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XIII. Junius's Eulogium on Lord Chatham.
I DID not intend to make a public declaration of the respect I bear lord Chatham. I well knew what unworthy conclusions would be drawn from it. But I am called upon to deliver my opinion; and surely it is not in the little censure of Mr. Horne to deter me from doing signal justice to a man, who, I confess, has grown upon my esteem. As for the common, sordid views of avarice, or any purpose of vulgar ambition, I question whether the applause of Junius would be of service to lord Chatham. My voice will hardly recommend him to an increase of his pension, or to a seat in the cabinet. if his ambition be upon a level with his understanding; if he judges of what is truly honourable for himself, with the same superior genius which animates and directs him to eloquence in debate, to wisdom in decision, even the pen of Junius shall contribute to reward him. Recorded honours shall gather round his monument, and thicken over him. It is a solid fabric, and will support the laurels that adorn it. I am not conversant in the language of panegyric. These praises are extorted from me; but they will wear well, for they have been dearly earned.
XIV. Mirabeau's Funeral Eulogium of Dr. Franklin.
FRANKLIN is dead. The genius who freed America, and poured a copious stream of knowledge throughout Europe, is returned into the bosom of the divinity.
The sage to whom two worlds lay claim, the man for whom science and politics are disputing, indisputably enjoyed an elevated rank in human nature.
The cabinets of princes have been long in the habits of notifying the death of those who were great only in their funeral orations. Long hath the etiquette of courts proclaimed the mourning of hypocrisy. Nations should wear mourning for none but their benefactors. The re presentatives of nations should recommend to public homage, only those who have been the heroes of huma nity.
The congress of America hath ordered, in the fourteen confederate states, a mourning of two months for the death of Benjamin Franklin; and America is, at this moment, paying that tribute of veneration to one of the fathers of her constitution.
Were it not worthy of us, gentlemen, to join in the same religious act, to pay our share of that homage now rendered in sight of the universe, at once to the rights of man, and to the philosopher who most contributed to extend the conquests of liberty over the face of the whole earth?
Antiquity would have raised altars to that vast and mighty genius, who, for the advantage of human kind, embracing earth and heaven in his ideas, could tame the rage of thunder and of despotism. France enlightened and free, owes at least some testimony of remembrance and regret to one of the greatest men who ever served he cause of philosophy and of liberty.
I move you to decree, that the national assembly 'sħabl wear mourning three days for the late Benjumin Franklin.
XV. Cominius' Eulogium of Coriolanus.
I SHALL lack Voice: The deeds of Coriolanus should not be uttered feebly. It is held, that valour is the first of virtues, and most ennobles the possessor. If that be; the man I speak of, cannot, in the world, be singly counterpoised.
At sixteen years, when Tarquin made ahead for Rome, he fought beyond the mark of others. Our dictator, (whom, with all praise, I point at,) saw him fight, when, with his Amazonian chin, he drove the bristled lips before him he bestrid an o'erprest Roman, and, in the 'consul's view, slew three opposers. Tarquin's self he met, and struck him on his knee. In that day's feats, when he might have played the woman in the scene, he acted man best in the field; and, for his meed, was browbound with the oak. His pupil-age man entered, thus; he waxed, like a sea; and, in the brunt of seventeen battles since, has lurcht all swords of the garland. For this
last, before, and in Corioli, let me say, I cannot speak him home. He stopt the fliers, and, by his rare example," made the coward turn terror into sport. As waves be fore a vessel under sail, so men obeyed, and fell below, his stern. Alone he entered the mortal gate of the city, which he marked with shunless destiny: aidless came off, and, with a sudden reinforcement, struck Corioli, like a planet,
Nor all is this: for, by and by, the din of war began to pierce his ready sense, when straight, his doubled spi rit requickened what in nature was inanimate, and to the battle came he; where, until we called both field and city ours, he never stood to ease his breast with panting. Our spoils he spurned at, and looked upon things precious, as they had been the common muck of earth. He covets less than misery itself would give; rewards his deeds with doing them; and is content to spend his time, to end it.
XVI. Cicero and Demosthenes compared.
THESE two great princes of eloquence have been often compared together; but the judgment hesitates to which to give the preference. The archbishop of Cambray, however, seems to have stated their merits with great justice and perspicuity, in his reflections on rhetoric and poetry. The passage, translated, is as follows.
"I do not hesitate to declare, that I think Demos. thenes superior to Cicero. I am persuaded that no one can admire Cicero more than I do. He adorns whatever he attempts. He does honour to language. He disposes of words in a manner peculiar to himself. His style has great variety of character. Whenever he pleases, he is even concise and vehement; for instance, against Cataline, against Verres, against Antony. But ornament is too visible in his writings. His art is wonderful, but it is perceived. When the orator is providing for the safety of the republic, he forgets not himself, nor permits others to forget him. Demosthenes seems to escape from him. self, and to see nothing but his country. He seeks not elegance of expression; unsought for he possesses it.
He is superior to admiration. He makes use of language as a modest man does of dress, only to cover him. thunders, he lightens. He is a torrent which carries every thing before it. We cannot criticise, because we are not ourselves. His subject enchains our attention, and makes us forget his language. We lose him from our sight: Philip alone occupies our minds. I am delighted with both these orators; but I confess that I am less affected by the infinite art and magnificent eloquence of Cicero, than by the rapid simplicity of Demosthenes.”
XVII. The Portraits of Mahomet and Jesus contrusted.
Go to your natural religion:-place before her Ma homet and his disciples, arrayed in armour and in blood, riding in triumph over the spoils of thousands and tens of thousands, who fell by his sword. Shew her the cities which he set in flames, the countries which he ravaged and destroyed, and the miserable distress of all the inhabitants of the earth. When she has viewed him in this scene, carry her into his retirements; shew her the prophet's chamber, his concubines and wives; let her see his adultery, and hear him alledge revelation and his di vine commission to justify his lust and oppression. When she is tired with this scene, then shew her the blessed Jesus, humble and meek, doing good to all the souls of men, patiently instructing both the ignorant and perverse. Let her see him in his most retired privacies; let her follow him to the mount, and hear his devotions and supplications to his god. Carry her to his table, to view his mean fare, and hear his heavenly discourse. Let her see him injured, but not provoked. Let her attend him to the tribunal, and consider the patience with which he endured the scoffs and reproaches of his enemies. Lead her to his cross, and let her view him in the ago. nies of death, and hear his last prayer for his persecu tors; Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." When natural religion has viewed both, ask, Which is the prophet of god?
XVIII. The picture of Rumour full of tongues..
OPEN your ears: for which of you will stop
Upon my tongues continual slanders ride,
That the blunt monster, with uncounted heads,
Can play upon it. The posts come tiring on,
Than they have learn'd of me. From Rumour's tongues
XIX. The Excursions of the Imagination.
-THE high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heav'n-aspiring wing