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ing servility, when their tyrants, out of mere wantonness, or to increase their riches, already super-abundant, or to gratify their boundless ambition, or for a feather, if there is the appearance of honour attached to that feather, send them to murder and be murdered, to gratify the pride of aristocracy.' 0'what madness! what folly! what weakness! what stupidity! that a whole people should suffer an individual villain, or a government of them, to lead them to the field of battle to be slaughtered, as a butcher leads a flock of sheep to the shambles; and yet at the same time be despised and hated by these same villains.
One would suppose such men to be irrational, who would engage to murder the innocent for a morsel of bread; and at the command of a royal fool, or an imperial knave.
Even death cannot repress the insolence of aristocratical pride ; witness the exit of that lordly debauchee, the duke of Rutland; who, I believe, died in despair, cursing God with his last breath: yet I saw his superb coffin exhib
ited in the parliament house, while thousands beheld with apparent reverential awe, the noble lump of clay. I saw his funeral, which appeared more like a farce; upwards of three hundred and fifty thousand of the wondering, cheated multitude, attended the pompous procession, through streets lined with soldiers. Let us follow him to Westminster Abbey, and we shall recognize a thousand golden lies. The superb statues, the sculptured urns, the gaudy escutcheons, and the flattering eulogi. ums on each monumental stone, are all a practical comment on the words of Solomon, “ Vánity of vanities, all is vanity." I will be bold to affirm, that there are the remains of more honourable, virtuous, and ingenious individuals, in one corner of the poorest and most obscure church-yard in England, than in all Westminster Abbey! with all its pompous mausoleums, coats of arms, and magnificent sculpture, which too often compliments the memory of the most wicked and worthless of man. kind. Even Gray's “Elegy, written
in a Country Church-Yard," (wbich I scarcely ever read, without contrasting the state of the virtuous poor with that of the vicious rich, with a melancholy pleasure) will illustrate the above sen. timent:
“ The curfew tolls the knell of parting day,
The lowing herd wind slowly o’er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
And leaves the world to darkness and to me,
Now fades the glimm’ring landscape on the sight,
And all the air a solemn stillness holds,
And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds;
Save that, from yonder ivy mantled tow'r,
The moping owl does to the moon complain Of such as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
Molest her ancient solitary reign.
Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
Where heaves the turf in many a mould'rir.g heap, Each in his narrow cell for ever laid,
The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.
The breezy call of incense-breathing morn,
The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed, The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
No more shall rouse them from their lowly bed. For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
Or busy house-wife ply her evining care; No children run to lisp their sire's recurn,
Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.
Oft did the harvest to their sickle yield,
Their furrow oft the stubborn glebe has broke; How jocund did they drive their team afield!
How bow'd the woods beneath their sturdy stroke? Let not ambition mock their useful toil,
Their homely joys, and destiny obscure; Nor grandeur hear with a disdainful smile,
The short and simple annals of the poor. The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Await alike th’inevitable hour:
The paths of glory lead but to the grave. Nor you, ye proud! impute to these the fault,
If mem'ry o'er their tomb no trophies raise, Where thro' the long-drawn aisle and fretted vault,
The pealing anthem swells the note of praise. Can storied urn or animated bust
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath? Can Honour's voice provoke the silent Hust,
Or Flatt'ry soothe the dull cold ear of Death? Perhaps in this neglected spot is laid
Some heart once pregnant with celestial fire; Hands that the rod of empire might have sway'd
Or wak'd to ecstacy the living lyre.
Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
And froze the gewal current of the soul. Full many a gem of purest ray serene
The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear, Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
And waste its sweetness on the desert air.
Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast,
The little tyrant of his fields withstood; Some mute inglorious Mifton here may rest,
Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood. Th'applause of list’ning senates to command,
The threats of pain and ruin to despise, To scatter plenty o'er a smiling land,
And read their hist'ry in a nation's eyes. Their lot forbad; nor circumscrib'd alone
Their growing virtues, but their crimes confin'd: Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
And shut the gates of mercy on mankind; The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
To quench the blushes of ingenuous shame, Or heap the shrine of luxury and pride
With incense kindled at the muse's flame. Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way. Yet e'en these bones from insult to protect
Some frail memorial still erected nigh, With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
Implores the passing tribute of a sigh. Their name, their years, spelt by th’unlettérol muse,
The place of fame and elegy supply: And many a holy text around she strews,
That teach the rustic moralist to die, For who, to dumb forgetfulness a prey,
This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd, Left the warm precincts of the cheerful day,
Nor cast one longing ling'ring look behind?