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and patriotic pen of the Irish poet has essentially served. His wit, in songs and squibs in the morning papers, and through various vehicles, has been to them a sharp and glittering cimiter, lopping off the heads of whole hosts of heavy aguments and accusations. Around their tables he has cast a radiance and a merriment that would else have been sought for in vain. To them he has been a genuine and a daily benefactor. They have had the honor of his countenance, while they probably thought that they were gracing him with theirs. How posterity laughs at all such aristocratic self-delusions! How it reduces things to their real dimensions! What may be the ideas of Thomas Moore, on this subject, I do not know. I speak merely according to the impressions which the contemplation of his peculiar career leaves upon me; and these are, that his aristocratic friends have had a very good friend in him, and he a very indifferent one in them. While, on all occasions, they have been filling their families and ordinary hangers: on with wealth, the ablest man of their party has been rewarded with a shake of the hand and invitations to dinners, because he was too proud to ask for any thing better. If he has dearly loved a lord, it must be confessed that it has been with a very disinterested affection. Lord Byron was the most generous to him of his class; but Lord Byron's friends robbed him of that solitary benefit. And so, at the age of sixty-six, the champion of the Whigs, the poet of the loves, the merry wit, and the pungent satirist, the friend of the richest men in England, still sits at his desk, and works for honest bread. Long may he enjoy it!
The manufacturing town, as well as the country, has found its Burns. As Burns grew and lived amid the open fields, inhaling their free winds, catching views of the majestic mountains as he trod the furrowed field, and making acquaintance with the lowliest flower and the lowliest creatures of the earth, as he toiled on in solitude; so Elliott grew and lived amid the noisy wilderness of dingy houses, inhaling smoke from a thousand furnaces, forges, and 'engine chimneys, and making acquaintance with misery in its humblest shapes, as he toiled on in the solitude of neg. lect.' The local circumstances were diametrically different, to show that the spirit in both was the same. They were men of the same stamp, and destined for the same great work; and, therefore, however different were their immediate environments, the same operating causes penetrated
through them, and stirred within them the spirit of the prophet. They were both of that chosen class who are disciplined in pain, that they may learn that it is a prevailing evil, and are stimulated to free not only themselves, but their whole cotemporary kindred. Of poets, says Shelley :
“They learn in suffering what they teach in song;" and the names of Milton, Chatterton, Byron, and of Shelley himself, remind us how true as well as melancholy is the assertion. Burns and Elliott were to be great teachers, and they both had their appointed baptisms. The same quick and ardent passions; the same quivering sensibility; the same fiery indignation against tyranny and oppression; the same lofty spirit of independence, and power of flinging their feelings into song, strong, piercing, and yet most melodious, belong to them. They are both of the people their sworn brethren-and champions. For their sakes they defy all favor of the great; they make war to the death on the humbug of aristocratic imposition; to them humanity is alone great, and by that they stand unmoved by menace, unabashed by scorn, unseduced by flatterers. As messengers of God, they honor God in man; and if they show a preference, it is for man in his misery. They are drawn by a divine sympathy to the injured and afflicted. The world knows its own, and they know it, and leave the world to worship according to its worldly instinct. For them the gaudy revel goes on, the chariot of swelling property rolls by, the palace and the castle receive or pour out their glittering throngs, unmarked save by a passing glance of contempt; for they are on their way to the cabins of wretchedness, where they have their Father's work to do. In their eyes, “the whole need not a physician, but those that are sick.” They leave the dead to bury their dead, and have enough to do to soothe the agonies of the living; of those who live only to suffer, the martyr mass of mankind who groan in rags, and filth, and destitu
tion, under the second great curse—not that of earning their bread by the sweat of their brow, but of not being able to do it.
England owes a debt of thanks to a good Providence, who, affluent in his gifts of honor and beneficence, has raised up great men in every class and every location on her bosom, where they were most needed. In that magnificent work which England has assuredly to do in the earth --that of spreading freedom, knowledge, arts, and Christianity over every distant land and age, gross errors have been committed, and malignant powers have been developed, like pestilential diseases in her constitution ; but these have not been suffered to stop, though they may have retarded her career. New infusions of health have been made, new strength has been manifested; out of the pressure of wretchedness new comfort has sprung; and when hope seemed almost extinct, new voices have been heard above the wailing crowd, that have startled the despairing into courage, and shed dismay into the soul of tyranny. As the population has assumed new forms and acquired new interests, out of the bosom of the multitude have arisen the poets who have borne those forms, and have been made familiar with those interests from their birth. Byron and Shelley, from the regions of aristocracy, denounced, in unsparing terms, its arrogant assumptions; Burns, beholding the progressing work of monopoly and selfishness, uttered his contempt of the spirit that was thrusting down the multitude to the condition of serfs, and haughtily returning glance for glance with pride of rank and pride of purse, exclaimed—
. . “A man's a man for a' that!" · But the work of evil went on. While war scourged the earth in the defense of the doting despotism of kingship, and monopoly shut out the food of this nation in defense of the domestic despotism of aristocracy, millions and millions of men were born to insufferable misery, to hunger, naked
ness, and crime, the result of maddened ignorance; and that in a land teeming with corn and cattle, and the wealth that could purchase them; and in a land, too, that sent out clothing for a world. The work of selfishness had proceeded, but had not prospered; wealth had been accumulated, but poverty had been accumulated too, a thousandfold; rents had been maintained, but ruin looked over the wall; there was universal activity, but its wages were famine; there was à thunder of machinery, and a din of never ceasing hammers; but amid the chaos of sounds there were heard -not songs, but groans. It was then that Elliott was born, and there that he grew, in the very thick of this swarming, busy, laborious, yet miserable generation. He saw with astonishment that all that prodigious industry produced no happiness; there was pomp and pauperism; toil and starvation; Christianity preached to unbelieving ears, because there were no evidences of its operation on hearts that had the power to bless; and thus famine, ignorance, and irritation were converting the crowd into a mass of ravenous and dehumanized monsters. There needed a new orator of the patriot spirit. There needed a Burns of the manufacturing district, and he was there in the shape of Elliott. Had Burns been born again there, and under those circumstances, he would have manifested himself exactly as Elliott has done. He would have attacked manfully this monstrous bread-tax, which had thus disorganized society, disputing the passage of God's blessings to the many, and stamping a horrible character on the few. He would have vindicated the rights of man and his labors, and have sung down with fiery numbers all the crowding bugbears that armed monopoly had gathered round the people to scare them into quiet. Elliott has done that exactly; done that and no less. In the unpresuming character of “A Corn-Law Rhymer," of “The Poet of the Rabble,” he sent out, right and left, songs, sarcasms, curses, and battle-cries, among the people. His words, nerer ceasing, fell like serpents among the mul