« AnteriorContinuar »
To charm th’ enliven'd soul! what tho' not all
Of mortal offspring can attain the height
Of envied life; tho only few possess
Patrician treasures or imperial state ;
Yet nature's care, to all her children just,
Which richer treasures and an ampler state;
Endows at large whatever happy man
Will deign to use them. His the city's pomp,
The rural honours his. Whate'er adorns
The princely dome, the column and the arch,
The breathing marbles and the sculptur'd gold,
Beyond the proud possessor's narrow claim,
His tuneful breast enjoys. For him the spring
Distils her dews, and from the silken gem
Its lucid leaves unfolds: for him, the hand
Of autumn tinges every fertile branch
With blooming gold, and blushes like the morn.
Each passing hour sheds tribute from her wings;
And still new beauties meet his lonely walk,
And loves unfelt attract him. Not a breeze
Flies o'er the meadow, not a cloud imbibes
The setting sun's effulgence, not a strain
From all the tenants of the warbling shade
Ascends, but whence his bosom can partake
Fresh pleasure, unreprov'd. Nor then partakes
Fresh pleasure only : for th' attentive mind
By this harmonious action on her pow'rs,
Becomes herself harmonious : wont so oft
In outward things to meditate the charm
Of sacred order, soon she seeks at home
To find a kindred order, to exert
Within herself this elegance of love,
This fair-inspir'd delight: her temper'd pow'rs
Refine at length and every passion wears
A chaster, milder, more attractive mien,
But if to ampler prospects, if to gaze
On nature's form, where negligent of all
These lesser graces, she assumes the port
hthat eternal Majesty that weigh'd
Exalts her daringdations; if to these the mind
Will be the change, and nobre.
hen mightier far
Of servile custom cramp her gen'rous promers?
Would the forms
Would sordid policies, the barb'rous growth
Of Ignorance and rapine, bow tier down
To tame pursuits, to indolence and fear?
Lo! she appeals to nature, to the winds
And rolling waves, the sun's unwearied course,
The elements and seasons: all declare
For what th' eternal Maker has ordain'd
The pow'rs of man: we feel within ourselves
His energy divine : he tells the heart,
He meant, he made us to behold and love
What he beholds and loves, the general orb
Of life and being ; to be great like him,
Beneficent and active. Thus the men
Whom nature's work can charm, with God himself
Hold converse ; grow familiar, day by day,
With his conceptions.; act upon his plan;
And form to his, the relish of their souls.
HARK! heard ye not the piercing cry,
Which shook the waves and rent the sky!
E'en now, e'en now yonder Western shores
Weeps pale Despair, and writhing anguish roars :
E'en now in Afric's groves with hideous yell
Fierce Slavery stalks, and slips the dogs of hell ;
From vale to vale the gathering cries rebound,
And sable nations tremble at the sound !
-Ye bands of Senators ! whose suffrage
Britannia's realms, whom either the brave,
Who right the injured and
Throned in me vaulted heart, his dread resort,
Inexorable Conocience holds his court;
Weill small voice the plots of Guilt alarms,
Bares his mask'd brow, his lifted hand disarms;
But wrapp'd in night with terrors all his own,
He speaks in thunder, when the deed is done.
Hear him, ye Senates! hear this truth sublime,
He, who allows oppression, shares the crime.'
No radiant pearl, which crested Fortune wears,
No gem, that twinkling hangs from Beauty's ears,
Not the bright stars, which Night's blue arch adorn,
Nor rising suns that gild the vernal morn,
Shine with such lustre as the tear, that breaks
For other's woe down Virtue's manly cheeks.
QUESTION.-Whether Anger ought to be suppressed entirely, or only to be confined within the bounds of moderation ?
THOSE who maintain that resentment is blameable only in the excess, support their opinion with such arguments as these.
Since Anger is natural and useful to man, entirely to Danish it from our breast, would be an equally foolish and vain attempt : for as it is difficult, and next to impossible to oppose nature with success ; so it were imprudent, if we had it in our power, to cast away the weapons with which she has furnished us for our defence. The best armour against injustice is a proper degree of spirit, to repel the wrongs that are done, or designed against us : but if we divest ourselves of all resentment, we shall perhaps prove too irresolute and languid, both in resisting the attacks of injustice, and inflicting punishment upon those, who have committed it. We shall therefore sink into contempt, and by the tameness of our spirit,
shall invite the malicious to abuse and affront us. Nor will others fail to deny us the regard which is due from them, if once they think us incapable of resentment. To remain unmoved at gross injuries, has the appearance of stupidity, and will make us despicable and mean, in the eyes of many who are not to be influenced by any thing but their fears.
And as a moderate share of resentment is useful in its effects, so it is innocent in itself, nay often commendable. The virtue of mildness is no less remote from insensibility,on the one hand, than from fury on the other. It implies, that we are angry only upon proper occasions, and in a due degree ; that we never transported beyond the bounds of decency, or indulge a deep and lasting resentment; that we do not follow, but lead our passion, governing it as our servant, not submitting ourselves to it as our master. Under these regulations it is certainly excusable, when moved only by private wrongs : and being excited by the injuries which others suffer, it bespeaks a generous mind, and deserves commendation. Shall a good man feel no indignation against injustice and barbarity ? not even when he is witness to shocking instances of them ? when he sees a friend basely and cruelly treated; when he observes
Th' oppressor's wrong, the proud man's contumely,
The insolence of office, and the spurns
That patient merit of th' unworthy takes;
shall he still enjoy himself in perfect tranquility ? Will it
be a crime, if he conceires the least resentment? Will it
not rather be somewhat criminal, if he is destitute of it?
In such cases we are commonly so far from being asham-
ed of our anger, as of something mean, that we are
proud of it, and confess it openly, as what we count lau-
dable and meritorious.
The truth is, there seems to be something manly, and we are bold to say, something virtuous, in a just and well conducted resentment. In the mean time, let us