Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

his solicitude to do justice to Ireland! What niarvel is it, then, that gentlemen opposite should deal in such vehement protestations ?

2. There is, however, one man,* of great abilities,-not a member of this House, but whose talents and whose boldness have placed him in the topmost place in his party,—who, disdaining all imposture, and thinking it the best course to appeal directly to the religious and national antipathies of the people of this country,—abandoning all reserve, and flinging off the slender vail by which his political associates affect to cover, although they cannot hide their motives,—distinctly and audaciously tells the Irish people that they are not entitled to the same privileges as Englishmen; and pronounces them, in any particular which could enter his minute enumeration of the cir. cumstances by which fellow-citizenship is created, in race, identity, and religion, to be aliens,—to be aliens in race, to be aliens in country, to be aliens in religion !

3. Aliens! Gracious Heaven! Was Arthur, Duke of Wellington, in the House of Lords,—and did he not start up and exclaim, —“HOLD! I HAVE SEEN THE ALIENS DO THEIR DUTY!” The Duke of Wellington is not a man of an excitable temperament. His mind is of a cast too martial to be easily moved; but, potwithstanding his habitual inflexibility, I cannot help thinking that, when he heard his Roman Catholic countrymen (for we are his countrymen) designated by a phrase as offensive as the abundant vocabulary of his eloquent confederate could supply,–I cannot help thinking that he ought to have recollected the many fields of fight, in which we have been contributors to his renown. “The battles, sieges, fortunes that he has passed,” ought to have come back upon him.

4. He ought to have remembered that, from the earliest achievement in which he displayed that military genius which has placed him foremost in the annals of modern warfare, down

* The reference is to Lord Lyndhurst, who, a short time before, had, in the House of Lords, spoken of the Irish, as aliens, in blood and religion.He happened to be present in the House of Commons, while Sheil was speaking.

to that last and surpassing combat which has made his name imperishable, - from Assayet to Waterloo, the Irish soldiers, with whom your armies are filled, were the inseparable auxiliaries to the glory with which his unparalleled successes have been crowned. Whose were the arms that drove your bayonets at Vimeira through the phalanxes that never reeled in the shock of war before? What desperate valor climbed the steeps and filled the moats at Badajos ?*

5. All his victories should have rushed and crowded back upon his memory,–Vimeira, * Badajos,* Salamanca,* Albuera, * Toulouse,* and, last of all, the greatest Tell me,for yout were there, -I appeal to the gallant soldier before me, from whose opinions I differ, but who bears, I know, a generous heart in an intrepid breast;—tell me,- for you must needs remember, -on that day when the destinies of mankind were trembling in the balance, while death fell in showers, when the artillery of France was leveled with a precision of the most deadly science,—when her legions, incited by the voice and inspired by the example of their mighty leader, rushed again and again to the onset, -tell me if, for an instant, when to hesitate for an instant was to be lost, the “aliens” blenched ?

6. And when, at length, the moment for the last and decided movement had arrived, and the valor which had so long beer wisely checked was, at last, let loose, -when, with words familiar, but immortal, the great captain commanded the great assault,tell me if Catholic Ireland with less heroic valor than the natives of this your own glorious country precipitated herself upon the

* Vimeira (ve ' e ), Badajos (bad a hõs'), Salamanca, Toulouse (100 looz), and Albuera (al boo al ), are the names of places where the French met defeat from the English under the lead of Wellington, except at the last place, where the English were commanded by Gene:al Beresford.

† This appeal is to Sir Henry Hardinge, who served under Wellingtou during the whole Peninsular war. He was not, however, present at the battle of Waterloo, as the orator asserts; being deprived of that privilege by the loss of an arm in the battle of Ligny, which occurred two days before.

foo? The blood of England, Scotland, and of Ireland flowed in the same stream, and drenched the same field. When the chill morning dawned, their dead lay cold and stark together;in the same deep pit their bodies were deposited; the green corn of spring is now breaking from their commingled dust; 'the dew falls from heaven upon their union in the grave. Partakers ir every peril, in the glory shall we not be permitted to partic:pate i and shall we be told, as a requital, that we are estranged from the noble country for whose salvation our life-blood was poured out?

EXERCISE CLXIX.

MARK AKENSIDE was born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, November 9th, 1721 and died in London, June 23d, 1770. He was a physician, and held eminent rank in that profession. His habits, however, were those of a secluded scholar, fond of ancient lore, much given to philosophic speculation, calm, meditative, reserved in his manners, fastidious in his tastes, and exclusive in his associations. His “Pleasures of Imagination," on which work rests chiefly his fame, is rather a philosophic than a poetic inspiration; rich in classical allusion, correct and chaste in sentiment, but unimpassioned; partaking more of the head than the heart, yet containing many fine passages, such as cannot fail to chain attention and make powerful and permanent impression. We give, for the present Exercise, some beautiful extracts.

PASSAGES FROM AKENSIDE.

I.

BEAUTY THE MINISTRESS OF TRUTH AND GOOD.

Thus was BEAUTY sent from Heaven,
The lovely ministress of truth and good
In this dark world : for truth and good are one,
And Beauty dwells in them, and they in her,
With like participation. Wherefore, then,
O sons of earth! would ye dissolve the tie?
0, wherefore, with a rash, impetuous aim,
Seek ye those flowery joys with which the hand
Of lavish fancy paints each flattering scene,
Where Beauty seems to dwell, nor once inquire
Where is the sanction of eternal truth,

Or where the seal of undeceitful good,
To save your search from folly! Wanting these,
Lo! Beauty withers in your void embrace,
And with the glittering of an idiot's toy.
Did fancy mock your vows.

II.

MORAL SUBLIMITY. Mind, mind alone, (bear witness, Earth and Heaven!! The living fountains in itself contains Of beauteous and sublime: here, hand in hand, Sit paramount the graces; here enthroned, Celestial Venus, with divinest airs, Invites the soul to never-fading joy. Look then abroad through nature, to the range Of planets, suns, and adamantine spheres, Wheeling unshaken through the void immense ; And speak, O man! does this capacious scene With half that kindling majesty dilate The strong conception, as when Brutus rose Refulgent from the stroke of Cæsar's fate, Amid the crowd of patriots; and his arm Aloft extending, like eternal Jove, When guilt brings down the thunder, called aloud On Tully's name, and shook his crimson steel, And bade the father of his country hail ? For, lo! the tyrant prostrate on the dust, And Rome again is free!

III.

NATURE'S CHARMS OPEN TO ALL.
O blest of Heaven! whom not the languid songs
Of luxury, the siren ! not the bribes
Of sordid wealth, nor all the gaudy spoils
Of pageant honor, can seduce to leave
Those ever-blooming sweets, which from the store
Of Nature fair imagination culls
To charm the enlivened soul! What though not all

Of mortal offspring can attain the hights
Of envied life; though only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state;
Yet Nature's care, to all her children just,
With richer treasures and an ampler state,
Endows, at large, whatever happy man
Will deign to use them.

[ocr errors]

APOSTROPHE TO HIS BIRTHPLACE.

O ye dales Of Tyne, and ye most ancient woodlands; where Oft as the giant flood obliquely strides, And his banks open and his lawns extend, Stops short the pleased traveler to view, Presiding o'er the scene, some rustic tower Founded by Norman or by Saxon hands! O ye Northumbrian shades, which overlook The rocky pavement and the mossy falls Of solitary Wensbeck's limpid stream! How gladly I recall your well-known seats, Beloved of old, and that delightful time When all alone, for many a summer's day, I wandered through your calm recesses, led In silence by some powerful hand unseen. Nor will I e'er forget you; nor shall e'er The graver tasks of manhood, or the advice Of vulgar wisdom, move me to disclaim Those studies which possessed me in the dawn Of life, and fixed the color of my mind For every future year: whence even now From sleep I rescue the clear hours of morn, And, while the world around lies overwhelmed In idle darkness, am alive to thoughts Of honorable fame, of truth divine Or moral, and of minds to virtue won By the sweet magic of harmonious verse.

« AnteriorContinuar »