網頁圖片
PDF
ePub 版

His public life was honest and nobly consistent and his private character was without a blemish. His style of speaking was vivid, impassioned, and epigrammatic His eloquence owed nothing to personal advantages, for he was below the medium height, and not prepossessing in appearance.

This character of Chatham was written by Grattan when quite a young man, and published in a newspaper of the day.]

The secretary stood alone. Modern degeneracy had not reached him. Original and unaccommodating, the features of his character had the hardihood of antiquity. His august mind overawed majesty; and one of his sovereigns 5 thought royalty so impaired in his presence that he conspired to remove him, in order to be relieved from his superiority. No state chicanery, no narrow system of vicious politics, sunk him to the vulgar level of the great; but, overbearing, persuasive, and impracticable, his object was 10 England, his ambition was fame.

Without dividing, he destroyed party; without corrupting, he made a venalage unanimous. France sunk beneath him. With one hand he smote the house of Bourbon, and wielded in the other the democracy of England. 15 The sight of his mind was infinite; and his schemes were to affect, not England, not the present age only, but Europe and posterity. Wonderful were the means by which these schemes were accomplished, always seasonable, always adequate, the suggestion of an understanding 20 animated by ardor and enlightened by prophecy.

The ordinary feelings which make life amiable and indolent were unknown to him. No domestic difficulties, no domestic weakness reached him; but aloof from the sordid occurrences of life, and unsullied by its intercourse, he 25 came occasionally into our system to counsel and to decide. A character so exalted, so strenuous, so various, so authoritative, astonished a corrupt age, and the treasury trembled at the name of Pitt, through all the classes of venality. Corruption imagined, indeed, that she had found 30 defects in this statesman, and talked much of the inconsistency of his glory, and much of the ruin of his victories; but the history of his country, and the calamities of the enemy, answered and refuted her.

Nor were his political abilities his only talents: his eloquence was an era in the senate, peculiar and spontaneous, 5 familiarly expressing gigantic sentiments and instinctive wisdom; not like the torrent of Demosthenes, or the splendid conflagration of Tully; it resembled sometimes tho thunder, and sometimes the music of the spheres. He did not, like Murray^ conduct the understanding

10 through the painful subtlety of argumentation '/ nlsr was he, like Townshend, ° forever on the rack of exertion; but rather lightened upon the subject, and reached the point by the flashings of the mind, which, like those of his eye, were felt, but could not be followed. Upon the whole, there was

15 in this man something that could create, subvert, or reform; an understanding, a spirit, and an eloquence to summon mankind to society, or to break the bonds of slavery asunder, and to rule the wilderness of free minds with unbounded authority; something that could establish or

SO overwhelm empire, and strike a blow in the world that should resound through the universe.

XXXIL —THE HLGRIM FATHERS.

PlKrPONT.

(john Pierpont was born in Litchfield, Connecticut, April 0,17K5, and was graduated at Yale College in 1S04. He was originally a lawyer, but afterwards studied theology, and in 1819 was ordained minister of the Hollis Street Church in Boston, where he remained till 1845. Since then he has been settled over congregations in Troy, New York, and Medford, Massachusetts. He has been an active laborer in behalf of temperance, anti-slavery, the improvement of prison discipline, and other reforms; and many of his poems have been called

*William Murray, Earl of Mansfield, held a seat in parliament, and was an orator of most persuasive elegance and subtle powers of argumentation. He Was appointed chief justice of the Kings Bench in 1756. Charles Townshend entered parliament in 1747. He held various high offices during his life. He lupportcd the stamp act and the taxation of the American «olonies. He liad ^reat parliamentary abilities and oratorical powers.

forth by the moral and religious movements of the day. His poetry la characterized by energy of expression, and a generous tone of feeling. The following poem was written for the celebration of the anniversary of the Pilgrim Society of Plymouth, in December, 1824.]

1 The Pilgrim Fathers—where are they?

The waves that brought them o'er
Still roll in the bay, and throw their spray,

As they break along the shore;
Still roll in the bay, as they rolled that day,

When the Mayflower moored below,
When the sea around was black with storms,

And white the shore with snow.

2 The mists, that wrapped the Pilgrim's sleep,

Still brood upon the tide;
And the rocks yet keep their watch by the deep,

To stay its waves of pride.
But the snow-white sail, that he gave to the gale,

When the heavens looked dark, is gone; —
As an angel's wing, through an opening cloud,

Is seen, and then withdrawn.

3 The Pilgrim exile — sainted name! —

The hill, whose icy brow
Rejoiced, when he came, in the morning's flame,

In the morning's flame burns now.
And the moon's cold light, as it lay that night

On the hill-side and the sea,
Still lies where he laid his houseless head; —

But the Pilgrim — where is he?

4 The Pilgrim Fathers are at rest:

When Summer's throned on high,
And the world's warm breast is in verdure dressed,

Go, stand on the hill where they lie.
The earliest ray of the golden day

On that hallowed spot is cast;

And the evening sun, as he leaves the world,
Looks kindly on that spot last .

The Pilgrim spirit has not fled:

It walks in noon's broad light;
And it watches the bed of the glorious dead,

With the holy stars, by night .
It watches the bed of the brave who have bled,

And shall guard this ice-bound shore,
Till the waves of the bay, where the Mayflower lay,

Shall foam and freeze no more.

THE GOOD GEEAT MAN.

ColKrIPGE.*

How seldom, friend, a good great man inherits
Honor or wealth, with all his worth and pains 1

It sounds like stories from the land of spirits,

If any man obtain that which he merits,
Oi any merit that which he obtains.

Tor shame, dear friend; renounce this canting strain.
TV hat wouldst thou have a good great man obtain?Place, titles, salary, a gilded chain —
Or throne of corses which his sword hath slain?Greatness and goodness are not means, but ends.
Hath he not always treasures, always friends,
The good great man? three treasures — love and light ,
And calm thoughts, regular as infants' breath;And three firm friends, more sure than day and night —
Himself, his Maker, and the angel Death.
"See page 347 for biographical Aetch.

XXXIIL —THE FALLS OF NIAGABA.

Howison.

.From "Sketche» of Upper Canada," by John Howison, published in Edinburgh, in 1821.]

Now that I propose to attempt a description of the Falls of Niagara, I feel myself threatened with a return of those throbs of trembling expectation which agitated me on my first visit to those stupendous cataracts; and to 5 which every person of the least sensibility is liable, when he is on the eve of seeing anything that has strongly excited his curiosity, or powerfully affected his imagination. The form of Niagara Falls is that of an irregular semicircle, about three quarters of a mile in extent. This is di

10 vided into two distinct cascades by the intervention of Goat Island, the extremity of which is perpendicular, and in a line with the precipice over which the water is projected. The cataract on the Canada side of the river is called the Horseshoe or Great Fall, from its peculiar form, and that

15 next the United States, the American Fall.

The Table Rock, from which the Falls of Niagara may be contemplated in all their grandeur, lies on an exact level with the edge of the cataract on the Canada side, and, indeed, forms a part of the precipice over which the

20 water gushes. It derives its name from the circumstance of its projecting beyond the cliffs that support it, like the leaf of a table. To gain this position, it is necessary to descend a steep bank, and to follow a path that winds among shrubbery and trees, which entirely conceal from

25 the eye the scene that awaits him who traverses it.

When near the termination of this road, a few steps carried me beyond all these obstructions, and a magnificent amphitheatre of cataracts burst upon my view with appalling suddenness and majesty. However, in a mo

30 ment the scene was concealed from my eyes by a dense cloud of spray, which involved me so completely that I did

« 上一頁繼續 »