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Drawn forth in fearful line,
Come Desolation's band, -
To rack the guilty land.
Still repulsed and still defied ;
In scornful triumph ride.
The clouds like rolling curtains rise ;
'Tis o'er! 'tis o'er!
The walls no more
Nor carnage deigns
But Death, too long delayed, arrives,
Sightless heaps of ruins lie,
Wild beneath the weeping sky
Fiendish pleasure in his eye.
Laughter of heart-broken joy!
The smiling hills grow wild and rude;
And still 'tis awful solitude.
Nor heeds the hand of Friendship near,
No gifts can bribe away her tear; So mourns the City, such the grief
Which Hope's dimmed rays can ne'er destroy, While sickening Sorrow shuns relief,
And Sadness is her only joy. In vain the rulers of the lands
Again would gem her regal crown; She spurns the offerings at their hands,
And casts the proffered chaplet down. In vain their Gentile hands essay
To rear the Temple thrice defaced ; The loathing land disowns their sway,
And earthquakes lay their labour waste.
In vain the stranger turns the soil,
In vain would seek an harvest there;
No sheaves in golden beauty fair ;
Is barren, and her fields are bare,
Where now those sons ! where now the train
Of thankful offerings rise ;
To join the sacrifice!
To seek but not to find repose;
In snares their wandering feet enclose.
None come to succour at their call;
No pomp of long array,
No pipe and timbrel gay,
No crowds the temple throng,
No priests exalt the song,
The golden glories all are gone,
Strewn at the head of every street;
Js trampled by unhallowed feet;
Here houseless wanderers fix their seat;
Afar from mortal ken,
And haunts of murmuring men,
(To be concluded.)
THE COUNTRY CORPORATION;
OR, CORRESPONDENCE FROM SHUTTLETON. Those who were acquainted with the peaceable manufacturing town of Shuttleton, in the height of its prosperity, three or four years ago, will perhaps be surprised to learn that party spirit and discontent have found their way even there : and that the inhabitants having
quarrelled till their trade was ruined, are now quarrelling as to the best mode of reviving it.
To trace these dissensions to their origin, the reader must be made aware that, like many other manufacturing towns, Shuttleton risen from the obscurity of a village, almost within the memory of the present generation; and at the time of the Reform Bill was considered of sufficient importance to be entrusted with the privilege of returning one member to Parliament. A philosophical historian would doubtless prove that this event was the ultimate cause of the political excitement which has since agitated the town, and perhaps he would not be mistaken.
Unlike most other places where the same pursuits are carried on, the inhabitants of Shuttleton were lovers of peace and order, attentive to their own business, and caring little about the events of the great world ; so that when they found themselves enfranchised, it took them, as it were, by surprise. A meeting of the inhabitants was called; nobody knew exactly why; perhaps to take the sense of the inhabitants on the subject; but no one knew exactly what that meant.
Now there was in the town a certain Mr. Watson Coddle, a man who had made much money in his day, he himself knew best by what
Little was known of himn except that he had once been low in the world, and that for the last five-and-thirty years he had been daily growing fatter, richer, and more self-important. He was an energetic, and—in his own opinion-an enlightened patriot; a friend to the working classes, with the exception of those in his own employ, for to them he was the most tyrannical of masters. He was ever declaiming against the ignorance of the Aristocracy; and against the servility of the middle classes in not rising in a mass to overpower the tyrants by the united force of moral power and intellectual superiority. The wealthier disliked him for his bustling and meddlesome disposi.. tion; and the poor, for the treatment which such of them had received who had been unfortunate enough to have worked under him. But to return from our digression.
The meeting was called, and who so happy as Mr. Coddle ? He was the first to address them. He declared that “this was the happiest moment of his life; that the events they had that day assembled to record, formed the brightest spot on the gloomy page of England's history, and the holiest memento in the annals of their important and daily increasing town. The joyful voices of thousands, ay! and of millions, not in this country alone, but in every habitable part of the globe, wherever the monarch man had reared his throne in the wilderness,—wherever the trace of human footsteps are to be found, whether on the burning shores of the White Sea, whether on the Deserts of Sahara, now rolling oceans of sand to engulph the unwary and solitary traveller, and now soft in the shades of luxuriant palms and the glories of her sparkling minarets, breathing forth the incense of Oriental splendour, -whether, where Niagara rolls his bubbling and elegant cascades along the fruitful plains of South America --whether, I say, whether”
Here one of his clerks seeing him stuck fast, commenced thumping the floor with both his feet, and clapping his hands in token of approbation and encouragement. He was followed in this by several other persons, whom Mr. Coddle had paid to come and applaud whenever the townsfolk should be remiss in doing so. This
the orator time to breathe; and pretending that the remainder of the last sentence had been drowned in the tumult of applause, he launched out in a new strain, saying that “ the time had now come when the labouring man could go home sober and happy in the evening, to his smiling wife and children ; when misery should no longer drive him to the public house, to seek a refuge in those baneful cups which, like the wand of Minerva, changed men into beasts; that workinginen might now have coals for next to nothing, candles for the asking, and beer for an old song. Now, my working brethren,” he continued,
you will have for two-pence the loaf which you have hitherto paid sixpence for." Ay,” cried a voice from the crowd, “ and we shall have only a half-penny to buy it with!”
Here a tremendous uproar ensued, some applauding, some hissing, some crying “ Shame!” others, “ Turn him out !” and others, “ Let him alone; let him come forward.”
The confusion was at length appeased, and Mr. Coddle was enabled to proceed, though much crest-fallen. He no longer attempted any familiar illustration ; but declaimed against tyranny, talked of the Three Glorious Days; deplored the oppression which the people suffered from the Church, whose clergy he described, in his own oratorical style, as living masses of gormandizing avarice, and unendowed with any of those finer feelings which distinguish men above brutes ;” declared that the upstart insolence of the Aristocracy was not to be endured that they were ignorant beyond the conception of those who had not mingled intimately in their company,—that few of them even knew how to spell correctly, in proof of which he displayed the envelope of a frank in the hand-writing of an eminent noblemen, in which his (Mr. W. Coddle's) name was spelt with the e before the 1; and "Is it the duty of Englishmen,” cried the re-inspired orator, to sit down patiently under the taunts and oppression of the ignorant and dissolute Aristocracy,—thus forging chains to be worn by ourselves,-chains that will leave their galling scars on our ancestors after us to time immemorial! Oh, my friends, often when, led by contemplation, I walk on the banks of our classic river, and view my forın reflected in the limpid waves, do I reason thus with myself:Heavens ! can there be men on earth su base as to be willing to oppress and grind to dust their fellow-men! If so, let us rouse, and with the blood of Sydney and Russell raging in our veins, overthrow the tyrants, and bring them as low as they would bring us ! But why reason thus ? Has not the work begun ? It has, and that nobly. You have now but to go on. Yes, we may all join in one song, -a song
sung to any tune,-'Go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on, go on. Here shouts of laughter burst uncontrollably from every part of
Mr. Coddle sunk into his chair. “Go on!” cried a voice;
“ Go on, go on, go on!" sounded on all sides. Mr. Coddle jumped from the platform, and rushed from the room. “ Go on!" sounded in his ears as he passed. The whole meeting seemed to have adopted his suggestion simultaneously; and the burst of enthusiasm lasted till he was fairly out of hearing. Such an effect was never witnessed since the days of Demosthenes.
Nothing further, of great importance, occurred at that meeting. The general opinion seemed to be, that since they had obtained the franchise they might as well do the thing genteelly, and have a Reforın dinner like other towns. The dinner was accordingly held in the open streets, which on this occasion smoked with roast beef and pluin pudding, and flowed with ale. The working classes thought Mr. Coddle's prophecy was indeed fulfilled. The school-boys, who on this occasion had a holyday, and were treated to lumps of greasy pudding, as they ran up and down the streets, thought that such must have been the golden age which they had read of in Ovid; and the Dissenting ministers who said grace before dimuer, and delivered an exhortation after, hesitated not to say that the Millenium itself had at length arrived.
The Millenium, however, passed away much faster than it caine; and we may naturally suppose, that no one was any the happier on the morrow for having been drunk on the day preceding. From that day a gradual change was introduced in the manners of the town's people. Not but that Shuttleton remained, till within the last two years, a rare example of quiet industry and prosperity, compared with the agitation and distress which raged throughout the rest of the manufacturing districts. But it could not be expected that the remembrance of Reform, associated as it was with visions of beef, pudding, and ale, should be lost among the lower classes, who grew fonder than ever of the ale-house. And it was generally observed that when a number of them met together on an evening, one would read the newspaper aloud for the benefit of the company, instead of singing a song, or telling a tale, as heretofore. Moreover, two elections occurred during the time above alluded to, and in both of these Mr. Watson Coddle came forward as a candidate ; induced, he said, " by the earnest wishes of an overwhelming majority of his intelligent fellow-townsmen.” But strange to say, on both occasions, his
overwhelming majority” sank to a most woeful minority at the poll, and Mr. Coddle was left to deplore what he considered the venality and ignorance of the intelligent voters.
Having, therefore, spent several thousands in his vain attempts to become a senator, Mr. Coddle resolved, for the present, to be disgusted at the low pursuits of ambition ; and to live a retired life of literary ease and philanthropic usefulness. His idea of literary pursuits seems to have consisted in reading newspapers, and his philanthropy in promoting his own interests, and strengthening his assumed influence. He gained over to his views several young men who thought themselves wiser than their fathers, and who had been fired by his eloquence to a noble desire of emulation.
It was some time ere Mr. Coddle exactly knew what he would be