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absence they had erected a club .... ; we made some laws today, which I am to digest and add to against next meeting. We are yet but twelve. .... The end of our club is, to advance conversation and friendship, and to reward deserving persons
with our interest and recommendation. We take in none but men of wit or men of interest.
The National Review, “ The Clubs of London.”
DIRECT COMMISSIONS, May 1861. The ruin or prosperity of a state depends so much upon the administration of its government, that, to be acquainted with the merit of a ministry, we need only observe the condition of the people. If we see them obedient to the laws, prosperous in their industry, united at home, and respected abroad, we may reasonably presume that their affairs are conducted by men of experience, abilities, and virtue. If, on the contrary, we see a universal spirit of distrust and dissatisfaction, a rapid decay of trade, dissensions in all parts of the empire, and a total loss of respect in the eyes of foreign powers, we may pronounce, without hesitation, that the government of the country is weak, distracted, and corrupt.
DIRECT COMMISSIONS, August 1862. BLENHEIM is a small village of Bavaria, on the Danube, famous in modern history as being the scene of the great battle fought August 13, 1704. Each army consisted of nearly 80,000 men. The English and their allies gained a complete and decisive victory. Their enemies left about 10,000 men killed and wounded on the field ; a vast number more were drowned in the Danube, and above 13,000 were made prisoners ; among the latter were Marshal Tallard (whose son was killed) and many other officers of distinction.
When I first saw England, she was in mourning for the young Princess Charlotte, the hope of the empire. I came from India
CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA, 1859. FRANCIS died at Rambouillet, on the last day of March, in the fifty-third year of his age, and the thirty-third of his reign. During twenty-eight years of that time an avowed rivalship subsisted between him and the emperor, which involved not only their own dominions, but the greater part of Europe, in wars, which were prosecuted with more violent animosity, and drawn out to a greater length, than had been known at any former period. Many circumstances contributed to this. Their animosity was founded in opposition of interest, heightened by personal emulation, and exasperated not only by mutual injuries, but by reciprocal insults. At the same time, whatever advantage one seemed to possess towards gaining the ascendant, was wonderfully balanced by some favourable circumstances peculiar to the other. The emperor's dominions were of greater extent; the French king's lay more compact : Francis governed his kingdom with absolute power; that of Charles was limited, but he supplied the want of authority by address : the troops of the former were more impetuous and enterprising ; those of the latter better disciplined, and more patient of fatigue. The talents and abilities of the two monarchs were as different as the advantages which they possessed, and contributed no less to prolong the contest between them.
OUR present repose is no more proof of inability to act, than the state of inertness and inactivity in which I have seen those mighty masses above your town is a proof that they are devoid of strength, and incapable of being fitted out for action. You well know, gentlemen, how soon one of those stupendous masses, none reposing on their shadows in perfect stillness—how soon, upon any call of patriotism or of ne essity, it would assume the likeness of an animated thing, instinct with life and emotion-how soon it would ruffle as it were its swelling plumage-how quickly would it put forth all its beauty and its bravery, collect its scattered elements of strength, and awaken its dormant thunder. Such is one of these magnificent machines when springing from inaction into a display of its might, such is England herself, while apparently passive and motionless she silently concentrates the power to be put forth on an adequate occasion. But God forbid that occasion should arise.
CIVIL SERVICE OF INDIA, 1861.
The last of the Incas. PIZARRO saw that the hour had come. He waved a white scarf in the air, the appointed signal. The fatal gun was fired from the fortress ; then springing into the squares, the Spanish captain and his followers shouted the old war-cry of “St Jago, and at them !” It was answered by the battle-cry of every Spaniard in the city, as, rushing from the avenues of the great walls in which they were concealed, they threw themselves into the midst of the Indian crowd. The latter, taken by surprise, stunned by the report of artillery and muskets, the echoes of which reverberated like thunder from the surrounding buildings, and blinded by the smoke, were seized with a panic; they knew not whither to fly.
All were trampled down under the fierce charge of the cavalry, who dealt their blows right and left without sparing, while their swords carried dismay into the hearts of the wretched natives, who now, for the first time, saw the horse and his rider in all their terrors. The fight, or rather the massacre, continued hot around the Inca, whose person was the great object of the assault. His faithful nobles, rallying about him, threw themselves in the way of the assailants, and strove, by tearing them from their saddles, or, at least, by offering their own bosoms, to shield their beloved master. The Indian monarch, stunned and bewildered, saw his faithful subjects falling round him, without hardly comprehending his situation.
The struggle now became fiercer than ever round the royal litter. It reeled more and more, and at length several nobles who supported it, having been slain, it was overturned, . . .. and the unhappy monarch, strongly secured, was removed to a neighbourTHERE are in every country morose beings, who are always prognosticating ruin. There was one of this stamp at Philadelphia. He was a man of fortune, declined in years, had an air of wisdom, and a great manner of speaking. His name was Samuel Mickle. I knew him not, but he sto ped one day at my door, and asked me if I was the young man who had lately opened a new printing house ? Upon my answering in the affirmative, he said that he was very sorry for me, as it was an expensive undertaking, and the
money that had been laid out upon it would be lost ; Philadelphia being a place falling into decay, its inhabitants having all, or nearly all of them, been obliged to call together their creditors ; that he knew, from undoubted fact, the circumstances which might lead us to suppose the contrary, such as new buildings and the advanced price of rent, to be deceitful appearances, which in reality contributed to hasten the general ruin ; and he gave me so long a detail of misfortunes actually existing, or which were soon to take place, that he left me almost in a state of despair. Had I known this man before I entered into trade, I should doubtless never have ventured. He continued, however, to live in this place of decay, and to declaim in the same style, refusing for many years to buy a house, because all was going to wreck; and in the end I had the satisfaction to see him pay
five times as much for one as it would have cost him had he purch when he first began his lamentations.
At this time, when you are cut off from a little society, and made a citizen of the world at large, you should bend your talents, not to serve a party or a few, but all mankind. Your genius should mount above that mist in which its participation and neighbourhood with earth long involved it ; to shine abroad, and to heaven, ought to be the business and the glory of your present situation. Remember it at such a time that the greatest lights of antiquity dazzled and blazed the most, in their retreat, in their exile, or in their death. But why do I talk of dazzling or blazing? It was then that they did good, that they gave light, and that they became guides to mankind.
Those aims alone are worthy of spirits truly great, and each, therefore, I hope will be yours. Resentment, indeed, may remain, perhaps cannot quite be extinguished in the noblest minds ; but revenge never will harbour there. Believe me, my lord, I look upon you as a spirit entered into another life, as one just upon the edge of immortality, where the passions and affections must be more exalted, and where you ought to despise all little views and all mean retrospects. Nothing is worth your looking back, and therefore look forward, and make, as you can, the world look after you. But take care that it be not with pity, but with esteem and admiration.
ROYAL MILITARY ACADEMY, WOOLWICH, July 1860.
To Mr Moore.
LONDON, January 8, 1814. As it would not be fair to press you into a dedication without previous notice, I send you two, and I will tell you why two. The first, Mr M., who sometimes takes upon him the critic, (and I hear it with astonishment,) says, may do you harm. God forbid ! This alone makes me listen to him. .
.... Pray, perpend, pronounce, and don't be offended with either.
The first, says Mr Moore, was, of course, the one that I preferred. The other ran as follows :
My dear Moore,—I had written to you a long letter of dedication, which I suppress, because, though it contained something relating to you which every one had been glad to hear, yet there was too much about politics, and poesy, and all things whatsoever, ending with that topic, on which men are fluent, and none very amusing-one's self.
It might have been re-written, but to what purpose ? My praise could add nothing to your well-earned and firmly-estab