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Ah say, why fades thy rose so soon,
While yet so perfum'd is its breath?
Ere eve why sinks thy flow'r in death?
I drank thy cup; thy wreath I wore;
The dregs remain-the flow'rs have faded:
FRAGMENTS OF OLD ENGLISH POETRY.
TO THE WATER NYMPHS, DRINKING AT THE FOUNTAIN.
Reach, with your whiter hands, to me
Some crystal of the spring;
Fresh lilies flourishing.
Or else, sweet nymphs, do you but this,
To the glass your lips incline;
The water turn'd to wine.
I dare not ask a kiss,
I dare not beg a smile,
I might grow proud the while.
No, no; the utmost share
Of my desire shall be
That lately kissed thee.
WHAT KIND OF MISTRESS HE WOULD HAVL.
Be the mistress of
TO HIS VERSES.
What will ye, my poor orphans, do
Although ye have a stock of wit,
AMERICAN ELOQUENCE. It may be doubted whether any work hitherto published in America has brought to the literature of the country a larger accession of utility and elegance, and consequently of credit, than the selection made by Doctor CHAPMAN from the parliamentary and forensic eloquence of the illustrious orators of Great Britain and Ireland.
It has been, for many years, a subject of deep regret to the learned men of those parts of the world in which the English language is spoken, that of the mass of eloquence which placed the orators of the British islands in an advantageous comparison with the greatest of Greece or Rome, so very little should have been transmitted to the present times. Till the reporting of public debates became a special calling in the hands of men of learning and ingenuity, the speeches of the greatest orators scarcely survived the day of their delivery, and, having served the fugitive purpose of the argument to which they were applied, were for ever lost to the world in no degree known to any but those who heard them, and by those even forgotten in a few days, and buried in the general miscellany of thought and action. Hence it is that, while we hear their cotemporaries speak in wonder and enthusiastic rapture of the powers of a Flood, a Burgh, a Hutchinson, and, above all, of Anthony Malone, we can scarcely find a relic of the speeches of these great men sufficient to impart the remotest idea of what their style of eloquence was. Of the last of them there is not a vestige left, while the evidence of his superiority to all other men is so complete as to supersede every doubt upon the subject. What Betterton in his day, and Garrick since, were in acting, Malone was in oratory: for, when an orator, in England or Ireland, was said to be best, it was still understood to be with the exception of Malone:* like those great actors, too, his genius has left no mark behind it.
Passion's wild break, and frown that awes the sense,
It is indeed to be lamented that Ireland, to which envy itself is compelled to allow the palm of eloquence, has been still more negligent than her sister island in preserving the speeches of her orators. Had Burke or Sheridan wasted their eloquence at home, posterity would never be able to form a conception of those wonderful specimens of eloquence on which, in future ages, they will rapturously dwell in the compilation of Dr. Chapman.
Since debate-reporting became a trade, every speech of the smallest consequence, whether at the bar or in the senate, has had its fair chance of transmission to posterity. In its first and most imperfect state, it is presented to the public in a newspaper, where all ranks peruse and judge of it. If it possess not intrinsic merit to recommend it on its own account, when the subject on which it was spoken ceases to agitate the feelings and warp the opinions of the public, it is consigned “ to the monument of the Capulets;" but if it does, it is printed in a correct and perfect state, and with the authority and consent, perhaps with the corrections too, of the speaker, is given to the public in the form of a pamphlet.
Thus rescued from immediate oblivion, its preservation would still be rendered uncertain, by the diminutiveness of its size and the little importance annexed to such books, if it were left to shift for itself in the fugitive shape of a pamphlet. Hence it has too often happened that some of the most precious remains of eloquence that ever were published, after having had their day of admiration, are now lost, or overlooked, or perhaps exist only in the closet of some bookish churl, who thinks that its value would be lost if others were allowed to participate in it.
The plan of Dr. Chapman is a complete and satisfactory remedy for these evils: and the most splendid monuments of human genius,
So said lords Hardwicke, Mansfield, and Camden.