one farmer-one mechanic, who was not in his soul already a slave? No, all the honest and honourable Reformers, of all denominations and degrees, would join the Conservatives -then-and against the Radicals; the civil war would be difficult of proclamation—in most places it would not be possible for the people to hear that hostilities had commencedand we are apprehensive that it would waver away into smoke within the week.

There is no danger of such calamities as these although, for plain purposes, the Press has said, and will persist in saying so. And, pray, what other danger can ever induce men of common honesty, and common firmness, to sacrifice principle to popular clamour? Never, on any emergency, however fearful, will a just mind sacrifice principle; but we believe there may be such a thing as expediency, and that a politician by its rules. We believe that an upmay occasionally guide his conduct

right politician may compromise and temporize; but, mind ye, never in essentials-never in principles; they

and slaves!

Give the people what they are now demanding, or the time will come when they will demand far more, and when you will be obliged to give them up all! All what? Their rights? Show us one right that they are not in full possession of, and they shall have it to-morrow. But do not chatter and jabber to us about our "withholding rights" till you have shewn their existence-do not think of restoring a Constitution which you have never studied-do not, we beseech you, for we are your friend, expose yourself to present derision and future danger, by prating about rights at all-for, believe us when we tell you, that your native country is entitled to your silence, and has empowered us to enforce it.

A great contest is now being carried on, we have been told, between two spirits of the age. The one is a mature, the other an immature spirit, and to which will be given the triumph? To the calm and confident, or to the tumultuous and the rash? To Thought or Passion? To

Wisdom or Folly? We shall be told by a thousand noisy tongues that we are characterising the combatants

who think otherwise, cannot be ho- unfairly; and we shall be ordered

nest men; the sooner they join the There is to look at THE MOVEMENT. Revolutionists the better,-and we have heard, about an hour ago, of an much that is very mighty and very mysterious-we have no doubt-in enormous Rat who may depend on that word-much that is very appalbeing scarified once a month, du- ling; yet to our ears it sounds un

ring the natural term of his life. Magnify the danger in imagination to the utmost, before the eye of reason it dwindles into a point. But

couth and barbarous from the mouths of British statesmen.

In what are the young men of this country superior to the middle-aged,

it? The Ministers. If they fear it- talents? In genius? In honour? In be it great or small who caused elderly, and old? In knowledge? In let them go out-and the Tories will virtue? In religion? Not in any one shew the Whigs how to pacify the of these; and pray, then, whence people-if the people prefer being and whither, against what and whom, so pacified-by Reform, and not by under what auspices, and with what Revolution. In all things are they prospects of success, marches the mistaken, who, at this crisis, would Movement? We have just been readtain sacrifices to the people; they Parliament of Mr Macaulay's, which are mistaken as to the cause, origin, it was cruel in Mr Croker to tear to nature, amount, and cure of the

make what they choose to call cer

ing an, eloquent enough speech in

rags, wherein it seems to be said that

danger. What unlucky confusion of his Majesty's Ministers, and all equal

ly intellectual Reformers, in and out the House, are not leading, but are driven by the people. They are all tearing along at full gallop, like a herd of wild asses-to the tune of The Devil take the Hindmost-as he is sure to do the foremost-and that is the March of Intellect-the advance of the spirit of the age--the Movement.

What is the use of the

wise men of Gotham heading such a charge? If they stumble, they will be trodden to death; if they do not, with the whole concern they go sheer over the precipice.

We cannot but suspect that all this mouthing about the Movement is mere nonsense. It is an attempt to put into philosophical-looking lingo, the vulgar radicalism of the newspapers. But such jargon will not pass the Bill through the House of Lords. Before it goes there, it will be roughly handled in the Commons -for we rejoice to see the unabated hostility of the patriots. February hath always her Double Number, and as it will be one-half literary, and onehalf political, we hope to appear in great power and splendour-when, Heaven pity the poor Bill, and the miserable Ministers! The larger their majority, the less do they look themselves; and, with the exception of Stanley and Macauley during the debate, they shine most as mutes.

We conclude with the following simple statement, from the Reply, of the duty of the Reformers in Parliament. Have they discharged it?

"It was necessary, first, to state the practical wrongs and grievances endured by the people of England; secondly, to prove that those wrongs and grievances owed their origin to the present constitution of the House of Commons; and, thirdly, to establish, by calm and dispassionate reasonings, that the principle of the projected measure was likely to provide a remedy for the ills, and a redress for the grievances of the people. There is not so much as a statement of either proposition; of course, neither of them is attempted to be proved. There is exaggeration inplace of narrative, intimidation instead of reasoning, and sarcasm for argument. It is all one wide wilderness of difficulties, and danger, and

darkness, with just so much of illusive brightness as serves, by fits and flashes, to point to some unknown and inaccessible abode, tempting the unwary, and terrifying the fainthearted, and dazzling the uncertain and benighted vision of the victims of a fruitless curiosity, with the false coruscations of its meteoric light.

"There is no statement of any object to be attained, or of the means by which its attainment may be prosecuted. No enunciation of any promised boon, either of expediency, or benevolence, or of policy, by which a great statesman in a free and noble nation might hope to raise the imperishable monument of his own glory, to be inscribed by the gratitude of posterity with the story of the consolidated liberties of his country. The free constitution of England is indeed condemned; but it is condemned without evidence, and without an accusation; and the House of Peers, acting upon the pure principles of their high judicial functions, as well as in their legislative capacity, have reversed that unlawful sentence, which, without a forgetfulness of their honour, and an infringement of their attributes of justice, it was utterly impossible to confirm.

“True, the sentence still lives; it is reversed, but it is not forgotten. It lives, as a warning to future Parliaments against the crime of hasty and fruitless legislation. It lives, the record of the rashness of some who have hurried their country to the brink of the abyss of revolution; and the memorial of the faithfulness of others, who have opposed to the progress of the moral pestilence the sanitary barriers of constitutional law. It lives, to mark the force of reason and the power of truth; to point to the triumph which these have achieved in the fair field of free discussion, and to the trophies of a peaceful victory, instead of the spoils of a desolated land. And above all, it lives, the freshest testimony to England's happy constitution, which, like the wisdom with which it has been builded up, or the courage with which it will yet be defended, derives a

brighter lustre from its difficulties, and new glories in the hour of trial.”

Printed by Ballantyne and Company, Paul's Work, Edinburgh,

[blocks in formation]

ONE man has put to rout a whole army, and filled a city with fugitives -and is not that Bombast? No; it is sublimity-for that one man is Achilles-that city is Troy; and the poet of the Fear and Flight is Homer. Not in all poetry is there such another continuous blaze of inspiration as that which wraps the Iliad from

the hour when Achilles is told of the death of Patroclus to that when he falls asleep,-"revenge and all ferocious thoughts," dead within him, in the bosom of Briseis. We have been in the very heart of that blaze-we are in it still-and we shall abide in it, till, with the ransomed corpse of his beloved son, we behold Priam returning in his car to Troy from the Tent of the Destroyer.

The city-gates are shut-and within, reclining against the battlements, the Trojans, who had been driven like hunted fawns into the town,"



are slaking their fiery thirst with drink; while you may behold the Grecians, "beneath one roof of wellcompacted shields," advancing towards the walls. But you forget all within and all without the wallsyour eyes overlook them as things of no worth-for, lo! standing exposed before the Scaan gate-Hector! and in the immediate neighbourhood of-Achilles!

And why tarry the feet of the son of Thetis? Why kills he not, at that moment, the murderer of his Mencetiades? Because he is parleying with Apollo. "Achilles! mortal thyself, why pursuest thou me immortal?" "Of all the Supernals! to me most adverse, Archer of the skies! Thou hast defrauded me of great renown-and would that on thee-sungod as thou art-I might have my revenge!"


Thus saying, (Achilles,) with haughty thoughts, went towards the city,
Rushing like a prize-winning horse along with the chariot,
Which (the horse) outstretched runs swiftly over the plain :
So nimbly did Achilles move his feet and his knees.

Him the aged Priam with his eyes first perceived,

Rushing over the plain,all resplendent, like the star

Which comes forth between the rising of the daystar and Arcturus, i, e. (at the de

Shine amid the multitudinous stars at the milking-time * of night,

parture of summer:) but most brilliant do its beams

* àμoλyã, milking-time, morning and evening.



And which by name they call the Dog of Orion :
Most brilliant it is, but of evil omen,

And much fiery-fever brings to miserable mortals.


Thus with elated spirits,

Steed-like, that at Olympus' games wears garlands for his merits,

And rattles home his chariot, extending all his pride,

Achilles so parts with the God. When aged Priam spied

The great Greek come, sphered round with beams, and showing as if the star,
Surnamed Orion's Hound, that springs in autumn, and sends far

His radiance through a world of stars, of all whose beams his own

Cast greatest splendour, the midnight, that renders them most shown,
Then being their foil, and in their points cure-passing fevers then
Come shaking down into the joints of miserable men:

As this were fallen to earth, and shot along the field his rays,
Now towards Priam, when he saw in great Eacides,
Out-flew his tender voice in shrieks, &c.


Then to the city, terrible and strong,

With high and haughty steps he tower'd along.
So the proud courser, victor of the prize,
To the near goal with double ardour flies.
Him, as he blazing shot across the field,
The careful eyes of Priam first beheld.
Not half so dreadful rises to the sight,

Through the thick gloom of some tempestuous night,
Orion's Dog, (the year when Autumn weighs,)
And o'er the feebler stars exerts his rays;
Terrific glory! for his burning breath

Taints the red air with fevers, plagues, and death.
So glow'd his fiery mail.


So saying, incensed he turn'd towards the town
His rapid course, like some victorious steed,
That whirls, at stretch, a chariot to the goal.
So flew Achilles lightly o'er the field.

Him first the ancient King of Troy perceived,
Scouring the plain, resplendent as the star
Autumnal, of all stars at dead of night
Conspicuous most, and named Orion's Dog.
Brightest it shines, but ominous, and dire
Disease portends to miserable man;

So beam'd Achilles' armour as he flew.

Then rush'd to Troy, in fury of his speed:
Thus rushes with his car a conquering steed,
Who, at full stretch, as conscious of his prize,
To the near goal along the level flies;
Thus flew Pelides-him the king perceived,
Him flashing on, first saw, and sorely grieved-
Saw him resplendent, like Orion's star,
Whose beams at autumn, radiant from afar,
Mid heaven's innumerous host, at dead of night,
Pales all their lustre with surpassing light:
Terrific sign! whose unremitted blaze
Pours in the fever'd blood its fiery rays:
Thus as th' Avenger rush'd, a dazzling light
Flash'd from Pelides' arms on Priam's sight.

All good. But no time this for criticism. See! hark! loud wailing on the battlements the hoary king. What heart-and-soul-rending beseechings and supplications on his Hector to shun death! Hecuba, too, bares before her son, in sight of all the people, the bosom that gave him

nourishment, and implores her hero
to cope not with that dreadful adver-

"So they with prayers importuned and
with tears

Their son, but him sway'd not; unmoved

he stood,

Expecting vast Achilles, now at hand.”


For Achilles had seen him, as soon as Apollo disappeared, the Trojan's guardian-god-and on the instant, like car-whirling steed victorious

near the goal, had shot to the slaughter. Achilles was like the star Orion, How looked Hector?


Nor prevailed they over the spirit of Hector,

But he awaited the vast (λgov) Achilles approaching nearer,

As when a mountainous (i. e. savage) serpent at its haunt a man awaits,
Fed on baneful poisons, and dread fury enters it,

And hideously it looks, coiling itself around its haunt;

In like manner, Hector, having confidence unquenchable, withdrew not,
But, placing his bright shield against a projecting turret,
His own mighty spirit he addressed.


And now drew deadly near

Mighty Achilles; yet he still kept deadly station there.
Look how a dragon, when she sees a traveller bent upon
Her breeding den, her bosom fed with fell contagion,
Gathers her forces, sits him firm, and at his nearest pace
Wraps all her cavern in her folds, and thrusts a horrid face
Out at his entry; Hector so, with unextinguish'd spirit,
Stood great Achilles, stirr'd no foot, but at the prominent turret
Bent to his bright shield, and resolved to bear fall'n heaven upon it.


Resolved he stands, and with a fiery glance
Expects the hero's terrible advance.

So, roll'd up in his den, the swelling snake
Beholds the traveller approach the brake;
When, fed with noxious herbs, his turgid veins
Have gather'd half the poison of the plains;
He burns, he stiffens with collected ire,
And his red eyeballs glow with living fire.
Beneath a turret on his shield reclined
He stood, and question'd thus his mighty mind.


Unmoved he stood,

Expecting vast Achilles now at hand.

As some huge serpent in a cave, that feeds
On baneful drugs, and swells with deadliest ire,
A traveller approaching, coils himself
Around his den, and hideous looks abroad,
So Hector, fill'd with confidence untamed,
Fled not, but placing his bright shield against
A buttress, with his noble heart conferr'd.


Confiding in his strength, their dauntless son
Survey'd the mighty man, and staid his coming on.
As in his cavern, nigh the wanderer's way,
Gorged with rank herbs, a dragon waits his prey,
And rolling in his wrath the den around,

Eyes when to strike, and watches where to wound;
Thus, fill'd with unextinguishable fire,

Brave Hector stood, disdaining to retire;
Against a buttress his bright shield reclined,
And inly communed with his noble mind.

All good. But no time for criticism,
For we-too-as if he were our bro-
ther-tremble for Hector! We feel

that his hour is come. Well may Priam and Hecuba tear their grey locks! But where is Andromache?

* ὀριστέρος nunc ἄγριος.Heyne.

« ПредишнаНапред »