Imatges de pàgina
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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 Chata ham. My voice will hardly recommend him to an increase of his pension, or to a seat in the cabinet. But if his ambition be upon a level with his understanding; if he judges of what is truly honourable for himself, with tke 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 lau. rels 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 besom of the divinity.

The sage to whom two worlds lay claim, the man for whom science and politics are disputing, indisputably enjoyed an elerated 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 human 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.

Werc 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 carth?

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 frce, 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 shall wear mourning three days for the laté Benjumin I'ranklin.

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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 meėd, was brow. bound 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 ex

example, made the coward turn terror into sport. As waves before 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 å 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 pre. cious, 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 deelare, that I think Demose 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 Cata. line, 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. He 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 con.

trusted.

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 inha. bitants of the earth. When she has viewed him in this scene, carry her into his retirements; shew her the pro. phets chamber, his concubines and wives ; let her see his adultery, and hear him alledge revelation and his die 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 persecul. tors; “ Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."—When natural religion has riewed 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 The vent of hearing, when loud Rumour speaks? 1, from the orient to the drooping west, Making the wind my post-horse, still unfold The acts commenced on this ball of earth. Upon my tongues continual slanders ride, The which in every language I pronounce, Stuffing the ears of men with false reports : I speak of peace, while covert enmity, Under the smile of safety, wounds the world. And who but rumour, who but only I, Make fearful musters and prepar'd defence, While the big ear, swoll'n with some other griefs, Is thought with child by the stern tyrant war, And no such matter. Rumour is a pipe Blown by surmises, jealousies, conjectures; And of so easy and so plain a stop, That the blunt monster, with uncounted heads, The still-discordant, wav'ring multitude Can play upon it. The posts come tiring on, And not a man of them brings other news Than they have learn’d of me. From Rumour's tongues They bring smooth comforts false, worse than true wrongs.

XIX, The Excursions of the Imagination,

--The high-born soul
Disdains to rest her heav'n-aspiring wing
Beneath its native quarry. Tird of earth,
And this diurnal scene, she springs aloft
Thro' fields of air; pursues the flying storm;
Rides on the volley'd lightning thro' the heavens:
Or, yok'd with whirlwinds, and the northern blast,
Sweeps the long tract of day. Then high she soars
The blue profound; and hov’ring round the sun,
Beholds him pouring his redundant stream,
of light; beholds his unrelenting sway

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