網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

most convenient cloak for hypocritical impiety. The greater the sinner the greater the saint. A Radical Reformer is a ruffian who is only restrained from acts of treasonable violence by the force of law or government*. The new appellation of a Destructive is highly applicable to him. Under the plea of the natural rights of man, and with a pretended respect for the doctrine of general equality, he would fain produce the most hideous chaos and convulsion in all the elements of society.

Licence he means when he cries liberty !" With the Radical whatever is, is wrong! He looks around him at all times and in all seasons in dismal discontent.

He is guilty of what Milton calls " a sullenness against nature.” He follows the example of his leader, Satan, the first great Radical. He hates all superior power, and while affecting to care only for the general liberty of mankind, he is considering how he may build his own individual rise on the ruins of an existing system. He is a mere demagogue, who uses the watchwords of Truth and Freedom in the same spirit in which bigots cant about faith and salvation. The nonsensical gabble about the natural equality of mankind is a mere clap-trap. The Radical is less fool than knave, and knows very well that two men cannot be two minutes together without giving the lie to such a doctrine. It serves, however, to feed the gross and greedy vanity of that many-headed monster, the mob. The expressions of respect and admiration and sympathy with which the latter are treated by men who in their hearts thoroughly despise and detest them, is unutterably disgusting. Of all the cants that are canted in this canting world, the cant of Patriotism is the worst! It originates in a bitter jeaplace. It has its birth and breath and being in the worst ele. ments of the human heart. It is suggested and fed by the meanest and wildest passions of our nature. The Radical is a malcontent from first to last, and systematically opposes every measure of Government, good or bad.

* A London critic, after much generous praise of the Calcutta edition of this work, quotes the above sentence with the following remark:-" This is as illi. beral as it is untrue, and calculated to prejudice persons against the writer; and if the work be reprinted in England, he would do well to expunge it.” The critic could not have read the cautionary notice which was at the head of these sketches, and which is now repeated. The sentirent objected to is not mine.

“ The hope to please him, vain on every plan,

Ilimself should work that wonder, if he can !

The man who is discontented with himself, with his fellow-creatures and with his God, is sure to turn a Radical ; as bad poets turn into bitter critics, and bad wine into vinegar. All deists, atheists and misanthropists are by nature, Radicals. Observe that portion of the Press which professes to be the organ of the Radical party—it is decidedly infidel and churlish. The Radical wri. ters are never so well pleased as when they have an opportunity of attacking the clergy, or of

“Sapping a solemn creed with solemn sneer." Bishops and Kings are their greatest horror. If Tories think the highest religious or political Potentates can do no wrong, the Radicals go to the opposite extreme and maintain that they can do no right. They pretend to think that it is only people who are out of place and without power who can possess any real virtue. To be a Minister of Sta is to want a human heart. Thus Lord Castlereagh, if we were to believe the Radicals, had nothing in common with the rest of mankind. He was the personification of vice.

.“ A monster of such hideous mien As to be hated need but to be seen.”

Carlisle and Cobbett and Orator Hunt and Thelwall are the Gods of the Radicals. They have an instinctive hatred of every thing respectable and gentleman-like. A greasy head is with them synonymous with an honest heart, and nothing shocks them so much as a certain Tory nobleman's ambrosial curls. A clean and well dressed wig is the severest charge which they can bring against him. They prefer Vauxhall and Wapping to Almack's and St. James's. They find something fresh, racy and natural in the smell of filthy aprons and the aspect of fat citizens, but they faint with disgust at Mr. Rowland's “ oderiferous attempts to please.” They have a fancy for unwashed faces and iron forks. This is why they are so inveterate against Mr. Croker, who has insisted on the propriety of an elegant table and a decent mode of discussing our meals. A Radical is essentially vulgar.

He is an animal rarely admitted into well-carpeted drawing-rooms or glittering saloons. When by an odd chance he gains admittance into refined circles, he is known by his ungainly and clownish air, and his anti-social manners. He is uncomfortable and out of his element, and longs for an opportunity to vent his spleen within the range of kindred ears. The only way to conquer a Radical is to bribe him largely, and then you change his nature, or rather you allow him to display it in its original colours. Mr. Southey was a Radical until he got his Laureate wreath, his pension and his butt of malmsey. There is no instance on record of a Radical who kept on his mask after arriving at the summit of power. Those of the present Ministry who were once esteemed hot Radicals are now cool Whigs. They are very well satisfied with things as they are. They now say, “ let well alone.” It is only the disappointed place-hunters who keep up the cry of Annual Parliaments and Universal Suffrage.

The Radicals have a vast advantage over the Tories in the greater plausbility of their cause and the sympathy of the great mass of mankind.

If a man tells the mob that they are entitled to share the wealth and power of their rulers, it does not require much logic to convince them that he is right. By artful appeals to the passions and prejudices of the populace, who are always ready to suppose their superiors in the wrong, a demagogue of mutiny. His object is not to suggest better plans of government, abstractedly so considered, but to effect any change by which he may benefit himself and open a way to his own ambition. When unable from adverse circumstances to gain an individual triumph, it is some satisfaction to him, to embarrass and foil his superiors. Very few Radicals really fancy that their wild theories of government could be practically beneficial to mankind; but having nothing to lose, they feel that it is as well to avail themselves, by whatever means, of a chance of gain. In the inevitable confusion and uproar of such a revolution as they contend for, they calculate upon acquiring that ascendancy which is denied them in a regular form of government. They think with Satan-that it is

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]

[ 146 ]

THE SEPARATION.

I.

I ne'er shall know one moment's mirth

When thou art from my side,
I then shall view the cheerless earth

As one dark desert wide.
My soul may feel full many a care

Though none should sadden thee,
But save what thy dear breast may

share No joy can smile for me!

II.

Ah, sweet one, e'en when thou wert nigh

And fate had less of fear,
Thy radiant features in mine eye,

Thy light laugh in mine ear;
Tis strange how fitfully a crowd

Of thoughts have crossed my brain, That made thy fairy form, a cloud,

Thy voice, a sound of pain.

III.

The dreary darkness of despair

Like storms in autumn's sky, Then fell on every prospect fair,

I knew not whence or why ;If thus the dire depression came

Before thy gleaming brow, Alas! what agonies will tame

My wayward bosom now!

« 上一頁繼續 »