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happiest states of social life, all its noblest faculties would bear legitimate sway, each in its own province, within the spirit's ample domains. There, Genius would be honoured ; and Poetry another name for religion. But to such a state there can, under the most favouring skies, be no more than an approximation ; and the time never was, when Virtue suffered no persecution, Honour no shame, Genius no neglect, nor fetters were not imposed by tyrannous power on the feet of the free. The age of Homer, the age of Solon, the age of Pericles, the age of Numa, the age of Augustus, the age of Alfred, the age of Leo, the age of Elizabeth, the age of Anne, the age of Scott, Wordsworth, and Byron, have they not been all bright and great ages ? Yet had they been faithfully chronicled, over the misery and madness of how many despairing spirits fraught with heavenly fire, might we not have been called to pour forth our unavailing indignations and griefs !
Under despotic governments, again, such as have sunk deep their roots into Oriental soils, and beneath Oriental skies prosperously expanded their long.enduring umbrage, where might is right, and submission virtue, noble-minded men-for sake of that peace which is ever dearest to the human heart, and if it descend not a glad and gracious gift from heaven, will yet not ungratefully be accepted, when breathed somewhat sadly from the quieted bosom of earth by tyranny saved from trouble-have submitted, almost without mourning, to sing “ many a lovely lay," that perished like the flowers around them, in praise of ihe power at whose footstool they 66 stooped their anointed heads as low as death.” Even then has Genius been honoured, because though it ceased to be august, still it was beautiful ; it seemed to change fetters of iron into bands of roses ; and to halo with a glory the brows of slaves. The wine-cup mantled in its light; and Love forgot in the bower Poetry built for bliss, that the bride might be torn from the bridegroom's bosom on her bridal night by a tyrant's lust. Even there Genius was happy, and diffused happiness ; at its bidding was heard pipe, tabor, and dulcimer; and to its lips “ warbling melody” life floated by, in the midst of all oppression, a not undelightful dream!
But how has it been with us in our Green Island of the West? Some people are afraid of revolutions. Heavens pity them! we have had a hundred since the Roman bridged our rivers, and led his highways over our moun. tains. And what the worse have we been of being thus revolved? We are no radicals ; but we dearly love a revolution-like that of the stars. No two nights are the heavens the same-all the luminaries are revolving to the music of their own spheres-look, we beseech you, on that new-risen star. He is elected by universal suffrage-a glorious representative of a million lesser lights—and on dissolution of that Parliament-how silent but how elo. quent-he is sure of his return. Why, we should dearly love the late revolution we have seen below-- it is no longer called Reform-were it to Aling up to free light from fet. tered darkness a sew fine bold original spirits who might give the whole world a new character, and a more majes. tic aspect to crouching life. But we look abroad and see strutting to and fro the sons of little men blown up with vanity, in a land where tradition not yet old tells of a race of giants. We are ashamed of ourselves to think we feared the throes of the times, seeing not portentous but pitiable births. Brush these away; and let us think of the great dead-let us look on the great living-and strong in me. mory and hope, be confident in the cause of Freedom. 6 Great men have been among us-better none;" and can it be said that now there is “ a want of books and men,” or that those we have are mere dwarfs and duodecimos ? Is there no energy, no spirit of adventure and enterprise, no passion in the character of our country? Has not wide over earth
" England sent her men, of men the chief,
To plant the Tree of Life, to plant fair Freedom's Tree !"
Has not she, the Heart of Europe and the Queen, kindled America into life, and raised up in the New World a power to balance the Old, star steadying star in their unconflict. ing courses ?. You can scarce see her shores for ships; her inland groves are crested with towers and temples; and mists brooding at intervals over her far-extended plains, tell of towns and cities, their hum unheard by the gazer from her glorious hills. Of such a land it would need a gisted eye to look into all that is passing within the mighty heart; but it needs no gifted eye, no gifted ear, to see and hear the glare and the groaning of great anguish, as of lurid breakers tumbling in and out of the caves of the sea. But is it or is it not a land where all the faculties of the soul are free as they ever were since the Fall? Grant that there are tremendous abuses in all departments of public and private lise ; that rulers and legislators have often been as deaf to the “ still small voice” as to the cry of the million ; that they whom they have ruled and for whom ihey have legislated often so unwisely or wickedly, have been as often untrue to themselves, and in self-imposed idolatry
“ Have bowed their knees
To despicable gods ;" Yet base, blind, and deaf (and better dumb) must be he who would deny, that here genius has had, and now has her noblest triumphs ; that poetry has here kindled purer fires on loftier altars than ever sent up their incense to Grecian skies; that philosophy has sounded depths in which her torch was not extinguished, but, though bright, could pierce not the “ heart of the mystery” into which it sent some faint illuminations ; that virtue here has had chosen champions victorious in their martyrdom; and religion her ministers and her servants not unworthy of her whose title is heaven.
Causes there have been, are, and ever will be, why often, even here, the very highest faculties " rot in cold obstruction.” But in all the ordinary affairs of life, have not the best the best chance to win the day? Who, in general, achieve competence, wealth, splendour, magnifi. cence in their condition as citizens? The feeble, the ignorant, and the base, or the strong, the instructed, and the bold ? Would you, at the offstart, back mediocrity with alien influence, against high talent with none but its own—the native " might that slumbers in a peasant's arm,” or, nobler far, that which neither sleeps nor slumbers in a peasant's heart? There is something abhorrent from every sentiment in man's breast, to sce, as we too often
do, imbecility advanced to high places by the mere acci. dent of high birth. But how our hearts warm within us to behold the base-born, if in Britain we may use the word, by virtue of their own irresistible energies, taking precedence, rightful and gladly-granted, of the blood of kings ! Yet we have heard it whispered, insinuated, surmised, spoken, vociferated, howled, and roared in a voice of small-beer-souring thunder, that Church and State, army and navy, are all officered by the influence of the back. stairs--that few or none but blockheads, by means of brass only, mount from the bar which they have disturbed to that bench which they disgrace; and that mankind intrust the cure of all the diseases their flesh is heir to, to the exclusive care of every here and there a handful of old women.
Whether overstocked or not, 'twould be hard to say, but all professions are full—from that of peer to that of beggar. To live is the most many of us can do. Why then complain ? Men should not complain when it is their duty as men to work. Silence need not be sullen-but better sullenness than all this outrageous out cry, as if words the winds scatter, were to drop into the soil and grow up grain. Processions! is this a time for full-grown men in holiday shows to play the part of children? If they desire advancement, let them, like their betters, turn to and work. All men worth mentioning in this country belong to the working classes. What seated Thurlow, and Wedderburne, and Scott, and Erskine, and Gifford, and Copley, and Brougham on the Woolsack? Work. What made Wellington ? For seven years war all over Spain, and finally at Waterloo-work-bloody and glorious work.
Yet still the patriot cry is of sinecures. Let the few sluggards that possess but cannot enjoy them, doze away on them till sinecures and sinecurists drop into the dust. Shall such creatures disturb the equanimity of the magnanimous working classes of England ? True to themselves, in lise's great relations, they need not grudge, for a little while longer, the paupers a few paltry pence out of their earnings, for they know a sure and silent death-blow has been struck against that order of things by the sense of the land, and that all who receive wages must henceforth work. All along that has been the rule -these are the exceptions-or say that has been the law
these are its revolutions. Let there be high rewards, and none grudge them--in honour and gold, for high work. And men of high talents-never extinct-will reach up their hands and seize them, amidst the acclamations of a people who have ever taken pride in a great ambition. If the competition is to be in future more open than ever, lo know it is so will rejoice the souls of all who are not slaves. But clear the course! Let not the crowd rush in —for by doing so, they will bring down the racers, and be themselves trampled to death.
Now we say that the race is—if not always-ninetynine times in a hundred-to the swift, and the battle to the strong. We may have been fortunate in our naval and military friends, but we cannot charge our memory with a single consummate ass holding a distinguished rank in either service. That such consummate asses are in both, we have been credibly informed, and believe it ; and we have sometimes almost imagined that we heard their bray at no great distance, and the flapping of their ears. Poor creatures enough do rise by seniority or purchase, or if any body know how else, we do not; and such will be the case to the end of the chapter of human accidents. But merit not only makes the man, but the officer on shore and at sea. They are as noble and discontented a set of fellows all as ever boarded or stormed; and they will continue so, not till some change in the Admiralty, or at the Horse. guards, for Sir James Grahame does his duty, and so does Lord Hill; but till a change in humanity, for 'tis more than Adam did, and we attribute whatever may be amiss or awry, chiefly to the Fall. Let the radicals set poor human nature on her legs again, and what would becomo of them? In the French service there is no rising at all but by merit ; but there is also much running away ; not in a disgraceful style, for our natural enemies, and arti. ficial friends, are a brave race, but in mere indignation and disgust to see troops so shamefully ill-officered as ours, which it would be a disgrace to look in the face on the field, either in column or line. Therefore they never stand a charge, but are off in legions of honour, cagles VOL. II.