Imatges de pàgina
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The memory of great men is the be takenya noblest inheritance of their country. tish states All other distinctions are perishable. at this the A few centuries have covered the

Th most intellectual regions of the more and world with the deepest barbarism. crisis, in National valour, the spirit of van depends o tional sacrifice, the noble and natu- was form ral pride of public supremacy, all through that was great in the nature, the new, tierce ambition, and the power of a na- tion of th tion, is exchanged for debility and Europe. decay, or eurvives but in the form

man may of some faint memorial, mutilated depend th sculptures round the tomb where through a the dead glory of the people slumb- fury will ers. But the character of her eminent lation, the minds is unassailable by the process elements that humiliates the strength and and more dignity of the nation. Their ordeal Continent is past; they have reached the centre, and point at which fame is inevitably to shake their own. In passing to the grave, who is ye they have secured "the honours, and solem which to all the living must be still name of liable to the common chances trials, may of things. The nation may go

centre of down, and be submerged in the Jacobinis common tide of human casualty, eclipsed But their fame stands up, like the throne and mountain tops in the deluge, the inflamed in last retreat of the national hope and the earth virtue, the first point from which and meas they reissue to possess and restore conspiracy the land.

man and William Pitt was one of those men life of Wil whose mind shaped his time. For. in which tunate for the vigour and purity of of his prio our own time, if that mind were to essential

VOL. XXXVII. NO. CCXXX.

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William Pitt.

(Jan. ment of their wisdom, the most baffled by Prussia, but Prussia was speaking lesson to their experience, exhausted by her victory. No Gerand the most assured and cheering man power remained, of sufficient pledge of their ultimate safety. strength, to revenge the rarages of They will find in his personal cha. both. France had lost armies, and racter the solid connexion of pri- what sbe valued more, laurels. Rusvate virtues with public fidelity; no sia, scarcely recovered from domesfactitious and glaring professions of tic murders, and employing ber reimpracticable patriotism; no degra- sources in doubtful hostilities with ding submissions to the popular cry; the Ottoman, was scarcely recog. no desperate experiments on the nised as a European power. Eng. public security, to grasp at a sba- land, flushed with victory, had gaindowy and fugitive power, and they ed all the prizes of the war, an unliwill find the success commensurate mited territory in the New World, to the integrity of the principles; the French West Indies, a new empublic difficulties that seemed in- pire in the East, and the unquessurmountable, rapidly overcome; tioned influence of a power of the disaffection at home converted into first order on the European system. emulous loyalty. The broken sys. The natural peril to England, in tem of Europe rebuilt into one su- this condition of safety and superiperb confederacy; the fallen forti. ority, would be, that she might relax tude of the Continent suddenly in the sinews of her strength; that spirited into invincible courage; the without an enemy to dread, she revolutionary idol which disdained might cease to be warlike; that with to be fed with less than the blood of hourly increasing opulence, she might kings, and sat enveloped with the become surcharged with indolent smoke of human becatombs, resist- voluptuousness; and that with a polessly torn from its altar, and cast pulation rapidly rising in the coninto its own flames; an unexampled sciousness of its own influence, she war, which involved all Europe, might be tossed about by every gust and menaced the dissolution of every of republicanism. All those contie of nations and of man, closed by tingencies would have been formi. an unexampled triumph, in which dable hazards under any condition all Europe shared, and which esta- of the surrounding kingdoms. But blished a new bond of friendship the nature of the coming crisis, ut and mutual reliance among all its terly unascertained as it was by kingdoms.

man, must have rendered the haThe history of Europe is impera zards almost certain ruin. fectly and obscurely written, if the If, a quarter of a century before historian forgets to look to Provi- the first meeting of the National dence. But the history of our own Assembly, the angel of the future country forms one of its finest illus- had drawn up the curtain, and retrations. If it had been contempla- vealed to some great English mind ted by man in the middle of the eigh- the characteristic form and features teenth century, that at iis close the of the French Revolution, its uniFrench Revolution should shake the versal spirit of aggression, its conContinent, and that England should version of the whole power of the be the great agent in the hand of state into war, its hatred of all setProvidence, first to protect mankind tled authority, and its universal apfrom the fatal supremacy of that re- peal to the power of the populace volution, and pext to overthrow and at home and abroad ; what would be extinguish it in the very spot where the qualities which such a mind it first started upon the human eye, would require to see, as first and no measures of provision could be most predominant in England, if more distinctly and powerfully pre. she were finally to rescue herself parative than the apparently simple and redeem others from the general contingencies of England from the danger? The answer must be, that end of the Seren Years' War. The she should be compelled by circumpeace of 1762 had tranquillized Eu- stances to keep her warlike vigirope, but it was the abortive tran- lance in activity, that she should be quillity of a truce. War was at an end in some degree even exercised in on the Continent, Austria had been war during the interval, that she

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The memory of great men is the be taken as the model of living Brinoblest inheritance of their country. tish statesmanship. The subject is All other distinctions are perishablo. at this hour, more important than A few centuries have covered the ever. The destinies of England are most intellectual regions of the more and more approaching to that world with the deepest barbarism. crisis, in which their good or ill National valour, the spirit of va- depends on personal character. Pitt tional sacrifice, the noble and natu- was formed to carry the empire ral pride of public supremacy, all through a convulsion altogether that, was great in the nature, the new, tierce, and beyond the calcula. ambition, and the power of a na- tion of the old public wisdom of tion, is exchanged for debility and Europe. At this hour, the statesdecay, or eurvives but in the form man may be forming, on whom is to of some faint memorial, mutilated depend the pilotage of the empire sculptures round the tomb where through a tempest, of which the the dead glory of the people slumb- fury will be equally beyond calcuers. But the character of her eminent lation, the trial more severe, and the minds is unassailable by the process elements more powerful, wilder, that humiliates the strength and and more unknown. Pitt saw the dignity of the nation. Their ordeal Continent with one revolution in its is past ; they have reached the 'centre, and that revolution enough point at which fame is inevitably to shake Europe. The statesman their own. In passing to the grave, who is yet to succeed in the high they have secured the honours, and solemn task of sustaining the which to all the living must be still name of England through all her liable to the common chances trials, may see every kingdom the of things. The nation may go centre of a revolution ; the solitary down, and be submerged in the Jacobinism of France forgotten and common tide of human casualty, eclipsed by a universal hostility to But their fame stands up, like the throne and temple; popular passion mountain tops in the deluge, the inflamed into boundless frenzy; and last retreat of the national hope and the earth involved in one reckless virtue, the first point from which and measureless confusion of war, they reissue to possess and restore conspiracy, and infidelity. To the the land.

man and his age, the study of the William Pitt was one of those men life of William Pitt, and of the years whose mind shaped his time. For. in which he achieved the triumph tunate for the vigour and purity of of his principles, must be the most our own time, if that mind were to essential and productive employ

VOL. XXXVII. NO. CCXXX.

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