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We know no spectacle so ridiculous as the British public in one of its periodical fits of morality.
On Moore's Life of Lord Byron. 1830. From the poetry of Lord Byron they drew a system of ethics compounded of misanthropy and voluptuousness, a system in which the two great commandments were to hate your neighbour and to love your neighbour's wife.
Ibid. That wonderful book, while it obtains admiration from the most fastidious critics, is loved by those who are too simple to admire it.
On Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. 1831. The conformation of his mind was such that whatever was little seemed to him great, and whatever was great seemed to him little.
On Horace Walpole. 1833. What a singular destiny has been that of this remarkable man!— To be regarded in his own age as a classic, and in ours as a companion ! To receive from his contemporaries that full homage which men of genius have in general received only from posterity; to be more inti. mately known to posterity than other men are known to their contemporaries !
On Boswell's Life of Johnson (Croker's ed.). 1831. Temple was a man of the world amongst men of letters, a man of letters amongst men of the world."
On Sir William Temple. 1838. She [the Roman Catholic Church] may still exist in undiminished vigour when some traveller from New Zealand shall, in the midst of a vast solitude, take his stand on a broken arch of London Bridge to sketch the ruins of St. Paul's.
On Ranke's History of the Popes. 1840.
1 See Pope, page 331-332.
2 The same image was employed by Macaulay in 1824 in the concluding paragraph of a review of Mitford's Greece, and he repeated it in his review of Mill's “ Essay on Government" in 1829.
What cities, as great as this, have promised themselves immor. tality! Posterity can hardly trace the situation of some. The sorrowful traveller wanders over the awful ruins of others. ... Here stood their cit.
The chief-justice was rich, quiet, and infamous.
On Warren Hastings. 1841. In that temple of silence and reconciliation where the enmities of twenty generations lie buried, in the great Abbey which has during many ages afforded a quiet resting-place to those whose minds and bodies have been shattered by the contentions of the Great Hall. Ibid.
In order that he might rob a neighbour whom he had promised to defend, black men fought on the coast of Coromandel and red men scalped each other by the great lakes of North America.
On Frederic the Great. 1842. We hardly know an instance of the strength and weakness of human nature so striking and so grotesque as the character of this haughty, vigilant, resolute, sagacious
adel, but now grown over with weeds ; there their senate-house, but now the haunt of every noxious reptile ; temples and theatres stood here, now only an undistinguished heap of ruins. Goldsmith : The Bee, No. iv. (1759.) A City Night Piece.
Who knows but that hereafter some traveller like myself will sit down upon the banks of the Seine, the Thames, or the Zuyder Zee, where now, in the tumult of enjoyment, the heart and the eyes are too slow to take in the multitude of sensations? Who knows but he will sit down solitary amid silent ruins, and weep a people inurned and their greatness changed into an empty name? – VOLNEY : Ruins, chap. ii.
At last some curious traveller from Lima will visit England, and give a description of the ruins of St. Paul's, like the editions of Baalbec and Palmyra. – HORACE WALPOLE : Letter to Mason, Nov. 24, 1774.
Where now is Britain ?
Even as the savage sits upon the stone
HENRY KIRKE WHITE : Time In the firm expectation that when London shall be a habitation of bitterns, when St. Paul and Westminster Abbey shall stand shapeless and nameless ruins in the midst of an unpeopled marsh, when the piers of Waterloo Bridge shall become the nuclei of islets of reeds and osiers, and cast the jagged shadows of their broken arches on the solitary stream, some Transatlantic commentator will be weighing in the scales of some new and now unimagined system of criticism the respective merits of the Bells and the Fudges and their historians. — SHELLEY : Dedication to Peter Bell.
blue-stocking, half Mithridates and half Trissotin, bearing up against a world in arms, with an ounce of poison in one pocket and a quire of bad verses in the other.
On Frederic the Great. 1842. I shall cheerfully bear the reproach of having descended below the dignity of history.!
History of England. Vol. i. Chap. i. There were gentlemen and there were seamen in the navy of Charles II. But the seamen were not gentlemen, and the gentlemen were not seamen.
Chap. ii. The Puritans hated bear-baiting, not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators.?
Chap. iii. I have not the Chancellor's encyclopedic mind. He is indeed a kind of semi-Solomon. He half knows everything, from the cedar to the hyssop.
Letler to Macrey Napier, Dec. 17, 1830.
Death cometh soon or late;
Than facing fearful odds
Lays of Ancient Rome. Horatius, zzrii.
The Battle of Lake Regillus. The sweeter sound of woman's praise.
Lines written in August, 1847. Ye diners-out from whom we guard our spoons.
Political Georgics. i See Bolingbroke, page 304.
2 Even bear-baiting was esteemed heathenish and unchristian : the sport of it, not the inhumanity, gave offence. HUME : History of England, rol. i. chap. lxii.
3 Macaulay, in a letter, June 23, 1831, says, “I sent these lines to the • Times' about three years ago."
J. A. WADE. 1800-1875.
Meet me by moonlight alone,
And then I will tell you a tale
Meet me by Moonlight.
'T were vain to tell.
SIR HENRY TAYLOR. 1800–18—.
The world knows nothing of its greatest men.
Philip Van Artevelde. Part i. Act i. Sc. 5. An unreflected light did never yet Dazzle the vision feminine.
He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.
We figure to ourselves
WILLIAM H. SEWARD. 1801-1872.
There is a higher law than the Constitution.
Speech, March 11, 1850. It is an irrepressible conflict between opposing and enduring forces.
Speech, Oct. 25, 1858.
W. M. PRAED. 1802–1839.
Twelve years ago
I was a boy,
School and Schoolfellows.
How my childhood fleeted by, -
I remember, I remember.
GEORGE P. MORRIS. 1802–1864.
Woodman, spare that tree !
Touch not a single bough!1
Woodman, spare that Tree! 1830.
Which gave the Republic her station : “United we stand, divided we fall !”
It made and preserves us a nation !?
1 See Campbell, page 516.
2 See Key, page 517.